Thursday, March 12, 2009

Albacete on the President's Pragmatism

In a commentary at Il Sussidiario, Fr. Lorenzo Albacete analyzes President Barack Obama's justification for his executive order on embryonic stem-cell research, excerpt (emphases mine):
. . .the almost purely political motivation of this gesture was so clear, that it should concern those whose who adhere to any ideology, whether it be the left or the right. In his remarks the President showed that he is indeed determined to go beyond the liberal and conservative categories by making decisions that confuse both sides, not because of some transcending philosophical synthesis, but because of a relentlessly pursued pure pragmatism. . .what is true and good is what we can make. Truth is feasibility. Truth is what technology, not thought, allows us to do. . .

. . .The President’s defense of his decision to support the destruction of human embryos in the name of an “ideologically free science” is the same view of pragmatism that animates his decisions in other areas such as his proposals to overcome the present financial crisis and pursue the war against terrorism. This view appeals to the American conviction that everything is possible, all problems have a solution that allows us to escape history and indeed speculative thought itself. This view won decisively in the last election, and unless something happens in which Reality asserts itself, it will be our dominant cultural view for the next four years at least.

President Obama is being faithful to his personal history, education, and experience. He knows no other way to escape paralyzing ideological struggles. What is really sad is that the many Catholics in government today are unable to show him and the nation how it is that we can really, rationally, recognize the Truth that sets us free.

(h/t Καθολικός διάκονος)