I don’t think there is a single one among us who doesn’t understand just how tragic the death of 8-year-old Felipe Alonzo-Gomez, the Guatemalan child who died in the custody of Customs and Border Protection on Christmas Eve, really was.
If you don’t share that opinion, I strongly urge you to open up a new browser window on your cell phone and do a search for counseling services in your area. Really, at this point, most any one would do.
The fact that Alonzo-Gomez’s death is an unspeakable tragedy doesn’t necessarily dictate what our response to it ought to be, however. For one, we don’t know the particulars and likely won’t know what actions could have been taken for some time. And then there’s the the political reaction — especially from the left, which always takes the form of moral outrage.
The problem with moral outrage is that, as an effective argument, it requires consistency. I mention this only because Nancy Pelosi — arguably the most powerful figure in a party that has decided any impediment to abortion on demand at any point in a pregnancy is a bridge too far — is now using the death of Alonzo-Gomez to insist America has a “moral responsibility” to protect “all children of God.”
“The tragic death of an innocent child on Christmas Day breaks the hearts of all,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“We all have a moral responsibility to ensure all children of God are treated with compassion and decency. The death now of two children in U.S. custody is unconscionable.
“Democrats call on Homeland Security’s Inspector General to immediately open an investigation into Felipe Alonzo-Gomez’s death. The Congress will also investigate this tragedy and the heartbreaking death of Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin, to seek justice and ensure that no other child is left to such a fate.”
Now, I fully understand the logical fallacy of tu quoque — a fancy Latin term which essentially means you shouldn’t say that just because someone speaks or acts inconsistently, their argument is inherently invalid. However, there are several very curious hypocrisies involved in Pelosi’s statement that need to be examined.
First, the deaths should be investigated — although, when Pelosi notes “(t)he Congress will also investigate this tragedy,” one suspects the House might be somewhat less interested in investigating the deaths themselves and more interested in a long, fruitless national harangue of the Department of Homeland Security, the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. If that weren’t the case, why even throw that in?
It reads not like a promise to get to the bottom of this tragic death, but instead a thinly veiled threat to those involved in border security.
Second, it’s worth noting that Pelosi is a Catholic, and (at least from her public statements) not just nominally so.
During the filibuster for DACA in February, Pelosi said, “Maybe I should bring my rosary blessed by the pope… his holiness, Pope Francis, or the one before that, Benedict.
“I have the honor and privilege of receiving rosaries blessed by several popes in my lifetime,” she added.
However, she seems slightly muddled on several issues relating to the church, particularly when it comes to abortion. As the Catholic League notes: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would have us believe that the Catholic Church was not always opposed to abortion. And she says this while admitting that she has studied the subject for a long time.”
Not long enough, apparently. Quoth catechism: “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.”
Maybe Pelosi was talking about before the first century?
And it’s not just that she’s ambivalent about the procedure but understands her party isn’t and believes the American people aren’t, either.
After a series of undercover videos from the Center for Medical Progress involving alleged misdeeds by Planned Parenthood surfaced in 2015, Pelosi immediately came to the abortion provider’s defense.
“Planned Parenthood has as its top priority women’s health, that’s what it has always been about,” she said, according to Breitbart.
There’s plenty of debate to be had about the provenance of the CMP videos, and I’m not going to have it here. The point is that a self-proclaimed Catholic reflexively coming to the aid of the biggest abortion provider in the United States and insisting that it “has as its top priority women’s health, that’s what it has always been about” suggests a willful lack of understanding regarding Catholicism or Planned Parenthood — and very likely both.
When President Donald Trump reinstated the Mexico City Rule in May of 2017 — a rule that prohibits foreign aid from going to non-governmental organizations \that counsel women on abortion or provide referrals — Pelosi was again in moral outrage mode.
“Under the global gag rule, all organizations that receive health funding from the United States will be forced to provide incomplete medical information, advice and care to women in need,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“When last in place, this policy crippled the ability of women to make informed reproductive health decisions, leading to a global spike in unintended pregnancies, maternal complications and abortions. The Trump Administration’s version of the rule will cause even more harm, affecting many of the world’s most vulnerable women, including those suffering from HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other life-threatening diseases.”
Apparently, Pelosi doesn’t believe there are NGOs that can deal with these problems without providing abortion referrals or counseling. The last paragraph of the statement seemed to reveal another possible source of her outrage:
“From the White House to the Congress, Republicans are obsessed with dismantling women’s right to make their own intimate reproductive health decisions. We have a moral responsibility to stand up to such destructive and dangerous decisions.”
When these statements come from a putative Catholic who is the most powerful elected official in a party dedicated to the unalienable right to abortion on demand up until birth, there is a strong element of hypocrisy in talking about the “moral responsibility to ensure all children of God are treated with compassion and decency.”
Does Planned Parenthood do that? Do the Democrats? Are the unborn children “of the world’s most vulnerable women” not worth as much as children whose lives are political hot potatoes?
The deaths of Felipe Alzono-Gomez and Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin should be investigated. And if Nancy Pelosi believes we have the “moral responsibility to ensure all children of God are treated with compassion and decency,” she (and all politicians, but particularly her) should stay as far away from it as possible.
These children deserve better than a political circus.