The Reactionary Utopian
                      May 11, 2007

by Joe Sobran

     How the mighty are fallen! Or falling, anyway. Tony 
Blair is finished. George W. Bush is being deserted by 
the party he has wrecked, the submerging Republican 
majority. And Rudy Giuliani, only recently the 
front-runner for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, 
looks like a goner. Thanks to Pope Benedict, he probably 
has no hope of capturing the White House now.

     Bush, of course, is the central figure in this 
contagion of ruin. Blair's loyalty to Bush -- he warned 
his fellow Englishmen that Saddam Hussein's fearsome 
arsenal might strike them within 45 minutes -- destroyed 
the plausibility of everything else he said. And 
Giuliani, a rodent who lacks the sense to desert the 
sinking ship, is now paying the price for his nakedly 
cynical betrayal of the Catholic faith.

     "I hate abortion," he has said lately; and everyone 
knows this is a naked lie. For nearly two decades his 
words and deeds have been emphatically proclaiming the 
precise opposite. No observer in his right mind would 
even suggest that Rudy Giuliani had the faintest moral 
qualms about feticide.

     He has eagerly courted pro-abortion groups, called 
abortion "a constitutional right," opposed restrictions 
on gruesome late-term killings of unborn children, 
applauded President Clinton's veto of such restrictions, 
advocated forcing taxpayers to subsidize abortion, and 
more. His record couldn't be more unequivocal.

     Needless to say, he adds to all this the standard 
hypocrisy of modern abortion advocates: he has studiously 
avoided describing abortion with such plain Anglo-Saxon 
words as "kill," "death," and "blood."

     Here it's instructive to read Book VII of the 
POLITICS of the great pagan philosopher Aristotle, who 
frankly recommends both abortion and infanticide in 
certain situations; refreshingly free of modern cant, he 
says simply that as a matter of good government, crippled 
infants should not be raised. Don't expect such candor 
from a Giuliani.

     Enter the Pope. Speaking in Brazil, without 
mentioning Giuliani by name, he made it clear that "the 
killing of an innocent child is incompatible with being 
in communion with the body of Christ" -- a pointed 
reminder that a politician who promotes abortion has 
excommunicated himself.

     This won't stop the much-married Giuliani from 
continuing to gobble the sacraments of the Church -- he 
evidently cares more about staying in favor with the New 
York Yankees than about fidelity to his professed 
religion -- but it will certainly stop many Republicans, 
especially the Catholics he has lately been trying to 
woo, from voting for him in the party primaries.

     In fact, Giuliani attacked Pope John Paul II in 1996 
for condemning Clinton's veto of the late-term abortion 
ban. Now he says his own positions on abortion 
-- public positions, mind you -- "are between me and my 
confessor." So why make them public at all? Why not keep 
them private, in the intimacy of the confessional?

     You have to wonder how often Giuliani visits that 
confessional, anyway. What does he think he needs to 
confess? Lukewarm support of Bush? He doesn't appear to 
be a man who lets his religion cause him much 
inconvenience. His idea of charity is "public funding for 
abortions for poor women."

     Well, each of us has to apply the Sermon on the 
Mount in his own way. And nobody can say the 
abortion-hating Giuliani hasn't found a way that is both 
original and unique.

     Liberals accuse the Catholic Church and the popes of 
failing to speak out against evil, especially Nazism. 
Their favorite target is Pope Pius XII, whom the Nazi 
press in fact called "a mouthpiece for the Jews." But of 
course they are not always delighted when the Church does 
speak out; then they accuse it of butting into politics 
and violating the separation of church and state.

     Giuliani, a liberal who wants to be taken for a 
conservative, assures us that he won't be taking orders 
from the Pope (just in case you were worried). Here's 
hoping he won't let that confessor push him around, 
either. We can only hope -- and of course pray -- that 
it's not the same confessor who gives Nancy Pelosi her 
marching orders.

     I wonder how Aristotle would define a Catholic these 
days. We can only guess, but I think he'd agree that 
"papist" is usually a misnomer.


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