Further to yesterday's post, I re-read the Bishops' guidance of things to think about when deciding who to vote for. I know that many people commented on this when it came out. You can see it here.
This thing that sticks out, of course is the shocking statement in the introduction...
Voting in a general election should seldom, if ever, be based on a single issue. Elections involve a whole range of issues, some without doubt more central than others, particularly those concerned with the dignity and value of human life and human flourishing.Respectful as I always am of their Lordships' guidance on all matters, as teacher of the faith and successors of the Apostles, this statement is dangerous and wrong. The problem is that we have grown accustomed to living with evil.
It is rather like someone who lives in terribly substandard housing but after years of nothing changing simply gets used to it. They become habituated with the situation, When someone comes and visits them and sees the terrible state of affairs, and is shocked and disgusted by it, then hopefully something is done. Of course you can see how it can become all too easy not to notice the reality of things.
This is what has happened. The dignity and value of human life is not "more central", it is the heart. You can have no human rights, no dignity, no flourishing, no honesty, no integrity if you support the killing of the weakest in society. Of course we should protect the rights of the disabled (but let's not mention that we could have killed them on the way to the delivery suite if only we'd found out), and there should be equality between men and women (but we are not going to be too bothered if we kill girls in the womb, because you can't really defend a difference between "we do not want this child because she is a girl" and "we do not want this child, because... well we just don't") and of course we should help those in the world in need (but they don't get the cash unless they let women abort their children - hideous cultural imperialism anyone?) and we should promote free health care (contraception?) to all people (made to feel guilty when they are old). And on, and on, and on.
I am not an all or nothing person. I will vote even though all the parties support an attack on the lives of the weakest and most defenceless. But please do not tell me that it should not be, even theoretically, the most important issue that there is. Do not become so dazzled by conformity to this world and society's acceptance that we no longer see the joy and burden of the Gospel.
If you want to see how your MP voted on pro-life issues, then go here.