But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a disciplinarian.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
Personally I think Barak Obama made a great choice in Senator Biden. Rather than seeing Biden's selection for VP as a slap in the face to Catholics, I tend to see it as a statement to Catholic Bishops. If the Democrats really felt the bishops had as much power as the bishops think they do, the democrats would never have selected Joe Biden. I suspect Obama understands that deep down inside most Catholics will start really thinking of who they want as president when they are at the gas station. The hope must be that they will start asking questions like "what kind of future are we really bequeathing to the unborn when our country is on the brink of an ecological and economic melt down."
If the issue is about potential life and protecting it, one would think the first and foremost priority should be about leaving a potential future in which to nurture that life. Unfortunately the pro life movement seems to be very strong on opposing Roe v Wade and very weak on providing any kind of environment for that potential life when it becomes actual life. Future and potential thinking is so much easier than dealing with actual reality. Dealing with actual reality is never so black and white as the fantasy thinking about potential and futures.
Catholic ethicist Christine Gudorf wrote a succinct and insightful piece back in 1988 about the Hierarchy and it's 'consistent life ethic'. She stated that while the Vatican uses an ABSOLUTIST version of Natural Law when it comes to abortion and birth control, calling both intrinsically evil and brooking no discussion; when it comes to matters of war, it shifts to a CONSEQUENCE based ethic that carefully balances conflicting values and allows for discussion from many quarters. In matters of war the Vatican relies on persuasion, not legal sanctions, ultimately leaving the question to the minds of individual consciences.
Where as members of the hierarchy feel free to deny communion to pro choice politicians and even threaten excommunication, none has ever denied Communion to a pilot who has bombed innocent civilians, or a scientist who is engaged in nuclear armaments research, or an executioner who administered a lethal injection. Where as the Church has strongly pressed for criminal sanctions against women who have abortions and abortion providers--Ecuador is the prime example--the same bishops have been busy dodging criminal prosecution for pedophile clergy and waving the flag of patriotism for the war in Iraq.
Being the self hating Catholic I guess I am, I can't help but notice that the absolutist Natural Law positions are taken with women's issues and gay (effeminate) men. George Weigel is undoubtedly using Catholicism to promote the neo con agenda, but the bishops are underscoring their authority on the backs of women and gays.
Rosemary Ruetherford makes the point that this attempt to shore up their authority on issues pertaining to women and gays is really about a recidivist attempt to keep the male prerogative in the dominant position by forcing the submission of women to this male prerogative and their masculine definition of God. It's hard to dispute her contention when one looks at how deferential and wishy-washy the hierarchy is when it comes to issues of male power and choice, like war and economic exploitation. I guess this is why it's acceptable for men to pop Viagra but women can't pop birth control pills, amongst other issues separating the sexes in the minds of the bishops.
I pray that as this campaign gets into full swing, and more bishops come out swinging against Joe Biden, that Catholics take a real look at what this posturing is really about. It has nothing to do with the Good News, and everything to do with maintaining the position of women relative to men. The complementarity of the sexes is just spin for the submission of women to the function of their wombs, leaving men free to choose to kill the fruits of those wombs with highly suspect moral justifications for wars and economic exploitation. Kind of like what happened to the Fruit of Mary's womb. It's sad to think the Church which establishes it's moral authority on the teachings of Christ has apparently missed the point of those teachings. But then it's not really about Jesus at all, at it's core it's about using Jesus to maintain male power over self defined 'others'.
Hopefully, Obama and Biden may rerpesent a sign that this system of male dominance is finally changing. For millenia all it's given us is war, exploitation of one group at the expense of another, more war, domination of the many by the few, more war, huge levels of poverty, and more war. It really is time for a change before it's ecologically too late to make a difference.