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Barack Obama for President

August 19, 2008

Fully cognizant that an endorsement from an anonymous blogger on a minor Catholic blog seems vaguely ridiculous, nevertheless I have decided to publicly endorse Barack Obama for president of the United States. I believe him to be the better of the two candidates in terms of Catholic social teaching. I had not intended to write such a post, but recent events changed my mind.

I endorse Barack Obama because I fully believe he is the candidate that will do the least harm in terms of protecting the common good, promoting public peace and justice, and fostering solidarity. I make this assessment with full awareness of his glaring failures in core areas, but I support him on the grounds that this election is a relative choice between two imperfect candidates, and in the belief that John McCain would be far worse. Given the horse-race nature of American presidential candidates, and the absence of a proportional representation that would facilitate the rise of third parties, abstention serves little purpose.

I endorse Barack Obama fully aware of his support for abortion, an intrinsically evil act, and intend to make no excuses for his position. I fully accept that his position as president may lead to various legislative changes that will increase the incidence of abortion, tying him formally to acts of grave moral evil. At the same time, let’s not deceive ourselves. The ability of any president, no matter what policies they espouse, to affect the incidence of abortion in the current legal circumstances is strictly limited. While Obama’s purported legal changes would surely increase abortion, I also believe that the kinds of social and economic policies he promotes would lead to a diminution in abortion, and could possibly outweigh the negative aspects. I make that prudential judgment based on the direct relationship between poverty and abortion, when three-quarters of women having abortions cite economic hardship as a reason. I form that opinion in the acknowledgment that the accompanying social and economic policies are just as important as, and intimately entwined with, the legal framework surrounding abortion. Finally, I believe that the only way abortion can be reduced in the current polarized climate, indeed the only way legal framework governing abortion can be tightened, is by addressing the culture through the power of persuasion and example, which can only be achieved by a Christ-centered consistent ethic of life.

I endorse Barack Obama because I believe he is vastly more likely to foster peace and global stability. John McCain was one of those very early enthusiastic supporters of the Iraq war, even as the twin towers were still smouldering, and has never repented that stance even in the face of incontrovertible evidence that the underlying justifications for that war were false. Obama opposed the Iraq war from the beginning, a war that can under no circumstances be deemed a just war (the “last resort” criterion alone is sufficient to demonstrate this point). John McCain has displayed a persistent knee-jerk bellicosity since then, a context-free dualism that could very well make the world a far more dangerous place. He continues to believe terrorism is best defeated by military means, when reason (and the voice of the Church) says otherwise. His stance toward countries like Russia and Iran increases the likelihood of war, possibly a global conflagration, making it all the more urgent to deny him the ability to direct foreign policy. Obama, on the other hand, is extremely well respected throughout the world, and can restore the global prestige of America, a prestige necessary for effective leadership, and a prestige utterly obliterated by the Bush-Cheney regime. Of the two choices, there can be no doubt that he is the candidate of peace.

I endorse Barack Obama because of his complete rejection of torture, an act that is not only intrinsically evil but liable to destroy the reputation of America in the world. Despite a courageous early stance, and in spite of the fact that he suffered under the very techniques that Bush and Cheney made legitimate, McCain has prevaricated on this topic since running for president. He would also be the public face of the misguided “war on terror” that will forever be associated throughout the world with American-sponsored torture and denial of basic human rights.

I endorse Barack Obama because his health care plan is far more likely to lead to universal health insurance, ending the scourge whereby millions of Americans are either uninsured or under-insured, and are rationed by cost from seeking needed medical services. Health care is a basic human right, and the United States remains the only advanced country refusing to grant universal coverage, and McCain’s plan offers more of the same.

I endorse Barack Obama because his economic policies are more in line with the tenets of Catholic social teaching. Obama’s tax policies disproportionately support those on the lower and middle income scales, raising taxes on the very richest. McCain, on the other hand, moves in the other direction, offering nothing to the poor and the middle class, and large tax breaks for the rich. Obama’s policy is in keeping with the principle that the fruits of prosperity should be broadly shared among the different classes, especially in an environment of rapidly rising inequality, and that policy be geared toward a preferential option for the poor. Also in that context, I support Obama’s attempt to reduce poverty by expanding the earned income tax credit and the child and dependent care tax credit, and raising the minimum wage toward a true living wage. I support Obama’s pledge to introduce policies to support childbearing, including pre- and post-natal care, income support, and adoption policies. His support for expanding the Family and Medical Leave Act also warrants support. I also support Obama’s emphasis on restoring fiscal discipline by reinstating PAYGO rules, while McCain’s deficit bias will both costly to the economy and selfish in terms of leaving a debt burden for future generations to repay. Barack Obama also stands firmly for the right of workers to unionize.

I endorse Barack Obama because he recognizes the feed to combat global warming, rather than leaving the cost to future generations. He pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. McCain is far too close to the energy lobby to support ambitious endeavors in an area that could rapidly become one of the leading moral issues of our day.

I endorse Barack Obama because he recognizes that social problems have cultural as well as economic roots, and supports endeavors to strengthen families and promote responsible fatherhood.

And finally, I endorse Barack Obama because I am tired of the petty politics in recent years, where one side in particular focuses intently on perceived personal failures of their opponents, presenting themselves as more attuned to the values of the average voter, all the while studiously avoiding the key issues (do you honestly think McCain will run an abortion ad against Obama?). Over the last ten years or so, the language and methods of people like Limbaugh, Hannity, and Coulter has infiltrated the mainstream political discourse, and it’s time to draw the line. This kind of poisonous politics distracts from the issues, rapidly degenerates into infantile behavior, and promotes tit-for-tat attacks. Case in point: McCain’s seemingly endless sequence of attack ads mocking Obama for being a “celebrity”, or more poisonously, for being willing to place political ambition over the welfare of his country and the lives of those in Iraq. At the same time, outsiders can write the most vicious screeds against Obama, keeping sufficient distance so as not to implicate McCain in this calumny, but still managing to help him. We saw the same tactic in 2004. A vote for McCain is therefore a vote for the perpetuation of this cynical cycle of debased juvenile politics. For if McCain wins based on these tactics (and of course the media is a willing accomplice), then the level of partisan bitterness is bound to mushroom, and the other side will soon start aping these tactics with equal ferocity. If nothing else, a vote for Obama is a vote against the politics of issue-free personal attack.

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282 Comments
  1. August 19, 2008 2:00 pm

    “I endorse Barack Obama fully aware of his support for abortion”

    You might want to add: “and infanticide.”

  2. jonathanjones02 permalink
    August 19, 2008 2:05 pm

    I share Obama’s seeming skepticism of Wilsonian adventurism. The two reasons I oppose him, however, are the silly at best and dangerous at worst pretense of transformative politics and state-sponsored unity, and his standing as the most “pro-choice” major party nominee in U.S. history, in rhetoric, deed, promise, and institutional support. However one feels about the alternatives, I think the second reason alone means that Catholics should not vote for him. Presidents have significant impact on the protections afforded to unborn children, from funding to the parameters of legality.

    Health care is a basic human right,

    Yes, absolutely. But this need not be a synonym with government entitlement.

    he recognizes that social problems have cultural as well as economic roots, and supports endeavors to strengthen families and promote responsible fatherhood.

    I certainly hope this generalization gains wider currency, and I applaud any statement he makes about the necessity of marriage, and any statement of despair over the near total breakdown of the black family in particular. But by what policy proposals does he match statement on this issue? Is there a deviation from the strong pull of leftist orthodoxy that finds fault first and most especially with economic/social/political structure?

    edit:
    his Chicago rise is really fascinating, in my opinion. The machine politics there can be very vicious. And the autobiography published in his late 20s (!) is done in an impressive literary style. I think much of his history should be viewed as a search for identity (“A Story of Race and Inheritance”). To his supports, it may feel therapeutic to have a positive, uplifting, attractive, empty vessel into which to pour hopes, dreams, guilt, ect.

    Here’s a good nine minute video from Chicago by the UK’s channel 4 with people from IL talking about these themes:

    http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/international_politics/democratic+nominee+barack+obama+fights+rumours+about+his+chicago+past/2418187

  3. Christian permalink
    August 19, 2008 2:15 pm

    “By any means necessary…” Not your quote, but it sounds familiar here.

    The seductive power of evil is in making one think that support of an evil act may bring about a greater good.

    Nowhere in Catholic teaching is found the principle that ends justify the means.

    It would be better to support the ‘harder’ road of standing for your Catholic Principles without compromise, making your voting decisions upon the hierarchy of ‘negotiables’ that has already been promulgated by the Bishops and the CCC.

    Your choice would seek to return the “rare” to the DNC plank on abortion support of “safe, legal, and rare”

    How about reinforce the point with the rest of America that it is simply murder, and unnaceptable at any level?

    I’ll remember you in my prayers.

  4. August 19, 2008 2:16 pm

    I would add that anyone who supports unjust wars which end with the death of pregnant women and children are also supporting abortion and infanticide.

    I am glad to see people have not seen “MM backs Obama, therefore VN backs Obama” claims. I myself stand by what I have said before: I do not support Obama, nor do I support McCain. I think one could argue for one’s personal support for one or the other without it indicative that others must follow suit.

  5. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 19, 2008 2:18 pm

    Christian: are you making the same point to Catholics who endorse McCain, and if not, why not?

  6. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 19, 2008 2:21 pm

    Jonathan,

    I have no idea what you mean by “state-sponsored unity”. As far as I know, he has no policies on that particular subject.

    On health care, Catholic social teaching tells us it should be provided. I would then make the prudential judgment that government provision is more effective (based on a wealth of international experience). But that’s just me, Obama is not supporting single payer. His position is largely private sector in nature. But it’s still worlds better than McCain’s individualized tax credit approach.

  7. August 19, 2008 2:22 pm

    Whether or not an abortion has taken place is crystal clear. The same can not be said with respect to whether a war is just or not. One issue is black and white. The other is not.

  8. August 19, 2008 2:28 pm

    Once again, that is a categorical error. If you want to play the relativist and say “it’s not clear whether or not a war is just,” then you are just telling me, “It’s not clear whether or not the killing of a person is just.” That is the category you need to deal with: war and killing. Comparing a species of one with a genus will always be a problem, unless the genus as a whole is equivalent.

  9. August 19, 2008 2:35 pm

    Obama is a perfect example of the emperor’s new clothes. He’s never in the Senate, he hasn’t accomplished anything there, he’s been running for president from day one. His empty suit quality enables people like MM to project any and everything. What’s really scary is that he apparently believes his own hype.

  10. Policraticus permalink*
    August 19, 2008 2:37 pm

    Let’s keep the whole “I will keep/remember you in my prayers” bit away from here. It is patronizing and degrading all at once, and I suspect its most common use in political conversations is not one of an expression of piety, but one of judgment.

    Henry,

    Right. So far so good. And I reiterate that I disagree sharply with MM and that I will not be supporting Barack Obama with my vote.

  11. LCB permalink
    August 19, 2008 2:38 pm

    And Vox Nova officially jumps the shark. It’s clear ideology trumps Catholicism ’round these parts.

  12. jonathanjones02 permalink
    August 19, 2008 2:39 pm

    I have no idea what you mean by “state-sponsored unity”. As far as I know, he has no policies on that particular subject.

    Well, there’s been quite a lot of verbiage. In his Berlin speech and elsewhere, he advocated for unity for the sake of unity, and both he and his supporters have more than strongly hinted he is a transformative organizing force. (I’m compliling quotes and speeches this semester for another project and want to do a post on it). Well, in any event, disunity is politics is desirable, because it means that people care about issues – and not just advancing themselves – and are working through responses by discussion and action.

  13. August 19, 2008 2:43 pm

    Henry-

    I see. So determining whether or not a war is just is always crystal clear? Got it.

  14. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 19, 2008 2:48 pm

    LCB: are you saying the same to all the Catholic bloggers who support McCain, and if not, why not?

  15. Policraticus permalink*
    August 19, 2008 2:48 pm

    I see. So determining whether or not a war is just is always crystal clear? Got it.

    Well, the criteria are clear, each tenet being a necessary condition and none alone being a sufficient condition. In terms of the Iraq War, the failure to obtain justice in the act of war is crystal clear, which is why the Catholic Church has never indicated that this specific war is open for interpretation. In fact, one may be hard pressed to find any other war in which the U.S. engaged that the Church has spoken more forcefully and unequivocally against. Anyone who supports the Iraq War supports a grave evil, whether they do so consciously or not.

  16. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 19, 2008 2:51 pm

    Unity? Well, the unity of the human race is a core Christian concept, given that the Church fathers viewed disunity and individualization as arising from original sin. So the unity is good. He alone can not bring about such a unity, but I do not believe he has ever claimed any such thing. What he actually said in his much-derided comment was “It has become increasingly clear in my travel, the campaign — that the crowds, the enthusiasm, 200,000 people in Berlin, is not about me at all. It’s about America. I have just become a symbol.” What’s wrong with such a sentiment?

  17. August 19, 2008 2:53 pm

    I think MM’s argument is valid in the Catholic context. I deem Obama to be a truly horrid person, loathsome on all kinds of levels, but it’s MM’s right to be dead wrong :)

    As far as the elections go: I’d like to see a President McCain and a Democratic Congress. A purely Democratic rule would be a nightmare, as would be a Republican.

  18. August 19, 2008 2:56 pm

    Since abortion is the deadliest practice known to man, on moral grounds I cannot support Obama and am obliged to support McCain.

    American mothers have murdered 40+ million of their own children in their wombs. This evil costs each year twice as many American lives as heart disease. This evil in total doubles the death toll of Stalin’s purges (20 million). The evil of abortion is the worst single crime against humanity in all of human history.

    Obama is an agent of this murder industry. His soul is utterly covered in the blood of the innocent. And the hand that votes for Obama is complicit in the greatest holocaust of history.

    Please reconsider your public support and vote, Mr. Morning’s Minion.

    http://theblackcordelias.wordpress.com/2008/03/01/finding-a-cure-for-abortion/

  19. August 19, 2008 2:58 pm

    The criteria are clear. On that much, we agree. What is less clear, IMHO, is whether it is beyond dispute that United States’s decision to go into Iraq was unjust. We may not have found WMDs, but we certainly found mass graves. And it has been confirmed that SH committed genocide against his own people. Given the foregoing, is it your position that a country like the United States runs afoul of the Church’s just war teachings if it invades a country to, inter alia, stop or prevent genocide?

    Or perhaps I simply misunderstand this statement by then Cardinal Ratzinger:

    “Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

    http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bishops/04-07ratzingerommunion.htm

  20. jonathanjones02 permalink
    August 19, 2008 3:00 pm

    Well, the unity of the human race is a core Christian concept,

    The Sacramental unity of Christ is THE core Christian concept

    given that the Church fathers viewed disunity and individualization as arising from original sin. So the unity is good.

    No, unity in Obama’s context is a disaster for anyone – such as myself – who disagrees with large chunks of his policy aims, particularly on the question of abortion. There has been no indication whatsoever that Obama – especially in action – is willing to meet his opponents halfway for the sake of unity and being above the fray, ect.

  21. August 19, 2008 3:00 pm

    Clarification: The point of my quoting Ratzinger is to note that there is a significant distinction between the issue of abortion and that of waging war. One is a non-negotiable, and the other is a prudential matter (albeit a deadly serious one).

  22. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 19, 2008 3:00 pm

    Fr. J, are you saying the same thing to McCain supporters, and if not, why not?

  23. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 19, 2008 3:01 pm

    Actually, unjust war is also non-negotiable.

  24. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 19, 2008 3:04 pm

    Jonathan: the unity of the Mystical Body of Christ, a supernatural unity, supposes a previous natural unity, the unity of the human race…we ought not to speak on man in the plural any more than we speak of three Gods (de Lubac).

  25. August 19, 2008 3:07 pm

    “Since abortion is the deadliest practice known to man…”

    I know many practices far more deadly. Let’s start with the use of the nuclear bomb….

  26. August 19, 2008 3:07 pm

    MM-

    Read what I actually wrote. I agree that unjust war is a non-negotiable.

  27. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 19, 2008 3:09 pm

    I was wondering how long it would take before somebody quoted a private letter from then-cardinal Ratzinger as the ultimate authority in the area, when this letter (i) assumes familiarity with the underlying moral theology; (ii) is talking about worthiness to receive communion; (iii) merely summarizes pre-existing teaching in the area.

    And evidence of the brutality of Saddam Hussein is no justification for invasion and occupation. Again: it was not a last resort. Under no possible conceivable circumstance could it have been a last resort. It was therefore an unjust war, objectively speaking.

  28. August 19, 2008 3:11 pm

    Henry,

    The nuclear bomb has not killed 40 million in the world, much less the whole world. More have died from abortion since it was made legal than from any other crime against humanity. And no single crime against humanity in history has a higher death toll than abortion in the US alone.

  29. August 19, 2008 3:12 pm

    MM-

    What would have been the last resort then, MM? How many times does a dictator have to kick out the inspectors? How many times can he disregard UN resolutions? How many times can he gas his own people without consequence? Exactly when is it o.k. to step in to prevent genocide? How many people do you think would be dead in Iraq if SH was still in power?

  30. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 19, 2008 3:13 pm

    Abortion is the “deadliest practice known to man” Not that I want to get into a utilitarian calculus here, but I think the mass bombing of civilians is far worse (Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, Tokyo).

    And anyway, Fr. J, I’m not arguing with the gravity of abortion. I am not denying that Obama will have to answer to God. What I am quibbling with is your implication that somehow having his as president will have a major impact on abortion incidence.

  31. August 19, 2008 3:14 pm

    Fr. J.

    You said — abortion — is “the deadliest practice known to man.” I contend otherwise. To point how much the practice has been used to kill people does not determine whether or not the practice itself is deadlier than another. A practice can be far deadlier even if it is not used. The act of abortion as a practice results in one death. The use of the nuclear bomb in one use kills far more. Thus, the use of a nuclear bomb is a far deadlier practice.

  32. digbydolben permalink
    August 19, 2008 3:16 pm

    Feddie, according to some on these threads, you’ve just “insulted” the Pope by calling him “Ratzinger.”

    Morning’s Minion, I agree with you on your PRUDENTIAL decision to support the lesser of two evils (which, in my view, is the onerous responsibility of a citizen of a democratic republic).

    McCain’s foreign policy is dangerous and reactionary, his campaign tactics are divisive and unethical and his understanding of high finance and taxes (a necessity for the office of the Presidency of the United States, in a time of economic collapse) is virtually nil.

    Both American political parties have once again failed the people of the world, who depend so heavily on the abilities and competence of the American leader. (Biden or Richardson would have been a better Democratic choice, from the standpoint of experience, and Bloomberg or Ron Paul a better Republican one, from the standpoint of returning Republicanism to respectable “small government “conservatism, but it is the responsiblity of the voter to make hard choices, and, in the interest of a NATION–rather than a Church–to disregard “single issue” politics.)

  33. blackadderiv permalink
    August 19, 2008 3:17 pm

    I was wondering how long it would take before somebody quoted a private letter from then-cardinal Ratzinger as the ultimate authority in the area, when this letter (i) assumes familiarity with the underlying moral theology; (ii) is talking about worthiness to receive communion; (iii) merely summarizes pre-existing teaching in the area.

    If the letter does merely summarize pre-existing teaching in this area, then the fact it was a private letter shouldn’t matter. And while it’s true that the letter was addressed to the question of denying communion, the reasoning employed (i.e. denying communion to those who disagree with the Holy Father about the morality of a particular case of war or of the death penalty is improper because there can be “a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics” on the subject) is not confined to such a case.

  34. August 19, 2008 3:22 pm

    The fact that it is a private letter does matter because that sets the tone by which one should interpret it; it is dependent upon the audience’s ability to understand the distinctions in it. And that it is a summary and not an exhaustive discussion also gives light to the fact that the issues involved is to be interpreted by the one who it is intended for, not by people outside of that specific context who do not hold a similar interpretive scheme.

  35. August 19, 2008 3:23 pm

    Total Iraq War death toll thus far: about 47,000 including Iraqi civilians and allied forces.

    http://icasualties.org/oif/IraqiDeaths.aspx

    Total abortions in same period: 6.3 million.

    It would have taken 134 simultaneous Iraqi wars to equal the number of abortions in the same period.

  36. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 19, 2008 3:25 pm

    Feddie: I believe the one million people who died in Iraq since the invasion would be alive had Saddam Hussein been in power. His mass murder. Saddam probably killed about 300,000 people in his 24 years. His genocidal attacks on the Kurds dates back to 1988. Before his overthrow, he was behaving like just another repressive dictator– do you want the US military to rid the world of all such people by violence?

  37. blackadderiv permalink
    August 19, 2008 3:25 pm

    Abortion is the “deadliest practice known to man” Not that I want to get into a utilitarian calculus here, but I think the mass bombing of civilians is far worse (Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, Tokyo).

    The number of abortions in the United States in one year alone exceeds the number of people who died in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, and Tokyo combined.

  38. August 19, 2008 3:27 pm

    Proportionate reasons are not necessarily based upon quantities of death involved. For example, let’s take the following situation.

    Madman A has taken hold of 3000 people and locked them in a building with himself in it. He has a bomb set up which will go off if 1) anyone attempts to come into the building, 2) if he presses a button to have it set off, or 3) if he does not press a button to turn off the timer (which is a 12 hour timer).

    His stipulation is for the chief of police to go out, find 5 children, video tape himself raping them, and then broadcast his rape of the child in a way that Madman A can see it on a computer connected to the internet in the building.

    What is the moral answer to such a situation? One could argue, “Since it will save more lives, it’s clear cut, rape the children.” But those who see the intrinsic evil involved will say no.

  39. August 19, 2008 3:28 pm

    Blackadder

    The practice of abortion kills one person at a time. That the practice is used many times over does not make abortion a far more capable means of death. It just means it is a way by which more death has been made.

  40. blackadderiv permalink
    August 19, 2008 3:32 pm

    Henry,

    The answer is that you don’t do what the Madman demands, obviously. The reason for not doing so, however, has nothing to do with the question of proportionality. Talk about proportionate reasons only comes into play when the action in question isn’t automatically ruled out as being intrinsically evil.

  41. August 19, 2008 3:33 pm

    BA

    Read the voter guides again. It is talk about proportionate reasons involved in making a choice of a candidate who supports an intrinsic evil. But I will agree with you, making such a vote is not itself an intrinsic evil.

  42. August 19, 2008 3:33 pm

    MM-

    The 1,000,000 death toll number you keep reciting has been debunked time and time again. My understanding is that it is somewhere between 80,000 and 150,000, which while tragic is hardly 1,000,000.

    In any event, you and I simply disagree on this point. I think that a man who engages in genocide must be taken out, plain and simple. Genocide cannot be allowed to stand. And if the international community is too gutless to do anything about it, then the world’s only superpower should step in and take that mass murderer down.

  43. August 19, 2008 3:35 pm

    Feddie

    So you think the world, especially the Muslim world where abortion is illegal, should do something, step in, and take the United States down for its destruction of the nation’s children?

  44. August 19, 2008 3:35 pm

    And just in case you won’t take my word for it, please see:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20080109/iraqi-death-toll/

  45. jonathanjones02 permalink
    August 19, 2008 3:36 pm

    the unity of the Mystical Body of Christ, a supernatural unity, supposes a previous natural unity, the unity of the human race

    The Eucharist, the source and summit of Christian existence and unity, draws all of humanity together in a shared spiritual experience that must impact how we treat our neighbor – in Christian charity.

    It is improper to confuse this with political calls for unity, because what Obama (or any other politican )means when they call for political unity is unity under themselves or their ideas. Would you unite under McCain’s call for setting aside differences and embracing his transformative self for the sake of standing together? Either is a perversion. The Holy Father seeks unity in proclaiming to the world the living presence of Christ.

  46. blackadderiv permalink
    August 19, 2008 3:37 pm

    Read the voter guides again. It is talk about proportionate reasons involved in making a choice of a candidate who supports an intrinsic evil.

    Well, yes. Voting for a candidate who supports intrinsically evil act X is not the same as supporting intrinsically evil act X.

  47. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 19, 2008 3:37 pm

    Feddie:

    I’m aware that there is a huge range of casualty estimates from the Iraq war, but Fr. J’s source is astounding low (it’s a “coalition” website).

    These might be more representative (survey-based):

    Iraqi Ministry of Health: 400,000
    Lancet: 655,000
    Opinion Research Business: 1,033,000

    But I don’t want to get too bogged down in the numbers, as it suggests a utilitarian approach to the value of life.

  48. blackadderiv permalink
    August 19, 2008 3:38 pm

    The 1,000,000 death toll number you keep reciting has been debunked time and time again.

    The irony is that even if MM’s number was correct, it’s still less than the number of abortions performed every year in the U.S. alone.

  49. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 19, 2008 3:38 pm

    Feddie: must a man who committed genocide 20 years ago and who got away with it be “taken out” today?

  50. August 19, 2008 3:40 pm

    Since it is not an intrinsic evil to vote for someone who supports an intrinsic evil, then it is questionable or not whether a specific vote for a candidate who supports a specific intrinsic evil is invalid. It becomes a matter of prudential reason. And the rules for this judgment is far less clear than rules for, say, just war.

  51. August 19, 2008 3:40 pm

    MM-

    He was still killing and torturing his own people right up until the time he was taken out.

  52. blackadderiv permalink
    August 19, 2008 3:44 pm

    Iraq Body Count (not a “coalition” website) places the number killed at between 86 and 95 thousand.

    Before the war, one heard a lot of talk about the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis a year who were dying because of the sanctions regime. Whether this was actually happening or not, I don’t know. But to the extent it was happening, one would need to subtract the number of people who would have died had the invasion not taken place.

  53. blackadderiv permalink
    August 19, 2008 3:45 pm

    Since it is not an intrinsic evil to vote for someone who supports an intrinsic evil, then it is questionable or not whether a specific vote for a candidate who supports a specific intrinsic evil is invalid. It becomes a matter of prudential reason. And the rules for this judgment is far less clear than rules for, say, just war.

    Agreed.

  54. August 19, 2008 3:47 pm

    BA

    Glad to come to an agreement at last!

  55. August 19, 2008 3:48 pm

    Henry-

    In your studies, have you read anything about whether the Church plans to provide additional guidance on what constitutes “proportionate reasons”? And if not, do you think that such a clarfication would be helpful or only serve to confuse matters further?

  56. Sean permalink
    August 19, 2008 4:02 pm

    Shameful.

    Its one thing to vote for Obama because you honestly think him the lesser of two evils (I don’t see how)…but to publically ENDORSE him to other Catholics causes scandal and to argue in favor of his candidacy is mind numbing.

    Here is the scenario if Obama is elected…

    1) Most importantly he will nominate judges across America (federal ones and supreme court) which will adjucate according to his twisted view of life issues (which is above his pay grade apparently). All over America activist judges will decide that 14 year old girls can have major medical procedures without parental consent, partial birth abortions will rue the day and Obama will keep his promise that he made to Pro Choice caucuses to “make the freedom of choice act a priority.” That act, by the way, essentially seeks to wipe out ANY and EVERY law on the books which limits abortions.

    2) Obama will eventually use the military to, gasp, bomb people. I guarentee. Situations will arrise and you’ll see American troops bombing other countries.

    3) You’ll be stuck having voted for a man which isn’t as peace oriented as you think and who at the same time makes it ever easier to kill children in America.

    4) Poor people will still be poor.

  57. Policraticus permalink*
    August 19, 2008 4:03 pm

    Feddie,

    WMD’s, mass graves, rape rooms–whatever we “found” has no bearing as a constitutive criterion for war. This would be consequentialist thinking, which is a moral approach quite opposed to how the Church formulates just war criteria.

    With respect to the Ratzinger letter, yes, you are misinterpreting it, but yours is a very common mistake. The Ratzinger letter speaks in very technical terms (e.g., material vs. formal cooperation, proportionate reasons) that can be easily misconstrued because of their metaphysical and ethical foundations (it was never meant to stand alone before the Catholic faithful without proper heuristic aids by the U.S. bishops). Specifically, you have confused Ratzinger’s point about act-types (abortion vs. war) with a specific judgment on act-tokens (a particular abortion vs. a particular war). The act-token that is an unjust war is as grave an evil as the act-token of a particular abortion. This is why abortion is ALWAYS an intrinsic evil as an act-type. As an act-type, war is not intrinsically evil. Instead, we must evaluate each specific act of war as an act-token to determine whether it is just or evil.

  58. Policraticus permalink*
    August 19, 2008 4:11 pm

    Fr. J,

    I grant that your quantitative approach to abortion and the Iraq War is, indeed, a justifiable one in arguing which is more ghastly and more harmful to society. However, when it comes to a value-approach to morality, which is the Church’s way, the intrinsic evil of an action is not increased as the number of these actions increases. Intrinsic evil is a constant, and each evil action issues from an acting subject or agent who is ultimately responsible for that action. So while there have been 43+ abortions, the intrinsic evil of that act is not increased. Rather, we have that many more agents guilty of committing these evil actions, which indeed has consequentialist repercussions for society. So if you want to take a quantitative approach, you leave the domain of moral value.

    It is conceivable to have a hypothetical situation that there are less abortions in a given country then there are deaths from an unjust war started by that same country. I would argue that merely because more people died from this war does not mean that the act war is now a greater intrinsic evil than abortion. Would you?

  59. August 19, 2008 4:11 pm

    If McCain is elected:

    1) Most importantly he will nominate judges across America (federal ones and supreme court) that align with the Republican agenda just as the Bush administration did.

    2) McCain will eventually use the military to, gasp, bomb people. I guarentee. Situations will arrise and you’ll see American troops bombing other countries.

    3) You’ll be stuck having voted for a man which isn’t as peace oriented as you think and who at the same time makes it ever easier to kill children in America.

    4) Poor people will still be poor.

  60. Policraticus permalink*
    August 19, 2008 4:15 pm

    In your studies, have you read anything about whether the Church plans to provide additional guidance on what constitutes “proportionate reasons”?

    Maybe. Remember, the Ratzinger letter was never meant to be made public before the U.S. bishops could provide the faithful with the interpretive means for working through the difficult terminology and concepts contained in it.

    And if not, do you think that such a clarfication would be helpful or only serve to confuse matters further?

    Of course it would be helpful. But in the meantime, I wish those who use the letter to make points would consult the philosophical and theological traditions out of which terms like “material,” “remote,” “formal,” and “proportionate” arise. The letter has turned into a plaything with many Catholics invoking it without actually understanding the nuance and complexity of its content. Too many times, Catholics have just assumed they have the right conceptual equipment to unpack it.

  61. August 19, 2008 4:15 pm

    MM: If you can explain the reasons for supporting a more vociferous abortion proponent than NARAL to the 50 million victims of abortion in the U.S. at the hour of your death with a straight face, go for it.

  62. Policraticus permalink*
    August 19, 2008 4:17 pm

    Sean,

    The scenario with either candidate is grim. I won’t claim to be as prescient as you, but slamming an Obama administration seems to me to be as productive and helpful as slamming a McCain administration. Obama and McCain, from what I can tell, are new animals in presidential politics, and any forecast will likely be hapless.

  63. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 19, 2008 4:18 pm

    Feddie: he was. Sadly, many regimes kill and torture their own people. The USCCB stated that 150 countries use torture, a figure that actually shocked me. But the genodical incidents to which you refer were 20 years old.

  64. T. Shaw permalink
    August 19, 2008 4:38 pm

    Forty five million murdered unborn babies is peace!?

    Enmity to the private sector is the vox nova non-negotiable, right? You don’t abide by the Pope’s non-negotiables. Not at this steam table. You’re all more Catholic than the Pope!

    Reminds of the Catholics for Hitler movement.

    “The poor will always be with you.” Bonus points if you can identify the speaker. Hint: It wasn’t the Magus Balthazar.

    It is sinful to vote for the man.

  65. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 19, 2008 4:45 pm

    T. Shaw: would you say the same about those voting for McCain, and if not, why not?

  66. G Alkon permalink
    August 19, 2008 4:52 pm

    This is absolutely crystal clear:

    Catholics must support Iran’s nuclear program, so that it can use strategic nuclear weapons in order to kill several million Americans in a surprise attack, and then take over American and then forcibly stop all abortions.

    The several millions killed in this just war would clearly be an acceptable price, given that their deaths would save tens of millions of babies.

    Just as we killed tens or hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to save still more of them and us from Saddam Hussein, so it is necessary now for several hundred thousand or perhaps several million US citizens to be killed so that our nation can be stopped from continuing to perpetrate the abortion industry, the deadliest human practice known to man.

    This is is a prudential decision, yes, but the logic is quite clear: several million of us get killed, and in return we are stopped forever from murdering tens and hundreds of millions of children. It is a matter of defending these children, just as it was a matter of defending ourselves and the Iraqis from Saddam. There is absolutely no difference. And if you say otherwise, you are not truly pro-life.

    To be truly pro-life, one must do what it takes and support the just war against the child killers and accept the institution of Muslim law.

  67. August 19, 2008 5:12 pm

    G Alkon, I worry that your scenario might make sense to some :) In my Catholic-blogger-days more than one admired the, errrr, ‘modesty’ of Islamic dress. The man being the ‘head’ of the woman is something they can also agree with. In general, there have been quite a few cases where Islamic and Catholic leaders filed amicus briefs opposing gay marriage, non-discrimination in medical care and so forth. Fundamentalists are all the same, whether it’s an imam or a bishop.

    Btw, a zygote, a blastocyst, an embryo and a fetus are human, but they aren’t ‘children’. The 5 year old boy dying as ‘collateral damage’ is a child. To fetishize the fetus, even the fertilized egg, while trumpeting ‘but war isn’t intrinsically evil !’ and brush off actual people being killed is a rather strange approach to the world.

  68. Sean permalink
    August 19, 2008 5:15 pm

    Poli.

    You speak truth. Ergo, I have not and will not publically support and trump up McCain.

    What is that about not putting our faith into princes and mortals?

    The best we can do is pray for Jesus to come quickly…and have mercy on us.

    Katirina.

    I think you would have a tall order to find criticism in Bush’s appointments (alito and Roberts) since they were the reason that partial birth abortion was banned. Judges Matter.

  69. David Nickol permalink
    August 19, 2008 5:18 pm

    G Alkon,

    I might add that by the logic of many of the arguments here, one would be obligated to vote for McCain even if he makes clear an intention to start five or ten Iraq-sized wars, as long as the death toll doesn’t exceed 1.3 million a year. In fact, he can do anything at all as long as he holds the death toll to 1.3 million. He can reinstitute slavery, repeal the First Amendment and persecute Catholics, and declare himself emperor. He would still be the lesser of two evils.

  70. not easily manipulated permalink
    August 19, 2008 5:35 pm

    mega churches and revival tents
    blood of a trillion babies dripping from Obaba’s hands
    prudential judgment
    formal cooperation with evil
    culture of death
    Obama wins and gays will rule the world
    voter guides
    islamofascists
    pat robertson and james dobson
    bill donohue and deal hudson
    democrat voters will be turned into a pillar of salt
    snow flake babies
    evildoers
    family values

    Condensed version:

    YOUR TAXES WILL GO UP!!!!!!!!!!!

  71. August 19, 2008 7:00 pm

    Poli.-

    While I still believe that there are sound arguments for the Iraq War being just under the Church’s teachings, I take your points re: then Cardinal Ratzinger’s letter.

  72. August 19, 2008 7:17 pm

    Amazing. A Catholic priest actively campaigning for McCain.

  73. Sean permalink
    August 19, 2008 7:36 pm

    On this side of heaven the “perfect” leader of candidate doesn’t exist. But, its clear to anybody that Obama is more opposed to Catholic moral and social teaching than any other candidate.

  74. August 19, 2008 7:56 pm

    “Poor people will still be poor.”

    Wait… I am poor now…

    But if I vote for Sen. Obama I will NOT be poor?

    Hmmm… I could use a car…

  75. Policraticus permalink*
    August 19, 2008 8:10 pm

    While I still believe that there are sound arguments for the Iraq War being just under the Church’s teachings,

    I have yet to see one myself that does not operate under utilitarian pretenses. If you know of a non-utilitarian argument for the justice of the Iraq War, please refer me to it.

  76. TeutonicTim permalink
    August 19, 2008 8:12 pm

    Late to the party, but…

    This is my surprised face -> :-|

    No really, this is my surprised face -> :-|

  77. TeutonicTim permalink
    August 19, 2008 8:14 pm

    I thought I might add that it doesn’t sound like you’re stating your positions, but rationalizing a bad choice to yourself.

  78. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 19, 2008 8:29 pm

    David: exactly!

  79. TeutonicTim permalink
    August 19, 2008 8:36 pm

    Amazing. A Catholic priest actively campaigning for McCain.

    Did you have the same reaction when Pfleger campaigned for Obama?

  80. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 19, 2008 8:40 pm

    Actually, I have problems with both Fr. Pfelger and Msgr. Lisante. I do not think priests should be doing political endorsements.

  81. TeutonicTim permalink
    August 19, 2008 8:43 pm

    “..do you want the US military to rid the world of all such people by violence?”

    It would probably fare better than to let them have an equal footing the rest of the world at the U.N.

  82. TeutonicTim permalink
    August 19, 2008 8:44 pm

    Actually, I have problems with both Fr. Pfelger and Msgr. Lisante. I do not think priests should be doing political endorsements.

    Amazingly, we agree.

  83. Henry permalink
    August 19, 2008 9:12 pm

    BE CAREFUL OF WHAT YOU WISH FOR, your catholic teaching on abortion may go down the tubes. I am a Lutheran who is against abortion.

  84. August 19, 2008 10:11 pm

    Did you have the same reaction when Pfleger campaigned for Obama?

    Yes. I blogged about it here at VN. Remember?

  85. TeutonicTim permalink
    August 19, 2008 10:32 pm

    Yes. I blogged about it here at VN. Remember?

    Yep I sure remember. You told him to not stay out of politics and said he was “prophetic”

  86. August 19, 2008 10:43 pm

    Yep I sure remember. You told him to not stay out of politics and said he was “prophetic”

    Indeed. I also criticized him for being partisan, but you seem to forget that. (Surprise surprise.) In fact my exact words were:

    Cardinal George’s statement on the Pfleger case is perfect in that he clearly implies that priests must “name the plague,” speaking to political issues, including the “divisive” topic of race, but that they must be non-partisan in the sense of not reducing politics to politics “American style”: endorsing candidates, slinging mud, etc. . . .

    Michael Pfleger was not in the wrong because he shined a light on the problem America has with racial privilege. In that sense, he was prophetic, fulfilling his role as a Catholic pastor. Pfleger was in the wrong because he participated in politics “American style,” endorsing a candidate and speaking violently and personally against another candidate.

    I doubt, however, that the anonymous “Fr. J” would not count himself among the priests our Church chastises to be non-partisan. He seems to think he is above and beyond those ecclesial guidelines. I also doubt he would so blatantly endorse a candidate if he did not play the anonymous internet personality game.

    I encourage Fr. J to NOT stay out of politics, and to be prophetic. I also encourage him not to stoop to Pfleger’s level of partisanship.

    But I won’t hold my breath. And I can’t wait for the excuses to pour in.

  87. August 19, 2008 11:02 pm

    “I think there are legitimate reasons you could vote in favor of someone who wouldn’t be where the church is on abortion, but it would have to be a reason that you could confidently explain to Jesus and the victims of abortion when you meet them at the Judgment. That’s the only criterion.”

    — Archbishop Charles Chaput

    I know you’ve thought hard about this, MM. I don’t post this quote to “disprove” you, but because it articulates well my own thoughts on the matter.

  88. August 19, 2008 11:08 pm

    Chris, just a reminder to you and Archbishop Chaput that there are other victims we’ll have to answer to in heaven as well.

  89. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 19, 2008 11:09 pm

    Chris: the answer to that, quite valid, question is implicit in my post. Let me turn it around and see how the Bush voter would face those who died in the Iraq war. What would the answer be? Your death was the price to pay to elect somebody go save some the lives of the unborn, except no lives were really saved, so…sorry? There are many many more examples one can make in this vein.

  90. August 19, 2008 11:12 pm

    I hear both of you… I’m happy to side with Archbishop Chaput in this case.

    Incidentally, MM, I would ask that you acknowledge that President Bush *has* enacted abortion restrictions that *have* saved some lives.

  91. August 19, 2008 11:21 pm

    I’m happy to side with Archbishop Chaput in this case.

    So am I.

  92. Silly Interloper permalink
    August 20, 2008 12:30 am

    VoterA: “Realizing that my candidate throws hundreds of kittens into shredders alive on a daily basis, I have still decided to endorse him because all you other dimwits support a guy who hangs puppies by the ears and shoots their eyes out with pellet guns.”

    VoterB: “But certainly you see the evil in shredding kittens alive?”

    VoterA: “What? Why aren’t you fighting against puppies shooting their eyes out?”

    Have we really come to this? Can “Your guy is repugnant, so I am justified in supporting repugnance” really be an argument to be taken seriously?

    I can see someone trying to justify his candidate by arguing against the evaluation that he is repugnant. I can see someone arguing against another candidate because his evaluation of that guy reveals him to be repugnant. I can see someone realizing that their candidate was, indeed, repugnant and then argue that the other guy was still unsupportable because of his own repugnance. But to argue that repugnance is supportable because someone else is repugnant is madness.

    Pure madness.

  93. August 20, 2008 2:50 am

    Feddie

    Policraticus answered the question for the most part, but I would say, I’ve not heard of any specific documents about to be released.

  94. August 20, 2008 9:06 am

    At least MM now admits to himself and the world what has been obvious to the rest of us for a long time. Baby steps.

  95. August 20, 2008 9:32 am

    I’ll pray for you all that we find the humility to do what is right by His will.

    God bless you all.

  96. August 20, 2008 9:36 am

    MM –

    You wrote: Actually, unjust war is also non-negotiable.

    Yes, but the first unjust war is the one conducted by a mother against her child, and it’s the war that creates a precedent for all others. As Mother Teresa said, abortion is the greatest destroyer of peace in the world. If we compromise and say that a mother can kill her own child, what right have we to say that one nation cannot kill the children of another?

  97. August 20, 2008 9:50 am

    On the justice of the Iraq war, I think many folks are making a very basic error. Several really.

    When the Church tells us that war in general is not like abortion, She is I think telling us that opposition to war in general is debatable, while opposition to abortion is not. Every Catholic has a positive duty to unequivocally oppose the legality of abortion; every Catholic does not have a positive duty to oppose every decision to wage war in general.

    It is a mistake to transfer this to evaluation of a particular war. Sometimes particular decisions to wage war are manifestly unjust: well-known facts combine with clear principles to reach a definite conclusion, a conclusion which can only be denied by denying something that is clearly true: either those well known facts or those clear principles.

    It is very obvious, for example, that the Kaiser’s invasion of Belgium was unjust. There is simply no denying it.

    I think it is just as clear that the Iraq invasion was unjust. The arguments against always amount to one of two things:

    1) Attempts to say that what justifies the war — say rescuing Iraqis from Saddam’s tyranny – is something other than what actually caused us to go to war. The perceived (but false) WMD/Al Qaeda nexis is what actually caused us to go to war; therefore it is a necessary condition for the justice of the war. The problem is that it was false. Appeals to other possible motivations, no matter how widely discussed, are irrelevant: this is precisely what we rightly deride as ‘rationalization’. What matters is what actually motivated us, what actually made us choose to act: this actual motivation must be just, else the decision to invade was not just.

    2) An appeal to the putative fact that “everyone” thought Saddam had WMD’s, even though we didn’t find any. This attempt is self-refuting, because the just war doctrine requires certainty; and whatever we may mean by certainty about a threat, it can’t mean being flat wrong about the threat.

  98. LCB permalink
    August 20, 2008 10:06 am

    When a blogger at a “catholic” blog is supporting a pro-infantacide Candidate, the blog is either no longer properly called Catholic or the blogger is clearly well outside the bounds of supporting what the Church teaches.

    Either way, that blogger should not be blogging any longer or the blog should admit it is no longer Catholic and no longer corporately believes what the Church believes.

    Killing little babies after they are born is wrong. Obama supports this practice. Abortion is genocide. No issue is equivalent to abortion. Not one.

    I have not mentioned McCain at all, and the argument “Candidate A does X, so it’s okay to vote for Candidate B even though they do Y” is a severe logical error.

  99. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 20, 2008 10:09 am

    LCB: first, you are arguing as a dualistic American, not a Catholic. I advise you not to read any Church history, as the kinds of secular rulers that the Church supported over the past 2000 years might shock you.

    Second, I’m still awaiting your answer. McCain supports ESCR, an intrinsically evil act that many moralists deem more grave than abortion. Logically, I assume you would give the same advice to a Catholic supporting McCain. Would you?

  100. August 20, 2008 10:16 am

    MM

    I would ask LCB if he thinks his authority in determing whether or not someone can vote for McCain is greater than that of Bishops, who have said they cannot make that decision? Indeed, it seems the common confusion of a “vote for” a candidate means support of all the candidate supports. Yet, I suspect he is living in the United States, and has voted for candidates which supported intrinsic evils and has not viewed such votes as support. And I am also willing to bet he is not a tax protestor, thus, supplying funds to the United States in its collective evil.

  101. August 20, 2008 10:21 am

    When a blogger at a “catholic” blog is supporting a pro-infantacide Candidate, the blog is either no longer properly called Catholic or the blogger is clearly well outside the bounds of supporting what the Church teaches.

    Either way, that blogger should not be blogging any longer or the blog should admit it is no longer Catholic and no longer corporately believes what the Church believes.

    I think there are legitimate reasons you could vote in favor of someone who wouldn’t be where the church is on abortion, but it would have to be a reason that you could confidently explain to Jesus and the victims of abortion when you meet them at the Judgment.” – Archbishop Chaput

  102. August 20, 2008 10:25 am

    Michael

    Don’t you get it, when a Bishop says that, they are a traitor. The only thing they can say is “Vote for a Protestant warmonger” otherwise, one is not Catholic.

  103. August 20, 2008 10:46 am

    Second, I’m still awaiting your answer. McCain supports ESCR, an intrinsically evil act that many moralists deem more grave than abortion. Logically, I assume you would give the same advice to a Catholic supporting McCain. Would you?

    Good question. Can any of the McCain supporters write a piece like MM did explaining why they’re voting for McCain? I’m just curious.

  104. LCB permalink
    August 20, 2008 10:49 am

    MM,

    I have never brought up McCain. The issue at hand is your support of Obama… not other people’s support for McCain.

    You are the one invoking logical errors (McCain supports X, so it’s okay to support Obama). Each candidate must be considered independently. You are dualistic if you believe individuals are restricted to two votes in Presidential elections.

    Your second error is to intentionally misrepresent my position. I am not arguing as a dualistic American.

    Your third error is your ad hominem attack on my position. It only reveals the total lack of substance in your argument.

    Your fourth error is to assume I am not familiar with Church history.

    Your fifth error is to essentially assert, “In the past some Church leaders have supported immoral candidates. Therefore I can support a pro-infanticide candidate.” If that is not the argument you’re making, please clarify.

    I didn’t think it was possible for so few of your words to contain so many errors. But apparently it is.

    Henry,

    You don’t know my voting record. If you want to know about it ask. Try to not make assumptions, and try not to use strawmen. I have nowhere said anything about Bishops being traitors, voting for protestant warmongers, etc.

    You owe me an apology for intentionally and falsely mischaracterizing my position.

    Michael,

    Remote material cooperation can only be permitted for proportionate reasons.There are currently no reasons that are proportionate to the American Baby Genocide– 1.3 million babies a year.

    The legitimate reasons one could vote in favor of a pro-abortion candidate would be because their opponent is either greater than or equal to them in abortion terms, or some other equal genocide were advocated. That is what proportionate means.

    ___

    Obama is pro infanticide. There are no current issues that are proportionate to that. Supporting Obama means supporting infanticide.

  105. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 20, 2008 10:51 am

    LCB: are there proportionate reasons then for supporting ESCR?

  106. August 20, 2008 10:53 am

    Obama is pro infanticide. There are no current issues that are proportionate to that. Supporting Obama means supporting infanticide.

    Not that LCB brought McCain up, but I’m just thinking… if this is our logic: that when we vote for a candidate, we are actually showing 100% support for ALL their views, then are the Catholic bloggers who comment here and have McCain banners in their blogs supporting embryonic stem cell research 100%? I don’t think so. So, the Catholics who voted for Bush also supported an unjust war? I don’t think so. It is not as simple as the statement that LCB just made.

  107. LCB permalink
    August 20, 2008 10:54 am

    I. Remote material cooperation can only be permitted for proportionate reasons.
    II. There are currently no proportionate reasons that trump the American Baby Genocide.
    III. Therefore, Remote material cooperation is not permissible in these circumstances.

    Exit questions:
    1) Why is MM spinning like a gyroscope for a pro-infanticide Candidate?
    2) How can a blog still call itself Catholic when posters support those who support infanticide?
    3) Is it time to start requiring all history students to answer the question, “What about all the GOOD things Hitler did for Germany?”

  108. August 20, 2008 10:54 am

    Katerina

    And what about Catholics for most of United States history? The anti-Catholicism of most candidates is well known (including many who are considered to have been great US Presidents). Did Catholics who vote for them become pro-Anti-Catholicism by such votes?

  109. LCB permalink
    August 20, 2008 10:56 am

    MM,

    This post topic is about your support for Obama.

    If you wish to discuss McCain’s stance on ESCR start a different thread. If your argument boils down to, “McCain has some bad stances, so it’s okay to support Obama who has bad stances” then your moral calculus is pretty weak.

  110. ann permalink
    August 20, 2008 10:56 am

    This is the saddest of times when Catholics can twist their thinking to justify voting for the most pro abortion senator in the United States senate. Don’t listen to the American Bishops on this issue. This “proportionate reasons” crap leads to just this type of double think. As Archbishop Burke has said, it is difficult to come up with any proportionate reason. Their writings are confusing on the issue.

    When we choose between McCain who has a prolife record and Obama who has a pro abortion record, even a pro infanticide one, the choice we must make is clear. The abortion issue concerns an intrinsic evil and to vote for Obama is to encourage the same. There is not other issue which concerns intrinsic issues to the same level. Even torture, which is an intrinsic evil issue, is nuanced in a way abortion is not and McCain has spoken out firmly against it. The war, health care, nebulous world peace, global warming, juvenile politics etc. just can’t trump a pro abortion stance.

    This thinking is Catholicism lite, tinged with leftist silliness and profound lack of true Catholic moral theology.

  111. August 20, 2008 10:56 am

    Katrina,

    I think the issue in regards to McCain and ESCR would be initially to point out that both candidates equally support ESCR. Since it’s not a point of difference between them, it can’t be the thing that makes one choose Obama over McCain, though it might make one refuse to support either. Similarly, it’s been pointed out that in a situation where all viable candidates in an election were pro-choice, a Catholic would not necessarily be forbidden to vote, but might well instead need to pick the better of the options in regards to other issues.

    As for a McCain supporter writing an equivalent of MM’s post in order to explain a Catholic’s reasons for voting for McCain — I for one (and from the discussions I’ve had with other conservative bloggers, probably many others) am not nearly pleased enough with McCain to endorse him in the way that MM has chosen to endorse Obama. I may or may not end up voting for McCain, depending on what goes on between now and November, but right now I do not believe I am willing to endorse him, even in the slightly conflicted way in which MM has endorsed Obama.

    Which, incidentially, is probably why people are reacting a bit against MM’s post.

  112. August 20, 2008 10:57 am

    LCB

    Your claim that “There are currently no proportionate reasons” is a comment of your own prudential judgment, not a declaration of the Chuch. At best you can use that to indicate why you can’t vote for McCain and Obama. But you can’t use that claim, which is not defended by official Catholic documents, to dictate to others how they view the situation and make prudential decisions. And proportionate reasons are not about quantity.

    And, if you are living in the United States, paying taxes, you are giving remote material cooperation, whomever you vote for!

  113. August 20, 2008 10:58 am

    Ann

    Yes, I see. Don’t listen to the Catholic Church on this, to be Catholic! Listen to you!

  114. August 20, 2008 11:00 am

    Darwin

    If you end up telling people to vote for McCain over Obama (and many Catholics, like Feddie, have), you give an endoresment. Let’s be honest here.

  115. LCB permalink
    August 20, 2008 11:08 am

    Henry,

    Fortunately Faith and Reason can never be opposed. Provide me an issue proportionate to abortion and infanticide, to the tune of 1.3 million babies a year.

    Let’s be honest here. You’re either down with an infanticide candidate or you’re not.

  116. LCB permalink
    August 20, 2008 11:10 am

    Unless you’re going to make the claim, “there MIGHT be an issue proportionate to 1.3 million babies being killed a year, but I just don’t know what it is… so I can vote Obama anyways.”

    Obama is pro-infanticide.

  117. August 20, 2008 11:19 am

    I think the issue in regards to McCain and ESCR would be initially to point out that both candidates equally support ESCR. Since it’s not a point of difference between them, it can’t be the thing that makes one choose Obama over McCain, though it might make one refuse to support either.

    Right. You didn’t make this claim, but I”m using your point above to make mine: it seems, then, that if that’s the case, then it would be very unfair to call a McCain supporter pro-ESCR just as it is unfair to call someone who votes for Obama pro-infanticide completely neglecting the discernment that goes behind choosing either candidate. It seems that the Catholic is left with no choice then: we cannot vote for either candidate. Both support ESCR, one openly supports abortion whereas the other one doesn’t really like talking about it and is not consistent on the issue either.

  118. August 20, 2008 11:36 am

    There are currently no reasons that are proportionate to the American Baby Genocide– 1.3 million babies a year.

    The legitimate reasons one could vote in favor of a pro-abortion candidate would be because their opponent is either greater than or equal to them in abortion terms, or some other equal genocide were advocated. That is what proportionate means.

    The Church has not spelled this out in so clear of terms as you have. They ought to seek your counsel because you obviously know more than them.

    If you wish to discuss McCain’s stance on ESCR start a different thread.

    This is MM’s thread. Let him make the call.

    rovide me an issue proportionate to abortion and infanticide, to the tune of 1.3 million babies a year.

    As for “there is no other issue that compares,” if McCain and Obama were exactly the same on all other issues, I would agree. But this is not a matter of coming up with “one issue” that would give a “proportionate reason” to vote Obama. MM has detailed a long list of issues and taken all together he makes a strong case. It never comes down to one issue, not abortion, not war, etc.

  119. LCB permalink
    August 20, 2008 11:43 am

    Michael,

    Faith and reason are not opposed. Go ahead, I’m waiting for an issue proportionate to 1.3 million cute babies slaughtered.

    I then explained the definition of proportionate. It’s a pretty simple term and this is a pretty simple issue.

    “3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

    Obama supports killing 1.3 million babies a year and is pro-infanticide, but he totally shares the USCCB position on sea slugs. So, you know, vote your conscience.

  120. August 20, 2008 11:59 am

    Henry,

    If you end up telling people to vote for McCain over Obama (and many Catholics, like Feddie, have), you give an endoresment. Let’s be honest here.

    I suppose everyone has their own standards about what one’s behavior as a writer means, but I would tend to take writing a post officially endorsing a candidate as symbolizing a significantly greatly commitment and endorsement of that candidate than simply arguing repeatedly that a given candidate is the best one available and should be voted for.

    Otherwise, after all, it was already clear that MM thought Obama the more acceptable candidate in this election, and there would haven’t have been a need for this post.

    Katrina,

    Right. You didn’t make this claim, but I”m using your point above to make mine: it seems, then, that if that’s the case, then it would be very unfair to call a McCain supporter pro-ESCR just as it is unfair to call someone who votes for Obama pro-infanticide completely neglecting the discernment that goes behind choosing either candidate. It seems that the Catholic is left with no choice then: we cannot vote for either candidate. Both support ESCR, one openly supports abortion whereas the other one doesn’t really like talking about it and is not consistent on the issue either.

    I think it would be incorrect to say that MM supporting Obama makes MM pro-infanticide, even though Obama himself is clearly at least unwilling to ban infanticide outright if he sees it as politically inconvenient to do so (at that moment — clearly now he wishes he had and is trying to have it both ways.)

    To accuse MM of being pro-infanticide or pro-abortion simply because he publicly endorses a candidate who is pro-abortion and is indifferent to infanticide does not strike me as accurate or honest.

    Though the fact that MM is willing to endorse a candidate with these deficiencies strikes me as bad enough in and of itself that such hyperbole is not only untrue, but also unnecessary.

  121. August 20, 2008 12:09 pm

    Faith and reason are not opposed.

    Obviously.

    Go ahead, I’m waiting for an issue proportionate to 1.3 million cute babies slaughtered.

    As I said above, it does not come down to one issue.

    Your use of the word “cute” shows the sentimentalism that drives your moral framework.

    I then explained the definition of proportionate. It’s a pretty simple term and this is a pretty simple issue.

    I’m aware of what the term means. I agree that it’s simple.

    I agree with every word of the quote you cited. It does not, however, prove your claim that there are no proportionate reasons.

    …but he totally shares the USCCB position on sea slugs. So, you know, vote your conscience.

    You are dishonest and you are not interested in dialogue. MM has laid out his thinking for all to see and you reduce it to “sea slugs”? Look, I will not engage you further if you’re only interested in spewing this kind of garbage and misrepresentation of your opponents. I suggest to the others in this thread that at this point you are ignorable.

  122. August 20, 2008 12:13 pm

    Though the fact that MM is willing to endorse a candidate with these deficiencies strikes me as bad enough in and of itself that such hyperbole is not only untrue, but also unnecessary.

    Right. I would not make the move that MM does, i.e. endorsement. Do I think Obama is the lesser of two evils? Absolutely. Will I vote for him? If I vote, maybe. Will I vote McCain? Absolutely not. Would I ever endorse Obama? No. But I would certainly defend MM for doing so, as he has made a strong case and in doing so he has followed the principles in Faithful Citizenship more closely than most folks here have done.

  123. August 20, 2008 12:20 pm

    Apparently this site is content to promote the abortion of 1.3 million babies each year for the next 4 years. To vote pro-abortion is to be complicit in each of those acts of abortion. It is to dance at the door of hell.

    Regarding the Iraq comparison, even if you use the wildly exaggerated and unsubstantiated number of 1 million deaths over the past 63 months, one has to realize that American mothers slaughtered 6.8 million of their own children in the same period.

    There is no issue today that is costlier than abortion. American women today are the most murderous and blood thirsty lot in the world.

  124. August 20, 2008 12:32 pm

    BTW, I am not campaigning for anyone. I am arguing pro-life. I have not made Obama into the single most blood-thirsty presidential candidates in history, he has. It is my job to point that out.

    While a priest is not to campaign for a party or individual, he must speak the truth relevant to the faith. If a gag were to be placed on priests, then the problem with Pius XII would not be that he did not say enough, but that he said and did too much. That is clearly a wrong outcome.

  125. Mark DeFrancisis permalink*
    August 20, 2008 12:46 pm

    Republican president’s record of actally saving preborn lives during the last 8 years due to jucicial efforts:
    …0 to bare minimun out of 8 million

    Deaths added because of unjust invasion of sovereign nations by same Republican president: 125,000-1+ million

    Deaths that would have/will result if McCain/Bush had gotten,get their way, into Iran and thus sent/send the whole region into chaos of WWIV proportions: millions.

  126. August 20, 2008 12:57 pm

    Apparently this site is content to promote the abortion of 1.3 million babies each year for the next 4 years. To vote pro-abortion is to be complicit in each of those acts of abortion. It is to dance at the door of hell.

    Lying is also to dance at the door of hell, Father. You are lying about what this site promotes, and you are lying about what your Church teaches.

    While a priest is not to campaign for a party or individual, he must speak the truth relevant to the faith.

    Above, you encouraged someone to vote for McCain. You are no better than Father Pfleger.

  127. Mark DeFrancisis permalink*
    August 20, 2008 1:12 pm

    Is not football season starting on the B.C. campus?

  128. August 20, 2008 1:20 pm

    I said I support McCain. That is, I will vote for him. I am not telling anyone else that they must vote for McCain. Their vote is a matter of their conscience. However, the bloodthirsty nature of Obama’s pro-abortion stance is horrific and I believe disqualifies him from the support of a conscientious Catholic.

  129. August 20, 2008 1:21 pm

    As for my anonymity. I am actually not anonymous online. I just am not going to expose myself to prank calls and email spam by some of the folks that frequent this blog.

  130. August 20, 2008 1:37 pm

    I am not telling anyone else that they must vote for McCain.

    Um, yes you are:

    Since abortion is the deadliest practice known to man, on moral grounds I cannot support Obama and am obliged to support McCain.

    […]

    Please reconsider your public support and vote, Mr. Morning’s Minion.

    Surely you’re not suggesting that you are “obliged” to vote for McCain, but MM isn’t?

  131. August 20, 2008 1:39 pm

    just am not going to expose myself to prank calls and email spam by some of the folks that frequent this blog.

    You would rather use the priesthood, meant to be a public role in the Church and in the world, as a weapon, using the title but remaining anonymous? Anonymous priests? No better than the “private” ordinations of “WomenPriests.”

  132. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 20, 2008 1:54 pm

    Let’s clear some things up for LCB, Ann, and Fr. J (and frankly, I’m shocked that a priest can miss the obvious).

    In claiming that there are no proportionate reasons to justify voting for a pro-abortion candidate, the implicit assumption in that argument is a direct causation behind the legislatives of that candidate in the office to which he is to be elected, and the incidence of abortion, specifically the one million or so abortions that take place each year. The actions of Barack Obama will do little to change this. The acts of John McCain will do little to change this. This is what we need to weigh up when considering proportionate reasons — the relative effect of both candidates on abortion, and also on many other areas. For as I mentioned, the Church notes that the accompanying social and economic circumstances are as important as legal status and a candidate that does not embrace a consistent ethic of life in this regard is not thinking with the Church.

    So go ahead– make your prudential case that McCain is better. You would be making similar arguments to me, but coming to a different conclusion. What you ABSOLUTELY CANNOT DO is say that the Church permits a vote for McCain but not for Obama, for that, my friends, is American dualism in action.

    I’m still waiting for your answer, LCB, on whether Catholics can vote for McCain or not given his support for a number of intrinsically evil acts.

  133. August 20, 2008 2:52 pm

    The only obligation a Catholic has when voting is to be true to his conscience well informed. I am obliged by my conscience as a Catholic to not vote for McCain. To say this is not to oblige another to do the same.

    It is my belief that the heinous nature of abortion and the spiritual damage it does to American women, men and families is virtually apocalyptic in scale. I am obliged to not vote for a candidate whom I consider guilty of blood-lust for being not only pro-abortion but pro-infanticide. This belief of mine does not, in fact, bind the conscience of anyone else even if I believe that the facts on the ground should bind their conscience, even if I think voting for Obama is perilous to ones soul, as I do believe.

    As for the charge that voting for Obama will not make any difference in the number of abortions, this is a very problematic line of thinking.

    What it will take to end abortion is a series of presidents who nominate enough pro-life members of the supreme court such that the abotion debate is returned to the states where it has always belonged. Then it will take consistent pro-life voting in those legislatures to overturn pro-abortion laws.

    To say that no particular election really matters is tantamount to saying one bullet will not destroy the Third Reich, so it doesn’t matter if we ever make the first bullet.

    The idea that the election of Obama will not increase abortion is clearly false. Please educate yourself on the Freedom of Choice Act which will end all limits on abortion on the federal and state levels. This will undoubtedly promote abortion and increase the numbers of women slaughtering their innocent children in their wombs.

  134. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 20, 2008 3:51 pm

    “I am obliged by my conscience as a Catholic to not vote for McCain.”

    I agree!

  135. August 20, 2008 3:53 pm

    oops. I am obliged as a Catholic to not vote for Obama.

  136. digbydolben permalink
    August 20, 2008 4:43 pm

    What often fascinates me about Americans is not just how divided your country is, but, also, how little certain elements of the population know other elements: obviously a great many people writing here have little or no knowledge of the millions of “feminists” presently living in America who consider the right to “control their reproductive systems” as a basic human right now.

    I, however, have known many of this type of “modern woman” during my time in the United States, and I can tell you, “Father J,” that, if you succeeded in criminalizing abortion in certain states, or if you succeeded in passing an Amendment to the Constitution repealing Roe vs Wade, or if the Supreme Court were tipped by Republican appointments toward a reversal of Roe vs. Wade, these women would take to the streets; they’d burn your courthouses down, their feelings regarding this “right” are so strong.

    When you move this issue out of the realm of personal morality, out of a realm where it might be considered a “social problem” that can be somewhat mitigated by education and financing of a greater opportunity to “choose life,” and into the realm of coercion by means of the ballot box or the courts, what you’re asking for in modern America is civil strife on a level unparalleled in your country since the Civil War.

    That’s why I believe that deciding one’s vote for the Presidency in 2008 purely on the basis of this single issue is a profoundly unpatriotic thing for an American to do.

  137. ann permalink
    August 20, 2008 5:13 pm

    Henry C., You said don’t listen to the Catholic Church to be Catholic, listen to me.

    Oh no you don’t. I said listen to Archbishop Burke, who articulates the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church in a way the minions at the UCCB just don’t.

  138. August 20, 2008 5:19 pm

    Ann

    Read the quote of the week.

  139. Mark DeFrancisis permalink*
    August 20, 2008 5:30 pm

    I wonder why Burke got “moved up”?

  140. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 20, 2008 5:30 pm

    The minions of at the USCCB? You mean every other bishop except Bishop Burke? (I’m not implying there is any radical dichotomy because Bruke and his brother bishops, I’m just using your language)

  141. ann permalink
    August 20, 2008 5:39 pm

    Father J,,
    You say that your informed conscience does not allow you to vote for Obama and right you are. I would contend that anyone who says that given the McCain record and the Obama record that an accurately informed conscience would allow them to vote for Obama is critically wrong.

    McCain is not absolutely pro-life. BUT he is more pro-life than Obama. If one can at times vote for a non pro-life candidate, one can vote for McCain, but not Obama. One cannot vote for an extremely pro abort candidate,(an intrinsic evil)Obama in favor of a lesser pro-life candidate McCain, UNLESS that lesser one is just as supportive of another intrinsic evil. No matter how you slice it, McCain is not adamant on ESCR and he is against torture. so he is the more acceptable, although flawed, candidate between the two when analyzed with Catholic moral principles as taught by the Magisterium.

  142. August 20, 2008 5:53 pm

    f you succeeded in criminalizing abortion in certain states, or if you succeeded in passing an Amendment to the Constitution repealing Roe vs Wade, or if the Supreme Court were tipped by Republican appointments toward a reversal of Roe vs. Wade, these women would take to the streets; they’d burn your courthouses down, their feelings regarding this “right” are so strong.

    Contrary to the idea that abortion is a “right”, the actual case is that abortion is an instrument of oppression. Many, many women don’t actually “choose” abortion, but rather feel forced to have an abortion. It’s a male chauvinist’s dream to have sex without consequences, to have sex without any attachments be they emotional or financial.

    I believe that the Clintonian refrain “safe, legal and rare” was removed from the Democratic platform because “rare” was too close to the truth. “Rare” admits too much, it admits that abortion is evil. Women don’t grow up wishing to have an abortion, but rather they feel trapped into it, and ensnared. The men they wish would love them, didn’t.

  143. August 20, 2008 5:55 pm

    digbydolben,

    “What often fascinates me about Americans is not just how divided your country is, but, also, how little certain elements of the population know other elements: obviously a great many people writing here have little or no knowledge of the millions of “feminists” presently living in America who consider the right to “control their reproductive systems” as a basic human right now….

    …When you move this issue out of the realm of personal morality, out of a realm where it might be considered a “social problem” that can be somewhat mitigated by education and financing of a greater opportunity to “choose life,” and into the realm of coercion by means of the ballot box or the courts, what you’re asking for in modern America is civil strife on a level unparalleled in your country since the Civil War.”

    I am very well aware of the rage and irrationality of a feminist. I was raised by one. I do not live in isolation from my political opponents, but among them. Anyone familiar with America knows that we Americans cannot escape the pluralism in which we are immersed, even if we try to live in either liberal or conservative enclaves. It is not that a committed Catholic is naive. It is rather than a committed Catholic is resolved.

    I am not sure I agree that a reversal on abortion in the US would result in the same violence as the Civil War, but even if it did, that would be justifiable. The Civil War as understood by President Lincoln was a kind of reparation for the injustice of slavery. Abortion is a far more heinous crime against humanity than slavery.

    For someone who purports to be so familiar with Americans, you ought to be familiar with one of America’s most important political speeches, Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address in which he said the following:

    “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.””

    The mere preservation of property is not the highest value for a Catholic. The end of abortion would clearly be worth the burning of every American courthouse and more. If that were the cost, I would say “Let them burn!”

    The reason for this strong stand is that the nature of abortion is fundamentally reprehensible, even more so than slavery. We can now save a child born weighing only 10.2 onces. But that same baby can be hacked to death at his mother’s pleasure. A drunk driver causes an accident resulting in a pregnant mother to lose her child and it is murder. If she were on her way to an abortion mill, she could have it chopped into bits or chemically incinerated while she watches TV for a wad of cash.

    America is at odds with itself because we are an immoral nation. So, if God wills that every every drop of blood drawn by the abortionist shall be paid by another drawn at a riot, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said today, “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

  144. August 20, 2008 6:06 pm

    why are my comments now being screened for moderation?

  145. August 20, 2008 6:10 pm

    I am very well aware of the rage and irrationality of a feminist.

    You paint with a broad, silly brush. It’s a shame.

    So, if God wills that every every drop of blood drawn by the abortionist shall be paid by another drawn at a riot, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said today, “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

    I don’t usually say this about people outright, Father, but you sound a little nuts to me.

    why are my comments now being screened for moderation?

    Nuts, and paranoid. Certain words are tagged for automatic moderation. You must have used one of them.

  146. S.B. permalink
    August 20, 2008 6:23 pm

    I, however, have known many of this type of “modern woman” during my time in the United States,

    I’ll bet you have; you don’t seem like the type of person who would associate with many faithful Catholics; they wouldn’t like being around someone who has so much contempt for them.

    Anyway, you pose an interesting decision-making process here: Faithful Catholics shouldn’t do anything about abortion, because they might risk the reaction of hysterical fanatics.

  147. S.B. permalink
    August 20, 2008 6:25 pm

    Father J.: This site seems to put any commentators viewed as leaning “conservative” on moderation. Odd, given that the liberals around here (like digby or Mark D.) are more prone to leave contemptuous and uncivil comments.

  148. August 20, 2008 6:27 pm

    Okay, back to the ad hominen. Whatever.

    I did not say that I myself wished for riots or the burning of courthouses. I work for the end of abortion. If God were to will that the end of abortion resulted in violence, who would any of us be to say that no price is worth paying for the preservation of innocent life–and the innocence of mothers now readily having their children hacked to death inside them?

    As a society we risk all kinds of life for the sake of life. Firefighters, police officers, soldiers, medics, and priest-chaplains on the front make this clear.

    If the unborn are real lives and they are being destroyed at the rate of 72% in NYC, what price is worth paying to end such criminality? My point is that abortion is not something in the abstract. Real prices may need to be paid for such an evil to end. As real prices had to be paid for the end of Hitler and slavery, so perhaps real prices will have to be paid to end abortion.

  149. August 20, 2008 6:30 pm

    again with the moderation…

  150. TeutonicTim permalink
    August 20, 2008 6:32 pm

    f you succeeded in criminalizing abortion in certain states, or if you succeeded in passing an Amendment to the Constitution repealing Roe vs Wade, or if the Supreme Court were tipped by Republican appointments toward a reversal of Roe vs. Wade, these women would take to the streets; they’d burn your courthouses down, their feelings regarding this “right” are so strong.

    Good thing the Supreme Court of the United States ruled the 2nd amendment is in fact an individual right. Terrorists burning down public offices would incite real Americans to defend their institutions…

  151. TeutonicTim permalink
    August 20, 2008 6:33 pm

    Besides, I’m sure drug dealers are mad when new laws against trafficking are passed. Should the feeling of the criminal, in this case murderer, be considered in saying something is wrong?

  152. August 20, 2008 6:40 pm

    “Father J” – The words “hack” and “Hitler” are both set to kick comments into moderation automatically. You used those words in your posts. You have not been placed into moderation on purpose.

  153. adamv permalink
    August 20, 2008 6:41 pm

    Good Lord, the same points brought up and debated over and over again.

    Has anybody really had their minds changed in the previous 150 comments? Each and every one of you should be downright ashamed of yourselves.

    What a joke of a blog.

  154. David Nickol permalink
    August 20, 2008 7:04 pm

    Has anybody really had their minds changed in the previous 150 comments? Each and every one of you should be downright ashamed of yourselves.

    Actually, I feel like I get a lot out of these kinds of threads, I certainly haven’t done any 180-degree turns, but spending time in discussions like these certainly influences me. I have participated in many discussion forums over the years, and I would have to say that this one is the best (probably the best).

  155. August 20, 2008 7:19 pm

    To the charge that I am nuts, let me respond (although it should not be necessary for a blogger to use ad hominems, it seems to be a perrenial problem here at Vox Nova).

    I have never advocated violence, and never will. However, for the greater good, I would be willing to suffer violence. If that is nuts, then all the martyrs are nuts, especially those who gave their lives for nothing more than refusing to pinch some incense before a pagan statue.

    The willingness to suffer violence for a greater good is at the very heart of the Gospel–turn your cheek, better to lose an eye, better to be cast in the sea with a millstone, forgive them Father, etc.

    If the price of ending abortion were riots, and courthouse burnings, that would be a terrible thing. The riots, however, would more likely result in Catholic Church burnings and the hunting down of pro-life Catholic priests. I am not predicting it, welcoming it, hoping for it or much less calling for it. But, I would be willing to suffer it, if God called me to it.

    So, maybe I am nuts, as you say. If so, what are you willing to be nuts for, Michael?

  156. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 20, 2008 9:48 pm

    First of all, this is my thread, and I have put nobody in moderation. Either you are using one of the “banned” words or one of my fellow contributors has you in moderation for their own reasons. Around here, we tend to have complete control over our own threads (MZ doesn’t even allow comments).

  157. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 20, 2008 9:59 pm

    Fr. J:

    I hope you are not making the consequentialist argument that some evil might be justified to stop abortion– in particular, the use of violence. And God does not will violence, which is a result of a sinful humanity.

    And please, while your view is welcome, refrain from using the term “liberal” without defining your terms, as I would regard both dominant strains of political debate in the US as emerging from liberalism. The same individualism, the same emphasis on the autonomy of the individual, gives is both the “right” to abortion and laissez-faire capitalism.

    You are passionate about ending abortion. I get it. But tell me this: what is your strategy for reducing the abortion rate to zero? Reversing Roe? Fine, but how will you deal with the inevitable mother-of-all-pro-abortion backlashes, and the almost certain result that abortion will remain legal in the major states accounting for the vast majority of abortions today?

    My answer is that we need to persuade. We need to break the link between the pro-life movement and all of the other right-wing crap that turns people off so much. We need a consistent ethic of life, not only because it is mandated by Christ, but because it will convince people who are presently unconvinced to oppose abortion. Is this easy? Not a chance. But I don’t see much alternative.

  158. August 20, 2008 10:22 pm

    Morning’s Minion,

    I am happy with the way I use the terms liberal and conservative.

    I have not made a consequentialist argument. Rather, I have said that I am willing to suffer, not inflict, violence for the sake of ending abortion. If that is wrong, so was it wrong for Miguel Pro to be a martyr.

    I would not will that the blood thirsty nature of feminists presently inflicted on the unborn be in the future inflicted on pro-life priests. But, if they did, I would accept a martyr’s death. But that is up to the feminist’s evil and the will of God. We are dealing with the culture of death, do recall.

    Yes, opposing abortion is a matter of winning hearts and electing pro-life candidates. Each heart won to the life position potentially leads others to the same conversion. It is a matter of conversion. But, it is also a matter of law, as the Church teaches.

    Of course there will be pro-abortion backlashes–even violent ones, perhaps. This is the nature of evil–death, destruction, violence. I expect the promoters of death, destruction and violence to be death dealing, destructive and violent.

    Would it be worse if the feminists killed their adult opponents than innocent children? I dont think so. First, it would be difficult for feminists to kill adult Americans at the same rate of 1.3 million a year. But, even if they did, it would only show in a more visible way the same violence they commit today in the secrecy of abortion mills.

    The only thing that makes abortion tenable in America today is that it is invisible. That invisibility is what protects people like Obama and his supporters from the utter universal condemnation that they deserve.

  159. ann permalink
    August 20, 2008 10:23 pm

    Morning’s Minion,

    I am talking about the same USCCB minions which gave us “Always Our Children”, the Peace Pastoral of the eighties and some of the ridiculous stuff on human sexuality, as well as a very flawed document on conscience after HV and lately the document on conscience and voting.

    As you know, a bishop’s conference in any country has no moral authority as a conference and in the case of the American Bishops, we should often give a “thanks be to God”. An individual bishop has authority when he speaks with the magisterium, as does Archbp. Burke and as the USCCB does not.

    It is heartbreaking to see Catholics making specious arguments to defend the indefensible, a radical, pro-abortion candidate, just because he makes nice on other social issues.

    Every Catholic has a duty to inform their conscience on the authentic teachings of the Church. The USCCB often produces documents not in keeping with such teachings. Look around them to the Magisterium.

  160. Mark DeFrancisis permalink*
    August 20, 2008 10:26 pm

    John McCain has reiterated that he would be “not against” instituting the draft. Why?

    John McCain has already said that “there will be other wars,” so I’m sure he already has some in mind.

    When you factor in the history of his violent temper – assaulting Rick Renzi, verbally accosting a number of his fellow Republican senators and Thad Cochrans’ comment that, “”The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine…He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me…” – with Pat Buchanan’s comments that McCain’s foreign policy is George W. Bush on steroids, it’s not hard to see the potential danger of an unhinged McCain presidency.

    He’s a ticking bomb waiting to go off. Mr. Culture of Death, unlike any other we have seen in this country. Too bellicose, too unstable, too ill-tempered to be elected President. There’s just too much risk with a person like that.

    One of his fellow POW’s – Dr. Phillip Butler(who actually spent more time in a POW camp than McCain) recently wrote the following about the old senator:

    I can verify that John has an infamous reputation for being a hot head. He has a quick and explosive temper that many have experienced first hand. Folks, quite honestly that is not the finger I want next to that red button.

    The entire article he wrote can be read here: Why a former POW won’t vote for John McCain. Butler also goes on to clarify McCain’s own accounts as a POW. Defintely a story either Maria or Dayvoe should take a look at.

  161. Mark DeFrancisis permalink*
    August 20, 2008 10:34 pm

    Fr. J,

    With all due respect, it sounds as though you have very serious issues with your mother, and this is hindering your rational and pastoral modus operandi.

  162. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 20, 2008 11:01 pm

    Ann:

    First, what do you think was wrong exactly with the peace pastoral?

    Second, on major policy issue, the US bishops choose to speak collectively through the organ of the USCCB. That does not usurp the authority of each individual bishop, but neither is it meaningless. Rather, these documents represent the collective voice of the US bishops (drafted by commitee…just like the great conciiar documents at the 21st council).

    No offense, but it sounds to me like you are trying to fashion the Church in your own image, rather than listen to its actual teaching. And that is the great sin of American Catholicism, part of the “cultural Calvinism” identified by Cardinal George.

  163. ann permalink
    August 20, 2008 11:44 pm

    It has been many years since I read the Peace Pastoral and wrote a commentary for an American Bishop and his staff. However, my recollection is that it did not articulate the nuances of the Church’s teachings on just war theory nor did it clearly articulate the differences in the threads of the seamless garment of the Church’s social teachings.

    You are correct in saying that the US bishops choose to speak collectively, but it does not mean that they speak authoritatively. Always Our Children was a document which evidenced that choice, but it was withdrawn as defective and re-drafted to reflect the authentic teaching of the Magisterium.

    With all due respect to the Bishops, the collective voice of the Bishops are in no way analogous to the concilar documents at the Council. The Council spoke with the authority of the Magisterium its statements, ratified by the Pope and often spoke infallibly. Yes, I know there is argument about that. Further, the council was the world wide teachings of the bishops with the Pope.

    The American bishop’s statements are more analogous to the bishops who supported the Aryan heresy against the Pope.

    I do not try to fashion the Church in my own image. If I am ever mistaken on an issue, I will submit myself to the Church’s decision.

    What do you mean part of the cultural Calvinism? I am trying to articulate the Church’s actual teachings.

    Further, how do you impute cultural Calvinism to my positions?

  164. digbydolben permalink
    August 20, 2008 11:50 pm

    SB & “Father J”:

    Prima facie evidence that both of YOU are “paranoid” and that I am not: I HAVE been put on “moderation” several times and have never said a word about it.

    Some types of rhetoric, such as calling pro-abortion candidates “Hitler,” deserve “moderation,” and that’s all there is to it.

    I’m not complaining, and neither should either of you.

  165. ann permalink
    August 20, 2008 11:57 pm

    I would like to clarify my statements on the bishop’s conferences. If they vote unanimously to teach a certain item, they speak authoritatively. But a majority vote is not authoritative unless recognized by the Holy See. Certainly the staff’s opinions are not authoritative.

  166. August 21, 2008 1:43 am

    To the charge that I am nuts, let me respond (although it should not be necessary for a blogger to use ad hominems, it seems to be a perrenial problem here at Vox Nova).

    I have never advocated violence, and never will. However, for the greater good, I would be willing to suffer violence. If that is nuts, then all the martyrs are nuts, especially those who gave their lives for nothing more than refusing to pinch some incense before a pagan statue.

    The willingness to suffer violence for a greater good is at the very heart of the Gospel–turn your cheek, better to lose an eye, better to be cast in the sea with a millstone, forgive them Father, etc.

    If the price of ending abortion were riots, and courthouse burnings, that would be a terrible thing. The riots, however, would more likely result in Catholic Church burnings and the hunting down of pro-life Catholic priests. I am not predicting it, welcoming it, hoping for it or much less calling for it. But, I would be willing to suffer it, if God called me to it.

    So, maybe I am nuts, as you say. If so, what are you willing to be nuts for, Michael?

    “Father” J: You obviously have not read very many of my posts here at VN. I’ll give you some time to catch up. Get back to me later.

    However, my recollection is that it did not articulate the nuances of the Church’s teachings on just war theory nor did it clearly articulate the differences in the threads of the seamless garment of the Church’s social teachings.

    It’s obviously been a while since you have read it. I’ll give you some time to read it again. In fact, one of the critiques could be that it is too nuanced. Try again.

    With all due respect to the Bishops, the collective voice of the Bishops are in no way analogous to the concilar documents at the Council. The Council spoke with the authority of the Magisterium its statements, ratified by the Pope and often spoke infallibly. Yes, I know there is argument about that. Further, the council was the world wide teachings of the bishops with the Pope.

    The American bishop’s statements are more analogous to the bishops who supported the Aryan heresy against the Pope.

    National bishops’ conferences ARE authoritative if they speak with the mind of the Church. The peace pastoral certainly does.

  167. August 21, 2008 2:48 am

    “The American bishop’s statements are more analogous to the bishops who supported the Aryan heresy against the Pope. ”

    Ann, once again, read the quote of the week. Or read VII on the authority of bishops. If you truly claim the American bishops are heretics, then don’t take communion from them. Indeed, avoid them. Find the true church. The thing is, the Pope of Rome, continuing to be in communion with them, says the Catholic answer includes them. So that true church can’t be the one with the Pope of Rome. Find it, and stop pretending to be Catholic.

  168. LCB permalink
    August 21, 2008 7:21 am

    When posters on vox nova have reached the point of refusing to engage others because they are unable to answer their arguments, are attacking the priesthood of commentors, and are refusing to allow comments, are refusing to cease ad hominem attacks, and are consistently embracing other logical fallacies as if they are critical thinking and reasonable, one thing becomes clear:

    Vox nova has jumped the shark.

  169. August 21, 2008 7:23 am

    LCB

    You refuse to have an open discussion, but want to control the manner of the debate. If you want to act that way, make your own blog. Write what you want to write there. But the thing is, people on Vox Nova do respond to legitimate discussions, and you ignore the points made. You read with a lens which ignores the ad hominen being used, and indeed, “they argue with ad hominems” when there are other points being made and ignored IS an ad hominem in itself. People can claim to be anything on the net; just because they call themselves a priest in a comments box does not make it so; however, when someone is using that authority for political partisanship has done what the Church tells priests not to do, there is a good reason to question whether or not a supposed priest is. Finally if you do not like it here, you can stop reading. You are free to leave.

  170. August 21, 2008 8:53 am

    The ad hominem is a constant issue at Vox Nova comboxes. Let me just list the places on this thread where the discussion was shifted from the topic at hand to me as a person.

    A Catholic priest actively campaigning for McCain.

    You are no better than Father Pfleger.

    I doubt, however, that the anonymous “Fr. J” would not count himself among the priests our Church chastises to be non-partisan. He seems to think he is above and beyond those ecclesial guidelines. I also doubt he would so blatantly endorse a candidate if he did not play the anonymous internet personality game.

    I don’t usually say this about people outright, Father, but you sound a little nuts to me…Nuts and paranoid.

    With all due respect, it sounds as though you have very serious issues with your mother, and this is hindering your rational and pastoral modus operandi.

    From what I have seen, Vox Nova has improved recently, but it still has a long way to go.

    For a blog that deals with heated issues in a placid and civil manner see http://eirenikon.wordpress.com/ The author, Irenaeus, sets a standard that we should all strive for, in my opinion.

  171. August 21, 2008 8:57 am

    Fr J

    If you are a priest (I don’t know), you do know that you can’t be using your priesthood for partisan politics. That’s a given. It’s not an ad hominem. On the other hand, you fail to ignore the fact that you continue to misrepresent positions of people on here — telling them they are for abortion when they are not, for example. And your use of labels to dismiss viewpoints is indicative of who is engaged in ad hominems.

    Saying someone sounds a bit nuts is also not an ad hominemn, since it is not an argument; it is a description of one’s opinion. That makes it outside of the domain of ad hominem, since an ad hominem is a fallacy used for argumentation. But of course, you will constantly label and misrepresent, and then complain about people responding to you by saying “that’s nuts.” So be it. One thing which is clear — your manner is not placid, and it’s far from civil; indeed, it is quite the opposite.

  172. August 21, 2008 9:09 am

    I have never claimed that anyone here is pro-abortion. I have not intentionally misrepresented anyones positions. If I have point it out and I will apologize.

    Even if calling someone nuts is not technically an argument ad hominem, it is a turning from the topic at hand to the person as a person. It is not necessary to discuss anyone as a person, just stay on the topic.

    I am not engaged in partisan politics. I have not once made reference to either party. I have only discussed the content of my conscience.

    Labels to dismiss arguments: hmmmm, I guess you dont like my use of the word “liberal.” This is common parlance. It is too late to take the term liberal back to the 19th Century. As for another label used to dismiss arguments, how about “nuts?”

  173. August 21, 2008 9:10 am

    If you want to verify that I am a priest, that can be done.

  174. August 21, 2008 9:12 am

    To quote you, “Apparently this site is content to promote the abortion of 1.3 million babies each year for the next 4 years.”

    You have accused Vox Nova of promoting abortion.

    And I can’t verify you are a priest just from the name “Fr J.”

  175. August 21, 2008 9:29 am

    I said “this site” as I have not seen a contributor to this site oppose Barack Obama, though there may be some contributors that do. If there are some contributors that have opposed Obama on VN, I apologize. This comment was based on this thread.

    Promoting abortion is too strong. So, I retract that. But, those who do not oppose pro-abortion candidates are still in fact complicit in the abortion holocaust.

  176. August 21, 2008 11:23 am

    Reversing Roe? Fine, but how will you deal with the inevitable mother-of-all-pro-abortion backlashes, and the almost certain result that abortion will remain legal in the major states accounting for the vast majority of abortions today?

    One has to be very, very careful with this kind of reasoning. If one intends the continuance of an intrinsically unjust provision in law as a means to the end of avoiding a backlash, then one is formally cooperating with evil. It is never morally licit to intend the passage or continuance of an intrinsically unjust provision in law for any reason.

  177. August 21, 2008 11:25 am

    Fr. J – I have not engaged in ad hominem attacks against you. I am criticizing what you say. There’s a difference.

    I said “this site” as I have not seen a contributor to this site oppose Barack Obama, though there may be some contributors that do. If there are some contributors that have opposed Obama on VN, I apologize.

    Every single one of us opposes Obama on abortion, Father. Open your eyes.

  178. David Nickol permalink
    August 21, 2008 11:34 am

    Someone else has already posed this question in a different way, but If “the evil of abortion is the worst single crime against humanity in all of human history,” is voting Republican a sufficient response? Such monstrous evil on the part of any country would surely make the government illegitimate. How can we abide by the rulings of a Supreme Court that won’t use the authority it clearly has to end abortion? Have our pro-life Republican presidents really done enough to end a holocaust?

    Shouldn’t people who have this extreme view be expected to refuse to pay taxes, at minimum? Moving to a less evil country wouldn’t be too strong a response to avoid being complicit with the “worst single crime against humanity in all of human history.”

  179. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 21, 2008 11:37 am

    Henry once wrote a nice post on that. How would Americans react if Iran invaded the US with the motivation of ending abortion? After all, the Republicans justified the removal of Saddam Hussein for far lesser crimes. But of course they would not support such a thing.

  180. S.B. permalink
    August 21, 2008 11:41 am

    Every single one of us opposes Obama on abortion, Father.

    Has Gerald Campbell quit blogging here? He certainly doesn’t oppose Obama on abortion; to the contrary, he has spent many words expressly defending Obama’s position on abortion as wiser, more ethical, less “insane” (his term to describe anyone who wants to make abortion illegal), as justified by “subsidiarity,” etc.

  181. ann permalink
    August 21, 2008 11:45 am

    Henry Carlson,

    I am not saying the Bishops are heretics. I am saying that certain of their statements are wrong and not in keeping with the Magisterial teachings.

  182. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 21, 2008 11:46 am

    Name one statement in Faithful Citizenship that is wrong, please.

  183. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 21, 2008 11:49 am

    Ann,

    The culural Calvinist reference comes from Cardinal Francis george. Americans, nhe argued, are culturally Calvinist, “even those who profess the Catholic faith.” American society, he claimed “is the civil counterpart of a faith based on private interpretation of Scripture and private experience of God.” So when I see you claiming that the bishops are wrong, and you are right, well, this comes to mind.

  184. August 21, 2008 11:51 am

    Ann

    You connected the Bishops to the Arians. You did make a charge. Now that has been pointed out, you back down. “Certain of their teachings are wrong,” can imply many things, but when you add it to “not in keeping with the Magisterial teachings,” I am thinking which “teachings” are wrong, how are they wrong, and how, if you say they contradict Magisterial teaching, you are not making an underhanded “they are heretics” statement? Please, you would do well to show 1) the teaching in question and 2) how it is in contradiction with authoritative teaching. Until you do so, you might want to stop using such language (it’s dangerous territory).

  185. August 21, 2008 12:21 pm

    I’m not one to slam bishops, and as much as I would initially tend to side with Henry and MM on this point of being careful when attacking the statements of the USCCB as being contrary to the Magisterium, I would also point this out: even if you disagree on an academic level (i.e. that there is a weak premise or conclusion, textually stated and given evidence in an episcopal document), you can’t write off Ann’s claim as totally unfounded. I guess what I mean is, if you expect the rest of us to look favorably upon a presidential candidate based not on a syllogistic series of premises, but rather because of a genuine and good hearted attempt to see the best-possible-scenario if Obama were elected, pushing Ann’s comments off so matter-of-factly seems a little duplicitous.

    Again, I would initially side with your positions on this matter, Henry and MM, but maybe there is something to be learned by looking at her contentions a little more seriously?

  186. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 21, 2008 12:26 pm

    Andrew: I would like to know which issues in Faithfaul Citizenship she takes issue with. I pretty much support the all of the positions taken.

  187. August 21, 2008 12:37 pm

    Andrew

    The problem is she doesn’t give her contentions in order to take them seriously. If offered something, I would look at what is said. When just being told they are wrong without any indication why, one can’t look at them nor take them seriously.

    She said, in her first comment on VN, “Don’t listen to the American Bishops on this issue. This ‘proportionate reasons’ crap leads to just this type of double think.” Of course, such discussions in voting are also found in the writings and statements of Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict. So she is trying to make it appear as the discussion of “proportionality” is an American phenomena and attacks it as such, while ignoring that in doing so, she is not on any firm ground at all (either by making it an American thing, or the idea that proportionality has no basis by which one makes a vote — indeed, I posted a link to the NZ Bishop’s Guide on VN recently, which demonstrates my point sufficiently on the first, and they explain why the second is a truism).

  188. August 21, 2008 1:00 pm

    Perhaps all I intended to say was that such feelings of “proportionate reasons [being] crap” is something that resonates in the hearts and minds of many, and that it is likely the indication of a much greater and deeper issue: the secularization of the Church in America, perhaps? I don’t profess to know. I just know enough Catholics who have similar thoughts as Ann’s, and although I agree that no plausibility is proffered by mere emotivism, there is nevertheless a general uneasiness about the situation of the Church in America (and thereby about the mindset of her leaders) that causes concern for many. I am aware of what Ratzinger writes on the issue, and he’s a hard man to contend with. In fact, I would classify myself as a disciple (in-the-works). But the strictly intellectual status of voting is different from the whole act of voting itself. I mean that one has to weigh heavily the possibility of scandal that may ensue from voting for an openly pro-choice candidate.

    I suppose my intent here isn’t so much geared at justifying Ann as it is at discovering in her comments a popular sentiment that, although perhaps unfounded in academic arguments, is nonetheless a condition we have to deal with as responsible and scholarly Catholics.

    I’m not totally sure where the balance between reducing scandal and being ‘progressive’ lies. I think it’s something to consider.

  189. ann permalink
    August 21, 2008 1:40 pm

    Mornings Minion,

    I am not saying I am right and the Bishops are wrong in comparison to my opinion. What I am saying is that the Bishops are wrong in comparison to the authentic teachings of the Church and that I am trying to articulate that authentic teaching.

  190. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 21, 2008 1:49 pm

    OK then, what “authentic teachings” do the bishops get wrong?

  191. August 21, 2008 1:52 pm

    “I am not saying I am right and the Catholic Church is wrong in comparison to my opinion. What I am saying is that the Catholic Church is wrong in comparison to Scrripture and I am trying to articulate the authentic teaching of Scripture.”

    Now that, Ann, is what your comment above reminds me of. You have yet to present what the “authentic teaching” is and how it contends with what the Bishops have said.

    This requires:

    1) A presentation of what the Bishops said which demonstrates a proper grasp of what they said.

    2) A presentation of what the Magisterial teaching is with a demonstration that your interpretation is valid.

    3) A presentation of the conflict in 1 and 2.

    You can’t just keep asserting the Bishops are in error without even doing that much. Indeed, as the Catholic Church teaches:

    “The sacred synod teaches that the bishops have by divine institution taken the place of the apostles as pastors of the Church, in such wise that whoever listens to them is listening to Christ and whoever despises them despises Christ and him who sent Christ.” Lumen Gentium, III: 20.

    Would you please do what is asked — show evidence of your claims? Remember:

    “Whence it may not be doubted that this man was guilty of a crime not less than that of the vile Arius, who in like manner perished by the issue of his bowels through the draught. For this too is a heretical belief, that in the Church man may disobey the bishop of God to whom the sheep are entrusted to be fed, and that authority may be usurped by one to whom none has been entrusted, either by God or man.” St. Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks, II 23

  192. David Nickol permalink
    August 21, 2008 1:57 pm

    I am not saying I am right and the Bishops are wrong in comparison to my opinion. What I am saying is that the Bishops are wrong in comparison to the authentic teachings of the Church and that I am trying to articulate that authentic teaching.

    This sounds a lot to me like what some Fundamentalists say: “I’m not telling you what I think. I’m telling you what God says in the Bible.”

  193. ann permalink
    August 21, 2008 2:58 pm

    If people on this blog disagree with my position that I am articulating the teaching of the Magisterium, argue with me with Magisterial documents or at least certain teachings.

    What the American bishops do is teach, sometime inaccurately and many times by omitting essential Church teachings.

    This tendency was the impetus for Apostolos Suos right after Always Our Children.

    FROM APOSTOLO SUOS:”Taking into account that the authentic magisterium of the Bishops, namely what they teach insofar as they are invested with the authority of Christ, must always be in communion with the Head of the College and its members,(83) when the doctrinal declarations of Episcopal Conferences are approved unanimously, they may certainly be issued in the name of the Conferences themselves, and the faithful are obliged to adhere with a sense of religious respect to that authentic magisterium of their own Bishops. However, if this unanimity is lacking, a majority alone of the Bishops of a Conference cannot issue a declaration as authentic teaching of the Conference to which all the faithful of the territory would have to adhere, unless it obtains the recognitio of the Apostolic See, which will not give it if the majority requesting it is not substantial.” http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/motu_proprio/documents/hf_jp-ii_motu-proprio_22071998_apostolos-suos_en.html

    Because the Faithful Citizenship doc was not unanimously approved and because as far as I know, it has not received ratification from the Holy See, it may contain truths, but it is not authentic and we should read it with jaundiced eye.

    FROM CNA “Forming Citizens for Faithful Citizenship,” the document is an update to past conference statements of the same name. Unlike previous years, this version underwent multiple revisions and was brought before the whole bishops’ conference for approval. The bishops approved the document with 97.8 % in favor and only three votes against it. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=10979

    PLEASE NOTE THAT THE POPE SAYS THAT EVEN IF BISHOPS CONFERENCES ISSUE DOCUMENTS UNANIMOUSLY, THE FAITHFUL ARE REQUIRED TO “RECEIVE IT WITH A SENSE OF RELIGIOUS RESPECT”

    Respect, but not unquestioning or accepting .

  194. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 21, 2008 3:08 pm

    But this is not the point. The point is that everything in Faithful Citzenship reflects authenentic Catholic teaching, and backs what the Vatican and the bishops of other countries have taught repeatedly. Again: what are the issues that bother you?

  195. August 21, 2008 3:14 pm

    Because the Faithful Citizenship doc was not unanimously approved and because as far as I know, it has not received ratification from the Holy See, it may contain truths, but it is not authentic and we should read it with jaundiced eye.

    Only insofar as it does not agree with authentic teaching, which you have not demonstrated in the least. You have not pointed to one example of how the document is in disagreement with “authentic” Church teaching, which allows you to dismiss it in its entirety.

    PLEASE NOTE THAT THE POPE SAYS THAT EVEN IF BISHOPS CONFERENCES ISSUE DOCUMENTS UNANIMOUSLY, THE FAITHFUL ARE REQUIRED TO “RECEIVE IT WITH A SENSE OF RELIGIOUS RESPECT”

    Respect, but not unquestioning or accepting .

    You are 100% wrong about the meaning of “religious respect.” You need to keep in mind that the language of the Church is not always the same as the language of the world. “Religious respect” in Magisterial discourse is a translation of Obsequium religiosum which is more often translated as “religious submission.” From Lumen Gentium:

    Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.

    You are right that this “religious respect” does not mean that it may never be questioned, but neither is it simply casual respect in the sense you are describing. In fact, the default response to the ordinary Magisterium is one of acceptance. You, on the other hand, are simply blatantly dismissing the bishops’ teaching without a prior Obsequium religiosum, without any real respect for that body of bishops’ teaching authority (calling them heretics!), and without demonstrating in any way how they are straying from the Magisterium.

    Your sort of dissent here is precisely the kind of dissent I was critiquing here:

    http://vox-nova.com/2008/08/03/magisterium-tradition-and-the-legitimacy-of-dissent/

  196. August 21, 2008 3:44 pm

    If people on this blog disagree with my position that I am articulating the teaching of the Magisterium, argue with me with Magisterial documents or at least certain teachings.

    We disagree with your because you yourself have not argued from Magisterial documents or particular teachings. You simply dismiss the u.s. bishops entirely and irresponsibly.

  197. August 21, 2008 4:31 pm

    Chris, just a reminder to you and Archbishop Chaput that there are other victims we’ll have to answer to in heaven as well.

    To the victims of the war in Iraq:

    I voted for George W. Bush in 2004. He continued to prosecute the war, and you folks got killed. Under Saddam Hussein, women were being dragged off the street and raped. Whole families were being fed, living, into wood chippers. Thousands in the north were being poisoned by gas that sadly we supplied to Saddam, but he deployed to kill innocents. Mass graves were dug, and thousands shot and buried there. Your people were going hungry, while Saddam built yet another palace. Women were treated as chattle and abused on an ongoing basis.

    When we prosecuted the war, we tried to minimize the deaths of innocent civilians as best we could. We did so to the detriment of many of our soldiers who were killed while hesitating and found out only after they lay bleeding and dying that the person was not a civilian, but a terrorist.

    Insurgents sent himicide bombers with dynamite strapped to their vests into crowded marketplaces, to kill as many of you innocent people as possible. We used intelligence we discovered (some by torture to our shame) to hunt down those terrorists and stop them so they would not kill again.

    Now your people have elections, your girls are being sent to school and taught along with the boys, the violence is way down, and the war is almost won. One small push might be all that is needed to hand a safer Iraq off to your people. I believe we acted rightly. I plan to vote for John McCain in November. He is a brave an honorable man who believes in freedom probably more than I. When I meet you at the hour of my death, I will do so with a good conscience because I know that I chose the lesser of two evils, and we are called to minimize evil as much as possible.

  198. ann permalink
    August 21, 2008 8:08 pm

    I will ask anyone on this blog to find a Magisterial document that says one may vote for a pro-abortion candidate for porportionate reasons. And please do not use Ratzingers. He wasn’t Pope then.

  199. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 21, 2008 8:21 pm

    That’s funny! This is the first time I’ve seen somebody complaining about the “Ratzinger letter” being used to defend pro-abortion politicians.

    As I and others keep pointing out, he was using the standard language of moral theology. Nothing new there. It is valid to vote for a person who supports an intrinsically evil act if you do share support the act itself– this is remote material cooperation and can be valid.

  200. August 21, 2008 8:33 pm

    Tony – Amazing you could write that with no typos. Apparently your hands weren’t trembling as you wrote it. It is obvious that the victims of the war in Iraq were the furthest thing from your mind as you wrote it. Still defending Bush, still defending that evil war, all to save face. Sad, really.

    And please do not use Ratzingers. He wasn’t Pope then.

    He wasn’t Pope yet. So what? You’re suggesting he was not accurately articulating Church teaching? Seriously?

    Truth is, no Magisterial document is needed to clarify whether one may vote for a pro-abortion candidate. No one other than right wing american nutcases has any doubt that one may legitimately vote for a pro-choice candidate for good reasons.

  201. adamv permalink
    August 21, 2008 8:44 pm

    I need to apologize for my comment above. I’ve been upset with myself since I wrote it last night. I’ve enjoyed the original and thought-provoking posts available on this blog from its inception. And even though I have been increasingly agitated by the frequent comment wars here, and the lack of any resolution gained during them, what I said was completely out of line.

    I’m sorry.

  202. August 21, 2008 9:40 pm

    Adamv, I thought you comment was just fine. It gives perspective when folks are in the heat of combox warrioring. Even a blog dedicated to peace can be a place where little more than fighting takes place. Violence can be verbal, tool

  203. August 21, 2008 9:42 pm

    Case in point, adamv: “right wing american nutcases”

    This is shameful discourse for a blog purporting to be inspired by Jesus Christ.

  204. Mark DeFrancisis permalink*
    August 21, 2008 9:50 pm

    I see that Fr. J. needs to feel like martyr some more.

  205. August 21, 2008 10:26 pm

    I am enjoying the dialog in here on this topic. I do think it is important to be a known entity (that is not hiding behind a ‘nick’) in here (and IRL), as I think it gives more credibility to the dialog.

    peace to all

  206. August 21, 2008 10:48 pm

    “I see that Fr. J. needs to feel like martyr some more.”

    Utter nonsense. I know Father J better than any of you folks and I can tell you one thing right here, right now, and in no unequivicol terms – he is no martyr…

    So posting this snippy quip… What did it accomplish?

  207. Mark DeFrancisis permalink*
    August 21, 2008 11:14 pm

    It is true that no one but a “rightwing American nutcase” would continually assert, after all of that has been said by the Church, along with all of the postings dome here on “Faithful Citizenship, that a conscientious and responsible Catholic could not vote for a pro-abortion candidate for reasons others than the pro-abortion agenda.

    And what has Fr. Z’s brash and heavyfooted entry into and continuation amidst the discussion accomplished? He has had to backpedal from everything he first said, and his misuse of his teaching charism has only caused heat at best, confusion at worst.

  208. August 21, 2008 11:14 pm

    Tony – Amazing you could write that with no typos. Apparently your hands weren’t trembling as you wrote it. It is obvious that the victims of the war in Iraq were the furthest thing from your mind as you wrote it. Still defending Bush, still defending that evil war, all to save face. Sad, really.

    I’ll be voting with a clean conscience this November. Are your hands going to be shaking as you pull the lever for Barack “leave-them-to-die-in-a-soiled-utility-room” Obama?

  209. Mark DeFrancisis permalink*
    August 21, 2008 11:27 pm

    Soory Fr J., but I inadvertantly addressed you as the priest who infamously sublimates his libido to a love for battleships. :) Mea culpa. It’s hard to keep all of you cyber-priests apart.

  210. ann permalink
    August 21, 2008 11:27 pm

    This is not the blog for an analysis of cooperation. The arguments are difficult to follow because so many blog in.

    However, I will throw out for everyone’s consideration, a few thoughts on cooperation.

    If we assume that a vote for Obama is not formal, but rather material cooperation, the next question is, are we ever precluded from material cooperation

    There are lots of circumstances where the answer would be no.

    However, one circumstance in which we are not allowed to engage in material cooperation is where an injustice would be done to an innocent third party(the death of innocent born alive aborted babies and abortions and escr and on and on by virtue of Obama’s example, his veto as president and his support of abortion in the military and on and on).

  211. August 21, 2008 11:39 pm

    I’ll be voting with a clean conscience this November.

    Perhaps you scrubbed so hard to get your conscience clean that it… disappeared?

  212. Mark DeFrancisis permalink*
    August 21, 2008 11:48 pm

    On another note, I personally know many, many “feminists’, both inside and outside the Church, whose work for justice and peace should assure many of us that they will be ahead of us at the heavenly gates of St. Peter.

    Additionally, the 1.3 million women who choose abortion each year are by no stretch of the imagination all “feminists”.

  213. August 22, 2008 12:09 am

    “Since women are becoming ever more conscious of their human dignity, they will not tolerate being treated as mere material instruments, but demand rights befitting a human person, both in domestic and public life.” (John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, #41)

  214. digbydolben permalink
    August 22, 2008 12:56 am

    I myself do also find these threads enlightening and amusing at the same time: I have encountered here a jihadist priest who would soak the American nation in blood in order to stop abortion. That sentiment is, indeed, reminiscent of Abraham Lincoln’s (no hero to me) inflamed rhetoric of the Second Inaugural Address. (Lincoln was a racist who did NOT believe that blacks were the equal of whites, and his Presidency marked the beginning of the end of Constitutional government, and the start of the “imperial Presidency”).

    What is lacking in the anti-abortion rhetoric is any sense of proportion that could facilitate compassion or empathy for one’s opponents. What is little understood by the self-righteous who would actually KILL for a “principle” is that many of the great historical KILLERS were themselves “idealists”: the crusaders who waded through Muslim blood to the tomb of Christ were “idealists”; the monks who pleaded with “heretics” to “embrace Christ” on the pyres of the Inquistition were “idealists”; the French Revolutionaries who sent thousands to the guillotine because of their social status were “idealists”; the Bolsheviks who murdered the Tsar’s family in cold blood were “idealists”; and the Nazis who burned Jews alive in crematoriums were “idealists.”

    There’s a wonderful scene in the film Cabaret that makes that fact abundantly clear: it’s the scene in the cafe-bar where the handsome “Hitler Youth” boy sings “Tomorrow Belongs To Me.” Hitler WEPT as he described to the masses of Nazi faithful the “pollution” of Aryan blood by the “Semitic Holocaust” of the Volk. He believed in his “cause” with all the fervour of an anti-abortionist who’d burn down an abortion clinic or who’d plunge America into civil strife in order to reverse Roe Vs. Wade.

    What all of these crazed “idealists” like “Father J” forget is the one spiritual principle that is ABSOLUTE: the ends NEVER justify the MEANS.
    I myself have, for a long time, believed that the Catholic Church in America has surrendered to right-wing zealots and clerical fundamentalists. “Father J’s” atrociously anti-Christian testimony here pretty much confirms that I have been correct. The hierarchs of a previous age of Christian civilisation would have had him defrocked for what he has said here.

  215. Mark DeFrancisis permalink*
    August 22, 2008 1:17 am

    “American women today are most blood thirsty and murderous lot in the world.”

    “I am very aware of the rage and irrationality of a feminist; I was raised by one.”

    “I would not will that the blood-thirsty nature of feminists be inflicted upon pro-life priests.”

    How are comments reveal more than they express…

  216. August 22, 2008 2:35 am

    Ann

    First, I hope you don’t pay taxes. Do you?

    Now, I am going to ask you one more time. Defend your attack on and disrespect for the Bishops. You keep making statements about Magisterial teaching, saying the Bishops contradict it. Show it. You keep making the claim. But since you are making an extraordinary claim in relation to Bishops, you must make your case, and not continue to throw out all kinds of insidious comments against them without even demonstrating a solid reason for it.

  217. S.B. permalink
    August 22, 2008 7:53 am

    Mark — Father J. was simply responding to digbydolben’s claims that if Roe were overturned (that’s all, not even if abortion were made illegal), America would be burned to the ground by rampaging hordes of feminists. It’s THAT remark that you should find revealing.

  218. S.B. permalink
    August 22, 2008 8:00 am

    And it’s revealing that no one else around here saw fit to disagree with digby’s prediction; Michael I. made fun of Fr. J for agreeing with digby, but no one actually said, “Hey wait, I think feminists might be more level-headed than that.”

  219. S.B. permalink
    August 22, 2008 8:40 am

    Digby — you say, “What is little understood by the self-righteous who would actually KILL for a “principle” . . . .”

    But by your own account, it wouldn’t be the pro-lifers doing any killing. In your own (completely imaginary) scenario, the only self-righteous killers would be the rampaging hordes of feminists angry that Roe was overturned. So it’s pretty weird that you blame pro-lifers for being killers who lack “compassion,” “empathy,” etc.

  220. August 22, 2008 9:07 am

    I’m amazed at the chaos here. I think I’ll just stick to speaking to those who have faces, names and the ability to produce logical arguments unhindered by the phenomenon of time-delayed cyber responses.

  221. ann permalink
    August 22, 2008 11:22 am

    I to, am amazed at the chaos here. Henry, I have made my case.

    Show me any Church teaching which supports the Bishop’s contention that one can vote for a pro-abortion candidate in the current circumstances.

    I have demonstrated many reasons why that is not true.

    It may be that to vote for Obama with McCain as an alternative would be intrinsically evil. And I don’t like McCain for many reasons.

    Nough said.

  222. August 22, 2008 11:41 am

    Ann

    You have not made a case. You continue not to make a case.

    Once again:

    1) Show us what the bishops say
    2) Show us what the Magisterial teaching says
    3) Show the contradiction.

    You made the accusation; it is for you to make the case. To keep repeating yourself is not a case.

    Obviously you think the Magisterial teaching is there; and Pope Benedict, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, was wrong and didn’t know it. So let’s see what you can teach all of us — including bishops, including the Pope, through your knowledge. It would help everyone.

  223. August 22, 2008 11:47 am

    Andrew H. You are a wise man. VN is infamous for hounding and driving out anyone they disagree with. They achieve this through a constant barrage of comments which change the subject and go after other commenters as individuals. It really is shameful. I had hoped it improved after Mark Shea’s post. But, it still goes on.

    Hang in there, Amy.

  224. August 22, 2008 11:47 am

    oops, Hang in there, Ann.

  225. August 22, 2008 11:51 am

    Fr. J.

    You are telling someone who said not to look at what Cardinal Ratzinger said when he wasn’t Pope because he wasn’t, at that time, Pope, to “hang in there”? O.k.

  226. David Nickol permalink
    August 22, 2008 11:54 am

    I could be wrong here, and I trust someone will correct me if that’s the case, but I can’t find any Magisterial teaching that says it is ever permissible to vote Republican.

  227. Mark DeFrancisis permalink*
    August 22, 2008 12:58 pm

    Fr. J.,

    You are incredible. You evidence here no capacity to follow continuously the subject matter in question, and you encourage others (in the case of Ann paricularly) to reiterate falsities (as she has done, as to what the Church teaches. And then you give her a pass to dismiss all that his offered by her willing and charitable interlocutor, Henry ,by your once again heavyhandedly dropping an ad hominem attack on the website as a whole. The fact that you tag yourself as Father only compounds the problem.

    Answer simply: who is echoing what the Magisterium teaches with more fidelity: Ann or Henry?

    Sadly, you have evidenced either a lack of fuller understanding yourself as to magisterial teaching, or, a willingness to hover back and forth between being a true shepherd of the Church and an ideologue who wants to make a comfortable niche for himself in American ‘Catholic’ cyber-circles.

    Is this a model for responsible citizenship and/or convesration amidst our liberal democracy,? As a priest in the public square?

    You thus are showing no prolonged, continued fairness, and, quite frankly, your apparent attitude toward women makes me want to stay alert as to your future campus ministry assignments. For, I sadly fear my future daughters may come in contact with, for one, your violent and grossly uneven judgments about the phenomenon of feminism in America, and, additionally your seemingly unresolved hostilities to the woman who raised you,–which I fear, explain much of the extreme stuff that has come out of your mouth in this thread.

  228. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 22, 2008 1:08 pm

    Yes, I believe Ann compared the US bishops to the Arians. Such is the level of discourse on so many right-wing Catholic blogs that it barely goes un-noticed.

  229. S.B. permalink
    August 22, 2008 1:09 pm

    your apparent attitude toward women

    Fr. J did seem to agree (perhaps sarcastically) with digby’s assessment of feminists as violent and deranged (and I still haven’t seen you disagree with digby, for that matter). But he didn’t say anything about women in general, did he? Keep in mind that women are more likely to oppose abortion than men are, as several polls have shown. In other words, “feminist” does not equal “woman.”

  230. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 22, 2008 1:13 pm

    On SB’s interpretation of Fr. J (doesn’t that sound weird? :)

    Yes, if Roe were overturned, a substantial segment of the population would scream bloody murder. It is ridiculous hyperbola to claim this will spill over into physical violence, but they will certainly make sure that the so-called rights under Roe are enshrined under as many state legal systems as possible. The legal regime will not change one bit in the major states that account for the vast majority of all abortions.

    Is that good enough? No, it is not. Look, Catholics have made progress convincing the population at large that the deathe penlaty is wrong. The tenor of the debate has shifted even over the past ten years, and I think EV plays a role. It won’t be easy, but we must to the same for abortion. We will only get respect if we hammer home the consistent ethic of life– I’ve dialogued with enough “feminists” (both in real life and on the blogs) to know this is true. We need to link abortion to the bigger picture, to the culture of life, and not just to the legalities while ignoring everything else.

    So wanting to be a martyr in this cause may sound noble, but it does nothing to actually reduce abortion.

  231. Mark DeFrancisis permalink*
    August 22, 2008 1:52 pm

    I follow MM in that the key prudential judgment that (a) the Republicans have revealed themselves as untrustworthy enough as to even deliver judicially the 5th SC judge; and (b)and even if this were to happen, this would not lead to anything close to an elimination of 1.3 million abortions.

    This last point b) must especially be taken into account,. Why? Because you diehard Repubs have NOT succeeded in creating a CULTURE OF LIFE, especially because of your heinous attitude in enabling Bush and his imperialist adventures in the past 8 years, in which some lives are operationally deemed less dignity-laden and sacred than others.

    You have rendered yourselves very little credible in this regard, and have turned off middle America tremebously for your glaring inconsistencies and hypocricies.

    Not noted yet is the situation that Bush has created in regards to Congress. There will be a Democratic landslide in the Senate and Housethis FALL, making a confirmation of a ‘controversial’ McCain appointment less likely.

    Thank all of you Bush and war apologists for this situation, particulary you blowhard ‘conservative’ Catholics. This is your largely mess, and you have set back the pro-life movement at least a couple of decades.

    Note: I voted Republican in the presidential races from Reagen in 1984 to Bush in 2000.

  232. Mark DeFrancisis permalink*
    August 22, 2008 2:00 pm

    Weigh this against the George Will judgment that a war with Iran is all but certain with McCain, along with any sane analyst’s prognostication that this would send the Middle East into such a hell-fire that WWIV would effectively result; The resultant deaths of a McCain presidency would be in the MILLIONS.

  233. S.B. permalink
    August 22, 2008 2:18 pm

    Weigh this against the George Will judgment that a war with Iran is all but certain with McCain,

    It’s not that I don’t trust your representation there, but could you provide a link?

  234. Mark DeFrancisis permalink*
    August 22, 2008 2:41 pm

    On Chris Matthews show. Here’s an indirect link:

    http://www.americablog.com/2008/07/chris-matthews-george-will-says-mccain.html

  235. ann permalink
    August 22, 2008 2:49 pm

    I have proved that the Bishop’s doc is not authoritative.

    I have shown that even in one is to admit that voting for Obama is only material cooperation, that such a vote is precluded because of the harm it would do to innocent third parties, e.g. the partial birth abortion babies at a minimum.

    I have proposed that it may be intrinsically evil to vote for Obams.

    I have asked for any evidence that Magisterial teaching support the Bishop’s position allowing for a vote for a Pro- Abort candidate.

    I have analogized the American Bishops to the bishops who supported the Arian Heresy and the people on this blog jump illogically to the ideal that I am saying the bishops are heretic, rather than to the logical assumption that they are just on the wrong side of an issue compared to the Magisterium.

    No one on this blog will address the factual information I have put forth. I am beginning to think that liberal Catholics are as incapable of reasoned discourse as their liberal political friends.

    Here’s one more fact for you all not to deal with. From Archbishop Chaput’s new book:

    “My friends often ask me if Catholics in genuinely good conscience can vote for a pro-choice candidate. The answer is I couldn’t. Supporting a right to choose abortion simply masks and evades what abortion really is, the deliberate killing of innocent life. I know of nothing that can morally offset that kind of evil.”

    NO ONE ON THIS FORUM HAS HAD THE

  236. ann permalink
    August 22, 2008 2:51 pm

    Sorry for the last incomplete sentence.

    Maybe it was Archbishop Chaput who refused to approve the Bishop’s doc making it non authoritative. HMMMMM?

  237. Morning's Minion permalink*
    August 22, 2008 3:04 pm

    Ann, you are very confused. The document is authoritative simpy because everything in it is fully in accord with Catholic teaching. You, on the other hand, are an example of a Protestantized Catholic who thinks your own personal revelation is more valid than what the Church teaches.

  238. Mark DeFrancisis permalink*
    August 22, 2008 3:05 pm

    Proved?!!!!???

    Saying does not make it so….

    You sound like you live in a world with very little resistance from objective reality.

  239. August 22, 2008 3:06 pm

    Ann

    One more time.

    “I have analogized the American Bishops to the bishops who supported the Arian Heresy and the people on this blog jump illogically to the ideal that I am saying the bishops are heretic, rather than to the logical assumption that they are just on the wrong side of an issue compared to the Magisterium.”

    To be on the “wrong side of an issue compared to the Magisterium” as you claim MUST BE SHOWN. You are the one making this claim. Show 1) what the bishops say, 2) how this conflicts with the Magisterium. You can’t just “assume it does” and then say people have to prove otherwise. You are making a strong, disrespectful claim against the bishops (not only of the US, not only of NZ, but even of the Pope himself from what he said when he was not yet Pope). Once again, if you actually have evidence that the Magisterium says one cannot vote in any circumstance for one who is pro-choice, show it. Archbishop Chaput’s private comments about how his own conscience determines how he will vote is not such a document. And you fail to understand the different levels of authority by which bishops can and do act. But, as I and others have shown, if you are going to argue against bishops and make ALL kinds of claims about them, you must back it up not with supposition and demand people to prove you wrong; no, you must be the one who makes the proof, because of the authority contained within the bishopric.

    Now, you know, paying taxes in the United States gives material cooperation with abortion, right? Do you pay taxes or not? You never answered. But then again, you do not answer; you make things up as you go. That’s sad. You do know you have fallen away from the Magisterial documents shown on here demanding respect of bishops, right? Accusation after accusation with your own “I suppose” doesn’t do it.

  240. S.B. permalink
    August 22, 2008 3:26 pm

    Mark, that video doesn’t work, and George Will isn’t pictured as one of the guests on Matthews’ program. Anything else?

  241. August 22, 2008 3:27 pm

    “My friends often ask me if Catholics in genuinely good conscience can vote for a pro-choice candidate. The answer is I couldn’t. Supporting a right to choose abortion simply masks and evades what abortion really is, the deliberate killing of innocent life. I know of nothing that can morally offset that kind of evil.”

    Ann – Amazing that you would elevate Chaput’s personal opinion above a document of the USCCB.

    When asked if Catholics can vote for a pro-choice candidate, Chaput does not answer the question, but gives his own personal view. That’s fine. But this quote does not answer the question you want it to answer.

    To focus a bit more: Supporting a right to choose abortion simply masks and evades what abortion really is, the deliberate killing of innocent life.

    Chaput is masking and evading the question of voting for a pro-choice candidate by equating it with supporting a right to choose abortion. One can obviously vote for a pro-choice candidate without supporting the so-called right to choose abortion. Just as you could claim that you would vote McCain and yet not support his desire to bomb Iran.

    MM is right – you are quite confused about a great many things.

  242. digbydolben permalink
    August 22, 2008 6:27 pm

    It absolutely is NOT “hyperbole” to suggest that certain radical feminists would break the law if Roe vs. Wade were reversed, any more than it is “hyperbole” to say that the Abolitionists were willing to break the law to flout the insitution of slavery. During my time in America I MET women who told me that, if their “reproductive rights” were tampered with by legislators or courts, they’d break the law to keep the abortion mills goinng. True, they may be a minority of feminists, but the operators of the “underground railroad” were probably a minority of Abolitionists, and they helped provoke the Civil War. My reporting of this aspect of the “culture wars” in America in no way reflects approval of the threatened violence of “radical feminists” OR disapproval of sensible and law-abiding feminists, who have, indeed, done much good work in the world, as an earlier commentator suggested. The one here who can contemplate violence and civic strife in America with equanimity is “Father J.”

  243. S.B. permalink
    August 22, 2008 6:48 pm

    Saying that some feminists would “keep the abortion mills going” if abortion were illegal, is quite a bit different from saying that they would burn down courthouses and start a civil war if Roe were overturned. The latter is what seems hyperbole, although some people apparently don’t object to your initial characterization of feminists as hysterical and violent.

  244. blackadderiv permalink
    August 22, 2008 6:49 pm

    “break the law” does not equal “burn your courthouses down”

  245. ann permalink
    August 22, 2008 7:46 pm

    Morning Minion, please show where the doc is in keeping with the Magisterium on the issue of voting for a pro-abortion candidate.

    The doc has no authority unless it is unanimous or ratified by the Holy See.

    Please deal with just those two issues. Please don’t dance.

    Henry K. I have demonstrated that the document is not authoritative. That means it has not met the Magisterium test and passed.

    Michael I, I am not placing Archbishop Chaput’s personal opinion above a document from the USCCB. I am however, by quoting it demonstrating that a Bishop disagrees with the non authoritative doc. That is important.

    You all can dance all over the place with this, but if you help elect Obama, you help the pro-abortion movement to kill more babies.

    If one votes for McCain, we will not so certainly help the unjust war crowd. In fact, there may come a time when to bomb Iran would be the just thing for America to do.

    It will never be just to kill babies in the womb.

  246. August 22, 2008 7:57 pm

    Michael I, I am not placing Archbishop Chaput’s personal opinion above a document from the USCCB. I am however, by quoting it demonstrating that a Bishop disagrees with the non authoritative doc.

    It is not clear that Chaput is disagreeing with the USCCB document. Can you demonstrate that he disagrees with it?

  247. August 22, 2008 9:15 pm

    I have encountered here a jihadist priest who would soak the American nation in blood in order to stop abortion.

    Priceless! According to digby, it will be “modern women” (of his personal acquaintance, mind you) who will be burning down courthouses, and yet, whose fault will at be? Why, Fr. J’s of course! Apparently, he’s the jihadist in this scenario. And who gets digby’s finger wagging (along with his caps lock key) about how the ends “NEVER justify the MEANS”? Could it be the courthouse-burning modern women this time? No, silly, it’s Fr. J of course! What an easy game this is!

    One more time: when digby rails at those who lack the sense of proportion that might facilitate compassion or empathy, is it possible he might be referring to courthouse-burning renegades who are burning down courthouses in the name of abortion rights?

    Enough spoilers from me — I’ll let others do the math on that last one. I will be content simply to savor the notion that is that is digby, that bottomless fount of mercy and moderation, who is railing at others for their lack of compassion or empathy. Oh, the laughs just keep on coming!

  248. August 22, 2008 9:22 pm

    (BTW, with regard to the “handsome ‘Hit!er Youth’ boy” references — apropos of nothing — do try to keep it in check, digby, for your own good. I think you know what I mean.)

  249. S.B. permalink
    August 22, 2008 9:50 pm

    Great posts, HA. It’s rather remarkable what one gets around here. Venture the most modest suggestion that ever so slightly hints in a conservative direction — say, that someone who claims capitalism is thoroughly evil and must be destroyed might just be overstating things a tad — and the bloggers here will seek every chance to ridicule you for your ignorance and lack of reading. But digby’s outrageous tirades never seem to attract disagreement from the same quarters. Odd, that.

  250. David Nickol permalink
    August 22, 2008 10:03 pm

    ann,

    If it is the position of the Magesterium that Catholics may not vote for someone like Obama, why doesn’ the pope or the CDC or some other authoritative Vatican source simply say, “American Catholics may not vote for Obama”? A great many Catholics are tying themselves in knots trying to interpret Church statements about how to vote. There seem to me to be only two possible reasons for the problem.
    1. It’s actually very complex and each person must reach his or her own conclusion.
    2. The Church doesn’t want to give clear moral guidance to Catholics.

    I would prefer to think it’s 1.

  251. Mark DeFrancisis permalink*
    August 22, 2008 11:09 pm

    No, S.B. You read the situation wrobgly in tis thread.

    In this case, a purported priest who says things clearly at odds with the teachings of his Church must withstand the legitimate backlash from the laity who know Church techings better.

    In comparsison, digby does not roll through cyberspace with a Fr. in front of his name and with the ministerial charism of teacher to safeguard and not abuse.

  252. ann permalink
    August 22, 2008 11:51 pm

    David, thank you for your thoughtful post. As you know the Vatican is not going to get that specific. You are correct that Catholics are tying themselves into knots trying to interpret the statements.

  253. digbydolben permalink
    August 23, 2008 12:50 am

    Alright, “blackadderiv” and “SB,” to be precise, those “feminists” said they’d “punch the lights out of” and “destroy the property of” any law enforcement agents who attempted to close an “abortion mill” (my words) or to stop young women from obtaining an abortion, “whether it were legal or illegal” (their words). I was summarizing when I said “burn the courthouse down”–but summarizing accurately, I think.

    And I still believe that most of the radical anti-abortionists writing here have little idea of the fervour with which these feminists support the “right to choose.” Re-criminalizing abortion WOULD, indeed, in my view, provoke a firestorm of protest in the United States.

  254. digbydolben permalink
    August 23, 2008 12:53 am

    No, “HA,” I DON’T “know what” you “mean.” Care to be more explicit?

  255. August 23, 2008 1:16 am

    Ann, once more, it is not clear that Chaput is disagreeing with the USCCB document. In fact, he seems to presume that it is an accurate expression of Church teaching, and he then gives his own personal judgment that in this case he can think of no reason not to vote for the “pro-life” candidate. Can you demonstrate your claim that he “disagrees” with the USCCB document? That his personal decision to vote McCain is binding on all american Catholics?

  256. August 23, 2008 3:18 am

    Ann

    Your response to me has yet to be to questions I have asked. You said that the bishops contradicted the Magisterium. Your response does not deal with that.

    Nonetheless, for the sake of your information, your claim that a document is not Magisterial means it has no authority is wrong. And your “it doesn’t pass the Magisterial test” seems to be your way to equivocate and make it sound like it therefore is against the Magisterium. That, of course, is not true, either. A document could have no authority and still be perfectly consistent with the Magisterium.

    Ann, since it is obvious you will just avoid defending your own claims, unless I see a specific response which goes: 1) this is what the bishops said, 2) this is what the Magisterium says, 3) this is where they contradict each other, I have no reason to continue to respond to you because you do not engage the discussion in good faith, but instead, just want to continue your accusation against legitimate ecclesial authorities (including the Pope!) in ways which do counter Magisterial documents already quoted to you. And that is the real issue.

  257. Phil permalink
    August 23, 2008 3:51 am

    Ann, you do not have to vote for either Barack Obam or for John McCain. There are alternatives. You could vote for one of the candidates who are not endorsed by either the Republicans or the Democrats or you could refrain from voting altogether.

    The Lord did not vote.

  258. S.B. permalink
    August 23, 2008 9:10 am

    “digbydolben,” why do you get so much pleasure out of 1) fantasizing about violence committed by your friends but then 2) pretending that your friends’ violent inclinations are all to be blamed on your ideological opponents?

  259. August 23, 2008 9:27 am

    Care to be more explicit?

    No, I wouldn’t, since I’m not anyone you have to worry about. But for your own sake, do try and not to let it all hang out in the future. If you really don’t know what I mean, well, more’s the pity. (O wad some power the giftie gie us…)

    At the risk of digressing, I’ll give you a hint, though. It has nothing to do with “Tomorrow Belongs to Me”, which, to the horror of its authors, has been perversely uprooted from its original context and turned into white supremacist anthem, making your reference of it here all the more chilling. Apparently, the lowlifes of the Aryan self-preservation league have a flair for irony (or else, a blissful unawareness of it) that is comparable even to yours. I mean, what with you now having taken it upon yourself to become the “compassion and empathy” schoolmarm.

    The next time I see a cheering throng of Obama supporters cheering about change to believe in, I’m going to remember that song.

  260. August 23, 2008 10:45 am

    A professed factor behind the above endorsement is the fallacious assumption of the impotence of the president in the matter of abortion. With a number of Supreme Court justices approaching retirement and other key federal judgeships open (as to all presidents), it is likely that movement will be one way or the other. With a number of pro-faimily decisions passed by the slimmest of margins, even one justice on the Supreme Court becomes monumental in the current environment.

    With Obama, we are not speaking of a poltician who has perhaps backed the abortion position out of political necessity but has private misgivings. When a bill was offered in the Illinois State legislature to instruct doctors to supply health care to a baby that somehow survived an abortion attempt and was born, Obama was the lone voice to fight the bill on the floor. Even the most vocal groups in support of abortion rights such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL voiced no objections to the bill so there was no possible political fallout. Yet there was Obama – fighting the possibility of life to the last instant.

    For the record, I have come to no conclusion on who I will vote for in November. I have trmendous misgivings concerning McCain as well, but I won’t voice them here since you didn’t endorse him. I also do not buy into the “you must choose one of these two or you waste your vote” argument. Granted, the chances of a minor party winning today are nil but so was the chances of Walter Momdale in 1984, Michael Dukakis in 1988, and Bob Dole in 1996. Besides a vote for either Obama or McCain might also be a wasted vote – especially if they won.

  261. digbydolben permalink
    August 23, 2008 11:41 am

    You know, I’ve never complained about being put on “modification” here before, but I DO think it’s a crying shame that my answer to “AH’s” scurrilous and vicious attack on me is not being allowed.

  262. digbydolben permalink
    August 23, 2008 11:42 am

    You are obviously a philistine idiot, incapable of understanding an allusion to classical modern literature and drama. The purpose of my reference to this particular song was to illustrate that even the most diabolical of ideologies may have an almost beautiful idealist component, which inspires the masses to be willing to fight and die for it. I think that anybody who hears this particular song can discern what I’m suggesting immediately:

    Moreover, when the film was made, it was the only one of the original songs in the play that was left in the score, because it was considered to represent, almost perfectly, the point that Christopher Isherwood was making in his book, Berlin Stories, that the Nazi movement overpowered the German people aesthetically, and that that was a major aspect of its danger:

    The film is loosely based on the 1966 Broadway musical Cabaret by Kander and Ebb, which was adapted from the Berlin stories of Christopher Isherwood and the play I Am a Camera which they inspired. Only a few numbers from the stage score were used; Kander and Ebb wrote new ones to replace those that were discarded. In the traditional manner of musical theater, characters in the stage version of Cabaret sing to express emotion and advance the plot, but in the film version, musical numbers are confined to the stage of the cabaret and to a beer garden. Only two of the film’s major characters sing any songs.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabaret_(film)

    “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” was written by John Kander and Fred Ebb in the style of a traditional German song, sung by the Nazi youth in the movie, to stir up patriotism for the “fatherland”. It has often been mistaken for a genuine “Nazi anthem” and has led to the songwriters being accused of anti-Semitism. This would be most surprising, as they are, in fact, Jewish (This fact has not stopped openly racist and anti-Semitic rock groups, like Skrewdriver, from recording the song and performing it at White Power rallies). It is also the only song sung outside of the cabaret setting to survive the transition from stage to film.

    • Originally sung in English, “Tomorrow Belongs To Me” was dubbed in German for the French version of the film.

    • There is much speculation about the identity of the singer of “Tomorrow Belongs to Me”. Apparently, Bob Fosse’s biography states that the song was recorded for the film by Broadway actor/singer called Mark Lambert. This actor is said to have refused to dye his hair blond so a German extra (the “Nazi youth”) stood in for him on camera.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068327/trivia

    I am living in Germany right now, and I can tell you that the allure of the National Socialist movement is still spoken of here—just as much as is its diabolical evil. Not only that, but ordinary German people nowadays speak reflexively, almost, of how great a pull it had on the clergies of both the Catholic and the Evangishe Kirche. To be thoroughly true to the spirit of those times, there should be a Catholic priest in that beer garden: I nominate “Father J” as a likely candidate, and suggest that YOU should be there beside him, you right-wing clerical thug, you—as you spout effusions that are echoes of the brown-shirted thugs of those days!

  263. August 23, 2008 1:14 pm

    Deep breath, digby. Deep breath.

    To the extent that the weight of my malfeasances and Fr. J’s and George Bush’s weigh upon you so heavily, I am honestly sorry about that. But if you understood my gist (I suspect you don’t) I think even you would see that your rage might be better directed elsewhere, or better yet, sublimated altogether.

    In any case, do cheer up and have a good weekend. Life’s too short.

  264. August 23, 2008 5:07 pm

    Oh, and thank you so much for that keen literary analysis. Good thing, too — in my earlier post about the song, I was actually just making wild, random guesses. In retrospect, it was pretty prescient of me — almost as if I had heard all that before, but whatever. Glad it finally made it through the “modification” stage.

    By the way, in those “higher level” literature courses you teach, do your habitually rely on Youtube, Wikipedia and imdb for all your deep literary insights?

    But hey, I’m just a philistine — what do I know?

  265. August 23, 2008 7:07 pm

    Alright, “blackadderiv” and “SB,” to be precise, those “feminists” said they’d “punch the lights out of” and “destroy the property of” any law enforcement agents who attempted to close an “abortion mill” (my words) or to stop young women from obtaining an abortion, “whether it were legal or illegal” (their words). I was summarizing when I said “burn the courthouse down”–but summarizing accurately, I think.

    This one really made me smile, digby. The thought of liberal feminists who generally are anti-firearm, “punching the lights out” of trained law enforcement officers who on average outweigh them by 100 pounds. Of course they’ll have the help of the feminized “men” who tag along with them running up to “slap those savages silly”.

    When Roe is overturned, and the states re-acquire their rights, you might see some signs, some yelling (electronically enhanced or not) and maybe some bra-burning, but I don’t imagine you’ll see much punching (at least from the women and the woman-wannabes).

  266. digbydolben permalink
    August 24, 2008 2:01 am

    Not very many good literary analyses or precis of plays and novels are available for linking on the web, “HA”.

    And you still haven’t said what it was that I should have to “worry” about. It really is a barbaric thing to do, to attempt to intimidate someone with some unknown factor, and then to refuse to divulge whatever it is. Looks to me like the ordinary fascist inclination to use fear to close off debate, but I’m really not surprised, and I don’t scare easily.

    And, as for you, “Tony,” I never even attempt to dialogue with folks who throw around vulgar gender stereotypes such as “feminized ‘men.'” I can just imagine what your poor sons or nephews have to put up with. I will tell you, however, that those “feminists” I was referring to are true “amazons,” and would be perfectly capable of taking on most men in any kind of conflict–as are, as a matter of fact, most women in most parts of the world. (You should have seen what Sri Lankan women were able to do with hot chili peppers to their philandering husbands, as they slept! Visits to emergency wards ensued.)

  267. Mark DeFrancisis permalink*
    August 24, 2008 2:54 am

    Watch out, digbydolbein, Tony is one of those humans whose existence/gender is intimately tied to his/her clutching possession of firearms…

  268. digbydolben permalink
    August 24, 2008 3:36 am

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Mark, “Tony” should beware over-reliance on stereotypes: I’m actually a member of a once-mainstream Republican family of business types whose homes are virtual arsenals. While my brother was living in the UK, he imported six shotguns into Britain, in order to shoot “grouse” in Scotland. And I am, myself, quite familiar with firearms, as most people who grew up in the American South “back in the day” are. We’re not NRA-types, though because all of us–including my bro, and especially after he lived in the UK and saw that the NRA’s propoganda about “socialist countries” was bull, at least regarding gun ownership–believe in registration of firearms.

    I can take care of myself; don’t worry.

  269. August 24, 2008 11:52 am

    Not very many good literary analyses or precis of plays and novels are available for linking on the web, “HA”.

    Perhaps — especially, I would suspect, if one’s specific interests veer as strongly as yours do towards Isherwood, movie musicals, show tunes, and “handsome” blond German boys. The relevance (or lack thereof) of that last bit was what I was referring to, but thank you anyway for attempting to fill us in on the rest.

    There are exceptions to any classification scheme, and whether or not you happen to be such an exception is of no concern to me (no matter how much of your personal life you insist on broadcasting here), but I believe the commonly used term for those of us whose interest in the above-listed subject matter doesn’t measure up to your own is not ‘philistine’, but rather, ‘heterosexual’. Granted, some might claim there is not much difference between the two, but in the interest of proper literary analysis, the distinction is one worth making — even to someone who has vehemently ridiculed the current pope on this site for displaying flamboyantly ‘fey’ mannerisms, though as I recall, your language was far more colorful and impassioned (and sneering).

    Finally, I would still advise against against calling someone a philistine and then immediately proceeding with a cut-and-paste job from the likes of imdb and Wikipedia, especially when it has so slight a connection to the point that was being raised. That being said, thank you for including that part about casting decisions and dye jobs — I did not realize how relevant that was to understanding the song or the musical, but I suppose I stand corrected. And after all, everyone is entitled to his or her specific interests.

  270. digbydolben permalink
    August 24, 2008 1:01 pm

    Oh, now, I FINALLY get it!

    You really ARE a fascist jerk, and your ridiculous conclusions about me, in particular are fantastically off the mark.

    When I see rubbish like this, though, I really understand what “gay” people have to put up with, from the likes of you.

    You are actually evil, and I will not respond to anything more you say.

  271. August 24, 2008 2:07 pm

    When I see rubbish like this, though, I really understand what “gay” people have to put up with, from the likes of you.

    Actually, given your rather seething homophobia-laced takedown of Pope Benedict, I suspect they have more pressing concerns than putting up with the likes of me, but whatever you say. As I noted, everyone is entitled to his or her specific interests.

    If someone wants to look up the post I am referring to (I suspect it might have been deleted) I think it was in the same thread where digby informed us about the actively homosexual British nobleman who was Waugh’s basis for Lord Marchmain and some time before he assured us that the centurion’s servant in the Gospel was likely a “boy toy”.

    In any case, those who keep returning to such matters are better off not sneering at a pope in the way you did for acting gay. Likewise, those who regularly characterize their opponents in the effusive terms you regularly employ should not then complain about a lack of compassion or empathy on the opposing side. Finally, those who speak on behalf of courthouse-burning fanatics they are personally acquainted with should not be characterizing those who stand against them as “jihadists”.

    In fact, I would think that one so vehemently opposed to the war on terror should avoid a “Bush-speak” word like jihadist when attempting to insult his enemies, especially when he has previously noted sympathetically how the initial reactions to 9/11 he encountered were that the chickens had indeed come home to roost. Too many crossed signals there.

  272. digbydolben permalink
    August 24, 2008 2:38 pm

    Wow–what bitter, vicious vituperation. I seriously doubt that ANY fag-bashing fascist on the stump could approach your ability to distort and lie about an opponent in debate!

    My interest in the oppression of “gay” people represents, purely and simply, a desire to preserve basic human rights. I never called the centurion’s slave his “boy toy,” but, rather, his chattel slave, with all the prerogatives over him that Roman law and custom granted the master, and insisted that Jews and others in the Lord’s audience would have recognised that clearly–something which is clearly relevant to our present-day understanding of that particular Gospel story, and which Biblical exegetists have been citing regularly for the last several years.

    I never spole “on behalf” of “courthouse burning” feminists, but only said I was acquainted with a few–which, I suppose, based on THEIR rhetoric (not mine), I suppose I am. Your insinuations of my support for their fanaticism are similar to what those of your fascist ilk have tried to do to Obama over the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, but “guilt by association” is a logical fallacy which only the “great unwashed masses” of Yahoos whom you probably like to bay at would fall for.

    I can’t remember the reference to the source of Waugh’s characterisation of Lord Marchmain, but what you say I wrote about it is a fact. Evelyn Waugh was a Tory, but that means a sensible, moderate BRITISH “conservative”–one not likely to demonize “homosexuals,” since they are and always have been vibrant contributors to some of the most important fields of Western arts and sciences. “Gay-bashing” is a trait of fascists like you, not of true “conservatives.”

    And, finally, my comment about Pope Benedict was meant to illustrate the self-loathing of many effeminate men that religion-inspired homophobia induces in certain Western cultures. I don’t really know or care whether the Pope is is “same-sex-attracted,” but I DO believe that the extraordinary vehemence of his extreme opposition to “gay rights” is indicative of a more-than-normal emotional involvement with the issue. Of course, in Ratzinger’s particular case, it may be the emotional residue of his much-reported hysterical response to the “student rebellions” of the 60s, but it IS unusual and the theological positions that he and his sponsor, John Paul II, have taken regarding the “intrinsic sinfulness” of the “homosexual orientation” and the exclusion of “same-sex-oriented” priestly candidates DOES represent a volte-face against the positions taken by their predecessors.

    But I suppose the fact that I even KNOW about these subjects damns me in your estimation. As I said above, you are an especially evil person, and I will not be talking to you here, or anywhere else at Vox Nova.

  273. August 24, 2008 4:32 pm

    Digby, as to your “support” of courthouse-burning fanatics, it is enough to know that if such or similar mayhem were to transpire, you would consider the “jihadism” to be on the part of Fr. J, and are even now blaming him as someone “who would soak the American nation in blood”. That is worth lampooning, given that the moral equivalence you drew explains so much by so many in your camp. Why did the skyscrapers fall? Because of terrorists and jihadists, certainly — but only those who sit in the White House and also perhaps those control the purse strings of the nation (i.e. the New York “money men”). The other jihadists and courthouse-burners who one would think might have some part to play when it comes to distributing blame are curiously exempt from your outrage.

    Also, if you prefer “chattel slave recognized by all to be available at a moment’s notice for intimate services” to “boy toy”, so be it. I rather think my terminology got the point across more succinctly, but if it is too pithy for you, well, I will stipulate to your version. Not that it changes much.

    I did forget to mention the gender breakdown of Gerard Manley Hopkins you also offered us vis a vis Walt Whitman on some other recent thread. Again, it seems to be a recurring meme in your posts. You know, if it is of interest, I understand Cardinal Newman had an unusually bell-like high-pitched voice. Perhaps at some point you’ll get around to analyzing that too, and whatever it might reveal about him. Similar analysis of voices and speech patterns to the one you have given us can be found on every schoolyard to “prove” one thing or another. If that’s OK according to your rules, so be it. Bring it on — life is a cabaret, old chum. But don’t be surprised if once you open that box, whatever is inside comes back to bite you. And then to claim that I’m the homophobe here? That’s a tad defensive, and it involves a certain amount of projection.

    As for rephrasing your words about Pope Benedict’s gaydar in less vehement and catty terms than you originally used, it’s a nice try, but the fact that you chose to tone it down considerably this time says a good deal. Indeed, if the words I’ve used on this thread register as “homophobic fasc|st” on your meter, the phrasing in your original post would send the needle off the chart. Again, you ought to look in the mirror of that glass house more closely.

    The fact that anyone could possibly be damned in my estimation (or the pope’s), simply by being (or appearing to be) gay or closeted, is — to be blunt — just another display of your flair for screechy, hysterical theatrics. And if you don’t want anyone surmising what that particular aspect of your personality might mean with regard to your own “more-than-normal emotional involvement” on a given issue, perhaps the same courtesy could be extended to the pope, no?

    Lastly, I don’t know how many times I have to repeat this, digby: however you choose to live your life or whatever you choose to acknowledge on this site is of little concern to me, except to the extent where the hypocrisy of it becomes a way of demonstrating the emptiness of the other positions of yours I disagree with (and would take issue with regardless of whether the person holding them was straight, gay, or something else altogether). Besides, what could possibly be wrong with a show tune every now and then?

    Oh, and as for refusing to reply to my posts, be my guest. I honestly very much look forward to that. If you don’t believe me, call my bluff.

  274. David Nickol permalink
    August 24, 2008 5:15 pm

    HA’s message above (August 24, 2008 at 4:32 pm) is one of the most malicious personal attacks I have read on a respectable blog. Other commenters have mentioned they have been “under moderation.” I am relatively new here. What does it take? Death threats?

  275. August 24, 2008 6:17 pm

    If you think I was out of line, you’re late to the party. Presumably you missed digby’s entertaining analysis of Pope Benedict. Funny how that always seems to happen.

    And as for threats, that comes straight from digby as well. Perhaps you were not here when digby warned us that people in his line of work are routinely fired for exhibiting certain tendencies. Though he is safe out of the clutches of the yahoo’s of Albuquerque who would stoop to that level, presumably he might one day have to return to the befouled shores of the USA, so it might make sense for him not to limit his options.

    Of course, he might have just been hyperventilating regarding such threats. It wouldn’t surprise me and they certainly didn’t come from me, as I explicitly noted. But for the record, it was digby that insisted that I come out, so to speak, with a detailed breakdown of what I was alluding to: “It really is a barbaric thing to do, to attempt to intimidate someone with some unknown factor, and then to refuse to divulge whatever it is.” But maybe you missed that too.

  276. August 24, 2008 7:53 pm

    So let’s recap and see if I got this right:

    Letting us know that courthouses will be burned down if abortion rights are sufficiently messed with, and declaring if that happens, it will be the fault of the likes Fr. J:

    (no problem)

    Endlessly detailing and recycling his personal life here — his heroics in Sri Lanka (and to the extent all that is true, well, kudos to you, digby) and his hellish suffering in the yokel-infested pits of the American south, his Republican family, and his brother’s experience with guns across the pond, an enumeration of his donations to the Obama campaign, etc., etc., etc, :

    (what could possibly go wrong there?)

    Calling Fr. J a “jihadist” and nominating him to be the beer-garder chaplain of brown-shirted thugs.

    (crickets chirping, pretty much)

    Analyzing Pope Benedict’s speech and mannerisms in terminology lifted from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (as applied to homosexuals) — note I am not referring to the bowdlerized version he presented here:

    (presumably the pope had it coming)

    But when I say, digby, wait a minute: given all the stuff you regularly fixate on in these threads, what do such analyses say about you? Well now, that’s apparently way out of line and one of the malicious personal attacks ever entered on Vox Nova. Do the progressives here just ignore digby’s rantings and vituperation? The cries of homophobic fasc|st and the like? Honestly, which is more likely to get you in trouble these days — being called a homophobic brown-shirted thug or the hypocrisy of showing a peculiarly strong attachment to a Broadway movie while at the same time deconstructing others for what certain mannerisms might mean.

    Is it really considered a sin among you people to be suspected as being gay. I mean, did anyone ask me if I was gay or straight? As if I would possibly care one way or the other what people think? Feel free — I mean, I did know about that song after all. Who knows? Besides, if you’ve tried to live as a Catholic for any length of time and have resorted to abstinence for any reason, you will be subject to gay rumors as surely as people like digby trot out gaydar analyses of people they don’t like (i.e. as night follows day). Some of us learn to deal with it, while others start screaming about it — that is, unless such speculation comes from a well-credentialed progressive of sufficiently enlightened opinion and is directed at popes and others held in sufficiently low regard, and if it is accompanied with a lamentation bewailing the other side’s lack of “empathy and compassion”.

    For the record, I’d have been happy not to get into all this, and declined when asked on 8/23 9:27 am, and only divulged more when I was called “barbaric” for refusing to do so. After the calls of brown-shirted thuggery and whatnot. So go ahead and pretend that I’m the one who is out of line here. Or better yet, in the future, just ignore me. Please. Do me the honor. Why is that so hard, anyway, given that — as I’ve attempted to explain — I dish back only a small fraction of what is dished my way, and even then, sometimes reluctantly.

  277. Mark DeFrancisis permalink*
    August 25, 2008 7:48 am

    Is beauty is that transcendental who is a dancing sister with the good, then I guess ugliness is…

  278. Make me a Spark permalink
    August 26, 2008 9:46 am

    Dear Sir,

    Just to address one of the most glaring problems with your endorsement(though the pro-death stance of this candidate should be enough for you).

    Universal Health Care is one of the scariest propositions ever put forth to the American people. Putting Government in charge of health care gives to the secular state a control that has apocalyptic implications. In future it would be all to easy for the state to decide to withhold healthcare from people of a certain age, or have diseases that would not be cured by the care. It would be all to easy for government to decide to let persons die who would not have the “quality of life” that some decision maker thinks they should have.

    I have one friend who was in a dune buggy accident at 18 and has been unable to hold a job outside of menial work for many years, his health care has been astronomical over the years to pay for. He cannot converse with you and looks to the world to be stupid and in articulate. He is even in recent years unable to fingerspell or do simple signs any more because of the deterioration of his health.

    However he is a valued member of our faith community, and his repertoire of moaning a bit to a song or worship is heartening to those of us who know he is openly and without shame expressing his love for God. He quick and snappy moan to a joke from someone he knows can make us all laugh. He has suffered for about 30 years looking weird and unable to date or even make friends outside of those of us who know him well. He drools easily and coughs in a gross way at times, becuase he cannot control these things. Yet when he survived a recent bought with Pneumonia there were several hundred people including Bob who were grateful for the “miracle” that kept him alive.

    Think about it.

  279. Disgruntled Activist permalink
    August 28, 2008 4:28 am

    I find this piece enlightening, informative and brave. I believe that people should take a look at this.
    Top Three things to Know Before Voting OBAMA:
    (1) Obama needs to prove he is a US citizen – http://tinyurl.com/Prove-UR-US-OK
    (2) Obama is not an alternative to right wing McCain
    (3) Read the book “Obama the Postmodern Coup” to see he will support war and repressive social policies

  280. Hanna Brennan permalink
    September 5, 2008 8:44 am

    Thank you for your clear positions. It’s hard being a conservative stay-at-home Mom evangelical whose friends and peers don’t understand why I believe Obama to be a candidate who is more in line with the truths and causes of the Gospel!

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