Democrat Joe Biden conducted a media interview last week with Father Matt Malone in preparation of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States. During the course of their conversation, Vice President Biden confessed that he well understood life “begins at the moment of conception”.
For those of us who have followed Biden’s career in the U.S. Senate and as a central player in the most pro-abortion Administration in history – it was an extraordinary admission. Over the past couple of decades, Biden has morphed from reluctant abortion supporter to a loud proponent of abortion rights, while still claiming to be a faithful son of the Catholic Church. His statement came as something of a surprise, frankly.
So what are we to make of his confession?
On the one hand, it demonstrates that there is yet a flicker of conscience alive in the Vice President. He is able to still recognize the difference between right and wrong. That is an encouraging thing.
On the other hand, the fact that he can simultaneously understand that life begins at conception, while supporting the wanton destruction of millions of American babies each year is, to say the least, astonishing.
Father Malone pressed Biden on his apparent disobedience to Catholic teaching. Biden explained himself this way:
“I’m prepared to accept as a matter of faith, my wife and I, my family, the issue of abortion. But what I’m not prepared to do is to impose a rigid view, a precise view … rigid sounds pejorative … a precise view that is born out of my faith, on other people who are equally God-fearing, equally as committed to life, equally as committed to the sanctity of life.
“I’m prepare to accept that at the moment of conception there’s human life and being, but I’m not prepared to say that to other God-fearing, non-God-fearing people that have a different view.”
This explanation is essentially the alchemy first articulated by Mario Cuomo back in the 1980s. It allows people like Biden to live with themselves as “decent, God-fearing Christians”, while simultaneously promoting the destruction of millions. They can be “personally” opposed to abortion, while supporting its imposition on the nation. Folks like Biden can even go so far as to suggest that killing preborn children is “wrong”, but they won’t impose that view on others.
One wonders if Vice President Biden felt any discomfort as he sat behind Pope Francis last week in the House chamber, while the Pope made his oblique reference to abortion. One could guess not.
But the simple truth is that Biden’s paper-thin defense does not shield him from condemnation. Scripture makes it abundantly clear that we will be held accountable not for our ignorance, but for those matters of moral conscience which we understand. Biden’s succor of the Abortion Industry is akin to supporting slavery while refusing to own a black person personally; or helping to build the gas chambers while privately expressing disagreement with Nazi dogma that Jews aren’t really human beings.
The Vice President’s confession demonstrates that there is yet truth in him. We pray the Holy Spirit breathes upon that flicker so that it becomes a flame within him. There is still time for Biden to act.