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Why I Am NOT Voting For McCain Tomorrow

November 3, 2008

I have hesitated writing this post because of what I know will be the vitriol and hand wringing that has accompanied my post on my personal blog.  A look around the Catholic blogosphere for a moment is a clue why many Catholic Obama supporters are, well, keeping their mouths shut.  We go to Church every Sunday.  We are involved in our Parish life.  We are active in the pro-life movement.  We have family prayer time.  But we cannot in good conscience vote for McCain.

My decision to not vote for McCain is even more shocking because I helped Sarah Palin in her bid for Governor of AK.  I stood outside on a street corner with my baby strapped to my back in a pouring rain to wave signs.  My mommy group was stunned to hear that I won’t vote the McCain/Palin ticket.

It is hard to convey logically why I cannot vote for McCain.  So I will only say the reason I will be voting for Obama is for two reasons.  First, because I don’t believe the propaganda of the right.  You got me twice!  Twice.  Not anymore. They have lost ALL credibility with their support of the last 8 years.  Second, I am voting for him because I feel a near panic attack coming on when I think of the chance that McCain could be our President for four years.

I am sorry it is not more logical.  I am sorry it isn’t well thought out.  But I think it is important for so many Catholic McCain apologists to know this may not be logical.  It may be that our fear, based on a Bush Republican reign, so overwhelms that we will vote “anybody but the Republicans.”

And telling me I will go to hell because of all the dead babies Obama will directly murder?  Sigh.

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91 Comments
  1. TeutonicTim permalink
    November 3, 2008 8:12 pm

    Too bad, so sad, thanks for screwing everyone else over.

  2. November 3, 2008 8:33 pm

    Speaking of elections, I’ve been driving around yelling “Fascists” at the Prop. 8 people (constitutionally banning gay marriage in California). When they came for the gay people, I did speak up.

    Instead of brown shirts, the Yes on Prop 8 people wear yellow raincoats. They’re even on highway overpasses. With their small children. Hitler Youth, I guess. Out here, quite a few honk in support. One can hear hooting and hollering from all over. Only in America. Well, and in Poland. They got re-education camps there. The major organizations behind the effort ? The Catholic Church, esp. the Knights of Columbus (nothing like dressing up like a Gilbert & Sullivan character, I guess. They do have a Supreme Knight, so I guess their financing fits), the Mormons and groups like Focus on the Family. “Family” is of course code. I think I’ll go out for another drive to harass them.

    Liberty, justice and equality for all.

  3. November 3, 2008 8:35 pm

    Why not vote 3rd party or abstain, rcm?

  4. Magdalena permalink
    November 3, 2008 8:42 pm

    I am sure RCM doesn’t mean to “screw anyone else over,” she surely means well, just very very naive. In some ways it is easier to vote for McCain because he is going to lose. People who vote for McCain will not have to deal with the “fall out” of that decision since he will never be President. The people who vote for Obama will have to live with themselves after his victory and when he begins enacting pro-death legislation. At that time, RCM, you may wish that your decision had been more “well thought-out and logical” as you say. Didn’t you say that you used to vote for Republicans based on fear as well? Fear of FOCA being enacted etc? Have you really changed your approach this time or is it likely you are making the same mistake?

    There have been so many opportunities for us to form our consciences. My own bishop in Cleveland printed a column in our diocesan newspaper and gave a public lecture on Sunday explaining why issues like immigration, foreign policy etc are important but are by no means equal to the abortion issue. He specifically pointed out that the secondary issues allow for different approaches but the life issues do not. He is not a wingnut or a professional Republican, he has taken a progressive, Catholic stand on the death penalty, poverty, and the environment, etc, and can NOT be dismissed as a shill for the right wing. Are we willing to form our consciences or are we stiff-necked and unwilling to soften our hearts to what we KNOW the Church is telling us? And no the Church does not tell us to vote for Republicans. The Church tell us that the right to life is foundational and that the other issues can only build off that.

    Election season is always so disheartening in the Church, just because it becomes clear that people are going to support who they want to support regardless of what the Church says. If the shoe was on the other foot and it was the Republican party with a pro-abortion stance, would conservatives be paying attention and really making the effort to form their consciences? Or would they be doing back flips and twisting themselves into knots like the Democrats are now, trying to justify their choice? The fact is that Catholics of whatever stripe usually have more loyalty to their political party than to the Church. Or else to their pet political issue – there are Republicans for whom a punitive stance on immigration is their number one issue. I think I read that for RCM it is racial profiling.

    But Jesus is not going to send anyone to Hell over this. Many, many Catholics are confused this election. My bishop actually mentioned this in his column, that there are many groups and many people distorting the Church’s teaching and implying the opposite of what the Church says. I would encourage everyone to read Faithful Citizenship ONE MORE TIME before going into the voting booth. And read it with an open heart.

  5. Catholic4Obama permalink
    November 3, 2008 8:44 pm

    With all due respect I don’t know why you feel the need to apologize for your decision. Your tone almost sounds like you’re inviting people to beat you up over this and of course the usual suspects will be happy to oblige, e/g/ “thanks for screwing everyone else over”. If you were pro/choice/abortion and voted for a candidate for the purpose of promulgating that agenda, then it would be sinful. Obviously you aren’t doing that.

  6. TeutonicTim permalink
    November 3, 2008 9:01 pm

    True, she’s not, but she’s voting for a person who does NOT respect the rights of the unborn, does NOT value of a child’s life as it lays there cold and hungry, a survivor of murder until it is left to die, and who VOWS that he WILL sign FOCA, repealing ANY progress made against the tide of free for abortion.

    Even if you can’t vote for McCain, Obama lacks the simple human decency and moral compass to gain ANY catholic vote. And that’s BEFORE you get into debating whether or not he’s a socialist and his tax policies.

    If he’s THAT misinformed (or actually well informed, and still holds his barbaric, disgusting views) how the hell can you trust him on anything else? His quality is nil.

  7. Catholic4Obama permalink
    November 3, 2008 9:02 pm

    With all due respect I don’t know why you feel the need to apologize for your decision. Your tone almost sounds like you’re inviting people to beat you up over this and of course the usual suspects will be happy to oblige, e/g/ “thanks for screwing everyone else over”. Typical.

    P.S. I hope you aren’t voting for Ted Stevens!

  8. Br. Gabriel permalink
    November 3, 2008 9:10 pm

    First of all I think it is important to note that the current president has not followed a single Republican policy except his stance of life issues. Everything else has been more a kin to the DNC platform so in many ways President Bush is a continuation of the Clinton years. I know that many would disagree with this position but in fact if you look at the positions that he has supported none of them are GOP platform issues and many bills that he supported were written by some of the most die hard DNC members such as Ted Kennedy’s “No Child Left Behind” legislation. To say that Obama would be a choice apart from the Bush administration is absurd. In fact, for a Catholic, those things that we dislike about Bush will further expanded under Obama. At least under McCain the status quo would be maintained.

  9. Jason permalink
    November 3, 2008 9:14 pm

    Obama is no more a socialist than McCain is a fascist, and his moral compass is no worse than McCain’s.

    RCM, Palin may be a fine governor for Alaska–that doesn’t automatically make her qualified to be VP of the USA.

    And just because you feel you can’t articulate it well, that doesn’t mean your reasons lack logic. I think you said it pretty clear: you’re not buying the Republican propaganda anymore. They lost credibility.

  10. TeutonicTim permalink
    November 3, 2008 9:20 pm

    and his moral compass is no worse than McCain’s.

    Within the confines of some nuanced and detailed discussions on merely things they AGREE on. So McCain only fails compared to Obama on stances he shares with Obama.

    NO ONE can have such disregard for unborn (and born) humans than Obama and his cohorts. One only needs to listen to the man.

  11. Catholic4Obama permalink
    November 3, 2008 9:21 pm

    At least under McCain the status quo would be maintained.

    That’s precisely why he will lose in a landslide.

  12. Guillermo Bustamante permalink
    November 3, 2008 9:21 pm

    Today we must focus the non-elected Legislative-formerly Judicial.

    And I congratulate the devout moving people to ask the intercession of St. Martin of Porres (today’s feast), most fittingly, because he represents the two ethnic bloods mix (Hispanic + Black), who are TARGETED by the racist PP ads + abortion chambers-mills locations for the current genocide in USA.

    The point currently is: we must enlist the help of our angels & saints, to counter the arguing that the USCCB has to walk a “fine line, not to tell (sic) voters”, to avoid voting for the Infanticide Candidate.

    Wrong.

    Here, precisely, is proper to tell not to vote for whom blatantly are crushing the Constitutional rights of defenseless human beings (FOCA), as the U.S. Supreme Court.

    And compare indeed! The greater with the lesser evils:
    1) The Infanticide Candidate’s abortion VOTING RECORD and commitment to FOCA.

    2) The McCain pro-life VOTING RECORD and public platform.

    This election brings us to base: How Will History Judge Catholics?

    Will start with the USCCB history, and will follow distinguishing responsibilities.

    This means the angelic sword of flames, dismissing the lay lukewarm. The magnitude of the genocide is so flabbergasting that there is no way to disguise or down play this historic responsibility.

    Regards

  13. November 3, 2008 9:23 pm

    Speaking of elections, I’ve been driving around yelling “Fascists” at the Prop. 8 people (constitutionally banning gay marriage in California). When they came for the gay people, I did speak up.

    I’ve missed the news reports about gays in California being sent to the gas chambers.

    You need to get over yourself.

  14. admiralporklung permalink
    November 3, 2008 9:34 pm

    Your vote is a vote for FOCA. Great.

  15. November 3, 2008 9:53 pm

    Your vote is a vote for FOCA. Great.

    No, it’s really not.

    RCM – You said once that you felt that the scales had fallen from your eyes. That’s a great image, and I won’t forget what it felt like to feel that myself.

  16. November 3, 2008 9:53 pm

    RCM,

    Thank you for your bravery and honesty.

    I too cannot look at the GOP over these past 8 years and judge them as being anything close to a culture of life party.

  17. November 3, 2008 9:54 pm

    RCM and MI,

    I had the same experience in 2003/04.

  18. digbydolben permalink
    November 3, 2008 9:56 pm

    You are doing the right thing, Mom.

  19. adamv permalink
    November 3, 2008 9:56 pm

    RCM obviously believes that McCain/Palin will be just a detrimental to people’s lives than the FOCA. And it sounds like the McCain/Palin campaign is causing her a lot of existential grief.

    Maybe instead of criticizing her the lot of you should be asking what about the Republican ticket has managed to turn such an ardent opponent of abortion to turn against the pro-life candidate.

  20. Henry permalink
    November 3, 2008 10:08 pm

    Gerald A. Naus Says:

    November 3, 2008 at 8:33 pm
    Speaking of elections, I’ve been driving around yelling “Fascists” at the Prop. 8 people (constitutionally banning gay marriage in California). When they came for the gay people, I did speak up.

    Instead of brown shirts, the Yes on Prop 8 people wear yellow raincoats. They’re even on highway overpasses. With their small children. Hitler Youth, I guess. Out here, quite a few honk in support. One can hear hooting and hollering from all over. Only in America. Well, and in Poland. They got re-education camps there. The major organizations behind the effort ? The Catholic Church, esp. the Knights of Columbus (nothing like dressing up like a Gilbert & Sullivan character, I guess. They do have a Supreme Knight, so I guess their financing fits), the Mormons and groups like Focus on the Family. “Family” is of course code. I think I’ll go out for another drive to harass them.

    Liberty, justice and equality for all.

    It seems to me, that it is the No on Prop 8 people that tearing down the Yes on Prop 8 signs. Evidentialy, Catholics don’t want to believe the Bible that homosexual life style is a sin. I quess tha Catholics pick and choose what they want to believe.

  21. TeutonicTim permalink
    November 3, 2008 10:15 pm

    Thank you for your bravery and honesty

    Bravery?
    .
    .
    .
    Bravery?

    If that weren’t so disturbing, it would be funny. You people have no idea what bravery is if you consider voting for Obama bravery.

    As far as scales falling from your eyes, maybe its just a light shining down, and you’re experiencing an epiphany.

    “…that a light will shine through that window, a beam of light will come down upon you, you will experience an epiphany … and you will suddenly realize that you must go to the polls and vote for Obama”

  22. November 3, 2008 10:28 pm

    Having seen nothing but pro-Prop. 8 people from Oakland to Livermore, I thought that the honking, hooting etc. near our house was them again. Much to my surprise, it was about 25 teenagers with No on Prop. 8 signs, with a lot of people honking in support. I drove around town but didn’t see any pro-prop 8. Coming back, I bought them two cases of Mountain Dew :P

    Henry, I’m not Catholic, so you don’t have to blame them :o)

    Bravery ? Bravery is sporting a McCain sticker in San Francisco =P I don’t have one, mind you, I’ve gotten tired of politics, but I certainly won’t stand by when people are threatened by constitutional discrimination. That might fly in some backwaters, but it really shouldn’t in California.

    I think McCain’s better than the Republican general rabble, whereas Obama is the Democrat Party having turned into a religious cult. As far as the consequences are concerned – Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Only the ways in which we get screwed changes. Both parties feed at the same troth.

  23. Knuckle Dragger permalink
    November 3, 2008 10:35 pm

    My beloved Archbishop makes clear that abortion is the primary consideration for Catholic voters:

    “… However, I cannot conceive of a proportionate reason that could outweigh the deaths of nearly 50 million children killed by abortion…”

    “… But the very first right we must protect, if all human rights are to be protected, is the right to life for the unborn.
    Those who do not understand or accept this basic human right are unworthy of our trust…”

    (Most Reverend Elden F. Curtiss, Archbishop of Omaha)

    http://www.archomaha.com/newsandevents/pdf/ArchbishopsVotingStatement.pdf

  24. TeutonicTim permalink
    November 3, 2008 10:36 pm

    >>>In before Michael J. says it doesn’t matter what a Bishop says…

  25. TeutonicTim permalink
    November 3, 2008 10:36 pm

    >>>And tries to say that his judgement is superior to any Bishop that doesn’t agree with him.

  26. Knuckle Dragger permalink
    November 3, 2008 10:49 pm

    Thanks for your efforts Tim. As Fr. Corapi says, abortion in our great country isn’t homicide, it’s genocide.

    View his powerful video here: http://www.fathercorapi.com/election.aspx

  27. Lizzy permalink
    November 3, 2008 10:59 pm

    It is interesting that she basically admits that she does not have a good reason and is making her choice based on fear.

  28. David Nickol permalink
    November 3, 2008 11:14 pm

    RCM,

    Your post made me think of Huckleberry Finn, who follows his heart and does the right thing, even though he “knows” it’s wrong.

    Voting is not necessarily a rational act. It’s choosing from among two or more necessarily imperfect people to make one of them a leader. If it could be reduced to a mathematical formula, a computer could do it for us.

  29. November 3, 2008 11:22 pm

    Tim,

    Take a few deep breaths…

    It sounds like you are hyperventilating.

  30. November 3, 2008 11:25 pm

    >>>In before Michael J. says it doesn’t matter what a Bishop says…

    I’ve never said anything remotely like that, nor do I believe anything remotely like that. Your dishonesty gets exponentially more intense as we approach election day, doesn’t it?

  31. November 3, 2008 11:50 pm

    And I’m going to vote for McCain / Palin tomorrow, because Sarah’s a babemeister, and I’ll cancel out your vote. So now that I’ve done my duty with this one, others can step up to the plate and cancel out the rest of the dawn of the dead hope and change zombies.

    We don’t need change, we need improvement.

  32. radicalcatholicmom permalink
    November 4, 2008 12:02 am

    Hi Lizzy: Kinda weird to come on my post and refer to me in the 3rd person.
    Tim: You know, I might be more convinced with the rhetoric if we had a solidly pro-life person in opposition to Obama but that is not the case and I think it is the dishonesty amongst my fellow Catholic McCain apologists that frankly makes me sick.

  33. November 4, 2008 1:55 am

    RCM:

    It may be that our fear, based on a Bush Republican reign, so overwhelms that we will vote “anybody but the Republicans.”

    Yes. I feel this, too, and I also wholeheartedly believe that if pro-life voters can vote for Bush, then we as pro-life voters have lost what it means to be pro-life.

    But please, I’m begging you. Don’t cast a vote for Obama. There’s no getting around his extreme pro-abortion views. Don’t vote Republican, but vote pro-life. Vote third party; any third party except Green and Socialist really. If your intent is to communicate to the Republican party your feelings of being swindled, you can do that without supporting the wrongheadedness of the Democratic party.

    Voting against McCain by voting for Obama is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater (bad allusion to abortion NOT intended.) Heh.

  34. Jean Brodie permalink
    November 4, 2008 7:25 am

    I won’t go into the arguments for voting one way or the other, but I’m pretty sure that the Catholic Church doesn’t endorse voting based solely on feelings as you seem to be planning on doing.

  35. TeutonicTim permalink
    November 4, 2008 8:08 am

    I might be more convinced with the rhetoric if we had a solidly pro-life person in opposition to Obama but that is not the case and I think it is the dishonesty amongst my fellow Catholic McCain apologists that frankly makes me sick.

    I’m not talking about republicans vs. democrats, or Obama vs. McCain. Nowhere did I say how great McCain is…

    I’m talking against Obama. If you can’t stomach Republicans, how can you even swallow Obama? Take Jean’s advice. Write in someone, pick 3rd party. Obama doesn’t have the personal quality to deserve a Catholic vote.

  36. November 4, 2008 9:25 am

    I think it’s refreshing to see a voter basically admit that her voting isn’t determined by logic or reasons. Most of us — especially including people such as MM and Michael Iafrate — are in reality doing exactly the same thing (i.e., voting based on raw emotion), however much we try to pretend that we have logical reasons. The logical reasons are an afterthought, an epiphenomenon.

  37. November 4, 2008 10:02 am

    Take Jean’s advice. Write in someone, pick 3rd party.

    Any third party candidate is a fine “pro-life” candidate? Really? The only reason you suggest this is to attempt to sway people from voting Obama. Most third party candidates are pro-choice too.

    Most of us — especially including people such as MM and Michael Iafrate — are in reality doing exactly the same thing (i.e., voting based on raw emotion), however much we try to pretend that we have logical reasons. The logical reasons are an afterthought, an epiphenomenon.

    If you say so.

  38. November 4, 2008 10:07 am

    RCM,

    I voted for Obama this morning, and I understand the mixed feelings and thoughts on the issue. A couple of elements worth mentioning that went into my own decision:

    With regard to Knuckle Dragger’s post, I respect bishops, but I think statements like this: “But the very first right we must protect, if all human rights are to be protected, is the right to life for the unborn. Those who do not understand or accept this basic human right are unworthy of our trust…” fly in the face of the facts.

    I have come to the conclusion that the party that “stands” for pro-life positions is in fact the party that has the least respect for human beings once they are born. Too often, Republican positions respect life up until the moment of birth, but not so much after. In such a world, once you’re born, you’re thrown into a world in which every woman and man is economically on his or her own, a world in which the idea that we’re all in this together is to be derided, a world in which the denigration of community organizing is a valid campaign tool, a world in which a candidate’s Muslim faith would be a disqualifying attribute, a world in which a foreign-sounding name is a reason not to vote for someone, a world in which thunderous preaching against oppression is to be equated with thunderous oppressive preaching, a world in which the key to foreign policy is the demonization of the other, and a world in which the belief that humans and dinosaurs walked the earth together and that a $3mil planetarium projector is to be dismissed as merely an “overhead projector” are accepted.

    Sorry. Couldn’t do it.

  39. David Nickol permalink
    November 4, 2008 10:55 am

    I think it’s refreshing to see a voter basically admit that her voting isn’t determined by logic or reasons. . . . The logical reasons are an afterthought, an epiphenomenon.

    SB,

    I agree with you (Stuart?) at least to a certain extent. But it’s not necessarily a negative thing. It’s how human beings operate, and it’s not as if decisions that aren’t worked out logically and rationally are illogical and irrational. There’s a mental process behind them. They are not random.

  40. November 4, 2008 11:56 am

    My grandparents came of age in Nazi Germany. And yup, they voted for Hitler. Because, according to them, they thought the good things he would do for Germany far outweighed the evil he could do.

    Do they share some responsibility for the Holocaust? Yes. They knew Hitler wanted to do evil things along with the good. They simply assumed the good would get done and somebody else would stop the evil.

    They gambled, they lost. They have to live with it.

  41. digbydolben permalink
    November 4, 2008 12:56 pm

    “LIzzy,” the comparison between Barack Obama and Adolf Hitler that you are suggesting is obscene, but it’s typical of the demonization of Obama that right-wing Catholics and “neo-conservatives” have contrived all during this campaign season. Tonight you are going to see what ordinary, decent American voters think of it.

  42. c matt permalink
    November 4, 2008 12:58 pm

    This morning driving in I heard CCR’s “Bad Moon Rising”. How fitting.

  43. c matt permalink
    November 4, 2008 1:01 pm

    Ordinary, decent American voters have done a number of atrocious things. I don’t expect much change this time around with polls showing 97% voting for Tweedledee or Tweedledum.

  44. John permalink
    November 4, 2008 1:38 pm

    RCM,

    Please don’t deceive yourself. You have heard reasoned arguments on here on the gravity of supporting an Obama presidency with your vote. Do not mistake these arguments to be defenses of McCain. If you cannot vote for McCain, then don’t. But do not conclude that means you must support Obama. Do not simply sigh at those who suggest that your eternal soul may be at stake. Surely souls have been lost for lesser matters than these. I do not mean this as a threat – for what control do I have over your soul? I plead for you to listen to your conscience – I don’t mean do what feels right, or even do what makes you feel not as bad. I mean act on what you know to be true about Obama. He is for the killing of unborn children. There is no getting around it. You cannot have an abortion without killing a child. Do not support this man with your vote, and I beg anyone else in earshot not to cast your vote for Obama.

  45. November 4, 2008 1:44 pm

    This thread shows why I in my weaker moments consider seriously becoming a Unitarian Universalist….

  46. Jim N. permalink
    November 4, 2008 2:30 pm

    I think many people who should know better have an irrational aversion to McCain which sends them to Obama. They wouldn’t pick Obama for his experience, judgement, history of moderation or reputation for non partisanship or looking beyond party lines because he does not have these traits. In fact McCain does. Furthermore, one would expect that McCain would be the default choice for all independents where the Senate and House will certainly have strong Democratic majorities. One would expect that no independent would vote for a liberal democrat under these circumstances. It seems to me that this year it is obvious that McCain is the more experienced candidate and better able to lead the country in times of war and difficult economic conditions. He is a reformer and an independent minded republican, which is the type of leader the republicans need right now. Furthermore he is a war hero, and he has far more integrity than any leading politician from either party. If everyone voted based on reason, then McCain would win in a landslide and there wouldn’t be people like you agonizing to justify their support for an attractive but completely inexperienced candidate like Obama whose is totally wrong on numerous issues including abortion and the secret ballot for unions.

  47. Katerine permalink
    November 4, 2008 2:34 pm

    RCM – No one here on this board can judge you. You are exercising your God-given free will. You know to whom you are accountable. You have studied and prayed about it. There is nothing more to be said or done.

    I just ask you (and all who are supporting your fear) that you please try to understand that many feel that extact some way fear, panic and anxiety about an Obama Presidency not because of his race but because of his pro-abortion rhetoric. It is not logical. We are human. We studied the issues and we prayed but we cannot get beyond it. So, we voted as our conscious tells us. All that we can do is pray for God’s will to be done. Please let us stop tearing each other apart and agree to disagree on the presidential candidates but agree to good stewards of God’s blessings and share those blessings with the marginalized and suffering. okay???

  48. John permalink
    November 4, 2008 2:58 pm

    Mark DeFrancisis,

    I think we are all tempted at times to stick our heads in the sand.

  49. November 4, 2008 3:06 pm

    The phrasing used in the abortion debate is interesting. Note:

    “He is for the killing of unborn children.”

    No. He supports the legality of abortion. That’s a different question.

  50. November 4, 2008 3:13 pm

    Um. The point was not to compare Obama to Hitler. The point was to compare we, the American people, to the Germans. The point was to demonstrate that elections have consequences. People who vote somebody into power share responsibility for what that person does in power. Catholics for Obama are betting he’ll do the least harm when it comes to the life issues. If they take that bet and lose … yeah, the blood is on their hands. Everyone who votes takes that risk. That’s why its so important to inform yourself.

    The Germans did not vote for Hilter because he promised to exterminate the Jews. The Germans were ordinary decent human beings. Their lives were destroyed by war and their economy was in shambles. Then comes along Mr. Charismatic, promising to shake things up. They were not evil or stupid people. They were desperate and afraid. But they had to live with the consequences of their mistake.

    I did not and will not compare Mr. Obama to Hitler. I don’t think he has any plans for world domination, so it doesn’t fit. The abortion laws in this country are comparable to the Holocaust, I think. Legally codified stripping of a human being’s personhood .. sounds a lot alike to me.

  51. John permalink
    November 4, 2008 3:20 pm

    JWB,

    That is nonsense, and you are deceiving yourself also if you believe it. Obama wants to decrease abortions by making abortion more accessible? A house divided against itself can’t stand. But Obama has made it clear he isn’t even for the house standing.

  52. November 4, 2008 3:24 pm

    Man #1 doesn’t support the owning of slaves, but supports the legality of slavery.

    Man #2 doesn’t support the killing of Jews, but supports the legality of the Holocaust.

    Man #3 doesn’t support killing unborn children, but he supports the legality of abortion.

    Man #1, Man #2, and Man #3 don’t support denying a human being their personhood, but they support the legal denying of a human being’s personhood.

    Is it really a different question?

  53. David Nickol permalink
    November 4, 2008 3:37 pm

    No. He supports the legality of abortion. That’s a different question.

    JWB,

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    There have been a lot of statements that fail to make the kind of distinction you are pointing out. For example, Bishop Finn of Kansas said that if you vote for Obama, “you make yourself a participant in the act of abortion.” I think he and many of the Catholic bishops are making a giant leap in saying that the removing of some legal restrictions on abortion is participating in abortion. We have heard a lot of discussion of remote material cooperation with evil, and I have my doubts about how even that applies, but Bishop Finn in his statement is making it sound like voting for Obama is formal cooperation or immediate material cooperation with abortion. That is absolutely false.

    And would the same reasoning apply to citizens who pay their taxes in Italy, France, Canada, or Great Britain, or any other country that provides abortions free through national health care? To listen to the American bishops, you would think only the United States has legalized abortion. If people who are pro-choice wanted to go to a country where their views on abortion were more the norm, where would they go? How many countries with strict abortion prohibitions would Americans be happy living in?

    And are people “participating in the act of abortion” who don’t support social and economic programs that would make it easier for women with problem pregnancies to choose to have their babies? This is Catholic teaching, too:

    On the contrary, it is the task of law to pursue a reform of society and of conditions of life in all milieux, starting with the most deprived, so that always and everywhere it may be possible to give every child coming into this world a welcome worthy of a person. Help for families and for unmarried mothers, assured grants for children, a statute for illegitimate children and reasonable arrangements for adoption – a whole positive policy must be put into force so that there will always be a concrete, honorable and possible alternative to abortion.

    A very large number of pro-lifers — or at least so it seems to me — don’t support that kind of government action. Why is no one trying to make them feel guilty for not being in accord with Catholic teaching?

  54. David Nickol permalink
    November 4, 2008 3:45 pm

    Lizzy,

    Before you said your grandparents shared some responsibility for the Holocaust. Are you now arguing that they supported it?

  55. November 4, 2008 3:57 pm

    LIzzy (goes toward John, too):

    “Is it really a different question?”

    Yes, if you see the distinction I’m trying to point out. But I’m not sure you do, because even in these three examples you again conflate the two. You say:

    “…they support the legal denying of a human being’s personhood.”

    No. They support the legality of that denial of personhood, which does not in itself mean they support the denying as such. Supporting the legality of an action and supporting its performance are not the same thing, but again in your example, you equated them.

  56. November 4, 2008 3:59 pm

    D Nickol-

    That’s partly the point I was after above, when I said that I couldn’t bring myself to vote for McCain. Too often, “pro life” means “up until but not after birth”.

  57. David Nickol permalink
    November 4, 2008 4:16 pm

    A number of thoughtful people, including some conservatives, have spoken out for the decriminalization of what are currently illegal drugs. No one doubts that many people would abuse drugs like heroin. But good and thoughtful people have concluded that the “war on drugs” does more harm than good.

    Prohibition must have seemed like a good idea at the time, but it was a disaster. And yet 14 million Americans have alcohol problems, and an average of 700,000 at any given time are receiving inpatient or outpatient treatment for alcoholism. Should we have prohibition again?

    Cigarettes kill about a half million Americans a year. Should they be illegal?

  58. Franklin Jennings permalink
    November 4, 2008 4:36 pm

    I’m shocked you cite disbelief in GOP propaganda.

    I’d hoped to hear you don’t believe Obama’s own rhetoric. Otherwise, you know what your tantrum is.

    I didn’t vote for McCain either, BTW.

    I also didn’t vote for the guy who promised to make FOCA priority one in his administration. You did. Some pro-lifer there.

  59. digbydolben permalink
    November 4, 2008 4:39 pm

    Look, folks, the Roman Catholic Church is a politically discredited institution: the majority of her hierarchy in the United States are what my archbishop in New Mexico was–pedophile protectors–who, for their own job security and financial interests, vastly need to CHANGE THE SUBJECT.

    So, instead of getting their OWN houses in order, they have decided to get into the business of telling folks how to vote, rather than telling them what to do that is REAL and PRACTICAL (rather than futile political grand-standing) to ACTUALLY lessen the frequency of abortion in America. These bishops know–because they are POLITICAL creatures, above all else–that they don’t have the votes or the influence to force a Constitutional re-interpretation that would re-criminalize abortion. There are ANY NUMBER OF THINGS that a liberal Democratic Administration such as Obama’s would probably be willing to try that would greatly contribute to making abortion in America “legal but rare,” but those are all gradualist measures that would not suffice to distract the average Catholic parishioner from the bishops’ horrible malfeasance of office and the arrogance demonstrated by their shirking of all accountability to their flock.

    Tonight, that “average parishioner” all over America is going to show these hypocritical bishops exactly what he thinks of their foray into politics. If the bishops have any sense, and, if they want to keep any sort of avenue of communication open with America’s new rulers, they will seek collectively to muzzle certain of their brazenly partisan colleagues.

  60. November 4, 2008 4:45 pm

    Wow.

    But I agree with the basic sentiment of the last sentence.

  61. November 4, 2008 5:19 pm

    I agree with Katherine that “All we can do is pray for God’s will to be done. Please let us stop tearing each other apart…”
    In the end I had to leave the ballot blank where it said “Vote for president”.
    RCM, no one should judge you for your vote, you did what your conscience told you was best. It’s all any of us can do.

  62. John permalink
    November 4, 2008 5:29 pm

    MelodyK and Katerine,

    If you can’t take the heat stay out of the kitchen. There is no charity in trying to soothe someone’s conscience when they ought to know better.

    As for David Nickol’s and JWB’s sophisms – all readers should take your arguments for what they are worth. You may play around with logic, but you don’t begin to touch morality.

  63. November 4, 2008 5:41 pm

    Denigration rather than discussion. Nice.

  64. Catholic4Obama permalink
    November 4, 2008 5:44 pm

    “John” has declared himself keeper of the morality.
    Vote as John votes or you are immoral.
    It’s just that simle(minded), folks.

  65. November 4, 2008 5:49 pm

    Let me offer up an example that might make the point (or at least my point of view) clearer:

    Because of the limitations of both the fallenness of human nature and the historical-social situation in which we live right here and now in the United States of America, I believe that it should be legal for everyone to belong to the faith to which he or she wishes to belong, or to no faith at all.

    But, ultimately and in terms not only of grace and revealed truth but also of morals and even authentic intellectual activity, I think it right that all should be in line with theism, with Christianity, and with Roman Catholicism. I think it a grave wrong, in an ultimate sense, for people to be anything other than adherents of the revelation of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, as that revelation has been handed down through the episcopal succession currently centered on Rome in the person of Benedict XVI.

    What’s religiously and morally right is not identical with what should or should not be legal. That’s all I’m saying: Abortions ought never be done, and they should be legal.

  66. November 4, 2008 6:17 pm

    RCM-

    I am disappointed, to say the least.

  67. David Nickol permalink
    November 4, 2008 6:18 pm

    As for David Nickol’s and JWB’s sophisms – all readers should take your arguments for what they are worth. You may play around with logic, but you don’t begin to touch morality.

    There’s the morality of abortion, but then there are legal, moral, political, and practical questions about what is to be done in a pluralistic democratic society when there are profound disagreements among large groups. As Doug Kmiec says:

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

  68. John permalink
    November 4, 2008 6:37 pm

    And I am saying that you are being naive if you think Obama’s belief is that “abortions ought never be done.”

  69. John permalink
    November 4, 2008 7:05 pm

    Thank you for your input “Catholic4Obama.” Your criticism alone makes me suspect I have said something right.

  70. Pilgrim permalink
    November 4, 2008 8:14 pm

    JWB –

    Why is it that what is legal should not reflect what is right? Am I missing something here? It seems to me that what you are saying is exactly this: “Murder ought not be done, and murder should be legal.”

  71. Jacero10 permalink
    November 5, 2008 1:54 am

    When the Freedom of Choice Act passes, we will have lousy Catholics like you to blame. You and all the other Catholics who have turned your back on the unborn and on the scared souls of their abortive mothers, will have a looooooooooong term in Purgatory–or Hell–to pay.

    When Catholics turn their backs on the the most innocent, the most defenseless, the most precious gift in all of God’s creation, you turn not only against them, but against your very own sacred nature as made in the image and likeness of God. You degrade yourselves and reduce yourselves to accomplices in millions of murders. For shame. For shame. FOR SHAME ON YOU.

  72. radicalcatholicmom permalink
    November 5, 2008 3:02 am

    Ahh, yes Jacero. I assume you are doing penance for the 1 million per year abortions under the Bush Administration? And for all those embryos who gave their lives as spare parts for other humans that McCain wanted and supported to kill?

    If any of us want to be clean, good luck!

  73. November 5, 2008 7:45 am

    RCM,
    I can understand your reason for not wanting to vote for McCain. But the logical conclusion would then be to vote third party, or to abstain.

    In any case, congratulations. The man you chose won, and we got the president we deserve. Wonder if you’ll still be cheering when he signs FOCA into law (which, if Bush did nothing else right, at least promised to veto it)…

  74. Jacero10 permalink
    November 5, 2008 7:55 am

    Bush did very well the only thing a President can do other than give moral support to the pro life movement. He gave us absolutely outstanding Supreme Court appointments. To end abortion, it takes a Catholic electorate that is consistantly principled over the course of many elections. You have shown that irrationality trumps principle and the cost will be not just the ongoing abortions during this administration but all those who will be aborted in the future as the abortion agenda get delayed.

    You are more intelligent than to attribute the abortions in one presidential term to that president. Well, maybe not. Your feeble insinuation shows either that you dont really understand how things work, or that dont want to, or that you just dont care.

    Regardless, you have covered yourself in the blood of countless precious innocent victims. That your you have destroyed your conscience is apparent. Now that you have done this wicked deed, you will for a long time be defensive and try to steel yourself from your moral compass. You will continue to rationalize and justify yourself. It is not that YOU are evil, but that you have been caught in evil’s web. You are now one of the countless faceless, soulless chanting wretches that filled the stadium at Nuremberg caught in the emotion stirred by a godless charismatic messiah. Those crowds came to rue their mass hysteria by the end of a devastating war. They paid the price of the evildoing themselves. Your moral indifference will result in an invisible war. Your victims are hidden to all but the eye of God. You will come to rue your immorality mostly likely only after you pass through to the other side and find the door of heaven closed to you and you and throngs of Americans will be begging the heavenly unborn for a drop of water on your tong. You thirst will be unquenched. But, perhaps as a good liberal Catholic you have gotten over hell. Perhaps you should get over heaven instead.

  75. November 5, 2008 8:20 am

    David Nickol,
    One hundred years ago, the political consensus was that blacks were an inferior race and should be treated thus. Would Kmiec have spoken so passively, so glibly then about leaving a “space for the exercise of individual judgment”? Would he have argued that, in a pluralistic society with many differing viewpoints, we should simply respect other people’s choices and not attempt to force the law?

    We know the answer to that question. Why, I wonder, do the unborn get less regard?

  76. Jacero10 permalink
    November 5, 2008 9:31 am

    Christine,

    The nation was able to overcome slavery because half the country was not invested in it, saw no benefit from it.

    {BEYOND THE PALE, JACERO. KEEP THIS UP AND YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED HERE.}

    The only sector of American society that potentially has the moral strength to do what is right despite its inconvenience is the Catholic population. But, we have proven morally weak. People like Radical Catholic Mom would rather congratulatie themselves on their open mindedness and cuddle up to feel-good speeches from Chicago’s Grant Park than do what is right. Radical Catholic Mom’s children are damn lucky they survived her womb. Her grandchildren may not be so lucky as she has failed to teach her children by her vote that abortion is truly a moral evil and not just a dispensable issue when you feel like joining the crowd.

    Radical Catholic Mom’s crime is not realizing that her position isn’t about being broadminded as she has convinced herself but is really about the pettiness of self interest. She has cooperated in a new society in which the only moral absolute is the right to indulge ones lusts. She has debased herself. God forgive her, should she repent.

  77. Pilgrim permalink
    November 5, 2008 10:11 am

    RCM-

    You assume too much. Many of us, possibly Jacero included, actually do penance for the unborn. We haven’t ended abortion, but we do what we can! And we don’t excuse voting for pro-abortion candidates! McCain is no outstanding candidate, and that he is pro-stem cell research is definitely a wrong and evil thing. But Obama is pro everything death – infanticide, abortion, you name it.

    It makes no sense to say “abortion is evil, horrendous – the murder of millions of innocent human persons. Oh well, it happens. I’ll vote for the most pro-death candidate anyway.” So are we all responsible? Yes! So let’s DO something about it!

  78. November 5, 2008 11:05 am

    Jacero,

    It must be difficult walking around with God’s into strangers’ hearts.

    I hope you eat alot of carrots daily.

  79. November 5, 2008 11:06 am

    …God’s eye…

  80. Jacero10 permalink
    November 5, 2008 11:47 am

    Mark,

    Seriously. I dont have God’s eye into anyone’s soul. I have no idea how many abortions Radical Catholic Mom has had.

    I only know that she seems pretty damned happy to have this blood thirsty abortion promoter as the leader of the free world.

    Cheers !!

  81. David Nickol permalink
    November 5, 2008 12:14 pm

    Jacero10,

    Your concern for the unborn is awe inspiring. You seem to love them more than you love God, and on their behalf you reject everything His Son stood for. Your murderous rage is in stark contrast to the life and actions of the One who commanded people to love their enemies, and who said, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do,” of the people who were torturing and executing Him.

  82. Hill permalink
    November 5, 2008 2:03 pm

    Back for my monthly visit, once again to find some of the most appalling commentary on any “catholic” blog out there.

  83. radicalcatholicmom permalink
    November 5, 2008 2:41 pm

    Jacero. You are a guest on this post. If you took the time out to read, I am prolife for 19 of my 30 years. You are welcome over to my personal blog to read about what I do within the movement.

    But that may take effort, and intellect and humility.

  84. Pilgrim permalink
    November 5, 2008 5:11 pm

    RCM – if what you say is true, then your past life as a pro-lifer and your vote for Obama are total contradictions. What if you’ve worked to raise your kids in your faith, and there’s a candidate running for the presidency who wants to outlaw all religion and all teaching of it, and wants to persecute those who try to teach their own children. You would say you want to raise your kids the way you think best, but then you vote for that candidate. It doesn’t make sense. And it is not a good thing. And it is not justifiable.

  85. David Nickol permalink
    November 5, 2008 5:56 pm

    What if you’ve worked to raise your kids in your faith, and there’s a candidate running for the presidency who wants to outlaw all religion and all teaching of it, and wants to persecute those who try to teach their own children.

    Pilgrim,

    Suppose there were such a Candidate X, who wanted to outlaw all religion. Suppose his opponent, Candidate Y, is pro-choice. Clearly a Catholic would be obligated to vote for Candidate X, since freedom of religion is not a “life issue.” Or am I wrong?

  86. Holy Innocents pray for us permalink
    November 5, 2008 10:36 pm

    American Catholics really surprises me. They often chatised their bishops for being so silence against evil. In this election, it is unprecedented so many bishop had spoken, and yet they go against their bishops.

    RCM,

    “But that may take effort, and intellect and humility.”

    “It is hard to convey logically why I cannot vote for McCain….. feel a near panic attack coming on ”

    I don’t know about humility, but I really don’t get the part about being intellect .

  87. Pilgrim permalink
    November 6, 2008 8:47 am

    David – we could go on and on with attributing hypothetical stances to Candidates X and Y. My only purpose in that demonstration was to show the obvious contradiction in rcm’s actions.

  88. David Nickol permalink
    November 6, 2008 11:17 am

    My only purpose in that demonstration was to show the obvious contradiction in rcm’s actions.

    Pilgrim,

    And my purpose was to point out that the idea that one had to decide how to vote based solely on the issue of abortion, because it is a life issue, leads to all kinds of preposterous results if accepted in principle. There was no obvious contradiction in RCM’s position, and you have no right to sit in judgment of her for the way she voted.

  89. Pilgrim permalink
    November 6, 2008 12:33 pm

    That’s where you are wrong, David, because abortion, LIFE, is not “just one issue.” A good friend of mine puts it better than I can when he says:

    “When the government or a group of fellow citizens like Planned Parenthood or NOW decides that you belong to a class of people who don’t deserve to live, you will then realize the downfall of your way of thinking. Any society that willfully allows the detruction of it’s innocent unborn children is destined for destruction. You can call it “choice” or pluralism or whatever you want, it is legalized murder plain & simple.
    When your beliefs & opinions disregard the right of millions of people to live, you have no moral standing & in God’s eyes you have no right to those beliefs & opinions because they are false.(does the right to believe or opine outweigh the right to live?) You miss the fact that more people have been killed from abortion than from all the wars in the history of humanity.
    We’re not talking race, beliefs or religious affiliations here, we’re talking about a fundamental right to live.”

    So, I am not sitting in judgment of her soul – that is NOT my place. But I certainly can say that voting for Obama was a big mistake.

Trackbacks

  1. Why I Am NOT Voting For McCain Tomorrow | Pelican Project Pro-Life
  2. If You Should Disagree With Your Brother, Even 70 Times 70…. « The American Catholic: Politics and Culture from a Catholic perspective

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