Pelosi thumbs her nose at Fr. Pavone’s challenge to drop either abortion or Catholicism

Nancy PelosiOf all the unrepentant pro-aborts on Capitol Hill, few flaunt their disregard for human life as brazenly as Nancy Pelosi. While figures in the Barack Obama mold give lip service to the complexity of abortion, Pelosi doesn’t even pretend to respect disapproval of or resistance to it. She doesn’t show any obligation to justify her positions. And she does it all while posturing about how true she is to the very religion that calls abortion intrinsically evil.

Recently, Pelosi refused to explain the difference between the “sacred ground” of late-term abortion and Kermit Gosnell’s crimes, which she called “reprehensible.” She asserted that she was a “practicing and respectful Catholic” and rationalized her refusal to explain herself thusly: “I’m not going to have this conversation with you because you obviously have an agenda. You’re not interested in having an answer.”

In response, Priests for Life national director Father Frank Pavone penned an open letter giving Pelosi an ultimatum: either abandon abortion or renounce your membership in the Catholic Church:

With this statement, you make a mockery of the Catholic faith and of the tens of millions of Americans who consider themselves “practicing and respectful Catholics” and who find the killing of children — whether inside or outside the womb — reprehensible.

You speak here of Catholic faith as if it is supposed to hide us from reality instead of lead us to face reality, as if it is supposed to confuse basic moral truths instead of clarify them, and as if it is supposed to help us escape the hard moral questions of life rather than help us confront them.

Whatever Catholic faith you claim to respect and practice, it is not the faith that the Catholic Church teaches. And I speak for countless Catholics when I say that it’s time for you to stop speaking as if it were.

Abortion is not sacred ground; it is sacrilegious ground. To imagine God giving the slightest approval to an act that dismembers a child he created is offensive to both faith and reason.

On Monday, Pelosi responded to Pavone in an interview with the abortionshilling left-wing blog ThinkProgress:

My faith is very deep and has been my whole life. I love my faith and my faith has nothing to do with whoever he is. The arrogance of it all! It’s like something ancient, medieval…The Church taught me as I was growing up that every person has a free will and has the responsibility to live up to a moral standard. And I respect women’s judgment and values to do that. Whether this priest thinks his judgment should be another woman’s judgment is absolutely ridiculous to me. But nonetheless it’s what they say. I grant the Church where they are on abortion. That’s where they are, that’s where they have to be. But my faith isn’t about what their position is. My faith is about, Christ is my savior, the church is his church, and has nothing to do with Priests for Life…I wouldn’t even dignify whatever it is they said. It was a highly emotional statement that they made. If it were more intellectual I might have paid attention to it. He was acting hysterically.

I defy you to find a single sentence in there that substantively addresses any of Pavone’s objections.

Pelosi reiterates the claim that she “loves” her faith, which is “very deep,” but doesn’t address the fact that she’s openly defying explicit teachings that stretch throughout the Church’s entire history. She assails his argument as “ridiculous” but doesn’t cite a single religious authority who sides with her on tolerance for abortion. She offers no Church or Scriptural basis for which teachings she considers binding and which ones she feels free to ignore. She sneers at Pavone’s “arrogance” while substituting her will for God’s. She deems comparisons between abortion and infanticide unworthy of her attention, but doesn’t explain why she ignores little things like heartbeats, brainwaves, breath, nerves, faces, fingers, toes, kicking, growth, or DNA.

The only statement that bears even a passing resemblance to a reason – that “every person has a free will,” therefore she “respect[s] women’s judgment and values to do that” – is insipid. We respect that the average person isn’t going to steal, rape, or kill, either, but that doesn’t mean we leave it up to the individual to decide when doing so would be the best “personal decision” for him or her.

Most revealingly, Pelosi huffs that she shouldn’t have to “even dignify whatever it is they said,” because it wasn’t “intellectual” enough to “pa[y] attention to.” You’re so stupid I don’t even have to explain how. This is how petulant children lash out when arguments don’t go their way, not someone who once occupied the number-three slot in the chain of succession for the United States presidency. I’m almost surprised she didn’t call Pavone a poopyhead.

Pelosi’s comfort in so unapologetically backing abortion on demand despite being unable to construct an argument for it that a first-year debate student wouldn’t be embarrassed to take out in public likely arises from a combination of factors. She comes from a scandalously safe Democrat district, so she’s complacently let whatever debating skills she possessed atrophy in the many years it’s been since she’s had to really earn any of her support. She oozes all the self-entitled arrogance of the power-hungry politician archetype. And she tries to have it both ways because, frankly, there’s not much standing in her way.

That’s the one area in which I’d suggest Fr. Pavone slightly adjust his approach. Pelosi is virtually incapable of shame and won’t be guilted out of desecrating Catholicism. It would be more productive to focus attention on the Catholic authorities who let her get away with it – the church she attends, the officials who decline to excommunicate her even as she receives communion in Rome, and the Vatican spokesmen who fail to call out her contempt for Church teachings about life when she meets with the pope. If the Church at large really has “had enough of” Pelosi’s record of “betraying and misrepresenting the Catholic faith,” it’s well past time for those in a position to do something about it to speak up and take action.

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