Vichy Catholics

Saturday, February 11, AD 2012

While most Catholics with at least two brain cells to rub together realize that the HHS Mandate “compromise” is a transparent fraud, the usual suspects among the Obama-uber-alles branch of Catholics in this country have been hailing it.

Richard Rich Doug Kmiec is back on board the Obama bus (and demonstrates again the truth of the Socrates adage that an unexamined life is a tragedy):

Sister Carol Keehan, head of the Catholic Health Association, last seen getting a pen from Obama for her support in passing ObamaCare, loves the compromise.  She was actually supporting it before it was announced, indicating that the Obama administration slipped her advance knowledge.  The administration is aware of the tame Catholics they can rely on.

And, mirabile dictu!, Morning’s Minion at Vox Nova gives the “compromise” a thumbs up!

Streiff over at Red State sums up this phenomenon of Catholics who can always be counted upon to carry Obama’s water for him in any dispute with the Church:

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36 Responses to Vichy Catholics

  • Watching that Granholm and Kmiec clip makes me want to throw up.

  • Oh how nice – my former governor and Catholyc Jennifer Granholm, still carrying the water for Obama. Another one that deserves ex-communication.

    I just realized – that news clip will probably get viewed by more people than there are total Current subscribers, merely because you linked to it. And that’s not saying much.

  • Its said to say but there are far too many useful idiots in the Church willing to follow Obama despite his blatant assault on our beloved Church.

  • Morning’s Minion at Vox Nova gives the “compromise” a thumbs up!

    Sheesh. I see that the ruling troika of Mornings Minion, MZ and Henry are all full throatedly in favor of the “compromise” and accusing the USCCB of being a bunch of out of touch rubes led around by partisan hacks. What a pathetic disgrace that place can be.

  • I cannot go to look at anything on Vox Nova. My eyes will bleed.

    Some Catholics amaze me. They should not, but they do. They shouldn’t be referred to as Catholics, but as left wing nuts.

  • I don’t get to be a ruling troika DC. I moved on several months ago from Vox Nova.

    …the USCCB [are] a bunch of out of touch rubes led around by partisan hacks.
    That sounds about right.

    While most Catholics with at least two brain cells to rub together realize that the HHS Mandate “compromise” is a transparent fraud, the usual suspects among the Obama-uber-alles branch of Catholics in this country have been hailing it.
    Most Catholics had no problem with the mandate. I’m doubtful any new dissent will be created with the compromise.

    The administration is aware of the tame Catholics they can rely on.
    You mean the ones that successfully applied political pressure and achieved their goal. I suppose I can concede that Obama wasn’t looking to receive respect from hacks like yourself who still believe he instituted health care reform in order to fund abortion. It is quite apparent the Obama administration is not interested in dialog with those who willfully continue to misrepresent his health care package. Unfortunately, that includes the USCCB. That is too bad for the USCCB, but I can’t really feel too much pity for them.

  • Carol Keehan ( I doubt if she is really a nun) is an Obama pawn. What is she thinking.

    She is for the compromise before it was announced? So the Lame Stream Media will herald this as a support for the compromise of a very influential group.

  • It seems that the basic economics of insurance are lost a great many people. Who do you think makes up for the “free” contraceptives? There is no free lunch.

  • “Most Catholics had no problem with the mandate.”

    Actually MZ, most Americans in general and Catholics in particular had a big problem with the mandate, although I understand you do not like being confused with facts.

    Obama understood this, which is why he floated this “compromise” to take the political heat off him, Obama having a better grasp of public opinion apparently than some of his more crazed acolytes.

    “receive respect from hacks like yourself”

    And the Pope MZ?

    Don’t worry MZ, you will get all the respect you can stomach from those like yourself who confuse Catholicism with a love of the welfare state, everything else be damned. Enjoy whatever solace that gives you.

  • ‘ … I don’t like my faith being used as political weapon … ‘ DK
    ‘ … Obama on the ropes taking punches from …’ JG from the war room
    and the CA lady distributing NYT gospel on the good people in Cinn., OH ?
    and an old vox of heresy just blathering against the Church Jesus established on earth to help us get to His Father ?

    War cry n. – A phrase or slogan used to rally people to a cause.

    All this muscle flexing talk in reaction to the Church standing up for the Constitutional right of its own religious liberty which is granted in the political arena where it’s now necessary to speak. What happened to pretty philosophic ideas of celebrating diversity and leaving no children behind? The answers given to the Church and public are in the spirit of telling misbehaving children to go sit in the corner and be quiet forever.

  • 10:28 ‘ I suppose I can concede that Obama wasn’t looking to receive respect from hacks like yourself who still believe he instituted health care reform in order to fund abortion. It is quite apparent the Obama administration is not interested in dialog with those who willfully continue to misrepresent his health care package. Unfortunately, that includes the USCCB. ‘

    Then, please explain why his ‘magnanimous’ 2/10 “Compromise Speech” was centered on the word ‘contraception’ with no specific details for the listening public. Or what areas of health, other than women’s preventive healthcare, is included.

    It is inconvenient to point out that the result of some of the healthcare is death. ( I think of that part as hellth.) The USCCB, the Catholic Church, and many other religions which branched off from the Catholic Church are the places where people entrust the guidance of their Souls. They are as much doctors as the ones guiding the executive branch.

  • Hitler on Vichy Catholics:

    “Do you really believe the masses will ever be Christian again? Nonsense. The tale is finished but we can hasten matters. The parsons will be made to dig their own graves. They will betray their God to us. They will betray anything for the sake of their miserable little jobs and incomes.”

    Describes Kmiec and Sr. Carol pretty well, I’d say. And as for Vox Nova – well, it’s interesting. Over the past week, I’ve seen outrage about this from Protestants and Jews and even atheists and agnostics, who understand full well what an assault on religious rights it is. But the Catholic statists like MZ and the Vox Nova crowd keep digging their graves. However, I wouldn’t say they are betraying their god – no, they’re in full grovel mode before him. Well, if you can stomach voting for a man who approves of leaving babies to die on tables, forcing the Church to pick up the tab for birth control isn’t going to be that big of a deal to you.

  • I do not find it at all difficult to imagine a situation arising here similiar to the one in China, where you have the state-approved “Catholic” clergy and the ones who actually follow the Vatican.

    And I also do not find it difficult to imagine left-wing “Catholics” gleefully helping to turn in and persecute those who remain faithful to Rome rather than to Obama and the nanny state. Really. They are showing us now who they really worship and adore.

  • The filthy animals are showing themselves for what they are: Obama first, the state second, hatred of liberty third, and Christ number ten.

    You can’t reason with those in the thrall of the demon; those . Those that call good evil and evil good.

    It’s way past talking. Some real Christians say they’ll go to jail.

    Next from the Obama-worshiping imbeciles:

    3 . . . 2 . . .1 . . . Racists!

  • Maybe we should take comfort in the fact that WE know right from wrong as is noted in the commits here. The problem is that the propaganda seems to reach more than the truth does. Then again, more and more do not find the truth comforting as it conflicts with their lifestyle and desires.

  • While Obama got 54% of the overall Catholic vote, McCain got 57% of the vote of Catholics who attend Mass every Sunday. The fact that Obama got 43% of the Catholics who attend Mass on Sundays is what I find more troubling. While it is true that not all of those who attend Mass every Sunday, most of them are. So, we can safely say, as a conservative estimate, that about 25% of orthodox Catholics went for Obama. That is what concerns me. That is far more telling. And what it tells is that many orthodox Catholics do not understand how economic, national security, foreign policies affect the cultural and life issues. I mean how can honestly claim to be for life when you support big government nanny state policies that financially underwrite the culture of death (of which Obamacare is proof postive) or when you have a national security posture that projects weakness?

  • Very well said Donna-
    Well, if you can stomach voting for a man who approves of leaving babies to die on tables, forcing the Church to pick up the tab for birth control isn’t going to be that big of a deal to you.

  • Simply, this assault on Church Teachings (Pharaoh calls it opinion and ancient religious hatred) is the straw that broke the USCCB’s back.

    All that common good, justice and peace guff is corollary to the alibi (welfare of humanity) of tyrants and, worse, cynical political posturing.

    How is any of this (higher food and energy costs) good for the common man?

    In 2008, Obama promised he’d bankrupt the coal industry and raise the cost of energy if elected. He was elected, and we are suffering.

    This year, Pharaoh is closing three West Virginia coal plants.

    The shortages in energy supplies will ripple through the economy and put out of work about 100,00 people more, with added misery, and will raise the cost of living for all Americans, . . . including those deleted from the propaganda, unemployment/labor force numbers.

  • I’m reading various threads on Catholic blogs and I’m amazed at how disconnected (IMO) so many people are from Church teaching and an understanding of the moral component as well as the deeper understanding of the person and society. They are actually factoring in the idea that contraception is a cost savings and trying to use that angle in evaluating “compromises”. Contraception is NOT a cost savings. Only in the narrowest and inhuman view can one say that. The cost of contraception to our society is huge. It’s in part why as a nation we kill millions of innocents a year. It has probably done more to destroy the foundation of society, the family, than anything else in this country. The effects of that have resulted in many expensive, yet family destroying “fixes”. Not mention the overall degrading of both men and women. I really wish the bishops would call this out. It’s not that they need it for their defense of the Church and religious and conscience rights, but maybe they could help take that sort of misguided logic off the table.

  • Not one liberal did a thing to help.

    Don Surber: “About 40,000 people signed an online petition to demonize the bank of a Nashville woman who stands to lose her house to foreclosure, instead of actually stepping up and helping her.

    “Liberals: Not here to help so much as to seize power on your misery.”

    Justice and peace!!! All that 2008 human dignity, faux charity, “have-you-no-decency” wailing and gnashing of teeth was truly partisan BS.

    In 2012, a majority of liberal hypocrits, like MM et al, support drone assassinations and keeping the Gitmo tortuary operational. Funny how just as in 2008, death penalty, evil tax cuts for the evil rich, and water boarding still trump abortion, contraception, gay privileges, the moral destruction of our youth, mass desperation, tyranny, etc.

    It seems Obama-worshiping idiots think we are as stupid as they.

  • Whatever Doug Kmeic says to do, do the opposite. You won’t go wrong.

  • I know, I know. We’re all supposed to be adults. We’re supposed to educate ourslves on the vissicitudes of life. But can it be ignored that the silence form the pulpits is deafening? Especially concerning the American Holocaust. I guess it’s just human nature. If it doesn’t affect me directly then so what.

    Let’s face it; there are alot of socialists in the Ivory Towers of chancery buildings who just got bitch-slapped by Marxist numero uno and have been temporarliy(?) awakened.

  • Obama just wanted to get the Carol Keehan Catholics back into his flock, and it looks like he has succeeded. It is for the Bishops to revoke some charters which includes so-called Catholic association as well as religious orders such as the one which spawned Carol Keehan.

  • They have their reward.

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  • I think Obama was on a fishing expedition, 1) to see just how the Church would respond, and 2) back off enough to win back his ‘Catholic’ supporters and drive a wedge in the Church’s opposition.

  • If the Bishops keep slamming hard, and don’t give up their just criticisms, then it doesn’t matter what these Catholic ignoramuses (or is that ignorami?) blurt out of their mouths.

    Keep writing to your Bishops who have demonstrated courage and tell them that you’re in their corner, helping on blogs, newspapers, etc. They NEED to hear that from you.

    Do it now.

  • Dan, and they (Bishops/USCCB) want us to contact our US Reps. about supporting the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179 S. 1467).

    We can support these brave defenders of the Church as well. The Reps aren’t afraid to ask for votes, so it seems like a time to urge cooperation all around. There’s more at stake than O’s contraception card.

  • …the USCCB [are] a bunch of out of touch rubes led around by partisan hacks.
    That sounds about right… I suppose I can concede that Obama wasn’t looking to receive respect from hacks like yourself who still believe he instituted health care reform in order to fund abortion. It is quite apparent the Obama administration is not interested in dialog with those who willfully continue to misrepresent his health care package. Unfortunately, that includes the USCCB. That is too bad for the USCCB, but I can’t really feel too much pity for them.

    God love ya, MZ, being an ObamaCath means never having to admit you’re wrong. The fact is that the “out of touch” USCCB and the “partisan hacks” who allegedly lead them around turned out to be 100% right on the conscience clause issue, and you and the rest of the ObamaCaths turned out to be 100% WRONG, as the original HHS mandate clearly demonstrates.

    “Trust us”, you said in the debate over the Stupak Amendment, “ObamaCare won’t lead to Church insitutions having to do anything that violates their beliefs, and the out of touch Bishops who are telling you otherwise are being led around by partisan hacks.” You were wrong (or lying) them, so forgive me if I believe you’re wrong (or lying) now when you claim the same thing about this alleged “accomodation”.

    The fact is that Catholic institutions providing medical coverage as part of their employee benefits will be providing things that violate their beliefs. Nothing has changed with the alleged “accomodation”. And it’s just a matter of time before additional items that violate Catholic teaching are added to the list of “must cover” items, abortion among them.

    Again, when I see you and yours FOR A SECOND TIME paying less heed to the Bishops on these matters than you do to a man who, via the extreme position his adminsitration took in the recent Supreme Court case that he lost in a 9-0 decision and via the extreme position his administration has taken with the HHS mandate, is clearly trying to limit religious freedom, you’ll have to pardon me when I say you no longer have any credibility (not that you ever did) after having been conclusively shown to have been WRONG the first time you chose sides.

  • Being credible in your eyes and $5 will get me a cup of coffee at Starbucks. I shouldn’t be shocked that you lack the intellectual honesty to admit the USCCB was wrong about abortion coverage. I confess to being slightly disappointed though. Good play though on attempting to question mine by shifting the goal posts to a phony conscience controversy.

    And for the record, I don’t see any any conscience issue involved with employers being compelled to offer a contraceptive benefit if they provide health insurance. I don’t think employers have a legitimate interest in whether or not their employees have a sex act that respects the unitive and procreative dimensions.

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  • I must post what I know, after are my comments and opinion. FAITH IS A GIFT FROM GOD. GOD IS BEING AND EXISTENCE. All men come into existence at the will of God, our Creator. The virtue of religion is how man responds to the gift of Faith from God in private and in public. The virtue of religion can be perfected only by complete adherence to the love of God. Doug Kmeic teaches? Law? Constitutional LAW? An open question on conscience rights? What is an open question but to do what one knows is right in accordance to the will of God? I am stunned by the profound ignorance of Doug Kmiec. Doug Kmiec belongs on Saturday Night Live. no foolin’. Doug Kmiec has a problem with his “faith being used as a political weapon”. What Kmiec really means to say is that his virtue of religion, his response to the gift of Faith from God, is being pressed to do what is right in the eyes of God and he does not like it.

  • MZ “a phony conscience controversy”? Justice is giving each man what he truly deserves. Can there be JUSTICE without conscience? Animals have no conscience and do not require JUSTICE. Devils have no conscience because demons have no human body, therefore no human soul, therefore no eternal life in heaven. Justice requires that the newly begotten sovereign person, who constitutes our nation and whose perfect moral and legal innocence is the standard of Justice be given life as an unalienable right. Our nation’s constitutional posterity is being deprived of Justice and you call it a”phony conscience controversy”? The rest has been deleted by the poster.

  • Dan: Ignorami is Latin for ignoramuses. I really enjoy reading your post. You are correct especially the part about supporting our bishops, It is up to each and every man, if he enjoys freedom, he must stand together with the truth for the truth will set you free.

  • RL: Cost saving contraception drives Divine Providence away from our nation. Our Creator, WHO made us, makes the rain fall, the seed germinate, the sun shine. Malthus and Population Bomb ignored Divine Providence in their calculations. Therefore, It may be said of Thomas Malthus and Paul Erhlick: IGNORAMI. The horror of abortion is that the abortionists and those whose minds and souls are pro-abortion is that they enjoy murdering the innocent. Pro-abortionists revel in bloodlust, worship in bloodlust their demon god, moloch.

  • Hope and Change:

    “I strongly urge you not to be intimidated by extremist politicians or the malice of the cultural secularists (me: e.g., vox nova) arrayed against us.” Bishop Daniel Jenky

    “Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Illinois warned Catholic democrats that one day they will indeed have to meet their Creator and will have to give account for their irresponsible acts before God.” Gateway Pundit

    That goes for all you rascals that voted for pharaoh.

    Malicious secularist MZ: Thanks for reminding me!

    We NRA Endowment (I upgraded from Life) Members are going to Starbucks to show our support. Starbucks supports Second Amendment liberties. We will support Starbucks.

    3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . “Justice and peace and cynical political posturing!!! Only criminals and the gestapo are allowed to carry weapons!”

45 Responses to The New Progressive Martyrdom

  • That is unfair.

    Catholics for Obama are not as evil as Judas.

    They are about 2% less vicious.

  • “They are about 2% less vicious.”

    And paid a whole lot more than 30 pieces of silver!

  • I got it the first time, but the second cartoon is great! Some “catholics” just don’t want to get it……all those babies gone from their chance at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…..and the chance to have loving moms and dads and to learn about the future. The only thing that passes as hope is that the millions of babies not born are angels in heaven now.

  • St Augustine wrote in the City of God.

    “What is reprehensible is that, while leading good lives themselves and abhorring those of wicked men, some fearing to offend shut their eyes to evil deeds instead of condemning them and pointing out their malice. . . . still, there is more self-seeking here than becomes men who are mere sojourners in this world and who profess hope of a home in heaven.”

  • Obama got 54% of the Catholic vote. While I’m a majority of them were of the National Catholic Distorter (I mean Reporter) stripe, a significant degree of them were pro-life orthodox Catholics. Catholics like most people vote their perceived economic interests more than any other factor.

    In my mind, this is an indication of a woeful ignorance of the principle of subsidiarity, the bedrock principle of Catholic social teaching. Consequently, Catholics, by and large, have absolutely no clue as to how economic issues affect the culture and life issues and vicea versa. When was the last time anyone has ever heard the bishops even mention the principle of subsidiarity, much less give a coherent explanation of it in the context of our present circumstances? While Obamacare was being shoved down our throats, the only U.S. bishop, at least to my knowledge, that even raised the question about how a takeover of one sixth of our economy can be squared with the principle of subsidiarity was Bp. Lori of Bridgeport, CT. In fact, if it wasn’t for the abortion funding provision they would have been completely on board with Obamacare.

    No, our bishops are usually too busy taking sides on issues they have no business taking sides on like capital punishment, immigration (it was the same Abp. Dolan who praised Cdl Mahony’s equating AZ’s SB 1070 with Communist and Nazi tactics while issuing an irresponsible and I think calumnious attack of his own) etc.

    Until the bishops actually spending time teaching the faith as opposed to using their good offices pursuing their ideological agenda under thin guise of social justice, their pleas on stuff like this will lack the credibility it needs.

  • What Greg Mockeridge said…

    Also, what exactly did 0bama Catholics get for voting for him? In other words, what represents the 30 pieces of silver? I hope it was something more than a warm, fuzzy feeling.

  • I take great exception to these characterizations of Catholics who voted for Obama.

    I know many who did and, while I strongly disagree with their choice, these attacks are entirely unwarranted and unjust.

    Many believed that abortion was at a stalemate – they bought, hook, line, and sinker, the story spun by the Left that the Executive Branch was powerless to affect the abortion question. Foolish? More than a little. This is, though, the result of not teaching civics over the last fifty years – of failing to educate Americans as to how their government works.

    Lambs led to a slaughter – not partners in evil.

    There is no good and just cause to alienate our brothers and sisters with such talk and recrimination. Indeed, it isn’t even smart! Do you really want to drive them back into that fold just as they are waking up?

    Folks… Charity is called for, not meanness and a deadly dose of “told ya so.”

  • Lambs being led to slaughter…….sounds like the jews in nazi germany!!!!!! It is about time Catholics..American or Catholics from every country..wake up. We are only in this world for a short time…and will be in eternity forever…We can have a lot of fun while we are here….God has been good to us, but there are a few rules we have to follow. Those who think they can constantly turn against those rules will have to answer one day..I am not judging or condemning anyone. You cannot convince me that adult American Catholics do not know what abortion is…and the far reaching results for the economy and future of our country…not to mention what the results will be for us in the next world

  • “Wake up!” is an excellent message to send. The first cartoon captures my feelings well.

    “You are traitors and knowing conspirators with evil” is precisely the wrong message to send to our fellow Catholics; uncatechised men and women who grew up in a culture which treats religion as a window-dressing, people who want to be good and to do right but are confused by the myriad of demands and mixed messages.

    My grandfather used to say that it isn’t fair to judge men by what they do. Even our best plans fall far short of what we hoped for. By that measure, we are all utter failures. You can only judge by what a man meant to do: either good or evil.

  • “Lambs led to a slaughter – not partners in evil.” Thank you, G-Veg. My beloved American Catholics, stop tearing one another apart and rally around your Bishops. Even the “coward” Peter who denied Jesus three times, still rose to the occasion of the Mission his Master gave him of leading His Infant Church. We need to remember that this One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is under the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit. She is both Divine and Human. Divine because She is Holy, Human because Her Leaders are human – just as we all are, with all human frailties. Therefore, whenever She has been under persecution and emerged victorious, God’s Power was confirmed and Her Holiness re-affirmed.

  • Obama got 54% of the Catholic vote. While I’m a majority of them were of the National Catholic Distorter (I mean Reporter) stripe, a significant degree of them were pro-life orthodox Catholics.

    I will wager that about 70% of them were derived from the pool of Catholics of the modal type: those not at Mass. They would not know the National Catholic Reporter from the local pennysaver.

  • G-Veg & [email protected],

    Your points are duly noted.

    For the time being the post will remain up.

  • Mr. Edwards,

    I am not asking that any posts or comments be removed.

    My taking exception reflects my views. I do not speak for any other and do not ask that anyone be silent on my account.

  • Sorry, but I don’t regret any of it. Because . . .

    It wasn’t abortion.

    It still is abortion;

    Plus contraception; gay privileges; divorce; universal promiscuity; public school destructions of children’s consciences while prohibiting parental intervention; etc.

    They are going to vote for that way again.

    Worst: They buy into the class envy, hope and change thing. The evil, unjust private sector is being destroyed. So, with what will the ominpotent, omniscient state replace it?

    Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.

    Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself – even if he earned more than you.

  • I’m reminded of that scene in The Omen in which the girl leaps from the building happily shouting, “Damien, It’s all for you!”

  • Mr. Edwards, my plea was that we do not look back at the mistake the American Catholics made by voting for Obama. No one – then – knew exactly what his Agenda was. So all those who voted for him, did so in good faith. But now that he has shown his hand, we should all join together and fight the Evil. From my beloved Kenya, Obama’s father homeland, we are on our knees praying for your Country and our Holy Mother Church to win this War because God has been pushed too far. The Eucharistic Apostles of the Divine Mercy daily pray for your country at 3.00 O’clock – The Hour of Great Mercy. We are all in this War together.

  • Mary:

    Actually we did know much of what his agenda really was. There was much written about his past regarding his influences, what his beliefs were and who he associated with (e.g. Jeremiah Wright who had close ties with people like Louis Farrakan) domestic terrorist William Ayers, etc.

    This, among other things told he was someone no honest intelligence person had any business supporting him, much less a conscientious Catholic.

  • I meant to say “inteligent person”.

  • Greg, were you aware that he had disdain for Organized Religion? Because I want to believe that if the faithful American Catholics knew this – and the Catholic Church being “The Church”- they would probably have thought twice about voting for him. Unless The Faith in your beloved Country has ceased to be of any importance or influence in people’s lives. Which would be really sad.

  • People in this country have had it too good for too long and seem to support anyone they think will keep things static. They are so secularized that what is in it for them is more important than what is right. I keep hearing about how 85-98% of Catholic women use contraception….If that is so, does it negate the natural law?
    So, yes the Faith has ceased to be of importance in many people’s lives. It is hard to live in half million dollars houses and drive luxury cars if there is a chance of a new child arriving and putting a dent in the financial tone enjoyed by mom and dad and their one or two children! All the Catholic young people in the public schools rather than in parochial schools attests to this also. The tuition for parish schools cuts too deeply into parents’
    comfortable lifestyles. Imagine what another child would do !
    I am not judging anyone//but am pointing out how secular this country is…and how life after death is often put on the back burner while life here is filled with one’s own selfish desires.

  • Nope!

    In 2008 it was all Justice and peace!!!

    It was all human dignity, faux charity, “have-you-no-decency” wailing and gnashing of teeth, which was, of course, truly nothing but partisan bu!!$hit.

    And in 2012, a majority of the same moral vermin tacitly support drone assassinations and keeping the Gitmo tortuary operational.

    It’s peculiar, how just as in 2008, the death penalty, the evil tax cuts for the evil rich, and water boarding still trump abortion, contraception, gay privileges, the moral destruction of American youth, tyranny, etc.

  • G-Veg & [email protected],

    Thanks for clarifying your points.

    You guys can call me “Tito” by the way. 🙂

    Maybe we need to distinguish between Catholics that supported Obama and now regret it and those that will still vote for Obama.

  • One should be skeptical of easy answers to complex questions. The American tapestry is woven with more types and colors of thread than we pretend.

    My view is that there are two major education defects that affect American Catholic decision-making: we are not catechized and we don’t know anything about civics.

    In Peter Berger’s “The Sacred Canopy,” he posits that Man needs the concept of “god” because it provides answers to those questions that plague the human mind. I think this is essentially correct. The catechism – any system of moral and religious teaching really – provides Man with answers, answers that we desperately need in order to remain sane.

    Catechism gives Catholics ready answers. Most Catholics who are catechized are willing to accept those ready answers without much question, primarily because they are too busy living to inquire all that much into the areas of human consciousness beyond their daily needs. Catholics without catechesis NEED answers and, so, search for plausibility. There being no definite truth in their minds, it is no wonder that they reject faith-based reasoning in favor of seemingly scientific answers through the popular culture.

    It is the backdrop of uncatechized Catholics against which the present drama is being played out. We may go to church and partake in the sacraments but the underlying philosophy and the richness of Catholic scholarship is lost to most of us. Without it, we seek to meld popular culture into the surface level Catholicism that is practiced by our Protestant brothers and sisters – a religion that is largely impotent in the public sphere and only relevant in its ability to organize our private lives.

    Statements like “I would never have an abortion but who am I to tell others what to do” reflect this reality.

    In a similar way, the lack of civics education in America forces Americans to judge policy by its effect on partisan interests rather than its fit in the broader framework of our political life. Not knowing what the Constitution says or the development of Western law and culture, we ask “does this fit my worldview.” What does not is bad and what does is good, without respect to whether the policy is lawful or even intelligible.

    Our willingness to accept omnibus bills that are admitted to have been unread before signed off on seems to demonstrate this truth.

    These observations represent, admittedly, just a small portion of the causes of our decline as a people and as a religious group within the larger culture. They have to be considered though when seeking to justly chastise and problem solve.

    Our fellow Catholics don’t have to be stupid, ignorant, evil, or hypocritical for the agenda we see to take root. They need only be wrong.

    Their culpability is limited to their knowledge – or so says Jesus for, “to he whom much is given, much is expected.” It will surely go worse for a certain law professor and ambassador than for the college kid, steeped in the Marxist and hedonistic culture of an American university.

    When we assume ill will in a Man’s choosing to sin or to support a political or social cause that is at odds with Church teaching, we do a great disservice to them and the Church. Our duty is to illuminate, not destroy the vestiges of faithful understanding that remain.

  • Mary:

    Like I said, when you consider his associations and the fact that he opposed the Child Born Alive Act and organized religion is the strongest advocate against abortion, this HHS mandate really isn’t a stretch. No decent person, much less a faithful Catholic had any business voting for him.

  • I would no more want to sit down and chat with one of Hitler’s henchmen than with a doctor that makes his living off of abortions. I would nor more support one of Hitler’s henchmen than support a supporter of partial birth abortion. This is evil plain and simple as I am sure Hitler and his henchmen had some good qualities about them yet the evil shadows that.

  • MissKitty,

    It is true that, at some point, the enormity of crimes makes plain the disorder of the soul.

    What is of issue though is not whether one should sit down with a mass murderer but a fellow Catholic… Confused but Catholic.

    Let us assume that every Catholic on this blog knows at least one practicing Catholic who is using artificial birth control. Beyond a doubt, the Church’s position on artificial birth control is well known. What, then, should be our response to such a one?

    It is a lot more complex an issue than your response betrays. Talking to Catholics who voted for Candidate Obama is not at all like sitting down with Josef Mengele.

  • As a Catholic I am both offended and embarrassed by these cartoons. This is not loving and it certainly doesn’t reflect anything our Lord would do. Christ himself taught the separation of Church and State. We don’t live in a Catholic country ruled by the Papacy. We live in a nation which guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

    I believe in life at conception. I tolerate choice in this country because it’s not my place to impose my beliefs on the atheist down the street. Share the good news and if someone doesn’t want to listen, turn around kick the dust off your sandals and walk away. Don’t any of you read scripture?

    It’s far more loving and productive to put our energy into preventing unwanted pregnancies rather than spending millions of dollars over decades trying to force females to give birth to children they don’t want and would probably keep rather than place for adoption. A little education and support go a long way.

    Teaching abstinence is a joke. It doesn’t work, it only leads to teen pregnancy. If you love your children, teach your sons to respect women and to keep their pants zipped. Teach your daughters to respect themselves and to grow up knowing they don’t need a boyfriend in order to feel valuable as a young woman. And please, pull your heads out realize that your children are more than likely going to have sex before they get married, so teach them about birth control and disease prevention.

    Do you really believe that God would prefer more unwanted and poorly taken care of babies populating the planet?

  • Faithful,

    Your comment is pure rubbish.

    Once you dissent from the teachings of Jesus, your life becomes a lie.

  • Tito,

    Thank you for sharing your Christian love and wisdom. Please provide the verse or verses in which Christ taught that abortion is a worse sin than divorce, adultery, rape, war, destroying the earth, cheating, lying, and persecuting others.

  • How will abortion prevent divorce, adultery, rape, war, destroying the earth, cheating, lying, and persecuting others?

    Abortion is murder. As such it encourages all those other things. Indeed, a nation that murders its unborn automatically creates the environment for divorce (I don’t want your baby), adultery (a woman is just a sex object), rape (I don’t care about woman or babies), war (I will war against the unborn), destroying the earth (I will kill the unborn so that there are no stewards of God’s green earth), cheating (I don’t have to have a baby, so I can cheat on my wife whenever I please), lying (it’s just a blob of flesh and I am the god who controls its destiny) and persecuting others (let’s start with dismemberment of the unborn during abortion).

  • “Faithful’s” objections are very similar to what a neo-Nazi feminist group has been circulating on Facebook. They call themselves Strong and Intelligent Women Choosing Equality and Freedom Instead of Religion, and they have a placard question the pro-life movement’s stance on war, capital punishment, environmentalism, etc. I analyze and debunk their points here:

    Nope, I am not politically correct, so forewarned is forearmed.

  • Post Script – “Faithful”, I used plenty of Bible verses to backup the points in my essay, since that is a specific request of yours.

  • Faithful:

    Faithful to what? Molech.

    Major weakness of liberals: they are convinced everyone is stupid.

  • Faithful: old saying “If you’re in a hole, stop digging.”

    Cease and desist: You have provided ample evidence of your moral bankruptcy.

    PS: Caesar did not decree any of those sins to be licit; nor did he tax people to pay for the sins. In fact, he did not force the Judeans to worship idols or eat sacrificed meats as the Hellenists attempted.


  • Ergi, Obama is worse than Caligula.

  • Faithful:
    The main reference for you to start on is the Fifth Commandment of God.
    Thou shall not Kill.
    Why don’t you look through the Bible, which is God’s Word, for many warnings of woe to those who harm children, and also disregard the Sixth Commandment. The Gospels have specific teachings about results of keeping children from Jesus.

  • I am overwhelmed by your hatred. I have already stated that I am pro-life, ergo, I believe in life at conception, therefore I also believe that abortion is taking a life. I believe it’s a violation of my rights when my tax dollars fund abortion. I’m not embarrassed to share this with people. I’ve argued this with the most militant of feminists.

    As an American, I still believe that choice should remain legal and privately funded. There have always been, and will always be, people who practice unsafe sex outside of marriage. There will always be unwanted pregnancies. There will always be females seeking abortions whether I like it or not. I don’t think that any female should have to die because she made bad choices. It’s hideous that anyone ever find themselves in that position.

    I have read and studied the Bible plenty, regardless of what you choose to believe. I was taught by Jesuits. Paul, I didn’t ask how eliminating abortion could prevent other sins. I asked where Jesus ranked all of those sins. It’s those other sins, lust, envy and adultery that lead to abortion. The Church now tolerates divorce. Does that make the Church morally bankrupt?

    Thank you for confirming my decision to treat people with love and kindness rather than hatred and insult. I came to this site to learn. The only lesson I walk away with is how not to treat people with whom I disagree.

  • I was taught by Jesuits.

    That explains much.

  • “There will always be females seeking abortions whether I like it or not.”

    Just as there will always be murders whether you like it or not. That is not an argument for legalizing murder, just as the fact that there will always be abortions is no reason to legalize them.

    “The only lesson I walk away with is how not to treat people with whom I disagree.”

    Apparently your way is to go off in a huff when you run into people who disagree with you.

  • That was huffy to you? Goodness. I disagree with you on this particular subject. I’m guessing if I met any of you on the street we’d more than likely agree on quite a bit and have an enjoyable conversation, perhaps a lively debate. I’m not the one attacking and belittling others. I disagree with hateful attacks and arguments. I don’t think we progress when we satirize. I don’t see value in celebrating disrespect and I’m not a fan of sarcasm. I’m not clear how that makes me huffy.

    Donald, you make a valid point in countering my argument. There will always be murder and no, that’s no reason to legalize it. The difference is that people can’t agree on when life begins. I believe life begins at conception. Plenty of other Americans do not. Our laws don’t help, either.

    I don’t expect you to agree with my position and welcome respectful disagreement. Once again, I don’t understand Christians battling with hate. It doesn’t make sense to me.

  • Faithful, please do not walk away. If you are a truly “Faithful Catholic”, we need to stick together and fight for God. As Donald points out, we cannot accept abortion because it will continue to happen anyway. Abortion is Murder Most Foul. Why? Because one kills an innocent defenceless human person is their first home, where they should be safest. It is Murder Most Foul because a mother – after gratifying herself – decides to murder the result of her irresponsibility.

    And Please, Faithful, the Catholic Church HAS NEVER ACCEPTED DIVORCE, NEVER. Just get yourself a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and read for yourself. You say you have read the Holy Bible exhaustively. Well, the Catholic Church has two more Pillars upon which She stands. The Tradition and the Magisterium. Any Catholic who wants to be a true Catholic takes the trouble to be fully familiar with these two Pillars as well. A faithful Catholic knows we do not pick and chose what to believe and accept and what to brush away and ignore. You are either a Catholic or you are something else. “I believe in all the Truths which the Catholic Church teaches because You have revealed them, You Who can neither deceive nor be deceived, Amen”. Does that Prayer ring a bell in your mind, Faithful??? I hope so.

    Reading the responses from you all on this Website, I want to place my Faith on the fact that, since your Government has demonstrated its evil designs against the Catholic Church, the Holy Spirit will stir and invigorate your consciousness and you all rise up and defend Mother Church. You should all join with your Bishops, support them and fight for God Whom your Government is determined to chuck out of the window and install Satan on the Throne. You should not accept Laws which are contrary not only to Divine Law but also against the Natural Law. To you, Tito, thank you for getting my point. We are with you, American Catholics, in this War.

    Again to you, Faithful, this Statement is regrettable : “The difference is that people can’t agree on when life begins. I believe life begins at conception. Plenty of other Americans do not. Our laws don’t help, either.” Any reasonable person KNOWS life BEGINS AT CONCEPTION. Whether majority of Americans believe otherwise, does not change the Truth. If someone wants to remain in error, even when the Truth is hitting them right between the eyes, that shall not affect the Truth. My prayer is that now that the Catholic Church is under the most vicious persecution in your country, all people of goodwill will rise up and protect the Anchor that holds your country – and indeed mankind – together as I am reading it is enshrined in your Constitution.

  • “The difference is that people can’t agree on when life begins. I believe life begins at conception. Plenty of other Americans do not. Our laws don’t help, either.”

    Laws almost always help the victims of gross injustice, and the grossest injustice being meted out in this country today is to the unborn who have no legal protection accorded to their right to life. As for people disagreeing about this you are of course correct, just as 150 years ago white Americans were fiercely divided about whether blacks should be free. Division of opinion is no reason not to remedy injustice and protect the victims of it.

  • The essence of the evil which is murder/abortion is that the murderer/abortionist usurps God’s Will in determining who dies and when.

USCCB Scandal Deepens, U.S. Bishops Remain Silent

Thursday, February 4, AD 2010

[Update at the bottom of this post]

The scandal that has engulfed the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) shows no sign in abating.

Today we learn even more incriminating facts that continue to tarnish the image of the USCCB.

In the latest program Michael Voris explains the deep entanglement of Democratic Party and anti-Catholic operatives that hold high positions within the USCCB.

Continue reading...

67 Responses to USCCB Scandal Deepens, U.S. Bishops Remain Silent

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  • All this sounds like the attitude of the bishops about the sex scandals. “Don’t confirm; don’t deny. Maybe it will all go away”.

    The road to hell is indeed paved with the skulls of bishops.

  • Well, it will only make them look even worse.

    With the new media, ie, blogs, twitter, facebook, etc, the news of their lack of action will spread like wildfire.

    It’ll be interesting to see how much tap-dancing will occur and who will do the tap-dancing.

  • I guess I’m a little perplexed as to how this is in some sense a current or deepening “scandal”. It doesn’t take much dealing with most diocese with large national Catholic organizations (with the exception of some of the newer, more orthodox ones) or with the USCCB to find that a lot of their employees are left leaning politically and progressive leaning in regards to theology and liturgy. If anything, this was more pronounced 10-20 years ago than it is now.

    I think it’s generally been bad for the Church, and we’re suffered as a result, but if anything it’s a bad scene we’re gradually coming out of (it takes a long time to turn over employment) rather than a new breaking scandal of some sort.

  • It’s probably perception more than anything.

    Many of us maybe never bothered to think much, if anything, about the USCCB.

    Then when they got a bit higher visibility when they actively involved themselves with ObamaCare more Catholics took notice.

    Over time as Catholics began to look into the USCCB, what you may call something that has been there for awhile, to us is scandalous.

    So there it is.

    You probably were fortunate enough to be raised a solid Catholic as a child, then progressed to a fine Catholic university immersing yourself even more in Catholic culture. All the while you were already aware of the problems with the USCCB since age 7.

    Me, and many others like me, returned to our faith through various forms. So many of us are behind the loop, so to speak, of the many warts and issues involved in the Catholic Church in America.

    So when many of use “reverts” or “converts” find scandalous information such as an openly professed lesbian or a woman priest advocate working in high profile positions in the USCCB, we are scandalized by this.

    So those are the perceptions.

    The attitude of “well it’s always been there and besides it was worse 10-20 years ago” is understandable.

    But to me and many others its scandalous. 😐

  • Except the problem is: this report is filled with lies, misrepresentation, and logical fallacies. It does no one any good to be scandal mongers and gossipers using false information — though it seems it is all for politics (which is why Voris acting like an authority also suggests, falsely, anyone who said a Catholic could vote for Obama was wrong).

    Want to see the kind of error? Well, it is simple: Mary Kay Henry was NOT given a position by the USCCB. She was brought into talks with people representing different labor groups, and represented one such labor group. In other words, it would be like someone condemning Pope Benedict for his dialogue with Islam and saying “there is something wrong with the Vatican, it is promoting Islam.”

  • Henry K.,

    You made a lot of accusations but you haven’t offered any evidence to back any of it up.

    I respect your knowledge in your fields of study, but where is the evidence of what you propose?

  • Tito

    Voris makes all kinds of accusations and claims, and you never ask him to back it up; you just upload and attack. You never look to the sources yourself. But you want source? Ok.

    Go to that thread. Read the post. See the logical fallacies being exposed. Then read the commentary thread. In it you will see this linked:

    And what it says is clear:

    Washington D.C., Dec 7, 2009 / 05:44 pm (CNA).- On Monday, Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, media director for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops spoke with CNA, clarifying the role of Service Employees Union executive and gay rights activist Mary Kay Henry with the bishops’ conference.

    Sr. Walsh noted that in the past, Mary Kay Henry was chosen by the unions to take part in a dialogue with the USCCB but left in 2006.

    She was not appointed by the bishops, Sr. Walsh explained.

    So there you go, an example of distortion going on. Sure, she talked with the USCCB representing unions. Jesus, and the Catholic Church, has always had dialogue with people in such roles before; will anyone condemn Pope St Gregory the Great for meeting with Atilla the Hun? Using the loopy logic in this video, Pope St Gregory the Great was promoting Atilla’s rampage!

  • Henry K.,

    Good catch on the CNA article.

    I’ll send that link over to Mr. Voris so he can avoid making that mistake.

    (my article didn’t make that connection)

    And for your VN posting, very interesting reading.

    I’m not up to speed in many of the subjects you touch upon, but I’ll be rereading it again. Every little bit helps!

  • As I mentioned in the thread about the CCHD, the underlying theme behind these criticisms is a deep hostility toward not only the USCCB, but the bishops themselves. In this thread, we have read: “The road to hell is indeed paved with the skulls of bishops.” Tito has said that he has been scandalized – i.e., tempted to lose faith.

    Henry is right – these accusations fall apart upon further research. Catholics are being told to doubt the authenticity of the bishops’ teaching and governing office. Moreover, we are being told to question their very sincerity and faith. This is the scandal we should be afraid of.

  • When Bishops have dialogue with lesbians and gays and other members of the legions of hell, liberal Catholics say it’s a scandal to criticize the Bishops.

    When Bishops take false Catholics like Representative Patrick Kennedy on the carpet for open apostasy, liberal Catholics say it’s a scandal the Bishops are using the Communion Rail politically.

    No, folks, the best liberal is the repentent liberal, and failing that, a defeated, muzzled and emasculated liberal. The only dialogue we should have with them is this: “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”

    P.S., I’ll trust Michael Voris before I’ll trust any liberal Democrat.

  • PS, Mary Kay Henry should re-read what 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 states (NIV):

    Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    So why are we having dialogue with the wicked? Jesus didn’t have dialogue with them. He preached the Gospel of repentance to them. We ought to do the same.

  • Jesus didn’t have dialogue with the wicked? The Jews certainly thought he did — he was dining with sinners, indeed, drunkards; he was hanging out with the Samaritans; and he said nothing about the abuse of Roman society upon the Jews, yet affirming the faith of a non-Jewish Centurion (are you going to say he was without sin)?

    And that’s just the start of the matter.

  • Mary Ann Walsh did not participate in a women’s “ordination” ceremony. After one such event, the participants marched to where the bishops were meeting. When they didn’t go away, she appeared, met with them, received their rose bouquet, and they left. It’s the kind of thing a media relations person does.

    And her statement that a person could vote for Obama (not that they should – I certainly didn’t) matched up pretty well with an interpretation of Faithful Citizenship that many orthodox bishops accept. Of course, when you’re part of the neo-Donatist movement that thinks Cardinal George and Archbishop Wuerhl are closet leftists, none of this will satisfy you.

  • Zak,

    I caught it right before you posted your comment.

    I corrected my post to reflect this fact.

  • Henry,
    I agree with the points you’re making – one factual issue: it was Leo the Great, not Gregory the Great, who met with Atilla.

  • I agree with both Paul P. and Henry K.

    Whether it was dialogue or preaching, Jesus certainly spent time with sinners, but not to reaffirm their sinfulness but to show them the light.

  • Zak

    Oops — you are right (though I know this, I often do this same mistake when typing, for some reason — I have a few other lapses where my fingers go into automatic writing mode — an interesting phenomena and I expect many of us have examples of this)

  • Another example of what is going on: Voris says people in the hallways are found supporting Obama’s policies. Ok.

    The question is: which policies? All of them? Some of them? A couple of them? But yet by saying it in this way, it’s easy to create a false picture, and that is exactly the kind of strategy which is done for propaganda not for the exploration of truth.

  • Well hopefully they’re not supporting this:

  • I think ultimately though one needs to see that the USCCB is a political organization in addition to a religious organization. That’s fine as long as people realize it is and that it will have the problems of any organization that is political. I think Henry has pointed out such problems with some pro-life organizations.

  • Well I’m pretty sure that the USCCB is not a political organization in any legal, tax or regulatory sense of the term. But any tax exempt group is permitted (within certain constraints) to work to advance their charitable agenda via supporting and opposing relevant legislation, though not supporting or opposing political candidates. The USCCB has a reputation for generally supporting the liberal approaches to addressing Catholic concerns. To the extent this is true, it is not especially scandalous, but it may be imprudent. My guess is that the policy preferences expressed by the USCCB are more representative of its staffers than the bishops, and that neither the bishops nor the staffers are especially gifted at public policy, but probably think they are.

  • I think John Carr is one of the most thoughtful Catholics in America–and certainly one of the best spokesmen for Catholic social teaching. And I find it more than a little dismaying that a group of self-anointed REAL CATHOLICS are spending so much energy trying to undermine the work of the bishops of this country. This is not just unhelpful; it’s diabolical.

  • Mike,

    There is political and there is political. I think Henry points out some of the foibles of pro-life conservative organizations that are tax exempt also.

    I don’t think the USCCB generally supports liberal approaches I think it pretty much always does. Again understanding the experts that advise the body may give understanding to why they do.

  • Ron Ch.,

    Thoughtful as in promoting that more innocent children be killed?

    Yeah, and THAT’S not diabolical.

  • Phillip,
    I have not read Henry’s expose on the foibles of “pro-life conservative” organizations, but if the problem is that they are willing to support candidates who are imperfect on life issues in order to prevent the election of candidates who are abortion enthusiasts, ok, but I don’t see that as a foible. On the other hand, if they are favoring pro-choice candidates over pro-life candidates because they former are otherwise considered more conservative than the latter, then that would be worse than a foible — and I’d really appreciate knowing more about it.

  • Tito, what you are doing here is slanderous–to a good man and to the bishops whom he serves as a spokesperson. Do you happen to KNOW John Carr? Have you ever heard him talk about abortion? Do you suppose his work for peace/justice . . . and the work of our bishops through the USCCB to uplift the poor . . . has nothing at all to do with fostering respect for human life? For that matter, do you recognize any connection whatsoever between poverty/racism and abortion, or do you think it is purely coincidental that poor minority women patronize the killing clinics at such a disproportionate rate?

    Sorry, fella, John Carr is a REAL Catholic, not some Pharisee with video blog, a big mouth, and way too much time on his hands.

  • Ron Ch.,

    I’m not sure what blog you are reading, but I have never said anything such about John Carr.

    Joe H. posted a video that stated John Carr has been with an organization that promotes abortion for decades. I don’t see how you got your conclusions from this, so I’ll just chalk it up to your liberal-tainted glasses getting the better of your imagination.

    Get a hold of yourself brother.

  • Some other concerns about the CCC that I’m sure can be disproved:

  • Phillip and Ron Ch.,

    The evidence is devastating concerning the cooperation in evil that John Carr has led and been involved in.

  • American Catholic began as a healthy alternative to the consistently left-leaning Vox Nova. It seems to be reinventing itself in the spirit of the old Wanderer. That is a terrible shame, and shame on anyone here–and in the holier-than-God “orthodox” blogosphere–who casts aspersion on a man who has faithfully served the Church in the United States and its bishops for many years.

  • No, what this post is doing is highlighting a story. If any of the facts are mistaken Ron tell us precisely what facts are wrong. The USCCB has a history of allowing its staffers to associate the USCCB with some pretty unsavory groups that promote positions directly contrary to Church teaching. The USCCB needs to address this story directly and not simply play a game of hear no evil, speak no evil and see no evil.

  • Donald, a lot of the ‘facts’ have been debunked, and one glaring piece of slander removed (the picture of Sister Mary Ann Walsh). The more you dig into this, the more you see that a mountain is being made out of a molehill.

  • That sounds intereting. I can’t believe it. gochristian shoes

  • I have to say, I don’t find this video or the accusations very substantial. Everyone is entitled to their polemics, of course, and so I can see why some anti-Democrat Catholics enjoy this type of stuff. But, as Mike Petrik says above, some members of the USCCB preferring policies favored by the Democratic party to advance the common good “is not especially scandalous, but it may be imprudent.”

    Also, on a personal note, I’m shocked, shocked that anyone could write an article suggesting it was possible for Catholics to vote for Obama. That Sister Mary Ann Walsh must be way out there.

    To be clear, I think legitimate criticisms can be made of the USCCB. But these types of videos blend and muddle legitimate concerns with partisan attacks in a way that I think is unhelpful. The problem with the Vortex, as I see it, is that it isolates and absolutizes one of many possible approaches to serving the common good, and regards any other approach as illegitimate. It seems to me that it instrumentalizes the Faith in the service of a conservative political polemic, and in the process does a disservice to the Faith and to the USCCB.

  • The USCCB needs to address this story directly and not simply play a game of hear no evil, speak no evil and see no evil.

    I don’t really see what you’re talking about. These accusations are pretty small beer in the grand scheme of things, and, as Darwin notes, there is nothing new in there. In the 1980’s, sure, the USCCB was basically co-opted by Democratic partisans. But the Vortex is basically the mirror image of it from the right; they are not raising any new questions. Most of these issues have already been addressed, are matters for prudential judgment where reasonable people can differ, and/or are inaccurate to begin with.

  • I’ll spell it our for you John Henry. They should explain why they were shoveling money into an organization that one of their staffers served as the head of. Can they even spell “conflict of interest”? Rather than attacking the people who are bringing this to light they should be ramping up their own investigation. They might also wish to explain why Carr omitted noting his involvement with the CCC from his USCCB bio. They might also explain why Tom Chabolla, associate director of CCHD programs until 2008, and who worked under Carr, took Carr’s place on the CCC board after Carr left, during a time period when the CCC became involved in pro-abortion advocacy, and whether Chabolla and Carr maintained contacts about the CCC. Chabolla since leaving the CCHD is now assistant to the President of the Service Employees International Union. Finally, perhaps they can explain why, when this all came to light, the first reaction from the CCHD was to scrub their website of all mention of ties with the CCC. This story is not going away.

  • Don,

    I get conflict of interest issue; and I get that the CCHD has had very poor oversight. I think the CCHD should be either scrapped or completely overhauled, and I’m in favor of more transparency. But I don’t think the video covers these issues very well.

    My issue is that I think the Vortex (and, really, couldn’t they find a better name?) is advancing a partisan agenda, rather than simply voicing legitimate concerns about conflict of interest or the funding of groups whose values conflict with those of the Church. For instance, the video keeps repeating the word ‘Democrat’ or ‘Democractic’ as if it’s an epithet. And some of the charges in the video are just ridiculous (implying that making the case that Catholics could have voted for Obama should disqualify someone from working for the USCCB?). In other words, as I said above, the video “blends and muddles legitimate concerns with partisan attacks in a way that I think is unhelpful.”

  • Clearly many improvements or even an overhaul of the program needs to take place. Attacking the structures of sin is a laudable activity with a positive goal. However, the problem with many (most?) secular groups that appear to be doing that sort of work is that they’re almost always trying to exchange one structure of sin for another. They are typically shells for particular political parties or have too closely aligned themselves to party interests.

    Therein lies part of the danger for third party benefactors like the USCCB. It’s one thing to work with a secular org for a shared interest even though they may not share all interests, it’s another to thing to support that org directly. What happens is that you run the real risk of becoming an integral part of a structure of sin.

    All that said, I think those ads are poorly done in substance. They smack of overblown righteous indignation, take many intellectual shortcuts, argue by assertion, use charged words that are usually quite subjective, makes unwarranted assumptions, etc. Frankly, I can’t see any difference in what is being done here than what some authentic Catholic anti-american-calvinist crusaders do. The only difference is what side of the fence their sitting on.

  • I’m not touching this story with a 39-and-a-half-foot pole. Regardless of the accuracy or inaccuracy of the reporting (and I have my doubts), the blatant guilt-by-association-and-innuendo style of the reporting left me feeling dirty after watching.

    “… I’m shocked, shocked that anyone could write an article suggesting that it was possible for Catholics to vote for Obama. That Sister Mary Ann Walsh must be way out there.”

    Yeah, tell me about it. I must be a stark-raving lefty.

  • Rick,

    Right. There are problems on both sides of the fence. There are pro-life pharisees. There are also social justice pharisees.

    Just hard to recognize one’s own as such sometimes.

  • Great comments and insights.

    About the overhaul of the CCHD – they have two overall programs, one focusing on political activity, the other focusing on business activity. The business grants are amazing – helping poor people build skills and worker-owned businesses. The political grants are a lot more tricky – often involving people with liberal mindsets – and I agree that it needs to be overhauled.

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  • Henry K, for your insights on what the Bishops knew and didn’t know, you are probably right. For your history on St. Gregory the Great meeting Atilla the Hun, you are at least a century off. It was St. Leo the Great in 451 who met with Atilla, thus delaying the destruction of Rome by 25 years……historical footnote worth noting….

  • Nate W., John Henry, Ron Ch., Jay Anderson, et al,

    You guys are building straw men arguments by attacking the messenger.

    By shining the light on the problem, you guys go ahead and savage the reputation of those doing the reporting and you all should be ashamed of yourselves.

    Granted that Mr. Voris *may* have gone over the top in some of his analysis, especially the innuendos to being a “Democrat”, but the basic story is this, the USCCB has been dealing with anti-catholic organizations for years. Just because they’ve done it in the past, doesn’t allow them a free pass, such as John Henry’s comment, ‘small potatoes’.

    If the USCCB wants to be taken more seriously they need to get their ‘allegedly’ devout Catholics like John Carr OUT of pro-abortion organizations and place Catholics without, as Jay says, a ‘conflict of interest’.

    Thank you for your comments, I’m learning a lot on how to report such news.

  • Dennis

    Yes, that was established above about Gregory/Leo. Often my fingers will mix them up when typing — but the point behind it still stands. Thankfully, I know I’m not impeccable nor infallible!

  • Tito, the guys you reference have no reason to be ashamed of themselves, anymore than does anyone who notes that other journalists & commentators occasionally make generalizations and inaccurate statements.

  • Chris,

    There is no evidence of inaccuracy.

    If Nate could name what was inaccurate instead of making things up I can see your point.

    On the rest, I understand what you’re saying.

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  • The liberal agenda and left-leaning “Catholics” is one reason, among others, that I dropped out of RCIA and chose not to convert to the RCC. The USCCB is only one of the problems. Out-of-control renegade priests can feel real comfy in many a parish in these United States.

    Face it, the liberals are an energetic, visible force within the Roman Catholic Church and they are not going away. They have become a cancer that is multiplying at an exponential rate. Michael Voris can’t stop it. EWTN can’t stop it. AveMaria Radio can’t stop it. Just look at the mess out in California, with all pro-gay, pro-choice bishops. They’re quite happy, comfy, and content behind encased in their ivory towers. And the disease has spread eastward to parishes in the Midwest, Florida, and the Northeast.

    Where’s all this “unity” that I was told existed in the “one, holy, Catholic, Apostolic” Church? It ain’t there! The current RCC barely resembles the RCC of 100 yrs. ago. So continue to have your “CHURCH” but don’t call it “holy” or “Catholic” or “Apostolic.” Those who have eyes to see will see. Those who wish to continue living in “LaLa Land” will continue to wear blinders.

  • The liberal agenda and left-leaning “Catholics” is one reason, among others, that I dropped out of RCIA and chose not to convert to the RCC. The USCCB is only one of the problems. Out-of-control renegade priests along with their progressive laity can feel real comfy in many a parish in these United States.

    Face it, the liberals are an energetic, visible force within the Roman Catholic Church and they are not going away. They have become a cancer that is multiplying at an exponential rate. Michael Voris can’t stop it. EWTN can’t stop it. AveMaria Radio can’t stop it. Just look at the mess out in California, with all pro-gay, pro-choice bishops. They’re quite happy, comfy, and content encased in their ivory towers. And the disease has spread eastward to parishes in the Midwest, Florida, and the Northeast.

    Where’s all this “unity” that I was told existed in the “one, holy, Catholic, Apostolic” Church? It ain’t there! The current RCC barely resembles the RCC of 100 yrs. ago. So continue to have your “CHURCH” but don’t call it “holy” or “Catholic” or “Apostolic.” Those who have eyes to see will see. Those who wish to continue living in “LaLa Land” will continue to wear blinders.

  • Darlene

    So basically, you are telling me you are still a Protestant, and the reason why you didn’t convert is because you are a Protestant? Big deal.

  • Pingback: Fr. Frank Pavone Defends John Carr of the USCCB « The American Catholic
  • Henry,

    No, I am not a Protestant. It’s easy to assume things in a forum like this where face-to-face, in person dialogue is absent.

    Protestant evangelicalism has many problems, one of which is that they (for the most part) ignore the creeds and councils of the first millenia.

    So, I came to the conclusion that Protestantism is a schism from a schism and will continue to split and divide. Sola Scriptura is not a unifying force within Protestantism, but a disunifying force. Hope that clarifies things.

    As far as my emphatic, blunt post, I understand that it will offend Roman Catholics. Offending was not my intent. With that said, the priest with whom I had counsel was very kind, long-suffering, and understanding. Even taking into consideration my original comments, I do not judge the salvation of individual Catholics. That is God’s business.

    If I have sinned in being so bold, forgive me.

  • The USCCB website says that Mary Kay Henry was appointed to a USCCB subcommittee and the USCCB accepted the subcommittee’s findings. Why would the USCCB look to anti-Catholic “experts” like Mary Kay Henry for advice in developing policy?

    Answer: For the same reason they invited Father Thomas Reese and Diana Hayes to speak at their conference last week-end.

    Jesus had something to say about this: “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

  • Michael Voris is certainly human, and on rare occasions he may get his facts wrong, but taken as a whole, there is a mountain of evidence against the USCCB. A favorite liberal trick is to suggest that one flaw in the evidence damns all the evidence. I’m not fooled.

  • Nothing has been said here. Absolutely nothing.

    All of you are defending nothing and have nothing concrete to say about anything.

    The fact is you can not vote for a man who kills babies, I’d like to see you explain that when you come face to face with your creator. Can’t do it.

    The fact is, you can not give money to death programs from unsuspecting pew sitters – its illegal as well as totally against what Jesus commanded of us.

    Who cares who supports John Carr? It’s irrelevant? If the man has put any support into anti-God programs he is out.

    The Jews (many) did it wrong and so are the Catholics (many). You don’t reject the sacraments because the gatekeepers are corrupt. God said to St. Teresa of Avila “I put myself in the hands of thy enemies for your sake!” If you reject the commandments and the working of the Holy Spirit in the Church through those sacraments – then you hold man up as God.

    Don’t give money if you don’t know where the money is going. Put your money in areas you know are deserving of it. Don’t vote for the slaughter of innocence. Don’t keep quite when a priest is an idiot or a Bishop is a nutcase. Fight – and stop trying to defend your need for comfort.

    Newsflash the Church has the enemies within. Fight it – get them out – run them out of town but stop trying to give yourself an excuse to take a nap.

  • My dealings with the USCCB and the two of the organizations it sponsors and funds leads me to believe this organization is more a socialist political group than people working to live up to the Gospels. Obama and far too many of the Democrats in office are sociast with a socialist agenda. I fear that some of the Bishops may have been sucked into the false notion that socialism serves the needs of the poor. SOcialism brings the entire society down to the level of the laziest. Socialism depleats to will and ability of the society to provide for all.

  • WayneK,

    It is quite apparent in Europe today. France is turning into an economic basket case with gov’t unions striking each day preventing Sarkozy from instituting well needed reforms.

    It’s a slow creep towards totalitarianism.

  • MIchael Voris and Simon J. Rafe practice censorship of
    anyone who does not accept their messages on face value. That leads me to believe they are fake critics
    seeking to marginalize rather than serve any issue.

  • I believe they love their faith and don’t like it when bishops fail in their duty to feed their sheep.

    Instead they hide behind man-made bureaucracies hoping that difficult issues that don’t adhere to their Democratic Party Catholic leanings would just go away.

  • Archbishoip Raymond Burke was well known for “speaking out”. In an article for Time online, Amy Sullivan (Priests Spar Over What it Means to Be Catholic) alludes to the fact of his removal by the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference. In particular, the article states that because of a “calming down” of the anti-abortion rhetoric, the president was elected. In fact, I can tell you that here in St. Louis, the archbishop who replaced Burke (Carlson) silenced the Latin rite Church (St. Francis De Sales) from speaking out against abortion from the pulpit.

  • D Paul,
    That surprises me greatly. I wonder whether the “silencing” actually referred to exhortations on who to vote for or not vote for, which is a violation of federal tax law. Under federal tax law churches and other 501(c)(3) organizations may receive contributions on a tax deductible basis only if they refrain from political or partisan behavior. Within much more relaxed constraints they normally can engage in legislative or policy behavior. Telling a congregation that it is important to vote for candidates who are opposed to abortion is fine (even if somewhat simplistic from a Catholic perspective), but a minister may not tell his congregation to vote for X or against Y, at least without losing the right to receive contributions on a tax deductible basis. I’d be very surprised if AB Carlson told the priest at SFdS that he could not speak out against abortion from the pulpit. If true, that really would be quite scandalous, and shocking given that AB Carlson is among the bishops who criticized ND for awarding pro-abort Obama an honorary degree.

USCCB and John Carr In Denial

Wednesday, February 3, AD 2010

After the breaking news that showed direct links between John Carr, a top executive of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, with pro-abortion groups dating back 30 years, John Carr has denied any wrong doing.

Below watch the full eight minutes for the most current update of this USCCB scandal on‘s Daily Catholic News Roundup and The VortexVic Faust and Michael Voris will report how both the USCCB and the pro-abortion group scrubbed their websites simultaneously to hide any connection they had with each other plus much more.

Continue reading...

10 Responses to USCCB and John Carr In Denial

  • Msgr. George Kelly pointed out decades ago that the weakness of the Church in the U.S. is a weakness of the bishops – their refusal to be active bishops who actually bishop. They have allowed their dioceses to be run by their bureaucracies. They are afraid of the orders of nuns and priests and of college presidents [who seem envious of the bishops].

    Now the chickens have come home to roost. The inability of the bishops to face up – and immediately – to complaints of sexual abuse has cost dearly in financial terms. But the cost has been worse in spiritual terms. How can we trust our bishops who seem spineless? Consider the refusal of Bishop Morin even to countenance that he may be wrong in his support of the CCHD and the CCC. There is said to be a crisis of vocation to the priesthood. But who would want to submit to orders from the cowardly?

  • Not to mention Harry Forbes continuing to give glowing movie reviews to anti-Catholic films under the USCCB banner:

    He’s still there:


  • I think we have to be cautious to lay the blame solely on the bishops. I suspect that some of them are complicit; however, many are simply saddled with other functions and are failing only to supervise petty bureaucrats. Also, many have displayed poor judgment but they aren’t infallible and neither are we. When a mistake is made, it needs to be corrected – not hidden. I wouldn’t want to be a bishop who willfully allowed this when all our sins are made known to all. Ouch!

    I state this because I get the feeling that many people perceive any criticism of the USCCB as an attack on the bishops. The USCCB is a Behemoth that is often not run by the bishops. In my opinion this is why the USCCB is useless. Apparently it is also corrupt. Attacking the USCCB is not an attack on bishops, it is an attack on a collective body that seems to have a life of its own.

    I also notice Carr stated that he did not know about an organization that promoted abortion AND homosexuality. Why didn’t he say OR? Could it be that different organizations promoted abortion and homosexuality? That would make his statement true. Unless it is the same organization that promotes both evils – then he wasn’t lying. He was misleading and sly like a serpent. I pray that this man isn’t a Sodomite – for the sake of his soul.

    Thanks for keeping us posted Tito – this is a big deal. The light exposes evil. Keep shining it.

    I smell more smoke.

  • Pingback: Res et Explicatio for AD 2-4-2010 « The American Catholic
  • AK,

    Absolutely right.

    It is the USCCB as a whole that is the issue, not individual bishops.

    But the spotlight will be placed on bishops that are directly linked to the CCHD and CCC that continue to mendaciously defend this cooperation with evil.

  • Will there be any expose on the people who keep pushing big business insurance, and the insurance promotion of abortion for the sake of money?

  • Yes, one hopes so. Such is the nature of the human species. Business, govet. and Bishops error.

  • Pingback: USCCB Scandal Deepens, U.S. Bishops Remain Silent « The American Catholic
  • Thanks for keeping us posted Tito – this is a big deal. The light exposes evil. Keep shining it.

    I smell more smoke.

    So John Carr is now an “unfaithful Catholic” using the cover of social justice to subvert the Church so beloved of REAL Catholics like Michael Voris, S.T.B.???? Hey, guys, that’s not smoke you’re smelling.

  • Pingback: The Many Scandals of the USCCB « The American Catholic

38 Responses to Alexia Kelley — a solid Catholic appointment by President Obama?

  • This from the “Reproductive Rights” blog:

    “Moments after the announcement, John O’Brien, president of the pro-choice group Catholics for Choice, released a statement calling the Kelley appointment “a defeat for reason and logic.”…

    O’Brien’s complaint is that the choice of Kelley, given her previous role overseeing a Catholic, anti-abortion organization, puts important social policies in danger of being hijacked by those same Bushian forces. But Kelley is not the Bush-styled pro-lifer of yore. Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, which Kelley founded, is a progressive organization that has also played a primary role in instigating a nationwide discussion of common ground on abortion. Her group has championed policies aimed at preventing the need for abortion, policies that have been identified as those pro-choice people can support too. It would be a mistake to group Kelley among anti-abortion operatives who snub opportunities to improve the relationship between pro-choice and pro-life communities, and who refuse to do anything to reduce the need for abortion.”

    Translation: She really isn’t a pro-lifer. They are right. As always Frances Kissling is not only wrong but WRONG!!!.

  • Silly dissenters. Kelly is just another pro-abort in Catholics’ clothing. Otherwise would not have extracted cash from the Daddy Warbucks of the Democratic Party. Also note her previous employers as listed by Chris. Just business as usual. As though a real defender of the unborn would be hired.

  • It’s a lose-lose scenario with your people. Appoint somebody who is not pro-life (in the narrow sense of abortion anyway), like Sibelius, and you jump up and down. Appoint somebody who is pro-life, and you still jump up and down…because that person supports Obama and marshalls arguments to make that case. In other words, the only way Obama could make you people happy is to appoint a pro-life Republican. In other words, you put partisanship above the issue of life.

    And please, don’t even try to suggest that an orthodox Catholic cannot vote for a politician who supports legalizated abortion — tell that to any non-American Catholic, anybody not exposed to the American evangelical culture, and see how far that gets you. (It’s actually not that hard when you realize that neither party will have much influence on abortion, and yet the party that most contributors to this blog favors has the annoying habit of believing every world problem can be solved with violence — and actually go about doing it).

    One more thing: I fully agree with you that Kissling is a dissenter. Do you agree with me that the American Catholics who defend Cheney’s torture tactics are also dissenters?

  • Blah blah blah Americanists. Blah blah blah Calvinist. Blah blah BLEH.

  • Paul,

    That was certainly a shorter, and better read.

  • “Do you agree with me that the American Catholics who defend Cheney’s torture tactics are also dissenters?”

    I don’t think theyu are dissenters since many are trying to debate what actually is torture

    In any event I dount there will be any real opposition form the Catholic conservative or GOP elements as to her nomination.

    I think some pople are pointing out that perhaps the “Pro-choice” elemnts concerns are misplaced

  • What makes someone “reflect Catholic principles?” Surely you cannot seriously suggest that simply being strongly anti-abortion (and voting against any anti-abortion politicians) should be the only criterion? I don’t consider this Roeder murderer reflecting Catholic values. I applaud President Obama for seeking people of differing views but open minds to work in his administration. It is surely an improvement over the incompetence of the Bush administration.

  • JH

    That’s like some people saying, “I don’t think those people are for the killing of babies, since they debate what exactly babies are.”

  • “you put partisnaship above the issue of life”

    Were you looking in the mirror when you wrote that, Tony?

  • “In other words, you put partisanship above the issue of life.”

    Interesting case of projection here. Tony, someone voting, as you did, for the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history, a man who raised funds touting his opposition to a partial birth abortion ban, amply demonstrates the priority given by such a voter to the fight against abortion. It would be rather like someone who is a declared philo-semite voting for the Nazis in Germany in 1932. It would be difficult to take the philo-semitism of such a person as anything but lip service.

    Of course Catholics under the Catechism have a duty to vote for candidates in favor of legally banning abortion:

    “2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:

    ‘The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.’

    ‘The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.'”

    Of course I am sure that you can explain how voting for a man who would sooner eat ground glass than support legislation banning abortion is in accord with this section of the Catechism.

  • And, for the record, I commend Kelley’s appointment. Even if she’s only paying lip service to favoring restrictions on abortion (and I’m not convinced that she isn’t sincere on the issue, despite her allegiances to the party dedicated to legalized abortion-on-demand), that makes her much better than the President’s openly “pro-choice” Catholic appointments to date.

    Let’s take her at her word and give her the benefit of the doubt.

  • Appoint somebody who is pro-life, and you still jump up and down…because that person supports Obama and marshalls arguments to make that case.

    Actually, I believe the point was to outline that she’s a hack with no serious commitment to the pro-life cause. Of course, surely we’re being unreasonable Calvinist Americanists who believe that consistently voting against pro-life candidates while actively promoting pro-abortion candidates fails to signal a deep commitment to the pro-life cause.

    In other words, the only way Obama could make you people happy is to appoint a pro-life Republican.

    Actually, that wouldn’t make me happy. If he resigned or became pro-life, or actually took a stand against torture rather than putting every effort to defend torture and its perpetrators, I would be pleased. Of course, it could not make me happy, because I believe that happiness comes from Christ and not from material goods but perhaps you missed that part.

  • Henry I don’t think it is all the same. As I have pointed out an amazing number of things are called torture now. Once you get past waterboarding there is a lot of gray and their needs to be debate.

    Especially if we are going to have it as an standaard and prosecute people over it.

  • “the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history”.

    This is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with the convergence of Catholic pro-lifers and Republican tactics. Your rhetoric is the sloganistic rhetoric of the Limbaughs and the Hannitys. Its disdain for fact and context push it into the relativistic realm. You are giving support to tactics that are Leninist at root. How ironic is that?

    See here for a fuller elaboration, if you want to debate the point (I’m arguing in good faith, by the way, and I know that most of you are better than Paul and Phillip on this front) —

  • Morning Obama is indeed one of the most Pro-Abortion Presidents in history

    No sense sugarcoating it. I guess we can debate if he or Clinton are in a tie.

    I mean I guess if was anti adoption or something that would make it worse but it is hard to see how it can be much worse.

  • JH

    We have many documents which indicate things to be torture, and those are the same ones being “questioned.” Things historically considered torture are now “questioned.” It’s exactly the same thing as “questioning whether or not that is a human person.” Same argument, different evil.

  • “It would be rather like someone who is a declared philo-semite voting for the Nazis in Germany in 1932. It would be difficult to take the philo-semitism of such a person as anything but lip service.”

    As always, you confuse an absolute principle (act A is intrinsically evil and can never be supported) with a relative choice. I believe it would be difficult to argue that abortion would have been any different under any Republican president. I also believe that the Republican choice would support war, and probably torture too, support the rich over the poor, mock the need to reduce greenhouse has emissions, and continue with the economic mismanagement that has characterized the movement since the 1980s. On the fundamental issue of life, claiming to be against abortion while being in favor of modern war as conducted by the US military is a sham.

  • “This is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with the convergence of Catholic pro-lifers and Republican tactics.”

    Bluster and sophisty. You helped put into the White House a man pledged to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. The only way Obama could be more pro-abortion would be if he actually performed them with his own hands.

  • “On the fundamental issue of life, claiming to be against abortion while being in favor of modern war as conducted by the US military is a sham.”

    All a smoke screen to allow you to vote for pro-abort candidates. I really doubt if at this point you are even fooling yourself with your arguments. The simple truth is that you rank the fight against abortion far below other issues and the fact that a candidate you support is a pro-abort is of little consequence to you.

  • Minion:

    That post is remarkable in its failure to actually address the argument. While I don’t use the phrase often, there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s accurate.

    Instead of showing how Clinton and Obama shared abortion positions, you instead criticize Reagan for not really being pro-life while attacking Bush over the Iraq War and torture while not mentioning FOCA.

    If you want your claim that this is Leninist tactic to be taken as anything more than a liberal example of partisanship, you might want to put some effort into showing the phrase isn’t not true. But you can’t, since the FOCA that Obama endorsed is much more extreme then the presidents before him had endorsed, Clinton or Reagan.

  • Wow! First the wonderful speeches at ND and in Cair, add to them the inspired nominations of Sotomayor, Diaz and, now, Kelley…… tell us again why we, the majority of Catholic voters who voted for the President, need to confess our “sin”?

  • Oh boy!!! Economic mismangement. Our Sec of Treasury got laughed out in China last week when he said that China inestments in American were safe.

    I don’t know what people are going to do when they wake up and realize all the money has been wasted and there is no money left to even borrow for these big ticket items like Health Care they want.

    Handing the keys ot he treasury to Reid and Pelosi does not seem to be doing well.

    Is Obama that much different that Bush on “torture” Rendetion is contuining and my gosh we have not waterbnoarded anyone since 2003.

    Favored the rich over the poor. Yeah I see what a priority immigration reform is under this administration.

    Regardless I think the issue was abortion. Not the polciy in Afgansiatan

  • An

    I am not against the Kelly nomination nor the Diaz nomination. I will say if you think these picks are inspirations then I would suggest you have a low bar for inspiration. Nothing wrong with them but I don’t seem them as groundbreaking and something to be wowed over with

  • Minion:

    I think your comment shows quite well that YOU’RE NOT APPLYING THESE PRINCIPLES EVENLY!!!!

    I also believe that the Republican choice would support war, and probably torture too, support the rich over the poor, mock the need to reduce greenhouse has emissions, and continue with the economic mismanagement that has characterized the movement since the 1980s. On the fundamental issue of life, claiming to be against abortion while being in favor of modern war as conducted by the US military is a sham.

    Let’s go through Obama’s ACTUAL positions.

    support war-Obama has promoted an expanded effort in Iraq while making no significant deviations from the Bush plan.

    and probably torture too-Obama has continued to fight efforts to uncover examples of torture and punish those who committed these acts.

    support the rich over the poor- Obama has pushed to give bankers bailouts while allowing GM & Chrysler to die, costing many poorer factory workers their jobs.

    the economic mismanagement that has characterized the movement since the 1980s.-That’s an argument of prudence, not of Catholic teaching. Besides, one would be hard pressed to show that Obama is doing an amazing job of economic management right now.

    On the fundamental issue of life, claiming to be against abortion while being in favor of modern war as conducted by the US military is a sham.

    So it’s less of a sham to be for abortion and for the modern war as conducted by the US military? How has Obama reigned in the modern war conducted by the US military? Surely not the examples of civilian deaths by bombings?

    You’ve projected your own desires on Obama, stubbornly ignoring the fact that he holds none of these positions in reality. That’s the true sham.

  • JH,

    They are “inspired nominations” if you’re a Catholic looking for anything … ANYTHING … to hang your hat on in justifying your vote for Obama. Like you said, there’s nothing particularly wrong with these choices (and there were obviously worse candidates that the President might have chosen), but they are hardly the sorts of nominations that Catholics are going to be looking to for “inspiration”.

  • Jay,

    They’re not just “inspired nominations.” They also have “compelling stories.” Come on. Get with it.

  • Michael D,

    First, I commend for you actually taking on the argument — sadly, Donald just retreats to slogans.

    A key component of your argument is that what I have argued is based on prudence. Absolutely. I cannot say these things with certainly, but I believe them to be more likely than not.

  • Oh, on the economics argument, some of you might be interested in what I just wrote. And I’m looking at you Donald! (actually, I’m looking at my monitor, but you know what I mean….)

  • “sadly, Donald just retreats to slogans.”

    Projection again Tony. Take away cant phrases from your statements, such as “Calvinist”, and you have little to say.

    Body and soul you are a partisan liberal Democrat. The leaders of your political movement are pro-aborts. Rather than deal with that very unpleasant fact you attack pro-lifers who refuse to vote for pro-aborts and who oppose the pro-aborts. With your type of unblinking devotion, the pro-aborts in the party that has your unwavering allegiance will never change. Pro-lifers last year made it clear in the Republican party that we would never vote for a pro-abort. You would never be part of such a movement in the Democrat party. All your obfuscation can not conceal the fact that the slaying of the unborn is simply not a high priority issue to you.

  • These faux protestations by abortocrats on Kelley’s appointment is smoke and mirrors. Abortocrats can smell their own 100 miles away.
    Kelley may claim she’s pro-life, but her actions reveal what she really is.

  • It is my understanding, backed up by a number of official Church documents including Pope John Paul II’s “Evangelium Vitae,” that it IS permissible to vote for a pro-choice candidate WHEN they are the lesser of two (or more) evils, and their election would prevent an even worse pro-abortion candidate from winning.

    Now granted, Kelly is not an elected official, but out of all the people whom Obama would have (realistically) chosen for this post, might she not be a lesser evil than many of the others? And if so, would it not be permissible to support, or at least not actively oppose, her appointment?

  • Bruce Springsteen wearing a chain of what look to be a number of Miraculous Medals on the chain and there are recent pictures of this…and yes, Catholic background. Apparently, a campaigner for Obama, if only the Boss was on our side, who knows, he should address this issue. I apologize if this is “off-topic.”

  • Morning’s Minion Says:
    Tuesday, June 9, 2009 A.D. at 2:49 pm
    “As always, you confuse an absolute principle (act A is intrinsically evil and can never be supported) with a relative choice. I believe it would be difficult to argue that abortion would have been any different under any Republican president. I also believe that the Republican choice would support war, and probably torture too, support the rich over the poor, mock the need to reduce greenhouse has emissions, and continue with the economic mismanagement that has characterized the movement since the 1980s. On the fundamental issue of life, claiming to be against abortion while being in favor of modern war as conducted by the US military is a sham.”

    Not only a Prez. trying to enact FOCA as Donald R. McClarey mentioned, but at least Reagan and Bush tossed out the Mexico City Policy. I’m not up to snuff on this issue, but exporting abortion is an A-1 evil, is an ugly act of foreign colonialism or whatever word might be proper, especially from some guy that indeed, many have doubts about his own native birth in the United States. Imagine, aborting the lives of foreigners in foreign lands.

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  • I did not even mention BAIPA. It is becoming apparent that many supporters of Obama are just plainly not informed on the issues, then we see indeed, ignorance as being an ally in getting Obama elected.

  • Jh,

    Oh boy!!! Economic mismangement. Our Sec of Treasury got laughed out in China last week when he said that China inestments in American were safe.

    that one really cracked me up…. this is almost as good as Obama’s sudden born-again fiscal responsibility — ‘pay as you go’!

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Heee's Back!

Wednesday, April 15, AD 2009


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

Continue reading...

7 Responses to Heee's Back!

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

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

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

  • JH,

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

  • Jay

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

    I don’t know it is all so bizaree

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

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

  • Kmiec’s conversion to caesaropapism is complete.

  • LOL , Dale that is right.

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

  • Dale,

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

Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-10-2009

Tuesday, March 10, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1. There seems to be a growing counter-movement in U.S. politics aligning itself against the Catholic Church.  We see it happening in Connecticut where state legislatures want to control Church property.  We also see it in the higher echelons of government where President Obama are using Catholic pawns such as Douglas Kmiec and Kathleen Sebelius.  It isn’t being orchestrated by anyone, but the common theme seems to be to neutralize the effectiveness of the Church.  Dave Hartline of the Catholic Report wrote an excellent column tieing all these loose ends together and explaining the consequences of this growing counter-movement.

For Dave Hartline’s columnn click on counter-movement above or here.

2. Speaking of Connecticut, Archbishop Charles Chaput has this to say concerning SB 1098 that would remove the bishops authority over each parish:

“legislative coercion directed against the Catholic community in one state has implications for Catholics in every other state. If bigots in one state succeed in coercive laws like SB 1098, bigots in other states will try the same.”

The bigots Archbishop Chaput is referring to are Senator Andrew McDonald and Representative Mike Lawlor, who are both homosexual activists that opposed the local Church’s efforts to defend marriage between a man and a woman.

For the article click on SB 1098 above or here.

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One Response to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-10-2009

  • What Hath Prop 8 Wrought. More annoying little bedbugs like these two will pop up all over the country. Nothing organized as an anti-Catholic conspiracy, but effect is just the same. Much of this stuff bubbling up since November 5. We hope and pray that the sheer ineptitude of these forces allow them to trip up themselves. As King David prayed about ex-advisor Ahithophel, who jumped to rebel side of angry son Absolom. King prayed O Lord turn their counsel against them. We should too.

Let's Change the Subject? Catholics on the Left

Saturday, January 24, AD 2009

One of the most frequently voiced criticisms of right-leaning Catholics is that they were insufficiently critical of the Bush Administration over the past eight years. According to this criticism, conservative Catholics were too eager to paper over the faults of the Bush Administration, and they failed to object at critical points to the Administration’s policies. While such generalizations can be problematic, I agree with this critique in broad outline. One of the lessons I’ve taken from the past eight years is that this is a temptation that must be consciously resisted.

It’s hard to express my disappointment, then, at the recent post entitled Mexico City? Try Gaza Instead…over at Vox Nova. Here’s the post:

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30 Responses to Let's Change the Subject? Catholics on the Left

  • Obama authorized international funding for abortion.

    No, he didn’t. That isn’t what the Mexico City Policy effected.

  • Your inability to read continues to amaze me.

    1) MM’s post has nothing to do with those Bush-supporting Catholics overlooking his sinful, criminal policies.

    2) MM did not criticize the statement from the Vatican on the matter.

    3) Nor did he say that those who are criticizing the Mexico City policy are wrong to criticize it and “should be talking instead about U.S. funding to Israel.”

    4) He is saying that so-called “pro-life” Catholics should not de-emphasize equally grave matters of u.s. policy according to their partisan leanings. He is saying that human lives who are not white, american babies are also made in the image and likeness of God.

  • some on the left, only seems to care about dead terrorists, and the people that put them in power and subsequently used as human shields. Dead babies make them sleepy (unless the babies are Palestinian and died being used as a human shield, no problem if they died from having their skull crushed).


    It seems a healthy dose of reality is setting in for Obama, he knows now the consequences of losing the war against Islamo-facism.

    So, what good has Obama done from a lefty Catholic perspective? He supports Israel’s right to self defense, he wants us to pay for foreign and American babies to be killed on request, he isn’t closing Gitmo for at least a year, AND he is shooting missiles into villages, possibly killing civilians.


  • “Nor did he say that those who are criticizing the Mexico City policy are wrong to criticize it and “should be talking instead about U.S. funding to Israel.”

    What? Look at the title of the post 🙂

    I think its clear that The effect of the reversal of the Mexico POlicy is anything but scant. If it was scant I dont think in the 90’s our Envoy to the Vatican would have flown home and waited two days in CLintons outer officers to please take a phone call from John Paul the II on this issue

    The Catholic blogsphere has been talking about Gaza non stop. Now not all hold the view that waht the Israelis did was some war crime but there was sure a ton of discussion.

    Catholics on both side can find common ground with Obama. To be honest speaking as someone from the right I thought the biggest indictment as to the Catholic right was not they did not question Bush on certain issues but did not support him in a nearly enough vocal manner on issues that causes us heartburn with other conservatives and when it gets rough. Such as immigration reform

  • John Henry

    I would add one thing. Yes prayer is important but also we must do more than that. We need to be on the phone with our Congress folks saying we very much disagree with this and raise some heck about this.

  • Michael,

    4) He is saying that so-called “pro-life” Catholics should not de-emphasize equally grave matters of u.s. policy according to their partisan leanings. He is saying that human lives who are not white, american babies are also made in the image and likeness of God.

    1. why is it that the left always considered the positions of their opponents “partisan”, whereas their own are always considered principled?

    2. US Policy vis a vis Israel is for Israel to be able to defend itself against attack, not to kill innocents. This is clear and irrefutable.

    3. Israeli policy and actions are clearly not intended to kill innocents as evidenced by their restraint (it is reasonable to argue it is insufficient restraint, but it is clear there is no immoral intent). I have gone over this with you in the past, you never respond: Israel could level Gaza in a weekend, killing everyone there… they have no desire to. Instead they limited their targeting to Hamas operatives and their arms caches, sadly the evil Hamas uses civilian sites for these purposes. Israel even sends out warnings about which sites would be attacked in many cases.

    4. The babies we’re trying to save by not PAYING for their abortions under the Mexico Policy are BROWN, not white.


    Good comments, but I while many conservative Catholics did support Bush on immigration, many others after reflection believed that his proposals did not serve the common good, as they were intended to. Right or wrong, I don’t think it’s fair to indict them for it, as long as they gave due weight to the Catholic principles involved, and not just paying lip service to it. Catholics in good conscience can disagree on this matter.

    It would be interesting to see what a group of orthodox Catholics would come up with as an immigration policy which balanced the needs of those in the country, and the need to welcome the stranger, as well as a just approach for those who have violated these policies in light of the effect it has on those waiting patiently to be admitted legally. Sadly the political process is deeply affected by political considerations, perhaps on both sides.

  • I asked this on another thread, but no answers yet. I’d like to understand what it means to be a progressive yet orthodox Catholic? The underlying philosophy escapes me.

    Obviouslt, by orthodox, I mean adheres to all of the teachings of the Church, even the patriarchal or “bigoted” ones.

  • Obama’s Minion would sooner chew ground glass than deal with the simple fact that he is an ardent supporter of the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history.

  • I wrote: Obama authorized international funding for abortion. M.Z. replied: “No, he didn’t. That isn’t what the Mexico City Policy effected.”

    It certainly did. The Mexico City Policy required NGO’s that receive federal funding to refrain from promoting or performing abortion services in other countries. Overturning it allows funding to those organizations to be used for abortion; which, basically, authorizes funding for abortion internationally.

  • John Henry is absolutely correct. Additionally, since money is fungible, every dollar they get from the US allows them to allocate other dollars from other sources for abortion. Not to mention the fact that this shift deprives the Vatican of US support for the fight against abortion abroad, and places the US on the pro-abort side.

  • Your inability to read continues to amaze me.

    Well, let’s see what you mean.

    1) MM’s post has nothing to do with those Bush-supporting Catholics overlooking his sinful, criminal policies.

    Well, if you read the post, I never claimed it did. I used that as a jumping-off point to discuss what I see as a broader concern. Namely, the odd tendency to attack people who criticize Obama’s abortion policy rather than the policy itself.

    2) MM did not criticize the statement from the Vatican on the matter.

    Well, no. He didn’t mention it at all, and then he criticized U.S. Catholics for talking about it instead of Gaza.

    3) Nor did he say that those who are criticizing the Mexico City policy are wrong to criticize it and “should be talking instead about U.S. funding to Israel.”

    I agree that he didn’t say they were wrong to criticize it (and, if you read, I didn’t say he did). Instead he criticized the people who were criticizing it on other grounds. In any case, the text of the post is included above. Anyone reading this can evaluate that for themselves.

    4) He is saying that so-called “pro-life” Catholics should not de-emphasize equally grave matters of u.s. policy according to their partisan leanings. He is saying that human lives who are not white, american babies are also made in the image and likeness of God.

    Michael, that is a deeply ironic response. We are talking about the Mexico City Policy which funds the abortion of non-‘white, american babies’. We do not need to be reminded that their lives are valuable; that’s why we object to funding to abort them.

  • Writing for Vox Nova means never having to say “I’m wrong, sorry.”

  • He is saying that so-called “pro-life” Catholics should not de-emphasize equally grave matters of u.s. policy according to their partisan leanings.

    Is calling the Mexico City Policy a trifle de-emphasizing a grave matter of U.S. policy?

  • Overturning it allows funding to those organizations to be used for abortion; which, basically, authorizes funding for abortion internationally.

    No it doesn’t.

  • He is saying that human lives who are not white, american babies are also made in the image and likeness of God.

    Once again, a completely spurious insinuation of racism. It’s hard even to put into words how stupid Michael I. is, given that the Mexico City Policy has nothing to do with “white, american babies” — quite the contrary.

    [Ed. Please refrain from referring to people as ‘stupid’]

  • MZ,

    This line of yours is getting deeply obtuse. As you know, money is a fungible resource. If the US government provides lots of “family planning” money to organizations which also provide abortion internationally, it frees up the other funds they were previously using to pay for “family planning” services to fund abortion. It scales their operations overall, and that can’t help but end up funding abortions.

    Come to that, how about if you go shout at MM that although the US provides Israel with lots of financial, humanitarian and military aid, it doesn’t specifically earmark that money for Gaza, and so obviously there’s nothing to protest.

  • Michael, that is a deeply ironic response. We are talking about the Mexico City Policy which funds the abortion of non-’white, american babies’. We do not need to be reminded that their lives are valuable; that’s why we object to funding to abort them.

    Well, I find it interesting that no one on this blog has expressed concerns about Mexicans having abortions — only that we will now supposedly be funding them. Do you care that they are having abortions in Mexico, or that you are now connected to them in a more clear way?

  • Well, I find it interesting that no one on this blog has expressed concerns about Mexicans having abortions — only that we will now supposedly be funding them. Do you care that they are having abortions in Mexico, or that you are now connected to them in a more clear way?


    As you ought to be aware, Michael, abortion is generally illegal in Mexico. The policy is called the Mexico City Policy because it was announced at the UN International Conference on Population in Mexico City in 1984. (As an interesting footnote, Alan Keyes was one of those closely involved in writing the policy.)

    Indeed, one of the reasons some of us consider this something other than a “trifle” is that organizations which are defunded by the policy (such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation) are among those US-based organizations which actively agitate against the anti-abortion laws of a number of countries with better moral cultures on this issue than our own.

    Do you really imagine the issues to be separate? When IPPF was defunded under the Mexico City Policy it lost 20% of its global funding. Do you think that _didn’t_ help reduce the spread of abortion?

    Of course we don’t want to see the unborn of other countries slaughtered — that is why we are objecting to funding the butchers. That’s why we don’t respond to this kind of thing by saying “Yawn.” or saying, “Oh, look over there!” If anyone is going to be accused of not caring about the abortion of “brown babies” perhaps it is the Catholics running interference for Obama on this one?

  • If one gets to change the subject, why not change it to this: Obama ordered Predator strikes on Pakistan on Friday:

    “Two missile attacks launched from remotely piloted American aircraft killed at least 15 people in western Pakistan on Friday. The strikes suggested that the use of drones to kill militants within Pakistan’s borders would continue under President Obama.

    Remotely piloted Predator drones operated by the Central Intelligence Agency have carried out more than 30 missile attacks since last summer against members of Al Qaeda and other terrorism suspects deep in their redoubts on the Pakistani side of the border with Afghanistan.

    But some of the attacks have also killed civilians, enraging Pakistanis and making it harder for the country’s shaky government to win support for its own military operations against Taliban guerrillas in the country’s lawless border region.

    …In the second attack, missiles struck a house near the village of Wana in South Waziristan, killing seven people, according to local accounts and Pakistani news reports. The reports said three of the dead were children.”

    Gaza? Gee, what about the warmongering occupant of the White House? Oh, that’s right, his name’s not Bush – never mind. No anti-war organization has yet condemned, or even commented, on these strikes, although I am sure they would have if the attacks had occurred a week ago.

  • One thing that is missing from these discussions is a more serious look at what Israel is facing. Very large numbers of Palestinians – and quite a few of their “leadership” – want Jews and Christians and homosexuals and the secular and “unclean” women and “apostates” ect dead dead dead dead – especially Israelis.

    Those concerned with “brown babies” more than Internet posturing would do well to start with a failed and truly vile Palestinian civil society: this is the very root of the conflict, an absolute refusal to live in peace. “Cease fires” are a time to rearm. Fatah is replaced with Hamas. Go look at the Hamas charter – a sentiment which has widespread support in Gaza and elsewhere. Islamic Jihad and the Muslim Brotherhood and Hizbollah and who knows what other groups are hanging around, ready to fund and participate in terror.

    In leftist Catholic considerations of Israel and Gaza, how often is there criticism of this madness? The “leaders” and the “men on the street” are extremely open about their views, views that ain’t that hard to discover.

  • jonathanjoones02: Exactly right. A Vox Nova poster absurdly referred to the Palestinians as “Holy Innocents” – this is a society where “Mein Kampf” is a best seller, “martyrs” who blow themselves up at Jewish seders are celebrated, and children are fed Jew hatred with their mother’s milk. The greatest abusers of Palestinian children are their own elders.

    But in the moral calulus of the Left, nothing Israel does to defend itself is ever justified and no action of the Palestinians, however depraved, ever discredits them.

    That’s because it really isn’t about “little brown children.” The Left has never shown much concern when brown people kill each other. It’s about their hatred for Israel and the US.

  • “white babies”, Michael J.?

    When is the left going to get concerned about “black” and “red” babies? (I really detest using crayon colors to describe people, in this case African Americans and Hispanics, but it seems to be the going phrase per Obama’s benediction reverend.) Somewhere around HALF of all black conceptions are ended in abortions in the United States; the systematic effect of Planned Parenthood’s silent extermination of black America. And abroad, the white socialists who run PP are working over time to “keep the population down” in other non-white populations.

  • One thing that is missing from these discussions is a more serious look at what Israel is facing.

    Jonathan, I don’t disagree with you, but at the same time, such a discussion validates the rhetorical ploy of changing the subject.

  • Sorry, I got carried away. Michael I is not stupid; it’s just his reflexive impulse to cry racism where it’s not even arguably applicable.

  • Michael,

    I find it difficult to take that seriously. When I mention the worldwide abortion rate and the horrors of a spreading evil that makes other issues, by the way, look like a picnic — roughly 42 million abortions occur worldwide in 365 days — I think I’m concerned about the abortions in Mexico as well.

    As an African American, George is completely right. It is a fact that roughly 1 in 2 African American pregnancies ends in abortion. It is a fact that the abortion industry is a for-profit industry that throws up “clinics” in minority neighborhoods targetting potential groups that will make them money.

    I can’t help but find the dismissal of Obama’s abortion policies as disturbing. The attack goes to the “right” and seemingly not even a word of criticism goes to the President’s “pro-choice” policies. It’s a scapegoat. This is no small matter. You want to talk about racism, abortion is wiping out MY people. Abortion is systematically the number one killer of black people and is currently the leading cause of black deaths. In America, blacks are the only minority group on the decline in population.

    Not to diminish other issues’ importance, but really, in 2006, I think it was, there were an estimated 42 million abortions worldwide that year and what I’m certain of, was that this number was a decline from 1995’s 48 million abortions worldwide — and I cannot be convinced that the removal of international funding of abortions did not play some part in this. So really, if we’re have well over 40 million abortions every single year in the decades that abortion has been common and widespread…the near 40 million people who’ve died from AIDS in totality, from WWI, WWII, the holocaust, Darfur, other diseases, domestic violence is pale in comparision to the scope and gravity of abortion…for really even now since the founding of America, from the beginning capital punishment only amounts to 4 days of abortion; the war in Iraq, 15 days of abortion.

    I’m no conservative and I am in no way making an argument that those other issues should be thrown on back burners, but the seeming way abortion is just another issue in your eyes is profoundly mistaken. If the issue were slavery or human trafficking that were being funded, I imagine, for some reason, that your response would be different. If we were explicitly sending money and weapons to Israel encouraging a war, you’d be blowing a trumphet and perhaps accusing the “right” of being apathetic — this would be my guess from all I have seen you say. However, when Obama does something profoundly out of accord with the natural law, the scapegoat is “well, you don’t care about these issues…you don’t look at these issues….or, that’s partisan” and you don’t simply seem torn by the fact that Obama’s own rhetoric is being consistent though many people who voted for him seemed to believe that he would be bipartisan.

    Abortion, by far, is the gravest evil that humanity has found itself capable of because the target is most vulnerable and defenseless target one can possibly imagine. It is the legalized, public funded, organized systematic elimination of human life on a global scale that is hardly given second thought by billions of people.

    In light of this, comments like “‘pro-life’ Catholics should not de-emphasize equally grave matters of u.s. policy according to their partisan leanings. He is saying that human lives who are not white, american babies are also made in the image and likeness of God’ is absurd.

    The first line instinctively creates division by framing the argument that any disagreement with you leads to a status of not being “pro-life.” The second matter presupposes that any disagreement on a means to an end is based solely on partisanship and not on reasonable disagreement. It presupposes that people are racist and only care about white American babies, when oh, just in fact, yesterday at the Texas March for Life a pro-life white mother speaking had adopted 3 black children to save their lives from abortion. The rhetoric of the argument hinges itself on contemporary “liberal” mentality, that is, I am the agent of tolerance and everyone who disagrees with me is intolerant, which leads to an imposition of one’s views on everyone else as the only real tolerant views, which is not “tolerance” but rather fascism.

    If you don’t think the conflict with Gaza and Israel, terrible as it is, is *equal* to the mass, quiet extermination of unborn children at the rate of over 40 million a year, then you aren’t “pro-life” and don’t care about babies in other countries, which are made in the image and likeness of God too, you know — as if everyone didn’t already believe that.

    The framing of your argument is divisive…and the other side is being partisan?

  • I meant to say Obama’s rhetoric is INCONSISTENT.


  • Eric, that is a telling and very tragic perspective you give. I don’t think it would be hyperbole to label abortion, among its many other horrors, as something like a black genocide. That’s a phrase that gets sensationalist attention at pro-life marches, but the numbers do back it up.

    Fredericka Mathews-Green hopes that our generation wakes up and realizes the crimes of the previous generation. I hope we do too.

  • I saw the posting about Holy Innocent’s of Gaza on Vox Nova the other day and it really turns my stomach, the real Holy Innocents are the 40 Million aborted children. One could include the children of Gaza in that class too, as long as one acknowledges fairly who plays Herod in that scenario… it is their parents who support Hamas and the Hamas terrorists who use their homes, and neighborhoods to launch terror attacks at Israel. While it’s possible, some Israeli responses are excessive, and a degree of culpability may apply, it is a moral certainty that Hamas is responsible for those murders.


    we don’t always agree, but you have hit the nail on the head here. Well said.


  • M.Z.,

    It would be helpful if you would explain the delicate distinction you are making here. To me there is no distinction to be made between providing funding to organizations that perform abortions and funding abortion, but I would be relieved to be proven wrong. Why do you say that overturning the MCP won’t lead to funding abortion internationally?

Saturday, January 24, AD 2009

A new website: This is their mission statement:

In the course of the 2008 presidential campaign, a small group of Catholic and Evangelical Protestant intellectuals and activists, while saying that they personally support legal protection for the unborn and oppose the redefinition of marriage, promoted the candidacy of Barack Obama, who made no secret of his intention to wipe out the entire range of laws restricting or discouraging abortion and embryo-destructive research, or of his opposition to all state and federal initiatives (such as California Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act) to preserve marriage as the union of a man and a woman. These men and women assured their fellow Christians and other social conservatives that Obama’s economic policies would reduce the incidence of abortion, and they promised that Obama was being honest when he said that he was opposed to “same-sex marriage.”

Despite these assurances, we fear that the Obama administration will swiftly begin an assault on pro-life laws and pro-marriage policies.

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35 Responses to If You Should Disagree With Your Brother, Even 70 Times 70….

  • “they are our brothers and sisters in Christ”

    A distinction they share with all of humanity. Unfortunately they supported for election to the highest office in the land a man who clearly does not believe that the unborn share in this relationship to Christ. Defense of the unborn simply was not high on the agenda of Catholics who supported Obama. Surprise! If all Catholics voted in line with the teaching of the Church as to abortion for just one election cycle, legal abortion would be history in this country. That we do not is a damning indictment of how seriously many Catholics in this country take their faith. Catholic votes keep abortion legal in this country and have done so since 1973. The election of Obama was simply the latest in a long line of electing leaders with Catholic votes who have not the slightest concern for the unborn and who wage a never-ending fight against the pro-life movement.

  • First of all, the USCCB carries zero weight because we are led by the Magisterium, Tradition, and Scripture. The USCCB is not a parallel magisterium.

    Secondly, I strongly disagree that a Catholic who voted for Obama is a good Catholic. If you want to play the notorious V.N. game of semantics, then a vote for McCain makes you a bad Catholic and a vote for Obama makes you an even worse Catholic.

    Catholics who voted for Obama should and will be held accountable for the deaths of millions of unborn children. Their participation in any political debate has been marginalized at best, but most likely should be discounted because of their horrible and depraved decision.

    What we know is is that Obama is the most pro-abortion candidate ever voted into office. To “assume” of imaginary budgetry constraints, or any assumption for that matter, can mitigate someones vote for Obama is incorrect.

    I do agree we should show prudence and charity to those that have voted for Obama, even when they don’t reciprocate, but they should still be held accountable for their depraved decision in the ’08 elections.

  • But Catholics who felt that Obama was the lesser of two evils are not the enemy; they are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and our disagreements with them should reflect that recognition. …but writing people out of the debate for the next four years because of their conclusions about Obama is neither the right thing to do nor is it likely to be very productive.

    This is where you lost me, John. Up to that point, it was a great post.

    First, these people certainly acted in bad faith, as is readily evidenced by their refusal to consider or answer opposing viewpoints, their refusal to be taught by the bishops, and the exceptionally poor arguments they put forward. The rationalization was simply, “neither candidate is perfect on the life issues, so life is no longer an issue.” That’s not arguing in good faith, and it calls into doubt their commitment to Catholic teaching on the life issues.

    And it’s the pro-Obama folks who’ve been working to read conservatives out of the debate. Which is odd, as we’re pretty well marginalized for at least the next year. I have been calling on them to join the debate; I’ve said that it’s only the pro-Obama Catholics who have any chance of persuading their fellow Democrats to abandon their embrace of the culture of death, and bring an ethic of life to their administration of the country. But none of the pro-Obama bloggers at Vox Nova have made such an effort, neither have the higher-profile pro-Obama Catholics, like Kmiec, Cafardi and others.

    After so much effort to convince their fellow Catholics to vote for Obama, why no effort to convince their fellow Democrats to vote Catholic — that is, pro-life? And this failure, too, calls into question their commitment to Catholic teaching on the life issues.

    Also, their open contempt for those who actually make the pro-life arguments calls into question their commitment to Catholic teaching on the life issues.

    This is a scandal, and it should be called that, and those who are perpetrating the scandal should be called out on it.

    I don’t say this because I’m a better Catholic than they are. I make no claims for any superiority about my faith, or my practice of religion. But on this issue, I think there are more cardinals, archbishops and bishops, and even a pope, who agree with me. My own archbishop, Cardinal George (also USCCB president), wrote that one cannot work for the common good while supporting the legal status quo on abortion. But that’s just exactly what these people have done. And they have a responsibility — which they have utterly neglected — to try to mitigate what they have achieved.

  • I did not vote for Mr. Obama, and would agree that many of the reasons offered by others as justification for doing so were greatly lacking. That said, the way some of the folks who ended up voting for Obama have been treated by some of their fellow Catholics has, in my opinion, been quite disgraceful. Telling someone who voted for Obama that they have blood on their hands, or speculating as to how many abortions they have had is just not a good way to win people over to your point of view. It’s not really very Christian, either.

    I realize that such bad behavior is confined to the minority, but to the person on the receiving end of this sort of treatment, even a few instances tend to leave a deep impression.

  • As usual, Tito ‘argues’ by fiat.


  • Mark,

    I don’t completely agree with Tito on this question, but he’s laid out his reasons for thinking as he does. If you have a comment on it, comment, but don’t snipe.

  • DC,

    Your defense of his antics speaks volumes. And your calling them reasons is incredibe.

  • I think overall I agree with you, John Henry, though I probably would have emphasized things differently. A couple things:

    Though voting is an important political and moral act, and I am generally grateful that we live in a country where we are given a choice (though a limitted one) in who shall rule us, I think that often we emphasize it’s importance too much. Our individual votes count for fairly little. And while I appreciate (and to a great extent agree with) Donald’s point that if all Catholics took abortion seriously as an issue, we wouldn’t have legal abortion — the fact of the matter is that of the 25% of the US population who identify as Catholic, less than half even go to mass. Of the maybe 10% of the population who are even remotely serious Catholics, more than half voted against Obama anyway. If every single serious Catholic had voted for Obama, he just would have won by less, but he still would have won.

    Similarly, I’m not sure that I think that the difference in absolute numbers of abortions would be very great between the options of Obama and McCain. I think it pretty disgraceful to vote for a candidate such as Obama who supports abortion so enthusiastically, but I don’t think it’s numerically accurate to say that their votes for Obama cost huge numbers of lives. Though I would hope they would take pause to consider that they’ve cast a vote (in some cases enthusiastically) for someone who doesn’t care a whit about those lives. (That some of the same people got themselves all worked up about Bush being apparently indifferent to appeals from convicted murders makes it all the odder.)

    So while I think that a vote for Obama was a bad choice, and a fairly obviously bad choice if one thought about it rationally and with full information, I don’t think that it was, on the scale of great life mistakes, all that large. I would certainly say that we are morally culpable for our votes, but I don’t think that votes are themselves among the more monumental moral decisions we make — though for those who spend large amounts of times advocating for their choice of vote (Kmiec seems the standout example here) some people seem to have managed to overthrow both mind and morals in the process of tyring to justify a vote which would have seemed unacceptable to their selves of just a few years earlier. Still even in such a case, I think it was the need to constantly justify the planned vote which was so morally corrosive, not the vote itself.

    And don’t get me wrong, some of the constant Obama apologists are fairly disingenuous writers — or at least deeply unpleasant personalities — it’s just not their votes per se that I find offense, but rather their apologetics for people and positions I find unacceptable.

    Finally, if people find themselves unpersuaded by all the above let me make this very pragmatic point: Votes are cast. Obama is elected. In some ways (dreary ways, but real none the less) I myself find it a bit liberating, in that I have hopes that the pro-life movement and the conservative movement will both return to health and dynamism much more quickly while out of power (hopefully by the 2010 midterms) than they would have with a squeaker of a McCain victory.

    One of our biggest dangers now in trying to convey to our fellow Catholics and the world what we believe is good and right in regards to politics is bitterness. Even if it’s accurate to say that any Catholic who voted for Obama is a pretty pathetic excuse for one (and I don’t necessarily say that, because I think the human conscience has a pretty massive capacity for honest self delusion — and some of these folks were sorely tempted because they believe, wrongly in my opinion, that progressive policies would do miracles for our country) repeating that contention overmuch will not achieve much besides making those people hate us a great deal. (And frankly, I’m already a little concerned at how readily a few writers draw away from other Catholics and Catholic movements in order to cling to their Obama votes which they’re being given so much grief over.)

    I think we’d be better served by erasing from our minds who voted for whom and going at the issues hammer and tongs as the happy warriors we ought to be. It may not convince those who’ve now staked their political and intellectual identities on supporting Obama, but it does allow us to present a positive and persuasive message to all those in the online world ready to listen.

    And if history is any gauge, I would imagine that in four to eight years there will be plenty of disillusioned Obama supporters to win over, just as now some of those trumpeting their Obama support were pretty sanguine about Bush seven years ago.

    If we choose instead to try to put too much energy into making people rue their Obama votes — I fear we shall only make both them and us bitter.

  • Mark,

    If you want volumes, read my above comment.

    As I said, I don’t agree with Tito’s take, and if you read my comment you’ll see how and why. But if you want to rebutt someone, as seems to be your desire, try using more than 20 words.

  • DC,

    I have been trying to extricate an argument in Tito’s words. Here’s the best I could do:

    THe USCCB is not the Magisterium

    Catholics who voted for Obama are not good Catholics

    Therefore,THey should be discounted in all they say.

    We should also hold them accountable.

  • Has the Vatican explicitly condemned ‘Faithful Citizenship.” Mentioned it much in a critical fashion during the past year? If so, I missed it.

    While Tito is right in saying that the USCCB is not the Magisterium, it seems that the onus is on him to show how terribly it contradicts magisterial statements/teaching.

  • You would also think that Tito would be happy that those who supported Obama are trying to challenge him on life issues.

    It seems as though Tito believes that politicians only listen to those who are not their supportesr, or, at least, that you cannot criticize anyone for whom you have voted.

    Actually, I am not quite sure what his thinking is, as it does not seem to make much sense either way.

    I do not want to be presumptuous, but something of the above may be why he and his ilk think that they have to be, for example, such supporters fof President Bush’s disaster-laden foreign policy these past years, including his waging a war that the Vatican clearly said was unjust at its inception.

  • Brendan/Darwin, John Henry, Black Adder,

    Excellent points on how we should prudentially move forward from this election. Painting those that voted for Obama as participants in the culture of death doesn’t help the cause as much. And I’m referring to myself.

    Being on the front lines, ie, praying at abortion clinics, marching in prayer vigils, passing out literature, etc, etc, one tends to get emotinally involved. Hence I get a bit perturbed when I read outrageous and disingenuous arguments from some in the v.N. about how voting for Obama is a vote for pro-life.

    Black Adder,

    Thanks for being civil. I agree, if one is on the receiving end of a comment such as mine, I can only imagine how they must feel. I disagree that this behavior could be unChristian. My reasons are that I find it difficult to fathom how one who is properly catechized and very knowledgeable about their Catholic faith can turnaround and cast a vote for Obama and then ask others to work with them in reducing abortions. When, in this instance, McCain would not be signing FOCA, promising Planned Parenthood unmitigated abortions for everyone, and many other executive, legislative, and judicial acts that will *increase* the number of abortions.

    With that said, being a Christian isn’t easy, but how you framed your argument does help me consider the human aspect of it all and I’ll pray more for improved prudential judgement.

    John Henry,

    I forgot to say this in my original comment, you wrote a very good and thought out post. Keep up the great work!

    Mark DeFrancisis,

    I got a chuckle reading your “pobrecito” comment while viewing that awesome and cute pic of your pet sausage dog.

    Oh, and don’t presume. I make the same mistake of presumptiousness and you shouldn’t either.

  • Tito,

    Do you realize yet that the drafter of the VN letter, Henry, did NOT vote for Obama?

    And please understand, pobrecito is in my book a term of endearment.

  • Mark,

    Yes. Though I didn’t point him out in any of these comments in this column.

    As far as pobrecito, I didn’t take it as anything but funny (in a good way). I know you mean well and our emotions can get the best of us at times. I know you mean no harm.

    And when I refer to your pic, I really do like that pic. You have an awesome looking dog.

  • Tito.

    The rhyme is too irresistible.

  • Mark,

    I too laugh at myself.

    One of my friends favorites are “Tito Bandito”. But basically they all like calling me “Tito”, even though I don’t look like a “Tito”. I’ve given up introducing myself to my given Christian name. Though I don’t mind being called either.

    And yes, if you were to know me in person, you would be laughing at me as well, I’m a big goofball.

  • “If every single serious Catholic had voted for Obama, he just would have won by less, but he still would have won.”

    True Darwin. Most people who claim to be Catholic in this country are Catholic only in an ancestral or tribal sense at best. As I said, a damning indictment. However, the people this post is directed toward do claim to be serious Catholics. I actually have far more sympathy for a Catholic who hasn’t been to mass for decades and voted for Obama, they could at least claim to be doing so out of rank ignorance and indifference, than I do someone who celebrates his or her Catholicism and still votes for a candidate who views abortion as a sacred right.

  • My comments in this thread should not be taken as indicating any reluctance on my part to work with anyone who voted for Obama who now wishes to enter the lists in opposition to his pro-abortion policies. In my pro-life work I join forces all the time with women who have had abortions and men and women who have been pro-abort in the past. I always welcome converts. However, I do believe that it is beyond absurd for people who claim to be pro-life to vote for a pro-abort when there is a pro-life candidate to vote for, and that for Catholics to do so is a scandal.

  • Donald, I agree that there was little-to-no case to be made that Obama was better for pro-lifers, and the best predictive indicator for how I will vote in any given national election is a candidate’s position on abortion. However, as I discussed above I am not persuaded that it would be unreasonable (as opposed to incorrect) for a Catholic to believe that there would be little change in the abortion rate under either McCain or Obama, and that Obama was significantly better on the other issues.

    As to whether these people are pro-life it depends on your perspective. I am pro-health care reform, and I think Obama was a much better candidate than McCain on that score; but I am not a single-issue health care reform voter, and so I did not vote for President-elect Obama. If your definition of a pro-lifer is someone who is a single-issue voter, then yes, these people were not pro-lifers. But I am pro- a lot of things; voting is a choice that weights those things.

  • As to whether these people are pro-life it depends on your perspective.

    My perspective is that if life issues are not a priority for you, then you’re not pro-life.

    I oppose the death penalty. That is, I believe that it is Constitutional, but that legislatures should abolish it. But if I were on a jury, I might vote to apply the death penalty, given our current laws.

    But I don’t often tell people I’m anti-death-penalty, because it’s not important enough to influence my vote, except among candidates who are the same on other issues I hold to be more urgent. I claim no moral “credit” for this stance, and I wouldn’t expect people who consider the abolition of the death penalty to be important to count me as one of them.

  • Pro-lifers aiming for a pro-life national consensus need to ask themselves whether that consensus can be achieved without a reform of the most pro-abortion rights party.

    Can’t that reform only be advanced by weasely pro-life Democrats co-operating with pro-choice Democrats?

    No pro-life Democrat can advance unless he scratches other Dems’ backs and helps them get elected.

    Granted, there are significant ethical dangers in this co-operation. But doesn’t the most principled opposition to pro-choice politicians result in a Catch-22 of political deadlock?

  • Just get a few things straight, I, Kmiec, Cafardi, or anyone else haven’t thrown socons under the bus. Socons threw us out once we stopped following along with a host of issues other than abortion. Complaints about the war, etc., were met with “but what about abortion?” When discussing the election I didn’t bother justifying Obama’s superiority on other issues, because the one-issue abortion voters didn’t care about them. The purpose of persuasive writing is to persuade, and I had better things to do than try to persuade people that ultimately thought the economy and foreign policy were unimportant compared to the evil of abortion. Sure, other issues might be nice to chat about and even have firmly held opinions, but no matter what Republicans did on other issues and no matter how little they offered toward the end of abortion, it didn’t matter.

    As far as disengenuous charges go, I and others have our grievances as well. If you told me T-Bone steak was the most important thing to you in the world, and all I ever saw you eat were burnt sirloins, I would question your commitment to T-Bone steak. Folks keep saying that these burnt sirloins will eventually become T-Bones, but I’m not seeing it. And I don’t think I’m going to see a T-Bone until I stop accepting burnt sirloins. Many choose not to believe that I and others oppose abortion. At this point, I’m pretty much done trying to persuade folks otherwise. If you want to eat burnt sirloins and call them T-Bones, that’s your choice. I’ll enjoy my rubber chicken dinner with potatoes and corn. When a real T-Bone goes on the menu, I’ll eat it.

  • What about love thy enemy as thyself?

    What about take the stake out of your own eye before condeming the toothpick in your brother’s eye?

    paraphrased of course.

  • Katerine – Could you clarify who that statement was directed towards?

    M.Z. – Thanks for responding – I have lots of thoughts, but not much time to respond. A quick question, though. Could you explain how this argument from Kmiec is pro-life? My problem with Kmiec is that he held himself out as a pro-lifer, only to pull off the mask and reveal he was a pro-choicer. I think he was a fraud (as, apparently, does Douthat whom you are fond of quoting). Anyway, here’s Kmiec:

    Sometimes the law must simply leave space for the exercise of individual judgment, because our religious or scientific differences of opinion are for the moment too profound to be bridged collectively. When these differences are great and persistent, as they unfortunately have been on abortion, the common political ideal may consist only of that space. This does not, of course, leave the right to life undecided or unprotected. Nor for that matter does the reservation of space for individual determination usurp for Caesar the things that are God’s, or vice versa. Rather, it allows this sensitive moral decision to depend on religious freedom and the voice of God as articulated in each individual’s voluntary embrace of one of many faiths.,0,4202531.story

    Is that pro-life?

  • Given that the paragraph was predicated on legal abolition not being possible at the present time, yes. It’s not how I would have phrased things. You (and others) may not be aware that I was quite critical of his intial commentary.

  • “When a real T-Bone goes on the menu, I’ll eat it.”

    Well we both can hope that happens at some point in the near future. I was not and am not a fan of Mr. McCain. Maybe Jindal will be more substantive, but even if he is, it may be wise for him to wait for 2016. You are far too generous to Kmiec; the man is a poseur, or as other Catholic legal academics have described him, ‘contemptible’.

  • Can’t that reform only be advanced by weasely pro-life Democrats co-operating with pro-choice Democrats?

    No pro-life Democrat can advance unless he scratches other Dems’ backs and helps them get elected.

    Yes, indeed. My complaint is that there seems to be no such visible efforts by “pro-life” Democrats.

    Henry Karlson’s petition (of which I was one of the original signers) is not an effort by an Obama supporter to reform the Democrats’ embrace of abortion.

  • Pingback: To The “Traitor,” Go The Spoils? Kmiec & The Ambassadorship « The American Catholic: Politics and Culture from a Catholic perspective
  • If all Catholics voted in line with the teaching of the Church as to abortion for just one election cycle, legal abortion would be history in this country.

    If all Catholics voted in line with the teachings of the Church on ALL issues for just one election cycle, we would have a more just society, and respect for peace and life.

  • Thank you, Tito. No one would be happier than I if Catholics monolithically decided to support a full platform of Catholic social teachings, from abortion, capital punishment, peace, labor, social justice and family policy, and then recruited a slate of candidates pledged to such a platform.

    Lacking that event, I actually support something I rarely read on the blogs — pluralism. I think we are best served having Catholics in every party and every camp.

  • John, I’m glad you wrote this. I am 100% in agreement. Thank you Katherine for your spot on comments. I’ve mused over this post for a few days and I’d like to make several points and I hope they are not taken in the wrong way — I mean them in all good charity.

    It’s self-evident that all of these issues are critical and what’s at stake here is human life. It is understandable to be emotionally involved, but this in itself does not justify a lot of our behavior. This is especially true of me personally prior to election. If I could have go back, there are many things I’ve said that I would take back.

    Now I’m very disheartened by many people’s opinions on this. It’s a human reality and in some respect, I’ll just have to deal with it. The heart of my frustration is really rooted in the fact (as is the heart of everyone’s frustration) is that I see this from a different perspective.

    Granted, I voted for John McCain, other Catholics for reasons I’m sure many (not all) thought about as long and as hard as I did made a different judgment. Now in regard to this, there is always this profound temptation to attack other people’s orthodoxy. Sure, I’d be quick to agree with someone that “person A” has misunderstood, or at least misapplied the Church’s teaching, but that does not mean the person isn’t orthodox and doesn’t fully believe in the “fullness of truth” that the Church embraces. In many ways, discussion of such people has been less than charitable. I cannot conceive of the Lord talking about people or to people in the way I’ve seen (or even done myself). So, let’s be honest with ourselves, before we toot ourselves as the “good” Catholics and as scholars on social justice aware of what it really is that we need to do, let’s not forget the basics and foundation of our faith: charity. It doesn’t take faith to realize that you will not convert someone or win them over demonizing them (or their political party) and telling them in an uncharitably way that the death and suffering of thousands of innocent children is their fault. I’m not saying they didn’t materially cooperate in evil, I’m saying we ought to be careful about what we say it, how we say it, and why we’re saying it.

    I don’t think we can just sit and judge someone’s orthodoxy by a single action. Sure, we can judge an act to be not in accord with the moral law, but to say that “no good Catholic” does this or that is really, in my view, divisive rhetoric. I know what you’re saying, but I find that such talk is not constructive toward any good, it only reaffirms the “us” versus “them” mentality. We can judge the objective good or evil of an actions, but we do not know people’s hearts nor do we know their subjective culpability. This is not to say we should just tolerate evil because people have good intentions, but let’s not start the game of saying who is a “good Catholic” and who’s not based on political decisions.

    It occurs to me that my wording can make my point seem a bit dubious, e.g. a pro-choice Catholic can be a “good Catholic.” That’s not what I’m arguing. I’m talking more along the lines of agreeing on fundamental principles but prudentially applying them differently; now in one respect, one can say this or that is a miscalculation and a bad application of those principles, but to judge the interior of the person based solely on an isolated action, out of the context of their whole lived Catholic life in my view is quite an injustice.

    Quite a lot can be learned from listening to someone you disagree with. I’ve noticed that many pro-life Americans who voted for the Democrats believe that other critical issues of importance to them is not a priority for the Republican Party. In my experience, I’ve seen people then rebuke them saying no other issue has the priority of abortion. But that’s a part of the problem! Instead of rebuking them (and I’m not saying you shouldn’t make that clarification that abortion is not just one issue), how often do you stop to see their point even if you don’t agree with them? Need I tell you about the medical problems that my grandmother faces that places a financial burden on my immediate family and given the fact that there is no person in my family I’m closer to, there was a profound temptation for me to vote for the Democrats in this election on the basis of health care? Not just for my grandmother, but for thousands of people with the same problem. We might disagree on that, but talk about reform hasn’t been a GOP issue — 12 years they had every opportunity, none taken. Why is there this mentality or perception that the GOP is not the party of African Americans and Hispanics? Given the fact that this past year they had the whitest, richest delegates in history and that the party doesn’t look or seem inclusive. There is hardly talk about poverty, health care, and other issues that directly impact people. How long have these issues seemed like they were on the backburner? Since when was there a GOP candidate advocating health care reform to deal with the 47 million uninsured before the Democrats made it an issue? I’ve seen many people emphasizing the primacy of abortion dismiss these other issues as if they are items in a cafeteria just as they denounce other “cafeteria” Catholics for overlooking the unborn — are you more justified?

    I’m taken back by the statement that pro-life Democrats don’t do anything about abortion, nevermind the fact that countless pieces of legislation couldn’t have passed at the federal and state level without our votes; the same is true of the election of candidates–I’m sure pro-life Democrats have tipped some few elections in favor of Republican candidates. I thought we were all on the same team. Nevermind the uphill battle many pro-life Democrats face in primaries or just to stay in office with the party loading cash into the campaign of pro-choice Democrats. Do you try to help pro-life Democrats get elected with your money? Do you encourage pro-life Democrats to support those candidates so they don’t lose their seat to a pro-choice Democrat? Do you really think we’re going to end abortion with only one party? I can’t speak on behalf of all pro-life Democrats, but the same argument can be made about the urgency of the issue of abortion to the GOP at large. There is so much talk about the Supreme Court when after Roe v. Wade, seven of the current nine were appointed by Republicans and yet only four of them are pro-life. If abortion were the repugnant, horrid evil that the GOP really made it out to be, there would be a lot more effort to bring about its demise — and I’m not saying the Democrats don’t fight them tooth and nail, but one can hardly deny other aspects of their agenda have been carried out with such swiftness and fervor you begin to wonder…

    One last point. If we’re going to get upset by the “absurdity” of, say, the gay rights’ movement, instead of being reactive, be proactive. So when no one is praying for homosexuals at Mass, why not ask someone if it can be included for just one Sunday? Inquire as to why there is communal support for homosexuals in less than half the dioceses in the country. If we want them to oblige to the natural law, are we willing to reach out to them? The same people screaming and yelling about the family are saying one thing and doing another. If you think liberals are just nuts on environmental issues, how about more proactive engagement rather than disagreeing without offering a solution. When Catholics as a majority don’t vote in accord with Church teaching or cause public scandal by dissenting, volunteer your time and teach a CCE class — plant seeds and the Lord your God will have a rich harvest. The sexual revolution and other “progressive” movements didn’t come up out of thin air. We (all of us) speak like Catholics and live like Pharisees. The harvest is rich and the laborers are few. Work for the Lord in His vineyard. If we spent as much effort doing as we do complaining and attacking one another, the world would be a much better place.

    I really don’t wish to sound partisan, but in many ways, it seems to me that Catholic Democrats have concerns that really are dismissed as trivial and “non-issues” because abortion is fundamental (not that I’m disagreeing with that). I’m of the view that a “partisan-looking” attack on the Democrats not only allows the Republicans to get too comfortable and often enough get by, I think to the spectator it makes Catholics look biased. I’m surely not denying major problems in regard to the Democrats, but the way the GOP gets glossed over really disconcerns me and I sometimes wonder if other Catholics aren’t conservative first. That’s my view and you’re free to disagree with me.

  • Eric and Katherine,

    We won’t let Obama Catholics off the hook for voting incorrectly, but I agree we have many more issues that we can cooperate on with them. It’s a difficult balance to keep, but your comments should be considered when engaging with them in working together for the common good.

  • Tito,

    Thank you. I hope we have many opportunities to work together. And while maybe the favor is not returned, you are forgiven for voting for McCain! 🙂


7 Responses to Blood and Guts Obama?

  • I fail to see how anyone who listened to what Obama said in debates, interviews, and speeches or who read his website could arrive at the conclusion that he is anti-war. He wants to increase America’s military presence and power in the world!

  • Kyle,
    If he said he wanted to shrink the military and retreat from the world, he never would have been elected. In other words, he lied. His anti-war supporters know this.

  • By the way, the picture accompanying this post is hilarious. Every once in a while I get a fleeting thought that Obama may turn out to be a laughing stock. He is utterly humorless, self-important, and very proud of himself. A previous post regarding American materialism was informative, but I believe that American mockery is an even more potent force.

  • So here’s your Hope and Change, dear liberals. Try Hilary- you used to love her but that love ran cold. Now she might be the face of American foreign policy. Not totally opposed to waterboarding, voted for the Iraqi adventure. In a way, her utter amorality may work well in an increasingly tense world. Not necessarily somebody that say, Crazy Hugo will want to see across a bargaining table. Not to mention the other Clinton Alumni Association members likely to assume positions of importance. Like Eric Holder at Justice. Tom Daschle at HHS. Greg Craig- likely new White House Counsel. Everything old is new again. The 90s are suddenly hip once more. C’mon, libs. Get with the program.

  • daledog,

    What, then, really are the foreign policy views of President-Elect Obama? And how do we know these are his views?

  • Oh, just wait. He’ll bomb the crap out of anything he has a mind to and you won’t hear a thing from Pelosi or Reid. Remember when Clinton set up that nice deal between Serbia and Albania – if Albania didn’t sign the treaty it was OK, but if Serbia didn’t sign it was curtains. No one blinked, though I remember thnking, “Wow, that seems rather unfair.” Then he killed all sorts of people and my squishy liberal friends pretended it wasn’t happening.

  • Kyle,
    He does not know his views. How can we? This man has not worked a day in his life. Soon he will be working 24 hrs. a day. The bulk of his legislative record is one of the most cowardly in modern times (voting ‘present’, etc.)Political expediency will be his political philosophy.

Obama and Consequences

Friday, November 14, AD 2008


My friend Jay Anderson over at his always well worth reading blog, has a story about Father Jay Scott Newman’s controversial decision that voters for Obama should do penance before receiving communion.  The anonymous comments are priceless.  Perhaps some of our readers would care to share their thoughts pro and con over there?  For the record, my guess is that Father Newman will quickly be taken to task by his Bishop and rightly so, but the howls of the Obamabots have to be read to be believed!

Update:  Good analysis by Ed Morrisey over at Hot Air.

Continue reading...

19 Responses to Obama and Consequences

  • “… my guess is that Father Newman will quickly be taken to task by his Bishop and rightly so …”

    Actually, the Diocese of Charleston is currently without a Bishop. But Rich Leonardi’s post indicates the chancery is backing up Fr. Newman, calling his comments “appropriate and in line with Church teaching“.

  • I stand corrected Jay.

  • (Preface: I have a great amount of respect for Fr Newman and the work he’s done. I’ve been a fan of his since the old Pontifications days.)

    My humble opinion as a layman: Fr Newman ought to have exhorted his parishoners to examine their conscience carefully to see if it was in line with Catholic teaching on material cooperation with evil and proportionality, or, better yet, walked them THROUGH it. (I wouldn’t be surprised if this already happened, actually)

    THEN, tell them that if they were out of line then they should confess prior to receiving.

    Just assuming that because a Catholic voted for Obama they were guilty of mortal sin was presumptuous.

    Also, saying “voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exists constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil.” isn’t totally accurate, I think. If I understand correctly (I’m open to correction here) a Catholic could licitely vote for McCain, who supports ESCR (I know not 100% supports, but let’s not quibble on this for the sake of the argument) and is therefore NOT pro-life in the proper sense, due to proportionality (in order to limit the evil done by the more pro-abortion candidate). Obviously, voting third party or abstaining are defensible positions for a Catholic as well.

    Since McCain supports ESCR, those of us who voted for him are guilty of material cooperation with intrinsic evil as well, yes? Do we have to confess? Or does proportionality absolve us of that?

    If a Catholic Obama supporter was convinced (deluded, IMO) into believing that his administration would reduce abortions, were they guilty of mortal sin? Or just terribly wrong? How does Fr Newman know the difference?

  • I don’t think anyone knows what the Church’s teaching is on voting and abortion because the Bishops disagree with each other. It’s hard to hear what they are trying to say, even when you pay really close attention.

  • Perhaps Fr. Newman’s brave stand will compel some of the sorry bench of bishops to teach clearly. But pigs may take wing first.

    Good on Fr. Newman. It needs to be said.

  • Just noticed that it’s made Drudge. I agree with Chris that it is presumptuous to say voting for Obama required penance, and I think it was particularly unwise to do so in a letter. Here’s the relevant text per the AP:

    “Our nation has chosen for its chief executive the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president,” Newman wrote, referring to Obama by his full name, including his middle name of Hussein.
    “Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exits constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ’s Church and under the judgment of divine law. Persons in this condition should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation.”

  • Reading the text, it appears Father did not say explicitly that those who voted for Obama need to do penance. One could believe, in the language of the letter, that McCain was not a ‘plausible pro-life alternative’. For instance, I thought it would be very difficult for McCain to appoint judges unsympathetic to Roe with a Democratic Senate, and that his support for ESCR meant he was not really ‘pro-life’. For these reasons, McCain may not have been a ‘plausible pro-life alternative’. However, the extreme nature of Obama’s pro-choice record should have been a serious obstacle for Catholics.

  • He jumped noggin-first into secular politics. Bad idea but great execution. Sad to say, many of our fellow RCs either don’t know about abortion as a grave sin or are too muddled to grasp it. Padre Newman’s exhortation appears after the fact. Or else he violates the unspoken rule in New Zealand- the tall poppy gets chopped off. But he didn’t get much direction from his, and our, own shepherds. The USCCB statement this week was wild, bold and way out there, compared to the usual peace and justice and blahblahblah and we still have hope. Archbishop Chaput, The Shepherd For Our Time, is the one who sets the bar on this stuff, particularly with that fine read Render Unto Caesar at bookstores somewhere. Capture the good Archbishop’s pitch and tone and you’re OK. But I do like the good Padre’s style. Hee hee.

  • [Ed. Note Deleted]

  • That priest should be disciplined.

  • It sounds like the news story is mostly a matter of Fr. Newman’s bulletin letter from the previous week having been misinterpreted by the Greenville News and then Associated Press. He’s got a piece up about the incident on the parish website:

  • The poor cleric should perform due penance for either (a) his willfull and knowledgeable abusing of his parishioners’ consciences, or, (b) his inexcusable ignorance of proper Church teahing, in the light of the special and not-to be-taken for granted teaching, pastoring and leadership charisms conferred upon him, through ordination,

    These examples make me consider going all NonConformist and Dissident, in my weaker moments…

  • Or how about the AP does penance for willfully distorting what he said?

  • I’m only a lay-woman, a trained Catechist but no “Doctor of the Church.” I have no important degrees nor have I written “scholarly papers on the subjects of Church Teaching and the finer points of Canon Law.

    I am a middle aged “Baby-Boomer,” that was too young to understand Rowe verses Wade decision. I did not go through the crisis of an unwanted pregnancy.

    Naively I supported “Planned Parenthood” as a young woman until I learned some family history and how my grandfather’s sister who had been in college to be a school teacher in the early 1930s was swayed by Communists and worked for Margaret Sanger in Detroit Michigan, and died not from influenza, but a botched abortion her “lover” insisted she have to “prove” herself to the cause.

    I have taken women I know that had abortions BACK to a medical practitioner because of complications from abortion that they were not told about at the time. And prayed for both them and the child they aborted.

    There is trauma to the process, physically, mentally and especially spiritually, to the woman or girl, and to those that participate in the action. I cannot think of a good reason to abort a child in the womb.

    But I know abortion is an intrinsic evil, and those that endorse, encourage or consent are committing a grave mortal sin. More dire because it spills over into some many other areas of life.

  • Powerful testimony Sandra.

  • Sandra,

    Thank you for sharing. Very powerful testimony indeed as Donald said.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,


  • Poor Father got his hand slapped from above:

    Here’s the written statement from Monsignor Martin Laughlin, administrator of the Diocese of Charleston:

    CHARLESTON, S.C. (November 14, 2008) – This past week, the Catholic Church’s clear, moral teaching on the evil of abortion has been pulled into the partisan political arena. The recent comments of Father Jay Scott Newman, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville, S.C., have diverted the focus from the Church’s clear position against abortion.

    As Administrator of the Diocese of Charleston, let me state with clarity that Father Newman’s statements do not adequately reflect the Catholic Church’s teachings. Any comments or statements to the contrary are repudiated.

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions.” The Catechism goes on to state: “In the formation of conscience the Word of God is the light for our path; we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. We must also examine our conscience before the Lord’s Cross. We are assisted by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, aided by the witness or advice of others and guided by the authoritative teaching of the Church.”

    Christ gives us freedom to explore our own conscience and to make our own decisions while adhering to the law of God and the teachings of the faith. Therefore, if a person has formed his or her conscience well, he or she should not be denied Communion, nor be told to go to confession before receiving Communion.

    The pulpit is reserved for the Word of God. Sometimes God’s truth, as is the Church’s teaching on abortion, is unpopular. All Catholics must be aware of and follow the teachings of the Church.

    We should all come together to support the President-elect and all elected officials with a view to influencing policy in favor of the protection of the unborn child. Let us pray for them and ask God to guide them as they take the mantle of leadership on January 20, 2009. I ask also for your continued prayers for me and for the Diocese of Charleston

  • ” Therefore, if a person has formed his or her conscience well”

    Well, that’s the real trick, isn’t it? Can a well formed conscience ignore every Bishop that’s spoken out and vote for the most pro-abortion senator and presidential candidate in US history?

    Anyway, yes, Fr Newman overstepped.

A Coalition For Me, But Not For Thee

Wednesday, November 12, AD 2008

Morning’s Minion over at Vox Nova, recently argued that the pro-life movement should disentangle itself from the Republican party. I think a fairly good argument can be made for this position, although I don’t find it entirely convincing. As anyone familiar with the blogosphere is aware, however, the fact that a good argument can be made for a position does not mean that a good argument currently is being made. Here’s the post:

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28 Responses to A Coalition For Me, But Not For Thee

  • “I must confess that (in certain moods) it occurs to me that the animating force for this particular argument from some quarters may have more to do with concern for the Democratic party than the pro-life movement.”

    Moods is the right word here.

  • The man who spouts opposition to the minimum wage and advocates unrestricted assault weapons possessions has always seemed the best poster boy for the pro-life movement.

    Such a credible spokesperson for the sanctity of life in all its stages.

  • Frankly, as I’ve commented before, the only reason that the minimum wage currently seems insufficient is because we Americans believe that everyone has to own their own home, live away from their families, and subsist without any local support. You’d be amazed what a couple of families sharing a single house can accomplish on minimum wage or even less. It is hard, yes, but it is livable. The Catholic Church calls for a livable wage, not a luxurious one.

    As for guns, it is the epitome of folly to believe that a gun automatically equates with an assault weapon. But I suppose it depends on what you see. When you live in the big city, surrounded by gangstas popping caps in some cracker cop, I’m sure you can’t see guns as anything but murder tools. But when you live in wide open spaces (with bears), and you gun hunting regularly for food (in bear country), a gun is not just handy tool, but a necessity.

    Perhaps, Mark, you’d care to make more that slogan-like comments, maybe provide us with a little meat as to why you would oppose gun rights? Perhaps you’d care to break things down across different gun categories, examine demographics, and point to where, either in the Bible or the Catechism, or some papal encyclical, that states that guns should be forbidden?

  • “You’d be amazed what a couple of families sharing a single house can accomplish on minimum wage or even less. It is hard, yes, but it is livable.”

    This is so preposterous that it doesn’t even deserve a further response.

  • Living simply has its rewards. To many people have fallen for the lie that they have a right to a ‘tv’, an ‘suv’, and starbucks coffee at every corner. We here in America don’t know how good we have it. We live not above our means, but waaay above our means. An unsustainable lifestyle.

    We are seeing the repurcusions of this with the collapse of the Big 3 automakers among many other failures.

  • After the Democrats have been in control of Washington for a few years, I think a great many Americans will be lucky to be earning the minimum wage. The Bush administration has done a poor job obviously in its economic policy, but every bad job-destroying idea possible is just waiting to be enacted by the Democrats. The American people are about to learn a very costly lesson in what happens when the people in charge of Washington really believe they can legislate prosperity by government fiat through more regulation and control over private enterprise. A moderate recession is about to be made much worse.

  • It is so easy to extol the virtues of frugal living by others, as we communicate via our $1000 computers, is it not?

  • Mark, why does it not deserve a response? You do realize, don’t you, that many illegal immigrants that come to the states do exactly what I just mentioned? That fact that there are people who do that makes my statement far from absurd. We Americans would be better off if we weren’t so consumed with such pride that we’d rather have the government mandate high wages so we can earn a “respectable” living instead of banding together to help each other out.

    On a different note, obviously it did deserve a response, because you responded to it. Frankly, Mark, I’d really like to get an actual conversation going instead of trying to deal with endless non-starters. Please, instead of simply trying to shut conversation down, why not take a few minutes and give a reasonable response as to why it is absurd to suggest several families live together to help ends meet?

  • Mark,

    I got my computer at half that price after hunting for the cheapest PC I could find all day. Plus, I need it for work. I saved up for it after holding on to my five year old Toshiba until it was incapable of accomplishing the work I do on it.

    Simple living is one of the treasures I discovered these past few years. I hope the American people won’t have to learn the hard way as I had, but with the Dems in power, like Donald said, they will suffer greatly.

  • It would be such a nice change to have rational discourse with Mark and his friends, but when every argument reduces to “guns are evil, business is evil, money is evil,” there really isn’t much left to say.

    Seriously, are you guys Catholics or animists?

  • Ryan – How many other families have you welcomed into your home?

    Tito – Glad to hear that living simply is something you value. It’s something we seem to have in common. Probably the result of fantastic catechesis, eh?

  • Still trying to unravel MM’s logic. First he notes that Pro-Life Movement hooking up with NRA and U.S. Chamber of Commerce is negative. Then go Obama go who has promised to sign FOCA quick fast and in a hurry. Being slightly befuddled I go wha… This intellectual stretching by Catholic Obamaites makes my own noggin hurt. Don’t plan to think about it further. Things to do, life to lead. Let MM live in DreamWorld. I prefer Reality.

  • Catholic social teaching puts forth as an ideal, just wage that one person’s earning which could support a family, it’s healthy leisure, and a savings for possible unforeseeable difficulties.

    But we have Catholic commentators here saying a lowering of the minimum wage in America, way below CST’s proposal, would be somehow beneficial.

    Please tell me how I am not reasoning well as a Catholic thinker, but others here are?

    The ignorance about one’s faith is astounding with those who fashion themselves as lay spokespersons for the Catholic faith.

  • Please tell me how I am not reasoning well as a Catholic thinker, but others here are?

    For one, you’re assuming that all minimum wage earners are heads of households. The data don’t bear this out. Is it not reasonable to assume that there should be a wage lower than this ideal, just wage proposed by CST which is in effect a “bridge” to higher wages? Can’t people who are low-skilled for a period of time (recent immigrants, students, etc.) earn a wage that is not supporting a family, etc.? Presumably they’re acquiring skills and experience that will enable them to earn a higher wage later. You can argue no, that there is no reason for a bridge wage for lower-skilled workers, but then be prepared for the consequences of all that unemployment.

    The truth is, there’s nothing wrong with a reasonable minimum wage. It seems reasonable to say that there is a lower limit below which society will not allow workers to work, even voluntarily, because it is scarcely worth their labor. The problem is accurately determining what that minimum should be. It seems that a lot of people interpret it a little too expansively, though, not taking into consideration these other factors. They also don’t seem to take into consideration the fact that a minimum wage set too high would do tremendous injustice and violence to the poor… not exactly a cornerstone of CST, right?

  • On MM’s argument: The reason why it makes sense, to a great extent, for the pro-life movement to ally itself with other conservative causes such as gun rights advocates and business advocates is in order to broaden the number of people who will actively vote pro-life. The idea being: If a business advocate is faced with two candidates who are both considered “pro business” by the Chamber of Commerce, but one of whom is pro-life and the other pro-choice, the business advocate will vote for the pro-lifer out of conservative solidarity and a general idea that that pro-life position makes that candidate “one of us”.

    I suppose the question would be: Is this successful? Does alliance with the “conservative movement” widen the number of people who are open to the pro-life message and who vote pro-life? My impression is that it does — in that I’ve seen a number of essentially secular conservative commentators become increasingly open to the pro-life message over the years.

    However, there is an opposite reaction, I am sure, among many progressives, who will be tempted to reflexively disagree with pro-life views because only “those conservatives” support that kind of thing.

    On Mark’s points:

    I’m not sure if anyone writing here necessarily wants to see the minimum wage abolished — and except in certain straw men I don’t believe that the Chamber of Commerce or any other major conservative organization MM could point to (except maybe some very libertarian ones) advocates that either.

    However, I for one don’t think that raising the minimum wage is very helpful to the poor in the long run, and I’m generally not in favor of raisting it.

    And I don’t think that your claim about CST requiring the US minimum wage, and indeed raising the US minimum wage, holds water when thought about calmly. Here’s why:

    The US is currently the richest country in the world. If you make the US minimum wage, you are far better off than most people in most places in the world. (Not that living minimum wage is great — but that living elsewhere in the world is really lousy.)

    I’d generally be against raising it even further because I’m more in favor of allowing increased immigration, including that of low-skill/no-skill workers, from countries with much lower wages. When we raise the minimum wage, we lower the demand for low-skill labor by increasing productivity, and in order to keep unemployment low, we’re heavily incented to keep low-skilled workers out.

    So I’d generally be much more in favor of keeping the minimum wage low and allowing low-skilled workers (for whom the US minimum would be a vast improvement) in rather than jacking up the minimum wage and leaving the rest of the world to take care of itself.

  • it occurs to me that the animating force for this particular argument from some quarters may have more to do with concern for the Democratic party than the pro-life movement.

    Obviously you’re right. The evidence that MM cares about the pro-life movement (which he never mentions except to ridicule) is zero. The evidence that his number one priority is electing Democrats is abundant; judging from what he writes about, he rarely thinks about anything else. His advice to the pro-life movement here — to join with him in taking a back seat to the “Keep Your Rosaries Off My Ovaries” crowd — is clearly an example of the fox advising the hens that they’d be better off sleeping outside.

  • And again, to repeat a point made on Vox Nova but that MM could never even attempt to answer, MM and his ilk have absolutely no standing to complain that pro-lifers are sullying themselves by being part of the Republican political coalition, given that they have proven that they are willing to shill for the Democratic political coalition (which most certainly includes some elements that are actively hostile to Catholic teaching).

    Of course, if MM and his ilk had led the way in abandoning the existing political coalitions in America and forming an independent party that would (by their lights) be consistent with Catholic teaching across the board, that would have been a different matter. But they didn’t do anything of the sort.

  • Mark, I understand the specifications of support of family, healthy leisure, and some savings. I don’t think I’ve seen an exact dollar amount, or a percentage, or any figure that states exactly what that is. And perhaps you should consider healthy leisure. Is leisure anything you have to pay for, it can it simply be the statement that a man shouldn’t have to work 20 hours a day to scrape together a living? If it is something you pay for from your wages, how much money do you need for that? Are we talking plasma TV, or a deck of cards? What is astounding is not ignorance of what various papal encyclicals have said, but the belief that somehow leisure has to be defined as a bunch of activities that all cost a fair amount of money, or that leisure cannot be attained even at minimum wage.

    It kind of goes back to prejudices we have of what leisure is, what it is about, and living frugally.

    Perhaps you’d care to state what CST explicitly states for the minimum wage, perhaps in exact dollar amounts? Hmmm… I think exact dollar amounts don’t actually come into the picture, do they? It comes down to understanding what is reasonable for supporting a family, without working oneself to death, and still having a little left over. There’s a lot of ways to accomplish that other than raising the minimum wage (and I, for one, cannot see how raising the minimum wage helps matters when every time we’ve done so, it has hurt job growth), and a lot of it comes down to lowering leisure expectations.

    Michael, I fail to see how my “failure” to invite families into my apartment has anything to do with the discussion. My wife and I live quite comfortably on $1500 a month from our graduate stipends. We’re fortunate enough to have an opportunity to live above total squalor. But if we had to live off of $800 a month (roughly minimum wage with only one of us working), it would be fiscally prudent to find a place we could share with others so that we can make ends meet. Moreover, it would be a bit more prudent to pick up a second job part time. 60 hours a week still leaves time for leisure, and being responsible by teaming up with someone else (who is probably in just as dire straights) leaves a little money left over in case of emergency.

    So, are we worried that there must be some amount of hypocrisy involved when I say “poor families can band together to help each other out”, but haven’t banded together with some poor family myself? Or have we, instead, lost focus on the point that there are more options available than raising the minimum wage (and depriving even more people of jobs), but that we fail to notice them because of issues of pride?

    Frankly, I like the idea of, say, three or families (friends that know each other well enough so there aren’t issues of abuse) living together, with work hours staggered so that someone is always home for the kids or in case of emergency, and enough parents pooling together to keep the place well maintained. I’d be willing to try it with some of my friends. I’d be a little more cautious when it comes to strangers, because of particular issues.

  • Anyway, MM isn’t making these arguments seriously. By criticizing 1) pro-lifers, 2) Rove, 3) Delay, or any conservative who is out of power and irrelevant, he’s just trying to do anything to avoid talking about Obama’s initial priorities on assuming office.

  • And MM’s lashing out at me (on VN) is a sign that deep down he feels some shame for the way he’s behaving. For heaven’s sake, if I had recommended voting for McCain on the specific grounds that McCain was the better anti-war candidate, and if McCain had announced (right now) that his first plan on taking office was to attack Iran, I hope I’d have the honesty and decency to say, “As a McCain supporter, I’m deeply disappointed and hope that McCain backs down from such a bad decision.”

  • About leisure: Scroll down to the section of this BLS report on leisure activity in the U.S. Some interesting data points there.

  • “Moods is the right word here.”

    Touche. However, unless I am mistaken, hypocrisy is also the right word.

    “The man who spouts opposition to the minimum wage and advocates unrestricted assault weapons possessions has always seemed the best poster boy for the pro-life movement.”

    Well, this raises questions about the common good and proportionality which the other commentators have ably addressed. Is it better for there to be less jobs paying a higher wage, or more jobs paying a lower wage? That, I think, is a complex question without a clear right or wrong answer. Similarly, ‘unrestricted assault weapons possession’ could be very bad depending on what the weapons were used for, but it hardly seems to threaten the common good in the same way as abortion.

    I can understand a principled position (e.g. Policraticus, Henry), holding that voting for either party involves unacceptable compromises. I can even understand (but disagree) with the idea that the Democrats are the lesser of two evils. What I find untenable is MM’s position that Republican pro-lifers must separate from their party because it has unacceptable coalition members, while he remains a card-carrying (or, less charitably, water-carrying) Democrat. IMO, the type of hypocritical partisanship on display in MM’s post is (or should be) embarrassing.

  • Well said. I’d be more impressed with MM’s gag-reflex post (because that’s essentially what it was–NRA bad, Chamber of Commerce bad) if he had something to offer on making the Democrats a more hospitable environment for pro-lifers. Yes, the GOP had Abramoff. And the Dems have George Tiller, lovingly tongue-bathed by Obama surrogate Kathleen Sebelius. Say what you will, but at least Abramoff’s in jail.

  • “Catholic social teaching puts forth as an ideal, just wage that one person’s earning which could support a family, it’s healthy leisure, and a savings for possible unforeseeable difficulties.

    But we have Catholic commentators here saying a lowering of the minimum wage in America, way below CST’s proposal, would be somehow beneficial.

    Please tell me how I am not reasoning well as a Catholic thinker, but others here are?

    The ignorance about one’s faith is astounding with those who fashion themselves as lay spokespersons for the Catholic faith.”

    Mark is absolutely right on this count. As an ideal, we should indeed strive to provide everyone with the opportunity for a life of leisure. Such a lifestyle fosters the kind of contemplation that is vital to both a renewal of civilization and the attainment of individual salvation.

    Having read the Church’s compendium on social doctrine, I too have concerns that associating with organizations such as the NRA, which in all honesty support a few things inconsistent with unabridged Christianity.

    In my personal experience, I have seen a lot of passive-aggressiveness and even flat-out bitterness and rage among both Democrats and Republicans.

    I suspect the reality is that all these warring ideologies we keep hearing from don’t really have the simple solutions to our problems they’re always claiming to have.

    Everybody knows the wheels are coming off the buggy, so to speak, but nobody honestly has the slightest idea why. Sure, some people say it is because we turned away from God. Very well then, why did we turn away, how do we turn back, and how do we prevent our children from making the same mistakes?

  • -It is so easy to extol the virtues of frugal living by others, as we communicate via our $1000 computers, is it not?-

    Please. Even my dirt-poor in-laws in Honduras have a computer. (And it’s better than mine, which kind of pisses me off…)

  • …which kind of ticks me off…

    Remember to sanitize your comments my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

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  • Re Mark DeFrancisis’ remark on co-family living:
    You do realize that multiple generations of a family sharing a house is commonplace throughout much of the world? It can be an extremely practical arrangement not only for fiscal reasons but because there is almost always someone at home (often grandparents) to mind the children if both parents work. I grew up in a multi-gen household, and was half raised by my grandparents.

    For the record, my computer’s a Dell that retailed, if memory serves, at about $300 for the works. Not all Americans are spendthrifts.

Ross Douthat: Not Backing Down

Monday, November 10, AD 2008

Today, regarding Kmiec (et al.):

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

He echoes my weekend frustration.

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5 Responses to Ross Douthat: Not Backing Down

16 Responses to Let's Get Started!

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

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

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

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

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

  • Wow, you can hear crickets in the background.

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

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

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

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

  • Walter,

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

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

    Some champion of women’s rights.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Katerine,

    I love your enthusiasm.

    “Fight like a Macabee”.

    I’m all the way in on this revolution.

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

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

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

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

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

2 Responses to Defeat in Victory?

17 Responses to While some herald a new era for "reproductive rights"; a Catholic for Obama muses: "was it ever about abortion?"

  • “Pro-lifers need to reach out to Obama, knowing well that he will not agree with them on some fundamental issues”

    Yes, like the issue that makes them pro-lifers. If only we had possessed such wisdom at other times:

    “Abolitionists need to reach out to Jefferson Davis knowing well that he will not agree with them on some fundamental issues”

    “Capitalists need to reach out to Joe Stalin knowing well that he will not agree with them on some fundamental issues”

    “Jews need to reach out to Hitler knowing well that he will not agree with them on some fundamental issues”

    Pro-lifers reaching out to Obama is as pathetic as it is stupid. Obama’s Minion doesn’t give a hang about abortion and never has.

  • The Vatican did reach out to the CSA, and the CSA finally did agree to end slavery. Just saying.

  • “… the CSA finally did agree to end slavery.”

    Actually, the CSA wasn’t around to “agree to end slavery”. The USA ended slavery when it passed the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

  • “The Vatican did reach out to the CSA, and the CSA finally did agree to end slavery.”

    2,000,000 Union soldiers ended slavery.

  • I’m no Civil War scholar, but is it accurate to say that the CSA “agreed to end” slavery? Certainly, very late in the war, it agreed to lselective liberation in return for military service, but only when their backs were against the proverbial wall anyway. If they’d been ready to give up slavery to start with (indeed, not even that — just face its gradual diminishment) there wouldn’t have been a war in the first place.

    I understand and to a limited extent sympathize with those who see the South as having been right as regards states rights. But it’s an odd defense for those who somehow put hope in the newly elected administration — given that said administration strongly endorses the power of the Federal Government to force tolerance of moral abominations upon unwilling states.

  • The Confederate Congress on March 13, 1865 passed a law authorizing the use of slaves as troops.

    This was a twenty second before midnight measure when every rational Confederate knew they were facing military defeat. The Army of Northern Virginia surrendered on Palm Sunday April 9, 1865.

    The Confederate Constitution forbade the Confederate Congress from impairing the right to own slaves: “(4) No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.”

    The Confederate Act specifically required the consent of the owner before a slave could be enlisted and spelled out that there would be no change in the status of the slave as a result of his enlistment:

    “SEC 5. That nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize a change in the relation which the said slaves shall bear toward their owners, except by consent of the owners and of the States in which they may reside, and in pursuance of the laws thereof.”

    Enlistment of black troops was a last desperate act of the Confederacy to win the fight for independence and thereby to preserve slavery. The Confederacy agreed to end slavery in the same way that the Texans in 1836 agreed to relinquish the Alamo to Santa Anna.

  • The irony here is that when people object to the analogy of abortion to slavery in the antebellum South, they typically aren’t doing so because they think it is unfair to the antebellum South.

  • “Obama’s Minion doesn’t give a hang about abortion and never has.”

    Exactly. The problem isn’t that these Catholics who voted for Obama really believed what they said about abortion, i.e., it cannot be won but can be reduced through dialogue with Obama. The problem is that these self-professed Catholics do not have a problem with abortion. Apparently they have a problem with Sunday Mass and regular confession, too. What on earth keeps them Catholic beyond the name?

    It’s about clear and authoritative teaching. And they’re not hearing it from their catechists/bishops. Bidens, Pelosis and other Catholic public figures are causing scandal, and their own bishops are tolerating it. It becomes very easy for the average Catholic to then conclude that the matter is far from grave and certain.

    What was it that the Lord said about scandals and the lukewarm?

  • Let’s accomodate Obama on abortion: cue to hysterical laughter. As though values and principles can be sold like the khakis on sale this weekend at Your Favorite Department Store. Ms. Keenan- funny how so many feminist & pro-abort leaders have Irish or Italian last names, musta broken away from The Church- isn’t very accomodating. John McCain was accomodating during his presidential campaign. John McCain returned to the Senate on Wednesday. Time for the purification process. In the Church, in the GOP, in the pro-life movement. Not pretty or easy. Might be the best thing to happen to us in any or all of these categories.

  • Jeff,

    He says that He will take our lampstand away… aka we will be the dustbowl of history… St. John discusses this in Revelation.

  • I would have thought that the writing on the wall is clear, but please correct me if I’m wrong. Abortion is not just a life issue, but an economic one, as well. To some small extent, I can understand people feeling the need for abortion in case of rape, incest, and the extreme case of either the baby dies, or both die. But a vast majority of abortions are performed for essentially economic reasons. Abortion interferes with career, can’t afford a baby, still in high school, and so on. So let me spell out what I say, and anyone who wants can jump on me.

    1) Abortion is the choice of the material over human life. The material is not just financial, but sexual.

    2) A blanket law making abortion legal in call cases gives justification to the primary cause of all abortions, i.e. rampant promiscuity.

    3) Rampant promiscuity gives rise to many ills, such as STDs, but also one of the biggest problems facing us now: single parent households.

    4) Not only are such households typically below the poverty line, but the children from those households are at much higher risk of drug use, abuse, criminal behavior, and dropping out of school, thus increasing the economic woes of the lower class.

    Furthermore, it seems highly doubtful that better economic conditions will help reduce the number of abortions. As I said before, abortion is about choosing the material over a human life. I suppose that suggesting that if a person had the opportunity to a slightly larger slice of the pie while still keeping the baby, it might prevent that person from having an abortion. But it seems to me, rather, that for such a person, the opportunity for an even larger slice of the pie if she doesn’t keep the baby won’t prevent her from having an abortion, anyway.

  • Jeff Tan, Gerard E., Bret Ramsey, and Ryan Harkins,

    Excellent analysis and commentary. I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts.

  • What does the pro-life movement have to be part of either party?

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

    What about us supporting at a local level pro-life politicans (democrates and republicans) who are willing to take the abuse from the pro-abortion side? The reason we have few to no strong pro-life politicans on the national scene is because of the lack of local support. Maybe we should be encourage people to support pro-life PACs to get this candidates some vissibility and support.

    And then there is supporting women who face crisis pregnancies. Have your parish adopted a ciris pregnancy – financially and with volunteer hours. Pro-life groups like Feminists for life who work on educating college-woman about abortion and managing unplanned pregnancy in college. Planned Parenthood called Feminist for life one of the more dangerous movements against them because it strikes at the core. They have get materials and speakers. Have them speak at all the christian universities. There is STILL so much we can do if we pray and work without ceasing.

  • Katerine,

    Well said. I believe most, if not all, of us pro-lifers are of the same mind. I hope that many, like myself, are working at the grassroots level. I certainly support any party, either Republican or Democrat, if they are serious about the sanctity of life.

    What you said needs to be told over and over. We need to behave as Christians not only during Mass on Sunday’s, but each and every day. It is a way of life.

    We certainly will do our part. And praying for Presiden-Elect Obama’s conversion is at the top of the list. Like you said, it is the year of St. Paul after all.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,


  • Do you all know about the the 40 days for life campaign which just ended? It was a cross-country effort, in many cities, 24-hour vigils in front of clinics, priests coming with the host exposed, Masses being offered, and in that forty days, at least 441 babies were saved, and several workers at the clinics quit.

    We must changed hearts through prayer and we must support women who are caught in seemingly hopeless situations where they must choice between their child and their education, their boyfriend, their family, and/or their job.

  • Katerine,

    You are my sister in Christ!

    I participated in 40 days for life with faithful prayers.

    We need to continue changing hearts and minds.

    If we change the culture, we can change the law of the land.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,