Abortion, Torture, and the Juice-Box Theologians

There is a movement well underway to convince faithful Catholics they do not have a political home in the Republican Party.

The effort is comprised of former political conservatives who now believe they are more Catholic than anybody else and therefore have cast a pox on both political parties, which is just another way for the abortion party to continue winning.

They want you to believe that the water boarding of three terrorists more than a decade ago is on par with 50 million deaths from abortion, and that any desire for smaller government and less regulation is a form of radical individualism, Randism, or libertarianism that is therefore anti-Catholic.

Overtly political left-wingers and dissenters at places like the National Catholic Reporter, and to a lesser extent Commonweal have been making a case like this for years. They noticed that the so-called non-negotiable issues of abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, same-sex “marriage” and human cloning have had a galvanizing political effect on faithful Catholics.

They were deeply dismayed that dunder-head warmonger George Bush not only captured the way Catholics speak about public policy; he captured their vote, too. In fact, he stomped a dissenting Catholic who ran against him. Bush not only won the faithful Catholic vote, those who actually go to Mass, but he captured the generics, those who haven’t seen a church in twenty years but still identify as Catholic when pollsters call.

None of this happened by accident. The Bush apparatus knew what they were doing. They put together a formidable team for Catholic outreach and they worked the Catholic side of the street assiduously. There were White House briefings and regular phone calls and the courting of Catholic intellectuals like Father Richard John Neuhaus, Michael Novak, George Weigel and Robert George, who were happy to give their advice and counsel, happy to defend Bush when he deserved it, happy even to make his case to the Holy Father when the need arose.

The political left tried in vain to convince faithful Catholics that other issues rose to the level of abortion, same-sex “marriage” and the rest of the non-negotiables. We were told economic issues rose that high; the minimum wage, the social safety net, universal government health care and all the rest. They argued that the death penalty rose that high. They argued the GOP was not really concerned with abortion after all because decades had passed and the GOP had not overturned Roe v. Wade.

So, we were told to leave the GOP and join the Democrats even though they fight to the death any restrictions on abortion, never saw a gay “marriage” they didn’t love, fought tooth and nail for embryo-destructive research, are enthusiastic about euthanasia, but still want to raise the minimum wage.

Faithful Catholics and even generics ignored this pitch in droves, bolstered in part by Pope Benedict who said others issues could not rise as high in our political estimation as abortion.

Then came the Obama campaign and along with it huge money from George Soros and gay billionaires to create lefty Catholic groups that mirrored those on the right. Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United were two of them. Their purposes were to convince Catholics that doctrinal issues were really prudential and that prudential issues were really doctrinal. They strove to convince faithful Catholics that the GOP really didn’t care about the non-negotiables and that we were suckers for ever thinking they did.

Lackluster campaigns of both McCain and Romney did not help. It also did not help that both of them were viewed, correctly in some instances, as less than stalwart on the non-negotiables. And we know the result has been catastrophic. Same-sex “marriage” is upon us: gays in the military: horrific anti-lifers on the Supreme Court. But hey, we’ve got Obamacare, only the largest expansion of the abortion right after Roe v. Wade with free contraception and abortion drugs to boot.

The coziness of politically conservative Catholics with the GOP in general and the Bush administration in particular gave birth to a new movement to drive faithful Catholics away from the GOP.

One thing to admit is the terrible temptation to trim your sails when your guy is in the White House. This happens. You are called upon to defend actions you would attack if done by the other guy. A good example is the Bush decision on embryonic stem cell research. Recall his decision not to fund research on any new lines but to fund research on lines already created. That is a non-negotiable becoming negotiable. Even so, does anyone think the Democrat would have done any better? And, his decision had the effect of taking the issue off the hot stove and giving ethical research the time to catch up, which it has in spades.

I first noticed this group of thunder-bolt tossing uber-Catholics at a blog called Vox Nova, which for a good long while was exorcized over the question of water boarding. I engaged the debate and suggested this was a distraction from real issues and a way to convince faithful Catholics that they could not vote for the Republicans because of it. You would have thought I was the biggest heretic since Martin Luther.

People went to the board of directors of the group I run asking for my firing because a heretic like me certainly could not run a Catholic organization. I was excoriated in columns and comment boxes. I was schooled on Elizabeth Anscombe’s essay about why numbers do not matter; that three water-boardings are as important as 50 million abortions, or something like that.

This started all up again when a few months ago the Democratic staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee released a 6,000-page report on “torture” wherein they did not interview anyone from the CIA, but spent most of their time with defense attorneys for terrorists jailed in Guantanamo Bay.

This group of writers hasn’t exactly downplayed the non-negotiables as to expand them into meaninglessness. Gun control is now a non-negotiable. So is the minimum wage. Universal government provided health care is a non-negotiable and now, with the impending papal encyclical on the environment, global warming is one, too.

I got into a debate a few weeks ago on the topic of water boarding. What I found is these juice-box theologians, that is, mostly young newly minted but largely unemployed PhDs, believe that water boarding is so important that one must cast their vote for president based on it and it alone.

Talk about single-issue voting.

This may be an important issue but not one that rises to the level of determining my vote nor should it. There are too many other important issues like—yes—abortion.

Has the GOP overturned Roe v. Wade just yet? No. Does the GOP desert this issue on a fairly regular basis? Sure. Are there anti-lifers all over the GOP elite? You bet. Even so, the GOP remains the only viable political vessel for stopping what Pope St. John Paul the Great called the most important human rights issue of our time. He did not say that about torture, or the minimum wage, or universal government-run health care.

As for Catholic Social Teaching, the cudgel this group likes to beat us with, who says Catholic Social Teaching requires us to follow the policy prescriptions of the hard left? The following fits right in with Catholic Social Teaching, if only Catholics were willing to put it this way:

Eliminate the corporate income tax. Eliminate the capital gains tax, and the death tax. Eliminate OSHA and the Department of Education. At the same time, run a national campaign out of the White House encouraging people to finish high school, get married, go to church, and have babies. Sit back and watch all boats rise.

While we’re at it, let’s get the Federal government out of the land business. The Feds own a third of all US land, up to half and more of many western states. Let’s have a modern day land-rush for all those Distributists out there who are just itching to fish, farm or make cheese—though one suspects they’ll stay exactly where they are, blogging and adjunct teaching.

Austin Ruse

By

Austin Ruse is president of C-FAM (Center for Family & Human Rights), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute. He is the author of Fake Science: Exposing the Left’s Skewed Statistics, Fuzzy Facts, and Dodgy Data published by Regnery. He is also the author of the new book Little Suffering Souls: Children Whose Short Lives Point Us to Christ published by Tan Books. The views expressed here are solely his own.

  • NormChouinard

    I don’t have a home in the Republican Party. In the northeast, Republicans nominated for political office are typically antithetical to just about every core Catholic social teaching. And I will never compromise my vote on Catholic core issues in some sort of political calculus about winning the Senate or nominating SC justices. We have seen that song over and over and it is always one step forward and two steps back. Good luck with that strategy.

    • Don

      An interesting response that makes me wonder what you have experienced. Antithetical on what issues and in what ways? From a national perspective, the Dems demand support for all forms of abortion (or you are making war on women), demand gay marriage (not exactly a Catholic position), and believe every American is required to pay for birth control for others. I don’t know how things are locally, but on national issues, it is simply impossible to be a Dem and Catholic.

      • NormChouinard

        I can agree with all of that. The topics you mention are also standard fare for northeast Republicans, at least the ones nominated for statewide office.

  • lifeknight

    The “platform” of the Democrats is clear—reproductive freedom—at all costs. The Republicans still have the “life begins at conception” platform. One would hope that being on a “team” would require playing the same game. Sadly the big tent philosophy has ruined the Republicans. Where else can a prolifer go? Like the Church, with all her flaws, one could ask the same question and have the same answer with politics in AmeriKa,,,,,,,,

    • Vinny

      “Where else can a prolifer go?” The Constitution Party. Too tiny? Not if enough voters joined it. A person starts with two microscopic cells. You just need exponential growth.

    • Diane

      reproductive freedom for those who are not Catholic.
      Why should others who are not Catholic have to follow what Catholics believe?
      Nobody is making you have an abortion or use contraception or do anything else that Catholics do not believe in.

      • You are so transparently misrepresenting yourself.

      • lifeknight

        The Church’s teaching is the standard for all people because Christ founded the Catholic Faith. It states the truth that all of us know through natural law–which is that it is ALWAYS wrong to kill innocent humans.

      • FW Ken

        Dead babies aren’t Catholic or non-Catholic.

  • JP

    Austin brings up some good points concerning Juice Box Theologians. I think we should also add the “Professional Catholic” as well. I define Professional Catholics as lay people who make their bread and butter either teaching, writing, or opining about all things Catholic. Many are single issues Catholics; many are women. Quite a few are converts who found a niche as apologists, or public speakers. Some have radio shows, others have nationally syndicated columns or blogs. A few are tenured professors. As a group, they form a kind of unofficial media block. One could even call them gatekeepers of the Faith.

    And one doesn’t rock the boat without risking their collective wrath. Many years ago I always understood these people as orthodox in their beliefs. But, in light of recent events I am not so sure. These Gatekeepers have also become a kind of an unofficial damage control team for the current Pope and Vatican. Their reflexive defense of the Pope should be commendable; however, when it becomes a weekly or daily event, one would think that one of these people would at least politely voice some concern. But, that is not the case. I remember hearing 2 of these Professional Catholics defend the Pope’s “breed like rabbits” remarks. One, a well known, Catholic family therapist explained that the Pope was only highlighting “responsible parenting”. It never once occurred to him that Pope Francis’ remarks were very offensive to many good Catholic mothers.

    Part of the problem I see that can occur with Catholic Professionals is that they are caught between teaching the Truth and feeding their families. They depend upon the graces of Bishops, Christian publishing houses, media outlets such as EWTN and Relevant Radio. Like other more secular media personalities they must constantly watch what they say and how they say or write something lest they be black balled. Another temptation that must be avoided is the temptation to become one’s own magesterium. There is one very well known Catholic columnist who can become very obnoxious when dealing with people he disagrees with. And I can still remember one Catholic radio personality who ran a virtual confession booth on air (people would call him up and asked his opinion about whether some of their actions constituted Mortal Sin).

    • GG

      Exactly right. What is needed is another Mother Angelica. She would not tolerate the sycophants and the effete that have taken over the Catholic media.

      • Another Catherine of Siena would also be helpful.

  • chrisinva

    Mr. ruse is half-right: the Bush admin assiduously cultivated Catholics and social conservatives in general. Yes, Karl Rove sat right there in the room and assured us that “our turn” would finally come, right after the (2004) elections.

    It didn’t. Saint John Paul II warned that Bush’s invasion of Iraq would cause “chaos” in the Middle East. It did. And “our turn” evaporated, while the bipartisan Crony Crowd splashed in the Hot Tub.

    The only way to unplug the trough is from the OUTside. Phyllis Schlafly, who got that prolife phrase into the GOP platform for about ten conventions, is right: we don’t need to be a third party, but we need to be an independent “third force,” which no Wilsonian Crony Republican can ever take for granted.

  • Seamrog

    Another nice essay Mr. Ruse.

    “Eliminate the corporate income tax. Eliminate the capital gains tax, and the death tax. Eliminate OSHA and the Department of Education. At the same time, run a national campaign out of the White House encouraging people to finish high school, get married, go to church, and have babies. Sit back and watch all boats rise.”

    I’d vote for all of this.

    In a skinny minute.

    • Abandoning the unborn in their hour of greatest need will not help. American capitalism is based on the capital punishment of the unborn.

      • Seamrog

        Sigh….

        This is the polarization that the essay addresses.

        • And the very polarization that the essay doubles down on in the end. How about stopping the genocide before we figure out a way for the rich to get richer on the death of the poor?

          • Seamrog

            You base this on a straw man argument about capitalism, which I do not accept, and make it an ‘all or nothing’ proposition.

            It is lose, lose, and is exactly what the author is pointing out.

            Congrats!

            • If we are not willing to sacrifice everything to end the genocide, then of what use is making it a non-negotiable item?

              The very argument of the Democrats and pro-Choice Republicans is that children are too expensive to be allowed to live- that’s what rape and life of the mother exemptions are all about, that’s why the 20 week pain capable abortion ban isn’t at 8 weeks when the fetus actually begins to feel pain, it is why the disabled “severely impaired” are often aborted. It is all about eliminating the surplus population, by which the capitalists mean “anybody who will cost more to keep alive than we will extract profits from their labor”.

              We need to think outside the box to eliminate the genocide. If we have to, we need to think about land grants to families with parents as young as 8, we need to think about paying mothers for the so-called sacrifice of parenthood, we need to get over our revulsion against WIP and guarantee that *every* child will have food, clothing, shelter, and adequate medical care.

              57 million dead is too many. It’s time to get serious about pro-life and stop treating it as a negotiable every time an attractive tax break for the rich comes along.

              • LarryCicero

                Abortion in Russia or in China are the fault of capitalism? We have to sacrifice freedom to end abortion?

                • Seamrog

                  And apparently any wealth you have managed to accumulate.

                  If keeping the death tax in place until Jesus returns would end abortion, then I guess that would be the only acceptable reason for keeping the death tax.

                  • LarryCicero

                    Outlaw personal property and your labor is no longer yours.

                    • Seamrog

                      True. I think most physicians would agree with this.

                    • Most people’s labor belongs to their shareholders.

                    • LarryCicero

                      Not true. You agree to work for a wage. The profit belongs to the shareholder. Shareholders are people. If you have a retirement fund, you may be a shareholder. You assume shareholders cannot be Catholic? You assume profit is evil?

                    • Wages are dictated, not agreed to freely. They are “what the market will bear”, no more, no less. If wages were agreed to freely, your happy meal would cost $200 to manufacture.

                      I am forced to have a retirement fund, which brokers on wall street profit off of. I have yet to see one actually make money, in the last 20 years, most have lost money in so-called “retirement” funds.

                      I assume that any unearned profit is usury.

                    • LarryCicero

                      So who is to build the factory? Why do you need a retirement fund? Why don’t you take your retirement funds and start a business? Or a commune?

                    • Perhaps you missed the Banker’s Coup of 2007, when the United States effectively lost our government and our freedom.

                      If you have social security, then you have a retirement account. There is no difference between big government and big business. And the laws are situated so that you have zero access to that money until a certain age, because it’s currently being used for people older than you. If you believe it will still be there when you get to that certain age, then you’re an even bigger fool, the whole thing is a ponzi scheme designed to fail with the demographic bubble of the baby boomers.

                      I’ve tried starting businesses, there are regulatory hurdles to doing so, put in place by the market to protect the market from people like me.

                    • LarryCicero

                      Have you tried starting a commune?

                    • Working on a very small commune. It’s called a family. It’s being attacked right now by your free market, which hates such communes.

                    • LarryCicero

                      Maybe you should search for a country that is better suited to your liking. America is building a wall to keep people out. East Germany had a wall to keep people in. Maybe you should sell your computer and move to the hills, build a wall, and isolate yourself and family. I am still not sure what country you think will best allow you to pursue your dream.

                      I am typing on a computer I could not make and washed the dishes- glass, ceramic, plastic and metal-which I could not make. And enjoyed a salami sandwich. I could not bake the bread or butcher a hog. If I walled myself off in a commune, where would I get the sandwich and on what would I eat? I’d probably be hungry and cold.

                    • There is no country in the world that is not owned by the international banks.

                    • Strife

                      Which international banks are free from national regulations?

                    • International banks created the national regulations; they lobby for the national regulations, they WRITE the national regulations for their pet legislators to pass. They own the regulation system.

                    • Strife

                      Not quite – the legislators actually create and monitor the regulatory process. Hence the “lobby” part of your incomplete equation. So…. why didn’t that happen under the socialist Democrats? Oh but wait – that would be a political problem with the actual elected representatives wouldn’t it? Well yes. Yes it would.

                    • Can Americans hold foreign bank accounts? Must Americans pay taxes on income while living abroad? Make no mistake, the walls around America were built to corral the people in.

                    • LarryCicero

                      Americans are allowed to live abroad? What about the North Koreans? I am not saying America is perfect. There is way too much government, taxes and regulations, but apparently it still more attractive than Mexico. Most Americans come back after a week or so.

                    • If you need to compare with North Korea, then America is worse than I thought.

                    • Sadly, Mexico has become mixed up and distorted. Thanks to NAFTA it has become worst of both worlds…

                      The happiest societies are usually in Central and South America, Scandinavia, Southeast Asia, and miscellaneous island locales. And they consume a lot less: http://www.happyplanetfoundation.org

                    • >>”… what country you think will best allow you to pursue your dream…” Pursuing a dream… that should be a 50-50 freedom, not a societal doctrine for full happiness. You seem indoctrinated, and expecting that everyone else should be, too.

                      You do realize that Adam Smith told us, that the price system would ultimately negate all attempts to make a profit? Is that a moral system, to enslave tradesmen?

                    • LarryCicero

                      Explain your preferred system please.

                    • We’re working on it, but first two elements are, allow towns greater freedom to override state law, taxes, templates… allows guilds to form and members work mutually to avoid hegemony of price system and loss of quality and hyper-consumption..

                      Yes we are forsaking economic growth, according to your limited, statistics-based modeling.

                    • LarryCicero

                      Jesus said to the rich man, sell your possessions and give to the poor. What price should he sell at? Who determines price?

                    • Would you provide the chapter and verse? I do not want to interpret unless I can look at context. Did Jesus really tell him to liquidate through currency, or simply to give away the possessions?

                    • LarryCicero

                      Think it is in both Matthew and Mark. Try Google. How about the parable of the Talents. The good two multiplied the talents and the wicked one buried it in a hole. How does that fit into your view of work and capital? Seems capitalistic. What say you?

                    • No, I find the use of so-called Parable of Talents by the neo-Thomists to be blasphemy. Obviously Jesus was using material wealth as an analogy for the Word of God. The entire section of Matthew is devoted to Jesus exhorting his flock to evangelization… next the neo-Thomists will tell us that the following parable about the oil lamps, is telling us to burn a lot of fossil fuels… 🙂

                    • LarryCicero

                      How do the environmentalists interpret it?

                    • Most environmentalists haven’t met the Lord, that is what I have to work on.

                    • OK, that is Mark 10:21 and Matthew 19:21…. there you have a better case than usually advanced. Of course, Jesus might have preferred that the rich man had never accumulated the possessions… but what you do have is Jesus recommending money for a transaction, and the basis for the Rockefeller/ Gates paradigm– robbing and pillaging remorselessly but turning around in the end and giving back… To me it seems a distinctly covetous and wasteful behavior, but this is much better excuse than twisting around the Parable of Talents!!

                    • LarryCicero

                      There is the idea that things can multiply. Five grows to ten and ten to twenty. What is grown is not stolen. The plant does not steal from the soil and the stream. And so we have gifts from God, which we did not earn but are obligated to put to good use.

                    • That is the neoliberal idolatry, of man-as-new-God. Yes, God’s natural systems multiply, but our artificial systems control, direct, quantify, possess… and kill.

                    • LarryCicero

                      Labor can be physical and mental. Take music for example, is it not created by man? Where do ideas come from? How does it fit into your classifications?

                    • Yes, there is widest dichotomy, and deficit of the current systems. I see learned people wasting a lot of time on peddling and trading, for low returns, for barely scraping by to “make a living”. It has been pointed out that even bushmen have all their needs taken care of with 20 hours per week of hunting and gathering, and the rest is leisure time. So we sacrifice the chances to live, to write and perform music, for example.

                      A greater deficit is mass media. It is a giant tool of the Evil One.

                    • LarryCicero

                      If his riches were ill-gotten, would it have been better to point out that he was a thief?

                    • Riches are not so really ill-gotten from the other parties in transactions, that was not Christ’s complaint… As we see today, they are usually at expense of hard-to-account-for costs, of faith, family, community, and life.

                    • It says “sell”, no donate, gift, or abandon.

                    • St. Thomas More’s “Utopia” -whose dry humor of naming it “noplace”, shows it is to be a criticism not a policy prescription.

                    • “I’ve tried starting businesses, there are regulatory hurdles to doing so, put in place by the market to protect the market from people like me.”

                      The barriers to entry in internet commerce are extremely low. Perhaps you should peddle more and post less and you might be successful.

                    • Yeah, right. I’ve tried that. Too many fish, not enough fishermen, in the internet commerce realm.

                    • Guest

                      You mean too many fishermen, not enough fish….

                    • Regulations are written by big businesses and enforced by government to raise the bar to small start ups. Yet you believe that more government is the solution. Interesting.

                    • No, I believe more governments are the solution. As in smaller markets, with friendship instead of anonymity.

                    • I see your point. But I’d only agree if the governments would also be much more limited in their charter. Public servants are no angels. The last thing we need are fallen men lording over others in smaller areas.

                    • Smaller area means personal contact- and personal contact is the best defense against tyranny. What fallen man wants to be lynched?

                    • There they go again, you hate capitalism so they assume you want socialism.

                    • Strife

                      That’s because you do want socialism. You want the State to have even more control.

                    • You are piddling again…

                    • Strife

                      And you’re defecating as always…

                    • Yep. More liberalism, less humanity, is what they believe in.

                    • Strife

                      Really? When and where has that worked? Show me.

                    • Every Catholic Monastery,

                    • Strife

                      You want to return to the medieval economics of the monastic networks? On a national/global scale? Uhm….sure.

                      Tell me more.

                    • Actually, he wants to ignore the fact the implications of the fact that Monks unique- and aren’t in the same situation as people living in the secular world, don’t have wives or children and based upon the number of appeals in my mailbox, require donations.

                    • Yes the town should have freedom. The guild should have freedom.

                      Currently, the acts of cementing communities and trades against the hegemony of the state boilerplates and the price system respectively, are strictly prohibited. We worship at altar of monetary efficiency, and eschew human development.

                    • And monetary efficiency, is the enemy of the family.

                    • Now how have you guys injected fixed exchange rates in this?

                    • That is correct, the Banker’s Coup! I also point to the Great Putsch, which was around time of the Gingrich-Clinton Unholy Alliance and formation of internet hypes and bubbles…. that is where we started the trouble, culminating in the final meltdown.

                    • He has a retirement fund. He can have multiple ones, if he so desires.

                      Note the language “forced to have”-employees at Intel (hired prior to 2011) are provided a DB plan, where his interest grows based on service and “final average” salary, without any effort from him or cost-and he complains.Nobody forces him to participate in the 401K.

                      http://www.intc.com/intel-annual-report/2013/10K/72-retirement-benefit-plans.html

                    • What do you “profit off”?

                    • Then so are unearned wages.

                    • Yes. Absolutely true. Which is another reason to argue for small, craft based markets and guilds instead of unions. Anonymity breeds contempt.

                    • When these craft guilds builds the all wheel drive vehicles I favor or the computer you are on, let me know. Until then I’m stuck with craft chocolates and craft beers.

                    • LarryCicero

                      Craft marijuana becoming popular in Northwest?

                    • I’m in a craft guild that builds computers. One of the more famous ones (not the one I’m in) was the place that both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs got their start. Today, we have the open source movement that *still* builds computers and programs them. Not to mention all of the maker factories, the 3D printer revolution, and companies like Local Motors which, gasp, offers an all wheel drive vehicle that is built to customer specifications.

                    • No, you assemble them. When I say “build”, I mean all core components, no Intel or AMD chips, no Crucial or Kingston memory, no Seagate or Western Digital hard drives.

                    • There are lithiographers in my maker circle. It isn’t magic. And with modern flash memory designs, who needs hard drives?

                    • How flash memories have you produced?

                    • You freely contribute to the retirement fund on Wall St. I don’t; haven’t for a few years now. I have my own retirement fund and it’s not in stocks or bonds.

                    • I do not freely contribute to the retirement fund on Wall Street, it is taken out of my paycheck without my approval.

                    • Which one are you referring to? Do you have to contribute to a 401k at INTC? I stopped contributing to any fund which I didn’t have full ownership after the crisis. The company match is just a carrot on a stick. Soon enough, the government will follow the example of England, France, Hungary, Poland, Spain, etc and convert part of the retirement funds into government debt. IOW, the government will take money from one of your pockets through taxation to pay you for the interest on the government bonds.

                    • There is an excess of financial capacity. People who in olden days might have taken up respectable trades, now only aspire to be leeches shuffling the papers for those beneath them and intercepting their monies. Yet these people would also believe, that laborers are the leeches “costing more than they are worth”.

                  • You are mocking Christianity. The end time will arrive and Jesus will be forced to return, only if we cannot succeed in subduing the neocon/ neoliberal agenda and its false idol, man-as-new-God.

                • Don’t tell me you’ve fallen for the idea that Chinese and Russian imitation “communism” is equal to Catholic Communalism.

                  The governments in Russia and China are as greedy and capitalist as Wall Street. They too need to eliminate their surplus population so that the fat cats in Bejing and Moscow can continue to keep profiting from the labor of everybody else.

                  Abortion in the United States is currently an expression of the “freedom” you like so much- that’s why they call it pro-choice, because they are “free” to trade their children’s lives for a better future.

                  Planned Parenthood may call themselves a non-profit; but they are a business providing a service first and foremost.

                  • LarryCicero

                    Where should I look for the true communism of which you speak?

                    • Communalism, not communism. In Catholic monasteries and intentional communities is a good place to look for it. For a secular version, the US Military is also an excellent place to find communalism, albeit at the expense of others.

                      Anonymity is the enemy of communalism; thus communalism often has a natural scoping problem.

                    • LarryCicero

                      Can you point to a country?

                    • Communalism is based in subsidiarity and is unable to encompass more than a 100,000 citizens.

                      There is a natural limit, after all, to friendship.

                • No one wants to be like Russia or China. Although, they do have lower incarceration rates that our “freedom-loving” republic. Despite following capitalism too, China has an incarceration rate one-sixth of our own.

                  • LarryCicero

                    You do know the incarceration rate has been used as a justification for abortion, no? U.S. rates declining in the early nineties have been attributed to a court decision from 1973. So the high rates of abortion in Russia and China are good? The crime of abortion is not reflected in incarceration rates when it is not a crime. What is the connection between the abortion rate and incarceration rate? What is your point?

                    • You tried to associate abortion with fascist regimes, as if those advocating for restraint of trade is advocating loss of democracy, or a collectivism which doesn’t exist in Russia or China. The thing is, abortion is affiliated with all regimes, and we do not want fascism or communism.

                      At the same time, we have especially high prison rates, and especially high military aggression, not demonstrated even by your foreign examples. So, apparently neoliberalism, do not really curb aggression and death, in the extreme form that we have, it instead fuels them.

                    • LarryCicero

                      The blame for abortion was put on the system of “capitalism.” I fail to see the connection. Abortion is a moral failure. It is not the fault of freedom. It is a denial of human existence and denies the person in the womb the most basic right. It is not a reason to attack capitalism.

              • LarryCicero

                Growth is a sign of life. It matters not how old, how large or whether or not it can feel. Land grants, etc. are not the issue.

                • Then we should fund life, regardless of its purpose? On that we would agree.

              • BPS

                I don’t know about capitalists, but all the free market conservatives I know embrace the mindset that the true wealth of any society is based on the attitude of that society towards it’s people. Does it accept and promote the liberal, socialist attitude that people are problems–so many mouths to be filled and assholes to be wiped, and that government is to do it by default? Or the free-market traditionalist/conservative attitude that people are hands, minds, hearts, souls that solve problems and make life better for themselves and, by extention the society as a whole?
                Lincoln said, when asked “What will the former slaves, now freed blacks do”? He replied “Root hog, or die”. Frederick Douglass was asked “What can we do for the former slave?”, he replied “Leave him alone and mind your own business”!

                • Interesting, one of the best warriors against the mindset that people were mouths to be fed, wasn’t a Catholic spouting soft-core socialism, but an observant Jew, Julian Simon.

                  When Erlich and other moral cretins took issue with him, he was fond of quoting an African proverb that said that yes, everybody has a mouth, but also two hands.

                  • St JD George

                    That’s brilliant, I’m going to remember that one. Seems to resonate with that familiar Chinese proverb that has more recognition. Or, even though he did multiply the loaves and fish his call to come and follow him to make his disciples fishers of men.

                    • Humanity lost one of its gems when Professor Siman died in his 60’s.

                  • BPS

                    That’s really cool, didn’t know about Julian Simon or the African proverb. I think that just goes to show that it’s written in the natural law, the worldview that you get from humanity what you expect from them. If you embrace the soft bigotry of low expectations, you get the behavior consistant with those expectations.

                    • What bogus doublethink rhetoric… rest assured, if there was a project in line with the self-interests of the poor, they would work on it. You wouldn’t need to engineer “financial incentives”. The poor aren’t as stupid as you think. They think in the long term, unlike your average capitalist.

                      Instead of teaching the poor the ways of the rich, we need to teach the rich the ways of the poor.

                    • BPS

                      Your ilk (public school teachers, social workers, race hustlers, etc) teach the poor that their “self interest” is in gaming a corrupt system. So what you produce among the poor is best exemplified by what happened with the Seat Pleasant 59. Based on a promise by a wealthy Jewish benefactor, a 5th grade class is promised paid college tuition if they finish high school. Tutors are to be provided for deficiencies in academic achievement. What’s NOT provided is tutors for….other deficiencies. To think that a public school could make up for deficiencies in character! Less than half of the 59 take up the offer of college tuition, and less than half of those graduate. The “star” of those who graduate college, goes to law school, runs for public office. She is now in prison, for accepting bribes. Yes….the long view.

                      http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/for-the-seat-pleasant-59-giddy-promise-is-replaced-by-sobering-reality/2011/12/15/gIQAQ13syO_story.html

                    • Bad guess, I am a tradesman… Good news when your ilk can draw on Washington Post, means there is right-left consensus that poor are not stupid, just different… Just uninterested in the same pathways. So, the so called expectations are different, and not to be determined or judged.

                • The market wants laborers, the market wants consumers. The market does not want free men.

                  • Seamrog

                    Please move to Cuba.

                    • My people have been in Oregon for 40,000 years. Why should I stop resisting the occupation?

                    • Seamrog

                      Because we capitalist pigs have it now.

                      Out!

                    • Yep. That’s the trope, isn’t it?

                    • Seamrog

                      Shh….no more griping.

                      Out with you, we have mouths to feed and liberties to defend.

                      Liberties of the unborn to be included.

                      Out! Out!! OUT!!!!!!!

                    • Liberty is just another word for sin. The liberty of the pro-choice people is to kill the unborn.

                    • St JD George

                      God’s people?

                    • Among my Heinz-57 background, I have a few Chinookian people ancestors. Very few, to few to qualify to live on the Grande Rhonde reservation or get Chinook Winds Casino stock, but some.

                    • St JD George

                      I thought you were part of God’s tribe. Me too, we’re related then way, way, way back to Genesis. I’ve been in the USA most of my life and I have a passport that anchors me so I call myself American while I’m in this world.

                    • Got some of that in me too on my grandfather’s side, but the European side of that family was all wiped out in WWII. I’m a ‘Gonie born and bred, and still live within 100 miles of where I was born.

                    • St JD George

                      It is possible now, not that I’m suggesting it. Dissenters of the thugocracy still disappear regularly without a trace.

                    • Raul awaits….

                  • BPS

                    Adam Smith explained in his book “The Metaphysics of Morals” that a free market society cannot be sustained if men in it are not generally moral, honest and free to be so.

                    • And with the invocation of St. Adam Smith, believer in the Invisible Hand, I’m done. Men are not generally moral or honest, and are not free to be so.

                    • BPS

                      You’re a determinist, then! Not compatible with being Catholic, and by extention, reality.

                    • No, more that I do not believe in the good will of the invisible hand, and do not believe that the Holy Spirit embodies the market.

                      I am a firm believer in Original Sin, and thus, men are not generally moral nor honest. Worse than that, due to men not being generally moral nor honest, the market has a distinct tendency towards totalitarian centralized control; those who accumulate wealth generally use that wealth to purchase political power that allows them to accumulate more wealth. The government, having long since ceased to be owned by the Church, is now owned by the Market- one government for the rich at the expense of the poor, by the rich to maintain control over the poor.

                      The freedom of Christ has been traded for the slavery of Mammon, and thus, freedom is no longer free.

                    • Adam Smith was many things and despite being a victim of the Tudor rebellion, he was more conscious of the existence of original sin than many modern Catholic Bishops.

                    • Caroline

                      The Tudors were gone well before Smith was born.

                    • But their legacy was in full force. including secondary effects.

                  • LarryCicero

                    Yes. Yes. The market is made up of free men who are laborers and consumers, and maybe a few boogeymen.

                    • The market is made up entirely of usurers, who use the myth of freedom to enslave men. That’s what we get for letting the banks control the money supply.

                      A free man is not a laborer and is not a consumer. A free man is an autarky unto himself, and is not a borrower nor a lender.

                    • LarryCicero

                      Are we not all renters?

                    • TS, we should have known…. Adam Smith told us that the price system would negate the labors of tradesmen, to try and gain a profit. Really moral system, that free market system….

                    • Theodore lives in the Northwest, so Sasquatch might be more familiar a term.

                • LarryCicero

                  Interesting that you should quote Lincoln. He said that labor precedes capital and that capital is the result of labor, not the other way around.

              • SnowCherryBlossoms

                Your post is wonderful.

              • Bravo Mr. Seeber, you get it… and shame on these people, who ignore the financial calamity and ask for more from the weakest. Let them glorify motherhood, not work. Government bureaucrats sworn to public interest are devils, but corporate bureaucrats sworn to sweep the maximum amount of gold into their basket are heroes harnessing “natural” human greed.

                Never in history of man has Satan twisted the Truth more perversely.

              • Strife

                Have you given up your own “wealth”? Do you own anything? A home? A car? A bank account? Have you not given up those things?

                Why have you not sacrificed EVERYTHING of your own?

                • Give me a country without abortion, that guarantees the right to life (food, clothing, shelter, medical care) for ALL individuals, regardless of race, color, creed, wealth, economic status, or criminal status, and I’ll gladly give up all of my possessions. Will you?

                  • LarryCicero

                    Utopia?

                    • Not necessarily. Your average Catholic Monastery used to do this quite nicely, that’s what kept civilization going when the Roman Empire fell apart.

                  • Strife

                    Ah, so you’re a hypocrite in search of an impossible utopia that redefines commodities into “rights”. Which would either mean a theocracy OR the all-powerful centralized State. Yeah. The communists tried that. And we’re headed that way. And we all know how that ends.

                    • I am a Catholic who puts family above commodity. And yes, I’d rather have a Catholic theocracy than a government that puts the right of private property above the right to life. Family first, economics and government a distant third.

                      And if that’s being a hypocrite, well, at least I’m not a servant of Satan.

                    • Strife

                      No – you put other peoples “wealth” ahead of the actual definition of “charity”. And that’s not Catholic at all. But you’d rather have a Catholic Theocracy? Really? And how exactly would that work for all the non-Catholic citizens? Tell me more your Holiness.

                    • I do not believe in the goodness of non-Catholics. The Protestant Rebellion was a mistake that was only exceeded by the sexual revolution.

                    • Strife

                      Yeah…uhm…what? That didn’t answer my question at all.

                      Not.At.All.

                      So I’ll just conclude that you really HAVE no coherent and practical answers – because you obviously don’t. All you have is mind-numbing rhetoric and unbelievably shallow reasoning skills void of any discernible logic.

                      But hey – thanks demonstrating your inanity for everyone.

                    • Strife buys into the horrible, empirical-evidence concept of dialogue. Factoids are just another form of violence.

                      We need to reject this mode of education. Human beings are not inferior by making plain assertions and using anecdotes.

            • Seamrog. Mr. Seeber made a very unwise to purchase a time-share in his youth, without proper financial or legal advice, and found out that abandoning the purchase doesn’t abrogate the

              • And you like to say your positions are principled, but you put the mortal sin of greed above the right to life.

                • Nobody is greedier than you. I ask only for my agreed upon wages, and I don’t give a rat’s posterior what my neighbor has-in others I do not covet thy neighbor’s goods.

                • Right, disagreeing with you is a mortal sin.

          • Paul Adams

            This is the zero-sum fallacy. More people have risen out of dire poverty under capitalism, and even in the last few decades, than under all previous economic systems combined.

            • If you don’t stop the genocide, then it doesn’t matter. poverty and riches mean nothing without the right to life.

              • LarryCicero

                Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness–Ever wonder why they are in that order? The price of denying Liberty was a war. The price of denying Life? Don’t know and can’t predict.

                • I believe we are seeing the reversal of the order in this discussion; I fully believe everybody in this discussion believes in these three rights, except those who support the Republican Party without question are supporting a system that puts the Pursuit of Happiness first and is tempted to abandon Life.

                  • LarryCicero

                    Those who understand the order are more heavily concentrated in the Republican party. Those who not only don’t understand it, but would deny it, you can find in the other party.

                    • If that was true, then why is it *every time* the choice comes up, fiscal matters take priority?

                      The Republicans could have passed a personhood amendment in the 1980s, but fiscal issues took priority. They could have done so in 1991, but fiscal issues took priority. They could have done so in 2003, but fiscal issues took priority. They could have done so in 2005, but fiscal issues took priority.

                      Every time we’ve had a Republican Congress and a Republican in the White House, a simple *definitional* constitutional amendment ending Roe V. Wade could have been passed, and it hasn’t.

                      The reason? The right to life is not a priority for the Republican Party, and the Democratic Party is the Party of Death. Face facts- American wealth is built upon the death of 57 million people under the age of 42.

                    • LarryCicero

                      I think we would be a much wealthier nation had the 57 million been allowed to live and reproduce. Thinking we are richer because they are dead looks at them as consumers and not producers. Had they lived, what might have been?

                    • That’s the whole point. They would have been consumers and not producers. The producers are allowed to live. Those whose parents couldn’t even dream of allowing them to breathe, were not.

                    • LarryCicero

                      So you are know “They would have been consumers and not producers.” and lecture others about putting a price tag on human life? Interesting.

                    • I am saying it does not matter if they were going to be producers or consumers, they still deserve the same right to life.

          • ben_1978

            Bingo. Right on. The way commenters deride you is proof that there’s a massive chasm in Catholic America thanks to the likes of Novak, Robbie George and the pro-war Catholic Right of the Bush era. They created the Catholic political Left.

          • Strife

            “We have no right to judge the rich. We do not believe in class struggle but class encounter where the rich save the poor and the poor save the rich.” – Blessed Mother Teresa.

            Newsflash: “Wealth” (whatever that means) is NOT an intrinsic evil. Never has been, never will be.

            And “the poor” are NOT a Sacrament unto themselves. Never have been, never will be.

            • So therefore, you claim the poor should die to preserve your wealth.

              • Strife

                Define wealth. And then define YOUR wealth. And then show me where anyone is dying for either of those two.

                • Productive wealth is capital. I own none. 57 million of my generation have been sacrificed on the altar of abortion to preserve your free market.

                  • Strife

                    Productive wealth is capital? What does that even mean? Well – it means absolutely nothing. It’s a gibberish non-answer.

                    So in other words – you want to be generous with everyone else’s “wealth”. You’re a typical Liberal/Progressive. Your “charity” is borrowed…..

                    • I’m sorry you don’t understand economics 101. And I’m sorry you are so selfish you would rather have killed your own child than endanger your ability to own productive wealth.

                    • Strife

                      I actually make a living by the fundamentals of economics 101.

                      YOU on the other hand, have all the comprehension of a typical state worker. Which you undoubtedly are on some govt subsidized level.

                      And I murdered my own child out of self-centered pride – not wealth of any kind. But then, that was some 25 years ago and I’ve since come back home the the Roman Catholic Church for forgiveness and redemption. Because I know the nature of my sins so that I may better discern God’s will for me. Are you suggesting that God has denied me those Mercies and Graces?

                    • It is sad, I confess this grave sin too. God probably forgives us, but we are expected to recognize the cause of failure and talk today’s young people out of it. You see, the true gold was already in our hands.

                    • Strife

                      God does forgive you Thomas as long as you are truly contrite – which you undoubtedly are or you wouldn’t be sad about it. Christ assures us of that. And it would be the sin of despair to doubt His Divine Mercy.

                      And I have talked to many a young person about this. In fact I’ve met more people through this witness than I can ever recall. And The Good Lord was at work in all of them whether they realized it or not…..

                    • Thanks, and glad to hear. I have to agree with Mr. Seeber though, that whatever the cause that supposedly wasn’t money, it was money. I realize that about my own failure. The real gold, was already in my hands.

                    • Strife

                      I’ve never met anyone who honestly had an abortion over financial matters. But then – the people I talk to have been brutally honest with themselves.

                      How exactly did money force you to force someone into an abortion?

                    • The “we’re too young to be parents” idea, is a wicked idea that comes from overarching ambition. If “getting established first” or “wanting to provide better for a child in the future” aren’t reasons about money, I don’t know what else you could be looking at. The “we are not in love” is another poor excuse, indicating greater sin.

                    • Strife

                      The “too young to be parents” canard is predominantly about “finding the right person” and “experiencing life” ie sleeping around in as many sexual-shopping escapades as you desire before you settle down – IF you ever settle down.

                      Again, the excuse of money is just that – an excuse. And why? Because openly admitting our self-centered pride and overt selfishness doesn’t exactly come natural to most people. Because people conveniently lie to themselves everyday.

                    • Well, ambition and selfishness are fairly congruous.

                      Great Strife– I hope you finally discovered the joy of parenthood due to a staunch woman? How else, would you have realized your terrible errors? (I have one son.)

                    • Strife

                      Ambition is predicated on self-concern. But when we blame abortions on a third party abstraction like “wealth” we actually negate the moral responsibility of the mother. And that only promotes more abortions by robbing the unborn of their right to the moral obligations of their biological mothers during gestation.

                      And on a personal note – no. I never did have any children. I forced my wife to use contraception up until about 7 years ago when I fully accepted all of the Church’s doctrines. But even then we still haven’t conceived probably due to her age (early forties). But you see, the loneliness of never being a father helped me to fully realize the consequences of my selfish life. My wife suffers as well I know – and that is also my fault. But I have come to realize the tremendous Grace in shame and regret. Because ALL suffering is redemptive if we only return it to Christ as a sacrifice of contrition and humility. And I do that each and every time I receive the Holy Eucharist. This is why the priest prays in the Liturgy: “May my sacrifice AND YOURS be acceptable to God the Almighty Father.” We all have something to offer the Lord as a sacrifice.

                      But Thomas, I am truly grateful and happy for you that you finally got to experience the joy of fatherhood. And if it is possible, I want you to think of people like me who robbed themselves and their loved ones of that joy. And I want you to be truly grateful to the Good Lord for Blessing you with that gift of Life; especially the next time you approach Our Dear Lord in the Holy Eucharist – offer him your profound regrets and gratitude as a sacrifice of painful Joy.

                      Peace.

                    • Thank you, and how sad, your deficit is too too emblematic of the problem Strife… When I speak of it, I reference a few older women I know, who aborted and never got their second chance, and now face old age “alone”. Invariably they say they didn’t want children but, who knows, they live with it. Same thing…

                      Well, we see the evil of this together, even if I am referencing a different root cause, it is all the same loss. We also agree: THE NEW RIGHT-TO-LIFE IS ALSO ABOUT THE RIGHTS OF PARENTS, NOT ONLY THE UNBORN. I feel the traditional movement never conceptualized this emphasis, they were too removed and critical of the sexualized culture itself to worry about it… more selfishness, really. I’ll see you around!

                    • Strife

                      I see it a bit different – The Right to Life is about the MORAL OBLIGATIONS of the parents. The adults in this equation are very seldom victims – they’re perpetrators. And I thoroughly reject their self-centered attempts to rob the unborn of that exclusive title.

                      And let me clarify – the sadness that I carry is also a spiritual avenue of tremendous humility, reconciliation, gratitude, and ultimately joy. It is a beautiful Cross that allows me to be Crucified with Christ. To not recognize that paradoxical joy is to place our own sense of self-justified worth above Christ’s Mercy.

                    • Strife! Please, if you meet a young couple with the choice, would you do it my way?….. There is no time in such cases to introduce people to our Lord and the moral responsibilities. Use your own testimony, it should be about self-interest– They should take the blessing of life while it is in their hands, they should not let it slip away!

                    • Oh my, that is too emblematic of the tragedy, Strife…. This proves we have the same complaint, and the same cause: THE NEW RIGHT-TO-LIFE IS EQUALLY ABOUT RIGHTS OF PARENTS, NOT ONLY THE UNBORN. Unfortunately, I think the traditional movement overlooked this– they were removed from the sexualized culture and not really in touch with the sinners.

                    • I haven’t been a state worker in 9 years- I objected to their support of the genocide.

                      I’m saying that as long as abortion is still legal, we’re all cursed, and God’s grace is denied to America.

                    • Strife

                      Ah yes – so you were a state worker. It figures. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if you were still getting some form of tax-payer assistance.

                      And no, even though abortion is indeed an intrinsic evil – it does not prevent the truly contrite and humble souls from receiving God’s grace.

                      As far as Grace on a national level – that’s an abstract concept – not an actual doctrine of the faith.

                    • Not for 9 years have I taken a dime of taxpayer money. I AM paying about $9000 a year into the state coffers- part of which goes for abortion. It prevents even contrite and humble souls from receiving God’s grace- because we are ALL funding it.

                    • Strife

                      While I agree that abortion is indeed an intrinsically evil act – the fact that our tax-dollars contribute to it *against* our personal wishes does not prevent us from receiving God’s Grace. Sin has to be freely chosen and acted upon. But paying taxes is a necessity if we are to render unto Caesar his due. Even if Caesar is murdering from God’s due. I do however oppose all abortion.

                    • There is no good as long as we are doing evil. We bear the guilt for Ceasar’s sin as long as we are funding it. At best, we are earning millenia in purgatory for this genocide. Nothing else we do good matters as long as there is not an absolute right to life.

                    • Strife

                      The collective “we” are not doing evil. The govt is using our tax-dollars to assist evil. We are not funding it – the soulless govt is. But individuals who work, pay taxes, and obey the laws are NOT doing evil. Not by any definition of the word sin. But if you really want to extend your definition of moral culpability to that irrational extreme – then have you investigated every single entity that receives your dollars? Grocery stores, gas stations, utility companies, etc. Do they directly or even indirectly fund abortions? Wait – they all pay taxes too -no? Well yes. Yes they do. So, if you use ANY of those retail facilities – you are STILL funding abortions according to your expansive definition. All you’re doing is placing one more exchange layer between you and Caesar. But what moral difference does that make?

                      So tell me – do you pay for any goods or services from businesses that pay taxes?

                    • Exactly my point, this is why all of this has become so tainted with evil that none of the good done by it is worthwhile. American capitalism is based in intrinsic evil- and you’re involved in it and I’m involved in it and we’re all involved in it. We are our brother’s keeper- we are responsible for the sins of our community.

                      There is no moral difference. Due to original sin, any amoral system will become an immoral system.

                    • Strife

                      Capitalism didn’t lead to abortion. Liberal/progressive ideologies led to abortion. The very same liberal/progressive ideologies that are the premise of every socialist state that ever existed. But capitalism isn’t amoral. Socialism is. And if anything Capitalism recognizes the inherent unalienable rights of the individual that our country was founded upon. It is socialism that always inevitably derives it’s ethical justification from the premise of the collective amoral “we”. And that is always deemed by the all powerful and all regulating State. And none of that is inherent to Capitalism.

                      But back to your point of collective guilt – that is NOT doctrinally true. Which means it is not objectively true. Which means it’s not true at all. Original sin is the only sin that is inherited. We cannot inherit mortal sin. And mortal sin is the ONLY type of sin that deadens our souls from receiving God’s Grace.

                      So again, your definitions are not validated by any theological or philosophical or even historical realities. They are purely a figment of your own creation. And completely without any merit.

                    • Capitalism is liberal. It is putting ownership as the highest value, destroying anything that gets in the way.

                      Original sin leads to mortal sin. Always and inevitably.

                      There are no conservatives in America, only liberals.

                    • Strife

                      Your using the Classical term of Liberalism – I’m referring to the modern Liberal/Progressivism that is the ideological premise all Socialism. And no – Capitalism does not put ownership to a level higher than any other principles. If that were true then the “capitalists” known as the Founding Fathers never would have stated the unalienable rights as the objective Truths of Nature’s Creator.

                      And original sin can lead to all sin – of course. That goes without saying. After all, we are fallen in this world. But our Baptism removes the stain of our original sin. But original sin does not inevitably lead to mortal sin. That is insane. Show me that in Catholic theology. I want to see it. Cite it.

                      And you never actually addressed my point: Mortal sin can not be inherited.

                      Now is that true or not?

                    • At one time Capitalism was considered quite progressive. And the Old Testament tells us that mortal sin will be punished down to he 7th generation- so it is inherited (in the modern, Christian age we often see that while the eternal effects of sin are wiped away in the confessional, the sins of the father do indeed affect the children, the children’s children, and so on down through the family line. Sometimes, as in the case of slavery in the United States, the sins of the slaveowner breaking up the black family have reverberated down to the gangbangers we see today).

                      So no, I cannot agree that the effects of mortal sin are not inherited.

                    • Strife

                      It doesn’t matter whether you “agree” or not that mortal sin is inhere ted. What matters is – IS THAT THEORY OBJECTIVELY TRUE? Does Church doctrine confirm that realty?

                      And the answer is a resounding NO!

                      So, you’re actually basing your entire premise on an unfounded falsehood. You’re actually citing your own self-created heresy.

                      And the Old Testament references to sin predated Christ’s incarnate Redemption. He purchased for us the Salvation through forgiveness that allowed us to receive the Holy Spirit.

                      Your “inheritance of sin” is completely contrary to the Redemptive Mercy of Christ in the Sacraments. You are completely antithetic to the basic tenets of the Catholic Faith.

                      You’re simply making a false idol out of your own irrational ideology. You seriously need to stop this spiritual train-wreck and regroup yourself.

                    • Genesis Chapter 4 is part of Church Doctrine, and disagrees

                    • Strife

                      Cite that doctrine for me. Show it to me in the Catechism.

                    • So you have repealed the moral truth of Genesis 4?

                    • Strife

                      What on earth are you talking about?

                    • Read Genesis 4, and get back to me. You do have a Bible someplace, right?

                    • Strife

                      I’ve read Genesis 4 many times – and yes, I have several Catholic Bibles – including teaching Bibles. But none of this addresses my original question:

                      What does any of this have to do with your unfounded philosophical premise that Mortal Sin can be inherited?

                      I asked you to cite that for me in actual Church doctrine. All you have done thus far is insinuate scriptural connections that have no bearing whatsoever to my question.

                    • Genesis 4:15, along with CCC 100-150 inclusive. If you still do not understand, then I am not the instructor to teach you common sense, for you have none.

                    • Strife

                      “Not so! the LORD said to him. If anyone kills Cain, Cain shall be avenged seven times. So the LORD put a mark on Cain, so that no one would kill him at sight.” – Genesis 4:15

                      Yeah? And?

                      And I looked over the Catechism items 100-150 and I found absolutely nothing – not a thing – nada – that even slightly insinuates that mortal sin can be inherited. And I also looked tat the sections that actually DEFINE the doctrine of sin (including mortal of course) items 1846-1876 and guess what? Again I found absolutely NOTHING – NADA – NOT ONE SINGLE THING that references your fallacious conclusion that mortal sin can be inherited. Ergo – your self-derived conclusions are not “common-sense” because they’re not founded upon any objective reality in any Church doctrine. In fact they are contradictory to the precepts of Christ’s Redemptive Salvation.

                      So you need to either state your case with whatever nexus of conclusive doctrine you think you know – or just admit right here and now that this entire fallacious theory of yours is just that – fallacious.

                      So have at it.

                    • Why was the Mark put on Cain?

                    • Strife

                      You tell me. It’s your theory.

                      The USCCB Catholic Bible says this in its footnotes:

                      “*Genesis [4:15] A mark: probably a tattoo to mark Cain as protected by God. The use of tattooing for tribal marks has always been common among the Bedouin of the Near Eastern deserts.”

                      But again – there is nothing here relating to any Church doctrine that could possibly define mortal sin as an inheritance. Nothing whatsoever.

                      Now quit trying to play coy and either cite your evidence by referencing actual Catholic Doctrine – or just admit that you have no confirmed theological basis for your unfounded theory.

                      I’m waiting.

                  • meme1961

                    “57 million of my generation have been sacrificed on the altar of abortion to preserve your free market.”

                    That’s not why they were sacrificed. 57 million were murdered in the name of sexual license, feminist ideology, the false narrative of “equality” and the equally false narrative of “progress.”

              • meme1961

                Straw man argument. Nobody is claiming that we should kill the poor to preserve wealth.

                The exact opposite, actually. The assertion is that generating wealth is good for everyone. The caveat attached to that is, of course, that this generation of wealth should be done morally and responsibly.

        • And the confusion. American enterprise (“Capitalism” is a nebulous and vaccuous tem of derision coined by Marx) co-existed with a land where abortion may have occurred, but did so in secrecy, where practitioners would be treated with opprobrium as ghouls and monsters.

          The first people who started the war on the unborn were “progressives” (or more properly atavistic autarchs). One wing of that replusive movement was busily interfering in economic matters, such as Richard T. Ely, John Bates Clark and Henry Carter Adams, who all promised to remedy injustice, if they were just allowed to assume the reigns of power. Their powerlust was nest illustrated by Henry Carter Adams. Appointed as the Chief Statistician of the Interstate Commerce Commission, he spend the next two decades seeking expanded power. Their essays and positions, dripping with envy and hubris, find renewed life in the modern delusion that government will perfect healthcare. The ICC as reminder, destroyed the railroads, resulting in mass bankruptcies in the 1960’s and 1970’s. It was finally put to death in 1995.

          The other wing promised not a better ecomomy, but a better people. The first anti-life politician was Oliver Wendell Holmes, who declared “three generations of imbeciles” were enough, when the State of New York neutered Carrie Buck like an animal. We all know about Margaret Sanger.

          The Nazis publicly acknowledged these people for lending a specious air of credibility to their enterprise of genocide.

          Then again, never let facts get in the way of a good rant and ever complainer issues their decretals using one of the finest flowers of the free market. If they really hated free markets so much, they would get off the computer.

          Then again, Theodore works for Intel, a company that is an activist for SSM, so maybe he knows more than we might imagine.

        • St JD George

          Many are called, few are chosen.

      • Strife

        Easy comrade. Surely there’s a factory you can burn down somewhere….

        • What lives would that save?

          • Strife

            What lives are being lost?

            • 57 million children have lost their lives in the abortion mills to support the right to private property.

              • Strife

                No they haven’t wingnut. Abortions are predicated on people’s selfish desires to shirk all personal responsibilities inherent to adulthood. There are plenty of alternatives – starting with adoption and continuing with the projected $5 TRILLION DOLLARS in welfare that is taken from the hard working tax-payer.

                And I should know because I had two unplanned pregnancies with two different young women in my youth; the first one we gave the child up for adoption through Catholic Charities. The second time I forced the woman into an abortion solely because I was only interested in my own selfish reputation. Private property had nothing to do with it. And sinful selfishness and pride had EVERYTHING to do with it. As it does in the vast majority of the cases.

                • In both cases, you were more interested in your own financial future (sinful selfishness) than the lives of those children. Exactly my point. ALL of the alternatives (adoption, $5 trillion in welfare) cost money that the selfish and greedy are not willing to spend. They are not willing to take responsibility for having extra mouths to feed in society. Just like you weren’t. Thank you for exactly describing my very point- that greed, sinful selfishness, has killed 57 million and counting- and is the very soul of capitalism in America today.

                  • Strife

                    Let me get this straight – you’re now telling me the real motives of my own sins? Really? So now you’re assuming the role of God? Amazing!

                    And no, money had NOTHING to do with my choice to force that young woman into an abortion. I had already given up another child for adoption with another woman (which didn’t cost me one blessed dime through Catholic Charities) – and I couldn’t bear the thought of my friends and family discovering that I had caused another pregnancy – AND I didn’t want to marry the woman and start a family because I wanted to have more sex with more women with absolutely no commitments. Money had nothing to do with it. It was all so much more petty than even that. It was all motivated by own personal sexual appetites and profound immaturity.

                    Oh but hey – I’ll tell God He can take a break now – because there’s a new messiah in the house who can read my heart even better than He can.Theodore Seeber (The New Christ) has that gig all wrapped up….

                  • This is extreme denial. I did same as he, but wish to save young people from same error. Thank God I have a son, but I now realize:

                    The true gold, was already in my hands.

      • AugustineThomas

        What we have in America right now is oligarchy, not capitalism. The same type of group think that has led to oligarchy, led to people being so heathenish that they defend the mass murder of the most vulnerable among us.

        • An oligarchy is the natural end result of exclusionary capitalism, it is what happens when ownership becomes centralized.

          • AugustineThomas

            Yes and a more wealthy society, from poor to rich, is the natural end result of proper capitalism. How can you argue that what took place in Communist China and Soviet Russia is as effective at lifting the poor out of poverty as what took place in the United States and Europe?

            • Not a chance. Even proper capitalism suffers from Original Sin, and thus, the poor will get poorer and the rich will get richer. The poor will seem richer because of the cheap surplus generated from substandard goods that aren’t good enough to sell to the rich.

              And what is taking place in the United States and Europe is based on genocide of the unborn.

              • AugustineThomas

                I can’t disagree with you about the Unborn Holocaust. I feel I’m living in Nazi Germany.
                Still the poor in the United States are much better off than the poor in China and they murder more unborn children. (Though I suppose one could convincingly make the argument that China’s societal poverty is more the lack of a Christian history than of a capitalist history.)

      • Phil Steinacker

        Theodore,
        I am pro-life but I find your statement factually incorrect. Capitalism has been around LONG before abortion was legalized mid-2oth century.

        Seamrog (below) is correct. I have normally agreed with your comments at various threads I encounter, but not this one.

        • That is why I said American Capitalism. You can’t pretend that the missing 57 million people under the age of 42 has not had an economic effect. 1/6th of the American population is missing.

    • All federal income taxes should be eliminated. Having the central government tax the citizenry is:

      1.) Dishonest. People with same income can have different liabilities, based on things that have nothing to with the revenue needs of the government or their capacity to pay. Giving a credit to buy a Prius is fiscal coercion. The estate tax is double taxation. Some people receive payments from the IRS and the IRS is also in the business of certifying tax exempt entities-which is a conflict of interest.

      2.) A violation of subsidiarity.

      3.) Creates what economists describe as assymetry. It puts an individual against the central government, instead of another government. Having states tax their citizens and then pay the federal government would reduce the assymtery and control excess taxation, since a state that increased the magnitude or nature of its taxes would risk a loss of population from “tax flight”.

    • That’s a step in the direction of subsidiarity. And it would be even better if instead of one country, it’d become again a confederation of states. The dangers of one man lording over 300 million are plentifully evident.

      • Or nine in black robes.

    • JefZeph

      Flush the FDA and EPA right along with them.

    • antigon

      Ok, Austin, no question the Democratic party is determined to promote mass murder, perversion, & indeed ultimately to make it illegal to doubt the glories of these things.
      *
      Or that the Republican Party can potentially be a vehicle for resisting or even reversing – tho one fears the latter only in theory – these horrors.
      *
      But despite the tendentious use of such by savages, to dismiss any criticism of the GOP, in effect to treat it as an arm of the Faith, is not simply wrong in se as well as in many particulars, it’s counterproductive to the deepest political goal you seek of protecting the innocent.
      *
      There is so much dismaying in what you’ve written, it will need more than one post to illustrate, but here’s a start.
      *
      The frauds, you note, ‘strove to convince faithful Catholics that the GOP really didn’t care about the non-negotiables and that we were suckers for ever thinking they did,’ & further ‘argued the GOP was not really concerned with abortion after all because decades had passed and the GOP had not overturned Roe v. Wade.’
      *
      But despite the motives of the frauds, the above charges are manifestly true. Had every Democratic appointee to the Court voted against Roe from 1973, Republican appointees alone would have been enough to establish it, & to uphold it without any Dem appointee support every year through to & including the notorious Casey v. PP in 1992 – despite not the 3 appointees necessary to overturn Roe, but *6* Republican appointees between ’73 & ’92.
      *
      And while it is clear Dems will only appoint pro-aborts henceforth, there is every reason to believe Repubs will continue to be careful to see Roe upheld 5-4, since Roe overturned loses them the very carrot for GOP votes your article can only help encourage them to keep a’dangling. Don’t know the solutions to this qua, save that insisting no negative truths about the GOP must ever be acknowledged isn’t one of them.
      *
      More to come.

      • antigon

        The election of Gore or Kerry would of course have been worse, but while that’s not nothing, it’s not much, in that Bush did very little for the unborn save to feed the illusion of those who fight for them that they had an ally.
        *
        Indeed, as Bushman C. Hitchens noted ‘George Bush may subjectively be a Christian, but he – & the US armed forces – have objectively done more for secularism than the whole of the American agnostic community combined & doubled.’
        *
        Of course Hitchens meant this as praise, but among numerous reasons why it is true is that by pursuing his insane war policies, Bush effectively made all other considerations secondary at best, & did so not least for the matter you & I & the Church recognize as primary. Am not sure about Robert George, but that Weigel, the despicable Novak, & alas Neuhaus helped Bush sustain that perspective is an argument you should not just be embarrassed, but ashamed to invoke.
        *
        And lest we forget, quite apart from how destructive those policies have proved for the American citizenry in so many ways, they also led pretty much directly to the election of Obama & the ’06 thru ’14 Dem control of the Senate & ’06 thru ’10 of the House, which is also to say to perv marriage, Obamacare, the two new pro-aborts on the Court & all those other matters you rightly descry in your piece.
        *
        Hard to say what might otherwise have obtained, but had Catholics been more inclined to legitimate criticism rather than partisan cheerleading, who knows but that you might be less subject to the charge that precisely your approach is not at least a little & not impossibly even substantially responsible for what you descry.
        *
        On the other hand, since life is complicated, the election of Obama at least had the effect of sharpening opposition, solidifying a more genuine GOP fight against abortion locally, & indeed the extraordinary closing of so many extermination camps (thanks to the pressured GOP to be sure). Had the – sorry, but – nutball McCain been elected, quite apart from how obvious was his intention to seek media favor by dismissing pro-life concerns once he was, the electoral disasters of ’10 & ’12 would have made matters, bad as they are, not just overwhelming worse than now, but very likely irretrievably so.
        *
        And if Romney was your hope, not sure you had any; his defeat at least makes possible a genuine pro-lifer gets elected in ’16, distrustful as one should be of all being touted, what with that 5-4 carrot to dangle.
        *
        And finally, but not least…

        • antigon

          Don’t know what happened, but I distinctly remember you & Zippy Catholic getting into a scrap because you were defending not ‘torture’ but torture, & that after a dinner together his arguments made you realize no honest Catholic could do that. Greatly admired that your Faith was more important to you than party politics, & indeed brought that up in slamming Shea for his recent & indefensible attack on you.
          *
          So, not to put too fine a point on it, am sorry to see you’ve decided to give the old vomit a tasty return.
          *
          Not to say that you know quite well the ‘only 3 water-boardings’ is a lie, & should know it’s an ugly lie, or that while not even torture defenders deny the horrors revealed in the Report, you recommend we ignore those deadly sins because of the hypocrisy & motivations of those who reported them.
          *
          Nonetheless, for the record, some observations from folk I hope you hesitate to dismiss too readily as juice-box theologians:
          *
          The Pontifical Council’s Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church for example: ‘the regulation against the use of torture, even in the case of serious crimes, must be strictly observed: “Christ’s disciple refuses every recourse to such methods, which nothing could justify and in which the dignity of man is as much debased in his torturer as in the torturer’s victim.” International juridical instruments concerning human rights correctly indicate a prohibition against torture as a principle which cannot be contravened under any circumstances.’
          *
          His Holiness Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI: ‘I reiterate the prohibition against torture “cannot be contravened under any circumstances.”‘
          *
          Pope St. John-Paul II: Catholics must ‘reject torture, which nothing can justify.’
          *
          Nothing. Cannot be contravened. Since those statements, from a Pontifical Council, two Popes, one of them a saint, are also backed by the Catechism of the Catholic Church &, it is fair to posit, the overwhelming majority & very possibly the unanimous opinion of the Catholic episcopate worldwide, it seems also fair to propose some hold the Church’s ordinary magisterium to be but juice-box theology.
          *
          Unless theirs is.
          *
          One will, of course, & as ever, find many keen to play b-boy for the State by twisting themselves into pretzels in order to agonizingly explore whether ‘abortion’ is abortion, or ‘torture’ is torture. But you will not find honest men doing that, nor honest Catholics.
          *
          The strange thing is that your manifestly valid criticism of demonic Dems & their hypocrite defenders in no way demands that you imitate them by defending mortal sin nor the GOP when it shouldn’t be. Indeed doing so only weakens the fight against the Dems, as it weakens the GOP itself.
          *
          In fact, were I a wicked Dem, keeping the ’06 & ’08 elections in mind, I’d pay you to make them.
          *
          Finally for the record, below is a list of sins our government committed, our Church unequivocally condemns, nobody denies took place, & by which in defending &/or belittling you arguably put your soul in danger, but certainly & painfully undermine your valiant fight on behalf of the unborn:
          *
          sexual assaults on prisoners
          *
          forced rectal feeding, which is to say anal rape, that consisted of jamming hummus up the anuses of helpless prisoners
          *
          threatening to harm detainees’ children, sexually abuse their mothers, and to cut a detainee’s mother’s throat
          *
          putting prisoners at the mercy of interrogators known to be psychologically unstable with a history of violence & sadism
          *
          the torture of innocents, including people who were on USA’s side
          *
          techniques derived from Soviet experiments we used to fight rather than imitate
          *
          standing on the broken legs of prisoners; forcing prisoners with broken feet to stand in stress positions
          *
          keeping prisoners in total darkness with only a bucket for their waste
          *
          dragging around & beating shackled, naked prisoners;
          *
          180 hours of sleep deprivation
          *
          * refusal to treat bullet wounds as well as other neglect that lead to the loss of eyes
          *
          And alas, many more such Christ-like practices for those ready to dismiss the teaching of the Catholic Faith.
          *
          Alas, I see from your post below, Austin, that you no longer wish seriously to engage serious matters, since my point was clearly not addressing the always to be mitigated occasional GOP imperfections, but the substantial reality that the GOP gave us Roe & then assured it was upheld from ’73-’92 with its *6* Court appointments when a mere half of those appointments would have overturned the thing. So no straw, another false alert. What isn’t, is the deep establishment GOP hunger to keep Roe alive 5-4, for which goal they can apparently count on Austin Ruse as but another unwitting ally, or as they might express it, stooge.
          *
          Finally, Austin, when Mark Shea made his indefensible blast at you, I told him, publically, that he owed you a public apology, which alas I fear he still does.
          *
          You owe one too, to your readership, & arguably, unless the Church

  • We need a Catholic party, not one that will abandon the unborn in return for an attractive tax break for the wealthy.

    • Maybe Catholics need to stop putting so much faith and loyalty in one party, because it appeals to their envy.
      We have a “Catholic” party. It gave us the Kennedy’s, Nancy Pelosi, Andrew Cuomo, Kathleen Sebelius and Joe “this is a big *ing deal” Biden, Martin O’Malley and a whole host of people claiming to be Catholic.
      Maybe its time Catholics stop slobbering every time they ring the “eat the rich” bell.

      • St JD George

        To be sure there are discussions to be had about how to make things better. But the banal “eat the rich” always gets under my skin because it is so disingenuous of those who use to whip up their base, is so ugly, and makes no sense. If you really carried through on that hatred and killed off the 1%, took every penny they owned and redistributed it, you could feed people for what, a couple of weeks? Besides, once you off them there’s another 1% behind them ready to rise in ascendancy so it’s like a perpetual motion machine, the bumper stickers and slogans never fade. The apostles of Alinski have mastered his teachings with their real disdain being for the middle class. Their cunning and deceitful ways hides this contempt well.

      • Seamrog

        “We have a “Catholic” party. It gave us the Kennedy’s, Nancy Pelosi, Andrew Cuomo, Kathleen Sebelius and Joe “this is a big *ing deal” Biden, Martin O’Malley ”

        All of whom are fabulously wealthy (except Biden who was never clever enough to game the system).

  • St JD George

    Is this as good a time as any to remind what goal no. 27 was? I can’t emphasize this one enough. Not contrived, straight from the horses mouth – bent on destruction.
    27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity, which does not need a “religious crutch.”
    Then there’s the old saying guilt by association, and hatred for western values:
    http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/communist-party-usa-we-wont-be-leaving-democratic-party-anytime-soon
    Pretty sure there is no friends of the church to be found here:
    http://www.atheismresource.com/2012/why-atheists-align-with-democrats
    Fresh in our minds thanks to Austin’s frequent articles:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/democrats-add-gay-marriage-to-party-platform/2012/07/30/gJQAkvqxKX_blog.html
    Who could forget this recent lovely anti-Christian spectacle:
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/09/05/jerusalem_and_god_get_booed_at_dem_convention.html

  • Harry

    The Republican establishment and the Democrats are the same party. That is why Catholics, genuine conservatives, populists and others have been slapped around by the Republican establishment. So, I guess it is time for the the Republican party to go the way of the Whig party. No problem. Let’s do it.

    • jacobhalo

      This political system is a two party system. A third party has no chance to win. It is just a wasted vote. What I’ve done for the past few decades is vote against candidates rather than for them. The last person I voted for was Reagan.

      • Harry

        Launching a third party is indeed difficult and unwise most of the time, but not all the time. The very existence of the Republican party demonstrates this. We had the party of slavery — the Democrats — and the Whigs who were divided over slavery. The divided Whigs disintegrated. Today we have the party of “legal” child killing — the Democrats — and the Republicans who are divided over “legal” child killing. The Republicans, standing for nothing as a party (other than the self-interest of the establishment) will disintegrate as did the Whigs.

        A nation cannot remain conflicted over issues as fundamental as humanity’s right to life or liberty. Such issues have to be completely resolved one way or the other. Lincoln put it this way:

        “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.

        Lincoln was right. And the pressure for America to become all one thing or all the other destroyed the Whig party. It will destroy the Republican party as well.

        So, what shall we call the new party? I think the name ought to imply social conservatism and populism. What do you think?

        • How about the Personhood Party?

          • RufusChoate

            Some states already have such a party. There are ~40 “third” parties nation wide. It is a fool’s paradise of political philosophy purity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_the_United_States

            Personally I am with Aristotle, Aquinas and Montesquieu (tentatively) and want a Philosopher King and a small representative body of men who vote on inanity and have no power to tax beyond the needs of National Defense.

            • St JD George

              A baby step could be to hold the imperial president accountable. Never in my life could I imagine one so arrogant as to openly mock or dare us to stop him in implementing HIS agenda where poll after poll shows Americans do not like his policies (especially some now that they know the facts that were hidden from them and were out right lied to about). Then there’s the whole embarrassment after the election where the American people soundly and historically denounced his policies at the ballot box and he had the audacity to say I hear all of you who couldn’t be bothered to come out and vote because I know you really support me more than those who did. We live in the times of a banana republic with the only difference between he and thugs like Chavez or Castro is that they literally got away with actual murder and he gets away with murder by a thousand cuts using the full power of the government to try and squash dissent. It’s unbelievable to me.

        • Michael Paterson-Seymour

          In a mature democracy, there will always be two and only two parties (or coalitions of parties) the friends of corruption and the sowersof sedition: those who hope to profit from existing abuses and those who hope to profit from the disaffection such corruption naturally excites

      • Maybe what we need is a pro-life revolution.

    • JR

      I am thoroughly convinced that the big money spenders not only provide funding for their Democrat puppets but also weak Republican candidates to help make sure their candidates have a better chance to get elected. I can’t prove it; just a gut feeling.

      • Well, one of the weak ones just quit. Mitt’s “the third time is a charm” delusion is over.

        • jacobhalo

          thank Goodness

  • AcceptingReality

    Good article, Austin. You always make a lot of sense. When the Romney campaign made efforts at the convention to marginalize the right to life movement, they sunk their own battleship. Until they really decide to carry the torch and fight hard for the most innocent and vulnerable they’ll be the lesser of two evils.

  • Captain America

    I’m not comfortable at all with the “hell with the hindmost” take of the libertarians running the GOP. I wish they weren’t funding the whole deal, thus impacting policy.

    Not at all comfortable with the Democratic nonsense, either. C’mon: how “progressive” is marijuana legalization? How is THIS considered a social issue at all? How “progressive” is boy-boy “marriage”? Not at all. Not at all.

    • Libertarians are herded cats. Think about the epistemic nightmare of quoting Ayn Rand your whole life only to find out she hated your guts.

  • LarryCicero

    Government k-12 education is putting private education out of business. School choice needs to be in that list with eliminating corporate taxes and finishing high school.

    • Government k-12 education is putting private education out of business.
      Mission accomplished! If you’ve read Horace Mann, the father of public education, you know he explicitly states the primary purpose of public education is to create loyal zombies.

      • LarryCicero

        “Modern separation doctrine was not born of a dispassionate search for the common good. It grew directly out of bigotry. It began in a bald effort to wall Catholics out of the nation’s public life.” Charles Chaput, Render Unto Caesar, pg.186 See Justice Clarence Thomas, Mitchell v. Helms(2000)

    • Veritas

      Not to be argumentative, but more of a question, okay?

      I’m a disgruntled public school teacher, and former Catholic school guy. If anything, the public school system drives people to attend private schools–that’s how bad things are–if you can afford it.

      Along comes charter schools as a response to this public school inadequacy, which are essentially free private schools. Now, kids and parents can attend charter schools with public money, and this actually hurts the privates.

      It’s mixed up and you are right about Mann (DE 173) and the public school fiasco, but I believe it is charters (which I must support in order to bring public school reform) that draw kids from Catholic schools.

      I welcome your response.

      • LarryCicero

        If you are in a “good neighborhood” you likely have good schools. If you can get your kids to do their homework, they will likely be in honors or advanced classes, away from the kids not so interested in learning. The opportunity to learn is there. The problem is the politicization of the curriculum and the absence of a religious perspective. My kids are in the public school and they have had to write papers on things such as “Are Zoos Good or Bad?” or respond to feminist articles as part of English class. I took them out of Catholic school because there was marginal Catholicity, plenty of liberalism, and it cost out of pocket.

        The Catholic school cannot compete with the public school salaries and facilities. As long as they try to be more like the public school, they fail to distinguish themselves. If the parents were given a voucher to spend toward their children’s education, this would force the public schools to be on a more equal footing in that they would have to collect their funds from tuition. As it is now, you fund the public school through your property taxes for as long as you live in the school district, even after your kids have kids. If you own a business, the property tax collected is of no benefit to your children if the business is in a district different than your home. If I could have the money back that I pay in property taxes, I could send my kids to any school.

        Poor families, in poor neighborhoods are the hardest hit with Catholic school closings. Wealthy suburbs, have “good enough” schools or “not good enough” Catholic school that are not worth the extra expense. Catholic schools continue to close. They are not competing in a fair market.

        • Veritas

          I understand how schools are funded, why some schools are less effective than others, and that the Catholic and private schools are at a disadvantage, but it not true that government schools are driving privates and Catholics out of business.

          Two things have hurt Catholic schools: the economic implosion seven years ago and the growth of public charter schools. Charter schools, which I agree with in principal, allow parents who choose to do so, to flee the public schools by providing money to the student directly, which then “follows” them to a public charter school. Parents are attracted to charters and may see them as private schools because they are selective and do not adhere to many of the regulations that the local public school must follow. Public school advocates look at charters as if they were private schools, and they argue that public money should not be spent for private education, even though charters are not by definition, private.

          The effect is that parents are using public money to attend public (in name only) schools. This recently new alternative, for a fact, is causing Catholic schools to close. Perhaps you meant this since technically a charter school is a public school, but just don’t tell that to a public school supporter/advocate. Not only do they see charters as private schools, they are fighting to take this option away from parents and students because it is siphoning students, and essentially money, away from the public school monopoly.

          As a Catholic who wants the parochial schools to stay open, and who sees a definite need for the charter movement to exist so that public educators will make substantive changes in the areas that you alluded to above, I am torn by it as a necessary evil. Catholic schools are also losing enrollment when they don’t teach the faith and when they become secular copy cats. If charter schools hadn’t appeared, Catholic and private schools would be the only option, but they would still be constrained without vouchers because not enough families can afford to pay twice for education. The current reform movement believes in competition and allowing money to follow students. Institutions can range from online education to private schools or brick and mortar public schools.

          I hope I have cleared that up for you.

          • LarryCicero

            Sorry if you took my response as condescending. Catholic schools have been closing long before 2007. In 2004? Cardinal George of Chicago began to form “Boards of Specified Jurisdiction” which were different than ordinary Catholic school boards which are simply advisory. Schools were closing left and right. No more schools were to close if the special boards were created and given a chance to save the school that was on the verge of being closed. I was on one of these boards. The school closed a couple years later anyway.

            A charter school is still a government school. The fact that it gives parents a choice is the real threat to traditional public schools because even though it draws some from private schools, it proves that parents want something better. Many of the students in Catholic schools are there simply to get out of the lousy public school in their district. People move to get into a good district if they can. I know someone who said that Catholic school in the 40’s and 50’s cost his parents a dollar a month. Those days are gone.

            I am simply making an economic argument looking at education as a business and offering an opinion as to why the Catholic school model is failing. I have a degree in business and have been in business for over twenty years. Monopolies were outlawed on the premise that it was not in the public interest. Public Schools have a government subsidy which gives them an unfair advantage, much like a monopoly. If a voucher were allowed to be used at a non-government school, teacher and administrator salaries would drop or there would be layoffs. Charter schools are viewed as the gateway to unrestricted vouchers- it’s that crack in the door. Statists don’t like competition because it keeps prices down and they can’t have “their” money go to someone else.

            • Veritas

              We are in agreement. Also, if I am not mistaken, charter schools began before 1995. They’ve had an effect on public school enrollment and, as you say, they are still public schools. If you really want to follow the forces that oppose us, if you really want to see them up close and personal, read this blog for just a few days: http://www.dianeravitch.net.

              I am trying to get the Crisis editors to follow it and attack it head on. My Catholic colleague and I meet periodically throughout the day between classes and can only shake our heads as we try to relate how far from the truth public schools have become; and you can read all about it at the source on the above blog.

              Even more sad, is people subscribe to such heresy, but not too hard to fathom in an atheistic, relativistic, culture here.

  • Rosemary58

    All this is typical politics. Parties are constantly re-branding themselves and morphing into new entities. Sad to say, most of Congress claims to hold to Christian principles but, um, perhaps only on a personal level. The results of legislation is a garbage economy and appalling family life for Americans.
    And what are “generics”?

    • HowardRichards

      And regarding that personal level … don’t look too closely.

  • BlueMoonOdom

    As one who lived and worked on Capital Hill for over a decade, I would submit that it’s an illusion to think that the GOP platform represents anything other than rhetoric. The status quo on abortion or other non-negotiables is a comfortable home for many in Washington. In fact, the ”battle” for life issues is far more attractive for these folks than actually protecting the innocent is. Mr. Ruse strikes me as either painfully naive or just another compromised political operative. Either way his tired argument fails to resonate.

    • St JD George

      I think a lot of people (like me) are opening our eyes to that reality more and more every day which is why I think the GOP has suffered tremendously. Who knows what they really stand for any more? When I listen to politicians (the one in the WH has made an art form out of it) give public speeches knowing that they are bald face lying or deliberately omitting/twisting the facts to conform with their agenda driven insanity it’s enough to make me … say something I shouldn’t.

    • RufusChoate

      And yet oddly enough.. on the state level Abortion Providers are being closed down by more rigorous medical oversight in Law by the Republican State Legislature around the country.

      Reducing access is more effective pro-life than grandiose legislative gestures.

      In history it is well documented in every human conflict that 25% of the population are in opposition to one another while 50% wait on the sidelines to see who side wins so they can claim victory.

      Even the Republicans of 1860 were indecisive and ineffective at times but they were moral and on the side of right unlike the Democrat of then and now.

      • BlueMoonOdom

        The article was about the presidential election not state level politics.

        Republicans of today are neither indecisive nor indifferent. Rather, they’ve been bought and paid for by special interests who couldn’t care less about abortion. It’s a rigged game. Catholics are just convenient pawns.

        Where does your theory about the history of human conflict come from?

        • RufusChoate

          Actually the article is about the philosophical divide in the political parties that the Left is trying to convince us that it are equally weighed in the conscious of Catholics.

          I have seen the vital 25% theory espoused by Toynbee, Johnson and others and found it present in American history. Some say it is smaller with the people resistant to change being a larger group.

          • BlueMoonOdom

            The ”philosophical divide in the political parties” is, in my humble opinion, as significant as the difference between mandarin oranges and tangerines. Unless you’re in the produce business the distinction is virtually moot. Politics has become nothing but a scam, a shell game played by the gang of thieves that we delusionally empower as our leaders.

            • RufusChoate

              And yet it is a wonder that they even bother to have elections and call each other such nasty names… I sincerely doubt every part of your premise. We have a consult class that are raised from the same relativistic sewer advising both parties.

        • Where does your theory about the history of human conflict come from?

          Genesis. Cain. Abel.

    • On occasion they do the right thing, such as all voting against the Unaffordable Nocare Decree.

    • Austin Ruse

      Well maybe naive but not painfully…

      • BlueMoonOdom

        Maybe not painfully for you…….

        • Hubris is just as bad as naivete.

  • FrankW

    As a devout Catholic and a political conservative, I have plenty of issues with the Republican party. However, anyone who claims to be a devout Catholic and suggests that Democrat party policies are more in-line with Catholic teaching than the Republican party is either uninformed on the issues, or an outright liar.

    The Democrat party has embraced the notion of legal abortion at any stage during pregnancy. It’s leader is a man who openly supported infanticide by refusing to vote to pass legislation that would have preserved the life a baby born alive during an attempted abortion. As a party, Democrats openly support the destruction of traditional marriage, and favor giving the government the ability to redefine marriage, and in turn the power to determine who can and who cannot get married. How long before these liberals push legislation to prosecute religious institutions who “cling bitterly” to the traditional definition of marriage for hate crimes?

    As for economics, health care and a safety net, political liberals love the idea of the government running all of these things, and so-called Catholic liberals are perfectly happy to claim that the Catholic Church only needs to get behind these government programs in order to fulfill it’s own mission to meet the needs of the poor. The principle of Subsidiarity has no place.

    The Republican party is far from perfect. However, it remains the only viable political option for devout American Catholics who wish to vote according to their faith. We Catholics can either continue to stay involved in the GOP in order to influence its direction, or we can walk away from the GOP and end up with no political voice in either party.

  • lplee

    AMEN!!

  • Watosh

    Satan is brilliant. He has inspired a system of government in which the people have only two choices, one of which is the cesspool known as the Democrat Party, which has an attraction for liberal Catholics and is repulsed rightly by conservative Catholics. So where does this leave conservative minded, serious Catholics? There is only one other party, the Republican party. Here Satan reveals his brilliance, as he uses this as an opportunity to corral the serious, conservative Catholics by dressing up the Republican Party, the party that espouses very liberal economic beliefs based on a Darwinian view of life, as a party aligned closely to Catholic principles. As Dr. John Rao, an ultra conservative, highly respected Catholic historian observed when discussing this business of choosing the lesser of two evils, that the republican Party may be the most effective evil since it is a stealth evil.

    Notice how Mr. Ruse, a good serious Catholic, chooses to compare three water boardings with the deaths of 50 million babies by abortion. Clearly when choosing between these two choices 50 million abortions dwarfs the evil of 3 water boardings. But we are not only talking about 3 water boardings, we are talking about hundreds of thousands of people being blown apart in distant countries by our having launched an aggressive, unjustifiable, unnecessary war against Iraq and our policies of regime change that have caused misery in many countries. Millions have lost their homes and have become refugees. The Iraqi Chaldean Catholic community which existed in Iraq from biblical times, which survived the onslaught of the Mongols is now in danger of being wiped out.

    So if you ask me to choose between condoning 3 water boardings and 50 million abortions, why yes 50 million abortions is the greater evil by far. However if I am given the choice of choosing between a candidate who will kill 5 million and a candidate who will kill 50 million, I say go to hell. I won’t choose either they are both evil. and that is the choice the devil offers us in our system. Remember the sanctions levied on Iraq in the 1990’s was estimated to have caused 500,000 Iraqi children to die by starvation. Imagine seeing one of your children die of starvation. Now I know the ideologues will rationalize an excuse that it was all Saddam Hussein’s fault for not complying with our wishes, but we would not permit children’s vaccination serum into Iraq on the grounds it could be used to develop biological weapons. People can always find a justification for their actions.

    So as a result of our embracing a secular mass government of the people wherein big money determines those who govern us under a secular system in which Freedom, Equality and Fraternity are the guiding principles, the end is inevitable no matter which party controls.

    It is for thinking like I do that I enrage the liberal Catholics, and also enrage conservative Catholics who believe that our country is the salvation of the world if only we could elect Republicans. The Catholic Church is the only organization that can provide salvation, and I will not choose, nor vote for, nor support any serious evil. That is what Satan wants to trap us with.

    Now I some time ago said I would stop making comments, but this is a subject I have battled for, and been pilloried for by the American Catholics, so I feel constrained to weigh in on this..

    • RufusChoate

      The estimates of child deaths in Iraq from sanctions was entirely invented and demonstrated to be fabrications by the Iraqi government and the international Left after the war.

      The UN sponsored Oil for Food program while being completely corrupt diverted massive amounts of resources to rearming Iraq in excess of what was required to feed Iraq’s people. If you are going to maintain a high moral status you really need to stay informed about your moral outrages because if sourced from the Left they are almost always lies.

      The estimates of Iraqi deaths was also exaggerated and conflated for effect.

      p.s. While I think the United States has the potential for be a force for the good greater than any other country in the world I also firmly believe it squanders that position because of its exportation of deprave hypersexualized American Culture, and excess commercialism.

      • nestorian

        These accusations you advance of fabrications and exaggerations by the left are all merely bald assertions, proffered by you without a shred of evidence. As such, their value in helping us get at the truth of things is zero at best.

        • RufusChoate

          Yawn, in the age of the internet you are responsible for your own research. Every analysis of the claims of the Left in collusion with the Iraqi regime and the UN pertaining to the death by starvation from sanctions were fables told to appeal to idiots. You’ve got nothing.

    • Harry

      … This task [to intervene directly in the political structuring and organization of social life] is part of the vocation of the lay faithful, acting on their own initiative with their fellow citizens. …
      — Catechism of the Catholic Church #2442

      Catholics are obliged to be political. What is it that you propose Catholics in America do?

      I agree that both parties have huge problems. The social engineering of the Democrats is diabolical. The Republican establishment stands for nothing but its own self interest, which is compatible with the social engineering of the Democrats often enough that the two groups comprise, for all practical purposes, one party. The massive importation of dirt cheap labor and Democrat voters is an example of this.

      So, what do we do? I think it is time for a new political party.

      • Yes, time for the triumphant return of the Whigs.

      • Watosh

        Possibly though Catholics are very divided now and many have been deformed by the powerful gravitational attraction of American Exceptionalism which has pulled them out of their proper orbit. But I feel that at the very least we should be aware of these forces. I think it may be that the answer is that Catholics should be Catholic. Of course Pope Francis has said much the same words at times except his understanding of what it is to be truly Catholic is suspect. But I think that we need to identify with traditional Catholic teaching rather than the party platforms of either political party, some of which are undoubtedly good.

        I recall how during the cold war Communists would sometimes support some good causes in order to attract well meaning people to their banner. The Communists called them “useful idiots.” Catholics should avoid falling into that trap.

        • papagan

          I’m sympathetic to much of what you say here. I question, however, the following:

          “Of course Pope Francis has said much the same words at times except his understanding of what it is to be truly Catholic is suspect.” (Emphasis added.)

          I don’t think that that is a fair remark. If you believe that the Pope may be unorthodox, you might pause to consider whether you have misunderstood what he is teaching. We should always remember the principle of charity when interpreting the statements of others.

        • If you decry American Exceptionalism, you should appreciate Francis. He enunciates the Catechism, period! As for the too-much-mercy-not-enough-repentance complaint, I think he will try to adjust the weight of his words, moving forward.

  • Sam Schmitt

    It isn’t so much a question of supporting the GOP or not, but putting GOP policies ahead of the clear teaching of the Church.

    50 millions abortions are not “on par” with waterboarding, if you really want to compare things that are both intrinsically evil. What is clear is that neither can be tolerated. Sure, I support the GOP positions on tax cuts, etc. But I cannot and will not give it a pass on this and many other troublesome issues. (And this isn’t even considering their actual performance – do I need to mention their pathetic caving on the recent pro-life bill in the House on the objections of two unknowns?)

    “The GOP remains the only viable political vessel for stopping” abortion. Given that the other party is rabidly pro-death, this isn’t saying much. It certainly doesn’t mean we have to give it our unquestioned, undying loyalty.

    And no, I don’t think the Democrats are more in line with Catholic teaching . . .

    • RufusChoate

      The moral climate in America is such that both “intrinsically” evil acts are and will be tolerated in the United States. If there is another 9/11 style attack on the United States, Barack Obama will commence bragging about how his last intelligence acquisition technique are working to keep Americans safe and he need another 2 Billion dollars for more sophisticated thumb screws and torture racks.

      Giving a choice between state sanctioned murder by drone of yourself and the people around you or the successful acquisition of intelligence as a living prisoner which would you opt for as an illegal combatant?

    • People really need to learn the difference between discomfiture and torture.

  • steve5656546346

    Good analysis!

  • St JD George

    God bless you Austin, I love reading your articles and they most definitely stir passions on pressing topics.

  • samnigromd

    Those ersatz Catholics do not understand that scientific metaphors support the Church in all ways!!! But we need to get the word out, especially to youth.

    LIVE THE LAST WORDS OF CHRIST—A POETIC EFFORT of sorts… These are the eight
    ensoulment “plays” to win the “game” of life by following the “rules” of life. They constitute “LOVEOLUTION” (page
    616)–the revolution/evolution brought by Jesus through the Church.. Sacramental living is to participate in the
    pre-Big Bang Eternity.

    From Samuel A. Nigro, M.D.’s books ANCIENT
    SECRETS, SOUL OF THE

    EARTH and EVERYBODY FOR EVERYBODY:

    (One of the LAST WORDS OF CHRIST can apply to every activity…

    Learn
    ENSOULMENT (the Anthropic Schema) of the basics of
    Christian living—

    Sacramental, universal, scientific, virtuous, transcendental

    {Therapeutic.

    as existing in basic physics. (Otherwise,
    it is entropy.)

    [Mass Mantra: Life,
    Sacrifice, Virtue, Love, Humanity,

    Peace,
    Freedom, Death without Fear]

    “Father, forgive them for they know not
    what they do.”

    “Pater, dimitte illis, quia nesciunt, quid
    faciunt.”

    Confess into a unity spectrum giving
    hope and identity…

    {Selective Ignoring.

    “spectrum”-a splitting of energy
    into position-time

    relationships.

    [ Humanity]

    “This day thou shall be with me in Paradise.”

    “Hodie
    mecum eris in Paradiso.”

    Holy Order into a dimension
    for Life (the Father) giving

    courage
    and being…

    {Non-Reactive Listening.

    “dimension”-space
    coordinates (length, width,height) and

    time.

    [ Virtue ]

    “Woman, behold thy son. World, behold your mother.”

    “Mulier,
    ecce filius tuus. Omnes, ecce mulier
    tuus.”

    Baptism into a dignity event
    giving faith and matter…

    {Living Things are Precious.

    “event” –a point in space-time of something certain that

    happens.

    [ Life ]

    “My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

    “Deus
    meus, Deus meus, utquid dereliquisti me?”

    Holy Communion into an
    integrity field giving charity and

    truth…

    {Subdued Spontaneity Non-Self
    Excluded.

    “field” –a matrix existing throughout space and time.

    [ Sacrifice ]

    “I thirst.”

    “Sitio.”

    Matrimony into an uncertainty for Liberty (the Son)
    giving

    temperance and
    good…

    {Personhood…Conscious of
    Consciousness (C2) for the

    Species.

    “uncertainty” –accuracy of position is inverse to accuracy of

    movement.

    [Freedom ]

    “It is finished.”

    “Consummatum
    est.”

    Extreme Unction into a
    spirit singularity giving justice and

    beauty…

    {Detached Warmth and Gentleness.

    “singularity” –a point of space-time curvature infinity at

    gravitational collapse.

    [Death without Fear ]

    “Into thy hands I commend my spirit.”

    “In
    manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum.”

    Confirm into an identity
    quantum giving prudence and

    oneness…

    {Affect Assistance.

    “quantum” –the indivisible unit of giving and receiving

    energy.

    [Peace ]

    “The earthquake finale.”

    “Il
    Terremoto.”

    Grace into a force Pursuing the Transcendentals (the Holy

    Spirit giving holiness and being.

    {Make that relationship count! The Flag of Mankind and:

    “I
    pledge to treat all humanely by caring for and respecting other’s bodies; by
    understanding other’s minds but being true to myself without disrespect; and by
    accepting the emotions of others as I control my own. I will have mercy on others with gentle
    liberty and empathic justice for all.”
    (Check out PeaceMercy.com)

    “force” –that which affects matter particles—transcendental

    strings
    between human particles.

    [ Love ]

    • fredx2

      Gah Gah Goo Goo

  • RufusChoate

    Excellent analysis but there is an important distinction between the Left and the Right that is frequently missing from this argument for either party competing in the realm of morality. The Left is and has always been evil and corrupting of civil Society for the acquisition of power. The mere acquisition of power as paramount goal of a political entity is immoral.

    They invent moral dilemmas to confuse the soft hearted like waterboarding as “Torture” and “Capital Punishment”.

    Waterboarding is a more humane, strategically intelligent and moral treatment of terrorists than indiscriminately killing them with drones which the policy that replaced indefinite detention and interrogation. The only study cited to claim that this form of “torture” is ineffective is a Muslim academic provocateur whose has no experience in interrogation or the specific intelligence acquired from Guantanamo detainees.

    It should be noted that the Left upon acquiring power in 2006 and 2008 did not alter a single policy of the Bush administration except “Torture” replacing it will a far more morally conflicted Drone murder policy and withdrawing troops without assurance of stability. The Left also extended the Surveillance state to include everyone.

    Executing a criminal for heinous acts against an innocent person after long deliberation is never on the same level of moral depravity as a Mother and the State determining that a child is unworthy of life.

    You could exterminate every Criminal currently incarcerated in America and still not equal the effusion of blood and moral corruption from only two years of Abortion. Abortion is far more corrosive to the public good and individual morality than even that mass extinction of the Criminal Class. It could be argued that such a mass execution would be positive for the moral climate but it obvious that Abortion and Contraception do not.

    • Sam Schmitt

      So the arguments for torture are:

      – only the squishy left considers waterboarding to be torture
      – it’s more humane than outright killing
      – the Left is hypocritical with regard to it
      – the only person to say that torture is ineffective was a Muslim academic provocateur (?)
      – it’s not morally equivalent to abortion
      – the Soviet Union sounded humane but was really brutal and was hypocritical about capital punishment (?)

      Hard to call these “arguments” when none of them address the real issue.

      • RufusChoate

        What part of effective, more humane than the alternative, opposition to waterboarding is a fatuous political position not based on moral directives but a thirst for power and it would be used again without hesitation if another 9/11 occurs are so hard for you to grasp.

        Personally my definition of torture for illegal combatants only accounts for extreme violence without a positive and desired end in sight and interrogation of illegal combatant. Best optimal policy would be directed field court martials and immediate executions after sentencing in Iraq or Afghanistan of all captured illegal combatants until one of sufficient value realizes they needed to communicate to live.

        See, a legal process, rapid success and simple operation. A winner and no trouble with Guantanamo or expensive prisons or the ability for insufferable to play at moral posturing.

        • Sam Schmitt

          I have no idea what you are talking about, but thanks for responding to my points.

          • RufusChoate

            You’re welcome.

  • Diane

    As a Catholic, I do not have to participate in abortion, gay marriage and any of the above situations. I will not however, force my opinions on others.
    In regards to contraception, I am a Catholic women who has used contraception. The contraception component of the Heath care act was overwhelmingly supported by OB/Gyn doctors. I support that action.
    I believe that if you want to reduce abortions that offer reliable birth control.
    There are things about the democratic party that I do not like.
    But, the highjacking of the republican party by the right wing evangelical party seriously concerns me. I do not share their religious belief and I feel that they are using the republican party to further their religious beliefs for setting up a theocracy . That I can never support. And I wonder what will happen to the other religions and their ability to worship according to their beliefs.
    And what happens to those who are not christian?

    I will not let the Catholic church tell me who to vote for. I will vote for the best person I believe that will protect my family and my country.

    • RufusChoate

      You’re a left wing loon and that is really all that has to be said but further more.

      The majority of the intellectual heft behind the Conservative movement for the last 70 years is Catholic: Robert George, Scalia, Thomas, Bozell, Buckley, etc.. .

      You seem to think it is fine to “force” your moral belief in Contraception on your fellow citizens while avoiding “forcing” your lack of participation in abortion, gay (Homosexual) marriage and any of the above situations. Curious bifurcation but I take it to mean that you actually support them and deny the teaching of the Church.

      • Diane

        Calling me a left wing loon is childish and unbecoming for adults.
        I have as much right to my opinion as you have to yours.
        I will have to answer to God for my thoughts and actions as will you all.
        As my mother used to say, if you have to call a person names, you don’t have much of an argument!”

        • RufusChoate

          The title is wholly appropriate because you are logically and systematically incoherent. Stating that you are responsible only to God is a completely inane mendacious and dishonest filler that all dissidents deploys rather than actually examine their actions beyond first stage thinking.

          You “feel” that you are right and others support you in your political and culture milieu so clearly no thought beyond is required.

          So again… What is your opinion of the Church’s teaching on Abortion, Homosexual counterfeit marriage etc…?

          • *crickets*

            • RufusChoate

              As expected when they start out with such deliberate ambiguity is merely a pretense of concealment or a childish feint that shows they have nothing but contempt for their adversaries.

              It is a common conceit found in the comment section on National Catholic Reporter or CRUX.

          • Diane

            Never would have an abortion, but feel that abortion should be legal in some cases. Rape, health of the mother, fetal /demise.
            Homosexuals can get married. Who am I to judge?
            Been married for 37 years, gay marriage will not hurt my marriage,nor my kids marriage, but a 25 year old blonde……
            And yes, I think the state/gov. should feed the hungry and clothe the poor.
            And I would like to know how the church will deal with all those children born if contraception/abortion would be outlawed. What’s the plan?

            I find your response to me, well incomprehensible. I am as right in my opinion as you are in yours.
            And yes I am liberal and proud of it.

            • Those final declarations about your religion and your pride were unnecessary. It was abundantly clear.

            • “I am as right in my opinion as you are in yours.”

              That doesn’t even make sense. Not even a little.

            • RufusChoate

              See you can be a Leftist, loony and pretend Catholic as long as you want up until your terminal moment then your outlook will be altered.

              Your modality of political thought: Leftism has produced uniformly disastrous outcomes and mass murder. It is always entertaining when the Left pretends that there isn’t a demographic collapse underway in the way and think that they can fall back on the prediction of Paul Ehrlich et al about the Population Bomb from 1968 like the last 37 years just didn’t happen. Your real problem is you’re a narrowed minded Leftist who swallows every simple mind Leftist bromide and socialist swill without thinking because you’re morally corrupt and don’t want the trouble of actually conforming to the proper Catholic ordering of your life so you outsource it to the state.

              By the way, the enlightened Left no long refers to themselves as Liberal have befoul that word beyond it original meaning but Progressive. Progressing to what is a mystery since nearly all of their programs are an atavistic return to pre-Christian paganism complete with Abortion, infanticide, mercy killing, Pederasty and a state run by plutocrats and courtiers.

        • Objectivetruth

          Seriously…..you are aware under Catholic teaching that contraception is a mortal sin? Whether you choose to believe that does not change the teaching you are held to.

        • People in glass houses, shouldn’t throw stones. Your original post seems to have disappeared, but….

        • Or, alternatively, the name is fitting and the person needs to know the illness he suffers before he can fix it.

      • M

        I’ll correct you if Diane doesn’t. It is not logical to claim that supporting the freedom to act in a certain way forces anyone else to make a particular choice. Opposing restrictions on gun control is not the same as forcing everyone to buy a gun. Adam can marry Steve without forcing you to marry Dave. Many issues are better left to conscience than to compliance.

        • Your capacity to correct anybody is an amusing proposition.

          • M

            And you are attempting to do what exactly?

        • RufusChoate

          Actually no, but you knew that already. Redefining any human act to comply with the wishes of a subculture or personal inclination demonstrably proven to produce a less rational and normative outcome for the individual and society is an evil. i.e. Killing a nascent child or creating an absurd counterfeit of marriage.

          Gun Control detached from the right to life and the self protection require to maintain that life is a fundamental attribute of a free individual. A society (i.e. Switzerland) can easily insist that the individual possess the means to defend himself and the state as function of their freedom. Most sane pre-leftist state systems identified the armed man as a free man.

    • fredx2

      Ms Pelosi, don’t you have better things to do?

      • RufusChoate

        Owned with a vengeance— Bravo well played. She read Aquinas don’t you know and learned everything she needs about human gestation.

      • GG

        I was just going to type that the real threat to moral liberty and economic liberty comes from the dunces who vote for Obama and Pelosi and the like.

        The problem is not ultimately the politicians but those who support them.

    • GG

      It is not about mere “opinions”, but truth central to civilization.

    • I am a Catholic women who has used contraception.
      So what?

    • BPS

      Abortion is “overwhelmingly” supported by OB/Gyn doctors, but very few of them will work as abortionists. Abortionist are usually the bottom of the barrel, a la Gosnell. Why do you think that is? There was a great article in the Washington Post Sunday Magazine a few years ago about a young female med student who did an internship in an abortion facility. If you read between the lines (which you have to do these days with our media) you’ll find out why.

    • Objectivetruth

      “In regards to contraception, I am a Catholic women who has used contraception. The contraception component of the Heath care act was overwhelmingly supported by OB/Gyn doctors. I support that action.”

      You are aware that contraception is a mortal sin?

  • Andrew

    This is just more partisan nonsense. Crisis should know better. The fight between the Republicans and Democrats is a little spat between liberals, through and through. To be anti-liberal is to have a home in neither party. This has nothing to do with advancing Left-wing policies. Ruse conflates conservative Catholics who oppose the GOP with liberal Catholics who oppose the GOP. This is absurd. Things are a lot more complicated, I’m afraid.

    • RufusChoate

      Ahh.. no

    • You have your choice between a party that usually can’t or won’t do the right thing, and one that will inevitably lead the way in doing the wrong thing.

      For generations, people in my area thought voting Democrat was the 8th sacrament. They almost burst their suspenders when John F. Kennedy was elected.When Bill Clinton

      As for partisanship, last June Blaise Cupich (you know, the one that gets all mealy mouthed on the non-negotiables) and that Cardinal Maradiaga conducted an Inquistion against a bunch of feral housecats called libertarians while prides of socialist lions are on the hunt. One of the speakers was Richard Trumka, a detestable partisan, a college educated socialist poseur as the voice of working people.

      http://cuomeka.wrlc.org/exhibits/show/catholics-and-libertarianism/catholicism-and-libertarianism/erroneous-autonomy-conference

      Lets not forget the “Catholic” left’s role in creating the most virulently anti-Cathoic politician of our lifetime, Barack Hussein Obama. I wonder what Bernardin’s answer was when God asked him how dare he take the offerings of windows and cast pearls before swine?

    • Crisiseditor

      There is no Catholic Party in this country. If Catholics are going to fulfill their civic duty, they have to choose between two options. (Voting third party only helps our enemies.) Nothing in Catholic teaching says we must vote for one party or the other, but it does provide some criteria for judging. That is a prudential decision. You may not like Mr. Ruse’s approach to deciding between less than ideal options, but his approach is no less legitimate than yours. We all know the Republican Party is not perfect but do you know any viable political party that is? You may not like the Republican party (I have my own objections), but are the alternatives that much better? And if you sit out because of a “pox on both your houses” attitude, are Catholics any better off? Is the country better off when Catholics stay home? There is nothing wrong with partisanship when the alternative is self-defeating paralysis.

  • BXVI

    Unfortunately, Pope Francis is giving these people, and the dissenting lefty Democrat Catholics, all the cover they need. Next it will be the climate change encyclical with the Dems and Pres Obama latching on and saying “See, we are with the Pope and you are not.”

    • I wonder how things might have turned out if Benedict would have rewarded Cardinal Bergoglio’s public dissent with what he really deserved.

    • And next you will be telling us that the parable of the oil lamps is Jesus endorsing fossil fuels.

  • A sinner

    Perhaps there are enough of us who oppose abortion, torture, unjust war and the police state to create a more viable political vessel to represent our values.

    • RufusChoate

      There are ~ 42 registered political party in the United States. You are welcome to join any one of them that align more closely to your purist inclination.

      Politics are not about ideological purity but what is possible.

      • Harry

        We would would still have slavery and the Whig party vs. the Democrats if that were true. It isn’t.

        • RufusChoate

          The Whig party essentially died in 1854 and a vacuum remained but not in 2015. Like everything universal i.e. suffrage, the plethora of political parties dilutes the power of sane people true representation. Too many appetites and not enough cooks, food or a small enough menu to accommodate demands.

          • Harry

            We can’t insist on ideological purity regarding every issue. But there are some issues, like humanity’s right to life and liberty, where it is insanity to not insist on ideological purity.

            Assume you have been at a nice party for hours. You are thirsty. You walk over to the table with the punch bowl. The punch looks good to you. Then you notice a little turd at the bottom of it. Do you simply scoop a little punch off of the top, telling your self one can’t insist on things always being exactly like one wants them all the time? Or does the turd in the punch bowl ruin the whole thing?

            The toleration of the “legal” killing of innocent humanity by the millions is the turd in the Republican party’s punch bowl, just like toleration of slavery was the turd in Whig party’s punch bowl. It ruins the whole thing. Americans threw out the Whig party and its filthy punch bowl. It is time to do the same with the Republican party, so we can do something about the toilet bowl the Democrats insist on everyone drinking from.

            • RufusChoate

              I am in full agreement with you. The Republican Party of the Progressive Age was indistinguishable from the Democratic party and remained that way until the 1968 election. Most of the disastrous New Deal was developed by Herbert Hoover the great engineer and hijacked by Roosevelt.

              It has been a slow slough with purging the Progressive elements of the Republican Party but it is still continuing.

              • Harry

                It is a matter of bigotry. Bigotry is what made possible the buying, selling and breeding of Blacks like they were animals. Just as that now appears to us to be outrageously evil, one day in the not too distant future babies being routinely dismembered and disemboweled in our midst will be seen for the insane evil that it truly is. Bigotry made American slavery possible. Media manufactured bigotry towards the child in the womb has made the contemporary holocaust of innocent human life possible.

                For bigotry to be dispelled some people have to confront the horrendous evil it always produces with a sense of urgency commensurate with dignity and worth of its victims. How much dignity and worth does the child in the womb have? Almighty God became such a child. He died for us before we were even conceived. The dignity and worth He bestowed upon us by His death for us didn’t evaporate when we were afterwards conceived, and then resume nine months later. Every abortion kills a child precious to God — so precious to Him He has already suffered a horrendous death for that child’s sake.

                Who is God counting on to respond to this holocaust with a sense of urgency commensurate with the dignity of its victims? Who is He counting on to care for Him in the very least of His brethren? The Christians. We need to, with an appropriate sense of urgency, use the peaceful means the political process still provides to us to end this holocaust now, beginning with admitting that the Republican party has used us and abused us and has no intentions of delivering for us.

                The time for a new party is now.

                • papagan

                  Those who would have all Catholics throw their support behind the GOP seem to be arguing that the GOP, for all its glaring defects, is the best that we can do at the present time. All the other available political options are much worse. Consequently, they reason, those who openly and sharply criticize the GOP are, in effect, aiding and abetting the enemy–the demonic party–which is the only politically viable alternative to the GOP.

                  I’m on very friendly terms with several socially conservative Catholics who subscribe to that line of reasoning. Unfortunately, that line of reasoning is flawed, and not all socially conservative Catholics accept that flawed line of reasoning.

                  One shouldn’t allow political partisanship to trump the Gospel and the Christian faith. See Matthew 7:1-5. Procured abortion and SSM are extremely grave evils, of course, but this should not blind one to the fact that there are other serious evils in need of remedy, and one should not ignore the latter while one draws attention to the former.

                  Moreover, political partisans on both sides of the aisle appear to share a distorted conception of human autonomy, which is reflected in the barren logic of contraception (accepted by many) and the political toleration of procured abortion, just as it is reflected in a warped conception of economic “freedom,” which is not properly situated within the matrix of Christian anthropology and the associated notion of “participated theonomy.” See Pope St. John Paul II, Veritatis splendor 41 http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_veritatis-splendor.html. Also see Russell Hittinger, “Law and Liberty in Veritatis Splendorhttp://www.ewtn.com/library/THEOLOGY/LAWLIB.HTM.

                  • Harry

                    Thanks for your very thoughtful reply.

                    Procured abortion and SSM are extremely grave evils, of course, but this should not blind one to the fact that there are other serious evils in need of remedy, and one should not ignore the latter while one draws attention to the former.

                    Yes. Of course.

                    It is a matter of having some common sense about setting priorities. Let’s look at it like we do maintaining a home. The roof has a leak that is going to do a lot of damage if it isn’t fixed soon. The house needs a fresh coat of paint. There is a fire above the stove in the kitchen.

                    All of these require attention. It is not ignoring the fact that the roof needs to be repaired or that the house needs painting if one focuses on dealing with the fire in the kitchen with an appropriate sense of urgency.

                    Thousands of babies being dismembered and disemboweled daily in our midst is the fire in the kitchen. Some of these children are as old or older than the patients routinely cared for in modern newborn intensive care units. Failing to deal with this will eventually destroy us as surely as the fire in kitchen, if we don’t deal with it, will eventually destroy the whole house.

                    • papagan

                      “It is a matter of having some common sense about setting priorities. Let’s look at it like we do maintaining a home. The roof has a leak that is going to do a lot of damage if it isn’t fixed soon. The house needs a fresh coat of paint. There is a fire above the stove in the kitchen.

                      “All of these require attention. It is not ignoring the fact that the roof needs to be repaired or that the house needs painting if one focuses on dealing with the fire in the kitchen with an appropriate sense of urgency.”

                      I understand very well what you’re saying. The analogy, however, isn’t a strong one. It is weak in three respects. First, there are numerous people in the “house.” Different people can be assigned different tasks to preserve the house from falling to pieces. That in no way implies that one is diminishing the gravity of the fire above the stove.

                      Second, the other threats to the preservation of the integrity of the house are considerably more serious than your analogy suggests. Procured abortion is certainly a serious evil, but human trafficking and drug abuse and unemployment and contraceptive policies tied to foreign aid, to cite only a few examples, are not minor social evils. They need not and should not be placed on hold while persons of good will seek to address the evil of procured abortion. I made this same point in an earlier post several days ago.

                      Third, all of these social problems are interrelated, not isolated problems. Focusing on one grave problem while ignoring or downplaying other serious problems would be to display a certain interior myopia. Pope Benedict XVI expresses the matter in this way:

                      [T]he decisive issue is the overall moral tenor of society. If there is a lack of respect for the right to life and to a natural death, if human conception, gestation and birth are made artificial, if human embryos are sacrificed to research, the conscience of society ends up losing the concept of human ecology and, along with it, that of environmental ecology. It is contradictory to insist that future generations respect the natural environment when our educational systems and laws do not help them to respect themselves. The book of nature is one and indivisible: it takes in not only the environment but also life, sexuality, marriage, the family, social relations: in a word, integral human development. Our duties towards the environment are linked to our duties towards the human person, considered in himself and in relation to others. It would be wrong to uphold one set of duties while trampling on the other. Herein lies a grave contradiction in our mentality and practice today: one which demeans the person, disrupts the environment and damages society.

                      (Caritas in veritate, 51.)

                      There we have a concise articulation of Catholic moral teaching authoritatively promulgated by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. That teaching is fully in accord with the Decalogue.

                      If we turn to consider the Decalogue, we see one Commandment prohibiting murder, and another Commandment prohibiting theft. If one keeps the former Commandment, but violates the latter, one violates the whole moral law. In that case, the theological virtue of caritas is lost. Without caritas the soul is dead. Those who possess caritas can appreciate the significance of the rich Catholic notion of human ecology advanced by the Catholic Magisterium in Caritas in veritate.

                      Unfortunately, the spell of partisan politics prevents many from grasping the deep Christian moral wisdom expressed in documents such as Caritas in veritate.

                    • Harry

                      There we have a concise articulation of Catholic moral teaching authoritatively promulgated by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. That teaching is fully in accord with the Decalogue.

                      It also is fully in accord with my point. The “overall moral tenor of society” is ruined “If there is a lack of respect for the right to life …”. Benedict goes on to explain how everything else fall apart from there. As JP II put it in Evangelium Vitae:

                      I repeat once more that a law which violates an innocent person’s natural right to life is unjust and, as such, is not valid as a law. For this reason I urgently appeal once more to all political leaders not to pass laws which, by disregarding the dignity of the person, undermine the very fabric of society.

                      There is a reason why everything falls apart from there. One could write a book on this, so I will try to be very concise, limiting my remarks to the most basic truths.

                      Humanity precedes the state and brings it into existence. The state therefore exists for humanity, not humanity for the state. It is then humanity that bestows and withdraws the state’s right to exist; it is not for the state, the creature of humanity, to bestow and withdraw humanity’s right to exist. The state pretending to have the right to authorize the powerful to kill the less powerful (as happened when Roe abruptly withdrew the protection of law from a vast segment of the human family) is the undoing of civilization. It is creating a facade of legitimacy for what is essentially a return to savagery. It is Caesar insisting that the Christians render unto him authority over innocent human life that belongs to God alone.

                      God calls human life into being; God calls it back to Himself when He is good and ready to do so. As for us, He said, “Thou shalt do no murder.”

                      The legitimate authority of the state does indeed come from God Himself. (See On the Origin of Civil Power, Leo XIII). Yet Leo asserts:

                      The one only reason which men have for not obeying [civil authorities] is when anything is demanded of them which is openly repugnant to the natural or the divine law, for it is equally unlawful to command to do anything in which the law of nature or the will of God is violated. If, therefore, it should happen to any one to be compelled to prefer one or the other, viz., to disregard either the commands of God or those of rulers, he must obey Jesus Christ, who commands us to “give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s,” and must reply courageously after the example of the Apostles: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” And yet there is no reason why those who so behave themselves should be accused of refusing obedience; for, if the will of rulers is opposed to the will and the laws of God, they themselves exceed the bounds of their own power and pervert justice; nor can their authority then be valid, which, when there is no justice, is null.

                      Unlike other important issues which you mention, the state demanding our acceptance of its usurpation of God’s authority over innocent human life is asking the Church to render unto Caesar that which belongs to God alone. To comply is idolatry, which is the death of Christianity.

                    • Facile1

                      “To comply is idolatry, which is the death of Christianity.”

                      Exactly.

                    • papagan

                      “Unlike other important issues which you mention, the state demanding our acceptance of its usurpation of God’s authority over innocent human life is asking the Church to render unto Caesar that which belongs to God alone. To comply is idolatry, which is the death of Christianity.”

                      As a Christian, I agree that Caesar is beneath God. As a Christian, I also hold that the subordination of religious faith to partisan politics is problematic. What do I have in mind? What I have in mind is the use of religion (e.g., “Religious liberty is in jeopardy!”) to criticize one political party (PP1), while discouraging similar criticism of another political party (PP2), despite the fact that both political parties merit sharp criticism. If one sharply criticizes both PP1 and PP2 simultaneously, it does not follow that PP1 will defeat PP2. Moreover, if PP1 and PP2 are the only “politically viable options,” and both tend to erode or poison a sound human ecology, although one poisons more stealthily than the other, is it truly good to downplay or ignore the serious problems of PP2 in order to defeat PP1?

                      I anticipate that the response will be something along the following lines: The problems of PP2 aren’t really so bad in comparison with those of PP1. If both effectively poison the soul, however, it isn’t obvious that one shouldn’t resist both at once. If the response to that were that one must then be a covert supporter of PP1, I’d say that the alleged covert support of PP1 doesn’t necessarily follow.

                    • Harry

                      We need to be realistic about both parties. We need to be Christians first and political afterwards, but political we must be.

                    • papagan

                      “We need to be realistic about both parties. We need to be Christians first and political afterwards, but political we must be.”

                      To the foregoing I say: Exactly right! Believers must be political. Theological faith presupposes that we are “political animals” by nature. We must be thoroughly involved in the world in order to transform it.

                    • Facile1

                      “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40

                      All sin is idolatry. The root cause of all social problems is idolatry.

                      And the problem with idolatry is that it gets in the way of LOVE. Frankly, idolatry makes true love impossible.

                      We can only freely choose between GOD (ie LOVE) or sin (ie death).

                      And it is only when one truly loves GOD FIRST can one put one’s love for anything else in its proper place — whether it is the love for one’s country (jingoism) or the love for one’s church (fanaticism); the love for one’s family (nepotism) or the love for one’s neighbors (humanism); the love for one’s sexual partner (eroticism) or the love for one’s self (narcissism).

                      LOVE GOD FIRST; then picking which problem to solve next becomes easy.

                    • papagan

                      If one truly loves both the one true God and one’s neighbor, one can more easily perceive the many forms of idolatry (including the “idolatry of money”) which have infected modern society.

                      Incidentally, there’s more than one form of humanism. Secular humanism, like Pelagianism, is unsound. Christian humanism, however, is good! After all, Christians hold that God became man in the incarnate Logos.

                    • Facile1

                      There is only one form of humanism (love of humankind). Humanism is the atheistic spin on the second commandment, which forced the Catholic Church to qualify the use of the term.

                    • papagan

                      “There is only one form of humanism (love of humankind). Humanism is the atheistic spin on the second commandment, which forced the Catholic Church to qualify the use of the term.”

                      That isn’t a Catholic view. Humanism is often intended in the sense of secular humanism (species), but Christian humanism (species) is another and legitimate form of humanism (genus).

                      It is not possible to LOVE GOD and love humankind equally or at the same time.

                      Of course love of God is primary, but that doesn’t preclude the simultaneous love of neighbor (other human persons) for the sake of God. In the Christian view, moreover, when one loves Christ, the Second divine Person, one loves God and man at once in the hypostatic union. Jesus is the model of Christian humanism.

                    • Facile1

                      To quote wiki:

                      “In 1808 Niethammer published “Der Streit des Philanthropinismus und des Humanismus in der Theorie des Erziehungs-Unterrichts unsrer Zeit” (The Dispute between Philanthropinism and Humanism in the Educational Theory of our Time), a book that was a reaction tophilanthropinism, an educational concept that was developed during the Age of Enlightenment. Philanthropinism valued practical and physical education, and largely rejected rote-learning of the classics. Niethammer agreed with the philanthropinists in that a measure of autonomy was important in education, but found their teaching philosophy too extreme. He believed that a sense of civics and civility were vital in a childs’ education, and made efforts to combine the best of philanthropinism with the best of “humanism”, a word that he derived from Cicero’s “humanitas”.

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

                      “Humanism” is not a Catholic philosophy. Christian Humanism was invented by the Protestants. The Catholic Church did not begin to incorporate the term in its encyclicals until Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 encyclical .

                      Again to quote wiki:

                      “The publication of Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum in 1891 marked the beginning of the development of a recognizable body of social teaching in the Catholic Church. It dealt with persons, systems and structures, the three co-ordinates of the modern promotion of justice and peace, now established as integral to the Church’s mission.”

                    • papagan

                      “Martin Schlag on Christian Humanism from a Catholic Perspective” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JEo19AeW64.

                    • Facile1

                      This video is excellent.

                      Fr. Martin Schlag goes through the history of ‘humanist’ philosophy and shows how “Christian Humanism” is the Catholic Church’s reaction to the ‘Humanist’ philosophy that arose from the Protestant Reformation, the French Revolution, and the rise of Marxist nation states. This complements very nicely with my post above.

                      Here is the URL of the ‘Humanist Lens’ in which the video was originally posted:

                      http://www.humanismandculture.com/martin-schlag-and-the-economics-of-the-common-good/

                      Of course, the term ‘Christian Humanism’ is now being preempted by the Protestants (but what else is new?)

                    • papagan

                      Thank you for that link. Regarding the Catholic notion of Christian humanism, it precedes the Reformation.

                      …one should keep in mind at all times Pope Benedict XVI’s caution: “A humanism which excludes God is an inhuman humanism.”

                      Indeed. I used that memorable quote in a talk I delivered in 2010.

                    • papagan

                      The Humanist Lens http://www.humanismandculture.com/. “Torrance Kirby on Christian Humanism and its roots in Augustine”
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAw7naw0wuk.

                    • Facile1

                      Let me repeat.

                      ‘Humanism’ is not originally a Catholic philosophy. ‘Humanism’ was basically invented by the Protestants and later re-invented and re-defined still by secularists.

                      To quote wiki:

                      “In 1808 Niethammer published ‘Der Streit des Philanthropinismus und des Humanismus in der Theorie des Erziehungs-Unterrichts unsrer Zeit’ (The Dispute between Philanthropinism and Humanism in the Educational Theory of our Time), a book that was a reaction to philanthropinism, an educational concept that was developed during the Age of Enlightenment. Philanthropinism valued practical and physical education, and largely rejected rote-learning of the classics. Niethammer agreed with the philanthropinists in that a measure of autonomy was important in education, but found their teaching philosophy too extreme. He believed that a sense of civics and civility were vital in a childs’ education, and made efforts to combine the best of philanthropinism with the best of ‘humanism’, a word that he derived from Cicero’s ‘humanitas’.”

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

                      Secularists were first to use the term “Christian Humanism” to differentiate themselves from the Protestants. The Catholics didn’t weigh into this debate until Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 encyclical ‘Rerum Novarum’, which is recognized as the first document on the social teaching of the Catholic Church. But the latter does not use the term “humanism”.

                      Blessed Pope Paul VI was the first Pope to incorporate and define the term ‘humanism’ in his encyclical ‘Populorum Progressio’ c 1967.

                      http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_26031967_populorum.html

                      Pope Benedict XVI was the first to use and define the term “Christian Humanism” for Catholics in his encyclical ‘Caritas In Veritate’ c 2009.

                      To quote ‘Caritas In Veritate’:

                      “The greatest service to development, then, is a Christian humanism[157] that enkindles charity and takes its lead from truth, accepting both as a lasting gift from God. Openness to God makes us open towards our brothers and sisters and towards an understanding of life as a joyful task to be accomplished in a spirit of solidarity. On the other hand, ideological rejection of God and an atheism of indifference, oblivious to the Creator and at risk of becoming equally oblivious to human values, constitute some of the chief obstacles to development today. A humanism which excludes God is an inhuman humanism.”

                      http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20090629_caritas-in-veritate_en.html

                      I hope this helps.

                    • papagan

                      Let me note here that Wikipedia is not a reliable peer-reviewed source. In contrast, Dr. Torrance Kirby http://people.mcgill.ca/torrance.kirby/ is a Professor of Ecclesiastical History at McGill. One might guess, rightly, that he is a more reliable source on this question.

                      “But let us not pretend that Humanism is anything more than what it is — and that is the sin of ‘idolatry’. … There is only one form of humanism (love of humankind).”

                      First, you’re using the term “humanism” as synonymous with secular humanism. I would agree that secular humanism is inconsistent with Christian humanism; however, I categorically deny that there is only one type of humanism. The generic idea of humanism is not inherently anti-Christian, but secular humanism reflects a warped anthropology. Second, the notion of Christian humanism antedates the Protestant Reformation. Third, the Catholic papal documents you mentioned do not contradict what I’ve stated previously and what I presently maintain.

                    • Facile1

                      I’m sorry. But giving me Dr. Torrance Kirby’s Curriculum Vitae is an ad hominem argument.

                      Can you give me a reference that explicitly contradicts wiki’s assertion that Niethammer coined the term ‘humanism’ and that Niethammer was a protestant?

                      Can you give a Catholic encyclical earlier than Pope Paul VI that uses the term ‘humanism’ or one earlier than Pope Benedict the XVI that uses the term ‘Christian Humanism’?

                      There is only one form of “humanism” — and it is explicitly centered on the love for humankind. Whether we qualify the term now with the words ‘secular’ or ‘Christian’, will not change the idolatrous origins of the term ‘humanism’ itself.

                      ‘Christian Humanism’ has its roots in Christianity. But Jesus CHRIST makes it perfectly clear that love for GOD should precede love for neighbor always.

                    • papagan

                      “But giving me Dr. Torrance Kirby’s Curriculum Vitae is an ad hominem argument.”

                      Actually, it is an argumentum ab auctoritate, not argumentum ad hominem. In some cases, however, the appeal to authority is appropriate, and Prof. Kirby is a credible authority in his field of expertise.

                      As regards Wikipedia, which is not a peer-reviewed source, no serious thinker or scholar would treat it as a reliable authority. Of course, whether you place your trust in Wikipedia is your choice. My advice to others in this case would be caveat emptor.

                      “Can you give a Catholic encyclical earlier than Pope Paul VI that uses the term ‘humanism’ or one earlier than Pope Benedict the XVI that uses the term ‘Christian Humanism’?”

                      Even if it were the case that no papal encyclical explicitly employed the term “Christian humanism,” it would not logically follow that the notion did not antedate the Protestant Reformation.

                    • Facile1

                      Sorry for this late reply. But I was ill for an extended period of time. And booting up my laptop meant getting out of bed.

                      Thank you for enlightening me on the difference between argumentum ab auctoritate and argumentum ad hominem. But the bottom-line is: Neither argument counts as evidence. And argument ab auctoritate is hearsay, however good the authority. This also includes appeals to the authority of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

                      Thus, articles of the Catholic Faith are based on scripture, tradition and the Magisterium. And to know the TRUTH (ie GOD) is to live the WORD (ie CHRIST).

                      Humanism (Christian or otherwise) is idolatry.

                      LOVE GOD FIRST and go in peace.

                    • papagan

                      And argument ab auctoritate is hearsay, however good the authority.

                      An argumentum ab auctoritate isn’t always fallacious. It’s fallacious when the authority is speaking about matters outside his field of expertise.

                      Secular humanism is idolatrous. Christian humanism is perfectly consistent with Christian orthodoxy, but those who deny the true humanity of Christ cannot accept Christian humanism. Christian humanism is not an oxymoron, except in the eyes of those who insist on holding that humanism cannot signify anything other than secular humanism. I don’t share the misguided opinion that all forms of humanism must be reduced to secular humanism. If you wish to continue to believe that the term “humanism” cannot be used in a Christocentric sense, that’s your choice, which shows merely that you presuppose uncritically a distorted anthropology, an anthropology warped by original sin. That will not eliminate the legitimate notion of Christian humanism.

                    • Facile1

                      I think Jesus made it perfectly clear when He said:
                      “When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them [a scholar of the law] tested him by asking,
                      ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’
                      He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
                      Matthew 22: 34-40 The Greatest Commandment.

                      LOVE GOD FIRST. All other loves follow. To do otherwise, is simply idolatry.

                    • papagan

                      “LOVE GOD FIRST. All other loves follow. To do otherwise, is simply idolatry.”

                      Truly God is first, and one should love Him above all else. Moreover, true Christian humanism requires nothing less than loving God above all else!

                    • papagan

                      “[1] It is not possible to love GOD and NOT love humans. [2] It is, however, possible to love humans and NOT love GOD. [3] To give precedence to ‘humanism’ (‘Christian’ or otherwise) is idolatry.”

                      Regarding 1, it is possible if one loves God in the wrong way.

                      Regarding 2, if one loves one’s neighbors in the proper way, it is not possible that one simultaneously not love God.

                      Regarding 3, recognizing Christ’s absolute priority and centrality, as in Christian humanism, is not idolatry! It appears that you’re unfamiliar with the notion of Christian humanism.

                    • papagan

                      [1] «Humanism (Christian or otherwise) is idolatry.»

                      [2] «This video is excellent.

                      «Fr. Martin Schlag goes through the history of ‘humanist’ philosophy and shows how “Christian Humanism” is the Catholic Church’s reaction to the ‘Humanist’ philosophy that arose from the Protestant Reformation, the French Revolution, and the rise of Marxist nation states. This complements very nicely with my post above.

                      «Here is the URL of the ‘Humanist Lens’ in which the video was originally posted: http://www.humanismandculture.com/christian-humanism-lecture-series/

                      «It’s worth slugging through all eight videos of the Christian Humanism Lecture Series. However, one should keep in mind at all times Pope Benedict XVI’s caution: “A humanism which excludes God is an inhuman humanism.” (paragraph 78 in ‘Caritas In Veritate’ c 2009)»

                      What may one infer from the conjunction of 1 and 2 above? One may infer that you endorse the following: “[t]he Catholic Church’s reaction to the ‘Humanist’ philosophy that arose from the Protestant Reformation, the French Revolution, and the rise of Marxist nation states” is idolatry! That would suggest that you aren’t a practicing Catholic. Fascinating…

                    • Facile1

                      I am a practicing Catholic who believes the Catholic Magisterium has not deviated from Christ’s teaching that one must LOVE GOD FIRST.

                      Humanism is idolatry if one does not LOVE GOD FIRST.

                      Popes put the qualifier “Christian” BEFORE the word “humanism” only to remind us that “humanism” is idolatry if we do not LOVE GOD FIRST.

                      We must be Christians FIRST.

                      Therefore, it is not incoherent to be a practicing Catholic and not an avowed humanist. For one cannot love GOD and not love all His creation. But one can certainly love GOD’s creation and not love GOD.

                      Why do you have difficulty with the first and the greatest commandment of GOD?

                    • papagan

                      “Humanism (Christian or otherwise) is idolatry.”

                      One shouldn’t reduce Christocentrism to anthropocentrism. Unlike the former, the latter is idolatrous. Non-believers, of course, fail to grasp the difference.

                    • papagan
  • M

    Does anyone really believe that voting Republican is going to put a stop to the million or so abortions performed annually in the US? Or even lead to a reduction in abortion rates? Such black and white thinking doesn’t begin to address the problem. Abortion rates actually fall faster under Democratic administrations than Republican administrations. When politicians claim to be “pro-life,” they’re using Newspeak to suggest that they want to criminalize abortion. No doubt some of them are sincere. It’s cheap and easy, however, to rope in voters by touting empty words while doing absolutely nothing even to reduce abortion rates. Policies that will reduce abortion rates, such as better healthcare and education, are usually anathema to those who claim to be “pro-life.” I have to agree with the points made in the following article from Patheos, which points out that one cannot truly be “pro-life” and still oppose universal healthcare, the death penalty, unrestricted gun rights, etc., while also supporting and advocating for war: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/pro-life-or-pro-birth/ .

    • GG

      Uh Huh, but Patheos is in the same club as Commonweal, NCR, America, Vox Nova, and several others. Same ideology.

      • Is that “patheos” or “pathos”?

        • GG

          Exactly.

      • M

        Perhaps we could avoid simplistic tribal thinking and look at the points the article makes instead.

        • GG

          Not tribal, just do not like propaganda sites.

    • BPS

      I call bulls**t on that article and the claims about the abortion rate. The abortion rate fell most swiftly during the mid ’90s to early 2000s AFTER welfare reform was passed by a republican congress and signed by Bill Clinton, who opposed it when congress was controlled by democrats. The rates began falling during the late 80s and the first Bush Adminstration.
      “Better healthcare” is democrat code for taxpayer funded abortions and always has been. No, to be truly pro-life, reject the liberal/socialist world view that people are so many mouths to be filled and assholes to wipe (and that by the government) and embrace the traditionalist/conservative world view, that people are agents of their conditions in life and are hands, minds, hearts and souls and can improve their own and their family’s situations and, by extention, that of the whole world.

      • M

        I have to disagree with your contention that “better healthcare is democrat code for taxpayer funded abortions.” Most nations with better health care than we have here in the US also have lower abortion rates. Better health care is about the guaranteed health care for all that the Church supports, as well as about improved preventative and acute care.

  • Miketom

    Me too!

  • Tom Valerius

    TWO FACED! Don’t oppose abortion because we’reCatholic, or that the “roman collar boys” say it’s wrong, or that we use Holy Water, prayer Beads, or attend Mass and occassionally pay attention to the Gospel message Nor is it that Sexual acts are”FILTHY”! Our Mom’s did it! – Why then? ALL HUMAN LIFE HAS VALUE! But have we ever offered to adopt the unwanted child, or to pay for it medical support or its upbringing or to support or assist the mother! HELL NO! Who is the one without sin! I fear that Jesus have written alot of our names in the sand as we mouth off and wait to “stone” the ladies? God help me to understand and help!

    • Seamrog

      “But have we ever offered to adopt the unwanted child, or to pay for it medical support or its upbringing or to support or assist the mother!”

      Yes.

      Yes we have. Shame on you.

      • Seamrog

        And to add:

        Not only have we offered to do it.

        We have done it.

        What a presumptive, foolish comment you have made.

    • GG

      What distorted logic.

    • BPS

      The Northwest Center, 2702 Ontario Road Northwest, Washington, DC 20009. http://www.northwestcenter.net/. Founded by several Georgetown girls in the 1980s. Pro-Lifers in Washington (including me) have supported them ever since. The home there gives women in crisis who want to have their unborn children by giving them a safe place to stay, adoption services if they want that or helps them continue their education and find work. Since opening, they have helped thousands of women. As I understand it, they are not unique.

      What, Tom, besides promoting infanticide, have you done?

    • FrankW

      “But have we ever offered to adopt the unwanted child, or to pay for it medical support or its upbringing or to support or assist the mother!” Not only offered, but done so multiple times, as did my parents.

      You should be very careful when making assumptions about pro-lifers. You’ll never see any of us featured on mainstream media nightly news broadcasts or 60 Minutes, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t out here.

      Do yourself a favor: Drive past an abortion clinic when there are pro-lifers out there offering prayers and counseling. If you can muster it, take some time to talk to them respectfully, and you will be surprised at how many of them have adopted children, taken in foster children to raise, worked at crisis pregnancy centers, and helped poor single mothers care for their children.

      Pro-lifers don’t have press agents, and we don’t blow our own horns; we just try to live out our faith in a society that is increasing hostile (as you have well demonstrated) to everything we hold dear.

      • BPS

        Thanks FrankW. I wrote about the Northwest Center, below. Also, I forgot about St. Ann’s Infant and Maternity home, which is run by the Washington archdiocese.
        Archbishop O’Conner of NY said publicly in the 1980s “Let any women who needs assistance having her child come to the Catholic Church in New York and we will help”

  • publiusnj

    Catholics, who represent about 25% of the electorate are NOT taken seriously right now because essentially half of them vote Democrat despite that party’s position on Abortion. That means Catholics contribute a PLURALITY to NEITHER party, despite the size of the Catholic Demographic. Blacks and Jews, by contrast, get taken seriously precisely because they cast such lop-sided majorities in favor of one party. IOW, if Jews represent 4% of voters but give 75% of them to Democrats, they in effect bring a 2% plurality to the aid of the party.

    Should those Catholics who vote Republican now waste their vote on some third party movement, they will not even get lip service from the Republican Party. Every vote wasted on a third party will be an effective contribution to the Democrat Party’s plurality. And that plurality will come to the Democrats DESPITE the antipathy toward Democrats of the Catholics who bolt to a third party. Clearly counterproductive.

    IOW, if that happens, neither of the two parties that have a chance of winning will have any reason to court Catholic voters. It is that simple.

    • Since only between 20 and 30% of Catholics practice the faith regularly, 70 to 80% of Catholics are actually apostates. Therefore, Catholics make up merely 5 to 8% of the electorate and can be safely considered hanging chads.

      • publiusnj

        Even 5% of the electorate is still larger than the Jewish electorate, yet we “don’t get no respect.” Why? Because we are internally divided just about 50-50. The only way Catholics will amount to anything as a voting group is if there is some measure of unity.

  • thebigdog

    “They want you to believe that the water boarding of three terrorists
    more than a decade ago is on par with 50 million deaths from abortion.”

    His name is Mark Shea.

    • Yes, the “professional Catholic” whose peculiar form of zeal make me wonder if might be Mancurian, not Irish as his name suggests.

    • Sam Schmitt

      When and where does he say this?

      He does say that both are intrinsically immoral and therefore unacceptable.

      • thebigdog

        Please… a few years ago, he wrote incessantly about this to the point that he actually called me a “neo-pagan” because I didn’t believe that water boarding rose to the level of torture. In fact, after reading the history of military torture practices throughout history, I concluded that the U.S. water boards precisely because we do not torture.

        He was also extremely disingenuous regarding the difference between using enhanced interrogation to extract intelligence from known terrorists, in order to potentially save thousands of innocent lives… as opposed to just water boarding everyone who looks Middle Eastern.

        • “Please… a few years ago, he wrote incessantly about this to the point that he actually called me a “neo-pagan” because I didn’t believe that water boarding rose to the level of torture. ”

          Interesting. PHO’s always seems to question your orthodoxy when you question their logic.

      • Defamation and slander… on top of claim that any Catholic who votes for the left, is acceding to abortion. As if the code of law, is all that matters.

    • Seamrog

      I know I should not, but:

      “Juice Box Theologian”

      snicker, snicker, snicker…..

  • Is this article a joke?

  • Ben Govero

    Third party voting is a viable option. It’s outright ludicrous to think that the GOP is very serious on the abortion issue. Yea, they need the pro-life vote, and they’ll throw a bone here or there when their hand is forced, but the party is not run by pro-lifers, it’s run by money people. They are cowards when it comes to the defense of the unborn: less honest than the democrats, but just as effective at keeping the abortion industry afloat. There are, of course, good pro-lifers in the party, but the party itself trumps all, and abortion is an issue it’d rather not touch.

    Again, I say, third party voting is a viable option. It will, of course, lose an election or two for the Republican party, but that’s ok, because the GOP doesn’t have the spine to stop abortion anyways. It’s best that pro-lifers go their own way until there’s enough of us voting third party to win an election, or the 5-15% loss of votes forces the GOP to really work towards the end of this atrocity, and not just pay us lip service.

  • Isn’t doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome the definition of madness? Perhaps, but, in politics, it’s the definition of pusillanimity.

  • Alan Lille

    You are absolutely incorrect. The Church teaches that torture is an intrinsic evil. To disagree with this is a serious matter that speaks to your communion with the Church.

    • No, we disagree with what you call “torture”. Playing loud music or “waterboarding” is discomfiture, not torture.

      Our service and intelligence personnel have been subjected to waterboarding to develop their tolerance.

      They are not intentionally burned, electrocuted, lacerated, mutilated or injured to develop a tolerance.

      • St JD George

        And as a bonus, they lived to tell about it, write books and make millions later. And, more lives were saved based on the actionable intelligence obtained. Can’t say the same for all those killed in the escalation of drone strikes including all that were around them, you know, collateral damage. A lot more sterile that way and less messy for us, I guess. Lesser of evils?

    • Austin Ruse

      There it is. Because “torture” is not an “electoral” issue for me, I’m an unfaithful Catholic.

      • SnowCherryBlossoms

        Has the Church claimed water-boarding is a form of torture? I know the left has.

      • Alan Lille

        Electoral politics has nothing to do with it. It is a question of human life and the value of such life. You and the Church disagree.

        • Austin Ruse

          Actually, the column is about what I say it is….and that is elections and what criteria we should use in voting. So, it is all about electoral issues. Moreover the Church does not teach that i must cast my vote based on waterboarding.

          • It doesn’t say that you must cast your vote based on the tax rate either. Then again, you know very well that the Church expects each of us to leave out our vocation to be salt and light in the world without her having to micromanage our actions, much less our votes.

            • Austin Ruse

              But successive popes have said that abortion is the most important issue.

              • And that is why I the GOP utter failure of over 40 years makes it an accomplice in this evil, in spite of its empty campaign rhetoric.

                • Austin Ruse

                  Without the GOP these 40 years, the issue would have died a long time ago, as it has died all over Europe. They do not have a political vessel for their pro-life views, therefore it is dead. Is the GOP perfect? Nope, as I say in my piece, but it is the best we have and the alternative is utter ruin.

                  • St JD George

                    There is one party who thinks of Europe like Mecca, or maybe Medina.

                  • The issue is only alive during electoral campaigns. between them, I can’t see the difference. IOW, the GOP is a vessel unworthy of the cause for life, for it uses it purely for political advantage without ever being committed to it. Or must I recall the coward about face on the 20-week abortion ban?

                    • Seamrog

                      You must miss the 500k – 1m who show up in Washington in the freezing cold every year for the March for Life.

                    • He should experience January in DC.

                    • Austin Ruse

                      And those 200+ laws passed around the country that have closed several hundred abortion clinics were passed by….who?

                    • I’ll grant you that, but, to the best of my knowledge, most of those laws came not from the politicos initiative, bit from string pro life organizations and where the population is majority pro life. Throw in some minor electoral or bargaining risk and Republicans throw their constituencies under the bus in a heart beat. Again, remember those who turned their backs at the unborn for political advantage on the last 22nd.

                    • Austin Ruse

                      Well, of course! Sheesh. The ideas came largely from my prolife colleagues but do ya think they would have passed without legislative votes? Funny response.

                    • I’m pointing out the utter cowardice and calculation of Republicans, if this got lost on you. Funny response.

                    • Austin Ruse

                      I’m pointing out 200+ laws passed by republicans that have closed dozens of abortuaries. Sorry. Indisputable. Moreover, the Gop-led partial birth abortion debate utterly changed the abortion debate in America.

                    • That will not continue. The Tea Party financiers have directed a focus on pocketbook issues at cost of social issues…. GOP agrees that women just want, the whole neoliberal enslavement of them. And it was GOP who acceded to sending poorest mothers to work, abandoning children, only to turn around and wonder: Gee, why can’t these black folks get their act together?

                    • You are correct, however, the reason the GOP is useless is new, not about past 40 years… The Tea Party financiers have directed a focus on pocketbook issues at cost of social issues…. GOP agrees that women just want, the whole neoliberal enslavement of them.

                      P.S. It was GOP who insisted on forcing the poorest mothers to work, abandoning children, only to then turn around and wonder: Gee, why can’t these black folks get their act together? Much more is spent on child care and incarceration, than ever spent on welfare.

                    • In Pennsylvania, Kermit Gosnell was shut down after decades by a Pro-LIfe Republican, Tom Corbett-who had the unmitigated temerity to subject his shop of horrors to a health department inspection. His anti-life predecessors did nothing of both parties did nothing.

                      Unfortunately, Corbett lost to a Democrat who spent ten million dollars to buy the office.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      The mainstream media has essentially buried the Gosnell case. The grizzly horrors that happened in that human butcher shop over almost 40 years are almost incomprehensible. The Philly DA and police concede that Gosnell probably killed hundreds of babies outside of the womb. Essentially, one of the greatest individual mass murderers in human history operating ten blocks from the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. One must pause and let this horror sink in. And the vast majority of those innocents slaughtered outside of the womb were black. CNN, NBC, MSNBC, the Obama administration obsess for months over the death of a black man who attacked a police officer in Ferguson, but almost nothing about the Gosnell horror show.

                • LarryCicero

                  It is more a failure of our spiritual leaders that they have not changed the hearts and minds of the American people.

          • Alan Lille

            No, but you must oppose torture in principle. This is not a debatable issue from the Church’s perspective.

            • Austin Ruse

              Great. Fine. Not voting on it.

    • SnowCherryBlossoms

      Yes, all the acts mentioned in this article (abortion,
      euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, same-sex “marriage” and human
      cloning) are wrong, period! Evil is evil, whatever and where it is.

      • Alan Lille

        Water boarding is not simply a matter of pouring water on someone’s face. It is simulated drowning that at times, actually leads to drowning. No moral room on torture as far as the Church is concerned.

        • SnowCherryBlossoms

          Okay, thank you for informing me of this, I didn’t know that. I was told it was just frightening and uncomfortable for them…So I will have to edit my comments now as I can’t support it and won’t go against the Church.

          • Seamrog

            The internet is not a source I would use to form my faith.

            • SnowCherryBlossoms

              My faith is very well formed. I will not go against the Church if it has declared this a form of torture. I was ignorant of what waterboarding was- not torture.

              • You’re still ignorant of what waterboarding is, more so because you refuse to do any independent fact check.

                • SnowCherryBlossoms

                  No, I looked it up and looked up the Catholic Church’s stance on it. It is considered by the government and the Church to be a form of torture, so that’s that.

                  • No you didn’t. You responded immediately to another poster comment.

          • I’m curious, some internet poster tells you something, and you believe it without any independent check? Wow.

        • Austin Ruse

          The U.S. actually killed someone water boarding ? Really? Who? When?

          • We subject our own personnel to it. I’m so sick of this contrived indignity.

            • Objectivetruth

              My uncle, who retired a full army colonel, was water boarded during his various training. He said noxious gas training was far tougher. He says if he was ever taken prisoner by the enemy he would be glad for the tough training he received, knowing he could survive and endure anything the enemy threw at him.

          • Nestorian

            You know very well, surely, that torture of various kinds was systematically applied and sanctioned at the highest levels of the Bush Administration in the wake of the criminal invasion of Iraq in 2003. One can start with Abu Ghraib, and go on from there. Rumsfeld and his ilk signed off on those sorts of atrocities. With the information-gathering capacities of the internet, these sorts of basic facts are easy to ascertain and verify.
            .
            If you do not know about the widespread employment of torture under the Bush regime, then a bit of googling of the topic should make the state of the facts abundantly clear to you. As with the pro-abortion forces who maintain that the fetus is merely a mass of tissue, ignorance of the systematic and widespread employment of torture as an integral component of US statecraft becomes a matter of culpable willfulness at some point.

            • Austin Ruse

              The gentleman said people died from water boarding. . I’d like proof of that claim.

        • It does not lead to drowning, liar.

          • Alan Lille

            Yes, it can and has. That is not a lie. You are in denial of reality.

    • John Albertson

      In 1231 Pope Gregory IX ordered torture for dealing with the Cathars. Saint Dominic seems to have been helped by the guidelines of Pope Innocent IV in his Bull, Ad exstirpandi” in 1252 which indicated only one infliction of torture per person, and that it not endanger life or limb. A reasonable standard for our day to which “waterboarding” conforms, if it is considered torture at all.

      • No pope or saint was perfect and committed many sins on their way to holiness, which is not a prize for perfection anyway.

      • Alan Lille

        The papal bull is superceded by subsequent magisterial teaching. There is no wiggle room on this period.

        • Nestorian

          And how is your position not tantamount to sheer relativism? In 1231 torture is morally licit because the pope says so, but later on torture is morally illicit because a later pope says so.
          Apply this sort of thinking, mutatis mutandis, to divorce-and-remarriage, gay marriage, artificial birthcontrol, etc., etc., then all it takes is for Pope Francis to declare all these morally licit, and thereby supercede all prior magisterial teaching against them.
          All of which goes to show that the Catholic Church, far from being the solution to the “dictatorship of relativism,” is in fact a principal source of the problem.

          • Crisiseditor

            You are like a mole. I bop you on the head and you reappear from a different hole. Behave yourself or I’ll blacklist you again.

            • Darned Presbyterians…. 🙂

              • Nestorian

                I am a Nestorian, not a Presbyterian. The difference is enormous.

            • Nestorian

              But you have not answered my argument, and the issue raised by Alan Lille is a serious one.

              If the Catholic popes can change moral teaching from one epoch to the next on torture, as he says (and correctly so), then why cannot do so on any moral issue? How, in other words, does the Catholic magisterium evade the very relativism it claims to combat?

              And why exactly is it “bad behavior” on my part to raise serious objections of this sort?

          • Alan Lille

            As I hope you are aware, different teaching has different moral weight. Support for torture has never been a dogmatic teaching of the Church.

            • Nestorian

              In the high middle ages, numerous papal bulls were issued that not merely permitted, but that mandated torture. Civil authorities were mandated to inflict the temporal penalties on hapless victims of the inquisition, at the penalty of incurring excommunication and being interdicted if they did not.

              These were very serious consequences for civil authorities to court if they wished to be humane to victims of the Inquisition to court in their domains, since papal Interdicts and excommunications tended both to subvert popular allegiance to the reigning civil authorities, and to entail in the common belief of the time that everyone affected by these papal penalties would incur eternal damnation.

              Whether or not this situation entails a dogmatic commitment to the moral licitness of torture on the part of the Catholic Church is irrelevant hair-splitting. The fact is that successive popes over many centuries engaged in a policy of spiritual terrorism both against the victims of the Inquisition themselves, and against the civil authorities who were required to enforce the Church-mandated penalties against its victims.

              The definitive history on this sordid aspect of Catholic History remains Henry Lea’s late 19th century multivolume works on the subject, which can now be easily downloaded for free off the internet.

              • Alan Lille

                This is not hair splitting at all and in fact, quite relevant. A papal bull or bulls from the high middle ages do not speak for full magisterial authority of the Church. The dogmatic teaching of the Church, doctrine and disciplines that are taught, do not all have the same moral weight. As it stands, torture is considered an intrinsic evil in the Church and cannot be supported. This

                • Nestorian

                  Then explain to me how the long series of papal bulls mandating torture, issued over several centuries, were any less authoritative in their time than, say, humanae vitae is held to be in our own.

                  Also, please explain to me how the papacy as an institution can with any seriousness be regarded as a moral authority enjoying unique divine protection from error if pope after pope after pope from the 13th century until many centuries later was able to propagate such a grievous and heinous moral error – namely, that the torture and burning alive of suspected heretics was not merely morally permissible, but morally required.

                  And while we are at it, please explain to me what it is about the 20th and 21st century that makes what popes in that area have to say about morality any more or less reliable than what 13th century popes had to say about it in theirs.

                  • Alan Lille

                    The previous bulls do not enjoy the highest level of authoritative teaching as they do not enjoy the level of dogmatic teaching, and second, are superceded by subsequent development in moral teaching which is much stronger. Since these previous bulls did not enjoy dogmatic teaching authority, their positions are not to be held by the faithful, semper et ubique. This is the same case with say papal bulls that addressed the treatment of native americans but no longer hold weight and which the Vatican has declared null and void.
                    You need to understand how moral authority works in the Church. Popes, and bishops can and do err personally and in teaching. What the faith says is that they cannot err in questions of dogmatic teaching positions such as say, the divinity of Christ, which must be held by Catholics semper et ubique and can never be taught to the contrary. As to your last question, this is just obvious. For this reason, the teaching of Aquinas on the difference of the sexes for example, is not something held by the Church. The Church has recognized its errors on many occasions. St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI for example, have publicly apologized for instances where the Church erred. But this was not in relation to dogmatic teaching. You need to research the differences between: dogma, doctrine and discipline. They do not all carry the same moral equivalence.

      • Nestorian

        John Albertson,

        It is appalling that those papal documents sanctioning torture were ever published in the first place. They led to the agonizing deaths of thousands upon thousands of mostly decent, and not a few saintly, individuals over the course of about 750 years.

        And it is appalling that you, who call yourself a Christian, regard torture as morally licit. Comparisons between your morality on torture and the morality of the likes of Hitler, as well as of the the pro-choice contingent in our society, are not at all far off the mark.

        • Heretic.

          • Nestorian

            Your incessant thuggery and gratuitous mean-spiritedness towards any and all who disagree with you on Crisis threads suggest that possibly you, too, might welcome the chance to actually inflict physical torture on those whose views offend you.
            Read the Sermon on the Mount for a reminder that your consistent attitude as a Crisis commenter is not in the least Christlike.

            • Let me get this straight. You come here -under multiple names to evade having been banned- for the sole purpose of fomenting apostasy to a defined heresy, you are as disputatious and contentious as anybody here and you object to being identified as a heretic for being an adherent to a defined heresy.
              You doth protest too much.

              • Nestorian

                No, I don’t think so. Many different posters have complained of your habitual online thuggery; I see such complaints all the time.

                I would suggest that you take this as an occasion to take some prayerful time to discern what exactly is driving your inveterate habit of injecting venom into practically every instance of online discourse in which you engage on this site.

                • No.

                  • Nestorian

                    I do not deny that I am disputatious and contentious. However, my mode of engaging in argumentation is consistently honorable. I am not a dirty fighter, as are you, and as is Austin Ruse (see above).

                    I defy you to find even a single instance in my hundreds of posts on Crisis where I have gratuitously insulted my interlocutor. You, on the other hand, probably do this several times a day. Many others have noticed this, and many have tried to call it to your attention. If you are not willing to listen to me, then listen to them.

                    • Since you invade a site that is dedicated to what you oppose, you are dishonorable before you say a word. It is dishonorable to evade your eviction.

        • GG

          Rubbish

          • Nestorian

            Oh, so you also would like to join the likes of Hitler in the moral realm by condoning torture?

            • GG

              No I reject your biased history.

        • RufusChoate

          The Cathars-Albigensians were apostates and heretics who engaged in a wide variety of evils while engaging in open warfare against Civil and Ecclesiastical Authority So effectively what ever happen to them in 13th Century was entirely justified and validated by the standards of conduct of the 13th Century.

  • Unfortunately, this article is yet another blatant example of naivete and ignorance. To propose that there is any substantial difference between the GOP and the DNC is the bane of the pro-life movement and of the Catholic participation in politics.

    • Once again, the difference is slight, but significant. All politicians are afflicted with pride and Libido Dominandi. All poltical calculations resemble those of Pontius Pilate.

      This would be more credible if you understood that the “DNC” or Democratic National Committee is not the Democrat Party.

      Charity, and criticism, starts at home, which if I remember, is Brazil.

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-30/brazils-economy-verge-total-collapse

      • St JD George

        True enough, but Let’s not cast too many stones … I’m not feeling particularly strong at the moment about our own strength stability. I have no doubt that you know who would run this country like Chavez did if he thought he could get away with it, and I’m not entirely convinced he’s not plotting that as we speak.

        • I’m convinced he is doing just that, though bureaucratic institutionalization.

          • St JD George

            Doesn’t take a lot to does it since he more and more boldly every day is not afraid to show his true feelings of disdain. Still, many embrace the faux vision of a utopian workers socialist paradise with moral and benevolent overlords who provide for their every need clueless of the dust bin of history, or are just habitually blue people and can’t change stripes like an addict.

          • St JD George

            Off topic, I just saw a bumper sticker that read “my other car runs on steam”, and no, it wasn’t Jay Leno. Never saw that one before. You got one of those?

            • No. I agree with the sentiment, but never affix bumper stickers.

              • St JD George

                Me either, but mostly out of cowardess. The ones that appeal to me might get me shot if I drive through the wrong neighborhood, or rammed by a liberal showing their tolerance with passion and rage. More likely would result in a cowardly act like keying in the parking lot. Not worth the personal aggravation.

      • Make no mistake, Brazil models the future of America if it continues in its current path and is set to surpass it. But what was your point again by bringing Brazil up, other than perhaps making a cheap ad hominem attack?

        • Seamrog

          “But what was your point again by bringing Brazil up, other than perhaps making a cheap ad hominem attack?”

          Like your comment below:

          “Unfortunately, this article is yet another blatant example of naivete and ignorance.”

          You have an unfortunate habit of insulting people who don’t share opinions with you, and it reflects poorly on you.

          • When such cheap tit for tat is accompanied by demands on charity it’s nothing but hypocritical. It reflects poorly on the poster.

            • Seamrog

              I understand…everything is ‘cheap’ unless it is coming from you.

              As you were, sir.

        • My point was as stated. I am always fascinated and annoyed by people who criticize the United States from countries that are in worse condition. See just about every Mexican dictator, Hugo Chavez, the Castros…

          • That’s because you love pride over truth.

            • In order to value truth one needs knowledge. I wouldn’t comment on Brazilian party politics, because I know I don’t know squat about a country I’ve never lived in, whose people I don’t know-I’m not even in the same hemisphere.

              For some reason, everybody outside the United States, with those same impediments, seems to think that they know more and better than the people that live here.

              Why is that?

              • I live in the US.

                • Conceded. You still don’t quite understand how things work here.

                  • It takes an outsider to point out that the emperor has no clothes.

                    • Google “Kermit Gosnell”.

                    • Who practiced his private holocaust under the auspices of Republicans. Did his conviction embolden Republicans? Not a bit, as we witnessed their coward betrayal on the last 22nd.

            • You said and America will become Brazil if it continues, so you agreed things are worse.
              I’m not defending Roe V Wade. I would turn Harry Blackmun’s grave into a public lavatory if he could.

              • Spiritually, Brazil, aa Catholic country, is far better than the US,a Calvinist country. Economically, Brazil is in a word shake than the US, but the latter has been adopting the policies that led to hyper inflation in Brazil. Besides, the figures in the article are actually much better than in the US, which enjoys more favor due to the dollar being backed by the military.

    • littleeif

      While on a state or local level party affiliation plays out differently, your argument fails to account for the actual effect of political party on the national stage. A Democrat holding federal office cannot actually cast an effective pro-life vote. Such a vote would only be permitted were it known to be ineffective in outcome. The Bart Stupak vote should make this clear – when votes are actually whipped and counted the party line will be upheld. A Republican, in most cases, would be permitted to vote his conscience on pro-life issues.

      I read above some carping the Republicans folded on the recent 20 week legislation. I am meanwhile thinking the Republicans actually raised it within the first month of taking control, and raised and passed a second piece of pro-life legislation. Hmmm. I’m struggling to think of a circumstance in which the Democrats would ever conceivably do anything remotely similar. Naral and its fellow travelers have no problem openly campaigning for the election of Democrats. Meanwhile the Republicans have what spurring them on … us? Seriously?

      This is hardball, not horseshoes. It’s politics, not religion. Mr. Ruse’s point is, I believe, that a segment of Catholic opinion sympathizing with a false morality is more than happy to emphasize and exploit the deficiencies of Republicans in order to weaken their support. He might as well have gone on to say another segment of Catholic opinion sympathizing with the fallacy of perfectibility oppose them by joining them.

      • So, the Republicans passed a facile piece of rehashed legislation after cowering in the beginning of a legislature where they just conquered the majority for the umpteen time. Not impressed at all… for over 40 years.

        • littleeif

          Yes, right. They did! Why on earth would they even launch into life issues right at the inception?! They were stoned for the last several years as being at war with women, years in which people such as Akin had lost an entire election over a wayward reference to rape, where a Democrat Senator Udall became Senator Ovary and Sandra Fluke ran for office. What a courageous blunder!

          I was mortified, but then perhaps I follow politics more closely than you. Or perhaps you think your brand of pro life support so valuable to Republicans they would expend all the political capital of a wave election in a futile attempt to gain it?

    • I went independent years ago when the whole “It’s the economy, stupid!” thing was big. Whenever a Republican looks me in the eye and says (with a straight face), “I’m socially progressive but fiscally conservative,” all I hear is, “I think the Führer should be able to gas Jews, so long as the rich aren’t overly taxed.”

      That said, I feel for the conservatives within the Republican party. Their fight is herculean.

  • SnowCherryBlossoms

    I say to you, that he will quickly revenge them. But yet the Son of man,
    when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?
    All of the evils mentioned in this article are wrong, to compare wrongs is ridiculous and simply dragging the red herring across the trail to throw the hounds.

    • St JD George

      What are you saying, that politics is a fundamentally unseemly business and we are being led astray from our true mission by engaging on their terms and arguing over who is more immoral? Maybe, but I still say the party who boo’s God, embraces SSM, infanticide, atheists and Lord only knows what other acts to remain in power (i.e. to do whatever it takes, be damned) will never get my vote. Whether the decision remains binary remains to be seen.

      • SnowCherryBlossoms

        Are you asking me this? If so what I am saying is Catholics – real Catholics, the ones faithful to the Church and her teachings on ALL issues are being corralled and maligned by both parties. There is no longer a party that will defend what a Catholic must defend. They are both traitors to good. I will, of course, continue to vote in the lesser of the evils. But the time is coming and has one foot in the door now, when to be a faithful Catholic will be life threatening.

        • St JD George

          It is indeed life threatening in big portions of the world. In what use to be a mostly Christian nations the price is quickly becoming loss of one’s livelihood, or duct tape over the mouth intimidating to be silent while being mocked for having faith. Politics has become for most all about the art of staying in power, and saying whatever you got to say and bribing whoever you have to bribe to keep hold of it, not serving.

  • kmk

    I’m cancelling my subscription to Crisis magazine. You are not promoting Catholicism when you allow sensation seeking writers like Austin Ruse on your website.
    There are many other websites that support Catholicism.

    • Austin Ruse

      I could be wrong but i don’t think you can subscribe to something called Crisis Magazine. You should definitely get your money back if you did.

    • Austin Ruse does an excellent job reporting on the international agenda promoting abortion. Everyone slips here and there letting their allegiances, poorly or solidly founded, betray their judgment.

      • Austin Ruse

        In politics, my allegiance is to the unborn child.

        • St JD George

          The unborn child, and it’s natural parents.

          • Austin Ruse

            Exactly.

        • Honestly, Austin, that allegiance seems to have been eclipsed in this article.

          • St JD George

            Sometimes when you start the top spinning you never know if it’s going to fall of the table.

          • Austin Ruse

            Lost to you, not to most others.

        • kmk

          I don’t believe you, since you do not understand what NFP is.

          • Austin Ruse

            Huh?

          • Austin Ruse

            Since you refuse to explain your idiotic charge, I’ll just say, not only do I understand it, when I married my wife, me at 47 and she at 39, we used it to great effect to have two beautiful girls. So there!

    • GG

      You mean you like lefty sites.

    • ForChristAlone

      “So long, it’s been nice to know you…”

    • Crisiseditor

      There is nothing heterodox in Mr. Ruse’s article. He raises a moral dilemma that many Catholic voters face when deciding between less than ideal candidates for public office. This is often a matter of prudential judgement. When one candidate is better on the non-negotiable moral questions, you are obliged to vote for that person. But determining who requires judgement. On the other hand, because this involves prudential judgement, it is a matter open for debate. So no one should accuse you of heresy, for example, if you came to a different decision than Mr. Ruse in a particular case. No one should accuse you of heresy and you should show the same consideration for others who are unquestionably serious Catholics. (This is not to say that all choices are moral dilemmas; some candidates are obviously superior to others.) Crisis is an opinion magazine. Don’t expect to agree with everything that is published. I certainly don’t.

  • St JD George

    What a waste of money to study what is universally (well, almost) understood. If you were not aware there is a war being waged, think again, and get your head out of the sand. And, you can say both parties have morality lapses and that’s true, but there is one party who actively embraces this culture and one that does not.
    http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/sociologists-warn-christianophobia-among-progressive-activists
    If you don’t care to follow I’ll leave you with this nugget:
    The study also provided some stunning statements from progressives about Christians, including one male with a doctorate degree who said, “I want them all to die in a fire,” and a master’s degree-educated woman who declared, “They should be eradicated without hesitation or remorse.”

    • GG

      As some have said: republicans are not our friends, but democrats are our enemies.

      • St JD George

        I know, a lot of bickering today … maybe because it’s late Friday and everyone is tired. It might be somewhat akin to the splinter and beam parable, but for those who aren’t aware (and a lot here are), there is big storm brewing on the horizon and we ought not take our eyes off of it because that’s where the real threat to Christ’s mission lies. The cancer has been growing slowly for awhile, but recently it seems to have hastened. Whether it continues to grow unabated without the medicine of the good news or goes into submission Lord only knows, but I don’t think he wants the patient to die without aggressive treatment.

  • Maggie Sullivan

    I am from Illinois and the Republican party in this state is pro-abortion and pro-sodomy.

    My family and i will never vote for the baby killers just because they are from a political party that in the past was pro-life.

    Game over…..both american political parties are pro-abortion and pro-sodomy. We just saw the Republicans trash a pro-life bill on the anniversary of Roe V Wade and replace it with a fig leaf bill.

    It’s over……sure you can vote republican and support planned Parenthood as the Republican party ALWAYS does……but don’t claim to be pro-life.

    • Austin Ruse

      In 20 years I never voted republican in NY state. I voted conservative.

  • wc4mitt

    The Catholic Church doesn’t tell its’ people what party to belong to – It tells it’s people HOW to vote re issues that reflect Catholic teaching – Dogma.

  • Colin Corcoran

    They lost my vote the day the chickened out on the 20 wk abortion ban like cheese eating surrender monkeys, not even holding a vote as promised during the March for Life. Life first, financial goals second. I’m far from the only one who realized I could not trust or support them anymore after that. PS: The substitute funding ban sure to be vetoed as well – was basically a half effort and NO it does not change the fact they caved. They clearly did not do what I had elected them to do along with many others. HUGE missed opportunity… Will be looking 3rd party when they run Jeb…

    • littleeif

      Who elected them to do what? As far as I can tell pro-life issues are down the list of priorities for most of our citizenry and exit polls demonstrated they were elected to oppose President Obama’s policies. So the effort to pass pro-life legislation was courageous and gratuitous, since they expended considerable political capital in exchange for nothing. They already have the vote of those who share my views. They cannot gain the support of those who share yours, short of the canonization of someone from their ranks or maybe the formation of a Republican religious order.

  • littleeif

    Your friend, Mark Shea, recently posted this gem. I was bold enough to write a response citing the all time number of prisoners in Guantanamo, not to mention the number “tortured”, vs. the 1.2 million abortions per year in the U.S. – that since he first, in his article, implied hypocrisy by “prolife” Catholics who “support” the party of “torture”. (I am condensing here. Please forgive the scare quotes, but they are necessary to put myself in his brain. This is the same brain, by the way, that wrote a series of articles on the immorality or some such nonsense of John Wayne.)

    Mr. Shea’s response was to express his disgust at my comparing “mortal sins”. Then he blocked me, because it’s his “living room”.

    Thanks for your article!

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2014/12/why-am-i-so-harsh-on-the-incestuous-relationship-between-catholics-and-conservatism.html

  • Albert8184

    There’s also a movement well under way to convince faithful social conservatives – Catholic, Protestant and otherwise – that they need to stick with the GOP even though the GOP leadership has marginalized their concerns in favor of a more liberal “up and coming” generation of moderate Republicans.

    And that’s what it sounds like this article is trying to convince me to do. I won’t. The GOP has gone the way of the Dem party and it’s time for social conservatives to form a new third party for the REAL silent majority in this country.

    • HowardRichards

      I agree, except for two quibbles: 1. I doubt we really are the majority, silent or otherwise. 2. I just don’t want to be counted among the supporters of evil — even if it is the “lesser” evil.

      • Albert8184

        We are a dwindling majority.

        • Howard

          Maybe. My impression is that at least a third of the public is made up of people with a mass of contradictory ideas that they hold for emotional reasons with little concern for the inconsistencies. These are the people who seemingly will vote for whoever they see on TV the most often, or whoever has the best haircut. They make it easy to claim that the majority is pro-life, because they don’t like abortions for trivial reasons, or pro-abortion, because they certainly don’t want abortion banned altogether. The abortion rate has been down lately, but it’s hard to be sure that’s due to a development in real convictions rather than meaningless fluctuations, like elevator shoes going out of fashion and coming back in. We haven’t turned a corner, and we are not close to turning a corner.

          However, my hope is neither in a political party nor in the goodness of 51% of the American electorate.

          • Albert8184

            Yeah… like I said, we’re a dwindling majority. But there’s no doubt we’re in deep trouble in this country.

  • Tim Danaher

    Austin, enjoyed the article and the discussions that followed. One thing to keep in mind is that the GOP, like the church, is run my moral men. Sure the national GOP makes big promises to pro-life Christians and fails to delivers most times. But consider the alternative, the Democrats who proudly promoted all forms of evils against mankind, e.g. unrestricted abortions, euthanasia, and homosexuality. The bright side, as noted in some of the posts below, is that the state and local GOPs are making successful counter attacks and rolling back abortion access and standing-up for marriage. The problems is translating local pro-life success into national consensus. IMHO, the real battle needs to be in securing a 60+ seat Republican Senate in order to control/influence federal judicial appointments. Let’s face it, the GOP politicians are cowards when trying to pass tough pro-life, pro-marriage legislation, and would rather have un-elected judges do their dirty work. We also need to have Catholic clergy who will teach, preach, and lead on the life issues. To often our national bishops conference gives ambiguous guidance to the faithful on these basic issues with their “seamless garment” analogy. Voting for the sanctity of live is a foundational position which our clergy and national GOP treat as a “third-rail” which would cause them to lose favor with the world.

  • jacobhalo

    We Catholics need a person like Franklin Graham to be pope. He came out against the secularization of American Society. We need a pope like Charles Stanley who preaches like the pre-Vatican popes and clerics. We have had popes and clerics since Vatican II who have been nothing but gutless jelly fish. The goal of Vatican II was to bring the church into the modern world. Mission accomplished!!

  • Scott W.

    You remember how progressives blathered about how important health care reform was? Yet they insisted that abortion had to stay in the package and howled when anyone suggested it exclude abortion. In other words, it wasn’t that important compared to the sacrament of evil. Well, same thing on the GOP side. If torture is so small an issue compared to electing a pro-life Republican (wait…scratch that…a pro-life Republican as long as the innocent human in the womb wasn’t conceived in incest, rape or presents a threat to the mother, then it’s unpleasant but ultimately fine and dandy.) then why all the resistance to removing it as an objection? Abortion IS more important. Therefore, condemn all torture (which includes waterboarding) unequivocally and move on to more important things.

  • Objectivetruth

    “3801 Lancaster”, one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen on abortion and the Kermit Gosnell case. A “must see” no matter what side of the issue your on:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=J7YmrsY4KSY

    • St JD George

      Do I really need to look into the face of the serpent to know that he slithers on his belly in this world? It is revolting to think he is not alone and that there are other butchers of his ilk still free to ply their trade in the same way in this world. Not much less revolting to watch or read influential (to some) politicians who call themselves Catholic yet defend the barbarism of infanticide in the name of choice unable to look into the eyes of the child and see Gods divinity at work.

      • Objectivetruth

        Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Yes, you do need sometimes “to look in to the face of the serpent.” We all do. Imagine in 1942 if all the towns people surrounding Auschwitz and other camps were allowed to tour the camp and see the Holocaust first hand. Possibly an uprising by the German people themselves would have shortened Hitler’s reign of terror by several years? We’ll never know.

        • St JD George

          I know, and agree about the sterilizing power of the bright light from above. Knowing the horror I don’t personally wish to see again, but that’s not to deny others who don’t have a clue.

          • Objectivetruth

            OK…….these videos are a good way to stir action in all of us. It spurs me to get back in front of the local Planned Parenthood on Tuesdays with my rosaries before work where 22 babies on average are slaughtered.

            • St JD George

              Amen.

    • St JD George

      Maybe if the state (ha) was more concerned about saving their souls rather than ensuring their vote this could be further reduced. Of course that’s not the states job, but it ought not to be in the business of creating addicts, destroying families, supporting infanticide, and fighting the church’s efforts in helping people develop a relationship with God either.

      • Objectivetruth

        Pro life groups who know of what they speak say there is a Gosnell baby killing clinic to some degree in every major city in America.

  • English Catholic

    Almost always, the best thing a faithful Catholic can do for his soul is ignore politics. It’s destructive; it’s divisive; it stokes foolish and dangerous passions, especially wrath and envy. Much of it consists of banal and meaningless platitudes, which, at best, bear only a passing resemblance to truth. Feeding the mind with it is like sucking on poison. Go and read the scriptures or the lives of the saints instead.

    Politics is obsessed with the now. It twists the Catholic’s attention towards the City of Man, towards worthless, temporal vanities which he can do nothing about, and away from his soul, which he can do everything about. It makes him obsessed with meaningless abstractions, distortions, smoke and mirrors and words that mean nothing. By and large, with some exceptions, we play the devil’s game when we play politics.

    For most people, politics is at best a distraction, and at worst will damn your soul. So ignore it, unless you have a particular calling to this dangerous path. Your soul isn’t worth it. Maybe vote for the lesser of two evils every four years, maybe abstain altogether (a case could be made either way), but otherwise, pray and fast, pray and fast, pray and fast. Your salvation is not assured.

    Indeed, sometimes I wonder if there’s a connection between obsession with the politics of the world that’s passing away, and over-assurance about one’s own salvation. Certainly, politics as we know it was spawned in the Calvinist countries. In any case, our home is in heaven, and we should be making ourselves fit for that. And we do this by closeness to God, Who is heard in the silence, not in the din and noise of politics. If Catholics had put a tenth of the effort into spiritual warfare that they’ve put into politics since say 1945, do you think we’d be in the state we’re in now?

    • St JD George

      I understand, but unseemly as it is, to ignore this important battlefield space is also tantamount to bequeathing our mission to the evil one because he most assuredly is filling the vacuum in his mission to remove men from Christ on this earth. Ignorance will not help our cause, but the real battle lies with the multitude of vacuous souls who help put these people in positions where they can do real harm.

      • English Catholic

        I agree that a small number of Catholics are called to battle this out. And it’s certainly not my intention to condemn all involvement in politics: see St Thomas More, the Holy Patriarchs Joseph and Daniel, etc. But it is an extremely dangerous path to take for one’s soul: dangerous enough in a Christian country, but even more so in a pagan one like those of the modern West.

        As for those who merely ‘follow’ politics, almost all Catholics not only achieve no good by doing this, but actually harm their souls. How often does one come away from reading Drudge, or even a Catholic news site, feeling discouraged, angry, upset, fearful, etc? What good has actually been achieved? Wouldn’t the time have been better spent praying for protection against the evil to come? Or attending to one’s vocation, or recreation? What one chooses to attach one’s mind to will affect the way one thinks about everything. (“The body conforms itself to the operations of the soul.”)

        Such at least is my own experience, and what I’ve gleaned from talking to people both in reality and on the Internet. Again, I’m not saying don’t follow politics as an absolute rule. Just act prudently.

        • St JD George

          Everything you say resonates with me. There is so much to disparage over in the world it is easy to become overwhelmed by it. Then there is the temporal dimension of only having so many hours in a day and whether we are being good stewards of it, making the most if you will. I am on a path to try and unplug from things I do not have control over and more so into what I do. Like in farming, you don’t grow a bountiful harvest if you don’t pay attention to the fertile soil and seed quality, there in the field is where we must get our hands dirty if we want to sit at the banquet some day.

  • St JD George

    We should all be honest about politicians here in admitting that they all come to the office with some core beliefs of course, but once there are mostly (or become so) on staying there. As such, everything becomes a calculus for how to please and say the right things and voter demographics. How else can you get such steadfast men who like Cuomo say I personally find abortion reprehensible but would never deny it to others if that’s what they want. What moral conviction and spine. Not to pick on him because they all have their price and don’t all admit their cowardness so freely. The point is, they act this way because they think more are sympathetic and standing up for Christ isn’t what’s going to get them re-elected. To be sure the dark lord has disciples who roam the hallowed halls, but this is also more than just the faithful standing up on Election Day and during campaigns, this is much more of a grass roots issue of winning over the hearts and minds of the people who walk among us every day whose lonely souls yearn to know Christ the savior, even if they aren’t consciously aware.

    • The day that pro-lifers refuse to be played yet again as violins every election and stop voting Republican, even at all, the GOP will actually become pro-life. For, without pro-lifers, there is no difference between them and the supposed only alternative.

      • Austin Ruse

        Spoken like someone who has never done a thing for the pro-life cause.

  • Jacqueleen

    Pushing people into poverty is one of Saul Alinsky’s vital steps to transform a nation into a social country/Socialism at it’s best/Communism. All of your suggestions will never happen because both parties are bought and paid for….MONEY IS THE NAME OF THEIR GAME, SAID SATAN AND SO THEY OBEY!

    • Don’t claim to be a Christian.

      • Jacqueleen

        Don’t undertand your reply…..My comment was made to Mr. Ruse.

    • Austin Ruse

      Oh yes, I tend to agree, my policy suggestions will never happen. But, my point is that they fulfill Cathoic Social Teaching much more than raining minimum wage and universal health care…

      • Jacqueleen

        The American Bishops clamored for ages for a Universal Healthcare System and look what they got? A slap in the face from Obama and his admin. taking away Religious Freedoms! The deal was (give us) Obamacare vs (we will help you achieve) Amnesty. That is why the liberal bishops are insisting that it is “humanitarian” to help those less fortunate who are only coming here for a BETTER JOB through the back door! (So much for the Pope’s emphasis on turning from materialism and his anti-capitalism stance. Notice the Pope does not remark about the illegals breaking the law….Isn’t that strange or is it Liberation Theology?)

        Then, the Obamacare premiums went out of sight and the deductibles became so enormous that the year is up before the insured can collect from the insurance. Still again, the Bishops had the nerve to ask for the parishioners to pay for their healthcare…This is the basis of a Monday afternoon soap opera. The best answer to Catholic Social teaching can be gotten from Raymond Cardinal Burke…..God love him!
        Oh! Your list is very good but you forgot to eliminate the EPA. Someone please tell the Pope that Global Warming is a hoax? Thanks!

      • Nestorian

        Mr. Ruse,

        Do you have health insurance? Do you yourself work for the minimum wage?

        Rest assured, if you did not have health insurance, and if you did work for the minimum wage, they would loom much larger in your calculus of important moral and political values than they do now.

        It is only Christians who enjoy the luxury of being complacent if they wish who can brush aside the right to a working wage and basic health care for all as political trivialities.

        As a general matter, I have found that Christian intellectuals who argue against rights are personally in a position to take for granted their own secure access to the very particular goods which they would deny as rights to others. This situation speaks to an attitude of complacency that I believe Christ would have condemned quite severely.

        • Austin Ruse

          The best way to take care of these issues is as i have outlined in my piece above. Far from being complacent. I simply believe that left-wing policies have made these problems far worse. Better to get the heavy hand of government largely out of this, where it has made matters far worse, and allow the market place to do its wonders. Ending corporate taxation alone would do wonders. Getting rid of federal agencies that only have the effect of hampering economic growth would do wonders. Your left wing solutions have destroyed the African American family, for instance, and poverty rates are just as high as they were when the Great Society was foisted upon us. Complacent? Hah. Not by a long shot.

        • Austin Ruse

          These problems would be solved if only the heavy hand of government was gotten largely out of the way.

          Ending the corporate tax would have an almost immediate effect. Closing government agencies like OSHA and the EPA would have a remarkable effect on job growth and higher wages.

          Far from being complacent, I am angry at what your policies have done to this country and to poor families. The African American family has been largely destroyed because of the Great Society and all that came after it.

          The purpose of Catholic Social Teaching is not to institute left-wing policies. It is to help people. In that regard, the policies you have supported are against Catholic Social Teaching. They have been tried and failed.

          Complacent. Hah.

          By the way, my poor little group pays enormously for Cadillac insurance plans for our employees. So there.

          • Nestorian

            OK, Mr. Ruse. So what exactly is your salary? And what exactly are the terms of your own family health insurance policy?

            And another very important and relevant question: Who is it that is ultimately paying that salary? It wouldn’t be the Koch brothers or someone of their ilk, would it?

            • Austin Ruse

              What is your real identity?

              • Nestorian, Assyrian Church of the East…Legion.

            • Austin Ruse

              What is your real identity?

              • Nestorian

                I am afraid that my current circumstances do not permit me to reveal that.

                However, I ask you again: What is your salary? Tell us – or if you will not, then tell us why you will not.

                It is a relevant question, for it goes very directly to the positions a person (or a party, like the Republicans) is likely to adopt when it comes to normative questions of political economy.

                Do you have any personal experience in what it is like to raise a family, or even support oneself, while working full-time for minimum wage?

                And, once more: Who pays your salary? Is it the Koch brothers, or the like?

                In other words, are you a man to whom Sinclair Lewis’s adage applies: “It is hard to get a man to understand something if his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

  • Strife

    Oh my! His Sheaness is simply going to wet himself in a spittle-flecked nutty of histrionic hyperbole! The sheer number of endless brigades of cartoon-like strawmen that his Sheaness will set aflame in a rhetorical pyromania, as he runs wild in a parched field of his own cognitive dissonance will be utterly spectacular!

    I must get the popcorn and a delicious beverage.

    *sip*

    *munch*

    • Austin Ruse

      Hah Hah Hah. LOL…so true…so very true…

  • AugustineThomas

    Why do orthodox Catholics and conservative Protestants continue to restrict themselves to the two-party system? There are more than enough social conservatives to create a third party and it would have a much better chance of winning more than 33% of the vote against the Democrats and Republicans and sticking to the issues that actually matter than the GOP would of winning more than 50% and sticking to its guns.

    • St JD George

      I understand in principle. I still have a Ross Perot protest vote pin and to this day I believe I helped the serial the philanderer Billy Boy in his move from Arkansas. It left a very bad feeling in me.

    • Alan Keyes was a favorite of mine: devout Catholic, authentic conservative, and (for those who think it’s a big deal) black.

      I love these old debates in which he hands Obama’s arse to him on every front (not that it’s hard to do, but fun to watch it):
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R6bldKdVNY
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQG5hIPJK0g

      • AugustineThomas

        Like any half-way decent, non-racist, I’ve always loved the story of black Americans fighting to right the injustice done against them, which is why I was utterly devastated when Barack Obama became the first black president, despite all the morally and intellectually superior options. It says a lot about our country that the majority consider Obama a great, enlightened man and Keyes a dangerous fanatic.

        • Indeed. Alan Keyes didn’t have a chance because he didn’t fit the secularist vision of America and the racial profile of the racist Left.

          Yet, when our nation stands in judgment (and it will), we’ll have to answer to God why we rejected men of integrity — even if not perfect, but at least God-fearing.

          We created a moral vacuum, the Left can’t fill it, and now the grisly prospect of Sharia looms over the horizon with no will or authority to withstand it. God help us.

          • RufusChoate

            The most impressive thing about Keynes is how thoroughly decent, brilliant and yet humble a man he is in person.

            • Wow, you had a chance to meet him? I’ve only ever seen him on the web. Seems like a righteous fellow.

              • RufusChoate

                Yes, I was an organizer for him and supporter in New Hampshire when he ran both times. He was the real deal who would talk to anyone with conviction and engagement and go out of his way to explain and discuss unlike some other famous conservatives.

                The only guy who approach his level of decency with a crowd was Phil Gramm and surprisingly to a lesser extent George W. Bush.

    • Austin Ruse

      Spoke like a faithful pro-choice Democrat.

      • AugustineThomas

        I have a great amount of respect for you Mr. Ruse, but I think you’re confused. I’m the guy who’s always getting in trouble for making the point that Americans are worse than Nazis as a result of the pro-choice Democrat led mass murder of unborn children.
        But do you think things are working well for us with the two-party system? We’ve won victories with the Republicans because the abortionists are “only” murdering 300-400k a year now??
        It’s not even worth trying a three party system?

        • Austin Ruse

          58 years passed between Plessy vs. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education. It took so long that some gave up and some gave in to violence. But, Brown eventually happened and other things happened after that advanced the cause of civil rights.

          We are a two party country. We must deal within that paradigm. The fact is that against the greatest of odds, against all the powers of the earth, pro-lifers have made this a pro-life country. The ground is prepared or almost prepared for the Supreme Court to do serious damage to Roe V. Wade. At the same time, aboriton clinics have shrunk from 2000 to something like 700. It could be that abortion will largely end before Roe is overturned.

          The point is that we have achieved a great deal. Now is not the time to go wobbly in any direction. We are close and getting closer.

          Finally, i look at Europe where there are multiple parties and I see a real mess. We should not assume that another party is the silver bullet that will end our misery.

        • Austin Ruse

          I look at Europe with multiple parties and i see chaos. The cure proposed by more than two parties, might be worse than the disease. Against all odds, against all the powers of the world, we have made this a pro-life country. The ground is prepared for the Supreme Court to overturn or at least take apart Roe.

          In the past twenty years, we have managed to close 1300 abortion clinics.

          Now is not the time to go wobbly.

  • antigon

    Ok, Austin, no question the Democratic party is determined to promote mass murder, perversion, & indeed ultimately to make it illegal to doubt the glories of these things.
    *
    Or that the Republican Party can potentially be a vehicle for resisting or even reversing – tho one fears the latter only in theory – these horrors.
    *
    But despite the tendentious use of such by savages, to dismiss any criticism of the GOP, in effect to treat it as an arm of the Faith, is not simply wrong in se as well as in many particulars, it’s counterproductive to the deepest political goal you seek of protecting the innocent.
    *
    There is so much dismaying in your post, it will need more than one post to illustrate, but here’s a start.
    *
    They argued the GOP was not really concerned with abortion after all because decades had passed and the GOP had not overturned Roe v. Wade.

    • No, the GOP is most recently guided by Tea Party financiers, to ignore life and social issues, in favor of pocketbook issues. That is the problem, not the ongoing lack of success.

    • Austin Ruse

      Boy straw man alert. I criticize the GOP in the piece above. Did you read it?

    • antigon

      antigon antigon • 6 minutes ago

      Ok, since this is buried at the end & only Mullally will read it, this is – from an admirer & contributor to C-Fam as well as somebody who sharply attacked Shea for his recent & indefensible attack – only for you, Austin, fwiw.
      *
      The election of Gore or Kerry would of course have been worse, but while that’s not nothing, it’s not much, in that Bush did very little for the unborn save to feed the illusion of those who fight for them that they had an ally.
      *
      Indeed, as Bushman C. Hitchens noted ‘George Bush may subjectively be a Christian, but he – & the US armed forces – have objectively done more for secularism than the whole of the American agnostic community combined & doubled.’
      *
      Of course Hitchens meant this as praise, but among numerous reasons why it is true is that by pursuing his insane war policies, Bush effectively made all other considerations secondary at best, & did so not least for the matter you & I & the Church recognize as primary. Am not sure about Robert George, but that Weigel, the despicable Novak, & alas Neuhaus helped Bush sustain that perspective is an argument you should be not just embarrassed, but ashamed to invoke.
      *
      And lest we forget, quite apart from how destructive those policies have proved for the American citizenry in so many ways, they also led pretty much directly to the election of Obama & the ’06 thru ’14 Dem control of the Senate & ’06 thru ’10 of the House, which is also to say to perv marriage, Obamacare, the two new pro-aborts on the Court & all those other matters you rightly descry in your piece.
      *
      Hard to say what might otherwise have obtained, but had Catholics been more inclined to legitimate criticism rather than partisan cheerleading, who knows but that you might be less subject to the charge that precisely your approach is not at least a little & not impossibly even substantially responsible for what you descry.
      *
      On the other hand, since life is complicated, the election of Obama at least had the effect of sharpening opposition, solidifying a more genuine GOP fight against abortion locally, & indeed the extraordinary closing of so many extermination camps (thanks to the pressured GOP to be sure). Had the – sorry, but – nutball McCain been elected, quite apart from how obvious was his intention to seek media favor by dismissing pro-life concerns once he was, the electoral disasters of ’10 & ’12 would have made matters, bad as they are, not just overwhelming worse than now, but very likely irretrievably so.
      *
      And if Romney was your hope, not sure you had any; his defeat at least makes possible a genuine pro-lifer gets elected in ’16, distrustful as one should be of them all.
      *
      And finally, but not least…

      • antigon

        antigon • 2 minutes ago

        Don’t know what happened, but I distinctly remember you & Zippy Catholic getting into a scrap because you were defending not ‘torture’ but torture, & that after a dinner together his arguments made you realize no honest Catholic could do that. Greatly admired that your Faith was more important to you than party politics, & indeed brought that up in slamming Shea for his recent & indefensible attack on you.
        *
        So, not to put too fine a point on it, am sorry to see you’ve decided to give the old vomit a tasty return.
        *
        Not to say that while you know quite well the ‘only 3 water-boardings’ is not just a lie, but a really ugly lie, or that while not even torture defenders deny the horrors revealed in the Report, you recommend we should ignore the reality of those manifestly deadly sins because of the hypocrisy & motivations of those behind their release.
        *
        Nonetheless, for the record, some observations from folk I hope you are not prepared to dismiss as juice-box theologians:
        *
        The Pontifical Council’s Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: ‘the regulation against the use of torture, even in the case of serious crimes, must be strictly observed: “Christ’s disciple refuses every recourse to such methods, which nothing could justify and in which the dignity of man is as much debased in his torturer as in the torturer’s victim.” International juridical instruments concerning human rights correctly indicate a prohibition against torture as a principle which

        • Ohhh… not so bad!

        • Austin Ruse

          You misunderstand what i written. I have written that it is not an issue that rises to a definitive electoral decision.

          • antigon

            No I haven’t. Abortion isn’t ‘abortion,’ & torture isn’t ‘torture.’

            • Austin Ruse

              i have no idea what that means.

            • antigon

              It means that you undermine if not destroy your moral authority when you use scare quotes with ‘torture,’ in order to pretend that what manifestly is torture, isn’t. Like calling abortion, ‘abortion.’
              *
              This piece really is depressing. You were making its arguments years ago, provoking at first a catfight with zippy catholic that led to a dinner & your renunciation of this sort of bo-caca.
              *
              I can’t tell you how deeply grateful I was – I wrote about it publically to Shea when he recently attacked you, you can look it up – how much in fact I admired you, for subjecting your politics to your faith.
              *
              Can’t understand what’s made you return to the vomit.

  • Tom

    I agree with your philosophical view that before birth there is a full human person and that after birth a full human person also exists.
    I do not share your view that before trial a prisoner is a terrorist and that after conviction in a trial he is a terrorist. Pre trial he is a suspect or at most an alleged terrorist.

  • Joyce LaBegue

    The real issue is that neither of the two parties represent Catholic teaching. Let’s face it, Republican Catholics are dismayed by almost everything coming from the lips of the Holy Father. Perhaps more faithful Catholics need to run for office, and I’m not talking about lunatics such as Paul Ryan or Rick Santorum.

    Catholics were almost unanimously Democrats before Roe v. Wade. But the Republican party is not pro-life. They are pro-birth. The label “pro-life” is a political label for an ideological movement. If you talk to most die-hard Republicans, ask them about issues relating to already-born children and the issue of the death penalty, and you will find they are not actually pro-life. They should more properly be called a single-issue anti-abortion movement. I am not in favor of free-for-all abortion, but pro-life, to be a truthful appellative, would have to include ecology (aren’t Republicans excited about Pope Francis’ upcoming encyclical on climate change!), anti-death penalty, and a very deep concern for all living things. In particular, Catholics should be concerned for children who are already born.

    The author mentions specifically water boarding. I remember last year, when Sarah Palin spoke to the NRA in Indianapolis, asserting that “Water boarding is how we baptize the terrorists.” I was glad that many Catholic intellectuals, including priests and canonists, spoke out against her, even going so far as to call her statement blasphemous. Imagine my utter horror when I recounted this story to my Catholic priest before liturgy, and his reaction was to laugh and say “that’s funny!”

    The Republican Party is anything but Catholic. I’m not saying Catholics should vote for pro-abortion candidates either. But the USCCB doesn’t make this clear. They only advise Catholics that they must never vote for a candidate who supports abortion rights or gay marriage. Well, folks, here we are, 6 years into the presidency of the most pro-abortion president in the history of the office, and the number of abortions in this country are at an all time low. Will the bishops put 2 and 2 together? Probably not.

    • Stoney

      Sorry but the death penalty is not an intrinsic evil like abortion. Try again.

      • Joyce LaBegue

        Thou shalt not murder seems pretty inclusive to me.

        • Augustus

          By definition, executions are not murder when the state employs it as punishment for criminal behavior. Scripture does not forbid execution which is why Christian states employed it for centuries, including the Papal States of central Italy: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/hanging-concentrates-the-mind

        • RufusChoate

          According to to Blackstone: Murder is illegal killing of a person.

          Blackstone broke the definition of murder down into five elements:

          1. Unlawful
          2. killing
          3. of a human
          4. by another human
          5. with malice aforethought.

          The law was designed to define the various degrees and circumstances of murder in order to provide and achieve justice for all.

    • TomD

      I don’t know about you Joyce, but I’ve never voted for a party in my life. I vote for candidates, who, since the early 1980s have been almost exclusively Republican.

      While what I am about to say is somewhat of a simplification, where Republicans stray is generally not inherently against Catholic teaching (the death penalty is not absolutely proscribed in the Catechism), while where Democrats stray generally is (abortion is absolutely proscribed in the Catechism). In addition, that we, individually, should help the poor is required of Catholics. However, specific government approaches to alleviating poverty need not necessarily be accepted by Catholics. And I fully acknowledge that all this is generally true, not absolutely true.

      No political party is perfect, no candidate is perfect. We freeze ourselves into inaction, or, dare I say, stray into unelectable third-party candidacies, if we demand the perfect party or the perfect candidate. Those candidates who most closely resemble our values, within our two-party system, most consistent with Church teaching, should get our votes.

      • RufusChoate

        I have always voted for a party and consider the individual office seeker irrelevant and I have never voted for the Left in any of its permutations or anyone adhering to any principle of the Left.

        Parties dictate policy and legislation and the Left is uniformly awful.

        Capital Punishment is left to the determination of the Polity by Church teaching and I have always supported its liberal and rapid application under the rubric that a society that can execute its most innocent without judicial review can certainly master the application of the death penalty to the guilty.

  • isabel Kilian

    I am so sick of the words “Catholic Social Teaching”. We have the Ten Commandments that anyone can understand. Thou Shalt not Kill. The Democrat Party promotes participation in genocide, even demands it. No one will get to heaven promoting genocide. I know people, even members of my family who are radical Democrats. There is no talking or reasoning with them. They were all baptised, went to Catholic schools, and universities and HATE even the idea of God. They think as they please now and will do as they please. When I visit my family in Boston, I feel as if I am not even in the same universe. Their language is different. Their family life is empty of prayer and their homes are empty of any sacramental. These people do not care if you kill a million children or a billion. They do not have Faith. They do not have Faith! They use the faith against the weak among us to promote their faithless agenda. Your article assumes that these people are Catholic. They are not. They have no faith and are therefore just instruments of Satan.

    • It seems they went through typical motions of the Church. This is the rote ritual without true communion with the Spirit, without really looking for our Lord, as is criticized by Francis in Evangelii Gaudium 93-97. So you hate the result, but did you also close your ears, to the solution?

  • isabel Kilian

    “There is a movement well underway to convince faithful Catholics they do not have a political home in the Republican Party.”

    You can not convince a Faithful Catholic that the murder of millions of children in the womb is not the gravest of sins against the First Commandment. That is not possible. What is possible is to convince unfaithful or lukewarm or apostate Catholcs that everyone has a right to do as they please. The problem is how to convert baptised Catholics who no longer have any divine faith.

  • Prolifedem6M

    You overlook the fact that Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton were both given to us by the GOP. Five of the seven justices, including the majority opinion writers, on both these cases were Republicans, as were five of the five who voted to retain abortion on demand in Casey v Planned Parenthood, including the “swing voter” Sandra Day O’Connor who was said to be prolife when she was appointed to the Court. Abortion was given to us as a libertarian issue, not a liberal one.
    Moreover, conservative Dwight Eisenhower was titular president of Planned Parenthood after he stepped down from the US presidency until his death and conservative icon Barry Goldwater sat on its board for many years.
    I grant that the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party then coopted abortion as a cause, which was a move which will prove historically dumb, while the GOP has pretty much abandoned it. Abortion is neither “liberal” nor “conservative.” It’s just evil. The Father of Lies is not picky about who will do his bidding or about what they call themselves.

    • Austin Ruse

      All true. Still, the GOP is the only viable political party to advance our movement. And there is no question, that a sizable and important part of the GOP is not with us. Even so, the GOP is the only viable political vehicle for our movement. And I would go so far as to say that without the GOP, our movement might not be anywhere.

      • Harry

        Without the Pro-Life movement the GOP might not be anywhere. The 104th Congress, 1995-1997, was the first time in 40 years that there were more Republicans than Democrats in both the House and the Senate. That has happened in five more Congresses since the 104th. What brought back the GOP? A major factor was Roe v Wade. As the Pro-Life movement grew, more and more Christians whose families had been Democrats for generations registered as Republicans because of the abortion issue. Many registered Democrat Christians hold their noses and vote for Pro-Life Republican candidates. Nobody has done more for the Republicans and gotten less for it than the Pro-Life movement. The time is ripe for a populist, socially conservative movement to launch a third party. I know that is risky and may be very costly in the short term, but if we don’t take the risk it is a certainty that the Republican establishment/Democrat ruling class will eventually bring the nation to ruin.

        • RufusChoate

          I doubt your premise. The Republican party became the party of Anti-Communism and Anti-Leftism in the 1948 election cycle and grew from there. The 1994 election had little to nothing to do with Abortion even though the majority of the Republican Party were pro-life but with the attempt of the Clinton’s to take over health care.

          Some voters were drawn to the Republican after the hard left shift of the Carter and Clinton presidency and earlier.

      • RufusChoate

        On its face, it sounds true but substantially it isn’t because both Parties evolved since 1973. Republican who turned right and Democrats Left. Until ~1980 both parties followed the same strain of Progressive ideology in the perfectibility of man through Eugenics. None of the ostensibly “Conservative” Republican justices on the Supreme Court in 1973 would qualify as Conservatives todays and Eisenhower was a political agnostic for most of his career and term in the White House while his Vice President Nixon was a Progressive Republican.

        It wasn’t an anomaly that the Soviets legalized Abortion and outlawed Capital punishment in the 1927 Soviet Constitution. The pattern remains the Left embraces Sexual License and Abortion as necessary book ends to controlling the masses.

  • sw

    The idea that one can only be a Republican or a Democrat is a false dichotomy. There are plenty of other parties (Libertarian, Green, Constitution, etc.) and they are all growing very well. Even if one does not like any of those, he can still be an Independent.
    There are three major reasons for a Catholic to be or not be a Republican: welfare, warfare and abortion. As a very, very concise summary:
    Welfare: You may want an end to the Dept. of Education but you are nearly alone. Most Republicans I know like being able to keep their kids in the government baby-sitting programs known as public schools that Mom can work and they can have more money. Republicans love welfare. They are just inconsistent in their philosophical principles. They may oppose holding guns to people’s heads to take their money and give it to people for being poor (food stamps, unemployment insurance, etc.), but they don’t oppose holding guns to people’s heads to take their money and give it to people for being old (social security, Medicare, etc.) or having school-aged kids (government schools). Of course, the politicians that Republicans praise are happy to support this for their own power and money. They have joined with Democrats to create these systems for decades. No Catholic should support a system where people are forced at gunpoint to pay other people’s bills. It is stealing.
    Warfare: For decades, the Republican Party has joined with the Democrats to steal (via taxes and inflation) rampantly from the public to slaughter millions of people overseas. They have lied to the people to gain their acceptance. This is stealing, killing and bearing false witness.
    Abortion: I see no reason why anyone should overlook that Republicans have done virtually nothing to stop abortion. In fact, they have joined with Democrats to continue to fund it. There are so many voters who follow the Republican Party for this single issue. Nothing could be more definitive for the Republican public. But nothing could be more ignored or eluded by its representatives. What good is a politician who talks pro-life to get votes but legislates pro-choice to make deals with Democrats or get lobbying money?
    What does the Republican Party offer Catholics other than a betrayal of their faith?

  • Carol McKinley

    I haven’t voted for a Democrat for close to 40 years. But don’t blame voters for the decline of the GOP. They dug their own grave. They have advanced nothing but proaborts in Massachusetts and they even work against prolifers who run. The dog and pony show they put on for proabort and father of Obamacare, Mittens Romney was the end of the road for prolife voters. Having not learned their lesson, they have him testing the water again. They just don’t get it, the poor things. We are not voting for their white, rich Obamas. Come what may. You can shill all you want to vote a party. It isn’t going to happen. At some point, they will listen to prolife Catholic voters. The murders of innocent children trumps every other issue. Get your popcorn and lemonade and sit back and watch the repeat show.

    • Carol McKinley

      We did ourselves a disservice by voting for ‘the lesser of two evils’ all these years. The country is in shambles. I would have thought the problem would be obvious by now, but with the Mittens saddling up his pony, it evidently isn’t. Astounding.

    • Scott W.

      Well said. I’ve never voted Dem either. I have to grant that they have an enormous advantage in that they have a tendency to be perfectly willing to let their candidates lose rather than let them stray one millimeter from the party agenda. It’s an easy position to take when your policy is chaos and destruction: you can lose a thousand times, but only need to win once to wreak irreparable havoc.

      • Carol McKinley

        With my grandparents born in Ireland, we were passionate Democrats for generations. We had to face the facts: The Democratic party was infiltrated with commies. It turns out Joe McCarthy had the last laugh from the grave. They are gonzo. Still, with the GOP proactively working against prolife candidates, we have reached a different phase of using the power of our vote. The lesser of two evils just has not worked out for us and the reality is, there are too many of us now who will sit it out rather than vote for their white, rich Obamas. A candidate who says he is prolife with a career that contradicts that conviction is deception that only makes the GOP untrustworthy. Saying it and then putting money and power behind a candidate who isn’t, and moreover, sabotaging the campaigns of prolifers who are – we must once again, face the facts: When it comes to their commitment to prolife, they are full of baloney. There is no such thing to a prolifer as looking beyond a candidates ‘other policies’. We are talking about killing babies. Ripping their bodies apart until they are dead. There is no other policy we are interested in if their candidates are for the killing of our babies. Seriously, it shows you the stupidity of power brokers to continue to suggest we look at other things we may have in common.

        • Carol McKinley

          They just don’t get it. To prolifers, there isn’t a dimes worth of difference to them selecting someone who believes in ethnic cleansing of a race and telling us though we disagree on that, kindly look at their economic policy which you will like and vote for us as the lesser of two evils. The mere suggestion they are going to use that old chestnut again is their waterloo.

          • Carol McKinley

            It amazes me that they can’t learn from the Dems who got a man who was a) passionate for all of their party causes and b) charismatic. The GOP throws our people under the bus. Whatever is left of them, as a ‘party’ of any of us are interested in supporting, they are worthless. That is not a flaw of the voters.

            Better fix the real problem before its too late for this election.

  • MrRightWingDave

    One of the best essays I’ve read in a very long time. Thanks again, Mr. Ruse!

  • lee faber

    Why the mockery of unemployed Phd’s? Voting republican for such people will ensure more of us are unemployed, since republications attack the little people at the bottom of the university, not the robber barons at the top.

    • Austin Ruse

      We have entirely too many “theologians.” They should all go out and get real jobs, support their families, get health insurance.

      • papagan

        We have entirely too many “theologians.” They should all go out and get real jobs, support their families, get health insurance. (Emphasis added.)

        Wow! Where did that come from?

        • Austin Ruse

          I’ve just noted they are out there and they are something of a pox on our public discourse….

          • papagan

            “I’ve just noted they are out there and they are something of a pox on our public discourse….”

            There’s no place for theologians in public discourse? Didn’t Pope Benedict XVI play a positive major role in public discourse? Wasn’t he a first-rate theologian?

            • Austin Ruse

              Quite obviously he had a real job.

              • Nestorian

                Oh – and does the fact that you have a real job, Mr. Ruse, somehow make you a better human being than theologians with Ph.D.s who cannot find academic positions through no fault of their own whatsoever? For that is certainly the underlying attitude that your gratuitous slurs against unemployed Ph.D. theologians seem to imply.

                • Austin Ruse

                  I do hope you use Depends. It seems you have a habit of wetting yourself.

                  • Nestorian

                    Really, Mr. Ruse, have you no shame? You are now descending to the crudely immature thuggishness of the proto-typical schoolyard bully.

                    It’s really quite breathtaking – here I am, being assailed by gratuitous scatological slurs on the part of one who enjoys a reputation as a faithful, honorable Catholic and respectable opinion leader in today’s public square.

                    Rather than repeat my earlier satirical rhetoric that Christ is surely pleased with you, I will instead ask you now in all seriousness: Do you really think Christ is pleased when you are not ashamed to bully posters gratuitously, like a 4th grade playground thug?

                    • Austin Ruse

                      Seriously, breath into a paper bag before your pass out and have to take to your bed.

                    • Nestorian

                      Wow, Mr. Ruse – you seem to climb as easily into the gutter of spewing vile venom at your interlocutors in lieu of engaging in reasoned discourse with them as the notorious poster DE-123.

                      Evidently, you really are, to repeat, a remarkably mean-spirited human being. Your antics on this thread serve as a fine public examples indeed for the much-vaunted Catholic effort to re-evangelize Western culture.

                      I am not Catholic, but I do have some influential Catholic friends and associates, and I will be making a point of calling their attention to your rather spectacularly shameful display of gratuitous verbal cruelty on this thread.

                    • Austin Ruse

                      Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

                    • Austin Ruse

                      I see that you are hyperventilating. You should immediately get a paper bag and breath into it.

                      Do you get the feeling i am not really taking you seriously?

                    • Nestorian

                      Whether you take me seriously or not is obviously no longer the point – though the shift in our conversation away from serious discussions of serious issues is entirely your choice, not mine.

                      The point is that you parade yourself in public as a serious Catholic intellectual who probably fancies himself deserving of great respect and esteem as such, but that you have revealed yourself in your exchanges with me on this thread to be nothing more than an insecure, immature human being with a decidedly un-Christlike mean streak.

                      In short, when you cannot meet an interlocutor’s serious counterargument with reasoned discourse, you revert to bullying thuggery. It reveals not merely your moral incapacities, but also you intellectual insecurity regarding your support of the Republican party – a support that many posters on this blog have revealed to be indefensible.

      • papagan

        “They should all go out and get real jobs, support their families…” [Emphasis added.]

        There certainly are many minimum-wage job openings at this time, although persons who possess a Ph.D. and who apply for such openings usually get turned down as “overqualified.” Do you believe that such jobs qualify as real jobs that meet the real needs of families? Do you believe that the real needs of families can be met today without more than one minimum-wage job, so that the other parent can stay home to raise the children?

        • Austin Ruse

          Selling insurance is not a minimum wage job. Legal temping is not a minimum wage job. There are many jobs that are more than minimum wage but that would require a certain amount of humility. You present a false choice..either a tenure track job at a University or a minimum wage job.

          • papagan

            I never said or suggested that there are no job openings offering compensation better than minimum wage. In view of currently prevailing prices on consumer goods (including healthy foods, which typically are more costly), however, most jobs today do not offer a family wage or a living wage for families consistent with the principle of human dignity.

            Regarding the need for the virtue of humility, that is universally applicable, not something restricted to labor.

            As regards your reply to my questions pertaining to minimum-wage jobs, it appears that you implicitly concede that minimum-wage jobs fall short of living-wage or family-wage jobs. In the realm of economics, the question of a living or family wage is often ignored or downplayed as an embarrassing question today, but it is a question our society needs to address.

            • Austin Ruse

              You know who really needs to start paying a living wage? The Church. Ask the janitor at your parish how much he makes? Ask the secretary to the pastor. Then, let me know if that is a living wage.

              Better yet, ask laymen working in the Vatican. Ridiculous what they make. Talk about embarrassing. Go hassle the Pope.

              • papagan

                “You know who really needs to start paying a living wage? The Church. Ask the janitor at your parish how much he makes? Ask the secretary to the pastor. Then, let me know if that is a living wage.

                “Better yet, ask laymen working in the Vatican. Ridiculous what they make. Talk about embarrassing. Go hassle the Pope.”

                That’s a cunning attempt to evade the social issue of the living or family wage–a social issue not restricted to any particular institution, religious or otherwise, and that could have been raised by any person of good will living in the modern world. Even if it is true that not all persons working for religious employers earn a living or family wage (a point which I do not wish to dispute), it remains the case that a disproportionately large number of workers earn less than a living or family wage, and current minimum-wage laws fail to address in any convincing way the major social problem in question, a problem that stands in need of a properly political solution. It would be less than honest to place the blame on any particular religious institution or religious leader, rather than on unjust social structures.

                What authentic good is to be achieved by attempts to deflect attention away from the serious ethical defects of one or another particular political party?

                • Austin Ruse

                  Not in a million years would i vote for a party because of the minimum wage. Abortion is the issue. That and marriage.

                  • papagan

                    “Not in a million years would i vote for a party because of the minimum wage. Abortion is the issue. That and marriage.”

                    That reply is so remarkably distant from what I actually stated, that it has become painfully evident that we’re not really communicating on the same or similar channels. One might say that we’re talking different “languages.” Your peculiar response indicates that your line of thinking is firmly fixed within the boundaries of partisan politics. My comments, in contrast, cannot be properly understood within those boundaries.

                    In closing, I must say that your original disparaging comment concerning theologians is disturbing and not in harmony with the invaluable Catholic intellectual tradition to which thinkers like St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas made lasting contributions.

  • Austine

    Great article. These bloggers such as Shea, also often argue using logical fallacies of personal attack, bandwagon, and straw man, which are dishonest forms of argumentation. But it does garner readers who enjoy reading verbal bulling. Shea seems to have little desire to look for common ground; his blog includes mocking others with little desire to carefully think through and explain political issues with prudence. It is ironic that Shea used personal attack with such abandon since he loudly proclaims the ends don’t justify the means. The rules don’t apply to himself. Narcissism may apply.

  • schmenz

    That some still maintain the dream that the Republicans, the Party of War, usury and conscience-less Big Business, is better than the Democrats, the Party of sodomy and abortion, continues to mystify me. I certainly can appreciate Mr Ruse’s concerns, ones which I share wholeheartedly, but to imagine that the Republicans will actually do something about the evils that surround us in the face of all evidence to the contrary is simply wishful thinking. The Republican Protestant/Jewish plutocrats have cynically used the Catholics ever since the Civil War days and very little has changed in the interim. The Democrats, of course, are even worse.

    If it is defeatist to suggest that neither Party offers any hope at all, then I am a defeatist…and a realistic one. I see no political solution to the catastrophe that engulfs us. I see only a religious one.

  • Eamonn McKeown

    Very good.

  • Joseph Drummond

    I think the photo at the top of the article is Franciscan University of Steubenville students ten years ago when Senator John Kerry came to campaign for President

  • papagan

    “There is a movement well underway to convince faithful Catholics they do not have a political home in the Republican Party.

    “The effort is comprised of former political conservatives who now believe they are more Catholic than anybody else…”

    Based on what I’ve observed, more common are political partisans who speak as if they view themselves to be more Catholic than Pope Francis!

    As regards having a political home in the Republican Party, Catholic orthodoxy isn’t wedded to any single political party, especially political parties which dishonestly use religion for political purposes!

  • GaudeteMan

    Can we at least agree to stop comprising and using ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’ to describe the unspeakable evil of sodomy? Even the Catechism of the Catholic Church took the bait and refuses to call it what it is. Half the battle is succumbing to the enemy’s choice of terms. If eternity in HEAVEN or HELL is what is at stake, why do we soft peddle?

    • papagan

      I’m sorry, but that’s an oversimplification. The problem isn’t simply sodomitic acts.

  • Jenny Tomsic Bioche

    Mr. Ruse, you are a jewel in the Father’s crown. “blogging and adjunct teaching” is as funny as it is exactly on point. God love you!

  • HowardRichards

    Fool Austin Ruse, once, shame on the GOP. Fool Austin Ruse for 40 straight years, shame on him.

    • Austin Ruse

      The GOP has been instrumental in fighting abortion over these past 40 years. Most Americans now self-identity as pro-life up from 35% 15 years ago, directly attributable to the assistance of the GOP. The GOP has passed more than 200 laws in the past few years that have resulted in the closure of dozens of abortion clinics.

      The alternative to the GOP is the Democrats who love dead babies…

      • HowardRichards

        “Attributable” … meaning only that you attribute it. Which, in itself, means nothing.

        It’s not a good sign when you know the side you are on is evil, so you have to argue that it is the lesser evil. There are no alternatives to evil — one must choose evil, support evil, give voluntary contributions to evil, applaud the wins of evil, vote for evil. Just go for the lesser evil! They promise that they’ll be a little less evil this time, if only you promise everything you have and your soul as well! And if it weren’t for them, the greater evil would have prevailed! All hail the lesser evil! Banish from your mind all thoughts of any alternative to evil!

        Well, that’s your choice. It isn’t mine. The Republicans and the Democrats are playing a good cop, bad cop game; they are both on the same side. Together they have practically destroyed this country. They have certainly destroyed a lot of souls. Ease on down the road to ruin, if you refuse to consider the possibility of leaving it, but I will not be tossing you roses as you go down that road.

        • Austin Ruse

          I do not concede a bit that the GOP is evil. The Dems sure are. But not the GOP…

          As to “attributable”….All parts of the pro-life movement may take credit for the advances of the case and that includes the GOP. That self-identified pro-lifers have expanded from 35% of the US to 51% is directly attributable to the partial birth abortion debate which was the GOP soup to nuts.

          If you’re looking for perfection, wait for the second coming. As it is, here in this world, the GOP is the pro-life party and i am happy to support them in that work.

          • Nestorian

            Mr. Ruse,

            Your admonition to wait for the Second Coming gives the impression of being rather flip; you seem to be using the phrase in a rhetorical way to imply that Howard Richards is too much of a naive idealist when it comes to politics.

            But in point of fact, the Second Coming is a cardinal doctrine of the Christian faith. St. Paul refers to it as the “blessed hope,” and it is something that all Christians should in fact eagerly be awaiting. No Christian should be treating that Hope in a trifling way, as a means of accusing their political opponents of rooting their political convictions in unrealizable fantasy.

            In the meantime, the only principled Christian approach to worldly politics is precisely the sort of uncompromising moral idealism that undergirds Howard Richard’s rejection of all mainstream politics as what it is – namely, deceitful and corrupt.

            The corruption and deceitfulness of the Republican establishment when it comes to abortion has been abundantly clear at least since the nomination by Reagan of Sandra Day O’Connor to the supreme court – i.e., since the early 80s. Pro-lifers such as yourself have willingly allowed yourselves to be used and abused by the Republican establishment ever since.

            • Austin Ruse

              Solid theological argumentation. Perfection only comes on the other side of this our exile and the Second Coming. In the meantime, we are called upon to do the best we can with the options presented to us. To suggest that the only “principled Christian approach to politics” is total rejection is utter nonsense and deserves nothing but mockery. Consider yourself mocked.

              • Nestorian

                That’s a nice insulting, ad hominem riposte. I’m sure Christ is very pleased with you for posting it.

                You can surely pat yourself on the back now for engaging in a spiritual work of mercy with me. You also deserve praise for elevating the level of the theological discourse in our ongoing conversation.

                • Austin Ruse

                  I will somehow try to get over your disappointment.

          • Parque_Hundido

            Then you, too are evil.

  • m8lsem

    “Let’s have a modern day land-rush for all those Distributists out there who are just itching to fish, farm or make cheese—though one suspects they’ll stay exactly where they are, blogging and adjunct teaching.”

    Tongue in cheek, one guesses. Who’d show up is capital in search of money-making opportunities, with what’s left when you’re done being of no importance.

  • Paddy

    In the Diocese of Rochester, NY, the Leftist social workers are pushing the Women’s Equality Act being pushed by gov. Cuomo, too. It’s strict Marxism, defended by angry women’s prattle as they exploit our Church. Is the bishop in a trance?

  • Akira88

    I wish I had a printed copy of this in my pocket so it could be memorized.

    This is so common sense, and without sounding trite, Catholicism is pretty practical.

    Very, very, excellent article.

  • Parque_Hundido

    Real Catholics, like real Christians, will always be on the side of the poor. No one can vote GOP and claim to be Christian. No one.

    • papagan

      “[1] Real Catholics, like real Christians, will always be on the side of the poor. [2] No one can vote GOP and claim to be Christian. No one.”

      Regarding 1, I concur. One must add, however, that material poverty is not the only type of poverty. There can also be spiritual poverty, signifying a privation of Christian caritas. That is much more serious, and it is widespread in a culture of death. In that respect both the GOP and the Democratic party are sorely deficient.

      Regarding 2, the “pro-choice” (false choice) stance of the Democratic party is anti-Christian. It is certainly possible that real Christians vote for the GOP; however, they must recognize that the GOP is not truly Christian, and serious Christians shouldn’t seek to conceal the real and serious defects of the GOP. Serious Christians should seek to transform the polluted political sector compromised by an unhealthy allegiance to Mammon.

      • Parque_Hundido

        I hear desperate flailing so that you can support the side of evil. You may not like Democrats, but the GOP are pure evil.

        • papagan

          “I hear desperate flailing so that you can support the side of evil. You may not like Democrats, but the GOP are pure evil.”

          It appears that you misunderstood my post. It wasn’t my intention to engage in partisan politics, and I recognize that both the Democratic party and the GOP merit sharp criticism. I don’t support “the side of evil,” whatever you might understand by that. I support fostering a culture of life and a sound human ecology.

          • Parque_Hundido

            I think you’ve misread this article. Whatever one thinks of the Democrats, there is no justification for supporting the GOP.

            • papagan

              “I think you’ve misread this article. Whatever one thinks of the Democrats, there is no justification for supporting the GOP.”

              I said that both the Democratic party and the GOP merit sharp criticism. I have serious problems with positions advanced by both political parties. “Whatever one thinks of the Democrat[ic party]” is simply too mild. I wouldn’t let that party off the hook. It needs to be reformed. So does the GOP.

              “Place not thy trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation.” (Psalm 145:2-3) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20145&version=DRA

  • Bono95

    Eliminate the EPA and the USDA and the TSA too.

  • papagan

    “. . . radical individualism, Randism, or libertarianism . . . is . . . anti-Catholic.”

    That’s quite true, although more than a few believers raised in the USA don’t grasp this. Regarding the toxic ideology of libertarianism, see “Erroneous Autonomy: The Catholic Case Against Libertarianism” http://iprcua.com/2014/06/03/erroneous-autonomy-the-catholic-case-against-libertarianism/. That conference was held at The Catholic University of America.

  • Phyl

    ‘m wondering if voting is possible anymore. Obama is not our president. We don’t have one!!! And Eric Holder went all over the US outlawing Photo ID so his paid voters could vote 100 times for Obama. Can a good party overcome all this and get in power again? I pray that it can happen but I don’t think it will. The Masons have it all “spelled” out and I believe good people have no power anymore at all. We need the 3daysdarkness to come about and I believe it won’t be too long when God will intervene and wipe out all the evil on t his earth. Living primativly won’t be easy but a lot more peaceful!
    GOD PLEASE HELP YOUR “SHEEP”!

  • LT Brass Bancroft

    “juice-box theologians, that is, mostly young newly minted but largely unemployed PhDs”

    “Let’s have a modern day land-rush for all those Distributists out there who are just itching to fish, farm or make cheese—though one suspects they’ll stay exactly where they are, blogging and adjunct teaching.”

    Solid gold.

MENU