Author: has written 5275 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
Return to: Homepage | Blog Index

122 Responses

  1. Hot Tramp
    Hot Tramp February 24, 2008 at 6:58 pm |

    So Catholics aren’t supposed to vote for John “I Love Perpetual Preemptive War” McCain either, right?

  2. canto_xii
    canto_xii February 24, 2008 at 6:58 pm |

    Godwin’s Law strikes again. The egotism and outrageous proclamations of the Church never fail to amaze me.

  3. Melissa
    Melissa February 24, 2008 at 6:59 pm |

    As a pro-choice, progressive, queer Catholic, I’m awfully sick of hearing the reasons why I’m going to hell. Even my own mother has told me that she “fears for my eternal soul”. Hmm… Since when did compassion become a damning characteristic?

    aaaarghhh… Its difficult to articulate my frustrated response to all this!

  4. ol cranky
    ol cranky February 24, 2008 at 7:01 pm |

    To be honest, I don’t really understand why anyone would choose to belong to a religion/religious organization that damns them. This being said, it’s about time those churches finally let their testes descend (if only part way) to act publicly in a way that is closer to consistent with their teachings. Now, since people won’t leave the church on their own, I hope the church will start excommunicating and shunning those horrible sinners that commit sexual sin, have or perform abortions, use “artificial” means of birth control or insist on getting married when they can’t procreate in the US and Western Europe like they do in Latin America & Africa.

    They strike at those who disagree because they know we have their proverbial number. They are so very insecure in their faith that they need to vilify everyone else to find a modicum of comfort. The reformation started because some people noticed the church was hypocritical and corrupt, if you don’t want to be like that, join a religious movement that understands the purpose of religion, knows what morality is and where it comes from, and maintains a stance consistent with those beliefs.

  5. Lauren
    Lauren February 24, 2008 at 7:06 pm |

    “Without allowing them to see the light of day” makes it seem like women are forcibly holding people in their uteri out of spite. And that’s EXACTLY what pregnancy is like.

  6. Le Femme
    Le Femme February 24, 2008 at 7:41 pm |

    Oh so pro-choice people are akin to Nazis? But according to the Catholic church circa WWII, the Nazis and their concentration camps didn’t exist.

    Oh Catholicism…you make my head hurt.

  7. Corncob
    Corncob February 24, 2008 at 8:49 pm |

    Ooh, and don’t miss that “suicide as a people” line, there. Gotta make sure that not only are the babies being born, they’re being born to the right folks – because apparently it’s a sin to have extramarital sex, non-babymaking sex, and now (taking this to a logical conclusion) it’s also a sin to not have any sex at all because the babies need to be born…?

    At least this is ridiculous enough that it shouldn’t have too much of an effect on people – right?

  8. preying mantis
    preying mantis February 24, 2008 at 11:04 pm |

    When they cross the line that gets their tax-exempt status revoked, would it be in poor taste to earmark that revenue for social programs benefiting indigent women and children that recognize them as people with the usual full compliment of human rights?

  9. Mercurial Georgia
    Mercurial Georgia February 24, 2008 at 11:29 pm |

    …weren’t the Nazi for forced birth as well? Like a lot of today’s anti-choice lobby, they are concerned with babies that are /white/, to the point of factorizing the process. (They actually had a breeding program, yikes.)

  10. Gina
    Gina February 24, 2008 at 11:34 pm |

    Ooh, and don’t miss that “suicide as a people” line, there. Gotta make sure that not only are the babies being born, they’re being born to the right folks

    It makes sense, then, that they’re not as concerned about stopping the war, because it’s Iraqi lives that are being taken. (Americans are dying, too, of course, but they love comparing the ‘low’ death count of Americans in Iraq to the ‘astronomical’ number of terminated pregnancies in the U.S.).

  11. preying mantis
    preying mantis February 24, 2008 at 11:48 pm |

    “…weren’t the Nazi for forced birth as well?”

    Forced birth for women deemed racially pure, forced abortion and sterilization for women deemed impure or undesirable. Generally if a state wants to wrest control of the uterus away from the women who have them, it’s not a state that can be trusted to put the well-being of its citizenry first.

  12. signthelist
    signthelist February 25, 2008 at 12:34 am |

    I don’t understand how abortion components can compare abortion to the Holocaust. You’d think it’d be pretty clear that it’s NOT THE SAME THING, not even by a little bit.

  13. Hector B.
    Hector B. February 25, 2008 at 12:53 am |

    I don’t understand how abortion opponents can compare abortion to the Holocaust.

    You have to think that a fertilized egg is just as much a person as, say, your next-door neighbor. Which the church doesn’t really believe by the way. If they did, they wouldn’t postpone baptism till the human being emerges from the uterus. And they would rush a priest over to give last rights to a miscarriage.

  14. signthelist
    signthelist February 25, 2008 at 12:54 am |

    …um, I’m not sure how I typed “components” but I meant opponents.

  15. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne February 25, 2008 at 3:08 am |

    I’m sure that the many people whose family members were killed, tortured and/or imprisoned in the Holocaust appreciate having their suffering compared with a woman’s choice to terminate a pregnancy.

    As Le Femme alluded to, it’s especially offensive coming from a pope given Pope Pius XII’s record of inaction and silence during the actual Holocaust.

    Sometimes I feel bad about leaving the church of my ancestors, but then they pull shit like this and remind me why I turned my back on them.

  16. ceejay1968
    ceejay1968 February 25, 2008 at 4:06 am |

    Yep. When I was at Gonzaga and Al Gore did a rally, priests and other protestors were there with their crosses and signs, and letters to the editor appeared in the student paper. But when pro-death penalty John McCain visited, there wasn’t a peep of protest anywhere.

  17. yo
    yo February 25, 2008 at 12:01 pm |

    No, you won’t go straight to hell. Didn’t you know catholics believe in some stopover place? That’s where you’ll go to ON YOUR WAY TO HELL.

  18. Thomas, TSID
    Thomas, TSID February 25, 2008 at 12:04 pm |

    I can’t tell what the bishops are after here. Are they betting that Catholicism is such a sticky identity among both white ethnic and latin@ Catholics that they’ll give in on contraception and abortion rather than walk away? Because that’s delusionally wrong, but they could be suffering from a joint delusion. Or are they simply engaged in a burn cycle, trying to push out all liberal Catholic laity and remake the Church into Opus Dei?

  19. zuzu
    zuzu February 25, 2008 at 12:11 pm | *

    You know, the Vatican tried this same tactic in Italy, and just got laughed at.

    I’m sure the bishops are upset that they don’t have a Catholic in the race so they can make a big issue of Communion.

    Frankly, if they enforced this rule, as well as others, they’d have no more church in the US.

  20. Dana
    Dana February 25, 2008 at 6:19 pm |

    You know how teachers aren’t supposed to push their political beliefs on students? Shouldn’t that be the same way in the church? I mean, I don’t remember reading anything in the Bible about who to elect in the year 2008. Nor do I recall a passage damning people based on their vote. And if there was a god, I think it might be more understanding that there are multiple reasons for choosing a particular candidate. From the polls, it’s obvious that abortion doesn’t top the list of concerns.

  21. AmericanPapist
    AmericanPapist February 25, 2008 at 7:42 pm |

    Commentary: A sadly common collusion of bigotry and idiocy…

    One of the first rules of debate is that the person you are debating should be able to recognize their own opinions when you try to characterize them. Otherwise, all you’ve managed to do is construct a charicature of the othe ……

  22. AmericanPapist
    AmericanPapist February 25, 2008 at 7:43 pm |

    What a sad but common collusion of bigotry and idiocy:

    http://www.americanpapist.com/2008/02/commentary-sadly-common-collusion-of.html

  23. paul zummo
    paul zummo February 25, 2008 at 8:18 pm |

    Wow, what a stupid, stupid post.

  24. paul zummo
    paul zummo February 25, 2008 at 8:42 pm |

    And what an enlightening and intelligent comment.

    Oh, excuse me for intruding on the high caliber of conversation taking place here.

  25. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2008 at 12:20 am | *

    If you have something of value to add, spit it out.

    Otherwise, I think you and your friend AmericanPapist can just busy yourselves being shocked, shocked! that anyone would take the bishops at their word.

    Not that they make it easy to find the full text of the statement on the USCCB site; it was only after looking at a number of pdfs of lesson plans and whatnot that I found a collection of statements on a related site. Such as their statement on Catholics in Political Life:

    It is the teaching of the Catholic Church from the very beginning, founded on her understanding of her Lord’s own witness to the sacredness of human life, that the killing of an unborn child is always intrinsically evil and can never be justified. If those who perform an abortion and those who cooperate willingly in the action are fully aware of the objective evil of what they do, they are guilty of grave sin and thereby separate themselves from God’s grace. This is the constant and received teaching of the Church. It is, as well, the conviction of many other people of good will.

    To make such intrinsically evil actions legal is itself wrong. This is the point most recently highlighted in official Catholic teaching. The legal system as such can be said to cooperate in evil when it fails to protect the lives of those who have no protection except the law. In the United States of America, abortion on demand has been made a constitutional right by a decision of the Supreme Court. Failing to protect the lives of innocent and defenseless members of the human race is to sin against justice. Those who formulate law therefore have an obligation in conscience to work toward correcting morally defective laws, lest they be guilty of cooperating in evil and in sinning against the common good.

    There’s a little lip service to helping the poor, but abortion is where it’s at, and you’re going to hell if you’re a public figure who works to keep abortion legal. Plus, you’re evil.

    But that was from 2004. Here’s the latest:

    Doing Good and Avoiding Evil
    21. Aided by the virtue of prudence in the exercise of well-formed consciences, Catholics
    are called to make practical judgments regarding good and evil choices in the political arena.
    22. There are some things we must never do, as individuals or as a society, because they
    are always incompatible with love of God and neighbor. Such actions are so deeply flawed that
    they are always opposed to the authentic good of persons. These are called “intrinsically evil”
    actions. They must always be rejected and opposed and must never be supported or condoned.
    A
    prime example is the intentional taking of innocent human life, as in abortion and euthanasia. In
    our nation, “abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because
    they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others”
    (Living the Gospel of Life, no. 5). It is a mistake with grave moral consequences to treat the
    destruction of innocent human life merely as a matter of individual choice. A legal system that
    violates the basic right to life on the grounds of choice is fundamentally flawed.
    23. Similarly, direct threats to the sanctity and dignity of human life, such as human
    cloning and destructive research on human embryos, are also intrinsically evil. These must
    always be opposed. Other direct assaults on innocent human life and violations of human dignity, such as genocide, torture, racism, and the targeting of noncombatants in acts of terror or war, can never be justified. . . .

    27. Two temptations in public life can distort the Church’s defense of human life and
    dignity:
    28. The first is a moral equivalence that makes no ethical distinctions between different kinds of issues involving human life and dignity. The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong and is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed.3
    29. The second is the misuse of these necessary moral distinctions as a way of dismissing
    or ignoring other serious threats to human life and dignity. Racism and other unjust
    discrimination, the use of the death penalty, resorting to unjust war, the use of torture,4 war
    crimes, the failure to respond to those who are suffering from hunger or a lack of health care, or an unjust immigration policy are all serious moral issues that challenge our consciences and
    require us to act. These are not optional concerns which can be dismissed. Catholics are urged to seriously consider Church teaching on these issues. Although choices about how best to respond to these and other compelling threats to human life and dignity are matters for principled debate and decision, this does not make them optional concerns or permit Catholics to dismiss or ignore Church teaching on these important issues. Clearly not every Catholic can be actively involved on each of these concerns, but we need to support one another as our community of faith defends human life and dignity wherever it is threatened. We are not factions, but one family of faith fulfilling the mission of Jesus Christ.
    30. The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made a similar point:
    It must be noted also that a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one
    to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the
    fundamental contents of faith and morals
    . The Christian faith is an integral unity,
    and thus it is incoherent to isolate some particular element to the detriment of the
    whole of Catholic doctrine. A political commitment to a single isolated aspect of
    the Church’s social doctrine does not exhaust one’s responsibility towards the
    common good.
    (Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation
    of Catholics in Political Life, no. 4)
    _________________
    3 “When political activity comes up against moral principles that do not admit of exception, compromise, or derogation, the Catholic commitment becomes more evident and laden with responsibility. In the face of fundamental and inalienable ethical demands, Christians must recognize that what is at stake is the essence of the moral law, which concerns the integral good of the human person. This is the case with laws concerning abortion and euthanasia. . . . Such laws must defend the basic right to life from conception to natural death”
    (Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life, no. 4).

    4 See Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2297.

    IOW, if you vote for Democrats, you’re going to hell, because only abortion and euthanasia are intrinsic evils, and Catholics who vote for intrinsic-evil candidates are going to hell. Social-justice issues are important, but not as important as abortion. For which you will go to hell, regardless of how many of the poor you feed or if you protest torture.

    Altar-boy diddling, however, is conspicuously absent from the list of intrinsic evils, or even social justice concerns. Wonder why?

  26. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2008 at 12:37 am | *

    But wait! There’s more!

    31. Decisions about political life are complex and require the exercise of a well-formed conscience aided by prudence. This exercise of conscience begins with outright opposition to laws and other policies that violate human life or weaken its protection. Those who knowingly, willingly, and directly support public policies or legislation that undermine fundamental moral principles cooperate with evil. . .

    33. Prudential judgment is also needed in applying moral principles to specific policy choices in areas such as the war in Iraq, housing, health care, immigration, and others. This does not mean that all choices are equally valid, or that our guidance and that of other Church leaders is just another political opinion or policy preference among many others. Rather, we urge
    Catholics to listen carefully to the Church’s teachers when we apply Catholic social teaching to specific proposals and situations. The judgments and recommendations that we make as bishops on specific issues do not carry the same moral authority as statements of universal moral teachings. Nevertheless, the Church’s guidance on these matters is an essential resource for Catholics as they determine whether their own moral judgments are consistent with the Gospel and with Catholic teaching.

    … even though the Gospels had very little, if anything, to say about abortion, but plenty about housing, feeding and clothing the poor.

    34. Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote. This is why it is so important to vote according to a well-formed conscience that perceives the proper relationship among moral goods. A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.
    35. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.
    36. When all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human
    goods.
    37. In making these decisions, it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions. These decisions should take into account a candidate’s commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue. In the end, this is a decision to be made by each Catholic guided by a conscience formed by Catholic moral teaching.

    But they won’t tell you who to vote for, oh no!

  27. some other papist
    some other papist February 26, 2008 at 1:44 am |

    @zuzu

    Altar-boy diddling, however, is conspicuously absent from the list of intrinsic evils, or even social justice concerns. Wonder why?

    Could it be that there aren’t many people who think such activity ought to be legal, and so it isn’t much of a political issue? Contrast with other issues that get mentioned in the document – they tend to be somewhat debatable or debated. But to quote the Catechism, “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered”” (2357).

    That includes, I believe, “altar-boy diddling.”

  28. Feministe » Those fickle faithful
    Feministe » Those fickle faithful February 26, 2008 at 10:18 am |

    [...] Bishops, theoretically celibates all, are out there telling Catholics not to use birth control, and how to vote, and all kinds of fun things like that, has anything to do with it. Losing one-third — ONE [...]

  29. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2008 at 10:28 am | *

    But to quote the Catechism, “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered”” (2357).

    That includes, I believe, “altar-boy diddling.”

    “Disordered,” but not “evil.” And yet, isn’t victimizing children under your spiritual care a question of “human life and dignity”? Unless of course you decide that they must not be innocent, and are little tempters leading men of God astray, therefore undeserving of protection as the priest is shuffled from parish to parish and assigned new altar boys.

    I’d be interested to see the passages where Christ said anything about homosexuality or abortion. Chapter and verse, please.

  30. some other papist
    some other papist February 26, 2008 at 11:08 am |

    @zuzu

    Mt 19:16-18
    And behold, one came up to [Jesus], saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?”
    [17] And [Jesus] said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”
    [18] He said to him, “Which?” And Jesus said, “You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery…

    A command like “don’t kill the innocent” which obviously applies in the case of the unborn was not very contentious in Jesus’ day, so there wasn’t lots of discussion about it. Adultery, meaning sexual relations with someone other than your spouse (this includes homosexual relations), was also universally held to be contemptible. Murder and adultery have always been around. The “new” thing is the idea that these should be legal, or that people should think that they are “ok”.

    No Catholic that I know of makes the argument that something “disordered” is ok, but something “evil” is not. These are more or less equivalent terms. If you have a counterexample, post it. Otherwise you’re just hairsplitting.

    Among condemned behaviors listed in the Catechism:

    2389 Connected to incest is any sexual abuse perpetrated by adults on children or adolescents entrusted to their care. The offense is compounded by the scandalous harm done to the physical and moral integrity of the young, who will remain scarred by it all their lives; and the violation of responsibility for their upbringing.

  31. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2008 at 12:43 pm | *

    A command like “don’t kill the innocent” which obviously applies in the case of the unborn was not very contentious in Jesus’ day, so there wasn’t lots of discussion about it. Adultery, meaning sexual relations with someone other than your spouse (this includes homosexual relations), was also universally held to be contemptible. Murder and adultery have always been around. The “new” thing is the idea that these should be legal, or that people should think that they are “ok”.

    O RLY?

    Dude, the Israelites — you know, the Ten Commandments people — didn’t consider an infant to be a person until birth, and the penalty for causing a woman to miscarry was a fine. And there was that whole first-born sacrifice thing that God commanded. Adultery has a meaning, which requires that one or another of the couple is married, and again, when a man slept with a married woman, it was considered a property crime against her husband.

    You’re going to have to do better than that. Where did Jesus specifically mention abortion or homosexuality? I’m waiting.

  32. John
    John February 26, 2008 at 1:20 pm |

    The point of this offensive cartoon and commentary is to claim that the Church teaches that unrepentant pedophiles may receive communion and go to heaven when in fact, neither is the case and certainly not what the Church teaches.

    If you’re going to slam something, do it for what they actually teach, not a charicature of figment of your own imagination. That’s called “being fair” which, last I checked was a value for those who call themselves “Democrats”.

    The Church is consistent: ANYONE – priests included – who commit crimes and grave sins (and pedophilia has long been listed as one) may not go to communion. It has also taught that ANYONE – abortion doctors included, may be forgiven their sins and go to Heaven.

    You probably don’t realize that a third of the Pro-life leaders in this country are women who have had abortions and regret their “choice” or that there are many Pro-life doctors who were once abortionists themselves. We don’t preach that people are irredeemable.

    Which is why we bother teaching people to avoid making the wrong choices because every choice has a consequence.

    It’s also important when making an argument of comparison between political platforms and morality to get the facts straight.

    It’s a fact (according to the pro-abortion industry) that 1,400,000 surgical abortions are done each year just in the USA. Now maybe you don’t think an individual member of the human species is what gets killed when a women “terminates” her pregnancy, but most people do. So comparing apples to apples with the deaths of people in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, we are comparing one group of people being killed with another group of people.

    Being for abortion = being OK with 1,400,000 individual members of the human species being killed mostly for the sake of convenience. Being for the war = being OK with the US military targetting grown up men who have guns and bombs and who currently are the direct cause of 80% of all deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan (including their own).

    There is a moral difference between being OK with private citizens and private enterprise (like the abortion industrial complex) killing people out of convenience vs. being OK with a national army fighting a global movement of terrorism.

    By being in favor of abortion but “against the war” you are not limiting the number of deaths, you’re just choosing to ignore the greater number over the smaller one.

    As for helping the poor and health care…. it comes down to which political party has experience actually creating wealth and alleviating human suffering. Both parties are “for” helping the poor and providing health care, the question is HOW to achieve these goals.

    If the Democratic platform is SO successful, so progressive and cool and sophisticated, show me one example of a Democratic controlled major city or state that has been able to afford the policies they are calling on the whole nation to adopt to “help the poor” or provide “universal health care”.

    Fact is, the GOP policies have done more to actually help the poor find jobs than DNC policies. And the current health care system problems are largely the result of government regulations, not the absence of them.

    It’s really apples vs oranges to feel good about your pro-abortion stance where 1,400,000 completely innocent people are killed, and then getting all in high dungeon over policy differences of how best to help the poor find jobs or how best to provide health care to those in need….

  33. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2008 at 1:25 pm | *

    As for helping the poor and health care…. it comes down to which political party has experience actually creating wealth and alleviating human suffering. Both parties are “for” helping the poor and providing health care, the question is HOW to achieve these goals.

    Hahahahahaha! A supply-sider!

    Gosh, I thought they were extinct.

  34. John
    John February 26, 2008 at 1:27 pm |

    As for where abortion and homosexuality are concern in the teaching of Jesus….well, for starters, in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus’ mother Mary went to visit her counsin Elizabeth soon after the conception of Jesus. When she arrived to help Elizabeth (then 6 months pregnant) we are told that she greeted Mary as “the mother of my Lord” and that her child leapt in the womb at the sound of Mary’s greeting.

    This means a) Jesus’ presence in Mary’s womb at 1 week gestation was not “a blob of tissue” but a person and b) that Elizabeth considered Mary a “Mother” even at that stage of pregnancy.

    Ergo, killing the unborn child in a mother’s womb is murder. If it’s not alive, then you aren’t killing it, and if it’s not a human being then you’re not pregnant.

    As for homosexuality, Jesus taught that a man should not divorce his wife or commit fornication or adultery.

    This doesn’t mean Catholics preach hatred for homosexuals or some doctrine whereby they must live miserable, lonely lives. No, we do in fact preach that they ought to be treated with love and befriended – as we ought to treat all other people INCLUDING abortionists and women who have had abortions.

    The only side preaching hatred and fear here is the liberal side of things.

  35. some other papist
    some other papist February 26, 2008 at 1:31 pm |

    I’m not here to discuss the beliefs of ancient Israelites or contemporary Jewish or evangelical readings of the Bible. I’m not sure why you would want to reference their beliefs in an argument with a Catholic. We’ve learned a little bit about biology since the Bible was written, and we have been expanding the circle of those who society considers are worthy of rights as well. The Catholic position is that the unborn are worthy of rights, and I have given you a passage that Catholics read as Jesus prohibiting murder. You will, of course, read it with your own lenses. Catholics also consider Jer 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” to underscore the position that human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.

    Given this, it is not surprising that the Church teaches

    “The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority.

    These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin.

    Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.”

  36. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2008 at 1:34 pm | *

    This means a) Jesus’ presence in Mary’s womb at 1 week gestation was not “a blob of tissue” but a person and b) that Elizabeth considered Mary a “Mother” even at that stage of pregnancy.

    Why, because he kicked? Whoohoo! He was just like any other fetus, you know, the same ones the Israelites didn’t consider to be persons yet. In any event, given that this was, you know, the son of God, there’s some kind of exceptionalism going on here. Even if it was the same God that killed plenty of other babies.

    In any event, that’s not a prohibition on abortion. Try again.

    As for homosexuality, Jesus taught that a man should not divorce his wife or commit fornication or adultery.

    We’ve already established that adultery is not necessarily a homosexual thing. Which leaves us with fornication. Where is that defined in the Bible? Where did Jesus (not Paul, though I know you folks just looooooves your Paul, the old fraud) preach during his lifetime about bumping uglies with another guy?

    Also, that really does leave a big loophole for lesbians, doesn’t it?

  37. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2008 at 1:35 pm | *

    This doesn’t mean Catholics preach hatred for homosexuals or some doctrine whereby they must live miserable, lonely lives. No, we do in fact preach that they ought to be treated with love and befriended – as we ought to treat all other people INCLUDING abortionists and women who have had abortions.

    So, they should be automatically excommunicated like women who’ve had abortions? I’m confused.

    Mind you, treating people with love and befriending them seems a bit inconsistent with telling them that their natures are evil and that they may never marry or have sex unless they go against their natures. Otherwise they’re going to hell.

  38. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2008 at 1:46 pm | *

    I’m not here to discuss the beliefs of ancient Israelites or contemporary Jewish or evangelical readings of the Bible. I’m not sure why you would want to reference their beliefs in an argument with a Catholic.

    Well, you’re the one who brought up Jesus and his reference to the Ten Commandments. Which, last I checked, were handed to the Israelites as part of that whole covenant-with-God thing. So when you said that “obviously” that the “Thou Shalt Not Kill” bit covered abortion, I countered with the Israelites’ understanding of the commandment as applied to fetuses and infants.

    Come now, I know the Bible is full of contradictions, but surely you haven’t lost track of your *own* arguments so soon.

    Still waiting on the verses which specifically prohibit abortion or homosexuality. And no, the “I knew you before you were born” bit won’t do. Of course God, who’s purported to be omniscient, could do that. Especially if he’s decided that the little sprog is going to be his prophet. God also ordered the killing of infants born alive. So which is it? Human life is sacred from the moment of conception, or God can go around ordering people to kill their children to prove their love to him.

    I can do this all day.

  39. Astraea
    Astraea February 26, 2008 at 2:00 pm |

    The first example of Jesus in the womb is the best you can come up with as a teaching of Jesus? I’d love to hear how that is a teaching direct from Jesus, since, you know, he hasn’t said anything.

  40. ElleBeMe
    ElleBeMe February 26, 2008 at 2:12 pm |

    Curious – since the Church views any sex outside of marriage as a sin…an EVIL… how then can the church view the products of said union as miraculous allthewhile ignoring the original sin and the copulate sin of the woman and man?

    Secondly – If God “knew” someone before they were born – doesn’t that indicate that God knew that person WOULD be born (hence the whole I knew you before you were born nonsense)? God being omnipotent and all…. So if a z/e/f dies in utero (method irrelevant) God knew they were not meant to be – for they were never born….and therefore were never known, never existed.

    Anywho all of this is just curiosity for me considering I believe religion to be the shittiest argument of all as to why abortion should be legal/illegal. Who cares what one’s supernatural beliefs are when establishing law.

  41. Geoffrey
    Geoffrey February 26, 2008 at 2:25 pm |

    they wouldn’t postpone baptism till the human being emerges from the uterus. And they would rush a priest over to give last rights to a miscarriage.

    LOL. Baptism emerges from original sin – and is not performed at birth either BTW. And you cannot give last rights to someone that is already dead.

  42. Hector B.
    Hector B. February 26, 2008 at 3:31 pm |

    Baptism emerges from original sin – and is not performed at birth either BTW.

    So what happens to the souls of dead fetuses?

    And you cannot give last rights to someone that is already dead.

    At what point is a miscarried embryo or fetus considered dead? The possibility of life means the last rites have never been denied to anyone just because their heart’s stopped beating. What does the church consider “death” for a being with neither a heart or a brain?

  43. ElleBeMe
    ElleBeMe February 26, 2008 at 3:48 pm |

    So what happens to the souls of dead fetuses?

    First: You need to demonstrate that ensoulment has taken place.

    Then – you can discuss what happens to their souls. However I remember a passage from the Bible stating that ensoulment happens at birth – upon first breath.

    At what point is a miscarried embryo or fetus considered dead? The possibility of life means the last rites have never been denied to anyone just because their heart’s stopped beating. What does the church consider “death” for a being with neither a heart or a brain?

    Good question.

  44. John
    John February 26, 2008 at 3:49 pm |

    The point of the account of Luke is that the New Testament holds that the fetus is a human being and a human person. Killing a completely innocent human being is NOT morally justifiable.

    Jesus commanded that we let the little children come to him, and that anyone who scandalized a little child (like a pedophile) ought to be drowned in the sea.

    Scandalize vs. cutting the child into pieces and vacuuming her into the garbage makes it look pretty consistent that Jesus wouldn’t have been “pro-choice”.

    But hey, because Jesus didn’t specifically forbid abortion by name it’s OK right? Sorta like how since Jesus didn’t specifically forbid nuclear war or Bush from invading Iraq, I guess we can’t say “the war is bad” either huh? By your “if it’s not explicitly in the bible it’s OK” theory, if one thing is true the other would have to be true too….but that’s not what you believe is it?

    You seem to think that a Catholic (or any other person) ought to be OK with killing the completely innocent by “making up” for this by being “against” a war where it’s not a question of the completely innocent being killed but grown men running around with guns and bombs getting killed by other adult men.

    If you can’t see the moral difference between the direct, intentional snuffing out of a completely innocent, non-offensive child vs. the direct, intentional killing of a Taliban or Al Qaeda suicide bomber trying to breach the entrance to a school yard full of kids, then you really can’t be basing your politics on reason and logic.

    Does the fetus’ size, age, location, dependency on the mother make it less human? What moral principle is being established here? That the woman’s choice transmogrifies the human fetus into “a blob of tissue” if she doesn’t want to be pregnant but then also magically transforms it back into her baby if she does want to be pregnant?

    Or is the principle one that morality is WHATEVER an individual decides it to be, such that no one else may judge their goodness or badness? If THIS is what you believe, then explain again why Bush’s war in Iraq is “bad”? Or why genocide was bad? Or why pollutting the enviroment, not helping the poor, or not providing subsidized health care is “bad”. If you get to kill the unborn and it’s OK because you feel good about it, then there’s no rational reason for you to be mad about other people doing what you don’t like.

    But obviously you believe some things are wrong. It’s just a question of explaining why. So far your side’s explainations for abortion being OK undermines your arguments against every OTHER cause under the sun.

    With respect to homosexuals – it’s not their NATURE that’s ‘evil’ or disordered, they are after all members of the human race. Diabetics, alcoholics, and people prone to depression are likewise ill or diseased without losing their human nature and dignity as human beings.

    Me not letting my alcoholic friend drive drunk is not me “hating” him or despising “his nature”. Me encouraging a gay or swinging friend to stop cruising for hookups isn’t about “hating” them but about me being worried for their health – physical, emotional, and spiritual that is distinct from their subjective FEELINGS at the time.

    But respecting nature, the Church teaches people to avoid those actions that cause harm – and extramarital sex whether hetero or homoerotic causes great harm, as evidenced by the CDC’s annual reports, by their OWN literature on domestic abuse, suicidal ideations, substance abuse, etc. within the enclaves where the local social scene is TOTALLY favorable to them.

    You say you want to help the poor. Well, show me one example of Liberal policies lifting people permanently out of poverty? Liberals have controlled politics in Washington DC, New Orleans, Detroit, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and a host of other major cities for decades. They’ve controlled the Mayor’s office, police, city council, budget, schools….everything. AND YET THERE ARE STILL POOR PEOPLE THERE. How is that possible if their policies are so brilliant at “solving the problem”???

    Good intentions are not enough. It’s not enough to feel good about oneself to make one’s actions “moral”.

    Of course for liberals who believe themselves to be the center of the universe, it’s always about them – and their whims of the moment, never about what’s good for them and others.

    In the real world though certain things are always wrong: killing totally innocent people out of convenience is one of those always wrong things.

    War such as we’re waging in the Middle East, various differences on social programs…. none of this adds up to much in the face of people being La-de-dah about letting private enterprise go about killing people for convenience.

  45. Sleeping Beastly
    Sleeping Beastly February 26, 2008 at 4:14 pm |

    Curious – since the Church views any sex outside of marriage as a sin…an EVIL… how then can the church view the products of said union as miraculous allthewhile ignoring the original sin and the copulate sin of the woman and man?

    Paragraph 312 of the Catechism should suffice to answer this question. Basically, Catholics believe that good can be brought forth from evil. This is pretty central to a religion that believes that the greatest good (mankind’s salvation) was brought forth from the greatest evil (mankind’s murder of their own God and savior.)

    Anywho all of this is just curiosity for me considering I believe religion to be the shittiest argument of all as to why abortion should be legal/illegal. Who cares what one’s supernatural beliefs are when establishing law.

    I imagine that anyone who holds beliefs about the supernatural will certainly take them into consideration when making any decisions, including decisions that affect public policy. I do think you’re correct that Scriptural arguments are meaningless to people who don’t believe in Scripture. However, I think you’re directing your statement towards the wrong people. It was zuzu that brought up Scriptural arguments, in an attempt to declare them logically inconsistent, and in indirect support of abortion.

    Still waiting on the verses which specifically prohibit abortion or homosexuality. And no, the “I knew you before you were born” bit won’t do. Of course God, who’s purported to be omniscient, could do that. Especially if he’s decided that the little sprog is going to be his prophet. God also ordered the killing of infants born alive. So which is it? Human life is sacred from the moment of conception, or God can go around ordering people to kill their children to prove their love to him.

    You seem to think that unless there’s a passage in which Jesus himself specifically declares something sinful, Christians are required to support it. I can’t find a verse in which Jesus singles out pedophilia or genocide, but I’m sure most Christians (and Jesus himself) would agree with me that these are sinful activities as well. The Gospels don’t contain a complete laundry list of sins. That’s not their purpose.

    And defending infanticide wasn’t the purpose of the story of Abraham and Isaac. I would read Genesis 22 in the light of the prophecy in Genesis 21:12. God did not actually order a sacrifice to take place, but provided a precursor to the sacrifice of His own son. If you think you see contradictions in God’s word, it’s because your understanding of it is limited.

    Also, it looks like a few things need clarification: First, the Catholic church does not send anyone to Heaven or Hell. That decision is God’s (and that of the individual concerned.) The Church was established to give access to sacraments and teachings that will assist individuals in their journey back to God. Many, many people give their lives to this service, and I’m saddened when people who don’t understand it mock them. Those bishops being mocked in the cartoon could have lived selfish lives, but instead took on very difficult lives in order to bring (what they and I believe to be) salvation to people like you and me.

    Second, the issue being addressed in the cartoon is the nature of the sin involved (legislative support for abortion versus child molestation.) However, the determining factor in worthiness to receive Communion is the penitent character of the sinner’s soul. A penitent pedophile can receive Communion. An unrepentant abortionist cannot.

    Third, a couple of concepts need to be cleared up. Denying Communion to someone is not a punishment. Receiving Communion while in a state of mortal sin is considered a grave sin. Communion is denied to prevent people from compounding their sins. If someone is excommunicated (which is rare) this is also not a punishment, or even necessarily a sure ticket to Hell. It is a serious warning to someone that they need to change their ways.

    If you don’t like any of these teachings, then don’t belong to the Church. I always find it very interesting that atheists are so concerned with the structure and teachings of the Catholic Church. I would never dream of telling a priest in a Hindu temple who should be allowed into the ashram, or criticizing an imam for preaching from an inconsistent book, and I doubt any of you would either.

    Finally, at least acknowledge the source of our disagreement. It isn’t entirely religious; there are Christians who support abortion, as well as atheists who oppose it. What it boils down to is a disagreement about personhood. Those who oppose abortion believe that unborn children are people. Those who support abortion believe there is a qualitative difference between a fetus and a baby.

    Given that we do, truly and honestly, believe that unborn children are people, how can we fail to be appalled at the number of abortions performed in this country, and why are we out of line when comparing it with Hitler’s massacre of Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, homosexuals, and disabled people? It seems preposterous to you because you don’t believe that unborn children are really people. But we do, and to us it really does seem like mass murder on a colossal scale. We’re not assholes, Jill. We just disagree with you.

  46. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2008 at 4:29 pm | *

    The point of the account of Luke is that the New Testament holds that the fetus is a human being and a human person.

    No, the point of it is that Jesus moved in his mother’s womb. Please find one that generalizes personhood to all fetuses, and specifically outlaws abortion. Also, please find one where ensoulment is discussed. It shouldn’t be this difficult, really.

    I do think you’re correct that Scriptural arguments are meaningless to people who don’t believe in Scripture. However, I think you’re directing your statement towards the wrong people. It was zuzu that brought up Scriptural arguments, in an attempt to declare them logically inconsistent, and in indirect support of abortion.

    You seem to think that unless there’s a passage in which Jesus himself specifically declares something sinful, Christians are required to support it. I can’t find a verse in which Jesus singles out pedophilia or genocide, but I’m sure most Christians (and Jesus himself) would agree with me that these are sinful activities as well. The Gospels don’t contain a complete laundry list of sins. That’s not their purpose.

    I brought it up because the “abortion is an intrinsic evil and anyone who votes for a pro-choice politician is supporting intrinsic evil” rests specifically on the Gospels. So where’s the chapter and verse from the Gospels?

    If you don’t like any of these teachings, then don’t belong to the Church. I always find it very interesting that atheists are so concerned with the structure and teachings of the Catholic Church.

    I’m very concerned when the Catholic Church interferes with secular elections by directing Catholics not to vote for pro-choice candidates. There’s a reason for separation of church and state, and you’d think that people who claim to have the interests of the Catholic Church at heart would respect that separation. After all, y’all may be in a very cozy alliance with right-wing evangelicals at the moment, but when push comes to shove, they don’t think you’re real Christians. And if they tear down that wall between church and state and get the theocracy they want, it won’t be the Catholic church calling the shots.

  47. ElleBeMe
    ElleBeMe February 26, 2008 at 4:32 pm |

    I do think you’re correct that Scriptural arguments are meaningless to people who don’t believe in Scripture.

    Scriptural arguments are meaningless in any context in establishing law unless you live in a theocracy.

    Why should catholic/christian dogma be the basis for law when a nation has no state religion?

    Scriptural arguments are meaningless, period. Be they for or against in a democracy.

  48. ElleBeMe
    ElleBeMe February 26, 2008 at 4:35 pm |

    I’m very concerned when the Catholic Church interferes with secular elections by directing Catholics not to vote for pro-choice candidates. There’s a reason for separation of church and state, and you’d think that people who claim to have the interests of the Catholic Church at heart would respect that separation. After all, y’all may be in a very cozy alliance with right-wing evangelicals at the moment, but when push comes to shove, they don’t think you’re real Christians. And if they tear down that wall between church and state and get the theocracy they want, it won’t be the Catholic church calling the shots.

    Damn straight. If only the IRS would revoke their tax exempt status. That would truly be divine.

  49. Andrew
    Andrew February 26, 2008 at 5:01 pm |

    Also, please find one where ensoulment is discussed. It shouldn’t be this difficult, really.

    As you probably know, the question of when ensoulment occurs is left open by the Catholic Church… see the November 18, 1974 declaration on abortion, footnote 19. When ensoulment happens has no bearing on the Church’s position, since it is incipiently human.

    There’s a reason for separation of church and state, and you’d think that people who claim to have the interests of the Catholic Church at heart would respect that separation.

    Well let me offer you a new way of looking at this (The way I personally look at it). I’m a Catholic. My concience tells me that I should vote in a way that promotes the common good, which is intriniscally related to Truth, which I believe is found in Catholicism. IOW, my concience tells me to vote like a Catholic. When the Church speaks out on the issues, it makes me feel free to practice my religion. The right for me to practice my religion faithfully demands that the Church speaks.

    You vote according your beliefs in the voting booth… why shouldn’t I be able to vote according to mine?

  50. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2008 at 5:06 pm | *

    You vote according your beliefs in the voting booth… why shouldn’t I be able to vote according to mine?

    You can vote any way you want to. Where I have a problem is when the Church — which, after all is not just a church, but a sovereign nation as well — attempts to get into the voting booth as well.

  51. John
    John February 26, 2008 at 5:08 pm |

    The moment the IRS starts cracking down on Black Baptist churches that ROUTINELY allow Democrats to preach from the pulpit will be the moment when Catholics need to worry about the state demanding taxes from them.

    Besides, since when has tax-exemption kept groups from promoting their interests? Planned Parenthood is both tax-exempt AND a recipient of over $300 million in tax dollars yet THEY get to promote abortion via politics so why can’t the Church oppose it? Or do you believe only secular atheists have a right to political speech? How openminded and “liberal” of you!

    As for the bible…. the fact that Elizabeth called Mary the mother of her lord means that yes, in fact, the fetus in Mary’s womb was a person and not just an unsouled body. We celebrate the incarnation of the Son of God on March 25th, 9 months before Christmas celebrates his birth. We are not celebrating the fertilization of a non-personal human entity that maybe some time later becomes a human soul…

    Besides, we’re talking the right of the Catholic Church to tell it’s members what the rules are. Planned Parenthood and the DNC are all private clubs – no one is forced to join. But when you join, you have to obey their rules or chose to leave. The Church lays down the rules – take them or leave the Church.

    Those Catholics who choose to vote for pro-abortion candidates, like those who would choose to vote for pro-slavery or pro-genocide candidates are making a choice to disobey a key moral teaching that one may not choose evil, and there’s nothing more evil than the intentional killing of the completely innocent.

  52. Andrew
    Andrew February 26, 2008 at 5:10 pm |

    You can vote any way you want to. Where I have a problem is when the Church — which, after all is not just a church, but a sovereign nation as well — attempts to get into the voting booth as well.

    Perhaps you’re missing the point. I choose to bring it in with me. To ask me to do otherwise is, frankly, un-american.

  53. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2008 at 5:21 pm | *

    The moment the IRS starts cracking down on Black Baptist churches that ROUTINELY allow Democrats to preach from the pulpit will be the moment when Catholics need to worry about the state demanding taxes from them.

    Justice Sunday, anyone? Focus on the Family?

    John, clearly you don’t understand the difference between issue advocacy and advocating for a particular candidate.

    Perhaps you’re missing the point. I choose to bring it in with me. To ask me to do otherwise is, frankly, un-american.

    I think *you’re* the one missing the point. You choose to bring your Church’s teachings into the voting booth with you; however, your Church is actively trying to influence other Catholics to vote for antichoice candidates by doing the we’re-not-going-to-tell-you-who-to-vote-for-but-abortion-is-intrinsically-evil tapdance. Just because you happen to agree with your church does not mean that your church is not exerting undue influence on all of its members. Particularly those who disagree with their stance on what issues are important.

    And, again, why do you have a problem with religious organizations staying out of electoral politics?

  54. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2008 at 5:26 pm | *

    Besides, since when has tax-exemption kept groups from promoting their interests? Planned Parenthood is both tax-exempt AND a recipient of over $300 million in tax dollars yet THEY get to promote abortion via politics so why can’t the Church oppose it? Or do you believe only secular atheists have a right to political speech? How openminded and “liberal” of you!

    Also, there are different kinds of tax exemptions. Are you claiming that Planned Parenthood should be given the status of a church? Cool! We can have communion with bloody tampons or something.

  55. ElleBeMe
    ElleBeMe February 26, 2008 at 5:29 pm |

    The moment the IRS starts cracking down on Black Baptist churches that ROUTINELY allow Democrats to preach from the pulpit will be the moment when Catholics need to worry about the state demanding taxes from them.

    What democrats are “preaching from the pulpit”? I don’t recall a values voter sunday for democrats whereby candidates and elected officals were invited to preach to their congregations in favor of their policies. I do recall the GOP has had several…

    However you are correct that no politician should be allowed to use the church to make his/her political gains…and vice versa. Yet here you are derfending the cathlic church that is doing just that. Apparantly it is only okay if churches with whom you agree “morally” do it? All else be damned?

    Planned Parenthood is both tax-exempt AND a recipient of over $300 million in tax dollars yet THEY get to promote abortion via politics so why can’t the Church oppose it?

    PP does not promote abortion. And PP is a medical organization – a non-profit. The “church” OTOH is free to condemn abortion. However they are not free to tell people how to vote – being a religious organization they are to have no political affiliation. Yet – they do….

    Besides, we’re talking the right of the Catholic Church to tell it’s members what the rules are. Planned Parenthood and the DNC are all private clubs – no one is forced to join. But when you join, you have to obey their rules or chose to leave. The Church lays down the rules – take them or leave the Church.

    YOu are woefully wrong – there is no rule book one must adhere to in being a member of the DNC or PP. In fact it’s the GOP who expells politicians from its ranks if they don’t toe the line…same for the “church”

  56. some other papist
    some other papist February 26, 2008 at 5:33 pm |

    @zuzu

    Well, you’re the one who brought up Jesus and his reference to the Ten Commandments.

    But you’re the one who brought up the Bible, saying

    I’d be interested to see the passages where Christ said anything about homosexuality or abortion. Chapter and verse, please.

    I explained how Catholics would read these verses and how they would see references to abortion and homosexual practices in them. If your point is that most translations of the gospels do not have the words “abortion” or “homosexual” in them, then I get it. It is a facile, irrelevant point.

  57. Andrew
    Andrew February 26, 2008 at 5:33 pm |

    You choose to bring your Church’s teachings into the voting booth with you; however, your Church is actively trying to influence other Catholics to vote for antichoice candidates by doing the we’re-not-going-to-tell-you-who-to-vote-for-but-abortion-is-intrinsically-evil tapdance.

    Well, from my perspective the Church is doing a service to people like me who want to live their faith out as well as they possibly can. Fact is, we need our teachers to teach (and some of us are crazy enough to think that these teachers are guided by the Holy Spirit). For me, if you censored the Church, you would be preventing me from practicing my faith as well as possible. I feel I have a right to this information. If the media didn’t report on this stuff, chances are most people would probably never hear of it. Blame the media… not the Church.

    And, again, why do you have a problem with religious organizations staying out of electoral politics?

    I don’t have a problem. Who said I did?

  58. Andrew
    Andrew February 26, 2008 at 5:36 pm |

    We can have communion with bloody tampons or something.

    Knock yourselves out.

  59. Sleeping Beastly
    Sleeping Beastly February 26, 2008 at 5:46 pm |

    I brought it up because the “abortion is an intrinsic evil and anyone who votes for a pro-choice politician is supporting intrinsic evil” rests specifically on the Gospels.

    You don’t understand the position you’re arguing against. John has answered you already. If you don’t think his responses are adequate, maybe I can explain further.

    If you can take as axiomatic the fact that the area of a square is equal to the square of the length of one of its sides, you don’t need to have all possible square sizes listed for you in order to be able to figure out the area of a given square.

    By the same token, Christians don’t need a direct quotation from Jesus in one of the synoptic Gospels in order to understand that something is sinful. We hold as axiomatic that we are called to love other human beings, and that an unborn child is a human being. From these axioms (and others) we derive the conclusion that abortion is a sin. Our axioms are often based on the Gospels, but not always. Sometimes they are based on traditions of early Christians, and sometimes they are based on non-Gospel writings, such as Jeremiah. In addition to this, we believe that the Magisterium of the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit, and that its teachings on abortion have been handed down with the Spirit’s “stamp of approval”, so to speak.

    I’m very concerned when the Catholic Church interferes with secular elections by directing Catholics not to vote for pro-choice candidates. There’s a reason for separation of church and state, and you’d think that people who claim to have the interests of the Catholic Church at heart would respect that separation. After all, y’all may be in a very cozy alliance with right-wing evangelicals at the moment, but when push comes to shove, they don’t think you’re real Christians. And if they tear down that wall between church and state and get the theocracy they want, it won’t be the Catholic church calling the shots.

    You have quite a few misconceptions, so I’ll address them one at a time.

    First, you say that the Church is interfering with “secular” elections when they instruct against voting for pro-abortion politicians. Do you have the same concern when a labor union endorses a labor-friendly candidate or a museum campaigns against a measure that harms its interests? Abortion harms the interests of the Church (if not all of humanity), and I haven’t yet heard of any priests committing any voter fraud. Why is taking a stand on an issue “interfer(ing) with secular elections”?

    Next, you speak of “separation of church and state” but I don’t think you understand what you’re referring to. That phrase comes from a letter by Thomas Jefferson, not the Constitution. The Constitution does not prohibit preaching about social issues- quite the opposite. The first amendment actually forbids Congress to make any laws respecting religion. The authors of the document were concerned with government interfering in religious life- not the other way around.

    I understand quite well that most Evangelicals regard the Catholic Church as the Whore of Babylon. But I’m not afraid of them looking to establish a theocracy. They just want their opinions to matter when public policy is decided, same as you and I. And of greater importance to me (and, I suspect, many Evangelicals) is the fact that we believe a grave injustice is being done by permitting abortion.

    Scriptural arguments are meaningless in any context in establishing law unless you live in a theocracy.

    Why should catholic/christian dogma be the basis for law when a nation has no state religion?

    Scriptural arguments are meaningless, period. Be they for or against in a democracy.

    Any argument that is compelling to a voter is meaningful in a democracy. Still, we weren’t trying to convince you with Scriptural arguments- we were having a tangential disagreement with zuzu.

  60. Sleeping Beastly
    Sleeping Beastly February 26, 2008 at 5:53 pm |

    And, again, why do you have a problem with religious organizations staying out of electoral politics?

    I have a problem with anyone telling my Church how and what to teach.

  61. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2008 at 6:04 pm | *

    For me, if you censored the Church, you would be preventing me from practicing my faith as well as possible.

    Oh, no. We’re not talking censorship. The Church can preach whatever it wants. However, if it’s going to violate the separation between church and state by interfering in secular elections, then it’s acting as a secular, not a religious, actor, and it should be stripped of its tax-exempt status. Render unto Caesar, and all that.

    First, you say that the Church is interfering with “secular” elections when they instruct against voting for pro-abortion politicians. Do you have the same concern when a labor union endorses a labor-friendly candidate or a museum campaigns against a measure that harms its interests? Abortion harms the interests of the Church (if not all of humanity), and I haven’t yet heard of any priests committing any voter fraud. Why is taking a stand on an issue “interfer(ing) with secular elections”?

    First, unions and museums aren’t churches. Churches are tax-exempt insofar as they stay on their own side of the church-state wall. Once they go over that wall, they’re interfering in secular matters and acting as secular political organizations. Which means they’re violating the terms of their charters, and deserve to get dinged for it. Unions and museums are organized under different sections of the law, and get their tax exemptions from different sections of the tax code. However, they have their own rules to follow. Unions may endorse candidates and donate to candidates, but so can corporations. Museums may fundraise within their bylaws and applicable law. Why is this so difficult a concept?

    Secondly, the church is using the beliefs of its members to get them to vote for particular candidates by threatening them with eternal damnation. Sure, you can say, the church doesn’t actually condemn anyone, that’s God’s job, but if not for the threat of going to hell, who would follow the church’s teachings at all? And the bishops are very clear: the only issues that are going to send you straight to hell are racism and abortion. And since only one party puts forth pro-choice candidates during a presidential cycle, that’s tantamount to an endorsement of the Republican.

    Next, you speak of “separation of church and state” but I don’t think you understand what you’re referring to. That phrase comes from a letter by Thomas Jefferson, not the Constitution. The Constitution does not prohibit preaching about social issues- quite the opposite. The first amendment actually forbids Congress to make any laws respecting religion. The authors of the document were concerned with government interfering in religious life- not the other way around.

    Riiiiiiight. The fact that Europe had just gone through violent Reformation and emerged from centuries of oppressive Catholic rule had nothing to do with it.

  62. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2008 at 6:06 pm | *

    I have a problem with anyone telling my Church how and what to teach.

    Nobody’s saying that they can’t teach what they want.

    Keeping the financial goodies that come from being a religious organization and complying with the tax code forbidding political activity by religious organizations? That’s another story.

    Shame if the church had to start paying taxes on all those nice cathedrals on prime urban lots.

  63. David
    David February 26, 2008 at 6:17 pm |

    My, my what an interesting dialogue (argument). If you are not accustomed to this sort of blog, apologetics, dialogue, ranting, you may be surprised to see something so terribly wrong going on here. Despite the well-intentioned arguments from both sides, the main issue that stands out is everyone’s frustration. Frustration that the anti-abortion/pro-choice issue does not seem to have a happy resolution.

    Here is some healthy realism instead of this idealism. A lot of women are going to continue to be either excited about their preganancy and the chance to bring new life into the world, or other women are going to be very disappointed about their pregnancies and be convinced that terminating the pregancy is in everyone’s best interest.

    Based upon my experience, in the long term it will be the clergy, civic leaders, educators, and the medical/psychiatric community that will pick up the pieces of those women’s lives who have chosen to have an abortion. Right or wrong. These people are the ones who try to make the situation better for these women. Alienated and dysfunctional family members and fair-weather friends usually desert the mother who is contemplating abortion. These family members and well-intentioned people would like to help, but they really don’t have the knowledge or emotional resources and coping skills to tell the expectant mother anything that will be encouraging or life-changing.

    Keep blogging away, but it will be others who really take care of these people in the long run.

  64. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub February 26, 2008 at 6:21 pm |

    Hey, papists–I don’t CARE what you believe. I’m sick to the teeth of the Church I was raised to be a part of interfering in the lives of everyone. Trying to change the laws so that even us non believers and former Catholics are affected. You believe in all that, great, have at it. But leave your beliefs at the door and don’t force them on me. My right to get the pill and have an abortion doesn’t mean that you are forced! forced! to do so as well.

    As for the pedophile priests, you all forget that the Church actively covered it up, and tranferred these priests to other parishes, where they continued to rape children. And when confronted with this repeated behavior, the Church chose to continue to shuffle the pedophiles. And when he was first confronted with the fact that he was caught at this coverup–back in the early nineties, natch, a la Father Porter–then Cardinal Law called on God to strike down the media, for having the gall to actually report on something so big. So you can blather all you want about how no one thinks it’s right. The Vatican and the Church hierarchy thought it was fine to cover this up and knowingly enable these pigs–yes, PIGS–to continue to molest and damage children.

    That’s not bigotry. That’s reality.

  65. Sleeping Beastly
    Sleeping Beastly February 26, 2008 at 6:24 pm |

    Keeping the financial goodies that come from being a religious organization and complying with the tax code forbidding political activity by religious organizations? That’s another story.

    Can you link to the section in the tax code that states that churches need to stay silent on matters of public policy?

    Riiiiiiight. The fact that Europe had just gone through violent Reformation and emerged from centuries of oppressive Catholic rule had nothing to do with it.

    If the authors of the Constitution had intended to define what churches could and couldn’t preach about, you’d think they would have worded the first amendment a little differently. Instead, they expressly forbade Congress from making any such laws.

  66. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub February 26, 2008 at 6:25 pm |

    I have a problem with anyone telling my Church how and what to teach.

    I have a problem with any religion that actively tries to change the laws to fit their views of the world, no matter what everyone else in the world may think. Butt out of my life, and keep your teachings in the church.

  67. Andrew
    Andrew February 26, 2008 at 6:25 pm |

    Oh, no. We’re not talking censorship. The Church can preach whatever it wants. However, if it’s going to violate the separation between church and state by interfering in secular elections, then it’s acting as a secular, not a religious, actor, and it should be stripped of its tax-exempt status. Render unto Caesar, and all that.

    Well I guess I just don’t buy your statement that the Church interferes in secular elections. The Church teaches its truths, and its been doing it long before american politics came to be (see the didache, a lat 1st century document that condemns abortion). I’m guessing, also, that it will be professing this truth of abortion long after American Politics cease to exist.

    I am beginning to understand your points a bit better though… I’m seeing where you’re coming from. You think that by threatening “damnation” (the word being thrown around here), the Catholic Church is coercing people to vote this way or that way by frightening them.

    If this is true, then I have questions for you. Can the Church ever speak up on moral issues? How can the Church teach its stance on abortion and not be political? Do you think the Church really believes and cares about actual people dying in the case of abortion? Or do you think its pure conspiracy. If it is pure conspiracy, what does the Church gain by saying this at all?

  68. EG
    EG February 26, 2008 at 6:30 pm |

    in the long term it will be the clergy, civic leaders, educators, and the medical/psychiatric community that will pick up the pieces of those women’s lives who have chosen to have an abortion.

    And…you think that no members of the clergy, civic leaders, educators, or medical/psychiatric community members could possibly be among feminist bloggers or commenters? Well, too bad on you–here’s an educator right here. In my experience, women who have abortions turn to their lovers, friends, and family for support.

    Which raises the question: who picks up the pieces of the lives of women who have chosen to give birth?

  69. Andrew
    Andrew February 26, 2008 at 6:34 pm |

    Hey, papists–I don’t CARE what you believe. I’m sick to the teeth of the Church I was raised to be a part of interfering in the lives of everyone. Trying to change the laws so that even us non believers and former Catholics are affected. You believe in all that, great, have at it. But leave your beliefs at the door and don’t force them on me. My right to get the pill and have an abortion doesn’t mean that you are forced! forced! to do so as well

    Great. I don’t really care that you don’t believe what I believe. I’m just perplexed that when we try to put our beliefs on abortion into action that you all get so offened. And I’m sorry, but I’m not going to stand around and do nothing when I believe that innocent people are dying. At least give me some respect for trying to stop an innocent death when I think one is happening.

    Butt out of my life, and keep your teachings in the church.

    Is it our fault that the media lets you know whenever the pope speaks on a moral issue?

    But the real issue is that practicing our religion freely entails living a certain kind of lifestyle outside the church.

  70. EG
    EG February 26, 2008 at 6:35 pm |

    How can the Church teach its stance on abortion and not be political?

    I don’t see the issue. It is welcome to talk about its stance on whatever it wants. When it starts selectively blackmailing voters–actually claiming that its theology punishes those who express different political views–and politicians–publicly denying communion–over only some issues but not over others, then it is interfering in politics and should have to pay taxes like any other partisan organization.

    Do you think the Church really believes and cares about actual people dying in the case of abortion?

    I don’t care. It can believe what it likes. Exercising political might, while more traditional to the Church than any anti-abortion statement, is the issue here.

  71. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2008 at 6:37 pm | *

    (see the didache, a lat 1st century document that condemns abortion)

    Funny how none of that made it into the Gospels, yet the Bishops keep referencing the Gospels as justification for abortion being an intrinsic evil. And funny how the Church wasn’t 100 percent against abortion until 1588 at the earliest.

    How can the Church teach its stance on abortion and not be political? Do you think the Church really believes and cares about actual people dying in the case of abortion?

    The church can teach its own members that abortion is murder, or a sin or what have you. It’s when the church tries to change secular law to fit its own outlook — and to make those who do not subscribe to its views toe the line because the secular laws apply to everyone — that it’s political.

  72. Hector B.
    Hector B. February 26, 2008 at 6:38 pm |

    If the church does not give a (apparently soulless) embryo/fetus the same status as a born human being, I don’t see how they can claim that abortion is the same as homicide, and thus claim that the million plus abortions a year are a Holocaust. Again, the church is asking the faithful to accord the unborn a status and dignity that the church itself denies.

  73. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2008 at 6:39 pm | *

    But the real issue is that practicing our religion freely entails living a certain kind of lifestyle outside the church.

    So don’t have an abortion. But don’t try to prevent me from getting one.

  74. Andrew
    Andrew February 26, 2008 at 6:46 pm |

    So don’t have an abortion. But don’t try to prevent me from getting one.

    If I saw you robbing somebody on the street, I would stop you if I had the power to do so. If I saw you moments away from assaulting somebody, I would stop you if I had the power to do so. If I see you moments away from taking an innocent life (which I really believe is going on here… sorry if you don’t believe me) I would stop you if I had the power. The only power I have to do so is to reason with you or to vote and make it illegal. So, sorry, but I’m going to do both. My concience demands it of me.

  75. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2008 at 6:48 pm | *

    If I see you moments away from taking an innocent life (which I really believe is going on here… sorry if you don’t believe me) I would stop you if I had the power.

    How?

  76. Andrew
    Andrew February 26, 2008 at 6:52 pm |

    The Church is welcome to talk about abortion all its wants. Catholics are welcome to oppose it. What we take issue with is, as EG perfectly phrased it, the religious blackmail of pro-choice voters.

    The Church isn’t threatening Republican congressmen who support the war. It isn’t refusing communion to the folks who support the death penalty. It’s only pro-choice politicians who are targeted, making it clear that this issue isn’t about Catholic theology or religious freedom; it’s about politicking and using religion to impermissibly change the law of a secular country.

    Do you understand the distictions the Church has between abortion/Euthanasia vs. war/death penalty? This distinction has been around for centuries… a lot longer than America has been around. I’m not asking whether you agree with them… just if you understand them.

    Inspiring people to vote is not impermissable in a democratic society, even if it is “secular.”

  77. Andrew
    Andrew February 26, 2008 at 6:54 pm |

    The only power I have to do so is to reason with you or to vote and make it illegal.

  78. EG
    EG February 26, 2008 at 6:55 pm |

    If I see you moments away from taking an innocent life (which I really believe is going on here… sorry if you don’t believe me) I would stop you if I had the power.

    How the hell would you even know? It’s not like I’m going to spread my legs for the doctor out in the street.

    You do know, right, that making abortion illegal doesn’t actually do a very good job of stopping women from having abortions? It’s not a very effective tool if that’s your goal.

  79. Andrew
    Andrew February 26, 2008 at 7:03 pm |

    You do know, right, that making abortion illegal doesn’t actually do a very good job of stopping women from having abortions? It’s not a very effective tool if that’s your goal.

    I realize that it is not completely effective. But just because it isn’t effective doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. We have laws against racial discrimination in this country… but guess what…. we still have racism and racial discrimination.

    (slightly off topic) FYI… I do not advocate punishing women with jail time who get abortions if they were illegal. I would be in favor of abortionists being punished in this manner, however.

  80. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2008 at 7:04 pm | *

    Voting to make abortion illegal isn’t going to help much if I’m moments away from an abortion (and, again, how would you know that?). And I’d like to think that if you’re smart enough to figure out that the church says that abortion is wrong, you’re smart enough to figure out which of the candidates takes the position consistent with your faith without having to be told in big neon flashing letters that abortion is THE only issue, the issue which trumps all other issues in its evilness, and by the way, did we mention the evil? You’re voting for evil if you support pro-choice candidates.

    Do you understand the distictions the Church has between abortion/Euthanasia vs. war/death penalty? This distinction has been around for centuries… a lot longer than America has been around.

    But not as long as the New Testament has been around, since abortion was fine until the 16th Century.

  81. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2008 at 7:05 pm | *

    (slightly off topic) FYI… I do not advocate punishing women with jail time who get abortions if they were illegal. I would be in favor of abortionists being punished in this manner, however.

    Quelle surprise.

    Do you agree that they should be automatically excommunicated?

  82. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub February 26, 2008 at 7:07 pm |

    I’m just perplexed that when we try to put our beliefs on abortion into action that you all get so offened.[sic]

    Because it’s a medical decision between me and my doctor. Because I’ve seen far too many women whose lives were endangered by their pregnancies who could not get the proper treatment thanks to your “concern” for the fetus. Because a woman who is carrying a dead fetus, or who miscarried, cannot get proper medical treatment since the laws and pressure against D&X by such life-affirming folks have won out. Yes, let’s further traumatize an already-traumatized woman and put her at medical risk since, you know, you love life.

    While we’re at it, let’s continue to traumatize women in the name of conscience clauses and saving babies, since raped women who want EC are killing babies, and it’s okay to further traumatize them and tell them that they’re killing their babies.

    Don’t insult my intelligence with your BS about how you only care about saving innocent lives, as if the lives of women are just so much garbage and don’t count. It’s obvious that our lives and our health obviously don’t count to the Church or other like-minded religions. Your interference does real damage to already born, living, breathing, women, and all of your platitudes won’t change that.

    We should not have to justify our private medical business to you. It is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. So yeah, butt out.

    And I’m sorry, but I’m not going to stand around and do nothing when I believe that innocent people are dying. At least give me some respect for trying to stop an innocent death when I think one is happening.

    Tell it to Just ask Angela Carder. Ooops, you can’t. She’s, um, dead. Guess she wasn’t really living anyway, huh?

  83. Thomas, TSID
    Thomas, TSID February 26, 2008 at 7:13 pm |

    You know, I don’t how churches resolve the issues of internal theological matters. If they want to tell Catholics that voting pro-choice = going to hell, I have no horse in the race. I’ll just stand here and watch people leave in droves. Already, and third of US born Catholics have left.

    As I said above, either the bishops are betting (wrongly) that people will change rather than leave, or they want to push all the liberals and moderates out and make the Church a conservative enclave. Either way, it’s a vote with their feet for marginalization.

  84. preying mantis
    preying mantis February 26, 2008 at 7:17 pm |

    “I do not advocate punishing women with jail time who get abortions if they were illegal. ”

    Why not?

  85. Andrew
    Andrew February 26, 2008 at 7:28 pm |

    Voting to make abortion illegal isn’t going to help much if I’m moments away from an abortion (and, again, how would you know that?). And I’d like to think that if you’re smart enough to figure out that the church says that abortion is wrong, you’re smart enough to figure out which of the candidates takes the position consistent with your faith without having to be told in big neon flashing letters that abortion is THE only issue, the issue which trumps all other issues in its evilness, and by the way, did we mention the evil? You’re voting for evil if you support pro-choice candidates.

    By saying, “If I saw you moments away….”

    The hypothetical situation in my mind when I posted was that I knew because you told me, and your abortion was imminent.

    But not as long as the New Testament has been around, since abortion was fine until the 16th Century.

    That is not true. http://www.catholic.com/library/Abortion.asp
    I’d be very interested in seeing anything that proves otherwise. If you have anything, please link it.

    Do you agree that they should be automatically excommunicated?

    Yes, but realize that it is not for the “bad” of her. It is for her good. Please, let me explain. Excommunication means that people are barred from sacraments, including the Eucharist. According to our teaching it is better for one’s soul not to receive the Eucharist while in a state of mortal sin (which she would be in if she had an abortion without coercion, knowing full well it was wrong). I’ll be honest… I believe I am in a state of mortal sin right now… I, therefore, excommunicated myself from the Church. I did not go to communion because I believed that I would be doing my soul more harm if I did. I will go to confession this week sometime and will re-communicate myself. I don’t think re-communicate is a word, but it sure sounds good.

    So yes I do think so, but it isn’t a reaction of circling the wagons against the evil one… its a hope that she will seek the fullest communion with our Lordand the Church possible.

  86. zuzu
    zuzu February 26, 2008 at 7:37 pm | *

    The hypothetical situation in my mind when I posted was that I knew because you told me, and your abortion was imminent.

    Why would I tell you something like that?

    Yes, but realize that it is not for the “bad” of her. It is for her good. Please, let me explain. Excommunication means that people are barred from sacraments, including the Eucharist. According to our teaching it is better for one’s soul not to receive the Eucharist while in a state of mortal sin (which she would be in if she had an abortion without coercion, knowing full well it was wrong).

    So, she’s going to hell, but she shouldn’t do any jail time. Explain that one.

  87. Andrew
    Andrew February 26, 2008 at 8:34 pm |

    Why would I tell you something like that?

    We’re friends, in the hypothetical situation.

    So, she’s going to hell, but she shouldn’t do any jail time. Explain that one.

    Well, I’m sick of defending myself against this strawman that I think everyone is going to hell, so I’m just going to leave the conversation.

    Bye.

  88. EG
    EG February 26, 2008 at 8:40 pm |

    Do you understand the distictions the Church has between abortion/Euthanasia vs. war/death penalty? This distinction has been around for centuries

    Do I understand a bunch of self-serving ret-conned rationales used in order to maintain political power and cachet? Yeah, I do. Do I think they’re a bunch of bullshit? Yep. Do I know a bit about the historical, political power of the Catholic Church and its consolidation? Yes.

  89. JackGoff
    JackGoff February 27, 2008 at 12:26 am |

    Excommunication means that people are barred from sacraments, including the Eucharist.

    Which necessarily means entry into, at best, purgatory and, at worst, hell. (You have read the Catechism, right?)

    I believe I am in a state of mortal sin right now… I, therefore, excommunicated myself from the Church. I did not go to communion because I believed that I would be doing my soul more harm if I did.

    And this is one of the more insipid stances of the church, as exemplified by the next piece of shit that you say, which you think is actually a response. *eyeroll*.

    I’m sick of defending myself against this strawman that I think everyone is going to hell

    Well, sorry, but we were supposing you were Mr. Well-Versed-in-Catholicism as you claimed to be. Next time, don’t lie, jackass.

  90. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne February 27, 2008 at 12:47 am |

    I’d be very interested in seeing anything that proves otherwise. If you have anything, please link it.

    Roman Catholicism and abortion access

    If you’re still confused, Google “quickening.”

    The Church’s contention is that doctrine never changed, but understanding of medical science changed, so those pre-quickening abortions allowed by Pope Gregory XIV were okay because we didn’t understand at the time that the fetus was already alive.

    No, seriously, that’s the argument. Read for yourself.

  91. mary margaret
    mary margaret February 27, 2008 at 1:14 am |

    This is frankly, the most idiotic thread I have ever read regarding abortion. Please try to understand the Catholic Church’s teaching. Yes, abortion is regarded as a grave sin. No, we do not teach, nor do we believe that women who have had an abortion, men who pressure women into abortion, or those who participate in an abortion are necessarily going to hell. We also do not believe that Hitler, or Stalin, or pedophile priests are necessarily going to hell. We. don’t. KNOW. who is going to hell. It is not our job to decide (and we’re really happy with that).

    Now, that does not mean that we will not do all in our power to stop abortion. We see the ending of an innocent life as murder. Fine, we understand that you have a different opinion. We think you are wrong–you think we are wrong. Wow, guess we’ll fight it out in a public forum; preferably without using nasty cartoons to do it.

    I must admit, although I don’t mind debating the issue of abortion with you, I do take exception to the cartoon. Anyone who is really paying attention to what Pope Benedict is doing, knows just how seriously he takes the abuse of children. Plus, never in a million years would he think that he is qualified to determine who is and who is not worthy of heaven. That is not, and never has been, part of the job description. Have any of you read anything that PBXVI has written, or have you just accepted what is spoon-fed to you in sound bites?

    Please, folks, disagree with the Pope if you do. Disagree with the Catholic Church’s teachings, if you do. But try to do it charitably, if you can. Yes, we are going to fight you as hard as we can, but we do understand that you also feel passionately about this issue. Let’s argue the issue, while leaving behind the diatribe–yes, I am also talking to my Catholic brothers and sisters.

    I don’t think you can change my mind on this, just on a purely scientific basis, but I’m willing to discuss the issue rationally, if anyone cares to engage me.

  92. exholt
    exholt February 27, 2008 at 3:18 am |

    According to our teaching it is better for one’s soul not to receive the Eucharist while in a state of mortal sin (which she would be in if she had an abortion without coercion, knowing full well it was wrong). I’ll be honest…

    Oh dear,

    I wonder what the damages are if one received a Eucharist and wine while not being a baptized Catholic…but right at the Age of Reason? Would it matter if the cause of this was due to the priest’s erroneous assumption that everyone present in the Mass were practicing Catholics?*

    *A Brother of the Catholic Church in question was not too happy when he found out I was not a Catholic after the administration of the Eucharist/wine at my friends’ Confirmation. It did not help matters when I earnestly noted the tastiness of the Eucharist wafer and asked him where could I purchase some more for snacking. I will admit that as a 7 year old, I did not fully grasp the sensitivity, maturity, or tactfulness required by the predicament I found myself in back then.

  93. threemilechild
    threemilechild February 27, 2008 at 3:27 am |

    If abortion is THE ABSOLUTE TRUMP issue that Catholics are supposed to consider, definitely and without question above any and all social justice issues including feeding the poor (and oh, not killing civilians and whatnot), then why does the Catholic church systematically oppose birth control (even when birth control is only a side-effect to disease prevention) when birth control is the single biggest factor proven to reduce the rate of abortion?

  94. threemilechild
    threemilechild February 27, 2008 at 3:42 am |

    PS to exholt: I have done the same thing, actually, at least once; you’d think that when dealing with strange children, the priests would give a little explanation, but they don’t.* Also, the (presumably unconsecrated) wafers are available in some places — I seem to remember seeing a photograph taken in the Phillipines of them shelved with various snack foods.

    * Actually, a lot of your General Neighborhood Priests seem pretty laid-back about a lot of things that the Catholic Church officially doesn’t like; I’ve known several women who were told, basically, “Yeah, if you need birth control, you should use it,” for various reasons, though this was all in North America, to tie this in to my above comment. (Also, one of my older relatives discovered that sex wasn’t this unpleasant “wifely duty” but something enjoyable, felt guilty, talked to her priest, and was told, “Oh, no, that’s well and good and one of God’s little rewards for being married,” which was pretty cool for the time.)

  95. ElleBeMe
    ElleBeMe February 27, 2008 at 9:22 am |

    Well, from my perspective the Church is doing a service to people like me who want to live their faith out as well as they possibly can. Fact is, we need our teachers to teach (and some of us are crazy enough to think that these teachers are guided by the Holy Spirit). For me, if you censored the Church, you would be preventing me from practicing my faith as well as possible. I feel I have a right to this information. If the media didn’t report on this stuff, chances are most people would probably never hear of it. Blame the media… not the Church.

    All I get from your statement here is that you need someone to tell you how to vote because you’re incapable of deciding for yourself.

  96. ElleBeMe
    ElleBeMe February 27, 2008 at 9:28 am |

    Based upon my experience, in the long term it will be the clergy, civic leaders, educators, and the medical/psychiatric community that will pick up the pieces of those women’s lives who have chosen to have an abortion.

    What??? You speak as if the life of a woman who chooses to abort is somehow shattered. From what experience do you draw your conclusion? I needed no one to “pick up the pieces” of my life after mine. The people who helped me get my shit together were the ones who helped me GET the abortion I wanted.

    Right or wrong. These people are the ones who try to make the situation better for these women.

    So only people who help women after an abortion, or coerce them into not having one are the ONLY ones who make things better? MY experience proves otherwise.

    Alienated and dysfunctional family members and fair-weather friends usually desert the mother who is contemplating abortion.

    Gee…I had nothing but support.

    These family members and well-intentioned people would like to help, but they really don’t have the knowledge or emotional resources and coping skills to tell the expectant mother anything that will be encouraging or life-changing.

    And people who insist every pregnancy be brought to term do?

    Your “experience” is lacking.

  97. zuzu
    zuzu February 27, 2008 at 9:38 am | *

    Why would I tell you something like that?

    We’re friends, in the hypothetical situation.

    Hon, do you really think I’m going to bring my anti-choice Catholic friend who thinks that abortion is a mortal sin and it’s his duty to stop me along to the clinic?

    Not exactly the kind of person I’d want to confide in.

  98. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub February 27, 2008 at 10:22 am |

    Well, I’m sick of defending myself against this strawman that I think everyone is going to hell,

    I don’t give a flying ficus if you think I’m going to hell, since I have abseloutely no evidence that hell (or heaven for that matter) exists. What I care about is the fact that the Church and other Christian religions see fit to interfere with everyone’s lives, traumatize and endanger women, and try to change the laws to fit their belief system (and everyone who’s *not* a believer will just have to live with it, apparently). All in the name of saving babies. Yet as I pointed out to you, the very actions of the Church, Christian anti-choice leaders, and the anti-choice movement in general has harmed already born, already living women.

    How telling that these folks who love life and compassion so much refuse to acknowledge this.

  99. John
    John February 27, 2008 at 11:02 am |

    The pro-choice (pro-abortion choice) crowd continue to evade the central issue of what abortion is. It’s the intentional killing of a completely innocent human being.

    It doesn’t MATTER what motivates you to do the act – or how wonderful you feel about yourself.

    Killing a completely defenseless, completely innocent human being is not a nice thing to do.

    Neither is abusing a child.

    But if you hate pedophiles for their abuse of little kids, how can you not apply the same moral principle on abortionists who not just abuse but kill even younger human beings?

    What is the moral PRINCIPLE that you base your disgust of pedophilia on if not that no child, no completely defenseless, innocent human being ought to be harmed?

    Let’s look at Poverty and health care for a second since we’re told that if we’re “for the poor” and “for universal healthcare” that “makes up” for being pro-abortion. Well, why? What is it about “the poor” or “everyone else” that gives them value?

    Why should we care about those who have less economic means than we do, or complete strangers (citizens and not) who happen to live in North America such that we are going to subsidize their entire medical care for life?

    Isn’t it that we implicitly have a belief in the INSTRINSIC VALUE of human life – any human being and their dignity? Or some sense of “FAIRNESS” that we OWE complete strangers some sort of support and help? Or we OWE those who are weaker than we are “the underdog, the little guy” protection from those who are stronger than they are?

    Are they valuable to us because they’re poor or because they’re people? Are those without health care valuable to us because they’re not covered…or because they’re people?

    Well again, if pro-choicers are SO wonderfully caring of the Poor, of their fellow citizens, and get so angry at the Church and other groups that have members who have abused children….. LOGIC would say they ought to have equal if not more concern for the unborn since they too are human beings, and even MORE defenseless and innocent than 8 year olds, 20 year old unemployed workers, or retirees who can’t afford their medications.

    The liberal refusal to apply the moral principle that use to justify their OTHER concerns to the issue of abortion is thus baffling.

    Unless deep down in their souls Democrats and Liberals in general have a deeper value than human dignity and a sense of fairness…. and that this value is “personal convenience”.

    It doesn’t inconvenience a Liberal to demand other people to pay taxes to help the poor or subsidize health care.

    It doesn’t inconvenience a Liberal personally to have “the rich” pay for all the goodies they want from government.

    But an unborn child that they “didn’t choose” to have makes DIRECT DEMANDS on their convenience. And so, despite Liberals’ sense of fairness for “the little guy” in economics and “egalitarianism” with respect to access to health care socially, and a “live and let live” pacificism when it comes to foreign policy, they can’t quite find it in their hearts to be generous when it counts – when a completely defenseless, innocent child comes into existence and needs their love.

    Look at all the excuses women (and their boyfriends) use to justify their abortions. Almost all of them claim “it” (thus de-humanizing the human being) is inconvenient. It will cause them pain. It will make them suffer the inconvenience of pregnancy. It will force them to change their career plans. It will mean a life time of responsibility.

    Almost no one argues that they’ve gone to the doctor, had an ultrasound and discovered a life-threatening problem with the unborn child that is a direct threat to their health.

    So what sort of moral universe must one live in to allow the value of convenience trump the right of a completely innocent and defenseless human being to continue living – while at the same time get all outraged by “injustice” out there in the general population?

    You think Catholics or Pro-lifers won’t be there for you to help you not just deliever the child but also succeed as a mother? We have over 3,000 centers across the country to help women do just that. Almost every one of our 18,000 parishes have committees to raise support for women who want to keep their children but find it hard to pay their bills, etc.

    It’s the height of hypocrisy for liberals to claim to be for peace abroad while they’re eager to justify their own, personal rejection here at home of the completely innocent and defenseless among us…their own children. You’re not a peaceful person if you want the US Military to stop killing terrorists while justifying YOUR personal killing of the totally innocent out of convenience.

    But help is available. We who are pro-life ARE personally, financially, socially involved with helping women choose life – and not just to birth but beyond.

    There is no reason for abortion other than the liberal demand for personal convenience as the highest value – above all others including the right to life of other people.

  100. EG
    EG February 27, 2008 at 12:22 pm |

    It’s the intentional killing of a completely innocent human being.

    I love this meme, because it seems to imply that if the fetus were guilty of something, the speaker wouldn’t have a problem with killing it. Which brings up the question of original sin. If one is Christian, which I am not, unbaptized infants are not “completely innocent” because they have not been cleansed of original sin.

    But an unborn child that they “didn’t choose” to have makes DIRECT DEMANDS on their convenience.

    Ah, I see your problem. You keep confusing the word “convenience” with the word “body.” A fetus doesn’t make “direct demands” on my “convenience.” A fetus makes direct demands on my body. So unless you support the ability of all people’s needs to trump other people’s bodily integrity, I can’t see why you would want to give a fetus special rights.

  101. zuzu
    zuzu February 27, 2008 at 12:40 pm | *

    Let’s look at Poverty and health care for a second since we’re told that if we’re “for the poor” and “for universal healthcare” that “makes up” for being pro-abortion. Well, why? What is it about “the poor” or “everyone else” that gives them value?

    Why should we care about those who have less economic means than we do, or complete strangers (citizens and not) who happen to live in North America such that we are going to subsidize their entire medical care for life?

    Um, doesn’t the guy whose teaching forms the basis of your entire religion and the entire rationale for its existence kind of require you to care about the poor?

    Wow. Talk about a cafeteria Catholic.

  102. Betty Boondoggle
    Betty Boondoggle February 27, 2008 at 12:49 pm |

    So unless you support the ability of all people’s needs to trump other people’s bodily integrity, I can’t see why you would want to give a fetus special rights

    To put it another way: should organ donation be mandatory and on demand? If a fetus has the “right” to trump my bodily integrity, why does someone who needs a lung not trump John’s bodily integrity?

    After all, if to deny that someone the lung means they die, doesn’t that also make John a murder?

    So which is it? Do human beings have the right to bodily autonomy or is John going to cough up that lung on demand?

  103. John
    John February 27, 2008 at 1:30 pm |

    Here’s the deal: the fetus is a human being. And a human being either has rights because they are a member of our species, or they don’t have “rights” at all but have “grants” that the state or those in power give to them.

    But you don’t believe that the state or “the Man” creates rights out of thin air, because you believe in human rights. You believe in rights that don’t expire, that don’t depend on a Church or an administration or a political party or “the majority”.

    When it comes to you and “your body” you believe rights exist independent of anyone’s wishful thinking, desires, or beliefs. And so do I.

    So you must believe that rights belong to people qua people, just for being human.

    That’s why you (AND I) believe in helping the poor. Not BECAUSE they’re poor, but BECAUSE they’re people, and as such, they have RIGHTS regardless of their socio-economic status or the accident of their possessing money.

    You believe that all people have the RIGHT to healthcare. And that means those who are wealthy have the DUTY to pay for these complete strangers, regardless of whether or not they personally wish to or not.

    Now you claim pro-life men wouldn’t be pro-life if the tables were turned. I’m not so sure. If a poor woman or man came to me and my kidney was the only thing that would save their life, then the choice before me would be:a) letting them die by my inaction/lack of generosity or b) being seriously inconvenienced by a major operation and loss of a kidney to save them.

    Certainly my Kidney is A PART OF MY BODY in a way that a FETUS is NOT “the woman’s body”. Biology 101 folks – a pregnant woman doesn’t have 2 brains, 2 hearts, 4 arms and 4 legs. She might not even share the same blood type with the fetus. Attached, yes. = to “her body” as my Kidney is to mine…no.

    But should I CHOOSE to let the stranger die rather than be inconvenienced by major surgery to save her…. that choice would not be “pro-life” and it would mean my convenience is more important than the other person’s LIFE.

    The fetus didn’t come to be in the Mother’s womb via an unjust invasion. It got there because the mother had sex with the father. And according to Planned Parenthood’s own claims, the vast majority of elective abortions in this country ARE NOT the result of “incest” or rape and the pregnancies “terminated” are not direct threats to “the life of the mother” (as evidenced by the fact that most clinics are not hospitals at all – no ICU, no GP and suite of life support on hand to care for critical cases.

    You can not choose to intentionally kill a completely defenseless, completely innocent person and still claim to be a “nice” person.

    As for “Original sin” that doctrine does NOT mean infants are guilty of any personal sin. That’s not what that means at all.

    It’s a mark of sophistication and education to be able to make distinctions between similar but different concepts. Being able to make appropriate apples to apples comparisons is also a sign of intellectual honesty and capacity.

    Being unable to recognize the evident humanity of the unborn because the conclusion would demand something you are not willing to give is a bad place to be, intellectually and emotionally.

    Finally, just because Pregnancy care facilities are not gold plated and don’t receive the $300 million in tax dollars that Planned Parenthood gets is no argument to claim they do NOTHING. Or that the intention is not at least noble.

    We are trying to help – much more can be done. And certainly any “pro-choice” Catholic who is honest ought to be active and generous to subsidize these alternatives to abortion…but that’s NOT THE CASE. They’re not “pro-choice” at all, they are Pro-abortion. Thats the only choice they support with their vote, with their money, with their time.

    And that choice = the intentional killing of the completely defenseless, innocent among us who have just as much a right to life as we do.

    And if you think they don’t have as much right to life as we do, then tell me the principle you’re using to make the decision as to who may kill with impunity whom? Age? Weakness vs strength? Small vs big?

    If a mother may kill her own daughter in utero, then what essentially is the difference in a mother killing her 2 day old infant? Nothing ESSENTIAL changes in the humanity of the human being between the womb and the crib.

    Your side is just inconsistent – unless the consistency is your convenience and not some other principle such as respect for the dignity of other people qua people.

  104. ElleBeMe
    ElleBeMe February 27, 2008 at 1:35 pm |

    Isn’t it that we implicitly have a belief in the INSTRINSIC VALUE of human life – any human being and their dignity? Or some sense of “FAIRNESS” that we OWE complete strangers some sort of support and help? Or we OWE those who are weaker than we are “the underdog, the little guy” protection from those who are stronger than they are?

    So why then do you advocate women having no access to safe, legal medical care? In the pro-life catholic paradise of El Salvador all the pweshush widdle feti are protected from abortion – even if a woman’s life is in danger. Women are dying from ectopic pregnancies AND botched abortions – yet no one NOT ONE person from your “pro-life” camp is screeching in horror of the deaths that are happening. INNOCENT WOMEN are dying yet I hear nothing from people like you – the “morally conservative, riteous, do-gooders of the GOP” crying to the high heavens of the deaths these women are enduring.

    So stop posturing and whining that innocent lives are lost. The truth is “pro-lifers” don’t give a damn about life. Their concern is focused on who is escaping the rigid tenets of their dogmatic, compassionate-less beliefs and not giving a damn. Where abortion is illegal and women die from clandestine septic abortions you people could care less. You didn’t care when abortion was illegal in the US and you wouldn’t care for life if it is recriminalized. Your whole agenda is about punishment.

  105. Betty Boondoggle
    Betty Boondoggle February 27, 2008 at 1:41 pm |

    “Certainly my Kidney is A PART OF MY BODY in a way that a FETUS is NOT “the woman’s body”. Biology 101 folks . . . Attached, yes. = to “her body” as my Kidney is to mine…no.”

    Except that you’re willfully ignoring one thing. It relies on the woman’s body to survive. it leeches nutrients from her to live. So, fail on that point.

    “If a mother may kill her own daughter in utero, then what essentially is the difference in a mother killing her 2 day old infant? Nothing ESSENTIAL changes in the humanity of the human being between the womb and the crib. ”

    A bald face lie. A born infant isn’t leeching off the mother’s body. A six year old child isn’t leeching of the mother’s body. An elderly invalid isn’t leeching off someone’s body. Etc ad nauseum.

    “Being unable to recognize the evident humanity of the unborn because the conclusion would demand something you are not willing to give is a bad place to be, intellectually and emotionally.”

    Being unwilling to recognize the obvious problems in forcing women to surrender their bodily autonomy (that you would never do to men) because the conclusion would demand soemthing you are not willing to give is a bad place to be, intellectually, emotionally and morally.

  106. Betty Boondoggle
    Betty Boondoggle February 27, 2008 at 1:43 pm |

    INNOCENT WOMEN are dying yet I hear nothing from people like you

    Because he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about women. That’s abudantly clear. His entire focus is on the “innocent” life in the womb. And, obviously, if some slut had sex she’s not innocent and therefore not worthy of life, protections, health care, bodily autonomy – or a place in imaginary heaven, I’m sure.

  107. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub February 27, 2008 at 2:20 pm |

    John:

    So, I guess Angela Carder doesn’t count as a living person in your worldview. And the rights of raped women who want EC, and the rights/safety of women whose late-term fetuses die in the womb or miscarry simply don’t count in your worldview.

    Thanks for confirming that. And again–since you’re not the one who has to deal with the physical risks/effects of a pregnancy, since you’re not the one who has to deal with the trauma of rape, since you’re not the one who’s life is being gambled with during cancer treatments, since you’re not the one who’s health depends on a D&X after a miscarriage (or you could, you know, go septic), you need to butt out.

    Yes, the Church, conservative Christians, so-called pro-lifers all insist it’s to protect innocent life. I guess rape survivors and women whose lives are at risk aren’t innocent enough. Their trauma doesn’t matter. Their health and well being doesn’t matter. Or maybe it does, but thanks to the interference of your ilk, their trauma is increased and their safety and health is at risk.

    Yes. You all need to butt out. And people like the commentors who call themselves papists need to stop bleating and whining about supposed bigotry when very real women have been hurt by this crap, and who are understandably enraged by it.

  108. Hector B.
    Hector B. February 27, 2008 at 2:25 pm |

    We see the ending of an innocent life as murder.

    If the Catholic church really believed the unborn were human beings, they would station priests outside abortion clinics dispensing last rites to the bellies of every woman who entered. They would hold funerals for miscarriages. They don’t really believe it, so why should anyone else?

  109. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub February 27, 2008 at 2:29 pm |

    The fetus didn’t come to be in the Mother’s womb via an unjust invasion. It got there because the mother had sex with the father. And according to Planned Parenthood’s own claims, the vast majority of elective abortions in this country ARE NOT the result of “incest” or rape and the pregnancies “terminated” are not direct threats to “the life of the mother” (as evidenced by the fact that most clinics are not hospitals at all – no ICU, no GP and suite of life support on hand to care for critical cases.

    I suggest you check the links I posted further up in the comments. There ARE women who have been raped and who were denied EC (and told they were killing their babies for wanting EC). There ARE women who were denied proper medical care after miscarriages or were forced to birth a dead fetus thanks to your concern for the life of the fetus. There ARE women who DIED as a result of your concern for the life of the fetus. Your crisis pregnancy centers wouldn’t help these women, and your platitudes don’t help the women who were damaged by giving their babies up for adoption. (Funny how you all bleat about a non-existent post abortion syndrome, but refuse to acknowledge the very real and documented damage adoption has done to many women.)

    If only you and your ilk recognized the humanity of women.

  110. Betty Boondoggle
    Betty Boondoggle February 27, 2008 at 2:40 pm |

    “If only you and your ilk recognized the humanity of women.”

    YOu mean those fetus-incubating things are PEOPLE! LIVING, BREATHING PEOPLE!!

    omgshoez!

  111. John
    John February 27, 2008 at 4:52 pm |

    Of COURSE women are JUST AS VALUABLE as their children. Because I say the fetus has a right to life does not mean the mother doesn’t.

    No one is calling on the woman to “die” because we believe her child ought to live.

    No one is calling on people to “hate” the mother because we believe she ought to show some love for her unborn daughter or son.

    This is not an either/or question but a “both/and” – both mother and child have the right to life and both ought to be helped and nurtured and supported. If she doesn’t feel she can be a good mother, then by all means, lets make it super easy for her to give the child up for adoption because life is better than death.

    What sense does it make to react to an unplanned pregnancy or even rape – (which the pro-abortion Alan Gutmacher Institute claims only accounts for 5% of all abortions) by killing the innocent child and not prosecuting the evil man?

    Women have the right to life and they also ought not be abused, used, raped, etc. But their victim status does not GIVE THEM THE RIGHT TO VICTIMIZE others. It’s not the child’s fault if the father was a rapist!

    If anyone deserves punishment it should be the men, not the offspring.

    Again, to choose to intentionally kill the child is to choose to kill the innocent.

    And choosing to kill someone who is not a threat to your life is to choose evil. Now a child is inconvenient. Pregnancy has REAL DEMANDS on a woman’s body and lifestyle (no caffine, alcohol, drugs….medical bills, aches, pains, suffering… it’s not a walk in the park. But it’s not the same thing as “dying” or “being killed” either. Pregnancy is a natural thing – so it’s not amazing that most women can carry to term and deliever without major complications.

    Again, while the women have the right to life, so does the child. Both ought to live. Neither ought to be killed.

    The child is not an unjust aggressor. In our civilization, in our laws, in whole warp and woof of our society, we make a common, fundamental distinction between people who are unjust aggressors and those who are not.

    It’s against the law to shoot someone who accidentally strays onto your lawn.

    It’s NOT against the law to shoot a grown man who has just gotten done kicking down your door at 2am and is now advancing down the hall way intent on raping you. Because the grown adult has no business being in your home at 2am and no one has the right to rape another, a woman has the right to defend herself.

    But the child in her womb is not the rapist.

    She may not like the fact that this little stranger is there, she may be emotionally distraught at all the sacrifices she’ll have to make and be lonely and angry. But none of those emotions JUSTIFY her taking her grief out on the child as though the child’s life is the problem.

    It doesn’t justify a mother of a toddler from abusing her 3 year old, so how could it justify a mother of a fetus from killing her 3 month old?

    A woman doesn’t lose her right to life by being a mother – but neither ought her daughter lose HER right to life just because mommy doesn’t want the burden of pregnancy.

    That’s where it boils down to the Liberals valuing their own CONVENIENCE over the right of someone else to life.

    Both ought to live. Society ought to help BOTH to live. The Church certainly calls on BOTH to live and for the community to help, starting first with the immediate family, the spouse, the grandparents, etc. And anyone who calls themselves Catholic ought to choose life FOR BOTH, not death to one for the sake of convenience of the other.

    If a woman can justify abortion, there’s no logical basis for society to draw a hard and fast line against the strong getting rid of the weak on the very same basis: because they can and they want to.

    There’s nothing more bloodthirsty, more war-mongering than a worldview that allows private people to “terminate” others because they happen to feel them to be inconvenient. Not threats to life and limb, just inconvenient.

    This isn’t about us “hating” women, it’s about women being so wrapped up in their own convenience that they hate the innocent to death….and then go off and call themselves Peace-lovers and people who care about the poor….so long as the poor don’t inconvenience their “lifestyles”.

  112. Betty Boondoggle
    Betty Boondoggle February 27, 2008 at 6:00 pm |

    It doesn’t justify a mother of a toddler from abusing her 3 year old, so how could it justify a mother of a fetus from killing her 3 month old?

    This was already explained. Read, then post your morally empty misogynstic screeds.

    Women have the right to life and they also ought not be abused, used, raped, etc. But their victim status does not GIVE THEM THE RIGHT TO VICTIMIZE others. It’s not the child’s fault if the father was a rapist!

    How dare you. How fucking dare you. What type of monster does one need to be to say something like this? YOu would force a raped woman to carry a reminder of her attack for nine months?! You would force a woman to let a rapist leech off her body for nine months?!

    how about if she’s 12?

    You are a heartless misogynist.

  113. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub February 27, 2008 at 6:18 pm |

    There’s nothing more bloodthirsty, more war-mongering than a worldview that allows private people to “terminate” others because they happen to feel them to be inconvenient. Not threats to life and limb, just inconvenient.

    Indeed. Like Angela Carder, who was terminated since her life was less valuable and respecting her wishes was inconvenient for those so-called pro-lifers who wanted to pretend that her pregnancy would not endanger her life. It was inconvenient to acknowledge her wish to live, and her family’s wish that she live.

    But the child in her womb is not the rapist.

    She may not like the fact that this little stranger is there, she may be emotionally distraught at all the sacrifices she’ll have to make and be lonely and angry. But none of those emotions JUSTIFY her taking her grief out on the child as though the child’s life is the problem.

    So we’ll force her to continue with a pregnancy that she does not want (from an act that you have already decided is statistically likely to be consensual anyway) and put her body at risk. Pregnancy does have a huge affect on a woman’s body and health, but what do you care? It’s far more convenient to wag your finger in the faces of traumatized women and insist they not hate the innocent fetus, insist that it’s good that they be further traumatized, and force them yet again to do something with their bodies they do not want to do.

    And yes–the pregnancy IS the problem when it’s forced on her. She already had her wellbeing endangered by rape, her life harmed by rape, and her psyche harmed by rape. Forcing her to endure a pregnancy she does not want–a pregnancy caused by her rape is inhuman and evil. It exacerbates her trauma. I know of women who have been through this, I’ve seen the damage this crap has done, and your self-righteous posturing and erasure of these women is truly disgusting.

    This isn’t about us “hating” women, it’s about women being so wrapped up in their own convenience that they hate the innocent to death….and then go off and call themselves Peace-lovers and people who care about the poor….so long as the poor don’t inconvenience their “lifestyles”.

    Actually, you do hate women. You do pit the woman against the fetus. You do prioritize the well-being of the fetus over the well-being of women. You do insist that it’s about “convenience” when you’ve never been pregnant and have no idea what it’s like. You do ignore and belittle what traumatized women have gone through. You do ignore and belittle what women with ectoptic pregnancies and miscarriages go through (and are forced to risk) thanks to your concern about “innocent” fetal life. All for your own conviencence and moral comfort.

    Now that’s pretty hateful.

  114. zuzu
    zuzu February 27, 2008 at 6:19 pm | *

    Of COURSE women are JUST AS VALUABLE as their children. Because I say the fetus has a right to life does not mean the mother doesn’t.

    Of COURSE! And if the pregnancy will kill the mother, you don’t mind sacrificing both of them! Just as long as she doesn’t have an abortion.

  115. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub February 27, 2008 at 6:22 pm |

    No one is calling on the woman to “die” because we believe her child ought to live.

    Except women HAVE died because you hold the fetus in higher regard than the woman carrying it. It doesn’t matter if you “called” on her to die or not–my point was that the policies you push for and promote endanger women’s lives, and I showed you how.

    Again, while the women have the right to life, so does the child. Both ought to live. Neither ought to be killed.

    Again, tell that to Angela Carder. BTW, that line about the strong eliminating the weak? Well, the strong pro-life movement contributed to her death. Go, you!

  116. syfr
    syfr February 27, 2008 at 7:42 pm |

    John:

    It doesn’t justify a mother of a toddler from abusing her 3 year old, so how could it justify a mother of a fetus from killing her 3 month old?

    She sure got pregnant right away, to have a fetus and a 3 month old! Irish twins!

    BTW, I am pro-abortion. I want every woman on this earth to be forced to have an abortion, more than one, in fact. I want them held down, tied to tables if need be, and forced to undergo surgery, regardless of whether or not any particular woman wants to have a child, or wants to be pregnant. Her wishes don’t matter – the pregnancy will be aborted. The position you’re arguing against is called the pro-choice position, where every person chooses, talking it over with whomever she chooses, whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term.

  117. EG
    EG February 27, 2008 at 9:19 pm |

    She may not like the fact that this little stranger is there,

    Interestingly, if I leave my door unlocked and come home to find a stranger of whatever size in my living room, eating my food and messing up my books, I can call the cops have that stranger thrown out, even if that stranger has nowhere else to go. Why on earth do you think I have fewer moral rights over my uterus than my living room?

  118. John
    John February 28, 2008 at 2:35 pm |

    The fact that 2% of abortions are performed on women who have been raped doesn’t justify the 98% that are done on women who were not raped.

    In any event, whether the unwanted pregnancy is due to rape or to consensual relations means that another human being has come into existence. Whether you FEEL good or bad about this new member of the human species, that human being is NOT the rapist or the man, but a completely innocent, compltely defenseless, and completely dependent third party who had NOTHING to do with the circumstances that brought about her existence.

    Blaming the child for its existence is like blaming the woman for rape. And killing the child because her mother rejects her is to establish that a big person can kill a small person on WHIM, not for objective do-or-die reasons.

    For every “hard case” where a mother is faced with a high-risk pregnancy there is literally thousands of pregnancies where it’s NOT a question of abort or die.

    Being Pro-abortion in today’s America is to be OK with a woman killing a baby up to the 42nd week, for any or no reason at all other than her whim. In other words, to have an option – a “choice” to give another person life, but refuse.

    Abortion is to say “no” forever to the very real fact that a child will naturally love its mother.

    Abortion is to decide, to choose that the child must die – in 98% of cases – not to “save” the life of the mother, but to “save” her lifestyle, her convenience.

    You think I’m a hater for pointing out the obvious? What’s more hateful? To speak truth about the reality of love and life or to actually choose to kill a completely innocent person because the person “gets in my way” or “traumatizes me” through no fault of their own?

    If a evil man kicked in your door at 2am and dropped off a newborn infant and then vanished, and right there in the basket was some milk, some diapers, and the some clothes, but you chose to ignore the needs of the child out of anger and hatred for the man and his imposition on your freedom…. your choice is still the choice to take it out on the innocent party, not the guilty one.

    It’s a choice to victimize another victim of the bad situation rather than together with that victim choose life and a life time of their gratitude and love….

    Me arguing that you ought not turn your back on an innocent person who will eternally be grateful to you and love you unconditionally is not “hate”.

    Hate is to wish evil on another person. You are claiming that the “suffering” of pregnancy against one’s wishes is a bigger thing, a bigger harm, bigger evil than you actually killing the innocent child who hasn’t intended you any harm and is herself a victim of the sad situation! What could be more bloodthirsty and less peaceful than that sort of attitude???

    Making your feelings/choice/”freedom” more important than the evident life of another person, and not just more important but the justification for positively harming and killing them in order to vindicate yourself is to establish a moral principle that personal convenience, personal whim is a higher value than life itself.

    And once THAT principle is established in society, there can be no rational basis for claiming that human beings have INTRINSIC human rights inasmuch as everyone’s rights will really be dependent on the whim of the strong and powerful to do whatever the heck they want to do and can do with the weak.

    How can the poor demand the rich take care of their medical needs if they don’t have intrinsic value as individual members of our species? Intrinsic meaning not dependent on other factors?

    To claim that YOUR FEELINGS trump life itself is to choose to become an unjust aggressor!

    The man who rapes a woman because he wants to and can is exercising “his right to choose”! He feels good about it, he claims it’s no big deal, and he might even believe – in some cultures – that raping a foreigner is no different than having sex with an animal. Subjectively he’s in the very same place as outraged women who deny the humanity of the child in their womb and believe their right to not be bothered trumps the right to life of that child.

    And because they can ‘terminate’ they feel justified in terminating “the fetus”. Might makes right? Because you feel good about something it magically becomes OK?

    That’s a moral universe of dog-eat-dog barbarism. The war of the strong over the weak. The place men were in that justified the great evils of the last 100 years.

    It’s not a nice, peace-loving, live and let live, “open-minded” world view to believe one’s own whim and feelings trump the right of life for another person who is innocent, defenseless, and dependent on you for protection and life itself.

    To choose a dead baby rather than a live one who will be eternally grateful and love you is a sad “choice” that women ought not make and ought not be forced into making.

    One cannot choose to kill a defenseless, innocent, utterly dependent human being and still be a “nice” and peaceloving person, anymore than the rapists’ choice to abuse a woman allows him to claim to be innocent and harmless because subjectively he feels smug and good about himself.

  119. Vote Pro-Choice and Go to Hell | Menstrual Poetry

    [...] Oh, the Catholic church is at it again with their preposterous shenanigans. Catholic bishops, being the men who form the delusions of speaking directly with god and informing others of his word, are going down their list of damnation and letting us all know that the latest memo says that reproductive rights trump everything. [...]

Comments are closed.

The commenting period has expired for this post. If you wish to re-open the discussion, please do so in the latest Open Thread.