Nancy Pelosi’s Aberrant Christianity
US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi appears to have a rather aberrant view of her faith. Claiming to be a good Catholic, she is of course a leading supporter of abortion rights. Indeed, she is a Democrat with pronounced leftwing views, including a strong pro-homosexual agenda.
How these various radical social and political views are supposed to square with her professed Catholicism is hard to fathom. But she continues to trumpet her faith while pushing these quite unbiblical positions. Of course she is not the first politician to hold such obviously conflicting viewpoints. And she will likely not be the last.
Pelosi has recently reaffirmed her pro-abortion stance. And she even tries to argue that it is a Catholic thing to do so. She recently told Newsweek magazine that her faith puts her at odds with the Catholic Church’s official teachings on such things as homosexuality and abortion.
She claimed that the violation of a woman’s free will is inconsistent with the Catholic faith: “I am a practicing Catholic, although they’re probably not too happy about that. But it is my faith. I practically mourn this difference of opinion because I feel what I was raised to believe is consistent with what I profess, and that is that we are all endowed with, a free will and a responsibility to answer for our actions. And that women should have that opportunity to exercise their free will.”
Now I am not a Catholic, but I can pick up specious reasoning and unbiblical foolishness fairly readily. And we have plenty of both in this short paragraph. Official Catholic teaching in this area is quite clear. Abortion is just not on, and a consistent pro-life view is everywhere a part of Catholic social thought.
That is because the Bible has a consistent and insistent pro-life ethic. And yes, both Scripture and Catholic teaching emphasise the importance of free will, but never as some end in itself. Freedom of choice is an inseparable part of moral action, but it is not an absolute.
While different theological schools will have differing understandings of free will, it is indeed a basic doctrine and an important component of social and ethical discussion. But the Scriptures never absolutise free will as if it can stand independently of the rest of God’s expressed purposes and plans.
We are made in God’s image and part of that likeness includes the aspect of personal volition. We can make choices and choose between various options. Of course with the Fall man’s volition, like the rest of his nature, has been severely tarnished. Yet freedom of the will remains an important part of who we are.
But the Bible never claims that the mere exercise of the will is some inherent good. It all depends on what we choose, and why. It is a philosophy such as the secular version of existentialism which lays so much import on the issue of choice.
For many existentialists, the really important issue is the fact of choice itself, and not so much what we choose. Thus human existence is affirmed and deemed substantive based on the simple fact that we can choose. The authentic self is the choosing self. Of less importance are the actual choices we make.
Thus whether we help an old lady across the road, or push her in front of an oncoming truck is not as vital as the simple fact that we have made a choice and acted upon it. But the existentialist version of events is not the Biblical one.
The Bible places much emphasis on the object of our choice; on what we choose. Mere choice in and of itself is not virtuous or to be sought as an end. What we choose and why we choose are the key concerns in biblical thought.
As Joshua exhorted the Israelites: “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
Or as Yahweh said through Moses in Deuteronomy 30:19, “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”
Our everyday practical choices are of great importance. We must make sure that we choose wisely, and choose for God. As James 4:4 puts it, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”
All three of these passages – and many more – can be applied to the remarks made by Pelosi. We are to choose life, not death. That should be a pretty clear guideline for any believer who is thinking about the abortion issue. We are to choose whom we will serve: God, and his revealed will in Scripture, or human agendas and political platforms.
And we are to choose to please God, not the world. If we only had these three biblical passages to consider, people like Pelosi – and others who claim to be followers of Jesus – would know that the empty rhetoric of “choice,” stripped of any moral context, is simply not part of how Christians are to approach the ethical challenges of the day.
Indeed, for Pelosi to go on about how important it is for women to “have that opportunity to exercise their free will” is foolish in the extreme if we simply flesh it out a bit. If a woman commits infanticide, is it still a good thing, and somehow a Catholic thing, as long as it was freely chosen?
If a woman freely chooses to commit arson or theft, are we to be satisfied with that simply because free will was exercised? And this cuts both ways as well. Pelosi is quite keen on granting special rights to homosexuals. But what if a homeowner freely chooses not to rent out his property to a homosexual?
Will Pelosi honour that freedom of choice? What if a Catholic small business owner refuses to hire a homosexual? Will Pelosi be satisfied with that, simply because a choice was made? Pelosi has elevated freedom of choice into some sort of absolute when it was never intended to be.
What we choose and why are the main things – not the simple act of choice itself. So if Pelosi is going to continue pontificating on such matters, all the while claiming to be a good Catholic, then she had better start paying some attention to clear Church – and biblical – teachings, and to some basic common sense as well.
19 Replies to “Nancy Pelosi’s Aberrant Christianity”
Well said Bill. Nancy Pelosi’s views on life issues and on some other moral issues is not Catholic as you correctly say.
There is however, nothing wrong in Catholic teaching with being a Democrat or even to some degree ‘left’ on social and economic policy, so long as one doesn’t advocate socialism. Catholic social teaching does allow public ownership and trade unionism within parameters that are not narrow. One only has to look at the DLP and the NCC and the ALP Groupers under Santamaria. In today’s world and in the USA of today, they would be considered ‘socialist’.
To my mind, Pelosi has crossed some boundaries, for the worst, but there is more scope on social democracy grounds in Catholic social teaching than even some Catholics are prepared to admit.
“we are all endowed with, a free will and a responsibility to answer for our actions” Pelosi says.
Yes indeed, and it seems that she readily would love to take the responsibility for helping killing babies, and starting abhorrently unnatural families.
I would have some concerns if I were her too! Isn’t it amazing that they can be so accurate, and yet so blind.
To put it simply – we have the free will to choose evil but we don’t have the inherent right to choose evil. Pelosi’s language is manipulatively slithering and seems to be her last desperate attempt to justify the impossible. You’ve don’t an excellent job in exposing her lies.
Francis Kesina, Canberra
Michael, it’s interesting that you put public ownership and trade unionism together as your examples.
Public ownership of the economic means of production is the essential definition of communism, and public control of same is the essence of socialism. Both represent Government-sponsored collectivism, backed by the ‘power of the sword’ – force.
Superficially it could be argued that collective bargaining is not essentially socialist, unless coercion is involved.
But underlying both is the Archilles heel of Marx’s theory, that one man’s wealth is necessarily gained at another man’s expense, as if there is some mystical quantum of “wealth” available throughout the world, and that it is necessary to re-distribute it “fairly” and if necessary by force.
Thus the mainspring of socialist (ie. coercive) collective bargaining is the Marxist concept of the perpetual struggle between capital and labour, derived from the Hegelian heresy of divided but evolving truth – thesis, antithesis and synthesis (I am following Francis Schaeffer here).
I agree with you that the practice of Bob Santamaria, the NCC, DLP and so on and was more socialist than many allow. I believe the 1955 split was over a difference between socialism and communism (an artificial one, I suggest. I am simplifying, I know – I was too young to be there. In the same way a lot of fruitless argument these days tries to make the extreme Left and the extreme Right appear as opposites. However, they are both totalitarian.)
But the practice of these people and groups was not Biblical, since it was based on a faulty, unBiblical, world-view, derived from modernism/liberalism.
Thus I can see how Nancy Pelosi can argue that her beliefs are somehow “more truly Catholic than her teachers, and than the Church’s official teachings” but of course it still isn’t right, nor is it Biblical Christianity.
I know another politician who showed great devotion to Christ when he said, “When you have found the baby come and tell me so that I may worship him too.” What wonderful words of devotion.
I liked it when she said this
“…we are all endowed with, a free will and a responsibility to answer for our actions. And that women should have that opportunity to exercise their free will.”
I don’t know how she can emphasise responsibility as an advocate of abortion. It seems to me that abortion essentially removes consequences for actions.
If this woman thinks God ordained civil government to permit babies to be killed and sodomy to be shamelessly practised, then her Christianity is not just aberrant but abhorrent.
Nancy Pelosi is self-deceived but all too representative of the woolly thinking we are used to in this postmodern era. The word that describes her thinking best is “rationalizing”.
On the other side of the argument, some years ago I read Arthur Calwell’s memoirs: he was on the other side of the Labor split to Santamaria and the DLP, leader of the ALP roughly 1958-1966, and known, perhaps unfairly, as a left-wing socialist. But on issues like abortion, he was a real Catholic and his views would be anathema to Pelosi, the current ALP and many Liberals too. Opinions have certainly changed and we have an uphill battle to persuade people about what “everyone” accepted a generation ago.
If Nancy Pelosi is an example of Christianity in action, then I fear for the future of Christianity. I think she reflects more the views of the secular progressives, many of whom (like Melbourne’s Frances McNab) have abandoned the bedrock of Judeo-Christian ethics, the Ten Commandments.
As a Jew, the verse you mentioned in Deuteronomy resonates with me always – “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”
Judaism and Christianity are life-affirming religions, which don’t subscribe to the idea (so loved by the likes of Peter Singer) that we have the right, even the obligation, to choose whose life is or is not worth living. To me, this smacks of eugenics, and anyone who has studied the Nazi period would have a horror of going down this path.
I liked your story about the old lady crossing the road. We certainly have free will in deciding which course of action to pursue. But let there be no doubt : pushing her under the truck is morally unacceptable; dare I say it sinful, and will be suitably punished on Judgment Day in the absence of any repentance.
Don’t be too shocked at any remarks made by Nancy Pelosi. The woman is not particulary bright. I’m not alone in that view. Her approval rating in the USA, according to the Rasmussen poll (the most accurate), is in the twenties. She, along with that other Democrat, who is no threat to the memory of Albert Einstein, Vice President Joe Biden, are what we in the Church call cafateria Catholics. Their pro abortion beliefs, if extended to voting, make them eligible for excommunication. Also who can forget Joe Biden’s memorable speech, in which he said (and I heard him) “Our most important issue is a THREE letter word ‘JOBS’?
Concerning Michael Webb’s comment that the NCC, the DLP and Bob Santamaria would be considered “socialists”. I don’t think so. I knew Santamaria well; I did a one hour interview with him on radio, spoke to him on the phone many times and had lunch with him in Brisbane on a few occasions. He was no socialist. He was a great friend of Sir Robert Menzies, who has been inaccurately described by some in the Liberal Party today as a “small” L Liberal. Not so, he confided in Santamaria that he was so concerned that the Liberal Party, following his retirement, was becoming too trendy and that in his electorate he now voted for the DLP. Santamaria reported this on several occasions publicly and no one in Sir Robert’s family ever came out to challenge the remark.
Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld
John Angelico 5.1.10 / 8pm Says: Michael, it’s interesting that you put public ownership and trade unionism together as your examples. Public ownership of the economic means of production is the essential definition of communism, and public control of same is the essence of socialism. Both represent Government-sponsored collectivism, backed by the ‘power of the sword’ – force.
The correct statement is “Communism is socialism by force” Fabianism is communism by stealth” Stalinism and Nazism were both socialist nations that gained and maintained their power by force
While both were socialists, one believed in total public ownership and control, while the other was closer to today’s society of Corporate socialism.
John it’s interesting that you would try the Hegelian game with a member of the DLP, whose patron was one of the only true intellectuals this country has known, and whose party fought against the Marxist’s Hegelian dialectics that Stalin adhered so vehemently (even shooting officers that didnt understand it).
I noticed you used the statement Public ownership of the economic means of production is the essential definition of communism
Try all means of production ……. Then you might be closer.
Then you go on and state I believe the 1955 split was over a difference between socialism and communism
No it wasn’t. Don’t get too caught up with the left and right of politics. They are man made and designed to cause conflict which then reaches a synthesis. As Bill has said on many occasion there is no utopia on this earth. Our two headed monster used in campaigns symbolises that fact. Surely if have studied Mr Santamaria you’d understand this.
Christians believe in absolutes. They believe in the sanctity of life and & the word of God
Nancy Pelosi believes in neither and is only a product of the Hegelian dialectic (conflict of woman against man)
See what happens when you look to earthly answers when there is none.
Here in Britain, Bill, the Labour governments have always been elected with the important help of Roman Catholic votes, and yet Labour (and such “Catholics” as Tony Blair) actively oppose everything that the RCC stands for. If RCs could wake up to this truth on election morning, and just abstain, Labour governments would be consigned to history. Instead, the vote in a party committed to destroying the Catholic faith (an exaggeration? I wouldn’t risk my money on that possibility …).
John Thomas, UK
Both Tony Zegenhagen and Jon Newton’s comments I totally agree. That was what I meant.
I disagree with Frank Bellet about some Christian’s today not thinking that Santamaria and the ALP Groupers ( ie the ones who remained within the ALP and those who formed the DLP..both sides brothers forever eg Santamaria and Kenny in the NSW Labor Council).
Where I agree with Frank and others is on the morals issues. Where I disagree is on what constitutes socialism. The social teachings do not call for, nor support all public utilities being sold off to the private sector. That is where even traditional Catholics differ from both their evangelical Protestant brothrs and sisters as well as with some American Catholics who are influenced , in some cases, to a very strong degree, as part of the American culture which was formed by those rugged individual type values.
Catholics and Evangelicals also differ on biblical interpretation in socio-economic application. Many people form both sides do i fact use the Bible to really back up their on economics, public ownership and so forth.
For what it is worth, I worked with Santamaria for over half a decade, and I have been writing for his publications for nearly two decades. So I know a bit about him and the NCC. He was never a socialist.
But that is not of course the topic of this article. Abortion (and Pelosi’s stance on the issue) is. So I am not sure why Michael felt compelled to once again raise the economics issue. So let’s please get back to the topic at hand.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
Claiming to be a good Catholic, she is of course a leading supporter of abortion rights.
The simplest way of viewing Nancy Pelosi is as a bad Catholic. She’s Catholic, alright, by virtue of her baptism, but she has chosen to ignore important Church teachings, which must be held by the Faithful.
Louise Le Mottee
Well said Bill … I was reading this and was wondering what abortion had to do with economics,,,,
I am a member of the Uniting Church and it supports abortion on demand …good ,,,,,thank God for bad Catholics.
But it is not what the UCA thinks of abortion that matters, but what God thinks about it. I fail to see how one can claim to be a Christian and also hold to the death of unborn babies as a matter of choice.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
Michael Boswell, I am unable to confirm that the U.C.A. supports abortion on demand. What is the source of your assertion?