A Moving Moment Outside The World's Largest Abortion Mill

Tuesday, June 8, AD 2010

An inspiring scene of Ramon refusing to cater for the new super abortion mill in Houston.

To help eliminate the world’s largest abortion mill in Houston contact the following groups:

Life Advocates of Houston

Texas Right to Life

Houston Coalition for Life

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

— Holy Gospel of Saint Luke 23:34 cf.

Ora pro nobis!

Continue reading...

3 Responses to A Moving Moment Outside The World's Largest Abortion Mill

  • Ramon, You are my hero! Thank God for a man like you who will stand up for his beliefs and who is so willing to share his heart for the unborn with others!

  • Great Ramon – you are my hero. I posted this on my blog. Ramon knows what many do not – that Planned Parenthood kills babies. They also target minorities with EUGENICS. Check out – Maafa21 for stunning documentation of this fact: http://www.maafa21.com

  • Ramon God will bless you tremendously for standing up for unborn babies and trusting in Him.

A Meek Response to Pro-Choice Rage

Thursday, May 20, AD 2010

Thaddeus M. Baklinski of LifeSiteNews.com reported on a verbally violent encounter in Vancouver, Canada of  presumably a pro-choice/pro-abortion proponent yelling derisive invectives towards pro-life protesters.

The pro-life protesters did not respond to the taunts and intimidation.

They humbly took the abuse until the violent abuser left the scene.

What these protesters did by responding the way they did is a fine example of being meek.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.

— Holy Gospel of Saint Matthew 5:4

The following is from the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1907 explaining this Second Beatitude:

Inasmuch as poverty is a state of humble subjection, the “poor in spirit“, come near to the “meek”, the subject of the second blessing. The anawim, they who humbly and meekly bend themselves down before God and man, shall “inherit the land” and possess their inheritance in peace. This is a phrase taken from Psalm 36:11, where it refers to the Promised Land of Israel, but here in the words of Christ, it is of course but a symbol of the Kingdom of Heaven, the spiritual realm of the Messiah. Not a few interpreters, however, understand “the earth”. But they overlook the original meaning of Psalm 36:11, and unless, by a far-fetched expedient, they take the earth also to be a symbol of the Messianic kingdom, it will be hard to explain the possession of the earth in a satisfactory way.

[Warning:  The YouTube video below this fold is full of profanity and other disturbing language.]

Continue reading...

4 Responses to A Meek Response to Pro-Choice Rage

Nun Automatically Excommunicated For Approving Abortion

Saturday, May 15, AD 2010

Sister Margaret McBride

[New Updates with Father Zuhlsdorf chiming in]

[Breaking Update at the bottom of this post, more “mercy” killings by Sisters of Mercy]

Bishop Thomas Olmstead of the Diocese of Phoenix has confirmed that Sister Margaret McBride of Phoenix’ Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center had incurred an automatic excommunication or latae sententiae excommunication.  What this means is as soon as the offense is committed Sister McBride was automatically excommunicated by her own actions[1].

Sister Margaret McBride made the decision to kill a critically ill mother’s innocent unborn child because there was a high risk of the mother not surviving the innocent child’s birth.  In essence Sister McBride allowed for an abortion.

The decision was made in an ethics committee meeting due to the urgency of the situation.

Continue reading...

257 Responses to Nun Automatically Excommunicated For Approving Abortion

  • Little surprise. The Sisters of Mercy went the left-wing loon route long ago. A perusal of their web-site demonstrates that. All the trendy left-wing causes are present while the fight against abortion is absent.

    http://www.sistersofmercy.org/index.php

    No doubt Mother McAuley is shaking her head in Heaven over her wayward daughters.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_McAuley

  • Wonder if the woman in question already had, say, a couple of young children? So you don’t do the procedure, the fetus survives, the mother dies, and you end up with three orphans plus a widower.

    Trying squaring that one with her living children…and with God.

  • God’s plans are mysterious, who are we to judge?

    So you would purposely murder an innocent child instead of allowing this child to live and a chance for the mother to be alive as well.

    All life is sacred period.

  • “Trying squaring that one with her living children”

    All of her children were living until one was put to death.

  • Mr Foster,
    Actually, that’s just exactly what happened with Dr. Gianna Molla, only she had 3 older children when she was advised by her physicians to abort her fourth to save her life. She declined, of course, because she knew she could only save her life by losing it. This proved to be true when her 4 “orphaned” children & her spouse lived to attend her canonization. So I guess we could say that her decision did, in fact, “square with God.”
    With respect, you’re “looking at the world with the eyes of man & not the eyes of God (Mk 8).”

  • As a mother myself, I know how scary it is to contemplate the possibility of dying of pregnancy or labor. What will you not justify when your life is on the line?

    Also, I’m sure that Sister McBride’s decision came out of great compassion and with sadness. So I have sympathy for her too.

    But ultimately, the end can never justify the means. The only reason that it seems easy to justify an abortion here is that the little one who is to be killed is invisible to the outside world. But it becomes quite different when you consider the prospect of a baby and a woman, lying next to each other in bed, and saying, “The baby’s existence gravely harms his mother. The only thing to do is kill him.”

    What an excruciatingly difficult world we live in. But Jesus always promised us the cross. As Christians, to take the world’s answer is to put down that cross. God give me the strength never to put it down, even were it to come to a decision like this.

  • What exactly was this condition that required an abortion at 11 weeks? I have not yet found a case where abortion was truly the *only* life-saving option. It might be true that it reduces physical risk for the mother more than non-abortion options, so they might be able to say truly that it is “safest” for the mother… but they never claim that. They only claim that they had to perform an abortion to save the mother’s life. If you dig deeper, I predict you’ll find it’s simply not true; there usually are other options. (And it seems that no journalist ever asks the question, “Were there other options? Why were the other options rejected?”)

    There is only one condition I can think of where you would be hard-pressed to avoid the conclusion that deliberately killing an unborn child was necessary to save a mother’s life, and that is the theoretically possible case of ectopic pregnancy where the embryo had attached to a vital organ (not, as in most ectopic pregnancies, to the fallopian tube, which, when it becomes a “diseased body part” as a result of the pregnancy, can be removed licitly — even if this will, as an unintended consequence, kill the child –without killing the mother.) But I don’t even know if that actually ever happens.

  • Bearing makes a good point.
    The assumption here is simply wrong, the lives of the mother and the child cannot be made to be in competition, and there doesn’t seem to be any imminent life threat from an early 11 week pregnancy. What one probably will learn is that it is a doctor’s prediction that taking the baby to full term may cause a risk.
    This is of course quite a different matter and these SISTERS need to be held accountable.
    They have given their soul over to the liberal modern world and turned their backs on Christ. Hard words but unfortunately the truth.

  • “The treatment necessary to save the mother’s life required the termination of an 11-week pregnancy.”

    This is just total speculation on my part, but could it be that the mother had an aggressive cancer that required all-out radiation or chemotherapy to stop, and that such treatment would likely have killed the child? Was the cancer spreading so fast that if the mother had refused treatment, she would have died anyway before the child was viable?

    If that was the case — and someone feel free to correct me if I’m wrong — could the Catholic hospital have allowed the mother to receive radiation/chemo anyway with the child still in her womb, even if there was a strong likelihood that it would kill the baby? She would then be treating her own disease but not intervening directly to kill the child.

    If the child happened to die as a result of the treatment, that would be a case of double effect — but it would also leave open the possibility that the child might miraculously survive. (Paging St. Gianna Molla!) However, it would NOT be permissible to, in effect, euthanize the child ahead of time on the grounds that he/she will “die anyway” or be diseased or deformed.

    Also, it’s my understanding that church penal laws (including, of course, those that impose excommunications) are supposed to be strictly construed — that is, if there is any reasonable interpretation of the law under which a person would NOT incur excommunication, that interpretation should be followed. Surely Bp. Olmsted and his canon lawyers know this. If they could not find ANY justifying reason for this action — an honest mistake being made, or a snap decision being made in extreme duress in a life or death situation — then one likely did not exist.

    So I suspect the case in question was not quite as dire as one is led to believe, and it was simply a case of one or more doctors predicting that the mother would die if she carried her child to term, and the “Sisters” accepting their diagnosis without question.

  • Actually, I should have said “If they could not find ANY mitigating factor in this action…”

    “Justifying reason” was a poor choice of words because while a sinful action can never be justified, the level of guilt involved (mortal or venial sin) could be affected by factors such as mental or physical duress, ignorance of an alternative, etc.

  • …could the Catholic hospital have allowed the mother to receive radiation/chemo anyway with the child still in her womb, even if there was a strong likelihood that it would kill the baby? She would then be treating her own disease but not intervening directly to kill the child.

    I am better than 50% sure that that would be allowed.

    Because you are not purposely killing the baby, only treating the mother (if there were no other avenue that doesn’t kill the baby purposely).

  • “The Sisters of Mercy went the left-wing loon route long ago.”

    It depends on which Sisters of Mercy you are talking about. For example, check out this story from National Review Online concerning a member of the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan:

    http://article.nationalreview.com/432597/nun-sense-women-in-the-catholic-church/kathryn-jean-lopez

    The Alma RSMs should definitely NOT be confused with the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas — the “left wing loon” group which Don cited.

    I would sure love to know how Sister Prudence (the nun interviewed by NRO) would have handled the Phoenix situation.

  • McBride should have excused herself. The patient should have been transferred to another hospital. Catholic hospitals do not perform abortions.

  • Don, try checking out this link… the difference from the loony RSMs of the Americas site is like night and day:

    http://www.rsmofalma.org/

  • SaraJ,

    McBride should have excused herself. The patient should have been transferred to another hospital. Catholic hospitals do not perform abortions.

    Well said.

    With the caveat to persuading to keep the baby at the hospital and if the woman balked then transfer her to another hospital.

  • Unfortunately these Sisters of Mercy from Phoenix fit the stereotype of dissident nuns.

    They don’t wear habits and wear short hair.

  • Two questions (one of which, due to privacy laws, probably cannot be answered)
    1) Was the patient Catholic?
    2) If the sisters and doctors involved had denied the termination and the woman had subsequently died, would St. Joseph’s potentially have been legally liable?

  • Mr Foster,
    As a NP for the last 20 yrs, let me assure you that neither one of those questions should have in any way influenced the hospital Ethics Comm. Both are irrelevant to the question at hand.
    Bearing,
    To my knowledge, its highly unlikely that anyone could carry an ectopic to 11 wks gestation if implanted in the fallopian tube d/t rupture of the FT long before the baby reached that age.

  • “Don, try checking out this link… the difference from the loony RSMs of the Americas site is like night and day:”

    Those seem like solid sisters Elaine!

  • I am ever grateful that I have not had to face that choice, as clear as it is from the perspective of the Catholic Church.

    We should pray for everyone involved.

  • First, I take at face value the hospital’s statements that the abortion was necessary to save the mother’s life. Without in any way dismissing the earlier comments that cast doubt on the accuracy of these statements, I’m simply not competent to question these statements.

    That said, I agree with most of the comments regarding the moral question, including Karl’s. Catholic teaching is clear; this teaching is a correct application of natural law; and Sister McBride and the hospital failed terribly. Nonetheless, the temptation to take a life that “appears” remote and unknown in order to save the life of a patient or loved one is probably considerable. This temptation is aggravated by the practical reality that the moral difference between (i) undertaking a procedure to save a mother’s life which has the indirect but certain consequence of killing the baby and (ii) undertaking a procedure to directly kill the baby in order to save the mother’s life is more nuanced than most people are likely to grasp. There are indeed theologians, including Catholic theologians, that struggle with this distinction and question its moral validity. While the principle of double effect is well established in Catholic moral theology, it is not at all intuitive for even many very intelligent and well-intended people.

    But. Catholic teaching should not have been mysterious to this sister. She failed in her duties, and the ex communication is inevitable. Like Karl, I pray for her. I would like to think I would have done the right thing under these circumstances, but know with absolute certainty that would not want this high opinion of myself tested.

  • Karl & Mike Petrik,

    I agree. We should pray for all those involved, both hospital staff and family.

    I know I wouldn’t want to be in that position.

  • So, if the woman would actually not survive long enough to give birth–which was extremely likely–then 2 people would die. That’s pro life, right? This whole thing reminds me of what Christ said to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:4: They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they
    themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.  

    I don’t think you’d like nonmedical people telling your doctor how to treat you. Then why are you folks doing so, & why do you think that people should do so simply because they occupy positions high up in the church ?

  • I know Sr. McBride very well. I worked with her for several years. She always teaches the importance of evaluating all sides of a situation and making the best decision. As noted, the baby would NOT have survived at 11 weeks if birthing had occurred. Also, keep in mind that Sr. McBrie was ONE of several people who made this decision.

    Sr. McBride worked incredibly hard to get where she was going at St. Joe’s and I think it’s a tragedy to see this be the legacy that she carries with her. I think we have many more pressing issues in the diocese which require Olmsted’s attention. But this story gets attention and readers..all at the expense of a nun who must have anguished over this decision before signing off on it.

    I echo everyone’s comments…Prayers to all.

  • all you people are nuts. This is the 21st century and you still believe in fairy tales? A woman would have died and instead an abortion was done to save her life. An 11 week old abortion, an embryonic cell was aborted. You all need to read maybe…a science book? instead of believing that men lived in a whale for 3 days, women were created from a rib etc….

  • An 11 week old abortion, an embryonic cell was aborted

    and

    You all need to read maybe…a science book?

    You might want to follow your own advice there.

  • I have had some experience with the sisters at Alma, Michigan. Don’t idealize them. By which I mean, Don’t go near them.

  • Randy519:
    The fact that the baby is not viable at the time it is killed does not diminish the moral culpability. This is the same reasoning use by all manner of pro-aborts — i.e., the babay is not a human life worthy of respect and protection until vialbility. That is contemptable nonsense.

    Dr. Who:
    I could not find anything in the story that suggested that the baby could not be brought to term. Do you know facts that we don’t know? Did I miss something in the story? I do think you raise a fair point in that if it is a medical fact that the baby would not survive without the mother and the mother could only survive without the baby, the moral issue at least seems much harder. If the only choices are (i) both mother and child die versus (ii) only child dies, then I do speculate whether a wrong is committed under (ii). I’ll let real moral theologians answer that one.
    But that said, the article did not suggest that were indeed the only choices.

  • Let’s assume the in my opinion less likely situation that the woman really would have died without this abortion. I think there is a rare situation in which the woman has something like an allergic reaction to the pregnancy, where this might be the case.

    The Church’s position is that it is always wrong to make a direct attack on an innocent human life. You can remove a diseased organ; a fallopian tube with an ectopic pregnancy, or a cancerous uterus which is also pregnant. In that case the life saving effect is achieved by removing the organ and the death of the embryo is incidental. But the life saving effect can never be brought about directly by the death of the unborn human being, no matter at how early a stage of development. This can be illustrated by the fact that the new tube sparing procedure for ectopic pregnancy in which the tube is flushed with methotrexate, is illicit, because it brings about the desired effect directly by killing the embryo.

    So an abortion at 11 weeks is not permissible even if it means that both the mother and the unborn will die.

    Catholic moral theology is NOT outcome based. It is intention based. Acts are intrinsically moral or immoral, and one can not perform an immoral one to save any number of lives. Newman said, to make this utterly clear, that it is better for thousands to die in agony than for one single venial sin to be committed. Catholic moral theology is not a moral theology for life in this world only. Its aim in not primarily happiness in this life, but eternal happiness. Often the two coincide, but when they don’t, then the world cries out against the Church.

    This may be one of those situations. The bishop spoke precisely and correctly.
    Susan F. Peterson

  • When I commit a mortal sin, I have automaticaly excommunicated myself.

    I can cure the problem. I may repent, get to Confession, do penance, amend my life, do good works, glorify God, and there is again Hope.

    I hope Sister Margaret rectifies her situation.

  • Randy519,

    Church teaching, ie, Jesus, agrees with Mr. Petrik.

    As Susan says, it is intention based, not outcome based.

    Sister McBride made a gross error in judgement. I’m afraid of the previous errors that were not caught in time and the many innocent life that was murdered because she *thought* otherwise.

    Prayers indeed all around.

  • Can a catholic nun still be a nun if she has been excommunicated from the Catholic Church?

  • This decision was morally wrong even if due to a misplaced compassion. A life was taken. Not just some cell (what a ridiculous thing to say).

    Yes there are difficult situations and St. Gianna Molla had the same one where she postponed treatment to save the life of her child. That was heroic but her life had been one of great faith and she had the grace to make such a decision, leaving the care of her children to her husband and the Providence of a good God. Martyrs such as Felicity and Perpetua also had to leave their babies and young children as they gave their lives in witness to the Catholic Church.

    We are, as a society, so myoptic in our views. We see only this life and not eternity. We see only ‘situation ethics’ and not true moral ethics.

    The modern religious sister should have excused herself as someone said, at the very least. Better would be to uphold true moral ethics.

    I also have known Sisters of Mercy who are in favor of euthanasia and so forth when persons are judged to have ‘no quality of life’. A travesty when our religious have fallen so much into the relativist secular mindset. And then they lead others into it as well. A scandal.

  • Pingback: Between a Rock… « Lamb Power Weblog
  • Most often when abortionists claim they are killing the child for “the life of the mother”, they are rationalizing or outright lying. We don’t know the truth about this situation without evaluating the medical case – which will never be presented.

    The secular humanists in the church have done enough damage with the sliding scale moral principal and self restraint. The massive child sex abuse ring is all the evidence Catholics need to know in understanding what happens when these people are left to do their thing in the church without consequences.

  • Wonder if the woman in question already had, say, a couple of young children? So you don’t do the procedure, the fetus survives, the mother dies, and you end up with three orphans plus a widower.

    Trying squaring that one with her living children…and with God.

    O.K. then, how about the mother of three who died fighting off a cougar which attacked one of her children (her others were not there). This mother has been called courageous and a hero among other accolades (I agree). By your reasoning, though, she should have let the child get mauled to death by the cougar because you decry the fact that she left behind three orphans and a widow.

  • “widower”

  • @ Peter
    “O.K. then, how about the mother of three who died fighting off a cougar which attacked one of her children (her others were not there). This mother has been called courageous and a hero among other accolades (I agree). By your reasoning, though, she should have let the child get mauled to death by the cougar because you decry the fact that she left behind three orphans and a widow.”

    Sort of apples and oranges. In this case, sacrificing her life would not have saved the child. You seem to forget that the unborn child was only 11 weeks old. Even if the pregnancy wasn’t terminated, the chance of survival was pretty close to nil for both mother and child. The mother had pulmonary hypertension. Look it up, you’ll find that the fatality rate among pregnant women is quite high.

  • In this case, sacrificing her life would not have saved the child.

    Mortality rate for the mother is high but it is not a certainty. From what I understand, the risk is by far the greatest after C-section. This mortality rate (one study gives 50% another 30%)is probably better than than the mother’s chance of surviving a cougar attack.

    You seem to forget that the unborn child was only 11 weeks old.

    What does the child’s age have to do with it?

    I know of women who were given death sentences by their doctor if they continued their pregnancy. These women allowed the pregnancy to continue and had successful outcomes. All this being said, I understand the extremely difficult nature of this situation. I am not judging the decision. At this point I am only taking issue with the comment from one of the posters regarding leaving behind orphans and a widower. That poster was putting more value on the life of the post born children than that of preborn children.

  • Sister McBride (along with the rest of the ethics committee) had to consider the scientific evidence they had, which was that both fetus and mother “faced a nearly certain risk” of dying of pulmonary hypertension. It is nice to discuss the philosophical theories of double effect and the comparative hair lengths of different orders of nuns, but the urgent, tragic question for Sister McBride was whether the mother would be forced to die along with her 11 week unborn child. I cannot understand how anybody could fault her for letting this woman live.

  • Patrick,

    The bishop faulted her because the Catholic principle is that it is always wrong to take an innocent human life, even to save another life. Neither life is more valuable than the other. Did you read my comment above?
    Sin is the greatest evil, not death.

    If the woman involved did not accept this she has the choice to have herself transferred to another hospital.

  • @Peter:
    “Mortality rate for the mother is high but it is not a certainty. From what I understand, the risk is by far the greatest after C-section. This mortality rate (one study gives 50% another 30%)is probably better than than the mother’s chance of surviving a cougar attack.”

    We have sketchy details about the exact circumstances. The patient may have been going into or was in crisis. I am not a medical professional, however, I have been in critical condition in a hospital. Decisions are made on the best available information at the time. You and I can Monday Morning Quaterback to our heart’s content.

    “All this being said, I understand the extremely difficult nature of this situation. I am not judging the decision. At this point I am only taking issue with the comment from one of the posters regarding leaving behind orphans and a widower. That poster was putting more value on the life of the post born children than that of preborn children.”

    How each of us reacts at a time of emergency is different. I will still say that your comparison of the 2 women are apples and oranges. They both made decisions based on the situation that they were in. The woman in the hospital was a least 14 weeks away from any kind of viability for her child, It could be that the treatments that she was going to have to undergo would have harmed her child anyway.

  • Dr. Who – you misunderstand the role of the medical staff. Medical doctors have ZERO competence with the moral question involved. They are there only to provide medical advice – the options for treatment and the risks involved in each. The medical staff are no better equipped to answer the moral questions than the patient, and often less equipped.

  • I remember reading a moral philosopher who wrote that the foundational justice of society was that innocent life was not to be directly taken (thus distinctions about guilt and about direct taking in moral philosophy/theology.) Part of the problem is that once one accepts the direct taking of innocent life as a means to an end, then how do you determine what other innocent lives can be used to what particular ends? What sort of society will that leave us with?

  • Levi – I would think not. After all, you are excommunicated, so you are outside the Church, thus no longer Catholic. Seems that following that logic, you could no longer be a Catholic nun. That would appear to be the logical outcome, but don’t know for sure.

  • @c matt

    “Medical doctors have ZERO competence with the moral question involved. They are there only to provide medical advice – the options for treatment and the risks involved in each. The medical staff are no better equipped to answer the moral questions than the patient, and often less equipped.”

    There are a number of doctors who are qualified and competent to answer questions about medical ethics. The surgeon who operated on me had his post-doctoral work in Ethics. He was also Catholic. You might be very surprised at the level that medical professionals act when it comes to ethics committees. To say that they are not equipped simply isn’t true and is misleading. Often, there are several levels of personnel who sit on ethics boards to get as much insight as possible. Clergy are asked to offer expertise, not because medical professionals are ill-equipped to handle ethcial questions.

  • Basically, the same exact procedure can be called an abortion in one case and a life-saving procedure with the secondary affect of killing the infant in another, all because of that magical force called “intent”.

    Take an ectopic pregnancy. Same procedure, but in one case it’s an abortion, in another you’re removing the fallopian tube and oops, the baby dies. But it’s okay in the second case, because you didn’t intend to kill the baby, see! It’s just happened to unfortunately occur. Intent is magic.

  • The catholic church is eager to excommunicate when it comes to women’s reproductive choices and abortion. But where were all these bishops when children (who they cheer so much) were violated and raped by other priests? And why weren’t these priests excommunicated?????
    Talk about sexism and hypocrisy!!

  • Maxou,

    God is a very forgiving God.

    In the case of the priest homosexual pedophile scandals nearly all the priests (if not all) acknowledged their sins and asked for forgiveness and received it.

    In the case of Sister Margaret McBride she has yet to acknowledge she committed a sin against God and therefore she hasn’t been forgiven yet.

    The sin of pride, it sure is the toughest one to overcome and she isn’t any different.

  • Maxou,
    Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue. People who espouse the right things frequently do wrong things. It is the nature is sin, and the reason for the Sacrament of Penance. But people who do wrong things believing them to be the right things, while doubly wrong, are immune from the charge of hypocrisy even if they are not immune from the charge of heresy.
    The bottom line is that the Church does not expect Her adherents to be without sin. But She does require us to accept Her teachings.

  • Sam,

    There is a difference between using methotrexate and removing the fallopian tube, and it’s not just “intent.” One might assume that, given advances in medical technology, someday we might be able to save the life of the embryo removed with the fallopian tube. Far fetched though it seems, if it were possible, in that case intent would not be “magic,” but a very real difference of life and death.

  • I am not Catholic. I, personally, do not believe in abortion. However, I do have to wonder if I had an 11 or 12 year old daughter who was raped, would I believe in it then? I don’t know. I don’t condemn people for getting an abortion. That is between them and our Savior.

    In this case, however, I absolutely do not believe a 3 month old baby would have survived (maybe it’s possible, but it would be extremely unlikely). So then we have a dead baby, and a dead woman. And that’s okay? If “Mom” would have been 7+ months along, or however many months the chances were good the baby would have survived, I’m sure that she, as would most mothers, give their life for their child.
    I don’t understand the logic that both of them dead is okay. I don’t think my Lord would want that.

    It’s so sad that a nun is ex-communicated for, what I believe, was doing the right thing at the right time.
    Fortunately, circumstances didn’t allow for a one (1) week debate for the church to make their decision. If they had, I would have immediately taken my daughter to another hospital.

    I’m sure this was a hard decision for all involved, and they’re all in my prayers.

  • “I don’t understand the logic that both of them dead is okay.”

    That’s because that’s not the logic at all. The idea is to try to save both lives if possible. I’m sure no one advocated inaction; the difference is between using methotrexate to directly abort, and recepting a part of the fallopian tube. I assume that most doctors opt to abort because (1) it is not as invasive as surgery, and (2) it leaves the fallopian tube intact.

    Whether you’re on board with the principle of double effect is another matter; but to say that someone was in favor of letting both of them die is inaccurate. I don’t know the facts of this case, but I can’t imagine anyone was arguing for that.

  • http://chestjournal.chestpubs.org/content/119/3/973.full

    according to that health journal…”We report a successful maternal-fetal outcome with epoprostenol therapy during pregnancy, cesarean section, and postpartum in a patient with PPH. Epoprostenol therapy did not produce any physical or developmental abnormalities in the fetus. A favorable maternal-fetal outcome may occur with a … See Moremultidisciplinary approach. ”

    If you read the rest of the article, there is a treatment/therapy for this condition that would result in both the mother and child surviving. (Article in 3/2001 meaning this isn’t a new experimental therapy because it’s been in use for a couple of years now if now the full 9 years)

    Of course there’s always a chance for it not being successful but that’s in every part of life…if you can’t accept that, than I don’t know what to say..

    There were other options…but they chose the abortion path without considering this other options..

  • Theo, While I think it most likely that there were therapeutic possibilities, it is always possible that the mother had already failed all of them. (I mean, all of them had failed to help her, but what I wrote is how doctors write it in their notes. ) So it is worth considering the moral issues with the case which the hospital says it had.
    Susan Peterson

  • Could the bishop be asked if the Archbishops of Boston and Washington are also automatically excommunicated.

    The pro abortion politicians are in mortal sin says the American Archbishop who is the Prefect of the Supreme tribunal in Rome. If they are in mortal sin then are not the bishops and priests also in mortal sin who give them the Eucharist in that condition.

    Archbishop Burke does not offend his ‘brother bishops’
    Howver the question still stands: are those who particpate in a sacrilege automatically excommunicated?

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUvTxNA-H-M&hl=it_IT&fs=1&]

  • @ sjdawson

    And if you look up the stats, for severe cases, even women who have had abortions had the same mortality rate.

    That at this point, the abortion is also a risk, or that the pregnancy is quite a huge risk.

  • @ Cathy from Oregon

    The nun excommunicated herself with her actions.

  • What the Bishop of Phoenix does not understand is that Sister Margaret saved a life instead of losing two lives. If the mother had continued to carry her pregnancy, she and the baby inside her would have both died. The patient has a complex medical condition that would have made it fatal for her to carry the pregnancy forward. The baby would have died with or without the actions of Sister Margaret.

    Why is saving the life of the mother not a pro-life decision? women are made in the image of God and are not just incubators.

  • Lisa,

    Is the child not, too, made in the image of God? Then directly murdering her to save her mother (which, btw, we have no certainty of) is as far from pro-life as nuking a city of civilians to win a war.

    Learn what the Catholic faith teaches about intrinsic evil and the principle of double effect. I’m pretty certain the Bishop of Phoenix already understands this.

  • Cathy,

    Unfortunately, the one person who was involved but not consulted in the decision making process is the one who wound up dead.

  • Of course the child is made in the image of God. And yes there was certainity that the mother would have died (because of the nature of her medical condition)if the abortion ahd not been performed. If the abortion ahd not been performed two lives would have been lost. Saving the mother’s life was the moral and right thing to do. Why is having two lives lost preferable to saving one? If you do not see this then you have become lost in the morass of theology that does not see women as wholly human and made in the image of God.

  • Though as I noted above, once you accept that you can kill an innocent person for the sake of another, even in the womb, what other situations can we kill an innocent for the sake of another?

  • Lisa,
    I think it is you who is failing to see the child as wholly human. It is an innocent that cannot be directly killed, even to save multiple lives. The commandment against murder is not subject to an outcomes analysis.
    If a murderer came to your home and said to you that you could either kill your child or he will kill both her and your husband, you would not be permitted to kill your daughter notwithstanding your knowledge that it would preserve the life of your husband and your daughter will die anyway.

  • This was medical situation in which both mother and child would have died as a result of the mother’s medical condition. So Mike and Phillip, its better for both to die than for one to live? Its particularly better that the woman should have died (and her 11 week-old fetus) along with her rather than to intervent to save the woman. I think its interesting that men take this stance. If men could get pregnant, I don’t think men would be saying these things or that the all male hieracrch of the Church would take the position that it does. do you not see thatyour stance totally disregards the life of the woman?

  • If women could be fathers they would feel a man’s pain in this situation. Having taken care of that issue, there is also a good chance that the unborn child was a female, I’m not sure why you’re disregarding this violence against an unborn woman.
    Beyond that, do you think it okay to drop the bomb on a city to preserve the life of soldiers who would be called to attack that city? It would in fact save lives.

  • Phillip, I worked at the hospital in question, I know the nun in question–who is also an experienced registered nurse. So I am most confident that Sr. Margaret and the St. Joseph’s ethics committee made a determination that the patient’s life was in immediate danger. Real-time medical situations do not alwasy allow for ideal outcomes. Was the outcome ideal here? No. Were two lives lost? No. I do not disregard the life of the child lost. And I do not disregard any husband’s pain in the situation. However, he does not expereince pregnancy and his life is never in danger when a pregnancy becomes medically dangerous and poses a risk to the life of the mother. But why are rooting for two people to die–which what eould have happened given the mother’s condition ofwpulmonary hypertenison. You were not there and unless you were the patient or medical professional invovled in the situation, you have logical or moral basis to decide that the actions taken were wrong.

    In your hypothetical above–this was the decision Harry Truman made in dropping the A-bomb on Japan in 1945. Was it ideal? No. Did it save more live than it took–most assuredly. Would it have been better for the war in the Pacific to have gone on for at least a year or more longer–witht he loss of more life?

  • Excuse my typo in the previous statement. Let me restate: Unless you were the patient or a medical professional involved in the situation at the time, you have NO logical or moral basis to decide that the actions taken were wrong.

  • Since this is basic Catholic moral theology, and since that states that one may not directly take the life of an innocent, and since this was done, one can logically say it was wrong. The bishop also has a moral basis, based upon the above, to decide the sister’s decision as well as that of the ethics committe, was wrong.

  • I am AGAINST abortion. If Sister Margaret deemed it necessary, I would trust her opinion and the opinion of the others on the ethics committe to make the right decision. I would place my life in their hands.
    The Bishop can allow a priest that runs someone down with his can and goes home to hide his car in his garage to remain a priest but wants to judge Sister Margaret?

  • Lisa,
    The moral rule has nothing whatsoever to do with the sex of the parties. It obtains regardless, as my earlier example makes clear. I suppose you might feel it is ok to kill your daughter so that your husband can live since the outcome is better than both dying, but that is simply not morally acceptable.

  • Milan,

    You’re note AGAINST abortion if your trust some people to decide or abortion in certain cases. But you may have to place your life in an ethics committe’s hands some day if you do adopt such a stance and you might not be pleased with their decision.

  • Lisa, the question isn’t just whether one person or two person lives. It is whether anyone TOOK their lives. If they both die, this is the action of a natural condition. If an abortion is performed, a great sin has been committed. A human being took an innocent life.

    In the one case, no sin is involved. In the second case, human beings took an innocent human life, which is a mortal sin. It is a mortal sin because God has forbidden it, in one of His commandments!

    Death is the lot of all of us! It is not the death of the body but of the soul that we need to be most concerned about. And that is the ultimate consideration in the Church’s moral theology. I really don’t think you are considering this.

    A theology which was primarily this world based, even one which acknowledges God, might be willing to make a moral calculation that in this case in which, we are told, the mother’s life was seriously threatened, the mother’s life should be preferred. I believe Orthodox Jewish moral theology does this, even though it is against abortion in every other case.

    However Catholic moral theology exists against a backdrop of the awareness that this life is not all we have, in fact, it is brief compared to eternity. The eternal good of souls is always what is considered first. Sin is the greatest evil, not death.

    Susan Peterson

  • Milan, that bishop resigned as bishop. He, of course, remains a priest forever no matter what the church does, as that is indelible. (Ordination imparts a character to the soul.) The Church could forbid him to function as a priest. But if he has repented, if he has been tried and punished by the civil law, why shouldn’t he function as a priest in certain situations?

    I think you are thinking that excommunication is what should happen for a really bad act. This is not the case. People are seldom excommunicated for sins, strictly speaking. Sin is to be repented of and is forgiven in the confessional. God, and the church, is very gentle to sinners once they have repented. Excommunication is for acts of disobedience to the Church, for acts that show that the person is in rebellion against the Church and does not acknowledge her authority.
    The nun, by her action here, said very publicly that she does not accept the Church’s moral teaching. If she had any kind of an education in Catholic moral theology she had to know that it is not permitted to take one human life to save another one. She chose to disregard this. Whether she did this out of compassion for the patient she could see (while ignoring the one she couldn’t) , or whether she did this because she was in a hard place in terms of legal liability, I don’t know. But she publicly defied the church’s teaching and excommunication is the appropriate result. When this involves abortion, it is automatic.

    She WAS in a hard place legally, because an unstable pregnant woman cannot be transferred to another hospital according to COBRA laws, unless the receiving hospital has facilities to treat the patient which the transferring hospital does not have, and this outweighs the risk of transport. She couldn’t say her hospital didn’t have the facilities to treat this patient. And if she refused to do an abortion, she would be subject to a lawsuit which the hospital might well lose, if, as I suspect, terminating the pregnancy is the standard of care in this situation. (despite what some people have said that the termination doesn’t immediately solve the problem.)

    So obeying the Church’s teaching in this situation might well have been very costly. I am not saying sympathy for the woman didn’t enter into it. but I wouldn’t make her a martyr to “compassion” without considering the rest of the situation.

    Susan Peterson

  • Let’s not forget that there is a difference — a big difference — between saying that the degree of sinfulness of an action may be mitigated by circumstances such as extreme duress, ignorance, emotional or psychological disturbance, etc., and saying that said action is “ok” or morally justified.

    In a case like Philip’s crazed murderer or a “Sophie’s Choice” scenario, I would argue that the degree of culpability incurred by an innocent person forced to make such a devastating and desperate choice with no time to think about it would be far less than that incurred by a premeditated, unprovoked act of murder. In other words they are not necessarily going to be subjectively guilty of mortal sin or subject to eternal damnation for what they did.

    However, that does NOT mean that what they did was justified or that it was the “right thing to do” — merely less evil and malicious than it might otherwise have been. They still need to ask God’s mercy for what they have done — and it seems to me that most good Christian people forced to make such choices in situations of war, abuse, extreme poverty, etc., spend many years, perhaps the rest of their lives, doing just that.

    I may be going out on a limb here, but the mere fact that Bp. Olmsted has had to confirm Sister McBride’s excommunication and make it public suggests to me that she may not have taken the necessary action to have it lifted, i.e., expressing some kind of contrition or repentance. If she had, I suspect no one outside of her order or the diocesan chancery would ever have known she was excommunicated.

  • What Elaine said. So well.

  • And Susan too.

  • I am not Catholic. I, personally do not believe in abortion. However, I do have to wonder if I had an 11 or 12 year old daughter who was raped, would I believe in it then? I don’t know.-Cathy from Oregon

    I understand your feeling of weakness, Cathy, that you might fall if faced with such a great temptation. Surely our Lord Jesus does also for in the prayer He taught us we ask our Eternal Father that we not be put to the test.

    We are baptised into the one mystical body of Christ our Savior. Those who show strength in the face of temptation strengthen the whole of that body; those who are weak weaken the whole of it. Thus, no ones good or bad choice is purely “between them and our Savior.” Though God alone judges the everlasting fate of our souls, we each participate in building up or tearing down the moral courage of one another.

  • Peopleget off your high horses and your soap boxes. These nuns deal with life and death everyday. We are not the judge of this world. God is. Yes there. Are rules, moral laws, ethics, traditions but life and death and the struggles with both are not simple they are complex and reach onto every facet of our lives. We as mere people cannot place ourselves as judge.
    Everyone sins and we’ve all fallen and it is only through God’s grace that we can still cone to Him. He is our judge.
    As a mother of two I can only say that dying while pregnant or while my kids are young is my greatest fear and I don’t know the decision I’d make in a case like this. Only God knows the heart.
    Judge not lest you be judged.

  • Roxanne,

    No one’s judging, we’re all commenting on the fact that this nun excommunicated herself.

  • You all seem to be fundamentally confused. Is this really the lesson that you have taken from the bible? That it is a good thing to let both a mother and fetus perish, for the greater sin would be to save the mother?
    If you have forgotten, there are many passages where God finds it just to for a child to be killed by a parent (Abraham and Isaac, Jeroboam, David). If that is required just to prove devotion to Him, then an unborn, unviable fetus could not be worth the life of the mother.
    And if this is a sin, so be it. We are not but sinners, so who are you to judge one as worse than another? Are they not all equal in the eyes of our Lord? If we repent, are they not all forgiven?

  • I am so happy that I left the Catholic Church!

  • Deb,
    Don’t be so glad. Since outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VpQpEcXu6A&hl=it_IT&fs=1&]

  • An aspect of this situation which is not being discussed is the legal aspect. No matter what the Bishop says, medical staff cannot deliberately let a patient die by inaction. This is homicide. If the medical staff had not medically intervened to treat the woman, to try to save her life, a crime would have been committed. So Bishop Olmsted would be willing to serve the jail sentence in lieu of the medical personnel? And of course the hospital, physicians and nurses could be sued for medical malpractice. The bishop would pay these judgments?

    Hospitals, Catholic ones included, are answerable to all civil laws–a lesson the Church should have learned in the pedophile scandal. Catholic hospitals are not exempt from federal and state laws.

  • Lisa K.,

    There is this thing called “Freedom of Religion”.

    I know liberals loathe this thing and wish they could gather all religious together and gas them, but your socialist utopia has been an abject failure with the fall of the Soviet Union.

  • I was born and raised a catholic. I was baptised, recieved confirmation, communion, and served as an alter boy. This very situation is why myself and millions, let me repeat, MILLIONS of catholics have left the church. Better to let a woman die in child birth, along with the child, then to ensure one life. Not even if a person’s life is endangered, according to the best medical advice on the case.

    It is decisions like these, along with the new pope’s involvement in not prosecuting child sex fiends within the church, that leaves you all with no creditibility to even tell us what color the sky is.

    The Catholic church is an ancient relic of our past that would be best abandoned and ignored. Getting excommunicated was the best thing to happen to that nun.

  • “The Catholic church is an ancient relic of our past that would be best abandoned and ignored.”

    Your playing troll on a Catholic website refutes the argument that you are attempting to make. The Church will be around long after you are dust and whatever passing fads you have embraced as a substitute for the Church are dust.

  • Pingback: Booming Traditional Relgious Orders! « The American Catholic
  • I gotta admit that up to a point, I understand where the people who are disgusted with the Church’s stand in this case and say they left the church over stuff like this are coming from.

    After reflecting on this case for several days — assuming that the facts as stated are true, and that the morally correct course of action would have resulted in BOTH mother and child dying instead of the mother at least being saved — this is without question THE most difficult Catholic teaching I have ever encountered. (For the sake of argument, let’s leave aside the possibility that the doctors were wrong or that alternative treatments were available that could have saved both.)

    Try as I might, I have a really, REALLY, hard time believing that the “pro life” thing to do would have been to let two people die instead of one. And yes, it’s enough to make me think — albeit just for a moment or two — “how can you possibly embrace a faith that makes such a cruel and illogical demand of this poor woman? Could you honestly say you wouldn’t have chosen the same course of action? If you can’t, then what business do you have continuing to call yourself a Catholic?”

    However… I also have to ask myself what good would it do to abandon the Church whose teachings I agree with 99.9 percent of the time, over the 0.1 percent that I have a problem with, and over a situation that I and most women probably will never face? It’s easy to lose perspective over these horrendously hard cases, and forget that the Church’s stand against direct abortion has saved millions more lives than it has cost. “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

    We do not and probably will never know all the details of this case. All involved should be prayed for and commended to God’s mercy. In the meantime, let’s not let the rare hard case distract us from the nine times out of 10 when the right thing to do is pretty obvious!

  • Too bad Dr. Dianne Zwicke wasn’t consulted:

    http://www.wisn.com/health/17994163/detail.html

  • I read the article Mr.McClarey linked to. Aside from the egregious mistake of using “illict” for “elicit” in the first paragraph, it was a good article.

    And what it shows me is that if the Church insists that doctors try to save both the mother and the baby, they will figure out a way to do it. They have done it for just about every other mother or baby situation which used to exist, and they will do it for this one.

    This article also showed that it is likely that the mother wasn’t in imminent danger, but in danger of dying AFTER delivery. So the baby might well have survived.

    Lisa, civil laws can be wrong. No Catholic institution can obey them when they contradict the law of God! Suppose there were laws requiring Catholic hospitals to do abortions or give out contraceptives or tie tubes or do vasectomies? Suppose there were laws requiring hospitals to euthanize patients in certain circumstances? We are very close in this country to where this might be the case. A hospital can’t do any of these things and stay Catholic. The law of God-as interpreted by Christ’s Church, is always above the civil law!
    You have to lose your job, get dragged into court, go to jail, whatever, before you disobey God’s law.
    Susan Peterson

  • Randy519:
    U asked:
    Dr. Who: Do you know facts that we don’t know? Did I miss something

    All I can say is yes, I do. & I can assure u that what I said was accurate–the only reason that woman is alive today is because of the decision that was made.
    I really do not understand this. A priest abuses deaf boys & dies a priest. Others have done similarly & were never sanctioned. A nun (with medical training, btw) makes a decision, along with other individuals on an ethics committee, that results in a life being saved, & she’s excommunicated. Would some1, as I believe Tom Hanks said in “Philadelphia”, explain that to me in terms a 2-year-old can understand? Please? Cuz I really don’t. & frankly, I doubt I ever will.

  • Dr. Who,

    What does your hatred for the Church have to do with this story of an excommunicated nun?

  • Dr. Who,

    How about: “murdering a baby is always wrong”. I think a 2 year old can understand that concept.

    Your non-sequitur about gay cleric predators is irrelevant to the topic.

  • Elaine,
    I agree that this particular circumstance is tough, assuming one takes at face value that the only options available would result in either the death of the child or the death of both the child and mother. But I think the following example, which I provided above, may help crystalize one’s moral thinking:

    Assume a murderer enters your home and says that you have a choice: you can either kill your daughter or he will kill both your daughter and your husband. You would be morally prohibited from killing your daughter even though you know that this decision will not save her life and will also result in taking the life of your husband.

  • Mike Petrik:

    Your example is not relevant to the situation being discussed. This was a real-world medical emergency not some ivory tower hypothetical. To not treat the patient in this real-world situation would mean:

    1. both mother and baby would die
    2. Baby at 11 weeks was not viable, so there was option of a C-section or any other procedure to save the baby
    3. Women’s live matter and are not subordinate to the a nonviable fetus.
    Not trating the patient would have been a avioaltion of Arizona’s criminal homicide statutes. yes, sometimes it is right to vilate secular statutes. but not in this case–not when the patient would die without medical treatment. It would be crime and morally and ethically wrong for hosptial staff in an ER to stand by and delibierately let a patient die.

    I have worked at the hopsital in question and know Sr. margaret. She, the ethics committeee, the physicians invovled and the patient correcdtly interpreted the directive invovled. The Bishop has incorrectly interpreted the directive (this is not just my opinion, by the opinion of canon lawyers as well).

  • Do you have a link to those canon lawyers? Do they also know the procedure performed?

  • According to reports in various Catholic and non-Catholic press outlets, the canon lawyers know the procedure performed and the directive that Sr. Margaret, the ethics committe, the physicans correctly interpreted.

    No moral or sane person thinks its “pro-life” to let a woman die when her life can be saved. To say otherwise is to descend to Orwellian double speak.

    Bishop Olmsted was wrong in this situation and wielded his crosier like a club.

  • Lisa,
    The fact that my hypothetical was not a real situation is irrelevant, as are the facts that you may know Sister Margaret and that the fetus was not viable. I have looked for the reports you cite and cannot find them. Please provide links if you want your claims to be taken seriously.

  • Mike,

    You are not looking hard enough. Take a look at Faith and Reason, take a look at NPR, take a look at National Catholic Reporter.

    And Mike, you are not a medical professional, Sr. Margaret is. You were not at St. joseph’s at the time the decision was made, Sr. Margaret was. You are not an administrator in a Catholic hopsital. Sr. Margaret has long experience as such. Neither you nor anyone else who was not there, have no credible basis on which to second guess the decision of the ethics committee and physicians involved.

    Sorry: allowing a death to occur when it can be avoided is not pro-life, no matter how much the Bishops want to spin it that way. Women are made in the image of God and their live are not expendable. And yes, it matters that the fetus was not viable.

    Accept it: You are wrong on this.

  • What does “nonviable” mean, Lisa? A fetus is as viable as it should be at that stage of development. Should we expect something else from persons not at the same stage of development? I have a 9 month old baby; if I were to leave her in the woods somewhere, is it her fault that she is not “viable” on her own? Isn’t ripping a fetus from the womb at 11 weeks and expecting it to be viable an analogous situation?

  • Mike,

    Actually, I think your hypothetical is germane, despite what Lisa thinks. It would be interesting to hear her answer to it. Of course, the 500 lb. gorilla in the room is that Lisa (like most of us who are fallen) find it much easier to sympathize with your hypothetical daughter than the daughter-as-zygote. Our moral thinking is often clouded by sympathies toward the proximate.

  • J Christian: I think you may have misunderstood my point. My point is that if St. Joseph’s Hopsital had not taken action to save the mother, two lives would have been lost. The fetus was 11 weeks old. There was not the option of having the mother die and the fetus survive. He/she was not at that point of development. In other words, this was not a choice between mother surviving or baby surviving. The fetus was going to die if the mother died. This was not a situation where the fetus could have survived outside the womb if the mother died.

  • Lisa,
    I may be wrong; I often am. I know this because I’ve been married for over 30 years. But please understand that one does not need to be a medical professional to understand Catholic moral teaching. Anyone can question the moral decision-making of another assuming possession of the facts. I am taking the facts as presented by the hosptital’s defenders — i.e., that there was no realistic possiblity of saving either the baby or both the baby and mother, and that the only way to save the life of the mother involved the direct killing of the baby (i.e. the termination of the pregnancy). If these facts are not correct I would be pleased to be corrected. If these facts are correct then one must apply moral rules to them in order to determine moral options. According to Arizona Republic these options were appropiately described in the hospital’s two directives relating to abortion:

    The first says that physicians cannot perform direct abortions under any circumstances, including for such reasons as to save the life of the mother.

    The second states that “operations, treatments and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted … even if they will result in the death of the unborn child.” This directive is based on the Catholic philosophical principle of double effect, which says that if the treatment sought addresses the direct causes of the woman’s health condition (such as radiation treatment for cancer), but never intends to kill the unborn child (even though that may happen as a secondary, but unintended, effect of the lifesaving treatment), then it is morally licit.

    According to the Arizona Republic, hospital officials claimed that they were following the second directive by aborting the baby. This is a critical claim and one must investigate the facts to know if true. I have no idea, but the claim is not consistent with the following report from the National Catholic Reporter:

    “In a statement, Suzanne Pfister, a hospital vice president, said that the facility adheres to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. But, she argued, the directives leave some gray areas. ‘In those instances where the Directives do not explicitly address a clinical situation — such as when a pregnancy threatens a woman’s life — an Ethics Committee is convened to help our caregivers and their patients make the most life-affirming decision,’ she said. ‘In this tragic case, the treatment necessary to save the mother’s life required the termination of an 11-week pregnancy.'”

    Unless Ms, Pfister’s statement is erroneous, then the hospital’s action was not an application of its own second directive but appeared to violate the first directive.

  • J Christian: Let me repeat: The real world situation where two lives would have been lost without medical treatment of the mother, the decision that was made was a pro-life decision. Sorry, but letting two lives die via inaction is not pro-life. It is Orwellian, immoral, unethical and totally disregards the lives of women as human beings.

    Sorry you all are just wrong on this. Sr. Margaret as the experienced medical professional, as the experienced Catholic hospital administrator, as the person who was there consulting with the ethics committee and physcians invovled with the patient, made the right and the pro-life decision.

    You all can Monday morning quarterback all you want. but you were not there and you have no credible reason to second-guess the decision.

    The Church through its history has been wrong many many times on many many issues. The Church has not been a pro-life institution–in the Inquisition and in other situations caused amny many needless deaths. This is one more situation where the Church is wrong. And if the Bishop cannot admit that–then he displays the historical and ongoing arrogance of a hierarchy that does not recognize it is accountable to God and to the people of God.

  • “… if the Bishop cannot admit that – then he displays the historical and ongoing arrogance of a hierarchy …”

    Arrogance is an interesting choice of words coming from someone who believes herself to be in a position to authoritatively and definitively state that the magisterial wisdom of a 2000+ year old institution, instituted by God Himself and embued with His authority to bind and loose, is “wrong”.

  • Sorry you all are just wrong on this.

    Arrogance, Jay, what arrogance? With such a fine example of indisputable logic and reasoning, who can possibly question Pope Lisa?

  • Jay, I am not being arrogant. I am stating the facts. The history of the Church is full of examples of its errors, its sins, and yes, its arrogance. Sorry, the Church is not and has never been an infallible institution. Read any Catholic or non-Catholic history/historian of the Church. The history of the Church is res ipsa loquitar (it speaks for itself).

  • Paul, you mean as opposed to Pope Paul Zummo?Are you saying that the Church has never made mistakes or that its Popes, Cardinals and Bishops have nvever been wrong and/or abused their authority? Have you read any history of the Church? have your ead any of the Church’s own documents? And to state an obvious example of the Church’s errors and arrogance, have you heard of Galileo?

  • Argumentum ad Galileo? I expect a violation of Jay Anderson’s Law in 3, 2, 1…

  • Lisa,
    You are out of your league here. After reading http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/history/world/wh0005.html, you should research the difference between papal impeccability and papal infallibility. You have a lot to learn. Good luck.

  • Mike,

    I do know the difference. You miss my point. To clear it up for you–I am just saying that there is no reason to believe that the Church and Bishop Olmsted are correct in their handling of this situation. The Church and its hierarchy have been and are a group of men who over the course of 2,000 plus years have made many errors and have committed many sins. The Church is not institution free from error and sin.

  • Lisa,
    It is true that the Church and Her lay and clergy members commit all manner of error, but She does not teach error. This does not mean that every bishop handles every situation perfectly or even correctly. But you seem to think that it is permissible to directly terminate the life of an unborn child in order to save the life of the mother if that child would die anyway. I do not think that such a belief is not compatible with Catholic moral teaching. If you think that it is then you need to explain your reasoning by reference to Catholic moral theology, not just feckless assertions about the competency of physicians.

  • Mike, again you have not read your Church hsitory. The Church has most certainly taught error–again Galileo and the Church’s mistaken teaching re astronomy. The Church’s teaching re Jews and its execution and forced conversion of Jews, Native Americans and others. Its Crusades to retake Jerusalem from from “infidels”. The Inquistion and all its associated activities. The schism that led to simulaneous popes in Rome and Avignon. The schism that led to a Catholic Church in Rome and the Orthodox Catholic Churches (either Rome is wrong or the Orthodx are wrong–but somebody is wrong in their Catholic teachings)

    My assertaions are not feckless. Sr. Margaret and the hopsital’s ethics committee took a hard look at the directives and made the right interpretation.

    And again, any decision that leads to needless death, as Bishop Olmsted advocates in this situation, is not a pro-life position. It is by its nature a pro-death psoition. That is the Bishop is saying that the Church advocates death for both mother and child in a situation where the child cannot be daved. That is pro death.

  • Lisa,
    Leaving aside your twisted understanding of Church history, the Galileo episode, and the interplay with moral theology, what exactly do you mean by “hard look”? Did she take a hard look and ignore them, or take a hard look and apply them? If the former, then it is hardly surprising that she would be repremanded for knowingly disregarding Catholic moral teaching. If the latter, then her position must be that the hospital did not directly terminate a pregnancy in order to save the mother’s life but instead undertook medical treatments necessary to save the mother’s life which indirectly (though inevitably) resulted in the termination of the pregnancy. This is an important distinction. The hospital’s statement, however, does not seem to support this position. Instead, the hospital’s position *seems* to be that they are permitted to ignore the directives in “close cases” and replace them with whatever “life-affirming” moral rules they choose. Fine, but don’t pretend to be a Catholic hospital and don’t expect agreement from your Catholic bishop.

  • “Any position that leads to needless death is not a pro-life decision.”

    Lisa, you really must study up on the error of consequentialism, because that is exactly what you are advocating.

  • Lisa,

    You’re really missing the boat here. Aside from your misunderstanding of historical events, you need to differentiate between what Church teachings are matters of faith and morals and which aren’t.

    You obviously have your own sense of morality that is informed independently of the Church’s moral teaching. That’s your perogative, but Catholics believe that the Church is the pillar and bulwark of Truth – and that when She teaches on faith and morals She cannot err. Every single member of the Church could be an adulter, but that would not negate the objective Truth of the Church’s teaching that adultery is immoral.

    Likewise, the Church teaches it is never okay to intentionally kill an innocent person even if you perceive some greater good from it. If you don’t believe a baby in the womb is an innocent person, fine, but the context here is within the Catholic understanding of life.

  • Mike, my understanding of Church history is not twisted. Just stating the facts–ie the Church can be wrong in how it approaches morality. It teaching on morality are what led to the Inquisition to the Crudades, to executions and forced conversion of Jews, native American, and others. A recent example of error on the part of the Church is the Church’s position on grace. In a recent agreement with the Lutheran Church, the Roman Catholic Church has backed off the Council of Trent position that salvation is the result of grace and good works. Now the Roman Catholic Church has formally agreed (in writing) with the Lutheran Church that it is by grace alone that God offers us salvation.

    So either the teaching of the Council of Trent was in error or the current teaching of the Catholic Church is in error. Either way, someone was wrong.

    By ‘hard look”, I obviously mean that the Sr. Margaret and the ethics committee looked at the directives governing th situation in a Catholic hopsital. They intepreted the directives correctly in and made the correct pro-life decision in light of the directives.

    Just because the Bishop, who is another Mondy morning quarterback and not a medical professional, disagrees, does not mean he is right. He is wrong, has abused his authority, and his used his crosier like a club.

    St. Joseph’s remains a Catholic hospital. It is pro-life, not pro-death (as the Bishop would advocate)

    Sorry Mike, any way you want to spin this, the Bishop by his own statements, advocates death in a situation like that seen at St. Joseph’s. He can call himself pro-life all he wants, but when he says let a woman die needlessly, do not provide her witht he the medical care that will save her life–then the Bishop is a pro-death advocate.

  • Wow RL, you have a grave misunderstanding of the Church. It has made errors in its teaching of morality. And if you don’t believe that then you have not looked at the Church with any kind of analytical thinking. Sorry, the Church is not a bulwark of Truth. It has made errors in it teaching of morality. If you do not beleive that, then you have no unerstanding of the history of the Church.

    But my main point is that, the Bishop has incorrectly interpreted the directive that governed St. Joseph’s response in the situation we are talking about. Sr. Margaret and the St. Joseph’s ethics committee correctly interpreted it. Yes, Bishops can be wrong.
    The Bishop is pro death advcate. Sr. Margaret is a pro-life advocate.

  • Mike,

    How can Church and it Bishop call themselves pro-life and advocate death? I am not advocating consequentualism. I am advocating life. you are advocation death to hopelessly try to support the twisted logic of some Bishop who thinks its moral to allow someone to die when her life can be saved. Sorry, women are not subordinate to their biology. Women’s lives are lives. It is pro life to save the life of a woman.

  • you are advocation death to hopelessly try to support the twisted logic of some Bishop who thinks its moral to allow someone to die when her life can be saved.

    Babelfish must really be on the fritz.

  • Yes, Paul it trying still to invince ignorance.

  • Pope Lisa

    Please no name calling.

    Let the discussion continue as long as everyone is respectful of each other.

    Thanks!

    P.S. Work on those gravatars if you have time.

  • “It has made errors in its teaching of morality”

    According to whom? Your personal magisterium? Excuse me if I’m unimpressed by your argument.

  • Lisa K,

    “It teaching on morality are what led to the Inquisition to the Crudades”

    Yeah. So?

    The Crusades were just wars. It was right and good that they happened. I don’t apologize for them, I celebrate them.

    As for the Inquisition, it is simply a historical fact that physical punishments and executions for heresy were ordered by the secular rulers of society, not by the Church. In fact, most suspected heretics welcomed a chance to appear before the Church as opposed to the secular courts, precisely because the latter almost never shed blood.

    Don’t confuse what the Spanish crown did with what the Church did.

  • And as for this:

    ” The Church has most certainly taught error–again Galileo and the Church’s mistaken teaching re astronomy.”

    You have no conception of what the debate was about. Did you read that silly play by Brecht or something?

    The Church did not “teach error” – the Church simply insisted that Galileo a) not make claims about the relevance of his findings for theology (which he did, loudly and obnoxiously), and b) that he present his theory as a hypothesis, not a proven fact (which he refused to do). In other words, the Church wanted Galileo to act like a real scientist and not a prophet.

    You really just know nothing about the Church’s role in science, the fact that it encouraged and promoted the sciences and even debate therein, the fact that the Pope during the Galileo affair was initially very sympathetic with him and only took umbrage after he publicly insulted him.

    Read a book before you say such things.

  • Sorry guys–the Church did teach error. Again do your reading. And for a recent example look at the Church’s backing off the teaching of the Council of Trent re grace. The Council said that slavation is accomplished via grace and good works. Most recently, the Church ahs agreed with the Lutherans–that salvation is accomplished via grace alone. So either the Council of Trent was wrong or the recent aggreement with the Lutheran Church is wrong.

    And Joe, the fact that you are proud of the Crusdades–the murder of Jews, Muslims, other Christians just speaks volumes about how you view life and how you support the arrogance of the Church. The Crusades were not noble–just a medieval Christian version of jihad that wasted lives and accomplished nothing.

    And yes, the Inquisition was an activity of the Church. Forced conversions and the murder of Jews, Native Americans and others were committed by and approved by the Church.

    And J. Christian, you do not need to be impressed by my arguements–I don’t care if you are or are not. just read your Church history.

    Tito Edwards, I engaged in no name calling.

    You guys can sit in your ivory towers and count how many angels dance on the head of a pin, but the rest of us moral and sane people will work actively to save the lives women, children, and men wherever and whenever possible. That’s what it means to be pro life.

  • …And you “sane people” will continue to murder others by the millions at the same time. This isn’t an ivory tower, Lisa: It’s a guard tower, and we’re trying to keep

  • I don’t advocate the murder of others. The pro death message is coming from Bishop Olmsted and those who agree with him.

    The Church is not a guard tower. Remember Pope John XXIII? He convened Vatican II to throw open the windows of the Church and to let fresh air in.

    A mind and, I would argue, the Church, are like a parachute–it only works when it is open.

  • Ivory towers?

    No one despises academia more than myself.

    The Crusades were noble. Do you know anything about them? Do you know anything about the 400 years of Islamic and Turkish aggression that preceded them? About the desperate plea of the Eastern Greek Christians to Latin Christendom for military aid? About the murder of Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land by the Turks?

    The Crusades were not a “jihad.” They were not waged to convert Muslims to Christianity. That’s the biggest lie. Only a few sporadic and unsuccessful attempts at conversion were ever made. The object of the Crusades was to reclaim the Holy Land for Christianity and to protect the Eastern frontier for Christian society from a ruthless and aggressive foe.

    Unfortunately they failed and Southeastern Europe fell entirely to the Turks for the next 7 centuries or so. My ancestors, the Maronite Christians of Lebanon, were nearly genocided by them.

    “And yes, the Inquisition was an activity of the Church. Forced conversions and the murder of Jews, Native Americans and others were committed by and approved by the Church.”

    The Church reigned in the Spanish Inquisition, first of all. In the second place, you are absolutely wrong – in the 13th century the Papacy formally proclaimed that forced conversions of Jews were not acceptable, and denounced the blood libels against them. Christians were not to persecute Jews on pain of excommunication. You know nothing of Church history. You’ve been taught lies, and you are repeating lies.

    Read something for once:

    http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Greg10/g10jprot.htm

  • Remeber J Christian, that women are created in the image of God. Women’s live are as holy, sacred, precious, and worth protecting as is any unborn child’s.

  • So I guess I go back to the beginning. It was not possible to save both live in the situation at St. Joseph’s. That does not mean it is OK to to withhold medical treatment so that both lives are lost. That is a pro death, immoral, criminal and unethical position. .

  • Lisa, a good short item to read to help cure your obvious bone ignorance regarding the Crusades:

    http://www.churchinhistory.org/pages/leaflets/the-crusades.htm

  • Remember Lisa, the unborn baby is created in the image of God, and her life is just as sacred. We human beings do not have the right to take a human life even to save another human life. That the baby was not viable is what makes this situation difficult. It isn’t something that makes it right to kill the baby.
    If both die because medical knowledge is not advanced enough to save them, no sin has been committed. Something very sad has happened, which is part of human life. People get sick and die and sometimes there is nothing we can do about it. In this case, there apparently , if what you say is correct, nothing which could be done about it except kill the unborn child, and that is something no Catholic should even consider. Nor is there ANY double effect situation here. This is just plain, kill the baby to save the mother, which has always been forbidden.
    Face it, you are wrong here. The bishop is correct and he is doing his job.
    Susan Peterson

  • And Lisa, people have mentioned that you are ignorant about the Crusades and the Inquisition. I don’t think anyone called you on the Trent thing. I have read Trent on Justification and I have read the Joint Declaration. And I can tell you that the Joint Declaration only tries to explain the Catholic position on Justification in terms more understandable to Protestants. Some Protestants do say, “Oh, then, if that’s what you meant…” But the Protestants who are most serious about Sola Fide don’t buy it at all. They say, “You have just tried to make this sound good to us by using some of our terminology, but underneath it is Trent all over again. ”
    The Church has not changed its position. It still believes in infused grace by which we are enabled to do truly meritorious works, although of course it is Christ working in us and all the merit is His.
    Susan Peterson

  • Donald, so you think the Crudades accomplished something? You think ti was a good thing to try to retake Jerusalem by killing Jews, Muslims, and other Christians? Talk about a pro death position.

    As much fun as I have in these exchanges, I see that most of you have had too much of the pro death anti woman Catholic hierarchy kool-aid.

    Hve fun out there with that.

  • “Donald, so you think the Crudades accomplished something? You think ti was a good thing to try to retake Jerusalem by killing Jews, Muslims, and other Christians? Talk about a pro death position.”

    If you weren’t so abysmally ignorant on the Crusades Lisa, I doubt you would ask such a foolish question. By bringing Western military power against Islam the fall of Constantinople to the Turks was delayed until 1453. The Byzantine Empire had suffered a severe defeat at the battle of Manzikert at the hands of the Turks in 1071. They were no longer able to hold the line in the East against Islam and were desperate for military aid from the West. Absent the Crusades I doubt if Constantinople would have survived much beyond 1150. This would have led to Islam taking over the Balkans three centuries before it did historically. These three centuries were crucial in that by the time the Turks marched against Vienna in 1529 the West was already beginning to surpass Islam technologically. Vienna besieged in 1229 might have been the beginning of a process that would have seen the conquest of Europe by Islam. The fact that you are not forced to wear a burka, and are free to leave snotty posts on a Catholic web site, you probably owe to the Crusades you deride.

  • In this case “abysmally ignorant” may be awfully close to “invincibly ignorant,” I’m afraid.

  • Lisa, I admire your tenacity on this. I confess I would have declared myself the winner and moved on to the next thread long ago.

    That said, I’d say that this whole misadventure in Arizona points out the lack of consistency in the Church’s approach here. A person decides on separating the embryo from the mother so the mother may live: excommunication. Not so for a man who rapes a pregnant woman and kills both, or for an unwanted baby born alive who is murdered after premature delivery.

    Five months after the fact, do we know Bishop Olmsted was really working with all the facts? He seems pretty okay with forgiving a hit-and-run driver who killed a pedestrian. The man doesn’t exactly exude credibility. Lots of confusion to go around, it would seem, and really, what was the point with this excommunication anyway? It has the whiff of republicanism–these guys have been hanging around too many Karl Rove disciples.

    For the record, a better approach to excommunciation would be to include a repersentative group from a community of confessors, people in religious life, and those with a spiritual gift for reconciliation and discernment. Lets assess something is really appropriate matter for separation from the Christian community and not an excuse for hierarchy vendettas.

  • You would have declared yourself the winner, huh?

    And by doing so, you would have been just as wrong as you are on virtually every other topic on which you take a position.

  • Todd,

    That various other serious sins do not incur automatic excommunication does not in any sense mean that they are not mortal sins would could, if unreprended, cause the sinner to suffer eternally in hell. How much more serious than that do you really think the Church needs to be?

    I would imagine that the reason that there is penalty of excommunication placed on abortion but not on rape and murder is that there is no dispute as to whether rape and murder are wrong. Excommunication is, after all, not a statement as to the gravity of sin, but rather a means of teaching and correction.

  • Jay, I did not say I would have declared myself the winner. See Todd’s post above–dated May 26

    I think there are no winners here. A lot of heat and no light was generated in these discussions re Sr. Margaret.

  • I find it hideously ironic, but not at all surprising that this statement:

    “A lot of heat and no light was generated in these discussions re Sr. Margaret.”

    followed this statement:

    “I see that most of you have had too much of the pro death anti woman Catholic hierarchy kool-aid.”

    (not to mention the irony of someone who thinks murdering a helpless child can be a pro-life solution to a problem)

  • Lisa,
    There was plenty of light generated. Sorry you didn’t notice.

    Darwin,
    You are correct, of course, and Todd is well aware of it, which makes his comment all the more disingenuous.

  • So when the going gets tough, the tough toss away moral principles? Life is difficult, that is precisely why we have moral principles to guide us with difficult decisions.

    As for ethics panels, I have come across a few in my hospital dealings. Most are concerned about and focus on medical-legal issues, not moral issues. Most medical ethics education is likewise focused on what is legal rather than what is moral.

    Additionally, pulmonary hypertension can be treated through various nonsurgical modalities up to 20 or so weeks without significant increase in risk to the mother, but with higher likelihood of viablity for the fetus. It is the demands of later pregnancy and labor itself that put the heaviest burdens on the circulatory and pulmonary systems (most studies with high maternal mortality rates involved term fetuses). So I am suspect that termination was necessary at 11 weeks.

    Putting all that aside, even assuming termination at 11 weeks was necessary to save the mother, the moral question based upon Catholic teaching is rather straightforward – is the taking of one innocent life justified to save the life of another? Or, can a good end justify using evil means? The answer is clearly “no.”

    But having a clear answer does not make the decision to follow it any easier. I do not doubt it was a difficult decision for all involved, including the Sister. Unfortunately, her sympathies seem to have clouded her judgment (understandable in these circumstances). The purpose of having clear teachings is to give us the right path to take precisely when our judgment is clouded by sympathy, feelings, difficult circumstances, etc.

  • Matt C: I will say again what I have been saying: its easy to be the Monday morning quarterback. You were not at St. Joseph’s when this patient came in, you did not see what Sr. Margaret, the ethics committee and the physicians were seeing. You cannot judge or condemn the actions taken bbecause you do not know the facts.

    Knowing Sr. Margaret and knowing St. Joseph’s–here is what I know: this decision would not have been and was not made without serious thought about what the Catholic healthcare directive say re abortion.

    For all you folks you are so certain that it would be OK to let let the mother die with her baby rather than save her life: I want you to go an ER in any hospital in your city, to see what goes on there and then tell medical staff that they have to let a young woman die because dying is a pro life thing to do. Put your money where your mouth is, so to speak. If you have never been in the ER to see how this works in large urban hospital, then you are in no position to judge Sr. Margaret.

  • Mike, working both within and outside of the Church, I’m aware of the reasons why excommuncation is applied, but also how it is perceived by both non-Catholics and ordinary believers. I reject your suggestion of my being disingenuous. We Catholics always have to be on the lookout for scandal–in this instance the perception of harshness and the disconnect between the gravity of sin and the Church’s use of excommunication.

    I’ve not seen anything publicized about the medical situation, so while some of us have some background in general medical care of pregnant women, it doesn’t appear any of us have the full story.

    We might conclude that if a medical decision suddenly became necessary at 11 weeks, this case was probably outside the norm, and as such, resulted in a higher level of difficulty for those involved.

    Still, the whole episode is curious. I have to point out the general level of distrust among pro-life Catholics.

    And a final poke at this quote:

    “Basically Sister Judith Carle could have cared less …”

    Leaving aside the lack of charity in presuming any of us can discern another’s compassion from a second-hand quote addressing another issue entirely, the quote as taken literally is probably correct. If you want to insult someone, write, “she couldn’t have cared less.” The way this statement was typed literally means Sister Carle had a significant level of compassion, therefore she *could* have cared less.

  • Matt C: there are 4 other things you should know about the situation at St. Joseph’s

    1. St. joseph’s has been a Catholic hospital in Phoenix since 1895 and takes it identity as aCatholic hospital very seriously.

    2. There are 2 healthcare directives in place in Catholic hospitals that concern abortion. under one of those directives abortions are permitted to performed in Catholic hospitals under certain conditions. That is why this is not a black and white/straight forward situation. That is why there are 2 directives on this issue in place in Catholic hopsitals. This why Sr. Margaret and the ethics committee ahd to look at that directive and interpret it.

    3. The ethics committee at St. Joseph’s is concerned with following Catholic teaching–see #1 above. It is not all about medical-legal issues. At St. Joseph’s it is about fidelity to being a Catholic hospital.

    4. Sr. Margaret did not make the decision alone–she is just the public face of the decision. The decision was made by the ethics committee, Sr. Margaret, the physicians caring for the patient and the patient herself.

  • Canon lawyer Fr Thomas Doyle has a written an article that sets out the moral complexities faced by Sr. Margaret and St. Joseph’s Hopsital. It can be found on the online verion of National Catholic Reporter.

    It is called Shades of Gray in a World of Apparent Absolutes. It discussed the Catholic health service directives regarding abrotion in Catholic hospitals and other issues.

    Before you condemn Sr. Margaret read it.

  • “And by doing so, you would have been just as wrong as you are on virtually every other topic on which you take a position.”

    ROFL

    Point to Jay.

  • Todd,

    You are still being disingenous. Aside from presuming, without any evidence whatsoever, that the Bishop may have been cavalier about the facts, you knowingly tender inapt comparisons and now try to justify them by suggesting you were only pointing out how it all might *seem* hypocritical to the uninformed. Your passive-agressive dissembling is embarrassingly ineffective.

    That said, I do agree that any statement that presumes to judge Sister Judith’s level of compassion is out of line (notwithstanding your insufferable pedanticism). Moreover, as I and other comment contributors have already noted, Sister Margaret was in a very difficult situation and good people often do bad things in such situations. But your assertion that we don’t know all the facts, while not entirely unture, is exaggerated. The problem with this assertion is that the Hospital’s own statement admits that a pregnancy was terminated in order to save the mother’s life. An honest person would take the time to look it up before speculating otherwise. Admittedly, it is possible that the Hospital’s statement was inaccurately crafted, but in such a case a clarification would certainly have been subsequently offered. Indeed, I am unaware of any knowledgable party claiming that the Hospital did not directly kill the child. Instead, the claim is simply that such killing should be considered justified relying on the reasoning set forth by Sister Judith.

    I am sympathetic with Sister Margaret, I truly am. And I acknowledge that I do not know what I would have done under such circumstances. We often choose to do the wrong thing when the temptation is great. But Sister Margaret’s precise job was to ensure that the right thing is done in hard cases, and she failed. And this failure was not small matter. While to my knowledge she has not commented on this episode, the Hospital’s statement suggests that the direct termination of a pregnancy can be morally justified if it is sufficiently “life-affirming” or some such thing. That is not Catholic teaching. Period. Full stop. I have no doubt that the excommunication will be promptly lifted the moment Sister Margaret admits her error and expresses remorse; indeed, I speculate that the excommunication’s public declaration would never had occured if Sister Margaret had done so at any time during the intervening months.

  • Mike, for a viewpoint from a canon lawyer take a look at the artcle found on the online edition of National Catholic Reporter.

  • Lisa,
    You seem to have no idea what the two directives you reference actually say. They are two perfectly compatible rules. The first makes it clear that an unborn child, as an innocent, cannot be *directly* killed. Ever. The second clarifies that the death of an unborn child as the *indirect* result of the medical treatment of the mother (i.e., not an abortion) can be justified under the described circumstances even if such death is understood as inevitable or predictible. A termination of a pregnancy (i.e. an abortion) is never permitted under that second directive. None of the statements issued by the Hospital or its board members attempt to argue that a direct abortion was not approved. Instead they argue that the approval of the direct termination was morally licit because the baby was going to die anyway. This explanation cannot be squared with either directive and cannot be squared with Catholic moral teaching.

    It is, I suppose, conceivable that Sister Margaret simply did not have a proper understanding of Catholic teaching and the related moral directives. Such a possiblity is hard to believe given her specific duties at the Hospital, but it more or less is the point being made by Fr. Doyle. Doyle does not really try to defend her action as such, but goes on and on about how excommunication (or at least its public declaration) may have been inappropriate given the extreme pressures she was under, which pressures may have reduced her culpablity to the point where excommunication was inapt. Perhaps, though such an argument would be more convincing if was corroborated by Sister Margaret by word or action. Simply playing the part of the silent victim securing all manner of perverse accolades from the secular (and dissenting Catholic) media is hardly consistent with Fr. Doyle’s theory.

  • Mike, yes I do know what the directives say. I have read them

    As for Sr. Margaret “playing the silent victim”–that is an assumption n your part. I think it is more rreasonable to beleive that the hospital, the Sisters of Mercy, and Catholic Healthcare West have asked, perhpas ordered Sr. Margaret to remain silent until a resoultion can be worked out with the Bisohop and/or until the Sister of Mercy decide on whether Sr. Margaret remains in the order or not.

    You misread Fr. Dayle in respects and merely dismiss the canon lawer as ‘dissenting” how convenient, since his explanation does not fit into your world of absoultes. It si clear from the Fr. Doyle’s article that the situation is not a matter of absolutes.

  • I have to agree with Mike. Nowhere does Fr. Doyle argue that an abortion was not performed – that is, that there was not the direct taking of an unborn life. This is further supported by the quote Fr. Doyle notes:

    “What she did was something very few are asked to do, namely, to make a life-and-death decision with the full recognition that in order to save one life, another life must be sacrificed,” Garvie said. “People not involved in these situations should reflect and not criticize.”

    Clearly, what was done was directly taking one life to save another. That is clearly contrary to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Health Care Services of the USCCB.

    This is distinct from a situation where a drug was given to the other to reduce pulmonary hypertension but, as a foreseeable but unintended consequence, resulted in the death of the unborn child. But again, you can’t say that from the available information, that Sister McBride and St. Joseph’s acted in accord with Catholic directives.

  • But I believe Lisa accepts that one can take a life to save anther. She seems to accept the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. She should also accept the Bush Administration’s enhanced interrogation techniques.

  • Lisa:
    The fact that you read the directives does not convince me you understand them. After all, you presumably read my comment somehow accuse me of dismissing him as “dissenting.”
    That said, I agree that it is possible that Sister Margaret’s silence is imposed. Are you suggesting that if it were not imposed she would be claiming that while her decision was morally wrong it should be understood to have been understandable given the pressures she was under?

    In the end I’m not all that interested in Sister Margaret, or her excommunication. What I am interested in is upholding Catholic moral teaching. And that teaching does not allow for the intentional direct taking of a human life, and the directives you claim to have read make that clear. Whether excommunication occured latae sententiae is a matter of canon law (not moral teaching as such) and whether it should be declared publically is a matter of the Bishop’s prudential judgment. What is not debatable, however, is the principle that a direct killing of an innocent homan life is never permissible. Ever. The Hospital’s statement suggests it believes otherwise, as does Sister Judith’s letter. And apparently you believe so too. We are all entitled to our beliefs, but the belief that an innocent life can be directly and deliberately killed in order to save the life of another is simply not compatable with Catholic moral teaching. That is true even if that life is going to die anyway, though I certainly concede that the outcome is tragic. But Catholic moral teaching is not simply outcome driven. This is why Catholic theologians generally agree that the Hiroshima bombing was morally impermissible even though it is generally accepted to have saved many more lives than it took.

  • Nobody is saying that an abortion was not performed. If read the article from the canon laywer he says that the situation placed Sr. Margaret in a position of “moral powerlessness” and “that Norm 47 interjects a shade of grey that pits the absolute up against the often painful, uncontrollable and unpredictable circumstances of life. The canonical criminality of the choice made by the sister and the others is by no means as cut and dried as it may have seemed to the bishop and his advisors. The canon law on abortion is quite clear. What is also clear is that the same canon law recognizes that real-life situations can be agonizingly complex. In this case the full recitation of the facts (to use the stark canonical terminology) seem to argue for the protection of the sister, the mother and all others involved from the harshness of excommunication rather than for their condemnation.

    He says, “The canonical criminality of the choice made by the sister and the others is by no means as cut and dried as it may have seemed to the bishop and his advisors.”

    If you guys are canon lawyers then you may credibly dispute this. Otherwise you have no credibility in disputing this conclusion. Even the Church’s canon lawyers see this as situation that is not absolute.

    Or as a friend of mine once said: Jesus died to take away or sins, not our brinas.”

  • Sorry about thetypo in the last sentence ther. Let me restate” Or as a friend of mine once said, “jesus died to take away our sins, not our brains.”

  • Sorry guys, you still lack credibility to dispute what the canon lawyer has said.

    Other than that your comments do not warrant my taking time to respond to your silliness.

  • The Fr. Doyle piece I found at NCR does not reference any Canon Law exemptions to abortion. Perhaps you can link your source.

  • Lisa,
    You can appeal to authority till the cows come home, but then you have to acknowledge that a Bishop trumps a canon lawyer, especially one who knows less facts than the bishop. Moreover, you continue to misread Doyle. Doyle is not suggesting that the decision is morally defensible — he’s too careful to do that. He’s making the case that the situation was so difficult and agonizing that she is not sufficiently morally culpable for excommunication to be proper. Read it carefully.

  • I can’t believe that anyone is taking anything Father Doyle says with any seriousness.

    Here is a recent quote from him:

    “FATHER TOM DOYLE: It’s unfortunate that it takes this type of destruction to move it towards change, but that’s what has to happen, I believe. I’m not one anymore to mince words and be diplomatic and fart around with this. I mean, this is it. I’ve spent 25 years talking to people who’ve been ruined because of this stuff, and you know, the whole damn thing, they ought to sell the Vatican to the Mormons or to Disney or something and go out and start all over again.”

    http://enlightenedcatholicism-colkoch.blogspot.com/2010/04/father-tom-doyle-uncensored.html

    Then there was the time back in 2004 when he lost his job as an Air Force Chaplain because he didn’t much like saying Mass:

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/viamedia/2004/04/fr-doyle-loses-his-job.html

    Doyle has become a joke.

  • Donald, there are two sides to every story. that being said, Fr. Doyle is a canon lawyer and you are not. He his education and experience as such give him the credibility to say what he says on the subject of Sr. Margaret. You on the other hand, do not have such education, experience or credibility.

  • It seems Mike is correct again. Fr. Doyle in no way is saying an abortion was not performed. Rather. his complaint is that Sr. McBride was excommunicated. Of course his ire is raised by the clergy sex abuse scandal. This from an NPR interview:

    “But according to the Rev. Thomas Doyle, a canon lawyer, the bishop “clearly had other alternatives than to declare her excommunicated.” Doyle says Olmsted could have looked at the situation, realized that the nun faced an agonizing choice and shown her some mercy. He adds that this case highlights a “gross inequity” in how the church chooses to handle scandal.

    “In the case of priests who are credibly accused and known to be guilty of sexually abusing children, they are in a sense let off the hook,” Doyle says.”

    Note again, he does not say that an abortion was not performed (and which is contrary to the Ethical and Religious Directives which St. Joseph’s was obliged to follow.) And he does not say that abortion in this situation is right. In fact his juxtaposing the abortion and clergy abuse points out that he thinks both are wrong. Fr. Doyles point is that he believes the penalty of excommunication was not warranted.

  • Phillip, everyone agrees that an abortion was performed. There is no dispute about that. The issue is that excommunication should not be the penalty for saving a life when losing two lives would have been the result if the mother had not received medical treatment as it was dtermined that she was in imminent danger of death.

  • Lisa,

    That excommunication IS the penalty for direct abortion (aka willful murder) should not be in question (and is not, in the case of faithful Catholics). What should be in question is “what were the licit alternatives for the health care providers that were not taken, and why?”

  • “agonizingly complex”

    I agree it was an agonizing and emotionally difficult decision. But it really was not that complex. The options were rather straightforward: kill one to increase the chances of survival for the other, or kill neither and treat both as best you can.

  • Chris: the canon lawyer Fr Doyle says that the Church’s own laws do not call for excommunication in this situation. Please read his article posted on the online edition of the National Catholic Reporter.

    Also, Chris, there wer no other options, licit alternatives. The physicians determined that the patient who came into the hopsital was in imminent danger of death due to the her medical condition, and that immediately terminating the pregnancy (the fetus was 11 weeks old and would not have survived outside the womb and would not have survived the mother’s death) was the only option. Without immediate medical intervention, both mother and fetus would have died. So the choice was lose two lives or perform an abortion and save one life.

  • Lisa

    The way you were presenting it was that St.Joseph’s was following the Ethical and Religious Directives for a Catholic Hospital. Those state that abortions may not be done under any circumstances. But since you agree that an abortion was done, St. Joseph’s wasn’t acting in accord with the Directives.

  • Matt, the choice was complex. The physicians determined that the patient was in immineent danger of death when she came to the hospital Ther was no option to “treat both as best you can”. The only options were to let the woman and her 11 week old fetus both die (at 11 weeks the fetus could not have survived outside the womb and would not have survived the death of the mother). Or save the patient’s life by performing an abortion. If there were options to treat both, this situation would not have arisen.

  • Exactly, Phillip. Doyle never even suggests that an abortion did not occur or that such abortion was not morally wrong. He instead argues that the situation was so difficult that the penalty of excommunication may not have applied given that Sister Margaret may have subjectively viewed her options as impaired. This requires a level of subjective analysis that frankly does not interest me, even though I concede it may be warranted. Sister Margaret deserves to be treated fairly, of course. And that means that the real world pressure she was under must be taken into account. But what cannot be accepted is any disagreement as to the validity of Catholic teaching, which plainly does not permit the direct termination of a pregnancy even to preserve the life of the mother and even if the unborn child would die without the mother. People sin. In many cases in very understandable ways. It seems reasonably clear to me (any lack of certainty has to do with facts I have not bothered to study) that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were morally wrong even though they saved lives. That said, I can’t say that I believe that makes Truman a bad person. The choice he made was quite understandable, and presumably quite forgivable, given the terrible circumstances and options. The same is almost certainly the case here. And in all honesty I cannot say with certainty that I would not have made the same decisions as President Truman and Sister Margaret. It is the nature of being a sinner. But while Sister Margaret’s personal and subjective moral culpability can be understood to be both uncertain and diminished by circumstances, the objective moral nature of the act is not. The Bishop has an obligation to teach clearly and he has satisfied that obligation. Whether such obligation could have been better satisfied without declaring the excommunication is likely a prudential question on which reasonable people may differ. But Sister Margaret did not live up to her obligation to apply Catholic moral teaching with integrity. While the failure was certainly understandable given the circumstances, her defenders would do better to concentrate on why those circumstances suggest mercy and understanding are in order rather than try to justify a killing that cannot be justified.

  • Mike, you are way off base about Sr. margaret. She has always served God, the Sisters of Mercy, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Catholic Healthcare West with integrity. I know her. You do not.

    She and the ethics committee interpreted the Catholic healthcare directives correctly, as permitting an abortion in the situation that they were presented with. This was done with integrity. Saving a life is a pro life position. Allowing both to die would have abeen a pro-death, immoral, unethical and criminal act.

  • Lisa,
    I think the issue is about more than just the excommunication. I’ll let the bishop sort that out with canon lawyers, especially since applicable rules require some analysis of subjective intent, etc. The real issue is whether the abortion in question is morally justified. Fr. Doyle carefully avoids even suggesting it was. The reason for that is simply that it cannot be justified under Catholic moral teaching. Your posts suggest that you believe that the abortion was morally acceptable given the choice of outcomes. Fr. Doyle never said that, and I suspect he never would, for the simple reason that he does not dissent from this teaching. He simply believes that excommunication may be the wrong penalty under the circumstances.

  • Lisa,
    Those directives do not permit an abortion. Period. If you think they do then you simply cannot read.

  • Lisa,

    Mike is correct again. Go to page 26 of the Directives item # 45. Abortion is never permitted.

  • Mike and Phillip, its you all who cannot read. You cannot stop at Directive 45. Directive 47 says this ( a direct quote for USCCB Ehtical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services):

    “Operations, treatments, and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viable, even if they will result in the death of the unborn child.”

    This is the directive that used at St. Joseph’s in November 2009 to decide the situation we are discussion.

  • Lisa, to quote you:

    “So the choice was lose two lives or perform an abortion and save one life.”

    Putting aside the accuracy of that statement in presenting the viable choices, that is not a complex decision – kill one to save the other, or don’t kill one and do the best you can. That is not complex – it may be emotionally difficult and agonizing, but we are talking about a rather clear application of moral decision making. Its not like you are trying to evaluate seven different courses of interlocking decisions – it’s kill one to save the other, or don’t.

  • Lisa,
    You need to read more carefully. Directive 47 is perfectly consistent with Directive 45, which obviously it has to be. While Directive 45 states that the direct killing of a fetus (abortion) is always morally prohibited, Directive 47 explains that other medical procedures (i.e., non-abortions) can be used to treat a pregnant mother even if they cause *indirectly* (as a double effect) the death of the unborn child. For example radiation used to cure a pregnant mother’s cancer may be permissible even if it is understood that such radiation will be lethal to the child. Directive 47 is merely an expression of the doctrine of double effect which has been an element of Catholic moral theology since first expressed by St. Thomas Aquinas. It is well established that Directive 47 does not permit a direct termination of a pregnancy. I do not dispute that the Hospital has claimed to rely on Directive 47, but such reliance is misplaced if used to justify a direct abortion as any Catholic ethicist can tell you. While I can fully appreciate the pressures felt by Sister Margaret when confronted with such horribly difficult circumstances, her decision simply cannot be justified by reliance on Directive 47 assuming that decision was to permit the direct taking of the life of the baby. Further, it strains credibility to believe that she could actually think so, given her resonsibilities regarding Hospital ethical matters.

  • Matt,

    In his article on the subject, Fr. Daoyle called the decision “agonizingly complex”. It his, as a canon lawyer, characterization of the situation

  • I am beginning to wonder if English may not be Lisa’s first language, and therefore she is having difficulty applying the two directives in conjunction with each other. Dir 45 is an overriding statement of clear position that abortion cannot be done regardless of circumstance. 45 therefore sets the limits on consideration of what operations, treatments and medications can be allowed that may result unintentionally in the death of the fetus, which is directive 47. She is reading things backwards in a sense – she interprets 47 as abrogating the restriction of 45, when the opposite is true – 45 is a limitation on 47 (you can do the other operations, treatements and medications as long as they are not abortions, ie., the intentional direct killing of the fetus). In other words, you could use chemotherapy directed at attacking cncerous cells in the body, which foreseeably but unintentionally, also kill the fetus. But you could not do a chemical abortion, which its only object is to kill the fetus, not other tissue.

  • c matt,
    You are right, of course. What makes this case more difficult (though not more complex) is the apparent claim that “doing the best you can” would have lead to two deaths rather than one, as opposed to more typical cases which involve only one death or perhaps more uncertain outcomes. But while agonizing and difficult, the morally correct answer is perfectly clear.
    As I explained above, a person is not morally permitted to shoot an innocent person in order to save two lives, even of one of those lives is the innocent he would shoot. This is not to suggest that the decision to not sin in this case is easy. To the contrary it would be exceedingly difficult, but the moral calculus is easy.
    Good people can choose to sin for good reasons. But sin it still is. I am not morally permitted to shoot a dying comrade on the battle field, even if he cannot be saved and is in horrible agony. Knowing that, I still might do it. I’m fallen and weak, which is why I need God’s mercy. But I would never doubt the sinfulness of my act.

  • As a canon lawyer, his characterization of the moral complexity of the situation is not much better than anyone else’s, except perhaps with the canon law issues presented (and the only cannon law issue presented, as far as I can tell, is whether Sr. incurred LS Excommunication). If he was referring to “agonizingly complex” with respect to the canon law issue, he may well be correct, but I am not as interested in that aspect.

  • Lisa,
    A canon lawyer has no special charism in the area of Catholic moral teaching. Rather, he or she deals with the Catholic legal system, which is why Fr. Doyle addressed the legal issue of excommunication rather than the morality of the abortion.

  • I don’t want to get too hung up on the concept of “complex.” My only beef with using the term “complex” is that, as Mike states, the correct moral position is clear, and using “complex” implies that it isn’t. It may be difficult and challenging to accept or follow, there may be legitimate doubts about the extent of culpability, but it is clear.

  • Yes, Englsih is my first language. The issue here is that Directive 47 allows oeprations or treatment that may result in the death of afetus. In the situation at St. Joseh’s ther was only one oepration/treatment available to save at least one life–that was to terminate the pregnancy. That is why it was interpreted that way it was at St. Joseph’s in November 2009. You guys are looking at thing too simplistically. And no canon lawywers have no special charism in the area of moral teaching. But they know more about it than you do, Mike.

    And once more, I will say that allowing two lives to die is a pro-death position. To save the life of the mother in this situation was a pro-life, moral (because saving a woman’s life has moral value), ethical, Christ-like decision. And like Christ, Sr. Margaret is being crucified by a heartless, out-of-touch, immoral, imperial, imperious hierarchy.

    As one commentator has stated, Sr. Margaret’s biography more closely resembles that of Jesus than does Bishop Olmsted’s.

  • Invincible ignorance.

  • “In the situation at St. Joseh’s ther was only one oepration/treatment available to save at least one life–that was to terminate the pregnancy.”

    Quite untrue:

    http://www.wisn.com/health/17994163/detail.html

  • Lisa,

    Let’s say directive 45 said that murder is never permitted. Let’s say directive 47 said that one can use sufficient force to stop an attacker and that, if in the course of the use of that force, one killed the attacker, then that would not be murder. One cannot then say that if one murders that article 47 clears the way for that.

    Murder in this case is directly taking an innocent life. Self-defence is protecting one’s life with appropriate use of force. What is directly intended is using force necessary for stopping the unjust attack. If in the course of the use of that force, one kills one’s attacker, that was not directly intended and is licit.

    In abortion, all abortions, one is directly taking the life of an unborn child. When one uses medications or surgeries that treat an illness, such as using chemo or hysterectomy for a cancerous uterous, one in the former may and definitely in the latter will cause the death of the unborn child. But in those cases it is not directly intended. The intention is to treat a disease with the medical means necessary that secondarily results in death.

    Thus 45 prohibits all direct forms of taking the life of an unborn. 47 allows medical procedures that do not do so directly and are licit treatments for the disease in question.

  • “Sr. Margaret’s biography more closely resembles that of Jesus…”

    Oh for goodness sake. None of us are the second person of the Holy Trinity! Furthermore, this isn’t a holiness contest. And if it were, neither you nor I would be the judge.

    I don’t have a problem with the idea that you personally feel that Sr. Margaret’s decision was the morally correct one. I think, for instance, that Orthodox Jewish moral teaching would agree with you, and that is a body of moral teaching which I respect.

    What I do have a problem with is that you don’t see, or seemingly won’t even try to consider, that according to the standard Catholic moral teaching this was not the correct decision.

    I think you are thinking of “pro-life” as meaning that we have to do what brings about the most life for the most people, with life being an absolute good. But that is not quite right. Being “pro-life” means that we are against the unjust killing of human beings by other human beings. The most important thing is not that no one should die, but that no one should kill. The question moral theology asks is not “Did anyone die?” but “Did anyone sin?”

    Behind this is clearly the understanding that are lives in this world are brief in any case, but our souls are immortal. Catholic moral theology does not make a calculus of the relative amount of suffering to be caused by one decision or another, or at least it does not do that until way down on the ladder of criteria; the first criteria is whether the act considered is in itself objectively allowed or forbidden by God. God forbids us deliberately to kill the innocent. What was being contemplated was a deliberate, direct act, of killing an innocent human being. NO intention can make this licit. And the moral calculus stops right there. The outcome may be sad; it may cause suffering in this life, but we aren’t entitled to decide that this overrules God’s command.

    I think I see how you are reading the two directives. You are taking them as 1. a general principle, and 2. an allowable exception.
    That is not how they were intended. They are 1. an absolute principle, and 2. other situations -not exceptions to the principle, to which there are none- but different kinds of situations which do not fall under the principle. Number two is there for the situation in which you start chemotherapy to cure a woman’s cancer even though this will incidentally kill her developing baby. The ACT of starting chemotherapy is not intrinsically immoral. The saving of the mother’s life is brought about by the action of the chemotherapy against the cancer NOT by the death of the unborn child.

    I can see how reading these two directives, just as words not written in the context of a tradition of moral theology, could be taken the way Sr. Margaret says she took them. But for her to have done that in good faith she would have to have been ignorant of their context in Catholic moral theology. She would have had to be ignorant that the second directive was invoking double effect, and that double effect clearly states you cannot bring about a good end by an intrinsically evil act, and specifically, in mother/baby situations, that you cannot save a mother’s life by directly taking the life of the unborn child. It is difficult to believe that she could be ignorant that this is what traditional Catholic moral theology teaches. However, perhaps she was ignorant. Perhaps she really did not grasp the concept of an intrinsically evil act which cannot be redeemed by ANY intention or by ANY set of painful circumstances. Your reaction shows that this is a foreign idea to some people in these times. If she acted in good faith, although wrongly, she would not be morally culpable for her decision. Perhaps in that situation the latae sententia excommunication would not apply. But when her bishop advises her that it was the wrong decision, explains what the Catholic moral teaching is, and she refuses to say, “Oh, well, then, I was mistaken, then she becomes culpable. In which case perhaps a direct excommunication at that point would be more appropriate. That we will leave to the canon lawyers.

    I’d just like to get you to see that there is more than one set of moral paradigms which can be applied in a situation, and that the one you are using, and that I suspect Sr. Margaret was using, involving letting the most people live, and bringing about the least suffering in this life, is not the one that the Church uses. The Church asks if an act is sin and she is first of all concerned with the eternal destiny of the soul. I’d really like to get you to see this point, even if you disagree violently!

    Susan Peterson

  • ” OUR lives in this world” My brain incresingly is doing this to my with homonymns.

    Susan Peterson

  • increasingly!

  • Well said, Susan. Very well said.

  • The problem is “allowing the death of a fetus” is a completely different moral act than “killing the fetus”. 45 prohibits the killing of a fetus; 47 does not allow the killing of a fetus.

    Perhaps this is the issue you (and others) seem to have – you are unable to distinguish between the moral significance of “allowing the death of” and “directly killing”.

    Actually, there are probably many moral first principles upon which we do not agree, and therefore further attempts to discuss the matter are likely to be fruitless. Such as

    1. one may not do an evil act to bring about a good end

    2. some acts are always and everywhere evil, regardless of why you do them.

  • Yes, Susan, very well said.

    And on top of all of this, there is the difficulty of distinguishing between knowing what one should do in these situations, and the obvious sympathy one has for what someone would do in these situations.

  • Yes, English is my first language.

    I hope you did not take offense to my asking, I was sincerely inquiring as you never know from where commenters hail.

  • Again you all espouse a pro-death position. Wishing that the patient involved had died–because this would be “good” and not recognizing the moral value of avinga woman’s life.

    A double standard is applied by the hierarchy to women and this is a case in paoint–in regard to Sr. Margaret, the decision at St. Joseph’s, and the patient.

    The old Lord Acton truism, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” applies in spades to the Catholic hierarchy. You all are drinking the kool-aid from an absolutely corrupt pool. The hierarchy has not moral credibility.

    Donald McClarey: You were not at the hospital when the patient came in. Her physicians who were present determined that she was in danger of imminent death and that the only way to save her was via termination of the pregnancy. You have no right or credibility to second guess the diagnosis or the judgment of the medical professionals involved.

  • Actually I would say vincible ignorance, as she clearly has the opportunity to learn. Just that the current culture has numbed her conscience.

  • I think until we have more facts we have to leave aside the possibility that the doctors were wrong about the medical situation, and consider the moral situation if they were right.

    Lisa, did you even TRY to think about what I wrote?

    I think you should stop saying “The hierarchy” and start saying “The Church.” This is not a position of particular bishops as individuals, but a position developed by moral theologians in the church over a long period of time. In fact…can you even begin to imagine that any of the fathers of the church would have approved a direct abortion for any reason?

    No one said it would be “good” that the woman died. We are saying that it would be worse for someone to commit the sin of killing the unborn child.

    Why do you keep bringing in the ‘women’ thing? Do you imagine that this principle would be applied differently to men? Men don’t get pregnant but there are lifeboat situations …which are not just hypotheticals; people have experienced them. For instance; there are too many people for the supplies in the lifeboat and if all stay in the lifeboat, there is no hope it will get to land before all the men in it die of thirst. If two are chosen by lot to be thrown overboard, the remaining six will live, otherwise all will die.
    It isn’t permitted to kill those two men to save the lives of the other six. And the result is 8 dead rather than six alive, two dead. Would you call this a “pro-death” position? Would you say that throwing two men overboard was a prolife action? With modern search and rescue by air this sort of thing is less common just as mother vs baby situations are less common, but they have occurred and could still occur. I really think you need to drop the hermaneutic of feminist outrage!

    Susan Peterson

  • To answer the moral question, we do not need to second guess the medical judgments, we can take them at face value (although in our legal system we ask jurors of 12 complete laymen with no medical experience to second guess medical judgments of doctors all the time).

    And medical judgments are just that, judgments. Even within the medical community, they disagree all the time. It would not be surprising that considerations of legal fallout (particularly for the physicians) played a not inconsiderable role in making the determination.

  • “Donald McClarey: You were not at the hospital when the patient came in. Her physicians who were present determined that she was in danger of imminent death and that the only way to save her was via termination of the pregnancy. You have no right or credibility to second guess the diagnosis or the judgment of the medical professionals involved.”

    Baloney. 28 years practicing law has taught me that neither attorneys nor doctors are God. Both attorneys and doctors make plenty of mistakes and keep the courts busy as a result.

    There is evidence here that alternative treatment existed by which both the child and the mother might have lived. Those who support the killing of the child have a burden to establish that there was no alternative to save both mother and child, before they make the argument that it was either the life of the mother or the life of the child and that it was not possible to save both. No evidence has thus far been brought forward to indicate that any treatment was even considered before the hospital’s “ethics” committee approved the slaying of the unborn child.

  • c. Matt: re the physicians: If they ahd let the patient die, that would have beena criminal act under AZ homicide statutes and it would have been medical malpractice–and of course it would have been immoral.

    In medical malpractice trials, jurors weigh evidence based upon testimony from expert witnesses. since we are delaing with a trial, we have to beleive that physicians involved could recognize that the patient was in imminent danger of death.

    Donald, I am also an attorney and of course MDs make mistakes. But you have no basis on which to assume that one was made in the situation we are discussing.

    Susan, I say hierarchy because it is the hierarchy that makes decision re Church teaching. It is not the Church as a whole. And as for “woman thing” or the hermaneutic of feminist outrage”: Sorry you are uncomfortable with the truth. What was done to Sr. Margaret is grossly unjust. Have you not been paying attention to how the hierarchy operates? Women are second class citizens in the Church. Double standards are always applied to Catholic women by the hierarchy. Shutting women out of the Vatican has resulted in a corrupt hierarchy, unhealthy/immature attitudes re sexuality, a foucs on retaining feudal/medieval privelege. The hierarchy does not value women. That is why it has an obsessive focus on how on pregnant women should behave. If men got pregnant, we would see the hierarchy singing a different tune–becaue that is the pattern.
    When the hierarchy spends as much time and energy on making certain no child in the world does go to bed hungry as it does on on oppressing women and sexullay abusing children, hiding it, lying about it, refusing to be accountable for it, then I will believe the they have some moral credibility. Until then, the idea that it is “good’ and “moral” for a woman to die along with her unviable fetus is just wrong, wrong, wrong and pro-death.

  • Lisa, you have jumped the shark.

  • C Matt: nope, just stating the obvious facts.

  • Ok, I tried to reason with Lisa, I tried to get her to see that there is more than one moral framework which can be applied here, and the Church’s is different from the one she is using.

    She has never once shown that she has apprehended a single thing anyone here has said to her. She hasn’t shown that she has tried.
    I just hope that she is not typical of the type of moral reasoning which is practiced by the ethics committee at this hospital.

    My conclusion is “not amenable to reason.”

    Susan Peterson

  • Afraid you hit the nail on the head, Susan. “Just stating the obvious facts,” it’s clear that Lisa is not amenable to reason. That she thinks spouting anti-Catholic platitudes unworthy of Rosie O’Donnell is somehow profound and will sway our thinking is laughable.

  • How very harsh and judgemental of you Susan! Are you related to Bishop Olmsted by chance? Or have just shared some kool-aid with him lately?

    The moral framework I am using is not put place by a corrupt hierarchy that tries to convince pepole it speaks for God. My moral framework is a pro-life not a pro-death framework, ie it is the basic Judeo-Christian moral framework that says life is the highest good.

  • Susan,

    I doubt her purpose here is to be amenable to reason. I doubt she’s interested in being open to what you have said. Her purpose here is to advocate on behalf of a viewpoint at odds with Catholic moral teaching, and part of said advocacy is to paint that teaching and the Bishops who espouse it as morally degenerate.

    She obviously knows Sr. Margaret personally and is obviously primarily concerned with rehabilitating her at the expense of the Bishops, Catholic moral teaching, and, indeed, the truth. In that regard, she paints the Church’s moral theology as twisted, uncaring, and, in fact, really “pro-death”; meanwhile, evil is called good and abortion called “really pro-life” in an effort to absolve Sr. Margaret (and, it seems, herself) from any culpability.

    And now, having already dragged out the Galileo card, and having hinted around the edges of argumentam ad pedophilium, she pulls out the last refuge of the theological left: the “judmental” card. Almost as pathetic as it is predictable.

  • No, Lisa, I am just a Catholic.

    I am only judging the quality of your thought processes as displayed here.

    Catholics do believe that the magisterium of the Church speaks with divine authority in certain specifically defined areas.

    “the basic Judeo-Christian moral framework” -a lot of people deny that there is sufficient commonality to justify the term “Judeo-Christian” and there are most certainly different, as witness the difference between Orthodox Judaism and Catholicism on this particular issue, but OK, we’ll let this one pass

    “that says life is the highest good.” Are you reading what you write?
    Christianity most certainly does not say that life is the highest good!
    Did the Christians who suffered torture and death rather than burn a pinch of incense to the Roman emperor believe that live is the highest good?
    Luther, in the Reformation standard, “A Mighty Fortress is our God’
    “Let goods and kindred go/ this mortal life also/ the body they may kill/ God’s truth abideth still/ His Kingdom is forever. ”

    Fr. Faber, in “Faith of Our Fathers” ” Our fathers chained in prisons dark/ Were still in heart and conscience free/ Happy would be their children’s fate/ If we like them/ could die for thee. ” (He was writing about the English martyrs under Elizabeth. )

    GOD is the highest good, and for human beings, union with Him. The good for which we are made is the Beatific Vision.

    Why did God make me? He made me to know, love, and serve HIm in this life, and to be happy with Him forever in the next. Are you too young to remember that? Just an old catechism, but a great truth to memorize, helping to keep priorities straight.

    As for Judaism, I can’t speak with great knowledge about it, but I do know that Orthodox Jews are taught that there are some actions which one should die rather than do.

    Wikipedia
    Yehareg ve’al ya’avor (“Let him be killed rather than transgress”) refers to the requirement to give one’s life rather than transgress a law. Although ordinarily one is permitted to transgress halakha when a life is in danger, certain situations require one to give his life.
    Three exceptional sins
    There are three sins for which one is always required to die rather than transgress:
    idolatry
    sexual misconduct such as incest, adultery, and homosexuality (see sexual immorality prohibited by Torah)
    murder
    The above three are ruled as being exceptions by the Talmud. In tractate Sanhedrin 74a, the Talmud records: “Rav Yochanan said in the name of Rav Shimon ben Yehotzadak: ‘It was decided by a vote in the loft of the house of Nitezeh in Lod: For all the sins in the Torah, if a man is told, ‘Transgress and you will not be killed,’ he should transgress and not be killed, except for idol worship, sexual relations and bloodshed.’” A Jew must sacrifice his/her life rather than transgress the above-mentioned sins.

    So even for Judaism, life is not the highest good.

    Susan Peterson

  • “there are most certainly differences” why can’t I proofread until I have posted! i think I do …

  • Lisa’s moral framework, whether she wishes it or not, is one in which the innocent can be killed for the sake of another. That includes, as she has admitted, that the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are justified. She may not wish to admit it, but there is not reason to reject the Bush Administration’sw interrogation practices or for that matter, to limit enhanced interrogation techniques to what was done. If fact, and what she will not admit to or not be able to see, her moral framework allows just about anything to be done if the right reason can be found.

    She will decry this as silliness. But she will not be able to say why it is so.

  • Umm, are we overlooking that Bishop Olmsted has a doctorate in canon law? Not that I would expect anyone to dismiss a bishop’s teaching because he wasn’t a canon lawyer, but since some give more moral weight to a canon lawyet, I would think a canonist who has teaching authority from the Church would carry a tad bit more influence.

  • “… Bishop Olmsted has a doctorate in canon law …”

    RL,
    Please don’t confuse people with facts that contradict the so-called “obvious facts” that are, apparently, “obvious” only to those completely uninterested in what the Church actually teaches.

  • Susan,

    To add to your salient point re: Judaism, I’d add the Battle of Masada, where the remaining Jews chose to die by each others’ hands than on Roman spearpoints. (while this differs with Catholic teaching, obviously, it serves to support your point that life is not always considered the highest good)

  • Abraham, Isaac, the Maccabees, and countless other Jews in the old testament, certainly did not value life as the highest good. I don’t know where she is getting that from.

  • In fact, even many pagans recognized that mortal life itself was not the highest good – death with honor, making it to Valhalla or the Elysian Fields or wherever. Even they had a sense that the after life was more important than the mortal one.

    Only an athiest, it seems, would have such a view of things. And then, only if he ascribed to the nonsensical concept of “good” in an athiest world.

  • sorry, that s/b atheist.

  • Well, I’m going to say this: Lisa Kaiser has earned my respect. I’ve never seen anyone argue with this many people for this long, except me.

    She’s a com-box warrior.

  • I echo Joe’s sentiments.

    Though she is woefully wrong on most points, she certainly has the stamina to engage with so many.

  • I disagree. Stamina to argue is an overrated value. She has no appetite to listen, and that is far more valuable.

  • On the other hand, Lisa’s opponents have tried often enough turn this thread into a discussion about her. Staying focused on the issue is certainly not an overrated value.

  • I’m with Mike on this one. Stubbornly clinging to error after it’s been refuted is no virtue.

  • I don’t know if I have stamina or not–I am just an old litigator who like many attorneys does not believe in accepting anything at face value. And that includes blind adherence to man-made rules. In Jewish Scripture there is only one reference to induced abortion–and that only is a discussion of legal penalties for hitting a pregnant woman that results in the death of the fetus. For killing the fetus, the perpetrator pays a a monetary fine to the woman’s husband. If the woman dies also as a result of the blow, that was considered a capital offense.

    The Gospels are of course silent on the issue. As are Acts, the Epistles and the Book of Revelation.

    Jewish theology/medical ethics see the life of the woman and fetus as equal and in most cases, there is preference for the life of the woman.

    And I will stick by my assertion that that in Judeo-Christian theology the highest good is life. I thinks its illogical that some of you who post here and consider yourselves pro-life argue against this. The first commandment that God gives people as a whole is to “be frutiful and multiply.” God created life and this Genesis continues (the astrophysicist Edwin Hubble tells us that space continues to expand–so who know what other life may be out there?). And in the Hebrew, what is often translated as in the Beginning God created..” can be translated in the Hebrew as “in the beginning of God’s creating…”.

    The Church can create its rules, but that does not mean that these rules are God’s rules or that these are right. to blindly accept them with out critical analysis is negating God’s gift of intellect. And it does the Church as whole no good. I just do not believe that the Church is without error. Only God is without error. Popes, cardinals and bishops (or canon lawyers or moral theologieans) are not God.
    If the Church is to be a living entity–then it must have light and fresh air and it must change. Living things changes. Only dead things or inorganic things do not change. To refuse to change is to die–that is true of all living species of cretures on earth and it is true of institutions. The Church’s refusal to see moral value in the life of women, its near idol worship of the unborn, its resounding indifference to children after they are born, its secrecy/living in darkness, its insistence on preserving feudal/meieval privelege for the hierarchy, etc, etc, has and will continue to empty the pews. If the Church continues like it is, refusing to cahnge–it will cease to be a living entity.

  • Actually, it was the use of the intellect by men and women over hundreds of years that have developed this teaching. One which you have consistently refused to address besides using tired pro-abortion rhetoric. Unfortunately, if Sister McBride thinks as you do, the bishop was most certainly correct.

  • Phillip, I am not pro-abortion. My position is that is an oxymoron for the Church to say it is prolife in advocatiing that the moral thing to do was to let both mother and baby die in the situation we are discussing. That is pro-death. Sr. Margaret made a pro-life decision in saving the life of the mother in a situation where both mother and baby could not have been saved. Saving the life of the mother in this situation was the moral, pro-life thing to do.
    Death, as advocated by Bishop Olmsted and others, is not pro-life.

  • >>to blindly accept them with out critical analysis
    >>is negating God’s gift of intellect.

    Translation: If I don’t agree then you’re stupid.

  • MarineBrat, Since I don’t know you, I cannot comment as to whether you are stupid or not.

    I will jsut repeat what I said in an earlier post,

    Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins, not our brains. Man-made laws are should always be subject to critical analysis and revision. Blindly adhering to something is just being a mindless drone. And does honor God’s givt of intellect.

  • Again, you haven’t engaged the substance of the posts above that point out why the Church’s position is pro-life and yours is pro-abortion. Yes, if you advocate for abortion in some circumstances, you are to some degree pro-aboriton.

  • Phillip–by that logic, when you advocate for death in some situations,as does Bishop Olmsted and the Church, then you are pro-death.

    Sr. Margare is pro-life because she advocated for saving a life rather than losing two lives. I think that is a pretty clear statement of my position.

    The Church’s “rule” that would advocate for both other and baby to die in the situation we are discussing is NOT pro-life. It IS pro-death. Advocating death is being pro-death.

    I can’t be any plainer than that. It is not pro-lfe or aoral to let both die when one can be saved. The mother’s life is a life and it moral to save her. That is being pro-life Th baby in this situation could not have been saved per the assessment of the medical professionals who actually were present with the patient, saw her and knew what the medical situation was at the time.

  • So if we have two patients in the same hospital ward, one diagnosed with terminal cancer and the other with terminal heart disease. Nothing known can prevent the death of the cancer patient, but the heart disease patient could certainly benefit from a heart transplant. As fate would have it the cancer patient’s blood and tissue match the heart patient. Under Lisa’s reasoning if after a lot of hand wringing it would be a pro-life decision to kill the cancer patient to harvest their heart so that the heart patient may live. The object is the same, directly killing one innocent person to save the life of another.

    I suspect Lisa will be repulsed by that idea, as she should. However, if one considers a child in the womb as having the same dignity as those outside the womb it is the same thing.

  • Nope Lisa, we are allowing death and not causing it. A big difference.

  • Phillip, sorry but “allowing” death when a life can be saved is not being pro-life. And is it legally and morally culpable homicide in the case of medical professionals in a hospital. In the istuation we are discussing, not treating the mother is causing a death of a human being–her death. Inaction is not justified when a life can be saved. And again, saving the life of the mother has moral value!!!!!

    RL, you are incorrect. My position is NOT that that it would be moral to kill the cancer patient. In the real-world situation we are discussiing, which is different from your hypothetical of 2 independent lives, only one life could be saved. That of the mother’s. If left untreated she and the baby (11 weeks in utero) would have died. Again, there is nothing pro-life about allowing 2 deaths, when one could be saved.

  • Touche Lisa. Nice one. But you’re wasting your time if you think the Church is going to follow your special wants and desires. That’s what Universalist churches are for. Anything goes there, and you can meld your religion to your dictates.

  • It may be so legally but not according to Catholic morality. And that is what is in question here. And since Sr. McBride violated that morality, she was properly excommunicated.

  • MarineBrat, I certainly do not think the Church is going to change its rules. My opinion (and that of a lot other folks as well) is that in this isntance the Church is wrong and is acting in a wrongful manner toward Sr. Margaret.

    She has been a long-time and faithful servant of the Church and of the Sisters of Mercy. And while upholding his interpretation of the rules of the Church, Bishop Olmsted could have been compassionate and expressed his regret and sorrow re the situation. Instead he wielded his crosier like a club. You may want to take alook at the Web site of the Diocese of Phoenix tosee exactly how harsh the Bishop was.

  • Phillip, my point is that theat the man-made law of the Church has resulted in an unjust result in what was an untenable situation for Sr. Margaret, the ethics committee, any any other Catholic involved.

    The Torah called for the stoning of adulerers. But when Jesus came across a crowd looking to stone a woman caught in adultery, he stopped it because it was unjust.

    As Lord Acton remind us, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That is what we are seeing in the Church hierarchy today. Today’s hierarchy would not have stopped the stoning. As we have seen, they are the first to throw the stones.

  • The penalty may be man-made (and easily remedied by Sr McBride repenting) but the prohibition against actively killing is God’s law. This is not a matter of power corrupting, it is the Church being faithful.

  • Phillip, the penalty is man-made and could be changed by the hierarchy recognizing that saving the life of the woman in this case is being pro-life!! That her death would have been a case of actively killing her. You ignore that 2 lives were involved here.

    And of course we do not know what Sr. Margaret has done or not done since all this has come to light. And really, only God knows the state of her soul.

    And yes, this all one more manifestation of the hierarchy being corrupt. it picks and chooses what rules it want to enforce and with whom to enforce them. Part of the problem here is that priests and bishops have actively committed grave moral and criminal offenses against children and have not been excommunicated–when they could have been and should have been. this is the hierarchy coming down hard in a bad istuation to deflect criticism re its sytematic moral turpitude in the treatment of children in the US and in other nations.

    The hieriarchy is concerned about maintaining its priveleges and its power–that is why it insists on orthodoxy re its man-made rules. Its why the Jesus who stopped the stoning of the woman, despite the rule in palce about it, would not recognize these guys who wear miters and carry crosier as His followers.

  • The man-made penalty could be changed, the moral truth that one cannot directly take a life cannot.

    But the penalty is in force now and Sr. McBride knew it. Thus she incurred the penalty. Easy enough for her to get out of it also.

  • Again, Phillip, not treating the woman would have been taking her life. The church’s rule is pro-death and unjust in this situation.

    If Sr. Margaret has not repented, why should she? Why should she cooperate with the Church’s injustice in this instance? FYI, this a rhetorical question. The obvious anser, is that hoepfully she would not cooprate with the Church’s injustice in this situation by repenting a n action was pro life and not pro death.

  • Broken Record

    I read Bishop Olmsted’s statement, and heartily concur. Is someone still giving Episcopal Spine awards? He deserves one!

    Susan Peterson

  • I am the mother of five beautiful children and one angel in heaven. After the birth of my first child, I experienced excruciating pain and my blood pressure began to drop. Ectopic pregnancy. Truly, both my baby and I would have both died had I not had surgery to remove the baby and fallopian tube.

    My husband consulted our priest who advised that I should go ahead with this operation so I could raise our young child.

    My child’s life was not sustainable. The fallopian tube had burst — an environment in which the baby could not have grown and thrived –and I was bleeding–I lost two pints of blood and would have bled to death.

    Please don’t judge this ethics committee. Like me, when there is an ectopic pregnancy, both mother and child can die.

    I will pray that Sister Margaret forgives those who judge her. This was not a ‘pro-death’ decision. I went on to have four more children who are beautiful and bring God’s love to this world.

  • Lisa’s still fighting!

    Keep your chin up 🙂

  • I think murder is much more serious that rape, even child rape-which is what molestation is.

    That said, if both mother and child were truly going to die without any action on the doctor’s part than choosing to have an abortion seems to be the only moral choice.

    Choosing not to have an abortion would not have saved the baby’s life in this cause and thus does not appear to be Pro-Life.

    I know this is not an easy situation to deal with but when faced with an industry that makes a profit by embracing and causing the death of the unborn it makes little sense to demand that both unborn and mother die instead.

  • RL an interesting analogy.

    But let me point out that the life of the cancer patent was not in the process of causing the death of the patent with heart disease.

  • pplr
    So the life of the baby was in the process of causing the death of the patient with heart disease? This almost sounds as if it is the baby’s fault so it deserves to die! I am guessing though that you don’t mean that. But no, it was the heart disease was causing her death. Pregnancy was an increased strain, showing that heart disease had progressed to the point that her body could not sustain a normal female life function.

    In any case, this is PRECISELY what you cannot do-save one life by taking another. In any circumstance, lifeboat, starvation, two people trapped in a caved in building, or a mother baby situation, you can’t bring about a good end by an intrinsically evil act.

    Susan, the situation of an ectopic pregnancy in a fallopian tube has traditionally being treated as a double effect situation; the tube is considered a diseased or defective organ which can be removed, incidentally and unfortunately resulting in the death of a human embryo. This reasoning breaks down if methotrexate is used to flush the tube, or if the embryo has implanted elsewhere as it sometimes does, and the situation becomes unclear, but the reason the priest said this was acceptable is that double effect has traditionally been used in this situation. Your life was (most likely)saved by removing the tube, not by killing the embryo. This is why the procedure was licit.

    I am glad everything turned out so well for you and your family. Perhaps someday they will figure out how to reattach the embyoes in tubal pregnancies to a place where they can grow; I think that solution would be ideal.

    Susan Peterson

  • Susan Peterson,

    You are absolutely correct, of course. The principle here is that it is never morally permissable to directly and intentionally take an innocent human life. Most people accept this until the consequences become unappealing. At that point they will either (i) question whether the life in question is innocent or even human or (ii) resort to reasoning from consquences (i.e., consequentialism).

    Unappealing outcomes are not hard to find, and the outcome options in this case were indeed quite tragic. It is telling that our irrepressible Ms. Kaiser has steadfastly avoided opining on the hypothetical I shared earlier in which mother must choose whether to shoot and kill her innocent daughter or allow a gunman to shoot and kill both her innocent daughter as well as her innocent husband. Instead, she just ignores it. The truth is that the only possible distinction between the hypothetical and the instant situation is the distinction between the unborn innocent child and the born innocent child. Ms. Kaiser insists she is pro-life, but I strongly suspect that she does not see the unborn child as fully human. In addition, Ms. Kaiser has already shown, via her commentary on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that she is a consequentialist. Fair enough. She has admitted that murder of innocents is acceptable if for sufficient reason, and such reason is judged via outcome. This is not peculiar point of view. It is widely held and often expressed as the ends justifying the means. Implicit in this view is the idea that no means are intrinsically evil; but that instead the moral nature of the means cannot be evaluated without examining the ends.

    One cannot reason with consquentialists, not because they are illogical as such — actually their moral system is grounded in its own internally consistent logical — but because it premised on moral assumpions that are simply incompatible with those of us who adhere to a morality grounded in natural law.

    While for some strange reason Ms. Kaiser seems reluctant to admit it, her logic is actually very straightforward. Life is the ultimate good and we ought do whatever it takes to preserve as much life as possible. When pressed she will have to admit that not only may the mother in my example kill her innocent daughter, such an act is morally required since it saves one net life. Morality is a utilitarian calculus, that’s all.

  • Mike, you are correct about my not commenting on your hypothetical. I have not commented I suppose because it pales in comparison to the real-world situation we are discussing.

    I think your viewpoint is very contemporary Catholic. But that viewpoint may or may not be a correct one. Only God knows for certain. No moral system created by human beings can be perect or error free. As I commented yesterday–Jewish medical ethics/theology would offer a different viewpoint. That is, the life of the mother and fetus are equal and that in most cases where a choice has to be made to save one or the other–the preference is generally for the mother. Jews have an even longer (much longer)experience with and tradition of sorting out the hard moral questions. And as I mentioned yesterday–the place in Scripture where abortion is even vaguely hinted at is in the Torah. And that reference refers only to legal penalities. If someone hits a pregnant woman and that blow causes the death of a fetus–then the perpetrator must pay a monetary penalty to the woman’s husband. If the blow also causes the death of the woman, that was considered a capital offense.

    I certainly believe that a fetus is fully human life. But I do not believe that in the situation we are discussing, that two deaths are preferable to one. That is just not a pro-life position. And to say that it is, is Orwellian.

  • Lisa,

    Simply asserting that my hypothetical “pales in comparison” to the instant situation is not addressing it at all. The reason for your reluctance is obvious. There is no logical distinction and you know it.

    Yes, my viewpoint is contemporary Catholic, but the word “contemporary” is a bit deceptive, no? After all, the Catholic moral principles that relevant here are are not remotely new.

    Yes, Jewish moral tradition may reason differently — I wouldn’t know. But Sister Margaret’s task was not to employ Jewish moral reasoning, or Taoist moral reasoning, or Islamic moral reasoning — it was precisely to employ Catholic moral reasoning; and in this she failed.

    I certainly can appreciate that you do not agree with Catholic moral reasoning, but I cannot understand why you don’t just come clean and own up to your consequentialism and utilitarianism? It isn’t hard. You’d be in good company. This fellow for instance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Singer

    What I find really remarkable is not that your moral reasoning is grounded in utilitarianism and not Catholic, but that you would expect a Catholic hospital to make moral decisions using reasoning that is grounded in utilitarianism and not Catholic. It is really quite odd.

    Finally, I honestly can understand your position that pro-life means anything that saves the most lives; there is an intuitive appeal to such a view. But I doubt that is what most pro-life people mean by the term; instead they mean that people should not directly and intentionally kill innocent human beings and that enforcing this component of natural law is an important and legitimate role of government. The axiom that it is ok to murder innocents as long as more lives are saved is certainly a point of view, but I seriously doubt most pro-lifers share it, including those who first helped coin the term. Indeed they would consider the notion that pro-life means that it is morally good to murder innocents if the result is fewer lives lost to be Orwellian.

  • Well then Jewish ethics seems to be inconsistent. If the life of the mother and fetus are equal, why the preference for the mother? That is saying the life of the mother and fetus are equal, except when they are not. It offers nothing.

    It is also not so different from your view that the Church is wrong on this issue. You keep saying that only God knows which position is correct, yet, very coincidentally, “God’s” position seems to line up with yours. You seem to imply that you, Lisa Kaiser, know God’s position, while hurling accusations against the Church’s teaching for being presumptuous about speaking for God. Ironic.

    I still have not seen whether you agree with the proposition that you cannot do an evil act to bring about good results. If we disagree about that, then there is really no point continuing discussion, as there is a fundamental disagreement on first principles.

    To say mortal life is the ultimate good from a Judeo-Christian perspective simply ignores the abundance of Scripture which completely contradicts such statement (not the least of which are Christ’s own words that you must lose your life to gain it, and what does it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul). The Old Testament is replete with figures who would rather die than commit the sin of blasphemy or idolatry. The ultimate good is eternal life with God. Mortal life is a secondary good, and it must give way when preserving mortal life costs your eternal life. That is what the Church teaches in this situation, and I find it hard to believe God would disagree.

  • Mike, OK, I am not really interested in addressing your hypothetical. Its jsut a hypothetical and I am not interested in addressing it.

    And yes in actholic hospital, Catholic treaching is applied. My point is that that teaching can be in error , wrong, etc. and I think that is the case here. My only point in mentioning Jeiwsh medical ethics/theology is that people of faith can arrive at different conclusions. And that since the Jew have been figuring out morality for about 5,000 years that perhaps Catholicism can learn from Judaism in this instance. The hierarchy of the Catholic church does not have a corner on truth. The hierarchy is fallible.

    You keep talking about “innocent life”. The Catholic teaching, by using such a term, denigrates life. Human life is human life. The mother is a human being and protecting her life in this situation is being pro-life. The Church used the term “innocent life” as means to devalue the lives of women. The hierarchy does not value the lives of women.

    It is not moral to allow two deaths, when a life can be saved. Sr. Margaret, a woman, saved the life of a woman and the hierarchy is afraid this will catch on! That Catholics will start believing that women are made in the image of God!

  • C Matt:

    Just to clarify: I don’t presume to know God’s position on the situation we are discussing.

    Re the Scriptures: Jesus was using a metaphor in saying you must lose your life to gain it. He was refering not to physical death, but to setting aside your old life/self and embracing God and God’s commandments–committing to a new life. Not death. What profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul is also not a reference to physical death. It is reference to how human regard for material wealth or earthly status may blind us to living as God wishes us to live. Empahsis on the living.

    As to Jews dying rather than commiting idolatry, ,etc refers to the exceptions in Jewish theology that permit a person to commit suicide. Life is the highest good, but Jews are permitted to kill themselved in 3 instances and 3 instances only–3 very extreme instances. The fact that suicide is permitted in only 3 extreme instances highlights the value placed on life, rather than indicates that life is not the highest good. You misread or misunderstand or misinterpret the ideas presented in Scripture.

    At to what the hierarchy teaches–again Jesus died to take away our sins, not our brains! The hierarchy is not infallible and the hierarchy has no regard for the lives of women. So in situations that involve the Church saying that pregnant women have to die in favor of a nonviable fetus–my thought is that the hierarchy is very very wrong and misguided.

  • The term innocent life has nothing to do with “devaluing the lives of women.” It is used in discussion of life issues to distinguish the abortion situation from the issues of killing combatants in war, from the death penalty, and from self defense situations in which someone is trying to kill you and you can stop him only by killing him. The traditional argument is that the soldier of an unjust aggressor [although he may personally have had no choice in the matter], the person who has committed a capital crime, or the person who is trying to kill you, have all forfeited their “right to life”, that is, their right not to be killed. Therefore it isn’t strictly speaking true that “human life is human life.” That is a mistake people make when they try to equate war and the death penalty issue with abortion. But it has nothing to do with devaluing women. The mother of course has the same right not to be killed as does the unborn child.

    However no one, you know, has a right not to die!

    We have a right not to be killed by our fellow human beings, who have a moral obligation not to kill us. That is what “right to life” means!

    (Not directly pertinent to this discussion, but tangentially pertinent; this is why the ‘right to life’ doesn’t mean people have a right to be fed by the government, or a right to have health care provided by the government, because that promotes their living longer! We might decide-or we might not-that for the government to help people get food, such as with food stamps, or for the government to pay for health care, is a good idea. But the ‘right to life’ does not imply that people have a right to what sustains their lives. It would be more accurate to call it a “right not to be killed,” just as the right to liberty is a right not to be imprisoned or enslaved. )

    And if you are a Catholic, you do believe that the Church was given the authority by Jesus Christ to teach in matters of faith and morals. If you are not a Catholic, fine. But don’t criticize a Catholic bishop for doing exactly what a Catholic bishop is supposed to do!

    Hopefully we will be seeing a lot more of bishops behaving in this way!

    Susan Peterson

  • I just read where you said, “Not treating the woman would have been taking her life.”

    First of all, there is a distinction between killing and not treating. For instance, if someone needs an expensive form of chemotherapy and can’t afford it, a hospital which refuses to administer it without being paid, or an insurance company/ medicaid which according to the terms of its contract will not pay for it, and the person dies that hospital/company/agency has not killed the person. Cancer has killed the person.

    More importantly,directly taking the life of an unborn child is not treatment!
    Or if you insist on calling it treatment, it is a form of “treatment”
    which a Catholic, or Catholic hospital, can never engage in.
    If someone dies of natural causes because I refuse to do something immoral, I have not killed that someone.

    It is more important that no one sin, than that no one die.
    But we have gone over this ground before.
    You just don’t agree with the Catholic teaching.

    Susan Peterson

  • Regardless of my opinion on this matter, the lack of civility, the name-calling and snide remarks for this post detract from the message.

  • If somebody has bias, he or she can’t solve a problem correctly. Instead of solving the problem, why do some want to attack the Church? You may attack the Church. You have your own right. But be aware of the fact that the Church was attacked since it was instituted by Christ. Thou shall not take God’s name in vain. We should not use the name of God to support our idea. Susan Peterson is genius. I personally like your way of thinking and appreciate your faith. Sometimes because of some critical situations our faith becomes stronger and stronger.

The Dignity and Worth of Every Person

Tuesday, May 11, AD 2010

The Lying Worthless Poltical Hack, a\k\a Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, tells Priests and Bishops to speak out on immigration from the pulpit based upon a biblical concern for “the dignity and worth of every person”.

The respect that the Lying Worthless Political Hack has “for the dignity and worth” of the smallest and most helpless among us was well demonstrated by this quote from Naral Pro-Choice America in 2007 after Pelosi became speaker of the House:

“Americans who value freedom and privacy have many reasons to celebrate as Nancy Pelosi takes the Speaker’s gavel to make this historic move forward for our country.  For her nearly 20 years in office, Speaker Pelosi has been an effective advocate for women’s health and has championed her pro-choice values by consistently voting to protect a woman’s right to choose.  In November, voters across this country endorsed Speaker Pelosi’s call for a change and new direction by electing 23 new pro-choice members to the U.S. House of Representatives.  Today, we celebrate as Speaker Pelosi takes the reins; under her leadership Americans can expect a new focus on commonsense solutions, not the divisive attacks that marred the previous Congresses.”

Continue reading...

8 Responses to The Dignity and Worth of Every Person

  • Problem is that many U.S. bishops don’t need Nip Tuck Nancy to egg them on in using their good offices as a feather to tickle their ideological fancies on this issue. I mean you have both Cdl. Roger Mahony and Abp. Timothy Dolan engaging in New York Slimes-style smear tactics to disparage the good people of Arizona who are exercising their God-given right to protect themselves from the ravages of open borders malfeaseance.

  • Is it dignified to die of exposure in the desert?

    Do we celebrate the worth of those who are suffocated in unventilated containers snuck across the border by ‘coyotes’?

    Or the women trafficked … or raped … crossing the border?

    Or the drug violence? Or gang crime? Kidnapping? Murder. Mayhem. Is that all dignified?

    Anyone who supports the current border situation, or would cause a stampede by offering ‘amnesty’ … has a share of all this blood on their hands. Not very dignified to my way of thinking.

  • Or it could be because of the bishop’s longstanding support of immigrants, mainly because the US Catholic Church was built on the backs of poor, outcast immigrants.

    http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2010/10-090.shtml
    http://www.faithfulcitizenship.org/

    Despite the Speaker’s horrid theology on abortion, she’s right that more clergy should speak out on a just immigration policy. How can we say we respect all life when we spit on the poor and needy who come to us looking for a living (in a legal way)?

  • “How can we say we respect all life when we spit on the poor and needy who come to us looking for a living (in a legal way)?”

    Deporting illegal aliens is not spitting on them. No one of course is proposing that legal immigrants do not have every right to be here, so I do not understand the (in a legal way) that ended your sentence.

    In any case this post isn’t about the debate over immigration, but rather at the deafness the Lying Worthless Political Hack has to an essential teaching of her Church and her willingness to attempt to enlist the Church, with language the irony of which I am certain eludes her, when it becomes politically expedient for her to do so.

  • Mr Smith:

    Immigration is not the issue. It’s about illegal aliens storming across our borders and the attendent dangerous criminal activity. For the bishops to accuse those who take a differing view from that of the open borders crowd od being anti-immigration when they know it is nothing of the sort is reprehensible, to say nothing of being unbecoming the office of bishop.

    USCCB “pastoral” letters on these type issues are more ideological than pastoral and are not worth the paper they are written on esecially that “Faithful Citizenship” one.

  • Again we get to the claim that immigrants have a right to immigrate – which they do according to Catholic Social teaching. But Catholic Social teaching also notes that states have a right to regulate immigration. I suspect the Church understood that when it developed this teaching that there would be some poor immigrants who were cut off. Catholic Social teaching is not about achieving utopia in the here and now. It is about applying moral principles in a fallen world.

  • If the Demonrats were not assured of getting the votes of the illegals, do you think they would be fighting so hard for getting them in to the county AND giving them “defacto” votes (via ACORN, et al)?

  • Pingback: The Values of the Word « The American Catholic

Family Guy Actor Sides With Palinth

Friday, February 26, AD 2010

Patrick Warburton, who the true geeks among us will remember as The Tick, sides with Palin over the FamilyGuy attack onTrig episode:

Cast member Patrick Warburton told TV critics Wednesday he objected to the joke.

“I know it’s satire but, personally, that [joke] bothered me too,” Warburton said on a conference call to promote his other primetime show, CBS’s sitcom “Rules of Engagement,” which returns for a fourth season on March 1. (On “Family Guy” Warburton does the voice of the wheelchair-bound police officer, Joe.)

“I know that you have to be an equal-opportunity offender, but there are some things that I just don’t think are funny.”

Shhh. Wait. It gets better:

“Look, I have fun. I like Seth [MacFarlane, the show’s creator]. He’s got a great comic mind and I think that the show can be fantastically funny. But I do believe that it can be hurtful at times,” Warburton said in response to a question about the episode posed by WaPo Team TV’s “Family Guy” bureau chief Emily Yahr. […]

“A show like that … is going to offend everybody at one point or another,” the actor said.
“My mother actually believes my soul’s in peril for being on the show,” he added.

Hold up, for the Post felt it needed to make sure readers knew Warburton was being sarcastic with that last line:

Note to Ms. Palin — he was making a joke.

Phew. And I thought he was being serious.

Warburton is a Catholic, and he and his wife have four kids.

Continue reading...

9 Responses to Family Guy Actor Sides With Palinth

  • He may be The Tick to geeks, but to us dorks he’s Puddy!

  • I’m a dork. The episode where Puddy gets religion jumps to mind.

  • If we’re going to play this game, I suppose I should note that Andrea Fay Friedman, the actress who played the girl on the Family Guy episode (and who herself has Downs Syndrome) thinks Palin was the one who was out of line.

  • “My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes.”

    Yeah, she’s a real sweetheart BA.

  • Ms.Friedman seems to be doing the part of the house “low life African-American” for the Family Guy IMHO.

  • Marv,
    I see you haven’t changed. Still wrong about pretty much everything, including contributors and commenters on this site. How very sad for you.

  • Oh, my goodness!

    That last comment actually interrupted the finishing touches on a homily that has to be delivered in 25 minutes!

    Judge much, Marv? “Her children are heavily involved in sex and drugs”? Scandalize much, either, for that matter?

    what do you know of what Chelsea Clinton has or has not done (not that it matters)? the one thing everyone knows about Chelsea Clinton is that she hasn’t given birth to a child. We know *nothing* else. (not that I care to, but there it is.)

    And it would not be inappropriate to moderate that little puppy out of the conversation.

    I’ll pray for y’all at Mass.

  • In all honesty, haven’t had a chance to read the comments re Pat Buchanan. I’m not singling you out, Marv, really. I’m singling the comment out.

    Re Sarah Palin and her motherhood, well…she ain’t Catholic. Is she a good role model for young women? I like much of what she does in public. MILF? Perhaps the carnal man might think so. But I choose to TRY not to think of ANYONE in that way, so as not to degrade either her or myself. Seems like she gets an awful lot of bad commentary based on the gifts god gave her. it isn’t like she spent millions on plastic surgery to look the way she does.

    Lastly, “judge not” in the context of Scripture doesn’t mean that we should never call anything wrong because we all sin. Right and wrong are OBJECTIVE. Just because I smoke crack doesn’t mean I can’t call someone else wrong for doing it; it just means I recognize that I am wrong too. And your comments really do verge on being awfully ad hominem (what difference does my opinion about Sarah Palin’s politics OR body have to do with the correctness of her criticism of Seth Macfarlane (the correct answer is, “none”)?

    We’d all be much more effective debaters if we stuck to the facts, and those conjectures and opinions supportable by facts. Whether Sarah Palin is pretty or not has no bearing, does it?

  • Marv, one of the joys of being a blog contributor is being able to pick and choose who I allow to comment on my threads. I have deleted your comments and you are now banned from commenting on my threads. Have a nice life.

Palin Responds to Family Guy Attack on Trig

Tuesday, February 16, AD 2010

Sarah Palin and Bristol Palin respond to the vile Family Guy attack on Trig, her son with Down’s Syndrome:

People are asking me to comment on yesterday’s Fox show that felt like another kick in the gut. Bristol was one who asked what I thought of the show that mocked her baby brother, Trig (and/or others with special needs), in an episode yesterday. Instead of answering, I asked her what she thought. Here is her conscientious reply, which is a much more restrained and gracious statement than I want to make about an issue that begs the question, “when is enough, enough?”:

“When you’re the son or daughter of a public figure, you have to develop thick skin. My siblings and I all have that, but insults directed at our youngest brother hurt too much for us to remain silent. People with special needs face challenges that many of us will never confront, and yet they are some of the kindest and most loving people you’ll ever meet. Their lives are difficult enough as it is, so why would anyone want to make their lives more difficult by mocking them? As a culture, shouldn’t we be more compassionate to innocent people – especially those who are less fortunate? Shouldn’t we be willing to say that some things just are not funny? Are there any limits to what some people will do or say in regards to my little brother or others in the special needs community? If the writers of a particularly pathetic cartoon show thought they were being clever in mocking my brother and my family yesterday, they failed. All they proved is that they’re heartless jerks. – Bristol Palin”

– Sarah Palin

Perhaps it is partially because I have an autistic son, but words literally fail me to adequately describe people evil enough to mock a handicapped child because they differ with the mother of the child politically.

Continue reading...

79 Responses to Palin Responds to Family Guy Attack on Trig

  • Family Guy is commonly about as tasteless as the imagination permits, exceeded in this only by South Park. It is an indication of how corrupted the media have grown in a modest time frame.

    Amy Carter was overexposed but given only the mildest ribbing by the likes of the Not Ready for Prime Time Players and Chelsea Clinton was left in peace (bar for being called a ‘dog’ by Rush Limbaugh). I think one of Geraldine Ferraro’s children is named ‘John’; do you recall the other two?

  • It is quite amazing that people who allegedly have their full faculties and imaginative creativity will act like the effin’ retards they ascribe people with actual special needs as being.

    The fact is people with mental retardation, autism and other impairments are more enjoyable, joyful and pleasant to be around than any of these monkeys who like to throw mean words around without considering the feelings of those who have impairments and the loved ones who care for them

    If you ask me, that is pretty effin’ retarded, especially when the goal is to attack a defenseless child simply because his mother makes you feel uncomfortable and intimidated.

    Do you think that the fact that we consider children a burden and a punishment for recreational sex or a simple ‘choice’ to kill has anything to do with considering anyone with special needs as a burden on society and fair game for ridicule?

    Sick.

  • One of the things Palin has unquestionably achieved (to her sorrow) is giving the hard left a chance to show the entire country how utterly despicable and hateful the “caring” party can be.

  • Southpark usually has a nuanced and valid point to make, even if it is one we disagree with. It has had pro-life episodes, and many shows about the humanity and dignity of disabled people.

    I simply can’t put that show in the same class as Family Guy, which is nothing but one-sided propaganda.

    In addition to being intrinsically evil, making fun of a down-syndrome child is mind-bogglingly irrational and stupid if your goal is to somehow oppose Sarah Palin.

    In the end this is the same show that depicted Jesus as a pedophile, God as a selfish womanizer, and all Christians as mindless, book-burning, hate-filled bigots. It’s the kind of stuff I might have thought up as an angst-ridden teenage atheist in rebellion against the Church. I’m glad I grew up, and I’m sad others are still stuck there.

    And you know what MacFarlane’s defense always is? And its the same one used by all of these guys: either we can make fun of everything, or we can make fun of nothing. Everything is sacred or nothing is sacred. And somehow our first amendment embodies this idea. Of course this is irrational, illogical, and childish.

  • When a culture makes everything profane, nothing is sacred.

  • I seem to recall that Joan Rivers was interviewed in 1983 or thereabouts and said her aim was to be “the meanest bitch in America”. Asked if any topic was off limits, she said, “deformed children…and religion I’m very careful with…”. Well, that was then.

  • I deleted your comment restrainedradical. No one in this thread will be allowed to speak in defense of this vile assault on human decency. All such comments will be deleted.

  • In my misspent past as a teen, youth, young adult and sadly full grown man I would have found this funny. In fact, I used to like the show as well as other prurient interests. Then I was assaulted by God and only by His Grace I came to my senses and returned to the Church of my Baptism.

    Making that decision meant that I was all in. Of course, I only think I am all in because everyday I am reminded of how not-at-all-in I really am. Yet, I know that morality is not in me it comes from God alone. Adhering to His standards renders this and other things I would have found entertaining and funny in my past as sick and twisted.

    I certainly am not ‘politically correct’ and I don’t think we need to allow coercion, government or social, to limit artistic expression. Yet, I think that social standards, based on ‘mere Christian’ morals must be infused into our culture.

    This ‘joke’ was not funny because it maligns children with inherent limitations and not because it attacks Sarah Palin. She’s a big girl and can take care of herself and she chose public life. I think that children with mental retardation, physical disabilities, Down Syndrome, etc. have a greater opportunity for sanctification than fools that find this kind of crap funny.

    I think if I met myself from several years back, I might kick my own ass.

  • The sad thing is that Family Guy is capable of being hysterically funny without being radically offensive.

  • Sadly, I read restrained radical’s comment before it was deleted. It’s an appalling enigma to me how the left is so adamantly against torture, but at the same time can applaud a wicked and evil cartoon which could be considered one of the most deadly of weapons, the most harmful poison. Society must be nourished with good, not evil, and evil is being preached to an immense audience. Evil such as this corrupts and kills souls. But then, the principles of God’s kingdom and the principles of the world are vastly different. That cartoon caused unnecessary pain to the Palins and countless others. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, a perfect time to contemplate Jesus’ crowning with thorns. Mother Teresa said that mental illness is Jesus’ crown of thorns. Although children with downs’ syndrome are certainly not mentally ill, I think we could extend the meditation to include the parents of these children who suffer greatly with mockery, taunts and insults directed toward their beloved children.

  • restrainedradical is a valued commenter here at American Catholic. This thread however is not one where our usual free-wheeling debate format applies. I feel quite strongly about this and no comments defending the Family Guy spit in the face of decency will be allowed. If handicapped kids can be mocked as entertainment or political attack, then we truly are a culture that is sick unto death.

  • Surprisingly (at least to me), The Anchoress is defending “Family Guy” and criticizing Palin for speaking out:

    http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/theanchoress/2010/02/16/family-guy-goaded-palin-into-a-mistake/

    I responded somewhat negatively in her comboxes.

  • I’m not seeing how the clip was an attack on Trig (not saying it wasn’t mind you, just that I don’t see how it was). Maybe someone could explain?

  • “I think if I met myself from several years back, I might kick my own ass.”

    American Knight,

    The desire to go back in time and kick your own backside is the universal sign of maturity. To me, the realization of how we were wrong in the past explains why reconciliation is the greatest of the sacraments.*
    Bill

    * Unless my wife is reading and then my answer is marriage is the greatest sacrament.

  • I’m missing something. I get “former governor of Alaska” is referencing Sarah Palin, but how does Trig fit into this? I don’t get it. I second the call for an explanation.

  • The date has Downs syndrome, the one who says she is the daughter of a former governor of Alaska. That is indictated by the way that she speaks.

    The Huffington post author here is clear as to what Seth MacFarlane intended.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/15/family-guy-trig-palin-vid_n_462522.html

  • Jay, the Anchoress is simply clueless on this. The insult was directly aimed at Trig as you pointed out. That the Anchoress can’t see this astounds me.

  • I’m not seeing how the clip was an attack on Trig (not saying it wasn’t mind you, just that I don’t see how it was). Maybe someone could explain?

    I think MacFarlane was trying to cover his ass by recasting Todd Palin as ‘an accountant’ and Trig as female.

  • I had deleted this comment but on second thought I am going to post it. It came from someone, now banned from this blog, calling himself FascistHater. His name is apt, but not in the way he intended. It is a monument to the type of hatred that motivates people to attack those they disagree with by attacking their kids. Such hatred ultimately consumes those who revel in it.

    “What a bunch of “knee jerk assholes” you all are. Did any of you watch this entire show? The girl with downs syndrome is treated as a self assured young women who is the superior of the “normal” Chris Griffin. I’m certain if he had made inappropriate suggestions involving a Lufta she would have shoved it up his ass. If only Palin’s “Normal” slut daughter was as self assured and bright as this cartoon character.

    By the way Don sorry about your son but maybe someone with genes as defective as yours shouldn’t be reproducing. Hey . . . if my comments going to be deleted might as well make it good.”

  • The date has Downs syndrome, the one who says she is the daughter of a former governor of Alaska. That is indictated by the way that she speaks.

    Okay, but how is that an attack on Trig?

  • Governor of Alaska plus Downs Syndrome Child. The Downs Syndrome child is also portrayed as nasty and manipulative. This is not rocket science BA.

  • Don, I caught that comment last night but refrained from commenting because I knew it would be deleted. Obviously the person is quite filled with hate and apparently a proud fascist too (they often go hand in hand dontcha know), but I was wondering if you were able to tell if the person was someone we’re familiar with or just a drive by. I was inclined to think it was the typical leftist type of drive by because I only know of a handful truly hatefilled semi-regulars but their names are well known and they seem to have no shame about associating their name with their venom. However, I got to thinking that this person probably knows more about you than can be ascertained from the post. Nevermind, I’m fairly sure who it is. Sad.

  • Governor of Alaska plus Downs Syndrome Child. The Downs Syndrome child is also portrayed as nasty and manipulative. This is not rocket science BA.

    I grant that it was a reference to Palin/Trig. That much is obvious. What I don’t get is what is insulting about it. The girl didn’t come across as nasty or manipulative in the clip to me, and even if she did, Trig isn’t a teenage girl, so it’s not like these attributes would be ascribed to him.

    I agree this isn’t rocket science, why is what makes the unwillingness/inability of people to say what was insulting about the clip somewhat mysterious.

  • I think I may have watched family guy once, maybe twice. Never thought it funny or entertaining – mostly just stupid. No reason to ever watch it.

  • Nothing mysterious about it BA. You simply do not think it is insulting. I, Trig’s mother and Trig’s sister think it is, along with quite a few other people. I guess we’ll see how this plays out and how many other people fail to see what I think is an obvious attack on a child with Downs Syndrome simply to vent political hatred.

  • FWIW, I could see the, “Well, this isn’t all that offensive,” point were this more or less in isolation. However, given that Palin has been consistently vilified by the left for bringing a child with Downs Syndrome to term ever since she appeared on the national stage, I think it’s reached the point where making a point of it at all (especially in a venue like Family Guy, which has become an all purpose political/cultural attack program over the last couple years) plays as offensive.

  • “but I was wondering if you were able to tell if the person was someone we’re familiar with or just a drive by.”

    Deliberately didn’t attempt to Rick. The person involved wasn’t worth that much effort on my part. Whoever it was I feel pity more than anything else. Living with that level of hate must be like wearing an emotional hair shirt.

  • The girl didn’t come across as nasty or manipulative in the clip to me

    She rebukes him for not helping her to her seat and then rebukes him for not asking about her person. You wouldn’t mind?

  • Nothing mysterious about it BA. You simply do not think it is insulting. I, Trig’s mother and Trig’s sister think it is, along with quite a few other people.

    I’m asking why you thought it was insulting. Saying, “well I and a lot of other people thought it was insulting” doesn’t answer that question.

  • It’s pretty incoherent, which is describes the MacFarlane’s humor in general. Throw everything against the wall and hope to elicit a response.

    South Park actually had a dead-on hilarious parody of the Family Guy writing style during the notorious censored Muhammad episode, depicting FG as being written by manatees who nudge random balls labelled with pop culture references into a mixing machine, thus leading to the attempted gags.

    After having watched the clip, it sure looks like a manatee job. I agree that it’s offensive, and a secondary shot at Trig, but I think it’s more of an attack on Sarah Palin than her son, projecting the latter’s handicaps on to the former. I say “secondary” because the depiction of the impaired character as an obnoxious, attention-mongering glasses-wearing diva is a direct attack on the former Governor herself.

  • [G]iven that Palin has been consistently vilified by the left for bringing a child with Downs Syndrome to term ever since she appeared on the national stage, I think it’s reached the point where making a point of it at all (especially in a venue like Family Guy, which has become an all purpose political/cultural attack program over the last couple years) plays as offensive.

    I can understand this as a psychological explanation, but if past attacks make people conclude that any reference to Palin is per se insulting then I think they are overreacting.

  • BA, I’ll try this one last time with you and I’ll put it in personal terms. My son is autistic. He is a constant joy to me and to his mother. He is unable to carry on a normal conversation, although he can answer yes and no questions. His autism may have caused retardation although with autism this is difficult to say. He can read although how much he retains is often a mystery for us and his teachers. His autism gives him all sorts of behavioral quirks so that he will never be able to live independently or work outside of a sheltered workshop. Things that other people can do without thinking, he, sadly, will not be able to do. Compared to most people his life will be hard, something thus far he has coped with magnificently.

    If I were to be a public figure, and a “comedy” show decided to feature a character who is mentally handicapped and who is the child of a person who is clearly intended to be me, I would be livid. My son was not brought into this world to be used as a prop by which an attack could be launched against me. That you fail to understand why I would be livid, and why the Palins are livid, I find baffling.

  • If I were to be a public figure, and a “comedy” show decided to feature a character who is mentally handicapped and who is the child of a person who is clearly intended to be me, I would be livid. My son was not brought into this world to be used as a prop by which an attack could be launched against me.

    This begs the question of how it was an attack, which is what I was asking. If I comedy show attacked my family I would be livid too. But I don’t see how the above clip constitutes an attack.

  • Because Trig can’t defend himself BA, just as my son cannot defend himself. Kids of politicians used to be off-limits. Now it is open season on disabled kids of politicians. I guess common deceny is a thing of the past.

  • BA,

    I think Dale summed it up well. The odd thing for me is that the scene was simply not funny. I don’t mean not funny because it was offensive, it was simply not funny period. I’ve watched the Family Guy before and found certain bits extremely funny…even some of the very offensive ones, but this one wasn’t funny and is quite transparent and unnecessary. It’s clear that it was framed with Sarah Palin in mind, which in itself isn’t a problem, but that the cudgel is Down Syndrome because of her son is rather distasteful.

  • Exactly, Don. It wasn’t that Family Guy necessarily depicted the disabled person in a negative light. It was the fact that the show’s creator felt the need to draw the connection between the disabled person depicted and a 2-year-old disabled person actually in existence.

    It would have been objectionable to use ANY of a politician’s kids to make a dig at that politician; to use a politician’s 2-year-old disabled child to do so makes it all the worse.

  • DarwinCatholic:

    Absolutely. And not only has the Left revealed how vicious the “compassionate” can be, they have managed to show that their socialist policies aren’t really motivated by compassion for the poor and downtrodden after all, as they like to pretend. If that was really their motivation, they wouldn’t behave this way.

    Which brings us to the question. If the Left’s socialist policies aren’t driven by compassion, then what’s their real motivation? The answer, I think, is a combination of a desire for control over others, and the worship of the state which they have divinized in their minds.

  • Let’s make it clear, if Rush does it, it is wrong. If Family Guy does it, it is wrong. There. Left and right — are both of them lacking compassion because of Rush or Family Guy? I think many on both sides are; but many are not. Don’t do guilt by association; Family Guy isn’t like Rush, though — one of the big differences is Family Guy is a rude, crude, nasty show and a “comedy” with its axe to grind but yet — it isn’t gearing itself as a piece of political opinion to help energize politics. Rush and Beck and people like them — are. But that doesn’t make Family Guy good. It’s a show which makes Beavis and Butthead look intelligent.

  • Because Trig can’t defend himself BA, just as my son cannot defend himself.

    Defend himself from what? All of your comments make sense only on the assumption that the Family Guy clip above constitutes an attack on Trig. What I’m asking is, how is it an attack?

  • I think Dale summed it up well. The odd thing for me is that the scene was simply not funny. I don’t mean not funny because it was offensive, it was simply not funny period.

    Dale’s theory, as I understanding it, is that the girl is supposed to be Sarah Palin. Watching the above clip, that idea would not have occurred to me in a million years.

  • I watch family guy – it’s very left, it’s very offensive, and occasionally it’s very funny, but that’s hit or miss. I’m generally irritated by the hyper-sensitive jump to offense behavior of people a la the recent hoopla over Rahm Emanuel’s comment which was clearly not directed at or referring to mentally handicapped people (incidentally, the much smarter and funnier South Park recently had a good show about about just this thing except instead of “retarded” it looked a homosexual slur that has now been adopted to mean something else in the culture, but I digress). However, I can understand how this could be hurtful b/c it’s definitely targeted at Palin and her son (the former to a bigger extent than the latter I think). I sort of see what blackadder is saying in that it doesn’t seem like an attack against the DS girl, but rahter that DS was used to tie her to Palin. I think the point is that whether he intended to mock DS itself (or Trig himself), the writer clearly used the real life handicap of one of Palin’s children to mock her. And I do think that crosses a line.

  • BA

    I agree it might be difficult to see, but the girl is not Sarah Palin. The girl represents Sarah’s children morphed into one. It is a girl and apparently has Down’s Syndrome. And it is being used to goad Sarah Palin — mock both her daughter’s dating choices as well as Trig. I can see where it is coming from, and I can see why this is not respectable at all (just like attacks on Chelsea were not respectable). If the girl were Sarah and she was shown careless with her children, that would be one thing; but taking it out on her children for their mother, no, not good.

  • The line goes that once you explain a joke, it’s not funny. This joke wasn’t funny in the first place, so far as I can tell, but we seem to be struggling with a situation where an insult isn’t insulting once you explain it. I’ll give it a shot, though.

    The gag here (to the extent that there is one) appears to be that Chris goes out on a date with a somewhat bitchy and demanding girl who speaks in a “retard” voice. When he asks about her family, she explains that her mother is the governor of Alaska. I guess one could see this either as a “boy, they all seem to be retards in Palin’s family, don’t they” joke or as “oh, Down Syndome, heh heh, Palin, heh heh” joke. Either way, it seems to get what little steam it has from associating mental disabilities and disagreeableness with Palin.

    Now, I suppose one could say, “Why is it offensive to associate Down Syndome or retardation generally with Palin’s family? She has a child with Down Syndrome, but there’s nothing shameful in that.” This would be true in a limitted sense, but it ignores the fact that in the instance in question it’s clearly being treated as something which is humorous or derisive, not just a “Oh, by the way, did you hear a child of the former Alaskan governor has Down Syndrome?” This is where the fact that Palin has been routinely mocked by the left for having a child with Down Syndrome would come into play.

    I suppose a comparison might be, say that the Family Guy episode had featured Chris going on a date with a bitchy and spoiled teenage black girl, who proceeded to wolf down a couple watermelons and speak in a heavily stereotyped “Black English” accent. If when Chris asked her about her family she explained that her father was the president of the United States, people might rightly take this as a racist attack on the Obamas. Now clearly, there’s nothing wrong with being black, so one could question how this was an insult, but the obvious answer would be that the show was attempting to make “Obama’s kids are black” an insult, and thus serving as both racist and anti-Obama.

  • The date has Downs syndrome, the one who says she is the daughter of a former governor of Alaska. That is indicated by the way that she speaks.

    Thanks for the explanations. But as I watched the clip, my impressions were that reference to the former Alaskan governor was nothing more than a non sequitur. I saw the date as merely having a speech impediment, nothing more. Downs Syndrome never came to mind, because the character’s demeanor was very different to that of people with DS that I have encountered.

  • I suppose a comparison might be, say that the Family Guy episode had featured Chris going on a date with a bitchy and spoiled teenage black girl, who proceeded to wolf down a couple watermelons and speak in a heavily stereotyped “Black English” accent. If when Chris asked her about her family she explained that her father was the president of the United States, people might rightly take this as a racist attack on the Obamas.

    That would be offensive. But unless I’m misinformed, there isn’t a stereotype that people with Downs Syndrome are bitchy and demanding.

  • I had taken the “retard speak” voice as being the negative stereotype generic to mental disabilities, and assumed that eating watermelons and “Black English” would be the equivalent stereotype in regards to race.

  • Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder that carries with it various physical characteristics that are easily identifiable even to the average observer. It’s pretty clear (to me anyway) that the intention was to illustrate the character as having Down Syndrome.

    Still, regardless of how ill conceived or executed the scene was, it’s clearly intended to be a dig on Palin which in itself isn’t a problem. Using Down Syndrome to do it would be tasteless in itself, but it’s certainly no coincidence that that means was employed because she has a DS child.

  • employed ugh

    [Fixed it for you Rick. 😉 – Tito]

  • Maybe I’m slow to catch on…

    The physical attributes I get. However, animation is a poor medium to convey that. Upon re-listening, I see your point about the speech, Rick. However, my initial impression was that of a woman with a lisp combined with an Elmer Fudd-ian style of pronunciation. DS never came to mind.

    Oh well, I guess I shall retreat back into my bubble where most pop culture influences do not dare enter.

  • I had taken the “retard speak” voice as being the negative stereotype generic to mental disabilities

    I’m not sure having speech problems is a stereotype about people with Downs as it is a reality. I mean, the actress who plays the girl has Downs Syndrome. That’s her real voice.

  • Let me also make a side point. Both from watching the clip and from reading about it in general, a theme of the episode seems to be that people with Downs Syndrome aren’t all that different from the rest of us. We live in a world where 90% of couples who are told there child has Downs abort, perhaps in part because they have an exaggerated image of the problems associated with Downs. The message of the show, in other words, is one that people desperately need to hear, and particularly for the FG viewer demographic I’m not sure if there would have been a more effective way of getting that message across.

  • Thanks Tito. I’d type this in huge letters if WP would let me. 😉

    BA, so yes, the speech issue is a reality. And based on what you just wrote, the voice actress has DS. Her character claimed to be the child of a former Alaska governor. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to assume that whole gag is about Sarah Palin due to her having a DS child. Yeah, it’s not like they were attacking Trig directly, but it is reflective of a rather nasty attitude. I mean, with all the things someone could use to rib Palin like her botched interviews, writing on her hand, leftist stereotypes of conservatives as dumb hicks, it takes a pretty vicious mind to use their child’s birth defect in an attempt to score a point and/or laugh.

  • Rick,

    Again, I’m not denying that the reference was to Palin. That’s obvious. I just don’t see what’s insulting about it, either to Trig or to Palin.

  • Somehow BA’s unique interpretation of how the mockery of Trig is good for handicapped people eluded Seth MacFarlane who manfully responded to the controversy by sending out his publicist with this statement:

    “The Times asked “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane for an interview regarding the matter. But he opted to send a statement via his publicist: “From its inception, ‘Family Guy’ has used biting satire as the foundation of its humor. The show is an “equal-opportunity offender.””

  • I think Henry Karlson is correct. The girl is a conflation of Bristol and Trig.

  • Dale’s theory, as I understanding it, is that the girl is supposed to be Sarah Palin. Watching the above clip, that idea would not have occurred to me in a million years.

    Just a cobbled together guess, based only on the clip and the one previous bit of venom directed at Palin (Stewie in an SS uniform wearing a “McCain/Palin” button). I bow to anyone who watched the whole thing for context. For my part, it would not have occurred to me in a million years that I would be carefully parsing FG episodes for narrative context. 🙂

    After all, the show peaked with the Benjamin Disraeli sight gag…

  • Somehow BA’s unique interpretation of how the mockery of Trig is good for handicapped people…

    It’s not that I think mocking Trig is good for handicapped people; it’s that I don’t see how the show was mocking Trig.

    My comment about the effects of the show generally was, as I said, a side point. As I understand it, many of the people here who think the show was offensive only have a problem with the reference to Palin, not to the show’s treatment of Downs Syndrome generally (certainly your comments have focused in this direction). So whether you agree that the show could serve a useful purpose in demystifying Downs is separate from whether you think the reference to Palin was out of line (and visa versa).

  • I think Henry Karlson is correct. The girl is a conflation of Bristol and Trig.

    I’m not really seeing this. The girl in the clip doesn’t look like Bristol Palin, Chris neither looks nor acts like Levi Johnson, etc. The only reason I can see for saying that she must be Bristol is that as a teenage girl she obviously can’t be Trig.

  • A link to Seth MacFarlane’s campaign contributions:

    http://www.newsmeat.com/celebrity_political_donations/Seth_MacFarlane.php

    Then we have his comments about the election when he was stumping for Obama:

    Then we have the McCain-Palin are Nazis scene from the Family Guy.

    MacFarlane is a bitter partisan of the Left. That is his right. When he decides to give vent to his hatred by mocking a disabled child of someone he hates, that should go way over the line for any civilized person.

  • Anchoress did not say Palin should not have spoken out. She said she should have done so differently, in a way that would have turned the tables on Family Guy.

  • I speak as a big-time critic of Sarah Palin as a potential political leader- I don’t see any valid point in targeting her as a parent of a child with a disability- she’s a human being- not one of us would find it acceptable for someone to take us on as public bloggers and start picking on our kids- especially our youngest most vulnerable children.

    Joe has pointed out that it is perhaps possible to include the disabled in a joke line that isn’t just picking on someone, but makes some larger relevant point about some issue related to being disabled. But clearly, making sly reference to a politician’s disabled child is cruel and unusual- and unless that part of the Left wing is ok with their alter-ego part of the Right wing, perhaps targeting Obama through sly put-downs of persons meant to bring to mind his daughters- then I would say the more reasonable folks should be able to bring public shame to this type of “humor”. With public shame in the offing, most commercial artists will learn that there is no pay-off for continuing such a trend. Public shaming has a role to play- it can be a check on out-of-bounds expression without having to resort to some kind of direct censorship.

  • I agree with Tim.

    If the tables were turned and a Family Guy clip had Mr. Seth McFarlane mocking President Obama’s precious little daughters using derogatory black stereotypes all hell would break loose in the form of constant media attacks in characterizing conservative Americans as hateful bigots.

    My two-cents worth.

  • A couple months back there was an episode of 30 Rock where one of the characters tried to infiltrate Obama’s “inner circle” by befriending one of his daughters. There were scenes of him talking on the phone with the daughter, etc. in which he adopted a valley girl voice and basically talked like a stereotypical schoolgirl. I don’t recall much of a fuss about this at the time, presumably because while the show quite clearly was referencing the Obama family there was nothing insulting about what was being said about them (one could argue that it was insulting to imply that Obama’s daughters act like little girls, but then they are little girls).

  • BA,

    So acting like a little girl is equivalent to a derogatory black stereotype?

    😉

  • Interesting counter example, BA.

    As per previous discussion, though, I assume that if the 30 Rock character had used a heavily “Black English” voice rather than a schoolgirl voice, people would have seen that as more offensive — because although some black people do indeed talk that way (though not the Obamas) it’s seen as connected to a negative stereotype about black people.

    I think the reason people are taking offense in this case is that although it’s true that people with Down Syndrome do have speech impediments, the social perception of those speech impediments is pretty uniformly negative.

    By which I guess I mean, it seems to me that simply making “hey, did you hear Palin’s kid has Down Syndrome” references (at least in a comedy show, especially one that emphasizes sharp political satire) will end up coming off as derogatory all on its own.

  • I don’t know Blackadder. I guess there are different thresholds or considerations people take into account on things. For example, I have a son who is developmentally delayed. He’s not classified as autistic though he has some similar symptoms. In fact, it sounds like he is not much unlike Don’s boy in functionality and prospects for his future. I didn’t take offense Obama’s Special Olympics joke a few months ago, yet many others did. I didn’t view it as a dig on special needs kids nor indicative of an underlying disrespect or contempt for them. I viewed it as a bit of self-deprecating humor on behalf of Obama and have used the same type on myself (still do in fact).

    In this case, it’s more a matter that I can see how many could be offended because there is nothing really humorous in it though it was an attempt to use a DS as a pretext of slamming a political opponent or at best forcing in a political jab where it has no business. I guess I’m looking at it more from where something like this must have come from. Unfortunately I think there are a number of hate filled people like that Hateful Fascist guy who insulted Don. It’s one thing to have such a hard heart and express it, it’s another to use or tear down innocent or powerless people to vent that hatred. It’s certainly not something in our Christian understanding of the dignity of the person that there is any room for, but it strikes me as the type of thing that just about anybody of good will would avoid. Nay, that it’s not even something they would conceive of. I guess I’m just offended that people think that way and act upon it.

  • Rick,

    I have to admit that President Obama’s joke was self-deprecating.

    The GOP and conservatives were politically opportunistic in bashing him and were not justified in their anger.

    In contrast, I believe Mr. Seth Mcfarlane was deliberately being nasty in this clip. Unfortunately I do watch FG from time to time (rabbit ears television) and I can say that Mr. Mcfarlane is a bitter left-winger who takes every opportunity he can to disparage the GOP and conservatives. Although he “claims” to be an equal opportunity offender, the balance is skewed grossly in disparaging conservatives than liberals by a 10-to-1 margin.

  • I’ve FG a fair number of times myself. I don’t particularly care one way or another about the politics. If something is funny, it’s funny. My uneasiness with the shows I have seen are some of the religious things. Unfortunately I have a higher tolerance for religious jokes than I ought, but FG can still manage to offend me in that regard. However, I find great humor in many of the gags whether they be G rated or R rated. The funniest gag I’ve seen on the show was quite R rated, but was right up my alley from a setup/punchline point of view (the scene with the blow-up dolls).

  • I don’t mind the unbalanced attacks as well. I like to laugh and whatever does it for me makes me happy.

    But you have to admit, FG is definitely not on the family viewing list. In fact if I were blessed with children I would stop viewing FG for the sake of the children not catching me watching such filth.

  • Largebill: “American Knight,

    The desire to go back in time and kick your own backside is the universal sign of maturity.”

    I don’t know if I am mature, but I am certainly more mature than I was when I was caught up in the Spirit of the World. It is easy, tempting, alluring and seductive to go with the flow of the present darkness because when you are in it, it doesn’t seem dark. In fact, it seems fun, light and quite right.

    It isn’t. FG could be funny at times; however, when it disparages the defenseless it crosses the line. That doesn’t mean that people with physical and mental limitations cannot be funny or even made fun of in a lighthearted way, but this was clearly mean-spirited.

  • AK

    I think a good example where there is a lighthearted way this was done, and yet misunderstood, was Tropic Thunder. The whole point was to ridicule the way some people with disabilities are used by Hollywood for the sake of self-glorification instead of any real concern for them. But many people felt disturbed by its representation, not understanding the point.

  • HK,

    Tropic Thunder!

    That is a funny movie, enjoyed it thoroughly.

  • HK,

    I did not enjoy the movie as much as Tito, but it had some good parts. I think those actors have so much talent (acting talent, they seem vapid in everything else) that more could have been done.

    Nevertheless, the scene you reference is funny and I agree, it is not offensive because the object of ridicule is not people with mental retardation or other handicaps.

    Stiller does not seem like the kind of guy who would cater to low humor as pertains to people with special needs. Mary’s brother in Something About Mary, which was funny and extremely inappropriate was not disparaged even though he was made fun of. Stiller’s character comes to his defense. Additionally, Dillon’s character refers to people with special needs when he is lying to Mary about how much he likes working with them as ‘retards’, but he is clearly portrayed as a man with very low moral character.

    We cannot be offended at the slightest mention or inappropriate view about sensitive things without referring to the context. I have noticed that many of us, me included, oft times have a knee-jerk defensive reaction when the Church is portrayed in most media. Sometimes it can be done well, I think Doubt was well done and not offensive, Bill Mahr is another matter all together.

    Humor, even off-color humor, can still be funny without being mean.

  • It will come out shortly that Palin used a couple of babies for publicity, and that Trig is NOT her son. I got this info from several non biased observers of the Internet.

    While I have no comment about Palin not getting an abortion (she certainly considered one), I also do not think she has told the truth about the delivery of her baby. I truly do not think the baby she calls Trig is HER baby. Maybe it is her daughter’s, maybe not. The fact is, we do not know for sure what is real and what is not.

  • Michael,

    It is HER baby. The problem is that she was inseminated by a space alien from Zorcon. The delivery was kept secret because it was performed on a Rian spaceship in the Torary Sector. This is what is real. I got it from non-biased sources. It really is.

  • Phillip,

    I’m afraid your ‘sources’ were a bit confused; insemination implies pregnancy and Palin was not pregnant. Trig was transported from the Zorconites via a Rian spaceship (you’re right about their involvement – too many sources have confirmed it at this point), and given to Palin during her flight back to Alaska from Texas. I am still combing through ‘Going Rogue’ for hints about why she was chosen, though.

  • John Henry,

    They’re Zorconians not “Zorconites.” How can I trust you if you can’t even get that right.

  • Pingback: Family Guy Actor Sides With Palin « The American Catholic

Sanger: "We Want To Exterminate The Negro Population"

Tuesday, February 9, AD 2010

“We Want To Exterminate The Negro Population”

— Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. [1]

Continue reading...

24 Responses to Sanger: "We Want To Exterminate The Negro Population"

  • The fruit of liberalism, leftism and “Demokracy” which is but the other side of the coin whose head is “Socialism.”

  • I hate to complain, but if we’re going to win the argument on abortion, we need to be fastidious. The quote that you use as a title for this article is badly taken out of context. If you use that particular quote, you’re inviting an embarrassing refutation. Sanger said a lot of things that would offend modern people. Don’t use this one.

  • Yeah, not sure it’s a good idea to have a headline like on a blogpost. It could appear that American Catholic is saying that.

  • Interesting that EMILY’s List has an ad on this vid–are they hoping to cash in on backlash?

  • I have a different complaint. These sorts of arguments aren’t very convincing. Should we boycott Volkswagen because it began as a Nazi program? Convincing pro-choicers of their error requires addressing their concerns, not the concerns of their ancestors.

  • Gee, Volkswagen branched out from trying to kill Undesirables to trying to kill everyone?

    Dang, how did I miss that story?

  • As an American Catholic, the basis of my ‘anger’ with Planned Parenthood is that they receive Federal funding under false pretenses. They are the main US organization to procure and facilitate abortions, the US abortion-brokers, though stated reason for their existence is to provide family planning education.

    From a superficial viewpoint, founding of Planned Parenthood is not unlike the founding of Nazi party in Austria and Germany during the 1930s by a charismatic crackpot supported by those with nefarious and inhumane intent and purpose, that incidentally was detrimental to human society as a whole, and individually by outright killing of fellow humans in an effort to eliminate opposition to their supremacy.(

    The Planned Parenthood gang stoops to lies and distortions to gain political leverage and provide a political platform for one stated purpose while setting the stage for another purpose altogether, in part funded by our tax dollars. This ‘fact’ may be disputed, but I did receive 5-8 expensive colorful fliers in a State political election 3-4 years ago asking for support of their candidate because of unfair authority of ‘pharmacists making decisions about woman’s reproductive rights’ in filling certain type of prescriptions, which was indisputably wrong information.

    According to 2001 estimates, 76% Americans are Christian adherents (with 25% of US population Catholics). This ‘fact’ is barely disputable, with data showing a wide majority of Americans as Christian, and a major denomination the original Christians.

    There is a consistency between Constitutional rights and Christian beliefs that women have a basic right to bear a child, a healthy child as a gift from God, especially if provided necessary attention to fetal growth and development. So is Planned Parenthood promoting support of delivery of healthy babies, even similar to March of Dimes efforts in minimizing congenital birth defects? I think NOT. I don’t this is a debatable fact.

  • Yeah, using that as a headline was a terrible idea, it DOES make it sound like the the blog authors are the ones advocating genocide. The next conclusion one is led to by the picture of Barack Obama under the title is that Obama is the one who said it. It is not explained why a picture of Obama is even included.

  • ….because he’s standing in front of a huge wall covered with “PLANNED PARENTHOOD” in huge, red letters?

    Even if one didn’t know he’d spoken for PP in the past, it does kind of offer a large chunk of dark humor, kind of like having a chicken for the “spokesman” of KFC or something.

  • PP is no different than the KKK.

  • I think that’s a very serious concern as regards the title of this post — and given that know Tito is not able to be at the computer for long stretches at the moment, I’ve gone ahead and edited it.

  • restrainedradical’s Volkswagon comparison would be more convincing if PP no longer lauded its founder.

    Sanger’s portrait hangs in the board room of PP’s Atlanta office. Good luck finding Hitler’s portrait in any VW office.

  • The creation of an affordable People’s Car was actually one of the better and legitimate initiatives of the Third Reich (legitimate from a fascist perspective). A better comparison might be with buying Zyklon B if it were being marketed as a chemical to rid your yard of all pests from Ants to Zionists. I just don’t see that happening.

  • About the first comment… I don’t understand why all Americans seem to just misunderstand the whole of socialism? Would someone please answer?

  • Like the portraits of slaveowners in the White House?

    If the point of this post was to argue that Sanger should not be celebrated, then I join the author and I think even many PP supporters would approve Many would probably support a campaign to remove Sanger’s portrait from the boardroom. Other PP supporters might say that her racism is but a small stain on an otherwise great woman.

    But if the point is to paint PP as racist, you’ll have to provide modern-day evidence. And if the point is to discredit the larger pro-choice movement, you’ll have to tackle the issue of abortion itself, not these tangential stories of Depression-era activists.

    I only point this out because I see this sort of tactic often and I just don’t think it’s effective. To use another analogy, it’d be like someone using the priest sex scandal to imply that the Church is on a mission to molest children.

  • “But if the point is to paint PP as racist, you’ll have to provide modern-day evidence.”

    Perhaps the fact that reps of PP are on tape having no problem accepting a donation from someone who explicitly wishes to have his donation used to abort black kids.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,338529,00.html

    Then we have the charming habit of Planned Parenthood locating their abortion clinics in or adjacent to minority neighborhoods.

  • Hey Foxfier,
    Meebbe we better get rid of the Interstate Highway system while we’re at it–that was another idea that owes some inspiration to the Nazis.;-)

  • Thanks Darwin!

    The quote is attributable 100% to Margaret Sanger.

    tour86Rocker,

    If you can come to those conclusions then let me introduce you to some truthers and birthers.

  • I agree w/ restrained radical. I’m seeing this line of attack cropping up more and more and it disturbs me b/c I think a) it’s not fully accurate and b) it’s ineffective and possibly harmful to our cause.

    The racist roots of planned parenthood and it’s founder don’t necessarily mean that’s what planned parenthood stands for today. Planned parenthood stands for unrestrained sexual freedom and abortion as their cash cow backup plan. Simple. Evil. They think they’re providing a good – that women need these “services” in order to fully realize their freedom. Sex is good. Sex without consequences is better and is the ultimate goal. So yes, they provide their evil twisted services in poor neighborhoods (which tend to be disproportionately minority populated) because that’s where their clients are. That results in a disproportionate impact on black children, but in their eyes that’s disproportionate for the good – minority women are getting what they (and all women) need. I see no evidence of a Sanger-like intent to reduce the number of black children b/c they are undesirable. Abortion and sexual freedom are the only desired ends here. As for the undercover tapes, I never found them as damning as everyone else did. Certainly it showed me that PP people have no principles (though, what do you expect from people who literally make their living on blood money). However, I don’t think it evidenced a racist motivation on their part. They think they’re providing a good and I’m SURE that look at minority specific donations as a benefit to a poor minority (like a minority specific college scholarship). That they didn’t care that the person giving the money was a racist doesn’t mean they were acting in a racially motivated way. Even the one employee who said she “was excited b/c she’d never done this before” seemed to me to be stalling for time and trying not to piss off the caller so she could still get the money. Again – no principles at all, but none of them seemed to be REALLY agreeing w/ the caller so much as yessing him just to get the money.

    We don’t need this line of argument b/c I think it is open to valid dispute. The pro-life movement has everything it needs in the scientific fact that a human life is being taken. Point out the disparate effects, sure (just like it’s good to point out that 1/3 of this generation is missing). However, it’s counterproductive to attribute that impact to a racial motivation that I see very little evidence for.

  • CT,

    I respectfully beg to differ.

    I am on the board of a pro-life organization and am quite familiar with the many practices that PP does.

    The racist beginnings of PP are carried on through their policies and actions.

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=57526

    I can see your point to a certain degree, but if we are playing by the liberal playing book, then PP is inheritantly racist and they should be called out for it.

    Especially when a the first president of African heritage has spoken at a PP event, it’s amazing how Margaret Sangers plan to use “social activists” within the “negro community” has panned out.

  • Perhaps the confusion is between the word ‘racist’ and ‘eugenicist’. PP is formerly named the Birth Control League and it was designed to exterminate the ‘inferiors’ so that we can be the masters of our own evolutionary process and become gods. Yeah, in its simplest form PP is the modern manifestation of the first lie.

    As for the modern agenda of PP, it is no different than it ever was. The only difference is the masterful deceit of masking the true intentions with socially acceptable images and politically correct terms.

    Anyone, especially a professed Catholic, that thinks PP is simply trying to help women make choices is sorely misguided. The are designed to kill as many babies as possible because lower-forms of humanity are a cancer on the planet and for our master race to thrive we need to reduce the population of undesirables including effete fag**ts, nig**rs, kik*s and the lowest of the low: Orthodox CATHOLICS.

    Ugly words. Face the truth. This is what PP is all about. Be honest. There is nothing defensible about this anti-human conspiracy.

    Not to mention their desire to engineer humans with embryonic stem cell and cloning technology. The massive dollar supporters of PP want to engineer eternal life for themselves to reign as gods over their homo-simian slaves. It is insanity.

  • American Knight, I’m not sure if something in my post lead you to believe PP is “simply trying to help women make choices.” I know PP has an evil agenda. But I just haven’t seen any evidence that this agenda is currently racist at an organizational level. Yes they are designed to kill as many babies as possible, but I don’t know that they care which babies they kill (ie I see no design to kill black babies b/c they’re black). They’ll kill anyone’s baby as long as they pay and I don’t think they care at all how that falls on the racial spectrum.

    Tito, I still don’t see how those investigations show racism on the part of the employees rather than an indifference to the racism of the caller so long as money is coming their way. Now, maybe that indifference IS a sort of racism and I’ll give you that. But the accusation is that PP in it’s current form carries forth the same overt/race-elimination kind of racism that it’s founder had. I would like to see more than quotes from their founders and videos showing that employees don’t care where their money comes from.

    Just for the record – I absolutely abhor PP and in NO way do I think they provide anything good for anyone. In my above post, I was referring to PP supporters’ subjective perspectives that abortion is a good thing to provide for women.

  • CT, I hope I did not make you feel as though I thought you support Planned Parenthood. I was just emphasizing that their agenda is a general reduction in population with a specific emphasis on the ‘undesirables”. The largest percentage of killing centers are in ‘minority’ neighborhoods. A third of the babies killed are black. Poor whites and South American Indians are considered as undesirable as Negros.

    Planned Parenthood is ultimately a tool of the Devil; however, it has a human face and the humans that perpetrate it are in favor of having a small white Super Race rule the world and a ‘manageable’ amount (500,000,000 or so) of sub-human, engineered homo-simian slaves. This only sounds like science fiction until the science catches up with the fiction. The fiction is not a fantasy it is an evil delusion that is shared by a sick cadre of rich trans-national eugenicists.

    To think otherwise is to disregard a large part of the New Testament. Don’t give the Devil and his minions the benefit of the doubt. The Evil One is real and he presents destruction as a pleasurable goal.

  • Here’s the thing. If a neutral person were to read that quote, “we want to exterminate the Negro population”, they’d assume that Sanger was a monster. But they might also find the whole quote on any number of internet sites:

    “The minister’s work is also important, and also he should be trained, perhaps by the Federation, as to our ideals and the goal that we hope to reach. We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs.”

    Sanger wasn’t calling for the extermination of black people in that quote, she was seeking to prevent that false impression from getting out. The truth is, she didn’t want to exterminate them, she just wanted to thin out their numbers because she believed them to be inferior. Given that truth, we shouldn’t use selective editing to make it sound worse than it is. There are plenty of words and actions of Sanger’s that can make the argument fairly.

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.

Continue reading...

6 Responses to Pro-Lifers Invade the Pro-Abortion City of San Francisco

The New Paganism: Climate Change

Wednesday, January 6, AD 2010

The Pagans are coming out of the woodwork, or more properly named, coming out of the ice sculpture.

What is turning into an annual event in Fairbanks, Alaska, a frozen ice sculpture of Al Gore, or what the locals call “Frozen Gore”, was unveiled.

Steve Dean sculpted the two-ton ice block in tribute to Al Gore and his ‘theories’ of man-made Global Warming.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports with my emphases and comments in this truncated article:

This year’s version includes special effects, thanks to a system that pipes the exhaust from a Ford F-350 out of Gore’s open mouth. Compeau [who funded the ice sculpture] will fire up the truck periodically this winter to create the “hot air” effect.

50 years [ago]. The average temperature for 2009 was 27.8 degrees in Fairbanks, about one degree warmer than normal, said Rick Thoman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Last winter, however, was unusually cold in Fairbanks. Temperatures in the winter months of 2008-09 were about 4 degrees below normal, according to National Weather Service figures.

The mocking tribute of Al Gore and the pseudoscience that he uses is cause for concern.  We need to start a movement to begin the separation of science and state in order to protect Americans from environmentalist fanatics such as Al Gore.

Continue reading...

73 Responses to The New Paganism: Climate Change

  • Al Gore is hardly a fanatic. Environmental fanatics attack whaling boats, live in trees for a few years. Gore wrote a book, won a prize, and has speaking gigs. No different from any other celebrity.

    I’ll grant you that celebrity is never a good engine to drive an issue, modern media outlets aside. But if you want to whine about paganism, look to the movement that has taken over every Sunday and holiday: professional sport.

  • Todd,

    Fanatics is defined as a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion or politics.

    I think that fits Mr. Gore well.

    Don’t you know that we should listen to celebrities on how to vote? 😉

  • One who elevates the spotted owl over the needs of families, for instance, the loss of 30,000 logging jobs, is a fanatic. It is madness.

  • If I can put my excessive reasonability hat on:

    – I’d say that it’s not political programs based on “science” that are a problem, but rather programs which are based on fundamental mistakes about human dignity. Eugenics treated people as only being worth the sum of their traits, and treated humanity as an improveable commodity. It violated basic human dignity when it forced “defective” people to be sterilized. None of this has anything to do with the “science” of eugenics (which turned out to be wrong as well) but rather with not respecting human dignity. Similarly, environmentalists suffer from a poor understanding of human dignity when they get into thinking of humanity as a “cancer on the planet” or see human lives as worth the same or less than animal lives, or seek to violate human life in order to reduce the effects of humanity on the planet.

    – There are some interesting ways in which environmentalism can fit into the same slot which paganism appealed to in the human mind, but I don’t think it’s right to simply equate environmentalism and paganism.

    – Gore is a bozo in part because he gets the actual science involved wrong — and one of the big problems with a lot of environmental advocacy is that it proposes changes which would have very little measureable impact on the scientific metrics involved, yet would involve a lot of negative impacts on society.

    – I’m not jazzed about the idea of a “separation of science and state”. To the extent that science is a way of knowing about the universe, one doesn’t want to rule it out of influencing political thinking any more than one wants to rule religion out of political thinking. However, it’s important to understand that science does not and cannot make moral or policy prescriptions. It can’t say “We must pass this law”. It’s only predictive, as in “If we make this change, this will be the result.” Anyone who claims that science says more than that is selling something.

  • DC

    You are right, environmentalism is not paganism, though both pagans and Christians can be environmentalists. As Pope Benedict himself has made clear, environmentalism is intricately connected to Catholicism and its pro-life message. If there are non-pro-life environmentalists encouraging evil, as there are, that must not be used to judge environmentalism itself– rather, it should be used as an example of where some environmentalists need to come to grips as to why one should be an environmentalist- reasons which include the whole of the Gospel of Life.

    ” “Can we remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change, desertification, the deterioration and loss of productivity in vast agricultural areas, the pollution of rivers and aquifers, the loss of biodiversity, the increase of natural catastrophes and the deforestation of equatorial and tropical regions? Can we disregard the growing phenomenon of ‘environmental refugees’, people who are forced by the degradation of their natural habitat to forsake it – and often their possessions as well – in order to face the dangers and uncertainties of forced displacement?” Pope Benedict XVI.

    Don’t call him pagan!

  • However, it’s important to understand that science does not and cannot make moral or policy prescriptions.

    Good points in your comments, though in the past eugenicists were able to pass the Racial Integrity Act.

    And I’m sure environmentalists will be pushing for radical legislation to tax and control American lives following the Copenhagen Climate Conference.

  • Tito

    Just because someone makes a statue does not mean they are pagans; are you going to say all the artists in the world, unless they are making icons and statues of the saints, are making idols?

  • “I think that fits Mr. Gore well.”

    Disagree. Mr Gore has his post-political career. He’s far from exuding the qualities of the extremists of the environmental movement.

    Now, Mr Gore may be far away from denizens of the anti-science or anti-AGW wings, and certainly extremists on their side. Distance doesn’t equate with extremism.

    I’ll back up much of DC’s comment. Eugenics is a horrific, anti0life pseudo-science. I don’t see any reasonable connection with the green movement. It might be that some greens advocate population control as part of an uninformed strategy. I don’t see eugenics gaining traction in either the mainstream green movement or in society at large.

    Steering human beings away from hydrocarbon fuel makes great sense politically, economically, and scientifically.

  • HK,

    Of course not.

    Art can be used as a beautiful expression of God.

    From Michelangelo to Bach, art has been an integral part of enhancing our spirituality and worship of God.

    But I’m sure you knew that already just as much as you know I was referring to much of the “science” that is used to control peoples lives in the climate change movement.

  • I don’t see eugenics gaining traction….”

    I don’t know – seems China’s one child policy got kudos at Copenhagen. That may not be eugenics per se, but it certainly seems like some traction in that direction.

  • I don’t think explicitly means what you think it does. Watch this:

    The Ten Commandments explicitly refer to Wensleydale Cheese – “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor’s [including his Wensleydale, Stilton, Cheddar, or other cheeses].

    mmmm, mmmm, delicious!

  • Why thank you for clarifying that Inigo Montoya.

    Signed,

    Vizzini

  • Did you kill his father 15 years ago?

    Words have meaning, at least they used to. What does “environmentalism” mean? It seems to be an ideology and that makes it incompatible with Catholicity. That doesn’t mean aspects of it cannot be integrated into a Catholic worldview but environmentalism and Catholicity cannot go hand and in hand.

    Conservation, which may be part of environmentalism, is not only compatible with our faith, I am fairly confident that it is the first commandment from God, He told Adam to tend His Garden. Adam was not permitted to destroy or worship the garden, but he had to take care of it for God as His steward. Of course, Adam screwed up, so some of us, his children, worship the garden and others want to destroy the garden. Some of us, are sons of the Most High, if sons than heirs and we are not only heirs to His promise, but we are also heirs of His garden, our planet, and we want to tend His garden, conserve it, enjoy it, populate it with large Catholic families, use it to benefit others and glorify God. I don’t think that can be considered environmentalism.

    EnvironMENTALism is a mental disorder just like other ISMs including Communism, Socialism, Democratism, Mammomism, Liberation Theolgism, American Idolism, and yes, the cult of Al Goreism too. Heretics should be burned at the stake, or we can simply stake them and let the Anthropogenic Global Warming burn them eventually. 😉

  • One particular phrase grabbed my attention: “the science says…”

    One of the first principles of science is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.

    It’s often repeated: “but the science says…”

    It seems as though some of the scientists in the AGW debate (see the recent Climategate episode) have gotten caught up in being fooled themselves.

  • Big Tex,

    “the science says…” is the equivalent to what liberal extremists accuse Christians of saying “the Bible says…” when defending their position.

    It has become their religion, ie, science or what I call scientism, to use in place of God.

    Sad.

  • “It has become their religion, ie, science or what I call scientism, to use in place of God.”

    Another example of taking one’s own subjective situation and interpreting others’ actions,words, etc., as if they thought the same way you did.

    Scientists approach their vocation dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, and if they’re lucky, wisdom. As in most all professions, some fail at both. Some even let science become their life, and these folks may be right, but they err in the social or political application of their “life.”

    I can appreciate that scientists and others trained in science would get frustrated at the intentional ignorance tossed their way in an attempt to form a logical dissent.

    What’s undeniable is that world temperatures have been on the rise due to natural cycles since the Renaissance. Trends toward warmer temperatures have ticked up at greater rates over the past century, more than would seem to be explained by the post-Little Ice Age trend. The attempt at rationalizing: “No, the weather isn’t getting warmer …” followed by “Okay, it’s getting warmer, but it’s not our fault …” followed by ” Okay, maybe we contributed some, but we can’t do anything about it …” has been all over conservative faces for the past decade or more.

    Even if climate change weren’t a worry, it would seem to make sense for the US to unilaterally cut its use of hydrocarbons for political reasons, if nothing else. Why would loyal Americans want to continue to use West Asian oil if we could develop alternatives at home? Why wouldn’t oil companies embrace the creativity and ingenuity of their homeland, if not their science staffs? If we’re talking about religion or quasi-religion here, let’s not let Big Oil and its followers off the hook.

  • When scientists cannot agree on the global warming trends, if there are any or even affected by man, then why do we have to listen to celebrities such as Al Gore who doesn’t even have a science degree?

    Especially with scientists heavily in opposition to the theory that man is the primary cause of global warming by 100:1, how can we take any of the science at face value at all?

    And I haven’t thrown in the fact of the huge climate controversy that came out of East Anglia university of doctored and made-up numbers. Europe has accepted that these figures are wrong, why hasn’t the liberal elite here in America?

    Because it is their religion.

  • Tito

    Which scientists and in which fields? Secondly, does the lack of agreement of scientists make for truth or that we can ignore the issue? After all, it’s a classical argument against Christianity: Christians can’t agree with themselves, so why be Christian?

  • Henry K.,

    Both you and I know the answer to your question.

    As Catholics we have the three pillars that hold up the Church: 1) Sacred Scripture, 2) Sacred Tradition, 3) the Magisterium.

    😉

  • “Just because someone makes a statue does not mean they are pagans”

    I wonder if that applies to soldiers who wear insignias, or regular American families that fly a flag on the fourth of July.

  • “When scientists cannot agree on the global warming trends …”

    This is just fantasy. Every climatologist knows the temperature trends are rising. All accept that the increase in temperature has accelerated over the past century or so. Has human industry the cause?

    100%? You’ll find some. 90%? 70%? Probably more like these numbers.

    This is like your attempted “expertise” on liberation theology. If you want to be taken seriously, bring a few climatologists to the discussion to raise the bar and challenge you. If you prefer to repeat political talking points and cocktail talk, then we mark another AC topic under the label “ignorance here,” and move on.

    And let’s be clear: there’s no problem with a person not educating her or himself on climate change. The problem is when such folks pretend to be serious commentators.

  • Todd,

    Now you’re just trashing me with no evidence.

    Keep up your malicious comments Mr. Pro-abortion ‘Catholic’ voter. (irony eh?)

  • Pingback: 2012: Nuts To It « Catholic Sensibility
  • The Montreal Protocol was a good example of science working with government for the common good. CFC’s were destroying the ozone and most countries, including the US, took the advice of scientists and regulated it. I don’t think you will find many today who will dispute the fact that we would have been in big trouble if they had remained unregulated.

  • Tito,

    I think you are a serious commentator and I like your observations. My only concern is how big is your carbon footprint? Mine is huge but not as big as Al Gore’s.

    The assertion that Global Warming, Climate Change or whatever convenient moniker they are giving it this week is a religion is a very valid point that needs to be discussed more often.

    I tend to confuse most people because I don’t fit the stereotype of a ‘conservative’ so when a ‘liberal’ meets me for the first time they tend to let their guard down. After I play with their heads as if they were a drunken kitten I ease them into exposing the fallacy of their own argument (if you let a liberal talk long enough they will refute their own position and then deny it). Once the argument has been destroyed I acknowledge that they are actually a logical human being who is in severe self-denial. Then they lash out at me.

    When it comes to this particular topic their emotional reaction (it has to be emotional because if they tried to react reasonably they would have to acknowledge that they propose and invalid position) is to yell at me, “How can you not believe in Global Warming!*&^%?”

    If it isn’t a religion, why do they want me to believe in it? If it is a fact then belief is not needed. If belief is required then it is either a religion or a lie or a religion of lies.

  • Brian,

    The evidence is still out on CFC and the Ozone hole. It seems that was a cyclical thing and not caused by man.

    The more plausible analysis is that CFC were a convenient tool to bring about totalitarianism through environmental concerns. It didn’t work. So they moved on to something that is so prevalent and necessary for life to function, impossible to control and concerns everyone: CO2. By making warming as a result of carbon emissions the neo-paganism of environmentalism will place us all under the yoke of the spirit of this world.

    The conflict between environmental neo-paganism and the Catholic Church is inevitable. My money is on Christ’s Church.

  • What if some of us see idolatry in the stubborn refusal of some Americans to consider the possibility of global warming because it will require making changes, even modest sacrifices, to their consumerist lifestyle?

    You can see idolatry in any movement, which is why the charge doesn’t have any bearing on the truth or untruth of human induced climate change.

  • “The evidence is still out on CFC and the Ozone hole.”

    Really?
    Odd since we’ve been able to verify most of it in laboratories. Not to mention that the ozone has been recovering now that CFCs have been regulated. But I guess you have your sources.

  • Every climatologist knows the temperature trends are rising.

    Aye, 0.6 C over more than a century. Bug me about somthing else.

  • I don’t dispute that the temperature of parts of the globe are increasing. I just haven’t seen any evidence that points the finger at man as the cause. I have also seen no evidence to indicate that any of the life-threatening measures proposed by enviro-fascist fanatics will do anything to reduce the temperature increases.

    I agree with you about certain aspects of ‘materialism’; however, other aspects of good stewardship of the material given have provided a rise in the standard of material well-being of God’s children. The wealthy man of 150 years ago had a lower standard of material well-being than a ‘poor’ American today.

    Someone please tell me why the same people running around screaming about global warming are the same ones always bitching and shivering because it is cold?

  • I think that given:

    a) the undemocratic nature of the massive, world-changing political program that the warming alarmists wish to impose upon the entire planet,

    b) the unfortunate existence of bona fide scientists who are skeptical of the contribution of human activity to global warming

    c) the pretty clear evidence that human civilization has survived historical periods considerably warmer than anything we may be facing in the near future,

    d) the climategate scandal that revealed dishonest attempts to alter and/or hide findings that ran against the ‘consensus’,

    and most importantly,

    e) the anti-life, population control, eugenicist ideology of many of the major players in the secular environmental movement,

    that

    We have every right to be skeptical of this movement, to question and even resist its attempts to take control of the global economy through carbon taxes and other regulations, and to give the skeptical scientists and others a fair hearing.

    If our choice is between a possibility that human activity might cause a slight rise in temperature and sea levels on the one hand, and shutting down all debate, levying massive taxes, and handing over more sovereignty to an international body that is vehemently opposed to Catholic teachings on sexual morality – I’ll take my chances with the C02.

  • “I’ll take my chances with CO2”.

    Heretic. Blasphemer. Burn him. Wait. No. Hargrave is made of carbon – if we burn him we’ll be contributing to global warming. What do we do? Mother Gaia save us. 😉

  • Some Copenhagen attendees saw it for what it was, a tool for the UN to establish a Marxist one-world government. Since this is all clearly anti-human and anti-Catholic (you know those evil breeders) it must be of the spirit of this world.

    Additionally, it seems that someone, probably the guy that designed the planet in the first place, set it up so that CO2 is absorbed in a stable ratio. It seems that since 1850 nature (no not Mother Gaia, just plain old planet Earth) has absorbed the CO2 that has been created, even the increased amount since man industrialized.

    As we face the worst winter in 25 years and global temperatures plummet, store shelves go bare over fears of being snowed in and ski addicts are in a frenzy we should re-think this whole global warming thingy.

    Let’s all say it together, “CO2 is our friend, Ohmmmmmm!” Televise that on C-SPAN.

  • “Now you’re just trashing me with no evidence.”

    Trashing you? Hardly. I had the course in climatology thirty years ago. I read the scientific literature. There is no discussion among scientists on warming trends. They’re happening.

    You’re also incorrect on my being pro-abortion. Been pro-life all my life. Another example of drawing illogical conclusions.

    “As we face the worst winter in 25 years and global temperatures plummet …”

    Another example of the dictatorship of relativism. Clearly AK doesn’t live in the southern hemisphere these days.

  • A few decades ago the EPA would have hesitated in classifying CO2 as a hazardous gas. By the time they are fourteen most youngsters would have learnt that for plants, CO2 + water + sunlight = oxygen + plant substance, and that CO2 is a byproduct of the respiration of almost all living things. The EPA are confident that the rot in the education system is so widespread that they fear no ridicule from the populace, they being too dumb to care.

  • Ivan,

    I fear that you might be right.

  • Todd,

    157 dead in India due to . . . extremely cold weather.

    Didn’t it snow in Saudi Arabia last year?

    NWS stated that we set 1200 cold temp records across the US last week, including Miami/Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Imagine the shock of all the yenta snowbirds; they wake up and think they’re back in Noo Yawlk.

    And, no I don’t live in the Southern Hemisphere. . I hail from North America by choice and the South by the Grace of God.

  • Sadly, Ivan is probably right, education has been so dumbed down intentionally by the designers of the god-state that most people wouldn’t know how to formulate a question. We have become a nation of parrots. Squak, poly want a cracker, squak, global warming.

    Nevertheless, to keep the remnant of thinkers quiet they will soon shift back to global cooling and the parrots will run around fearing a new ice age and calling for global taxes and population reduction (I think they are aiming for 500,000,000 according to the Georgia Guidestones).

    Warming, cooling, heck, just go with Global Climate Change. Nov. 2008 was proof that undefined ‘change’ works best on the Idiocracy generation that was born when slick willy became president, oh the horror, the horror!

    BTW – Todd, where I come from, you know the ignorant South, do you know what we call climate change? Seasons, you know, Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn – crazy, huh?

  • Brian, some of us also see the AGW scam as an excuse to further widen the scope of government and its’ control over the proles (Al Gore, aka Elmer Gantry, and the Beautiful People can of course, buy themselves out of the restrictions they wish to place on ordinary people by purchasing carbon credits. That the sale of carbon credits happens to enrich Al Gore, is, I am sure, just a concidence.)

    The very idea that “the science is settled, so shut up” is in and of itself profoundly unscientific. So is “hiding the decline” and jiggering data to come up with the results you want.

    It’s all utter rubbish. And I believe the snake-oil salesmen who have been peddling it know that very well. They want more power over human beings, that’s all. Unfortunately, the well-meaning and creduous are taken in, but fewer and fewer with each passing day (she typed, as she listened to winter storm warning reports on the radio predicting 10-12 inches and a bad commute tommorrow morning.)

    Brian, you are so quick to suspect corporate wrong-doing (and there are certainly corporate wrong-doers). Why do you frequently seem to assume that those who wish to expand the power of the state are driven by warm and fuzzy altruism? History says otherwise.

  • Hargrave,

    Yes it is sad. CO2 may or may not be a greenhouse gas working its effects according the Arrhenuis theory. That does not bother me, what struck me was the alactrity and insousiance with which the EPA made its pronouncement. There surely was someone there thinking “Hang on a minute, I myself am breathing out carbon dioxide every few seconds. Let us put this to the public in a different way.” No, they were bold enough to expect no contradiction from the public. It encapsulates for me what the bureaucrats really think about the proles.

  • Donna,

    History certainly states otherwise. Usually, the misanthropes that perpetrate government and corporate wrong-doing are the same ilk. Not just cut from the same cloth – they are the same ilk.

    Look at the Goldman Sachs-NY Fed-Treasury Dept incest that has been going on since the meltdown, actually since 1910 – but that’s another story. What about Imelt from GE, who stands to make trillions when we are forced to use crappy ‘green’ technology.

    Corporatism is alive and well in America. Funny how they pit the right against the left because of the left’s love of government, and the left against the right for the right’s love of big business – the enemy is the same. AGW is the perfect tool for the Big Government/Big Business club to rule us little people. Fools.

  • Donna,

    I’m sorry that I or others gave the impression that the “science is settled”. That seems to be a very misleading way of putting things. It is my understanding that science is never “settled” as a legal dispute might be. The way we look at things is constantly expanding or being revised by new discoveries, new data, and the way that the peer review process exposes ideas up to the critique of others.
    While we can talk about a “theory of global warming”, to be accepted or rejected, the reality is that there myriads of separate theories that attempt to explain climate data from various fields. When we speak of a consensus, we are not saying that somehow the majority of scientists have said “yea” in some kind of informal vote, if that were even possible. Consensus means that there some basic correlation between many different and independent attempts to explain the data. Kind of like Newman’s cumulation of probabilities. Some explanations are stronger than others, but the bigger picture, the paradigm, remains strong.

    Speaking of Newman, think of religious belief. When I ask you the reason why you or another believe in Christian revelation, the answer, I suspect, cannot be reduced to one idea. There are many ideas or reasons for why we believe what we do. Some, perhaps, are stronger than others.

    Many so called climate skeptic scientists question certain theories involved with global warming, but do not necessarily doubt the consensus, which seems quite strong.

  • “A few decades ago the EPA would have hesitated in classifying CO2 as a hazardous gas. By the time they are fourteen most youngsters would have learnt that for plants, CO2 + water + sunlight = oxygen + plant substance, and that CO2 is a byproduct of the respiration of almost all living things.”

    I’m not impressed with this argument. Nitric oxide is a hazardous waste and yet is essential to life. So what. It’s context that’s important. CO2, like anything else I suppose, become hazardous in the wrong context.

  • “… do you know what we call climate change?”

    AK, you’ve made the basic error in high school earth science, confusing weather with climate. Back to ninth grade, my friend.

  • Todd,

    I’m just curious – have you ever changed anyone’s mind about anything?

  • I had the course in climatology thirty years ago. I read the scientific literature. There is no discussion among scientists on warming trends. They’re happening.

    You missed this one:

    Sagan, Carl, Owen B. Toon and James B. Pollack
    “Anthropogenic Albedo Changes and the Earth’s Climate” Science, New Series, Vol. 206, No. 4425 (Dec. 21, 1979), pp. 1363-1368

    The money quote is on page 1367, second column:

    “All changes except for urbanization produce an increase in the Earth’s albedo and a cooling of the planet.”

  • Pingback: Concern for the Earth is Incarnational, Not Paganistic « Vox Nova
  • “All changes except for urbanization produce an increase in the Earth’s albedo and a cooling of the planet.”

    If only we had listened to science back in the 70s!

    We could have prevented this global ice age we are in the midst of, and worldwide famine that caused billions of deaths!

    When will people learn to trust the “settled science”!?

    Seriously, there were mainstream scientists calling for the building of CO2 FACTORIES to head off a coming ice age! Imagine if we had done it! Why should we ever listen to these people?

  • Back in the 60s and 70s there were papers that predicted cooling and papers that predicted warming (far more of the latter). The science behind cooling was weaker and was discredited by other scientists even before those predictions could play out. That is not inconsistency, that is how science works.

  • The inconsistency is in the alarmism. If they had just made their predictions quietly, that would be one thing. But with these predictions always come hysterical calls for drastic action.

    That is why this science is suspect. Because, as you rightly say, science is constantly being revised and updated. Yet if the science today is predicting a dangerous trend, then in the minds of some people, it is dangerous to wait and see if further developments will disprove today’s theory – we must “act now”, we must scare the children with stories of cute cuddly animals dying because of disaster X.

    Our “science czar”, hardly some backwater nobody, and his colleagues were among those who predicted the cooling and called for massive increases in CO2 emissions. Now they call for the opposite. The problem is with their alarmism and their draconian politics.

  • Joe, thanks for the question. Happy to respond: yes; I once talked a friend out of having an abortion. Amazing, but true, and apologies to my stalker who prefers to bring up my voting record.

    Art, the Sagan-Pollack paper addressed albedo, not atmosphere. Albedo is the reflectivity of planetary surfaces and cloud cover. The money quote basically says that except for small slivers of pavement and some buildings, human beings have no effect on the Earth’s albedo. Farms pretty much equal forests. The key piece here is that Sagan was an astronomer, not a climatologist.

    Carbon dioxide is an odorless, colorless gas. It prevents heat reflected from the earth’s surface from radiating out into space.

    Also, it might be that the result of climate change would be an ice age. Climatologists agree that atmospheric temperature trends will not gradually cool or heat the planet. At some point there seems to be a feedback mechanism to restore a certain equilibrium. If Greenland ice were to melt, for example, not only would shorelines be inundated around the world, but the infusion of cool, low salinity water in the North Atlantic might be enough to send the Gulf Stream to African instead of Europe. Nice for Algeria, Libya, and Egypt who might get grasslands to replace desert. Not so good for Europeans who might be crunched under glaciers.

    Most scientists are not alarmists. The alarmists I see are those like the bloggers on this site.

    Once the people in the discussion can concede the temperature trend is warming, and that human industry is the most likely reason for the accelerated uptick, then people can sit down and start getting serious about solutions.

    People who insist there is no warming or that it’s not their fault and we can’t change it anyway: these people have no place at the discussion. The tide (not to mention rising ocean levels) is against them.

  • Art, the Sagan-Pollack paper addressed albedo, not atmosphere. Albedo is the reflectivity of planetary surfaces and cloud cover. The money quote basically says that except for small slivers of pavement and some buildings, human beings have no effect on the Earth’s albedo. Farms pretty much equal forests. The key piece here is that Sagan was an astronomer, not a climatologist.

    Thanks for your explanation. The thing is, I know what albedo is. I read that paper 14 years ago and inspected it again last night. Sagan et al. were concerned with a number of factors which effect the earth’s albedo, most saliently the expansion of deserts, which they did attribute to anthropogenic factors. Dr. Sagan was an astronomer. He was also relentlessly topical, and the advance of deserts and global cooling were the anxieties du jour. A few years later, it was nuclear winter.

  • Thanks, Art.

    One important thing is that we need to separate the science from public policy. Scientists can bring facts, and some “relentlessly topical” scientists may decide they can suggest or promote solutions. I would say that the public policy addressing climate change will need to be carefully discerned with significant input from outside the scientific community.

    And nuclear winter, yes. I’d say that was a more likely outcome than a new ice age or melting ice caps on a few days in the 20th century.

  • Todd,

    “Once the people in the discussion can concede the temperature trend is warming, and that human industry is the most likely reason for the accelerated uptick, then people can sit down and start getting serious about solutions.”

    I will do no such thing, until the well-presented arguments of skeptical scientists are clearly and plainly, in a manner a layman such as myself can understand, are debunked. I want to see a serious engagement, a serious debate. I do not want to have a “consensus” rammed down my throat.

    You can scoff at this all you like; I don’t trust the institutions that are bringing me the “consensus.” They are human beings, not data-producing androids, with motivations and agendas, with careers and egos to protect.

    The secular environmentalists behind this movement have a vicious anti-life agenda. They are pro-abortion, pro-sterilization, and are now tying it all in with reducing carbon emissions. I’ve seen articles quoting scientists claiming that having children is bad for the planet, and the Chinese government claiming that its one-child policy has resulted in lower carbon emissions than it would have had – significantly lower.

    I don’t care how clearly the scientists see things – when the stakes are as high as they are politically, you are absolutely, completely wrong to say:

    “People who insist there is no warming or that it’s not their fault and we can’t change it anyway: these people have no place at the discussion. The tide (not to mention rising ocean levels) is against them.”

    The tide is not against them. In light of the climategate scandal, revelations of outright deceptions in Al Gore’s film, and other blunders by the global warming crowd, the skeptics have actually gained ground.

    A sound theory has nothing to fear from debate. The argument that the “science is settled” means nothing to me. How could I possibly know that? There are these people who say it isn’t, and who make convincing arguments in their own right.

    So, I mean, you can try as hard as you like to make people here feel stupid for not slobbering all over the mainstream scientists shoes as we kiss and venerate them, but its going to take a little more than ridicule from you to make the grade.

    I’ll make this offer: show me a good website or paper or something that takes on the main arguments of the skeptics from the standpoint of the mainstream, and I will diligently and happily read it.

  • Todd,

    my stalker who prefers to bring up my voting record.

    Interesting that I am the author of this article that I am now a stalker of your voting record.

    I enjoy pointing out that you are only a “self-identified” Catholic that is a Pro-Abortionist that voted for the most Pro-Abortion president in the history of America.

    Your points are pretty much mute since you’ve compromised your faith for the Democratic Party platform.

  • Joe,

    If you look, you will find plenty of material out there that addresses the skeptics point by point, as there is plenty of material that attempts to cast doubt on the idea of global warming. The question is, and I think you yourself brought this up on another post – how do we come to trust our sources?

    For me, methodology as much as content (of which I have a necessarily limited grasp) makes me tend to trust the findings of the IPCC or National Academy of Sciences for example, over some group or person that sets out with the sole purpose of trying to debunk global warming (or promote it!).

    Right off the bat, I would distinguish between scientists who have discovered flaws in the current understanding of some aspect of global warming and those who actively seek to present the strongest case against global warming. There is a big difference here, but unfortunately the two groups are confused. Scientists bring their findings under the critical review of others and try to make sense of their findings with the accumulated knowledge of their field and even beyond. Unfortunately, those with an agenda to promote or disprove the idea of global warming take specific findings out of their original context – that dialogue with the broader scientific community with its respective disciplines. That is not science.

    The IPCC on the other hand is very conservative (not necessarily always correct, btw) with its use of data. If a specific claim is in an IPCC report, you can almost guarantee that it is not simply one stand alone observation supporting it. This , in my view, puts the burden of proof on the skeptics to refute the massive case for global warming across many fields point by point. To this date, I have not seen this. Rather, you tend to get a list of what I mentioned above – random pieces of data taken out of their original context.

    That is why I will not recommend a site that takes on the augments of skeptics one by one..but rather point to one that looks at the bigger picture of what’s going on out there: http://www.realclimate.org/

  • Brian,
    The linked site doesn’t seem overly helpful. Doesn’t seem to present overwhelming evidence against what skeptics raise. Only slightly more scientific than this site:

    http://www.climategate.com/

  • Tito, you may be a blogger, but you’re still a stalker. Your last post also reveals you to be an untruthful stalker. Feh. It’s your site. You can behave however you want to I suppose.

    Joe, as long as the discussion about climate change stays informal, you’re absolutely okay taking the position you take. I have no problem with it. If, however, you expect to be part of a serious debate, your own insistence on conspiracy theories will sideline you, not to mention your unwillingness to engage the topic broadly and seriously.

    The bloggers on this site have already conceded their willingness to tackle a disputed topic (example: liberation theology) but without the requisite knowledge and background. That’s okay too. Like LT, we know that we can expect a lack of curiosity and expertise when it comes to climate issues on this site.

    If you want to e-mail me with a specific request of literature I could suggest, I’m happy to find something suitable. Last word, gents: you’ve earned it.

  • “Last word, gents: you’ve earned it.”

    Promises, promises Todd. You would be much more effective as a commenter on this site if you would contribute something more than your trademark sneer and condescension which are always a poor substitute for reasoned argument.

  • “The linked site doesn’t seem overly helpful. Doesn’t seem to present overwhelming evidence against what skeptics raise.”

    Fair enough. I have found the site helpful to keep up to speed on what’s going on in climate science right now, but it certainly won’t answer everyone’s questions. I can’t resist one more recommendation – that presents the evolution of climate science bruises and all – without getting partisan: The Discovery of Global Warming (2003) by Spencer Weart.

  • Todd,

    You are so unbelievably smug.

    I expect to be a part of serious debate – for serious debate to exist – because the political stakes are unimaginably high.

    “Like LT, we know that we can expect a lack of curiosity and expertise when it comes to climate issues on this site.”

    I see. So in Todd’s world of Newspeak, a request for literature reflects a lack of curiosity. I asked MI for literature on LT, and I asked you for literature on “climate change” – but we’re not curious. Ok.

    Why do I have to email you? Just drop a title or a link. Is that hard?

    And I do not “insist” upon conspiracy theories – I accept their reasonability, their plausibility, because of the human propensity for evil and the historical record of proven conspiracies. In the case of global warming, we have already seen scientists con-spi-ir-ing to conceal data they didn’t like, block skeptics from the debate, and even express a hope that their critics didn’t know that there was a Freedom of Information Act.

    How can you look at all that and wave it away? At what point is it more crazy not to believe that something fishy is going on than to believe that there is?

  • Exactly Brian.

  • Very well …

    “Why do I have to email you? Just drop a title or a link. Is that hard?”

    That something might be hard is irrelevant. I don’t mind putting extra effort out there for a friend or colleague–if that person is serious. Why would I bother making suggestions on one topic when you’ve pretty much dismissed input on another?

    I’d recommend the Weart book. He has a web site, and apparently a revised 2nd edition of the 2003 book I read. It’s a good place to start.

    “You are so unbelievably smug.”

    Well, I do know what I’m talking about. I had a science background before I studied theology. I still keep up with serious science reading, including climatology. I think I know what I’m talking about when it comes to science, and I think I’m on safe ground in dismissing the so-called climategate.

    You think I’m smug? You’ll find very few serious scientists wasting their time even talking to doubters like yourselves. They would call me foolish for even wasting my time in the attempt.

    And to be serious, I can’t tell with some of you AC bloggers if you’re serious or not. You post on LT and you participate in very long threads. Same with climate. You say you’re willing to review information, but you treat a scientific discussion as if it were some kind of political event. Either global temperatures are warming faster than they should be or they’re not. Human beings contribute to all, some, or none of that. Once the determination is made that planetary climate change is a problem, the focus shifts to solutions. It seems pretty clear that the politicians are struggling with public policy solutions at this point, and scientists are back to monitoring conditions.

    Look, I’m not going to fill up your comboxes with the science of climatology. You want me to write up a “reasoned argument?” I’ll be happy to write a guest post for you.

    If you want to continue discussing with me; send an e-mail. It’s time to move on from this thread.

  • “You think I’m smug? You’ll find very few serious scientists wasting their time even talking to doubters like yourselves. They would call me foolish for even wasting my time in the attempt.”

    So we should all be grateful that you’ve decided to lower yourselves down into the pit and commune with us lesser beings?

    Yes, I think you’re smug. I think that I couldn’t imagine a better way to completely turn people off from a cause than to have you as its spokesman. And I think you are incredibly naive if you think science is immune to politics.

    You really, honestly think you are above having to explain yourself, that it is a “waste of time”, that we should all see that, because of your “science background” we should all just shut the hell up and accept what you have to say, and be grateful for the condescending insults that accompany it.

    Please, I beg you, do not waste another second on us. You haven’t moved anyone’s mind an inch, if anything, you’ve moved people in the opposite direction. You really are wasting your time.

  • As for this:

    “I don’t mind putting extra effort out there for a friend or colleague–if that person is serious. Why would I bother making suggestions on one topic when you’ve pretty much dismissed input on another?”

    When did I do that? I’ve never dismissed input on anything.

    And really, its “extra effort” to find me one thing to read? Two minutes of your precious time? Are you serious? Please, don’t bother. We’re done.

  • You think I’m smug? You’ll find very few serious scientists wasting their time even talking to doubters like yourselves. They would call me foolish for even wasting my time in the attempt.

    Among the doubters is Richard Lindzen of MIT. He is one of only about two dozen scholars in meteorology and climatology who is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • Realclimate? This Mann-Briffa-Jones outfit? You are surely kidding me.

  • Hahaha…Captain Todd strikes again…the guy who has a science background extending from embryology to climatology…

  • Pingback: Global Warming Freezing Temperatures Hit the Globe « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: The Earth Charter: The Replacement of God with Man « Non Nobis
  • Pingback: The Earth Charter: The Replacement of God with Man « The American Catholic

Global One Child Per Family Policy

Thursday, December 10, AD 2009

Diane Francis, a columnist with the Financial Post, a Canadian newspaper, has a column here calling for a global one child policy.

A planetary law, such as China’s one-child policy, is the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate currently, which is one million births every four days.

The world’s other species, vegetation, resources, oceans, arable land, water supplies and atmosphere are being destroyed and pushed out of existence as a result of humanity’s soaring reproduction rate.

Ironically, China, despite its dirty coal plants, is the world’s leader in terms of fashioning policy to combat environmental degradation, thanks to its one-child-only edict.

The intelligence behind this is the following:

-If only one child per female was born as of now, the world’s population would drop from its current 6.5 billion to 5.5 billion by 2050, according to a study done for scientific academy Vienna Institute of Demography.

-By 2075, there would be 3.43 billion humans on the planet. This would have immediate positive effects on the world’s forests, other species, the oceans, atmospheric quality and living standards.

-Doing nothing, by contrast, will result in an unsustainable population of nine billion by 2050.

Although I think this proposal of Ms. Francis is both evil and insane, I do give her props for saying out loud what many environmental hysterics only hint at:  Man is the problem.  Eliminate as many humans as possible and the environment can by saved to be enjoyed by the anointed few like Ms. Francis.

Continue reading...

49 Responses to Global One Child Per Family Policy

  • Oh dear, where to start?

    Perhaps with the good news? I already have two kids and I’m hoping for more. In other words, my descendants will have more influence than those of Francis and the like-minded.

    Now the insanity.

    Why even allow one child? Some poster told me that two wasn’t an arbitrary number in a combox at the end of this post, because two is necessary for population replacement:
    http://vox-nova.com/2009/08/07/preliminary-ramblings-on-population-and-the-environment/
    But of course two is arbitrary, unless the goal is perfect replication of today’s population, and I’m not sure on who is pushing for that.
    Further to the point, allowing one child is also arbitrary. If you really want to stop human influence on the environment, allowing one child is non-sense.

    Another option make much more sense if Francis is really serious:
    The vast majority of people should have no children and select families should have several. There is nothing more inefficient, ecologically, than raising a single child. Families with several children use far less resources per child.

    You know what, that wouldn’t be fair. How about this? No one can have babies and raise them. The government can calculate how many people we’re going to need to keep this thing running (we’re going to need organ transplants you know, and nurses to care for us in our old age), clone them and raise them in huge, efficient, camps. Problem solved.

  • In the worldview of these maniacs, human beings are a virus, a disease, and need to be reduced or eliminated so that Mother Earth can heal.

    This is why the global warming issue is really starting to bother me. Regardless of whether or not it is a serious problem, it is clear that some of the same forces that support this population reduction ideology are also behind terrorizing us all into accepting that we must completely reorder the world economy to reduce CO2 emissions.

    I’ve already seen articles about how babies are bad for the environment from the stand point of “carbon foot prints” – every child makes global warming worse, apparently.

  • I take a small amount of comfort in the fact that even the commenters there think she’s loony.

  • Joe, not being a scientist it is difficult for me to have a truly informed view on global warming. That said, being human I’m prone to bias and I admit I’m biased toward skepticism precisely because the folks who are the most passionate alarmists seem almost uniformly to hold some variant of comical view you describe. They see the earth as a god-like living organism that is infected with the virus known as humanity, which virus would be largely benign but for capitalism and religion, which render it deadly and malignant. The treatment requires (i) marginalizing organized religion, (ii) reducing the virus count, and (iii) replacing free markets with government planning and control. And if we don’t start treatment immediately, we’re all gonna die.

    Somehow I just don’t think so.

  • But today’s lunacy is tomorrow’s policy, at least at the rate we are going.

    Our descendants may have more influence, but who is influencing our descendants? With academia and the media (both journalistic and entertainment, to the extent there is a differrence) overwhelmingly tilted towards Mz. Francis and her ilk, the odds do not look good.

  • I have a more simple solution: if everyone who was truly alarmed about AGW would just personally stop emitting CO2 for about thirty minutes, think how much progress we would make! I think Al Gore should lead by example here.

  • One child per family will end up being a statistical result only. See, if carbon credits are a good idea, why not kiddie credits. Families who have dough can buy kiddie credits from families who need dough. This will help insure that kiddies end up in wealthier families that can afford to give them the high standard of living they deserve. Some kooks have already thought of this — count on it — but are waiting until society is “enlightened” enough to be receptive to it.

  • Not well thought out, to say the least.

    The idea of human beings as a plague or infestation is not unknown in science fiction. But the notion that nine billion people on the planet is unsustainable is also fiction.

    Which isn’t to say that politics doesn’t muck up the distribution of food and other resources. That’s plenty hard stuff to work on right there.

  • Thank God me and the husband are breeding like Catholic rabbits!! Have one 13-month old and twins on the way at the end of January. Guess we’d better keep going before the Earth Worshippers have their way!!!

  • P.S. what kills me is that these anti-human dirtbags will be whining and moaning when they grow old and grey and realize there aren’t enough tax-payers to support them in their old age! Then they’ll probably think twice about, “There are too many people!”

  • Congrats Coffee Catholic! As the father of twins, there is nothing like them to add zest to a house!

  • I’d be inclined to take her seriously if I were into gaia worship. But alas I’m not, so… meh.

  • if carbon credits are a good idea, why not kiddie credits. Families who have dough can buy kiddie credits from families who need dough.

    They thought of that already.

  • To be clear: I would never morally condone what I am about to say. Yet what strikes me as odd is that the people who call for mass population reduction because of “overpopulation” don’t…I don’t know…sacrifice themselves. There’s this group called the Voluntary Human Extinction movement and conveniently its originators have yet to voluntarily remove themselves while advocating others to do so.

  • Well, to be fair, I think you’re supposed to get yourself sterilized before signing up as a member of the voluntary extinction group. Apparently, wiping out humanity is important enough one should not have children (with the comfortable side effect that one can spend all one’s time and money on oneself and not have to support any dependants) but not actually urgent enough that one should hurry things along by actually hurting yourself.

  • I’m curious at the justification of these iniatives b/c it would avoid wars over scarce resources. Aren’t wars, from a perspective that doesn’t really value human life, just as if not a more effective means of population control? The bloodier the war, the more the population is in check.

    I just wish these kinds of proponents would be consistent with their logic, so that they could see for themselves how irrational it truly is.

  • Eric, they don’t off themselves because they’re the wise and enlightened ones. Gaia needs them to inform other people that they’re unnecessary wastes of space.

    “There’s just enough of me and way too much of you.”

  • As was basically said by another commenter, “Today’s insanity is tomorrow’s public policy.”

    China will increasingly be seen as setting the standard for all to follow. Soon every nation will be encouraged to fall in line and push for population control.

    Think it can’t happen here? Take a gander at the emissions goals to be reached in this country by 2050. They’re nothing but hogwash UNLESS efforts to “go green” are coupled with formal population control policies.

    Those policies won’t be limited to abortion. Citing “quality of life” issues we can expect a fevered push for euthanasia of the less than desirable in our society.

    It’ll be almost inevitable unless a complete turnaround is effected in the present cultural mindset.

  • This author is a day late and more than a few dollars short when it comes to the Chinese policy. I believe China has of late decided to ease up on the one-child policy in certain areas of the country because of the disastrous social problems it has caused, including but not limited to:

    1. An extreme gender imbalance (men greatly outnumber women);
    2. The disappearance of extended families (if everyone is an only child, that eliminates not only siblings but aunts, uncles, and cousins, and forces one young or middle-aged adult to be responsible for the care of both parents and all four grandparents);
    3. The “little emperor” syndrome of spoiled children and teens who grow up never having to share anything;
    4. The social instability that is likely to result from large numbers of young men being unable to marry and spending their lives as “lone wolves”.

    Other points overlooked by the global population control pushers:

    1. The main reason world population doubled in the last 50 years was NOT because birth rates went up, but because death rates went down due to sanitation, vaccinations, and improved medical care. As demographer Steven Mosher puts it, “People didn’t start breeding like rabbits — they STOPPED dying like flies.”

    2. The so-called “replacement level” fertility rate of 2.1 children per woman is merely a statistical average for developed countries in which the vast majority of children can expect to live to adulthood. In less developed countries where infant and child mortality is higher, a “replacement level” birth rate would have to be higher. A couple in Haiti or Bangladesh, for example, might have to have 5 or 6 children in order to insure that at least 2 of them survive to adulthood.

    3. To maintain a replacement level of 2.1 or 2.0 children per woman, some couples will have to have larger families in order to compensate for those who have only one child or none at all (often through no choice or fault of their own).

    4. One does NOT raise the standard of living in a less developed country by forcibly lowering the birth rate. Rather, the birth rate will drop “naturally” as standards of living rise and education and employment opportunities open up for women, which prompts them to postpone marriage and childbearing. To try to bring the birth rate down first is a classic case of putting the cart before the horse.

    5. Many countries, most notably Japan, Russia, and most of Western Europe, are facing an imminent UNDER population problem because their birthrates have been well below replacement level for decades. Some governments have tried, with varying degrees of success, to encourage childbearing through “baby bonuses”.

    6. Many experts such as Mosher believe world population will peak at 8 to 9 million later this century and then begin to decline on its own, purely from the demographic “momentum” of birth rates that are currently in decline over most of the world. Mosher states categorically that world population will NEVER double again since birth rates are dropping and life expectancies are not increasing nearly as fast as they were earlier this century (in some areas such as Russia and sub-Saharan Africa, life expectancy is actually dropping due to AIDS and other factors).

  • Oops, I meant to say that world population would peak at 8 to 9 BILLION.

  • Bravo Elaine, informative and succinct, always a potent combination!

  • “Thank God me and the husband are breeding like Catholic rabbits!!”

    Don’t forget adoption. Over 120,000 kids available today. You don’t need to give birth to expand your family, and adopted kids benefit from having a ready family!

  • Well said, Elaine. This brings to mind something I found on here at one point before. I’m sure the Doomslayer is twitching out there…

  • Nice touch Elaine,
    One addition to the disappearance of the extended family: not only do some kids grow up as ‘little emperors,’ but most kids grow up never having seen parenting in action. Most of us learned something about parenting from watching our parents with our youngest siblings, or our oldest siblings with our nieces and nephews, or our aunts and uncles with our younger cousins. All of that is eliminated when extended families disappear. To learn everything you know about parenting by observing only how your parents worked with you can be a serious disadvantage.

  • When so-called “science” comes with a set of talking points and a ready-made statist political agenda, one would be an irrational fool NOT to be skeptical of the so-called “science”.

  • Ah, let’s pick the most extreme views on how to deal with human induced climate change in order to generate more suspicion of the reasonable efforts to reduce our impact on the environment.

    Here’s the real question: Can 9 billion people sustain the level of consumption of resources currently enjoyed in the U.S.?