Excellent News!

Zippy Catholic has put the archives of his (alas) late (but still great) blog up here. This is the guy who did (among other things) the most thorough dismantling and evisceration of the dreadful and shameful “arguments” and excuses for enhanced interrogation torture of anybody I know. All those arguments will come roaring back should we elect a Republican again, because the Thing that Used to Be Conservatism, like the Bourbons, remembers everything and has learned nothing on this subject. Like the God King, they believe that the State has the power to commit grave intrinsic evil for the greater good. It’s just a question of which people, what the preferred grave intrinsic evil is, and what good they think justifies committing that evil. Lefties like Obama, with their secretive program of executive murder and indefinite detention at least have the excuse that they are ignorant of the Catholic tradition. What conceivable excuse do we Catholics have when we cheer for torture in larger percentages than the general US population, in direct defiance of the Magisterium and the clear teaching of our Pope and bishops–all while boasting our superiority to those Cafeteria Catholics on the Left. Zippy’s archive, particularly this series, is a powerful antidote to this shameful chapter in the history of the American Catholic laity.

  • CJ

    One of his other great contributions was coining “Debate Club at Auschwitz.:

  • Brett

    Oh, that’s great. I was trying to read through his old stuff when I found that it had disappeared from Blogger for some reason. Thanks for letting us know!

  • Mark

    “Like the God King, they (the Republicans) believe that the State has the power to commit grave intrinsic evil for the greater good. It’s just a question of which people, what the preferred grave intrinsic evil is, and what good they think justifies committing that evil. Lefties like Obama, with their secretive program of executive murder and indefinite detention at least have the excuse that they are ignorant of the Catholic tradition.”

    And the Democrats also have the added benefit of disposable babies. Vote Republican.

  • Raymond Suda

    Which is more evil killing babies and infanticide or waterboarding? What I’m hearing from the Church is that abortion is the gravest evil and we can’t vote for anyone who is a proponent of it. This election will be easy to follow Church teaching.

    • ivan_the_mad

      Maybe you should familiarize yourself with Church teaching first ;)

      “A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.” — Cardinal Ratzinger

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      Or the beleifs and positions of the Candidate…

      If what you say is true, you’re right, its easy. You’re wrong, we must abstain.

      Again, assuming you are correct in the first place.

    • Jmac

      All of this has been answered before, and all of this will be answered again.

      My Battlestar addiction aside, though, if you read through this blog archive, you will find responses to literally everything you just said.

      • ivan_the_mad

        But it becomes truer if you keep repeating it.

  • Consistency

    Romney will do absolutely nothing to prevent abortion. He’s spent most of his career advocating for it and he is holding fundraisers with makers of the morning after pill.

    Vote third party and don’t support intrinsic evil.

  • Rachel

    Sorry but its not easy at all unless one decides not to vote for either party. The Republicans only give lip service to pro-life issues and Romney has flipped flopped to pander and get votes. HE is not different than Obama in that regard. Also, the Republicans are notorious warmongers. Nearly every candidate except for Ron Paul was calling for another war, this time with Iran. They are fine with drone attacks and more intervention. How is that pro-life?? None of these are in any way just wars. That is the only kind that the Church allows. No, these are unjust wars and as Catholics we cannot support it. However, most pro-lifers will cheer on Romney because he’s supposedly “pro-life” and cheer on the next war :( .

    • Mark

      “He who pays the piper calls the tune”

      As opposed to Obama who voted present in the Illinois State’s version of the born alive bill. Mitt Romney may have in the past had questionable views on abortion, but the fact of the matter is that if he is elected, he will not be beholden to a lobby that loves the snell if infant blood.

      • Mark

        Sorry, I meant to say loves the “smell of infant blood”.

        Reading it now, it sounds a little “over the top”.

        • Beadgirl

          A little? We cannot succeed in changing the hearts of those we demonize.

          • Mark

            Er. Sorry, the point was to show how beholden Obama is to the Abortion lobbyists. Not to demonize those who have had abotions or to belittle the deaths of the infants.

  • Ed Pie

    Mark (and Zippy, if you’re reading), thanks for this. I was always anti-torture on paper, but was on a kick overreacting to some folks trying to blur the boundaries of the, er, “mild end of the torture spectrum” apparently in order to delegitimize even America’s need to police itself, when I started reading your clear reminders about what’s intrinsic evil and how “minimum daily allowance” thinking does not make for the highest moral calculus. I didn’t even realize I was making essentially the same mistakes I was arguing against, and doing so in a dearth of charity. Keep up the awesome.

  • http://catholiccinephile.wordpress.com/ Evan

    Remember, “Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable.”- G. K. Chesterton

    • ivan_the_mad

      Invoking Chesterton is the surest and quickest way to invoke the ire of both the Left and the Right!

      • http://catholiccinephile.wordpress.com/ Evan

        Well, in that case:
        “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types–the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob. This is called the balance, or mutual check, in our Constitution.” – Chesterton

        • ivan_the_mad

          “He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine.” Hahaha!

        • Andy

          Chesterton never encountered this specific type of pseudo-onservatism.

  • Tammy

    Maybe we could make bumper stickers that say
    “Don’t torture anyone to keep me safe”
    maybe add
    “I prefer to be at risk that complicit in such a crime”

  • Observer

    First, Rom was at a dinner held by a man who owned Ivax (Frost’s original company which made generic medicine for people and pets.) His original business was bought out and owned by Teva (a Morn-After-Pill manufacturer.) The area, which his company came under ownership, operates an active ingredient division for generic medication (for blood pressure, cholestorol, etc.) In other words, Frost’s contribution and other area’s which Teva deals in are not necessarily for the primary production of an abordificient. Unlike PP’s primary occupation of doing away with both quality of living and life, the Morn-After-Pill manufacturer focuses on improving a peerson’s health (to say the least) in other divions of the company and helping (aiding) them to live better. Thus, their sole concern isn’t to do something intrinsically evil. Rom’s dinner, as well, in no way means he necessarily endorses one division and area with which solely concentrates on terming a develping baby’s life.

    Second, torture is another blunder of Rep Party which will be used against the will of the people (i.e. those dem-officials who are more than happy to take the law out of context and abuse it.) Torture, also, is wrong on so many levels. You create a scenario of deception and put people in much more danger on the so-called credibility of data (i.e. information.) In an area where expertise is spy.vs.spy, you get false leads and dead-ends which will look just right. In that, our intel will be misled and taken to believe what-they-see-is-what-they-get (what they anticipated and forsaw as now completely coming out as the actual results they wanted all along.) Basically, since they suspected and it all appears to be what they hoped for (anticipated) as thing turned out from research, now they’re right because they’ve got all the evidence to suggest it (a wild goose hunt.) However, intel doesn’t seem to see men who don’t like our country are not dumb and can play a game of cat-chasing-mouse. Easy, any person can tell the obvious (they’re very intelligent and can use a so-called relig. network to give an impression of what they would do and willing to provide evidence to suggest it [a fake duck.]) So, with the use of torture, you are going to have a setup where men will use our expertise against us. And that’s the consequence. You will only promote more harm and danger to the people as a result of it (not the other way around.)

  • kevin

    Let’s say hypothetically a nuclear bomb is about to go off in a major american city. And you are in it. And your family is in it too. And the terrorist responsible for putting it there knows the code to disarm the weapon. And we know that water boarding him will make him give up the code.

    Are you really telling me the the Church would suffer the annihilation of this city and its inhabitants to prevent poor Abdul from being water boarded?

    • A Spectator

      Yes. Utilitarian reasoning aside, when the formula “do something evil or something bad will happen” is presented, a martyr chooses to suffer said bad thing to happen because the sins of others can only condemn said others. If one regards moral truth as false, however, the problem becomes even easier: said one is a nihilist and therefore insane.

    • http://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/ Zippy

      I can see that you haven’t read the waterboarding series.

    • Mark Shea

      It’s as though the previous eight years never happened and Kevin was paying no attention at all.

      Kevin: Suppose the only way to prevent a nuclear attack was to rape the child of a terrorist. See? Anybody can concoct emotionally manipulative fantasy scenarios to justify committing a grave evil. You are an apologist for mortal sin. Stop it.

  • Kevin

    Oh Mark you’re so haughty. Your hypothetical is so radically different from mine that youve crossed the line into demagoguery. That’s probably a sin on your part, whether mortal or not I wouldnt dare to judge. Comes easy to you apparently.

    • Mark Shea

      My scenario is exactly the same as yours. You are concocting a rationale for doing what the Church says is grave intrinsic evil. I am simply illustrating (by changing the victim, but not the grave intrinsic evil) what it is you are trying to rationalize.

      Seriously, familiarize yourself with Zippy’s catalog of failed rationalizations for torture. Your entire scenario has been done to death a million times by apologists for torture. If you are willing to create fantasy scenarios in order to prepare you soul to commit one mortal sin, I’m simply pointing out that somebody else will create other fantasy scenarios to justify other mortal sins.

      Why are you practicing to commit mortal sin instead of practicing to hear and obey the teaching of Holy Church. Here is that teaching:

      Pope Benedict XVI said that “the prohibition against torture ‘cannot be contravened under any circumstance.’”

      The Catechism says:

      2312 The Church and human reason both assert the permanent validity of the moral law during armed conflict. “The mere fact that war has regrettably broken out does not mean that everything becomes licit between the warring parties.”109

      2313 Non-combatants, wounded soldiers, and prisoners must be respected and treated humanely.

      Stop thinking up ways to prepare your soul to assent to torture and other war crimes and start thinking up ways to obey the Church’s teaching. This stuff is not being courageous or gritty or realistic. It is cowardice indulging fear to justify sin. And, like all consequentialist end-justifies-the-means reasoning, it is a Faustian Bargain that takes your soul and gives you nothing in return. Because real interrogators know that torture is not just evil, it’s stupid, harmful to intel gathering efforts, and destructive of our ability to actually find out what’s going on. But lots of fools who get all their “knowledge” on this topic from reruns of 24 think they are being toughminded realists when they are in fact gullible sheep listening to Bush era talking points.

  • Kevin

    Catholic and Enjoying It has declared i guess that no Cathoilc can be a Navy seal since seals are waterboarded as part of their training.

    • Zippy
    • Zippy

      Apparently you think that actually reading and comprehending the collaborative series of posts on it at my old blog archive is too much work, or something. But by posting this errant nonsense without doing the background reading first, all you are doing is making yourself look like an ignorant noob.

    • Zippy

      To save you some time on it, our own government’s memoranda on the subject concludes (page 43, footnote 51) that “the SERE waterboard experience is so different from the subsequent Agency usage as to make it almost irrelevant.”.

      Now really, go read the series and stop making a fool of yourself.

  • Mike C.

    Waterboarding isn’t torture. Torture is what islamists do to our people, including decapitation.

    • Mark Shea

      What is gratuitously asserted can be gratuitously denied. You are wrong. All the evidence is against you. The only thing in your court are the naked lies of Bush/Cheney apologists. Repent and listen to the testimony of the civilized world and the teaching of the Church.

    • Jmac

      That’s right, torture is what OTHER people do. We’re good, so what we’re doing can’t possibly be torture.

  • http://patrick-button.blogspot.com/ Patrick Button

    Dang it, not this combox argument again! Oh well. Huzzah for Zippy!


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