What does President Barack Obama actually MEAN?

Wednesday, May 20, AD 2009

For consideration: an excerpt from President Barack Obama’s commencement speech at Notre Dame:

The soldier and the lawyer may both love this country with equal passion, and yet reach very different conclusions on the specific steps needed to protect us from harm. The gay activist and the evangelical pastor may both deplore the ravages of HIV/AIDS, but find themselves unable to bridge the cultural divide that might unite their efforts. Those who speak out against stem cell research may be rooted in an admirable conviction about the sacredness of life, but so are the parents of a child with juvenile diabetes who are convinced that their son’s or daughter’s hardships can be relieved.

The question, then — the question then is how do we work through these conflicts? Is it possible for us to join hands in common effort? As citizens of a vibrant and varied democracy, how do we engage in vigorous debate? How does each of us remain firm in our principles, and fight for what we consider right, without, as Father John said, demonizing those with just as strongly held convictions on the other side?

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18 Responses to What does President Barack Obama actually MEAN?

  • I didn’t interpret the president as naively asking us to put aside our differences and just get along. His point in these words was 1) to acknowledge that we do have serious differences – conflicting and irreconcilable differences – in how we understand justice and over what means we advocate in building a just society and 2) ask how we can work through these conflicts without putting aside our differences or demonizing the other. His answer to this question is implied in the first quoted paragraph: we work through these conflicts while recognizing that the other really is concerned for justice, even if we think that the other’s conception of justice is gravely wrong. To be sure, this is a difficult road in our pluralistic and postmodern society. We disagree not only about particular actions and behavior, but over the very meaning of justice and how justice should be applied.

  • The soldier and the lawyer may both love this country with equal passion, and yet reach very different conclusions on the specific steps needed to protect us from harm.

    this is a none to subtle slur against those who offer their lives to protect our nation. It is implying that the soldier is a war-monger, and the lawyer a peace-monger. Soldiers do not make policy, they do not decide when war is necessary. When war is necessary then all who are able must fight.

    In fact, without soldiers, efforts at peaceful conflict resolution are completely useless.

  • I can see the soldier and lawyer disagreeing on the steps necessary to protect the nation. I just think that when the lawyers mess it up they join the soldiers in the fight. Solidarity and all.

  • Phillip,

    and I can see the tinker and the tailor disagreeing. So what? There’s nothing about the profession of soldiering that makes one pro-war, and that’s what Obama is implying. Lawyers resolve problems “peacefully”, soldier’s resolve them “violently”.

    It’s a false dichotomy.

  • Kyle,

    Thanks for commenting. I comprehend the President’s advice about ‘not demonizing the other’ and call for a civil discussion. Those familiar with my own blog will understand I’ve long been an advocate for a more civil and charitable discussion.

    But I admit what gets to me — not only here but throughout the campaigning — is the talk of “working through these conflicts” and “join hands in common effort”. What does this actually mean with respect to abortion and ESCR?

    Granted, we can perhaps say that our President may want abortion to be “safe, legal and rare’ — but he will maintain that the “right” be preserved to commit abortion and will strive to repeal any legal restriction put up by those who conscientiously stand for protection of life.

    We can concede that those advocating embryonic stem cell research are motivated by a noble aspiration (to end sickness and suffering); but our President has insisted nonetheless that embryonic stem cell research continue — and at the financial expense of those who believe it to be a grave evil.

    What “common effort” can actually be accomplished with respect to these matters, when two clearly conflicting principles are at play?

  • Let’s not forget that this president at the same time as he authorized funding of baby-killing embryonic stem cell research, he cut off funding for actually successful and non-baby-killing adult stem cell research…. common ground? Give me a break.

    While in dialogue we at times must be “diplomatic”, we need to speak truth to power as it were and not allow the opposition to dehumanize the victims by conceding to their erroneous language.

  • I do not believe that Obama has any interest in justice for the unborn. He regards their lives as worth less than nothing if their mothers decide to abort them in the womb. His idea of a compromise is hot air for the pro-lifers and “abortion now, abortion forever” for the pro-aborts. His calls for dialogue on this issue are deeply duplicitous and purely an attempt to divide and weaken the pro-life cause.

  • Matt,

    Chill. My point wasn’t that soldiers were pro-war. Most I’ve known,(and I was in the Navy for seven years active and 14 reserve) are not. My point was that lawyers (and others) are quite capable of screwing up the safety of the nation and that soldiers were then obliged to suffer to restore it. I just wish that those lawyers would have to bear the suffering along with soldiers.

  • Phillip,

    You’re right, but I don’t believe that’s what Obama is thinking.

  • Oh I don’t either. I think he’s a Chicago politician and and first-rate liar. But there you have it.

  • “I think he’s a Chicago politician and and first-rate liar.”

    As an Illinois downstater I was brought up to believe there is no difference between those two categories!

  • I defer to your experience Donald.

  • Chris,

    Good questions. Obama seems to think that we can work through these conflicts while he implements policies that don’t just require us to tolerate what we hold to be evil, but require us to participate in those evils. That doesn’t strike me as a common ground approach. Either we as a society fund ESCR through our taxes or we don’t. There is no middle ground there. Regarding abortion, each side can at least work to reduce the number of abortions, but here as well we see issues with no middle ground: funding abortions, for instance.

    Personally, I think a good place to start is for both sides in these difficult conflicts to approach the conflicts and those involved assuming good motives, namely, a shared concern for justice. I’m of the opinion that legal victories in these conflicts last only as long as there is a consensus in the public to support them, so if we want to outlaw abortion and other practices, then we have to build that consensus. In my view, that consensus cannot be built when we’re demonizing one another and assuming the worst motives.

    Of course, there’s no magic trick to building consensus. I don’t expect it to happen, actually, but I hope for it.

  • Either we as a society fund ESCR through our taxes or we don’t. There is no middle ground there. Regarding abortion, each side can at least work to reduce the number of abortions, but here as well we see issues with no middle ground: funding abortions, for instance.

    Precisely. My concern is that sometimes this “come, let us dialogue together” is, whatever the noble motives of the advocate (in this case our President) is tantamount to an embrace of relativism.

    And it makes me wonder if Obama’s truly considered that the Church’s teaching that “no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being” is as absolute as, say, opposition to slavery.

    It’s simply not something that a Christian will negotiate away through dialogue, no matter how civil. We can “dialogue” about this conviction with President Obama or NARAL or whoever until we’re blue in the face, but when it comes down to practical policy — something’s got to give.

    In my view, that consensus cannot be built when we’re demonizing one another and assuming the worst motives.

    I’ll concur with you there. Thanks for responding!

  • Kyle,
    Civil rights laws and the judicial decisions that advanced them were forged without a social consensus. They were necessary anyway, because they were right. While they certainly did not serve to immediately alter hearts and minds, they did contribute to that phenomena over time. Indeed, Roe itself was a lawless judicial decision that flew in the face of laws reflecting popular opinion; and over time it contributed to public acceptnce of abortion. In any event, social consensus is legally irrelevant as long as their is a constitutional barrier, however contrived and phony, to legal change

  • Mike,

    I don’t deny the effect that law can have on shaping people’s beliefs, but for laws to remain on the books in a democratic society, they must, in the long run, have the support of the people. If the people remain divided or against a law, then that law is not long for the world. Consider how easily President Obama swept away recent pro-life legislative gains. On the abortion issue in particular, we are going to see a lot of back-and-forth until the country generally comes to see the issue one way or another.

  • Kyle, the back and forth you describe is minor because of Roe. Roe stacks the deck against the democratic process. While that process would produce very imperfect results, those results would be far superior to those that Roe permits at this time. More specifically, the state of the abortion laws in this country is far more pro-abort than is the state of public opinion, precisely because Roe does not allow public opinion to be expressed in law via the democratic process.

    I fully agree that persuasion is important and that persuasion requires that one normally assumes good faith on the part of opponents. But it does not follow that repealing Roe would be feckless or unimportant. That simply could not be more wrong.

    Finally, it is naive to assign good faith to all. What Obama did in Illinois to sabotage the state’s Born Alive Act cannot be explained away as simply good faith disagreement. He lead the effort to ensure that children born as a result of an attempted abortion procedure would not be entitled to ordinary care unless the attending physician pronounced the child “viable.” In other words born children, who in the eyes of a single doctor are not viable, may lawfully be discarded as trash. He justified this effort by citing his concern for Roe, a concern that in this context is so stupid on so many levels that it must be regarded as insincere. Sincerity is a prerequisite to the good faith you value. It is not universally present.

  • I didn’t say that we should always assign good motives; I said we should assume them when we approach these conflicts. Of course, our assumptions may be later proved or disproved.

    For the record, I don’t think overturning Roe would be feckless or unimportant.

Abortion Pride Movement

Tuesday, April 14, AD 2009


I am not easily shocked after participating in the struggle against abortion since 1973, but this article did shock me.  Taking pride in the deaths of millions of innocents each year?    Jesus wept.  The fight against abortion is the preeminent moral struggle of our time, first to save the lives of the most innocent among us, but second because of the damage that legal abortion does to our moral sense.  If we take pride in abortion, is there any crime that we cannot, and will not, take pride in?

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3 Responses to Abortion Pride Movement

  • But Donald! Donald! How can this be? I’ve been repeatedly assured that no one is pro-abortion!

    And Barack Obama wouldn’t lie about thing like that, would he?

  • Not surprised at all. Pro-abort movement is spectacularly shameless. But they show their coldness. Their addiction to the quick buck. Tough to make a legitimate argument beyond It’s My Body And I’ll Cry If I Want To (Lesley Gore 1964, produced by Quincy Jones.) The time is growing for a severe and fundamental revulsion against this ghastly practice. With or without support of Official Political or Chattering Classes- note their laffs over April 15 Tea Parties. No matter. Rachel will bewail her children.

  • “Like Appel, describing abortion as safe, legal, and rare” has always deeply offended me…the rare part, that is. Should women be rare? Should our sexuality and sexual expression be rare?”

    See what it always comes down to?

    Here is what I think, though – if even Obama is talking about “safe legal and rare”, about “abortion reduction”, the abortion movement loses moral ground. He and others like him have no choice. To promote abortion as a “good” thing would end up hurting abortion – but to promote it as a thing that ought to be “rare” doesn’t really help it either. I think we can thank those in the pro-life movement who have forced millions to see the graphic and brutal nature of abortion for this. All you have to do is tell the truth about abortion for people to reject it.

    On another note, I thought it was really interesting that at Rev. Walter Hoye’s arraignment (he was arrested for sidewalk counseling outside the “free speech zone), his supporters were young, multi-racial, equally composed of men and women.

    The supporters of the abortion clinic, by contrast, were old white people. And this was in San Francisco.

    And this article is written by another old white boomer, or maybe closer to gen X, its hard to tell from the picture.

Vatican Rejected Three Obama Candidates For Ambassador

Tuesday, April 7, AD 2009

Today the Washington Times is reporting that the Vatican has rejected at least three candidates for ambassador.  Could one of those candidates been Doug Kmiec?  Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago?  Caroline Kennedy? 

The Headline Bistro is reporting that Senator John Kerry is pushing for Caroline Kennedy for the position.  A left-leaning Italian daily, Panorama, is speculating of the ‘glamorous’ benefits of having Miss Kennedy as the Holy See’s ambassador.

Caroline Kennedy?  You’ve got to be kidding me!  What is interesting to note is the sheer lack of understanding on behalf President Obama of what the Catholic Church stands for.  It is not a political entity, but Christ’s church on earth.  Abortion is not one of a myriad of policy differences that can be pushed under the rug when it comes to appointing a U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.

The U.S. has a right to appoint whomever they want, but the Pope has the right to reject any ambassador that will not “improve relations” with the Vatican.  If President Obama appoints a pro-choice (pro-abortion) candidate, one who promotes the death of innocent children, how can this candidate  improve relations with the Holy See that defends the rights the most vulnerable among us?  Logic and reasoning seem to be lacking in finding a candidate from the Obama administration.

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17 Responses to Vatican Rejected Three Obama Candidates For Ambassador

  • So now we have 3 articles with the same source. The Wash Times didn’t report anything.

    If I’m not mistaken, the US didn’t have a Vatican ambassador prior to 1980, so I’m not sure how “embarassing” it would be.

  • M.Z.,

    The U.S. did not have formal (diplomatic) relations until President Reagan recognized this need in 1984 to help in the battle with communism (which Pope John Paul II help to bring down).

    The Washington Times and Headline Bistro offered different sides to the news of the Obama administration’s folly in finding an ambassador to the Vatican using different sources.

    Your accusation is a non-sequitur.

  • Maybe the nominees were like this:


  • Phillip,

    If President Obama is offering such type candidates, it says a lot about his lack of depth and intellect. His failure to see other perspectives and thinking that abortion is just a part of a myriad of other policies that two people can disagree upon.

    When President Obama arrogantly and disrespectfully told Pope Benedict that we have to agree to disagree on abortion, he ended any possibility of further dialogue and discussion. It’s his way or the highway and he will only fail in the end in everything that he does if he continues down this road.

  • Tito,

    Didn’t you watch the debates between him & McCain?

    I believe it was in the last one where he had stated to the effect that abortion was not actually a moral issue and is entirely (and quite legitimately — at least, in his opinion) up to the individual.

  • e.,

    He told Pope Benedict we must agree to disagree on what abortion is. He was opposed from budging from his position that a woman has a right to choose to kill her child. What part of ‘dialogue’ am I missing here?

  • What I was alluding to is the fact that this incident should not strike you at all surprising given the bold-faced response Obama gave during his last debate with McCain where Obama basically said that abortion was not a moral issue and that it is up to the individual decide accordingly.

  • e.,

    My apologies.

    Misread your response.

    I blame Matt for distracting me.

  • Just a bit more about one of Obama’s recent appointees:


  • Much of this has sounded like jumping on the Obama-as-unpopular-with-Catholics bandwagon.

    And now John Thavis at CNS has a pretty definitive debunking:

    “No proposals about the new ambassador of the United States to the Holy See have reached the Vatican, and therefore it is not true that they have been rejected. The rumors circulating about this topic are not reliable,” the spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, told Catholic News Service April 9.The spokesman’s comments echoed off-the-record remarks by informed diplomatic and Vatican sources in Rome, who said the reports appeared to be unfounded.

    “It’s possible names have been circulated inside the U.S. administration, and perhaps rejected for some reason or other, but not because of any Vatican veto. It’s also quite possible that the whole thing is conjecture,” said one source.

  • Mark

    Exactly the point of one of my post this week.

  • Coming from a Jesuit, I wouldn’t put any credence at all.

  • I did not realize that you sprung from a Jesuit.

  • Mark D.,

    That was funny!

    Have a great Easter to you and your family!

  • Tito – You can delete my comments, but you can’t run from the truth. You have to stop running sometime! Maybe not this Easter, but soon!

  • Michael I.,

    I didn’t delete any comments. It must have been someone else. Unless of course, you are ‘m’?

    By the way, I am on permanent moderation over at VN. What’s up with that? I don’t really care, but I don’t understand how you continue to complain to everyone how your comments are being moderated, yet you get off moderation after a day or two, while I’ve been on moderation for about two years now.

    Just comparing the discrepancy between your rhetoric and mine, which is as wide and deep as the Grand Canyon.

  • Pingback: The Rejected Ambassadors: The Plot Thickens « The American Catholic

Right To Thrive

Saturday, March 28, AD 2009

The issue of Abortion was not the compelling concern for a majority of Americans in the last elections, but it is still a powerfully divisive legal/moral contest that pits Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, in a heated competition for hearts and minds. It is tough to find common ground or fresh areas for public debate, but as a pro-life Democrat I am accustomed to thinking outside the pack.

Most Pro-Choice political leaders are quick to say that they are not pro-Abortion, they are interested in abortion reduction without outlawing the procedures. Many pro-life leaders similarly claim that they are also committed to reducing the numbers of abortion even as they seek a final legal solution of defining the right to life. There are a couple of bills coming back for consideration in Congress that will test the truthfulness of these politicians’ claims.

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11 Responses to Right To Thrive

  • The “Pregnant Women Support Act” is being promoted by the Democrats for Life organization as a means of reducing abortions by 95% over the next 10 years.

    I have no doubt that you approach this issue with great sincerity, but there’s just no getting around the fact that is an absolute pipe dream. The persistent myth is that practically all of the women who procure abortions are down and outers stuck on their last nickel, but nothing could be further from the truth. This bill does nothing for the arrogant yuppies who abort because the little one will interfere with their lifestyle of weekending in the Hamptons, and if you think that this constituent represents only a small minority of the women who procure abortions, then you are incredibly naive.

    It is absolute tripe like this that puts the pro-life movement back. Increased federal aid is the mirage that Catholic Democrats put out there as the excuse to keep voting Democrat.

  • Well- the actual research shows that apparently a high percentage of young women are indicating that the top reason for their choice of abortion is their fear of not being able to continue on with their education or related financial fears- I don’t know what studies you are basing your opinion on that say that most women seeking abortions are arrogant yuppies. I am simply taking women at their word and trying to address the root causes of women who would choose a legal or perhaps an illegal abortion.

    Personally I ran for public office as a pro-life Democrat who opposes legal abortions- using the 5th and 14th Amendments after making the case that medical research has made strides to prove that human life truly begins at fertlization/conception. And additionally, I promised to put forth legislation to regulate fertility clinics to forbid the practice of creating surplus embryos- which has created the supply to meet the demand of those who wish to pursue embryonic stem cell research.

    I plan on writing an article soon entitled “Pro-life movement: Democrats need not apply” to address the fact that many in the pro-life movement do not seem interested in developing an effective two-major party pro-life strategy- it would seem that serving the more narrow interests of the Republican party has become a central corruption for the major players who are ostensibly fighting for the unborn’s right to life. Personally I don’t find the normative Republican state’s rights approach to Life issues very pro-life- and I found that a Democrat such as myself is not even afforded the chance to compete in pro-life circles- not sure what happened to the meritocracy on that one. I will provide more specific details on a later post. But I will conclude by saying that I can see nothing wrong with working both the legal front and the reducing abortion demand front- combining that with the cultural interventions- so hold off on lumping me in with all your preconceived notions of what pro-life Democratic politics is all about.

  • There certainly are arrogant yuppies who abort — but the studies that I’ve seen do show that the majority are young, poor, and/or “repeat customers”. Of course, with over a million abortions a year, even a 10-20% minority adds up to a staggering number, so that data would certainly not make one expect not to know of lots of cases of either sort.

    I do rather share, however, Paul’s skepticism on the likely ability of the Pregnant Women Support Act to reduce abortions 95% over ten years. The number of abortions has been decreasing for the last 30 years and I think these sorts of programs might be able to increase the rate of decline by 2-4%. However, despite the frequency with which financial, educational and career reasons are given for abortions, I kind of suspect that the sorts of financing and services the bill offers would not actually make the personal cost of either setting up an adoption or being a (quite possibly single) mother seem that much less. No amount of subsidized childcare will make it easy to pursue what a 22 year old would think of as a normal dating life with a six month old. Nor will food stamps make it easier to scrape spilled food off the floor and get up at two in the morning with a toddler who can’t sleep.

    So while I think there is value to be found in making it more feasible for those brave women who choose life in difficult circumstances to continue with their educations and careers, I tend to think that there is actually very little distance to successfully go in the “reducing the need for abortion” direction.

    The “need” itself is pretty obvious. The trick is vastly increasing the social tendency against either getting yourself into the situation of needing one, or against acting upon the need itself. In other words: either make abortion socially (and/or legally) unacceptable or make pre-marital sex much less socially acceptable.

    That said, I think it’s a genuine problem when truly anti-abortion Democrats are being made to feel like they need not apply. Not only is that contrary to any sense of pro-life unity, it’s also a terrible way to run a movement. (Given that it strikes me that the NRA is pretty much the quintessential example of how to get your way legally — you don’t exactly see them turning away pro-gun Democrats now do you.)

  • And on a side note, I’m very glad to hear, Tim, that you’re working on getting legislation moving restricting the production of “extra” embryos in IVF clinics. That is something that we as pro-lifers should without question object to, and not enough has been done about it despite ample legal precedents in significantly less religious nations. I’m sure that presented right, that kind of regulation could successfully gain support.

  • The 95% figure is one that the national Dems for Life org puts out- I am an advisor for Florida Dems for Life- I don’t have a handle on how they arrived at that percentage- I’ll look into that more closely.

    Personally, I am trying to get things going on mulitiple fronts like I mentioned before- one thing I am just getting ready to do is start up a “Dads with Daughters” facebook group- this will have a religious focus to address the culture in which our girls are being brought up into. We need to take on the Playboy mentality big time- now that I am a father myself with girls, I finally really and truly get it. I can’t believe that so many American men who became fathers of girls didn’t get the memo and act on it before- we have done a lousy job on the chivalry front- the strip club on every corner thing – that has to go. I tried to get my Knights of Columbus council to get out in the streets in front of these clubs and hold up signs reminding men of the dignity of women- to try a little shame combined with some rosary praying in a very public in your face action. But I had no takers.

    I see abortion related to all kinds of things- a lot of cultural rot- there are a lot of Christians out there, but we just aren’t taking to the streets- not even to stand up for our daughters who are going to be treated like meat in a few years. I take the politics of all this deadly serious- but too many Christian/Catholic men seem so sheepish- maybe they are secretly addicted to porn like one of my female friends suggested- maybe. I understand being a weak male, but now I understand how to be a strong male, and I am hoping to help others get more proactive- let the incredible love we feel for our girls inspire us to make sure we are the ones who are determining the laws and marketplace appropriateness of things that encourage promiscuity and lax sexual morality. I’ll update you when I get this launched at facebook and hopefully beyond. God Bless- Save the children- save our children!

  • I have to say, as much as I like the idea of the PWSA, it isn’t going to stop 95% of abortions in 10 years or 100. Such an outlandish claim only opens the bill to ridicule and lessens the chances that it will succeed. I would support it if it stopped 1% of abortions, the quantity is a secondary concern, the principle and the intent are right. That does matter.

    After all, nearly 4 decades of trying to overturn Roe hasn’t reduced abortions at all. If quantity is what matters here, if we are going to be pragmatists or utilitarians, then it is this strategy that should finally be thrown out the window, especially now.

    I would rather see money spent on crisis pregnancy centers, community outreach groups, sidewalk counseling, shelters for homeless and abused women, etc. But most of those things will never be funded by our government.

  • Thanks for noting that Joe. I’m supportive of these types of initiatives. I really am. But Democrats for Life seriously undermines their credibility imo when they claim any policy will reduce abortion by 95% in 10 years. Down that road lies the Doug Kmiec Obama-is-really-the-pro-life candidate shilling, or so it appears to many right-leaning conservatives. Not even overturning Roe would result in that sharp a reduction.

  • The 95% figure is sheer flim-flam and is mooted about to give electoral cover to pro-abort democrats. I have no problem helping pregnant women in crisis pregnancies as the 10 years I have spent on the board of the local crisis pregnancy center in my county indicates, but helping pregnant women should not diminish one iota the fight against the obscenity of legalized abortion.

  • I don’t know what studies you are basing your opinion on that say that most women seeking abortions are arrogant yuppies.

    I actually never said a “majority,” but rather bristled at the implicit suggestion that all but a very tiny percentage of women who procure abortions are poor or uneducated. I don’t dispute that a majority are, but let’s stop pretending this is solely or even mainly about economics.

    As others have said, there is nothing wrong with assisting crisis pregnancy centers and like, as my KoC council is doing. Certainly there are both political and societal ways to attack to the problem of abortion outside of fighting for its abolition; however, as long as Democrats continued to be aided and abetted by pro-life Democrats such as yourself, we will continue fighting an uphill battle regarding the evil of abortion and the pursuit of its ultimate demise.

    You can put as much lipstick as you want on this pig, but it’s still a pig.

  • Paul- are you saying that even being a pro-life Democrat is contributing negatively to the abortion situation? Be careful not to lump all pro-life Dems in with those who publicly endorse pro-choice candidates- I don’t. I think it is a mistake to focus so heavily on recruiting Catholic Democrats to just become Republicans. Before 1980 there were more pro-lifers in the Democratic Party establishment than in the Republican one- the parties change like the wind on many issues- look how Clinton sold out the FDR economic tradition for Dems- and I would say that Ron Paul is right to stay Republican and fight for the party to drastically change the imperial approach to foreign relations and excessive military presence and expenditures. I would never say that Dr. Paul should simply quit the Repubs and become a Democrat because he is enabling imperialism- he didn’t endorse McCain as far as I am aware and I never endorsed Obama- I am being true on every issue regardless of where the Democratic platform of groupthink is. I say that as a Catholic- pick a party and be consistent with the Catholic social doctrine as best you know- every party is in need of major reforms from this perspective- no party is clean- there is no party of God- only the social doctrine of Christ’s Church- and that is a blueprint of moral principles, not an exact step-by-step ideology

  • I’m a huge advocate for the Pregnant Women Support Act.

    Now granted, the goals of the bill are quite lofty. However, I don’t think we should ever settle for less.

    In fact, the legislation is not merely some pro-life Democratic measure to strengthen the social safety net and reduce the “need” for abortion. Rather, it is a pro-life jewel in that it would in one federal legislative action win the wars that pro-life Americans have been fighting at the state level for years.

    – For over a decade, the pro-life movement has been fighting to get unborn children and pregnant covered in the S-CHIP program. This would occur definitely under this bill and get health care for pregnant women.

    – The PWSA would establish parental notification laws in all 50 states. A study from the University of Alabama estimates that parental-involvement laws in states that have enacted them, have effected the abortion rate by 13 – 31%. Several states do not have such laws and this would be a magnificent way of doing it all in the stroke of one legislative pen.

    – There is legislation entitled “A Woman’s Right to Know” that requires that women be asked if they would like to see an ultrasound before having an abortion, be offered literature on human life development, and be informed about fetal experience of pain from an abortion. Sometimes this also includes a 24 hour waiting period. This approach has about the same success as parental notification laws. This is another aspect of the bill that could be enacted in all 50 states that could have quite an impact on the abortion rate, acting in concert with all the other measures.

    – There is an aspect of this legislation that deals directly with parents who have a prenatal diagnosis, particularly with Down Syndrome. In regard to Down Syndrome, 90% of such diagnoses end in an abortion.

    – It would protect and expand federal funding of pro-life pregnancy crisis centers and provide ultrasound equipment and free screenings.

    – On this last point, I’m not certain, but I could have sworn there is a provision in the bill that is covered in CIANA laws, which deals with teens crossing state-borders to go obtain abortions. This may be dealt with under the parental-involvement aspect of the bill, but again, this is another pro-life measure that could find its way into federal law.

    I’m sure, if we all had to vote for it, most of us would vote in favor of it. My only point is: I don’t think we should be so quick to say this is ‘already being done’ and won’t have much of an effect.

    I think we should consider the amount of resources that would be put at the disposal of groups trying to help pregnant women. This could increase efforts and enable them to expand. I’m sure many non-profit organizations often stretch thin on resources.

    Another area of interest is how many pro-life measures — parental notification, CIANA laws, women’s right to know — would be enacted in all 50 states. This is currently not the case and it would be phenomenal to reap the effect of such widespread measures, together with increased efforts and financial resources of groups seeking to help support pregnant women.

    95% in 10 years? Maybe not. But, right now, it is hard to say that there has been a significant difference in the abortion rate between pro-life and pro-choice Administrations, aside from the only agreed fact that the number of abortions itself is declining. I think this would be a profound step in the right direction.

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

Thursday, March 5, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

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

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

Here is the link:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What profiteth a man, indeed.

    Good news on all the other points.

  • Tito,

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

  • Mark,

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

    Good catch buddy.


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

  • Mark,

    I just learned something new today, thanks!

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


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

    So what’s going on here? Politics.

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

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

    But I think it was a wrong move.

  • But I think it was a wrong move.

    Morally wrong, cowardly.

  • Tito,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • FD,

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

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

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

    he already has. This IS mere political opportunism.

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

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

Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-4-2009

Wednesday, March 4, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Due to popular acclamation I’m returning back to using Latin in my column title (mostly).  I think I’ve settled on a format so thanks for bearing with me.  I’ve wanted to do this type of column for a while and I believe I found the right balance, now if I can only be consistent in my posting.  So here we have today’s Top Seven Picks in the Catholic world:

1. Catholic News Agency has reported that a coalition of American Catholics calling themselves Catholic Advocate led by Deal W. Hudson have created a website opposing President Barack Obama’s choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services, pro-abortion Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas.  The website is called www.catholicsagainstsebelius.org.  Governor Kathleen Sebelius is a dissident Catholic notorious for her direct and explicit support of abortionist George Tiller “the Killer”, whose known for executing late term abortions of innocent children.  Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City has met and counseled Governor Kathleen Sebelius on several occasions on her pro-abortion stance and has asked her to refrain from receiving Holy Communion.  However Governor Kathleen Sebelius has refused to obey and has openly opposed the good archbishop on these points.  Here is the link: http://www.catholicsagainstsebelius.org/

2. Kevin Knight (of New Advent) somehow found a little blurb buried in a long article that Newt Gingrich will soon convert to the Catholic faith as reported by the New York Times (7th paragraph on page 7 of the article ‘Newt. Again.’).

Updated: For a quick and eas(ier) read of the NY Times article go to Fr. John Zuhlsdorf’s blog here: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2009/03/fmr-speaker-gingrich-to-become-catholic/

3. When I click on my browser to go to InsideCatholic.com their web page takes quite a long time to download relative to any other Catholic website or blog that I surf.  I don’t know if it’s all the links or dense code, but my best guess is that their Content Management System that they ar using, Joomla, may be the cause of the slowdown.  The second longest page in the Catholic web to download is Damian Thompson’s Holy Smoke, but you place the blame of the downloading delay to his employer London’s Daily Telegraph (which is the best english language newspaper in the world in my humble opinion).

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2 Responses to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-4-2009

  • So good news all around in spite of the lingering chest cold that I expected to lick Tuesday but caused me 1.5 hours of sleep and more time off Wednesday. catholicsagainstsibelius is good stuff. Best to remind our pro-abort friends and family- so you support someone who has a good friend generally known as Tiller The Killer? Her Jeremiah Wright, so to speak? Meanwhile, delighted to see news that Newt is swimming the Tiber. Always thought he was at least three to five years ahead of his time and that politics was too confining for his talents. Perhaps more like him will do the backstroke as well. Meanwhile let’s make life really miserable for La Sibelius. Might as well find some fun in these difficult times. Kaff, kaff.

  • I think Newt is sincere in his conversion.

    I also believe that he is probably the best man out there to represent the Republican party come 2012. He carries the baggage of leaving his 2nd wife while she was on her deathbed, but he has sincerely apologized for that. He certainly seems to have matured a lot since his days as Speaker of the House.

    I have a feeling that he is prepping for a run. But it’s only a feeling.

Sebelius for HHS-Fitting

Monday, March 2, AD 2009


Hattip to Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia who has done yeoman work in keeping his eye on Sebelius.  It is fitting that President Obama, the most pro-abort president in our nation’s history, has nominated for Secretary of  Health and Human Services, the most pro-abort governor in our nation, Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius.

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8 Responses to Sebelius for HHS-Fitting

Kmiec on Korzen, Kelly and Chaput – A Matter of Priorities

Monday, October 13, AD 2008

“Catholic Answers: Two books for voters who take their faith seriously”– Doug Kmiec, who has lately become something of a poster-boy and spokesman for ‘Catholics for Obama’, reviews Archbishop Chaput’s Render unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life (Doubleday, 2008) and A Nation for All How the Catholic Vision of the Common Good Can Save America from the Politics of Division , by Chris Korzen and Alexia Kelley.

As to be expected, Kmiec finds a sympathetic ear in Korzen & Kelley, given their assertion that Catholics have become ‘preoccupied’ with abortion to the subordination of peace, the environment and welfare:

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5 Responses to Kmiec on Korzen, Kelly and Chaput – A Matter of Priorities

  • I cannot help but believe that these guys simply have no interest in abortion as an issue. I don’t believe their insistence that they are somehow pro-life, nor can I believe that they honestly think that Barack Obama will cure war and poverty in the same way that they criticize Republicans for not having ended abortion.

    At best, these guys may think that they’ll be pro-life later, when there ain’t-a gonna be no war no more, and when the poor are no longer with us. But I can’t help my suspicion that, even if they could achieve these things, they’d still want to uphold the “right” to an abortion.

    Their refusal to be taught by the bishops and the Holy Father on this issue is most telling. They are desperate to justify their vote for Obama and the new ardently pro-abortion regime he promises. Maybe they can sleep at night after spending their days giving such scandal, but I couldn’t.

  • I believe it is utter rationalization to vote for Democrats, who champion the culture of death in all its forms, because the Republicans haven’t eliminated abortion themselves. Congress operates on coalitions, and, Bush has only been able to get two Supremes through…both pro-life.

    Simply put, it is the ONLY issue this year…everything else pales next to the sacred duty of all Christians to uphold “personhood!” The Natural Law, upholds the dignity of each human life, but, for Christians, it is the Holy Trinity, ie., “three Divine Persons in communion,” which bestows ultimate dignity on human personhood. “Personhood” is the ultimate victim in every abortion.”

  • “Of course, voting for a “prolife” candidate does not guarantee that he will appoint Supreme Court justices who accept the church’s natural-law arguments against abortion. Nor does it mean that anti-Roe appointees will be approved by what is sure to be a Democratic Congress.”

    Is Kmiec trying to say that only “natural law” jurists will be anti-Roe?

    One of Kmiec’s arguments that really concerns me holds that we’ve been counting anti-Roe justices wrong.

    First, because the GOP is unwilling to make openly the case for overturning Roe, we have to judge anti-Roe justices by circumstantial evidence, like whether his wife is a strong pro-life woman.

    Even if a justice is putatively anti-Roe, he or she might not completely overturn Roe but only make minor piecemeal changes. The justice might be more committed to stare decisis or schools of jurisprudence that would mitigate his or her desire to fully overturn the decision.

    As for FOCA, I’d like to know if it has a realistic chance of passing even under a predominantly Democratic Congress.

  • But why is the GOP unwilling to openly make the case for overturning Roe?

    I think it is because this type of campaigning is easily misunderstood; people may misunderstand the Constitution and the law. It also might not be a very winning issue politically.

    I don’t think this is a good excuse, but it’s probably why they’re not doing it.

  • Kevin – FOCA has been attempted in the past. However, there is more support for it from members of Congress than ever more. The current legislation was introduced April 19, 2007. Planned Parenthood is actively campaigning for the bill. See: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/issues-action/courts-judiciary/support-foca-14393.htm

    Given our country’s political climate at this time in history, it would be imprudent for Catholics to assume the FOCA is too radical to ever be passed.

    The house bill has already more than 107 cosponsors (106 Democrats, one Republican). To view an always-current list of co-sponsors, arranged by state, click here for the current list: http://www.capwiz.com/nrlc/issues/bills/?bill=9653451&cs_party=all&cs_status=C&cs_state=ALL

    The senate version introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.), had more than 19 Democratic cosponsors, including presidential candidate Barack Obama (IL) plus Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY), and independent Joseph Lieberman (Ct.). To view an always-current list of co-sponsors, arranged by state, click http://www.capwiz.com/nrlc/issues/bills/?bill=9668701&cs_party=all&cs_status=C&cs_state=ALL.

    This bill is so dangerious that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Pro-Life Secretariat has urged clear, vigilant, and persistent advocacy against the “Freedom of Choice Act” (or FOCA). The Pro-Life Secretariat has expressed grave concern to state Catholic conferences that FOCA would, if enacted and signed into law, sweep away hundreds of pro-life laws and policies at the state and federal levels! Check out the USCCB-approved alert released September 24, 2008: http://www.nchla.org/actiondisplay.asp?ID=263

    For a careful legal analysis of FOCA by the USCCB’s Office of General Counsel, see: http://www.nchla.org/datasource/idocuments/pl-foca.pdf

    Cardinal Rigali recently warned “if enacted, would obliterate virtually all the gains of the past 35 years and cause the abortion rate to skyrocket.” See the September 30, 2008 press release from USCCB about FOCA: http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2008/08-141.shtml