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Angelo Matera | 11.14.08

Politics

After Obama: Why Catholics should open a ‘second front’ in the Democratic Party

I have a commentary in this week’s National Catholic Register entitled “What Now? Will New Voters Refashion the Democratic Party?” I argue that the election had a silver lining for Catholics: the same voters who turned out in large numbers for Obama—blacks and other minorities—voted strongly for California’s Proposition 8, the ballot initiative which amended the state constitution to ban gay marriage. (Gay marriage bans also passed in Arizona and Florida). I cite that example to make the case that it’s time for Catholics to appeal to disenfranchised socially conservative Democrats, and open up a political ‘second front’ on behalf of a consistent ethic of life in the Democratic Party. Read the article for the rest of the argument.

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(102) COMMENTS

By Dave AT 11.17.08 03:07PM Not Rated

Dave

I think that Communion and Liberation is doing an amazing job bridging the gab between faith and culture. Especially the Crossroads Cultural Center.


By GTN AT 11.17.08 10:20PM Not Rated

GTN

Well, I would certainly like to see socially conservative Democrats, but they are missing the other half of the coin. Economic conservatism is almost as important, and may even be viewed as just as important as the social issues if you realise economic ideology is a reflection of the spiritual state of a nation.

But I think Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin, and the up-and-coming generation of Republicans will appeal to the minorities and women anyways. Better one united front than two supposed allies fighting it out with eachother and the enemy.


By dsconi AT 11.19.08 01:15AM Not Rated

dsconi

How interesting.  At a time when many of our betters in the print and electronic media are blaming the Republican party’s recent election losses on the courting of culturally conservative and religious voters to the detriment of attracting a greater share of the “moderate middle”, comes an appeal for pro-lifers to switch sides and work to “convert” the Democratic party from within.  After all, it is argued,  the philosophy of the Democrats is more authentically Catholic (in a seamless garment sort of way, of course) despite the inconvenient fact that their party platform is unabashedly pro-abortion, pro-embryonic stem cell research, pro-euthanasia and pro-homosexual marriage.  Wrong on four out of the five non-negotiable life issues, by why quibble.  After all, the Democratic party is more serious about securing world peace, eradicating poverty, protecting the environment and going easy on terrorists and criminals—Catholic issues all!

It is a lofty goal, I suppose, but if the recent history of Democratic presidential candidates is any indication, the price of power and influence within the national party is the jettisoning of any and all traditional norms regarding sex, marriage and the family—along with a repudiation of all prior political stances favoring protection for the unborn, less-than-enthusiastic support of special privileges for homosexuals or defense of marriage.  Has any Democratic candidate for president in the last few decades not passed the litmus tests of unrestricted access to abortion and a solemn promise to appoint Supreme Court Justices sympathetic to Roe? 

I just don’t see this happening.  How can such a claim even be made when groups like Democrats for Life refuse to fight the party leadership over allowing even modest restrictions on abortion and, instead, soothe their consciences with the ridiculous notion of substantially reducing abortion through anti-poverty legislation?  Is the hope here that the Democrats for Life will begin to develop a spine with the influx of more dedicated pro-lifers?  That is, the kind of pro-lifers who speak out on the issue regardless of the cost, pray at abortion clinics, write their elected representatives, boycott companies and consistently vote against pro-choice politicians?  Will these folks join the party of Planned Parenthood, NARAL, NOW, the ACLU, People United for the Separation of Church and State, et al, with the “audacity of hope” to believe that they can effect “change” in the legal status of the unborn?  You’ve got to be kidding.

While President-elect Obama did win a majority among Catholic voters, his pro-life opponent won majority support among Catholics that actually attend mass.  Maybe the answer is to get more Catholics into the Democratic fold by discouraging them from attending mass or at least ignoring the clear and unambiguous teaching of the Church regarding a duty to vote against pro-abortion political candidates, not for them.  The sad reality is that the Democratic party has sold its soul to advocacy groups promoting an extreme sexual libertinism that is antithetical to Catholic teaching on human sexuality—and with it human dignity.  Look at the rapid assent and tremendous power of militant homosexuality over the last decade and tell me that those folks are going to tolerate faithful Catholics charting the future course of “their” party.  I’m afraid that the kind of Catholic Mr. Matera’s proposal is likely to draw into the Democratic party is already comfortably there.


By Debra Murphy AT 11.20.08 03:32PM Not Rated

Debra Murphy

It makes no sense to me, strategically, to abandon to the pro-aborts a party which a) has more registered voters than the Republicans, b) is on average in power about half the time, and c) is currently the only viable alternative to a party which, despite its admirable pro-life talk, has a) done little to decrease the number of abortions in this country, b) led us into a disastrous “pre-emptive” war condemned by the pope and rejected by the majority of Americans, c) attempted to legitimize torture, d) stood by (and arguably contributed to) an unprecedented Fleecing of America, and e) offered us as their Best and Brightest candidates who were either unqualified and polarizing (Palin) or (McCain) verbally trigger-happy and confused on human life issues. 

See the Democrats for Life page (http://www.democratsforlife.org/) for information on prolife inroads into the Democratic party. Especially for Catholics living in the overwhelmingly “blue” states (such as my own state of Oregon), these initiatives are very important.


By GTN AT 11.21.08 06:43PM Not Rated

GTN

What’s wrong with polarizing? God polarizes. Heaven/Hell, saved/unsaved, right/left- I mean wrong.


By dsconi AT 11.22.08 03:33AM Not Rated

dsconi

Why do I waste my time here?  If it wasn’t for the misleading “Catholic” designation in subtitle I wouldn’t feel obligated to check in on occasion and comment about the heterodoxy that tends to dominate Mr. Matera’s articles—and also in the comments of those who disagree with the opinions expressed in my posts.  As I often find myself asking the students in my confirmation class: “Are you forming your opinions on these matters according to the teaching of the Church, or the teaching of the secular world?”

I’ve been down this road a few times before, and in typical Godspy fashion, comments supported by incontrovertible facts, sound logical reasoning, and authentically-Catholic teaching either elicit a trite response that redirects without addressing my key arguments, or turn out to be “thread killers” that receive no response at all.
I’ll play along with Debra Murphy since she was kind enough not to ignore me completely—even if her comment completely ignored the substance of my post.  If I am not mistaken, I wasn’t the writer advocating that anyone abandon their current party.  I believe it was Mr. Matera who made such a proposal.  I simply pointed out that a significant movement of Republican-voting pro-lifers into the Democratic party would be as fruitless as it is unlikely.  Period.  Would anyone like to show me where I am mistaken in my thinking with respect to facts, logic, recent history or the Catechism?

I’ve addressed the supposed “failures” of the Republican party to decrease the number of abortions in previous posts—the thread killer kind of posts that get no response.  It amazes me that any thinking person can honestly claim “Republican failure” in this area when the root cause of such “failure” is Democratic opposition!

The full explanation requires a civics lesson and a history lesson that I don’t have the time to repeat in full.  Been there.  Done that.  No response.  As for the civics, suffice to say that the President doesn’t get do do whatever he wants, nor does a Congress—even under single-party control.  Now the history:  every single pro-life initiative of a Republican President or a Republican Congress in my adult lifetime has been impeded by the efforts of Democrats—and very often prominently Catholic Democrats, from heavily Catholic states!  From legislation to judicial appointments to policy matters, the Democrats fight tooth and nail to defeat any measure that places any restriction on abortion.

Ronald Reagan(R) nominates staunchly pro-life Robert Bork who is rejected in the Judiciary Committee under the leadership of Joe Biden(D)(C).  Instead we get Anthony Kennedy who decides against pro-life laws in Casey v. Planned Parenthood, Carhart v Gonzales and others.  Bill Clinton(D) twice vetoes legislation banning partial birth abortion.  Majority leader Tom Daschle(D)(C) keeps the same bill from a floor vote with George W. Bush (R) anxious to sign it into law.  Bush(R) appointees Roberts and Alito side with Reagan(R) appointees Scalia and Thomas in getting partial birth abortion ban upheld.  Lesser known Republican pro-life successes such as the Hyde Amendment and the Mexico City Policy, in place under Republican presidents, were rejected under Clinton(D) as will be the case with Obama(D).  And so, so much more.  We are talking human lives in the balance here, not just statistics.  Actual human lives saved due to Republican initiatives, actual human lives lost due to Democratic opposition. 

Can someone please tell me what the Democratic party has done FOR the cause of life and not AGAINST it over the past few decades?  And, please, can we do this without redefining “life” as a social justice issue—about which Catholics are free to disagree regarding the efficacy of various policy prescriptions?  Why can’t we just admit that the Democratic Party is brazenly pro-abortion and that pro-lifers within its ranks are wholly ineffective at defending unborn life in the political arena?  I would love to hear from a Democratic-voting pro-lifer who is actively involved with the Respect Life ministry at their church, who prayerfully provides witness at their local abortion clinic, who financially supports groups fighting abortion and who risks the ire of family, friends, neighbors and co-workers by boldly and uncompromisingly defending the unborn.  Does such an individual exist?  Actually, I think Jesus might have addressed that one:  “Can a man serve two masters?”


By chassup AT 11.22.08 10:43AM Not Rated

chassup

Prop 8 prevailed, not because the ads were reasonable, civilized and thoughtful, as the video illustrates and Angelo proposes, but because California voters are decidedly center-right on moral issues.  As a matter of fact, similar ballot initiatives in other states all prevailed as well because America is center-right.  The ads may have increased awareness of the proposition, but it won the day because Californians agree.

During the election, during all elections in the past two decades, many Catholics suggest that the Democratic candidates offer the best hope for a pro-life government because they are closer to the church’s teaching on social justice for the born.  The problem is that the argument is based on the false conventional wisdom that the modern liberal world view is pro-life, it is not. 

For example; The war on poverty has taken $3 trillion from taxpayers and the problems are worse.  The death and destruction left in the wake of liberal social engineering in the name of justice is anything but pro-life.  An entire generation of black children have been slaughtered as a result.  Inner city traditional families are a minority, failing schools, crime, violence and racial divide are all symptoms of policies based, not on God’s laws, but secular humanist ideology.  To argue that the Dems offer a home to Catholic voters yearning for leadership that will lead America toward the light is irrational.

The Democratic platform not only demands total access to abortion for any reason, and at any time—Obama advocates even in the fourth trimester it seems—they also advocate we continue down their failed path misnamed “social justice” by many Catholics.  The Democratic ethic must deny God as Catholics know Him to be rational.

I implore my fellow Catholics to think about this, government policies designed to remove personal responsibility as an integral part of the solution to the human condition are not just, are not compassionate, deny the natural law and are doomed to failure.  A pro-life ethic can not exist alongside such a world view, because it requires individual human liberty, it requires we hold one another accountable in mercy and justice, it requires we love one another authentically, not through a collective arrangement that relieves us of our individual responsibilities to relationship with our fellow man.

The Republican party has its warts, and is hardly 100% pro-life, but the party offers Catholic voters a seat at the table where our leadership can make a difference, because we don’t have to first change their foundational moral framework to be considered relevant.  In a word, we don’t have to define God to be understood.


By Vico AT 11.23.08 06:43PM Not Rated

Vico

Well at least I take some comfort from knowing my children are not in DSCONI’s Confirmation class.


By dsconi AT 11.23.08 11:48PM Not Rated

dsconi

In what sense, Vico?  Are you comforted to know that your children will not be learning what the Catholic Church actually teaches on issues of faith and morals?  Why bother to have your children confirmed in the Catholic faith if you prefer that their hearts and minds be conformed to the thinking of the world instead?  Should I not point out the obvious contradiction in holding beliefs that are diametrically opposed to the teaching the faith in which they are seeking to become confirmed?  Are you suggesting that I spend the class period criticizing and undermining the teaching of the Church instead of clearly explaining and vigorously defending it?  Wouldn’t you agree that a major problem in the Church today is nominal Catholics who do not know the fullness of the Catholic faith, let alone embrace it, practice it and joyously share it?  According to the archbishop of my diocese and also my pastor, the role of a catechist is to faithfully transmit the actual teaching of the Church.  I am not to teach my own opinions, nor, I suppose, those of Call to Action, Voice of the Faithful, Catholics for Choice or other dissident groups.  Of course, the kids in my class are free to reject the teaching authority of the Magisterium if they so desire, but at least they will be rejecting the true faith (or embracing it for that matter) and not some morally neutral, politically correct substitute. 

What does it mean to be a Roman Catholic if one rejects the teaching of the Magisterium of the Church in favor of a secular worldview?  If the Church is wrong about supposedly “minor” issues such as abortion, homosexuality, chastity, and a host of others, how can any of us be certain that the Church is right about the really big ones such as Divine Judgment, Heaven, Hell, and Salvation?  Or am I not supposed to bring these issues up in class either?

If you are a Catholic, I am genuinely confused by your comment.


By zorozero AT 11.24.08 06:59AM Not Rated

zorozero

From an Interview with Bishop Hermann on the Courage to Die for Life 11/22/2008

“I have great empathy and great compassion for people who are influenced by society and are taken in by the big lie that God does not exist. My job is to raise their awareness to, yes He does (exist), and it does make a difference what you believe. It makes a big difference in what you do.

In addition to this premise that God does not exist, we also have to be aware that our warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and the powers and the spirits of this world of darkness, as Paul tells us in Ephesians.

Therefore, behind Planned Parenthood, behind the abortion issue, is the evil one. I often see human beings caught up in this as victims of the evil one who need my prayers and who need my compassion and who need my love. We don’t only want to save our children from destruction; we also want to save our adult brothers and sisters from eternal destruction.”

The bishop also points out we have aborted fifty times the number of Americans who have died defending our freedom since the Revolutionary War.

I teach a Confirmation class as well.  My agreement is to teach what the Church teaches. I think that the Church teaches we need to love God and love our neighbors…all of them, beginning with those newly conceived.


By Vico AT 11.24.08 10:36AM Not Rated

Vico

Disconi I do not want my children to get an impression that God is a giant syllogism in the sky. I also don’t want them to confuse rules with principles. Tradition Disconi, is the living faith of the dead, a continuing argumentive conversation; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.
  As for dissenters, how about Francis and the Incarnation? Newman and the development of doctrine?
  Not once in your description do you mention the fundamental pedagogical function of the Liturgy. That is sad but revealing.


By dsconi AT 11.25.08 12:07AM Not Rated

dsconi

Vico, how did we get to this point in the conversation?  And how, I wonder, can you possibly presume to infer that I am a “Traditionalist” practicing a “dead faith”?  How do we go from my respectful critique of Mr. Matera’s contentions that pro-lifers would do well to join the ranks of the Democrats to your false and baseless attacks on my sincere efforts to declare and defend the Catholic faith?  How does questioning Catholic teens about the influence of secular sources in informing their consciences set me up for criticism of this nature?  I cannot even begin to imagine what could possibly be so “sad but revealing” about my failure to mention “the fundamental pedagogical function of the Liturgy”—in a series of comments addressing the stranglehold that abortion has on the Democratic Party!  This is absolutely absurd. 

Syllogism, smyllogism.  Once again, not a single substantive criticism of my comments regarding the intersection of abortion, politics and the Catholic faith.  Shift the focus to attacking the messenger, and perhaps we can all ignore the message.  Where am I, Daily Kos?


By chassup AT 11.25.08 11:11AM Not Rated

chassup

Hey DSCONI, if it makes you feel any better, I’ve been called a Pharisee, a neocon, I’ve been compared to a Nazi, I’ve been accused of incivility and lacking enough intelligence to understand nuanced arguments.  The way I see it, I’m not saying anything of value unless political liberals are calling me names, that’s what they do when the facts are against them.

Your argument against getting into bed with the Democrats is correct and articulate. 

BTW, I taught 8th grade CCD for 4 years—I rarely used the milk-toast text, instead relying on the catechism, the bible, and my old Baltimore catechism to prepare my students for Confirmation.  We had class in the church often—in adoration, I didn’t speak, they listened, something many never did before.  Homework was prayer with family members, many parents were grateful, many were outraged, all the students liked it.  I included heavy doses of morality as taught by Holy Mother Church contrasting our modern culture, even when it conflicted with popular opinion or their own home situations.  They love it when you tell them the truth, it gives them self confidence, it proves Catholicism is something real, instead of a surface identity.

Keep telling the truth, I sense you are no coward.  Remember your own Confirmation, the Bishop told me one day God would require my service as a soldier for Him.  We are in the midst of a great spiritual battle that has overtly spilled onto our political scene, no longer hidden in the dark.  We must continue to speak truth to earthly power, and endure baseless attacks, and more.

For those who think their is common ground in the Democratic party for the culture of life, remember that their candidate is the most ardent supporter of abortion to ever run for the office.  Remember also that he skips church on Sundays to instead go to the gym.  A man goes to church to worship God, he goes to the gym to worship himself.


By Harold Fickett AT 11.25.08 11:17AM Not Rated

Harold Fickett

DISCONI, I think we can (and should) stipulate to the realities you cite in your original post.  The last couple of years, as I’ve been writing for GODSPY, I’ve been frank about the godless philosophical model regnant in the Democratic Party and the impossibility of voting for Obama because of his pro-abortion stance.

At the same time, wouldn’t it be wonderful if both parties were pro-life?  Then we could talk about what government should do, what it does well, what it cannot by its nature do well, how alliances between the public and private sectors might be formed or strengthened, and the twin but competing imperatives of individual liberty versus the collective good. We could actually have a discussion about other fundamental issues in governance.  As it is now, Catholics, as you argue well, are obliged because of the non-negotiables to support Republican candidates.  But there’s a strain of libertarianism in the Republican party that doesn’t care about the social issues or indeed much at all about the common good. I’ve been voting for a new Supreme Court since Reagan.  While I’ve gotten Roberts and his kin, I’ve also gotten Souter, Kennedy and Stevens. 

Plainly, Obama will appoint judges that will enshrine abortion rights and further diminish the sanctity of life for the next generation. Since that’s the reality, we need to reach out to as many people as possible—we need to do even more to engage people culturally.  There are more Nat Hentoffs out there, or could be—or at least we should investigate the possibility.  I don’t dispute your facts, though; nor can the forbidding realities you bring forward be gainsaid.


By jmedaille AT 11.25.08 11:01PM Not Rated

jmedaille

The abortion issue has been the devil’s greatest triumph: on the one hand, he gets one group of people to support a philosophy of the slaughter of the innocents, and on the other, he uses it as wedge to get people to vote for war, economic oppression, torture, debt, and a host of other evils. Either way, the devil wins; he has bets on both sides and collects on both ends.

The problem with the anti-abortion movement is that it never really articulated a pro-life agenda. My own take on what that would look like can be found at http://distributism.blogspot.com/2008/09/pro-life-or-just-anti-abortion.html

And there is a pro-life segment of the Democratic Party, the Democrats for Life. See http://distributism.blogspot.com/2008/11/democrats-for-life-and-9510-plan.html


By dsconi AT 11.26.08 12:09AM Not Rated

dsconi

Thank you Chassup for your support and encouragement.  Thank you Mr. Fickett for addressing the substance of my arguments and affirming thier validity.

Over the long term, the major political parties have undergone dramatic change as old alliances have been severed and new have been formed, as old constituencies have been snubbed and new ones embraced.  Of course it is perfectly reasonable to believe that today’s Democratic party may one day become a genuine party of life embracing the full spectrum of Catholic social teaching with respect to human dignity and the promotion of peace, justice and the common good.  I just cannot fathom how the Democratic party can possibly get to there from here in the foreseeable future.  The trend lines are headed in the opposite direction with regard to the sanctity of all human life half of the equation, and this downward slope is getting steeper by the election cycle.

Can I be so bold as to suggest that perhaps Mr. Matera actually has it backwards in his article?  To my mind it would be far easier to present a reasoned argument for the efficacy of increasing, strengthening and expanding the scope of the existing pro-life front within the Republican party as the means to realizing the dream of a social order founded upon principles shared by Catholics of varied political leanings.  If the conventional wisdom surrounding the Republican’s recent election losses is to be believed, a widening fissure between the social conservative and libertarian wings of the party is largely to blame.  I don’t necessarily subscribe to this analysis, but you’ve got to admit that there’s not much questioning of the strength of the coalition the Democrats have cobbled together.  Any chance the Democrats are looking for a change within their own ranks?  Not on your life.  Which party would appear to be more ripe for change?  Perhaps even change we can believe in?  How about an internal effort to steer the Republican party away from all that its Godspy critics detest?

Is there any political position or philosophy proportionately repulsive to abortion that keeps social justice, seamless garment-type Catholics from even considering a place under the Republican tent?  Anything more repulsive to them than the current practice of joining hands and hearts with groups and individuals aggressively promoting abortion, euthanasia, the gay agenda, secularism, relativism, radical personal autonomy and a public square devoid of any and all expression of religious faith?

Ideally, we would have a multitude of viable political parties and all would have an effective pro-life presence, so that there would always be pro-life representation at all times and in all places regardless of the inevitable shifts in the balance of power.  Right now, however, the Democratic and the Republican parties are the only major players, and the game is essentially winner take all.  The oft-mentioned socially conservative candidates fielded by the Democrats lately are a perfect case in point.  These candidates increase the party’s majority in Congress and its ability to shape policy, but without having their pro-life or pro-family positions get in the way of Democratic legislation antithetical to such.  Barring a 180 degree turn, adding more pro-life members to the Democratic fold will only serve to engender more aggressive pro-abortion legislation and more overtly pro-abortion justices.  How long should we patiently wait for this turn-around to occur, and how many precious lives will be exterminated in the interim?

I cold really use some convincing here.  Perhaps Mr. Matera could chime in if he is not too busy penning his next piece?  Anyone?  Anyone?


By jmedaille AT 11.26.08 12:26PM Not Rated

jmedaille

The problem is that after 35 years, the anti-abortion movement has become a rump group even in the Republican Party. According to a Fox News poll, only 9% of Republicans named it as an important issue.

I believe that the problem is that it is NOT a pro-life movement, but an anti-abortion movement based on a Lockean “right” to life. The anti-abortion movement, despite making the claim, was never able to place the argument in a pro-life context. In any case, it is clear that whatever we have done has not worked. Angelo may be wrong, but he can’t be any more wrong than the movement has been up until now. Time for some new thinking, if we are really serious about this.


By Harold Fickett AT 11.26.08 12:44PM Not Rated

Harold Fickett

DSCONI, What you say about the Republican Party is true enough as well. Boehner & Company seem to have drawn the conclusion from the election that the Republicans should stick to being a party of national defense and low taxes and forget about the social issues—since “the suburbs” are now irretrievably pro-choice. 

What this says to me is that the next two decades must be all about transforming the imagination of the culture—on all fronts. We have to first reconvince the Catholic and evangelical laity that revelation provides us with information that transcends the historical-cultural moment and therefore serves as a reliable basis for moral choices.  Presently, people, particularly young people, are in thrall to a live-and-let-live tolerance that’s highly intolerant of moral distinctions. Angelo pointed out that the reasonableness of the Proposition 8 ads is the way to go in countering such.  We cannot be coopted by secular thinking; nor can we let the secular world stereotype us as know-nothings and nags.  The hatred that the cultural left harbors for Christians is truly stunning, as reflected in online posts everywhere.  Most Christains are intimidated by this.  We cannot be.  That’s why forums like GodSpy are absolutely essential.  We have to be in the marketplace of ideas in new and suprising ways.  That means running a publication where a variety of viewpoints can be presented—something religious journalism has been distinctly bad at, as almost every Christian publicaion devolves into a thoroughly predictable house organ.  GodSpy is not Commonweal nor is it The National Catholic Register.  It may become, God willing, something truly new in religious journalism—faithful, smart, and unpredictable. A place to agree on the essentials, debate everything else, and grapple with new developments in cultural as best we can on Catholic terms.


By chassup AT 11.26.08 01:50PM Not Rated

chassup

HAROLD FICKETT, Boehner & Company’s conclusions from the election are wrong, we have a lot less “transforming the imagination of the culture” to do than you think.  As a matter of fact,  DSCONI’s proposal to work from inside the GOP is the smart move.  The GOP ran the wrong guy, he wasn’t conservative enough.

I am involved in a long term project that tracks American values—Americans continue to be decidedly center-right, including on social issues.

Our new poll numbers—which have yet to be made public—show that 49% of Americans oppose Obama signing the Freedom of Choice Act (while 39% support; 12% no opinion)  Also, 54% of small city voters, 51% of suburban voters, and 52% of rural voters said they also oppose Obama signing FOCA.
58% of Americans also said they’d support a constitutional amendment allowing states to enact anti-abortion laws if the Congress removes restrictions on abortions.  (58% of suburban voters, 62% of rural voters and 55% of large city voters also feel the same way)

What we need are truly conservative candidates who aren’t ashamed of their faith in God.


By Harold Fickett AT 11.26.08 02:32PM Not Rated

Harold Fickett

CHASSUP—Good news is always good news.  I hope your organization will help correct Boehner & Company’s erroneous conclusions. 

At the same time, I do think the Republicans need to start thinking harder about individual liberty versus the collective good.  I liked Tim Pawlenty’s speech at the Republican convention, but noticed it left the delegates unmoved.  Not enough “red meat.”  But he’s a true pro-life advocate, from what I know, and he was trying to think about what globalization means and how to re-think governance in our world.  “Compassionate conservatism” has been so regularly ridiculed that no one wants to be tied to the nomenclature, but in fact the public-private partnerships that were formed under President Bush did some fine work.  As you’ve pointed out in other posts, because government must pursue “one size fits all” policies, it can never be adept in treating social ills.  That’s not to say that they don’t need to be treated or that the nation as a whole doesn’t have a responsibility to apply government where only government can suffice.  Health care is a case in point.  No one wants to turn the health industry into the post office—what a nightmare!  At the same time, government already intervenes in a myriad of way from licensing doctors to practice to giving huge tax benefits to large businesses to supply care that self-employed scribes like me do not enjoy.  Government can do much just by being a truly fair arbiter and by over-riding naked greed and the tendency of capital to drive out competition.  Well, this is a long discussion, but what I want to say is that the Catholic case for the sanctity of life and social justice must be presented to all parties, and we should be thinking through the application of universal principles in today’s world. 

Although you get whacked a lot Chassup, and I may not be quite as conservative as you, I always appreciate your posts, and they are an important aspect of the discussion here.


By jmedaille AT 11.26.08 04:39PM Not Rated

jmedaille

I rather doubt that 49% of Americans oppose FOCA for the simple reason that I suspect no more than 10% or less have ever heard of it. It is more likely that 49% would oppose at least some of what it contains, which is a different statement.

84% are willing to accept limitations on abortion of one sort or another. The repeal of abortions is not a realistic near-term goal; the limitation of it is, and on that we should concentrate. In the political order, you usually get what you can, not what you want.

But more than that, we have passed up the chance to revitalize Catholic politics by uniting the anti-abortion movement with other issues inherent in Catholic Social Teaching. In fact, the movement has moved in the opposite direction, being Catholic on the one issue and anti-Catholic on all the others. Such schizophrenic movements usually fail.

And we have failed.


By Joe Schriner AT 11.26.08 07:24PM Not Rated

Joe Schriner

We shouldn’t work to “limit” the killing of innocent babies.  We should work to “end” it.  However, the real work of ending it simply scares us all…  Pro-life people need to take to the streets en masse day in an day out.  They need to protest, not just in front of abortion clinics, but in front of their: neighbors.  They need to create the same kind of social unrest that those in the South created to finally end the practice of Segregation.  A corollary…

I give talks in Catholic Churches all over the country where I take people back to Nazi Germany during World War II.  On Sunday mornings trains would slowly come down the tracks toward Concentration Camps, as parents screamed and pleaded for their childrens’ lives.  The response in the Christian Churches close to the tracks?  They’d turn the organ music up and sing louder. 

We, as Christians, get aghast.

It’s the year 2008 in America.  And every day on a metaphoric track in a metaphoric train—some 4,000 unborn babies go to their deaths.  And we, just as metaphorically, ‘sing louder.’  We busy ourselves with entertainment, with superfluous extra-curricular activity, with working more to have more… while these babies go to their deaths every day.  We’re now approaching 50 million since 1973—and there have been Democrat administrations and Republican administrations.

To protest in Nazi Germany would have meant death.  To protest in America?

The sin of omission?  In spades! 

Ps… If you’re looking for a presidential candidate to vote for in Campaign 2012, one who has based his entire platform on Catholic Social Teaching (http://www.voteforjoe.com)—then that candidate would be: me.  What’s more, the time to tangibly get behind the campaign is now—so it will be viable in 2012.  Or, well, you can just continue to go through the same ‘lesser of two evils’ lamenting next election as well.


By dsconi AT 11.27.08 12:47AM Not Rated

dsconi

Last year I learned first hand exactly why the Holocaust happened:  because of people like me.  The day a Holocaust survivor addressed the faculty and staff at my public school about her experiences surviving two of the more infamous death camps, she implored us “Don’t be silent!”.  Her description of scraping human flesh off of the bricks of just-felled crematorium chimneys at the news of Russia’s advance was as chilling and sobering as anything I have ever read or heard, and it continues to haunt me.

I was inspired by her story, and took up her charge to no longer remain silent in the face of such grave evil.  I shared the words and images of her moving witness with each of my classes that day and clearly, concisely and convincingly connected them to the ongoing holocaust in our midst—the legally sanctioned slaughter of the unborn.  Even those students consistently up for a fight over controversial topics were reduced to dropped jaws and wide-eyed silence.

The parallels are too obvious to miss—the current pro-abortion/pro-choice rationalizations and euphemisms could have been spoken by Joseph Goebbels himself.  These precious children of God are, it is argued today, inferior lives that are unworthy of life, not quite human, and lacking legal standing.  Their deaths are the necessary and final solution to a perceived societal problem.

Anyone care to guess the result?  Hostile parents, teachers, and administrators seeking my job and the end of my career in public education.  You see, the survivor was brought in for the express purpose of increasing our sensitivity and enlisting our support for the district’s latest PC initiative to combat the serious social problems of bullying and intolerance!  The intentional destruction of unborn children on the other hand is not a problem worthy of discussion, debate or mere mention.  After all, it is a legally-protected right and one of the few words that dare not be spoken in school, “Jesus” being another.

I was completely unrepentant.  I stood my ground, I challenged my principal and my more vocal detractors to consider my arguments and find fault with my reasoning.  (Just like I do here on Godspy, and with the similar results to boot!)  No substantive criticism, no reasoned counter-arguments, just indifference, distractions, distortions and insults.  No interest in pursuing a meaningful dialogue among any of the incensed adults, and no interest in providing the students with an appropriate forum to address the debate. 

Ultimately, I told my principal that I was prepared to pay whatever consequences may come for the incident at hand and agreed not to mention the “A word” again—with the full awareness that I was going to have to be a good little Nazi if I wished to retain the privilege of holding the second most important job in America—right after “parenting”.  On a scale of 1 to 10, the disciplinary action was about a 3, with “Start looking for a new career” at number 7 and “Don’t drop the soap” at number 10.  My teaching career has survived many a “level 3” and I’ve got plenty more of those still to earn prior to retirement or death.  Ten-inch high letters on the back wall that I face as I address my students boldly spell out the message inspired my Mrs. Friedman:  “I WILL NOT BE SILENT”—with a big red “X” striking out the “NOT”, of course.  It serves as a constant reminder that a less overt witness is required if I am to bear witness at all.  It is also quite a conversation starter with many who enter!


By dsconi AT 11.27.08 12:54AM Not Rated

dsconi

An interesting addendum to the story shared in my previous comment (and excised for length) was a visit by a second Holocaust survivor scarcely two weeks later.  His presentation was scheduled for the students on my team and it sorely lacked the visceral emotion of his predecessor as he dispassionately told his story with a central theme of incessant hunger, a preoccupation with securing food for himself by whatever means necessary, and a reduction of his familial relationships to mere sources of an extra morsel of food without the slightest care or concern for their own plight.  I brook no criticism of the hard choices made as a young boy in a concentration camp, but it was an interesting perspective to share with egocentric early adolescents already sufficiently preoccupied with their own self-gratification and indifferent to others.  I spoke privately with this gentleman at the conclusion of his talk in order to solicit his view of the validity of the parallels between his own brutal treatment at the hands of the Nazis and the current fate befalling the unborn.  He readily agreed that the legal status and treatment of the unborn today is not at all unlike that of the Jews (and all Poles for that matter) under Hitler.  The language used then and how was, to him, eerily similar.  I walked away in stunned disbelief, however, as he opined:  “Sure, it’s happening, but it really doesn’t affect me.  And besides, what can anyone do, its the law?”  Ah, a fellow “good Nazi” just like me, but one who feels no compulsion to utilize his experiences and platform to spare others a similar fate.  To his credit, he did take a strong stand against bullying.


By rightdemocrat AT 11.27.08 04:18PM Not Rated

rightdemocrat

I have long argued for social traditionalists becoming more involved within the Democratic Party. The pro-life, pro-family movement faces a dismal future if we continue to depend on an aging and largely rural white Republican base.

As you point out in the National Catholic Register column, the growth markets for social conservatism are the African American and Hispanic communities. It makes far more sense to mobilize African American and Hispanic voters into a force to bring traditional values back into the Democratic Party instead of continuing a futile effort of trying to realign minority voters into the GOP.

We also need to attract young voters to the cause of life and traditional values. Aligning ourselves so strongly with the Republican Party isn’t helping us to influence young people. We need to fashion a progressivism that respects life and traditional family values to build a new coalition around minorities and youth.


By jmedaille AT 11.28.08 01:46PM Not Rated

jmedaille

It’s all very well to call for “mass protests,” but there is no longer a “mass” upon which to build these protests. Even in the Republican Party, only 9% consider this an important issue, and 50% of nominal Catholics consider themselves “pro-choice.” And as much as I’d like to vote for you, Joe, I don’t think a third-party candidacy is a practical alternative.

We are required to search for real solutions; we are required to serve God and neighbor in the actual circumstances in which we find ourselves. We know that tying our movement to the Republican Party has made us weaker, not stronger. Angelo’s suggestion must be taken seriously, and the RightDemocrat’s observation that our biggest opportunities lie with the hispanic and black (and Asian, I might add) communities. Further, from the totality of CST, we have more to offer these communities then the Republican party does, and we have more practical solutions for them then does the Democratic party. We have a lot to give, we just need to be better at finding a way to give it.


By Joe Schriner AT 11.28.08 11:33PM Not Rated

Joe Schriner

Then God told the Isrealite Army to walk around the walls of Jericho seven times and shout…  But the Isrealites said:  “I’m sorry God, but we’re required to search for ‘real’ solutions…”  Then David looked up at Goliath, thought again, and said:  “I’m sorry God, but I’m required to search for ‘real’ solutions…”  I’m sorry, but the Bible is filled with ‘against all odds’ stories being carried out by a few brave souls—who trusted God for a miracle.  By the way, I’m not asking people to vote for me right now—I’m asking them to tangibly help the campaign now (http://www.voteforjoe.com) so it becomes viable in 2012.  We’re counting on kind of a ‘loaves and fishes’ thing…  And the apostles said to Jesus:  “What do you mean feed five thousand people with a couple loaves and fishes?  We’re required to search for ‘real’ solutions…”


By dsconi AT 11.29.08 01:25AM Not Rated

dsconi

Any interest in the facts?  Again, I ask, what has the Democratic party done to support the rights of the unborn in the last 20 years?  What has the Democratic party NOT done to OPPOSE Republican pro-life efforts during that same time?  How is today’s Democratic party possibly the preferred party from which to create a genuinely pro-life culture?  It takes more than Obamanesque “hope” to conceive of the Democratic party becoming a pro-life party at any time in the next 20 years.  Can someone please suggest a realistic mechanism by which this may occur?  A scenario by which the influence of the abortion lobby wanes?  Why such a desperate attempt to repackage this party of death? 

Wake up!  The body count of innocents in on the increase courtesy of the Democrats!  Could we please stop blaming the Republican party when it is the Democrats who have repeatedly frustrated every effort to enact pro-life legislation or appoint pro-life judges?  Can anyone produce historical facts to the contrary?

As for the trends among newly registered voters, I’m not quite ready to hop aboard the bandwagon.  It is presumptuous to assume that these folks are now lifelong Democrats and that our only hope lies in infiltrating the party and changing it from within.  What is keeping these folks out of the Republican party?  What detestable constituencies within the GOP are any more influential or firmly entrenched than are the forces of death within the Democratic party?  Blacks and Hispanics may be more socially conservative than the party leadership, the major donors, and the most influential constituencies, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that social concerns take a back seat and they vote Democratic out of economic self-interest.  How many Democratic-voting Catholics do the same or similar, putting second-tier issues above the non-negotiable life issues.  How could anyone in their right mind suggest that a strong, unified, influential pro-life voice will be awakened among those who have already chosen other issues above defending innocent life?

I remain firmly unconvinced.  Authentic pro-lifers (the kind that vote pro-life) joining the ranks of the Democrats will only insure that ending, restricting or otherwise reducing abortion becomes even less of an issue in the elections to come.  Here’s an idea:  Why don’t we gauge the prospect of success for Mr. Matera’s suggestion by consulting the current Democratic base?  Does ROTFL or LMAO mean anything to the rest of you?


By rightdemocrat AT 11.29.08 04:08PM Not Rated

rightdemocrat

I would sugguest to DSCONI that the body count of innocents will continue to rise as long as the pro-life movement embraces the failed strategy of working solely within the GOP.

Black and Hispanic voters who are socially conservative may well put a greater emphasis on economic issues. The title of this post suggests that pro-lifers should open a second front. Let’s suppose that the pro-life movement put some of its energy and resources into organizing the latent pro-life sentiment already existing in the African American and Latino communities. Once an organizational base is established, pro-candidates could be recruited to run in the Democratic primary within African American and Hispanic districts. Such districts are areas where no Republican candidate is likely to be competitive anyway. Would electing more pro-life candidates to public office harm the cause of life ? I think not and it would certainly put more pressure on both parties to respond to our concerns.

Changing the direction of a political party is not an easy task but it has happened before. The original advocates of legalized abortion were mostly Republicans like Nelson Rockefeller. The Democratic Party organization became heavily pro-abortion rights in part because pro-lifers abandoned their efforts within the party.

I am old enough to remember a far less partisan (and even political) pro-life movement and it was effective in greatly expanding public concern for the cause of life. The early pro-life movement was more personal than political. It was more educating the public about life issues than about legislating and politics. The early pro-lifers recognized that most politicians would follow public opinion on a highly emotional issue like abortion. Unfortunately, the movement got caught up with partisan politics and lost much credibility.

President Jimmy Carter is never given any credit by the pro-life leadership but he signed the Hyde Amendment (banning federal funding of abortion) into law which was passed by a Democratic-controlled Congress in 1977. Of course, Carter should have done even more for the cause of life and pro-lifers were disappointed. From the 1980 election forward, pro-life activists have worked almost exclusively within the Republican Party.

The reality is that we need Christians and pro-life activists working within both parties. It doesn’t help the pro-life movement to be associated with only one political party. Many young people look at the pro-life movement and think what a bunch of hypocrites. Many of the favorite “pro-life” Republican politicians vote against health care programs for children. Opening a second front within the Democratic Party would expand pro-life influence.


By dsconi AT 11.30.08 12:52AM Not Rated

dsconi

Carter’s signing of the Hyde Amendment was 30 years ago as RIGHTDEMOCRAT indicates.  Like I said, NOTHING pro-life from the Democrats in the last 20 years.  What has Mr. Matera’s supposed pro-life majority within the Democratic ranks been doing on behalf of the unborn all of this time?  Absolutely N-O-T-H-I-N-G!  Where were their individual or collective voices this time around?  S-I-L-E-N-T within their party ranks, but loud and clear when directed against those pro-lifers who refuse to lend support to a candidate and a party committed to expanding access to abortion on demand.

Yes, yes, of course it makes sense to have a strong and influential pro-life presence in every political party and I acknowledged as much in an earlier post.  But why hasn’t such a presence existed in the Democratic party for the past several election cycles?  Can anyone name a single successful initiative of the nicely-named but woefully ineffective “Democrats for Life”?  If self-professed “pro-life Democrats” are so committed to the cause of the unborn, why are they continually fighting AGAINST Republican-voting pro-lifers by rationalizing their presence in a pro-death party and minimizing the preeminence of ending abortion by championing second-tier issues like poverty and health care instead? 

As I have stated repeatedly, Democrats in the Oval Office and the Congress have defeated pro-life legislation and blocked the confirmation of pro-life judges while passing pro-abortion legislation and confirming pro-abortion judges.  Who is complicit in voting these pro-abortion politicians into office?  Why the same “pro-life Democrats” who claim that a single-party strategy isn’t working, of course!  Blind guides leading the blind?  Brood of vipers?  Useful idiots?  I know it isn’t very nice to say such things, but aren’t these descriptions accurate?  Of course the single-party strategy isn’t working, but it is precisely because “pro-life Democrats” are working AGAINST the cause of life instead of for it.  Why is this so difficult to understand and acknowledge?  Would it be inappropriate to suggest the analogy of a “pro-Polish” German citizen passively disturbed the systematic slaughter of the Poles but actively supportive of the Nazi’s “other policy goals” in the sincere but mistaken belief that conquering the country would provide a better life for those fortunate enough to survive and eventually make such killing less of a necessity?

I think RIGHTDEMOCRAT has the cart before the horse regarding the politicization of the abortion battle and the necessity of dedicated pro-lifers voting Republican. Would the fight against abortion have become so partisan had the Democratic party not wholly embraced the “dark side” on the issue?  Would the battle be reduced to which presidential candidate is committed to nominating pro-life justices to the SCOTUS if not for Catholic Democrat Mr. Biden’s foray into considering judicial “temperament” above qualifications beginning with the confirmation hearings of Judge Robert Bork?

Democrats for Life is often favorably mentioned in these articles and comments. I think their efforts this election season are particularly instructive as to why they have been such an abject failure and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.  They quietly accepted the most pro-abortion platform in history—one committed to destroying every legal restriction on abortion—then held a scarcely-noticed press conference off-site of the convention to express their confidence that abortions would be more significantly reduced by increased social spending.  The logic used is as repugnant as it is stunningly ignorant.


By jmedaille AT 11.30.08 10:03PM Not Rated

jmedaille

DSCONI, I don’t quite understand why you complain about the failures of the Democrats for Life of America (DFLA), which has had no support from the “official” anti-abortion movement, yet are so tolerant of the repeated failures of the Republican Party, which has enjoyed 40 years of that support. DFLA is new, and we ought to do our utmost to encourage it.

I know this: insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We cannot continue the insanity and expect to actually save any infants or change the culture of death. Pro-life forces have a natural base within the Democratic party, one which has not been exploited by either the so-called Pro-life movement or the Catholic Church. There may have been some valid tactical reasons for that in the past, but since that whole strategy has failed, it is time for a change. We need to reach out to the Hispanic, black, and pro-life white voters, voters who are, by and large, feed up with the Republican Party.

I know I am.


By rightdemocrat AT 11.30.08 10:21PM Not Rated

rightdemocrat

Yeah, just keep voting a straight Republican ticket and eventually a culture of life will be restored. Unfortunately, many of us have done so and it hasn’t worked as pro-lifers are taken for granted by the GOP. We get pro-life rhetoric at election time while Republicans concentrate on tax cuts for the rich once in office. The pro-life movement has become a virtual division of a party promoting needless war and unconcerned about the poor. Many young people view being pro-life is a joke because the GOP is so anti-life in just about every area except abortion.

Sure, Carter signing the Hyde Amendment was 31 years ago to be exact but the pro-life movement gave up on the Democratic Party 3 years later in 1980. The pro-life movement has put all of its eggs in one basket with almost nothing to show in the way of results.

Little effort has been made to mobilize the African American and Hispanic communities into active participation in the pro-life struggle. These constituencies vote Democratic and tend to live in Democratic-controlled districts. It would make sense for pro-lifers to open a second front in the Democratic Party concentrating on electing pro-life candidates from these minority-dominated districts.

Social and economic supports can most certainly influence the abortion rate. Many women decide to have abortions for financial reasons. Improving the safety net is likely to result in fewer abortions. http://www.catholicsinalliance.org/files/CACG_Final.pdf

Rather than criticizing Democrats for Life, DSCONI should be praising this outstanding organization for their efforts to broaden the pro-movement’s base.


By Harold Fickett AT 11.30.08 10:42PM Not Rated

Harold Fickett

JMEDAILLE, I visited your website and found your posts/articles well-informed and helpful.  I’d encourage all who have joined this discussion to do the same.  Your current post on the proper function of govenment is a fine presentation of first principles from a Catholic perspective.  Those principles need to be stated and restated here constantly and then their implications vis-a-vis current conditions discussed. That’s a primary ambition of GodSpy.

You rightly state that parents are primarily responsible for the education of their children and favor a pluralistic framework with public and private schools, as well as home schooling. 

But how do we, simultaneously, produce a society that shares enough of a common value system to maintain solidarity while its diverse educational institutions inculcate values more and more at odds with one another? 

We can say what we like about DISCONI’s rights of free speech and free religious expression as a public school teacher, but his silencing is an unhappy sign of the times. 

Worldviews compete and the ascendancy of secularism in the public square and the public schools has meant that we are becoming a nation with deep ideological divides. 

Advocating a thoroughly pro-life agenda, as you suggest, is one recourse, but what happens when, as in recent cases in California, the secularist majority takes steps to eradicate home schooling?  We can only appeal to the Constitution as long as the Constitution has interpreters more faithful than California’s 2nd District Court of Appeals. 

No doubt the answer for the present lies in an even more vigorous advocacy, but at the same time I understand DSCONI’s frustration, and fear that we are closer than we know to things utterly falling apart.

Again, I’d urge those who haven’t done so to follow the link JMEDAILLE provided in his first post to his website.


By jmedaille AT 12.01.08 10:23AM Not Rated

jmedaille

Harold, thank you for your kind comments.

Homeschooling depends on having somebody at home to do the schooling, which depends on a Catholic and Marian feminism which frees women from the job market to be mothers, which depends on a just wage, which depends on a better distribution of economic power, etc. In other words, these things are all of a piece and not severable. This is similar to the “seamless garment” argument, but that historically had the wrong elements. We just need to re-write it.

We haven’t made the case because our case was self-contradictory. We often supported the anti-family and anti-life policies of neoclassical and Austrian economics side-by-side with an anti-abortion campaign. That such a self-contradictory policy attracted few supporters is hardly surprising.

But in fact, we have more to offer the public than any other view. We transcend the “left-right,” “liberal-conservative” dichotomy with a moral and economic realism based on the Social Teachings. And despite it being Catholic, it is also catholic, that is, universal, and having real appeal across the political spectrum. In other words, to be more effective, we need to be more Catholic, and not just on the abortion or marriage issues.

The current economic disorder actually represents an opportunity for us. Will we take it? I don’t know. I do know that what we have done up until now doesn’t work.


By chassup AT 12.01.08 02:44PM Not Rated

chassup

I’ve read recent posts here with great frustration.  I believe several false conventional wisdoms are at the root of a lot of useless arguments on this topic.

#1 Culture of Life movement has opportunity to influence the DNC—False, to be nominated in that party you must pass the pro-death litmus test, after all, the party platform clearly promotes the culture of death, not just on the abortion issue, but on “social justice issues” as well.  The only “pro-life” candidates in the DNC are “allowed” as a way to displace GOP pro-lifers where true Dem policy can’t win at the polls.  The litmus test also includes collectivist solutions to the human condition, which do not work because they reject the dignity of human persons.  This is a philosophical distinction that can not be overcome unless the Dems adopt an entirely different world view.  The culture of Life requires an acceptance of God as we know Him, they reject such a notion in order to defend abortion, and this infuses all their policies—including fiscal and social.

#2 DNC is “better on social justice issues” making them pro-life. (conversely, GOP worse on social justice issues.)—False, the liberal progressive social policies are in fact often anti-human, are consistent with secular humanist philosophies and in the end often enslave individuals in grinding poverty, violence and continued failure.  Catholic social justice does not prescribe socialism.

#3 GOP has done nothing to end abortion—False, GOP candidates have won many victories against abortion, with little or no help from Democrat candidates.  There has been a 25% drop in abortions since 1992, data suggest that state regulations on abortion have produced the drop, not welfare programs or sex-ed.  Abortion is understood by a majority of voters in both parties to be the taking of human life, this is up in the last 20 years, changed hearts and minds. Legislative fences have been erected that significantly reduce abortions as listed below, all GOP-lead, all denounced by the Democratic leadership and party.

As a federal statute under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the so-called Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) would declare abortion to be a “fundamental right” at every stage of pregnancy and would, thereby, specifically invalidate any “statute, ordinance, regulation, administrative order, decision, policy, practice, or other action” of any federal, state, or local government that would “deny or interfere with a woman’s right to choose” abortion, or that would “discriminate against the exercise of the right [...] in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information.” The language of FOCA is clear and absolute.

Everything below will be obliterated with a single promised stroke of Obama’s pen:

—Approximately 40 states have physician-only laws (limiting abortion practice to physicians);

—32 states follow the funding limitations of the federal Hyde Amendment, while 17 states provide broader funding for abortion;

—36 states have passed informed consent laws;

—36 states have passed parental involvement laws;

—47 states have passed laws to protect rights of conscience;

—22 states have passed abortion clinic regulations;

—16 states have passed ultrasound laws.

In 2008, 45 states considered nearly 450 measures related to abortion alone. Among 2008 pro-life victories are:

—An omnibus measure in Oklahoma, requiring that a woman undergo an ultrasound prior to an abortion, regulating the provision of RU-486, and prohibiting coerced abortions;

—New laws in Ohio, South Carolina, and South Dakota requiring that abortion providers offer a woman the opportunity to view an ultrasound prior to an abortion;

—Legislatures in Colorado, Maryland, and Michigan limiting the use of taxpayer funding for abortions and abortion counseling;

—Idaho lawmakers strengthening the state’s informed consent law and prohibiting coerced abortions;

—Meaningful funding of abortion alternatives in Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.


Sorry for the long post, and believe me, I understand the GOP is far from perfect on life or other social justice issues, but the whole liberal social justice argument really angers me.  True Catholic social justice requires personal accountability and individual sacrificial action, from everyone. Most Dem policies reject both in favor of collectivism based on wealth—rich pay, poor remain poor.  This is not love and therefore can not be just.  Please refrain from respond by telling me the GOP is pro-war, or just care for the rich, these are also false conventional wisdoms and the Dems have a terrible track record on each.


By Harold Fickett AT 12.01.08 03:30PM Not Rated

Harold Fickett

CHASSUP, as an articulate advocate of free markets, I wonder how you would respond, in particular, to the line of reasoning JMEDAILLE is pursuing at his website.  See his link http://distributism.blogspot.com/2008/09/pro-life-or-just-anti-abortion.html and also his most recent post on November 30th as to the proper role of government.  We are all, as far as I can determine, aiming at the same thing.  If JMEDAILLE is wrong about the specific arguments he’s making in regard to economics, I’d like to know why.  What it comes down to, I believe, is how free markets should be. Does a market-driven economy obviate the possiblity, for example, of a “living wage”?  I’m not making the seamless social justice argument—nor is JMEDAILLE as I understand his writings.  The question really is a matter of how much an economy can or should be directed before it ceases to create wealth.  Let me know your thoughts, CHASSUP, I’d really be interested.


By chassup AT 12.01.08 03:39PM Not Rated

chassup

JMEDAILLE, could you please quantify a “just wage?”

Also, what gives you the idea that homeschooling can only be done by mothers, or that women are forced to enter the marketplace as opposed to willingly fleeing the home? 

My wife “retired” at 24 and has always stayed home with our children, not because we can afford it, but because she chose to in spite of our poverty.  How can any government policy or economic system “make” women desire to work in the home?  Most women I know who work outside the home are not forced through financial need, unless you consider selfish desire a compulsive condition.  I understand there are many who think they have no choice.

I would advocate for school choice of some kind as a more direct way of allowing moms and dads more freedom to shape a healthy family household they consider best for their family.  Getting rid of the current oppressive tax system would be even better.


By chassup AT 12.01.08 04:05PM Not Rated

chassup

HAROLD FICKETT, I am no expert on distributism, I find it intriguing and perhaps terrific.  What I do understand leaves me thinking that the system is very good at a small local scale, but may not continue to work at a large scale.  My belief is based on one of the most powerful ingredients of the system at the smaller scale; personal relationships, which become impossible at large scales.

Distributism will have to prove itself in a straight-up competition against all comers, including capitalism.  My faith lies in unmolested human free will to choose a system that most closely follows the natural law.  It is perhaps naive to imagine the government getting out of the way, but it is necessary for a truly just system to emerge.  If I were to check out and fly under the radar, I suspect I would thrive in some form of distributism.

I don’t disagree with many arguments against capitalism, but I do reject arguments against our current political-economic system as arguments against free capitalism.  Our current system is, by my estimation, a form of socialism called fascism.  I prefer the kind of system our founding fathers envisioned, before they began to destroy it through fiat.


By jmedaille AT 12.01.08 04:31PM Not Rated

jmedaille

I know that Distributism works on any particular scale because it does work in both large and small scales. It works in the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation in Spain, with its 50-year history, its 85,000 worker-owners, and its $24Bn in sales; it works in Emilia-Romagna, where 40% of GDP is from cooperatives and which has one of the highest standards of living in Europe; it works in Taiwan were the land to the tiller program catapulted that nation from feudal poverty to an industrial powerhouse in one generation. It works in micro-banking. It works in mutual insurance companies. It works in a thousand instances.

What I cannot find—in all of human history—is a functioning “libertarian” system; they always lead to economic chaos and increased gov’t involvement in the economy, which proves necessary to rescue the economy from collapse. This is, after all, the 19th bailout of the last 80 years. These bailouts are a continuing and predictable feature of capitalism, yet they always seem to come as a complete surprise.

The just wage is not so much a number as a criterion of judgment. We can say that the just wage is fulfilled under the following four conditions: One, that working families, as a rule, appear to live in the dignity appropriate for that society; two, that they can do so without putting wives and children to work ; three, that they have some security against periods of enforced unemployment, such as sickness, layoffs, and old age; and, four, that these conditions are accomplished without undue reliance on welfare payments and usury. While it may be difficult to give precision to any of these factors, it is certainly possible to make reasonable judgments and set reasonable standards.


By chassup AT 12.01.08 05:15PM Not Rated

chassup

JMEDAILLE, “always lead to economic chaos and increased gov’t involvement in the economy”  The one does not by definition lead to the other.  Distortions such as greed and fraud cause government involvement.  Is a distributist system immune from human vice? 

“the 19th bailout of the last 80 years.”  Yes, it is the corrupting infection of socialism into the marketplace—fascism.  This history is only proof that governments should stay out of the marketplace.

“bailouts are a continuing and predictable feature of capitalism”  No, not a feature of capitalism, a common detour into socialism.

Just wage—thanks for the definition.  I get the “unemployment” component, but how is old age included in unemployment?  And how can layoffs be paid?  Why not continue working if the money is there to pay wages?  What is the primary mechanism if not welfare or usury to provide income without work?

Last, are there safeguards to protect personal property?  Inherited wealth ?


By jmedaille AT 12.01.08 05:27PM Not Rated

jmedaille

I disagree. I assert that the one does lead to the other. Historically, it always has and I don’t think that will change. Capitalism is an incomplete theory, and hence the unintended consequences overwhelm the theoretical ones. One may dispute whether this must be so; no one can dispute that it has been so.

Capitalism doesn’t work. Never has; never will. It requires gov’t action to stabilize itself. It leads to The Servile State.

Time to change direction. We may not survive this crises. Our job will not be so much to build as to rebuild, and for that task we need something more than the continual failures of Capitalist dogma; we need the Catholic faith. But we need it not as an abstraction, but as a living embodiment of the gospels.


By chassup AT 12.02.08 02:14PM Not Rated

chassup

I think any system created by man will have unintended consequences, failures, problems.  Distributism can not be immune from similar pitfalls, I wonder what they are?  The risk for any system is individual vice that no economic system can cure.

As for capitalism, I am not close to accepting your final judgement that it doesn’t work.  Conversely, capitalism, together with American liberty, has been the most prolific engine for wealth creation known to man.  This engine is also the power behind a quantum leap in technology, living standards and opportunity for individual human potential.  Only when the system is distorted by tinkering governments, socialism or criminal or immoral behavior does it come off the tracks.  Our constitution was designed upon basic founding principles prescribed by the natural law—God’s law.

My argument against working from within the Democratic party is that the party rejects many of these founding principles.  I don’t see any chance for common ground within a party that rejects truths our founding fathers considered to be self evident and the cornerstone of the constitution.  How can we succeed if we must first argue the existence of God and His laws… to establish the right to life based on His laws?

This debate is very interesting to me, I believe most Americans are tragically ignorant of the founding principles of our republic, of the power we the people actually possess, and have strayed from the moral framework upon which America was founded.  The same moral framework found in the Catholic catechism.  I see no contradiction between Catholic teaching and a truly free market.  The friction occurs with individual action within the system to respond to fellow human beings.  A free market, along with unfettered human liberty allows us all to follow God’s will.  Capitalism allows me to generate wealth, human liberty allows my Catholic faith to enlighten my choices in spending it, including serving my fellow man.

For now, I consider a political path of strict constructionism, along with a return to our traditional Judeo-Christian moral framework, as the best course for the pro-life movement to reach the strategic goal of ending abortion and cultivating a pro-life society.


By dsconi AT 12.02.08 05:16PM Not Rated

dsconi

Returning to JMEDAILLE’s failure to understand my criticism of Democrats for Life and my inability to accept the “natural” pro-life state of the Democratic party:  All I can say is go back and re-read my previous comments for a clear and complete explanation.  Repeating myself is obviously just a waste of time.

The only “insanity” of which I suffer is continuing to comment here at Godspy with the expectation that the accuracy of my facts or the validity of my arguments will be considered and thoughtfully debated.  Instead, all I get is diversions and distractions.  I genuinely want to know how it is possible to be a pro-life Democrat in actions and not just in words.  I have continually asked for concrete examples of pro-life Democratic successes, but have failed to receive any with the exception of Jimmy Carter signing the Hyde Amendment—in 1975.  Wishful thinking about all that is possible within the Democratic party is no substitute for some facts about what the Democrats have accomplished and why such should give me hope.  I see the trend going in the WRONG direction as Mr. Fickett presumes in a recent post.

I’ve raised some very important questions about Democratic efforts to cultivate, entrench and expand a pro-death culture and have asserted that “pro-lifers” within the party are partly to blame for voting anti-life politicians and an avowed anti-life party into power.  Someone please tell me where I am wrong to believe this instead of telling me over and over again why it is wrong to vote Republican—all the while failing to acknowledge the many pro-life successes of Republicans in the White House and Congress despite consistent Democratic opposition.

Maybe I am not insane after all and will get an appropriate response this time.


By chassup AT 12.02.08 05:39PM Not Rated

chassup

DSCONI,  You deserve a reply, the silence is telling, I’d say it answers your question. 

You are not insane, you are making the mistake of expecting rational dialog from people who have become so numb to the slaughter of innocents that I dare say they’d be as indifferent if the blood of child sacrifices poured from altars in town squares across America.  Some think it good, some are lazy, some are ignorant of facts, some are hiding.  For many, I suspect it doesn’t concern them for it isn’t about them, they think.  A modern day holocaust can happen again.

I join your outrage at the suggestion of joining forces with the current Democrat party in America, I believe it is tantamount to making a deal with the devil.

There is plenty of evil in our society to provoke outrage, I am as baffled as you that abortion isn’t considered the most egregious.


By Dave AT 12.02.08 07:34PM Not Rated

Dave

Catholics need to start proposing Christ and the possibility of a new humanity that is born out of the encounter with him. Some fights may be necessary, like protecting the freedom of Catholic works like hospitals, but history has shown that we will always be on the losing side of a war over “values.” As Obama himself said, “Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.” The bishops need to focus on educating their flocks, or else when and if they stand up, there may be no one behind them.


By John Murphy AT 12.03.08 02:51AM Not Rated

John Murphy

I’m heartened by the ongoing conversations on Godspy about issues that are near & dear to the heart of Catholicism. I would like to observe that after some forty-odd posts on this thread, not a single person has advocated for abortion rights in any way, shape, or form. So far I can tell, everyone involved in this discussion is pro-life, whether Democrat or Republican, distributist or capitalist.

I hope that those who are articulate about their opinions on the life issue are also making their voices heard on sites that actively promote a pro-abortion message. CounterPunch, for example, recently ran an essay called “A New Sexual Agenda: Nine Proposals for an End to the Culture Wars.” I’ll just list the first four: protect Roe V. Wade, end abstinence policies, remove religion from the classroom, and accept civil unions and marriage among same-sex couples. There are many sites like this and the message boards could use some smart Catholic voices.

One of the reasons I enjoy writing for Godspy is because of the intelligence of the community it attracts, showcased in the comments section. I’m a relatively young Catholic from the very unchurched Northwest and it’s nice to able to introduce my religious-suspicious friends to a site that doesn’t alienate them, but wants to encourage debate and discussion.


By dsconi AT 12.03.08 01:21PM Not Rated

dsconi

The conversation here is certainly civil, and no one is openly championing a case for abortion on demand.  However, this doesn’t change the fact that the party just swept into power is promising to rollback every restriction on abortion and stack the courts with pro-abortion judges.  No one will answer how it is possible to be a pro-life Catholic and nonetheless support the party that is about to do this!  Instead, all I get are complaints about Republican failures.  Despite the many comments prompted by Mr. Matera’s article, not a one of them has lent the slightest credence to his contention that there is hope for a strong, influential presence within the Democratic party.  I’m still waiting…


By chassup AT 12.03.08 02:38PM Not Rated

chassup

JOHN MURPHY, You are right, that which separates us is far less than that which joins us, your search for common ground is noble, I myself am a lover, not a fighter.

However, and I say this as gently as I can, I would caution your exuberance for civility and commonality by reminding you that the Obama campaign’s official statement is that he too is not pro-abortion, is not advocating for abortion, even calls for fewer abortions.  It could be, actually is, argued that Obama is pro-life too. 

So even the guy who has promised to obliterate all restrictions to abortion on demand, hard-fought in every state in the union by a committed and faithful pro-life electorate over the last 40 years, can claim common ground with civilized Catholics everywhere.  I applaud your saint-like capacity for hope and change!  I remain prudently doubtful.


By jmedaille AT 12.03.08 05:57PM Not Rated

jmedaille

Chassup, you say Conversely, capitalism, together with American liberty, has been the most prolific engine for wealth creation known to man.  This engine is also the power behind a quantum leap in technology, living standards and opportunity for individual human potential.  Only when the system is distorted by tinkering governments, socialism or criminal or immoral behavior does it come off the tracks.

But such a conclusion flies in the face of facts. The “capitalism” you tout is in fact a system of gov’t tinkering. When was it different? Certainly not in 1776, when Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations, 3/4ths of which is devoting to detailing the level of gov’t tinkering. So if you are going to talk of “wealth creation” of our system, you will at least have to admit it is a system of gov’t tinkering that you despise.

Further, the “wealth creation” itself is problematic. Median wages have been flat for 35 years, and families have only made it by putting more wives to work than was common in the past—even my own past—and putting them to work full time rather than part-time.

But it gets worse. If you speak of the “American worker” as the worker who resides in America, then at least his wages have merely been flat. But if you speak of the “American worker” as the worker who makes products for Americans, the situation is quite different: it is one of exploitation worse than slavery.

The system you tout does not exist, has never existed, could not exist. The system I believe in I believe in because I can see it in operation, and if I couldn’t do that I would be suspicious of it.

Anybody can claim that their theory works. But only in actually working can they prove it. We can say that the system of state capitalism “works,” although I think it is coming to its logical conclusion. What we cannot say, because we have never seen it, is that the system of laissez-faire works. Not now. Not ever.


By CCV AT 12.03.08 06:07PM Not Rated

CCV

To Dsconi and Chassup: Even though I disagree with your politics, I truly admire and respect that you’re teaching your students solid doctrine. God bless you for that.

To Jmedaille: Would YOU consider running for President? Please take Harold Fickett for your running mate.


By jmedaille AT 12.03.08 09:32PM Not Rated

jmedaille

Counter_Culture V., that was kind of you to suggest that, but I will treat the joke as a serious question and answer, “no” (Harold can speak for himself.) The reason is that it would not be effective; even winning would not be effective. The truth is, the president doesn’t run the country; the country runs the president. Obama’s promises notwithstanding, there are only limited “changes” that a president can make. Real change rises up to the top; it does not come from on high.

The presidency can be a bully pulpit for change. Thus Reagan, though he ruled like a liberal and tripled the national debt, nevertheless made this a “conservative” country, or rather a neoconservative one, by his personality and his rhetoric. But he appealed to a ruling class that was firmly in place and indeed, already ruling.

We need not a president, but a whole bunch of Godspy imitators. The neo-right rules mainly through think tanks, giving good support to “scholars” who never have to teach or face dissenting colleagues, but can devote their full time to producing propaganda. By the time we elect a president, the country will already have changed; the election confirms a change, it does not initiate it.

The times, they are a-changing, as the song has it. I don’t know that anything done to fix this economy will actually work, and new and creative thinking will be required. I think the Catholic Church and its social teachings will be a major source of that change. Or at least, I hope so. There are other possibilities, as the powers that be struggle to become the power that survives. That could be bloody.


By CCV AT 12.04.08 05:09PM Not Rated

CCV

Excellent points again JM (the last one unsettling but true). I just want to say how insightful I found your posts (and many others here) and look forward to reading more. I’m new to Godspy - just came across it a few weeks ago. When I saw a solidly Catholic website featuring a Woody Allen/Sarah Palin mash-up, I thought “where in the world has this been?” I’m introducing it to as many friends and family (who are legion, 10 siblings) as I can. Actually, that’s a bit misleading - I was surprised when many said “oh sure, I know Godspy, it’s great”. When I’d ask why they hadn’t told me about it, the most common response was “well actually, dingbat, I’ve mentioned it several times”. Hmmmm. Anywho, so glad I found it.


By dsconi AT 12.04.08 06:51PM Not Rated

dsconi

CCV what politics of mine do you disagree with?  All that I have ever shared of my political views here at Godspy is that I vote for pro-life candidates and against pro-choice candidates.  Yes, that has meant voting for Republican candidates, and thankfully there have been consistent efforts by the national party to place restrictions on abortion and appoint anti-abortion judges—efforts continually opposed by the Democratic party.  Are you a pro-life voter or not?  What other politics trump the politics of life for a faithful Catholic?


By CCV AT 12.04.08 10:36PM Not Rated

CCV

Our disagreement? The answer is contained in your question - you consider the Republican party “pro-life”, I don’t.


By dsconi AT 12.05.08 01:37AM Not Rated

dsconi

Here we go again!!  Right back to square one!!!

Can CCV or anyone else find any fault with my previous comments about Republican efforts to pass pro-life legislation and confirm pro-life judges against Democratic opposition?  What would the Republicans have to do to qualify as MORE authentically “pro-life” in the eyes of those who vote Democratic and see the Dem party as “naturally pro-life”?  I’ve never claimed that the Republican party is 100% pro-life, just that Republicans in the Congress and White House have attempted and accomplished far more on behalf of the unborn than the Dems ever have—and always, always, always in the face of fierce, organized Democratic opposition.  How does this “pro-life Catholic Democrat” fantasy persist?  It does not stand up to scrutiny.  It cannot be supported with facts or reason.  Its adherents all go quiet or change the subject when I ask politely for some proof that it is possible to reconcile sincere anti-abortion convictions grounded in Catholic teaching about the sanctity of human life with votes for pro-abortion candidates representing an aggressively pro-abortion party.  Save all of the tired “seamless garment” rhetoric and “proportionality” arguments for rationalizing your “pro-choice” votes and soothing your tortured consciences.  Thanks to your Democratic votes, abortion will continue to remain the leading cause of death in America.  Is it any wonder that murder is now the leading cause of death among pregnant women?  How is it possible that we have allowed the womb to become a more dangerous place than even the battlefield?
I think might have been Jesus who said that you could judge a tree by the fruit it bears.  Throw me a bone.  Give me something, anything, resembling pro-life fruit from the Democratic party.  I’m wearing out my fingertips at this site trying to get just such an an example to support the fallacy of a Democratic voting Catholic pro-lifer.

Also, CCV, Godspy is definitely not “a solidly Catholic website” unless by “solidly” Catholic you mean a place where the edititor/publisher/main author and his most ardent supporters in the comment section often form their beliefs and base their arguments on sources less “solid” than the clear teaching of the Magesteriuim of the Catholic Church.  Enjoy the writing and especially the spirited debate that it elicits among the comments.  Just keep your Catechism handy—you’re going to need it.


By CCV AT 12.05.08 02:30AM Not Rated

CCV

Actually Dsconi, I don’t think the Democratic party is pro-life either; I never wrote that. I’m just getting to know this website and, from what I’ve read, I didn’t see any of the editors or contributors supporting the Dems either. If I recall correctly, Angelo was going to write Alasdair MacIntyre on his ballot. Just because someone can’t stomach the GOP’s war mongering, torture tactics, greed and corruption doesn’t mean they think the current Democratic Party is supportable. Wasn’t the whole point of Angelo’s article a hopeful consideration of what that party could be?

Is it possible that you put too much faith in politicians? Please re-read JMedaille’s posts, especially his last one about realistic expectations re: your government. I think if you can teach your confirmation/public school students to truly respect life, you’ll have done more than any politician can.


By chassup AT 12.05.08 11:04AM Not Rated

chassup

CCV,  You must admit that DSCONI has asked multiple times, in context to the topic of this thread, for anybody to post one instance where the Democrat party has taken a position that gives even the slightest glimmer of hope that they will change from their absolute defense of abortion.  Not words, actions.

The only responses he has received are anit-GOP slurs… “GOP’s war mongering, torture tactics, greed and corruption.”  That’s not discussion, that’s bomb-throwing.  Instead of joining the angry left’s propaganda campaign to establish false conventional wisdom, you should endeavor to reach for something a little more useful, it takes more effort, and of course objectivity, but it’s worth it. 

It has been my own assertion that Angelo’s hope is based on either an ignorance about Democrat ideology which is antithetical to the God of salvation history, making any inroad for the life movement impossible, or he is hoping for a miracle.  Praying for a miracle is good, forget electing Dems, pray they are born again.

You are correct for not thinking the GOP is 100% pro-life, but at least they are on the same side ideologically, so we have a very good chance for success, if you believe God is in charge.  I would encourage all Catholics, especially the Bishops, to stake their claim for life at all levels from within the party that acknowledges God as Catholics know Him, to become change-agents for a more robust and authentic pro-life platform.

America is hungry for leadership on this issue, they are decidedly right of center on all moral issues, even more so in the last 20 years.  They want leadership, this is a golden opportunity for the Church.


By dsconi AT 12.05.08 11:51AM Not Rated

dsconi

What is it with all of the false assumptions that are continually made here?  How do my detractors presume to know any more about me, my politics, my Confirmation class or my pro-life involvement beyond what I share?  Projection perhaps?

CCV, please do not address me as if I am a complete idiot for performing my civic duty of participating in the political process.  My faith is not in government in general, nor is it in the Republican party or in any politicians in particular.  My faith is in Jesus Christ and in the Church that He instituted and promised to guide in all truth.  I vote according to the clear and unambiguous teaching of the Catholic Church on the fundamental life issues as an American and as a Catholic. 

Correct me if I am wrong, CCV, but don’t politicians make the laws that we must live by?  Do they not also appoint the judges who test the Constitutionality of those laws?  Wasn’t it judges who stuck down every legal protection for the unborn in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton?  Isn’t it politicians who are promising their supporters at Planned Parenthood that they will do the same through FOCA?  Our votes decide the life and death of America’s unborn children.  I always vote to protect the single most defenseless, most vulnerable, most devalued and voiceless among us, the unborn.  How about you?

I do not need to re-read anything by JMEDAILLE regardless of its brilliance or eloquence because I refuse to get pulled away from the central thrust of Mr. Matera’s article and my still unanswered critique.  Forget 100 years in Iraq without an end to the war, how about 100 comments on Godspy and not a single shred of evidence for the effectiveness of “pro-life Catholic Democrats” in making America a safer place for babies in the womb.

I’ve asked this earlier as well:  Picture the kind of pro-lifer who is active with Respect Life, counsels at the local crisis pregnancy center, prays outside the office of abortionists, brings his kids to hold signs on a street corner for Repect Life Sunday, prayerfully and financially supports groups such as Priests for Life and Human Life International, risks his job to defend the dignity of the unborn, and sports an “Abortion:  the leading cause of death in America” bumper sticker to supplement a “Choose Life” license plate on his vehicle.  Now picture that same person NOT voting AGAINST staunch abortion rights advocates Barrack Obama and Joseph Biden.  In what parallel universe?


By jmedaille AT 12.05.08 01:17PM Not Rated

jmedaille

The issue is not the ineffectiveness of the Democrats for Life, who get zero support from the so-called pro-life movement, but the ineffectiveness of the Republican Party, which gets all of their support.

In 35 years, it hasn’t worked. We have an abortion rate 4 times higher than even the most liberal states of Western Europe.

Time to change tactics.


By chassup AT 12.05.08 02:07PM Not Rated

chassup

JMEDAILLE, Why did you leave out Eastern Europe in your comparison, are you cherry picking?

As for “it” not working, I’ll be generous and assume you just didn’t know the truth, please stop re-telling the pro-death lie that pro-life candidates have done nothing to end abortion.  Since Roe, federal, state and local GOP office-holders nationwide have won many victories against abortion, with little or no help from Democrat candidates.  There has been a 25% drop in abortions since 1992, data suggest that state regulations on abortion have produced the drop, not welfare programs or sex-ed. 

Legislative fences have been erected that significantly reduce abortions as listed below, all GOP-lead, all denounced by the Democrat leadership re-elected with the help of Democrats for life, who deserves no support from pro-lifers.  Everything below will be obliterated with a single promised stroke of Obama’s pen, again, thanks to Democrats for Life and the political party they patronize:

—Approximately 40 states have physician-only laws (limiting abortion practice to physicians);

—32 states follow the funding limitations of the federal Hyde Amendment, while 17 states provide broader funding for abortion;

—36 states have passed informed consent laws;

—36 states have passed parental involvement laws;

—47 states have passed laws to protect rights of conscience;

—22 states have passed abortion clinic regulations;

—16 states have passed ultrasound laws.

In 2008, 45 states considered nearly 450 measures related to abortion alone. Among 2008 pro-life victories are:

—An omnibus measure in Oklahoma, requiring that a woman undergo an ultrasound prior to an abortion, regulating the provision of RU-486, and prohibiting coerced abortions;

—New laws in Ohio, South Carolina, and South Dakota requiring that abortion providers offer a woman the opportunity to view an ultrasound prior to an abortion;

—Legislatures in Colorado, Maryland, and Michigan limiting the use of taxpayer funding for abortions and abortion counseling;

—Idaho lawmakers strengthening the state’s informed consent law and prohibiting coerced abortions;

—Meaningful funding of abortion alternatives in Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.


By jmedaille AT 12.05.08 02:11PM Not Rated

jmedaille

I don’t know why you call it cherry-picking to point out that some states have a four-fold decrease in abortion. The former communist states, on the other hand, resemble our rate in this regard. Maybe there’s a message there.


By CCV AT 12.05.08 02:22PM Not Rated

CCV

Right again JM - politics isn’t the answer for an end to abortion; in fact, as seen here, it makes matters worse and divides pro-lifers among themselves. It reminds me of your original post: “The abortion issue has been the devil’s greatest triumph: on the one hand, he gets one group of people to support a philosophy of the slaughter of the innocents, and on the other, he uses it as wedge to get people to vote for war, economic oppression, torture, debt, and a host of other evils. Either way, the devil wins; he has bets on both sides and collects on both ends.”

It reminds me of another quote, from C.S. Lewis’s “Screwtape Letters”. Screwtape is a senior devil advising Wormwood, his understudy:
“(When) meetings, pamphlets, policies, movements, causes, and crusades matter more to him than prayers and sacraments and charity, he is ours.”


By chassup AT 12.05.08 02:51PM Not Rated

chassup

JMEDAILLE, the answer, and I suspect you know this, is that Western Europe has adopted a childless mentality, using abortifacients at a far higher rate, fewer procured abortions doesn’t mean fewer murders in the womb.  Of course, the only prolific part of their population still loves children and rarely procures abortions—muslims.  Eastern Europe procures more abortions because they aren’t as modernized in their baby-killing techniques.


By chassup AT 12.05.08 02:53PM Not Rated

chassup

CCV, “(When) meetings, pamphlets, policies, movements, causes, and crusades matter more to him than prayers and sacraments and charity, he is ours.”  You have defined Democrats for Life quite nicely.  Bravo!


By CCV AT 12.05.08 03:09PM Not Rated

CCV

Ha! Well Chassup, at least we agree it’s a good quote.

Look though, this repeated reference to “the womb”, how to control it, how to tactically infiltrate it - there’s something so off about that. These wombs are part of women who are unfortunately growing up in what’s aptly been called “the porn generation”. There’s a lot of baggage there, a lot of anguish and confusion. The current culture has a vision/disrespect of women that’s nearly as oppressive as the Taliban. There’s too much focus on statistics, the defense of sociopathic politicians, binary partisan arguments - it’s all a bunch of static after a while. When you try to defend the indefensible, i.e. war, torture, unjust imprisonment, you know the litany, in your party, you make many Christians mentally allergic to the subject of abortion. Can you not see that?


By chassup AT 12.05.08 05:00PM Not Rated

chassup

Hey CCV, thanks for asking a non-loaded question, it actually feels like a discussion.

First of all, I agree that we can not objectify wombs, or separate them from the human person.  I do think that most of these issues are hard to address because large scale bureaucratic solutions tend to hide the individual persons, everybody has a story and deserves listening. 

I am not a republican, never have been, I am politically a strict constructionist conservative.  My politics are enlightened by my faith, my ideas change as my enlightenment deepens.  I vote republican most of the time because that party’s candidates more often come closer to representing my philosophy.  Only running myself could there exist a candidate perfectly reflecting my vote.

I understand your frustration concerning issues like war, torture, injustice, etc. as seemingly being tolerated to attack abortion, but the argument of proportionality is crystal clear.  The opposite argument, an impossibly absurd argument, is applied as well… and this argument I fear many are comfortable with, I hope not you.

The answer, of course, is a party that respects human dignity from conception to natural death, and I think the GOP, while not perfect, is closer to that philosophy.  I think it is far more conceivable to imagine the GOP promoting true pro-life candidates than the Democrat party simply because of current world view.  The Dem world view is secular humanism, and therefore leaves no room for an authentic reverence for human persons as individual creations from God deserving of great dignity and love.  I see each new child as a gift, they see a liability.

I also tire of the noise, obfuscation and demagoguery in the political arena, and see it as the work of the devil to hide truth.  My experience is that the political left is far more guilty in this regard, simply because their ideas are not successful at the polls.


By CCV AT 12.05.08 06:41PM Not Rated

CCV

“but the argument of proportionality is crystal clear” - I have to admit Chassup, this is not crystal clear to me at all. What is crystal clear is that we’ll never agree and that’s okay. Have a good weekend!


By jmedaille AT 12.05.08 11:21PM Not Rated

jmedaille

Chassup, access to (and acceptance of) Birth control is as high in America as it is in Europe. In fact, the abortion rate doesn’t seem to vary much with that at all. And the Muslim populations are also below their replacement rates. The demographic challange that will fall on us in the next five years will completely alter this debate. See http://distributism.blogspot.com/2008/04/birth-dearth.html

The argument from proportionality is not as clear as you make it. For an argument of proportionality to hold, you have to believe that one side is actually sincere about what they say; if they are not, the argument doesn’t hold, and they are just playing the devil’s game of getting you to vote the devil’s ticket while not doing anything real about the abortion issue. Many of us are convinced that the Republicans are not sincere on this issue, and the polls (not to mention their performance) proves it. Only 9% of Republicans regard this as in important issue.

Time to re-think the strategy.


By dsconi AT 12.06.08 02:37AM Not Rated

dsconi

JMEDAILLE, another fine comment that skirts right around the substance of my argument—again.  What a surprise!  Sure you have failed to offer the slightest evidence to bolster your case (originally Mr. Matera’s) for being a “pro-life Catholic Democrat”, but at least you have gained a few fans here and increased traffic to your own website!  Good for you.  As for the fate of God’s precious unborn children?  Well, not so good for them thanks to your party of choice, your own personal votes, and the votes of those who reason as you do.

Once again, you are ignoring the facts of what has happened with legislation, policy and judges on a national and state level since 1973.  Keep citing “Republican ineffectiveness” in outlawing or reducing abortion and I’ll continue to respond that the primary reason is “Democratic opposition”.  These supposed “Republican failures” are the direct result of nominally pro-life Catholics voting Democratic.  Please tell me what is wrong with my facts or my reasoning on this specific point—no one has as of yet.  Go ahead, I can take it.

My criticism of Democrats for Life is based upon the singular fact that this group quietly acquiesced to the most pro-abortion party platform in history without a fight and then had the audacity to claim that abortions could best be reduced through increased social spending, not legal restrictions.  Excuse me?  What kind of pro-lifers reason and act this way?  Oh yeah, the kind that vote Democratic!  But, again I ask:  How is it possible that this complicity in devaluing life does not contribute mightily to an advancing Culture of Death?  Is a reasonable reply even possible here?  Haven’t gotten one yet.  Not even expecting one.

Yep, CCV quoting JMEDAILLE, the issue of abortion is dividing pro-lifers alright.  On this point, we are in perfect agreement!  Of course it begs the question:  Onto which side of the divide has the evil one pushed you?  I would like to think that after the birth of my horribly defective daughter and her subsequent devaluing by much of the hospital staff and others, God has pulled me over to His side.  One of the many, many lessons that I have taken from Maryssa’s brief life of 11 weeks is that every single human life is precious, and that any effort to dehumanize life at any stage from conception to natural death is inherently evil.  Sorry, but whatever politically-expedient “evils” of Republicanism you may choose to cite, not a one rises to the level of murdering babies out of convenience.  Dare to suggest one that even comes close?

No, CCV, it’s not okay that we’ll never agree about the proportionality argument.  Not if we’re both going to claim to be faithful Catholics and/or committed pro-lifers.  Some beliefs and actions are anti-Catholic and anti-life.  Today’s Democratic party is hopelessly anti-Catholic and anti-life on the question of the unborn.  Sorry, but I’m not about to go along with the marginalization of abortion in favor of addressing questions further down the list—despite the incessant attempts to take me there.  The devil just can’t make me do it.  Nor can Debra Murphy, VICO, JMEDAILLE, RIGHTDEMOCRAT and others who have tried on previous threads initiated by Mr. Matera’s writings—writings which all-to-often cry out for a response that is faithfully Catholic and authentically pro-life.

Second to the experience of my sweet Maryssa in driving my pro-life convictions, is the account of Joe Scheidler’s personal encounter with Pope John Paul II.  Can you imagine what it must have been like to be told by the Pope “You are doing the most important work on earth”?  Would he say this to a politically powerful, pro-choice Catholic like our newly elected Vice President Joe Biden?  Would he say as much to any of the rest of us?  I have not sacrificed everything in my life to fight the injustice of abortion like Joe Scheidler has, and, so long as my wife has a say, I’m not going to do so any time soon.  I am content, however, to think that on the issue of abortion, I’m a lot closer in belief and practice to Joe Scheidler than I am to Joe Biden.  How about the rest of you?


By zorozero AT 12.06.08 01:38PM Not Rated

zorozero

We make our choices and decisions in life intellectually, emotionally, physically and/or spiritually. Unfortunately, spirituality as a way of life seems to be lost to a great many.

The old adage, in matters of faith, unity; in matters of opinion, liberty; in all things, charity” seems to be inverted or twisted in today’s world (and some of these conversations).

Are we on the same page in matters of faith? Do we agree that life is precious?  Do we all understand that the Catholic Church takes a unique stand for life in the face of a secular and hostile world that includes even the wonderful United States of America?  God seems to humble those he chooses to give his blessings to when those blessings are taken for granted.

If we took a stand for life in this country there would be a miraculous healing of all of the economic, political and social issues we face today.  We had to be humbled many times before we gave up our positions on slavery, segregation and racism.  A new humbling has only begun. May God help us.


By Joe Schriner AT 12.06.08 08:15PM Not Rated

Joe Schriner

And how did segregation end?  People took to the streets en masse and started protesting day in an day out in extremely brave, non-violent ways.  And in that they created enough social unrest to finally end segregation.  If pro-Life people did the same, not just in front of abortion clinics, but in their neighborhoods, etc., abortion would end as well.  It’s just, well, it’s easier to blog about it all.  http://www.voteforjoe.com


By jmedaille AT 12.07.08 12:32PM Not Rated

jmedaille

DSCONI says As for the fate of God’s precious unborn children?  Well, not so good for them thanks to your party of choice, your own personal votes, and the votes of those who reason as you do.

But that’s the point: you haven’t saved any lives. After 35 years of voting for the party of death and debt, we still have one of the highest abortion rates in the world. To reject the idea of Democrats for Life is a kind of insanity. “Gee, I won’t accept these people, even though they agree with me on what I pretend is the most important issue, because they disagree on other issues.”

I don’t understand that attitude. And I refuse to vote again for torture, unjust war, an unjust economy, debt, economic bondage, injustice of every kind, all in the name of stopping abortions, when all the other bad things have happened, and abortion continues apace. And it is simply mean spirited of you to claim I was doing it to boost my ratings. The opposite is true. Mine (and Mr. Matera’s) view is still the minority.

It is time to change strategy.


By jmedaille AT 12.07.08 03:27PM Not Rated

jmedaille

The Obama Transition Team is looking for commentary on a Pro-abortion document. See http://distributism.blogspot.com/2008/12/seat-at-table.html for details. I would like to see at least 100,000 responses. I hope that Godspy and other sites will draw attention to this encourage their readers to go to the Change.gov site and register their objections, as well as positive alternative policy prescriptions.


By dsconi AT 12.08.08 03:14AM Not Rated

dsconi

Apparently, I’ve touched a nerve with JMEDAILLE.  I believe a point-by-point rebuttal is in order.

JMEDAILLE writes:  “But that’s the point: you haven’t saved any lives. After 35 years of voting for the party of death and debt, we still have one of the highest abortion rates in the world.”
Don’t be ridiculous.  My votes have saved lives, because I voted for G.W. Bush twice and was rewarded with two pro-life justices appointed to the Supreme Court.  Had I voted differently, Al Gore or John Kerry might have been elected president, and we would have two pro-death justices instead.  The ban on partial birth abortion was passed by a Republican-controlled Congress, signed into law by Republican president G.W. Bush and upheld by the SCOTUS thanks to the votes of newly confirmed justices Roberts and Alito.  Thanks in part to my votes, it is no longer legal to kill perfectly viable infants in the process of delivering them.  Is this a clear enough example for you?  As for our abortion rate being so unacceptably high, again I implore you:  Name one thing the Democrats have done to bring the abortion rate down.  Alternately, can you name even a single instance when the Democrats haven’t attempted to obstruct pro-life legislation or the confirmation of pro-life justices?  What are your thoughts on Judiciary Committee Democrats declaring Judge William Pryor’s “unsuitable” for the Federal Court system because of his “deeply-held beliefs”.  Deeply-held Catholic beliefs with regard to the dignity of human life, that is.

JMEDAILLE writes:  “To reject the idea of Democrats for Life is a kind of insanity. I don’t understand that attitude.”

You are playing games here.  I never once rejected the “idea” of Democrats for Life:  I have only criticized their actual actions on behalf of the unborn, particularly at this year’s Democratic National Convention.  Care to offer a reasonable defense of their shameful actions and not just the idea of their existence?  Don’t be so quick to judge my “attitude”, I would heartily support them from the other side of the political aisle if they would only do three things:  a) Stand up for life in the Congress and not just while courting socially-conservative voters on the campaign trail; b) Never, ever vote against pro-life legislation or against pro-life judges regardless of the arm-twisting by party leadership; and c) publicly commit to overturning the pro-death leadership of their party instead of quietly tolerating it.  Are any of these conditions unreasonable?

JMEDAILLE writes:  “‘Gee, I won’t accept these people, even though they agree with me on what I pretend is the most important issue, because they disagree on other issues.’”

You should be ashamed of yourself to write such a thing.  Nothing in any of my comments on Godspy could possibly lead anyone to believe that I won’t accept pro-life Catholic Democrats because of disagreement on other issues.  Our disagreement is precisely over the issue of abortion, which is why I have repeatedly asked for an explanation of how it is possible to do all those things committed pro-lifers do and then go pull the lever for the most pro-abortion candidate ever to run for president.  I simply cannot understand how someone who believes that God is the giver of life and that this life begins at conception could do such a thing without contradictory reasoning, poor catechesis, a malformed conscience, or perhaps all three.  Not a single post on this or any other Godspy thread has helped me understand how this is possible.  Can you offer anything to convince me of your sincerity in working to end abortion despite voting this way?  Folks like me get criticized here and elsewhere for being a “single issue voter” or for having a “fetus fetish” because the defense of innocent human life is first and foremost in our consideration of political candidates, and yet you dare to accuse me of only “pretending” it is the most important issue.  The irony of it all!  If I was only pretending that abortion is the most important issue, I would continually change the subject or answer my critics with invective and distortions instead of with facts.  But isn’t that precisely what all of my critics, you included, have been doing since my very first comment?  Your baseless attack on the sincerity of my pro-life convictions is empty when leveled against my Godspy comments, my votes, my witness, my activism, my donations, my heart, my prayers, my life.


By dsconi AT 12.08.08 03:20AM Not Rated

dsconi

JMEDAILLE writes:  “And I refuse to vote again for torture, unjust war, an unjust economy, debt, economic bondage, injustice of every kind, all in the name of stopping abortions, when all the other bad things have happened, and abortion continues apace.”
These are desperate rationalizations and distractions straight from the “Angry Left” and worth little of my time to dispute.  Proportionally, they all fail to compare to the evil of 3,600 murders a day for convenience sake.  Besides, I believe Chassup has been there with you already.  As if Republicans have a monopoly on these evils and haven’t benefited from Democratic complicity along the way.  Thankfully, we can expect all of this to be corrected now that the Dems are back in power.  Who will you have to blame if things haven’t begun to turn around after four years of Obama, Reid and Pelosi at the helm?

JMEDAILLE writes:  “And it is simply mean spirited of you to claim I was doing it to boost my ratings. The opposite is true. Mine (and Mr. Matera’s) view is still the minority.”
I made an honest observation that you have developed a few fans of your writing (CCV and Harold Fickett come immediately to mind) and that your website has been promoted through links imbedded within several comments—yours as well as others.  Are these claims of mine true or false?  I did not make a single inference about your motivations.  I do have to wonder, however, why you would even bother to maintain a website and direct people to it if indeed:  “The opposite is true”.  That would mean you post at Godspy specifically so people won’t check out your website.  To be honest, that strategy has worked with regard to me at least.

JMEDAILLE writes:  “It is time to change strategy.”

I couldn’t agree more!  Here’s a strategy for you to try:  How about if all of those stealth pro-life Democrats you and Mr. Matera are so excited about actually began to put their supposed pro-line convictions ahead of other, lesser issues next time they vote!  How about if they, and you, began rejecting Democratic candidates for their pro-abortion stance instead of overlooking it completely in favor of attractive positions on lesser issues?  It is time to admit that the strategy of treating abortion as one life issue among many, and in the process allowing Democratic politicians to obstruct every effort at reducing, restricting and outlawing abortion isn’t working.  Now that’s change I could believe in—if only there were any signs that it were likely to happen.  Got any signs for me, JMEDAILLE?  Mr. Matera?  RIGHTDEMOCRAT?  Anyone?  Anyone?  I’m still waiting for some honest answers to some fairly simple questions.  I know, I know, its probably that “insanity” problem of mine.  Thanks for helping to diagnose it, JMEDAILLE.  Now, about that beam in your own eye…


By jmedaille AT 12.08.08 11:02AM Not Rated

jmedaille

DSCONI, I wonder which of us are engaging in “rationalizations.” You stake all on the Republican Party, even though only 9% of Republicans regard abortion as a top issue, and even fewer are pro-life. Your position strikes me as inconsistent. You condemn the Democrats for not being pro-life, and when pro-life Democrats come along, you condemn them for being Democrat. Your catechism is “Damned if they do and damned if they don’t.”

You tell me my complaints come from the “angry left,” complaints like unjust war, unjust economies, and torture. But in fact, these are defined by the Catholic Church as “intrinsically evil” in the same way that abortion is. Our complaints come not from he left but from the Church.

You have staked all things on one thing and lost everything. That’s the way it always works. We vote for the devil in the name of fighting the devil, and thereby give the devil a fighting chance.

Not to mention a lot of laughs, assuming the devil can laugh.


By chassup AT 12.08.08 01:38PM Not Rated

chassup

JMEDAILLE, You have a habit of repeating false facts to support your broken-record justification for the party of death.  Saying the same thing over and over doesn’t make it magically true.

“9% of Republicans regard abortion as a top issue”  A “top” issue?  Who cares what ranking?  What’s the percentage of republicans who regard abortion as the taking of an innocent life?  As manslaughter?  As morally wrong, and are willing to restrict access through legislation?  What about democrats, other groups?  I know the facts, you need to educate yourself, look it up.  Americans are decidedly on the pro-life side, even though today the economy is “top” rated in their minds.  You are cherry picking a stat while overlooking the real honest fact, and I think you know it.

“Voting for pro-life republicans has not reduced abortions.”  Wrong, as I’ve stated several times, and along with DSCONI’s argument above on partial bith abortion alone, you are plain wrong on this.  Pro-life republicans have passed a long list of legislation restricting abortion, reducing abortions.  To claim the republicans have done nothing is a lie, I believe you know better.  To claim the Democrats will reduce abortions by further enslaving poor women is naive.  Why is it, that after 40 years of war on poverty—using the same failed approach some misguided Catholics call “social justice” to justify voting pro-choice—that poor black women are way more likely to kill their unborn children?  What gives you any hope that the continuation of the same policies will relieve the supposed root cause of abortion?  And isn’t this the cause you want us to rally behind?  Liberal Democrats have been telling black women to kill their children since Roe as a way to reduce poverty, but they are still poor, even after the transfer of $trillions to end poverty?  You want a real failed approach?  Look at the Democrat party and their dishonest “caring” for poor black women and families.  That’s the plan you are promoting with your arguments here. 

“In 35 years, it hasn’t worked. We have an abortion rate 4 times higher than even the most liberal states of Western Europe.”  You love quoting stats that seem to bolster your arguments.  Nice try, but you were cherry picking again.  You use the rate of abortion, when a more useful number is the abortion ratio, that is percent of pregnancies that end in abortion, since your numbers include women who aren’t pregnant, couldn’t become pregnant.  The ratio in European states is appalling.  Sweden 69%, France 51%, Great Britain 39%, while the US is 35%.  Our population is far younger, we have a higher rate of pregnancy, a higher rate of live births as well.  Your point actually supports the fact that America is still more accepting of new children from God, ours is not an aging, barren population of old hags who refuse children from God.

“unjust war, unjust economies, and torture”  You assume all Catholics sincerely agree with your opinion that these evils exist in America, I disagree, and we can disagree on that in good faith, but we can not disagree on abortion.  Unless you fall into the Catholic crowd that thinks the issue is relative.  Also, even if we agreed on these other issues, they do not come close to representing an equal threat to life, and this is where proportionality helps us make a clear prudent choice.  I think your choice is unenlightened, imprudent or worse.  Do you teach Catholic theology?

I’d like to ask you a question, why would you stake your support on Democrats for Life when their efforts have not resulted in reducing any abortions?  You have used the very same argument, falsely, to claim support for republican candidates to be a waste of time.  Aren’t you being inconsistent?


By CCV AT 12.08.08 04:53PM Not Rated

CCV

I really liked your post ZoroZero, especially the words “in all things: charity” and your reminder of what we have in common.


By jmedaille AT 12.08.08 09:54PM Not Rated

jmedaille

Okay, Let me see if I understand you, Chassup. You tell me it doesn’t matter if only a small number of Republicans are anti-abortion, you still got to vote the party line. Okay.

You say “Liberal Democrats have been telling black women to kill their children since Roe as a way to reduce poverty…” Actually, the “you have too many children line” is more likely to come from Republicans, at least the one’s I talk to.

And you seem to blame welfare policies on the Democrats. Hmmm. The Republicans have been in control for 20 of the last 28 years, and 28 of the last 40. And they even forced the Republican welfare reform on the Democrat Clinton. So who’s responsible for these policies again? In that same time, the median wage has remained flat, even though worker productivity has exploded. All the rewards have gone to the top; the distress has gone to the bottom. You don’t think that has anything to do with the issue?

But the real issue is this: you think unjust wars, the use of torture, and oppressive economies, unjust economic and social arrangements, are merely “debatable” issues; I, however, agree with the Church that the are intrinsically evil acts which I cannot condone as a Catholic.


By chassup AT 12.09.08 11:19AM Not Rated

chassup

JMEDAILLE, you aren’t paying attention.

I never said “it doesn’t matter if only a small number of Republicans are anti-abortion.” I said there is a large number of republicans, and Americans from all demographic groups,  who are anti-abortion.  Why would you choose to blatantly obfuscate?

The “you have too many children line” is your way of changing the subject.  It is meaningless to this discussion.

The point I made is factual, black women have aborted a generation’s worth of their children, a far higher percentage than white women. They have done this as they continue to vote for the party that fights to make abortion accessible to them where they live, fights to keep their young daughters’ abortion a secret, enacts policies that have all but decimated the traditional black family in America, fights to keep poor black children enslaved in failing schools where they are taught how to have sex “safely” then abort their eventual pregnancies, fight to further enslave them in poverty and fight against any effort to free them from the system. Yes, I blame poverty squarely on political liberals, mostly democrats, who continue to tax producers to transfer that earned wealth to “solve the poverty problem.”  $trillions of dollars have been transfered, with no results, except deeper economic enslavement for the poorest.  Why continue down that path?  It’s time for a change, perhaps we can try liberty for the poor.

Yes, Republicans forced welfare reform on the Democrat Clinton, thank God. 

My next post is intended to be educational for my brothers and sisters who probably went to public school and never learned very important history lessons.  I apologize for the long post, but in light of JMEDAILLE’s and others’ posts, I feel it necessary to provide some clarification.  The founding principles of this country provided the best opportunity for Americans to prosper, detours along the way have worked against that prosperity, caused much suffering and our current financial mess.  Bush and the republican party leadership are almost indistinguishable from the dem leadership today.  True conservatism, in the original republican tradition, will right the ship, voting for the Democrats is a vote to trust the navigator who is running us aground and continue the abomination of human suffering we call government intrusion.


By jmedaille AT 12.09.08 03:26PM Not Rated

jmedaille

This just gets bizarre. You claim nobody’s paying attention to you, even as you ignore everything, and make claims that cannot be substantiated. “Trillions” transferred to the poor? When was this? Most transfer payments are to the middle class and the rich, not the poor. You excoriate policies that work against the poor, which is true, but it is the Republicans who have been ascendant in the last 40 years, not the Democrats. You boast of welfare “reforms” that have practically forced poor women into abortions. And after wards, having a baby will work against her job opportunities. She lives in a culture that gives no support to families and children, that blames people for having children, and then complain when people follow the culture’s advice.

The economics of the situation are stunning. Pre-natal care and live birth cost $25,000-$50,000; an abortion maybe $1,000. You boast of stripping the poor of support, and then blame them for making the economic choice.

But it is not merely economics. The Republicans have robed them culturally as well. Republican corporations control nearly all of the media in this country, and have used it to debase the culture and turn everyone, white and black, from being citizens into being pure consumers. The prototype of the Republican corporation is Fox: on their news channels they give lip-service to “family values,” and on their entertainment channels they do everything they can to subvert them.

And to cap the whole bizarre presentation, you tell me that Bush and the Republicans are indistinguishable from the Democrats! And that’s the reason I should vote Republican and hate Democrats? Somehow, that is not a convincing argument.

But it is not just me you have failed to convince: it is most of your Republican friends. Mild limitations on abortion went down to defeat in South Dakota, the reddest of the Red states. this means that even if Roe v. Wade were overturned tomorrow, very little would change; the abortion laws that are on the books in each state would stay there. If you can’t change them in South Dakota, where are you going to change them? Utah?

Obviously, the whole strategy has taken us backward, not forwards. Time for a change.


By chassup AT 12.09.08 03:36PM Not Rated

chassup

Many on this site, and other Catholics encourage us to vote for democrats with the hope of ending abortion.  The following brief history will enlighten them about the long and consistent track records of both parties, especially pointing out that traditional conservative republicans have long championed individual human rights and freedoms, while democrats have a long and consistent record of opposing abolition, voting rights for blacks and women, defended glass ceilings, and have the blood of 40+ million unborn human persons on their hands through complicity in procured abortions.  We are encouraged to believe the dems, including Obama, are the pro-life, pro-liberty.   
_____

The republican party was founded expressly to protect American from the Democrats’ pro-slavery policies.  The first republican president was Lincoln.  After the civil war, both the House and the Senate had solidly Republican majorities, which—over strong Democratic opposition – had passed the Confiscation Act.  By signing the Emancipation Proclamation, President Lincoln was implementing that statute. Freeing the slaves was thus a political question that every Republican in Congress voted for, and every Democrat voted against.  Republicans unanimously voted for what became the 13th Amendment to the Constitution—thereby putting an end to slavery.

The Republicans in Congress went on to pass the nation’s first ever Civil Rights Act, extending citizenship and equal rights to people of all races, all colors, and all creeds. Republicans didn’t take the political approach that they might have, limiting themselves to saying that former slaves would now be treated equally, or only blacks or African-Americans would gain their civil rights. They said all people, all colors, all creeds—so that our government would finally recognize that all people are created equal, and that all should enjoy the right to pursue happiness.

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution—is a purely Republican achievement, because every single Democrat in Congress voted against the 14th Amendment. That is another fact deftly omitted from American history textbooks these days: we owe our Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws and due process to Republicans, and this bedrock of American civil rights was unanimously opposed by the Democrats.

Three years later, in 1869, the Republicans proposed yet another constitutional amendment, this one specifically guaranteeing blacks the right to vote. The same partisanship was in evidence: 98% of Republicans voted for it; 97% of the Democrats voted against it. 

In 1964 a significantly higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  The Democrats’ opposition to Republican efforts to protect the civil rights of African-Americans lasted not just through the Reconstruction era, but well into the 20th Century. In the South, the terrorist wing of the Democratic Party, the Ku Klux Klan, virtually destroyed the Republican Party—which did not recover enough to become a force in the region until President Reagan’s message of freedom and equality for all prevailed in the 1980s.

Every single African-American in Congress, House and Senate, until 1935 was a Republican. 

In 1872, the first black governor took office in Louisiana, a great Republican. California was the first to have a Hispanic governor… a Republican.

The first Hispanic U.S. Senator was elected from New Mexico in 1928… a Republican.

Republicans led the fight for women’s voting rights—Democrats, as a party, opposed civil rights for women.  All of the leading suffragists—including Susan B. Anthony were Republicans. 

The first women delegates to a national party convention went to the Republican Convention. In fact, for years Democrats kept women out, while Republicans were letting women in. 

Senator Sargent introduced the Susan B. Anthony Amendment in 1878, but it didn’t become the law of the land until 1920. Why? Because Republicans did not have majorities in both the House and the Senate at the same time, and the Democrats kept voting against it. 

In the national election two years later, in 1918, Republicans won majorities in both the House and the Senate, then swiftly passed the Women’s Suffrage Amendment. And 1920, therefore, was the first presidential election in which all women could vote.


By chassup AT 12.09.08 03:37PM Not Rated

chassup

History of Human Rights In America… continued:

In 2004, the 50th anniversary of the modern civil rights movement, which most people date to the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. That opinion was written by a Republican Chief Justice appointed by a Republican President, Dwight Eisenhower.

Three years after Brown, President Eisenhower won passage of his landmark Civil Rights Act of 1957. Now remember, the nation had just ended a long stretch of Democratic administrations—nearly four terms of FDR, and seven years of Truman—and yet there had been no civil rights legislation at all. In fact, the Republican Civil Rights Act of 1957 was the first U.S. civil rights legislation in eight decades.

Republican Senator Dirksen of Illinois authored the 1960 Civil Rights Act, and later lead the fight for the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The Democrats weren’t just internally conflicted about the 1964 Civil Rights Act; a significant number of them actually joining a filibuster, it passed with significantly more support from Republicans than from Democrats. The same was true for the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which became law the following year.

The first Asian American Senator in the United States Senate…Republican. 
The first African American Senator after Reconstruction…Republican. 
The first Asian American federal judge…Republican.
The first woman on the Supreme Court…Republican.
The first Asian American woman in any president’s Cabinet…Republican.
The first Hispanic member of the President’s Cabinet…Republican.
The first African American National Security Advisor…Colin Powell,  or Secretary of State…Condoleezza Rice, also first woman to serve as National Security. 

President Ford repealed FDR’s notorious executive order interning 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II.

President Bush and the Republican Party have led America to throw off the “chains of oppression” in Afghanistan, and to free millions of women from the shackles of Taliban rule. Afghan women can now vote; they can go to school; they can practice their professions; and women are no longer required to be fully covered from head to toe when in public. In response to this American victory for human rights, Democrats Michael Moore, John Kerry, and John Edwards have only criticism.

President Bush and the Republican Party have led America to liberate Iraq, freeing more than 24 million people from a brutal, murderous dictator who piled more than 400,000 men, women, and children in mass graves—and who killed more than one million of his fellow citizens. Iraqi men and women are now building their own democracy, as a free people. But John Kerry, Michael Moore, and John Edwards say that spreading democracy in the Middle East is a fool’s errand unworthy of America.

Republicans have for 150 years fought governments from enslaving people, our own liberties are at risk when racists, theocrats, terrorists, and murderers go unpunished and unchecked. That is why, in the end, our true conservative commitment to civil rights and individual freedom undergirds traditional republican policies of limited government and peace through strength.


By chassup AT 12.09.08 04:01PM Not Rated

chassup

JMEDAILLE, in regard to the original topic… Yes, Bush and the Republican leadership are right now nearly indistinguishable from the Democrats on many economic issues! That is not a reason to vote republican.  That is not what I am saying.  What I am saying, in response to the original topic, is that the current leadership in the republican party has detoured to the left leaving a majority American electorate hungry for articulate, dedicated and loyal leadership on traditional moral issues.  Joining the already awful dem-style socialism that has spelled suffering and death for millions is a recipe for disaster. 

Angelo’s argument asked us to work within the dem party with the expectation that it will bear fruit toward the protection of life.  My opinion is that his vision is a dream, a nice dream, but unrealistic considering their long, consistent and deadly record.  They just nominated and elected the most ardent defender of abortion to ever run for that office who promised to throw out any restrictions to abortion.  This is the way to the promised land?

My argument has always been that adherence to true conservative principles found in an existing wing of the republican party is the best hope for a culture of life.  Further, I argue that we have a far greater chance of finding that leadership in the republican party, since the chasm isn’t near as wide.  As a matter of fact, the chasm between life and death in the dem party is perhaps too wide to bridge.

I am not a water-carrier for the GOP, nor am I a dem-hater.  I love liberty, I trust God’s natural law over any man can imagine, and I remain convinced that a party that works every day to defend the killing of millions of babies can’t authentically care for individual human persons outside the womb.


By jmedaille AT 12.09.08 05:32PM Not Rated

jmedaille

Well, this goes on forever, without any resolution. But I’ll make it easy. Go convince South Dakota; then I’ll be convinced.


By CCV AT 12.10.08 05:02PM Not Rated

CCV

I’m Canadian and couldn’t vote in this election but was particularly
interested because my husband is American. The more I investigate, the
more convinced I am that something truly malignant has infected the
American pro-life movement. You’ll never convince me that the
nastiness I’ve observed toward anyone who questioned the GOP’s
“respect for life” had the Holy Spirit behind it. To be fair, I know
the belligerent minority is not the whole. What’s heartbreaking is how
many good people and holy priests have been pulled into this divisive, 
deceptive quagmire. One consolation is that their prayers will be
heard. That, at the end of the day, is what will end the tragedy of
abortion. Anger and snide righteousness never, ever, ever transform
hearts and minds but I’ve seen kindness work miracles.

JM, Godspeed - I really hope your dream can be realized and that
respect for life and family can have “a seat at the table” in what was
once an essentially Catholic party. What have you got to lose trying? 
I’ve certainly come across myriad pro-life voters who feel homeless. 
If the threads are active, I’ll definitely direct them to the
Democrats for Life site.

PS: Not sure what the exchange rate is but I’m just giving my two
bits, not trying to restart the discussion.


By CCV AT 12.10.08 05:15PM Not Rated

CCV

Just to be clear - the “nastiness” I referred to in the above post was not aimed at any writer in this thread. I was writing about personal conversations and other sites.


By jmedaille AT 12.10.08 10:38PM Not Rated

jmedaille

CCV, I think the “pro-life” movement has turned off many people, not only by the vehemence of the rhetoric, but by a connection to an anti-life economic system, which counters everything they say. We are even supposed to support the war in the name of “pro-life.”

Makes no sense to me. More importantly, it seems to make no sense to the voting public.


By chassup AT 12.11.08 01:26PM Not Rated

chassup

In 1776, Jefferson recognized the conflict between his words in the Declaration of Independence and his ownership of slaves.  Condi Rice says it best, “Slavery was America’s birth defect.” 

Lincoln is recognized as the great emancipator, and he was, but few know that Robert E. Lee vigorously opposed slavery, calling it a moral evil.  He did not own slaves, actually freed the slaves of his father-in-law’s estate.  Some Union generals refused to free their slaves.  Lincoln authorized Sherman’s scorched earth march through the south, destroying not only railroads and factories, but private homes, schools and libraries.  They slaughtered livestock, decimated crops and took what they wanted.  When Lee invaded Pennsylvania, he prohibited wanton injury to private property and required payment in return for anything they took.  Lee was a deeply faithful Christian man, a man of great personal character and virtue.  It is interesting that if he had been victorious, slavery in America may have persisted.

That birth defect of slavery was corrected over time, a long time, in the end abolition was thrust upon a minority who disagreed.

Think about it, abortion was forced upon a majority of Americans who allowed it to happen because they remained indifferent.  It was a deft political move of judicial fiat at a particular moment in history, taking advantage of the collective political and cultural currents of the time.  It was not, nor is it today, a reflection of a majority of Americans’ morality.  I think Roe v. Wade reflected America’s indifference, lack of virtue, selfishness… vice.  I was a young teen at that time, I asked my parents what abortion was, they cautioned me that people don’t talk about such things in public… and my parents were very faithful Catholics!  I wonder if they would allowed that owning a slave is personal?

Hypotheticals:

Think about the evil institution of slavery, who supported it, who defended it, who fought it, who was right?  Most importantly, how was it finally abolished?

Think of the evil institution of abortion, far worse than slavery.  Now consider the paradox represented by many of our leaders and the voters who elect them.  What will eventually lead to the abolition of abortion?  I’ve heard for years that we have to change hearts and minds, but that didn’t work for slavery, never would have.  Lee fought the abolitionists, but he was one, he was a Virginian. (Democrat grin  Lincoln freed the slaves, but committed what today would be called war crimes. (Republican!)

I think it is a mistake to play politics without understanding politics.  It is a mistake to see election results as final results or necessarily representative of the people’s will… it is at most the will of those who cared to vote that day. 

Prop 11 in South Dakota was defeated by pro-lifers!  It is a mistake to conclude that South Dakotans are not committed to pro-life laws.  The results are a good example of poor political execution. 

Obama won his election because conservative voters stayed home!  It is a mistake to conclude that Americans are somehow OK with liberal social policies.  31.2 million evangelicals didn’t vote, do you think a majority would have voted for Obama?

63% of voters in gun-owning households voted for McCain, but 80 million eligible voters in gun-owning households didn’t vote at all!  Half of that 80 million would have given McCain a wider popular margin of victory than Obama actually won.

My point?  First, it is important that we remain objective, understand politics, see our elected leaders and candidates as they are, not what we wish.  Second, we must craft a strategic plan to win a culture of life for America that is politically sophisticated and comprehensive.  Third, we need to cultivate and promote traditional American conservative candidates of great virtue, hold them accountable, real statesmen who will lead and lead by example to revive the authentic America envisioned by the original architects and reflective of the traditional Judeo-Christian moral framework upon which our nation was founded.

We need heroes.  America is really screwed up, it will take all of us praying harder, voting regularly, and keeping our eyes on the goal of abolishing abortion which is counter with an ethic of life from conception to natural death.  As some have pointed out, all government policies must be directed toward this ethic. 

Also, remember, that which divides us is far less than He who unites us.


By dsconi AT 12.11.08 02:15PM Not Rated

dsconi

You are making this too easy for me, JMEDAIILE!  Here we go with another point-by-point rebuttal.

JMEDAIILE writes:  “DSCONI, I wonder which of us are engaging in “rationalizations.” You stake all on the Republican Party, even though only 9% of Republicans regard abortion as a top issue, and even fewer are pro-life. Your position strikes me as inconsistent. You condemn the Democrats for not being pro-life, and when pro-life Democrats come along, you condemn them for being Democrat. Your catechism is “Damned if they do and damned if they don’t.””

Rationalizations in this context are basically excuses for failing to do the proper thing—such as voting for a pro-abortion candidate despite describing yourself as a pro-lifer.  Because my pro-life votes are 100% consistent with my pro-life beliefs, I have no need to offer rationalizations or explain away any inconsistencies.  That, my friend, is what you keep doing.  Anyone can claim to be pro-life despite actions to the contrary.  Two relevant examples of this are the many highly visible Catholic Democratic politicians who claim to oppose abortion yet fully support the pro-abortion agenda, and the pro-life Catholic Democrats who continue to vote them into office.  These are clear examples of inconsistency that are explained away through rationalizations about war, poverty, environmentalism, etc.  What I find so “damning” about pro-life Catholic Democrats is that their pro-life claims are completely undermined by their pro-abortion voting habits.  I have stated this repeatedly and have asked for examples to the contrary, but none have been forthcoming.  As usual, you are purposely misrepresenting my comments in order to criticize them.

JMEDAIILE writes:  “You tell me my complaints come from the “angry left,” complaints like unjust war, unjust economies, and torture. But in fact, these are defined by the Catholic Church as “intrinsically evil” in the same way that abortion is.  Our complaints come not from he left but from the Church.”

I’m not condoning economic injustice or war of any kind.  I’m just not allowing you to redirect the conversation by falsely claiming that these are “Republican evils” which somehow counterbalance the Democratic evil of abortion—not that you would ever admit as much.  The decision to wage war and the prosecution of a war are in no way intrinsically evil.  The same goes for economic theory or policy.  These do not involve black and white moral absolutes.  Abortion however is always wrong.  Period.  No justifications under any circumstances—even if the health or life of the mother is at stake.  To place a greater value upon the life of the mother than upon the life of the unborn child destroys the entire argument of what makes killing unwanted or imperfect babies wrong—their inherent value as children of God, with God alone as the giver and taker of life.  The same cannot be said of war, tax policy, government spending, environmental protection, etc, etc.  We are free to disagree about the rightness or wrongness of the various approaches to protecting our freedoms, redistributing wealth, preserving nature and a host of other issues.  Of course we want a Church and a pope that vehemently denounce all acts of aggression—even in the name of defending freedom.  On the other hand, the pope is not sworn to protect the people of the USA and our way of life from threats foreign or domestic—the president is.  Can you imagine the response from all sides if Mr. Bush declared that he was ending the wars out of deference to the pope?

JMEDAIILE writes:  “You have staked all things on one thing and lost everything. That’s the way it always works. We vote for the devil in the name of fighting the devil, and thereby give the devil a fighting chance.  Not to mention a lot of laughs, assuming the devil can laugh.”

Wrong again with your juvenile philosophizing and futile attempts to misinterpret my words and deeds along with the fruit they bear.  I have indeed staked all on one thing:  The Lordship of Jesus Christ!  I am following His call to defend the defenseless and speak for those without a voice.    In so doing, I have lost nothing except for love of worldly things that will one day pass away.  I certainly have not voted for the devil in the name of fighting him.  Despite your delusions, his name is spelled S-A-T-A-N, not B-U-S-H.  If the devil laughs at all, he certainly laughs longest at the way we slaughter God’s unborn children in the name of choice—and with the tacit support of many who declare themselves children of God.


By dsconi AT 12.11.08 02:49PM Not Rated

dsconi

Clearly, JMEDAILLE, this essay format is not working for you as you have failed to address any of my most relevant questions in a straightforward manner.  In addition, your arguments are becoming less and less effective at their intended obfuscation.  Maybe a brief true or false quiz will reveal the answers I began searching for about 85 comments ago.  Choose the best answer, either True or False.  No other answers will be considered.  Good luck!

  1. Pro-life legislation has resulted in fewer aborted babies.
  2. Republicans in the Congress have introduced and passed this pro-life legislation.
  3. Democrats in Congress have obstructed this pro-life legislation.
  4. Pro-life justices have upheld these laws resulting in fewer aborted babies
  5. Republican presidents have nominated these and other pro-life justices.
  6. Democratic presidents have nominated pro-abortion justices.
  7. Democrats in Congress have obstructed the confirmation of pro-life justices.
  8. Republican candidates promise to expand the rights or the unborn.
  9. Democratic candidates promise to expand abortion rights.
10. There is no inconsistency between being anti-abortion and voting Democratic.

Bonus:  If you answered “True” to number 10, please explain clearly, concisely and completely how this is possible.  Please limit your response to number 10 only, any extraneous comments will be ignored.


By chassup AT 12.11.08 04:01PM Not Rated

chassup

DSCONI, That’s not fair—you should have made it” True” “False” “BushCheneyHalliburton”  and “It All Depends.”


By jmedaille AT 12.12.08 12:41PM Not Rated

jmedaille

I think it is easy to see from these “discussions” why the anti-abortion movement lacks any real influence. The anti-abortion side quickly descends into ad hominems and claims that they are doing the will of God (Hezbollah, in Arabic) and that anyone who dissents is working for Satan. Personally, I haven’t had the opportunity to inspect Jesus’s voter registration card, so I don’t know what party he belongs to. I just have to do the best I can.

I see the claim that it was the pro-lifers who defeated pro-life legislation, and I agree with that claim, although we may mean different things by that statement.

I see the fantasy that there are 10’s of millions of pro-life voters ready to sweep the right candidate into office. This is a strange claim given that even in the Republican primaries, the best they could do was McCain, an erstwhile supporter of abortion and a continuing supporter of embryonic stem-cell research. Further, I don’t see any electoral results or polling data to support these fantasies.

It’s all very well to make a political comparison between abortion and slavery, but I seem to recall that slavery was ended by military means, not political ones. Are you suggesting a new civil war?

I have consistently referred to this movement as “anti-abortion” rather than “pro-life” because I see nothing pro-life about it. In fact, I see it as mostly anti-life, once you get past conception. Pro-life is pro-family and pro-just wage. Yet most anti-abortion people of my acquaintance are associated with Neoclassical or Austrian economics that reduce society to a collectivity of autonomous individuals. Even the founder of Austrian economics proclaimed that it is incompatible with Christianity, and its leading exponent writes an essay entitled “Why I am not a Conservative.”

I don’t see any commitment to strengthening the family economically or institutionally on the anti-abortion side; in fact I see the opposite. While the politicians they have supported may not have done much about abortion (your claims to the contrary), but they have been able to impose their economic hegemony on the nation, with disastrous consequences.

You say your votes are consistent with your “pro-life” beliefs, and I believe you. I just don’t believe that they are pro-life. You have enjoyed electoral success for the better part of 40 years, and in that time the position of the family has deteriorated, not strengthened. And until one is willing to address the economic and social health of the family, it is hypocritical to proclaim a pro-life label; anti-abortion I will grant you, but I see nothing pro-life about it.


By chassup AT 12.12.08 04:00PM Not Rated

chassup

JMEDAILLE, by your own way of seeing things, you advise voting for a party that is pro-postnatal-life, but opposed to defending prenatal life (or the just born in Obama’s case)  In your world, those who are allowed to live will have far better lives.  How compassionate of you.


By chassup AT 12.12.08 04:30PM Not Rated

chassup

DSCONI, I don’t think you’re going to get the simple answers to your simple questions.  Margaret Sanger’s utopian dream of Malthusian eugenics continues unharrassed by decent Catholics everywhere, but you and I are doing the work of the devil because we dare to suggest that God establishes each human life in the womb and needs no further justification.


By chassup AT 12.12.08 04:33PM Not Rated

chassup

I thought this was timely:

“Many politicians, like much of the American public, seem to be unaware that abortion and euthanasia are serious violations of the inalienable right to life.  These are not just ‘Church’ issues but are governed by the natural law of God, which is binding upon all human beings. The right to life is the most fundamental of all rights, since a person deprived of life has no other rights.”

—Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J.


By dsconi AT 12.15.08 02:01AM Not Rated

dsconi

Thank you, JMEDAILLE, for your eventual candor in admitting that those proclaiming themselves to be pro-life, Catholic Democrats are not necessarily strongly anti-abortion, and that other life issues are indeed ranked higher when considering political candidates and parties.  At least now there is a clear starting point from which an honest discussion of the prospects for a future pro-life* Democratic party could begin.  On the other hand, you’ve got an awful lot of work to do to convince us “anti-choice fanatics” that a genuine culture of life will spring up once the proper economic and foreign policy structures are all in place.  I know this isn’t a very sophisticated thought, but it seems obvious to me that if we want to establish a culture of life we should be working diligently to establish the inherent dignity of every human life from conception to natural death.  All of us claiming the mantle of pro-life, that is.  Ignoring the dehumanization of the unborn now in the hope that they will be valued in the distant future once we’ve conquered the twin evils of capitalism and imperialism requires more audacity than I can muster. 

I think the greatest challenge of our current political climate is the fact that we are so far removed from the plain words of the Declaration of Independence which state that our rights come from our Creator and our laws from the God of Nature.  In 21st century America, our rights and our laws come courtesy of the courts, and the social engineers on many a judicial bench are not too fond of Natural Law Philosophy or the God of the Christians.  We are all in a position now of currying favor with one party or another to either protect inalienable rights that are in danger of being taken away or to procure “rights” that would be unrecognizable to the founding fathers.  Honestly, from a pro-life perspective, I’m less concerned about who is in Washington raiding the Treasury and how the money is being spent, than who is proposing and passing anti-family, anti-life, anti-Christian legislation—in addition to nominating and confirming our black-robed masters who will decide its Constitutionality.

If Obama makes good on his promise to sign into law the “Freedom of Choice Act”, it could shut down every Catholic hospital in America and make it impossible for Catholic doctors, nurses and pharmacists to follow the tenets of their faith—at least the ones who refuse to participate in abortions, dispense birth control or provide fertility treatments. 
Will “hate crimes” legislation and homosexual marriage and adoption also appear on the Obama agenda now that he has been safely elected?  Pushing Catholic agencies out of the adoption business in heavily-Catholic Massachusetts and gay-friendly San Francisco was only the tip of the iceberg.  We’ll see how welcome Catholics are in the Democratic party once they start to complain to their leaders about this new assault upon their faith.  Unless of course they remain silent like they do now regarding abortion.  Is this change pro-life* Catholic Democrats can believe in?

*anti-abortion but not in an overzealous sort of way that turns people off and makes enemies instead of allies in the causes of poverty eradication and world peace.


By jmedaille AT 12.15.08 11:36PM Not Rated

jmedaille

DSCONI Says, somewhat incoherently, Thank you, JMEDAILLE, for your eventual candor in admitting that those proclaiming themselves to be pro-life, Catholic Democrats are not necessarily strongly anti-abortion

When did I ever say such a thing? Do you have any thing in any of your posts that isn’t a tissue of lies, ad hominems, and exaggerations.

You have encouraged us to vote for death, war, torture, ruin, incompetence. In return, we get nothing for life, and everything for death. And you haven’t saved a single life. The holocaust continues, just as it did when Ronald Reagan signed the first of many “liberal” abortion laws. You been duped, and are happy being a dupe; a fellow traveler, and cheap one at that. You sold you vote for nothing.

Sell for what you can get for it, but don’t ask me to join the culture of death that is at the heart of the Republican Party.


By chassup AT 12.16.08 11:11AM Not Rated

chassup

JMEDAILLE, you are factually wrong, and I think you made a gross error voting for Obama who plans to remove all the restrictions to abortions that HAVE saved lives.  It is detestable that you continue to propagate certain untruths disguised as pro-life arguments, I can only surmise, to justify your vote for the party of abortion, class warfare, secular humanism and irreligiosity.  The Dem’s allegiance to the purveyors of death is all about money, what’s yours?  I hope you are just confused or deceived.

U.S. abortion rate hits 30-year low.  (Jan, 2008).

...abortion rate tends to be higher in the northeastern United States, while lower in the South and the Midwest.

Rachel Jones, of Planned Parenthood’s Allan Guttmacher Institute speculated on the causes of the lower abortion rate, saying, “it could be more restrictions on abortions, making it more difficult for women to obtain abortion services.”

You know you’re doing something right when you get the enemy to admit it.  We’re gaining ground and you want us to throw in with the other side.  Quitters never win, and winners never quit.


By Dave AT 12.16.08 07:17PM Not Rated

Dave

The 100th post! You are closed.


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