The Corner

Steven Mosher Bobs and Weaves

Steven Mosher repeatedly insinuated that Barbara Comstock, a pro-life candidate for the House, is going to Hell for favoring the over-the-counter sale of oral contraceptives. I took exception, explaining that Catholics are not bound to support the state’s doing everything in its power to discourage contraception. Now Mosher is back with a response. He denies that he told other pro-lifers they were going to Hell. This is a cowardly evasion. Here is how he ended his initial post: “I have had more than enough of Catholic candidates who compromise Church teaching for political gain. Besides, it is our duty to remind them that, while election cycles are short, eternity is long.  And while global warming is not a problem in the here and now, it might be a problem for some of them in the hereafter.”

He continues:

[Ponnuru] attacks me for injecting Catholicism and contraception into public policy!

But I didn’t do that: Ramesh did, by posting his caricature of my article in the pages of a secular magazine–National Review Online.

None of this makes any sense. First of all, Mosher made a claim about what conscientious Catholics could say about public policy on contraception. I did not attack him for saying that Catholic teaching might have some bearing on that issue; I attacked him for drawing the wrong implications and then using them to accuse other people of having betrayed the Catholic church. (Actually, it’s worse than that, since the accusation is that Comstock knowingly defied Church teaching “for political gain.”) And where either his posts or mine were published is of course completely irrelevant to any substantive issue. Finally, I’ll note for the record that I have no idea why Mosher is addressing me by first name: I’ve never, to my knowledge, even met the man.

Mosher then prints a letter that he claims he sent me. He must be as competent at finding addresses as he is at applying Church teachings to politics.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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