Courious Kmiec

Here is very interesting article on Doug Kmiec of flip-flop from Romney to Obama fame.  Kmiec, a “pro-life” professor of constitutional law and long time Republican, has endorsed Obama because the Democratic senator has promised to reduce the number of abortions.  The article points out that Obama has inconsistently (surprise) promised to repeal the Hyde Amendment which prohibits governmental funding of abortion.

I asked Kmiec, in light of Obama’s commitment to taxpayer funding of abortion, if he would consider renouncing his endorsement if the senator didn’t change his position. “I haven’t seen the social science literature that you’re obviously much more privy to and obviously sending me,” he said. But assuming that public funding would significantly increase the abortion rate, Kmiec added, “I would be at a loss to say anything other than I can’t support the senator at that point.”

Kmiec pointed to a piece he had written for Slate, in which he declared his endorsement of Obama “will be renounced more loudly than it was given,” if Obama failed to “work to reduce the incidence of the practice [of abortion]”.

I emailed Kmiec reports on a number of studies showing that Medicaid funding of abortion causes a higher abortion rate. But when he got back to me in mid-June, he said Obama’s position on abortion funding was not a dealbreaker. Kmiec explained that one “must take full account of the church’s social teaching” on other issues like poverty, war, and the environment. When I asked him about his statement that he would likely renounce his endorsement if Obama didn’t reconsider abortion funding, he replied: “If I said it quite that categorically, that’s not quite where I’m at.”

Well, well.  No surprise really.  More of the same.  More mealy mouthed Catholicism.  We need leaders, knights, crusaders martyrs, not politicians and lawyers.  I understand political expediency, but this is beyond the pale.  Pray for saints and martyrs among our leaders and pastors.  Pray, pray, pray.

The courious thing is how someone like Kmiec got to the point of selling the farm.

10 thoughts on “Courious Kmiec

  1. As a Catholic layman, I must say that many so called “conservative Catholics” are often either brainwashed or anesthetized by their own clergy. Thank God for the growing and orthodox orders such as FI!

    In my diocese, our seminary has been producing nothing but modernists for years. Good men go in, and they come out modernist/proportionalists who believe in a distorted historical criticism, fundamental option, warped christology, ecumania, and anything protestant. They take that stuff into the confessionals with them! It oozes out of their homilies in varied and subtle ways.

    In some sense, it’s a good thing many of these modernists don’t hear too many confessions (They are available between 4:00 and 4:05 PM every Saturday afternoon :-/ ) because their understanding of Catholic moral law is so watered down that they could lead a good man astray and help a “luke warm” Catholic down the slippery slopes of perdition. I speak from experience on this since I have had to go to some of these poor souls for confession over the years.

    I sometimes think that I should create a blog along with a few other good Catholic laymen that (without naming names or getting personal) could help people identify the attributes which are the properties of a trustworthy confessor/priest. We could start with the Absolute Primacy of Jesus & Mary and work from there. Failure to be willing to go the distance and inconvenience to have a good man as your guide in the confessional could be explored as well.

    What does this all have to do with your post? Well… the mealy mouthed “conservative” Catholic has very little to go on (in the way of parish life) in order to tell the difference between a sheep and a wolf. Of the 10 or 20 Catholic home schooling dad’s that I know… perhaps 2, 3 or 4 of them really can tell the difference between a so called “conservative” Catholic priest, and someone who will insist on your becoming a saint. Many so called conservative priests these days are really undermining marital fecundity, political discipleship, the culture of life. How they do this is subject material for the aforementioned blog.

    The layman has to get out there and confront the clergy when it comes to this kind of thing. They have to do it passionately, compassionately, resolutely. If the battle is not waged here (where layman and clergy meet), it will not be won. As the Church goes, so goes civilization.

    Ave Maria

  2. Interesting post! Maybe if McCain chooses Mitt Romney as his running mate then this person will change his mind again. I think at the end of the day no one really likes to be a loser, and so flippy-floppy people will support whichever side they think will win.

  3. Pascendi and Aelfhere,

    I pray for Mr. Kmiec. He is leading many people astray. I have a hard time believing that he does not know what he is doing. I will presume good faith, but don’t want to suggest that we are talking about an ignorant man here.

  4. I would not presume his motive either venerable Fr. But one can easily see that there is not much “out there” to use as a reference point when it comes to these things unless one is willing to assent to the mind of the Church. And many don’t even realize how much less confused they would be if they simply inform themselves. Most men who define themselves as “conservatives” don’t read past the neocon National Review!

    I know so many “good conservative” clergy who will say things like “Humanae Vitae is a good document… but now let me give you the right way to interpret it… etc…”. All the while, they are undermining the very teachings of the document. The listeners (parishoners) are trying to be good Catholics… but they are easily swayed by the soft sounding and self comforting words of the modern “conservative” clerical proportionalist. “And after all… isn’t Fr. so and so an avid pro-lifer? How could he be wrong about this?”

    The problem is that at the diocesan level you have men who were formed in the last 40 years under the dictatorship of relativism right in our own seminaries. Most bishops would find “The Absolute Primacy” distasteful!

    On the other hand, I know many a serious Catholic who left for SSPX because they could not take the intellectual mush that the USCC and the USCB pump out on a regular basis!

    I do not know much about Mr. Kmiec. Is he a Catholic? If he is… then he is acting the way MOST Catholics are TAUGHT to act today by so called “conservative clergy”… making it up as they go along. Nobody reads anything older than a post counciliar document… and even those are read in a very cursory fashion by most “conservatives”.

    Only MEN can beat this end of the battle. The women have their hands full beating back the education leviathan for the sake of our children. But the dad’s must be somewhat confrontational at the parish level. I don’t mean to say that we should be unkind… but we should be constantly writing letters and making the clergy accountable for what they are teaching us. We also need to learn to stick together. And finally… we need to learn that sometimes we must escalate things up the “chain of command” in DC and in Rome and expend a little intellectual capital to make shepherds accountable for what they teach in the light of the magisterium and common sense. If you are disliked in your parish these days… that might be a good sign.

    Ave Maria

  5. Pascendi,

    I don’t think Doug Kmiec is simply a creature of the wayward clergy. You can read the defense of his positions and rebutals on Catholic Online.

    Here is some important biographical information from Wikipedia:

    Douglas W. Kmiec (born September 24, 1951) is an American legal scholar. He is the Caruso Family Chair and Professor of Constitutional Law at Pepperdine University’s School of Law. He served as head of the Office of Legal Counsel (U.S. Assistant Attorney General) for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, a position previously held by U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Antonin Scalia in the Nixon and Ford administrations. . . .

    Professor Kmiec is the former Dean and St. Thomas More Professor of the law school at The Catholic University of America (2001-2003). With leaves for government service, Professor Kmiec was a member of the faculty at Notre Dame Law School from 1980 to 1999. At Notre Dame, he directed the Thomas White Center on Law & Government and founded the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy. . . .

    Following his CUA deanship, Kmiec assumed the chair in constitutional law at Pepperdine University School of Law.[2] Along with Professor Mary Ann Glendon of the Harvard Law School, he was named by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney to head the Romney for President Committee on the Courts and the Constitution in 2007.

  6. Dear Friends,

    I join everyone else in thanking God for the FI, and as I have said before, I only wish they could come to Houston, where they are really needed, believe me.

    With respect to Prof. Kmiec, his endorsement of Obama was rather broadly covered some time ago, and as I recall the discussions, there seemed to be a broad consensus that what had happened was that he felt personally betrayed by either the current administration or some of its ideologial allies on the justification for the Iraq invasion, and that his endorsement of Obama was basically motivated by the Illinois senator’s softer stance on foreign adventures; as I recall it, he justified the disconnect on the social issues by convincing himself that Obama would listen to multiple points of view and be more malleable on the life issues than he seems. I wonder, then, if in his mind this is adequate to qualify as a “double effect” kind of analysis: his motivation is not support of the pro-choice position but instead of the anti-war position.

    That said, I am in agreement with those who say that life issues are the most important ones and thus trump others, such as the war issues, when one is deciding how to vote, so on that basis Prof. Kmiec’s decision is hard to justify. Now that Obama has slapped faithful Catholics in the face with his vice presidential nomination (rumor has it that Evan Bayh was vetoed by NARAL as not being commited enough to their side of things), not to mention the Pelosi hijinks, it does seem that any hopes for a softening of Obama’s pro-death posture are really in vain. So maybe a change will yet be made.

    I have never met Prof. Kmiec, but my wife, who is a federal judge, has and she ceratinly thinks well of him (without taking a position on politics, of course). Let us pray that he will come to a different view of things. None of this is to imply, however, that I am endorsing the other guy. I may be voting for Fr. Angelo.

    All the best,
    Woody Jones

  7. Woody,

    Hope. Change. Yes we can.

    There. That should be sufficient to get me elected. Right?

    I find it hard to imagine the calculus used by Kmiec to arrive at the conclusion that Obama is a pro-life candidate, let alone the best pro-life candidate.

    He has promised to repeal the Hyde Amendment. So much for reducing the number of abortions when he wants the federal government to pay for them.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, though. You crazy man.

  8. Seems to me there was another German politician not too long ago who promised “hope, change, Yes we can.” His name was Adolph.

  9. I’m assuming “Geiger” must be German …. but doubtful that he’s related to Hitler! However, since I’m clueless for whom to vote, I’ll pencil in this new German politician! Atleast he stands for SOMETHING …. something we all agree with, of course!

    On second thought, since I think most politicians wind up selling their souls at that level, I’d rather not be responsible for Fr. Angelo losing his … we little sheep are in desperate need of the few, faithful shepherds left. But, we could recommend him on the cabinet possibly …. 😉

    Oh, it’s been a long week … getting punchie over here I think.

  10. I am thinking McCain / Palin is looking pretty good. Very risky choice, but high risk, high reward. If it works, that is, if Palin is what she appears to be, then Barry O just had the rug pulled out from under him.

    I think most of the pro-lifers are in, now that Palin is the choice for veep. It remains to be seen whether she is in or out of her depth. But from what I have seen, I think she is going to do just fine.

    Unless, something unforeseen happens, I am pulling out of the race. Sorry.

    I wonder what Kmiec thinks now.

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