Self-appointed Catholic political enforcer writes the following about abortion:

The thing about abortion is, it's not just any other issue as serious as so many others are. Abortion is not open to debate.

It is indeed not open to debate whether Catholics believe abortion is wrong. It does strike me as open to debate how best to prudentially reduce and end it, as this blogger explains. And it is open to debate whether a Catholic can vote for a pro-choice candidate, when the broader spectrum of issues is taken into account, as even Lopez concedes. But to my mind, it does make a difference whether a particular position is about other citizens committing a moral evil or whether it's about the political leader himself committing a moral evil. Barack Obama is not going to perform an abortion on anyone as president. But president Bush has directly and personally authorized the execution of prisoners in such a blanket and unreflective way as to make Catholic support for him highly problematic. He mocked one execution victim, something that would, one imagines, render him anathema to any conscientious Catholic voter.

But more important: this is a president who has directly authorized the torture of prisoners. He has not allowed others to torture; he has personally authorized torture himself. He is a torturer. What does Benedict XVI say about this?

This is non-negotiable:

Public authorities must be ever vigilant in this task, eschewing any means of punishment or correction that either undermine or debase the human dignity of prisoners. In this regard, I reiterate that the prohibition against torture “cannot be contravened under any circumstances”.

There is no way that someone can say that a politician allowing abortion in a free society is on the same moral plane as directly authorizing, monitoring and covering up the torture of prisoners. No way. And any Catholic who voted for Bush in 2004, after the full evidence of his complicity in the torture of prisoners was  well known should examine his or her conscience before examining anyone else's.

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