A couple of weeks ago

I was chewing over Edward Snowden and Soylent Green. Now it looks like they are thinking about the same stuff at Al Jazeera. I don’t know what that means.

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Not coincidentally….
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Christianist “Prolife” Pundit Kevin Williamson…

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  • Zippy

    Commitments and promises aren’t the same kind of statement as statements of fact (about which it is possible to lie). Promises always come with implicit qualifiers: http://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/more-on-commitments-and-explicit-qualifiers/

    • Marthe Lépine

      I just read your post in wordpress, and I generally agree but I have a question. Suppose someone has volunteered to join the Armed Forces. And suppose that that person happened to see more clearly than some people and to become convinced that the reasons given to go into war (for example the imaginary WMD) are all lies. If that person had tried to refuse to participate in that war, for perfectly reasonable and acceptable moral reasons, s/he would be considered as a defector; it seems to me that there is no way for such a person to simply resign and leave the military, even for morally justified reasons. Would that mean that a deeply convinced Catholic needs to be prepared to be severely punished for his or her legitimate position? This would make being a faithful Christian much more difficult than it would appear on face value…

      • Zippy

        Would that mean that a deeply convinced Catholic needs to be prepared to be severely punished for his or her legitimate position?

        In my view, yes, that is precisely what it means. (It follows that one ought to be very careful in what commitments one makes, naturally).

        Of course a just government wouldn’t punish the person in the hypothetical. But the problem of conscience arises precisely because the government is acting unjustly. A just government wouldn’t be engaging in an unjust war to begin with.

        I do think that some professions are becoming increasingly problematic for serious Catholics; and that, sadly, includes the armed forces.

    • Marthe Lépine

      Please allow me a small clarification: When I said that someone has “volunteered” to join the armed forces, I actually mean a person in search of a job, or a student in need of a the kind of scholarship that joining the reserve sometimes brings. And I have heard “somewhere” that there are some impoverished neighbourhoods in the US where joining the armed forces seems to be almost the only valid, or possible, choice of employment for young men…

  • Naomi

    You know, at first I agreed that Snowden was being wrongly prosecuted. I don’t have any problem with Snowden leaking the extent of NSA surveillance of US Citizens to the American Public (although, I am a little surprised that anyone thought it was anything new, considering that experts and civil liberties watchers have been saying the same darn thing since the Patriot Act was passed). I think that particular act was the right thing to do. However, Snowden did NOT stop at that. He didn’t JUST leak information that the American public badly needs to know; he also leaked budgetary information and other stuff I won’t name that can directly adversely affect the LEGAL work that the NSA and Joint Forces are trying to accomplish with respect to foreign intelligence.There are things that SHOULD be disclosed, and things that should NOT be disclosed, and he started disclosing things that really do put vital missions in danger and could result in Bad Things happening. When he crossed that line, he lost my support. So my advice is to look at the WHOLE story. Snowden shouldn’t get to use ONE good thing to keep him out of jail for all the OTHER bad things he’s done. That being said, I hope that the American people take a good, hard look at the Congressmen in office who let this stuff fly without taking a more active role against it. And Congressmen who break oaths ought to be put on trial just like all the little people they rake over the coals.

  • capaxdei

    I’ve had a low opinion of Snowden from the beginning, and I look forward to the Obama administration pursuing those who leaked information about the government’s knowledge of the chemical weapons attack in Syria — leaks which likewise damage the U.S.’s ability to gather intelligence against foreign interests — with proportionate fervor.