So now New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is chiming in, agreeing with Andrew Cuomo’s characterization of (the majority of) Americans who are pro-life as “extremists” who have no place in New York.

Particularly laughable here is that the mayor can hardly lay claim to being among the so-called “moderate” New Yorkers whom Cuomo claimed to be speaking for. By all accounts, de Blasio -– from the rhetoric and policy pronouncements of his mayoral campaign, back to his days as a supporter of the Marxist Sandinistas and admirer of Fidel Castro — has long been on the far left extreme of the Democratic Party.

That’s his privilege. I’ve always had more respect for politicians who take a stand and stick to it, than those who, regardless of their judgments about right and wrong, fashion themselves as “centrist” on every issue so as to make themselves more “respectable” — and more electable. But de Blasio endorsing Cuomo’s words belies the governor’s assertion that his is the voice of moderation on the abortion issue. From the mayor’s (and the governor’s) pro-abortion fringe, of course it seems “extreme” to hold that abortion is morally wrong; but as the Knights of Columbus/Marist poll I quoted in my last blog confirms, that – NOT the unrestricted abortion license de Blasio and Cuomo support — is what a majority of Americans believe.

There is certainly some irony – unintended, of course – in de Blasio’s moralizing about “an extremist attitude that continues the reality of violence in our communities.” Of course, he is talking about his view that gun ownership is the cause of that community violence. When it comes to the violent killing of unborn children that takes place every day in communities throughout New York City – the abortion capital of the world – the mayor thinks it’s extremist to OPPOSE that violence!

It’s also telling that the mayor’s attack on pro-lifers comes not long after his call to ban what he calls the “inhumane” horse drawn carriage industry in New York. Now I love animals; and while I am not qualified to judge whether it is cruel to use horses to pull hansom cabs, if it truly is, then I would favor stricter regulations or perhaps an outright ban. But I’ll do without lectures on being “humane,” thank you, from a man who cheerleads for the brutal killing of children at any stage of their pre-natal development.

Finally, the mayor’s timing is particularly interesting, coming barely a week after he joined Cardinal Timothy Dolan in urging Pope Francis to visit New York City. Apparently, he’s willing to suspend his belief that people with pro-life convictions have no place in New York long enough to bask politically in the glow of our Holy Father’s universal popularity.

That should serve as a caution to us as Catholics. While our obligation to advance the common good requires us to work with and keep communications open with all public officials, we must not allow Church events or photo ops with Catholic leaders to be misused for the political benefit of those who are openly hostile to our Church’s moral and social teachings – or, increasingly, to our religious freedom to live those teachings or to express them in the public square.

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