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After delivering a homily indicting Catholic Senators (Democrat and Republican) who voted against legislation that would render illegal the killing of unborn babies with a developed nervous system, I received a response in a letter:
“I look forward to hearing your next political homily, similar to the one on abortion a few weeks ago. Please state the Catholic position on mass murder, and, in that context, list the Catholic Republicans in Congress who block any reasonable assault-weapons ban. You might need to extend church hours since the list will, undoubtedly, be extensive. Thank you.”
Course - Evil - Abortion - Holocaust - Regardless
It needs to be said right off, of course, that a homily on the evil of abortion is about as political as a homily condemning the Holocaust. Regardless, if my correspondent would identify any politician who was in favor of placing weapons – including daggers and box cutters – into the hands of criminals and psychotics for purposes of mass murder, I would happily identify them by name. And I would invite the same boos and hisses I invite for any politician who doesn’t lift a finger to protect the lives of unborn babies.
But on such matters, here is my answer in a nutshell:
Abortion is intrinsically evil and thus opposing it is not political.
Guns are not intrinsically evil. On the contrary, the Catechism teaches not just the right but the duty to use lethal force, if necessary, to defend oneself and those towards whom we have a responsibility. The same right to life that condemns mass murder requires the use of a gun to wound or kill if necessary to save life. Keeping guns away from mass murderers is obviously a moral duty, but guns in themselves are not intrinsically evil, unlike abortion.
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