Catholic League President Bill Donahue has slammed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on the abortion issue and termed his stance as a state senator “Hitlerian.”
On May 2, Donahue issued a news release urging Obama to dissolve his Catholic National Advisory Council because none of the public officials on the Council agree with the Catholic Church’s position on abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and school vouchers.
On May 8, Council members responded with a letter addressed to Donahue that read in part:
“Senator Obama recognizes that abortion presents a profound moral challenge, tied in part to a loss of the sense of the sacredness of sex and lack of parental involvement…
“Senator Obama has also reached out to Americans on both sides of this issue and embraces practical proposals designed to reduce the number of abortions in this country, including comprehensive health and sex education, better health care, economic support for women, and promoting alternatives like adoption.
“Like other Americans, we have watched as many candidates brought to office on a so-called pro-life platform insisted on policies that have left the lives of millions more of our brothers and sisters at risk from war, uncontrolled pollution, deeper poverty, and growing economic inequality.
“Not this year.
“This year, there are many Catholics - Democrats, Republicans, and Independents - who won't let that happen again…
“Mr. Donahue, your work to fight legitimate cases of anti-Catholic bigotry in this country should be applauded. But when you smear other Catholics with whom you disagree, you betray your own cause.”
The letter is signed by Sens. Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Christopher Dodd, and Patrick Leahy, along with House members, theologians, professors and others.
Donahue responded quickly with a statement on Thursday that included these remarks:
“It is more than embarrassing — it is shocking — to read how these Catholics view abortion. The Catholic Church regards abortion, as well as embryonic stem cell research, as ‘intrinsically evil.’ But not these folks. For them, abortion is merely ‘a profound moral issue.’
“Sadly, it has been apparent for years that many who fancy themselves ‘progressive’ Catholics do not treat abortion the way they do racial discrimination. No one in his right mind says that the best way to combat racial discrimination is by changing people’s hearts and minds, not the law. Which is why we do both. But when it comes to abortion — including partial-birth abortion — the progressives settle for dialogue.
“It is so nice to know that Obama thinks abortion ‘presents a profound moral challenge.’ Is infanticide another ‘profound moral challenge’? To wit: When he was in the Illinois state senate he led the fight to deny health care to babies born alive who survived an abortion. That, my friends, is not a moral challenge — it’s a Hitlerian decision.”
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