The US’s 12 Most Influential Catholics…

[cross-posted at Acts of the Apostasy]

…as chosen by Stephen Prothero, a self-proclaimed “religiously confused” Catholic.  (Personally, I like my year-end-selected-by-the-readers polls better.)

So who is Stephen Prothero?  He’s a professor at Boston University, and he contributed a column to CNN’s Belief Blog.

1-6: Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor

I know that justices are supposed to stick to interpreting the law rather than making it, especially if they adhere to the judicial philosophy of “original intent,” but I’m not buying it. When it comes to “judicial activism,” there are really only two kinds of judges: those who know they are acting and those who wrongly imagine they are not.

Throughout U.S. history, the Supreme Court has played nearly as important a role as the presidency on the race question, and a more important role than the U.S. Congress. Women seeking abortions do so under a regime written and enforced by the courts.

In a 2011 speech at Duquesne University School of Law, Scalia denied that his Catholicism affected his legal decisions. I’m not buying that either, which is why he and the five other Catholics on the Supreme Court occupy half of this list.

7: Speaker of the House John Boehner

As any child (or parent) can attest, the word “no” is powerful indeed, and as the leader of the House Republicans, John Boehner wields that power today. Before he gave the commencement address at Catholic University last spring, more than 80 professors at that university wrote an open letter to Boehner saying that the budget he pushed through the House contradicted Catholic social teachings by neglecting the poor. But Boehner continues to say “no” to the Obama administration, most recently on its decision to require Catholic-affiliated employers to cover birth control services in their health plans.

8. Vice President Joe Biden

The first Catholic vice president of the United States, Joe Biden wields by most accounts more power than many vice presidents in American history. (Remember Spiro Agnew?) And though Biden has ruffled the feathers of church authorities on the abortion question, he is an observant Catholic who attends church regularly and met with Pope John Paul II four times. “The animating principle of my faith, as taught to me by church and home,” Biden told the Christian Science Monitor in 2007, “was that the cardinal sin was abuse of power.”

9. Rick Santorum, former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania

For a while, Newt Gingrich was the Catholic Republican front-runner, but that title has been seized by Rick Santorum. Unlike Gingrich, who converted in 2009, Santorum is a cradle Catholic, and he’s a more convincing fellow traveler in Christ to the religious right.

Everyone thought this election was going to be about the economy, but Santorum’s mantra seems to be, “It’s the culture, stupid.” Santorum has grabbed headlines in recent weeks by calling President Obama a purveyor of a “phony theology” and otherwise keeping questions of faith not just on the front burner, but at a rolling boil. This weekend, Santorum said that John F. Kennedy’s famous church/state speech, in Houston in 1960, made him want to “throw up” when he first read it. “I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute,” he told ABC News on Sunday.

10. Archbishop Timothy Dolan

It says something about Catholic authority today that it is hard to think of a member of the Catholic hierarchy who stands among the most influential U.S. Catholics. But Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan is the most likely person for this honor. A theological conservative, Dolan was elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2010, and he was elevated to cardinal in Rome last month. In 2008, Dolan took on Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi for their views on abortion, and in 2009, he criticized the University of Notre Dame for inviting President Obama to speak at its commencement.

11. Stephen Colbert

The man behind the Super PAC Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow will not be happy to learn that he fell outside the top 10 here, but he is still one of the most influential Catholics in the United States today. Colbert makes his political jabs with a smile, but they sting nonetheless.

Last year, The Washington Post asked whether Colbert was “Catholicism’s best pitch man,” and he does put a very different face on a church that has been best known in recent years for sex scandals. Both Colbert and the character he plays on “The Colbert Report” are committed Catholics. In fact, Colbert (the character) loves his Catholicism so much that he gave it up last year for Lent.

Colbert (the real person) regularly books Catholics on his show and has appointed Father James Martin, S.J., as the show’s official chaplain. With Martin and other theists (and atheists), Colbert regularly discusses matters of faith. In fact, his character often gives guests discussing such questions wider berth than his more political guests.

12. Blogger Andrew Sullivan

In another era, this final slot might have gone to Garry Wills, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and public intellectual whose writing regularly addresses the intersection of faith and politics in the United States. But we now live in a digital age, so the nod goes to Andrew Sullivan, the Brit behind “The Dish,” a popular blog now hosted by The Daily Beast.

The thumbnail bio is that Sullivan is gay, Catholic and conservative, but his blog is far more nuanced (and coherent) than readers might imagine from that trifecta. In part because of his unpredictability, his site is the go-to blog for all things political and cultural. And the reading is easy because of Sullivan’s refusal to pull his punches. (Obama’s “uninspiring” state of the union was, in his words, a litany of “cramped, tedious, mediocre micro-policies.”)

Imagine that – no one outside of the Washington/New York hub of whatsitpatootie.  It’s almost as if Prothero doesn’t believe there exists an America beyond the Eastern seaboard.  And here’s another ‘not a big surprise':  conservative Catholics are bad, liberal Catholics are good.  Boehner is a Catholic who says “no” to Obama’s compassion and outreach, while Biden sees the abuse of power as the worst sort of sin.  Bias much?  I’m surprised he didn’t include Sister Keehan or Kathleen Sibelius on this list – in fact, with the exception of Justice Sotomayor, there are no women on the list.  *Gasp!*  Not only is the Church misogynistic, but so are Boston University professors!!

And Andrew Sullivan is an influential Catholic?  Who in the world is Andrew Sullivan?  Who outside of Washington/New York cares?

We can do better than this guy, right?  Isn’t Cardinal Burke more influential than Boehner?  Isn’t Archbishop Chaput a bit more influential than Joe Biden?  With the exception of Cardinal Dolan, no one on his list has the power or ability to shape Catholic thought or protect Catholic identity or propose Catholic truths.   Eleven on this list do not have the power to ex-communicate (an influence I wished would be wielded more liberally) or the power to forgive sins.  That’s real influence.

No – the influence wielded by most on that list, to one degree or another,  is to affect religious liberty.  Maybe that’s Prothero’s point.

So who would you include on this list?  What changes would you suggest, or his analysis spot on?  I have a couple ideas, but I’m interested in what you have to say.

37 Responses to The US’s 12 Most Influential Catholics…

  • The thumbnail bio is that Sullivan is gay, Catholic and conservative, but his blog is far more nuanced (and coherent) than readers might imagine from that trifecta.

    I thought that was hilarious. Nuanced and coherent? Two words can easily discredit that:
    Baby Trig

  • There are about a dozen or so contributors to this blog, right? So there’s your list.

  • definitely Kathleen Sibelius
    definitely Melinda Gates
    I’m pretty sure that Brian Williams is Catholic

  • There are about a dozen or so contributors to this blog, right? So there’s your list.”

    You beat me to it, Paul. I was going to mention this blog’s contributors, as well as the Archbold boys.


    But, in all seriousness, I agree with Pinky’s comment. If you’re going to count “CINOs”, then people like Sebelius and Pelosi HAVE to be on that list. Without Sebelius, there is no HHS mandate to threaten what “Catholic identity” means. And without Pelosi, there is no Sandra Fluke conflagration to turn the HHS debate away from the religious freedom argument and into one about access to contraceptives.

    But lil’ Andy Sullivan? What a joke!

  • Well, it all depends upon the purpose of the list. If it is to identify those American Catholics with the most influence to shape or influence individual Catholics in America, for better or worse, that would bring to mind one list.

    If it is to identify those American Catholics with the power to most promote orthodox Catholic teaching, that would be another list entirely.

    On the former list, Prothero is not too far off, perhaps a few omissions here and there (Pelosi, Sebileus). On the latter list, Fr. Barron would be prominent.

  • What about the former Speaker of the House that JUST-WON’T-STOP-SPEAKING…NANCY “Let’s pass it to see what’s in it” Pelosi

  • The list provided and Pinko’s additions are the “most evil” . . .

    The regime’s health care seizure will result in impaired access to health care, death panels, rationing, shortages, etc.; and at higher costs to all.

    The devil is in the details.

    The libs manufactured the health care crisis when 85% of Americans had satisfactory health insurance coverage.

    The crisis was so deathly dire that the cure wasn’t to become effective until after Obama was supposed to sneak in for a second terms and then we would all be screwed.

    Well, 55% want the massive feces sandwich repealed outright. Anger over having their health screwed up, no jobs, and skyrocketing food/fuel prices should get the GOP candidate elected assuming he doesn’t spend too much time arguing with Obama over Cardinal Dolan paying for Sasha’s massive contraception bills.

  • Someday I want to see my name on that list. He he he.

  • “When the saints go marching in, I want to be in that number.” I will be happy to see you all there.

  • How can anyone possibly leave Mother Angelica off this list? Yes, I realize she is retired and has not played a public role in the operation of EWTN for years, but the mere fact that she created and shaped the network makes her, by any measurement, one of the most influential Catholic women in America during the last 20 years. I daresay her influence will outlast that of Nancy Pelosi, Kathleen Sebelius, or any of the other (questionable) Catholic women on this list.

  • A list of Catholics with a capital C – real practicing Catholics in good standing– in a tug of war with the catholics in name only team– I wish I had time right now to try to compare the good guys vs the bad guys weighed for political cultural clout

  • Once upon a time, Time Magazine made Adolf Hitler “Man of the Year,” so I don’t put much stock in these non-oriented lists of the “most.” I rather would see a list of “the top 10 or 12 Catholics who are public figures positively shaping the culture and/or politics” so we can see good influencers, active influencers, and find role models in that list. No Pelosi’s, please.

  • Oh, how I miss Bill Buckley!

  • Well, I wasn’t thinking of it as a list of Catholics with Most Positive Influence, or Best Influential Catholics.

    I do wonder how many people are influenced by Stephen Colbert, or influenced by his Catholicism. He has something like 1.3 million viewers per day. Laura Ingraham has 5.5 million listeners per week, so I think their numbers are comparable. And I think that Ingraham, by being one of the few Catholics in talk radio, stands out more. I know that her faith has a big impact on her show.

  • I wonder how many people are influenced by Mark Shea or influenced by his Catholicism.

  • It appears the Catholic Church – Cardinal Dolan – declared war on this administration back in 2008. I thought the Catholic Church was non-partisian, guess that is not true. Since the Catholic Church is Republican, I will now have to leave the church as I am a Democrate, who is pro-choice and believe in contraception. When I went to Catholic School I was taught to treat people with dignity and respect, even the people I don’t believe the same as they do. Seems to be something Republican Catholics have forgotten, including our Religious leaders. I was also taught the only one to judge me was God, and God knows I am a good person and sees what’s in my heart and God is who will judge me and and not my politicians or my religious leaders – none of who are infalible in my mind. It seems alot of Republicans have forgotten the 8th commandment.

    Soooo to all you Good Catholics, Republicans and Democrats, who call people names and disrespect them because they don’t hold your believe, do you think you do so witth God’s blessing?

  • Since the Catholic Church is Republican, I will now have to leave the church as I am a Democrate [sic], who is pro-choice and believe in contraception.

    If you’re pro-choice and pro-contraception, it looks like you left the Church, or least abandoned Church teaching, long before this controversy. So your moral outrage over the Bishops taking a stand against the HHS mandate is really nothing more than a bit of show.

    When I went to Catholic School

    Stupid Jesuits.

    I was taught to treat people with dignity and respect

    Excluded from this list of people, evidently, are the unborn. I also do enjoy the bit of sanctimonious outrage – “oh thank you oh Lord because I’m not like these Republicans.” There is absolutely not one drop of charity or good will in the comment you posted, and yet you have the temerity to claim some kind of moral high ground. Your phoniness is duly noted.

    Seems to be something Republican Catholics have forgotten, including our Religious leaders.

    Again, note that the individual who ignores the teachings of the Catholic Church is now ranting about religious leaders lacking respect for others. How quaint.

    . I was also taught the only one to judge me was God, and God knows I am a good person and sees what’s in my heart and God is who will judge me and and not my politicians or my religious leaders

    Wow, this might be the most narcissistic, least self-aware sentence ever put on (virtual) paper. It’s good that you have decreed yourself a God to judge the state of your own soul. I’ll leave the judging to you.

    none of who [sic] are infalible[sic] in my mind

    Well, your spelling and grammar are certainly far from infallible.

    Also, note the narcissism again. The teachings of the holy Church are of little concern. Oh no. The only opinion of consequence is that of Mr(s) Krasner. Two thousand years of magisterial Church teaching rank a distant second to the personal magisterium of Krasner.

    It seems alot of Republicans have forgotten the 8th commandment.

    What were you saying about judging? Oh, that’s right, I forgot that the exception to this rule is you.

    Soooo to all you Good Catholics, Republicans and Democrats, who call people names and disrespect them because they don’t hold your believe [sic], do you think you do so witth [sic] God’s blessing?

    I don’t know, you seem to have God on speed-dial. What does he say?

  • To the individual who I offended with my post:
    You are correct I did misspell and my grammar is far from correct. I apologize for offending your sensitivities to my poor use of grammar. I am not calling you any names, I am not disrespecting you because your opinion is different, I just do not agree with your opinion.

    To repeat myself – I do believe in God and HE will be my judge, not you – not the Republican politicians.

    I do not ignore the teachings of the church I just do not share all their beliefs. I believe in a woman’s right to choose, I believe in the right to use contraception, I believe in the death penalty under certain circumstances, I believe in war when necessary and I believe in God. So if in your opinion if that makes me a bad person than so be it, but again you are not who will be judging me in the near future.

    Have a nice day – I know I will.

  • You didn’t offend me. I find your hypocrisy amusing, but far from offensive.

    I do not ignore the teachings of the church I just do not share all their beliefs

    Therefore you ignore Church teachings. You don’t get to pick and choose which teachings of the Church you follow.

    So if in your opinion if that makes me a bad person than so be it,

    It doesn’t make a bad person per se, it makes you a bad Catholic. And yes, I will leave it to God to decide if there is a difference.

  • Or to paraphrase D. Krasner: “I do not ignore the provisions of the US Constitution I just do not share all its beliefs. I believe that women don’t have the right to vote. I believe that blacks are slaves. I believe we aren’t protected from unlawful search and seizure. I believe in not paying my taxes. So if in your opinion if that makes me a bad American than so be it, but again you are not who will be judging me in the near future.”

    There’s a difference between judging a person and judging their beliefs/positions/opinions. It would behoove you to understand the difference. I’m not judging you as a person when I say you’re opinions and beliefs are hypocritical and nonsense.

    A person who claims “I’m a good Catholic” is guilty of judging the state of their own soul – which is just as bad as judging anyone else’s. There isn’t a saint I know of who ever professed or dared to believe they were a good Catholic.

  • shoot – I used ‘you’re’ instead of ‘your’ in my second paragraph. Sorry Paul. :-)

  • shoot – I used ‘you’re’ instead of ‘your’ in my second paragraph. Sorry Paul.

    And here I was about to call you infallible.

  • To all who hate my post and find me hypocritical:
    Sorry Mr. Zummo has already informed me I am a lousy speller, have terrible grammar, I am a hypocrite, and I am not a Good Catholic, and I am narcissistic. Mr. Zummo has already demonized me because I am, according to Mr. Zummo, an Ex-Catholic with different opinions and beliefs. Further, I have no redeeming qualities because I cannot pick and choose the teachings I want to follow and do not accept the policies of the Republican party – I got your message. Your way or the highway – and I have already headed down the highway.
    Thank you for your kind words and thoughts, I will take them with the intent they were meant.

  • Exhibit A why having a discussion with Catholics who don’t ignore Church teachings but don’t share the same beliefs is darn near impossible.

  • No sir, dealing with sarcasm such as yours (in the first paragraph) and belittling people who don’t hold to your beliefs is impossible.
    I never said I was a Good Catholic, I do infer I am a good person. There I go again trying to have a discussion with someone who is going to be sarcastic and belittle me because I don’t share your beliefs.
    Thank you again for your kind words and the intent in which they are given.

  • hi Mr K– seems we Catholics often talk past each other– and both “sides” feel hurt and misunderstood. I would love to have a chance to talk with you about the teaching of the Church that you feel you cannot accept… it is my hope that you will in fact accept them someday, perhaps after learning some of the rationale behind those teachings. It is an ongoing problem for us all as we try to discuss these things because we have a different understanding of the very words we use in our conversations. If you would like to “visit” via e-mail perhaps that could be worked out. God bless us all!

  • Sir, don’t lecture me. I used satire in that paragraph to highlight the absurdity of your position.

    And no one’s belittled you. Your positions, though, have been. And, it was you who wrote: Soooo to all you Good Catholics, Republicans and Democrats, who call people names and disrespect them because they don’t hold your believe, do you think you do so witth God’s blessing?

    If that’s not sneering and belittling and baiting for an argument, I don’t know what is.

    You’ve come to this site to announce that you are in clear opposition to several doctrines of Church teaching. You’ve claimed that the Church is Republican, without any proof to back up your claim. You’ve claimed that we have judged you, when that is clearly untrue because none of us know you, nor had you made any previous comment in this post because your first comment went into moderation. In other words, your claims are specious and untenable. But rather than defend your position, you have chosen instead to play the victim card, and taken the “poor poor persecuted me” stance, complaining that we’re judging you and telling you to take the highway.

    For that reason, until you’re prepared to defend your positions without playing the victim card and implying that we are mean and bitter (which sounds like a judgment), we won’t take your arguments seriously. It’s impossible to have a conversation when the other party isn’t willing to participate with full openness and integrity.

  • Thank you again for your kind words and the intent in which they are given.

    Oh quit it already with the phony martyr act. You came in this thread with an attitude, proceeded to make a serious of fallacious arguments, and then proudly announced that you pick and choose what teachings of the Catholic faith to uphold. No one has condemned you – you condemn yourself.

  • To: thelarryd
    Open dialogue: First so I do not mislead anyone I am Ms. Not Sir.
    Abortion: I believe a woman has a right to choose because I consider that up to approximately 14 weeks we are talking about a fetus not an unborn child. Late term pregnancy I believe should be ended only if it is a matter of life and death for the mother and that decision should be made by her, her family and doctor – not the government or anyone else.
    I believe if a woman has been raped and conceives she should be able to decide if she wants that pregnancy to continue. This is not a child conceived out of love but rather a violent act. There are women who would choose to continue the pregnancy and have the child and that is wonderful that they can do that. However, there are women who have an extremely difficult time physically, emotionally and mentally dealing with the act itself let alone being forced to carry the pregnancy to term. Again this decision should be made by her and her family – not the government or anyone else.
    If a 13 year old child is molested by a family member and becomes pregnant, she should not be forced to continue the pregnancy. She is a child, why does this horrific act that she will have to be counseled through and will probably have a lasting impact on her, be compounded by having a baby. Once again this decision should be made by her and her family – not the government or anyone else.
    A young woman cheerleader in high school – great promise for a bright future, and the love of her life (so she thinks) the star quarter back – with a football scholarship to a large college are intimate in a moment of passion. Well you want to force this young woman to leave school and have this baby – she probably won’t return to school – and the bright future is ruined. However the other party to this night of passion (just as culpable) goes onto college and becomes and gets his bright future in the NFL. Not fair and neither young person should be forced to pay such a high price for one mistake. The decision should be theirs and their family – not the government or anyone else.
    1. Contraception is used for more than birth control; it is also used for medical reasons.
    2. People have a right to decide when they start a family and if they want a family. There are people who are not meant to be parents and if they know this than thank heavens because there is one less abused child.
    3. This is not something the government should be dictating and neither should anyone else.
    I understand the Church’s position on this but I do not agree – very simply. Presently in our democracy women can choose, those who oppose can peacefully demonstrate abortion clinics. Contraception is available to those who want to avail themselves and those who are against it for religious believes are free not to take them. Presently our democracy works – but changing the current laws is forcing a religious belief on all Americans who may not agree, whose religion does not hold to the same beliefs and there are atheists who have the same rights as religious individuals.
    I became vocal and upset because it appears to me that the Catholic Church is taking up the positions of the Republican Party when the following occurred.
    1. During the GOP debates in November the moderator brought up that Texas has the largest number of executions, which I believe was 234. The audiences cheered and not one of the GOP candidates who keep saying they are Good Christian’s – two of which are Catholics – said anything to the audience about cheering death. I did not see where the Catholic Church spoke out about this behavior or lack thereof. I believe in the death penalty under certain circumstances, but I do not cheer the execution.
    2. During the GOP debates Ron Paul was making a point and he was talking about a man lying on a gearnie in the hospital and had no health insurance. Members of the audience yelled out let him die. Not one member of the GOP panel spoke out against this nor did the Catholic Church.
    3. During the GOP debates a Gay soldier serving in Iraq asked if they would bring back Don’t Ask Don’t Tell which he hopes they would not. The audience booed this young man putting his life on the line because his country needed him. Not one of the good Christians on that stage chastised that audience and the Catholic Church never spoke out. I understand the Catholic Church’s views on homosexuality (needless to say I don’t agree) but I was taught to treat them with respect and dignity.
    4. Teenagers are committing suicide because they are being bullied because they are gay and why isn’t the Catholic Church voicing loudly and often about not bullying someone who is different from yourself.
    5. South Dakota wants to pass a bill that would make killing an abortion doctor justifiable homicide. Why don’t I hear about the Catholic Church denouncing this?
    6. The movement of the Republican to change the voter ID laws that will disenfranchise, Latinos, blacks, students and the elderly from their right to vote. Why isn’t the Catholic Church denouncing this? Men and women have died to protect and give the right to every American Citizen to vote.
    7. I respect your right to disagree with President Obama and his policies. However I do not respect
    Republican politicians, voters, judges and Religious leaders who infer, or out and out say, that he is not an American, that he is not Christian but Muslim, racially insensitive comments to gain points with your constituents. A Judge sending a racial e-mail that not only insulted the President but his mother as well. People who hate the President because he is black or because he is bi-racial. Cartoons of three monkeys with President Obama’s face on one of the monkeys, where is the Catholic Church’s outrage over the racism.
    These are a few of my favorite things, and that is why I will never vote for a Republican even if that is what my Religious leaders want. This is just a sample of what I feel and think and unfortunately I am not going to change my views and I hope you will respect my right to have a different opinion.
    I do not claim to be Good Catholic, but I do claim to be a good person.

  • Plato: Opinion is not Truth.

    The Catholic Church has 2,000 years of consistent teaching about abortion and BC. No one is required to accept the Teachings. However, when one places one’s opinions ahead of 2,000 years of Teachings handed down directly from the Apostles (instructed by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost) through unbroken generations of bishops and popes one is by definition a heretic. That is not against the law.

  • This is a start. Thank you.

    Abortion: The Church has always taught – for 2000 years – that abortion is an intrinsic evil, meaning it is evil regardless of intent or circumstance, and that one cannot do good by committing an evil act. The examples of the 13 year old girl raped by incest and the cheerleader are irrelevant. They really are – because in both circumstances, a child is killed. The more emotional of the circumstance doesn’t reduce the evilness of the abortion. If God is who He says He is, and you believe in God, then you have to believe that even in those most dire circumstances, God can bring good out them. He willed those children into existence that were conceived under those circumstances. Life is the *primary* good that comes out of evil like that. Death via abortion only intensifies the evil. You may believe that a 14-week old fetus is not an unborn child, but the fetus is still human. You were a human 14-week old fetus at that point of your life. So was Jesus Christ. You don’t believe that? Life begins at conception, does it not? That is what the Church has always taught – and it isn’t a theological belief, but a scientific fact. Once you decide who is and isn’t human, where does the demarcation point stop? Just recently, several prominent ethicists wrote a paper that basically said parents should have the right to kill their newborn child if they didn’t like it, or had a deformity. And the publication defended its decision to print it. That’s where our world is headed, D – because the world fails to recognize the unborn child, at every point in its existence, as a human being.

    Contraception: The Church has always taught – for 2000 years – that artificial contraception is an intrinsic evil. The fact that some birth control has other medical uses is a straw-man. Yes, people have a right to decide when to start their family – BC is not the only means by which to properly space their children. Also, the Church is not dictating that NO ONE is allowed to use BC. The Church teaches that it is immoral to do so, and that doing so puts a person in grave sin and even mortal sin depending on whether or not the necessary criteria are met. The Church teaches that a cavalcade of societal problems stem from its use, including the objectification of women and a destabilization of the family and an increase in abortion. Doubt that? Read Humanae Vitae and see how Pope Paul VI prophesied the problems society would reap due to the rampant use of BC. I’m presuming you’re referring to the recent HHS mandate that all employers must provide BC in their health coverage – with no conscience exception. This issue is one of 1st amendment ramifications, not a ‘war on women’, as the media and Obama administration has been trumpeting. No one – no Republican candidate, no bishop, no priest, no one here – is advocating for the complete destruction and restriction of the sale of BC. That horse is well out of the barn. But what faithful Catholics must do is, by reason and by logic and with charity, explain to the world why it is wrong and immoral.

    As to the rest of your points. I’m not familiar with all of those circumstances that you cite, and I’m sure not all of the facts have ever been presented. I can assure you that no one who contributes to this blog, myself included, approves of the denigration of any person or individual. We are all made in the image and likeness of God. That doesn’t mean, however, that we approve of every behavior and lifestyle. As Catholics, we are not to approve of sinful behaviors and actions, but are called to admonish the sinner and instruct the ignorant. Those are two of the spiritual works of mercy. We are to help save souls, not let them languish in sin. How would that express love for our neighbor?

    To the Ron Paul debate issue – with the person shouting out “let him die”. Yes, that is despicable. But how do you know without a shadow of a doubt that it wasn’t yelled by a Democrat plant? You do realize, too, that under Obamacare, once it’s fully implemented, that in order to control costs, certain people will be denied treatment because it will be too expensive, right? People too sick with little hope of recovery will be allowed to die because of nickels and dimes. It’s liberals who will permit people to die, just as they support the killing of unborn children.

    Voter ID laws are disenfranchising? Really? We need ID to buy liquor, we need proof of ID to open a bank account, we need proof of ID to buy cigarettes, we need proof of ID to get on an airplane – – – I could go on and on. But the most sacrosanct thing in any free society, to be able to vote, and we can’t ask for proof of ID? That’s the most absurd thing of all. Voter fraud disenfranchises the votes of those who play by the rules. It’s a reward for the cheater. That’s what you support – protecting the fraudster and the cheat. That makes you a good person how exactly?

    As to the monkey faces of Obama – you were equally outraged when that was done to President Bush too, right? Bottom line – it isn’t right or respectful no matter who it’s done to. Real conservatives argue ideas and beliefs, and don’t resort to cheap shots.

    Obviously, you do not like the Republican party and are a supporter of President Obama. That’s your prerogative. I think many who contribute here are not all that supportive of the Republican party either. None of us support President Obama, though, because of his policies that actively promote abortion here and around the world; his policies that infringe upon religious freedom (not just of Catholics, either); his policies that infringe upon other Constitutionally protected freedoms (Obamacare, for example); his policies to infringe upon our nation’s capacity to reach its economic potential that will help all citizens, not just the ones he agrees with; his policies that seek to expand the role of government more and more into the ordinary daily life of the American public; his economic policies that escalate the National Debt and rob future generations of their livlihoods; his military policies that put American lives in danger, and weaken the bonds with our allies.

    In my mind, the best way to be a good person is to be a faithful Catholic. It’s not easy, and it certainly doesn’t lead to having a lot of friends. But I have to believe that it’s what God wants. God is not happy with abortion; He is not happy with contraception; he is not happy with fornication or homosexual acts; He is not happy when people are deprived of the inalienable God-given rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    But those are things you support. And you claim to be a good person. If a person can support those things and claim to be a good person, then what must a person do to be called a bad person?

    You don’t have to reply, because I already know the answer: A bad person is someone who is “intolerant” of any person claiming to be a good person who supports the things a “good person” supports.

    So be it. I’d rather be known as a faithful Catholic than as a good person every day of the week, and twice on Sundays.

    Because good isn’t good enough, D. We are called to be holy.

  • Thank you thelarryd– great work

  • Nice Larry. Kudos.

  • It’s not easy, and it certainly doesn’t lead to having a lot of friends. But I have to believe that it’s what God wants.

    He also pulls some neat stuff… TrueBlue could attest that I’ve been down the last day or two because of that first point, and the second one doesn’t work so well when you’re telling yourself. Humans are social animals, and peer pressure works.

    Probably why such D. Krasner’s tactics are so popular, instead of ones based on actual arguments.

    Thank you for taking the time to type it all out.

  • Yes, well done Larry. I didn’t have the patience for such a response. Thanks.

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