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Archbishop Chaput Weighs In Again

Friday, October 17, AD 2008

Tonight Denver’s Archbishop Charles Chaput gave an address at a dinner for the national Catholic women’s group ENDOW (Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women), in which he critiqued the arguments of Prof. Doug Kmiec in favor of voting for Senator Obama, despite his stance on abortion. A condensed and adapted version of the address can be found online here at the Witherspoon Institute’s website (the same place one can find the essay by Prof. Robert George on Obama’s abortion extremism which other contributors have previously mentioned).

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14 Responses to Archbishop Chaput Weighs In Again

  • I don’t think Kmiec is pro-life, certainly not anymore. Anyone who could vote for Obama obviously doesn’t care a fig for stopping abortion.

  • I agree that it stretches charity to the point of dishonesty to say that Kmiec, Cafardi, and their ilk are voting for Obama in spite of his position on abortion. Their circumlocutions around the issue are indicative of, at best, a near-complete disinterest in the issue of abortion, as well as a total disregard for the teaching of the universal church and the American bishops (except insofar as they can take a quote out of context to support their point) on the question.

    This might actually be the case, but the observed facts are much better explained by positing the theory that Kmiec, Cafardi and the rest are simply pro-abortion. Occam’s Razor, and all that, you know.

    That Kmiec previously supported Romney for President, to my mind, merely serves now to reinforce my earlier mistrust of Romney’s alleged conversion to the pro-life side.

  • Donald & Paul, I see your point, but at this point, I still take Kmiec at their word that they are pro-life.

  • I don’t take Kmiec at his word. I think he’s just a grubby sellout. Or campaigning for a Deputy Attorney General job. Somewhat contagious this time of year. Like our PA Governor Fast Ed Rendell begging pleading imploring the state legislature to agree to a universal health care plan in the Commonwealth. Seemed to me a pursuit of HHS Secretary in the Obama Administration. The legislators in their wisdom broke camp and went home with the matter left on their desks. Oh dear. Eddie may have to complete the full final two years as governor. Such a burden to maintain one’s responsibilitiesw.

  • It vexes me. I am terribly vexed.

    A Gladiator reference?

  • 🙂 You got it, Kyle. No connection with the post… just felt like using the line to describe my puzzlement.

  • “A Gladiator reference?”

    And I didn’t get it! My mind is in neutral today.

  • I agree with Chris that while one may disagree with Obama supporters’ arguments in favor of Obama, one should not therefore dismiss their pro-life convictions. First, to do so is illogical. The conclusion that Obama Supporter X isn’t pro-life does not follow logically from the premise that he supports Obama. For example, having bad arguments or misapplying principles doesn’t necessitate having no principles. Second, I think we should strive to understand others as they understand themselves. That’s a prerequisite for honest dialogue and debate. Assuming the worst motives for people with whom one disagrees hinders the goal of persuading them.

  • I respectfully disagree with both you and Chris, Kyle. It is a trite saying, “Actions speak louder than words.”, but also a true one. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Someone who voted for a pro-slavery candidate in the 1850s forfeited the right to be called an opponent of slavery. Someone who voted for Hitler in the 1920s in Weimar Germany forfeited the right to be considered to be a foe of anti-semitism. Someone who voted for McGovern in 72 could not be considered to be a hawk on Vietnam. To talk in one manner and then to act in another tells us that the talk is only talk.

  • Donald, I plan to vote for McCain. Will I thereby lose the right to be considered a foe of ESCR?

  • I agree with Chris.

    Neither political party truly encompasses all the “right” positions. Now someone may be sincerely pro-life and decide to vote for a pro-choice candidate for what they believe to be “proportionate reasons.” We certaily (and I think we all do) believe they’re profoundly mistaken, but we cannot objectively judge the convictions in their heart solely based on their actions. Though we can say that their attempts to paint Obama as a more pro-life candidate that Catholics ought to be supporting is intellectual suicide.

  • Donald, to be clear, my previous comment wasn’t meant as a “gotcha”… as is obvious, I don’t buy the logic which would lead a pro-lifer to vote for Obama, but — as my comment indicates, and as catholicdemocrat notes — I think it’s an error to conclude that someone who votes for Obama is therefore actually in support of abortion rights. Archbishop Chaput notes that it is technically possible to vote for a pro-abortion rights candidate as a pro-lifer in good conscience, although perhaps with erroneous reasoning.

  • I don’t mind “gotcha” resonses Chris, after all I am an attorney! “Gotcha” questions and “gotcha” responses are the common coin of my profession. I do not view yours as a “gotcha” response. We simply disagree.

    I vote for McCain not because he is perfect on pro-life issues. I too deplore his stance on ESR, for instance. I vote for him because he is infinitely better than Obama on abortion and euthanasia. I am a pro-lifer as you are. For pro-lifers abortion should be a make or break issue when it comes to voting. “Pro-lifers” of the Kmiec stamp, in spite of all their talk about the evil of abortion, cast their votes for a man who will do his best to ensure that the abortion on demand regime of Roe is strengthened and made permanent. That is why I view the protestations of such people that they remain pro-life with complete disbelief.

  • Pingback: To The “Traitor,” Go The Spoils? Kmiec & The Ambassadorship « The American Catholic: Politics and Culture from a Catholic perspective

12 Responses to Tom Cruise, First-Rate Philosopher

  • Excellent post!

  • Thanks!

  • Unfortunately consistency is not one of the things that the American people (or indeed any people) is good at. On life issues in particular, we select for politicians with totally incoherant views on abortion — because people feel uncomfortable actually saying that abortion is right, and yet also uncomfortable saying it should be fully banned. The problem is, the middle ground is the one position which absolutely cannot be true.

  • Agreed, DC… critical thinking skills in general are somewhat lacking these days.

  • We tend to hold fast to premises, but shy away from the conclusions where those premises lead.

  • “For good or evil, Europe since the Reformation, and most especially England since the Reformation, has been in a peculiar sense the home of paradox…The most familiar is the English boasting that they are practical because they are not logical. To an ancient Greek or a Chinamen this would seem exactly like saying that London clerks excel in adding up their ledgers, because they are not accurate in their arithmetic…Since the modern world began in the sixteenth century, nobody’s system of philosophy has really corresponded to everybody’s sense of reality.”

    Chesterton, Biography of St. Thomas Aquinas.

    I’m not sure if it’s entirely fair to trace the divorce of philosophy from lived experience to the Reformation, but Moralistic Therapeutic Deism is probably the greatest of the modern heresies.

  • Europe is the canary in the mine and you can see that bird losing consciousness. With moral relativism running rampant, they are incapable of dealing with disasters. From the collapse of Yugoslavia to the institution of Sharia law. They don’t believe in God, hence they don’t believe in anything except themselves.

  • That was a great post.

    But I would like to add two things.

    1) I think it is easier to be consistent when you have no rules to follow. We Catholics get accused of being hypocritical when we do live by Jesus’ standards. But is it fair when those who accuse you do not have a standard? Who is truly being hypocritical. I believe Chesterton said something to this effect. “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”

    2) I also understand that a lot of us in America do separate our personal faith from our public life. And I think there are a lot of reasons for that but I just name a few…. our false understanding of separation of church and state (not allowing God in schools as an example … everson v. board of education…) the idea that our personal life does not affect our public life (aka the Clinton affair)… the brainwashing of our media who repeats the drum beat of this idea… through shows, movies, music… and finally, lack of courage… being afraid to preach the Gospel in season or out of season.

  • Alasdair MacIntyre has a pithy line to describe the religious belief of the British: “God does not exist, and it is good to pray to Him on occasion.” 🙂

  • Chris,

    I love the quote…

    I would also like to add that in my second point that this division goes much deeper…. you can see it the development of the modern mind and how it divorces faith and reason.

  • I concur regarding the deeper origins of this division, Bret… I agree with those scholars who see its origins predating even the Reformation, going back to Ockham and even to Scotus before him.

    When in doubt, stick with the Dominicans. 🙂

  • “Smith — himself an evangelical — led an exhaustive study of the religious & spiritual lives of American teenagers, and his findings…found that whatever the religious beliefs professed by American teens (and, I’d argue, by adults as well), the vast majority of them ‘practiced’ what he terms ‘Moralistic Therapuetic Deism’, a worldview in which God acts as divine butler or cosmic therapist: there when I need Him, but out of the way otherwise and most of the time.”

    Oh, boy, is this a familiar scenario…

Pope Benedict on America

Wednesday, October 8, AD 2008

“From the dawn of the Republic, America’s quest for freedom has been guided by the conviction that the principles governing political and social life are intimately linked to a moral order based on the dominion of God the Creator. The framers of this nation’s founding documents drew upon this conviction when they proclaimed the “self-evident truth” that all men are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights grounded in the laws of nature and of nature’s God. The course of American history demonstrates the difficulties, the struggles, and the great intellectual and moral resolve which were demanded to shape a society which faithfully embodied these noble principles. In that process, which forged the soul of the nation, religious beliefs were a constant inspiration and driving force, as for example in the struggle against slavery and in the civil rights movement. In our time too, particularly in moments of crisis, Americans continue to find their strength in a commitment to this patrimony of shared ideals and aspirations.

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25 Responses to Welcome to American Catholic

  • I’m looking forward to reading your posts.

    You might want to correct the spelling of the ‘Gaudium’ in ‘Gaudium et Spes’. I don’t think gaudiem is at all construable, ha.

  • I’m looking forward to reading your posts.


  • God Bless and God Speed! Get the message out! I’m trying as best as I can, but we need more Catholics devout to the Magisterium to teach out Obama-bot Catholics.

    Glad you are here!

  • I wish you all the best with this new endeavor.

    God bless,

  • The blog looks interesting, and courage and success on your blogging endeavours. I am curious as to why your symbol includes the Anglican Saint George Cross. It is the basis of the Flag of England and the Anglican Church, why use it on an American Roman Catholic Website?

    Scroll down to see Saint George’s shield.

    This shows the flag of the Church of England.

  • Puff the Magic Dragon,

    Excellent question (or query).

    Richard the Lionheart used that crest (red cross on a white background) as he defended Christendom from the ravages of the Saracen attacks. It had become the symbol of (then) Catholic England because of the heroic exploits of King Richard.

    Thus today in defending the Church that Jesus established on earth, we Catholics in America look to protect our civic and religious rights as Catholics and use this important symbol in Catholicism as representative of our struggle here in America.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,


  • So you are using it in reference to the rosicrucians and/or crusaders of Richard? Gotcha.

    But – the shield of the crusaders under Richard Lionheart had a different styled cross. Might I suggest Richard’s crusader shield?


  • Puff,

    Now you got me thinking.

    Yes, absolutely. I might just change it to the Keys of Peter.

    Any and all suggestions will be charitably considered. Especially when it comes to the Cross.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,


  • Tito,
    I really like this new blog so far. You know me, I’m always looking for a good intellectual outlet. I hope you and the team keep the posts comin’!

    God bless.

  • Sarah,

    Thank you so much for those kind comments. You and Peter helped me in my knowledge of Catholicism with your RCP Study Groups. I wasn’t able to contribute much I sure learned a lot. We hope to do the same here for those interested in politics from a Christian perspective.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,


  • Greetings from the frontlines in So. Cal.,

    I’m not far from Joe Potillor’s stomping grounds of Cal State Fullerton. My daughter just grad’ed from there.

    I’ll pass the word of the new blog.

    Best of luck… I’ll be visiting frequently.

    WCC +<

  • WCC,

    Thank you for those kind words and support.

    We need all the help we can get (prayers included).

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,


  • Welp, here we go.

    Think you could have made the cross any smaller in your blog’s logo?

    Looking forward to whatever becomes of this.

  • Michael,

    We’re still working on the header. I want to implement St. Michael the Archangel, but I’m having difficulty finding a nice pic to complement Sam the eagle.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,


  • Thanks Michael

    Where’s the Cross on Vox Nova’s website?

  • Tito – Well, as long as you have your central symbol, the eagle, front and center, you should be able to just place some more peripheral Catholic symbols around it as you see fit, as they present themselves.

    Zach – Symbols matter. I’m afraid your banner seems to speak loud and clear about the blog’s priorities and the kind of voice you hope to be. I hope you prove me wrong and that the actual posts reflect your group’s Catholicism more than its (obvious) Americanism.

  • Personally, I like the cross of St.George as it was originally the flag of Genoa(Italian) and was only adopted by the English for protection of their ships when entering the Mediterranean which the powerful Genoese fleet ruled. Later it was used by English crusaders(Catholic) for three centuries. It was also used for the flags of Milan, Frieburg, Bologna, and Barcelona(all Catholic).

    In America it was recognized as ‘God’s Flag’ and was the only flag that could fly above the national flag. Your representation does not particularly evoke the Anglican use of the flag as it was to have the coat of arms of the diocese in the canton when used by the Church of England. Pray that we do not have to wait long before Anglican truly becomes ‘Catholic’ in the true sense.

    In the meantime I think the historical significance of the flag warrants its usage particularly on an American website. Papal Keys would be nice but there really is more ‘English’ influence on the American experience than that of Rome(unfortunately).

    Ago tibi gratias pro universis beneficiis tuis, etiam ignotis

  • I want to implement St. Michael the Archangel, but I’m having difficulty finding a nice pic to complement Sam the eagle.

    Do remember that St. Michael is the leader of the heavenly armies, not the U.S. military.

  • Michael,

    Thank you for your comments.


    I appreciate your insight. The header is just a work in progress still, but the cross will stay, but probably into a different manifestation.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,


  • Michael,

    You’re right, symbols can convey information about priorities. This symbol has the flag under the Cross. I think the symbol is aesthetically pleasing although I think you’re right that the Cross could be bigger.

    I have a post on the subject of our priorities on the way. I think it will be posted tomorrow and I look forward to your comments.

    – Zach

  • Michael,

    We’ll try to be all things to all men. Just for you: Perhaps the eagle is bowing beneath the cross while gently cradling the olive branch of peace and biting Old Glory out of frustration. 😉

  • Best wishes. I enjoy exploring my faith with like minded people.

  • Wagonburner,


    Engaging in constructive dialogue to better understand our faith is one of the goals of this new blog.