26 November, 2009

Chris Matthews vs Bishop Tobin

Chris Matthews interviewed Bishop Tobin on his recent instruction to Rep. Kennedy not to receive communion.

Quite a few voices have arisen from the more traditional adherents of the Catholic faith to have Mr. Matthews sanctioned in some way for conducting an "abusive" interview. I heartily disagree. Mr. Matthews treated Bishop Tobin in the same manner that he does with most of his guests. He always talks over his guests, seemingly berating them when he does not agree with what they are saying. In this he is no different than those darlings of the right, Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck.

Where Mr. Matthews went astray in the interview was in his insistence of framing the argument in such a way as to separate "law" from "morality" as if the two concepts where somehow antithetical to each other. Further, by placing the onus on the Bishop to determine what a "specific" law on abortion should be, or what punishments should be meted out to a woman who might have an abortion, he missed the point entirely. Bishop Tobin's position is that politicians such as Rep. Kennedy are in violation of their obligation as Catholics when they actively promote and legislate in a way so as to preserve or even expand the "right" to an abortion.

Suppose my faith requires me to be opposed to any particular act on religious grounds - so long as I do not vote or work to bring such an act into being - then I am at rights with my faith. I would incur no penalty from the Church - even if I did not do all that I could to write or promote legislation that would eliminate such an action.

This is quite different than what Rep. Kennedy has done. He actively and publicly works for the establishment of legislation that would facilitate, promote and use public dollars to pay for abortions. In this he is CLEARLY in violation of Canon Law and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Put in religious terms, he has taken himself out of the "communion" of believers by violating a fundamental tenet of the faith: that life begins at conception and that man (or woman) does not have the right to end that life any more than it would be proper to kill a child after its' birth.

Mr. Matthews might be a bully as an interviewer - that's his style. His problem is one of logic, which is quite different from his lack of manners. He needs to be educated, not sanctioned.

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