Just pray for her.
Pelosi’s office did not respond to CNSNews.com’s follow-up questions regarding the speaker’s statement that she seeks to make policy in conformance with the values of the Word made flesh.
It takes a special kind of cognitive dissonance to speak fervently of the Word Made Flesh, and to understand that by his Incarnation God has ennobled all mortal flesh with a sanctity and a holiness relative to his own, and yet to consistently vote–as Nancy Pelosi did in 2003–against legislation that would have banned the most savage of abortion procedures, the so-called “partial-birth abortion.”
Let us refresh our memories for a moment about what occurs during such an abortion:
In a so-called late-term abortion, a baby is delivered vaginally, and feet first. The body and shoulders are delivered, but the infant’s head is held within the birth canal, until the doctor can slip a scissor into its skull and suction out its brains, at which point he will deliver a dead child and avoid a charge of infanticide. We are told that these abortions are necessary to spare the life or mental health of a fragile mother who may not be able to endure the physical or psychological rigors of childbirth.
The American Medical Association has quietly conceded that—as we do not live in the nineteenth or even the early twentieth century, when a cesarean section was all but a death sentence for a woman—there really is no medical reason for such an abortion. One may additionally argue that delivering a baby feet first, then shoulders, is by no means a simple or easy sort of delivery, so the dangers it purports to spare a woman are not obvious.
A vacuum or D&C abortion shreds human life within the deepest part of a woman’s body. That is awful enough to contemplate (and even Buddhists and Taoists will tell you, from a different perspective than the Christian’s, that the event leaves a lasting mark upon the woman in many ways) but partial-birth abortion plays with the notion of human life and death the way a lawyer parses language in order to live between the lines. The child living within the womb would very likely be viable if allowed to be delivered normally and to take that first breath–becoming known to us, as the babe is already known to the Creator–and so, as a lawyer contorts words and meanings, the abortion-provider twists the flesh that incarnates that known-to-God-spirit. He manipulates that flesh most unnaturally before completely dishonoring both created creature and Source by savage means.
Nancy Pelosi, who has made something of a habit of calling upon the saints and the bishops of her faith to assist her in moving her legislation, receives a 100% approval rating from the Americans United for Separation of Church and State. She heads a party and an ideology that routinely freaks out with paranoid cries of “theocracy! Theocracy!” whenever a conservative dares to invoke God, or discuss matters of faith, and yet she feels perfectly justified in using religious language when it suits her, or for the promulgation of her own propaganda. And neither the press nor her political tribe calls her out on it; they do not even appear to notice the incongruity of a woman speaking with eyes aglow about the Incarnation, and the Word Made Flesh, while offering unswerving support to the shredding of the tenderest and most innocent flesh.
No one asks her about it, not even those Catholic reporters and Catholic Democrats who (presumably) understand just how profoundly and regularly Catholics ponder this greatest and most humbling of mysteries: that the Creator would condescend to enflesh via his own creation, be subject to it, in order to serve and save it. We are wholly in wonder at this. This particular moment of Incarnation is one we strive to keep before our eyes daily; we ponder it in the Angelus which some of us pray at least once a day; we recall it within the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary and remember John’s Gospel at the end of Mass, after we have partaken of that very flesh, for the life of the world. “…the Word was made flesh, and set his tent with us; we have seen his glory . . . of his fullness, we all have a share, love following upon love…”
These are serious words, invoking a serious idea and deep mystification; they are not words to be hauled out and thrown into a muddle of politics, for base expediency.
Mrs. Pelosi may seem confused to some; perhaps she is. I prefer to believe that her seeming inability to stop herself from conflating her religion and her politics is evidence that the Holy Spirit is working upon her–that perhaps her photo-op-free meeting with Pope Benedict, and with her bishop (or her public communion-taking) have flicked her conscience in such a way that we are now watching a woman try to reconcile her faith and her politics in a very public manner.
One can certainly serve the World by first being faithful to the Word; the great saints have proven this time and again. But can one serve the Word by employing the wisdom and sensibilities of the Worldly, without falling into an inconsistency (and spiritual chaos) that may cast one into mortal error?
I mean to pray for Mrs. Pelosi. I have no doubt that her identification as a Catholic is a sincere one, and I know firsthand how difficult it can be to form a conscience in the midst of sometimes pernicious influences. If she is being schooled and ravished by the Holy Spirit while also being pulled by all of her worldly attachments, then something will have to give, in God’s own time.
Meanwhile, Jay Nordlinger notes quite correctly:
Whoa, baby. [Conservatives] can’t say that — no one right of center can say that; but [Democrats] can. A curious fact about a strange place, America.
Yes. One need not have any imagination at all to realize that if a Sarah Palin or a George W. Bush, or a Chris Christie had said, “we have to give voice to what that means in terms of public policy that would be in keeping with the values of the Word,” the outcry would be swift, vast and paranoid. And if any of them had dared to “tell” the bishops “I want you to speak about it from the pulpit,” as Pelosi has done, we would be hearing a debate about tax-exemptions and the churches.
Writes Ed Morrissey:
When conservatives talk about religious values informing public policy goals, the Left shrieks about the separation of church and state and usually refers to the Right as an American Taliban. Pelosi will get a pass, however, because she uses the religious language to argue for their pet causes. It’s a good idea to capture this moment anyway, for the next time someone argues that “Christianists” are attempting a theocratic takeover of America.
Because everyone knows, only Democrats can be trusted to discuss politics from the pulpit.
Pelosi made these remarks almost a month ago. Why are we only hearing them, now?
Ann Althouse: polls for your opinion on Pelosi.