Boys Who Cry Wolf Are Constantly Yelling at Me…

…that Obama is a Nazi Muslim Communist Socialist Jihadi who is bent on taking all our guns, marching us into concentration camps and plotting to destroy America by having a vast force of heavily armed plague children fanning out to spread disease and terror while batting huge brown bambi eyes in order to make conservatives who want to remand them to rape, sex slavery and death at home look horrible and hard-hearted. His plan is to declare martial law, I am told, and make himself emperor-for-life. He hates our freedom like the secret Kenyan Muslim he truly is. He is, I am reliably informed, “satanic”. All true Christians should write exclusively in capital letters in sentences bearing his name. It is our plain Christian duty to hate him with all the power our soul can muster. If anybody does not do their utmost to think and speak ill of him at all times, they are suspect and should be avoided as ritually impure.

Et cetera. Et cetera.

The main problem with this “dial it up to 11” approach?  It’s the Boy Who Cried Wolf.  If Obama hiccuping is the next bit of outrage porn proving “OBAMA IS WORST PRESIDENT EVAR!!!!1!!!1!!” it makes it difficult for average people to tell when Obama is doing something that merits actual concern and when it is just his critics having this morning’s conniption over the fact that Obama still has a pulse. That matters, because people do indeed need to oppose him in various areas. But when people get sick from outrage fatigue, it becomes difficult to care about what the panickers are panicking about today.

Here, for instance, is an actual thing to be concerned about:

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  • Dave G.

    On the flip side, part of the reason for this boy who cried wolf is that the media will not at all ever cover anything more than two or three days that makes Obama look bad. Think on that. Imagine some of the stories that Obama’s opponents have tried to get to stick and imagine if that was Bush. Heck, you don’t have to. Just pay attention to the news and you can’t miss the difference. So while yes, it’s old and it doesn’t help, truth be told, nothing would help because the main instrument for generating outrage that could ever get America to stand up and demand an answer has made it clear that it will not ever go after Obama. Naturally. So it’s one of those things. The boy who cried wolf may not be smart, but opponents of Obama’s policies have nothing to lose. We only have to look at the victory of the HHS mandate’s philosophy and how that was covered to see the problem. To imagine that if Obama’s opponents would shape up and we could then get serious is to miss the biggest part of the problem.

    • JJG

      Is this really any different from what happened during the Clinton administration, though? It certainly became clear to me that the majority of media sources was running interference for him, and one had to turn to the Internet to get the other side of the story. And, of course, C-SPAN’s coverage of the House Judiciary Committee hearings, where you could see, objectively, a well-reasoned case put against Clinton by the Republicans, up against hysterical blather from the Democrats. So the notion that the press is in the bag for the Left can no longer come as any surprise. Only Fox News seems to present the other side – and they’re equally in the bag for the right – though they are roundly vilified for it. Certainly part of the problem they face is that Obama is simply extending and expanding policies originally put in place by Bush II. (And, in the case of HHS, expanding on what Romney imposed on Massachusetts.)

      What the right has to lose by giving itself over to hysteria is its intellectual integrity. Perhaps that doesn’t count for much with the populace, but maintaining it remains the honorable thing to do.

      • Dave G.

        True that. But it is difficult to make the case when it’s clear no approach will make a difference. Integrity and truth being the best reasons.

        • JJG

          I suppose the best answer I can give you is to echo Mother Teresa: “make the case anyway”, but do it with charity and integrity. People won’t necessarily listen right away, but I live in hope that, eventually, they will calm down and, perhaps with some distance from the immediate situation and some time to reflect, behave more or less rationally.

    • chezami

      “The media is at fault for our ridiculous behavior.” Classic rhetoric from the Party of Personal Responsibility

      • Dave G.

        No. Just looking at reality for what it is. A classic approach to actual problem solving.

  • wlinden

    Remember the “leaked White House memo” saying that Nixon was going to cancel the election and repeal the Bill of Rights? That was taken seriously in the “alternative” press?

    • Mark S. (not for Shea)

      Yep. Back when I was living in the People’s Republic of Seattle, I had leftie friends and co-workers who were absolutely convinced beyond all reason that Bush was about the amend the Constitution so that he could be declared President in perpetuity. they were absolutely convinced of this and would go into fits of righteous indignation if you pointed out the total lack of evidence.

      • Rosemarie

        +J.M.J+

        The same claim was made when Obama first came into office in 2009. The Dem-dominated Congress at the time was allegedly going to amend the Constitution to make him President for life. Also, back in 1999 I heard a rumor on a Catholic email list that Clinton was planning on using the chaos of Y2K as an excuse to round up traditional Catholics into concentration camps that he had secretly built around the country. So the “concentration camps” thing that Mark mentions in his post above is recycled as well.

      • CathyLouise

        I too had a friend who was convinced of this, here in San Diego. He was terrified of Bush because of the “R” after his name. He was convinced Bush was going to cancel elections.

  • Mike Blackadder

    Well yeah, because Benghazi, the IRS, Fast and Furious, HHS, secret press monitoring, the Bergdahl swap, Obamacare make-it-up-as-I-go-along law, etc are all FAKE scandals as we know, so it’s really hard to know when ‘Obama has actually done something wrong’. Mark, is this maybe projection?

    • Petey

      actually many of those are fake scandals.

      • Mike Blackadder

        Haha, thanks Petey.

        • Petey

          Sure, Mike.

  • Bill T

    So, no more “Resist the Tyrant!” ?

  • AquinasMan

    Jeez, talk about dialing it “up to 11”. Are there any reasonable people who contact you with concerns about Obama?

    • Mike Blackadder

      Not possible.

  • Willard

    As a strong supporter of the President, I love the way conservatives have totally screwed themselves by desperately seeking scandals that don’t exist. And his almost daring the Republicans to impeach him is awesome as the mere mention of it brings in millions of dollars for the Democratic campaign. Republicans are having to resort to calling the impeachment talk a “democratic myth” because they know how unpopular impeachment would be with anybody but the 35% crazies who hate the President no matter what.
    And yes, the President is going to issue an executive order to help those coming to our shores from the capitalist hellholes of non-Nicaragua Central America and the Republican base will again call for impeachment and again the American people will yawn.

    • JJG

      Then it may surprise you to learn that Pat Buchanan has put together a well-reasoned argument [i]against[/i] impeaching Obama:

      http://buchanan.org/blog/impeachment-bridge-far-6570

      But, assuming you’re Catholic, since this is after all a Catholic blog, Obama’s stance on abortion alone should be enough reason for you to reconsider your “strong support for the President”.

      • Willard

        Pat Buchanan has always been a principled conservative. Unfortunately, his voice will be drowned out by the likes of Palin and the 35% right wing nut jobs.
        The President is wrong on abortion/gay marriage. The Republicans are wrong on so much more.

        • JJG

          I share Mark’s view that neither side represents the balanced and sane position put forth by the Catholic Church, at least in her official teaching, if not always in practice by local bishops, priests, and laity. However, we do not live in a Catholic country, but rather one which has historically been suspicious of, and hostile to, Catholicism. So we are left with a dilemma regarding how we authentically may participate in our country’s politics.

          Like many east-coast Catholics, my support naturally gravitated toward the Democrat party when I was young. But when it decided to become the party of abortion, I found it necessary to re-think my support, because that issue always entails the taking of innocent human life. Moreover, any justification of it requires a denial of objective reality – I would classify Roe v. Wade as the great 2+2=5 moment in our modern public life. That puts the Democrats generally beyond the pale, leaving only the Republicans as a practical alternative. (There seems to be no great mass movement – yet – in creating an alternative to the two major parties.)

          While the Republican are no great prize, they at least seem to have a better grasp of authentic individual liberty, which is consistent with the Church’s teaching concerning the dignity of the human person. Having lived in a Communist country for a few months (Poland in 1988-89), I’ve seen the destruction which collectivism, such as that advocated by the Democrats, can wreak upon that human dignity.

          But neither party seems to grasp the idea that we are neither atomized individuals nor collective masses, but individuals in community. That is not a concept, so far as I can tell, which is much valued, either presently or historically, in the American polity.

          • The Deuce

            Moreover, any justification of it requires a denial of objective reality
            – I would classify Roe v. Wade as the great 2+2=5 moment in our modern
            public life.

            Yup. In fact, denying objective reality is basically what left-wing politics boils down to, whether it’s the objective reality of life, the objective reality of marriage and what it’s for, the objective reality of the harmfulness of sodomy, the objective reality of differences between the sexes and their roles, the objective reality of Islam’s murderous tendencies, the objective reality of moral free will and criminal culpability, the objective reality of the laws of economics, and on and on.

            Left-wing ideology is all about denying those realities, claiming that they are mere “social construction,” and declaring everyone who runs afoul of them a “victim” of society.

            Of course, the ultimate objective reality is God Himself, who defines and upholds all the rest of reality, so those who wish to declare it a subjective construction must deny God above all. That’s why left-wing movements are secularist, and why the biggest left-wing ideologues are virulent atheists.

            Left-wing “Christians” trade on the fact that Christianity doesn’t directly teach on the laws of economics, since those aren’t in its immediate purview. Thus, they rationalize that it’s okay to dismiss those as social construction, and to declare the poor as “victims of capitalism” or whatever, and to insist that socialist policies materially improve the lives of the poor.

            Their next step is to implicitly blame all sin on material deprivation. So abortion is blamed on people being “poor and desperate,” and the solution is said to be socialist welfare. The breakdown of the family is likewise blamed on the same, and the solution is said to be the same.

            Basically, they have to too themselves that the Left’s reality-denying hostility to God, the Church, the unborn, the traditional family, and sexual morality are totally unrelated and opposed to their economic policies, when in reality they arise from the same place.

            And from there they rationalize that they will actually reduce abortion and strengthen the family by supporting and praising the party that is virulently hostile to God and Christianity, that celebrates abortion and openly seeks to normalize it and fund it and make it more common up to the moment of birth and possibly beyond, and that is openly and brazenly contemptuous of the natural family and seeks to redefine it and normalize all manner of sexual perversion as equal to it.

            So in short, they pretend to believe that the Democrats are so good on topics that the Church doesn’t specifically declare dogmas on that it trumps their outright hatred of the Church and war on all her teachings and everything she holds dear, and that if the Democrats just had more power, they would accomplish the exact opposite of their actual goals despite themselves.

            Of course, that is all nonsensical on its face, and can only be maintained by constant self-delusion and double-speak. Hence you get risible attempts to blame Central America’s turmoil on it being a “capitalist hellhole,” that look absolutely ludicrous to anyone not dead-set on seeing semi-free markets as the great evil of our age and Democrats our salvation.

            The execution of murderers (which the Church and Scripture both infallibly declare to be just, even though mercy allows us to abstain) must be raised to the same level or higher as mass-murder of innocent babies, and “pro-life” must be used to equivocate between the two issues.

            Abortion must be implicitly diminished as an issue, and attempts to give the unborn the same legal protections as the born declared “unproductive” even though the Catechism specifically calls for them.

            The mere ability to imagine that Democrat-style welfare will reduce abortion and family disintegration must be taken as proof that it actually does, regardless of any evidence to the contrary, whereas evidence that laws restricting abortion work must be dismissed as unproven and “mere correlation” since it doesn’t rise to the certainty of mathematical proof.

            And, of course, any comment that the current Pope makes that seems to have any relevance to capitalism at all must be spun into a direct and unequivocal condemnation of relatively free-market economic systems, which must then be spun into a dogma on par with the actually direct and unequivocal condemnations of abortion, sodomy, divorce, etc by all Popes, Scripture, and Christian doctrine since the ascension of Christ.

            • Willard

              So much nonsense. First, it is just a pesky FACT that Scandinavia with its much more generous welfare state has an abortion rate that is much lower than central and latin america. Do we care about the actual numbers of abortions or just the laws regarding them?

              But what really bugs me about your argument is what is missing. The Church teaches masturbation is a mortal sin but show me the people on the street to ban pornography. That wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that political conservatives don’t want their strip clubs and porn taken from them, does it?

              • The Deuce

                Please, those sorts of cross-country comparisons are meaningless, and can be used to “prove” anything. Practically every variable between Scandinavia and Central America is radically different.

                What’s meaningful is the difference in the same place or group before and after a change to welfare or abortion law. And here the drop in abortion rates after a state restricts it (always thanks to Republicans) is dismissed as “mere correlation” and purely the result of people leaving the state for their abortions, and the lack of abortions prior to legalization is attributed to tons of imagined back-alley coathanger clinic visits. Meanwhile, the rise of illegitimacy, divorce, and abortion in the black community to heights previously thought humanly unattainable isn’t allowed as evidence that the laws of economics aren’t imaginary, incentives are real, and welfare spending doesn’t work as advertised.

                Of course, the idea that empowering radically pro-abortion anti-family anti-Christian ideologues could possibly reduce abortion and strengthen the family flies completely in the face of all common sense and plausibility in the first place.

                The rule for the left is “If I can imagine it, it must be assumed true. If you can’t conclusively prove it, it must be assumed false.”

                And now you’re trying to tell yourself that masturbation and porn are the purview of conservatives more than the libertine left? Sure, lots of people have their hands dirty here, but really, LO-freaking-L.

                • Willard

                  The problem is that some like their savage capitalism and don’t want anyone infringing on it. They don’t want to adhere to the Church’s teaching on the just wage and the proper role of the state in the economy as taught by every pope since Leo XIII.

                  Because they want to keep this savage capitalism so bad, they are willing to handwave the very real statistics showing how many fewer abortions happen in places like Scandinavia. They were hoping to hitch their ride to the Catholic Church who they thought would make abortion the only issue so that they could portray themselves as the only answer to the electorate.

                  But then Pope Francis came along and upset their apple cart. He will not stand for the hypocrite that can put thousands of people on the street to protest gay marriage but can’t even get a resolution introduced in Congress to ban pornography.

                  And sure, leftists(except for some feminists) like their porn but they aren’t hypocritical about it. Let’s see the Texas GOP actually try and restrict some of the ubiquitous strip clubs in their state. Then maybe I’ll believe they really care about the Christian faith and not just the bottom lines of the Koch brothers.

            • Marthe Lépine

              You lost me when claiming the “objective reality of the laws of economics”. Economics are almost totally based on hypothesis and theories, and are a matter of what one believes to be correct in one’s particular social environment. It totally depends on the behaviour of human beings, which can never be predicted with certainty (although it can be, and is being, manipulated to fit the popular theories of the time). However it has been seen as useful to claim that the market has “laws”, sometimes (but of course not always, there can be other causes) as a way, for example, to justify “gauging” the public… (And before you claim that I am speaking of something I don’t know: I have been trained, and worked, as an economist.)

      • Marthe Lépine

        I disagree, and in my opinion to base any choice between parties or support any politician based on the abortion issue alone is reckless and dangerous, precisely because one party just claims to be pro-life at election time and did nothing about it when it had the power, while the other is at least honest in its claim…

    • AquinasMan

      I know it’s unpopular nowadays, but how do you sleep at night knowing the man you strongly support has no problem with butchering children in and out of the womb?

      I mean, seriously. Cognitive dissonance much?

      • Willard

        Because we only have two parties and the Republicans are so much worse. Both for those within the womb and especially those out.

        • AquinasMan

          Yeah, and the crowds strongly supported Barabbas cuz, well, ya gotta strongly support SOMEBODY, now dont’cha!

      • The Deuce

        I mean, seriously. Cognitive dissonance much?

        Well, he’s had to convince himself that Central America is a “capitalist hellhole” to prop up his worldview, so yeah, the rationalization is strong with this one.

        • Willard

          Unlike Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala are known for being led by right wing leaders with extremely laissez faire policies and low government spending/taxation. I’m confident Pope Francis would describe them as capitalist.

          • AquinasMan

            Francis called abortion an “abominable crime”. What’s his description of politics in Central America?

            • Willard

              “A savage capitalism has taught the logic of profit at any cost, of giving in order to get, of exploitation without thinking of people… and we see the results in the crisis we are experiencing”

              • The Deuce

                Of course, a two-second search reveals that he wasn’t referring to the politics of Central America.

                • Willard

                  He was condemning savage capitalism in general. Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador just happen to be examples par excellence with their extremely low tax and government spending policies.

                  • The Deuce

                    That’s hilarious. He was talking about an attitude. He said nothing about how high taxes or spending should be. Furthermore, the taxes and debt-to-GDP levels in those countries are not particularly low. Your ability to strain and rationalize is limitless, as it must be to justify cheerleading for the abortion party.

                    • Willard

                      Talk about hilarious, so savage capitalism is now an “attitude”? Was Soviet Communism an “attitude” as well?

                      American right wingers would love to have the level of taxation and government spending that non-Nicaragua Central America has. Your ability to strain and rationalize is limitless, as it must be to justify cheerleading for the abortion/anti-immigrant/pornography/easy-divorce/strip-club and most of all savage capitalist party.

                    • The Deuce

                      Yes, he’s obviously talking about attitudes there, about profiting at any cost. He didn’t say that all capitalism is savage, nor was there any hint that “savagery” is a matter of tax rates or government spending levels. If that were the case, he’d have given some indication of what a government’s spending and tax levels should be to avoid being savage.

                      You are furiously spinning to read what he said as being about tax rates and spending levels generally, you are spinning even more furiously to see it as referring to Central America’s rates specifically, and you are spinning furiously to classify Central America as a “capitalist hellhole” in the first place.

                      And you are spinning most furiously to rationalize away the clear, direct, and unequivocal teaching of every Pope and all of Christianity about abortion as *not* applying to those to whom it is practically a sacrament.

                    • Willard

                      No. Capitalism is not an attitude. It is a system. A system that believes that markets are sacrosanct. That government “gets in the way”. That lower taxes are better than higher taxes. That less government spending is better than more government spending. The FACT that non-Nicaragua Central America engages in these policies is an indictment of that system and His Holiness knows it.

                    • The Deuce

                      A system that believes that markets are sacrosanct.

                      Er, a system can’t “believe” anything. He was obviously referring to “savage capitalism” as an ideology or worldview (aka an -ism), specifically an ideology that teaches that profit is all that matters. If he were referring to tax rates and spending levels he would’ve said so, and given some indication of how high was high enough.

                    • Willard

                      Ok this is getting ridiculous. Soviet Communism “believed” that private property was wrong and enacted policies to enforce those beliefs. Let’s not try to pretend we don’t know what we are really discussing here.

                    • The Deuce

                      Er, no, communism the ideology held that private property was wrong. The communist economic system of the USSR was based on that belief, but didn’t hold that belief itself.

                      But that’s irrelevant anyhow. The Pope didn’t define “savage capitalism” in terms of proper spending levels or tax rates, or even refer to tax rates or government spending at all, and it’s impossible to make any sense out of what he did say if you try to force than meaning on him. What he said makes perfect sense, however, if “savage capitalism” is refers to the worldview that only profit matters.

                      Incidentally, if you try to define “savage capitalism” as “an economic system with below-average taxes by modern standards” or whatever meaning you’re read into his words, then pretty nearly all states, cities, and nations in history have been examples of “savage capitalism” – including Vatican City now.

                    • Willard

                      Don’t forget he also criticized “trickle down” economics in Evangelium Gaudium. We are getting bogged down in minutiae. The Pope supports “market” socialism or “regulated” capitalism and the battle is between those who want those type of systems and the libertarian types that want some kind of “pure” capitalism that isn’t workable in the real world.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Everybody and their brother supports ‘regulated’ capitalism and/or ‘market’ socialism. There is broad disagreement about how far to go which is where the battle plays out.

                    • JJG

                      I don’t understand your objection here. You first indicated that capitalism wasn’t an “attitude” but a system, and now you seem to be claiming it is.

                      I would instead say that both systems constitute a culture. This is especially apparent in Maoism, which explicitly formulated itself as a “Cultural Revolution”, overturning the remnants of Chinese feudalism in favor of Communist collectivism. It’s less apparent with capitalism, but it clearly is culturally aligned with individualism, in opposition to collectivism.

                      I would note that the various instances of Communism have failed, and subsequently been overturned, even in China, in favor of some more capitalist economic system. The Christian viewpoint, however, must be to strike a balance between two principles: “the (Christian) community held all things in common”, and “let him who will not work not eat”. The closest I’ve seen to a proposal which is captures this is Chesterton and Belloc’s “distributionism”, but I don’t see much chance of that actually being implemented anywhere in the West. Instead, it seems likely that some form of _regulated_ capitalism is going to prevail, and that may be close enough.

                    • Willard

                      Both communism and capitalism are systems based on certain beliefs. I have no problem with the word culture if you prefer it.

                      And yes, I myself prefer a “market” socialist or “regulated” capitalist system as I believe that most closely adheres to the social teachings of the Church.

                      The great leftist pro-life president of Ecuador said it best I think, “the market makes a great servant but a terrible master”.

                    • The Deuce

                      It’s less apparent with capitalism, but it clearly is culturally aligned with individualism, in opposition to collectivism.

                      Particularly when you consider that “capitalism” isn’t even an actual economic system or an ideology. The term in its modern usage was coined by Karl Marx, to serve a foil for the ideology he was selling. It’s unfortunate that a lot of conservatives have adopted it. “Not being a Marxist” isn’t an ideology, and the idea that price is set by supply and demand isn’t either. It’s just the most basic observation of economic fact.

                    • Willard

                      Yes it is an economic fact that price is set by supply and demand. But there can be a moral dimension involved. The Church doesn’t care if you want to buy a 2007 Chevy Malibu for 11k. The Church most certainly cares if you want to buy labor below the just wage.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Price being set by supply and demand IS an ideology. True, prices increase when some goods are scarce, but it is because some persons see that they can take advantage of that scarcity and get more profits for themselves. In some cases, it has even been seen that a corporation will be able to create a scarcity by hoarding some necessary goods and keeping them out of reach for those who needed them. And of course, when there are too many of some particular goods available, it is more difficult to sell them again to people who already have them, so it becomes necessary to get rid of them.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      You are playing on words to deflect the discussion. Plus, you are using that “let him who will not work…” clearly out of context, and if you have read Mark’s blog a number of times, you cannot not know it. And in my opinion, if “distributionism” does not have much of a chance, it is because a lot of powerful conservatives on the right are staunchly opposed to it and will fight “tooth and claws” to prevent it from even getting better known.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Capitalism is not a system that thinks markets are sacrosanct. In fact I’ve never heard the most extreme Capitalist ever say that they believe the market is sacrosanct, let alone a common opinion, let alone part of the definition of Cspitalism.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      That sounds like the specious argument that there is no “true” capitalism, or no “true” libertarianism. Even if the “most extreme Capitalist” does not say out loud (or write) that he believes that the market is sacrosanct, actions speak much louder than words in this case. Don’t tell me that you are not aware of all the arguments heard or seen that defend the “market” as if it was based on the laws of nature. That’s another way of saying the market is “king”.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      In what way does my response ‘sound like’ the argument that there is no ‘true’ capitalism or libertarianism? Why do you have to continually insert unsubstantiated and incoherent conclusions and attach them to my name? If you don’t take exception to what I ACTUALLY say then why not simply state that you agree?

                      I merely objected to someone overstating allegiance to Capitalism by saying it is regarded as sacrosanct. On the contrary, Capitalism is overwhelmingly defended on the basis that it works and based on arguments of reasons why it seems to work. What is more accurately regarded as ‘sacrosanct’ among libertarians and some conservatives is the right to own private property and that individuals should have the freedom to trade with other individuals if that is their choice.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Well, you “believe” that it works, but it actually does not work for everybody. besides, that diatribe above does not even answer my argument, which I will repeat here so you can actually read it: Even if the “most extreme Capitalist” does not say out loud (or write)
                      that he believes that the market is sacrosanct, actions speak much
                      louder than words in this case. Don’t tell me that you are not aware of
                      all the arguments heard or seen that defend the “market” as if it was
                      based on the laws of nature. That’s another way of saying the market is
                      “king”.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      So Marthe, once again you feel justified in hyperbole about other people’s political opinions because ‘they make you think that’ with what is inferred or from what you interpret from their actions. You should just address what people actually say, take them at their word and keep your personal biases about other people to yourself if possible. It’s much more productive when having a discussion.

                      Some people advocate that the ‘market’ works very well as a mechanism for economic coordination. Very few people actually suggest that it does not. Fewer still actually think that it is perfect, stable without certain regulations or beneficial to all regardless of chance or circumstance.

                      If what you are asking is whether I think that we should generally work with a free market as a means for economic activity or whether we should adopt a state-coordinated economy then I don’t mind advocating for markets. Does that make the market king? I don’t know, king of what? Does the collective expertise of manufacturers, price setters, industry experts, buyers and the vast amount of information of consumer preferences, failed ideas, real value exceed what Obsma and his administration is able to figure out? Yes, probably. It’s not magic, it’s just many people communicating with eachother and making choices. Effective economics is about people producing and obtaining things people want or need. Sometimes certain actors (such as those holding capital) are more powerful and so can easily manipulate the choices of others for their own benefit. Sometimes our choices are not Good in the sense that they are immoral, if all we want is self-serving then we aren’t achieving the greater good sometimes. Certain systematic examples of this must be regulated against (like when there is a run on the banks).

                  • Mike Blackadder

                    And Nicaragua is doing well or is excessively empoverished compared with the other Central American countries?

                    • Willard

                      Yes…very much so. Please read:
                      http://www.nicanet.org/?page=blog&id=27148

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Well yeah, I mean it’s because crime lords pay way higher taxes in Nicaragua. Silly, I thought you might tie economic policy (eg. Capitalism) to economic performance and crime rate that defies economic circumstance to factors other than economics.

                    • Willard

                      Gee, I wonder why Nicaragua doesn’t have the problems with “crime lords” that laissez faire El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala have? I’m sure it doesn’t have anything to do with the staunchly pro-life President Ortega and his policies. That would just be a “ridiculous cross-country comparison”. LOL

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Because laissez faire economics is somehow synonymous with a laissez faire criminality? If I think Joey should be permitted to trade apples for money to send his daughter to school then that means I believe we should let Marco shake down granny and steal the money from her cash register?

              • AquinasMan

                Flash: “Left-wingers” are capitalists, too. But you keep saying your beef is with the “right wing”, which relates to politics, not economics. So let’s try this again: What has Francis said about politics in Central American, that exceeds in manner of evil the abominable crime of abortion?

                • Willard

                  I can’t believe I’m doing this but I must actually recommend you watch Faux News where you will find out that the “left” is very much anti-capitalist and the right is very much pro-capitalist(with rare exceptions on both sides).

                  Pope Francis said, “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods.” His Holiness understands what so many right wingers don’t. Criminalizing abortion doesn’t make it go away and that is particularly true in places like non-Nicaragua Central America where the abortion RATE is very high even though it is technically illegal.

                  • JJG

                    Of course criminalizing abortion doesn’t make it go away. But it was already a criminal act before the ukase by the Supreme Court in 1973, so reversing Row v. Wade would merely revert to the status quo.

                    I’ve always found this line of argumentation astonishingly weak. People still commit embezzlement, even though the prohibition against theft is Black Letter Law. Are you suggesting we should therefore remove that prohibition? Do you not think, with Oliver Wendell Holmes, that “the law is a great moral teacher”?

                    The notion that “you can’t legislate morality” is belied by the fact that the law breaks down into two general categories: “malum prohibitum”, e.g., building codes, and “malum in se”, e.g., homicide in its various forms. “Malum in se” _always_ concerns itself with moral principle.

                    • Willard

                      No I am very much in favor of criminalizing abortion. I just think you will not have very much luck in actually reducing its INCIDENCE if you don’t also tackle the problems of poverty which lead to women making minimum wage considering it.

                    • JJG

                      It’s not clear to me that poverty leads to consideration of abortion, since many of its advocates are rather well-heeled. Indeed, I’ve noted that poor people generally don’t have the luxury of living the delusional lives that so many of our upper classes have the means to do. In fact, my own experience is that poor value their children even more, since they can’t afford to shift those children’s care off onto daycare workers, nannies, boarding schools, etc.

                      Raising the minimum wage tends to have unintended consequences, further pricing American labor out of the market, and encouraging companies to employ off-shore workers in order to increase their productivity. It is for this reason that the traditional method of government-imposed tariffs to protect native jobs makes a certain amount of sense, though it is the bane of open-market ideologues.

                    • Willard

                      All the studies show that the number one reason cited for abortion is “can’t afford another child.” I’m actually worried that we will lose the support of honest pro-life conservatives on this issue because the overwhelming majority of abortions take place among poor black and hispanic women. I’m afraid of what will happen if certain types connect the dots and start spouting that criminalizing abortion will just mean more Democrat voters in the future.

                      Also, they just showed that states that raised their minimum wage had FASTER job growth than states that did not. Another win for the teaching of the Catholic Church.

                    • JJG

                      Kindly supply references to these studies, since it is useful to analyze them in context, e.g., what the methodology was, what underlying assumptions were made, etc.

                    • Willard
                    • Mike Blackadder

                      ‘can’t afford another child’. Says the richest nations to have ever existed in the history of humanity. And we kill our children at the highest rate in the history of humanity. Willard, this is a nonsense argument.

                    • Willard

                      IMO, there is no excuse for abortion. And it would be a nonsense argument for you and me. But for a Walmart clerk making 8 bucks an hour?

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Once again Willard, the Walmart clerk is living like a king compared with the peasants of the middle ages (even compared with some kings in the middle ages). So how can we seize on the 8 bucks an hour as the justified reason for abortions? You say that we can’t solve the abortion problem without solving the poverty problem? Yet abortion is flourishing in the age of wealth.

                    • Willard

                      No this is totally wrong as you are missing the spending side. The peasants of the middle ages didn’t have to SPEND as much on the necessities of life.

                      Are you really going to make the argument that a single mother making 8 bucks an hour without insurance(pre-Obamacare) is easily able to afford another child in 2014 America?

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Willard, you’re missing the big picture. The 8 bucks an hour Walmart clerk is not starving to death or dying from a common cold or infection like the poor (and even kings) throughout human history. I’m not ignoring inflation or misunderstanding the economics when I claim that we are collectively a very rich people.

                    • The Deuce

                      Yep, the Walmart clerk may have to spend more than the medieval peasant in order to live the quality of life common even to our relatively rich poor nowadays, but even spending the same amount, it is possible for the clerk to have a quality of life for their children and themselves in excess of that peasant (and nearly all people in human history) by many orders of magnitude, with superior health care, better and more abundant food, better protection from the elements, better recreation, etc.

                      The temptation to abortion may be greater now, but the “necessity” of it is inarguably more nonexistent than ever.

                      Of course, even if you humor the left-wing view that the poor are a bunch of robots without free will or moral culpability who simply must abort their children due to material deprivation and costs of living, this doesn’t even get into the fact that many of those costs of living and causes of inflation trace right back to our government’s debt-spending, taxes, ham-fisted price-fixing, perverse incentives, ineffective “welfare,” and so forth in the first place.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Not to mention sexual immorality.

                    • The Deuce

                      Btw, I consider it highly ironic that many liberal Christians nowadays will tell me that the death penalty is no longer necessary, because we have reached a point in history where we are wealthy and technologically advanced enough that it’s possible to reliably and permanently neutralize the threat any murderer poses to society without killing him, and at the same time will tell me that we have reached a point that the poor are now “forced” to get abortions because of material deprivation. Does Not Compute.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      It is your reasoning that does not compute. We may have all the technological and engineering advances that make it “possible to reliably and permanently neutralize the threat that any murderer poses to society” while millions of people still suffer material deprivation. These are totally separate issues that cannot be really honestly conflated.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Collectively, maybe. But there is still that little problem of extreme inequality. Saying that the poor of the 21st century are better off than those in the middle ages is irrelevant. Poor is poor, in the context of the times when the poor are living. And Pope Francis did join poverty and inequality among the problems that interfere with solving all of the other world problems.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Another way of saying this: we are not killing babies primarily because there is a ‘reason to do so’. These reasons that you put up as the ’cause’ of prolific abortion have always existed only to a much more drastic extent in past civilizations. It is exactly because our society permits and normalizes the practice of abortion that people have abortions, but you don’t want to endorse that obvious point because it points you away from the platform of the Democrat party.

                      Imagine for a moment that you had your wish and we were able to essentially solve people’s money problems and resolve our worries of human carbon footprints, etc and people felt wholly comfortable bringing children into the world and rejected abortion as a consequence. Has this in any way corrected the moral defect of a civilization that kills its offspring? Would you not agree that when famine or other hardship returns to us all that we would go right back to killing the unborn as a solution to our fear and insecurity? Abortion should be eradicated because it is wrong, not because there is no cost associated with the needs of others.

                    • Willard

                      Please explain to me then why so many fewer babies are killed per woman in Scandinavia where it is LEGAL than in Latin American where it is illegal?

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Because you can rearrange the letters in the word Scandinavia to spell divscainaan.
                      Why don’t you actually address something in what I posted which obviously disputes your argument that Americans have abortions because they are too poor?

                    • Willard

                      Because your argument is ridiculous. The very fact that Scandinavia can have a very low abortion RATE while abortion is LEGAL and Latin America can have a very high abortion RATE while abortion is ILLEGAL disproves your whole theory.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      No, my argument is perfectly coherent. What is ridiculous is the assertion that an 8 buck per hour Walmart clerk living in modern america whose access to food, modern leisure, health care and overall security in life rivals that of kings in recent history is somehow become compelled to abort their child rather than face the hardship of their dependance when no similar epidemic was occurring then.

                      Is it incoherent to point out that a morally depraved society who must have guaranteed security in order to convince them not to kill others remains morally depraved even after such temporary conditions of security are granted? I’m struggling to find any substance in your comments to dispute the simple points that I’m making here.

                    • Willard

                      Did you not see my response where I clearly stated that there is NO excuse for abortion? I’m agreeing with you.

                      My only point is that when, God willing, we finally criminalize abortion, don’t be surprised if we still have a very high abortion RATE because that’s been the experience in other countries.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Willard, material wants are not the reason for abortion. It is the permissiveness of abortion in our laws and our culture that is the problem. It’s a culture war, not a class war. The Democrats are nowhere near the target on this one.

                    • chezami

                      Of course abortion is due, in huge measure, to material issues. Nearly half of abortions are sought by women living below the poverty line.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Hardly. It sure seems to me that the 1.3 million killed per year can hardly be attributed to us being particularly lacking in material wealth. The fact that a higher proportion among the poor are choosing abortion is not a surprise given that they are more vulnerable to the forces that make rearing children more difficult, but such consideration hardly begins to address the actual causes of high rates of abortion which obviously weren’t present 50 years ago.

                      Is the consensus here that material wealth (in excess of the security enjoyed by medieval kings) is now a precondition for moral behavior? I didn’t think that the saving power of Christ and the Holy Spirit had such limitations. Who among the Saints required modern luxury in order to avoid mortal sin?

                      If we were to stop treating our tap water for E. coli without notice I’m thinking that fewer prosperous Americans will die than the poor because the rich are more likely to drink bottled water. In your opinion the problem of subsequent death from E Coli is largely attributed to the fact that there are poorer Americans since say half of all E Coli deaths are among those below he poverty line? And this is to be taken as a serious argument?

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      It just “seems” to you, does it? Why don’t look up solid facts? Are you afraid to find that the truth is different from what seems to you? (Note: Don’t just look for facts that support your opinions. Try to do an objective search.)

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Like this

                      http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/06/01/astonishing-numbers-americas-poor-still-live-better-than-most-of-the-rest-of-humanity/

                      and this

                      http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/US-Abortion-Patients.pdf

                      which are analysis of relative wealth and standard of living in US and abortion demographics?
                      I already linked these two sources when I discussed the stats in a previous comment to which you actually replied.
                      Americans poorest 10% are richer than 65% of the rest of the world and abortion rates are much more highly correlated to marital status than income. Those are facts, and not exactly shocking.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      I don’t disagree that these are facts, but I don’t see that they support all of your assertions, made over the last few days. It is simply not relevant that America’s poorest 10% are richer than 65% of the rest of the world. They don’t live in the rest of the world, any more than they live in past centuries. They are struggling in the here and now, and at the same time are being sold the lie that abortion is one solution (among others), and they are weak sinners – just like you and I, so they get tempted and sin. You and I know that it is a lie, but are you sure that they all really know it?

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Maybe material wants are not the primary reason for abortion, but the fact that abortion can be seen as an easy answer to one’s problem with poverty makes it attractive. But the poverty remains – And telling the poor that they are not prepared to make enough sacrifices is not the way of true charity (in the sense of love of neighbour).

                    • The Deuce

                      Of course, the highest rates of abortion throughout the world are in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Vietnam, where abortion has little to no restrictions on it.

                      And of course, these sorts of comparisons between radically different nations with radically different demographics, histories, customs, and other factors are silly and invalid in the first place, but let’s look at one example anyway.

                      First, we may note that Scandinavian countries have low fertility rates in the first place, so of course they’re going to have low rates of abortion per 1,000 women. Take Sweden for example, with its 1.67 children born per women: http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=sw&v=31

                      They’ve got an abortion rate of 20.8 per 1,000 women, which is not all that low, given that it’s a wealthy country without a whole lot of social stratification. But what’s *really* eye-popping is the percentage of known pregnancies ending in abortion, 25%. That’s not “very low,” particularly considering how wealthy they are: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Sweden#Trends

                      And, of course, abortion isn’t illegal throughout all of Latin America (I notice the shift away from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala here). And where it is, it isn’t always enforced.

                      Either way, it’s irrelevant to Mike’s point, which is the absurdity of claiming that abortion in America is caused by material deprivation rather than choice.

                      Btw, isn’t it funny and ironic to see left-wing Christians trying to take the heat off of the pro-choicers by claiming that abortion *isn’t* a choice?

                    • The Deuce

                      I must offer a correction to this:

                      First, we may note that Scandinavian countries have low fertility rates
                      in the first place, so of course they’re going to have low rates of
                      abortion per 1,000 women.

                      The “of course” is wrong, as evidenced by the way that Russia (a country with unrestricted abortion) manages to simultaneously have a suicidally low fertility rate and an extremely high abortion rate per 1,000 women.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      The same applies for Canada. In spite of practically no legislation against abortion, the rate of abortions is lower in Canada than in the US; at any rate, that what I have been told by a Canadian sociologist who came from the US, and whose Christianity and judgment I have no reason to doubt.

                    • Willard

                      Well that’s obviously because Canadians are more virtuous and Christian than Americans. Of course, it doesn’t have anything to do with your universal healthcare or lower rates of poverty.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Well we are 50% Catholic, not that this matters compared with the ‘all Mighty dollar’!
                      The Portugese must be exceptionally wealthy eh?

                    • chezami

                      One gets the sense nobody can hear you, even though everything you say is clear and perfectly sensible, Willard.

                    • Willard

                      Cognitive dissonance or as Upton Sinclair said, “”It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

                    • chezami

                      Are you sure you don’t *secretly* support abortion, like I do when I repeatedly condemn it and state my open and naked belief in the teaching of the Catholic Church hook, line and sinker, but in such a way as to call into question conservative shibboleths? I’m pretty sure you must *secretly* support abortion. C’mon, admit it. You calls for outlawing it are really just a ruse for your pro-abort fanaticism. Because capitalism! And Sweden!

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      I would never suggest such a thing – honestly. But you and Willard both openly support the Democrat party in negligence of your convictions about abortion.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      So you have never read Mark’s posts about voting? Mark supports no party, because each of them supports intrinsic evil. The difference is that they do not support the SAME intrinsic evils. You should not have much trouble finding what he has written, just do a search in this blog and on the site of your US Catholic Register.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      I was assuming he supports the Democrat party based on what he posts. I am wrong. Sorry Mark.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      I think that in the present case, it is not so much that a man’s salary depends upon his not understanding, but rather that some men’s identity as members of the “right” tribes and as true citizens of the US depend upon it.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      I think I can remember Pope Francis saying something to the effect that without tackling poverty, no other world problem can be solved, and he did not make an exception for abortion as part of those problems.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Maybe you should make sure you know exactly what Pope Francis actually said and in what context before asserting that he is saying something that he is perhaps not saying.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      I think your question is part of a game Mark has been describing in an earlier series of posts – would that be “Simon-Peter-Says”? Seems to me that asking for chapter and verse of everything you want to ignore is not the most productive way to participate in a discussion. If YOU don’t know what Pope Francis has said, could it be because you were not paying attention? Just go to the Canadian Catholic Register and search Pope Francis or poverty and you will have your answer. Why should I do your research when it does not seem that you ever paid enough attention to Pope Francis to have an idea by now of what his comments were about.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      I’m not asking for Chapter and verse, just some minimum attempt to use Pope Francis instructions in context. Don’t set up Pope Francis to somehow break from the instruction of the Catholic faith claiming that material welfare is an alternative to obedience to the commandments of God and the saving grace of the Holy Spirit.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Do you mean that Jesus never taught that whatever you do to the smallest among you, you are doing it to Me? Or,more exactly, that He is being quoted “out of context” and He was just telling us that the only smaller ones among us that He was referring to are the unborn? Care for the poor is part of the commandment to “Love your neighbour”, which I think is still believed to be included into the Ten Commandments.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      No, that’s not at all what I mean. What I mean is that material wealth being RECEIVED is not itself the substance of salvation. Man does not live on bread ALONE. Yes, people need bread. They also require the living bread, they require God’s graces, the redemption of Christ, truth and mercy. WE don’t exclude all of the other things and say that ‘every problem is solved by giving bread’. God doesn’t require our bread. He just doesn’t. The Saints did not require modern luxury and complete freedom from material want to be Saints.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Just to be clear, I am saying that Francis DID NOT say that we cannot tackle any of the world’s problems without first tackling poverty. That’s an easily falsifiable assertion.

                      God expelled us from the garden because of the transgressions of Adam and Eve. Francis is not saying that it is God’s act of expelling us from the garden and subjecting us to want and hardship which has created the fallen state of man. You need to read Francis a little more closely if that is what you think.

                    • Andy

                      In Evangelii
                      Gadium the pope said –

                      “As long as the problems of the poor are not
                      radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems,”

                      Sounds like he saying to solve the problemsof the world we have to solve poverty.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Yes indeed you are right. Good grief. I think I repressed that rather than follow it to its logical conclusion. What’s your opinion Andy? Do you think that Francis is really meaning to communicate that ‘none of the world’s problems’ can be resolved without ‘radically resolving’ the problems of the poor and ‘attacking inequality’? If that was the case then apparently wealthy nations like Americans would have NO substantial internal problems even from the point of view of morality. Really? It seems to me that there are many problems that sprout from perfectly well off people even towards other perfectly well off people. Is that the truth of Christ’s revelation or is Francis’ remark a bit careless and over the top?

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      I admire your attempts at neutralizing Pope Francis words in the name of the wealth of the US. However, the US is very near, or even at, the top of the list of countries with the worse inequality. So, it seems that Pope Francis’ words about “attacking inequality” DO have some significance for the US, even if you are trying so hard to ignore it. Of course, “There are many problems that sprout from perfectly well off people even towards other perfectly well off people”. But that does not negate the seriousness of poverty and inequality. And to claim that a remark written in an encyclical letter can be “a bit careless and over top” makes me wonder if you really believe that Christ gave Peter and his successors the task of instructing the Church and has promised to be with the Church forever. You sound like another one of those “cafeteria” Catholics who pick and choose among Church teaching.

                    • Andy

                      I think that the pope, Mike, is saying that poverty leads to a paucity of spirit for both those who impoverished and those who have wealth. I think he is realistic enough to recognize that without “wealth” people become desperate – desperation leads to illogical and often inhumane actions. His comment is aimed I believe, and it my belief and I am not trying to put words in the pope’s mouth – that we who are well-off must as nations, and individuals start to value the poor as God’s children. This valuation then will lead us to accept the poor and then to truly aid them in moving from poverty, rather then see them as a drain or as less then human. That is the start of the radically resolving, for me.
                      I also think that in looking at Evangilii Gadium that the pope is trying to move us to a point where we see economic policy as having to support all people – that making and having wealth is fine, but that having as your end goal being wealthy is not so good. The end goal of wealth, in my mind, leads to the throwaway society that he and St John Paul (culture of death) talked about that permits abortion as a means of controlling economic status.
                      I agree with your citation from John Paul – but I think I see it a bit differently – I think John Paul is saying that and Franicis is saying that the accumulation of wealth has replaced our meaningful relationship with God. I think of Matthew 6:19-20 where we should store up wealth for heaven. I think that we have allowed economics to become a god, or allowed an ideology of some economic policy (capitalism, crony-capitalism, socialism – you can pick any of them I think) to become our driving force.
                      Thank you Mike for the comments I received – they forced me to think again about many things.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      I very much agree with your interpretation of what Francis is TRYING to say. I don’t think that in this particular instance that John Paul is referring to idolatry of money at all. It’s a great read if you get around to it. Thanks very much for your reply.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Andy, continuing almost directly from that last quote “The dignity of each human person and the pursuit of the common good are concerns which ought to shape all economic policies.”

                      Well that’s much more defendable. Yes economic policy ought to be always shaped toward the common good and the dignity of each human person. Let’s digest that and ponder to really discern Francis’ message here. Is he really endorsing the untenable view that the practice of prolific abortion in wealthy developed nations is due to a lack of wealth or is he simply asserting that economic policy ought to serve mankind and not the other way around? I honestly don’t know the answer. Someone help.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      .There is something about this suggestion; that all social ills (which presumably would include our immorality and separation from God) could be reduced to the problem of ‘inequality’ that is difficult to reconcile to the broader teachings of The faith. It seems to suggest we must add a 4th person to the Trinity which articulates how solving inequality brings mankind to redemption.

                      I still don’t think that it is Francis’ intention to lead us down this path, but we can agree to disagree. I think John Paul II articulates the point much better than I do in OCTOGESIMA ADVENIENS which is a commentary on Rerum Novarum,

                      “There would also be the danger of giving adherence to an ideology which does not rest on a true and organic doctrine, to take refuge in it as a final and sufficient explanation of everything, and thus to build a new idol, accepting, at times without being aware of doing so, its totalitarian and coercive character. And people imagine they find in it a justification for their activity, even violent activity, and an adequate response to a generous desire to serve. The desire remains but it allows itself to be consumed by an ideology which, even if it suggests certain paths to man’s liberation, ends up by making him a slave.”

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Update: I stand corrected that you are absolutely correct that Francis DID say exactly that. I’m not at all sure if he means us to take THAT argument to its logical conclusion and apply such an argument even as a solution to prolific abortion in rich nations or if he simply meant to state the urgency of world poverty (starving children, etc) in the strongest terms, and that economic policy ought to always act to serve human dignity and the common good – which is not a controversial assertion among Catholics. If I don’t know then I can hardly accuse you for taking the Pope’s remarks out of context.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      I get the impression here that it is you who is trying to change the context of Pope Francis’ statement. And he said before that we don’t always need to talk about what Mark calls “the pelvic issues”. I certainly think that he was talking about poverty in general. And when you keep repeating how rich your nation is, it does not sound as if you recognize that it does not make any difference that a nation in its totality can be rich. One single US billionaire moving into a small African country, for example, would immediately bring much more total wealth to that country’s population, but there would still be a lot of people going hungry. What counts is the gap between rich and poor, how the poor are treated, and, yes, whether or not people get jobs with living wages.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      The gap actually is not what counts primarily. What counts is what people actually have. As I mentioned previously the poorest 10% of Americans are wealthier than 65% of the rest of the world.

                      I don’t know whether I am taking Francis’ remarks out of context. It’s hard to imagine that he thinks the sin of homosexual intercourse or masturbation or OJ Simpson (allegedly) murdering his wife are caused by inequalities in income. Is atheism, the abandonment of prayer, egotism, fascism and the many millions murdered under Communist regimes caused by ‘income inequality’? Is that your assertion and is that what you attribute to Francis’ remarks? Read what Andy wrote below about his personal view of what Francis is saying in this comment in Evangelii Gaudium. I don’t disagree at all with his interpretation. You are obviously taking it as an endorsement of the Democrat’s platform concerning abortion. I think that’s shaky ground, but that’s just my view.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Another insult, thank you. I am definitely not endorsing any party in the US since I am not and will never become a citizen of the US, and with what I have been learning during the last few years about the american “culture”, I am not even likely to visit that country. I am definitely not endorsing abortion, but I see other ways to counter it than you do. And I do go along with Pope Francis when he has said that we do not need to talk about the “pelvic issues” all the time, there are other problems in life. Sexual sins and abortion are not the only sins that can throw someone into hell.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      I don’t think you should avoid visiting the US just because you disapprove of American culture. Pope Francis describes in great detail in Evangelii Gaudium why it is imperative for the faithful to enter the fray, leave their comfort zone and bring the message of Christ to those who have strayed from the teachings of the Church.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Well, I will leave that to the missionaries that Nigeria is sending to North America… (and this is not a joke, North America is the mission field for Nigerian bishops, according to my Nigerian parish priest).

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      I think your reasoning is weak here. If “we were able to essentially solve people’s money problems”, it might become easier to work at correcting the “moral defect”, many people who, in dire circumstances, could be tempted to have recourse to abortion might have a better chance to hear and understand the pro-life message that abortion is wrong. So, there is no certainty that they “would go right back to killing the unborn”, although of course some will, since there are still the consequences of original sin (which affect all of us, not only those who approve of abortion). In fact, I see the claims, in the part of your last paragraph that precedes your last sentence, as very cynical and disparaging and even contemptuous towards human beings affected by poverty (in particular but not exclusively to them).

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      I’m not at all against helping to solve people’s money problems. That’s exactly why I don’t support Barack Obama’s policies. He’s a disaster for those who are poor in America or entering their ranks. And yes people with fewer worries can more easily act generously, can more easily engage productively in society.

                      I see no precedent anywhere in scripture or the tradition of the church which suggests that solving people’s money problems would be beneficial to correcting ‘moral defect’. Jesus seems to point us in the opposite direction in basically every instance that he opens his mouth to say something. I’m discussing morality against a standard as understood by Christians which acknowledges that among those who are given much much is expected.

                      My point is that you’re not addressing moral depravity by simply throwing money at it. I don’t see how Joe having a share of rich Terry’s BMW is saving him from the depravity of sin. Even if monetary wealth can improve behavior, if not for repentance and a change of heart and a change of American culture then we are only as good as the amount of money we have. It’s not contemptuous or cynical by any stretch to point out that if you make money your basis for reducing a problem like abortion then it isn’t lasting. As usual Marthe your greatest objections to what I say are those things you are imagining (like that I believe all immorality is excused so long as I am pro-life, or that it is ok to kill or abuse people AFTER they are born, or that I hold contempt for the poor).

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      I think that another point that is beginning to seem obvious to me, at least, is that people from past civilizations did not have the medical knowledge to actually do abortions without killing the women at the same time… So, obviously, women might have been more reluctant to wish to abort their children.

                    • The Deuce

                      Like I said, it always comes down to diminishing the moral gravity of abortion for the “really pro-life” left-wing Christians, their lip-service to the contrary.

                      If our laws allowed killing babies *after* they’re born, they’d be rationalizing in short order how poor women are “forced” to do that too.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      A problem that you might not see yet is that the responsibility for the moral gravity of abortion might eventually spread to those who even refuse to admit that for some people it appears impossible to have another child. Add to this the promotion of abortion done by businesses like Planned Parenthood, among others, and the poverty faced by many people, and the deficiencies, or the lack, of moral education common in our societies, many poor people will not be able to resist the temptation to resolve a problem perceived by them as serious by getting abortions. Looked at from this perspective, it is not impossible that, for some, or many, people, ignoring the plea of the poor may turn into a certain level of moral responsibility for the spread of abortion.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Not so much diminishing the moral gravity of abortion, but maybe to diminishing the moral gravity of everything else in order to concentrate all the attention on abortion. Would you excuse a thief or a murderer, if it did happen that they were against abortion? Some saint did say once that keeping our extra goods for ourselves instead of sharing them with the poor was equivalent to stealing from the poor. Not paying living wages, in my view, is the same as stealing the value of the work of a worker. Cheering for an unjust war, or looking for every argument to make that war seem just, can be said to be equivalent to murder, in a similar way as, in secular justice, the Mafia chief who has ordered and paid for a murder would be considered as guilty as the actual murderer. The guilt of those kind of thefts or murders may not be directly attributable to any one person in particular, but there remains some amount of guilt…

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      It does not matter how much better the Walmart clerk is living compared with the peasants of the middle ages. She has to live in the here and now! And maybe if a large part of the wealth was not hoarded by people who don’t need it for anything else than speculating on the stock or financial market, it might become easier to solve the poverty problem.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      The Walmart clerk is living ‘here and now’ like a king compared with peasants of the middle ages. Living like a king compared with even the richest people in Central America and Africa.

                      When all that you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail. You are trying to salvage allegiance to Democrats by saying that income redistribution is the supreme policy to solve all problems. Obama’s record in income redistribution sucks anyway, but that’s beside the point that Church social teaching and reality simply do not support the premise that societies defects are all attributed to a lack of material wealth. How is that opinion not a perfect realization of the idolatry of money?

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      As I said earlier, allegiance to Democrats has nothing to do with me, I am not an American and at this point in history, seeing what kind of people live in the US, I would not even consider setting foot in your country. I am just trying to get the message across that spouting condemnations is not the best way to fight abortion. I fully realize now how superior you think you are, but this is not going to solve the problem of abortion. Only a change of hearts and minds will do that, and it does not only and necessarily only involve others. Yes, your country in particular has a culture of death. but are you sure it all began with Rowe vs Wade? Could it have begun earlier? Maybe Rowe vs Wade is just another sign of the culture of death. But maybe the culture of death started in Japan in 1944. Maybe it started even earlier with the concept of a totally destructive bomb, destructive of innocent civilians. And of course, it has roots in original sin, but just repeating it will not even begin to change anything.

                      Any cheering for such death as that brought to innocent Japanese civilians most probably had begun to change hearts, even Republican hearts. Disregard for life does not begin and end with abortion, it also have a lot to do with war mongering, gun loving, the rationing of health care. All those things and more can change hearts, not just those of despairing girls and women and abortionists, but of everyone, even self-satisfied Christians who spout condemnations instead of doing something practical and positive, positive in the sense of recognizing that women and girls who are in distress are just as human, just as loved by Jesus, as the unborn babies they cannot find the additional courage to carry. You will never begin to help eliminating abortion by spouting condemnation of everyone who does not see the matter as you do.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      So giving people money is what changes their hearts. But talking to people and being a witness to the conviction that human life is inherently valuable does not. Good stuff.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Did you really read my entire reply? I think it was written in English, not in French, and even if my English is somewhat closer to UK English, you should have been able to understand it. I did not say at all that giving people money is what changes their hearts. I assume that you don’t need to be given money to change yours? If you support the Republicans, it does not guarantee that you are convicted that human life is inherently valuable – with support of the death penalty, of various military interventions that killed a lot of civilians, of torture, etc. as I have read over the years from Republican supporters… If the Republicans really did oppose abortion, they could have done something about the laws during the number of years when they had a majority in both of your “houses” (forgive me if I don’t know the correct terms about your politics). But they did not, and I have read a claim, from one of their supporters, that they could not have done it, it had to do with the courts (seemed like another excuse to my foreign eyes).

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      You mean the richest nation to have ever existed unfortunately also has the widest gap between rich and poor. No matter how many billionaires or even millionaires there are in a country, many people still suffer the effects of poverty because the top 5% approximately get the lion’s share of incomes.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      No, I mean the richest nations in the history of humanity (including Canada, European countries, etc); where the POOR have food, clothing, possessions like televisions, cars, access to health care and education. Inequality is an injustice in its own right, but the argument here is that people are choosing abortion in their destitution. That’s a disingenuous assertion given even a cursory glance around you at poverty that exists around the world and poverty that has been the common man’s lot throughout human history.

                      If the 1.3million abortions per year are happening because of American poverty then please explain this assertion in the context that the bottom 10% in America are richer than 65% of the rest of the world (link below)? How does this 10% stand in relation to man throughout human history? I stand by my assertion that the majority of America’s poor live better than kings did 200 years ago. Your assertion that it is this inequality that is prohibitive to rearing children doesn’t stand up to looking outside a tiny sliver of what passes as the human condition.

                      http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/06/01/astonishing-numbers-americas-poor-still-live-better-than-most-of-the-rest-of-humanity/

                      You propose income equality as a solution to abortion. Look at the actual numbers then (link below). Imagine that we can actually attribute the correlation between income to abortion rate to poverty actually ‘causing’ higher rates of abortion, then what is the impact of raising all 16% who are below the poverty line above the poverty line. Now only 1.04 Million will be aborted each year down from 1.3 Million. Not saying that’s not great, but also kind of diffuses your basic premise that we can effectively combat abortion with wealth redistribution.

                      If we want to blindly follow the numbers then why not consider the more compelling statistic which is that abortions are occurring outside of wedlock at 5 times the rate of those who are married. That 85% of abortions are attributed to unmarried women. That in fact men and women living together outside of wedlock have abortions at 10 times the rate of men and women who are married. If marriage became a standard for couples then this would suggest a drop to ~ 0.44 Million abortions down from 1.3 Million. Even better right? How comfortable is the Democrat party preaching about sexual morality? Would you not agree that if we are being objective that poverty relief is far less significant than sexual immorality and the standard of commitment under marriage (even given the imperfect realization of marriage in American culture)?

                      http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/US-Abortion-Patients.pdf

                      The truth is that it is ONLY ‘rich’ modern man who can AFFORD to destroy his offspring and still proliferate. An unwillingness to even attempt to engage in the culture war and in fact to support those who actively fight on the other side of this culture war is the REAL explanation for the normalization of abortion.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      I have a question that recently came to my mind: Did you ever get the idea that one of the reasons people of earlier times seemed to reject the possibility of having an abortion could just have been that they did not have the knowledge to be able do it at all? Trying anything of the sort, several hundred years ago, would have certainly killing the woman as well. Of course, in those times, children mortality was extremely high, and women very often died when giving birth. Therefore these two facts took care of the problem, and there was less temptation to worry about the size one one’s family. In addition, in agricultural societies, having a lot of children was in fact seen as a blessing, since it meant more hands to work on their parents’ land. As well, in those days, the killing of an unwanted child, once born, would have been totally unacceptable (except in the case of “sacrifices” to Moloch), and it is only beginning to be suggested now as a “post-birth” abortion. However, there might as well have been some amount of killing of unmarried or adulterous pregnant women as punishment for their immorality, that we may not necessarily know about. After all, it is still done nowadays in some countries…

                    • The Deuce

                      I’ve always found this line of argumentation astonishingly weak. People still commit embezzlement, even though the prohibition against theft is Black Letter Law. Are you suggesting we should therefore remove that
                      prohibition?

                      Heh, I wrote below about how the left-wing Christian always ends up rationalizing down the gravity of abortion, blaming it on material deprivation rather than sin, and calling it unproductive to give the unborn the same legal protections as the born even while claiming to be the ones who are “really pro-life” on account of their support for radically pro-abortion politicians who want higher government welfare, before I even saw these posts of Willard’s. It’s always, always the same pattern, isn’t it?

                    • Willard

                      And with Pope Francis, we’re winning the argument.

                    • chezami

                      Your mind reading powers seem deficient, Deuce. Willard makes clear he’d like abortion outlawed, but that, ‘ow you say, “When abortions are outlawed, only outlaws will have abortions.” He’s simply pointing out that if conservative dreams come true, you will have laws that will not be obeyed because the causes of abortion–poverty and punishment of the poor, which conservatives actively work to maintain, will remain. So, in *addition* to outlawing abortion, Willard would like to see other sensible policies put in effect. Policies one normally associates with liberals and one sees perpetually fought tooth and nail by anti-abortion-but-not-prolife conservatives. Not hard to grasp really.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      In order to judge people, you need to have walked in their shoes. Have you ever known real and marginalizing poverty? And I don’t mean being occasionally broke, or even broke for a long period of time because of unemployment. I mean real poverty where it is even difficult to give the kids a breakfast before they leave for school (and this is only one example among many).

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      I would agree that a large number of people promoting abortion are well heeled, and I think Ms. Sanders who founded Planned Parenthood was too. The campaign in favour of abortion has certainly reached all levels of society, but its original intent was to reduce the population of “takers”, or something to that effect. It was a matter of “managing the fertility” of the poor, of colored people, of intellectually inferior people, etc., (following Hitler’s lead, as Ms. Sanders has been quoting as admiring Hitler’s forward thinking on those matters) was it not? Large segments of the population have unfortunately swallowed the idea once it had been expressed in terms of freedom for women, compassion for the poor, or various other expressions of sociological jargon, among other pretexts.

                • Marthe Lépine

                  Another good attempt at deflection…

          • Marthe Lépine

            And I have read in a recent article about Nicaragua that since the leadership of that country as socialist leanings, the US has tried several times to have that government overthrown. (If I remember well, it was an article that Mark had linked to, and with the recent disaster from changes to Patheos, I do not have the time right now to go hunting for it).

        • Petey

          central america is, in fact, a capitalist hellhole.

      • Eve Fisher

        About the same way that people had no problem sleeping knowing the man they strongly supported had no problem with frying mentally handicapped people on death row…. (And personally signed the execution orders.) Just a reality check.

        • AquinasMan

          Agreed! I understand that Obama is preparing an executive order outlawing capital punishment — oh, wait — I mean drone killings — oh wait … .

          • Eve Fisher

            Basically, if your sleep depends on the clean hands of politicians, you will never rest again. Let us never forget Pontius Pilate, Caiaphas, Herod Antipas, Herod Agrippa…

            • Mike Blackadder

              So you don’t criticize Obama like us because you expect him to have dirty hands?

        • The Deuce

          Well, hey, at least Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala have all abolished the death penalty, either officially or for all intents and purposes. Must be because they’re “capitalist hellholes.”

        • Mike Blackadder

          I have a standard answer to this line of argument (though I am not personally in favor of capital punishment) – if we were to pay as much regard to the ‘justice’ of abortion as we did to the ‘justice’ of capital punishment then maybe abortion would be about as common as capital punishment!

          We are killing around 35,000 babies for every person who is executed in the US. And I don’t think that ANY of those babies are guilty of the kinds of atrocities typical of a death row victim. That too is a reality check.

          • Eve Fisher

            Basically, once again I am hearing that the existence of abortion makes the killing of anyone who’s been born unobjectionable, despite the fact that they might be mentally handicapped, or innocent, etc. My standard answer to this line of argument is that if the “pro-life” group were to pay as much regard to the lives of the post-born as they do to the lives of the unborn, there would be a lot more people listening to them.

            • LFM

              PIffle. Most of them do, as far as I can tell. The hardcore economic libertarians and laissez-faire types who don’t believe in assisting the poor, children, and so forth are hardly ever pro-life. They merely tolerate that aspect of conservative politics because they have to; in fact, I suspect many of them find it embarrassing. Meanwhile, pro-choice supporters give way to *no one* in support of their cause; nothing (not even somewhat credible accusations of rape against their pot pro-choice candidate Bill Clinton) can ever make them yield.

              As for “frying mentally handicapped people on death row,” I was once much struck by the fact that so many people who ended up there were “mentally handicapped.” As a non-supporter of capital punishment, I still am, to some extent. But I came to realize that such people are not necessarily unlucky dupes misled into committing crimes by brighter associates, which was the argument by most of the commentators I’ve read who raised the intelligence issue. Many criminals of below-average intelligence, to judge by the way they sound on TV, commit many gruesomely awful crimes, and not, apparently, under the leadership of any third parties. One may believe in capital punishment, or not, but the low IQ/dupe factor is only valid in rare cases, I suspect.

            • Mike Blackadder

              Well does that standard answer which you peddle actually make any sense?

              If I applied the same standard to the unborn that I did to those on death row I MIGHT say that you shouldn’t kill anyone who is innocent of a crime that would warrant the death penalty. Is that saying that I have NO CONCERN for those who are living and a radical concern for the unborn or am I applying a consistent standard in both cases? How ridiculous is it in fact to be on the side that calls for an end to capital punishment while abiding the millions killed unjustly through abortion?

              If I paid as much regard to those on death row as I did to the unborn as a proportion of the number killed (because presumably I wouldn’t consider a person’s life on death row to be inherently more valuable than the life of the unborn) then would I not spend approximately 35,000 times more attention to the injustice of killing the unborn compared with those facing capital punishment simply from the point of view of the magnitude of the offense?

              There is a reason why the Catholic church endorsed the death penalty as a legitimate form of governance for the majority of its existence (even having executed thousands themselves) while never endorsing the legitimacy of abortion outside the circumstance of dire health concerns of the mother/child.

              • Marthe Lépine

                Maybe it is that even one unjust death is too many. A little like what is sometimes said, that if there was only one person in the whole world needing salvation, Jesus would have died to save that one person. We cannot say that the person who has killed one person is less guilty than the serial killer, or that a person who is willing to give his or her life to save another life is wrong because he or she is then guilty of ignoring those 35,000 innocent babies killed every day.

                • Mike Blackadder

                  Well I can agree with you about not abiding even one unjust death. But the accusation is that it is somehow hypocritical to be always talking about abortion and not capital punishment. It is prudent to discuss injustice in proper proportion, and it certainly isn’t hypocritical to draw a distinction between the general institution of capital punishment and an overall culture of abortion.

                  • Marthe Lépine

                    I don’t think that discussing injustice in proper proportion is anything else than a rationalization that “being against abortion” saves from all the other sins one can commit. A person can go to hell for committing a grave injustice in a serious matter, and will not be excused for claiming to be against abortion, even is the abortion is of an even greater matter. Both will get to hell if they don’t repent.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Yes, but why the inference that others don’t care about a rare injustice only because they TALK ABOUT a common and prolific injustice?
                      Is there no ability under the standards of God to discern between voting for a man like Obama who endorses abortion and opposes capital punishment and Republican counterpart who endorses the opposite? Are we to adopt a nihilist approach to politics? IF there is the possibility of injustice in one of our laws (eg. concerning Capital punishment) is it a grave offense for us to support that institution or is it not reasonable to also take into account the moral consequences of failing to dissuade atrocious criminality?

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Capital punishment is certainly not the only injustice that can be committed… Among those that cry to God for punishment are things like not giving the worker his just wage, and there are 3 other such sins, but the list does not even mention abortion…

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      “.. but the list does not even mention abortion…”
                      Whatever helps you sleep at night.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      What do you mean? You are accusing me of approving of abortion, me, a woman who has actually risked her career (some 45 years ago) in order to give birth to an unplanned and inconvenient baby? Thanks a lot. And what about the command not to judge others? What gives you the right to judge me on things that you think I mean?

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      I don’t mean to accuse you of approving of abortion, though I can see that it reads that way. I apologize for that. But you ARE acting as the apologetic for Obama and the general Democrat party’s atrocious position on abortion and their attacks on those who conscientiously object which is the issue I take with your position.

                      Why is it hard for you Democrat Catholics to simply acknowledge that the President you support is in fact wrong when it comes to abortion? No such admission is forthcoming from you here, and instead you try to diminish the significance of the abortion problem or falsely suggest that Republican views and practice of Capital punishment are just as amoral/ problematic. You even try to peddle the argument that Obama who supports partial birth abortion, who says sbortion is standard health care, is actually more pro-life than Repiblicans because he pushes for wealth redistribution which is in some roundabout way a solution to sbortion. Sorry, but hogwash.

                      Now you quote scripture to suggest that you figure God does not hear the cries of injustice of babies whose limbs are torn from them, whose skulls are crushed and considered inhuman under the law while in the womb. That’s a bit much and is the reason why my response was harsh.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Once again I am NOT a democrat Catholic, Ii am not even an American, so I can see from the outside that people like you are using abortion as a way to detract attention to any other injustice. Such as war mongering – are not Iraqi Christians innocent too? Why is their country destabilized? Did you cheer for that war? I agree with Eve, the Culture of death has reached the point that any death of people outside of the womb is ignored for the sake of the unborn. Sure, God hears the cries of injustice of babies, but He also hears the cry of the poor, the victim of war, of people whose wages are witheld through any means, and even the cries of the desperate women who cannot see any way out other than abortion.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Once again, I am apparently accusing you of being pro-abortion (which I’m not), I’m only saying you won’t admit to the bare truth of what we are saying about Obama and abortion and CHOOSE to divert to talking about other things.
                      Once again, you simply WILL NOT admit to the particular injustice that we are talking about. That is the only reason why I’m continuing to beat you over the head with it. What is the big problem with simply agreeing with what Aquinasman posted in the first place?

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      I just don’t care what you are saying about Obama. He is not my country’s president, and I have nothing to do with his election. Abortion is one injustice among many, and I do not agree about talking only about abortion, as if all other victims of injustice are going to wait for their turn on some shelf…

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      So your stance is that when someone (like a Catholic) talks about abortion you will insist on talking about something else. That seems to accurately summarize what happened here.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Conversely, there are some people who will always insist on talking about abortion when someone else (like another Catholic) is trying to talk about something else, which seems to accurately summarize what happens a lot of the time during Internet discussions…

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Maybe, but that’s NOT that happened in this thread. So don’t see why you are in the position to finger wag at anyone else.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Marthe, even though you don’t care about America or Obama, are you not informed about his position on abortion? What ACTUALLY prevents you from acknowledging this reality? And if you are not interested in Obama or American politics why in the world are you making 50+ posts on the topic of political partisanship in America? This whole thing is beyond weird!

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      So you need me to cross my “t”s and dot my “i”s. OK. Even if I am not directly interested in American politics, I am interested in politics in general, and I don’t see why I cannot say that I am deeply worried about what the US are becoming, to the point that I think I now have an idea of what people of Western leaning European countries might have felt about having common frontiers with the URSS. I also are shocked, even scandalized, by some aspects of the attitude shown by American Catholics on all sides, some of those aspects that Mark often refers to such as the Calvinist-breeded disrespect for the poor (which did seem very strange to me, since my French-Canadian background is more Jansenist-infected), war-mongering (it seems that the US has been involved in a lot of small and big wars since the end of WWII), support for a libertarian attitude towards economics (which I see as an increasing threat for my country), etc. Note that I do not accuse YOU of all of those things, they are aspects of US culture that I was not really conscious of until I began to read blogs on the Internet. So, in the light of all the above, I do not really care about Obama’s attitude about abortion. However, from some of the things I have read about the major political parties in your country, I get the impression, and it seems to me, so does Mark, that the Republicans do a good talk against abortion, particularly when elections are coming (and you seem to have a lot of elections – fixed dates every 2 year, looks like a lot of effort and money being wasted…), but have not done much about it while in power, which would suggest, to a foreign person, a certain amount of hypocrisy, while Obama is at least clear and honest about his opinions on the matter, whether or not we agree with him.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      So you don’t really care about Obama’s position on abortion, and in fact commend him atleast for his honesty. Are you actually suggesting this makes him morally superior to the Republican counterparts regarding abortion? Republicans have, by the way, passed all kinds of legislation concerning abortion even recently. There is only so much that falls under federal jurisdiction, but Republican governors have passed legislation to acknowledge that unborn children are human beings and provide at least some protection.

                      Obama has impacted abortion law in America both as a Senator, now as president by mandating that health insurance across the land provide coverage for abortions, and by using a his pulpit to perpetuate a culture of death.

                      If you believe that sbortion IS an injustice (if not the ONLY injustice) then why do you not CARE about Obama and the Democrat party’s role in legislating for and preaching sbortion?

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Why should I care? It’s not my country. I also do not care about Putin, or about whoever is in charge in France or Germany or Italy. It is enough to worry about our own Prime Minister here in Canada. Of course, we may have different definitions of “caring”. Another thing, it is a fact that nobody is totally good, or totally evil. And the news outlets I read, since they are not American, do not always and exclusively try to show Obama, or other foreign politicians for that matter, in a negative light. As well, since abortion is not the only preoccupation in the world, they are not concentrated on abortion, thus would not, each and every time any of Obama’s actions or decisions are reported or discussed, need to remind their readers how bad his attitude towards unborn life is. In fact, I think that is closer to what Mark is telling in his post above: “It is our plain Christian duty to hate him with all the power our soul
                      can muster. If anybody does not do their utmost to think and speak ill
                      of him at all times, they are suspect and should be avoided as ritually
                      impure.” I think that he means that this attitude of always concentrating on hating Obama is clearly unproductive. So, when I say that Obama is at least honest about his opinion on abortion, I am not claiming that this makes him morally superior to Republicans. I absolutely do not believe that any of us is in a position to decide who is morally superior to someone else, even if one is a notorious criminal and the other’s sins are less obvious or appear less destructive. In the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, it does not appear that the rich man has in fact committed any crime, and he still ended up in hell. Even if we can see the sins (some sins), but we don’t know the deep intentions, the level of awareness, the interior choices made by another, even the level, beginning or absence of spiritual life, so we are not to judge, but to pray. And do our everyday tasks the best we can, including whatever is required by love of neighbour (which includes our politicians!) When we are convinced that someone is evil… then Jesus did say to love our enemies.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      The basic accusation is that people are crying wolf about Obama. The counter argument is that there are all kinds of actual reasons why people complain about this president which have not even been exhaustively listed here. The fact is that most American news outlets are incredibly apologetic for Obama and go out of their way NOT to criticize him (did you ever see Candy Crowley’s “mediation” of the 2nd presidential debate).

                      The CBC and CTV news in Canada are also quite liberal compared with the average Canadian. That’s the nature of journalism where ~ 80-90% are personally persuaded progressively in Canada and the United States and it colours mainstream media which is expected.

                      It’s not at all about Cstholics saying we have to HATE Obama. That has nothing to do with an honest recognition of what he actual does which isn’t tinted with rose colored glasses. It is Cstholics who rush to talk about other things when we discuss Obama in a negative light which is difficult to explain.

                    • orual’s kindred

                      I don’t know how Marthe Lépine’s comments can be said to be in support of Obama, especially regarding abortion. And my reading skills are not beyond question, but I also don’t know where she has “diminish[ed] the significance of the abortion problem.” Neither do I see where she has “peddle[ed] the argument that Obama who supports partial birth abortion, who says sbortion is standard health care, is actually more pro-life than Repiblicans because he pushes for wealth redistribution.” I’m pretty sure she hasn’t made any suggestions of the sort.

                      And she certainly has not “quote[ed] scripture to suggest that you figure God does not hear the cries of injustice of babies whose limbs are torn from them, whose skulls are crushed and considered inhuman under the law while in the womb.” Is this meant to refer to what she said about the sins that cry to Heaven? For myself, I would have thought that her point was that while the matter of just wage does not involve immediate loss of life, it is in fact not only included among the sins that cries out to Heaven for vengeance, but specifically addressed. She says in her reply God hears the cries of injustice of babies, but He also hears the cry of the poor, the victim of war, of people whose wages are witheld through any means, and even the cries of the desperate women who cannot see any way out other than abortion. I don’t know how that diminishes abortion, or implies support for wealth redistribution or some other policy.

                      And I certainly can’t find where she attacked those who object to the President’s stance on the issue. I also think it would be hard for her “to simply acknowledge that the President you support is in fact wrong when it comes to abortion” since, as she says, she is not a Democrat. She clearly disagrees with your views on capital punishment, though, and she may well be mistaken on that. However, I would hope that disagreeing with capital punishment is not some token of support for the Democratic Party and/or President Obama.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      “Capital punishment is certainly not the only injustice that can be committed… Among those that cry to God for punishment are things like not giving the worker his just wage, and there are 3 other such sins, but the list does not even mention abortion…”

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Right, I made what amounts to a typo here by not actually writing some of the words I had in mind; my fingers sometimes go faster than my mind on the keyboard. I did mean to say “Abortion” instead of “Capital punishment”, but they are both injustices that can be committed but are not included among the 4 sins that Scriipture says are crying out to Heaven for vengeance. My memory is not very clear on that list, murdering the innocents is probably on it, but murdering the innocents is not restricted to abortion, it also includes, for example, the children who were fried with their innocent parents in Hiroshima… with full approval of most members of the US population.

                    • orual’s kindred

                      Oh! But I addressed that 😀 Here: Is this meant to refer to what she said about the sins that cry to Heaven? For myself, I would have thought that her point was that while the matter of just wage does not involve immediate loss of life, it is in fact not only included among the sins that cries out to Heaven for vengeance, but specifically addressed. She says in her reply God hears the cries of injustice of babies, but He also hears the cry of the poor, the victim of war, of people whose wages are witheld through any means, and even the cries of the desperate women who cannot see any way out other than abortion. I don’t know how that diminishes abortion, or implies support for wealth redistribution or some other policy.

                      And Marthe Lépine has explained further. Not so very difficult to understand, yes? :-)

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Thanks, Orual’s, I was beginning to feel tired of defending myself, and some of the above attacks were not doing any good combined with my chronic clinical depression. I would add, though, that my disagreement with capital punishment is certainly not a token of support for the Democratic Party and/or President Obama. Why should I do so? I am a Canadian… A country where capital punishment has been eliminated so long ago that this has saved the lives of several people (maybe even 14, but I may be wrong) who have been found since then to have been wrongly convicted, including a boy who was only about 12 or 14 years old, our youngest death row convict, who has later been found totally innocent. And starting from my country’s stand on capital punishment, I obviously would not have much difficulty with Catholic teaching on that matter.

                    • orual’s kindred

                      And those indeed are reasons that do not depend on the Democratic Party and/or the U.S. President. For myself, I found it disturbing how automatically the “Democrat Catholic” soundbyte was buzzed out.

                      Also, I have tried of a way to reply to what you said about your clinical depression, without sounding too forward or going on about people I know outside this combox. So far, I’ve only come up with I’m sorry, I know a little about it, and you have my sympathy and prayers.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Re-reading your response, it seems to me that it contains something very strange . In other replies, you have been complaining, more than once, of attributing meanings to what you had been writing that did not exactly answered the words that you had been using, that I seemed to inferring ideas that you had not stated, and not keeping to the actual wording you had been using. Now that your words did come out as if you were accusing me of approving abortion, and I took you to your words, you agree that it seemed like you were saying that, but that you did not really mean that. Please make up your mind, otherwise it makes it very difficult to have a rational discussion…

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Marthe, you read from my comment that I was saying you approved of abortion. I never actually intended to say you approve of abortion when I said ‘Whatever helps you sleep at night’, and you can see that I didn’t actually accuse you of approving of abortion, but is pretty ambiguous and I can see you could legitimately infer that was my meaning,

                      I then replied by clarifying what exactly I meant, agreeing with you for responding the way you did, and apologizing for making that insinuation. I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with that except that I made a somewhat careless comment in the first place. Why is this preventing having a rational discussion?

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Well, it would have prevented me from having a rational discussion, since my emotions more or less took control of me for a while. If we had been discussing face to face instead of on the Internet where a person is able to go back to a comment and correct it, I would have either blown up, walked out in a huff and cried for a few hours (which is my “default” reaction because of the chronic depression). Those are certainly not reactions conducive to a rational discussion. The problem would have been on my side, but it would still have interfered with any more rational discussion. But since we were on line, I was able to simply withdraw and, later when I felt like doing it, continue reading this thread, simply because I am still interested, and writing comments…

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Why the inference that others don’t care about a rare injustice only because they talk about abortion? Because I have seen very often,when someone was trying to talk about some common injustices against the poor, or against torture, or about the Church social teaching, it is a fact that at least one person, often several, who come out of the woodwork to object that abortion is a more serious crime, committed more often, and for that reason there is really no need to talk about that other injustice, since it does not happen as often, or happens to people who deserve it such as the lazy poor or the suspected terrorist, or any other excuse. That kind of discussion comes back so often on line that one cannot avoid getting the impression that something is amiss…

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Meanwhile Martha you see this thread started because rather than answer to the fact that Obama fully and unequivocally endorses the most extreme versions of abortion that his apologists bring up capital punishment as an equivalent and comparable injustice. The idea being; yeah Obama doesn’t care about a certain important outrageous attack on innocent life, but neither do the opposition because they support frying mentally handicapped people on death row. Now I don’t remember hearing that Republicsns support killing innocent people on death row, or that capital punishment is a good solution for a person who is mentally handicapped. Whereas the Presidents position on abortion is perfectly clear. It is valid in that context to draw up an argument explaining why a policy of sbortion is in fact different from Cspital punishment both in terms of moral justification and degree. What is obviously amiss is not those who point out Obama’s indefensible position on abortion, but those who dismiss concern for such a record by bringing up other topics and suggesting they are the same to excuse their choice for president.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Yes, killing the unborn is a sin, But killing anyone is a sin, and even one single such killing is unacceptable, even if at the same time a larger number of babies are being killed. A policy on abortion is in fact the same as a policy on capital punishment, since they both are policies about killing people, and the Church has teaching on capital punishment that people like you are constantly trying to ignore, and by doing so they are in fact clearly saying “when do we get to kill.” even if killing fewer people than abortion does.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      It’s not actually true that ‘killing anyone is a sin’. There are a number of circumstances when killing is not a sin. It so happens that Capital Punishment CAN be and historically has been one of those exceptions when carried out under the authority of the state and it’s laws. You should look it up. But destroying innocent human life through abortion (unless necessary) is a sin, and so is endorsing and/or abiding it’s practice.

                    • Eve Fisher

                      This. Yes. I hear this over and over again, and thank you for saying it much more clearly than I did.

              • Eve Fisher

                Jesus did not come to save the innocent, but the guilty; the righteous, but sinners; the whole, but the sick. The victims of abortion, being wholly innocent, are in heaven, rejoicing in the Beatific Vision and Presence. It’s the people who are walking on this earth that are still in crisis.

                • Mike Blackadder

                  And are not the innocent victims of capital punishment maybe also in heaven? Is the suggestion that we ought to abide the taking of innocent life but oppose taking the life of those who are guilty? Really? Really, that’s Jesus saying that?

                  I’m sorry but that’s repulsive.

                  • Eve Fisher

                    I was just quoting Jesus, who said that he came to save sinners, not the righteous; to heal the sick, not the whole; to save the guilty, not the innocent. And what I am trying to say is that I find the obsession with abortion – concentrating as it does wholly on the unborn, going on and on about their innocence, as if people were going around stabbing babies in the cradle – very unhealthy and unproductive. Instead of dealing with the fact that most women and girls who go through abortion go through it in desperation, in hopelessness, in life and death situations, and trying to figure out actually how to help them live through whatever their situation in, the generalities are trotted out: we live in an abortion culture, and 35,000 innocent babies are killed every day, and how dare anyone care about anything else when this is going on! Well, Jesus came and died to save those women and girls. Jesus came and died to save the people in prisons. The poor, the homeless, the criminals, all the lousy elements of society who are not innocent, who do not have clean hands. He died between thieves, not righteous men. And He did it on purpose. That’s what I’m saying.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      “It’s the people who are walking on this earth that are still in crisis.”

                      The 35000 innocent babies who will be killed tomorrow are people and they are indeed in crisis. The fact that they can’t walk yet and can’t hold a press conference doesn’t render them irrelevant. We all have a responsibility to them just like we do other living people. So when unbaptized babies are murdered we can hope that despite original sin they indeed go to heaven. If I am certain that they are going to heaven is your suggestion that it is pointless to try to correct the injustice of them being killed. Does Jesus advocate killing innocent people or not bothering ourselves when it happens because it’s good that they are going to heaven, but that when a sinner is killed it is a great affront to God?

                    • Eve Fisher

                      Mr. Blackadder, I thank you for this exchange, because it has forced
                      me to really look at my views on abortion and capital punishment and see what’s
                      going on in my own heart and soul. And I have finally realized
                      that I believe the destruction of people’s souls is far worse than the
                      destruction of their bodies. Thus I
                      withdraw my objections to capital punishment; and therefore I still maintain
                      that abortion is not the worst that can happen.
                      The worst – destruction of the soul – can only happen after one is
                      born. Child abuse, rape, molestation,
                      torture, beatings, incest, especially by someone in authority, even worse when
                      done by someone in the family – these can and often do destroy a soul,
                      depriving it of all hope, leading it to despair, abandonment of all faith, and
                      even suicide (which happens terribly often). If people are going to put
                      out crosses for all the victims of abortion, then by God (literally) they
                      should put out crosses for all the victims of clergy abuse, as well as incest and rape, because those poor
                      children were used for some adult’s sick pleasure and in the process, their hearts
                      and minds and souls were damaged, if not destroyed. So, I will continue to work hard to preserve,
                      maintain, repair the souls as well as the bodies and minds and hearts of those
                      who are born. I do this by protesting,
                      writing letters, doing volunteer work in prisons, and by talking on line. This is my calling. God bless you in yours.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      ” If people are going to put
                      out crosses for all the victims of abortion, then by God (literally) they
                      should put out crosses for all the victims of clergy abuse, as well as incest and rape, because those poor
                      children were used for some adult’s sick pleasure and in the process, their hearts
                      and minds and souls were damaged, if not destroyed. So, I will continue to work hard to preserve,
                      maintain, repair the souls as well as the bodies and minds and hearts of those
                      who are born.”

                      Very well stated, and I certainly agree. Human beings whose life experience sets them to despair and curse the world are the ones most in need of Christ’s mercy. Yours is a worthy calling and God bless you too.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      I have just re-read your comment, and I notice something that did not get my attention on earlier readings. You certainly are correct when stating: “Human beings whose life experience sets them to despair and curse the world are the ones most in need of Christ’s mercy.” However, I do not think that you have fully understood Eve’s comment. This has been a discussion about abortion, and your comments about abortion are showing clearly that you have not yet seen that many of the women who are seeking abortions are exactly part of that group of human beings that you correctly describe as the ones most in need of Christ’s mercy. Maybe not all of them, we are all sinners, and it can become a temptation to listen to the world and decide that a baby would interfere with one’s career ambitions, or even holiday travel plans. But the great majority of women seeking abortion do so because of material need, or a sense that they cannot cope with a baby at that particular time of their lives because of other pressing difficulties. The help they deeply need is the grace of God and Christ’s mercy, and they have a much better chance to open up to those when they are treated with compassion instead of condemnation.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      I don’t have the authority to condemn anybody. What I’ve said is that the practice of abortion is a sin and while I’ve not necessarily said so explicitly, our entire civilization is held accountable for this sin, not just the women and doctors who perform the act. Remember this all started as a criticism of Obama and the Democrats for their position on sbortion, not to throw condemnation on women.

                      The women who decide to have abortions are very often victims of other injustice, not having enough money, more often than that, not living in a committed relationship, or with a man who doesn’t want to step up to be a father.

                      I think that you are probably right that despite a narrative that abortion is standard health care, a woman’s fundamental right, or the responsible thing when ‘not ready’ for a baby, that MOST women cannot help but perceive that the killing of their baby IS and big deal, and will bear the guilt of having an abortion no matter what other people say to console them.

                      Many apologists probably will from an abstract point of view abide the practice of abortion, even doctors for whom the practice becomes a common routine, but it’s hard to believe that the woman who makes this decision while fearful and under extreme duress doesn’t contemplate exactly what she is doing and know that it is wrong.

                      That’s one of the tragedies of this stain on our culture, that the widespread acceptance and normalization of abortion (and just as significant the normalization of sex outside of marriage and outside of context of accepting life) places this burden on these women to kill their babies.

                      When a woman accidentally gets pregnant and her boyfriend wants her to get an abortion and when OUR government insists it ought to be easy and free then suddenly it’s that much harder to do the right thing. A woman who chooses to keep her baby is accused of being irrational, of being difficult and inflicting hardships on others like her partner and the rest of her family who have expectations of her in her career, as a wage earner or imagine she is not ready.

                      All of these things go through a woman’s mind too, but it is because this is culturally acceptable and normalized, not because women have suddenly become evil.

                      We are not preaching to pregnant mothers any more than we are preaching to men, to politicians, to teachers, to young people to change their hearts. There are many factors contributing to that woman’s decision, many of which are the fault of lusting men, of lazy selfish men, of society that demeans sex to pure bodily satisfaction, of a society that has abandoned obedience to God, worships idols (in many forms) and in its secularism cheapened the dignity of human life to the point that it is routinely discarded for expediency. Still it is objectively true that killing the unborn IS a sin and the fact that most women intuitively know that it is wrong renders it an ever greater stain against THEIR souls.

                      Some Catholic hope that somehow ALL will be saved, that Christ will overcome ALL of our transgressions because HE is God and God can overcome us with his grace. It is good and love to hope for that. Though it is also loving to LISTEN to what Christ teaches, and to know that WE would not ourselves choose to go before judgement carrying un repented mortal sin with only the unsubstantiated idea that we still might not be condemned to hell. In that light, anything short of recognizing the reality and the truth of the faith of God’s judgment, and neglecting to advocate against the practice of mortal sin is lacking love of our neighbors.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Excellent comment. Congratulations!

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Thank you Marthe, and thanks for dragging that out of me 😉

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      I agree, but I would also like to add: All those people whose hearts and souls have been destroyed often grow up as adults who, spiritually, “do not know where they are coming from,or going”, e.g. that in their spiritually destroyed adult lives they are exposed to more ills, and those ills, because of the depravity of the culture among them, will often, even always, lead them to make bad decisions and do things that we don’t approve of and denounce as sins. However, we cannot possibly know the level of their responsibility, if and how they even knew those things were sins, or if and how, because of their background, they were really free to commit such actions that we know are sins. I am not trying to excuse their behaviour, I am trying to explain reality. I know because I have been there – and I would add that when I did not have an abortion those 47 years ago, it actually opened up the door to tremendous support that also led me into a totally new spiritual direction for which I will forever be grateful. However, coming back to people in such a situation today, surrounded by other people who tell them that abortion would be a way to solve that particular problem, as well as people who claim that doing so is their right, many or most just do not know any better. And it is not by shouting over the rooftops about their guilt – or accusing me of trying to ignore the gravity of abortion – that their situation, their hearts and their souls, and that of many others, are going to change. All this to say that opening our hearts and souls – and hopefully yours – will do much more than just claiming that abortion can only be defeated when THEIR hearts and souls are changed.

                      – Jesus came to save sinners and showed compassion to sinners. –
                      It could be that showing compassion to the mothers as well as to their unborn children will give better results in the future. An in order to do that, we need to meet them where they are, and stop claiming that in that day and age they have absolutely no reason, and certainly no reason based on need, to consider abortions. We need to give more attention to the social environment they live in, and that social environment includes poverty. Just as we can tell a hungry and cold person to eat better and wear a coat, without giving that person, either food or clothing, or the means to get food or clothing by giving them money, or the means to get food or clothing by giving them opportunities to work, and work at a better wage than slave-wages (which are just another way to take advantage of their situation for our own profit – or to allow employers do to that). That is precisely where poverty and income inequality come into the picture; they are means, among others, to improve the life of the disadvantaged and the desperate, and in the long run they are ways that will eventually bring an end to the perceived need for an abortion by a woman who finds it difficult to cope with the way her life is, in this day and age.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Correction: Should have been “Just as we CANNOT tell a hungry and cold person to eat better and to wear a coat without giving food and clothes, or money for food and clothes, and, better yet, a job that will provide for food and clothes.”

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      You do realize Eve that it is not ME who applies a double standard when I say we shouldn’t kill babies. You have to explain again why you take offense to me saying that we ought to pay the same attention to the life of an unborn child that we do to a man on death row. Obama and the Democrats are gross transgressors against the laws of God and natural law for their stance on abortion. That is one element that has come up in the discussion of what is wrong with this president. If you Democrat apologists simply acknowledged that was true and didn’t try to twist the facts to falsely suggest that he is actually somehow more pro-life than most Republicsns we wouldn’t need to keep pounding you over the head about it! Sheesh.

                    • Mike Blackadder

                      Here’s what Francis had to say in Evangelii Gaudium: “Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defence- less and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this. Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the Church’s effort to defend their lives, attempts are made to present her po- sition as ideological, obscurantist and conserva- tive. Yet this defence of unborn life is closely linked to the defence of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and nev- er a means of resolving other problems. Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and last- ing foundations for the defence of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be. Reason alone is sufficient to recognize the inviolable value of each single human life, but if we also look at the issue from the standpoint of faith, “every viola- tion of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offence against the creator of the individual”.”

            • Mike Blackadder

              “Basically, once again I am hearing that the existence of abortion makes the killing of anyone who’s been born unobjectionable”
              Where Oh where did you ‘hear’ THAT in what I said? Are you even reading my responses?

              • Marthe Lépine

                Seems to me that what she means does not exclusively apply to the death penalty, but also to various ways that the needs of the poor are neglected, even to the point of injustice, e.g. that there is often not much concern for the kind of life had by large segments of the population once they are born. There may not be any one statement in particular to be quoted, but some persons, such as myself, might kind of perceive that something is amiss in relation to some general attitudes expressed on the Internet, among other sources.

                • Mike Blackadder

                  So you want me to answer to certain perceptions you might have to some general attitudes expressed on the Internet? Thanks, that makes sense now.

                  • Marthe Lépine

                    Common avoidance tactic: Demand chapter and verse of everything the opponent says… Many people, such as myself, who can read actually notice the contempt for the poor often expressed on the Internet – even Mark sometimes notices. That is what I meant.

        • Mike Blackadder

          I think that you also realize that capital punishment is not condemned by Catholic dogma, and certainly was traditionally endorsed by the Catholic church until very recently. Does that mean that the Church is not pro-life? Is the Church including Augustine, Aquinas and every pope leading up to the 20th century a hypocrite?

    • The Deuce

      “All those accusations of Obama grabbing power are false, and it fills my partisan heart with glee at how it makes my political opponents angry when he does it!”

      • Willard

        The President has issued 184 executive orders so far in his presidency. Bush issued 291. Republicans are both liars and hypocrites.

        • AquinasMan

          Out of 184 executive orders, he didn’t use one of them to outlaw capitalism? You must be incredibly disappointed.

          • Petey

            it’s not possible to be disappointed when this president is a product of capital himself. your premise is false.

    • Mike Blackadder

      The lawlessness of this president and whether he leaves Americans to die so he can go to a fundraiser or set the powers of the state to punish dissenting media and political opposition or lies openly in front of the entire nation, we collectively yawn, and impeachment is only discussed among ‘crazies’ and radicals.

      Apparently Kroft noticed that Obama was ‘punch drunk’ back in 2009 in the face of unexplainable unpopular decisions and inappropriate conduct. I think now, as you accurately illustrate, it is us who are punch drunk!

  • The Deuce

    The problem is, someone could just as easily complain that by making a big deal of the NSA spying, you are distracting from the REAL scandal, which is the turning of the IRS into a political enforcement operation that destroys our electoral process by sapping the funds and the freedom of speech of the Democrats’ opposition, and tying them up with intrusive inquiries.

    And somebody could say that the IRS scandal distracts from the REAL scandal, which is the use of the HHS to overthrow the 1st amendment protection of religious liberty via bureaucratic fiat.

    And somebody could say that the HHS mandate distracts from the REAL scandal, which is Obama simply rewriting the Obamacare law to say whatever he wants it to say without the legislature.

    And somebody could say that Obamacare overreach distracts from the REAL scandal, which is the failure to even try to help our ambassador and others under attack in Benghazi, followed by attempts to mislead the public about what was known about the cause, including arresting a filmmaker under other pretexts, followed by lies about the previous lies.

    And somebody could say that Benghazi distracts from the REAL scandal, which is the swapping of a known deserter for five high-level convicted terrorist war criminals, while subverting the usual legal process of informing and getting permission from Congress.

    And somebody could say that the Bergdahl swap distracts from the REAL scandal, which is the administration spying on the press and marking reporters “persons of interest” for simply doing investigative reporting.

    And somebody could say that press spying distracts from the REAL scandal, which is the supplying of arms to Mexican drug cartels, resulting in the slaughter of an American border patrol agent and hundreds or thousands of Mexicans, including dozens of children at a birthday party, followed by the subsequent stonewalling of Congressional investigation by abusing executive privilege to declare the documents relating to the operation off-limits to Congress.

    And somebody could say that Fast & Furious distracts from the REAL scandal, which is declaring Congress to be out of session when they aren’t, to appoint political hack “recess appointments” to head bureaucracies, who then pass politically-motivated regulations that are still in effect, even though the Supreme Court has declared the recess appointments to be illegal and illegitimate.

    And somebody could say that the false recess appointments distracts from the REAL scandal, which is the deliberate non-enforcement of immigration law for political reasons, then using the resulting crisis to justify shredding the entire Constitutional order and simply inventing his own immigration “law” (which would just worsen the crisis) in dictatorial fashion.

    The point is, Mark, that this President really, objectively has more flagrant offenses against the separation of powers and the most fundamental of Constitutional rights to his name than he has years in office. Any one of these scandals would totally define a Republican Presidency forever, and would be relentlessly hammered on by the media.

    That only one or two of them are important to YOU PERSONALLY doesn’t mean that the others are not important, objectively or to people other than yourself, or that it’s “crying wolf” for people to pound on the other scandals when the media won’t. On the contrary, the fact that Obama is so willing to seize power and lie about it in the NSA and HHS scandals (the two you seem to care about) is evidence that he’s the sort of person willing to do what he’s accused of regarding the other scandals as well. They all reinforce each other, and paint the picture of a corrupt and dishonest bully who has no respect for any lawful obstacles to getting his way.

  • Willard

    Gotta love the right wing.

    • Mike Blackadder

      You probably don’t want to start THAT fight. Ever seen Howard Stern’s interviews with Obama supporters in Harlem?

      • Willard

        You’re probably right. But conservatives have this tendency to think that anyone who could support the President must be a “low information” voter. I posted that only to show there are plenty of low info voters on both sides.

        • Mike Blackadder

          I have to agree with you there 😉

          • Elaine S.

            I read an interesting comment on a political blog yesterday asserting that there is really no such thing as a “low information voter”; there are only voters to whom a candidate or party has not yet succeeded in presenting its message. To simply write off vast swaths of the electorate as “low information voters” who are not worth the effort to educate or approach, is nothing more than laziness, arrogance and, perhaps, thinly disguised racism or classism. If voters are electing candidates who are doing harm to the country, then the candidates with the GOOD ideas need to be trying harder to convey their message and not give up until they succeed. Period. Yes, the media is biased and people are prejudiced and all that, but, instead of sitting around whining about how unfair that all is, find a way to work around it. If we can put a man on the moon….

            • Mike Blackadder

              I don’t know that the suggestion is to ‘write off’ many voters as ‘low information’ or that it reflects a lack of effort on the part of candidates that information does not reach or impact the decisions of some people.

              I think that politicians can definitely raise the bar when it comes to campaigns, but apparently doesn’t work if your opponent adopts the strategy of a negative campaign, because the negative campaign is simply more effective. It’s just easier to convince someone not to vote than to convince someone to change their vote. In that context the blame seems to fall squarely on the voter who consistently punishes any candidate who takes the high road (ahem Romney).

              Only adults are allowed to vote in our country. That infers a level of responsibility associated with being a voter. Is it fair to blame candidates for uninformed voters or is it reasonable to expect that an ordinary function of media would be to be a reliable medium for delivering such information about a candidate’s platform to voters and that voters will seek information in order to make a decision? Is it not reasonable to expect voters to develop over time in knowledge of the politics in which they have a voice?

    • Petey

      what morans :)

  • KM

    While Americans weren’t paying attention, the NSA’s watchlist doubled in size under Obama, and the standards for being put on the list were lowered (ie., fact-free). Greenwald’s Firstlook site has more about this, as do other sites. 280,000 people on the list have no connection to any recognized terrorist group.

    First they came for the terrorists but since I wasn’t a terrorist, I didn’t speak up. Then they came for anyone connected to terrorists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t connected to terrorists….Well, you know the rest.

    The definition of terrorist could grow to include anyone sympathizing with victims of war, or anyone expressing an unacceptable opinion on message boards. For example, if someone expresses sympathy for the families, women and children killed in Gaza, that doesn’t make that person a Hamas supporter, just human. But people who ascribe to a black and white “you’re either with us or against us” paradigm would say that any sympathy for the “wrong” side in a conflict makes that person an automatic suspected terrorist.

  • Dave G.

    This sort of nitpicking is nothing new. I’ve often told the story of the news segment reporting on the Great Jelly Bean Scandal of 1981. I was in 8th grade. Before 24/7 news cycles, valuable news time was devoted to reporting on the outrage doctors and dentists had over Reagan’s jelly beans on his desk. And we all remember the horrible Potatoe Crisis of the Bush Sr., presidency? Even my fellow liberal Democrat roommates admitted the press beat that into the dirt. In 1992, when the Press revealed itself as the official propaganda ministry of post-Christian, post-American liberalism, opponents of Clinton were left to their own devices. Much of what we see here with Obama is the same that happened with Clinton, who was accused of being everything from a Chinese Communist to a martian infiltrator. Of course the same had always been done to Conservatives and Republicans, but when you can spread it out over multiple medias and sources, it doesn’t seem as shrill. It can actually become the truth. The very fact that we think such stupidity has any negative impact on Conservatives but don’t mention any possible impact such stupidity has for Liberals just shows the power of the media narrative. And the importance of a media narrative for calling the shots. It’s not an excuse. It’s an assessment of what things actually are.


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