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Some thoughts on Biden, Holtz, and Notre Dame

Updated on September 4, 2020

The Abortion Issue


Legendary Fighting Irish coach Lou Holtz touched off a firestorm during the Republican National Convention when he endorsed President Trump and criticized Joe Biden for his support for “pro-choice” on abortion.


Joe has said that he personally opposes abortion but does not support the government imposing its will on a woman’s choice to have an abortion. “We will protect women's constitutional right to choose, and I am proud to stand with you in this fight," the presumptive Democratic nominee says in the video released Monday by the group's advocacy and political arm, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Biden has promised, if elected president, to cement abortion rights in federal law to protect them against future decisions by the Supreme Court. The 77-year-old candidate said he would “send immediately to the desk of the United States Congress (…), a codification of Roe v Wade amended by Casey. Because I think it is a woman’s right to choose. I think it’s a woman’s opportunity to be able to make that decision.”

Biden then boasted about his 100% voter-rating from NARAL, an abortion-rights organization….


Liberal Catholics such as Father Jenkins, President of Notre Dame, and Father James Martin, SJ, have defended Joe on the ground that: “We Catholics should remind ourselves that while we may judge the objective moral quality of another’s actions, we must never question the sincerity of another’s faith, which is due to the mysterious working of grace in that person’s heart," Jenkins said. "In this fractious time, let us remember that our highest calling is to love.”


If we start with the premise that the lives of the unborn are every bit as sacred as the lives of the born, then Joe’s actions - the support for the government’s imprimatur of abortion - is an action the objective moral quality thereof may be judged.


Father Martin’s criticism also rings hollow. “(He) cannot look into the soul of Joe Biden," James Martin, a Jesuit priest said on MSNBC. "I think it's a really terrible thing to say about someone. He has no clue what's going on inside of Joe Biden's heart."


This is not a judgment of Joe’s heart. Rather to echo Father Jenkins remarks, it is a judgment of the objective moral quality of his actions. Joe is free to rationalize these actions in his heart and to make his peace with his God in light of his actions. But his politics over this issue results in the death of millions of unborn children, many of them African-Americans and Hispanics.


Because of this Joe and his cohorts have excluded pro-life Democrats from the party. Former U.S. Representative and Senator Joe Donnelly, a Notre Dame alumnus, tried to ride the fence. It didn’t work. Joe Biden is part of this exclusion effort. Again, the objective moral quality of his actions may and must be judged.

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