Douthat Puts Kmiec in His Place

Thursday, November 6, AD 2008

Many of us on the conservative side of the spectrum have been sounding a tad cranky the last couple days.  Still, occasionally this frustration is channeled into well deserved directions.  Commenter and fellow Steubenville alumnus FUS01 pointed me towards a great piece by Ross Douthat, part of an open discussion on the future of the GOP over on Slate.  In response to Kmiec’s now familiar comlaint that GOP pro-lifers are unrealistic in wanting to defeat Roe, and his claim that Obama is a natural for pro-life voters, Douthat dishes it out to him in a way that Kmiec richely deserves:

20 Responses to Douthat Puts Kmiec in His Place

  • Ross nails issue big time. Not sure who is more worthy of my contempt- the anonymous McCain staffers dropping info about Sarah The Trailer Park Shopper or Kmiec The Useful Idiot. Time was that I thought Dougie was angling for some fancy gig like Deputy AG. Might well be he was ideoligically motivated to twist and turn the Church’s position on abortion like a South Philly pretzel maker. Makes him all the more pathetic. No more of his ilk in either U.S. Catholicism, Sharper More Focused More Battle Ready Pro-Life Movement, or a GOP free of impediments like the leakers, seeking a More Moderate America. Moderate- bleh. Armadillos get smushed in the middle of the road. Go back to Pepperdine, Dougie, and leave the heavy lifting to others.

  • “embarrassing shill”

    An accurate assessment of Kmiec.

  • A pretty hyperbolic diatribe. I can understand how distraught we all are, but this may have been unconstructive.

    I don’t want to be a party pooper and I certainly agree where the emotions are emanating from, but maybe we should all get this out of our system now and quickly so we can return to the issue at hand.

    Protecting the unborn, reversing Roe v Wade, ie, promoting a culture of life.

    I for one will be having a pint or two and vent with friends this weekend, after that, full steam ahead with the Pro-Life Movement!

  • Ordinarily I would agree with Tito’s sentiments. In the case of Kmiec, however, I am willing to make an exception.

  • Tito, I did not find this hyperbolic. It was accurate. In my mind, Douthat should be credited for having the courage to say what he said in a hostile forum like Slate. George Weigel, Robert George, Ramesh Ponnuru, legal scholars John Breen, and Rick Garnett have all made the same point. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Kmiec was acting deliberately in bad faith. See, for instance, Kmiec’s endorsement of the pro-choice position in this LAT op-ed:

    “Sometimes the law must simply leave space for the exercise of individual judgment, because our religious or scientific differences of opinion are for the moment too profound to be bridged collectively. When these differences are great and persistent, as they unfortunately have been on abortion, the common political ideal may consist only of that space. This does not, of course, leave the right to life undecided or unprotected. Nor for that matter does the reservation of space for individual determination usurp for Caesar the things that are God’s, or vice versa. Rather, it allows this sensitive moral decision to depend on religious freedom and the voice of God as articulated in each individual’s voluntary embrace of one of many faiths.”
    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-kmiec17-2008oct17,0,2107469.story

  • I understand that the pro-life position on abortion does not command majority support in the United States and that people of good will can disagree on the subject.

    I disagree that informed and thoughtful people of intelligence and goodwill can disagree on the question of abortion, any more than they could on questions like slavery or the Nazis’ “final solution.”

    Science teaches us that human life begins at conception. Theology teaches that human life has inherent dignity and rights. Just law must take this into account.

  • Two items of context that may help:

    1) Douthat is normally such a moderate voice that hearing him put the hammer down like this is both fun and gives his words more impact than if they came from someone who was a fire breather by habbit.

    2) Kmiecs essay yesterday in the same round-table which Douthat was directly responding to was so weasley and indeed bordering on incoherant I figured he deserved it in the immediate as well as the general sense.

    That said, I do agree that wallowing in recriminations at this point would help no one but our opponents and I’ll try to avoid falling into that.

    Lord, make me irenic… But not quite yet.

  • This is a topic that is going to keep coming up, but we can be both forceful in our opposition as long as we’re fair. While hyperbolic rhetoric is not helpful, at the same time I don’t think we need to walk on eggshells every time we open our mouths or write a post or column. And as DC said above, this is pretty stark rhetoric considering the source, much as it was shocking to see Byron York – also normally reserved – really take it to McCain’s staff.

  • I agree with how we are characterizing Kmiec.

    Let’s get this out of our system, but let’s get prepared come Obama’s inauguration.

    I hope I wasn’t too harsh. It is not a reflection on anyone at all.

  • I hope I wasn’t too harsh. It is not a reflection on anyone at all.

    No prob. I think we’ve established pretty well over the last couple days that a bit of mutual criticism is fine around here. 🙂

    And I do agree with you about not wanting to become nothing but a grudge-central — though I flatter myself there’s little long term danger of it.

  • Mutual criticism is fine and welcome by me (and hopefully others).

    🙂

    I don’t want a grudge-central as well and share your sentiments et al.

  • …a bit of mutual criticism is fine around here.

    Refreshing. Nothing says you can’t be on the same team, so to speak, and have some genuine disagreement, and most importantly argue it publicly. That’s far more respectful than silently circling the wagons or just being snarky and quarrelsome to one another.

    People generally quarrel because they cannot argue. -GKC-

  • I had the same thought when I read Ross today… I’d read his initial piece (along with Manzi’s and Kmiec’s when Ross linked all of them the other day) and then saw his link today… his description of the post is as follows: “The Slate dialogue continues, and I say some very unkind things about Douglas Kmiec.”

    As DC noted, for Ross Douthat to get that strong in tone is unusual, and says something in itself.

  • Who is this Douthat guy and why does he think that people of good will can disagree on the subject of abortion?

    It has been fully resolved that if you buy abortion, you don’t have an intellectual pulse.

  • I see P. Diddy has beaten me to the punch here. The statement that leaps out is:

    “I understand that the pro-life position on abortion does not command majority support in the United States and that people of good will can disagree on the subject.”

    That’s a huge concession from Douthat isn’t it? And yet we obviously look at Robert E. Lee and other southerners before the abolition of slavery as men of good will. But right about now I don’t think at pro-choicers that way.

  • “That’s a huge concession from Douthat isn’t it?”

    Not really, unless you think that 70%-80% of the country is not only wrong, but of bad will. Presuming bad faith on the part of anyone outside the pro-life movement is counter-productive to the goal of enacting abortion restrictions. If we are going to make progress, we have to recognize that many Americans are conflicted about abortion, and continue to work to persuade them about the importance of protecting human life in the womb.

    Even limiting abortions to the first tri-mester (which would be supported by a majority of Americans) would reduce abortions by around 10% (saving roughly 100,000 lives a year). These types of modifications in the law are not the end goal, but they are worth aiming for – and in that process we need to presume good faith on the part of people in the mushy middle on abortion.

  • I’m unimpressed with a strictly numbers approach to determining whether a group is of good will. That’s part of the reason we don’t have a democracy but a representative form of gov’t. Should Germans during the Nazi regime be let off the hook?

  • “I’m unimpressed with a strictly numbers approach to determining whether a group is of good will.”

    You are free to presume bad faith; good faith and bad faith are difficult to prove, and I will certainly not try to persuade you one way or the other about a group as diverse as 70-80 Americans. Only honest discussions with people who are pro-choice will do that. As I said, however, it would be disastrous for the pro-life movement as a whole to presume bad faith. People who are not of good will cannot be convinced to support abortion restrictions, which makes argument useless. Similarly people who are of good will do not like to be addressed as if they are not. We should nearly always presume good faith rather than bad when we are trying to extend legal protection to the unborn.

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America's First Secular President?

Thursday, November 6, AD 2008

president-elect-obama

 

Damian Thompson from the Holy Smoke blog in London’s Daily Telegraph newspaper has declared Barack Obama as America’s first secular president.  Not far from being the truth some would say that Bill Clinton was pretty secular as well.  But I believe the point that Mr. Thompson was attempting to get across was the simple fact that the majority of church-going Christians voted for Senator McCain than did Senator Obama.  What is more revealing is that ‘Christians in name only’ voted overwhelmingly for Senator Obama.

The breakdown of voting figures in the US election indicates an extraordinary gulf between churchgoing and non-churchgoing voters. Barack Obama hoovered up the votes of non-churchgoers to an unprecedented extent: 65 per cent of them voted for him. I’ve thought for a long time that American agnostics and atheists are a growing force, under-represented in opinion polls. Obama will be their president.

 

He’ll also be the president of non-practising Catholics who, according to Beliefnet figures, voted 61 to 37 per cent for Obama. That’s no surprise: the Democrats were always the party of Catholics.

 

27 Responses to America's First Secular President?

  • America’s first secular president was Thomas Jefferson.

  • His mother was a stone-cold atheist and I have always suspected that he is too. Certainly it is a more reasonable suspicion than to swallow his story that Jeremiah Wright led him to Christ. Obama is intelligent and I doubt if he would have confused what Wright was peddling with Christianity.

  • Black Adder IV,

    I was thinking the same thing. Though I believe Thomas Jefferson had a much firmer grasp of Christianity than President-elect Obama does.

  • Donald R. McClarey,

    My suspicions are the same as yours. I also think that Mr. Obama’s mother was an atheist as well as his grandmother.

  • There have been plenty of secular presidents — what is perhaps more apropo is that Obama could be argued to be our first truly post-Christian president, both in terms of his philosophy and the base that brought him into office.

  • Blackadder’s right, but if I understand the author’s thesis, he’s talking about the voters and the not the candidate himself.

    I was thinking the same thing. Though I believe Thomas Jefferson had a much firmer grasp of Christianity than President-elect Obama does.

    It’s never a good thing to get me started on TJ, but he was fairly hostile to organized Christianity.

  • Obama ends the pretention about presidents and religion. Surveying the gents who held the office throughout our previous century, hard to pick out those who one would expect to occupy a church pew out of devotion rather than lookit me see how religious I am during campaigns. Jimmeh Carter is an obvious exception. I sense the lack of enthusiasm from most of you who just read that name. JFK was a hipper cooler kind of Catholic- more like James Bond than Devout Catholic Layman. Bush the Older, Ford, even the Gipper- liked talking to the Big Guy but maybe not formally. Nixon- way too weird. Slick Willie- snicker snicker. Say what you want about the late Jesse Helms, but he saw no need to frequent the Sunday morning chat shows that feature the same old secular humanists or say Nancy Pelosi mangling Catholic theology. Jesse really was in church. Would be fun to see if Rev. Wright becomes the Billy Graham for the new millenium. Stranger things are known to happen.

  • Utterly ridiculous….

    BTW, Is this going to turn into an IMPEACH OBAMA website next?

  • “Utterly ridiculous….”

    Speculation on a President’s religious convictions is utterly ridiculous in what way? Or do you hold that the religious convictions of a leader plays no role in assessing how they will perform their duties and what policies they will adopt? Get used to this Mr. DeFrancisis. The election is over now and Obama is President Elect. Not only his adversaries will be asking probing questions about him now.

  • Mark,

    Where did you get that from the column and/or the postings?

    We at American Catholic wish President-elect Obama well. We will look forward to engaging him since he is willing to listen. We will in good faith work with him in order to achieve the common good.

    This isn’t the Huffington Post or Daily Kos.

  • Didn’t know being secular was impeachable. But if so, let’s do it.

  • Phillip,

    THAT made me laugh!

    Thanks.

  • People too often confuse liberal Protestantism with secularism. Both are rather indifferent to theology and tradition, both advocate abortion and feminism, both preach the “social gospel,” both complain a lot about low-church Evangelical Protestants, both talk like they think Jesus is a Democrat, if not a socialist.

    There are distinctions here. Arguably, secularism is liberal Christianity without God. Understand liberal Protestantism, and you understand a lot about secularism, but even then you must consider how differently they act with or without God.

  • In the case of President-elect Obama, he has been enlightened by radical anarchists.

    Huh??

    eople too often confuse liberal Protestantism with secularism. Both are rather indifferent to theology and tradition, both advocate abortion and feminism, both preach the “social gospel,” both complain a lot about low-church Evangelical Protestants, both talk like they think Jesus is a Democrat, if not a socialist.

    If you’re suggesting that black Christianity is a type of “liberal Protestantism,” you’re waaaay off. WAY off.

  • “In the case of President-elect Obama, he has been enlightened by radical anarchists.”

    Instead of learning the classics, he learns from Jeremiah Wrigth and Bill Ayers that helped form who he is today. (as examples, that and declining state of the US public education system).

  • If you’re suggesting that black Christianity is a type of “liberal Protestantism,” you’re waaaay off. WAY off.

    Ah, but Trinity United is not a member of any of the historic Black Protestant denominations, and the UCC is pretty much a classic, White, liberal Protestant group.

  • “Though I believe Thomas Jefferson had a much firmer grasp of Christianity than President-elect Obama does.”
    No doubt true, Tito, as a well-educated man of his day would have been–but based on my readings of some of his letters I’d say he also succumbed to some pretty flaky theology and questionable theories about Christianity. And his grasp of Christianity didn’t seem to dissuade him from an unseemly enthusiasm for the idea of violent revolt as political purgative.

    “Obama ends the pretention about presidents and religion.”
    Not sure how that works, Gerald–as far as I can tell the guy is a thorough secularist, yet he makes claim to being a Christian and seems to be able to quote chapter and verse when it suits him. Don’t know what to call that if not pretense.

    “If you’re suggesting that black Christianity is a type of “liberal Protestantism,” you’re waaaay off. WAY off.”
    Michael, while I make no claim to clairvoyance I think Kevin was suggesting Rev. Wright’s church is a type of liberal Protestantism–not really an arguable point if you ask me. I’ve lived most of my life in the South, myself, and it never occurred to me to view black Christianity as monolithic in anything except perhaps certain points of worship style. I’m not sure why you assume this view.

  • Maybe what they were trying to say is that Obama will be the first President to be actively hostile to religious activity in the United States?

  • CMinor,

    I agree on Jefferson’s ‘exploration’ of Christianity. He certainly had other influences that shaped his unique view on our faith.

    Zach,

    I believe there may have been other presidents that have been hostile, but I may be confusing anti-Catholicism with that.

  • Michael, while I make no claim to clairvoyance I think Kevin was suggesting Rev. Wright’s church is a type of liberal Protestantism–not really an arguable point if you ask me.

    It certainly is arguable if you know what the precise meaning of “liberal Protestantism” means from the perspective of theological studies and church history. Liberal Protestantism is precisely what black theologians like James Cone critique.

    I’ve lived most of my life in the South, myself, and it never occurred to me to view black Christianity as monolithic in anything except perhaps certain points of worship style. I’m not sure why you assume this view.

    I didn’t say anything about them being monolithic. Certainly they’re not monolithic.

    Maybe what they were trying to say is that Obama will be the first President to be actively hostile to religious activity in the United States?

    What evidence of this would there be?

  • Almost by definition, a UCC church would be the quintessential example of “liberal Protestantism.” Indeed, I was stunned when I first found out that there was a black UCC church — the UCC probably has fewer black people than any other denomination in existence. If not the fewest, they’re certainly in the running.

    Anyway, if Michael is interested in “black Christianity,” he needs to widen his experiences. People like TD Jakes, Creflo Dollar, etc., are much more representative of black churches in America.

  • Anyway, if Michael is interested in “black Christianity,” he needs to widen his experiences. People like TD Jakes, Creflo Dollar, etc., are much more representative of black churches in America.

    I’m responding, of course, to the charge that JEREMIAH WRIGHT’s particular church is a “liberal protestant church.” He is obviously influenced by theologians like James Cone and Dwight Hopkins and they are not part of the theological tradition of liberal Protestantism. They explicitly reject it.

    I know it’s hard for you, S.B. but try to respond to what I actually said.

  • But you labeled it as “black Christianity,” which is way too broad a brush.

  • Besides, after you concededly lied about my discussion of the Third World, you have no standing ever again to complain that someone is misreading you.

  • “try to respond to what I actually said.”

    Well, I did, and you dodged, Iafrate.

    Your response to Kevin Jones
    “If you’re suggesting that black Christianity is a type of “liberal Protestantism,” you’re waaaay off. WAY off.”
    was a pretty obvious. attempt to change the argument. I don’t think you had any reason to assume that he was speaking about anything other than Obama’s specific church background (i.e. Trinity UCC) but you conflated the comment to encompass all of black Christianity. You then backpedaled from your own implication about black Christianity (i.e., that it was not liberal) although black Christianity encompasses many denominations and independent churches (to include some predominantly black urban Catholic churches) and certainly includes everything from the very conservative to the very liberal. I have to conclude that my comment about having never seen black Christianity as monolithic must have hit close to what you wanted to insinuate about Kevin, as your response was to deny having called them monolithic. Granted that you didn’t use that word youself: what you did, however, was to paint all of black Christianity as a single entity when it is not. I can only conclude that you did this because you could not adequately answer the point as it was presented.

    I believe a couple of the gentlemen responding above have already dispensed with the issue of whether Obama’s home church qualifies as a “liberal” denomination, so I won’t belabor that point.

    You might find your arguments are better received by readers here if you will subscribe to some basic principles of integrity in argumentation. Personally, I’m raising my third and fourth teenagers and am neither fooled by nor have much patience for standard adolescent dirty debate techniques, especially coming from adults.

  • To clear things up, I did indeed have Obama’s UCC affiliation in mind when suggesting he’s a liberal Protestant, though it’s clear his former church is almost sui generis.

    It is possible that American religious disputes echo the Broad Church/Low Church or Modernist/Fundamentalist distinctions of Anglo-American history. Both groups formed in reaction to each other.

    Fundamentalist/low churchers cast aspersions on the piety of their fellow Protestants, while Modernists/Broad Churchers don’t share their disputants’ style of vocal religiosity and look upon them as zealots.

    I’m not a scholar of this, so if my betters can correct me I welcome it. If my descriptions are generally accurate, their influence on American Catholicism would be quite a topic for study.

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Obama Broken Promises, A Continuing Series

Thursday, November 6, AD 2008

crying-jackass

Shazam, as Gomer Pyle used to say in the Sixties!  The Iraqi government claims that Senator Obama has reassured them that he will not precipitously withdraw troops from Iraq, and it appears that the end of 2011 might be a target date.  To my anti-war friends on the Left I suggest that if I were in your shoes I would not hold my breath about US troops being removed from Iraq even before the 2012 election.  You were useful to Obama to win this election, but you will be of little use to him now that he is President.

4 Responses to Obama Broken Promises, A Continuing Series

  • Did Obama actually promise, absolutely and regardless of the consequences, to remove all troops from Iraq by a certain date? If so, then I could see this as a broken promise. Otherwise, it’s a bit of a stretch to characterize this statement of Obama’s a broken promise. First, Obama campaigned, especially once he sealing the deal, not as an anti-war candidate, but as a pro-war candidate who thought the War on Terror should be fought elsewhere around the globe. He wants to increase American military power in the world. Second, and more to the point, Obama cannot really promise a specific date for withdrawal because too many factors outside his control effect his ability to see it through. Pushing back the deadline from what he earlier envisioned seems in keeping with his pragmatism and temperament. If peaceniks supported him thinking he was anti-war, that’s their folly.

  • Kyle it’s been a moving target for Obama. Early in the campaign he talked about immediate withdrawal. Then it was by the end of 2008.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/09/12/politics/main3253449.shtml

    Then it was 16 months. In this story he talked about two years.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/07/22/obama.mideast/index.html

    Now we are at 3 years. I don’t think he ever has had any intention of withdrawing all troops from Iraq and I agree with you that the support of the anti-war left for this fellow was the sheerest folly as, I predict, they will painfully discover in the coming years, especially if we invade Pakistan.

  • Or when Ahmadingdong decides that downtown Tel Aviv would look so charming as smoking ash and acts accordingly.

  • …I agree with you that the support of the anti-war left for this fellow was the sheerest folly as, I predict, they will painfully discover in the coming years, especially if we invade Pakistan.

    Yes, folly for sure. And indeed, what Senator Obama had proposed before would have been disastrous, so let’s be thankful that at least as far as the withdrawal from Iraq goes he’s being sensible now – though his views on Pakistan are quite troubling. However, I don’t think there will ever be a painful day of reckoning with his supporters regardless of what he does. I think a fair amount of opposition to the Iraq conflict was merely partisan politics, and I think if, Heaven forbid, Obama opens hostilities in Pakistan there will be little grumbling from the left, and most likely calls for us to get behind president, etc. I don’t look for much to be said about Iraq during the Obama years, and when it is spoken of it will be positive coverage of what is being accomplished, etc. – something they (MSM and Dems) have refused to do thus far.

2 Responses to The Road Back

  • This was a wonderfully written essay, and it was also very edifying. After reading the essay, I agree the whole-heatedly with the principles that US Representative McCotter wrote about.

    I especially loved this quote:

    Thus, Republicans must heed Demosthenes’ plea to his endangered fellow Athenians — “In God’s name, I beg of you to think!”

  • I agree with the principles, but I believe the owner of those core principles was misidentified. The principles are not those of the Republican Party; they are, rather, the principles of Conservatism in America. They belonged to Republicans only as long as they embraced their conservative history; as soon as they abandoned that legacy (most recently left to them by Gingrich and company), they became just another bad choice available to conservatives as the lesser of two evils. And the Other Guy (Elect) did a great job of sounding like a viable alternative.

Reflections on a Defeat

Wednesday, November 5, AD 2008

So we lost. I don’t like it a bit, but it’s not exactly a surprise, and there it is. What is one to make of it all?

The Historic Moment
A great many people have commented on the historic nature of a black man being elected president of the United States — when in some states he would not have been served at many lunch counters fifty years ago.

I’m glad that those who are deeply inspired by that are having their moment — people should realize that skin color is not a barrier to achievement in the US and if this helps people (black, brown and white) realize that, all to the good. I must admit, as a 29-year-old who grew up in the working class suburbs of Los Angeles, I’ve figured for basically all my life that it was simply a matter of time till we had our first black president, our first hispanic president, out first female president, etc.

22 Responses to Reflections on a Defeat

  • I think your last paragraph was particularly on target. Conservatives can tailor their message to the middle class without necessarily giving into Douthatism and the whole party of Sam’sClub, big government “conservatism” ideal. One thing we do need to keep in mind is that while we need to return to traditional conservative principles, doing so without also educating the electorate as to why these ideals work is pointless.

  • Progressives will now have more opportunities to put their ideas to the test. The near future of conservatism will be contingent on how well or poorly those ideas work out in practice and how well or poorly conservatives respond to their consequences. I’d like to think that we’ll learn from our and each other’s successes and failures, but that’s not likely to happen.

  • One thing we do need to keep in mind is that while we need to return to traditional conservative principles, doing so without also educating the electorate as to why these ideals work is pointless.

    Yes. And conservatives need leaders who understand conservative principles and can intellegently and effectively communicate the prudence of their principles to the public.

  • Bush simply went the big government route, with programs like No Child Left Behind and the Prescription Drug Benefit.

    Respectfully, McCain didn’t lose due to either of those issues. Neither issue is particularly responsible for Bush’s unpopularity.

    The GOP would be especially wise to find a way to appeal to socially conservative Hispanics.

    I don’t believe the GOP can be effective in doing so. Unlike some of their white counterparts, they at least aren’t voting against the GOP based on social issues. The issue the GOP has with Hispanics is that they are in the habit of alienating them. Given that Hispanics (like blacks) tend to be urban, they are often the “them” in the us v. them debates. This has been amplified in the foreclosure crisis. Until the GOP has an urban agenda, they will not be ‘relevant’ to Hispanics.

  • Respectfully, McCain didn’t lose due to either of those issues. Neither issue is particularly responsible for Bush’s unpopularity.

    No, McCain lost to the economy totally tanking, Bush being widely unpopular, and McCain not having enough of a set of policy principles to differentiate himself from Obama. McCain is essentially an old-fashioned, honor-focused man, but he’s without political philosophy. Since he wasn’t able to make Obama’s positions look sufficiently dishonorable or scary, he didn’t really have much of a way to present an alternative vision to Obamas.

    I don’t believe the GOP can be effective in doing so. Unlike some of their white counterparts, they at least aren’t voting against the GOP based on social issues. The issue the GOP has with Hispanics is that they are in the habit of alienating them. Given that Hispanics (like blacks) tend to be urban, they are often the “them” in the us v. them debates. This has been amplified in the foreclosure crisis. Until the GOP has an urban agenda, they will not be ‘relevant’ to Hispanics.

    You’re right that when Hispanics vote against the GOP, they do so because the GOP is in the habit of alienating them.

    However, in the California and the Southwest (which is where this matters) Hispanics are most definitely not a strictly or even primarily urban group. A lot of Hispanic voters in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and many regions of California are rural and small town people. (Significant parts of the Mexican-American side of my family still live in small towns in New Mexico and Nevada.) Those Hispanics have concerns very much like rural and small town white voters — if it can be made clear that the GOP is not out to get them.

    Getting into the cities — I don’t think it’s necessarily as helpless as you’re painting it. Democratic big city politics are one of the clearest failure stories of the last 15 years. It’s well past time for Republicans to start seriously contending for those big city mayorships. And 2nd and 3rd generation Hispanics tend heavily towards the sort of blue collar small business/contractor lifestyles (pretty much describes my Ramirez relatives back in LA) which among white voters trend well towards the GOP much of the time. Those are the folks the GOP should be going for.

    Hispanics are far too diffuse a group to ever massively in one side or the other (and many of us stop listing ourselves as “Hispanic” after a few generations and a bit of intermarriage) and the GOP will certainly never have a lock on them. However, it does need to be able to get close to 50% of the Hispanic vote in key Southwestern states if it’s ever to get that region back in play again. And given how increasingly hostile to religion and traditional culture West Coast Democrats are, I don’t think it’s necessarily a stretch at all.

  • “I can’t imagine that if a Clarence Thomas type figure had been running for the GOP and won, there would [not] be all this rejoicing.”
    I seem to recall a Condi Rice-as-Prissy-from-GWTW cartoon that would indicate otherwise. BTW, I don’t think you intended that “not”; it makes for a double negative and counters your point.

    “I think it’s rather early to start imagining that the US will become a Sweden or even a France any time soon.”
    My DH proposes the slogan, “Obama’s America: Like France, only without the culture, wine, and cheese.”
    But you’re right; I wouldn’t expect it to take. We Yanks really don’t cotton to being told what to do.

    I have the impression that the Obama campaign did a fair amount of outreach to Hispanics. It’s a shame that McCain, whom one would think would have an advantage there as a Southwesterner, did not–the socially coservative Hispanic community would seem to be natural allies to the GOP.

  • BTW, I don’t think you intended that “not”; it makes for a double negative and counters your point.

    Fixed. Thanks. Two conflicting layers of edits…

  • I was heartened to notice that the Catholic Church did some outreach regarding the candidates’ abortion positions. I’m afraid churches may have to take up the slack in Hispanic outreach. Many of them are already doing it anyway, and I’m afraid the old guard GOPers can’t be relied upon.

  • “As Reagan said after losing the primary in ‘76: It’s time to get to work.”

    Yep. Losing in anything is always a painful experience, but it can be extremely useful if it is also a learning experience. This year has taught us many valuable lessons if we will only have eyes to see them. One lesson I would suggest is that it is foolish to write off any part of the country. Obama made early and strong efforts to take Red states that looked to be completely out of his grasp and it paid off. People are certainly not going to vote for a party if it doesn’t even ask. The Republican party needs to implement a strong rebuilding effort in every state in the Union. Next time we fight a truly national election and not give our opponents the luxury of not having to play defense.

  • Awk. I meant to say, “outreach to Hispanics.” Duh.

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  • This is tangential at best (although Douthat was mentioned earlier in the thread), but this quote is priceless, particularly since it is given in the context of a panel discussion which includes Kmiec. I know Douthat comes in for a lot of criticism among small-government conservatives, but his willingness to write forthrightly about topics such as pornography and abortion in places like the Atlantic or Slate is certainly admirable:

    “I am sure that Kmiec is weary of being called a fool by opponents of abortion for his tireless pro-Obama advocacy during this election cycle, but if so, then the thing for him to do is to cease acting like the sort of person for whom the term “useful idiot” was coined, rather than persisting in his folly.”

    http://www.slate.com/id/2203800/

  • Ha! How true.

    I’d seen round one of that discussion, and Douthat’s piece struck me as pretty solid. Kmiec’s was, of course, totally idiotic — and verging on incoherant. Not sure why he was invited to participate in a forum on conservatism in this case.

    I enjoy reading Douthat, though I certainly don’t agree with everything that he says. He may get a somewhat overly hard rap on the big government question, though, in that although he’s certainly an advocate of “programs” for the middle class (and I think he _does_ go too far on that) I don’t think he’s necessarily a centralizer. My impression is that he’d be just as much if not more behind approaches such as charter schools that take what was previously a centralized program and open it up as a decentralized, locally run one.

  • “What is one to make of it all?”

    For a nation in which a large percentage of the population claims to be Christian and yet they asked for a pro-“choice king”, and for a good economy over the right to life, they were granted their desires. Why does the image of Saul come to mind?

  • I really don’t understand the repeated assertion that the choice of Obama represented desire for “a good economy” over the right to life.

    Obama’s stated policies will be disastrous for the US economy. Anyone who wanted economic sanity was out of luck this election, but McCain might have been marginally less disastrous.

    Neither party mounted a candidate with a sane approach to economics.

    So can someone explain how the “a vote for Obama is a vote for a good economy” meme got started?

  • The perception is out there, for whatever reason, that the Democrats are good for the economy. I think it is based on fond memories of the dot.com bubble which crested during the Clinton years, and a misplaced belief that George Bush and the Republicans somehow were responsible for the current financial crisis. There is not a solid basis for these perceptions, but one of the common features of democracies is that they act irrationally. Nevertheless, Barack Obama did well among voters who listed the economy as their top concern.

  • Thank you, fus01.

    I heard the sentiment several times from our parish priest, certainly no fan of Obama, but I haven’t had a chance to ask him about the rationale behind it.

    It frustrates me, due to what seems to me the evident falsehood of the assertion.

    I should get out more. 🙂

  • Obama’s stated policies will be disastrous for the US economy.

    Yeah, just look to Michigan to see how Obama’s stated policies will work out. There’s always the hope that once he’s in office he’ll take a little more sane approach to things, but alas, he just announced his economic team, in which Jennifer Granholm is a key adviser. Trust me, you don’t want Obama to do for the country what Granholm has done for Michigan.

  • Since you refer to me in a section of “Obama voters,” one thing I want to say — I did not vote for Obama, ok? Nonetheless, we are required as Christians to work with the situation as it stands; he is the candidate who won. So, instead of giving up hope, the Christian response is to have hope — as Pope Benedict has shown many times. Sure, we might not get what we want, but we certainly will not if we sit around just telling each other how bad Obama is.

  • I certainly agree, Henry, that Christians must never abandon hope. The future of Christianity does not rely on some particular party in some particular country winning. It’s always problematic when people identify their religion with their party so closely as to see that as being the case — though I flatter myself this does not happen terribly often among Catholics in our country.

    However, I don’t think that hope necessarily means making efforts to actively work with the Obama administration on some topics — at least in ways that betray our fundamental principles. Personally, I find place rather more help in taking the next four years to achieve a clearly articulated positive political philosophy — and then defeating the Democrats (or at least those who reflect Obama’s ideals in regards to life issues) at the executive and legislative levels.

    But to each their own.

  • Obama will now find that voting “present” is no longer an option. The ball is in his court now. It will be back in ours soon enough unless he performs much better than I expect. I think the election of 2008 is merely Act I in a new stage of the political history of the nation. The Democrats routed the Republicans in Act I. The curtain is now going up on Act II and the audience is leaning forward.

  • Genesis 1:27, “So God made man in his own image”.
    Genesis 2:7, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground.”
    Genesis 2:21-22, “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, …the Lord had taken from man, made he a woman, & brought her unto the man”.
    From the above verses, it is obvious that God formed man/woman from dust instead of transforming apes to human beings.

3 Responses to USCCB Investigates $1 Million Church Funding to ACORN

  • Well bless my soul. Some good fruit from this overtime loss. Have not given a dime to this Campaign for Human Development scam for well unto a decade. Props to The Wanderer which for all its faults has reported on the money trail again and yet again. Quite the dilemma for the ACORNites. Their dream fave candidate/protege takes up residence in 1600 PA Av. While one investigative organization after another picks it apart like the poor Turkey Day bird. A little good news on a less than cheery day.

  • “Not one dime.”

    Amen!

Marriage Looks to Win in California

Wednesday, November 5, AD 2008

While there is generally little to rejoice at in the results of yesterdays elections, there is a glimmer of light on the West Coast for those who believe in Christianity and Western Culture: As of this morning California Proposition 8, which would amend the California state constitution with the words “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California” looks to be winning out after a hard fought campaign. The LA Times refuses to call it yet, but with 91% of precincts reporting, Prop 8 leads by 350,000 votes, 51.9% to 48.1%.

President Elect Obama had opposed the measure calling it “divisive”, but although Obama won California by 2,400,000 votes, Californians refused to allow to stand to a court ruling earlier this year in which 2000’s Proposition 22 defined traditional marriage by statute.

13 Responses to Marriage Looks to Win in California

  • Hope for the future. I assume culturally conservative Hispanic votes made up the margin of victory.

  • Yes, not to underestimate the impact of Prop 8, but CA Proposition 4, the “parental notification” law for minors seeking abortion, has been knocked down, yet again. I left California in 2006, but the pro-life movement has worked very hard for notification. Parental Consent would be the next hurdle. This is the most common sense restriction you could have. A child needs permission to be given an aspirin at school, but she can get an abortion, no questions asked. It boggles my mind to see how Prop 8 could pass, yet Prop 4 fail. It is a severe blow to the pro-life movement in California.

  • Traditional marriage passed with something like 61% of the vote last time in CA; now it’s a much thinner margin. I don’t see this as much of a victory anymore, when it’s stood next to the failure of parental notification (Prop 4) and all the other abortion and euthanasia measures in other states. Add to this the possibility of something happening at the federal level on these matters….?

    Really, what hope is there for America if parents think it’s okay for their daughters to get an abortion without their knowledge?

  • It’s becoming my mantra… politics is downstream from culture, politics is downstream from culture. Things like the failure of 4 and the smaller margin of victory for 8 in CA confirm the view that we need to be focusing *as much* on cultural transformation as on political transformation… I generally accept the view that elections merely hold up a mirror to the electorate, and that we get the politicians we vote for, in the obvious *and* more subtle senses.

    I live in South Dakota, where two years ago a comprehensive ban on abortion failed by 10% at the ballot box. Pro-lifers came back with a ban that included exceptions, just to get *something* passed, and guess what? It failed last night, again by double digits. And this is South Dakota, for goodness sake, which hasn’t voted for a Dem president since hometown boy McGovern!

    The law is a great teacher, and there is a feedback loop in the culture-politics relationship (politics can amplify cultural trends), but I think the electoral trends call for a greater focus on cultural transformation, *while maintaining* efforts wrt political transformation.

    But all of that requires evangelization & catechesis, so I’d better get back to work. 🙂

  • Whoopee. Only slightly less than half of Californians think men and women are interchangeable…

    Sorry to be so grumpy. This victory really is worth celebrating. But I don’t see the end in sight for this issue.

  • but I think the electoral trends call for a greater focus on cultural transformation, *while maintaining* efforts wrt political transformation.

    Completely agreed, Chris.

  • And please don’t take down the Obama-Messiah blog!

  • It’s going to get worse before it gets better. We need to realize that internet pornography is the greatest propaganda machine for the sexual revolution. For the dedicated pornography customer, sexuality really is just a consumer choice.

  • Wow, what’s the weather like in the land of the out of touch? I assume quite gloomy. Why don’t you people relax and let people live their lives without you always trying to impose your will on them…

  • Hey Obamabot,

    That was you imposing your will on us… I never tried to redefine marriage. Get the facts straight.

  • Wait till Obama’s Supreme Court choices invalidate Prop 8.

  • Hey jack christian,
    Me simply asking why you do cannot just leave folks alone and let them live their lives is me “imposing my will on you”? Wow, what a weird way to twist that—let me understand your logic, you impose your will on others, someone requests that you stop, you then feel like someone is imposing their will on you for asking you to not impose your will? Yikes.

  • How did I impose my will on others? I didn’t. But then you said….

    Why don’t you people relax and let people live their lives

    …Huh, that certainly sounds like someone trying to impose his will on another…

    And my name isn’t jack, Obamabot.

Remember, Remember…

Wednesday, November 5, AD 2008

washington1

Today is Guy Fawkes’ Day in England.  This Catholic-bashing holiday is not observed in America and the Father of Our Country is largely the reason why.

“As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d for the observance of that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the Effigy of the pope – He cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers in this army so void of common sense, as not to see the impropriety of such a step at this Juncture; at a Time when we are solliciting, and have really obtain’d, the friendship and alliance of the people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as Brethren embarked in the same Cause. The defence of the general Liberty of America: At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused; indeed instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these our Brethren, as to them we are so much indebted for every late happy Success over the common Enemy in Canada.”

Order in Quarters, November 5, 1775

— George Washington

After the election results of last night, for those of us on the losing side, it is good to remember just how wonderful a nation America truly is.

14 Responses to Remember, Remember…

  • I don’t remember where I read this, but when I find it, I’ll post it, but I read that George Washington converted to the Catholic faith on his deathbed.

    I’ll do some research to get more information on this. Just curious if any of our readers can supply some more information on this.

  • It would be nice if he had Tito, but the conversion story of Washington is merely a pious fable with no historical validity. A completely made up tale. However, throughout his life Washington was friendly to Catholics and contributed to the construction of a Catholic Church.

  • “Catholic Bashing”? or simply a tradition,harking back to a time when Catholic Plotters tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

    As a Catholic I participate,I even build a guy with my children,but I don’t take it personally,because I don’t identify with Guido Fawkes and the plotters. I have no wish to bomb people.

    Maybe you do?

  • Yes Catholic Bashing. Consider this charming traditional Guy Fawkes rhyme:

    “A penny loaf to feed ol’ Pope.
    A farthing cheese to choke him.
    A pint of beer to rinse it down.
    A faggot of sticks to burn him.
    Burn him in a tub of tar.
    Burn him like a blazing star.
    Burn his body from his head.
    Then we’ll say ol’ Pope is dead.
    Hip hip hooray!
    Hip hip hooray!”

    As for Guy Fawkes and the other plotters they were attacking a state that had made their religion a criminal offense and executed priests who attempted to minister to faithful Catholics. I would rise in revolt against such a government in an instant.

  • Don’t listen to the dhimmi troll.

  • B.C.,

    I would rise up as well. You’ve been dhimmitized by your Protestant Overlords.

  • I’m just happy he didn’t want to pick on us Canadians.

    Good lesson for the new guy.

  • I love Canadians!

    I’m just curious why PM Harper, of the ‘Conservative’ Party, is so bashful on dealing with life issues such as abortion and traditional marriage.

  • The plain truth is that a large part the Canadian electorate is paranoid about a hidden right wing agenda. Harpers’ Government is only in a minority situation in parliment and if he wants to survive he’ll have to wait and secure a majority position before he directly attacks life issues.

    But even then, it may not hit his agenda.

    If you think American Catholics don’t vote thier faith, Canadian Catholics are even less assertive. An entire generation threw in the towel.

  • The only ‘Catholic bashing’ bonfire night celebrations in Britain today are those in Lewes. But then they are also commemorating the seventeen Protestant martyrs burnt at the stake there. Throughout our history the Catholics have been persecutors as well as the persecuted. Bloody Mary had 300 Protestants burned at the stake due to their faith. If bonfire night is anti Catholic then the fourth of July is anti British. By the way I am C of E.

  • Comparing Guy Fawkes day to the Fourth of July is ludicrous. We did not have centuries following the Revolution during which English-Americans were discriminated against. Catholics in England during the reign of Bad Queen Bess had anti-Catholic law after anti-Catholic law heaped upon them. Catholics were not given full civil rights until the Catholic Relief Act in 1829. The Gordon riots in 1780 against the Papists Act of 1778 demonstrated the depth of anti-Catholic bigotry in England. Guy Fawkes Day is a legacy of bitter religious bigotry.

  • Well I certainly wouldn’t defend any of the monarchs from the House of Tudor who are, after all, known as the Terrible Tudors. It never ceases to amaze me how this one family has influenced English history so much. My religion is the product of a selfish and murderous womaniser called Henry VIII. His dissolution of the monasteries was the biggest criminal act of cultural destruction in our history. A visit to Fountains Abbey would bring tears to your eyes. Mary burnt Protestants and Elizabeth burnt Catholics. The roots of the British Empire lie with Elizabeth. The English Reformation was a bloody affair which resulted in the longstanding persecution of my fellow countrymen just because they looked towards Rome. I may be C of E but I don’t pray or go to Church and I think religion is a crock of ****. And Americans wonder why England is a post Christian society. Bonfire Night is a tradition and nothing more. If we lose this tradition because it’s not PC then what next, Remembrance Day, the Monarchy, Trooping the Colour?

  • Without Faith John what’s the point of tradition? I am a great believer in tradition but without Faith life is literally meaningless. The fact that some people have misused religion is no more an attack on Christianity than the fact that demagogues have misused democracy is an attack on democracy or the fact that some soldiers have committed atrocities is an attack on the legitimate role that the military plays as the guardian of society. In the last century we saw true post-Christian societies in the Soviet Union and in Nazi Germany and the results were horrific. I’ ll stand with Christ and good traditions.

  • http://proecclesia.blogspot.com/2006/02/in-honor-of-father-of-our-country-his.html

    With regard to Donald’s comment … There seems to be ample evidence to believe that George Washington converted.

31 Responses to There isn't anything I could say on tonight's election…

  • Jay said it very well.

    Kmiec, Iafrate, Policraticus… all there efforts to prevent a pro-life candidate to win the presidency, they will be held accountable.

    And I will stand by my comments.

  • Time for me to begin stocking up on “Don’t blame me I voted for McCain” bumper stickers!

  • Good one.

    I’m getting my Palin/insert your VP candidate here bumper sticker for 2012.

  • Donald, when you locate them, let us know where you found them. OK?

  • The Democrats are at 56 seats….

  • Powerful, eloquent words by Jay. Preceded by offering from the prophet Chesterton. My disappointment at a McCain loss is tempered by the thought that our President-Elect may utterly overwhelmed at this time. By one faction after another crying me first Mr. President no me first Mr. President. By a House Speaker who when she sees him, views a giant rubber stamp instead. By world bad guys seeking an opportunity to test the new POTUS-Elect. Minus the help of a gumflapping VP who predicted- wished for?- such a confrontation on September 19. As for the pro-life movement- it survived the Disco 70s. It survived the weirdness of the Slick Willie years. It now has more, and greater support from our esteemed bishops than at any time since Roe v. Wade. The movement and the GOP will just have to learn from each other- to get leaner, tighter, more focused before 2012. No more McCains with minimal ideological underpinning. No more concessions. As Tom Peters notes on Americano Papist, hold the Kmiecs and Cafardis to account if FOCA or other abominations against the unborn become law, de facto or de jure. Let the wheat split from the chaff. Let us go underground, plan, lick wounds, pray. Always looks darkest before dawn. Future babies are counting on us.

  • -It now has more, and greater support from our esteemed bishops than at any time since Roe v. Wade-

    Good point! That really is wonderful isn’t it? The country may not feel like it is going in the right direction, but the Church is in awesome shape with these great new bishops.

  • Wahoo! Looks like common sense has saved the day!

  • Kmiec, Iafrate, Policraticus… all there efforts to prevent a pro-life candidate to win the presidency, they will be held accountable.

    Wow, I didn’t know I was as well known and influential as Prof. Kmiec. But I’m curious as to who’s going to hold me accountable, why, and how. Am I to be held accountable for the election of a candidate for whom I did not even vote?

  • “But I’m curious as to who’s going to hold me accountable, why, and how.”

    Tito is starting an AmeriCatholic League, in order to try to outdo even Bill Donohue.

  • Probably referring to the guy of whom it is said: “He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.”

  • “Wow, I didn’t know I was as well known and influential as Prof. Kmiec.”

    You aren’t. But, if it makes you feel better, I would prefer you were. Of course, I also wish Prof. Kmiec hadn’t decided book sales, NYT/LAT op-eds, and being one of the cool kids was a good trade for intellectual integrity in support of the pro-life movement. Instead, he has repeatedly used his status as a ‘Catholic’ to further his professional reputation. while advancing variations on Maro Cuomo’s ‘personally opposed’ stance to abortion. You, at least, have the integrity to call a spade a spade – Obama has promised to be a disaster for the pro-life movement. My hope is that it is about as reliable as his other campaign promises: not very.

  • I see little sense in trying to “hold people accountable” for their votes. If a person comes to view a prior vote for Obama with regret or decides not to vote for a similar candidate in the future, this is all to the good, but I do not thinking that being hectored about such votes by third parties is going to make Obama voters any more likely to do this.

  • Agreed BA, particularly with regard to Poli. As for Kmiec, I think it is important to point out that the ‘personally opposed’ line of argumentation he advanced is incompatible with Catholic teaching. Kmiec’s argument below is likely to be used again…and again…and again, and we should point out that it is inconsistent with the Church’s commitment to protecting human life:

    “Sometimes the law must simply leave space for the exercise of individual judgment, because our religious or scientific differences of opinion are for the moment too profound to be bridged collectively. When these differences are great and persistent, as they unfortunately have been on abortion, the common political ideal may consist only of that space. This does not, of course, leave the right to life undecided or unprotected. Nor for that matter does the reservation of space for individual determination usurp for Caesar the things that are God’s, or vice versa. Rather, it allows this sensitive moral decision to depend on religious freedom and the voice of God as articulated in each individual’s voluntary embrace of one of many faiths.”

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-kmiec17-2008oct17,0,2107469.story

  • Sometimes the law must simply leave space for the exercise of individual judgment, because our religious or scientific differences of opinion are for the moment too profound to be bridged collectively.

    On many matters I’d agree with that statement, but abortion is different. It’s the direct killing of another human life, and that is not defensible under the guise of pluralism.

  • Agreed BA, particularly with regard to Poli. As for Kmiec, I think it is important to point out that the ‘personally opposed’ line of argumentation he advanced is incompatible with Catholic teaching. Kmiec’s argument below is likely to be used again…and again…and again, and we should point out that it is inconsistent with the Church’s commitment to protecting human life.

    It’s also important to point out that neither Poli (who did not vote Obama) nor I (who did) agrees with the “personally opposed” line of reasoning pushed by Kmiec, Biden, Kerry, etc. I reject it.

    I don’t expect folks like Tito are capable of making such distinctions, though, and will carelessly continue to lump together everyone who did not vote for McCain and/or everyone who defended those Catholics who chose to vote for Obama.

  • Michael I.,

    Stop with the backhanded insults.

    I said you all should be held accountable for swaying Catholics away from voting pro-life for the way you all twist Catholic teaching.

    Don’t commit calumny my friend.

  • Opponents of abortion voting for the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history is akin to advocates of civil rights back in the 60’s voting for George Wallace. Obviously Catholic Anarchist the struggle to make abortion illegal is very low on your list of priorities.

    And now we all get to be complicit in abortion through funding it since the candidate you voted for even opposes the Hyde amendment.

    “Does Sen. Obama support the Hyde amendment? Under what circumstances does he believe that Medicaid should cover abortions (all pregnancies, life- or health-threatening pregnancies, pregnancies that are a result of rape or incest, extreme fetal malformation)?

    Obama does not support the Hyde amendment. He believes that the federal government should not use its dollars to intrude on a poor woman’s decision whether to carry to term or to terminate her pregnancy and selectively withhold benefits because she seeks to exercise her right of reproductive choice in a manner the government disfavors.”

    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2007/12/21/sen-barack-obamas-reproductive-health-questionnaire

    With pro-lifers like you Catholic Anarchist, who needs pro-aborts?

  • Tito

    I did not insult you. You are obviously not able to make distinctions because you made none.

    I said you all should be held accountable for swaying Catholics away from voting pro-life for the way you all twist Catholic teaching.

    I didn’t sway anyone to vote any way at all. I did not endorse Obama or encourage anyone to vote Obama. What I did was tell the truth about both candidates. I shared my own reflections on whether or not I was going to vote and why I chose to vote. And I indeed voted pro-life. I am not pro-choice. That you continue to imply that I am shows you to be a liar or tremendously stupid.

    As usual, Donald is not worth a reply.

  • As usual the Catholic Anarchist has nothing to say in his defense. Good choice Catholic Anarchist.

  • Michael,

    You may not like Tito, but when you say “I don’t expect folks like Tito are capable of making such distinctions” you are indeed delivering a “backhanded insults”.

    And I indeed voted pro-life. I am not pro-choice. That you continue to imply that I am shows you to be a liar or tremendously stupid.

    You certainly may not yourself be pro-choice, but it would not be accurate to say that you “voted pro-life”. You voted for a rabidly pro-choice candidate. Your intentions are your own, but your vote itself is pretty objective.

    Come now, would you honestly take someone seriously who said, “I have consistently voted against war, torture and capital punishment when voting for Bush as president and governor”? So don’t expect others to take your contention seriously.

  • I voted for a pro-choice candidate. But I voted pro-life.

    Let us understand our terms the way the Church understands them. Just for once. Can you do that for me?

  • I voted for a pro-choice candidate. But I voted pro-life.

    Let us understand our terms the way the Church understands them. Just for once. Can you do that for me?

    I don’t believe the Church formally uses the term “vote pro-life” at all, so I’m not clear what you mean.

    The Church teaches that you are not necessarily guilty of personally supporting abortion because of your vote — though I think any reasonable understanding of the Church’s teaching and the realities of the country at this time would clearly indicate you made an imprudent choice.

    However, a vote is simply a vote — an expression of preference that one particular candidate be the one (of the options given) to hold office. You chose that it was (for whatever reasons you managed to convince yourself of) better that pro-aborts run our government at least until the midterm elections. You voted pro-choice.

  • The Church uses the term “pro-life.” I’m asking you, for once, to consider using the term the way the Church uses it, not the way your political party uses (and abuses) it.

  • “I voted for a pro-choice candidate. But I voted pro-life.”

    You may have voted pro-choice with a hope that it would advance pro-life interests broadly understood, but you voted pro-choice. Voting for pro-choice candidates is voting pro-choice, regardless of your subjective intention. You can advance an argument about how you intended it to be ‘pro-life’ vote in a broad sense, however it must be acknowledged that this broad sense included supporting politicians who have pledged to defend and expand pro-choice policies.

  • Michael I.,

    Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. Woe to you that rue wise in your own eyes, and prudent in your own conceits.

    — Isaiah 5:20-21

  • “I voted for a pro-choice candidate. But I voted pro-life.” Michael Iafrate

    Wow…this is definitely my new favorite quote. Wow.

    He’s got a point though. Voting for a guy who is okay with 6.3 million + babies being murdered legally since the beginning of the Iraq War is voting pro-life.

    Voting for a guy who voted that a baby may be left to die even when they survive an abortion attempt is voting pro-life.

    Speaking up for and praying for the unborn definitely means voting for the most pro-abort candidate in history. He makes a great point.

    Voting for a spokesperson of Planned Parenthood is voting pro-life.

    I wish the rest of you guys could just see this truth and understand.

    Solid quote. That’s definitely one I would only expect from a Saint, haha. Priceless.

    I guess when Obama signs the Freedom of Choice Act we can all get our “I voted pro-life/ Obama” signs out and hold them high in the air for everyone to see.

    Quote of the month. Solid.

  • “I voted for a pro-choice candidate. But I voted pro-life.”

    I couldn’t help but say it one more time just for fun. Woo, i’m really Catholic now, haha.

  • The Church uses “pro-life” to mean, at a minimum, people who oppose abortion. Obama doesn’t oppose abortion. Therefore, Obama is not “pro-life.” The best case you could make is that Obama was somehow better on other issues tangentially affecting “life” in a way that supposedly outweighed abortion, but that doesn’t suffice to make Obama truly “pro-life.”

    Therefore, you did not vote “pro-life,” and it is a delusional lie to suggest that you did.

  • Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. Woe to you that rue wise in your own eyes, and prudent in your own conceits.

    – Isaiah 5:20-21

    Tito: I did not call abortion “good.” Abortion is evil.

    The Church uses “pro-life” to mean, at a minimum, people who oppose abortion. Obama doesn’t oppose abortion. Therefore, Obama is not “pro-life.” The best case you could make is that Obama was somehow better on other issues tangentially affecting “life” in a way that supposedly outweighed abortion, but that doesn’t suffice to make Obama truly “pro-life.”

    Therefore, you did not vote “pro-life,” and it is a delusional lie to suggest that you did.

    Then it is likewise delusional for you to claim that you voted “pro-life” when you voted for John McCain. Neither candidate was truly “pro-life” in the Church’s understanding of the term. Do we really have to have this discussion again? Why distort what the Church says about the meaning of “pro-life”? Why reduce it to a mere sliver of its meaning? Ah, I know! Political convenience. Neat and tidy categories that keep your soul clean and in the clear.

    When I say “I voted pro-life” I am saying that I brought the Church’s teaching on the dignity of human life — in its fullness — to bear on my decision. I am aware that Obama is pro-choice and not pro-life in the fullest sense. Indeed, he is glaringly not pro-life on a very basic level. But so is John McCain whose policies on stem cell research and so many other issues are conveniently cast aside in your moral calculus. I guess some embryos are less important than others to you?

  • Then it is likewise delusional for you to claim that you voted “pro-life” when you voted for John McCain.

    That too is a delusional strawman on your part: I didn’t claim that I voted pro-life by voting for McCain. In fact, I didn’t even vote at all. You’re the only one distorting “what the Church says about the meaning of ‘pro-life'” by trying to claim that a vote for Obama was “pro-life.”

Ad Astra Per Aspera

Tuesday, November 4, AD 2008

defeat

 

Say not the struggle naught availeth,
     The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
     And as things have been, things remain.

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
     It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,
     And, but for you, possess the field.

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
     Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back through creeks and inlets making
     Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

And not by eastern windows only,
     When daylight comes, comes in the light,
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
     But westward, look, the land is bright.

— Arthur Hugh Clough

2 Responses to Ad Astra Per Aspera

American Catholic Election 2008 Coverage

Tuesday, November 4, AD 2008

270 Electoral Votes Needed to Win

McCain/Palin: 155

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming

Obama/Biden: 338 (Obama wins the presidency)

California, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin

McCain has conceded and called Obama to congratulate him.  I’m done for the evening.  Another AC contributor can take up the running commentary.

Virginia goes to Obama.  Obama has the election all but wrapped up, barring a major surprise in the evening which none of the pundits, including the McCain campaign, foresee happening.  For now, we probably should begin contemplating an Obama presidency and congratulate him for an excellent campaign.

McCain aides have all but conceded the election to Obama when announcing they see no other pathway to 270 electoral votes.

Ohio goes to Obama.  This election is almost over for McCain.

McCain won the Catholic vote in Pennsylvania 51-49%, but still lost the state to Obama. 

Exit polls are not matching up with actual votes in Indiana, Florida, and North Carolina.  Hence why they haven’t been called yet.  The exit polls favor Obama, but the actual results do not reflect this.

Updated 11:22 PM CST

45 Responses to American Catholic Election 2008 Coverage

  • Well, we tried…

    Fox called Pennsylvania for Obama with Catholics as the only major demographic which went majority McCain in the state. Catholics make up 30% of the Penn electorate, but we weren’t enough.

  • A bad year for the pro-life cause, but we will have good years in elections to come.

  • There’s still a glimmer of hope, but it doesn’t look good.

  • The constitution of the Supreme Court will now be firmly pro-Roe; the prospects for pro-life legislation are now officially NIL

  • We need to trust in God’s will. Vengence is His.

    People like Michael Ifrate and Policraticus will have to answer to God for their efforts in swaying away votes from a pro-life candidate.

    What we can do is to continue in our faith and persevere.

  • The bad news is that the pro-abort Democrats are in charge. However, that is also the good news. With power comes responsibility. The Republicans have had two elections in a row where they were rejected by the public. Now the Democrats are solely in charge. They will find it somewhat more arduous than being in opposition, especially in what I believe will be very turbulent times. For Republicans it is off to the political wilderness, to lick wounds, learn and gather strength for the next round of elections. Obama has raised expectations to a fever pitch among his followers as to what he can accomplish, and the entire nation will now see if he can meet those expectations. If, actually I think it is when, he fails, the Republicans will have their opportunity. I don’t think many of the voters who cast their ballots for Obama realize how radical he truly is. They are about to learn.

  • Hah. Scapegoating Poli and myself? Please.

    We can either get to the task of fighting whatever pro-abortion legislation comes forward together, or you can keep up the moping and scapegoating. Your choice.

  • We can either get to the task of fighting whatever pro-abortion legislation comes forward together, or you can keep up the moping and scapegoating. Your choice.

    We? You’re the one who was voting to put the pro-aborts in office, Michael. If we get FOCA in return for this, it’s because you asked for it.

    How are you going to “fight” it when you consistently vote for the people who want it?

  • “We can either get to the task of fighting whatever pro-abortion legislation comes forward together, or you can keep up the moping and scapegoating. Your choice.”

    Hard to do that Catholic Anarchist when the Presidency and Congress are now firmly in the hands of pro-abort Democrats. The Republicans in the Senate will do their best, but at this point I am unsure as to whether they will have enough votes to sustain a filibuster after tonight. The forces of the Left have triumphed and that means the pro-aborts have triumphed. I expect several pieces of pro-abort legislation to be rammed through Congress in the next 100 days. The pro-life cause will be spending the next decade at least recovering from the results of tonight.

  • Michael I.,

    You’re the one that voted for Obama.

    You answer to God for your own actions. Don’t blame us for your vote.

  • “I expect several pieces of pro-abort legislation to be rammed through Congress in the next 100 days.” in my above post should have been “I expect several pieces of pro-abort legislation to be rammed through the next Congress in the first 100 days.”

  • Tito – I empathize with your frustration, but, respectfully, could we avoid the ‘you answer to God’ language? Michael is often deliberately irritating – and his comments about FOCA are ridiculous – but that statement seems to imply an unfavorable judgment on him as a person that seems inappropriate to me. Also, since Poli explicitly said he would not vote for Obama, I am not sure it’s entirely fair to criticize him.

  • I second fus01’s comments

  • “We can either get to the task of fighting whatever pro-abortion legislation comes forward together, or you can keep up the moping and scapegoating. Your choice.”

    Well, if we are going to fight together, I’d like some assurance that your new strategy is markedly different than your previous strategy – voting and actively promoting politicians that promise to pass pro-abortion legislation.

  • Also, since Poli explicitly said he would not vote for Obama, I am not sure it’s entirely fair to criticize him.

    Yeah, Poli can be annoying on politics, but he is a man of principle when it comes to not supporting pro-abort politicians.

  • Michael, I still can’t get over the logic that let’s you reason from anarchy to a candidate who supports giant governmental control of every aspect of human life.

  • Poli twists Catholic teaching to push away Catholics from Pro-life causes. He obsfucates and insults good Catholics when he doesn’t get his way.

    As far as ‘answer to God’ language I understand where you’re coming from. I don’t want to push away good Catholics, but in the case of Michael Ifrate and Policraticus, their pride and ego’s prevent them from understanding how wrong they are on many issues.

    As far as Poli being a ‘man of principle’, I respectfully and adamantly disagree. Poli is a man that uses profanity and insults people’s character, even when he’s wrong one to many times for my taste.

    They both will ‘answer to God’ for their actions.

    And I am not bashful using that language considering they’ve already damned every other good Catholic I know (including myself).

  • If we get FOCA in return for this, it’s because you asked for it.

    I didn’t ask for it. I oppose it.

  • I could list off a lot of beefs I have with Policratus — who I think often comes off as quite arrogant and prefers to insult than to argue — but I do have a certain respect that despite the fact that he’s arguably farther left than the average Democrat he does not (unlike many of his co-bloggers) endorse or vote for pro-abortion politicians.

    Not like that will prevent me from smacking him down on other issues. 🙂

  • I didn’t ask for it. I oppose it.

    You say you do, Michael, but the only political voice that you have on the issue is how you cast your vote for congressmen, senators and the president. When you vote for Democrats, you make FOCA happen.

    You just spent your only opportunity for two more years supporting those who want to pass FOCA. We’ll see if it’s too late for you to change your mind two years from now, but I must admit a certain doubt whether you’ll vote GOP even then.

  • Darwin,

    I do acknowledge his excellent knowledge on many things Catholic, especially Philosophy and to some extent Theology. Unfortunately he uses this knowledge as a sledgehammer by twisting it to suite his leftist and Marxist views. You know what Jesus said about people like him and millstones.

    Though he doesn’t vote for pro-abortion, he says enough to discourage others to vote pro-life.

  • Agree with Darwin. Poli is often condescending and/or obtuse, but he should be given credit for his principled condemnation of an otherwise very attractive Democratic candidate.

  • I’ll give Poli that he condemned the Democratic candidate.

    Poli’s a very bright and telegenic man. He, like me and many others, have faults.

  • Poli’s a very bright and telegenic man.

    Oh, I’m not saying we have to be that positive.

    I just don’t want to nail him unjustly.

  • “Though he doesn’t vote for pro-abortion, he says enough to discourage others to vote pro-life.”

    But Tito, Poli genuinely believes that Republicans promote an ideological agenda hostile to Catholic Social Teaching, apart from the abortion issue. He believes that the Republicans use pro-life language as a purely symbolic issue to lure in pro-life voters. I don’t share his premises, but I can see how someone could believe that. I think the most we can ask of such people, in fairness, is that they acknowledge the all-too-obvious failings of the Democratic party, and refuse to vote for the Democrats just as they refuse to vote for Republicans.

    Granted, given my many disagreements with Poli, I think he goes too far sometimes, and I understand how you may have been deeply offended by him. Nevertheless, I think it is good to have people like him around to remind conservatives that there is plenty we should be working to reform in the present Republican party.

  • Sorry, wouldn’t have posted the above comment if I had seen the two that preceded. Have a good night all.

  • FUS01,

    I agree that we need people like Poli to remind conservatives that there is plenty we should be working to reform. I absolutely agree. I just wish he knew the virtue of charity and prudence when he loses his cool.

    But we’re not all perfect, especially me.

  • FUS01 and all others,

    I hope that you all understand that I appreciate and am open to fraternal correction. It’s always appreciated.

  • I broadly second Darwin’s and fus01’s comments… I disagree with Poli in some ways, but I don’t think he’s a Marxist or leftist… he’s just trying to concretely translate CST into policy.

    Michael, I share DC and fus’s puzzlement… it seems that you want to have your cake & eat it too, i.e. vote for (and endorse) pols who support policies you abhor. What am I missing?

  • And I think we see eye to eye at root. Not trying to ride your tale into the ground, Tito.

    Just want to make sure we don’t get hyperbolic — like those who annoy us.

  • Michael, I share DC and fus’s puzzlement… it seems that you want to have your cake & eat it too, i.e. vote for (and endorse) pols who support policies you abhor. What am I missing?

    You voted for Bush, right? Are you then saying that you voted twice for unjust war and torture? Really?

    You just spent your only opportunity for two more years supporting those who want to pass FOCA.

    My only opportunity for being political is voting? Really?

  • You voted for Bush, right? Are you then saying that you voted twice for unjust war and torture? Really?

    Well, we weren’t at war in 2000, so that only leaves once, and — as you know from previous discussions — I didn’t think the war was unjust, or more precisely, I didn’t think it was as clear-cut as opponents thought.

    *Nonetheless*, you have a valid point, at least on torture and the ’04 election.

  • Tito – no worries. I am as guilty as anyone…poli just doesn’t happen to be at the top of my list today. ;-).

  • You voted for Bush, right? Are you then saying that you voted twice for unjust war and torture? Really?

    The Iraq War was certainly an issue in 2004 — though I do not think it was an unjust one — and I certainly am comfortable with it being said that my vote in 2004 supported Bush’s actions in that regard. I’m not comfortable with some of the choices made at Guantanamo, but I am comfortable with having voted for Bush in the face it (to the extent it was even in issue in 2004 — which it wasn’t much.)

    However, outside the fever swamps of internet opinion, the Bush policy on “aggressive interrogation” was shut down as soon as light was shone on it. I don’t think a Bush victory in ’04 was a mandate for “torture” in the way that Obama and the congressional Democrats’ is for FOCA.

    My only opportunity for being political is voting? Really?

    No, but your only chance to strike any significant blow to prevent FOCA from passing was today — and you used that chance to support it.

    You can blather all you like, but the representatives you’ve voted for have no reason to listen to you if they know that you’ll vote for them anyway.

  • I take my lumps with a smile!

    🙂

    I like dialogue and I enjoy reading the comments more than posting columns. All you all have contributed to my better understanding of our beautiful faith. Thanks!

  • I don’t think a Bush victory in ‘04 was a mandate for “torture” in the way that Obama and the congressional Democrats’ is for FOCA.

    Except, of course that torture is and was a REALITY and the FOCA is still simply just an idea. You voted for what was already a reality. I voted for a candidate who simply has an idea.

  • You voted for what was already a reality. I voted for a candidate who simply has an idea.

    Whatever makes you sleep tonight.

  • Ummm. So your argument is that because a Republican president ordered the waterboarding of half a dozen terrorists and then stopped and never did it again, that therefore I was voting “for torture” — whereas when Obama specifically promised to sign the FOCA he “only has an idea”.

    Perhaps you are one of these clever people who believes that one can throw the barn door wide open and then express surprise when the horses get out?

    If Bush had specifically run on a platform of, “If I am re-elected I promise to torture people,” you might have a point, but that is not what happened.

  • Darwin, you are woefully ignorant of this country’s history of torture. Torture is as american as apple pie.

  • But the fact that Bush didn’t run on a platform supporting torture — as Obama has with abortion rights — is relevant, Michael.

    He’s the biggest supporter of abortion rights to hold the office he was just elected to… I know you cannot be surprised if he, well, actually does what he said he would.

    I’m hoping he won’t, but I won’t be surprised if he does.

  • Tito,

    You are rabid this evening.

  • It’s extraordinarily silly to suggest that torture and FOCA are similarly situated. Obama has promised that his first priority in office will be to sign FOCA. Bush never campaigned (either in 2004 let alone 2000) saying that his first priority in office would be to torture people. Voting for Bush and then finding out later that a handful of guys got tortured in secret . . . hardly the same thing. But voting for a guy (Obama) whose highest and most sacred priority is something you claim to abhor is, at best, confused.

    I just hope that Michael I., Morning’s Minion, and the other pro-Obama Catholics spend 1/100 the time over the next four years trying to persuade Democrats to be pro-life and pro-marriage, as they have spent over the past year trying to persuade independent and Republican Catholics to vote Democrat. Otherwise, your commitment to Church teachings is just a sham, a cover for your partisan proclivities.

  • I just hope…pro-Obama Catholics spend 1/100 the time over the next four years trying to persuade Democrats to be pro-life and pro-marriage, as they have spent over the past year trying to persuade independent and Republican Catholics to vote Democrat.

    Ain’t gonna happen. I don’t think there’s a will to do so, otherwise they would have been already doing so before and during the election cycle. That’s when it counts most. As it is now the Dems have a mandate for a host of anti-life initiatives and views. They have no reason to listen to pro-life voices within party (if they sincerely exist at all). Their mandate entails preserving and advancing abortion on demand, funding ESCR, promoting gay marriage, and putting personal economics and comfort above morality, justice, and plain old human decency. The only tools a pro-lifer has within a party is his mouth, pocket book, and vote. If a party is assured of the vote regardless of of the other things, there is no reason to change. Coupled with the fact that those who still offer their vote usually end up lending their voice and pocket book come election time, you can be assured of no change.

  • I just hope that Michael I., Morning’s Minion, and the other pro-Obama Catholics spend 1/100 the time over the next four years trying to persuade Democrats to be pro-life and pro-marriage, as they have spent over the past year trying to persuade independent and Republican Catholics to vote Democrat. Otherwise, your commitment to Church teachings is just a sham, a cover for your partisan proclivities.

    Amen to that. One day when our government finally gets the nerve to start putting the screws to the Church for having hospitals that don’t perform abortions, or schools that don’t teach gay marriage, or whatever other doctrine the Left hates about Christianity, I hope these guys get all the heat they deserve for electing their “Messiah.” All because they didn’t like somebody’s health care plan or his foreign policy.

A.C. '08 Election Coverage Tonight

Tuesday, November 4, AD 2008

Dear American Catholic readers, this evening I’ll be online with continuous updates on American Catholic with election news and commentary.  I’ll provide links and information as I gather them for you to peruse.

 

Political pundits are predicting an easy Obama victory probably early in the night.  

 

My personal prognostications are that it’s going to be a long night due to heavy Republican turnouts.  In addition the P.U.M.A.’s and independents have been breaking late for McCain these past three days according to most polls.  Senator McCain should win it.

 

6 Responses to A.C. '08 Election Coverage Tonight

  • Karl Rove is predicting an easy Obama victory.

  • PUMAs, Independents, Reagan Demos, Bitter Clingers, people who are neither reached nor have interest in reaching out to polling organizations in these and other miscellaneous categories. They may be the ones lifting the Jet Jockey to 1600 PA Av, particularly in PA, OH, W VA, FL, COLO, VA, other states on the edge. Oy such an outrage that may come from this city tomorrow from the hardcore worshippers of Sen. Obama. I can tune out wailing and gnashing of teeth. Not to mention barking between pollsters and their soon to be ex-allies in the Obamaite Media. In quiet satisfaction.

  • Oh don’t forget another smashing day on the markets. Dow ended up nearly 300. No one quite understands why. Makes life easier for McCain, harder for Obama. Guess we don’t have a Great Depression and Collapse of Capitalism coming our way, regardless of prez winner. Poor Dems- the financial sector collapsed too early. Market-based solutions- quite the concept.

  • “Karl Rove is predicting an easy Obama victory.”

    In the paranoid left tradition, it’s simply a cynical Rovian ploy to suppress Democratic voter turnout by luring them into a false sense of security. 😉

  • Karl Rove and Dick Cheney are scheming behind the scheme’s and have fooled most if not all liberals with their manipulation of the leftwing media and blogosphere.

    Bwa-ha-ha-ha

  • Karl Rove and Dick Cheney are scheming behind the scheme’s and have fooled most if not all liberals with their manipulation of the leftwing media and blogosphere.

    Bwa-ha-ha-ha

A Prayer

Tuesday, November 4, AD 2008

O Father in Heaven,

Today we stand at a crossroads, and we ask humbly for Your guidance.  We pray for the graces to discern with open eyes and a clear understanding of Your intent for us this day.  Help us to be humble, to not let overweening pride or human ideology come between us and Your holy plan.  Let not our will, but Yours be done in this election, and provide us with the strength and courage to face the future regardless of the outcome.  Let the charity in our hearts never die; may our faith in You never wane; may our hope never extinguish.

11 Responses to A Prayer

Crystal Ball

Tuesday, November 4, AD 2008

 

crystal-ball-scary

Not laying claim to any powers of clairvoyance, especially in this odd election year, I make no predictions as to the outcome in the presidential race.  However I did find the analysis in this article interesting.  By tomorrow, hopefully, we will know whether the analysis is accurate as well as interesting.

8 Responses to Crystal Ball

3 Responses to Karl Marx on the Election

Defend Marriage. Defend Life. Protect the Future.

Monday, November 3, AD 2008

Readers in California, please don’t forget that as you attempt to chose a pro-Life candidate for President of the US you are also being called to defend marriage by voting Yes on Proposition 8. Whether they are beloved friends, co-workers or relatives, we all probably all know gays and lesbians that we love and care deeply about; many of them may be in long-term loving relationships. But let’s not fool ourselves, a “marriage” between two people of the same sex is not a marriage in Christ. It is not love in the way Christ called us to love one another and the more we head down this path of destroying the institution of marriage, the further we move down the road to our own destruction as a society.

11 Responses to Defend Marriage. Defend Life. Protect the Future.

  • The only problem I foresee with an affirmative vote on Proposition 8 is that it warrants the marriage of a transgender male and a transgender female. Under Prop 8, such a “marriage” would be “valid” and “recognized” in California.

    We must be wary of accepting transgender marriages because transgender people are disgusting and morally reprehensible. Voting “Yes” on Prop 8 will promote transgender marriages and a disgusting and messy alternative lifestyle. So, an affirmative vote on Prop 8 will encourage transgender marriages.

  • Made recent trip to Southern California. Turned on local teevee news soon as the bags were dumped in hotel room closet. Assaulted by blasts of Prop 6 this and Prop 10 that and stuff from Mexico will poison children. Turned off tube, went to dinner. But glad to see the Prop 8 forces spending oodles of coin on those commercials. Did I see rumor that His Eminence Cardinal Mahony wrote check for 1 million for Pro-Prop 8 effort. A stopped clock is right 2x daily.

  • Actually, no, I’m not a “troll” (and I’m not a plumber or Joe “six-pack” either) but I am very concerned with recent Catholic support for fringe legislation, such as Prop 8 in CA and Amend 48 in CO. It seems fewer and fewer Catholics — especially bishops and cardinals — are thinking about the obvious implications of legislating morality.

    But if “Joe is a troll” has something more useful and substantive to say than just toss slanders toward fellow Catholics concerned with highly questionable legislation, then I’d be happy to hear it! The problem is that you’ve not thought about such implications; have you? Let me pose the question again: What should be done about marriage between two people who are transgender?

    Since you probably won’t be able to fill out the argument, let me. You might think that Prop 8 should be replaced with stronger language: marriage should be between a natural man and a natural woman. Of course the problem is in defining “natural,” because so many people engage in cosmetic surgery over the course of their lifetime. It would be hard to say that a person who has “whitened” their teeth is natural, because natural seems to imply something about not having engaged in some form of cosmetic enhancement. We all have done something to improve ourselves, so it seems like we cannot conceive of natural in this way.

    One might think that natural implies something about being able to bear children. Of course we’d have to extend legislation to legitimize those couples who can no longer bear children, i.e., the elderly. Also, we’d have to accommodate those couples where one or more of the spouses have health problems preventing them from bearing children. Given the way that the Catholic Church has been going recently, you may think that these folks shouldn’t marry _because_ they cannot bear children. Basically, the gist of the Catholic Church’s message has been if you can’t procreate, don’t marry. So, the view that natural implies something about being able to bear children might have greater merit among Catholics.

    The problem I tried to raise in my original post had nothing to do with accepting, endorsing, or condoning same-sex marriage (read it again if you think it does). In fact, I don’t think the state should legislate marriage. I suspect, however, that is how “Joe is a troll” took it.

    I do think there are significant problems with the Prop 8 legislation when we set aside our views of same-sex marriage. Anyone who can think for themselves (rather than relying on what they read in propaganda flyers and the liberal media) would be able to comprehend this with some careful thought.

    I’d like to hear some alternatives to Prop 8 before permitting the state to dictate what is morally acceptable and morally unacceptable.

  • Joe,

    Don’t you think the state overturning the people’s will and declaring what is moral and immoral not imposing their will on the people?

  • Tito,

    I was going to say the same thing. Isn’t the judiciary legislating morality in this instance by forcing us to accept gay marriage as a right? And besides: of course the state can legislate morality! What do you think it’s doing with all those laws against murder?

    Prop. 8 is actually pretty modest in that it makes no claim on the morality of homosexual unions or relationships. It just reinforces the definition of marriage that we already understood and didn’t need redefined by the judiciary.

    In that sense, I agree wholeheartedly with Joe — we shouldn’t even have to be voting on this kind of thing! It’s only because we’ve been put in this position by a rights-inventing judiciary that we have to do it.

  • Tito, did I rule that out somewhere along the line? I don’t think I did. I grant that activist judges brought on the current situation. But the situation has arisen and we have contend with it. To not contend with it is to give in to those commie liberal yellow-bellies.

    j. christian, I don’t think that “reinforcing a definition of marriage” has nothing to do with morality. Also, what’s the definition of marriage? I think people have a hard time accepting the definition as it is outlined in Prop. 8. Polygamists certainly will have a hard time with it, though they seem to be upholding a form of marriage consistent with Prop. 8 (you just have to add a few more women to the mix). Defining marriage in any way is legislating morality.

    And, of course you’re right that we shouldn’t be voting on this kind of measure. It doesn’t belong in a state or country’s constitution at all.

  • One can argue that the state should not be in the business of defining marriage, but since the state deals with marriages already (property rights, divorces, tax implications, etc.) and the courts in CA have not imposed a definition of marriage which is patently false, I can only see it as making it better to pass an initiative defining it more in keeping with what marriage actually is.

  • “the courts in CA have not imposed a definition of marriage which is patently false,”

    Not to nitpick, but did you mean ‘now’ rather than ‘not’.

  • Joe & J. Christian,

    I understand and appreciate your responses.

    I still think that the judicial branch, being forced by liberal activists, brought this upon themselves by trying to impose their (im)morality on the state.