Santorum: The Galvanizing Candidate

Wednesday, January 4, AD 2012

George Will has a first-rate column about Rick Santorum:

He can, of course, be tenaciously serious. On Sept. 26, 1996, the Senate was debating whether to ban partial-birth abortion, the procedure whereby the baby to be killed is almost delivered, feet first, until only a few inches of its skull remain in the birth canal, and then the skull is punctured, emptied and collapsed. Santorum asked two pro-choice senators opposed to the ban, Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), this: Suppose the baby slips out of the birth canal before it can be killed. Should killing it even then be a permissible choice? Neither senator would say no.

On Oct. 20, 1999, during another such debate, Santorum had a colloquy with pro-choice Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.):

Santorum: “You agree that, once the child is born, separated from the mother, that that child is protected by the Constitution and cannot be killed. Do you agree with that?”

Boxer: “I think that when you bring your baby home .?.?. .”

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27 Responses to Santorum: The Galvanizing Candidate

  • Great post here Donald. I’ve wanted to say this in about every blog I’ve seen this video, but did anybody else notice that this man just did a 20 minute speech without notes or teleprompters! Seems like the Democrats aren’t the only one with a public speaker! This man’s speech gives me chills. When he speaks about God, you can just tell it is real. When he speaks about caring for the dignity of every worker, he’s sincere. There is something very genuine about this man that will be hard to miss if people give him the time of day. Let’s just keep on the positive Rick and show America who you really are!

  • Look, I admire Santorum’s pro-life work tremendously. I think he is, essentially, a decent man. But I fear that he is basically a Catholic Huckabee – a statist social conservative.

    That said, I will vote him if he is the GOP nominee. The only GOP contender I really don’t think I could bring myself to vote for is Paul. So I’m not going to get into a pitched battle fighting about the pros and cons of Santorum, Romney, etc. when I’m really not nuts about any of them. (I initially favored Perry, but Perry has pretty much destroyed his own candidacy.) The important thing is to beat Obama.

    It would be nice to vote for someone with enthusiasm, rather than voting against someone. But the conservative “A Team” (Jindal, Rubio, Walker, Ryan) isn’t running. *Sigh*

  • Oh, and I’m also aware that my criticism of Santorum for being a statist also applies to Romney. Darn it, every single candidate has big minuses. We have a serious crisis in leadership at a time when we need great leaders more than ever. I disagree with the Instapundit on certain issues, but I certainly agree with him when he says that today’s political class has to be the worst in the nation’s history.

    Still, Obama is the worst of the worst.

  • His backdoor protectionism in that video made me cringe. It’s the type of stuff I debate liberals who think the US needs China-style industrial policy on.

  • I don’t understand why so called conservatives are ideological free traders. But, regardless, how is Santorum saying we should lower taxes on manufacturers protectionist, while I doubt anyone would say lowering regulations on manufacturers is protectionist. The fact is that both are or neither are.

    We ought to do what’s in the public interest, rather than what might fit some economists’ neat vision of global efficiency. We are less competitive than our competitors when it comes to manufacturing. Should we not seek to remedy that? Or should we continue to let middle incomes stagnate? I think this policy fits excellently into Santorum’s broader pro-family vision.

  • Thus we have had candidates like Bob Dole in 1996 and John McCain in 2008 who ran lifeless campaigns and seemed to be concentrating on being good losers instead of fighting to win. I think Mitt Romney is such a candidate.

    Whatever the merits or demerits of any of these men are if one aspires to a political economy congenial to a Catholic society, the first two have faced political circumstances which reduce certain outcomes to decidedly improbable events. (It is in the interest of professional campaign hacks to pretend otherwise, but we do not have to pay attention to their self-promotion).

    Previous presidential candidates who faced circumstances the most similar to John McCain’s were Adlai Stevenson and Hubert Humphrey (the notable differences being that the economy had been much more bouyant, the running sore of a war was a great deal bloodier, and there was no banking crisis).

    As for Dole’s situation, consider: the economy is vigorous, a portion of your constituency has been sheared off by a 3d party candidate, and most of the public is curiously unconcerned (in and out of season) that the incumbent and his minions are forever concealing the muck by hiding it behind a bigger pile of muck.

    Now consider Romney. What is he doing in electoral politics and why has he abased himself? You think it might be because he is a competitive (or ambitious) man?

  • I don’t understand why so called conservatives are ideological free traders.

    Students of economics of a variety of descriptions tend to oppose impediments to foreign trade for the following reasons:

    1. Tariffs induce efficiency losses;
    2. You can through international treaty effect mutual reductions in tariffs.
    3. Trade restrictions generate politically determined rents which induce a mobilization of constituency groups to defend them.
    4. Countries with a vigorous civil service and extensive record-keeping do not need them to obtain revenue.

  • “I don’t understand why so called conservatives are ideological free traders.”

    Everyone should be a free trader regardless of ideology. Thinking liberals (Bill Clinton, President Obama, and even Paul Krugman) are also free traders.

    “But, regardless, how is Santorum saying we should lower taxes on manufacturers protectionist, while I doubt anyone would say lowering regulations on manufacturers is protectionist. The fact is that both are or neither are.”

    There’s a big difference. Reducing many regulations saves money for all parties. Subsidies (which is what special tax breaks are) cost money. We just got rid of the ethanol subsidy but now Santorum wants to add a manufacturing subsidy.

    Maybe you believe the Keynesian notion that the subsidies will create so many jobs that it’ll be worth the price. Maybe you believe that Santorum can multiply fish just as Democrats believe Obama can. Maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t. That’s the risk of central planning. Better to apply the same taxes across the board and let the free market allocate. Santorum says he’s picking manufacturing because other industries can’t move overseas. First, that’s not even true. But more importantly, why does that even matter? If under a fair tax system, China still has a comparative advantage in manufacturing, let it move. This is Wealth of Nations 101.

  • They tell us the army is always fighting the last war. I wonder if that can be applied to the political system for 2012 and beyond. The Congress has stymied any progress on the debt reduction and has made no serious effort to create the jobs, re-boot the tax and economic system to help the US out of the hole that was dug, not really an issue by whom or how back then but what about now. The control of Congress by statesmen, not a continuation of the current session’s “nah nah nah nah” spooked by the Soros and Co Tea Bagger too-powerful lobbying interest. As I look back at the nation I just left after 47.5 years, I do not see the POTUS as being the real need for reform, although 44 is a bust given all that faced him and how he set priorities and rammed the dubious health bill through with no understanding of its almost 3000 page detail. I wish there were the same opportunity Europe had by getting technocrats to fix the Greek and Italian economic crises, booting their two PMs so that some of the nasty is off the table. As to longing for “good old days” humans have a natural tendency to see it as bright and rosy while iignoring the dark side, nor not even knowing how weak, flawed human nature was also at work there also!

  • RR, I’ll give you credit for being honest. You don’t mind those jobs going to China.

    I simply think it’s common sense to encourage manufacturing at a time when our trade deficit is so deep and the middle class is shrinking. It’s a sound conservative policy goal.

    And a tax break for manuf. is hardly central planning in the sense we think of central planning. It’s no more central planning than this country has ever engaged in.

  • “If a foreign country can supply us with a commodity cheaper than we ourselves can make it, better buy it of them with some part of the produce of our own industry, employed in a way in which we have some advantage. The general industry of the country, being always in proportion to the capital which employs it, will not therby be diminished… but only left to find out the way in which it can be employed with the greatest advantage.”

    – Wealth of Nations

    Another way of looking at tax breaks for manufacturing is as tax disadvantages for non-manufacturing. There will be more investment in manufacturing and less in non-manufacturing. It’s a centrally planned allocation of resources into a less efficient configuration.

  • Pingback: Rick Santorum Thursday Roundup |
  • In March of last year the Boston Globe quoted Rick Santorum telling a group of right-wing Catholics that he was “frankly appalled” that America’s first Catholic president, John F. Kennedy, once said “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.” In characterization, Santorum went further by saying “That was a radical statement,” and did “great damage.” And Santorum concluded, “We’re seeing how Catholic politicians, following the first Catholic president, have followed his lead, and have divorced faith not just from the public square, but from their own decision-making process.”

    Santorum may insist that he is a better Catholic then I am and a better man to be president than John F. Kennedy, but just as freely I view him as a religious bigot that neither speaks for me in matters or conscience nor political affairs. And further, were he to gain the power of the presidency by successfully painting the people’s consideration with his brand of religious fanaticism, it would do “great damage” to our land.

    And frankly, in words of comparative disparagement that Lloyd Bentsen directed at Dan Quayle in their 1988 vice-presidential debate, “Rick Santorum, you’re no John F. Kennedy.”

  • Considering that JFK was a serial adulterer Sam, I’d say that JFK didn’t even impose his religious beliefs on himself. The idea that a leader can, or should, not allow his religious beliefs to help guide him in regard to policy decisions is simple rubbish. Look at Lincoln’s magisterial Second Inaugural Address. Are you seriously going to argue that Lincoln was not influenced by his religious beliefs when he wrote that, or that it was a bad thing that he was? The beliefs of a president can be good or bad, but the idea that he can wall off his religious beliefs and that they will have no impact on what he does as President is simply both impossible and rubbish. As for your calling Santorum a bigot, that is merely your way of saying that you have beliefs that do not coincide with his. Welcome to the wonderful world of political disagreement!

  • I believe those who attack true conservatives like Rick Santorum for daring to say the US needs to have a manufacturing base. Claiming it’s ‘protectionist’ or ‘statist’? Yet these same types are silent when it comes to China, India, Latin America, Canada and all other countries subsidize their manufacturers, hit US goods with high tariffs, and act in ways that are truly protectionist. I have to say, I believe those who do so, are NOT conservatives, nor are they Catholic or conservative in any way. They sound like the Marxists who demand the US economy be ransacked, bled dry, it’s citizen’s be rendered into third world poverty, and looted of their rights and freedoms. Rick Santorum’s plan is to eliminate the US manufacturing corporate tax, cut other corporate taxes by 50%, reduce other tax rates, including personal income tax to the pro-growth Reagan era taxes of 10% & 28%, eliminate the marriage penalty taxes, provide research and development incentives, and so on. Santorum’s Made in America jobs plan is very in depth and on his campaign web site.

    As Catholics, we know Christ’s teachings, and it is in NO way Christian to rationalize the economic genocide being imposed upon US citizens, and it is in no way Christian or conservative to insist that the US be deprived of it’s own economic independence, and it’s citizens ability to live instead of starving and becoming homeless.

  • I never contributed a dime to a political campaign in my life. I just send money to Rick Santorum’s campaign. Just a good feeling.

  • Wayne – the Democrats have a public speaker? Who’s that? I’m mean someone who can speak without the aid of a teleprompter telling him what to say.

  • Mary, LOL free traders are Marxists? LOL.
    Capitalism is “economic genocide?” LOL.

    You guys need your own party.

  • Talking to liberals I found that without exception they all believe Santorum wants to ban sodomy, contraception, and masturbation despite the fact that he’s said just the opposite. They confuse his statements against Lawrence v. Texas and Griswold v. Connecticut to mean that he’s for bans. It’s a failure of education. People seem to think the Supreme Court is another legislature. I do think Santorum can make his position clearer though. Sometimes he gets so confrontational that he’s more concerned with making a philosophical point than campaigning.

  • Talking to liberals I found that without exception they all believe Santorum wants to ban sodomy, contraception, and masturbation despite the fact that he’s said just the opposite. They confuse his statements against Lawrence v. Texas and Griswold v. Connecticut to mean that he’s for bans. It’s a failure of education.

    It is not a failure of education. Something John Leo said about reporters some time ago applies here: they think with templates. No amount of education is going to penetrate in most cases.

  • Do the liberals believe President Santorum will deploy black helicopters to enforce his tyrannical bans on nose-picking, farting, and belching?

    Here is a paraphrase of a Twain quote on congressmen. Suppose you were an idiot. And, suppose you were a liberal. But, I repeat myself.

    Twain also knew reporters: “If you don’t read the papers, you are uniformed. If you read the papers, you are misinformed.” Truth.

  • Outside of pro-life issues, what has Rick Santorum done? What is his executive experience? What has he lead?
    He was elected to Congress at 32 and has spent all that time in Washington. When he was defeated he remained Washington at a policy think.
    Santorum has clearly demonstrated he is Pro-Life. That is a good first step. But to be the natnion’s chief executive, he needs some executive experience. If he were elected Governor, then he would obtain that experience.
    Also[, we followed the logic that the longest running candidate should be President, then it would belong to Ron Paul.

  • If you feel that way, I’m sure you didn’t vote for the Obama,did you?!

  • Show’s over, folks. Any candidate who favors cutting Social Security benefits is simply unelectable. And as a Pennsylvanian I can tell you, this is his style – in a few days one of his aides will get to him and explain how dumb that position is, and he’ll reverse himself.

  • “Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania, says changes should include a higher eligibility age to qualify for Social Security benefits, and tighter restrictions on benefits for upper-income people. Americans now qualify for reduced Social Security benefits at age 62 and full benefits at 66, soon to rise to 67.

    Social Security pays proportionately higher benefits to low-income people. But Santorum says wealthy retirees’ proportionate benefits should be trimmed further. He did not offer details.

    This week, he told New Hampshire audiences that Americans over 65 were society’s poorest age group in 1937, when Social Security was created. Now that group is the wealthiest, he said.

    He also noted that Americans now live much longer, putting far bigger demands on the government retirement program.

    Santorum offers only modest details on how he would implement his proposed changes. He has not said how much money he hopes to save.

    In a brief interview Friday as he plowed his way through a crowd after the Keene event, he was asked if the nation should make the changes now.

    “I think we should, yeah,” Santorum said. “Obviously we’re going to have to go through a debate next year and figure out ways in which to make the revenues meet the expenditures.”

    He tells voters he would rule out higher taxes or more deficit spending to help the Social Security program. That leaves benefit cuts as the only way to match revenues and costs, he notes.

    Santorum’s call for immediate benefit cuts puts him at odds with his Republican rivals.

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who came under fire for calling Social Security a “Ponzi Scheme,” tried to recover in part by emphasizing that any changes in benefits would not affect current or soon-to-be retirees.

    Rep. Ron Paul of Texas says younger workers should be able to opt out of Social Security taxes and retirement benefits. “My plan explicitly protects the elderly and the sick in the transition,” he says.

    Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has said in a statement, “We must keep the promises made to our current retirees: their Social Security and Medicare benefits should not be affected.”

    Like Santorum, Romney has called for increasing the eligibility age for Social Security and slowing benefits to high-income recipients. His aides have said the pace of change has yet to be decided, but soon-to-be beneficiaries would not be affected.

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich calls for giving younger workers the option of diverting Social Security taxes to private retirement accounts. Some independent groups say his proposal, which is based on a Chilean program and does not anticipate automatic benefit cuts, is unduly optimistic.

    President Barack Obama last year discussed possible reductions in Social Security benefits as part of a large debt-reduction deal with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. The talks collapsed, however.

    The Romney and Gingrich campaigns had no immediate comment Friday on Santorum’s proposals.

    A House Republican budget-cutting plan, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., would exempt everyone now over 55 from proposed reductions in Social Security benefits.

    Ryan and others have said a phased-in change would give Americans time to plan their retirements without surprises. But Santorum says those officials are seeking political cover by delaying their proposed changes.

    “That’s why you see Paul Ryan saying, ‘Oh, I’m going to fix Social Security, I’m going to fix Medicare in 10 years,'” Santorum told a crowd Thursday in Northfield, N.H.

    He said Ryan assumes, “well, if you’re under 55, you won’t be paying much attention, right? Well, the problem is, this is not a problem that we can wait 10 years to solve.”

    Santorum rises in my esteem as to bluntly honesty. Only the willfully blind or the terminally obtuse can look at the numbers and not realize that social security will have to be adjusted, and sooner rather than later.

  • Show’s over, folks. Any candidate who favors cutting Social Security benefits is simply unelectable.

    Well, Mary Elizabeth, you unelectors are in for a rude surprise when the sovereign default hits.

  • Romney now trading at his highest point ever on Intrade, including in South Carolina where he’s given an 80% chance of winning.

Where They Stand: Senate

Thursday, October 28, AD 2010

With five days until election day, I decided to take a close look at each of the Senate races, and to offer some prognostications about how I think each will end up.

First, the lock-solid holds for each party:

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19 Responses to Where They Stand: Senate

  • Paul,
    I have been following the Senate races fairly carefully, and I agree 100% with your predictions and caveats.

  • Good analysis Paul. I differ from you in regard to California and Washington. I think the huge anti-Democrat tide will carry Fiorina to victory in the formerly Golden State, and Rossi to victory beyond the margin of fraud often used by Washington Democrats to steal state wide elections in that state. I recall in 2006 that the Democrats won all the close Senate races and I expect the Republicans to do the same this year. However, I suspect that even I underestimate the true power of the anti-Democrat tide running in this country right now, which is something unprecedented in living memory.

  • I hope you’re right Don, but my gut says Boxer hangs on. The problem is Fiorina doesn’t seem to be getting any help from the top of the ticket. And even in wave elections like this one, there are always a few races that the surging party leaves on the table, and I have a feeling this will be one. As for Rossi, he’s starting to seem like one of those perpetual candidates who always just loses. (Well, the first time around he arguably didn’t really lose, but that’s a topic for another time.)

  • An interesting look at the polls in the Rossi-Murray race.

    I think most pollsters are understating Republican strength at the polls by around 3% this year, because they are dealing with an unprecedented situation as to the anti-Democrat wave, the enthusiasm gap between the parties and the fact that independents around the country are breaking hard for the Republicans. We will soon find out, and the accuracy of the polls will be a subject I will be intensely interested in post-election. Watch many polls this weekend showing a mini-surge to the Republicans in the Senate races as pollsters hedge their bets.

  • Great analysis and predictions Paul!

    There may even be a surprise in Delaware ( I realize it is unlikely though) –

  • “… there are always a few races that the surging party leaves on the table …”

    Not in 2006. Every close Senate race broke to the Dems(see, e.g, Missouri, Montana, Rhode Island, Virginia).

  • On the ground here in WA… Murray holding on to her seat is the likely scenario from my perspective. First and foremost, we are a blue state. King, Snohomish and Pierce counties make it so. The corruption in King County (think Seattle) elections makes it even more so (as you alluded to the gubernatorial race of 2004).

    What’s more, there are two different feelings among tea party folks around here. One, which is more aligned to the GOP is that we must defeat Murray at all costs. You heard this all over local talk radio after the primary when Clint Didier withheld his endorsement of Rossi (based on a lack of support for some key GOP platform issues).

    The second element in the tea party is the more libertarian leaning group, one that strongly identifies with the ideas put forth by Ron Paul (and strongly behind Didier). They feel rather disgruntled about the primary, where Rossi was a late comer, and ran something of a non-campaign saving his war chest for the general.

    We’ll see… will the third time (for a state-wide election) be the charm for Rossi? If he loses, blame will be placed squarely on the Didier die-hards for with holding their vote. One thing is for sure, if Rossi loses, it will be one more tick mark in a long string of losses by moderate Republicans in state-wide elections. This begs the question… should the WSRP court more conservative candidates?

  • I’d love to see Her Royal Senator Highness overthrown, but CA is one of those states where getting rid of an incumbent liberal is akin to Hell freezing over.

    If you wish to disagree with that assessment, fine, but don’t call me sir or RL. Call me Beloved General Field Marshall of the L homestead; I worked hard for that.

  • The just released Rasmussen poll on the Washington Senate race has Rossi up by one 48-47. Murray still being under 50% this close to election day is trouble for her.

  • A sign of the public mood:

    “According to pollster Doug Schoen, whose new poll shows vast support for the Tea Party movement among voters, the president is still liked by about half the nation. In fact, more like him personally than like his policies. Some 48 percent think he’s a nice guy, while just 42 percent approve of his job performance.
    But that personal favorability doesn’t translate into re-election support when voters are asked if Obama deserves a second term. Says Schoen: “Despite voters feelings toward Obama personally, 56 percent say he does not deserve to be re-elected, while 38 percent say he does deserve to be re-elected president.” Worse, Schoen adds, “43 percent say that Barack Obama has been a better president than George W. Bush, while 48 percent say Bush was a better president than Obama has been.”

  • In Wisconsin, I wouldn’t count Feingold out. While Johnson has been ahead in most polls, the gap’s been closing in recent weeks and Johnson hasn’t fared well in the debates. Feingold, with three terms under his belt and being a smooth debater, is still pretty popular in a purple state. Johnson may still win, but his lead is shrinking.

  • New York is a sad case. Less than a year old it looked like both Gillibrand’s seat and the governorship would easily go to Republicans. Unfortunately for Republicans, Paterson decided not to run and the GOP basically conceded the senate seat without a fight.

  • Joe, you probably have a better sense of what’s going on in Wisconsin than I do, but the polls seem to have flattened out over the past week. Feingold certainly can make it interesting, but with Johnson now consistently polling in the low 50s, I’d be surprised if he lost.

    As for 2006, there was one race the Dems lost that was considered something of a toss-up. It was the TN Senate race that Harold Ford (call me) lost to Corker by about 3 points. That said, I can’t really think of any other close race over the past 2 cycles that the Dems have lost.

  • RR –

    New York is just an embarrassment for the GOP. Rudy Giuliani could certainly have won any of the statewide races had he decided to run, but evidently he is under the delusion that he could still be President one day. And as bad as Pataki is, he certainly could have been competitive with Gillebrand. The same is true for Lazio if he had set his sights on the Senate instead of the Governor’s Mansion.

  • “whatever the party breakdown is after Tuesday is the way it will remain for the 112th Congress”

    Maybe, maybe not. If the Republicans get to 50, they’ll be throwing every deal they can think of at the most nervous-looking Democratic senator they can find. If Sestak loses badly, that could be Bob Casey.

  • New York is just an embarrassment for the GOP

    The candidate for Comptroller and the candidate for Attorney-General have both shivved the Gubernatorial candidate, refusing to endorse him and (in the latter case) even to appear at public events with him. The Onondaga County executive endorsed Andrew Cuomo. The state party chairman (Richard Nixon’s corporate lawyer son-in-law) has been a pillar of Jell-O. I keep telling you: these people lose and lose and lose because of their irredeemable inadequacies.

  • Re Kirk vs. Giannoulias in IL: I voted early a couple of weeks ago. If either candidate had been ahead by a comfortable margin (meaning my vote would probably not make any difference), or if either party were pretty much assured of taking (or keeping) control of the Senate, I would have skipped this race and not voted for either candidate.

    Kirk is about as RINO as one can be — pro-abort, pro-ESCR, voted for cap and trade before he was against it, etc. However, I went ahead and voted for him, very reluctantly, ONLY because the race is so close AND because control of the Senate may hinge on the outcome. I am not going to sit back and allow a liberal Democrat to win under those circumstances.

  • On a side note: there are some prognosticators who believe that if Harry Reid loses his seat but the Dems hold on to the Senate, the next Majority Leader will be none other than Illinois’ other (ahem) esteemed Senator, Dick Durbin, who comes up for reelection in 2014. Now THAT is a race I am looking forward to. Hopefully the GOP will come up with a much better candidate than they have had the last three Senate election cycles. Lord knows they can’t do much worse.

  • Paul, I wouldn’t disagree that Johnson looks like the winner by a nose. Interestingly, more TV spots have been run in Wisconsin than any other state. Spending at $10.8 million in the Badger state, according to the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks federal races.

Remembering Bastille Day

Wednesday, July 14, AD 2010

Today is Bastille Day, typically associated with the start of the French Revolution. In honor of that blessed event, I offer up this classic piece by John Zmirak:

Remember when the L.A. riots spun out of control, and engulfed the whole United States? The key moment was no doubt when police and Army commanders took fright and changed sides, throwing their support to the Committee for Public Safety led by Tom Hayden, along with Noam Chomsky, Barbara Boxer, Michael Moore, and Edward Said. After Hayden’s fall and execution, his successor, Marion Barry, insisted that President Bush and his wife Barbara be tried for treason. Their executions shocked the world but sparked wild celebrations in the capital, as the First Couple’s severed heads danced on poles in daylong parades. A crack whore was duly enshrined in the National Cathedral as the Goddess of Reason.

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0 Responses to Remembering Bastille Day

  • They have a half-decent natonal anthem. ‘Nuff said.

  • Really interesting article. Thanks for the link.

  • Irving Babbitt divided the world of political philosophy into those who were followers of Edmund Burke and those who were followers of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The contrast between the American and French Revolution beautifully encapsulates this dichotomy. The French Revolution was one of the most disastrous and horrible events in the history of the world, so kudos to Zmirak.

  • Thus beginning the tradition of starting a new French Republic every couple of decades, which has continued down unto the present day…

  • “Blessed Solomon Leclercq, 1745-1792
    “Feast day: September 2

    “Blessed Brother Solomon Leclerq was beatified on October 17, 1926. Born in 1745, he lived in France, during a time of revolution. The common people rose up against the kings of France, and established a more democratic form of government. As part of this revolution, the new leaders made times difficult for the official religion, Christianity. All Christian organizations became illegal. The Christian Brothers and their work were almost totally dismantled. Bro. Solomon was among these Brothers. He joined the Brothers in 1767, was a devoted teacher and skilled financial manager. These Brothers refused to swear loyalty to this new government. They had to live in secrecy. In 1792, he was arrested by the government, imprisoned with several other church leaders, and, in 1727 (sic), executed. (sic) He, and his prison companions were martyred about a month later. (sic)”

    I edited out some of the PC lies, but . . . left some in for your edification. Plus, someone should have proof read the copy.

    See how they gloss over tyranny, thousands of drumhead executions. The quote is from a Christian Brothers high school site. Note: the author doesn’t state that the brothers’ vocations were to educate poor boys, who would not be educated after 1792. The official religion was Catholicism, not “Christianity.” Sound familiar?

  • My favorite rendition of the French national anthem:

    A post about my favorite Frenchman:

  • Great movie: Casablanca.

    Ach! “Die Wacht am Rhein.”

    That was just about all they could do at the time: sing and weep.

    Lafayette, nous voila (I think)! “Lafayette, we are here!” Spoken by one of Pershing’s staff (I think at lafayette’s tomb) in 1917. And 1944. America doesn’t owe them anything.

  • Thus beginning the tradition of starting a new French Republic every couple of decades, which has continued down unto the present day…

    Constitutional government in France has, since 1860, been interrupted only by German invasion and occupation (in 1870-71 and 1940-46).

  • Constitutional government in France has, since 1860, been interrupted only by German invasion and occupation (in 1870-71 and 1940-46).

    I would consider the May 1958 crisis, if not technically an interruption of constitutional government, then at least close enough for purposes of the witticism.

  • The 1968 Riots are another potential disruption of civil government.

    They rioted for the right to be over-payed government workers.

  • Thanks for the post! My favorite version of the French anthem is the royalist parody, sung by the heroic Catholic rebels of the Vendee:

    Here’s the French text and an English translation (reproduced, with sheet music in my “The Bad Catholic’s Guide to Wine, Whiskey and Song”:


    Allons armées catholiques
    Le jour de gloire est arrivé!
    Contre nous de la république
    L’étendard sanglant est levé (repeat)
    Entendez-vous dans nos campagnes
    Les cris impurs des scélérats ?
    Qui viennent jusque dans nos bras
    Prendre nos filles, nos femmes !

    Refrain: Aux armes vendéens ! Formez vos bataillons ! Marchez, marchez, Le sang des bleus Rougira nos sillons !

    II Quoi des infâmes hérétiques
    Feraient la loi dans nos foyers?
    Quoi des muscardins de boutiques
    Nous écraseraient sous leurs pieds? (Repeat)
    Et le Rodrigue abominable
    Infâme suppôt du démon
    S’installerait en la maison
    De notre Jésus adorable


    III Tremblez pervers et vous timides,
    La bourrée des deux partis.
    Tremblez, vos intrigues perfides
    Vont enfin recevoir leur prix. (Repeat)
    Tout est levé pour vous combattre
    De Saint Jean d’Monts à Beaupréau,
    D’Angers à la ville d’Airvault,
    Nos gars ne veulent que se battre.


    IV Chrétiens, vrais fils de l’Eglise,
    Séparez de vos ennemis
    La faiblesse à la peur soumise
    Que verrez en pays conquis. (Repeat)
    Mais ces citoyens sanguinaires
    Mais les adhérents de Camus
    Ces prêtres jureurs et intrus
    Cause de toutes nos misères.


    Ô sainte Vierge Marie
    Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs!
    Contre une sequelle ennemie
    Combats avec tes zélateurs! (Repeat)
    A vos étendards la victoire
    Est promise assurément.
    Que le régicide expirant
    Voie ton triomphe et notre gloire!


    Translation by Charles A. Coulombe

    I Let us go, Catholic armies the day of glory has arrived! Against us, the Republic Has raised the bloody banner. (Repeat) Do you hear in our countryside the impure cries of the wretches? Who come—unless our arms prevent them— To take our daughters, our wives!

    Refrain To arms, Vendeeans! Form your battalions! March, march, The blood of the blues [revolutionaries] Will redden our furrows!

    II What of the infamous heretics Who would make the law in our homes? What of the mercenary cowards Who would crush us under their feet? (Repeat) And abominable Rodrigue [Antoine Rodrigue, a local bishop who defied papal authority to cooperate with the Revolution] Infamous henchman of the demon Who would settle in the house Of our adorable Jesus?


    III Tremble you perverse and timid, Before the bonfires of the adversaries. Tremble, your perfidious intrigues shall finally receive their due. (Repeat) All are raised to fight you From Saint Jean d’Monts to Beaupréau, From Angers to the town of Airvault, Our lads want to only fight.


    IV Christians, true sons of the Church, Reject your enemies and The weakness and the servile fear Which you see in a conquered country. (Repeat) But these bloody “citizens,” These allies of Camus, [Armand-Gaston Camus, Secretary of the Revolutionary Convention, who led in the move to seize Church property and execute the king.] These treasonous and imposed priests [This refers to the “Constitutional” priests who had sworn loyalty to the government over the pope, and were rewarded with the parishes of priests who refused; the latter were considered heroes.] Are the cause of all our miseries.


    O Blessed Virgin Mary,
    Lead and support our avenging arms!
    Against an enemy gang,
    fight alongside your zealous warriors! (Repeat)
    To your standards
    is promised certain victory.
    The regicides’ death
    Shall be your triumph and our glory!

Political Miscellania 6/24/10

Thursday, June 24, AD 2010

A roundup of recent political news.

1.  Nikki Haley, see the above video, crushed her opponent in the runoff 65-35.  She survived bizzare accusations of infidelity, attacks on whether she is a Christian, her parents are Sikh immigrants, and outright racism.  She is only 38 years old, her youth being something she has in common with the new generation of conservatives running and winning this year.  She has a 20 point lead on her opponent in the general election and is the odds on favorite to win in the fall and be the next governor of South Carolina.

2.  Tim Scott handily won his runoff against Paul Thurmond for the Republican nomination for Congress from South Carolina 1.  This is a heavily Republican district, so Mr. Scott, who many consider to be the most conservative member of the South Carolina legislature, will now almost certainly be the first black Republican congressman from South Carolina since Reconstruction.

3.  The bad news for the Democrats for November just will not stop.  Gallup released a poll this week which shows a huge enthusiasm gap in favor of the GOP.

The current average is based on four measures of this enthusiasm question since February, including the recent June 11-13 USA Today/Gallup poll. In that poll, 53% of Republicans said they were more enthusiastic than usual about voting and 39% were less enthusiastic, while 35% of Democrats said they were more enthusiastic about voting and 56% were less enthusiastic.

Republicans’ net score of +14 more enthusiastic in the latest poll compared with the Democrats’ net score of -21 represents the largest relative party advantage Gallup has measured in a single midterm election-year poll. More generally, Republicans have shown a decided relative advantage in enthusiasm throughout 2010, averaging a net score of +28, compared with Democrats’ net score of 0.

(Gallup instituted a separate enthusiasm question in March on its Daily tracking survey, which asks voters to say how enthusiastic they are about voting this year as opposed to comparing their current enthusiasm to their enthusiasm in prior elections. This new enthusiasm question lacks a historical trend but has also shown a consistent Republican advantage throughout the year.)

The 28 percentage-point party difference in net scores on the “more enthusiastic than usual” question in 2010 is the highest Gallup has measured in a midterm election year, with 1994’s 17-point Republican advantage the only other midterm election-year gap coming close. (See the table at the end of the article for full data by party.)

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One Response to Political Miscellania 6/24/10

  • Re: Patty Murray’s challengers… Akers is solid, but he just doesn’t have much of a following among folks here in WA. He’s a businessman from Bellingham, who intends to streamline or LEAN out the bureaucracy.

    Rossi is (in my mind) a Johnny-come-lately to the race, and is the supposed establishment choice. He has name recognition, but he has yet to win a statewide race. In my time here, he’s the guy that lost to Christine Gregoire (governor) twice.

    Clint Didier is the man who has won my support. He’s a former tight end for the Redskins, and even caught a TD pass in the Superbowl. He’s a farmer, and a football coach back in Easter WA. By no means is he a polished politician, he admits quite frankly that he is not a polished politician.

    The Washington State Republican Party recently held their convention. Terra Mork, a local activist and pro-life conservative gives her take on the convention here and here. Additionally, Michelle at “Life of the Party”, another local local activist and pro-life conservative gives her endorsement to Didier as well.

    Anecdotally, the signs you see around town for Senate candidates are primarily for Didier. I have not seen one for Rossi. I’ve only seen one for Akers and one for Murray. WA is typically a blue state, but the enthusiasm seems to be falling mostly behind Didier, as Terra’s report of the straw poll seems to indicate. It should be interesting to see how the top two primary plays out to see who really will be on the ballot in the general.

Political Miscellania 5/12/10

Wednesday, May 12, AD 2010

A wrap-up of various items of political interest.

1.  The video that heads this post is one of the reasons why my vote for McCain in 2008 was a two handed vote, with one hand holding my nose.  McCain has long been an ardent supporter of amnesty and open borders.  Now that he is in a tough primary race with J.D. Hayworth, he is a born again believer in locking down the border against illegal aliens.  I certainly favor in making it tougher for illegals to get across the border, but I do not favor politicians who embrace positions simply to save their political skin.  I hope that the voters in Arizona will finally bring McCain’s political career to a screeching halt  by voting for his opponent in the primary.

2.  It looks like Hawaii will soon have a new Republican Congressman.  The Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee is pulling out of Hawaii 1 and basically conceding that Republican Charles Djou will win the special election on May 22. The Democrats have two candidates running who are splitting the vote and thus allowing the Republicans to take a Congressional seat that has been in Democrat hands for two decades.

3.  The tea party movement claimed another scalp by causing the defeat of Republican Senator Bob Bennett at the Utah Gop Convention in his attempt to get the Republican nomination for a fourth term in the Senate. This should be a warning for all politicians:  this year is different, no re-nomination or re-election can be taken for granted.

4.  Faithful readers of this blog will know that I have quite a bit of respect for blogger Mickey Kaus who is taking on Senator Barbara Boxer in the Democrat primary in California.   Shockingly last week the LA Times refused to endorse Boxer:

On the Democratic side, we find that we’re no fans of incumbent Barbara Boxer. She displays less intellectual firepower or leadership than she could. We appreciate the challenge brought by Robert “Mickey” Kaus, even though he’s not a realistic contender, because he asks pertinent questions about Boxer’s “lockstep liberalism” on labor, immigration and other matters. But we can’t endorse him, because he gives no indication that he would step up to the job and away from his Democratic-gadfly persona.

To have the LA Times refuse to endorse Boxer is a strong indication of just how weak she is this election year.  She is probably strong enough to defeat Kaus (sorry Mickey!) in the primary, but there is blood in the water for the general election.

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5 Responses to Political Miscellania 5/12/10

  • Bob Bennett is a bit of an outlier. The Utah Republican party is becoming VERY VERY conservative, and there was an organized effort to push him out because of TARP and his Appropriations Committee role. It began two years ago when Jason Chaffetz beat Chris Cannon for his Congressional seat. While there may be a grassroots movement to “throw the bums out” Utah’s movement has been going on a bit longer.

  • Newsweek was put up for sale by the Washington Post last week. Last year the news magazine adopted a strategy of serving as an opinion journal of the Left. The decision has proven a disaster in the marketplace, although to be fair Newsweek has been losing money for quite a while.

    And a strange decision it was. The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New Yorker are about the only publications directed at that sort of audience which have been aught but philanthropic concerns during the lifetime of Newsweek‘s current editor, and the latter two are leavened with considerable reportage and fiction and offer little straightforward commentary. Comparing Newsweek to The New Republic also demonstrates that their is an art to producing an opinion magazine that not every collecting pool of journalists has; there would not be much point in a patron like Arthur Carter or Mortimer Zuckerman employing this crew.

  • The Hawaii election is very special to me.

    Having been raised the majority of my life in the Aloha State, we have never had a Republican elected to Honolulu’s 1st congressional district.

    Inouye’s “pre-selected” appointee, Hanabasu, is power hungry and feels entitled to that position held by the granola-eating Abercrombie.

    Case also feels a sense of entitlement, but then again, many Punahou School grads feel they are entitled to many things in life (Case is AOL founder Steve Case’s cousin; Punahou is the elite private school that silver spooned Obama attended as well).

    GOP Djou needs all the support he can get to rip that seat from the most powerful Democratic machine in the nation!

  • Re: #3… Here in WA, the state GOP (executive board) is looking at automatically endorsing whomever the GOP incumbent may be, even in the presence of a stronger, more conservative challenger… even if the PCO’s overwhelming support the challenger. It will be up to the voters both in the primary and the caucuses to decapitate weak incumbents.

  • McCain has proven he works for the people that voted him to office. The media would say this is flip flopping, I would say, any politician that thought one thing and turned around when hearing what his constituents believed, is exactly what govt is about. As for JD, well that is a long story that should not even be an issue. JD is as bad as they come…JD cannot find an endorsement, I am sure he will start paying people to say they like him! JD leaves us with many great memories, whether it be Abramoff, losing his seat to a democrat, ethical issues, issues about his lack of intelligence, being a huge blowhard, being a huge boozer, being a continuous egomaniac who does not have the experience needed to succeed in Washington (and he has already proven that to us!) I had decided JD was far too inexperienced, immature, egotistical and unethical to vote for him. McCain is the third most fiscally conservative member in Senate and that along with his integrity, we have a solid Senator.

Mickey Kaus: Democrat With a Difference

Monday, May 3, AD 2010

Mickey Kaus, blogger and writer, is running against Barbara Boxer in the Senate primary in California.  I have read with enjoyment his KausFiles for years.  Alas, Mr. Kaus is not pro-life.  If he were, I could imagine myself possibly voting for him.  He is taking on some of the major shibboleths of his party.  Here are a few examples:


“Yet the answer of most union leaders to the failure of 1950s unionism has been more 1950s unionism. This isn’t how we’re going to get prosperity back. But it’s the official Democratic Party dogma. No dissent allowed.

Government unions are even more problematic (and as private sector unions have failed in the marketplace, government unions are increasingly dominant). If there are limits on what private unions can demand — when they win too much, as we’ve seen, their employers tend to disappear — there is no such limit on what government unions can demand. They just have to get the politicians to raise your taxes to pay for it, and by funding the Democratic machine they acquire just the politicians they need.

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Pro-Lifers Invade the Pro-Abortion City of San Francisco

Tuesday, February 2, AD 2010

Recently the City of San Francisco got to experience a peaceful and powerful Pro-Life march on January 23.  In what is being billed as the largest gathering of Pro-Lifers in San Francisco ever, an estimated 40,000 volunteers from all ages, cultures, and nations descended on what is known to be the most egregious community of new Carthaginians in the country.

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Senate Kills Pro-Life Nelson Amendment

Tuesday, December 8, AD 2009

The Senate defeated the pro-life Nelson amendment that would have disallowed public money to be spent on killing babies.

Steven Ertelt of explains what the current bill contains without the pro-life Nelson amendment:

The legislation currently allows abortion funding under both the public option and the affordability credits to purchase health care insurance.

Pro-abortion Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine voted along with most Democrats when pro-abortion Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer of California moved to kill the bill.  Democratic Senators Bob Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania, David Pryor of Arkansas, Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Edward Kaufman of Delaware, and Evan Bayh of Indiana voted along with the rest of the Republicans to not kill this amendment.

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66 Responses to Senate Kills Pro-Life Nelson Amendment

  • Reid is digging a bigger hole for himself and for Obamacare. Watch Pryor and maybe Casey join Nelson in refusing to vote for cloture. Smart Democrats are beginning to realize that as bad as 2010 will be for them, passing Obamacare would make things much worse, and the issue of abortion gives Red State and Blue States Trending Red Democrats a good excuse to vote against it.

  • I pray you’re right.

    As for Bob Casey, Jr., he’s holding the line of “abortion is one of the many other issues” argument. Basically if we can get other Catholic issues covered and not stop funding for abortion, I’m voting for passage with or without abortion funding.

    I think Snow (which Collins follows sheepishly) and Lieberman will be joining Nelson and the rest of the GOP and stop the bill in it’s tracks (without Casey).

    That’s the (hopeful) scenario I envision.

  • Man…I wish I shared your optimism.

    I don’t see any reason to believe this bill doesn’t pass before Christmas. I think Collins, Snowe, Nelson AND Lieberman vote for it. And we need three of the four not to, right?

    Nelson is already backing off his promise to filibuster. Casey has been a joke to start with.

    The Republican Party talked tough a few weeks ago, vowing to insist the bill be read in its entirety. What happened to that? They vowed to insert controversial amendments? Never happened. They can’t even get this off the fast track so it’s not passed by Christmas. Pathetic. It’s as though they want it to pass so they win big next year.

  • Coburn backed off reading the bill when calculations revealed that it would only take 34 hours to read it, and it would probably have been done over the Thanksgiving Recess and would not have slowed down the progress of the bill.

  • I can’t believe how non-academic this article is. NO ONE IS PRO-ABORTION! What is WRONG with you? Why don’t you understand that? No one, especially Barbara Boxer, WANTS people to have abortions! That is SO STUPID. They are all pro-CHOICE. CHOICE. CHOICE. They believe that it is not anyone else’s–especially a religious group’s right to tell an individual (who is not apart of that group) that they cannot have an abortion within the first trimester. The definition of what constitutes “life” is NOT AGREED UPON.

    Why do people fight for the “potential” for life when innocent children are NEGLECTED AND MALNOURISHED IN THIS COUNTRY. Why don’t you care about THEM?
    I think if someone REALLY cares that within-3rd-trimester abortion should be outlawed–because they believe that an innocent pre-fetus has the right to life, then they should be obligated to care for an unwanted child too. I think it’s more inhumane and un-Catholic to bear a child to poverty in a country where healthcare is not guaranteed to everyone–especially to the poorest of the poor, who would be MOST HURT and BURDENED by the outlawing of abortion.
    If abortion is out-lawed, then POVERTY should be outlawed too.

  • I’m sorry that I said, “what is wrong with you” in the previous post, but it just REALLY scared me that a distinguished author would actually write and believe that.
    And addressing other fellow Catholics, c’mon now! Where is your COMPLETE care for the poor? If Jesus taught us to care for the poor, then we should be caring about decisions that will negatively and devastatingly affect them.
    As for fellow Catholic who do not support a public option of health care…WHY????????

  • As for fellow Catholic who do not support a public option of health care…WHY????????

    Because it won’t work. Here is lefty Ezra Klein explaining why it won’t work.

  • Speaking to reporters Thursday morning, Senator Nelson declared flatly that if his amendment fails,” I won’t vote to move [the bill] off the floor.”

    “If Stupak-type language is not in the bill at the end of the day, I can’t support getting it off the floor. That’s not negotiable. No wiggle room.”

    Tell me — how has Senator Nelson backed down?

  • If abortion is out-lawed, then POVERTY should be outlawed too.

    How would one go about outlawing poverty? It’s not like you could get rid of poverty by making it a crime to be poor.


    Caps do not make nonsense any more persuasive. Many people are pro-abortion including those in Congress who fight tooth and nail against any restrict on the sacred right to choose to slay the unborn.

    “Why do people fight for the “potential” for life when innocent children are NEGLECTED AND MALNOURISHED IN THIS COUNTRY. Why don’t you care about THEM?”

    An unborn child is not “potentially” alive, but is simply alive. We do care for neglected and malnourished children as the many Catholic and Protestant charities serving children attest. Why do you believe that an unborn child can be disposed of like an unwanted tumor?

  • “I think it’s more inhumane and un-Catholic to bear a child to poverty in a country where healthcare is not guaranteed to everyone”

    My mother was born in abysmal poverty. I am eternally thankful that my maternal grandmother, abandoned by the father of my mother, did not share your views. My father was one of seven kids born in the Great Depression to a shoemaker and his wife who struggled just to keep them fed. Oh, and my dad was born crippled with his feet turned the opposite direction from what they should have been. I am eternally thankful that my paternal grandparents had a very high respect for the sanctity of life.

  • Sadly, Ms. Miller erred opinion is too common in many dioceses within the American / Europe Catholic Church. The secular culture has done it’s job well.

    That said, prayer is the solution – daily prayer to stop pro-abortion support in our country. Prayer for the fathers who don’t care and just want to write a check to clear their conscious; prayer for the mothers who go through with it without really wanting to; prayer for those mothers who still suffer from their consent to abort their babies; prayer for the local, state and federal leaders who participate and support the pro-abortion business with their votes in legislation; and prayer for those opinion makers in the media who don’t see abortion for the murder it is.

    Imagine how easy health care for all would pass Congress if abortion funding was completely excluded! With daily prayer to the Sacred Heart of our Holy Mother abortion will go the way of slavery in America!

  • There is nobody more poor than the unborn child.

  • Mr. Brown:

    ” A few reporters waiting outside the door asked [Nelson] how it would effect his decision on whether to support the final effort.

    “I want to continue to work on this,” he said, not ruling out his support, at least “not at this point in time. I want to continue to work on the project we’re working on… This makes it harder right now [to support the bill]. We’ll have to see if they can make it easier.””

  • Kelley,

    I really really get where you’re coming from. I used to be pro-“choice”. But I just have to address some of the logical flaws with your argument.

    First, pro-choice IS pro-abortion. No, you don’t necessarily want people to choose abortion, but you don’t mind if they do. To be pro-choice means you think abortion is an acceptable choice – one that should always be available (and even beyond that, one that people have a right to have the taxpayers fund if they can’t afford to pay for their “choice”). That’s pretty strong approval for something you’re saying pro-choice people don’t really support.

    Second, there are many criminal actions that stem from poverty, but they remain illegal. Should we legalize theft until we as a society make it unnecessary for any person to steal? Should anyone who wants theft to remain illegal be legally required to house poor people in their homes or pay for things they would otherwise steal? (This is not to say we don’t have a moral obligation to care for the poor, I’m addressing the legal arguments you made.)

    Third, complete care for the poor and absolute intolerance of the evil of abortion are not inconsistent. But it is inconsistent to support ANY “health care” that will pay for the slaughter of millions of children with taxpayer dollars. At the very LEAST, the status quo on federal abortion funding should be maintained (and yes, since the health care plan will expand the areas of health care in which the government is involved, that means extending the funding ban to cover these new areas.)

    As you rightly point out, not everyone agrees that abortion is the taking of a human life. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t. And the fact that religious people believe abortion is wrong doesn’t mean this is a matter of faith. Science and reason confirm that a unique human being is created at the moment of conception. Those who see this evil for what it is (whatever religious or political persuasion) have every right as citizens to lobby their government and attempt to have the law recognize that lives are at stake. There was a time when not everyone agreed that black people were fully human. That didn’t make it so. It just meant that those who saw the truth had to fight HARD to convince the other side (and use all legal means available to them in the meantime to protect the human rights of our fellow man).

    Sorry this is so long. I used the very same arguments for YEARS, and was as shocked as anyone when one day I couldn’t stand the mental gymnastics anymore. I hope that day comes for you too, and in the meantime I wish you all the best.

  • It may sound petty, but I think Casey is feeling the footsteps of Santorium.

  • Kelley,

    Choices end when you decide to have sex. Don’t want a baby? Then don’t have sex. What are you? A wild animal given to the passions of the moment? And then once you do, you don’t like the consequences, so you murder the unborn baby that results from your fornication or adultery?

    NO sex outside of the bounds of Holy Matrimony! Act like a human being. Use the brains God gave you. You don’t need to rut in the wild like a baboon, and then claim it’s your “human right” to have a “choice”. Reproductive freedom ends when you chose to engage in the act of reproduction – sexual intercourse.

    P.S., As far as I know, baboons are more “moral” than we in that they don’t murder their young. So perhaps I insult baboons everywhere by comparing liberal pro-choice Democrats (and RINOs like Olympia Snowe) to them. If so, then I apologize to baboons everywhere.

  • Even if we grant that pro-choice is not pro-abortion, encouraging abortions is definitely pro-abortio. It’s one thing to say “It you’re choice.” It’s quite another to say “Here, I’ll help you pay for it.”

  • “There is nobody more poor than the unborn child”.

    I think I disagree. The father of that unborn child who has NO SAY in her/his abortion is poorer. He must watch his child, at the very least in his mind, die.
    If the mother who chooses the abortion is his wife, he must watch, at least in his mind, the person he is “one in being” with murder the fruit of their love.

  • Technically, one can indeed be pro-choice without being pro-abortion. No doubt in 1860 there were some Americans who believed slavery to be gravely immoral but who nonetheless thought it should be a legal option. With proper cognitive dissonance such a position is quite possible.

  • I think there is a difference between the pro-choice and pro-abortion position; I say this as someone who supported legal abortion but found it to be a tragedy in many ways. I don’t have a recollection of consciously wanting women to choose only abortion or advocating for abortion like I would have supported, say, gay rights. I believe I was pro-choice, not pro-abortion. There is a difference that is subtle. Both are, however, unacceptable.

  • Karl,
    Your post grieves me. Surely that unborn child senses a father’s heavenly love, just as surely as if that child had died cradled in the comfort of its father’s arms.

  • There ARE people who are pro-abortion – population control freaks like Ted Turner and other billionaires that fund abortion on a global scale, or our “science czar” John P. Holdren.

    Yes, they actually WANT more women to have abortions because they believe the Earth is over-populated, crawling with “breeders” and “eaters” and “breathers” who harm Mother Earth and make life less pleasant for the enlightened few.

    This is what international “family planning” is all about. Not only does abortion reduce the population, it destroys a society’s birth rate. Look at Russia. Look at Russia! Millions of women have been made sterile by multiple abortions. There are more abortions than live births, it is a society in complete demographic decline. And this is what the future holds for Europe, the US, and Japan.

    Abortion is a social scourge, a plague, it is almost as if civilization itself is committing suicide.

  • Eric,
    It seems to me that one must ask what does it mean to be pro-abortion in order to distinguish the term from pro-choice. The only sensible critereon that I have discerned is the belief that abortion is a morally neutral option. In contrast, a pro-choice person would typically acknowledge that while abortion is morally problematic, it is imprudent for government to police it. Such a position can make sense if one believes that the seriousness of the imprudence associated with outlawing abortion outweighs the gravity of the moral problems associated with abortion. This exposes the dissonance I mentioned earlier. It takes some pretty strange mental gymnastics to believe that while abortion is a moral wrong it is not so serious a wrong as to demand legal prohibition. When scrubbed, such mental gymnastics usually involve the absurdly unscientific claim that the humanity of the fetus is a religious question (it is wrong for me because my religion teaches that the fetus to be a human life but I acknowledge others are bound by other religious traditions), or more subtly and dangerously, the claim that the social protection of humans from violance should turn on utilitarian principles related to the the costs and benefits of a fetus to the community (i.e., the wrong associated with killing a fetus is outweighed by the wrong associated with requiring a woman to take a baby she does not want to term, because the socially acknowledged importance of adult women simply trumps that of unborn children). The latter calculus often involves the notion that fetuses are not fully congitive in the way an adult is. Peter Singer accepts the logical implications of such reasoning, but few others are willing to be so rational.

  • Mike,

    When I was pro-choice, I did not think abortion was immoral. Otherwise, I would not have supported it. It was tragic only as it related to the mother and whatever emotional and psychological struggle she faced. It was more ideal, in my view at the time, for a woman to announce pregnancy with joy and happiness — I felt the natural desire, the childhood dreaming of such a moment was to be one of joy — not of fear, shame, uncertainty, etc.

    In other words, I didn’t view abortion as a tragedy because of the destruction of unborn human life. I held a very John Kerry-esque smokescreen question of what constituted “personhood.”

    I didn’t see the direct contradiction of supporting legal abortion and wanting to change the circumstances surrounding it to prevent it from occuring. I was focused wholly on the woman; it was inevitably for this reason that arguments put forth b pro-life feminists and disability groups as well changed my views on abortion and physician-assisted suicide because they approach the issue from a different perspective — a way that resonates with people who are otherwise not predisposed to the pro-life position, but rather to the contrary.

    Objectively speaking, a pro-choice person is pro-abortion in the sense that they would tolerate legal abortion, they materially support it. I feel there is some distinction however in views, not in result of those views. I don’t recall being rabidly pro-abortion. I was, and still am in a more constructive sense, a critic of the pro-life movement.

  • Perhaps a distinction of view and intent would better explain it. It amounts to nothing and doesn’t legitimzie the “pro-choice” position over the “pro-abortion” position if there is even a difference.

    I’m just critical of it because it intellectually follows, perhaps, but it doesn’t resonate at all with my experience of being pro-choice.

  • Fair enough, Eric. I’m pretty much coming around to the view that the two terms are hopeless. Basically, no one is willing to call himself pro-abortion. Pro-aborts all consider themselves as simply pro-choice. Basically, they all consider the perceived positive moral value of giving a woman the option as outweighing any perceived negative moral value of killing an unborn child. Even the goofballs mentioned by Joe are really indifferent to abortion as such — they just want population reduction.

  • Pingback: Bishops Disappointed by Senate Vote to Kill Pro-Life Amendment « The American Catholic
  • I’m so glad that you guys wrote back to me! Thank you for your responses. I have been yearning for thoughtful discussion like this because the truth is that NO one knows everything, certainly I don’t! I have SO MUCH to learn from all of you. Please expose me to your viewpoints.
    I consider myself Catholic, went to Catholic school for 12 years, and still make it to church every Sunday-despite being a senior neuroscience student at a VERY LIBERAL college. I love my faith and what it stands for- mainly to help those that have less than us. Help the needy. To not be selfish and think of the well-being of others.
    With that said, I often lay awake at night puzzled and scared about the way I have seen other Catholics behave.
    What American Catholic would not want every person in this country to have the right to full health-care coverage? What Catholic wouldn’t be excited to give more of what they have for the benefit of those who are disadvantaged in this country? Also, someone in an earlier post mentioned that a public option wouldn’t work. Oh, ok–yeah–so let’s just not try! Or do you argue–that we should leave it up to the private sector/private aid funds to help out the needy…
    When it’s been clearly shown that this does not even come close to helping enough people; many US causes/aid programs within this country and in other parts of the world (e.g. Kenya)are insufficient, and partake in mostly self-serving endeavors as opposed to completely serving the communities they are funded to support (except for Amnesty Intl.)

    Those are only some of the questions I have. I have a laundry list of them–I just feel bad to write such a long post. I’ll get my questions together and write another one. But let’s start with that question

  • Kelley,

    As far as I know, the US bishops support universal health care, provided abortion is not a part of the deal.

    That is how it should be. We cannot achieve social justice through a culture of death. We believe that unborn human beings have rights, that abortion is murder, the destruction of the weak and innocent by the strong and the guilty.

    The teaching of the Church on abortion is clear and consistent. I hope you’ll come to realize that the fight for social justice begins with the fight to protect innocent life at all stages of existence.

  • Kelley,

    No serious person is arguing that the system is not in need of a change. No one is arguing that we don’t need to do something to make sure that everyone has access to medical care. That is a human right that no Catholic should stand against. Whether there is a right to or a need for government run health care is less clear and indeed could be a WORSE option than the staus quo (i.e. depending on how it’s structured in the final bill, it could easily make health care significantly worse and more expensive for everyone). There is evidence for this when you look at past US government forays into healthcare. At the state level and in the federal arena (medicare, Walter Reed medical center), government systems have been riddled with waste, fraud, and sub-par care. I haven’t seen any evidence of a system in practice to make me doubt that this will be the case on a much larger scale with more extensive government health care.

    That said, I think there are many options being put forth to reform the system to make sure people have better access without such broad government involvement. One that comes readily to mind is changing regulations to make sure consumers have the options in choosing insurance that will make it a truly competitive market. I urge to to look back over Darwin Catholic’s posts on this subject on the blog (others too, but him especially) I find him to be one of the most reasonable contributors on this matter – not given to hysterics, offers workable possible alternatives, etc. I don’t have time to dig up links now, or I would do that for you. It’s really worth it, if you have the time!

  • -Ok, let’s say that abortion became against the law again. People who want abortions are STILL going to work very hard to get them, will use hangers or get back-alley procedures done–which is a huge health risk for everyone involved…and a tragic, harmful one for the innocent fetus. Do we want that? Isn’t that worse?
    I know that there are moral reasons why we should do away with abortion. But what about what will realistically happen? Isn’t it morally wrong to ignore what has happened in the past? (meaning-when abortion was illegal).

    Also, I believe that it is wrong to have an abortion. But is it the government’s right to make within 3rd trimester abortions to be an illegal issue?

    On a separate point-What about for rape victims, mothers who cannot afford to care for their children or to care for themselves while pregnant, etc? Malnourishment during pregnancy is one direct cause of schizophrenia. If we care for the life of an unborn child–then let’s REALLY care for the life of an unborn child. Shouldn’t there be complete financial assistance for pregnant mothers who would otherwise feel pressured to have an abortion due to lack of resources?

  • Also, since everyone here cares about human life, I recommend these amazing books–I think you will all appreciate them. I’ve not yet finished, but I have learned a LOT:

    -“Social Determinants of Health” by Michael Marmot and Richard Wilkinson

    – “Uninsured in America: Life and Death in the Land of Opportunity” by Susan Starr Sered & Rushika Fernandopulle

    – “Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor” by Paul Farmer

    – “The Social Transformation of American Medicine: the Rise of a Sovereign Profession and the Making of a Vast Industry” by Paul Starr

    Joe, your comment was very comforting about the stance of the Catholic Church. I just wish that some Catholics that I personally know felt the same way. (I have a Catholic relative who calls the poor “lazy” and is terrified of anyone getting all of her money…but she thinks she’s the best Catholic because she makes curtains for the nuns at her parish…)

    And CT, your comment was very enlightening as well. Unfortunately, I have procrastinated long enough on finishing a research paper on the lack of adequate funding for mental health services in this country, but I promise that I will ponder over what you’ve said and get back to you!

    In the meantime, those books that I wrote down have seriously opened my eyes to issues that I had never contemplated. They offer facts and viewpoints that I still am shocked to know and am struggling to wrap my head around. Please check them out!

  • Kelley,

    “People who want abortions are STILL going to work very hard to get them”

    People who want to steal work hard at it too. We don’t make a terrible crime against a human being easier.

    Please understand, Kelley, that pro-abortion activists LIED before Roe v. Wade passed – they said hundreds of thousands of women died from illegal abortions.

    You need to look up Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who was once an abortionist and one of the founders of NARAL, the abortion political lobby. He is now pro-life, and revealed that NARAL made up ridiculously large numbers to get the public to sympathize with legalized abortion. Radical abortionists have done the same in every country where abortion is illegal – for instance, in Nicaragua, where they said thousands of women die each year from illegal abortions. Again, this is simply false.

    You see, Kelley, these people believe they are waging a war, a revolution, for sexual liberation, for liberation from the Church and morality. And they believe that a lie is a weapon of war – the ends justify the means. What matters isn’t the truth, but the freedom to have sex without consequences. They have been caught lying red-handed, and well meaning people such as yourself are the victims of the lie.

    I’m telling you if you do the research, you will see that not that many people died from illegal abortions because when it was illegal, women simply did not seek them out. Since it has become legal, it is often MEN – the fathers of the children – who force their mates to abort, or threaten to leave them if they don’t. Legalized abortion has made women into disposable sex objects for perverted male predators.

    “But is it the government’s right to make within 3rd trimester abortions to be an illegal issue?”

    It is every child’s natural, God-given right to live. Government exists to protect our rights. So yes.

    “On a separate point-What about for rape victims,”

    Abortion does not heal the wounds of rape, and a child’s right to live is absolute – how it comes to exist isn’t relevant.

    We are talking about a human being, Kelley. No matter how bad it sounds to you, even the child of a rape is a human being, even it has rights, even it is loved by God, as much as you or I or anyone else. You can’t forget that.

    “mothers who cannot afford to care for their children or to care for themselves while pregnant, etc?”

    Adoption is always an option. There are also many charitable organizations, churches, etc. that exist to help struggling mothers and fathers. In the worst case, it would be better to leave the child in a basket at a church or police station than to murder it in cold blood.

    “If we care for the life of an unborn child–then let’s REALLY care for the life of an unborn child.”

    You’re the one defending abortion rights. If you really care for the life of an unborn child, you have to start by accepting that it has a right to live. If you can’t do that, I don’t see why we should believe you care about unborn children.

    “Shouldn’t there be complete financial assistance for pregnant mothers who would otherwise feel pressured to have an abortion due to lack of resources?”

    There should be some assistance, yes – but we should not be in the business of paying women not to kill their children.

    As I have argued, a big part of the problem would be solved if society changed its attitude toward the father’s role in pregnancy and abortion, because many abortions are triggered by the actions of the father.

    So I believe in holding fathers responsible for their children, if their actions directly contribute to the abortion. This is not a woman’s issue, Kelley – it is a parental issue. It is about a parent’s duty to their children, a duty established by God, written into nature, for the survival and benefit of civilization. We cannot discard it so boys and girls can have fun without consequences. That is the way to chaos and destruction.

  • Here’s an interesting response I just got from a fellow college student:

    “remind them that the freedoms which prevent them from banning abortions are the same freedoms which prevent the government from banning Catholicism”


    Here’s another one:
    “I’m pro-choice. I would not get an abortion myself. If someone can’t comprehend the concept of wanting women to have options but not necessarily wanting to take them yourself, then they’re either remarkably stupid or so set in their ingrained beliefs that they can’t comprehend anything written by people disagreeing with them.”


  • Kelley,

    Come on. You’re going to post other people’s insults here? I know you’re trying to get to the bottom of this issue, but we don’t want to debate others through you.

    Your first friend is wrong: we have a first amendment right to free expression of religion. There is no Constitutional right to an abortion, no matter what the Blackmum court decreed. The “right to privacy” does not exist.

    Your second friend doesn’t understand the issue. I understand the argument and I reject it. We are opposed to abortion for one reason only – we believe it is murder.

    Listen very carefully to this. Repeat it 100 times if you must, because it is the core of our message.

    If abortion is not murder, then no justification is needed for it. If abortion IS murder, then no justification for it is adequate.

    Think about that.

  • People who want abortions are STILL going to work very hard to get them, will use hangers or get back-alley procedures done–which is a huge health risk for everyone involved…and a tragic, harmful one for the innocent fetus. Do we want that? Isn’t that worse?

    I must admit, this is a line of argument I don’t really understand. There are a great number of things which are considered immoral and/or socially destructive which we outlaw, despite the fact that people who are determined to do them anyway will take great risks to break said laws. For instance, we outlaw rape, despite the fact that some men are so determined to rape a woman that they resort to back alley rapes, which at times result in injury of not only the woman but the rapist as well.

    Would any sane person argue that this meant we should make rape legal, in order to assure that rapes were “safe, legal, and rare”? Of course not.

    By the same token, why should the claim that people might be injured in disobeying a law against abortion be an argument against having such a law if one actually accepts that having an abortion is a moral evil which harms another person? And if one does not accept that, why would one claim not to be for abortion?

    This whole position, however well meant, is simply incoherent.

  • Joe, I think you could be turning me over to pro-life. I’m not fully convinced yet, but I’m getting much closer! I need to check out the link you provided for me and look up Dr. Nathanson. I suppose I need some time to think.

    But in the meantime, if I decide to become “pro-life”, I still think it’s wrong to make that my top agenda to fight for over other more critical issues–especially issues surrounding the social determinants of health that essentially allow for the murders of individuals within low-socio-economic groups. Things that we currently allow in this country- are forms of structural violence–that are allowing people who are actually alive to feel immense pain that could be avoided.
    “the world that is satisfying to us is the same world that is utterly devastating to them.” – Pathologies of Power

    We know what is moral and what is important- to preserve human life and decrease human suffering. Often times, I feel that political agendas often force us to choose one pathway vs the other. Do you think that we should pick and choose our battles in order to help the common good? Even if we do not get what we want (which is for abortion to be addressed in the new health-care public option in a way that is in agreement with the Catholic Church), if a health bill were passed that allowed the un or under-insured to finally be insured–isn’t that better than halting the process and allowing them to suffer because of it?

  • Kelley,

    I think I speak for everyone here when I say that I am thrilled to hear you say you are considering the pro-life position.

    I do encourage you to think these matters through. If you want some reading to help you along, I think you will greatly enjoy reading JP II’s Evangelium Vitae.

    There’s no reason you can’t be pro-life and fight hard on other issues as well. It is what many of us here do. But it is foundational.

    If we here can be of further help to you, don’t hesitate to ask questions. You can friend me on facebook too, if you like 🙂

  • why should the claim that people might be injured in disobeying a law against abortion be an argument against having such a law if one actually accepts that having an abortion is a moral evil which harms another person? And if one does not accept that, why would one claim not to be for abortion?

    I should clarify: when I say “why would one claim not to be for abortion” I don’t mean that people would think that having an abortion is just a fun and peachy way to spend an afternoon. Rather, I’m not sure why one would argue, “I think it’s wrong, I wouldn’t get one, I’m not in favor of them, but I think we should allow people the choice.”

    I’m not in favor of gall bladder surgery, in the sense that I certainly hope I never need it. However, if my gall bladder ever turns against me, I would sign right up and have it out. I wouldn’t consider it an agonizing decision or refuse to get one while allowing others to have the surgery, etc.

    I guess the question would be: If one is going to take the position that abortion is wrong, and one thus wouldn’t get one oneself, yet simultaneously hold that abortion should not be restricted because it’s a legitimate choice, one has to answer the question, “What is abortion and why is it wrong?”

    It seems pretty clear that if the unborn child is a unique human person with a right to be born and have a chance to life his/her life, then this would make abortion wrong. And if this is why it’s wrong, it seems to me that it’s wrong enough that legally tolerating it is not a good option, just as we refuse to legally tolerate a host of other ways in which one person can hurt another.

    If, however, the unborn child is not a unique and living person, I’m less clear why it would be wrong at all to have an abortion. If the unborn child is merely something which might someday turn into a human, than it’s no more shocking to dispose of one than to have a period (in which an egg which failed to be fertilized is disposed of) and no one talks about that as being a somewhat wrong or morally ambiguous activity.

    I suppose one could claim the unborn child is alive, but not a human person — putting it on the same level as having a cat or dog put down. But that would seem like the oddest belief of all: that at some point you and I were both living animals, but not human, and then later we morphed into humans?

  • I suppose one could claim the unborn child is alive, but not a human person

    It all hangs on this, doesn’t it? I think the reason that so many people can exist in the moral limbo of “more than a gall bladder operation, less than murder” is that they don’t really know what they mean by “person” and “human.” Biology doesn’t really help them much, because although they (should) know that a unique organism (of species Homo sapiens) is clearly present at conception, they’re not quite ready to call it a person. It doesn’t have consciousness or brain waves! they say.

    No one is quite sure what to make of this “unique human life” that possesses so few attributes of what we normally call a “person”. We need philosophy, not science, to say something definitive about personhood. We need an anthropology, a view of mankind, to know how we should treat this biological curiosity. That’s why so many modern people struggle in this moral limbo, because they sense that something more than tissue removal is going on, but they grope around in science for answers that aren’t there.

  • “We need philosophy, not science, to say something definitive about personhood. We need an anthropology, a view of mankind, to know how we should treat this biological curiosity.”

    Why? Why can’t developmental neurobiology be incorporated at all?

  • Personally, I just think that we should put the saving of human lives first instead of using this time and energy on worrying about whether a zygote is a human life. I mean, it’s not a human life, but whether a zygote has the same right to continue to develop into forms that will hopefully lead to a human typical form.

    There are SO many “agree to disagree” debates centered around what constitutes “personhood”–[some believe having a brain (like a late fetus), some believe any genetic material that could be incorporated into making a human, etc]

    And then there’s another step of “agree to disagree” about whether “personhood” is a legitimate stance to fight for.

    – Just another question: Are we the most important and the best species on this Earth? Is that a moral thing to assume? Look at what we do to other animals…
    why do we place ourselves on such a high pedestal?

  • I lastly just wanted to point out that there are many people (like most of my peers) who genuinely love and respect human life–that is why they fight for the oppressed (through Amnesty Intl, etc.)
    And some of these same individuals firmly believe that a zygote does not hold the same stance as a late fetus (with its developed human faculties). Debate after debate after debate–it tends to just come down to that.

    If we can’t convince those who truly believe that–of otherwise, do we have the right to change legislation about it-which will force them to abide by our laws? Who gave us that “moral” right? Did our God grant it to us? But these individuals don’t believe in God at all. (and are actually wonderful, loving, caring, human suffering-defending people).

    I think it is morally wrong to allow the halt of helping/saving human lives by holding this abortion debate (which could last forever at this time in 2009) at the very highest. That is precisely what we are doing by fighting for it at THIS point in time.

    I think that until we can resolve those differences, we should at least put survival of the living at our utmost importance. –and making that choice does count.

  • (just imagine if all of those people holding pictures of mutilated fetuses in front of Planned Parenthood–instead were using that time and energy to fight for single moms on welfare who can’t afford to feed their children because of the system, for those who are tortured in jail or exposed to TB as extra punishment, for the schizophrenic homeless who are essentially forced on the street or in jail because there are not enough people fighting for them–and they are defenseless- dependent on the rest of us to notice the everyday injustices they face.

    When we halt plans that will let them live, we are choosing the zygote over them.

    When we walk passed a homeless man who is talking to himself (clearly has schizophrenia) and we ignore him when he asks for a dollar…but then we donate to support pro-life initiatives–we are choosing the zygote over them.

    When we advocate for political agendas that will spend the time to advocate for anti-abortion laws instead of advocating for tax dollars to be steered toward mental health services, we are choosing the zygote over them.

    Every issue is important, but they are still often competing with each other. Don’t you think we should collectively help the living first and then help the pre-living?

  • Kelley,

    Please continue asking us questions. Many of the writers here on The American Catholic and many more readers of our website have extensive knowledge on a variety of issues that affect us as Catholics.

    We appreciate your sincerity and do continue asking us questions.

    We hope to arm you with the Truth.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,


  • Kelley,

    Aren’t there a lot of “agree to disagree” deals that we’ve absolutely (and rightly) refused to make, however?

    There were a lot of people who thought it was perfectly acceptable to force black people to use different water fountains and lunch counters. They thought that skin color indicated a difference in kind and human worth. Lots of people held that view, and many others didn’t want to see the social upheaval of forcing those people to change their ways. But would that have made a good argument for argeeing to disagree?

    Should we agree to disagree on whether women should be turned down for higher paying jobs because “it’s not their place”?

    Should we agree to disagree on slavery?

    Sould we agree to disagree on anti-Semitism?

    All of these issues relate to moral judgements which were not shared by everyone in sodiety. And yet few, I think, would say that it would be a moral choice to simply shelve the issue because people disagree on it.

    Why is it so much more reasonable to shelve the question of whether unborn people should not be killed?

    It’s true, some people make arguments that human dignity stems from mental function, and thus that early stage embryos are not human. But by that same argument, isn’t the schizophrenic homeless person you pass on the street less human than you are? Do we want, even for a moment, to immitate the great eugenic and genocidal regimes of the last century in holding that human beings have less worth if they look different or are “disfunctional” compared to others?

    (BTW, it’s a minor scientific quibble, but the issue of “zygotes” doesn’t even come into abortion. A zygote is a human during the first five days of development, even prior to implantation. While the idea that calling an early stage human a “zygote” makes it particularly silly to oppose destroying it certainly ties into the overall failure of philosophical anthropology which lies at the root of the abortion question as well as other questions such as eugenics and euthenasia, zygotes are simply not candidates for abortion because the mother does not even know that she’s pregnant at 1-5 days after conception. She wouldn’t have even missed her period yet. While it’s common for abortion advocates to talk as if abortions take place when the child is “only a clump of cells” or “just a fertilized egg”, this is not accurate from a scientific point of view.)

  • Kelley,

    “Why? Why can’t developmental neurobiology be incorporated at all?”

    As Catholics we believe we are created with a soul. Developmental neurobiology may be useful in a number of ways, but it cannot tell us the VALUE of a human life, a human soul. No science can.

    “Personally, I just think that we should put the saving of human lives first instead of using this time and energy on worrying about whether a zygote is a human life. I mean, it’s not a human life”

    A zygote is alive, and it has human DNA. It isn’t any other kind of life but human.

    My right to exist began when I began to exist. I can’t remember being a zygote but I was one. I was the same being then with the same soul as I am now. All of my cells have died and regenerated 100s of times, yet my essence is still here.

    Importantly, I had parents who incurred a responsibility to care for my life as soon as they learned I existed.

    “If we can’t convince those who truly believe that–of otherwise, do we have the right to change legislation about it-which will force them to abide by our laws?”

    Did they have the right, Kelley? Abortion was illegal before Roe v. Wade and they forced it on the country. The founders of this country were pro-life, and abortion after the first movement in the womb (which is when people assumed life began in the 18th century, not having ultrasound technology) was illegal. It was our collective belief that life was sacred and that every person had a right to life, regardless of where they were.

    As Christians we have an obligation to defend the weak and defenseless. We have an obligation to create a society in which all human life is valued and respected. Unborn human beings are slaughtered by the millions for one reason only – they can’t speak for themselves.

    And if certain ethics professors have their way, live born infants will be added to the list, as well as the mentally handicapped, people in a coma, the elderly, and the list goes on. So we must be the voice for the truly voiceless. All life, through its very being, demonstrates a will to live, a will to keep on existing, even if it can’t speak.

    “Who gave us that “moral” right? Did our God grant it to us? But these individuals don’t believe in God at all.”

    We live in a democratic society. But legalized abortion was never democratically decided upon – it was imposed by the Supreme Court. We have a right as citizens, however, to try and persuade the majority to our views, and the majority has a right to vote for representatives that will enact their will as law.

    But this does miss the point. Suppose a group of people wanted to make child abuse and child rape legal. We wouldn’t hear a single argument from you or anyone else as to why that ought to be ok, and why we ought not “impose our morality” on anyone. We wouldn’t listen to the argument, “who are you to decide whether or not I can rape a child?” We recognize it as an inherently repulsive act.

    Well, the abortion industry and political lobby is committed to lying and scaring people into accepting another inherently repulsive act, abortion, and convincing people it isn’t so bad.

    Kelley, I think you ought to try and find a video of an abortion and watch it.

    “I think it is morally wrong to allow the halt of helping/saving human lives by holding this abortion debate ”

    No one is halting that debate. You’re setting up a false dichotomy.

    How we view human life is foundational to how we will approach all other matters.

    That said, a lot of the people who do try to prevent abortion at clinics are ALSO involved in the sort of the things you suggest. There are crisis pregnancy centers, there are food pantries, there is help for anyone who asks for it.

    Finally, EVEN IF what you said was true, murdering innocent unborn children wouldn’t suddenly become right because preventing it might require us putting aside some other causes. But let me stress again – it isn’t true.

    “When we halt plans that will let them live, we are choosing the zygote over them.”

    No one is doing that. Same for all your other scenarios. It is a completely false dichotomy, and many pro-life Christians are just as committed to helping the poor and others in need.

    Without any offense intended, Kelley, I don’t think you know very much about the pro-life movement, the people in it, what motivates them and interests them.

    You ought to take some time to get to know it. There are some rotten apples in every batch of course, people who hurl abuse at women, and it isn’t good. Compared to the crimes of the abortion industry, it’s practically meaningless.

  • Well said Joe!

  • Ditto!

    And I would add that Roe was lawless. Blackmun’s reasoning was specious and the decision the model example of a judiciary bent on making policy rather than deciding cases. Even liberal Con Law profs admit as much now and rely completely on stare decisis in their ongoing and embarrassing effort to prevent Roe from being overturned.

  • The things that you wrote were very comforting to me, Joe. I think I have grown up with a negative example of Catholics around me, that is why I came to this website– to see the views of other Catholics- to see if there are ones that are more open-minded and care about human life in the most practical way.
    I just know some Catholics that vote with the abortion ticket on their minds as opposed to universal health care. I know that you say it is a false dichotomy, and I agree that it is an indirect one, but I have seen this pretty blatantly in my life. I really hope that changes.
    I just don’t see or hear a voice from Catholics about the poor, the mentally ill, our terrible jail system, etc–as loudly as the pro-life movement. But, perhaps this is due to what the news reports on..and those other movements have more diverse crowds.
    I personally know individuals that care more about abortion of zygotes than advocating for those who are alive and suffering.

  • Kelley,
    The Catholic Church operates the largest system of charities in the world (SVdP. Catholic Charities, and Catholic Relief Services just to name three of hundreds), and that is hardly an accident. But you must understand that (i) no one is more helpless and innocent that that zygote and (ii) there is a difference between tolerating intentional killing versus grappling with poverty and disease.
    You seem to have an inaccurate and cartoonish understanding of religious conservatives. I recommend you read Arthur Brooks recent book “Who Really Cares?”. You need your eyes opened.

  • I used to think that poverty and disease were an “unlucky, unfortunate, by-chance” phenomenon, but actually it’s totally systematic and structured–meaning it will keep down the same types of groups over and over again. Look at those books I recommended earlier–really, I want to hear what others think with all of that information (that I never knew–but only just learned through a service-learning class called “The Health of Communities” in which we read all of those books, in addition to others).
    I will definitely get “Who Really Cares?” This forum here has already opened my eyes to the way other Catholics think–it is very comforting and interesting. I’ve learned so much.
    I disagree that no one is more helpless and innocent than the zygote–what about individuals with mental retardation or severe schizophrenia? They are completely dependent on the presence of a care-giver and advocacy from others (which is VERY LOW). People with mental retardation are the most forgotten, under-funded, and stigmatized of all disabilities. Furthermore, zygotes do not have that extra negative stigmatization that those with schizophrenia and mental retardation have, which only further contributes to their helplessness.
    Furthermore, I believe that zygotes are very important (obviously–hence I am not pro-abortion). But, I think that saving the potential lives of zygotes is less imminent and less important than saving the lives of the living. I think it’s more important to save the lives AND better the quality of life for those who are suffering, who can feel pain, who are left behind and know it (or even don’t know it due to mental impairments).
    One could argue that a zygotes right to life is just as important as the living’s right to life. But the living are suffering..suffering terribly…and I think that is what should place them before the zygote. I think that the leaving behind of the mentally ill, punishing prisoners with TB, exclusion of groups from certain systems/programs/privileges, allowing the needs of the poorest of the poor to never be adequately addressed–are all very intentional by policy makers and people in power. I never knew that until I did the research this year—and if I never knew that, I’m positive most Americans don’t either.
    I agree that I need my eyes opened–that’s why I came here to discuss these issues. But don’t you think everyone needs their eyes opened…including you?

    “Without any offense intended, Kelley, I don’t think you know very much about the pro-life movement, the people in it, what motivates them and interests them.”
    This is very true! That’s why I wanted to come on here. I’ve been very troubled by the things I’ve heard from some fellow Catholics. This has made me feel much better about the American Catholic population.

    “But this does miss the point. Suppose a group of people wanted to make child abuse and child rape legal. We wouldn’t hear a single argument from you or anyone else as to why that ought to be ok, and why we ought not “impose our morality” on anyone. We wouldn’t listen to the argument, “who are you to decide whether or not I can rape a child?” We recognize it as an inherently repulsive act.”
    I have to point out that many would make a huge distinction between raping a child and killing a zygote. Everyone agrees that raping a child is repulsive, but not everyone agrees the same about zygotes.

    ” ‘If we can’t convince those who truly believe that–of otherwise, do we have the right to change legislation about it-which will force them to abide by our laws?’
    Did they have the right, Kelley? Abortion was illegal before Roe v. Wade and they forced it on the country. The founders of this country were pro-life, and abortion after the first movement in the womb (which is when people assumed life began in the 18th century, not having ultrasound technology) was illegal. It was our collective belief that life was sacred and that every person had a right to life, regardless of where they were.”
    But I think the distinction here is that individuals felt specifically oppressed by this ruling. As Catholics, we are not oppressed by having abortion be legal. We can choose to not do it and to teach others to not do it either, and why. We can enlighten others about why it is immoral and offer help to those who need it.
    But conversely, for someone who feels they need an abortion–maybe even because they have severe diabetic problems and their life & potential child’s would be at severe risk in pregnancy and birth—they would not have the option to consider saving their body in this situation. They would have NO right to even make a moral decision about it in favor of bearing the child anyway–they would have to be FORCED to.
    This is something NO Catholic has to face.
    What’s even worse is if the diabetic woman truly believed that a zygote was not a human life. What if she truly believed that? (And it is backed by MANY other respectable, loving, and caring people.) None of them would be allowed to believe in what they believe. Or to even consider taking action.
    But Catholics do not have this problem. We are not prohibited from making decisions about what we want to happen to our bodies.

  • Also, Mike:
    My university has 3 copies of that book, so I’ll get it today! 🙂

  • Dear Kelley:

    You have an important insight here:

    I just don’t see or hear a voice from Catholics about the poor, the mentally ill, our terrible jail system, etc–as loudly as the pro-life movement. But, perhaps this is due to what the news reports on and those other movements have more diverse crowds.

    Sadly, the media is far less interested in covering this aspect of the Church’s work, as Archbishop Chaput pointed out a few years ago:

  • Kelley,

    I have to take issue with your continued use of the word “zygote.”

    When a woman goes to Planned Parenthood – or is dragged there by force, something that happens all too often – she cannot have an abortion performed on a “zygote”, which is extremely tiny.

    Surgical abortions are not undertaken until the “fetus” has acquired a distinctly human form. It has to develop to a certain degree before it can be effectively butchered and the bloody mess suctioned out of the uterus.

    Now, this is not to say that a zygote isn’t a human being – it is, as you and I were once zygotes, as we were once infants and adolescents. But I think you have a misconception of what is taking place. That is why I encourage you to somehow view an actual surgical abortion.

    “Everyone agrees that raping a child is repulsive, but not everyone agrees the same about zygotes.”

    First of all, not everyone agrees.

    Secondly, what about killing born infants? Whole societies used to think that that was just fine – and there are many prominent “ethicists” today who also believe that it is just fine. They believe it because an infant really isn’t that different from a fetus in terms of development, and in terms of it’s dependency on it’s parents.

    The point here is that just because a whole bunch of people come to think that something is OK, doesn’t make it OK. Child rapists probably feel oppressed that our laws don’t allow them to rape children – but how is that our problem?

    But the REAL point here is this: if you want to argue that an unborn child should not have a right to life, that is one thing. You may make that argument. But it is a SEPARATE argument. It has nothing to do with whether or not we should outlaw something or permit it. That is a distraction from the main argument. That’s why I brought up child rape – we know it is intrinsically wrong, and so we don’t debate the feelings of child rapists. If we thought the same way about abortion, we wouldn’t debate whether or not it was “oppression” to prevent it.

    “As Catholics, we are not oppressed by having abortion be legal.”

    And good Germans were not oppressed by Hitler. But if they spoke out against the Nazi’s treatment of Jews and other groups, they were treated as enemies as well. Hence millions of German Christians died in the camps alongside Jews, some of them because they refused to be quiet while the Nazis exterminated other human beings. They did so because it was a moral obligation.

    No one here is oppressed because of the way society treats mentally handicapped people either. You aren’t. But you have compassion for them, as we all ought to have. It’s something you don’t have to worry about or care about, but you do because it moves you. You should realize that the mentally ill, Kelley, are seen in the same way by a lot of prominent scientists, ethicists, philosophers and politicians here and in Europe as the unborn child is. They are seen as either a financial burden, or living out lives so bad that they would be better off dead – whatever they have to say to get these people out of the way.

    “They would have NO right to even make a moral decision about it in favor of bearing the child anyway–they would have to be FORCED to.
    This is something NO Catholic has to face.”

    I don’t see why you would think no Catholic has to face it. They do every day.

    And they can still make whatever decision they want – the point is that there will be consequences if they choose to murder their child. Now the Church’s teaching on “saving the life of the mother” is clear – the doctors must do everything in their power to save BOTH lives. If the child dies because it just isn’t possible to do both, that is not murder/abortion.

    Also, you have to realize that abortion is NEVER the answer to a life-threatening pregnancy; there are always other options, even if the child ends up dying as a result.

  • Joe, thank you so much for your thorough feedback. You definitely helped me to sort through my thoughts and confusions.
    I understand, now, what you mean–it is a separate argument. That makes a lot of sense to me.
    Then, yes- what if someone truly does not believe that an unborn fetus has the right to life? What if they truly believe that a within trimester fetus does not have the same rights as a human–to life?

  • Well first of all, a fetus is a human being, just like an infant, a toddler, an adolescent, a teenager or an adult is a human being. These are different stages of human development.

    As for people who truly do not believe that a fetus has a right to life, what about them? We should try and persuade them, but in the end, we must do all within our power and the limits of the law to defend human life.

    There will always be people who want to legalize child murder for different reasons. In a perfect world everyone would agree on every issue. In the world we live in, there will always be disagreement. We have to realize that the men and women who spend time, energy, and money to keep abortion legal are NOT people who can’t afford to have children. They are middle class professionals who see children (at least at certain stages in their lives) as a hindrance to their life plans. They exploit the poor woman who really doesn’t want to abort by offering her no other options, no love, no compassion, just a trip to a sterile operating room where a paid medical flunky destroys their child. They say absolutely nothing about the tens of thousands of cases where women are forced by their husbands and boyfriends and even their parents to undergo an abortion they don’t really want to have.

  • Why do so many people who are very intelligent, open-minded, caring, compassionate, fighters for social justice, etc–still fundamentally disagree?

  • Kelley,

    Speaking from my own, past experience of being pro-choice, I think that most of those people haven’t given it the same thought. There’s asymmetrical interest in the abortion topic, I think: The people who care most passionately about it are mainly on the pro-life side. That’s not to say that there aren’t passionate feelings on the opposite side, but it’s rarely an issue central to their ideas of justice. And in the case of those who *have* given it thought and *still* deny the unborn’s right to life, I don’t know what to say except that hearts can be hardened.

    There’s also the case of someone like Camille Paglia, who openly admits that abortion is the taking of innocent human life, but supports it anyway.

  • People with intelligence and who have great intentions can make a logical miscalculation. I’m sure the most die hard advocate for health care reform (like myself) would not concede that I am right on an issue because my opponent is intelligent, compassionate, etc.

    I wouldn’t doubt that such an indivudual has the common good in mind. But I would hold that the person is fundamentally mistaken.

    Moreover with abortion — there is a lot of misinformation — some people are just not informed on the issue. They may have intrinsic and extrinsic motivations to hold to their position, as even pro-life Americans undoubtedly do.

    But we are not all right about this issue. Either an unborn child is not a human being and there is nothing morally wrong with abortion, or it is really a human being at the moment of its conception — where so many genetic factors are already predetermined and known — and it has a right to life because of its basic humanity not because of what it can do (demonstrate consciousness, reason, think and act independently because if this was the standard we should kill born infants because they do not meet such arbirtrary personhood criteria).

    It really boils down to where rights come from and for what reason do we have those rights. Does the government give us rights? Or is a right something intrinsic — something due to us because of what we are, not what we can do? A person legally retarded might not exhibit the qualities of a non-disabled human in terms of rational expression. But that makes him no less human.

    Some very compassionate people will observe the natural suffering in such a situation and might think such a person, or such people, are better off not being born. But such a calculation could not be more wrong. We learn more from such individuals than they ever could from us — and the most foremost lesson is humility.

    Abortion similarly is the symptom of a problem; it is not in itself the problem. Society has not met the needs of women. When a woman has an abortion whatever reasons drove her to have it will be awaiting her when she returns to her home — economic insecurity, an abusive boyfriend or spouse, lack of support, a broken home, or maybe even a life of self-indulgence and promiscuity that she is not willing to give up for whatever reasons. There is never a reason to sit in judgment, but it is clear that abortion does nothing but add to the pain and abortion just leads to more abortion.

    It means not taking responsibility, it reaffirms our committment to a fatherless society, pits men against women, and women against their children.

    Sure, the most concerned and conscientious pro-choice advocate may very well have the best interest of these women at heart — but for those on the other side of the issue, we have every right, as well as an obligation, to protest and articulate how and why their method of support is both against the dignity of women and the scandalous support of genocide of an entire group of humans — the smallest among us.

  • I would recommend Pro Woman Arguments to Pro Choice Questions from Feminists for Life:

  • As usual… What Eric said. 🙂

  • This Nelson/hatch/Casey is not Pro-life. Good Grief!It doesn’t prevent tax payers funding for abortions. It has exceptions! What is happening to our Catholic teaching??? read the amendment! Here it is!

    the Nelson Amendment states (Source:
    (3) NO DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF PROVISION OF ABORTION.—No Exchange participating health benefits plan may discriminate against any individual health care provider or health care facility because of its unwillingness to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.

    (b) Limitation on Abortion Funding.—



  • I am enchanted with the idea of the liberation treatment to cure MS. From what information I can accumulate about clinics that offer treatment, I can only find one nebulous collection repeated on a dozen websites. Is there a better way to locate treatment, per say in North America. There are places that offer Liberation Treatment for the United States that no one knows about, such as Liberation Treatment Now

Hey Pelosi, Are Senior Citizens Well Dressed Nazis?

Thursday, August 6, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this story]

While the Democrats continue to dig holes big enough for their smarter-than-thou heads to plant in and ignore the rising public outrage of government intrusion, regular Americans continue to raise their voices of displeasure to President Obama’s health care “reform”.

On August 4, 2009, an A.A.R.P. Town Hall meeting was being conducted for members when a group of well-dressed Nazi’s carrying swastika banners sabotaged the meeting.

That’s the Nancy Pelosi/CNN version of events, here is what actually happened:

Here are some highlights from the above video:

1.  Spokesperson: “I think we can agree that health care is in need of reform…“.

AARP Attendee’s: “No, we don’t agree!”

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