It is not Dishonorable to be Honorable

Tuesday, August 21, AD 2012

Chris Johnson, whom Donald has labeled as Defender of the Faith, sums up my feelings on the Todd Akin affair both here and here. Darwin also has an eminently sensible take. Meanwhile, Akin continues to labor under the delusion that he can still defeat Senator McCaskill this November, bolstered by this preposterously over-Republican sampled poll showing that he maintains a one point lead. Evidently his idiocy extends to issues beyond rape.

What’s remarkable is that a hefty proportion of conservatives are calling for Akin to withdraw. When Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter and (kinda sorta) Rush Limbaugh are all urging you to get out of the race, it’s a sign that it’s not just establishment “RINOs” that have turned against you.

Now I do also think that Levin and our own Bonchamps make good points about Democrat hypocrisy on this issue. That said, those few who continue to defend Akin are relying on the most obnoxious tu quoque strategy in order to justify Akin’s continued presence in the Missouri Senate race. Chris and Dana Loesch have been Akin’s most ardent supporters on twitter. They haven’t necessarily defended his statement, but they have insisted that because Democrats say and do much viler things, and because leftists tend to rally around those Democrats who say and defend stupid things, it’s wrong for conservatives and Republicans to insist that Akin get out. They argue that conservatives opposed to Akin are being cowards who are chickening out in the face of Democrat aggression.

First of all, I would argue that the more cowardly and politically weak-minded thing to do is to essentially cede what should be a fairly easy pick-up for Republicans. More importantly,  blind partisan loyalty is not a virtue to be emulated, and the proper response to gutter politics is not to get in the gutter with your opponents.

Let’s take a look at two comments left on Bonchamps’ post.

Yes women get pregnant from rapes. No your body doesn’t shut that down. If a man ejaculates semen into a woman, she can get pregnant whether it’s consensual or it’s rape. I knew a woman who did indeed get pregnant after being gang raped. It happens. Apparently you folks think rape is a joke. Hardy har.

This was downright erudite in comparison to this one:

i hope all of you get raped and then you can feel what it is like, bunch of hypocrites

If you read the comments on Congressman Akin’s facebook page announcing that he is staying in, you’ll see comments from conservatives supporting him, comments from conservatives politely asking him to step down, and comments from unhinged leftists who think that Akin’s comments are a sign that he and all Republicans want women shackled and subservient. Twitter is alive with comments from the likes of Michael Moore:

Don’t let the Repubs paint Akin as a lone nut. HE is THEM. They all believe this: Gov’t MUST have control over what women do w/ their bodies

This is a sentiment that has been echoed in various corridors.

There’s really no charitable way to put it: these people are obviously out of their gourd. These are people not interested in dialogue, nor or they people who can be reasoned with. Yet these are types of people that Akin supporters, in a sense, want to emulate. Instead of being reviled by the viciousness or ruthlessness of the hyper-partisans on the left, some on the right are consumed with the idea of “fighting fire with fire.”

Don’t get me wrong. The Akin supporters (by and large) have not said anything nearly as dumb or vile as these people. Yet instead of recognizing the behavior of the other side as something anti-social and to be avoided, it’s as though certain conservatives see this, dig in their heels, and insist on playing a somewhat milder version of the same game.

A lot of the people on the right behaving like that think that they are simply following in the path of the late Andrew Breitbart. Breitbart, of course, was largely beloved on the right because of his take no prisoners attitude, and because he had an amazing ability to beat the left at their own game. But there’s a difference between sticking to your guns and blind partisan loyalty. I can sympathize with individuals who believe that Republicans are too soft at times and easily back down from political fights. Yet, I don’t think it’s a bad thing that Republicans actually are willing to hold other Republicans’ feet to the fire. In other words, there is nothing dishonorable about being honorable. I don’t think blind partisanship is something we need more of.

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16 Responses to It is not Dishonorable to be Honorable

  • Logical reasoning is not the strong suit of leftists nor Todd Akin apparently. Does he not recognize that his statement essentially says that if a woman is raped and gets pregnant she must not have been stressed out? If she’s not stressed out it’s a short step to saying she must have liked it. This is the same ballpark as that Repub opponent and loser to Ann Richards in Texas who made some buffoonish comments himself about this subject.

    I must say that Dem oppo research is light years beyond Repubs. The Dems knew apparently that Akin was a loose cannon and made a wonderful patsy for the Dems even before the primary vote. Repubs in Missouri were clueless though. Are the Repubs ready this fall for the little surprises that the Dems have ready? I doubt it.

  • Claire McCaskill wants him to run. She considers him a wounded bird now and is ready to squash him.

  • I don’t want to get unhinged in denouncing Akin either. That’s something else I’ve been seeing as well from some on the conservative side.

    He made a terrible blunder, yes. He should quit the race, yes.

    But what he was trying to say was not the monstrously evil thing that the hysterical left is making it out to be. It shouldn’t have been said a) because it has NOTHING to do with the morality of abortion and b) the man obviously cannot articulate these finer points of anatomy.

    I’m not going to look at the man as an evil villain.

  • Well to be fair, what the democrats are usually defending is far more egregious than some politically incorrect use of terminology. In other words its usually the result of either criminal or immoral behavior on the part of the dem.

    If we as conservatives want him to step down then it should be to the extent that the severity of the offense requires stepping down as a matter of justice or prudence.

    That being said conservatives can be their own worst enemies because of the tendency to have our own fall on the sword for what is hardly a “legitimate” capital offense.

  • ” Does he not recognize that his statement essentially says that if a woman is raped and gets pregnant she must not have been stressed out? If she’s not stressed out it’s a short step to saying she must have liked it. ”

    No, you see, people who think this is what he said are the ones who lack logical reasoning abilities. People are reading absolutes into what he said, when he used words and phrases to indicate that he believed rape pregnancies were rare, but still possible. COULD he have meant “she must not have been stressed out”? Maybe, but I doubt it. I don’t think he ever insisted that stress = no pregnancy 100% of the time or even implied it. In any case, we simply don’t know what he meant at that moment.

    My hunch: he was trying to say that he didn’t believe that rape pregnancy happened often enough to justify the constant invocation of the “hard cases” (of which rape is one) to support legalized abortion. It is common knowledge that the vast majority of abortions are not performed on rape victims – anywhere between 97-99%, from what I have read.

    He didn’t need to get into this issue to simply say that abortion is never justifiable, no matter what the circumstances.

  • I agree, Bonchamps. I think part of what is driving the angst against him is sheer frustration. He made comments that harm the pro-life cause politically, and he seems unable and/or unwilling to put personal political ambition aside for the good of the country. But his comments were merely stupid, and not indicative that he personally hold odious political views.

  • If the Missouri re-elects McCasKILL babies and America re-elects Soetoro, leader of the choom gang, it will tell us more about Missouri and America than about the two hate-filled liars.

    Abandon hope.

  • It’s one thing to make a stupid comment – and what Akin said was very, very stupid. What does it say about women who were raped and made the courageous decision to have the baby? Are you going to tell them they weren’t “really” raped? It’s that he became stubborn and prideful and mistakes his stubbornness for principle. And Akins doubled down on stupid during his interview with Hannity today. He said he honestly didn’t know that women could get pregnant via rape. What, did he think sperm need a signed consent form? I’m as pro-life as anybody, but what Akins did not only hand our enemies ammo, he gave them an tank division. His comments play into all the worst stereotypes people have of pro-lifers: that they are ignorant bible-thumpers who are “anti-science” and that they are insensitive toward women. And now he apparently believes God gave him a mission to lead the country. No, where this could lead to is the Dems keeping control of the Senate, even if Romney is elected. Obamacare stays and what chances do those future to-be-aborted babies have then?

    I’m not saying he should have abandoned his principles – but you can state them without stepping in it like he did. And saying “But look at what Dem pols get away with” won’t work either. We’ve been pointing out the hypocrisy for years – it doesn’t stop them because the media shields and protects Dems and savagely exploits any GOP gaffes (just ask Sarah Palin). They are working hard to present Akin as “the face of the Republican Party.” While I pray that most voters will see though that, some gulliable idiots may be swayed – and if they are in swing states, that might be enough.

    I still think the wind is at our backs and remind myself that it is still August, not October. This might not be a fatal error, but it was a big unforced one, in a race we should have won in a walk, and I’ve felt as angry at Akin all day as I felt at John Roberts when the SCOTUS ruling on Obamacare came down – 2 men who might end up dragging the country down because of their own egos.

  • This whole episode is interesting to me. Akin makes an incorrect statement in reliance on material published by pro-life forces that proves to be wrong (apparently). Thus he accidentally embarrasses himself, his party and the pro-life movement. Instead, of making the best of it by removing himself from the race he insists on staying in. Understandable but selfish — or at least insufficiently selfless. This I understand. I also understand the Dems grabbing the opportunity to take profoundly unfair (and weird) inferential liberties with his statement to render it callous rather than simply mistaken. But Donna V?

  • Mike: I am not saying he is callous (although he is certainly ignorant of biology). What I said that that he will be portrayed by libs as someone who doesn’t care about women, because that is the charge they always made, and his words can very easily be twisted to look that way. Like I said, if you are saying someone who was raped can’t get pregnant, how do you think a woman who has been through the terrible experience of rape and DID get pregnant and DID have the baby feels to be told she must have consented in some way or she would not have conceived? Sure, he may have meant well, but no amount of spin or explaining is going to make that comment acceptable.

    Perhaps in a normal election year, he could have apologized and gotten away with that. But this is NOT a normal election year. The balance of power in the Senate determines the fate of Obamacare. If he had recognized that and stepped down, I would think of him as an honorable man. But instead, pride and ego has driven him to compound his error and possible disaster may result – disaster not only to the people of Missouri, but to the people of the United States.

    Well meaning people can do terrible things, Mike. And politicans who assure themselves that only they and they alone can do the Lord’s work scare me.

  • Honorable to allow that a controversy from error make room for someone the people in Missouri want to speak for them.

    Dishonorable that the President saw this as an opportunity to have something to say to his Press Corps after many weeks away from them.

    Dishonorable that the tolerance the liberal democrats demand does not include those who have different moral standards.

    Dishonorable that mudslinging has become the form of communication for liberal democrats to the detriment of citizens, young and old, here and abroad.

  • Also, if I may add, I believe life begins at conception and that is true whether the baby was conceived during a rape or not. I do not fault Akin’s stance on that. But – Lord, if they announced tomorrow that all abortions EXCEPT those conceived through rape and incest were illegal, I would be doing handsprings, not because I don’t care about the babies conceived via rape and incest, but because the number of abortions in this country would be reduced by 99%.

    The number of pro-life Americans are growing – but they define themselves as “pro-life” in different ways. Most people feel disgust at the thought of late-term abortions, other people would ban abortions past the first trimester and require parental notification of underage children seeking abortions. Yet, we still live in a country where babies can have their brains sucked out a day before the due date and 16 year olds who can’t buy beer legally yet are getting their second abortion. It is the replusion with that that (I believe) the pro-life movement needs to tackle first. Many people who hate the thought of late-term abortions say they’re OK with abortion in the case of rape and incest. They’re wrong, but let’s go after the areas in which there is broader agreement first, before we jump to the rape and incest question. This is a battle of hearts and minds, and it is really stupid to jump into what is, for many, the thorniest, more difficult part of the abortion debate before while the aspects of abortion that are more obviously wrong and evil to the “squishy middle” continue unabated.

    Let me use an analogy to slavery. If you traveled in a time machine back to 1850 and found yourself in a Northern town, you would find quite a few people who would agree with you that slavery is terrible and should be against the law. A smaller group would agree that “black people are humans like us.” An even smaller group would agree that “blacks are as intelligent as whites.” And very few would agree that “blacks should be able to be doctors and lawyers and should be able to marry white people.” Even very liberal whites in the 1850’s would have had a very difficult time with that – not because they were evil, but because they were creatures of their times, just as the “squshy middle, not against abortion in all cases” people are products of our time. So, you start with “Slavery is evil” and go from there. That’s not a denial of the fact that blacks can be equals in all ways, or that even products of rape and incest are humans deserving of life – it’s a recognition of where public opinion was (and is) at this point in time.

    Gee, will somebody let me know if I’m making sense here? 😉 I feel I’ve expressed myself so clumsily.

  • You are doing fine. I got your point and that’s what counts. Now to react,….

    1. Know that you are right. Life begins at conception. That is not debated or debatable. It is a scientific fact. And a moral certainty. On that point the argument is complete and robust. The rest follows in fairly straightforward logical fashion.

    2. How to make progress toward getting rid of abortion? The detailed strategy for getting rid of abortion is more a matter of prudential judgment. The Church will welcome an effective strategy. I prefer open discussion and confrontation (and I want to do it in front of an audience, not just one person). The strategy is to perform an abortion procedure on pro-abort arguments in systematic fashion. Keep pulling them out into the bright light, piece by piece, — that’s gross when you think about it, which is just what I intended.

    It is slow work, but you will not lose — they can never win on the merits. When you reduce the pro-abort to hysteria, you won. And make sure the observers/readers see what you did; do a good recap. Be kind to your opponent, show that you like and respect him personally, and go home a winner. The pro-abort will not admit having lost, but you might have helped a number of observers to the truth. Serve it out generously!

    You are doing fine.

  • Donna V,
    I understand and agree with your fundamental point, which is that something is better than nothing. I also would be thrilled if the law of the land permitted abortions only in cases of rape or to save the live of the mother. Not perfect, but only fools let the perfect be the enemy of the good. My quarrel is only with the notion that Akin said or even implied that rape victims cannot get pregnant. That is simply not true. He said it was rare and explained one reason why. It turns out that his reason may be shaky, though that is not entirely clear, and he can be faulted for not responding more thoughtfully. But he never remotely suggested that a rape victim could not get pregnant or that a pregnancy was proof that the sex was consensual. Only a person who deliberately twists words can make that accusation.

  • “Let me use an analogy to slavery. If you traveled in a time machine back to 1850…”

    … or more precisely, 1854, you might find Abraham Lincoln making the same kind of argument you suggest. He used the actions and words of the Founding Fathers and later statesmen to demonstrate that even though the Declaration and the Constitution allowed slavery, the framers had reached a moral consensus that it was a bad thing that should not be allowed to exist indefinitely. If slavery were not wrong, he argued, why would past Congresses and presidents have placed restrictions upon the slave trade, or attempted to set geographic boundaries beyond which slavery would not be permitted? Lincoln did not, prior to the Civil War, believe that action to free the slaves in existing slave states was warranted (so abolitionists thought him too soft on the issue), but he believed that slavery should be confined only to existing slave states and NOT allowed to expand into new territories via the Kansas Nebraska Act (which made him dangerously radical in the eyes of the pro-slavery crowd). That way, he figured, slavery would eventually die out on its own. (Or to uborrow the words of a much later SCOTUS justice concerning Roe, it was “on a collision course with itself.”) Of course, the Civil War broke out before that approach could be tried. What you are suggesting, Donna, is taking the same approach to abortion today that Lincoln took toward slavery in the 1850s.

  • To a certain extent, I think it is pretty amazing that a 100% pro-life candidate does not have an answer to that question. If we are going to win the debate.. we need to be actually capable of debating.

Ryan and the Catholic Left

Tuesday, August 21, AD 2012

 

 

 

The reaction of the Catholic Left in this country to Paul Ryan has been completely predictable.  This is a movement, with honorable exceptions, that long ago fell into lockstep behind the “abortion now, abortion forever” policy of the Democrat party.  When a pro-life Catholic like Paul Ryan arises they must strive, by any means necessary, to drag him down to their level as dissenters against basic Catholic teaching.  Bill McGurn in the Wall Street Journal has a brilliant column looking at this phenomenon:

Say this for the liberal impulse in American Catholicism: In its day, it leavened the faith. Against the church’s tendencies to clericalism, it promoted the contributions of the laity. Against suspicions in Rome, it championed the American experiment. In particular, the liberal impulse advanced the idea of religious liberty for all that would ultimately triumph in the 1960s at the Second Vatican Council.

No longer, alas. Today the liberal impulse in American Catholic life has substituted political for religious orthodoxy. In retrospect, the turning point is easy to spot: liberal Catholicism’s acquiescence in the Democratic Party’s drift toward supporting abortion at a time when church leaders had the influence to stop it.

So here we are in 2012, when all but one of the active senators and representatives who are members of the official Catholics for Obama campaign team enjoy a 100% approval rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America.

This fundamental dissent from a basic church teaching is now a fact of modern Democratic Catholic life. The result for our politics is an extraordinary campaign, in the 10 days since Paul Ryan became the Republican candidate for vice president, by those on the Catholic left to strike a moral equivalence between Mr. Ryan’s reform budget and Democratic Catholic support for the party’s absolutist position on abortion.

Thus the column in the National Catholic Reporter characterizing Mr. Ryan as a “champion of dissent” regarding the church’s social teaching. Or the headline at the website Jezebel, “Badass Nun Says Paul Ryan is a Bad Catholic.” When this sort of thing seeps into the mainstream, it takes the form of the recent article in the Washington Post that found moral parallels between the two vice-presidential candidates: Mr. Ryan is a dissenter from “social justice,” while Vice President Joe Biden, also Catholic, dissents on issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion.

***********************************************************************************

Mr. Ryan’s own bishop, the Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino, addressed the subject with his most recent column in the diocesan paper for Madison, Wis. The church, he wrote, regards abortion as an “intrinsic evil” (meaning always and everywhere wrong, regardless of circumstances). In sharp contrast, he said, on issues such as how best to create jobs or help the poor, “there can be difference according to how best to follow the principles which the church offers.”

“I’m not endorsing Paul Ryan,” the bishop told me later by phone. “People are free to disagree with him, and disagree vehemently. But it’s wrong to suggest that his views somehow make him a bad Catholic.”

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71 Responses to Ryan and the Catholic Left

  • Why would anyone waste eyesight on abortion catholics’ calumnies?

    If it weren’t for calumny, detraction, and distortion, they would have nothing.

  • The thing that I find most discouraging is the priests who are in the democrat party. I was shocked to find such a thing when we recently moved to Maryland. I wrote to one of them who proudly stated his party affiliation in his homily. I pretty much tried to say that it’s confusing to children when us moms try to explain that democrats stand against the church for things like abortion, gay marriage, etc., then to hear a priest say he’s a democrat. His reply was that he’s proud to be pro-life AND pro-social justice, then he went on to bash republicans (I never told him my party affiliation, so I could be an independent for all he knows) and then say that I re-affirmed his convictions to stand with the democrat party. This was almost a year ago. I was so upset that I threw out his letter, but I really wish I kept it. Pray for the souls of our priests who put politics ahead of Christ, and don’t understand about the company you keep. People can say that Jesus hung out with sinners, but He was human AND Divine, so He couldn’t be swayed toward evil.

  • I just couldn’t bear to watch more than a minute and a half of the liberal idiocy in the 1st video. BTW, subsidium means re-enforcement or relief from the rear; it does not mean help from government above.

    And these people are students of higher education? Thank God I learned on the job in a nuclear submarine at test depth!

  • The thing that I find most discouraging is the priests who are in the democrat party.

    Even people drawn from the most sophisticated component of the public often prove almost incapable of regarding the opposition as is. They see caricatures and only caricatures. Thus the Republican Party – an ominibus of people with interests and preferences which place them at odds with the dominant mode within the Democratic Party, the education sector, the legal profession, and the media – is transmogrified in their mind as the electoral vehicle of late 19th century robber barons.

    And, of course, you get people in all denominations who went into the ministry for the wrong reasons – the social workers and aspirant den mothers.

  • “Why would anyone waste eyesight on abortion catholics’ calumnies?”

    Unfortunately, there are the calumnies of the pure Catholics to deal with.

  • I’m not the Catholic Left. I’m just poor and Catholic.

  • The GOP nominee supports intrinsic evil. Not only that, he is a member of a blasphemous religion, a religion that he is showcasing at the convention.
    http://catholicbandita.com/newsmax-romneys-mormonism-will-be-center-stage-at-rnc-convention/

    You’ve all drunk the Kool-Aid. The fact is that America did not survive the first four years of Obama. That is the reality of the situation. Piling on with blasphemy while attacking the bishops because they defend the preferential option, while claiming you are “more Catholic” than the Catholic Left? God, help you.

  • There is more to Catholic than mouthing the word. Catholic is living one’s life through and with and in Jesus Christ. Abortion, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.” Same sex marriage: “It was not so from the beginning”. Prayer ban: “The Father and I are ONE.” Catholics who would bother to destroy the only honest, pro-life candidate America has, Paul Ryan, are “useful idiots”, in the words of Lenin, and how aptly they are described supporting the communist agenda in the White House.

    The Declaration of Independence tells us to rely on Divine Providence. Doing the right thing, respecting “the laws of nature and nature’s God”, peaceably assembling before God with the accent on peaceably, (not “occupy Chick-Fil-A” with a demonstration of violating God’s will for human marriage,) honoring almighty God, cherishing life created equal by “their Creator”, and trusting in God the way our money tells us: “IN GOD WE TRUST”, will bring us back to where harmony begins, where the hymn of the universe is heard in the mountains and danced in the water and proclaimed in the air. Let man be free. FREEDOM

  • Lisa Graas says:
    Tuesday, August 21, 2012 A.D. at 9:58am
    The GOP nominee supports intrinsic evil. Not only that, he is a member of a blasphemous religion, a religion that he is showcasing at the convention.
    http://catholicbandita.com/newsmax-romneys-mormonism-will-be-center-stage-at-rnc-convention/

    You’ve all drunk the Kool-Aid. The fact is that America did not survive the first four years of Obama. That is the reality of the situation. Piling on with blasphemy while attacking the bishops because they defend the preferential option, while claiming you are “more Catholic” than the Catholic Left? God, help you.

    Yes, Lisa, God does help us. America has not survived the prayer ban, ostracizing “their Creator” and His unalienable rights from the public square, from every human mind, body, and immortal soul. The name of the game is save the human soul from extinction in the political arena. The human body will follow. Are you in?

  • @AD: A++: ” . . . – social workers and aspirant den mothers.”

    Elsewhere I saw someone call them (Abortion catholics/cathi-Liberals) the “democrat party pretending to pray.”

    My “point” (not the one on my head!) is that these brutes are democrats first and Catholics somewhere farther down in their “priority lists.”

    It’s in the Gospels (which they subvert to support their political prejudices). One cannot serve two masters.

  • “You’ve all drunk the Kool-Aid. The fact is that America did not survive the first four years of Obama. That is the reality of the situation. Piling on with blasphemy while attacking the bishops because they defend the preferential option, while claiming you are “more Catholic” than the Catholic Left? God, help you.”

    Your ardent support of Santorum in the primaries Lisa and your current position are logically inconsistent. You have become unhinged and I would very much appreciate it if you would no longer comment on my threads on this blog.

  • There at least two bishops with the courage to defend Ryan against the bogus charge from the Catholic left (which include several bishops) his own Bishop Morlino and Archbishop Sam Aquila of Denver:

    http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/paul-ryans-bishop-defends-him-amid-attacks-on-his-application-of-church-tea/

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/column.php?n=2268

  • Taxes belong to the taxpayer even as the taxes are administered by the administration. The taxes rightfully belong to the people first. Put it on the ballot. The USCCB is begging from the wrong people. So are the protestors in the video. It is the people in the pews who fund charity and the government. Remove the funding from the government and all evildoers will leave. Evildoers are too cheap to work for the common good probono. Michael Newdow, the atheist, the American Civil Liberites Union removing God from the heart and soul of America are all funded by the taxpayers who are left in the dustbin by them. All legal fees for civil rights cases are paid for by the citizens’ taxes, citizens who have literally been skrewed over with ssm and abortion, the HHS mandate, Obama’s 923 Executive Orders usurping unauthorized power and property that is not Obama’s and you name it. FREEDOM

  • I deleted your last comment Lisa. You no longer may comment on my threads.

  • We have to be really careful about denouncing the Catholic left. We should be investing our effort into instructing them. Jesus’s last prayer at the Last Supper was for unity. If fellow Catholics can’t demonstrate unity in spite of their political differences, what chance does the country as a whole have?

    One thing we can do to comfort the Catholic left is to distance ourselves from the conspiracy nuts and the libertines. Like it or not, along with the fiscal conservative Tea Partiers, the socially decadent and those who oppose charity on principle have found their way into the more mainstream conversation. There are forces on the right who oppose religion and put property rights over human rights. Not everyone on the right – that’s the lie that the press will repeat. But there is an element on the right that is that way. It’s tactically intelligent as well as ideologically consistent for the right to follow Buckley on this and challenge the anti-religious right.

    As a side note, Lisa mentioned Mitt’s Mormonism. This is the first time in our history that neither ticket put forward a mainstream Protestant. That’s interesting.

  • A few days ago, commenters raised the example of Chile’s economic growth, development and prosperity.

    Herein I neither fabricate nor consult, ex cathedra, the infallible GU Faculty.

    From March 2, 2010: WSJ: “How Milton Friedman Saved Chile” Bret Stephens –

    In 1973, the year the proto-Chavista government of Salvador Allende was overthrown by Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Chile was an economic shambles. Inflation topped out at an annual rate of 1000%, foreign-currency reserves were totally depleted, and per capita GDP was roughly that of Peru and well below Argentina’s.

    Chile had intellectual capital, thanks to an exchange program between its Catholic University and the economics department of the University of Chicago, then Friedman’s academic home. Even before the 1973 coup, several of Chile’s “Chicago Boys” had drafted a set of policy proposals which amounted to an off-the-shelf recipe for economic liberalization: sharp reductions to government spending and the money supply; privatization of state-owned companies; the elimination of obstacles to free enterprise and foreign investment, and so on.

    As for Chile, Pinochet appointed a succession of Chicago Boys to senior economic posts. By 1990, the year he ceded power, per capita GDP had risen by 40% (in 2005 dollars) even as Peru and Argentina stagnated. Pinochet’s democratic successors—all of them nominally left-of-center—only deepened the liberalization drive. Result: Chileans have become South America’s richest people. They have the continent’s lowest level of corruption, the lowest infant-mortality rate, and the lowest number of people living below the poverty line.

    And, please God, in 25 years, let someone write a newspaper or magazine article entitled, “How Paul Ryan Saved the United States of America.”

  • I believe that the U.S. Constitution forbids a “religion test” for candidates. A candidate’s religion, or how the candidate responds to the gift of Faith from God, (some atheists say that they have not been given a gift of Faith, but that impugn’s God’s veracity and is false witness in a court of law) be it Mormonism, Catholicism and/or Protestantism may not be used in a political way to improve or disenfranchise the candidate. The candidates’ sovereign personhood endowed at conception by “their Creator” is the defining charachteristic. Obama does not believe that he is a sovereign person from conception, but that his citizenship gives him sovereign personhood. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

  • In addition to Morlino and Aquila, Cardinal Dolan also defended Ryan in an interview with Kathryn Lopez, saying, in essence, that although he disagreed with Ryan on specific budget items, Ryan was free to disagree with him on those issues and remain a Catholic in good standing.

    As for “drinking the Romney Kool-Aid”, I sure as heck haven’t (and I’m not altogether sure what “drinking the Kool-Aid” has to do with a thread about the calumnious assault by the Catholic left – and by some prominent folks on the “pox-on-both-your-houses” Catholic right, of whom I count myself a member – on Ryan’s Catholic bona fides). No Kool-Aid stain on my mouth, as I won’t be supporting the Romney/RYAN ticket.

    But I can nevertheless acknowledge that Paul Ryan is the most serious Catholic outside of Al Smith to ever grace a major-party ticket. And Ryan is every bit the solid Catholic candidate that Rick Santorum is, with the added benefit of never having sold out the pro-life cause to support Arlen Specter.

  • T. Shaw: “And, please God, in 25 years, let someone write a newspaper or magazine article entitled, “How Paul Ryan Saved the United States of America.”
    Several rosaries in Latin.

  • To the fellow who posted a comment as “edmund burk” (sic), yes, I did delete your comment. In my threads no candidate may be attacked for his religious views, as that is too close to simple bigotry for my taste, and because attacks on Romney are not germane to the subject of my post.

  • Thank you, Donald. But I will admit that I am even more unhinged than Lisa Graas, just on the opposite side of the spectrum. Hopefully, that self-knoweldge will help me to keep my freaking fingers off the darn keyboard in my more unhinged moments.

    BTW, I have several friends whom I met at work under a previous employer who are devout Mormons (or LDS members as they like to call themselves). They are hardworking, honest, dedicated, loyal, full of integrity, self-sacrificing individuals – everything we as Catholic Christians ought to be and often are not. Two LDS missionaries – both young women who I think called themselves sisters – visited me at my apartment a few months ago. We spent two or three hours discussing the Bible, the Book of Mormon and related subjects. It was a most excellent and informative discussion, one that I greatly enjoyed. I invited them to stay for supper, but they had to leave. I made them pray the Our Father with me before they left. I have always liked debating my LDS friends in a civil, respectful manner. And if I am again visited by LDS missionaries, I shall shall them the same respect and civil dialogue that they have always and everywhere given me.

    I cannot say the same for the liberal Democrat Catholic left. There is nothing civil, charitable or respectful about them. Any discussion always devolves into a shouting argument. How can it be that with LDS folk whose theology I find completely wrong (and frankly, in some parts, downright weird) I get along so nicely, and with liberal Catholics whose theology shouldn’t be that far off from what I was taught in RCIA, there is nothing but acrimony and argument?

    I am voting for Romney / Ryan in part because Romney IS an LDS member and from my experience I know that LDS members live good, clean, honest, hardworking lives (of course, that doesn’t explain Harry Reid, also an LDS member, but we all got our problem children), whereas I am voting against Obama / Biden in part because Biden is an apostate / heretical faux-Catholic Christian who ought to be excommunicated publicly post haste!

    BTW, when I asked my LDS friends why the Quorum of Twelves didn’t excommunicate Harry Reid, they said for the same reason that the Pope didn’t excommunicate Nancy Pelosi. I had to laugh with them at that one. But I digress.

  • Is it axiomatic that whatever follows: “You’ve all drunk the Kool-Aid” is going to be more kool-aid-y than what precedes it?

  • I flinch every time I hear that expression. People remember what it refers to, right?

  • Not entirely sure but the expression has taken on a life of its own. I’m guessing Manson related or something along those lines?

  • How any thinking Catholic can side with the Republican Party is beyond me. These are the same people that kept Catholics out of jobs, out of restaurants, out of work for years and years. Do you suddenly think you got more palpable to these people because they saw the error of their ways? Come on people, think.

  • Mary Ann,

    For your sake stay away from Louisville/Bardstown Kentucky where most if not all Catholic Priests are liberal and democrat. We are in far greater numbers than you.

  • Thank you Mr. Lambert, this thread needed the comic relief that your appeal to tribal loyalty to the Democrat Party supplies. The idea that some Republicans discriminating against Catholics in the distant past justifies allegiance to a party today that has virtually declared war on the Faith is too risible for words.

  • “These are the same people that kept Catholics out of jobs, out of restaurants, out of work for years and years.”

    Lies!

    “For your sake stay away from Louisville/Bardstown Kentucky where most if not all Catholic Priests are liberal and democrat. We are in far greater numbers than you.”

    Godless liberal Democrat threats. I don’t know about Mary Ann, but I’ll go to an Eastern Orthodox or Orthodox Anglican parish before I visit one of your communities of apostasy, heresy and rebellion.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    The distant path is my lifetime. If you want to call that the distant past, fine. There is a reason that doors and church’s all over the country have closed. It can’t be blamed on 30 years of Liberal Teachings in the Church. Can it?

  • “For your sake stay away from Louisville/Bardstown Kentucky where most if not all Catholic Priests are liberal and democrat. We are in far greater numbers than you.”

    Considering what a red state Kentucky is I would say they have been remarkably ineffective.

  • Mr. Primavera,

    I will pray for you in my rosary tonight.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    Louisville and its environs is anything but red. The Protestants, of course, are red…..but the Catholic areas truely aren’t.

  • “The distant path is my lifetime. If you want to call that the distant past, fine.”

    Delusional is a bad way to go through life Mr. Lambert. I am 55 years old and I have never encountered the slightest prejudice for my Catholicism from my fellow Republicans. Liberal Democrats on the other hand that I have encountered often have expressed great contempt for the Church.

    “There is a reason that doors and church’s all over the country have closed.”

    Non-sequiturs are a poor substitute for argument.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    You may call names all you want. It is your blog. I am simply giving you the truth. I suppose you’ve lived the gifted Catholic life then, having never felt the burn of hatred against the Church. Never encountered KKK members ready to beat you because you are wearing a cross. Is it just because we wanted to stay to ourselves that we developed our own grade and high school sports leagues?

    As far as Churches and the Church

    Has the Conservative part of the Church held sway for the last 30 years? yes

    Have there been massive Church closings in every area in the last 10 years? yes

    Are there significantly less Catholics today than 30 years ago? no.

    So you tell me Mr. McClarey, Why have all the Church’s closed.

  • “Never encountered KKK members ready to beat you because you are wearing a cross.”

    The KKK was a Democrat terrorist organization Mr. Lambert that was long protected by the Democrat party in the South. Did you really not know that?

    “So you tell me Mr. McClarey, Why have all the Church’s closed.”

    What that has to do with your pro-Democrat talking points Mr. Lambert is beyond me, but the main causes of the closing of Catholic churches have been urban Catholics moving to the suburbs and a shortage of priests. The shortage of priests has been largely caused by poor catechisis and the embrace of heterodoxy by too many clergy and laity.

  • What in heck do the democrats’ KKK allies have to do with all this?

    Not only do Liberal, CST catholics aid and advance abortion, they provide material assistance in massive governmental corruption and economic devastation, e.g., FNMA and FHLMC.

    “Government without justice is mass brigandage.” St. Augustine

  • Not unlike many Catholic leftists, Mr. Lambert appears to have problems with the truth. Unless Mr. Lambert is in his 90s, he certainly has no recollection during his lifetime of any “KKK members [i.e. racist members of the Democrat Party] ready to beat [him] because [he was] wearing a cross”.

    And, like Don, I am at a loss as to what Mr. Lambert’s Total Recallesque memories of his past persecution by the Klan has to do with the Republican Party.

  • JA: Truth: Crosses are okay with Protestants. It’s the Crucifix that sets us apart.

    Please lighten up on Lambie. Liberal are stupid.

  • It is time mr lambert, to square our shoulders, grow up and be responsible for our own actions, and not hide our own predilections and interests and grudges behind what a bishop or a priest or a whole neighborhood says..
    We have to listen to our bishops, but we also have to know our faith ourselves.
    We can recognize truth. If we are Catholic we have to be a good Catholic even if nobody in our neighborhood is, even if our priest or our bishop is not.
    Frequent prayers for light and exam of conscience help me quite a bit. Maybe you already do that. Mr. Lambert. i mean no disrespect to you or your priests who support the democratic party which is officially against Church teaching .. but shake the cobwebs out of your thinking. These issues supported by the Democratic candidates (abortion and homosexual marriage) are not difficult to understand.

  • It is time mr lambert, to square our shoulders, grow up and be responsible for our own actions, and not hide our own predilections and interests and grudges behind what a bishop or a priest or a whole neighborhood says..
    We have to listen to our bishops, but we also have to know our faith ourselves.
    We can recognize truth. If we are Catholic we have to be a good Catholic even if nobody in our neighborhood is, even if our priest or our bishop is not.
    Frequent prayers for light and exam of conscience help me quite a bit. Maybe you already do that. Mr. Lambert. i mean no disrespect to you or your priests who support the democratic party which is officially against Church teaching .. but shake the cobwebs out of your thinking. These issues supported by the Democratic candidates (abortion and homosexual marriage) are not difficult to understand.

  • You may call names all you want. It is your blog. I am simply giving you the truth. I suppose you’ve lived the gifted Catholic life then, having never felt the burn of hatred against the Church. Never encountered KKK members ready to beat you because you are wearing a cross. Is it just because we wanted to stay to ourselves that we developed our own grade and high school sports leagues?

    Just to add precision.

    http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-2730

    Don’t meet many centenarians, Mr. Lambert.

  • “These are the same people that kept Catholics out of jobs, out of restaurants, out of work for years and years. Do you suddenly think you got more palpable to these people because they saw the error of their ways?”

    If you are going to judge political parties by what they did many years ago, then Democrats are the same people who held slaves, enforced Jim Crow and not so long ago had a former KKK member in Congress, a man who used the term “white n****r” and was excused by the other members of his party. In the present, these are the people who condone leaving living babies in closets to die. And you’re upset because some WASP’s once hung signs on the window saying “No Irish Need Apply?” or didn’t let your great-grandparents eat at a restaurant? At least they were permitted to BE BORN!

    The great laugh here is the secular left hates Catholicism, hates all Christianity with a passion. Read any article about Catholicism in, not only HuffPo and Daily Kos, but one in the NYTimes or Washington Post and read the comments – the outpouring of venom and contempt that comes from the left. (Oh, sure there are still some Jack Chick types on the right – they are a small minority compared to the Bill Maher left.) Do you know how they see you, Mr. Lambert? As a useful idiot, a tool. They’ll tolerate your religion if you agree with them and are willing to overlook that little tiny matter of abortion, but disagree with them on anything, and they’ll turn on you and rend you like a wet paper towel. I know what they are like, since I was once a secular liberal myself. Believe me, you will never be “palatable” to them. They’ll use you to further their war on religious rights, while laughing at you behind your back and making fun of all the “pedophile” priests who foolishly back them.

    Paul Primavera: I have only known a few Mormons in my life, but my experience with them is the same as yours. While I disagree with their religion, I found them hard-working, kind, respectable people, people who were raising their children to be good citizens, people I am not ashamed to call my fellow Americans. Ironically, while Mr. Lambert carefully nurses grudges from bigotry aimed at Catholics decades ago, he himself has no compunction about airing his own prejudices. Is it OK to despise Mormons because it’s a “fashionable” prejudice? Funny, being anti-Catholic was fashionable among the Boston Brahmins a century ago (and still is – in case you don’t know, most of those Harvard and Yale educated snobs now vote Democrat.) You decry old bigotries, but don’t recognize your own. Pot. Kettle. Black, Mr. Lambert.

  • Right sounding words for Chris Lambert and his mentioned cohorts.
    Anzlyne, there has also been the gift from Jesus of the Pope(s) whose words spoken/written regularly through the years and years to benefit and clarify either the misguidance of poor catechetics or inattention to Gospel readings day after day through the years and years to help with growth in holiness and strength to do properly what we can for the Catholic Church.

  • Donna, V.,

    Thank you for the confirmation.

  • I will third the kind words for Mormons. Of the 30-40 Mormons well known to me, all were good people who were solidly committed to living upright lives.

    Mr. Lambert’s tone gives me a feeling he is playing with you. He threw that KKKrappe all over the wall just to see who would stop to admire it. It seems to be just a game to him.

  • “Not unlike many Catholic leftists, Mr. Lambert appears to have problems with the truth.”

    It may be a problem with the truth. Alternatively it may be simple ignorance. I remember one Dem co-worker stating that Lincoln was a Democrat. He couldn’t believe that a Republican would seek to free slaves (they are after all about getting those chains back on as Biden informs us.) Once I pointed it out on the internet he struggled with the reality that struck his ignorance.

    Again, I suspect Mr. Lambert is a victim of the public schools rather than malicious.

  • Finally I don’t feel alone. Why to you think I find it so hard to go to confession? Because of the feelings I have toward the liberals. I’ve been donating and helping the pro life since it started. Church members and even my family, including a nun are canceling my vote. I go to confession and state that my most serious sin is what I feel toward liberals. The priest says call or write to my brother. I do but don’t really feel any better. I have the feeling the priest isn’t really sincere in what he is saying. I have the feeling he is a liberal as well. Perhaps this is the reason so many are leaving the church. I love my faith and would never give it up even I get so discouraged. I now have hope. Ryan has given me that. Finally, the priests and bishops will have to defend our faith. They must lead by example! It is wrong for them to give the Eucharist to Catholics that are not in good standing. It is wrong for them to give communion to Nancy Pelosi, Biden and the many other “catholics” that are mocking our catholic faith. We must all pray that this election will save all people of faith or we will become a country of empty churches as we see in Europe and many other countries.

  • “I now have hope. Ryan has given me that.”

    Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation. His spirit shall go forth, and he shall return into his earth: in that day all their thoughts shall perish.

    Blessed is he who hath the God of Jacob for his helper, whose hope is in the Lord his God.

    If your hope comes from Paul Ryan, you are being unfaithful to Jesus Christ. I’m quite serious, and this is far more important than who wins the presidency in November.

  • Tom,
    I think you are overreacting. There is hope and there is hope. Scripture is addressing supernatural hope. Just because one craves hope in the worldy sense does not mean that he is deproved of hope in the Scriptural sense. That said, I agree that we should all remember that all men have feet of clay, and one should avoid admiring anyone disproportionately.

  • I stand by what I wrote. Anne says Ryan has given her hope in the Church. This is wrong, and dangerous.

  • “I now have hope. Ryan has given me that. ”

    I daresay Anne that encountering good people who are Catholics has converted more people to the Faith than all the sermons that were ever preached. Don’t be depressed by the clergy and laity who have substituted liberalism for the Faith and who have wreaked such terrible harm over the past four and a half or so decades. Admittedly they are depressing to contemplate, but they are merely barnacles on the Church given to us by Christ. Never lose hope and never lose the Faith.

  • good morning PM yes. thank you

  • I agree with Anne’s 9:47 am entry:

    http://commentarius-ioannis.blogspot.com/2012/08/what-is-wrong-with-roman-jurisdiction.html

    http://commentarius-ioannis.blogspot.com/2012/08/personal-note.html

    The Roman Church in America, with its embrace of liberalism, progressivism, and Marxist social justice, has left Catholic behind long ago.

  • Why do liberal Catholics hate atheist Ayn Rand? Not because she was an atheist. Indeed, they freely embrace the wealth redistributionist philosophy of atheist Karl Marx. Rather, they hate her because, for all her wrong-headed ideas, she was right in insisting that you own the fruits of your labor and no one (including the government) has the right to take those fruits away and give what is rightfully yours to those who didn’t earn them.

    Why do liberal Catholics hate Mormon Mitt Romney? Not because he is Mormon. Indeed, they freely embrace the liberalism of Mormon Harry Reid with narry a second thought. And not because Mitt Romney once supported abortion in Taxachusettes. Indeed, they freely embrace abortionist Catholic Nancy Pelosi with nary a second thought. Rather, they hate Mitt Romney because he worked honestly and hard to get where he is at, because he has five children and was loyal to his wife for all of their marriage, and because he is everything that a righteous businessman should be, and they can’t stand that.

    Liberal, progressive, Democrat = hate. Period.

  • For the record: My mother and her sisters were chased home from their Catholic school in Waterloo Iowa in the 1930’s by KKK screaming at them “Catlickers Catlickers”! They woke up one night, imagine this now, 5 little girls all alone while their mother was at work to raise them alone, with a cross buring in their front yard. They suffered severe mental anguish. no cell phones, I don’t think they even had a telephone in their house. They were chase and harassed constantly. No one came to their defense. In our neighborhood here the clan was huge and there were no african americans, only Catholics. My father-in-law who was a Democratic assemblymen for this district left the Democrat party(or as he put it they left him) because he was ostrized for being “pro-life”. I personally have stopped doing any service work with my parish as I too am made to feel that I cannot have conservative views. I don’t think politics should be spewed when working on quilts, or in the middle of RCIA or other social service meetings. I have been point blank told my views are not “kindly looked upon”. That I should join a conservative church. I go to Mass and Communion that’s where it’s at. I go alone to the food shelves and different charities and do my service as well as my prolife actvities. After my mother died, I went to a weekly Lenten “prayer” group as I felt I needed some solace and community prayer at that time. It turned into a support Hilary Clinton rally every week. I just quit.

  • Jeanne, I have one phrase for you:

    Illegitimi non carborundum!!!

  • Thank You Jeanne Rohl. I think some people had not been aware of how active the KKK was in the midwest in the 10s 20s and 30s. My father witnessed a cross-burning in SW Iowa, a maternal uncle in NW Iowa was KKK for a while. There was not a Catholic church yet in my little town at the time my parents were married in 1940. As I was growing up I had a lot of ‘splaining to do- I learned about defending the faith when I was 10.

    But now the prejudice against my “thorough” Catholicism is not from the Assembly of God or the Methodists– it is from liberal Catholics.
    I can’t be discouraged though when I think how well, how magnanimously really, our parents handled it all. With love and even humor.
    What a mixed up 100 years he 20th century was… at one same time one uncle was KKK, another on the paternal side was bolshevik in the 40’s.. Always thinking, my family, and seriously needing the guidance of the Church.

  • Yes, the Klan’s popularity and influence peaked in the early 20th century. I have many fundamentalist and evangelical friends down here in GA, and while all have mistaken understandings of our Church and Her teachings, I’ve not observed any animus. My liberal friends, au contraire. In the end it is about sex, abortion and feminism. My liberal friends who are hostile to the Church basically believe that the virtues of chastity, respect for life, and family integrity are simply tools to keep women in their place. The irony is palpable and would be hilarious if it were not tragic.

  • “For the record: My mother and her sisters were chased home from their Catholic school in Waterloo Iowa in the 1930?s by KKK screaming at them “Catlickers Catlickers”! They woke up one night, imagine this now, 5 little girls all alone while their mother was at work to raise them alone, with a cross buring in their front yard. They suffered severe mental anguish. no cell phones, I don’t think they even had a telephone in their house. They were chase and harassed constantly. No one came to their defense. In our neighborhood here the clan was huge and there were no african americans, only Catholics.”

    No one is denying that the Klan was active against Catholics as well as blacks and immigrants in the American heartland in the early part of the 20th century. In fact, probably most of us have people in previous generations of our family who had personal recollections of the Klan. But the Klan’s heyday was in the 1920s, and by the early 1930s, the Klan was in serious decline. There may still have been pockets of Klan activity against Catholics, but it was seriously curtailed by the 1930s. Again, neither I nor anyone else here would deny that the sort of things that happened to your mother happened. What we are denying are 2 things:

    (1) That unless Mr. Lambert is himself 90 years old, he has no personal recollection during his lifetime of being persecuted by the Klan; and

    (2) That persecution by the Klan has anything whatsoever to do with the Republican Party.

  • Darn double negatives. That should say:

    “… (1) That unless Mr. Lambert is himself 90 years old, he has ANY personal recollection during his lifetime of being persecuted by the Klan; and …”

  • St Augustine, invoking Revelation 2, says “The first love here alluded to is that which was proved in their tolerating for Christ’s name’s sake the false apostles. To this He commands them to return, and to do their first works. Now we are reproached with the crimes of bad men, not done by us, but by others; and some of them, moreover, not known to us. Nevertheless, even if they were actually committed, and that under our own eyes, and we bore with them for the sake of unity, letting the tares alone on account of the wheat, whosoever with open heart receives the Holy Scriptures would pronounce us not only free from blame, but worthy of no small praise.”

    [The quotation is from Saint Augustine’s 43 Epistle</, chapter 8, verse 22; which can be found at newadvent.org if I screwed up the hyperlink.]

    Am I the only one who cringes when I hear good followers of Christ talk about "liberal" parishes and finding a "conservative" one?

  • The Klan had such power at the Democrat convention in 1924 that they were able to defeat a proposed plank condemning the Klan, and then staged a major celebration called the Klanbake:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1924_Democratic_National_Convention

  • Anne – No one “cancels” a vote any more than someone’s bad deed cancels a good deed. The good act has merit. It is your responsibility; indeed, the only thing you have responsibility for is your own action. Pray for those who act wrongly, but don’t ever believe that you’re burdened by their actions.

    As for the priest, he can be as liberal as the day is long, but it doesn’t negate his sacramental power. Don’t let that worry you either.

    It’d be great if we had strong leaders and a faithful body of believers, but that’s pretty much never happened in the history of the Church. It’s always a struggle. Many of the saints had to put up with worse bishops than you and I will ever see. There’s never any reason to get discouraged, though.

  • Hmmm,

    Like it or not, we live in a modern or “post-modern” world. No area of life is unaffected by the intoxicating idea of “progress.” So naturally the Church will be divided between those who are proud of her history and want to preserve it and those who are ashamed of it and want to build a new legacy based upon new values, such as radical egalitarianism.

    I’m not saying we have to like these differences. But they do exist and pretending they don’t doesn’t help matters. When you read the Papal encyclicals of the last 200 years or so, you see the popes themselves making distinctions between faithful Catholics and those who pose as faithful Catholics but who advance a poisonous agenda at odds with the Catholic faith.

    I don’t know if I would use the phrases “liberal” and “conservative”, but these are the words most accessible to the average person.

  • My own friend doesn’t use the term “liberal” for herself, but calls herself a progressive Catholic. I want to remember to tell her Chesterton’s line about not having an issue with progress, but it’s the direction of the progress that is concerning! Her term for me is conservative, which is ok with me, but I do think just “Catholic” carries all the meaning.

  • @Anzlyne,

    Interesting way to make a point. With 2000+ years of history behind us, it is perfectly understandable to see true Catholic faith quite conservative…. which it IS.

    @Pinky,
    An engaging perspective, but I would use different words. We have strong leaders and a
    faithful body of believers, but they comprise the “faithful remnant” rather than the full complement of the Church. It will be a long struggle, but one fine day it will suddenly get easy (we dunno the date). Until then, saints are obliged to put up with, and help, bishops afflicted with weakened faith. Never forget, with grace ANYONE can become a saint, and all are called to do so.

    Turning to your conclusion, you’re my guy: “There’s never any reason to get discouraged, though.”

  • “Like it or not, we live in a modern or “post-modern” world. No area of life is unaffected by the intoxicating idea of “progress.” So naturally the Church will be divided between those who are proud of her history and want to preserve it and those who are ashamed of it and want to build a new legacy based upon new values, such as radical egalitarianism.”

    Truly some of our shepherds have abused their flocks for the sake of the “progress” based upon human wisdom. This “progres”s consisting solely of material ends and ignoring the vast spiritual poverty that they themselves have sown. They have abandoned many of their flock and unjustly condemned others for the sake of this human “progress.”

    This calls to mind yesterday’s Mass reading:

    “The word of the Lord came to me:
    Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel,
    in these words prophesy to them to the shepherds:
    Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the shepherds of Israel
    who have been pasturing themselves!
    Should not shepherds, rather, pasture sheep?
    You have fed off their milk, worn their wool,
    and slaughtered the fatlings,
    but the sheep you have not pastured.
    You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick
    nor bind up the injured.
    You did not bring back the strayed nor seek the lost,
    but you lorded it over them harshly and brutally.
    So they were scattered for the lack of a shepherd,
    and became food for all the wild beasts.
    My sheep were scattered
    and wandered over all the mountains and high hills;
    my sheep were scattered over the whole earth,
    with no one to look after them or to search for them.

    Therefore, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
    As I live, says the Lord GOD,
    because my sheep have been given over to pillage,
    and because my sheep have become food for every wild beast,
    for lack of a shepherd;
    because my shepherds did not look after my sheep,
    but pastured themselves and did not pasture my sheep;
    because of this, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
    Thus says the Lord GOD:
    I swear I am coming against these shepherds.
    I will claim my sheep from them
    and put a stop to their shepherding my sheep
    so that they may no longer pasture themselves.
    I will save my sheep,
    that they may no longer be food for their mouths.”

  • Amen, Phillip: “This ‘progress’ consisting solely of material ends and ignoring the vast spiritual poverty that they themselves have sown.”

    Revelation 3:14-22 is also quite pertinent – given his invitation to Obama to attend the upcoming Alfred E. Smith dinner, Cardinal Dolan and the rest of the USCCB should give heed.

    14* “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. 15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. 17* For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. 19* Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'”

  • the bottom line is this. If you’re not a pro life candidate then you probably don’t really care about others anyway.You’d be willing to use the’ charity’ of government to get votes and attack truly charitable organizations. You will be pro gay marriage and euthanasia-not to mention cloning and embryonic stem cell research. You will then attack Republicans for not caring about the poor-only the wealthy(that infamous upper 1%). Of course you will forget that envy is a vice just as much as greed is and that in order to help the poor they must be born first. So the first question i ask about ANY candidate(either party)is very simple. Are they truly pro life. Everything else generally falls into place.

A Ryan Roundup

Tuesday, August 21, AD 2012

Love him or hate him, the “future of the Republican party”, new poster-boy for conservative Catholic politics and vice-presidential pick Paul Ryan is in the news. A roundup of serious (and not-so-serious) commentary from recent days …

  • Assertion without Evidence Paul Zummo (The American Catholic) finds that “When it comes to Paul Ryan and his evil Randian ways,” the usual requirement to marshal evidence for a serious argument is cast aside.

    Benjamin Wiker (National Catholic Register): The Paul Ryan-Ayn Rand Connection: What’s a Catholic to Think examines Ryan on Rand, and Rand herself, and finds that:

    Ayn Rand’s philosophy, then, is a mix — good and bad. But the bad is really bad, so that whatever good there is would have to be carefully extracted.
    To be perfectly frank, I find Ayn Rand to be deeply repulsive — the dark side is, again, really dark. So, if Paul Ryan wants to attract Catholic voters, he’s going to have to make much clearer what he’s taking — and even more, what he’s leaving behind.

    As Ryan said recently in his own words:

    I am nothing close to an objectivist, but I do think Ayn Rand did a service, did a great job of outlining the morality of capitalism, of making the moral case for freedom, free enterprise and capitalism. You don’t have to buy into all the objectivist stuff to appreciate what she did on that front.”

    Personally, while Ryan’s professed appreciation of Ayn Rand extends well beyond “when he was young”, if he now repudiates Rand’s “objectivism” and atheism, I’m inclined to give him the benefit of a doubt. I’m sure we haven’t heard the last on this topic and it will be interesting to see what Ryan himself has to say in the months ahead.

  • Dolan: Ryan Is a ‘Great Public Servant’ Kathryn Jean Lopez (National Review) talks with Cardinal Dolan of New York about his friendship and correspondence with Rep. Paul Ryan.
  • Responding to Michael Sean Winters (National Catholic Reporter), Linda Bridges (National Review) on Paul Ryan’s alleged “dissent” from Catholic social teaching.

  • Robert Costa on Paul Ryan’s Mentor. (NRO, 8-15-12). (And no, it’s not Ayn Rand).

Paul Ryan on Abortion

  • On the matter of abortion – here is Ryan himself: The Cause of Life Can’t be Severed from the Cause of Freedom (Paul Ryan’s congressional website, September 10, 2010):

    … after America has won the last century’s hard-fought struggles against unequal human rights in the forms of totalitarianism abroad and segregation at home, I cannot believe any official or citizen can still defend the notion that an unborn human being has no rights that an older person is bound to respect. I do know that we cannot go on forever feigning agnosticism about who is human. As Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.” The freedom to choose is pointless for someone who does not have the freedom to live. So the right of “choice” of one human being cannot trump the right to “life” of another. How long can we sustain our commitment to freedom if we continue to deny the very foundation of freedom—life—for the most vulnerable human beings?

  • And here is a detailed survey of Ryan’s voting record on abortion. (Ryan carries a 100% rating from the National Right to Life.

Presumptive vice presidential nominee for the Republican party Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) hold a campaign event and makes a speech at The Villages in Florida, accompanied by his mother — a small business owner and Medicare recipient.

On Reforming Medicare

  • The Return of Mediscare (The Editors, National Review)
  • Grasping the Medicare Distortion, by Yuvan Levin (NRO, 8-12-12):

    Medicare will not be the central issue of this fall’s campaign — economic growth and jobs are far more important to voters. But President Obama and his supporters seem intent on distracting voters from the failed economic policies of the past four years by scaring them about the Romney-Ryan Medicare reform. And it is already perfectly clear that their criticisms of that reform are based on either a misapprehension or an intentional misrepresentation of the actual proposal, and of the very significant ways in which it differs from past Medicare-reform ideas (including those proposed by Ryan in the past). So it is worth taking a moment to understand the proposal — generally known as the Ryan-Wyden reform after its originators, Paul Ryan and Democratic senator Ron Wyden of Oregon — and to see what its critics are missing or misrepresenting. …

  • Fact-Checking the Obama Campaign’s Defense of its $716 Billion Cut to Medicare, by Avik Roy (The Apothecary). Avik’s blog has been a recent discovery and proven to be interesting reading, unpacking — for the non-statistically and economically minded like myself — the difficult topics of Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), and consumer-driven health care. (Full disclosure: he’s a fellow of the Manhattan Institute and an outside consultant to the Romney campaign).
  • More Mediscare, by James Capretta and Yuval Levin. (Weekly Standard) A Harvard Journal of the American Medical Association study “turns out to offer one of the strongest cases yet published in favor of premium support.”
  • The $6,400 Myth: Breaking down a false Obama Medicare claim (Wall Street Journal 8-19-12):

    One of President Obama’s regular attacks on Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform is that it would force seniors to pay $6,400 a year more for health care. But merely because he keeps repeating this doesn’t mean it’s in the same area code of accurate.

  • The Republican Medicare Equation: The Best Defense = A Good Offense + Lots of Paul Ryan – Pete Spiliakos (Postmodern Conservative) believes the best thing the GOP can do to counter Democrat criticism is to let Ryan be Ryan.

… and on a comical note

  • Admit It, I Scare The Ever-Loving S*** Out Of You, Don’t I? – a faux-editorial to The Onion 8-13-2012 . . . cutting a little too close to reality for some Democrats. [Warning: profanity]:

    Face it: I’m not some catastrophe waiting to happen, like a Sarah Palin or a Dan Quayle. On the contrary, you have the exact opposite fear. I’m a solid, competent, some might say exceptional, politician.

  • Democrat Erskine Bowles praises Paul Ryan And His Budget Plan – A video of former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, Democratic co-chair of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, praising Ryan’s budget plan.
  • HEY GIRL … IT’S PAUL RYAN.
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4 Responses to A Ryan Roundup

  • I suppose what people find disturbing about Paul Ryan’s admiration for Ayn Rand’s writings is that they are, in fact, the antithesis of traditional Catholic Conservatism. The source of her philosophy is to be found in the Enlightenment thinkers, which Catholic Conservatives like Boland, Chateaubriand and Joseph de Maistre (the “Throne and Altar” or Counter-Revolutionary party) detested as the source of liberalism

    It was a fundamental principle of the Enlightenment that the nature of the human person can be adequately described without mention of social relationships. A person’s relations with others, even if important, are not essential and describe nothing that is, strictly speaking, necessary to one’s being what one is. This principle underlies all their talk about the “state of nature” and the “social contract,” and from it is derived the notion that the only obligations are those voluntarily assumed.

    Later writers like Bentham developed this idea. He describes the idea of “relation” as but a “fictitious entity,” though necessary for “convenience of discourse.” And, more specifically, he remarks that “the community is a fictitious body,” and it is but “the sum of the interests of the several members who compose it.” Rand, like Nietzsche before her, merely carries this idea to its logical conclusion and it is one that vitiates her ethics, politics and economics.

    Aristotle, the philosopher of common sense, as Newman calls him, anticipates and demolishes this idea in half a sentence in the Eudemian Ethics Book 7] – ??? ?? ????? ?????? ????? ??? ????? ?????? ??? ????????? ??? ??????? – “Hence in the household are first found the origins and springs of friendship, of political organization and of justice.” [my translation] In other words, human beings are, by nature, social animals, not the solitary savages of Hobbes or Rousseau. In modern times, Wittgenstein’s demolition of the notion of a “private language” is to the same effect, for reason itself is only mimic discourse.

    There is a reason that the “body politic” was the favourite metaphor of Conservatives.

  • Good roundup. However, not everything Ayn Rand said was wrong.

  • I wonder why George Gilder doesn’t get more attention. He was also influential in Ryan’s intellectual development. Gilder lays out an argument for capitalism based on virtue.

  • Pingback: Natural Law St. Bernard Knowledge Wisdom Catholic Education | Big Pulpit

Life is Life: Akin & Obama on Rape Pregnancy

Monday, August 20, AD 2012

CORDES

By now, most of you have heard about the monumental blunder made by Todd Akin, a GOP representative and Senate nominee from Missouri, with regards to rape and pregnancy. Here are his comments, in all of their cringe-worthy glory:

“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Mr. Akin said of pregnancies from rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”

Frankly I have never heard of any doctors who claim that the female body has ways of “shutting that whole thing down”, by which I assume he means implantation or conception, and no doctors appear to have come forward to substantiate this notion. Who knows where Akin got it from. Much is being made of his use of the word “legitimate” as well, which was a clumsy attempt to distinguish forcible from non-forcible rape, a “legitimate” distinction used by law-enforcement in the classification of crimes. What Akin says next is something most pro-life advocates agree with: rapists, not the children of rape, deserve to be punished for the crime .

His comments were certainly poorly worded and bizarre. He may well deserve to lose the political race he is engaged in and perhaps even his office for a gaffe of this magnitude. So this is not a “Save Rep. Akin’s Career” type of post.

But this is one of those moments at which we must firmly reassert our opposition to abortion, regardless of the circumstances. Our opponents are seizing upon this incident to remind everyone of how utterly heartless and anti-woman the GOP supposedly is. Obama is leading the charge on this as well. He had this to say:

“Rape is rape,” Mr. Obama told reporters at the daily White House briefing Monday. “And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we’re talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people and certainly doesn’t make sense to me.”

Mr. Obama added that Akin’s remarks underscore “why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women.”

Leaving aside the ridiculous idea that the author of Obamacare, which forces everyone to purchase health insurance, doesn’t want to “make health care decisions” on behalf of women or anyone else, let us look at the statement “rape is rape.” Yes, indeed, rape is rape: it is always wrong, and can never be condoned. Mr. Akin had it in his head, apparently, that certain types of rape make it less likely for conception to occur. If that were actually true, it would make sense to distinguish between types of rape, though it wouldn’t necessarily be a statement on the morality of rape as such, and any honest person knows this. Since it isn’t true, of course it comes of rather badly. Akin’s profuse apologizing will not change this.

So “rape is rape.” But life is also life. That’s something Obama and the pro-abortion industry cannot and will not admit. The core principle of the pro-life position is this: it is never morally acceptable to kill an innocent human being. There are no circumstances, no matter how horrific or traumatizing, that justify the murder of an innocent human being. And frankly we don’t need the sort of half-baked theories that Akin was peddling to reinforce this point. It is a self-evident truth that we can and ought to proudly defend on its own merits.

We have nothing to run from, nothing to apologize for, and nothing to hide. I hope the Romney campaign is able to deal with this issue in a way that does not compromise in the least degree on the inviolable sanctity of human life, or which does not display fear or doubt regarding the absolute immorality of the left’s position on it.

Update: Given some of the information my co-bloggers and readers have left, I’m inclined to take back my remarks about Akin’s theories being bizarre or untrue. I will say, however, that if one is not prepared to articulate in a clear and sensitive way these finer points of medical fact, one should not speak at all. And in this case, I maintain that it is not necessary to bring up any of this, since it has no bearing at all on the morality of abortion, which is all that really matters.

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29 Responses to Life is Life: Akin & Obama on Rape Pregnancy

  • Statistics aren’t conclusive, but about 1%-.6% of victims of violent rape become pregnant, according to the only place I found that didn’t assume same-as-unprotected sex conception rates. Here’s a second source that also cites Guttmacher, since I don’t feel like digging around their site right now.

    (All the sources I could find that claimed rape has the same conception rate as nonviolent sex sourced this page, which states that it is ASSUMING a 5% conception rate. A few other sites that mentioned “studies” that were over 1% also mention they were counting domestic rapes child abuse where the girls were old enough to become pregnant, so I would guess they also included date-rape while removing rape that cannot cause conception.)

    Yes, the guy said something really dumb, clumsy, etc. I think you’re right that it was differentiating between violent rape and “I don’t remember if I said yes/I said yes but I regret it/we were drunk/I can’t remember” rape, and one should have all of one’s ducks in a row when touching that topic.

    That said, claims like: Since it isn’t true, of course it comes of rather badly really don’t help the situation. As for where he got it from, I can remember it being taught in flippin’ SEX ED when I was in high school. No, I don’t have the citation, because that was over a decade ago– but it was mentioned a couple of times, in the official course materials.
    Maybe someone can find it with that information, but it doesn’t matter– the facts don’t matter, sadly, just folks’ emotional reaction to a safe target.
    (argh, forgot to close HTML)

  • Well, perhaps what I ought to have said is that since it doesn’t appear to be true.

    I mean, I can’t say for certain that he is wrong, but I couldn’t find any information to substantiate his claims. And if you’re going to go around saying things like that, you’d better have a legitimate source lined-up for support.

  • There is violent rape and then there is statutory rape. The violent rapist is a murderer. The statutory rapist is a grossed out ignoramus of unmitigated proportions. Here is the difference Akin was struggling to define. The criminal rapist ought to go to jail for the rest of his unnatural life. The statutory rapist is over eighteen years of age and ought to know better and an underage girl who has not reached the age of informed consent have sexual relations, with or without the child becoming pregnant, the parents of both the male and the girl, or the girl alone, may choose to support and encourage the relationship and ‘adopt” any child as their own, even though it be a grandchild. Statutory rape carried a two year federal prison sentence, no questions asked, in my day, and I felt very protected. With abortion, pornography, indecency at every turn, with the removal of all protection of the young uninformed, innocent virgins, informed sexual consent is counted legally at fourteen years of age in some states and without the voters voting on it. The protections were removed to enhance the abortion rate and increase Planned Parenthood’s profit. Our daughters are being mutilated.
    The woman’s body may shut down during the violence, but conception takes place hours later.
    Life is Life. Government does not give LIFE and government cannot take innocent life, not Liberty, nor the pursuit of Happiness. Government does not give sovereign personhood and government cannot deny sovereign personhood, not even to the one-celled human being, coming into existence at the will of “their Creator”, with his newly begotten immortal soul.
    My definition of just punishment to the rapist is to give the victim’s parents twenty minutes alone with him on the open seas, or a public pillory with several bats and let the public have at him, or jail for the rest of his unnatural life. Once a rapist, always a rapist, the public is not safe anymore, and for all the money taken for taxes. Abort the innocent life, harbor the evil doers and compliment the cowards. Where is Judge Roy Bean when you need him.
    My dad’s family is the result of Tartar rape and the girl’s father adopted the little boy born of the rape. Adoption consisted in taking the child upon his knee. And I would not be here if not for the generosity and common sense of my father’s ancestor. It was my mother’s family who was raped in 1595.
    And as far as Obama not knowing anything, what else is new?

  • In the Old Testament, the Bible, if a woman was being raped in the city and she did not call out, she was to be stoned along with the rapist to keep evil out of their midst. If the woman was raped in the field where her cries would not be heard she was not to be put to death. In not calling out, the victim in the city, became an accomplice to her own rape.

  • It has been known and acknowledged for some time that stress-whether physical or psychological-can cause delayed ovulation, and therefore a delayed period. This was a fairly common complaint in my college days actually–the girls (the ones who weren’t on the Pill) would complain about their period not coming on the day expectetd and guess what? They had had a bad month working on a paper or some history project or something. Or they got sick, or went on some new ridiculous diet and exercise program. No they weren’t pregnant, and yes, the period came a few days late.

    I don’t see why a rape, if it occurred in an early part of the cycle, say Day 5 or 6, wouldn’t cause a delayed ovulation. Now if a woman were on Day 14, which is mid-cycle for the average women (not on the pill) and about the time they ovulate (I think Day 16 is the text book date), that I don’t know. And if she had ovulated within 24 hours before the rape occured, I don’t know of any reason why the egg might not get fertilized (and then implant some days later.) If the rape occurred several days after the woman has ovulated, fertilization is most unlikely. An unfertilized egg only lives roughly 24 hours.

    This is my understanding from what I’ve picked up along the way. I would verify with an Creighon Modle NFP practioner.

  • Here below is a link to Physicians For Life who contend that pregnancies from “assault rape” are rare:

    http://www.physiciansforlife.org/content/view/492/26/

  • Another article on stress and infertility:

    It’s not that it’s all in your mind,’’ Dr. Domar said. “If you’re really stressed out and depressed, the body seems to sense that’s not a good time to get pregnant. There’s something about practicing relaxation techniques or being with other women who understand what you’re going through, probably a combination of everything, that makes a difference. It isn’t just about relaxing.”

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/10/lowering-stress-improves-fertility-treatment/

  • “But as unwelcome as the advice may be, it may be right. New evidence suggests that stress does affect fertility. A recent study found that women with high levels of alpha-amylase, an enzyme that correlates with stress, have a harder time getting pregnant. Saliva samples taken from 274 women over six menstrual cycles (or until they got pregnant) revealed that those with the highest enzyme concentrations during the first cycle were 12 percent less likely to conceive than were women with the lowest levels.

    What’s more, women involved in the study, published earlier this month in the journal Fertility and Sterility, had no prior record of infertility. Participants were either planning to get pregnant or had been trying for less than three months.

    Researchers do not yet understand the role stress plays, since women can and often do get pregnant even under the intense stress, for example, that follows the death of a spouse. “I suspect that some women are more reproductively sensitive to stress than other women,” says Alice Domar, who directs the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health in Boston. And the effect can feed on itself. “If you are stressed and you don’t get pregnant quickly, then you get more stressed,” says Domar, citing evidence from a study in Taiwan in which 40 percent of participants seeking infertility treatment were diagnosed with depression or anxiety. The treatment itself can be stressful, she adds, adding even more uncertainty.”

    http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/womens-health/articles/2010/08/27/cant-get-pregnant-how-stress-may-be-causing-your-infertility

  • This all seems legit to me.

    But if one isn’t prepared to clearly articulate with the necessary sensitivity these medical points, one should simply not speak at all. And it isn’t really necessary to make these points either.

  • True. When it comes to rape and pregnancy the proper response was given in the movie Rob Roy:

    Mary MacGregor: Robert, there is more. I am carrying a child and I do not know who is the father.”
    Robert Roy MacGregor: Ach, Mary…
    Mary MacGregor: I could not kill it, husband.
    Robert Roy MacGregor: It’s not the child that needs killing.

  • Akin getting out:

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/08/akin-advisers-ready-for-candidate-to-withdraw-from-race-tuesday/

    He is an object lesson for Christians in politics: innocent as doves is necessary, but so is wily as serpents. The man has been in Congress for 10 years. He should have been able to field the question effortlessly (example of how to do it) “Rape is a terrible crime and I wish we had the death penalty for convicted rapists. However, when a woman becomes pregnant as a result of rape another innocent victim is then present. We should treat both the mother and child with infinite compassion and care. The rapist deserves death and not the innocent child brought into the world by his crime.” You show through this answer both abhorrence of the crime and compassion for the two innocent victims.

  • i hope all of you get raped and then you can feel what it is like, bunch of hypocrites

  • I’ll leave comments such as “what”s as an example of the sort of insanity we are dealing with from the left.

  • Thank you for showing the true colors of the psycho lefty, Jeff S out in San Francisco.

    As for the matter ahead, ditto what Chris Johnson said.

  • According to his facebook page, he’s staying in. He just updated about 8 minutes ago (8 pm Central Time).

  • I get what the candidate said, but wish too, that he had taken a deep breath before answering. McCaskill wants him to stay in the race, she thinks he is a wounded bird now and that is the only way she could win. Typical O/alinsky tactic to eliminate your opponent. Too bad. Hope there is someone to fill his shoes who is a little more willey.

    LOVE Rob Roy. It’s the Scottish in me.

  • Yes women get pregnant from rapes. No your body doesn’t shut that down. If a man ejaculates semen into a woman, she can get pregnant whether it’s consensual or it’s rape. I knew a woman who did indeed get pregnant after being gang raped. It happens. Apparently you folks think rape is a joke. Hardy har.

  • Apparently you think accurately representing what other people say is a joke.

    No one claimed that a woman cannot get pregnant from rapes. Some people are arguing that serious stress and emotional trauma can decrease the chances of conception. That doesn’t sound unreasonable to me.

    But it is really irrelevant. I don’t care if it happens 1 in a million rapes, or 1 in 100. The principle remains: it is never morally acceptable to take an innocent human life.

    Neither rape nor child murder is a joke. But your ridiculous post is. Har har.

  • As bad as the remarks are, it doesn’t seem completely irrational to think some physiological factors can affect the likelihood of pregnancy – stress, fear, etc. release different hormones and compounds into the body, so it could be possible it would affect conception.

    Still, pretty cringeworthy. But not as bad as that Texas Gubernatorial candidate (Clayton Williams?) that made a huge rape gaffe that cost him the election to Anne Richards.

  • The law may have been changed, but last I remember, if a child was brought into a family, through rape, adultery, or whatever, the child was legally the father’s/husband’s child and a legal member of the family. The law did not exact death to the unbon child.

  • “I’ll leave comments such as “what”s as an example of the sort of insanity we are dealing with from the left.”
    “what” does not know that she is a “WHO”

  • So what you are basically saying is that you are fine if a woman is raped since you really know there isn’t a chance of pregnancy. Consequently, any woman that claims rape and is pregnant wasn’t raped at all.

    Somehow, I think women from the Virgin Mary to Sister Theresa would have a problem with your theory. I suggest heading to the confessional and I pray God takes pity on your soul.

  • “So what you are basically saying is that you are fine if a woman is raped since you really know there isn’t a chance of pregnancy.”

    Reading comprehension really isn’t your strong point is it Mr. Lambert?

  • Mr. McClarey,

    I read and comprehend quite well. I do well at reading between lines. If you favor HB 3 which I assume you do…..then this would be your exact view. Would it not?

  • Once again, reading comprehension is clearly not your strong point. I trust you are receiving a fair amount of money from the Obama campaign to troll a Catholic website since you are doing a very poor job of it. We expect inventiveness and wit from our trolls and you are merely boring, so into moderation you go.

  • I do well at reading between lines.

    Ah. You mean you assume we’re saying something monumentally stupid, and when you can’t find any evidence of it, you lie and claim we did.

    You are disgusting.

    When faced with mention of scientifically supported evidence that women who are violently raped take such physical damage that their fertility is about 1/5 of that in the case of normal intercourse, you try to claim that it means NO chance, and then extrapolate to something so evil and moronic that it boggles the mind….

    Some of us have friends that were born of rape.
    Some of us respect the truth enough mention it, even when facts aren’t up your alley.
    Some of us can deal with those we dislike without lying about them– and frankly, I must disagree with Mr. McClarey. There is simply no way a rational being could read what has been written here and, by innocent lack of reading comprehension, conclude what you have claimed.

    Slanderous lies are even more disgusting that plain old supports-a-view lies.

  • Another problem with irresponsible government overspending is no accountability for grievous, intentional, and wasteful error. The piece of cake mentality going in, and the garbage produced coming out.

  • I just looked up ten indictments for rape in this year’s Books of Sederunt, more or less at random. Six of them contained averments to the following, or similar effect, “while she was under the influence of alcohol and drugs or of one or other of them and bereft of the power of resistance” or “while she was asleep under the influence of alcohol and incapable of giving or withholding consent” Another averred the woman was a defective, within the meaning of the Mental Health Acts and incapable &c

    In no sense is this a scientific survey, but it suggests that rape may well be as often clandestine as forcible. After all, the essence of the offence, the factum probandum, is absence of consent; force or violence are merely evidence that the panel knew the woman was not consenting, or was reckless as to whether she was consenting or not.

Collegians unite: Occupy Chick-fil-A…

Monday, August 20, AD 2012

 

As The Motley Monk predicted back in February, it wouldn’t be all that long before the anti-Chick-fil-A forces (aka, “Occupy Chick-fil-A”) would amass on the nation’s college campuses and throw tantrums.  Their goal would be to force weak-willed administrators to cower to Occupy Chick-fil-A and its members’ demands that they remove the fast food chain from their campuses because of the company’s bigoted, non-inclusive, and anti-homosexual policies.

It doesn’t matter whether the allegations are true or not.  What does matter for Occupy Chick-fil-A members is that they feel the company is all of those things…and more.

It was at Northeastern University where Occupy Chick-fil-A leader bleated in delight:

I’m very excited and really, really surprised this is the decision [the NU’s  administration] came to. We didn’t expect them to cut the contract with  Chick-fil-A.

As the new academic year is set to unfold, Occupy Chick-fil-A forces are amassing at the University of Maryland, agitating for the institution to close its owner-operated store.  According to the the Baltimore Sun, Occupy Chick-fil-A forces have posted an online petition demanding that the University shut down its store in the Stamp Student Union Building.

Why?

Dan Cathy
Chick-fil-A President

 

When asked in an interview with the Baptist Press about reports that the Chick-fil-A corporation is opposed to homosexual marriage, the President of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, responded, “Well, guilty as charged.”  He added:

We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit…We intend to stay the course. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.

 

Feeling outrage upon hearing of Cathy’s remarks, Occupy Chick-fil-A forces at the University of Maryland are demanding a “more accepting” option, the Baltimore Sun article states.

As one who enjoys Chick-fil-A’s products and tried to participate in Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day but couldn’t get near the local owner-operated store, The Motley Monk would have thought Occupy Chick-fil-A forces would be more upset that the fast food chain’s on-campus stores are closed on the Sabbath.

Sabbath?

What Sabbath?

 

 

To read about Northeastern University’s decision to drop Chick-fil-A:
http://themotleymonk.blogspot.com/2012/02/every-once-in-while-chick-fil-gets-some.html

To read the Baltimore Sun article, click on the following link:
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/bal-university-of-maryland-students-start-petition-to-remove-chickfila-from-campus-20120819,0,1531183.story

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, click on the following link:
http://themotleymonk.blogspot.com

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5 Responses to Collegians unite: Occupy Chick-fil-A…

  • I hope all parents refuse to send their children to Northeastern University. It is time to place all of our money where our freedoms are.

  • Another asylum run by inmates.

  • I see. They are promoting inclusion by practicing exclusion. On that note, I suggest they ban kosher and halal food, because the people who prepare and consume it also do not believe in same-sex marriage. That would make their university extra inclusive.

  • While I completely disagree with the substance of the students’ position, at least this is somewhat better than a government official using his governmental position to ban it outright on his own. Of course, the more they keep CFA in the spotlight, the more I crave it. Could this be some super-double-secret marketing ploy?

    I think I’ll have me some Chik-Fil-A.

  • Hmm….I wonder what the ratio is of physics/chemistry/biology to political science/marketing/women’s studies majors amongst the occupiers? My guess is the underchallenged have a little more time on their hands. The poli-scis might even be getting course credit for this.

Man Bites Dog: Newsweek Runs an Anti-Obama Story

Monday, August 20, AD 2012

 

 

Having followed the political scene in this country since 1964, few things surprise me.  Newsweek running an anti-Obama story did.  British historian Niall Ferguson writes a damning article on Obama as he calls for his defeat:

Unemployment was supposed to be 6 percent by now. It has averaged 8.2 percent this year so far. Meanwhile real median annual household income has dropped more than 5 percent since June 2009. Nearly 110 million individuals received a welfare benefit in 2011, mostly Medicaid or food stamps.

 

Welcome to Obama’s America: nearly half the population is not represented on a taxable return—almost exactly the same proportion that lives in a household where at least one member receives some type of government benefit. We are becoming the 50–50 nation—half of us paying the taxes, the other half receiving the benefits.

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14 Responses to Man Bites Dog: Newsweek Runs an Anti-Obama Story

  • Some belated payback by the MSM for Obama’s shunning of them? I’m sure more than a few media egos were wounded when Stephanie Cutter delightfully said it was as important for Obama to go on Entertainment Tonight and morning talk shows to chat about his favorite superpower as it is to have WH press conferences. They’ve carried water for him all these years and this is what they get in return? Being put on a par with the Morning Zoo guys? (Actually, I think most of them ARE on a par with the Morning Zoo guys, but we know they all see themselves as the second coming of Edward Murrow.)

    Anyway, a great article by Ferguson. I have read several of his books (“Empire” and “The War of the World” are fine works) and he is always worth reading. It’s too bad in this case that News Weak is seldom read outside dentists’ offices these days. But you know that cover is causing grand mal seizures over at Daily Kos 🙂

  • Does this mean Newsweek is no longer part of Obama campaign apparatus?

    Anyhow, RACISTS!!!

  • I think this is a good issue to buy to boost sales. Maybe Newsweek will print more such articles. If so, it might get contagious.

  • OK, Donald I am putting this in the “WAAAAAYYY Too Good To Be True” category, but will you take a look at this:

    “A poll conducted by Illinois-based pollster and political strategist
    Michael McKeon found Obama leading Republican Mitt Romney by 49 percent
    to 37 percent in Cook County, the home of Chicago. That puts him ahead
    by a far thinner margin than expected in a county he should be winning
    handsomely.

    Cook is the most Democratic leaning county in the state. It is also the most populous.

    Those numbers do not bode well for the president. ”

    Can I permit myself to dream, just for a moment? I very seriously doubt that Obama will lose Illinois, because, as we all know, the dear departed vote in Cook County and they always vote Dem, but just imagine…..If I saw Illinois turn red on the electoral map, my ticker would give out on me. I would simply lie down on the sofa and wait for the angels to take me. But it would be a happy death. 🙂

  • I saw that today Donna. It is hard to underestimate just how unpopular Governor Quinn is in Illinois. Last week he was booed so intensively at the State Fair that it looked as if a riot was going to break out. Illinois is reeling under increased state taxes, a fiscal meltdown and a very lousy economy, and a lot of that is rubbing off on Obama. Do I think Obama will lose Illinois? Probably not. Do I think it might be close? Yes.

  • Too bad it’s in Newsweek.

    Graffiti in an interstate truck stop bathroom stall has more readers.

  • “Too bad it’s in Newsweek.

    Graffiti in an interstate truck stop bathroom stall has more readers.”

    That’s probably why Newsweek ran the story, Dale.

  • If he can’t win by 40 percent in Crook County, he is toast. Also: at least ten million people live pretty near to Crook County, in several states — and THEY are watching the meltdown of Illinois.

  • Its funny considering what I have been reading lately about Newsweek being on the verge of total collapse due to its rigid, unbending left-wing ideological partisanship.

  • Albert Gore, who was then much less disoriented than he is now, lost Tennessee in 2000. He had stood as a candidate in six elections therein and in only one was held to less than 60% of the vote. Bilge Clinton managed to carry Tennessee twice. Until comparatively recently, Illinois was the most competitive state in the country in presidential elections. It would be sweet if Illinois flipped the President the bird.

  • Donna V. “It’s too bad in this case that News Weak is seldom read outside dentists’ offices these days. But you know that cover is causing grand mal seizures over at Daily Kos” LOL

  • “It is hard to underestimate just how unpopular Governor Quinn is in Illinois. Last week he was booed so intensively at the State Fair that it looked as if a riot was going to break out.”

    The booing was done, NOT by ordinary fair attendees, but by members of AFSCME ticked off at his efforts to reduce pension, health care and other benefits for state employees and retirees. AFSCME is currently almost two months past the expiration date of its last contract with the State and they are still negotiating with no end in sight. No one will comment on the record, but reportedly the State is insisting upon what amounts to a 10 percent pay cut for unionized employees, plus closures of several State facilities. Needless to say this has AFSCME members hopping mad.

    What’s even more interesting about this situation is that this push for rollbacks/givebacks in the union contract — which seems to go way beyond anything Scott Walker, organized labor’s devil incarnate, ever asked for — is being pushed by a DEMOCRATIC administration, run buy a man (Quinn) who until he became governor, had a reputation for being a populist gadfly who stood up for the “little guy.” However, Quinn and other Democrats are betting that this stance will win them more support among the general public than it will lose them among members of government employee unions.

  • I can tell you Elaine that Quinn’s brilliant idea on teacher pensions, shift the bankrupt system from being a state responsibility to local property tax payers, is as popular as poison in a small county like Livingston. As the failed Special Session last week in the legislature indicated, Quinn can’t get this rubbish through a General Assembly dominated by his party. I don’t know about Springfield, but in my neck of the State Quinn is cordially despised. One of the interesting features about the poll showing Obama doing poorly in Cook County in comparison to 2008 is Quinn’s dismal ratings in Cook County.

    “I wouldn’t bet the farm that Romney has a shot in Illinois. He’ll do much better in the suburbs and Downstate than John McCain four years ago. But a shot at winning Illinois? Not yet.

    Also, notice Gov. Quinn’s ratings. Not good at all. The person who probably should be worried is Gov. Pat Quinn, not President Obama.”

    http://capitolfax.com/2012/08/20/um-probably-not/

  • which seems to go way beyond anything Scott Walker, organized labor’s devil incarnate, ever asked for

    Wisconsin and New York are the two states whose public sector pension plans are closest to being actuarially sound. Illinois is at the bottom of the pile.

August 20, 1862: The Prayer of Twenty Millions

Monday, August 20, AD 2012

 

 

Half sage and half quack, Horace Greeley, who in 1841 founded the New York Tribune, was a power to be reckoned with in the United States one hundred and fifty years ago.  On August 20, 1862 he published in his paper an open letter, entitled The Prayer of Twenty Millions,  to President Lincoln demanding the abolition of slavery within the Union.

To ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States

DEAR SIR: I do not intrude to tell you–for you must know already–that a great proportion of those who triumphed in you election, and of all who desire the unqualified suppression of the Rebellion now desolating our country, are sorely disappointed and deeply pained by the policy you seem to be pursuing with regard to the slaves of the Rebels. I write only to set succinctly and unmistakably before you what we require, what we think we have a right to expect, and of what we complain.

I. We require of you, as the first servant of the Republic, charged especially and preeminently with this duty, that you EXECUTE THE LAWS. Most emphatically do we demand that such laws as have been recently enacted, which therefore may fairly be presumed to embody the present will and to be dictated by the present needs of the Republic, and which, after due consideration have received your personal sanction, shall by you be carried into full effect, and that you publicly and decisively instruct your subordinates that such laws exist, that they are binding on all functionaries and citizens, and that they are to be obeyed to the letter.

II. We think you are strangely and disastrously remiss in the discharge of your official and imperative duty with regard to the emancipating provisions of the new Confiscation Act. Those provisions were designed to fight Slavery with Liberty. They prescribe that men loyal to the Union, and willing to shed their blood in her behalf, shall no longer be held, with the Nations consent, in bondage to persistent, malignant traitors, who for twenty years have been plotting and for sixteen months have been fighting to divide and destroy our country. Why these traitors should be treated with tenderness by you, to the prejudice of the dearest rights of loyal men, We cannot conceive.

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12 Responses to August 20, 1862: The Prayer of Twenty Millions

  • I often walk through Greeley Park on the way to or from Penn Sta. There is a statue of the man (seated) in the park. The statue beard is a bit bigger.

    I agree. Greeley was being presumptuous in proposing to speak for 20,000,000. Of course, neither Greeley nor the MSM branch of the Committee to Re-elect Barry Soetoro invented hubris.

  • Why was Lincoln steadfast with saving the Union to the extent that all other moral concerns in front of the state were irrelevant?

    Kind of smacks of the end justifying the means doesn’t it?

  • Not at all. His duty as President was to preserve the Union. Lincoln had no power under the Constitution to do anything about slavery except as a war measure. Lincoln understood the difference between his personal opinions on slavery and the duties incumbent upon him as President of the United States.

  • But he doesn’t seen so circumscribed in his statements. He maintains he would take action in either direction if it would mean preservation of the Union. There seems to be a moral understanding that concern for the Union outweighs all other concerns.

    In other words he either subjugates his moral compass at the altar of the state or he maintains a moral outlook and decides the morally appropriate course of action is the preservation of Union because it is indeed the greater moral good. Is there another analysis?

  • Yes. His duty as President was to preserve the Union. It was not a matter of personal preference by him. Previous Presidents, including southerners such as Andrew Jackson and Zachary Taylor, had taken precisely the same view as Lincoln. Morally Lincoln thought slavery was evil and should be abolished, but doing so was not part of his duties as President as was the preservation of the Union. Lincoln was not a free agent as President but bound to carry out the duties of that office. The abolition of slavery could only be undertaken as a help to the preservation of the Union. I have no doubt that Linoln thought that preservation of the Union was morally good, but his duty to do so did not stem from that belief but rather from the office he held.

  • Paul D

    Because without the Union, there was no policy the Union could pursue.

  • What about his insistence that he would take the action necessary to maintain the Union whether it meant granting or not granting freedom to the slaves? This doesn’t appear to be mere literary device.

  • Thanks, Michael. Yes that would be the case. Is this conveyed elsewhere in Lincoln’s own writings?

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  • “This doesn’t appear to be mere literary device.”

    It wasn’t. Lincoln was stating that his goal was the preservation of the Union, and what he did about slavery was in furtherance of that goal. Lincoln had decided by the time that he wrote the letter that preserving the Union required the ending of slavery although he had not yet obtained the victory necessary to announce the Emancipation Proclamation. His personal preference to end slavery instantly had to take a back seat to his duty as President as he perceived that duty.

  • “Is this conveyed elsewhere in Lincoln’s own writings”

    Lincoln in his House Divided Speech of June 16, 1858 outlined his belief that if the Union was preserved slavery could be placed in the path of ultimate extinction:

    “In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed.

    “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

    I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.

    I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

    It will become all one thing or all the other.

    Either the opponents of slavery, will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.”

  • Thank you, Don for providing those quotes and more reference/context.

Paul Ryan, the USCCB and the Poor

Sunday, August 19, AD 2012

A fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal by economist Antony Davies and Catholic theologian Kristina Antolin:

Someone is twisting the Catholic Church’s teachings on caring for the poor, but it isn’t Paul Ryan. His controversial budgetary ideas demonstrate that he has a better grasp of Catholic social thought than do many of the American Catholic bishops.

The culmination of centuries of theological and philosophical thought, the church’s teachings cannot simply be satisfied by a government edict to “feed the poor.” Commanding “Let there be light!” works fine for God, but for mortal beings, edicts don’t carry the same punch.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has long supported government interference in the economy as a means to help the poor. But we suspect the bishops haven’t fully thought this through: If God really did favor a top-down approach to poverty reduction, why wouldn’t He establish a government with the power to wipe away poverty on demand instead of leaving things to chance and the possibility that someone like Mr. Ryan would come along and mess up His plans?

Perhaps we dehumanize the poor when we treat them as nothing more than problems to be solved, and we dehumanize the rich when we treat them as wallets to be picked.

Wealth and poverty are catalysts for bringing the rich and the poor together in community, and community is the hallmark of the church’s mission on Earth. Government is not community. Government is one of community’s tools, a coercive one we use when it is necessary to force people to behave in ways they would not otherwise behave voluntarily.

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36 Responses to Paul Ryan, the USCCB and the Poor

  • Sometimes the safety net can become a hammock. Sometimes it can also become a snare. I recently did some research into GDP growth in Chile. It seems they are doing almost everything right, although they do need to do something to reduce income disparity. Personally, I think the best thing we could do to help the poor is to pursue GDP growth with low public debt and low inflation. Public debt represents a huge transfer of wealth from taxpayers to bondholders. I recall a push by the USCCB for debt forgiveness in Third World nations.

    http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/debt-relief/jubilee-debt-forgiveness.cfm

    It is a bit inconsistent to lament public debt in poor nations and encourage the same in wealthier nations. In both cases it represents the same drain on the economy and hurts the poor when it approaches the levels the U.S. currently owes. This is money that does not invest in factories, does not build roads, and does not pay doctors. It crowds out the private investment that is necessary to grow GDP. It goes from the hands of taxpayers to the hands of bondholders, and in that way tends to increase income disparity rather than correct it. Well-paying jobs created by private investment of savings is what reduces income disparity. Lack of private investment caused by crowing out from government debt ensures future unemployment. If the USCCB were serious about helping the poor, they would encourage the elimination of debt in the United States, just as they encouraged it for Third World countries.

  • Bottom line, Jesus never directed his disciples and followers to get government to do what he directed them to do, themselves. I’ve never had anybody be able to show me where in the bible Jesus said, “Go get government to feed, clothe and go take care of the poor.”

    Catholics who deceive themselves believing they are “doing the Lord’s work” supporting the Democrat Party, and believe that they, themselves, are “better people” than others for it, are sadly mistaken. NO ONE is going to heaven because they are a Democrat, or for that matter any other party affiliation. There are some parties that may keep you from going to heaven – the KKK, the Nazi Party, the Communist Party, according to Catholic teachings concerning the 5th Commandment. And I would add to that the Democrat Party because of their support and promotion of the denial of the right to life to innocent human beings by legal abortion. Certainly, if the Church teaches “it’s a sin to deny one their human rights” as do those who join the KKK, the Nazi Party, and the Communist Party, then how can Catholics who give their name to, and vote for the Democrat Party candidates, be exempt? The murder of babies is nullified because the Democrat Party has co-opted a Christian teaching? And doing so for the sake of developing a permanent voting block? By making poverty a permanent way of life through government hand outs of other peoples’ confiscated possessions (earnings), the Democrat Party has also feed the beast of covetousness in the “poor” and “lower income,” which this President is so skilled in doing.

  • It seems that assistance for the poor is, and has been for three generations, in place for those who access such. It’s curious to see how the bar of benefits has been raised as well. A lot of the food, shelter, clothing, medical, education, furnishings, cars, contraception and technological necessities provided are beyond what some wage earners can materially acquire.

    Much is made of providing civic ethnic cultural programs and celebrations, ethnic church programs funded by charities which are not supported by these beneficiaries, and on to such as language accommodations. There is a contrast in removing the ‘American flag’, exclusive suppression of Christian prayer and Holy Day symbols (Manger scenes at Christmas), Christmas Carols, and many traditional customs of America which celebrate the basis of the country to which many immigrate. July 4th, Independence Day, is marketed as picnics and fireworks. November 11th, Veterans’ Day, is a long weekend of shopping early for Christmas gifts. May 31st, Memorial Day, is marketed and reported as the summer picnic or getaway kickoff. In my city, halloween decorations exceed Christmas decorations. March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, is a party for wearing green because he brought the faith to Ireland? Easter – bunnies and candy?

    Accommodations have ironically created legal tangles for tradition to be included. This is not the religious fanaticism of Catholics and Christians demanding that they be removed from the public square. Catholics and Christians are now asking to be included once again in the public square.

    Tolerance exists. The point though is now so exreme that those demanding tolerance are becoming dangerously intolerant of different forms of lifestyles, like we saw with Chick A Fil, just because a man said he supports traditional family structure.
    Unlike the news of Coptic Christians in danger of being crucified now in enlightened 2012, the danger of the mindlessness aspect is not as life threatening here yet. Insanity of selfishness is growing where love of God, life and others is being forgotten and ignored.

    Someone just rang the doorbell to speak for E. Warren for Senate and was dismayed by hearing that I was registered Independent and decided to vote as pro-life as possible. He said that I didn’t care about women’s choice or the welfare enrolled and would have gone on. All I could say was that it was my choice to be ‘pro-life’ because I couldn’t stand for murder of babies in the now various ways being defined . I was told that I was a one issue voter and the Pope would love me. I said I hoped so, then said the money numbers to pay for the promises didn’t work for me either. He shook his head like I was shameful and left.

    Some elderly at church are ‘surely lifelong’ Democrats and why change now – heard that conversation in passing and thought – they would be hurt to know the fiscal irresponsibility and betrayal by their affiliation .

    Clear, responsible approach to the debt and keeping promises in place to those who need to know that there is even a debt problem is a gift we need to embrace and support. The things that the more liberal population want are already theirs, so in 2012 they have to wage word war to divide and conquer.

    It’s time for a wake-up calls – and thanks for the light in the darkness during this election process.

  • Alphatron Shinyskullus:

    Truth. Catholic U. of Chile economics scholars closely associated themselves with the U of Chicago econ dept. and Milton Friedman.

    After General Pinoche saved Chile from the bolshevists, he commissioned the “Chicago boys” to cut government central planning, privatize the Chilean model of social security, end catastrophic central planning, reduce collectivist taxes and spending, institute free market reforms, etc.

    In the next decades, Chile moved from being tied with Argentina as an economic basket-case to enjoying among the highest median family income in Latin America.

    Argentina is still an economic basket case as will be the USA if Obama gets four more years to finish off (what the USCCB and Obama-worshiping imbeciles view as) the evil, unjust private sector.

    A close friend of mine knows about the catholic bishops. He told me the super-secret (eyes-only) USCCB, Post VatII translation of Matt 25 read: “I was hungry and you voted democrat . . . ”

    I wish that I was certain that I was just kidding . . .

  • T. Shaw: I knew about the University of Chicago connection, but not that it was also the Catholic University of Chile.

    Chile employs a countercyclical monetary and fiscal policy, has no appreciable public debt, and encourages investment through privatization of the national pension fund. Rather than being a temptation for politicians, pension funds go to support investment, which reaches about 25% of GDP. This has fueled enormous GDP growth and lifted people out of poverty. We need to be doing what they are doing.

    Regarding the translation of the NAB, it seems the feminists had a higher priority.

  • Medicaid covers most nursing home residents (60% or 67% from two internet sources I read). Therefore Catholic old age homes like St. Ann’s in Jersey City, N.J. run by nuns for decades exist and function based mostly on funds from Medicaid money.
    Medicaid Fed and state expenditures in 2010 were 401.1 billion dollars. The Vatican is thought to have 1 billion dollars in investments. If the Vatican donated their entire savings to Medicaid, it would not make a dent….it would be 1/401 of the need. Catholics gave $60 million to help Haiti. The Vatican gave $200,000 each to Haiti, Japan, and Iraq. The scale of the problem in the US is way beyond the Catholic charity level.
    Medicaid pays for 37% of childbirths, pre natal care, and sixty days of post partum care for those females making less than $15K and who have no other insurance like a secretary in a small business on Main St. like an Interior design shop….or think of a girl working the counter in
    a bakery. Therefore Medicaid pays for 37% of Catholic Hospital births plus the pre natal and post partum money that goes to doctors. This Medicaid money is not going into the pocket of the delivering bakery counter girl but rather into the system, including Catholic, that is delivering the baby. A ten week abortion costs much less…around $400. Ryan cuts therefore logically could increase abortions but that is not Ryan’s fault unless he sees an alternative.
    If unleashing entrepeneurial energy leads to great jobs, how is a bakery counter girl affected.
    Is she suddenly capable of software engineering at the new nearby factory….or will someone move to that spot from India?
    I think neither party knows what to do about an underclass that is bigger than we think when 42% of Americans die with an estate that is under $10,000. They both know that the deficit must be reduced but no one knows the consequences like increased abortions and shoddy coverage of the elderly sick non millionaires…..as Medicaid cuts back.

  • Medicaid is already in shambles Bill with physicians fleeing it due to low reimbursement rates. Here are some ideas for reform from the Heritage Foundation:

    http://blog.heritage.org/2011/05/25/more-bold-proposals-to-solve-the-medicaid-crisis/

    The bottom line is that our current welfare state is coming to an end. Change is coming whether people want it to or not.

  • Forget about Medicaid. If they don’t turn around this train wreck, there will be mass rapine, starvation, and violence.

    Get real and stop letting the lying pols run us into Hell on Earth.

    Last week, my first reaction was, “I can suspend my crisis investment program.” Not.

    No we cannot.

  • T Shaw,
    Don’t forget our impending welfare statist relationship to Afghanistan who could actually help us if their opium profits were actually seized by anyone:

    http://ivn.us/2012/06/20/cost-aid-afghanistan-increase-after-us-withdrawal/

  • Bill, the problems that you point out make it even more imperative that we engage in a policy of fiscal and monetary restraint, encouraging the investment needed to expand our GDP. Medical costs are increasing much faster than GDP, and so we can expect Medicare liabilities to expand faster than GDP. Government spending is being fueled by debt, and high levels of government debt have always been a hindrance to economic growth. If we want social programs to continue, they have to be done with fiscal restraint. A good source for viewing the incredible growth in social programs can be found at

    http://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTable.cfm?ReqID=9&step=1

    It’s an interactive table, so click on government current receipts and expenditures, then table 3.12, government social benefits. Many of the programs listed are growing much faster than the economy is, which means that they are on an unsustainable path unless something is done to either curb benefits or expand growth in GDP. But you can’t expand both public benefits and GDP at the same time given our current level of public debt because the public sector has crowded out the investment necessary for GDP growth. We have to engage in restraint of public benefits and increase our level of investment to have any hope of obtaining the kind of economy the USCCB wants us to have. Only when we have resumed a path of strong economic growth can we begin to expand the amount of public benefits that senior citizens will require. Of course, those same senior citizens failed to save, failed to have children who could support them, and now demand that these same diminished future generations provide for them NOW, and pay when they are in the workforce, without any hope of having the same level of benefits for themselves if we continue on our present course.

  • Please explain why those “through no fault of their own, cannot work due to mental or physical impairment” should “always receive assistance from the State for a basic standard of living.” Why should people in this category be cared for by the state rather than by charitable organizations?

  • If a charity could do it I would be all in favor of it. However no charity I can think of has the resources for life time support. Fortunately the people in this category are not numerous compared to the 50% of American households currently receiving some form of government assistance. One very good argument for trimming dependence upon government is that it frees up huge resources to help those who are truly unable, through no fault of their own, to help themselves.

  • When Medicare was instituted, nursing homes were built by the private sector. Government cooperated by passing regulations that said that grandma had to have her own apartment with bath, and kitchen if she was to stay at home. Three generations in a household were forbidden by law. Grandma couldn’t watch the little children, answer the phone, peel potatoes, read to the children, be there for them when they came home from school. Grandma was needed to fill the enterprising nursing homes which Medicare will pay for. Head Start was initiated, then Day Care. Mom and dad had to have two incomes to pay the taxes that funded grandma’s nursing home, Head Start and Day Care. The help, tradition and wisdom that grandma could bring to the family was outlawed. The family was outlawed by the social engineers and the greedy. Pay your taxes and shut up. We will tell you how your tax dollars will be spent. Government manufactured “the poor” and invented “compassionate care” to control the money. These programs made as many of “the poor” as it helped. Some good came from it, but not enough good to justify the destruction of our families and culture, and none to justify taxation to fund what a citizen rejects and abhors.

  • Alphatron,
    Yes except to the lumping of all medicaid seniors together at the end. A person could be a celibate laymen or a couple who were sterile etc etc and they all could have saved several hundred thousand dollars plus a house yet if in their sixties they had e.g. a totally disabling stroke that let them live but not walk, after ICU in a hospital, they would enter a skilled nursing facility where medicare would pay for the first 100 days, then if they were the last spouse, their savings and house would go to the skilled nursing home at around the rate of $50 to $70K a year after which medicaid would cover them per year until they died. Sixty to sixty seven percent of those in nursing homes are covered by medicaid. Other elder people have children who themselves run into huge bills e.g. autism therapy bills which are uncovered by insurance. Long term health insurance…new and not thought of in the past… runs over $2K a year which is light for those who are well covered in other areas like a northeast teacher who has health coverage and pension but it is heavy for those uncovered for neither health nor pension like a hardware store owner who is paying $12K for family health care insurance on his own per year.
    I don’t know the answer.
    As to medicaid and single mothers, as long as the US Government’s concept of free speech allows tv shows to propagate fornication as humorous to the young…Two and a Half Men…How I Met Your Mother…then the US judicial system is making the bed the US has to lie in. Some Catholics working class and tv years ago did the same humorous propagating of drunkeness….Catholic Dean Martin in particular back in the early decade of tv.

  • David:

    I work for an insurance company, and I sometimes have to evaluate disability cases. The cost is enormous, and well beyond the scope of charity which ebbs and flows with economic conditions. There are some costs which should be borne by all members of society, Lifetime support is typically a few million dollars. Support for the disabled includes more than room and board. You need medical care, and sometimes attendant care. Even with funds invested to grow over that lifetime, given the mess the Fed has made of our money supply, returns are very, very low.

    That said, there are sheltered workshops which help some of the disabled be productive, and these are typically charitable ventures. But not all of the disabled are able to participate, and it can be difficult to find work for those who can do some work because they are not as competitive as those without disabilities.

    The government should do things that the people on their own cannot accomplish, and the reliable funding for the care of the disabled is one of those things. It’s too big of a problem to tackle on merely a charitable level, although charity has an important role to play.

  • Bill, I was speaking about the baby boom generation as a whole, which killed fifty million potential taxpayers and contracepted countless other millions out of existence. Obviously, not all of that generation engaged in that behavior, but the vast majority did.

    Single motherhood is currently being tacitly encouraged in public schools. You don’t need the media at all. Planned Parenthood is trying to get into the classroom all over the country, and the federal government is actively subsidizing those efforts.

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  • Jesus told the rich man to give everything to the poor and follow Him;

    He did not hold the rich man down and have the Apostles rifle through his pockets.

  • If unleashing entrepeneurial energy leads to great jobs, how is a bakery counter girl affected[?]
    –e.e. cummings wannabee

    At the most basic level, more people have the income to shop at bakeries which leads to more demand by employers for bakery counter girls. Bakery counter girl wages then tend to rise. Plus, increasing productivity in the economy increases the buying power of each dollar in wages that she earns.

    Notice that the bakery counter girl benefits from a vigorously growing, increasingly productive economy even if she herself doesn’t obtain one of those “great jobs” herself or start a bakery of her own.

    (Did “wannabee” really need that explained?)

  • Micha,
    I’m not understanding the wannabee insult. Are you Christian? If so, read 2 Tim.2:23 onward.

  • John 12:1-8

    1* Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at table with him. 3 Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. 4* But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii * and given to the poor?” 6* This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. 7* Jesus said, “Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. 8 The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

  • Two personal anecdotes about Medicaid: I have two brothers-in-law (BIL).

    (1) My eldest BIL knocked his girlfriend up. They were planning on marrying anyway, but when she went down to the Medicaid office on the recommendation of a friend, the Medicaid officials instructed her that if she would claim she didn’t know who the baby’s father was and remained unmarried, Medicaid would pickup the entire tab for the pregnancy and birth. Guess what she did? Yep, claimed she was ignorant of paternity andputoff the wedding. And when they were once again planning their wedding and she popped up pregnant with their second child, guess what she did again? Yep, same thing. Medicaid paid for the births of their first two children at no cost to them. They finally did get married after all that.

    (2) My youngest BIL and his wife just had their first child. She has some birth defects and will likely have special needs. Both of the parents are perfectly capable of working and had jobs. I say “had” because the social services administrator for the hospital advised them that if they were to both be fired and unable to find work, Medicaid would pay for everything- respirator, feeding tube equipment, in-home 24-hour nurse,etc and so on- and that, should they be unemployed (wink, wink), they should apply for all the social assistance they can get so they can just stay home with the baby. So what do you think they’ve done? They’ve both intentionally missed contacting their employers by their return dates and have both been terminated. They have begun filling out the unemployment paperwork, applications for food stamps, Medicaid, etc and so on. And they won’t pay a dime towards my neice’s care.

    Now, I don’t begrudge them *some* assistance. The baby is disabled through no fault of anyone and realistically there’s no way they can pay the full amount it will costs to care for her, much less the hospital bill thus far. But they’re not going to be paying out a dime now and that’s just wrong. In both of these cases our “social services” folks encouraged my relatives to game the system so they wouldn’t have to take any monetary responsibility for their children. Again, that is wrong. And if this is representative of the experience people have with social services around the country, then this is clearly wrong.

    This stuff *has* to be cleaned up and reformed. There’s no universe in which any of these people should be encouraged to do the things they’ve been encouraged to do by our own government.

  • I am only mildly bothered by the fact that they are not contributing to the care of their children. What gets me is that the soopergenius politicians who enacted these programs designed them in such a way as to nearly require the target clients to abandon adult work life or at least restrict their efforts in such a way as to maintain their eligibility. Has Henry Waxman or the National Association of Social Workers ever objected to this (much less sponsored a restructuring plan)? Or is making people dependent the whole point?

  • Of course making people dependent is the whole point. It locks in Democrat voters.

    While many, perhaps most ordinary, Dem voters are well-meaning people who follow their hearts rather than their heads on this matter, the same cannot be said for the pols. I have come to believe they know exactly what they are doing – making people dependent on them so they can increase their power, while posing as “compassionate.” It is downright evil.

  • @ Bill Bannon “how is a bakery counter girl affected.
    Is she suddenly capable of software engineering at the new nearby factory”
    There are many degreed and skilled workers working minimally paid jobs right now.

  • One of my favorite free enterprise clips is this old one from Milty! Rings so true even today. http://www.billcook.net/greed.html

  • “I am only mildly bothered by the fact that they are not contributing to the care of their children. What gets me is that the soopergenius politicians who enacted these programs designed them in such a way as to nearly require the target clients to abandon adult work life or at least restrict their efforts in such a way as to maintain their eligibility.”

    @Art, this is where I am, too. I understand they’re going to need help and that my neice’s medical problems aren’t anyone’s fault. I’m fine with some of my tax dollars going to help out (in addition tote efforts my family makes personally to help, of course). But that these folks have been openly encouraged to get fired and be dependent on these programs is outrageous. And the other BIL whose (now) wife was encouraged to claim illegitimacy of her children is another outrage. These people aren’t broke. They make as much as my husband and I do. Because we have high deductible insurance (and have to scrimp to afford that) we footed the majority of the bill for the birth of both our children. These people could afford to do things they way we did (ie, the right way, IMO) but were openly encouraged to mooch off the taxpayer and lie in the process. That’s wrong.

  • The thing of it is, perverse incentives arising from means-tested programs have been a matter of public discussion among liberals for 30 years (Ken Auletta’s The Underclass was published in 1982). Cretins like Waxman put a good deal of effort into relaxing eligiblity standards for Medicaid but not in programmatic redesign to excise or vitiate the perverse incentives. The Republicans did not manage diddly/squat during the four years they controlled both Congress and the Presidency. To be fair, it is easy to imagine that if they attempted anything the Democratic Senate caucus would have filibustered, but one does get the impression that creatures such as John Boehner are propelled only by negative public attention or by pressure from business lobbies (who do not care about this stuff). It all makes you wanna holler.

  • Yeah. It does. I think the reason there’s such a resistance to reform to try and weed this kind of abuse out is likely because it’s easy to propagandize. Who wants to be the one out there talking about the people who are abusing the system when the political opposition is going to trot out some hard case as an example and imply that you’re accusing this upright person/family in need of being liars scamming the system? No one, I’m sure. Which is, of course, a large part of the problem to begin with.

  • I’m confident that much of the covetousness of many for their countrymen’s goods in order to prop up Medicaid and Medicare is due to the covetors’ lack of belief in the afterlife Jesus promised. The covetors grasp at each few additional minutes in a hospital bed because they think this world is the sum of all the life they’ll ever have.

  • Mandy, they are not abusing the system. What they are doing is the system. No scam here.

    I agree with you about the propaganda exercises and the press will find these people if the Democratic congressional staff does not.

  • Like the educational system, the healthcare system needs dedicated men and women. Religious nuns. Money will not do it. Only perfect charity will.

  • Paul W. Primavera: “Jesus said, “Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. 8 The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
    Jesus was never anointed again.

  • T. Shaw: “I was hungry and you voted democrat . . . ” and they aborted me.

  • Bishops have never been reluctant to see civil law supersede any merely spiritual admonitions as to the almsgiving

    When Charlemagne as King of the Franks, in a general assembly of his Estates, spiritual and temporal, in 778-779 ordained, “Concerning tithes, it is ordained that every man give his tithe, and that they be dispensed according to the bishop’s commandment,” the clergy greeted his words with cries of “Long Life and Victory to our most Christian King.”

    When, in 801, he issued a capitular making this universal, Pope Leo III bade all obey “the august Charles, crowned by God, great and pacific emperor.”

    Charlemagne established a a quadri-partite division: One, the bishop retained for himself and those who were dependent upon his hospitality ; a second portion was distributed by him among his clergy ; a third was administered for the benefit of the poor and strangers, and the fourth went towards maintaining the fabric of the churches.

    In 829, the payment of tithes was made enforceable by the summary remedy of distraint both by the Emperor Louis the Simple and by Lothair for Lombardy. Their payment was no longer a religious duty alone; it was a legal obligation, enforceable by the laws of the civil head of Christendom.

  • Here’s an interesting article by Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver:

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/column.php?n=2268

Leave Our Beloved National Clown Alone!

Sunday, August 19, AD 2012

Lately our beloved national clown and veep, Joe Biden, has come under attack.  Light-heartedly attempting to whip up racial hatred and paranoia in a speech before a predominantly black audience in Danville, Virginia, Biden said that Romney and the Republicans would “put y’all back in chains!”

These remarks were denounced by various people including Douglas Wilder, a former Democrat governor of Virginia.

This is all so wrongheaded.  I could understand such recriminations if Biden were a serious politician of an ordinary sort, but he is not.  His entire gaffe-ridden political career has been one long extended comedy routine.  His purpose as Veep has been to relieve the public mood during the Great Depression II, much as his intellectual peers, The Three Stooges, did during the original Great Depression.

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5 Responses to Leave Our Beloved National Clown Alone!

  • ” purpose as Veep has been to relieve the public mood during the Great Depression II, much as his intellectual peers, The Three Stooges, did ”

    Wait …
    well, at least you didn’t say same as.

    2012 brand is cheap, cynical, and insane – with innocent targets.

    The Three kept things among themselves, cared and had reasons. We could relax.

  • I know you’re being facetious here, but seriously, Quayle was an issue in Bush Sr.’s second race. There’s no reason Biden couldn’t be an issue in 2012. Remember, Biden is an unknown to a good percentage of the swing voters. Political buffs like us don’t think in those terms, but Biden went unnoticed in 2008 because of the sympathetic Beltway media and the oddity of Sarah Palin. And he’s been out of sight since.

    Also, we’ve got Hillary’s supporters undermining him, saying that she turned down the VP slot. That just makes Biden look weaker.

    Then there’s also the matter of the potential Cath-Off. We’ve never had that happen in US national politics, but this time we’ve got two Catholics facing off on the ticket. We could see a battle between liberal Catholicism and conservative Catholicism on the political stage. We may be seeing it already.

    There are two interesting things about this. First of all, the Republicans are doing pretty solidly on the part of the national conversation that’s supposed to be their weakest among Catholics, social programs. The usual take on Catholic politics is liberal on social programs, conservative on life issues. If Romney and Ryan are able to hold their own in supposed enemy territory, they should do fine when the more Republican Catholic issues come up.

    Secondly, and this is closely related, the press still doesn’t believe that the American voter is socially conservative on life issues. They maybe believe it enough to denounce the dumb angry white Americans every once in a while, but it’s so far outside their experience that they haven’t internalized the idea. So they’ll be fine with the conversation moving into social issues like abortion and gay marriage. And Obama and Biden don’t look good on those issues. You could see a real galvanization of the Catholic vote this time around.

  • The strategists love that VP is taking the hits, while both lowering the common denominator of acceptable behavior for the reigning powerbrokers and dignitaries, and removing the focus of any possible objection/outrage/challenge to other party/admin activity that would be dead serious and so boring for the attention of the peanut gallery . I think it’s DC aka Hollywood East.

  • PM, yes, Biden’s taking the hits – but the focus on Slow Joe’s stupidities also call into question Obama’s judgement. I recall that in 2008 Biden was laughably portrayed as some sort of senior statesman who gave “gravitas” to the Dem ticket. (Myself, I thought of it as Obama’s assassination insurance. Also, I don’t think such a thin-skinned man would permit someone smarter than he is to be VP. Everyone can feel like a genius next to a guy who is such a permanent state of confusion he can’t remember what state he is in.) Now, people are laughing – but they are also realizing – uneasily- that this moron will be president if something happens to Obama. That’s really not a funny thought.

    Oh, and P.S.: Ryan really is brilliant. And yet I can’t imagine him telling anybody, much less an ordinary citizen, “My IQ is higher than yours.” Biden is not only a clown, but a mean-spirited, nasty one at that.

6 Responses to The Girl I Left Behind Me

  • The song Lili Marlene is also very nice, and it’s about the same theme. I especially love the version sung by Scottish folk singer John Mcdermott. So look that up! 🙂

  • Here it is Briana sung by Marlene Dietrich, the famed film actress who despised the Nazis who took over her native Germany, and spent a good part of World War II entertaining American and British troops. After the War she became a naturalized American citizen. She was awarded the Medal of Freedom for her entertainment of the troops during World War II, and said that of all the honors and awards she received during her life she was proudest of it.

  • Not sure our GWT soldiers sing.

    I prefer the instrumentals.

    Souza’s Cavalry March contains Garry Owen and the St. Patrick’s Day March.

  • Thanks for both links. I first remember hearing “The Girl I left Behind Me” in 1949 in the film “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” and both the film and the song have been favorites ever since.
    On another note, although I can’t understand anyone being on the fence about voting for Romney, one only needs to remember how many Supreme Court justices the next president will appoint given the age of the current justices. Have you addressed that already? If so, i may have miised it.
    Peter

  • I believe that is when I first heard the song also Pete. A good book on music in John Ford’s westerns is How the West Was Sung:

    http://www.amazon.com/How-West-Was-Sung-Westerns/dp/0520252349/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1345460000&sr=1-1&keywords=how+the+west+was+sung

    The Supreme Court appointments that doubtless that will be made in the next term are an excellent reason to vote for Romney.

  • My late Grandfather said that the song “Sentimental Journey” got an entire train of servicemen (he was one) tearing up back in ’45.

Revelations from a Twitter Exchange

Friday, August 17, AD 2012

It has always been incomprehensible to me that we don’t require photo identification for voting. The idea that you can just go up to an election official, simply state your name, and then receive your ballot is mind boggling. We require identification for so many other important functions, yet we’re basically leaving it up to the honor system when it comes to voting. It’s simply a matter of fairness. It’s bad enough that my vote gets cancelled out by idiots – you know, people like Joe Biden – but it is even more unfair to have it cancelled out by someone who does not have a legal right to vote in that particular election. Requiring identification certainly wouldn’t eliminate all incidents of voter fraud, but they would go a long way in ensuring that everyone who votes has a legal right to do so.

Well, the major argument against these laws is that we are somehow disenfranchising people. This is utter nonsense. No one who has a legal right to vote would be barred from voting because of a photo i.d. law. Sure, there are people who do not possess photo identification, particularly the elderly. How they function without identification is a mystery to me, but most of the proposed laws have provisions to help these people get identification.

Yet that is not how some people on the left claim to see it. To them, evil Republicans just want to make sure the poor and the elderly are forced to stay home on election day. Today I had a twitter exchange that typified the attitude of many anti-i.d. folks. It hammered home a few things about their attitude that is frankly quite scary.

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12 Responses to Revelations from a Twitter Exchange

  • Well, yeah. The amazing thing is how much support the laws have, as Byron York pointed out on Wednesday.

  • Honestly, I just think it comes down to common sense, Pauli.

  • So the very government that they want implementing Obamacare which is magnitudes greater in complexity, they believe is incompetent to issue photo id. What happen to their unshakable belief in the power of the state to make all things right and just?

  • It is now standard procedure to ask people to produce ID as well as an insurance card at hospitals and doctor’s offices (of course, they’ll make an exception if you show up at the ER bleeding, but it is required for all non-emergent procedures). The Catholic hospital I work at does a lot of charity care, but the ID requirement is enforced. So those poor and elderly people I pass in the hallways every day showed ID at the registration desk.

    Similiarly, I was carded when I bought a bottle of wine the other day, although I don’t flatter myself that I look like I’m under 21. Liquor stores abound in the inner cities. Do they not card poor people?

    Honestly, I don’t believe the issue is whether or not the poor have ID. Unless you are living completely off the grid, you MUST have ID in today’s world. Of course they have it.

    No, what the Left is objecting to is having to PRODUCE ID at a polling place. Because it interferes with voter fraud and voter fraud favors Democrats. That is the only reason to oppose voter ID.

    Voter ID at the polls still doesn’t solve the issue of the dearly departed voting. Our first Republican president is buried in Illinois. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to learn that Honest Abe has been a faithful Democrat voter at least Boss Daley’s time.

  • Similiarly, I was carded when I bought a bottle of wine the other day, although I don’t flatter myself that I look like I’m under 21. Liquor stores abound in the inner cities. Do they not card poor people?

    A lot of places say they card anyone who looks under 40….and I’m only nearly 30… and still don’t get carded.
    That said, I’ve got a three year old in the cart, a toddling baby on my hip, look like I haven’t slept in a few days and am buying a cheap box of wine or a bottle of Jaeger and/or Fireball. Not exactly “teen sneaking in to drink” material.

  • “What this told me is that this guy was walking around with a driver’s licence, a social security card, and a birth certificate, because he was waiting to obtain these documents.”

    I have a driver’s license which I always carry with me, and a Social Security card which is kept in a fireproof box at home. (It’s my understanding that you SHOULD NOT carry around your Social Security card routinely due to the risk of loss and subsequent identity theft.) I do not, however, currently have a birth certificate because I’ve never yet been asked to produce one for myself; but I know how to obtain one — contact the county clerk’s office in the county where I was born and request a certified copy. There is a fee for this service, might be as much as $10, but if someone were desperately poor and couldn’t afford the fee I’d think one of these organizations would help pay it for them.

  • It is apparent to me why the Democrats do not want a photo ID requirement for voting. If you want to initiate a seismic shift from the current representative republic form of US government towards a communist state, the last thing you want is a photo ID requirement for voting. You stack the deck with illegal voters whom you promise everything to (for now) and then when the tide turned, poof! Instant banana republic. Can you say “President Daniel Ortega”?

  • Sorry, that should read “without a driver’s license . . . “

  • I didn’t have a copy of my birth certificate. It took me about a month to get one. I haven’t had a Social Security card in years. It’s a pain to get government forms, and I can sympathize with the idea that some people won’t register to vote because of the effort.

    In theory, the anti voter ID people have a point. I’ve been involved in voter registration drives. They’d shock you. The default assumption that most of us live our lives with, that other people are sufficiently competent to take care of themselves, goes out the window. Should these people have the vote? Well, that’s a toughie. I don’t know how I’d answer that other than to say that I haven’t participated in a voter registration drive in a long time.

    And if someone registers and doesn’t vote, there’s no harm in that, according to their argument. But that assumes that excess names on the lists won’t lead to voter fraud. The two things that the voter ID side has to demonstrate are that voter fraud is a real problem, and that they’re not racists. The beauty of the other side’s position is that, if you argue that voter fraud is a problem, that automatically makes you a racist. It’s a Catch-22.

  • The same logic goes for illegal immigration. If the Left thought that those folks were Rush Limbaugh dittoheads they would be planting mines at the border. The problem is getting more urgent because the Left is increasingly arrogant (and fearful) so they are going to try for more wholesale fraud in future elections. I think where they are headed is mandatory voting on the reasonable theory that the stay at homes are more Dem supporting than Repub. The increasing window to vote ahead of time is a major step in that direction. A bit more attention and energy from the Repubs to combat it would be welcome but I am not holding my breath. They are probably more scared of the Tea Party.

  • ID’s with pictures at the voting places would be good for what’s become of this nation in the area of virtue and logic.

    Wondering how absentee ballots are monitored and whether they are proliferating.

    Without showing a picture identification issued by state or federal gov. at the table with the lists and ballots, there are no guarantees of honesty.

    Do the new batches of aliens get ID’s? How are they identified as ‘illegal’?

    Then comes the question of by whom and how the ID’s would be produced. Could the money granted to community organizers be better spent on this as project?

That Radical Ryan

Friday, August 17, AD 2012

Carl Olson has an extensive post tackling the “radical” nature of evil right-winger Paul Ryan. He starts by quoting one of Ryan’s more extreme statements.

[We] will confidently proceed to unshackle American enterprise and to free American labor, industrial leadership, and capital, to create an abundance that will outstrip any other system.

Free competitive enterprise is the most creative and productive form of economic order that the world has seen. The recent slow pace of American growth is due not to the failure of our free economy but to the failure of our national leadership. …

Economic growth is the means whereby we improve the American standard of living and produce added tax resources for national security and essential public services. …

The American free enterprise system is one of the great achievements of the human mind and spirit. It has developed by a combination of the energetic efforts of working men and women, bold private initiative, the profit motive and wise public policy, until it is now the productive marvel of mankind. …

We will seek further tax reduction—and in the process we need to remove inequities in our present tax laws. In particular we should carefully review all our excise taxes and eliminate those that are obsolete. Consideration should be given to the development of fiscal policies which would provide revenue sources to hard-pressed state and local governments to assist them with their responsibilities.

Every penny of Federal spending must be accounted for in terms of the strictest economy, efficiency and integrity. We pledge to continue a frugal government, getting a dollar’s value for a dollar spent, and a government worthy of the citizen’s confidence.

Our goal is a balanced budget in a balanced economy.

Wow, that is extreme. What is Carl’s response?

Oh, wait. My apologies; the quotes above were all taken from the 1960 and 1964 Democratic Party Platforms. How did that happen? Whoops. Well, consider it a quick journey down memory lane.

• I actually started writing this post three days ago, not long after the news broke that the most right-wing, narrow-minded conservative in the history of the world had been chosen by Mitt Romney as vice-president candidate for the “Hate the Women!” party (yes, I’m struggling to control the sarcasm). A man so radical that in the early 1960s he would have been reasonably positioned and perceived as a moderate to conservative Democrat. A man so far to the Extreme Right that he is re-elected on a regular basis—by substantial margins—in a district that voted for Obama in 2008. Chew on that for a few seconds and then ask yourself, “Do the Dallas Cowboys have a shot at the Super Bowl this year? How much has changed in the U.S. in the past fifty years?”

Anyway, please read the rest.

 

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23 Responses to That Radical Ryan

  • Quote “the quotes above were all taken from the 1960 and 1964 Democratic Party Platforms. How did that happen?”

    As was noted in the Party Realignment post several weeks ago, political parties change over time. The Democrats between about 1939 and 1965 were strongly anti Marxist and had a basic pride in the American way whatever their policy failings. Of course they had had to kick out the far Left back at the end of the 1930s from both the Party and the Labor movement. By the late 60s though the Left started their reconquest of the Democrats, which was capped by the elections of 2006 and 2008. The differences between the first six years of FDR and the six years between 2006 and 2012 are not the mindset of the Left or the economic/political results – but the size of the Federal government and the attitudes of the citizenry. Given the current gerrymandered political environment however I think the Dems will stay far Left even if they are trounced this November.

  • Well Ryan’s bishop doesn’t think he’s evil if those on the left who distort Catholic social teaching for their own ends do:

    http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/2012/08/16/yes-virginia-paul-ryan-is-catholic/

  • Here’s a direct link to the bishop’s letter. Some holy water on the filth of those who corrupt the faith:

    http://www.madisoncatholicherald.org/bishopscolumns/3366-bishop-column.html

  • Ryan’s good friend Cardinal Dolan doesn’t think Ryan is a heartless Randian either:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/314272/dolan-ryan-great-public-servant-kathryn-jean-lopez

  • I missed the brohaha caused by Lisa G.’s post, but I must say, as someone who is familiar with Ryan’s district and has heard Ryan speak on a couple of occasions, I find the idea that he is some heartless Objectivist who wants the poor to starve and granny pushed off the cliff utterly ridiculous.

    Ryan’s district encompasses the southeastern corner of Wisconsin and includes part of the southmost Milwaukee suburbs down to the Illinois border. There are solid red spots on the Wisconsin electoral map – Waukesha (“Walker-sha”) County and Ozaukee are probably the reddest. Those counties are not in Ryan’s district. His district is rural and urban, Democrat and Republican, blue and white collar. Predominately Catholic and Lutheran. Lots of union folks, farmers and office workers who commute to Chicago everyday. It’s not an area where extremists at either ends of the spectrum florish.

    Ryan was elected 7 times. In 2010, he won 68% of the vote. 68%. He didn’t do it by being extreme and preaching the gospel of Ayn Rand to factory workers and farmers and white collar paper pushers, but by presenting his ideas in a reasonable and eloquent way. The portrait of Ryan I see being pushed by both the Dems and by people like Lisa Graas and Mark Shea is so off the mark it isn’t funny.

  • One last thing: I find Lisa G., Mark Shea and the other anti-Ryanites are the flip side of libertarians. I once called myself a libertarian (now I call myself a Burkean Catholic conservative) and every so often I pop over to Reason to see what the libertarians are going on about. And it’s always the same: they want small government, but also want drugs, abortion and prOn and gee those awful social conservatives are ruining the GOP for them! So they’ll sit out the next election or write in Ron Paul or whatever obscure libertarian guy they wish could be president.

    Whereas Lisa, Mark, et al want the Big Nanny government taking care of everyone, but deplore abortion, drugs and prOn – so they’ll sit out the next election or write in Ron Paul (??) or Daffy Duck (’cause I’m not aware of ANY candidate who is both a fan of Nanny State and a social conservative).

    Both sides want their perfect candidates. Both sides will never get them. What the libertarians fail to grasp is that the lowering of morals and the “anything goes” instant gratification mentality has led to the entitlement state. What Lisa and Mark fail to grasp is that when government takes the place of private charity and encourages dependency, it also has the power to usurp the Church’s role and declare itself the ONLY authority on matters of morals. Don’t like abortion? Tough. Don’t like gay marriage – why you hater!

    Both sides can continue to live in their little bubble world, while convincing themselves they are the only ones who have it right.

  • Excellent comments about Lisa Grass and Mark Shea – liberals at heart, the both of them.

    Peace, prosperity, social justice and the common good come AFTER repentance and conversion, AFTER righteousness and holiness, NEVER before. And government can never ever provide ANY of those things, and fools who pretend otherwise deify Caesar to godhead.

    This nation DESERVES a whoppin’ for its abominations (or should I say, “Obamanations”?): homosexual filth, infanticide of the unborn, rampant adultery and fornication, pornography, idolatry, theft of the tax payers’ money, etc. And Shea and Grass think that government redistribution of wealth can possibly help? All it does is impoverish those who are responsible enough to actually work for a living while rewarding the indolent with what they clearly did not work for.

    “For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: If any one will not work, let him not eat.” 2nd Thessalonians 3:10.

    Death to the false gospel of social justice, the common good and peace at any price! No more handouts! Viva Cristo Rey!

  • Donna,

    Excellent point. You’re actually hitting on something that I have been meaning to blog about for some time. The insufferable “a pox on both their houses” attitude is really an excuse to disengage from politics, with the excuse that no party or candidate meets your perfect expectations.

  • probably the worst offenders, although of a different ideological mindset, are the folks at “The American Anti-Israe–” excuse me, “The American Conservative” online magazine. One columnist over there who I will not name seems constitutionally incapable of viewing any Republican, even ones with more unorthodox positions (unless it’s their hero Ron Paul of course,) as being anything other than a soulless neocon. I find Rod Dreher interesting but he’s a bit insufferable himself at times, and is essentially a social conservative who would’ve found nothing wrong with the Democratic Party of the past before they went all culture-lefty — I’m not aware of any conservative thought regarding economics I’ve read from him, and every regulation, tax, and Obama claim about Romney’s tax rate (nevermind it’s been taxed as corporate income) is given the benefit of the doubt.

    tangents. apologies for piling on random ppl

  • I know you said Burkean meaning E. Burke– but I thought 🙂 R. Burke. whom we saw in Wisconsin on the big hill south of LaCrosse where he has estab. a shrine to Our Lady.
    I think Wisconsin is a pretty religious state

  • “One last thing: I find Lisa G., Mark Shea and the other anti-Ryanites are the flip side of libertarians.”

    Hard to know. But judgments of morals is with the bishop of a given diocese (and not the USCCB). Here is the judgment of Ryan’s bishop about Ryan’s Catholicism:

    “But, as I’ve said, Vice Presidential Candidate Ryan is aware of Catholic Social Teaching and is very careful to fashion and form his conclusions in accord with the principles mentioned above. Of that I have no doubt. (I mention this matter in obedience to Church Law regarding one’s right to a good reputation.)

    I obviously didn’t choose the date for the announcement of Paul Ryan’s Vice Presidential Candidacy and as I express my pride in him and in what he has accomplished, I thought it best to move to discussion of the above matters sooner rather than later. No doubt it will be necessary to comment again on these principles in the days ahead for the sake of further clarification, and be assured that I will be eager to do so.

    Above all, let us beg the Lord that divisions in our electorate will not be deepened so as to have a negative impact on pre-existing divisions within the Church during this electoral season. Let there be the peace and reconciliation that flow from charity on the part of all. Thank you for reading this. God Bless each one of you! Praised be Jesus Christ!”

    Note in this the bishop judges Ryan’s approach to be consistent with Catholic teaching. Also note the truth that one may not damage a person’s good name – a teaching of the Church. Hopefully bloggers will not seek their own private judgment over that of the legitimate authority of the bishop of a diocese or of the Church Universal. Let’s hope they can set aside their own particular choices and join with the Church in respecting those with whom they disagree. Otherwise it is they who sin.

  • “The insufferable ‘a pox on both their houses’ attitude is really an excuse to disengage from politics, with the excuse that no party or candidate meets your perfect expectations.”

    Santorum seems to meet Lisa’s perfect expectations.

    And as Mark always points out, his expectations are, not perfection, but not advocating grave evil.

    Do you think that “doesn’t advocate grave evil” implies “perfect”? Or maybe that, while Mark *says* he’d be happy with the former, he’s really holding out for the latter?

  • Oh, and I’ll add that, while the pox-on-both-houses attitude certainly can be an excuse for disengaging from politics, I wouldn’t call either Mark or Lisa disengaged.

  • I have to say two things with regard to these comments.

    1) Mark Shea isn’t a liberal. He occasionally believes that people who wear that label have something worthwhile to say. So do I.

    2) Mark Shea doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with Lisa Grass. Mark is capable of intellectually processing and responding to arguments that differ from his own. Lisa isn’t.

    I say this as someone who has clashed with both of them.

  • Oh, and I’ll add that, while the pox-on-both-houses attitude certainly can be an excuse for disengaging from politics, I wouldn’t call either Mark or Lisa disengaged.

    Fair point, Tom. I should have chosen my words more carefully. If I ever getting around on writing the post, it should hopefully explain my position.

  • The problem as I see it is that some people will take shots at good (as in conservatives good, liberals bad) persons throwing out for all to see some relatively minor, unimportant, and otherwise unknown “evils” (as in they ain’t CST enough or Obama ate dogs), and distort it, and exaggerate it, and repeat it over and over so as to detract from the good persons’ reputations.

    In today’s WSJ, a Duquesne U. econ prof and a DU theo prof wrote today that Vice President Ryan’s views on limited government likely are not mortal sins.

    Because in reality more government has resulted in fewer jobs and more misery.

  • Mark Shea might not be a liberal, but ever since the Iraq War/waterboarding he seems to regard anyone who isn’t insanely paranoid about every single anti-terror measure to be, well, evil. his tone is similar to what Andrew Sullivan’s became on the issue and that’s why i can’t read the guy.

  • though i wasn’t alive during that era the whole thing kinda makes me think of people who were radicalized by the Vietnam War and became fundamentally incapable of seeing the U.S. as able to do any good internationally after that.

  • JParker: Same same here.

    My AS anecdote: the filthy lunatic accused Pope John Paul II of “traditional Catholic anti-semitism” for His Holiness’ opposition to the 2003 Iraq conquest.

    There are sins that can never be forgiven.

  • Mark Shea doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with Lisa Grass. Mark is capable of intellectually processing and responding to arguments that differ from his own. Lisa isn’t

    You’ve transposed the two.

  • AD is right.

The Devil You Say?

Friday, August 17, AD 2012

Considering all the extravagant evil in the world, I have always found it remarkable that so many people do not believe in the existence of Satan and his fallen angels.  Pope Leo XIII I believe foresaw this, which is why he gave us the prayer to Saint Michael.  In 1942 CS Lewis in The Screwtape Letters wrote what may be an epitaph for the age in which we live:

When humans disbelieve in our existence we lose all the pleasing results of direct terrorism and we make no magicians. On the other hand, when they believe in us, we cannot make them materialists and  skepics. At least, not yet. I have great hopes that we shall learn in due time how to emotionalize and mythologize their science to such an extent that what is, in effect, a belief in us (though not under that name) will creep in while the human mind remains closed to belief in the Enemy. The “Life Force,” the worship of sex, and other aspects of psychoanalysis, may here prove useful. If once we can produce our perfect work — the materialist magician, the man, not using, but veritably worshiping, what he vaguely calls “Forces” while denying the existence of “spirits” — the end of the war will be in sight. But in the meantime we must obey orders.

Man without God is nothing but prey for Satan.  With God and Man united Satan is  impotent.  Alexander Solzhenitsyn when asked why Communism seized power in Russia, used to say the following:

More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

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9 Responses to The Devil You Say?

  • Forgotten God . . . and decided they were smarter than Aristotle, Newton, Plato, and the gods of the copy book headings.

    And, in forgetting God men discerned that all they have is the here-and-now and it is their duty to make it perfect: a fool’s mission.

    Unsolicited advice from the Spiritual Works of Mercy: forgive all injuries including imaginary injuries.

  • The prayer to Saint Michael in the Leonine prayers is a very ancient one. It may be as old as the Lombard victory in the battle of Sipontum in 663.

    Here is a version from a Carolingian MS from the diocese of Coustances, in Normandy, which I copied (St Michael being my patron) The spacing is in the original

    Sancte Michael Archangele,
    defende nos in proelio.
    contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.
    Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:
    tuque, Princeps militiae coelestis,
    Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos,
    qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo,
    divina virtute, in infernum detrude.
    Amen.

    I do not think it is Norman, as there he is venerated as the patron saint of seafarers.

  • Father Barron is always worthwhile.

  • This is a good commentary of evil and its weapons. May we not lose sight of The Most Holy Rosary and its powers. Our Lady is most powerful in protecting us. May we put on Her Brown Scapular and say Her Rosary as she had asked us so many times to do – especially at Fatima. St. Dominic said that one day through the rosary and the scapular – Our Lady would save the world. We all need to know this – there may be a time soon in history when a priest will not be available for the sacraments even though they are our chief means of God’s grace.

  • wonderful post.
    The evidence of Satan’s work: the war on the Church, the war on Women, the War on Marriage, and I may say the war on poor people which I see as cutting the tendons in the backs of their legs– dis-abled people unable to stand. And the mis-use of people who struggle with SSA ( who will be shortly abandoned by the oh so temporary coalition between radical islam and marxism after they no longer serve the purpose); the mis-use of people hurt by racism; and all those misled by the greed narcissism and disorder of these times.
    Satan is working, but thank the Lord God that Mary, Joseph, St.Anne, St. Michael, the martyrs of the 20th century are working too. O. talked about hope, but we, constantly asking God’s providence, are imbued with real Hope.

  • And don’t forget the “Memorae”. It rolls over and over in my mind and in my heart almost non stop.

  • The evidence of Satan’s work is in the work of the O administration.

    We also pray the Memorarae

    This following prayer is prayed after morning mass everyday here:

    O Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, at this most critical time, we entrust the United States of America to your loving care.
    Most Holy Mother, we beg you to reclaim this land for the glory of your Son. Overwhelmed with the burden of the sins of our nation, we cry to you from the depths of our hearts and seek refuge in your motherly protection.
    Look down with mercy upon us and touch the hearts of our people. Open our minds to the great worth of human life and to the responsibilities that accompany human freedom.
    Free us from the falsehoods that lead to the evil of abortion and threaten the sanctity of family life. Grant our country the wisdom to proclaim that God’s law is the foundation on which this nation was founded, and that He alone is the True Source of our cherished rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
    O Merciful Mother, give us the courage to reject the culture of death and the strength to build a new Culture of Life.

  • I, too, have started adding the Memorae to my daily prayers.

  • Fatigue from hearing what I hear and seeing what I see is so erosive to spiritual life. Tonight, I heard a little snip of sound that included the words ‘snake oil’ from our leader before I got to the off button on the remote. How pathetic of me to think what I think of his talk, and then only wishing to be able to pray for our strength and health.

    “In the natural realm, nature abhors a vacuum. I think this is also true in the spiritual realm. If we do not have God to fill up our spiritual emptiness, there is another entity ever eager to attempt to usurp the place of God in our souls.”

    Cultivate the garden, and there’s a place for the weeds, too. Can’t forget to keep after it.

Lincoln and Euclid

Thursday, August 16, AD 2012

Abraham Lincoln was not an especially well-read man, but what he read he retained, thought about and frequently used.  One author he was fond of was the Greek mathematician Euclid.  His law partner Billy Herndon relates how Lincoln studied Euclid’s Elements:

He studied and nearly mastered the Six-books of Euclid (geometry) since he was a member of Congress. He began a course of rigid mental discipline with the intent to improve his faculties, especially his powers of logic and language. Hence his fondness for Euclid, which he carried with him on the circuit till he could demonstrate with ease all the propositions in the six books; often studying far into the night, with a candle near his pillow, while his fellow-lawyers, half a dozen in a room, filled the air with interminable snoring.

Lincoln wrote about why he decided to study Euclid:

In the course of my law reading I constantly came upon the word “demonstrate”. I thought at first that I understood its meaning, but soon became satisfied that I did not. I said to myself, What do I do when I demonstrate more than when I reason or prove? How does demonstration differ from any other proof? I consulted Webster’s Dictionary. They told of ‘certain proof,’ ‘proof beyond the possibility of doubt’; but I could form no idea of what sort of proof that was. I thought a great many things were proved beyond the possibility of doubt, without recourse to any such extraordinary process of reasoning as I understood demonstration to be. I consulted all the dictionaries and books of reference I could find, but with no better results. You might as well have defined blue to a blind man.
 
At last I said,- Lincoln, you never can make a lawyer if you do not understand what demonstrate means; and I left my situation in Springfield, went home to my father’s house, and stayed there till I could give any proposition in the six books of Euclid at sight. I then found out what demonstrate means, and went back to my law studies.

In the fourth Lincoln Douglas debate Lincoln used Euclid to illustrate a point:

If you have ever studied geometry, you remember that by a course of reasoning, Euclid proves that all the angles in a triangle are equal to two right angles. Euclid has shown you how to work it out. Now, if you undertake to disprove that proposition, and to show that it is erroneous, would you prove it to be false by calling Euclid a liar?

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4 Responses to Lincoln and Euclid

  • Lincoln said: “One person cannot own another person.” This post is wonderful. Thank you Donald McClarey. I want to dance.

  • My favourite story about Euclid’s Elements was when Blaise Pascal was asked to advise on the curriculum at the convent school of Port Royal.

    “Why,” he asked, “should the children study Euclid? If they are taught the axioms, they can work it out for themselves.”

    Alas! Not all that is self-evident is obvious.

  • And to this I would add another question. To force the man who has earned a dollar to give it to the man who can work but does not, is this not slavery?

  • I find it interesting that Lincoln’s quote from the 4th Lincoln/Douglas debate, on liars and triangles is directly pertinent to the “Bush lied, Soldiers died” accusation.

One Term More!

Wednesday, August 15, AD 2012

This is one of the greatest spoofs of the left that I have ever seen.

Wait a second, that’s not a spoof. These people are deadly serious, as their website would indicate. Although the video is not nearly as unintentionally hilarious as the open letter attached to the video.

Amazingly, they aren’t even up to the standards of the previous time this was tried four years ago (h/t: Blackadder).

Anyway, my deepest apologies for inflicting those videos upon you. Here’s a classic rock song to cleanse the palate. 

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23 Responses to One Term More!

  • “Raise the flag of FREEDOM”. If only Barack Obama would say the word: FREEDOM, we the people might hold Barack to his promise of FREEDOM.

  • All three videos were rather cruel….

  • Two thoughts:

    “‘Getting Gay With Kids’ is here!”

    and:

    You’d have to have a heart of stone not to laugh at that.

  • Here’s a real palete cleanser.

  • The “Stand Your Ground -Trayvon” reference is bewildering. I assume the point is that the GOP is ultimately responsible for the actions of a wanna-be-cop who jumped out of his car looking for trouble and got more than he bargained for. I’m guessing that, by supporting a less restrictive reading of the Second Amendment, we created the conditions for Athe shooting and, therefore, are responsible for the outcome.

    That is as far into the video as I could stand so I can’t say if it gets better or worse.

  • I had to stop at “contraception’s now a sin.”

    Yeah, we just invented that one, just to stick it to women. We used to be fine with it until we decided, recently and arbitrarily, that we weren’t.

  • With supporters like these, who needs opponents?

  • When they’re not lying, they’re citing the wrong facts.

    Public schools! I love it when a plan comes together.

  • The “Stand Your Ground -Trayvon” reference is bewildering. I assume the point is that the GOP is ultimately responsible for the actions of a wanna-be-cop who jumped out of his car looking for trouble and got more than he bargained for.

    The man worked in an insurance office. He got out of his car to keep track of a local youth behaving peculiarly and to check an address. He was not demonstrably looking for trouble, just walking around his own neighborhood. Eyewitnesses and his injuries demonstrate he was attacked by said youth. You don’t know what you are talking about.

  • With respect, the facts suggest, as they often do, that there is plenty of blame to go around.

    From what I see, it looks like it was a good shoot – hence his defense shift from “hold your ground” to self defense. However, if he had followed the 911 dispatcher’s instructions, he would have stayed in the car and would never have been assaulted. My guess is that he asks himself dozens of times a day why he didn’t stay in the car.

    The drive to be a cop, for those who think of being cops, can be quite strong and can lead to dumb hero stunts. I think this was one of those that went awry.

    I understand your visceral reaction to my comments. I was responding to the misuse of a tragedy to score cheep political points and my flippedness about the tragedy was uncalled for. For that I am sorry.

  • I think this was one of those that went awry.

    You are not doing much informed thinking. He got out of his truck, went down a walkway, checked an address on the next block, walked around a bit, and was headed back to his truck. The recording of his entire conversation with the police dispatcher is available online. It is perfectly banal. Nothing heroic in either his acts or his conversation.

  • I went back and re-read the timelines and reviewed the articles. I do not agree and it is unfair to suggest that my views of the matter is unreasonable.

    There is insufficient information released to state anything with certainty.

    It is clear that the first 911 call includes specific instructions by the didpatcher to stay in the car and that he decided to strike out on his own and follow the boy. The girlfriend’s testimony suggests that Martin knew he was being followed immediately before the shooting.

    My analysis is as reasonable as yours.

    We’ll know more when we have all of the evidence. I’m willing to be proved wrong with evidence.

  • Well, the seas stopped rising, a trillion jobs were saved and the most transparent administration in history is in power, so why not four more years…?

    I think the parallels are enlightening considering that the June Rebellion that Les Mis was based upon was caused by by harvest failures, food shortages, and increases in the cost of living which created malcontent through all classes.

    Missed by these bright academic types in this “parody” is that the June rebellion was a rebellion against those in power, by the “Republicans…”

  • It is clear that the first 911 call includes specific instructions by the didpatcher to stay in the car and that he decided to strike out on his own and follow the boy

    No, that is not clear, and you have not listened to the recording properly. He was given no instruction to remain in his vehicle, and, in any case, the dispatcher had no authority to instruct him to do anything. He was advised while jogging along a particular pathway attempting to get Martin back in eyeshot that “we don’t need you to do that”, to which he replied “OK”. The call concluded with a discussion of how the police officer dispatched to the complex was to make contact with Zimmerman at the time he arrived. He never caught site of Martin again during the duration of the call.

    And you are forgetting the context. The geography of the complex was such that Martin had ample time to return home at an ordinary loping pace during the interval in which Zimmerman was conversing with the dispatcher. Martin had abruptly run out of sight a propos of nothing in particular and could have arrived at the back door of where he was staying in an interval measured in seconds. That he was wandering around the complex several minutes later suggests he had other objects in mind than returning home from the convenience store, but what these objects were has not been properly identified.

  • Well, I’m not sure how to respond.

    I have conceeded that your analysis may be proved right and have stated that I am willing to be persuaded by the evidence when it is released. What will satisfy you in this discussion?

    I maintain that my analysis is reasonable, given the facts available. Yours is too. The dispute between us, as I see it, is not about which analysis is right but about whether my analysis is unreasonable. I maintain that it is not, that there are enough facts to demonstrate my view of the affair is reasonable.

    You offer an analysis of the calls and seem to suggest that there is no other reasonable view. Were that true, the State would be violating the rules of ehics in prosecuting him. Now prosecutors ave one such foolish things on high profile cases in the past – the Duke rape case comes immediately to mind – but I see nothing here to suggest that the charges are groundless.

    If you are looking for an admission that you are right and that I am wrong, you will have to wit for the evidence to be released and then make our case. I promise that I will humbly admit my error if you call me on it then. Perhaps we can kick the can down the street until then?

  • Okay, this thread just took an even greater detour. Let’s try to keep things on track.

  • Were that true, the State would be violating the rules of ehics in prosecuting him.

    It has been remarked by Alan Dershowitz, Jerilyn Merritt, and others.

    Your analysis is not reasonable.

  • We shall see. Call me on it when we have evidence. In the meantime, God Bless.

  • “Okay, this thread just took an even greater detour.”

    Good thing that’s never happened before. 🙂

  • We shall see. Call me on it when we have evidence. In the meantime, God Bless.

    Just about all the salient evidence has been released to the public – recordings of the phone calls, witness statements, Zimmerman’s interrogation, Martin’s autopsy report, photographs and treatment records documenting Zimmerman’s injuries, the security camera footage at the convenience store Martin patronized, &c. Maps of the complex are also available online. There have been some redactions so the names of local residents who called the police and gave statements were not published.

  • And thus is the unity of we who oppose tyranny solidified and brought to bear.

    Or not.

  • I really hoped we could just let this rest until we knew more but, since you called me out:

    The most readable summary that I was able to find is here:

    http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/05/18/new-trayvon-martin-evidence-10-things-you-should-know/

    This is a sample of the kind of documented behavior that suggests to me that George Zimmerman behaved unreasonably in his conduct that night. (Note what I am not saying. I am NOT saying that he intended to shoot Trayvon Martin or that there was any other motive than self defense for his shooting Mr. Martin. I have said before that it seems like it was a good shoot.)

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-07-12/zimmerman-trayvon-martin-shooting/56166884/1

    It is merely my opinion that the most likely explanation for Mr. Zimmerman’s behavior that night was a latent desire to act like a cop. He certainly took his neighborhood watch duties quite seriously and, without any training or authority, followed Mr. Martin that night. It may be that Mr. Zimmerman is just a good guy out to help his community. If so, I’m sorry that it ended as it did. However, it is reasonable to question the propriety and the ethics of his actions that night. I offer this:

    http://thegrio.com/2012/03/21/zimmerman-not-a-member-of-recognized-neighborhood-watch-organization/

    as some evidence that neighborhood watches are not some willy-nilly, do as you please, kind of thing. George Zimmerman took this burden on himself and he got burned. Again, had he done as the 911 dispatcher advised – stayed in the car and waited for the police – he wouldn’t be facing a trial for killing Trayvon Martin and that messed-up youth would be alive.

    I don’t claim any expertise in these matters. I am not a prosecutor and have no coursework in crime scene investigation but the lead investigator, Chris Serino, spared no kind words for Mr. Zimmerman’s behavior.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/17/2804442/law-officers-set-to-release-evidence.html

    One last thing: I listened to the tapes and viewed the video. Nothing there does more than flesh out the matter. We see a youth buying stuff from a store, nothing more. We hear a neighborhood watchman being told that he ought to stop following a kid and refusing to do so. We then hear cries for help.

    There are no known witnesses of the moments leading up to the altercation. There is no evidence I can see that supports or refutes Mr. Zimmerman’s version of the story. His story is “reasonable.” I concede the point. However, I maintain that the prosecution’s case is substantial and am unable to share your confidence that this was an entirely one-sided affair in which George Zimmerman behaved like a good citizen should have and that Trayvon Martin was wholly responsible for what happened.

    Trayvon Martin may have caused George Zimmerman to shoot him but Zimmerman should have stayed in the car. This was an avoidable tragedy.

  • “HUSH!” YEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! (please visualize rock horns)

    There, Paul; is that back enough on track?

NOBama 2012: A Catholic Case for Romney

Wednesday, August 15, AD 2012

Fellow Catholics,

We are approaching the most important U.S. Presidential election for us – by “us” I mean theologically orthodox, politically conservative Catholics – possibly since 1960, when the election of the first Catholic president seemed so possible and actually occurred. I’m grateful to be a contributing member of The American Catholic during this election season, which is one of the most widely-read Catholic blogs in the country. This certainly won’t be the last thing I have to say about the presidential race, but rather the first.

When the GOP primary was getting underway, I was a firm Ron Paul supporter. I knew he would not and could not win, but I supported him anyway because I agree with him on most issues, particularly on the role of our government both domestically and abroad. To support Ron Paul was to support the drastic reduction of the federal government, to reject the arrogant assumptions of technocratic management of economic and social issues from the top-down, and to place a vote of confidence in individuals, families, and local governments to solve social and moral problems. I also believe that this is the fundamental political truth of our time: a state governed by militant secularists cannot possibly effect the common good as it is understood by Christians, people of other faiths, or even those secularists who recognize the value of the natural law tradition that has informed the politics of Western civilization since the time of Plato and Aristotle. And yet if we are destined to have secularists in power, we can at least work to limit their power by limiting government as much as possible.

The corollary of the political truth stated above is that one cannot simply discuss “the role of government” in the abstract, without considering who will actually run the state and what values and assumptions they take with them as they create and execute policies with coercive force. Who exactly will be deciding issues that affect your life and mine? Who will have coercive power over you and yours?

More important than what happens to me or my family, though, is how the Church will be affected by those who rule. Even in her most humiliated and rejected state, which the sex scandals have arguably wrought, the Church is still the light of civilization. If her light is extinguished, driven underground, or forced to hide in the shadows, then it is not simply we Catholics who will suffer (though there is certainly nothing wrong with suffering for the faith), but all of society. The Church can and has survived hideous persecution, but it is not clear that society can survive what it will inevitably become without the Church, as well as all of the other religious organizations that will be affected by federal policies, actively involved in public life. Finally, whether society recognizes its debt to the Church or not is irrelevant.

It may be that God has ordained this as a time of cleansing, a time during which the Church must be forced underground and reduced to a smaller size so that she can be tempered and purified. But we cannot know such things with any certainty. What we can know with at least a little more clarity, on the other hand, is what our duties are as Catholic citizens. It is my view that our first priority is to protect the right of the Church to publicly exist. Usually this doesn’t come up because usually the U.S. government does not enact policies that threaten this public existence. But the status quo has changed, and we now face the prospect of an open, vicious anti-Catholic regime in a lame duck Obama presidency. For this reason, I feel obliged as a Catholic to work for the defeat of Obama-Biden in 2012. In practical terms, this means supporting Romeny-Ryan for the Presidency.

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111 Responses to NOBama 2012: A Catholic Case for Romney

  • ….one cannot simply discuss “the role of government” in the abstract, without considering who will actually run the state and what values and assumptions they take with them as they create and execute policies with coercive force.

    Exactly, well said.

    This post says it all. However, I have to admit I threw up in my mouth a little when I read you were a Ron Paul Supporter….

    Every time I ran into a Ron Paul supporter downtown (usually they were standing at a crosswalk holding a sign trying to get everyone to sign some sort of petition) something always seemed a little “off”.

  • Well, there are “only Ron Paul is acceptable” Ron Paul supporters, and there are people like me, who agree with Paul’s ideals and support Paul as much as they do, but are willing to acknowledge the reality that he can’t win, that he won’t win, that he doesn’t even seem to want to win that badly, and so will eventually have to settle on someone else to support in a concrete, practical sense.

  • The crux of the matter is that “winning matters;” it isn’t everything but it matters.

    We are down by 2, it is a 46 yard attempt, and there are 15 seconds on the clock. Ryan had better be the guy.

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  • “We are down by 2, it is a 46 yard attempt, and there are 15 seconds on the clock. Ryan had better be the guy.”

    Ryan is just the holder, and I’m sure he’ll get the snap down and the laces out. But Romney has to be the one to kick it through and I am not sure I trust his leg.

  • If God, in his wisdom, decides to punish us with four more years of Obama, I will see the good in it.

    One good being he should not be able to run again (consecutively), should the US survive him.

    Anything can happen in two months and change, but I am a little encouraged hearing from a few past O supporters that they are going Romney this time around. Not that it matters much in the Lone Star State, but its something.

    As for Ron Paul’s failure to win not mattering, I don’t know. I doubt Texas would have Ted Cruz on the GOP ticket if not for Paul’s influence.

  • c matt says:
    If God, in his wisdom, decides to punish us with four more years of Obama, I will see the good in it.

    One good being he should not be able to run again (consecutively), should the US survive him.

    If Obama wins a second term people will not have to vote any more as Obama’s HOPE AND CHANGE will make Obama Emperor. Obama has instructed the Department of Justice to enforce his 923 new Executive Orders. The Department of Justice has been constituted to judge Executive Orders and not to enforce them at the whim of the Executive. The Affordable Healthcare Act is, in reality, an Executive Order, without informed consent for the people. Chief Justice Roberts found that it is OK to ignore the people who pay for it and make them pay for it, giving Obama access to every senior citizen’s social security. Make Obama say: FREEDOM to the people.

  • Amen! I do not think there is any doubt about the candidate faithful Catholics must support this year. We must support Romney, because Obama clearly is an enemy of the Church.

    If Obama is reelected, he will have gotten away with an unprecedented attack on the Church. Thus emboldened, he will begin new attacks on the Church. And large numbers of Democratic voters and donors, who despise traditional Christianity, will cheer him on, as will the anti-Catholic major media.

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  • Romney won me at his Ryan selection. Quoting Jimmy Akin here :the solution to the global poverty problem–to the extent we can achieve it–involves a mixture of providing work as the foremost solution, providing handouts as the backup solution – Romney/Ryan’splan does that exactly!!! Then there is that little bit of the pro-life factor. The R7R ticket is significanlty more pro-life than the O&B ticket, for sure. R&R for the win!!!

  • I am glad that people are familiar with natural law and the scope of such arguments for Catholics on politics. However, it is important to remember that the Church has long argued that there are several principles for assessing candidates. This writer has provided one: freedom of conscience. Another is supplementarity for the purpose of the Common Good. According to this principle the State helps local organizations to provide for the poor.

    Your main argument against Obama is the violation of individual conscience on the HHS mandate. Putting aside the arguments on contraception, the mandate would allow for individuals who are or are not Catholic working at a Catholic institution to make their own decisions on contraception. They would then go to their insurance companies to get “free” access to contraception. This means that Catholic institutions will not be providing contraception. And, you the individual are not paying for contraception for anyone else. Because the government does not provide contraception for people. It is provided through insurance plans. In fact, the attempt to stop this is the one violating conscience since it is telling individuals what to think about contraception. And, there is an added bonus to doing this. It will help with curbing the number of abortions. We are not utilitarians in the Church. But under Natural Law we do have to be informed by the consequences of our actions. And, limiting abortions through a policy that does not violate life is a good.

    However, there is an added reason to vote for Obama. Currently the Paul Ryan budget would change the health care insurance for the elderly to a capped system that does not keep up with the health care inflation rate. This would put the elderly in more jeopardy. And, it would put harder burdens on middle class families who would have to spend more on health care as their wages are decreasing. This violates the Natural Law principle of supplementarity. So, under Natural Law, there are actually much clearer reasons to vote for Obama.

  • “This means that Catholic institutions will not be providing contraception.”

    Except that most Catholic institutions are self-funded and so they are paying for it.

    “Currently the Paul Ryan budget would change the health care insurance for the elderly to a capped system that does not keep up with the health care inflation rate.”

    Though in order to pay for ACA the Obama administration has cut 700 billion from Medicare effective now. That impacts seniors much more than any Ryan plan. Especially since the Ryan plan exempts from cuts anyone 55 or over today and the caps won’t take place for ten years.

  • James Zucker: “[individuals] not Catholic working at a Catholic institution to make their own decisions on contraception.”

    When all is said and done: Put it on the ballot so that all citizens might have a choice and get to choose what their taxes are going to buy. If you are going to impose Obama’s freedom on me, I do not want it. The Affordable Healthcare Act is an Executive Order which gives Obama access to all social security. The premiums are to rise to $240 for Medicare by 2014, leaving most citizens with only one half of their grant. The free contraception is only the bait.

  • Z: Why are wages declining under the Obama-essiah?

    Why is median family income nose-diving?

    Why are there 23,000,000 people either unemployed or under-employed? […]

    The regime is at war with the Church.

    The casus belli isn’t artificial contraception or gay marriage. They merely are the latest ambushes.

    The Church must be defeated because its teachings on faith, moral and Objective Truth compete for the minds of the serfs against Obama and the collectivists.

    That is the reason, as Mr. Bonchamps stated in a comment elsewhere, the regime is out “to criminalize religious institutions.”

  • Philip and Mary:

    Good points that need a response.

    So, lets start with Philip’s points. It is true that some Catholic institutions, not all, are self funded and so would have to provide these plans. However, two points on this. First, the Obama administration did show some signs so compromise with these institutions so that they would not have to comply. Second, these institutions would be purchasing these plans with such options. This means that the individuals would chose to use these plans. The Catholic institutions would not be purchasing the contraception. They would be purchasing plans that allow for non Catholics and Catholics who use contraception to make that choice. Third, this already exists in 28 states and 8 of these states have no exceptions. Catholic institutions have already found ways to do this.

    Second, as to the points on the executive order. I don’t know where you are getting this from. It is true that Obama is allowed to have the HHS to do certain mandates. However, the ACA is not an executive order. Most of its elements were part of the overall law that was passed by Congress.

    Third, Mary argued that these elements should be placed up to a general vote. Why? Are all rights and actions done by the country put up to a vote. And, since there is no referendum at the national level, this would be impossible.

    Fourth, Philip argued that the Ryan bill is similar to Obama in that Obama cut 700 billion from Medicare. This is just not true. Actually, Conservatives have manipulated what actually happened under the ACA. The actual thing that ACA does is reduce the growth rates of Medicare. The overall growth continues throughout the next 10 years. However, the Ryan plan intentionally caps the amount of money sent to the elderly. So, it cannot keep up with the inflation rate for health care.

    So, what are the reasons why you ought to vote for Obama as a Catholic. First, his plans, as supported by the American bishops, help the poor and fulfill the preferential option for the poor under Catholic Social teaching. His plans do reform Medicare without endangering the elderly. He provides access to contraception for those who individually choose to want it by bypassing the employer and purchasing plans from their insurance. And, this has a track record of reducing the number of abortions in the country. And, Obama is following the need of the state to supplement the works of local organizations. Paul Ryan, a Conservative Catholic, advocates the moral philosophy of Ayn Rand who promotes that individuals should follow their own ego in order to satisfy their individual self interest first. This is not an attack on Ryan as an individual. I am sure that he is a good Catholic. But his overriding social philosophy is not in line with Catholic social teachings.

  • Mr. Zucker, The President is violating the Constitution of the United States in aggressive and singular ways. His violation of the 1st Amendment through the HHS Mandate is the one closes to the hearts of Catholics and as well it should be. His amnesty program for unlawfully present aliens is another. His divisive and dismissive tone is significant to many of us who “cling to our guns and religion.” His support for same sex marriage shouldn’t be ignored. But most of all… most of all… His unmitigated support for abortion.

    Perhaps you need some of the more Christian Left objections though:

    Guantanamo Bay – Closed? Nope. Specific promise broken, that.
    Afghanistan Pull Back – Accomplished? Even Started? Nope. Specific promise broken, that.
    Immigration Overhaul – Accomplished? Started? Nope. Specific promise broken, that.

    Maybe you are a pragmatist though:

    Job Growth – Not even close… Well, in India, but not here.
    Deficit Reduction – Quite the opposite.
    Foreign Relations Improved – Quite the opposite, things are no better with the Russians, the Chinese, the Venezuelans, or the Iranians. Europe is in the midst of a downhill slide and believe that the US is not relevant to their prosperity. Eastern Europe figures they are on their own, Georgia knows they are, Turkey has moved from ally to marginal opponent, and Mexico continues to favor unlawful immigration into the US while fighting a stalemate conflict with narco terrorists.

    Where, pray tell, has this administration succeeded?

    If you are going to explain why we are wrong to oppose President Obama, you had better come armed with more than sophistry.

  • “First, the Obama administration did show some signs so compromise with these institutions so that they would not have to comply.”

    “So, what are the reasons why you ought to vote for Obama as a Catholic. First, his plans, as supported by the American bishops…”

    Though the Bishops have rejected the compromise you refer to. Thus according to other statement you should agree with the Bishops and reject Obama and his false compromise.

    “The actual thing that ACA does is reduce the growth rates of Medicare. The overall growth continues throughout the next 10 years. However, the Ryan plan intentionally caps the amount of money sent to the elderly. So, it cannot keep up with the inflation rate for health care.”

    Not true. Read the link I provided.

  • Obamacare raises insurance costs across the board hurting those most in need, does nothing to address the reason for escalating medical price increases and spends not one page to enact tort reform in 2700 pages of the largest piece of federal legislation in history. It has already forced Catholic schools to drop health insurance for students because of its lack of a conscience clause.

    Now you are either ignorant of these things or are a willing accomplice with evil. Which is it?

  • “Third, this already exists in 28 states and 8 of these states have no exceptions. Catholic institutions have already found ways to do this.”

    Note in this article that the way to get out is closed by Federal rules:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/different-states-contraceptive-rules-leave-employers-room-to-maneuver/2012/02/15/gIQAN3tsNR_story.html

  • Okay, so lots of issues to respond to from both posts.

    Lets start with G Veg:

    The first major point you have made is that the President is violating the Constitution. You provided two major examples. The HHS mandate assumes that the President’s compromise violates either individual freedom to worship or establishes his own religion as national. Neither is the case. In fact, under the compromise, individuals who are either Catholic or not get to make their own choice on contraception and go directly to their insurance company. As for establishing his own national faith, there is of course no basis for this. So, there is no violation of the First Amendment.

    Your second example is on immigration. Actually, the president is fully within his executive office to instruct the justice department to not go after these immigrants. And, he has provided a path for children who did not choose to come here but have shown a desire to become good citizens to remain here. What is the alternative. Would you want to deport 20-30 year olds who did not come here under their own will but now are showing an effort to become responsible citizens? If you say no, then you are suggesting they should simply live in the shadows.

    As for most of the other promises that you claim Obama broke, there are issues there with Republicans who have used the filibuster in the Senate more than all Congresses since the 1960s combined. I am happy to go further but this would take some time to explain. Just tell me if you want to get into that debate.

    But the Ryan issue is central. And, this gets to Phillip. Phillip, you are correct that the link points out that cutting the growth rate will have an impact on future spending for providers. The spending that was cut was from Medicare Advantage. This was passed under Bush. Most medical experts argued that the benefits under this program were largely luxury and could be cut without affecting seniors’ health. This is where the cuts in growth were targeted.

    However, under the Ryan plan, real cuts would take place. This is due to the desire to change the structure of the plan into a voucher based system in which seniors would get a fixed amount of money. This amount does not keep up with health care inflation. So, the damage is much greater.

    The point is that Ryan’s plan does not fulfill the principle of subsidiary. This is why the Catholic Bishops in America came out against the plan.

  • In addition to the inaccuracies in his account of the HHS Mandate and Medicare cuts, Mr. Zucker repeats a line often repeated by many proponents of the HHS mandate, specifically, that it “provides access to contraception.” All one has to do is walk through one’s local CVS and it becomes readily apparent that access to contraception is something no mobile person in the United States lacks. It is a mystery as to why there is any urgency to providing free contraception to people when these products cost just a little bit more per month than a Netflix subscription. Furthermore,

    And, this has a track record of reducing the number of abortions in the country.

    Is an assertion made without evidence (a growing trend). Also, the Church’s opposition to contraception is as absolute as its opposition to abortion, so it peculiar that someone writing under the Catholic banner would be using this as a point in Obama’s favor.

    Paul Ryan, a Conservative Catholic, advocates the moral philosophy of Ayn Rand

    I would suggest reading a few of the other posts and comments written here recently and learn why this statement is nonsense. Then again, if you are one who likes assertions made without evidence, that is perhaps the wrong advice.

    But his overriding social philosophy is not in line with Catholic social teachings.

    His Bishop begs to differ.

  • Sorry to post so soon again. But there were a couple more responses as I was making my arguments.

    First on the self insurance issue. The Obama administration did express a willingness to discuss this issue with Catholics and others who also looked for this exception. The problem has been an unwillingness on Catholic leaders to work through these problems with the administration. However, either way, the individual would have the option to make this choice on purchasing the option.

    Second, on the issue of the ACA itself. The argument has been made that there are no provisions for controlling costs. This is simply not true. The ACA creates regional cross state exchange markets to increase competition. It also forces all people to purchase some form of insurance. This gets rid of the free rider problem, a solution that conservatives like Newt Gingrich advocated until 2008. And, it also spreads out the costs by including more healthy and young people in the risk pool nationally. This means that there is more money in the pool and less sick people. But the sick gain more coverage.

    Plus remember the plan covers all people including especially adults and children with pre-existing conditions. This fulfills the Catholic principles of both subsidiarity and the Common Good.

  • “Phillip, you are correct that the link points out that cutting the growth rate will have an impact on future spending for providers. The spending that was cut was from Medicare Advantage.”

    Actually per the article, both Obama and Ryan limit growth in Medicare. Ryan through market mechanisms and Obama through planning commissions. But I suspect we will provide our competing studies to show this.

    “The point is that Ryan’s plan does not fulfill the principle of subsidiary. This is why the Catholic Bishops in America came out against the plan.”

    I suspect you mean in the interest of solidarity one working group of the USCCB came out against the Ryan plan.

  • The HHS mandate assumes that the President’s compromise violates either individual freedom to worship or establishes his own religion as national. Neither is the case. I

    The HHS mandate forces Catholic institutions to provide coverage for contraception, thereby violating their freedom to practice religion as they choose. So yes, it is a violation of the first amendment.

    ctually, the president is fully within his executive office to instruct the justice department to not go after these immigrants. And, he has provided a path for children who did not choose to come here but have shown a desire to become good citizens to remain here.

    There’s this pesky little document called the U.S. Constitution. It provides for, among other things, checks and balances and separation of powers. Presidents cannot simply make laws on their own authority without consent of Congress. Whether you agree with the executive order is moot.

    As for most of the other promises that you claim Obama broke, there are issues there with Republicans who have used the filibuster in the Senate more than all Congresses since the 1960s combined.

    From April 2009-January 2010 there were 60 Democrats (including Joe Liberman) in the U.S. Senate, a filibuster-proof total. During that same time Democrats had a solid majority in the House. Among the Republicans in the U.S. Senate during the first two years of Obama’s presidency were John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, and later Scott Brown. To cry about Republican obstructionism is simply risible.

  • he Obama administration did express a willingness to discuss this issue with Catholics and others who also looked for this exception. The problem has been an unwillingness on Catholic leaders to work through these problems with the administration.

    Yes, it’s truly a pity that Catholic leaders aren’t interested in negotiating away some of their basic freedoms.

  • More about the USCCB not being formally against the Ryan plan:

    http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=14639

  • August 14, 2012, Washington Post: “Romney’s right: Obamacare cuts Medicare by $716 billion.”

    Second, overall law . . . including the death panels . . .

    Third, you should say “the regime” not “the country.” Not only is there no national referendum in the Constit., there is no rule by executive whim, either.

    And fourth, over the next ten years the medicare beneficiaries’ payments will rise because the numbers of citizens over 65 y.o. will rise. That is not inflation. Obama cut those dollars.

    And, if ACA isn’t repealed, medicine will go the same way as colleges and the housing market. Government interference in higher education funding results in college tuition inflation rates two- to four-times higher than the overall inflation rate. Similarly, FHA, FRB, FNMA, FHLMC, HUD, etc. provideed massive infusions of dollars which caused the housing bubble and worsened the devestating great recession.

    Anyhow, I have been paying Medicare contributions for 40+ years. Obama is taking it away. Also, for nearly 50 years, I paid for medicaid with my taxes. I will never see a penny of it; but every arsonist, dope pusher, fornicator, hater, murderer, prostitute, rapist, thief, illegal invader will get health care and will suck dry the health care system.

    There is no justice. Jon Corzine will not be charged. Yet, Bernie Madoff is in jail for four lifetimes? Apparently, Bernie wasn’t a large cash bundler.

  • As to the HHS Mandate, even IF the follow-up compromises reached a point that WAS constitutional, doesn’t it bother you that he began with a policy that was unconstitutional? Surely the recognition that he was comfortable violating the 1st Amendment matters.

    As to Deferred Action, the President does, indeed, have the authority to bar the Executive Branch from removing classes of aliens. However, the President does not have the authority to grant affirmative benefits outside of law. He has granted employment authorization and permission to reenter the US and those areas are governed by statute. These acts are unconstitutional.

    Please get into the other areas… I would LOVE to hear how Senate filibusters and GOP refusal to cooperate is responsible for the President’s failures.

    As best I can tell, the decision to close Guantanamo was entirely within the President’s authority. So too, the decision to continue to war in Afghanistan. But maybe you mean that he “couldn’t” in the sense that it wasn’t politically expedient to keep his promises. That would be a rich definition of moral governance.

    The foreign policy mistakes are legion and I’m guessing you won’t be trying to blame that on the GOP. That leaves us with legislative failures as the point at which GOP meanness is to blame, not the President’s inability to “reach across the aisle” as he said so often before he was elected. The thing is though that the President had control – overwhelming control – of both houses of Congress. That he elected to expend all of his political capital on healthcare reform rather than keeping his promises to immigrants isn’t the GOP’s fault, it is a cold, calculated act of a Chicago politician.

    Again, you had better come to this fight armed with better than vague generalities and soft logic. I’m one of the least qualified people to wage this fight. God help you if you bring some of The American Catholic’s heavy hitters up to bat.

  • Paul:

    Okay, good arguments. Lets go through them.

    It is true that CVS and others provide basic contraception at a cheap price for women. However, many of these forms of birth control do not work for a percentage of the population. This means that many women are not able to use this form of contraception.

    Second, you argued that I have provided no evidence about the link of contraception and fewer abortions. Fair enough. The Guttmacher Institute has done a study showing that out of all the births in America, about 3 million are unwanted. And, out of these 1.5 end in abortions. What happend to the other 1.5 million. The people who did not opt for abortion tended to show a higher rate of using contraception.

    You also argued that the Church would not consider this because of its strict policy against contraception. i would agree that we ought not be utilitarian in this discussion. And, this does get us into a contraception, natural law, and proprotionality debate. i will say that contraception is not dogma. It is doctrine. And, it does have the potential for change. In fact, the advisers to the Pope in the 1960s did call for a change in this doctrine. Either way, the point is that there is an advantage to natural law to provide for people to choose to access contraception and lower the abortion rate.

    Lastly, as to Ryan’s acceptance of Rand’s philosophy, he gave an interview in which he claimed she was the most important contemporary philosopher on politics. And, he requires his staffers to read her regularly.

    The point is that her philosophy stresses moral egoism. And, this shows in his revision of Medicare. He focuses on market mechanisms that would cap the ability of seniors to afford care and service.

  • However, many of these forms of birth control do not work for a percentage of the population. This means that many women are not able to use this form of contraception.

    So that means we ought to violate the U.S. Constitution in order to serve this tiny percentage of the population? Also, what unusual medical conditions preclude condom usage?

    The Guttmacher Institute has done a study

    Okay I stopped reading the paragraph there.

    i would agree that we ought not be utilitarian in this discussion.

    I just finished reading (for the fourth time) C.S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength. The plot revolves around the sinister agency, the National Institute for Co-Ordinated Experiments, the N.I.C.E. The Deputy Director of the N.I.C.E. is a man named Wither. Wither speaks in an incredibly vague and passive manner, often as a means of avoiding having to directly address objections to his plans.

    That sentence right there just made me flash back to Wither.

    Lastly, as to Ryan’s acceptance of Rand’s philosophy, he gave an interview in which he claimed she was the most important contemporary philosopher on politics. And, he requires his staffers to read her regularly.

    Again, that is at best an exaggeration. Ryan has praised Rand, but he has absolutely denied that she is that important. Seriously, read the other links on this site.

  • Sure, I am happy to debate anyone on the merits of these cases. I hope that you don’t consider all my arguments as vague generalities. So, lets look at the issues.

    First, the major complaint here has been that Obama violated the constitution through these mandates and executive orders. But you have not provided evidence that this is the case. Obama has ordered through the HHS that individuals can go to their insurance companies to purchase contraception out of their own free choice. There was a problem in implementation so he was willing to work with Catholic institutions to provide compromises in implementation. In both cases, he has not violated the first amendment. He has actually fulfilled its mandate by allowing the individual to make their own choice.

    Also, you have argued that the executive order on the immigrant issue is a violation of the constitution because they allow for affirmative steps. Obama has ordered the Justice Department not to go after certain illegal aliens for 2 years. And, he established clear criteria for this. The reason for doing so has to do with the filibuster issue. The Republicans clearly supported the Dream Act up until 2008. Once Obama did so, they filibustered the issue in the Congress. And, they would not support any reforms to immigration. So, after 3 years, Obama has passed an executive order using the same Republican ideas that forestalls deporting 30 year olds who came here through no choice of their own. And, they have to show that they are in school or have served. This is not granting amnesty. So, this order is fully within his purview.

    Second, the argument that Obama was not stifled by the filibuster is simply inaccurate. Yes, it is true that Obama had a 60 Democrat majority. However, some like Lieberman and Nelson did not agree with him on most issues. So, the Republicans were able to use this. Even Mitch McConnell admitted that his first priority was to stop Obama from winning a second term. This led to their uniting and voting as a block each time to stop discussion on issues. When Ted Kennedy left the Senate due to illness, this allowed the filibuster to have more power. And, then Scott Brown became Senator. Throughout this time, the Republicans have used the filibuster more than all of the Congresses since the 1960s combined. This has made making legislation incredibly difficult.

    The foreign policy mistakes need to be better laid out. You cannot simply make a claim that he has made failures and then stop there. He has been able to establish policy that led to the capture and kill of Osama bin Laden. He has led a NATO effort that ousted Qaddafi. And, in the effort, we lost not one person and spent only 1 billion unlike previous ventures under George Bush that lost 1 -3 trillion and 10,000 troops. He has found a way to get us out of Iraq. He has worked with the Russians and Chinese to put more pressure on Syria. His policies are hardly the failure that you point out.

    Finally, you are welcome to argue against my positions. But, I don’t see how they are simply vague and lacking in evidence given the evidence that I have provided.

  • Paul:

    First, you ask for evidence. Then, when I provide it, you dismiss it without argument. I am sure there is some bias that you would want to point out from the Guttmacher Institute. But this does not prove their logic as wrong.

    Second, you accuse of vague generalities. Then, you quote CS Lewis and his metaphorical arguments about the state as if you have made a direct connection with Obama’s administration. Again, you are assuming what you have not proven. You claim Obama violated the first amendment. Lets agree to a rule here. We have to show what has been violated under the Constitution. You argue it is the first amendment. Obama’s HHS mandate allows individuals to purchase plans for contraception. This does not violate an individual’s beliefs. It allows for them to make free choices.

    Paul Ryan has outrightly praised Ayn Rand and has his staffers read her. That is fine. In fact, I am not against considering Rand’s philosophy. But it is important to note that she does not believe in the Common Good. And, this is a primary principle of Catholic Social Teaching.

  • I’m taking the kids to the park – far more important than this argument I assure you. I’ll take a swing by your soap box later. If you are still up on it, I’ll give you as fair an ear as I can.

  • I raised the issue of addressing medical costs which you conflated with insurance costs. Insurance premiums are not a driver of medical costs.

    Mr.Zucker the problem is you are not a serious man. These are serious issues which impact millions of people’s lives. Politics ought not be the sandbox for frivolous ideas to be tested on people like guinea pigs for social experiments.

    The only thing more morally disgusting than your utter disregard for serious economic and political discourse is your blithe disregard for real world consequences your imprudence would have on your fellow man.

  • Paul:

    First, let me address your serious and fair argument. You are right that I was not addressing the issue of medical costs. I was addressing premium costs. At this point, this is the primary issue that everyone is addressing including both Democrats and Republicans. Medical costs are going up due to increasing life spans, new technologies and a growth in the rate of seniors. This is a non unique problem for either the Ryan or the Obama plans. However, both due to try to manage those costs through differing competing visions of how to spread out the overall costs. I would be happy to argue the merits of Obama’s vision. However, let it be said that nothing in his plan leads to immoral actions or to the high costs that you are claiming.

    Second, I am sorry to hear that you think of me in such a poor manner. Throughout these posts, I have never been uncivil or used ad hominems to attack you or the other people whom I am answering. I have had to respond to several different people since I am the only “liberal” here on the site. I made this choice. So, I am not whining. However, my arguments have been backed up and supported by reasons and evidence. You are welcome to disagree with my points. But, I would challenge you to point out where I was uncivil, lacked support, did not explain myself through multiple reasons, or provided crazed conspiracy type arguments. Please point these out specifically. Otherwise, I have to assume you are attacking me instead of the arguments because you are lacking reasons to defend your positions.

    I do enjoy debating. So, I hope we continue this in a serious and fair manner.

  • Philip, If you mainstream abortion, thus making drastic cuts to healthcare for infants through early childhood, and you then make elder-care over age 70 at the behest of your own appointed 15 person panel, you have made dramatic savings in health insurance on the backs of those who presently require the costliest care. If you see that as an ideal to strive for then, yes, Obama is your man.

  • Eileen,

    I don’t think I was making that argument.

  • James,

    You write:

    “it is important to remember that the Church has long argued that there are several principles for assessing candidates.”

    No one has forgotten it.

    “This writer has provided one: freedom of conscience.”

    That is one aspect of what I wrote about. But I am also clear that I am speaking about the rights of the Church as an institution. I suppose you could call it collective freedom of conscience, or institutional freedom of conscience, but we ought to be clear that it is not a question of this or that individual, but rather an entire organization comprised of millions of members. The Church itself has rights, at all times and in all places.

    “Another is supplementarity for the purpose of the Common Good. According to this principle the State helps local organizations to provide for the poor.”

    To provide what, exactly, is the question. Sometimes the best solution is for the state to do nothing, especially when it can be empirically demonstrated that its involvement has hurt the people it alleges to want to help.

    “Your main argument against Obama is the violation of individual conscience on the HHS mandate.”

    A violation of the Church’s right to exist. You want to put me in a box of “individual conscience.” I do consider that important but I also consider the Church’s rights to be more important than those of any one individual. I want to be clear on that.

    “Putting aside the arguments on contraception, the mandate would allow for individuals who are or are not Catholic working at a Catholic institution to make their own decisions on contraception.”

    They already can and do. Any claim that they currently do not or have not would be a bald-faced lie.

    “They would then go to their insurance companies to get “free” access to contraception. This means that Catholic institutions will not be providing contraception.”

    Being forced to pay for something is the equivalent of being forced to provide it. This is a distinction without a meaningful difference. There would be no need for a “mandate” if the government wasn’t trying to force religious institutions to do that which they would not do without the mandate.

    “And, you the individual are not paying for contraception for anyone else. Because the government does not provide contraception for people. It is provided through insurance plans.”

    All employers with over 50 employees will be forced to buy health insurance plans by 2014 or face penalties that could put them out of business entirely. Plans that do not cover abortion/contraception/sterilization will not be legally available. So all of the individuals who own such businesses, many of which may be companies with thousands or millions of shareholders, will be participating in this wickedness unless they break the law.

    “In fact, the attempt to stop this is the one violating conscience since it is telling individuals what to think about contraception.”

    Well, this is a demented statement, completely at odds with reality. There is no HHS mandate now, and individuals are free to think whatever they want about contraception and to purchase it with their own money. If you define this situation as somehow unjust, then you are simply out of your mind. We cannot have a rational discussion.

    I’m not even saying that you can’t have a rational argument for state-mandated contraception coverage. I can see the argument that the Church is an outdated, obscurantist institution whose rights ought to be curtailed and suppressed for the glory of progressive ideals. That is at least a consistent argument, a logical and clear argument. But this insanity, where you try to present the status quo as one in which the Church is actually preventing people from accessing contraception when this is manifestly not the case, earns you nothing but my derision, contempt, and unrelenting resistance. You cannot lie your way into victory, not here, not with me. So just give it up.

    “And, there is an added bonus to doing this. It will help with curbing the number of abortions.”

    Irrelevant. The ends do not justify the means. This is Catholicism 101. If you fail this test, you have no credibility to speak about Catholic teaching on any other subject.

    “We are not utilitarians in the Church. But under Natural Law we do have to be informed by the consequences of our actions. And, limiting abortions through a policy that does not violate life is a good.”

    I can’t believe you missed the part about never doing evil, even if good will come of it, in your catechesis.

    “However, there is an added reason to vote for Obama. Currently the Paul Ryan budget would change the health care insurance for the elderly to a capped system that does not keep up with the health care inflation rate. This would put the elderly in more jeopardy. And, it would put harder burdens on middle class families who would have to spend more on health care as their wages are decreasing. This violates the Natural Law principle of supplementarity. So, under Natural Law, there are actually much clearer reasons to vote for Obama.”

    Well, it isn’t clear to me that you have an accurate or honest view of reality, so I’m going to reserve judgment on the Ryan health plan until I read the details for myself.

  • Correction: there IS an HHS mandate now, and it is being challenged in court. So we’ll see how it turns out. The point stands, though. The situation without the mandate is NOT one in which people are not free to think and act on their preference for contraception, and any suggestion that it is, is a lie unworthy of serious consideration.

  • i will say that contraception is not dogma. It is doctrine. And, it does have the potential for change.

    Sorry, cannot let that stand. Completely and totally wrong, and you should retract that statement for the good of your soul. I sincerely mean that. Contraception is intrinsically evil, period.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)

    CCC 2399 Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).

    CCC 2370 “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically evil.

    Humanae Vitae

    Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Paul VI condemned artificial contraception

    John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio

    Only natural family planning provides the only moral basis for a planned family depending on the married couple’s individual circumstances and with guidance from a spiritual adviser. NFP enables husband and wife to always be open to the gift of life.

    No wiggle room on this.

  • Okay, so there are two entirely separate arguments being made here. One is about the rights of religious organizations, in this case the Catholic Church. And, second, there is the theological debate on the status of contraception. I will take Bonchamps argument here. And, I will post again on the theology of contraception in just a minute.

    I do want to make one rule that hopefully we, and I do include myself, can follow. Can we all agree that we have differing versions of what we believe to be true? This is not to make a relativist argument. I firmly believe that we ought to show why our view is correct or incorrect and be evaluated based upon the support we provide. But, can we at least agree that we should not rule out valid forms of arguments on either side simply because we obviously disagree. And, I would ask that there be a level of civility on both sides even though we disagree. Based upon this, I promise to remain within the boundaries of the arguments provided.

    It seems to me that Bonchamps has clarified his argument by arguing the following points:

    1. Obama is attacking the right of the Catholic church and the integrity of its positions to exist violating the constitution and the institution’s liberty of conscience.
    2. Without the mandate, people still have the right to make whatever choice they want and the church is not stopping them so there is no violation of individual conscience.
    3. We cannot evaluate these issues using other types of philosophies like utilitarianism since Catholic natural law thinking is separate from such frameworks.

    Now let me be clear. I put these in this order because they depend upon one another. If the Church’s integrity and freedoms are being violated, then #3 really does not matter. The Church’s protection as an institution and its integrity of beliefs in paramount. This is true both Constitutionally and as a matter of our faith. Also, #2 is important since the Church cannot violate an individual’s conscience in their choices. However, the Church does not have to participate materially in the evil of a choice by any individual.

    Okay, having set that up, lets look at the issues. In order for Obama to have violated the Church’s integrity, he would either have to be #1 forcing them to purchase contraception directly. Or #2 forcing them to give contraception to all of its employees including Catholics. Or #3 forcing to purchase plans with contraception against their will. Obama is not doing #1. He has allowing for Catholics and non-Catholics to bypass the employer and go straight to the employer to purchase plans that include or do not include the option of contraception. He is not doing #2 because he has made an exemption that only institutions with a majority of workers who are not the faith of the institution must have these options in the plans. The only one that he comes close to violating is #3 due to self insurance by certain Catholic institutions. But he has already expressed a willingness to work with Catholic institutions on this issue to make sure that they will not have to violate their conscience on this issue. So, there is no violation of the Constitutionality of the protection of freedom of religion. And, the Catholic Church as an institution is not being attacked. Rather, Obama is attempting to establish a policy that will help to serve people in general who wish on an individual level, both Catholic and non-Catholic, to use contraception.

    This gets us to the second issue that you raised. It is true that the Church is not attempting to stop individuals from accessing contraception. And, legally, even if the Church wins on the mandate issue, they do not have the power nor the will to stop individuals from accessing contraception at 7 eleven or any other convenience store. However, that is not my argument. My argument is that the individual’s conscience must be protected. Under this plan, the individual would be able to make a choice to get and use contraception. While the Church may disagree with this, it cannot stop the individual from doing so. And, the Church is doing that to its employees if it says that they will not even provide insurance plans that open up that option. My point is that your argument about the violation of the Church’s conscience works both ways. In this case, the Church is removing the ability of the individual to go to their insurer and make their own decision.

    This then leads to your last point on the issue of utilitarianism. You are right to argue that consequences do not determine our moral decision making. That is strict utilitarianism. But basic Catholic Natural Law teaching tells us to assess every moral decision based upon the intention, the act, and the consequences. In this case, the intent is to provide people with the free choice on how to manage and prepare for their families while also maintaining strong sexual intimacy within their committed relationships. The act itself is not to provide contraception. But, rather it is to provide people with the choice on that issue. And, the positive consequences is that it helps to limit the number of abortions.

    My point was never that the limitation of abortions should determine our moral reasoning. My point is that this is a part of the overall reason why many Catholics do support Obama’s position because it aims for the Common Good without violating basic rights.

    This then brings me to my point on Ryan’s plan. You are welcome to ignore it. However, it raises my initial point that you agreed to in your response. We both agree that Catholic social teaching includes multiple principles: protection of individual conscience, susidiarity, the Common Good, solidarity and preferential option for the poor. My point is that Obama’s overall plans and actions have fulfilled much more of these principles than what Republicans have offered.

    You pointed out that the government is not always needed and this is the point of subsidiarity. True. But that does not mean that the government is not needed in this circumstance. We are currently living in an era of increasing inequality. The richest 20% currently hold 80% of the wealth. Median family income for the middle class has falled by $4000 since 2000. And, 2% of the richest people in America received 97% of the share of income in the country last year.

    This is not an argument for socialism or communism. This is a criticism of the concentration of wealth and income that even Pope John Paul II pointed out in his encyclicals. The point is that local churches and community service groups cannot provide for all of the help needed by the middle class and the poor. Costs are going up while salaries are going down or remaining stagnant. In this environment, Obama’s policies have provided for basic unemployment services for the unemployed, increased food stamps for those in poverty, provided for health care coverage for people who cannot get it through no fault of their own, and has provided for basic coverage for the elderly. In contrast, Ryan’s plan would cap the amount to seniors below the inflation rate for health care and lower taxes on the richest amongst us. We can definitely disagree on the merits of these plans. But, your argument ignoring the points on Ryan’s plans does not show why most of the Catholic principles are not being upheld by Republican ideas.

    Of course, I respectfully look forward to your reply.

  • Chris:

    I was worried about getting into this debate. It is not that I am not prepared for it. I just did not want to get away from the scope of the political issues. And, I know that my response to you has the possibility of creating a firestorm. But, since you did make this argument, I don’t want it to appear that I have no basis to my argument.

    Dogma does not work the way that you are describing. Yes, it is Church doctrine and teaching that contraception is immoral and evil. However, the Pope could have raised Huamane Vitae to the level of dogma. He chose not to. And, he did this because there is considerable debate on whether or not the basis to Huamane Vitae is correct.

    I read Humane Vitae a long time ago. So, I apologize if I miss some of its main points.

    It argued against contraception based upon :

    1. The general definition of sex as procreative, unitive and a sacrament.
    2. Sex must be open to life at all times.
    3. The fear that procreation would lead to a culture of abortion, death and the utilization of women as tools for male pleasure.

    Okay, lets take a look at these issues.

    Lets group 1 and 2 together. Biologically, most times during a woman’s cycle, she cannot conceive a child. Yet, a couple can have sexual intercourse during any of these times of the month. If life were meant by nature to always be connected to sex, one would expect the opposite. And, it is not the case. However, lets even assume that it was. This is a physicalist case against contraception in which we are determined by nature because God created it. However, in so many cases, we don’t argue that nature should determine our destiny (flying, diseases, space exploration, etc). So why in this case? The main argument in favor of why is because we are producing a life, that is Good. But we allow for natural family planning in order to prevent and frustrate life from being produced. So, the real difference here is artificial versus natural means in preventing life to enter in at all times. What is the real problem with this?

    Well there are two possibilities. Humane Vitae first points to the nature of sex itself as procreative and unitive. However, as we just showed, not all sex acts are procreative in nature. So, this could not be the case.

    The second possibility is #3. And, that is due to the negative impacts on women. And, lets be clear, it is obvious that our culture has devolved to this level. We see constant attacks on women sexually through magazines, increased rates of abortion, rape, date rape, etc. However, the problem with this reasoning is a full scale generalization to all people under this. There are plenty of religious Protestants, Catholics, and secularists who use contraception to plan out their families without resorting to any of these negative impacts.

    In fact, 97% of Catholic women use contraception. Why? This is not to justify their actions. But most women do because the stress on the body of having multiple children under a quick period of time is hurtful to health, both physical and mental. Some use of contraception, whether natural family planning or artificial, is used by families in order to provide for the financial means necessary to raise a family, provide for emotional connections, provide for an intimate relationship between husband and wife, and to protect women from multiple different health stresses including ovarine cancer.

    It is true in the end that the current Catholic doctrine under Humane Vitae argues that contraception is evil and not allowed. And, I would agree that the Church has not changed this position nor is it attempting to change this position. But historically it is not dogma. And, the reasoning behind the decision is, in my opinion, not sound.

    But, I could be wrong. Please point out where I am.

  • None of these points are serious arguments from Mr.Zucker. They do amount to mental masturbation however.

    Take for example his thesis that prices are rising in medicine due to increasing age and technology. Life spans and technology have been increasing for 100 years yet is only in the last 30-40 that we have seen costs rise dramatically. The correlation is not just tenuous but is the text book example of “post hoc ergo propter hoc” or the fallacy of correlation not causation.

    This is symptomatic of a larger disease and it is one for which no medicine on earth can cure.

  • Paul:

    True enough except for two significant differences.

    1. The life expectancies of individuals have gone up much more in the recent past due to the increased technologies of the last 30-40 years. Also, the medical profession has since post WWII received a much higher status due to new medicines like pencillin and the move away from fluid theory to germ theory in medicine. So, the medical field has become professionalized in a way that it was not a century ago.
    2. And, far more important, the baby boom created a massive older population for today that is looming in the next 10 years. That group which will live longer, a goal that all Catholics want to see due to our commitment to life, will demand higher costs.

    Again, can we actually deal with the arguments and stay away from personal attacks?

  • “So, the real difference here is artificial versus natural means in preventing life to enter in at all times. What is the real problem with this?”

    The distinction would be in what is a normally infertile period – part of human biology vs. an artificially imposed, non-natural process. The first can be ordered to the Human good as part of God’s ordering of the Human person, the latter not.

    “Well there are two possibilities. Humane Vitae first points to the nature of sex itself as procreative and unitive. However, as we just showed, not all sex acts are procreative in nature. So, this could not be the case.”

    Clearly there are plenty of cases where nature is not fulfilled, this does not deny the nature of the thing. So the fact that most sex acts do not result in procreation does not deny the fact that this is part of the nature of the sexual act.

    “The second possibility is #3. And, that is due to the negative impacts on women. And, lets be clear, it is obvious that our culture has devolved to this level. We see constant attacks on women sexually through magazines, increased rates of abortion, rape, date rape, etc. However, the problem with this reasoning is a full scale generalization to all people under this. There are plenty of religious Protestants, Catholics, and secularists who use contraception to plan out their families without resorting to any of these negative impacts.”

    Though it is becoming more and more clear that while some may use contraception without problems, society as a whole is being negatively impacted. Just as some families deal well with divorce, but in general society is suffering from its effects.

    Though I might ask at this point, why are you so concerned with Catholic social teaching and adherance to it, while you disregard established teaching on contraception. One can equally argue according to standards that the preferential option for the poor ( a phrase which is actually not in magisterial texts) and other aspects of CST are equally subject to change. And since most social programs are now unsustainable, it is fine to cut them.

  • Zookster, buddy:

    What has any of that got to do with giving Obama four more years for massive failures and to complete the devastation?

  • Paul:

    Great points. So, lets go through them.

    The biggest problem with your argument is that you argue that certain things may not be so. But you don’t provide reasons why they ought to be so.

    Let me demonstrate. It is true that just because conception is not possible in every sex act, that this does not rule out procreation as important. But your argument does not show that procreation is essential in all sex acts. And, this is my point on the nature argument. In order for this part of the theological premise to hold, it would have to show that conception is essential to the nature of sex. The Church tried to do this through a physicalist approach. However, sex does not lead to conception in most cases. So, there is no essential nature to the case.

    However, you could argue that the reasoning is more about the good of producing life. Therefore all sex acts should contain conception as possible since it leads to fulfilling this good. But now this would mean that we should not use natural family planning either since we would be frustrating life. You could argue that natural family planning follows the nature God gave us. But this runs us right back into the problems of the first issue that I raised.

    So, we now get to the overall argument about the goods of contraception and sex. Yes, society takes good things and makes them into bad things. This does not make the original thing bad. For example, we have cures for diseases. Some evil people have used this and the scientific process to create biological weapons. So, we create a moral rule excluding the mal practice of science and biological elements, not science itself.

    The reason why I support social teachings of the church is because I believe the rationales are sound. For example, from intuition, do you agree that the good should be pursued and the evil avoided. Well, of course. Is poverty a negative and possibly evil condition that some people live under? Well, I think we would both agree on this as well. And, do you agree on an intuitive level, that we ought to help our neighbor to avoid extreme suffering? Again, we probably both agree. And, for good reason. It is intuitive and morally common sense. And, it is the teaching of the Church.

    Now, we just need to determine which agent is best: communities, individuals, churches, the State, or a combination. This is an argument of sociology, economics, and political science. But I agree with Church teachings on social teachings because we can easily determine its truth.

    In the case of contraception, I don’t see the authorities being sound in their reasoning.

  • “In this case, the Church is removing the ability of the individual to go to their insurer and make their own decision.”

    Except as pointed out above, the Church is the one funding the insurance so it is the Church, and those of link-minded conscience, who are forced to pay for what is readily and inexpensively available.

    Again, which is why the bishops continue to resist the efforts of the Obama mandate.

  • Paul:

    Again, that depends.

    The church would not be providing the insurance in the case of businesses who purchase an insurance plan for their employees. The employees than buy the plans. So, the Church is providing the overall insurance. But the employee chooses and buys the plans and the services.

    You are correct in the case of church institutions that self insure. And, the Obama administration has made it clear that they are open for compromise on that one.

    Either way, there is no clear violation of the freedom of worship. This is opening up choices for employees of Catholic Church institutions. And, by the way, many Catholic Church institutions already allow for this due to that choice like Georgetown.

  • I think you are referring to me.

    “The Church tried to do this through a physicalist approach. However, sex does not lead to conception in most cases. So, there is no essential nature to the case.”

    No, it is not a physicalist approach. It never has been considered so. In fact Martin Rhonheimer, who vigorously argues against any physicalist arguments points out that Humanae Vitae is quite non-physicalist in its argument. That is, natural law, in all that means in reason, sees the value of every sexual act being open to, if not resulting in, conception.

    “The reason why I support social teachings of the church is because I believe the rationales are sound. For example, from intuition, do you agree that the good should be pursued and the evil avoided. Well, of course. Is poverty a negative and possibly evil condition that some people live under? Well, I think we would both agree on this as well. And, do you agree on an intuitive level, that we ought to help our neighbor to avoid extreme suffering?”

    Of course those “rationales” are the same basis for arguing against contraception. Again from the first principle of natural law, the good is to be pursued and evil avoided. The good of sexula intimacy is the gift of self in marriage. This gift logically (rationally) includes the gift of new life. This of course can be modified to include the resort to naturally infertile periods in expressing the unitive aspect which are not violations of the good. But that includes the gift of self-restraint to those periods which further logically (rationally) includes a deepening of virtue of the person and respect for one’s spouse. Such is logically (rationally) not present in artificial contraception which reduces the other to an object of pleasure for the self instead of self-giving open to life.

    Of course we also seek to restrain extreme poverty and meet basic human needs. Of course CST includes the concepts that such programs logically (rationally) must be sustainable and must actually help those it seeks to help without fostering dependency on the govt. The actual implementation of policies and legitimate differences as to these policies actually helping and being sustainable are logically (rationally) subject to debate among Catholics of good conscience. This is also part of the rationale of CST – that Catholics may licitly disagree among policies.

  • James,

    You wrote,

    “He [Obama] has allowing for Catholics and non-Catholics to bypass the employer and go straight to the employer [I assume you meant insurance company] to purchase plans that include or do not include the option of contraception.”

    Again, this is a distinction without a difference:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203646004577215150068215494.html

    One way or another, religious institutions will be forced to pay for contraception under the mandate.

    “But he has already expressed a willingness to work with Catholic institutions on this issue to make sure that they will not have to violate their conscience on this issue.”

    The law is what it is, and no one must or should take such a condescending “willingness” to toss their opponents a few crumbs from the table as anything other than the gesture of contempt that it is.

    “Obama is attempting to establish a policy that will help to serve people in general who wish on an individual level, both Catholic and non-Catholic, to use contraception.”

    I don’t care. He doesn’t have the legitimate authority to do what he is doing. He is abusing his authority and pursuing a tyrannical course. People who wish “on an individual level” to use contraception can individually pay for it with their own money.

    “It is true that the Church is not attempting to stop individuals from accessing contraception. And, legally, even if the Church wins on the mandate issue, they do not have the power nor the will to stop individuals from accessing contraception at 7 eleven or any other convenience store. However, that is not my argument. ”

    But it is the only truth that matters in this debate.

    “Under this plan, the individual would be able to make a choice to get and use contraception.”

    They already have the choice. They just can’t get it for FREE, i.e., force someone else to pay for it.

    “While the Church may disagree with this, it cannot stop the individual from doing so. And, the Church is doing that to its employees if it says that they will not even provide insurance plans that open up that option. ”

    Well, this is simply false. If you know it is false, it is a lie. If you don’t know it is false, it is an error. Now you know. If you keep repeating it, you’re a liar. The Church cannot stop, and does not wish to stop, any individual from buying contraception. The Church does not go around with press gangs and force people off the street to work in its institutions. No one has to work for a Catholic institution. It is a choice. The fact that some people may have to choose between working for a Catholic college or hospital and having their contraceptives/abortions/sterilization procedures covered is not a violation of conscience, it is evidence that religious institutions still get to have theirs.

    ” My point is that your argument about the violation of the Church’s conscience works both ways. In this case, the Church is removing the ability of the individual to go to their insurer and make their own decision.”

    The Church has set conditions for employment at its institutions that anyone is free to review and reject in favor of employment somewhere else. “The individual” can work wherever he is qualified to work. No ability has been removed. If an individual at a Catholic institution can’t get contraception coverage, it is because he voluntarily agreed to that condition, having considered that this good is of a lower priority than employment at a Catholic institution.

    The argument does not “work both ways”, because when it works the way you want it to, the Church’s conscience is violated. When it works the way I want it to EVERYONE IS STILL FREE TO DO WHAT THEY WANT – with their OWN money.

    ” In this case, the intent is to provide people with the free choice on how to manage and prepare for their families while also maintaining strong sexual intimacy within their committed relationships. The act itself is not to provide contraception. But, rather it is to provide people with the choice on that issue. And, the positive consequences is that it helps to limit the number of abortions.”

    Even if I believed that were the intent (and I don’t), it wouldn’t matter. I am not arguing that the Obama regime is trying to force people to buy contraception, that it is trying to force-provide people with these things. Rather, it is forcing institutions to cover the costs of these things, which is a violation of their inherent right to exist.

    And it is still premised on the lie that people don’t have “the choice on that issue.” As long as you believe that people who have nearly unlimited access to birth control without the mandate need the mandate to have “choice on that issue”, you inhabit a fundamentally different reality than I do and we cannot rationally communicate.

    “My point was never that the limitation of abortions should determine our moral reasoning. My point is that this is a part of the overall reason why many Catholics do support Obama’s position because it aims for the Common Good without violating basic rights.”

    Fine. My point stands that basic rights are violated, as well as basic logic and rational thought.

    ” We are currently living in an era of increasing inequality. The richest 20% currently hold 80% of the wealth.”

    I don’t care. Inequality is not injustice when those on the bottom are wealthier than at least half of the planet, if not far more. The American “poor” have a higher standard of living than the middle classes of most of the nations that have ever existed or exist today. We are not talking about Biblical poverty in the United States. If you want to talk global inequalities, then you may have a stronger case for some level of redistribution. But not on a national scale.

    Inequality is only a problem, in this context, for the envious who believe they are entitled to a level of comfort that others have to work hard for.

    “The point is that local churches and community service groups cannot provide for all of the help needed by the middle class and the poor. ”

    Well, I disagree, and there’s no way you can demonstrate such a thing. It is arguable that the primary thing that people need are jobs and business opportunities. I reject the automatic assumption that “help” necessarily = bureaucratic welfare state financed through confiscation and redistribution of private wealth.

    Finally, I’m not “ignoring” Ryan’s plan. I haven’t studied it yet, so I don’t want to comment on it yet. It’s that simple.

  • James Zucker: The Catholic Church needs to hire only Catholic workers to be eligible for an exemption? The Court in Hosanna-Tabor said that 9-0 the state did not have the right to determine who the religious organizations hired but now the Catholic Church will be forced to hire only Catholic people to be eligible for an exemption. The First Amendment says that Obama may not “prohibit the free exercise thereof.” You have spent much ink telling us how much you are giving us freedom, defining conscience and redefining the human being and eternal truths and I tell you that freedom is granted by God, “their Creator”.

    James. Please explain why the HHS mandate was added by Obama after the ACA was passed by Congress? Obama violated the contract, by usurping and using an unauthorized Congressional power.

    And please explain why Obama has given an unauthorized power to Sebelius to write anything Obama tells her to, whenever Obama tells Sebelius to, into the ACA. Obama removed the Mexico City Policy the first day in office as POTUS. A contract with the people and the Catholic church that only one side can change is no contract at all, it is simply bondage. Contraception is the bait. The real game is to overturn the Catholic Church and absorb all that the Catholic Church holds in trust for our posterity, all generations to come.

  • “You are correct in the case of church institutions that self insure. And, the Obama administration has made it clear that they are open for compromise on that one.

    Except the it is actually the majority of Church institutions that are self-funded. It is so problematic that even the Catholic Hospital Association, which supported the Health Care Law, finds there is no room for compromise:

    “The Catholic Health Association was a key ally in Obama’s health care overhaul, defying opposition from church bishops to help the president win approval in Congress. But the group said Friday it does not believe church-affiliated employers should have to provide birth control as a free preventive service, as the law now requires.

    The hospital group’s decision calls into question a compromise offered by the president himself only months ago, under which the cost of providing birth control would be covered by insurance companies and not religious employers. While churches and other places of worship are exempt from the birth control mandate, nonprofits affiliated with a religion, such as hospitals, are not.

    In a letter to the federal Health and Human Services department, the hospital group said the compromise initially seemed to be “a good first step” but that examination of the details proved disappointing. The plan would be “unduly cumbersome” to carry out and “unlikely to adequately meet.”

    “Either way, there is no clear violation of the freedom of worship. This is opening up choices for employees of Catholic Church institutions. And, by the way, many Catholic Church institutions already allow for this due to that choice like Georgetown.”

    Again, it does not follow given that the majority in the Church (even those that supported the law) find it untenable as noted above. There may be some institutions that do not have a problem with contraception (and perhaps abortifacients as these are also mandated.) But this does not deny the reality that the Bishops and many other organizations find it oppressive. As such, it is not only a restriction on freedom of worship, it is a immoral restriction on freedom of religion.

  • Paul:

    Okay, two separate points on this one.

    1. Contraception falls under the same basic Catholic intuition that I expressed in support of CST.
    2. We can disagree over the implementation of CST.

    First, on contraception. I don’t think the Church has ever explicitly argued that natural law is dependent on nature. However, the reasoning in Humane Vitae fell into that problem. The reason is expressed in your own argument. You argued that sex can occur throughout the month during periods of natural infertility. But we cannot use artificial means to stop conception because life is a good that should never be frustrated. However, under Catholic teaching, we do frustrate the possibility of life by planning through natural means to stop having sex at points when life would be created. Why would we do this if life is a good that we do not avoid wanting to create. The reason is because we understand families must be able to have some planning abilities on having children. But, then why not artificial means. Because artificial means would frustrate the natural process. But if physicalist arguments are not what we are aiming at then there is no basis to claim that sex always has a procreative element to it.

    Your other argument is that by abstaining, we create a virtue of self restraint and a lack of selfishness. This may be true. But if the act itself is not immoral, then these side effects are simply possible benefits from abstaining, not necessary elements of determining if the act is moral.

    In fact, couples who use artificial contraception often talk about the ability to create more loving and intimate relationship to the partner whom they are committed. And, that their intimacy expresses a lack of selfishness and a communication of love through this intimacy.

    The problem with your argument again is that you are expressing why something may not be the case. You are not providing for reasons why it is.

    My reasons are the following:

    1. Sex does not have a physicalist or a spiritual reason for tying procreation to all acts of sex.
    2. Artificial birth control is the same as natural family planning unless you are trying to argue that all of God’s natural means are the basis to morality.
    3. Artificial birth control allows for families to plan out their care for children while remaining loving and committed to one another.

  • “First, on contraception. I don’t think the Church has ever explicitly argued that natural law is dependent on nature. However, the reasoning in Humane Vitae fell into that problem.”

    True, but I am not arguing that either. And neither did Humane Vitae. Read Rhonheimer.

    “The reason is expressed in your own argument. You argued that sex can occur throughout the month during periods of natural infertility.”

    That’s only if one thinks I am arguing from physical nature rather that the totality of what is invovled in natural law – the ultimate discernment of which comes through reason. This reason includes taking into account the physical nature of the act, its nature and ends, and the intention in acting.

    “But we cannot use artificial means to stop conception because life is a good that should never be frustrated. However, under Catholic teaching, we do frustrate the possibility of life by planning through natural means to stop having sex at points when life would be created.”

    But only because reason discerns these infertile periods as part of nature and, through reason, we use these naturally infertile periods for legitimate ends (ie the health of the mother, financial resources etc.) Through restraint founded in reason, we reaffirm the meaning of sexuality even if new life is not created. This as opposed to chosing to have sex at any time based upon our control of fertility through artificial contraception.

    “You are not providing for reasons why it is.”

    But I have. Perhaps an assertion without evidence on your part.

  • Okay there are a lot of issues to address here since there are three people giving me different arguments. Don’t get me wrong. I am not whining about this. I am happy to answer the points in all of the arguments. But I am trying to do this in a timely manner. So, I hope that I don’t miss any of the major points.

    All three of you seem to be arguing the following in common points.

    1. Obama violated rights by forcing all institutions including Catholic ones to provide for contraception to their employees.
    2. Individuals have a right to work wherever they want so there really is no right to them to be able to force insurers into providing this “free” care.
    3. Bonchamps made the point that the extreme inequalities don’t matter and this is really just the point of envious people.

    Okay, so first off, in order for Obama to have violated religious liberties, we have all agreed that he had to have forced Catholic institutions to materially support an evil action. But in order to do this, these institutions would have to be either paying for or passing out contraception. They are doing neither. The individual worker is going straight to their insurance provider. So, the employer is by passed. And, the church is not paying for the service or the good. The continuous argument that you or anyone else is paying for this is simply incorrect. The insurance company provides the plan that provides the coverage.

    You are correct that this would be a problem for self insured institutions. However, the Obama administration has argued that it would be open to negotiations on this. Paul argues that most Catholic institutions are self insured. This may be correct. But, please remember that many Catholic institutions don’t agree with the bishops on this one. And, many institutions of Catholic leadership also have such diverse communities that they are willing to provide insurance companies not self insurance. So, the issue is an implementation one.

    The point is that there is no violation of the First Amendment and Bonchamps argument that this is tyranny exaggerates the issue. It is an implementation problem that is being worked out through compromise. And, as I argued before, there are greater side effects that come along with this since it can lead to the good of reducing abortions.

    However, on to the point that I made about the violation of individual rights. Bonchamps missed the point of my argument. In today’s environment of high unemployment, it is extremely difficult to make the argument that an individual could simply up and move to a new job. And, while it is true that contraception can be received at convenience stores, the product is often not good for all women due to health reasons. So, if a Catholic employer tells his or her employee that she cannot choose a certain insurance plan, then this is a violation of that individual’s ability to make choices. And, referring that individual to the rigors of the market place right now would simply be forcing the individual into a difficult circumstance of unemployment.

    However, this gets to the bigger problem with Bonchamps argument. This is not personal. But to claim that extreme inequalities are not important to CST is not consistent with papal teachings. I am not arguing from authority. You are clearly in your rights to tell me I am wrong. But the Popes of recent years have clearly pointed out that capitalism, while better than socialism and communism, has the negative problem of a concentration of wealth and the use of wealth for individual selfishness. The current numbers I gave you were not just regular inequality. They show extreme inequality driven by the greed of the top 10% of our society. These cannot be passed off especially when CST argues for economics to provide for the common good.

    And, your argument missed the greater point that I was making off of this. My point was that under our current circumstances the party that is violating most of CST teachings are the Republicans. While Obama’s implementation may be imperfect, it is the Republican plans that violate the needs of the weakest by curtailing spending on medical expenses for those with special needs, curtailing spending on heating oil for the poor, curtailing spending on education, curtailing spending for the elderly on health care, and trying to veto a health care bill that finally covers all people including those previously excluded due to no fault of their own.

    You can definitely disagree with me on this. Even though the Catholic bishops and the Jesuits at Georgetown feel the same way. However, to argue that Obama is tyrannical is simply not accurate to the facts.

  • Paul:

    I did provide reasons. Let me argue this again.

    First, let me point out that you argued that we ought to use reason informed by faith to point out the totality of the act. Agreed.

    Your argument, if I am correct is that sex should be open to life but we can use natural family planning to plan when we ought to have sex to have children and when we ought to abstain from having sex.

    But, this still does not address why sex should always be tied to procreation. True, it is one of its ends. However, sexual union between partners does not always lead to procreation. So, on what basis do you argue that sex and procreation are always linked? If your argument is that this is one of the great purposes of sex, I agree. But this does not mean that sex only has one purpose. Just as a hand does not have one purpose. Now, you could argue that we ought never frustrate any of the purposes. But we do with natural family planning. We just do it naturally. So, why cannot we do this through artificial means?

    You asked for my reasons then why artificial means can be used. Here they are again:

    1. There is no real difference between artificial and natural family planning unless you use a physicalist approach.
    2. Artificial means do not violate life because married couples use it to plan out when they will conceive.
    3. Artificial means allow for a husband and wife to create a committed and loving relationship without the fear of unwanted pregnancies when the cannot afford them.
    4. Sex has multiple purposes. Procreation is not essential to all acts of sex.

  • JZ- For the sake of clarity and your Catholic bona-fides, can you please confirm or deny the following:

    Do you believe that the use of artificial contraception is morally licit as a means of birth control?

  • Paul:

    So, I am unclear on the ends of this question.

    I thought I made myself clear in the last few emails. Here is a clear and unequivocal statement.

    I believe that artificial birth control is moral as long as it is within a committed relationship of marriage and used for the dual purposes of managing family size and creating a loving and intimate relationship between the spouses.

    I hope this makes it clear.

    Also, I reread your last post. I do agree with you on the method of Catholic reasoning. But, I cannot find in your argument why procreation is an essential part to all sexual acts of intimacy between spouses.

  • James Zucker,

    Barack Hussein Obama is a godless, evil, wicked man of sin and depravity promoting the filth of homosexual sodomy, the murder of unborn children and the redistribution of wealth from those who earn to those who refuse to work. He lies. He cheats. He steals. He murders.

    Everyone has a right to choose – and that choice ends at sexual intercourse. You don’t want a baby? Then don’t wallow in filth like a mindless irresponsible baboon, which is exactly and precisely the style of life that that narcissistic son of a snake promotes and deifies. No abortion! No contraception! You don’t get to choose when life begins. You don’t get to partake of the Fruit of the Tree of Life. If you have sex, then you made your choice.

    And no, it is NOT the responsibility of the Federal govt to provide for the sick, the homeless, the poor, etc. That is your responsibility and mine if we call ourselves members of the Body of Christ. Everytime we abdicate our God-given responsibility to help our fellow man, we sacrifice on the altar of political expediency our citizenship in the Kingdom of God for a pale and worthless imitation that at root is satanic.

    And that is exactly and precisely what you liberals want: Caesar Obama to be god. Never. Never ever. This was a Christian Constitutional Republic, NOT a national socialist democracy which is nothing other than two wolves and one sheep voting on what’s for dinner, which in this case is the bloody corpses of over 50 million unborn babies. Death to Democracy! Death to Liberalism! Down with Obama on Novermber 6th! Down with every single liberal progressive Democrat! Viva Cristo Rey!

  • There is a Philip in this thread and a couple different Pauls.Somewhere along the way my name got hijacked when you were addressing Philip, I believe.

    Since the Catholic Church teaches that contraception is intrinsically evil (CCC 2370) then my rule of thumb is: if you don’t respect the teaching authority of the Church instituted by Christ then you sure as hell won’t respect anything I have to say.

    You are an honest about what you apostate, but an apostate nonetheless. Of what point is discussion when you are your own vicar?

  • Paul:

    Okay, so its hard for me to respond to your argument given it is entirely based upon invective and name calling. So, let me try with some personal points first.

    My wife and I have two beautiful girls. We are thrilled to have them and we are completely enthralled to watch them grow up and become the total gifts that God gave to us.

    I also had a son. He was diagnosed with a genetic disorder while in my wife’s womb. The doctors told us that he was likely not to live. However after some great pains in decision making over this, my wife and I believed that he had every right to live and that we had an obligation to love him and give him every blessing possible. He was born. He lived for two months. And, he died in my arms. I am not using this to brag or to praise myself. I went through some extremely dark days back then with many emotions that I am not proud of. And, I just hope that God was as close to me as I believed and felt in His presence during those days. i tell you this because your invective against me as a dark individual who supports a dark leader is simply not fair and not legitimate as an argument.

    I simply asked you for your logical reason based upon reason informed from faith as to why birth control was evil. You have not provided this. You did provide a method of natural law reasoning. It is too bad that you could not follow through on that reasoning and provide a logical explanation of why sex and procreation are always tied together.

    Finally, yes, actually the state does have a role in helping the sick and the weak. This is not because I assert it to be the case. This is the basic teachings of CST. CST preaches the principle of subsidiarity. Yes, we should attempt to take care of the poor locally and without government assistance. And, there are good reasons to do so. However, when local organizations cannot do this alone, the government is an instrument for helping with this. This is the teaching of CST from the popes of the late 1800s to Pope John Paul II. And, John Paul very specifically wrote that while socialism and communism were far worse than capitalism, capitalism tends towards a selfish inequality that does not promote the common good. He called for all citizens of capitalist societies to reorient their values to allow for individualism and competition but to be balanced by compassion.

    Lastly, Paul, I respect you and your beliefs. But honestly, if you believe that persuading someone of the opposite belief system through invective and generalization is a good idea, I can only caution you that it is not. It ends up simply reinforcing the worst stereotypes of Conservatives. I wish you the best. And, I hope we can argue in a more rational way another time. God Bless.

  • Paul:

    Sorry, I just saw that this is another individual. So, let me address your points now more specifically.

    I am now an apostate. Fair enough. Although I am not sure how you can come to that conclusion given that there has always been a dissenting in the church tradition.

    You can definitely argue that I don’t follow the Pope’s every doctrinal command. But there is no rule that this must be the case. This follows a top down mode of the Church that was rejected in Vatican II.

    And, protection of individual conscience is a main stay of the church. Nowhere is it taught that people who disagree on individual teachings are therefore outside of the church.

    Even if I was, that does not mean that you can ignore my arguments. You actually have to provide some backing for your arguments even if they are based upon differences over faith.

    Your only argument is by quoting an authority and its arguments under doctrine. However, doctrine has evolved and changed based upon differences.

    So, you need to show why this doctrine is correct and why your interpretation has to be followed.

  • James,

    “The individual worker is going straight to their insurance provider. So, the employer is by passed.”

    Someone still has to pay for it. That’s what you don’t seem to understand. The individual worker is not paying for it. It isn’t being donated to them. The costs get absorbed into the premiums that these institutions have to pay, so again, either way, they are still paying for contraception coverage. A distinction without a difference.

    “You are correct that this would be a problem for self insured institutions. However, the Obama administration has argued that it would be open to negotiations on this.”

    Talk is cheap. This does not support your position in the least.

    “Paul argues that most Catholic institutions are self insured. This may be correct. But, please remember that many Catholic institutions don’t agree with the bishops on this one. ”

    Also completely irrelevant. We are obviously only talking about those institutions who do care – it is because they exist that this is a controversy to begin with.

    You really think you can obscure the fundamental issues at stake with a flurry of irrelevancies – or you don’t know how to distinguish the relevant from the irrelevant.

    “The point is that there is no violation of the First Amendment and Bonchamps argument that this is tyranny exaggerates the issue.”

    It does no such thing. Read the HHS memo asking a Colorado judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed against it by a Catholic-owned corporation.

    http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2012/08/obama-looks-to-strip-entrepreneurs-of-religious-liberty

    The Obama regime is certainly attempting to foist its view of “reproductive freedom” on an unwilling public. I know I expressed that my primary concern was for the Church as institution, but let me state clearly for the record that I believe forcing ANY company to purchase health plans that, by law, cannot exclude contraception, abortion and sterilization, is an act of anti-religious tyranny.

    “However, on to the point that I made about the violation of individual rights. Bonchamps missed the point of my argument. ”

    How can I miss a point you never made?

    ” In today’s environment of high unemployment, it is extremely difficult to make the argument that an individual could simply up and move to a new job.”

    It is irrelevant. The point is that no one is preventing them from doing so, and thus no one is seeking to or actually “limiting their options.” A bad economy is not a person to be morally accountable for their actions. You may as well complain about seasonal hurricanes depriving people of their right to live wherever they choose without any potential risks.

    This is why I use words like “insane” to describe such thinking and the policies that such thinking lead to. The charge is that Catholic institutions are somehow limiting people’s liberty. But it turns out that it is really the bad economy that is to blame. Well Catholic institutions didn’t create the bad economy and they don’t have a moral obligation to violate their own consciences because the bad economy doesn’t allow someone else to buy something that their own conscience approves of. That’s what living in a free society means.

    “And, while it is true that contraception can be received at convenience stores, the product is often not good for all women due to health reasons. ”

    Buyer beware. The pro-abortion crowd makes the same argument about abortion. If it isn’t made “safe and legal”, then they get an inferior product from back-alley scam artists or something like this. And yet this argument is completely irrelevant, as we all know. The fact that some people might harm themselves obtaining a good or service is not a moral argument for the legalization of that good or service. But this contraception argument isn’t even that extreme. Contraception is legal and no one challenges it – all you’ve got is some contention that over-the-counter birth control may not be as good for some women as that which an insurance plan might cover. And this flimsy appeal is what you would sacrifice the religious liberty of tens of millions of Americans for. Well this is garbage and I am not obliged to agree.

    “So, if a Catholic employer tells his or her employee that she cannot choose a certain insurance plan, then this is a violation of that individual’s ability to make choices.”

    This is a lie. That individual can still make choices. She doesn’t have to work for that employer.

    “And, referring that individual to the rigors of the market place right now would simply be forcing the individual into a difficult circumstance of unemployment.”

    And that isn’t immoral. That’s called life. That’s called respect for private property rights, which is also a pillar of Catholic social teaching in case you’ve forgotten.

    “But to claim that extreme inequalities are not important to CST is not consistent with papal teachings.”

    Papal teachings almost always address global inequalities, and they do not rule out the possibility of the very real sociological concept of relative poverty. Like I said, global inequalities may present a stronger case for some kind of redistribution of wealth, but national inequalities in the United States do not. The American poor are wealthy by comparison to the African poor. This is simply a fact.

    Inequality in and of itself is not injustice. CST has never taught this. In fact, to portray inequality as bad in and of itself is nothing but an expression of deep-seated envy, one of the seven deadly sins.

    “The current numbers I gave you were not just regular inequality. They show extreme inequality driven by the greed of the top 10% of our society. ”

    The numbers you provide do not demonstrate that anyone is being made destitute.

    “And, your argument missed the greater point that I was making off of this. My point was that under our current circumstances the party that is violating most of CST teachings are the Republicans. ”

    Yeah, I tend to miss points when they aren’t clearly made.

    And this claim is absolutely false. The Democrats officially support the butchering of tens of millions of innocent children in the womb, they officially support the moral and social abomination of “gay marriage”, and their welfare policies create a condition of servility and dependency for the vast majority of poor people. They undermine family, local communities, and churches as providers of social support and seek to replace them all with the federal government. The Democratic vision is not one of solidarity, but rather an atomized nightmare in which millions of individuals fight over the scraps from the government table, scraps which only exist because the middle classes have been plundered, swiping their EBT cards in perpetuity without ever finding gainful employment. It is also a vision in which the Church has no meaningful role to play in society as an independent institution.

    “While Obama’s implementation may be imperfect, it is the Republican plans that violate the needs of the weakest by curtailing spending on medical expenses for those with special needs, curtailing spending on heating oil for the poor,”

    That’s a good one! It’s not like Obama and the Dems are relentlessly pursuing green energy policies, its not like Obama threatened to bankrupt the coal industry, its not like this entire policy orientation will drive prices for energy for the poorest Americans through the roof. No, not at all. All you have to do, in your book, to be a champion for the poor is SAY that you’re a champion for the poor. If your policies end up completely screwing them over, it doesn’t matter. You had good intentions.

    The bishops are sadly mistaken on many economic points. The root of the problem is the assumption that the market cannot provide many of these things that people need. The market can provide them. Competition keeps costs down for the average consumer, many of whom are of average means or are poor. Policies that reduce or eliminate economic competition, on the other hand, end up making many goods and services more expensive and more difficult for people of average means to afford.

    But you never think of the consequences of these policies, even as you say that you believe consequences can and should be morally considered. If you really believe in a better economy for the poor, then support policies that increase competition, that incentivize job creation, and that increase the value of the dollar by fighting inflation.

  • I don’t argue, debate or have dialogue with liberals, James Zucker. I pray to God and work for your utter, total and complete defeat. Period. It frankly enrages me to see any self-described Catholic support that godless reprobate of sin and depravity. Death to Democracy! Viva Cristo Rey! I shall now be silent since I am unable to contribute anything to “dialogue.” It’s like dialoguing with the demonic, because that is what Obama and his supporters are.

  • James Zucker: The Catholic Church needs to hire only Catholic workers to be eligible for an exemption? The First Amendment says that Obama may not “prohibit the free exercise thereof.” You have spent much ink telling us how much you are giving us freedom, defining conscience and redefining the human being and eternal truths and I tell you that freedom is granted by God, “their Creator”.

    James. Please explain why the HHS mandate was added by Obama after the ACA was passed by Congress? Obama violated the contract, by usurping and using an unauthorized Congressional power.

    And please explain why Obama has given an unauthorized power to Sebelius to write anything Obama tells her to, whenever Obama tells Sebelius to, into the ACA. Obama removed the Mexico City Policy the first day in office as POTUS. A contract with the people and the Catholic church that only one side can change is no contract at all, it is simply bondage. Contraception is the bait. The real game is to overturn the Catholic Church and absorb all that the Catholic Church holds in trust for our posterity, all generations to come.

  • Bonchamps: Since your posting provides multiple arguments, I will respond to you first. Then, Mary I can respond to you in a separate post. This way, we can keep our points concise.

    Bonchamps:

    Your argument relies upon two essential elements. First, you are arguing that the Obama administration is violating the freedoms of the Church to practice its free beliefs as employers in America. Then, you are arguing that the policies of the Democrats cause massive problems to the society and the poor. These arguments are not really dependent upon one another. But, I would agree we ought to prioritize the first since it deals with values that are sacred both to the Constitution and to the religious faith of Catholics and other Christians.

    You are arguing for the right of the Church to practice its faith. But there is no violation of the faith. And, here is why:

    1. The employees who purchase contraception do so through the insurance company not the employer.
    2. The employer purchases the insurance plans but the individual makes the choice of purchasing the services provided in the plan.
    Your argument that AHA mandates purchasing plans with abortion services is simply incorrect. There is nothing in the AHA that does this. In fact, the AHA allows for people and companies to seek out different insurance plans in exchange markets. The AHA does mandate that one of the choices of insurance companies must have an abortion option. But this is not the same as forcing companies to buy an insurance company that has abortion options.
    3. The closest you come to showing that there is a violation of Church freedoms is in the case of self insured institutions. However, as I argued, the Obama administration has been willing to work with institutions on this issue. You responded by saying this does not matter because there is a violation to freedoms. But this assumes your original point. And, you have not shown that the mandate itself is unfair to institutions. You have shown that there is a possible disadvantage in the implementation that needs to be compromised upon. And, the administration has shown a willingness to do this-not the quality of a tyrannical organization.

    However, by the Church not being willing to compromise on this issue, there is a violation of the individual conscience of its employees. I argued you missed the point on this. You simply replied that I had not made a point. So, let me make it very clear. Employers have rights but employees also have rights. Employees have the right to bargain with their employers for decent health care benefits. For women, contraception is not only often expensive. It can also be important for their health. Your response to my points on convenience stores is that the consequences are not relevant. But, remember my point on Catholic natural law thinking, consequences are important to our overall evaluation of the decision. In this case, the reason why the administration wanted to open free access through insurance companies was to make sure that women’s health issues were covered. If there is an essential violation of rights or morality, then this concern would be relativized or non essential. But you have not shown that such a violation has occurred. So, by not allowing individuals to access their own choices in what plans they can get through insurance plans, the Church is enforcing its own beliefs on their employees.

    You then went further to argue that the economic effects of these decisions were not important due to morality and the difference between relative and absolute poverty. However, the difference between these two issues are not the basis to the papal decisions. Pope John Paul II and other popes argued that the problem with capitalism was not that it produced relative poverty and absolute poverty in different countries. Rather, he argued that the problem with capitalism was its tendency to concentrate wealth at the expense of the Common Good.

    In this framework, my numbers become essentially important. Of course, in Capitalism and in traditional morality, inequalities are natural and a central part of life and capitalism. But extreme inequalities are immoral and harmful to society. 20% of people owning 80% of the wealth, 2% of people getting 97% of the share of the nation’s income, an increasing rate of poverty in the country, and a decline in family income by $4000 over 10 years are example of extreme inequality and concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. This is why the Catholic Church, the pope, and the American bishops have all condemned Republican policies that are contributing to this.

    You have argued that the Democrats are to blame on these issues. On the abortion and gay marriage issue, these are social issues that are more relevant to another discussion on social morality. But on the economic issues, the Democrats are not the ones who have controlled the economic policies for the last 30 years. Since Reagan, top marginal taxes have been reduced to 28%. Under Clinton, they were raised to 39%. Also, since Reagan, we have seen deregulation of the banking and real estate sector. And, under President Bush the marginal taxes were lowered again. These changes led to the concentration of wealth that we see, an increase in poverty, companies moving overseas, an increasing debt and deficit. These issues are important for our assessing of the economy and the moral decisions we make about managing the economy.

    You are welcome to argue if I have the right causes for these consequences. But here is my argument about Republican policies. They have supported tax and regulation policies that have led to the concentration of wealth, the lowered ability for the middle class to support their families, and an increase in poverty. These violate the CST teachings and allow for the richest to benefit from extreme inequalities.

    All of these outweigh an implementation problem in trying to provide employees with the chance to choose their own insurance plans with or without contraception. And, this is hardly tyranny

  • Mary:

    Okay so time for your argument.

    I am having a hard time answering your points because I am unclear on your overall point. You seem to be arguing that the overall point is to destroy the Catholic Church and establish the State as the authority on all issues. However, none of your evidence points to this conclusion.

    First, you point to the issue of the exemption. But you missed the point of the mandate. The mandate is not telling the Church who it can or cannot hire. The point is that all institutions need to provide employees with choices whether or not these employees agree with the religious beliefs of their employers. Also, if Obama’s main intent was to destroy the Church, you would think that the mandate would be targeted at Catholic institutions. It is not. It is for all employers. The problem is in the implementation due to the Church’s beliefs.

    Second, you argued that Obama gave Sebelius complete powers. he did not. He gave Sebelius the power to make a national mandate on contraception to provide for preventative care. I don’t know why he did not go for this during the AHA debate. But I would guess that they assumed this was not a problem. The reason why is because moderate Republicans had been promoting the idea since 2000. And, this was already done in 28 states.

    Thirdly you argued that Obama overthrew the Mexico policy. This is true. He did. The Mexico policy or the gag rule was established by President Bush. What it did was to prevent any family planning institution receiving American federal government money from telling people in foreign country about options including abortion. Liberals, not myself, disagreed with this. This can definitely be argued as immoral under natural law. However, this was not tyranny. The Mexico policy was established by executive order under Bush. So, it can be removed through executive order.

    Lastly, I agree that our freedoms come from God. I just don’t know how this is relevant to our arguments. Freedom of conscience ensures that we have the choice to make decisions unless we know of a direct moral evil that threatens others. In the case of contraception, none of this exists.

    But most importantly you have not shown that Obama is trying to overturn the Church. This is a difference over policy decisions.

  • James,

    “Your argument relies upon two essential elements. First, you are arguing that the Obama administration is violating the freedoms of the Church to practice its free beliefs as employers in America. Then, you are arguing that the policies of the Democrats cause massive problems to the society and the poor. These arguments are not really dependent upon one another.”

    What I said about the policies of the Democrats was solely in response to you. I never made the argument that these points were dependent upon one another. You started bringing up different topics and I replied to some of those points.

    “The employees who purchase contraception do so through the insurance company not the employer.”

    But the employer is still paying for the insurance plan. The cost is still being passed on to the employer. This is nothing but a street hustler game of three-card monte.

    “The employer purchases the insurance plans but the individual makes the choice of purchasing the services provided in the plan.”

    This is irrelevant. The employer still ends up covering contraception.

    “Your argument that AHA mandates purchasing plans with abortion services is simply incorrect. There is nothing in the AHA that does this.”

    Right – which is why the HHS mandate exists. Nice try, though.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obamacare-mandates-coverage-abortion-drug_581969.html?nopager=1

    ” However, as I argued, the Obama administration has been willing to work with institutions on this issue.”

    This is still meaningless. Show me some evidence of this. All you have now are assertions.

    I’ll reply to the rest later.

  • Bonchamps:

    So your rebuttal at this point is that:

    1. The employer still pays at some point.
    2. The employer is purchasing abortion services through the mandate.

    Actually, no the employer does not pay. Yes, the employer has to put some purchase into the insurance itself. But the plans and the services and goods are paid for by the employee through their own choice. And, this has been my argument from the start. This decision provides for the employee to make their own choice.

    Yes, it is true that the mandate does cover some controversial contraception that is argued to be abortificient. However, this is not the same as the argument that this is a wholesale funding of abortion services. The argument is over certain pills that are considered to be abortificients due to the timing of the contraception around conception. This is very different from arguing that the mandate or the AHA is allowing for people to be funded by the federal government to receive abortion services when they are typically done at about the 8th week or after.

    Finally, I think you are incorrect on the other issues that I brought up. They are connected to the larger argument that I was making. My point is that Catholics who vote Democratic are doing so based upon the weighing of much bigger issues than this. We note that the mandate, while problematic, is hardly a sign of tyranny. And, then we look to the overall policies of the Republican party and how, as we believe, they violate the other major principles of CST. So, we make a decision to vote Democratic because we believe that Republican values and policies actually lead to violations of subsidiarity, the Common Good and the preferential option for the poor.

    Considering your original post argued that a true Catholic ought to vote Republican to stop the tyranny of Obama’s policies, all of these arguments are well within the scope of the debate.

    You provided a number of claims against Democratic policies. But you provided no evidence to support your arguments. You are welcome to do this in future posts. But, I would argue that these issues do outweigh the implementation problems that you cited on the mandate. And, you have shown no signs of tyranny or violation of freedom of religious conscience.

  • I probably wouldn’t agree 100% with any of you, but I thought I would throw in my 2 cents…

    James Z says:

    However, as I argued, the Obama administration has been willing to work with institutions on this issue.

    To me this is a, “put up or shut up”, kind of thing. What really happened is Obama said, “We’re willing to deal, but everything you want is off the table.” It wasn’t a sincere offer. It isn’t a real argument. If it isn’t in the Federal Register, it didn’t happen.

    There has been an attempt to redefine the Constitution’s, “free exercise of religion”, as, “freedom of worship”, but that is bogus. Free exercise of religion means that you can’t force people to take an action which violates their religious tenets.

    In the end I think what’s going to happen is that this will be struck down by the Supreme Court. It’s pretty clear that it fails the RFRA law test. I don’t think the actual threat is as large as people make it out to be. SCOTUS will kill it.

    Mary De Voe said:

    Please explain why the HHS mandate was added by Obama after the ACA was passed by Congress?

    I’ll explain it to you. It’s because most of the folks in Congress are cowards, so they write things into laws that say things like, “The specific details will be worked out later by the applicable executive branch agency so we won’t get blamed for it.” They punted, as usual.

    James Z says:

    However, by the Church not being willing to compromise on this issue, there is a violation of the individual conscience of its employees. I argued you missed the point on this. You simply replied that I had not made a point. So, let me make it very clear. Employers have rights but employees also have rights. Employees have the right to bargain with their employers for decent health care benefits.

    Yes, the church is not willing to compromise on the issue that forcing Catholics to pay for birth control for people is a violation of their tenets and the consciences of Catholics and Obama is not willing to compromise on allowing people who object to opt-out based on their conscience. The only legal rights issue here though is whether the government has the right to force people to take actions that violate the tenets of their religion. Nowhere in the Constitution does anyone have the right to employer provided health care or contraception. It does say you have the right to freely exercise your religion though.

    Bonchamps said:

    In fact, to portray inequality as bad in and of itself is nothing but an expression of deep-seated envy, one of the seven deadly sins.

    I wouldn’t argue that it is intrinsically bad, but I think it’s quite clear to anyone who is paying attention that a lot of inequality is caused by rich folks and corporations successfully lobbying the government to stack the deck in their favor. It’s a fairness issue, not an envy issue. Romney pays a lower tax rate than I pay but makes a lot more money. Doesn’t seem fair. Multibillion dollar businesses with thousands of employees are treated as, “small business”, by the tax code because they have a small number of family owners and get tax breaks that the local dry cleaner (an actual small business) can’t get. This is a redistribution of wealth when these folks don’t pay their fair share and the rest of us do. Same thing with these huge companies that pay billions in taxes to other countries but get tax refunds here and companies like WalMart which force their employees into government health insurance for the poor. They are the freeloaders.

    These vulture capitalist guys like Romney and the multitude of CEOs who send jobs overseas and lay off thousands are just as dangerous to this country as Obama IMHO. I can’t say I like either.

    Oh yeah, and most of these CEOs didn’t build these huge multinationals from the ground up using their own money and taking all the risk themselves. They are hired just like the rest of us. Go read Andy Grove’s book where he talks about why CEOs are paid too much and Alan Greenspan’s about how CEOs purposely wreck companies by trading long term viability for short term numbers that will boost the stock price because that’s what gets them bonuses. Then when it goes south they take their golden parachutes and go wreck some other company. The incentives are all wrong…

    It’s unfortunate that according to studies, there are several countries that beat us now in the percentage of people who are able to attain, “the American dream”, of rising above their socioeconomic class. Concentration of wealth here seems the most likely reason. It’s counterproductive for the country.

  • James,

    “Actually, no the employer does not pay. Yes, the employer has to put some purchase into the insurance itself. But the plans and the services and goods are paid for by the employee through their own choice. And, this has been my argument from the start. This decision provides for the employee to make their own choice.”

    So the employer doesn’t pay, and then he does. At the end of the day, the employer is still paying for insurance that covers morally objectionable goods and services. You and Obama can invite me to play three-card montie, but that doesn’t mean I will.

    You’re still lying about employees not being able to make choices too, I see.

    “Yes, it is true that the mandate does cover some controversial contraception that is argued to be abortificient. However, this is not the same as the argument that this is a wholesale funding of abortion services. ”

    It doesn’t have to be “the same argument”, no ever said it was. More irrelevancy, more smoke and mirrors.

    ” The argument is over certain pills that are considered to be abortificients due to the timing of the contraception around conception. This is very different from arguing that the mandate or the AHA is allowing for people to be funded by the federal government to receive abortion services when they are typically done at about the 8th week or after.”

    Another attempted slight-of-hand. The argument is quite simply that the HHS mandate does not allow people to participate in health insurance plans that do not cover morally objectionable goods and services. Citizens are being dragooned into paying for other people’s birth control.

    “My point is that Catholics who vote Democratic are doing so based upon the weighing of much bigger issues than this.”

    Fine. When did I ever say otherwise? I acknowledge that you have your reasons for voting as you do. I disagree with them. I never made the claim that only my reasons are valid.

    “We note that the mandate, while problematic, is hardly a sign of tyranny. ”

    Yes, I know that is what you think. You are unable and/or unwilling to see the implications of the mandate, which are more serious than the mandate itself. I am not basing everything on the details of the mandate. I am arguing that the mandate is a sign of an overall and deep hostility to the Church emanating from this regime and from the left in general.

    “Considering your original post argued that a true Catholic ought to vote Republican to stop the tyranny of Obama’s policies, all of these arguments are well within the scope of the debate.”

    I made no such argument. Again you have serious issues and problems with the truth, or serious reading comprehension deficiencies. I offered my point of view about what I believed my duty as a Catholic citizen was, and made it clear at the outset that I was speaking to other theologically orthodox and politically conservative Catholics. I’m more concerned with people who basically share my views but are allowing their contempt for Romney to keep them out of the campaign.

    At no point did I ever say, or suggest, that a true Catholic had to vote GOP. This borders on slander.

    “You provided a number of claims against Democratic policies. But you provided no evidence to support your arguments.”

    Oh please. What a ridiculous accusation! We’re having a combox discussion and I offered my opinion, in response to things you had said. You never provided any evidence to support your claims about the greatness of those same policies either. How childish!

    “And, you have shown no signs of tyranny or violation of freedom of religious conscience.”

    I can’t convince people to whom these concepts mean nothing, or are radically different than my own, that they are in play. But by my standard of tyranny and religious conscience violation, I have shown it. You’ve chosen to ignore it or define terms differently.

  • From your previous post:

    “Employers have rights but employees also have rights. Employees have the right to bargain with their employers for decent health care benefits.”

    They have the right to bargain, and the employer has the right to say NO. Employees do not have the right to force their employer to pay for their condoms. This is an egregious abuse not only of private property rights, but of the bargaining rights originally defined and defended by the Church in encyclicals such as Rerum Novarum, which absolutely condemned irreligious labor unions.

    “For women, contraception is not only often expensive. It can also be important for their health. Your response to my points on convenience stores is that the consequences are not relevant.”

    The most liberal estimate is 600 dollars per year. Most people make that in a week or less. Cry me a river.

    “In this case, the reason why the administration wanted to open free access through insurance companies was to make sure that women’s health issues were covered. ”

    I don’t give a damn what the reason was. It is totally irrelevant. So please stop talking about it as if it matters, or as if I should care. I don’t.

    “But you have not shown that such a violation has occurred.”

    You not accepting it is not the same as me not showing it. You don’t seem to understand that right now the federal government is being sued precisely because such a violation HAS occurred. Like I said, but I guess you don’t respond to whatever harms your case, a judge in Colorado has already delivered a temporary injunction against the HHS, suspending the mandate until the case can be heard in higher courts. So at least one judge does agree with me and does believe that a violation has a occurred.

    So you can stop uttering this lie now.

    “So, by not allowing individuals to access their own choices in what plans they can get through insurance plans, the Church is enforcing its own beliefs on their employees.”

    Employees who work there voluntarily. Yes, I agree, the Church is “enforcing its own beliefs on its employees”, employees who work under free contract and not under compulsion of any kind. There isn’t a company in existence that doesn’t “enforce its own beliefs on its employees” – its called private property.

    The argument that the Church is “enforcing its own beliefs on their employees” only has relevance if those employees are being forced to work for the Church. They aren’t. So your point is completely meaningless.

    “Pope John Paul II and other popes argued that the problem with capitalism was not that it produced relative poverty and absolute poverty in different countries. Rather, he argued that the problem with capitalism was its tendency to concentrate wealth at the expense of the Common Good.”

    Well, first of all, you’re completely wrong on the first point. Popes have been talking about global inequalities and global poverty for decades now, and have seen it as one of the primary problems of our time. I don’t disagree with them.

    Secondly, capitalism doesn’t concentrate wealth. It diffuses wealth. The state concentrates wealth. The wealthiest man alive is Bill Gates. It is arguable that he does not owe all of his wealth to market forces either. Lets be generous and say half of his fortune, somewhere around 15-20 billion dollars.

    How much wealth does the federal government rake in through taxation, borrowing, and printing cash in a year? In a month? Let me give you a hint: its a little more than 15-20 billion dollars.

    I don’t think JP II ever made the concrete argument that the free market concentrates wealth. Pius XI made that argument, and I flat out disagree with him. But this brings us to the difference between scientific and moral statements. Popes can and have erred on purely technical matters. And this is a technical matter. If the capitalist economy really did what Pius XI claimed it did, then it would be right to condemn it, but it doesn’t. I agree with Pius XI that the situation at that time was evil and should be remedied, but his proposed solution was based on an incorrect assessment of fact and theory, likely because he was surrounded by economists who were fascists.

    “20% of people owning 80% of the wealth, 2% of people getting 97% of the share of the nation’s income, an increasing rate of poverty in the country, and a decline in family income by $4000 over 10 years are example of extreme inequality and concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. This is why the Catholic Church, the pope, and the American bishops have all condemned Republican policies that are contributing to this.”

    This is so simplistic. First of all, I have no idea where you get the 2%-97% figure. But I don’t have a problem with 20% of the people owning 80% of the wealth. I don’t see why that matters, or why I should care. It isn’t making people destitute. Americans still have some of the highest living standards in the entire world. If you really care about people and their conditions, then you need to look at all of the factors affecting their quality of life. Some people having a lot of money doesn’t mean that the quality of life is bad for people who don’t. Only envious people think this way.

    An increasing rate of government-defined poverty is not a serious problem either. One person in one bureaucracy can tinker with one document and the number of people considered “poor” by the state could shrink or grow by millions overnight. These are almost meaningless numbers.

    “But here is my argument about Republican policies. They have supported tax and regulation policies that have led to the concentration of wealth, the lowered ability for the middle class to support their families, and an increase in poverty. These violate the CST teachings and allow for the richest to benefit from extreme inequalities.”

    The reasons for these things are far, far more complex than the policies supported by presidents, and are the product of policies favored by both parties. But that is a different discussion. In any case, the fact remains that very few Americans meet a definition of poverty that I believe justifies voting for a man who is enthuastically pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, anti-religious liberty and anti-private property rights. If you want to vote for him, go ahead. Like I said, my conscience is at peace.

  • RRJP,

    When concentration of wealth is due to policies enacted by the state, I am opposed to it. I think it is the perfect argument for limited government. A government that stays out of economic matters and allows competition to thrive ensures that “big business” is big solely because it met the most real needs in society – and that at any time it could become small or non-existent if it failed to do so.

    But of course, most of the people who complain about the concentration of wealth are leftists who favor a large, intrusive state. They believe the competitive process has concentrated wealth, and this is the worst economic fallacy in existence, the premise of Marxism and every other leftist economic theory.

    If you’re for fairness, then you’re necessarily in favor of free competition, which is the fairest social process imaginable. But if you’re just for egalitarianism, for leveling, for making sure that no one can really excel beyond anyone else lest those who don’t excel have low-self esteem or something (this is how leftists really feel), then I say that you don’t have a valid moral argument that I am obliged to consider.

  • “But, this still does not address why sex should always be tied to procreation.”

    Jim,

    Because sex is always tied to procreation. And if I (Phillip) were using a merely physicalist approach as you repeat, that would be the end of it. Because whether we want to accept it or not, sex is ordered towards procreation.

    But as with many things the Catholic reason (and the reasoning in Humanae Vitae) is that there is more than this. The marital act (as opposed to sex itself) is ordered towards the good of the man in woman in their cooperation with God in bringing new life into the world. This cooperation is a reflection of the life-giving relationship of the Trinity. Thus why the unitive aspect also enters in as an expression of life-giving unity that is the Trinity.

    Of course as an act of the human person, it must be a voluntary cooperation of responsible parenthood – a responsible cooperation with God. So if a spouse is ill or if financially one cannot in reason responsibly bring new life into the world, then one can abstain. This abstainance in turn is a cooperation in reason with God’s reason – acting in a humanly responsible way. Using human reason in the given circumstances to cooperate with God responsibly instead of merely procreating.

    But as merely acting on the sexual act without taking into consideration a responsible reason for doing so, using artificial contraception is also, in reason, a violation of the marital act. This because, as in the former, we discard reason in our act, in the latter we eliminate the author of that reason in that cooperation. We set aside our his will and make ours absolute. By casting aside the ability to procreate artificially, we take away our cooperation in that life-giving marital act and make our will absolute.

    At the same time, by taking away the ability to abstain periodically, it is the one who artificially contracepts who reduces the marital act as one of life-giving love into merely a physical act unrestrained by reason.

  • All of that, PLUS . . .

    If Romney gets elected, “ya’ll will be in chains, again.”

  • Paul:

    Great points on why sex and procreation are linked. Here are my answers.

    First, I would accept that your argument is not a physicalist one. Rather, it is one based upon the purpose of creation that is a reflection of God and the Trinity.

    However, here are the problems.

    1. Remember that I have argued and you have agreed that most of the time sex does not lead to any possibility of procreation. I know this is a physicalist argument that you would disagree with. But this becomes important and you will see why in a minute.
    2. Sex has multiple purposes including both procreation and unitive qualities.
    3. We have already admitted that couples have a moral right to manage their pregnancies for a variety of reasons. You have just argued that couples ought to do this by not violating the purpose of sex which is essential to it-procreation.

    Okay, so if these three premises are acceptable, here is my point.

    Every act and thing was created with purposes. The question is whether or not a purpose is essential to the act or one of multiple purposes. Procreation is a purpose to sex and reflects the God given ability in the Trinity to create life out of love. However, if we observe that sex does not always lead to life and, in fact, most of the time does not lead to life, then its essential purpose cannot be for procreation. Rather, that is one of its purposes.

    We have also already admitted that the couple has a moral capability or right to manage these pregnancies. By doing so, they are not frustrating God’s will. They are simply acting in a way to manage their financial and emotional needs. By arguing this, we are showing that the human will and intellect can be used to manage the times and places when having children will be appropriate for their families. So, most of the consequences you claim about the human will distorting God’s desires are really based upon the initial belief that procreation must be tied to all sex acts due to the essential nature of procreation.

    Because of this, we are left again with the question of why artificial is different from natural contraception. Your argument does not admit of a physicalist basis. Rather, it argues from a purpose driven basis as a metaphor or reflection of the trinity. Fair enough. However, you do not show how sex always has this purpose because there is no foundation in your argument to suggest that this is the case. The only resort you really have is to look back at the physical qualities of sex. But to do so would undermine your argument that we are not looking at this from a physicalist perspective.

    Thanks and look forward to hearing your reply.

  • “Paul”

    I actually am beginning to wonder about your reading abilities (as well as reasoning abilities as a result) due to your inability to discern Phillip from Paul.

    Either you are not reading (as is evidenced by this and your earlier errors on the Bishops’ stance on the mandage which they clearly oppose) or are not able to assimilate the argument as to why artificial is distinct from natural family planning.

    Read again. It is there.

  • I’m with Paul W. Primavera.

    This whole debate is pointless. You cannot argue with someone who has turned his back on Church teaching and seeks to rationalize his own rebellion, albeit by faulty logic as well as patent misunderstanding (whether willful or not) of the issues at hand.

    And so I leave you all with this:

    2 Timothy:

    [23] And avoid foolish and unlearned questions, knowing that they beget strifes. [24] But the servant of the Lord must not wrangle: but be mild towards all men, apt to teach, patient, [25] With modesty admonishing them that resist the truth: if peradventure God may give them repentance to know the truth, [26] And they may recover themselves from the snares of the devil, by whom they are held captive at his will.

    God bless,

    Lisa

    P.S. James, I hope that God will open up your eyes and see that you are defending sin and error. It is a mortal sin to support a person who supports abortion and who has put himself at war with the Church. Period. The end. I pray you will come to repentance.

  • James – As to your last comment, it seems like you’re arguing a position that’s contrary to the Catechism. Given the amount of space devoted in this thread to contraception, I’m going to assume that this is an important part of your thinking on the overall question of Obama’s candidacy. So you can’t be making a Catholic case for Obama, or arguing against a Catholic case for Romney, if you’re making non-Catholic assumptions. I’m glad that this long, long thread has focused the argument to its core (a rarity online). The core seems to be that you can surmount the obstacles created by the HHS mandate by framing the issue in a non-Catholic way. You’re welcome to do so, but you can’t call it a Catholic case for Obama.

  • The First Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden.

    Desire True Repentence for Sins.

    Think of Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemani suffering bitter agaony for our sins.

  • Something very wonderful has come out of this blog. The fact that Obama added the HHS Mandate to the Affordable Healthcare Act AFTER Congress had passed it, nullifies informed consent and nullifies congressional consent and nullifies the will of the people. There is no valid ACA because of this unwarranted, unauthorized usurpation of the prerogative of Obama’s constituency to participation in democracy. Obama cannot break faith with congress and his constituents and call it a contract. An Executive Order maybe but not a legal contract. C Justice Roberts ought to have picked that up. more on doctrines and dogmas and Humanae Vitae

  • Thank you, Lisa!

    All of the arguments that James Zucker uses to support his position devolves into these: (1) I can have sex whenever I want to titillate my genitals without responsibility for causing a pregnancy, and I will call that “unitive” because I am uniting with my partner, and (2) I support Obama because government is the dispenser of social justice and human rights.

    None of his arguments invoke holiness and righteousness before the Lord God Almighty, without which no man shall see God, nor do they recognize that our Creator in whose image and likeness we are made is the only granter of human rights. There is no support for chastity and abstinence, no admonition for being righteous and holy. There is every support for placing Caesar in God’s position.

    Now Mr. Zucker, you attend to this very closely:

    “…if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2nd Chronicles 7:14

    “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” Matthew 6:33

    There is no health, wealth or prosperity without repentance and conversion. Righteousness and holiness must always and everywhere precede social justice and the common good. Jesus said, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Obama is evil because he murders unborn babies and sanctifies the filth of homosexual sodomy. He is a godless, wicked, evil man of sin and depravity. You are in league with him. What does that make you? And yes, 1st Corinthians 6:3 says, “Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, matters pertaining to this life!” You call yourself a Catholic Christian and you make excuses to justify that man’s candidacy. How dare you!

    Death to Democracy, Liberalism and Progressivism! Death to the false gospel of social justice, the common good and peace at any price. Jesus is Lawgiver, King and Judge, NOT that perverse and perverted narcissistic excuse of a man sitting in the Oval Office. God our Creator (as I wrote above) is the dispenser of human rights, NOT that godless government in Washington, DC, and we as a nation deserve nothing but destruction as long as we tolerate such evil. It happened to Israel when King Sennecharib deported them. It happened to Judah when King Nebuchadnezzer deported them. Why do we think that we are exempt from the God who never ever changes?

    I hate and despise and loathe liberalism with every fiber of my being, but I love Jesus the Christ and His Blessed Mother with all my heart.

    Down with Obama, one of the little anti-christs that St. John talked about in his first epistle. Viva Cristo Rey!

  • And by the way, Mr. Zucker, you don’t get to choose when life starts. You unzip your pants – you made the choice. Otherwise, keep it zipped, and I don’t care how many excuses you use that you’re monogamous and your doing it with only your spouse. You and I have no right to partake of the Fruit of the Tree of Life. That’s why God cast Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden.

    Liberal! Progressive! Democract! Three of the dirtiest words in the English language.

  • Thank you Paul W. Primavera, and Lisa and all: Herewith as I promised:
    On the violation of the will of the people, Obama’s constituency and their freedom to constitute government.

    Obama does not have the authorized or sovereign power to add or subtract anything from a contract with the people of the United States, without voiding the contract, with or against the will of the people, after the contract was passed by Congress, which Obama did, by adding the HHS Mandate to the ACA after the ACA was passed by Congress for the people, violating the will of the people without their informed consent.

    The penalties must fit the crime: Hidden in the ACA are penalties that are the DEATH to all Catholics. The penalty must be commensurate with the crime. And for the same reason that the Catholic Church, and all churches and religious like the Amish and Mennonites, are not taxed, because their tax exempt status is maintained by the taxes paid by their parishioners as citizens. To tax non-profits and churches would be taxation without representation, two taxes, one vote, for the citizens as parishioners. All physical property is held in trust for all generations, our constitutional posterity. The custody of church property is held in trust and cannot be seized by government, nor disposed of, except by the bishop who is responsible for the souls of all his people.

    The punishment must fit the crime. If not accepting the ACA and its hidden agenda, the HHS mandate, is a crime, and it is not, and this is not martial law, the penalty for not taking the ACA, cannot exceed the suffering of not having insurance. How can there be “a money fine” for not having any money? Are we talking about debtors’ prison? (Hillary Clinton had written a two year Federal prison sentence into Hillarycare. Clinton owns 10 healthcare corporations.) The ACA is not a sealed contract, as the addition of the HHS mandate indicates, and therefore prison sentences may be added as the punishment for acts that are not criminal. The ACA is an Executive Order being foisted upon all people as martial law, without the informed consent of the people and without the necessary will of the people. The ACA needs to be put on the ballot after informed consent, to let the people express their will, and freedom.

    After the savaging the media did on Rick Santorum in the death of their newborn infant, and the support you, James Zucker, give to the INFANT BUTCHER in the White House, I must confess, I could not believe that you had any human compassion for another person, including the child you say you have lost to death. Not until this morning. It is incomprehensible to me that anyone could support another individual or policy which would try to curtail the existence of another human being who comes into existence through the will of “their Creator”. Only through God’s will, for until God creates the rational, immortal human soul, with its sovereign personhood and human life, there can be no other person.

    ON DOGMAS Dogmas are discerned truths derived by reason and held by the teaching Magisterium of the Catholic Church as necessary to believe in order to have the fullness of Faith and salvation. The dogma of the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION is the truth of the preservation of the Mother of God from original sin and every sin as the Angel Gabriel proclaimed: “Hail Mary, FULL OF GRACE”, the dogma of the ASSUMPTION OF MARY INTO HEAVEN comes by reason of Mary being the Mother of God, Jesus Christ.

    ON DOCTRINES Doctrines are TRUTHS revealed by the Revelation of God, Jesus Christ, in His salvivic mission on earth, held and taught by the teaching Magisterium of the Catholic Church, as Jesus Christ spoke: “Our Father, in heaven” The Triune God, “I, and the Father are ONE”, “This is my Body, This is the Chalice of My Blood” “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church” “Whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven them and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. “Go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them”

    BOTH DOGMAS AND DOCTRINES ARE GIFTS OF FAITH AND MUST BE BELIEVED TO RECEIVE THE FULLNESS OF FAITH. Otherwise our faith will dry up like the seeds that fell on the path.

    ON THE INVALID HEALTHCARE ACT. Something very wonderful has come out of this blog. The fact that Obama added the HHS Mandate to the Affordable Healthcare Act AFTER Congress had passed it, nullifies informed consent and nullifies congressional consent and nullifies the will of the people. There is no valid ACA because of this unwarranted, unauthorized usurpation of the prerogative of Obama’s constituency to participation in democracy.

    ACA is an Executive Order. The Supreme Court must judge Executive Orders, and not as Obama has ordered the Court to enforce Executive Orders of the last fifteen years. Papa Obama would murder his own grandchildren instead of suffering the little children.

    ON HUMANAE VITAE The Catholic Church teaches that when a man approaches a woman to quell his sexual desire it is the duty of the wife to do so. When the woman needs a man, it is the duty of the husband to satisfy, appease and fulfill his wife’s sexual desire, that neither husband nor wife burn. Humanae Vitae speaks to the spiritual in the loving embrace of a husband and wife in exercising the graces poured out upon them by the Sacrament of Matrimony, the prayers of the church and God Himself, in expressing and fulfilling God’s command to be fruitful, increase and multiply. Abortion defiles the fruit of the womb and the will of God in creating the life of the immortal soul and sovereign personhood in the fruit of the womb. Contraception denies the will of God in the creation of the Divine in mankind, Lord of Life, God Himself is thwarted in contraception. It is incumbent upon each and every person, having been given Divine Life in the Holy Spirit to cherish and respect the Gift of Divine Life. Contraception disrespects God, man, and man’s procreative powers but most of all contraception, denies the spiritual motherhood and fatherhood of the human person, the husband’s vocation to sanctify his wife and the wife’s vocation to sanctify her husband. The transcendent nature of the Sacrament of human love is lost. Natural Family planning is always open to the divine gift of human life, because, as, in the words of my doctor, sometimes you pop and extra egg or two after menopause. A child so conceived would be extra special in God’s plan for mankind. This, of course, would explain on a physical level St. Elizabeth’s conception of St. John the Baptist, and Sarah’s of Isaac, St. Camillis de Lellis, patron saint of the Knights of Saint John, Hospitalers, whose mother conceived him at the age of 68, and St.Ann’s conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but not wholly, because it is the work of the Holy Spirit, and none of this would have ever happened without God willing it. So, it is with every sovereign human being brought into existence.

    How wonderful it is to know that someone loves you so much that they want there to be more of you.

  • I don’t know why Humane Vitae is talked about as if it is the only Church document with something to say about contraception.

    Casti Connubii, anyone?

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_31121930_casti-connubii_en.html

  • Bon – Some people tend to think that anything before the Council doesn’t count.

  • Most liberals, Pinky, don’t give a hoot what the Church or Sacred Scripture or Sacred Tradition have to say unless it supports their own personal bias of social justice, the common good and peace at any price. Casti Connubii or Humanae Vitae notwithstanding, they want license and approval to decide on their own when life begins so that they can titillate their genitals with complete abandon. They even want public acclaim for this. Their sin is NO different than what the serpent said to Eve in the Garden of Eden: “You will be like gods!” And using contraception is exactly and precisely that. It is unmitigated hubris for it says: “I am God and I have the wisdom to determine when life begins regardless that I rut in heat like a mindless baboon.”

  • Okay so lots to comment upon since my last entry.

    First, I do want to apologize to Bonchamps. And, I am sincere about this. I had read too quickly through your first entry and thought you were saying what a “true” Catholic ought to do with his/her vote. After a more serious reading of your blog, I would agree that you did not specifically argue for this. I apologize and retract my arguments on this.

    One other thing, though, that I do want to point out. Is there anyway that we can avoid calling our differences “lies”. A lie as far as I understand it is when an individual knowingly provides false information in order to deceive his audience. I don’t know where I have done this. Please point this out. I may have provided incorrect information. And, you are welcome to state that I have made errors. However, a lie carries with it a moral connotation on my morals that makes all my arguments suspect. I would ask that you stop doing this.

    Second, It is really too bad where most of this conversation has devolved. I received several comments from many of you that were simply not based upon a rational attack on my arguments. One of the responses actually stated that my position on contraception was based upon my desire to “unzip my pants” any time in order to satisfy my sexual urges. This was not my position. And, I would have to ask where the author saw me stating that. Also, I was attacked by one of the people here for not truly having compassion for my son who died because I took a different position on the issue of contraception. I am not sure how the author knows this about me or can make these types of accusations about a period in my life that was about extremely sad and filled with hope at the same time. My wife and I experienced great love and we believe God’s support during that time. And, we were incredibly inspired by the life of my son. It is strange to me that any Christian of any denomination would choose to step on such sensitive grounds with the belief that they can morally evaluate my intentions at that time.

    However, the really issue here is that we should be arguing over the reasons for our beliefs. And, those arguments need to be fair or reciprocal in nature. Yes, dogmas and faith do require that we believe on certain statements without question. However, dogmas, doctrines, and faith are also different in degrees of absolute faith. Otherwise everything would be dogma. Also, faith is clearly spelled out in the Bible as requiring defense and evidence. Faith is not simply an emotional acceptance of teachings. This is why various doctors of the Church including Augustine, Aquinas, and Rahner have challenged Church teachings while also upholding them at the same time. So, in our debates, proof texting the Bible and Church teachings while appealing to the authority of the Bishops and Pope is simply not adequate for claiming authority on these issues.

    Rather, arguments must be provided in order demonstrate your defense of these positions. And, attack on my person, motivations, or faith, while they may be correct, are not proofs for the positions that you hold.

    So, let me first deal with Bonchamps arguments from I believe last night:

    You seem to be arguing two major points again:

    1. It is morally objectionable to force Churches and you to pay for others’ contraceptions (your words were for someone’s ability to use a condom).
    2. CST does not criticize the concentration of wealth in capitalism and is irrelevant to our discussion.

    Okay, so on #1. No one is forcing you to pay for someone’s condom. The federal government is mandating that employers provide plans to their employees that open up choices. This means that an employee, Catholic or non-Catholic, can go to their insurance and purchase a plan that includes contraceptive care for whatever reason they believe is necessary including for women’s health issues involving cancer. You are not paying for the person’s contraception. True, premiums might slightly rise. Although this is actually an area that probably is not true. The reason is because the use of contraception lowers the rate of unwanted pregnancies lowering the cost on insurance and therefore dropping premiums. But, even if premiums did go up, you could offer this same argument about anything that insurance companies do with their plans since your money would eventually mingle with the overall money being spent.

    Now, I will admit that self insurance organizations are a problem of implementation. And, you have repeatedly said that you will only believe it when you see the administration actually work with the Church. However, as long as the Church is suing the Obama administration on this issue, there is no room for compromise. This is not because the Church has not right to sue. It is because they are not accepting the invitation to work with Obama on this issue. You might say that they are doing so because the initial action is unconstitutional. However, you have not proven this given my answer above. So, there is no action of tyranny in this case. If you argue that I have not provided evidence for this, please look to these last 2 paragraphs for the warrants that I have provided. These will need to be answered.

    Mary argues that this is still unconstitutional since they were done after HCA passed and through executive order. This is simply a misunderstanding of how the government works. Every president uses executive orders to pass rulings and mandates that are within the executive privilege. Reagan did it far more than Obama. And, President Bush also did this far more than Obama has done. You can argue this is a bad practice. But if the practice is non-unique you cannot claim that this is an act of tyranny while not blaming Reagan and Bush for also being tyrants.

    Now you can argue that there was no precedent that he was basing this on and that this was an act to spread a pro-abortion agenda. However, this is simply not accurate. This policy is already in 28 states. And, 8 of those states did not have the exemptions that Obama offered in even the first mandate. True, there are differences between a state and federal mandate. But the point that this is an attempt to destroy the Catholic Church when it has been used by multiple governors and spread out over different denominations and secular organizations questions that belief. Also, keep in mind that moderate Republicans like Olympia Snowe and about 12 others had promoted this idea since about 2001. Again, this is not to say that she is right. It is to point out that there is no hidden agenda. And, before Bonchamps says that all of this is irrelevant to the moral argument, keep in mind that your argument and Mary’s argument is that Obama is doing this out of a mindset of dictatorship or in the fashion of the communist apparatchik. So, that is why these issues fall in the scope of the argument.

    So, my overall point is that there is no violation of our religious freedoms here. There is a problem with implementation. And, before arguing that I provide no evidence for this statement, keep in mind that this is the conclusion of the previous paragraphs that include the evidence. So, that evidence must be answered.

    But this leads to the issue of private conscience. This is important because it establishes why the government has the right to act on the side of labor on this issue. Bonchamps argues that the government cannot do this due to the violation of private property. However, he provides no definition of private property in his argument. Private property exists when an individual works or invests or risks in such a way to make his/her own property. To remove this from him or her would be a violation since the property is an extension of that individual and his/her creativity. The problem with the employer/employee relationship is that no such “private property” exists. Rather, property is invested by the employer and created by the employee. This is why the private property is thus jointly owned by the two and opens up a space for negotiations. The issue then is that employers and employees have agreed that part of the benefits coming from this is to have health care insurance. This is not really under question. The problem in this case is whether the employee has choices in the plans that such an insurer provides. So, the problem with Bonchamps argument is that he assumes that a part of the negotiations between the employer and employee was over the contraception issue. This is not the case. It is an agreement on whether or not insurance will be part of the employee’s benefits. The particulars of what is in the insurance should be up to the individual consumer not imposed by the employers of any faith.

    But this then enters us into the larger social political argument that I made on wealth concentration and inequality. Bonchamps clearly argued that this is not really his concern due to the differentiation between relative and absolute poverty. But this is not my argument. My argument is that the Catholic Church through CST has clearly argued that capitalism, while better than socialism and communism, tends to have the problem of selfish individualism in which profits are seen as for the good of the individual not that of the community. And, I pointed out statistics that demonstrate how this has been happening over the last 30 years. Bonchamps rightly argued that I did not point out why this is a problem in society. Fair enough. Here are two reasons. First, it is immoral since it does not reward the employee for his/her increased labor. Second, it is bad for the economy and the Common Good because it dampens demand and slows down economic growth. This then makes it hard for individuals and families to provide for the development of the ones given to them by God to care for. And, for those who questioned why I rely upon the Church’s CST but not on their teachings on contraception, please note that it is because I have shown that the Church has valid and sound reasons for these beliefs. In the case of contraception, I do not think this is the case and I provided the reasons to demonstrate this.

    I then finished by arguing that Romney and the Republicans do not offer policies that uphold the majority of Catholic positions on CST. I said that Bonchamps did not provide evidence for his positions on the positive points of Republican policies. He said I was “childish” for demanding this due to the limited space on website boxes. I am unclear on this point. How is asking for evidence on a position given on a theological/political blog “childish”? Evidence is the only way that we can evaluate between the soundness of the two positions. Bonchamps also argued that I did not provide such evidence. Fair enough-here goes:

    1. Since the lowering of taxes under President Reagan and President Bush, we have seen a concentration of wealth while there has also been a rise in poverty.
    2. Families have seen a fall in median income after the Bush tax cuts by $4000 and this has affected their ability to save money, purchase a home, provide for education, and provide for health care.
    3. Before Obama’s ACA, 40,000 people died each year due to a lack of health care insurance coverage.
    4. During the era before Obama’s HCA, insurance companies regularly dropped adults and children with pre-existing conditions due to the lack of regulations on insurance companies.
    5. Companies are not hiring right now even though they are sitting on huge profits because as they say there is not enough demand. This has increased unemployment to a level only seen around the Great Depression. And, the Popes have said that such unemployment, lack of work and poverty is an immoral situation.

    The point of all of these is to point out that there are overwhelming reasons for a Catholic to consider voting for Obama in this election. I realize that Bonchamps and others will disagree and state that this is simply my opinion and right to it. True. But one must also provide reasons why my warrants are wrong. Or why my point on how Republican policies don’t uphold CST is wrong.

    Again, I am very welcome to a rational and civil debate between us. And, you are welcome to try to proselytize. You are also welcome to believe that I am an apostate or a wayward Catholic. However, an argument cannot be based upon overgeneralizations and name calling. I will wait for your decision on how everyone would like to respond.

  • Do you have these comments ready/canned or do you type that fast? Do you get it from DNC talking points?

    Anyhow, it would take me all bloody night to address all the counter-factuals you pose.

    So, I will comment in two Latin words: spucatum tauri.

  • James Zucker said: “Also, I was attacked by one of the people here for not truly having compassion for my son who died because I took a different position on the issue of contraception. I am not sure how the author knows this about me or can make these types of accusations about a period in my life that was about extremely sad and filled with hope at the same time. My wife and I experienced great love and we believe God’s support during that time. And, we were incredibly inspired by the life of my son. It is strange to me that any Christian of any denomination would choose to step on such sensitive grounds with the belief that they can morally evaluate my intentions at that time.”
    Mary De Voe said: “After the savaging the media did on Rick Santorum in the death of their newborn infant, and the support you, James Zucker, give to the INFANT BUTCHER in the White House, I must confess, I could not believe that you had any human compassion for another person, including the child you say you have lost to death. Not until this morning. It is incomprehensible to me that anyone could support another individual or policy which would try to curtail the existence of another human being who comes into existence through the will of “their Creator”. Only through God’s will, for until God creates the rational, immortal human soul, with its sovereign personhood and human life, there can be no other person. ”

    Mary De Voe said: ” I must confess, I could not believe that you had any human compassion for another person, including the child you say you have lost to death. Not until this morning.” Mr Zucker: You do not get to slander me for how I respond to you. Should you learn how to read and comprehend what you read, you will see that I found it impossible to believe you in any given situation, especally because of you supporting the INFANT BUTCHER, OBAMA. The rest has been removed by the author, except SLANDERER

  • “3. Before Obama’s ACA, 40,000 people died each year due to a lack of health care insurance coverage.”

    It is getting late and I have to catch a plane tomorrow, but let’s get rid of this myth:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/03/myth-diagnosis/307905/

  • “1. Since the lowering of taxes under President Reagan and President Bush, we have seen a concentration of wealth while there has also been a rise in poverty.”

    Or the continued break-up of the family, which likely is a much stronger contributor:

    http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2011/12/29/stuck-in-the-33-percent/

  • Ha! What T. Shaw wrote! Love it! Spucatum tauri! That sums up James Zucker and his arguments all in one neat nut shell. But he won’t stop. He’s got to prove himself smarter and more tolerant than any of the rest of us. He’s got to prove that he has a right to contracept at whim and to prove he is correct to vote for a godless man of sin. He has to prove this most of all to himself because he knows deep in his heart that he is wrong. That’s why he goes on and on and on. Meanwhile, in his hubris he defies God Himself by all his useless sophistry and wind-baggage.

    A very long time ago I had a sponsor in a 12 step program who used to tell me, “Paul, ultimately the only person you can spucatum tauri is yourself.” Of course, he didn’t know Latin, but being a Puerto Rican, he did speak Spanish especially when exasperated by defiant, stubborn new comers who couldn’t (or wouldn’t, like our James Zucker) understand the phrase, “Take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth because you don’t know anything.” I needed no translation at that point to hear the truth. 😉

  • “5. Companies are not hiring right now even though they are sitting on huge profits because as they say there is not enough demand. This has increased unemployment to a level only seen around the Great Depression.”

    Or other, more plausable reasons. From CNN no less:

    http://articles.cnn.com/2011-08-08/opinion/frum.economy.hiring_1_strong-firms-job-creation-economic-activity?_s=PM:OPINION

    Good night all.

  • So I lied. Just wanted to put up the money quote from CNN on why no hiring:

    “Then there’s public policy. Employers must fear that the future probably holds heavier taxes, more regulation and higher employee health care costs. The outlook might be worse under a President Obama than a President Romney, but it looks sufficiently ugly either way.”

  • So, I wanted to address the economic arguments first since they are little less emotionally controversial

    Phillip makes a number of important significant arguments. However, I would argue that I have the empirical evidence to show that the points that I am making are stronger. First, it is true that single families are a significant problem for the country. However during the 1990s as wages and economy grew, poverty decreased. This was during a period when single parents were still a significant problem. During a comparative period of lower taxes, the Bush era, poverty went back up. This suggests that single parent families while an issue is not the main problem.

    Second, as for the argument on uncertainty. There was a survey done by the Federal of Businesses. It included both small and large businesses. 68% pointed to the lack of demand as the main contributor to uncertainty, not increases in taxes or regulations. And, I understand that Phillip is talking about long term uncertainty. But, keep in mind that we are currently still operating under the Bush tax rates. So, why aren’t we seeing larger job growth. Even during the Bush administration, 3 million new jobs were created. During the Clinton era of higher taxes, 22 million new jobs were created. And, 11 million of these came before the Republicans took office in the Congress.

    On the 40,000 deaths, I do want to thank Phillip. I was not aware of these problems in the studies. However, there have been more recent studies including a Harvard study that was peer reviewed, recent and controlled for all of the social behaviors that the criticism levied. And, this study showed a much greater number of deaths from lacking insurance care.

    But, I want to address Mary’s points since she continues to attack my character and intentions. I realize that Mary was putting her arguments in context. However, your points on my character as being lacking in compassion especially in the case of my son is extremely questionable.

    So, here is my response to your arguments on the nature of sex and the use of contraception.

    You argued that sex is primarily used for the husband and wife as an obligation to stop or quell the desire for physical pleasure within a committed relationship. You are partially correct. It is true that husband and wife are obligated to one another so that we do not fall to the temptations of adultery or divorce. However, this is not sufficient to the actual definition of the nature or ontology of sex. Your view of sex turns it into a necessary evil that must be satisfied for other purposes. This is not the purpose of sex. The Church herself teaches that sex within a committed relationship leads to a unitive function that helps couples to both satisfy their physical needs and grow in an emotionally compatible and joyful relationship. This is why I can make the argument that a responsible couple using contraception in a committed relationship can do so without turning into the selfish individuals that so many are arguing will happen.

    As for your point that this stops God from producing saints and heroes, this is a highly problematic argument. For one, it is utilitarian in the use of the couples. Second, it would eliminate the justification for Natural Family Planning since the same risk could happen. Third, it would lead to the absurd argumentation that we ought to use abortions. What if Hitler’s mom, Stalin’s mom, or Mao’s mom had had an abortion? We would not have had these terrors. But this is absurd because it leaves out the evaluation of the intent and the act itself.

    My argument is that the couple can have sex with the use of contraception within a committed relationship that is open to life but manages family size for financial and emotional reasons. This is because unity is essential to sex. But procreation, while a significant purpose to sex, is not essential to all sex acts.

    Again, you are all welcome to attack my character, throw out Latin phrases about my blindness and attack me. But none of these arguments are actually dealing with my argumentation. I am happy to leave the website if this is what people want. But please keep in mind that this simply reinforces the view that there is a lack of an openness amongst some to discuss and provide argumentation. Either way. I am fine with the conclusions.

  • ” … However, your points on my character as being lacking in compassion especially in the case of my son is extremely questionable. … ” – as is your using him here to argue against the will of God.

    ” But procreation, while a significant purpose to sex, is not essential to all sex acts. ” – Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the sick, remember the Sabbath to keep it Holy, and have faith that NFP will fulfill your marriage.

    8/16 @ 9:39 pm to Mary: “Lastly, I agree that our freedoms come from God. I just don’t know how this is relevant to our arguments. Freedom of conscience ensures that we have the choice to make decisions unless we know of a direct moral evil that threatens others. In the case of contraception, none of this exists.”
    – The “unless” clause undoes your argument, almost as well as removing God from it.

  • James,

    “Is there anyway that we can avoid calling our differences “lies”.”

    I don’t know what else to call your insistence that the Church is seeking to prevent people from accessing birth control. It is a false statement, and you know it is a false statement. What should I call it?

    “No one is forcing you to pay for someone’s condom.”

    If I have a business that employs more than 50 people by the year 2014, that is exactly what will be happening.

    “The federal government is mandating that employers provide plans to their employees that open up choices.”

    Let me say it one more time: there will be no legally available plan excluding contraception for employers to purchase. It is the simplest of logic:

    *Employers MUST buy health insurance for their employees
    *Employers CANNOT choose health plans that DO NOT include morally objectionable goods and services
    *Ergo, employers are being FORCED to buy health plans for their employees that include morally objectionable goods and services that they otherwise would not have bought for reasons of conscience

    Laws that force people to act against their consciences are unjust, and unjustifiable. Our duty is to disobey them.

    The rest of your points are therefore irrelevant. We have a fundamentally different understanding of what this mandate entails, and you are unable or unwilling to admit that the employer has no choice in the matter. At a certain point, I don’t know what else to call it but dishonest.

    In the case of religious institutions that are not self-insured, again, the institution still has to buy the plan from the insurance provider. So they are still paying for the morally objectionable goods, they just aren’t providing them “directly.” This, as I have said repeatedly, is a distinction without a difference. That is why the bishops have largely rejected the so-called “accommodation.”

    “But the point that this is an attempt to destroy the Catholic Church when it has been used by multiple governors and spread out over different denominations and secular organizations questions that belief. ”

    There isn’t a single state-level plan that does not offer exemptions (morally acceptable exemptions that aren’t clearly a smoke and mirrors distraction like Obama’s “accommodation”) that are acceptable to the Church. So this argument doesn’t hold.

    “Bonchamps argues that the government cannot do this due to the violation of private property. However, he provides no definition of private property in his argument.”

    I think we all generally understand the concept of private ownership. Do I need to define light and heat every time I talk about them too?

    If you want to say we need to explore private ownership more, fine. But this snide little remark about how I provide no definition, as if I should have, is just petty.

    “Rather, property is invested by the employer and created by the employee. This is why the private property is thus jointly owned by the two and opens up a space for negotiations.”

    No. You are completely wrong. Unless there is an employee stock ownership program, or unless it is stipulated in the labor contract somehow, the employee is not a joint owner.

    “The problem in this case is whether the employee has choices in the plans that such an insurer provides. So, the problem with Bonchamps argument is that he assumes that a part of the negotiations between the employer and employee was over the contraception issue. This is not the case. It is an agreement on whether or not insurance will be part of the employee’s benefits. The particulars of what is in the insurance should be up to the individual consumer not imposed by the employers of any faith.”

    This is false from top to bottom, and the liberties you take in assuming what other people have assumed are really astounding.

    When an individual seeks employment from an employer, that employer makes known to the potential employee what the conditions of employment are. In the case of Catholic institutions and businesses owned by Catholics, they make it clear at the outset that they will not in any way contribute to the procurement of morally objectionable goods and services. The employee is free to accept this condition of employment, or, deciding that they would like their employer to cover such goods and services, free to look for employment elsewhere. That situation is perfectly just and perfectly consistent with the principles of a free society.

    No one is entitled to a job that offers health care at all, let alone health care that provides contraception in spite of the moral objections of the employer. To insist that one is entitled to such things is NOT consistent with a free society, but with a tyrannical society in which employers have to spend their money in the service of an ideological agenda, and not in accordance with the dictates of their conscience.

    Businesses are private entities. They are separate from the state. Business owners are not public servants and are not obliged to submit to the ideological agenda of the Obama regime. If you can’t accept this, then you don’t accept freedom at all. You can say you aren’t talking about tyranny, but your words will ring hollow.

    Regarding inequalities:

    “First, it is immoral since it does not reward the employee for his/her increased labor.”

    You have absolutely no way of determining what level of labor is worthy of what level of wages. This is something determined by market forces, by the balance of supply and demand.

    “Second, it is bad for the economy and the Common Good because it dampens demand and slows down economic growth.”

    Keyensian dogmas are not Catholic dogmas.

    “He said I was “childish” for demanding this due to the limited space on website boxes.”

    That’s not what I said at all. This is why I think you are dishonest. I never said anything about limited space in website boxes. I said that I was simply replying to your points, and that is childish you to expect academic “evidence” for every point made in a com-box discussion.

    As for your five points:

    I have a huge, huge problem with the use of statistics to make economic arguments. It takes a great deal of work to establish a mere correlation between two variables, and it is virtually impossible to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between them. I guarantee you that for every correlation you attempt to draw upon to support your policy arguments, I or someone else can find one to counter it. I have had so many debates like this that I don’t even bother anymore.

    The relationship between competitive markets, economic opportunity, and lower consumer prices is well-established. But the relationship is difficult to observe for one major reason: inflation. Both major parties are committed to monetary and financial policies that severely obscure and obstruct the operation of the free market.

    But to think you can take one isolated policy, like the Bush tax cuts, and cite them as the actual cause of a rise in poverty, is simply absurd. There are thousands of different relationships between thousands of different variables that have to be examined in order to determine exactly what causes what. So I reject your argument out of hand.

    Since we are unable to really understand anything by making these facile attempts to correlate variables, I, like the Austrians, would rather pursue principled economic policies. And quite frankly this means that neither party is acceptable to me on economic issues, unless Ron Paul were the GOP nominee.

    With that said, however, I believe taxes should be cut, for all people at all levels, on the principle that private citizens and business will spend the money in ways that will better serve the common good than government will. And it is their money. They earned it through their labor, and the government is only justified in taxing at a level that is required for it to fulfill its legitimate functions.

    It is not the job of the government to eradicate poverty – and poverty in a historical sense has been drastically reduced by the operation of the free market and capitalist investment. If you compare the living conditions of an American living at the bureaucratically-determined “poverty line” now with the conditions of 90% of the world’s population around 200 years ago, for instance, the former would be far wealthier.

    As for these points:

    “3. Before Obama’s ACA, 40,000 people died each year due to a lack of health care insurance coverage.”

    This is unfortunate, but that doesn’t mean that I have to buy ACA or the Obama regime as the best or only solution.

    “5. Companies are not hiring right now even though they are sitting on huge profits because as they say there is not enough demand.”

    Arbitrarily forcing companies to hire people they don’t need isn’t going to help the economy, the poor, or the common good.

  • “This suggests that single parent families while an issue is not the main problem.”

    It is one issue among others. Of which the economic policies of Republicans are a minor feature.

    “But, keep in mind that we are currently still operating under the Bush tax rates.”

    Until Jan 2012. At which point no one knows what is going to happen. Include the 1.2 – 2.7 trillion dollars in taxes which the ACA will impose over the next 10 years. And the taxes that the Obama administration has already imposed. No, these are actual concerns.

    “However, there have been more recent studies including a Harvard study that was peer reviewed, recent and controlled for all of the social behaviors that the criticism levied. And, this study showed a much greater number of deaths from lacking insurance care.”

    Except that studied is specifically premised on patients receiving the most up-to-date medications. Something that will definitely not be provided under the ACA. That means that the ACA causes deaths.

  • Zooks: Unadulterated male bovine excrement.

  • Bonchamps:

    Great points. I am happy to respond to each of your points from my perspective. As usual, you are welcome to disagree with me on any of these issues.

    I want to start with some basic definitional and valued based points on this debate. You argued that private property does not need a definition and it is rather objectionable for me to ask for this given that no one would ask for definitions of other terms like light. The difference is that private property is not as simple to define and is not as clear to anyone given that property is produced in an environment of relationships between employers and employees. Even in CST, there is a recognition of this problem. Popes have always defended the right to private property but they have always cautioned employers to look out for the interests of their employees. Why? Because employees have the dignity of work from God and therefore should be treated fairly in negotiations over property and wages. In this context, health care takes on a new meaning as a right.

    Here are my reasons for arguing this:

    1. Modern health care is absolutely necessary for both quality and quantity of life.
    2. Modern health care while a product and service for sale upholds the dignity of life by looking out for individual’s health.
    3. Part of a society’s obligation is to look out for the common good and provide opportunities for individuals to compete. Without health care due to problems of affording this care, some individuals would be left far behind while others would be promoted due to their wealth.

    As I am sure you know, businesses agreed after WWII to provide for health care plans in their wage structures in order to avoid a single payer system that President Truman and others were pursuing back in the 1940s. So, while I agree with you that until the ACA, there was no forced health care on businesses, there has been a general consent in society for businesses to include this for employees for some time.

    The ACA has changed this environment. Now businesses must provide some health care plan for their employees and there are requirements of what must go into these health care plans. I never argued that this was not the case. What I did argue was that employers are not being required to purchase plans with contraception. Rather they are contracting companies to come into their business and offer options for the individual to purchase. If an individual chooses to purchase a plan without contraception that will be fine. If an individual chooses to purchase a plan with contraception that will be the individual’s choice. The point of my argument is that when the Church says that the individual should not have the choice, the Church is violating the individual’s ability to make that decision within and between the plans being offered. The employer is not involved in this choice because he is not purchasing the plans or the contraception. And, none of his money is going directly to the plans or contraception. You can disagree with my reasoning. But this is not a lie.

    But this leads us to your overall claim that Obama is enacting a form of tyranny. This is where my objection about the states comes into play. Again, you can disagree with the states proposals. But, there was never a cry of tryanny when the states did this. And, there is an obvious reason why. This policy is one of difficult tensions over public health versus religious freedoms of conscience and personal choice. So, there were attempts to accommodate as many people as possible. And, the same is now happening at the federal level. If your argument is that any law passed by the federal government is viewed as an act of tyranny, then most of the regulatory structure of the federal government would lead to such an indictment. Rather, you must show that there is an attempt to violate individual’s conscience and religious beliefs. And, due to many of the arguments here, you must also show a committed attempt by the Obama administration to go directly after Catholics and Christians in general to do this.

    I have provided arguments above why individual employers are not being violated due to the choice of the employee. And, because this idea has already existed in 28 states and was promoted by moderate Republicans like Olympia Snowe, this idea, while objectionable, cannot be claimed to be a new idea based upon a conspiracy against religious groups.

    So, this gets us to the connected issues of CST thinking and the overall reasons for supporting the Democratic platform that would aid the poor.

    You are right that I am using and relying upon Keynesian thinking. However, I am doing so in order to elaborate upon the general principles of CST.

    CST generally teaches that:

    1. Capitalism is better than the alternatives of socialism and communism.
    2. However capitalism can lead to the selfish acquisition of wealth at the expense of the weakest members of society.
    3. Employers and governments in capitalist societies should both protect individual rights and look out for the common good.

    If you disagree with my summary of CST please tell me where I got it wrong.

    Having started from that basis, I would argue that the Republican policies have exacerbated the difference between the groups in society creating excessive inequalities that are unfair to workers and endanger the Common Good of the economy. Yes, our poor live at a higher level than poor in other countries. But this does not demonstrate that the actions of the rich here are moral if they are not rewarding their employees at a fair level.

    You are right to argue that there is no way for me to determine an exact measurement of what is a fair wage. However, we can show that employers are acting in a way that is not looking for the common good. When the richest are earning 300% increases in their wages as the middle class has only gained 30% increases in wages, when the rich earn 97% of the income in the country, and when the richest 20% have 80% of the wealth, this suggests that the rich are not looking out for the common good but are focused on their own individual interests. And, while Keynesian thought is the basis of my point on dampening demand, this is an issue with the Common Good since the economy cannot grow for the good of all.

    You also correctly pointed out that we cannot draw an exact cause and effect relationship between statistics. So, every argument and stat that I use can be questioned. However, questioning is very different from dismissing. My argument is that the Austrian belief that increased taxes always leads to a drag on the economy does not explain why the Bush 1 and Clinton raise in taxes was followed by an economic boom that helped all classes and made a lot of money for the rich while the Bush 2 tax decreases led to a very weak economy, weak employment creation, and an eventual economic crash in 2008. True this does not prove anything for certain. But it opens the point of criticizing Austrian economic philosophy.

    Lastly, you argued that the deaths of 40,000 people due to a lack of health care is tragic but irrelevant. I would argue that this is the exact problem with our two worldviews. The Austrian world view believes that society is an atomized group of individuals who are only responsible for their own self-interest through competition. However, CST teaches that we are ultimately responsible to one another. So, the deaths of 40,000 people calls us to seek out solutions to solve this for the Common Good. Now, this does not mean that government is the solution. It may be solved through churches, volunteer organizations, or church risk pools. But dismissing the issue is not something that would be allowed. So, my criticism of the Republican policies using this example is definitely within the scope of this debate.

    In the end, the point is that the Obama mandate is not an act of tyranny. It does show a tension of how policy in a diverse society requires accommodations. And, while we will still disagree on voting for Obama v. Romney, I have provided an argument that the Democratic platform does a better job comparably of working on the issues that CST calls for in any society.

  • One correction. I reread the section on the 40,000 deaths. I was incorrect on my reading. You did not argue that we ought to dismiss this issue as irrelevant. You did argue that this does not lead to an acceptance of the Obama ACA. I would agree with you on this point. But, I do think that there is a responsibility under CST to look for what is the best possible solution. And, the principle of CST for subsidiarity opens up the possibility for a government action.

  • James,

    “The difference is that private property is not as simple to define”

    No, it is simple to define. The Church defined it in Rerum Novarum. The fruits of your labor are your property. Whatever you exchange them for is your property. The state can only infringe upon your property to fulfill its legitimate functions, and there is certainly no mandate in CST for a national welfare regime.

    “Because employees have the dignity of work from God and therefore should be treated fairly in negotiations over property and wages. In this context, health care takes on a new meaning as a right.”

    Absolutely false. You can’t leap from a duty to treat people fairly in negotiations to a right to health care! There’s no logical continuity between these concepts.

    “1. Modern health care is absolutely necessary for both quality and quantity of life.”

    Modern health care is still a scarce resource that can’t be produced and distributed to everyone for free by fiat. There are still costs to be paid, and to ignore those costs is criminally irrational. Costs don’t disappear when you deem something a “right.”

    Humanity survived dozens of generations without modern health care. It obviously isn’t necessary to live. The real problem is that some people are irritated beyond belief that some people (the vast majority of people, actually) are able to afford health care and others aren’t. The fact that almost no one had what we would call “quality health care” 100 or 200 years ago never even enters into the equation, and that is why such short-sighted moralizers would hamper and destroy the very historical process that enabled so many people to be able to access affordable and quality care in the first place.

    “3. Part of a society’s obligation is to look out for the common good and provide opportunities for individuals to compete. Without health care due to problems of affording this care, some individuals would be left far behind while others would be promoted due to their wealth.”

    No. Society is not obliged to establish equality of conditions, which is what you are really talking about here. Yes, some individuals do start out with more advantages than others. That, again, is called life. It is not the job of a federal bureaucracy to see to it that this or that group gets an advantage. It is up to family, friends, neighbors, fellow Christians, etc. to help people in their midst, voluntarily, with the resources they have to spare.

    “So, while I agree with you that until the ACA, there was no forced health care on businesses, there has been a general consent in society for businesses to include this for employees for some time.”

    So what? Why does this matter?

    ” What I did argue was that employers are not being required to purchase plans with contraception. Rather they are contracting companies to come into their business and offer options for the individual to purchase. If an individual chooses to purchase a plan without contraception that will be fine. If an individual chooses to purchase a plan with contraception that will be the individual’s choice. ”

    This is really a sickness you seem to have. Who is paying? The “individual”, i.e. the individual employee, is not paying. The EMPLOYER is paying. The EMPLOYER is purchasing the plan. Obamacare mandates that all employers with over 50 employees purchase health plans for their employees by 2014. The HHS mandate establishes that there will be NO PLAN AVAILABLE that DOES NOT INCLUDE morally objectionable goods and services. I’m gong to keep repeating it because it is the truth. If you don’t understand or believe that this is what the mandate does, then we have absolutely nothing more to say to one another.

    “The point of my argument is that when the Church says that the individual should not have the choice, the Church is violating the individual’s ability to make that decision within and between the plans being offered. The employer is not involved in this choice because he is not purchasing the plans or the contraception. And, none of his money is going directly to the plans or contraception. You can disagree with my reasoning. But this is not a lie.”

    In the case of private businesses owned by Catholics, the employer IS purchasing the plans. That is beyond dispute. In the case of religious institutions not exempted by the mandate, again, there is a shell game being played in which the COSTS of the morally objectionable goods and services will be passed on to the employer in the form of higher premiums. You can use the word “directly” all you like, but it is irrelevant. At the end of the day these institutions are still contributing “directly” to the distribution of morally objectionable goods and services.

    The lie I accuse you of, though, is your repeated claims that the Church wants to prevent people form accessing birth control. This IS a lie. The Church is neither able nor willing to stop people from buying birth control on their own, nor does it force anyone to work for them. People who choose to work for Catholic institutions are limiting THEIR OWN access to birth control by voluntarily agreeing to the terms of employment offered by these institutions. THAT is the truth.

    “But, there was never a cry of tryanny when the states did this. And, there is an obvious reason why. ”

    The reason what is what I already said: because there is no state plan that fails to offer acceptable exemptions for Catholic employers.

    And I don’t care in the least about “moderate Republicans like Olympia Snowe.” Stop mentioning her. What she approves of couldn’t mean less to me.

    ” Yes, our poor live at a higher level than poor in other countries. But this does not demonstrate that the actions of the rich here are moral if they are not rewarding their employees at a fair level.”

    You cannot determine what is “fair.” A government bureaucrat cannot determine what is “fair.” This is worked out between employers and employees based on prevailing market conditions.

    “When the richest are earning 300% increases in their wages as the middle class has only gained 30% increases in wages, when the rich earn 97% of the income in the country, and when the richest 20% have 80% of the wealth, this suggests that the rich are not looking out for the common good but are focused on their own individual interests.”

    Even if I were to accept the argument that the income of the wealthiest Americans – who pay most of the taxes and give the most to charity, by the way – was solely the product of “greed”, this would be a problem of their individual souls. I see no demonstrable harm caused to one man by the mere existence of another man’s wealth.

    ” My argument is that the Austrian belief that increased taxes always leads to a drag on the economy does not explain why the Bush 1 and Clinton raise in taxes was followed by an economic boom that helped all classes and made a lot of money for the rich while the Bush 2 tax decreases led to a very weak economy, weak employment creation, and an eventual economic crash in 2008. True this does not prove anything for certain. But it opens the point of criticizing Austrian economic philosophy.”

    First of all, I never said that it was an “Austrian belief that increased taxes always lead to a drag on the economy.” I’m not sure the school holds that exact position or formulates it in exactly that way, and so I would not describe it in such a way.

    It is the morality of taxation that the Austrian school is more concerned with, and myself as well. What gives anyone the right to point guns in your direction and say “work X hours for me out of the year or go to prison?” I accept that we need a limited government to do certain things that private industry can’t do. But beyond these limited, legitimate functions, the state has no right to shake people down in the service of an ideological agenda. The state exists to serve us, not we to serve the state.

    Finally, much of the economic “booms” of recent years have been based upon false, unsustainable premises – such as the expansion of debt and the money supply. So I am not terribly impressed with the tech boom of the 90s, and we know how the housing boom went. Both parties ignore the fundamentals of sound economics.

    “The Austrian world view believes that society is an atomized group of individuals who are only responsible for their own self-interest through competition.”

    Well, this is false. It’s one of those things that, if you keep saying it after you know it is false, becomes a lie. So I’ll leave that to you to think about.

    The Austrian view is simply that the state does not have the moral legitimacy or the technical competency to manage society. But it does not say that society is “an atomized group of individuals”, nor does it say that they are only responsible “for their own self-interest.” This is simply not true. In defending free markets and opposing statism, Austrian economics does not imply or insist that individuals must be rugged individualists, or that there are no organic institutions that make up what we call “society” such as families, churches, and other associations. It is quite obvious that you’ve never read a single thing by the Austrian school and are only using the word because I used it, and you think this is what I believe.

    “However, CST teaches that we are ultimately responsible to one another.”

    There’s no incompatibility between what I believe and what CST teaches. I reject that “responsible to one another” means “morally obliged to support a confiscatory welfare state.”

  • Bonchamps:

    Once again, an excellent debate showing the clarity and differentiation in our opinions. Here are my responses to your points:

    I think the primary part for us to look at is our difference on the role of the state and private property. You are right that Rerum Navarum called for a protection of the labor that we produce and that the state cannot infringe upon this. But there was a also a call under this document to be careful of selfish pursuit of private property without regard to the Common Good. Why would this be the case if an individual is simply protecting his or her own creation. Because a business is not entirely the creation of the owners. Yes, the owners do put in the risk, investment and overall vision. However, the workers also participate in the creation of the products and services. So they are entitled under morality to a fair share in the eventual rewards. You are correct that I cannot establish an exact number of the fair share. However, we can point to when the economy has tilted in an unfair way towards a concentration of wealth in fewer hands. And, we can evaluate that as hurting the common good. I have provided the statistics to demonstrate that this happened in the country for the last 30 years. And, I have provided evidence of how this hurt our society through increased costs to the poor and middle class. This is not supporting of the Common Good. You are right that the solution is not automatically through the state. But CST does teach the principle of subsidiarity in which the State does have a role in reducing the problems in society in order to help local organizations when they cannot do so.

    This gets us to health care. You are correct that showing negotiations between workers and employers does not lead to a direct right for health care. But this was not my argument. My argument was that workers should have a right to health care for the following reasons:

    1. Modern health care is necessary to quality and quantity of life.
    2. Workers cannot afford health care on their own due to rising costs.
    3. Severe inequalities have hurt the ability of workers to access health care in a way that allows them to fully participate in society.

    You answered in two parts. First, you pointed out that we have done without health care for several centuries. True, but there is a reason why we moved away from this. In previous centuries, the rates of deaths and diseases were also much higher. And, life expectancy was much lower. And, this was largely due to the lack of a professionalized health care system. Catholic teaching would praise our current improvements in health care because it allows for better quality and quantity of life and it protects the sanctity of life.

    This leads to your second criticism. You argued that inequalities are simply a part of life. I agree. And, in fact, most people would agree with you. But this is not the argument. The argument is not that anyone wants to get rid of all inequalities. I have repeatedly argued that CST teaches that capitalism is far superior to socialism and communism. However, there is a difference between general inequalities due to differences in birth, talent, skill and choices and excessive inequalities in which the market is not adequately distributing wealth and income as rewards for work. In fact, your own argument admits of this. You at one point in a previous posting said that capitalism diffuses wealth. But when I gave evidence of the concentration of wealth, you then argued this does not concern you. This was a tacit agreement that concentration of wealth is happening. And, the stats that provided demonstrate an extreme concentration of wealth. When the market does this, another agent, the government, is necessary to break this concentration in order to spread out the rewards. This is not necessary in a socialist or communist manner. But as we have done for the last century, it can be used to make sure the market spreads out the rewards in a more fair manner that is not excessive as the stats that I have provided.

    But this leads us to the HHS mandate. Again, I have to disagree with you. This is not a “sickness” or a “lie” on my part. It is a disagreement on how this system works. You are welcome to disagree with me. But using terms like sickness and lie are not arguments. They are simply personal characterizations. My point is simple. Yes, the ACA does force all employers with 50 or more employees to provide insurance. And, there are some basic requirements for these plans. The HHS mandate adds to this. However, you are wrong that the HHS mandate has employers purchase contraception. Rather, it has employers contract with insurance companies that provide that option to employees. So, what is the difference here between my point and yours. My point is that:

    1. The employer contracts the insurance companies not pays for the plans.
    2. The employee makes the choice to purchase contraception from the company. The employer does not pay for this.
    3. The employee pays for the premium, not the employer.

    In order for your argument to be correct, you need to show:

    1. The employer purchases the actual plan with contraception.
    2. The employer purchases contraception for his or her employees.
    3. The employer contributes directly to the premiums for the contraception.

    I am arguing that none of these conditions are true.

    Furthermore, I realize that you don’t care about the Olympia Snowe example. And, I realize that you believe the 28 states are also acting in a tyrannical way. But, your response missed my point. My point was that this was not an attack by the Obama administration on the Catholic Church or any other religious institution. Buy using Snowe and the 28 states, my point was to show that this idea was developed over a long time by different constituencies, was already used in half of the states, and covered all employers not just Catholic ones. So, there is no evidence of a conspiracy to attack or take down the Catholic Church. You can say you don’t care about these issues when it comes to morality. And, you would be right. But this is not my argument. My argument is that these points of evidence show that there is no evidence for a conspiratorial attack on faith.

    This brings me back again to the overall argument on my end for why a Catholic can vote for Obama based upon CST thinking. I realize that you believe Austrian thinking is solely a moral argument about the state. However, they also have an economic argument on their side as well.

    As for the economic argument, Austrian thinkers influenced thinkers like Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of economics. Their overall view on society is an atomized view in which individuals pursue their own self interest and in the process benefit all people. They advocate policies like lowering taxes believing this will help the suppliers to provide more supplies and therefore more jobs to produce those supplies. I think this is a fair way of understanding their argument. I have provided evidence in the past that suggests that they are wrong. I am happy to repeat that argument if you wish.

    But as for the moral argument, yes, they believe that the state is an institution that can perform basic functions like security but has no moral obligation to do anything further. This belief about the state violates the CST teaching on subsidiarity. CST clearly teaches that as many actions as possible should be left to local institutions. However, in the cases where that cannot take place, the state does have a role to help in order to achieve the common good.

    My argument is that, especially on health care, there is a need for the government to do this. The private sector has not shown an ability to lower the costs on health care and provide for all people including those with pre-existing conditions. And, local churches and voluntary organizations do not have the money to cover these costs especially with the increased inequalities of wealth and income. So, the state has a role to regulate and create the conditions where people can access such a basic need for quality and quantity of life.

    You argued that to do this would be immoral due to not having people pay for the costs. But the ACA does not make health care free or entirely based upon taxes from one or multiple groups of people. The ACA provides for regional markets in which businesses and individuals do purchase health care. They do have “skin in the game”. However, what the ACA does is provide subsidies to the poor who cannot afford the health care entirely on their own. And, the ACA mandates everyone purchase some health care policy in order to spread out costs and hold people responsible for using health care in order to solve for the free rider problem-a conservative position until 2008 when Obama advocated for it. Again, I know you will argue that you don’t care because you don’t support all Republicans but a libertarian position. This is fine. But, my point is that this is not a radical left wing policy searching for absolute equality by a tyrannical government position. It is a mainstream position to hold people responsible to pay for a system that they will eventually use.

    So, once again, I would argue:

    1. There is a right to health care because it has evolved into a system necessary to maintain the quality and quantity of life in today’s society.
    2. The state has a role in protecting the Common Good under CST and in today’s environment of extreme inequalities the state needs to step in to solve this problem (not strict equality).
    3. The HHS mandate allows for employees to make choices on the goods and services that they want-not to force employers to pay for contraception.

    As usual I look forward to your response. And, can we please admit that we have a difference of viewpoint not a sickness…

  • “But we allow for natural family planning in order to prevent and frustrate life from being produced.”

    That’s only part of the picture. Natural family planning can be used just as easily for a couple to GET pregnant as to avoid pregnancy. At its root, NFP is simply a series of observations that a couple uses to be aware of the woman’s likely fertility, or lack thereof, at any given time. This knowledge has many other uses besides just avoiding pregnancy — for example, it can help a woman know when to expect her menstrual cycle and can also provide her early warning when she may be approaching menopause or experiencing other hormonal disruptions. In fact there are secular teachers of NFP (usually they refer to it as “fertility awareness”) who embrace the method not for any moral or religious reason but simply because it works WITH nature and not against it — for much the same reason that they embrace organic foods or alternative medicine.

  • James,

    I’ve said all I want to say, and have no desire to repeat myself yet again. I believe you have fundamentally misrepresented the HHS mandate, as well as CST and free market economics. Take care.

  • Z’s problem isn’t what he doesn’t know. It’s that what he knows just ain’t so.

  • Bonchamps:

    Thank you for debating through these issues with me.

    I do have to say that I did find something that I believe I made an error about. I was mistaken in my understanding on how the plan and contraception is paid for. I had thought that companies only contract for the insurance. After doing some reading last night, I now know this is wrong. Employers and employees do both contribute to the policy. Obama’s compromise will have the insurance company pay for the contraception in order to try to separate out the spending. However, if premiums go up, you have a valid point that you are contributing to something you find morally objectionable. I do apologize for this mistake and I thank you for making me aware of this misunderstanding on my part.

    Thank you for your time in this debate. It was informative and enjoyable.

Cardinal Newman on the Assumption

Wednesday, August 15, AD 2012

AS soon as we apprehend by faith the great fundamental truth that Mary is the Mother of God, other wonderful truths follow in its train; and one of these is that she was exempt from the ordinary lot of mortals, which is not only to die, but to become earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Die she must, and die she did, as her Divine Son died, for He was man; but various reasons have approved themselves to holy writers, why, although her body was for a while separated from her soul and consigned to the tomb, yet it did not remain there, but was speedily united to her soul again, and raised by our Lord to a new and eternal life of heavenly glory.

And the most obvious reason for so concluding is this—that other servants of God have been raised from the grave by the power of God, and it is not to  be supposed that our Lord would have granted any such privilege to anyone else without also granting it to His own Mother.

We are told by St. Matthew, that after our Lord’s death upon the Cross “the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints that had slept”—that is, slept the sleep of death, “arose, and coming out of the tombs after His Resurrection, came into the Holy City, and appeared to many.” St. Matthew says, “many bodies of the Saints”—that is, the holy Prophets, Priests, and Kings of former times—rose again in anticipation of the last day.

Can we suppose that Abraham, or David, or Isaias, or Ezechias, should have been thus favoured, and not God’s own Mother? Had she not a claim on the love of her Son to have what any others had? Was she not nearer to Him than the greatest of the Saints before her? And is it conceivable that the law of the grave should admit of relaxation in their case, and not in hers? Therefore we confidently say that our Lord, having preserved her from sin and the consequences of sin by His Passion, lost no time in pouring out the full merits of that Passion upon her body as well as her soul.

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