Saints preserve us, the heathen Prods have found us out! But we shouldn’t get over-excited; it’s probably too late for them to stop us.
You probably saw the enormous headline on page A4 of the paper today, "Alito would bring Catholic majority." He would join John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy. Or maybe you didn’t, benighted, ill-read heathen that you are. If you didn’t, never mind. Go back to your reality TV.
But for those who keep up with such things, what this means is that, if Samuel Alito is confirmed, the court would consist of five Catholics, two Jews and two Protestants.
Which sounds about right to me, so I don’t get what all the fuss is about.
Or maybe I do. Maybe, just maybe, those "experts" quoted in the story, who said things such as "Catholicism is a wide tent in terms of political and legal positions," don’t know what they’re on about.
I love the way the secular press (which is loaded with lapsed Catholics, by the way) is always citing statistics that show that everyday Catholics don’t really believe all that stuff that the hierarchy tries to stuff our heads with. This story, from Knight Ridder’s Washington Bureau, was no exception. Note the following:
For example, only 20 percent of active Catholics who attend church
weekly said abortion is morally acceptable. But that percentage rose to
34 percent among those who attend nearly every week or monthly and to
54 percent among lapsed Catholics who rarely attend church.
Boy, I guess it’s all over for the teaching authority of the Church, huh? Imagine that — a slight majority of people who have turned their backs on the church don’t agree with an important Catholic belief. Will wonders never cease?
But seriously, folks … the more important thing to consider here is that, as near as I can tell, Samuel Alito is a man of considerable integrity, and he said he believes fervently in the rule of law. So do I. I also believe in playing by the rules, and in not forcing my beliefs upon others. That’s why you haven’t seen any anti-abortion editorials in The State. I don’t have a consensus for that position on my board, and that’s that. (What I write in my columns and on my blog are another matter, of course.)
However … it just so happens that in addition to believing that abortion is morally wrong (something I believed before I was Catholic, by the way), I believe Roe v. Wade is very bad law. There simply is no such thing as a constitutional right to privacy, Griswold or no Griswold.
Frankly, I’m quite proud of Mr. Alito that he made it through his hearings without using the code phrase "settled law." He said he respects precedent, as do I. But I don’t worship it. I have but one God.