Category Archives: incrementalism

“Pro-life, homeschooling committed Christians who abstain till marriage then stay married to the same person are freaks”

I tolerate a lot, maybe too much, when it comes to TV and movies, but I appreciate seeing the consequences of actions, even if the writers depict those consequences unwittingly.

20 years or so ago, when Ellen Degeneres and her eponymous sitcom came out of the proverbial closet, ABC said that LGBT were about 10% of the population and deserved to be represented on TV.  Now, most studies have said that even if those who have “experimented” to some degree or other are included, LGBT are at most 6% of the population, and really more like 3%.  Interestingly with all the propaganda in recent years, that number has risen a whole half a percent!  Amazing how the number of people who are “born” a certain way increases.

But, fine, 4%.  Yes, there are people who identify that way and yes they should be depicted *honestly*.

But a year or two after the Ellen controversy, when the Catholic League lead a coalition of pro-life, pro-family, Catholic, Protestant and Jewish organizations protesting Nothing Sacred, ABC said, “We can’t have what amounts to 10% of the population dictating to us.”  Yet *that* coalition represented the views of 50% of the population.

Close to 70% of Americans believe abortion should be illegal under at least some circumstances, yet to most TV shows, pro-lifers are a minority and freaks.

I read an article once about the unrealistic depiction of sexual relationships on TV that pointed out for example how many characters known on TV shows as “losers” who can’t find a girlfriend actually have more sexual relationships, particularly in a short time, than even relatively promiscuous people in real life.

How often, outside of sitcoms and a couple reality shows that may be exceptions that prove the rule, do you see couples who are happily married and stay married?

How often do you see people on any fictional TV show who are committed Christians and serious about their faith and love their faith?  Even The Middle and recently cancelled Last Man Standing depict religion as something important but still a kind of chore or ideology (though Mike’s monologues on Last Man Standing sometimes make up for it quoting the Bible and even the saints).  Characters who are in any way serious about religion are, again, freaks and weirdos (which, yes, many people who are serious about religion in real life are also, and should be, but not the way we’re depicted).

How often do you see families on TV with more than 3 kids that aren’t “blended”? (and yes, child labor laws come into play).

I could go on with examples, but if it’s a question of “equal representation,” all the demographics I listed are a higher percentage of the population than LGBT yet they hardly ever show up and are treated as weirdos and bigots when they do.

Meanwhile, in the inverted Natural Law, where Neuhaus’s Law is in full effect, sex is meaningless recreation.  People on TV don’t even wait for a commitment, much less marriage, sex is a “test”–and saying “I love you” is a big “event” that comes after a couple have already engaged in sex not as an act of consummation of love but as a fulfillment of desire.  And, yes it has been this way on television for decades, and in “real life” without the Biblical moral framework, but what strikes me is how, in recent years it hasn’t even been a semblance of concern for decency or depicting any kind of negative view of sexual promiscuity, but an overt sense of saying, “This is perfectly normal, and it’s Judeo-Christian morality that’s aberrant and bizarre.”gs5x4j0

Protestors are the reason things will never change

Here’s an interesting piece by some poor, deluded “progressive” who writes of her daughter’s “first protest,” like it’s a rite of passage or something. The “protest” in question is about “Jobs, Justice and Climate,” whatever that means.
Her main point is about her worry that her daughter might think differently than she does, and that her daughter might be exposed to different ideas, and she accuses a “right wing talk show host,” Ezra Levant, of “bullying” for asking questions about the hypocrisy of protesting fossil fuels while benefiting from their use.
Nevertheless, the thing that struck me was how she writes of the whole experience, like it’s something people *do*, “protest stuff.”
Indeed, Levant posted a response, including the full video, showing that the whole thing was staged.

This touches on something I’ve been thinking of the past two weeks, especially as activists begin talking about the “Next Frontier” of LGBTQXYZ “rights,” and thinking about the complexities of debates about race and the ever-evolving definition of “racism.”

Some of us have argued for a long time that groups like the National Right to Life Committee don’t really want to outlaw abortion because they’ll be out of jobs.

By the way, here’s the

Progressives never seem to “progress,” in part, because they can’t follow their own advice and “move on.” They can never acknowledge they’ve won a victory. They always have to have something to protest. This is what Francis Cardinal George, OMI, of happy memory meant in his famous late-1990s address to a Commonweal conference when he said that “liberal Catholicism is an exhausted project.” He said there was a time when a “liberal” approach to Catholicism had a purpose, and that purpose had come and done, that the job was done, but this outraged his audience. Their job was never done.

The truth is, though, “progressives'” job never will be done. There will always be something to be offended by or to protest.

After all, how else will little girls learn to paint and have parties and drive toy cars unless they do it at protests complaining about pollution and greed and fossil fuels?

“It Can’t Happen Here”?

Some are suggesting that we’re overreacting in saying Friday’s ruling is the door to open persecution.  If it weren’t for the fact that Antonin Scalia himself says it is, I’d share their “let’s keep cool heads,” but no, we need to make a stand for religious freedom.   I often quote a Joseph Sobran column I read once–can’t find the original, and the only hits I’ve found on Google are from me–saying, “The only problem with pessimists is they underestimate how bad things are going to get.” I know Kreeft and Kirk have written similar things.
All my more conspiracy-minded friends, and people like Alex Jones and Glenn Beck, sometimes seem to be wrong only in that regard. It’s easy to see how the whole thing was engineered just as people have warned for years.
First, things like the blue/gold dress that a) show how fast a “meme” (in the original sense it was coined) can travel in this digital age; b) get people fired up about nothing; and c) undermine people’s confidence in their own abilities.
Then some conveniently timed acts of violence–again, I don’t think the Feds sent the attackers, but I know they’ve permitted it because Scott Roeder was on 24 hour FBI surveillance when he shot George Tiller.
Now, just in time for the two rulings that destroyed the American Republic by saying the letter of the law means nothing, and the will of the people means nothing, they do this Confederate Battle Flag thing (a symbol that I don’t personally support) and show how swiftly censorship can happen in an age when information spreads swiftly.

In two days, SCOTUS has ruled that a) words don’t mean anything, and they can insert whatever they want to into laws; b) state laws, referenda and constitutional amendments don’t mean anything; c) the Constitution itself doesn’t mean anything; and d) once again, the Anthony Kennedy Doctrine of “People can decide what they want to be or whether they’re even people” has been given another precedent, this time with the notion that the government exists not to protect the liberty to pursue happiness but to *make* people feel happy and loved.
Let’s not forget that, 20 years ago, St. John Paul warned about the Conspiracy of Death in _Evangelium Vitae_.
Cardinal George famously predicted that his successor would die in jail, and the next archbishop of Chicago would be publicly executed.

The US has remained the one bastion of safety amidst all those aforementioned persecutions: ISIS may be more public and scorched earth, but the violent persecution of Christians has always been going on, and there is only one reason it doesn’t happen here: the First Amendment. From George Takei to Barack Obama, we’ve heard radicals this weekend saying it’s their next and ultimate target. 
When Catholics said, “contraception will lead to acceptance of abortion, divorce, and homosexuality,” it was “you’re being paranoid; that’s a slippery slope fallacy,” yet we were right. When they started legalizing gay marriage, they insisted on no one being affected, yet now we’ve had little old ladies sued out of their life savings and small businesses. Yes, it’s a small price to pay for eternal life, but then so’s death.

Yet, it’s less of a martyrdom than being directly killed, but it’s more Satanic. It’s the very agenda the Chinese communists use.

Killary wants us to change our beliefs on abortion; Obama wants us to change our beliefs on marriage.
Now, reports are trickling in of faithful Catholics being reported to Facebook, or worse, the police, for petty offenses.

Meanwhile, radicals are threatening, and some Catholics are warning, that the next step will be demands that Catholic schools and adoption agencies comply, that churches lose tax exemption status, that they’ll do everything they can to financially cripple the Church–and it’s still the same dismissal of “paranoia” and “that’ll never happen,” and “what’s so bad about that,” even after every other warning has been proven ?
Even if we “win” in court, it will be costly, and the enemies of the Church only care about their futile attempts to destroy Her. They won’t, of course, but that doesn’t change that we all need to be vigilant and take a stand.
 

7 years ago, some of my RL friends predicted that Obama would engineer some violent crisis, declare martial law and declare himself dictator. The old saying about learning from history applies here, since this has happened in every Republic/democracy throughout history (you can start by reading about Julius Caesar).
It’s a pattern that, 10 years ago, George Lucas expected Dubya to follow, making _Revenge of the Sith_ an allegory for what he thought the Bush Administration was doing, and yet it’s Obama who’s really implemented the patterns Lucas describes.  While there’s still a chance a Bush or Clinton will be the one to go full Julius or Augustus Caesar on our Republic, there’s also time for Obama to do it, or else we could be truly honest and declare Anthony Kennedy imperator.

What’s your price?

We’ve all heard the story, attributed to various writers, of the British humorist sitting next to the beautiful woman at the banquet and asking, “Would you sleep with me for 1 million pounds?” “Of course!” “Would you sleep with me for 10 pounds?” “What kind of woman do you think I am?” “We’ve established that; now we’re just haggling over price.”
Chesterton said that men do not differ so much over what they consider evil as what evils they consider acceptable.
It is the easy compromise that keeps the culture of death going. Every one of us who refuses to compromise gets labelled an “extremist” precisely because of the easy way people sell out.
Every time the Republicans gain ground in national office, pro-life and pro-family issues are a major reason for the voters, but the Republicans never follow through because they claim they won’t be reelected. “Next time,” they tell us.
In the 1970s, the National Right to Life Committee developed a “long term strategy” for overturning _Roe v. Wade_. The first law passed was the Hyde Amendment, banning federal funding of abortion. 40 years later, “progress” is the Republican House passing a new ban on such funding.
Meanwhile, does anybody even talk about embryonic stem cell research anymore? George W. Bush’s “if the babies are already dead, might as well put the remains to good use” reasoning has crept not only into the NRLC’s positions but into the Catholic commentariat. And that’s the same position we hear on vaccines derived from fetal tissue.
In 2005, the Pontifical Academy for Life (pro Vita, or PAV) issued a statement supporting conscientious objection to vaccines derived from from fetal tissue research. There were already position papers from several organizations, most notably the so-called “National Catholic Bioethics Center,” saying such vaccines were acceptable. For most people, this isn’t even an issue. The sheer fact that the Vatican bothered to issue a statement should lean any ambiguities in favor of conscientious objection. Many have tried to twist the document to say it opposes conscientious objection. If so-called “anti-vaxxers” are a minority of extremists, why would the Vatican, which so often fails to address prevalent problems of theological discipline, bother to tell “anti-vaxxers” to comply?
Yes, the document explains the parameters of remote material cooperation (more on that later). Yes, the document explains there are conditions which mitigate culpability for such cooperation. Yes, if somebody feels compelled to vaccinate, the document says they should voice their objections, but that is supposed to be the exception, not the rule.
In 2008, a lot of people said, “I’m pro-life, and I voted for Obama because I figure that, if he knows pro-life people voted for him, maybe he’ll change his views.” Yep, that’s how politics works.
If nobody stands up and says, “I won’t support this,” what is to motivate those in power to change?
There are very few vaccines for which the only form is derived from fetal tissue research, and all of those are diseases that have other means of treatment or prevention and/or are rarely life threatening. The most life threatening diseases (e.g., polio) have alternatives that exist, but they’re increasingly unavailable. When our eldest was a baby, there were separated forms of measles and mumps vaccine available, but they were hard to get, and you had to find a doctor willing to order them. The ethical rubella vaccine is not available in the US because of “FDA” regulation, even though it’s proven effective in other countries.
If there were more people standing up and saying, “We want ethical alternatives and will not vaccinate until you provide them,” things would change pretty quickly, but as it is, a) most people just vaccinate, with or without “stating their objections”; and b) the rest just become out right “anti-vaxxers,” objecting to all vaccinations and tying in other issues to fetal tissue. So thus of us who merely object to specific vaccinations on specific ethical grounds are left without support. It is so disheartening to have to file for a “religious exemption” at Catholic institutions when we’re Catholic, and explain to Catholic school and parish officials why we object. It is disheartening to find that most state regulations and doctors’ offices take an all-or-nothing approach, so we can’t get the ethical vaccines, either.

The original NCBC position paper from the 1990s had two related points that really irk me.
1) They, and most subsequent “the good of the vaccines outweighs the evil” ends-justify-the-means arguments, hold that parents have a “moral obligation to protect the life and health of their children.” To a certain extent, this is true. However, this moral obligation gets transmuted into saying it’s mortally sinful to get someone sick. This is also applied in the question of whether you should go to Mass when you’re sick, and other situations. Now, if such moral obligations and sinful circumstances exist, and I have a 50% chance of passing on Marfan syndrome, which will be far more likely to be fatal than any virus, to my children, I think one can see why I take some offense to this, especially when so many people who *do* have Marfan syndrome insist on contraception, IVF and/or abortion for that reason.
2) The original NCBC document grants that conscientious objection constitutes heroic virtue (and I think most of us on that side would agree), but argues that parents do not have the right to make decisions of heroic virtue for their kids. The problem with this (and the previous premise) is, what about Catholic parents in Muslim and Communist countries? Should they not baptize their children for fear of putting their children’s lives at risk and making decisions of heroic virtue?

If you’ve decided that vaccination was the right choice for you and your family, and you feel no pang of conscience about it, then why be so hard on “anti-vaxxers”? Aren’t you and your kids safe?

If we, as Catholics, mistrust the medical establishment on contraception and other issues, why is the rhetoric on vaccines to do as you’re told by Big Pharma?

If measles is making a comeback, why won’t Merck provide the ethical, separate measles vaccine it discontinued in favor of MMR? Why is Merck so adamant about forcing people to violate our consciences?

The Real Problem

One of the claims that gets floated around in the internecine disputes of the Catholic blogosphere is that So-and-so is attacking “good Catholics” or “good pro-lifers.” Supporters of the American Life League/Human Life International approach argue (as I do) that the incrementalist approach of the National Right to Life Committee is self-defeating, while the NRLC-supporters say that the ALL/HLI types are unrealistic. Those who question certain methodologies (e.g., the infamous example of lying to Planned Parenthood in the name of “exposing the truth” or the question of whether to show graphic images of aborted babies) are accused of “attacking pro-lifers” and serving the enemy. Michael Voris attacks Catholic Answers and EWTN people for “making money off of apologetics,” and they call him a demagogue (and both criticisms arguably have some merit). Both “sides” accuse each other of driving people away from the Church.
The fact remains that the vast majority of Catholics in America do not vote for Democrats because a handful of online Distributists argue against *both* Capitalism and Socialism but because their pastors and the mainstream media tell them the Church supports socialism.
They do not support legalized abortion because a handful of online pro-life Catholics have questioned the methods of certain “pro-life” groups but because their parents or grandparents taught them Catholicism was about “not pushing their morals on other people,” and their pastors constantly teach “Judge not.”
They do not oppose traditional liturgical practices and approaches to catechesis because of what some blogger or apologist has said: for most of them, everyone from EWTN and Catholic Answers to Michael Voris to the Society of St. Pius X are “traditionalists,” and “traditionalist” is defined by their pastors as “Old people who don’t like the changes of Vatican II, and we’re just waiting for them to die off.” For them, Vatican II, defined by their pastors, Nuns on the Bus and the Mainstream Media, is this vast “progressive” overhaul of the Church that rendered all previous teaching and praxis obsolete (the “hermeneutic of rupture”). So while “conservatives” fight among themselves, the majority of Catholics in our country waddle on in indifference and ignorance, welcoming people like John Dominic Crossan and Richard McBrien to speak at their parishes.

Who’s your Pope?

Tracy: “So what’s your religion, Liz Lemon?”
Liz: “I pretty much do whatever Oprah tells me.” –_30 Rock_

“His heart was moved to pity for them, for they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.” –Mt 9:36

The Catholic Church is often attacked over the concept of Papal infallibility, yet one of the ironies is that people long for “infallibility.” There is a reason the Bible is constantly comparing people to sheep: sheep are, as a priest once pointed out in a homily I heard, stupid. This is a controversial point, I know, but most people really are stupid. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”: our great excuse at personal and final judgement day will be, as the Catholic Church teaches, stupidity (Catechism 1793).

So we seek out people to guide us, like Israel begging Samuel for a king (1 Sam 8). Yet, just as when Samuel warned Israel that a King would become a tyrant (and all the kings of Israel fulfilled that warning, so too do the little kings we create for ourselves inevitably fail, because all are human.

In a previous post, I explained the limits and extents of Papal infallibility. Infallibility is, in one sense, a very limited concept, though it includes a general sense of obedience to the Pope. A traditional notion of anti-Catholicism holds that the Pope somehow micromanages the Church. The “Kennedy Doctrine” is heretical because, as Vatican II documents, Bl. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI all teach, the State *must* listen to the Church. However, in one sense, Kennedy was right in trying to dispel a common notion that Catholics all get secret personal marching orders from the Pope.

Papal infallibility only plays a big part in my life because religion plays a big part in my life. As I noted in the earlier post linked above, a Pope’s personal opinions are just that: opinions, and even his prudential judgements about matters of great import, and whether the Church’s teachings are properly being applied, are just that, prudential judgements. A Catholic owes a certain deference to the Holy Father, but Catholics are free to make up our minds on such matters, provided that we give them due study.

The principle of subsidiarity that the Church teaches in politics and economics applies in the Church as well. The Pope oversees 2 billion Catholics and does quite a lot but relatively little. A few thousand people work at the Vatican to oversee those 2 billion Catholics, and the proportion of Vatican employees to worldwide Catholics is far less a percentage than the staffs of most secular corporate or government headquarters.

Then there’s the local bishop, who oversees hundreds or thousands or even millions of parishioners. Again, the bishop’s authority is relatively minimal and mostly managerial. Most practicing Catholics only see their bishops on rare occasions, such as Confirmation or Ordination masses, or special events. I was a parishioner in my diocese’s cathedral as a kid, and I remember even *there* that the bishop making an appearance was a special event.

Then comes the local pastor, who *ought* to be involved intimately in each of his parishioners’ lives, but in practice this rarely happens. So the Church in general, in terms of Her human agents, doesn’t play that big a role in the average person’s life. I care about my pastor’s views on theology, morals, liturgy, church discipline and even politics. I don’t care about my pastor’s views on music (except liturgy or moral issues), sports, movies (except moral issues), etc.

The Pope doesn’t tell me what to watch on TV, though he may give advice on what to consider from a moral aspect when choosing a TV show.

However, people in general look for “infallible authorities” to give them simple answers. They balk at the notion of an established and official hierarchy, but they create one for themselves by seeking out little gurus, the way the fictional Liz Lemon “worships” Oprah.

Look at the way certain Protestant televangelists rake in the dough and the adulation, and people hang on their every word. Look at the range of issues where people would seek advice from James Dobson. Look at the followers of Oprah, Dr. Phil, Dr. Laura or Martha Stewart, the modern-day Sophists.

then add to that the polarization of society, and people’s basic need to separate everything in to “good” versus “evil.” So once a particular “guru” has been established as a “good guy,” then everything that person says *must* be good, and if anyone criticizes that person, watch out.

So the followers of Fr. Corapi, myself still one of them when his troubles started, reacted in his defense when he announced that he’d been suspended. Anyone who raised a sign of caution that there might be validity to the allegations–especially since he based his entire ministry on his allegedly sordid past–were attacked as agents of Satan.

Look at what happened when some people raised questions about the ethicality of Lila Rose’s “undercover” operations at Planned Parenthood.

Even questioning one aspect of a “good guy’s” behavior is offensive to the “follower” because the “good guy” is bestowed a kind of personal infallibility that goes far beyond the scope of the infallibility of the Pope–and often the person doesn’t have any real claim to such authority.

I raise this issue because, back in 2004, Catholic Answers, which is a wonderful apologetics organization, issued a “Catholic Voter Guide” was basically geared towards saying it’s wrong to vote for the Democrats. Interestingly, the content of the Guide itself favors voting for a third party candidate, but it has been manipulated to support the Republicans.

This “Voter Guide” was issued right around the same time as the leak of the “private letter” that then-Cardinal Josef Ratzinger sent to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, clarifying the prioritization of “life issues” in voting, and in various reports, the content of the Catholic Answers “Voter Guide” got conflated with the Ratzinger letter.

The Catholic Answers Voter Guide introduces a concept of “Five Non-Negotiables”: abortion, stem cell research, euthanasia, cloning and gay “marriage.”

Now, it’s true that these are “non-negotiable” in Catholic teaching. This refers to the fact that the economic documents always emphasize the freedom of Catholics to determine how to apply them, and it refers to how in matters such as war and the death penalty, the Church discourages them and gives strict guidelines for their application but still gives the State the right to use them when necessary.

The whole point of the Catholic Answers Voter Guide is this:

Candidates who endorse or promote any of the five non-negotiables should be considered to have disqualified themselves from holding public office, and you should not vote for them. You should make your choice from among the remaining candidates.Candidates who endorse or promote any of the five non-negotiables should be considered to have disqualified themselves from holding public office, and you should not vote for them. You should make your choice from among the remaining candidates.

Do not reward with your vote candidates who are right on lesser issues but who are wrong on key moral issues. One candidate may have a record of voting exactly as you wish, aside from voting also in favor of, say, euthanasia. Such a candidate should not get your vote. Candidates need to learn that being wrong on even one of the non-negotiable issues is enough to exclude them from consideration.

Eliminate from consideration candidates who are wrong on any of the non-negotiable issues. No matter how right they may be on other issues, they should be considered disqualified if they are wrong on even one of the non-negotiables.Eliminate from consideration candidates who are wrong on any of the non-negotiable issues. No matter how right they may be on other issues, they should be considered disqualified if they are wrong on even one of the non-negotiables.

These posts would seem to advocate voting for a third party candidate because the voter is encouraged to eliminate anyone wrong on one of these “five non-negotiables”. This is affirmed by the teaching of John Paul II, who said it was more important to vote for the candidate that’s morally correct than to worry about who would win. See “John Paul II on Incrementalism”.

The Voters Guide, on its own merits, is a helpful document. However, there are several problems that have arisen from it because of tribalism and party politics:

1) Because Catholic Answers has a reputation for “orthodoxy,” they are “good guys” in the above calculation, so they are, according to the reasoning, beyond reproach, and on the other hand, anything Catholic Answers issues gets elevated to Magisterial teaching. So even though this is a voter guide issued by a lay apologetics group, many Catholics speak of the “Five Non-Negotiables” as if the concept was an ex cathedra papal statement.
2) There are more than five non-negotiables in Catholic teaching, and the Catholic Answers staff were misrepresenting papal teaching to suit their own accomodation to American politics. This is my big beef with the document. The Voter’s Guide is used to argue why ESCR, abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage and cloning are always evil, but the Church also says many other things are always evil: contraception, in vitro fertilization, etc.
3) it has become confused and conflated in the public mind, which isn’t the fault of Catholic Answers. A woman once insisted to me that there are only “five intrinsic evils,” and she listed CA’s “five non-negotiables.” I quoted the passage in the Catechism (2297) which defines intrinsic evil, itself quoting Vatican II:

“Whatever is hostile to life itself, such as any kind of homicide, genocide, abortion, euthanasia and voluntary suicide; whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, physical and mental torture and attempts to coerce the spirit; whatever is offensive to human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution and trafficking in women and children; degrading conditions of work which treat labourers as mere instruments of profit, and not as free responsible persons: all these and the like are a disgrace, and so long as they infect human civilization they contaminate those who inflict them more than those who suffer injustice, and they are a negation of the honour due to the Creator”

Now, the lady in question told me that I wasn’t a Catholic for thinking that the Catechism, _Veritatis Splendor_ and _Gaudium et Spes_ superseded Catholic Answers and “defriended” me on Facebook. Surprisingly, she didn’t block me, and we run into each other periodically on other groups and pages.

But her confusion and tribalism represents a typical problem. In 2008, things were complicated by the war and ESCR. The “Catholic Left” argued that torture should be a “non-negotiable” since the above passage lists it as equally evil to abortion. That would be fine if Bush had been running for re-election, but the fact was that most of the Republicans running in 2008, and the third party right wing candidates, all opposed waterboarding: IIIR, only Giuliani (who’s also pro-abortion) and Thompson specifically supported it: Dr. Paul, Mike Huckabee, Chuck Baldwin, Bob Barr (pro-abortion) and especially John McCain all opposed “enhanced interrogation” for one reason or another, and so torture should have been a non-issue. Ironically, all the Catholics who voted for Obama because of “enhanced interrogation,” illegal detainment and other intrinsic evils of the Bush Administration, along with the questionable justification of the war in Iraq, elected a president who has been far worse for these evils and who has gotten us into several very clearly unjust military actions, such as Libya.

Meanwhile, Catholic conservatives continue to blindly vote Republican the way Catholic liberals have blindly voted Democrat. Even though the CA Voter Guide itself encourages voting third party if possible, Catholics have used the CA Voter guide to justify milquetoast Republicans over Democrats because “abortion is a non-negotiable!”

Well, the problem is that John McCain supported ESCR, and suddenly ESCR became a “negotiable” — NRLC even dropped it as a priority issue (and let’s not forget that Bush authorized it so long as the babies were already dead). Now, we have Mitt Romney, who passively legalized gay marriage in Massachusetts, passed a healthcare mandate law in Massachusetts (and convinced Obama to go with a mandate over total socialization), ignored a Catholic protest in MA to his own contraception mandate, gave money to Planned Parenthood, made money off two abortion-related companies (one that produced abortion pills and another that handled “disposal” of aborted fetuses), and was outspokenly pro-abortion and for changing the GOP platform.

We are supposed to believe that social liberal Mitt Romney has undergone a total change in his views since being governor of Massachusetts. We’re supposed to believe he’s pro-life, even though he’s skipped every pro-life event this year, including events that all his opponents in the primary attended. We’re expected to believe he’s opposed to a health care law he helped write.

We’re supposed to believe that he’s pro-life and pro-family because of his stay-at-home wife (in whose name the Planned Parenthood donations were made) and his 5 kids–one of whom is having his own children through “surrogate motherhood”–even though the Romneys had their kids in the 1970s, and their kids were grown before their father did his worst anti-life and anti-family actions. The fact that the Romneys were already Mormons with a big family when they supported PP and contraception mandates, etc., before they opposed them, they makes them far worse.

And for some reason people are buying this garbage and getting mad at those of us who don’t. They insist Romney’s going to be better than Obama and change things, but he’s not. He’s going to say “Ha, Ha!”

I remember the arguments of Catholics–from died in the wool liberals to people like Doug Kmiec–who argued that if Obama knew a lot of pro-lifers voted for him, maybe he’d change his mind. Yeah, right. How did that work out for *them*?

Now we have Catholics arguing on the Right that if they vote for Romney, and he knows they voted for him because he claims to be pro-life and claims to be pro-marriage,

I argue with the “Catholic Left,” and they say that abortion is a settled issue, and it’s futile to keep fighting it, and it’s never going to be illegal, so it isn’t worth considering it as an issue.

Then I argue with Catholic conservatives about issues like contraception, and they say that contraception is a settled issue, and it’s futile to keep fighting it, and it’s never going to be illegal, so it isn’t worth considering.

The odds are I’m going to be dead before the election. My concern is primarily with peoples’ individual souls–including the candidates’–and not with what actually happens in the election. It’s better to vote third party, and know that you vote for someone who represents your conscience, than to vote for a major candidate by compromising your beliefs. It’s fine to vote for a “lesser of two evils” if you really think that’s necessary, but don’t try justifying the evil.

C. S. Lewis warned about “Christianity AND”. The Vatican censured the Action Francaise because its leaders referred to the Church as a tool to achieving the monarchist cause, rather than the opposite.

Shape your politics to your religion, not your religion to your politics.

More importantly, remember that human beings are flawed. The fact that you happen to like a lot of the things a particular writer or organization puts out doesn’t make that writer or organization infallible. You don’t have to 100% agree with someone. Decisions like whom to vote for are incredibly complicated, and any attempt to simplify the decision is going to be problematic.

And stop assigning absolute infallibility to people just because you generally agree with them. Let God be God.

Why This Paleocon Solidly Supports Rick Santorum

Let me start this very clearly: anyone reading this blog should realize I’m a solid paleoconservative, and I’ve been very critical of both neoconservatism as a philosophy and Rick Santorum insofar as he exemplifies it. That said, with all things put together, I have decided that Santorum is not only the best candidate among the standing Republicans but the only possible candidate to face the crisis our country is in.

Will he win? Well, polls are indicating he’s the only Republican who has a chance of beating Obama, and it’s really a question of whether he has a chance of beating Romney. At this point, since I’ve argued for years that a repeat of 1860 is the only way to end abortion, I’m counting on the GOP to split at the convention the way the Democrats did in 1860. In a three way race between Obama, Romney and Santorum (or Paul, but he hasn’t got a shot at this point), I’m sure Santorum would be the spoiler the way Lincoln was in 1860, because Santorum appeals to the same voters Lincoln did, and they’re still roughly the same percentage of the population.

A. Constistently Pro-Life?

Again, I disagree strongly with some of Santorum’s foreign policy positions. I agree with those who say that his positions on “enhanced interrogation,” assassination of civilians, and foreign interventionism belie his pro-life convictions and do not reflect a consistent pro-life philosophy. However, I always recognize, with the Church, that there is a hierarchy to pro-life issues.

1. Abortion and contraception are absolutes. I’ve always argued that given the choice between two anti-abortion candidates, the next issue to consider is contraception, and Santorum is better than the other candidates on that. Indeed, my otherwise favorite Ron Paul and his non-Catholic supporters have specifically criticized Santorum’s position on contraception. This was why, literally at the last minute, I decided to vote for Rick in the SC primary.

2. War is not an absolute, as then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote in his infamous “secret letter” to Cardinal McCarrick. Since the state has the right to wage war when necessary, and since the judgement of whether a war is just or unjust is prudential, even though I disagree with Santorum’s positions on war-related issues, he seems to be exercising his prudential judgement and taking Church teaching, as he understands it, into consideration.

3. Santorum has shown himself willing to adjust his own beliefs to the Church’s teachings, more than any other politician I’ve seen. Since being voted out of office, from what I’ve heard from him on EWTN, he seems to have repented of his support of Specter, for example. If any politician is willing to change to be more in accord with the Church, he’s it. So I pray he’ll alter his foreign policy views as time goes on.

4. While I disagree with his views, again, I think he’s sincere in them. I’ve always pointed to Pat Buchanan as the ideal Catholic paleocon and the late Bob Casey, Sr., as the ideal Catholic liberal–both argue sincerely from their Catholic principles to their political conclusions. I happen to agree more with Buchanan, but respect Casey’s reasoning. I say the same thing about Santorum: I respect his reasoning, even though I disagree with some of his conclusions and his view on the function of government.

B. Paleocon versus Neocon view of Government

As a paleocon, I’d prefer small-government solutions to problems. I’d rather we outlaw abortion the Ron Paul way than by passing yet another federal law.

However, I have to recognize the signs of the times. If Ron Paul had done better so far, it would be one thing, but he’s hardly gotten any votes at all. Paleoconservatism is a dying position. In Canada, neither dominant coalition is officially pro-life anymore, and the “Religious Right” is suffering as a minority. That will happen in the US if Romney gets the GOP nomination. Rush Limbaugh said last year how the GOP leadership wants to the Christians to shut up about abortion. For the most part, paleocons and neocons agree about issues; we just disagree about the best way to tackle them. Even though I disagree with Santorum about *how* to tackle them, I also acknowledge that, at this point, his methods may be the only way to win on certain issues. Having seen Buchanan, Dornan, Keyes and now Paul get rejected time and again, I have to admit that paleoconservatism is a losing viewpoint, and if we don’t find a way of working with the neocons, we face the fate of not just paleocons but all pro-lifers in Canada.

C. Catholicism

Right before I went to the polls in the South Carolina primary, I went across the border to a pro-life rally in Augusta for the Anniversary of _Roe v. Wade_. It was sponsored by the interfaith “Alleliua” community. It was raining, and crowded, so I sat in my van and listened to some of the talks. I heard some speaker–don’t know if he was Catholic or Protestant–saying how we’re all “flavors of the same Christianity,” and that the Magisterium of the Catholic Church is subordinate to the Bible. Heresy trumps abortion, and I high-tailed it out of there. Then I went to the polls, and thought how I could not stomach voting for a non-Catholic when I had two acceptable Catholic candidates to choose from. Then I thought about the fact that Paul’s people were criticizing Santorum’s position on contraception, and voted for him.

That same weekend, this stuff about the HHS mandate came out. We are faced with a true culture war, where everything is pointed against the Catholic Church. Even ex-Catholic Glenn Beck, who was criticized here and elsewhere for seeming to tell Catholics to leave their Church a few years ago when he told people to leave any churches that talk of social justice, is praising the Church for taking a stand, and saying that the Obama administration is at war with the Catholic Church. Glenn Beck and the Limbaugh brothers have recently been speaking out in support of the Catholic Church, Rick Santorum, Pope Benedict XVI and Timothy Cardinal Dolan, saying how they’re taking a firm stand against Obama and for Christian values.

We’re at a watershed moment in our culture, and the Church Herself is under attack. I have no doubt that Romney, if elected, will just continue the work that Bush and Obama have started. The only one who can stem this tide against the Church in America is Rick Santorum.

D. Santorum shows signs of being the next “Reagan.”

It was under Ronald Reagan that Pat Buchanan coined the term “Paleocon” to distinguish from the former liberals who had joined the GOP over abortion and other social issues. Reagan breaking his promises to shut down the then relatively new EPA and Department of Education in favor of using them to promote a conservative agenda was one of the tell-tale signs of the so-called “neo-conservatism.”

The last GOP primary to last this long was 1976, when Reagan won 10 states against Ford. Obviously, Ford lost the election to Carter, but Reagan won four years later. If Santorum *doesn’t* win this nomination, he’s a shoe-in for 2016 (assuming there *is* a 2016 to look forward to). If the delegates are tied or close to it going into the Convention, we may see what I’ve been predicting: a party split where the GOP divides along its social conservative and economic conservative lines the way the Whigs did in the 1850s and the Democrats did in 1860. If Obama and Romney split the secularists, and Santorum wins the religious voters, Santorum could win.

E. Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Anthony “Swing Vote” Kennedy

Those three are now the longest-serving members of the Supreme Court, if not the oldest. At least one of them is most likely to die, retire or get sick in the next 5 years. If Obama has a chance to nominate another justice, it will most likely be to replace a conservative or moderate. We’re not only dealing with overturning Roe v. Wade now, but “gay marriage” in numerous states, as well as Obamacare (which may hopefully be overturned in a few weeks), and several other unconstitutional laws passed under Obama (and Bush).

In 8 Years, George W. Bush nominated 2 justices to replace a couple “moderate” Republican justices. Obama’s replaced a liberal with a liberal. If he can replace a moderate or a solid conservative with a liberal, then liberals will have the majority on the Supreme Court for the foreseeable future, and if any of these issues make it to the Court, they can solidify them into so-called “settled law.”

If Romney gets in, he’ll most likely appoint “moderate Republicans” who can go either way.

Only with Santorum do we have a chance of appointing conservative jutices and getting the solid conservative majority we need to get this country back on the right track.

That’s why paleocons need to hold their noses and vote for Rick.

I want to make sure DHS is reading my blog

One of the reasons I set up this blog was the ability to say “I told you so” (I have a post to that effect set to post on my hundredth birthday). When Bush said he was going to “wipe out terrorism,” knowing that liberals considered pro-lifers to be “terrorists,” I knew what the long term game plan of the Masons was. When he set up the Department of Homeland Security, I knew it was no good. It was interesting that shortly after 9/11, my wife and I watched a movie (I forget the title) about what went on in the UK in the 1970s, when paranoia about the IRA was used as an excuse to treat all Irish people and all Catholics as potential terrorists, and many of the strategies used by the UK then have been used by the US in the past decade. For 11 years, I’ve been warning my fellow conservatives that what Bush set up would be turned against Christians. Then, of course, Obama took office and immediately set about doing that very thing. Now, finally even the Pope and the Bishops are saying what I said in 2001. Francis Cardinal George, OMI, of Chicago, has said that he expects his successor to die in prison and his successor’s successor to be publicly executed.

So, I was interested to see a web site about some of the buzzwords that the DHS uses to flag websites.

I want to make sure that the Obama Administration knows who I am. I want to make sure they’re reading this blog so they can learn the truth of the Catholic faith, which according to the encyclical Testem Benevolentiae of His Holiness Leo XIII, they are obligated to obey as government officials: they can allow freedom of religion all they want so long as the government recognizes the Supremacy of the Catholic Church.

I hope for the sake of their own souls that they repent of following the Culture of Death, and convert to the Catholic faith. I hope for the sake of our country that they change their Satanic policies.

But, if they don’t, if they continue on this head-on course for full scale Communism in America, I want to make sure I’m one of the first people they round up when they start rounding up Catholics. To borrow from Flannery O’Connor, I don’t know if I can be a Saint, but I know I can be a martyr if they kill me quick enough.

So, for the sake of getting their attention, I’m going to copy and paste some of those buzz words, just as I’ve reported myself to every “Enemies List” they’ve set up this past 4 years (the latest is http://www.attackwatch.com, and local “Truth Teams” they’ve recently announced who will be going around to ensure that you are towing the Party Line).

If you’re using any of these words, DHS thinks you may be a terrorist, and your freedom of speech may be in danger:
DHS & Other Agencies

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Coast Guard (USCG)
Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
Border Patrol
Secret Service (USSS)
National Operations Center (NOC)
Homeland Defense
Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Agent
Task Force
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Fusion Center
Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
Secure Border Initiative (SBI)
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS)
Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS)
Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
Air Marshal
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
National Guard
Red Cross
United Nations (UN)

Domestic Security

Assassination
Attack
Domestic security
Drill
Exercise
Cops
Law enforcement
Authorities
Disaster assistance
Disaster management
DNDO (Domestic Nuclear Detection Office)
National preparedness
Mitigation
Prevention
Response
Recovery
Dirty Bomb
Domestic nuclear detection
Emergency management
Emergency response
First responder
Homeland security
Maritime domain awareness (MDA)
National preparedness initiative
Militia
Shooting
Shots fired
Evacuation
Deaths
Hostage
Explosion (explosive)
Police
Disaster medical assistance team (DMAT)
Organized crime
Gangs
National security
State of emergency
Security
Breach
Threat
Standoff
SWAT
Screening
Lockdown
Bomb (squad or threat)
Crash
Looting
Riot
Emergency Landing
Pipe bomb
Incident
Facility

HAZMAT & Nuclear

Hazmat
Nuclear
Chemical Spill
Suspicious package/device
Toxic
National laboratory
Nuclear facility
Nuclear threat
Cloud
Plume
Radiation
Radioactive
Leak
Biological infection (or event)
Chemical
Chemical burn
Biological
Epidemic
Hazardous
Hazardous material incident
Industrial spill
Infection
Powder (white)
Gas
Spillover
Anthrax
Blister agent
Exposure
Burn
Nerve agent
Ricin
Sarin
North Korea

Health Concern + H1N1

Outbreak
Contamination
Exposure
Virus
Evacuation
Bacteria
Recall
Ebola
Food Poisoning
Foot and Mouth (FMD)
H5N1
Avian
Flu
Salmonella
Small Pox
Plague
Human to human
Human to ANIMAL
Influenza
Center for Disease Control (CDC)
Drug Administration (FDA)
Public Health
Toxic
Agro Terror
Tuberculosis (TB)
Agriculture
Listeria
Symptoms
Mutation
Resistant
Antiviral
Wave
Pandemic
Infection
Water/air borne
Sick
Swine
Pork
Strain
Quarantine
H1N1
Vaccine
Tamiflu
Norvo Virus
Epidemic
World Health Organization (WHO and components)
Viral Hemorrhagic Fever
E. Coli

Infrastructure Security

Infrastructure security
Airport
CIKR (Critical Infrastructure & Key Resources)
AMTRAK
Collapse
Computer infrastructure
Communications infrastructure
Telecommunications
Critical infrastructure
National infrastructure
Metro
WMATA
Airplane (and derivatives)
Chemical fire
Subway
BART
MARTA
Port Authority
NBIC (National Biosurveillance Integration Center)
Transportation security
Grid
Power
Smart
Body scanner
Electric
Failure or outage
Black out
Brown out
Port
Dock
Bridge
Canceled
Delays
Service disruption
Power lines

Southwest Border Violence

Drug cartel
Violence
Gang
Drug
Narcotics
Cocaine
Marijuana
Heroin
Border
Mexico
Cartel
Southwest
Juarez
Sinaloa
Tijuana
Torreon
Yuma
Tucson
Decapitated
U.S. Consulate
Consular
El Paso
Fort Hancock
San Diego
Ciudad Juarez
Nogales
Sonora
Colombia
Mara salvatrucha
MS13 or MS-13
Drug war
Mexican army
Methamphetamine
Cartel de Golfo
Gulf Cartel
La Familia
Reynose
Nuevo Leon
Narcos
Narco banners (Spanish equivalents)
Los Zetas
Shootout
Execution
Gunfight
Trafficking
Kidnap
Calderon
Reyosa
Bust
Tamaulipas
Meth Lab
Drug trade
Illegal immigrants
Smuggling (smugglers)
Matamoros
Michoacana
Guzman
Arellano-Felix
Beltran-Leyva
Barrio Azteca
Artistics Assassins
Mexicles
New Federation

Terrorism

Terrorism
Al Queda (all spellings)
Terror
Attack
Iraq
Afghanistan
Iran
Pakistan
Agro
Environmental terrorist
Eco terrorism
Conventional weapon
Target
Weapons grade
Dirty bomb
Enriched
Nuclear
Chemical weapon
Biological weapon
Ammonium nitrate
Improvised explosive device
IED (Improvised Explosive Device)
Abu Sayyaf
Hamas
FARC (Armed Revolutionary Forces Colombia)
IRA (Irish Republican Army)
ETA (Euskadi ta Askatasuna)
Basque Separatists
Hezbollah
Tamil Tiger
PLF (Palestine Liberation Front)
PLO (Palestine Libration Organization)
Car bomb
Jihad
Taliban
Weapons cache
Suicide bomber
Suicide attack
Suspicious substance
AQAP (Al Qaeda Arabian Peninsula)
AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb)
TTP (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan)
Yemen
Pirates
Extremism
Somalia
Nigeria
Radicals
Al-Shabaab
Home grown
Plot
Nationalist
Recruitment
Fundamentalism
Islamist

Weather/Disaster/Emergency

Emergency
Hurricane
Tornado
Twister
Tsunami
Earthquake
Tremor
Flood
Storm
Crest
Temblor
Extreme weather
Forest fire
Brush fire
Ice
Stranded/Stuck
Help
Hail
Wildfire
Tsunami Warning Center
Magnitude
Avalanche
Typhoon
Shelter-in-place
Disaster
Snow
Blizzard
Sleet
Mud slide or Mudslide
Erosion
Power outage
Brown out
Warning
Watch
Lightening
Aid
Relief
Closure
Interstate
Burst
Emergency Broadcast System

Cyber Security

Cyber security
Botnet
DDOS (dedicated denial of service)
Denial of service
Malware
Virus
Trojan
Keylogger
Cyber Command
2600
Spammer
Phishing
Rootkit
Phreaking
Cain and abel
Brute forcing
Mysql injection
Cyber attack
Cyber terror
Hacker
China
Conficker
Worm
Scammers
Social media

Tea Party Ends With Lunch

So, coming out of a White House luncheon, John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy have announced that they’ve sold out to the Fuhrer. So–brainwashing or synthoids?

President Barack Obama and the top three House GOP leaders met Wednesday for the first time since Republicans assumed control of the House, agreeing to work together on issues ranging from trade to spending cuts, both sides said.

House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy struck an upbeat, cooperative tone on their way out of the White House lunch, even though fierce battles are brewing over the GOP’s plans to cut spending on areas like education and high-speed rail that the president wants to boost.

“It was a very good lunch and we’re able to find enough common ground, I think, to show the American people that we’re willing to work on their behalf and willing to do it together,” Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters outside the White House. He mentioned education, tax policy, trade, “or even cutting spending” as areas of potential cooperation.

50 Million and Counting

How many more babies do we need to kill “incrementally” till we STOP ABORTION NOW?

Haley Versus Barrett: Who’s more Pro-Life?

As we prepare for the run-off in the 2010 South Carolina Republican gubernatorial primary, I hope to do a series of pieces comparing candidates Nikki Haley and Gresham Barrett.

First, obviously, is pro-life.

On Haley’s page, under “Right to Life,” there are three items.
The first is this video:

The second is this text:

I believe every life has a value and is blessed by God – my husband was adopted and my pro-life convictions stem from the fact I feel the blessings of that value every day knowing someone chose life for him. I see it every day in my two children as I watch them grow. My hope is that we continue to encourage and work towards educating that value of life to everyone.

OK, pretty generic Republican speech.

The third item is a letter from Holly Gatling of SC Citizens for Life, certifying Nikki Haley’s 100% pro-life voting record.

At one point last year, when I first heard of her campaign through Facebook, I found the state website that shows various pieces of legislation and legislators’ votes on them. Most of the votes were procedural, and full of so many double-negatives, I couldn’t figure out what was saying what. However, Haley had added her name to the list of co-sponsors for the South Carolina human life amendment.

Meanwhile, contender Gresham Barrett emphasizes self-congratulation on the meaningless partial birth abortion plan and the specific legislation for a 24 hour waiting period in South Carolina.

Granted, neither candidate expresses a particularly activist agenda on abortion, but there are key differences.

a) Haley, advertises her 100% rating which includes the Human Life Amendment; Barrett’s rhetoric shows him to be a dyed-in-the-wool incrementalist.
b) Haley emphasizes her personal commitment to the pro-life cause (due to her husband being adopted), versus Barrett’s focus being more clearly political,

I have always favored pro-life women over pro-life men, because most people do think of this as a “women’s issue.” I have always maintained that the only way to truly stop abortion is to have pro-life women in office, or men with strongly pro-life wives. Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush and Laura Bush are all pro-choice. Former SC Governor David Beasley’s father-in-law was an abortionist.

Secondly, male or female, every truly committed pro-lifer has a personal reason for being so. For Sarah Palin, it’s her son with Down’s syndrome and her out-of-wedlock grandchild. For Nikki Haley, it’s her husband.

Rape and Abortion.

I’ve been engaging in a rather long and heated, yet interesting, discussion on InsideCatholic with an alleged Catholic who supports abortion in the case of rape, but who echoes the kinds of comments made by “Operation CounterStrike.”

To sum up, the person in question has stated the following positions:
1. That we should not “force” women to have pregnancies they don’t want
2. That a baby conceived from rape is the “progeny of a rapist,” and therefore deserves to die
3. That enduring a pregnancy resulting from rape is like reliving the rape.
4. That abortion in the case of rape is self-defense.

I have made repeated attempts to get this person to explain why she thinks this, but she refuses to give the points remises that underlie these opinions or the syllogisms that connect them.

I, and several others, have asked her what guilt the “progeny of a rapist” bears that requires the death penalty, why she thinks abortion in this case qualifies as “self-defense,” and why she thinks pregnancy is so traumatic, but she refuses to explain. Instead, using typical pro-abortionist rhetoric, she accuses us of being idiots, lunatics, fanatics and liars (I’ve been accused of all four). She accuses us of lying about who we are.

She talks disparaingingly of “minor traditions” like relics and indulgences. When I pointed out that those are not optional–you can’t have a valid church without relics, and if you say, “I don’t participate indulgences,” that means you never pray, read the Bible, go on pilgrimage, etc.

Anyway, the conversation is well worn out, but it once again shows how pro-abortionists really can provide no philosophical foundations for their positions, other than vague emotional appeals. The baby deserves to die, in their view, because the poor, wimpy women can’t separate the baby from the cause of the baby.

It dawned on me last night to point out one of my usual arguments on this issue: the rape is one thing. For a conception to result, God has to step in, so obviously God intends for the baby to exist. If you believe life begins at conception (as this person claims to believe), then God created that soul at the moment of conception (and of course, the conception could occur as much as five days after the rape).

I really *would* like to know why these people think this way. It doesn’t change the fact that they’re wrong, but it would make it a lot easier to refute them. I tried to suggest some of the reasons I’d heard before, but she accused me of misquoting her.

In any case, the “forcing” thing is a stupid argument. There’s a big difference between “forcing” someone to do something and taking away the option.

It is quite interesting, in fact, that pro-lifers oppose the UN’s International Criminal Court for its provisions on “forced pregnancy”. We’re assured that this does not refer to outlawing abortion, but rather to situations like women taken captive in war and forced into sex slavery.

Yet the pro-aborrtionists have adopted the rhetoric of “forced pregnancy” in the context of making abortion illegal.

“You wouldn’t force a woman to have a baby that would traumatize her?” they ask.

So I proposed, “What if the woman was abused and had a baby that looked like her abusive husband or parent or relative; wouldn’t that traumatize her?”
I was assured that this was an irrelevant analogy. I’m still not sure why.

What about, “You wouldn’t *force* a man who’s psychologiclaly compelled to rape to resist his urges, would you?”
“You wouldn’t *force* a person who’s psychologically compelled to murder to endure the trauma of not murdering, would you?”
“You wouldn’t *force* a person who’s desperately in need to *not* rob a bank, would you??”

It’s the most meaningless argument a person can make, and somehow they have no idea how meaningless it is. It’s baffling to me. And women say men are sexist when we accuse them of being emotional rather than logical.

Of course, another fall back in the discussion is always, “Well, abortion is legal, so deal with it.” Duh. That’s why we’re debating about whether to make it illegal.

Then there’s the Rousseauian classic, “Well, the Catholic Church is responsible for a lot of the social posroblems that cause abortion,” and “The Catholic Church facilitates rapists.”

OK, what a good, faithful Catholic you are.

Socio-economic circumstances don’t cause sin; original sin does.

Why should we *trust* them??

Liberals say conservatives are telling lies and rumors about their wonderful “health care” plan, even though what we’re saying is based upon what the plan says, and what Obama’s advisors and Democratic congressmen and Obama himself have said in various speeches.

Most importantly, our concerns are based upon our familiarity with how the Federal Government and the Democrats work.

They don’t just stick the from in the pot of cold water, they stick the frog in the pot of cold water and tell him it’s for his own good.  They tell him the water is cleaner than the pond and that the metal walls will keep him safe from predators.

They actually coax the frog to jump *into* the pot of cold water.  The convince him the lid’s for his own good, to keep him safe, and that, when the lid’s down, it will keep the flies in and easy to catch.

And the stupid frog believes them and hops in, and let’s them put the lid on his head, and then they turn the heat on.

That’s how they do it.  They did it with education.  And once the Republicans got back in, promising to abolish the newly formed Department of Education, they saw the Department of Education as a tool for their own power, and just expanded it, till we went from Carter to Reagan to Dubya’s NCLB.

They did it with abortion and contracption.  I challenge anyone who thinks legalized abortion or contraception is OK, or anyone who trusts the Democrats or the Republicans, to actually read NSSM-200.  I’ve blogged about it on this site, including links and quotations.  It’s all in there: using “Choice” as the buzzword to make the people accept the government’s imperialist agenda of population control; getting the American public to overcome their moral objections to abortion and contraception so they’ll support the government forcing these things on other countries.

These are not lies or conspiracy theories.  These are official USAID policies established in this document.  Read it.

They did it with “sex education.”  About 15 years ago, Jocelyn Elders was controversial for saying there should be sex ed. in Kindergarten.  Now it’s widely promoted in the name of “protecting” kids from sexual predators.

They did it with the Bill of Rights.  Has Obama gotten rid of waterboarding?  Has he voluntarily declined any of the special powers Bush arrogated to himself?

Can  anyone name one area where the Democrats, or the federal government, have proven trustworthy?

One area where, once they’ve taken power, they’ve voluntarily relinquished it?

One area where, once they’ve got their foot in the door, they haven’t pushed the door open and taken over the house?

Everyone’s talking about the conservative blogs: what about the liberal blogs that say Obama isn’t going far enough?

Starving someone to death is not “end of life care”

I’m sick of the lying.  Yesterday, Barack Obama, in a conference call to sympathetic religious leaders, accused his enemies of “bearing false witness” against his socialist health care plan.  The Democrat shills at Yahoo and the AP keep trying to “debunk” the “myths” about “Health Care Reform.” 

He calls the discussion of abortion coverage a “fabrication,” but the point is that, as a priest recently pointed out on Facebook, if abortion is not specifically *not* covered, it is implicitly covered by Obamacare because it is a legal medical procedure.

And then there’s Sarah Palin’s “Death Panels” comment. 

Now, there are two issues at stake here:

1.  Obama and his supporters are conveniently skipping over the question of “rationing”: that in any government-run healthcare system, there is rationing of services.  This is expressed in minimal practice by the waiting lists in Canada and the UK.  I’ll do a separate post on that later.

However, it needs to be said that, when people talk about “death panels,” they’re talking in part about panels that will at least establish triage rules if not the very overt elimination of “inferior people” advocated by Peter Singer, Tom Daschle, and several of Obama’s closest advisors.

2.  The question of “end of life care.” Obama’s supporters, including some Republicans, say the issue is just whether Medicare/Medicaid and the hypothetical “government option” should pay doctors to give “end of life” counseling to elderly and terminally ill patients–things like living wills and such.  They claim it’s not about the government or doctors dictating the end of life decisions, and that provisions specifically forbid euthanasia or assisted suicide counseling.

That’s all a matter of your definition of terms.  Because the Obama Apologists point to the Terri Schiavo case as the example of what they’re talking about.  In *their* view, an individual has the right to decide *not* to receive basic care such as nutrition and hydration.

I’m the first to admit that a patient should be allowed to refuse measures which can be classified as “extraordinary” according to the criteria laid out in the Catechism, and that any one of the conditions listed in the Catechism can be sufficient to refuse a medical treatment.

For example, I don’t get the flu vaccine, even though I’m in the category that “ought to”.  In my experience , every year I got the flu vaccine, I ended up getting a horrible bout of bronchitis or pneumonia .

Or when a particular medication has side effects that are too severe for the particular user, that’s an extraordinary measure in that person’s case.

But basic survival is a moral obligation.  Even if one believes a feeding tube as such is “extraordinary,” one is still obligated to provide *some* sustenance.  It wasn’t just that they removed Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube–that was bad enough-but after they did that, they tortured her by not even trying to give her ice cubes or small amounts of food by mouth.  They brutally starved her to death.

A feeding tube is not the same thing as a respirator or other “life support.”  On a respirator or heart-lung machine, one could theoretically go on for years in a physiological limbo.  But one can also die on such a machine, in spite of artificial survival.  There is no natural cognate to the machine in that case: but for a feeding tube, the natural cognate is just eating or drinking. 

My mother in law lived off a feeding tube for a year.  In terms of basic life functions, there was nothing else wrong with her.  Certainly, there were times she felt like “giving up”–quite frequently, in fact–but she kept going.  Seven years later, she’s living a fairly normal, active senior life. 

Now, when she was at the worst of her situation, she’d had several surgeries, infections, etc., and it was pretty dire.  It would have been one thing to say, “I don’t want any more surgeries.”   Had she made that decision, it would have been sad and tragic and ironic (given that the last one was the one that worked), but that would have made sense.

However, to say, “Take out the feeding tube” would *not* be a morally acceptable decision, because, while it’s a very nuanced difference, that would have been to actively kill her. 

Certainly, these matters are complex.  We are not, as Obama has claimed, “God’s partners in matters of life and death”–at least not in the way that he means.  Indeed, we should be God’s “partners’ in these matters, if he means prayerfully deciding what action is most in keeping with moral law.  But when we force God’s hand, whether it’s by contracepting, or using IVF, or by denying basic life sustenance to a seriously disabled or terminally ill person , we are not “partnering”–we’re controlling.

Recently, some friends’ former son-in-law passed away.  Their grandson was faced with the troubling decision of whether to “pull the plug” on his own father.  God was merciful, and his father passed away that night on the life support, anyway.

On the other hand, there was a family member who, after multiple bouts with cancer, signed a living will with a blanket refusal of life sustaining measures, which was phrased so broadly that, when the time came, she was starved to death.

And then there was a family friend who was in a horrible traffic accident like a year and a half ago.  When it first happened, he was on lifesupport and not responding, and there was a big debate about “pulling the plug.”  Before a decision was made, he woke up.  Then they said he was completely paralyzed.  Then he wasn’t.  Now he’s walking again and, while not 100%, mostly back to his old life.

As I have read many stories of middle aged Marfans who coughed too hard, thus dissecting their aortas, and then went into comas for several months only to die of respiratory failure when their lungs filled up with blood, I wonder how I want such a situation handled.  I don’t want to be arbitrarily denied care or taken off the machines.  I don’t want to die *only* because a living will was improperly written or whatever, too vaguely.  

Or my wife’s cousin, who was the center of a national Botox scandal, whose father almost “pulled the plug” when things were most dire (they brougth the family together and used the minimal communication they were able to get from her–as they do with people with “locked in” syndrome–to get her response on which family member she wanted as her representative), but she’s since recovered.

I’ve never been comfortable with the idea of shutting down “life support,” nor with the idea of “brain death.”  

So much of it depends on the exact circumstances ,an

Should people have living wills?  Yes, if only to protect themselves from the  Michael Schiavos of the world. 

Should people carefully consider these issues?  Yes. 

Should doctors or the government or the insurance be the ones to “counsel” people?  No.  This decision should be made with detached parties who have the expertise in the moral rules, with a thorough understanding of the medical situation and possibilities, not with those who have a vested interest in the situation.

What Went Wrong with the Pro-Life Movement

Ever since the victory of the Enlightened One, the “President of the World,” people have been doing post mortems on the pro-life movement.  Obama’s “abortion prevention” is a slightly more effective reworking of the “safe, legal and rare” motto of the Clinton Administration (even though the abortion lobby was the one interest group Clinton *didn’t* betray in his 8 years).

Now, even European politicians are getting into the act.  John Allen reports how some Italian politician, allegedly “John Paul’s favorite,” has said the pro-life movement went wrong by pitting mothers against children.  Here’s what he said:

“God entrusts a child to its mother in such a special way, that to defend the child against the mother is just, but impossible.”
“We have to support the mother, making her more free,” said Italian politician Rocco Buttiglione. “The more free she is, the more difficult it will be for her to renounce the child.”

M-hmm.

I wonder how people would react to a politician who said,

“God entrusts women to men in such a special way, that to defend the woman against the man is just, but impossible.”
“We have to support the man, making him more free,” said Italian politician Rocco Buttiglione. “The more free he is, the more difficult it will be for him to engage in rape or abuse.”

How, exactly, does *increased* freedom bring an end to sin?

As for the rest, in the US, at least, the “failure” of the pro-life movement is due to two factors:

1. Cardinal Bernardin’s “seamless garment” nonsense: if you want to talk about “consistent life ethic,” I’m with you, but not all issues are equal, especially when most seamless garment types won’t include contraception in their “garment.”
2. The National Right to Life Committee’s “30 year strategy.”

Again, Obama’s supposedly “pro-life” devotees have been blaming the approach of ALL and HLI, or the approach of Operation Rescue, when, in fact, they should be blaming the approach of NRLC. They’ve been saying that we need to abandon an “all out” approach, but the official political strategy of the pro-life movement, run by the GOP and NRLC, has never been an all-out ban. It’s been to spend years and billions of dollars to outlaw one specific form of late-term abortion as an “incremental” step.

Very few have ever tried to completely outlaw abortion, and their efforts have been shot down: by others in the pro-life movement, including Catholic bishops.

The real problem with the pro-life movement, if we are to say the movement has failed (which it has), is that it fails to see where the underlying enemy is.

The Left wants to say it’s economic conditions that allegedly lead to abortion, except for two problems:
1) that is based upon the statistics that come from abortuaries; the exact number of abortions by middle class and rich women–who get abortions at regular hospitals or OB/Gyn offices–are unknown, and likely the vast majority of abortions.
2) those women aren’t driven to abortion by poverty; they’re driven by pressure from their families and from the Planned Parenthood clinic.

No, the underlying problem of the pro-life movement is that the leadership is the enemy. The pro-life movement needs to ditch the NRLC (which stays in business as long as abortion is legal) and the GOP, both of which are benefitting from a double effect. As long as abortion is legal, the GOP and the NRLC can get lots of money and votes out of pro-lifers, while still reaping the benefits that legalized abortion has for those in power.

Who was one of the only politicians to take direct action to overturn Roe v. Wade (and that was just to overturn it, not outlaw abortion)? Ron Paul.

“Population Control” is integrally tied to “globalization.” The Constitution Party says not to vote for anyone who’s a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, which severely narrows the number of eligible candidates, but is really worth looking into.

NSSM-200 was a Republican policy originally, and remains so.

Norma McCorvey is Cool! No one has gone as far for the pro-life cause

I’ve been playing around with Facebook for a couple weeks now, and have accumulated a number of prominent pro-lifers and Catholic apologists among my “facebook friends.” One of these is Norma McCorvey, better known as “Jane Roe.”

As you probably know, Norma McCorvey is the “Jane Roe” behind Roe v. Wade (1973). She gave birth to a child out of wedlock (she apparently wanted an abortion but, due to the length of the court case, the verdict came from the Supreme Court after she gave birth). She says she was used as a tool by the two lawyers, who wanted to challenge Texas’s abortion laws.

Apparently, Norma suffered from gender identity disorder/same sex attraction earlier in her life, and lived with another woman for some time. She was also very active as a Planned Parenthood volunteer for many years, until she realized the pro-life movement was right.

In 1994, she converted to Christianity, being baptized by an Evangelical pro-life activist in a backyard pool. A year later, she adopted full-time pro-life activism. In 1998, she was received into the Catholic Church by Fr. Frank Pavone.

In the 2005 case, McCorvey v. Hill, McCorvey sued to have her own Roe v. Wade overturned on the grounds that a) she was the plaintiff, b) she changed her mind, and c) evidence showed that Roe was wrongly decided and legalized abortion hurts women. I chronicled that case here, and the Supreme Court refused to hear it. This was one of the only attempts in history to directly overturn Roe.

In the 2008 election, McCorvey endorsed the Hon. Mr. Ron Paul, M.D. (R-Texas) for his unwavering pro-life position in the House of Representatives (obvoiusly, some of us take issue with Dr. Paul for his legal positivism, but Antonin Scalia is a legal positivist, too).

Rep. Paul is also one of the few people who’ve taken direct action to try and overturn Roe, as he has on numerous occasions proposed a bill that would, per the Congress’s constitutional authority to regulate federal courts, tell the federal courts that they are no longer permitted to hear cases involving abortion laws, and that abortion laws are to be left up to state governments.

I bring this up, because apparently Ms. McCorvey has been the subject of Internet trolls on Facebook who are questioning her pro-life credentials(!)

She says the conflict is resolved, and it’s tough, given the various methods of Facebook communication, to see where the exact discussion is that she’s been posting about.

But I just wanted to stand up and say that hardly anyone has gone to the extent to overturn Roe v. Wade than “Jane Roe” herself has done, and I dare anyone to show me someone who has offered a direct challenge to Roe the way that Norma McCorvey and Ron Paul have both done. Their actions show the innate folly of the “incrementalist” approach of NRLC–and, if more people had been behind their efforts, there would be no Roe v. Wade today.

"Catholic" Democrat in Texas moves to outlaw "infanticide": is this a good thing?

Simple answer? No. It seeks to reduce the sentence for mothers who kill their children due to post-partum depression. Presently, murder of a child a capital offense in Texas, so the goal is to turn the murder of children under 2 into a “state felony,” meaning the maximum sentence would be 2 years.

It’s inspired by the Andrea Yates case. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Houston), is a “Catholic” who has been praised by NARAL for her “fierce” pro-abortion activism.

While Farrar admits the bill will likely not get voted on at the House floor, and is mainly testing the waters, pro-life activists in the state are bothered because the wording of the bill does not specifically mention “post partum psychosis”:

Dave Welch of the Texas Pastor Council said the bill goes too far because it mentions only “effects of birth or lactation” rather than a specific condition.
“That opens a door you can drive a Mack truck through,” Welch said.

H/T to The Catholic Cartoon Blog

"L’Osservatore Romano" needs to watch this video

Rome’s HLI chief says the Vatican is treating Obama the way it treats Communists

Last week, pro-life Catholic scratched our heads as the Vatican proclaimed that Obama’s first 100 days were not as earth-shattering as we’d feared. Now, I would tend to agree with that assessment, and most of what he’s done basically puts us back to where we were uner Clinton.

But Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro, the Rome bureau chief of Human Life International, sees parallels between how the Vaticcan is dealing with Obama and how it dealt with the former Soviet Union.

A former diplomat himself, Monsignor Barreiro explained the tactic being used by the Vatican newspaper. “It is a diplomatic move similar to the one used several years ago towards the Soviet Union,” he said.
“So here we have a replay of the Ostpolitik that was inspired by Cardinal Agostino Casaroli. This policy is inspired by the perceived need to reach a working accommodation with the many governments in Europe and in America that are dominated by liberal and socialist ideologies.”
Barreiro added however: “In the same way that the Ostpolitik did not work and only weakened the Church, this current approach to the Democratic Administration will fail and would lead to a further weakening of the Church in the U.S. and probably worldwide.”

In somewhat related news, the Vatican has been flooded with letters from pro-life leaders around the world, criticizing the piece in L’Osservatore Romano by Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, current president of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV/PAL), who opposed the now infamous excommunication by Archbishop José Cardoso Sobrinho of Olinda and Recife in Brazil.
According to LifeSite News, pepole are concerned that the move indicates a change in tone at the Vatican, especially as L’Osservatore Romano is “carefully vetted” by the Vatican Secretary of State and the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.

In an open letter published by LifeSiteNews.com today, highly respected philosopher Professor Joseph Seifert, a lifetime member of the ontifical Academy for Life, said that the article has led to a “deep crisis” in the PAV, and “more importantly, of the public perception of Church teaching on abortion.” (See letter: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/may/09050107.html
or http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009_docs/SeiftertonFisichel…)
Professor Seifert, rector and professor of philosophy at the International Academy of
Philosophy of Liechtenstein, writes that because of this article, and its support by the pope’s official media spokesman, Fr. Frederico Lombardi SJ, “countless persons” throughout the world now attribute to the PAV and by extension to the Pope himself, “a propagation of a new moral doctrine diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Church”.

And . . .here it is

Vox Nova grasps at straws to join Cardinal Mahony in his “EWTN must be shut down” chorus.

All over a couple snippets of a priest saying that we have to distinguish whether certain practices constitute torture or not, and that, in his opinion, these practices do not constitute torture. He does not deny that torture is wrong; he just (wrongly) asserts that waterboarding does not constitute torture.

The second evidence–also attacking Judie Brown (funny; in today’s readings, I’ve seen several liberal posts make reference specifically to Judie Brown or Fr. Euteneuer, instead of vaguely condemning “pro-lifers”) when she says in an EWTN forum post from last fall that she really isn’t sure about whether torture is intrinsically evil, based upon her reading of the Catechism.

For this, they call for EWTN to be shut down and claim that Judie Brown is in league with the Devil.

The “reasoning” here baffles me. Torture is wrong. Waterboarding is wrong. Judie Brown–who is no fan of John McCain–tells a questioning voter that she doesn’t think that the torture controversy warrants a reason not to vote for McCain (emphasizing that it is her judgement). This priest, Fr. Sirico, and Raymond Arroyo call torture a “prudential judgement.”

For this, they’re screaming that EWTN should be shut down. Look over at National Catholic Reporteror Commonweal, and you’ll see direct attacks on dogmatically defined teachings of the Church, you’ll see columnists who are open heretics like Joan Chittister and Fr. Richard McBrien, and are they screaming for NCR to be shut down?

If these liberal groups who claim to be not liberal want to prove they’re not, they could at least do a better job of supporting those who are actively fighting abortion and contraception.

They protest greatly that they oppose abortion, but they do not offer such insistence about opposing contraception or divorce.