Of course I'm liberal, I believe in liberty.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Pope John Paul II

I just wanted to chime in quickly on Pope John Paul II. I've always had a great deal of respect for the man and his Culture of Life. John Paul II was always consistent on his support of life, he opposed both euthanasia and the death penalty; he fought against abortion and war. The day he visited and forgave his attempted murderer is one we will all remember. Consistent.

Contrast this to our politicians who love to throw around the term "Culture of Life" to fish for votes but turn around and execute mentally retarded murderers, sign laws to let hospitals turn off life support against the patient's and family's will to save money and start wars based on speculation and fear.

I don't agree with the Culture of Life in terms of law, sometimes wars are necessary or the lessor of evils (Afghanistan, Kosovo, Gulf War I), sometimes a women believes an abortion is the best choice for her family, and certainly legal abortions are preferable to our daughters dying to the illegal kind, but the Culture of Life represents the ideal we should all strive for. The church should support that ideal.

I do have a problem with the birth control issue, but not as much as others. The most important method to prevent women from getting pregnant too young or too often is education; the negative correlation between birth rates and education is amazing; even a third grade education means so much, and the Catholic church is one of the greatest educators of young girls in third world countries. Despite what the critics claim, the church has done more to curb birth rates in third world countries than most any other organization. True, it wasn't really on purpose, but that was the result.

I'm not Catholic, but if I had my wish there are a few areas I'd like to see change. One is the birth control issue just mentioned. Also, I'd like to see them revisit the end of life issue. As technology advances death becomes less and less the 'will of God' and more the decisions of humans. How do we deal with that? What is moral? We can no longer pretend we don't make those decisions, we do, so how do we make them? For abortion I agree with the ideal even if I disagree with the law, but for end of life decisions I think the ideal needs to embrace the complexity more.