Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The One True Issue

The RC Archbishop of Denver, Charles J. Chaput, has been portrayed in a New York Times interview as insisting that Catholics may not vote for a candidate who does not oppose abortion. The accuracy of this piece has been disputed; however, a transcript of the full interview has been provided by the archdiocese, and at least by my reading, this characterization of at least some of what Archbishop Chaput said is reasonable.

The point of deciding this election on the basis of abortion policy is, to me, bizarre. In the first place, the confidence that Bush will eventually be able to appoint justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade is misplaced. Barring a major upheaval in the Senate-- which won't happen-- justice candidates who will step up to overturning that precedent will never get confirmed. To that degree, such a vote is merely symbolic.

Four years ago, such a single issue command would have been more plausible. In the current election, there are other issues. I have a hard time with the church that invented casuistry pointing to one issue as an absolute priority.

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