The editorial blog of the Dallas Morning News is a good instruction for people interested in understanding the thought processes of those who report the news. For example, when the Vatican released the document on gay marriage on Thursday, some DMN staffers responded by calling the document outrageous, that the Pope can’t tell Catholic lawmakers what to do, and so on. Basically what we’ve been hearing from John Kerry and his ilk.
Rod Dreher responds with, what I think is, a cogent response to the Catholic politician’s dilemma:
Abortion—and now, it seems, gay marriage—are areas of Catholic teaching where there is no wiggle room for the individual Catholic’s conscience. The Church’s doctrine unambiguously condemns them, and this Pope has put special emphasis on the duty of Catholic politicians to honor that in the carrying out of their public duties. They are free, of course, to vote how they like. But they are not therefore free to consider themselves Catholics in good standing. If I were a politician, and there were a serious conflict between my faith convictions and the will of my constituents, I would vote my convictions. If my constituents didn’t like it, they could vote me out. That’s democracy. [Emphasis added.]
I couldn’t have said it any better. The only pressure the Pope is putting on the pols is moral pressure. If Kerry and Kennedy and their clones want to call themselves Catholic (mainly in order to cultivate the votes of tribal Catholics like them) then they’ll have to be Catholic, in belief. If they can’t live the Church’s teachings, then they should be honest and stop calling themselves Catholic. Or if they find their beliefs in tension with the will of their constituents, they should be sincere (that would be a novelty!) and live according to the convictions and take the consequences. They grasp at power for the sake of power, rather than accept the reigns of power reluctantly as a means to serve others. They are professional politicians, willing to do and say whatever is necessary to stay in their privileged positions, rather than citizen politicians who serve for a time and then return to their civilian lives.