The Marriage Debate: Lessons and Prospects

Monday, August 13, AD 2012

A scene from the “Hunky Jesus” contest, held annually during Easter in San Francisco. Dozens of homosexuals dress up as Our Lord and engage in public homosexual acts for their amusement and the amusement of thousands of spectators. Its relevance for this post will become clear by the end of it.

Tom Hoopes at CatholicVote.org recently posted his assessment of what lessons the  “gay marriage” debate has taught those of us on the pro-tradition side. I was going to write about this myself, but I’ll go ahead and examine his four lessons as a starting point. My intention is be constructive, because as Hoopes correctly points out in his opening lines, the pro-equality side of this debate has been very successful at defining the parameters and central issues of the debate thus far. We need to assess and regroup. If Mr. Hoopes would like to reply to this, I would certainly welcome it.

1. We learned that being grossed out by homosexuality hurts us.”

Hoopes recalls a discussion with someone raised by homosexual parents:

“What people like my mom see in the religious right is people who say, ‘Ooo, this is icky and disgusting and horrible,’ reflexively, without explaining why,” he told me. “Then my mom and her friend look at their own lives, at their sacrifice and friendship and generosity and say, ‘Well, these people are just hate-mongers.’”

Hoopes concludes:

“There is no reason we should feel special disgust at homosexual acts compared to any other sexual sin. And there is no reason we can’t appreciate the mutual friendship and authentic love in a long-term homosexual couple. If we know what marriage is, a thousand such couples shouldn’t in any way threaten us.”

“Disgust” is a very peculiar phenomenon in that it is neither irrational nor easily expressed with words. Animals in nature have the physical senses to warn them of potential dangers; human beings in society have certain social senses to ward of certain dangers as well. I can’t explain why rotting garbage smells “bad” (even if I can offer a scientific account of why it smells the way it does); I affix the label “bad” to it because it is something I want to avoid, and I want to avoid it because I have an involuntary gag reflex that triggers when I inhale the odor.

Homosexual behavior is repulsive to us because it is harmful to society (more on that later), and we are social beings. The comforting narrative that homosexual activists have developed – that any aversion to homosexuality on the part of a heterosexual is a sign of repressed homosexual desires – is a way of making their positions and lifestyles unfalsifable. If you accept them, great. If you don’t, it is a sign that you secretly do. There can be no legitimate opposition. If you think gay is gross, you probably are gay. A fascinating self-defense mechanism, but one not supported by a shred of serious evidence.

Next, homosexuals aren’t averse to displaying their hearty disgust with heterosexuality (their derogatory name for us is “breeder”) when it suits their own desires and interests. They also go out of their way to provoke anger and disgust with their unjustifiably obscene public marches through major cities, which I consider to be acts of violent ideological aggression against Western Christian civilization. So I’ll take their complaints about our disgust seriously when that word is publicly denounced and banished from their lexicon, and when they aren’t actively trying to provoke disgust in society at large. To imagine that you can deliberately dress, speak and act in ways that you fully know and intend to make people uncomfortable and offended and then complain about people’s discomfort and offense has a proper label: sociopathy. To acquiesce to it is a sinful act of cowardice.

One other thing is required: an acknowledgement that the pro-tradition side has developed rational, secular arguments in favor of its position, instead of a default assumption that it is all either based on “eww gross” or decontextualized passages from the Pentateuch.

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54 Responses to The Marriage Debate: Lessons and Prospects

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  • I believe that to introduce the morality of homosexual acts into a debate about civil marriage is a distraction. The argument is a simple one: (1) Mandatory civil marriage, makes the institution a pillar of the secular Republic, standing clear of the religious sacrament (2) The institution of republican marriage is inconceivable, absent the idea of filiation – the rule that the child conceived or born in marriage has the husband for father – enshrined, not in Church dogma, but in the Civil Code (3) The sex difference is central to filiation..

    The state has a legitimate interest in marriage and it is important to note what precisely that is. Mandatory civil marriage originated in France on 9th November 1791 and was a product of the same Revolution that had just turned 10 million tenant farmers into heritable proprietors. This was no coincidence.

    The Code of 1804 contained no formal definition of marriage, but jurists have always found a functional definition in the provision that “The child conceived or born in marriage has the husband for father,” which mirrors the doctrine of the Roman jurist, Paulus, “.pater vero is est, quem nuptiae demonstrant.” (Marriage points out the father) [Dig. 2, 4, 5; 1].

    This was the opinion of the four most authoritative commentators on the Civil Code, Demolombe (1804–1887), Guillouard (1845-1925). Gaudemet (1908-2001) and Carbonnier (1908–2003), covering the period from the introduction of mandatory civil marriage down to our own day and long before the question of same-sex marriage was agitated. In 1998, a colloquium of 154 Professors of Civil Law, including Philippe Malaurie, Alain Sériaux, and Catherine Labrusse-Riou unanimously endorsed this interpretation of the Civil Code. This led to the introduction of civil unions (PACS) for same-sex and opposite-sex couples alike in the following year. Given this background, it is no wonder that, in the Bègles case, the attempt to establish the right to SSM on equality grounds was rejected by every court that heard it – the Tribunal of Grand Instance, the Court of Appeal in Bordeaux, the Court of Cassation, the Constitutional Council and the European Court of Human Rights.

    No one will deny that the state has a clear interest in the filiation of children being clear, certain and incontestable. It is central to its concern for the upbringing and welfare of the child, for protecting rights and enforcing obligations between family members and to the orderly succession to property. To date, no better, simpler, less intrusive means than marriage have been found for ensuring, as far as possible, that the legal, biological and social realities of paternity coincide. And that is no small thing.

    It is significant that, in a country so committed to the principle of laïcité as France, no one has suggested that the opinion of the jurists, or of the courts which have endorsed it, are either the result of religious convictions or an attempt to import them into their interpretation of the Code.

  • What… what are you talking about? What does this have to do with anything I wrote?

    I really think you need your own blog with your own audience.

  • Bonchamps

    It was intended to demonstrate that defence of traditional marriage need not concern itself with the morality or otherwise of homosexual behaviour. It is, after all, a juridical question and not a moral one.

    Claims to SSM on equality grounds have been successfully defeated by concentrating on the simple question of how marriage differs from other forms of life for couples and the state’s interest in marriage as a legal institution, alongside, but different from these other forms.

    Otherwise, civil unions for smae-sex couples will be regarded as “marriage-lite” and civil unions for opposite-sex couples, which are proving very popular in every country that has introduced them, are unintelligible.

  • Bonchamps,

    What Mr.Paterson-Seymour wrote has plenty to do with what you wrote. His argument, as I understand it, is that Christians confuse the immorality of the act that we are forbidden from doing by Christ’s law with the actions of the state to secure peace and public order.

    These “gay rights” groups exploit this confusion full hilt by making the issue entwine the legal, social and ethical aspects of marriage in a way to normalize sodomy.

    How are we to argue FOR a secular marriage (which the state provides) as a pillar of society between a man and woman if we can’t speak with clarity on what a secular marriage pertains and what the state’s interest in such a marriage is.

    I agree with Mr.Paterson-Seymour that it confuses the audience of our times to combine the immorality of the Sodomic act with the legal and social aspects of marriage- which relies on a patrimony that is not possible by redefining marriage to include same sex couples. There is a reason why same-sex marriage (at least in the United States) started out as something pushed by the American Hard Left 60s activists, the SDS. The purpose, as it has always been, is to destroy the last vestiges of patriarchy and the traditional Western family. Forgive me for the long quote but it’s better to quote the essay, “The Emergence of Gay Liberation” by Estelle Fredman and John D’Emilio found within the textbook: A History of Our Time: Readings on Post-War America Forth Edition Edited by William H. Chafe and Harvard Sitkoff:

    Appearing as it did at the end of the 1960s, gay liberation adopted much of the revolutionary rhetoric of the new Left. GLF’s [Gay Liberation Front] statement of purpose announced that “we are a revolutionary homosexual group of men and women formed with the realization that complete sexual liberation of all people cannot come about unless existing social institutions are abolished. We reject society’s attempt to impose sexual roles and definitions of our nature…Babylon has forced us to commit ourselves to one thing…revolution!” Rather than fight the ban on homosexuals in the military, radical gays urged resistance to the Vietnam War. They marched in solidarity with groups such as the Black Panther party, and saw themselves as an integral part of the larger movement of oppressed minorities seeking the overthrow of a destructive social order.

    In articulating a critque of America’s sexual mores, gay liberation borrowed heavily from the new literature of radical feminists. It argued that the oppression of the homosexuals stemmed from a rigidly enforced system of heterosexual supremacy that supported the primacy of the nuclear family and the dichotomous sex roles within it. Sex was just one more vehicle used to enforce subordination and keep the system functioning. For some, gayness itself symbolized an act of political resistance to conventional roles. “We are women and men who, from the time of our earliest memories, have been in revolt against the sex-role structure and nuclear family structure,” wrote Martha Shelley of GLF. Rather than being abnormal, homosexuality was seen as a natural capacity in everyone, suppressed by family and society. Gay liberation promised an end to all that. “Gay is good for all of us, ” proclaimed Allen Young, a former SDS member who joined GLF in 1970:

    The artificial categories “heterosexual and homosexual” have been laid on us by a sexist society….As gays, we demand an end to the gender programming which starts when we are born…The family…is the primary means by which this restricted sexuality is created and enforced…[O]ur understanding of sexism is premised on the idea that in a free society everyone will be gay.”

    (Any highlighted parts were the work of this writer:)

    This is clearly the political fight we are facing, and the integralist-Catholic position shouldn’t concede by placing the ethics of the Church into the fight as well.

  • God thinks the moral dimension of SSM (or rather, the lack of one) is of greatest importance, and it is God’s opinion, not the State’s, that ultimate counts.

    Personally, I don’t care how homosexual behavior is removed from the public square, so long as it is.

  • Paul W Primavera

    Traditional marriage can be defended on its own terms as the legal institution that establishes the legal bond between fathers and their children. It is, thus, irrelevant to same-sex couples. In other words, there is different legal treatment of same-sex and opposite-sex couples, because their situation is not analogous. Surely, this is something on which unprejudiced people of good-will can agree.

    Why cloud the issue by arguing about the morality of homosexual relationships? How does that advance the case?

  • Michael, everybody knows marriage can be defended on its own terms. The point is, we are not in a DEBATE about whether we should allow gay marriage in addition to traditional marriage. We are quite literally in a battle over the imposition of gay marriage by people who don’t give a damn about your well crafted arguments because they are too busy engaging in lewd public acts with the express purpose of offending people with small children and then using the opportunity to shame them into acceptance by calling them disgusting, breeder homophobes.

  • Chris-2-4

    Obviously, whatever one says will make no impact on partisan gay activists, but what the example of France shows is that such arguments can prevail with opinion-formers.

    Virtually every professor of Civil Law took part in the 1998 Colloquium and they were unanimous in their opposition to SSM, although a majority approved of civil unions for same-sex and opposite-sex couples alike, as an alternative, not to marriage, but to unregulated cohabitation.

    This, in turn, convinced the courts, which always take their cue from the jurists and even convinced that bastion of liberalism, the European Court of Human Rights.

    That was the debate worth winning and it was won decisively.

    In the US, by contrast, the supporters of traditional marriage have used arguments that allowed them to be cast as motivated by irrational animus or religious dogma. In France, such a charge would have been palpably absurd and no one ventured to make it,

  • This is my problem.

    You aren’t addressing a single thing I said. I never said a thing about religious dogma or the morality of sodomy. I have always made secular, rational arguments against “marriage equality”, but that wasn’t the point of this piece. So again, this is really a separate topic you’re bringing up. I agree with you. It’s irrelevant.

  • If you just want to sound off on something, write your own blog post. If you are saying it is related to what I wrote, please quote something I wrote and explain how. Otherwise I will consider your post off-topic and I may remove it. Again, not because I disagree (I don’t disagree), but because I’d like to actually discuss what I actually wrote for a change.

  • Bonchamps

    I would simply endorse what Hmmm says above

  • Great. Well the same warning applies to him.

  • Well, “We learned that being grossed out by homosexuality hurts us.” is Hoopes’s complaint and I think it is well-founded.

    You, in turn, seek to justify expressions of disgust – “Homosexual behavior is repulsive to us because it is harmful to society (more on that later), and we are social beings.” This may well be so, but prudence would suggest that we should not allow ourselves to be drawn on the topic. Rather, we should make clear our opposition to SSM is based on its absurdity.

  • I’m not saying that expressions of disgust belong in our official, programmatic response to the radical gay activists.

    But I refuse to accept the notion that disgust with homosexual behavior – especially when it is deliberately provocative – is a moral failing, or something that needs to be thought-controlled at all times.

  • Rather, we ought to do exactly what they do – turn it back on them. Expose the ways in which they actively seek to disgust people, so that they can no longer attempt to use hetero disgust as a moral weapon against us in the battle for public empathy.

  • One other thing is required: an acknowledgement that the pro-tradition side has developed rational, secular arguments in favor of its position, instead of a default assumption that it is all either based on “eww gross” or decontextualized passages from the Pentateuch.

    I don’t know. Perhaps someone read the above and thought it was saying “we need to develop these rational, secular arguments”.

    But Michael, if you read that, it clearly asserts that Bonchomps knows there are rational secular arguments like the ones you’re making and calls upon the activists to acknowledge their existence.

    I don’t think Bonchamps was looking for a discussion of “Hey let’s come up with all the best rational, secular arguments in this post that we can use to win this culture war.”

  • Chris-2-4

    I still maintain that the two issues have been unnecessarily linked by the champions of traditional marriage in their discussion of the issue.

    I do not suggest that “disgust with homosexual behavior – especially when it is deliberately provocative – is a moral failing, or something that needs to be thought-controlled at all times,” any more than my dislike of Crème de menthe is a moral failing/ But, I should not mention it in a discussion of the liquor licencing laws.

  • “2. Being okay with heterosexual sexual sin hurts us.”

    OK, this is a fair point. Does anyone think that Newt would have received as many votes as he did if he’d had two dudes in his past? I think this is even more of a problem among evangelicals, who emphasize fidelity to one’s *current* spouse but ignore past marriages.

  • MPS.

    For the love of all that is holy, we are not discussing the law here. We are discussing the battle for public sympathy and support. These are radically different things. The radical gay activists have made disgust an issue. We have no choice but to address it.

    I mean, you don’t seem to grasp this concept in your own posts. When people make accusations, you can ignore them for a little while, but if they keep making them and you’ve still said nothing, then you just look guilty. Full disclosure is how you retain public support. People with nothing to hide about their views are more acceptable than people who are obviously avoiding issues.

    Except, it appears, in blog com-boxes.

  • I hope that we can defeat the militant homosexual movement at the election booth and in the court of public opinion. I also hope that those homosexuals who are trying to live chaste and celibate lives will not be discriminated against, harrassed or subject to persecution on the basis of their same-sex attraction or any other basis, for that matter.

    However, when God was faced with militant homosexuality, He destroyed it with fire and brimestone. Yes, that was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah (contrary to liberal revisionist history and liberal theology). Of course, I do not advocate the first use of force against militant homosexuals any more than I advocate first use of force against the militant abortionists of Planned Parenthood. But the Democrats will give up neither homosexuality nor abortion without a fight. The Democrats proved this in the 1800s with slavery and it took a bloody civil war to put them down that time.

    Now call me a pessimist and perhaps I am. But these evil, wicked, diabolical people will hold onto their sexual depravity and child-murdering in the same way that the people of Judah held onto theirs in spite of the warnings of the prophet Jeremiah. And let’s remember this one little thing: God does NOT change. If He was willing to prune the branches of the tree that was Israel, then He will do the same to us grafted in Gentiles exactly as St. Paul describes it in Romans chapter 11. Whether He does that by an asteroid strike on an evil nation (perhaps that was the fire and brimestone rained on Sodom and Gommorah), or He does that by allowing another bloody civil war is open to debate. I don’t want either of those alternatives and am praying for mercy, but unless we repent as a nation, then we can, must and should expect exactly one of those alternatives: natural disaster or war. We deserve no less, and indeed, because we have put up with “luv, tolerance and nice-nice-ness” these freaking godless sex-perverts, we are no better than the children of Israel who intermarried with the pagan Canaanites.

    Cancer must be excised lest the patient die, and the excision is long overdue. We better repent before the Surgeon’s knife of eternal justice approaches.

  • “– that any aversion to homosexuality on the part of a heterosexual is a sign of repressed homosexual desires – is a way of making their positions and lifestyles unfalsifable. If you accept them, great. If you don’t, it is a sign that you secretly do. There can be no legitimate opposition. If you think gay is gross, you probably are gay. A fascinating self-defense mechanism, but one not supported by a shred of serious evidence.” “There can be no legitimate opposition”

    On the contrary: ” I DO NOT DO THAT”. “I WILL NOT DO THAT” “I VALUE MY IMMORTAL SOUL” “I AM GREATLY DISTRESSED FOR YOUR IMMORTAL SOUL” Pray with your body

  • Using the persona of Jesus Christ, claiming “in persona Christi” is a lie by the homosexual practitioners. Jesus Christ crucified is the only expression of Jesus Christ’s love for mankind allowable. Jesus Christ did not do the things these homosexual practitioners say He did. Therefore, they are kidnapping the Person of Christ to forward their position without Jesus Christ’s permission. It is like me saying that Proctor and Gamble makes Colgate toothpaste. It is a lie, like uttering a bad check, plagiarism, or perjury in a court of law. Make them put up or shut up, and stop using Jesus Christ’s name to further their own business until they bring forth evidence that Jesus Christ gave them permission to use HIS HOLY NAME. Holy Orders.

  • “In articulating a critque of America’s sexual mores, gay liberation borrowed heavily from the new literature of radical feminists.”
    Actually, it is the radical feminists who have prevented the maturation of the males amongs us. It is called emasculation. Homosexuality was, at one time, diagnosed as ‘arrested development’ by the American Psychiatric Association. The change to ‘normal’ was forced and demanded by the homosexuals themselves, kind of like practicing psychiatry and self-diagnosing oneself without a license. Now, I think I will elect myself president. Oh, Napoleon already has the job. It is late

  • Mary De Voe,

    One cannot reason with or apply reason to baboons whose sole aim and goal is the publicly sanctioned – even glorification – of the titillation of their genitals. These people are without conscience and have demonstrated themselves to be less than sentient. There is a cure for such rabidness, and God visited that cure on Sodom and Gommorah. I pray that doesn’t have to happen again.

  • Paul W. Primavera: And this in San Francisco waiting for the big earthquake. Except what you say is true. The homosexual will be shaking his fist at God while he goes down into the inferno. The Catholic Church is the only person authorized to act “in persona Christi” and like Mary who escaped into Egypt to protect baby Jesus, the Catholic Church can ask the court to cease and desist using the NAME of Jesus Christ on the grounds that these individuals are not ordained to do so. Real people have just as much right to be in the public street as anybody else. A procession with the crucifix will do.

    One touch is assault and battery. Make my day.

    It is not freedom of speech to utter another person’s name without the other person’s authorization. In legalese, it is called power of attorney. The Catholic Church has the authorization. Now, the homosexual agenda has to prove that they, too, have the authorization, or power of attorney to speak for Jesus Christ. It appears that the homosexual agenda does not have power of attorney to speak for Jesus Christ and a cease and desist order from the court is in order.

    Paul, these people do not even know what “titillation of their genitals” is, having coarsened themselves into oblivion. That is the trouble with addiction.

  • As Jesus would say: “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s (civil marriage, including gay marriage), and unto God the things that are God’s (religious marriage).”

  • Bonchamps

    “For the love of all that is holy, we are not discussing the law here. We are discussing the battle for public sympathy and support.”

    But public sympathy and support for what? For a change in the law. To achieve this, activists have had some success in persuading the courts that laws restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples have no rational basis. They also seek to persuade the electorate and legislators that the law can be changed without affecting the public, legal purpose of marriage.

    Peter

    The distinction between “civil marriage” and “religious marriage” does not hold water.

    Marriage in its origin is a contract of natural law; it may exist between two individuals of different sexes although no third person existed in the world. In civil society, it becomes a civil contract regulated and prescribed by law and endowed with civil consequences. In most civilized countries, acting under a sense of the force of sacred obligations, it has had the sanctions of religion superadded; it then becomes a religious, as well a natural and civil, contract; for it is a great mistake to suppose that because it is the one, therefore it may not likewise be the other. But marriage remains one and the same for all that.

    It is, perhaps, worth noting that, although the Mosaic law prescribes many ritual provisions for various offices and transactions of life, there is no ceremony prescribed for the celebration of marriage.

  • MPS,

    There’s a difference between the battle and the merits of the objective. If you don’t get that, then I guess you just don’t get that.

  • Bonchamps

    You wrote, “There’s a difference between the battle and the merits of the objective”

    And the battle will only be won by convincing those who have the power to shape public policy, in the courts and in the legislature of those merits. We will not do that, if our objections appear to be the rationalisation of anti-gay animus, or an attempt to impose religious values by law.

  • MPS,

    It is a good thing that my objections are nothing of the sort. Aggressively pointing out the dishonesty, hypocrisy, and sociopathy of the gay cultural and political movement is not part of the argument against “marriage equality”, but rather a defense of our collective character, which ALSO matters in any appeal we make.

    You’re picking a fight that doesn’t exist. We don’t disagree. So I feel like you’re just purposely not hearing me, not acknowledging me, and it kinda pisses me off to be honest.

  • I’ve never once argued that our case ought to be based on religious values or anti-gay hostility. If you keep suggesting that I am arguing this, then you are fundamentally incapable of reading what I write, or are just off in some kind of weird, inexplicable alternate reality that I can’t access and can’t communicate about. It’s just really frustrating.

  • I certainly did not intend my remarks to have any personal application

  • Bonchamps,

    Not everyone who is against sodomy is “grossed out” by what is considered homosexual actions. (I include myself in that category.) The irrationality of act and how they define themselves is much more bothersome to me quite frankly. I don’t believe I’m too inured from having such a reaction but it may be the case. And that case, whether habituated or natural, is felt by an equal number of humans who don’t share your disgust for these actions. As I understand it, any argument (especially in modern-liberal milieu we exist in) that is premised on one’s disgusts isn’t go to go very far for this reason: People’s disgusts and reactions are predicated in a complex and not fully understood manner and when everyone is sovereign, there is no reason for me to entertain your disgusts more seriously than my own or any Joe and Jane American. From there, it is very easy to entertain the liberal’s propaganda that since his anthropology is uncertain; his ideas incorporate the universal (and natural) actions of all men as good or useful and makes no outcasts of those who agree to tolerate all differences despite anyone’s conventional and “small-minded” thinking. The “universal man” has no time for such the unsophisticated and petty reactions that arises from disgusts. And the majority of people, tepid in thought and action, would surely side with this for fear that they may find their habits and lives questioned for inducing a similar revulsion in one group or another down the line.

  • To portray or characterize Jesus Christ as virgin, innocent, as the TRUTH and perfect charity is true. Judas Iscariot hung himself and he burst open. Judas Iscariot literally “spilled his guts” for betraying Jesus Christ with a kiss. We have four witnesses to the TRUTH, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The bible tells us to add or subtract nothing from the TRUTH. Jesus says that Moses allowed divorce because of the hardness of our hearts, as “it was not so from the beginning”.
    When Jesus defined the relationship between the sexes “from the beginning”, Jesus defined human sexual behavior to eternity. When Adam knew Eve and Eve brought forth Cain, Abel and Seth, Eve was of the age of informed sexual consent. Both Adam and Eve were adults. Violating the law of God is known as “adultery” that is, not behaving as an adult would behave, but faking it.
    Any sitting judge, who cannot discern the good from the evil or the TRUTH from the fake needs to be impeached, which simply means that the judge would be sent to live with his own ignorance or sin.
    Now, these individuals claiming to portray Jesus Christ are liars and perjurers, or show me where in the Holy Scripture, the story of Jesus Christ’s life, does Jesus bless and approve such behavior. Jesus only denounces any sexual behavior outside of the bond between male and female, from the beginning unto eternity.

  • If I may intrude on Bon and MP-S here, the traditional marriage crowd does have legal arguments, along with cultural, moral, and Biblical arguments. There’s also the visceral argument: the feeling that a lot of people get in their gut when they see homosexual acts. Everyone has a different personality, and that means that different arguments will reach different people. I don’t find Michael’s argument persuasive at all, but that’s just me. There isn’t going to be one argument that wins the day, I’ll bet.

    Maybe I’m wrong. The natural law argument seems irrefutable. But that’s just me. I think a lot of people need some intellectual framework so they can say that their opposition to gay marriage isn’t just based on discrimination. For the past several decades, we’ve been retraining ourselves as a culture not to react to individuals outside our comfort zone. That’s a good thing, but it’s made us unable to trust our guts on gay marriage.

    To a Catholic or an evangelical, the Biblical argument suffices. But it can always be rebutted by pointing to O.T. laws that no longer apply. Because the evangelical doesn’t understand ecclesiology, he can’t reply to that. The Catholic can, but he’s got to explain ecclesiology first, and a lot of people won’t bother to listen. An evangelical can bring up St. Paul’s writings, but then that degenerates into an argument about whether Paul was an apostle, the authenticity of the Bible, translation from the Greek, et cetera.

    Anyway, my point is, we need to get all our arguments in a line, and know how to respond to the rebuttals. Even with all that, some people are still going to assume that we’re motivated by bigotry. The comparison to the pro-life movement is apt – but remember, we’ve only really begun that fight, and on our best day 45% of the population still disagrees with us.

  • The reason we feel disgust at Homosexual acts is because the are against the natural law and are unnatural. By definition these acts go against nature and are perverted.

    Homosexual acts are not the same as Heterosexual acts. When a man fornicates with a woman, there is nothing disgusting about the act itself. Sex between a man and a woman is natural and normal. There is nothing unnatural or perverted about it. The problem is not the sexual act, but that the act was outside of marriage and is the sin of fornication. Sodomy and other Homosexual acts are always intrinsic evils and unnatural.

  • If it is from God it will continue. If it is not of God it will die of itself. The homosexual does not being forth offspring which pretty much assures that the homosexual will die out. What is so outrageous is that the homosexual agenda is being enforced through the courts as legal, being taught in school as real. It is not real. A fake husband and a fake wife, a fake mother or a fake father is not real. No court ruling can make it real. There have been homosexuals since Sodom and Gomorrah but only now has homosexual behavior been codified as real. (In Sodom and Gomorrah the homosexuals had the upper hand, but that did not change the law of God) Here in America, homosexual behvior, abortion and prayer ban have become the law of the land. It is wrong to force a lie on anybody with a rational soul, especially someone who constitutes government and pays for government through taxes. The homosexual will argue that he pays taxes but like the atheist, the homosexual must have something to come home to and that is the truth.

    MPS; ” or an attempt to impose religious values by law.” All religious values are imposed by law, leaving only vices on the outside. That is why they are called outlaws. “Render unto Caesar” Caesar belongs to God. Or do you think that Caesar created himself?

  • Hmmm: ” From there, it is very easy to entertain the liberal’s propaganda that since his anthropology is uncertain; his ideas incorporate the universal (and natural) actions of all men as good or useful and makes no outcasts of those who agree to tolerate all differences despite anyone’s conventional and “small-minded” thinking. The “universal man” has no time for such the unsophisticated and petty reactions that arises from disgusts. And the majority of people, tepid in thought and action, would surely side with this for fear that they may find their habits and lives questioned for inducing a similar revulsion in one group or another down the line.”

    The “universal man” has a rational and immortal soul and a destiny in eternity. The man is composed of human body and rational soul. Homosexual behavior ignores the transcendence of man, the evil to avoid and the holiness that must be pursued.

    Our founding principles are grounded in Divine Providence and our unalienable rights are endowed by “their Creator”. Without God, man has only himself, as you stated. But with God,”their Creator” man has been guaranteed FREEDOM,TRUTH, JUSTICE AND THE AMERICAN WAY.

  • Hmmm,

    I believe we can give rational expression to our disgust. We must, because it is a topic that will continue to come up. And it is a fact that these gay “pride” marches and other similar events are intended to provoke disgust. It is worth pointing out the hypocrisy – the sociopathy, really – of those who intend to disgust then complaining about disgust.

    But I don’t suggest that disgust ought to be the basis of public policy. If that emerged in my writings, I didn’t mean for it to.

  • Pinky,

    In my view, our primary argument ought to be that gay individuals already have all of the same rights as heterosexual individuals, and that the primary purpose of “marriage equality” is not to achieve legal equality, but rather to impose social equality and criminalize religious institutions that refuse to recognize homosexuality as morally valid.

  • Mary De Voe wrote MPS; ” or an attempt to impose religious values by law.” All religious values are imposed by law, leaving only vices on the outside.

    But that is simply not true. When the Code Napoléon was adopted in most of Europe, it expressly abolished offences against religion, notably blasphemy, sodomy and witchcraft. This was in accordance with the Roman principle, deorum injuria diis cura – offences against the gods are the gods’ business. If they are food citizens in this world, the magistrate need not concern himself with their destination in the next.

  • “…but rather to impose social equality and criminalize religious institutions that refuse to recognize homosexuality as morally valid”. Marriage is an act of God. Militant homosexuality intends to impose the state over the will of God among the people of God, destroying the knowledge of the human being as composed of body and soul and the state as servant of the people of God. Same thought, dfifferent words.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour:

    Again, religion is man’s response to the gift of Faith from God. The Triune God is Three Divine Persons in one God. It is the Person of God in man’s human, rational, immortal soul, WHO gives man his sovereign personhood and all endowed unalienable rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    It is the Supreme Sovereign Being WHO gives the human being existence. God is existence; which begs the question: “If the atheist rejects God, Existence Himself, does the atheist exist?” Hmmm, being fallible has its perks. (Isn’t this why the devil himself acknowledges almighty God, refuses to obey, but, the devil himself knows God)

    Human existence is the criterion for the objective ordering of human rights.

    The Supreme Sovereign Being is perfect Generosity, perfect Charity and perfect LOVE. God is VIRTUE, all VIRTUE, no vice. God created man in original innocence with sovereign personhood. Man constituted government for the purposes inscribed in our founding principles, acknowledging “their Creator”, “unalienable rights”, “Divine Providence”, “to secure the blessings of Liberty for ourselves and our (constitutional) posterity” among other rights. The right to the TRUTH, the whole truth and nothing but the TRUTH is every man’s right expressed in a court of Justice. Man as a sovereign person, as a human being with body and soul, has a right to the TRUTH. The TRUTH is found only in virtue. The TRUTH is never found in vice.

    FREEDOM is granted by God. Would one impose Rousseau’s, Napoleon’s or Roman FREEDOM on man to bless the human race, or God’s FREEDOM?

    Sorry, Michael Paterson-Seymour, I espouse the perfect FREEDOM granted by God in all virtue without vice, and as far as the imposition of Divine Providence on the American citizen, it has already been done in the Declaration of Independence.

  • People, you are missing the point. The objective is not to convince the homosexual activists. The objective is to convince the society at large, that may not share our religious values. They have to be convinced using secular arguments.

  • Nardia: “People, you are missing the point. The objective is not to convince the homosexual activists. The objective is to convince the society at large, that may not share our religious values. They have to be convinced using secular arguments.”

    How secular are the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution or even the Emancipation Proclamation, and/or the Gettysburg Address?

  • Plato: Gorgias: “the passive homosexual” as ridiculous, loathsome, disgraceful, shameful, and wretched.

    Plato’s writings contain numerous condemnations of homosexual intercourse. See Laws 636c. Plato, speaking through the character of the Athenian stranger, rejects homosexual behavior as “unnatural” (para physin), describes it as an “enormity” or “crime” (tolmema), and explains that it derives from being enslaved to pleasure. Plato, and other great pre-Christian thinkers, rejected homosexual acts on moral grounds.

    Gay marriage is solely about those getting “married.” This narcissism is the main difference with valid marriage.

    Sodomy is solely for and about those engaging in it (mutual masturbation). It is illicit, sterile, and separated from God. It denies God as Creator. It denies the purpose of God’s creation and His participation with us in the Creation of children. To put forth this foul abomination as equivalent to marriage denies the barrenness of sodomy, which is the goal of all this bloody nonsense.

  • T Shaw

    Aristotle’s comments are interesting.

    “Others arise as a result of disease [??????] (or, in some cases, of madness, as with the man who sacrificed and ate his mother, or with the slave who ate the liver of his fellow), and others are morbid states resulting from custom, e.g. the habit of plucking out the hair or of gnawing the nails, or even coals or earth, and in addition to these sex with men [?????????? ???? ???????]; for these arise in some by nature and in others, as in those who have been the victims of lust from childhood, from habit.” [Nicomachean Ethics Book 7:5] [Arist Eth Nic 1148b 27-30]

    His equation of sodomy with nail-biting or eating coal may seem fanciful, but what they have in common is their essential futility. I am sure that Aristotle intended these rather bizarre illustrations to emphasise the main point: that there are no “reasons” for bad choices- just causes.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour:

    Thank you.

    I never dreamt I could say the following, “Apparently, Aristotle, Plato, and I have something in common.”

    It seems liberals think they are smarter than Aristotle, Newton, Plato; not to mention God Almighty.

  • T Shaw

    You can add St Thomas Aquinas to your list

    St Thomas obviously had the passage I cited in mind, when he says

    “It happens that something which is not natural to man, either in regard to reason, or in regard to the preservation of the body, becomes connatural to this individual man, on account of there being some corruption of nature in him. And this corruption may be either on the part of the body — from some ailment; thus to a man suffering from fever, sweet things seem bitter, and vice versa — or from an evil temperament; thus some take pleasure in eating earth and coals and the like; or on the part of the soul; thus from custom some take pleasure in cannibalism or in the unnatural intercourse of man and beast, or other such things, which are not in accord with human nature.” (S.T. I-II, Q. 31, Art. 7, cor.)

    The bestiality bit is St Thomas’s own, perhaps from a mistranslation of Aristotle’s ????????, which occurs in the previous passage, where Aristotle discusses cannibalism at some length – what the word actually means is anyone’s guess (brutish, animal-like or something of that sort; goodness knows what St Thomas’s Latin version said and he misses out plucking the hair and biting one’s nails, which are two of Aristotle’s illustrations. I do, however, like St Thomas’s point about sweet things seeming bitter &c.

    It all emphasises that there is no reason, no rational motive, for such behaviour, just instinctive or dispositional causes This, by the by, is what I take “intrinsically disordered” to mean.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour:

    Thank you.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour and T. Shaw. Thank you both for these very interesting informative posts. They are a joy to read.

  • The homosexual practitioner is not denied his homosexuality, nor is the homosexual practitioner denied his marriage. The homosexual practitioner’s God is the devil himself, and therefore, the homosexual practitioner is demanding from almighty God what he cannot get from the devil himself, and that is love and affection.
    When the homosexual practitioner leaves his demands for love and affection, and begins reverencing God, loving and cherishing human beings, the homosexual practitioner will be given love and affection packed down, spilling over.

Men Need to be Men

Tuesday, June 15, AD 2010

The King’s Men is an organization for Men to (re)discover what it means to be a man, a real man, a Catholic man as well as a manly Catholic.

As men we lead and protect the family.

We need to be active in the life of the Church.

We need to learn more about our Catholic faith and much, much more.

In today’s society and culture the role of men have been degraded, feminized, or ridiculed.  Our roles as men have been degraded to eliminate ‘gender bias’ by militant secularist humanists.  We have been feminized to the point of denying our natural gifts of being a leader, provider, and protector.  And we have been ridiculed by being attacked as misogynists.

This has taken such a toll on our role as men, we have forgotten what it means to be a husband, father, and a leader in the Church.

Mark Houck and Damian Wargo of The King’s Men apostolate explain this and much more in a 35 minute segment of EWTN‘s Life on the Rock.

Part 1 of 4:

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12 Responses to Men Need to be Men

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  • I simply don’t get Donald’s obsession with “manliness” and the military. Ain’t those two obsessions signs of fascism? That’s what I learned in my history class.

  • Why look, it’s the Catholic Anarchist who has been banned from this site, adopting the guise of “Ricky the Teenager” to call me a fascist yet again. I do have to give the Catholic Anarchist a half point on this post. His understanding of both fascism and history certainly never got past the sophomore level.

  • In all fairness, if Michael, oh , excuse me, “Ricky” really was/is an American public school student, it’s no wonder his understanding of fascism would be so flawed.

  • Fascinating… “Ricky the Teenager” and “TurnAroundDude” both share the same IP address, which originates in West Virginia…

  • Not that Michael doesn’t often have interesting things to say, but if we did ban him from commenting, shouldn’t we remove these comments? If we’re wrong, ‘Ricky’ and ‘TurnAroundDude’ can e-mail us from a legitimate e-mail address (rather than the obviously fake ones used those comments) and we can apologize for mistaking the user of that IP Address with Michael.

  • I have put the ban on the Catholic Anarchist’s ip of the day. Tito the post author can decide what he wants to do with “little Ricky’s” comment.

  • John Henry:

    There is no way I want to lose “Ricky the Teenager” from the records. It’s too funny if it is Michael I. He once made fun of me from trying to use a pseudonym (granted it was Aragorn but still…) and I’d like evidence of Ricky the teenager for posterity’s sake.

  • Fair enough, Michael D. I noticed some of Michael I.’s more outlandish posts and threads had disappeared over at VN. I suppose there is something to be said for posterity; and Ricky the Teenager is a much more original handle than Aragorn….. 😉

  • Happy to help with your record keeping!

  • Thanks Donald.

    He’s staying (at least the IP address) in the banned column.

Louisiana Close to Passing Pro-Life Measures

Monday, June 14, AD 2010

One of the many things that makes Louisiana the greatest state in the Union is that due to its high population of Catholics it is the most pro-life state on the issue of abortion. This allows Louisiana to develop and pass pro-life laws that legislators in other states can adopt.

The latest laws are no exception, though perhaps they are too late. You may remember how in the healthcare debate, Catholics promoting the bill often pointed out that insurance often covers abortion and that the federal bill was doing little to expand coverage for abortion over the current private insurance system. Some in that camp obviously believed that the Republicans were too wedded to big business/insurance to actually change that.

I was glad they pointed this out, as it exposed a situation which I believed pro-lifers would soon rectify. Indeed, Louisiana is very close to doing just that:

House Bill 1247 by Rep. Frank Hoffman, R-West Monroe, would bar private insurers from covering “elective” abortions, including by women who are victims of rape or incest. The only exception would be for abortion procedures performed to save the life of the pregnant woman

Sen. Gerald Long, R-Natchitoches, who handled Hoffman’s bill, said it was filed in response to the health-care overhaul bill approved earlier this year by Congress, which gives states the right to “opt out” of covering elective abortions. He said the legislation is meant to affirm Louisiana’s long-standing opposition to abortion.

Hoffman’s bill, which passed 28-3, must go back to the House for agreement with changes made by the Senate before it can go to Gov. Bobby Jindal‘s desk.

Hopefully more pro-life states will follow Louisiana’s lead.

But it does clearly show the problems with the positions adopted by Catholics who promoted Obamacare. They gave up on the pro-life movement’s ability to actually change things. While sometimes the GOP does justly cause pro-lifers to be close to despair, Louisiana shows that sometimes real pro-life change can come if only we work for it.

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10 Responses to Louisiana Close to Passing Pro-Life Measures

  • “They gave up on the pro-life movement’s ability to actually change things.”

    Michael, you hit the nail squarely on the head there, my friend. And it wasn’t just in the Obamacare fight. We saw the same thing during the 2008 election when formerly solid pro-lifers abandoned the principled positions they once held regarding the necessity of pursuing a legal regime that protects the unborn in law and decided to play the pro-choice Catholic game of pursuing left-wing “quality-of-life” measures that allegedly “reduce” the so-called “need” for abortion.

    Examine the things Kmiec, Cafardi, et al said during the 2008 election to justify their support of the pro-abortion Obama, and it basically comes down to the problem you identify: they appeared to have despaired of the ability of the pro-life agenda and the efforts of pro-lifers to bring about change (never mind just holding the line against the encroaching culture of death). Either that or they were flakes hoping to latch onto the hopey-changey bandwagon. Probably a little of both.

  • Any thoughts on if the restrictions will be found Constitutional? Not being negative, just don’t know.

  • “due to its high population of Catholics, (Louisiana) is the most pro-life state”

    By that measure, Rhode Island ought to be the most pro-life state in the Union since nearly 60 percent of its residents are Catholic (2006 figures).

    According to this chart, Louisiana, with 26.1 percent Catholic residents, is only #12 on the list of “most Catholic” states (based on pre-Katrina 2005 population figures):

    http://www.askacatholic.com/_whatsnew/myfavorites2/catholic_population.cfm#percentage

    A question that really begs to be asked is, why are at least 8 of the top 10 “most Catholic” states on the list controlled or dominated by liberal, pro-abort (not to mention corrupt) Democrats?

  • I can only imagine St. Peter’s verdict on our betters’ male-of-the-bovine-species-feces rationals for advancing untrammeled mass exterminations of millions of unborn babies; ESCR; gay marriage; and public schools’ immoral brainwashing of a hundred million American youth.

    We can pray for them. As long as they live there is the chance they may come to a better mind that the sanctity of human life is more vital than the secular human, progressive agenda, i.e., socialism (which is mass brigandage).

    These are the teachings of the Popes, including the current Pope who promulgated a list of four non-negotiables which were wilfully ignored by 54% of catholics, including bishops.

    Kmiec was named ambassador to Malta. He thought he’d get the Vatican . . . [heh] I think Malta is the most Catholic nation on the planet, and the Maltese should have turned him away.

  • “Any thoughts on if the restrictions will be found Constitutional? Not being negative, just don’t know.”

    The restrictions are not contrary to the statues written into law, so there is no reason it would be challenged in court.

    I wholeheartedly agree with Michael on this — more states need to follow this example. Though as a native Texan, Michael could not be more wrong on what state is the greatest in the Union.

    However it would be intellectually dishonest for it not to be mentioned that Louisiana’s new law is not a slap-in-the-face to the federal government.

    During the health care debate last year, the U.S. House adopted at the last minute a measure (the Stupak Amendment) that would prohibit any insurance plan sold in the exchanges from including policies that cover abortion, whether public (when the “public option” was on the table) or private.

    In the Senate, there were not a sufficient number of pro-life votes to adopt a federal-wide policy like the Stupak Amendment to ban abortion in the exchanges. The vote on such an amendment only garnered 38 Republican votes and 7 Democrats. The final compromise (because Senator Nelson did not hold out) was that each state would be allowed to enact an abortion ban in its exchanges as well as opt to ban abortion in any private insurance plan sold in the state period (which was already existing law; it was illegal to sell abortion as a primary benefit in any plan in Missouri prior to the health care debate).

    This law that is on the brink of passage in Louisiana has already passed in Tennessee and is the law. In other words, the state legislatures are merely acting within the frame of “ObamaCare” and what they are doing is acting on a provision that was explicitly written into the bill. It was known without any ambiguity before the bill passed that states were going to be able to do this. It was not some “obscure” provision (as Fox News recently put it) because I recall it (the “Senate compromise” as the NRTL termed it) being rejected by pro-life groups that insisted that the Stupak Amendment was the only acceptable option.

    Quite honestly, I opposed the final bill and I think there was great reason to do so. But I am somewhat dismayed that there was so much information, mostly “talking points”, both true and false, circulating that people were unaware of how actual policies would look when they materialized.

    I’m not trying to take a shot at anyone here particularly. If it seems that way, I truly apologize. But I have honestly lost some trust in groups that condemned this very compromise the day it was unveiled and are now today celebrating its existence.

    I suppose this was God’s gift of a window, when it seemed to the pro-life mind that a door had closed when the bill passed.

    That’s my two cents.

  • Eric:

    I agree that this isn’t a slap in the face to Obamacare.

    As you point out though, states could already do this before Obamacare. I do have to give Obamacare credit if permission is explicitly written into the law (I didn’t know that before). That said, I’m still uncomfortable with the money that the federal government does pay when states don’t ban abortion in the exchange.

    Elaine:

    My feeling is that Louisiana has a much higher number of practicing and/or orthodox Catholics. Why Louisiana has retained this while many of the states in the list have more secular versions of Catholicism is an interesting question, though I imagine Louisiana’s culture (Acadiana for example) has done much to retain it.

  • “My feeling is that Louisiana has a much higher number of practicing and/or orthodox Catholics”

    I suspect the active Catholic culture of New Orleans and Cajun country has a lot to do with this. However, there was an equally active Catholic culture among the Irish in New York and Boston, among French Canadians in New England, and among Italians, Poles, and other ethnic groups in Chicago, Philly, Milwaukee, etc.

    One explanation I have read is that Louisiana lost a lot of its reliably Democratic voters after Katrina, which enabled more conservatives and Republicans like Gov. Bobby Jindal to be elected. It pains me to suggest this, but perhaps Louisiana has actually become LESS Catholic and more evangelical Protestant since Katrina and that is why pro-life measures are moving more quickly?

  • Eric,

    Even though it is written into statute, can’t the statute be declared unconstitutional?

  • One explanation I have read is that Louisiana lost a lot of its reliably Democratic voters after Katrina, which enabled more conservatives and Republicans like Gov. Bobby Jindal to be elected. It pains me to suggest this, but perhaps Louisiana has actually become LESS Catholic and more evangelical Protestant since Katrina and that is why pro-life measures are moving more quickly?

    Bobby Jindal is Catholic and almost beat Blanco the first time he ran for governor (when he came out of nowhere), then spent the 4 years in between courting the Protestant North Louisiana by convincing them he wasn’t crazy (and not a Muslim, which seemed to be a problem up there). So it’s not Jindal needed a dramatic change via Katrina to win.

    The bulk of the population loss in Louisiana was African-American (from what we can tell). Most of that was probably Protestant, as the majority of the African-american community is Protestant. We also had an influx of immigrants who came looking for the construction jobs (we’re not sure how many of them are still around or whether they moved on), but that would be a more Catholic influx. So if anything, Louisiana may have become more Catholic rather than Protestant.

    It’s also worth noting that at this point, the only prominent pro-abortion politicians are the Landrieus (Sen. Mary and Mayor of New Orleans Mitch) which has for a long time been the most prominent political family in the state. This means that across both Protestant North Louisiana and Catholic South Louisiana, most of the politicians are pro-life. That might change when the New Orleans votes out Cao and puts in an African-American democrat but both Protestants and Catholics seem to be strongly united on the pro-life side of the abortion issue.

  • “Even though it is written into statute, can’t the statute be declared unconstitutional?”

    I am not a constitutional law scholar, but I don’t see any reason it should be overturned in court — and if it were challenged, I think we (pro-lifers) would have a pretty good case.

    States do not make it illegal for private insurance to sell abortion coverage, but states can and do regulate how they offer it. For example, in Missouri before the health care debate it was illegal to sell abortion as a primary benefit in any private insurance policy — it always had to be a “rider” or supplemental policy that is bought in addition to any health plan, paid for in a strictly separate manner. The goal was to protect the conscience of other citizens in the state so that they would not be directly or indirectly subsidizing abortion by funding a risk pool that covers such an evil.

    In the exchanges, it would have the same effect — no insurance company could sell abortion as a primary benefit, but if someone opted to have abortion coverage, they would have to purchase a “rider” with their own funds on top of the comprehensive plan they bought into. This was precisely what the Stupak language would have done at the national level. Obviously we did not get that in the Senate, so the best bet (given that the bill passed) is to have each state pass Stupak-like legislation.

    This issue, in effect, is very similar to the Medicaid problem. Under the Hyde Amendment, federal dollars cannot be used to subsidize abortions through Medicaid. But Medicaid is a joint federal-state program. 32 states follow the federal government’s initiative and don’t fund abortion except for the three infamous exceptions. However, 17 states use state funds — and I’m not assure about the accounting methods and how it is kept, if it is at all, separate from federal funds — to cover all “medically necessary” abortions, which really means any and all abortions.

    So this legislation, though very imperfect, has brought the abortion fight back to the states and it is at the state level, by and large, that pro-life gains occur the most.

    We should count our blessings.

Debra Medina Fails To Disavow 9/11 Truthers, Rick Perry Gets My Vote

Thursday, February 11, AD 2010

[Updated]

It has been said that all politics is local.

And so it is.

I have had some issues with whom to vote for in the upcoming Texas gubernatorial elections.  Especially with the Republican primary coming up and Debra Medina gaining fast on current Governor Rick Perry.

Insurgent Republican candidate Debra Medina was a asked a question by Glenn Beck on his radio show if she would deny that there was any government role in 9/11 and she hedged.

Mr. Beck followed up with a direct question and she still hedged.

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103 Responses to Debra Medina Fails To Disavow 9/11 Truthers, Rick Perry Gets My Vote

  • I listened in this morning because I wanted to hear what she had to say. I saw this as a make it or break it moment for her campaign. The interview seemed to start off rocky. In reply to the question, “Who is Debra Medina?”, she briefly talked about herself and then went into critiques of Perry and Hutchison. Glenn was audibly annoyed, by that point.

    On the one hand, I wonder why the 9-11 Truther question was asked; it didn’t seem to pertain to the issues facing Texans today. But, as I sat listening, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She was dancing around the issue! This little dance routine looks like a tacit admission of Trutherism. She never outright rejected the notion. The perception now, despite what she said, is that she’s a Truther. She’s finished. Finished.

  • I didn’t listen to the radio show, only to Medina’s comments on the show.

    Like you the question wasn’t really relevant in certain ways, but the way she answered it was awful.

  • It’s because of Beck’s target crowd.

  • I listened to one of the clips and he said he brought it up because he got a lot of mail accusing her of being a Truther. Based on her answer, there was probably a lot of legitimate concern out there and it turned out to be a fair question. I’m not a Beck fan, but I’m not sure what’s wrong with not having Truthers as a target audience.

  • I thought Truthers were liberal Democrats who despised Bush, the same way Birthers tend to be conservatives who despise Obama.

    If this woman is running as a Republican for governor of one of the reddest of the Red States, by what logic does she figure sympathy for the Truther movement helps her win votes? If she were running for, say, mayor of Berkeley or for Congress from some hard-left-leaning district I could see her logic; but this doesn’t make sense.

  • Texas isn’t very red. The TX House of Reps is 77 Republicans and 73 Democrats — a 4 vote majority. The TX Senate is 19 Republicans to 12 Democrats — a 7 vote majority.

    There’s been much talk in terms of changing demographics in Texas. In about 10 years, this state will arguably be purple, politically speaking.

  • When I was working in politics in Texas we had a term, Texicrat, for Texas Democrats. Think RINO, but in reverse.

  • Tito, I must say I’m sad that you will be voting for Governor 39%. We’d be better off being governed by cardboard for the next four years.

    I am totally opposed to Governor Perry and I am still entertaining the idea of voting for Debra Medina (who I oppose practically down the line on almost every issue) to vote against Governor Perry in the GOP primary (which will count me as a registered Republican until the next election — the horror!). It was a gaffe, sure. I’m more disturbed that Perry was unaware that the Advanced Care Directives Law that has seen the euthanasia of a six month old infant and several others had passed through the Texas Senate when he was the Lt. Governor and President of the Texas Senate.

    You’ll disagree, sure. Vote your conscience. I’m not rather concerned that someone’s gaffe in failing to deny that they believe in a conspiracy theory as more important than defeating Governor 39% who has been more than a horror. I’m not how sure one’s views over something that has no affect over the immediate points of Texas’ public policy absolutely disqualifies someone from your vote unless you think the other candidate is better on public policy. Mandatory vaccinations? An education budget that has been either frozen or cut in the last 16 years? — In the last 5 year in Houston alone, nearly 250 teachers were fired for criminal activity including criminal misconduct, child sexual abuse, and workplace intoxication — and I can’t seem to find one candidate talking about such issues other than lets-be-anti-Washington. Great. How are we going to solve our state’s problems?

    Of course, there’s that ever-annoying dilemma. With any of these candidates, I’m going to find their agenda sickening and their Democratic opponent is almost surely going to be pro-choice. I’m really divided over the question of whether it is legitimate not to vote for conscientious reasons.

  • Medina is a Truther and therefore unfit for any public office as far as I am concerned. It takes a special type of paranoid idiocy to believe that 9-11 was the work of agencies of the government.

  • “Medina is a Truther and therefore unfit for any public office”

    Well, that depends on how you define a Truther. It could mean :

    1) someone who believes the 9-11 attacks were actually plotted or staged by the Bush administration;
    2) one who believes the Bush administration knew the attacks were coming but chose to do nothing to prevent them;
    3) one who believes the Bush administration discounted or misinterpreted evidence that the attacks were imminent, and thereby failed to prevent them;
    4) one who believes the U.S. government has not revealed all that it knows about the origin and nature of the attacks.

    Conclusions #1 and #2, which assume that Bush was willing to let thousands of innocent American citizens die purely to provide himself with a pretext for launching the War or Terror, the PATRIOT Act, and other measures, are examples of “paranoid idiocy.”

    Conclusion #3 simply assumes that Bush and/or his advisers made mistakes, though not necessarily malicious ones. Conclusion #4 presumes that the government might be withholding certain information for security reasons, or to protect certain parties from embarrassment or exposure. While we may not agree with these conclusions (and I don’t), I think they can be held by reasonable people.

    If Medina says simply she doesn’t know the “whole truth” about 9/11, she may mean something similar to Conclusion #3 or #4, not necessarily #1 or #2. However it’s evident she handled the question very badly.

  • I have to wonder, if Sarah Palin handled this question badly — let’s say almost identically — would it change your view of her or your willingness to cast a vote in her favor?

  • I don’t understand the Governor 39% thing. What’s that about?

  • My views regarding Truthers Eric are independent of the person making the statement.

  • Well, since at this time I have no intention of voting for Sarah Palin — it wouldn’t change my view of her.

    I’m just baffled that Medina would attempt to run as a more-conservative-than-thou Republican if she was a genuine, hard-core Truther who really believed Bush was that evil. Is she trying to appeal to the libertarian, Ron Paul types who consider everything the Big Bad Feds do evil?

  • My guess Elaine is that like Ron Paul she is a paranoid conspiracy nut who normally has the good sense to not go full headcase before the sane. Beck caught her in an unguarded moment.

  • Tito,

    With all due respect, this is a really poor reason not to vote for Debra Medina.

    And while I remain highly skeptical of the logistical aspect of the 9/11 conspiracy, it is a documented historical fact that factions in this government (and it is far from the only government in history) have considered false-flag operations in the past.

    Operation Northwoods, for instance, is not a hallucination. It’s not tin-foil hat spectulation, it is real, verified, accepted history that absolutely no one denies.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Northwoods

    And this is only ONE example, ONE historically documented, scholarly approved, mainstream comfortable instance of the US government either considering, or actually perpetrating, harm on its own citizens (lets not forget the Tuskeege Experiments either).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_syphilis_experiment

    Unless Medina is actually coming out and saying that she believes the US government planned and executed 9/11, I think its incredibly closed-minded to write her off. Voters should look at policies, not implied personal opinions.

    That’s just my two cents, and I’m sure everyone will disagree. It’s cool 🙂

  • I’m also really just disturbed by this notion that an failure to immediately disavow an idea that isn’t popular (although I think this particular idea is more popular than you realize) is automatic grounds for disqualification, as if our minds must instantly shut down.

    Forgive me if I see this as an example of knee-jerk group-think and want nothing to do with it.

  • Perry won his 2006 re-election bid with 39% of the vote, which is humorously exactly where he’s polling right now in the GOP primary.

  • Perry won his 2006 re-election bid with 39% of the vote

    So what? 39% is a pretty respectable figure in a four person race, particularly when two of the other candidates are competing with you for votes on your half of the political spectrum.

  • Eric,

    you said, “I have to wonder, if Sarah Palin handled this question badly — let’s say almost identically — would it change your view of her or your willingness to cast a vote in her favor?”

    I am probably one of the Biggest fans for Sarah, but if she answered this way… I would have disowned her in a heartbeat!

    I’m sorry Joe, but you are wrong… we don’t need loons running the government.

  • This was a clear and definite set up. First of all, to not question what happened on 9/11 and to simply accept the government’s account is blissful and disgusting ignorance. Debra Medina did not say that 9/11 was an inside job or that she believed that government insiders allowed 9/11 to take place. It is a fact that some of the 9/11 commission members said that the investigation was doomed from the start. So what is the public supposed to make of such claims? Medina simply said that she was not satisfied with the official story. She is not alone. Many Americans feel this way and Mrs. Medina should not be expected to disavow a staff member simply because that staff member questions the government’s “official story”. Beck is a Hack and anyone who agrees with his sentiment on this issue will believe just about anything, I suppose. Any talk show host who labels an individual running for governor as a “9/11 truther” is only trying to do one thing and that is to distract the public from focusing on important issues like government taxation and an overreaching federal government. Make no mistake, this was a planned attack by the republican establishment of Texas to bring down Debra Medina. Sarah Palin just endorsed Rick Perry and Glenn Beck has been in Palin’s pocket from day 1. Medina’s following was getting to be just too large to be allowed to go on any further. Anyone who has followed her race closely can see through the blinders the neocons have put up for the public.

  • Debra Medina is like a non-press adored Barack Obama.

  • It is possible I suppose that she answered the question as she did because she assumed that Beck is a Truther. Surprise! Like a lot of Beck’s critics, and I say this as someone who thinks Beck is half a lunatic, she made assumptions about Beck rather than being aware about what his actual views are.

    Beck has long been a severe critic of the Truther movement as the nut cases in the movement themselves realize:

    http://www.infowars.com/beck-says-truth-activists-in-the-white-house-threaten-obamas-life/

    This might be an indication that Medina is not a Truther, but rather just another politician attempting to curry favor with whoever is interviewing her at the moment. That is somewhat pathetic, but it is not paranoid crazy.

  • I’m with Brett on this.

    I like Palin, but if she would say what Medina said, I would immediately drop any interest that I had for her.

    That simple.

    I don’t buy the conspiracy theory one iota.

    And with much respect to Joe, when it happens I’ll believe it.

    There would be a near-revolution if the government were actually implement anything like Northwoods.

    There are still people who believe that FDR allowed Pearl Harbor to be bombed, which I don’t believe one bit.

    🙂

  • Tito,

    The only reason government DIDN’T was because JFK was, in spite of his flaws, a man with a moral compass. This proposal was drafted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It went almost all the way up to the top – but the buck stopped with Kennedy.

    Forgive me if I think it is reasonable to believe that George W. Bush was not of the same caliber. Or Bill Clinton. And certainly not the current clown.

    Bottom line – our government has factions within it that are morally willing and able to plan the mass murder of US citizens to advance a foreign policy agenda. The hard evidence that it carried out 9/11 is somewhat lacking – I personally believe that it was gross negligence and incompetence this time around – but I certainly don’t believe that those who think government is CAPABLE of it on a moral level are insane.

    I think you’re naive if you think people in power are checked by some profound respect for human lives that even the average citizen finds difficult.

  • I love the defenses of Medina: “Don’t listen to what she *said*, listen to what her campaign wrote after the fact!”

    Who are you going to believe, her furiously-spinning flacks or your lying ears?

    Listen, it’s pretty clear that her “Truth”erism is, like it is for all “Truth”ers, a lazy exercise in mental masturbation. Anybody who really, truly believed that the government was complicit in 9/11 would do more than try to argue it’s a “Federal issue” (which ranks as one of the 10 dumbest political statements I have ever heard or read). They would actually be trying to *do* something, and not just sign web petitions, make internet videos harassing Danny Bonaduce (no, really) or try to burn chickenwire. Consistent with her statements and political bent, you’d think that Medina would at least organize a tax protest, for the love of Ron. “Everybody fill out new W-4s!” Legal. Easy. Noticeable. And it would crimp the evil regime, even if just a little bit. But no, she makes a jurisdictional argument, of all things, not to address the issue.

    None of them deserve to be taken seriously because, deep down, none of them seriously believe a word they emit on the subject. To use an analogy appropriate to a Catholic blog, “Truth”ers are a church made up entirely of the lapsed.

  • I’ll continue playing devil’s advocate here, because I think it needs to be done.

    Dale,

    You said,

    “Anybody who really, truly believed that the government was complicit in 9/11 would do more than try to argue it’s a “Federal issue””

    Actually, no, that doesn’t logically follow. Belief and action are not logically connected in that way. You can say that they ought to or they should – but not that they must.

    “They would actually be trying to *do* something”

    Again, no. That’s not an argument.

    This really isn’t about the substance of their claims, but the error in logic you are making here. The actions or lack thereof of 9/11 truth folks have absolutely nothing to with whether or not they ‘actually’ believe it. Belief implies nothing.

    We might say that anyone who really believed in Jesus Christ would devote their entire lives to Him, but then, we’d only have a tiny handful of Christians left. There’s what we ought to become, and what we are.

  • The fact that Operation Northwoods was developed and advocated is not evidence that our government conspired to produce 9/11. 9/11 truthers are nutters of the same ilk as flat-earthers. Joe, you are a good and smart guy, but one really can have a mind so open that all gray matter manages to escape.

    Don’s hypothesis is the most reassuring, even if it does take considerable speculative liberties.

    Finally, I admit that it is technically possible that the truthers are right, just as it is technically possible that the flat earthers are right. But folks who vote and live their lives respectfully mindful of these bizarre technical possiblities are missing the boat big time.

  • Mike,

    “The fact that Operation Northwoods was developed and advocated is not evidence that our government conspired to produce 9/11.”

    I NEVER argued that it was. That is NOT my point.

    I said, very clearly – and against all hope that I would be properly understood – that it simply means that people who suspect that the government is morally capable of such a thing are not crazy. They have a precedent.

    So please understand, two entirely distinct claims. The precedent of Northwoods:

    1) Does show that it is not crazy to believe government is capable of harming its own citizens (and we have JFK alone to thank for putting a stop to what the CIA and Joint Chiefs of Staff wanted to do)

    2) Does NOT prove a single thing about 9/11, obviously.

    So while I question 9/11 truthers on the logistics of the whole conspiracy, I DO NOT question their sanity for believing that the government could contemplate such a horrific act. And Northwoods is only ONE example.

  • Joe:

    Well, no right back! 🙂

    The lack of action–deeds–suggests quite a bit about the putative believer. It is a strong indicator that the belief in question is a matter of mere minor habit, or a dilettantish (word coining time!) dabbling done because it’s what a subgroup expects.

    Let’s try it this way. Consider the following hypothetical (none of which is true, amusingly enough): I say I’m a fervent Democrat and I believe the Republicans need to be stopped at all costs because their policies are uniformly destructive and threaten our nation.

    Subsequently, you find out that (1) I’ve never donated to a Democratic candidate, (2) never had a yard sign for a Dem on my property, (3) I’ve never done volunteer work for Democrats and (4) it turns out that I vote about 20% of the time.

    On the other hand, I’ve renewed my Detroit Lions season tickets at the first opportunity for the past 22 years, price increases or no, and despite the fact I know the feckless owner of the Lions bankrolls GOP candidates and causes.

    Thus, while you would not be in a position to call me a liar with respect to my claim to be a dogged Democrat, you could draw some conclusions about the nature of my claim and its importance in my life.

  • against all hope that I would be properly understood

    LOL 😀

  • We need to remember what this was all about:

    “Operation Northwoods, which had the written approval of the Chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war.” — Body of Secrets, James Bamford, 2001

  • Dale,

    Yes, one could do all of those things – but one would have to make an awful lot of unwarranted assumptions to do so. All could be explained in ways other than laziness.

    1 – you have no money
    2 – you don’t have a yard
    3 – you’re too busy
    4 – you’re threatened with job loss if you leave work to vote

    Or, alternatively, one could do one or more of these things but just isn’t comfortable for whatever psychological reason.

    All of these things happen to people on a regular basis. The bottom line is that you can’t make judgments about a person’s sincerity without knowing something more about their circumstances.

    As for Medina, she’s running for office. Presumably she’s spending her own money toward that end. Perhaps she thinks that will be more effective than convincing a handful of people not to pay their taxes this year. Again, I think you’re making unwarranted assumptions about her. She might – might – embrace an unpopular position so its easy to just pile on the assumptions; she’s so unpopular, who will care?

  • I don’t think Operation Northwoods shows the government was capable of orchestrating 9/11. It’s one thing to talk about doing something like this, quite another to actually carry it out. Further, the scale of what was proposed was not comparable to what happened on 9/11. The proposals generally involved either fake incidents or attacks on a small number of non-citizens. That’s shocking enough, but it’s nowhere close to plotting to kill tens of thousands of Americans.

  • Eric, et al,

    I to have the very same concerns about Perry. I was quietly seeing and maybe even hoping that Medina would creep up the polls as she had recently overtaken Hutchison for number 2.

    Believe me, I’m going to hold my nose when I cast a vote for Perry.

    Like McCain, I’m not that enthusiastic as it is.

    Unlike McCain, I have seen Perry work closely with the pro-life movement in the legislature and he has been “our man” in Austin getting things done, or at least going to bat for us and our legislative bills.

    He’s learned his lesson, believe me, I’ve inquired.

    Perry has got my vote after Medina’s unfortunate comments.

  • Words just don’t matter any more, do they?

    I might as well type asjdkhbsjkfhbjskgbfjkdgbjk the next time I want to make a point. It would be just as effective.

    “I don’t think Operation Northwoods shows the government was capable of orchestrating 9/11.”

    It shows that government is morally capable of it – that is what I said. The logistics are a different story. I made that distinction several times. I should have typed djbfdsjkgbskjgdb instead.

    “It’s one thing to talk about doing something like this, quite another to actually carry it out.”

    Is it another thing when the Joint Chiefs of Staff propose it? The only reason it wasn’t carried out Kennedy’s personal opposition.

    The talk only does one thing – it obliterates the ceaseless and stupid claim that anyone who believes government could or would kill its own citizens is “crazy.” That’s the only claim I am making.

    Or, AJgjisfgbjfgbjshfgbsf.

    “Further, the scale of what was proposed was not comparable to what happened on 9/11.”

    The scale isn’t relevant. What was proposed was bad enough. And no one said anything about “tens of thousands” – only 3000 or so died on 9/11. A terrorist campaign “in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington” – could have ended up killing or wounding just as many. Not to mention all of the innocent people who would have died fighting the phony war.

    Or, ritoyritoyuitory.

  • Joe H.,

    Ewrtjvjrum gweercfviop weporijwoiu qwefijkfj qjkfaslkuj kljlkj eiruqtcb adfga? qpwoeiru alf, aslfkj to what asfkl.

    Eric,

    zvxbvbm tyru f asjg, afas ja asw.

    Dale,

    The city of Detroit reminds me of Kabul, just as pretty but not so much.

    BA,

    As mfnf, asdfklj “paokj” dhakh sdfho.

  • I mean, have you listened to the emotional-hysterical reasons why people won’t even CONSIDER the possibility? It’s just that they can’t bear to think for one second that American soldiers are being sent to fight and die for a lie. Well, that’s not an argument. It’s an emotional response.

    If someone wants to completely and totally reject 9/11 conspiracies on the facts, I respect that. In fact, that’s what I do myself.

    But to reject it on the assumption that government would never do or contemplate doing such a thing, or on the grounds that we MUST NOT THINK lest we denigrate the service of the men and women overseas are just forms of self-imposed idiocy. To then turn on people who share a different interpretation of the facts, given what government is historically capable of, and call them cooks, crazies, even traitors who ought to be shot, is just crazed mob mentality. It isn’t sane, it isn’t rational.

  • “I don’t think Operation Northwoods shows the government was capable of orchestrating 9/11.”

    It shows that government is morally capable of it – that is what I said. The logistics are a different story. I made that distinction several times.

    My comments were directed towards morals, not logistics.

    The scale isn’t relevant. What was proposed was bad enough. And no one said anything about “tens of thousands” – only 3000 or so died on 9/11.

    The expected death toll was in the tens of thousands. The only reason it wasn’t actually that high was that people ignored official statements that it was safe to stay in the Towers. Anyone who thinks the government was behind 9/11 has to think they were planning on killing far more people than actually ended up dead.

    A terrorist campaign “in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington” – could have ended up killing or wounding just as many.

    Allow me to quote from the Wiki page on Operation Northwoods that you linked to earlier:

    The terror campaign could be pointed at refugees seeking haven in the United States. We could sink a boatload of Cubans en route to Florida (real or simulated). We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely publicized.

    I don’t think attacks on Cuban refugees in the states “even to the extent of wounding” were likely to kill thousands of American citizens. Again, even trying to wound a non-citizen is really bad (and sinking a boat load of refugees would be horrendous), but it’s not on the same level as deliberately killing thousands if not tens of thousands of your own citizens.

  • Joe:

    You are a game interlocutor, I concede that! 🙂

    But…I don’t know that my carefully-stacked deck allows you to play all of the cards you want to play–e.g., the self-declared diehard Dem has plenty of money to spend on Lions–Lions!–tickets. Granted, that may also be a symptom of a delusional personality in and of itself, but I’ll put that aside for now.

    More to the point, my hypothetical shows the belief holder to be knowingly acting against the holder’s alleged firm belief by actually funding that which he asserts is anathema.

    Which is what the “Truth”ers are doing by living out the status quo under the most illegitimate regime in American history.

    It seems that you have met a better grade of “Truth”er than I have. I envy you. In *every* case where I have stumbled across one, it is either a case of lazy paranoia alloyed with dogged ignorance, or worse (and thankfully rare) is closely-associated with hatred of Jews.

    I have no problem with a distrust of government–even where it is reflexive, so long as there are limits. I think it’s wired into our national character and usually serves us well. But when it lapses into a habit of paranoia, it becomes corrosive. The “Truth”er mentality is deeply corrosive, and is of a piece with other anti-reason/hyper-individualist memes floating about in American life right now, which is why I react so badly to it.

  • “My comments were directed towards morals, not logistics.”

    That wasn’t clear. It is now. And I completely disagree.

    “Anyone who thinks the government was behind 9/11 has to think they were planning on killing far more people than actually ended up dead.”

    If the ends justify the means, then the difference of thousands isn’t really a difference at all.

    And again, you leave out all of the people who would have died in the phony war, a war against a country under the direct protection of a nuclear superpower. I’m sure the Soviets would have sat on their thumbs while all of this unfolded.

  • If the ends justify the means, then the difference of thousands isn’t really a difference at all.

    If numbers don’t matter, why did the report suggest that people would only be wounded in the attacks rather than killed, or that the various attacks would or could be faked rather than real. Why the focus on non-citizens? I don’t think it is realistic to human psychology to say these things don’t matter.

    And again, you leave out all of the people who would have died in the phony war

    Soldiers dying at the hands of the enemy in a war you started (for what you believe to be justified reasons) is not the same as you killing your own citizens.

  • Dale,

    “The “Truth”er mentality is deeply corrosive, and is of a piece with other anti-reason/hyper-individualist memes floating about in American life right now, which is why I react so badly to it”

    I’m not concerned with various “mentalities”, to be honest with you Dale. All that matters to me are facts and logic, both of which are independent from one or another kind of “mentality.” A crumpled up napkin in the gutter that has the expression “2+2=4” on it is telling me a truth regardless of its grimy and smelly presentation.

    On many of the facts, I think 9/11 truthers come up short. But the premise that government would carry out such an operation is not delusional, since there are plenty of historical precedents for it here and in every other country.

    The precedent, obviously, proves nothing. It does something else. It makes it reasonable to question and investigate the official narrative of 9/11. It provides a good reason to search for proof. It makes the people (or some of them at any rate) who do search for it “not crazy”, not traitors, but reasonable people with a legitimate concern.

    Now, let me address this:

    “More to the point, my hypothetical shows the belief holder to be knowingly acting against the holder’s alleged firm belief by actually funding that which he asserts is anathema.”

    By this logic, though, no one who pays taxes in this country really believes in anything. Both left and right disagree with where a lot of the tax money goes – to what the left believes are unjustified wars, to what the right believes are unjustified welfare programs, to what Christians believe are immoral, sacrilegious purposes, and so on and so forth. People pay taxes because they don’t want to risk jail, not because they don’t care.

    That’s just being pragmatic. There is a time and place for self-sacrifice in the name of a cause, and my guess is that most people do not feel that this is the time. Or, they are cowards.

  • “If numbers don’t matter, why did the report suggest that people would only be wounded in the attacks rather than killed”

    Different people and different governments have different approaches to these matters. The Project for a New American Century reports stated quite clearly that the entire foreign policy agenda they wanted to see implemented would require a “Pearl Harbor” type of event.

    A larger scale war may require a larger scale incident. It could be that simple.

    Of course, their saying it, and their being guilty for arranging it, are indeed two different things. It isn’t a distortion of the truth at all, however, to say that this think tank, whose members went on to occupy key positions in the Bush administration, greatly benefited from the 9/11 attacks. It’s the plain, unvarnished, indisputable, documented truth.

    “I don’t think it is realistic to human psychology to say these things don’t matter.”

    Then I believe you are being naive about man’s capacity to do evil.

    What you’re really saying here, in making these distinctions between citizens and non-citizens, terrorist attacks and wars, is that the same people who are willing to go to war on the basis of outright fabrications, drop bombs on civilians, and cause thousands of deaths – in the name of a cause they believe is justified – would be completely unwilling because of some magic barrier in their minds to do anything remotely similar to their own citizens.

    Forgive me if I don’t think that particular approach to human psychology is realistic. Operation Northwoods, is, as I said, only one example of the government’s willingness to commit crimes against its own people (or lets say, innocent people).

    There were Operations Ajax and Gladio, in which innocent civilians – albeit non-Americans again – were murdered by the CIA in collaboration with other intelligence agencies in foreign countries. There is MK Ultra, there is the Tuskegee Experiment, which WERE done on American citizens. There is the reckless use of depleted uranium which has caused untold misery to a number of US combat veterans, these are only a few.

    Personally, I don’t think the numbers mattered at all. IF the government did 9/11 – IF – then it was clearly aimed at simply bringing down the Twin Towers as a symbolic landmark, whether there was 1 person or 10,000 inside.

    “Soldiers dying at the hands of the enemy in a war you started (for what you believe to be justified reasons) is not the same as you killing your own citizens.”

    If you send soldiers off to die for a lie, and especially back then when the draft was being used, then I don’t think there is a relevant difference. How many people do you think would volunteer to fight and die for what was an obvious, open lie, or a reason so immoral and stupid that it would have to be covered up by a lie?

  • Plus, the wiki entry doesn’t have everything.

    “The Joint Chiefs even proposed using the potential death of astronaut John Glenn during the first attempt to put an American into orbit as a false pretext for war with Cuba, the documents show.

    Should the rocket explode and kill Glenn, they wrote, “the objective is to provide irrevocable proof … that the fault lies with the Communists et all Cuba [sic].”

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=92662&page=2

    Can we trust the crackpots at ABC news?

    We have a clear pattern of deception and reckless disregard for the sanctity of human life.

    Given that, the only thing I say follows is that we take claims seriously. It’s a lesson as simple as the one we learn from “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”

  • “I’m not concerned with various “mentalities”, to be honest with you Dale.”

    You should be. The way people think–or, in this case, won’t–is exceptionally important, especially in the context of a society that aspires to be self-governing. To the extent lazy paranoid un-thought becomes widespread, all of us will suffer. The hardening of destructive intellectual patterns and the championing thereof by the strident is always a precursor to civil conflict. It was in America from the 1840s to Sumter and it was the same with the run up to the Spanish conflagration in 1936. I’m not saying we’re anywhere near such a horror here, but the initial signs are worrisome.

    More to the point, your tax analogy dodges the monstrous nature of what “Truth”erism says about our current republic–namely, that it is dead.

    Not reformable, not fixable at the ballot box, not subject to redress in the courts, but *dead.* It posits that an illegitimate regime has enthroned itself on the corpse of the American republic, having committed the mass murder of American citizens before our eyes for various sordid and squalid ends. That the murderous puppetmasters who perpetrated this atrocity are so slippery and clever that they cannot be rooted out despite the “obvious” “evidence.” With the war in Iraq or on abortion, the various political factions at least have the honest hope that the ballot box might move policy in their favor, however incrementally. Not so the “Truth”er.

    Whether honestly held or as is currently practiced, “Truth”erism is the political equivalent of the sin of despair. It is another toxin in the body politic. I pray to God that it remains in the inert form we see in adherents like Medina.

  • As a former resident of Texas I feel it is a shame that Medina fumbled the question and that so many are so sensitive to the ‘truther’ question they would actually fall into the arms of Rick Perry.

    Rick Perry has had more than enough time as governor of Texas. He should be retired from public service and forced to work the private sector.

    Medina has handled herself extremely well in the debate footage I have seen, and technically her answer was not wrong, just horribly answered. I would be willing to give her the benefit of the doubt that she was shaken by the question which— lets be honest, has nothing to do with Texas politics. And shame on Glenn Beck for an atrocious interview. He just lost a viewer.

    Clearly Medina falls into the category of ‘truthers’ that do not necessarily accuse the government of being ‘behind’ the 9/11 attacks, but nevertheless suspects that all that can be revealed about that day has not seen sunlight. While I personally do not think the U.S. government had anything to do with the attacks I think it is fairly naive to portray the U.S. government as being completely in the dark regarding a rising and ongoing threat. Also it is naive to not believe that some in our political class privately wait for just such disasters in order to advance their own ideological agenda. ‘Never let a crisis go to waste’ indeed.

    One question I would have for those (among the Right) who immediately are now going to vote for frat-boy extraordinaire Rick Perry: if it is so easy to imagine a ‘conspiracy’ amongst bankers and politicians to extract money from the taxpayer through the bailouts, why is it impossible to imagine a ‘conspiracy’ among political elites to further entrench their foreign policy agenda?

    The 9/11 highjackers ‘conspired’ to murder thousands of American citizens. Enron executives ‘conspired’ to coverup their pattern of fraud and theft. The CIA conspires EVERYDAY to destabilize governments not to their liking. Environmentalists conspired to gain economic and political control in order to mold society as they see fit. A few thousand years ago, political and religious authorities ‘conspired’ to murder Jesus Christ.

    Again, do I believe the U.S. government, in twirling-mustache fashion engineered the fall of the WTC and Pentagon? No. Mostly, because they’ve proven themselves to be so grossly incompetent in all lesser ambitions. BUT if you think for one second that the most powerful and influential people in the United States do not have interests contrary to the safety and well being of the ‘common good’, and that they work (ie, CONSPIRE) in the advance of that agenda: you’re living in la-la land.

    People don’t suddenly become angels and saints when they work in higher office. When I entered the professional world at an ad agency, one of the biggest surprises was the open pettiness, back-stabbing, egomania and over-the-top theatrics of ADULTS. It wasn’t until several years after being on projects ranging from film productions to simple busy work that I realized it wasn’t much different in the upper-levels of society: just the stakes were much higher.

    I fully admit I’m not cutout for such an office. I would not want to be a part of a culture where my all too common weakness can result in lives being ruined or snuffed out.

    Bully for Medina for giving an honest, if not well-articulated answer, despite the known backlash that would come. Thats more than can be said for either Rick Perry or Sarah Palin.

  • The Project for a New American Century reports stated quite clearly that the entire foreign policy agenda they wanted to see implemented would require a “Pearl Harbor” type of event.

    I assume you are referring to the PNAC report Rebuilding America’s Defenses, which includes the following quote:

    Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.

    If you read the section of the report in which this quote appears for context, you’ll find that the “transformation” and “revolutionary change” referred to in the quote consists of things like adopting information technologies, reforming the military procurement process, and generally streamlining the military to make it smaller and more effective. So, in context, the quote 1) doesn’t say that a new Pearl Harbor is desirable; and 2) is talking about an area of military policy that a) doesn’t have anything to do with Iraq, and b) hasn’t actually happened yet. To say that this quote somehow gives any credence to 9/11 conspiracy theories is, in my opinion, pretty thing gruel.

    It isn’t a distortion of the truth at all, however, to say that this think tank, whose members went on to occupy key positions in the Bush administration, greatly benefited from the 9/11 attacks.

    It’s true that some people associated with PNAC held positions in the Bush administration. On the other hand, some of the people associated with PNAC who held positions in the Bush administration were against the Iraq War. So perhaps they needed to be a bit more discerning about who they let into their cabal.

    Personally, I don’t think the numbers mattered at all. IF the government did 9/11 – IF – then it was clearly aimed at simply bringing down the Twin Towers as a symbolic landmark, whether there was 1 person or 10,000 inside.

    The question isn’t whether you consider the cases to be morally different. The question is whether the fact someone is willing to attack, wound, or possibly even kill a small number of non-citizens means they would have no compunction about killing large numbers of their own citizens. I don’t find that remotely plausible.

    How many people do you think would volunteer to fight and die for what was an obvious, open lie, or a reason so immoral and stupid that it would have to be covered up by a lie?

    The assumption here is that if you have to lie to get people to support a war, then the reasons for going to war must not be compelling. I don’t think the folks who proposed Operation Northwoods saw things that way. They appear to have believed that a Communist Cuba was a severe threat to American national security, and that popular reluctance to take action wasn’t justified.

  • Dale,

    “Not reformable, not fixable at the ballot box, not subject to redress in the courts, but *dead.* It posits that an illegitimate regime has enthroned itself on the corpse of the American republic, having committed the mass murder of American citizens before our eyes for various sordid and squalid ends. ”

    If that’s what’s true, it’s what’s true. In my view it is never intellectually sound to reject a theory because of its implications – yet that is what most people seem to be willing to do. There are perhaps other good reasons to reject the 9/11 conspiracy, but the implications for the American republic is absolutely not one of them. One can believe that this country is finished without believing that 9/11 was an inside job. Personally I think we are hovering on the edge. And I don’t see how that is despair – that is just history.

    Countries, empires, they come and go, they rise and fall. You speak of the sin of despair – there is also the sin of presumption, in this case, that America is a divine institution that cannot fail, like the Church. I’m not saying YOU believe that, but it could follow from what you’ve said.

  • Plus, the wiki entry doesn’t have everything.

    “The Joint Chiefs even proposed using the potential death of astronaut John Glenn during the first attempt to put an American into orbit as a false pretext for war with Cuba, the documents show.

    Should the rocket explode and kill Glenn, they wrote, “the objective is to provide irrevocable proof … that the fault lies with the Communists et all Cuba [sic].”

    Actually, this is mentioned in the Wikipedia article, and the proposal wasn’t to kill John Glenn, but to blame the Cubans for it if he died.

  • For the record, the Project for a New American Century was not a ‘think tank’, but an advocacy group. I believe it employed four people.

  • I had a response typed up, but the internet connection here is so terrible that it failed to load it… and I don’t feel like doing it again.

    Needless to say, I disagree, BA. Briefly, by paragraph.

    1. PNAC also advocated regime change against Iraq, and the Afghan war was planned in advance of 9/11.

    2. Association is not membership.

    3. The thousands if not millions of people who die on both sides of a war also count – anyone willing to go to war under false pretenses at the potential cost of that many lives is certainly capable of carrying out acts of terrorism against citizens.

    4. Obviously, the reasons were not compelling to the American people, or to Congress, that democratically elected and accountable body that alone is supposed to have the authority to declare war.

    Instigating terrorist attacks to spread a level of fear and panic that will lead to a war that will cost thousands of lives is a criminal conspiracy, an act of evil on the scale of 9/11.

    That’s all I’ll say on it.

  • 1. PNAC also advocated regime change against Iraq, and the Afghan war was planned in advance of 9/11.

    Lots of people advocated regime chance in Iraq. What does that have to do with 9/11?

    You cited a PNAC quote about the need for a new Pearl Harbor. As I showed, the PNAC quote doesn’t actually say what you claimed. Do you not care about that?

    I don’t know what you mean when you say the Afghan war was planned in advance of 9/11. Nor do I see what that has to do with PNAC.

    2. Association is not membership.

    I don’t think PNAC even has members. If you’re going by employees of the organization, then it’s not true that they went on to hold high positions in the Bush administration. If you want to include people who were signatories on PNAC statements, then you’ll get people who opposed the Iraq war, as well as those who supported it.

    3. The thousands if not millions of people who die on both sides of a war also count – anyone willing to go to war under false pretenses at the potential cost of that many lives is certainly capable of carrying out acts of terrorism against citizens.

    I don’t say they don’t count. They do, however, count differently, at least to most people (if you don’t think it made a difference to the creators of Operation Northwoods, then why were their proposals so focused on non-citizens and/or plans involving minimal casualties?)

    4. Obviously, the reasons were not compelling to the American people, or to Congress, that democratically elected and accountable body that alone is supposed to have the authority to declare war.

    Sure.

  • Joe,
    You can *perhaps* make a plausible case for the federal government being willing to have the appetite for a horrible false flag operation on this scale (personally I think that is a real stretch when considered in context), but the case for the proposition that it could and did pull it off is simply not plausible. The very idea that thousands of co-conspiritors have successfully remained silent is just plain laughable, and that is why we are all laughing at the 9/11 truthers. The fact that you don’t think it is laughable is frankly kind of disturbing. The willingness to be a contrarian can sometimes be an emblem of courage and intelligence, but only sometimes.

  • BA,

    “Do you not care about that?”

    I do. Obviously that quote has been misused, so I care about that. But there’s still the fact that its foreign policy prognosis required a 9/11 to go into effect. That doesn’t prove anything, as I said.

    The only reason I brought it up was to answer one of your questions – why the Northwoods proposals weren’t as drastic as a 9/11. I said a bigger war, a longer war, a more expensive war on multiple fronts, would probably require a bigger justification. Just such a war was being dreamed up before 9/11. Again, it proves nothing.

    On Afghanistan:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1550366.stm

    “why were their proposals so focused on non-citizens and/or plans involving minimal casualties?”

    See above. The scale of deception and the loss of life that would have resulted make it just as bad. We can only speculate on the reasons why the plan wasn’t more drastic – but when you fit it in with a PATTERN of willingness on the part of the CIA, factions of the military, and others to murder civilians to advance political goals, It ISN’T crazy. The other two operations I mentioned, Gladio and Ajax, involved exactly that. There was also Operation Condor in Latin America which the CIA had a hand in as well.

    People can justify these covert opts and the assassination of innocent civilians however they like. Frankly I would rather debate whether or not such things are justified rather than whether or not they happened, or could happen again.

    I’ll also remind you that I DON’T think the US government pulled off 9/11 – only that I believe that FACTIONS within it are CAPABLE of that level of evil, and that isn’t crazy to say so. That’s all. That’s the argument – that the supposed benevolence of the government, or some supposed barrier in their minds that says “murdering innocent civilians all over the globe is fine, but never ever domestically” is not the reason they wouldn’t do it. And that’s the reason I most frequently hear for dismissing 9/11 truth claims out of hand, without even looking at the evidence.

    If that doesn’t apply to you, then we have no quarrel. If you reject it for other reasons, then we probably agree.

  • Mike,

    “The very idea that thousands of co-conspiritors have successfully remained silent is just plain laughable”

    I don’t think you need “thousands of co-conspirators” – no one argues that. If their premise is that you need thousands of people to orchestrate this, then obviously that is laughable, but I don’t think they accept that premise and there’s no logical reason for them to.

    “The fact that you don’t think it is laughable is frankly kind of disturbing.”

    Again, I do – but I don’t think they would accept being boxed into that corner. So I’m not going to laugh at people for a position they don’t hold.

  • Joe,

    I was going to write out a response, but frankly the disagreement between us is minor enough that it’s probably not worth arguing over. I apologize if I came across as rude or overly hostile/nitpicky.

  • It’s all good. I get too defensive at times myself, so I apologize if I overreacted.

  • I’ll add one more thing for general consumption.

    It wasn’t that long ago that anyone who questioned anthropogenic global warming was considered a kook and a nut. Defenders would ask, “what, are you saying the whole scientific establishment is lying?”

    It turns out that the willful collaboration of thousands of people in a big lie wasn’t really necessary – it took one research team and its accomplices in the UN to trickle down false information to scientists all over the world. Before climategate, glaicergate, amazongate, et. al., the IPCC was consider “the gold standard.” Now it is about as valuable as dirt.

    Climategate and the surrounding “gates” are evidence of a conspiracy among a handful of people in positions of authority to distort and falsify information. They got millions of people to believe them unquestioningly, and thousands of scientists to use their data as a basis for their own research.

    For those who still don’t understand the extent to which the IPCC’s theory has imploded,

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/the-great-global-warming-collapse/article1458206/

    Again, none of this makes a case for 9/11. I reiterate that I don’t think Bush administration planned and executed 9/11. But it shows that conspiracies can begin with a few people “in the know” and spread down through compartmentalization – no one beneath those who know has all or most of the information, only enough to fulfill their part.

  • Hey Joe,

    in one of your beginning responses you said…”The only reason government DIDN’T was because JFK was, in spite of his flaws, a man with a moral compass.”

    I will disagree with you and so does President Diem, he had him murdered.

  • Oh sheesh Bret, I’ve heard plenty of JFK conspiracy theories but that’s the first I heard that President Diem of South Vietnam did it. Actually, if he really did do it (and that’s a big if), more than likely it was his sister-in-law Madame Nhu’s idea. As I posted some weeks ago, Madame Nhu seems to have been the closest thing to a bona fide female dictator in modern history.

    Between “Castro did it,” “the Mob did it,” “the CIA/FBI did it,” “LBJ did it,” and “Woody Harrelson’s father did it,” and now “the South Vietnamese did it,” have we missed anybody?

  • Pingback: The Adventures of Debra “Kadabra” Medina « docweaselblog
  • Elaine,

    “W” and Dick Cheney.

  • Elaine,
    I’m afraid that Bret’s imprecise use of pronouns confused you. I’m sure he was referring to JFK’s alleged involvement in Diem’s murder. The allegation that JFK had Diem murdered is also a bit imprecise. Most historians agree that (i) the US was indeed increasingly uncomfortable with Diem due largely to his contemptable oppression of Viet Nam’s Bhuddist community, (ii) Viet Nam’s military decided that Diem needed to go and plotted a coup, (ii) these military leaders sought and received assurances that the US would not intervene in the event of such a coup, and (iv) the military offered Diem safety if he surrendered, Diem declined and was killed later after being captured.

  • The reason to Vote for Medina is to get the entrenched political classes out of power. Perry is a corporate Republican as far as I have heard. I think the solution is to vote out every incumbant except proven – as in initiators of legislation and spenders of political capital such as Chris Smith of NJ pro-lifers. Perry is part of the problem with his mandatory guardicil vaccinations.

  • Elaine,

    Sorry for my imprecise use of pronouns. Diem was dead before Kennedy was assassinated.

    Mike what you said is true; however, to overthrow one of the Biggest Anticommunist during the middle of the Vietnam war because the press thought that the Buddhist community was being suppressed (which it wasn’t) was lunacy.

    He was a solid Catholic who knew the evils of communism.

    In reality, it was Roger Hilsman, Averell Harriman’s plan with Henry Cabot Lodge doing the ground work. Secretary of State George Ball approved the overthrow and Kennedy agreed (but to Kennedy’s defense he thought it had been cleared with Sec. of Def. McNamara and General Maxwell Taylor which it had not).

    He did not surrender to the Americans because he did not trust Lodge (with good reason). But he did surrender after he went to Holy Mass. He and his brother was gunned down afterwards.

  • Oh by the way Elaine, you have Madame Nhu all wrong. That is another female who was assassinated by the press.

  • How to destroy a 9/11 truther:

  • BREAKING: Sarah Palin 9/11 truther controversy makes hypocrite of Glenn Beck

    http://www.infowars.com/sarah-palin-911-truther-controversy-makes-hypocrite-of-glenn-beck/

  • If you can find a mainstream news organization reporting this it would be appreciated.

  • Glenn Beck is a truther himself. To all of you closed minded hate filled war mongers……

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBn-VIW7ivE&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

  • Not a hypocrite,

    I’ve wasted 7 minutes and 31 seconds of my life viewing and searching the video you posted of Glenn Beck accusing the U.S. government and “W” of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks.

    He never said anything remotely close to your claim.

    He did say we have a right to question our government and then quickly pointed out he doesn’t when it comes to 9/11.

    He made a reference to Sandy Berger and questioning if both Slick Willy and “W” were in cahoots in regard to him, but not to 9/11.

    You failed.

    Again.

    To prove that Glenn Beck is a truther.

    I will delete anymore posts that you put up if it includes calumny again.

  • Countries, empires, they come and go, they rise and fall. You speak of the sin of despair – there is also the sin of presumption, in this case, that America is a divine institution that cannot fail, like the Church. I’m not saying YOU believe that, but it could follow from what you’ve said.

    It’s late, but I don’t want to leave a misimpression. No, I don’t believe the U.S. is a divine institution, nor particularly one guided by providence.

    But I won’t back off the analogy of “truth”erism to despair: to the extent the phenomenon breeds a genuine cynicism and paranoia, it is a mental/quasi-spiritual cancer on the republic. I agree that America is in considerable trouble at the moment, but for the sake of my children (the first among many reasons) I don’t want to see it die on my watch. A determined, hard-working, clear-eyed and clear-thinking citizenry is a must at this hour. “Truth”ers present none of those virtues, and in fact prevent the cultivation of the same. Ditto the paranoia of birtherism, albeit on a much smaller scale.

    Put another way: the death of America would be a calamity that would make the fall of Western Rome in the fifth century look like a recession. Imagine Constantinople, Athens and Alexandria being obliterated at the same time, and you have a measure of what would happen.

  • Not a hypocrite:

    1. Tito is right. I’m no fan of Beck, but he is not a “truther.” You are mistaken or worse.

    2. There is only one way to avoid being a hypocrite: Conform you conscience to your actions. For those of us who struggle unsuccessfully to conform our actions to our conscience, we live with the knowledge of imperfections and therefore our hypocricy every day.

    3. Given your statement re Beck, I must assume defamation is not a sin in your book — you not being a hyprocrite and all.

  • Beck might not be a truther, but I think the rather rudely and aggressively stated point was this:

    Beck said the same thing Medina said.
    Medina said we have a right to question.
    Medina was called a “truther”.
    Ergo, Beck is a truther.

    All you have to do is disavow premise 3 for this thing to go away. Debra Medina is not a “truther”, and I hope she wins in TX.

    For Dale,

    “A determined, hard-working, clear-eyed and clear-thinking citizenry is a must at this hour. “Truth”ers present none of those virtues”

    That simply isn’t true, Dale, especially among the educated engineers and political activists in their ranks. Disagreeing with them is one thing; degrading their character is another.

    “the death of America would be a calamity that would make the fall of Western Rome in the fifth century look like a recession.”

    I think you overstate the problem a bit.

  • Joe,
    I don’t know whether Medina is a truther, but her handling of Beck’s question leads one to believe that she falls into one of the following categories:

    1. She is a truther.

    2. She is not a truther but is willing to pander to them.

    3. She is not sure and has no developed opinion either way.

    4. She thinks truthers are wrong but also thinks their opinion is a reasonable one.

    I realize that you are comfortable that a person can hold 3 or 4 and still be fit for office. I’m not.

  • Fair enough, Mike, but do you think that Beck and Palin, who have made similar statements, fall into the same category?

  • “educated engineers and political activists in their ranks”

    They’re the worst of the bunch, and are causing the most damage. A degree is no indicator of character, much less clear thinking. Likewise a career in political activism.

    “I think you overstate the problem a bit.”

    The mightiest nation in history, the lynchpin of the western political system, the strongest economic power ever to exist, going down in flames? Actually, I understate the potential horror. Western Rome didn’t have nukes, for starters. Nor did Rome provide massive amounts of aid to nations struggling with disease and poverty. The cascade effects are incalculable, and would take a great deal of work to overstate. Great empires–and, yes, America is in many ways an empire–do not die peacefully in their beds, unless there happens to be a reasonably like-minded heir to hand off the scepter to. That’s happened once in history–Great Britain passing the baton to America.

    Now, there’s no one to pass the baton to.

  • Joe,
    Yes, if they did in fact make similar statements. That said, I think it is disingenuous to say that Beck and Medina are comparable because both said that people have the *right* to question the government (something no American would disagree with), when Beck then explictly emphasizes his disagreement with truthers to the point of ridicule whereas Medina carefully and obviously deliberately chooses to not do so. And I’m not aware of Palin behaving similary to Medina. If I’m wrong on the facts, I’m all ears.

  • And Joe, I do not think Beck is fit for public office, but for other reasons. Palin is clearly fit for public office, though quite possibly an ill-fit for the presidency, at least at this point in time.

  • Mike,

    Palin, according to the video I saw on youtube, was willing to say publicly that she supported another 9/11 investigation. Though I think her intent was simply to tell the people who asked her what they wanted to hear, Medina supporters might understandably, if illogically, want to play the same game with Palin and say that supporting another 9/11 investigation is tantamount to not believing the official story, which could therefore mean that she gives credence to truther claims.

    Medina, moreover, HAS expressed her disagreement with truthers, unless we are of the mind that she did too little, too late after having been put on the spot. Her statement to the press afterward is good enough for me, and I think it would be more important to get back to the issues. To me its absurd to hold this against a person if you think they’re right on the issues.

    It would be one thing if she persisted and started campaigning on a truther platform, but she hasn’t done that. One moment of hesitation shouldn’t undo a campaign, and the fact that it can is precisely what is wrong with this country. It’s like the Dean scream. It’s media sensationalism and I reject Beck, Fox News, and Rick Perry’s attempt to manipulate the electorate with this irrelevant distraction.

  • Thanks, Joe. I admit that I have not followed this very closely, and it may be that Medina’s later statement is more than adequate — I don’t recall reading it. But I would emphasize that if the statement is basically akin to my option 4 above, it would not be adquate in my view. And it would not be comparable to Beck.

    As for Palin, it depends on context. If all she honestly meant was that thge 9/11 report was deficient and glossed over failures and errors that the public had the right to know about, fair enough. If she was playing with ambiguity to pander to the truthers, then bad on her and I see no difference with Medina at all.

  • To any truthers who might be reading this thread, please go to Popular Mechanics at the link below and learn why you are truly wasting your time.

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/1227842.html

  • In regard to Sarah Palin and 9-11, the question was asked her by someone calling himself Anthony the Activist during a rope line that she was proceeding down. Here is the video he made.

    Unlike Medina, Palin did not have the following question asked to her:

    “Do you believe the government was in any way involved in the bringing down of the World Trade Centers on 9/11?”

    Nor did Palin give this type of answer:

    “I think some very good questions have been raised in that regard,” Medina replied. “There are some very good arguments, and I think the American people have not seen all of the evidence there, so I have not taken a position on that.”

    Comparing what Palin said to what Medina said is like comparing swans and swine.

  • Don,

    It really isn’t like that at all.

    If one voices support for the idea of a new 9/11 investigation, then one can reasonably assume that they believe the old one wasn’t good enough, that there are still problems with the “official story”, etc. That’s what 6 of the 10 people on the panel said anyway.

    That isn’t THAT different from what Medina said – using a little common sense. And it certainly isn’t different than the clarification she made afterward.

    So its probably time to move on and concentrate on the issues. I certainly don’t believe that Medina spends her waking hours in fits of paranoia about government conspiracies.

  • Mike,

    I think BOTH Medina and Palin were doing what politicians do.

    Medina, I think, probably assumed that a lot of her grassroots supporters were sympathetic to, or actually were, 9/11 truthers. And this might be the case, because a lot of them are anti-establishment types, and Medina is an anti-establishment candidate. That’s not her fault. It’s not her fault that polls show 86% of Americans question the official story and that the “truther” position, in one form or another, is a hell of a lot more popular than its opponents understand. And I think THAT ALONE was the real reason for her hesitation.

    Palin was being Palin – telling people what they want to hear. She’s an amazingly gifted politician.

  • Disagree Joe. Medina was specifically answering a question as to whether she believed that the government was involved in bringing down the World Trade Center. Her answer indicated that she believed that the truthers had asked some very good questions and made some very good arguments. She is either a truther, lying or was simply bone ignorant and pandering to Beck since she wrongly assumed that Beck is a truther.

  • As for Palin, she was indicating that she would support a new 9-11 investigation in order to assure that 9-11 didn’t happen again. Presumably she was referring to the miserable intelligence failure prior to the 9-11 attack and a new investigation could highlight steps that could be taken to correct such an intelligence failure in the future.

  • Joe,
    It may be that both Palin and Medina were saying what they thought their audiences wanted to hear, but the more important fact is that they did not say the same thing as Don amply demonstrates. To suggest that they were similar requires taking profoundly unfair and unwarranted inferential liberties with Palin’s statements.
    It may be that there are more truthers out there than I realize, but if so I’m glad I don’t get around more.
    I’m perfectly willing to believe that the 9/11 report failed to disclose certain intelligence failures, perhaps even deliberately failed to do so; but in my view anyone who takes seriously the view that the government was actually involved in some conspiratorial way with the attacks is seriously and sadly out of touch with reality.

  • “To suggest that they were similar requires taking profoundly unfair and unwarranted inferential liberties with Palin’s statements.”

    I think it’s also pretty unfair to not allow Medina to clarify her remarks, or apologize for them if that is what’s called for. This “one strike and you’re out” rule of politics is absurd, especially when the issues are so high. It’s like a shutting off of the mind. I can’t do that.

    The number of genuine truthers who believe that it is a proven fact that 9/11 was an inside job is probably small, but the number of people who think that the government is covering something up is a substantial majority, according to the polls I’ve seen.

  • Joe, I agree completely with your last post. If Medina has issued or will issue a statement that makes it clear that she is not only not a truther (something that I assume she already has done) but also understands that the truther position is irresponsible and nutty, then she is fine by me. In other words, thus far her conduct has led me to believe that she is in one of the last three categories I listed earlier. If she makes it clear that she is not, then we are good to go.

    There is a HUGE difference between believing that our government covered up or might have covered up some things not disclosed in the 9/11 report versus believing our government was actually involved or might have been actually involved in a conspiratorial fashion in arranging and executing the incidents. There are many plausible reasons one might speculate as to why the report could have been less than complete, including some that almost everyone might agree are legitimate. And might the report have glossed over some shortcomings and misteps in order to avoid embarrassing certain powerful parties or interests? Sure, that is possible. But I believe (and hope) that the number of Americans who actually take the inside job possiblity seriously (let alone think it is an established fact) is very small, but I don’t know. My point remains that it is this — the truther — position that is nuts. A candidate who leads me to believe that they don’t think it is nuts is simply not fit in my view.

  • “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” — Arthur Schopenhauer

    “1,000 Architects & Engineers Call for New 9/11 Investigation ”

    More than 1,000 worldwide architects and engineers now support the call for a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. After careful examination of the official explanation, along with the forensic data omitted from official reports, these professionals have concluded that a new independent investigation into these mysterious collapses is needed.

    http://thetruthnews.info/census.html#911

  • Why would a call for an independent investigation into 9/11 throw such abject fear into people?

    And when did “truth” become a dirty word, and someone who wants to know the truth become someone to be despised, and a subject of suspicion?

    If the officially approved version of 9/11 is accurate and true, wouldn’t an independent investigation by “we, the people” just prove that fact?

    We all know that our government would NEVER, EVER lie to us. So what could they, or anyone else, possibly have to fear from some independent fact checking by the citizens?

  • It’s a shame that a Catholic website would attack the 9/11 truth movement. What is wrong with not believing the official story? It is not wrong to question authority. I am a Christian and I don’t believe the official story of 9/11. I am a responsible American, husband, and father. I am not a nutjob or Glenn Beck drone. I make my own decisions.

    Glenn Beck attacked Medina, threw her the question out of left field, to purposely cause her bad press, within 30 min. after hanging up with Glenn, Perry’s campaign had audio excerpts via cold calls sent to Texans trashing Medina.

    Glenn Beck is controlled opposition. His job is to subvert the Tea Party movement, water it down, and lead the masses back to the NEOCONS.

    There is nothing ‘Christian’ about Endless War.
    http://www.wtc7.net/

  • Joey,

    There is absolutely no evidence of government involvement.

    Do you also believe that FDR ordered the attack on Pearl Harbor?

    Do you also believe that the moon landing was staged?

  • Here is a video of Sarah Palin–saying she would like another 911 investigation and another video of Glenn Beck saying he has questions about 911 and its our right and DUTY to question government:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcngiD6Sq6Q&feature=youtu.be, Palin supports new 911 investigation.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FSwztg8Xvk Glenn Beck video, says it’s our DUTY to question government

    It’s noteworthy that both Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin receive their checks from Fox.

    Debra Medina isn’t a 911 truther any more than I am.
    I knew the mud-slinging would start and it has.

    There is a difference between a “Truther”–one who believes the government is responsible for the attack on 9/11, and those who think the government may have known something and failed to stop it–as with the attack at Ft. Hood, Texas.

    Beck has lost a lot of Texas viewers; over 17% of his television audience over this–NOT INCLUDING those who have quit listening to his radio broadcast. One article I read said it was close to 1,000,000,000 viewers–probably a combined figure.

    Oh, and while I’m at it, here a link to an old speech by Governor Perry, in which he admits that he shares Vicente Fox’s dream of an open border with Mexico.

    http://governor.state.tx.us/news/speech/10688/

    Think about THAT before you cast your vote.

  • Beck EVERYDAY questions the validity of this present administration. I listened to him for years and can say that it seemed to me that he definitely had an agenda. Medina is the best for TX and for this country. Perry and Hutchinson are of the establishment and I would rather risk Medina then go with the same old same old making things worse. Take a look at who pays Beck his millions, who his publicist is and then maybe you will understand why he probably obeyed some directive from somewhere. Mr Beck is NOT WELCOMED in my home anymore on radio or TV.

  • Was Perry or Hutchinson ever asked if they were 9/11 truthers? And since when is it wrong to question the government? The greatest country in the world the USA is capable of evil…take a look at abortions…so I am not saying either way I am just saying that the evil perpetrated on our most helpless and who is to say the government never had any false flag operations!?!

  • It’s a free country.

    You have every right to question the government.

    With it comes consequences.

    For example my opinion is that Truther’s are nuts.

    I have a right to that opinion.

    Unfortunately for you and Medina, 99% of the rest of the country thinks Truthers are nuts as well.

  • I did not and do not like the way that Glenn Beck handled the interview with Debra Medina and at the time I accepted her later explanation and seeming clarification, as having been made in good faith. But this is my problem with Debra Medina. Debra Medina should either explain what is going on in the Debra Medina Facebook page or say why she does not accept the basic principles and ethos of the US Constitution ( if that is her position ) or shut up. Frankly, I am sick of Debra Medina rabbiting on, appearing to be a conservative constitutionalist nationalist republican, whilst on the Debra Medina Facebook page if one expresses views in the ethos of Ronald Reagan or Senator Barry Goldwater, one will likely be hounded remorselessly up to and including death threats and yet at the same time, the Debra Medina Facebook page is a comfortable place to express admiration for somebody like the British MP Mr George Galloway.

  • ” John Says:
    Sunday, February 21, 2010 A.D. at 1:13 pm
    “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” — Arthur Schopenhauer

    “1,000 Architects & Engineers Call for New 9/11 Investigation ”

    More than 1,000 worldwide architects and engineers now support the call for a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. After careful examination of the official explanation, along with the forensic data omitted from official reports, these professionals have concluded that a new independent investigation into these mysterious collapses is needed.

    http://thetruthnews.info/census.html#911

    I have tried to engage 9/11 truthers in reasonable debate about the events surrounding the World Trade Center on 9/11 and these folks are simply not willing to do that, what they will most usually do is spew Youtubes and cut and paste at one. In one of the rare instances, that one of these characters was willing to get in to a debate with me, in which in that particular instance they were making an argument that sprinkler fire suppression systems, should have been able to fight and extinguish the fire, having effectively lost the argument on that point, ( re the capabilities of the sprinkler systems ), they then went on to claim that no aircraft had hit the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. What is also interesting, is that when in a popular internet forum, I advanced the possibility that 9/11 might have been a false flag operation but conducted by Aliens from outerspace, this idea attracted little interest, despite the fact it is a more legitimately plausible concept than many of the arguments advanced by the truthers, which fits well with my view that the 9/11 truther movement has very serious ideological and political objectives and its not just a bunch of folks who prefer convoluted conspiracy theories to simple explanations well grounded in facts.

Tim Tebow Pro-life Superbowl Ad

Sunday, February 7, AD 2010

Hattip to commenter restrainedradical.  One of the two Tebow pro-life Superbowl ads has leaked.  I can see why the pro-aborts fought tooth and nail to keep it off the air.  In tandem with the other Tebow pro-life SuperBowl ad,  it is devastating to them.  For background to the ads go here.  For the rest of the pro-life Tebow story, go to Focus on the Family here.

And here is the second ad:

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.  The pro-aborts by their hysterical reaction made sure the Tebow story of how his Mom refused to abort him got broadcast over America for free.  Now these two anodyne ads featuring a loving Mom and son make the pro-aborts look like the intolerant bigots they truly are!

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12 Responses to Tim Tebow Pro-life Superbowl Ad

  • Why exactly is this prolife? This ad in isolation says nothing and probably will only confuse people. Is there another ad?

  • There is NOTHING particularly pro-life about these ads. We were scammed. They were NOT what they were represented by Focus on the Family to be. They were about promoting Tim Tebow and Focus on the Family and that was it. Nothing about choosing not to abort, nothing about choosing life.

    We were had.

  • The message is in the Focus on the Family tag: “Celebrate Family. Celebrate Life.”

    No wonder the pro-aborts want to censor this ad.

  • Zach and Bender the “ads” weren’t the message, they were just teasers to get you to go to the web site where the real message was conveyed in an interview. The link is at the end of the first paragraph above.

  • So what was demonstrated by this event in contemporary culture is that it takes precious little to send pro-aborts over the top in preserving abortion on demand. That their extreme views and actions can work against them in unforeseen ways. That Focus on the Family must have some serious monetary resources!

  • You’re right, the ads weren’t the message — Focus on the Family’s misrepresentation about the content of the ads was the message, and FF’s manipulation of the pro-life community for it’s own purposes has now become the issue.

    I defended the ad because they said it was a pro-life ad. It wasn’t. It was a Tebow and FF ad. And I don’t particularly like being used to end up promoting Tebow and FF, rather than defending life as we all thought we were doing.

    Fraud and dishonesty are not the way to promote anything, especially the pro-life cause.

  • NOW is now condemning the ad for advocating violence against women. No, I’m not making this up:

    NOW president Terry O’Neill said it glorified violence against women. “I am blown away at the celebration of the violence against women in it,” she said.

    Source.

  • Let’s not overrect–as far as I know minimal information about the ad was given out beforehand by FF and much of the expected content was inferred by the opposition based on what was already known about the principals. While I wouln’t put it past Focus on the Family to engage in a little pro-abort leg-pulling, I’m hard pressed to discern a concerted effort to exploit pro-lifers. I believe most defenders of the ad acted spontaneously out of respect for the Tebows’ right to tell their stoy and weren’t goaded to it by FF. Anyway, FF succeeded magnificently. Weeks before the ad was aired, large numbers of people who had never before heard the story were suddenly aware of Tebow’s birth story. The ad itself was the most innocuous of teasers, exposing those pro-aborts who objected the loudest as the bigots they are. And the weblink at the end of the ad enabled anybody who hadn’t yet heard the Tebow family’s story to do so, if they wished. FF got its money’s worth several times over out of that thirty-second spot, and they did it in such a way that no reasonable opponent of their viewpoint could have protested.

  • Excuse me, that would be “overreact.”

  • “Violence against women?” Someone needs to tell that pro-abortion pseudofeminist that abortion is violence against women.

  • I’m just sayin’, there was nothing pro-life about these ads. Superbowl viewers were exposed to nothing pro-life. I don’t care about getting scammed (which I don’t think we did), I’m simply disappointed that nothing pro-life was said.

  • Preccisely, Zach. At the end of the day, there didn’t have to be anything pro-life about the ads. The pro-life part of the ads was all off-camera.

Pro-Lifers Invade the Pro-Abortion City of San Francisco

Tuesday, February 2, AD 2010

Recently the City of San Francisco got to experience a peaceful and powerful Pro-Life march on January 23.  In what is being billed as the largest gathering of Pro-Lifers in San Francisco ever, an estimated 40,000 volunteers from all ages, cultures, and nations descended on what is known to be the most egregious community of new Carthaginians in the country.

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6 Responses to Pro-Lifers Invade the Pro-Abortion City of San Francisco

The Baby and the Quarterback

Wednesday, January 27, AD 2010

My ignorance of sports is vast.  However, I believe I now have a favorite quarterback.  Focus on the Family has paid for a 30 second ad during the Super Bowl featuring former University of Florida Quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother Pam.  When Pam was pregnant with Tim she contracted amoebic dysentery.  Harsh antibiotics were administered to her to rouse her from a coma.  She was counseled to have an abortion, being warned that her baby would be stillborn or live only a few hours.  She refused to have an abortion and Tim Tebow came into the world.

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6 Responses to The Baby and the Quarterback

  • Excellent point made about the hypocrisy of the “pro-choice” protests of the Tebow commercial. Meanwhile Obama’s war against the unborn continues with his re-nomination of Dawn Johnsen to run the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Dept. Check out link at American Thinker.
    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/01/obama_gives_proabortion_antica.html

  • Before you favor him too much, read about his father’s missionary work to convert the pagan (Catholic) Filipinos. That said, her certainly does deserve praise for the unjustly criticized advertisement.

  • I sincerely hope that this ad would bring hope and healing to women and not the type of condemnation and ridicule that so many have cynically come to expect. That would be the kind of thing that could truly bring people together instead of politicizing this issue and dividing us further. Anything less would be a disappointment.

  • I disagree w/ you, Donald, on the notion that his monetary value will go down because of this ad. I think he may lose one or two potential endorsements in the future, but then again, he wouldn’t want to advertise for any product whose makers support abortion or similar issues. Moreover, I think it’s likely he may just become better known because of this ad, and in a good way, attracting more attention to any team he plays for or product he endorses. Then again, it’s football, and this whole flap may have absolutely zero effect on Tebow’s pocketbook either way.

    At the very least, airing the ad during the SuperBowl, the most watched American TV event every year, will at least raise awareness of the issue and spur discussions among friends and families.

    The pro-abortion groups and supporters are on the ropes in American society and they know it, so they continue to blubber and scream that CBS should censor this ad. Culture War Notes has up a video clip from MSNBC yesterday of the presidents of NOW and a pro-life organization debating the issue. It was extremely telling to me to watch the faces of the two women as they debated–the NOW president appeared to be so obviously angry, bitter, and unpleasant that she eventually realized that wouldn’t play well on camera. She tried to force a smile, but it looked like her face just wouldn’t allow her to smile. Tells us a lot about pro-abortion beliefs and proponents, doesn’t it?

    I’m a Florida alum, and Tebow is not only the finest college football player ever to play the game (OK, I’m biased, but just ask Bobby Bowden and Tony Dungy!), but more importantly, he’s a hero and awesome role model to millions of people for his beliefs and his life, as well as his talent. Even his football rivals praise him to the skies after they get to know him personally. GO GATORS!

  • I’ll give you that he is a better role model, but he is not a better college player than inVINCEable Young was.

    I’m glad he is doing the commercial – I don’t think it will affect him much financially one way or the other. The Ben & Jerry’s crowd isn’t brimming with sports fans.

  • Oh c matt, and here I was beginning to trust your judgment w/ your good taste in BBQ, then you have to go and compare Tebow and Young! Young was one of the greats, no doubt about it (and I don’t particularly like the Horns, despite living here in TX now, although I would have loved to have seen the Gators play them last January instead of overrated Oklahoma for the nat’l championship!), but Young would rank perhaps in the top 5 or 6 players of all time at the college level. In terms of leadership, heart for the game, and even overall physicality, I have to give the edge to Tebow here, and by a comfortable margin.

    Alas, not everything that comes out of Houston is logical, including c matt’s football preferences! ;-p

Senator Nelson Shoots Down Latest Compromise on Health Care Bill

Thursday, December 17, AD 2009

Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska said ‘no-go’ on the most recent health care bill that Harry Reid and the Democrats have compiled.  This most likely will derail President Obama’s efforts to have a Senate health care bill done by Christmas.

“As it is, without modifications, the language concerning abortion is not sufficient,”

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5 Responses to Senator Nelson Shoots Down Latest Compromise on Health Care Bill

  • Pingback: “Not to be outdone by Lieberman, Nelson demands more anti-choice language in Senate Bill” and related posts « Twitter
  • The rumor regarding Offutt Air Force Base being threatened with closure is almost certainly wrong. It was first reported by political gossip columnists who are not always reliable.

    The Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission process required by federal law takes years to complete and requires Congressional approval of any proposed list of base closings in full on a straight up or down vote.

    No military base can be closed on the orders of the POTUS alone. Even if Obama tried to start a new BRAC Commission today and get Offutt AFB placed on the closure list he would probably be long out of office before any decision was made. If Sen. Nelson says this rumor is not true I would take his word for it.

  • Actually, I need to correct my previous post.

    The BRAC process is normally initiated by either the Department of Defense or (in the most recent BRAC round in 2005) by Congress itself. The actual process of appointing the commission, visiting bases proposed for closure, making recommendations, etc. usually takes 1 to 2 years. If the POTUS approves a final list of BRAC recommendations, then Congress must either accept or reject the list in its entirety. Then the actual process of carrying out any closures on the list can take up to 5 years longer.

    My point remains, though, that the POTUS cannot unilaterally decide to close ANY military facility. If a new BRAC process were started tomorrow, it would take until at least the end of 2011 or early 2012 to get a list of proposed closures. Even the small to medium size facility closures on past BRAC lists have been controversial; an attempt to close a facility as huge and strategically significant as Offutt AFB (home of the Strategic Air Command) would be a political disaster of Biblical proportions.

  • All that being said… the bottom line is that Sen. Nelson is under tremendous pressure from the White House and from fellow Dems to change his vote, and he does urgently need our prayers and support.

  • Elaine,

    Thanks for clarifying the situation concerning the base closure. I posted the updated link that showed Senator Nelson debunking this, but as you said, he is under a tremendous amount of pressure and the left-wing zealots will do every evil thing imaginable to get their baby killing legislation in the ‘health care’ bill.

Bishops Disappointed by Senate Vote to Kill Pro-Life Amendment

Wednesday, December 9, AD 2009

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Pro-Life Secretariat just released a statement denouncing the defeat of the Pro-Life Nelson Amendment.  In addition the USCCB will not support any health care bills that diminishes the Stupak Amendment that was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Here is their released statement in its entirety:

December 9, 2009

Bishops Call Vote a Grave Mistake and Serious Blow to Genuine Reform

Say the Senate Should Not Support Bill in its Current Form

Hope That House Provisions on Abortion Funding Prevail

BISHOPS DEEPLY DISAPPOINTED BY SENATE VOTE

TO TABLE NELSON-HATCH-CASEY AMENDMENT

WASHINGTON—“The Senate vote to table the Nelson-Hatch-Casey amendment is a grave mistake and a serious blow to genuine health care reform,” said Cardinal Francis George, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “The Senate is ignoring the promise made by President Obama and the will of the American people in failing to incorporate longstanding prohibitions on federal funding for abortion and plans that include abortion.”

Bishop William Murphy, Chair of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, said: “Congress needs to retain existing abortion funding restrictions and safeguard conscience protections because the nation urgently needs health care reform that protects the life, dignity, conscience and health of all. We will continue to work with Senators, Representatives and the Administration to achieve reform which meets these criteria. We hope the Senate will address the legislation’s fundamental flaw on abortion and remedy its serious problems related to conscience rights, affordability and treatment of immigrants.”

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67 Responses to Bishops Disappointed by Senate Vote to Kill Pro-Life Amendment

  • Personally, I think it is dangerous for the Bishops to weigh in on most prudential matters. Of course, they should oppose any legislation that would advance abortion, just as they should weigh in on all matters of grave morality. But while appropriate access to health care may have a moral component, whether a particular approach would be effective or most effective is well outside the charism of bishops. I’m far more interested in what health care economists say, as well as insurance companies, doctors, hospitals, and medical organizations. Big and small pharma too. And big city hospitals that serve the poor. All are stakeholders and have knowledge. But the Bishops and their staff don’t know any more than you or me. They just have impulsive policy preferences based on political bias just like you and me.

  • I think the bishops are fully invested in the process since they seem to be wedded to “universal coverage” in health care. Though I disagree on their method of implementing God’s Kingdom here on earth, at least they found “a” voice somewhere.

    Hopefully they’ll be more unified in the next election cycle when it comes to protecting the unborn among us.

  • Amazing that this ammendment was defeated on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Maybe the Bishops could take note of that also.

  • Phillip,

    Good catch.

    It may be an omen that the bill will be defeated in order to protect the most vulnerable among us.

    Or it could mean something else.

  • Tito – I thought you didn’t recognize the authority of the USCCB. Only when they agree with you I guess?

  • Michael I.,

    The bishops conference is not an authority of Catholic teaching.

    So I choose what I like from the USCCB.

    I only adhere to Sacred Scripture, the Magisterium, and Sacred Tradition.

    Unlike you that adheres to Noam Chomsky, Karl Marx, and Bono.

  • The bishops conference is not an authority of Catholic teaching.

    This is not true, Tito, for the millionth time.

    And I’m not a fan of Bono.

  • I dunno … some of Bono’s earlier music is ok.

  • How exactly is the USCCB an authority of Catholic teaching?

  • Notice that Michael I. didn’t deny his adherence to Karl Marx.

  • Tito, I noticed and wasn’t at all surprised. No big scandal in my mind, since I have several misguided Marxist friends. We avoid politics and economics and just drink. I don’t see how Marxism can be squared with Catholicism though. But perhaps the USCCB has an authoritative teaching on how to do that. 😉

  • Although I would not call myself a Marxist, I’ve learned from Marx. As has the Roman Catholic Church and the rest of the human race.

    Mike – Um, because the USCCB are nothing but the bishops (you know, the successors of the Apostles!) in the united states.

  • Perhaps you and Tito would like to have a conversation about Marx, and about which of his ideas I agree with and don’t agree with, and whether or not the ideas I agree with are in opposition to Church teaching or whether the Church herself acknowledges said ideas?

    Or maybe you both can throw around the name “Marx” and the term “Marxism” without actually getting specific?

    Or maybe Tito will simply delete my comments when I ask him to actually get specific and show us how much he actually knows about Karl Marx?

    What about Chomsky, Tito? Can you explain to me what elements of Chomsky’s work are in opposition to Church teaching? Perhaps u.s. foreign policy is sacred and unable to be criticized?

  • The magisterial authority of a Bishops Conference is about that of an individual bishop. I think the document Apostolos Suos addresses this question. See here:

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/motu_proprio/documents/hf_jp-ii_motu-proprio_22071998_apostolos-suos_en.html

  • Michael I.,

    With the answer you provided so vague, vacuous, and open-ended, I’m surprised you haven’t found common cause with Mein Kampf or that writer.

  • It seems Michael is trolling.

  • Phillip – If you actually read Apostolos Suos and the relevant ecclesial documents, you will find that the issue is much more complex than your claim that “[t]he magisterial authority of a Bishops Conference is about that of an individual bishop.”

    Tito – You’re not making any sense. Could you rephrase for me? What was that about Hitler?

  • Michael I.,

    Garbage in, garbage out.

  • Of course its much more complicated than that. But of course, when one reads Apostolos Suos, one sees that a single dissenting vote by a bishop on a doctrinal matter ends the authority of the Conference and the matter must be referred to Rome. An individual bishop has that degree of authority in that he can stop the entire conference.

  • It is important to read the relevant ecclesial documents as well, including theological discussion on these matters. AS makes some interesting (non-infallible) claims about the authority of bishops conferences which are indeed in tension with, say, significant portions of Vatican II (which carry more weight than AS). AS strikes me as awfully mathematical, as if one rogue wacko bishop could threaten the authority of the teaching of the rest. Does not strike me as a very Catholic approach to authority.

    So yes, AS is important, but other documents are important too. And it’s important to read AS in its entirety and in context.

  • Of course AS can be read as a development of doctrine (non-infallible perhaps) though with greater magisterial teaching than theologians. As the theologian Cardianl Dulles noted, AS is the effort of the Church (read magisterial authority) to place the authority of conferences in its proper context (a limited one) which is only a reflection of individual bishops authority. This is the proper context.

  • Of course that would presuppose that much of what the USCCB does is pronouce on doctrinal matter. Actually most, such as its support of current health care legislation with three provisions, is doctrinal. It is of course not. It is prudential. Thus laymen can licitly disagree with their position in regards to the legislation in general.
    What is doctrinal is the USCCB’s defense of traditional Catholic teaching that abortion is an intrinsic evil. Thus Tito is on good ground in his position.

  • Funny, the way folks use the word “doctrinal” to draw artificial lines around certain ethical issues.

  • Only if one does not understand the distinction between intrinsic evils and prudential application of moral principles where licit differences apply.

  • Guys. Marx was generally good about diagnosing a lot of the problems of capitalism-particularly its tendency towards self-destruction due to the need for expansive greed.

    Now, his other ideas about history and individualism and God and pretty much everything else he wrote? utter garbage. But those that disagree with us often have a kernel of truth in them.

    Oh, and bishops are important, You should generally listen to them. (Darn it, I just agreed mostly with Michael I. I may get banned from this blog if I keep this up!)

  • Michael R. Denton,

    But those that disagree with us often have a kernel of truth in them.

    Karl Marx was born human.

    Michael I. was born human.

    I guess I found the kernel of truth in both of them.

  • I agree Michael D, though I can’t say Marx’s ideas about history were totally wrong – certain classes do gravitate to certain ideas. The casual relationship might be out of tune, but the correlation is there.

    The irony is that so much revolutionary nonsense, especially when it railed the hardest against Christianity, is really born out of a sort of childlike disappointment that humanity did not live up to the true standards of Christianity.

    I see much of revolutionary socialism stemming from what Moses Hess said to Marx – that the whole point was to “bring heaven down to Earth.”

    If we lived as Christians ought to live, consistently, fully, these people would disappear. In a sense I see the revolutionary scourge as, if not a punishment, an inevitable symptom of a society that has fallen off the right track. That is how Leo XIII and especially Pius XI saw it.

  • Michael,

    Yes, the bishops are important in matters of faith and morals. In matters of application of faith and morals to the political domain, that’s the role of the laity. The bishops may chime in with their prudential judgment. And I will assess their prudential judgment and use mine as is proper to the vocation of the Catholic layman.

  • Only if one does not understand the distinction between intrinsic evils and prudential application of moral principles where licit differences apply.

    I understand the distinction well, but that distinction is not a matter of doctrine vs. not-doctrine.

  • Ah yes. But one can never commit an intrinsic evil (abortion). One can disagree quite substantially on the way to provide health care to the population in general.

  • But one can never commit an intrinsic evil (abortion).

    Obviously.

    One can disagree quite substantially on the way to provide health care to the population in general.

    True. But Catholic teaching demands that health care actually be provided to the population in general. Most folks who “respectfully disagree” with the bishops on the health care issue have no desire to see health care extended to those who have no coverage, preferring free-market “you gotta earn yer health care” approaches. Basically what Catholic teaching allows is substantial disagreement on how universal health care is to be provided.

  • Tito – Do you not want to have a discussion about Marxism anymore?

  • Of course your present a false picture Michael. And what universal health care includes is not defined by the church. In my experience, America does in fact provide universal health care for children through S-CHIP. For the elderly with Medicare and with almost all poor with Medicare/Medicaid. Your point again is limited to a very false impression of what the government already does with health care in America.

  • Phillip – Show me where I am false, don’t simply claim what I have said is false.

    Millions of people are not covered in the united states. Millions of lives are ruined by this health care system. You cannot say with any seriousness that the u.s. provides universal health care.

    Another contradiction of the right: claiming on the one hand that the u.s. DOES provide universal health care, and then on the other hand in another argumentative context insisting that the u.s. should NOT provide universal health care.

  • Show that Obama’s plan will make it better.

  • Why? I’m not in favor of Obama’s plan. I’m in favor of the single-payer option.

  • Having said that, yes in fact S-CHIP and Medicare/Medicaid will cover almost everyone (S-CHIP will cover all children.) To claim otherwise is to not be based in the facts.

  • Nothing in Catholic Social teaching says there must be a single payer. Also nothing that says that such coverage must be equal across the board. These are licit areas of disagreement.

  • Having said that, yes in fact S-CHIP and Medicare/Medicaid will cover almost everyone (S-CHIP will cover all children.)

    All children = almost everyone? What?

    Nothing in Catholic Social teaching says there must be a single payer.

    I never said CST requires single payer. I said I am in favor of it. But CST requires that every person receive health care regardless of their ability to pay, i.e. universal health care.

    Also nothing that says that such coverage must be equal across the board. These are licit areas of disagreement.

    What exactly are you looking to get out of? Which persons do not deserve what? Please be specific since you seem to have something in mind.

  • S-Chip will cover all children. That takes care of that segment of the population. Medicaid and Medicare covers most others. That leaves a small number of people who do not have coverage. A basic plan that does not necessarily cover everything that a plan that others have would be consistent with CST. Basic health screenings, basic medications, basic procedures and emergency care – yes. Coronary bypass, more sophisticated medical care, more cutting edge medications – no.

  • Medicaid and Medicare covers most others.

    Most?

    That leaves a small number of people who do not have coverage.

    A “small number” is awfully imprecise. Are you saying that statistics reported and used by the USCCB are false? Is 40 million or whatever the statistic is a “small number”?

    A basic plan that does not necessarily cover everything that a plan that others have would be consistent with CST.

    The way you have phrased this indicates a “what can we get away with” approach to ethics

    Basic health screenings, basic medications, basic procedures and emergency care – yes. Coronary bypass, more sophisticated medical care, more cutting edge medications – no.

    Why should poor people NOT be able to have coronoary bypass surgeries? Why should they be denied “cutting edge medications”? Why are you intending to set up a class structure?

  • Actually the 40 million includes a large number of 18-39 year old who choose not to buy health insurance. A calculated risk but for most it is a wise economic choice. 11 million who qualify for Medicaid/S-CHIP are not enrolled. That would cover most of that 40 million number.
    CST does not require equality of outcome. A right in CST is that that would allow basic human flourishing. Vaccines and basic medications will. More elaborate plans are not required by CST. That’s been the teaching since Rerum Novarum

  • If you need bypass surgery or else you will die, then bypass surgery is basic to human flourishing.

  • Everyone will die. Even the rich will run out of options. Even with ordinary policies there is denial of care (transplants, experimental procedures.) The question is how much health care is a right.

  • I’m sure if Michael I. needed emergency surgery he would be crossing the border from Canada to the U.S. because he knows full well that the socialized health care in Canada would put him on a waiting list.

  • Not only that, but when he is older, deny a fair bit of care that he would get with ordinary, private policies in the U.S.

  • Everyone will die.

    Ah, here is your position. Crystal clear.

    I’m sure if Michael I. needed emergency surgery he would be crossing the border from Canada to the U.S. because he knows full well that the socialized health care in Canada would put him on a waiting list.

    1) I don’t live in Canada anymore. 2) I never had provincial health insurance while living in Canada because I am not Canadian. International students, until very recently, had to purchase private insurance. It was very inexpensive compared to the u.s. 3) In three years in Canada I did not meet a single Canadian who was unhappy with Canadian health care. Not one. I sought them out. They’re few and far between. 4) I am currently without health insurance.

  • You still didn’t answer the question.

    If you needed emergency surgery would you wait 3-6 months or would you jump back to the greatest nation in the history of the world, America?

  • Its not my position, it is God’s. Even Marx couldn’t overcome that.

  • You still didn’t answer the question.

    If you needed emergency surgery would you wait 3-6 months or would you jump back to the greatest nation in the history of the world, America?

    You never ASKED me a question. You said “Iafrate would probably do such and such.”

    But since you asked me directly this time…

    Presumably you are asking me assuming I still lived in Canada. Considering I had no U.S. health care at all when I lived in Canada I would obviously wait it out because “the greatest nation in the history of the world” would be of absolutely no help.

  • Phillip – What makes you hate poor people?

  • Tito, you are under the mis-apprehension that the US healthcare system is superior to that of other advanced economies. It is not.

    I am one of the lucky ones – I have insurance, decent by American standards. But in other countries I am familiar with, I can see doctors faster, I can get similar treatment, and I don’t have to deal with byzantine insurance bureacracies.

  • Michael I.,

    Are you going to scrub your fingertips until you scrape the skin off because they typed out the greatest nation in the history of the world?

    LOL

  • MM,

    Exchanging byzantine insurance bureaucracies for byzantine government bureaucracies is a step down in most people’s opinion.

    You may be able to get basic medical care at a lower price, but you will have to wait for most surgeries and other sophisticated medical procedures due to the lack of highly trained physicians being priced out of the market and to heavy regulation making it impossible to make a living in those fields.

  • Michael I.,

    i cut and pasted it.

    That was an awesome comeback!

    Niiice!

    🙂

  • But we are back to the point where we were before. The bishops have made a prudential judgment. Some laymen agree. Some disagree for different reasons. Abortion is an intrinsic evil. Obama’s health care plan is a prudential judgment. Elimination of class distinctions is not a component of CST. Rationing of some sort will happen as it does currently. Death is an inevitability. Not all health care that is available needs be present in a health plan to be moral.

  • The prudential judgment of the bishops is one thing, but their insistence that health coverage should be universal is not a prudential judgment.

    Abortion is an intrinsic evil.

    What does this have to do with it and why did you just throw it in the middle of this paragraph? Are you one of those “everything is really about abortion” types?

  • Just that the Senate plan just passed includes abortion coverage and the bishops have noted that one cannot support the current plan as a Catholic.

    Yes basic coverage for all is a Catholic principle. The problem with the bishops’ statement is that if abortion payment, as well as conscience provisions, were provided in the legislation, they would support it as being consistent with Catholic principles. This is their prudential judgment. Mine is that it does not. That’s the prudential judgment part.

  • I don’t see how universal “coverage” is anything but prudential. Universal access to basic health care may be a Catholic principle, but “coverage” suggests insurance, and the role of insurance is prudential. To the extent a society can afford it, no one should be denied access to basic health care. The extent to which that is actually happening in the US today is debatable, as is how improvements can be made. With proper protections against abortion, I have absolutely no problem with Catholics supporting a variant of the current legislation; I also have no problems with Catholics opposing it. To suggest that Catholics are required to support or oppose in such a case is just mistaken. Phillip is correct.

  • Thanks. Better said then my efforts.

  • Mike Petrik – But Catholics cannot support the standard republican line on health care. Period.

  • Michael,
    Discourse is not served by throwing our vagueries like “standard Republican line on health care.” Moreover, there is nothing in the GOP healthcare platform that is inimical to Catholic teaching. Period.

    http://www.gop.gov/solutions/healthcare

  • Moreover, there is nothing in the GOP healthcare platform that is inimical to Catholic teaching. Period.

    If you ignore all the lies in the platform, as represented in that link, maybe you statement would be true.

  • I rest my case.

  • Of course you do. Rest assured, too, in your “what can I get away with” ethic.

  • Michael,

    How can you on the one hand insist that only those who are ideologically sympathetic to you have an accurate understanding of what socialists/anarchists advocate, and yet on the other hand insist that only those who are _not_ Republican (indeed, only those who dislike them) have an accurate understanding of what Republicans advocate?

Senate Kills Pro-Life Nelson Amendment

Tuesday, December 8, AD 2009

The Senate defeated the pro-life Nelson amendment that would have disallowed public money to be spent on killing babies.

Steven Ertelt of LifeNews.com explains what the current bill contains without the pro-life Nelson amendment:

The legislation currently allows abortion funding under both the public option and the affordability credits to purchase health care insurance.

Pro-abortion Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine voted along with most Democrats when pro-abortion Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer of California moved to kill the bill.  Democratic Senators Bob Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania, David Pryor of Arkansas, Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Edward Kaufman of Delaware, and Evan Bayh of Indiana voted along with the rest of the Republicans to not kill this amendment.

Continue reading...

66 Responses to Senate Kills Pro-Life Nelson Amendment

  • Reid is digging a bigger hole for himself and for Obamacare. Watch Pryor and maybe Casey join Nelson in refusing to vote for cloture. Smart Democrats are beginning to realize that as bad as 2010 will be for them, passing Obamacare would make things much worse, and the issue of abortion gives Red State and Blue States Trending Red Democrats a good excuse to vote against it.

  • I pray you’re right.

    As for Bob Casey, Jr., he’s holding the line of “abortion is one of the many other issues” argument. Basically if we can get other Catholic issues covered and not stop funding for abortion, I’m voting for passage with or without abortion funding.

    I think Snow (which Collins follows sheepishly) and Lieberman will be joining Nelson and the rest of the GOP and stop the bill in it’s tracks (without Casey).

    That’s the (hopeful) scenario I envision.

  • Man…I wish I shared your optimism.

    I don’t see any reason to believe this bill doesn’t pass before Christmas. I think Collins, Snowe, Nelson AND Lieberman vote for it. And we need three of the four not to, right?

    Nelson is already backing off his promise to filibuster. Casey has been a joke to start with.

    The Republican Party talked tough a few weeks ago, vowing to insist the bill be read in its entirety. What happened to that? They vowed to insert controversial amendments? Never happened. They can’t even get this off the fast track so it’s not passed by Christmas. Pathetic. It’s as though they want it to pass so they win big next year.

  • Coburn backed off reading the bill when calculations revealed that it would only take 34 hours to read it, and it would probably have been done over the Thanksgiving Recess and would not have slowed down the progress of the bill.

  • I can’t believe how non-academic this article is. NO ONE IS PRO-ABORTION! What is WRONG with you? Why don’t you understand that? No one, especially Barbara Boxer, WANTS people to have abortions! That is SO STUPID. They are all pro-CHOICE. CHOICE. CHOICE. They believe that it is not anyone else’s–especially a religious group’s right to tell an individual (who is not apart of that group) that they cannot have an abortion within the first trimester. The definition of what constitutes “life” is NOT AGREED UPON.

    Why do people fight for the “potential” for life when innocent children are NEGLECTED AND MALNOURISHED IN THIS COUNTRY. Why don’t you care about THEM?
    I think if someone REALLY cares that within-3rd-trimester abortion should be outlawed–because they believe that an innocent pre-fetus has the right to life, then they should be obligated to care for an unwanted child too. I think it’s more inhumane and un-Catholic to bear a child to poverty in a country where healthcare is not guaranteed to everyone–especially to the poorest of the poor, who would be MOST HURT and BURDENED by the outlawing of abortion.
    If abortion is out-lawed, then POVERTY should be outlawed too.

  • I’m sorry that I said, “what is wrong with you” in the previous post, but it just REALLY scared me that a distinguished author would actually write and believe that.
    And addressing other fellow Catholics, c’mon now! Where is your COMPLETE care for the poor? If Jesus taught us to care for the poor, then we should be caring about decisions that will negatively and devastatingly affect them.
    As for fellow Catholic who do not support a public option of health care…WHY????????

  • As for fellow Catholic who do not support a public option of health care…WHY????????

    Because it won’t work. Here is lefty Ezra Klein explaining why it won’t work.

  • Speaking to reporters Thursday morning, Senator Nelson declared flatly that if his amendment fails,” I won’t vote to move [the bill] off the floor.”

    “If Stupak-type language is not in the bill at the end of the day, I can’t support getting it off the floor. That’s not negotiable. No wiggle room.”

    Tell me — how has Senator Nelson backed down?

  • If abortion is out-lawed, then POVERTY should be outlawed too.

    How would one go about outlawing poverty? It’s not like you could get rid of poverty by making it a crime to be poor.

  • “NO ONE IS PRO-ABORTION!”

    Caps do not make nonsense any more persuasive. Many people are pro-abortion including those in Congress who fight tooth and nail against any restrict on the sacred right to choose to slay the unborn.

    “Why do people fight for the “potential” for life when innocent children are NEGLECTED AND MALNOURISHED IN THIS COUNTRY. Why don’t you care about THEM?”

    An unborn child is not “potentially” alive, but is simply alive. We do care for neglected and malnourished children as the many Catholic and Protestant charities serving children attest. Why do you believe that an unborn child can be disposed of like an unwanted tumor?

  • “I think it’s more inhumane and un-Catholic to bear a child to poverty in a country where healthcare is not guaranteed to everyone”

    My mother was born in abysmal poverty. I am eternally thankful that my maternal grandmother, abandoned by the father of my mother, did not share your views. My father was one of seven kids born in the Great Depression to a shoemaker and his wife who struggled just to keep them fed. Oh, and my dad was born crippled with his feet turned the opposite direction from what they should have been. I am eternally thankful that my paternal grandparents had a very high respect for the sanctity of life.

  • Sadly, Ms. Miller erred opinion is too common in many dioceses within the American / Europe Catholic Church. The secular culture has done it’s job well.

    That said, prayer is the solution – daily prayer to stop pro-abortion support in our country. Prayer for the fathers who don’t care and just want to write a check to clear their conscious; prayer for the mothers who go through with it without really wanting to; prayer for those mothers who still suffer from their consent to abort their babies; prayer for the local, state and federal leaders who participate and support the pro-abortion business with their votes in legislation; and prayer for those opinion makers in the media who don’t see abortion for the murder it is.

    Imagine how easy health care for all would pass Congress if abortion funding was completely excluded! With daily prayer to the Sacred Heart of our Holy Mother abortion will go the way of slavery in America!

  • There is nobody more poor than the unborn child.

  • Mr. Brown:

    ” A few reporters waiting outside the door asked [Nelson] how it would effect his decision on whether to support the final effort.

    “I want to continue to work on this,” he said, not ruling out his support, at least “not at this point in time. I want to continue to work on the project we’re working on… This makes it harder right now [to support the bill]. We’ll have to see if they can make it easier.””

  • Kelley,

    I really really get where you’re coming from. I used to be pro-“choice”. But I just have to address some of the logical flaws with your argument.

    First, pro-choice IS pro-abortion. No, you don’t necessarily want people to choose abortion, but you don’t mind if they do. To be pro-choice means you think abortion is an acceptable choice – one that should always be available (and even beyond that, one that people have a right to have the taxpayers fund if they can’t afford to pay for their “choice”). That’s pretty strong approval for something you’re saying pro-choice people don’t really support.

    Second, there are many criminal actions that stem from poverty, but they remain illegal. Should we legalize theft until we as a society make it unnecessary for any person to steal? Should anyone who wants theft to remain illegal be legally required to house poor people in their homes or pay for things they would otherwise steal? (This is not to say we don’t have a moral obligation to care for the poor, I’m addressing the legal arguments you made.)

    Third, complete care for the poor and absolute intolerance of the evil of abortion are not inconsistent. But it is inconsistent to support ANY “health care” that will pay for the slaughter of millions of children with taxpayer dollars. At the very LEAST, the status quo on federal abortion funding should be maintained (and yes, since the health care plan will expand the areas of health care in which the government is involved, that means extending the funding ban to cover these new areas.)

    As you rightly point out, not everyone agrees that abortion is the taking of a human life. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t. And the fact that religious people believe abortion is wrong doesn’t mean this is a matter of faith. Science and reason confirm that a unique human being is created at the moment of conception. Those who see this evil for what it is (whatever religious or political persuasion) have every right as citizens to lobby their government and attempt to have the law recognize that lives are at stake. There was a time when not everyone agreed that black people were fully human. That didn’t make it so. It just meant that those who saw the truth had to fight HARD to convince the other side (and use all legal means available to them in the meantime to protect the human rights of our fellow man).

    Sorry this is so long. I used the very same arguments for YEARS, and was as shocked as anyone when one day I couldn’t stand the mental gymnastics anymore. I hope that day comes for you too, and in the meantime I wish you all the best.

  • It may sound petty, but I think Casey is feeling the footsteps of Santorium.

  • Kelley,

    Choices end when you decide to have sex. Don’t want a baby? Then don’t have sex. What are you? A wild animal given to the passions of the moment? And then once you do, you don’t like the consequences, so you murder the unborn baby that results from your fornication or adultery?

    NO sex outside of the bounds of Holy Matrimony! Act like a human being. Use the brains God gave you. You don’t need to rut in the wild like a baboon, and then claim it’s your “human right” to have a “choice”. Reproductive freedom ends when you chose to engage in the act of reproduction – sexual intercourse.

    P.S., As far as I know, baboons are more “moral” than we in that they don’t murder their young. So perhaps I insult baboons everywhere by comparing liberal pro-choice Democrats (and RINOs like Olympia Snowe) to them. If so, then I apologize to baboons everywhere.

  • Even if we grant that pro-choice is not pro-abortion, encouraging abortions is definitely pro-abortio. It’s one thing to say “It you’re choice.” It’s quite another to say “Here, I’ll help you pay for it.”

  • “There is nobody more poor than the unborn child”.

    I think I disagree. The father of that unborn child who has NO SAY in her/his abortion is poorer. He must watch his child, at the very least in his mind, die.
    If the mother who chooses the abortion is his wife, he must watch, at least in his mind, the person he is “one in being” with murder the fruit of their love.

  • Technically, one can indeed be pro-choice without being pro-abortion. No doubt in 1860 there were some Americans who believed slavery to be gravely immoral but who nonetheless thought it should be a legal option. With proper cognitive dissonance such a position is quite possible.

  • I think there is a difference between the pro-choice and pro-abortion position; I say this as someone who supported legal abortion but found it to be a tragedy in many ways. I don’t have a recollection of consciously wanting women to choose only abortion or advocating for abortion like I would have supported, say, gay rights. I believe I was pro-choice, not pro-abortion. There is a difference that is subtle. Both are, however, unacceptable.

  • Karl,
    Your post grieves me. Surely that unborn child senses a father’s heavenly love, just as surely as if that child had died cradled in the comfort of its father’s arms.

  • There ARE people who are pro-abortion – population control freaks like Ted Turner and other billionaires that fund abortion on a global scale, or our “science czar” John P. Holdren.

    Yes, they actually WANT more women to have abortions because they believe the Earth is over-populated, crawling with “breeders” and “eaters” and “breathers” who harm Mother Earth and make life less pleasant for the enlightened few.

    This is what international “family planning” is all about. Not only does abortion reduce the population, it destroys a society’s birth rate. Look at Russia. Look at Russia! Millions of women have been made sterile by multiple abortions. There are more abortions than live births, it is a society in complete demographic decline. And this is what the future holds for Europe, the US, and Japan.

    Abortion is a social scourge, a plague, it is almost as if civilization itself is committing suicide.

  • Eric,
    It seems to me that one must ask what does it mean to be pro-abortion in order to distinguish the term from pro-choice. The only sensible critereon that I have discerned is the belief that abortion is a morally neutral option. In contrast, a pro-choice person would typically acknowledge that while abortion is morally problematic, it is imprudent for government to police it. Such a position can make sense if one believes that the seriousness of the imprudence associated with outlawing abortion outweighs the gravity of the moral problems associated with abortion. This exposes the dissonance I mentioned earlier. It takes some pretty strange mental gymnastics to believe that while abortion is a moral wrong it is not so serious a wrong as to demand legal prohibition. When scrubbed, such mental gymnastics usually involve the absurdly unscientific claim that the humanity of the fetus is a religious question (it is wrong for me because my religion teaches that the fetus to be a human life but I acknowledge others are bound by other religious traditions), or more subtly and dangerously, the claim that the social protection of humans from violance should turn on utilitarian principles related to the the costs and benefits of a fetus to the community (i.e., the wrong associated with killing a fetus is outweighed by the wrong associated with requiring a woman to take a baby she does not want to term, because the socially acknowledged importance of adult women simply trumps that of unborn children). The latter calculus often involves the notion that fetuses are not fully congitive in the way an adult is. Peter Singer accepts the logical implications of such reasoning, but few others are willing to be so rational.

  • Mike,

    When I was pro-choice, I did not think abortion was immoral. Otherwise, I would not have supported it. It was tragic only as it related to the mother and whatever emotional and psychological struggle she faced. It was more ideal, in my view at the time, for a woman to announce pregnancy with joy and happiness — I felt the natural desire, the childhood dreaming of such a moment was to be one of joy — not of fear, shame, uncertainty, etc.

    In other words, I didn’t view abortion as a tragedy because of the destruction of unborn human life. I held a very John Kerry-esque smokescreen question of what constituted “personhood.”

    I didn’t see the direct contradiction of supporting legal abortion and wanting to change the circumstances surrounding it to prevent it from occuring. I was focused wholly on the woman; it was inevitably for this reason that arguments put forth b pro-life feminists and disability groups as well changed my views on abortion and physician-assisted suicide because they approach the issue from a different perspective — a way that resonates with people who are otherwise not predisposed to the pro-life position, but rather to the contrary.

    Objectively speaking, a pro-choice person is pro-abortion in the sense that they would tolerate legal abortion, they materially support it. I feel there is some distinction however in views, not in result of those views. I don’t recall being rabidly pro-abortion. I was, and still am in a more constructive sense, a critic of the pro-life movement.

  • Perhaps a distinction of view and intent would better explain it. It amounts to nothing and doesn’t legitimzie the “pro-choice” position over the “pro-abortion” position if there is even a difference.

    I’m just critical of it because it intellectually follows, perhaps, but it doesn’t resonate at all with my experience of being pro-choice.

  • Fair enough, Eric. I’m pretty much coming around to the view that the two terms are hopeless. Basically, no one is willing to call himself pro-abortion. Pro-aborts all consider themselves as simply pro-choice. Basically, they all consider the perceived positive moral value of giving a woman the option as outweighing any perceived negative moral value of killing an unborn child. Even the goofballs mentioned by Joe are really indifferent to abortion as such — they just want population reduction.

  • Pingback: Bishops Disappointed by Senate Vote to Kill Pro-Life Amendment « The American Catholic
  • I’m so glad that you guys wrote back to me! Thank you for your responses. I have been yearning for thoughtful discussion like this because the truth is that NO one knows everything, certainly I don’t! I have SO MUCH to learn from all of you. Please expose me to your viewpoints.
    I consider myself Catholic, went to Catholic school for 12 years, and still make it to church every Sunday-despite being a senior neuroscience student at a VERY LIBERAL college. I love my faith and what it stands for- mainly to help those that have less than us. Help the needy. To not be selfish and think of the well-being of others.
    With that said, I often lay awake at night puzzled and scared about the way I have seen other Catholics behave.
    What American Catholic would not want every person in this country to have the right to full health-care coverage? What Catholic wouldn’t be excited to give more of what they have for the benefit of those who are disadvantaged in this country? Also, someone in an earlier post mentioned that a public option wouldn’t work. Oh, ok–yeah–so let’s just not try! Or do you argue–that we should leave it up to the private sector/private aid funds to help out the needy…
    When it’s been clearly shown that this does not even come close to helping enough people; many US causes/aid programs within this country and in other parts of the world (e.g. Kenya)are insufficient, and partake in mostly self-serving endeavors as opposed to completely serving the communities they are funded to support (except for Amnesty Intl.)

    Those are only some of the questions I have. I have a laundry list of them–I just feel bad to write such a long post. I’ll get my questions together and write another one. But let’s start with that question

  • Kelley,

    As far as I know, the US bishops support universal health care, provided abortion is not a part of the deal.

    That is how it should be. We cannot achieve social justice through a culture of death. We believe that unborn human beings have rights, that abortion is murder, the destruction of the weak and innocent by the strong and the guilty.

    The teaching of the Church on abortion is clear and consistent. I hope you’ll come to realize that the fight for social justice begins with the fight to protect innocent life at all stages of existence.

  • Kelley,

    No serious person is arguing that the system is not in need of a change. No one is arguing that we don’t need to do something to make sure that everyone has access to medical care. That is a human right that no Catholic should stand against. Whether there is a right to or a need for government run health care is less clear and indeed could be a WORSE option than the staus quo (i.e. depending on how it’s structured in the final bill, it could easily make health care significantly worse and more expensive for everyone). There is evidence for this when you look at past US government forays into healthcare. At the state level and in the federal arena (medicare, Walter Reed medical center), government systems have been riddled with waste, fraud, and sub-par care. I haven’t seen any evidence of a system in practice to make me doubt that this will be the case on a much larger scale with more extensive government health care.

    That said, I think there are many options being put forth to reform the system to make sure people have better access without such broad government involvement. One that comes readily to mind is changing regulations to make sure consumers have the options in choosing insurance that will make it a truly competitive market. I urge to to look back over Darwin Catholic’s posts on this subject on the blog (others too, but him especially) I find him to be one of the most reasonable contributors on this matter – not given to hysterics, offers workable possible alternatives, etc. I don’t have time to dig up links now, or I would do that for you. It’s really worth it, if you have the time!

  • -Ok, let’s say that abortion became against the law again. People who want abortions are STILL going to work very hard to get them, will use hangers or get back-alley procedures done–which is a huge health risk for everyone involved…and a tragic, harmful one for the innocent fetus. Do we want that? Isn’t that worse?
    I know that there are moral reasons why we should do away with abortion. But what about what will realistically happen? Isn’t it morally wrong to ignore what has happened in the past? (meaning-when abortion was illegal).

    Also, I believe that it is wrong to have an abortion. But is it the government’s right to make within 3rd trimester abortions to be an illegal issue?

    On a separate point-What about for rape victims, mothers who cannot afford to care for their children or to care for themselves while pregnant, etc? Malnourishment during pregnancy is one direct cause of schizophrenia. If we care for the life of an unborn child–then let’s REALLY care for the life of an unborn child. Shouldn’t there be complete financial assistance for pregnant mothers who would otherwise feel pressured to have an abortion due to lack of resources?

  • Also, since everyone here cares about human life, I recommend these amazing books–I think you will all appreciate them. I’ve not yet finished, but I have learned a LOT:

    -“Social Determinants of Health” by Michael Marmot and Richard Wilkinson

    – “Uninsured in America: Life and Death in the Land of Opportunity” by Susan Starr Sered & Rushika Fernandopulle

    – “Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor” by Paul Farmer

    – “The Social Transformation of American Medicine: the Rise of a Sovereign Profession and the Making of a Vast Industry” by Paul Starr

    Joe, your comment was very comforting about the stance of the Catholic Church. I just wish that some Catholics that I personally know felt the same way. (I have a Catholic relative who calls the poor “lazy” and is terrified of anyone getting all of her money…but she thinks she’s the best Catholic because she makes curtains for the nuns at her parish…)

    And CT, your comment was very enlightening as well. Unfortunately, I have procrastinated long enough on finishing a research paper on the lack of adequate funding for mental health services in this country, but I promise that I will ponder over what you’ve said and get back to you!

    In the meantime, those books that I wrote down have seriously opened my eyes to issues that I had never contemplated. They offer facts and viewpoints that I still am shocked to know and am struggling to wrap my head around. Please check them out!

  • Kelley,

    “People who want abortions are STILL going to work very hard to get them”

    People who want to steal work hard at it too. We don’t make a terrible crime against a human being easier.

    Please understand, Kelley, that pro-abortion activists LIED before Roe v. Wade passed – they said hundreds of thousands of women died from illegal abortions.

    You need to look up Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who was once an abortionist and one of the founders of NARAL, the abortion political lobby. He is now pro-life, and revealed that NARAL made up ridiculously large numbers to get the public to sympathize with legalized abortion. Radical abortionists have done the same in every country where abortion is illegal – for instance, in Nicaragua, where they said thousands of women die each year from illegal abortions. Again, this is simply false.

    You see, Kelley, these people believe they are waging a war, a revolution, for sexual liberation, for liberation from the Church and morality. And they believe that a lie is a weapon of war – the ends justify the means. What matters isn’t the truth, but the freedom to have sex without consequences. They have been caught lying red-handed, and well meaning people such as yourself are the victims of the lie.

    I’m telling you if you do the research, you will see that not that many people died from illegal abortions because when it was illegal, women simply did not seek them out. Since it has become legal, it is often MEN – the fathers of the children – who force their mates to abort, or threaten to leave them if they don’t. Legalized abortion has made women into disposable sex objects for perverted male predators.

    “But is it the government’s right to make within 3rd trimester abortions to be an illegal issue?”

    It is every child’s natural, God-given right to live. Government exists to protect our rights. So yes.

    “On a separate point-What about for rape victims,”

    Abortion does not heal the wounds of rape, and a child’s right to live is absolute – how it comes to exist isn’t relevant.

    We are talking about a human being, Kelley. No matter how bad it sounds to you, even the child of a rape is a human being, even it has rights, even it is loved by God, as much as you or I or anyone else. You can’t forget that.

    “mothers who cannot afford to care for their children or to care for themselves while pregnant, etc?”

    Adoption is always an option. There are also many charitable organizations, churches, etc. that exist to help struggling mothers and fathers. In the worst case, it would be better to leave the child in a basket at a church or police station than to murder it in cold blood.

    “If we care for the life of an unborn child–then let’s REALLY care for the life of an unborn child.”

    You’re the one defending abortion rights. If you really care for the life of an unborn child, you have to start by accepting that it has a right to live. If you can’t do that, I don’t see why we should believe you care about unborn children.

    “Shouldn’t there be complete financial assistance for pregnant mothers who would otherwise feel pressured to have an abortion due to lack of resources?”

    There should be some assistance, yes – but we should not be in the business of paying women not to kill their children.

    As I have argued, a big part of the problem would be solved if society changed its attitude toward the father’s role in pregnancy and abortion, because many abortions are triggered by the actions of the father.

    So I believe in holding fathers responsible for their children, if their actions directly contribute to the abortion. This is not a woman’s issue, Kelley – it is a parental issue. It is about a parent’s duty to their children, a duty established by God, written into nature, for the survival and benefit of civilization. We cannot discard it so boys and girls can have fun without consequences. That is the way to chaos and destruction.

  • Here’s an interesting response I just got from a fellow college student:

    “remind them that the freedoms which prevent them from banning abortions are the same freedoms which prevent the government from banning Catholicism”

    Thoughts?

    Here’s another one:
    “I’m pro-choice. I would not get an abortion myself. If someone can’t comprehend the concept of wanting women to have options but not necessarily wanting to take them yourself, then they’re either remarkably stupid or so set in their ingrained beliefs that they can’t comprehend anything written by people disagreeing with them.”

    ?

  • Kelley,

    Come on. You’re going to post other people’s insults here? I know you’re trying to get to the bottom of this issue, but we don’t want to debate others through you.

    Your first friend is wrong: we have a first amendment right to free expression of religion. There is no Constitutional right to an abortion, no matter what the Blackmum court decreed. The “right to privacy” does not exist.

    Your second friend doesn’t understand the issue. I understand the argument and I reject it. We are opposed to abortion for one reason only – we believe it is murder.

    Listen very carefully to this. Repeat it 100 times if you must, because it is the core of our message.

    If abortion is not murder, then no justification is needed for it. If abortion IS murder, then no justification for it is adequate.

    Think about that.

  • People who want abortions are STILL going to work very hard to get them, will use hangers or get back-alley procedures done–which is a huge health risk for everyone involved…and a tragic, harmful one for the innocent fetus. Do we want that? Isn’t that worse?

    I must admit, this is a line of argument I don’t really understand. There are a great number of things which are considered immoral and/or socially destructive which we outlaw, despite the fact that people who are determined to do them anyway will take great risks to break said laws. For instance, we outlaw rape, despite the fact that some men are so determined to rape a woman that they resort to back alley rapes, which at times result in injury of not only the woman but the rapist as well.

    Would any sane person argue that this meant we should make rape legal, in order to assure that rapes were “safe, legal, and rare”? Of course not.

    By the same token, why should the claim that people might be injured in disobeying a law against abortion be an argument against having such a law if one actually accepts that having an abortion is a moral evil which harms another person? And if one does not accept that, why would one claim not to be for abortion?

    This whole position, however well meant, is simply incoherent.

  • Joe, I think you could be turning me over to pro-life. I’m not fully convinced yet, but I’m getting much closer! I need to check out the link you provided for me and look up Dr. Nathanson. I suppose I need some time to think.

    But in the meantime, if I decide to become “pro-life”, I still think it’s wrong to make that my top agenda to fight for over other more critical issues–especially issues surrounding the social determinants of health that essentially allow for the murders of individuals within low-socio-economic groups. Things that we currently allow in this country- are forms of structural violence–that are allowing people who are actually alive to feel immense pain that could be avoided.
    “the world that is satisfying to us is the same world that is utterly devastating to them.” – Pathologies of Power

    We know what is moral and what is important- to preserve human life and decrease human suffering. Often times, I feel that political agendas often force us to choose one pathway vs the other. Do you think that we should pick and choose our battles in order to help the common good? Even if we do not get what we want (which is for abortion to be addressed in the new health-care public option in a way that is in agreement with the Catholic Church), if a health bill were passed that allowed the un or under-insured to finally be insured–isn’t that better than halting the process and allowing them to suffer because of it?

  • Kelley,

    I think I speak for everyone here when I say that I am thrilled to hear you say you are considering the pro-life position.

    I do encourage you to think these matters through. If you want some reading to help you along, I think you will greatly enjoy reading JP II’s Evangelium Vitae.

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae_en.html

    There’s no reason you can’t be pro-life and fight hard on other issues as well. It is what many of us here do. But it is foundational.

    If we here can be of further help to you, don’t hesitate to ask questions. You can friend me on facebook too, if you like 🙂

  • why should the claim that people might be injured in disobeying a law against abortion be an argument against having such a law if one actually accepts that having an abortion is a moral evil which harms another person? And if one does not accept that, why would one claim not to be for abortion?

    I should clarify: when I say “why would one claim not to be for abortion” I don’t mean that people would think that having an abortion is just a fun and peachy way to spend an afternoon. Rather, I’m not sure why one would argue, “I think it’s wrong, I wouldn’t get one, I’m not in favor of them, but I think we should allow people the choice.”

    I’m not in favor of gall bladder surgery, in the sense that I certainly hope I never need it. However, if my gall bladder ever turns against me, I would sign right up and have it out. I wouldn’t consider it an agonizing decision or refuse to get one while allowing others to have the surgery, etc.

    I guess the question would be: If one is going to take the position that abortion is wrong, and one thus wouldn’t get one oneself, yet simultaneously hold that abortion should not be restricted because it’s a legitimate choice, one has to answer the question, “What is abortion and why is it wrong?”

    It seems pretty clear that if the unborn child is a unique human person with a right to be born and have a chance to life his/her life, then this would make abortion wrong. And if this is why it’s wrong, it seems to me that it’s wrong enough that legally tolerating it is not a good option, just as we refuse to legally tolerate a host of other ways in which one person can hurt another.

    If, however, the unborn child is not a unique and living person, I’m less clear why it would be wrong at all to have an abortion. If the unborn child is merely something which might someday turn into a human, than it’s no more shocking to dispose of one than to have a period (in which an egg which failed to be fertilized is disposed of) and no one talks about that as being a somewhat wrong or morally ambiguous activity.

    I suppose one could claim the unborn child is alive, but not a human person — putting it on the same level as having a cat or dog put down. But that would seem like the oddest belief of all: that at some point you and I were both living animals, but not human, and then later we morphed into humans?

  • I suppose one could claim the unborn child is alive, but not a human person

    It all hangs on this, doesn’t it? I think the reason that so many people can exist in the moral limbo of “more than a gall bladder operation, less than murder” is that they don’t really know what they mean by “person” and “human.” Biology doesn’t really help them much, because although they (should) know that a unique organism (of species Homo sapiens) is clearly present at conception, they’re not quite ready to call it a person. It doesn’t have consciousness or brain waves! they say.

    No one is quite sure what to make of this “unique human life” that possesses so few attributes of what we normally call a “person”. We need philosophy, not science, to say something definitive about personhood. We need an anthropology, a view of mankind, to know how we should treat this biological curiosity. That’s why so many modern people struggle in this moral limbo, because they sense that something more than tissue removal is going on, but they grope around in science for answers that aren’t there.

  • “We need philosophy, not science, to say something definitive about personhood. We need an anthropology, a view of mankind, to know how we should treat this biological curiosity.”

    Why? Why can’t developmental neurobiology be incorporated at all?

  • Personally, I just think that we should put the saving of human lives first instead of using this time and energy on worrying about whether a zygote is a human life. I mean, it’s not a human life, but whether a zygote has the same right to continue to develop into forms that will hopefully lead to a human typical form.

    There are SO many “agree to disagree” debates centered around what constitutes “personhood”–[some believe having a brain (like a late fetus), some believe any genetic material that could be incorporated into making a human, etc]

    And then there’s another step of “agree to disagree” about whether “personhood” is a legitimate stance to fight for.

    – Just another question: Are we the most important and the best species on this Earth? Is that a moral thing to assume? Look at what we do to other animals…
    why do we place ourselves on such a high pedestal?

  • I lastly just wanted to point out that there are many people (like most of my peers) who genuinely love and respect human life–that is why they fight for the oppressed (through Amnesty Intl, etc.)
    And some of these same individuals firmly believe that a zygote does not hold the same stance as a late fetus (with its developed human faculties). Debate after debate after debate–it tends to just come down to that.

    If we can’t convince those who truly believe that–of otherwise, do we have the right to change legislation about it-which will force them to abide by our laws? Who gave us that “moral” right? Did our God grant it to us? But these individuals don’t believe in God at all. (and are actually wonderful, loving, caring, human suffering-defending people).

    I think it is morally wrong to allow the halt of helping/saving human lives by holding this abortion debate (which could last forever at this time in 2009) at the very highest. That is precisely what we are doing by fighting for it at THIS point in time.

    I think that until we can resolve those differences, we should at least put survival of the living at our utmost importance. –and making that choice does count.

  • (just imagine if all of those people holding pictures of mutilated fetuses in front of Planned Parenthood–instead were using that time and energy to fight for single moms on welfare who can’t afford to feed their children because of the system, for those who are tortured in jail or exposed to TB as extra punishment, for the schizophrenic homeless who are essentially forced on the street or in jail because there are not enough people fighting for them–and they are defenseless- dependent on the rest of us to notice the everyday injustices they face.

    When we halt plans that will let them live, we are choosing the zygote over them.

    When we walk passed a homeless man who is talking to himself (clearly has schizophrenia) and we ignore him when he asks for a dollar…but then we donate to support pro-life initiatives–we are choosing the zygote over them.

    When we advocate for political agendas that will spend the time to advocate for anti-abortion laws instead of advocating for tax dollars to be steered toward mental health services, we are choosing the zygote over them.

    Every issue is important, but they are still often competing with each other. Don’t you think we should collectively help the living first and then help the pre-living?

  • Kelley,

    Please continue asking us questions. Many of the writers here on The American Catholic and many more readers of our website have extensive knowledge on a variety of issues that affect us as Catholics.

    We appreciate your sincerity and do continue asking us questions.

    We hope to arm you with the Truth.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • Kelley,

    Aren’t there a lot of “agree to disagree” deals that we’ve absolutely (and rightly) refused to make, however?

    There were a lot of people who thought it was perfectly acceptable to force black people to use different water fountains and lunch counters. They thought that skin color indicated a difference in kind and human worth. Lots of people held that view, and many others didn’t want to see the social upheaval of forcing those people to change their ways. But would that have made a good argument for argeeing to disagree?

    Should we agree to disagree on whether women should be turned down for higher paying jobs because “it’s not their place”?

    Should we agree to disagree on slavery?

    Sould we agree to disagree on anti-Semitism?

    All of these issues relate to moral judgements which were not shared by everyone in sodiety. And yet few, I think, would say that it would be a moral choice to simply shelve the issue because people disagree on it.

    Why is it so much more reasonable to shelve the question of whether unborn people should not be killed?

    It’s true, some people make arguments that human dignity stems from mental function, and thus that early stage embryos are not human. But by that same argument, isn’t the schizophrenic homeless person you pass on the street less human than you are? Do we want, even for a moment, to immitate the great eugenic and genocidal regimes of the last century in holding that human beings have less worth if they look different or are “disfunctional” compared to others?

    (BTW, it’s a minor scientific quibble, but the issue of “zygotes” doesn’t even come into abortion. A zygote is a human during the first five days of development, even prior to implantation. While the idea that calling an early stage human a “zygote” makes it particularly silly to oppose destroying it certainly ties into the overall failure of philosophical anthropology which lies at the root of the abortion question as well as other questions such as eugenics and euthenasia, zygotes are simply not candidates for abortion because the mother does not even know that she’s pregnant at 1-5 days after conception. She wouldn’t have even missed her period yet. While it’s common for abortion advocates to talk as if abortions take place when the child is “only a clump of cells” or “just a fertilized egg”, this is not accurate from a scientific point of view.)

  • Kelley,

    “Why? Why can’t developmental neurobiology be incorporated at all?”

    As Catholics we believe we are created with a soul. Developmental neurobiology may be useful in a number of ways, but it cannot tell us the VALUE of a human life, a human soul. No science can.

    “Personally, I just think that we should put the saving of human lives first instead of using this time and energy on worrying about whether a zygote is a human life. I mean, it’s not a human life”

    A zygote is alive, and it has human DNA. It isn’t any other kind of life but human.

    My right to exist began when I began to exist. I can’t remember being a zygote but I was one. I was the same being then with the same soul as I am now. All of my cells have died and regenerated 100s of times, yet my essence is still here.

    Importantly, I had parents who incurred a responsibility to care for my life as soon as they learned I existed.

    “If we can’t convince those who truly believe that–of otherwise, do we have the right to change legislation about it-which will force them to abide by our laws?”

    Did they have the right, Kelley? Abortion was illegal before Roe v. Wade and they forced it on the country. The founders of this country were pro-life, and abortion after the first movement in the womb (which is when people assumed life began in the 18th century, not having ultrasound technology) was illegal. It was our collective belief that life was sacred and that every person had a right to life, regardless of where they were.

    As Christians we have an obligation to defend the weak and defenseless. We have an obligation to create a society in which all human life is valued and respected. Unborn human beings are slaughtered by the millions for one reason only – they can’t speak for themselves.

    And if certain ethics professors have their way, live born infants will be added to the list, as well as the mentally handicapped, people in a coma, the elderly, and the list goes on. So we must be the voice for the truly voiceless. All life, through its very being, demonstrates a will to live, a will to keep on existing, even if it can’t speak.

    “Who gave us that “moral” right? Did our God grant it to us? But these individuals don’t believe in God at all.”

    We live in a democratic society. But legalized abortion was never democratically decided upon – it was imposed by the Supreme Court. We have a right as citizens, however, to try and persuade the majority to our views, and the majority has a right to vote for representatives that will enact their will as law.

    But this does miss the point. Suppose a group of people wanted to make child abuse and child rape legal. We wouldn’t hear a single argument from you or anyone else as to why that ought to be ok, and why we ought not “impose our morality” on anyone. We wouldn’t listen to the argument, “who are you to decide whether or not I can rape a child?” We recognize it as an inherently repulsive act.

    Well, the abortion industry and political lobby is committed to lying and scaring people into accepting another inherently repulsive act, abortion, and convincing people it isn’t so bad.

    Kelley, I think you ought to try and find a video of an abortion and watch it.

    “I think it is morally wrong to allow the halt of helping/saving human lives by holding this abortion debate ”

    No one is halting that debate. You’re setting up a false dichotomy.

    How we view human life is foundational to how we will approach all other matters.

    That said, a lot of the people who do try to prevent abortion at clinics are ALSO involved in the sort of the things you suggest. There are crisis pregnancy centers, there are food pantries, there is help for anyone who asks for it.

    Finally, EVEN IF what you said was true, murdering innocent unborn children wouldn’t suddenly become right because preventing it might require us putting aside some other causes. But let me stress again – it isn’t true.

    “When we halt plans that will let them live, we are choosing the zygote over them.”

    No one is doing that. Same for all your other scenarios. It is a completely false dichotomy, and many pro-life Christians are just as committed to helping the poor and others in need.

    Without any offense intended, Kelley, I don’t think you know very much about the pro-life movement, the people in it, what motivates them and interests them.

    You ought to take some time to get to know it. There are some rotten apples in every batch of course, people who hurl abuse at women, and it isn’t good. Compared to the crimes of the abortion industry, it’s practically meaningless.

  • Well said Joe!

  • Ditto!

    And I would add that Roe was lawless. Blackmun’s reasoning was specious and the decision the model example of a judiciary bent on making policy rather than deciding cases. Even liberal Con Law profs admit as much now and rely completely on stare decisis in their ongoing and embarrassing effort to prevent Roe from being overturned.

  • The things that you wrote were very comforting to me, Joe. I think I have grown up with a negative example of Catholics around me, that is why I came to this website– to see the views of other Catholics- to see if there are ones that are more open-minded and care about human life in the most practical way.
    I just know some Catholics that vote with the abortion ticket on their minds as opposed to universal health care. I know that you say it is a false dichotomy, and I agree that it is an indirect one, but I have seen this pretty blatantly in my life. I really hope that changes.
    I just don’t see or hear a voice from Catholics about the poor, the mentally ill, our terrible jail system, etc–as loudly as the pro-life movement. But, perhaps this is due to what the news reports on..and those other movements have more diverse crowds.
    I personally know individuals that care more about abortion of zygotes than advocating for those who are alive and suffering.

  • Kelley,
    The Catholic Church operates the largest system of charities in the world (SVdP. Catholic Charities, and Catholic Relief Services just to name three of hundreds), and that is hardly an accident. But you must understand that (i) no one is more helpless and innocent that that zygote and (ii) there is a difference between tolerating intentional killing versus grappling with poverty and disease.
    You seem to have an inaccurate and cartoonish understanding of religious conservatives. I recommend you read Arthur Brooks recent book “Who Really Cares?”. You need your eyes opened.

  • I used to think that poverty and disease were an “unlucky, unfortunate, by-chance” phenomenon, but actually it’s totally systematic and structured–meaning it will keep down the same types of groups over and over again. Look at those books I recommended earlier–really, I want to hear what others think with all of that information (that I never knew–but only just learned through a service-learning class called “The Health of Communities” in which we read all of those books, in addition to others).
    I will definitely get “Who Really Cares?” This forum here has already opened my eyes to the way other Catholics think–it is very comforting and interesting. I’ve learned so much.
    I disagree that no one is more helpless and innocent than the zygote–what about individuals with mental retardation or severe schizophrenia? They are completely dependent on the presence of a care-giver and advocacy from others (which is VERY LOW). People with mental retardation are the most forgotten, under-funded, and stigmatized of all disabilities. Furthermore, zygotes do not have that extra negative stigmatization that those with schizophrenia and mental retardation have, which only further contributes to their helplessness.
    Furthermore, I believe that zygotes are very important (obviously–hence I am not pro-abortion). But, I think that saving the potential lives of zygotes is less imminent and less important than saving the lives of the living. I think it’s more important to save the lives AND better the quality of life for those who are suffering, who can feel pain, who are left behind and know it (or even don’t know it due to mental impairments).
    One could argue that a zygotes right to life is just as important as the living’s right to life. But the living are suffering..suffering terribly…and I think that is what should place them before the zygote. I think that the leaving behind of the mentally ill, punishing prisoners with TB, exclusion of groups from certain systems/programs/privileges, allowing the needs of the poorest of the poor to never be adequately addressed–are all very intentional by policy makers and people in power. I never knew that until I did the research this year—and if I never knew that, I’m positive most Americans don’t either.
    I agree that I need my eyes opened–that’s why I came here to discuss these issues. But don’t you think everyone needs their eyes opened…including you?

    “Without any offense intended, Kelley, I don’t think you know very much about the pro-life movement, the people in it, what motivates them and interests them.”
    This is very true! That’s why I wanted to come on here. I’ve been very troubled by the things I’ve heard from some fellow Catholics. This has made me feel much better about the American Catholic population.

    “But this does miss the point. Suppose a group of people wanted to make child abuse and child rape legal. We wouldn’t hear a single argument from you or anyone else as to why that ought to be ok, and why we ought not “impose our morality” on anyone. We wouldn’t listen to the argument, “who are you to decide whether or not I can rape a child?” We recognize it as an inherently repulsive act.”
    I have to point out that many would make a huge distinction between raping a child and killing a zygote. Everyone agrees that raping a child is repulsive, but not everyone agrees the same about zygotes.

    ” ‘If we can’t convince those who truly believe that–of otherwise, do we have the right to change legislation about it-which will force them to abide by our laws?’
    Did they have the right, Kelley? Abortion was illegal before Roe v. Wade and they forced it on the country. The founders of this country were pro-life, and abortion after the first movement in the womb (which is when people assumed life began in the 18th century, not having ultrasound technology) was illegal. It was our collective belief that life was sacred and that every person had a right to life, regardless of where they were.”
    But I think the distinction here is that individuals felt specifically oppressed by this ruling. As Catholics, we are not oppressed by having abortion be legal. We can choose to not do it and to teach others to not do it either, and why. We can enlighten others about why it is immoral and offer help to those who need it.
    But conversely, for someone who feels they need an abortion–maybe even because they have severe diabetic problems and their life & potential child’s would be at severe risk in pregnancy and birth—they would not have the option to consider saving their body in this situation. They would have NO right to even make a moral decision about it in favor of bearing the child anyway–they would have to be FORCED to.
    This is something NO Catholic has to face.
    What’s even worse is if the diabetic woman truly believed that a zygote was not a human life. What if she truly believed that? (And it is backed by MANY other respectable, loving, and caring people.) None of them would be allowed to believe in what they believe. Or to even consider taking action.
    But Catholics do not have this problem. We are not prohibited from making decisions about what we want to happen to our bodies.

  • Also, Mike:
    My university has 3 copies of that book, so I’ll get it today! 🙂

  • Dear Kelley:

    You have an important insight here:

    I just don’t see or hear a voice from Catholics about the poor, the mentally ill, our terrible jail system, etc–as loudly as the pro-life movement. But, perhaps this is due to what the news reports on and those other movements have more diverse crowds.

    Sadly, the media is far less interested in covering this aspect of the Church’s work, as Archbishop Chaput pointed out a few years ago:

    http://www.archden.org/archbishop/docs/03_01_05_faithinpublic.htm

  • Kelley,

    I have to take issue with your continued use of the word “zygote.”

    When a woman goes to Planned Parenthood – or is dragged there by force, something that happens all too often – she cannot have an abortion performed on a “zygote”, which is extremely tiny.

    Surgical abortions are not undertaken until the “fetus” has acquired a distinctly human form. It has to develop to a certain degree before it can be effectively butchered and the bloody mess suctioned out of the uterus.

    Now, this is not to say that a zygote isn’t a human being – it is, as you and I were once zygotes, as we were once infants and adolescents. But I think you have a misconception of what is taking place. That is why I encourage you to somehow view an actual surgical abortion.

    “Everyone agrees that raping a child is repulsive, but not everyone agrees the same about zygotes.”

    First of all, not everyone agrees.

    Secondly, what about killing born infants? Whole societies used to think that that was just fine – and there are many prominent “ethicists” today who also believe that it is just fine. They believe it because an infant really isn’t that different from a fetus in terms of development, and in terms of it’s dependency on it’s parents.

    The point here is that just because a whole bunch of people come to think that something is OK, doesn’t make it OK. Child rapists probably feel oppressed that our laws don’t allow them to rape children – but how is that our problem?

    But the REAL point here is this: if you want to argue that an unborn child should not have a right to life, that is one thing. You may make that argument. But it is a SEPARATE argument. It has nothing to do with whether or not we should outlaw something or permit it. That is a distraction from the main argument. That’s why I brought up child rape – we know it is intrinsically wrong, and so we don’t debate the feelings of child rapists. If we thought the same way about abortion, we wouldn’t debate whether or not it was “oppression” to prevent it.

    “As Catholics, we are not oppressed by having abortion be legal.”

    And good Germans were not oppressed by Hitler. But if they spoke out against the Nazi’s treatment of Jews and other groups, they were treated as enemies as well. Hence millions of German Christians died in the camps alongside Jews, some of them because they refused to be quiet while the Nazis exterminated other human beings. They did so because it was a moral obligation.

    No one here is oppressed because of the way society treats mentally handicapped people either. You aren’t. But you have compassion for them, as we all ought to have. It’s something you don’t have to worry about or care about, but you do because it moves you. You should realize that the mentally ill, Kelley, are seen in the same way by a lot of prominent scientists, ethicists, philosophers and politicians here and in Europe as the unborn child is. They are seen as either a financial burden, or living out lives so bad that they would be better off dead – whatever they have to say to get these people out of the way.

    “They would have NO right to even make a moral decision about it in favor of bearing the child anyway–they would have to be FORCED to.
    This is something NO Catholic has to face.”

    I don’t see why you would think no Catholic has to face it. They do every day.

    And they can still make whatever decision they want – the point is that there will be consequences if they choose to murder their child. Now the Church’s teaching on “saving the life of the mother” is clear – the doctors must do everything in their power to save BOTH lives. If the child dies because it just isn’t possible to do both, that is not murder/abortion.

    Also, you have to realize that abortion is NEVER the answer to a life-threatening pregnancy; there are always other options, even if the child ends up dying as a result.

  • Joe, thank you so much for your thorough feedback. You definitely helped me to sort through my thoughts and confusions.
    I understand, now, what you mean–it is a separate argument. That makes a lot of sense to me.
    Then, yes- what if someone truly does not believe that an unborn fetus has the right to life? What if they truly believe that a within trimester fetus does not have the same rights as a human–to life?

  • Well first of all, a fetus is a human being, just like an infant, a toddler, an adolescent, a teenager or an adult is a human being. These are different stages of human development.

    As for people who truly do not believe that a fetus has a right to life, what about them? We should try and persuade them, but in the end, we must do all within our power and the limits of the law to defend human life.

    There will always be people who want to legalize child murder for different reasons. In a perfect world everyone would agree on every issue. In the world we live in, there will always be disagreement. We have to realize that the men and women who spend time, energy, and money to keep abortion legal are NOT people who can’t afford to have children. They are middle class professionals who see children (at least at certain stages in their lives) as a hindrance to their life plans. They exploit the poor woman who really doesn’t want to abort by offering her no other options, no love, no compassion, just a trip to a sterile operating room where a paid medical flunky destroys their child. They say absolutely nothing about the tens of thousands of cases where women are forced by their husbands and boyfriends and even their parents to undergo an abortion they don’t really want to have.

  • Why do so many people who are very intelligent, open-minded, caring, compassionate, fighters for social justice, etc–still fundamentally disagree?

  • Kelley,

    Speaking from my own, past experience of being pro-choice, I think that most of those people haven’t given it the same thought. There’s asymmetrical interest in the abortion topic, I think: The people who care most passionately about it are mainly on the pro-life side. That’s not to say that there aren’t passionate feelings on the opposite side, but it’s rarely an issue central to their ideas of justice. And in the case of those who *have* given it thought and *still* deny the unborn’s right to life, I don’t know what to say except that hearts can be hardened.

    There’s also the case of someone like Camille Paglia, who openly admits that abortion is the taking of innocent human life, but supports it anyway.

  • People with intelligence and who have great intentions can make a logical miscalculation. I’m sure the most die hard advocate for health care reform (like myself) would not concede that I am right on an issue because my opponent is intelligent, compassionate, etc.

    I wouldn’t doubt that such an indivudual has the common good in mind. But I would hold that the person is fundamentally mistaken.

    Moreover with abortion — there is a lot of misinformation — some people are just not informed on the issue. They may have intrinsic and extrinsic motivations to hold to their position, as even pro-life Americans undoubtedly do.

    But we are not all right about this issue. Either an unborn child is not a human being and there is nothing morally wrong with abortion, or it is really a human being at the moment of its conception — where so many genetic factors are already predetermined and known — and it has a right to life because of its basic humanity not because of what it can do (demonstrate consciousness, reason, think and act independently because if this was the standard we should kill born infants because they do not meet such arbirtrary personhood criteria).

    It really boils down to where rights come from and for what reason do we have those rights. Does the government give us rights? Or is a right something intrinsic — something due to us because of what we are, not what we can do? A person legally retarded might not exhibit the qualities of a non-disabled human in terms of rational expression. But that makes him no less human.

    Some very compassionate people will observe the natural suffering in such a situation and might think such a person, or such people, are better off not being born. But such a calculation could not be more wrong. We learn more from such individuals than they ever could from us — and the most foremost lesson is humility.

    Abortion similarly is the symptom of a problem; it is not in itself the problem. Society has not met the needs of women. When a woman has an abortion whatever reasons drove her to have it will be awaiting her when she returns to her home — economic insecurity, an abusive boyfriend or spouse, lack of support, a broken home, or maybe even a life of self-indulgence and promiscuity that she is not willing to give up for whatever reasons. There is never a reason to sit in judgment, but it is clear that abortion does nothing but add to the pain and abortion just leads to more abortion.

    It means not taking responsibility, it reaffirms our committment to a fatherless society, pits men against women, and women against their children.

    Sure, the most concerned and conscientious pro-choice advocate may very well have the best interest of these women at heart — but for those on the other side of the issue, we have every right, as well as an obligation, to protest and articulate how and why their method of support is both against the dignity of women and the scandalous support of genocide of an entire group of humans — the smallest among us.

  • I would recommend Pro Woman Arguments to Pro Choice Questions from Feminists for Life:

    http://www.feministsforlife.org/taf/2005/PWA2005.pdf

  • As usual… What Eric said. 🙂

  • This Nelson/hatch/Casey is not Pro-life. Good Grief!It doesn’t prevent tax payers funding for abortions. It has exceptions! What is happening to our Catholic teaching??? read the amendment! Here it is!

    the Nelson Amendment states (Source: http://bennelson.senate.gov/press/press_releases/120709-01.cfm):
    (3) NO DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF PROVISION OF ABORTION.—No Exchange participating health benefits plan may discriminate against any individual health care provider or health care facility because of its unwillingness to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.

    (b) Limitation on Abortion Funding.—

    (1) IN GENERAL.—No funds authorized or appropriated by this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion, EXCEPT IN THE CASE WHERE A WOMAN SUFFERS FROM A PHYSICAL DISORDER, PHYSICAL INJURY, OR PHYSICAL ILLNESS THAT WOULD, AS CERTIFIED BY A PHYSICIAN, PLACE THE WOMAN IN DANGER OF DEATH UNLESS AN ABORTION IS PERFORMED, INCLUDING A LIFE-ENDANGERING PHYSICAL CONDITION CAUSED BY OR ARISING FROM THE PREGNANCY ITSELF, OR UNLESS THE PREGNANCY IS THE RESULT OF AN ACT OF RAPE OR INCEST. (Emphasis added)

    Leo

  • I am enchanted with the idea of the liberation treatment to cure MS. From what information I can accumulate about clinics that offer treatment, I can only find one nebulous collection repeated on a dozen websites. Is there a better way to locate treatment, per say in North America. There are places that offer Liberation Treatment for the United States that no one knows about, such as Liberation Treatment Now

Cardinal DiNardo Rebukes Critics on Health Care Involvement

Monday, November 30, AD 2009

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo defended the Church’s involvement in removing abortion from the House version of the health care bill after a storm of criticism was leveled against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) of “lobbying” concerning the last minute addition of the Stupak Amendment.

“We would say: If you call it lobbying, we’re lobbying on moral issues that relate to the public square and we feel we have, as religious leaders, a place in that debate with others,”

Cardinal DiNardo became chair of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities at the USCCB.  He is also the ordinary of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.  His Eminence represents a growing cadre of bishops that are leading their flocks out of the wilderness bravely in a fallen world.

All throughout 2009 many bishops have entered the national debate in regards to defending fundamental moral values and rectifying misinformation from wayward Catholics in political life.  This year seems to be the year the bishops found their voice.  Not since Francis Cardinal Spellman graced the New York Archdiocese have we seen the faithful being led with strong ecclesial leadership from all parts of the country.

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14 Responses to Cardinal DiNardo Rebukes Critics on Health Care Involvement

  • Yep, that’s my Cardinal. With Cornyn and Hutchinson as our senators, Texas should be on the prolife side of this debate (although I have my doubts about Hutchinson at times, but she’s thinking of a governor run, so she has to tow the line).

  • C Matt!

    That’s my Cardinal as well.

    What parish do you attend (send me an email if you can).

    Tito

  • My cardinal, my parish. . . you Texans are all the same. You still think the rest of the USA is the backyard of the Republic of Texas. 🙂

    Have some pitty on those of us stuck behind enemy lines will ya’?

    Part of the enemies and the Enemy’s strategy is to make religion irrelevent, personal, private, quite and indifferent, then neo-pagan Satan worship will rule by default.

    It is not only permitted and encouraged, it is mandatory and incumbent upon the Church (clerics, religious and layity) to form the moral conscience of society and government. Catholics cannot and will not be quite about protecting the pre-born, the aged and all those marginalized by secular, illicit authority and the powers of the present darkness.

    Thanks be to God for Cardinals and Bishops with faith, hope and charity and what you in Texas call ‘cajones’ too.

    St. Andrew ora pro nobis.

  • That is not quite, it is quiet. Sorry.

  • That’s my Cardinal. I even see Tito at Mass 🙂

  • I love those late, late Masses on campus 😀

  • Tito:

    Can’t seem to locate an email for you.

    I go t St. Vincent de Paul in Houston.

  • C Matt,

    tito[.]benedictus[@]gmail[.]com

    St. Vincent’s, Where all the doctors attend! They have the best young adult spiritual group in the entire archdiocese.

  • I attended Mass at St. Vincent De Paul when I was down in Houston about ten days ago. I was pleasantly surprised – I was expecting a somewhat schlocky, new agey kind of Mass but got a very orthodox service (if with some unfortunate guitar accompaniment). A very packed Church, as well. Also, I couldn’t help but notice that they did not take up a collection for the CCHD. Interesting.

  • I noticed that as well at my own parish. From my understanding, you have to physically go to the narthex and drop your donation off in a CCHD bag or box.

    I like that idea instead of passing the basket around during collection.

    Outside of some of the architecture, the priests and laity are pretty solid there. You’ll still find your cultural Catholics, but it isn’t your typical parish that you normally find.

    And yes, they can definitely do without the guitar. It’s amazing how many orthodox and practicing Catholics that actually still play the guitar during Mass think it’s appropriate.

  • Well, if the worst thing is that they have guitar accompaniment, then things can’t be too bad.

  • St. Vincent’s, where all the doctors attend

    And the lawyers that sue them!! 🙂

    The Teen Life Mass tends to make me cringe, but while the style is not my cup of tea, the substance is usually solid. I am a bit disappointed with the Resurrection statue in the back (looks way to cartoonish), but the original crucifix and statues up front are pretty amazing.

    The architecture is a bit boxy and utilitarian, but at least it’s not theatre in the round.

  • C Matt & Paul,

    The statue in the back? The surfing Jesus?

  • Surfing Jesus

    Yes! That is a perfect description!

My Reaction to the Shooting of Jim Pouillon

Monday, September 14, AD 2009

It has already been confirmed that Jim Pouillon was shot to death for his pro-life views.

Jim Pouillon was a pro-lifer advocate that would stand outside of abortion mills hoping in turning away women from killing their unborn children.  He wore leg braces, was dependent on an oxygen tank, and was a “wonderful, Christian, peaceful man.” as described by close friend Cal Zastrow.

Jim Pouillon was also a Catholic and was remembered by his parish priest, Father John Fain of Saint Paul Church in Owosso, Michigan as “a good Christian and a faithful Catholic.

For self-disclosure I am very active in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in the pro-life movement.  One of the many activities that I participate in is peaceful prayer in front of Planned Parenthood.  So when I heard of the shooting I was deeply shocked at the news.

Even more shocking was the reaction in the secular world, particularly from the political extreme left as this example displays from the notorious Huffington Post:

“…with the way the fake news pundits will run with this one, we might as well get a good laugh out of it now.”

Though what was most disturbing at all was what emanated from various dissident Catholics and blogs when they began smearing the pro-life movement immediately after the attack by claiming that many pro-lifers are violent.

What can we do?

Pray for them.

Follow Jim Pouillon’s example of peaceful protest and prayer.  As our Lord and Savior told us, close the door behind us and pray in private.

Ora pro nobis.

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15 Responses to My Reaction to the Shooting of Jim Pouillon

  • I have no respect for Catholics who hate the pro-life movement, with whatever flaws it may have, more than abortion itself.

    But pray for them, we must. Nice post.

  • Joe

    It is not a hate for the pro-life movement to say it needs to be reformed; it is love for it that this is said.

  • Joe, you’re exactly right. Absolutely no respect for those Catholics who have nothing but evil to say about the pro-life movement while they, themselves, try to pass off support for legalized abortion as merely “incidental” to the overall greater good of a particular policy agenda.

    Henry, with all due respect, I have a hard time believing that your co-blogger’s recent criticism of the pro-life movement is out of “love” for the movement; rather, on the basis of his track record, I’d say his attack on pro-lifers is the purely politcal “not my tribe” stuff we’ve come to expect from him.

  • Joe,

    Thank you.

    Prayer has certainly been one of the main catalysts towards my reversion to our beautiful Catholic faith.

  • Henry,

    It certainly doesn’t have to be hate, but it can certainly take that form.

    I don’t see these criticisms ever being made in a spirit of charity, in a spirit of recognition of the basic good that the pro-life movement does in spite of its flaws.

    I don’t see half or even a quarter of the angry effort expended upon the flaws of the pro-life movement ever directed at the actual practice of abortion.

    Love does not exclude, and often demands, criticism. But it also requires, well, love.

  • Joe

    “I don’t see these criticisms being made in the spirit of charity.” Why not? Is it because you don’t want to do so? The problem is that people are so self-centered today, they can’t handle criticism? Seriously, when the point is to show “self-contradiction of the movement with its proclaimed motive” by someone who says “I support the motive,” it clearly is an issue of charity. Only those who are unwilling for self-examination and confession will find this problematic.

  • Secondly, “angry effort”– is it angry? Again, the hermeneutic used to reject the criticism is indicative of the problem. “Oh they are just angry.”

    Thirdly, perhaps the reason why the focus is with the pro-life movement is again because it is people who are pro-life who want the movement to be such? As Jesus said, until you correct yourself, don’t go correcting others. Perhaps this will help explain why that is a focus for some, without it being “hate” or “anger.”

  • Henry,

    Be very careful how you insult people’s intelligence.

    Your hate of the pro-life movement is tolerated so as to be an example of what to look for when faced with evil.

    So watch it with your uncharitable comments.

  • The problem is that people are so self-centered today, they can’t handle criticism?

    Only those who are unwilling for self-examination and confession will find this problematic.

    Again, the hermeneutic used to reject the criticism is indicative of the problem. “Oh they are just angry.”

    It’s utterly amazing how much of what Henry spews could apply in spades to himself, espcially the last point. I mean, didn’t we just have an entire pair of threads dedicated to the proposition that certain pro-lifers are motivated by anger? So what happens when confronted with an argument that his co-blogger might be motivated by anger? He scowls back at the accuser in a manner that indicates that he just might be “so self-centered” that he “can’t handle criticism?” Maybe it’s time for some of that self-examination and confession.

  • “Why not? Is it because you don’t want to do so?”

    Of course, Henry. You got me. You exposed my secret, hidden motives. Congratulations.

    Could it be because I simply do not see it? Is that a possibility?

    “The problem is that people are so self-centered today, they can’t handle criticism”

    That can be a problem, yes. But there is criticism, and there is attack. How do you think one Christian pro-life advocate ought to criticize another? What would be your rules of engagement? I’m sure if you were to list them, we would agree.

    In practice, however, some people default to more anger towards the tactics of the pro-life movement than abortion itself, as if abortion really were just some “issue” on which one has no possible justification for becoming passionate about.

    “when the point is to show “self-contradiction of the movement with its proclaimed motive”

    Yes, I am familiar with the type of criticism that is intended to “show” – that is, to hold up for ridicule and reinforce what the critics already believe (all sides are guilty of this). How about the type of criticism that is intended to actually achieve something?

    “Oh they are just angry.”

    Uncharitable would be another word. Though I don’t suppose you or your friends have ever used the word “angry” to describe pro-lifers.

    For my part, I believe anger is a perfectly legitimate and valid thing to feel – over abortion. Certainly not over graphic signs which remind us that abortion is not a nice, clean, spotless procedure.

    That said, I do not take “anger” as a sign of irrationality, stupidity, or invalidity – I question why it is directed at one thing instead of another. So it isn’t that you are “just angry” – it is that some people appear to be angry over the WRONG THING.

    “As Jesus said, until you correct yourself, don’t go correcting others.”

    Sound advice.

  • Tito,

    I don’t think it’s accurate to say that Henry hates the pro-life movement — it’s more that Henry thinks that the pro-life movement should be exactly like him, and he considers it untrue to itself to the extent that it’s not like him.

    Since it’s not much like him, this leaves him disliking most of it.

    But I’m sure that he does honestly believe himself to be strongly pro-life — even if his actions may at times seem to us to be in contradiction to that.

  • Darwin,

    Well said.

    I should use you as my proofreader to more accurately convey my thoughts.

  • “As Jesus said, until you correct yourself, don’t go correcting others. Perhaps this will help explain why that is a focus for some, without it being “hate” or “anger.””

    Actually, Henry’s point is valid to the extent that yes, I have believed, who am I to correct others, if I am a Sinner.

    Yet, at the same time and not to correct any other posters here, this is why we have the Holy See, this is why we follow the Traditions of the Church along with Scripture but it is not Sola Scriptura. The Right to life has been important enough for the Holy Father to address with regards to heads of state as we knew so with Obama. Rome says it! And that’s all I need to know.

    I may not be saying this in the best way possible but I think everyone can understand the gist of it.

    And I’ll keep this short, above Joe uses the correct words in saying “One pro life Christian advocate” and this is correct, as many Christians, Jews are pro life. I believe it is against the tenants of Buddhism and other faiths as well.

    Those acting rashly are real needles in a haystack.

  • That pelicanproject.org website is a nice site, I compliment you.

    This is another thing, let’s not be violent but know the enemy well.

    This is no big deal but one night I was reading on the web from some pro-abortion agency something about “Remember to avoid the crisis pregnancy centers, they are often run by Christians”: words to this effect, maybe not as harsh but still awful. Just like some of the stories one can hear about abortion mill workers getting commissions if they are able to sell a business. Know how bad these people can be as well!!

    Visit like http://www.blackgenocide.org or the more radical site blackgenocide.com . I do know of other Christians say from visiting http://www.prolifeamerica.com/ forums (one guy in there is like close to the real radicals of the Pro Life movement but it is mostly talk) and some Christians have that attitude of extending out the olive branch and how awful at times, pro-lifers can be. I’ve certainly seen those kinds of positions before.

  • You people all! Get so involved in a conversation but reading the quote from the Huffington Post and I do not know the whole context nor will search for it, that is an outrage.

    It was an outrage about the story of the blogger there that confessed to stealing McCain Palin signs out of yards and he was a professor at a college but not from the area, he was from far away from Northfield (he was a Professor for Carlton or St. Olaf Lutheran Colleges, not sure) Minnesota where he did these deeds. I thought it was the worst.

Pro-Life Protester Shot and Killed

Friday, September 11, AD 2009

In Michigan, a man is in custody after shooting and killing well known local abortion protester:

Owosso police chief Michael Compeau said Jim Pouillon, 63, was outside the school Friday morning with a sign when a man drove by and shot him. No one else was injured.

Michigan State Police have taken a suspect into custody, the Flint Journal reported.

The school was placed on immediate lockdown, though no students were hurt or involved in the shooting, Ossowo Hish School officials told the paper.

When authorities were responding to the first shooting, officials received a report that another man had been shot and killed at a gravel pit business in Owosso. Shiawassee County Sheriff George Braidwood said Mike Fuoss was found dead in his office.

Perhaps I’m cynical, but I doubt that there will be nationwide hand-wringing over whether pro-choice rhetoric has been too violent, and is thus at fault for the killing. Satisfying as that might be for those of us who are frustrated at being accused of being violent simply for opposing the idea that killing the unborn is a constitutional and moral right, it is probably as it should be since, as I’ve said when the shoe is on the other foot, broad political movements cannot be held responsible for the actions of lone crazies who happen to do something vaguely related to their aims.

Further details on the murdered pro-life activist from LifeNews. May God welcome the dead into the eternal kingdom.

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70 Responses to Pro-Life Protester Shot and Killed

  • As I wrote elsewhere: As with all murder, this is an evil act. Is the fact that he (who was he?) against abortion an accident or part of the reason for his death? We will soon find out. As with the murderer of Tiller, pray for the man/woman who did this. It’s evil, and needs to be denounced!

    I will also add: many pro-choicers are indeed violent. Those who accept abortion clearly believe in the utility of violence.

  • Meanwhile, Vox Nova is providing yet another opportunity for the Righteous Catholic Left to gasp and groan about Violent Pro-Lifers. (I believe it’s right near the one about the wickedness of interrupting the President with an uncivil comment.)

  • Ron

    If you deny the fact that many who call themselves pro-life tend to accept the culture of violence, the problem is yours. The reality is that many will claim “I’m pro life” and actively engage the violence of the age and use such violence and think nothing of such violence. It’s sad, but true.

    On the other hand, to point out that many pro-lifes are violent is not to deny many who are pro-choice are violent; indeed, they are. But those who are pro-life shouldn’t be violent and shouldn’t accept the gospel of violence, those who are pro-choice, on the other hand, are at least being more consistent. Consistently wrong, but consistent.

  • Henry,
    If you think that “many” who call themselves pro-life “tend” (what’s that a weasel word?) to accept the culture of violence (whatever that is), the problem is yours. If you think that one must be a pacifist (in the strict and proper sense) in order to be consistently pro-life, then that is your idiosyncratic view.

  • Henry Karlson:

    Your reasoning here would appear to be somewhat sound; however, is it really accurate to say “many” who are Pro-Life actually endorse violent methods as you yourself here seem to have generally supposed?

    This seems to present an entirely wrong impression (and, thereby, almost appears to be right on the periphery of calumny) that most Pro-Lifers are murderous thugs who happen hypocritically to contradict that very Pro-Life ethic to which they supposedly subscribe, to the extent of even murdering life itself.

    To be fair, I personally much prefer saying that a certain of the Pro-Life group mistakenly tend to that sort of violence; however, not “many”.

  • Crud, it would appear that while I was composing my own response concerning same, Mike Petrik beat me to it!

  • Given that he was deliberately gunned down while protesting, it’s a bit of a stretch to think that he wasn’t in some way targetted because of his pro-life advocacy. In much the same way that it seemed a stretch to speculate that Tiller’s murder was unrelated to his chosen profession.

    Speaking of which:

    Anyone care to bet that the President will issue a statement indicating that he is “shocked” and “outraged” by this? That he’ll direct U.S. Marshalls to protect pro-life protesters?

    I’m thinking “no” on both.

  • Henry:

    I do agree with you that violent pro-choicers are at least more consistent with their position than a violent pro-lifer would be.

  • I’ll take your bet Dale, but you have to give me a 1,000,000 to 1 payoff – I am willing to risk a dollar in the lottery-approaching-probability that the O would do so.

  • Dale

    Given there appears to be a possible second murder involving the same murderer, it could be other things and he/she only knew where the victim would be. But it is also possible it is a murderous abortion supporter, since they do exist too, and should always be rejected just as much as any other murderer.

    e. the issue is that many pro-lifers (people who call themselves such, within the movement) tend to be only anti-abortion, but other forms of violence (from wars to guns to the death penalty etc) are not out of bounds by them. It is good to work with people who have a common agreement against abortion, but it is possible that agreement is not based upon life (as Steve Taylor famously pointed out).

  • Have we forgotten what an excessively violent book the Bible is?

    I am not suggesting that murdering an defenseless man in cold blood – mass murderer of innocent children though he may be – is a morally justifiable act. There is a civil and moral law to which we are beholden, and everyone deserves due process.

    But where comes this endless hand-wringing about “violence” in and of itself? The Church opposes senseless warfare, acts of vengeance, and the use of capital punishment where it is not necessary to use it; nowhere I am aware of the teaching that insists upon total pacifism at all times. Sometimes even “violence” is acceptable and necessary.

    These two murderers are not morally equivalent, and it sickens me that this man will be compared to George Tiller.

    Jim Pouillon died in defense of innocent human life. Even if it turns out his killer was not politically motivated, clearly he believed that Pouillon’s protesting offered the best opportunity to gun him down. For his, we rightfully laud Pouillon as a hero and martyr.

    George Tiller was a butcher of innocent children, and the circumstances of his death should never, ever, distort that reality. Because we are beholden to a higher moral law, and to the civil law, it is wrong to murder even a manifestly evil man. But there is absolutely no comparison between the two.

    Frankly I am sick to death about the complaints of violence on the pro-life side. 99.99% of the violence in this dispute comes from the pro-abortion side, because, I hope we have not forgotten, every abortion is an act of violence. One or two pro-lifers who break the law and impose their own justice (and I do believe the sentence is just, only it is not theirs to meet out) is not grounds for a hysterical attack on the pro-life movement, does not necessitate an “evaluation” of pro-life political tactics and philosophy.

    The pro-life movement it its very, absolute worse is still 100 times more righteous and good than the pro-abort movement at its very best (whatever that may look like). And this in the end is why I can no longer contribute to sites like Vox Nova, for my differences with the socio-economic order of the United States are no longer greater than my disgust with abortion on demand and the people who defend it.

  • Henry,

    You are smearing the pro-life movement and most of their adherents.

    I am deeply involved in the pro-life movement and your false statements are nothing but lies. There are many Christians from various denominations that are involved and not once have I witnessed nor seen them advocate, talk about, nor exhibit anything that you claim.

    I pray in front of abortion clinics, am a member of a board on one pro-life group, and I actively promote the pro-life cause through various media outlets and other Catholic groups. Again, not once have I witnessed what you have described.

    If you continue to spout such nonsense you will be banned permanently from all activities here on the American Catholic.

    You’ve been duly warned.

  • Excellent points Joe. May we never forget.

  • Tito,

    When you have people who oppose abortion but are so into unjust wars (Iraq), showing a kind of gloating over the death of Muslims, then the violent nature of those people has been exposed. When you have people like Judie Brown posting pro-torture comments, then something is wrong with the movement. Delete and ban if you wish, but all you do is help the movement further diminish its value; if the Church itself is constantly in need of reform, what about non-ecclesial movements? Think this through

  • Joe

    Have we not forgotten that it was the zealots who wanted violence, and Jesus said no? Have we not forgotten that the Torah was given in a different time, different place, different part of salvation history, while Jesus himself came and said he was providing a new law — to love one another, even our enemies? Did you forget that the Church herself deplores this violence and says all life is sacred? Did you forget many cold blooded murderers converted and became men of peace and saints?

  • Two people were killed. The other was not protesting. They could’ve been random killings. Better to be cautious in attributing motive than take the chance of getting egg on your face.

  • Henry,

    You’re being nothing but tribal.

    You’re letting your extremist liberal views trump your Catholic views.

    You’re conflating Republicans and conservatives with Catholicism. Which is in direct contradiction with your extreme liberal views, democratic tendencies, and anti-catholic sentiments.

  • Henry,

    I’ve not forgotten any of those things. But add them all up and you still would not have ruled out all possible violence – hence neither does the Church.

    I condemn cold-blooded murder, yes, absolutely – even of an evil man such as George Tiller. But that does not mean that I must condemn all violence, and go hunting for a mythical “culture of violence” which would link legitimate self-defense to morally forbidden types of violence.

    To answer your specific questions:

    “Have we not forgotten that it was the zealots who wanted violence, and Jesus said no?”

    Why did Jesus tell the Apostles to acquire swords? (Luke 22:35-38)

    And why did he make a whip and use it to drive money changers out of the temple? Would you want to be hit with a whip?

    “Have we not forgotten that the Torah was given in a different time, different place, different part of salvation history, while Jesus himself came and said he was providing a new law — to love one another, even our enemies?”

    Yes it was a different time – but if “violence” as such were this categorical evil, to be unconditionally condemned at all times as you appear to make it, why would God employ it so liberally, and command his chosen people to do likewise?

    “Did you forget that the Church herself deplores this violence and says all life is sacred?”

    The key word being “this” – not “all”. The sacredness of life does not mean that it can never be taken under any circumstances.

    “Did you forget many cold blooded murderers converted and became men of peace and saints?”

    Did you forget that even guns have a patron saint?
    http://www.gunsaint.com/stagnaro.asp

  • I’ve said nothing about Republicans. Who is it that is being tribal? You project too much, Tito.

    I’m pro-life. In the full sense of the word. The Gospel of Life. Violence is to be rejected, and when we discern those within the movement to be violent, reform is necessary.

    And Joe, even prostitutes have patron saints. Do you want to make that as suggesting prostitution is good? [Personal attack on Joe Hargrave deleted here]

  • Oh, for God’s sake, Henry is the *least* liberal person I know, his political sympathies lean monarchist. Tito — people like you and Donald are pure, undistilled, liberals. The last gasp of Enlightenment-era radical individualism is kept alive and kicking by the modern American right. We can debate some otehr time whether this is good or bad, but stop hiding from it.

  • my differences with the socio-economic order of the United States are no longer greater than my disgust with abortion on demand and the people who defend it.

    Joe, I’m with you. What issue is greater than the protection of the unborn? When we watch, for example, the work of activists like Lila Rose, how can we not shudder at the cold, calculated violence enshrined in our laws?

  • Henry K.,

    the FACT is that the pro-life movement from end to end has been the most peaceful mass movement in the history of activism.

    I think your moral theology is confused, you’re suggesting violence in and of itself is immoral. That’s completely in error (how could God himself act immorally??), it is only violence contrary to justice which is immoral. You’re accusing people of being anti-life because they dissagree with your PERSONAL PRUDENTIAL opinion on the justness of particular acts, where the Church has not deemed to judge definitively, and even acts the Church has apparently determined are fundamentally good (owning and using firearms for legitimate defense).

  • Joe: “I am sick to death about the complaints of violence on the pro-life side. 99.99% of the violence in this dispute comes from the pro-abortion side.”

    Even if that were true, it can never justify the 0.01 percent of violence on the other side. Nor can it eevr justify the kinds of violence frequently defended by the pro-life movement in America. For example: Judie Brown, Deal Hudson, Michael Novak, Raymond Arroyo, Fr. Sirico, Jimmy Akin etc, defending torture. George Weigel still to this day claiming that the Iraq war, and the horrendous death and carnage caused by it, are justified. Phyllis Schlafly and so many others praising the use of nuclear weapons in 1945. Pretty ever pro-life Catholic blogger I know opposing gun control. [straw man arguments… 32 million innocent children have been murdered from pro-abortionists and dissident Catholics that you and Henry Karlson]

    Abortion is an abominable crime in the eyes of God because it is a particularly egregrious form of violence, the wilful murder of an innocent. It is not a class onto itself that can be divorced from the broader culture of violence. And when pro-lifers defend violence, then sorry, I question how they can be pro-life in the first place.

    Getting back to Joe’s comment, he is getting very close to making a consequentialist argument. Sorry, but the defenders of abortion also make consequentialist arguments (women’s life improved etc). So do those who defend war, torture, nuclear weapons. It’s all a defense of evil (violence) that should not be acceptable to Catholics. You cannot do evil, especially when that evil entails violence, so that good may come of it.

  • Also, and I hate to be the fuddy-duddy that points this out, but…

    “for God’s sake”, Minion? It’s not the worst way to take God’s name in vain, but we don’t need to see it on a Catholic blog.

    For the record, I would appreciate anyone pointing it out to ME if I slip up one day. I do in speech all the time, though I’ve gotten much better at quickly catching it.

  • Henry,

    To press the point, would it actually be right for me to say that *many* Christians believe in “Once Saved, Always Saved” or that *many* Christians believe in the Rapture?

    I attempted to provide a more charitable critique of your statement to the extent of agreeing that there are *certain* misguided (kindly note the euphemism) people within the Pro-Life movement who wrongly resort to violence and, thereby, contradict that very “Pro-Life” ethic which such a movement as this is obviously dedicated to; however, it would be unjust (to the point of malicious calumny) to say that *many* in the movement happen to endorse violence.

  • Joe,

    you’re scaring me with to much agreement lately… heheh. I will have to say that St. Possenti is not the saint of handguns but is proposed to be the patron saint of handguners. An important note is that this saint used guns to defend human life, and act for which he had no need to repent (though clearly regretting that it became necessary).

    I’d like to see a reference that supports a claim that the Church has identified a patron saint for prostitutes, Catholic Encyclopedia doesn’t seem to associate prostitutes with St. Nicholas as some have suggested.

    Morning’s Minion,

    you are a truly sad individual, why do you bother calling yourself pro-life when you work so hard to discredit that very position?

  • e.

    You ask, “To press the point, would it actually be right for me to say that *many* Christians believe in “Once Saved, Always Saved” or that *many* Christians believe in the Rapture?”

    The answer is: yes, many do.

  • Morning Minion said:

    “Abortion is an abominable crime in the eyes of God…”

    Morning Minion forgot to insert his characteristic Pro-Obama fine print:

    “* except when it happens to be endorsed by a Pro-abort Democratic candidate, then it can be deemed excusable.”

  • A point of order: I think it’s unfair to insert comments and criticisms into the comments of others. Criticism ought to be done in a separate comment.

    Henry is the *least* liberal person I know

    That doesn’t mean a whole lot; you could just need to get out more. 🙂

    Finally, I think the pro-life movement in its purest form is not violent. The pro-life movement has suffered a lot from its affiliation with the Republicans, as Republican views too often became tagged pro-life views, to the detriment of the pro-life movement and credibility. However, I think that this situation is getting progressively better. I think the younger generations are more authentically pro-life and I think we’re seeing more resistance to capital punishment and torture and war then before.

    While the pro-life movement is in need of reform, it is no particularly greater need of reform then its counterparts on the other side of the aisle, who are often pre-disposed towards more lax attitudes on abortion, same-sex marriage, and other issues which also include violence.

  • MM,

    “Even if that were true, it can never justify the 0.01 percent of violence on the other side.”

    No one says that it justifies it. Did you not read what I said it does and does not justify? It doesn’t justify people such as yourself attacking the pro-life movement AS IF it were made up of people on the verge of exploding into irrational vigilante violence.

    And it certainly doesn’t justify any attempt to equivocate the two movements. It doesn’t justify the wasted time, effort, and human breath it takes to condemn a movement that is 99% good. Your words will never stop a 1% outlier that could happen in any movement for any reason. Condemn it and move on – stop looking for the “demon”.

    I don’t support the Iraq War and I don’t support the use of torture – but as you know, I do oppose the sort of ‘gun control’ that amounts to a ban on guns, and no single paragraph from a 1970-something USCCB perspectives document is going to be enough to get me to abandon a 2000 year tradition of recognizing the legitimacy of weapon ownership for self-defense.

    “And when pro-lifers defend violence, then sorry, I question how they can be pro-life in the first place.”

    Then question your Church, which still defense some kinds of violence, such as self-defense, as perfectly legitimate. And nothing conclusive has yet been said about just wars, and even if the future saw the end of just war theory, it wouldn’t apply retroactively.

    “Getting back to Joe’s comment, he is getting very close to making a consequentialist argument.”

    I have done no such thing, absolutely no such thing. Where have I done so? Please quote me.

    I have said repeatedly that killing an unarmed man in cold blood is wrong. I don’t believe there are circumstances or consequences that can justify it, that I know of anyway.

    What bothers me is the WAY you react to these particular killings, the degree to which you heap scorn and condemnation on a largely peaceful movement while directing very little of that rhetorical fire towards the true mass murderers. Yes, I understand the need to say something about the murder of a George Tiller – so did the vast majority of pro-life organizations. But you and your friends go one step further in the condemnation of pro-life vigilantism, and one step backwards in your condemnation of the greatest barbarism of our age.

    Your priorities are out of order, at least if we were to measure them by the tone of your rhetoric and the direction of your efforts alone.

  • Dissident Catholics? Oh, that’s funny. From what teaching do we dissent, I wonder? I don’t dissent from any Church teaching, but I dissent 110 percent from the depraved political strategy of the American right when it comes to abortion – the strategy that allows them to denounce abortion while embracing other forms of violence, the strategy that allows them to choose American liberalism over Catholic social teaching (would a belief in subsidiarity without solidarity, condemned roundly by the pope in the newest encylical, qualify for the “dissident” label, I wonder?), the strategy that involves insular demonization of the opponents in a way that actually sets back the pro-life cause and thereby harms the unborn. Yes, you are harming the unborn.

    Here is Fr. Tom Rosica:

    “Through vicious attacks launched on blogs, a new form of self-righteousness, condemnation and gnosticism reveals authors who behave as little children bullying one another around in schoolyards- casting stones, calling names, and wreaking havoc in the Church today! What such people fail to realize is that their messages are ultimately screamed into a vacuum. No one but their own loud crowd is really listening. We will never change laws and bring about conversion of minds and hearts with such behavior. We make the Church and our efforts for life look ridiculous and terribly anti-Christian. Sowing seeds of hatred and division are not the work of those who wish to build a culture of life.”

    Here is John Allen:

    “One bit of gallows humor in Catholic circles is that sometimes the worst enemies of the pro-life movement are pro-lifers themselves. The point is that a handful of activists occasionally come off as so shrill, so angry and judgmental , that fair-minded people simply tune out the pro-life message.”

  • “you’re scaring me with to much agreement lately… heheh.”

    Matt,

    I’m always grateful for opportunities to agree with a person I typically disagree with.

  • I’d rather we exercised more restraint on the editing and inserting criticisms into the comments also – preferably prior to the parousia. It’s distracting and unnecessary imo.

  • Henry,

    Many Protestants do, yes, but if Catholics make up a considerable portion of the world’s Christian population; I wouldn’t be so inclined to use the word “many”.

    To me, it would be like saying that many Catholics are actually sedevacantist.

    Although, I can see the obvious flaw since Protestant culture dominates American culture.

    Nevertheless, to say that many in the Pro-Life movement actually endorse violence would not only misrepresent the Pro-Life movement itself but also damages the many who genuinely live up to its Cause and admirably promote it.

  • I second John Henry. Please stop the editing. It isn’t necessary. If a comment must be made, how about at the end. Or how about in response?

  • John Henry and Joe,

    Maybe you two need to read your emails first before jumping to conclusions.

  • Where did the Minion comment go? It was heated but I don’t think it qualified as a smear or lie.

    I think all editing should involve only inserting emoticons so that we get a truer understanding of the commenters’ feelings.;)

    On another note, I think American Catholic and Vox Nova should trade Tito for Iafrate for a period of time, like a week or month. It’s been a while since the 4th of July, and New Year’s is a way’s off, and I miss fireworks.

  • Folks,

    I can appreciate spirited discussion as much as the next fellow, but two points:

    1) As the owner of the thread, allow me to repeat with authority what Michael Denton said below: I do not want anyone using their editorial privileges to insert fisking brackets into other people’s comments. (Not looking for an apology or anything just don’t do it again.)

    2) I’d like to remind our progressive friends on the thread to keep a sense of perspective. You may picture political opposition to abortion and support for torture to be intimately connected because you despise conservatives, but recall that not a single conservative contributor here supports torture. Similarly, if you want people to respect that fact that you accept Church teaching on issues like abortion and same sex marriage — keep in mind that the vast, vast majority of advocates for your favorite causes (such as universal health care, greater safety net programs, living wage, etc.) in the political arena are vocal supporters of abortion, same sex marriage, and in many cases militant secularists as well. Tar not if you don’t want to be tarred.

  • Oh, the minion comment disappeared b/c it was being edited…I guess. Weird WordPress…or maybe I’m just blind…

  • Quite frankly (although I might regret agreeing with a sworn nemesis who happens to think likewise), the editting is not only distracting but also childish.

    You’re better than this, Taco Man!

  • MM,
    MM,
    i>Dissident Catholics? Oh, that’s funny. From what teaching do we dissent, I wonder?

    the very fact that you questioned Joe’s assertion that %99.99 of violence is perpetrated by the pro-abortion side of the argument belies that, while you may oppose abortion, you don’t see each abortion as the cold-blooded violent murder which the Church informed by modern embryology has made clear that it is. All of the people killed in all the violent acts that the pro-life movement defends as justified which are even questionable, do not add up to .01% of those murdered by the pro-abortionists.

    fair-minded people simply tune out the pro-life message

    fair-minded people ARE pro-lifers, they don’t stand outside and criticize them.

  • unfortunately for you you don’t write for American Catholic

    Woah! just kidding. Trying to lighten the mood. *backing away slowly now*

  • MM,

    Considering that abortion claims a million and half innocent lives in America alone each year, and shatters countless more emotionally and psychologically, I would say we are quite fortunate to have a pro-life movement that is restrained as it is.

    To get THIS angry over the pro-life movements tactics – and I’m not saying every group is beyond criticism – is, to me, to trivialize the greatness and vastness of the crime of abortion. It makes the actual murder of children itself seem like some secondary concern, entirely subordinate to the political image we project.

    Babies are being murdered. Children are being butchered. Infants are being sliced, diced and burned. Murdered, butchered, sliced, burned. We must constantly be reminded of these things. When we keep these things in mind the sometimes faulty tactics of individual pro-life groups are properly recognized as trivialities that we can address in good time, while the actual murder of children becomes the problem that we focus our efforts upon.

    When you pour such scorn and contempt on pro-lifers, you must be willing to forgive those who believe that you might not be one of them. I see no constructive criticism coming from you, no acknowledgement that the basic idea of these groups is good, but the tactics flawed, no helpful suggestions – just self-righteous anger and contempt, anything to make the other side see what a fair and rational fellow you are. These are people who believe that a woman’s vacation plans are just as valid a reason for abortion as rape. Do you really think they, and not your pro-life brothers, are more worthy of your efforts?

  • Michael D.,

    I like you, so don’t take it personally.

    Just doing my job and keeping the dissidents in place.

  • It’s a testament to the power of self-deception and cognitive bias that Morning’s Minion can post that Rosica comment without looking in the mirror first and realizing that it applies to just about everything he ever writes.

  • Tito:

    Thank you. I just wanted to make sure that you knew I was kidding, as it sounded like you might have taken it in a way I did not intend.

    As to everyone else:

    NYT has just published that it was in fact related to abortion (it being the murder of a man in Michigan that was the subject of the post): http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/12/us/12slay.html?hp

    Prosecutors said the suspect, who is 33, singled out Mr. Pouillon because he disapproved of the victim’s protests in front of children at the school.

    “There was some displeasure with how open he was,” said Sara Edwards, the chief assistant prosecutor for Shiawassee County. “He tended to carry big signs with very graphic pictures of fetuses.”

  • Editorial Note: There was a bit of editorial exuberance in some comments above on the part of some members of the staff which has been removed. However, I didn’t delete references to this fact in the comments, so my apologies for any references above that are now forever obscure.

    MM & Henry,

    How exactly is the pro-life movement discredited by being associated with a “gospel of violence” on the part of conservatives, while movements for just wages, universal health care and safety net programs are not discredited by being associated with the moral evils which remain popular on the left (abortion, euthanasia, same sex marriage, secularism, sexual libertinism, etc.)?

  • The Father Rosica quote is very relevant, and very applicable to the person that has posted it. (“Scorn and contempt” are not overly strong descriptive terms.)

    I have no problems making “alliances” with market liberals or evangelicals or Mormons or athiests or anyone else that also advocates peacefully for the cause of the unborn, seeking their protection through the force of law and cultural change. On those many other issues where there is disagreement, great – let us disagree.

    Might not some of those that decry “dualism” and “Calvinist” and “Americanist” and on and on take a similiar approach to the most pressing human rights issue of our time?

  • “I think American Catholic and Vox Nova should trade Tito for Iafrate for a period of time”.

    OK, I admit it, that’s pretty funny! Enjoy your weekend…

  • Darwin

    Because movements, such as on health care, do not necessarily presuppose the sanctity of all life; the inherent self-contradiction of anti-life beliefs while claiming that to be pro-life is what causes the harm. It is the same problem that the so-called peace movement in the 60s had — the violence within caused it to be anything but peaceful, as one of the most active workers for peace pointed out. When you undermine the principle which the movement is to be based upon, the movement is lost. Health care, etc, could be based upon many ideas, not necessarily life — though for Catholics, the sanctity and dignity of life should lead us to such reforms.

  • Henry Karlson:

    1. Why do are you so determined to paint Pro-Lifers with such a broad brush that would ultimately demonize the majority as being self-contradictory violent hypocrites?

    2. As far as “the inherent self-contradiction of anti-life beliefs while claiming to be pro-life” is concerned and that “though, for Catholics, the sanctity and dignity of life should lead us to such reforms”; what say you of the apparent contradiction in such persons like your friend, Morning Minion, who without question supported a vicious Pro-abort like Obama and with respect to your own previous Vox Nova comments that virtually endorsed his when it came to his defense of Obama?

    Physician, heal thyself (and thine own friend)!

  • e.

    Am I painting the peace movement with broad brushes by ultimately pointing out it was, and perhaps remains, a rather non-peaceful movement, contradicting its very aims?

    As someone who is engaged with peace and for life, it is important to keep the principle established, and reject those elements within (the self, the movement, etc) which contradict that essence. It’s a continual reform. The problem, again, is that the movement in the US (a political movement) is not exactly one and the same with the combination of pro-lifers. I am discussing the movement, and the disheartening facts I see within it.

    2. As the Church has said many times, supporting someone who supports X is not the same thing as supporting X, unless you support them because of their support for X.

  • Henry,

    Am I demonizing black people if I were to say that many blacks are bloody murderers?

    Am I demonizing Catholics if I were to say that many Catholics are anti-semitic?

    I suggest you review the Church’s teaching with regards to formal cooperation with evil.

  • e.

    I know quite well the issue of formal cooperation of evil; voting for someone despite a stand they hold is not formal cooperation.

  • That will be a relief to all those Germans who voted for Hitler because of his full employment program.

  • Michael D. and MM,

    Yes, that is funny.

    Though I’d like to know what would Michael I.’s reaction be as well 😉

  • That Vox Nova and some other statements above, I want to be careful who I prescribe it to, respectfully are absolutely ludicrous and without knowing these people’s positions in depth, may be very shameful as well.

    Let us not forget again, the John Brown Abolitionist of Kansas scenario, John Brown did horrible things to slave owners and the Confederate side. Was he reflective of the whole Abolitionist movement?? Would these paragons of virtue Vox Nova and others be labelling the anti-slavery movement with the same broadbrush because of the murderous raids of John Brown or even from the other side if one reverses rolls, Confederate renegades like Quantrell and his guerillas? The abortion industry commits horrendous violence every day.

    Again, that McCardle’s writings in the Atlantic were so spot on. Abortion was decided and one side was ripped off horribly.

    There are many pro lifers and there is a good number that do get all bent out of shape. I think I’ve mentioned it before, the PPH office here, well before they opened up one morning and no one was there, 7:30ish in the morning, this young man drove his truck up near the doorway, causing some damage and in the ensuing time before being taken away had the shakes and was saying “Auschwitz, Auschwitz…” etc. Yes, people get riled up, they do, how far do we go?? Can I walk by a PPH office and if a worker walks out of there at the same time, avoid saying something disparaging about the organization? Did I drive home during the week of Tiller’s murder, to see Pro-Lifers carrying big signs towards that same office, just outside around 6-7 pm one evening and see a police cruiser on its way there as well?

  • So the last name Henry sports is?? What? Sounds Scandinavian or what?? That is no reason to jump to conclusions but if you live in a Lutheran stronghold, you know, they can have watered down views. Something causing Henry to have some sort of milk toast accusatory position on this. I say that not in finding fault with Henry’s statements, as I’m sure there are many with Irish, Polish and Italian surnames who hedge on the issues as well. Still, it does make me wonder if I may say that.

  • It’s just typical dissident Catholic obfuscation.

    I doubt they even attend Sunday Mass, much less even properly catechized Catholics.

  • Tom,

    I don’t think someone’s name constitutes an argment.

    Tito,

    I share your frustration with people who call themselves pro-life showing up and immediately attacking the pro-life movement as the violent side of the debate — but wrong as that may be, jumping off into speculating over whether people go to mass or not is not appropriate.

  • DarwinCatholic: Okay, but I don’t see anyone named Kowalski or Rossi saying these kinds of things.

  • DC,

    I call them as I see them.

    If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, then it’s a duck.

    Dissident Catholic all the way through and through with no regard to anyone except themselves.

    You can continue to think that Henry is a sincere Catholic, the rest of us know that he’s nothing more than a pawn of Satan.

  • Tito, Karlson is not a pawn of Satan. He is a blogger like us. At most that makes him a knight of verbosity. I am sort of holding out for a bishop of tedium for myself.

  • You can continue to think that Henry is a sincere Catholic, the rest of us know that he’s nothing more than a pawn of Satan.

    Following Don’s lead, I think maybe ‘rook of inapposite analogy’ would be more fitting for Henry, but, in any case, I do not doubt his sincerity as a Catholic.

  • rook of inapposite analogy

    Now that is made of awesome.

    Does this leave the slots of “king of belaborment” and “queen of digression” open?

  • Does this leave the slots of “king of belaborment” and “queen of digression” open?

    I’m sure we all (including Henry and MM) have some candidates in mind…

  • Of course, if we did a nautical edition, we could have “prawns of Neptune”.

  • I don’t even have a response. But that was good.

    Unfortunately, I think of ‘District 9’ when I hear ‘prawns’ now.

  • I do not doubt his sincerity as a Catholic.

    I highly doubt his sincerity since he has not exhibited anything remotely close to the virtue of charity.

    Not once.

Obama Demonizes Pro-Lifers With Reckless Rhetoric

Monday, June 1, AD 2009

Obama Speak

The White House issued a statement that bordered on the polemic from President Obama that ratcheted up the rhetoric surrounding the tragic death of abortionist George Tiller [emphasis mine]:

I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion [notice how Obama ‘assumed’ that the issue was related to abortion without any of the facts present, implicitly connecting the suspect to the pro-life movement and instantaneously demonizing us], they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.

Such partisan rhetoric is unbecoming of the office of the President.  Especially when preliminary reports show that the suspect has no connections with any pro-life groups.  In fact, Scott Roeder, the alleged suspect, is connected to various anti-government groups.  This only shows President Obama’s speech at the University of Notre Dame of ‘not demonizing the opponent‘ as nothing more than empty rhetoric.

This type of rhetoric has only emboldened anti-life groups to capitalize on the tragic death of abortionist George Tiller.  The pro-abortion National Organization for Women (NOW) has already deemed it a “terrorist” act and wants stalinist tactics used on Pro-Life groups by the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security to:

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43 Responses to Obama Demonizes Pro-Lifers With Reckless Rhetoric

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  • Comments are now reopened on this thread. Good post Tito. Here is more from the Attorney General:

    “Federal law enforcement is coordinating with local law enforcement officials in Kansas on the investigation of this crime, and I have directed the United States Marshals Service to offer protection to other appropriate people and facilities around the nation. The Department of Justice will work to bring the perpetrator of this crime to justice. As a precautionary measure, we will also take appropriate steps to help prevent any related acts of violence from occurring.”

    That last sentence is intriguing. I wonder just what these “appropriate steps” will be.

  • No President Obama, whatever “moral” standing you have will quickly diminish if you go down this road of demonizing an entire sector of Americans by what in preliminary accounts looks like the lonely act of an anti-government anarchist.

    What about your demonization of “anarchists” in this sentence?

  • When there is violence, appropriate steps is to see what caused it, and what one can do to fix the problems which caused it. President Obama’s words were not against the pro-life movement, but against a group of people who claim to be pro-life, but show no understanding of the sacredness of life, that they are willing to do the unthinkable and take a life themselves. The two acts are linked. And one of the causes is the rhetoric within the pro-life movement which focuses only on abortion, and ignores the real pro-life stand which honors all life, even of those people we find to be monstrous. And nothing in this, nor what the Department of Justice said, indicates all pro-lifers will be profiled. But if you keep doing posts like this, you might just get what you want.

  • Thanks for the warning Karlson. If the Obama administration ever would be foolish enough to attempt to strong arm the pro-life movement, something I think is close to nil in probability, I have no doubt you would be using your best efforts to assist them.

  • This is Obama’s Oklahoma City bombing.

  • Steve

    Save it appears this has been a concern and worked out long before Obama was in office, as one can see with what he posted on the Operation Rescue website two years ago. In other words, it should be a wake up call for the pro-life movement, instead of being used as another reason to make Obama into the bogeyman.

  • Tiller’s murderer is pro-choice. That he is only a recent convert to the culture of death in no way invalidates the proper attribution of his worldview. Like any pro-abort, he made that “heart-wrenching” decision to reduce a human life to a problem to be solved by killing. He should face the full force of the criminal justice system.

    This incident is instructive, however, as the President’s speech at Notre Dame calling for the two sides not to “demonize” each other is quickly shown to be empty rhetoric, as he and all his supporters leap to the demonization of Christians and pro-lifers. Gone is the language of “human-caused tragedy”, gone the urgings not to “tar the whole group with the actions of one,” gone the calls to “understand the root causes of this crime”.

    For those who have so long hated the pro-life movement, the martyrdom of George Tiller is an occasion of great rejoicing.

  • To suggest that Obama’s response is not an attack on the pro-life movement is absurd. This is ONE murder of a particularly controversial individual who is clearly outside of the mainstream abortionist. There has been a grand total 4 abortionists murdered in the US. A federal response of any sort in this kind of isolated case is with no indications of an ongoing threat is unprecedented and only being done because it is an “opportunity” (remember Rules for Radicals and Rahm Emmanuel’s reference to using a crisis as an opportunity).

  • Mr. Karlson,

    How is this a wake-up call to the pro-life movement? I lead a small, humble local pro-life organization with nearly 1,000 members. If this is a wake-up call, what should my response be? To scour the internet looking for individuals with no affiliation with me or my group and ensure they aren’t planning any vigilante activities?

    Your response is akin to those who demanded ALL Muslims take responsibility for 9/11.

  • Just listened to NPR’s report (the left’s equivalent of Fox News.) No effort to investigate whether the shooter was tied to the pro-life movement or not. Lots of pro-abortion voices making Tiller out to be a martyr for compassion and women. Yes this will be used for more left-hate disguised as “protection” for the right to choose.

  • Your response is akin to those who demanded ALL Muslims take responsibility for 9/11.

    A perfect response to those who would use this incident as an occasion for bigotry.

  • Wrote my comment before farandaddy’s hate speech. Perhaps its that he can’t read the comments on other posts decrying the murder as contrary to the Faith.

  • Steve

    If nothing else, it should strive people to purify their language, to make sure they are not giving way to words which would encourage a violent response. The rhetoric over the last year has been the kind which does end up with “holy war” ideals. That’s the thing. It should wake us up, to remind us how we are to consider ALL life as sacred. ALL. When we find ways to get around that, we begin to move away from a pro-life stand.

  • farandaday,

    An opportunity to read as well as listen. Here from American Life League opposing the killing of Tiller:

    http://www.all.org/article.php?id=11966

    Also many other such statements from pro-life organizations. Perhaps if you wish not to be blind and read such statements. Perhaps. Perhaps…

  • I try to get along with everyone and none of us like to dictate to others. I am very pro-life and some people come up with the choice argument. And then, I’m pro-marriage between a man and a woman. These are my views but in the real world, it’s like our foes would accuse us of “ordering people around” which I don’t like to do.

    The struggle for the life rights of all has really come to the forefront and the “pro-life” issue takes precedent over anything with me.

  • The diarist wrote: notice how Obama ‘assumed’ that the issue was related to abortion without any of the facts present, implicitly connecting the suspect to the pro-life movement and instantaneously demonizing us.

    Hmmm. Roeder had been shot in both arms by an anti-abortion activist, his clinic had been bombed – repeatedy, he had received more death threats than he could count, his clinic had been blockaded by activists, vandals had cut wires to security cameras and made holes in his roof, and his home was constantly picketed. The “alleged” gunman was a well-known anti-abortion protestor and had posted on Operation Rescue’s “Tillman Watch” website.

    This is just stuff I gleaned from 10 minutes of newspaper reader. I imagine the President knows a little more.

    But, really, why would anyone just “assume” the killer was an anti-abortionist?!

  • I hope the guy isn’t a Catholic. Let’s hope no one that has not fallen away from the Holy Mother Church would do such. Of course, I would hope no one would do such in the first place. As said, though, this is against a tyrannical stance of the US government and one of the more radical abortion stances in the world.

  • I’m sorry, Tom, are you condoning this killer’s actions?

    “As said, though, this is against a tyrannical stance of the US government and one of the more radical abortion stances in the world.”

  • If nothing else, it should strive people to purify their language, to make sure they are not giving way to words which would encourage a violent response. The rhetoric over the last year has been the kind which does end up with “holy war” ideals.

    Describing something one believes to be evil is always going to involve a certain amount of strength of language.

    Peace advocates use _very_ strong language in denouncing the actions of the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan, but seldom worry that they are encouraging violent militants to kill US soldiers.

    Anti-globalization efforts use strong language to denounce business and global poverty, yet seldom worry much about the violence that springs up at G8 meetings and other similar protest events, much less more widescale violence in developing countries.

    I certainly do not endorse bringing self-consciously violent rhetoric into a debate needlessly, but it would be absolutely wrong for pro-lifers not to state clearly that they believe abortion to be the murder of an innocent human being. To elide that would be to ignore the injustice going on.

    What would be next? Should lynchings be timidly denounced as “mildly impolite” lest someone be encouraged to kill white supremacists?