Richard Rich Pretty Much a Disaster as Ambassador to Malta

Friday, April 8, AD 2011

Hattip to Catholic Key Blog. Richard Rich Douglas Kmiec, who sold out the pro-life movement by supporting the most pro-abortion candidate in our nation’s history for President, Barack Obama, now the most pro-abortion President in our nation’s history, is pretty much a disaster as ambassador to Malta, his equivalent of the going rate for traitors of thirty pieces of silver, according to a State Department Report.

He is respected by Maltese officials and most mission staff, but his unconventional approach to his role as ambassador has created friction with principal officials in Washington, especially over his reluctance to accept their guidance and instructions. Based on a belief that he was given a special mandate to promote President Obama’s interfaith initiatives, he has devoted considerable time to writing articles for publication in the United States as well as in Malta, and to presenting his views on subjects outside the bilateral portfolio. He has been inconsistent in observance of clearance procedures required for publication. He also looks well beyond the bilateral relationship when considering possible events for the mission to host in Malta. His approach has required Department principals, as well as some embassy staff, to spend an inordinate amount of time reviewing his writings, speeches, and other initiatives. His official schedule has been uncharacteristically light for an ambassador at a post of this size, and on average he spends several hours of each work day in the residence, much of which appears to be devoted to his nonofficial writings.

At the same time, he has not focused sufficiently on key management issues within the embassy. . .

. . .The Ambassador advised the inspection team that he intended to discontinue his outside writings and focus on matters that directly pertain to the embassy and priorities outlined in the Mission Strategic and Resource Plan (MSRP). Within weeks of the team’s departure, however, he resumed drafting public essays that addressed subjects outside his purview as Ambassador to Malta and detracted from his core responsibilities. These activities also detracted from the core responsibilities of embassy staff members who devoted time and effort to reviewing and editing the ambassador’s drafts and seeking approvals occasionally after the writings had been submitted for publication from Department officials.

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7 Responses to Richard Rich Pretty Much a Disaster as Ambassador to Malta

Stupak Deal with Obama, The End of the Pro Life Democrat?

Sunday, March 21, AD 2010
    US Catholic Bishops: Executive Order Deal A Non-Starter:

    We’ve consulted with legal experts on the specific idea of resolving the abortion funding problems in the Senate bill through executive order. We know Members have been looking into this in good faith, in the hope of limiting the damage done by abortion provisions in the bill. We believe, however, that it would not be fair to withhold what our conclusion was, as it may help members in assessing the options before them:

    “One proposal to address the serious problem in the Senate health care bill on abortion funding, specifically the direct appropriating of new funds that bypass the Hyde amendment, is to have the President issue an executive order against using these funds for abortion. Unfortunately, this proposal does not begin to address the problem, which arises from decades of federal appellate rulings that apply the principles of Roe v. Wade to federal health legislation. According to these rulings, such health legislation creates a statutory requirement for abortion funding, unless Congress clearly forbids such funding. That is why the Hyde amendment was needed in 1976, to stop Medicaid from funding 300,000 abortions a year. The statutory mandate construed by the courts would override any executive order or regulation. This is the unanimous view of our legal advisors and of the experts we have consulted on abortion jurisprudence. Only a change in the law enacted by Congress, not an executive order, can begin to address this very serious problem in the legislation.”

    Richard Doerflinger
    U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

  • In deal with Stupak, White House announces executive order on abortion (Washington Post):

    Resolving an impasse with anti-abortion Democrats over the health-care reform legislation, President Obama announced Sunday that he will be issuing an executive order after the bill is passed “that will reaffirm its consistency with longstanding restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion,” according to a statement from the White House.

    “I’m pleased to announce we have an agreement,” Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) said at a news conference announcing the deal.

  • “I think we’re witnessing Bart Stupak write the obit for the concept of the “pro-life Democrat” – Kathryn Jean Lopez (National Review).

Further analysis of the text of the order:

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56 Responses to Stupak Deal with Obama, The End of the Pro Life Democrat?

  • Lopez is correct.

  • Stupak is either an idiot which I doubt or completely mendacious which I suspect is closer to the case. In any event, he has destroyed his credibility as a pro-lifer.

  • It’s all so tragic I can only laugh.

    Something big in this country is on the horizon, and its not going to be good for anyone with a ‘D’ or an ‘R’ next to their name. There is a horrendous reality that this country will be drastically and negatively different by 2020.

  • What a disappointment he turned out to be. I really admired his courage and conviction.

    That he would trade away his convictions for this handful of magic beans is really just depressing.

    Time to get started on nullification.

  • The Susan B. Anthony List on this fake deal:

    “An executive order on abortion funding would do nothing to fix the problems presented by the current health care reform legislation that the House is considering today. The very idea is a slap in the face to the pro-life movement and should be offensive to all pro-life Members of Congress. An executive order can be rescinded at any time at the President’s whim. The courts could and have a history of trumping executive orders.

    “If this was a sincere attempt to meet pro-life concerns then you would hear the cry of pro-choice Members and groups. Rather Rep. Diana Degette, co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus told The Huffington Post on Saturday that ‘If there was an executive order saying they weren’t going to use federal funds in the bill to pay for abortions that would be fine with me, because we’ve stipulated to that even though we don’t like it, That’s the compromise we came to way back in July.’

    “In the end, no pro-life Member of Congress could, in good conscience, play politics with the lives of hundreds of unborn children. If they do, there will be a quick downhill slide to defeat on Election Day.”

  • Linda Goldthorpe is Stupak’s likely opponent in the Fall. Assuming she wins the primary I’ll be sending her a hundred bucks.

    http://www.lindaforcongress.com/issues/right-to-life

  • I agree with Donald, the concept/idea of a pro-life Democrat is gone. Finished.

    Stupak got his bag of silver.

  • Tito,
    Just figuring that out now, huh?

  • Stupak said the bill had enough votes without the Stupak 7. If that’s the case, this is the best deal pro-lifers could’ve gotten.

  • Daledog,

    Someone as dense as I am figure things out eventually.

    I am still much a like a child, I believe a man’s word at face value.

    I’d make a terrible politician.

  • RR,

    For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?

    –Holy Gospel of Saint Matthew 16:26

  • “If that’s the case, this is the best deal pro-lifers could’ve gotten.”

    Nothing is rarely a good deal for the recipient restrainedradical and the is what Stupak got. An Executive Order cannot contradict a law passed by Congress. If Stupak believes that he got anything from this charade other than the lasting enmity of the vast majority of all pro-lifers, than he is an utter fool, which I doubt.

  • To be fair — elected officials are hardly ever as strident, passionate, and committed to any issue as are those fighting in the trenches. That said, there is very few members of Congress who are as pro-life as non-elected pro-life Americans. Given the fact that someone fails to live up to their own principles and standards, that is a moral failing, but that hardly negates the validity of their political philosophy.

    In fact, for the number of pro-life Democrats in this country and the two I’ve talked to in the last hour troubled by the latest news hardly means in my view that being a pro-life Democrat is now an oxymoron. If it is, then I am an oxymoron and I am a counter-cultural warrior — to hell with the status quo.

  • K-Lo says:
    “I think we’re witnessing Bart Stupak write the obit for the concept of the “pro-life Democrat”

    There seems to be a never-ending shortage of dopey Catholics who will fall for the next pro-life democrat. Republicans are icky and mean, you see.

  • Seriously, there are still pro-life Democrats voting against the legislation and are not convinced of the current strategy that Stupak and a few other Democrats have co-signed themselves onto.

    I think they deserve to not catch the heat.

  • Christopher, let us look at the discussion on executive decisions a bit:

    Unfortunately, this proposal does not begin to address the problem, which arises from decades of federal appellate rulings that apply the principles of Roe v. Wade to federal health legislation. According to these rulings, such health legislation creates a statutory requirement for abortion funding, unless Congress clearly forbids such funding. That is why the Hyde amendment was needed in 1976, to stop Medicaid from funding 300,000 abortions a year.

    So, let’s see, Hyde was seen as good enough in a previous time, when the question of “Hyde could be over-ruled and rejected in the future” remained. In other words, we see here an argument can be built upon acceptance of Hyde itself — it has been used to justify all kinds of things under Bush’s rule, for example. Hyde was protecting everything, so Bush’s budgets didn’t get such a serious questioning — even when he gave an increase of funding to groups like Planned Parenthood. So, it seems that Hyde was good enough for many of the voices now speaking out against it’s application now. Seems clear that something is wrong here.

    Now, let us look further. We will begin to see it is an issue of advice given to the bishops. There is no charism given to bishops in selecting the best advisers nor any given to the advisers as to what is best (look to the child abuse scandal for proof of this). The fact that we are being told they reject such a move is from advisers indicates the kind of authority by which this decision is made: it is one which is open to debate and question and disagreement. Hence we read:

    The statutory mandate construed by the courts would override any executive order or regulation. This is the unanimous view of our legal advisors and of the experts we have consulted on abortion jurisprudence.

    So it is not a top-down proof that executive decisions are not appropriate. Indeed, without giving full details about who all these advisers are and what they all have said and why they said what they said, we are going on a very low level of teaching authority based upon an interpretation of matters outside of competence of bishops.

    —-

    “When the hierarchy is faced by a conflict of opinions in the church, it does not always succeed in achieving a perfectly adequate response. Broadly speaking, two kinds of mistake are possible – excessive permissiveness and excessive rigidity. It is hard to know which of the two errors has done more harm.”

    “We must recognize, therefore, that there can be such a thing in the church as mutable or reformable teaching. The element of mutability comes from the fact that such teaching seeks to mediate between the abiding truth of the gospel and the socio-cultural situation at a given time and place.”

    “Did Vatican II teach the legitimacy of dissent from non-infallible teaching? It did so implicitly by its action, we may say, but not explicitly by its words. The theological commission responsible for paragraph 25 of the Constitution of the Church refused to make any statement, one way or the other, about dissent.”

    “A step beyond the council was taken by the German bishops in a pastoral letter of September 22, 1967, which has been quoted on several occasions by Karl Rahner. This letter recognized that in its effort to apply the gospel to the changing situations of life, the church is obliged to give instructions that have a certain provisionality about them. These instructions, though binding to a certain degree, are subject to error. According to the bishops, dissent may be legitimate provided that three conditions are observed. (1) One must have striven seriously to attach positive value to the teaching in question and to appropriate it personally. (2) One must seriously ponder whether one has the theological expertise to disagree responsibly with ecclesiastical authority. (3) One must examine one’s conscience for possible conceit, presumptuousness, or selfishness. Similar principles for conscientious dissent had already been laid down by John Henry Newman in the splendid chapter on Conscience in his Letter to the Duke of Norfolk (1874).”

    “There is always a temptation for church authorities to try to use their power to stamp out dissent. The effort is rarely successful, because dissent simply seeks another forum, where it may become even more virulent. To the extent that the suppression is successful, it may also do harm. It inhibits good theology from performing its critical task, and it is detrimental to the atmosphere of freedom in the church. The acceptance of true doctrine should not be a matter of blind conformity, as though truth could be imposed by decree. The church, as a society that respects the freedom of the human conscience, must avoid procedures that savor of intellectual tyranny.

    Where dissent is kept within the bounds I have indicated, it is not fatal to the church as a community of faith and witness. If it does occur, it will be limited, reluctant, and respectful.”

    Avery Dulles http://www.vatican2voice.org/8conscience/dulles.htm

  • K-Lo talking about being pro-life: hilarious.

  • Karlson taking about being pro-life: barf worthy.

  • If the bill had enough votes without the Stupak 7, the executive order saves pro-lifers some face.

  • “If the bill had enough votes without the Stupak 7, the executive order saves pro-lifers some face.”

    Appearing to be an utter fool restrainedradical saves no any face. By definition any one trusting in this exectutive order from the most pro-abort president in our nation’s history is an utter fool.

  • Seems to me that if the bill had enough votes w/out the Stupak 7, then no executive order would have been proffered.

  • I think they deserve to not catch the heat.

    They can catch the heat for what they did not do to repair the financial system while they were needlessly chuffering about medical insurance and what they did do to make our public finances resemble those of Greece.

  • I wonder if the U.S. bishops should be held partially responsible for the passage of this bill? They did lobby VERY hard to get it to this point, not knowing if they would get the wording they wanted.

  • Tito,
    They ought to be held responsible. These fools have been playing footsie with liberal politics for much too long. One day is too long as far as I am concerned. It seems to me that their plate is full with their own problems.

  • No Tito, the bishops lobbied for something to address the medical needs of those who can ill afford proper care. That is a legitimate concern and there are many ways to work toward it. The problem is that what the current congress and president offers as a solution. A solution that many believe will cause more harm than good, plus has all the unpleasantness of what that party stands for like considering the killing of the unborn to be health care. It’s not really within the competence of the bishops to speak to whether any given policy is unworkable or will bust the nation economically, but they’re well within their competence to discuss the morality of certain policies – to define what they are lobbying for when they say appropriate health care for all (they’re including the unborn, the elderly, and the infirm).

  • Yes, lobbying for the poor should not go unpunished.

  • Oh stop hiding behind the poor.

    This monstrous bill will ensure that many thousands of poor children would would have otherwise been born because their mother’s can’t afford abortions will now be sliced and diced in the womb. It’s poor children that suffer the most from government funded abortion.

  • Restrained,
    How silly. You care about the poor, huh? Give more. Work extra hours so that you can give more. Encourage others to give more. No need to lobby Caesar. Gifts from Caesar always have strings attached. Do you feel better about yourself when you can force others to give more?

  • I think the bishops should be held somewhat responsible.

    Let’s see if they work equally as hard to get this “law” revoked.

    I doubt that resolve will be as diligent.

  • Here’s the bottom line: you can’t be Democrat and a legitimate orthodox Catholic – period. You maybe can be a Republican. It’s bets however to be a member of the Constitution Part because their platform is closest to the teaching of Holy Mother Church though they won’t be USCCB approved because they don’t believe in all this social justice, common good nonsense and free health care for illegal immigrants. Personal responsibility goes with person liberty and that’s a lesson lost on most Catholics for the past 50 years. Pelosi, Biden, Leahy and all the rest of the Catholic apostates will continue to receive Holy Communion and nothing the USCCB says or does means a damn.

    Every single liberal politician has got to be publicly excommunicated and the false gospel of social justice and peace at any price has got to be jettisoned. Until that happens, the Church in America is a worthless collection of dirty old gay men at 3211 4th Street, N.E., Washington DC 20017-1194 playing at religion.

  • You guys simply don’t like the truth. Moderate away. God will have to sweep the liberals aside in His wrath. That’s the only way you’ll learn. The only way.

  • The Executive Order is already null and void:

    1. As an executive order, it is secondary in power to any law of the land as interpreted by the courts — unless the legislative and judicial branches have just ceded its power to the executive, and we are in a dictatorship.

    2. As an executive order, it is binding only on the activity of the executive branch, not on the private providers who would provide abortions.

    3. Roe v. Wade obliges any legislation offering medical benefits to cover abortion unless some section in that legislation, such as the Hyde amendment, specifically excludes abortion. This legislation lacks the Hyde exclusion; therefore, this legislation falls under the Roe requirement. The Executive Order, even if it were not null and void, is written not to match the Hyde Amendment language, but rather to match the Senate legislation language which, as we all know, falls short of Hyde.

    As such, the order offers no prevention of federally funded abortion even if it bore any authority.

    4. And of course, Obama will deep-six the executive order whenever he might find it convenient. If somehow it is not a nullity, he will do so: He has never claimed to be pro-life. And if it is not a nullity, he will not need to vacate it, for it will have accomplished its intended goal without costing him the support of NARAL.

    Of course, if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, none of this would be a problem.

    But we all know, don’t we, that it’s foolish for pro-lifers to harp so much on the need to overturn that decision.

    It’s counterproductive. It uses up resources that could be more profitably spent courting centrist Democrats and exploring our common ground.

    We know that, this late in the day, it is no longer time for concern about Supreme Court justices and the presidents who select them; it is time to focus on new tactics involving engagement with pro-life Democrats.

    That’s the lesson we learned, back during the 2008 election cycle.

    Everyone remember that?

    Let’s also keep in mind another lesson we learned that year: “Signing statements” are a tyrannical overreach of executive power in which George W. Bush altered the meaning of Congressional legislation at signing, a risky proposition and bad precedent which clearly indicated the need to switch parties in the White House for awhile, lest the occupant of the People’s House start to think his authority trumped that of the legislative branch.

    Must remember that. That was one of those timeless truths for the ages.

    I’ll lay aside my trowel, now: Whatever Babylonian tower we’re building in this country is already in danger of collapse from the sheer weight of the irony.

  • Good post R.C.

    We do need to overturn Roe and we do need to reject signing statements. If I didn’t understand it before, I sure as heck understand it now.

    I think the next step is nullification at the state level.

  • “Here’s the bottom line: you can’t be Democrat and a legitimate orthodox Catholic – period.”

    I beg to differ.

  • We need you in Congress, Eric. =)

  • Paul,

    You will only be moderated if your comment violates our rules for comments.

  • Do you feel better about yourself when you can force others to give more?

    Yes.

  • Yes, lobbying for the poor should not go unpunished.

    Yeah, the poor will do real well after a sovereign default.

  • He never planned on fighting. Rep. Bart Stupak speaking in Cheboygan, MI

  • The bishops must take a large amount of blame for this monstrous piece of legislation for several reasons:

    1. Failure to excommunicate pro-abortion politicians and force them to choose between their pro-abortion positions and their desire to receive the sacraments. (This has been going on for four decades)

    2. The Bishops’ push for “universal health care.”

    The big question is: why did the bishops stay on board with this legislation as long as they did?

    The only answer that makes sense is that the bishops favor socialism… big government programs as solutions to their “social justice” aims.

    If this means invasive government intrusion into our lives, so be it. If it means massive tax increases, so be it. If it means wealth redistribution, so be it.

    When it was obvious to many of us that the bill was unacceptable on so many fronts, one could only wonder why the bishops continued to push for it so hard, as long as they got their three concessions (abortion, conscience, immigrants).

    I am saddened, disgusted, and disheartened by the bishops’ push for socialized medicine. How can I have respect for them? Happily, my faith is firmly in Jesus Christ, no matter what the American church’s hierarchy says or does.

  • Restrained,
    I fear people like you.

  • Restrained,
    I fear people like you.

    Indeed. Restrained reveals his/her petty little totalitarian heart, mistaking the desire to rule and coerce others for “compassion.” If a majority of people in this country think in those terms, democracy is doomed. But I don’t think they do (thank God) and I don’t believe we are doomed yet. There will be a reckoning in November. Those of us who attended tea parties, called our Congressmen, and donated to those who opposed this monstrosity of a bill are not going away and we will not forget the open contempt the Democratic Party has shown toward us. I have sometimes voted Democrat in local elections – never again.

  • Obama has now done something I didn’t think would ever be possible: make me more ashamed to be an Illinois resident than Governor Hairdo ever did. (Speaking of The Hair, did Trump fire him from “Celebrity Apprentice” yet?) If it hadn’t been for our crooked Chicago machine and pathetic, desperate joke of a GOP organization, he might never have been elected Senator and none of this would have happened.

  • Well, Mr. R. Radical was merely telling the truth: he does not believe in the commandment “thou shalt not steal,” because that is exactly what forcing others to be virtuous inevitably involves. In a bizarre way that puts him in a better place than the G.O.P. who are still somehow convinced that their thefts are not as terrible because they simply love America more, or some nonsense.

    For anyone who is appalled at what is happening right now: Don’t worry. Economics will win. We should just pray that people aren’t hurt when that terrible day comes.

  • Donald: Stupak’s likely GOP opponent in the November is a conservative pro-life physician named Dan Benishek. His Facebook page is growing by the minute.
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&ref=share&gid=287806148754

    His site has an address. I never heard of the man until about 20 minutes ago. I’m writing him a check tonight.

    As for Stupak, well, he got his 30 pieces of silver:

    “U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) announced three airports in northern Michigan have received grants totaling $726,409 for airport maintenance and improvements. The funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration.”

    Betraying your conscience for Wales is one thing, but for three airports in the UP? Now there’s a cheap date.

  • Democrats for Death is more apropos.

    It’s “Game On” for me and the bishops.

    The USCCB is in for some heavy fire coming my way.

    The deaths of many innocent unborn children will be on their hands.

  • Tito, why would you want to pit yourself against the vicars of Christ? It doesn’t seem like a terribly wise idea. Besides, they did not vote for this legislation, nor did they support it. They were one of the few voices saying it was unacceptable, and reminding people that while trying to ensure everyone gets medical care whether they can afford it or not is a a good, that it can’t come at the expense of the most vulnerable.

    The behavior of Catholics who put the Democratic agenda above concerns for life is upsetting, but that wasn’t the bishops – the bishops took a pounding from them!

  • RL,

    I agree with what you are saying.

    Though too many times is seems that the USCCB is just another wing of the Democratic Party rather than vicars of Christ.

    With Democratic Pro-Abort operatives infesting the USCCB along with atheists that endorse anti-Catholic films, and our donations going to abortion facilities and gay marriage advocates (do I need to continue?, there’s more…)

  • I’m not blind to some of the dysfunction within the organization. But let’s be clear, those issues are usually caused by the bureaucrats within. Yeah, some aspects of the USCCB need to be looked at and overhauled, but the bishops themselves got involved in this one – and in real time – and offered solid and informed guidance, holding principles of justice and moderation above their own desires to see some sort of reform. We can and should be very proud of the prophetic witness they gave throughout this process. This ain’t the 1975 NCCB anymore!

  • RL & CB,

    Unlike abortion, we can disagree with our bishops on universal health care.

    They are violating the principle of subsidiarity.

    If they would be this adamant about ending abortion in America, I could agree with their aggressive nature towards universal health coverage, but they don’t.

    The USCCB is not the magisterium, not a teaching authority, and are an invention by Democratic leaning bishops.

    It needs to be absolved. If not, then completely overhauled.

    Until that happens, I will expose them for what they are, a wing of the Democratic party and participants in promoting the Culture of Death.

  • Ever hear of the phrase “throw out the baby with the bathwater”?

  • The road to Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.

    – Saint John Chrysostom.

    CB,

    In all seriousness I know what you’re getting at so an overhaul is reasonable since my idea of eliminating the USCCB won’t fly… yet.

  • Pingback: November 2009, Stupak Never Intended to Vote No on ObamaCare « The American Catholic
  • Restrained,
    I fear people like you.

    Restrained reveals his/her petty little totalitarian heart, mistaking the desire to rule and coerce others for “compassion.”

    Mr. R. Radical was merely telling the truth: he does not believe in the commandment “thou shalt not steal,” because that is exactly what forcing others to be virtuous inevitably involves.

    I don’t think God disapproves of taxation.

Doug Kmiec on the Death of Kennedy

Sunday, August 30, AD 2009

Doug Kmiec, betrayer of the pro-life cause, future ambassador to Malta and spiritual descendant of Richard Rich,  the subject of few posts on this blog, see here, has taken the opportunity of the death of Ted Kennedy to engage in some predictable spaniel like fawning over Obama and ObamaCare.  The ever cogent Erin Manning at her ever readable blog and sometimes tea, fisks the resulting mess here, so you don’t have to.

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10 Responses to Doug Kmiec on the Death of Kennedy

  • I see Cardinal McCarrick has even shared with the world the late senator’s deathbed letter to Pope Benedict–the one that begins with a tribute to Obama’s “deep faith” and ends with a pitch for government health care. The cardinal describes this bit of self-serving political propaganda as “deeply moving.” Richard Rich had almost all the bishops of England on his side; I suspect Doug Kmiec may have the majority of our bishops with him.

  • Ambassador Kmiec is a deeply confused man with the ability to do either great good or great harm to the Church and its values by virtue of his God-given intellect. It’s terribly sad that he has chosen, of late, to turn that intellect against crystal clear teachings related to social issues ranging from abortion to same-sex marriage. We must pray for his re-conversion and may he publicly refute his errors and the damage they have caused to this nation and most especially to the souls of those he has helped lead astray.

  • Pingback: Doug Kmiec on the Death of Kennedy | Pelican Project Pro-Life
  • Cardinal McCarrick brings to mind one of the most intriguing quotes from the Council of Nicaea when debating the Arian heresy.

    Saint Athanasius was quoted as saying, “The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.”

  • This scene from ‘A Man For All Seasons’ is one of my most favorite.

    It’s interesting that Richard Rich doesn’t blink an eye when Sir Thomas quotes the Bible in reference to his Medal-of-Office.

  • I actually thought he seemed rather hesitant throughout the scene Tito. Note that the bailiff had to remind him “So help you God, Sir Richard”. I thought John Hurt played well the role of a man who has subdued his conscience, but still feels faint pangs of shame.

  • I agree that he played the role very well. He could’ve have been grappling within himself and only later realized the gravity of what he had done.

  • I hope both you gentlemen are well aware of the fact that hagiography was not really the intention of the Scriptwriter; indeed, the man himself was actually an atheist.

    I admit that the movie remains top on my list of favourite films; yet, I’d place more historical accuracy in Roper’s own account of More’s life than this, however poetically it depicts More.

  • Actually e, Bolt was an agnostic. He wrote plays and screenplays about characters in conflict with their society. Although he did not share the Faith of More, he obviously greatly admired him and that shines through the play.

But For Malta!

Thursday, July 2, AD 2009

Douglas Kmiec, betrayer of the pro-life cause, has received his reward for his slavish support of President Obama.  He has been nominated to be ambassador of the proud, small and Catholic country of Malta.  Malta has a very strong and active pro-life movement, so this might get interesting!   Bon Voyage Doug!  We’ll stay in touch, and so, I am sure, will our colleagues in lovely Malta!

Other Kmiec related posts on American Catholic:

1.     Kmiec on Kozen…

2.     Archbishop Chaput Weighs in Again

3.     Douthat Puts Kmiec in His Place

4.     Ross Douthat:  Not Backing Down

5.     Dedicated to Douglas Kmiec

6.     To the “Traitor” Go The Spoils?  Kmiec & The Ambassadorship

7.     Another Day, Another Kmiec 180

8.     Shameless

9.     Bag of Silver

10.   More Commencement Controversy

11.   Heee’s Back!

12.   What’s Empathy Got To Do With It?

13.   Kmiec Lectures Fellow “Conservative” Catholics

14.   Is There A Common Ground on Life Issues?

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10 Responses to But For Malta!

  • Only goes to show that Mr. Kmiec was interested in the ambassadorship of the Vatican or at least he was considered. Pretty pathetic and sad that he sold his soul for the devil’s cause.

    We need to pray for his soul.

  • Malta was a stumbling block to Islam in the middle ages, and the Axis forces in WW 2.
    Will this insignificant island prove a stumbling block
    to Obama’s war against the unborn?

  • Indeed Don, Malta has a proud fighting tradition. Throughout the ages it has been a bastion of the Faith in the Mediterranean and during WW2 the entire island was awarded the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest award for gallantry. I think this appointment, which is obviously Obama’s way to fob off Kmiec with something Obama considers insignificant, may come back to haunt both Kmiec and Obama.

  • Malta is one of the most, if not THE most, pro-life country on earth, according to an article I read some years ago in Our Sunday Visitor. It is also one of the most Catholic countries on earth, outside of (of course) Vatican City State. And don’t the Knights of Malta still exist today as a Papal honorary order?

  • I am relieved. he can do little damage there and hopefully he will be there the entire 2012 election season

  • As a side note, Malta has a few fantastic ancient Churches. If you ever get a chance to travel Europe include Malta on your itinerary.

  • I am not sold on the idea that Prof. Kmiec knows anymore whether he is coming or going. I would not be the least surprised if he were compelled to resign from his position in Malta ‘ere long to ‘spend more time with his family’ (under their watchful supervision).

  • Pingback: Malta and Doug « The American Catholic
  • Malta is hosting more and more prominent people and it’s becoming the hub of lots of important meetings. Hope you enjoy it on our island!

  • Malta is definitely on my top ten list of places to visit!

What's Empathy Got To Do With It?

Friday, May 8, AD 2009

Doug Kmiec has a rather bizarre article up at America entitled The Case For Empathy: Why a Much-Maligned Value Is a Crucial Qualification for the Supreme Court. If the article is any indication, I suppose we should be thankful Obama didn’t make any off-hand remarks suggesting ‘creativity’ or ‘imagination’ were traits he would look for in a potential Supreme Court justice, if only because it might have lead to more essays like this one. After some preliminary gushing about, you guessed it, empathy, Kmiec explains what an empathetic justice would accomplish:

To do this, it is possible that [Obama] will mine for legal talent in unusual places, but it is more likely he will attempt to find a nominee with appellate court experience whose skill set also shows the capability of challenging methods of interpretation that otherwise wouldn’t give empathy the time of day. If Obama succeeds even with this more limited challenge,he will have exploded the notion  that swapping out a Souter for a new, most likely younger and intellectually energetic, justice is without effect.

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11 Responses to What's Empathy Got To Do With It?

  • Nice job dismantling what is just a mess of a column. Kmiec manages to somehow sink further and further. It’s truly remarkable.

  • I assume that Kmiec believes all of this intellectual prostitution he is currently engaging in, repudiating wholesale intellectual positions he held throughout his adult life, will ultimately gain him a federal judgeship or some other plumb from the current administration. Trading self-respect for advancement is always a poor, not to say pathetic, bargain.

  • I think it’s time we simply stop paying attention to Mr. Kmiec. To call him a hack would be generous. Far too many words have been wasted on him already.

  • Don,

    I am not sure what Kmiec’s purpose is, and I would like to think he is not just angling for a spot on the federal bench. People do change their minds, and sometimes those changes are dramatic.

    That said, based on my (admittedly limited) observations of legal academia, Kmiec’s arguments are an embarrassment to the profession. I can’t imagine any of the professors I’ve had over the past three years writing this type of nonsense, regardless of their political persuasion. Kmiec should be extended some sympathy given that he is writing for a non-specialist audience, but even that is no excuse for the type of misstatements and shoddy argumentation on display here, particularly since these views are diametrically opposed to views he held less than two years ago.

  • Until he starts making the barest acknowledgment that he’s done a 180 on principles and views held until the Adventus Obamus, he’s not entitled to the benefit of any doubts.

    And I agree, John: this essay is absolute pablum. The principle of “empathy” is entirely situational and subjective. Take Heller: “Well, you know, Doug, I empathize with people who don’t have efficient police protection and private security forces guarding their gated suburban communities. Whose empathy is entitled to more weight in the law?”

    Oh, and I love how he refers to Obama’s record as a law professor without giving any examples to bolster his point. This essay is embarrassingly empty propaganda for Obama. Which is probably why America was so eager to publish it.

  • Where is all his talk of Natural Law!!! DO people recall in many of his Catholic Online articles and other places Kmiec would always put in several paragraphs that he believs the law should the Natural Law as seein the Declaration of Independence and esp Right to Life as being inaleiable

    Where is that here? Now it was nonsense to think that Obam would give us a Natural law judge in the first place and Kmiec never explined how it would happen

    But looking through this entire article where is the natural law theme.

    In fact as to SOuter , who was a huge postivist and did his thesis on Justice Holmes) there is no mention of that.

  • In reading through comments on another blog, I learned that Prof. Kmiec has Parkinson’s disease. Here is a link and some excerpts to an article he recently wrote about Parkinson’s and embryonic stem cell research:

    http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=32655

    Over time, however, all Parkinson’s patients know that after a short span the medication fails and we also know what that means. We have uncomfortably witnessed our future in the lives of longer suffering brothers and sisters…So you would think that when President Obama, for whom it was my privilege to campaign, gives permission for embryonic stem cell research that some say holds a Parkinson’s cure that I would be grateful and encouraged. Yet, I am not. While I believe the President’s desire to separate science and politics is well considered, there can be no separation from ethics,

    To avoid cooperating with an intrinsic evil, this trembling hand is not to take hold of any medicine or participate in any medical treatment advanced by research involving the destruction of a human embryo. Easier said than done – or by me, even written down. But then, in this Easter time we are reminded that we belong to a Church where the very son of God allowed himself to be put to death so that others might live.

    The article contains, naturally, some defenses of the Obama administration, but I think perhaps I will make a conscious effort to display more sympathy for Prof. Kmiec (if not for some of his arguments) in the future. Anyone with such a difficult and debilitating illness is in need of prayers for their physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being. Our Lady of Sorrows, ora pro nobis.

  • “Empathy” [Einfuehlung] is one of those German make- believe emotions; an attempt to displace the more obvious and traditional word “sympathy”.

    It’s a faker’s word. As in Mr. Clinton’s “I feel your pain”.

  • This analysis makes vastly more sense than Kmiec’s article, and you didn’t even get to the part where he explained how lacking in “meaning or lasting effect”–not to mention empathy–is “coerced morality” of the sort some villainous people propose as a solution to the problem of abortion in America. It’s too bad your analysis can’t also be printed in America, but it seems they only accept submissions from prominent pro-life Catholics like Douglas Kmiec.

  • Isn’t justice supposed to be blind anyway???

  • Pingback: How Long in the Wilderness? « The American Catholic

4 Responses to Sorry Doug!

  • Yeah, so sad for Doug’s being snubbed for a regifted Laetare Medal.

    But there’s always a Supreme Court vacancy to which he can hold out some delusional remote hope of being nominated.

  • My guess for SCOTUS is Kagan. I’d be willing to bet Kmiec isn’t even in Obama’s top 50.

  • Kmiec’s not even a remote consideration. Not even on Obama’s radar screen. I’d be shocked if Obama views Kmiec with anything other than the the same disdainful contempt with which the British viewed Benedict Arnold.

    I agree with Feddie that it’s likely to be Diane Wood. Although Kagan is a good guess, as well.

  • It would be interesting to have Mr. Noonan’s analysis of the actual working of the contraceptive methods. Condoms are contraceptive – preventing the union of sperm and egg. Pills, IUDs, and other methods are abortifacient – preventing a created fetus from installing itself in the uterus.

Heee's Back!

Wednesday, April 15, AD 2009

kmiec-obama

Our old friend and Obama-phile Doug Kmiec, a subject of a few posts on this blog:  here, herehere, here, here, here, here, here, and here, has come out with a column in defense of the Notre Dame decision to honor Obama on May 17, filled with Obama fawning that would disgrace any self-respecting canine.  Father Z here does the task of fisking the rubbish so I don’t have to.

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7 Responses to Heee's Back!

  • That was the most over the top apologetic for Obama Kmiec has done yet

    The Obama administration has assumed the mantle of Catholicism? What?

    I really would like to know what was behind this “conversion” of his on a host of issues. I have a feeling that someone someplace hurt his feelings and he has been on rage ever since

  • JH,

    Kmiec reminds us every chance he gets what event huwt his wittle feewings and caused him to “convert” on a whole host (no pun intended) of issues.

  • Jay

    I suspect it was earlier and had to deal with the Romney camapign. Maybe he is upset that more Catholics dod not see his wisdom and flock to Mitt. Maybe somebody from the McCain group failed to do the necessary adoration to him after Mitt failed to win California.

    I don’t know it is all so bizaree

  • I think it’s a combination. Surely the Romney thing played a role and got Kmiec looking at Obama over McCain. But I believe the Communion thing seems to have almost radicalized him.

    Prior to that, he was at least making an effort to portray himself as a “conservative”.

  • Kmiec’s conversion to caesaropapism is complete.

  • LOL , Dale that is right.

    Perhaps next week Kmiec will be advocating that Bishops be confirmed and approved by Our Emperor

  • Dale,

    When he left us, he was but the learner. Now he is the master.

Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-5-2009

Thursday, March 5, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Here we have today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1. I discovered today that Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas was the only obstacle that would have prevented the nomination of Pro-Abortion Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius  to be nominated for Secretary of Health and Human Services.  President Barack Obama did not want to nominate Governor Sebelius without the support of Senator Brownback.  President Obama made a personal phone call to Senator Brownback last week to ensure his support, which would have pre-empted any problems with Governor Sebelius nomination in the Senate.  So Senator Brownback had the opportunity to strike a blow for the Pro-Life movement, but instead succumbed to worldly praise of his president.  Senator Brownback you have advanced Satan’s agenda of the increase in the murder of innocent children, shame on you!

Here is the link:

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09030405.html

2. Late last night His Excellency Most Reverend Joseph Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City was quoted by the archdiocesan blog, The Catholic Key Blog, that he is “concerned personally” for Pro-Abortion Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius.  He has also said that “she is a very bright and gifted leader“.  Archbishop Naumann has called her nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services “particularly troubling”.  He further goes on explaining the problems associated with her public stance by quoting the great film A Man for All Season, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul, but for Wales?”.

Here is the link: http://catholickey.blogspot.com/2009/03/archbishop-naumanns-column-on-sebelius.html

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11 Responses to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-5-2009

  • 1. Brownback’s support of Sibelius- inexplicable. Inexcusable. Keep in mind. Always.

    2. Bravo Archbishop Naumann. Appears to be job requirement as Archbishop of KC- lay down smack on Sibelius. He does it well.

    3. So which bloody lab coat does Tiller the Killer wear at the confirmation party?>

  • Brownback is eyeing the KS governor’s mansion. With Sebellius in DC, his path is now clearer.

    What profiteth a man, indeed.

    Good news on all the other points.

  • Tito,

    Why don’t you use “et” for “and (&)”?

  • Mark,

    I was thinking of that, so I’ll be using “&” for now, then switch to “et” for next week.

    Good catch buddy.

    Tito

  • Actually, my bad, I think, as the font you chose appears to give an “E” blended with a “t”.

  • Mark,

    I just learned something new today, thanks!

    I went on Wikipedia to confirm what you said and I’m impressed.

    Cool.

  • Still trying to wrap my head around Brownback … American Papist speculates here:

    So what’s going on here? Politics.

    Brownback and Sebelius are home-state rivals from Kansas: she the pro-abortion governor, he one of their two pro-life senators. Speculation has been going for months that in 2010 Sebellius and Brownback could well collide for an elected office: either Sebellius challenging Brownback for his senate seat or Brownback trying to become Kansas governor.

    Brownback, therefore, can be personally relieved that it appears Sebelius will be “kicked upstairs” by this HHS nomination (presuming that all goes well). It saves him two worries.

    But I think it was a wrong move.

  • But I think it was a wrong move.

    Morally wrong, cowardly.

  • Tito,

    My friend, please I know it is hard but cut Senator Brownback a bit of slack, he has done more for the pro-life movement than any other senator I can think of.

    Just because Brownback is a Catholic though, doesn’t mean he can’t be pragmatic. Even the great Thomas More knew that sometimes you have to play politcs and pick your battles.

    No matter what Obama is going to pick a rabid pro-choicer for this spot. Even if Brownback and the whole of the Republican party drew a line in the sand and made this into an epic battle Obama would just keep picking pro-choicers until he got what he wanted.

    As to people implying that Brownback just wants Sibelius out of the way so he can run for gov. She already is out of the way, she is in her final term by the laws of the state of KS. If she didn’t get this cabinet job though she planned to run (and probably win) Brownback’s old seat (as he has pledged to not run again for senate.)

    The fact that Brownback probably will end up as Gov. of KS in 2010 is a very good thing for the pro-life movement in that state but should not be misread as mere oportunism. Trust me, Sam Brownback would not sell his soul to be Gov. of KS.

    What he is doing is being smart and looking down the road, in 2010 do you want KS to have a pro-choice dem senator? The KS seat is one of the few the Republicans can probably hold based on current trajectories. Trust me you don’t want Obama to have a super-majority in the senate.

    Brownback has put it all on the line before for truth and justice, the fact that Catholics are turning on him so quick for this bothers me.

  • FD,

    My friend, please I know it is hard but cut Senator Brownback a bit of slack, he has done more for the pro-life movement than any other senator I can think of.

    he just undid it. We have to be non-partisan here and criticize soundly any politician who support the abortion lobby directly or by providing them cover like Brownback has done.

    Trust me, Sam Brownback would not sell his soul to be Gov. of KS.

    he already has. This IS mere political opportunism.

    Thomos More did not endorse evil, he did at times refuse to speak and condemn evil until the right time, that is NOT what Brownback is doing.

    Of course Obama will get his nominations through (at least the ones who aren’t scofflaws), what you’re missing is that when they get support from conservative Republicans it weakens our ability to oppose their evil policies, it also undermines the Church which is attacking this nomination, to have a Catholic endorse her.

Bag of Silver

Monday, January 26, AD 2009

bag-of-silver

Doug Kmiec, the subject of a few posts on this blog, here, here, here, here and here, has indicated , hattip to Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia, that he believes he is still in the running to be ambassador to the Vatican, presumably his reward for turning his back on the pro-life cause and shilling for Obama last year.  Professor Kmiec has also been apparently been glancing at some of the blogs that have taken him to task, hattip to Jeff Miller at Curt Jester.

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3 Responses to Bag of Silver

  • The one thing to watch out for is boredom. At this point, the only things that’s news about Kmiec is that he’s a sell out whose arguments are fallacious, and that’s a story which can only remain interesting for so long.

    Which is all the more reason to hope that he now fades into well deserved obscurity.

  • Bigger issue triggered by the bigger mouth of Nancy Pelosi. On ABC yesterday, said increased birth control programs would be nice to assist the economy. Not quite sure what she meant. Let her explain after extracting her Jimmy Choo from her pie hole.

  • I saw that! I love how it’s masked as “family planning services.”

13 Responses to Shameless

  • Mr. McClarey,

    Did you major in outrage as an undergraduate?

  • No Mr. DeFrancisis, although I would say that Doug Kmiec, based upon his “eulogy” for Father Neuhaus, must have minored in chutzpah.

  • Dr. Robert Royal, editor-in-chief of “The Catholic Thing” and President of The Faith & Reason Institute, will be my guest tomorrow on “Catholic Radio 2.0” to discuss Fr. Neuhaus’ work and legacy. You can either listen live at 11:00 AM ET or download the archive of the show later that day by going to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/CommanderCraig.

  • I suspect that if Kmiec’s conscience was entirely clear on this matter, he simply would have praised Fr. Neuhaus in general terms without having to get in the last word in an argument.

    May Fr. Neuhaus enjoy his reward in heaven.

    And Donald McClarey, it is a pleasure to find your blog. You are a sensible man and an eloquent writer.

  • OK, I’ve just had more of a look-around and I see it is a group blog. Well, this is good news. I’ve just bookmarked it.

  • Thank you Donna V. I hope our comboxes will often be graced with your always insightful comments.

    Kmiec is still desperately trying to convince people that he simply did not switch sides on the abortion issue last year. Perhaps if he repeats it often enough he will believe it someday. I doubt if he will ever convince anyone else.

  • Don’s getting a little desperate. Kinda like Alger Hiss for the last 50 years of his life- No I Wasn’t Stalin’s Sock Puppet. Welcome Donna V. We have big fun at this playground. Y’all come back any ol’ time.

  • Don as in Kmiec. Not the always sensible Mr. McClarey.

  • It is good to see you here as well, Gerard E. and your very unique writing style, which always brings a smile to my face. I look forward to your reports from the city (the one of Brotherly Love, if I remember correctly) and all it’s pomp, works 🙂

  • Here’s First Things Editor Joseph Bottum on Doug Kmiec’s “obituary”:

    Finally, there is Douglas Kmiec’s odd obituary. I’m tempted to say a reasonable response can be found here, but some readers may not appreciate the profanity. Anyway, Kmiec’s attempt to pose himself as a friend and dialogue partner of Fr. Neuhaus may be the saddest and most pathetic of all the responses to this recent death. “It absolutely delighted Father John that the Holy Father gave American Catholics credit for resisting the secular trends of Western Europe,” Kmiec writes—to which the only response is: Who the hell ever called Richard by the name “Father John”? Only people who didn’t actually know him and want, after his death, to pretend that they did.

    Ouch.

  • And I must admit, I did indeed find the linked blog’s assessment to be pretty much all Kmiec’s piece deserves.

  • I concur.

  • Pingback: Bag of Silver « The American Catholic: Politics and Culture from a Catholic perspective

To The "Traitor," Go The Spoils? Kmiec & The Ambassadorship

Friday, December 5, AD 2008

kmiec

There has been some talk in Catholic circles recently of Douglas Kmiec being appointed U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican. Many American Catholic contributors have expressed their opinions of Mr. Kmiec during the recent election. To be clear, the problem with Kmiec was not that he supported Obama, it was that he consistently advanced disingenuous or highly questionable arguments, arguably distorting Catholic teaching, to make the case. Apparently, rumors have surfaced that many in the Vatican are similarly displeased with Mr. Kmiec, and that the Vatican might take the unusual step of vetoing Mr. Kmiec’s nomination should he be appointed.

John Allen, one of the best reporters on Church matters, argues here both that vetoing the appointment of Mr. Kmiec would be unwise, and that President-elect Obama would be unwise to appoint Kmiec:

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3 Responses to To The "Traitor," Go The Spoils? Kmiec & The Ambassadorship

12 Responses to Dedicated to Douglas Kmiec

Ross Douthat: Not Backing Down

Monday, November 10, AD 2008

Today, regarding Kmiec (et al.):

But to claim that a candidate who seems primed to begin disbursing taxpayer dollars in support of abortion and embryo-destructive research as soon as he enters the White House somehow represented the better choice for anti-abortion Americans on anti-abortion grounds is an argument that deserves to met, not with engagement, but with contempt.

He echoes my weekend frustration.

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5 Responses to Ross Douthat: Not Backing Down

16 Responses to Let's Get Started!

  • He didn’t support an executive order either… Obama is going to bypass the legislative branch to kill human life….

    yea, now I know I was misinformed about the ONE… no wolf in sheep clothing here.

  • i meant to say that the One is going to support an executive order.

  • Time to organize and fight back against this. Pro-lifers were beaten in a battle last Tuesday, but if the pro-aborts believe they have won the war they are deluded.

  • To use a phrase fron The One/That One, I’m fired up and ready to go!

  • Wow, you can hear crickets in the background.

    Where are Michael I., Mark DeFrancisisis, Radical Catholic Mom, and MZ Forrest now that their ‘pro-life’ candidate is ready to begin the wholesale mass slaughter of humans?

  • Did those who supported Obama somehow not think that things like this (and the Mexico City policy change) would happen, and happen virtually immediately? These are the consequences of an Obama presidency, and they were foreseen, at least by the pro-lifers who opposed Obama’s election.

  • The “Mexico City Policy” denying funding to NGO’s which perform / promote abortion will likely be reversed as well.

    This is hardly a suprise. It was instituted by Reagan, rescinded under Clinton, reaffirmed by Bush Jr., and now will likely be repealed, allowing for taxpayer promotion of abortion overseas.

  • Walter,

    Are you ready to get in their face… to use the language of That One.

  • And in addition to the slaughter, women being exploited as livestock for egg harvesting.

    Some champion of women’s rights.

  • I’m glad to see that our new president — who is ever conscious of a variety of positions, reflective, and inclusive — has mused over the “difficult” issue of embryonic stem cell research and has decided that the best course of “common ground” with pro-life Americans is to make them pay for it.

    We’re off to a very bipartisan start of 4 years of Unity……….

  • Pingback: Ross Douthat: not backing down « The American Catholic: Politics and Culture from a Catholic perspective
  • Okay – Obama is our next president, like it or not. Let’s stop whining about and pouting that we lost. Our marching orders are clear: Pray for Obama and our country, work with him where possible to achieve the common good, and fight like a Maccabee when he oversteps his bounds — all the while remembering that November 2010 and 2012 will be here quicker than we think. There is much we have to do.

    What about us supporting at a local level pro-life politicians (democrats and republicans) who are willing to take the abuse from the pro-abortion side? The reason we have few to no strong pro-life politicians on the national scene is because of the lack of local support. Maybe we should be encouraging people to support pro-life PACs to get these candidates some visibility and support. I would love to hear what catholics on doing to to courage pro-life politicans in the cities and states.

    What about praying and fasting for President-elect Obama to have a change of heart (maybe like St. Paul – it is the Year of St. Paul) and courage to stand up to his own party leaders on matters of the sanctity of life (abortion, ESCR, euthanasia and death penalty), of marriage, and of expanding the war in Afghanistan? If he is as reasonable and open to the views of pro-lifers as his Catholic proponents claim him to be, then I’m sure he will appreciate those prayers.

    Let us go into the world and make a difference in our own lives, families, and work. That is the leaven the first century Christians brought to the Roman Empire, with its debauchery and hedonism similar to our modern society, and that changed the world. They put their faith in the concrete reality of Christ’s promises and the example of his life not the promises of any man or the pleasures of the world. We need to do the same!!

  • Katerine,

    I love your enthusiasm.

    “Fight like a Macabee”.

    I’m all the way in on this revolution.

    Maybe we should start with our own churches and purge them of cafeteria Catholics?

  • Thank you, Tito. Yes – praying for and encouraging our priests and bishops to be strong and courageous and being good role models of what the “pro-life” movement can and should be in our own churches is key.

    There is too much to do to waste time being depressed or maudlin or self-righteous. I intended on living my life in obedience to God and each day is filled with choices, many of them having nothing to do with whoever was President.

    I believe our mission as Catholic hasn’t changed–and wouldn’t be any different if McCain had been elected. We have a lot of work ahead of us for the culture of death in all its forms has a strong foot hold in the United States.

  • I dont know why all of you rely on just ‘faith ‘ to decide what is right ffor the human race. i mean come on. if you think about it yeah the whole stem cell thing is sort of wrong but it could save alot of lives. all of those people who have terminal illnesses , think of how they feel. they had no hope whatsoever about living and now they know that they may still have a chance at life. everything happens for a reason and if you want to drag Christ into this then fine. He put us here and created our destiny so what has happened has hapened because He wanted it to. it was bound to happen one way or another.

Douthat Puts Kmiec in His Place

Thursday, November 6, AD 2008

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

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20 Responses to Douthat Puts Kmiec in His Place

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

  • “embarrassing shill”

    An accurate assessment of Kmiec.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Two items of context that may help:

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

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

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

    Lord, make me irenic… But not quite yet.

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

  • I agree with how we are characterizing Kmiec.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    🙂

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

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

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

    People generally quarrel because they cannot argue. -GKC-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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