With every Presidential election, I am reminded why I have abandoned the religion in which I was raised. I was baptised, raised and confirmed, as well as married in the Catholic Church, so although I didn't make the initial choice to become Catholic, I made subsequent choices to remain part of the church. I was disgusted in 2000 when the Church came out in support of Bush, despite his murderous record on capitol punishment when he was governor of Texas. Apparently, you can deny stays of execution for 152 people, and Catholics will still endorse you as being pro life. Post the nonsensical invasion of Iraq and subsequent death and destruction, the Catholic Church again endorsed Bush as being pro life, based only on the fact that he claims to be pro life, not based on his actions. The Church even urged people to vote against a Catholic candidate, John Kerry, based on the fact that he supports a woman's right to choose.
All of this support for Bush was obviously quite productive, as abortion is still legal, and still occurring over 1.2 million times a year in the US. If it doesn't seem like having a President who's against abortion has any affect on the legality of abortion, it's because it absolutely doesn't.
The truth about the abortion issue that Republicans don't want anyone to know is that they're not going to do anything about it, except use it as a wedge to guilt Catholics into voting for their candidates. Getting Catholics to feel guilty is like getting Republicans to feel greedy, it's not difficult. The likelihood of abortion becoming illegal in this country has never been less than it is right now, and that will not change if McCain and Palin win on Tuesday. We've had three "pro life" Presidents since Roe v. Wade, none of which have made any real attempts to overturn the landmark court case. Any incremental attempts to reduce access to abortion has occurred at the state level.
And yet once again in 2008, the weekend before the election, Catholic leaders are making it very clear that Catholics need to vote for John McCain or risk eternal damnation. I have no problem with any church coming out in support of a candidate who has policies that are in line with the teachings of that church. The problem in politics is that candidates are thankfully not running from a religious platform, so there are going to be some differences. Instead of acknowledging this, the Catholic church has boiled the election down into a single issue, ignoring things like which candidate actually has plans to attempt to reduce the number of abortions by addressing the causes and which candidate has the best programs to tackle poverty. In the end, these approaches may actually have a fighting chance of reducing the number of abortions in this country. If we've learned one thing from the past 30 years, voting for a Republican who says their pro life, certainly does not.
You probably won't find me in a pew at a Catholic church, as long as this hypocritical and myopic electioneering continues.