However, Biden maintains that he hasn’t “the right” to proscribe women from pursuing an abortion. This, evidently, means that he holds that it is immoral for him or any other champion of the sanctity of human life to “impose” their belief upon others.
This is a most peculiar line of reasoning—especially as it is coming from a man who just finished informing a national audience that his “religion defines who I am.” What in your faith, we may ask Vice President Biden, which teaching of the Church, prevents you from “imposing” this view of yours on abortion upon others?
Biden says that it is his faith—“Catholic social doctrine” specifically—that motivates him to care for those “who can’t take care of themselves, people who need help.” It is on the basis of this religious belief of his that he supports a robust welfare state. Democratic politicians from John Kerry to Barack Obama, Charley Rangel to Andrew Cuomo, Nancy Pelosi to, now, Joe Biden, routinely seek to justify their leviathan of redistributionist policies in terms of Christianity’s teachings on helping the poor.
That is, Biden certainly has no reservations about “imposing” this view of his upon those who either reject Catholic teaching in this respect or Biden’s interpretation of it.
To put this in perspective, Biden, for some reason that remains unclear, thinks that it is wrong—a violation his faith?—to “impose” upon those who don’t share it his belief that abortion is unwarranted homicide, yet he does not think it is wrong for him to coerce his fellow Americans to part with their hard earned resources in order that others may take possession of them.
So, it is ok for Biden to impose some of his religious beliefs, but not others—or at least not his belief that abortion is immoral.
We are left with one of two possible answers to this question. The one possibility is that there is some Catholic doctrine or other that requires Catholics and Catholic politicians to put up zero resistance to abortion in public life. The other possibility is that Joe Biden is full of the very same “malarkey” of which he accused Paul Ryan of being full.
As a practicing Catholic myself, my money is on the latter option.
Jack Kerwick received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Jack blogs at Beliefnet.com: At the Intersection of Faith & Culture. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or friend him on facebook. You can also follow him on twitter.
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