Friday, January 2, 2015

Mario Cuomo

Mario Cuomo, 1991. Via Albany Times-Union.
I got a little annoyed with the normally humane PastorDan, on the subject of the late governor Mario Cuomo, whom he accuses of having "triangulated" on the abortion issue:
It's in a way as if the pastor had made up a little story about Cuomo, kind of profiling him, as one of those wiffly difference-splitting Democrats like the Clintons, from which he can't be dislodged, but he's not reading that Notre Dame speech right, or at all: Cuomo wasn't offering the Catholics a compromise, as a liberal talking to conservatives, I'll give you some tax cuts if you'll give me some food stamps; he was exhorting them, as a Catholic politician speaking to a Catholic public, to leave him alone with the abortion thing, and if they cared that much about church teachings, to focus on the ones they could legitimately do something about—the liberal ones:
We cannot justify our aspiration to goodness simply on the basis of the vigor of our demand for an elusive and questionable civil law declaring what we already know, that abortion is wrong. Approval or rejection of legal restrictions on abortion should not be the exclusive litmus test of Catholic loyalty. We should understand that whether abortion is outlawed or not, our work has barely begun: the work of creating a society where the right to life doesn't end at the moment of birth; where an infant isn't helped into a world that doesn't care if it's fed properly, housed decently, educated adequately; where the blind or retarded child isn't condemned to exist rather than empowered to live.
He was saying things to Catholics that needed to be said. And still do.

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