Ready, aim, pray

Just don’t do it in Wisconsin.


As Wisconsin’s concealed carry law goes into effect, the state’s Catholic bishops are urging parishioners to keep their weapons out of church.

“The Catholic Church has a long tradition of sanctuary, allowing people feeling violence to take refuge in church buildings as a place of safety and protection. For the most part, this practice has worked well because most people respect the sacred, peaceful nature of such holy places,” Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki said in aMonday statement, which was also signed by bishops from Madison, Superior, Green Bay and La Crosse.

“Whatever an individual parish decides to do regarding its policy on concealed weapons,” the statement continued, “we ask that all people seriously consider not carrying weapons into church buildings as a sign of reverence for these sacred spaces.”

This is not the first time that the state’s Catholic bishops have spoken out against the concealed carry law. In May, the Wisconsin Catholic Conference released a statement urging legislators to not pass the bill.

According to a spokesperson from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, no parishioners have contacted the bishops about this week’s statement.

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47 responses to “Ready, aim, pray”

  1. Its unfortunate that the Catholic Church has to deal with this. But it is no surprise that when we are instructed by the Catholic Church to vote on one issue (“abortion”) this is what we as Catholics and the Church will have to deal with and in most causes we will loose out.

    This is the state that is ruled by Scott Walker the Koch Brothers and the Republicans.
    Pro life begins in the womb but it doesn’t end there. You would think that these pro life Republicans would have considered the potential outcome of such legislation (the opportunity where a concealed gun if used may kill someone.)

    I think they were more concerned about what the NRA thought.

  2. Leaving aside the gratuitous swipe regarding abortion, this is actually a more complicated issue out West than it is in the Northeast. There was a case a few years ago where someone came into a church and started shooting people. One of the parishoners was armed, and shot him and probably saved lives. The police wouldn’t have showed up for 15 minutes at least.

    Certainly an exceptional case, but it is scenarios like that which stay in the forefront of minds out there.

  3. Kevin is correct. It is FAR more complicated out west. Arizona has an “OPEN-CARRY” law. I had totally forgotten about that until my family and I stopped in Prescott to do some grocery shopping on our way to a campground near the Grand Canyon. There were two men also shopping at that same store whose weapons-holsters were on their hip. One was a very impressive “old-west” style long barreled Colt revolver. We were not in Arizona long enough to determine whether “OPEN-CARRY” is permitted in churches or not.

  4. Open carry states really make you feel like you’re in a John Wayne film. Lol. Imagine open carry in state like Massachusetts or Connecticut

  5. Don. Wisconsin is the 49th state to allow concealed carry. In New Hampshire, the permit costs $10 for a resident. Scott Walker is no the governor of New Hampshire and he wasn’t the governor in New Hampshire in 1923 when it was first re-legalized. Further, many studies have found a reduction in crime, including murder, upon the implementation of concealed carry. The chances are good that the Wisconsin legislature saved lives by passing this new law.

    See John Lott’s “More Guns, Less Crime.”

  6. Don, I agree with you completely, more guns in the hands of more nuts does equal more problems. Maybe that’s why I’ve never even touched a gun in my life. They scare me.

    The law that was just passed in Wisconsin, the one that is similar to laws in 48 other states, legalizes the carrying of guns by law-abiding citizens, not the nuts. The nuts already carry guns, they do it illegally. And the evidence suggests that the nuts commit fewer crimes when the law abiding citizens are allowed to carry guns.

  7. I’m from out West and I don’t carry a weapon, nor do I know anyone that does. (Personally, I believe anyone who feels they need to carry a weapon, concealed or otherwise, has some real self-image and confidence issues….however, that’s just my opinion and I could easily be off base.) However, I don’t believe Jesus or the Apostles, who had to deal with some pretty hostile opposition, ever carried weapons or advocated carrying weapons. I believe they would have died…actually, many of them did…rather than respond to violence with violence. Unless someone is in the military in a war zone, or a Peace Officer on duty, taking a weapon into a Church would be an absolute sacrilege.

  8. I read somewhere that even in the “old west” there were rules about not carrying open weapons in towns, etc. Supposedly that was part of what the “shootout at the ok corral” was about.

  9. Deacon Mike,

    Not so quick on the disciples going around unarmed. The night that Jesus was arrested one of the disciples had a sword and used it to cut off the ear of one of those who came to arrest him (see John 18:10; Matthew 26:51; Luke 22:50).

    However, I’m not a proponent of making it any easier for people to walk around with any concealed or unconcealed fire arms. This is isn’t the wild west anymore.

  10. Don nailed it both times.

    The idea that “law-abiding” citizens will never over-react, never succomb to road rage, never have one too many drinks in a bar or at a party and pull out a weapon to scare someone, only to fire it before they’ve thought things through — that’s a naive form of optimism. Encouraging more people to carry handguns is not, in general, a pro-life measure.

    I suppose Kevin may have a point regarding states with huge swaths of sparsely populated territory where one can’t count on first-responders getting there quickly. But the NRA has made a point of trying to force their idolization of the handgun on the rest of us, no matter where we live, no matter how much we value the lives of our children. Make no mistake about it: The NRA is in bed big-time with the gun and amnuition manufacturing lobby, and no matter how much propaganda those entities spew about protecting your family with your stockpile of handguns and keeping America free by keeping the government in check, they’re really about one thing: making a big profit. Those legislators who vote the NRA line should not bother to call themselves pro-life, no matter what stance they take on abortion or embryonic stem cell research. They’re helping gun manufacturers make lots of money at the expense of the men, women, and children those weapons are used against. And often they’re getting a nice campaign contribution from the NRA for their vote.

  11. Arrgghhh….Deacon Dave, you’re right! Though Jesus, of course, went and slapped that ear right back on. If it were possible to close up those unexpected bullet holes the same way, I might be more open to this whole concealed weapon idea!

  12. We occasionally have on-duty police officers come to mass during their break, and of course they come armed. We have a police officer in our chorus who sometimes comes to practice during a break while on duty (we practice in the church.)

  13. Years ago, while on holiday at the beach with friends, some crazed individual tried to pry an illegally carried gun from a friend’s hand to kill me because he thought I had said something to him (I hadn’t). A few years later, a neighbor’s “sugar daddy” made some threatened me because he thought I was having something with her (not the case). Both times I had no way of defending myself and felt angrier at gun-banning lawmakers responsible for I being defenseless than at the criminals.

    Do I carry now? No, but only because I live in Maryiland where only criminals, politician’s bodyguards, and the police can carry weapons.

  14. Ok, first off, Jesus was God; he didn’t need a gun to escape the crowds that were pursuing him. And several of his escapes are considered miraculous.

    Second, it is ludicrous to compare the time of the apostles with modern times. There were no guns back then. Criminals and some law abiding people carried knives (as Deacon Dave aptly noted, Peter was also armed). Criminals now are well armed with guns. You can’t compare the two times.

    Once again, the argument against gun ownership is always made from the exceptional case, i.e., the lunatic who gets road rage and shoots someone, versus the millions of people who would never fire or even draw their weapon unless their life or someone else’s was in immediate danger. come on.

  15. Jesus and all of the Apostles died violently for their beliefs (except perhaps for John), without offering any violence in return. (Jesus corrected Peter when he drew his sword.) This was also the way early Christians dealt with life for at least the first 300 years of Christianity. I’m not necessarily advocating pacifism, but as Dorothy Day taught, I wouldn’t say it should be taken off the table and should be open to discussion.

    Secondly, I find it difficult to believe that anyone would claim people were safer centuries ago simply because people didn’t carry guns. It seemed life was remarkably cheap back then. We also have well-armed, well-trained professional law enforcement officers dedicated to our safety…not the case back then. Of course, if we’re safer when people don’t have guns, let’s start restricting access, as in European countries, where the death rate by guns is miniscule compared to this country. (I know, I know…criminalize guns, and only criminals have guns. A lovely catch phrase that grossly oversimplifies the issue.) In addition, if we all need to carry guns now in order to consider ourselves safe, than this country has problems a lot bigger than carrying guns will solve.

    Finally, I do not want to be in a room full of minimally-trained armed people. It only takes one person to lose their temper, have a misunderstanding (“look, he’s drawing his weapon!”)etc, and disaster will strike. I also don’t want to be in a room when all of these untrained people decide it’s time to pull out their weapons and shoot because they believe their lives are in danger. It will be shootout at the OK Corral, without the cool background music.

  16. Once again, the argument against gun ownership is always made from the exceptional case

    It seems to me that the argument for gun ownership is also generally made from the exceptional case — i.e., the armed citizen who, when confronted with an unexpected situation, manages not to panic but to keep his cool and draw his weapon, and who manages to shoot the bad guy but not accidentally shoot any by-standers, and who isn’t then shot by the police or other armed well-meaning citizens when they arrive because, somehow, they and everyone else on the scene just happen to realize that he’s a good guy responding to a threat, and not another bad guy who needs to be disarmed, even though they see him standing there shooting a gun.

  17. David, it is a fact that most firearms are purchased for home security and hunting, not on the street confrontation and freak heroic situations. Your example doesn’t work.

    When someone invades your home at 3 am, call the police and see how much good that does you. And please don’t tell me that Jesus requires that I allow myself and family to be murdered without resistance.

  18. If the concern is someone invading your home at 3 AM, I don’t know why people need to be carrying concealed firearms the rest of the day. I’d certainly be far more open to people having firearms for personal protection within their homes. However, this discussion was prompted by people being given the ability to carry concealed weapons in public.

    And while I don’t necessarily think Jesus requires that you allow yourself and your family to be murdered without resistance (I’m pretty sure I would resist), I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possibility. The refusal to meet violence with any sort of violence was central to Jesus’ ministry. How we live that out in the middle of a violent world is something that requires a great deal of thought and discussion and courage. I’m not at all sure that Jesus would say it’s OK to kill someone, even as a last resort to protect yourself…though that has certainly been the position of the Church for at least the last 1700 years. Many great martyrs have gone to their deaths attempting to testify to this creed of non-violence.

  19. I do think it’s beyond the realm of possibility Deacon. The kind of marytrdom you’re talking about is related to a refusal to violate one’s conscience, e.g., St. Thomas More, that young Italian girl who was murdered because she wouldn’t give in to sex (her name escapes me? Pius XII canonized her with her murderer in attendance).

    If someone comes into your home armed and is about to murder your four year old girl or boy, or your wife, and you have a gun in your hand and can stop it, stopping it is not sinful. Christ only ultimately laid his life down (he resisted all earlier attempts to kill him) to redeem mankind, not because he was against all forms of violence. He was quite violent with the money changers.

  20. I would encourage the Democratic party of death to run on banning all guns from private ownership. Make a solid stand for a constitutional amendment to remove the right of the people to keep and bear arms. For those advocating against the right to arms in comments here, why don’t you push for your abortion political friends to stand firm on this point.

    I have never owned or fired a gun, but for a short time, I was protected by an armed officer after getting death threats from a deranged former employee. He eventually killed himself. When they found him, he had an arsenal. Crazy thing is that he had a record which gun laws prohibited him from having any of them. The idiotic thing is that I had gone out of my way to help this man as a favor to a friend and neither I personally or the company had done anything at all to him even in a verbal reprimand and certainly not in firing him.

    If things continue to decline in the USA and we see gangs going around taking what they want, you will no be able to depend on the police. States, burdened by the massive costs which Walker in Wisconsin and Kasich in Ohio are trying to get control of will ultimately lead to less protection if they are not successful. I by choice will never own a gun, but do not believe in gun laws as a solution. Time after time the areas with the most gun laws have the most gun violence. The NRA and others are able to have the power they do because they are able to point out these stats and no one has been able to show they are wrong. The ones who obey the laws are not the ones who would use a gun for violent behavior.

    I have to laugh at the use of Jesus and the apostles for advocating gun laws. I would not use that as a marketing tool as few would care to end up in life as Jesus did or 11 of the 12 apostles. I also remember a major hollywood type who was advocting gun laws only to find out that they had armed private guards with them all the time. Typical liberal action of wanting laws for others that they want waivers for themselves like ObamaCare.

    But please push the Democratic Party of death to run on a constitutional amendment removing the right to keep and bear arms. Kind of like asking the party of death to actually run on a platform to end the death penalty by national amendment.

    Abortion has nothing to do with gun laws. Only those who make excuses for their parties position on killing babies would even bring that up.

    Please, tell me you are not saying this is your proportionate argument called for by the Church to even consider supporting a pro abortion candidate…

  21. One more thought…With Obama in the White House and huge majorities in both houses of Congress, please list the gun laws even proposed during those two years, let alone passed…

  22. Most people support the second ammendment. That does not mean that people are necessarily safer if people everywhere have “open carry” or concealed weapons. I do not look forward to a society where more and more people on the street carry guns.

  23. HMS

    They are real swords but a lot of bishops have banned them in any church in their diocese. The Knights are grumpy about it but that’s about all. Those guys still come and set up an honor guard for the bishops on most formal ceremonies where the bishops preside.

  24. Obama hasn’t even lifted a finger in the direction of gun control. He knows its a loser of an issue in most of the country. Despite that, the tinfoil hat crowd went bananas when he was first elected. There was such a run on guns and ammunition in the first year after he took office that prices went through the roof. Many calibers of ammo simply couldn’t be had anywhere.

    People who never had an interest in guns before spent the rent money buying anything with a handle and barrel. They did this not because Obama said anything about gun control, but because they had built him into such a monster in their own minds that they figured it was only a matter of time. To them, he was a radical closet Muslim, a socialist, and worst of all, a negro. How could he not mean to disarm and destroy them?

    I have no problem with people arming themselves in their own homes, or even in public IF they meet some training requirements. That said, most people will not increase their safety by going around armed all of the time and will in fact increase the opportunities for tragedies of one sort or another.

    As just one example, that weapon you carry can become your assailants in about two seconds (career criminals teach each other this skill in prison). Nearly 8% of cops killed by criminals are killed with their own guns. And these are folks who have years of training and street instincts on their side. Unless you have such training or are exceptionally large and strong, your odds will be much worse. Guns can get you out of certain scrapes when nothing else would, but good sense and street smarts will get you a hell of a lot further in the 99% of situations most of us are realistically going to encounter.

    I can’t tell any one person whether concealed carry is a good idea for them or not, but I’m confident that many people have deluded themselves about what a gun can and cannot do for them. As one other point I would question those who insist that more guns equals more safety. If that were true, Somalia and Pakistan should be the safest, most civilized places on Earth.

  25. You leave me speechless, Greta. I’m sure you’re sincere, but your posts are so sarcastic and so extreme, I’m not sure what you’re trying to accomplish. I never advocated or professed any of the positions you are attributing to me. I hope one day you’ll understand that your extremely conservative political positions are not automatically in line with Catholic or Christian teaching, and are sometimes deeply divergent from them. I believe a more nuanced stand on so many complex issues would better serve you.

    As for not using Jesus as a “marketing tool”, I certainly wouldn’t presume to do that. However, when discussing the proper position to take on a difficult moral issue, I think His example would be where we might like to look. The NRA and Rush Limbaugh have different agendas than being in line with Catholic Moral Teaching.

    Finally, Obama never had huge majorities in Congress. He did have a majority for the first couple years and chose instead to take on the difficult issues of the day such as our failing health care system and an economy that had nearly self-destructed. We might not agree on his solutions, but he gave it a shot.

  26. I know. My father was a fourth degree knight and also Grand Knight.

    I was just joking. (It’s hard to show that online when you can’t see the smirk on my face.)

  27. Seems that the problem of weapons in church is not a new one. We visited a church in Rapid City, SD, which is an exact replica of a stav kirk in Norway which was built in the 1200’s. There is a large covered porch at the entrance of this church; the guide book explained that the Vikings were expected to leave their spears and swords there when going into church. I expect some of them grumbled a bit.

  28. In the late 1970s I took a group of college students to the Catholic Worker in NYC. We served at the soup kitchen and noticed that there was a sign to leave guns at the door.

  29. that young Italian girl who was murdered because she wouldn’t give in to sex (her name escapes me? Pius XII canonized her with her murderer in attendance)

    I believe you’re referring to St. Maria Goretti.

  30. David, it is a fact that most firearms are purchased for home security and hunting, not on the street confrontation and freak heroic situations. Your example doesn’t work.

    I didn’t say otherwise. What I said was that that the freak scenario is frequently used to justify allowing private citizens to go around packing heat. And don’t tell me it isn’t, because I have frequently read and heard it brought up as an example.

    As for having a firearm to protect yourself if someone breaks into your house at 3 a.m., any intruder in your home already has the element of surprise on you, which is a big advantage over you. If I were an armed intruder and suspected that there were firearms in the house, I think I would be much more likely to kill the occupants as soon as I could, to prevent them from getting to their weapons. So having weapons in the house might actually endanger your life rather than protect it. Besides, any weapon located where you could easily and quickly reach it in an emergency would presumably be easy for your children to find and play with.

    Hunting, of course, is a different matter. Everyone I know who hunts is extremely careful with weapons and is probably less, not more, likely to want to have a loaded firearm sitting around the house,

  31. David says: “Everyone I know who hunts is extremely careful with weapons and is probably less, not more, likely to want to have a loaded firearm sitting around the house.”

    I learned to handle a “long-weapon” when I was ten years old and had my first Hunting License when I was 11. Before my father would let me go out hunting, I had to take a “Hunter’s Safety Course” which was — would you believe — taught by National Rifle Association (NRA) certified instructors. I also had further training when I was an Army Reservist in the early-mid 1960’s and qualified as a “Sharpshooter” on several long-weapons within the military inventory. In the mid-late 1960’s, I was a “Faculty Trustee” of a high-school chapter of the NRA which was deeply involved in inter-scholastic competition. I have also worked closely with a lot of Police Academies throughout the Midwest and fired weapons at some of their ranges. I have had my own boys out, teaching them the reality of what a “long-weapon” could do as soon as they turned ten.

    Bottom line, I agree. Those that have been properly trained to handle weapons — from civilian or military sources — and know what those weapons are capable of doing — are remarkably safe. It is the genuine “idiots” out there — even some of the Second Amendment advocates — who REALLY scare me.

  32. Deacon Mike, First of all, my post was more directed to Don NH and his post on abortion and this issue. He seems to be saying that gun control is one the issues which in some way makes the democrats pro life more than the Republicans. My challenge to this would be to see where the Democrats even tried with one offering in any way to bring up any form of gun control while they had the white house and both houses of congress with very large margins. Deacon Mike did not see the margins as being large…Senate 59 to 41 seems damn large to me. When did a Republican have that large a Senate margin? And in the house, the margin was 257 to 178 for the democrats in 2008. again, name a time the republicans had that large a majority. Not a single gun control item even brought up. So if one is voting to support the abortion side based on gun control, then they were certainly left wanting while the abortions continued. They had margins to push out the massive spending with a lot of it going to their political buddies and created nothing for jobs and the unconstitutional obamacare that has increased our healthcare costs.

    I did not mention your comment by name in my post. However, you said “I don’t believe Jesus or the Apostles, who had to deal with some pretty hostile opposition, ever carried weapons or advocated carrying weapons” which is obviously not true…

    Luke 22:35-38
    35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered.
    36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’[a]; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” 38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That’s enough!” he replied.

    Now I am not arguing that Jesus belonged to the NRA, but to bring Jesus into a discussion about the second amendment of the US seems a little out of whack.

    Then you say seem to indicate Jesus would not support defending our lives but admit the Church for 1700 years has given us the right of defense of life with violent means. Does this mean you see Jesus would not have agreed with the Catholic Church position on this as it did not come until 300 years after Christ?

    As to my tone, sorry if you do not like facts laid out in a frank manner. The killing of my granddaughter in an abortion mill along with my great grandchild has left me very angry about this industry and those who are Catholic and support the party of abortion using half baked arguments that do not approach any proportiante reason which I have asked a hundred times for anyone to point out a single one of them to me. 4000 dead babies a day for generations totally 54 million babies and God knows how many women killed and maimed is going to be hard to justify on our day of judgement. I think someone needs to be harsh and direct when we are in the midst of the world greatest holocaust. Maybe if we had more of it while the Nazi’s were getting started with screams and protests, some lives would have been saved. If this blog has one screamer, let it be me for we need to hear it now and often before we surrender our souls to the evil party of death. We should have learned from them in their hundred plus years fighting for slavery and lynching blacks but it appears we have turned this same party loose on 54 million babies.

  33. David, you get a conceal carry permit when you are licensed for gun ownership. There is no such thing as a ‘home only’ license. While a carry permit allows holders to carry in public, few do, at least in the northeast.

    St maria goretti yes. Thank you. What a story.

  34. I’m very sorry, Gerta, to hear about the loss of your grandchild and great-grandchild. I cannot imagine the pain you feel and I now better understand where you are coming from.
    I am pro-life…I preach it and teach it (to my 8th grade students) and I have sat outside Planned Parenthood and prayed. I am on your side on this issue. However, I don’t think you accomplish anything when you refer to Democrats as the party of death. Most of the Democrats I know are good people who are doing what they believe (mistakenly) is right in giving women the “right to choose.” They’ve never forced or encouraged anyone to get an abortion and have supported laws that make it less likely women will feel they need to have abortions…providing affordable day care, affordable health care, educational opportunities, affordable housing, etc. They see Republicans given a pass on all of these things and are very frustrated. By demonizing Democrats and insulting them, all you do is drive them away and make it far less likely they will listen to you. They need to be made to understand. I think that will happen through prayer and calm and reasoned argument, but mostly prayer.
    I think one of the worst things that has happened to the Pro-Life movement is that it has been hijacked by Political Conservatives, so that to be Pro-Life means to be associated with all sorts of other things many people find difficult to accept, like the conservative positions on guns, immigration, the death penalty, the war, taxes, etc. People who cannot accept these other positions find themselves driven from the Pro-Life camp. It’s so unnecessary.
    Those are my thoughts. However, once again, I want to extend my sympathy and, quite sincerely, my prayers for both yourself and the grandchild and great-grandchild you lost. I was reminded of my favorite Scripture quote recently by Retired Archbishop John Quinn, a very good and holy man. It’s John 14, and it’s Jesus speaking in the imperative…meaning it’s not a request! It begins with 7 beautiful words from Jesus: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” Then continues, “Have faith in God and faith in me.” These are my prayers for you, Gerta, and for all others who have suffered such terrible loss. Peace.

  35. If you see people doing open-carry out West in a wilderness area, they’re usually doing it in case they have to shoot something attacking them, like a mountain lion or a rattlesnake. Secondarily, they may be doing it so they don’t get shot or hijacked by human coyotes or drug smugglers, of which there are plenty near the border. Thirdly, they may well be doing it just for tool reasons, the same way people carry multitools, pocketknives, pieces of string, and twist-ties.

    I’m fairly sure they’re not doing it just to watch tourist busybodies tut-tut, and yet that seems to be the first reaction of tourist busybodies. I thought people went sightseeing to wonder at what they see and thus learn something, not to assume that everybody they see is some kind of idiot or rural gangsta.

  36. Deacon Mike, thanks for your kind words.

    On the issue of “conservative positions on guns, immigration, the death penalty, the war, taxes, etc.” that is often my point in posts. The Democratic Party really only has a couple of things that they hold sacred. One is to find a big government solutions for every nail which often requires ever more taxes. The other item is abortion. They ware willing to go to the ends of the earth to support abortion and to try whenever possible to get funding for it.

    What have the democrats done on guns? Given the huge majorities they had in 2008, they have done nothing. Yet some fool will post that a reason to support killing 4,000 babies is because the Democrats are good on guns laws. They also cannot answer when someone points out the states with the most gun laws are the ones with higher crimes using guns. Republicans have supported ever measure to make gun ownership laws that call for responsible use of guns and stiff penalties for those who use guns in the act of a crime. Guess which party most often fights extensive penalties for the use of guns in a crime?

    On immigration, first we have to define immigration. Everyone is for legal immigration. The country has a large number of laws and over the years they have been liberalized to allow more people than ever to enter our country. The laws are set up to protect jobs of those now here and to allow time for assimilation to our country and culture. So when we talk about the issue, lets make sure that we say the Democrats are supporting illegal immigration and rewarding those who come with the intent from day one of breaking our laws. In many areas of the country, cities and states are drowned in providing resources for those here illegally. Why doesn’t the Democratic Party endorse for the next election, allowing all those here illegally to become citizens of the country and name the benefits that the illegal immigrants should receive. The Catholic Church encourages the best immigration policies a country can afford, but it also says that countries have the right to set up laws for immigration. What have the Democrats passed with their large majorities to support amnesty for illegals. I also note that during their huge majority, that they did not pass a single budget for three years where they would have to detail costs and plans for all their programs including special costs for support of illegal immigration. Republicans policy is clear. Secure the borders to stop illegal immigration and then open discussions about the entire immigration program. In a time of worldwide terror, it seems crazy to have such a porous border and not know who is coming across.

    Democrats on war. Lets see, Wilson a democrat vowed to keep us out of WWI and we were in that war. FDR on the eve of his election for third term went to the airwaves and promised to Keep our boys out of the war. Of course we know from history this was just for election purposes and he was already angling for war. Truman was in office to start Korea and still in office while it continued. Eisenhower took over and ended Korea. Eisenhower warned of entanglements, especially involvement in Vietnam. JFK after his bungled handling of Cuba Bay of Pigs sent some advisors over to Vietnam, but most believe had decided to go no further. LBJ took us in with both feet pushing guns and butter with the war on poverty for which he put social security funds into the general fund. Nixon took on Vietnam and ended it. With the wars more recent: Gulf I, we had huge majorities supporting the war started and ended by Bush I; Afghanistan again had huge majorities and I would say Bush II would have been impreached if he had not gone after that war; Iraq is the most notable war but it had huge democratic support as well with almost none of those running for president against Bush in 04 not supporting going in.
    So give me a break if you think the Democrats are the party of peace. History is not on that side. And the Catholic Church has just war in its teaching. It will be interesting to see when all the troops exit if it implodes and gas runs up to about 10$ a gallon how popular Obama complete pull out policy is with the people. I hate war and have lost a close relatives and friends to these wars. But frankly, the party which has started most of our wars has been with Democratic leadership. That of course includes the Democratic Party starting the civil war.

    That leaves taxes and there is not doubt that the Democrats love taxes. They call for taxes on the rich, but everyone knows the real money in taxes comes from the middle class. Through democratic efforts, they have managed to make 46% of the wage earners in this country completely free from income tax putting the full burden on the other 54% with the top 5% paying the vast majority of taxes. The Democrats usually fight against help for married couples with their support of the marriage penalty. They are in favor of the death tax which has a huge impact on many family small business’s and farm’s.

    When we have had local debates, it is surprising how little the Democrats know about the actual positions on issue and spout off about these items as if there is any basis of fact. And we do win converts along the way when the facts are laid out. It is always better to have the discussions live. Wish we had real debates as Newt is suggusting like the Lincoln Douglas debates where the two candidates can address each other without the idiotic moderators and questions which really do not matter. There are too many problems in this country not to have the issues clearly laid out. But then again, the ill informed would probably not watch.

  37. Hi Greta,
    A few comments:
    On the Democrats passing gun laws: They had better things to do then tilt at that windmill. The 2nd Amendment has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to make it difficult if not impossible to pass gun laws. That doesn’t make it right…the Supreme Court does the same with laws opposing abortion. Secondly, the NRA, which is truly an extremist organization, spreads around so much lobbying money that it’s nearly impossible to pass any laws restricting gun ownership.
    On Immigration: There is no easy answer. There are millions of “illegal immigrants” here because American business’ (both democrat and republican) hire them. The Republican Party plays on people’s fears, scapegoating them for all sorts of societies ills. If you target a powerless group, then go after them, especially when it’s “them” (those Mexicans!), you can really appeal to people. Their solutions are draconian…deport people and build walls. Emotionally satisfying, not very realistic. Do you really think we can deport 15 million people? They are willing to break up families and pass laws that make every Hispanic person walking the streets open to being hassled by the police. The Democrats are at least trying to deal with the problem in a sensible and compassionate way. An example is the Dream Act, allowing paths to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants. I had a student who is now at UCLA. His family came here when he was 6 months old. He’s as American as we are and has excelled in every way here. They are threatening to send him back to Mexico (where he knows no one…and it wasn’t his fault he came here illegally)…he won’t be able to return to this country for 15 YEARS. Ridiculous, no compassion. They recently deported his mom…no warning, they came in the middle of the night…if he stays here, he won’t be able to see her for 15 years. To say it’s their fault for breaking the law is heartless and shows absolutely no compassion or humanity.
    Democrats on War: They are no better than the Republicans, and Republicans are no better than them. However, our most recent war in Iraq was entirely the result of a Republican and Republican controlled Congress. Just because it was “popular” doesn’t make it right. Obama is ending the Iraq War and is trying to do something in Afghanistan. He certainly can’t just leave.
    Democrats on taxes: No one likes them, but the Republicans, in refusing to raise them, are making the government of this country ground to a halt. To not even discuss it is the height of irresponsibility. The great Republican Ronald Reagan raised taxes a number of times because he knew you had to pay your bills and grown-ups make the hard choices. Republicans and Democrats both drink thirstily from the public trough…the Democrats are at least willing to pay for it. There was a surplus in this country in 2000…the Republicans passed an incredible tax cut while putting us into two wars and plunged us into debt. They want to give everyone what they want and not pay the bills. Sad.
    To paint Democrats as evil, stupid, the party of death, etc., does you no favors, Greta. There are good and bad people in both parties; honest and dishonest people in both parties. There are two sides to every issue. Your rhetoric tends to the extreme, painting Democrats as being horrible people who want to take everyone’s money and care only about abortion and big government. If that makes you feel better, fine, but it’s simplistic in the extreme and not honest. People who disagree with you will dismiss you as a fanatic and ideologue. I think you can do better than that.

  38. Suburbanbanshee:

    “I’m fairly sure they’re not doing it just to watch tourist busybodies tut-tut, and yet that seems to be the first reaction of tourist busybodies.”

    You know, I could just believe what you stated but in my post #3 on this blog stream,however this guy in my example was not carrying his long barreled Colt revolver in a desert but in a retail grocery outlet. Even in a wilderness setting, that kind of firepower is “show-off.” A 9mm automatic like a current Military M9 or M11 is also “show-off.” What you need in the “boon-docks” for rattlesnakes is a sawed-off 12 gauge shotgun. That is far more effective at the short-range you are talking about where a rattlesnake could even be a threat. Besides, I have never met anyone who could accurately hit a thin rattlesnake with the weapons we are talking about.

  39. Which reminds me of a “war-story” I heard in a Police Academy once.

    A local officer here in the Midwest quit his city police department, attracted by the high pay of the security force attached to one of the Defense industries out west. On his days off, he would do what both “Suburbanbanshee” and “Fiergenholt” were talking about — take his 9mm out to the desert and deliberately hunt rattlesnakes. The problem is just exactly what “Fiergenholt” mentioned — it is not at all easy to hit, much less kill, a rattlesnake with a hand-gun. One of those snakes lived long enough to give this officer a serious bite. The officer either panicked and forgot what he learned in his own Police Academy about rattlesnake venom being a cardiac poison. He ran to his car and drove like a maniac to a nearby hospital only to die just as he entered the Emergency Room.

    But back to the blog-stream here — the bishops are correct. They have their reasons but mine is a bit different. There are no rattlesnakes in church.

  40. “There are no rattlesnakes in church.”
    Wasn’t that what Adam and Eve thought about the Garden of Eden?
    If only Adam had access to a hand-gun.

  41. Deacon Mike, again you do not address the point. If you are going to use policies as a reason to vote for the candidates of a party, then to say that the party did nothing on those points and hasn’t for a long time means you should take them off the table as a reason to vote for them.

    Democrats have done nothing on gun laws not even to the point in time of introducing legislation.

    On immigration, I hope we are at least addressing only illegal immigration as both parties support legla immigration as does the Catholic Church. You seem to want to blame the businesses for hiring them. Why not support strong legislation that will punish any employer who hires employees who have broken our laws? You could set up a program that would reward anyone who reports an employer that hires illegal immigrants kind of like a whistle blower program. The fine paid by the company would be massive with the whistle blower getting paid a certain percentage. Dry up the jobs and illigal immigration ends over night. Immigrants would be phoning in tips for cash. You would need no walls as it would be self enforcing and cost nothing for the government to enforce. Employers CEO and upper management of the companies who are repeat offenders would serve jail time in addition to the fines. If there is a need in this country for changes in the immigration laws to meet needs of companies and not just to drive down payroll costs or avoid benefits, then the immigration laws can be adjusted each year to match need. This was a proposal put forth by the Republicans that the Democrats would not allow to see the light of day. And all those mean states and cities you think have no right to enforce laws are drowning in the cost from the federal government failure to do their job of protecting our borders. The Dream Act on its own would do nothing but encourage more illegal activity. We need to stop the illegal activity and then look at what is best for the country. However, once again, you will not see Democrats running on open borders and increased benefits for illegal immigrants so not sure why this once again would be an issue to support the Democrats.

    On wars, I clearly pointed out that most of our wars were started with Democrats in office. One exception was Afghanistan and Iraq. If you care to check the votes for war, the Democrat majority voted to support both wars with a very large margin…yes Iraq as well. In addition, they voted overwhelmingly for every funding bill to keep the wars going including Iraq… So wars are not a strong suit for Democrat support.

    Democrats on taxes. Did you miss that fact that Obama and the Republicans agreed to a two year extension of the 2000 tax cuts in December of 2010? He said it would not be good for the economy to raise taxes during a recession. Before the ink was dry, he was calling for tax increases once again showing he has no backbone. As to the Reagan tax hikes, yes he did make some minor concessions on taxes but you have to remember he never had a republican house during his entire term. For the changes he made that have earned him wide praise from both parties as we look back in history, he had to give them a few bones. However, the overall tax from the time of Carter to the end of Reagan term was a significant cut in overall tax rates which spurred a huge growth in revenues as he predicted. The surplus came about because of the peace dividend on the ending of the USSR from what Reagan and Bush I accomplished. Clinton dropped defense spending massively and Clinton was blessed to have a Republican takeover of the house which controlled spending after the Democrats had held the house for 40 years. And yes, politicians drink from the trough which is why real conservatives want to pass a balanced amendment forcing the politicians to balance the budget each year. Every time the Democrats increase taxes, if it does not drive down overall revenues as Americans take their money into shelters, the Democrats usually outspend anything they had projected the increased taxes would provide. Remember that the first think JFK did was to lower tax rates a very large amount. He was the last relatively conservative democrat who dared to ask what we do for our country…not what the nanny state country would do for us.

    So it gets back to abortion and trying to find a proportiante reason to support the Democratic Party that keeps it alive.

    Rather than continue this bantering, why not just list the one, two, three, or more proportionate reasons one might vote Democrat that in any way comes close to the killing of 4,000 babes each and every day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to the grand total now of 54 million. It can’t be anything you have discussed so far as it can easily be seen the Democrats do not fight for any of them like they do abortion.

  42. While enjoying yourself, babies are slaughtered. Hope you are having fun. Abortion is not a fun game but one I would hope everyone would pray about and actually try to come up with a proportiante reason to continue to support this holocuast that makes the Nazi death camp totals pale in comparison. Shame on you.

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