2 Responses to “Free” Birth Control for Women

  • Since birth control–“free” or otherwise–really doesn’t work that well, the State must have “free” abortions. I remember well the days I was pro-abortion because, quite honestly, abortions are cheaper than paying for some one else’s kid.

  • Those who pay most heavily for such government largesse are the recipients who the government thus reduces to the status of a child with her hand out to a parent.
    –Donald R. McClarey

    Feminism is the long journey from women thinking they are being treated like children to women demanding they are to be treated like children.

March for Life Wins Against HHS Mandate

Tuesday, September 1, AD 2015

Judge Richard Leon

 

Federal District Judge Richard Leon has ruled in favor of the March for Life in its suit against the HHS Mandate.  Law Professor Josh Blackman explains the basis for his opinion:

 

In March for Life v. Burwell, Judge Leon (D.D.C.) found that HHS could not enforce the contraceptive mandate against March for Life, a staunchly pro-life group that is not religious. Beyond the conventional RFRA analysis, the court found that HHS lacks a rational basis to exempt religious organizations that oppose abortion, but not similarly situated secular organizations with the same beliefs. This analysis echoes a point we made in the Cato Amicus in support of the Little Sisters of the Poor–that HHS lacks the interpretive authority to pick and choose which religious organizations can receive exemptions from the mandate.

Judge Leon’s analysis, though grounded in equal protection doctrine, reaches a very similar conclusion. Here is the key analysis:

What emerges is a curious rationale indeed. HHS has chosen to protect a class of individuals [Houses of worship only] that, it believes, are less likely than other individuals to avail themselves of contraceptives. It has consequently moored this accommodation not in the language of conscientious objection, but in the vernacular of religious protection. This, of course, is puzzling. In HHS’s own view, it is not the belief or non-belief in God that warrants safe harbor from the Mandate. The characteristic that warrants protection–and employment relationship based in part on a shared objection to abortifacients–is altogether separate from theism. Stated differently, what HHS claims to be protecting is religious belief, when it actually is protecting a moral philosophy about the sanctity of human life. Where HHS has erred, however, is in assuming that this trait is unique to such organizations [Houses of worship]. It is not.

The court goes on to explain that March for Life, and its employees, share a pro-life philosophy. Indeed, their employees work there to advocate their views.

On the spectrum of “likelihood” that undergirds HHS’s policy decisions, March for Life’s employees are, to put it mildly, “unlikely” to use contraceptives. In this respect, March for Life and exempted religious organizations are not just “similarly situated,” they are identically situated.

The court finds this classification cannot be supported by a rational basis:

HHS has chosen, however, to accommodate this moral philosophy only when it is overtly tied to religious values. HHS provides no principled basis, other than the semantics of religious tolerance, for its distinction. If the purpose of the religious employer exemption is, as HHS states, to respect the anti-abortifacient tenets of an employer relationship, then it makes no rational sense–indeed no sense whatsoever–to deny March for Life that same respect. 

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10 Responses to March for Life Wins Against HHS Mandate

  • what happens next?
    what about the Little Sisters of the Poor

  • The case will be appealed to the DC Circuit. Due to its liberal majority the decision will probably be reversed, with the case ultimately being decided by the Supreme Court, if one of the other similar cases around the country making its way up the chain to the Supreme Court does not get there first.

  • I am happy at this small victory. But if this case eventually makes its way to SCOTUS, then how can we expect a sane SCOTUS decision when it makes an insane decision about a no-brainer issue such as what is really marriage? Being an engineer, I am not a history student or expert, but if the Dred Scott decision has shown us anything, it would seem to be this: individuals appointed to life to the bench will do whatever they darn well please regardless of what truth is.
    .
    These two issues of our generation – abortion and sodomy – will never be voluntarily surrendered by the Democrats. Forcing March for Life to accept abortificients is simply ludicrous. It’s beyond comprehension.

  • Pregnancy as a disease.

    This is the mentality of the HHS drafters and supporter’s. The idea that abortion is a health care component, a “cure” for those poor poor women stricken down in the prime of their life by the cruelty of the “P” word. So appallingly this disease that one should only use the first initial.

    March for LIFE, the dirty little group of Christian’s trying to destroy women, getting a pass on the HHS mandate?

    THANKS BE TO GOD!

    The women’s liberation movement of the 60’s has brought about many good and decent outcomes. Abortion rights is not one of them.
    God is merciful, slow to anger and rich in kindness. I wish the same was true for those that crafted the HHS mandate and support abortion. They are not merciful nor kind.
    They are blind.

    Thanks Anzlyne for the link to the Judge.
    God be with him.
    Hillary Clinton, the scourge of the USA, shall seek peace in the next life…and seek. Her lies will follow her there… Gnawing at her heels …the teeth that never had a chance to grow inside the newborns mouth..those 60 million sets of teeth will gnaw and gnaw at her heels for eternity. Wake up Hillary. You time is short. Yes. I do pray she and other death supporter’s change their hearts while they can.
    Hell is real.

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  • Wow, Philip with one L, your last paragraph is a Twilight Zone espisode reminiscent of Satre’s No Exit. One would hope that Hillary actually dreams that nightmare and has remorse for the blood on her hands. She is not alone..Pelosi, the butchers at PPH, etc, etc, etc.

  • CAM.
    To much Twilight Zone in my younger years, and a disdain for those who love the license to kill infants. I’m sick of it CAM. The video release and nonchalant attitude of the deal going down is hellish.

    Yes. I hope they wake up. This crazy image, teeth, is nothing compared to the real horror that awaits the swimmers of Fire lake.

  • Where’s the holocaust museum for the aborted babies? Not in Washington DC.
    Yes, Philip, the print description of restarting a baby’s heart like it was a pithed frog in Zoology 101 is hard to remove from one’s mind. In some schools today the use of amphibians is forbidden as it is considered inhumane. Ain’t that ironic! There must be other horrors with the abortion mills that haven’t even seen the light of day.
    What is wrong with our Senate to not even ban third trimester abortion and to not defund Planned Parenthood?. In low income areas there are now other clinics and could be many more with the funds directed from PPH, that could provide PAP smears and mammograms to women in low income areas. What are the Senators so afraid of? It’s as if Satan is hovering over them as they vote. As a female I am sickened that the term “women’s health” has become code for abortion, the morning after pill, etc.

  • CAM. That holocaust museum you speak of is next to the Benghazi memorial, the ambassador and three service men in bronze.
    This coincidentally is sitting on top of a sewer gate, which bear’s the likeness of once obscure Madame Secretary that was tar and feathered for neglect of duty and negligence.
    It’s funny how her fall to obscurity coincided with the new bronze art work going up.

    Life is funny that way.

An Illiberal Catholic Assault on Hobby Lobby

Monday, April 14, AD 2014

Note: once again, this is a guest post by Stephen Herreid, not Bonchamps.

“Well, it turns out our Founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change than I would like sometimes.” – President Barack Obama

“…America was never well-founded, so either needs to be differently re-founded or at least endured, even survived.” – Patrick Deneen

Faced with the historic government overreach that is the HHS mandate, it ought to be easier than ever for Christians to know who their enemies are. One would hope that in this desperate time conservatives and Christians would unite against the enemies of the Church, and defend the religious liberty that has already been half-robbed from us. Unlike in many other countries, where Christians are already third class citizens and some are killed and violated by the thousands, America is the home of a long-standing Constitutional Republic, a Rule of Law tradition that explicitly protects and honors our religious liberty. The army of the Left is united in its effort to topple that grand tradition and the Church that it protects. Appallingly, the army of the Right is not so united in their defense.

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26 Responses to An Illiberal Catholic Assault on Hobby Lobby

  • Deneen’s argument is appalling. Hobby Lobby goes out of its way to incorporate its Christian values into its daily operations. It has put everything on the line to challenge this mandate. And I would love to see this smug academic lecture people with limited budgets about shopping at over-priced mom-and-pop stores instead of affordable chain stores. These people don’t care about “the common good”, they care about an ideological vision that would inevitably harm the common good in order to be realized.

  • It is a pretty vicious attack and tragically misguided. Hobby Lobby bucks the dehumanizing trend by (1) staying closed on Sunday, and (2) paying a living wage at hire and (3) offering health coverage to all employees.

    Sadly, Deneen has made his ideological demand for the perfect a savage enemy of the good. What is he trying to achieve with such an essay?

  • Deneen is trying to make himself the ideological leader of a “third force” in American politics, to agglomerate to himself the discontent and frustration of Catholics who have failed to make any real impact in national policy. Instead of trying to remedy that futility, he is trying to make it a badge of honor, an implicit condemnation of the American constitutional system.

    Check out Deneen’s self-congratulatory manifesto for Catholic separatism:
    http://www.irishrover.net/?p=5221

    To which I would answer: How well is the Church doing by its own standards? Sex abuse, instant annulments, 95% of Catholics rejecting Humanae Vitae…. Why should anyone look to US for leadership?

  • Scratch a liberal and you find a fascist every time.

  • What is the function of intellectuals, bar to tells us things are not as ordinary people see them? Do you ever get the impression that Dr. Deneen’s writings are a series of onanistic exercises?

  • Patrick Deneen doesn’t approve of what many of us do with our freedom, he doesn’t trust what the citizens of Bedford Falls will do in Bailey Park and he doesn’t much Like Hobby Lobby and its customers. That’s OK. He’s free to be that way.

    (Deneen uses liberalism to mean something close to what the American Founders meant by liberty.)

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/a-catholic…/

    “…liberalism is not a “shell” philosophy that allows a thousand flowers to bloom. Rather, liberalism is constituted by a substantive set of philosophical commitments that are deeply contrary to the basic beliefs of Catholicism… ”

    Is Deneen saying a good life won’t happen under liberalism? Is he saying that If people have too much freedom they will do bad things (I agree) and they shouldn’t have the freedom that allows them to do bad things (I disagree)? Does he want to make virtue mandatory? I think he does think that it’s bad that people are free to choose for themselves what he would not choose for them.

    In a 2012 review of IT”S A WONDERFUL LIFE, Deneen suggests that Bailey Park is a bad thing in much the same way that he thinks that Hobby Lobby and WalMart are bad things. People shouldn’t choose them and (maybe?) shouldn’t be allowed to choose them.

    http://www.firstthings.com/…/12/its-a-destructive-life

    “By contrast, Bailey Park has no trees, no sidewalks, no porches, but instead wide streets and large yards with garages. Compared to Bedford Falls, the development is pedestrian-hostile, and its daily rhythm will feel devoid of human presence, with the automobile instead displacing the ambulating passerbys. The residents of this modern development are presumably hidden behind the doors of their houses, or, if outside, relaxing in back patios. One doubts that anyone will live in these houses for four generations, much less one. The absence of informal human interaction in Bailey Park stands in gross contrast to the vibrancy of Bedford Falls.”

    Here is my favorite comment from the review.(Read the whole review and the comments.)

    “Chesterton Fan • a year ago
    Community is not a matter of proximity or housing development fashions. Farmers live in isolation, but come into town to meet up with neighbors that live 5 miles away. They meet up at church, at a cafe, at a sporting event etc. Meanwhile, in New York City, a person can live 5 years in an apartment and not interact with a single person on their floor who has also lived there more than 5 years. Same goes for suburban neighbors. Some suburban neighborhoods are close knit. Kids play with each other, and parents take turns hosting. Others are just collections of families that happen to live near each other. While I love mom and pop places, one can evidence community in a Starbucks that has regulars who come to meet and share joys and sorrows. With good leadership, a chain store can foster community among employees that expresses itself in good service to customers. Industrialization was transformed, not by abandoning the technological improvements and going back to cottage industry, but by way of cultural transformation. Houses now have family rooms and game rooms that can function in much the same way as the porch used to. After all, even with a porch, a neighbor still either needed to be invited to come up for a glass of lemonade or a beer or have some kind of connection whereby he felt free to stop by. As Chesterton so often made clear, academics often miss the forest for analyzing the individual trees.”

    Fortunately, Patrick Deneen does not rule the world.I’m glad.

  • I don’t know if this question’s been raised or not, but what is it exactly that Deneen is lobbying for, a nation that’s more Catholic, or more illiberal?

  • Fred Siegel, in his 2013 book about the modern roots of American liberalism, “The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism has Undermined the Middle Class,” notes:

    “Liberalism is anti-business and anti-democratic. It despises the small town business ethic which drove too much of American life. In its place was a heroic model populated by elite experts, writers and social scientists who fundamentally distrust the public and place great confidence in the “leading role” of the state, to borrow the Marxist term. The scorn and fear generated among liberals by the Tea Party movement illustrates the basic contempt that liberals hold for the common man and the American middle class.”

  • From the sounds of it, Dineen seems to be the sort that writes for the Remnant. The hold everything but traditional Catholicism in contempt. Religious freedom? Their response is that the only suitable state is a Catholic confessional state ruled by a Catholic monarch. Kinda like Europe was centuries ago. How did that turn out?

    Their views on economics are as bad as the current Catholic hierarchy. From what this bunch wants, it sounds like a combination of mercantilism and distributism.

    Sorry but the genie is out of the bottle. It is not possible to return to the Middle Ages.

    The American Conservative is a journal that is influenced by Pat Buchanan. I do not know how Buchanan has credibility with anyone. He has spent his adult life in Washington, DC, a place detached from reality if there ever was.

    The world is as it is. What can we do to make it better for our succeeding generations? One of the things we can do is to ignore Pat Buchanan and his followers.

  • Leave Pat Buchanan out of this, please. I was at the first meeting which organized The American Conservative, and have had close contact with its editors for most of its run. Buchanan NEVER exercised any editorial functions; he simply lent his mailing list and his name. The magazine has gone very far left in recent years, and is now virtually indistinguishable from the Distributist Review. Its money man, Wick Allison, endorsed Obama in BOTH elections. It should rename itself more candidly.

  • Pat Buchanan has credibility with me. But then, I agree with his non-interventionist foreign policy, while PF has a personal anti-Russian axe to grind.

  • My problem with non-interventionism is that, historically speaking, its loudest proponents aren’t opposed to interventionism per se, just Amerian intervention.
    .
    Just a passing observation. I’m not trying to derail the thread any further.
    .
    I have no idea where Deneen is coming from. But then, I don’t understand why more Catholics don’t understand that the Democrat party left them a long time ago. On the other hand though, Penguins Fan has a point about confessional politics in European history.

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  • Penguins Fan and Ernst Schreiber

    I sometimes wonder whether American (and British) Catholics are as aware as they should be of the dangers of a sort of “political Catholicism,” like that that bedevilled France from1870 to 1959 and that reached its zenith in Action Française and the Catholic atheism of Charles Maurras; this was “civic religion” with a vengeance.

    Nor is the danger only on the Right; Le Sillon’s attempt to align Catholic Action with the labour movement was equally dangerous and was also roundly condemned by the Holy See in Notre Charge Apostolique, which could be read with profit by some (politically) progressive Anglophone Catholics, as well as more recent condemnations of Liberation Theology.

    The danger arises whenever loyalty to a political movement is seen as, not merely compatible with, but demanded, by the Faith itself. It also manifests itself in a denial of the legitimacy of any political authority that refuses to accede to its demands.

    The spiritual mission of the Church in France was gravely hampered, during the first 70 years of that period, by the open hostility of most Catholics to the Republic, which neatly matched the anti-clericalism of the bouffeurs de curé. Leo XIII had exhorted Catholic to “rally to the Republic,” explaining that a distinction must be drawn between the form of government, which ought to be accepted, and its laws which ought to be improved, only to be accused by the Catholic press of “kissing the feet of their executioners.” In 1940, alas, too many Catholics rallied, not to the Republic, but to Vichy. After the Liberation most of the leaders of the Catholic parties were in jail, a few were shot and the rest fled abroad. It was De Gaulle and the Fifth Republic that began to heal the divisions.

    The state of the Church in France today owes much to this bitter legacy of turning faith into faction

  • The sad truth is that ultimately we’ve done not much better in a modern “democracy” which has been declaring false aherence to Christianity for so long it is finally giving up that charade to betray the religious foundations most Americans (cumulatively counting from the beginnings of the nation) understoodf as essential to the survival and later, the explosion of success which both marked the United States as an economic and military superpower and within which were contained the seeds of its destruction.

    I have no more belief in the efficacy of a Catholic confessional state than I do in what passess for democracy today, if for no other reason that the world has turned inward in self-aggrandisement and self-worship. Nobody would tolerate the return of monarchy – Catholic or otherwise. Overall, however, I can’t see where modern democracy has any worse a track record than European Catholic monarchies decried by PF.

    How did that turn out? Not much worse than what we’re headed for now. There were many solid devout Catholic monarchs interspersed with heathen-minded tyrants. We have a pseudo-Christian fascist in the White House, and the next election will give us eight years of the first woman president unless something unforeseen occurs.

    By the end of that time institutional fascism will be thoroughly cemented in place throughout our political, governmental, and military infrastructures. Likewise, in all the other social and cultural institutions which the Left nearly owns now in toto. Our much vaunted democratic republic barely exists today.

    This character Deneen would only deliver us into this hell all the sooner. However, he’s a zero who ultimately will receive benefits and position only as it is pleasing to his masters who will despise even his watered-down form of faux-Catholicism. RINOs engage in the same wasted energy in their continuing betrayal of America through their never fulfilled yearning for love and approaval from liberals and their media sycophants.

    Since Obama stole the 2012 election (this is the first time I’ve EVER seriously believed an American presidential election has been hijacked), I no longer believe the battlefield is ANYTHING but spiritual. We have lost the political, social,and cultural battles. Even the military is lost to anti-Christian, lesbian-loving, Wiccans or at least atheists.

    Persistent prayer and lots of it is the first and last line of defense and offense. Yes, by all, means let’s expose fraudulent Catholics like Patrick Deenen who are no better than quislings, but let’s not think that a focus on such responses are anything more than satisfying gestures which won’t do anything to win this struggle against the forces of evil arrayed against the last best hope for man – the Roman Catholic Church.

  • If the state humbly acknowledges its existence brought about by the sovereignty of its citizens with respect, the shenanigans brought about by closed door conspiracy would not have taken place.
    .
    Penguins Fan : “Their response is that the only suitable state is a Catholic confessional state ruled by a Catholic monarch. Kinda like Europe was centuries ago. How did that turn out?”
    .
    Had the Catholic confessional state stayed Catholic, with virtue and charity, Europe would have turned out alright. St Joan of Arc set them straight. When Catholic principles were abandoned the countries fell.
    .
    Blessed John Cardinal Henry Newman said speaking of separation of church and state:
    “It in no way depends upon the caprice of the Pope, or upon his good pleasure, to make such and such a doctrine, the object of a dogmatic definition. He is tied up and limited to the divine revelation, and to the truths which that revelation contains. He is tied up and limited by the Creeds, already in existence, and by the preceding definitions of the Church. He is tied up and limited by the divine law, and by the constitution of the Church. Lastly, he is tied up and limited by that doctrine, divinely revealed, which affirms that alongside religious society there is civil society, that alongside the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy there is the power of temporal Magistrates, invested in their own domain with a full sovereignty, and to whom we owe in conscience obedience and respect in all things morally permitted, and belonging to the domain of civil society.”
    .
    And again, Thomas Jefferson said in his Danbury letter:
    “Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”

    What is it that Hobby Lobby is guilty of? Denying the state transgression into its own conscience? Concerning a mandate that was not given by the people, not voted on by Congress but inserted in the ACA after Congress made the bill into law. The HHS Mandate was unconstitutionally imposed on a free people without their informed consent.
    Hobby Lobby is hauled before magistrates to defend its right to be a free enterprise or at least assent to just laws imposed. Unjust laws, not at all.
    .
    This is about patriotism, about constituting our United States as a free nation. Only a nation conceived in liberty can form the virtue of patriotism. People are not stupid. When a citizen cannot love his country, his conscience and his country need to be reassessed. This is about the government imposing totalitarianism to serve one faction of the public opinion. The HHS Mandate is not equal Justice for all, especially for the innocent souls conceived and obliterated by abortaficients. Every citizen, from atheist to Catholic, must insure that the sovereign citizen must be free to constitute his nation in peaceable assembly. or in Penguin’s words: “How will that turn out?”

  • Phil Steinacker: “We have a pseudo-Christian fascist in the White House, and the next election will give us eight years of the first woman president unless something unforeseen occurs.”
    .
    Let us pray that the next president is more than a mouth and face for demonic activity. Even the devil is being disgusted with this nation’s human sacrifice and violations of the civil rights of man, whom our Created created in freedom. Human sacrifice is unconstitutional. As worship of the devil, abortion cannot be imposed.

  • “whom our Creator, created in freedom” I’m sorry.

  • Americans used to have- at least I grew up with – a real confidence in America. At the same time the “ascendance”of Catholicism seemed (again- to me) to be a natural progression of Truth and Justice.
    Now Americans and Catholics alike have lost their self confidence. Lift up your heads!
    Orestes Brownso his reflections on the publication of the Syllabus of Pius IX: “The civil power is bound to obey the law of God, and forfeits its authority in going contrary to it. We shall not suffer those who refuse to believe the infallibility of the Pope, [only] to assert the infallibility of Caesar or the state.”
    First thing for Patrick Deneen and for all of us is to remember who we are.
    .

  • Anzlyne: “First thing for Patrick Deneen and for all of us is to remember who we are.”
    .
    My constant prayer.

  • Bonchamps can worship at the feet of Washingtonian blowhard Buchanan.

    Bonchamps accused me of having a personal anti-Russian ax to grind. To clarify it, I expressed concern for Catholics in areas taken over by Putin and linked to a news story highlighting incidents where Russian military units harrassed Ukrainian Catholics. I do not and have no advocated the US government getting involved.

    Now, it is true that i have an ax to grind. I presume that most people who post here have heard of the terrible attack at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, PA, a Pittsburgh suburb. 19 high school students were injured, four critically. One nearly died last week.

    An incident that made the Drudge Report and the Washington (Com)Post, but was curiously ignored by the local Pittsburgh media, surfaced this week. A 15 year old special needs student in South Fayette High School (the school district I pay a fortune for in property taxes -and everyone else here, too) was continuously bullied by other kids. This 15 year old recorded the actions of the other kids bullying him. when faced with the evidence, school administrators told him to erase the evidence and reported him to the local police, who accused him of violating a Pennsylvania anti-wiretapping law. This 15 year old was cited for disorderly conduct, was chewed out by the local magistrate, and paid a $25 fine plus court costs.

    Due to the Franklin Regional incident, this story has grown legs and is now all over the Internet , although the local socialist rag, the Post Gazette, which now charges for online content, had no coverage that I could locate. I put up with bullies in Catholic grade school and a crummy Northeast Ohio public school district and I have no patience for this BS from overpaid school bureaucrats. I am showing up at the next school board meeting, which i anticipate to be overflowing with irate parents.

    Net time you wantto tell the world that I have an ax to grind, Bonchaps, ask me first. Otherwise, do the Internet version of shut up and don’t purport to talk for me again.

  • Mary, my point is that there are some hard core Traditionalists who believe in their hear of hearts that the only legitimate state is a Catholic confessional state with a Catholic monarch. Europe had these but no more. Kings, queens and emperors are no more immune from the human condition than prime ministers, presidents and elected legislatures. Our system of government, if people cared enough, provides us with the ability to get rid of incompetent or criminal politicians. Instead we have a political party – the Democrats – who resemble organized crime, and another, the Republicans, who are either too timid to speak up or just want to go along.

    Could the English Catholics who rebelled against Henry Tudor get rid of him? They tried but could not. Charles V, who debated Luther, invaded the Vatican.
    Charles V’ great grandfather, King Henry of Spain, was a weak man and easily manipulated. There was a King Phillip of France who pressured the Pope to suppress the Knights Templar because he wanted their money.

    I’m going to sign off of here – at least for posting – for a few days. Senora Penguins Fan has a 45th birthday coming up. She is in her ninth week of pregnancy. This is her fifth pregnancy – we have two terrific little boys and we lost two babies due to miscarriage. We are expecting guests for Easter and the house needs “redd up”. I have spent too much time here arguing and being annoyed by a Paulbot. My school district has me angrier than a hornet’s nest. All in all, not a great Holy Week.

    Please remember the Catholics in this world who live under repression or terror (Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Nigeria, occupied Ukraine) and be grateful that this hasn’t happened to us – yet.

  • Thank you, Penguins Fan. Prayers for a safe delivery of one of our constitutional posterity and thanks too for him. Happy Easter.

  • The magazine has gone very far left in recent years, and is now virtually indistinguishable from the Distributist Review. Its money man, Wick Allison, endorsed Obama in BOTH elections. It should rename itself more candidly.


    Left? You’re assuming they have a recognizable perspective.
    The whole point of the publication is to provide a display window for the self-aggrandizing idiosyncracies of its editors and staff, including each one’s frequent and repetitive references to their superiority to ‘movement conservatives’. Truth-in-labeling kills the joke.

  • Penguins Fan: “Bonchamps accused me of having a personal anti-Russian ax to grind. To clarify it, I expressed concern for Catholics in areas taken over by Putin and linked to a news story highlighting incidents where Russian military units harrassed Ukrainian Catholics. I do not and have no advocated the US government getting involved. ”
    .
    My parents’ families reside in north eastern Poland, on the Russian border. My father’s family was started by Tartar rape of my mother’s family in 1595. Being somewhat Polish I recommend that Bonchamps’ observation be taken as a great if not wonderful compliment, and I take it as such. Half of my dad’s family went to the concentration camps. Then, there was the Katim Forest blamed on Hitler. My dad’s brother went to the seminary to become a Catholic priest. He was harassed until he had a nervous breakdown from which he has not recovered. When my dad visited Poland several years ago, he was arrested and placed on house arrest. Money is usually extorted for release. Another man promised money for release, when the man got home to America he found Russian agents IN his house for the money.
    .
    Bonchamps has a lot to learn.

Fortnight For Freedom: HHS Mandate and Religious Freedom

Tuesday, July 2, AD 2013

 

 

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have proclaimed a second Fortnight for Freedom from June 21-July 4th, and, as last year, The American Catholic will participate with special blog posts each day.

Bravo to the Thomas More Law Center that won a preliminary injuction against enforcement of the HHS Mandate as to their clients Thomas R. Beckwith and Beckwith Electric.

The Government claimed that once a business owner chooses to enter into the marketplace or incorporate his business, he surrenders his right to exercise his religious beliefs.

However, Judge Kovachevich’s 37-page decision which mentioned Thomas R. Beckwith’s unique family history—Beckwith’s ancestors arrived on the shores of America in 1626 to escape religious persecution from England — ended with a powerful statement on religious freedom:

 

 

“The First Amendment, and its statutory corollary the RFRA, endow upon the citizens of the United States the unalienable right to exercise religion, and that right is not relinquished by efforts to engage in free enterprise under the corporate form. No legislative, executive, or judicial officer shall corrupt the Framers’ initial expression, through their enactment of laws, enforcement of those laws, or more importantly, their interpretation of those laws. And any action that debases, or cheapens, the intrinsic value of the tenet of religious tolerance that is entrenched in the Constitution cannot stand.

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4 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: HHS Mandate and Religious Freedom

  • “We The People” can no longer rely upon our government to defend & protect our faith, or our God-given right to exercise our freedom of conscience. The situation now facing the people of faith in America has ceased being one denominations problem, indeed, it is and always has been a “God” problem touching all of God’s Elect!
    Cardinal Raymond Leo Burk – Former Archbishop of St. Louis & current head of the Vatican’s hightest court stated “It is a war.” Cardinal Burk went on to warn that he could envision a time when the Catholic Church in the U.S. would be accused of illegal activity by announcing her own teaching.He could even see American Catholics being arrested for their faith. From LifeSiteNews, November 28, 2011′. I believe that time is finally in our neighborhoods. Let us all pray for guidance, wisdom & Divine Inspiration to support & inspire us through His “Winds Of Redemption” now upon us! Amen
    “Laus Deo”

  • “This issue will ultimately end up before the Supreme Court and then we will learn if our constitutional guarantees regarding liberty still have any meaning.”

    After Justice Kennedy called those who oppose same-sex marriage “enemies of the human race”, one wonders if our constitutional guarantees regarding religious liberty still have any meaning. It’s all about sterile, irresponsible, hedonistic sexual gratification. That’s freedom. But religion? Those who believe in it and live their lives that way are enemies of the human race. 🙁

  • My thoughts exactly.

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I’d Like a Thick Crust Large Pepperoni Pizza, Hold the Contraceptive Mandate

Wednesday, January 2, AD 2013

Tom_monaghan_pizza_toss

 

 

Add Tom Monaghan’s lawsuit against the contraceptive mandate to the list of those granted injunctive relief:

A federal judge has ordered a temporary halt on the Obama administration’s birth-control coverage policy for Tom Monaghan, the Catholic billionaire who founded Domino’s Pizza.

Federal District Court Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff issued the decision Sunday, less than two days before the policy would have taken effect and exposed Monaghan to fines for non-compliance.

“Plaintiff has shown that abiding by the mandate will substantially burden his exercise of religion,” Zatkoff wrote.

“The government has failed to satisfy its burden of showing that its actions were narrowly tailored to serve a compelling interest. … This factor weighs in favor of granting Plaintiffs’ motion.”

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4 Responses to I’d Like a Thick Crust Large Pepperoni Pizza, Hold the Contraceptive Mandate

HHS Contraception Mandate Encountering Rough Reception in Court

Wednesday, January 2, AD 2013

 

 

 

Federal Circuit Courts are granting injunctive relief to plaintiffs in suits alleging that the contaceptive mandate violates both the First Amendment free exercise clause and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act:

 

On Dec. 28, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that the HHS Mandate violates this family’s religious liberty as guaranteed by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Kathleen Sebelius’ mandate could be argued to violate the First Amendment as well, but if a court can resolve a case by looking to a statute, it will avoid issuing an opinion regarding constitutional issues. The Seventh Circuit has issued an injunction while the appeal in this case, Korte v. Sebelius, is pending.

In a 2-1 split decision, a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit in Chicago rejected the Tenth Circuit’s conclusion in Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius that the HHS Mandate does not impose a significant burden on religious freedom by forcing employers to provide insurance that covers things they regard as immoral.

The Seventh Circuit reasoned, “With respect, we think this misunderstands the substance of the claim. The religious-liberty violation at issue here inheres in the coerced coverage of contraception, abortifacients, sterilization, and related services, not—or perhaps more precisely, not only—in the later purchase or use of contraception or related services [by employees].”

The Seventh Circuit also noted that the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis recently came down on the same side of this issue in O’Brien v. U.S. Dep’t of HHS, leaving the Tenth Circuit in Denver as the minority of what is now a 2-1 split between the federal appeals courts.

This now sets the stage for a Supreme Court showdown. The justices may let this issue play out for a few more months until a couple appellate courts hand down full-length opinions exploring all these issues. By contrast, the Seventh Circuit’s action is just an eight-page order.

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3 Responses to HHS Contraception Mandate Encountering Rough Reception in Court

  • I am not familiar with US procedure, but could not the case be dealt with by a debate on the relevancy?

    So far as one can see, it is a pure issue of law, without either party needing to lead a proof.

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  • The HHS mandate violates the most fundamental right of all-conscience.
    From the Mayflower compact to this mandate, government has steered clear of infringing on the principles of freedom of religion.

    Since when have we been ruled by “mandates.”
    Is there any one who does not believe that an unborn infant has a right to life?
    If so why should the child be treated as a diseases and forcibly destroyed.

    The mandate singles out the Church,but the strictures against abortion were even condified five hundred year B.C.

    The First Amendment should be sufficient protection, but will it be?

HHS Mandate Fight Not Going Away

Monday, November 19, AD 2012

One of the many dreadful results of the American people deciding to give the Southside Messiah another four years to see how much of the country he can gut, is that the struggle over the HHS mandate will not be resolved by Congress simply reversing the initiative of the Obama administration.

Lawsuits against the HHS Mandate have been meeting with some success, go here to read about injunctive relief being given to a private employer, and doubtless all of this will eventually end up before the Supreme Court.  It has been heartening to see how many non-Catholics have been standing with Catholics in this area.  For example, Tyndale House Publishers have gone to court and gotten injunctive relief.  Go here to read about it.

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8 Responses to HHS Mandate Fight Not Going Away

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  • I’m not sure we shouldn’t hold a Catholic strike over this. Declare a religious liberty day, in which all Catholic organizations that serve the public will close for 24 hours.

    Let the feds try to deal with having soup kitchens, homeless shelters, orphanages, schools, hospitals, colleges, and even parishes closed for 24 hours. Lock the doors. Let them deal with the emergencies for a change.

    Remind America what Catholics have done for them.

  • Ted, I cetrainly sympathize with what you are saying. But this would be exactly what Obama and the left wants. This is clearly what they are gunning for.

    I think what this whole HHS Mandate problem has once again made clear is that the bishops should restrict themselves and their diocesan and USCCB resources to are matters within their competence accompanied by a serious soul-searching asking themselves if and to what extent their actions have helped bring this about. Failing which, the moral credibility they need to be an effective player will elude them. It seems to me that thus far, they have failed to understand this.

  • A PAGAN NATION?

    Has it finally come to an ignominious end?
    Must liberty and religious freedom we now rescind?
    Our Founding Fathers must now be assuredly aghast,
    If they knew their City on a Hill is now in the past.

    America was a definitive faith exercise.
    The United States is now decidedly otherwise.
    Compromise between good and evil can never prevail.
    Without the God our nation trusted, life is no avail.

    The Declaration of Independence we could once trust.
    Life, liberty, and happiness have been overcome with lust.
    Seeds of democracy’s destruction have now germinated.
    Every phase of government has been permeated.

    The American dream is now only a socialist scheme.
    It has then become a nightmare we can only blaspheme.
    American traitors committed a scandalous sin.
    They should never be allowed to enjoy freedom again.

    We must resurrect revolution to save us once more.
    Tyranny is something we have always known to deplore.
    God help return religious freedom to our native shore.
    So we can ask You to bless America evermore.

    Bob Rowland
    X1/XII/MMXII

  • Ted: “Let the feds try to deal with having soup kitchens, homeless shelters, orphanages, schools, hospitals, colleges, and even parishes closed for 24 hours. Lock the doors. Let them deal with the emergencies for a change.”
    Every one of these works are spiritual and corporal works of mercy, the virtue of charity, the domain of the Catholic Church and the holy soul. If cruel and unusual punishment, prohibited by the Eighth Amendment, curtails our spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and the virtue of charity, the state has interferred in the religion of the Church. “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

  • http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/hobby-lobby-loses-to-hhs-mandate-in-federal-court Pretty bad this Hobby Lobby has lost. I’ve never seen there stores. It sounded like someone said they were connected or got advice from some high profile Protestant, they are a Protestant organization, more power to them. Of course, the contraceptive end wasn’t of concern or much concern to them.

  • In his suit, Hobby Lobby owner David Green had likewise requested an injunction against the mandate. However, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton ruled that the “Plaintiffs have not cited, and the court has not found, any case concluding that secular, for-profit corporations such as Hobby Lobby and Mardel have a constitutional right to the free exercise of religion.” from lifesitenews.com. A corporation is an artificial person constructed for legal purposes, registered with the state. The judge is telling the artificial legal person that it has no right to believe in God, or have a response to God which is called religion, imposing an atheocracy. “Who is dictating the construction and behavior of the corporation?” is the legal qestion to be answered, the owner and inventor, the persona of the corporation, or the state? The persona, the soul, of the artificial person is the persona and soul of let us say, “the father”. The Catholic Church is registereed with the state as a non-profit oranization as well. Registering with the state for legal purposes does not surrender the corporation or the church to the state. The rest is usurpation.

  • Declare a religious liberty day, in which all Catholic organizations that serve the public will close for 24 hours.

    Let the feds try to deal with having soup kitchens, homeless shelters, orphanages, schools, hospitals, colleges,…

    This is the great myth that there are all of these institutions controlled by the bishops.

    There is not a single Catholic orphange in the United States, at the present time. I’m fairly sure every soup kitchen would get an exemption for having <50 full time employees.

    As for Catholic hospitals and colleges, these all have independent boards of directors. They and not the bishop will make whatever decisions to be made. the most the bishop can do is to remove their name from the Catholic Directory.

Why We’re Not Going Anywhere

Wednesday, November 14, AD 2012

Archdiocese launches Campaign for Religious Liberty

Let me explain, in as clear and precise terms as I can, why social conservatives are not going anywhere, nor should they go anywhere, but should remain right at the heart of the conservative movement and gain acceptance among libertarians as well, and should reject as the foolish garbage that it is all suggestions to the contrary.

First, our principles are not electoral losers. Leftists believe they are on “the right side of history”, comparing the campaign for “marriage equality” with every civil rights struggle of past eras. They believe that this fact is reflected in the way the youth vote splits and the purported reasons why. At the same time, they gloat and brag about the size of the Democratic share of the minority vote.

The merits of the “marriage equality” campaign don’t need to be discussed here. I’ve discussed them to death on this blog in previous posts. The fact remains that minorities are opposed to “marriage equality.” If Hispanics can be won over to the GOP on the immigration issue, it will put a stop to this “wrong side of history” nonsense for a generation. The uncomfortable alliance between racial minorities who hold socially conservative views and white liberals will finally be blown apart. Unlike them, when racial minorities finally do side with the GOP en masse, we won’t attribute white liberal hatred for them to “racism” (even though it sure looks like it sometimes). This is a battle of values, not skin colors, and a failure to see that is one of the reasons why the white liberal left will never win the future they mistakenly believe to be theirs.

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26 Responses to Why We’re Not Going Anywhere

  • This is a good post, Bonchamps. This is subject matter in which you are very knowledgeable and very articulate. Thank you.

  • I think this minorities are really social conservatives thing is bunk. When you have aroung 65 to 70% of black children in this country born to sinhle mothers, calling thme social conservatives is grossly ignorant at best. The situation with Hispanics is similar As Heather MacDonald points out:

    “I spoke last year with John Echeveste, founder of the oldest Latino marketing firm in southern California, about Hispanic politics. “What Republicans mean by ‘family values’ and what Hispanics mean are two completely different things,” he said. “We are a very compassionate people, we care about other people and understand that government has a role to play in helping people.”

    The idea of the “social issues” Hispanic voter is also a mirage. A majority of Hispanics now support gay marriage, a Pew Research Center poll from last month found. The Hispanic out-of-wedlock birth rate is 53 percent, about twice that of whites.”

    Now, this is not to say we should jettison social issues. Not at all. Anyone who even has a cursory knowledge of how economics and culture affect one another knows that it would drive the final nail in the GOP coffin if they further capitulated on this issue. After all, the left understands the connection very well, which is why their push for a nanny state has ahd a symbiotic connection with their push for “liberalization” of socila issues.

    As and far as the Akin and Murdoch situations are concerned, the biggest problems weren’t their gaffes but the way the republican party under the leadership of Mitt Romney this election cycle, threw them under the bus.

  • They still come out to vote against gay marriage and still oppose abortion. California Hispanics voted for Prop 8. I think the Church’s influence had a lot to do with this as well.

    Perhaps these positions alone are not sufficient to consider them reliable social conservatives, but it ought to be enough to consider them potential occasional allies. The point is simply that if the outstanding immigration issues are addressed (in a way that does not compromise border security), the real bunk will be found in the line that social issues are what harm the GOP. Hispanics may not be as solid on social conservatism as whites, but white social conservatism will not be a deal breaker for them as it is with white liberals – and really, white liberals alone. Black voters are even more socially conservative than Hispanics.

  • Oh, I do not think that social conservatism hurts the GOP either. In fact, as I said, to operate under that misconcption will be the death knell of the party. It’s just that this idea of minority social conservatism as a means to pander to them vis-avis social conservatism is non sense. What these pro-illegal immigration repulicans are trying to do, in effect, is sell them a knock off item when they can get the real thing at the same or even a cheaper price.

  • I think the Blacks and Hispanics who do vote Republican tend to do so mainly because of the social issues. I agree with Greg that this is overblown, but I do note that most elected officials who are Black or Hispanic and Republican tend to be quite solid on the social issues.

    If we can stop illegal immigration, a big if, I think the Hispanic population over time will trend Republican like most immigrant groups if they prosper. Blacks are a much greater problem for the Republicans making inroads but they are a shrinking section of the population, largely due to an atrociously high abortion rate, something that quite a few Black leaders used to be concerned with until quite recently in historical terms.

    One of the factors that may impact on Black allegiance to the Democrat party long term is the shrinking of Black urban centers in the North as Blacks move out to multi-racial suburbs and the South.

  • My point is simply that social issues aren’t a deal breaker for Hispanics. Neutralize the immigration issue and I guarantee you the Hispanic male vote and married vote will break for the GOP, and more women will come along as well. They don’t have to be hardcore social cons and we don’t have to pretend they will be.

    I’m not saying open the borders, either, by the way. But if we address the cartels as the national security menace they are, far beyond a normal criminal problem, we can come to some agreement on the situation within the US.

  • “I think the Blacks and Hispanics who do vote Republican tend to do so mainly because of the social issues.”

    I cdertainly blacks and Hispanics in the lower income brackets who vote republican do so mainly because of social issues. Whether or not this is true of blacks and Hipsanics in the upper income brackets do so I don’t know.

    Whether or not we can stop illegal immigration outright is, as Donald says, a big if. But we can secure the border to where we get it under control. Problem is, the federal government, regardless of party, lack the will to do so. To get a good insight into how bad the problem is, particularly in Arizona, I would urge readers to read Jan Brewer’s book, Scorpians for Breakfast. Then you will understand why I find Cardinal Dolan’s remarks so scandalous as well as the “orthodox” Catholic commentariat’s silence, let alone failure to denounce them.

  • Surely, a fundamental conservative ideal is free and consensual relations between individuals and groups, as expressed in the great Physiocrat principle, “trade knows no frontiers.”

    In other words, the free movement of labour and capital are the conservative default positions. Of course, restrictions can be justified in particular circumstances, but conservatives should never allow themselves to be misrepresented as the protectionist or anti-immigrant party.

  • In the words of the populist comic strip Pogo, “We Have Met The Enemy And He Is Us.”

    “the problem is not with our values, but with their articulation.” That, right there, is the heart of the matter. Why was Reagan popular? He wasn’t nicknamed “The Great Communicator” for nothing!

    [Sidebar: I would ask Mr. Mockeridge to visit an urban church some Sunday morning if he believes that social conservatism is dead in that area. Would that some of the fervor found there could infuse our Catholic parishes!]

    It has to start in the primaries, where people will run who don’t give a rat’s patoot whether they win the nomination as long as they get the ideas out there, articulate, principled and clear.

    We must abandon the left’s “groupthink” politics (even as they are being used here) and formulate ideas and propositions, based on principle and character, that can be articulated in such a way as to appeal to individual people as individuals. The Left herds us into groups and then creates issues that put us into contention with each other: Classic “divide and conquer.” That tactic itself needs to be exposed and blared from the rooftops and when opposed, blared even louder. The evidence is damning and the counterpoint automatic.

    Just as a shift from peacetime to war can mean a wholesale change in leadership (remember Admiral Husband Kimmel and General Walter Short,) the key now is to identify and “hand out gold watches” to GOP establishment members who can’t get by their shopworn stereotypes and “Ken” doll notions. We did not ask for this war but it is here, “and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    All that need be done is what Bonchamps spells out in the last section. We need warriors who are fully aware of the enemy’s tactics and capabilities. The sine qua non of political candidacy should be an at-minimum-conversational familiarity with Sun Tzu, Machiavelli and Clausewitz as well as Scripture. Drop the silver-spoon whitebreads and get some honest to gosh scrappers in there. Stick to policy but pull no punches. Stir up passions! Speak to the people as people and not demographics.

    Like all bullies, the Left is confident only when it thinks its target is cowed and suppliant. It is time to dispel this illusion.

  • Of course, restrictions can be justified in particular circumstances, but conservatives should never allow themselves to be misrepresented as the protectionist or anti-immigrant party.

    A country is not a hotel. The social and political disruption which would attend open borders would be a nightmare. There are two sorts of countries which can tolerate free immigration:

    1. Societies of migrants with a great deal of unsettled lands (with the proviso that it helps if the migration streams are not from irreconcilable groups).

    2. Countries which are unattractive in which to settle.

  • Art Deco

    In a world in which economic growth increasingly depends on the cross-border movement of goods, services, technology and capital and where the old barriers to such movement have been reduced or eliminated, as obstacles to progress, it is difficult to see why flows of labour should not yield similar benefits.

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  • In a world in which economic growth increasingly depends on the cross-border movement of goods, services, technology and capital and where the old barriers to such movement have been reduced or eliminated, as obstacles to progress, it is difficult to see why flows of labour should not yield similar benefits.

    The fundamental neoclassical theory predicts gains from trade in factors of production. Econometric analysis of the dimension of those gains reveals (with regard to trade in labor) the following:

    1. The gains are small
    2. They accrue predominantly to the immigrant populations themselves (the residual to the extant population amounting to around 0.1% of gross domestic product).
    3. The benefit to the extant population is crucially dependent on welfare policy.

    The main brain for this sort of empirical study in this country is George Borjas, who is not an advocate of unrestricted immigration.

    Also, the social and political challenges which derive from ‘diversity’ are not captured in economic statistics.

  • In discussing minorities and values voters, keep in mind that 73% of Catholic Latinos and 95% of black Protestants voted for Obama. They did this knowing, well some of them knew, Obama’s support of infanticide, abortion, gay marriage, anti-religious freedom and secular humanism. These groups may be values voters, but self-interests trump all other interests.

  • Kyle has a point, but it isn’t in self-interest to vote for a candidate who supports the murder of your unborn children. It isn’t in self-interest to vote for a candidate who supports curtailing your most cherished freedoms into the closet while parading filth out in public for your children to emulate. It isn’t in self-interest to vote for a candidate whose economic policies keep your people shackled to the public treasury instead of being able to stand up independently without government telling you what to do. Truthfully, I do not think that these people really know what their self-interests are. 🙁 I don’t mean to detract from Kyle’s point – they vote for what they think is in their self-interests, but not for what is really in their self-interests. And then we conservatives are called closed-minded, hateful, intolerant racists because we think its immoral to murder a black or Hispanic baby – or any baby for that matter.

  • “[Sidebar: I would ask Mr. Mockeridge to visit an urban church some Sunday morning if he believes that social conservatism is dead in that area. Would that some of the fervor found there could infuse our Catholic parishes!]”

    I’m not sure of what you mean by this question. But the fact of the matter is that Hispanics and blacks are not nearly as socially conservative as those who tell us we need to pander to them are. When you have up to 70% out of wedlock birthrate among blacks and 53% out of wedlock births among Hispanics, you cannot honestly claim that they are predominately socially conservative. Just because you attend Church doesn’t mean you are socially conservative. There are many regualarly mass attending Catholics are not social conservatives.

  • There’s a difference between being a social conservative and being a moral person. I wouldn’t use rates of sin to decide who is and isn’t a social con. If you read Charles Murray’s analysis of white America in “Coming Apart”, he reveals one of the paradoxes of our time: that the poor tend to claim social conservative values while not practicing them in real life, while the wealthy reject social conservative values while actually practicing them in life. He calls upon the new elite to preach what they practice for the benefit of society.

  • By “not practicing,” I would include voting as a practice that has not shown to follow social conservatism some are perceived to espouse. Voting and lifestyles are becoming bedmates. Voting is less driven by what we should do and more driven by what I want. It wasn’t always this way, but more of America is willing to go off the moral cliff. If America showed as much concern for the moral cliff as it does for a hyped up fiscal cliff, there would be no fiscal cliff. But worrying about social values is such a “what’s good for society, the country as a whole” issue. That can’t stand up to the self-interest draw of a fiscal cliff hot topic. That will affect my pocket book!

  • I’m sorry, Bonchamps, but this is not even remotely relavent to the issue at hand. If yu want to support this or that immigration policie, do it on the basis of its merits, not as a means to pander to a particular racial or ethnic group. To do so would kill the GOP.

  • “this is not even remotely relavent to the issue at hand. ”

    What are you talking about? This is my post. I made it the issue.

  • Blacks and Hispanics are much like the “Catholic” vote: an illusion.

    Some people are going to be socially biased against the GOP because they’ve been lied to, and some people just want handouts. It would be much more useful to start sorting people as “cultural democrats” vs “active democrats” and go after votes that way.

    We will not win over people who care more about sex and free money than principles; we already have the people who care more about not killing babies than free money and sex. We need to reach the people who voted for Obama because “that is what decent people do.”

  • Greg: “Then you will understand why I find Cardinal Dolan’s remarks so scandalous as well as the “orthodox” Catholic commentariat’s silence, let alone failure to denounce them.”

    100% with you there, bro. Dolan is, and has been, incompetent.

    Women on both sides detest him now. The left-leaning women despise him simply because he is a male, and see him as a male that wants to take away their freedom to choose. Faithful women on the right detest him because he has effectively (through is ineffectiveness) stripped us of our freedoms, soon right down to the freedom of a healthcare worker to not perform or assist in abortions and dispensing abortifacients.

    So yes, despise (God forgive me, but this man is not a good shepherd) is the proper word here. And I suspect Our Lady is not real happy with him either, and if Momma ain’t happy…

  • I am very disappointed in Cardinal Dolan and the majority of the USCCB. I had hoped. That his invitation of Obama to the Al Smith dinner was a backfire on Obama, but after seeing photos of him and Obama laughing it up, I was revolted.

  • Tonight’s reading assignment: Mt 9:10-13 or Mk 2:15-17

Pennsylvania Bishops Speak Out

Sunday, November 4, AD 2012

On All Saints Day, the bishops of Pennsylania released a statement on the upcoming elections.  Here is the text:

Each year on this day the Catholic Church celebrates “All Saints Day.”  This solemnity remembers those who have fulfilled their earthly vocation and now enjoy eternal happiness in the presence of God.  These saints may be unnamed, but they certainly are not unknown.  Their lives are characterized by steadfast faith and charitable works.  They exemplify what it means to love God and love one’s neighbor.

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7 Responses to Pennsylvania Bishops Speak Out

  • Nice letter. The Bishops are to be commended. Now let them publicly excommunicate the pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage politicians. And yes, with a few exceptions those politicians are Democrat. It is the Democratic Party which is threatening this “democracy” just as it did in the 19th century: today’s abortion is yesterday’s slavery.

  • Wow, really good. As I read this part (wholeheartedly agreeing), I couldn’t help but to think how far we have come. Can you imagine the USCCB/NCCB or any other other association of bishops in the US writing something so sound and so thoroughly Catholic and insightful thirty to forty years ago? We’ve some a long way thanks to the leadership of our last two popes. Deo Gratias.

    Today Catholics face a growing and deeply troubling effort that seeks to extend the reach of government into every aspect of social life. In turn, this generates a demand for exclusive allegiance of individuals and groups to the requirements of the State. This demand denies the primacy of associations that exist prior to the State, such as the family, church or synagogue, and even fraternal and charitable agencies. These groups enjoy a priority both chronologically, in terms of historical development, and practically, inasmuch as they engage the vast majority of activity in our everyday lives.

    As Christians we do owe an appropriate loyalty to the State. We strive to maintain good relations with civil authority. But our primary allegiance must always be to God and to God alone.

  • Good. (The ending could be larger font and bolded for greater impact on attention spans of the anxious.)
    In the Diocese of Springfield, MA, our Bishop wrote a letter to exhort a No vote on Question 2, which asks whether seconal assisted suicide would be something one with a ‘six months to live’ prognosis would find desirable.

    I hope such guiding help for all doesn’t end with the election.

  • Lots and lots and lots of prayers are needed for the next 48 hours and another 24 after that asking for God, Our Father, to sear the consciences of Catholics so that they vote to preserve our Constitutional Right to Freedom of Religion in such numbers that the enemy of God can not cheat and steal our Constitutional Rights given to us by our Founding Fathers.

  • I believe it not an exaggeration to say that this battle of worldviews, ideals and beliefs is one of historic proportion. Cardinal Dolan said of the H.H.S. Mandate ; “We did not bring this fight however we will not run from it.”
    The Bishops letters being proclaimed around the parishes this day is a call to HEARTS.
    A formed conscience, that quiet voice inflaming our hearts is our strength and courage to stand fast and defend Liberty.
    Tuesday is landing day on the beachhead.
    Tuesday is our day to reclaim what was given away four years ago.
    Tuesday is our charge with millions of holy souls at our side. Our charge for freedom.

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  • Election results 2012. Catholic Church – 0. Democrat Party – 1.

Election 2012: One Last Argument for Mitt

Thursday, November 1, AD 2012

The election is almost upon us, and many of us have made up our minds as to whom we are going to vote for, or whether we will even bother to vote at all. On the slight chance that someone from the ever-shrinking pool of undecided voters in a critical county in a vital swing state stumbles upon this blog post, the even less likely chance that they are Catholic, and the even less likely chance that their Catholic faith informs their political conscience, I’ll make one last appeal for a GOP vote.

I say a GOP vote, and not a Romney vote, because a) the most important issue at stake in this election really only depends upon which party, not individual man, is in power, and b) many people on the fence probably aren’t very enthused about Romney the man. I’ll admit that even as someone who has made up his mind, I am still not enthused. Granted, Romney isn’t as awful as many of us imagined him to be before he took Obama to the woodshed in the first presidential debate, it still isn’t easy to joyfully rally to his banner. He lacks the consistency and commitment to principle of the enigmatic Ron Paul, a pretty old guy who manages to get thousands of  modern American 20-somethings to care about things other than themselves, which is nothing short of miraculous in its own right. Still, he has emerged as a capable enough candidate for the highest office in the land. But let’s return to the issues.

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18 Responses to Election 2012: One Last Argument for Mitt

  • Permit me to say:
    WE HAVE LEARNED OUR LESSON!!

    Contrary to what Muslim apologist Obama, the progressive liberal agenda, and their adoring media want you to believe America is still a Christian nation in spite of all their ill begotten and somewhat successful efforts to lead us away from the God we proclaimed in our founding documents and in whom we have placed our trust for two hundred and fifty years making us the most generous defender of freedom and champion of peace in the history of the world.

    It has taken an electorate, deceived by media hype and the slick talk of a community organizer with a snake oil political platform built on the sand of Marxist social justice and constructed with inverted racism packaged as hope and change for a better future, four years to realize their tragic mistake but we are there now and the curtain of corruption has been lifted revealing the true and obvious nature of the beast of bureaucratic socialism set to use the next four years to finish the destruction of our country by virtual dictatorship of the most anti-Christian regime ever to occupy the White House. It must not happen.

    Over the years we have gone to every corner of the globe giving every ounce of blood sweat and tears it took to rid the world of tyrants in the name of freedom. Many of those were by all means monsters of madness which sprang up on distant shores but the one we face today has had the audacity to raise its ugly head from within our own house by cleverly deceiving the trust and compassion of, yes¸ the Christian majority of the nation wanting to show the world how tolerant and unbiased we had become. We were foolishly betrayed. That will not happen again this November, we have learned our lesson Christians.

    Bill Sr.

  • Watching the movie “The Hope and the Change” last night gives me some comfort in knowing that those who thought they were voting for a messiah have taken off their rose-colored glasses and faced reality. Let it be Lord, that with the wake up call of Sandy and Benghazi we may vote our consciences, informed and conformed, by the Truth.

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  • Bill Sr.

    You Are Permitted!
    Awaken the sleepers.
    Blow a trumpet.
    Defend our freedoms.
    By God let the poles resound with a cry; “In this Nation we serve God by living the ten commandments and giving testimony that Jesus Christ is King!”
    It is and will always be…Our Father who art in Heaven / Not our father who art in Washington.
    We have reached the precipice.
    We will change direction and repent. Or we will fall.
    Lord have Mercy.

  • I disagree about the missile shield comment. We have a right to defend ourselves. That being said, I have no objection to sharing missile defense technology with the Russians. After all, it’s not an offensive weapon system. Why can’t we work together to defend our individual countries against rouge states like Iran? Hey, if we’re not supposed to engage in wars of adventurism in lands of Islamic fascism for access to mineral slime (otherwise known as oil), then why can’t we defend ourselves from the weapons that these mad men will eventually and inevitably get?

    BTW, want to stop wars in the Mid-East? Go nuclear and stop buying their accursed oil! Stop financing them! We can generate plenty of our own liquid fuels from our own American coal using the heat of nuclear energy from our own uranium and thorium, or alternatively switch over to cleaner hydrogen from nuclear energy. Stop the corporate socialism! Stop financing Exxon-Mobil, Shell, Gulf and all the rest! Treat all energy companies the same: just like nuclear, you don’t get to dump your trash into the environment, and just like nuclear, you get to finance your own self in the free market. This is simple: no more govt loans for anything. No more govt protection for anything. Just common sense regulation applied equally to everyone to protect the public. OK – enough of my diatribe. I am waaaayyyyy off track.

    Overall, good post, Bonchamps, even though I disagree about a few things.

  • “We have a right to defend ourselves”

    The missile shield doesn’t defend us. It eliminates Russia’s first strike capability, which puts it in a weaker geopolitical position and increases the potential for a conflict with NATO. Really it is time to dismantle NATO.

    Even with oil out of the equation, there are still self-righteous imperials who believe that the majority of Muslims harbor a secret wish to live in a Western-style democracy and eat at McDonalds, and that it is our duty to ensure that they are able to do so.

    “Go nuclear and stop buying their accursed oil!”

    After Fukushima, the after-effects of which still threaten all life on Earth, I’m a little less enthusiastic about the prospect of building more nuclear power plants. However, I think Palin had it right when she said “drill baby drill.” Drill it all up, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Fukushima happened because the plants were built next to the shore line without sea wall protection for the air intakes to the emergency diesel generators. So after the tsunami struck, the diesel intakes were flooded and AC electricity was lost. The plants were on the batteries that last only 8 hours. When the batteries died, the power to the governor controls for the steam inlet valves to the High Pressure Coolant Injection was lost. Those valves went shut. The HPCI steam turbines stopped, making their pumps stop. That resulted in a loss of core cooling. Eventually core heatup resulted in a zinc water reaction that produced the hydrogen gas which subsequently detonated. In spite of ALL of this, only SIX people died outright from Fukushima, and they were plant employee volunteers. NO MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC DIED FROM FUKUSHIMA. But a nearby town of 17000 people was completed flooded by a failure of the hydro-electric dam that cracked and crumbled from the Sendai Earthquake that caused the tsunami. And the natural gas and oil refinery tanks in the Chiba Prefecture burned for TEN DAYS, spewing their never ever to decay away toxic carcinogens into the environment. Tens if not hundreds of thousands of people died, but NOT from nuclear. Additionally, the NEW Westinghouse AP1000 and GE ESBWR passive safety designs obviate this ENTIRE failure scenario. These designs have 72 hour submarine type batteries and do NOT require electricity for emergency core cooling. Additionally, their spent fuel pools are located BELOW grade unlike the Mark 1 BWR containments at the Fukushima plants. I personally KNOW this because I worked on ESBWR and at a BWR and at a PWR for 30 plus years. One last thing: the safety upgrades that US plants did in the 1980s were offered to the Japanese, but they decided not to implement them. Now they got Fukushima, and your suggestion is no nukes, making them MORE reliable on dangerous fossil fuel failures like one that happened in the Chiba Prefecture. Kindly stick to Ron Paulism. it’s what you’re good at. I am a nuclear engineer and know what I am talking about. The Japenese screwed up – period. God help them. And donate to the nuclear workers at Fukushima instead of complaining.

  • Sorry for the spelling / grammar errors. Hate this I- Pad. Neverthless, I know what I am talking about. 30 years of training and experience. I am not lying. I am not misrepresenting the facts. I am a nuclear professional. AndI will defend the safest and cleanest form of energy God gave man with the same vigor that Inapply to other topics here at TAC or anywhere else for that matter.

  • Folks,

    Now that I have calmed down – there is very good information on the response of the US commercial nuclear industry to Fukushima here:

    http://www.nei.org/keyissues/fukushima-response/

    Please click on the various daughter links to learn more.

    For the passive safety features of the new GE-Hitachi ESBWR design, please go here and use the media gallery to view an interactive video:

    http://www.ge-energy.com/products_and_services/products/nuclear_energy/esbwr_nuclear_reactor.jsp

    For the passive safety features of the new Westinghouse AP-1000 design, please go here and use the on-screen instructions to view the various animations:

    http://ap1000.westinghousenuclear.com/station_blackout_home/

    A Fukushima event in the US is very, very, very unlikely, but failures from hydro-electric dams that can threaten millions are likely, as are explosions of natural gas pipelines. We should also note that 30,000 people die annually in the US from fossil fuel pollution due to particulate emissions from coal-fired power plant plants and other fossil fuel emitters.

    I can provide more information on spent fuel if need be, but the answer is the same: it’s safe – use spent fuel in fast neutron burner reactors like the GE-Hitachi PRISM or the Carlo Rubbia Energy Amplifier to consume the long lived actinides and leave only short lived ash residue. But waste from fossil fuel – including oil and natural gas – kills.

  • One last thing, Folks:

    Ash and other residue from coal fired power plants that supply 50% of US electricity releases more radioactivity into the environment in the form of naturally occurring uranium, thorium and radium than any US nuclear power plant does.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste

    http://www.uswag.org/usgsradash.pdf

    http://www.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/rev26-34/text/colmain.html

    But in spite of that, the amount of radiation released to the public does NOT constitute a danger. What does constitute a danger are the carginogens that burning coal, natural gas and oil release, but Bonchamps motto is, “Drill, baby, drill.” My motto is: “Recycle the spent nuclear fuel and stop dumping your fossil fuel excrement in the air that I breath.”

  • You don’t have the right to insult me on my own blog, so your offensive comment was deleted.

    Look, I’ve read what I’ve read about Fukushima. I’m sure your expertise is extensive and your opinions educated and valid. There are others who are equally if not more experienced and educated who disagree. My positions on energy aren’t set in stone and final – its not really a moral issue like abortion – and I am able and willing to change my views as new information comes to my attention.

    Now that you know this, kindly refrain from insults, hysterical CAPITAL LETTERS, and multiple postings on posts of mind that mention energy in passing.

  • Fine, Bonchamps, but when something is said wrong about Fukushima or the US nuclear industry, I will correct it. Kindly read the link to NEI that I provided. One goes to a brain surgeon for brain surgery and to a rocket scientist for a rocket. One should go to the nuclear engineers at NEI and the NRC for Fukushima and not the news media or the anti-nuke kooks (didn’t say you did). To get back to the topic of this post, Mitt Romney is a viable candidate in part because he does support a sane energy policy that includes nuclear as well as fossil energy. Nuclear is best. Fossil is better than no energy, but not nearly as good as nuclear. Mitt Romney is sane about these things. Obama and his support for useless wind and solar energy is not. And yes, energy policy can be a moral issue when tens of thousands die from fossil fuel pollution every year and those deaths can be prevented or minimized by increasing the percentage of nuclear used in the energy mix, which Romney will do. It is one of many reasons why I support Romney, which is the topic of this post. But wheverever nuclear is mentioned, people cite Fukushima, Chernobyl and TMI, and the explanations on these are complex and involved and difficult to understand to a person who knows nothing about radiation, nuclear engineering and related sciences. Too often the people making the initial comments don’t know anything about what they are commenting on – not their fault, they just haven’t been trained in science properly, thanks to our school system (a different topic for a different day). That said, Romney for President!

  • PS, I should not have used the word ignorant in a previous comment, Bonchamps. I apologize sincerely. It would have been better to have said misinformed instead of using emotionally charged terminology that is now regretted.

  • I’d say anything that can defensively eliminate Russia’s first strike capability, or any other nation’s with which we do not have aligned interests, is in the best interest of the US and its citizens.

    But as to the thrust of the post, Amen.

  • As a former nuclear submarine reactor operator, I agree with Paul D. Defense against aggression is always moral. I recommend Dr. Jerry Pournelle’s “The Strategy of Technology.” He was Ronald Reagan’s science advisor on the Strategic Defense Initiative. And Romney’s support for SDI is another reason to vote for Romney. He won’t sell out to the Russians.

  • One thing that can be said about Mitt Romney is that he will almost certainly and hopefully immediately eradicate these policies.

    Almost and hopefully. How reassuring. That said, I suppose it’s better than the persecution full steam ahead by the O.

    I am almost as PaulBot as one can be, but I agree w/ Paul on the nukes. France is what, 70-80% nuke, and I don’t recall hearing anything about them. Why look to Japan rather than France as the model, particularly given that the US has far more geographical choice about placing the plants than Japan does?

  • and by the second Paul, I meant Paul Primavera, obviously.

  • Thank you, C Matt. The new French socialist President is against nukes – no surprise there. He wants to de-nuke France to 50%. Foolish. I will write about this whole thing on my blog and post the link here to that discussion, but that’s not the topic of Bonchamps post and we should respect that. However, the statement Bonchamps made – “After Fukushima, the after-effects of which still threaten all life on Earth…” – is an example of anti-nuclear propaganda (no offense against Bonchamps intended) and unsubstantiated by web links to reputable nuclear engineering resources. As a nuclear engineerof 30+ years and a former submarine reactor operator, I know the statement to be demonstrably incorrect. I posted web links to reputable sources. Science is science and not open to public opinion. Not Bonchamps fault. He isn’t a nuclear engineer. We can’t expect an expert in one area to be an expert in all. And I should respect him and not use terms like “ignorant.” Confession time for me. But I can’t discuss more here since it’s not on topic. Romney for President and a sane energy policy that embraces nuclear power! OK, gotta go to Neutrons ‘R Us and keep your lights on and your refridgerators running!

Paul Ryan’s Civil Society Speech

Thursday, October 25, AD 2012

 

 

Paul Ryan gave a major address yesterday in Cleveland.  Go here to watch it on C-Span.  In this speech he argues that the Government efforts to alleviate poverty have been a flat failure, destructive to the family and increasing government dependcy.  He points to welfare reform of the 1990s as a model of how Government can truly help to alleviate poverty by encouraging work and independence.

 

He notes that Government often abuses power as it expands its scope:

Nothing undermines the essential and honorable work these groups do quite like the abuse of government power.  Take what happened this past January, when the Department of Health and Human Services issued new rules requiring Catholic hospitals, charities and universities to violate their deepest principles. Never mind your own conscience, they were basically told – from now on you’re going to do things the government’s way.

This mandate isn’t just a threat to religious charities. It’s a threat to all those who turn to them in times of need. In the name of strengthening our safety net, this mandate and others will weaken it.

The good news? When Mitt Romney is president, this mandate will be gone, and these groups will be able to continue the good work they do.

It is a fascinating speech and indicates that Ryan has thought deeply about the role of Government in helping people escape poverty and  is willing to lead the fight to implement the reforms necessary to alter the path we are on to national bankruptcy and ever increasing poverty.  Here is the text of the speech:

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3 Responses to Paul Ryan’s Civil Society Speech

  • Wow, that is great. It’s amazing how well he mixed in general, overarching principles with policy wonkishness. It’s also noteworthy that he draws the connection between social and economic policy, albeit in a subtle way.

  • When Mitt Romney is president the mandate will be gone….

    So many issues at stake. The HHS mandate hits below the belt. Two thousand years of Christian charity, hospitals, schools, orphanages, safe houses for women, missions and outreaches. Suddenly we must bend to the whim of a pro-death administration.
    Please God the Father protect us from all evil, visible and invisible.

Bishop Jenky: Obama’s Threat to Religious Liberty

Saturday, October 13, AD 2012

My Bishop, Daniel Jenky of the Peoria Diocese, is a big, jovial bear-like guy.  It is hard not to like him, but I have never been prouder of him than I have been this year.  He has been one of the bishops standing up and constantly sounding the alarm posed to our religious liberty by the Obama administration.  Go here to read a speech he gave on the subject earlier this year.

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8 Responses to Bishop Jenky: Obama’s Threat to Religious Liberty

  • Give your Account in Public.
    Public Witness matters. Hold Fast!

    A few hours from now your fellow defenders of the Faith will be on street corners publicly beckoning Heaven for help. Over 9,000 cities are participating around the globe.

    MSM will ignore, however God will not. This is a battle. Please pick up your rosaries and join us at noon today. The 50 million fallen babies will now support you, encourage you and defend you as you step out into the public square to defend our Religious Freedoms.
    To defend the lives of our future generations.

    Fatima was real. 95 years ago a public miracle happened. Expect miracles. Be a witness.
    Americaneedsfatima.

    Dear AC contributors. Please allow this plea.
    I will not abuse your site. This is a war, and we need each others help.
    Thank you and my God bless you.

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  • Great witness from our shepherd of Peoria. Here’s a Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of the Archdioces of San Antonio addressing the threats to religiouus liberty as a real and present dangeer. http://www.truthandcharityforum.org/the-threat-to-freedom-of-religion-a-real-and-present-danger/

  • May every American Catholic and all Americans of goodwill hear the Voice of Christ, loud and clear and respond appropriately. Our Prayers are with you at this critical time in the History of our One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church as She faces the toughest Persecution of this New Century. May God hear the cries of the massacred unborn babies of this beloved Country and avenge this genocide.

  • Would that all our Wisconsin bishops had the acourage to disect the religious and political spectrums and order the reading of a similar letter. Our Green Bay parish would not, even after specifically asked, create a petition requesting prayer for non-invasion of the freedom of religion portion of the First Amendment. It is apparent that social justice has overtaken common sense; it doesn’t recognize that unless there is freedom there will be no social justice.

  • And the LORD said to Samuel, “Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 1 Samuel 8:7
    Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. John 19:14 – 16

    Jesus Christ established the Catholic religion. The Church has condemned religious indifferentism. The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereo.” The First Amendment is indifferent to religion. In other words, the Constitution rejects the true faith and Christ the King. The Constitution does not permit Congress to protect individuals from the errors of false religions.

    The bishops’ appeal to the first amendment is misplaced. The Church has an opportunity to explain why contraception is wrong.

  • “The Constitution does not permit Congress to protect individuals from the errors of false religions”

    Praise God it does not! (Can one just imagine Congress critters being relied upon to determine what is a false religion and what is a true religion?) The Church is now four square on the side of religious liberty and I am very happy for it. Coercion in matters of religion has been a flat failure throughout the history of the Church, and the reliance upon the State by the Church has been as misplaced as it has been disastrous. The Church can more than hold her own in the free market of religion that prevails in the United States, which compares quite favorably to the moribund state of the Faith in much of Europe.

  • Donald, AMEN to that. And unless Obama and his evil Government desist from trying to dismantle the Church of Jesus Christ, Ameica will go the way of all the historical world Powers and Empires which rose against the Church and perished into oblivion for ever; never, ever to rise again.

9 Responses to Bishops: Biden Lied

NOBama 2012: A Catholic Case for Romney

Wednesday, August 15, AD 2012

Fellow Catholics,

We are approaching the most important U.S. Presidential election for us – by “us” I mean theologically orthodox, politically conservative Catholics – possibly since 1960, when the election of the first Catholic president seemed so possible and actually occurred. I’m grateful to be a contributing member of The American Catholic during this election season, which is one of the most widely-read Catholic blogs in the country. This certainly won’t be the last thing I have to say about the presidential race, but rather the first.

When the GOP primary was getting underway, I was a firm Ron Paul supporter. I knew he would not and could not win, but I supported him anyway because I agree with him on most issues, particularly on the role of our government both domestically and abroad. To support Ron Paul was to support the drastic reduction of the federal government, to reject the arrogant assumptions of technocratic management of economic and social issues from the top-down, and to place a vote of confidence in individuals, families, and local governments to solve social and moral problems. I also believe that this is the fundamental political truth of our time: a state governed by militant secularists cannot possibly effect the common good as it is understood by Christians, people of other faiths, or even those secularists who recognize the value of the natural law tradition that has informed the politics of Western civilization since the time of Plato and Aristotle. And yet if we are destined to have secularists in power, we can at least work to limit their power by limiting government as much as possible.

The corollary of the political truth stated above is that one cannot simply discuss “the role of government” in the abstract, without considering who will actually run the state and what values and assumptions they take with them as they create and execute policies with coercive force. Who exactly will be deciding issues that affect your life and mine? Who will have coercive power over you and yours?

More important than what happens to me or my family, though, is how the Church will be affected by those who rule. Even in her most humiliated and rejected state, which the sex scandals have arguably wrought, the Church is still the light of civilization. If her light is extinguished, driven underground, or forced to hide in the shadows, then it is not simply we Catholics who will suffer (though there is certainly nothing wrong with suffering for the faith), but all of society. The Church can and has survived hideous persecution, but it is not clear that society can survive what it will inevitably become without the Church, as well as all of the other religious organizations that will be affected by federal policies, actively involved in public life. Finally, whether society recognizes its debt to the Church or not is irrelevant.

It may be that God has ordained this as a time of cleansing, a time during which the Church must be forced underground and reduced to a smaller size so that she can be tempered and purified. But we cannot know such things with any certainty. What we can know with at least a little more clarity, on the other hand, is what our duties are as Catholic citizens. It is my view that our first priority is to protect the right of the Church to publicly exist. Usually this doesn’t come up because usually the U.S. government does not enact policies that threaten this public existence. But the status quo has changed, and we now face the prospect of an open, vicious anti-Catholic regime in a lame duck Obama presidency. For this reason, I feel obliged as a Catholic to work for the defeat of Obama-Biden in 2012. In practical terms, this means supporting Romeny-Ryan for the Presidency.

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111 Responses to NOBama 2012: A Catholic Case for Romney

  • ….one cannot simply discuss “the role of government” in the abstract, without considering who will actually run the state and what values and assumptions they take with them as they create and execute policies with coercive force.

    Exactly, well said.

    This post says it all. However, I have to admit I threw up in my mouth a little when I read you were a Ron Paul Supporter….

    Every time I ran into a Ron Paul supporter downtown (usually they were standing at a crosswalk holding a sign trying to get everyone to sign some sort of petition) something always seemed a little “off”.

  • Well, there are “only Ron Paul is acceptable” Ron Paul supporters, and there are people like me, who agree with Paul’s ideals and support Paul as much as they do, but are willing to acknowledge the reality that he can’t win, that he won’t win, that he doesn’t even seem to want to win that badly, and so will eventually have to settle on someone else to support in a concrete, practical sense.

  • The crux of the matter is that “winning matters;” it isn’t everything but it matters.

    We are down by 2, it is a 46 yard attempt, and there are 15 seconds on the clock. Ryan had better be the guy.

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  • “We are down by 2, it is a 46 yard attempt, and there are 15 seconds on the clock. Ryan had better be the guy.”

    Ryan is just the holder, and I’m sure he’ll get the snap down and the laces out. But Romney has to be the one to kick it through and I am not sure I trust his leg.

  • If God, in his wisdom, decides to punish us with four more years of Obama, I will see the good in it.

    One good being he should not be able to run again (consecutively), should the US survive him.

    Anything can happen in two months and change, but I am a little encouraged hearing from a few past O supporters that they are going Romney this time around. Not that it matters much in the Lone Star State, but its something.

    As for Ron Paul’s failure to win not mattering, I don’t know. I doubt Texas would have Ted Cruz on the GOP ticket if not for Paul’s influence.

  • c matt says:
    If God, in his wisdom, decides to punish us with four more years of Obama, I will see the good in it.

    One good being he should not be able to run again (consecutively), should the US survive him.

    If Obama wins a second term people will not have to vote any more as Obama’s HOPE AND CHANGE will make Obama Emperor. Obama has instructed the Department of Justice to enforce his 923 new Executive Orders. The Department of Justice has been constituted to judge Executive Orders and not to enforce them at the whim of the Executive. The Affordable Healthcare Act is, in reality, an Executive Order, without informed consent for the people. Chief Justice Roberts found that it is OK to ignore the people who pay for it and make them pay for it, giving Obama access to every senior citizen’s social security. Make Obama say: FREEDOM to the people.

  • Amen! I do not think there is any doubt about the candidate faithful Catholics must support this year. We must support Romney, because Obama clearly is an enemy of the Church.

    If Obama is reelected, he will have gotten away with an unprecedented attack on the Church. Thus emboldened, he will begin new attacks on the Church. And large numbers of Democratic voters and donors, who despise traditional Christianity, will cheer him on, as will the anti-Catholic major media.

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  • Romney won me at his Ryan selection. Quoting Jimmy Akin here :the solution to the global poverty problem–to the extent we can achieve it–involves a mixture of providing work as the foremost solution, providing handouts as the backup solution – Romney/Ryan’splan does that exactly!!! Then there is that little bit of the pro-life factor. The R7R ticket is significanlty more pro-life than the O&B ticket, for sure. R&R for the win!!!

  • I am glad that people are familiar with natural law and the scope of such arguments for Catholics on politics. However, it is important to remember that the Church has long argued that there are several principles for assessing candidates. This writer has provided one: freedom of conscience. Another is supplementarity for the purpose of the Common Good. According to this principle the State helps local organizations to provide for the poor.

    Your main argument against Obama is the violation of individual conscience on the HHS mandate. Putting aside the arguments on contraception, the mandate would allow for individuals who are or are not Catholic working at a Catholic institution to make their own decisions on contraception. They would then go to their insurance companies to get “free” access to contraception. This means that Catholic institutions will not be providing contraception. And, you the individual are not paying for contraception for anyone else. Because the government does not provide contraception for people. It is provided through insurance plans. In fact, the attempt to stop this is the one violating conscience since it is telling individuals what to think about contraception. And, there is an added bonus to doing this. It will help with curbing the number of abortions. We are not utilitarians in the Church. But under Natural Law we do have to be informed by the consequences of our actions. And, limiting abortions through a policy that does not violate life is a good.

    However, there is an added reason to vote for Obama. Currently the Paul Ryan budget would change the health care insurance for the elderly to a capped system that does not keep up with the health care inflation rate. This would put the elderly in more jeopardy. And, it would put harder burdens on middle class families who would have to spend more on health care as their wages are decreasing. This violates the Natural Law principle of supplementarity. So, under Natural Law, there are actually much clearer reasons to vote for Obama.

  • “This means that Catholic institutions will not be providing contraception.”

    Except that most Catholic institutions are self-funded and so they are paying for it.

    “Currently the Paul Ryan budget would change the health care insurance for the elderly to a capped system that does not keep up with the health care inflation rate.”

    Though in order to pay for ACA the Obama administration has cut 700 billion from Medicare effective now. That impacts seniors much more than any Ryan plan. Especially since the Ryan plan exempts from cuts anyone 55 or over today and the caps won’t take place for ten years.

  • James Zucker: “[individuals] not Catholic working at a Catholic institution to make their own decisions on contraception.”

    When all is said and done: Put it on the ballot so that all citizens might have a choice and get to choose what their taxes are going to buy. If you are going to impose Obama’s freedom on me, I do not want it. The Affordable Healthcare Act is an Executive Order which gives Obama access to all social security. The premiums are to rise to $240 for Medicare by 2014, leaving most citizens with only one half of their grant. The free contraception is only the bait.

  • Z: Why are wages declining under the Obama-essiah?

    Why is median family income nose-diving?

    Why are there 23,000,000 people either unemployed or under-employed? […]

    The regime is at war with the Church.

    The casus belli isn’t artificial contraception or gay marriage. They merely are the latest ambushes.

    The Church must be defeated because its teachings on faith, moral and Objective Truth compete for the minds of the serfs against Obama and the collectivists.

    That is the reason, as Mr. Bonchamps stated in a comment elsewhere, the regime is out “to criminalize religious institutions.”

  • Philip and Mary:

    Good points that need a response.

    So, lets start with Philip’s points. It is true that some Catholic institutions, not all, are self funded and so would have to provide these plans. However, two points on this. First, the Obama administration did show some signs so compromise with these institutions so that they would not have to comply. Second, these institutions would be purchasing these plans with such options. This means that the individuals would chose to use these plans. The Catholic institutions would not be purchasing the contraception. They would be purchasing plans that allow for non Catholics and Catholics who use contraception to make that choice. Third, this already exists in 28 states and 8 of these states have no exceptions. Catholic institutions have already found ways to do this.

    Second, as to the points on the executive order. I don’t know where you are getting this from. It is true that Obama is allowed to have the HHS to do certain mandates. However, the ACA is not an executive order. Most of its elements were part of the overall law that was passed by Congress.

    Third, Mary argued that these elements should be placed up to a general vote. Why? Are all rights and actions done by the country put up to a vote. And, since there is no referendum at the national level, this would be impossible.

    Fourth, Philip argued that the Ryan bill is similar to Obama in that Obama cut 700 billion from Medicare. This is just not true. Actually, Conservatives have manipulated what actually happened under the ACA. The actual thing that ACA does is reduce the growth rates of Medicare. The overall growth continues throughout the next 10 years. However, the Ryan plan intentionally caps the amount of money sent to the elderly. So, it cannot keep up with the inflation rate for health care.

    So, what are the reasons why you ought to vote for Obama as a Catholic. First, his plans, as supported by the American bishops, help the poor and fulfill the preferential option for the poor under Catholic Social teaching. His plans do reform Medicare without endangering the elderly. He provides access to contraception for those who individually choose to want it by bypassing the employer and purchasing plans from their insurance. And, this has a track record of reducing the number of abortions in the country. And, Obama is following the need of the state to supplement the works of local organizations. Paul Ryan, a Conservative Catholic, advocates the moral philosophy of Ayn Rand who promotes that individuals should follow their own ego in order to satisfy their individual self interest first. This is not an attack on Ryan as an individual. I am sure that he is a good Catholic. But his overriding social philosophy is not in line with Catholic social teachings.

  • Mr. Zucker, The President is violating the Constitution of the United States in aggressive and singular ways. His violation of the 1st Amendment through the HHS Mandate is the one closes to the hearts of Catholics and as well it should be. His amnesty program for unlawfully present aliens is another. His divisive and dismissive tone is significant to many of us who “cling to our guns and religion.” His support for same sex marriage shouldn’t be ignored. But most of all… most of all… His unmitigated support for abortion.

    Perhaps you need some of the more Christian Left objections though:

    Guantanamo Bay – Closed? Nope. Specific promise broken, that.
    Afghanistan Pull Back – Accomplished? Even Started? Nope. Specific promise broken, that.
    Immigration Overhaul – Accomplished? Started? Nope. Specific promise broken, that.

    Maybe you are a pragmatist though:

    Job Growth – Not even close… Well, in India, but not here.
    Deficit Reduction – Quite the opposite.
    Foreign Relations Improved – Quite the opposite, things are no better with the Russians, the Chinese, the Venezuelans, or the Iranians. Europe is in the midst of a downhill slide and believe that the US is not relevant to their prosperity. Eastern Europe figures they are on their own, Georgia knows they are, Turkey has moved from ally to marginal opponent, and Mexico continues to favor unlawful immigration into the US while fighting a stalemate conflict with narco terrorists.

    Where, pray tell, has this administration succeeded?

    If you are going to explain why we are wrong to oppose President Obama, you had better come armed with more than sophistry.

  • “First, the Obama administration did show some signs so compromise with these institutions so that they would not have to comply.”

    “So, what are the reasons why you ought to vote for Obama as a Catholic. First, his plans, as supported by the American bishops…”

    Though the Bishops have rejected the compromise you refer to. Thus according to other statement you should agree with the Bishops and reject Obama and his false compromise.

    “The actual thing that ACA does is reduce the growth rates of Medicare. The overall growth continues throughout the next 10 years. However, the Ryan plan intentionally caps the amount of money sent to the elderly. So, it cannot keep up with the inflation rate for health care.”

    Not true. Read the link I provided.

  • Obamacare raises insurance costs across the board hurting those most in need, does nothing to address the reason for escalating medical price increases and spends not one page to enact tort reform in 2700 pages of the largest piece of federal legislation in history. It has already forced Catholic schools to drop health insurance for students because of its lack of a conscience clause.

    Now you are either ignorant of these things or are a willing accomplice with evil. Which is it?

  • “Third, this already exists in 28 states and 8 of these states have no exceptions. Catholic institutions have already found ways to do this.”

    Note in this article that the way to get out is closed by Federal rules:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/different-states-contraceptive-rules-leave-employers-room-to-maneuver/2012/02/15/gIQAN3tsNR_story.html

  • Okay, so lots of issues to respond to from both posts.

    Lets start with G Veg:

    The first major point you have made is that the President is violating the Constitution. You provided two major examples. The HHS mandate assumes that the President’s compromise violates either individual freedom to worship or establishes his own religion as national. Neither is the case. In fact, under the compromise, individuals who are either Catholic or not get to make their own choice on contraception and go directly to their insurance company. As for establishing his own national faith, there is of course no basis for this. So, there is no violation of the First Amendment.

    Your second example is on immigration. Actually, the president is fully within his executive office to instruct the justice department to not go after these immigrants. And, he has provided a path for children who did not choose to come here but have shown a desire to become good citizens to remain here. What is the alternative. Would you want to deport 20-30 year olds who did not come here under their own will but now are showing an effort to become responsible citizens? If you say no, then you are suggesting they should simply live in the shadows.

    As for most of the other promises that you claim Obama broke, there are issues there with Republicans who have used the filibuster in the Senate more than all Congresses since the 1960s combined. I am happy to go further but this would take some time to explain. Just tell me if you want to get into that debate.

    But the Ryan issue is central. And, this gets to Phillip. Phillip, you are correct that the link points out that cutting the growth rate will have an impact on future spending for providers. The spending that was cut was from Medicare Advantage. This was passed under Bush. Most medical experts argued that the benefits under this program were largely luxury and could be cut without affecting seniors’ health. This is where the cuts in growth were targeted.

    However, under the Ryan plan, real cuts would take place. This is due to the desire to change the structure of the plan into a voucher based system in which seniors would get a fixed amount of money. This amount does not keep up with health care inflation. So, the damage is much greater.

    The point is that Ryan’s plan does not fulfill the principle of subsidiary. This is why the Catholic Bishops in America came out against the plan.

  • In addition to the inaccuracies in his account of the HHS Mandate and Medicare cuts, Mr. Zucker repeats a line often repeated by many proponents of the HHS mandate, specifically, that it “provides access to contraception.” All one has to do is walk through one’s local CVS and it becomes readily apparent that access to contraception is something no mobile person in the United States lacks. It is a mystery as to why there is any urgency to providing free contraception to people when these products cost just a little bit more per month than a Netflix subscription. Furthermore,

    And, this has a track record of reducing the number of abortions in the country.

    Is an assertion made without evidence (a growing trend). Also, the Church’s opposition to contraception is as absolute as its opposition to abortion, so it peculiar that someone writing under the Catholic banner would be using this as a point in Obama’s favor.

    Paul Ryan, a Conservative Catholic, advocates the moral philosophy of Ayn Rand

    I would suggest reading a few of the other posts and comments written here recently and learn why this statement is nonsense. Then again, if you are one who likes assertions made without evidence, that is perhaps the wrong advice.

    But his overriding social philosophy is not in line with Catholic social teachings.

    His Bishop begs to differ.

  • Sorry to post so soon again. But there were a couple more responses as I was making my arguments.

    First on the self insurance issue. The Obama administration did express a willingness to discuss this issue with Catholics and others who also looked for this exception. The problem has been an unwillingness on Catholic leaders to work through these problems with the administration. However, either way, the individual would have the option to make this choice on purchasing the option.

    Second, on the issue of the ACA itself. The argument has been made that there are no provisions for controlling costs. This is simply not true. The ACA creates regional cross state exchange markets to increase competition. It also forces all people to purchase some form of insurance. This gets rid of the free rider problem, a solution that conservatives like Newt Gingrich advocated until 2008. And, it also spreads out the costs by including more healthy and young people in the risk pool nationally. This means that there is more money in the pool and less sick people. But the sick gain more coverage.

    Plus remember the plan covers all people including especially adults and children with pre-existing conditions. This fulfills the Catholic principles of both subsidiarity and the Common Good.

  • “Phillip, you are correct that the link points out that cutting the growth rate will have an impact on future spending for providers. The spending that was cut was from Medicare Advantage.”

    Actually per the article, both Obama and Ryan limit growth in Medicare. Ryan through market mechanisms and Obama through planning commissions. But I suspect we will provide our competing studies to show this.

    “The point is that Ryan’s plan does not fulfill the principle of subsidiary. This is why the Catholic Bishops in America came out against the plan.”

    I suspect you mean in the interest of solidarity one working group of the USCCB came out against the Ryan plan.

  • The HHS mandate assumes that the President’s compromise violates either individual freedom to worship or establishes his own religion as national. Neither is the case. I

    The HHS mandate forces Catholic institutions to provide coverage for contraception, thereby violating their freedom to practice religion as they choose. So yes, it is a violation of the first amendment.

    ctually, the president is fully within his executive office to instruct the justice department to not go after these immigrants. And, he has provided a path for children who did not choose to come here but have shown a desire to become good citizens to remain here.

    There’s this pesky little document called the U.S. Constitution. It provides for, among other things, checks and balances and separation of powers. Presidents cannot simply make laws on their own authority without consent of Congress. Whether you agree with the executive order is moot.

    As for most of the other promises that you claim Obama broke, there are issues there with Republicans who have used the filibuster in the Senate more than all Congresses since the 1960s combined.

    From April 2009-January 2010 there were 60 Democrats (including Joe Liberman) in the U.S. Senate, a filibuster-proof total. During that same time Democrats had a solid majority in the House. Among the Republicans in the U.S. Senate during the first two years of Obama’s presidency were John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, and later Scott Brown. To cry about Republican obstructionism is simply risible.

  • he Obama administration did express a willingness to discuss this issue with Catholics and others who also looked for this exception. The problem has been an unwillingness on Catholic leaders to work through these problems with the administration.

    Yes, it’s truly a pity that Catholic leaders aren’t interested in negotiating away some of their basic freedoms.

  • More about the USCCB not being formally against the Ryan plan:

    http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=14639

  • August 14, 2012, Washington Post: “Romney’s right: Obamacare cuts Medicare by $716 billion.”

    Second, overall law . . . including the death panels . . .

    Third, you should say “the regime” not “the country.” Not only is there no national referendum in the Constit., there is no rule by executive whim, either.

    And fourth, over the next ten years the medicare beneficiaries’ payments will rise because the numbers of citizens over 65 y.o. will rise. That is not inflation. Obama cut those dollars.

    And, if ACA isn’t repealed, medicine will go the same way as colleges and the housing market. Government interference in higher education funding results in college tuition inflation rates two- to four-times higher than the overall inflation rate. Similarly, FHA, FRB, FNMA, FHLMC, HUD, etc. provideed massive infusions of dollars which caused the housing bubble and worsened the devestating great recession.

    Anyhow, I have been paying Medicare contributions for 40+ years. Obama is taking it away. Also, for nearly 50 years, I paid for medicaid with my taxes. I will never see a penny of it; but every arsonist, dope pusher, fornicator, hater, murderer, prostitute, rapist, thief, illegal invader will get health care and will suck dry the health care system.

    There is no justice. Jon Corzine will not be charged. Yet, Bernie Madoff is in jail for four lifetimes? Apparently, Bernie wasn’t a large cash bundler.

  • As to the HHS Mandate, even IF the follow-up compromises reached a point that WAS constitutional, doesn’t it bother you that he began with a policy that was unconstitutional? Surely the recognition that he was comfortable violating the 1st Amendment matters.

    As to Deferred Action, the President does, indeed, have the authority to bar the Executive Branch from removing classes of aliens. However, the President does not have the authority to grant affirmative benefits outside of law. He has granted employment authorization and permission to reenter the US and those areas are governed by statute. These acts are unconstitutional.

    Please get into the other areas… I would LOVE to hear how Senate filibusters and GOP refusal to cooperate is responsible for the President’s failures.

    As best I can tell, the decision to close Guantanamo was entirely within the President’s authority. So too, the decision to continue to war in Afghanistan. But maybe you mean that he “couldn’t” in the sense that it wasn’t politically expedient to keep his promises. That would be a rich definition of moral governance.

    The foreign policy mistakes are legion and I’m guessing you won’t be trying to blame that on the GOP. That leaves us with legislative failures as the point at which GOP meanness is to blame, not the President’s inability to “reach across the aisle” as he said so often before he was elected. The thing is though that the President had control – overwhelming control – of both houses of Congress. That he elected to expend all of his political capital on healthcare reform rather than keeping his promises to immigrants isn’t the GOP’s fault, it is a cold, calculated act of a Chicago politician.

    Again, you had better come to this fight armed with better than vague generalities and soft logic. I’m one of the least qualified people to wage this fight. God help you if you bring some of The American Catholic’s heavy hitters up to bat.

  • Paul:

    Okay, good arguments. Lets go through them.

    It is true that CVS and others provide basic contraception at a cheap price for women. However, many of these forms of birth control do not work for a percentage of the population. This means that many women are not able to use this form of contraception.

    Second, you argued that I have provided no evidence about the link of contraception and fewer abortions. Fair enough. The Guttmacher Institute has done a study showing that out of all the births in America, about 3 million are unwanted. And, out of these 1.5 end in abortions. What happend to the other 1.5 million. The people who did not opt for abortion tended to show a higher rate of using contraception.

    You also argued that the Church would not consider this because of its strict policy against contraception. i would agree that we ought not be utilitarian in this discussion. And, this does get us into a contraception, natural law, and proprotionality debate. i will say that contraception is not dogma. It is doctrine. And, it does have the potential for change. In fact, the advisers to the Pope in the 1960s did call for a change in this doctrine. Either way, the point is that there is an advantage to natural law to provide for people to choose to access contraception and lower the abortion rate.

    Lastly, as to Ryan’s acceptance of Rand’s philosophy, he gave an interview in which he claimed she was the most important contemporary philosopher on politics. And, he requires his staffers to read her regularly.

    The point is that her philosophy stresses moral egoism. And, this shows in his revision of Medicare. He focuses on market mechanisms that would cap the ability of seniors to afford care and service.

  • However, many of these forms of birth control do not work for a percentage of the population. This means that many women are not able to use this form of contraception.

    So that means we ought to violate the U.S. Constitution in order to serve this tiny percentage of the population? Also, what unusual medical conditions preclude condom usage?

    The Guttmacher Institute has done a study

    Okay I stopped reading the paragraph there.

    i would agree that we ought not be utilitarian in this discussion.

    I just finished reading (for the fourth time) C.S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength. The plot revolves around the sinister agency, the National Institute for Co-Ordinated Experiments, the N.I.C.E. The Deputy Director of the N.I.C.E. is a man named Wither. Wither speaks in an incredibly vague and passive manner, often as a means of avoiding having to directly address objections to his plans.

    That sentence right there just made me flash back to Wither.

    Lastly, as to Ryan’s acceptance of Rand’s philosophy, he gave an interview in which he claimed she was the most important contemporary philosopher on politics. And, he requires his staffers to read her regularly.

    Again, that is at best an exaggeration. Ryan has praised Rand, but he has absolutely denied that she is that important. Seriously, read the other links on this site.

  • Sure, I am happy to debate anyone on the merits of these cases. I hope that you don’t consider all my arguments as vague generalities. So, lets look at the issues.

    First, the major complaint here has been that Obama violated the constitution through these mandates and executive orders. But you have not provided evidence that this is the case. Obama has ordered through the HHS that individuals can go to their insurance companies to purchase contraception out of their own free choice. There was a problem in implementation so he was willing to work with Catholic institutions to provide compromises in implementation. In both cases, he has not violated the first amendment. He has actually fulfilled its mandate by allowing the individual to make their own choice.

    Also, you have argued that the executive order on the immigrant issue is a violation of the constitution because they allow for affirmative steps. Obama has ordered the Justice Department not to go after certain illegal aliens for 2 years. And, he established clear criteria for this. The reason for doing so has to do with the filibuster issue. The Republicans clearly supported the Dream Act up until 2008. Once Obama did so, they filibustered the issue in the Congress. And, they would not support any reforms to immigration. So, after 3 years, Obama has passed an executive order using the same Republican ideas that forestalls deporting 30 year olds who came here through no choice of their own. And, they have to show that they are in school or have served. This is not granting amnesty. So, this order is fully within his purview.

    Second, the argument that Obama was not stifled by the filibuster is simply inaccurate. Yes, it is true that Obama had a 60 Democrat majority. However, some like Lieberman and Nelson did not agree with him on most issues. So, the Republicans were able to use this. Even Mitch McConnell admitted that his first priority was to stop Obama from winning a second term. This led to their uniting and voting as a block each time to stop discussion on issues. When Ted Kennedy left the Senate due to illness, this allowed the filibuster to have more power. And, then Scott Brown became Senator. Throughout this time, the Republicans have used the filibuster more than all of the Congresses since the 1960s combined. This has made making legislation incredibly difficult.

    The foreign policy mistakes need to be better laid out. You cannot simply make a claim that he has made failures and then stop there. He has been able to establish policy that led to the capture and kill of Osama bin Laden. He has led a NATO effort that ousted Qaddafi. And, in the effort, we lost not one person and spent only 1 billion unlike previous ventures under George Bush that lost 1 -3 trillion and 10,000 troops. He has found a way to get us out of Iraq. He has worked with the Russians and Chinese to put more pressure on Syria. His policies are hardly the failure that you point out.

    Finally, you are welcome to argue against my positions. But, I don’t see how they are simply vague and lacking in evidence given the evidence that I have provided.

  • Paul:

    First, you ask for evidence. Then, when I provide it, you dismiss it without argument. I am sure there is some bias that you would want to point out from the Guttmacher Institute. But this does not prove their logic as wrong.

    Second, you accuse of vague generalities. Then, you quote CS Lewis and his metaphorical arguments about the state as if you have made a direct connection with Obama’s administration. Again, you are assuming what you have not proven. You claim Obama violated the first amendment. Lets agree to a rule here. We have to show what has been violated under the Constitution. You argue it is the first amendment. Obama’s HHS mandate allows individuals to purchase plans for contraception. This does not violate an individual’s beliefs. It allows for them to make free choices.

    Paul Ryan has outrightly praised Ayn Rand and has his staffers read her. That is fine. In fact, I am not against considering Rand’s philosophy. But it is important to note that she does not believe in the Common Good. And, this is a primary principle of Catholic Social Teaching.

  • I’m taking the kids to the park – far more important than this argument I assure you. I’ll take a swing by your soap box later. If you are still up on it, I’ll give you as fair an ear as I can.

  • I raised the issue of addressing medical costs which you conflated with insurance costs. Insurance premiums are not a driver of medical costs.

    Mr.Zucker the problem is you are not a serious man. These are serious issues which impact millions of people’s lives. Politics ought not be the sandbox for frivolous ideas to be tested on people like guinea pigs for social experiments.

    The only thing more morally disgusting than your utter disregard for serious economic and political discourse is your blithe disregard for real world consequences your imprudence would have on your fellow man.

  • Paul:

    First, let me address your serious and fair argument. You are right that I was not addressing the issue of medical costs. I was addressing premium costs. At this point, this is the primary issue that everyone is addressing including both Democrats and Republicans. Medical costs are going up due to increasing life spans, new technologies and a growth in the rate of seniors. This is a non unique problem for either the Ryan or the Obama plans. However, both due to try to manage those costs through differing competing visions of how to spread out the overall costs. I would be happy to argue the merits of Obama’s vision. However, let it be said that nothing in his plan leads to immoral actions or to the high costs that you are claiming.

    Second, I am sorry to hear that you think of me in such a poor manner. Throughout these posts, I have never been uncivil or used ad hominems to attack you or the other people whom I am answering. I have had to respond to several different people since I am the only “liberal” here on the site. I made this choice. So, I am not whining. However, my arguments have been backed up and supported by reasons and evidence. You are welcome to disagree with my points. But, I would challenge you to point out where I was uncivil, lacked support, did not explain myself through multiple reasons, or provided crazed conspiracy type arguments. Please point these out specifically. Otherwise, I have to assume you are attacking me instead of the arguments because you are lacking reasons to defend your positions.

    I do enjoy debating. So, I hope we continue this in a serious and fair manner.

  • Philip, If you mainstream abortion, thus making drastic cuts to healthcare for infants through early childhood, and you then make elder-care over age 70 at the behest of your own appointed 15 person panel, you have made dramatic savings in health insurance on the backs of those who presently require the costliest care. If you see that as an ideal to strive for then, yes, Obama is your man.

  • Eileen,

    I don’t think I was making that argument.

  • James,

    You write:

    “it is important to remember that the Church has long argued that there are several principles for assessing candidates.”

    No one has forgotten it.

    “This writer has provided one: freedom of conscience.”

    That is one aspect of what I wrote about. But I am also clear that I am speaking about the rights of the Church as an institution. I suppose you could call it collective freedom of conscience, or institutional freedom of conscience, but we ought to be clear that it is not a question of this or that individual, but rather an entire organization comprised of millions of members. The Church itself has rights, at all times and in all places.

    “Another is supplementarity for the purpose of the Common Good. According to this principle the State helps local organizations to provide for the poor.”

    To provide what, exactly, is the question. Sometimes the best solution is for the state to do nothing, especially when it can be empirically demonstrated that its involvement has hurt the people it alleges to want to help.

    “Your main argument against Obama is the violation of individual conscience on the HHS mandate.”

    A violation of the Church’s right to exist. You want to put me in a box of “individual conscience.” I do consider that important but I also consider the Church’s rights to be more important than those of any one individual. I want to be clear on that.

    “Putting aside the arguments on contraception, the mandate would allow for individuals who are or are not Catholic working at a Catholic institution to make their own decisions on contraception.”

    They already can and do. Any claim that they currently do not or have not would be a bald-faced lie.

    “They would then go to their insurance companies to get “free” access to contraception. This means that Catholic institutions will not be providing contraception.”

    Being forced to pay for something is the equivalent of being forced to provide it. This is a distinction without a meaningful difference. There would be no need for a “mandate” if the government wasn’t trying to force religious institutions to do that which they would not do without the mandate.

    “And, you the individual are not paying for contraception for anyone else. Because the government does not provide contraception for people. It is provided through insurance plans.”

    All employers with over 50 employees will be forced to buy health insurance plans by 2014 or face penalties that could put them out of business entirely. Plans that do not cover abortion/contraception/sterilization will not be legally available. So all of the individuals who own such businesses, many of which may be companies with thousands or millions of shareholders, will be participating in this wickedness unless they break the law.

    “In fact, the attempt to stop this is the one violating conscience since it is telling individuals what to think about contraception.”

    Well, this is a demented statement, completely at odds with reality. There is no HHS mandate now, and individuals are free to think whatever they want about contraception and to purchase it with their own money. If you define this situation as somehow unjust, then you are simply out of your mind. We cannot have a rational discussion.

    I’m not even saying that you can’t have a rational argument for state-mandated contraception coverage. I can see the argument that the Church is an outdated, obscurantist institution whose rights ought to be curtailed and suppressed for the glory of progressive ideals. That is at least a consistent argument, a logical and clear argument. But this insanity, where you try to present the status quo as one in which the Church is actually preventing people from accessing contraception when this is manifestly not the case, earns you nothing but my derision, contempt, and unrelenting resistance. You cannot lie your way into victory, not here, not with me. So just give it up.

    “And, there is an added bonus to doing this. It will help with curbing the number of abortions.”

    Irrelevant. The ends do not justify the means. This is Catholicism 101. If you fail this test, you have no credibility to speak about Catholic teaching on any other subject.

    “We are not utilitarians in the Church. But under Natural Law we do have to be informed by the consequences of our actions. And, limiting abortions through a policy that does not violate life is a good.”

    I can’t believe you missed the part about never doing evil, even if good will come of it, in your catechesis.

    “However, there is an added reason to vote for Obama. Currently the Paul Ryan budget would change the health care insurance for the elderly to a capped system that does not keep up with the health care inflation rate. This would put the elderly in more jeopardy. And, it would put harder burdens on middle class families who would have to spend more on health care as their wages are decreasing. This violates the Natural Law principle of supplementarity. So, under Natural Law, there are actually much clearer reasons to vote for Obama.”

    Well, it isn’t clear to me that you have an accurate or honest view of reality, so I’m going to reserve judgment on the Ryan health plan until I read the details for myself.

  • Correction: there IS an HHS mandate now, and it is being challenged in court. So we’ll see how it turns out. The point stands, though. The situation without the mandate is NOT one in which people are not free to think and act on their preference for contraception, and any suggestion that it is, is a lie unworthy of serious consideration.

  • i will say that contraception is not dogma. It is doctrine. And, it does have the potential for change.

    Sorry, cannot let that stand. Completely and totally wrong, and you should retract that statement for the good of your soul. I sincerely mean that. Contraception is intrinsically evil, period.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)

    CCC 2399 Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).

    CCC 2370 “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically evil.

    Humanae Vitae

    Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Paul VI condemned artificial contraception

    John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio

    Only natural family planning provides the only moral basis for a planned family depending on the married couple’s individual circumstances and with guidance from a spiritual adviser. NFP enables husband and wife to always be open to the gift of life.

    No wiggle room on this.

  • Okay, so there are two entirely separate arguments being made here. One is about the rights of religious organizations, in this case the Catholic Church. And, second, there is the theological debate on the status of contraception. I will take Bonchamps argument here. And, I will post again on the theology of contraception in just a minute.

    I do want to make one rule that hopefully we, and I do include myself, can follow. Can we all agree that we have differing versions of what we believe to be true? This is not to make a relativist argument. I firmly believe that we ought to show why our view is correct or incorrect and be evaluated based upon the support we provide. But, can we at least agree that we should not rule out valid forms of arguments on either side simply because we obviously disagree. And, I would ask that there be a level of civility on both sides even though we disagree. Based upon this, I promise to remain within the boundaries of the arguments provided.

    It seems to me that Bonchamps has clarified his argument by arguing the following points:

    1. Obama is attacking the right of the Catholic church and the integrity of its positions to exist violating the constitution and the institution’s liberty of conscience.
    2. Without the mandate, people still have the right to make whatever choice they want and the church is not stopping them so there is no violation of individual conscience.
    3. We cannot evaluate these issues using other types of philosophies like utilitarianism since Catholic natural law thinking is separate from such frameworks.

    Now let me be clear. I put these in this order because they depend upon one another. If the Church’s integrity and freedoms are being violated, then #3 really does not matter. The Church’s protection as an institution and its integrity of beliefs in paramount. This is true both Constitutionally and as a matter of our faith. Also, #2 is important since the Church cannot violate an individual’s conscience in their choices. However, the Church does not have to participate materially in the evil of a choice by any individual.

    Okay, having set that up, lets look at the issues. In order for Obama to have violated the Church’s integrity, he would either have to be #1 forcing them to purchase contraception directly. Or #2 forcing them to give contraception to all of its employees including Catholics. Or #3 forcing to purchase plans with contraception against their will. Obama is not doing #1. He has allowing for Catholics and non-Catholics to bypass the employer and go straight to the employer to purchase plans that include or do not include the option of contraception. He is not doing #2 because he has made an exemption that only institutions with a majority of workers who are not the faith of the institution must have these options in the plans. The only one that he comes close to violating is #3 due to self insurance by certain Catholic institutions. But he has already expressed a willingness to work with Catholic institutions on this issue to make sure that they will not have to violate their conscience on this issue. So, there is no violation of the Constitutionality of the protection of freedom of religion. And, the Catholic Church as an institution is not being attacked. Rather, Obama is attempting to establish a policy that will help to serve people in general who wish on an individual level, both Catholic and non-Catholic, to use contraception.

    This gets us to the second issue that you raised. It is true that the Church is not attempting to stop individuals from accessing contraception. And, legally, even if the Church wins on the mandate issue, they do not have the power nor the will to stop individuals from accessing contraception at 7 eleven or any other convenience store. However, that is not my argument. My argument is that the individual’s conscience must be protected. Under this plan, the individual would be able to make a choice to get and use contraception. While the Church may disagree with this, it cannot stop the individual from doing so. And, the Church is doing that to its employees if it says that they will not even provide insurance plans that open up that option. My point is that your argument about the violation of the Church’s conscience works both ways. In this case, the Church is removing the ability of the individual to go to their insurer and make their own decision.

    This then leads to your last point on the issue of utilitarianism. You are right to argue that consequences do not determine our moral decision making. That is strict utilitarianism. But basic Catholic Natural Law teaching tells us to assess every moral decision based upon the intention, the act, and the consequences. In this case, the intent is to provide people with the free choice on how to manage and prepare for their families while also maintaining strong sexual intimacy within their committed relationships. The act itself is not to provide contraception. But, rather it is to provide people with the choice on that issue. And, the positive consequences is that it helps to limit the number of abortions.

    My point was never that the limitation of abortions should determine our moral reasoning. My point is that this is a part of the overall reason why many Catholics do support Obama’s position because it aims for the Common Good without violating basic rights.

    This then brings me to my point on Ryan’s plan. You are welcome to ignore it. However, it raises my initial point that you agreed to in your response. We both agree that Catholic social teaching includes multiple principles: protection of individual conscience, susidiarity, the Common Good, solidarity and preferential option for the poor. My point is that Obama’s overall plans and actions have fulfilled much more of these principles than what Republicans have offered.

    You pointed out that the government is not always needed and this is the point of subsidiarity. True. But that does not mean that the government is not needed in this circumstance. We are currently living in an era of increasing inequality. The richest 20% currently hold 80% of the wealth. Median family income for the middle class has falled by $4000 since 2000. And, 2% of the richest people in America received 97% of the share of income in the country last year.

    This is not an argument for socialism or communism. This is a criticism of the concentration of wealth and income that even Pope John Paul II pointed out in his encyclicals. The point is that local churches and community service groups cannot provide for all of the help needed by the middle class and the poor. Costs are going up while salaries are going down or remaining stagnant. In this environment, Obama’s policies have provided for basic unemployment services for the unemployed, increased food stamps for those in poverty, provided for health care coverage for people who cannot get it through no fault of their own, and has provided for basic coverage for the elderly. In contrast, Ryan’s plan would cap the amount to seniors below the inflation rate for health care and lower taxes on the richest amongst us. We can definitely disagree on the merits of these plans. But, your argument ignoring the points on Ryan’s plans does not show why most of the Catholic principles are not being upheld by Republican ideas.

    Of course, I respectfully look forward to your reply.

  • Chris:

    I was worried about getting into this debate. It is not that I am not prepared for it. I just did not want to get away from the scope of the political issues. And, I know that my response to you has the possibility of creating a firestorm. But, since you did make this argument, I don’t want it to appear that I have no basis to my argument.

    Dogma does not work the way that you are describing. Yes, it is Church doctrine and teaching that contraception is immoral and evil. However, the Pope could have raised Huamane Vitae to the level of dogma. He chose not to. And, he did this because there is considerable debate on whether or not the basis to Huamane Vitae is correct.

    I read Humane Vitae a long time ago. So, I apologize if I miss some of its main points.

    It argued against contraception based upon :

    1. The general definition of sex as procreative, unitive and a sacrament.
    2. Sex must be open to life at all times.
    3. The fear that procreation would lead to a culture of abortion, death and the utilization of women as tools for male pleasure.

    Okay, lets take a look at these issues.

    Lets group 1 and 2 together. Biologically, most times during a woman’s cycle, she cannot conceive a child. Yet, a couple can have sexual intercourse during any of these times of the month. If life were meant by nature to always be connected to sex, one would expect the opposite. And, it is not the case. However, lets even assume that it was. This is a physicalist case against contraception in which we are determined by nature because God created it. However, in so many cases, we don’t argue that nature should determine our destiny (flying, diseases, space exploration, etc). So why in this case? The main argument in favor of why is because we are producing a life, that is Good. But we allow for natural family planning in order to prevent and frustrate life from being produced. So, the real difference here is artificial versus natural means in preventing life to enter in at all times. What is the real problem with this?

    Well there are two possibilities. Humane Vitae first points to the nature of sex itself as procreative and unitive. However, as we just showed, not all sex acts are procreative in nature. So, this could not be the case.

    The second possibility is #3. And, that is due to the negative impacts on women. And, lets be clear, it is obvious that our culture has devolved to this level. We see constant attacks on women sexually through magazines, increased rates of abortion, rape, date rape, etc. However, the problem with this reasoning is a full scale generalization to all people under this. There are plenty of religious Protestants, Catholics, and secularists who use contraception to plan out their families without resorting to any of these negative impacts.

    In fact, 97% of Catholic women use contraception. Why? This is not to justify their actions. But most women do because the stress on the body of having multiple children under a quick period of time is hurtful to health, both physical and mental. Some use of contraception, whether natural family planning or artificial, is used by families in order to provide for the financial means necessary to raise a family, provide for emotional connections, provide for an intimate relationship between husband and wife, and to protect women from multiple different health stresses including ovarine cancer.

    It is true in the end that the current Catholic doctrine under Humane Vitae argues that contraception is evil and not allowed. And, I would agree that the Church has not changed this position nor is it attempting to change this position. But historically it is not dogma. And, the reasoning behind the decision is, in my opinion, not sound.

    But, I could be wrong. Please point out where I am.

  • None of these points are serious arguments from Mr.Zucker. They do amount to mental masturbation however.

    Take for example his thesis that prices are rising in medicine due to increasing age and technology. Life spans and technology have been increasing for 100 years yet is only in the last 30-40 that we have seen costs rise dramatically. The correlation is not just tenuous but is the text book example of “post hoc ergo propter hoc” or the fallacy of correlation not causation.

    This is symptomatic of a larger disease and it is one for which no medicine on earth can cure.

  • Paul:

    True enough except for two significant differences.

    1. The life expectancies of individuals have gone up much more in the recent past due to the increased technologies of the last 30-40 years. Also, the medical profession has since post WWII received a much higher status due to new medicines like pencillin and the move away from fluid theory to germ theory in medicine. So, the medical field has become professionalized in a way that it was not a century ago.
    2. And, far more important, the baby boom created a massive older population for today that is looming in the next 10 years. That group which will live longer, a goal that all Catholics want to see due to our commitment to life, will demand higher costs.

    Again, can we actually deal with the arguments and stay away from personal attacks?

  • “So, the real difference here is artificial versus natural means in preventing life to enter in at all times. What is the real problem with this?”

    The distinction would be in what is a normally infertile period – part of human biology vs. an artificially imposed, non-natural process. The first can be ordered to the Human good as part of God’s ordering of the Human person, the latter not.

    “Well there are two possibilities. Humane Vitae first points to the nature of sex itself as procreative and unitive. However, as we just showed, not all sex acts are procreative in nature. So, this could not be the case.”

    Clearly there are plenty of cases where nature is not fulfilled, this does not deny the nature of the thing. So the fact that most sex acts do not result in procreation does not deny the fact that this is part of the nature of the sexual act.

    “The second possibility is #3. And, that is due to the negative impacts on women. And, lets be clear, it is obvious that our culture has devolved to this level. We see constant attacks on women sexually through magazines, increased rates of abortion, rape, date rape, etc. However, the problem with this reasoning is a full scale generalization to all people under this. There are plenty of religious Protestants, Catholics, and secularists who use contraception to plan out their families without resorting to any of these negative impacts.”

    Though it is becoming more and more clear that while some may use contraception without problems, society as a whole is being negatively impacted. Just as some families deal well with divorce, but in general society is suffering from its effects.

    Though I might ask at this point, why are you so concerned with Catholic social teaching and adherance to it, while you disregard established teaching on contraception. One can equally argue according to standards that the preferential option for the poor ( a phrase which is actually not in magisterial texts) and other aspects of CST are equally subject to change. And since most social programs are now unsustainable, it is fine to cut them.

  • Zookster, buddy:

    What has any of that got to do with giving Obama four more years for massive failures and to complete the devastation?

  • Paul:

    Great points. So, lets go through them.

    The biggest problem with your argument is that you argue that certain things may not be so. But you don’t provide reasons why they ought to be so.

    Let me demonstrate. It is true that just because conception is not possible in every sex act, that this does not rule out procreation as important. But your argument does not show that procreation is essential in all sex acts. And, this is my point on the nature argument. In order for this part of the theological premise to hold, it would have to show that conception is essential to the nature of sex. The Church tried to do this through a physicalist approach. However, sex does not lead to conception in most cases. So, there is no essential nature to the case.

    However, you could argue that the reasoning is more about the good of producing life. Therefore all sex acts should contain conception as possible since it leads to fulfilling this good. But now this would mean that we should not use natural family planning either since we would be frustrating life. You could argue that natural family planning follows the nature God gave us. But this runs us right back into the problems of the first issue that I raised.

    So, we now get to the overall argument about the goods of contraception and sex. Yes, society takes good things and makes them into bad things. This does not make the original thing bad. For example, we have cures for diseases. Some evil people have used this and the scientific process to create biological weapons. So, we create a moral rule excluding the mal practice of science and biological elements, not science itself.

    The reason why I support social teachings of the church is because I believe the rationales are sound. For example, from intuition, do you agree that the good should be pursued and the evil avoided. Well, of course. Is poverty a negative and possibly evil condition that some people live under? Well, I think we would both agree on this as well. And, do you agree on an intuitive level, that we ought to help our neighbor to avoid extreme suffering? Again, we probably both agree. And, for good reason. It is intuitive and morally common sense. And, it is the teaching of the Church.

    Now, we just need to determine which agent is best: communities, individuals, churches, the State, or a combination. This is an argument of sociology, economics, and political science. But I agree with Church teachings on social teachings because we can easily determine its truth.

    In the case of contraception, I don’t see the authorities being sound in their reasoning.

  • “In this case, the Church is removing the ability of the individual to go to their insurer and make their own decision.”

    Except as pointed out above, the Church is the one funding the insurance so it is the Church, and those of link-minded conscience, who are forced to pay for what is readily and inexpensively available.

    Again, which is why the bishops continue to resist the efforts of the Obama mandate.

  • Paul:

    Again, that depends.

    The church would not be providing the insurance in the case of businesses who purchase an insurance plan for their employees. The employees than buy the plans. So, the Church is providing the overall insurance. But the employee chooses and buys the plans and the services.

    You are correct in the case of church institutions that self insure. And, the Obama administration has made it clear that they are open for compromise on that one.

    Either way, there is no clear violation of the freedom of worship. This is opening up choices for employees of Catholic Church institutions. And, by the way, many Catholic Church institutions already allow for this due to that choice like Georgetown.

  • I think you are referring to me.

    “The Church tried to do this through a physicalist approach. However, sex does not lead to conception in most cases. So, there is no essential nature to the case.”

    No, it is not a physicalist approach. It never has been considered so. In fact Martin Rhonheimer, who vigorously argues against any physicalist arguments points out that Humanae Vitae is quite non-physicalist in its argument. That is, natural law, in all that means in reason, sees the value of every sexual act being open to, if not resulting in, conception.

    “The reason why I support social teachings of the church is because I believe the rationales are sound. For example, from intuition, do you agree that the good should be pursued and the evil avoided. Well, of course. Is poverty a negative and possibly evil condition that some people live under? Well, I think we would both agree on this as well. And, do you agree on an intuitive level, that we ought to help our neighbor to avoid extreme suffering?”

    Of course those “rationales” are the same basis for arguing against contraception. Again from the first principle of natural law, the good is to be pursued and evil avoided. The good of sexula intimacy is the gift of self in marriage. This gift logically (rationally) includes the gift of new life. This of course can be modified to include the resort to naturally infertile periods in expressing the unitive aspect which are not violations of the good. But that includes the gift of self-restraint to those periods which further logically (rationally) includes a deepening of virtue of the person and respect for one’s spouse. Such is logically (rationally) not present in artificial contraception which reduces the other to an object of pleasure for the self instead of self-giving open to life.

    Of course we also seek to restrain extreme poverty and meet basic human needs. Of course CST includes the concepts that such programs logically (rationally) must be sustainable and must actually help those it seeks to help without fostering dependency on the govt. The actual implementation of policies and legitimate differences as to these policies actually helping and being sustainable are logically (rationally) subject to debate among Catholics of good conscience. This is also part of the rationale of CST – that Catholics may licitly disagree among policies.

  • James,

    You wrote,

    “He [Obama] has allowing for Catholics and non-Catholics to bypass the employer and go straight to the employer [I assume you meant insurance company] to purchase plans that include or do not include the option of contraception.”

    Again, this is a distinction without a difference:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203646004577215150068215494.html

    One way or another, religious institutions will be forced to pay for contraception under the mandate.

    “But he has already expressed a willingness to work with Catholic institutions on this issue to make sure that they will not have to violate their conscience on this issue.”

    The law is what it is, and no one must or should take such a condescending “willingness” to toss their opponents a few crumbs from the table as anything other than the gesture of contempt that it is.

    “Obama is attempting to establish a policy that will help to serve people in general who wish on an individual level, both Catholic and non-Catholic, to use contraception.”

    I don’t care. He doesn’t have the legitimate authority to do what he is doing. He is abusing his authority and pursuing a tyrannical course. People who wish “on an individual level” to use contraception can individually pay for it with their own money.

    “It is true that the Church is not attempting to stop individuals from accessing contraception. And, legally, even if the Church wins on the mandate issue, they do not have the power nor the will to stop individuals from accessing contraception at 7 eleven or any other convenience store. However, that is not my argument. ”

    But it is the only truth that matters in this debate.

    “Under this plan, the individual would be able to make a choice to get and use contraception.”

    They already have the choice. They just can’t get it for FREE, i.e., force someone else to pay for it.

    “While the Church may disagree with this, it cannot stop the individual from doing so. And, the Church is doing that to its employees if it says that they will not even provide insurance plans that open up that option. ”

    Well, this is simply false. If you know it is false, it is a lie. If you don’t know it is false, it is an error. Now you know. If you keep repeating it, you’re a liar. The Church cannot stop, and does not wish to stop, any individual from buying contraception. The Church does not go around with press gangs and force people off the street to work in its institutions. No one has to work for a Catholic institution. It is a choice. The fact that some people may have to choose between working for a Catholic college or hospital and having their contraceptives/abortions/sterilization procedures covered is not a violation of conscience, it is evidence that religious institutions still get to have theirs.

    ” My point is that your argument about the violation of the Church’s conscience works both ways. In this case, the Church is removing the ability of the individual to go to their insurer and make their own decision.”

    The Church has set conditions for employment at its institutions that anyone is free to review and reject in favor of employment somewhere else. “The individual” can work wherever he is qualified to work. No ability has been removed. If an individual at a Catholic institution can’t get contraception coverage, it is because he voluntarily agreed to that condition, having considered that this good is of a lower priority than employment at a Catholic institution.

    The argument does not “work both ways”, because when it works the way you want it to, the Church’s conscience is violated. When it works the way I want it to EVERYONE IS STILL FREE TO DO WHAT THEY WANT – with their OWN money.

    ” In this case, the intent is to provide people with the free choice on how to manage and prepare for their families while also maintaining strong sexual intimacy within their committed relationships. The act itself is not to provide contraception. But, rather it is to provide people with the choice on that issue. And, the positive consequences is that it helps to limit the number of abortions.”

    Even if I believed that were the intent (and I don’t), it wouldn’t matter. I am not arguing that the Obama regime is trying to force people to buy contraception, that it is trying to force-provide people with these things. Rather, it is forcing institutions to cover the costs of these things, which is a violation of their inherent right to exist.

    And it is still premised on the lie that people don’t have “the choice on that issue.” As long as you believe that people who have nearly unlimited access to birth control without the mandate need the mandate to have “choice on that issue”, you inhabit a fundamentally different reality than I do and we cannot rationally communicate.

    “My point was never that the limitation of abortions should determine our moral reasoning. My point is that this is a part of the overall reason why many Catholics do support Obama’s position because it aims for the Common Good without violating basic rights.”

    Fine. My point stands that basic rights are violated, as well as basic logic and rational thought.

    ” We are currently living in an era of increasing inequality. The richest 20% currently hold 80% of the wealth.”

    I don’t care. Inequality is not injustice when those on the bottom are wealthier than at least half of the planet, if not far more. The American “poor” have a higher standard of living than the middle classes of most of the nations that have ever existed or exist today. We are not talking about Biblical poverty in the United States. If you want to talk global inequalities, then you may have a stronger case for some level of redistribution. But not on a national scale.

    Inequality is only a problem, in this context, for the envious who believe they are entitled to a level of comfort that others have to work hard for.

    “The point is that local churches and community service groups cannot provide for all of the help needed by the middle class and the poor. ”

    Well, I disagree, and there’s no way you can demonstrate such a thing. It is arguable that the primary thing that people need are jobs and business opportunities. I reject the automatic assumption that “help” necessarily = bureaucratic welfare state financed through confiscation and redistribution of private wealth.

    Finally, I’m not “ignoring” Ryan’s plan. I haven’t studied it yet, so I don’t want to comment on it yet. It’s that simple.

  • James Zucker: The Catholic Church needs to hire only Catholic workers to be eligible for an exemption? The Court in Hosanna-Tabor said that 9-0 the state did not have the right to determine who the religious organizations hired but now the Catholic Church will be forced to hire only Catholic people to be eligible for an exemption. The First Amendment says that Obama may not “prohibit the free exercise thereof.” You have spent much ink telling us how much you are giving us freedom, defining conscience and redefining the human being and eternal truths and I tell you that freedom is granted by God, “their Creator”.

    James. Please explain why the HHS mandate was added by Obama after the ACA was passed by Congress? Obama violated the contract, by usurping and using an unauthorized Congressional power.

    And please explain why Obama has given an unauthorized power to Sebelius to write anything Obama tells her to, whenever Obama tells Sebelius to, into the ACA. Obama removed the Mexico City Policy the first day in office as POTUS. A contract with the people and the Catholic church that only one side can change is no contract at all, it is simply bondage. Contraception is the bait. The real game is to overturn the Catholic Church and absorb all that the Catholic Church holds in trust for our posterity, all generations to come.

  • “You are correct in the case of church institutions that self insure. And, the Obama administration has made it clear that they are open for compromise on that one.

    Except the it is actually the majority of Church institutions that are self-funded. It is so problematic that even the Catholic Hospital Association, which supported the Health Care Law, finds there is no room for compromise:

    “The Catholic Health Association was a key ally in Obama’s health care overhaul, defying opposition from church bishops to help the president win approval in Congress. But the group said Friday it does not believe church-affiliated employers should have to provide birth control as a free preventive service, as the law now requires.

    The hospital group’s decision calls into question a compromise offered by the president himself only months ago, under which the cost of providing birth control would be covered by insurance companies and not religious employers. While churches and other places of worship are exempt from the birth control mandate, nonprofits affiliated with a religion, such as hospitals, are not.

    In a letter to the federal Health and Human Services department, the hospital group said the compromise initially seemed to be “a good first step” but that examination of the details proved disappointing. The plan would be “unduly cumbersome” to carry out and “unlikely to adequately meet.”

    “Either way, there is no clear violation of the freedom of worship. This is opening up choices for employees of Catholic Church institutions. And, by the way, many Catholic Church institutions already allow for this due to that choice like Georgetown.”

    Again, it does not follow given that the majority in the Church (even those that supported the law) find it untenable as noted above. There may be some institutions that do not have a problem with contraception (and perhaps abortifacients as these are also mandated.) But this does not deny the reality that the Bishops and many other organizations find it oppressive. As such, it is not only a restriction on freedom of worship, it is a immoral restriction on freedom of religion.

  • Paul:

    Okay, two separate points on this one.

    1. Contraception falls under the same basic Catholic intuition that I expressed in support of CST.
    2. We can disagree over the implementation of CST.

    First, on contraception. I don’t think the Church has ever explicitly argued that natural law is dependent on nature. However, the reasoning in Humane Vitae fell into that problem. The reason is expressed in your own argument. You argued that sex can occur throughout the month during periods of natural infertility. But we cannot use artificial means to stop conception because life is a good that should never be frustrated. However, under Catholic teaching, we do frustrate the possibility of life by planning through natural means to stop having sex at points when life would be created. Why would we do this if life is a good that we do not avoid wanting to create. The reason is because we understand families must be able to have some planning abilities on having children. But, then why not artificial means. Because artificial means would frustrate the natural process. But if physicalist arguments are not what we are aiming at then there is no basis to claim that sex always has a procreative element to it.

    Your other argument is that by abstaining, we create a virtue of self restraint and a lack of selfishness. This may be true. But if the act itself is not immoral, then these side effects are simply possible benefits from abstaining, not necessary elements of determining if the act is moral.

    In fact, couples who use artificial contraception often talk about the ability to create more loving and intimate relationship to the partner whom they are committed. And, that their intimacy expresses a lack of selfishness and a communication of love through this intimacy.

    The problem with your argument again is that you are expressing why something may not be the case. You are not providing for reasons why it is.

    My reasons are the following:

    1. Sex does not have a physicalist or a spiritual reason for tying procreation to all acts of sex.
    2. Artificial birth control is the same as natural family planning unless you are trying to argue that all of God’s natural means are the basis to morality.
    3. Artificial birth control allows for families to plan out their care for children while remaining loving and committed to one another.

  • “First, on contraception. I don’t think the Church has ever explicitly argued that natural law is dependent on nature. However, the reasoning in Humane Vitae fell into that problem.”

    True, but I am not arguing that either. And neither did Humane Vitae. Read Rhonheimer.

    “The reason is expressed in your own argument. You argued that sex can occur throughout the month during periods of natural infertility.”

    That’s only if one thinks I am arguing from physical nature rather that the totality of what is invovled in natural law – the ultimate discernment of which comes through reason. This reason includes taking into account the physical nature of the act, its nature and ends, and the intention in acting.

    “But we cannot use artificial means to stop conception because life is a good that should never be frustrated. However, under Catholic teaching, we do frustrate the possibility of life by planning through natural means to stop having sex at points when life would be created.”

    But only because reason discerns these infertile periods as part of nature and, through reason, we use these naturally infertile periods for legitimate ends (ie the health of the mother, financial resources etc.) Through restraint founded in reason, we reaffirm the meaning of sexuality even if new life is not created. This as opposed to chosing to have sex at any time based upon our control of fertility through artificial contraception.

    “You are not providing for reasons why it is.”

    But I have. Perhaps an assertion without evidence on your part.

  • Okay there are a lot of issues to address here since there are three people giving me different arguments. Don’t get me wrong. I am not whining about this. I am happy to answer the points in all of the arguments. But I am trying to do this in a timely manner. So, I hope that I don’t miss any of the major points.

    All three of you seem to be arguing the following in common points.

    1. Obama violated rights by forcing all institutions including Catholic ones to provide for contraception to their employees.
    2. Individuals have a right to work wherever they want so there really is no right to them to be able to force insurers into providing this “free” care.
    3. Bonchamps made the point that the extreme inequalities don’t matter and this is really just the point of envious people.

    Okay, so first off, in order for Obama to have violated religious liberties, we have all agreed that he had to have forced Catholic institutions to materially support an evil action. But in order to do this, these institutions would have to be either paying for or passing out contraception. They are doing neither. The individual worker is going straight to their insurance provider. So, the employer is by passed. And, the church is not paying for the service or the good. The continuous argument that you or anyone else is paying for this is simply incorrect. The insurance company provides the plan that provides the coverage.

    You are correct that this would be a problem for self insured institutions. However, the Obama administration has argued that it would be open to negotiations on this. Paul argues that most Catholic institutions are self insured. This may be correct. But, please remember that many Catholic institutions don’t agree with the bishops on this one. And, many institutions of Catholic leadership also have such diverse communities that they are willing to provide insurance companies not self insurance. So, the issue is an implementation one.

    The point is that there is no violation of the First Amendment and Bonchamps argument that this is tyranny exaggerates the issue. It is an implementation problem that is being worked out through compromise. And, as I argued before, there are greater side effects that come along with this since it can lead to the good of reducing abortions.

    However, on to the point that I made about the violation of individual rights. Bonchamps missed the point of my argument. In today’s environment of high unemployment, it is extremely difficult to make the argument that an individual could simply up and move to a new job. And, while it is true that contraception can be received at convenience stores, the product is often not good for all women due to health reasons. So, if a Catholic employer tells his or her employee that she cannot choose a certain insurance plan, then this is a violation of that individual’s ability to make choices. And, referring that individual to the rigors of the market place right now would simply be forcing the individual into a difficult circumstance of unemployment.

    However, this gets to the bigger problem with Bonchamps argument. This is not personal. But to claim that extreme inequalities are not important to CST is not consistent with papal teachings. I am not arguing from authority. You are clearly in your rights to tell me I am wrong. But the Popes of recent years have clearly pointed out that capitalism, while better than socialism and communism, has the negative problem of a concentration of wealth and the use of wealth for individual selfishness. The current numbers I gave you were not just regular inequality. They show extreme inequality driven by the greed of the top 10% of our society. These cannot be passed off especially when CST argues for economics to provide for the common good.

    And, your argument missed the greater point that I was making off of this. My point was that under our current circumstances the party that is violating most of CST teachings are the Republicans. While Obama’s implementation may be imperfect, it is the Republican plans that violate the needs of the weakest by curtailing spending on medical expenses for those with special needs, curtailing spending on heating oil for the poor, curtailing spending on education, curtailing spending for the elderly on health care, and trying to veto a health care bill that finally covers all people including those previously excluded due to no fault of their own.

    You can definitely disagree with me on this. Even though the Catholic bishops and the Jesuits at Georgetown feel the same way. However, to argue that Obama is tyrannical is simply not accurate to the facts.

  • Paul:

    I did provide reasons. Let me argue this again.

    First, let me point out that you argued that we ought to use reason informed by faith to point out the totality of the act. Agreed.

    Your argument, if I am correct is that sex should be open to life but we can use natural family planning to plan when we ought to have sex to have children and when we ought to abstain from having sex.

    But, this still does not address why sex should always be tied to procreation. True, it is one of its ends. However, sexual union between partners does not always lead to procreation. So, on what basis do you argue that sex and procreation are always linked? If your argument is that this is one of the great purposes of sex, I agree. But this does not mean that sex only has one purpose. Just as a hand does not have one purpose. Now, you could argue that we ought never frustrate any of the purposes. But we do with natural family planning. We just do it naturally. So, why cannot we do this through artificial means?

    You asked for my reasons then why artificial means can be used. Here they are again:

    1. There is no real difference between artificial and natural family planning unless you use a physicalist approach.
    2. Artificial means do not violate life because married couples use it to plan out when they will conceive.
    3. Artificial means allow for a husband and wife to create a committed and loving relationship without the fear of unwanted pregnancies when the cannot afford them.
    4. Sex has multiple purposes. Procreation is not essential to all acts of sex.

  • JZ- For the sake of clarity and your Catholic bona-fides, can you please confirm or deny the following:

    Do you believe that the use of artificial contraception is morally licit as a means of birth control?

  • Paul:

    So, I am unclear on the ends of this question.

    I thought I made myself clear in the last few emails. Here is a clear and unequivocal statement.

    I believe that artificial birth control is moral as long as it is within a committed relationship of marriage and used for the dual purposes of managing family size and creating a loving and intimate relationship between the spouses.

    I hope this makes it clear.

    Also, I reread your last post. I do agree with you on the method of Catholic reasoning. But, I cannot find in your argument why procreation is an essential part to all sexual acts of intimacy between spouses.

  • James Zucker,

    Barack Hussein Obama is a godless, evil, wicked man of sin and depravity promoting the filth of homosexual sodomy, the murder of unborn children and the redistribution of wealth from those who earn to those who refuse to work. He lies. He cheats. He steals. He murders.

    Everyone has a right to choose – and that choice ends at sexual intercourse. You don’t want a baby? Then don’t wallow in filth like a mindless irresponsible baboon, which is exactly and precisely the style of life that that narcissistic son of a snake promotes and deifies. No abortion! No contraception! You don’t get to choose when life begins. You don’t get to partake of the Fruit of the Tree of Life. If you have sex, then you made your choice.

    And no, it is NOT the responsibility of the Federal govt to provide for the sick, the homeless, the poor, etc. That is your responsibility and mine if we call ourselves members of the Body of Christ. Everytime we abdicate our God-given responsibility to help our fellow man, we sacrifice on the altar of political expediency our citizenship in the Kingdom of God for a pale and worthless imitation that at root is satanic.

    And that is exactly and precisely what you liberals want: Caesar Obama to be god. Never. Never ever. This was a Christian Constitutional Republic, NOT a national socialist democracy which is nothing other than two wolves and one sheep voting on what’s for dinner, which in this case is the bloody corpses of over 50 million unborn babies. Death to Democracy! Death to Liberalism! Down with Obama on Novermber 6th! Down with every single liberal progressive Democrat! Viva Cristo Rey!

  • There is a Philip in this thread and a couple different Pauls.Somewhere along the way my name got hijacked when you were addressing Philip, I believe.

    Since the Catholic Church teaches that contraception is intrinsically evil (CCC 2370) then my rule of thumb is: if you don’t respect the teaching authority of the Church instituted by Christ then you sure as hell won’t respect anything I have to say.

    You are an honest about what you apostate, but an apostate nonetheless. Of what point is discussion when you are your own vicar?

  • Paul:

    Okay, so its hard for me to respond to your argument given it is entirely based upon invective and name calling. So, let me try with some personal points first.

    My wife and I have two beautiful girls. We are thrilled to have them and we are completely enthralled to watch them grow up and become the total gifts that God gave to us.

    I also had a son. He was diagnosed with a genetic disorder while in my wife’s womb. The doctors told us that he was likely not to live. However after some great pains in decision making over this, my wife and I believed that he had every right to live and that we had an obligation to love him and give him every blessing possible. He was born. He lived for two months. And, he died in my arms. I am not using this to brag or to praise myself. I went through some extremely dark days back then with many emotions that I am not proud of. And, I just hope that God was as close to me as I believed and felt in His presence during those days. i tell you this because your invective against me as a dark individual who supports a dark leader is simply not fair and not legitimate as an argument.

    I simply asked you for your logical reason based upon reason informed from faith as to why birth control was evil. You have not provided this. You did provide a method of natural law reasoning. It is too bad that you could not follow through on that reasoning and provide a logical explanation of why sex and procreation are always tied together.

    Finally, yes, actually the state does have a role in helping the sick and the weak. This is not because I assert it to be the case. This is the basic teachings of CST. CST preaches the principle of subsidiarity. Yes, we should attempt to take care of the poor locally and without government assistance. And, there are good reasons to do so. However, when local organizations cannot do this alone, the government is an instrument for helping with this. This is the teaching of CST from the popes of the late 1800s to Pope John Paul II. And, John Paul very specifically wrote that while socialism and communism were far worse than capitalism, capitalism tends towards a selfish inequality that does not promote the common good. He called for all citizens of capitalist societies to reorient their values to allow for individualism and competition but to be balanced by compassion.

    Lastly, Paul, I respect you and your beliefs. But honestly, if you believe that persuading someone of the opposite belief system through invective and generalization is a good idea, I can only caution you that it is not. It ends up simply reinforcing the worst stereotypes of Conservatives. I wish you the best. And, I hope we can argue in a more rational way another time. God Bless.

  • Paul:

    Sorry, I just saw that this is another individual. So, let me address your points now more specifically.

    I am now an apostate. Fair enough. Although I am not sure how you can come to that conclusion given that there has always been a dissenting in the church tradition.

    You can definitely argue that I don’t follow the Pope’s every doctrinal command. But there is no rule that this must be the case. This follows a top down mode of the Church that was rejected in Vatican II.

    And, protection of individual conscience is a main stay of the church. Nowhere is it taught that people who disagree on individual teachings are therefore outside of the church.

    Even if I was, that does not mean that you can ignore my arguments. You actually have to provide some backing for your arguments even if they are based upon differences over faith.

    Your only argument is by quoting an authority and its arguments under doctrine. However, doctrine has evolved and changed based upon differences.

    So, you need to show why this doctrine is correct and why your interpretation has to be followed.

  • James,

    “The individual worker is going straight to their insurance provider. So, the employer is by passed.”

    Someone still has to pay for it. That’s what you don’t seem to understand. The individual worker is not paying for it. It isn’t being donated to them. The costs get absorbed into the premiums that these institutions have to pay, so again, either way, they are still paying for contraception coverage. A distinction without a difference.

    “You are correct that this would be a problem for self insured institutions. However, the Obama administration has argued that it would be open to negotiations on this.”

    Talk is cheap. This does not support your position in the least.

    “Paul argues that most Catholic institutions are self insured. This may be correct. But, please remember that many Catholic institutions don’t agree with the bishops on this one. ”

    Also completely irrelevant. We are obviously only talking about those institutions who do care – it is because they exist that this is a controversy to begin with.

    You really think you can obscure the fundamental issues at stake with a flurry of irrelevancies – or you don’t know how to distinguish the relevant from the irrelevant.

    “The point is that there is no violation of the First Amendment and Bonchamps argument that this is tyranny exaggerates the issue.”

    It does no such thing. Read the HHS memo asking a Colorado judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed against it by a Catholic-owned corporation.

    http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2012/08/obama-looks-to-strip-entrepreneurs-of-religious-liberty

    The Obama regime is certainly attempting to foist its view of “reproductive freedom” on an unwilling public. I know I expressed that my primary concern was for the Church as institution, but let me state clearly for the record that I believe forcing ANY company to purchase health plans that, by law, cannot exclude contraception, abortion and sterilization, is an act of anti-religious tyranny.

    “However, on to the point that I made about the violation of individual rights. Bonchamps missed the point of my argument. ”

    How can I miss a point you never made?

    ” In today’s environment of high unemployment, it is extremely difficult to make the argument that an individual could simply up and move to a new job.”

    It is irrelevant. The point is that no one is preventing them from doing so, and thus no one is seeking to or actually “limiting their options.” A bad economy is not a person to be morally accountable for their actions. You may as well complain about seasonal hurricanes depriving people of their right to live wherever they choose without any potential risks.

    This is why I use words like “insane” to describe such thinking and the policies that such thinking lead to. The charge is that Catholic institutions are somehow limiting people’s liberty. But it turns out that it is really the bad economy that is to blame. Well Catholic institutions didn’t create the bad economy and they don’t have a moral obligation to violate their own consciences because the bad economy doesn’t allow someone else to buy something that their own conscience approves of. That’s what living in a free society means.

    “And, while it is true that contraception can be received at convenience stores, the product is often not good for all women due to health reasons. ”

    Buyer beware. The pro-abortion crowd makes the same argument about abortion. If it isn’t made “safe and legal”, then they get an inferior product from back-alley scam artists or something like this. And yet this argument is completely irrelevant, as we all know. The fact that some people might harm themselves obtaining a good or service is not a moral argument for the legalization of that good or service. But this contraception argument isn’t even that extreme. Contraception is legal and no one challenges it – all you’ve got is some contention that over-the-counter birth control may not be as good for some women as that which an insurance plan might cover. And this flimsy appeal is what you would sacrifice the religious liberty of tens of millions of Americans for. Well this is garbage and I am not obliged to agree.

    “So, if a Catholic employer tells his or her employee that she cannot choose a certain insurance plan, then this is a violation of that individual’s ability to make choices.”

    This is a lie. That individual can still make choices. She doesn’t have to work for that employer.

    “And, referring that individual to the rigors of the market place right now would simply be forcing the individual into a difficult circumstance of unemployment.”

    And that isn’t immoral. That’s called life. That’s called respect for private property rights, which is also a pillar of Catholic social teaching in case you’ve forgotten.

    “But to claim that extreme inequalities are not important to CST is not consistent with papal teachings.”

    Papal teachings almost always address global inequalities, and they do not rule out the possibility of the very real sociological concept of relative poverty. Like I said, global inequalities may present a stronger case for some kind of redistribution of wealth, but national inequalities in the United States do not. The American poor are wealthy by comparison to the African poor. This is simply a fact.

    Inequality in and of itself is not injustice. CST has never taught this. In fact, to portray inequality as bad in and of itself is nothing but an expression of deep-seated envy, one of the seven deadly sins.

    “The current numbers I gave you were not just regular inequality. They show extreme inequality driven by the greed of the top 10% of our society. ”

    The numbers you provide do not demonstrate that anyone is being made destitute.

    “And, your argument missed the greater point that I was making off of this. My point was that under our current circumstances the party that is violating most of CST teachings are the Republicans. ”

    Yeah, I tend to miss points when they aren’t clearly made.

    And this claim is absolutely false. The Democrats officially support the butchering of tens of millions of innocent children in the womb, they officially support the moral and social abomination of “gay marriage”, and their welfare policies create a condition of servility and dependency for the vast majority of poor people. They undermine family, local communities, and churches as providers of social support and seek to replace them all with the federal government. The Democratic vision is not one of solidarity, but rather an atomized nightmare in which millions of individuals fight over the scraps from the government table, scraps which only exist because the middle classes have been plundered, swiping their EBT cards in perpetuity without ever finding gainful employment. It is also a vision in which the Church has no meaningful role to play in society as an independent institution.

    “While Obama’s implementation may be imperfect, it is the Republican plans that violate the needs of the weakest by curtailing spending on medical expenses for those with special needs, curtailing spending on heating oil for the poor,”

    That’s a good one! It’s not like Obama and the Dems are relentlessly pursuing green energy policies, its not like Obama threatened to bankrupt the coal industry, its not like this entire policy orientation will drive prices for energy for the poorest Americans through the roof. No, not at all. All you have to do, in your book, to be a champion for the poor is SAY that you’re a champion for the poor. If your policies end up completely screwing them over, it doesn’t matter. You had good intentions.

    The bishops are sadly mistaken on many economic points. The root of the problem is the assumption that the market cannot provide many of these things that people need. The market can provide them. Competition keeps costs down for the average consumer, many of whom are of average means or are poor. Policies that reduce or eliminate economic competition, on the other hand, end up making many goods and services more expensive and more difficult for people of average means to afford.

    But you never think of the consequences of these policies, even as you say that you believe consequences can and should be morally considered. If you really believe in a better economy for the poor, then support policies that increase competition, that incentivize job creation, and that increase the value of the dollar by fighting inflation.

  • I don’t argue, debate or have dialogue with liberals, James Zucker. I pray to God and work for your utter, total and complete defeat. Period. It frankly enrages me to see any self-described Catholic support that godless reprobate of sin and depravity. Death to Democracy! Viva Cristo Rey! I shall now be silent since I am unable to contribute anything to “dialogue.” It’s like dialoguing with the demonic, because that is what Obama and his supporters are.

  • James Zucker: The Catholic Church needs to hire only Catholic workers to be eligible for an exemption? The First Amendment says that Obama may not “prohibit the free exercise thereof.” You have spent much ink telling us how much you are giving us freedom, defining conscience and redefining the human being and eternal truths and I tell you that freedom is granted by God, “their Creator”.

    James. Please explain why the HHS mandate was added by Obama after the ACA was passed by Congress? Obama violated the contract, by usurping and using an unauthorized Congressional power.

    And please explain why Obama has given an unauthorized power to Sebelius to write anything Obama tells her to, whenever Obama tells Sebelius to, into the ACA. Obama removed the Mexico City Policy the first day in office as POTUS. A contract with the people and the Catholic church that only one side can change is no contract at all, it is simply bondage. Contraception is the bait. The real game is to overturn the Catholic Church and absorb all that the Catholic Church holds in trust for our posterity, all generations to come.

  • Bonchamps: Since your posting provides multiple arguments, I will respond to you first. Then, Mary I can respond to you in a separate post. This way, we can keep our points concise.

    Bonchamps:

    Your argument relies upon two essential elements. First, you are arguing that the Obama administration is violating the freedoms of the Church to practice its free beliefs as employers in America. Then, you are arguing that the policies of the Democrats cause massive problems to the society and the poor. These arguments are not really dependent upon one another. But, I would agree we ought to prioritize the first since it deals with values that are sacred both to the Constitution and to the religious faith of Catholics and other Christians.

    You are arguing for the right of the Church to practice its faith. But there is no violation of the faith. And, here is why:

    1. The employees who purchase contraception do so through the insurance company not the employer.
    2. The employer purchases the insurance plans but the individual makes the choice of purchasing the services provided in the plan.
    Your argument that AHA mandates purchasing plans with abortion services is simply incorrect. There is nothing in the AHA that does this. In fact, the AHA allows for people and companies to seek out different insurance plans in exchange markets. The AHA does mandate that one of the choices of insurance companies must have an abortion option. But this is not the same as forcing companies to buy an insurance company that has abortion options.
    3. The closest you come to showing that there is a violation of Church freedoms is in the case of self insured institutions. However, as I argued, the Obama administration has been willing to work with institutions on this issue. You responded by saying this does not matter because there is a violation to freedoms. But this assumes your original point. And, you have not shown that the mandate itself is unfair to institutions. You have shown that there is a possible disadvantage in the implementation that needs to be compromised upon. And, the administration has shown a willingness to do this-not the quality of a tyrannical organization.

    However, by the Church not being willing to compromise on this issue, there is a violation of the individual conscience of its employees. I argued you missed the point on this. You simply replied that I had not made a point. So, let me make it very clear. Employers have rights but employees also have rights. Employees have the right to bargain with their employers for decent health care benefits. For women, contraception is not only often expensive. It can also be important for their health. Your response to my points on convenience stores is that the consequences are not relevant. But, remember my point on Catholic natural law thinking, consequences are important to our overall evaluation of the decision. In this case, the reason why the administration wanted to open free access through insurance companies was to make sure that women’s health issues were covered. If there is an essential violation of rights or morality, then this concern would be relativized or non essential. But you have not shown that such a violation has occurred. So, by not allowing individuals to access their own choices in what plans they can get through insurance plans, the Church is enforcing its own beliefs on their employees.

    You then went further to argue that the economic effects of these decisions were not important due to morality and the difference between relative and absolute poverty. However, the difference between these two issues are not the basis to the papal decisions. Pope John Paul II and other popes argued that the problem with capitalism was not that it produced relative poverty and absolute poverty in different countries. Rather, he argued that the problem with capitalism was its tendency to concentrate wealth at the expense of the Common Good.

    In this framework, my numbers become essentially important. Of course, in Capitalism and in traditional morality, inequalities are natural and a central part of life and capitalism. But extreme inequalities are immoral and harmful to society. 20% of people owning 80% of the wealth, 2% of people getting 97% of the share of the nation’s income, an increasing rate of poverty in the country, and a decline in family income by $4000 over 10 years are example of extreme inequality and concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. This is why the Catholic Church, the pope, and the American bishops have all condemned Republican policies that are contributing to this.

    You have argued that the Democrats are to blame on these issues. On the abortion and gay marriage issue, these are social issues that are more relevant to another discussion on social morality. But on the economic issues, the Democrats are not the ones who have controlled the economic policies for the last 30 years. Since Reagan, top marginal taxes have been reduced to 28%. Under Clinton, they were raised to 39%. Also, since Reagan, we have seen deregulation of the banking and real estate sector. And, under President Bush the marginal taxes were lowered again. These changes led to the concentration of wealth that we see, an increase in poverty, companies moving overseas, an increasing debt and deficit. These issues are important for our assessing of the economy and the moral decisions we make about managing the economy.

    You are welcome to argue if I have the right causes for these consequences. But here is my argument about Republican policies. They have supported tax and regulation policies that have led to the concentration of wealth, the lowered ability for the middle class to support their families, and an increase in poverty. These violate the CST teachings and allow for the richest to benefit from extreme inequalities.

    All of these outweigh an implementation problem in trying to provide employees with the chance to choose their own insurance plans with or without contraception. And, this is hardly tyranny

  • Mary:

    Okay so time for your argument.

    I am having a hard time answering your points because I am unclear on your overall point. You seem to be arguing that the overall point is to destroy the Catholic Church and establish the State as the authority on all issues. However, none of your evidence points to this conclusion.

    First, you point to the issue of the exemption. But you missed the point of the mandate. The mandate is not telling the Church who it can or cannot hire. The point is that all institutions need to provide employees with choices whether or not these employees agree with the religious beliefs of their employers. Also, if Obama’s main intent was to destroy the Church, you would think that the mandate would be targeted at Catholic institutions. It is not. It is for all employers. The problem is in the implementation due to the Church’s beliefs.

    Second, you argued that Obama gave Sebelius complete powers. he did not. He gave Sebelius the power to make a national mandate on contraception to provide for preventative care. I don’t know why he did not go for this during the AHA debate. But I would guess that they assumed this was not a problem. The reason why is because moderate Republicans had been promoting the idea since 2000. And, this was already done in 28 states.

    Thirdly you argued that Obama overthrew the Mexico policy. This is true. He did. The Mexico policy or the gag rule was established by President Bush. What it did was to prevent any family planning institution receiving American federal government money from telling people in foreign country about options including abortion. Liberals, not myself, disagreed with this. This can definitely be argued as immoral under natural law. However, this was not tyranny. The Mexico policy was established by executive order under Bush. So, it can be removed through executive order.

    Lastly, I agree that our freedoms come from God. I just don’t know how this is relevant to our arguments. Freedom of conscience ensures that we have the choice to make decisions unless we know of a direct moral evil that threatens others. In the case of contraception, none of this exists.

    But most importantly you have not shown that Obama is trying to overturn the Church. This is a difference over policy decisions.

  • James,

    “Your argument relies upon two essential elements. First, you are arguing that the Obama administration is violating the freedoms of the Church to practice its free beliefs as employers in America. Then, you are arguing that the policies of the Democrats cause massive problems to the society and the poor. These arguments are not really dependent upon one another.”

    What I said about the policies of the Democrats was solely in response to you. I never made the argument that these points were dependent upon one another. You started bringing up different topics and I replied to some of those points.

    “The employees who purchase contraception do so through the insurance company not the employer.”

    But the employer is still paying for the insurance plan. The cost is still being passed on to the employer. This is nothing but a street hustler game of three-card monte.

    “The employer purchases the insurance plans but the individual makes the choice of purchasing the services provided in the plan.”

    This is irrelevant. The employer still ends up covering contraception.

    “Your argument that AHA mandates purchasing plans with abortion services is simply incorrect. There is nothing in the AHA that does this.”

    Right – which is why the HHS mandate exists. Nice try, though.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obamacare-mandates-coverage-abortion-drug_581969.html?nopager=1

    ” However, as I argued, the Obama administration has been willing to work with institutions on this issue.”

    This is still meaningless. Show me some evidence of this. All you have now are assertions.

    I’ll reply to the rest later.

  • Bonchamps:

    So your rebuttal at this point is that:

    1. The employer still pays at some point.
    2. The employer is purchasing abortion services through the mandate.

    Actually, no the employer does not pay. Yes, the employer has to put some purchase into the insurance itself. But the plans and the services and goods are paid for by the employee through their own choice. And, this has been my argument from the start. This decision provides for the employee to make their own choice.

    Yes, it is true that the mandate does cover some controversial contraception that is argued to be abortificient. However, this is not the same as the argument that this is a wholesale funding of abortion services. The argument is over certain pills that are considered to be abortificients due to the timing of the contraception around conception. This is very different from arguing that the mandate or the AHA is allowing for people to be funded by the federal government to receive abortion services when they are typically done at about the 8th week or after.

    Finally, I think you are incorrect on the other issues that I brought up. They are connected to the larger argument that I was making. My point is that Catholics who vote Democratic are doing so based upon the weighing of much bigger issues than this. We note that the mandate, while problematic, is hardly a sign of tyranny. And, then we look to the overall policies of the Republican party and how, as we believe, they violate the other major principles of CST. So, we make a decision to vote Democratic because we believe that Republican values and policies actually lead to violations of subsidiarity, the Common Good and the preferential option for the poor.

    Considering your original post argued that a true Catholic ought to vote Republican to stop the tyranny of Obama’s policies, all of these arguments are well within the scope of the debate.

    You provided a number of claims against Democratic policies. But you provided no evidence to support your arguments. You are welcome to do this in future posts. But, I would argue that these issues do outweigh the implementation problems that you cited on the mandate. And, you have shown no signs of tyranny or violation of freedom of religious conscience.

  • I probably wouldn’t agree 100% with any of you, but I thought I would throw in my 2 cents…

    James Z says:

    However, as I argued, the Obama administration has been willing to work with institutions on this issue.

    To me this is a, “put up or shut up”, kind of thing. What really happened is Obama said, “We’re willing to deal, but everything you want is off the table.” It wasn’t a sincere offer. It isn’t a real argument. If it isn’t in the Federal Register, it didn’t happen.

    There has been an attempt to redefine the Constitution’s, “free exercise of religion”, as, “freedom of worship”, but that is bogus. Free exercise of religion means that you can’t force people to take an action which violates their religious tenets.

    In the end I think what’s going to happen is that this will be struck down by the Supreme Court. It’s pretty clear that it fails the RFRA law test. I don’t think the actual threat is as large as people make it out to be. SCOTUS will kill it.

    Mary De Voe said:

    Please explain why the HHS mandate was added by Obama after the ACA was passed by Congress?

    I’ll explain it to you. It’s because most of the folks in Congress are cowards, so they write things into laws that say things like, “The specific details will be worked out later by the applicable executive branch agency so we won’t get blamed for it.” They punted, as usual.

    James Z says:

    However, by the Church not being willing to compromise on this issue, there is a violation of the individual conscience of its employees. I argued you missed the point on this. You simply replied that I had not made a point. So, let me make it very clear. Employers have rights but employees also have rights. Employees have the right to bargain with their employers for decent health care benefits.

    Yes, the church is not willing to compromise on the issue that forcing Catholics to pay for birth control for people is a violation of their tenets and the consciences of Catholics and Obama is not willing to compromise on allowing people who object to opt-out based on their conscience. The only legal rights issue here though is whether the government has the right to force people to take actions that violate the tenets of their religion. Nowhere in the Constitution does anyone have the right to employer provided health care or contraception. It does say you have the right to freely exercise your religion though.

    Bonchamps said:

    In fact, to portray inequality as bad in and of itself is nothing but an expression of deep-seated envy, one of the seven deadly sins.

    I wouldn’t argue that it is intrinsically bad, but I think it’s quite clear to anyone who is paying attention that a lot of inequality is caused by rich folks and corporations successfully lobbying the government to stack the deck in their favor. It’s a fairness issue, not an envy issue. Romney pays a lower tax rate than I pay but makes a lot more money. Doesn’t seem fair. Multibillion dollar businesses with thousands of employees are treated as, “small business”, by the tax code because they have a small number of family owners and get tax breaks that the local dry cleaner (an actual small business) can’t get. This is a redistribution of wealth when these folks don’t pay their fair share and the rest of us do. Same thing with these huge companies that pay billions in taxes to other countries but get tax refunds here and companies like WalMart which force their employees into government health insurance for the poor. They are the freeloaders.

    These vulture capitalist guys like Romney and the multitude of CEOs who send jobs overseas and lay off thousands are just as dangerous to this country as Obama IMHO. I can’t say I like either.

    Oh yeah, and most of these CEOs didn’t build these huge multinationals from the ground up using their own money and taking all the risk themselves. They are hired just like the rest of us. Go read Andy Grove’s book where he talks about why CEOs are paid too much and Alan Greenspan’s about how CEOs purposely wreck companies by trading long term viability for short term numbers that will boost the stock price because that’s what gets them bonuses. Then when it goes south they take their golden parachutes and go wreck some other company. The incentives are all wrong…

    It’s unfortunate that according to studies, there are several countries that beat us now in the percentage of people who are able to attain, “the American dream”, of rising above their socioeconomic class. Concentration of wealth here seems the most likely reason. It’s counterproductive for the country.

  • James,

    “Actually, no the employer does not pay. Yes, the employer has to put some purchase into the insurance itself. But the plans and the services and goods are paid for by the employee through their own choice. And, this has been my argument from the start. This decision provides for the employee to make their own choice.”

    So the employer doesn’t pay, and then he does. At the end of the day, the employer is still paying for insurance that covers morally objectionable goods and services. You and Obama can invite me to play three-card montie, but that doesn’t mean I will.

    You’re still lying about employees not being able to make choices too, I see.

    “Yes, it is true that the mandate does cover some controversial contraception that is argued to be abortificient. However, this is not the same as the argument that this is a wholesale funding of abortion services. ”

    It doesn’t have to be “the same argument”, no ever said it was. More irrelevancy, more smoke and mirrors.

    ” The argument is over certain pills that are considered to be abortificients due to the timing of the contraception around conception. This is very different from arguing that the mandate or the AHA is allowing for people to be funded by the federal government to receive abortion services when they are typically done at about the 8th week or after.”

    Another attempted slight-of-hand. The argument is quite simply that the HHS mandate does not allow people to participate in health insurance plans that do not cover morally objectionable goods and services. Citizens are being dragooned into paying for other people’s birth control.

    “My point is that Catholics who vote Democratic are doing so based upon the weighing of much bigger issues than this.”

    Fine. When did I ever say otherwise? I acknowledge that you have your reasons for voting as you do. I disagree with them. I never made the claim that only my reasons are valid.

    “We note that the mandate, while problematic, is hardly a sign of tyranny. ”

    Yes, I know that is what you think. You are unable and/or unwilling to see the implications of the mandate, which are more serious than the mandate itself. I am not basing everything on the details of the mandate. I am arguing that the mandate is a sign of an overall and deep hostility to the Church emanating from this regime and from the left in general.

    “Considering your original post argued that a true Catholic ought to vote Republican to stop the tyranny of Obama’s policies, all of these arguments are well within the scope of the debate.”

    I made no such argument. Again you have serious issues and problems with the truth, or serious reading comprehension deficiencies. I offered my point of view about what I believed my duty as a Catholic citizen was, and made it clear at the outset that I was speaking to other theologically orthodox and politically conservative Catholics. I’m more concerned with people who basically share my views but are allowing their contempt for Romney to keep them out of the campaign.

    At no point did I ever say, or suggest, that a true Catholic had to vote GOP. This borders on slander.

    “You provided a number of claims against Democratic policies. But you provided no evidence to support your arguments.”

    Oh please. What a ridiculous accusation! We’re having a combox discussion and I offered my opinion, in response to things you had said. You never provided any evidence to support your claims about the greatness of those same policies either. How childish!

    “And, you have shown no signs of tyranny or violation of freedom of religious conscience.”

    I can’t convince people to whom these concepts mean nothing, or are radically different than my own, that they are in play. But by my standard of tyranny and religious conscience violation, I have shown it. You’ve chosen to ignore it or define terms differently.

  • From your previous post:

    “Employers have rights but employees also have rights. Employees have the right to bargain with their employers for decent health care benefits.”

    They have the right to bargain, and the employer has the right to say NO. Employees do not have the right to force their employer to pay for their condoms. This is an egregious abuse not only of private property rights, but of the bargaining rights originally defined and defended by the Church in encyclicals such as Rerum Novarum, which absolutely condemned irreligious labor unions.

    “For women, contraception is not only often expensive. It can also be important for their health. Your response to my points on convenience stores is that the consequences are not relevant.”

    The most liberal estimate is 600 dollars per year. Most people make that in a week or less. Cry me a river.

    “In this case, the reason why the administration wanted to open free access through insurance companies was to make sure that women’s health issues were covered. ”

    I don’t give a damn what the reason was. It is totally irrelevant. So please stop talking about it as if it matters, or as if I should care. I don’t.

    “But you have not shown that such a violation has occurred.”

    You not accepting it is not the same as me not showing it. You don’t seem to understand that right now the federal government is being sued precisely because such a violation HAS occurred. Like I said, but I guess you don’t respond to whatever harms your case, a judge in Colorado has already delivered a temporary injunction against the HHS, suspending the mandate until the case can be heard in higher courts. So at least one judge does agree with me and does believe that a violation has a occurred.

    So you can stop uttering this lie now.

    “So, by not allowing individuals to access their own choices in what plans they can get through insurance plans, the Church is enforcing its own beliefs on their employees.”

    Employees who work there voluntarily. Yes, I agree, the Church is “enforcing its own beliefs on its employees”, employees who work under free contract and not under compulsion of any kind. There isn’t a company in existence that doesn’t “enforce its own beliefs on its employees” – its called private property.

    The argument that the Church is “enforcing its own beliefs on their employees” only has relevance if those employees are being forced to work for the Church. They aren’t. So your point is completely meaningless.

    “Pope John Paul II and other popes argued that the problem with capitalism was not that it produced relative poverty and absolute poverty in different countries. Rather, he argued that the problem with capitalism was its tendency to concentrate wealth at the expense of the Common Good.”

    Well, first of all, you’re completely wrong on the first point. Popes have been talking about global inequalities and global poverty for decades now, and have seen it as one of the primary problems of our time. I don’t disagree with them.

    Secondly, capitalism doesn’t concentrate wealth. It diffuses wealth. The state concentrates wealth. The wealthiest man alive is Bill Gates. It is arguable that he does not owe all of his wealth to market forces either. Lets be generous and say half of his fortune, somewhere around 15-20 billion dollars.

    How much wealth does the federal government rake in through taxation, borrowing, and printing cash in a year? In a month? Let me give you a hint: its a little more than 15-20 billion dollars.

    I don’t think JP II ever made the concrete argument that the free market concentrates wealth. Pius XI made that argument, and I flat out disagree with him. But this brings us to the difference between scientific and moral statements. Popes can and have erred on purely technical matters. And this is a technical matter. If the capitalist economy really did what Pius XI claimed it did, then it would be right to condemn it, but it doesn’t. I agree with Pius XI that the situation at that time was evil and should be remedied, but his proposed solution was based on an incorrect assessment of fact and theory, likely because he was surrounded by economists who were fascists.

    “20% of people owning 80% of the wealth, 2% of people getting 97% of the share of the nation’s income, an increasing rate of poverty in the country, and a decline in family income by $4000 over 10 years are example of extreme inequality and concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. This is why the Catholic Church, the pope, and the American bishops have all condemned Republican policies that are contributing to this.”

    This is so simplistic. First of all, I have no idea where you get the 2%-97% figure. But I don’t have a problem with 20% of the people owning 80% of the wealth. I don’t see why that matters, or why I should care. It isn’t making people destitute. Americans still have some of the highest living standards in the entire world. If you really care about people and their conditions, then you need to look at all of the factors affecting their quality of life. Some people having a lot of money doesn’t mean that the quality of life is bad for people who don’t. Only envious people think this way.

    An increasing rate of government-defined poverty is not a serious problem either. One person in one bureaucracy can tinker with one document and the number of people considered “poor” by the state could shrink or grow by millions overnight. These are almost meaningless numbers.

    “But here is my argument about Republican policies. They have supported tax and regulation policies that have led to the concentration of wealth, the lowered ability for the middle class to support their families, and an increase in poverty. These violate the CST teachings and allow for the richest to benefit from extreme inequalities.”

    The reasons for these things are far, far more complex than the policies supported by presidents, and are the product of policies favored by both parties. But that is a different discussion. In any case, the fact remains that very few Americans meet a definition of poverty that I believe justifies voting for a man who is enthuastically pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, anti-religious liberty and anti-private property rights. If you want to vote for him, go ahead. Like I said, my conscience is at peace.

  • RRJP,

    When concentration of wealth is due to policies enacted by the state, I am opposed to it. I think it is the perfect argument for limited government. A government that stays out of economic matters and allows competition to thrive ensures that “big business” is big solely because it met the most real needs in society – and that at any time it could become small or non-existent if it failed to do so.

    But of course, most of the people who complain about the concentration of wealth are leftists who favor a large, intrusive state. They believe the competitive process has concentrated wealth, and this is the worst economic fallacy in existence, the premise of Marxism and every other leftist economic theory.

    If you’re for fairness, then you’re necessarily in favor of free competition, which is the fairest social process imaginable. But if you’re just for egalitarianism, for leveling, for making sure that no one can really excel beyond anyone else lest those who don’t excel have low-self esteem or something (this is how leftists really feel), then I say that you don’t have a valid moral argument that I am obliged to consider.

  • “But, this still does not address why sex should always be tied to procreation.”

    Jim,

    Because sex is always tied to procreation. And if I (Phillip) were using a merely physicalist approach as you repeat, that would be the end of it. Because whether we want to accept it or not, sex is ordered towards procreation.

    But as with many things the Catholic reason (and the reasoning in Humanae Vitae) is that there is more than this. The marital act (as opposed to sex itself) is ordered towards the good of the man in woman in their cooperation with God in bringing new life into the world. This cooperation is a reflection of the life-giving relationship of the Trinity. Thus why the unitive aspect also enters in as an expression of life-giving unity that is the Trinity.

    Of course as an act of the human person, it must be a voluntary cooperation of responsible parenthood – a responsible cooperation with God. So if a spouse is ill or if financially one cannot in reason responsibly bring new life into the world, then one can abstain. This abstainance in turn is a cooperation in reason with God’s reason – acting in a humanly responsible way. Using human reason in the given circumstances to cooperate with God responsibly instead of merely procreating.

    But as merely acting on the sexual act without taking into consideration a responsible reason for doing so, using artificial contraception is also, in reason, a violation of the marital act. This because, as in the former, we discard reason in our act, in the latter we eliminate the author of that reason in that cooperation. We set aside our his will and make ours absolute. By casting aside the ability to procreate artificially, we take away our cooperation in that life-giving marital act and make our will absolute.

    At the same time, by taking away the ability to abstain periodically, it is the one who artificially contracepts who reduces the marital act as one of life-giving love into merely a physical act unrestrained by reason.

  • All of that, PLUS . . .

    If Romney gets elected, “ya’ll will be in chains, again.”

  • Paul:

    Great points on why sex and procreation are linked. Here are my answers.

    First, I would accept that your argument is not a physicalist one. Rather, it is one based upon the purpose of creation that is a reflection of God and the Trinity.

    However, here are the problems.

    1. Remember that I have argued and you have agreed that most of the time sex does not lead to any possibility of procreation. I know this is a physicalist argument that you would disagree with. But this becomes important and you will see why in a minute.
    2. Sex has multiple purposes including both procreation and unitive qualities.
    3. We have already admitted that couples have a moral right to manage their pregnancies for a variety of reasons. You have just argued that couples ought to do this by not violating the purpose of sex which is essential to it-procreation.

    Okay, so if these three premises are acceptable, here is my point.

    Every act and thing was created with purposes. The question is whether or not a purpose is essential to the act or one of multiple purposes. Procreation is a purpose to sex and reflects the God given ability in the Trinity to create life out of love. However, if we observe that sex does not always lead to life and, in fact, most of the time does not lead to life, then its essential purpose cannot be for procreation. Rather, that is one of its purposes.

    We have also already admitted that the couple has a moral capability or right to manage these pregnancies. By doing so, they are not frustrating God’s will. They are simply acting in a way to manage their financial and emotional needs. By arguing this, we are showing that the human will and intellect can be used to manage the times and places when having children will be appropriate for their families. So, most of the consequences you claim about the human will distorting God’s desires are really based upon the initial belief that procreation must be tied to all sex acts due to the essential nature of procreation.

    Because of this, we are left again with the question of why artificial is different from natural contraception. Your argument does not admit of a physicalist basis. Rather, it argues from a purpose driven basis as a metaphor or reflection of the trinity. Fair enough. However, you do not show how sex always has this purpose because there is no foundation in your argument to suggest that this is the case. The only resort you really have is to look back at the physical qualities of sex. But to do so would undermine your argument that we are not looking at this from a physicalist perspective.

    Thanks and look forward to hearing your reply.

  • “Paul”

    I actually am beginning to wonder about your reading abilities (as well as reasoning abilities as a result) due to your inability to discern Phillip from Paul.

    Either you are not reading (as is evidenced by this and your earlier errors on the Bishops’ stance on the mandage which they clearly oppose) or are not able to assimilate the argument as to why artificial is distinct from natural family planning.

    Read again. It is there.

  • I’m with Paul W. Primavera.

    This whole debate is pointless. You cannot argue with someone who has turned his back on Church teaching and seeks to rationalize his own rebellion, albeit by faulty logic as well as patent misunderstanding (whether willful or not) of the issues at hand.

    And so I leave you all with this:

    2 Timothy:

    [23] And avoid foolish and unlearned questions, knowing that they beget strifes. [24] But the servant of the Lord must not wrangle: but be mild towards all men, apt to teach, patient, [25] With modesty admonishing them that resist the truth: if peradventure God may give them repentance to know the truth, [26] And they may recover themselves from the snares of the devil, by whom they are held captive at his will.

    God bless,

    Lisa

    P.S. James, I hope that God will open up your eyes and see that you are defending sin and error. It is a mortal sin to support a person who supports abortion and who has put himself at war with the Church. Period. The end. I pray you will come to repentance.

  • James – As to your last comment, it seems like you’re arguing a position that’s contrary to the Catechism. Given the amount of space devoted in this thread to contraception, I’m going to assume that this is an important part of your thinking on the overall question of Obama’s candidacy. So you can’t be making a Catholic case for Obama, or arguing against a Catholic case for Romney, if you’re making non-Catholic assumptions. I’m glad that this long, long thread has focused the argument to its core (a rarity online). The core seems to be that you can surmount the obstacles created by the HHS mandate by framing the issue in a non-Catholic way. You’re welcome to do so, but you can’t call it a Catholic case for Obama.

  • The First Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden.

    Desire True Repentence for Sins.

    Think of Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemani suffering bitter agaony for our sins.

  • Something very wonderful has come out of this blog. The fact that Obama added the HHS Mandate to the Affordable Healthcare Act AFTER Congress had passed it, nullifies informed consent and nullifies congressional consent and nullifies the will of the people. There is no valid ACA because of this unwarranted, unauthorized usurpation of the prerogative of Obama’s constituency to participation in democracy. Obama cannot break faith with congress and his constituents and call it a contract. An Executive Order maybe but not a legal contract. C Justice Roberts ought to have picked that up. more on doctrines and dogmas and Humanae Vitae

  • Thank you, Lisa!

    All of the arguments that James Zucker uses to support his position devolves into these: (1) I can have sex whenever I want to titillate my genitals without responsibility for causing a pregnancy, and I will call that “unitive” because I am uniting with my partner, and (2) I support Obama because government is the dispenser of social justice and human rights.

    None of his arguments invoke holiness and righteousness before the Lord God Almighty, without which no man shall see God, nor do they recognize that our Creator in whose image and likeness we are made is the only granter of human rights. There is no support for chastity and abstinence, no admonition for being righteous and holy. There is every support for placing Caesar in God’s position.

    Now Mr. Zucker, you attend to this very closely:

    “…if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2nd Chronicles 7:14

    “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” Matthew 6:33

    There is no health, wealth or prosperity without repentance and conversion. Righteousness and holiness must always and everywhere precede social justice and the common good. Jesus said, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Obama is evil because he murders unborn babies and sanctifies the filth of homosexual sodomy. He is a godless, wicked, evil man of sin and depravity. You are in league with him. What does that make you? And yes, 1st Corinthians 6:3 says, “Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, matters pertaining to this life!” You call yourself a Catholic Christian and you make excuses to justify that man’s candidacy. How dare you!

    Death to Democracy, Liberalism and Progressivism! Death to the false gospel of social justice, the common good and peace at any price. Jesus is Lawgiver, King and Judge, NOT that perverse and perverted narcissistic excuse of a man sitting in the Oval Office. God our Creator (as I wrote above) is the dispenser of human rights, NOT that godless government in Washington, DC, and we as a nation deserve nothing but destruction as long as we tolerate such evil. It happened to Israel when King Sennecharib deported them. It happened to Judah when King Nebuchadnezzer deported them. Why do we think that we are exempt from the God who never ever changes?

    I hate and despise and loathe liberalism with every fiber of my being, but I love Jesus the Christ and His Blessed Mother with all my heart.

    Down with Obama, one of the little anti-christs that St. John talked about in his first epistle. Viva Cristo Rey!

  • And by the way, Mr. Zucker, you don’t get to choose when life starts. You unzip your pants – you made the choice. Otherwise, keep it zipped, and I don’t care how many excuses you use that you’re monogamous and your doing it with only your spouse. You and I have no right to partake of the Fruit of the Tree of Life. That’s why God cast Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden.

    Liberal! Progressive! Democract! Three of the dirtiest words in the English language.

  • Thank you Paul W. Primavera, and Lisa and all: Herewith as I promised:
    On the violation of the will of the people, Obama’s constituency and their freedom to constitute government.

    Obama does not have the authorized or sovereign power to add or subtract anything from a contract with the people of the United States, without voiding the contract, with or against the will of the people, after the contract was passed by Congress, which Obama did, by adding the HHS Mandate to the ACA after the ACA was passed by Congress for the people, violating the will of the people without their informed consent.

    The penalties must fit the crime: Hidden in the ACA are penalties that are the DEATH to all Catholics. The penalty must be commensurate with the crime. And for the same reason that the Catholic Church, and all churches and religious like the Amish and Mennonites, are not taxed, because their tax exempt status is maintained by the taxes paid by their parishioners as citizens. To tax non-profits and churches would be taxation without representation, two taxes, one vote, for the citizens as parishioners. All physical property is held in trust for all generations, our constitutional posterity. The custody of church property is held in trust and cannot be seized by government, nor disposed of, except by the bishop who is responsible for the souls of all his people.

    The punishment must fit the crime. If not accepting the ACA and its hidden agenda, the HHS mandate, is a crime, and it is not, and this is not martial law, the penalty for not taking the ACA, cannot exceed the suffering of not having insurance. How can there be “a money fine” for not having any money? Are we talking about debtors’ prison? (Hillary Clinton had written a two year Federal prison sentence into Hillarycare. Clinton owns 10 healthcare corporations.) The ACA is not a sealed contract, as the addition of the HHS mandate indicates, and therefore prison sentences may be added as the punishment for acts that are not criminal. The ACA is an Executive Order being foisted upon all people as martial law, without the informed consent of the people and without the necessary will of the people. The ACA needs to be put on the ballot after informed consent, to let the people express their will, and freedom.

    After the savaging the media did on Rick Santorum in the death of their newborn infant, and the support you, James Zucker, give to the INFANT BUTCHER in the White House, I must confess, I could not believe that you had any human compassion for another person, including the child you say you have lost to death. Not until this morning. It is incomprehensible to me that anyone could support another individual or policy which would try to curtail the existence of another human being who comes into existence through the will of “their Creator”. Only through God’s will, for until God creates the rational, immortal human soul, with its sovereign personhood and human life, there can be no other person.

    ON DOGMAS Dogmas are discerned truths derived by reason and held by the teaching Magisterium of the Catholic Church as necessary to believe in order to have the fullness of Faith and salvation. The dogma of the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION is the truth of the preservation of the Mother of God from original sin and every sin as the Angel Gabriel proclaimed: “Hail Mary, FULL OF GRACE”, the dogma of the ASSUMPTION OF MARY INTO HEAVEN comes by reason of Mary being the Mother of God, Jesus Christ.

    ON DOCTRINES Doctrines are TRUTHS revealed by the Revelation of God, Jesus Christ, in His salvivic mission on earth, held and taught by the teaching Magisterium of the Catholic Church, as Jesus Christ spoke: “Our Father, in heaven” The Triune God, “I, and the Father are ONE”, “This is my Body, This is the Chalice of My Blood” “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church” “Whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven them and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. “Go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them”

    BOTH DOGMAS AND DOCTRINES ARE GIFTS OF FAITH AND MUST BE BELIEVED TO RECEIVE THE FULLNESS OF FAITH. Otherwise our faith will dry up like the seeds that fell on the path.

    ON THE INVALID HEALTHCARE ACT. Something very wonderful has come out of this blog. The fact that Obama added the HHS Mandate to the Affordable Healthcare Act AFTER Congress had passed it, nullifies informed consent and nullifies congressional consent and nullifies the will of the people. There is no valid ACA because of this unwarranted, unauthorized usurpation of the prerogative of Obama’s constituency to participation in democracy.

    ACA is an Executive Order. The Supreme Court must judge Executive Orders, and not as Obama has ordered the Court to enforce Executive Orders of the last fifteen years. Papa Obama would murder his own grandchildren instead of suffering the little children.

    ON HUMANAE VITAE The Catholic Church teaches that when a man approaches a woman to quell his sexual desire it is the duty of the wife to do so. When the woman needs a man, it is the duty of the husband to satisfy, appease and fulfill his wife’s sexual desire, that neither husband nor wife burn. Humanae Vitae speaks to the spiritual in the loving embrace of a husband and wife in exercising the graces poured out upon them by the Sacrament of Matrimony, the prayers of the church and God Himself, in expressing and fulfilling God’s command to be fruitful, increase and multiply. Abortion defiles the fruit of the womb and the will of God in creating the life of the immortal soul and sovereign personhood in the fruit of the womb. Contraception denies the will of God in the creation of the Divine in mankind, Lord of Life, God Himself is thwarted in contraception. It is incumbent upon each and every person, having been given Divine Life in the Holy Spirit to cherish and respect the Gift of Divine Life. Contraception disrespects God, man, and man’s procreative powers but most of all contraception, denies the spiritual motherhood and fatherhood of the human person, the husband’s vocation to sanctify his wife and the wife’s vocation to sanctify her husband. The transcendent nature of the Sacrament of human love is lost. Natural Family planning is always open to the divine gift of human life, because, as, in the words of my doctor, sometimes you pop and extra egg or two after menopause. A child so conceived would be extra special in God’s plan for mankind. This, of course, would explain on a physical level St. Elizabeth’s conception of St. John the Baptist, and Sarah’s of Isaac, St. Camillis de Lellis, patron saint of the Knights of Saint John, Hospitalers, whose mother conceived him at the age of 68, and St.Ann’s conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but not wholly, because it is the work of the Holy Spirit, and none of this would have ever happened without God willing it. So, it is with every sovereign human being brought into existence.

    How wonderful it is to know that someone loves you so much that they want there to be more of you.

  • I don’t know why Humane Vitae is talked about as if it is the only Church document with something to say about contraception.

    Casti Connubii, anyone?

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_31121930_casti-connubii_en.html

  • Bon – Some people tend to think that anything before the Council doesn’t count.

  • Most liberals, Pinky, don’t give a hoot what the Church or Sacred Scripture or Sacred Tradition have to say unless it supports their own personal bias of social justice, the common good and peace at any price. Casti Connubii or Humanae Vitae notwithstanding, they want license and approval to decide on their own when life begins so that they can titillate their genitals with complete abandon. They even want public acclaim for this. Their sin is NO different than what the serpent said to Eve in the Garden of Eden: “You will be like gods!” And using contraception is exactly and precisely that. It is unmitigated hubris for it says: “I am God and I have the wisdom to determine when life begins regardless that I rut in heat like a mindless baboon.”

  • Okay so lots to comment upon since my last entry.

    First, I do want to apologize to Bonchamps. And, I am sincere about this. I had read too quickly through your first entry and thought you were saying what a “true” Catholic ought to do with his/her vote. After a more serious reading of your blog, I would agree that you did not specifically argue for this. I apologize and retract my arguments on this.

    One other thing, though, that I do want to point out. Is there anyway that we can avoid calling our differences “lies”. A lie as far as I understand it is when an individual knowingly provides false information in order to deceive his audience. I don’t know where I have done this. Please point this out. I may have provided incorrect information. And, you are welcome to state that I have made errors. However, a lie carries with it a moral connotation on my morals that makes all my arguments suspect. I would ask that you stop doing this.

    Second, It is really too bad where most of this conversation has devolved. I received several comments from many of you that were simply not based upon a rational attack on my arguments. One of the responses actually stated that my position on contraception was based upon my desire to “unzip my pants” any time in order to satisfy my sexual urges. This was not my position. And, I would have to ask where the author saw me stating that. Also, I was attacked by one of the people here for not truly having compassion for my son who died because I took a different position on the issue of contraception. I am not sure how the author knows this about me or can make these types of accusations about a period in my life that was about extremely sad and filled with hope at the same time. My wife and I experienced great love and we believe God’s support during that time. And, we were incredibly inspired by the life of my son. It is strange to me that any Christian of any denomination would choose to step on such sensitive grounds with the belief that they can morally evaluate my intentions at that time.

    However, the really issue here is that we should be arguing over the reasons for our beliefs. And, those arguments need to be fair or reciprocal in nature. Yes, dogmas and faith do require that we believe on certain statements without question. However, dogmas, doctrines, and faith are also different in degrees of absolute faith. Otherwise everything would be dogma. Also, faith is clearly spelled out in the Bible as requiring defense and evidence. Faith is not simply an emotional acceptance of teachings. This is why various doctors of the Church including Augustine, Aquinas, and Rahner have challenged Church teachings while also upholding them at the same time. So, in our debates, proof texting the Bible and Church teachings while appealing to the authority of the Bishops and Pope is simply not adequate for claiming authority on these issues.

    Rather, arguments must be provided in order demonstrate your defense of these positions. And, attack on my person, motivations, or faith, while they may be correct, are not proofs for the positions that you hold.

    So, let me first deal with Bonchamps arguments from I believe last night:

    You seem to be arguing two major points again:

    1. It is morally objectionable to force Churches and you to pay for others’ contraceptions (your words were for someone’s ability to use a condom).
    2. CST does not criticize the concentration of wealth in capitalism and is irrelevant to our discussion.

    Okay, so on #1. No one is forcing you to pay for someone’s condom. The federal government is mandating that employers provide plans to their employees that open up choices. This means that an employee, Catholic or non-Catholic, can go to their insurance and purchase a plan that includes contraceptive care for whatever reason they believe is necessary including for women’s health issues involving cancer. You are not paying for the person’s contraception. True, premiums might slightly rise. Although this is actually an area that probably is not true. The reason is because the use of contraception lowers the rate of unwanted pregnancies lowering the cost on insurance and therefore dropping premiums. But, even if premiums did go up, you could offer this same argument about anything that insurance companies do with their plans since your money would eventually mingle with the overall money being spent.

    Now, I will admit that self insurance organizations are a problem of implementation. And, you have repeatedly said that you will only believe it when you see the administration actually work with the Church. However, as long as the Church is suing the Obama administration on this issue, there is no room for compromise. This is not because the Church has not right to sue. It is because they are not accepting the invitation to work with Obama on this issue. You might say that they are doing so because the initial action is unconstitutional. However, you have not proven this given my answer above. So, there is no action of tyranny in this case. If you argue that I have not provided evidence for this, please look to these last 2 paragraphs for the warrants that I have provided. These will need to be answered.

    Mary argues that this is still unconstitutional since they were done after HCA passed and through executive order. This is simply a misunderstanding of how the government works. Every president uses executive orders to pass rulings and mandates that are within the executive privilege. Reagan did it far more than Obama. And, President Bush also did this far more than Obama has done. You can argue this is a bad practice. But if the practice is non-unique you cannot claim that this is an act of tyranny while not blaming Reagan and Bush for also being tyrants.

    Now you can argue that there was no precedent that he was basing this on and that this was an act to spread a pro-abortion agenda. However, this is simply not accurate. This policy is already in 28 states. And, 8 of those states did not have the exemptions that Obama offered in even the first mandate. True, there are differences between a state and federal mandate. But the point that this is an attempt to destroy the Catholic Church when it has been used by multiple governors and spread out over different denominations and secular organizations questions that belief. Also, keep in mind that moderate Republicans like Olympia Snowe and about 12 others had promoted this idea since about 2001. Again, this is not to say that she is right. It is to point out that there is no hidden agenda. And, before Bonchamps says that all of this is irrelevant to the moral argument, keep in mind that your argument and Mary’s argument is that Obama is doing this out of a mindset of dictatorship or in the fashion of the communist apparatchik. So, that is why these issues fall in the scope of the argument.

    So, my overall point is that there is no violation of our religious freedoms here. There is a problem with implementation. And, before arguing that I provide no evidence for this statement, keep in mind that this is the conclusion of the previous paragraphs that include the evidence. So, that evidence must be answered.

    But this leads to the issue of private conscience. This is important because it establishes why the government has the right to act on the side of labor on this issue. Bonchamps argues that the government cannot do this due to the violation of private property. However, he provides no definition of private property in his argument. Private property exists when an individual works or invests or risks in such a way to make his/her own property. To remove this from him or her would be a violation since the property is an extension of that individual and his/her creativity. The problem with the employer/employee relationship is that no such “private property” exists. Rather, property is invested by the employer and created by the employee. This is why the private property is thus jointly owned by the two and opens up a space for negotiations. The issue then is that employers and employees have agreed that part of the benefits coming from this is to have health care insurance. This is not really under question. The problem in this case is whether the employee has choices in the plans that such an insurer provides. So, the problem with Bonchamps argument is that he assumes that a part of the negotiations between the employer and employee was over the contraception issue. This is not the case. It is an agreement on whether or not insurance will be part of the employee’s benefits. The particulars of what is in the insurance should be up to the individual consumer not imposed by the employers of any faith.

    But this then enters us into the larger social political argument that I made on wealth concentration and inequality. Bonchamps clearly argued that this is not really his concern due to the differentiation between relative and absolute poverty. But this is not my argument. My argument is that the Catholic Church through CST has clearly argued that capitalism, while better than socialism and communism, tends to have the problem of selfish individualism in which profits are seen as for the good of the individual not that of the community. And, I pointed out statistics that demonstrate how this has been happening over the last 30 years. Bonchamps rightly argued that I did not point out why this is a problem in society. Fair enough. Here are two reasons. First, it is immoral since it does not reward the employee for his/her increased labor. Second, it is bad for the economy and the Common Good because it dampens demand and slows down economic growth. This then makes it hard for individuals and families to provide for the development of the ones given to them by God to care for. And, for those who questioned why I rely upon the Church’s CST but not on their teachings on contraception, please note that it is because I have shown that the Church has valid and sound reasons for these beliefs. In the case of contraception, I do not think this is the case and I provided the reasons to demonstrate this.

    I then finished by arguing that Romney and the Republicans do not offer policies that uphold the majority of Catholic positions on CST. I said that Bonchamps did not provide evidence for his positions on the positive points of Republican policies. He said I was “childish” for demanding this due to the limited space on website boxes. I am unclear on this point. How is asking for evidence on a position given on a theological/political blog “childish”? Evidence is the only way that we can evaluate between the soundness of the two positions. Bonchamps also argued that I did not provide such evidence. Fair enough-here goes:

    1. Since the lowering of taxes under President Reagan and President Bush, we have seen a concentration of wealth while there has also been a rise in poverty.
    2. Families have seen a fall in median income after the Bush tax cuts by $4000 and this has affected their ability to save money, purchase a home, provide for education, and provide for health care.
    3. Before Obama’s ACA, 40,000 people died each year due to a lack of health care insurance coverage.
    4. During the era before Obama’s HCA, insurance companies regularly dropped adults and children with pre-existing conditions due to the lack of regulations on insurance companies.
    5. Companies are not hiring right now even though they are sitting on huge profits because as they say there is not enough demand. This has increased unemployment to a level only seen around the Great Depression. And, the Popes have said that such unemployment, lack of work and poverty is an immoral situation.

    The point of all of these is to point out that there are overwhelming reasons for a Catholic to consider voting for Obama in this election. I realize that Bonchamps and others will disagree and state that this is simply my opinion and right to it. True. But one must also provide reasons why my warrants are wrong. Or why my point on how Republican policies don’t uphold CST is wrong.

    Again, I am very welcome to a rational and civil debate between us. And, you are welcome to try to proselytize. You are also welcome to believe that I am an apostate or a wayward Catholic. However, an argument cannot be based upon overgeneralizations and name calling. I will wait for your decision on how everyone would like to respond.

  • Do you have these comments ready/canned or do you type that fast? Do you get it from DNC talking points?

    Anyhow, it would take me all bloody night to address all the counter-factuals you pose.

    So, I will comment in two Latin words: spucatum tauri.

  • James Zucker said: “Also, I was attacked by one of the people here for not truly having compassion for my son who died because I took a different position on the issue of contraception. I am not sure how the author knows this about me or can make these types of accusations about a period in my life that was about extremely sad and filled with hope at the same time. My wife and I experienced great love and we believe God’s support during that time. And, we were incredibly inspired by the life of my son. It is strange to me that any Christian of any denomination would choose to step on such sensitive grounds with the belief that they can morally evaluate my intentions at that time.”
    Mary De Voe said: “After the savaging the media did on Rick Santorum in the death of their newborn infant, and the support you, James Zucker, give to the INFANT BUTCHER in the White House, I must confess, I could not believe that you had any human compassion for another person, including the child you say you have lost to death. Not until this morning. It is incomprehensible to me that anyone could support another individual or policy which would try to curtail the existence of another human being who comes into existence through the will of “their Creator”. Only through God’s will, for until God creates the rational, immortal human soul, with its sovereign personhood and human life, there can be no other person. ”

    Mary De Voe said: ” I must confess, I could not believe that you had any human compassion for another person, including the child you say you have lost to death. Not until this morning.” Mr Zucker: You do not get to slander me for how I respond to you. Should you learn how to read and comprehend what you read, you will see that I found it impossible to believe you in any given situation, especally because of you supporting the INFANT BUTCHER, OBAMA. The rest has been removed by the author, except SLANDERER

  • “3. Before Obama’s ACA, 40,000 people died each year due to a lack of health care insurance coverage.”

    It is getting late and I have to catch a plane tomorrow, but let’s get rid of this myth:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/03/myth-diagnosis/307905/

  • “1. Since the lowering of taxes under President Reagan and President Bush, we have seen a concentration of wealth while there has also been a rise in poverty.”

    Or the continued break-up of the family, which likely is a much stronger contributor:

    http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2011/12/29/stuck-in-the-33-percent/

  • Ha! What T. Shaw wrote! Love it! Spucatum tauri! That sums up James Zucker and his arguments all in one neat nut shell. But he won’t stop. He’s got to prove himself smarter and more tolerant than any of the rest of us. He’s got to prove that he has a right to contracept at whim and to prove he is correct to vote for a godless man of sin. He has to prove this most of all to himself because he knows deep in his heart that he is wrong. That’s why he goes on and on and on. Meanwhile, in his hubris he defies God Himself by all his useless sophistry and wind-baggage.

    A very long time ago I had a sponsor in a 12 step program who used to tell me, “Paul, ultimately the only person you can spucatum tauri is yourself.” Of course, he didn’t know Latin, but being a Puerto Rican, he did speak Spanish especially when exasperated by defiant, stubborn new comers who couldn’t (or wouldn’t, like our James Zucker) understand the phrase, “Take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth because you don’t know anything.” I needed no translation at that point to hear the truth. 😉

  • “5. Companies are not hiring right now even though they are sitting on huge profits because as they say there is not enough demand. This has increased unemployment to a level only seen around the Great Depression.”

    Or other, more plausable reasons. From CNN no less:

    http://articles.cnn.com/2011-08-08/opinion/frum.economy.hiring_1_strong-firms-job-creation-economic-activity?_s=PM:OPINION

    Good night all.

  • So I lied. Just wanted to put up the money quote from CNN on why no hiring:

    “Then there’s public policy. Employers must fear that the future probably holds heavier taxes, more regulation and higher employee health care costs. The outlook might be worse under a President Obama than a President Romney, but it looks sufficiently ugly either way.”

  • So, I wanted to address the economic arguments first since they are little less emotionally controversial

    Phillip makes a number of important significant arguments. However, I would argue that I have the empirical evidence to show that the points that I am making are stronger. First, it is true that single families are a significant problem for the country. However during the 1990s as wages and economy grew, poverty decreased. This was during a period when single parents were still a significant problem. During a comparative period of lower taxes, the Bush era, poverty went back up. This suggests that single parent families while an issue is not the main problem.

    Second, as for the argument on uncertainty. There was a survey done by the Federal of Businesses. It included both small and large businesses. 68% pointed to the lack of demand as the main contributor to uncertainty, not increases in taxes or regulations. And, I understand that Phillip is talking about long term uncertainty. But, keep in mind that we are currently still operating under the Bush tax rates. So, why aren’t we seeing larger job growth. Even during the Bush administration, 3 million new jobs were created. During the Clinton era of higher taxes, 22 million new jobs were created. And, 11 million of these came before the Republicans took office in the Congress.

    On the 40,000 deaths, I do want to thank Phillip. I was not aware of these problems in the studies. However, there have been more recent studies including a Harvard study that was peer reviewed, recent and controlled for all of the social behaviors that the criticism levied. And, this study showed a much greater number of deaths from lacking insurance care.

    But, I want to address Mary’s points since she continues to attack my character and intentions. I realize that Mary was putting her arguments in context. However, your points on my character as being lacking in compassion especially in the case of my son is extremely questionable.

    So, here is my response to your arguments on the nature of sex and the use of contraception.

    You argued that sex is primarily used for the husband and wife as an obligation to stop or quell the desire for physical pleasure within a committed relationship. You are partially correct. It is true that husband and wife are obligated to one another so that we do not fall to the temptations of adultery or divorce. However, this is not sufficient to the actual definition of the nature or ontology of sex. Your view of sex turns it into a necessary evil that must be satisfied for other purposes. This is not the purpose of sex. The Church herself teaches that sex within a committed relationship leads to a unitive function that helps couples to both satisfy their physical needs and grow in an emotionally compatible and joyful relationship. This is why I can make the argument that a responsible couple using contraception in a committed relationship can do so without turning into the selfish individuals that so many are arguing will happen.

    As for your point that this stops God from producing saints and heroes, this is a highly problematic argument. For one, it is utilitarian in the use of the couples. Second, it would eliminate the justification for Natural Family Planning since the same risk could happen. Third, it would lead to the absurd argumentation that we ought to use abortions. What if Hitler’s mom, Stalin’s mom, or Mao’s mom had had an abortion? We would not have had these terrors. But this is absurd because it leaves out the evaluation of the intent and the act itself.

    My argument is that the couple can have sex with the use of contraception within a committed relationship that is open to life but manages family size for financial and emotional reasons. This is because unity is essential to sex. But procreation, while a significant purpose to sex, is not essential to all sex acts.

    Again, you are all welcome to attack my character, throw out Latin phrases about my blindness and attack me. But none of these arguments are actually dealing with my argumentation. I am happy to leave the website if this is what people want. But please keep in mind that this simply reinforces the view that there is a lack of an openness amongst some to discuss and provide argumentation. Either way. I am fine with the conclusions.

  • ” … However, your points on my character as being lacking in compassion especially in the case of my son is extremely questionable. … ” – as is your using him here to argue against the will of God.

    ” But procreation, while a significant purpose to sex, is not essential to all sex acts. ” – Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the sick, remember the Sabbath to keep it Holy, and have faith that NFP will fulfill your marriage.

    8/16 @ 9:39 pm to Mary: “Lastly, I agree that our freedoms come from God. I just don’t know how this is relevant to our arguments. Freedom of conscience ensures that we have the choice to make decisions unless we know of a direct moral evil that threatens others. In the case of contraception, none of this exists.”
    – The “unless” clause undoes your argument, almost as well as removing God from it.

  • James,

    “Is there anyway that we can avoid calling our differences “lies”.”

    I don’t know what else to call your insistence that the Church is seeking to prevent people from accessing birth control. It is a false statement, and you know it is a false statement. What should I call it?

    “No one is forcing you to pay for someone’s condom.”

    If I have a business that employs more than 50 people by the year 2014, that is exactly what will be happening.

    “The federal government is mandating that employers provide plans to their employees that open up choices.”

    Let me say it one more time: there will be no legally available plan excluding contraception for employers to purchase. It is the simplest of logic:

    *Employers MUST buy health insurance for their employees
    *Employers CANNOT choose health plans that DO NOT include morally objectionable goods and services
    *Ergo, employers are being FORCED to buy health plans for their employees that include morally objectionable goods and services that they otherwise would not have bought for reasons of conscience

    Laws that force people to act against their consciences are unjust, and unjustifiable. Our duty is to disobey them.

    The rest of your points are therefore irrelevant. We have a fundamentally different understanding of what this mandate entails, and you are unable or unwilling to admit that the employer has no choice in the matter. At a certain point, I don’t know what else to call it but dishonest.

    In the case of religious institutions that are not self-insured, again, the institution still has to buy the plan from the insurance provider. So they are still paying for the morally objectionable goods, they just aren’t providing them “directly.” This, as I have said repeatedly, is a distinction without a difference. That is why the bishops have largely rejected the so-called “accommodation.”

    “But the point that this is an attempt to destroy the Catholic Church when it has been used by multiple governors and spread out over different denominations and secular organizations questions that belief. ”

    There isn’t a single state-level plan that does not offer exemptions (morally acceptable exemptions that aren’t clearly a smoke and mirrors distraction like Obama’s “accommodation”) that are acceptable to the Church. So this argument doesn’t hold.

    “Bonchamps argues that the government cannot do this due to the violation of private property. However, he provides no definition of private property in his argument.”

    I think we all generally understand the concept of private ownership. Do I need to define light and heat every time I talk about them too?

    If you want to say we need to explore private ownership more, fine. But this snide little remark about how I provide no definition, as if I should have, is just petty.

    “Rather, property is invested by the employer and created by the employee. This is why the private property is thus jointly owned by the two and opens up a space for negotiations.”

    No. You are completely wrong. Unless there is an employee stock ownership program, or unless it is stipulated in the labor contract somehow, the employee is not a joint owner.

    “The problem in this case is whether the employee has choices in the plans that such an insurer provides. So, the problem with Bonchamps argument is that he assumes that a part of the negotiations between the employer and employee was over the contraception issue. This is not the case. It is an agreement on whether or not insurance will be part of the employee’s benefits. The particulars of what is in the insurance should be up to the individual consumer not imposed by the employers of any faith.”

    This is false from top to bottom, and the liberties you take in assuming what other people have assumed are really astounding.

    When an individual seeks employment from an employer, that employer makes known to the potential employee what the conditions of employment are. In the case of Catholic institutions and businesses owned by Catholics, they make it clear at the outset that they will not in any way contribute to the procurement of morally objectionable goods and services. The employee is free to accept this condition of employment, or, deciding that they would like their employer to cover such goods and services, free to look for employment elsewhere. That situation is perfectly just and perfectly consistent with the principles of a free society.

    No one is entitled to a job that offers health care at all, let alone health care that provides contraception in spite of the moral objections of the employer. To insist that one is entitled to such things is NOT consistent with a free society, but with a tyrannical society in which employers have to spend their money in the service of an ideological agenda, and not in accordance with the dictates of their conscience.

    Businesses are private entities. They are separate from the state. Business owners are not public servants and are not obliged to submit to the ideological agenda of the Obama regime. If you can’t accept this, then you don’t accept freedom at all. You can say you aren’t talking about tyranny, but your words will ring hollow.

    Regarding inequalities:

    “First, it is immoral since it does not reward the employee for his/her increased labor.”

    You have absolutely no way of determining what level of labor is worthy of what level of wages. This is something determined by market forces, by the balance of supply and demand.

    “Second, it is bad for the economy and the Common Good because it dampens demand and slows down economic growth.”

    Keyensian dogmas are not Catholic dogmas.

    “He said I was “childish” for demanding this due to the limited space on website boxes.”

    That’s not what I said at all. This is why I think you are dishonest. I never said anything about limited space in website boxes. I said that I was simply replying to your points, and that is childish you to expect academic “evidence” for every point made in a com-box discussion.

    As for your five points:

    I have a huge, huge problem with the use of statistics to make economic arguments. It takes a great deal of work to establish a mere correlation between two variables, and it is virtually impossible to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between them. I guarantee you that for every correlation you attempt to draw upon to support your policy arguments, I or someone else can find one to counter it. I have had so many debates like this that I don’t even bother anymore.

    The relationship between competitive markets, economic opportunity, and lower consumer prices is well-established. But the relationship is difficult to observe for one major reason: inflation. Both major parties are committed to monetary and financial policies that severely obscure and obstruct the operation of the free market.

    But to think you can take one isolated policy, like the Bush tax cuts, and cite them as the actual cause of a rise in poverty, is simply absurd. There are thousands of different relationships between thousands of different variables that have to be examined in order to determine exactly what causes what. So I reject your argument out of hand.

    Since we are unable to really understand anything by making these facile attempts to correlate variables, I, like the Austrians, would rather pursue principled economic policies. And quite frankly this means that neither party is acceptable to me on economic issues, unless Ron Paul were the GOP nominee.

    With that said, however, I believe taxes should be cut, for all people at all levels, on the principle that private citizens and business will spend the money in ways that will better serve the common good than government will. And it is their money. They earned it through their labor, and the government is only justified in taxing at a level that is required for it to fulfill its legitimate functions.

    It is not the job of the government to eradicate poverty – and poverty in a historical sense has been drastically reduced by the operation of the free market and capitalist investment. If you compare the living conditions of an American living at the bureaucratically-determined “poverty line” now with the conditions of 90% of the world’s population around 200 years ago, for instance, the former would be far wealthier.

    As for these points:

    “3. Before Obama’s ACA, 40,000 people died each year due to a lack of health care insurance coverage.”

    This is unfortunate, but that doesn’t mean that I have to buy ACA or the Obama regime as the best or only solution.

    “5. Companies are not hiring right now even though they are sitting on huge profits because as they say there is not enough demand.”

    Arbitrarily forcing companies to hire people they don’t need isn’t going to help the economy, the poor, or the common good.

  • “This suggests that single parent families while an issue is not the main problem.”

    It is one issue among others. Of which the economic policies of Republicans are a minor feature.

    “But, keep in mind that we are currently still operating under the Bush tax rates.”

    Until Jan 2012. At which point no one knows what is going to happen. Include the 1.2 – 2.7 trillion dollars in taxes which the ACA will impose over the next 10 years. And the taxes that the Obama administration has already imposed. No, these are actual concerns.

    “However, there have been more recent studies including a Harvard study that was peer reviewed, recent and controlled for all of the social behaviors that the criticism levied. And, this study showed a much greater number of deaths from lacking insurance care.”

    Except that studied is specifically premised on patients receiving the most up-to-date medications. Something that will definitely not be provided under the ACA. That means that the ACA causes deaths.

  • Zooks: Unadulterated male bovine excrement.

  • Bonchamps:

    Great points. I am happy to respond to each of your points from my perspective. As usual, you are welcome to disagree with me on any of these issues.

    I want to start with some basic definitional and valued based points on this debate. You argued that private property does not need a definition and it is rather objectionable for me to ask for this given that no one would ask for definitions of other terms like light. The difference is that private property is not as simple to define and is not as clear to anyone given that property is produced in an environment of relationships between employers and employees. Even in CST, there is a recognition of this problem. Popes have always defended the right to private property but they have always cautioned employers to look out for the interests of their employees. Why? Because employees have the dignity of work from God and therefore should be treated fairly in negotiations over property and wages. In this context, health care takes on a new meaning as a right.

    Here are my reasons for arguing this:

    1. Modern health care is absolutely necessary for both quality and quantity of life.
    2. Modern health care while a product and service for sale upholds the dignity of life by looking out for individual’s health.
    3. Part of a society’s obligation is to look out for the common good and provide opportunities for individuals to compete. Without health care due to problems of affording this care, some individuals would be left far behind while others would be promoted due to their wealth.

    As I am sure you know, businesses agreed after WWII to provide for health care plans in their wage structures in order to avoid a single payer system that President Truman and others were pursuing back in the 1940s. So, while I agree with you that until the ACA, there was no forced health care on businesses, there has been a general consent in society for businesses to include this for employees for some time.

    The ACA has changed this environment. Now businesses must provide some health care plan for their employees and there are requirements of what must go into these health care plans. I never argued that this was not the case. What I did argue was that employers are not being required to purchase plans with contraception. Rather they are contracting companies to come into their business and offer options for the individual to purchase. If an individual chooses to purchase a plan without contraception that will be fine. If an individual chooses to purchase a plan with contraception that will be the individual’s choice. The point of my argument is that when the Church says that the individual should not have the choice, the Church is violating the individual’s ability to make that decision within and between the plans being offered. The employer is not involved in this choice because he is not purchasing the plans or the contraception. And, none of his money is going directly to the plans or contraception. You can disagree with my reasoning. But this is not a lie.

    But this leads us to your overall claim that Obama is enacting a form of tyranny. This is where my objection about the states comes into play. Again, you can disagree with the states proposals. But, there was never a cry of tryanny when the states did this. And, there is an obvious reason why. This policy is one of difficult tensions over public health versus religious freedoms of conscience and personal choice. So, there were attempts to accommodate as many people as possible. And, the same is now happening at the federal level. If your argument is that any law passed by the federal government is viewed as an act of tyranny, then most of the regulatory structure of the federal government would lead to such an indictment. Rather, you must show that there is an attempt to violate individual’s conscience and religious beliefs. And, due to many of the arguments here, you must also show a committed attempt by the Obama administration to go directly after Catholics and Christians in general to do this.

    I have provided arguments above why individual employers are not being violated due to the choice of the employee. And, because this idea has already existed in 28 states and was promoted by moderate Republicans like Olympia Snowe, this idea, while objectionable, cannot be claimed to be a new idea based upon a conspiracy against religious groups.

    So, this gets us to the connected issues of CST thinking and the overall reasons for supporting the Democratic platform that would aid the poor.

    You are right that I am using and relying upon Keynesian thinking. However, I am doing so in order to elaborate upon the general principles of CST.

    CST generally teaches that:

    1. Capitalism is better than the alternatives of socialism and communism.
    2. However capitalism can lead to the selfish acquisition of wealth at the expense of the weakest members of society.
    3. Employers and governments in capitalist societies should both protect individual rights and look out for the common good.

    If you disagree with my summary of CST please tell me where I got it wrong.

    Having started from that basis, I would argue that the Republican policies have exacerbated the difference between the groups in society creating excessive inequalities that are unfair to workers and endanger the Common Good of the economy. Yes, our poor live at a higher level than poor in other countries. But this does not demonstrate that the actions of the rich here are moral if they are not rewarding their employees at a fair level.

    You are right to argue that there is no way for me to determine an exact measurement of what is a fair wage. However, we can show that employers are acting in a way that is not looking for the common good. When the richest are earning 300% increases in their wages as the middle class has only gained 30% increases in wages, when the rich earn 97% of the income in the country, and when the richest 20% have 80% of the wealth, this suggests that the rich are not looking out for the common good but are focused on their own individual interests. And, while Keynesian thought is the basis of my point on dampening demand, this is an issue with the Common Good since the economy cannot grow for the good of all.

    You also correctly pointed out that we cannot draw an exact cause and effect relationship between statistics. So, every argument and stat that I use can be questioned. However, questioning is very different from dismissing. My argument is that the Austrian belief that increased taxes always leads to a drag on the economy does not explain why the Bush 1 and Clinton raise in taxes was followed by an economic boom that helped all classes and made a lot of money for the rich while the Bush 2 tax decreases led to a very weak economy, weak employment creation, and an eventual economic crash in 2008. True this does not prove anything for certain. But it opens the point of criticizing Austrian economic philosophy.

    Lastly, you argued that the deaths of 40,000 people due to a lack of health care is tragic but irrelevant. I would argue that this is the exact problem with our two worldviews. The Austrian world view believes that society is an atomized group of individuals who are only responsible for their own self-interest through competition. However, CST teaches that we are ultimately responsible to one another. So, the deaths of 40,000 people calls us to seek out solutions to solve this for the Common Good. Now, this does not mean that government is the solution. It may be solved through churches, volunteer organizations, or church risk pools. But dismissing the issue is not something that would be allowed. So, my criticism of the Republican policies using this example is definitely within the scope of this debate.

    In the end, the point is that the Obama mandate is not an act of tyranny. It does show a tension of how policy in a diverse society requires accommodations. And, while we will still disagree on voting for Obama v. Romney, I have provided an argument that the Democratic platform does a better job comparably of working on the issues that CST calls for in any society.

  • One correction. I reread the section on the 40,000 deaths. I was incorrect on my reading. You did not argue that we ought to dismiss this issue as irrelevant. You did argue that this does not lead to an acceptance of the Obama ACA. I would agree with you on this point. But, I do think that there is a responsibility under CST to look for what is the best possible solution. And, the principle of CST for subsidiarity opens up the possibility for a government action.

  • James,

    “The difference is that private property is not as simple to define”

    No, it is simple to define. The Church defined it in Rerum Novarum. The fruits of your labor are your property. Whatever you exchange them for is your property. The state can only infringe upon your property to fulfill its legitimate functions, and there is certainly no mandate in CST for a national welfare regime.

    “Because employees have the dignity of work from God and therefore should be treated fairly in negotiations over property and wages. In this context, health care takes on a new meaning as a right.”

    Absolutely false. You can’t leap from a duty to treat people fairly in negotiations to a right to health care! There’s no logical continuity between these concepts.

    “1. Modern health care is absolutely necessary for both quality and quantity of life.”

    Modern health care is still a scarce resource that can’t be produced and distributed to everyone for free by fiat. There are still costs to be paid, and to ignore those costs is criminally irrational. Costs don’t disappear when you deem something a “right.”

    Humanity survived dozens of generations without modern health care. It obviously isn’t necessary to live. The real problem is that some people are irritated beyond belief that some people (the vast majority of people, actually) are able to afford health care and others aren’t. The fact that almost no one had what we would call “quality health care” 100 or 200 years ago never even enters into the equation, and that is why such short-sighted moralizers would hamper and destroy the very historical process that enabled so many people to be able to access affordable and quality care in the first place.

    “3. Part of a society’s obligation is to look out for the common good and provide opportunities for individuals to compete. Without health care due to problems of affording this care, some individuals would be left far behind while others would be promoted due to their wealth.”

    No. Society is not obliged to establish equality of conditions, which is what you are really talking about here. Yes, some individuals do start out with more advantages than others. That, again, is called life. It is not the job of a federal bureaucracy to see to it that this or that group gets an advantage. It is up to family, friends, neighbors, fellow Christians, etc. to help people in their midst, voluntarily, with the resources they have to spare.

    “So, while I agree with you that until the ACA, there was no forced health care on businesses, there has been a general consent in society for businesses to include this for employees for some time.”

    So what? Why does this matter?

    ” What I did argue was that employers are not being required to purchase plans with contraception. Rather they are contracting companies to come into their business and offer options for the individual to purchase. If an individual chooses to purchase a plan without contraception that will be fine. If an individual chooses to purchase a plan with contraception that will be the individual’s choice. ”

    This is really a sickness you seem to have. Who is paying? The “individual”, i.e. the individual employee, is not paying. The EMPLOYER is paying. The EMPLOYER is purchasing the plan. Obamacare mandates that all employers with over 50 employees purchase health plans for their employees by 2014. The HHS mandate establishes that there will be NO PLAN AVAILABLE that DOES NOT INCLUDE morally objectionable goods and services. I’m gong to keep repeating it because it is the truth. If you don’t understand or believe that this is what the mandate does, then we have absolutely nothing more to say to one another.

    “The point of my argument is that when the Church says that the individual should not have the choice, the Church is violating the individual’s ability to make that decision within and between the plans being offered. The employer is not involved in this choice because he is not purchasing the plans or the contraception. And, none of his money is going directly to the plans or contraception. You can disagree with my reasoning. But this is not a lie.”

    In the case of private businesses owned by Catholics, the employer IS purchasing the plans. That is beyond dispute. In the case of religious institutions not exempted by the mandate, again, there is a shell game being played in which the COSTS of the morally objectionable goods and services will be passed on to the employer in the form of higher premiums. You can use the word “directly” all you like, but it is irrelevant. At the end of the day these institutions are still contributing “directly” to the distribution of morally objectionable goods and services.

    The lie I accuse you of, though, is your repeated claims that the Church wants to prevent people form accessing birth control. This IS a lie. The Church is neither able nor willing to stop people from buying birth control on their own, nor does it force anyone to work for them. People who choose to work for Catholic institutions are limiting THEIR OWN access to birth control by voluntarily agreeing to the terms of employment offered by these institutions. THAT is the truth.

    “But, there was never a cry of tryanny when the states did this. And, there is an obvious reason why. ”

    The reason what is what I already said: because there is no state plan that fails to offer acceptable exemptions for Catholic employers.

    And I don’t care in the least about “moderate Republicans like Olympia Snowe.” Stop mentioning her. What she approves of couldn’t mean less to me.

    ” Yes, our poor live at a higher level than poor in other countries. But this does not demonstrate that the actions of the rich here are moral if they are not rewarding their employees at a fair level.”

    You cannot determine what is “fair.” A government bureaucrat cannot determine what is “fair.” This is worked out between employers and employees based on prevailing market conditions.

    “When the richest are earning 300% increases in their wages as the middle class has only gained 30% increases in wages, when the rich earn 97% of the income in the country, and when the richest 20% have 80% of the wealth, this suggests that the rich are not looking out for the common good but are focused on their own individual interests.”

    Even if I were to accept the argument that the income of the wealthiest Americans – who pay most of the taxes and give the most to charity, by the way – was solely the product of “greed”, this would be a problem of their individual souls. I see no demonstrable harm caused to one man by the mere existence of another man’s wealth.

    ” My argument is that the Austrian belief that increased taxes always leads to a drag on the economy does not explain why the Bush 1 and Clinton raise in taxes was followed by an economic boom that helped all classes and made a lot of money for the rich while the Bush 2 tax decreases led to a very weak economy, weak employment creation, and an eventual economic crash in 2008. True this does not prove anything for certain. But it opens the point of criticizing Austrian economic philosophy.”

    First of all, I never said that it was an “Austrian belief that increased taxes always lead to a drag on the economy.” I’m not sure the school holds that exact position or formulates it in exactly that way, and so I would not describe it in such a way.

    It is the morality of taxation that the Austrian school is more concerned with, and myself as well. What gives anyone the right to point guns in your direction and say “work X hours for me out of the year or go to prison?” I accept that we need a limited government to do certain things that private industry can’t do. But beyond these limited, legitimate functions, the state has no right to shake people down in the service of an ideological agenda. The state exists to serve us, not we to serve the state.

    Finally, much of the economic “booms” of recent years have been based upon false, unsustainable premises – such as the expansion of debt and the money supply. So I am not terribly impressed with the tech boom of the 90s, and we know how the housing boom went. Both parties ignore the fundamentals of sound economics.

    “The Austrian world view believes that society is an atomized group of individuals who are only responsible for their own self-interest through competition.”

    Well, this is false. It’s one of those things that, if you keep saying it after you know it is false, becomes a lie. So I’ll leave that to you to think about.

    The Austrian view is simply that the state does not have the moral legitimacy or the technical competency to manage society. But it does not say that society is “an atomized group of individuals”, nor does it say that they are only responsible “for their own self-interest.” This is simply not true. In defending free markets and opposing statism, Austrian economics does not imply or insist that individuals must be rugged individualists, or that there are no organic institutions that make up what we call “society” such as families, churches, and other associations. It is quite obvious that you’ve never read a single thing by the Austrian school and are only using the word because I used it, and you think this is what I believe.

    “However, CST teaches that we are ultimately responsible to one another.”

    There’s no incompatibility between what I believe and what CST teaches. I reject that “responsible to one another” means “morally obliged to support a confiscatory welfare state.”

  • Bonchamps:

    Once again, an excellent debate showing the clarity and differentiation in our opinions. Here are my responses to your points:

    I think the primary part for us to look at is our difference on the role of the state and private property. You are right that Rerum Navarum called for a protection of the labor that we produce and that the state cannot infringe upon this. But there was a also a call under this document to be careful of selfish pursuit of private property without regard to the Common Good. Why would this be the case if an individual is simply protecting his or her own creation. Because a business is not entirely the creation of the owners. Yes, the owners do put in the risk, investment and overall vision. However, the workers also participate in the creation of the products and services. So they are entitled under morality to a fair share in the eventual rewards. You are correct that I cannot establish an exact number of the fair share. However, we can point to when the economy has tilted in an unfair way towards a concentration of wealth in fewer hands. And, we can evaluate that as hurting the common good. I have provided the statistics to demonstrate that this happened in the country for the last 30 years. And, I have provided evidence of how this hurt our society through increased costs to the poor and middle class. This is not supporting of the Common Good. You are right that the solution is not automatically through the state. But CST does teach the principle of subsidiarity in which the State does have a role in reducing the problems in society in order to help local organizations when they cannot do so.

    This gets us to health care. You are correct that showing negotiations between workers and employers does not lead to a direct right for health care. But this was not my argument. My argument was that workers should have a right to health care for the following reasons:

    1. Modern health care is necessary to quality and quantity of life.
    2. Workers cannot afford health care on their own due to rising costs.
    3. Severe inequalities have hurt the ability of workers to access health care in a way that allows them to fully participate in society.

    You answered in two parts. First, you pointed out that we have done without health care for several centuries. True, but there is a reason why we moved away from this. In previous centuries, the rates of deaths and diseases were also much higher. And, life expectancy was much lower. And, this was largely due to the lack of a professionalized health care system. Catholic teaching would praise our current improvements in health care because it allows for better quality and quantity of life and it protects the sanctity of life.

    This leads to your second criticism. You argued that inequalities are simply a part of life. I agree. And, in fact, most people would agree with you. But this is not the argument. The argument is not that anyone wants to get rid of all inequalities. I have repeatedly argued that CST teaches that capitalism is far superior to socialism and communism. However, there is a difference between general inequalities due to differences in birth, talent, skill and choices and excessive inequalities in which the market is not adequately distributing wealth and income as rewards for work. In fact, your own argument admits of this. You at one point in a previous posting said that capitalism diffuses wealth. But when I gave evidence of the concentration of wealth, you then argued this does not concern you. This was a tacit agreement that concentration of wealth is happening. And, the stats that provided demonstrate an extreme concentration of wealth. When the market does this, another agent, the government, is necessary to break this concentration in order to spread out the rewards. This is not necessary in a socialist or communist manner. But as we have done for the last century, it can be used to make sure the market spreads out the rewards in a more fair manner that is not excessive as the stats that I have provided.

    But this leads us to the HHS mandate. Again, I have to disagree with you. This is not a “sickness” or a “lie” on my part. It is a disagreement on how this system works. You are welcome to disagree with me. But using terms like sickness and lie are not arguments. They are simply personal characterizations. My point is simple. Yes, the ACA does force all employers with 50 or more employees to provide insurance. And, there are some basic requirements for these plans. The HHS mandate adds to this. However, you are wrong that the HHS mandate has employers purchase contraception. Rather, it has employers contract with insurance companies that provide that option to employees. So, what is the difference here between my point and yours. My point is that:

    1. The employer contracts the insurance companies not pays for the plans.
    2. The employee makes the choice to purchase contraception from the company. The employer does not pay for this.
    3. The employee pays for the premium, not the employer.

    In order for your argument to be correct, you need to show:

    1. The employer purchases the actual plan with contraception.
    2. The employer purchases contraception for his or her employees.
    3. The employer contributes directly to the premiums for the contraception.

    I am arguing that none of these conditions are true.

    Furthermore, I realize that you don’t care about the Olympia Snowe example. And, I realize that you believe the 28 states are also acting in a tyrannical way. But, your response missed my point. My point was that this was not an attack by the Obama administration on the Catholic Church or any other religious institution. Buy using Snowe and the 28 states, my point was to show that this idea was developed over a long time by different constituencies, was already used in half of the states, and covered all employers not just Catholic ones. So, there is no evidence of a conspiracy to attack or take down the Catholic Church. You can say you don’t care about these issues when it comes to morality. And, you would be right. But this is not my argument. My argument is that these points of evidence show that there is no evidence for a conspiratorial attack on faith.

    This brings me back again to the overall argument on my end for why a Catholic can vote for Obama based upon CST thinking. I realize that you believe Austrian thinking is solely a moral argument about the state. However, they also have an economic argument on their side as well.

    As for the economic argument, Austrian thinkers influenced thinkers like Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of economics. Their overall view on society is an atomized view in which individuals pursue their own self interest and in the process benefit all people. They advocate policies like lowering taxes believing this will help the suppliers to provide more supplies and therefore more jobs to produce those supplies. I think this is a fair way of understanding their argument. I have provided evidence in the past that suggests that they are wrong. I am happy to repeat that argument if you wish.

    But as for the moral argument, yes, they believe that the state is an institution that can perform basic functions like security but has no moral obligation to do anything further. This belief about the state violates the CST teaching on subsidiarity. CST clearly teaches that as many actions as possible should be left to local institutions. However, in the cases where that cannot take place, the state does have a role to help in order to achieve the common good.

    My argument is that, especially on health care, there is a need for the government to do this. The private sector has not shown an ability to lower the costs on health care and provide for all people including those with pre-existing conditions. And, local churches and voluntary organizations do not have the money to cover these costs especially with the increased inequalities of wealth and income. So, the state has a role to regulate and create the conditions where people can access such a basic need for quality and quantity of life.

    You argued that to do this would be immoral due to not having people pay for the costs. But the ACA does not make health care free or entirely based upon taxes from one or multiple groups of people. The ACA provides for regional markets in which businesses and individuals do purchase health care. They do have “skin in the game”. However, what the ACA does is provide subsidies to the poor who cannot afford the health care entirely on their own. And, the ACA mandates everyone purchase some health care policy in order to spread out costs and hold people responsible for using health care in order to solve for the free rider problem-a conservative position until 2008 when Obama advocated for it. Again, I know you will argue that you don’t care because you don’t support all Republicans but a libertarian position. This is fine. But, my point is that this is not a radical left wing policy searching for absolute equality by a tyrannical government position. It is a mainstream position to hold people responsible to pay for a system that they will eventually use.

    So, once again, I would argue:

    1. There is a right to health care because it has evolved into a system necessary to maintain the quality and quantity of life in today’s society.
    2. The state has a role in protecting the Common Good under CST and in today’s environment of extreme inequalities the state needs to step in to solve this problem (not strict equality).
    3. The HHS mandate allows for employees to make choices on the goods and services that they want-not to force employers to pay for contraception.

    As usual I look forward to your response. And, can we please admit that we have a difference of viewpoint not a sickness…

  • “But we allow for natural family planning in order to prevent and frustrate life from being produced.”

    That’s only part of the picture. Natural family planning can be used just as easily for a couple to GET pregnant as to avoid pregnancy. At its root, NFP is simply a series of observations that a couple uses to be aware of the woman’s likely fertility, or lack thereof, at any given time. This knowledge has many other uses besides just avoiding pregnancy — for example, it can help a woman know when to expect her menstrual cycle and can also provide her early warning when she may be approaching menopause or experiencing other hormonal disruptions. In fact there are secular teachers of NFP (usually they refer to it as “fertility awareness”) who embrace the method not for any moral or religious reason but simply because it works WITH nature and not against it — for much the same reason that they embrace organic foods or alternative medicine.

  • James,

    I’ve said all I want to say, and have no desire to repeat myself yet again. I believe you have fundamentally misrepresented the HHS mandate, as well as CST and free market economics. Take care.

  • Z’s problem isn’t what he doesn’t know. It’s that what he knows just ain’t so.

  • Bonchamps:

    Thank you for debating through these issues with me.

    I do have to say that I did find something that I believe I made an error about. I was mistaken in my understanding on how the plan and contraception is paid for. I had thought that companies only contract for the insurance. After doing some reading last night, I now know this is wrong. Employers and employees do both contribute to the policy. Obama’s compromise will have the insurance company pay for the contraception in order to try to separate out the spending. However, if premiums go up, you have a valid point that you are contributing to something you find morally objectionable. I do apologize for this mistake and I thank you for making me aware of this misunderstanding on my part.

    Thank you for your time in this debate. It was informative and enjoyable.

Obama’s Psychotic Statements on the HHS Mandate

Friday, August 10, AD 2012

The Catholic News Agency published some remarks made by President Obama in Denver yesterday (Aug. 9) regarding the HHS contraception mandate that are so deluded and irrational that it becomes difficult to imagine how this country can possibly continue forward. We are dealing now with a level of dishonesty that is so open and aggressive that reasonable discourse, upon which social peace ultimately rests, is fast becoming impossible.

This is what Obama said about Mitt Romney’s opposition to the mandate:

“It would be up to the employer to decide. Your boss, telling you what’s best for your health, your safety,” the president said.

“I don’t think your boss should get to control the health care that you get. I don’t think that insurance companies should control the care that you get. I don’t think politicians should control the care that you get.”

This is Barack Obama speaking. The man whose healthcare vision is about to be foisted on the American people, in which they will be forced to buy health insurance (by politicians, from insurance companies) or face official penalties, just said that he doesn’t think politicians and insurance companies should control the care that we get.

Some statements are so at odds with reality – in this case, a reality established by Obama himself – that they can only be described as psychotic. The psychosis continues with the idea that without the HHS mandate, employers would, and indeed, have been, deciding what is best for their employee’s health. It never entered Obama’s psychotic mind that a desire not to cover what HHS mandates could, and almost always does, revolve around the employer’s desire to avoid something he finds morally objectionable, in which case it has absolutely nothing to do with dictating employee’s health. No, when a man in a position of relative power, the employer, decides what he will and will not pay for his employees to have, it is necessarily an aggressive and unjust exercise of power by the master over the subordinate in the psychotic mind of the president.

It doesn’t matter that on every corner of every major street of every town and city in the United States is a CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid or local drug store that is brimming with contraceptives that are legal for anyone to purchase. It doesn’t matter that there are clinics that provide abortions and sterilizations for those who want them. It doesn’t matter that there isn’t a single employer in the nation that can legally force people to work for them and thus deny them the opportunity to work for someone who is willing to offer a plan that covers such things. All of these conditions, which collectively taken together, any sane man would recognize as a condition of freedom (at least relatively) as far as health and reproductive choices are concerned, mean nothing to Obama. They mean nothing to the hordes of bleating drones who have dutifully towed the party line on this issue either.

The layers of insanity go even deeper. Obama himself has created the conditions under which businesses with 50 or more employees must eventually provide health insurance (by 2014). He has forced this responsibility onto the employers of America. He then proceeds not only to insult them with his “you didn’t build that” remarks (some potential business owners won’t be building anything thanks to Obamacare), but to prohibit them from exercising their preferences, moral or otherwise, in how they go about doing it. And yet to hear Obama speak, one might think that employers themselves demanded Obamacare just so they could have power over their employees that they didn’t have before, and that the HHS mandate had to exist for this reason. This isn’t just a false picture of reality, but a deranged one.

Finally, Obama speaks as if employers making decisions about what they will cover or not cover in their health plans is something new, as opposed to the way it has been since health plans came into existence. All this time, apparently, bosses have been dictating to workers what is best for their health by not paying for their condoms and vasectomies. Obama has now freed us from the tyranny of having to pay for certain things we want with our own money. People who view reality this way can’t be reasoned with by people who don’t.

Looking at Obama’s recent rhetoric, a phrase keeps emerging. He keeps referring to America as “one American family”, especially when there is a tragedy in the news. Some commentators are even beginning to see him as a father figure (try not to wretch if you watch the clip). There is no doubt in my mind that he seems himself as the father of the nation, laying down rules for some of his more stubborn children, insisting that they share their toys with one another. That is how he sees the businessmen of America. And as for the religious conservatives, they are the cranky old uncle who is grudgingly tolerated but also increasingly despised by the more content members of Barack’s family. In neither case is there respect for what they do or what they represent. There is no respect for them as autonomous, rational beings with their own convictions. They’re just stubborn children or senile geriatrics, they aren’t mature and rational like Obama and his friends. He isn’t even a politician, not in his own psychotic mind. He is self-excluded from that list of people who want to “control what healthcare we get.” He isn’t controlling us; knowing us better than we know ourselves, he is guiding us, in spite of ourselves. He is our father.

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25 Responses to Obama’s Psychotic Statements on the HHS Mandate

  • “hordes of bleating drones”

    Win.

  • “you didn’t build that”. If one of my tax dollars built that, I built that… road, bridge, public school. Obama is taking away from the sovereign person his identity: “I AM”. I built, I have. I am in reality a human being, who is created by “their Creator”, not by Obama’s fiat, acknowledgement or recognition, but by the existence and name given to me by God; “I AM”.

  • This is posted anywhere and everywhere any one will read it, because it is what it is. One very important clarification: The Affordable Health Care Act is written so that Sebelius has complete power to rewrite any portion or clause. If President Obama were to give the whole Catholic population an accommodation, for conscience, for freedom of religion, for any value system, the accommodation can be withdrawn or redrawn the day after election. That is the way the contract for the Affordable Healthcare Act was written. No informed consent from any citizen. No ballot, no will of the people. Only dictatorship from Obama.

    The day after his inauguration in 2009, Obama did this with the Mexico City policy which had prevented American tax dollars to be used to abort Mexican people.

  • “The layers of insanity go even deeper. ….. Obama himself has created the conditions under which businesses with 50 or more employees must eventually provide health insurance (by 2014). He has forced this responsibility onto the employers of America. … He then proceeds not only to insult them with his “you didn’t build that” remarks (some potential business owners won’t be building anything thanks to Obamacare), but … to prohibit them from exercising their preferences, moral or otherwise, in how they go about doing it. … And yet to hear Obama speak, one might think that employers themselves demanded Obamacare just so they could have power over their employees that they didn’t have before, … and that the HHS mandate had to exist for this reason. ….. This isn’t just a false picture of reality, but a deranged one.”

    From bookkeeping experience, thankfully past, I saw that the first priority of an operating budget with integrity was payroll which included health insurance and federal/state taxes.

    Where will the HHS braintrust be when Affordable Care reveals its nature to those who will begin to be denied coverage for this or that, when copays etc. are raised and changed? Affordable to the government, the employer, or the employee?

    Just looking at the national debt ticker tape in the light of bailouts and money blown on privileges already, that the government can’t afford this is plain to see.

    Employers have access to state and federal programs which benefit them to employ those already receiving free medical from government social programs.

    Employees have choices from employers which ACA will end.

    And the nitpicking enforcement of the whole reproductive issue is laughable because the offerings are already in place and have been. No issue.

    The filling of a tooth cavity may not be so. I know a caring elderly dentist who has special prices for this necessity for patients denied coverage by Medi…. .

    Speaking of these symptoms of psychosis, which appears to be contagious, a growing contagion, the empty talk about helping the poor is pretty empty.

    A food pantry/soup kitchen is looking for funding from churches, businesses, and organizations this year. Because –
    Federal Government: 10/08 to 9/09 gave $22,200
    10/09 to 9/10 gave $12, 000
    10/10 to 9/11 had No Offer to help with 2012

    Catholic Charities: from $17,000 to $15,000 for 2012.

    Where does admin get off talking about helping the poor while slamming the Catholic Church?

    (Many of the people fed were misusers of food stamps but that money went into the economy intensive care unit – so good.)

  • Here I paraphrase Alabama Football Coach Bear Bryant. It ain’t psychotic if it’s a lie.

    Each day It becomes more apparent. Liberals are stupid.

  • I like a good generalization, T. Shaw, but ‘liberals are stupid’ doesn’t work for me. How about, liberals are tree-hugging morons? How about, liberals are a stupid-spreading virus that’s turning America into a retard-state? Put some punch and exaggeration into your generalization, and it’ll work a lot better. Trust me, I have experience.

    I guess I could be serious for a moment, and recall that both democrats and republicans are (generally) liberals, in the Pre-Vatican II Catholic lexicon. And Liberalism, at heart, is the religion of the Age of so-called Reason, by which God became either non-existent or non-important. Liberals are, unfortunately, quite clever and thoughtful, and wise in a worldly sense. It has allowed them to make TVs and rocket ships, as well as condoms and nukes. We poor Catholic who are born into this Liberal Utopia-project are mesmerized by its technological idols. We even rant against it with their most faithless creation — the computer.

    And yet our rants reveal the problem: we aren’t thinking anymore. We are venting, and mostly to (or against) one another. We play their game nicely by pretending that one side or the other is wrong, when in fact the game is rigged: both ‘sides’ are liberal.

    Traditional Catholicism (which includes the Catholic Worker movement), offers a powerful critique of the doomed modern project. The summary is simple but astounding: we are all on the Titanic, folks. This ship is going down, regardless of who captains it.

    Whether Obama or Romney is elected matters less than whether we maintain our faith to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and to Christ its King. ‘Flee to the Fields’ has been the Traditional Catholic teaching since Chesterton and Pius and Dorothy Day. Spend your angry energy not on painting up Obama as the psychotic problem, but on the psychotic iceberg called Liberalism: an iceberg that has already ripped an unfixable hole in Western Civilization. All we can hope for is to get enough people to the lifeboats, and to teach people why it all went down.

    I recommend Spe Salvi and Peter Maurin’s Easy Essays.

  • Nate,

    Thanks!

    All generalizations are wrong including this one.

    Only two corrections for your post:

    One, I am thinking. I am wracking my weak brains to come up with means for my children and grandchildren to survive the impending economic and societal cllapse.

    Two, I ain’t smart enough to understand all that essay stuff.

    Here’s a generalized (remember: all gener . . . ) statement for how we got where we are: “The general causes of the great recession (I don’t tink it’s so great!) are depraved US government fiscal/monetary policies and similar profligacy in the private sector.”

  • I like a good generalization,

    Clearly you do, because you then write:

    I guess I could be serious for a moment, and recall that both democrats and republicans are (generally) liberals, in the Pre-Vatican II Catholic lexicon. And Liberalism, at heart, is the religion of the Age of so-called Reason, by which God became either non-existent or non-important.

    This is manifestly false, or at least it is false if you are referring to the classical liberals of a certain stripe. This is certainly not true of the classical liberals from the British Enlightenment camp, and for the majority of the classical liberals that made up America’s founding fathers. It is true of the French school and those that followed them, including Jefferson. (Sorry, David Barton, whose book is no longer even being published, by the way).

    We are venting, and mostly to (or against) one another. We play their game nicely by pretending that one side or the other is wrong, when in fact the game is rigged: both ‘sides’ are liberal.

    I think you spent a bit too much time co-blogging with Morning’s Minion. Anyway, this is another generalization that doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny.

    Whether Obama or Romney is elected matters less than whether we maintain our faith to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and to Christ its King.

    This is certainly true. That being said, to ignore the realities of electoral politics is naive at best, potentially poisonous at worst. I’ll have a bit more on the “a pox on both their houses” mentality when I return to blogging next week.

  • I’ll vote for the man who doesn’t mock the builder of the lifeboats.

  • “Whether Obama or Romney is elected matters less than whether we maintain our faith to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and to Christ its King.”

    The religious liberty of Catholics in this country I think has a great deal riding on the outcome of this election. Catholics ignore secular politics at their peril.

  • “Catholics ignore secular politics at their peril.” American citizens ought not have to fight to have the Affordable Heathcare Act, same sex marriage and prayer in public school on the referendum. They ought not have to fight to have crosses in cemeteries and American flags in public places, school and construction sites. The builders of the bridge they were building over Rt. 1 in North Brunswick, N. J. had beautiful American Flags hanging from their cranes. They were ordered to take the American flags down…then 9/11 happened and they were left alone to have our flag. WHO makes the call to atrophy our liberty if all men are created equal?

  • “Spend your angry energy not on painting up Obama as the psychotic problem, but on the psychotic iceberg called Liberalism: an iceberg that has already ripped an unfixable hole in Western Civilization.”

    Another facile generalization. Liberalism has many aspects some of which are positive. For example, John Paul II (not entralled with philosophical liberalism) in Memory and Identity discussed the positive aspects of Liberalism particularly in its recognition of individual rights. He went on to note the positive effects of this aspect of Liberalism on Church thinking in regards to the legitimate place of individual rights.

  • We are dealing now with a level of dishonesty that is so open and aggressive that reasonable discourse, upon which social peace ultimately rests, is fast becoming impossible.

    You nailed it, and it’s really quite frightening thinking of where all this is leading.

  • vThe dishonesty and hypocrisy are all the procince of American Catholic and its right wing crazies. I hardly recognize the church of social justice and democracy I grew up in. Frightening? Yes, but not because Barack Obama and other moral leaders are still able to stand up for the poor and the powerless against religious hypocrites like you and yours.

  • I concur with the post whole heartedly. We really are a nation divided against itself at this point. There is only one way to resolve this…. When in the course of human events….

  • Other political discourse developments: Obama’s favorite journalist suspended for plagiarism. Forward!

    Factchecker reports a first: pro-Obama ads’ so totally dishonest, they don’t know where to start.

    And, Obama zombie-women promise to send the GOP National Convention snapshots of their private parts. Yes We Can!

    You may forgive the stupidity, not the evil.

  • 3 . . . 2. . . 1 . . . Paul Ryan is worse than Hitler!!!!!!

  • What dishonesty? What hypocrisy?

    I don’t want to engage in either. Help me grow by pointing out exactly what I said that was dishonest and/or hypocritical.

    Otherwise, you’re just hurling nonsense.

  • Nate,

    “I guess I could be serious for a moment, and recall that both democrats and republicans are (generally) liberals, in the Pre-Vatican II Catholic lexicon.”

    We’re all liberals to some extent. We live in a world shaped by liberalism.

    “And Liberalism, at heart, is the religion of the Age of so-called Reason, by which God became either non-existent or non-important.”

    Some aspects of liberalism are continuations of the Christian natural law tradition. Liberalism often ends up at the negation of God, but certain liberal insights are worth acknowledging.

    “Liberals are, unfortunately, quite clever and thoughtful, and wise in a worldly sense. It has allowed them to make TVs and rocket ships, as well as condoms and nukes.”

    Technological innovation predates modern liberalism and is not synonymous with it. The Church certainly does not oppose technological development.

    “We poor Catholic who are born into this Liberal Utopia-project are mesmerized by its technological idols. We even rant against it with their most faithless creation — the computer.”

    Unless you are proposing that we do away with electronic communication, what’s the point of this?

    “And yet our rants reveal the problem: we aren’t thinking anymore. We are venting, and mostly to (or against) one another. We play their game nicely by pretending that one side or the other is wrong, when in fact the game is rigged: both ‘sides’ are liberal.”

    I didn’t even mention the word liberalism, or condemn Obama on the grounds that I believe he is a liberal, or make this a partisan issue. So I hope this doesn’t apply to my post. I certainly don’t think that liberalism necessarily entails the psychotic delusions Obama has indulged in. Those are a product of his ego and myopia.

    “Traditional Catholicism (which includes the Catholic Worker movement), offers a powerful critique of the doomed modern project.”

    When the Catholic Worker movement is truly anarchist, it does. When it is just a cover for radical left-wing politics, which are technocratic and coercive, then it is nothing but a department of the “modern project.”

    “The summary is simple but astounding: we are all on the Titanic, folks. This ship is going down, regardless of who captains it.”

    Maybe so. But the people on the Titanic went down with relative dignity. Had they been the sort of people who blindly support Obama, they would have killed each other before the icy water did them in.

    “Whether Obama or Romney is elected matters less than whether we maintain our faith to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and to Christ its King.”

    Yes. A platitude, but true enough.

    “‘Flee to the Fields’ has been the Traditional Catholic teaching since Chesterton and Pius and Dorothy Day.”

    You and Chesterton can flee to the fields. Christianity grew in the crucible of urban civilization, in the streets of the Greek city-states, in the catacombs of imperial Rome. Where do you think one finds the poorest people, in terms of material and spiritual goods? A Christian who “flees to the fields” is like a doctor who flees to a sterile environment. The sinners are in the cities.

    “Spend your angry energy not on painting up Obama as the psychotic problem, but on the psychotic iceberg called Liberalism: an iceberg that has already ripped an unfixable hole in Western Civilization. All we can hope for is to get enough people to the lifeboats, and to teach people why it all went down.”

    Obama’s actions affect us all. We need to be clear on what they are and the extent to which they are detached from a rational view of reality.

    Whether or not it is all doomed to collapse is known only to God. I can only address the problems I can assess.

  • “Otherwise, you’re just hurling nonsense.”

    “vThe dishonesty and hypocrisy are all the procince of American Catholic…”

    It starts with this first phrase. r eastburg, what are your trying to say there?

  • Eastburg: more proof that liberals are stupid.

    That would be “porcine”, genius.

    If your point is that everybody that isn’t a idiotic, liberal loser is a hypocrite, a liar, or a pig . . .

    You’ve got nothing!

    Again, more proof that using the words “idiot” and “liberal” in the same sentence is repetitive.

  • r eastburg says:
    Friday, August 10, 2012 A.D. at 8:34pm
    vThe dishonesty and hypocrisy are all the procince of American Catholic and its right wing crazies. I hardly recognize the church of social justice and democracy I grew up in. Frightening? Yes, but not because Barack Obama and other moral leaders are still able to stand up for the poor and the powerless against religious hypocrites like you and yours.

    There is no such thing as “the church of democracy” In fact, there is no such thing as “the church of social Justice” without the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, which are the virtue of charity, a free will offering to God, the free exercise of free will, conscience and the response to the gift of Faith from God. Now tell me, your eastburg, where is the Supreme Sovereign Being and the sovereignty of each and every citizen in the Affordable Healtcare Act, same sex marriage, abortion, prayer ban. Where is the Person of God? When the Person of God may be ostracized, who is the next peson to be persecuted? all free men.

  • r eastburg
    You mean the ‘moral leaders’ who are
    the ones who point fingers to harass and intimidate and insult?
    the ones who can’t get the facts straight?
    the ones who tell people want they ‘want to hear’?
    the ones whom the truth hurts ?
    the ones who bailout their big business campaign donaters with money they don’t have?
    the ones who are so into legalizing infanticide and indiscriminate sex acts?
    the ones who fly in the face of the US Constitution?
    the ones who make sure they are protected from the ‘poor and powerless’?
    the ones who mock the Catholic religion relentlessly?
    the ones who won’t have dinner with the ‘poor and powerless’?
    the ones who can’t check or prepare budgets to see whether they can keep promises to the ‘poor and powerless’?
    the ones who end up making fools of their ‘poor and powerless’?
    the ones who have lavishly partied without inviting the ‘poor and powerless’?
    the ones who can’t explain their personal wealth – but want that of others?
    the ones who don’t qualify for what they aren’t doing?
    the ones who cheapen and degrade their Catholic identity?

    ” vThe dishonesty and hypocrisy are all the procince of American Catholic and its right wing crazies. I hardly recognize the church of social justice and democracy I grew up in. Frightening? Yes, but not because Barack Obama and other moral leaders are still able to stand up for the poor and the powerless against religious hypocrites like you and yours. ” – r eastburg

    You have to stop, look, and listen. In and out of church.
    Romney and Ryan do care about the USA and all its people. They will make sense.

  • I think r.eastburg means to say…

    “….the PROVINCE of American Catholic”

    Anyway, he’s wrong.

  • Pingback: Barack Obama: Enemy of the Catholic Church? : IgnitumToday

Declaring War on the Church

Thursday, August 9, AD 2012

Well the above video from the Romney campaign removes all doubt that the HHS Mandate is going to be front and center in the fall campaign.  Obama was campaigning with Sandra Fluke yesterday, as Ed Morrissey at Hot Air details here.  Obama’s war on the Catholic Church, and his attempt to promote schism within the Church, may play a decisive role in the swing states like Ohio that will decide this election.

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27 Responses to Declaring War on the Church

  • Someone was there interviewing people as they left the Fluke/Obama rally. It’s an amusing video.

  • Thank you, Donald, for this post!

  • Pingback: Declaring War on the Church | Brown Pelican Society of Louisiana
  • Actually everything is A-OK.

    President Obama, Archbishop Dolan and very likely Mitt Romney will be attending the annual Al Smith Catholic Charities dinner together. It should be a great photo op and good laughs all around!

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  • The laugh will be on Obama at that dinner I suspect. Carter when he appeared in 1980 was booed while Reagan was received with warmth. We shall see.

  • I’ve got to tune out until election day. News that 2012 is shaping up to be a replay of 2008 is too depressing for words. I can’t begin to imagine why my fellow Americans voted for Mr. Obama to begin with, much less why they’d do so again. Here we are though, again watching a GOP challenger slip in the polls. This time though, it is astounding that we have an utter failure of policy and the President’s lead grows daily. Remind me again how voting for Santorum was foolish because he couldn’t win a General campaign.

    Give some good news guys. I’m sure I’m not the only loyal reader who needs it!

  • Sure, check out Rasmussen. He is the only pollster who polls 15000 people each month in a huge survey to determine party strength. His polls over the past month have usually shown Romney with about a two point lead:

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

    His party id poll currently shows the Republicans with a slight advantage over the Democrats, which is death for the Democrats in the coming election. Most other election polls that you see floating around are junk with no likely voter screen and usually something like a D6-D9 advantage for the Democrats in the percent of people sampled, which is simply absurd this year. Junk data makes for junk polls.

  • Wow. “Be Not Afraid!” was an eloquent choice for Mitt Romney to quote the Pope. Yes he is trying to appeal to Catholic voters, and I hope Catholic voters listen, stay informed be active and pray. Be Not Afraid.

    We can Not be afraid of what almost seems cataclysmic around us culturally and politically.

    When I hear those words and think of young Karol W lying face down hiding from Nazis – he knew what he was talking about when he said not to be afraid.
    And the brave people of Ukraine, Latvia — saints- who kept their faith in the face of real evil. The little prayer book in my purse is called “Mary Save Us” – smuggled out of Siberia– the author, Adele, a catechism teacher, did die in the camp.. in the 1950’s.

    I hope voters take this war on religion seriously. All you eastern europeans now in heaven pray for us.

  • Don,

    I’ve seen many other polls showing the opposite.

    I still think Obama is going to win in a squeaker, but I hope to be proven dead wrong.

  • Anzlyne: “All you eastern europeans now in heaven pray for us.” All the saints and angels in heaven, pray for us.”

  • Tito, you have to look at the poll internals. Gallup, which is the best poll after Rasmussen, shows Obama with a one or two point lead usually over the past 30 days. Polls which show Obama with a large lead are simply junk with too many Democrats sampled and usually no likely voter screen.

  • The communist government officials raped Lech Walesa’s daughters while he waited in the next room listening to their screams. Only the voters can stop Obama’s rape of little children’s conscience rights. Walesa knows the evil and Walesa is endorsing for Romney.

  • “The communist government officials raped Lech Walesa’s daughters while he waited in the next room listening to their screams.”

    Source Mary? I have never read that.

  • Gallup polls registered voters, not likely voters. Rasmussen is the major which uses a likely voter screen as a matter of course. I think NPR has attempted that as well.

  • Just which is the constituency to whom Sandra Fluke would appeal?

  • Correct Art. Assuming a two point decrease for Obama in a switch to a likely voter screen, Rasmussen and Gallup have been very close in their numbers this cycle.

  • “Just which is the constituency to whom Sandra Fluke would appeal?”

  • I got a call today from a pollster asking a bazillion questions about mainly local and state races, about name recognition for various local/state candidates and whether I had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of them, etc. I wasn’t completely decided about several of the races she asked about, and didn’t really have any opinion on some of the people she mentioned, but when she asked how likely I was to vote, I said “very likely” and when she asked whether I would vote for Romney or Obama I said “definitely Romney.” So maybe I just nudged the polls a tiny fraction of a point in the “red” direction….

  • I am interested in whether there is a poll taking demographic – if that is a correct term for polls about which I agree with G-Veg – that counts people who decline participation.

    A month or so ago, there was a call from someone who said they were from Gallup and I declined participation. Maybe caller ID would be helpful. I’ve seen some very long alpha-numeric ID’s, city-state ID’s, and other generic words (like service) and am wary.

    Just a glimmering hope that many may remain silent in resolve in this intimidating atmosphere, such as when using lawn signs or bumper stickers causes an occasion for sin for someone.

  • Lord Courtney famously remarked that there are lies, damned lies and statistic.

    It is worth noting that the noble lord was not merely an excellent mathematician (he was Senior Wrangler at Cambridge) but a President of the Royal Statistical Society (1897 – 1899)

  • War on the Church?

    Don’t worry about the Church.

    Worry about Obama.

    They declared war on drugs 50 or 60 years. Who won that one?

  • Donald McClarey says: “The communist government officials raped Lech Walesa’s daughters while he waited in the next room listening to their screams.”

    Source Mary? I have never read that.

    Ask Lech Walesa. Walesa is the most reliable source.

  • Link to where you read this Mary. If you do not I will delete the comments referencing this. I have a strong love of history and I will not allow statements like that to remain on this blog if they are not based on fact.

  • I am sorry Donald, I do mean to be rude. I saw Lech Walesa on television weeping, his hands to his eyes, confessing what he had endured, and this is what he confessed: that “the communists took his minor daugters into the next room and he heard them screaming”. This happened when the communists tried to break Walesa and Solidarnocs (sp) the Gdansk shipyard solidarity encouraged by John Paul II, something one does not forget decades later. The fact that Walesa is still alive and can vouch for the truth of this is relevant. Otherwise you may do as needs to be done.

  • That is fine Mary. I am sure you heard what you heard. I can find no reference to the incident but I will let the comments stand based upon what you heard Walesa say.

  • Thank you, Donald. I am thinking too, of Jerzy Popielusko (sp), the Cathoic priest whom the communists beat and drowned, who is now up for canonization. I am going to continue to look as this is very relevant to Obama’s election. Obama is a man who will not permit people the use of their free will and their conscience and I see no difference between a war on God, a war on the Catholic Church and a war on the individual person made in the image and likeness of God. There is a very enlightening episode by Fulton J. Sheen entitled “The Glory of Being an American.” Bishop Sheen says that persons make up “WE, the people”. Communism is made up of “the masses”. When the individual no longer has any value to the party, he ceases to exist. The communist party error in that logic is that the communist party did not give the human being existence and therefore cannot take existence away.

127 Responses to We Are All Catholics Today

  • Question: If one fails to vote in the upcoming presidential election or votes for someone other than Romney…..isn’t it effectively the as voting for Obama?

  • Catholics are the reason that we have a government that is attacking our religion today. Catholics are the largest, single voting block for the Democrat Party. How could any Catholic give their name and votes to the political organization responsible for abortion remaining the law of the land? 52,000,000 American babies have been murdered because of this organization.

  • I agree with Stilbelieve. Catholics insisting on being diehard Democrats no matter what is why this Nation is in the position we are in. Having a correctly formed conscience means that as Catholics we do not vote into office anyone who is pro abortion. Just how many Catholics will pull that lever once again for Obama simply because they will not vote Republican?

  • Question: If one fails to vote in the upcoming presidential election or votes for someone other than Romney…..isn’t it effectively the as voting for Obama?</i.

    Answer: Absolutely not. The non-voter is not responsible for the poor choices made by others. The winning candidate needs to provide a better reason to gain voter support than "the other guy is worse."

    If I vote at all, it will be for a person who is competent and fit for the office, trustworthy, and (at the very least) not pledged to work against important Catholic teaching.

  • I shall vote for Mitt Romney. Period. I prefer Goode Clymer of the Constitution Party, but he is NOT a viable candidate and contrary to what Spambot wrote, every vote away from Romney divides the vote against Obama and makes his victory all the more likely. No matter what, Obama has to be defeated. The Republic cannot withstand another four years of this tyrannt in power.

  • Thank you, Paul, any vote cast elsewhere than to the Candidate who is supportive of our Catholic Church which is Enemy Number One of the High Priest of Satan, gives him a chance to win. And anyone who declines to vote at all, equally gives Obama a chance to win. My beloved Americans, this is not the time to sit on the fence. All you people of Good Will and ALL YOU CATHOLICS, JUMP INTO THE “TRENCHES” AND VOTE OBAMA OUT.

    A vote against Obama is a Vote for Jesus Christ and His One,Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church which Obama is persecuting.

  • If by inaction one fails to prevent an evil, one is as responsible for that evil as the one who perpetrates it.

    The Catholic-Democrat link goes back many generations, to when the Democrats courted the immigrants from Latin America, Italy and Ireland who came to this country with nothing. The Church was familiar, and it was there to offer charitable succor and spiritual strength.

    The Democrats were also there, even if unfamiliar, and offered something that the newly-arrived boatloads had not seen which was political participation. That it was a rigged machine meant nothing to the huddled masses; it was the opposite of the common station they’d endured under callous and abusive nobility for centuries, and the rich factory owners of the day were easily translated into American “nobility” for the Democrats’ political purposes.

    When one is freshly off the boat and the only two people there to offer welcome are the priest with the Eucharist and the precinct committeeman with the patronage job, loyalties are quickly and deeply given. Handed down from father to son, such traditional loyalties are not easily violated, so turning one’s back on them was and is seen as familial treason – “Your grandfather, may he rest in peace, worked for years to improve our condition here, and now you do this?!?”

    So, I agree with Stillbelieve as to the source of, but not the reason for, our current situation. I do not fault the Catholics of yesteryear. To them, I simply ascribe Christ’s admonition of the forgiveness of ignorance. Instead, I fault the party that I always fault when looking at how the government has grown, morphed and mutated into the leviathan it is now: The GOP.

    One may convict the criminal for stealing, but the responsibility lies more with the inept guard who either was co-opted for personal reasons or was just too stupid to understand the threat. By ignoring those who were the embodiment of freedom, by playing the same political game of machinery and patronage the Democrats did (and still do) and by not recognizing the innate elitism their prime constituents brought, the 20th Century Republican Party sided with the minority and squandered the foundational advantage of having “the common man” on their side.

    For this, we pay the price today. When the current crisis is over, we will have to find, or found, an alternative. We’ll bring the GOP to the dance, but I do not believe we have to two-step with it much beyond the opening number.

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

  • I just heard some disturbing information on Catholic Bill Bennett’s radio program – Morning In America. He had a medical surgeon, Dr. Marty, a friend of the program, in studio explaining the effects Obamacare will have on people’s healthcare; and took questions from callers. People with disabilities, especially children and elderly are going to have their care restricted. Pregnant women with a baby that is going to be medically disabled will have to abort the baby or be denied health insurance to cover the cost of her pregnancy and delivery, and the child will be denied coverage as well. The elderly will not get life saving operations like heart pacemakers or by-pass surgery, nor life improving operations such as hip or knee replacements. The IRS will know everything about us since they will be in charge of the mandatory insurance we will be required to have. Knowing Chicago style politics as I do having been born and raised there in my single digit years, and not far from there in my double digit years until I moved to southern CA, your politics will also play a roll in whether you get medical care. Remember, the IRS will know who you donate money to. And believe me, if Obamacare kicks in because he’s re-elected, the 17,000 new IRS agents to be hired to oversee the insurance coverage will all be Democrats.

    The “restrictions” will be required because they won’t have the money to pay for all the healthcare they will be responsible for. If you think the economy is bad now, wait until you see what it will be like if Obama wins a second term. They will continue to ratchet it down to justify what they want to do with healthcare. (Do you really think Dick Cheney would have ever gotten the cardiac care he received if Obama wins again and implements his Affordable Health Care Act? Do you think any body his age would ever get that kind of care again? The name, alone, signals what he intends to do. It’s real name is, the “Un-affordable Health Care Act”). Our Catholic religion will be in for a lot more trouble, too, from a second Obama term. So, my dear Catholic brothers and sisters, there is no escaping him if he gets a second term. Your lives and mine, and our children and grand-children’s lives will never be the same if Catholic voters vote to make our country the Untied States of Chicago.

    Oh, yea, kiss the Supreme Court good-bye, and our First Amendment Rights of Freedom of Religion

  • If we make the decision to not vote because we don’t like either candidate, I believe we are making a very poor decision. Catholic teaching provides for voting of the lesser of two evils. I would hardly put Gov. Romeny in that category but I definitely would put Obama in it. If we don’t support Gov. Romney we are, by our omission, voting for evil to continue.

  • People that are a lot smarter (that’s just about everybody) than me say, “Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good.”

  • WK Aiken

    “So, I agree with Stillbelieve as to the source of, but not the reason for, our current situation. I do not fault the Catholics of yesteryear.”

    Let me clarify. The Catholics I’m referring to are those who remained, or became, Catholic Democrats after Roe v. Wade. I was a JFK Catholic Democrat. My brother, who was vice-president of the Will County Young Democrats (next door to Cook County i.e., Chicago), introduced JFK to the crowd at an outdoor, town center rally during the 1960 Presidential election. I got to shake hands with Kennedy on a chance, one on one meeting afterwards; almost knocking over a motor cycle cop in the process.

    Roe v Wade was a turning point for me. I was not a practicing Catholic in the last two years of college and early years of marriage when the ruling came down. My opposition to the ruling was on scientific grounds, not religious. I had a year of embryology, including lab work – I knew when life began; I experimented with it using chick embryos. When the Democrat Party came out in support of legalizing abortion, that was the last straw for me; I registered out of the party. I couldn’t register in the Republican Party; still too brainwashed with my Democrat Catholic upbringing with roots to South Bend and Notre Dame with my mother’s birth place and my father’s college, and an uncle who was a Holy Cross Order priest and later an Archbishop stationed in Rome. So, I registered an Independent. Soon after, I returned to the Church with my young family and my wife, who converted. I was recruited outside church one Sunday by a local pro-life group called Alliance For Life and got involved with electoral politics; working to elect pro-life candidates to replace the pro-abortion incumbents. It turned out all the campaigns I volunteered in were for Republicans because they were the only pro-life candidates running. I found out they were pretty decent people, nothing like what I was told they were like by the Democrat Party and the press.

    So I know, first hand how difficult it is, emotionally, to go from Catholic Democrat to Catholic Republican. I couldn’t do it. But a couple years later I did register in the Republican Party to give them my name support when they made the unpopular decision as a party to add a Right to Life plank to their party platform. Republican Party people were able to win the battle within their party to support life where as Democrat Catholics have not been able to win support for life in the Democrat Party. In fact, the bishops with their changing the definition of “pro-life in the early ‘80s to include “social justice” issues secured the strangle hold the pro-aborts had on the Democrat Party. It allowed the Democrat Catholics, including clergy at all levels, to remain in or join the Democrat Party, enabling the laity to say, in a smug, snarky slandering way, “Their ‘pro-life’ doesn’t end at birth.” It is those Catholic Democrats that have given us the U.S. Senate Catholic Democrats the power to fight and keep potential pro-life nominees off the Supreme Court which changed the landscape for selecting and vetting those nominees. It is those Catholic Democrats who have given us Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton who combined to give us the Community Redevelopment Act and Agency, that is responsible for the sub-prime loans that produced the financial and housing collapse we’ve been struggling with for four years, now. And it was Catholic Democrat support by 52 and 50 percent that gave us two terms of Bill Clinton who built walls between our intelligence and FBI agencies enabling the attack on 9-11 to be planned and carried out which we have also been having to deal with ever since. And it was 54% of Catholic Democrats, of which 49% were weekly Mass attendees, who gave us our first pro-abortion, pro-infanticide President ever. And that president has given us the longest and weakest post recession recovery in U.S. history; an unemployment rate realistically near 15%; got a Democrat Congress to destroy our private healthcare system which then enabled him to attack our First Amendment Right to Freedom of Religion.

    That IS our current situation that Catholic Democrats, inside and outside government, have given us, all since Roe v Wade. Oh, yeah, can’t forget the 52,000,000 murdered American babies since Roe whose deaths are now jeopardizing the Social Security System because they are not alive to work and contribute FICA taxes which goes to support the Social Security retirees.

  • We’ve had and will always have the perfect in the Catholic faith and can use it to form our reason.

    The good is what we vote for. Good isn’t a political party membership any more.
    We voters have to look at:
    our country,
    its leaders,
    their profligate legalization of deadly behaviors (temporal and eternal),
    outrageous mismanagement of financial and natural resources,
    slews of unkept promises, lies, insults, threats and divisive finger pointing,

    then, decide on a vote for the man who loves his country and wants to serve its people.

    Mitt Romney will have an unprecedented mess to clean up, as well as usual work to do.

    The current public servant won’t even verify his ID or address the people of the United States as if they are equal citizenry.

    This is such an important year for God and country. I think it’s time to practice our faith teachings.
    I. Thou shall have no other gods before me.
    II. Thou shall not take the Lord’s name in vain.
    III. Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.
    IV. Honor thy father and mother that it may be well with thee.
    V. Thou shall not kill.
    VI. Thou shall not commit adultery.
    VII. Thou shall not steal.
    VIII. Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
    IX.

    [ People on assistance will be ok – this is the voting block to convince and calm.
    Massachusetts is a case in point. ]

  • Did I miss something, or did Romney suddenly become a great speaker over the past week? It’s like he was waiting this whole time for Obama’s “you didn’t earn it” comment, and now he’s hitting on all cylinders. He was never this good, not in 2008, not in this year’s primaries.

    And while I’m no fan of Joseph Smith, I think a Mormon can kill on the topic of religious liberty, and throw all the snide comments of Obama supporters back into their faces.

  • Above unfinished when I touched some wrong key and it all went back to Kipling’s poem
    – I apologize. The Ninth and Tenth are missing and the brackets aren’t part.
    I’m shocked! that it got posted because I ‘m sure that tab key started the whole disorientation.

    So, Mitt Romney it is for hope.

  • If Romney is swept into office, overwhelmingly, one thing he will come to realize is that the power of the America vote must be acknoweldged.

  • “IV. Honor thy father and mother that it may be well with thee.” The homosexual practicioner violates this commandment. The abortionist violates the first three commandments as only God creates the immortal soul of man. Fall over as they may, man cannot bring forth offspring without the will of God creating the human existence of the newly begotten. These are God’s children and nobody has the power to take them out of God’s hands. A vote for pro-life is a vote for TRUTH.

  • Stillbelieve – thanks. I know South Bend well, being only 3 hours south on US31.

    Your explanation is tremendous; in my neighborhood there are scant Democrats other than my wife (another story), but not too much farther south of me they’re thick as thieves and for them I pray contantly, only because a soul eternally praising God is better than a soul in eternal perfidy. But that’s all I have for them.

    I still blame the Republicans for being Ken Dolls on most issues, though. They have Pro-Life locked up . . . why can’t fiscal repsonsibility and the 9th & 10th Amendments be as vociferously defended?

  • Here are the facts. One of two men will become president in November.All the wishful thinking and standing on principles in the world will not change that. Which one would be the the better choice? Anyone who does not act in a way to try to ensure that the better of the two is elected is acting to hurt our nation.

  • Ugghh…. Just because he says this during his campaign means nothing. What about his record? Haven’t we learned that presidential candidates will say things, but not deliver? Haven’t we learned to look more at how what is said on the campaign trail matches up with a person’s record?

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/romney-pulled-the-rug-out-from-under-catholic-hospitals-adoption-agencies-m/

    Romney was an adamant pro-choice candidate in MA. He also produced the system of healthcare that was the model for Obamacare. And he also had the same showdown with the Catholic Church in his state and attempted the same bullying techniques against religious freedom.

    And now he is the sainted candidate simply because he is not Obama. Please. You are all controlled by the GOP establishment. Besides empty campaign speeches, there is nothing in Romney’s past to make us think he is any different than Obama. I don’t trust campaign conversions and neither should anyone else.

  • “You are all controlled by the GOP establishment.”

    Rubbish. As faithful readers of this blog know, and I assume that leaves you out of that category, I have been unsparing in my dissection of Romney’s past history. However, to pretend that Romney is no different than Obama is lunacy. Do you seriously pretend that Romney would not immediately rescind the HHS Mandate if he becomes President? Compared to Obama, Romney is the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan!

  • Here’s the rub Pat, you attack Romney and yet you offer nothing in return. In fact you offer worse than nothing because Obama is the only other viable alternative.

    Get a grass-roots party that wins a significant amount of the electorate on local, state, and and national levels & then let’s talk. Until then its all irresponsible, 3rd party, quixotic lunacy.

  • Dear Pat,

    Paul D. offers a sampling of what passes for “theology” among the partisans: because other people elevated Romney to be the GOP candidate, you and I have a moral obligation to vote for him for president. In fact, we are evil and our souls are in mortal danger if we fail to go along with the crowd and vote for Romney, who in the partisan’s viee is “the only other viable alternative.” Yes, going along with the crowd is part of Catholic theology, thank you for asking.

    Dear Donald, I agree that Romney will most likely undo the HHS mandate and some of the other guy’s more obscene initiatives, but we both know (and you’ve said this yourself) is that it’s only because it’s politically advantageous at this time for Romney to do so. Pat is right that there are many scenarios in which Romney fails to make good on his promises. For instance, I bet he still has many friends and advisors from his virulent pro-choice days who have not made conversion to the pro-life side, and they could influence his decision-making once in office. And as we saw with Chief Justice Roberts, sometimes the mainstream media agenda gets to people.

  • “but we both know (and you’ve said this yourself) is that it’s only because it’s politically advantageous at this time for Romney to do so.”

    I make no assessment as to what is in Romney’s heart, my mirror into other men’s souls being on the fritz today. I do know that Romney is running as a foe of virtually all of Obama’s initiatives, and I think he has no reason not to do what he is promising to do. Romney as governor of Massachusetts, a state where the Republican party might as well be on the endangered species list, is different from a Romney as President of a nation where the Republican party is dramatically in the ascendant.

    “For instance, I bet he still has many friends and advisors from his virulent pro-choice days who have not made conversion to the pro-life side, and they could influence his decision-making once in office. And as we saw with Chief Justice Roberts, sometimes the mainstream media agenda gets to people.”

    Valid concerns, although I think the pressures upon Romney to govern in a conservative fashion will prove overwhelming. In any case none of this obviates the necessity for the good of the nation to make certain that this is Obama’s first and last term, and Romney is the only game in town to accomplish that.

  • With respect, Donald, (for I do respect this blog, and enjoy the commentary), if you are thinking of voting for Romney because he is saying nice things despite the fact that his record is completely contrary to what he is now saying, then there is a bit of control going on. Obama was the same way. With frustration and the gnashing of teeth we begged the sleeping center of this country to actually look at Obama’s record rather than just listen to his nice speeches, because they told two different stories and we knew that the nice things he was saying were just that… nice things that would never see the light of day once he was in office. And we were right. And now the tables are turned and we have an Obama on our ticket. Someone who has a horrible record (much more established than Obama’s ever was, btw) and yet somehow we make ourselves feel good by having campaign amnesia because he is magically saying all the things that send tingles up the legs of pro-life conservatives. It’s embarrassing.

    The establishment will keep doing this to us (on both sides) until we take back the power of our votes. Our vote should mean something. It should be cast for someone you think would be an excellent president. You should not be cornered into casting it for someone you KNOW is a wolf in sheep’s clothing just because the other wolf has taken off his sheep’s clothing.

    The establishment knew that conservatives would roll over and be the predictable voting block for this terrible candidate. That’s why they were fearless when they pulled the strings necessary to get him on the ticket. They knew they could count on us to forget our principles and simply vote for whoever had the R next to their name. How long will we continue to do that? How many Bushes, McCains, Romneys, etc will it take for us to realize that no one is listening to the conservatives at all. We are being laughed at and ignored, and yet with mathematical certainty being predicted to still come through as a powerful voting block to elect terrible presidents.

    The challenge was issued for me to come up with a solution. That’s no small order. I don’t see a solution except to encourage people to make their vote actually mean something. We should not be so predictable for the establishment. We should not roll over so easily when a Romney comes our way who has a worse record than Obama ever did. Obama only PROMISED he would do some of the things that Romney actually DID as governor. If it was frustrating to watch centrists (who were clearly bamboozled by Obama’s fancy speeches) vote for him with campaign amnesia, then perhaps you can understand how some of us have the same frustration when we hear great conservative blogs begin to walk down the same path.

    We have been convinced that every election now is the do or die election of our history. “If we don’t win this one, then the sky will fall and the communists will take control!” This is a strategy to get good people to support bad candidates. I’m not playing that game anymore. I may lose this election, (that can happen in a republic), but I hope to start sending a message that this conservative will not support a candidate simply because he has an R. The conservative voting block (which is powerful since we know we are catered to in the campaign rhetoric) should have had a bit more influence in the primary. Instead we are always ignored because we can be counted on to vote for whoever the R-guy is. I say, no more. I will vote for a good candidate. If Romney loses because people in my state vote for Goode or someone similar, then that will shake the establishment for the next election. Don’t send us bad candidates and expect us to forget principles. You want our vote? Don’t nominate people who have backgrounds like Romney’s.

  • “you are thinking of voting for Romney because he is saying nice things despite the fact that his record is completely contrary to what he is now saying, then there is a bit of control going on.”

    I am voting for Romney because he is infinitely better than Obama and because I fully expect him to undo the actions of Obama. I truly cannot understand why that is not a pefectly accurate assessment of the current election.

    “If we don’t win this one, then the sky will fall and the communists will take control!”

    You do not regard the Obama administration as an unmitigated disaster for the country? If you do not, then I respectfully disagree. Elections have consequences, and a pox on both their houses strategy I find mindless when one candidate is manifestly worse for the nation than the other. Do I wish some more conservative Republican were the standard bearer? Of course. However, that phase of the election is past. Conservatives failed to defeat Romney due to fielding a multitude of second and third rate candidates who divided the vote and the campaign contributions and thereby allowed Romney to gain the nomination. However, that is done now, and my goal is to make certain that Obama does not have another term, and electing Romney is the only means to accomplish that.

  • “I am voting for Romney because he is infinitely better than Obama”

    How do you make this assessment? Because he is giving nice campaign speeches? Even a middle-schooler knows that the Student Government candidate promising free ice cream everyday at lunch needs to be scrutinized a bit more. And certainly we have good examples on both sides of the aisle in recent elections to be skeptical of campaign speeches that don’t match up with records. Romney could not have been clearer in his pro-choice days. He created the model for Obamacare. He is a foreign policy hawk. He has a record of promising the world to conservatives under his governing, but actually delivering it to the liberals. And he had a showdown with the Catholic Church in his own state almost identical to the current one, where he did exactly as Obama is doing now. (And on this last point, he isn’t even claiming a campaign conversion… he is just lying about whether it actually happened)

    So, I ask you… on what do you conclude that Romney is infinitely better? And my followup question (assuming you will admit that this is a bit of hyperbole), is how close do they actually have to be for the conservative, in your mind, to be justified in voting for a third party candidate?

  • So, I ask you… on what do you conclude that Romney is infinitely better?:

    1. He is pledged to repeal ObamaCare and to defund it from his first day in office.
    2. He will repeal the HHS Mandate and stop Obama’ s war on the Church.
    3. He will do away with trillion dollar stimulus plans that end up in the pockets of cronies.
    4. He will make the Bush tax cuts permanent.
    5. He will implement the Mexico City policy of a ban on funding any organization that supports abortion.
    6. He will implement policies that aid the economy rather than the Obama policies which have stalled growth and produced an endless recession.
    7. Romney, unlike Obama, will not be attempting to produce schism in the Catholic Church for political advantage.
    8. In regard to energy he will halt Obama’s war on natural gas and oil production and his assinine investment in delusory green energy projects.
    9. Romney’s choice of judges would be far preferable than Obama’s.
    10. Unlike Obama, Romney is not in favor of gay marriage.

    The list could go on at considerable length. Your contention that Romney is no better than Obama simply does not reflect reality.

  • Romneyeither gets it, or is playing the political card, but either way, at least he acknowledges that there is a problem. And out of the two men running for the WH, he is surely the “lesser evil” one. And the one that’s getting my vote.

  • For the sake of my generation, don’t sit this one out. You’ll be dead but we’ll be having to live in a twisted country because of your lack of cojones. You will face judgement for your inactions as well as actions. Ask yourself, who do you think bothers Jesus less? Obama or Romney? You know the answer so don’t let the option that bothers Jesus more prevail because of your inaction.

  • @ Donald…

    My Question: “So, I ask you… on what do you conclude that Romney is infinitely better?:”

    Your Answer (in a nutshell): “Campaign speeches and nothing else.”

    You are ignoring his entire record and the fact that he has taken both sides of many of these issues throughout his political career. Does anyone really know who the real Romney is? And what about long term atrocities? Sure, you may get some immediate payback for electing him, but what about the longterm consequences of electing someone who steers his ship to match up with wherever the political winds are blowing?

    @ MIchelle…

    That’s just it, Michelle. There are more than two candidates for president. Again, you have been sold a bridge here by falling for the scare tactics. Virgil Goode, for instance, is running and seems to be a great candidate who lines up with the Bishops so much better than these two clowns, and has a record to back it up.

    You may respond with the “viability” argument. I don’t see that as an argument at all. All candidates are as viable as the willingness of the voters to vote for them. As long as pro-lifers can be counted on to huddle scared behind the GOP establishment candidate based on a false “viability” argument, then yes, no other party’s candidate will ever be viable. But, as soon as we start to decide to have our vote mean something again, this will accomplish two important things. Other candidates WILL become more viable, and the GOP will actually try harder to court our vote with more than throwing us a couple of meaningless one-liners in campaign speeches.

    The Catholic principles on voting say nothing about “viability” because all candidates have a shot if the voters will get behind them. It’s a false argument proposed by bad candidates to win the votes of otherwise principled voters. There is nothing in Romney’s record (or his flip flopping speeches) that gives me confidence in anything. I think he has merely proven that he will say or do whatever is politically expedient. I don’t see how that is “infinitely better” than Obama. It is too conditional. Rather, I see someone like a Virgil Goode or a Ron Paul (should he run on a different party line) to be an excellent candidate. Long shot? Yep. But at least I am voting for someone who I am confident will stand for what is right in office. And imagine what would happen if all these Catholic blogs would not roll over so easily when the GOP slaps us around and actually decided NOT to make endorsements of bad candidates and put a little fear in the process? Wouldn’t it be great if we took our votes somewhere else in a more unified manner so as to actually have some influence in the process? It seems to me that THIS, more than winning any particular election, would be much better in the long run for this country.

  • Virgil Goode isn’t even on ballot in most states, of course he won’t win. It’s not even a statistical possibility. There is zero possibility.

    One of the criteria for a just war is that it must have a reasonable chance for success. Similarly, when facing grave danger such as Obama you must choose the option to limit the evil which has a reasonable chance for success. The inability to grasp this and the inability to grasp the principle of double effect leads directly to the crass errors in judgment that have been posited here today.

  • @Pat

    “If Romney loses because people in my state vote for Goode or someone similar, then that will shake the establishment for the next election.”

    You are naive and a fool. How many people that you wanted have you gotten elected with your thinking?

  • Your Answer (in a nutshell): “Campaign speeches and nothing else.”

    Rubbish. There is not a chance in the world that Romney would not attempt to carry out each item I listed. You are willfully ignoring reality when you contend that Romney would not be a vast improvement over Obama. Politics is the art of comparisons, and compared to Obama Romney is clearly preferable from a conservative viewpoint.

    “Rather, I see someone like a Virgil Goode or a Ron Paul (should he run on a different party line) to be an excellent candidate.”

    Ron Paul is a lunatic and a buffoon, and has no chance of ever being president. Virgil Goode is a good man who has no chance of being president.

  • ” . . . will shake the establishment for the next election.”

    What next election?

    There will be nothing left.

  • @ Paul D – Your use of Just War principles in a voting situation is a misuse of Catholic Ethics. This isn’t a war in any sense that you could appeal to Just War principles. And I would like to hear your double effect argument here. Although Double Effect Principles are certainly at work within a Just War Argument, they are not the same. Reasonable chance of success is not part of Double Effect.

    The fact of the matter is that Romney has taken just about every position you can take on every issue over the course of his career, and it always happens to be the position needed to get the majority of votes. So, there is a strong case to be made that a vote for Romney is a vote for a drifting boat that will sail in the direction of the strongest wind. I guarantee you that there are stronger and more influential forces in Washington besides the pro-life conservative movement. He needs us now… he will not need us in January. The fact that this argument can even be reasonably made destroys the case that a Catholic is obliged to vote for him just because he is not Obama… especially with other candidates in the race. In fact, you mention that Goode is not on many ballots. Do you think he would be more successful if, instead of rolling over and being bullied around in yet another election, that conservative groups and pro-life blogs jumped ship (or at least threatened to) and began to actually help out and talk up people like Goode that he could be more successful? In other words, you cry about how there are only two viable choices, but I see NO ONE in the mainstream pro-life community actually doing anything about getting behind a good candidate and putting pressure on the establishment. NOTHING. In fact, when people like me try to propose such actions you ridicule us.

    @ StilBelieve – Ad Hominem duly noted. I can’t elect anyone on my own. I only have one vote. I would need others to join me in not rolling over and playing the fool for the establishment.

    @ Donald – You say it is rubbish, but you can only do so if you ignore the fact that Romney is a career flip flopper. He takes positions based on what voter base he needs to rally. This is admitted by EVERYONE, both liberal and conservative… except now. Now the conservatives are pretending they didn’t think that during the primary. There is simply no way to tell what his actual convictions are, and you are therefore relying on the hope that the conservative electorate will mean more to Romney after the election than whatever powerful lobbying influences exist in Washington. I’m not so hopeful. Even Obama caved on deeply held campaign promises. The problem with Romney is that we have no way of knowing which issues he TRULY cares to continue to fight post-election, and which ones are just empty promises, and that is because he has held and fought for all sides of each issue throughout his career. This idea that you can predict what he will do, and what he will have the political capital to do, or even the integrity to do, after the election is nothing but wishful thinking. It isn’t based on anything other than the campaign speeches of a known flip flopper.

    And I don’t want to get into a Ron Paul debate with you, but I think your characteristic of him is simply irresponsible calumny, which is truly unfortunate.

    And Goode could have a better chance if people like us would stand behind them and make some noise.

  • (sorry… autocorrect got the better of me… “characteristic” should be “characterization” in the second to last paragraph.)

  • And I suppose I should clarify something.

    I am NOT saying that I don’t understand the arguments in favor of voting Romney. I do understand them, and empathize with the moral conflict. (ie. double effect, etc)

    What I am frustrated with is that this courtesy is not returned to those Catholic voters who do not offer the same understanding to those who chose to not accept the conclusion that it is a moral obligation, or that a vote for a third party is a vote for Obama, or that Romney will undoubtedly be better, etc. All of these assertions are not based on Catholic teaching, or even a fair assessments of the facts.

    I understand that you are voting in HOPES that Romney will deliver on his campaign promises. But, it is only hope and nothing more. And the hope is only driven on the faith that his campaign conversions are sincere. But, for those of us who do not share your faith, we therefore do not have your hope. And therefore we have to find a way to fulfill our obligation to participate in this election in a different way.

  • Pat you make good points.
    We are in trouble here. It would be great if Romney or Obama would have a real st paul metanoia– but I think the odds are: we are in trouble either way.
    Earlier on I was hoping that the R convention would make it somehow possible to have a different candidate, but the party people will not allow that.
    Prayer is our recourse.
    And I will vote against Obama, marking my ballot for Romney. What else can I do.

  • I understand… But, the biggest irony in this conversation has been the frustration leveled at Catholics who vote Democrat merely because they are Democrats. Think about that irony considering what is being asked by the Republican Catholics.

  • I’m old enough. I will not need to hold my nose.

    Having lived 62 years, I’ve seen good and bad.

    I will vote for Willard in November.

    The alternative (Paul or any third party candidate will not be president) is national and religious disaster.

  • And I don’t want to get into a Ron Paul debate with you, but I think your characteristic of him is simply irresponsible calumny, which is truly unfortunate

    Dr. Paul tends to vet reality according to his pet theories of political and social life, which renders him unaffected by empirical data. He is not serious and should not be in any kind of responsible position.

  • “Dr. Paul tends to vet reality according to his pet theories of political and social life, which renders him unaffected by empirical data.”

    Could you explain what you mean?

    (Ugghhh… I’m getting into a Ron Paul debate, aren’t I?)

  • “And I don’t want to get into a Ron Paul debate with you, but I think your characteristic of him is simply irresponsible calumny, which is truly unfortunate.”

    I have been paying careful attention to Ron Paul’s career since he first entered Congress and came to my notice. If anything, my characterization of Doctor Delusional errs on the side of charity:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2011/12/29/yep-ron-paul-r-pluto-is-pretty-much-of-a-wackdoodle-isolationist/

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2011/08/23/ron-paul-and-the-civil-war/

  • Donald, thank you.

  • @Pat

    “I understand… But, the biggest irony in this conversation has been the frustration leveled at Catholics who vote Democrat merely because they are Democrats. Think about that irony considering what is being asked by the Republican Catholics.”

    The reason for that, Pat, is that it is a SIN for a Catholic to be a Democrat according to Catholic teaching on the 5th Commandment in both Life in Christ Instructions in the Catholic Faith and Catechism for Adults published 1958 and 1995, respectively.

    Read for yourself. “To deny any person her or his rights is a SIN (my emphasis) against justice as well as charity. This is particularly true in the case of joining an organization (such as the Nazi Party or Ku Klux Klan) which promotes racial, ethnic or religious hatred.” (pg. 267, pt # 11, Chpt 36, The Fifth Commandment, Life in Christ 1995)

    Here’s what the earlier Life in Christ Instructions in the Catholic Faith had to say about the Fifth Commandment. “To deny him his rights is a SIN (my emphasis) against justice as well as charity. This is particularly true in the case of joining an organization which promotes segregation OR ANY OTHER DENIAL OF HUMAN RIGHTS.” (my emphasis). (pgs. 251,252, pt #8, Section 39, The Fifth Commandment)

    The Democrat Party is an organization that supports and fights to keep abortion legal in Congress through legislation and judicial nominations. It is part of their Party Platform. Abortion denies the human right to life. In both versions of the Life in Christ teachings, it is a sin to deny any person his or her rights. It is “PARTICULARLY TRUE IN THE CASE OF JOINING AN ORGANIZATION” (ditto) that denies them their human rights.

    Therefore, the mere joining the Democrat Party is a sin for ALL Catholics who do so. If the bishops want to make an exception for the Democrat Party they should do so, but they haven’t. Thus the teaching is in effect. Catholic Democrats are in a perpetual state of sin as long as they are in the Democrat Party, and I would add votes for anyone in the Democrat Party as long as that Party maintains its Party Platform in support of abortion.

    How serious a sin? I would say the sin is mortal because without Catholic support in name and votes, the Democrat Party would not have the electoral power to keep abortion legal has they have been able to do since Roe v. Wade.

    I welcome your comments and discussion.

  • I wanted to be able to vote for Governor Romney, but he’s on record as saying he is seriously going to consider the military option on Iran and that he doesn’t need to involve Congress. That’s unconstitutional. He’s planning to break his oath of office even before he’s made it. If I vote for him I’m leading him into a grave sin. I don’t feel like I can in good conscience vote for either Presidential candidate. I wish I could write in a name.

  • http://antiwar.com/blog/2012/06/18/romney-candidate-for-king-denies-he-would-need-congresss-approval-for-war/

    What he says here is that he does not think military action against Iran requires a Congressional authorization. Whether that means he is planning to ‘break his oath of office’ is dependent on him sharing your interpretation of constitutional provisions regarding war powers.

  • “I can assure you if I’m president, the Iranians will have no question but that I will be willing to take military action if necessary to prevent them from becoming a nuclear threat to the world. I don’t believe at this stage, therefore, if I’m president that we need to have a war powers approval or special authorization for military force. The president has that capacity now. I understand that some in the Senate for instance have written letters to the president indicating you should know that a containment strategy is unacceptable. We cannot survive a course of action which would include a nuclear Iran we must be willing to take any and all actions.

    All those actions must be on the table.”

    It sounds to me that he is talking about emergency action if Iran is about to produce a nuclear weapon. The point is fairly academic since I believe Congressional authorization would be easily obtained in the event that Iran is about to build a bomb.

  • “because other people elevated Romney to be the GOP candidate, you and I have a moral obligation to vote for him for president.”

    I dunno about that. A moral obligation NOT to vote for Obama does not necessarily equal a moral obligation TO vote for Romney. It means you have the following morally acceptable (I didn’t say ideal or wise, just morally acceptable) options: vote for Romney, vote third party/write in, or don’t vote at all for POTUS.

    Multiple pastoral letters and statements by popes (JP II in Evangelium Vitae) and various orthodox bishops (e.g., “The Obligations of Catholics and the Rights of Unborn Children” by Abp. John J. Myers of Newark, written in 1990 when he was Bishop of Peoria) have said that voting for a “lesser evil” candidate or abstention are BOTH morally acceptable choices if no suitable pro-life candidate is on the ballot.

    That said, I don’t see what is so bad about voting for a “lesser evil” candidate. It seems to me that if we truly believe in limited government and in original sin, we shouldn’t necessarily be looking for a candidate with grand ambitions to solve all our problems, even things as serious as abortion or the preservation of the traditional family. We should be looking for a candidate who knows his or her limits, doesn’t promise what he/she can’t possibly deliver, and is least likely to mess things up or make things worse than they already are. The charismatic “messiah” candidates with legions of adoring fans and grandiose plans and promises — whether they are of the left or of the right — are the ones most in danger of becoming dictators or God Kings. Remember, we’re voting for a president, not a Savior.

    “Catholic Democrats are in a perpetual state of sin as long as they are in the Democrat Party, and I would add votes for anyone in the Democrat Party as long as that Party maintains its Party Platform in support of abortion.”

    That may be true in general at the national and state level. However, I’m not so sure the “voting for a Democrat is a mortal sin” rule necessarily applies at the local level or in every individual case. In a local election for an office such as mayor or sheriff where abortion is not an issue, the GOP candidate or incumbent is manifestly corrupt or incompetent, and running as a Democrat is the only viable way to oppose that person (due to insuperable obstacles to getting on the ballot as an independent or third party candidate), then I would say voting for the Democrat would be justified.

  • “That said, I don’t see what is so bad about voting for a ‘lesser evil’ candidate.”

    Liberal Catholyks are looking for any excuse to vote for Obama, having drunk the intoxicant of his purple koolaide.

    But I do agree with the exception that “…where abortion is not an issue, the GOP candidate or incumbent is manifestly corrupt or incompetent, and running as a Democrat is the only viable way to oppose that person (due to insuperable obstacles to getting on the ballot as an independent or third party candidate), then I would say voting for the Democrat would be justified.”

  • Just to clarify, I’m not a “liberal Catholyk” looking for an excuse to vote for Obama, but simply trying to respond to people who insist that it is just as wrong to vote for Romney as for Obama and that they cannot “waste” their vote on a candidate with less than perfect adherence to their favored moral or political principles.

    I personally believe that voting for anyone other than Romney, or not voting at all, if you DON’T want Obama to be reelected is unwise — especially if you live in a swing state whose electoral votes may be decisive — but it is not immoral or sinful. Likewise, in my opinion, voting for Romney on the grounds that he is a lesser evil than Obama in relation to abortion, religious freedom, and protection of the traditional family is fully morally justified; even if he turns out to be less than ideal in that regard or doesn’t live up to all his promises, he can hardly be worse than Obama.

  • @Elaine Krewer

    “In a local election for an office such as mayor or sheriff where abortion is not an issue, the GOP candidate or incumbent is manifestly corrupt or incompetent, and running as a Democrat is the only viable way to oppose that person (due to insuperable obstacles to getting on the ballot as an independent or third party candidate), then I would say voting for the Democrat would be justified.”

    Elaine, those would be non-partisan elections.

  • @WK Aiken

    “I still blame the Republicans for being Ken Dolls on most issues, though. They have Pro-Life locked up . . . why can’t fiscal repsonsibility and the 9th & 10th Amendments be as vociferously defended?”

    I’m very disappointed in the Speaker of the House. I was very supportive of John Boehner in the beginning; looked forward to a practicing faithful Catholic taking over the reins from a practicing, unfaithful Catholic – deceitful, dishonest- Nancy Pelosi.
    He has no fight in him. He’s a disgrace. And I have let him and my congressman know about it. God sure is punishing us. We need a fighter in there for us, and he has been a complete disappointment. I wonder what God has up his sleeves.

  • County elections (at least in Illinois) are NOT non-partisan, everyone still has to run as either an R or a D. Municipal elections (mayor, alderman) are officially non-partisan and it is true one would not have to run with a R or D label; however, the vast majority of candidates have a regular party affiliation which is common knowledge and they rely on support from the party organization to get elected.

    So in a mayoral election, for example, the ballot may not SAY “Democrat” next to your chosen candidate’s name but you and every other voter who has been paying any attention at all to the issues will know that he/she is a Democrat. All I am arguing is that in this particular case (D challenger to a manifestly corrupt, unjust, or incompetent R incumbent/candidate for an office where abortion is not an issue) YOUR vote for the Democrat does not equal support for abortion and is not sinful. (Whether or not it is sinful for the candidate to affiliate with the Democratic Party is another story.)

  • @Elaine Krewer

    “All I am arguing is that in this particular case (D challenger to a manifestly corrupt, unjust, or incompetent R incumbent/candidate for an office where abortion is not an issue) YOUR vote for the Democrat does not equal support for abortion and is not sinful.”

    We are speaking of Catholics and a properly formed conscience, something bishops and clergy have a responsibility for helping to form in us sheep. We are also talking about an intrinsic evil that the Democrat Party is primarily responsible for its continuing to remain legal which has resulted in the murder of 52,000,000 human beings created by God, according to Catholic belief and teachings. Does the scenario you pose make a difference in the sinfulness for Catholics to vote for that D? What if that D wasn’t a D but was a KKK instead, or a Nazi coming to the rescue of that town? Well, Church teaching is, it’s a sin to deny a person any of their human rights, rights which come from God. In fact, such denials are sins against the 5th Commandment, and “it’s a sin particularly so when one joins an organization that denies people their human rights”(paraphrasing the exact quotes for brevity ). The Democrat Party has caused the direct deaths of more innocent human beings than has the KKK and the Nazi Party combined. Just as a good surgeon would not risk leaving one cancer cell remaining inside a patient’s body, a moral community and moral people would find another source to save them rather than to turn to someone who seemed as decent as a Barack Hussein Obama. Furthermore, since you recently added that at the lower level elections, party affiliation plays a role, at least in Illinois, then this “cancerous” party is not going to get behind a decent, human rights loving individual with their money and effort. The reason why party affiliation is made known in a state like Ill at the lower level elections is to “warn” the voters who they are suppose to vote for.

    Catholics, of all people, have the responsibility to stop this intrinsic evil, the legal murdering of innocent human beings. It’s only continuing on because of the large numbers of Catholics remaining in and continuing to join the pro-abortion, Democrat Party, and that includes the clergy.

  • I am directly opposed to abortion or murder of the unborn. Anyone upholding this modern day intrinsic evil, I am so against. As a TRaditional Catholic, man’s laws are only subject to God’s Law. And one of them, is “Thou shalt not kill.” Abortion is murder.

  • STOP THE WAR ON WOMEN’S CONSCIENCE

  • @Maria. Would you please explain what you mean when you say you are a “Traditional Catholic”. This term comes up in various places and maybe it has different meanings for different people. I don’t mean to offend, but I’m always curious why people say this. We are simply Catholic if we are obedient to the teachings of the Church and obey the Magisterium.

  • If we can’t vote for a candidate because he is pro-choice, can we vote for a candidate that has a “false-god” in the eyes of the Church? Which is worse, idolatry or abortion? Command #1 is against idolatry, not murder. So technically you can’t vote for the Rominee either under those rules….

  • That has to be the stupidest argument that I have heard in many a moon. Romney could worship a Penguin “god” from Neptune for all I care, and I would still vote for him so long as he held the positions that he does as opposed to the ongoing complete and utter disaster that is the Obama administration.

  • Well, it was a question, but if it was a argument it’s really stupid. It’s stupid to tell me as a democratic catholic I can’t vote for Obama because he is pro choice, when Romney has always been pro choice, invented obama care, and had etch a sketched his way to this point. Yea, it’s pretty stupid for Catholics voting for Rominee because “he is now all of a sudden pro life”

    But if you want to vote for romney because you disagree with Obama then that’s another issue I wasn’t addressing.

  • You can certainly give your vote in support of the most anti-Catholic and pro-abort President in our nation’s history, who has also been a complete disaster for the economy. People do self-destructive things all the time in this Fallen World.

  • In this day and age being Catholic and being a Democrat are mutually exclusive. There was a time not long ago when that wasn’t the case. But unfortunately today it’s just like being a Jew and a Nazi, and the analogy is appropriate given that the abortion which Democrats support has murdered more human beings than Hitler did in the ovens. BTW, the Democrats are making sodomy as marriage an integral part of their DNC platform.

  • Romney and Obama are pretty much the same. Just Romney likes to change his position, especially on abortion based on his audiences. Both are pro choice. If you believe that he is really pro life, then I’m not the only foolish one here.

  • No they are not. I am 55 years old and I have never seen the Bishops do anything before like the Fortnight For Freedom campaign leading up to the Fourth this year due to the HHS Mandate that Obama has imposed. From a faithful Catholic perspective Romney is far preferable.

  • President Obama is no friend of religious freedom and religious conscience. His history points to the fact he has absolutely no commitment to the unborn in so many ways going back to his days when he voted against providing medical attention to babies who had survived an abortion! How can any Catholic in good conscience vote for this man? I read a stat yesterday that said 80% of democrats are pro choice and as it has already been mentioned by someone else, the Democratic Party is going to make same sex so-called marriage part of their platform. If Catholics continue to vote Democratic they are cooperating with evil! It has to stop!

  • Romney refused to exempt Catholic hospitals, he specifically cut funding for kosher meals for Jewish senior citizens in Medicaid in Massachusetts. Did we forget about Massachussets? Tell me, again why I should vote for Romney? He is not the leasser of two evils on abortion and contraception. Because, OBAMACARE IS ROMNEYCARE!

    And remember also the USCCB also called out the republican party’s cuts to social programs and how they do nothing to help the poor.

  • Who’s having abortions (religion)?
    Women identifying themselves as Protestants obtain 37.4% of all abortions in the U.S.; Catholic women account for 31.3%, Jewish women account for 1.3%, and women with no religious affiliation obtain 23.7% of all abortions. 18% of all abortions are performed on women who identify themselves as “Born-again/Evangelical”.

    http://www.abortionno.org/Resources/fastfacts.html

  • Kosher meals for Jewish citizens? Give me a break! Talk about grasping at straws! Anymore DNC taling points? Maybe Romney once had an overdue parking ticket?

    Look, you obviously don’t give a fig about the fact that Obama is the most anti-Catholic and pro-abort President in the nation’s history. Fine. Be honest with yourself about that however, and don’t waste my time and insult my intelligence by attempting to justify your vote.

  • Actually, that was Gingrich, a catholic , who said that about Romney.

    I’m just trying to understand how you justify voting for Romney when he is also pro abortion, and also did not exempt the church in massachusetts.

  • Here is the actual facts from Commentary on the ridiculous kosher foods smear:

    “In 2002, cuts in both federal and state subsidies to assisted living facilities, combined with the rising costs of maintaining the facilities, caused a couple of Massachusetts nursing homes to consider closing their kosher kitchens. It was an unfortunate decision, but there was never actually a concern that kosher residents would be forced to eat non-kosher food – the facilities were weighing several options, including busing in the food from other nursing homes or hiring catering services. The Jewish Advocate reported in January 2003:

    [Nursing home owner Genesis ElderCare] decided in November to discontinue operating the Coolidge House’s kosher kitchen due to rising costs and decreased state and federal reimbursements. Management said although the kitchen would close, Coolidge House would continue to provide kosher meals either by serving pre-packaged food, contracting with a caterer to prepare and deliver meals, or bringing food over from the Heritage House, GEC’s nursing home at Cleveland Circle. Coolidge House officials say the kitchen will remain open at least through Passover, which starts in mid-April.

    The issue was the nursing home had to maintain the kosher kitchen for everyone living there, even though reportedly just a small percentage of its residents actually kept kosher:

    For administrators at the Coolidge House, it comes down to the math: Only 30 percent of the 200 residents are Jewish, they say, and only 8 percent now keep kosher. By preparing meat and dairy foods in the same kitchen, administrators say, they would save about $200,000, or 14 percent of annual dining costs.

    “We understand the community’s sensitivities, but this is what we have to do to stay in business,” said Larry Lencz, executive director of Coolidge House. “The bottom line comes down to simple economics and changing demographics.”

    Some Jewish community groups opposed the plans to bus in food, and instead requested additional state government funding in 2003 to help the kitchens operate. At the time, Massachusetts was struggling with a budget crisis, and Romney was trying to rein in costs by blocking additional spending. The kosher food bill that he vetoed would have provided an additional $600,000 in funding to nursing homes. Whether you believe he was right or wrong to veto it, this was clearly a position that made Romney appear insensitive to the elderly and Jewish communities.

    In the end, the veto was overridden by the Massachusetts state legislature, and the facilities kept their kosher kitchens after all. But Romney’s decision was not, as Gingrich claims, a choice to “eliminate kosher food for elderly Jewish residents under Medicare.” First of all, it was a choice made by the nursing homes themselves, not the Massachusetts government. Second, it was never actually going to prevent kosher residents from accessing kosher food. And third, Romney’s decision wouldn’t have cut anything – he simply vetoed additional funds, keeping funding at the status quo during a budget crisis year. Which means Gingrich’s comments have little basis in reality.”

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/01/30/romney-kosher-food-nursing-homes/

  • Romney is pledged to be pro-life and I have no doubt he will be, especially with a Republican congress. Obama is a total pro-abort and that simply does not bother you. Your attacks on Romney ring hollow because of who you support.

  • Thank you for that clarification.

    Can you clarify how Romney denied Exemption to Catholic institutions in his mandate?

  • I can’t support a party that will get rid of programs that wil take care of those unaborted babies after they are born. We are pro life in all aspects of the human journey, whether they are wanted or not, young and old, healthy or sick

    To me it’s no use to say we are pro life, yet when that mother asks for government aid for that baby we tell her “no hand outs!”

    I’m with the bishops that this mandate, from romney care, is a violation to the institutions that 98% of its sheep disregard. And I am with the bishops that the republican ideas in budgeting do nothing to safe guard the poor. The Bishops are consistent in their gospel message.

    Obama has not added any abortion legislation other than that no federal money will go to abortions.

    Anti abortion legislation will not end abortion, infant the USCCB said a personhood bill is also not the answer. The answer is to educate ourselves and our kids with the faith, which we obviously are not doing.

    Politicians say what they have to say. My vote is not based whether they are pro choice or not. It’s what they aim to do, or have done, to help the poor.

    Obama isn’t killing babies, it’s our own catholic daughters that CHOOSE to end their babies life. 30%!!!!

  • “Catholic” Voter 1 wrote, “And remember also the USCCB also called out the republican party’s cuts to social programs and how they do nothing to help the poor.”

    I have seen figures stating that in 2011 Republican Mitt Romney gave over $4 million to charity, almost 19% of his income. Liberal progressive Democrat Barack Hussein Obama, however, gave 1% of his salary and “Catholic” Joe Biden gave $300.00 or 0.0013%.

    Republicans are stingy and Democrats are generous. That’s a true statement. Republicans tend to be stingy with your tax money (not all, of course) and Democrats are generous with it (virtually all of them). But the flip side is also true: Republicans are generous with their own money and Democrats stingy. Again, there are exceptions, but not in the case of Romney being generous in charity contributions and Obama being stingy.

    Next excuse to vote for the Obamanation of Desolation, “Catholic” Voter 1?

  • Here are the facts on that:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/romney-and-plan-b-the-santorum-and-gingrich-claims/2012/02/07/gIQATG6VxQ_blog.html

    It is a fine example of a Romney flip flop which is why on this blog I have named him the Weathervane. However, what he did as Governor of Massachusetts, the most liberal state in the Union, confronted by a legislature totally dominated by the Democrat party, will not be predictive of how he will act as President with a Republican congress. Of course none of your assaults on Romney come within light years of justifying your vote for Obama.

  • It is NOT the job of Caesar to take care of the sick, the poor, the hungry, the thirsty, etc. That is your job and mine, “Catholic” Voter 1, as members of the body of Christ. You are NO right to tax me to do what YOU ought to be doing with your own two hands. You have no right to redistribute wealth from those who earn to those who don’t just so that you can feel good about yourself. Barack Hussein Obama is a murderer of unborn babies, a sanctifier of the filth of homosexual sodomy, a thief of the public treasury, and as a self-proclaimed Christian, an apostate and a heretic. He must be stopped at all costs even if that means voting for imperfect, fallible Mitt Romney who made wrong decisions in the past, has learned from them and is committed to be pro-life, pro-marriage, and pro-business. You just want approval to vote for him whom you worship – that godless man of sin who can’t do anything without a teleprompter.

    Down with Obama! Down with the Democrats!

  • Obama has not added any abortion legislation other than that no federal money will go to abortions.

    “NARAL Pro-Choice America endorsed President Obama Tuesday, calling him “a leader who stands with women and their families.”

    “The difference between President Obama and Mitt Romney on choice is clear and stark,” group president Nancy Keenan said in a statement. “President Obama thinks women and doctors should make medical decisions; Romney thinks politicians should be in charge. President Obama wants to uphold a woman’s right to choose; Romney wants to outlaw abortion and even supports a ‘personhood’ ban that would outlaw common forms of contraception. President Obama made it possible for nearly every woman to get insurance coverage of contraception without a copay; Romney wants to take away contraception coverage and defund family-planning programs. We will make sure that voters understand the importance of re-electing President Obama.”

    “We are ready to go to battle and work every day to keep a pro-choice leader in the White House,” Keenan said.

    It’s not really a surprise given how quickly Obama moved to shore up support among women and the liberal-leaning women’s health groups — bucking many of his own White House advisers in backing a contraception rule that granted free contraception to women employed by religious organizations and accusing Republicans of playing politics on women’s health.”

    http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/05/naral-endorses-obama-123524.html

    Just admit it. You don’t give a damn about the fight against abortion, and you could care less about the freedom of the Church. I have no doubt that you are a voter; I suspect you ceased being a Catholic long ago.

  • “peace be with you, but don’t take my my money to feed you, I hope the $1 I put in the collection plate will be enough :)”

    Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

    Am I not called to serve the poor? Do we not make laws to protect ourselves and the community? To live better? To provide education? To provide aid to those that can’t?

    Donald, as a Catholic and your brother in christ i am deeply offended you would accuse me of not “giving a damn.” Anti abortion legislation will not end abortions, but educating and prayer will.

    Let’s calm down for a bit. We agree on abortion, but clearly you are a republican and I hold democratic views. We may not agree with EVERYTHING the parties say, a las in this two party system I’m just stating it’s unfair for a Christian/Catholic voter to vote entirely based on the candidates view on abortion.

    We never know when one day one candidate will be for euthanasia and gay marriage, and the other for abortion and invitro fertilization.

  • @PWP:
    But I do agree with the exception that “…where abortion is not an issue, the GOP candidate or incumbent is manifestly corrupt or incompetent, and running as a Democrat is the only viable way to oppose that person (due to insuperable obstacles to getting on the ballot as an independent or third party candidate), then I would say voting for the Democrat would be justified.”

  • @PWP,
    ABC news: President Obama reported earning about $790,000 last year and paid $162,000 in total taxes. He and the first lady donated $172,000 to charity, or about 22 percent of their adjusted gross income, according to their tax returns. The majority of the first family’s donations went to the Fisher House Foundation which provides scholarships to veterans’ children.

    http://abcnews.go.com/m/blogEntry?id=16132353

  • I believe in nothing that ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, NPR, or PBS say or report. Nor do I watch their news broadcasts. Nor do I read their reports in newspapers or on the web. Nothing that the liberal intelligentsia has to say can be trusted. Maybe you’re right. Maybe not, I don’t care. You’re liberal.

    On very rare occasion ( once per month) I watch Fox News. I don’t trust that either.

    Obama is a godless reprobate, an evil man of depravity and sin and death and destruction. No compromise. Defeat Obama. Defeat the Democrats.

  • @PWP, where do you get your info from?

  • Answer: Not you. Not any liberal news outlet. Not any liberal. Period.

  • @PWP

    Im asking in the humblest manner as to where you get your info, not to attack you, but to know what what you do listen to 🙂 not here to fight you brother

  • OK, Catholic Voter 1, here’s my serious answer:

    Zenit News
    Lifesite News
    Catholic News Agency
    Catholic World News
    National Catholic Register
    Catholic Online
    News.VA (Vatican News)
    The World Over Live at EWTN
    Drudge Report
    National Review Online

    Rarely:

    Fox News
    BBC

    Never:

    ABC
    CBS
    CNN
    NBC
    NPR
    PBS
    NY Times

  • @PWP, Thanks

  • CatholicVoter1

    “Donald, as a Catholic and your brother in christ i am deeply offended you would accuse me of not ‘giving a damn.’ Anti abortion legislation will not end abortions, but educating and prayer will.”

    And just how will “educating and prayer” do that?

  • CatholicVoter1

    “My vote is not based whether they are pro choice or not. It’s what they aim to do, or have done, to help the poor.”

    And where to you get that as being a properly formed conscience?

  • “but educating and prayer will.”

    Just like they ended slavery in this country

  • “My vote is not based whether they are pro choice or not. It’s what they aim to do, or have done, to help the poor.”

    The poorest of the poor are the children slain in the womb, such slayings being celebrated by Obama as a constitutional right.

  • CatholicVoter1

    “My vote is not based whether they are pro choice or not. It’s what they aim to do, or have done, to help the poor.”

    Is there any more “poor” than the human life in the womb, totally dependent upon the mother’s body for life, nourishment, protection, growth, and birth into LIBERTY?. You would not be here but that your mother chose life for you, and my mother chose life for me. Who is not here but the poor who have had their human souls disenfranchised from their human bodies. Separation of the soul from the body is called death. Pro choicers chose death for their “poor”

  • CatholicVoter1 @ 11:32, 12:20, & 1:02
    RE: Your concern for the poor – & this current administration of Democrats.

    This afternoon I was informed that there is a meeting next week for a city soup kitchen. People representing various churches and organizations will discuss ways to restore the operating budget. The Federal Government gave $12,000 last year. This year $0.
    What does that say to us about the current priorities. That’s not enough to pay for a dinnerplate at an Obama fundraiser – you see.

    Speaking of the poor ( which also includes poor in Spirit), we must get to work and build up these kitchens and shelters somehow on our own. The answer doesn’t lie in blaming someone who actually wants to work for the good of all in his homeland.

  • W.I.Aiken: ” I still blame the Republicans for being Ken Dolls on most issues, though. They have Pro-Life locked up . . . why can’t fiscal repsonsibility and the 9th & 10th Amendments be as vociferously defended?

    Amendment 9 – Construction of Constitution. Ratified 12/15/1791.
    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal”. The Preamble to our Constitution says that it is written “to secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity. “Our posterity” are all generations to come, and “WE, the people” have a right to our constitutional posterity according to the Ninth Amendment.

  • Affordable Health Care fails to provide Catholic doctors to Catholic patients in Catholic hospitals and especially those Catholic hospitals with a chapel and a chaplain for the free exercise of religion and conscience, a necessity to the healing of spirit, mind and body, Affordable Healthcare fails to provide a necessary condition to it being a reasonable response to illness and healthcare for the healing of the Catholic patient’s body, mind and spirit. Why should Catholic tax dollars fund an “Affordable Healthcare” plan that ignores their medical needs? So, let us just say, instead of a Catholic psychiarist, the hospital sends in a Muslim, who has not the faintest idea of what the Catholic patient needs, like sending a baker to do the plumbing and you and I have to pay for this nonsense?

  • Crime cannot be legalized because it is perjury, a lie, in a court of law, and the crime remains a crime because it is a crime. The court may not punish the innocent person in the womb: 1 because he did not put himself there, Get the Father. 2 That human being, begotten, is innocent and may not be put to death for the crimes and negligence of his parents. 3 The parents cannot own another person and 4 who becomes a ward of the court because of their intent to destroy him. Abortion, legalized, makes every citizen a party to the crime and the lie. Every person becomes an accessory and an accomplice to abortion either through intent or consent or tax funding or citizenship in a country that has legalized a crime.
    To indict abortion as the crime of murdering an unborn person, may not prevent the crime, but it will alleviate the communal guilt of belonging to a nation of abortionists, and end the forced funding of the crime and lie, through taxes.

  • CatholicVoter1, I have no problem understanding how Jay Anderson, Donald, or other conservatives might be dissatisfied with Romney from a Catholic perspective. But it defies logic to assume that you are straining at gnats in what exemptions, if any, Romney offered to Catholics in MA, while swallowing Obama’s and the Democrats’ rhetorical camel with no discernible irony.

    Moreover, given your citation of Gingrich’s accusations and numerous other examples of bullet-point-speak,  I have the strong sense you are drawing from some script that some organization fed you. Could you please  elucidate what brings you here? And while I don’t mean to speak for others,  if you would be so kind as to spare us any claims that your sole operating manual is the gospel or the catechism, I suspect we would all  appreciate it.

    I recall during the last election that there many similarly stilted posts with similarly weird names (yes, CatholicVoter1 is a  little too on-the-nose, wouldn’t you admit?) and it wasn’t that I questioned the sincerity of their posts (after all, hacks have beliefs, too) or that I thought that they were anything more conspiratorial than one of those pseudo-Catholic front organizations Democrats have set up over the last few years, or some background research towards that end, but I just wish they’d have been a little more upfront about where they were really coming from.

  • Hi HA. I received an email from a friend that had this as a link.

    Im 27 year old, I became catholic at 20 from an evangelical background

    My views are that as a nation it is in our best interests to educate our people because the smarter we are, the more innovative we become. We are t even top 20 in math in the world.

    I believe the churches teaching on abortion and I also believe that the government should provide basic needs to help get people back on their feet even if people abuse the system.

    I became catholic because of catholic answers dot com. I received their voter guide.

    No candidate is perfect and no political party is perfect. Our constitution states we cannot make laws to favor a religion. That being said, many Americans aren’t catholic, some aren’t Christian. Some don’t believe a zygote is a human.

    We are faced every election on these hot button issues, and both candidates hold mixed views on a lot of things that some coincide with church teach, others don’t.

    In this case I don’t see Romney as a diabolical sinful etc monster like others view Obama. I’m sure they are very nice pleasant people. But they say and do things that are against church teaching. So why even vote?

    I believe we need social programs while still being fiscally conservative and to find ways to pay for the 10years of war we had and are still having. And hopefully no more.

    I posted because voting on two parties that do things that are against the church is pretty much damned if you do damned if you don’t.

    I do hope the bishops and the president come to a better compromise that respects the churchs right to practice their faith. I don’t trust Romney because everything that he has said in the election he has flipped on more than any person running for president, that his own party called him out on.

    Not saying the president hasn’t either, but from all the candidates, my opinion, Romney is the worst as his position seems to be always changing.

  • Sorry, we aren’t even top 20 in math