The Ten Commandments

Thursday, April 13, AD 2017

All the good the Saviour gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.

Abraham Lincoln, September 7, 1864





Holy Week and Passover coincide this year.  Dennis Prager in the above video imagines what a paradise the world would be if everyone obeyed the Ten Commandments.  Religion is not some extra element in Western Civilization, but at its very core.  Take it away and what is left is an alien and self-destructive force, not long for this world and with no hope of the next.



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11 Responses to The Ten Commandments

  • How can we possibly know that they are True? Have you seen the tablets? I haven’t. And they didn’t have a tape recorder either. So who knows?

  • If we limit our knowledge of history to what we have seen with our own eyes than we have a May Fly view of existence. The Ten Commandments form the center of the Law of the Old Testament. That they are also True, i.e. good, can be determined by human reason alone, especially when pondering deviations from the Ten Commandments.

    (JFK is parodying the abominable statement of the new Superior General of the Jesuits, linked below:

  • The Dolores Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by Anne Catherine Emmerick is the vision upon which Mel Gibson based his film The Passion of The Christ. It is available in audio book. “Love God with thy whole heart, mind and strength and thy neighbor as thyself” is the whole law and the prophets.
    Everywhere in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, the Ten Commandments are expounded, again and again.

  • that is: The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It needed repeating.


  • Many, including some Catholics, have removed commandments and replaced it with Suggestions. False mercy and a disbelief in Hell have corralled many into honoring false God’s, ie LBGT as a normal acceptable forms of lifestyle to the point of discrimination laws muting the consciences of God fearing business owners. Abortion as Rights.
    Sodomy, pedophelia, pornography… God’s of today to name just a few.
    If we don’t come back to the basics, the Ten Commandments, we will suffer the fire from above..No deluge this time..but a fire that will rain down on much of humanity.

    Our Lady, Queen of Peace, save souls from the fires of Hell.

  • Unlike posted speed limits, which are merely recommendations, The Ten Commandment are mandatory, true, and vital.

    I saw on Facebook the latest detritus (“:Opinion is not truth.” Plato) from the head dastard at the so-called “Society of Jesus.” Those people never fail to disappoint.

  • The 10 Commandments, contrary as they are to the concupiscence of the eyes, flesh and the pride of life, are now being questioned indirectly by Pope Francis and directly by his spokesman Fr. Abascal, the new superior of the Jesuits. Can anyone have imagined this: that we are being invited to disbelieve the teaching of God by the Pope himself? I guess aside from praying for these people we should be thankful that we realize what is happening and inform others as this blog does so well.

  • “we are being invited to disbelieve the teaching of God by the Pope ” I hear you Michael Dowd and the confusion caused by what is happening in the Church, from top to bottom, hurts me almost physically.
    When we travel we meet so many Catholics so effusive of the goodness of the pope that we are left speechless.

  • Oddly enough, I was marveling about how the very nature of our culture is dependent on Christian/Jewish morals… even the need to write it that way is odd but based on love of other, since like Mr. Prager pointed out on his radio show yesterday, the big argument between us is that we think the Messiah has come, and he does not. (I didn’t catch why it had come up, just that little snippet.)

    It’s not going to fall, although it can get weaker or stronger; it is not a fast way, but it WORKS. Wonderfully made. 😀

  • It would have been 15 commandments if Moses hadn’t been such a klutz

The Ten Commandments and Freedom

Thursday, June 11, AD 2015

And one of them, a doctor of the Law, putting him to the test, asked him, “Master, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus said to him, “‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.’ This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 22:  35-40


Dennis Prager, the founder of the Prager University series of videos, notes that the structure of the Ten Commandments follows what Jesus taught:

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

You shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you.

You shall not kill.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor’s.

The Ten Commandments begins with our duties to God and ends with our duties to our fellow men. 

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One Response to The Ten Commandments and Freedom

Filial Responsibility Laws and the Fourth Commandment

Friday, September 3, AD 2010

Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land the LORD, your God, is giving you. — Exodus 20:12

The Fourth Commandment is most often interpreted as a directive for children to obey their parents and, by extension, for persons of all ages to obey lawful authorities. It has also been interpreted to mean that children remain obligated to respect, honor, and love their parents even after they reach the age of majority and are no longer bound to obey them.

Moreover, other passages in Scripture make it clear that this commandment carries with it a certain level of responsibility to care for parents who have become elderly or disabled:

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12 Responses to Filial Responsibility Laws and the Fourth Commandment

  • One problem is assessing the degree to which adult children can and should be held responsible.

    1. It is atypical for members of the current generation of elderly to have any kind of long term care insurance. The full force of expenses fall on the assets of the family.

    2. The minority who are admitted to nursing homes for aught but temporary rehabilitation are there (if I am not mistaken) a mean of two years or so. The cost for such would be ruinous for all but a few families. Mean annual charges for residence in a nursing home run to $104,000 here in Upstate New York.

    3. Care at home is agreeable, but it will commonly require some adult to give up their employment (which in turn impairs the ability of the family to support any future institutional care).

    4. Filial responsibility assumes something that is commonly but not universally true: that the infirm and addled parent will co-operate with their children in arranging various aspects of their care.

    5. Adult children are not legal guardians of their parents. An elder lawyer of my acquaintance recently informed me that guardianship proceedings are wretchedly expensive, emotionally wrenching, and will at times fail for the plaintiff.

    You have to be very careful with this sort of thing and see to it that structural mal-adjustments are removed (points 4 & 5), transactions costs (lawyers’ fees) are brought to a minimum, and an understanding is arrived at as to what portion of the assets of adult children can be attached and what sort of condition the parent must be in before institutional care is considered advisable. I have known people who sacrificed a great deal for their infirm parents (an engineer of my acquaintance has not worked for 14 years). I have also known elderly who were perfectly pig-headed and unmanageable by those around them.

  • Should their be penalties when deliberate neglect can be demonstrated? Possibly. But before such laws be enacted, I’d like to see a more just tax system in place, so that children can financially support their parents or provide for their care, etc. Welfare should be a last means of resort for those who have no other means of support. The government should not be taking away from income what should be used to meet one’s social obligations (including those beyond the family).

  • We live five blocks from my parents and less than an hour from my wife’s parents precisely because we have a responsibility to help them as they get older. Right now, this is not troublesome. We move boxes, fix things up around the house, take them shopping when they don’t feel up to driving, etc. Someday though, it is likely that the care required will be greater than we can manage while raising our children (3, 6, and 9).

    My brother is the director of a geriatric center and his stories are troubling. Of course, the most upsetting are those elderly persons who lie abandoned but the more common problem is that a lifetime of assets are wiped out very soon after admission to a full-care facility. If one has very few assets, $50,000 for example – the assets will be gone before a year is up and insurance will pick up from there. If one has a middling level of assets, perhaps $250,000 for example, your assets will also be gone before two or three years are up. Even the middling wealthy will last only five years or so before insurance is picking up the bulk of the cost.

    All this is to say that longevity due to medicine appears to have rendered the idea of saving for the end of one’s life a quaint notion. The end of life is now a democratized existence of managed care, insurance, and subsidy. Perhaps this is a fitting precursor to what follows.

    I am “investing for retirement” only in the sense that I want to live as well as I can before my body gives out. I expect to expend my assets BEFORE I require significant care. That will make me largely a ward of the State for a few years at the end but there is nothing I can do to forestall that so it is better to use the resources during a point that they can do me and my kin some good.

    This raises an ugly discussion about whether longevity without health is really a societal, familial, or individual good. Perhaps that is a topic for another time but it is a discussion I would like to see occur.

  • A filial responsibility law requiring all the siblings in such a scenario to contribute toward the cost of a parent’s care may help ease the burden on the primary caregiving sibling.

    If the assets of the other children can be attached by local courts. In the three cases of which I am personally acquainted, half of the children of the infirm parent live out of state.

  • “I expect to expend my assets BEFORE I require significant care… during a point that they can do me and my kin some good.”

    If you do, however, you should do so at least 5 years before you end up broke and in a nursing home (provided, of course, you have a crystal ball and can predict exactly when you will need to apply for Medicaid).

    Due to the change in federal law, nursing home residents who apply for Medicaid may be subject to penalty periods of ineligibilty equal to the amount of time they COULD have paid for their own care with any assets they gave away or disposed of at less than fair market value within the previous 5 years.

    If a penalty period is imposed, and a hardship waiver cannot be obtained, the resident then will have to get their children to cough up the money, move out of the home until the penalty period expires, or leave the nursing home holding the bag for those costs. This is the point at which some people think filial responsibility laws should be invoked.

    The purpose of the law, of course, is to discourage wealthy people from intentionally giving away significant assets to their children for the express purpose of “impoverishing” themselves so as to qualify for Medicaid.

    Unfortunately, depending on how the law is interpreted by Medicaid caseworkers, elder law attorneys, etc. it could also potentially come back to bite people who simply wanted to be generous to their children, grandchildren, friends, churches, charities, etc. if they cannot prove those transactions were made for a reason other than to attain Medicaid eligibility.

    This is a very difficult issue in that we have to balance the legitimate desire of people who have worked hard all their lives and want to leave something behind for their children and grandchildren, or give back to their community or church, with the legitimate interest of the state in insuring that Medicaid is reserved for the truly needy who have NO other means of obtaining care.

    How we can accomplish this, other than through encouraging people to purchase long term care insurance when they are still young and healthy enough that it won’t cost them an arm and a leg, I really don’t know.

  • This is where the locus of control is important. The parent may alienate assets without the knowledge or consent of her children (or at least a working majority of the children).

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  • One aspect that has not been discussed here: The choices that a couple make in readying for their later years affect and are affected by the economic structure of society. 100 years ago, most people aimed for having at least 4 or 5 kids, often more. As a result, when social security kicked in 1935, they could peg 5 paying workers for every retiree as an acceptable model. This ignored the fact that once people got to assuming that government would provide a healthy chunk of their retirement income (most people at the time, and for 50 years thereafter, assumed it would be the entirety of their retirement income) they ceased to have the same motivations toward having 4, 5, or more children. Family sizes dropped, which killed the possibility of retaining the 5 workers per retiree model. So a national choice to shift the responsibility onto “them” (the gov) induced changes that make meeting such responsibilities impossible.

    Similar problems occur with elderly home and health care. In point of fact, nobody can expect to live their last 2 years of life alone, without assistance. But with the reduction in the number of children, and the increase in house size and cost, the economic model of wife working (after 6 to 8 years out of the workforce, perhaps) means almost no wives are at home, available to care for grandma and grandpa.

    My family planned a bit better: we built a house with an in-law suite for my parents, 10 years before they hit their end-of-life issues, and my wife did not work outside the home. We had family available to care for the parents, including 2 of my sisters who were free to move in with us for several weeks at a shot, over the last 8 months of life, which Mom spent at home instead of miserable in an institution. But to be honest, all that still would not have been sufficient, if God had not also provided what we needed: there were many, many alternative scenarios where the resources that we had available would NOT have been adequate.

    While we need an economic model that encourages families to assume that they will care for their own parents, we ALSO need things like long-term care insurance to be a normal part of family expense.

  • Another consideration is that with the decline of manufacturing industries, the deterioration of certain urban areas and neighborhoods, etc., many times children must move hundreds or even thousands of miles away from their parents to find work. In the days when just about any able-bodied person who could read and write (and even some who couldn’t) could find work in a factory or mine or on a farm in their community, it was easier to stay close to family. However, that’s not always the case today.

    If Mom and Dad live in some fading Kansas farm town and Junior has gotten a high-tech job in Seattle, or if Mom still lives in the West Virginia coal mining town where the mine Dad worked at closed years ago, and her kids live in Texas or Georgia or wherever, what are the kids supposed to do when she gets sick? Quit their jobs, uproot their spouses and their own kids and move them someplace where there is no work to speak of? While Mom or Dad could always uproot themselves and move in with one of the kids, if they absolutely refuse to do so, the kids can’t do much about it.

  • 1. Some years ago I had to do an analysis of census data collected in 1990. One datum I discovered: at any given time, 65% of the population live in the state in which they were born.

    2. Back in 1979, a man of my acquaintance turned in an honors thesis to the History Department at the University of Rochester which incorporated an an attempt at assessment of migration rates in the Genesee Valley between 1825 and 1835 (when a great deal of agricultural colonization of the valley was ongoing by migrants from New England). He studied two townships now in Monroe County. His conclusion: in a single decade, 70% of the population of these townships had decamped elsewhere. That is a level of demographic churn that I am not sure you would find even today.

    3. I would not wish to deny that social security programs and private pensions have their effect on fertility levels. The shift from agricultural to non-agricultural employment also has its effects. The decline in total fertility rates antedated the advent of social transfers in this country and the advent of social transfers did not prevent periods of increasing fertility during the years running from 1946 to 1957 and again after 1978.

    4. My great-grandparents spent their last years not in the town in Tennessee where they had lived nearly all of their lives, but shuttling between their older son in the suburbs of Washington and their younger son resident in a small town in northeast Pennsylvania.

    5. I have been investigating long-term care insurance. Cannot verify this at this time, but the consumer guides the agents pass out estimate that some 40% of the population will see the inside of a nursing home before they die (bracket out those receiving rehabilitation care in such settings). Some other portion will spend time in assisted living, but that is private pay and thus has a niche clientele. The point being, a large fraction of the elderly do not require long term care.

    6. Sorry to be repetitive on this point, but the notion that wage work was unusual for the female population prior to 1970 is one that needs to be retired. I cannot help but notice that the census taken 10 years ago found 18 million women between the ages of 20 and 62 and not in the labor force. There were about 64 million women in the workforce. I think housewives still exist in large numbers.

  • “At any given time, 65 percent of the population live in the state in which they were born.”

    That is true in my case. However, unless you live in a geographically tiny state like Rhode Island, that doesn’t necessarily mean you live within reasonable commuting/ driving distance of the community in which you were born or where your parents/grandparents/other relatives live.

  • True, but your parents’ feet are not nailed to the floor either. You commuting may not be a realizable option, but them electing to spend some of their retirement years in Springfield rather than Rockford may be.

Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 16

Tuesday, April 6, AD 2010

In light of the fascinating discussion of personal and social sin kicked off most recently by Darwin here (make sure and read the comments) and followed up by Joe here, I thought it would be worth posting article 16 of John Paul the Great’s post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, entitled “Personal and Social Sin”. It’s obviously very pertinent, yet unless I missed it, no one has referenced it yet. The actual text is below the break. As the reader will note, one point relevant to the discussion here is that sin properly speaking is an act on the part of an individual person. Yet while social sin is such only in an analogous sense, JPII makes clear that it does describe something real. Now, on to the text.

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6 Responses to Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 16

  • Great stuff. I would add the pertinent section of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:

    117. The mystery of sin is composed of a twofold wound, which the sinner opens in his own side and in the relationship with his neighbour. That is why we can speak of personal and social sin. Every sin is personal under a certain aspect; under another, every sin is social, insofar as and because it also has social consequences. In its true sense, sin is always an act of the person, because it is the free act of an individual person and not properly speaking of a group or community. The character of social sin can unquestionably be ascribed to every sin, taking into account the fact that “by virtue of human solidarity which is as mysterious and intangible as it is real and concrete, each individual’s sin in some way affects others”[226]. It is not, however, legitimate or acceptable to understand social sin in a way that, more or less consciously, leads to a weakening or the virtual cancellation of the personal component by admitting only social guilt and responsibility. At the bottom of every situation of sin there is always the individual who sins.

    118. Certain sins, moreover, constitute by their very object a direct assault on one’s neighbour. Such sins in particular are known as social sins. Social sin is every sin committed against the justice due in relations between individuals, between the individual and the community, and also between the community and the individual. Social too is every sin against the rights of the human person, starting with the right to life, including that of life in the womb, and every sin against the physical integrity of the individual; every sin against the freedom of others, especially against the supreme freedom to believe in God and worship him; and every sin against the dignity and honour of one’s neighbour. Every sin against the common good and its demands, in the whole broad area of rights and duties of citizens, is also social sin. In the end, social sin is that sin that “refers to the relationships between the various human communities. These relationships are not always in accordance with the plan of God, who intends that there be justice in the world and freedom and peace between individuals, groups and peoples”[227].

    119. The consequences of sin perpetuate the structures of sin. These are rooted in personal sin and, therefore, are always connected to concrete acts of the individuals who commit them, consolidate them and make it difficult to remove them. It is thus that they grow stronger, spread and become sources of other sins, conditioning human conduct[228]. These are obstacles and conditioning that go well beyond the actions and brief life span of the individual and interfere also in the process of the development of peoples, the delay and slow pace of which must be judged in this light[229]. The actions and attitudes opposed to the will of God and the good of neighbour, as well as the structures arising from such behaviour, appear to fall into two categories today: “on the one hand, the all-consuming desire for profit, and on the other, the thirst for power, with the intention of imposing one’s will upon others. In order to characterize better each of these attitudes, one can add the expression: ‘at any price”'[230].

  • I agree that this is good stuff. I would only want to point to a couple problematic or confusing parts, toward the end.

    The real responsibility, then, lies with individuals.

    I’d say persons rather than individuals. In other words, there is no “system” or “situation” apart from human persons.

    A situation-or likewise an institution, a structure, society itself-is not in itself the subject of moral acts. Hence a situation cannot in itself be good or bad.

    The last sentence undermines everything he said about the “culture of death.” Is a “situation” in which abortion is considered birth control NOT “bad”?

    At the heart of every situation of sin are always to be found sinful people. So true is this that even when such a situation can be changed in its structural and institutional aspects by the force of law or-as unfortunately more often happens by the law of force, the change in fact proves to be incomplete, of short duration and ultimately vain and ineffective-not to say counterproductive if the people directly or indirectly responsible for that situation are not converted.

    Notice all he aid was that systemic change does not complete the job. He did not say that the way to change structures of sin or sinful “situations” is merely to “change hearts,” which is the nonsense we hear from politically conservative Catholics.

  • (A complaint about the title “JP the Great” would be off-topic, and I don’t want to ruin the potential thread, but I hope I get the chance to rail against that some time.)

  • Thank you for the authoritative reference. I suspect Darwin agrees with all of what Pope John Paul II writes here. Sin is a personal act with individual and social consequences.

  • Thanks, Chris. What John Paul II says here clarifies things for me a lot, especially in regards to the correct use of the terminology of “social sin”.

    It sounds like in my original post what I was attempting to address was not a dichotomy of “social sin” versus “personal sin”, but rather an offshoot of what John Paul II says in his fourth paragraph from the last in regards to those who assign virtually all blame to structures of sin and none to the person acting. Further, I’d say what I was attempting to address was a side-issue of this tendency to place huge emphasis on structures of sin over personal will, which is the tendency to ridicule the important of focusing on avoiding ones own sins and instead place primary moral weight on whether one is correctly alligned on combating structures of sin in the wider society. Essentially, dismissing most sins one is capable of committing oneself as unimportant and instead chosing to focus almost exclusively on whether ones advocacy is in the right place.

    I think if I re-wrote the post I would drop the term “social sin” entirely and focus on the primary point of how advocacy and aligning oneself with large just causes can not be a substitute for pursuing virtue in one’s own life.

  • Darwin,

    I think that approach would be best! Our enemy here is fatalism, determinism, and any other theory that deprives man of free will and moral culpability.

    For all of the ranting and raving some people do here about our “Calvinism” (in addition to our “Americanism”, “individualism”, “liberalism” and the like), I sure see a lot of Protestant-sounding opposition to the concept of personal sin.

Can Catholics Abstain From ObamaCare

Thursday, March 25, AD 2010

I came across this American Thinker article on the exclusion of Amish and Muslims from ObamaCare:

The Senate health care bill just signed contains some exemptions to the “pay-or-play” mandate requiring purchase of Obamacare-approved health insurance or payment of a penalty fine. As Fox News has pointed out, for instance, the Amish are excused from the mandate:

So while most Americans would be required to sign up with insurance companies or government insurance plans, the church would serve as something of an informal insurance plan for the Amish.

Law experts say that kind of exemption withstands scrutiny.

“Here the statute is going to say that people who are conscientiously opposed to paying for health insurance don’t have to do it where the conscientious objection arises from religion,” said Mark Tushnet a Harvard law professor. “And that’s perfectly constitutional.”

Apparently, this exemption will apply similarly to believers in Islam, which considers health insurance – and, for that matter, any form of risk insurance – to be haraam (forbidden).

Steve Gilbert of Sweetness & Light calls our attention to the probability that Muslims will also be expempt. According to a March 23 publication on an authoritative Islamic Web site managed by Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid, various fatwas (religious decrees) absolutely forbid Muslim participation in any sort of health care or other risk insurance:

Health insurance is haraam like other types of commercial insurance, because it is based on ambiguity, gambling and riba (usury). This is what is stated in fatwas by the senior scholars.

In Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (15/277) there is a quotation of a statement of the Council of Senior Scholars concerning the prohibition on insurance and why it is haraam:

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (15/251):

Firstly: Commercial insurance of all types is haraam because it involves ambiguity, riba, uncertainty, gambling and consuming people’s wealth unlawfully, and other shar’i

Secondly: It is not permissible for the Muslim to get involved with insurance companies by working in administration or otherwise, because working in them comes under the heading of cooperating in sin and transgression, and Allaah forbids that as He says: “but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Severe in punishment”

[al-Maa’idah 5:2]. End quote.

And Allaah knows best.

So, it turns out that observant Muslims are not only strictly forbidden from buying any health insurance under the ObamaCare mandate, but may also not even work for any company that provides such insurance or any other form of commercial insurance.


Being an observant Catholic I don’t have to participate because it goes against my faith to kill unborn innocent children?

The 5th, 7th, and 10th Commandments and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) forbids me from participating.

5th Commandment & CCC 2268-2269: You shall not kill. (ObamaCare kills unborn babies)[1]

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23 Responses to Can Catholics Abstain From ObamaCare

  • The bill requires that at least one plan on the exchange not cover abortion, so I don’t think this is an issue.

  • The Church also teaches about double effect and remote material cooperation with evil. I don’t know how many times I’ve been told to pay taxes for nukes because Jesus said, Give to Caesar what is Caesars. Perhaps there is some common ground in the making here! 🙂

  • I’m willing to allow an out on my tax filings for both nukes and ObamaCare.

    Is this possible in the U.S.?

  • Abstain from it Tito? I want to kill it!

  • I’m with Donald.

    Though being proactive and searching for many possible alternatives to further mitigate ObamaCare is what I’m after as well.

  • Does your insurance at work cover abortion or contraception? If so, should you opt out and pay for a private plan that excludes these?

  • JohnH,

    I plan to once I get a permanent full time job.

    Contract work at the moment.

  • Good on you, Tito.

  • I’d be a little leery of saying Muslims are forbidden to participate on the basis of Sheik Sumduud’s website, or even a fatwa. Fatwas are pretty easy to come by, actually, and have about as much force as the individual Muslim wants to accord it. To use a (very, very) rough analogy, they are like a trial court’s ruling, binding to varying extents on the parties involved, but lacking precedential force.

    More to the point, Muslims have worked out ways to get around prohibitions like this before (e.g., murabaha, which manages to do a fine job of mimicking interest via a client paying a financial institution an agreed upon marked-up price for a commodity).

  • Eliminating “nukes” in paying one’s taxes: would this include nuclear power plants? Labs which study detection of atomic weapons? etc etc

  • Catholics should get involved in a campaign to sign pro-lifers (and others) up with plans that don’t cover abortion. Hopefully, abortion coverage will die from lack of demand.

  • RR, that is really an excellent suggestion, and I can imagine it’s also one that would be quite easy for us to do as individuals, as well as collectively. Even for my moderately pro-choice friends (esp. the males), I think they would probably agree to purchase insurance that excludes abortion coverage.

    This seems worthy of really looking into and organizing as a pro-life goal.

  • “Catholics should get involved in a campaign to sign pro-lifers (and others) up with plans that don’t cover abortion. Hopefully, abortion coverage will die from lack of demand.”

    Considering the number of abortions we have in this country I think that hope is both futile and farfetched.

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  • The concern I have is that in order to get a general religious exemption from Obamacare for Catholics, wouldn’t we have to prove that abstaining from absolutely all participation in abortion, no matter how remote, was an integral and non-negotiable part of Church teaching, and that ALL Catholics were bound under pain of mortal sin or excommunication to abide by it (like the teaching against participating directly in abortion itself)?

    However, that is not true — remote material cooperation such as would occur in the case of paying taxes under Obamacare or participating in an insurance program that covered abortion is permitted for sufficient reasons, for example, if it would be extremely difficult or impossible to find another insurance plan. A Catholic CAN refuse to participate in such a plan on moral grounds, but he or she is not necessarily obligated to take such action.

    As for Muslims, I have heard that many Muslims do not believe in borrowing money and so they pay cash for everything, but how on earth do so many of them manage to run businesses (shops, etc.) without insurance? What happens if the shop burns down, or a pipe freezes, etc.? How do they legally drive cars if they can’t have car insurance? If Muslims really are forbidden to have insurance, it must be a teaching many Muslims either don’t know about or ignore, kind of like Catholic teaching against contraception.

  • Donald, I don’t think it’s futile or far-fetched to think plans that cover abortion can become unpopular, not just among pro-lifers but anyone who doesn’t think they need abortion coverage.

  • Ooops, my first sentence should have read “wouldn’t we have to prove that abstaining from all COOPERATION in abortion, no matter how remote…”

  • restrainedradical, don’t get me wrong. If people wish to persuade others not to get insurance that covers abortion, I am all for it. However, considering the sheer number of abortions, I don’t think this strategy will have much of an impact in reducing the total number of abortions. However, I would be delighted if I were proven to be in error.

  • So the Stupak Amendment wouldn’t have had much of an impact on the number of abortions? Maybe.

  • I don’t know how many abortions the Stupak amendment would have stopped. I know it would have stopped any of my tax money paying for abortions which is extremely important to me. Too bad Stupak folded like the weasel he apparently is.

  • Donald-
    I was really hoping the pro-life dems would actually come through.

    When I heard the news say they agreed to vote for it in exchange for Obama signing something that “clarified” federal funding of abortion… sounds like a setup for a bad, bad literal genie moment.

  • I have long had hopes for the pro-life Democrat movement Foxfier. More fool me. A handful of pro-life Dems stuck to their guns, but most proved that their pro-life stance was, at best, conditional to the needs of their party. These remarks are of course only aimed at pro-life Dem Congress Critters and not at rank and file pro-life Dems.

  • Are believers in Christian Science exempt?

Thou Shalt Not Run Smear Campaigns

Monday, November 10, AD 2008

So the Republican Party is reeling, trying to find its voice and a clear path forward in the aftermath of a terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad defeat. While initially we hear that the party will be led by fresh faces, such as Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal, and that forerunners for 2012 will also include Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, this brief noise has been covered over with the deafening sounds of ligaments snapping from too much finger-pointing. These days, if you want to know who is old-guard in the Republican party, you merely need to see who has his index finger splinted and bandaged.

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One Response to Thou Shalt Not Run Smear Campaigns

  • Even if you (I don’t, BTW) assume the smears are true, who ultimately looks worst for their airing?

    The candidate for whom the clothes were bought or the campaign manager who provided a blank check and no parameters for the purchase?

    The candidate who made embarassing civics and geography mistakes or the nomination committee vettors who failed to identify her weaknesses before her selection?

    The candidate who may have acted inappropriately in the company of fellow party members or the campaign staffers who sought to minimize their own failures by airing her pecadilloes to the world?

    Judith Martin used to say, “Miss Manners would be too polite to notice.”
    The finger-pointers only proved their own lack of class, not Sarah Palin’s.