Joe Biden, Catholic for Choice

In the words of Vice President Joe Biden, from the transcript of the 10/11/12 Vice Presidential Debate:

My religion defines who I am. And I’ve been a practicing Catholic my whole life. And it has particularly informed my social doctrine. Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who — who can’t take care of themselves, people who need help.

With regard to — with regard to abortion, I accept my church’s position on abortion as a — what we call de fide (doctrine ?). Life begins at conception. That’s the church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life.

But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews and — I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman.

I — I do not believe that — that we have a right to tell other people that women, they — they can’t control their body. It’s a decision between them and their doctor, in my view. And the Supreme Court — I’m not going to interfere with that.

With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution, Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic Social Services, Georgetown Hospital, Mercy — any hospital — none has to either refer contraception. None has to pay for contraception. None has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.

Now, with regard to the way in which the — we differ, my friend says that he — well, I guess he accepts Governor Romney’s position now, because in the past he has argued that there was — there’s rape and forcible rape. He’s argued that, in the case of rape or incest, it was still — it would be a crime to engage in having an abortion. I just fundamentally disagree with my friend.

And, despite the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops already taking exception to the statement about religious institutions being exempt from paying for contraception coverage, it remains true.  In addition, like Biden, most Catholics do not agree with the leadership’s ongoing legal battle:

A survey of 1,000 self-identified Catholic voters found that overwhelming majorities feel no obligation to vote the way the bishops tell them to (83 percent) and think Catholic politicians are free to ignore voting instructions from the bishops (76 percent).

More results from that survey can be found here.

 

At the Intersections: #BlackLivesMatter Vigils & the (white) Privilege of Growing Up
At the Intersections: The Sacred Feminine, Medieval Style
Freedom & Renewal: Lutherans at 500
Writing the Sabbath: Plans and Invitations
About Caryn Riswold

Caryn D. Riswold is a feminist theologian in the Lutheran tradition. She is Professor of Religion and also teaches Gender and Women’s Studies at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois, where she has worked for over a decade teaching undergraduates to think critically and creatively about religion. She earned her Ph.D. and Th.M. from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, holds a master’s degree from the Claremont School of Theology, and received her B.A. from Augustana College in her childhood hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X