Setting public policy according to the Word

Some politicians want to set public policy according to the teachings of the Word. In doing so, they are trying to set up a theocratic government. Right now, the most powerful of these Christian Taliban is evidently Nancy Pelosi. Here is what the pro-abortion Speaker of the House had to say:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says she believes she must pursue public policies “in keeping with the values” of Jesus Christ, “The Word made Flesh.”

Pelosi, who is a Catholic and who favors legalized abortion, voted against the ban on partial-birth abortion that was enacted into law in 2003.

At a May 6 Catholic Community Conference on Capitol Hill, the speaker said: “They ask me all the time, ‘What is your favorite this? What is your favorite that? What is your favorite that?’ And one time, ‘What is your favorite word?’ And I said, ‘My favorite word? That is really easy. My favorite word is the Word, is the Word. And that is everything. It says it all for us. And you know the biblical reference, you know the Gospel reference of the Word.”

“And that Word,” Pelosi said, “is, we have to give voice to what that means in terms of public policy that would be in keeping with the values of the Word. The Word. Isn’t it a beautiful word when you think of it? It just covers everything. The Word.

“Fill it in with anything you want. But, of course, we know it means: ‘The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.’ And that’s the great mystery of our faith. He will come again. He will come again. So, we have to make sure we’re prepared to answer in this life, or otherwise, as to how we have measured up.”

So what I want to know is this: Are all Christian right wingers now going to defend her? And are all secular leftists going to try to vote her out of office, knowing her true agenda?

Actually, liberal Christians have been talking this way since the Social Gospel of the 19th century and continuing into every convention of the National Council of Churches, which spends most of its time passing political and always leftwing resolutions.

Conservative Christians getting involved in politics are late-comers to that party, and they don’t always base their activism in a theonomic agenda, despite the left scaring itself with the prospect.

How does Speaker Pelosi’s statement show the problems with this approach? What is a legitimate way for a Christian to be guided by the Word in forming opinions about public policy?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Petersen

    http://www.osjspm.org/catholic_social_teaching.aspx

    “What is a legitimate way for a Christian to be guided by the Word in forming opinions about public policy?” Start with Catholic Social Teaching.

    PS – The assertion that “[c]onservative Christians” are “late-comers” to American politics is false. Very early on, conservative Christians opposed (1) the abolition of human slavery and Jim Crow laws, (2) workers’ unions, and (3) extending the vote to women, to name a few. On the other hand, such Christians supported (1) this country’s foreign invasions and wars, (2) its imperialism, and (3) the abolition of alcohol sales, to name a few.

  • Petersen

    http://www.osjspm.org/catholic_social_teaching.aspx

    “What is a legitimate way for a Christian to be guided by the Word in forming opinions about public policy?” Start with Catholic Social Teaching.

    PS – The assertion that “[c]onservative Christians” are “late-comers” to American politics is false. Very early on, conservative Christians opposed (1) the abolition of human slavery and Jim Crow laws, (2) workers’ unions, and (3) extending the vote to women, to name a few. On the other hand, such Christians supported (1) this country’s foreign invasions and wars, (2) its imperialism, and (3) the abolition of alcohol sales, to name a few.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Speaker Pelosi fallaciously identifies the Gospel Word with government entitlement programs. Christian conservatives understand that moral, disciplined, hard working persons for the most part are able to take care of themselves; further that they have a moral obligation to provide generous charitable funds and time to help individuals who legitimately need it including the disabled, widows, and orphans. Most Christian conservatives understand that some government programs are necessary, though they need to be realistically limited and well funded.

    As to the liberal Social Gospel, it has fallen on hard times; declining mainline liberal churches that advocate it are involved with , as Richard Niebuhr remarked, A God without wrath [who] brought people without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministry of a Christ without the cross.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Speaker Pelosi fallaciously identifies the Gospel Word with government entitlement programs. Christian conservatives understand that moral, disciplined, hard working persons for the most part are able to take care of themselves; further that they have a moral obligation to provide generous charitable funds and time to help individuals who legitimately need it including the disabled, widows, and orphans. Most Christian conservatives understand that some government programs are necessary, though they need to be realistically limited and well funded.

    As to the liberal Social Gospel, it has fallen on hard times; declining mainline liberal churches that advocate it are involved with , as Richard Niebuhr remarked, A God without wrath [who] brought people without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministry of a Christ without the cross.

  • Tom Hering

    I would disagree with Pelosi about some policies she supports – certainly abortion. But I would applaud her for at least thinking “Christianly” in a public square that restricts Christianity to personal morality and spirituality. Two marks of that in her quoted comments are a supernatural orientation and a concept of Truth (cf. Harry Blamires, “The Christian Mind,” 1963).

  • Tom Hering

    I would disagree with Pelosi about some policies she supports – certainly abortion. But I would applaud her for at least thinking “Christianly” in a public square that restricts Christianity to personal morality and spirituality. Two marks of that in her quoted comments are a supernatural orientation and a concept of Truth (cf. Harry Blamires, “The Christian Mind,” 1963).

  • Joan

    Nancy Pelosi “thinking ‘Christianly’?” That’s a laugh! She only “thinks Christianly” when it seems to serve her purpose. If she thought as a Christian, she would ponder what it means to kill infants in the womb or to kill them on the way OUT of the womb.
    Or she would let her yes be yes and her no be no. No more obfuscating!

    I’m sorry: Nancy Pelosi doesn’t listen to the Christian leaders in her own church. Instead, she seeks to take the role of Christian prophet. But her prophecies are against the Word of God–that Word she seeks to redefine in this article!
    May God have mercy on her soul!

  • Joan

    Nancy Pelosi “thinking ‘Christianly’?” That’s a laugh! She only “thinks Christianly” when it seems to serve her purpose. If she thought as a Christian, she would ponder what it means to kill infants in the womb or to kill them on the way OUT of the womb.
    Or she would let her yes be yes and her no be no. No more obfuscating!

    I’m sorry: Nancy Pelosi doesn’t listen to the Christian leaders in her own church. Instead, she seeks to take the role of Christian prophet. But her prophecies are against the Word of God–that Word she seeks to redefine in this article!
    May God have mercy on her soul!

  • Tom Hering

    Joan, what’s laughable is to narrow the idea of “thinking Christianly” to one’s own criteria. “Thinking Christianly” is thinking with a basic set of presuppositions – which does not rule out being wrong (even terribly wrong) about specific matters.

  • Tom Hering

    Joan, what’s laughable is to narrow the idea of “thinking Christianly” to one’s own criteria. “Thinking Christianly” is thinking with a basic set of presuppositions – which does not rule out being wrong (even terribly wrong) about specific matters.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I think Veith’s last question is an interesting one, but criminy folks, are you all watching a different Pelosi video than I am? She says almost nothing in the video at the link Veith provides. I mean, there’s a lot of awkward talk about “the word”, but when it comes to concrete statements, all I could find was, “we have to give voice to what that means in terms of public policy that would be in keeping with the values of the Word” and “we have to make sure we’re prepared to answer in this life, or otherwise, as to how we have measured up.” And from that Peter (@2) gets that Pelosi “fallaciously identifies the Gospel Word with government entitlement programs”?

    Both of those statements seem rather consistent with my understanding of Catholic teaching on this matter. Not that I subscribe to such teaching. National public policy is not about how we relate to God, it’s how we relate to our neighbor.

    And Joan (@4), what would it sound like if you were to think “as a Christian”? Or do you think your comments are in keeping with Christian love?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I think Veith’s last question is an interesting one, but criminy folks, are you all watching a different Pelosi video than I am? She says almost nothing in the video at the link Veith provides. I mean, there’s a lot of awkward talk about “the word”, but when it comes to concrete statements, all I could find was, “we have to give voice to what that means in terms of public policy that would be in keeping with the values of the Word” and “we have to make sure we’re prepared to answer in this life, or otherwise, as to how we have measured up.” And from that Peter (@2) gets that Pelosi “fallaciously identifies the Gospel Word with government entitlement programs”?

    Both of those statements seem rather consistent with my understanding of Catholic teaching on this matter. Not that I subscribe to such teaching. National public policy is not about how we relate to God, it’s how we relate to our neighbor.

    And Joan (@4), what would it sound like if you were to think “as a Christian”? Or do you think your comments are in keeping with Christian love?

  • Phil

    tODD, how I relate to my neighbor is “like unto” the First Commandment, to love God with all my being. Different, yes; discretely different, no. It’s *all* about how we related to God.

  • Phil

    tODD, how I relate to my neighbor is “like unto” the First Commandment, to love God with all my being. Different, yes; discretely different, no. It’s *all* about how we related to God.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    tODD, I simply read the transcript, and I agree that Ms. Pelosi is saying nothing but everything there. More or less, when she says “The Word….fill it in with anything you want”, she’s pulling a gross bait and switch between “The Word” (the Bible as most understand it) and “Her word.” She is literally filling it in with anything she wants.

    Not as much of a difference of opinion as you might have thought at first. She’s more or less claiming carte blanche to set a moral tone totally ad odds with the Scriptures.

    Which, alas, she does pretty well.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    tODD, I simply read the transcript, and I agree that Ms. Pelosi is saying nothing but everything there. More or less, when she says “The Word….fill it in with anything you want”, she’s pulling a gross bait and switch between “The Word” (the Bible as most understand it) and “Her word.” She is literally filling it in with anything she wants.

    Not as much of a difference of opinion as you might have thought at first. She’s more or less claiming carte blanche to set a moral tone totally ad odds with the Scriptures.

    Which, alas, she does pretty well.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bubba (@8), like others here, you appear to be letting your personal feelings towards Ms. Pelosi color your reading of this incredibly short, out-of-context video. “She’s more or less claiming carte blanche to set a moral tone totally ad odds with the Scriptures.” Is she? Cite me the sentence where she does that. Tell me the larger context in which this video was set in which she set out her completely anti-Biblical stance. Is this what passes for Christian charity these days?

    Phil (@7), you’re right, it is all about how we relate to God. And here is how we relate to God: he loved us first while we were still sinners and sent his Son to die for our sins. Okay. Now, what in our national public policy is going to affect my relationship with God? Nothing. Ah, but what what in our national public policy will affect my neighbor? Possibly quite a lot.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bubba (@8), like others here, you appear to be letting your personal feelings towards Ms. Pelosi color your reading of this incredibly short, out-of-context video. “She’s more or less claiming carte blanche to set a moral tone totally ad odds with the Scriptures.” Is she? Cite me the sentence where she does that. Tell me the larger context in which this video was set in which she set out her completely anti-Biblical stance. Is this what passes for Christian charity these days?

    Phil (@7), you’re right, it is all about how we relate to God. And here is how we relate to God: he loved us first while we were still sinners and sent his Son to die for our sins. Okay. Now, what in our national public policy is going to affect my relationship with God? Nothing. Ah, but what what in our national public policy will affect my neighbor? Possibly quite a lot.

  • bunnycatch3r

    “Christian Taliban”, “theocratic government”, “Nancy Pelosi”, and “pro-abortion” – Oh what fun!

  • bunnycatch3r

    “Christian Taliban”, “theocratic government”, “Nancy Pelosi”, and “pro-abortion” – Oh what fun!

  • Joe

    I would like to see more of it because my impression of the video clip is that she was just kind of babbling. I am not at all sure what to make of it.

  • Joe

    I would like to see more of it because my impression of the video clip is that she was just kind of babbling. I am not at all sure what to make of it.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    my take-Nancy P..being pro-death-would have advocated for the death (abortion) of the Word (Christ)–
    un-wed mother (Mary)
    “inconvenient” pregnancy-
    shall I go on!!?
    C-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    my take-Nancy P..being pro-death-would have advocated for the death (abortion) of the Word (Christ)–
    un-wed mother (Mary)
    “inconvenient” pregnancy-
    shall I go on!!?
    C-CS

  • Tom Hering

    Yes, C-Christian Soldier, go on. I want to hear how you top “Nancy Pelosi the Christ killer.” I really do.

  • Tom Hering

    Yes, C-Christian Soldier, go on. I want to hear how you top “Nancy Pelosi the Christ killer.” I really do.

  • SAL

    Nancy Pelosi is elected by the people of San Francisco. That places a hurdle in her relating to Americans. Often she’s lucky enough to produce incoherent babbling. Sometimes her statements take on more of a Ministry of Truth quality.

    This time she seems to be more on the incoherent babbling side of the spectrum.

  • SAL

    Nancy Pelosi is elected by the people of San Francisco. That places a hurdle in her relating to Americans. Often she’s lucky enough to produce incoherent babbling. Sometimes her statements take on more of a Ministry of Truth quality.

    This time she seems to be more on the incoherent babbling side of the spectrum.

  • David

    All I can take away from this is that she said, “the Word,” a lot, and other than that, I’m not sure what she meant.

  • David

    All I can take away from this is that she said, “the Word,” a lot, and other than that, I’m not sure what she meant.

  • kerner

    Actually, this is why the Church is better off being separate from the State. A major reason I don’t want the religious right to interweave its theology into American politics very much is that I REALLY don’t want my political opponents like Nancy Pelosi to be doing it either.

  • kerner

    Actually, this is why the Church is better off being separate from the State. A major reason I don’t want the religious right to interweave its theology into American politics very much is that I REALLY don’t want my political opponents like Nancy Pelosi to be doing it either.

  • CRB

    I found it interesting that she could not bring herself to
    say who the Word was, Jesus Christ. She referenced “what
    we all know” (the Gospel?) but did not say what the Gospel
    was. Well, I suppose she should be excused for her lapses,
    but then, the same thing happens in many pulpits across
    the fruited plain, does it not?

  • CRB

    I found it interesting that she could not bring herself to
    say who the Word was, Jesus Christ. She referenced “what
    we all know” (the Gospel?) but did not say what the Gospel
    was. Well, I suppose she should be excused for her lapses,
    but then, the same thing happens in many pulpits across
    the fruited plain, does it not?

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    The cynical side of me says that this speech of Pelosi’s illustrates she merely has a faith of convenience. It suits her to defend her actions with what she believes may appease the people of faith. In reality, she probably doesn’t understand very well tenants of the faith and is acting in accordance with her faith, even if it is in logical dissonance. Sadly, this is an all to common occurrence in Christianity in America if not world wide.

    We have a tendency to fashion God in such away as to be comfortable for us rather than allow Him to be who He is. It doesn’t matter if they are liberal or conservative, we are all guilty of this sin. On the right we have people who believe that God wants the government to punish homosexuals, declare all muslims to be terrorists, and find Obama’s birth certificate. While on the left they believe God wants the government to soak the rich with taxes so they can carry out projects to right all the perceived injustices in the world. Ironically, the right and left wings politically want the same thing, they want the government to fix what they think is wrong. When in reality the government exists only to insure our safety and curb our most base tendencies. It is the realm of the church to heal society through the Gospel.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    The cynical side of me says that this speech of Pelosi’s illustrates she merely has a faith of convenience. It suits her to defend her actions with what she believes may appease the people of faith. In reality, she probably doesn’t understand very well tenants of the faith and is acting in accordance with her faith, even if it is in logical dissonance. Sadly, this is an all to common occurrence in Christianity in America if not world wide.

    We have a tendency to fashion God in such away as to be comfortable for us rather than allow Him to be who He is. It doesn’t matter if they are liberal or conservative, we are all guilty of this sin. On the right we have people who believe that God wants the government to punish homosexuals, declare all muslims to be terrorists, and find Obama’s birth certificate. While on the left they believe God wants the government to soak the rich with taxes so they can carry out projects to right all the perceived injustices in the world. Ironically, the right and left wings politically want the same thing, they want the government to fix what they think is wrong. When in reality the government exists only to insure our safety and curb our most base tendencies. It is the realm of the church to heal society through the Gospel.

  • Tom Hering

    “I found it interesting that she could not bring herself to
    say who the Word was, Jesus Christ.” – CRB @ 17.

    It’s not like “the Word” might refer to someone other than Jesus Christ, is it? She goes on to say, “The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us … He will come again. He will come again.” That’s clear enough for me, and for most people, I would think.

  • Tom Hering

    “I found it interesting that she could not bring herself to
    say who the Word was, Jesus Christ.” – CRB @ 17.

    It’s not like “the Word” might refer to someone other than Jesus Christ, is it? She goes on to say, “The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us … He will come again. He will come again.” That’s clear enough for me, and for most people, I would think.

  • CRB

    Tom,
    I guess you have a point, but then again who was her audience?

  • CRB

    Tom,
    I guess you have a point, but then again who was her audience?

  • Tom Hering

    “… but then again who was her audience?”

    Exactly, CRB. Her audience understood her.

  • Tom Hering

    “… but then again who was her audience?”

    Exactly, CRB. Her audience understood her.

  • http://enterthevein.blogspot.com J. Dean

    What I cannot understand is why a woman like Ms. Pelosi, who claims to have a strong Catholic faith, while adamantly refusing to accept the biblical teaching of the sacredness of life.

    It speaks to a broader issue, and one not limited to Ms. Pelosi or just to politicians: how much do we cherry pick from the faith? How often do we refuse to concede to the authority of God on an issue because it makes things inconvenient for ourselves? How many times have we-not Pelosi, or Obama, or Bush, or McCain-have WE done things in our lives that counter the Word of God’s clear instruction, all because we desire the praise of men more than the praise of God?

    The debate about the Scriptural validity of Roman Catholic doctrines aside, Ms. Pelosi is putting her politics above her faith. While we rightly condemn this, we need to beware, lest we fall into the same trap.

  • http://enterthevein.blogspot.com J. Dean

    What I cannot understand is why a woman like Ms. Pelosi, who claims to have a strong Catholic faith, while adamantly refusing to accept the biblical teaching of the sacredness of life.

    It speaks to a broader issue, and one not limited to Ms. Pelosi or just to politicians: how much do we cherry pick from the faith? How often do we refuse to concede to the authority of God on an issue because it makes things inconvenient for ourselves? How many times have we-not Pelosi, or Obama, or Bush, or McCain-have WE done things in our lives that counter the Word of God’s clear instruction, all because we desire the praise of men more than the praise of God?

    The debate about the Scriptural validity of Roman Catholic doctrines aside, Ms. Pelosi is putting her politics above her faith. While we rightly condemn this, we need to beware, lest we fall into the same trap.

  • Larry

    The problem with much of the more outspoken segment of the ‘pro life’ movement is that it’s all about putting women in jail. They show their alleged belief in the sacredness of life by yelling “murderer!” at women. But how can anyone be pro life and oppose the living wages and labor unions that would make it possible for folks to actually have children and raise families?

  • Larry

    The problem with much of the more outspoken segment of the ‘pro life’ movement is that it’s all about putting women in jail. They show their alleged belief in the sacredness of life by yelling “murderer!” at women. But how can anyone be pro life and oppose the living wages and labor unions that would make it possible for folks to actually have children and raise families?

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    Larry, nobody is opposed to people making a living wage. Some of us just live in the real world and realize that increasing the minimum wage (an entry level wage that was never meant to be sole provider earnings) only raises cost of living. Meanwhile, unions which started out with the noble cause of protecting workers from unscrupulous employers have merely become the greedy tyrant themselves so now rather than seeking a solution that mutually benefits the workers they represent and the businesses that employ their workers, unions only seek to consolidate they power and enrich themselves.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    Larry, nobody is opposed to people making a living wage. Some of us just live in the real world and realize that increasing the minimum wage (an entry level wage that was never meant to be sole provider earnings) only raises cost of living. Meanwhile, unions which started out with the noble cause of protecting workers from unscrupulous employers have merely become the greedy tyrant themselves so now rather than seeking a solution that mutually benefits the workers they represent and the businesses that employ their workers, unions only seek to consolidate they power and enrich themselves.

  • Larry

    Luther, you do oppose people making a living wage because you hate the means by a living wage is obtained. Perhaps if you ministered to real blue collar and minimum-wage working people (especially people of color), you’d see things differently. The minimum wage, unhappily, is what many are forced to live on, and unions do a great deal of hard work to protect the rights of workers. These are ‘pro life’ issues that are largely forgotten.

  • Larry

    Luther, you do oppose people making a living wage because you hate the means by a living wage is obtained. Perhaps if you ministered to real blue collar and minimum-wage working people (especially people of color), you’d see things differently. The minimum wage, unhappily, is what many are forced to live on, and unions do a great deal of hard work to protect the rights of workers. These are ‘pro life’ issues that are largely forgotten.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    Larry, you presume too much.
    I just happen to have ample experience on both sides of the equation as a wage earner and as management/owner (prior to ministry). I know what it is like to be on minimum wage, I worked my butt off to get out of it. You aren’t meant to stay at minimum wage and every time the government raises minimum wage businesses raise their rates to protect their ability to remain profitable, thus negating any benefit to raising the minimum wage.
    I also watch as our small business tank because the teamsters went on strike against one of our major service providers, their oh so noble efforts cost my family our business and the jobs of our employees. And all so they could force a company to add a few more full-time positions.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    Larry, you presume too much.
    I just happen to have ample experience on both sides of the equation as a wage earner and as management/owner (prior to ministry). I know what it is like to be on minimum wage, I worked my butt off to get out of it. You aren’t meant to stay at minimum wage and every time the government raises minimum wage businesses raise their rates to protect their ability to remain profitable, thus negating any benefit to raising the minimum wage.
    I also watch as our small business tank because the teamsters went on strike against one of our major service providers, their oh so noble efforts cost my family our business and the jobs of our employees. And all so they could force a company to add a few more full-time positions.

  • Tom Hering

    “What is a legitimate way for a Christian to be guided by the Word in forming opinions about public policy?” – Veith.

    Book of Concord, Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XVI: Political Order (KW, 231.1-3,5) “… it is permissible for a Christian to hold public office, to render verdicts on the basis of imperial laws or other established laws, to prescribe just punishments, to engage in just wars, to serve in the military, to enter into legal contracts, to own property, to take an oath when magistrates require it, or to contract marriage. In short, we confessed that legitimate civil ordinances are good creations of God and divine ordinances in which a Christian may safely take part. This entire topic on the distinction between Christ’s kingdom and the civil realm has been helpfully explained in the writings of our theologians. Christ’s kingdom is spiritual, that is, it is the heart’s knowledge of God, fear of God, faith in God, and the beginning of eternal righteousness and eternal life. At the same time, it permits us to make outward use of legitimate political ordinances of whatever nation in which we live, just it permits us to make use of medicine or architecture or food, drink, and air. Neither does the gospel introduce new laws for the civil realm. Instead, it commands us to obey the present laws, whether they have been formulated by pagans or by others, and urges us to practice love through this obedience … For the gospel does not destroy the state or the household but rather approves them, and it orders us to obey them as divine ordinances not only on account of the punishments but also ‘because of conscience’ [Rom. 13:15].”

  • Tom Hering

    “What is a legitimate way for a Christian to be guided by the Word in forming opinions about public policy?” – Veith.

    Book of Concord, Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XVI: Political Order (KW, 231.1-3,5) “… it is permissible for a Christian to hold public office, to render verdicts on the basis of imperial laws or other established laws, to prescribe just punishments, to engage in just wars, to serve in the military, to enter into legal contracts, to own property, to take an oath when magistrates require it, or to contract marriage. In short, we confessed that legitimate civil ordinances are good creations of God and divine ordinances in which a Christian may safely take part. This entire topic on the distinction between Christ’s kingdom and the civil realm has been helpfully explained in the writings of our theologians. Christ’s kingdom is spiritual, that is, it is the heart’s knowledge of God, fear of God, faith in God, and the beginning of eternal righteousness and eternal life. At the same time, it permits us to make outward use of legitimate political ordinances of whatever nation in which we live, just it permits us to make use of medicine or architecture or food, drink, and air. Neither does the gospel introduce new laws for the civil realm. Instead, it commands us to obey the present laws, whether they have been formulated by pagans or by others, and urges us to practice love through this obedience … For the gospel does not destroy the state or the household but rather approves them, and it orders us to obey them as divine ordinances not only on account of the punishments but also ‘because of conscience’ [Rom. 13:15].”

  • DonS

    Tom @ 21: I think CRB’s point was that those she was targeting in that particular speech understood her reference. But the vast majority of her constituency, those she is really interested in serving (the secular left), had no idea whatsoever what she was talking about. And that’s exactly the way she wanted it.

  • DonS

    Tom @ 21: I think CRB’s point was that those she was targeting in that particular speech understood her reference. But the vast majority of her constituency, those she is really interested in serving (the secular left), had no idea whatsoever what she was talking about. And that’s exactly the way she wanted it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Christian charity … not so popular with Christians.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Christian charity … not so popular with Christians.

  • MikeD

    To Larry at 25:

    Unions do nothing to protect low wage earners, except strike them out of a job. A minimum wage is not a floor on prices but a hurdle that those very people cannot make it over. That is why Frederick Douglass opposed unions. He knew that this minimum wage they insisted on would price blacks right out of the market. Any high school kid knows that a price floor results in a shortage, in this case, a shortage of jobs (i.e. unemployment). As for being forced to live on minimum wage, that is simply not true. There is nobody/nothing forcing anybody in a voluntary contract. On the other hand, the threat of imprisonment or fines if you hire a guy who willingly signs up to make $5/hr is unjust force which Christians should oppose.

  • MikeD

    To Larry at 25:

    Unions do nothing to protect low wage earners, except strike them out of a job. A minimum wage is not a floor on prices but a hurdle that those very people cannot make it over. That is why Frederick Douglass opposed unions. He knew that this minimum wage they insisted on would price blacks right out of the market. Any high school kid knows that a price floor results in a shortage, in this case, a shortage of jobs (i.e. unemployment). As for being forced to live on minimum wage, that is simply not true. There is nobody/nothing forcing anybody in a voluntary contract. On the other hand, the threat of imprisonment or fines if you hire a guy who willingly signs up to make $5/hr is unjust force which Christians should oppose.

  • Tom Hering

    “But the vast majority of her constituency, those she is really interested in serving (the secular left), had no idea whatsoever what she was talking about. And that’s exactly the way she wanted it.” – DonS @ 28.

    Don, how do you know this? Must she be judged a fake? Can’t she just be a Christian who is wrong about particular issues? Is it Christian to judge another Christian’s faith by their politics? Who is it, really, that’s being secular in the way they think about things?

  • Tom Hering

    “But the vast majority of her constituency, those she is really interested in serving (the secular left), had no idea whatsoever what she was talking about. And that’s exactly the way she wanted it.” – DonS @ 28.

    Don, how do you know this? Must she be judged a fake? Can’t she just be a Christian who is wrong about particular issues? Is it Christian to judge another Christian’s faith by their politics? Who is it, really, that’s being secular in the way they think about things?

  • Peter Leavitt

    Tom:Can’t she just be a Christian who is wrong about particular issues?

    The trouble is that Speaker Pelosi in supporting the pro abortion position violates a fundamental Christian principle, that of the value of human life. Pope John Paul II understood this when in their meeting he pointedly remarked about the requirements of the natural moral law.

    A Christian who speaks about Christ as the Word of God that presumably values life is involved in an egregious contradiction when she advocates the slaughter of prenatal human life.

    Politicians are often involved in contradiction in order to shore up their position. In this case Speaker Pelosi went beyond the line in an obvious attempt to associate her position with the Word of God.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Tom:Can’t she just be a Christian who is wrong about particular issues?

    The trouble is that Speaker Pelosi in supporting the pro abortion position violates a fundamental Christian principle, that of the value of human life. Pope John Paul II understood this when in their meeting he pointedly remarked about the requirements of the natural moral law.

    A Christian who speaks about Christ as the Word of God that presumably values life is involved in an egregious contradiction when she advocates the slaughter of prenatal human life.

    Politicians are often involved in contradiction in order to shore up their position. In this case Speaker Pelosi went beyond the line in an obvious attempt to associate her position with the Word of God.

  • Tom Hering

    “A Christian who speaks about Christ as the Word of God … is involved in an egregious contradiction when she advocates the slaughter of prenatal human life.”

    Yes, exactly that.

  • Tom Hering

    “A Christian who speaks about Christ as the Word of God … is involved in an egregious contradiction when she advocates the slaughter of prenatal human life.”

    Yes, exactly that.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    The question, Peter (@32), is if your words also apply to you.

    The trouble with you is that, in supporting unionism or syncretism, you violate the fundamental Christian principle, that of the value of God’s truth.

    A Christian that presumably values truth is involved in an egregious contradiction when he advocates the ignoring of doctrinal error.

    Commenters here are often involved in contradiction in order to shore up their position. In this case Peter went beyond the line in an obvious attempt to associate his position with the Word of God.

    How’s that sound? Seem right?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    The question, Peter (@32), is if your words also apply to you.

    The trouble with you is that, in supporting unionism or syncretism, you violate the fundamental Christian principle, that of the value of God’s truth.

    A Christian that presumably values truth is involved in an egregious contradiction when he advocates the ignoring of doctrinal error.

    Commenters here are often involved in contradiction in order to shore up their position. In this case Peter went beyond the line in an obvious attempt to associate his position with the Word of God.

    How’s that sound? Seem right?

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    tODD, it’s not terribly complicated how Pelosi is making it up as she goes. She is a Catholic who is unequivocally at odds in terms of multiple issues–prenatal infanticide and homosexuality being prime among them–with the person the Catholics call the “Vicar of Christ,” never mind the actual Word of God. She consistently, like the head of her party, takes a knee jerk response in favor of those would saw off the heads of innocents with a rusty machete, all the while taking advantage of dishonest maneuvers to get unpopular bills passed.

    One doesn’t exactly need to be a dittohead (or like me, person who thinks Rush is kinda liberal) to see Madame Pelosi as not exactly taking her cues from the Word of God.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    tODD, it’s not terribly complicated how Pelosi is making it up as she goes. She is a Catholic who is unequivocally at odds in terms of multiple issues–prenatal infanticide and homosexuality being prime among them–with the person the Catholics call the “Vicar of Christ,” never mind the actual Word of God. She consistently, like the head of her party, takes a knee jerk response in favor of those would saw off the heads of innocents with a rusty machete, all the while taking advantage of dishonest maneuvers to get unpopular bills passed.

    One doesn’t exactly need to be a dittohead (or like me, person who thinks Rush is kinda liberal) to see Madame Pelosi as not exactly taking her cues from the Word of God.

  • Tom Hering

    Poor Catholics. We criticize some for bowing down to the Pope, and others for rejecting his authority over Christians. In which case are we wrong?

  • Tom Hering

    Poor Catholics. We criticize some for bowing down to the Pope, and others for rejecting his authority over Christians. In which case are we wrong?

  • Peter Leavitt

    So, Todd, @34, what’s your point? I stand by all the points that you ludicrously dredged up, though I shan’t be a crushing bore in explaining them again.

    Tom Hering agreed that Speaker Pelosi is involved in an egregious contradiction when she advocates both the Word and the slaughter of prenatal human life. How say you on this issue, getting back to the reality of the thread?

  • Peter Leavitt

    So, Todd, @34, what’s your point? I stand by all the points that you ludicrously dredged up, though I shan’t be a crushing bore in explaining them again.

    Tom Hering agreed that Speaker Pelosi is involved in an egregious contradiction when she advocates both the Word and the slaughter of prenatal human life. How say you on this issue, getting back to the reality of the thread?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I disagree with Pelosi’s stance on abortion, as I understand it, yes.

    But Peter (@37), this thread was never about Pelosi’s stance on abortion. If you’re going to play at Comment Police, you should actually try to stick to the topic, not merely to the topic you wish were being discussed.

    We do love to judge others for their failings, for how their actions contradict what they say they believe. My question remains: for all here judging Ms. Pelosi’s heart (@2, 4, 8, 12, 18, 28, 32, 35) or otherwise ascribing uncharitable qualities to her, what does it say about your faith that your actions so contradict the faith you claim to hold?

    Or were we only supposed to be talking about how bad Ms. Pelosi is when compared to loving Christians as yourselves? I can never keep on topic.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I disagree with Pelosi’s stance on abortion, as I understand it, yes.

    But Peter (@37), this thread was never about Pelosi’s stance on abortion. If you’re going to play at Comment Police, you should actually try to stick to the topic, not merely to the topic you wish were being discussed.

    We do love to judge others for their failings, for how their actions contradict what they say they believe. My question remains: for all here judging Ms. Pelosi’s heart (@2, 4, 8, 12, 18, 28, 32, 35) or otherwise ascribing uncharitable qualities to her, what does it say about your faith that your actions so contradict the faith you claim to hold?

    Or were we only supposed to be talking about how bad Ms. Pelosi is when compared to loving Christians as yourselves? I can never keep on topic.

  • Tom Hering

    Actually, Peter, I think the more egregious contradiction is between her faith in Christ as Savior, and her implication that “works righteousness” is the thing we need in order to stand before Christ. The souls of the unborn will not – I trust – be lost because of anything Nancy Pelosi does or doesn’t do. The souls of those who listened to her speak about Christ’s return, and then wondered if she might be right … well, they’re in danger.

  • Tom Hering

    Actually, Peter, I think the more egregious contradiction is between her faith in Christ as Savior, and her implication that “works righteousness” is the thing we need in order to stand before Christ. The souls of the unborn will not – I trust – be lost because of anything Nancy Pelosi does or doesn’t do. The souls of those who listened to her speak about Christ’s return, and then wondered if she might be right … well, they’re in danger.

  • SAL

    I generally find Nancy Pelosi’s authoritarian politics noxious.

    What troubles me more is that she appears to be using Christianity to sell her authoritarian politics. I hate it when right-winger disingenuously sell their Christianity (a frequent occurance here in Alabama).

    I likewise hate it when authoritarians on the left use Christianity to sell their politics (likewise a frequent occurrence in Alabama).

  • SAL

    I generally find Nancy Pelosi’s authoritarian politics noxious.

    What troubles me more is that she appears to be using Christianity to sell her authoritarian politics. I hate it when right-winger disingenuously sell their Christianity (a frequent occurance here in Alabama).

    I likewise hate it when authoritarians on the left use Christianity to sell their politics (likewise a frequent occurrence in Alabama).

  • dr p

    @tom hering: you appear to confuse the judgement of christian charity with postmodern “nonjudgementalism;” yes, christians will have differences of opinion, but even these must still be within the limits of the faith. if one can be “wrong” on the matter of murder – which god takes ever so seriously – and still be considered within the pale of christianity, why can’t one also deny the trinity whilst taking god-smack and covenant jive and also be considered a christian? my friend, objective truth exists, and the faith once delivered to the saints isn’t burger king (“…all we ask is that you let us serve it your way”).

  • dr p

    @tom hering: you appear to confuse the judgement of christian charity with postmodern “nonjudgementalism;” yes, christians will have differences of opinion, but even these must still be within the limits of the faith. if one can be “wrong” on the matter of murder – which god takes ever so seriously – and still be considered within the pale of christianity, why can’t one also deny the trinity whilst taking god-smack and covenant jive and also be considered a christian? my friend, objective truth exists, and the faith once delivered to the saints isn’t burger king (“…all we ask is that you let us serve it your way”).

  • dr p

    @todd @38: as with tom hering, so with you: you don’t like comment-policing whilst i eschew heart-policing. scripture is laced with warnings to avoid heretics and love truth, requiring judgement about how one’s faith and life measure up to the objective standard of god’s word. rather than positing a contradiction in scripture, one could regard “don’t judge” as proscription of playing “god’s yardstick” and measuring others by one’s own laundry list. again, objective truth exists – even if the rcc fails in its pastoral duty to discipline its sheep by that truth.

  • dr p

    @todd @38: as with tom hering, so with you: you don’t like comment-policing whilst i eschew heart-policing. scripture is laced with warnings to avoid heretics and love truth, requiring judgement about how one’s faith and life measure up to the objective standard of god’s word. rather than positing a contradiction in scripture, one could regard “don’t judge” as proscription of playing “god’s yardstick” and measuring others by one’s own laundry list. again, objective truth exists – even if the rcc fails in its pastoral duty to discipline its sheep by that truth.

  • Tom Hering

    dr p @ 41: It isn’t an absence of sins, but the forgiveness of your sins, that makes you a Christian. Now, if we see a Christian refusing to acknowledge a particular sin – if we see them continuing in a particular sin (whether it’s enabling abortion or denying the Trinity) – we warn them they’re rejecting the forgiveness God offers them. And if they continue to refuse His forgiveness, we remove them from the body of Christ. In hope of yet saving them. Has anyone here gone through that process with Speaker Pelosi? Has her own church body? (If her own church body hasn’t, we’re into a whole different discussion about why they haven’t.)

  • Tom Hering

    dr p @ 41: It isn’t an absence of sins, but the forgiveness of your sins, that makes you a Christian. Now, if we see a Christian refusing to acknowledge a particular sin – if we see them continuing in a particular sin (whether it’s enabling abortion or denying the Trinity) – we warn them they’re rejecting the forgiveness God offers them. And if they continue to refuse His forgiveness, we remove them from the body of Christ. In hope of yet saving them. Has anyone here gone through that process with Speaker Pelosi? Has her own church body? (If her own church body hasn’t, we’re into a whole different discussion about why they haven’t.)

  • dr p

    tom hering@43: a key point: church discipline (or, as our fathers called it, kirk government) is one of the marks of a true church; as with ted kennedy and other “cafeteria catholics,” the rcc has failed to provide pastoral care by allowing such as errant members to go without correction and hence emperiling their souls. should the rcc counsel mrs pelosi and she repent, it’s a win-win-win (gor us as well); if she is adamant in her error, she must be disciplined – just as we should be in similar circumstances. her being a demo hoohah should not give her any special privileges; indeed, her errors are all the more egregious given her position of authority.

  • dr p

    tom hering@43: a key point: church discipline (or, as our fathers called it, kirk government) is one of the marks of a true church; as with ted kennedy and other “cafeteria catholics,” the rcc has failed to provide pastoral care by allowing such as errant members to go without correction and hence emperiling their souls. should the rcc counsel mrs pelosi and she repent, it’s a win-win-win (gor us as well); if she is adamant in her error, she must be disciplined – just as we should be in similar circumstances. her being a demo hoohah should not give her any special privileges; indeed, her errors are all the more egregious given her position of authority.

  • Tom Hering

    “… as with ted kennedy and other ‘cafeteria catholics,’ the rcc has failed to provide pastoral care by allowing such as errant members to go without correction …” – dr p @ 44.

    How do you know this? How do you know Speaker Pelosi isn’t being counseled by her priest – with a view toward changing her position on abortion?

    Now, I agree it’s unlikely the RCC will discipline her publicly. But as I said, that’s a whole different discussion. Or is the RCC what you really want to talk about?

  • Tom Hering

    “… as with ted kennedy and other ‘cafeteria catholics,’ the rcc has failed to provide pastoral care by allowing such as errant members to go without correction …” – dr p @ 44.

    How do you know this? How do you know Speaker Pelosi isn’t being counseled by her priest – with a view toward changing her position on abortion?

    Now, I agree it’s unlikely the RCC will discipline her publicly. But as I said, that’s a whole different discussion. Or is the RCC what you really want to talk about?

  • dr p

    tom hering@45: my post stands: discipline for public offences is public, and there have been no statements from the rcc re mrs pelosi’s status. ted kennedy died with full rites of burial; ie in good standing with the rcc (but not with god) and without any public contrition for his misdeeds and errors. what i really want to talk about is what i believe the gist of this post to be – mrs pelosi’s blatantly disingenuous god-smack. she is free to believe what she wishes, but calling such (un)belief christian is false. i assert with christ, moses, paul, etc that objective truth exists, and christianity does not mean what it means to you today. i concur with other posters that she’s playing the faith card, and its high time that churches and individual christians call her bluff.

  • dr p

    tom hering@45: my post stands: discipline for public offences is public, and there have been no statements from the rcc re mrs pelosi’s status. ted kennedy died with full rites of burial; ie in good standing with the rcc (but not with god) and without any public contrition for his misdeeds and errors. what i really want to talk about is what i believe the gist of this post to be – mrs pelosi’s blatantly disingenuous god-smack. she is free to believe what she wishes, but calling such (un)belief christian is false. i assert with christ, moses, paul, etc that objective truth exists, and christianity does not mean what it means to you today. i concur with other posters that she’s playing the faith card, and its high time that churches and individual christians call her bluff.

  • CRB

    dr p @44 “church discipline (or, as our fathers called it, kirk government) is one of the marks of a true church.”

    I don’t know what denominations you belong to, but I would
    just like to say that in the Evangelical Lutheran Church (not
    the ELCA) we do not believe that church discipline is “one of
    the marks of a true church.” We believe, teach and confess
    that the marks of a true church are the Word and the
    sacraments.

  • CRB

    dr p @44 “church discipline (or, as our fathers called it, kirk government) is one of the marks of a true church.”

    I don’t know what denominations you belong to, but I would
    just like to say that in the Evangelical Lutheran Church (not
    the ELCA) we do not believe that church discipline is “one of
    the marks of a true church.” We believe, teach and confess
    that the marks of a true church are the Word and the
    sacraments.

  • Tom Hering

    @ 46: “… discipline for public offences is public, and there have been no statements from the rcc re mrs pelosi’s status.”

    The ultimate discipline for unrepentant sin is done before an assembled congregation, not “in public.” Neither is a church body required to make a statement to “the public” concerning a member’s standing.

    @ 46: “ted kennedy died with full rites of burial; ie in good standing with the rcc (but not with god) …”

    Since you were sitting at the side of his death bed, are there any other juicy details you can share with us?

    @ 46: “i concur with other posters that she’s playing the faith card, and its high time that churches and individual christians call her bluff.”

    She just might be. Who knows? I don’t. You don’t.

  • Tom Hering

    @ 46: “… discipline for public offences is public, and there have been no statements from the rcc re mrs pelosi’s status.”

    The ultimate discipline for unrepentant sin is done before an assembled congregation, not “in public.” Neither is a church body required to make a statement to “the public” concerning a member’s standing.

    @ 46: “ted kennedy died with full rites of burial; ie in good standing with the rcc (but not with god) …”

    Since you were sitting at the side of his death bed, are there any other juicy details you can share with us?

    @ 46: “i concur with other posters that she’s playing the faith card, and its high time that churches and individual christians call her bluff.”

    She just might be. Who knows? I don’t. You don’t.

  • dr p

    crb@47: i come from the reformed side of the aisle, although i have been in the lcms; irrespective of that, luther et cie certainly recognised the importance of discipline (ie, the keys) as per who was or wasn’t admitted tot he sacrament of the altar. discipline also follows from the ministry of the word, as obedience thereto is neither an option to be considered or a pick-and-choose exercise akin to a trip to the salad bar. the word itself commends and commands discipline, don’t you agree?

  • dr p

    crb@47: i come from the reformed side of the aisle, although i have been in the lcms; irrespective of that, luther et cie certainly recognised the importance of discipline (ie, the keys) as per who was or wasn’t admitted tot he sacrament of the altar. discipline also follows from the ministry of the word, as obedience thereto is neither an option to be considered or a pick-and-choose exercise akin to a trip to the salad bar. the word itself commends and commands discipline, don’t you agree?

  • dr p

    tom hering@48: during your next trip to burger king, try ordering a side of civility, or what you might call “christian charity.” the fact that kennedy was buried with full rites is proof of his good standing in the rcc. “She just might be. Who knows? I don’t. You don’t” and don’t have to; ie i have her public behaviour to judge her by and so needn’t bother about her heart – that’s between her and god +/- her priest. as a magistrate her errors and sins aggravate her guilt, as she is in a position to carry out her will against the unborn. do you or do you not believe in objective truth, or are yiou perhaps a postmodern hiding behind the judgement of charity? this appears to be the heart of the matter.

  • dr p

    tom hering@48: during your next trip to burger king, try ordering a side of civility, or what you might call “christian charity.” the fact that kennedy was buried with full rites is proof of his good standing in the rcc. “She just might be. Who knows? I don’t. You don’t” and don’t have to; ie i have her public behaviour to judge her by and so needn’t bother about her heart – that’s between her and god +/- her priest. as a magistrate her errors and sins aggravate her guilt, as she is in a position to carry out her will against the unborn. do you or do you not believe in objective truth, or are yiou perhaps a postmodern hiding behind the judgement of charity? this appears to be the heart of the matter.

  • Tom Hering

    dr p, I apologize for my incivility. Now, how many more times are you going to accuse me of being a closet postmodernist?

  • Tom Hering

    dr p, I apologize for my incivility. Now, how many more times are you going to accuse me of being a closet postmodernist?

  • dr p

    tom hering@51: apology accepted; i’m having trouble with your trouble with judging mrs pelosi’s behaviour – especially with her (and others) treating christ like a deus ex machina. what i perceive (correctly or no) is an adversion to drawing a conclusion from her observed public behaviour and confusing said conclusion with judging her heart (which nobody can do)? some clarification would be most helpful to me.

  • dr p

    tom hering@51: apology accepted; i’m having trouble with your trouble with judging mrs pelosi’s behaviour – especially with her (and others) treating christ like a deus ex machina. what i perceive (correctly or no) is an adversion to drawing a conclusion from her observed public behaviour and confusing said conclusion with judging her heart (which nobody can do)? some clarification would be most helpful to me.

  • CRB

    dr p @49, Yes, the keys necessarily include the Word–binding
    and loosing sin–but that would not be in the realm of discipline
    as understood by Luther what the “marks” of the church are. The “marks” of the church are the purely preached gospel and
    the rightly administered sacraments.

  • CRB

    dr p @49, Yes, the keys necessarily include the Word–binding
    and loosing sin–but that would not be in the realm of discipline
    as understood by Luther what the “marks” of the church are. The “marks” of the church are the purely preached gospel and
    the rightly administered sacraments.

  • dr p

    crb@53: true enough, but still discipline is involved; ie who gets to be baptised or commune. certainly luther fenced the table (a reformed term), and conservative lutherans to this day practise closed communion – this is a form of discipline (“rightly administered sacraments”), which in luther’s case is implicit in the marks of the church whilst explicit with us.

  • dr p

    crb@53: true enough, but still discipline is involved; ie who gets to be baptised or commune. certainly luther fenced the table (a reformed term), and conservative lutherans to this day practise closed communion – this is a form of discipline (“rightly administered sacraments”), which in luther’s case is implicit in the marks of the church whilst explicit with us.

  • Tom Hering

    dr p, I have no trouble judging Speaker Pelosi’s public actions and statements – in the civil realm. I think she’s wrong about abortion. Murderously wrong.

    I just won’t carry my judgment further and pronounce (from afar, no less) upon her standing, at this moment, as a Christian. God has given that judgment to her shepherd to make. And if her shepherd won’t make it, there’s not a thing you or I can do about it. Except make the judgment ourselves, without knowing all we need to know, at this moment. We aren’t facing her now. We aren’t talking to her now. And we haven’t ever been given the necessary authority to cast her out. I hope my position is clear to you.

    As always, I’m open to correction. Convince me from Scripture. (Others are welcome to do so also.)

  • Tom Hering

    dr p, I have no trouble judging Speaker Pelosi’s public actions and statements – in the civil realm. I think she’s wrong about abortion. Murderously wrong.

    I just won’t carry my judgment further and pronounce (from afar, no less) upon her standing, at this moment, as a Christian. God has given that judgment to her shepherd to make. And if her shepherd won’t make it, there’s not a thing you or I can do about it. Except make the judgment ourselves, without knowing all we need to know, at this moment. We aren’t facing her now. We aren’t talking to her now. And we haven’t ever been given the necessary authority to cast her out. I hope my position is clear to you.

    As always, I’m open to correction. Convince me from Scripture. (Others are welcome to do so also.)

  • dr p

    tom hering@55: i understand you a bit better now, but perhaps you don’t understand me. i have no authority to excommunicate her but, irrespective of what her church does or doesn’t do, her public behaviour is sufficient for me to deny her the right hand of fellowship and to admonish her to make good on her baptism and claim of being a christian by publicly repenting of her public sin. this i believe to be iaw scripture.

  • dr p

    tom hering@55: i understand you a bit better now, but perhaps you don’t understand me. i have no authority to excommunicate her but, irrespective of what her church does or doesn’t do, her public behaviour is sufficient for me to deny her the right hand of fellowship and to admonish her to make good on her baptism and claim of being a christian by publicly repenting of her public sin. this i believe to be iaw scripture.

  • CRB

    Thought this an appropriate quote from a Roman Catholic of
    yesteryear:
    “I am quite ready to respect another man’s faith; but it is
    too much to ask that I should respect his doubt, his
    worldly hesitations and fictions, his political bargain and
    make-believe. ” – G.K. Chesterton

  • CRB

    Thought this an appropriate quote from a Roman Catholic of
    yesteryear:
    “I am quite ready to respect another man’s faith; but it is
    too much to ask that I should respect his doubt, his
    worldly hesitations and fictions, his political bargain and
    make-believe. ” – G.K. Chesterton

  • dr p

    crb@57: spot on!

  • dr p

    crb@57: spot on!

  • Tom Hering

    “… her public behaviour is sufficient for me to deny her the right hand of fellowship and to admonish her to make good on her baptism and claim of being a christian by publicly repenting of her public sin.” – dr p @ 56.

    Well, that’s different! :-)

  • Tom Hering

    “… her public behaviour is sufficient for me to deny her the right hand of fellowship and to admonish her to make good on her baptism and claim of being a christian by publicly repenting of her public sin.” – dr p @ 56.

    Well, that’s different! :-)

  • dr p

    tom hering@59: it’s all a mere pew-pilot can do; sorry if i didn’t make myself clearer.

  • dr p

    tom hering@59: it’s all a mere pew-pilot can do; sorry if i didn’t make myself clearer.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Sorry, fellows, but I wake up on the West Coast, and I have a young man in my house who insists I read him books in the morning. So I’m utterly late to this discussion, but perhaps all for the best, as it seems to have potentially resolved itself.

    Suffice it to say that there never was any question on my part as to whether abortion (assuming that is what we’re discussing with respect to Ms. Pelosi) is wrong (cf. @38). But there was an awful lot of apparently unrepentant heart-judging aimed at Ms. Pelosi (and Mr. Kennedy) on this thread.

    Since Ms. Pelosi is likely not reading these comments, but the people who made uncharitable assumptions as to her motives and faith are, I aimed my comments at them.

    And I haven’t seen anyone apologize about it yet, that I’ve noticed.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Sorry, fellows, but I wake up on the West Coast, and I have a young man in my house who insists I read him books in the morning. So I’m utterly late to this discussion, but perhaps all for the best, as it seems to have potentially resolved itself.

    Suffice it to say that there never was any question on my part as to whether abortion (assuming that is what we’re discussing with respect to Ms. Pelosi) is wrong (cf. @38). But there was an awful lot of apparently unrepentant heart-judging aimed at Ms. Pelosi (and Mr. Kennedy) on this thread.

    Since Ms. Pelosi is likely not reading these comments, but the people who made uncharitable assumptions as to her motives and faith are, I aimed my comments at them.

    And I haven’t seen anyone apologize about it yet, that I’ve noticed.

  • dr p

    todd@61: judging the heart is one thing – an impossible thing – but we are commanded to judge behaviour. we are also commanded to acknowledge the existence of truth (like the fact that elective abortion is murder) al la the johannine gospel and epistles; as i and others posted, mrs pelosi is free to believe as she wishes, but we are under no obligation to unconditionally accept her beliefs as christian. there is a difference between a christian opinion and the opinion of a professing christian, and obfuscation is neither christian nor charitable – see crb@57.

  • dr p

    todd@61: judging the heart is one thing – an impossible thing – but we are commanded to judge behaviour. we are also commanded to acknowledge the existence of truth (like the fact that elective abortion is murder) al la the johannine gospel and epistles; as i and others posted, mrs pelosi is free to believe as she wishes, but we are under no obligation to unconditionally accept her beliefs as christian. there is a difference between a christian opinion and the opinion of a professing christian, and obfuscation is neither christian nor charitable – see crb@57.

  • Tom Hering

    What about the charge that her American-style Catholicism is just a front for her political ambitions?

  • Tom Hering

    What about the charge that her American-style Catholicism is just a front for her political ambitions?

  • dr p

    tom hering@63: she can’t have it both ways; ie call herself a christian (or catholic) and act like she does; her behaviour is consistent with playing the faith card which, like patriotism, is the last resort of a scoundrel. she bears the mark of the covenant and takes god’s name in her mouth per psalm 50.16, and must either conform to said covenant and change her behaviour, or eschew that covenant and continue thumbing her nose at god. “american-style catholicism” sounds like “gnostic-style christianity” or “baal-style yahwism” – quite postmodern of her.

  • dr p

    tom hering@63: she can’t have it both ways; ie call herself a christian (or catholic) and act like she does; her behaviour is consistent with playing the faith card which, like patriotism, is the last resort of a scoundrel. she bears the mark of the covenant and takes god’s name in her mouth per psalm 50.16, and must either conform to said covenant and change her behaviour, or eschew that covenant and continue thumbing her nose at god. “american-style catholicism” sounds like “gnostic-style christianity” or “baal-style yahwism” – quite postmodern of her.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, one may analyze Speaker Pelosi’s position on abortion versus her rhetoric about believing in the Word without judging her heart. You are involved in a straw man argument here.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, one may analyze Speaker Pelosi’s position on abortion versus her rhetoric about believing in the Word without judging her heart. You are involved in a straw man argument here.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dr. P (@62), I’m sorry, but you continue to battle a straw man. No one here is denying the “existence of truth” or “the fact that elective abortion is murder”.

    And Peter (@65), yes, it’s true that “one may analyze Speaker Pelosi’s position on abortion versus her rhetoric about believing in the Word without judging her heart.” But many people here have gone and judged her heart, anyhow. And that is what I am condemning. It is far from a straw man, as even a casual reading of the comments above will show. But as you seem disinclined to do that, I will copy and paste them for you and Dr. P:

    Joan (@4):

    Nancy Pelosi “thinking ‘Christianly’?” That’s a laugh! She only “thinks Christianly” when it seems to serve her purpose.

    C-Christian Soldier (@12):

    Nancy P..being pro-death-would have advocated for the death (abortion) of the Word (Christ)

    DLi2C (@18):

    The cynical side of me says that this speech of Pelosi’s illustrates she merely has a faith of convenience. It suits her to defend her actions with what she believes may appease the people of faith.

    J. Dean (@22):

    The debate about the Scriptural validity of Roman Catholic doctrines aside, Ms. Pelosi is putting her politics above her faith.

    DonS (@28):

    The vast majority of her constituency, those she is really interested in serving (the secular left), had no idea whatsoever what she was talking about. And that’s exactly the way she wanted it.

    Peter, on the other hand, simply made a completely baseless assertion (@2) from Veith’s link that “Speaker Pelosi fallaciously identifies the Gospel Word with government entitlement programs.” As did Bubba (@8) with his charge that Pelosi is “more or less claiming carte blanche to set a moral tone totally ad odds with the Scriptures.”

    And, like I said, no one has apologized for any of this. And this from Christians. Hmm.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dr. P (@62), I’m sorry, but you continue to battle a straw man. No one here is denying the “existence of truth” or “the fact that elective abortion is murder”.

    And Peter (@65), yes, it’s true that “one may analyze Speaker Pelosi’s position on abortion versus her rhetoric about believing in the Word without judging her heart.” But many people here have gone and judged her heart, anyhow. And that is what I am condemning. It is far from a straw man, as even a casual reading of the comments above will show. But as you seem disinclined to do that, I will copy and paste them for you and Dr. P:

    Joan (@4):

    Nancy Pelosi “thinking ‘Christianly’?” That’s a laugh! She only “thinks Christianly” when it seems to serve her purpose.

    C-Christian Soldier (@12):

    Nancy P..being pro-death-would have advocated for the death (abortion) of the Word (Christ)

    DLi2C (@18):

    The cynical side of me says that this speech of Pelosi’s illustrates she merely has a faith of convenience. It suits her to defend her actions with what she believes may appease the people of faith.

    J. Dean (@22):

    The debate about the Scriptural validity of Roman Catholic doctrines aside, Ms. Pelosi is putting her politics above her faith.

    DonS (@28):

    The vast majority of her constituency, those she is really interested in serving (the secular left), had no idea whatsoever what she was talking about. And that’s exactly the way she wanted it.

    Peter, on the other hand, simply made a completely baseless assertion (@2) from Veith’s link that “Speaker Pelosi fallaciously identifies the Gospel Word with government entitlement programs.” As did Bubba (@8) with his charge that Pelosi is “more or less claiming carte blanche to set a moral tone totally ad odds with the Scriptures.”

    And, like I said, no one has apologized for any of this. And this from Christians. Hmm.

  • dr p

    todd, i’m with peter in that it is you who battle the straw man. this post is about her postion on abortion, because it is a mirror of her burger-king profession of faith trotted out for public consumption. her supporters act like abortion is some sort of secular sacrament. i would disagree with j dean @22 because politics appears to be mrs pelosi’s faith, with the trinity in whose name she was baptised trotted out like a deus ex machina or the police detective’s crucifix in camus’ /the stranger./ maybe the above-pasted posters’ wording is not to your liking, but you seem harder on those who call mrs planned parenthood pelosi’s bluff than on her, which does reflect upon your view of truth as well as your priorities. mrs pelosi’s dragging god into her machinations is blasphemous, and that rightly upsets the other posters. well, christian, how about you?

  • dr p

    todd, i’m with peter in that it is you who battle the straw man. this post is about her postion on abortion, because it is a mirror of her burger-king profession of faith trotted out for public consumption. her supporters act like abortion is some sort of secular sacrament. i would disagree with j dean @22 because politics appears to be mrs pelosi’s faith, with the trinity in whose name she was baptised trotted out like a deus ex machina or the police detective’s crucifix in camus’ /the stranger./ maybe the above-pasted posters’ wording is not to your liking, but you seem harder on those who call mrs planned parenthood pelosi’s bluff than on her, which does reflect upon your view of truth as well as your priorities. mrs pelosi’s dragging god into her machinations is blasphemous, and that rightly upsets the other posters. well, christian, how about you?

  • Cincinnatus

    Here’s a thought: Pelosi, like most (contemporary politicians), had no meaningful point to make. She was merely pandering to whatever audience was placed in front of her at the time. Apparently it was a Christian group. She’s a hack, as are most politicians who manage to make it into the upper echelons of party power, and her words mean little at face value. We all know that she doesn’t make policy in accordance with any “Word”, unless you mean the “word” of the Democratic Party–per her job description.

    In other words, unless we are going to answer Veith’s original inquiry–i.e., how would we make policy in accordance with the Word?–this entire discussion has been rather fruitless.

  • Cincinnatus

    Here’s a thought: Pelosi, like most (contemporary politicians), had no meaningful point to make. She was merely pandering to whatever audience was placed in front of her at the time. Apparently it was a Christian group. She’s a hack, as are most politicians who manage to make it into the upper echelons of party power, and her words mean little at face value. We all know that she doesn’t make policy in accordance with any “Word”, unless you mean the “word” of the Democratic Party–per her job description.

    In other words, unless we are going to answer Veith’s original inquiry–i.e., how would we make policy in accordance with the Word?–this entire discussion has been rather fruitless.

  • dr p

    cincinnatus@68: well said; she’d probably praise mohammed’s marriage to aisha before a group of well-healed paedophiles. to answer veith’s original inquiry, we should first observe what mrs pelosi does and don’t do it. as to how to, shall we say, govern biblically, we need a definition of terms and an hermeneutic – which will be tough to come up with amongst lutheran two-kingdom types, continental reformed, catholic natural law advocates, christian reconstructionists, libertarians, etc. any ideas?

  • dr p

    cincinnatus@68: well said; she’d probably praise mohammed’s marriage to aisha before a group of well-healed paedophiles. to answer veith’s original inquiry, we should first observe what mrs pelosi does and don’t do it. as to how to, shall we say, govern biblically, we need a definition of terms and an hermeneutic – which will be tough to come up with amongst lutheran two-kingdom types, continental reformed, catholic natural law advocates, christian reconstructionists, libertarians, etc. any ideas?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dr. P (@67), you think “this post is about her postion on abortion”, but you may notice that its title is “Setting public policy according to the Word”. This may help you understand what the post was actually about. But of course, there was precious little discussion about that topic. It’s far easier to sit in judgment on the woman’s heart and faith.

    And, even while you earlier claimed (@42) to “eschew heart-policing” and “needn’t bother about her heart” (@50) and said (@52) that “judging her heart” is something “nobody can do” (and again @62 that “judging the heart is … an impossible thing”), you then throw all that aside to judge her heart.

    And how! After all, you accuse her of having a “burger-king profession of faith trotted out for public consumption.” And then went on to claim that “politics appears to be mrs pelosi’s faith, with the trinity in whose name she was baptised trotted out like a deus ex machina.”

    Hmm. I suppose that makes you a hypocrite in addition to an unrepentant sinner. Oh, but at least you’re not as bad as Ms. Pelosi. You can always comfort yourself with that.

    After all, you don’t seem to have much of the Gospel to comfort yourself with, since you seem to think that the covenant God makes with Christians is one in which Christians must be the one doing the work: “she bears the mark of the covenant … and must … conform to said covenant and change her behaviour” (@64). You also appear to have a Gospel-less understanding of baptism, urging her to “make good on her baptism” (@56).

    Dr. P, I urge you to accept the free forgiveness from Jesus for all your sins, including those on display here. I’m sure you think you’re doing some good here, but I find this Christ-less Christianity to be the worst thing on display here.

    But perhaps I should have expected as much from a man who claims to know (@46) that Ted Kennedy died not “in good standing” “with god”.

    And as for your complaint that I “seem harder on those who call mrs planned parenthood pelosi’s bluff than on her”, well spotted. Because you are the sinners in error I am talking to. If I ever have a discussion with Ms. Pelosi, that would be the time to discuss it with her.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dr. P (@67), you think “this post is about her postion on abortion”, but you may notice that its title is “Setting public policy according to the Word”. This may help you understand what the post was actually about. But of course, there was precious little discussion about that topic. It’s far easier to sit in judgment on the woman’s heart and faith.

    And, even while you earlier claimed (@42) to “eschew heart-policing” and “needn’t bother about her heart” (@50) and said (@52) that “judging her heart” is something “nobody can do” (and again @62 that “judging the heart is … an impossible thing”), you then throw all that aside to judge her heart.

    And how! After all, you accuse her of having a “burger-king profession of faith trotted out for public consumption.” And then went on to claim that “politics appears to be mrs pelosi’s faith, with the trinity in whose name she was baptised trotted out like a deus ex machina.”

    Hmm. I suppose that makes you a hypocrite in addition to an unrepentant sinner. Oh, but at least you’re not as bad as Ms. Pelosi. You can always comfort yourself with that.

    After all, you don’t seem to have much of the Gospel to comfort yourself with, since you seem to think that the covenant God makes with Christians is one in which Christians must be the one doing the work: “she bears the mark of the covenant … and must … conform to said covenant and change her behaviour” (@64). You also appear to have a Gospel-less understanding of baptism, urging her to “make good on her baptism” (@56).

    Dr. P, I urge you to accept the free forgiveness from Jesus for all your sins, including those on display here. I’m sure you think you’re doing some good here, but I find this Christ-less Christianity to be the worst thing on display here.

    But perhaps I should have expected as much from a man who claims to know (@46) that Ted Kennedy died not “in good standing” “with god”.

    And as for your complaint that I “seem harder on those who call mrs planned parenthood pelosi’s bluff than on her”, well spotted. Because you are the sinners in error I am talking to. If I ever have a discussion with Ms. Pelosi, that would be the time to discuss it with her.

  • dr p

    todd: perhaps you should reevaluate your own judging of mine and others’ hearts iaw removing your eye-beam vs our possible eye-motes. i nowhere commended works-righteousness; where do you see it? in your posts i see cheap grace; eg your signal lack of umbrage at mrs pelosi’s militant support of infanticide and dragging the trinity in to support such, and still allowing her to hide behind a profession of christian faith. yes, i do believe in the objectivity of truth, the law of noncontradiction, the objectivity of the covenant, and man’s obligations before a divine creator with proprietary rights in his creatures – that’s just classical christianity. i commend psalm 90 to you as evidence of what god thinks of such, and urge you to be a man in understanding per st paul, and a bit more self-reflective.

  • dr p

    todd: perhaps you should reevaluate your own judging of mine and others’ hearts iaw removing your eye-beam vs our possible eye-motes. i nowhere commended works-righteousness; where do you see it? in your posts i see cheap grace; eg your signal lack of umbrage at mrs pelosi’s militant support of infanticide and dragging the trinity in to support such, and still allowing her to hide behind a profession of christian faith. yes, i do believe in the objectivity of truth, the law of noncontradiction, the objectivity of the covenant, and man’s obligations before a divine creator with proprietary rights in his creatures – that’s just classical christianity. i commend psalm 90 to you as evidence of what god thinks of such, and urge you to be a man in understanding per st paul, and a bit more self-reflective.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dr. P (@71), come on. Where am I judging your heart or others? I have intentionally pointed to the words of others when making my case. Show me my error, and I will repent.

    The same cannot be said of you, however. You have repeatedly judged things you cannot and do not know, including Ms. Pelosi’s faith and Ted Kennedy’s status with God. Even by your own professed measure, you are missing the mark. And yet all you have to say is that I am in error. That’s rich. Again, show me my error. I have shown you yours. And you have done nothing in response but dodge.

    Now, as to my “signal lack of umbrage at mrs pelosi’s militant support of infanticide”, I don’t know if it’s just reading comprehension issues or if you just insist on pretending I believe something I don’t, but I already pointed you once before (@61) to my earlier statement (@38) that “I disagree with Pelosi’s stance on abortion, as I understand it.” Please read that a few dozen times before you try to tell me what I think about abortion. You might also bother to do some simple searching of this site to find my previously expressed views on the matter.

    As to your understanding of Christianity, again, I have yet to see much evidence of your belief in grace — “cheap” or otherwise. Where is the Christ in your professed faith?

    I mean, honestly, you think the phrase “make good on her baptism” (@56) makes sense, much less biblically? No, baptism saves us (1 Peter 3) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ — it is baptism that makes us good, to modify your phrase, the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

    And, again, you seem to think (@64) that the covenant God has with us is one we — or at least Ms. Pelosi — need to “conform to”. Read, among other things, the book of Hebrews to learn what our covenant with God is actually like: “that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance — now that [Christ] has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” Or, as Jeremiah put it: “‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God,
    and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,’ declares the Lord. ‘For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.’”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dr. P (@71), come on. Where am I judging your heart or others? I have intentionally pointed to the words of others when making my case. Show me my error, and I will repent.

    The same cannot be said of you, however. You have repeatedly judged things you cannot and do not know, including Ms. Pelosi’s faith and Ted Kennedy’s status with God. Even by your own professed measure, you are missing the mark. And yet all you have to say is that I am in error. That’s rich. Again, show me my error. I have shown you yours. And you have done nothing in response but dodge.

    Now, as to my “signal lack of umbrage at mrs pelosi’s militant support of infanticide”, I don’t know if it’s just reading comprehension issues or if you just insist on pretending I believe something I don’t, but I already pointed you once before (@61) to my earlier statement (@38) that “I disagree with Pelosi’s stance on abortion, as I understand it.” Please read that a few dozen times before you try to tell me what I think about abortion. You might also bother to do some simple searching of this site to find my previously expressed views on the matter.

    As to your understanding of Christianity, again, I have yet to see much evidence of your belief in grace — “cheap” or otherwise. Where is the Christ in your professed faith?

    I mean, honestly, you think the phrase “make good on her baptism” (@56) makes sense, much less biblically? No, baptism saves us (1 Peter 3) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ — it is baptism that makes us good, to modify your phrase, the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

    And, again, you seem to think (@64) that the covenant God has with us is one we — or at least Ms. Pelosi — need to “conform to”. Read, among other things, the book of Hebrews to learn what our covenant with God is actually like: “that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance — now that [Christ] has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” Or, as Jeremiah put it: “‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God,
    and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,’ declares the Lord. ‘For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.’”

  • DonS

    tODD @ 66: So, you are “condemning” me, and accusing me of the sin of judging Pelosi’s heart because of this?:

    “DonS (@28):
    The vast majority of her constituency, those she is really interested in serving (the secular left), had no idea whatsoever what she was talking about. And that’s exactly the way she wanted it. ”

    That is an absurd charge. And no different from your own “judgment” in accusing others of judging, based on their words and external actions. What is it that you object to in my statement above? Is it sin to observe, based on her long history in the public square, that Pelosi’s primary political objective is to serve the secular left? Certainly you don’t disagree that this unbiblical bunch would, for the most part, have no idea what she meant by her reference to the Word, do you? After all, they are secular, by definition. So, your objection must be to the sentence ” And that’s exactly the way she wanted it”. What’s wrong with that? How am I, in any way, judging her heart or insisting that she is a condemned sinner? I’m merely stating that, in my opinion, she didn’t want to raise the ire of her primary political constituency by alerting them that she was preaching adherence to the teachings of Christ.

    You are way out of line, brother.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 66: So, you are “condemning” me, and accusing me of the sin of judging Pelosi’s heart because of this?:

    “DonS (@28):
    The vast majority of her constituency, those she is really interested in serving (the secular left), had no idea whatsoever what she was talking about. And that’s exactly the way she wanted it. ”

    That is an absurd charge. And no different from your own “judgment” in accusing others of judging, based on their words and external actions. What is it that you object to in my statement above? Is it sin to observe, based on her long history in the public square, that Pelosi’s primary political objective is to serve the secular left? Certainly you don’t disagree that this unbiblical bunch would, for the most part, have no idea what she meant by her reference to the Word, do you? After all, they are secular, by definition. So, your objection must be to the sentence ” And that’s exactly the way she wanted it”. What’s wrong with that? How am I, in any way, judging her heart or insisting that she is a condemned sinner? I’m merely stating that, in my opinion, she didn’t want to raise the ire of her primary political constituency by alerting them that she was preaching adherence to the teachings of Christ.

    You are way out of line, brother.

  • Anon

    Ach, Lutherans!
    Why can’t y’all just say once and for all that Pelosi is evil and that, even if she were to swear public allegiance to the Book of Concord and even to memorize it, she’d be a liar? Drop the piety about who’s judging who’s heart and man up to your raw hatred for the woman. You’re dug in, and nothing will change your minds about her anyway.

  • Anon

    Ach, Lutherans!
    Why can’t y’all just say once and for all that Pelosi is evil and that, even if she were to swear public allegiance to the Book of Concord and even to memorize it, she’d be a liar? Drop the piety about who’s judging who’s heart and man up to your raw hatred for the woman. You’re dug in, and nothing will change your minds about her anyway.

  • Tom Hering

    The mice out of the woodwork come. Anonymously.

  • Tom Hering

    The mice out of the woodwork come. Anonymously.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@73), you’re smarter than this. I am pointing to people’s words and believing that, regrettably, they mean what they say. You (and several others here) are pointing at Pelosi’s words and believing that she actually means something entirely different than what she is saying. That is the difference.

    By all means, judge a man’s words, to see if they align with God’s Word. Or point out the inconsistency between a man’s words and his actions (in Pelosi’s case, her professed faith and her stance on abortion, which no one is contesting). But you’re not doing that. Let’s go over it once more.

    You tell us (@28) who Pelosi is “really interested in serving”, which is “the secular left” (emphasis mine). Now, to me that clearly says that she is not “really interested” in serving the Catholics she was addressing, among others. Right there, you are imputing a malicious motive to her. You are saying she’s faking it when it comes to the Catholics. And what’s more, you say, this duplicity of hers is “exactly the way she wanted it.”

    And then, in your attempt to defend these words, you ask, bizarrely, “Is it sin to observe, based on her long history in the public square, that Pelosi’s primary political objective is to serve the secular left?” Hello, Don? Do you know Nancy Pelosi? Do you honestly know what her “primary political objective” is? How are you not, once more, judging her heart, telling me what truly drives her, what she honestly thinks?

    Sigh.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@73), you’re smarter than this. I am pointing to people’s words and believing that, regrettably, they mean what they say. You (and several others here) are pointing at Pelosi’s words and believing that she actually means something entirely different than what she is saying. That is the difference.

    By all means, judge a man’s words, to see if they align with God’s Word. Or point out the inconsistency between a man’s words and his actions (in Pelosi’s case, her professed faith and her stance on abortion, which no one is contesting). But you’re not doing that. Let’s go over it once more.

    You tell us (@28) who Pelosi is “really interested in serving”, which is “the secular left” (emphasis mine). Now, to me that clearly says that she is not “really interested” in serving the Catholics she was addressing, among others. Right there, you are imputing a malicious motive to her. You are saying she’s faking it when it comes to the Catholics. And what’s more, you say, this duplicity of hers is “exactly the way she wanted it.”

    And then, in your attempt to defend these words, you ask, bizarrely, “Is it sin to observe, based on her long history in the public square, that Pelosi’s primary political objective is to serve the secular left?” Hello, Don? Do you know Nancy Pelosi? Do you honestly know what her “primary political objective” is? How are you not, once more, judging her heart, telling me what truly drives her, what she honestly thinks?

    Sigh.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh, and Anon (if that is your real name, @74), it should be noted that many, if not most, of those speaking ill of Ms. Pelosi here are not Lutherans, but, I believe, some flavor of Reformed or Calvinist. I know that because I actually communicate with them, not pop in out of the blue and make anonymous comments out of apparent ignorance of who’s talking.

    And at least two Lutherans on this thread are the ones who are, at least to some degree, attempting to defend her name (though obviously not her words or actions that go against God’s Law). We Lutherans do this because we understand ourselves what it is to be “both saint and sinner” — we know how short we fall of God’s Law, and how it is only by God’s grace that we are saved. We know how much we would want our words and actions interpreted in the best possible way, in spite of our sinful nature, and we strive to do the same to others.

    Non-Lutherans, on the other hand, are the ones who seem more comfortable sorting people into bad and good, sheep and goats, wheat and tares on this side of Judgment Day. This seems consistent with their theology, sadly.

    The sad — pathetic, really — exception to my rule here is the so-called “Dr. Luther in 21st Century” (@18), who had the gall to say that “The cynical side of me says that this speech of Pelosi’s illustrates she merely has a faith of convenience,” in spite of being a Lutheran and, if I recall correctly, a pastor, even!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh, and Anon (if that is your real name, @74), it should be noted that many, if not most, of those speaking ill of Ms. Pelosi here are not Lutherans, but, I believe, some flavor of Reformed or Calvinist. I know that because I actually communicate with them, not pop in out of the blue and make anonymous comments out of apparent ignorance of who’s talking.

    And at least two Lutherans on this thread are the ones who are, at least to some degree, attempting to defend her name (though obviously not her words or actions that go against God’s Law). We Lutherans do this because we understand ourselves what it is to be “both saint and sinner” — we know how short we fall of God’s Law, and how it is only by God’s grace that we are saved. We know how much we would want our words and actions interpreted in the best possible way, in spite of our sinful nature, and we strive to do the same to others.

    Non-Lutherans, on the other hand, are the ones who seem more comfortable sorting people into bad and good, sheep and goats, wheat and tares on this side of Judgment Day. This seems consistent with their theology, sadly.

    The sad — pathetic, really — exception to my rule here is the so-called “Dr. Luther in 21st Century” (@18), who had the gall to say that “The cynical side of me says that this speech of Pelosi’s illustrates she merely has a faith of convenience,” in spite of being a Lutheran and, if I recall correctly, a pastor, even!

  • DonS

    tODD @ 76: “Right there, you are imputing a malicious motive to her. You are saying she’s faking it when it comes to the Catholics. And what’s more, you say, this duplicity of hers is “exactly the way she wanted it.””

    By your statement above, you are imputing a malicious motive to me. How do you know my heart, or what I am really trying to say in my post? How are you being any different than what you are accusing me and others of being? And where do you get off being the “comment police”, declaring certain expressed opinions to be sin, based on your own judgment of the heart of those commenters, and insisting on apologies from those commenters on behalf of allegedly wronged third parties?

    The truth is that my original comment was only expressing my opinion that Ms. Pelosi’s political base is the secular left, not Catholics. I base this on her longstanding abrogation of Catholic doctrine, typified most obviously by the abortion issue. Politicians are most interested in serving their political base, because that is how they ensure re-election. My assessment is a fair one, whether you agree with it or not, and I am entitled to express it. I am not condemning her for sin, or making any judgment about her salvation. I was not accusing her of “duplicity”, but I believe her past public record clearly supports my view that she is well aware that her political base would not want Christ’s teachings to be explicitly guiding her policy initiatives. I do not believe that she wished to excite their ire by explicitly uttering the name of Christ in this context. I believe she made the political calculation that she could reference the Word and satisfy her Catholic constituency while not upsetting her secular left constituency because of their general biblical ignorance.

    We judge people’s motives every day. There is nothing wrong with that. It is necessary to operating a business, and it is necessary to being an informed and competent voter. I will not apologize for it, and there is nothing unscriptural about it. Notice, however, that I never accused Pelosi of sin, or made any comment about the state of her eternal soul.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 76: “Right there, you are imputing a malicious motive to her. You are saying she’s faking it when it comes to the Catholics. And what’s more, you say, this duplicity of hers is “exactly the way she wanted it.””

    By your statement above, you are imputing a malicious motive to me. How do you know my heart, or what I am really trying to say in my post? How are you being any different than what you are accusing me and others of being? And where do you get off being the “comment police”, declaring certain expressed opinions to be sin, based on your own judgment of the heart of those commenters, and insisting on apologies from those commenters on behalf of allegedly wronged third parties?

    The truth is that my original comment was only expressing my opinion that Ms. Pelosi’s political base is the secular left, not Catholics. I base this on her longstanding abrogation of Catholic doctrine, typified most obviously by the abortion issue. Politicians are most interested in serving their political base, because that is how they ensure re-election. My assessment is a fair one, whether you agree with it or not, and I am entitled to express it. I am not condemning her for sin, or making any judgment about her salvation. I was not accusing her of “duplicity”, but I believe her past public record clearly supports my view that she is well aware that her political base would not want Christ’s teachings to be explicitly guiding her policy initiatives. I do not believe that she wished to excite their ire by explicitly uttering the name of Christ in this context. I believe she made the political calculation that she could reference the Word and satisfy her Catholic constituency while not upsetting her secular left constituency because of their general biblical ignorance.

    We judge people’s motives every day. There is nothing wrong with that. It is necessary to operating a business, and it is necessary to being an informed and competent voter. I will not apologize for it, and there is nothing unscriptural about it. Notice, however, that I never accused Pelosi of sin, or made any comment about the state of her eternal soul.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@78), I get that you’re trying to make this a tu quoque thing, although keep in mind that tu quoque is still a logical fallacy — that is, even if I’m doing something wrong, that doesn’t mean you’re not also doing something wrong.

    But it doesn’t fit. Once again (cf. @76), I will point out that I am pointing to people’s words and believing that, regrettably, they mean what they say. You are pointing at Pelosi’s words and believing that she actually means something entirely different than what she is saying. That is the difference.

    So when you ask me “How do you know my heart, or what I am really trying to say in my post?”, I respond that I don’t know your heart, I just know what you wrote. Now, it’s possible that I’ve made a misreading of what you wrote (@28), but frankly, your latter explanations don’t appear to jive with your own words.

    Again, you used the phrase “those she is really interested in serving (the secular left)”. You now tell me that you were “only expressing my opinion that Ms. Pelosi’s political base is the secular left, not Catholics”. But look at what you wrote. You didn’t write about what her base is. You told us who she’s “really interested in serving”. You told us what she “really” thinks. The only way in which that can have any semantic sense is for their to be a party she’s not really interested in serving (e.g. the Catholics). Again, “interested in”, not that they merely compose a numerical minority in her district or whatever. You of course went on in your original comment (@28) to tell us that “that’s exactly the way she wanted it.” Again, you claim to know her heart, what she truly “wants”. Except you don’t.

    This isn’t difficult to work out, Don, and I’m disappointed to see you attempting to defend it repeatedly. If I were to start imputing malicious motives to you in my comments, you’d almost certainly complain, and rightly so. Fortunately for you, you are not frequently targeted by those who assume the worst of your intentions here. Something we cannot say for Ms. Pelosi.

    As for your tu quoque “comment police” crack, I’m not telling people what they can or cannot comment on here — the conversation goes where it will, though sometimes I wish it wouldn’t. I’m merely responding when people say something out of line. There’s nothing wrong with judging a man’s words or actions by God’s Law, so I don’t know why you seem to be complaining about my doing so. If some liberal (or whatever) commenter maliciously judges your motives in some future comment, I certainly hope to defend your good name at that time. And I suspect you will appreciate it. It’s too bad you don’t give Ms. Pelosi the same courtesy.

    “We judge people’s motives every day. There is nothing wrong with that.” Of course there is. It clearly violates the Golden Rule. You would not want me or anyone else here making assumptions about what you “really” believe over and against your stated words. You would not want me to reply to you based on assumptions I have made about your true motives. You are, in short, not showing love for your neighbor Ms. Pelosi. Stubbornly defending your right to judge her heart is not a virtue — far from it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@78), I get that you’re trying to make this a tu quoque thing, although keep in mind that tu quoque is still a logical fallacy — that is, even if I’m doing something wrong, that doesn’t mean you’re not also doing something wrong.

    But it doesn’t fit. Once again (cf. @76), I will point out that I am pointing to people’s words and believing that, regrettably, they mean what they say. You are pointing at Pelosi’s words and believing that she actually means something entirely different than what she is saying. That is the difference.

    So when you ask me “How do you know my heart, or what I am really trying to say in my post?”, I respond that I don’t know your heart, I just know what you wrote. Now, it’s possible that I’ve made a misreading of what you wrote (@28), but frankly, your latter explanations don’t appear to jive with your own words.

    Again, you used the phrase “those she is really interested in serving (the secular left)”. You now tell me that you were “only expressing my opinion that Ms. Pelosi’s political base is the secular left, not Catholics”. But look at what you wrote. You didn’t write about what her base is. You told us who she’s “really interested in serving”. You told us what she “really” thinks. The only way in which that can have any semantic sense is for their to be a party she’s not really interested in serving (e.g. the Catholics). Again, “interested in”, not that they merely compose a numerical minority in her district or whatever. You of course went on in your original comment (@28) to tell us that “that’s exactly the way she wanted it.” Again, you claim to know her heart, what she truly “wants”. Except you don’t.

    This isn’t difficult to work out, Don, and I’m disappointed to see you attempting to defend it repeatedly. If I were to start imputing malicious motives to you in my comments, you’d almost certainly complain, and rightly so. Fortunately for you, you are not frequently targeted by those who assume the worst of your intentions here. Something we cannot say for Ms. Pelosi.

    As for your tu quoque “comment police” crack, I’m not telling people what they can or cannot comment on here — the conversation goes where it will, though sometimes I wish it wouldn’t. I’m merely responding when people say something out of line. There’s nothing wrong with judging a man’s words or actions by God’s Law, so I don’t know why you seem to be complaining about my doing so. If some liberal (or whatever) commenter maliciously judges your motives in some future comment, I certainly hope to defend your good name at that time. And I suspect you will appreciate it. It’s too bad you don’t give Ms. Pelosi the same courtesy.

    “We judge people’s motives every day. There is nothing wrong with that.” Of course there is. It clearly violates the Golden Rule. You would not want me or anyone else here making assumptions about what you “really” believe over and against your stated words. You would not want me to reply to you based on assumptions I have made about your true motives. You are, in short, not showing love for your neighbor Ms. Pelosi. Stubbornly defending your right to judge her heart is not a virtue — far from it.

  • DonS

    No, tODD, you don’t “get it” at all. Because what I am saying is not that you are doing wrong too, but that you have wrongly accused me of doing wrong. I said nothing out of line and I apologize for nothing that I wrote. To the extent that you misunderstood my original writings, I have clarified them for you.

  • DonS

    No, tODD, you don’t “get it” at all. Because what I am saying is not that you are doing wrong too, but that you have wrongly accused me of doing wrong. I said nothing out of line and I apologize for nothing that I wrote. To the extent that you misunderstood my original writings, I have clarified them for you.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@80), simply put, there is no way for you to know whom Ms. Pelosi is “really interested in serving” or “the way she wanted” things with respect to her constituency and her faith. If you claim to know the things hidden in her heart, you are simply wrong. And, I have argued, you appear to be uncharitable on top of that. I do not believe I have misunderstood your claims to know these things, your “clarifications” notwithstanding.

    I hope for your sake that your heart is not judged like Ms. Pelosi’s has been here. And if that is the case for you, I hope you come to realize why that is a good thing. If you do find your motives uncharitably questioned at some point in the future, I hope you will then understand why it is a unloving thing.

    Have a nice weekend.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@80), simply put, there is no way for you to know whom Ms. Pelosi is “really interested in serving” or “the way she wanted” things with respect to her constituency and her faith. If you claim to know the things hidden in her heart, you are simply wrong. And, I have argued, you appear to be uncharitable on top of that. I do not believe I have misunderstood your claims to know these things, your “clarifications” notwithstanding.

    I hope for your sake that your heart is not judged like Ms. Pelosi’s has been here. And if that is the case for you, I hope you come to realize why that is a good thing. If you do find your motives uncharitably questioned at some point in the future, I hope you will then understand why it is a unloving thing.

    Have a nice weekend.

  • Frank H.

    DonS said: “I base this on her longstanding abrogation of Catholic doctrine, typified most obviously by the abortion issue.”

    What Catholic doctrines does Pelosi “abrogate”?

  • Frank H.

    DonS said: “I base this on her longstanding abrogation of Catholic doctrine, typified most obviously by the abortion issue.”

    What Catholic doctrines does Pelosi “abrogate”?

  • Purple Koolaid

    Where is the media complaining that she is a fascist?

  • Purple Koolaid

    Where is the media complaining that she is a fascist?

  • DonS

    tODD @ 81:

    “I do not believe I have misunderstood your claims to know these things, your “clarifications” notwithstanding.
    I hope for your sake that your heart is not judged like Ms. Pelosi’s has been here. And if that is the case for you, I hope you come to realize why that is a good thing. If you do find your motives uncharitably questioned at some point in the future, I hope you will then understand why it is a unloving thing.”

    tODD, you have judged my heart to such an extent that you refuse even to accept my clarifications as to what I meant in my original comment, choosing, apparently, to believe that I am, in addition to being uncharitable, also a liar.

    And, worse yet, you don’t even realize you are doing it.

    Have a nice weekend, yourself. We will, as our daughter is getting married on Sunday.

    Don

  • DonS

    tODD @ 81:

    “I do not believe I have misunderstood your claims to know these things, your “clarifications” notwithstanding.
    I hope for your sake that your heart is not judged like Ms. Pelosi’s has been here. And if that is the case for you, I hope you come to realize why that is a good thing. If you do find your motives uncharitably questioned at some point in the future, I hope you will then understand why it is a unloving thing.”

    tODD, you have judged my heart to such an extent that you refuse even to accept my clarifications as to what I meant in my original comment, choosing, apparently, to believe that I am, in addition to being uncharitable, also a liar.

    And, worse yet, you don’t even realize you are doing it.

    Have a nice weekend, yourself. We will, as our daughter is getting married on Sunday.

    Don

  • DonS

    Frank H. @ 82: Are you serious? I gave you the answer in the very statement you quoted.

  • DonS

    Frank H. @ 82: Are you serious? I gave you the answer in the very statement you quoted.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @tODD #77

    Don’t quote mine, it doesn’t become you. If you had read further, I dismissed my cynical side and attributed it to her acting on a poorly understood faith. I don’t know what is in her heart and will never presume to actually judge the existence of her faith or lack there of.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @tODD #77

    Don’t quote mine, it doesn’t become you. If you had read further, I dismissed my cynical side and attributed it to her acting on a poorly understood faith. I don’t know what is in her heart and will never presume to actually judge the existence of her faith or lack there of.

  • Frank H.

    DonS
    Yes, I’m serious.
    You allude to the “abrogation” of many Catholic “doctrine” but cite only abortion. To my knowledge, Pelosi has not been excommunicated as a heretic.
    Congratulations on your daughter’s wedding.
    May she marry a better man than her father.

  • Frank H.

    DonS
    Yes, I’m serious.
    You allude to the “abrogation” of many Catholic “doctrine” but cite only abortion. To my knowledge, Pelosi has not been excommunicated as a heretic.
    Congratulations on your daughter’s wedding.
    May she marry a better man than her father.

  • Tom Hering

    Yikes!

  • Tom Hering

    Yikes!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Frank (@87), that was way out of line. Even if you or I disagree with Don’s points here, there is no way you could say what you did in Christian love.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Frank (@87), that was way out of line. Even if you or I disagree with Don’s points here, there is no way you could say what you did in Christian love.

  • Frank H

    @89

    DonS’s comments are often rude and factually deficient, as you yourself often note.
    Let’s hope his daughter’s spouse displays more grace and dignity.

  • Frank H

    @89

    DonS’s comments are often rude and factually deficient, as you yourself often note.
    Let’s hope his daughter’s spouse displays more grace and dignity.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Frank (@90), explain how the same man extolling the virtues of “grace and dignity” can also manage to say to someone “May she marry a better man than her father.” Where is the grace and dignity in your comments?

    I am disagreeing with Don about uncharitable statements. What in the world makes you think I’m going to agree with your uncharitable statements? The fact that I disagree with him — whether factually or as to his behavior — doesn’t mean that I think less of him as a person.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Frank (@90), explain how the same man extolling the virtues of “grace and dignity” can also manage to say to someone “May she marry a better man than her father.” Where is the grace and dignity in your comments?

    I am disagreeing with Don about uncharitable statements. What in the world makes you think I’m going to agree with your uncharitable statements? The fact that I disagree with him — whether factually or as to his behavior — doesn’t mean that I think less of him as a person.

  • DonS

    Thank you, tODD.

    Frank H., tODD and I often disagree, and sometimes our exchanges can be quite sharp. But neither of us intentionally extend our disagreement on the issues to personal disrespect, and when we occasionally cross the line, we have apologized to one another for doing so. Sometimes, this occurs offline in private emails, and sometimes on a thread. I have a great deal of respect for tODD, his sincere and deep faith, his attention to research and detail, and his skill in logical argumentation.

    Although my comments are often direct, I do my best to respect other commenters. I fall short at times, but I don’t think I have a problem with rudeness. I certainly know that I have never made a statement like this: “May she marry a better man than her father.” It is difficult to imagine a more rude and hurtful statement, but you are certainly entitled to your opinion. I guess it would hurt a lot more if it came from a person who actually knew me and had a reasonable basis for saying such a thing.

    As for the issue over which you are so exercised, excommunication is a rare (practically non-existent) measure. In addition to Pelosi’s position on abortion, which is a major repudiation of a significant Catholic doctrine, how about her position on gay marriage, or her stated view that homosexuality is not a sin? Come on, Frank, based simply on her public positions, without any need to evaluate her heart, one can conclusively determine that Ms. Pelosi is not a good Catholic. Please notice, for clarity, that I am not doubting her stated belief that she is a Christian, saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. The issue of salvation is between her and the Lord.

  • DonS

    Thank you, tODD.

    Frank H., tODD and I often disagree, and sometimes our exchanges can be quite sharp. But neither of us intentionally extend our disagreement on the issues to personal disrespect, and when we occasionally cross the line, we have apologized to one another for doing so. Sometimes, this occurs offline in private emails, and sometimes on a thread. I have a great deal of respect for tODD, his sincere and deep faith, his attention to research and detail, and his skill in logical argumentation.

    Although my comments are often direct, I do my best to respect other commenters. I fall short at times, but I don’t think I have a problem with rudeness. I certainly know that I have never made a statement like this: “May she marry a better man than her father.” It is difficult to imagine a more rude and hurtful statement, but you are certainly entitled to your opinion. I guess it would hurt a lot more if it came from a person who actually knew me and had a reasonable basis for saying such a thing.

    As for the issue over which you are so exercised, excommunication is a rare (practically non-existent) measure. In addition to Pelosi’s position on abortion, which is a major repudiation of a significant Catholic doctrine, how about her position on gay marriage, or her stated view that homosexuality is not a sin? Come on, Frank, based simply on her public positions, without any need to evaluate her heart, one can conclusively determine that Ms. Pelosi is not a good Catholic. Please notice, for clarity, that I am not doubting her stated belief that she is a Christian, saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. The issue of salvation is between her and the Lord.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@84), it’s not that I “refuse even to accept [your] clarifications as to what [you] meant in [your] original comment”, it’s that your “clarifications” don’t actually address the phrases you used.

    Telling me (@78) that your “original comment was only expressing [your] opinion that Ms. Pelosi’s political base is the secular left, not Catholics” in no way addresses your claim to know who Ms. Pelosi is “really interested in serving”, nor “the way she wanted it” with her consituency. These are explicit claims to know what she is thinking — that is, her heart. Do you deny that?

    Here, let’s try your statement (@28) on, but focused on you, and see how it feels:

    Those DonS is targeting here in his comments understand his references to Christianity. But the vast majority of his fellow lawyers, those she is really interested in pleasing (the secular elite), likely had no idea whatsoever what he was talking about. And that’s exactly the way he wanted it.

    If I were to make such a claim about you, would you have any issues with it? Think I might be claiming to know more than I possibly could about you? Think it might sound like I knew your heart, when I clearly don’t? Might you have any issue with my telling other people here such things?

    And, if you did complain, what if I said that I was, you know, only expressing that you work in the legal community. That’s all. Sound like a decent defense of such comments?

    I hope the wedding is nice.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@84), it’s not that I “refuse even to accept [your] clarifications as to what [you] meant in [your] original comment”, it’s that your “clarifications” don’t actually address the phrases you used.

    Telling me (@78) that your “original comment was only expressing [your] opinion that Ms. Pelosi’s political base is the secular left, not Catholics” in no way addresses your claim to know who Ms. Pelosi is “really interested in serving”, nor “the way she wanted it” with her consituency. These are explicit claims to know what she is thinking — that is, her heart. Do you deny that?

    Here, let’s try your statement (@28) on, but focused on you, and see how it feels:

    Those DonS is targeting here in his comments understand his references to Christianity. But the vast majority of his fellow lawyers, those she is really interested in pleasing (the secular elite), likely had no idea whatsoever what he was talking about. And that’s exactly the way he wanted it.

    If I were to make such a claim about you, would you have any issues with it? Think I might be claiming to know more than I possibly could about you? Think it might sound like I knew your heart, when I clearly don’t? Might you have any issue with my telling other people here such things?

    And, if you did complain, what if I said that I was, you know, only expressing that you work in the legal community. That’s all. Sound like a decent defense of such comments?

    I hope the wedding is nice.

  • DonS

    Thank you, tODD. I’m sure it will be, and we are very happy with our new son-in-law.

    I DO deny it. All I meant by my original statement is that Ms. Pelosi is REALLY interested in serving her political base, the secular left. All politicians have a particular interest in serving their base — that is how they retain office and power. That does NOT mean she has no interest in serving others, such as Catholics. It just means that she will not cross her base to serve Catholics. I don’t need to know her heart to know this — it’s basic politics, and her long career bears out my point.

  • DonS

    Thank you, tODD. I’m sure it will be, and we are very happy with our new son-in-law.

    I DO deny it. All I meant by my original statement is that Ms. Pelosi is REALLY interested in serving her political base, the secular left. All politicians have a particular interest in serving their base — that is how they retain office and power. That does NOT mean she has no interest in serving others, such as Catholics. It just means that she will not cross her base to serve Catholics. I don’t need to know her heart to know this — it’s basic politics, and her long career bears out my point.

  • Tom Hering

    DonS, I don’t think there’s all that much difference between Pelosi’s political base and her American Catholic audience. Not according to this short article about a survey of what American Catholics think it means to be (A.) a Catholic and (B.) a good Catholic: “Our conclusion is that the perceived core of Catholicism is the creed and sacraments, in agreement with the survey questions discussed above. The obligation to attend church weekly, and some specific moral teachings, are much more peripheral.” (The survey is a decade old, but I doubt much has changed since 1999.) So, the assertion that Pelosi is two-faced would be correct if her Catholic constituents held to the traditionalist understanding of Catholicism (what commenters here consider Catholicism to be). But they don’t, so she isn’t.

  • Tom Hering

    DonS, I don’t think there’s all that much difference between Pelosi’s political base and her American Catholic audience. Not according to this short article about a survey of what American Catholics think it means to be (A.) a Catholic and (B.) a good Catholic: “Our conclusion is that the perceived core of Catholicism is the creed and sacraments, in agreement with the survey questions discussed above. The obligation to attend church weekly, and some specific moral teachings, are much more peripheral.” (The survey is a decade old, but I doubt much has changed since 1999.) So, the assertion that Pelosi is two-faced would be correct if her Catholic constituents held to the traditionalist understanding of Catholicism (what commenters here consider Catholicism to be). But they don’t, so she isn’t.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS, attempting to explain his comment (@44) that Soros “is one man who doesn’t really deserve or need our defense,” said (@54), “All I meant was that S0ros’ own, confirmed statements, made in the present day, condemn him far more than anything he did as a lad trying to save his hide in Hungary during WW II.” In the political world, that’s called “walking it back”, Don.

    You did manage to sputter that “it does appear that Levant exaggerated his case”, which is I suppose the strongest statement I could expect from you against a fellow conservative. I doubt “exaggerate” would be the word you’d choose if you were being libelled, but then, you’re a conservative, so the rules would be different, wouldn’t they?

    “Is it really the best stewardship to go to the mat defending a man who has ample ability and resources to defend himself … when there is so much other injustice in the world?” I find it fascinating you managed to use the word “stewardship” there without any apparent twinge of irony. You sound like a man complaining about being pulled over for speeding, whining about how the cops should be finding the real bad people. Are your comments here helping out with all that “other injustice”, Don? Or am I only wasting my time when I defend a position you disagree with, while your time here is perfectly well-spent? And yes, I happen to feel that defending those who have been wrongly defamed is something of a good use of a Christian’s time. Perhaps some day you’ll appreciate that when your name is dragged through the mud without merit. Maybe you’ll appreciate more than being called a “psychopath and a complete jerk” who doesn’t “deserve or need” defense. But then, I suppose you’re a better man than Soros, aren’t you? How could anyone ever defame you, Don? You’re never a jerk.

    “It does seem as if you and tODD are putting some serious effort into defending a pretty rotten man.” Actually, it doesn’t take much effort at all, which makes Levant’s execrable journalistic turd (and I hesitate to fit the word “journalistic” in that phrase) all the more pathetic, as he couldn’t — or wouldn’t — be bothered to muster up that much effort. And as for Soros’ being a “pretty rotten man”, you sound like a Pharisee, Don, thanking God that you’re not like that miserable Soros fellow.

    Do you remember the parable of the Good Samaritan, Don? Do you? What did Jesus say of the people who passed by the “pretty rotten man” that had been attacked, not wanting to associate with him? Did he praise those people? You’d think he had, the way you’re acting here.

    “Basically, the only thing I can find that Levant truly misrepresented is that Soros took property.” Levant also clearly misrepresented Soros’ words about his mother. I already told you that. And Levant completely left out Soros’ attempt to subvert the actions of the Judenrat. And those are just the things I found easily.

    And how fascinating to watch you lecture someone who actually lived through “the worst atrocity in history” on his choice of wording in describing it half a decade later — you who did not go through that time, living your comfortable American life.

    Judge, judge, judge. Not that I should expect anything better from the same man who said, “We judge people’s motives every day. There is nothing wrong with that. … I will not apologize for it, and there is nothing unscriptural about it.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS, attempting to explain his comment (@44) that Soros “is one man who doesn’t really deserve or need our defense,” said (@54), “All I meant was that S0ros’ own, confirmed statements, made in the present day, condemn him far more than anything he did as a lad trying to save his hide in Hungary during WW II.” In the political world, that’s called “walking it back”, Don.

    You did manage to sputter that “it does appear that Levant exaggerated his case”, which is I suppose the strongest statement I could expect from you against a fellow conservative. I doubt “exaggerate” would be the word you’d choose if you were being libelled, but then, you’re a conservative, so the rules would be different, wouldn’t they?

    “Is it really the best stewardship to go to the mat defending a man who has ample ability and resources to defend himself … when there is so much other injustice in the world?” I find it fascinating you managed to use the word “stewardship” there without any apparent twinge of irony. You sound like a man complaining about being pulled over for speeding, whining about how the cops should be finding the real bad people. Are your comments here helping out with all that “other injustice”, Don? Or am I only wasting my time when I defend a position you disagree with, while your time here is perfectly well-spent? And yes, I happen to feel that defending those who have been wrongly defamed is something of a good use of a Christian’s time. Perhaps some day you’ll appreciate that when your name is dragged through the mud without merit. Maybe you’ll appreciate more than being called a “psychopath and a complete jerk” who doesn’t “deserve or need” defense. But then, I suppose you’re a better man than Soros, aren’t you? How could anyone ever defame you, Don? You’re never a jerk.

    “It does seem as if you and tODD are putting some serious effort into defending a pretty rotten man.” Actually, it doesn’t take much effort at all, which makes Levant’s execrable journalistic turd (and I hesitate to fit the word “journalistic” in that phrase) all the more pathetic, as he couldn’t — or wouldn’t — be bothered to muster up that much effort. And as for Soros’ being a “pretty rotten man”, you sound like a Pharisee, Don, thanking God that you’re not like that miserable Soros fellow.

    Do you remember the parable of the Good Samaritan, Don? Do you? What did Jesus say of the people who passed by the “pretty rotten man” that had been attacked, not wanting to associate with him? Did he praise those people? You’d think he had, the way you’re acting here.

    “Basically, the only thing I can find that Levant truly misrepresented is that Soros took property.” Levant also clearly misrepresented Soros’ words about his mother. I already told you that. And Levant completely left out Soros’ attempt to subvert the actions of the Judenrat. And those are just the things I found easily.

    And how fascinating to watch you lecture someone who actually lived through “the worst atrocity in history” on his choice of wording in describing it half a decade later — you who did not go through that time, living your comfortable American life.

    Judge, judge, judge. Not that I should expect anything better from the same man who said, “We judge people’s motives every day. There is nothing wrong with that. … I will not apologize for it, and there is nothing unscriptural about it.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Um, whoops.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Um, whoops.


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