25 Responses to Why I am Filing for Separation from the Democratic Party

  • Welcome to the world of independent idealism. Good to have you on board. It’s still (maybe especially) possible to be a good citizen being off the party rolls. I encourage the strategy.

  • I know exactly how you feel. I live in Washington DC, where it’s all politics, all the time. For a few years now I’ve answered the question “Are you a Republican (Democrat)?” with “I’m a Catholic.”

  • I simply must repeat what I said when you mentioned this to me privately — this is a great loss for pro-life Democrats, but God as you seem to have discerned may need your gifts and talents elsewhere for the sake of His Kingdom and, temporally speaking, for the common good.

    I need not ask to know whether I still have your support and you need not ask if you have mine. Have faith, there are sincere pro-life Catholics in the trenches my friend. You have simply chosen a new battlefield; there is only one Enemy.

  • Congratulations to you, and welcome aboard, Tim! But one question: am I completely imagining this, or didn’t you announce/decide this a couple of months ago? I thought I remembered reading a post you had written to that effect, but without all of the outlines for an independent party based on Catholic moral teaching and the Natural Law.

  • What’s wrong with the US Constitution Party?

    It’s platform is the closest to Chrcuh teaching:

    http://www.constitutionparty.com/party_platform.php

    I understand, however, that it doesn’t fit the false gospel of the common good, social justice and peace at any price.

    It seems like the writer just wants a socialist party that can call itself pro-life and be Christian in name instead of advocating for a return to the truly Christian Constitutional Republic we once were.

    Why not read and study what this country was founded at insteda of trying to invent some socialist utopia. The common good didn’t work for the Church in the time of Ananias and Sapphira. It won’t work now. And I (along with many, many other Constitutionalists) shall never, ever support it.

  • Paul, it is quite arrogant to assert that people whose views are different than yours and do not think that the U.S. Constitution Party is the closest reflection of Catholic social teaching in the U.S. are merely socialists who want a “socialist party.”

    I think it is an unfair judgment of our Catholicism and our commitment to the teachings of the Church, which requires on some issues much prudential judgment that naturally creates a discussion — and not clear-cut policy positions or views we must embrace.

    Moreover the idea that the United States was ever “truly” an explicitly “Christian” constitutional republic is quite arguable. I find it hard to believe that an authentically Christian society had legal slavery rooted in irrational hate of ethnicity; other points could be made, but I think you are romanticizing history and my argument need not be taken as saying the current situation of America is better or superior but simply that the U.S. was never a “truly Christian constitutional republic” in the sense that you seem to suggest.

    Lastly the idea that people who fail to subscribe to what you have suggested have neglected to “read and study what this country” was founded on “instead of trying to invent some socialist utopia” is nonsense.

    I was not even aware that any sort of disagreement (at least it seems that way in the way you frame your argument, there appear to be only two options) with the position you offer logically implies subscription to socialism. Moreover, it is nonsensical for you to appeal to Catholic social teaching — from Leo XIII to Benedict XVI — and say that the “common good” does not work.

    It would be more credible to argue that what the political left, by and large, presents as the common good is (in your view) a pseudo-common good and the actual common good is something much different — and you could detail it with what you think would work better. But to say the common good “did not work” and will not “work now” while appealing to Catholic social teaching where that very concept is integral to the whole body of the Church’s social doctrine is unbelievably dubious. Honestly, I am not saying this to be harsh; it simply is the case.

    I suppose it is a way to look at things but it is a perspective that I would never, ever support. The political left often gets attacked for claiming to have the correct political translation of Christian values in action and I, to a considerably large degree, can concur that in the current political situation criticism is very warranted. But the political right in the GOP and in my view in conservative third parties, at present, in my view, cannot lay claim to Christian values in their entirety. Many questions are again prudential and need not be dogmaticized — perhaps it is time that we Catholics, particularly those of who choose a specific political avenue or entity, whether it be a party or some other organization, stop trying to box the Church’s teaching into acceptable political language and contrived concepts that derive primarily from secular schools of thought. It is telling when what we call “Catholic social teaching” begins to look conveniently like our party’s platform. Indeed, the Gospel easily transcends all these things.

  • Eric- thanks for your eloquent defense and support- Kevin in Texas- I have been hinting at such a move but I retained my position as vp of florida dems for life until this week- my good friend at the organization- a Catholic- had asked me to take some more time before I made a formal decision- out of respect for this great friend, I decided to wait, pray and see if the Spirit would reveal more- at this point, I really feel that being a non-partisan will be advantageous as a Catholic teacher and in trying to open channels of dialogue working on specific issues rather than risk being written off as a Democratic Party operative or Republican mole inside the Dem party. This decision just feels like a spiritual breath of fresh air- something rare in the political trenches:)

  • Tim,
    Blessings… I too left the party of my youth, however, I came from the opposite side and have landed at Independent as well.
    Eric,
    Wonderful defense.
    Peace

  • Tim,

    Interesting post. It reads to me like you are not rejecting the Democratic party so much as you are rejecting politics per se. I think this is OK; not every Catholic is meant to act in the political sphere. But I do not think such a position can be normative. It is part of the lay vocation to transform our politics from within, and to the extent that you did this as a pro-life Democrat it was a good thing.

    I think generally speaking it is good for Catholics to consider themselves unwedded to any political party. Catholics are wedded to the truth and must understand themselves as Catholics first and then Republicans or Democrats. A Catholic can be a Republican or a Democrat, but they must be a Catholic first.

    Although I’m not thrilled that there is yet another good person giving up on American politics, I am happy to hear that someone is leaving the Democratic party, which in my opinion is virtually unsalvagable. The Democratic party is in principle the party of death.

  • Eric,

    “I find it hard to believe that an authentically Christian society had legal slavery rooted in irrational hate of ethnicity;”

    Slavery had nothing to do with “hate” as we think of it today. It was certainly based in an erroneous view of race, but it was no more hateful in 1788 than it was in 300 B.C. or so when Aristotle was justifying slavery. It was seen as a part of the natural order.

    A lot of the founding fathers, like Thomas Jefferson, struggled with the issue. So, avoid blanket condemnations in the other direction. The northern states abolished slavery right from the beginning. The southern states had “rational” economic reasons for wanting to keep it – but “rational” does not = morally right.

  • The democrat and republican parties are not the same.

    If more people voted for McCain, we’d have a chance overturning Roe v Wade with the nomimation of more good supreme court justices like Roberts and Alito, but no, we get Sotomaer and Kagan.

    Thanks alot 54% Catholics who voted for Obama or Indepedants! Like you really care about the unborn…rightttt.

    A Catholic with a well formed conscience can not in any way vote for the party of death.

  • Zach- I don’t think you are reading me correctly- I’m not giving up on American politics- I am just backing out of the Democratic party since I could not find any traction for pro-life Dems in my geographic area- I tried through offering a viable candidacy and having a presence in the local media and making contact attempts- but it didn’t happen. I decided it was best for me to purify my own end of things and come clean as an Independent who will work with partisans on the various issues of importance- but will be a non-partisan about it. In a way I am following the lead of Archbishop Chaput who was once one who identified more closely with the philosophy of governance represented by the Democratic Party, but because of the emergence of social liberalism and hardcore secularism in the heart of Democratic Party activism- he has chosen the Independent political path- and since I am a Catholic teacher myself, I think it is prudent to stake out non-partisan territory myself- not to avoid the political fight over the important issues of our times, but to be taken more seriously and to be seen as more consistent than those who seem to allow their Party loyalties to determine their political consciences. We’ll see if this decision makes sense over the longer haul- I am a Catholic first- that is my core message in all this.

  • I pray a lot and the Holy Spirit reveals a lot to me.

    When he talks to me, he starts with “Shaw, love humility, live the Gospels, obey the Ten Commandments, and adhere to the teachings of Holy Mother Church handed down from The Apostles and today from the Pope.”

    He revealed to me “Shaw, you can’t be both a democrat and be pro-life.” And, “You won’t be getting into Heaven if you vote democratic.”

    Early in 2008, this Pope gave four non-negotiables. Despicable dems are 180 degrees, and violently (47,000,000 exterminated unborn), opposed to each and every one.

  • I agree with Jasper and I’m ashamed of being a (cradle) Catholic these days, when 54% of them voted for Barack Obama, a pro-abortion and pro-infanticide politician. As a matter of fact, the Democratic Party has become the party where the Culture of Death has taken hold, and I’m glad I abandoned them over 10 years ago.

    Jasper is correct in that with the GOP, at least we got two solid, pro life, conservative Supreme Court Justices, but with Obama, we’re getting rabidly pro-abortion ones. Way to go, my brothers and sisters in the Church. Next time, please use the God-give reason you were born with and LEARN the candidates’ record on abortion!

  • Paul – Pope Benedict doesn’t agree with you

    Pope calls for ethics in world economy

    “Benedict said the search for common good must inform globalization and be the goal of progress and development, which would otherwise merely serve to produce material goods.”

    http://tinyurl.com/29d528y

  • Non-partisan? Transpartisan?

    I think there’s room for a Christian-Democratic political and social presence in the United States, and it can grow if it plays by the populist playbook, particularly the experience of the Non-Partisan League.

    Perhaps you can take the whole matter up with Oscar De Rojas? I have a hunch he has an interesting perspective on this whole thing.

  • Putting one’s faith in a political party will inevitably lead a sincere Catholic to a sense of disillusionment with politics in general. However, as a means to an end, parties may be used as an imprecise apparatus and like an imprecise apparatus they more often than not accomplish the task with less success than we would like.

    I have yet to see a practical way out of the 2 party system we have in the US that does not, as a by-product, result in one party dominance, after the other party fractures it’s base.

  • Dear Mr. Shipe,
    I was very touched by, and sympathized with, your declaration. I would like you to know that a group of citizens are forming a new centrist political party: The Christian Democratic Union of the United States (CDUSA). We are in the process of redesigning our webpage, but please use my address for any additional communication or request for information. We invite you to please advise us and be in touch with us.

    Our basic political philosophy is quite straight-forward: we are “center-left” (i.e., agree with many Democratic party positions) on most economic and political issues, while we are “center-right (i.e., agree with many Republican party positions)on most social and cultural issues. We are, essentially, the OPPOSITE of what libertarians and Tea-Party groups stand for. Indeed, we reject the labels of “liberal” or “conservative”, because these can have different meanings, depending on what standpoint you look from.
    We do hope to hear from you and your friends, and, in the meantime, remain, sincerely yours,
    Oscar de Rojas
    Executive Director
    Christian Democratic Union of the United States

  • “We are, essentially, the OPPOSITE of what libertarians and Tea-Party groups stand for.”

    That’s unfortunate. Are you sure you know what they stand for?

  • we are “center-left” (i.e., agree with many Democratic party positions) on most economic and political issues, while we are “center-right (i.e., agree with many Republican party positions)on most social and cultural issues.

    That sounds agreeable as stated. The difficulty is that ‘center-left’ on economic matters (at this time and in this country) means the continuous multiplication of patron-client relations between politicians and lobbies, in which the politician is a broker who supplies constituency groups with the fruits of the state’s extractive capacity in return for the fruits of the constituencies’ fundraising, labor, and brand-loyalty. You could call it crony capitalism, but the beneficiaries are not merely favored business sectors but also the social work industry and the public sector unions and provincial and municipal politicians. Call it crony capitalism, crony philanthropy, crony syndicalism, and patronage.

    That’s unfortunate. Are you sure you know what they stand for?

    Joe, it is somewhat disconcerting that ‘TEA’ is an acronym for ‘Taxed Enough Already’. The focus should be on the ways in which the public sector might be circumscribed. Once you have come to an understanding of the appropriate boundary of the public sector, the tax rate is implicit. Complaints about taxation per se enhance the stupidity of the political culture. One can address complaints about tax rates by reducing them, but without a willingness to circumscribe the public sector, you just get deficits. The federal government’s statement of income was in far more parlous shape when Mr. Obama took office than was the case when Mr. Reagan took office, so we no longer have the margin for an extended game of let’s pretend.

  • Thank you for the interesting comments.

    What I mean by center-left in the economic area is that we do believe in a necessary and appropriate level of government regulation of the “free market” to avoid situations of abuse such, as for example, the financial disaster that we still have not gotten out of. And, yes, we are for more progressive taxation — meaning taxing the really reach -not the middle class, certainly not the poor- to further the common good.

    The fact that there is so much cronyism, lobbying, corruption etc. in the political system is somehting that we clearly have to tackle with, but hopefully, with a more just society, these things might also become more repugnant and begin to change.

  • Art,

    Give the people a break.

    “The focus should be on the ways in which the public sector might be circumscribed.”

    There is plenty of focus on that. If you don’t know it, you haven’t interacted with the people in the movement.

    “Complaints about taxation per se enhance the stupidity of the political culture.”

    No they don’t. Statements like this just reveal the extent to which you aren’t affected by taxes. You realize that over half of the tea party is made up of one of the most unjustly-taxed brackets of income earners in America, right? We’re talking people who make somewhere between 50 and 100 thousand or so a year. They pay through the nose.

    “One can address complaints about tax rates by reducing them, but without a willingness to circumscribe the public sector, you just get deficits.”

    Why would you assume this willingness isn’t there? It is.

    “The federal government’s statement of income was in far more parlous shape when Mr. Obama took office than was the case when Mr. Reagan took office, so we no longer have the margin for an extended game of let’s pretend.”

    Again, if you don’t think the tea party acknowledges and address this, you’re really quite out of the loop. Fiscal responsibility, dealing with the debt, stopping the spending and related issues are probably more important to it than the tax rates, I would say.

  • And, yes, we are for more progressive taxation — meaning taxing the really reach -not the middle class, certainly not the poor- to further the common good.

    Um, if, by ‘the rich’, you mean a class of rentiers or latent rentiers (along with senior corporation executives), I think you will find on inspection that you are speaking of around 2.5% of the population who corral about 15% of the nation’s personal income.

    If, by the poor, you mean individuals whose wage and private pension income (w/ salaries or proprietor’s income or annuities in some few cases) is below the cost of a basket of staple commodities as calculated by federal statistical agencies, that would be perhaps 20-25% of the population who corral about 4% or so of personal income.

    The ‘middle class’ (salaried employees and small proprietors) corral north of 45% of personal income and the more prosperous wage earners corral the balance of roughly 35%. You are not going to tax any of these people? Do you plan to finance the state with lotteries?

  • My comments were not derived from my personal fiscal situation (which does include considerable tax liability, though that is none of your business).

    Federal and state income tax codes are so rococo that it is simply impossible (with any degree of thoroughness) to say from descriptive statistics which strata are being ‘unjustly taxed’ and which are not.

    I did not name the ‘Tea Party’. I am not sure to whom the moniker is attributable. It does make me anxious, however.

    I am pleased if you can find a generous slice from among the miscellany of people who are protesting who are thinking seriously about the ways in which the public sector can and should be circumscribed. Any movement has quite a mix as regards its degree of sophistication and seriousness.

    I was a witness to the political discourse engaged in by Mr. Reagan and his acolytes during the period running from about 1978 to 1989. It is not a happy precedent and is one I hope the Republic can avoid. In general, it has not been my observation that an understanding of the relative size of the public sector and the distribution of expenditures between various categories thereof is (in schematic outline) well understood even among the quarter or so of the population who follow public affairs. If there are many counter-examples in the Tea Party, that is all to the good.

  • Tim –

    I’ve also thought about a party based on Catholic Social Teaching principles that could go by the name “The Common Good Party” – which has the great benefit of being shortened simply to the Good Party, with a membership of Good People.

    I’m not nearly as politically astute or experienced as you (or Oscar) though, and very much look forward to your thoughts on how practically to develop such a political force.

    If you want/need any help from the Pacific Northwest, do let me know, and I’ll do what I can!

3 Responses to Set Me Free (From Ideologies) Part 1

  • Just a word of caution on the authority of the Compendium. Even the Compendium itself recognizes that some of what is in it does not partake of infallibility:

    “In studying this Compendium, it is good to keep in mind that the citations of Magisterial texts are taken from documents of differing authority. Alongside council documents and encyclicals there are also papal addresses and documents drafted by offices of the Holy See. As one knows, but it seems to bear repeating, the reader should be aware that different levels of teaching authority are involved.”

    Also Catholic Social teaching as you point out, does not fit any particular political position. Fortunately, CST also notes that it does not propose any particular political solutions. That is in fact left to the prudential judgment of the laity (yes it is up to the use of prudence – the practical application of moral norm to a specific problems.) Thus CST also notes that Catholics in good faith can disagree on particular solutions. To say otherwise is in fact to act contrary to Catholic Social Teaching itself.
    Now it seems you are not doing so but you do head near the shoals of Ultramontanism (as some other Catholic blogs do) by thinking that by reading the Compendium you will come up with a specific solutions. You won’t. Specific moral principles to apply – yes. Particular solutions that all are called to adhere to as good Catholics – no.
    I agree that one has to avoid ideologies that reduce the truth to sound bites. But there is a distinction between ideologies and ideas. Long, hard, cold thought out ideas that have internal coherence and which can provide specific political solutions. These ideas which form from the understanding of history, politics etc. have internal validity as expressions of human reason and if solidly based are a valid means of approaching problems of the world today. Even you admit to some with your FDR approach. This is okay.
    Its okay to have internally consistent ideas that propose solutions to political problems as long as one is open to new understanding as the study of history, politics, etc. develop. Even the Church (in one of JPII’s social encyclicals which is lost on me now) admits this much. That some of what is in CST is based on current understanding of history, economics etc. and can develop as these disciplines and as human understanding itself develops (see my first admonition above about differing degrees of authority.)
    So the bottom line is, I don’t have a problems with Conservative/Liberal etc. But let all come forth with solid, reasoned arguments and not the raw emotionalism that Charity in Truty decries. Let the best current understanding of social problems be presented with solid economic, historical etc. understanding. Then let Catholic laypersons with solid ideas (and not ideologies) make solid, prudential decisions.

  • Appreciate the insights Phillip- I suppose my goal is not to replace a brother/sister’s ideology with another one- but to get every serious Catholic who makes a big show of being a out and proud “conservative” or “liberal” and so forth- to think again- not to convert to another ideology, but to just leave off the self-labeling when saying you are Catholic- a Christian disciple- should suffice. I recall cringing at Sen. Brownback after receiving Father Pavone’s personal endorsement for President, going around saying that he was the “true Conservative”. Is that a good public witness for Christ, given that Christ is giving us a social doctrine that doesn’t lend itself easily to ideological adherences? Personally, I don’t see how an honest reading of all the social doctrine materials can lead me to voluntarily accept the imprisonment of any merely political ideology. I have tendencies toward the FDR Democratic party mold, but I recognize the fallibility of such to address all issues for all time- I won’t suggest that it wasn’t surprising that so much of the Catholic Church faithful were inclined to the FDR-Dem party – even in the Hierarchy- given the connections people were seeing between the social teachings and the political visions offered at the time. Of course times change, and appeals to FDR are not what I am much concerned with.

    I believe we are living in a bit of a new Barbarian Age- more subtle than before, very high-tech, but also very deadly to bodies and souls- I see the Barbarian movement in the establishment Left and Right- with abortion killing millions and a serious lack of global solidarity leading to unnecessary military conflicts and unjust economic situations. America is part of the problem and part of the solution- I’m focused on getting my nation to get out of the business of being part of the problem.

    As for the Compendium- I realize that differing levels of teaching authority are in play- but the fact that they are now given new circulation in the Compendium which is a concise rendering of the entire corpus of our social doctrine should be cause for new appreciation for all of it’s contents. At minimum what is in there must be taken deeply into our developing consciences- to say that only the most explicit detail of a particular principle of social teaching is worth reading would be a major error in prudential judgment. I figure if the Magisterium or Church leader puts something down on paper for our consumption, we should attempt to take time to consume it, let it work through our minds and imaginations, so that when we set about proposing specifics on major issues, or vision statements- we will have the benefit of all of the Church’s vast wisdom. I think that too many Catholics abuse the notion of prudential judgment to simply short-circuit the papal words that don’t mix well with their chosen ideological adherences- I’m not making a personal accusation to you Phillip or anyone in particular- but I am suspicious of everyone who clings too closely to something like what Brownback said “I am the true Conservative” I’m very suspicious of true believers in political ideologies.

  • Thanks for your reply. Will respond more fully after Easter. Quick reply is that I appreciate and look forward to your insights also.

Democrats for Life of America Are Serious

Wednesday, July 15, AD 2009

pro-life democrats

Hattip to the ever alert Jay Anderson of Pro-Ecclesia.  Because Congressman Tim Ryan (D.Ohio) abandoned his pro-life position, Democrats for Life of America removed him from their national advisory board. This news story demonstrates Ryan’s transition to voting pro-abortion.  Interesting that Ryan abandoned the pro-life cause after the Democrats took control of the House in 2006.  I suspect that he is ambitious and decided that in a House run by pro-abort Democrats being a pro-lifer was not a career enhancer.  At any rate, as a pro-life Conservative Republican I salute the action of these pro-life Democrats.  It would have been better to boot him in 2008 after his changed voting record had become clear, but the main thing is that Democrats for Life have acted now.  Their action lends credence to the seriousness with which they view the issue of abortion.  Bravo!  (Two articles praising Democrats in two days by me?  I’m going soft!)

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3 Responses to Democrats for Life of America Are Serious

Grassroots Push for Democrats for Life

Sunday, June 21, AD 2009

Here is a blog I wrote for fladems4life.org- this is the website for Florida Democrats for Life organization- If you are a Democrat and pro-life you should seriously consider joining the National and State chapters for Democrats for Life. There is a lot of freedom for you to bring your ideals and ideas into these growing organizations. I believe it is mostly a waste of time trying to turn Democrats into Republicans or vice versa- there is a philosophy of governance that pulls deeper than individual issues- even big issues like abortion.

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30 Responses to Grassroots Push for Democrats for Life

  • Tim,

    As always, we are in agreement. Though lately I have been wondering if perhpas, as well, conservatives might be won over to the Catholic economic and political perspective.

    Perhaps we need a movement on both sides of the spectrum – one which encourages Democrats to accept pro-life, pro-family values, and one which encourages Republicans to embrace new and better economic ideas. Then we might meet in the middle and shift the whole center of gravity, away from liberalism in its economic and cultural forms, and towards a truly communitarian vision in which the state plays a supporting role (as opposed to no role at all, or too great a role).

  • I somehow found my way here after reading an article about another Christian pro-test about something irrelevant to the mainstream. My instinct is to not waste my time on this, but here it is…STOP MAKING DEMOCRATS OUT TO BE ANTI-FAMILY…just some of us believe that government has NO PLACE IN A WOMAN’S UTERUS…and certainly some middle aged, middle income white MAN has no business pushing for legislation that effect women…pro-choice is not the same thing as pro-abortion. Everyone wants less abortions happening. Only the Catholics also want no birth control, no sex education…gosh, that will work well for preventing unwanted pregnancies…and “family values?”…look at the personal lives of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Riley, Gingrich, the list goes on…hypocrites on ‘family values.’ I teach Sunday school, I pray and I am curious about my faith…but I will be damned to allow the religious right to continue to make abortion a political issue. Keep the church out of my government and I will keep the government out of my church. The Catholic church (and many Catholics) scare me more then any other religious group. So please, do not try to patronize Democrats with this issue. We know the truth…Republicans use it to get single issue voters…it is highly effective. Let the Democrats keep fighting for urgent things that effect the already living…things like energy efficiency, global warming, poverty, urban plight, labor, and health care…

  • Pro-Family Democrat,

    You have no right to tell us what we can and cannot do as Catholics we have freedom of speech.

    You confuse establishing the Church as the official church of the United States to Catholics speaking up about their values. Just as you speak up about your right to kill children in the womb.

  • Tito…

    Again, this time slower for you…no one here is pro “killing children in the womb”….(but those are choice emotional words, well done)…I am not pro-abortion…a concept that seems to be void to most ‘pro-lifers’…if you all would slightly bend to include PREVENTION into your cause we could probably work for a common good…but you are limited in your fight.

    Again…keep your church out of my government and I will keep the government out of your church…you can’t have to both ways. You should be very scared to continue to blur the lines…church-led government like Iran…or Government led church, like Hitler’s Germany and cold war Eastern Europe…are you really wanting to be like that?

  • Joe,

    Yea- it’s strange fighting against sexual liberalism and economic neo-liberalism simultaneously- it puts you on the ‘outs’ with both major political forces in this country anyway. I was being a little polemical about how it is easier to convert to pro-life than to change party affiliation- it did work that way for me though. Even though I hold firm to being a Democrat and working within that party, I don’t vote for the party so much as the candidate- though there are times when I haven’t done the necessary homework and all I have facing me in the ballot box is a name and a party affiliation- for local elections the abortion issue is pretty moot. But philosophically, I can see the Democratic Party taking abortion out at the national level if it gets it’s act together, and combine that natural law legal move with the necessary social program and safety net investments to make sure women are not going to face undue hardships in seeing their children through to birth at minimum.

    One other side note- I agree with Ralph Nadar about how the Dems have in many ways embraced the Republican neo-liberal economics- though both parties have gone in for dubious massive bail-outs for the large investor class- see Jeff Faux’s book The Global Class War- for info on how Clinton began the sell-out of prior Democratic party inclinations on economics. Just because I see a major role for government in such things as directing economic outcomes- I don’t go in for all of the Greenspan/Bush/Obama bail-outs of dubious banking and investment interests- economics is not a zero-sum game, you don’t just print money up to bail out the big boys- you do have to get resources moving with fixed currency exchanges and investments like the Marshall plan and/or Manhattan Projects for morally positive outcomes. I will post my campaign column on “Common good, Common-sense Economics” at a later time.

  • Baby Killing Democrat,

    Your argument sounds like I’m against slavery but I don’t want to push my views of being anti-slavery on others.

    Also I have a right to speak my values, so keep your anti-Catholic views out of the public forum.

    Islam and Catholicism are different. It’s also a straw man argument. You, like many democrats, dwell in relativism and think all religions are the same.

    Just as Hitler came to power pushing socialism, Obama is very similar. Just as Hitler, Obama is a great public speaker. Just like Hitler’s thugs, ACORN rigged the votes in strategic states. Just like the Brownshirts (who were militant homosexuals) the Black Panthers intimidated voterr. (two can play the “Hitler-card”).

    When you start drawing analogies such as you have, you know you’re losing the argument.

    If you want to prevent the killing of innocent children in the womb, then outlaw it.

  • Tito,

    your last rant is what makes me think you all are loony…just more proof…so cool, thanks…

    and when you put Acorn, Obama, Hitler and what have into your analogy…your not just losing an argument…your losing your mind.

    My guess is..it’s been awhile since you have been laid…homophobic AND a conspiracy theorist…mix in neo-nazi pro-lifer…been awhile since you had a date I bet.

    You keep on that crusade of yours…good luck. hahaha…

    I need to go wake my baby from his nap…and go meet my family at the pool for some family time…that crazy thing that us anti family Democrats writhe from…hahahaha

    you see, freak? I didn’t “kill my babies”….I just waited to have them when I was ready…thanks to being educated and informed about how babies are made…

    may the Dear Lord forgive you for being such an intolerant and bigoted ass…

  • oh one more thing Tito

    “If you want to prevent the killing of innocent children in the womb, then outlaw it”

    you are so sadly misinformed and ignorant…wow.

    We should do this with so many things…let’s start with murder. That should be illegal…then it would finally not be a problem…drunk driving, that’s another one…mmmm….we are on to something here, Tito!…how about drug use? Excellent…that IS a pesky problem. And while we are at it, how about robbery, home invasion…man, if we just made them illegal…gosh, we should have done this years ago!!!

    Excellent thought process Einstein…

  • While I may not agree with precisely the way Tito addressed you, you did say…

    “just some of us believe that government has NO PLACE IN A WOMAN’S UTERUS”

    And some of us believe that every human being, regardless of his or her location, has a right to exist. It is that simple.

    If I believed that it wasn’t a human life inside a woman’s uterus, I wouldn’t care about it. If the unborn human being has no value, then abortion should be legal.

    If the unborn human being does have value, then nothing can justify abortion. It is really that simple. The government has every right to protect human life. Seeing as how 99% of pro-lifers don’t care about the 99% of medical procedures that don’t involve killing a human being, it is simply false to make this a women’s issue.

    Even moreso in that I think men should be held accountable as well. Please don’t make us out to be misogynistic. This is about parental obligation, not women’s rights. No one has a right to neglect, abuse, or murder their child, man or woman.

  • Baby Killing Democrat,

    Odd that you bring up Hitler then mock me for mocking you.

    Again, it is God that you are angry at, you’re just a troll throwing vitriol at anyone that doesn’t adhere to your disordered view on life.

    I’ll pray for you.

  • I have found myself in the Lion’s Den…so I ask you. You middle aged men who fight for the unborn…what have you done to help the BORN? Have you adopted an unwanted child? Do you want to raise a minority child born to a drug addicted mother? Please do, it would make your argument credible. Do you volunteer at county hospitals to rock the newborn, who has been abandoned while it detoxes from meth? Do you work in the foster care system to give those children an equal chance in the world? Do you support social systems that provide a family with the LIFE LONG support they will need? Not short term…”here are some bottles, diapers and a winter coat…good luck.” WHAT DO YOU DO to help those children? Those children born, here and now…breathing, living, suffering, hurting, hungry and unwanted. Do you help them? I’m betting on ‘NO’

    And again I say to you…prevention is the key. Stop thinking abstinence. Get out of the box. I am NOT a sexual libertarian…or whatever you called Democrats…the most offensive, sexually degrading shows I have seen are on FOX…the “values channel.” Republicans, Catholics, Christians, pro-lifers…you do not have the moral authority. I am not a “baby killer” because I want to see prevented pregnancies for women that do not want to yet be mothers.

    You must separate the radical pro-life movement and include prevention and education.

    But if abortion were to be illegal…the Republicans will lose too much of their base…they know it. It will never change. Bush didn’t change a thing…why? Because you all came back and voted for him again.

    Patronizing your vote.

    good luck in your fight to get Dems on board. Single issue voters are pathetic. If they would give up all the important issues we are working on, so they can go hold up a sign and shout at young girls…good riddance…

    I hear the pitter patter of my son’s feet…he wants to join his siblings at the pool…

    Namaste

  • Does pro family include the prenatal?

  • Pro-abort Troll, I have three kids, including an autistic son, so don’t rant to me about the demands of parenthood, my wife and I have lived them. I have been active in the pro-life movement since 1973. For the last decade I have been on the board of the crisis pregnancy center in my county that gives assistance to women dealing with problem pregnancies. I am currently president of the board. Many of these women we help eventually come back to volunteer with our organization to help other women. We also have an outreach to post-abortive women to help them heal from the bitter despair often engendered from a “safe, legal abortion.” In short I have done what I can to help women in bad situations as a result of pregnancy and abortion. Do I have all the answers to the complex social problem of unwanted pregnancies? I do not. But I do know that killing the child is not a solution, and that the law must protect unborn children as it does born children, if we are to have any pretense of being a civilized society that values human life.

  • Pro-Death Democrat,

    No one here made any claims to “Fox” being the values channel. Most of us don’t even watch tv for that matter. We like to read books mostly.

    I am a board member and a volunteer to a crisis pregnancy center and many more other post-natal care facilities. In addition I pray every day for the end of killing babies as well as praying in front of baby killing facilities such as Planned Parenthood.

    I am a young man in my thirties, but I am old relative to the movement since most of my colleagues are toddlers all the way up to college students who pray with me in front of abortion mills, volunteer with many pro-life organizations that helps pregnant moms and abstinence programs.

    I don’t believe in killing innocent unborn babies and will work until my dying days for the end to the mass slaughter of babies, which is the greatest civil rights challenge in our nations history.

  • Wow- I go out for ice cream and the playground with the family and look what happens to my father’s day blog entry!!

    Well all I can say is that while I am a middle-aged man, my chief pro-life teachers in life have been women. I didn’t just become Catholic and then receive my marching orders from the Pope to become anti-abortion. I had enough life experiences to teach me the true nature of abortion to lead me to oppose abortion with or without a religious conversion. As an update, my wife was one who helped me clear the final hurdles about abortion- she is the one who told me that the only women she can understand would still be pro-choice on abortion are women who have not had children. She is the one who has told me before the births of our children, she is the one who made me promise that no matter what goes down, if there comes a point where there is a choice to be made between her life or the baby she has only seen on ultrasound- go with the baby always! Now I know I am only a middle-aged male, but these kind of witnesses from my female wife have made a deep impact. Maybe the claim will be made that my wife is a self-loathing female- well that logic would follow anyone who opposes a U.S. war and speaks out negatively. Maybe only active duty service men and women should be able to participate in the political debates concerning whether the country should go to war or not.

    I’m not buying it. Now I agree with the need for investments in all kinds of pregnant women/children/family social helps, which is why I am pushing for the Pregnant Women Support Act, it deals with a lot of the root causes of abortion- so don’t paint the pro-lifers with too broad of a brush as being insensitive to women and children already born. We may have strong disagreements on the value of contraception, but there are a host of other ways to address many of the same root causes- shall we work together on those, or just continue to issue angry emails and look upon our opposites as pure bad guys. I personally disagree with many things that mainstream liberals and conservatives put forth, but I also find room for common ground, and I am willing to work on that, even as I keep on trucking with my full list of ideals, pushing the system as is my right to do in a free society.

    I’m not sure that non-religious persons would embrace my way of loving the women in my life- but I have a facebook cause entitled “Dads Protecting Daughters” which shows more of the politics of my heartfelt love and devotion to my female children- girls I would die a thousand painful deaths over to save- the content of my love may be in some ways mistaken, but do not mistake my intent- I love the women in my life, and I do not believe that supporting abortion rights is any way to say I love you to any woman. That’s my humble but strong opinion.

  • This guy gives us yet another opportunity to look at how the pro-choice movement makes a complete mockery out of logic.

    “You middle aged men who fight for the unborn…what have you done to help the BORN?”

    Why would this have any bearing on the argument? Something is either true or it is not. What the person proclaiming that truth does on their spare time has no relevance. The answer to the question may well be, ‘absolutely nothing’. So what? Go back to logic 101. 1+1 = 2 even if Hitler says so. The sky is blue even if Stalin says so. Truth claims have to be evaluated independently of the person making the claim.

    “Do you support social systems that provide a family with the LIFE LONG support they will need?”

    I can’t speak for the others, but I do, as a good in itself. But again it is irrelevant. With or without those systems, either abortion is murder or it isn’t. If it is, it is unjustifiable. If it isn’t, then who cares if there is a system in place?

    “And again I say to you…prevention is the key. Stop thinking abstinence. Get out of the box.”

    This is simply not about abstinence. There are plenty of married people having morally licit sexual relations who nonetheless seek out the services of the abortionist. This is about parental obligation. To make it all about sex reduces the unborn child to nothing else but a consequence of sex. It is that, but it is also more. It is a child of two parents and an independent human being.

    That said, birth control does not prevent abortion. It encourages abortion. It creates a mentality and a lifestyle of sex without consequences, but it only has to fail ONCE, people only have to forget to use it ONCE for that false reality to implode. Then people are left completely unprepared for the consequences, and the less prepared people are, the more likely they are to abort.

    “the most offensive, sexually degrading shows I have seen are on FOX…the “values channel.”

    True, but again, irrelevant.

    “I am not a “baby killer” because I want to see prevented pregnancies for women that do not want to yet be mothers.”

    We all know what a pregnancy is, and what you mean by ‘prevented’.

    A woman isn’t pregnant with a kidney or a spleen, but an unborn child, a unique individual with its own genetic code and potential in life. The only way to ‘prevent’ it from being born is to kill it. So, we have a child, and we have killing. Making it sound political or clinical doesn’t change what it is.

  • Tim, as a pro-life Democrat, I obviously agree.

    If I lived in Florida, I would strongly urge you to run for re-election and I would work for your campaign.

    Joe, this is yet another reason as to why we should run on the same ticket. I’d be willing to be the Vice President for 8 years. So that I can succeed you for another 8 and be in the White House for 16 years (diabolical laughter).

  • Normally liberal Democrats are all in favor of protecting groups of people who are seen as vulnerable, powerless, or discriminated against, particularly women and racial minorities. Wouldn’t it be perfectly logical for them to regard the unborn as an oppressed class deserving of protection as well?

    I realize, of course, that the main reason liberals seem to have a blind spot with regard to the unborn is their insistence upon absolute sexual freedom. However, most liberals don’t seem to have a problem restricting the “freedom” of an employer to sexually harass or intimidate workers, or the “freedom” of pedophiles to access child porn, so even they acknowledge that there are SOME limits on sexual freedom.

  • I think “Pro-family Democrat” is the reason many of us see making the Democratic party pro-life as a practical impossibility.

  • Phillip raises an excellent point. I have paid dues to Dems for Life, but even on the local level, pro-life voices are made VERY unwelcome at Democratic Party gatherings. The (God help us) “Pro-family Democrat” types treat respect for life as hate speech; it’s hard to imagine any common ground with them.

  • I am registered as an independent, but I would not have any qualms voting for a pro-life Democrat. I would even volunteer for a pro-life Democrat and actively participate for Democrats for Life.

    In fact I have done those three things in the past, but only at the local level.

    This is only the beginning, but we shouldn’t lose faith. Continue working within the Democratic Party to begin a dialogue and eventually a change from their pro-abortion platform.

    With God all things are possible.

  • Here’s the plan guys- I know that strong Republicans are pretty biased against the idea that Democrats can pull themselves together on Life issues because of the current establishment/activist hostility to traditionally religious worldviews- it is natural to suppose that an organization that you disagree with to the core could ever change on something that is nearest to your heart. But, I think that there is much more positive in the classic Democratic model as Elaine describes above- and also I don’t think that “Pro-Family Democrat” represents the mass of Democratic voters. This is KEY.

    I recommend Mark Stricherz’ book – Why The Democrats Are Blue- I plan on doing a brief sketch of the book for a blog entry in the future. The book depicts how secular liberalism came to dominate the upper reaches of the Party by way of legal strategies internal to the Party as the Party Boss system was challenged- there was enough to justify reform on the old boy network, but of course, the wrong type of folks took advantage and led the Party down the drain.

    I take it as a given that there is a very large untapped “market” among rank and file Dems- the type of people who vote Democratic for economic and other meat and potato reasons, but disagree with varying intensities to the social liberalism that comes with that package. As evidence, look at how many states voted as a majority for Obama but then also voted down gay marriage or voted for trad marriage definitions. And even though african-americans and hispanics voted strongly for obama, there are probable majorities among these folks who would love to support traditional morality candidates- but they haven’t had many opportunities.

    I would say that the strategy of Republican Catholics to just continue casting aspertions on minorities for voting Democratic- as if everyone should just fall in line and become overnight Republicans- that is beyond wishful thinking. The fact that many of us feel that the establishment Republican strategy of having an end game of sending abortion back to state legislatures- is not even a worthy pro-life strategy in the first place, is another point to consider.

    Instead of focusing a lot of energy trying to convert Dems over to Repubs, or Repubs over to Dems, I would rather spend time now building up a network of traditional religious voters within the Democratic fold- among those who are Democratic already for reasons I have spoken of many times before. This is why I am addressing myself primarily to fellow Democrats- it is not very helpful for Republicans to jump in with more negativism about how “hopeless” the Democratic Party is- I get it- but I think both major parties are “hopeless” on paper, but God trumps the paper, and I believe that there is a numbers game that is to the favor of transforming the Democratic and Republican parties to be much much more pro-life if only the sleeping giants of traditional religious folks awaken and assert themselves. My role is to try to help organize that within the Democratic fold. I would suggest that religious Republicans focus more on getting the Republican party to put abortion on a much higher shelf than it has in the past. For example if Bush/Cheney had spent half the energy they devoted to the case for invading Iraq on bully pulpiting and pushing the Republican Congress to educate the American people to the facts of Life beginning at Conception, with legislation being passed saying the same, putting the issue in front of the Supreme Court repeatedly- then I don’t think we would be sitting here looking at a very diminished Republican party today.

    But my job here is not to keep beating up on Republicans, I need to focus on my party, and since I believe only a strong two major party strategy against abortion will do the trick- I believe my mission is good, and not self-delusional. If or when I come to see that I am wrong, I would probably go with trying to form a Natural Law/Common Good Party rather than join a Republican Party where I disagree with their core assumptions about the nature of the role of the political community, which results in my even finding too many serious flaws in their approach to abortion that I couldn’t find any true enthusiasm- even though I do vote Republican sometimes- mostly at the national level where I have to admit that while establishment Republicans are lukewarm on abortion, Democrats have bacome ice cold. If we use an analogy from Scripture where the unborn are unconcerned- I see establishment Republicans as the Pontius Pilates’ trying to wash their hands of abortion by sounding like impartial, unemotional originalist judges, while the establishment Dems are more like the Chief Priests who are very actively stirring up the people against the rights of the unborn. Not a pretty choice to make- with few heroes out there in the mainstream.

  • I notice that Elaine Krewer is the only lady who’s commented here, so I figured I’d put my oar in just so PFD doesn’t get the notion this is entirely a hangout for middle-aged men.

    Middle-aged woman, here. Mom of four. Doctrinally conservative Catholic with liturgically eclectic tendencies. Pro-life feminist in the tradition of the nineteenth-century suffragists. Have had a crisis pregnancy. Have volunteered with a Birthright center. Been volunteering with kids for a couple of decades. Make regular contributions to those less fortunate.

    I bear you no ill-will, PFD, but if you’re going to sashay into a combox and post a bunch of inflammatory accusations and rambling rants, you shouldn’t be too surprised if some of the gentlemen reading forget they’re gentlemen.

  • Dear readers-

    Good for you! We need to work hard to end abortion by election of more Pro-Life Democrats who will pass laws in this respect and Pray for those who want abortion and have back alley shops they call offices! God will do his thing!

    Respect,

    Robert L. Jones
    A Blue Dog Democrat
    http://www.democratsforlife.org

  • Is abortion wrong because abortion is anti family, against God’s law, and/or coercive?

  • Student,

    That is part of it. But mostly because it violates the Fifth Commandment of “You shall not kill”, ie, killing innocent babies.

  • This blog post and the comments are an excellent witness to both the Catholic faith and the “pro-life, whole life” doctrine it teaches. Pro-family Democrat, you are in my prayers. Kudos to everyone here who will doubtlessly be called “good and faithful servants” by our heavenly Father some day!

  • Thank you so much for this very interesting post. I am pro-life, but disagree with the Republican party about just about everything else. If anything, I am probably a bit more liberal than the Democratic party on many issues. I feel in such a crisis about this. I like what you wrote about “limited government” verses “limited responsibility” and the importance of the common good.

    I was just talking with my husband–actually in tears–because I have always been political and civic minded and voted since age 18, and yet I feel like I have no one to vote for.

    For the record, I am not Catholic, although I am Christian. And also for the record, I am a woman and a feminist and have been pro-life almost all of my life. But that is not what matters. Sadly, I do think that a lot of liberal men who otherwise might be pro-life are bullied by the more radical elements in the pro-choice movement–are told that they have no right to have an opinion about abortion because they are men, which is irrelevant if abortion is murder.

    Anyway. Sorry to crash your party, but I wanted to say that what you are doing is inspiring.

  • Should God’s laws influence (if not control) government’s laws?

  • From: Lila Cuajunco
    Date: Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 7:03 AM
    Subject: Fwd: FW: Fwd: Fw: OPEN LETTER TO OBAMA
    To: [email protected]

    On Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 1:38 AM, Lila Cuajunco wrote:
    Hi Georgia – Thanks for the Open Letter to Obama. I will send it to my
    congressman.

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Georgia Froncek
    Date: Sat, Jun 20, 2009 at 1:47 PM
    Subject: Fwd: FW: Fwd: Fw: OPEN LETTER TO OBAMA

    This letter you are about to read was written by a 4th grade teacher
    recently. She even gave the world her telephone and fax numbers. She
    is a brave, bright, PATRIOT! We are in dire need of more true American
    citizens who are proud of OUR United States of America . WAKE UP
    AMERICA . . . Please . . . Before it is too late!

    April 27, 2009

    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington , DC 20500

    Mr. Obama:

    I have had it with you and your administration, sir. Your conduct on
    your recent trip overseas has convinced me that you are not an
    adequate representative of the United States of America collectively
    or of me personally.

    You are so obsessed with appeasing the Europeans and the Muslim world
    that you have abdicated the responsibilities of the President of the
    United States of America. You are responsible to the citizens of the
    United States.

    You are not responsible to the peoples of any other country on earth.
    I personally resent that you go around the world apologizing for the
    United States telling Europeans that we are arrogant and do not care
    about their status in the world. Sir, what do you think the First
    World War and the Second World War were all about if not the
    consideration of the peoples of Europe ? Are you brain dead ? What do
    you think the Marshall Plan was all about?

    Do you not understand or know the history of the 20th century? Where
    do you get off telling a Muslim country that the United States does
    not consider itself a Christian country? Have you not read the
    Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States ?
    This country was founded on Judeo-Christian ethics and the principles
    governing this country, at least until you came along, come directly
    from this heritage. Do you not understand this?

    Your bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia is an affront to all
    Americans. Our President does not bow down to anyone, let alone the
    king of S Audi Arabia. You don’t show Great Britain , our best and one
    of our oldest allies, the respect they deserve yet you bow down to the
    king of Saudi Arabia. How dare you, sir! How dare you!

    You can’t find the time to visit the graves of our greatest
    generation because you don’t want to offend the Germans but make time
    to visit a mosque in Turkey . You offended our dead and every veteran
    when you give the Germans more respect than the people who saved the
    German people from themselves. What’s the matter with you?

    I am convinced that you and the members of your administration have
    the historical and intellectual depth of a mud puddle and should be
    ashamed of yourselves, all of you. You are so self-righteously
    offended by the big bankers and the American automobile manufacturers
    yet do nothing about the real thieves in this situation, Mr. Dodd, Mr.
    Frank, Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelic, the Fannie Mae bonuses, and the
    Freddie Mac bonuses. What do you intend to do about them? Anything? I
    seriously doubt it.

    What about the US . House members passing out $9.1 million in bonuses
    to their staff members – on top of the $2.5 million in automatic pay
    raises that lawmakers gave themselves? I understand the average House
    aide got a 17% bonus. I took a 5% cut in my pay to save jobs with my
    employer.

    You haven’t said anything about that. Who authorized that? I surely
    didn’t! Executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be receiving
    $210 million in bonuses over an eighteen-month period, that’s $45
    million more than the AIG bonuses. In fact, Fannie and Freddie
    executives have already been awarded $51 million – not a bad take. Who
    authorized that and why haven’t you expressed your outrage at this
    group who are largely responsible for the economic mess we have right
    now.

    You can’t blame ANY of the above on George W. Bush. WHY are you so
    determined to give this country’s dwindling wealth to corrupt
    politicians and your corrupt friends?

    I resent that you take me and my fellow citizens as brain-dead and
    not caring about what you idiots do. We are watching what you are
    doing and we are getting increasingly fed up with all of you. I also
    want you to know that I personally find just about everything you do
    and say to be offensive to every one of my sensibilities. I promise
    you that I will work tirelessly to see that you do not get a chance to
    spend two terms destroying my beautiful country.

    Sincerely,
    Every Real American

    P.S. I rarely ask that e-mails be ‘passed around’…………
    PLEASE SEND THIS TO YOUR EMAIL LIST……it’s past time for all
    Americans to wake up!

    Ms Kathleen Lyday
    Fourth Grade Teacher
    Grandview Elementary School
    11470 Hwy. C Hillsboro,
    MO 63050
    (636) 944-3291 Phone
    (636) 944-3870 Fax
    >
    >
    >

25 Responses to Obama and Notre Dame – a Belated Follow-Up

  • Agreed 150% on the PWSA as a good common-ground measure. Heck, it’s good legislation regardless of whether it brings folks together or not.

    But, if you google around a bit, you’ll find that there is a lot of resistance in left-wing circles to the Act, coming from the mindset of the “reducing pregnancies, not number of abortions” crowd. The PWSA forthrightly (and rightly) presumes that abortions are bad and discourages them, which is a no-no in those circles.

    Given that the President appears to share that mindset, I think the odds of him putting his clout behind the PWSA are vanishingly small at this point in time. If/when he needs pro-life Democrats to get something he truly cares about passed, then you might see the horse trading.

    Sadly enough, I think we’re much more likely to see Rep. Slaughter’s “Prevention First Act” than the PWSA. And, make no mistake, Slaughter is in the hard-core choicer camp.

  • Father Jenkins- surprise still in his job- received his 15 minutes of fame. Dear Leader received another day of adulation. Both care about the unborn about as much as the crumb sitting on my desk. By me. Lovely rhetoric about Dialogue and such. But no other significant issue- and this is as significant as it gets- is more polarizing. Designed to be no other way. Tim notes those rare creatures known as pro-life Democrats- endangered species who should receive legal protection. Perhaps Dear Leader will open up TARP money for Planned Parenthood and non-franchise clinics. Might have the same beneficial effect as to Ford and Chrysler. Oh, just to note before posting- Tiller The Killer’s big time abort business is shutting its doors. What a shame. Maybe it could have qualified for TARP funding.

  • (1) Scalia does not really believ ein Original Intent

    (2) I don’t know what you mean by the “American Right” wanting to wash it hands of abortion by sending it to the States. First many on the right are for the Human Rights Amendment. ALso the “AMerican Right” would be working in their respective State legislatures to prohbit abortion. Activity does not stop just because it does not happen in the District of Columbia

    (3) Archbishop Chaput said recently there was no “Catholic way” to the interpret the Const. I think he is right.

    (4) what you refer to as States Rights is more commonly know as Federalism that has not been abolished. I think if you are proposing that getting this issue back to the States is against Catholic SOcial Doctrine you need to flesh that out some.

    (5)THere are Natural Law folks on the right such as Arkes and Robert George etc etc that are trying to influence the Court and polticy

    (6) There is nothing to probhibit Legislators from legilsating based on the Natural law

  • Let me add the whole Subsidarity , Federalism, abortion issue was fleshed out in some detail in response to Kmiec.

    See this entry at America magazine

    http://americaelection2008.blogspot.com/2008/10/different-take-on-kmiecs-book.html

  • Yeah, I would say that States Rights is quite consistent with Catholic Social Teaching. Subsidiarity and all. That is a principle you know.

  • I will grant that labels like American Political Left and Right are very general- but I think that those who feel comfortable self-labeling themselves liberal or conservative, will fit those larger categories. I reject these labels for myself because I believe like Archbishop Chaput- I use his great book “Render..” in my classes- that there isn’t going to be a Catholic political party- as the Compendium states we are always to be critical members of any political party- that implies that there is always going to be an incompleteness in any purely political party.

    I don’t mean to take a cheap shot on those who take the Federalist position, that abortion can only be resolved at the state level because that’s how our Constitution was written- but I advise all Catholics to read Notre Dame prof. Rice’s book on Natural Law. He describes Justice Thomas as pretty much putting the idea of natural law reasoning to death, when he backtracked during his confirmation hearings on previous positive assertions on the role of such reasoning in juridical decision making. I do view Scalia and Thomas quite negatively for the way they come across in interviews when they seem proud to assert that their Catholicism has absolutely nothing to do with their work as Justices- I don’t think anyone in any position should say that- the natural law is everyone’s responsibility- especially those with juridical and political power- this is an intellectual dodge- even if it is an honest one- to come across as some kind of progressive, non-partisan in contrast with those who do use reasoning beyond the deciphering of the original intent of the Constitutional framers.

    Professor Rice says that on abortion we don’t even have to pull out the natural law trump card- it would be rare to have to do that given that much of positive law in the Constitution is already rooted in natural law reasoning- if we apply the 5th and 14th Amendments to the unborn, we would be good to go- but this is not on the radar in the Scalia/Thomas circles as far as I know- and I would say that these Justices are very well regarded in general by conservatives/ American Political Right.

    I am offering a critique that isn’t designed to play well to liberals or conservatives, I don’t think Jesus played to such narrow audiences, and I don’t find the complete social doctrine of the Church to be in conformity with any ideology that I’ve encountered thus far- so I work in both liberal and conservative circles depending on the issue- but sometimes neither camp seems to get it right- like on abortion- the liberal juridical approach is ice cold, while I grant the Scalia et al approach is luke warm- not sure I can get on board with lukewarm even if it offers a legislative endgame in every state. I want the unborn to be safe in every state, all over the world- the Law should reflect this- the Law must reflect this, and then all other aspects of society will need to reform to adjust to this reality- economically, culturally- all of it needs to upgrade to deal with the children we will be welcoming into the world instead of terminating.

  • Subsidiarity is not to be viewed apart from the universal common good and solidarity- it also isn’t a replacement for the natural law requirements for all people- Catholic or not. This emphasis on natural law is found throughout the social doctrine and papal encyclicals

  • Thank you for a thoughtful diary. Another bill that I hope starts gathering support is the “Newborn Child and Mother Act”. Approximately 1500 mothers die in childbirth across Africa EVERY DAY. I gather most of their babies die, too.

  • TIm

    Let me say I am not saying that Natural Law Jurisprudence is forbidden. As Arkes says where in the Const does it forbit it? I am just saying that if lets say a Catholic Judge does that think that was part of the Document then I think he can in a valid way interpret it otherwise. I mean in the end his Power and authority come from the Document or the “Pact” as it were. So when Scalia looks at the text he does not that think he has the power to change it

    It is in a sense similar to the situation of the Federal Judges that lets say were anti Slavery. They might have been anti Slavery but because their power and authrotiy came from an agreement that made an compromise with this evil they very well could not just ban it nationwide.

    Again as to Natural Law and the Social Compendium what should Catholic Judges do. I can’t imagine that they would start citing the Comepndium of SOcial Justice. In fact what authority would they have to base Opinion on that at all.

    I am not sure Scalia or THomas for that matter have an agenda to end abortion nationwide. I think they probally think that is not their job but the job of the legislator. I strongly suspect that Scalia thinks Gay marriage is wrong. However I doubt he would think he ahd any authority to “ban” it in lets say Iowa.

    TO quote Chaput in Full
    “CHAPUT: The Supreme Court doesn’t make law, as we know. It interprets the law. I think it’s much easier from a moral perspective to be a justice – a judge – than it is to be a legislator. Legislators are the ones who make laws and change laws. But to interpret the law in its fidelity to the Constitution is a much less morally compromising kind of position to have, I think.

    I’d rather be a justice than a politician, in terms of dealing with my conscience, because if we write bad laws in this country that are constitutional, then the judges – the justices – have to interpret the laws as allowed by the Constitution, even if they don’t like them, even if they would think they’re not good for the country, it seems to me, even if they think they’re not moral. That’s what justices do. So I had the impression that Wendy thinks that the Supreme Court writes the law. Certainly that’s not my impression. I know it can’t write the law. In terms of not wanting all the justices to be Catholics, I agree with you, Michael. That would not be a good idea in the United States”.

    http://pewforum.org/events/?EventID=213

    Now I think Judical attitudes matter that is for sure. The attitude of the Iowa Supreme Courts Justices was frightening as they basically shot down arguments because they thought they could smell religous intent.

    I just think from a Natural Law standpoint that the key is if one wishes to adovcate that is to start in the legilatures. That is where the action is.

    As Chaput stated

  • “Subsidiarity is not to be viewed apart from the universal common good and solidarity- it also isn’t a replacement for the natural law requirements for all people- Catholic or not. This emphasis on natural law is found throughout the social doctrine and papal encyclicals”

    Well Tim I don’t think Federalsim gets rid of that. I mean what is changed or what is at issue is what branches of the Governements have the responsibility, power , and authority to act as to the common good or solidarity.. As to the abortion question is it the States or the Federal Govt or a combination of the two.

  • What other aspects of the natural law should the Justices be concerned with? Should a Catholic-based interpretation mandate that all homosexual acts be outlawed? Should a natural law view of the Constitution mean a ban of contraceptives? How far do we take this? And what do we do when we have a majority of Justices whose interpretation of the natural law leads to conclusions quite the opposite of our own?

  • Tim

    I think my other post did not go through for some reason

    Let me clear I am not saying that Natural law Juridprudence cannot be had. As Arkes says where in the COnst is it forbidden.

    I just think that if you really want Natural Law and to have it part of our system one needs to start with the legislature where the real action is at. THat is not to ignore the Judiciary. We should recall that Iowa Supreme Court mandated Gay marraige and in that argument they shot down opponets of it because they say said they could smell religious reasoning. That is a problem

    I am not sure at all that THomas and Scalia have a “plan” to end abortion. I suspect they don’t think that is their job but that of the legislature. Just Like how I think that Scalia is against gay marraige but I could never seem him overturning a state law allowing it because it goes against the natural law or because he does not like it.

    I suppose if we are going to get natural law more in the discussion first the Catholic schools nned to be teaching it more.Then we are going to have to have an discussion with our neighbors about it.

    Political parties are not going to be able to do that. In fact in GOP circles where such an approach has fans in some segments there would have to be some on the evangelical side that would have to embrace it. SOme are open others are wary.

    So as to Natural law principles I think there is a lot of work to be done before we can expect polticos to start using it. In fact we might need to breed a whole new generation of polticos that understand it.

    When I talk to Catholic about the natural law it sometimes seems like they look at me like I am from Mars. That has nothing to do with left, right, or center but just horrid Catholic education in the Puplit, in CCD , and in the schools.

    As to Catholic social justice concerns and principles I think there will be porgress till each “side” that is engaging this start talking to each other instead of yelling at each other.

  • Tim,

    Of course subsidiarity is to be seen in the context of the common good and solidarity. Just as solidarity is to be seen in the context of the common good and subsidiarity. The claim of solidarity does not rule out allowing more basic units of society tend to the common good. Catholic Social teaching never says this. In fact higher units of society are to take over only when lower units cannot meet a common need. States rights fits perfectly in this framework.
    When to allow higher units to take over from lower is a prudential judgement in many cases and you will not find such a criteria in the Compendium.

  • My impression from reading the social doctrine is that the common good is the only real reason for having governing authority in the first place- when this focus is lost then that authority can soon run amuck- I do not dispute or ignore the principle of subsidiarity but we are talking about abortion here, and that is something that cannot be left to even a popular vote- it smacks of the whole scene with Jesus being condemned by popular vote, and Pilate standing by, washing his hands of the affair, even as he seemed to side with Jesus on the level of basic justice- Pope John Paul II even used this comparison with abortion and Christ with over-reliance on democratic outcomes in determining all important matters- now Pilate has not gone down in history as a heroic figure- and I don’t think that a State’s Rights approach to abortion is going to be seen as the best we could do at the level of civil authority.

    We have a problem with subsidiarity as a primary principle to view abortion or the global economy through right now- with the power of multinational corporations usurping even the power of national governments- read Bailouts- it would seem that the local government powers have not kept up with the times- and Free Trade Pacts have taken economic decisions far afield from local control. With abortion, we simply have to have everyone doing what they can with whatever power they have to establish the legal and moral sense that an unborn child is worthy of our human rights. Natural Law reasoning does not have to be overused to the point where we have an effective theocracy- but we ignore the Natural Law to our own peril as a nation, as a people.

    Again- I cannot go into the detail here on this as Professor Rice did in his book- 50 Questions on the Natural Law- if anyone has read that book and has any comments I would love to hear of your thoughts. I think he represents the most orthodox Catholic position on the importance of Natural Law, and how we can promote it without having to force the nation to convert to Catholicism wholesale. There is something religious behind the Natural Law, and the Catholic social doctrine is a necessary guide- but the Natural Law is something reasonable and can be argued with non-believers and believers alike. We cannot continue to cede everything to the secularists- at some point we have to fight for more than merely symbolic gestures like Nativity Scenes on government property- we need Catholics willing to stand behind Natural Law reasoning and Catholic social doctrine- the Natural Law reasoning is all we need to use in public debates, and all the Justices need to make certain that Justice prevails when opportunity comes for them to render decisions that obviously offer life and death for many. Imagine if genocide came up for a vote? Abortion is a genocide of unborn, unwanted children- millions of them- if this doesn’t call forth a universal decision on the part of our Supreme Court- then they may as well pack it in, and leave our Capital empty of Justices and Justice.

  • Tim

    So a vote on the Supreme Court is legitimate but a vote in the Staer Houses is not. Also one can amend State Const a heck of a lot more easier than you can the U.S. COnst to show these natural law principles

    Again it is not a principle of “State Rights” but Federalism. I am not saying fight for a Human Rights AMendment. In fact I suspect that a HUman Ruights amendments would gain steam when it returned to the States.

    You know we can’t just blame nameless polticos in D.C. for not getting the pro-life cause done. It is suddennly much more in our faces where we must convince our neighbors

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  • Tim,

    Its not a problem of seeing subsidiarity as a primary priciple for in fact it is. As are the principles of the common good and solidarity. They are an organic unity. The problem becomes how do we apply these primary priciples to concrete situations. You have your problems with multi-nationals. I have a problem with strong (an ever increasingly stronger) national and international governments. The Compendium does not have a policy to address these. Catholics in good conscience apply the primary principles. At times Catholics in good conscience disagree, sometimes strongly. That’s life in the secualar for the Christian.

  • Honestly, Tim, I think your argument sets up a couple of straw men that you then proceed to effectively slaughter; I disagree with a couple of your premises, and must, therefore, disagree with your conclusions.

    First, I believe you fall victim to the same illogic that drives most who claim to not be “right-wing” Catholics: namely, you choose to lump all Catholic Social Teachings, and abortion, into the same mass and call it legitimately Catholic. I disagree for a couple of reasons:

    1. You mentioned that you would have invited neither PResident Obama nor President Bush to speak at Notre Dame, given the authority to make such a decision. You cite both men’s lack of conformity to basic principles of Catholic Social Doctrine as your reason.

    This comparison sufers for at least two reasons. first, abortion, and , say, the death penalty are not equivalent issues. The authority to make the decision to mete out a penalty of death rests with duly elected civil authorities. SOLELY with them. And while the Compendium of Catholic Social Teaching may decry the occasional necessity to mete out such a sentnece, and while it may state that the circumstances which should require such a penalty are so rarae as to be almost nonexistent, in the end, the judgment of the circumstances lies SOLEY with those duly elected to exercise such authority.

    Similarly with the exercise of war powers. The Church rightly decries the use of military force in *any* circumstance; however, it recognizes the right of governments to enter into armed conflict against those nations or entities which pose a credible threat, and which cannot be subdued by other means. That right flows from the national leader’s responsibility to provide for legitimate defense of its territory and citizens. And the authority to make such a decision rest, again, SOLELY with the likes of President Bush and President Obama.

    Man, this is brain-wracking. I will amend my opening statement to include the thought that I can only respond to one at a time.

    But i fwe are goin gto use Catholic Teaching to justify our positions, it wold seem prudent…to use ALL of it, not jsut the parts that nicely fit our preconceived schema.

    God bless.

  • Totally apart from the extremely interesting issues and discussions in this thread, it occurred to me [somewhat belatedly] that Father Jenkins was greatly disingenuous in the reasons he gave for inviting Mr. Obama to speak at the Commencement exercises.

    Commencements they are meant to be – but commencements to the world wider than the campus in South Bend.

    Now if the graduating students had not pretty well covered the subject – personally and intellectually – in four years’ attendance at the school, what is the purpose of a dialogue about it just as they are about to leave? Surely their teachers must have discussed [dialogued?] the issues during the campaign a year previously.

    I said disingenuous; I repeat disingenuous.

  • And the authority to make such a decision rest, again, SOLELY with the likes of President Bush and President Obama.

    But it does not end there. The authority to pass judgment on the decision made by presidents lies with the Church and SOLELY with the Church.

  • Tim,
    I would go further in this line of consistent criticism of the American political Left and Right. I don’t believe that the state’s rights approach to abortion rights is truly consistent with Catholic social doctrine. The juridical philosophy called “Originalism”, which is championed by many Catholics supportive of the American political Right, is not one that is rooted in Natural Law.

    Conservative Catholics hold to the belief that the laws of the land should be rooted in Natural Law. They belief that the way to change those laws is through democratic processes which are established in the United States constitution and the constitutions of the several states which it comprises. There is nothing in Natural Law which states that a judiciary should act in contravention of the laws which are established.

    Professor Rice says that on abortion we don’t even have to pull out the natural law trump card- it would be rare to have to do that given that much of positive law in the Constitution is already rooted in natural law reasoning- if we apply the 5th and 14th Amendments to the unborn, we would be good to go

    I agree completely.

    but this is not on the radar in the Scalia/Thomas circles as far as I know- and I would say that these Justices are very well regarded in general by conservatives/ American Political Right.

    I’m not so sure, have they ruled that way? If a case came before them which way would they rule? I think you’re mistaken. Those justices have consistently ruled in a way that would allow us to infer they do in fact believe that the unborn are human persons and are protected. Their Catholic faith (and basic empbryology) teaches them that, and there is no contradiction with the Constitution which would preclude them as “originists” in ruling that way.

    we simply have to have everyone doing what they can with whatever power they have to establish the legal and moral sense that an unborn child is worthy of our human rights. Natural Law reasoning does not have to be overused to the point where we have an effective theocracy- but we ignore the Natural Law to our own peril as a nation, as a people.

    Absolutely, but I think there is limits to what a Catholic is compelled to do given the restrictions of his office, especially if he has taken an oath to be bound by those restrictions. Now, no Catholic is permitted to commit an immoral act regardless of his office, but that doesn’t mean he is obliged to use their office illegally in their actions.

    Michael J. Iafrate,

    But it does not end there. The authority to pass judgment on the decision made by presidents lies with the Church and SOLELY with the Church.

    No. Wrong. While the Church has the authority to pass judgments when a public act is in objective violation of Church teaching, she does not make such judgements on purely subjective reasoning (sound thought it might be), nor does the Church pass judgement where she does not possess all of the relevent facts that the civic authority does. She may and often does issue opinions based on what is known and the preponderance of evidence, but that is not the same thing. Ultimately the judgement falls to the Lord God Almighty.

    Jh,

    I just think that if you really want Natural Law and to have it part of our system one needs to start with the legislature where the real action is at.

    exactly!

    Deacon,

    awesome! You nailed it.

  • No. Wrong. While the Church has the authority to pass judgments when a public act is in objective violation of Church teaching, she does not make such judgements on purely subjective reasoning (sound thought it might be), nor does the Church pass judgement where she does not possess all of the relevent facts that the civic authority does. She may and often does issue opinions based on what is known and the preponderance of evidence, but that is not the same thing.

    No, YOU are wrong. The Church has the right to make judgments on wars. Period. That it does not do so regularly with unambiguous force does not mean it does not possess this authority.

    Your mistaken view is precisely one of the results of buying into the americanist separation of secular and sacred authority. Too many Catholics (usually so-called “patriotic” ones) fall for it. What you do not realize is that you are contributing to the marginalization of the Church by promoting such nonsense.

  • “There is nothing in Natural Law which states that a judiciary should act in contravention of the laws which are established.”

    Because the Natural Law, i.e. the Law of Human Nature has no conception of “judiciaries.” However, the moral principles to which we’re oriented would suggest that laws that are not in accord with true justice–thus, not actually being laws should be contravened. Simple establishment makes no case in itself for not contravening it. Now you’ll argue that’s the role of the legislatior; I’m establishing that the Natural Law is not silent about the matter.

    “I think there is limits to what a Catholic is compelled to do given the restrictions of his office, especially if he has taken an oath to be bound by those restrictions. Now, no Catholic is permitted to commit an immoral act regardless of his office, but that doesn’t mean he is obliged to use their office illegally in their actions.”

    Well, I see your point. But this is again my problem with Scalia’s philosophy. I talked about it in a different thread. Effectively, I think the American conception of “justice” and “law,” at least in terms of judicial philosophy is based largely on positive law philosophy and Western Enlightenment philosophy rather than natural law thinking, and therefore, a proper notion of justice and law. Therefore, I think the “originalism and textualist” position might do-the-least-harm, it remains fatally flawed.

  • Eric,

    so how do you propose a “natural law” based judiciary should act? Do we need a legislature at all, just for administrative types of laws? Why not just a system of judges who base their rulings on their understanding of natural law? What reference documents for natural law would be used as a basis?

    I reject this idea because it is akin to anarchy. Each judge applying his own understanding of a very broadly contentious set of rather non-specific rules.

    I believe self-governance is in accord with natural law, and so the people guided by conscience establish the system of laws, the judges do not overturn them they simply apply them.

    There may be certain cases where heroic violation of laws will not cause more harm than good, that any moral person should stand up against them, this can not be the general case.

  • Matt,

    Well, I am no constitutional law scholar. However, I do think that the “originalist” and “textualist” position contradict, to some degree, my understanding of both law and justice because of the inherent lack of consideration of natural law principles. This, I think, is a built-in recipe for disaster. Granted, while the philosophy itself might be, relative to other theories, the “lesser of evils” because of its do-no-harm mantra, it still can create quite a few ethical problems for Catholics.

    I earlier used the example of pre-Civil War slavery. Hypothetically speaking, if there were a case regarding slavery before the United States Supreme Court, tied 4-4, and I’m a Catholic sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court, I certainly would not rule to uphold slavery as the law—and with no apology. It seems that the American notion of “justice” is not whether or not a law is in conformity with the natural law, reflecting the eternal law of God. No, rather, “justice” means having laws conform immediately to the written letter of the U.S. Constitution strictly and legal precedence. While this is not immediately a problem (I’m not saying that the U.S. Constitution should be irrelevant), while it is not in and of itself wrong—it does give rise to ethical issues.

    From the originalist viewpoint regarding slavery, a Justice would have to rule in favor of an unjust law which contradicts the very essence of their title: Justice. An unjust law is not a law according to the scheme of the natural law. However, to an originalist, that point is irrelevant. If law is not meant to be in conformity with the natural law, which reflects perfect justice, then our inherent goal is not to uphold real laws at all but human decrees with no consideration or concern of objective conformity with the laws written into Nature. This, to me, seems to be clearly antithetical to Plato’s The Laws, Cicero’s On The Law, Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, and St. Thomas Aquinas’ Treatise on Law which are four of the most important works in the natural law tradition. There is a fundamental disagreement then about the nature of law itself, about the nature of justice, and therefore, the likeliness to reach just conclusions, while not impossible certainly, is more difficult.

    Alexander Hamilton put it this way: “The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of Divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.” Even the more secular-minded Thomas Jefferson agreed: The “only firm basis” of freedom, he wrote, is “a conviction in the minds of people that their liberties are the gift of God.”

    These words are clearly a natural law commitment (and I’m not suggesting they are advocating it be used by the U.S. Supreme Court). Yet contemporary judicial philosophy is based largely on the Enlightenment-borne philosophy of legal positivism—that is, there is no inherent or necessary connection between the law and ethics, but rather laws are rules made by human beings entered into a social contract with no regard for moral objectivity because the contract is inherently relative.

    If you consider such broad phrases such as “cruel and unusual” or “unreasonable searches and seizures,” it seems to me that the Founders presuppose that you would reference some sort of objective moral criteria that exists outside of the text of the Constitution to know what constitutes such activity. What is cruel? What is unusual? What is unreasonable? Unless there is some objective, unchanging standards that it is presupposed, that is known and can be known because of a common human nature with an unchanging law—the natural law—then it seems that the “concepts” of these things evolve and change with society; thus, this lends itself to the argument for a “living Constitution” that should be read in light of the relative values of the contemporary people. Yet the “originalists” pore scrupulously over the text for some criteria, the Founders (in a world yet to have fully abandon the natural law) may have presumed to be self-evident, or they commit to some legal precedence judged to be in conformity with their judicial philosophy versus what it may be the Founders actually intended. Again, to what do you reference as the criteria to define such “concepts” (cruel, unusual, unreasonable)? Their time period? Our time period? And barring natural law ethics, it becomes inherently relative, which requires one to inject their “personal values” into the constitutional text.

    Simply put, I cannot fully embrace this judicial philosophy and am rather interested in projects to rethink, reasonably, how to interpret the Constitution and develop an American legal system that is more harmonious with the ongoing project of Catholic legal theory. Though, I will add that originalism does guarantee some sort of consistency in judiciary judgments and protects Americans from arbitrary changes in constitutional interpretation. Moreover, to fully reject originalism there needs to be a ready, clearly articulated criterion for interpreting the Constitution, otherwise the matter of law will be solely at the discretion of political inclinations of sitting Justices. Perhaps, at best, originalism constrains the worse temptation of Justices to overreach.

    But it still remains that originalism isn’t perfect. It faces hermeneutic difficulties to which Justice Scalia admits, when he said, “It’s not always easy to figure out what the provision meant when it was adopted…I do not say originalism is perfect. I just say it’s better than anything else.” That is, anything else so far. So while I am not in favor of a hasty departure from originalism to an anything-goes Court, I’m not going to back the theory.

    I still think that it poses quite an ethical dilemma and I’m weary of the Catholic support it gets despite the fact that its philosophical underpinnings, i.e. legal positivism, are fundamentally contradictory to Catholic moral and social thought. While I am sympathetic to the intellectual commitment to protect the integrity of the legal system and the constitutional order, I don’t think that requires an immediate advocacy of originalism over attempting to find some other way to interpret the Constitution. I am not convinced it’s all or nothing—either originalism or the “living Constitution” theory.

    As Edmund Randolph set out at the Constitutional Convention, the goal was to “insert essential principles only; lest the operations of government should be clogged by rendering those provisions permanent and unalterable, which ought to be accommodated to times and events.” Now, this quote, granted, can be misconstrued and interpreted as advocacy of an “evolving” doctrine in regard to constitutional interpretation. However, it seems to me, that the U.S. Constitution seeks to create a government that recognizes and respects the natural, inalienable rights that are self-evident in the natural moral law which are enshrined within the text of the Constitution. While the “essential principles,” which are moral, cannot change—as the moral law does not change; positive laws, however can. Different situations, different circumstances, different cultural values may have a need for different positive laws to best accommodate and promote human flourishing and the protection of human rights. (I’m not saying these laws come from or should come from the Court.) Now how such a view could reasonably and practically be played out in terms of judicial philosophy is quite a debate.

    Nevertheless, originalism strikes me as too keen on preservation of the status quo, that is, order rather than on actual Justice, ifthe circumstances puts the two in contradiction. It brings to mind Machiavellian principles (which I think is the actual beginning of modern philosophy) specifically the re-definition of prudence as a purely pragmatist virtue oriented more toward some end, judging and weighing consequences, i.e. consequentialist and utilitarian ethics that masquerade as natural law thinking when it really is not. It seems the concern is not necessarily on what is moral, but to what works (pragmatist). Therefore, one of the Cardinal Virtues is employed in such a way that its immediate and direct concern is not necessarily intertwined with its sister virtue of Justice, real justice. And the divorce of the two, characteristic of modern thinking, is precisely what I am arguing against.

    Again, I’m not constitutional law scholar, but I do find it curious that the framers of the Constitution did not indicate, in the text itself, how the Constitution should be read. I have no idea why. Perhaps they could not agree on a method themselves, as we cannot.

    Though, I do wonder if one is arguing “original intent” or “original meaning,” does this include taking into account the fact that the words (diction), come from other common law traditions based largely around natural law thinking? Do you seek to understand the words in those light as to get a greater understanding of the words in light of the historical situation? This might be comparable to using the historical-critical method as a tool for scriptural exegesis. In other words, one would read the U.S. Constitution in light of the Declaration of Independence and the natural law tradition? Or, does one read the text strictly, isolated from such references?

    My question arises because of this: The Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal. The Bill of Rights establishes natural human rights. Yet in the U.S. Constitution there is legalized slavery. A natural law thinker would see that as a blatant contradiction. If such a matter were before a Catholic on the Supreme Court, should the Catholic uphold the unjust law as a matter of originalist intent even if contradicts the natural law and say, the majority of the United States citizens refused to conform with natural justice and outlaw it legislatively. For instance, what if abortion was a right written verbatim into the U.S. Constitution. Would I have to be complicit with an intrinsic evil until such a time that society changed its mind? I know I certainly wouldn’t. I am not sure if any oath or commitment can exempt you from stopping an objective moral evil. Consequences aside, as judging whether or not to end slavery or abortion based on how the populace will respond is judging the rightness or wrongness of the act based on the consequences–which again, is consequentialism and not natural law morality. The problem again persists.

    This is the challenge and difficulty of natural law jurisprudence, of which, I am profoundly interested in. Perhaps, I should send Prof. Robert George, a proponent of the “New Natural Law Theory”, another email and ask him a few questions about the matter; he usually replies rather quickly.

Pro-Life Movement: Democrats Need Not Apply

Monday, May 11, AD 2009

First of all let me say that I intend for the title of this piece to be polemical. I hope it is not the case, in all circumstances, that pro-life organizations and major players in the movement, are unfairly excluding, or consciously undermining budding pro-life Democratic candidates and causes. But my own experience is worth sharing and considering- just in case.

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93 Responses to Pro-Life Movement: Democrats Need Not Apply

  • I can’t speak to your race Tim, but in my experience the pro-life movement is eager for pro-life Democrats. Bob Casey, Senior was a hero to many of us for example. However too often a Democrat who is touted as pro-life turns out, upon closer examination, not to be. Bob Casey, Junior is a prime example of this.

    http://newledger.com/2009/02/the-excommunication-of-bob-casey-jr/

    I have voted for pro-life Democrats in the past and will in the future, alhough as a partisan Republican it seems quite unnatural for me when I do so! There are a lot of votes for Democrats available when they run uncompromising foes of abortion, and I hope we will see more such candidates in the future.

  • Had a similar feeling last week. I am on the Governor’s committee for early childhood issues in my state. A Republican state rep came to our committee to discuss finding ways to define early school readiness to empower stay-at-home mom’s to better educated their young children. Part of his proposal was to give reimbursements to moms who stay home. After the Rep. left you should have felt the hate(I use that word reservedly)from the almost completely Democratic committee members. There were a variety of reasons but certainly they were not consistent with Catholic social teaching which encourages mothers to stay home and the state to find ways to compensate their work in the home.

  • Let me preface this by saying that I think the pro-life movement MUST become bipartisan if our efforts are to succeed. As long as abortion is seen as a partisan issue, it will be almost impossible to effect lasting change.

    That said, the blame for your predicament rests squarely on your fellow Democrats.

    First, and foremost, you have chosen to associate yourself with a party that sees “a woman’s right to choose” as sacrosanct. Don’t blame pro-lifers if they are reluctant to back candidates who choose to do business with that party.

    Second, you should probably blame the pro-life Democrats who have gone before you. We often hear about how Republicans only pay lip service to the pro-life cause, which, in many respects, is absolutely true. But how much moreso have pro-life Democrats paid lip service to the pro-life cause only to get to the statehouse or to Capitol Hill and either vote party line with their pro-choice leadership or, worse, “grow” in office and become pro-choice in order to get key committee appointments and/or to continue to get re-elected by Democrat voters.

    The facts are that pro-lifers have been burned by BOTH parties, but have been burned far too often by pro-life Democrats who say one thing at home and then vote with the party’s leadership. I think what we need to see are some pro-life Democrats who will CONSISTENTLY buck their party leadership on key votes (and maybe even vote against people like Nancy Pelosi for leadership positions). What we need to see LESS of is Sen. Casey voting against reinstating the Mexico City Policy.

    In short, pro-life Democrats need to EARN the trust of pro-life voters and pro-life organizations. It’s there for the earning, in part, because the Republicans have done much to lose that trust. I hope and pray, for the sake of the unborn, that pro-life Democrats (as well as pro-life Republicans) will do what needs to be done to earn that trust.

  • So basically, it’s pro-life Republican’s fault that
    I’m wondering Tim. Where you known to the people you contacted? Did you have a history of participating with them and supporting them?

    Pro-life Democrats are not successful in getting elected by pro-life Democrats? And it’s the fault of pro-life Republicans?

    You need to understand that you won’t further the cause of pro-life by bringing pro-life Republicans over to your side, you will further the cause of pro-life by converting your fellow Democrats back to the pro-life cause, that means voting for a pro-life candidate REGARDLESS of party affiliation. That means not supporting ANY leader or legislation which is in opposition to life, etc.

    This point is probably the biggest hurdle that Dems for Life faces. Their candidates often compromise (Casey Jr. for example), and they tend to support the Democrat leadership regardless of their opposition to life (Pelosi and Reid). Until they can be seen as solid champions of life, they will continue to be doubted by pro-life Republicans.

    In any event, pro-life groups should foster the pro-life cause in all arenas including the Democrat party, and so should seek to offer what support they can. I know our group would give an opportunity for pro-life democrats candidates, but there are none to my knowledge in Harris county.

    We simply need to get to work organizing in these communities- not to try to make them into Republicans, but to empower them to reform the Democratic Party for Life.

    I agree with this 100%!

    We need pro-life Obama-like candidates to compete for the hearts and minds of the next generation.

    Obama-like in what way exactly?

  • The facts are that pro-lifers have been burned by BOTH parties

    Totally correct, it’s deeply frustrating for us when even staunch pro-lifers compromise (such as supporting Arlen Spector, or giving Sebelius the nod for HHS). When the Rep. party toyed with the idea of electing a pro-abortion presidential candidate, it caused a huge stir, probably the reason that the most soldily pro-life but marginal candidate Huckabee surged up from the bottom of the pack as he did.

    The worst part of this is that ending abortion is completely within the grasp of the Catholic voters. If no Catholic voted for a pro-abortion candidate, there would be virtually no pro-abortion candidates. We represent around 25% of the electorate in almost every district, and frankly, where we don’t, it’s usually pro-life protestant strongholds. Neither party could survive without reasonable split among the Catholics.

  • Republicans (and others) like to make a lot of noise about wanting to promote meritocracies all around- my complaint is that when I presented myself to as many pro-lifers as possible, as a candidate promising on paper and in person, to pursue all the things I mention in my article- and as well- saying “look, if you don’t want to go with me then just make sure you go to your prefered Republican candidate and have him promise to match my promises- then you can hold him accountable”- When even this didn’t stir anything up- I became indignant.

    You can say that the blame rests all over the map- past Democrats and all- but in a meritocracy I should be able to be judged as an individual based upon the merits of my own efforts- why do some of you want to give free passes to those who failed to take up my challenge? I was willing to buck my party on several fronts because my conscience demanded it- on Life issues, Marriage, Education, and even nuclear energy- I think it is obvious that partisanship is a huge problem- the Compendium of Social Doctrine warns us away from being uncritical supporters of political parties- I think I have adequately proven that I am willing to criticize and challenge my party of choice- are Republicans really going to claim their party is near-perfect on Life issues and all else? Come on- wake up. Don’t excuse lazy prejudice- I spoke to my own experience and this is what led to me posting this article.

  • I’m not a Republican, and I don’t need to “wake up”. No one claim that Republicans are “near-perfect on Life issues”, and, in fact, I said just the opposite. I even said that they’ve done much to lose the trust of pro-lifers, thereby giving an opportunity for pro-life Democrats to earn that trust.

    That’s the point. Trust needs to be earned (and it can be lost, as the Republicans have recently shown). Don’t just expect to walk in to the local pro-life org’s headquarters and say “I’m a pro-life Democrat and – given the history of past “pro-life” Democrats – expect everyone in the local pro-life organization to uncritically support you.

  • But Tim, if the pro-lifers in your district had abandoned the Republican and supported you, would you not have been knocked out in the 2008 Democrat primary by the pro-abort Democrats, so that you could be replaced in an open general with a solid pro-abort?

    Why would the pro-lifers want to risk their position, poor as it was, on someone who didn’t even have the backing of his own party?

  • What Jay said.

    Get in the trenches with these guys, go to the marches, donate to the crisis pregnancy centers, volunteer, etc. I doubt they will turn you away once you’ve shown them not told them.

    Frankly, I am suspicious of pro-life Democrats because of what they might have done to advance within a party who’s platform includes abortion on demand. How do you become a prominent pro-life democrat? By not endorsing most of their candidates? By not donating to the party funds? By protesting against their activities? By raising the pro-life message every chance you get?

    Let’s be clear that by “pro-life message” we are talking about justice for the unborn, not just “reduced abortion rates”.

  • “We need pro-life Obama-like candidates…” This is where I think Catholic Democrats get taken up in their ideology. Catholic social teaching is very nuanced and open to interpretation. It is not the Democratic Party platform.

  • While I can understand the reaction of the pro-life advocates (who were also partisan Republicans) for the reasons that Matt, Jay and others have mentioned — I do think it sounds like they were going about things the wrong way with you.

    Regardless of what one thinks of the politics involved, our model for how to be a successful single issue advocacy organization should probably be how the NRA has successfully opposed gun control over the last 20 years. They have a set of ratings based on questions they ask candidates and the actual votes of legislators, and they happily provide positive ratings to Democrats when the Democrats earn them.

    The difficulty with the abortion issue (and life/family issues more generally) is that over the last 30 years many pro-lifers have been trained by circumstances to see electing Republicans as invariably more advantageous to them. (And often it is.) However, that allows the issue to be a clear party split and makes it harder to achieve the kind of general victory which in many ways the NRA has now achieved in regards to guns. (25 years ago it was a very split issue, but many major Democrats endorse gun rights as well as a matter of political survival. The NRA has successfully moved the goalposts.)

    It seems to me that the pro-life movement should have two clear electoral strategies:

    1) Provide primary support in the form of volunteer work and money to any candidate (Democrat or Republican) who professes to be (or in the case of those with a track record, has shown by votes to be) pro-life.

    2) In the general election, provide some sort of approval to all pro-life candidates, and only throw themselves in hard if one candidate is significantly better than the other.

    In this case, that would have meant helping you get on the ballot for the Democrats, and then standing back during the general election.

    In the short term, this might mean giving less support than some in the GOP would like, but in the long term I think it would mean stronger success. In order to be a successful single issue organization, you need to be truly _single issue_ in your focus and not allow party loyalty to keep you from taking over sections of the other party.

    While NARAL, NOW and Planned Parenthood are certainly huge opponents (with more money than anti-gun forces ever had, since they have ways of making money off abortion directly) we as pro-lifers need to learn to play both sides of the aisle better — especially in the conservative Southern states where if a Democrat manages to get in, we want to make sure that doesn’t mean ceding a pro-life vote. Pro-life Democrats should be able to win down here, and it’s better to have that if the GOP fouls up in an election than have pro-choice Democrats get in.

  • This is a story that shows the importance of the SCOTUS nomination for the pro-life movement.

    Right now, the pro-life movement is powerless-except for the pro-life Dems in the Senate. They are they only ones who could help lobby for a pro-life nomination?

    If they don’t, then I think the Democrats will have lost a significant opportunity, maybe even their last one, to impress pro-lifers that they have a home and their pro-life candidates are legitimate.

    However, I agree with Shipe that the association with the GOP has hurt the pro-life movement in the sense that they seem to be less pro-life on other issues (war, death penalty, etc). This could be equally true for Democrats, but having a less partisan pro-life movement would do wonders for the pro-life witness & credibility.

  • I just wonder who the “leaders” were you contacted? I mean, it’s blatantly obvious that NRLC is nothing more than a Republican PAC. I have a friend who worked for them a while at their DC headquarters and left convinced that NRLC has no intention of ever outlawing abortion (evidence: their main issue on their website is still partial birth abortion). She, btw, supported Ron Paul in the primary and Chuck Baldwin in the general election, and refuses to vote for any candidate who’s involved with the Council on Foreign Relations.

    It works both ways. I know a lot of people who claim to be “pro-life” Democrat voters, who still fail to support pro-life Democrats when they present themselves. Meanwhile, pro-lifers have learned not to trust Democrats.

    Let me present a different case. Last year in South Carolina, we had a candidate, Bob Conley, a Latin-Mass attending Catholic, win the Democratic Primary mostly due to technicality. He’s a Ron Paul supporter, and ran as a pro-life “blue dog” Democrat: he was opposing “Leaping Lindsey” for his positions on Immigration, funding of Planned Parenthood and compromising on judicial appointments. But he took Democrat positions on several issues, such as the War (which supposedly is so important to Democrats) and the environment. He got *no* support from the Democrat Party, who described the election as “Republican versus Republican.”

    Setting the immigration issue aside, I’ve never understood why anyone thinks that Catholic social teaching leads to support for the Democratic Party.

    I’ve read the encyclicals, and I just don’t see it. Subsidiarity precludes doing most of what the Democrats want at the federal level (state is another story). Federal involvement in education violates subsidiarity and parents’ rights, and public education at such has *always* been an explicitly anti-Catholic institution. The Church says workers should have ownership of their work: this certainly doesn’t happen in socialism.

    Plus, the encyclicals *always* say we have freedom to make up our own minds about social issues *so long as we’re taking subsidiarity and the common good into account*. As far as political stances taken by a certain bureaucracy in Washington DC that has no real authority under Canon Law and represents the opinions of its lay staffers more than it necessarily represents the “bishops.” . . .

  • I think the Pro-Life movements as to poltics needs to be very much like the NRA. They at times will not give endorsements of one over the other if the two have similar psotions. That has helped

    That being said I have seen pro-lifers wupport Democrats in my State. In fact after redistricting the black majority Congressional District might be won by a very African American pro-lifer that is currently State Senate pro-tempe

    In other races I have seen support fot botht he dem and the Republican when their views were similar.

    SO I guess it is where you are at.

  • Tim,

    I appreciate you standing up and fighting that fight, and here’s hoping that the Democrats become much more open to candidates like you. I’m afraid though, that Jay is correct: the “right” to abortion is as close to a “non-neg” position as one can get in that party. Shame.

  • DC,

    I think a lot of what you say is being done by
    “National Right To Life”, and by others. They are pretty non-partisan as far as I can tell. I agree with this approach, and we do need to learn a lesson from the NRA on this.

    It seems to me though, that opposition to gun control doesn’t cross the orthodoxy line in for the Democrat base the same way that true pro-life positions do.

  • Johnathon

    I think the key is to make the Dems pro-life from the bottom up

    State legislators and others are ones that often will be picked to go for the the congressional and Senate Seats.

    We have seen success in this on the local level.

    The problem I see is this. There is a lot of criticism of the two parties. Maybe a good bit justifyed. THe problem is that critcism of the parties often leads to people not being involved in the parties on a local level. THis is where a lot of the action happens. SO there fore the partyumachinary is often run by people that don’t have pro-life viewpoints. Espcially in the democrat party. This has all sort of implications

  • I agree with Darwin on the NRA model. And, as I stated right off the bat in my first comment, the pro-life movement MUST become bipartisan for our efforts to succeed.

    The main point I’m trying to make is that pro-lifers need to see solid concrete examples of pro-life Democrats standing up to and bucking the pro-choice leadership of their party on a consistent basis. Over and over again. Just like pro-gun Democrats do.

    During the past election, Democrats made much of the contention that pro-life support for Republicans has garnered little in the way of results. True. Pro-lifers have not been able to achieve their objectives by hitching their wagons to the Republican Party. But supporting pro-life Democrats has achieved even less over the years … apart from sell-outs.

    What would the NRA do if Democrat candidates talked the 2nd Amendment talk at home but voted with the party’s leadership on gun control measures when they got to DC? The NRA certainly wouldn’t be so open to supporting those candidates in the future. That’s the predicament pro-lifers are in. All I’m saying is that the onus is on the pro-life Dems to prove themselves worthy of pro-life support; the onus is NOT on pro-life voters and pro-life orgs to suddenly give them unquestioning support.

  • To Follow-up: First of all I don’t respond to anyone directly, I try to keep on the topic without getting into all the “I said nothing of the sort” type of lame back n’forths- my criticism in the commentary is directed at either something someone mentioned, or is an attempt to broaden the argument to address something that some – might- be implying- but I don’t want to get into a load of personal attack back n’ forths- it is unholy and it brings out my own beast within- so I have none of it.

    Now something I didn’t bring out earlier which is relevant- first- I am pretty well known in local pro-life circles, I am there for the rallies, and I host a pro-life club on the high school campus where I teach, and I am very well known among the students for having an extremely strong pro-life and orthodox Catholic point-of-view.

    Part of my strategy in trying to attract pro-life community support was to openly say- ” Look if you are pro-life, and with all things being equal on the Life issues, then you are going to vote your party- no doubt about it”. But I was looking for support for pro-lifers just to get my name on the ballot as a Democrat for the second run- I told pro-lifers that if they didn’t help me get on the ballot, then a pro-choice Dem would probably get on the ballot- but they wouldn’t if I was there because I paid my dues, I ran when no other Dem would run, I had some name recognition- it wouldn’t fly for a pro-choicer to challenge me. But I had to prove that I could get enough support to at least get the petitions in to qualify- and this is where I really felt let down by the pro-lifers and the Catholic community in general.

    You can say- well you can’t expect Republican pro-lifers to vote for any Democrat- although I would argue for the merit system, if I promise to do more for the cause of Life, then I should get the nod from those who claim that the Life issue is THE issue, and as such there can be no proportionality complexities. But for arguments sake- ok- if Republican pro-lifers don’t trust any Democrat’s pro-life credentials- then so be it- don’t vote for me. But the second layer of my claim was that pro-lifers should support me to the extent of getting my name on the ballot as a Democrat, because at the very least I would be the probable lone pro-lifer in the Democratic Party primary, and wouldn’t want to have two pro-lifers competing for the office come November? Now at this point I don’t see any wiggle room- I wasn’t asking for total support all the way from the pro-lifers, I was asking for that of course, but I wasn’t saying it was all or nothing. I said- just help me get on the ballot, help me secure my spot in the Democratic field because I can represent pro-life in the internal Democratic primary- and if I can show I have a lot of pro-life and Catholic help, then maybe I can scare off some Democratic pro-choicers from challenging me. At least help me to get to the general election and compete for pro-life votes in the general election- whether you would vote for me over a Republican or not- I asked only for the opportunity to make my challenge.

    And this is where things broke down- the volunteers never came- I even put an ad in the local paper for area pro-lifers to help get a pro-life candidate on the ballot- nothing. I have concluded that many- I am not calling out anyone here on this blog- I’m sure you are all perfect saints- but many non-blogger Republicans or anti-Democrats, are blindly prejudiced in the way they respond to even genuine pro-life Democrats like myself- in fact- I think many just shut down automatically- The Democratic Party is the Party of Evil so no new thinking is necessary- the assumption is made that no matter who the Democrat is, they are not legit, or they are representing an evil political party, so we shouldn’t be empowered to even compete on the one issue that is supposed to bond together the pro-life community- abortion.

    Maybe things are different in other parts of the country- I want to find out- which is why I wrote this article- I really don’t enjoy rehashing what is past- I am continuing to do pro-life work outside of being a candidate, I really didn’t want to become a politician, but I was willing to step up- now that I’ve been shot down I am just continuing to fight in different arenas. I would like to help inspire those- particularly in the minority and religious communities, who are already Democrats for the many reasons that cause people to find the traditional Dem Party to be the one that has had a better philosophical orientation to the proper role of government- and one that defends the weak from the wolves. For those who see abortion in particular as a great failing for Democrats, and are willing to stand up and work for reform within, and to challenge the Republicans on Life and other essential fronts in the political wars- these are the folks I aim to spend the majority of my time with- the young and charismatic, the old and faithful volunteers, to work for Life within the Democratic Party the same way those who hijacked the Party worked to move the Party away from the Right to Life for the unborn.

    Having cleared up some loose ends here- like why I wasn’t just mad because Republican pro-lifers didn’t up and vote for me- but my upset was more to do with the fact that pro-lifers didn’t even help me to get on the Dem ballot to make sure there was going to be two pro-lifers competing. And two, I wasn’t an unknown to the pro-life community, and like I said the Republican I was challenging was not one who was front and center out there promoting pro-life legislation and education- so I didn’t have to be the most visible guy to be able to make a challenge. I did have other problems associated with my campaign- first being, it was my first run for public office, and I had not lived in the area for more than 3 years when I first started running- that was definitely to my down-side for sure- I acknowledge that- but still thought that my ability to communicate and commit to specifics should have warranted more support from those claiming that Life or being Catholic was #1 for them as voters. I wanted to put those people to the test- and I even circulated flyers- I’ll post them here sometime if anyone is curious- that based issue positions on Catholic social teachings and Scripture. You know the push against slavery and for civil rights drew so much support from churches and church people, I just don’t understand the fears we have as religious folk to get very specific about where our motivations come from in the political fight on various issues.

  • …if I promise to do more for the cause of Life, then I should get the nod from those who claim that the Life issue is THE issue…

    You sound like someone who, if you had run last year against my GOP pro-abort state rep., I would have cheerfully voted for you, and possibly even worked for you.

  • Thanks Paul- you know part of the reason I had an even tougher time drawing some help than the reasons I gave above- the area I live in here in Florida is pretty apolitical compared to other places I have lived- like Columbus, Ohio, my hometown. In Ohio,the friend of mine who first led me to the Catholic faith, he used to run for Congress, not just state house, and the rules set up in Ohio were much easier for folks to get on the ballot. He ran and won a couple of primaries, with maybe two or three Dem opponents. When I moved to Florida and settled in, I thought maybe I could pick up where he left off down here, but it requires a lot more to get on the ballot here. I understand that you don’t want a hundred candidates, but in Ohio, it didn’t play out that way, and here like I said in my article- I was the only one in Brevard County to even challenge a state rep in the 2006 election cycle- I suppose you could blame the rules, blame voter and candidate apathy, maybe it is the Florida heat and beaches?? We are pretty laid-back here, with lots of sunshine and warmth year round you kind of get into that vacation mindset and stay there. Problem is I don’t want to move for all kinds of family and work reasons, but I want to be part of something dynamic politically- internet has helped to provide some outlets.

  • Tim,

    I am sympathetic with your plight to an extent. However, here’s where we part ways.

    What indication did the pro-lifers of your district have that your ability to influence your party would extend anywhere beyond your district, should you happen to win? What guarantees would any pro-life group have that you would not become another in a long line of starry-eyed idealists who would bow before the power brokers in the legislature (who happen to be pro-abortion) soon after arriving in Washington? And wile I don’t question your “street-cred” among those who *know* you, how would someone not in your circle of influence know whether you really meant what you said, and whether you could actually effect the change needed.

    For me, the easier task than converting the Democratic Party from inside would seem to be converting the *Republican* party from inside! I would much rather have seen you run as an Orthodox Catholic Republican, who fought the Party on its approach toward foreign policy, its approach to the preferential option for the poor, and all of the other giants of Catholic Social Teaching. Frankly, I believe you’d have an easier task (and run MUCH less risk of being cast out of the Party) in the Republican party (the lesser of two evils). As long as access to abortion appears to have sacramental significance to most of the Democratic Party, it will be impossible for me to support *any* Democratic candidate (including you); you are stained by association with such a pro-abortion Party, and that keeps many of us form being able to support you.

    Heck, run as an independent; I’ll come work blocks for ya!

  • Given the history of the Dem party, unless you had some MAJOR history as pro-life, I wouldn’t be willing to risk it, either. Especially if the person you were running against was at least friendly to pro-lifers.

  • Thanks for the feedback- If I was just starting out in my adult life, I would probably be an Independent, since I really have fundamental issues with both major parties- but my political formation began back when I was 13 years young, and I was inspired to go volunteer for the Carter campaign of 1976- now this was a strange thing because neither of my parents were Democrats, and I didn’t have an inspiring teacher coax or assign anything that would have forcibly drawn me into Democratic politics. The ideal of what I perceived at that time has stuck with me- Democrats were for the little guys- and this was before I had any inkling of pro-life or the religious life at all- I wasn’t brought up with religious instruction or church attendance.

    As a twenty-something I became pretty much a by-the-numbers liberal- now some things I still agree with- like American foreign policies- really bad stuff- though I did sign up for the National Guard for 6 years- I found that I am able to be patriotic and self-critical of my nation’s leadership simultaneously.

    But as a Catholic convert- with a big big help from the social encyclicals- I came to see things from a Catholic teachings point-of-view- and so I find common areas of agreement with both liberals and conservatives, but neither place is my home when it comes to politics- my favorite read over the past couple of years has been the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church- so that should tell you all you need to know about where I will come down on most major political topics.

    The fact is that while I retain my status as a Democrat, because I believe that it is possible that God gifted me with something way back when- when I stand up before an audience of Democrats, I am not some outsider, some infiltrator, I am one who can expose the traitors to the Democratic past, and tradition, I don’t publicly support any pro-choice candidates, I spread my votes around- I liked Ron Paul more than the rest this time around- but I don’t agree with libertarianism in general, I just thought he was the most genuine in his pursuit of justice- especially with respect to the global community and the unborn- though I disagree with the state’s rights approach on abortion- not strong enough for me.

    For now, I am still going to fight things out as a Democrat, but not as a candidate- I honestly tried, but failed, it has been humbling, but I’m not feeling sorry for myself, I am looking to help build up the Dems for Life movement- it may be part of my life;s work- I am patient- I may have to be! Pray for me

  • Hey Tim,

    You mentioned,

    “my upset was more to do with the fact that pro-lifers didn’t even help me to get on the Dem ballot to make sure there was going to be two pro-lifers competing.”

    Why would they want to do that? We have to face it – for all of the hard talk, most pro-lifers are GOP on most other issues as well. Of course we Catholics have a social teaching we can appeal to, but not that many Catholics read it. Evangelicals have none but what they make for themselves.

    Anyway, I think your strategy is a viable one, because the Democratic Party, like all parties in time, faces demographic changes that can only mean ideological changes. The boomers will be retiring soon, and it is the white liberal boomers that had the biggest emotional investment in abortion. If you throw in strong support for the second amendment, as I believe Catholics ought, I think working class, religious voters without a strong party affiliation will swing your way.

  • I am an old man and have been active in the pro-life movement since its inception immediately after passing Roe Vs Wade in 1973. Until very recently I attended just about all the Right to Life Marches in DC starting with the very first. I remember that one very well, it was 70 degrees in January. Think God was saying something? I wish to commend Tim for challenging we pro lifers and I am very heartened by the very mature responses of so many of you. I am a life time pro lifer who happens to be also a Democrat though I am an independently voting Democrat and will continue to be. I almost left the Democratic Party but after much prayer and reflection felt that God wanted me to stay just where I was at. Don’t misunderstand I am not saying that God supports one party over another. I believe He is asking each of us to serve him in the party where we can best serve Him. For me it is the Democratic Party, for others it is the Republican Party. All of us on both sides of the aisle need to work at making our party more principled centered and support candidates on either side of the aisle who are most principled centered. In my pro life work I have gotten to know Mr. Tim Shipe very well in the past 4 years or so. He is the real McCoy! He is the most principled centered person and political leader I have ever known. I so wished he was in my county, for he would most certainly have my vote. You know what, if he were running for president, he would have my vote as well. He is presidential material through his integrity, intelligence, and willingness to never compromise his values which are in complete alignment with principles (i.e. natural law or law of human interaction). He is the personification of the “pro-life Obama-like candidates”. Tim, yes you lost twice, but you must still run again and again. As for many of you who participated in this blog, regardless of your party affiliations, imitate Tim and run as well. We saw how the country voted on both sides of the political spectrum. They are hungry for principled centered leaders. We all know that the rights of the unborn is a front and central principle/right….a right to life. When I go home to Heaven, you can be assured God will still have me working for His unborn and those, like Tim who supports this cause. God bless all of you.

  • There it is again “Obama-like candidate”. Could someone explain exactly the qualities, background and/or principles this man possesses which make him such an ideal?

  • I agree with Matt. There is no such thing as an “Obama-like candidate”. He violates the principal of subsidiarity by wanting to impose socialism.

  • Tito,

    to that I could add… empty suit, teleprompter addict, liar, hater of the unborn, oppressor of the true faith…

  • Let’s not digress into bashing OBama- till then this is a very good exchange.

    One commented they felt better time spent reforming the Republican party from the “inside”. Good idea!! I hope you’ll find it easier that reforming the Democratic party from the inside. As vocal Pro-Life Democrats, we historically have not been accepted by the Democrats or the Pro-Life movement. In my experience, the people involved in the Pro-Life movement assume you are a Republican and that you want to join them in bashing Democrats. It is evident in the emails I receive from many Catholics from my parish, Cursillo and Prayer meeting communties. Most of these emails have nothing to do with the Pro-Life issues and are simply character attacks and attempts to be funny.

    I agree, the only way to reform the parties are from the inside. The problem with the Democratic party is that the people setting the policies don’t reflect the general party membership. There are alot of Democrats that could futher the pro-life movement, if we could get them off the sidelines. As someone commented earlier, get involved at the local level.

    There have been some recent gains for Pro-Life Democrats and it is encouraging. While simply reducing abortions is not the end goal, it is a worthy goal and a much needed step to educating people.

    However, if you doubt the general topic- Pro-Life movement, Democrats need not apply- keep an eye on your in box. It’s not just the NRTL and other organizations- it is the whole pro-life movement.

    I do appreciate many of the comments as to why pro-life Democrats are not currently accepted as candidates. One big issue that I have is that being a Democratic member is often not accepted in the Pro-life movement.

  • Matt and Tito,
    Obama is smart and charismatic. He has personal approval ratings over 70% and policy approval ratings over 60%, despite his “socialism.” He’s also very good at politics. I didn’t vote for him and I am quite worried about some aspects of his presidency, but I wonder how trapped in the Fox-newsecho chamber you have to be not to understand why a pro-life candidate with his appeal would be good. And seriously – 16 of the past 24 years had Republicans in the White House. 12 of the last 24 had Republicans in control of Congress. How well has that worked out for pro-life Catholics. Maybe a strategy of encouraging pro-life Democrats is worth considering, in spite of the national party’s flaws.

  • Zak,
    Obama is smart and charismatic.

    So what? I can name numerous examples of smart charismatic leaders who I would not glorify.

    Gene,

    There have been some recent gains for Pro-Life Democrats

    What gains are those? Defeating a pro-abortion policy, leader, or nominee?

    Let’s: Nancy Pelosi, nope. Harry Reid, nope. Funding of abortion and abortion advocacy, nope. Funding of embryonic stem-cell research, nope. Sebelius, nope. Obama’s SCOTUS nominee, not bloody likely.

  • I’m all for converting the Democratic Party to being pro-life, but that really has to be responsibility of pro-life Democrats, doesn’t it? And I’ve heard very little (more than none, but very little) in the way of efforts by pro-life Democrats (and ostensibly pro-life Obama supporters in particular) at persuading pro-choice Democrats to oppose abortion.

    It’s not as though Republicans are so much smarter than Democrats at recognizing the humanity and right to life of the unborn that the GOP platform calls for a life amendment to the Constitution while the Dems’ platform defends abortion as a right.

    The GOP’s performance on life issues, imperfect as it is, is far and away better than the Democrats’. And that’s to the credit of Republican pro-lifers.

  • He has personal approval ratings over 70% and policy approval ratings over 60%,

    This is incorrect, but also irrelevant. George W. Bush had much higher ratings than this well into 2003, but shall we say events transpired to bring those numbers down. As for his personality, well, I think Colour wrote an apt song about that.

    but I wonder how trapped in the Fox-newsecho chamber

    Goodness, people are still repeating this tired mantra? And they expect to be taken seriously?

  • Whhops, I meant to say that “Living Colour wrote an apt song about that.”

  • There is a lot of personal taste stuff going around posing as serious commentary. Back in 2000 I personally “liked” both George W. and John McCain, better than Al Gore- it was a gut personality thing- not really linked too specifically to the issues. But my feelings changed on both Bush and McCain, I’ve come to really dislike them on the personality front and the issue front.

    I read Obama’s book “Audacity of Hope”, I liked his personal narrative, I like his personality. I don’t like his stand on abortion, gay rights, and other important issues, but he has personal qualities that many people- like myself- really connect with- more so than others in the public political arena. I did not publicly support Obama, or any other candidate, I did openly praise Ron Paul for various things, including the fact that I personally “liked” him- again based upon my reading his book and watching him in interviews and debates.

    The fact that my comment, that Democrats need an Obama-like pro-life candidate, should not be surprising given his success at the ballot box, and his obvious personal appeal- look at the facts- he came from no where- his daddy wasn’t a well-connected figure, his name is contrary to prior assumptions of major presidential candidates- so how can anyone claim that obama is a completely hateful personality?

    You can make the claim that you personally despise- not only some important policies he represents- but the man himself- his personality, his intellect, his manner of speech and so forth- ok- no problem- I can grant that- it is your gut feelings- I like myself, but you might decide I am a horrible, nasty guy for reasons that my wife may disagree with- but you feel what you feel. And this has become a “feelings” piece, because some here cannot stand the fact that I have recognized the broad appeal of President Obama- he doesn’t just appeal to pro-abort liberals on the personal level- I recognize that reality, and I say that cultivating pro-life Obama-like candidates within the Democratic ranks is a worthy endeavor. Obviously for die-hard anti-Obama, anti-Democratic party across-the-board types, my comment is not popular. If you “hate” obama, I doubt it is just because he is pro-choice for many- I doubt it is just about political beliefs for many- and I’m NOT claiming that it is racist to “hate” obama- I am saying that some people we like and some we don’t- just because someone is Catholic and has very similar beliefs to mine, is no guarantee that I will “like” them or even want to spend a minute of my time being around them. But their wives may beg to differ- such is the subjective stuff of life- I expressed a subjective opinion- that we Dems for Life should help cultivate pro-life obama-like candidates, and some bloggers just won’t accept that many people seem to personally like the actual Obama- even as they may disagree with him on many fronts.

    I suggest we move beyond the subjective feelings- and focus on the meat of my article- which had precious little to do with liking the Obama brand- and much more to do with how the pro-life movement would benefit from taking an honest Two-Party strategy instead of ignoring or demonizing all Democrats- pro-life or not.

  • Tim, Thank you for your wonderful contribution. As I read your blog and the responses that follows I become more and more aware of an amazing blindness with regards to the attempt to turn the Catholic faith and all its great tradition into a partisan political tool.

    I was once a member of the Young Republicans (in college) but I left for two reasons, Their Market Fundamentalist policies challenged my Catholic faith and their pro-life and family agenda seemed highly superficial. I had a political conversion when I meditated at the FDR memorial in DC and found a political vision for America that I could support in conscience. I personally feel that the foundational values of the Republican (neo-conservative) is primarily an individualistic meritocracy and this ultimately contradicts any authentic desire to promote the common good or address issues such as abortion. The Democratic Party has opened its tent somewhat to those of us with a pro-life agenda but if it can actually adopt a more visible pro-life position then we could move forward with the Catholic social agenda. In truth I do feel that the Democrats have more openness on this issue then the Republican have on the rest of Catholic Social tradition. So I have parted ways from the staunch Republican ideals towards a tent that at present anyway seems open to reform and dialogue.

    Catholic Social Teaching offers us a rich heritage of social principles. Subsidiarity is certainly an important value of our Catholic Tradition, but to elevated it from the its place in the hierarchy of social values is a disservice to what it contributes to the Catholic Social Tradition. Their is indeed a hierarchy, Life and Dignity of the Human Person is preeminent, none of us, I suspect, would challenge that. Rights and Responsibilities are next as they flow from the first value. Our faith honors the full rights that are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the Encyclical Pacem in Terris is a testament to that. This includes the negative rights that are enshrined in our own Bill of Rights under the Constitution and the first 17 articles of UDHR. However the Catholic Church also supports the Positive rights that exist in articles 18-27 in the UDHR and although they currently are not defended by the Constitution they are the vision of the four freedoms and the second Bill of Rights which remains as one of FDR’s unfinished works. Our faith tells us that we (as civil society and government) have a moral responsibility to education, healthcare, standard of living and labor rights. And yes, along with subsidiarity our social tradition tells us over and over again about the principle known as the Preferential Option for the Poor, as Pacem in Terris tells us:

    “The very nature of the common good requires that all members of the state be entitled to share in it, although in different ways according to each one’s tasks, merits and circumstances. For this reason, every civil authority must take pains to promote the common good of all, without preference for any single citizen or civic group. …Considerations of justice and equity, however, can at times demand that those involved in civil government give more attention to the less fortunate members of the community, since they are less able to defend their rights and to assert their legitimate claims.” -Pacem in Terris #56

    No Party can ever claim a hold on Catholic Tradition because our tradition comes not from mere political ideology but from the Divine Word of God. We serve our faith well in working with the coalitions that make up both parties and the independent movement as well. Ultimately the Democrats and Republicans both hold legitimate values that our enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. The Republicans uphold individual liberty while the Democrats uphold the communal pursuit of happiness. These parties both have a place for American Catholics. We should both be aware of the limitations we will have by virtue of working in coalition with others. But at no point should either of us claim to monopolize the aspects of our faith and tradition. Like Tim I will do my part to influence that good American values of the Democrats with the Social wisdom of our Catholic faith. I would hope that those who continue to be Republicans Catholics will see that their Catholic identity is much more sacred then their Republican ideals.

  • Tim,

    suggest we move beyond the subjective feelings-

    you’re accusing others of what only you have done. The claims I made are:

    empty suit, teleprompter addict, liar, hater of the unborn, oppressor of the true faith…

    All of those points can be demonstrated to be reasonable. I don’t object to the claim of “smart”, and “charismatic”. I just don’t see those as being particularly rare.

    His father? His real fathers are Saul Alinsky, Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright.

    Don’t even talk about “humble”, Obama went to the finest school in Hawaii and on to the Ivy League.

    Obama is an “engineered” candidate, 7 years at state legislature, 2 years into the senate term (a seat he stole from his democrat opponent) and he’s on to the presidency, can’t even talk without a teleprompter… empty suit.

  • Matt,

    I am sorry but I do not find any rational legitimacy in your last comment. To say that he is an empty suit that requires a teleprompter is to simply be in absolute denial of his amazing speaking ability and charismatic style. The testament to this is the impact he is having on world affairs and the delicate cooperation he is getting for the Global economic crisis.

    And to still tie him into a close relationship that he never had with Bill Ayers or Saul Alinsky is another attempt to grasp for straws in hopes of scarring us into thinking that he is a violent socialist which he has proven himself not to be. For whatever reason your recent comments are subjective to a fault. I suggest you free yourself from the fear mongering of Fox news and allow yourself to be challenged in seeing why Obama is making a positive global impact.

  • absolute denial of his amazing speaking ability and charismatic style. The testament to this is the impact he is having on world affairs and the delicate cooperation he is getting for the Global economic crisis.

    Talk about finding no rational legitimacy in a comment. What impact is he having on the global economic crisis? Unemployment is getting worse, not better, and other economic indicators are a decidedly mixed bag. As for his speaking style, I’ll simply agree to disagree. I find him to be a dull, torturous, monotonous speaker, and that’s when he’s got the teleprompter. Otherwise he, uh, is, uh, decidedly, uh, not the, uh, dynamo he is, uh, often described as, uh, being.

    For whatever reason your recent comments are subjective to a fault. I suggest you free yourself from the fear mongering of Fox news

    And there is nothing subjective in your analysis? And really, the Fox news bit is old and tiring. Pick a new line of argumentation.

  • I don’t see the Democrats turning pro-life, or at least tolerant to pro-lifers, until the leadership does. To be frank: the efforts of failed candidates will not make the Democrats pro-life, no matter how many there are.

    I think that a well known national leader needs to make a public break, that will force the rest of the party to either accept him or not. And I’m not talking about some nominal pro-lifer like Senator Harry Reid, who votes for pro-abortion judges and pro-abortion administrators. I mean a national leader who says, “I can’t vote for Obama’s judge because he is dedicated to abortion, which is unconscionable. I cannot in good faith support the lie of Roe v. Wade any longer.”

    Let the Democrats deal with a national leader who turns on them on this issue. If they let him keep his seniority, his chairmanships, and his leadership positions, then I believe that will go a long way towards breaking the monopoly that NARAL has over the Democrats.

    Small-time failed candidates are not going to have any influence in turning the party pro-life. I just don’t see it happening.

  • John,

    I am sorry but I do not find any rational legitimacy in your last comment. To say that he is an empty suit that requires a teleprompter is to simply be in absolute denial of his amazing speaking ability and charismatic style. The testament to this is the impact he is having on world affairs and the delicate cooperation he is getting for the Global economic crisis.

    Are you denyng that he NEEDS the telepromptor in order to engage his “amazing speaking ability” and “charismatic style”? Furthermore, that is the very definition of an “empty suit”, looks good but no substance. He even uses the teleprompter at press briefings, something that none of his predecessors needed.

    Obama is a pure political animal, he’d throw his grandmother under the bus. Wait… he already did that. He’d throw his own pastor under the bus… wait, he did that too… let’s see, who will throw under the bus next?

    And to still tie him into a close relationship that he never had with Bill Ayers or Saul Alinsky is another attempt to grasp for straws in hopes of scarring us into thinking that he is a violent socialist which he has proven himself not to be. For whatever reason your recent comments are subjective to a fault. I suggest you free yourself from the fear mongering of Fox news and allow yourself to be challenged in seeing why Obama is making a positive global impact.

    Wow, where to begin.

    1. Obama had a long association with Bill Ayers, Ayers mentored Obama and brought him in to “community organize” for his foundation and sit on it’s board. He kicked off his political career at a fundraiser at Bill Ayers home. It seems likely that one of Obama’s books either borrows heavily from, or more likely was ghost written by Ayers.

    2. Obama has demonstrated that he is an Alinksyite to a tee. The “community organizing” groups use “Rules for Radicals” as a bible, it’s clear Obama follows him.

    3. Notice you failed to mention Wright, no doubt there that he is a “father” to Obama, glad you are not completely blind.

    4. I never said he was violent (except to the unborn).

    5. Making a positive global impact… really? Where? DPRK is launching missiles over Japan, Russia is not backing down from Georgia, Iran still pursuing nuclear weapons, pirates are attacking our ships with near impunity, US funds now being diverted to the spread of legal murder of the unborn, China still abusing human rights (now with US blessing)…. what is the positive?

  • I’ve got to agree– Obama off the teleprompter is nothing to brag about; if he’d talked like that in my high school English classes, he’d have barely passed public speaking.

    On the teleprompter, even the Brits found him long-winded and kind of dull.

    For the Bill Ayers thing… shoot, if you’ll ignore the masses of evidence for that, no repeating of it will get through to you.

    Can we please get to details instead of pointing and yelling “you’re not objective enough”?

    I’d be delighted if the Dems could get a pro-life movement going in their party– it would cut a lot of grief in the Republican party, since most of the folks pushing a dem-lite agenda tend to boil down to “basically Democrat but don’t believe in killing babies.”

    Now would be the time to get a pro-life Dem group together, but it must be done by Democrats. If it’s done by X or Y pro-life group, it will be attacked as a front for religion by the media. (this will probably happen anyways, but it’s not a bad idea to lower how much ammo you give them.)

    Frankly, the amount the use of the “Fox news” bogyman, coupled with references to how much international cooperation Obama’s brought us– where? They made nice noises at G-20, but didn’t talk them into doing their own “stimulus” packages– and your mind reading of folks’ reasons for saying or doing things… you do sound a whole lot like the “pro-life until challenged” politicians I’ve met before.
    I don’t believe you are that, because I don’t have lovely mind-reading powers– but the indicators show enough risk that I still wouldn’t support you.

  • Make no mistake, the idea of turning the Democrat Party to a Pro-life party is daunting and incredibly challenging. I am by no means sure that it can even happen, but I certainly do believe it is worth a try. The possibility lies in creating a link to the social vision that the Democrats already have with regards to family social services and develop a consistent argument for abortion to be seen as an individualistic choice that does damages that family and local community. This is going to be a hard sell however and I have yet to gauge the strength of the Pro-Choice group.

    With regards to Fox, that is a bit of media humor that just doesn’t get old. Consider Robert Kaufman’s who was publicly defending the Bush administration when he mentioned that the Republican need to acquire another Television station besides Fox. Here check out this link:

    So much for Fair and Balanced.

  • Foxfier,

    you do sound a whole lot like the “pro-life until challenged” politicians I’ve met before.

    I don’t think that’s a fair thing to say, we should take Tim at his word.

    I’ll criticize him for blaning Republican Pro-lifers for “keeping him down”, but that’s out of line.

  • A good opportunity for Pro-Life Democrats would be to rally opposition to Obama’s Supreme Court nominee if the nominee is in favor of Roe. He may nominate Diane Wood and she is especially atrocious on the abortion issue.

    http://forthegreaterglory.blogspot.com/2009/05/great-potential-nominee-for-scotus.html

  • John,

    Make no mistake, the idea of turning the Democrat Party to a Pro-life party is daunting and incredibly challenging. I am by no means sure that it can even happen, but I certainly do believe it is worth a try. The possibility lies in creating a link to the social vision that the Democrats already have with regards to family social services and develop a consistent argument for abortion to be seen as an individualistic choice that does damages that family and local community. This is going to be a hard sell however and I have yet to gauge the strength of the Pro-Choice group.

    Absolutely! The black pastors may be a key to this, if they can be rally their people and open eyes to the racist slaughter of abortion. The political powers bow to their constituency, if a pro-life constituency can assert itself, their will be change.

  • Matt McDonald-
    if you read the rest of the post you’ll see that I specifically stated that I don’t think he is one of that sort. A bit less nicely that I might, but I tend to get annoyed when folks try to say what someone else’s motivation is, rather than respond to what’s said.

    I’m pointing out that the similarity is high enough that, without some very strong reasons to overcome the similarities, folks will assume that he is; it’s not nice, and it’s not kind, but it is how folks’ minds tend to work.
    For a strained metaphor: what has a bill like a duck, and webbed feet like a duck, swims and lays eggs? Could be a duck or a platypus, but the former will be assumed before the latter, unless you can set up a big section that says “PLATYPUS FARM”. (told you it was strained)

    That’s why I say there needs to be a Democrat movement that’s pro-life– it has to be strongly Dem first, and show from those principals to pro-life, if they’re going to get any kind of a decent movement going.

    If it’s from pro-life groups, they’ll be accused of mixing religion and politics, or of being Repub plants (probably with this very post as evidence!).

    If it’s from a Repub group, then it’ll be accused of being a front, a stalking-horse, a fraud.

    If from a Dem source, then it will be accused of mixing religion, but if it’s political theory first that won’t stick as well; there will be accusations of trying to siphon votes off of the Repubs— which, fairly, is pretty true by definition, but not the primary point.

    It has to be solid enough, philosophically, to get to people and to stand on its own.
    There’s the right urges in the Dem party– for crying out loud, my aunt the nurse is a pro-life Dem pissed as heck that she couldn’t vote for Obama because of his horrific abortion voting record.

    If I were trying to form a Dems for Life group, I’d probably start with the Nazi doctors’ “work” on small children, have a solid base in basic biology of what is a human, and see if that movie about clone farming for spare parts from a few years back was any good–probably use Horton Hears A Who as well.
    Have to get an emotional hook that at least as strong as “look at these poor women, suddenly having to pay for all the expenses of a baby, and it keeps them from being able to live their lives!”
    (Making it easier to adopt might help with this– a row of couples with their arms open, asking for the children they can’t give birth do, is a big impact; has the downside of being utilitarian, and might bring in the homosexual issue, which is too much added grief.)

    Shoot, there’s a bunch of ladies that tour the nation talking for pro-life events– because they are survivors of abortion attempts. This is *totally* up the alley of usual Dem tactics!

    If the OP wants help in the form of suggestions of what to do, that’s free– there’s no risk in unofficially sharing ideas, and as the TLDR read section above shows, there’s a LOT to be had. Might be worth what you pay for it, but it’s food for thought.

    The problem comes when he wants folks to risk it all on, this time, it really being true– to throw in and support him, when the only way he’ll get far is if he’s lying. (as someone pointed out above– pro-life Dems tend to be attacked by the established Dem party, and don’t get invited to the supportive stuff. Have to have enough grass-root support to overcome this– enough people they don’t want to piss off.)

  • Foxfier,

    I did, and I agree largely with your post, I object to this statement even if you qualify it:

    you do sound a whole lot like the “pro-life until challenged” politicians I’ve met before.

  • I’m sorry you feel that way; liars lie, they say what someone who would be a good choice would say; if it happens enough, folks don’t trust the good guys anymore.

    Seems like a pretty simple fact to me– liars have to say what the good guys would say.

    Politicians have a big tendency to say what they think will get them elected, no matter what they actually think or want to do– that’s why so few folks trust what they say, even if there’s not a long history of similar situation folks lying on the specific topic like there is for this.
    (Even if I like folks, I try to make sure to go over what they’ve done and check it against what they say– talk vs walk. The bigger advantage they’d get if I believed them and it wasn’t so, the more evidence I want to support that it is so.)

    It’s kind of like “causing scandal”– it doesn’t matter if that young man and woman are “doing it”, it’s that they look like they are, because they’re living together. Enough folks have done wrong that even those who haven’t need to make it clear they’re not.

  • Hey Guys- let’s not put aside my central beef- not that Republican Pro-Lifers in general didn’t support my candidacy- but rather that the leaders of pro-life groups and organizations were not helpful in my attempt to gain traction as a pro-life Democrat. My thesis is that these organizations must be truly non-partisan and it is in the interest of the pro-life cause in general to cultivate a Two- or more- Party strategy. And my particular case in point was my run for office, where I put forth the notion that pro-lifers in general should support the man, not the party- if I could establish myself as a credible person who was making assertions to do specific things as a legislator for the pro-life cause, then I should have been given serious consideration. As a Catholic high school religion teacher, a Knight of Columbus who wrote a monthly pro-life column in the Knights Bulletin, and one who stood up for Life in hostile environments such as Democratic Party Executive Committee Meetings, and Democratic Women’s Club candidate forums, I thought that I had earned some significant credibility. I feel that there is no meritocracy in place in places where there shouldn’t be blind partisan bias- like pro-life organizations. That’s my beef in short.

  • There is a pro-life organization in the Democratic Party and it is called Democrats for Life of America (http://www.democratsforlife.org/). Tim Shipe is a member and has been just voted Vice President of the Florida Chapter of the Democrats for Life of America (http://www.floridadfla.org/). Tim Shipe and Freda Stevens were voted in as Vice President and President respectively to lead the Florida Chapter and our state Democratic Party to best support the rights of the unborn. We Catholics need to work in our respective parties to bring these parties more aligned with the social teachings of our Holy Catholic Church which are totally aligned with Principles and Laws of Human Interaction. Remember all of us are united regardless of party affiliations because of our Catholic heritage given us by the blood of martyrs. We are united by our desire to defend the rights of the unborn. There is more that unite us than divide us. We need to diligently work within our respective parishes in assuring good God fearing Catholics choosing to enter the political arena get the proper exposures. This is called “Catholic Action” in the truest sense of the word. We need to make our Catholic Voice heard. We MUST live our faith!!!!

  • The links I gave above to the democratic prolife organizations did not work. Let’s try again:

    http://www.democratsforlife.org/

    http://www.floridadfla.org/

    These should work now!!!

  • And I think that your basic beef has merit, Tim.

    If someone trying to get onto the Democratic ticket at any level is willing to eschew the all-too-available pro-choice money available to them and brand themselves as pro-life, I think that pro-life organizations should give them the benefit of any doubt and help them win.

    Given the center of gravity of the pro-life movement, it wouldn’t be any surprise if they then sat out the general election and let you and the GOP candidate fight it out on the merits, but it is unquestionaby better to stack both sides with pro-lifers wherever possible.

    That this was not done by your local pro-life organizations in this case was, I think, a failing — however understandable to many of us.

  • Tim Shipe-
    I understand what you’re saying, I just don’t agree.

    There is a cost in supporting folks; historically, it’s wasted on pro-life Dems because if they’re honest, they don’t get far–party won’t let them; if they’re not, then it’s a double-cost because you just advanced someone who is counter to your cause.

    If you could establish a strong pro-life record, and enough of a Dem support base to overcome the party resistance that even you mention, then yes– you’d be a good investment of time and political capital.

    Basically, I think you’re going at it backwards– you want the pro-life groups to help you build a Dem base; they want you to show you’re serious by building Dem base that they can support.
    Saying that the reason they won’t help you is because they’re too bound to Repubs probably won’t really help issues, especially since most of the pro-life folks I know that fit your implied views are Independents.

  • I did mention some improvements made in the main pro-life organization from the time of my first run and then the second- I had some good conversations with leadership at the beginning of the second run, and did receive an official endorsement for the Democratic Primary from that organization- the problem was in getting some actual help in getting access to volunteers to help me get on the ballot- around 1000 signed petitions from my district were needed. As I stated in my original piece- my wife had were blessed with a third child in between elections, and the timing was difficult for me to get out and bang on doors in the evenings. This is one reason I am hoping to locate younger men and women, who don’t have families yet, but have the values necessary to become solid moral leaders, it is tough having a young family and a career outside of law, and trying to run as a first time candidate- or anytime candidate.

    I will publish soon, something I circulated around a while ago in Catholic circles- some ideas I have for helping to promote the Catholic social doctrine in our American political system- here is a quote from the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church which should hit all of us, as Catholics, no matter what our party orientation is: #573

    “It is difficult for the concerns of the Christian faith to be adequately met in one sole political entity; to claim that one party or political coalition responds completely to the demands of faith or of Christian life would give rise to dangerous errors. Christians cannot find one party that fully corresponds to the ethical demands arising from faith and from membership in the Church. Their adherence to a political alliance will never be ideological but always critical; in this way the party and its political platform will be prompted to be ever more conscientious in attaining the true common good, including the spiritual end of the human person[1201].”

  • At the sites that Jim mentioned you can find information about the gains made by the pro-Life Democrats. Currently, the Pro-Life Democrats were mentioned by the Bishop in a statement for the Pregnant Women Support Act, which is championed by the Dems for Life.

    Also, there should soon be a Pro-Life Democrat named as the ambassador to the Vatican. Granted, that is because the church has turned down 3 Pro-Choice candidates proposed by the present administration.

    More information is available about the increasing number of Pro-Life Democrats in office. Although, regrettably there have been minimal gains in Florida.

    As Pro-Life Democrats, we are committed to facilitating change within the party. Their is definitely a PR campaign to be waged in order to change the party. Recognition from the Bishops and Pro-Life organizations can go a long way. It should be noted that Priest for Life have also recognize the Dems for Life at various times.

    Of course, to get the Pro-Life organizations recognition, there will need to be a successful PR campaign within the Pro-Life movement. The traditional strength of the African-American churches in the Democratic party can be a strong voice for change- as noted in an earlier post. Tim has actively spoken to African-American churches. Alot of our state organization is white Catholic men. The new president of our state chapter has been a candidate for office, active within the party at local levels, and knowledgeable about the workings of the party. We are Blessed that she also happens to be evangical African-American woman.

    The fight to change the parties from within, will IMHO not be won by a Senator splitting from the party over the supreme court nominee. It will be won at a grass roots level- and with plenty of prayer.

  • Tim, I have a question:

    To set up, I will shortly be announcing my own candidacy for State Representative as a Republican, to seek to unseat a Republican pro-choice incumbent. I’m facing a fight in the primary, and then in the general, both against pro-aborts. I’m doing this specifically because my State Rep. is a pro-abort Republican.

    My question: Does Democrats for Life try to recruit pro-life Democratic candidates to oppose pro-choice Democratic incumbents?

    My perception has been that they do not; instead, they mostly support ostensibly pro-life Democrats against strongly pro-life Republicans (I’m thinking of Casey Jr. vs. Santorum, for example).

    I’d be interested on your comments on this point.

  • The fight to change the parties from within, will IMHO not be won by a Senator splitting from the party over the supreme court nominee. It will be won at a grass roots level- and with plenty of prayer.

    I think this is true of both parties. Both need to be re-invigorated with some new, if not necessarily youthful, blood. Neither party is exactly behaving like the responsible party model envisioned by those eggheaded political scientists years ago – you know, guys like myself. 🙂

    The thread hit a bump in the road earlier, but that shouldn’t detract from Tim’s points. I’d echo some of the cautionary notes from upthread, and add one of my own. Tim’s case is somewhat different in that, if I read his post correctly, he was running for a state legislative seat. But if I saw a Tim Shipe-like character running for Congress, I’d still have a hard time voting for him because, in the end, he’d be voting for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker and organizing the House along very far-left lines. It may not be fair, but there are going to have to be a lot more Tim Shipes and Gene Dickeys before the party has changed substantially. Baby steps, I suppose. That said, I’d trade my Rep (Van Hollen) for Tim Shipe in a heartbeat.

  • Tim and all,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for having such an intelligent and christian sharing of ideas. It is so refreshing to see.

    God Bless you Tim for being such a brave and loving Christian, advocate for the unborn and political activist. What a breath of fresh air in a stagnant pool of partisan rhetoric and language of hate and intolerance.

    Jesus wants us to love one another. The readings for this Sunday really drive this home. We CAN be good Christians, pro-life advocates and also find our role in changing the world. I don’t have to be Democrat or Republican. I stand firmly in the center with Christ. I choose to love both sides, especially when they are wrong.

    Thank you again. All of you.

    Dianne Phillips

  • *dryly* It’s possible that comparisons to cesspools or saying folks sound “intolerant” and “hateful” aren’t the way to get folks to work hard for your goals– if nothing else, the irony is rather strong.

  • On the other hand, foxfier, there seems to be little to gain in trying to placate people who have no intention of helping you anyway 🙂

  • Ah, the famous Christian value of utilitarianism! How could I forget that we should only refrain from going out of our way to insult those who might be of use to us….

  • Foxfier,

    Well done!

  • I have long believed that restoring a pro-life presence to the Democratic Party should be a VERY high long-term priority for the pro-life movement, equal in importance to getting the “right” justices on the Supreme Court. (Of course the Republican Party also needs a pro-life presence as well, but that’s another story)

    I am a firm believer that a movement as critical as pro-life should NOT have put all its political eggs in one basket (the GOP); the result is the dire situation we have now.

    Here’s my cautionary tale. In Illinois in 1998, we had a real, live, pro-life, downstate Democrat, Glenn Poshard (then a Congressman), running for governor against Republican George Ryan, also (ostensibly) pro-life. I was tempted to vote for Poshard, but in the end, voted for Ryan believing that as a Republican he would be more reliable when it came to pro-life and other issues.

    Well, if I had a time machine I would give anything to go back and reverse that vote. Ryan turned out to be crooked as a dog’s hind leg, and he didn’t even accomplish anything in the pro-life arena (outside of his famed death penalty moratorium, if you count that as a pro-life issue). Not only that, but Ryan’s corruption pretty much discredited and destroyed the Illinois GOP and paved the way for the election of the even more infamous Blago, who posed as a reformer. Today the entire state is firmly in the control of pro-abort Democrats.

    If Poshard had been elected, we might have avoided much of the disgrace of the last 10 years. Of course, because he was pro-life (as well as pro-2nd-Amendment) he didn’t get the backing of the Chicago Democrats, and that hurt him as well.

  • Paul- Dems for Life is a very loose coalition- there are no marching orders from the national office to direct us to find candidates to challenge only Republican pro-lifers- our state chapter has a range of folks doing mostly their own thing- there is not even agreement as to what the best strategy is to end abortion as we know it- there are those who are focused on the reduction track, and making more and more legal restrictions, making abortion rare by making abortion providers legally accountable for the bad effects of abortions on women, making sure they have full disclosure of all the potential ills before they can proceed with an abortion.

    I am a pro-life maximalist, I believe abortion must become illegal- not for the mothers, but for the providers, and not just given back to the state legislatures, but based on natural law and drawing upon the 5th and 14th Amendments, abortion must end in all of America. I also stand up for the social programs and economic assistance that can take away the root causes of abortions for the many women who claim that economics and lack of assistance are the top reasons for their choice for abortion. And I believe in fighting the spiritual battles, in the culture, I have started a Facebook cause- “Dads Protecting Daughters” trying to find small and large ways to push back against the dominant hedonistic culture. I will take up any cause that will save some lives of children, I don’t want women seeking illegal abortions, I try to have compassion for everyone in the mix of such tragic choices- I believe like Fr.Corapi says, this is a genocide against unborn, unwanted children, my heart breaks for the young women and men who blindly support and procure abortions- forgive them Father for they know not what they do- if I can help persuade by working on the laws, working with the youth as a teacher, working the political fronts on the many interrelated issues that make up our society’s common good- then this is what I can do, along with prayer. I asked my pro-life club to join me everyday after school to offer a prayer for President Obama to have a St.Paul like conversion on the issue of life for the unborn, and my wife and I keep the president and the unborn in our nightly rosary intentions. I am open to doing whatever I can, and I had thought that running for office may be something that took my participation to the next level of personal responsibility. I encourage more of you to consider making the plunge to experience the process for yourselves- I learned so much, and I want to use the experience to help reform some institutional weaknesses in the pro-life movement- as I perceive them anyway.

  • Elaine- funny you should use the phrase- “Putting all the eggs into one basket” that was my line all the time with pro-life organizations- I reasoned that since the majority of Americans are not voting primarily with abortion in mind, there will be a pretty consistent shifting of power between the two major parties- given that both parties have critical weaknesses and cannot sustain popularity as a result. For the pro-life movement to try to build up their base in only one major Party, this will only result in the one party taking them for granted, and the other party completely hating them. The best approach is one that I believe the major Pro-Life leaders like Fr. Pavone, have already concluded- there has to be more outreach from the movement to build up pro-life Democrats- I lobbied Fr. Pavone and Fr. West strongly in person when I met up with them after speaking to my school. Father West of priests for life has been very encouraging to me personally, and I think Fr. Pavone understood and obviously saw things similarly in what I heard from him after the elections.

    I can work with pro-life Republicans, I don’t have any grudges, in fact the Republican who defeated me openly praised me in our campaign because it was one devoted exclusively to the issues, no personal attacks, I spoke with him after candidate forums, and there was no bad blood- I just happened to believe that on Life issues and more I would be a stronger leader. Nothing personal, it was professional. We need civility in our political process, we must be able to strongly express the truth on issues, but we should not focus so much on the personal attacks, we can love our enemies by granting them our prayers and openly pursue the idea that the other fellow may just have as good of intentions as I do- we just disagree and it may come to a non-violent confrontation in illuminating debate and perhaps in a democratic vote. The pope has not called for us to take up arms to defend the unborn, so we are compelled to work through the non-violent channels of persuasion and political action. Let’s do so with grace, humility, intelligence and holy passion!

  • Fox,

    Was Jesus being a utilitarian in Matthew 7:6?

    How unChristian of Jesus!

  • Joe-
    Might want to read 7:1.

  • Way to change the subject. Clearly we are not obligated to extend unlimited patience to people who are manifestly hostile to truth and goodness. It doesn’t mean we have to ‘judge’ them per 7:1 – if walking away is a judgment, anything and everything is.

  • Clearly we are not obligated to extend unlimited patience to people who are manifestly hostile to truth and goodness.

    Glad you hold your fellow pro-lifers in such high reguard.

  • That “Elf” is one lucky fella!

  • Fox,

    Ok, whats the objective here?

    Argument for the sake of argument? Argument for fun? Seriously insisting that we shouldn’t prioritize our limited time and resources so that they are most effectively used, in favor of some vague alternative?

    It isn’t about “them” – though I don’t hold anyone in high regard who can’t put aside their ideological psychosis long enough to support a candidate like Tim. It’s about what we do with the time and resources we have.

    You want to make a serious argument against that, go ahead. If all you have is a snarky quip, I’m done.

  • Zak,

    I am all for a pro-life Democrat. I myself have not voted for Obama, but I have given money to the Democratic Party and none to the GOP. I don’t watch FoxNews and for that matter I don’t even have cable.

    You can’t characterize people that are pro-life as automatically Fox News viewing GOPers.

    I would not hesitate to vote for a pro-life Democrat, unless of course the GOP candidate was even more pro-life than him/her.

    I agree that we need someone with the stage presence and charisma of Obama. Just please be specific about that when mentioning an Obama-like candidate.

    Pax.

  • Tito,

    “I have given money to the Democratic Party”

    Even given the vicious pro-abort platform upon which the entire party virtually rests?

    I am greatly disappointed.

  • e.,

    To my hometown (where I grew up in Hawaii) local Democratic Party which is very pro-life.

  • You know, sometimes I think it would be better if both parties — actually ALL parties, including Greens, Libertarians, etc. — based their official platforms on economic and foreign policy issues only, and took no stand at all on social/moral issues like abortion or gay marriage. Not because those issues aren’t important, but because they are TOO important to be used as political footballs or to become the exclusive “property” of a particular party.

    It would be the responsibility of each individual candidate to decide how he or she stood on those issues, and of each individual voter to take those stands into consideration when voting. I would think that under a system like this, pro-lifers would eventually exist in every party and pro-life voters would be free to vote for them without worrying about endorsing an officially “pro-death” organization.

    Which brings me to another point brought up by another political blogger of my acquaintance. A political party is not a church, and therefore need not act as if it were one.

    The Church teaches divinely revealed, unchanging truths necessary for one’s eternal salvation, while political parties teach humanly created truths which can change as circumstances change and are intended simply to make one’s temporal life easier or more secure. A political party need not, and should not, take its “doctrines” as seriously as the Church does its doctrines, and a political party can tolerate dissent to a greater degree than a religious body.

    While I think pro-lifers as individuals have a duty to support pro-life candidates (provided that they are reasonably competent and honest — electing corrupt or incompetent pro-lifers only serves to discredit the cause and make it harder to elect similar people in the future) I do not think that political parties AS A WHOLE should necessarily be beholden to one side or the other.

  • The problem being Elaine is that abortion, like slavery in the nineteenth century, is not only a moral issue but also a political issue. The issue has transformed both the Republican and the Democrat parties. Like slavery it presents us with stark choices for the future of our country. As a pro-life Republican I am dedicated to keeping the Republican party on the pro-life side of the issue and I will fight, and have fought, any faction within the party that wishes to change that. It is impossible to have parties simply ignore this issue, and any party that attempted to do so would never have my vote.

  • The problem with the “putting eggs in one basket” argument is that, in my (possibly mistaken) perception, it wasn’t the pro-life movement that abandoned the Democratic Party, but the Democratic Party that purged itself of pro-life leaders.

    I don’t anyone who wouldn’t like to see the Democratic Party become a pro-life party, but as I said, I really think that goal is for Democrats to achieve.

  • It is one thing to say that making the Democratic Party a pro-life party is a goal for Democrats only to work on achieving- but my point is that we should have support in that mission from pro-life organizations who are supposed to be in theory and legally, non-partisan. If the pro-life organizational leaders are themselves too tied to a Republican-only approach to fighting legal abortion, then they are doing a disservice to the unborn. If leaders of the pro-life movement are going to be joining Republican Executive Committees and taking vows to never support any non-Republican candidates in any way- I think that is a problem because pro-lifers should support the candidate “the man” and not just automatically support someone because of party affiliation. Democrats for life need at least the chance to compete for pro-life votes, and pro-life organizations should not be standing in their way by protecting the Republican Party from any pro-life competition. That’s my central thesis here- I hope many out there aren’t missing the forest for the trees in reading all the comments here.

  • Absolutely Tim.

    I read this article a long while ago. I think it captures many points essential to this debate.

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3798/is_200307/ai_n9282019/

  • Pingback: Partisan Pro-Lifers « Vox Nova
  • Sorry if this type of comment has been made above (don’t have time to read this many). I agree with your premise – that pro-life organizations should get behind anti-abortion candidates of both parties. Here in Indiana, many local Democrats are pro-life (such as our representative Joe Donnelly). They’ve been embraced by pro-lifers for years. Your experience may be based on particularities of Florida, not pro-lifers across the board.

  • I’m late to the conversation, but I want to congratulate Tim Shipe on his 40 percent showing in his first race.

    I also want to focus on Foxfier’s comment: “you want the pro-life groups to help you build a Dem base; they want you to show you’re serious by building Dem base that they can support.”

    May I ask what Shipe offered to the teachers’ union, labor, and other Democratic interest groups in Florida?

    One basic task of a politician is to deliver goods to his supporters. If he can’t do that, he won’t win support.

    Without pro-lifers or other allies in leadership positions among these interest groups, Shipe would be dropped the moment a more party-line Democrat comes along.

    Somebody else pointed out that Shipe’s stand likely puts a ceiling on his political career. People will be less inclined to back someone unlikely to secure key committee positions or big donor and patronage networks. Which means he must be a better politician than others to overcome his principled handicap.

    And of course, what did Shipe offer his constituents besides a laudable pro-life stand and an alternative to the Republican? Moral stands are good, but people will also want someone who can deliver on other issues. Given his past as a teacher, I assume education was a point of Shipe’s expertise.

    Anything else?

  • One more thing: the donors for these pro-life groups tend to be Republican. Given a choice between alienating a big supporter and supporting a candidate the donor dislikes, the group will be very conservative, in the bad sense.

    I think pro-life groups merit a friendly but critical audit. While they’re often working hard with minimal financial resources, it seems like some political pro-life groups don’t do much besides issue unread (sometimes unreadable) press releases, organize a once-a-year March for Life event, and ask for more money.

  • The pro-life movement is making a serious error in shunning dedicated right-to-life Democrats like Tim Shipe. Most pro-life groups are so closely aligned with the Republican Party that any Democratic candidate, life affirming or not, is seen as harmful to the cause. Such thinking is rooted in the unrealistic expectations that many pro-lifers have about the short-term prospects for substantial restrictions on abortion in this country. A ban on abortion in the vast majority of states is not just a Supreme Court decision away.

    Furthermore, Republicans have made cynical use of pro-lifers to win elections but have produced little in results. We have experienced Republican control of Congress during this decade. Symbolic votes were taken on constitutional amendments to ban flag burning and gay marriage but never on protecting the unborn. A majority vote of Congress could remove abortion from the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. At the very least, such a vote would have been a strong symbolic statement but the vote was never taken. Republicans use social conservatives for votes and deliver the results to those with economic agendas like the Club for Growth. This approach enables Republican to indefinitely “cage” the votes of pro-lifers while risking little political capital.

    Pro-lifers who agree with the Republican Party on other issues should continue to work within the GOP but it makes sense to have a pro-life presence within the Democratic Party.

    The pro-life movement got its first taste of political influence as part of the Reagan coalition. Almost 30 years later, the Reagan coalition has fallen apart just as FDR’s New Deal coalition eventually collapsed with the passage of time. Being tied to the declining Republican brand is like a millstone around the neck of the pro-life movement. The largest potential growth constituencies for pro-lifers all come from predominately Democratic segments of the population – African American, Hispanic and young voters. A smart strategy would be to target these groups to move the Democratic Party in a more pro-life direction. Otherwise, pro-lifers are left with only a shrinking rural white Republican base and possibly doomed to political irrevelance.

    With some backing from the pro-life movement, candidates like Time Shipe could be a force in the Democratic Party. Lacking such support, a pro-life Democratic candidate such as Shipe (unless they are wealthy and able to fund their own media blitz) has to build their own local army of supporters since their is no automatic base of support. A pro-life Democrat doesn’t get help from the right to life committees and religious right forces or your typical progressive groups. The pro-life movement needs to open a second front within the Democratic Party.

  • The problem at its heart isn’t that Democrats aren’t welcome in the pro-life movement so much as that pro-lifers aren’t really welcome in the Democratic party. Sure, they’ll tolerate them at the local level, maybe even small potatoes state level, but when push comes to shove the party leadership will expect to be able to whip everyone, big or small, in favor of Planned Parenthood and the whole lot.

  • Tim interesting article and ongoing discussion. I remember when you ran. I thought a Pro-life Democrat?? Go Don Quixote, go.
    After the November election my family and I left OLOG and went to St. Joe. If you want a pro-life community, start go to St. Joe.
    Father L. and Father B. at OLOG believe pro-life means only anti-death penalty. How many times has Father L. gone on a death penalty protest? Answer, dozens of times. How many times has he gone on a anti-abortion protest? Answer, ZERO.
    OLOG was so far into the Obama camp OLOG was the newest member of the DNC.
    Being a member of KofC at OLOG I know many Knights who profess to be pro-life but voted for Obama.
    Any Catholic who voted for Obama is part of the problem and should be excommunicated.
    Abortion is an Intrinsically Evil Act. In the Orlando Diocese’s Faithful Citizenship Workshop, it clearly states, “As Catholics we are not single-issue voter. A candidate’s position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter’s support. Yet a candidate’s position on a single issue that involves an Intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support.” Listed as Intrinsically Evil Acts:

    1. Abortion
    2. Euthanasia
    3. Human Cloning
    4. Destructive Embryo Research
    5. Genocide
    6. Torture
    7. Racism
    8. Terrorism

    If I’m not mistaken, Obama supports 4 of the 8 listed Intrinsically Evil Acts (Abortion, Euthanasia, Human Cloning, and Destructive Embryo Research). The Faithful Citizenship workshop also states that “all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions.”
    Notice that Death Penalty is not listed as an Intrinsically Evil Act.
    Personally I am Pro-Innocent Life. I have no problem with the death penalty. A court of law found these people to be guilty and passed a sentence of death.
    Anti-death penalty people want people to have “Life Sentences”. One problem. Life sentences never are life sentences. Getting out after 20 years is not a life sentence. For a life sentence to be real the prisoner gets out only in a pine box. The unborn have no say. No voice. No court case. Hence Pro-Innocent Life.
    After reading your article I noticed you got no support from Pro-life groups. The reason the (D) at the end of your name. The reason for no support from OLOG was stated above.
    Run again, this times as a Republican you’ll do better.

  • RD, I could not agree with you more. Someday all of us are going to stand before our Maker and render an accounting on how we defended the unborn and the defenders of the unborn whom he gave as a gift to the pro-life cause, His cause. I know Tim personally and see his goodness 1st hand. He is as pure and principled centered as they come. I personally believe His vocation to defend the unborn and run for political office comes from our Creator and to Tim’s credit he has responded admirably to that call even though that response meant significant suffering on his part and rejection from a large portion of the pro-life which should welcome him with open arms. Tim heroically answered God’s call, but what about the rest of us. Are we really responding to God’s call of defending His unborn in the best way possible. There will come a time where we must render an accounting for our actions in this most essential of causes.

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  • Gregory- of course you can review my blog piece- for good or ill I share my experience for public consumption!

  • Tim, I think that’s spam that slipped through the net.

  • Joe- thanks I did try to click on the contact web address and it went into something spam-like- oh well