Thank God for Jimmy Carter. In today’s N.Y. Times he catalogues and warns against America’s current violations of basic human rights. He lists the growing number of atrocious U.S. abuses against the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the rule of law.
Carter voices the indignation citizens experience when we see our own government practicing targeted assassinations, arbitrary detentions, use of torture, drone missile attacks, ever diminishing civil liberties and increasing claims of executive power.
Those of us who are Consistent Pro-Life advocates can be particularly appalled to see the full range of Church social justice teachings repudiated. Beyond abortion, beyond concerns for religious liberty, drone attacks and assassinations are unjust and immoral killings. As with abortion, targeted drone attacks consist of the privileged taking of human lives by violence. Drone attacks also misfire and regularly kill innocent bystanders-- women, children and families who are conveniently designated as “collateral damage.” No wonder we are hated abroad.
Democratic Pro Lifers who support Obama’s efforts to welcome immigrants and provide health care for all Americans can be deeply alarmed over the military turn and encroaching executive privileges of this administration. Are our civil liberties becoming irrevocably eroded, and/or corrupted by money? We have a duty to speak out. Carter does not hesitate to admonish his own party on behalf of the common good.
Now I too must count myself a deeply disappointed Democratic who thinks that a Nobel Peace Prize winner and former constitutional law professor should be doing better than this. Yet Consistent Pro Life advocates can feel trapped. We are committed to a more just society for the poor and the 99%, and yet protest the devastation wrought by our foreign war policies and the rule of the rich. Romney’s Republican proposals and positions, however, seem more unjust and disastrous. .
It seems wrong as well, to sit out the struggle and not choose the lesser evil or the more promising path. All in all, disillusioned or not, Obama can appear the far, far better option. Where else can we go?