Monday, February 23, 2009

Kmiec in Time Mag-a-Rag: Deceptive.

Since at least 1960, high-school debate competitors have not been allowed to cite from Time magazine, as it was (even then) regarded as unreliable.

Nothing has changed.

Latest example is from Doug Kmiec, who really, really, really wants to be on SCOTUS--and in order to get there, he has used his 'Intellectualoid' status to wage war against the unborn and their Catholic supporters.

Fr. Z. picked up the subtle, but clear, problem in Kmiec's essay.

Following the Pelosi meeting, the Holy See issued the following statement:

"His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in cooperation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development."

So what? Here's what:

Kmiec wants the reader to accept the premise that the Pope is imposing a new moral duty imposed on jurists, a duty to "undertake an activist, law-changing role".

The Pope didn’t say that at all.

The statement does not say that jurists must be activists. It says that jurists should "work for a system of law capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development".

Kmiec says that there is now a "new directive" from Rome. There isn’t.

Here's the root sleight-of-hand:

Kmiec wrongly interprets the papal statement as putting jurists and legislators in the same category so that their responsibilities about protecting human life must be exercised in the same way. Kmiec says the pope doesn’t recognize that there are different roles

...which is patently untrue.

The old wisdom about Time magazine proves correct, again.

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