In a new low, Joseph Bottum spreads a rumor that Doug Kmiec will be appointed ambassador to Malta. Bottum’s response? “For Malta? It profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world. But for Malta?”. Think about this for a couple of seconds. He is of course referring to Kmiec’s support for Obama last year. Bottum is suggesting that he has sacrificed his very soul. And why exactly? For endorsing a political candidate that Bottum did not like. For coming to the prudential conclusion that the pro-life strategy endorsed by Bottum and Co. is not working. There is no accusation that Kmiec did anything evil, or dissented from any core Catholic teaching.But because Kmiec dares to disagree on political tactics, he is damned. He loses his soul because he will not support the party that brought you the Iraq war, torture, undistilled laissez-faire liberalism, and mockery of environmental issues. And in the meantime, Bottum’s First Things colleagues are busy adopting these very neocon positions relating to war and peace, telling us that the global financial crisis was caused by the poor and minorities, and that promoting climate change as a vast conspiracy against every American’s right to consume as much as he wishes. It’s not like the Church hasn’t condemned war, declared torture a non-negotiable, denounced the greed at the root of the financial crisis, embraced a pro-poor economic policy, and called for mechanisms to mitigate climate change, right? I would desist from judging souls if I were you, Mr. Bottum.
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