Lies, Death, and Andrew Cuomo

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New York governor Andrew Cuomo wrote a column in the New York Times last week lambasting critics of his over-the-top, pro-abortion ways. He also felt the need to point out that “I was educated in religious schools.”

As a high school theology teacher, I apologize … for the shortcoming of those schools.

They did not teach Cuomo a thing about logic.

If Cuomo is searching for truth, he uses all the wrong tools, relying on stereotypes, labeling, and deception.

In his column defending his state’s expanded-abortion law – euphemistically called “The Reproductive Health Act” – Cuomo drags out tired arguments that amount to little more than distraction and name-calling.

Argument Number 1:  “Get your theology off my biology.” Because religious leaders oppose abortion, Cuomo declares all opposition to abortion a religious issue:

“I do not believe that religious values should drive political positions,” Cuomo wrote. “The country cannot function if religious officials are dictating policy to elected officials.”

Nice try, Governor. Abortion is a threat to humanity, not religion. Religious leaders are also against homicide, assault, domestic abuse, and drunken driving. Are these only religious issues that can be ignored?

Biological fact:  Abortion ends a human life. Scientific fact:  That life within a womb is a human being with its own DNA.

As the science becomes clear, more and more people oppose abortions. It is not only the so-called “religious” wanting an end to abortion. Read this essay from an atheist if you don’t believe it.

Argument Number 2:  “Trump is on their side, so it must be bad.” Donald Trump’s name gets attention (which is why “Trump” is used so often in media headlines, including the one for Cuomo’s column). Cuomo begins his column with a mention of Trump and continues with references throughout:

Seventh paragraph:  “Trump and his allies …”

Eleventh paragraph:  “Trump and the Catholic Church …”

Thirteenth paragraph:  “Trump and the religious right …”

A Trump reference brings out emotion and quick judgment. (Do you think the media’s fast condemnation of those Covington Catholic High students would have been so fierce if some of the kids weren’t wearing MAGA hats?) Emotion … but little logic.

Cuomo point out that Trump was “very pro-choice” in 1999 and now “shamelessly courts the religious right to win votes.” So, Trump changed an opinion he had 20 years ago. It happens, Governor. Hopefully, you will watch the movie Unplanned when it comes out next month. Being confronted with the truth sometimes changes someone’s mind.

Adding to the second argument, Cuomo piles on the name-calling and hyperbole. While Trump is “shameless,” anyone opposed to abortion is “part of the far-right’s escalation of its assault on a woman’s constitutional rights.”

Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh are “extreme conservatives” – which means they are conservatives who do not agree with Andrew Cuomo. (And this at a time when we don’t really know what they are yet.)

Argument Number 3:  “It’s about women’s health.” Cuomo writes that the New York Reproductive Health Act “does not allow abortions minutes before birth, nor does it allow third-trimester abortions ‘for any reason’ … [except] to protect the life or health of the woman.”

An America magazine article titled What New York’s Abortion Law Does and Doesn’t Do, states:

“The primary reason for [the Reproductive Health Act] passage was to stake out New York’s position in favor of both preserving and expanding Roe v. Wade’s guarantee of access to abortion … to remove anything in New York law that could have been interpreted to limit abortion or to extend any protection to a child before birth.

“… judgments [on late-term abortions] are to be made according to ‘practitioner’s reasonable and good faith professional judgment based on the facts of the patient’s case’; it does not impose any objective medical standard.”

Did you catch that? “Remove … any protection to a child before birth.”

As mentioned in a previous New Boston Post column, since the law determines an unborn child is not a person, its life can be ended “any time up to birth for any reason at all, since unmeasurable psychological health counts [as a reason].”

Cuomo knows this, but he relies on deception, rather than facts.

As for Cuomo’s faith, he writes:  “As a Roman Catholic, I am intimately familiar with the strongly held views of the church.”

This rhetorical linkage rings false. Note that “intimately familiar with” doesn’t mean that Cuomo agrees with the Church on abortion, even on a personal level. Given his actions, it’s hard to see how he could.

Cuomo, who feels the need to say he is a former altar boy, also declares that most Catholics in New York are on his side of the abortion debate.

To be clear, Governor, there is a difference between being a baptized Roman Catholic and being a practicing, baptized Roman Catholic. I sense that most of your abortion-favoring Catholics are among those who are as a practical matter currently unchurched.

To practice, you take Catholic teaching seriously and don’t refer to Church teaching as “views,” as if they are only opinions you easily discard.

Maybe that is why you write, “My Roman Catholic values are my personal values.” In other words, you choose what values you want to follow.

So, you side with abortion. You advocate for it. You celebrate it.

You celebrate death.

You defend yourself by blaming religion, blaming Trump, and blaming the correct interpretation of your deadly bill.

Say anything, but the truth.


Kevin Thomas is a writer and teacher, living with his wife and children in Standish, Maine.