Pro-Obama Catholics?

In a recent debate, hosted by the Catholic University of America, Robert George and Douglas Kmiec faced off on the question: "The Obama Administration and the Sanctity of Human Life: Is there a common ground on life issues? What is the right response by 'Pro-Life' Citizens?"

For those unfamiliar with the two debaters, Robert George is a professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University, and an outspoken and poignant proponent of the Pro-Life cause; and Douglas Kmiec is a professor of constitutional law at Pepperdine University. Both men are Catholic; however both differ severely on how their faith ought to affect their decisions and actions as American citizens.

The cornerstone of the debate—and what probably caused it to occur in the first place—is the fact that Kmiec has openly supported President Obama on a number of occasions (even voting for him in the election) while George has remained staunchly opposed to the president's policies, and continually expresses heavy criticism toward those Catholics who supported him last November, knowing full-well his stance on issues of human life.

All in all, the debate unfolded like most do. Kmiec presented his case, George countered, and then they had a period of Q&A with moderator, Mary Ann Glendon. The main focus of the discussion was, quite naturally, the hard-line stance of President Obama toward anti-life legislation; and the responsibility of Catholics to act conscientiously in the face of such evil. A number of striking points were made on both sides, but the final tally was surely not in favor of Kmiec.

Perhaps the most notable aspect of the whole event was Dr. George's candid presentation of the Obama administration's shortcomings in his 20-minute portion of the debate. George is, without a doubt, a tremendous and clear-headed thinker; and his portrayal of both the pros and cons of almost any situation is bound to be thorough. Once again, he did not disappoint, leveling a barrage of hard-hitting questions against Kmiec's Catholic-Democrat position. He outlined (quite thoroughly) the fact that Obama does not deny the human fetus to be a human being, but that it has rather become a question of 'when must we treat such a being as having fundamental right?' The critical thing, George pointed out, is that Obama's pro-abortionism is not one grounded in ignorance of biological facts; but rather in the alienation of an entire demographic of American citizens.

Overall, I thought the George-Kmiec debate was a real testament to the integrity of the Pro-Life position—and especially one so grounded in philosophical and academic honesty as is presented by Robert George. I would strongly encourage anyone interested in the the roots of the Pro-Life argument to check out this video and see what they think.