Fake Dudgeon

So a fake testifies before Congress with fake testimony about her fake need for Catholics at a Catholic university to simultaneously stay out of her bedroom, yet subsidize her birth control. The hearings were, of course, as fake as a three dollar bill too, designed to gin up support for Obama’s fake claims that the Church is under some moral compulsion to pretend that contraceptives are “health care”.

In response, a professional blowhard, being overly blowhardish, forgets the first rule of political discourse, which is that it doesn’t matter how much a fake your opponent is if you are still perceived as a bully and a scoundrel for impugning the honor of a helpless damsel in distress. For days, he makes the mistake conservatives increasingly make and chooses to hate his opponent rather than defeat her.

Result: newly minted feminist icon gets the Poor Dear treatment from a media that is shocked!–shocked!–at blowhard’s boorish and brutal treatment of the fake. Andrew Sullivan, who has literally spent years, micro-analyzing the gynecology of Sarah Palin is suddenly fake horrified. The Obama Administration, fresh from receiving a million bucks from that feminist knight in shining armor Bill Maher, registered fake concern over mean blowhard. Sundry GOP and conservative luminaries and sponsors back slowly away or bolt and run.

Blowhard, finally sensing that he has not actually helped advance the cause of defeating the fake, offers tepid apology. Much fake breastbeating about “civility” from allies of the fake ensues as the political corpse of blowhard is dragged through the streets in triumph.

Meanwhile, the fake who testified before Congress remains a fake and the preposterous claim she is trying to make–that Catholics are simultaneously bound to mind their own business about her sex life while paying for it–goes studiously ignored by the fakes in the media whose job is not to inform, but to sell beer and shampoo and enforce unit cohesion on behalf of the sexual revolution.

An absolute festival of fakery.

All that said, if anything good comes out of this, it may be the breaking of the blowhard’s baleful and increasingly inexplicable grip on the right. But who will break the grip of the utter and complete fakes on the Left?

  • The Deuce

    This is hands-down the best synopsis of the whole sordid affair I have seen.

    • John C

      Agree. Excellent summary. Bottom line, Ms. Fluke: I don’t feel like paying for your contraceptives. Makes me feel slimy.

      • Georgia Hedrick

        That girl was correct, guys. There are more reasons for contraceptives than simply preventing pregnancy. There really are sicknesses that need to be prevented and those pills can help. I have known women who had serious period flow problems and these pills help with regulation of such.

        As to Rush, his level of stupidity is unbelievable. He talks as if a girl just pops a bc pill in her mouth, and she can have sex without pregnancy. It doesn’t work that way.
        It is not like the viagra world of guys: take a blue pill and you are ready!

        I wish we were all taught as once upon a time I was taught, at least in the Catholic School I attended in the 40′s and 50′s and 60′s. We are all born to be celibate; and only marriage allows us to procreate.

        Frankly, I blame the Bishops who closed all the Catholic Schools, and all the Catholic Parishes one by one. Lay the guilt upon the leadership where it belongs, please.

        I notice that it is always guys who think they have the answers to everything.

        Fakery???? Where did that term come from? If you think the girl is lying, then call her a liar. But the word, fakery? How archaic! gh age72

        • Pattie, RN

          Another “fakery”, as insurance covers hormonal treatment when it to address a DISEASE process. This is a red herring (or straw-woman, if you prefer).

          I might also add that there are 12 drugstores in and around Georgetown where birth control pills can be purchased, without insurance, for $9-$12 a month.

  • Claire

    I agree with you on almost every part of this (and another thing…if this is a “women’s health” issue then why trot out a silly girl who’s studying law to “testify”? What are her credentials?) but I can’t defend the vile Rush Limbaugh, nor his creepy suggestion that this woman should videotape her sexual exploits for his entertainment.

    Just because Bill Maher is disgusting (and I SO HOPE that conservative journalists will keep pushing the $1M donation issue. I think I’ll call the White House myself) doesn’t mean that we should support equally disgusting rhetoric from Limbaugh. Let’s not forget that young single women who run around demanding free contraception are having sex with men; otherwise, they wouldn’t need any contraception. So what nasty names are we calling those men? One more thing…I think that Catholic commentators should remember that any suggestion that what Rush said is acceptable plays right into the whole “Catholic Church! OPPRESSIVE TO WOMEN!” narrative.

    • Chris

      What nasty names are we calling those men? Ask yourself what would happen if a man appeared before the committee and demanded money for a year’s supply of condoms?

    • The Deuce

      Let’s not forget that young single women who run around demanding free contraception are having sex with men; otherwise, they wouldn’t need any contraception. So what nasty names are we calling those men?

      I actually made a point related to this on Facebook. If a guy went before Congress and demanded that his private Catholic university pay the exorbitant condom costs that his friends were racking up, nobody would object to the names thrown his way, or to the accuracy of insinuations that he was a cad who wanted caddishness subsidized. Rush erred in the crassness of his rhetoric, but not in substance.

    • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

      Actually, my wife asked an interesting question the other day when we were listening to discussion about this whole topic. She asked, ‘Just when did men become irrelevant in the issue of contraception in the first place? When did it become only about women and their bodies, with men told to sit down, shut up, and stand out in the cold?’ That was a good question. Men aren’t called those things because, as the narrative goes, they are irrelevant to the discussion in the first place.

      • carlamariee

        Actually, the congressional panel that was originally convened to discuss this was ALL men with nary a woman insight.

        • Tim
          • carlamariee

            No contradiction. All male panel. But thank you.

            • Tim

              There were two panels, one had two women on it who testified to the mandates implications on religious freedom.

              Taken together, that’s not an “all male panel” and it does contradict what you said.

              You’re welcome.

              • carlamariee

                Thank you again.

                • Tim

                  Your welcome again.

                  • Sean

                    “You’re” = “You are” vs. “Your” which is a possessive adjective.

            • Tim

              “Dr. Allison Dabbs Garrett, the senior vice president for academic affairs at Oklahoma Christian University, and Dr. Laura Champion, the medical director at Calvin College Health Services, were two of ten witnesses who said the government mandate requiring religious institutions such as theirs to provide contraception, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs violated the First Amendment…

              The two women testified as part of the second panel. The first panel included five men: a Catholic bishop, the president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, two Southern Baptists, and a rabbi.”

        • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

          I know, that’s because it was about religious liberty (though I see no reason women couldn’t testify there either). I thought the outcry should have been ‘why can’t women discuss religious liberty?’ Of course, it’s because the administration and its supporters have gone through hell and high water to keep this about birth control, not religious liberty or constitutional rights. But the point isn’t just what the congressional hearing said. The point is that there is a cultural assumption that where birth control issues are, men need not apply. And my wife’s question was, when did this happen?

          • Joseph

            Because it’s the women that the men need to convince to use them.

            • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

              I’m not going there.

    • Beavis and Butthead

      The beauty of all of this is that everyone is either arguing over what Rush Limbaugh said or what Bill Maher said or what Sandra Fluke said or debating the finer points of etiquette, while the current administration tramples upon everyone’s rights.

    • Joseph

      Let’s not forget that young single women who run around demanding free contraception are having sex with men; otherwise, they wouldn’t need any contraception. So what nasty names are we calling those men?

      Those men don’t care what you call them. They’re just happy that women like the Georgetown chick are fighting for their right to contracept. Like Planned Parenthood, those men can’t wait to get their hands on women like these. Both have something in common, both see a piece of meat or living blow up doll that they can use for their own perceived gain. Call them what you like, they don’t care as long as their gettin’ some.

    • Mark Shea

      I agree about Limbaugh. That’s why I said he chose to hate his opponent rather than defeat her. His language was vile *because* he opted to hate her rather than argue with her.

      • carlamariee

        True and very well said. Limbaugh’s view of women is very utilitarian, Catholics would do well to distance themselves from him.

        • Joseph

          It’s no surprise that the man is a failure at marriage.

  • ds

    What about her was fake?

    • Mark Shea

      Read the link.

      • ds

        I read it. It’s terrible. It’s like Limbaugh lite. Attack a bunch of things she didn’t claim, then say some unpleasant stuff about “having your vagina rot out”. Can’t resist some kind of dig at women, can he?

        I don’t think she tried to claim she was a different age. A main part of her testimony was that Georgetown employees get coverage, but students do not. Another part was that a student took the pill to treat a non-birth control medical condition, but found it difficult to afford at $100/month. Both facts conveniently ignored by this commentary and yours.

        • Chris

          Get your contraception off my constitution.

        • Mark Shea
          • ds

            It’s not fake. You can say you believe it is a poor argument but it isn’t fake.

            Even if the pill is the only way to treat those conditions, that’s still a tiny minority of the the use of the pill, it’s mostly used for contraception. Catholic institutions could cover the pill for non-contraceptive treatment without violating their consciences (I think), and then deny use for contraception. So the argument is poor, but I don’t see it as fake.

            I just don’t understand all the vitriol against this woman. She testified something she believed as true. You disagree with her, fine, and for some well argued reasons. That doesn’t make here fake. She never tried to claim she was a different age, and what does it matter if she went to college before? You posted an article that makes more nonsensical and offensive personal attack than actually making rational argument.

            • The Deuce

              It’s not fake because the argument is bad. It’s fake because she made claims *that are false* which she *must have known* were false.

              The pill is *not* the only way to treat those conditions, but she implied that it was, and that her supposed friend couldn’t get treatment because she couldn’t afford the pill. The entire scenario as she recounted it was fake.

        • The Deuce

          BC pills don’t cost $100 a month, so that part was a lie, and there are better ways to treat the condition her friend supposedly had (PCOS) than BC pills (they’re only prescribed for PCOS when the woman also wants to avoid pregnancy, which makes no sense because she claimed her friend was a lesbian), which Georgetown would cover, so that was also a lie. She also claimed her friend was going into early menopause because she had one ovary removed, which is probably a lie too, because that shouldn’t normally happen as long as you have an ovary left.

          Oh, and the big conclusion of the story was that because of signs of early menopause, her lesbian friend wouldn’t be able to get artificially inseminated and have the grandchild her mom always wanted. So now Catholic institutions are supposed to help make sure that lesbians can produce fatherless children for the sake of vanity?!

          • Timothy of Seattle

            they’re only prescribed for PCOS when the woman also wants to avoid pregnancy

            I don’t think that’s true; a close friend with PCOS, who I know wasn’t sexually active, was prescribed them.

            • Hezekiah Garrett

              In my work, I encounter lazy doctors by the dozen. No one is surprised that your friend was shortchanged by her doc.

          • Elizabeth S

            I was once prescribed BCPs for PCOS symptoms and I’m a faithful, unmarried Catholic. They get prescribed whenever you go to a GYN and tell them you have heavy, painful cycles and the doctor is too lazy to actually look for other treatments, because the pill is so commonplace and a so many medical groups say they’re great some docs will pretty much write a prescription up for everyone. Never mind the side effects they refuse to discuss, such as depression and raising the risk of breast cancer.

        • Ted Seeber

          Especially since it’s more like around $9/month for birth control pills.

    • Ted Seeber

      One of the best bits was when she claimed that during an 8 year law degree, a female student like her could go broke paying $3000 for the pill. Either she didn’t do her research, or they don’t teach mathematics in a law degree anymore; a reporter found out that you can get a month’s supply of birth control pills at Walgreens for $9- which over an 8 year law degree does indeed add up- to about $845.

  • Michelle

    May I ask how exactly Sandra Fluke is proven a “fake” merely because she chose to go back to law school in her early-’30s? The woman has an interest in political activism; doesn’t it make sense that she might decide to return to law school and choose one of the top law schools in the D.C. area?

    I yield to no one in my support of Catholic conscience rights. But I am increasingly bewildered at this rush (no pun intended) by Catholics to prove tribal loyalty by denigrating and trashing a woman who was humiliated in a sexual manner by a political shock jock.

    • Roberto

      Shouldn’t we separate the two issues? Shouldn’t we be sad abut the bad treatment she received from Limbaugh, yet denounce the fakeness of her argument?

      • Michelle

        It’s not her argument that being claimed to be fake; it is she as a person who is being denounced as a “fake” merely because she isn’t a 23-year-old but in her early-30s. As I said, I fully support Catholic conscience rights and will denounce along with you her attempt to force a Catholic university to violate its principles. But that doesn’t mean that she hereself is a “fake,” just “wrong” and/or “misguided.”

        • Joseph

          I don’t understand. Where are you getting the idea that people consider her a fake because she’s in her 30s? I missed that part.

    • Chris

      This woman went in front of the world at the behest of Nancy Pelosi and voluntarily exposed her disgusting sexual exploits. She trashed and humiliated herself in an attempt to harm the Catholic Church, and ended up being canonized on “The View”. She deserves ridicule, not the key to the city.

      • ds

        She did no such thing? What disgusting sexual exploit? Why is it ridicule or the key to the city? Can’t you just say that you think she is wrong and here is why? Why does she have to be personally impugned?

        • Chris

          She deserves to be personally impugned because she put herself in front of the world in an attempt to further harm the Church by portraying intrinsic evil as a government service we must pay for.

          At some point, ds, people need to be called out for their actions. She’s an aspiring lawyer with years of activism under her belt. She knows exactly what she’s doing, and if we’re at the point where we can’t call evil “evil”, then God help us all.

          • ds

            By your argument anyone arguing for the mandate should be personally impugned.

            • Chris

              Yes. Especially if they trot themselves out and announce it to the world in a cynical ploy to score points for their own political aspirations.

              Anyone who supports the mandate is cooperating with evil. There’s a certain segment of the population that rejects the idea of the Natural Law. They are liars who choose to believe that killing an unborn child is satisfactory, and they make a liar of God who tells us these things are written on every single person’s heart.

          • Timothy of Seattle

            Call evil “evil” all you like, but remember that detraction and calumny are grave sins as well. It’s possible to call a spade a spade without descending into evil ourselves.

            Please consider reading Fluke’s testimony to make sure that you are representing it accurately. There are things I would take issue with, but I don’t see any bragging about sexual exploits.

            • Ted Seeber

              I have a problem with her mathematics:

              “Without insurance coverage, contraception, as you know, can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school.”

              Well, a reporter found a Walgreens right by campus where a woman can get the pill for $9/month. 9x12x8=$864, not $3000.

              “One told us about how embarrassed and just powerless she felt when she was standing at the pharmacy counter and learned for the first time that contraception was not covered on her insurance and she had to turn and walk away because she couldn’t afford that prescription. Women like her have no choice but to go without contraception.”

              Apparently women like her can’t be bothered to read the documentation that comes with their health insurance either.

              “Just last week, a married female student told me that she had to stop using contraception because she and her husband just couldn’t fit it into their budget anymore. Women employed in low-wage jobs without contraceptive coverage face the same choice.”

              I found NFP to be free when my wife and I were using it in reverse to try to have a child.

      • carlamariee

        Why is it necessary to ridicule? Why not just disagree?

        • ChrisKABA

          I can’t seem to remember the same furor about talking heads vulgarly ridiculing and attacking people instead of arguing with their ideas when people like Maher & Olbermann were calling “right wing” women like Palin & Michelle Malkin seriously vulgar words. Olbermann calling Malkin a “meat bag with lipstick” is one of the less offensive names.

        • Chris

          Because evil deserves ridicule. It’s not enough to “disagree” with Satan and his works. “Disagreement” doesn’t soothe the scandalizing of the public by this kind of devious testimony. Contraception and those who promote it and use it as a weapon against the Church are not just acting out of ignorance. At some level, they’re willing tools of the Enemy. And as Our Lord demonstrated in the Gospels, at some point, you have to call a generation of vipers a generation of vipers:

          Matthew 23:31-32

          [31] Wherefore you are witnesses against yourselves, that you are the sons of them that killed the prophets. [32] Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. [33] You serpents, generation of vipers, how will you flee from the judgment of hell?

        • Chris

          You’re right, I apologize. We shouldn’t “ridicule”. But she should certainly be denounced in the strongest terms.

      • Joseph

        She deserves ridicule, not the key to the city… She deserves to be personally impugned because she put herself in front of the world…

        Lent and all, eh? This is where your Catholic morals meter should be shaking violently. No, no one deserves ridicule. That’s where you’re wrong.

        • Chris

          I’ll grant you, perhaps “ridicule” is not the right word to use in this situation – I suppose ridicule amounts to attacking one’s dignity, and I don’t agree with doing that. So I apologize for creating that impression.

          But when our baptismal vows are made, we don’t agree to disagree with the works of Satan, we reject them. It’s not immoral to identify a generation of vipers when they’re attacking our Mother the Church. This woman wanted the publicity and she’s gotten it through deception and political motive. She has a history of radical pro-abortion activism and showed up front and center on “The View” when they came calling, and without any interest in accepting any apologies. Let’s not be fooled into thinking this is some lost child in the woods who just had her shoes and coat taken away.

          • Joseph

            Well, if it weren’t for people out there who believed that she deserved ridicule (not speaking of you as you have retracted), then this tiny little political activist law student would have disappeared into obscurity where she belongs. The only thing she would have left to show for her tossing her two irrelevant cents into the HHS mandate fray would have been a autographed picture of President Obama or a ceremonial pen that she’d be able to frame or place on a mantle (like Bilbo’s Ring) to show to guests while she shared her reflections of her one shining moment, testifying before a group of political peers who patted her on the back when she was finished.

            However, because stupid people made her the target of their anger with regard to the HHS mandate, she’s now a folk hero. If’s she’s smart, she’ll ride this wave right out of law school and start a successful practice ASAP… or jump into the world of politics where she can be the Rosa Parks of contraceptives. Hers was a calculated risk that paid off… she knew that most of her perceived political enemies would react they way they did and give her that precious 15 minutes of fame she was seeking. So, you can’t blame her!

            What interests me is why Rush, of all people, gives a damn about contraceptives (yes, that’s how he framed it by attacking this irrelevant law student). He is an utter failure as a husband(s) and it’s obvious that he likes women who contracept. So, calling her names because of his understanding of what she likes to do when the lights go off is sort of a contradiction.

            • Nick from Detroit

              Joseph,

              You have no basis to state that it is “obvious” that Rush and any of his wives ever used contraceptives. Ever heard of sterility?

              • Joseph

                Yeah. I’ve heard of sterility. I even made use of the word in an earlier comment. So, you’re saying that Rush (and/or all of his harem) is sterile?

                • Nick from Detroit

                  Joseph,

                  Are you saying it’s not possible that Rush is sterile? Pat Buchanan and his wife didn’t have any children. Neither did George Washington. It has been known to happen.

                  Also, Rush isn’t Catholic, so his conscience isn’t formed properly to know contraception is wrong. And, if he does use contraceptives, he is not being hypocritical, because I’m sure he pays for his own.

              • Joseph

                Instead of defending Pumpkinhead, you should address the main point of my comment. Had Pumpkinhead and others like him kept their inconsistent parrot beaks shut, Mark’s post would have been entirely unnecessary.

                • Mark Shea

                  Will you *stop* with the stream of insults?

                  Sheesh!

                  • Joseph

                    Yes. It was a bad way to make a point. That’ll end now.

                    • Mark Shea

                      Thank you.

                • Nick from Detroit

                  Mr. Shea beat me to it!

                  You are whining about Rush calling someone names, as you call him and his fans….names.

                  Do you remember what Christ said about the splinter in your neighbor’s eye, while ignoring the log in your own, Joseph?

                  Physician, heal thyself.

    • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

      My problem isn’t that she’s a fake. My problem is that she is all too real.

      • ds

        You’ve been reading too much Chesterton. :)

        • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

          Blame Mark and company.

  • freddy

    The mentality of this woman and others like her is tragically funny (emphasis on tragic).

    As a thought experiment, try the substitution game for the phrase, “I like [sex] but I don’t like the [consequences] so the goverment should force the Catholic Church to pay for my [contraception].

    Here goes: “I like [drinking], but I don’t like [getting arrested for drunk driving] so the government should force the Catholic Church to pay for my [driver].”

    or: “I like [wool sweaters], but I don’t like [the itchy rash] so the government should force the Catholic Church to pay for my [cortisone treatment].”

    or: “I like [sunbathing], but I don’t like [sunburn], so the government should force the Catholic Church to pay for my [sunscreen].”

    • ds

      or: I like birth control, and my doctor and most insurance private companies consider this medical treatment, but my employer objects on religious grounds so I’d like the government to allow them to use their religious beliefs to deny medical coverage that me, my doctor, and most other employers and insurance companies don’t have a problem with covering.

      • http://thecrawfordfamily.net/blog Ken Crawford

        Here, I’ll fix this for you:

        I like birth control, and my doctor and most insurance private companies consider this medical treatment, but my employer objects on religious grounds so I’d like the government to FORCE them to VIOLATE their religious beliefs to FUND MY medical coverage that me, my doctor, and most other employers and insurance companies don’t have a problem with covering.

        Nobody is arguing that contraception should be illegal, nor that doctors who’s services are paid for by Catholic institutions shouldn’t be able to prescribe it, nor that the employee shouldn’t be able to use it. All that’s being asked is that the Catholic Church shouldn’t have to pay for it.

        • carlamariee

          This! Concise, logical, no personal invective. However, it doesn’t address the issue of the use of the pill for therapeutic reasons.

          • Joseph

            From my understanding, the Church has never been opposed to the use of the “the pill” when prescribed for medical reasons (cysts). Can anyone support this? I’m pretty sure that’s the case. If that’s so, then I’m not sure how this part of it has entered the discussion. The Church simply doesn’t want to government to force it to pay/offer something through its insurance that is primarily used to thwart what nature intended (thus, thwart what God intended), because the Church believes that opposing God’s will is a sin that it cannot cooperate in.

            • Rosemarie

              +J.M.J+

              Yes, the pill can treat some sicknesses and the Church does not oppose such valid therapeutic use of it.

          • Joseph

            Actually, I did read it in HV a long time ago. But, glancing at the linked “10 Most Cited Arguments…” web site, I see that the money quote has already been found:

            “As Pope Paul VI said in Humanae Vitae, “The Church… does not at all consider illicit the use of those therapeutic means truly necessary to cure diseases of the organism, even if an impediment to procreation, which may be foreseen, should result therefrom, provided such impediment is not, for whatever motive, directly willed.”

    • Chris

      I hate Mondays. I am often crabby and sometimes even depressed on Mondays. The government needs to eliminate Mondays or pay for my Advil.

  • http://www.brutallyhonest.org Rick

    Mark,

    In some ways, and I don’t mean this to be an insult, I see you as the Rush Limbaugh of Catholicism. Why or how so you might be asking? It’s pretty simple. You deal in truth and you unabashedly defend it, sometimes aiming harsh words at those who you disagree with. Rush deals in what I would call truth from a political perspective. I’ve listened to the man since he came on the air nationally back in 1988. Not every day as my job disallows it but enough to understand the man’s shtick and style. He really does point out absurdity by being absurd. And only those who listen to him regularly would know this. Did he cross the line with Sandra Fluke? Clearly though I think the underlying message he was attempting to deliver was sound. Is his apology sincere? I don’t know but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    My bottom line is that Rush, and you, make me think. You both make me take a hard look at my precepts and assertions. Rush from a political perspective largely but a perspective acknowledging the existence of truth. You from a perspective that clearly in the long run will mean more to me. I don’t always agree with you but I value what it is you have to say. I don’t always agree with the methods Rush uses to communicate but I value the message being conveyed. Rush is a sinner. I’m certainly one. And you Mark have said you certainly are. I wish Rush would’ve conveyed his message differently but in the end, I recognize that he is more friend than enemy. Ms. Fluke however is more enemy than friend and so Rush is an ally in the fight that exists out there with those who are telling lies and selling them as truth.

    Just as you Mark will occasionally say things in writing that you’ve later taken back, Rush will say things on the air that he will occasionally regret. I think, and allow that I might be wrong, that should you get to know Limbaugh, you might actually find someone you could respect.

    I know with certainty that though you on occasion write things I cannot yet accept, I respect you nonetheless because I know you to be, in the end, an ally.

    Bottom line is that I’m a Mark Shea fan and a Rush Limbaugh fan. So what does that make me?

    • Joseph

      Well, if you’re a Rush “Pumkinhead” Limbaugh fan, that makes you stupid. But if you’re a Mark Shea fan, that makes you smart. So, you’re somewhere in the middle… average intelligence, I guess.

      • http://www.brutallyhonest.org Rick

        Thanks for that most intelligent and oh so respectful response Joseph… and I assume you consider Rush beneath you because he insults people right?

        • Joseph

          Rush beneath you because he insults people right

          No. Because his head is shaped like a pumpkin.

          • http://www.brutallyhonest.org Rick

            Deep. Seriously deep.

      • Chris

        Lent and all, eh? Why are you ridiculing Rush Limbaugh? Is your morality meter bouncing around?

        • Joseph

          I didn’t say he deserved it. I’m not guilty of the same crime you were. :) Nor am I calling it ridicule. I call it “constructive criticism”.

    • Louis

      Mark,

      Ditto.

    • carlamariee

      Mr. Limbaugh has only apologized this once that I know of, under pressure from his advertisers and given what he said about this woman, it was lame. St. Thomas Aquinas dealt with the substance of his opponents arguments and dealt with them with charity and civility.

      • http://www.brutallyhonest.org Rick

        If St. Thomas Aquinas is the standard, would you fall short carlamariee?

        Color me curious… and well short.

        • carlamariee

          Far too short sadly, but the gross and personal attacks made by Mr. Limbaugh, his declaring that he was entitled to watch her have sex on youtube, etc. are seriously disturbed. He is not one to look up to. You would do well to find yourself a better hero. Except Mark. He’s ok. ;)

          • http://www.brutallyhonest.org Rick

            I heard the video reference live… It was said in jest, it’s rather typical, crude certainly but jokingly… And if you don’t listen to the man regularly, I can understand your reaction…

            And he’s not a hero by any stretch, he’s simply entertaining, and much brighter than those who don’t listen in regularly give him credit for.

            • carlamariee

              Not my idea of humor or entertainment. Seriously, I don’t care how “right” someone is, if they’re mean, they’ve missed it entirely. When someone like that is a spokesman for your cause, you lose.

              • http://www.brutallyhonest.org Rick

                Can someone advocate for the cause aritculately and effectively without being a spokesman?

                I’d argue that the answer is yes and that Limbaugh fills the role.

                He’s not a hero. I don’t want to emulate him. But he is more articulate in defending what many Catholics believe than many Catholics.

                And for that reason alone, I’ll not pile on and dismiss the man.

      • Joseph

        Well, to be honest. I’m personally a bit tired of our current culture and its constant need for immediate public apologies from folks in the media whenever they pass a brain fart, deliberate or accidental.

        Rush is a moron, but he should be able to say whatever he wants. Those who pay for advertising slots should just put their money where their mouth is and bail rather than force “their guy” to apologize just so they can tick the PR damage control box and remain in the good graces of the public. The fact that they are willing to stay as soon as he makes his dubious apology shows just how disingenuous they, themselves, are.

        Let him face the natural consequences of having a loose tongue and let his listeners (the ones that don’t froth over his nastiness… which are few) stop listening. The worse he gets, the more unpopular he will get and he will slowly fade into distant memory… much like Lady Gaga is experiencing the final stages of her product life cycle right now.

        After all, Bill Maher is never asked to apologize and what has it done for him? His product life cycle is basically over. Even his fans hate him and he needs stupid cries for apologies from guys like Pumpkinhead to attempt to rebrand by publicly donating money to whatever political cause is expedient to advertise himself.

        • ds

          Bill Maher should apologize for not being funny.

      • Tim

        You mean he didn’t call his opponents “Pumpkin heads” and “stupid”?

        • Joseph

          No. I’m pretty sure Aquinas didn’t call Limbaugh, “Pumpkinhead”. Nor did he call Pumkinhead’s cult worshippers “stupid”. Different time periods.

          • carlamariee

            Different Spirit.

  • Rose

    I am Canadian and so have not been following this story the way most Americans have. But because I am a Catholic female lawyer, I am interested in the kerfuffle it seems to have caused. My questions are: a) do birth control pills cost $100.00 a month in the United States? They are much less here in Canada; b) did this woman really say that she spends $3,000.00 a year on various types of contraceptive devices for herself? This boggles my mind: that one can calmly go on television and say this. Has sex become about as private as itching one’s nose? c) does your government mandate free cancer drugs as well? If so, why would your President choose to mandate free birth control but not free cancer treatment which I would think is much more deserving of a subsidy;
    c) why is your President involved in this whole contraception issue? Are birth control and abortion issues top of mind for women and men in the United States? I thought jobs were; d) why does your President want to force the Catholic Church to do this, even if indirectly? I thought he really respected religion- apologizing over the Koran burning etc. Sounds like he is intent on destroying the influence of the Catholic Church. But why?

    • Tim

      As to the President’s intent, you need to look at his understanding of the First Amendment. Our President seems to have a different understanding of the First Amendment than the traditional one. He believes in “freedom of worship” rather than “freedom of religion.” The former implies that the First Amendment is a subjective right akin to the “right to privacy” (such an interpretation was on display in the Hosanna-Tabor case a few months back). Basically, under this interpretation, you can believe whatever you want, but once you act (or refrain from acting) based on those beliefs, you must submit to the government.

      Because of this, “freedom of worship” is no different than “the right to contraception” (a “right to privacy” which the Supreme Court found in the “penumbras” of the Constitution). Whenever the two rights come into conflict, as is happening now, whichever one prevails depends on the decision of a bureaucrat (such as Kathleen Sebelius).

      Catholics can still hold whatever beliefs they want, as their right pursuant to their “freedom of worship”, but they must still pay for contraception and abortifacients because the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services has weighed the interests of the “right to worship” and the “right to contraception/abortion”, and found that the right to contraception/abortion is more important.

      Like I said, this is at odds with the traditional understanding of the First Amendment as “freedom of religion” which implies a right to act on one’s beliefs. The Catholic Church, being the symbol of all things “traditional” these days, is the symbol for, and defender of, the traditional “freedom of religion” understanding of the First Amendment.

      Once the Catholic Church is gone, there goes the biggest obstacle to “freedom of worship,” seeing as no other institution of equal influence will be able to defend our freedom of religion.

      So you can see why the President would want to get rid of the Church. His “Hope and Change” depend on her being out of the way.

      • Joseph

        So you can see why the President would want to get rid of the Church. His “Hope and Change” depend on her being out of the way.

        Yep. In that sense he shares a lot in common with Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, etc.

    • Timothy of Seattle

      No, she stated $3000 over the course of 7-8 years. Prescription drugs in the US tend to be much more expensive than generic OTC versions. $70/mo for the pill is a figure I came across a lot in research, so I would guess that $100/mo isn’t much of an exaggeration. Generic versions of the pill can be found for $9/mo, but aren’t suitable for everyone.

      In my opinion, the main problem with Fluke’s testimony is that she smoothed over any distinction between therapeutic and contraceptive uses of the drug in order to justify an attempt to force the Church to pay for the latter, as well as other contraceptives.

      • http://www.thecafeallegro.com/randomthoughts RandomThoughts

        “…she stated $3000 over the course of 7-8 years…”

        Law school is a three-year deal. So that’s $1000 a year. Fluke’s $3k estimate was ridiculously high, even were she to pay full value for birth control pills. Getting generic pills at a local Walmart would set her back about $10 a month, a far cry from the absurd amount she cited.

        Sandra Fluke is nothing but a tool (on several levels) of those who want to force their contraceptive agenda on the Catholic church.

        • Joseph

          She only became useful when she was given the spotlight by those who couldn’t help themselves. I’m pretty confident that this would have all blown over had she not been given honorable mention by those who decided to focus on her rather than on the debate itself. She would be as she was before, an obscure student.

  • Timothy of Seattle

    Guys, we really do need to distinguish between theraputic and contraceptive uses of a drug. Fluke’s argument was, in this case, that the pill had been prescribed by a doctor to meet a legitimate medical need. We can quibble about whether it was the *best* treatment, but it’s a widely recognized one.

    The administration’s mandate, however, makes no distinction between therapeutic and contraceptive uses, which is pretty much the crux of the problem. They want us to pay for contraception as such — not just the pill (which, in principle, can have legitimate theraputic uses where its effect on fertility is covered by the principle of double effect), but IUDs and so forth. But if we fail to make that distinction in our own arguments, we’re just giving them ammunition.

    • Timothy of Seattle

      (Obviously the pill — used or prescribed for contraceptive purposes — would also fall under the heading of contraception.)

    • Timothy of Seattle

      Er, make that “Fluke’s argument, in this case, was in part that…”

    • carlamariee

      “But if we fail to make that distinction in our own arguments, we’re just giving them ammunition.” Excellent point. Also, didn’t Cardinal Dolan say to the press that ED drugs were covered for men without him giving any qualifications? The Church shouldn’t be so clueless to the PR aspects of this and squander a teaching moment.

  • JIm

    To bad you don’t make as much sense as the blowhard !

    • Tim

      To bad, or not to bad? That is the question.

  • h koczur

    Did you not do what you condemned…name calling? I would not say that calling someone a ‘blowhard’ was exactly Christian on your part.

    • Mark Shea

      Would you have preferred “blind guide” or “whited sepulchre full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness”? Zat Christian enough for you? “Blowhard” describes his atrocious behavior. “Pumpkinhead” is a playground insult about his appearance.

      • Joseph

        Yeah, I know. I used it because I was attempting to draw out the Limbaugh defenders, thus showing their hypocrisy in wagging their heads in shame at “playground insults” hurled at him while at the same time defending his even worse, dare I say, “playground insults” (calling the Georgetown student a “slut” who should videotape her sexual exploits for his entertainment)… all the while ignoring blatant inconsistencies within the man’s own ideological framework.

        It was a poor way to do it, I admit, and experiments are never charitable.

    • Nick from Detroit

      h koczur,

      Excellent point!

      There seem to be a few commentators in this thread who are ignoring the logs in their own eyes, while pointing to the splinters in their neighbor’s eyes.

      • Joseph

        Nick, I’m not denying the log in my eye. I chose an immature way to make a point… which is only evidence of the girth of the log in my eye.

  • Tim W

    It looks to me like Catholics are getting played once again…instead of concentrating on the real evil we concern ourselves about what Rush said. Secondly as the medical use of the pill now becomes a focus doesn’t that open the door … just as the deaths from back alley abortions/cases of rape were used to pave the way for 1.5 million unborn being slaughtered each year.

    • Joseph

      Not really. I don’t think it’s wrong to lament the fact that the Georgetown student wouldn’t have been made such a contraceptive folk hero if Limbaugh and so many of his supporters hadn’t popularized her completely irrelevant testimony. They were the ones who were played (or were they?). They gave her just enough of a boost to ascend the steps to her glorious 15 minutes of fame. And now, the media has used it to cover this incident almost non-stop, transforming her into Rosa Parks… thus, anyone who dares to disagree with this suffering darling is a member of the KKK.

  • Linus

    Sorry you don’t like Rush. True, he went overboard but his failure in that regard is no worse than what most of us do every day. And whether you realize it or not Rush has defended Catholic teaching on birth control, at least the Bishops’ public stance on it, and has always condemned abortion. That makes him better than many of our priests and religious. Yes he is a blowhard, that is part of his stick. I don’t like it either but I listen to him everyday and will always defend him till the cows come home because he has always been a friend to the Catholic Church.

  • Elizabeth

    I agree with the Deuce – this is absolutely the best synopsis of this whole non-affair that I’ve read so far.

    Great job, Mark Shea!!!! :)

  • Observer

    Wouldn’t it be obvious that more or less the general public have contracepted their conscience for such a long time? And then, all of a sudden a beast arises (excuse the metaphor) of mandates to censor one’s conscience for doing the right thing? It’s contraceptive America that has led to this degree of law and power.

    Mr. O, who simply relects this pursuit in society, is only fitting the opportunity and occassion of the minds and souls of individuals who have advocated this for a long time (he simply giving them what they want.) Do not the general public, more or less, send their children to school for all the contraceptive education they can get? So, how is it the general public, for which sends their children to public education, have a problem with forced contraception of their conscience because it has advocated or turned a very eager sleeping side to the whole dilemma? Here’s a thought, do you really want to save your conscience and your children’s? Take them out of the burning house (i.e. take them out of a compromised institution of education and any sort of circumstance or situation whereby their conscience is going to get burned.)

    Sorry, the people who have been the willful volunteers and having added fuel to the fire (so-to-speak) to all the social ills want a free card out of their own consequences, and at-the-same-time with out doing the purely simple and obvious thing of escaping a burning house (i.e. any compromised institution -particularly in education), want to deliberately put other people whom they’ve prompted and promoted upon the direction of criminal behavior (pssst. it’s called moral relativism – I can do what I want to whom I feel and at any time I wish) to befall the consequences (in other words, I want to and should be able to throw people into a burning house to save my butt.)

    Here’s a thought, cuff and arrest those who add fuel to the fire first (the general public who advocate this form of tyranny in the first place through public education.)

    Or, resist tyranny by being responsible and doing the right thing. Or, accep the consequence of simply seeing a reflection of such tyranny coming (and that is why Mr. O is in office. He is what those who don’t do the responsible thing have been asking for.)

    With the above lie of the Fake Dudgeon and it’s monster which is reflected and has arisen because of the culture as I’ve outlined, how would this be any better than lying for Jesus? In other words, you can jeopardize the soul of a sinner (because, afterall, you’re advocating your conscience to do something about crooks whom are supposedly – by the varying degree of it being both plausible and possible with PP – being aided by the sinner to do away with their responsibility but the unborn living human being) to save your own conscience against a tyrannical threat which has now come to take away your religious liberty. No, lying for Jesus will not stand against this sort of tyranny.

    And this is seen by its’ very reason: If the the lying for Jesus stand up and become the voice for fighting against these mandates and all the unlawfulness of it, I hope the mandates win. Because, you cannot escape the consequence (thus, avoiding the love of God and your neighbor – be he an enemy or friend) of having your conscience contracepting the truth in order to lie for God because of an apparent good.

  • Scott

    Pretty good summation and perspective.
    However, you don’t seem to understand that if we lose that “blowhard” the fakers win and grow more effective in their strides.
    Everybody makes mistakes…even Rush.

    • Mark Shea

      Rush isn’t going anywhere. He can’t be fired from his job. He can, however, cease to be kowtowed to, which would be good for everybody, especially him.

  • jeannie

    At the expense of trying to be clever I think you missed some things. Yes, Rush was an idiot to slip up like this. But if you actually listen to his program, and appreciate his values and usually careful reasoning, you would not call him a blowhard. He screwed up. He waded into it. He had a “What was I thinking?’ moment. Haven’t you?
    The left is now manipulating the truth, the law, the rules of civility so expertly that good people are getting deeply disturbed and making big mistakes in their responses and reactions. But in these perilous times, let’s be very clear about who the REAL bad guys and “blowhards” are.

  • Nick

    Ok so lets get a few things cleared up.

    First, what the “professional blowhard” said and did was simply intellectual pornography.

    Second, the “fake testimony,… micro-analyzing [of] gynecology,…and Obama’s fake claims” are result of over fifty years of bipartisan group thinking concerning how political discourse and decision ought to be made in this country.

    As a result, we are now at a point where the general electorate, if we believe the press, is incapable of or unwilling to reflectively analyse simple social issues and make a value (moral) based decision concerning conflicting priorities and limited resources.

    In short, I don’t think the Catholic Church’s stand on the HHS mandate is opposed by a majority of people. Unfortunately, I think a majority of people simply do not understand the fundamental premiss or the logical argument.

  • RWCross

    Dear Mark,
    Arent’ you impugning Rush’s motives when you suggest that his apology is simply driven by desire to retain his profits? Rush stated himself in writing and on the air that his primary motive for apologizing was because he had done harm to the Fluke, by name calling. Aren’t you doing what you are accusing Rush of doing? Just a question.

    Secondly, Why are you attacking Rush as if he were an enemy. Obama and the left are the enemy not Rush? Is Rush trying to drive the Catholic Church out of the Public Square? Is Rush trying to drive a wedge between Catholics? Is Rush trying to advance the cause of contraception, abortion, sterilization, embryonic research?

    Third. Your’s and George Weigel’s anger toward Rush is completely disproportionate to his supposed offense. I simply don’t understand your thinking. The man speaks extemporaneously for 15 hours a week. He has been doing this for over 20 years. He has a large audience, not because he is a blowhard, as you state, but because he validates what many decent people in this country believe, and because he bolster their spirit and sharpens their thinking. Long before the internet provided alternative news, Rush was a national source of alternate media, on matters of political importance. He provided an alternative viewpoint to people who were unable to study the learned opinions of Rod Dreher and George Weigel and yourself. I would think this would be enough for you and George and Rod to cut Rush some slack. Evidently not. It’s sad.

  • The Egyptian

    OK, so what is the appropriate name for women that sleep around or as they now say “hook up” ? the Biblical Harlot, Jezebel, the w word, sadly for all the high mindedness floating around on this blog, perhaps the biggest problem we face is no one wants to call a spade a spade, we no longer refer to bastard children or living in sin, I’m sorry Mark but young women acting as they do are indeed just what Rush called them, to some it is shocking but we need to be shocked and hard, it is time for the catholic education system in this country to do some serious contemplation about their role, next the bishops who shy from the hard truth and the priests they shepherd, and not least the Parents, I hope many are looking hard at what is going on with their education dollar, and where their collection dollar is going. Honest to Pete if this is Georgetown, Satan is laughing

    • carlamariee

      OK, so what is the appropriate name for women that sleep around or as they now say “hook up” ?

      Lost sheep? People are not the enemy, the enemy is the enemy. You are not going to win converts by humiliating people. Mr. Limbaugh was calling this woman a prostitute, but in his thinking and language revealed the point of view of a john. As Nick so accurately pointed out, these broadcasts were pornographic. This type of rhetoric only hardens people in their opinions. It is a losing proposition for evangelization.

      • the egyptian

        pornographic, so sorry the truth is shocking to you, young or old women that sleep around are and always were know as sluts, not young ladies or respectable or what ever, sluts and we were taught to give them a wide berth, near occasion of sin and VD and all that, and yes before anyone starts it men who do the same are just as bad, but with the pill it has become the womens problem, the men don’t care, if shes pregnant it’s her problem, Pope Paul hit the nail on the head


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