On October 11th, during the Vice Presidential debate between Paul Ryan and Joe Biden, there was a moment that went largely unnoticed. Martha Raddatz was trying simultaneously to wrap up the debate and make sure a question about abortion was included. While Paul Ryan’s answer was consistent and rational, Joe Biden demonstrated a liberal inconsistency and irrationality that no one seemed to notice.
Opponents of the Romney/Ryan ticket belittled Paul Ryan’s answer to the abortion question by focusing on the awkwardly anecdotal bit about his daughter Liza “Bean” Ryan. His reasoned approach to being pro-life, however, received little attention:
“I don’t see how a person can separate their public life from their private life or from their faith. Our faith informs us in everything we do. My faith informs me about how to take care of the vulnerable, about how to make sure that people have a chance in life. Now, you want to ask basically why I’m pro-life? It’s not simply because of my Catholic faith. That’s a factor, of course, but it’s also because of reason and science. You know, I think about 10 1/2 years ago, my wife Janna and I went to Mercy Hospital in Janesville where I was born for our seven-week ultrasound for our firstborn child, and we saw that heartbeat.”
Notice that Rep. Ryan does not state that his policies are determined sola fide, or, by faith alone, but neither does he pretend to shuffle off his faith in the presence of public policy.
[Without getting too epistemological, the idea that faith and reason are compatible is sound. (In this sense, “faith” being the internal assurance of universal governance, and “reason” being the axiomatic expression of that faith.) Just as the scientist supposes for his hypotheses that the laws of physics and of logic are eternally universal and bases his conclusions on the universal governance of those laws, so does the theologian for his exegesis suppose the existence of an uncreated creator, an unmoved mover, or the “First Cause.” In other words, while some rest all their premises on an eternal and fundamental universal legislation, others rest all their premises on an eternal and fundamental universal legislator.]
But take a look at the inconsistencies contained in Joe Biden’s statement on the same question:
“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.”
What the Vice President has said here is that the Catholic Church’s doctrine on abortion may not be used in public policy. HOWEVER, the Catholic Church’s doctrine on social justice must be used in public policy.
I will not get too deep into the “preferential option for the poor” doctrine of the Church (I am unqualified, but, as Shaun Kenney has pointed out, the preferential option for the poor does not equal the preferential option for the state.) But needless to say, there is within the Catholic Church, especially since the 20th century, a great emphasis on social justice. It is Canon Law: “The Christian faithful are obliged…to promote social justice and, mindful of the precept of the Lord, to assist the poor from their own resources.”
A practicing Catholic may be in violation of this canon law if he does not actively engage in assisting the poor from his own resources. Since resources distributed by the government are never originally their own, but rather are received upon a punitive condition, granting the State authority to perform this task for the Church is not only an abdication of individual and ecclesiastical responsibility, it is also an abrogation of individual and ecclesiastical authority. It is a transformation of the Lex Ecclesium into Ius Positivum, which is to say (as Kipling might) church is state, and state is church, and ever the twain shall meet.
The Church’s position on abortion is also Canon Law: “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.” Joe Biden described the Church’s position as a “de fide doctrine,” which is to say that the denial of that doctrine is tantamount to heresy, and that to keep the doctrine is a moral obligation.
But Biden’s pro-choice argument rests on separating religion from politics. He would not impose his or his church’s belief on others throughout the country. He would, in this instance, abandon a moral obligation to a political obligation.
But why should he choose to be religiously tacit on the doctrine of life while being religiously vociferous on the issue of property? His faith “defines” him, and “informs” him. How can it at once define and inform his public policy on the redistributive aspects of governance, yet not inspire in him a public policy that protects existence?
Why should church and state be so intertwined on service to the poor, but mutually exclusive on the disservice to the unborn?
Is there rational justification for the state’s sustaining the existence of the impoverished, or is it simply argumentum ad misericordiam? Is there more of an advantage to the state in charity for the pauper than there is in shielding the helpless? Is the deliverance of the destitute more valuable than the delivering of the babe?
I say the same justification used by the state for redistributive welfare may be used for the illegality of abortion. The justification ultimately reduces to this maxim: Without the prospect of people, there can be no state.
It is an absurdity to tell me in one breath, “your rightful property is not your own,” and in another, “your body is yours to do with as you please.”
But Mr. Biden is saying exactly that — only worse. The Church exhorts its congregants to demonstrate compassion for the poor. The State compels it by force. The Church may not deprive its members of life, liberty, or property for not tithing. The State may imprison your body and confiscate your property for not paying taxes.
It is the wont of modern liberalism to advocate for the redistribution of property (a system rooted in Judeo-Christian ethics) while advocating for the total autonomy of physiology (a system rooted in Darwinian principles). But the former cannot be consistent with the latter. If the employment of our property — which is our means of sustaining existence — may be redistributed through popular expression, so may our bodies and minds — which are the methods of obtaining property — be likewise regulated. To say that property is pluralistic while liberty is individualistic is a contradiction in terms.
Shall we then believe that modern liberals like Joe Biden do not see the inconsistency between the forceful transfer of wealth and the forceful protection of abortion, simultaneously imposing his religion in the former and rejecting it on the latter? Or shall we believe it more likely that irrationalities are simply a vehicle for election?
 An axiom, in this sense, being a statement that has a truth value so strong, that it requires the opponent to accept it in order to deny it. “Logic exists,” is an axiom; any opponent to the axiom “Logic exists,” must use the laws of logic in order to disprove the statement.
 Paul Davies, the noted theoretical physicist, has followed modern scientific premises to their logical conclusion. “Even the most atheistic scientist,” he said upon receiving the Templeton Prize, “accepts as an act of faith the existence of a lawlike order in nature that is at least in part comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological world view.” Antony Flew, philosopher and notorious convert from atheism, gives as his reason for recognizing a theological world view, “If you accept the fact that there are laws, then something must impose that regularity on the universe….Those scientists who point to the Mind of God do not merely advance a series of arguments or a process of syllogistic reasoning. Rather, they propound a vision of reality that emerges from the conceptual heart of modern science and imposes itself on the rational mind. It is a vision that I personally find compelling and irrefutable.”
 Code of Cannon Law, c. 222§1-2 in The Code of Canon Law: Latin-English Edition (Washington, DC: Canon Law Society of America, 1983). In legal parlance, the commission for Catholic social justice is an affirmative covenant; i.e., it requires an individual to actively engage in effort to keep it (such as, “Honor thy father and thy mother”). It is not a negative covenant; i.e., that which requires an individual to actively engage in effort not to violate it (such as, “Thou shalt not commit adultery”). To violate the former, one may do nothing; to violate the latter, one must do something. To keep the former, one must do something; to keep the latter, one may do nothing.
 The same cannot be said of tithing, which is a recognition that our property is not originally our own, but that we return a portion of it to God, or through His medium of the Church.
 Code of Cannon law, c. 1398. The Latin text is more informative, “Qui abortum procurat, effectu secuto, in excommunicationem latae sententiae incurrit,” literally, “that person which does procure an abortion, having been followed to its completion, does incur an excommunication latae senteniae [i.e., an automatic removal from communion by force of the law itself, needing no ecclesiastical court to impose judgment or sentencing].” The present-active in both the condition and consequence (procurat and incurrit respectively) indicates rightly that as soon as a person participates in abortion, he is immediately and simultaneously excommunicated; this is opposed to a pluperfect/imperfect condition/consequence, which indicates one must happen before the other.
 The logical fallacy, appeal to pity.
 For a full discussion of this maxim, an understanding of the word “state” is absolutely necessary. A government can temporarily exist for an unprocreant generation, but it cannot rightly be called a “state,” for without offspring it is unstable. “State” derives from the Latin sto, stare, which is, “to stand or to remain standing,” whence stable, establish, and even constitution.