AZ “Anti-Gay” Bill Vetoed

Wednesday, February 26, AD 2014

As I expected, Arizona governor Jan Brewer has vetoed SB 1062. Though it has been described in the media as a bill that establishes a “right to deny service to gay and lesbian customers”, this is quite false. The aim of the bill was to provide the same protections currently afforded to religious institutions under state law to  “any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church,” “estate, trust, foundation or other legal entity” and to allow religious defense to be used as a defense in lawsuits by the same entities.

In itself, the bill is harmless. It makes no reference to homosexuals, even though the outrageously unjust decision of Elane Photography v. Willock, which may be heard by the Supreme Court at some point in the reasonably near future, was the impetus behind it. In context, however, the bill was quite unnecessary and I believe will ultimately end up causing more harm than good.

In the first place, Elane v. Willock took place in New Mexico, wherein homosexuals are a “protected class” under NM state law. No such protections exist in AZ; ergo, no legislation along these lines was really needed at this time. The actual threat to religious liberty, at least from the vindictive sort of activism that has brought photographers and bakers to court, was non-existent. The summary and background written by proponents of the bill made Elane one of its core concerns without recognizing that NMs distinctive protections for homosexuals were responsible for the legal conflict in that state (as an aside, I do not believe Elane Photography refused service simply because Willock was gay).

Because the bill wasn’t really necessary and a tangible threat in the form of an actual lawsuit against a Christian business owner was not in play, it was easy to see it as an irrationally spiteful measure (as I would see the actions of Vanessa Willock against Elane Photography, by the way). Now it is one thing to have to put up with the left-wing media’s triumphalism when we have a moral duty to make a stand, as Elane Photography and other businesses have; it is another thing to have to witness the spectacle of melodrama from the homosexual political movement and its straight allies as Brewer announced her decision. The passage, veto, and failure of SB 1062 gave aid to our enemies who would trample our religious liberties into dust, and did harm to our own cause. I do not blame Brewer for this. I blame imprudence on the part our well-meaning friends in Arizona. As the governor herself put it:

Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona. I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.

We must only fight battles that need fighting. Preemptive strikes didn’t work out too well for George W. Bush and they aren’t going to work out well for the social conservative movement. Right now this country is split – roughly half of it agrees with our basic proposition that the right to free exercise of religion and conscience outweighs a gay couple’s right to have any business they like participate in their gay weddings. If we push for unnecessary legislation against vague or non-existent threats and hand PR victories to the enemies of liberty, that balance could shift against us in short order.

The moral high ground never belongs to perceived aggressors. Only those who strike back in legitimate self-defense can strike with overwhelming force and the moral support of the people. If this lesson is not absorbed, then our cause will never prevail.

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123 Responses to AZ “Anti-Gay” Bill Vetoed

  • I respectfully disagree. It is the veto that sends the wrong message. I don’t think the people of Arizona acting through their legislature has to wait until the situation becomes critical to take proactive measures. This law would have sent a signal to state courts that protection of religious freedom was of paramount concern and that any infringement must be in the interest of a compelling state interest only. They can see in Arizona as we all can elsewhere that advocates of same-sex practices will stop at nothing to advance their agenda. State boundaries mean nothing to those pursuing legitimacy of the “gay” lifestyle at the expense of people of faith. There is no placating such a mindset and there are no lengths that activists will go to harass those who get in their way. The question is will they have the coercive power of the state to back them up. The veto of this bill suggests that in the future in Arizona, they will.

  • Chris,

    I get your objection. I think we are on the defensive, though. I could have told you from day one of the bill’s final draft that Jan Brewer was going to veto it, and for exactly the reasons she said. Her reaction was all but inevitable. I do not think that this means that the totalitarian fanatics will have their way in AZ. I believe Gov. Brewer is an ally – she is pro-life and pro-family. I think she had good reasons for the veto.

    Put the blame with the imprudence behind the bill. Somewhere between “there is no threat” and “its too late” is the sweet spot in which it is safe to take defensive measures. The AZ legislature acted too soon and with an ultimately flawed argument about the implications of New Mexico. Of course the fanatics don’t care about state laws, but they don’t have absolute power. They were able to win in NM – for now, at least – because of NM law. They could not win in AZ – for now, at least – because of AZ law. What AZ social conservatives should focus on is preventing NM-style “protections” from becoming law, if and when those are proposed.

    We have to play it twice as smart and three times as safe because most of the national news media is against us and is looking for ANY reason to paint us as vile bigots destined for the ash heap of history. We are on the defensive and that changes everything about how we play this game.

  • Leading up to her veto, do you believe any of the arguments that AZ was going to suffer financial blow-back if she would of allowed the bill to become law?

    Anyone?

    I found that argument absurd.

  • From the AP.
    The national Hispanic Bar Asso. canceled its convention plans in AZ for 2015.

    I just came across this on associated press. It wasn’t absurd afterall.

    It’s sad that businesses that refuse to serve this lifestyle are going to be dragged into court on discrimination complaints. Because this hasn’t happened yet in AZ was a large factor in her decision to veto? I’m slow. Just catching up. Coffee soon.

  • The gay gestapo, again, wins.

    Next, they’ll sue a parish for refusing to perform Nuptial Rites for a show, sodomy regularization.

    A paltry, few (older religious) black Civil Rights leaders expressed outrage at the false comparison of this fake issue to Solid Democrat south Jim Crow/segregation – it’s a Democrat Party thing.

    In America, Catholics no longer have any right.

  • “A paltry, few (older religious) black Civil Rights leaders expressed outrage at the false comparison of this fake issue to Solid Democrat south Jim Crow/segregation – See more at: http://the-american-catholic.com/2014/02/26/az-anti-gay-bill-vetoed/#comments

    And they are right to do so. There is no way that the discrimination of most ‘protected’ groups in America today can be compared to that of slaves and their descendants.

    But such is the heritage of the civil rights movement. That movement created two things that are not healthy in our body politic. The first is a template that can be followed by anyone who can claim some victimization from invidious discrimination, no matter how paltry (instead of the more reasonable view that the discrimination against blacks was unique and so the template should not have been reused). The second is an addiction to righteous emotions that requires the civil rights movement to never end.

  • (as an aside, I do not believe Elane Photography refused service simply because Willock was gay).” The repugnance of the gay militant agenda is enough to make gentle people avoid it. Its nasty demands covertly assume innocent homosexuals’ lives and smear the virtue of chastity as evil and against their so called license to unnatural marriage and freedom to sodomize each other…(then us).

  • TomD.
    “The first is the template that can be followed by anyone who can claim some victimization from insidious discrimination…”

    Except the unborn.

    What a world.

  • I have mixed feelings about the AZ bill. A few weeks ago I basically supported such an idea. Today I am not so sure. Please permit me to lay out my reasoning.

    It is obvious that homosexuals are using the power of the state to redefine marriage to their advantage (though it has been pointed out that the main advantage of gay marriage is gay divorce).

    It is obvious that other radicals are waiting in the wings to add further redefinitions of marriage (poly-whatever) that will make marriage almost meaningless.

    It is obvious that orthodox Christianity (Catholic, Eastern, and Protestant) considers marriage to be a ‘mystery’ or ‘sacrament’ that cannot be redefined in the manner that is now underway. Please note that I understand that some but not all Protestants are orthodox in their views on marriage.

    So what is happening today, from a Christian viewpoint, is that the secular state is usurping to itself the power to define a sacrament. Arguably the state did this centuries ago when it began to issue marriage licenses and to prohibit clergy from officiating at marriages without a license. This legal power to redefine marriage have lain dormant until now, and the changes in Western societal mores are now driving the state to use this power.

    If the state redefines marriage away from the Christian definition, and if the power of the state and of powerful non-state institutions such as the media are used to defend and propagandize the redefinition of marriage, then Christianity is to some degree being discriminated against, and persecuted. The state is telling Christians that their churches are wrong in a major question of faith and morals. Religious liberty is being undermined.

    The only way out of this insipid persecution is to either return to the original civil definition of marriage, or for the state to get out of the marriage business entirely. The state could stop issuing marriage licenses, and issue only civil union licenses. Marriage thus becomes a purely religious institution. The Church defines marriage for me, and if you don’t like it you can go start your own church and have your own definition of marriage. I’m staying put.

    Think about it. This is precisely what we do regarding the Eucharist. Different churches have different definitions about the Body of Christ. The analogy of the current situation would be that, say, the state has decided that the Lutheran definition is the correct one because it is more inclusive and non-discriminatory, and so the law will recognize it over the non-Lutheran definitions.

    Today Christians who own businesses that serve the public do not discriminate against Lutherans or non-Lutherans. Today’s Christians do not even discriminate against heterosexual adulterers in their businesses. Is homosexuality really that different? Yes, today homosexuals are in the forefront of the de-Christianization of our society, but others (such as divorcees and unmarried contraception users) were in the forefront before them. I personally think that this is the real reason why the AZ bill was supported.

    So, is the fight against gay marriage wrong for us to fight? No, it isn’t. But I would argue that the fight should not be against gay marriage per se, but rather against the state’s support of it. I think we need to say that our Church is important, and it’s teachings on family and sexuality are important, and that we therefore have to right to put our wagon train into a circle and demand the right to not change no matter how the anti-Christians deride us as “haters”. We must demand the right to not have the state cram the redefinition of marriage down our throats and to imply that it agrees with anti-Christians that we are “haters”. Since we have the right to resist all this, we have the right to oppose being forced to give business services to support this state redefinition of marriage.

    In the final analysis, we cannot mount such a fight if we cannot be this particular about our reasons. We cannot use the legal power of the state to keep our society ‘good’ (think of the lack of ‘good’ in an improperly consecrated Eucharist), but our opponents need to see that they can’t use the state in a similar manner. At least over our dead bodies. Your thoughts?

  • I don’t like giving in to bullies, but I don’t think the bill was a good idea– it placed requirements along the lines of “prove it” on folks refusing service.

  • Philip, you are exactly right. The unborn and the profoundly mentally challenged cannot “claim” victim status or anything else without aid from another person. The great god Autonomy recognizes them not.

  • The devil is a liar. When a person says: “I Will, til death do us part”, gives informed consent freely without impediment and then changes his mind, recants his informed consent, his “I WILL, ’til death do us part”, he becomes a liar, a minion of the devil. A liar, a minion of the devil, cannot be trusted in a court of law, not in a church or a court of law without repenting his sin, his crime, his untruth.
    .
    The truth is defended by the Catholic church and must be defended by the court of Justice. If an impediment exists, such as faulty consent, an annulment is given, saying that no marriage, no sacrament was brought to bear. Divorce says that a marriage, a sacrament exists, and that the Church or the state has the power to eradicate a sacrament or a contract made of a man’s free will.
    .
    This is plainly a lie and son of a devil, any and every devil whose name is legion.

  • Mary, you want courts of law to recognize the existence of the devil? Why bother, they already recognize the existence of lawyers. (Sorry Don. Sorry Dad)

  • 🙂 funny….but to easy a target Dave.

  • I know the-devil-and-lawyers is a trope, Philip, but I couldn’t help myself.

  • It’s funny until we need one!

  • We all need to think like lawyers. Jesus did command us to be “as wise as serpents” after all, even as he called on us to also maintain our innocence.

  • “Mary, you want courts of law to recognize the existence of the devil? Why bother, they already recognize the existence of lawyers. (Sorry Don. Sorry Dad)”

    “In Hell there will be nothing but law, and due process will be meticulously observed.”

    Grant Gilmore

  • TomD

    Here in Scotland, until 1940, the state did not regulate marriage. Marriage required —no notice, no formality and no record of any kind. Mere consent of parties, deliberately given, was alone sufficient to constitute a marriage without a moment’s delay without any consent of parents or guardians or any notice to them; add to which that a mere promise of marriage, followed by consummation, or a living together as man and wife, without either formal consent or promise, amounted also to a marriage, being deemed by operation of law to involve presumptions of consent.

    As late as the 1980s, actions for declarator of marriage were a commonplace, often brought 40 or 50 years after the alleged event, usually when the man (it was mostly the man) had died. Widows and children, threatened with disinheritance often enough bought off claims that were little more than blackmail.

    The reasons brought forward for changing the law were obvious:

    1) As regards the rights and interests of the parties themselves, it is obvious that, in order to constitute marriage, the matrimonial consent should be given in a manner which secures previous deliberation, and that, whatever formalities the law may require in the mode of expressing consent, it should be so expressed that neither party can, at the time, entertain a doubt as to the validity of the engagement into which they solemnly enter.
    2) As regards consequences affecting others the matrimonial consent should be given in a manner and accompanied with evidence easily accessible; so that the rights and interests of others may not be exposed to the imminent hazard which arises from any uncertainty with regard to the effects of previous latent subsisting engagements, whether arising from the fraud of one of the contracting parties, or from causes of a less culpable nature, in consequence of uncertainty attending the legal effects of previous conduct.
    3) As regards the rights and interests of future generations, it is of the utmost importance that questions of legitimacy should be avoided, by rendering the proof of marriage so easily accessible, by means of public records, that the claims of future generations by inheritance in the course of lawful descent, may be traced in the most certain and effectual manner.

    I consider these reasons for state regulation unanswerable

  • Michael Paterson:

    I’m not so sure that your points are unanswerable. Point #3 in particular would be moot in a society that cares not a whit for future generations, and shows its intent by contracepting and aborting them out of existence. And all of your points to one degree or another have been only weakly supported by modern ‘government regulation’ – the decay of the traditional family being the chief proof. If this is what marriage is for then government has largely failed.

    But my main (halfhearted) point still stands: all of the positive things you argue for can be gained via civil unions. My argument is that we rename the civil institution of marriage to something else, and let government work toward its just goals through that something else. In the meantime we Christians get to have the marriage we want to have, and no one holding secular power can say we are wrong. Once government leaves the marriage arena the debate over the nature of marriage becomes a theological debate only.

  • TomD-
    when your solution involves the same goals as the Freedom From Religion foundation, perhaps you should re-examine them?

    Incidentally, please stop slandering an entire culture based on the loud idiots. Yes, too many people sin sexually. That is no reason to dynamite the support for those who aren’t, or are trying not to.

  • Foxfier: “when your solution involves the same goals as the Freedom From Religion foundation, perhaps you should re-examine them?”

    I assume this group is one of those, as I put it above, are “radicals [who] are waiting in the wings to add further redefinitions of marriage (poly-whatever) that will make marriage almost meaningless”? Yes, you put your finger on the weak spot in this argument, which is why I am “halfhearted” about it: break the connection with Christian marriage, and the state will come to support ANY combination of legal relationships and will try and call it ‘marriage’. But, they are already doing this. I am making an argument similar to a damage control party who counterfloods a sinking ship: break the connection, and we just might save marriage, though only for us Christians. Haven’t you noticed that the ship is already sinking?

    Slander is a rather strong word. Who did I slander and how? Slander requires untruthfulness. Where was I untruthful?

  • I assume this group is one of those, as I put it above, are “radicals [who] are waiting in the wings to add further redefinitions of marriage (poly-whatever) that will make marriage almost meaningless”?

    No.

    They try to remove all religion from the public sphere.

    Haven’t you noticed that the ship is already sinking?

    1) No, it is not. It’s damaged, but not sinking. Even the “50% of marriages end in divorce” statistic is false.

    Your solution is to look at the USS Cole, with a huge hole in the side, and decide the solution is to blow a hole in the other side, and then declare that those who say stop doing damage are fools who will kill us all because all is lost.

  • Foxfier wrote: “Your solution is to look at the USS Cole, with a huge hole in the side, and decide the solution is to blow a hole in the other side, and then declare that those who say stop doing damage are fools who will kill us all because all is lost.”

    A ship the size of the USS Cole lacks transverse bulkheads, so they do flood all the way to the other side when holed, but on larger naval ships that is almost precisely what damage control teams do, though they don’t actually blow a hole. I brought up the analogy because of your “when your solution involves the same goals as the Freedom From Religion foundation, perhaps you should re-examine them” comment. It occurred to me that years ago the Imperial Japanese Navy strove to flood U.S. Navy ships, and U.S. Navy damage control strove to flood them, and so the uninitiated would think that the IJN and USN goals were the same. They both flooded the same ships, right? Therefore, it does not logically follow that an idea of mine is suspect because a spiritual enemy of ours advocates it. My reason is not their reason, and I think I was clear on that.

    BTW, a fun digression: naval architects will tell you that the first priority in designing a ship is “that it does not sink”. A no-brainer, right? The second priority is “that if it sinks the people can get off it”. Paramount to this second priority it to avoid designs that could cause a ship to turn turtle. The U.S. Navy refused to allow transverse bulkheads in cruisers, and felt vindicated after a few Royal Navy cruisers turned turtle in WW2. Better to flood a ship all the way across than to lose a crew.

  • Oh, one more thing. The “ship” I hade in mind for sinking is not the Church, that is in fact growing around the world. It is our Western society that is sinking – remember that current German birth rates will lead to the extinction of Germans by 2500 AD, and the Western elites who think this is a good thing to emulate have their countries on the same path, only slower. I don’t think it need sink, damage control is still possible, and it ought to be saved. But it is slowly sinking.

  • They both flooded the same ships, right? Therefore, it does not logically follow that an idea of mine is suspect because a spiritual enemy of ours advocates it. My reason is not their reason, and I think I was clear on that.

    It does not matter what your reason was, when your result is the same.

    Major difference being, ie, when those who flood both sides are there is still a ship, while when you blow out the other side the wounded ship sinks.

  • Your original point was on “society”.

    Which, amazingly enough, I am a member of– and which has not even hit a 50% failure rate, let alone an “abandon all hope” type failure rate.

    I frankly do not give a fig what assumptions based on people doing the same blessed thing they’re doing right now for five hundred years would result in, because past evidence holds that PEOPLE DON’T KEEP DOING THE SAME THING FOR FIVE HUNDRED YEARS.

  • “In Hell there will be nothing but law, and due process will be meticulously observed.” Grant Gilmore .
    Jesus descended into hell. The laws of hell refused Him entrance. Jesus took the patriarchs and ascended into heaven.
    .
    “when your solution involves the same goals as the Freedom From Religion foundation, perhaps you should re-examine them?”
    .
    The Freedom From Religion Foundation can say nothing to me or to the courts or to the state.
    Atheists are tolerated. Atheism is unconstitutional. The First Amendment: “or prohibit the free exercise thereof” is freedom of religion to me in the public square.
    .
    God gives us this: genius
    .
    “The Civil Rights Acts that banned discrimination on the basis of race by private vendors were unusual legislative acts based on an unusual situation: state governments that mandated such discrimination by private businesses. It took government action to break down such government mandated discrimination. Absent such government mandated discrimination, I think most Americans, if they truly ponder it, would be all in favor of businesses discriminating in some cases. For example, I assume few people are against restaurants discriminating against nudists by mandating clothes. I imagine few Americans would feel comfortable telling a black owned barbecue restaurant that they must cater a Klan rally. A Jewish run deli really should not be required to provide take out for the group calling for divestiture from Israel. I am not going to represent the owner of an abortion clinic under any circumstances. In theory Americans might be against private discrimination in commerce, but when it comes down to actual cases, I suspect that almost all Americans are not non-discrimination absolutists. When businesses discriminate they of course run the risk of losing customers, but freedom of the consumer goes along with freedom for the vendor.”

    – See more at: http://the-american-catholic.com/2014/02/27/private-discrimination-is-as-american-as-apple-pie/#sthash.6tZ6zQzl.dpuf
    .
    Laws that the government makes and that are or that become unjust, the government must unmake. Otherwise, government used to engineer its citizens through corrupt laws is government without law.
    .
    Capitalism, like social Justice, is about giving to persons what they truly need as opposed to what they want.
    .
    Do gays need unnatural marriage? Or cakes for their counterfeit vows? Does the gay agenda need to arrogate the office of husband or wife and militate against virtue? Does gay addiction lead to happiness?

  • Foxfier, past evidence shows that people often DO do the same thing for five hundred years. And you know what? Even if they don’t the damage is often irreversible. Europe is dying, the birthrate implosion is real and will not change unless there is Divine intervention. America is not dying but there are those here who want us to be like Europe. If you are going to argue these facts are wrong then I’m simply going to give up on you.

  • Thanks Mary for reminding me that I have to read that “apple pie” article. I’ve been away for much of the day.

    When I took my business law courses the first thing I was told was that “law creates discrimination”, and the section you quote shows that very well. This fact is why civil right law is based on outlawing “invidious” discrimination – in effect civil rights law discriminates among different discriminations: a few are bad, but most are good.

  • Tom D.
    .
    Lying in a court of law is still called perjury. The child is evidence of the marital act between a man and a woman. It is no small reason why abortion is prevalent. The courts may uphold the marriage vow as a legal contract between two persons.

  • “3) As regards the rights and interests of future generations, it is of the utmost importance that questions of legitimacy should be avoided, by rendering the proof of marriage so easily accessible, by means of public records, that the claims of future generations by inheritance in the course of lawful descent, may be traced in the most certain and effectual manner.”
    .
    Somewhere I learned that any child born into a marriage, although he may be illegitimately begotten, is a child who is legally a member of that family.
    .
    “I consider these reasons for state regulation unanswerable”
    .
    If you mean, Michael Paterson-Seymour, that the state has nothing to say about the matter, except to uphold the law, you are correct.

  • TomD

    A great Scottish judge. Lord Meadowbank famously declared (Gordon v Pye (1814)) that private pacts “cannot impede or embarrass the steady uniform course of the jus publicum, which, with regard to the rights and obligations of individuals affected by the three great domestic relations, enacts them from motives of political expediency and public morality and nowise confers them as private benefits resulting from agreements concerning meum et tuum, which are capable of being modified and renounced at pleasure. Accordingly, the case of Campbell of Carrick in rejecting the competency of any personal objection to bar a pursuer of declarator of marriage establishes by the highest authority the incompetency and inefficiency of any obligations, not sanctioned by the common law, to operate on matrimonial rights.”

    Speaking of foreign marriages, he said, “Matrimonial rights and obligations, on the contrary, so far as juris gentium, admit of no modification by the will of parties and foreign courts are therefore nowise called upon to inquire after that will or after any municipal law to which it may correspond. They are bound to look to their own law and it is with all deference thought to be in a particular degree contrary to principle to make that law bend to the dictates of a foreign law in the administration of that department of internal jurisprudence, which operates directly on public morals and domestic manners… This category of law does not affect the contracting individuals only, but the public and that in various ways; and the consequences would prove not a little inconvenient, embarrassing and probably even inextricable, if the personal capacities of individuals, as of majors or minors, the competency to contract marriages and infringe matrimonial obligations, the rights of domestic authority and service and the like were to be qualified and regulated by foreign laws and customs, with which the mass of the population must be utterly unacquainted.”

    This applies with equal force to the notion that every sect might establish its own laws governing these matters.

  • Tom D.

    Apology owed. I mis-quoted you.
    Unintentional. Invidious! “insidious” was used. Excuse me.

    Mary DeVoe.

    “Freedom of the customer goes along with freedom of the vendor.”
    It makes sense.
    So the Gay mafia is feeling the power swing that’s been propelling their agenda, so they are riding the wave and complaining in a court of law whenever they feel insulted?
    This is honestly more of a offensive move on their part then defending themselves aginist discrimination.
    It’s part of the war on Christian values.

  • Have there been any cases of devout Catholic vendors being sued for refusing to cater/photograph/host, etc. the wedding or reception of a couple who had been divorced (without obtaining a decree of nullity) from their previous spouses, or who were otherwise marrying outside the Church? According to Catholic teaching, those unions are also not true marriages and Catholics must not endorse or cooperate in them. The usual pastoral counsel for individuals in these cases is either 1) decline to attend or participate in the wedding or reception and don’t send gifts because that would be cooperating in a sinful act, or 2) attend in order to keep family peace but make clear ahead of time that you believe their action to be morally wrong.

    That said, I’ve never personally heard of a Catholic photographer, caterer, etc. asserting or being told that he/she has a moral obligation to refuse service should he/she discover that the couple in question are Catholics marrying outside the Church. Nor have I ever been told that a Catholic court clerk has a moral obligation not to sign off on marriage licenses for couples remarrying after divorce or Catholic couples not marrying in the Church (provided, of course, that they KNOW the couple is in this situation — which is one significant difference, a same-sex couple is always obvious while a male-female couple attempting a marriage not sanctioned by the Church isn’t.)

    I bring this question up for two reasons: first, to discover whether there have indeed been any such cases that I just don’t know about, and second, to make the point that if Catholic vendors, etc., have not previously shown any moral qualms about serving opposite-sex wedding ceremonies that, according to their beliefs, were illicit, might that not be undermining their present argument that they have a grave moral obligation to refuse same-sex couples? And if that’s the case, does this mean that for consistency, maybe Catholic vendors need to also start being more selective about which “traditional” opposite-sex couples they serve? Or maybe just not do weddings at all except as a personal favor to people they know and trust? For example, if a baker normally just sold regular baked goods and didn’t advertise to the public that they had any means for doing wedding catering.

  • Elaine.
    You ask good questions.
    A baker having to be worried about being sued if they decide to protect their conscience. Weird times.
    Here’s one; From Vision to America this morning. The girl scouts named their NYC “Girl Experience Officer” as Krista Kokjohn-Poehler. An openly gay/lesbian who has a partner, and now holds this interesting title in the organization.

    Girl experience officer. Watch your cookies. As for our family…no thanks.

  • Elaine,

    None of the high-profile cases thus far have involved Catholics, to my knowledge. We are well represented when it comes to the HHS mandate but not when it comes to the individual business issue.

    It could be because more Catholics (self-identified, at any rate) defy Church teaching on both issues than evangelical Protestants do on the gay wedding issue.

  • Hi Elaine! You wrote “…second, to make the point that if Catholic vendors, etc., have not previously shown any moral qualms about serving opposite-sex wedding ceremonies that, according to their beliefs, were illicit, might that not be undermining their present argument that they have a grave moral obligation to refuse same-sex couples?”

    That is very much the point that I making in a more backhanded way, although I mostly cited the Eucharist as the affected sacrament. I think this is a very valid point. And why did it happen? Because people see the possibility of conflict between standing up for church teaching and charity. They did years ago, of course, but charity didn’t win out as often as it does today. Oh, and I am deliberately using today’s definition of charity, since the very valid concept of “false charity” have very little traction anymore.

    So, if Christian business owners serve illicit heterosexual ceremonies, can they logically still reject homosexual ceremonies? Up until now they have, and they have justified it on natural law arguments, which tell us that homosexuality IS different. Natural law has, not coincidentally, come under attack. The ABA, for example, has done its best to remove natural law as a philosophical underpinning of constitutional law, which is why courts so rarely cite the Declaration of Independence anymore. Many people today still basically follow in natural law for judgment on the morality (or lack thereof) of homosexual acts, but thanks to pro-homosexual propaganda have trouble using it in discriminating circumstances.

  • Foxfier, past evidence shows that people often DO do the same thing for five hundred years

    Where?

    Where is your past evidence that it is reasonable to expect Germany to be depopulated in 500 years due to the birth rate not changing at all in that time?

  • Philip: “Mary DeVoe. “Freedom of the customer goes along with freedom of the vendor.”
    This common sense comes from Donald McClarey.

  • Elaine

    It could be that Catholic moral theologians have often taken a generous view on when “remote material co-operation” is permitted, with a suitable “direction of intention.”

    The 17th century Casuists were very lenient. Thus, Étienne Bauny SJ says, “Let confessors observe that they cannot absolve servants who perform base errands, if they consent to the sins of their masters; but the reverse holds true, if they have done the thing merely from a regard to their temporal emolument.” He instances carrying letters and presents to the ladies their master wishes to seduce.

    Similar considerations apply to tradesmen. So, according to Vincenzo Filliucci SJ, a locksmith may sell picklocks and skeleton keys to a thief, for use in his general business as a housebreaker; he is not complicit in the sins the thief subsequently resolves to commit with them. It is otherwise, if the locksmith copies the keys of a particular house that he knows the thief is planning to break into. In that case, he is art and part of the particular theft.

    I am sure the theologians could have relieved the scruples of florists and bakers.

  • Mary DeVoe
    and
    Donald McClarey.

    Thanks. I didn’t realize it was Donald’s comment.

  • Foxlier, many people, including Germans, allowed their societies to be anti-Semitic in one form or another for more than 500 years. Islam as practiced by many has been a destructive societal force for far more than 500 years. I could name others. So I can conclude that it is possible for the modern Western pseudo-utopia to provide for the next 500 years the contraception and abortion and television and vacations that will basically eliminate their populations.

    BTW, you have a bad habit of misrepresenting my statements. I did not maintain that Germany will be depopulated, and even by inference depopulation is not the most reasonable conclusion. Germans will not disappear by dwindling to four, then two, then one. They will disappear because they will intermarry with their more numerous replacements.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour: I agree with Lord Meadowbank on civil marriage. I don’t think his view is really counter to mine, which is that an ahistorical Lord Meadowbank cannot use Scottish law to tell the Church what the nature of Christian marriage is, and that the Church has every right to resist the ahistorical Lord Meadowbank’s attempts to better it in moral and sacramental theology.

    I really liked your post on the Casuists. There is so much to history.

  • You said:
    It is our Western society that is sinking – remember that current German birth rates will lead to the extinction of Germans by 2500 AD, and the Western elites who think this is a good thing to emulate have their countries on the same path, only slower.

    This is not on par with “being anti-Sematic, in one form or another” nor is it on par with “being Islamic.”

    You also then accuse me of misrepresenting you because:
    I did not maintain that Germany will be depopulated, and even by inference depopulation is not the most reasonable conclusion.

    So you believe the Germans will be extinct based on extrapolating current birth rates if they go on for 500 years, but the only evidence you can offer are ideas?
    I suppose I should be glad you didn’t decide to defend it by saying “people have been eating for a long time!”

    You have not defended your claim, and your false accusation that I am misconstruing you is just silly.

  • Don, what do you think is up with this Foxfier? A troll, a paid troll, or what? I normally reply to posts like these because I assume that a teen might be reading it, but this baiting has gotten out of hand.

  • Foxfier is a co-blogger TomD and a master at combox to an fro. This blog is as much hers as it is mine.

  • OK, I agree, I clicked on the avatar and found the Head Noises site, so its legit. But I’m sorry, I’ve counted two serious misrepresentations, so I see nothing masterful about this. Hyperbolic misquoting does not engender respect from the quoted.

  • False accusations do even less.

  • If you apply your standard of truth to yourself you could not prove anything by anyone to be false.

  • You made a silly claim that assumed that birth rates would stay the same for 500 years because I objected to your slander about us being “a society that cares not a whit for future generations, and shows its intent by contracepting and aborting them out of existence.”

    Never mind actually offering some sort of support for this defeatism– basic logic would indicate that the portion of society that is preventing and killing their progeny isn’t going to be taking over the culture. Familiarity with how younger folks tend to be more pro-life than the older ones is one point of support.

    Nope, the reasonable reaction is to remove religion from the public sphere. To save the ship, or something.

  • If you apply your standard of truth to yourself you could not prove anything by anyone to be false.

    That is false.

    The only “standard of truth” I’ve been promoting is going beyond assertion and hand-waving; you made a specific claim, and when asked to support the assumption that a half century would not change birth rates, pointed to things not even vaguely similar.

  • The birth rate claim is not silly. Mark Steyn and Theodore Dalrymple (who you approvingly quote on your Head Noises site) have made it. Their writings convinced me that it is a reasonable position to take.

    Who is the “us” that I am slandering? I still don’t know. Is the U.S.? Europe? The West?. Again, I am just quoting Steyn and Dalrymple about Western trends, so after you let me know who the “us” is please tell me, are they slandering “us” too?

  • You keep making claims of “misrepresentation,” but the one time you tried to support it the problem is… well, not clear– you say “current German birth rates will lead to the extinction of Germans by 2500 AD,” I say that extrapolating birth rates without change is silly, and you object that of course the reasonable way to read that is not that you’re assuming birth rates will stay steady, but that they will dwindle and intermarry.

    Which has nothing to do with what I said.
    Showing how a population at one point did keep the same birth rate for 500 years would be relevant, even if it was something like consistently having replacement +1 for women, without averaging more than a decade into the stats. That would be really good evidence. “People follow a religion and hate outsiders,” not evidence.

  • If you can’t figure out that we’re all part of society, you’re either foolish or being willfully obtuse– AKA, trolling.

    The birth rate claim is not silly. Mark Steyn and Theodore Dalrymple (who you approvingly quote on your Head Noises site) have made it.

    Steyn’s observations do not assume that nothing will change. That is a major difference between him and yourself.

    Dr. D doesn’t assume that all is lost so we should abandon ship. That’s another major difference.

    They do both recognize that the culture is in trouble, and that there is a major drop in birthrates– but they’re calling attention to it to change it, not to throw their hands up and surrender.

  • Foxfier & Dave.
    It’s The American Catholic, not The American Protagonist.

    You both have acquired so much and share in your wealth of experience knowledge and virtue. Please share more virtue between yourselves.

    From the freshmen class.

  • I think you mean Donald?

    Not clear what you’re talking about either way, Philip.

  • Philip, Foxfier seems to have developed a personal animus towards me. Also, note the answer to me about Mark Steyn: “Steyn’s observations do not assume that nothing will change”. This is a half truth. What Steyn has written is that these trends, if unchanged, will lead to one outcome that Foxfier disputes, and if changed will lead still lead to a slightly different outcome because it will come too late, but Foxfier disputes this too (actually, Foxfier acts as if they are one outcome, because this makes it easier to argue with me). At least I can find the Steyn quotes if Foxfier demands it. I do recall one: “These countries are going out of business”, which sounds a lot like my “slanders”.

    Right before I wrote this note I picked up my youngest from school and dropped into the office to pick up what I need for work tomorrow. I was thinking “I hope Foxfier just says that ‘Steyn and Dalrymple are silly too, and here’s why…'” because then I would know that it’s not personal. Alas…

  • Europe is dying, the birthrate implosion is real and will not change unless there is Divine intervention.

    No. There has been a recovery in fertility rates in much of Europe, excluding the Germanophone states, the Balkans, Italy and Spain. British and French fertility rates are at replacement levels and Russia’s are improving. The World Bank puts the mean fertility rate for “Europe & Central Asia” at 1.95 children per woman per lifetime. If you bracket out the Muslim states therein, that’s north of 1.8 for the remainder. The nadir for total fertility rates was in 2002 at 1.85, so a recovery to replacement levels for quondam Christian Europe is conceivable within a generation.

    Mark Steyn is a talented commentator but he makes errors with the math.

  • Oops, I’ve found that I’ve made a mistake, can’t remember everything these days. AD 2500 is not the year that Germans will disappear if their birthrates are unchanged, it is the approximate year of humanity’s disappearance if the entire globe were to adopt current German birthrates starting today. This implies that the Germans probably won’t even make it to 2500. Sorry.

  • Art, do those World Bank statistics for Europe include their Muslim populations? I think they do, and based on the observations of Steyn and Dalrymple and others I’d conclude that the “recovery” is simply due to more Muslims.

  • Per the Pew Research Center, non-indigenous Muslims make up less than 6% of Europe’s population and France has a proportion only slightly larger than that. The main source countries (Turkey and the francophone Maghreb) do not have exceptional fertility rates (around replacement rates for Turkey, Algeria, and Tunisia, somewhat higher for Morocco).

  • Algeria’s fertility rates have improved in recent years, so Algeria and Morocco are both around 2.8. Steven Mosher was speculating a while back that European Muslims had fertility rates around 4.0, but you only see rates like that in Tropical Africa these days and a two or three equally impoverished countries elsewhere.

  • What is the definition of “non-indigenous Muslims”? Since the Islamic immigration to Europe began in the 1950’s, it is possible that there are now two to three generations in Muslim families that are native born, and some intermarriage with the “indigenous” population has occurred. I must confess that I have had some suspicion of European statistics since I found that most European countries count children who die 2-3 days after birth as stillbirths.

  • Oy….

    You accuse me of this, that and the other thing, refuse to support what you claim, grudgingly admit that a contributor might, possibly be legit…and I’m the one with animus against YOU?

    You’re not that important.

    You’re annoying in that you smear the entire of society with the sad, sick and lied to that are poisoning themselves and killing their kids, but no, insistance on something of substance to back up your claims is not about you.

  • Art, is that Stephen W. Mosher? If so please know that I hadn’t heard of him and just looked him up. Very interesting, I’m going to read more on him and by him. Thank you!

  • Thank you for confirming the animus

  • “grudgingly admit that a contributor might, possibly be legit” Sorry Foxfier, but it’s your hostility that sowed the doubt in my mind. I’m glad to have put it aside.

  • Just made it back.

    TomD and Foxfier.

    Please pardon my intrusion.
    I was loosing sight of your debate because of the dust being stirred up.
    That was my mention of virtue in a (drama sequence) that unfolded between two good people. I’m sorry to bud in Foxfier. I respect your positions ( prove it comment you made relating to the AZ bill that was killed) Good point!
    I respect the opinions of TomD. I was enjoying your debate but soured on the insults that transpired.
    So. Instead of moving on I was beating around the bush that We are Catholics.
    We forgive. We encourage each other just as your many posts and topics have done in the past on this site.
    Peace to both of you.

  • Philip- I thought that was what you were going for.

    Thing is, you can’t forgive someone who not only doesn’t repent, they find the very mention that they’ve done something wrong to be justification for doubling down, then escalating to every wilder accusations.

  • Foxfier.

    Thing is I Can forgive someone whom I believe wronged me, and based upon past actions, very well may wrong me again.

    Unforgiven is a good Western movie starring Gene Hackman. Unforgiven in real life is more violent than the movie.

  • Returning to an earlier topic… thanks to all who responded to my question. I guess what I really want to know is, in Catholic teaching, where do you draw the line between “just doing your job” with no endorsement of the customer’s/client’s action expressed or implied, and engaging in morally unacceptable cooperation with an evil action? Obviously we cannot just blindly “follow orders” like Nazis marching Jews into the death camps, but neither can we rigidly avoid ALL cooperation or potential cooperation with actual or potential sin without becoming hermits who live off the grid. It’s not always easy to find the middle ground here.

  • Elaine: I hope this helps.
    .
    Justice, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Justice is predicated on intent.
    Capitalism itself is giving to people what they need, not what they want.(The generosity of the vineyard owner giving a day’s wages to those who worked only a few hours to save their very lives is charity. The vineyard owner’s act is also Justice to an equal person.)
    .
    Fulfilling people’s wants through the burden of the law is nonsense.
    .
    Christ overturned the money changers tables because there was no charity in the moneychangers’ transactions. In America we are bankrupt because there is no charity in over the counter business. There must be charity. When God is exiled from His creation there is no charity or Justice.
    .
    In the matter of bakers and photographers, the militant gay agenda is not seeking cakes or photos. The militant agenda of the gays is inciting to riot (violating peaceable assembly for the shop owners who have a civil right to peaceable assembly) until they have achieved their goals which is to inflict sodomy on our nation and our future generations and it is within our power to prevent this vice.

  • Somehow, this keeps coming up…. to forgive or not. Folks tend to skip over the asking for forgiveness part, even indirectly. I’ve got a theory that it’s because the “rebuke” part is so hard. In our culture, even the implication than an individual did wrong (as opposed to an amorphous group) is treated as a wrong in itself. Judgmental, in the language of the 60s.

    Part of the problem with a discussion about forgiveness is the assumption that if you haven’t forgiven, you’re actively holding the wrong to your chest and polishing it. That’s what works best for dramatic purposes, after all, and a baked in cultural assumption that someone who has done wrong wants forgiveness. (and not permission) Another is the point #2 at Catholic Answers.

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  • Elaine

    Bl John Henry Newman recounts the story of Cardinal della Somaglia and M. Emery, Supérieur of St. Sulpice and a noted moral theologian. The Cardinal told M Emery that, after the most painstaking research, he was convinced that he could not, in conscience, assist at the Emperor’s second marriage to the Archduchess of Austria. M, Emery told him that he should, for no consideration, act against his conscience.

    When word got around amongst the other twenty-six Cardinals, then in Paris, Cardinal Fesch (who by the by was the Emperor’s uncle) wrote to M. Emery, asking why he had expressed the contrary opinion to him and had told him that he thought the Cardinals might attend, in good conscience.

    M. Emery replied that he was indeed of the opinion that the Cardinals might attend; he had given the advice he had to Cardinal della Somaglia, because one may never go against conscience, even an erroneous one – « qu’on ne pouvait, qu’on ne devait jamais, agir contre sa conscience, même erronée. » M. Emery added that, whilst inconveniences can never be a reason for acting against conscience, they can be a very good reason for considering carefully, whether one’s conscience may not be in error.

    In the event Cardinal della Somaglia kept to his view, contrary to M. Emery, and did not attend the marriage ceremony. And who shall say which of them was right? Often, in the application of agreed principles to particular facts, we have no other guide than our own conscience.

  • Judging from history I would say that the consciences of most people are infinitely flexible when it comes to doing what they have decided to do. Rather than a conscience being a guide, for many people it is merely a rubber stamp.

  • Foxfier.
    Catholic Answers link was very helpful. My thanks to you and apology for “my” misunderstanding. Peace.

  • *bow*

    I like semantics. It fits how my brain works.

    As I understand it, you’re right in YOUR meaning, and I’m right in MY meaning, but we’re using different meanings– you are very right that we can’t go “oh, he wronged me, I will polish that wrong and hate his guts.” That’s how forgive gets used commonly, and looking around it’s a very common problem, especially if someone has been seriously wronged.

    Part of what is so awesome about the Church is how things ARE explained, if you can find it; part of what’s great about the ‘net is that you can find the stuff, if you know who to ask.

    Kind of freaky, turned on Sacred Heart radio– not an all that common occurrence– and got their lady’s program, where they were talking about the exact same topic, with the same emphasis repentance and then you forgive.

    Enough to make ya think…..

  • Foxfier wrote: “Thing is, you can’t forgive someone who not only doesn’t repent, they find the very mention that they’ve done something wrong to be justification for doubling down, then escalating to every wilder accusations.” This is exactly how I feel about Foxfier’s writings about me, especially after I produced a Mark Steyn quote “These countries are going out of business” that was very close to what I wrote. As far as the AD 2500 statistic, yes, I had a senior moment, misremembered the exact meaning of the statistic, and I owed up to the confusion it may have caused, even though the basic truth was not affected. Senior moments are not sins and don’t require repentance. They just don’t.

    Here are how the two other exchanges that I found questionable appear to me:

    Exchange #1:
    Me: I’m arguing in favor of something like counterflooding in damage control.
    Fox: You don’t blow a hole in the side of a ship to save it
    Me: I never wrote anything about blowing a hole (thinking to myself ‘damage control parties don’t usually blow holes, the open seacock valves’)
    Fox: Yes you did

    Exchange #2
    Me: Germans will go extinct by 2500
    Fox: You cannot say that Germany will be depopulated
    Me: I never wrote that Germany will be depopulated (thinking to myself ‘the Germans will intermarry and merge with their replacements, Germany as a place will stay populated’, I even typed this out)
    Fox: Yes you did.

    I was misunderstood in these two exchanges and I tried to correct the misunderstanding, even to being very explicit in the second exchange. The corrections were not accepted. Go back and read them, I am not making this up. What choice do I have but to consider them to be misrepresentations if they persist? BTW, the differences in these exchanges are really small and unimportant, it is the hostility apparent in Foxfier’s replies that really bothered me. Foxfier came after me and after me over and over in a very hostile manner. It was almost cyberbullying as far as I am concerned. The only other time I ever faced this on a Catholic site was a time Mark Shea misrepresented my writing at NCReg, and this was worse. I am not happy.

    Frankly, the uncharitable language that I used is something I do regret and I am morally sorry. I really didn’t want to use it. I’ve been here on and off for only a few months and I never met Foxfier, so I suspected trolling. Don set me straight on that, but he also green-lighted Foxfier’s posts that I found objectionable. You will note that I only got personal and uncharitable after Don’s post. That is NOT how I like to do things, and I apologize to Philip and to others who were bothered by it.

    The funny thing about all this is that right at the beginning I conceded that Foxfier was right about the most important point: the moral corruption of government that is being caused by the redefinition of marriage for homosexuals and eventually others. I threw a proposal on the table that I felt had some merit but also had real moral problems. Foxfier picked it right apart, very good, I’m happy, we even agreed on the fundamentals even if in a few details we did not agree. But the “slander” term was used in the same breath, as far as I’m concerned I slandered no one, this was a personal attack, and it went downhill from there. I still for the life of me cannot understand how I can be slandering the people of Western civilization by pointing out the truth about their use of contraception and abortion. Forty million abortions in the USA alone is proof that our society doesn’t really care about its future in any realistic way. Is that untrue? If so why? I really want to know.

  • Oh, and as J. Jonah Jameson put it “Don’t you tell me that it’s slander, it’s not slander, it’s libel”

  • slan·der [slan-der] Show IPA
    noun
    1.
    defamation; calumny: rumors full of slander.
    2.
    a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report: a slander against his good name.
    3.
    Law. defamation by oral utterance rather than by writing, pictures, etc.

    Somehow, it makes perfect sense that JJ was a lawyer before he was a newspaper guy.
    ***
    But the “slander” term was used in the same breath, as far as I’m concerned I slandered no one, this was a personal attack, and it went downhill from there.

    You made a false claim about the entirety of society; the entire cast of the contributor’s page here– if you want to be suspicious, just the priest and the folks with at least three kids– are obviously not “contracepting or aborting” the next generation out of existence.
    A lot of the non-Catholics I know aren’t using contraception, but can’t manage to have kids because they were told only crazy religious people get married before they’re done with college, have a career established, are 25, whatever.

    Use the fertility rate because that helps correct for the changes from people living longer.
    Assume, just to have a number that is obviously high, that a 3.5 fertility rate is a natural average.
    We’re now at about a 2.0 fertility rate.
    That is a 1.5 drop; if you assume that a quarter to a half of the population hasn’t changed, and the rest is killing off/preventing their kids at value zero, one or two, then stir in people (especially women) being told that they are insane if they wish to be married before they graduate college and that motherhood is a waste.
    That, of course, doesn’t touch on the couples that I know who have been trying for years to have even ONE child, but can’t, and the only medical help they are offered is IVF or “hire a womb.”
    The problem with calculating out of wedlock births is that being married removes you from the pool for a lot of benefits, and that illegal immigrants (at least per the nurses in Spokane, when I gave birth to Princess) frequently gave birth under a false name and claimed to be unmarried, even when wearing a ring that matched the guy who stayed in the room with the new mother.
    ***
    For the rest-
    you are so set that I misrepresented you that you misrepresent me. That suggests the only path to peace is to throw our hands in the air and say “not speaking the same language.”

  • (sorry for ANOTHER lawyer joke, Donald)

  • TomD.

    No worries Tom. I seriously was enjoying your overview and opinions on (so-called same sex marriage and the role of the State in these matters in relationship to redefining Marriage.)

    I also appreciate Foxfier’s knowledge and opinions on current events issues and challenges. Actually MPS,Elaine,Mary,Don,(kiwi too) and you get the idea, they all bring so much to the table, and I’m grateful.

    “slandering an entire culture based on loud idots…” That’s her choice of words.
    Okay. God bless freedom to express yourself. For some, it seemed a tad harsh. She wasn’t speaking to me, however I did feel the tone that “kicked up some dust” in my opinion.
    The best part is this.
    We take the good and leave the rest.
    Foxfier helped me understand an important distinction relating to forgiveness today. I’m in her debt.
    You have ideas that I get to ponder on in this whacked out liberal laden landscape of 2014. I visit this site for many reasons, mostly for my continued supplement of faith.
    Take good care..all of you.
    ……and Paul P…all of you are great gifts.

  • Art Deco.
    🙂

  • “slandering an entire culture based on loud idots…” That’s her choice of words.
    Okay. God bless freedom to express yourself. For some, it seemed a tad harsh. She wasn’t speaking to me, however I did feel the tone that “kicked up some dust” in my opinion.

    How would you characterize the “abortion is a sacrament” type folks? Or their cousins, down to “oh, but birth control is a basic human right!”?

  • In response to your questions I would say they are in great need of prayers.
    They do not share my views, nor do they share the Catholic Churches view point.

  • I’d be more willing to be generous if I wasn’t a victim of the “just pray for them” notion.

    There’s a reason a huge number of folks– weekly church goers, put the kids through CCD, youth group and weekly catechism classes– don’t know that IVF and contraception are against Church teaching, much less WHY that would be so.

  • “Foxfier helped me understand an important distinction relating to forgiveness today. I’m in her debt.”
    Philip, you threw in the towel too soon. Foxfier is wrong, and you would have been better served turning to the Catechism and to the Bible. (Both commenters at Catholic Answers disagreed with Staple’s analysis, by the way.) Thus:
    ~~~~
    V. “AND FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES, AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US”
    2838 This petition is astonishing. If it consisted only of the first phrase, “And forgive us our trespasses,” it might have been included, implicitly, in the first three petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, since Christ’s sacrifice is “that sins may be forgiven.” But, according to the second phrase, our petition will not be heard unless we have first met a strict requirement. …
    “AND FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES…”
    2840 Now – and this is daunting – this outpouring of mercy cannot penetrate our hearts as long as we have not forgiven those who have trespassed against us. Love, like the Body of Christ, is indivisible; we cannot love the God we cannot see if we do not love the brother or sister we do see. In refusing to forgive our brothers and sisters, our hearts are closed and their hardness makes them impervious to the Father’s merciful love; but in confessing our sins, our hearts are opened to his grace.
    “. .. AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US”
    2844 Christian prayer extends to the forgiveness of enemies, transfiguring the disciple by configuring him to his Master. Forgiveness is a high-point of Christian prayer; only hearts attuned to God’s compassion can receive the gift of prayer. Forgiveness also bears witness that, in our world, love is stronger than sin.
    ~~~
    Compare that selection (especially at 2840) with what Foxfier wrote: “Part of the problem with a discussion about forgiveness is the assumption that if you haven’t forgiven, you’re actively holding the wrong to your chest and polishing it.”
    .
    Can we forgive an enemy who may yet sin against us again? Ask yourself, can we receive forgiveness even if we are uncertain of our own heart? Let’s argue about it, let’s go to the Catechism:
    ~~~
    2091 The first commandment is also concerned with sins against hope, namely, despair and presumption:
    By despair, man ceases to hope for his personal salvation from God, for help in attaining it or for the forgiveness of his sins. Despair is contrary to God’s goodness, to his justice – for the Lord is faithful to his promises – and to his mercy.
    ~~~
    It is precisely because you can be forgiven for what you did in the past in spite of what temptations may lead you astray in the future, you must forgive those who did you wrong in the past in spite of what you think they may do in their future.

  • Spambot-
    Please bother to address the points made in the Catholic Answers post, rather than going free-form on the Lord’s Prayer.
    1. We are not called to go beyond what God himself does when it comes to forgiveness. Many Christians believe with Robert that they are obliged to forgive even those who are not in the least bit sorry for their offenses against them. And on the surface this sounds really . . . Christian. But is it true? God himself doesn’t do it. He only forgives those who repent of their sins. II Cor. 7:10 says, “[G]odly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation.” I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he . . . will forgive our sins.”

    Our Lord obviously has not and will not forgive the souls in hell right now for the simple reason that they did not ask for forgiveness. This seems as clear as clear can be. The question is, are we required to do more than God does when it comes to forgiveness?

    Jesus seems to answer this question for us in Luke 17:3-4:

    [I]f your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him; and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.

    According to this text, and as we would suspect, Jesus requires his followers to forgive only those who are sorry for their offenses, just as God does. And this only make sense. Colossians 3:13 says we are to called to forgive each other “as the Lord has forgiven [us].”

  • We are told that anything will be forgiven if we just ask; that does not mean that we must forgive those who do not ask.

  • The sin against hope is to believe that we have done something that cannot be forgiven– not that we don’t assume we’re forgiven for every wrong we do.

  • I don’t care how Merriam-Webster or any other popular dictionary defines slander. My undergrad law books define slander as spoken defamation, and libel as written defamation. Defamation is the generic term for both. So if I or anyone here perpetrated defamation, then we perpetrated libel, because we wrote it and did not say it.

    But I really wasn’t trying to be picky, I was quoting a funny line from the Spiderman 2 movie. Apparently I can’t even be funny around here.

  • OK, Foxfier, I’m starting to get a bit of your position.

    It seems to me that you are in effect rearguing the famous conversation between Abraham and God. “Would you spare the city [of Sodom] if there were 45 righteous in it?” “Yes, I will spare it” Etc. You an I both know that there are millions of decent righteous people in our country, and many in other Western lands. Far more than 45. And there are millions more who are weak but admire the righteous. I get it.

    If I had intended to slander these people that means I would have intended to slander the people I love most, family and friends alike. Do you really think I wanted to do that?

    No. I was not criticizing our society in its entirety, unto the last individual. Not my intention. I was criticizing what it is on balance, and I believe that on balance we are the minority now. I really do believe that, with God’s help, we can turn it around. What I also believe is that the die is cast and that without God’s help we will not turn it around. Will God help us? I don’t know, and I’m not going to presume anything one way or the other. I dare not presume.

    That is what I really believe. I hope that its good enough for you.

  • My opinion on forgiving: in general, I think Christians should forgive people who are unrepentant. The one exception is when the very act of forgiveness is seen by the unrepentant as validation that they were right in the first place. I’ve seen that dynamic firsthand, and it turns a commandment to Christians into the enabling of sin. I think in that situation it can be better to withhold forgiveness with an explanation as to why. Perhaps that is why we are told to forgive “seventy times seven” times: it may take nearly that number to prove that an enabling dynamic is underway.

  • Thanks Spambot3049 for your thoughts.
    Many helpful brothers and sisters in Christ frequent this site. Blessings to you. Good night. 🙂

  • I don’t care how Merriam-Webster or any other popular dictionary defines slander. My undergrad law books define slander as spoken defamation, and libel as written defamation.

    It may be a shock, but common use isn’t legal definition; the legal definition is the third down on meaning of the word, so acting like that’s the only meaning is foolish.

    You’re welcome to your views, but that doesn’t make them any more factual than when you were using assertion as the sole basis of claims.
    ******
    t seems to me that you are in effect rearguing the famous conversation between Abraham and God. “Would you spare the city [of Sodom] if there were 45 righteous in it?” “Yes, I will spare it”
    One must wonder exactly how few folks you think were in Sodom for that to be the parallel that comes to mind for a half to a third of the population.

  • Foxfier wrote, “God himself doesn’t do it. He only forgives those who repent of their sins.”

    That is true, but God Himself produces that repentance in the first place. As St Augustine, the Doctor of Grace, says, “the effectiveness of God’s mercy cannot be in the power of man to frustrate, if he will have none of it. If God wills to have mercy on men, he can call them in a way that is suited to them, so that they will be moved to understand and to follow.” He also says, “Who would dare to affirm that God has no method of calling whereby even Esau might have applied his mind and yoked his will to the faith in which Jacob was justified? But if the obstinacy of the will can be such that the mind’s aversion from all modes of calling becomes hardened, the question is whether that very hardening does not come from some divine penalty, as if God abandons a man by not calling him in the way in which he might be moved to faith. Who would dare to affirm that the Omnipotent lacked a method of persuading even Esau to believe?” (Ad Simplicianum 13-14) That is why scripture says, “I will have mercy on whom I will, and I will be merciful to whom it shall please Me” (Exod. 33:19).

    The Council of Toucy (PL, CXXVI, 123) explains the text, “Whatsoever the Lord hath pleased he hath done, in heaven, in earth, in the sea, and in all the deeps.” (Ps 134:6) in this way: “For nothing is done in heaven or on earth, except what God either graciously does Himself or permits to be done, in His justice.” That is to say, no good, here and now, in this man rather than in another, comes about unless God Himself graciously wills and accomplishes it, and no evil, here and now, in this man rather than another, comes about unless God Himself justly permits it to be done.

    In other words, God first (in the order of causality, not of time) wills to forgive a person’s sins and then He efficaciously wills that that person shall repent of them. That is why St Paul teaches, “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” (Rom 9:16)

  • N o L o v e

    N o C h r i s t

    But if you truly know Christ you will know love. Is it ego that fuels the will to refuse extending an arm of goodwill?
    As it pertains to this thread.

  • How is it goodwill to “forgive” someone who is not repentant? Are you claiming we should be more loving than God? Have more good will than Christ?

    God wants people to repent and be forgiven. Himself doesn’t try to skip the other person being a willing party– we have to choose to accept it.

    There is a major difference between being willing to forgive– offering forgiveness– and trying to force it on someone.

  • I’m a day late and a dollar short but I thought I’d post these lines from “A Man for all Seasons” which seem apropos in light of Gov. Brewers actions:
    Sir Thomas More: [More has been condemned to death, and now for the first time breaks his years-long adamant silence on Henry VIII’s divorce of Queen Catherine to marry Ann Boleyn] Since the Court has determined to condemn me, God knoweth how, I will now discharge my mind concerning the indictment and the King’s title. The indictment is grounded in an act of Parliament which is directly repugnant to the law of God, and his Holy Church, the Supreme Government of which no temporal person may by any law presume to take upon him. This was granted by the mouth of our Savior, Christ himself, to Saint Peter and the Bishops of Rome whilst He lived and was personally present here on earth. It is, therefore, insufficient in law to charge any Christian to obey it. And more to this, the immunity of the Church is promised both in Magna Carta and in the king’s own coronation oath
    [Cromwell calls More ‘malicious’]
    Sir Thomas More: … Not so. I am the king’s true subject, and I pray for him and all the realm. I do none harm. I say none harm. I think none harm. And if this be not enough to keep a man alive, then in good faith, I long not to live. Nevertheless, it is not for the Supremacy that you have sought my blood, but because I would not bend to the marriage!
    Sir Thomas More: When a man takes an oath, he’s holding his own self in his own hands like water, and if he opens his fingers then, he needn’t hope to find himself again.
    The Duke of Norfolk: Oh confound all this. I’m not a scholar, I don’t know whether the marriage was lawful or not but dammit, Thomas, look at these names! Why can’t you do as I did and come with us, for fellowship!
    Sir Thomas More: And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?

  • Goodwill is lacking from you sister, and atleast TomD made an effort. You decided to belittle it.

    See you in the confessional line Foxier.

  • “God wants people to repent and be forgiven. Himself doesn’t try to skip the other person being a willing party– we have to choose to accept it.”

    Why would He, seeing that He produces that will in them – Proverbs 8:35 For my issues are the issues of life, and in them volition is prepared from the Lord.

  • Foxfier,
    “How is it goodwill to “forgive” someone who is not repentant?”
    Suppose a commentor at a blog offended you and she was blocked from further comments. How would you know that she later repented? Suppose your favorite park were vandalized and you were hurt by the offense. Even the vandal does not know precisely who his victims are and could never reach out to you to ask your forgiveness. Would you carry around an unforgiving heart for the rest of your life?
    People who forgive me before I am repentant, perhaps even before I am able to acknowledge to myself that I did wrong, free themselves of the burden of unforgiveness and in doing so, offer a prayer on my behalf.
    .
    “Please bother to address the points made in the Catholic Answers post, rather than going free-form on the Lord’s Prayer.”
    The two commentors there at Catholic Answers could do a better job than I, but I will give it a try. (The “free-form on the Lord’s Prayer” was quoted from the Catholic Catechism. The specific section numbers are provided in my comment for reference.)
    “Our Lord obviously has not and will not forgive the souls in hell right now for the simple reason that they did not ask for forgiveness. This seems as clear as clear can be.”
    Whether or not a person who harmed me is going to Hell is something I cannot know. The harm done to may or may not have been intentional. The person doing the harm may or may not have had the capacity to understand he is doing wrong. As scripture indicates, judgment on who will go to Hell is for God alone. We all deserve Hell, but we are saved by our faith, and if we love God, then we extend our love to others.
    .
    FWIW, I maintain (with little proof to offer) that forgiving someone in exchange for something else of value (such as a request for forgiveness) can be explained by evolutionary science alone with no need for supernatural grace. (I suspect the Freedom From Religion Foundation would support that view. cf.
    http://ffrf.org/publications/freethought-today/item/17148-stages-of-moral-development )
    Unconditional forgiveness is by the grace of God.

  • “People who forgive me before I am repentant, perhaps even before I am able to acknowledge to myself that I did wrong, free themselves of the burden of unforgiveness and in doing so, offer a prayer on my behalf.”

    I think that such easy forgiveness, without a request for it, actually encourages people to engage in cost free bad behavior and therefore harms them spiritually. Imagine if the father in the parable of the prodigal son had assured him while he was engaging in his debauchery that he always could come home, because Daddy forgave him no matter what he did. The prodigal then would never have had brought home to him the deadliness of his sins and the necessity for repentance and amendment of life. In our age of cheap grace, we do not understand repentance, amendment and forgiveness. We recall Christ’s forgiveness of the woman caught in adultery, but his admonition to her to go and sin no more is utterly forgotten. I have had people accused of crimes tell me that since God had forgiven them, why couldn’t every one else. In our time we confuse forgiveness with amnesia and amnesty.

  • Philip-
    A predictable dark side to the idea of unilateral forgiveness; not doing what the supporters want lets them pronounce on the state of your soul.
    Conflating love with forgiveness is not just a bad idea, it’s dangerous; you either pretend that someone did nothing wrong, or you bleach forgiveness into nothing.
    There is nothing promoting another’s good about agreeing with the false idea that I am contracepting and aborting my children out of existence, nor in apologizing for someone’s assumption of malice in a misunderstood metaphor.

    Michael-
    following that logic, God wills people into hell, rather than it being a result of their refusing the available grace. He gives us the ability to choose– it’s up to us to make the choice.
    http://www.catholic.com/blog/tim-staples/to-forgive-or-not-to-forgive-%E2%80%94-that-is-the-question
    Catholic Answers has a nice explanation; anything I tried would be an inferior paraphrasing.

  • Would you carry around an unforgiving heart for the rest of your life?

    “Unforgiving” means “unwilling to forgive,” not “hasn’t had the opportunity to forgive.”

    “Our Lord obviously has not and will not forgive the souls in hell right now for the simple reason that they did not ask for forgiveness. This seems as clear as clear can be.” Whether or not a person who harmed me is going to Hell is something I cannot know.

    It is establishing a standard of comparison, not saying those who harmed you is going to hell.
    By your formula for “unconditional,” God Himself doesn’t offer unconditional forgiveness.

  • 982 There is no offense, however serious, that the Church cannot forgive. “There is no one, however wicked and guilty, who may not confidently hope for forgiveness, provided his repentance is honest. Christ who died for all men desires that in his Church the gates of forgiveness should always be open to anyone who turns away from sin
    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a10.htm

  • Thank you Foxfier.

    I obviously have had difficulty with this.

    My snide remark about seeing you in the confessional line was absent of goodwill. Jesus said he desired mercy not sacrifice when the Pharisees complained about His eating with sinners and publicans. Matt.9:13.
    The mercy you give will be the mercy you receive…yet you and the faithful witnesses responding to this thread have felled some scales from my eyes.

    Thank you. All.

  • St. Therese the lil’ flower has much to say about Love and forgiveness.

    She entered in as I have been rereading the many good supporting views as you have given. In the Story of a Soul, she forgives and even takes blame for injustices she didn’t commit. As you can see, not all off the scales have fallen off.

    She strove for the Highest good not to be “above Christ”, but to give Christ the absolute all of her being. She succeed, no?

    There’s a search for truth here. I don’t believe it is my wanting to be right, rather I wish to know how love and forgiveness must be separate. I said must, because your valid points in this discussion point to this end. Was the lil’ flower wrong? I have her Story of a Soul.
    I’ll open it up for a second read.

  • I don’t believe it is my wanting to be right, rather I wish to know how love and forgiveness must be separate.

    Because they are different (but related) things. Himself said in Matt 9, it’s the sick that need doctor. You don’t make someone well by keeping them away from a doctor, but you don’t make them well by just visiting him, either. There has to be a change from sickness to health. “Go forth and sin no more,” etc. The wronging is the sickness, and it’s not fixed by pretending it’s not there.

    We offer the forgiveness because we love– “wish the good of”– the person who did wrong.

    As Donald mentioned, we can look at the wandering son– would it have done him any good if his father had kept shoveling money to him? Or, without a change, would it have been destroying him?

    If you wish the good of someone, will you support their destructive behavior, or tell them they should stop?

  • Foxfier.
    I do understand the concept of enabling behavior and the prolonged agony the party suffers.

    As I mentioned, I’m going to read the lil’ flowers story again, and closely observe the intent and application of her love of neighbor and trust in Jesus.

    Each of the commentators examples are driving home the important fact that one must ask for forgiveness, and truly be sincere in the asking. I do get it…even though admittedly I am thick up stairs. 🙂

    I might find something in St. Theresa’s book that I had misinterpreted, but none the less I’ll be at peace knowing that you truly have my interests in mind.
    That I am able to serve my neighbors in harmony with the truth.
    Thanks once more.

  • “[F]ollowing that logic, God wills people into hell, rather than it being a result of their refusing the available grace”

    No, that is the heresy of Calvin. St Augustine teaches that, after the fall of Adam, God wanted to save some, through an absolute will based on his mercy alone, entirely pure and gratuitous, leaving the other part in the state of damnation in which it was, and in which he could justly have left the whole. Nevertheless, God does not command the impossible, and grants even to those who do not actually observe His commandments the power of observing them. Theologians call this grace truly but merely sufficient: “truly” because it really confers the power; “merely” because, through the fault of the will, it fails in its effect, with respect to which it is said to be inefficacious, but sufficient.

    St Thomas teaches that “Since the love of God is the cause of the goodness of things, no one would be better than another if God did not will a greater good to one than to another.” [ST Ia, q. 20, a. 3] Now, it is evident that the man who, in fact, observes the commandments is better than the one who is able to do so but actually does not. Therefore he who keeps the commandments is more beloved and assisted. In short, God loves that man more to whom He grants that he keep the commandments than another in whom He permits sin. This theologians call “efficacious grace.” St Paul says, “For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).

  • Michael-
    No, that is the heresy of Calvin.

    Which is why I objected.

    Philip-
    I’m trying. (Mandatory joke: in more ways than one.)
    Rephrasing the same thing in different ways sometimes works….
    Situation isn’t helped by the gap between what one says and another hears; a lot of popular stuff seems to use “forgive” to mean “I don’t hate you.”

    I’d guess that the Little Flower reacted to outside things, rather than it being about herself. Being willing to forgive. (And the related “let go of the anger” thing.)

  • *ahem* Returning once again to our original topic… here’s an interesting “Dear Abby” letter I saw posted online just a few minutes ago:

    http://news.yahoo.com/animal-lover-appalled-camouflage-wedding-050112316.html

    “DEAR ABBY: My nephew is getting married next year. I was very excited because I love him and I’m a baker. I had planned on making the groom’s cake as I did for his brother’s and sister’s weddings. The problem is, they have decided on a hunting theme for their wedding — including a camouflage wedding dress for the bride.

    “Abby, I am an animal-rights activist. I’m against any form of hunting. I am also involved with several animal-protection groups. My nephew and his fiancee know how hard I work for animal rights — just the thought of a hunting theme for a wedding makes me ill.

    “I don’t even want to attend, let alone make a cake. What can I do so there will be no hurt feelings if I don’t want to attend or participate? — BAKER IN THE MIDWEST

    “DEAR BAKER: The theme for your nephew’s wedding is certainly unique. The concept of a camouflage wedding dress is practical because the dress can be worn after the nuptials, which isn’t the case with many bridal gowns.

    “Feeling as strongly as you do about not attending, write the happy couple a warm letter wishing them a lifetime of happiness together and include a nice wedding gift — I’m sure there will be no hurt feelings.”

    Since the letter writer describes herself (to make things simpler I’m going to assume she’s female) as a baker, implying that she does it for a living, I’d love to know whether she’s ever refused to bake cakes for hunting/camo themed weddings before and if so, could the rejected couple now sue her for said refusal.


  • Remember how bothered the Jews were at the claim of Jesus to forgive sins, believing that no human could forgive sin.of course they didn’t know Jesus Is Lord.
    I think on a human level we can forgive sin if by that we mean:
    Excusing a fault or an offense; pardon.
    renouncing anger or resentment against. Or absolving from payment of (a debt, for example). (Dictionary meaning) even if the other person is not sorry nor asks for forgiveness . We can still ignore or forget it of we want to. But we can do nothing about the lingering effects of sin, already committed, nor about the guilt still retained by the sinner. We can forgive, let it go, forget about it, but we can’t take away the persons guilt – even if we were to decide to continue to prosecute the issue. Only God can deal with that, perhaps in purgatory also our continued unforgiving attitude doesn’t increase his guilt- has no effect but to keep us tied up. Forgiving is a benefit to the forgiver.
    We don’t have to worry about “cheap grace” since grace giving is not ours to do. God will balance the books.

  • Since the letter writer describes herself (to make things simpler I’m going to assume she’s female) as a baker, implying that she does it for a living, I’d love to know whether she’s ever refused to bake cakes for hunting/camo themed weddings before and if so, could the rejected couple now sue her for said refusal.

    I’d guess yes, and no. 😀

  • Elaine Krewer

    Baking is not a “common calling,” something hitherto confined to innkeepers and common carriers (and millers, where the land is thirled or adstricted to a particular mill).

    Accordingly, a refusal would only be actionable, if the parties belonged to a “protected class.” Under the EU directives,: “Discrimination comprises any distinction applied between natural persons by reason of their origin, sex, family situation, physical appearance or patronymic, state of health, handicap, genetic characteristics, sexual morals or orientation, age, political opinions, union activities, or their membership or non-membership, true or supposed, of a given ethnic group, nation, race or religion. Discrimination also comprises any distinction applied between legal persons by reason of the origin, sex, family situation, physical appearance or patronymic, state of health, handicap, genetic characteristics, sexual morals or orientation, age, political opinions, union activities, membership or non-membership, true or supposed, of a given ethnic group, nation, race or religion of one or more members of these legal persons.”

    Wide as this is, it would not appear to include membership of a hunt (“the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable” as Oscar Wilde called them, which, even as a joint MFH myself, I confess to finding amusing) I suppose it could be argued that someone who rides to hounds in camouflage (!) is suffering from a mental handicap and so protected, but that seems pretty thin.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour. This issue is confused by conflating persons and their vices. If the baker was told, and she knew, that her cake was to be used to support and encourage so-called gay-marriage, she is free to refuse, as if she was told her cake or work is going to be used to poison others. Discriminating against and prosecuting vice and crime is the duty of the state. As a citizen, all persons are called to protect our future generations, our constitutional posterity, and “to secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our (constitutional ) posterity”…from The Preamble
    Which reminds me…in Peter Pan, Captain Hook bakes a poison “green” cake to poison Wendy….no, not Wendy Davis… Wendy Darling.

  • Anzlyne: “Forgiving is a benefit to the forgiver.” Jesus took the whole benefit.

Cutting Off Planned Parenthood IS About “Ideology”

Tuesday, May 8, AD 2012

Just recently, Arizona joined Kansas, North Carolina, and Texas in cutting off all funding to Planned Parenthood. For Governor Brewer, it is a simple matter of “common sense”, respecting the repeated desire of the majority of Americans to be exempt from funding abortion with their tax dollars. For pro-life advocates, it is about scoring another direct hit against the largest symbol of “abortion rights” in the United States. Here is how Planned Parenthood sees it, however:

“Many in the legislature will never know what it’s like to feel a lump in their breast and have to worry about the cost of a doctor’s visit,” said Bryan Howard, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood Arizona.

“This is the reality with which many Arizona women are faced, at the hands of a legislature determined to reduce access to prevention care while pursuing its ideological political agenda,” he said.

Why should those of us who are pro-life deny it? We are pursuing an ideological political agenda, as of course are they. Our ideology, if you really want to call it that (and I typically don’t), is that every human being has a right to life from the moment of conception until the moment of death. Some of us differ on whether or not, or under what circumstances, a human life may be justly taken, but we all agree that the killing of innocent children inside or outside of the womb is a grave moral evil and cannot be tolerated by a just and humane society. This is an “ideological political agenda” worth pursuing, and I’m not ashamed to say so. Without respect for human life, society will degenerate into something more cruel and callous than the jungle.

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11 Responses to Cutting Off Planned Parenthood IS About “Ideology”

  • Bonchamps: This is beautiful. “However did the world and the women within it survive before Planned Parenthood emerged as the sole guardian and guarantor of “women’s health”?

    The truth is that there is no reason whatsoever why abortion must necessarily be tied to the other medical services that PP provides.”

    Bryan Howard of PP says so much when he conflates the killing of babies and “a lump in a woman’s breast” as “prevention care.” Intellectually and practically dishonest.

  • When Roe approached the Supreme Court seeking legal sanction to destroy the other sovereign person in her womb, she acknowledged that the other person was not a blob of cells, not a tumor, not an unwanted pregnancy but an unwanted human being. The human being unborn became the ward of the court subject to protection. The Court claimed that it did not know if the unborn was a person deserving of protection. The court must give the benefit of the doubt. The Court cannot claim to bestow life and unalienable rights upon the sovereign person still in the womb as does article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights of the united Nations.
    UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
    Official Document
    Article 1.
    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
    Our Declaration of Independence says that persons are endowed with unalienable rights by “their Creator” after being “created equal”, and are secured the blessings of Liberty by Divine Providence.
    Our tax dollars may not be used to deconstruct our Declaration of Independence.

  • Bonchamps – Are you familiar with Jonah Goldberg’s new book? It’s called The Tyranny of Cliches. The main point is that the Left depicts itself as pragmatic and its opponents as ideological. The Right is perfectly willing to admit to its ideology.

    I remember Michael Medved making a similar point. Once he was appearing on the Today Show. The guest in front of him was a Hollywood type who was talking about her career, and her “humanitarian” work: the nuclear freeze movement. That’s when it hit him: the left always wins these kinds of conversations, because they depict themselves as humanitarians.

  • I heard about the book, Pinky.

    I have to say, though, that the right has its fair share of cliches as well. And I wasn’t particularly thrilled about one of the cliches I saw in early blurbs about the book. Apparently we shouldn’t think that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”; that’s an apparently bad left-wing cliche. Except I think that one happens to be perfectly true.

    It soured me a little on the book. But I’m sure it makes plenty of fine points otherwise.

    I’d broaden the net a bit; the left portrays itself as scientific and the right as mired in backwards theological obscurantism.

  • This is why I always challenge left-wingers to provide coherent accounts for their moral positions. Science can’t prove that something is right or wrong.

  • Bonchamps –

    “I have to say, though, that the right has its fair share of cliches as well.”

    Goldberg would agree with you.

    “And I wasn’t particularly thrilled about one of the cliches I saw in early blurbs about the book. Apparently we shouldn’t think that ‘one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter’; that’s an apparently bad left-wing cliche. Except I think that one happens to be perfectly true.”

    Blurbs are just as untrustworthy as cliches. The meat of an argument (if there is any) takes more than a few sentences. But let’s be honest; one man’s terrorist is not necessarily another man’s freedom fighter. Some terrorists oppose human rights and representitive government. The cliche is dangerous because it inhibits an examination of the specific terrorist’s goals. There are some goals that are compatible with civilization, but there are some that aren’t.

    Now, taking this a step further, I’m guessing (maybe incorrectly) that you don’t actually think that cliche is true; you just disagree with the people who oppose it on the grounds that you suspect that their opposition to it implies a more activist foreign policy. If you want to argue about foreign policy, fair enough. But accepting a cliche because you’re comfortable with its implications – or rejecting it because you’re uncomfortable – doesn’t address the question of whether it represents reality.

  • ” But let’s be honest; one man’s terrorist is not necessarily another man’s freedom fighter.”

    Who said “necessarily”? It just happens to be the case sometimes, depending on how one defines those terms.

    “Some terrorists oppose human rights and representitive government. ”

    And some cultures do not define freedom, justice, or goodness in terms of human rights or representative government. There is negative liberty; there is also positive liberty. Depending on your vision of liberty (and other things considered good often associated with it), you may well see someone fighting for a communist state or an Islamic regime to be a “freedom fighter” – especially if those goals are obstructed, in reality or by perception, by the direct or indirect involvement of another nation (even one that claims to represent and fight for liberty itself!). In that case they would be fighting for the freedom to determine their own destiny as a people, which may not include freedom as the once-Christian West understands it.

    “The cliche is dangerous because it inhibits an examination of the specific terrorist’s goals. ”

    I don’t think it is “dangerous.”

    “Now, taking this a step further, I’m guessing (maybe incorrectly) that you don’t actually think that cliche is true”

    No, I do think it is true, because it is a fact that people have different conceptions of freedom. Of course I think that the one offered by the Church and set forth in the Declaration of Independence is the highest conception of freedom, the true one, the correct one. But the “cliche” simply acknowledges that there are people who don’t think that way. So I do think it represents reality.

  • Some might argue that terrorism is just a military tactic too. But the word has a lot of negative connotations and few would describe a group whose goals and causes they considered just as a “terrorist” group. The Mujaheddin was a “terrorist” group fighting Soviet occupation; it didn’t prevent Ronald Reagan from saying that they were the equivalent of the founding fathers.

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  • Re: necessarily
    You’re the one arguing that there’s an identity between one man’s terrorist and another man’s freedom fighter, so yes the word “necessarily” is apt. Either there are or there aren’t objective standards by which to identify terrorists and freedom fighters. Either justice is an artificial construct or it’s not. Based on your article I have to assume that you believe in objective justice. That’s why I assume that you don’t really believe that terrorism and freedom fighting are interchangable, or that a traditional understanding of right and wrong can be abandoned without serious ramifications.

  • I don’t want to quibble over semantics. At least not the semantics of “necessary.” Perhaps I misunderstood your intention with that word. Moving on to the substantive point:

    “Either there are or there aren’t objective standards by which to identify terrorists and freedom fighters.”

    I don’t think it is that simple. From a sociological point of view, both “terrorism” and “freedom fighter” can have very broad meanings. I don’t think acknowledging this means that I don’t believe in objective justice or abandoning a “traditional understanding of right and wrong.” The fact of the matter is that, in reality, there are actually some people who identify a given group as a terrorist group, and others who would identify the same group as freedom fighters. The “cliche”, as I see it, simply acknowledges this reality.

    Now if the cliche is employed with the intention of justifying moral neutrality in a given dispute, of course I would reject it. As a mere description of how things are, though, it is perfectly accurate.

Where They Stand: Gubernatorial Races

Friday, October 29, AD 2010

With all the talk about the upcoming Congressional midterms, local races are getting overlooked.  This is unfortunate for a couple of reasons.  First of all, despite a century plus of actions and efforts to the contrary, federalism is still alive, and state governments still matter.  Second, these races have an impact upon national elections because states will be redrawing their districts in the wake of the 2010 census.

It would be a massive undertaking beyond my abilities and time to look at each state’s legislative elections, though most projections I have heard have the Republicans gaining a massive amount of seats in state legislatures.  Republicans are projected to switch majority control in about five or six states at a minimum.  Here I will be taking a look at each of the gubernatorial elections.

On a side note, it may seem odd to label these elections as pickups and holds.  After all, it’s not as though governors gather en masse and vote, so having a “majority” of governorships seems not to be that big of a deal.  But for the aforementioned reasons, it is important to win as many of these races as possible.  Currently there are 26 Democratic governors and 24 Republican.  Republicans will certainly have a majority after Tuesday.  As is the case with the House, the only question is how big of a majority.

And now, to the races we go:

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14 Responses to Where They Stand: Gubernatorial Races

  • “While the south started voting for Republicans on the presidential level around the time of Barry Goldwater …”

    It was Eisenhower that first got the South voting for Republicans for President. In 1952, Ike won Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, and Florida (and, if you count “border states”, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Maryland); in 1956, he won those same states, except for Missouri, and added West Virginia and Kentucky.

    Goldwater was able to crack the deep South, but not for reasons I’d be particularly proud of.

  • The importance of the governerships is that this is the year for reapportionment, and the governor may have a role, depending on the state’s law.

  • I’ll give Maryland one thing. It’s been easier to register my historic sports car with heavily modified and highly illegal V8 engine in Maryland than in DC, my other address of record. DC is more blue than Maryland.

  • Paul, this is the best analysis of the gubernatorial races I’ve read. My only disagreements are in Colorado where I think crazed Tom Tancredo will win, and Minnesota where I think crazy, and certifiable, Mark Dayton will win. Our bottom line totals are precisely the same.

  • Thank you, Donald. I thought it would be helpful to have them all in one place.

    And now tomorrow, all 435 House races.

    Errrr, maybe not.

  • Great observations about New England. All of the states but Maine have elected Republican governors in recent years. I can’t wait for this red state / blue state myth to disappear.

  • Seems to me, Paul, that, quite the contrary, federalism is on the decline as the rights of states have been eroded by a tide of tyranny from the halls of Congress and the White house. Arizona is the latest in a long line of victims.

  • You won’t get much disagreement from me, Joe. SCOTUS has turned the 10th Amendment into a mere “truism,” and the trend has certainly been towards more power in the hands of the federal government. But federalism isn’t completely dead yet, and state government still retain a great deal of autonomy. Hopefully we can reverse the trend in the coming years.

  • There were a couple of polls that had Palladino within striking distance, but then he opened his mouth.

    That is ‘Paladino’. Much of the embarassment surrounding his campaign can be attributed to the behavior of the Republican establishment, who have abandoned him. The New York Republican Party is a cliquish institution, and those chaps react very badly to characters they view as unclubbable. That would enclude Messrs. Paladino and Hoffman, whose potential as candidates was stunted by the behavior of other elected officials and party hacks.

    What is interesting is that some engaging candidates are running for Congressional seats this year, but they did not seem to be able to recruit anyone of note for the state-wide contests. The state party chairman attempted to recruit a Democratic politico from Long Island to run for Governor (for whatever reason). The clubmen on the state committee were not buying and nominated the amiable Mr. Lazio. Mr. Paladino petitioned for a primary and dispatched the clubmen’s choice so thoroughly that it revealed a chasm between them and their voting public (about which I would wager they give not a damn).

    Some time decades hence there may be in New York an authentic political party organized in opposition to the rule of public employee unions and fixers. Right now what there is is a rancid fund raising and patronage mill thoroughly dominated by mediocrities.

  • Yes, here in Illinois, our governors make the license plates, literally.

    In my area of downstate Illinois, it seems like what’s been going on at the national level has filtered down to every other level. At every level, we’ve had Democrats in charge for a while, and they’ve gotten arrogant, wasteful, and sloppy about covering their tracks. Whether it’s Congressman Phil “I don’t worry about the Constitution” Hare putting his foot in his mouth again, or our mayor and top city officials taking an afternoon off for a celebratory golf outing after maintaining their majority in the last election, or our sheriff driving his work vehicle all over the place on personal time; the story is pretty much the same: people who think we can’t live without them, so they can do whatever they want.

  • “the near certainty of a jail sentence upon the completion of one’s term (as Illinois governor)”

    That is particularly true if said governor is a Democrat.

    The last elected Democratic governor to avoid criminal conviction or imprisonment was Adlai Stevenson — yes, THE Adlai Stevenson who ran against Ike twice. EVERY other Democrat elected in the last 60 years — Otto Kerner, Dan Walker, and Rod Blagojevich — ended up being convicted of some crime, although in Walker’s case, the offense for which he went to prison (some kind of S & L loan fraud) occurred long after he had left office and become a private citizen.

    Republican governors have a much better (though not perfect) track record of staying out of jail. In the last 60 years, one (George Ryan) ended up in jail; one (William Stratton) was acquitted of tax evasion charges; and three (Richard Ogilvie, Jim Thompson and Jim Edgar) have clean records. I’d say that bodes better for Brady.

    I think Brady will win in Illinois, though it won’t be a blowout. Democrats can, of course, take Chicago and Cook County for granted, but the suburbs or “collar counties” outside Chicago are still on the fence.

    The esteemed Illinois political blogger Rich Miller of Capitol Fax foresees disaster of Biblical proportions for Democrats downstate. No Democrat, whether running for General Assembly, Congress, or statewide office, is safe south of I-80.

  • “The esteemed Illinois political blogger Rich Miller of Capitol Fax foresees disaster of Biblical proportions for Democrats downstate. No Democrat, whether running for General Assembly, Congress, or statewide office, is safe south of I-80.”

    Music to my Downstate heart Elaine!

  • Don, it should be noted here that if Quinn loses on Tuesday, the 60-plus-year streak of ELECTED Democratic Illinois governors ending up as felons will remain unbroken for at least four more years, since Quinn was not originally elected governor but succeeded Blago after the latter’s impeachment.

    The only other exception to this Democratic-governors-becoming-felons rule was Sam Shapiro — the Democratic lieutenant governor who succeeded Otto Kerner when the latter was appointed a federal judge. Shapiro served only 8 months in 1968-69 and ran for election in his own right but lost. Unfortunate, since he was by all accounts a smart and honest guy.

  • California please vote for Meg Whitman! If Brown wins, this state will become a gay marriage state, there will be extensive embryonic stem cell research, and cap and trade will be implemented, causing more business to leave the state. Schwarzenegger’s troubles in leadership are hurting Meg. If a republican state house is voted in you will see major changes in the state with Meg. Don’t be turned off by her ability to pay her own way. She is a successful, courageous woman ready to serve the people of the state, not labor unions, not extreme environmentalist, not the liberal agenda hurting our schools.

45 Responses to Arizona: Doing the Job the Feds Will Not Do!

  • This is a failure by the federal government. I don’t know anybody who wants to send people back who are looking for work, but there has to be some kind of order. Why hasn’t the U.S and Mexican governments set up some kind of system where workers can come and go in a legal fashion. Instead of them risking their lives crossing the desert.

  • Nice touch on the “o” in “won’t”, lol

  • And, I’m a proud American with a long and rich Lebanese heritage, which means sometimes people think I have a long and rich Mexican heritage.

  • As I agree I disagree… this new law will only provide police to wrongfully detain or haggle legal Hispanics. I would rather they start fining Businesses $500,000 per illegal. If there is no work many illegals will not try why punish those who are trying to come to our country to make a life for themselves.. punish those who want slave labor!!

  • I have no problem whatsoever with legal immigration. But relatives in Arizona tell me illegal immigration is making life down there hell – kidnappings, drugs, fights between rival gangs.

    The French-born husband of a friend of mine tells me he waited 7 years before he was able to get a green card. Rather bitterly, he says the smart thing to do would have to been fly to Tijuana and head north; naively, he followed the rules…

  • Donna,

    It makes me sick when people who don’t, and never have, lived in AZ make long-winded proclamations about this law or the situation down there. They know nothing. They’re the real “know-nothings” of our time, intolerant fanatics or people who are so deluded and ignorant about the realities of the situation that they shouldn’t even have an opinion.

    I won’t stand for it. I’m not the racist. La Raza and MEChA, the Brown Berets, the radical Chicano professors and peddlers of hate speech against blacks and whites, are the racists.

    People who agree with them or apologize for them are the soft bigots. They should be confronted.

    They don’t care that we have a destabilizing failed state to the south that poses a security risk to the country. All they care about is moralizing and grandstanding.

  • Amen Tito and there are many others who feel the same way. I agree with the stiff fine for anyone or any employer who abets an illegal regardless of country. Our Imimgration Dpt is as laxed as can be. I have often wonder why Custons could not work with employers who use migrant labor and have a system for them to enter and be controlled together and then return after work is completed. No benefits other than shelter, meals and pay. It would less expensive than the walls and fences. Mexico’s President was wrong in his statements. Why hasn’t he built industry in the rural areas for his people and created jobs for them. Why does he not tell people that entering Mexico is regared as a felony and carries jail time. What if our law was the same and we jailed imimgrants for jail time and anyone who abets them.. would we then need walls and and fences.

  • La Raza and MEChA, the Brown Berets, the radical Chicano professors and peddlers of hate speech against blacks and whites, are the racists.

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    Alex V.,

    Amen to fining businesses for hiring illegals.

    That would have an immediate impact!

  • I have often wonder why Custons could not work with employers who use migrant labor and have a system for them to enter and be controlled together and then return after work is completed.

    Guest worker programs are socially corrupting. Employers who wish to hire ‘migrant labor’ should be told to hire citizens and lawful settlers willing to work for the wages offered.

  • Guest worker programs are socially corrupting. Employers who wish to hire ‘migrant labor’ should be told to hire citizens and lawful settlers willing to work for the wages offered.

    This recommendation runs contrary to statements of many of our bishops, I believe.

    Concerning an immigration enforcment raid on a North Portland, Oregon food processing plant (in 2007, I think):
    “Portland Archbishop John Vlazny quickly denounced the raid by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, calling it “an affront to a nation whose tradition has always welcomed the stranger.” Calling for a moratorium on raids until national immigration reform is complete, the archbishop said the arrests tear apart families.”
    http://www.catholicsentinel.com/node/8172

    And a more recent statement by Bishop Slattery of Tulsa contained this recommendation:
    “Some way must be found to give the 11-12 million undocumented workers presently in the country some form of legal status. This need not include citizenship and should exclude anyone convicted of a felony.”
    http://www.dioceseoftulsa.org/article.asp?nID=1458

  • Neither statement refers to guest worker programs.

    That aside, both statements as rendered require elaboration.

    Some way must be found to give the 11-12 million undocumented workers presently in the country some form of legal status.

    And why would that be, your eminence?

    Calling for a moratorium on raids until national immigration reform is complete

    Penal codes are flawed. Do we let the muggers have free rein in urban neighborhoods until they are comprehensively repaired?

  • Thank you Messrs. Edwards and Vargas.

    And both of you make your statements, unlike [email protected] bishops spambot quotes and hate-filled libs, without accusing anyone that disagrees of being “the face of evil.”

    Let’s review how many sins against the Ten Commandments are [email protected] bishops endorsing? I make it only four: four, seven, eight and ten.

    And, at their next riot for amnesty, I want Che-worshipping revolutionaries to trot out an American construction worker and his family: whose livelihood was taken by a 12,000,000 undocumented workers and now 25 of them rent the house he lost to foreclosure.

  • Not sure about the Old Testament, but from the New Testament, the bishops often quote Matthew 25:35,
    “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,” etc.

    http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/matthew/matthew25.htm#v35

    See, for example, here:
    http://www.usccb.org/mrs/stranger.shtml

  • Concerning Art Deco’s claim that the guest worker program is “socially corrupting”, the bishops have acknowledged there can be social costs associated with the use migrant guest workers. For instance, responding to reform legislation proposed in 2004, the USCCB expressed concern that some provisions would lead to wage erosion, and called for modifications.
    http://www.usccb.org/hispanicaffairs/immigration.shtml

    I have not found an instance where a bishop called for the elimination of guest worker programs.

  • Concerning whether the millions of undocumented workers receive “some form of legal status”, Bishop Wester of Salt Lake City called for legal protection of immigrants’ due-process rights, among other things.
    http://www.sltrib.com/utahpolitics/ci_14135073

    Bishop Hubbard of Albany notes that “Regardless of their legal status, migrants, like all persons, possess inherent human dignity and human rights that should be respected.”
    http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/documents/BishopHubbardArticle100226.pdf

    As I understand it, the bishops want immigrants to have a legal means of recourse if they are exploited or victimized.

  • As I understand it, the bishops want immigrants to have a legal means of recourse if they are exploited or victimized.

    The persons in question do not have ‘legal means of recourse’ becuase they came here on the q.t. That is a function of the calcuations they made at various junctures with reference to their personal situation. Giving them the benefits of legal status post hoc is not a ‘reform’ of immigration law; it is the abolition of immigration law.

    I have not found an instance where a bishop called for the elimination of guest worker programs.

    So what?

  • How can any honest person interpret “welcome the stranger” as “ignore all laws pertaining to immigration”? Because that’s what the bishops do when they speak out against the enforcement of immigration law.

    To me, “welcome the stranger” means just that – in your midst, you welcome any person who is a stranger. You welcome them with kindness and hospitality. But you don’t clamor for immigration anarchy, or make mealy-mouthed sermons that amount to that implicitly.

    I understand the human reasons often cited for illegal immigration. What I can’t tolerate is the political agitation, the visceral hatred and contempt, that so many seem to have or to at least go along with once they get here for this country and for Anglo Americans. You think its a minority. So did I, until I read about incidents like these. This is what they do in Mexico:

    http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/4236314/

    And this is what they do here, in this Snopes-verified incident:

    “On February 15, 1998, the U.S. and Mexican soccer teams met at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The crowd was overwhelmingly pro-Mexican even though most lived in this country. They booed during the National Anthem and U.S. flags were held upside down. As the match progressed, supporters of the U.S. team were insulted, pelted with projectiles, punched and spat upon. Beer and trash were thrown at the U.S. players before and after the match. The coach of the U.S. team, Steve Sampson said, “This was the most painful experience I have ever had in this profession.”

    These are the things that normal Americans see every day, that a lot of over-educated, over-socialized, affluenzaed liberals never do. The plain fact is that a significant portion of the illegal immigrants from Mexico believe that they have a RIGHT to be here. Maybe they’re told that in their own society. Maybe they are told when they get here by the Hispanic versions of the KKK or Neo-Nazis that no one on the left ever talks about.

    But they have a racial and national pride that any white person would be categorized as a Nazi themselves for holding. And they have a hatred for this country and its non-Hispanic inhabitants. This is what they do to the blacks:

    http://www.alternet.org/story/46855/

    “According to Stark, “There is no black gang that encroaches on the 204’s turf. The hate is so prevalent and obvious that activists and city officials can no longer avoid calling it by the name being used by everyone from prosecutors to opinion writers in the L.A. Times: ethnic cleansing.”

    http://thelastgringo.com/serendipity/index.php?/archives/16-LATINOS-ETHNIC-CLEANSING-IN-L.A..html

    When the victims are black, of course, expect at least one conflicted liberal to come down on their side. If they were white, radio silence at best, tacit approval at worst.

    Of course we don’t want to demonize Hispanics. But when I see tens of thousands of Hispanics show up at rallies with swastikas emblazoned on the US or various state flags, I have to wonder, are they saying we’re Nazis, or are they declaring their own race war? Maybe they think Hitler had the right ideas and the wrong race. Or maybe they hate Jews too. Who knows?

  • “For instance my opinion of Mexicans in Mexico has been slowly degraded away over the years. I used to have a whole different opinion of Mexico and its people, but after seeing this continued America bashing by everyday Mexicans over and over my opinion and sympathy for the Mexican’s plight has gone to nearly zero.”

    http://www.diggersrealm.com/mt/archives/002304.html

    Expect a lot more Americans to undergo this change as they learn the truth.

  • Well it is Catholic website, so the bishops’ opinions are generally relevant, and their statements urge immigration reform, not abolition of guest worker programs (such as H2-A and H2-B) that I can tell, so I thought I would just point out what I have found and what I have not found in that regard.

  • I’m still waiting for Cardinal Mahony and Archbishop Dolan to condemn Mexico’s brutally exclusive immigration laws as “mean spirited” and like “Nazi German” and “Russian communist” techniques.

    I’ll probably be considered someone’s ancestor before that happens.

  • Not one word from the bishops about this:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bA8Br3_FIRg&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

    Eradicate the gangs. Treat them like enemy combatants.

  • Well it is Catholic website, so the bishops’ opinions are generally relevant,

    I am sorry, what the bishops do not say about the technics of immigration enforcement, the designated hitter rule, trade winds, Mexican cuisine, and any number of other things is not of much interest to me. What they do say as a consequence of fulfilling their duties does interest me. And, of, course, faithful Catholics face the challenge of following the teachings of the Church when they are lost in a sandstorm of verbiage on ancillary matters from the staff of the bishops’ conference and diocesan chanceries.

  • “Standing before a small white coffin, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony said Wednesday that two small girls gunned down last week are martyrs of gang warfare and called on residents citywide to have the courage to rise up against gangs.

    “Mahony delivered the stern words to about 300 mourners attending funeral services for 3-year-old Denise Silva of Boyle Heights. He said each member of the community must take responsibility for escalating gang violence.”
    http://articles.latimes.com/1992-04-16/local/me-934_1_gang-members

    That condemnation of gang violence was from 1992, though the shootings in video was from 2008, so I do not know if that quote will satisfy you or you want something more recent.

  • What they do say as a consequence of fulfilling their duties does interest me.

    Great. I think we are the same page. Now if we only had a quote from a bishop that supports your position I think we can just about wrap this up.

  • Spam,

    So you opposed Health Care Reform because the bishops did?

  • I don’t know about S.pamb.ot, but I’m on the same page as the bishops on both health care and immigration. And I applaud Bishop Olmsted’s affirmation of the excommunication of Sister Margaret McBride as well as his opposition to SB 1070.

  • And I note yet again that the same tactic of opposition to Bishop Olmsted is used by both the Democratic and Republican loyalists.

    From the Democrats/pro-choicers, you hear that Bishop Olmsted just doesn’t understand the realities of the hard choices we must make about women’s health.

    And from the Republicans/conservatives, we hear that Bishop Olmsted just doesn’t understand the realities of how issues of immigration must be addressed.

  • The problem with your analysis is that abortion is an intrinsic evil and can never be justified. While immigraion is a right, it is not an absolute right – the state may limit immigration and enforce those laws including deportation.

    As such, immigration laws are properly the provence of the laity who are called to make such decisions. The bishops present the moral principles which the laity then prudently apply. If the bishops present a plan on immigration, a Catholic in good conscience can disagree.

    The particulars of the abortion case are not clear. But if an abortion was performed, no one may licitly disagree.

  • The bishops present the moral principles which the laity then prudently apply. If the bishops present a plan on immigration, a Catholic in good conscience can disagree.

    Fair enough.

    But it seems to be the case that most conservative Catholics disagree with the bishops whenever a bishop’s position is contradicted by the talking points of the conservative wing of the Republican party. And when the disagreement is voiced by these Catholics, it is usually with ridicule.

    I do wish more Catholics would step out from the boundaries of politics, especially when it comes to morality.

  • I will have to say that bishops’ opinions should be treated with respect. Though Cardinal Mahoney’s comments on the AZ law does deserve contempt.

  • JohnH, Phillip, Art Deco, Greg Mockeridge, Donna V., afl, T. Shaw, and S.pamb.ot,

    While you guys are engaged in good dialogue why don’t you all put up some icon pics for your ID/gravatar?

  • I don’t know how. I’m technologically challenged.

  • So you opposed Health Care Reform because the bishops did?

    Yes. I commented about this briefly at Zippy’s a while back.
    http://zippycatholic.blogspot.com/2010/03/more-funding-for-abortion-is-just.html?showComment=1269530687527#c4629179916212773003

    I’ll leave at that for now to avoid going off topic.

  • Great. I think we are the same page. Now if we only had a quote from a bishop that supports your position I think we can just about wrap this up.

    No, we are not. I am not inhibited from advocating a social policy because my bishop has not pronounced on that specific subject. You have not offered one citation to the effect that an immigration policy which permits settlers but not the issuance of visas to imported servant-laborers is in contradiction to a moral principle articulated by the Church.

    But it seems to be the case that most conservative Catholics disagree with the bishops whenever a bishop’s position is contradicted by the talking points of the conservative wing of the Republican party.

    There is no consensual position on immigration within the Republican Party, much less ‘talking points’.

    The bishops need to elaborate on how the moral and ethical obligations of the faithful are articulated in social policy and how the latter compels lax enforcement of immigration laws, amnesty, &c. If they can actually state things in those terms.

  • I will have to say that bishops’ opinions should be treated with respect.

    I think that is all I really wanted. Not necessarily from anyone one person in particular, but from Catholic sites in general when they examine the Arizona immigration law controversy.

    What do the bishops say and why do they say it? Are the various bishops’ statements generally consistent with each other? Should Catholics feel obligated to line up behind them if they are relatively uniform in their opinion?

    Those are some of the questions on my mind and tried to explore a little here.

  • While you guys are engaged in good dialogue why don’t you all put up some icon pics for your ID/gravatar?

    I am not sure I can get it to work.

  • How to set up a gravatar:

    http://en.gravatar.com/

  • Just want to draw attention to the seriousness of the abuse of migrants in Mexico that Greg refers to and acknowledge that I could not find statements from Catholic bishops on that specific situation.

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/widespread-abuse-migrants-mexico-human-rights-crisis-2010-04-27

  • S.pamb.ot hits the nail on the head, so to speak.

    ” . . . Catholic website, so the bishops’ opinions are generally relevant”

    BINGO!!!!

    Opinion.

    I read books on my commute/RR. One book I read was The Republic. Plato said, “Opinion is not truth.”

    I don’t much care about bishops’ opinions unless they jive with the Scriptures and the Pope.

    Especially since the majority voted for Obama in opposition to Pope Benedict’s non-negotiables, I have no reason to blindly accept any bishop’s OPINION.

    FYI Bamspot BUDDY: Check out OT Tobit on not giving alms to evil people. “Better to put your bread on the grave of a just man than . . . ”

    The criminals (tearing at the guts of many communities) are not the least of Christ’s brothers. And, are breaking at least four of the Ten Commandments.

    But, if you must feed them, send them food in their homelands. And, use your money for your charitable acts.

    Those are my opinions and again opinion is not truth.

    I’m a superannuated accountant who has to look up much of the vocabulary you people use. Plus, what is this gravatar thing?

    BTW: Closed comments on the Second Amend. I am perennially banned at a certain so-called catholic website. Seems totalitarianism resides in socialist saints, as much as stalinists and nazis.

    That’s okay. I had completed my post-doctoral field work in proctology at the time they banned me.

  • Shaw,

    “Closed comments on the Second Amend.”

    I hope you aren’t referring to my post. Comments are closed here because I don’t want two discussions. On my personal blog, where you can read the rest of the piece, you can comment to your hearts content.

  • Thank you, T.Shaw. I’ll try to keep all of that in mind.

  • The USCCB on guest worker programs:
    In May [2006], the Senate passed S.2611, which includes the 200,000 new H2-C visas supported by President Bush as well as pathways to citizenship for illegal immigrants who have worked in the country five years or more.

    Earlier this year [2006], the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opposed the enforcement-only House bill and subsequently called the Senate bill [S.2611] “a good start.”

    Among the bishops’ principles for just immigration reform is a guest-worker program that helps unify migrant families and provides a path to earn citizenship.

    “The bishops are not opposed to border security or national sovereignty,” Torres told Our Sunday Visitor. “But they want to balance the right to migration and the dignity of all human beings.”
    http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=20754

    Bishop Wenski testifying before a House Subcommittee on Immigration Reform in 2007:
    While we appreciate the inclusion in Title IV of AgJOBS legislation [temporary workers provision of S.1348], we strongly oppose the Title’s adoption of a temporary worker program that does not provide workers with the option of pursuing a path to permanent residency. This could create an underclass of workers in our society who are easily exploitable and without full rights and privileges in the society. We also have misgivings about workers having to return home after two years and remain outside of the country for a year. We fear this may result in some workers choosing to stay illegally.
    Other problems we have in Title IV include its unrealistic requirements for health insurance and minimum income levels, and the reliance on the unrealistic triggers found in Title I of the legislation before the temporary worker program can begin to operate.
    http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/documents/meh-wenski-adopted-changes.pdf

    The USCCB (again) on the AgJOBS program:
    The U.S. Catholic Bishops support both permanent and, with appropriate protections, temporary visa programs for laborers. However, any such system must adequately protect the rights of workers. Visa costs must be affordable and wages should be sufficient to support a family in dignity. The program ought to provide for family unity and reunification and allow for worker mobility both within the United States and in making return trips to their home country. Labor-market tests should be employed to ensure that U.S. workers are protected. A segment of work visas should be designed to allow laborers to enter the country as legal permanent residents. In allocating such visas, two factors that should be considered are family ties and work history.
    http://www.nccbuscc.org/mrs/h2a.shtml

    The USCCB (again) on immigration and border security:
    The Catholic Catechism teaches that in the realm of immigration law all governments have two essential duties, both of which must be carried out and neither of which can be ignored.

    The first duty is to welcome the foreigner out of charity and respect for the dignity and rights of the human person.

    The second duty of government is to secure its border and enforce immigration law for the sake of the common good, including the safety and well-being of the nation’s inhabitants and the rule of law.

    The U.S. Catholic Bishops have outlined various elements of their proposal for comprehensive immigration reform.

    Future Worker Program: A worker program to permit foreign-born workers to enter the country safely and legally would help reduce illegal immigration and the loss of life in the American desert. Any program should include workplace protections, living wage levels, safeguards against the displacement of U.S. workers, and family unity.
    “http://www.nccbuscc.org/mrs/legal.shtml”

    ~~~~~~~
    From these and other resources, I believe it is fair to conclude that our bishops support issuance of visas to temporary workers as long as legal protections against exploitation and abuse of the workers are provided. This leads me to believe they oppose elimination of the temporary workers programs.

  • An article concerning the USCCB’s position on guest worker programs:
    In May [2006], the Senate passed S.2611, which includes the 200,000 new H2-C visas supported by President Bush as well as pathways to citizenship for illegal immigrants who have worked in the country five years or more.

    Earlier this year [2006], the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opposed the enforcement-only House bill and subsequently called the Senate bill [S.2611] “a good start.”

    Among the bishops’ principles for just immigration reform is a guest-worker program that helps unify migrant families and provides a path to earn citizenship.

    “The bishops are not opposed to border security or national sovereignty,” Torres told Our Sunday Visitor. “But they want to balance the right to migration and the dignity of all human beings.”
    http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=20754

    Bishop Wenski testifying before a House Subcommittee on Immigration Reform in 2007:
    “While we appreciate the inclusion in Title IV of AgJOBS legislation [temporary workers provision of S.1348], we strongly oppose the Title’s adoption of a temporary worker program that does not provide workers with the option of pursuing a path to permanent residency. This could create an underclass of workers in our society who are easily exploitable and without full rights and privileges in the society. We also have misgivings about workers having to return home after two years and remain outside of the country for a year. We fear this may result in some workers choosing to stay illegally.

    “Other problems we have in Title IV include its unrealistic requirements for health insurance and minimum income levels, and the reliance on the unrealistic triggers found in Title I of the legislation before the temporary worker program can begin to operate.”
    http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/documents/meh-wenski-adopted-changes.pdf

    ~~~(cont’d)

  • The USCCB (again) on the AgJOBS program:
    “The U.S. Catholic Bishops support both permanent and, with appropriate protections, temporary visa programs for laborers. However, any such system must adequately protect the rights of workers. Visa costs must be affordable and wages should be sufficient to support a family in dignity. The program ought to provide for family unity and reunification and allow for worker mobility both within the United States and in making return trips to their home country. Labor-market tests should be employed to ensure that U.S. workers are protected. A segment of work visas should be designed to allow laborers to enter the country as legal permanent residents. In allocating such visas, two factors that should be considered are family ties and work history.”
    http://www.nccbuscc.org/mrs/h2a.shtml

    The USCCB (again) on immigration and border security:
    “The Catholic Catechism teaches that in the realm of immigration law all governments have two essential duties, both of which must be carried out and neither of which can be ignored.”

    “The first duty is to welcome the foreigner out of charity and respect for the dignity and rights of the human person.”

    “The second duty of government is to secure its border and enforce immigration law for the sake of the common good, including the safety and well-being of the nation’s inhabitants and the rule of law.”

    “The U.S. Catholic Bishops have outlined various elements of their proposal for comprehensive immigration reform.”

    “Future Worker Program: A worker program to permit foreign-born workers to enter the country safely and legally would help reduce illegal immigration and the loss of life in the American desert. Any program should include workplace protections, living wage levels, safeguards against the displacement of U.S. workers, and family unity.”
    http://www.nccbuscc.org/mrs/legal.shtml

    ~~~~~~~
    From these and other resources, I believe it is fair to conclude that our bishops support issuance of visas to temporary workers as long as legal protections against exploitation and abuse of the workers are provided. This leads me to believe they oppose elimination of the temporary workers programs.

  • I have heard far more persons discussing that the law is Unconstitutional under the Supremacy Clause. The Supremacy Clause forbids state and local laws that contradict federal laws in matters where the federal government has authority to act.
    Once again it only applies in situations where the law contradicts the current law. Arizona’s law requires that State/Local authorities hand over suspect illegals to the proper federal authorities. Maybe you have forgetten (since we haven’t enforced these laws) but it’s still a crime to enter our country illegally.
    But as long as we are talking about Constitutionality let’s talk about the Commerce Clause on the Constitution (Article I, Section 8). This clause prohibits states and localities from passing laws that burden interstate or foreign commerce by, among other things, creating “discriminations favorable or adverse to commerce with specific foreign nations.”
    Boycotting Arizona is UNCONSTITUTIONAL so knock it off already. Also to the Arizona government, how about we step up and actually file suit against these cities?