A write-in vote for who?
by: John Tyrrell
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While Pope Francis was tied up for two weeks in a conference apparently intended to put a kinder, gentler face on Catholic theology, Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island was busy undermining the Pope's public relations gesture - taking a position neither gentler nor kinder.
Just as in the days of John Paul II (who appointed Tobin) and Benedict XVI, Bishop Tobin continues with the attempt to make elements of Catholic teachings the law of the land.
Currently, his attention is focused on the issue of abortion.
To Tobin's dismay, neither of the candidates for Governor of Rhode Island are opposed to abortion. And horror of horrors (for Tobin anyway), one of them is a Catholic. And she has the gall to choose Planned Parenthood over the teachings of her Church. Tobin considers it her duty as a Catholic to impose Catholic teachings on all the residents of Rhode Island regardless of their own religious beliefs.
And what is Bishop Tobin's brilliant solution to the problem of who to vote for when no candidate has his point of view on this single issue?
He wants those who support the Catholic Church's position on abortion* to ignore all the candidates on the ballot and write in the name of his chosen candidate.... Mother Teresa.
Yes - the very dead Albanian (i.e. not American and not even a Rhode Island resident) and still very dead and sainted Mother Teresa.
He offered an alternate choice of writing in Pope Francis, but his prime choice is Mother Teresa.
After all - she's dead (I think I already mentioned that) - and consequently she's less likely to change the policy than is Francis.
Upon reflection, I think Bishop Tobin has a great idea which should be promoted not just in the race for Governor of Rhode Island, but also in the contests for all the elected offices in Rhode Island; also in the contests for all the elected offices in the United States; further, in the contests for all the elected offices in the world.
All those who want to impose the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion on everyone else should cast a write-in ballot for Mother Teresa in every election. Whether it be as minor a position as town dog catcher, or as high a position as head of state - those who want to vote for the Catholic position on abortion should as good Catholics slavishly follow Bishop Tobin's advice and boldly write-in "Mother Teresa."
Imagine - we might finally end up with elected officials who would concentrate on the real issues facing local communities, states and provinces, and the nations of the world rather than still fighting a war over women's rights.
* We talk about the Catholic position on abortion. Is there a clear Biblical position? To the best of my knowledge, the issue only comes up in Numbers 5:12-28 where it seems a husband can arrange for his wife to have an abortion if she is carrying another man's child. And there are no specified limits on which trimester this can take place.
To my mind that is a fairly trivial excuse for an abortion, particularly when the woman is not even involved in the decision. Clearly, it can be inferred that the procedure also has to be acceptable where the justification is more serious.
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