Pelosi to Bishops: drill your brains?

Wait, that can’t be right. Nancy Pelosi cannot have respond to the rather heavy dose of correction she received from various and sundry Bishops and Cardinals, some of her colleagues in Congress and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops with an offer to drill their brains, right?

Oh, wait! I see!
She asked some of the “Drill here, drill now” people chanting in Colorado if she could drill their brains. Which seems like a strange remark – what does it mean, actually? Is she saying these people have oil-for-brains? That would be strange. It’s sort of like, “…oh, yeah?, well, the jerk store called, and they’re running out of you!” One of those really bad retorts that you make when your wit is too slow and your anger is too vast.

“Drill Here! Drill Now!”
“Oh, yeah? Well…the GOP jerk store called, and I’m gonna drill your brains because I ain’t running out of you!”

Nope. Still doesn’t work.

Maybe she meant: Oh, yeah? Well the Bishops and Cardinals called and they’re jerks and I’m running out of spin!”

Yesterday she made a response, one which Deacon Greg said was, “not, to put it diplomatically, an act of contrition.”

Pelosi did not exactly put her thumb behind her teeth at her churchmen, but she basically said she’d side with Augustine, a Doctor of the Church, born in 354 AD, who was making his best educated guess about the issue of life and ensoulment based on what folks knew at the time about, and when a mother feels the first stirrings of life within her.

While Augustine was brilliant, Mrs. Pelosi – who does not seem to be any smarter than I am – actually knows more than Augustine ever did about what is going on in the womb; technology allows us to see the beating heart of a weeks-old baby; to see the moment a sperm fertilizes and ovum and the process of cell separation begins. We’ll have to guess what Augustine would have taught about abortion, life and ensoulment had he had those images before him.

As before, I find it very difficult to understand how her acceptance of Augustine’s idea that there is no soul within the baby until the mother feels him move, at between 12 and 16 weeks squares up with her abysmal voting record on abortion and all things embryonic.

IF she really, truly believes that it’s perfectly fine to abort a living human fetus because “it has no soul, early on” then her votes in favor of late-term abortion, partial-birth abortion and so forth means that, well…for all the twisting and turning she’s doing with Augustine, she really doesn’t give a damn whether there is a soul there, or not. In her world, a woman’s right to destroy the baby – even when it has been partially delivered – trumps the life of that child, even after she has accepted it’s “ensoulment.”

Well, alright then, honey, if that’s how you really feel, you’re entitled to your opinion, and your votes, and yes, you’ll answer to God for them someday, and maybe to all of those little souls, too.

“After she was elected to Congress…she studied the matter more closely.

“While Catholic teaching is clear that life begins at conception, many Catholics do not ascribe to that view…”

Well, the formation of our consciences is a life-long thing – but it seems to me that on so serious an issue, Mrs. Pelosi should continue to study and not close her mind – or her reason – based upon what she seems to think are the fail-safe musings of St. Augustine. And she should consider her abortion record in light of her public utterances about ensoulment.

If Nancy Pelosi believes what she says she believes – that ensoulment happens somewhere between the 12th and 16th week of gestation, then her voting record is then evidence of either a monstrous disregard for the soul and dignity of a human being created by God, a seriously inconsistent and expedient mindset or simply an incoherent thought process.

In any case, monstrous disregard, expediency or incoherence do not seem to be to be the best and laudable qualities of a Speaker of the House in the Congress of the United States.

Also, while I am loath to ever gauge the state of another’s soul – I know my own failings, too well – one does have to wonder if Mrs. Pelosi could not use a retreat and a serious spiritual adviser, or at least a Catechism? Mrs. Pelosi has recently contributed an essay to Kerry Kennedy’s rather uneven book on the views of modern Catholics (example: Bill Maher says if he were Pope, he’d abolish the church – yawn), in which she writes:

My granddaughter was getting ready for her First Communion…and she said to her mother, “I want to explain to Mimi” — that’s me — “that it is the body and blood of Christ. When we go to church, it is the body and blood of Christ.” So her mother, in the interest of trying to simplify, said “Yes, the host and the wine represent the body and blood of Christ.” And my granddaughter said, “Not represent. Is, it is the body and blood of Christ.” My granddaughter was buying into it, okay. But it is hard. Every Sunday for me it’s hard. Christ had died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. Now think of it, we say that every week. Do I really believe he’s coming again? Yes, I believe he’s coming again. Christ died, Christ is risen, Chirst will come again. This is my body, this is my blood. They’re asking a lot. In my era, we didn’t question any of it.

Actually, Mrs. Pelosi, there is no “your era” or “my era” – time is an illusion and God is Eternal – and so is the Truth. It seems to me that if one is going to be a Roman Catholic, or an Orthodox Catholic, one should at the very least, be open to an idea and able to participate in what the church calls “the Source and Summit of our faith” in solidarity of belief.

A “symbol”? Has she read John, Chapter 6? Has she read Paul’s admonition about the importance of the Eucharist and how it must be received? The church has been soaked in the blood of martyrs for centuries, for the sake of the Holy Eucharist, has seen countless thousands give up everything for it, has seen prisoners risk harsh punishment in order to sneak in the species for masses, has seen thousands of ordinary people build hospitals and schools and vast charities because of what they find therein…and its just a “symbol?”

Flannery O’ Conner, dead 44 years, answers Mrs. Pelosi’s “symbol” from the grave:

I was once, five or six years ago, taken by some friends to have dinner with Mary McCarthy and her husband, Mr. Broadwater. (She just wrote that book, “A Charmed Life.”) She departed the Church at the age of 15 and is a Big Intellectual. We went at eight and at one, I hadn’t opened my mouth once, there being nothing for me in such company to say. . . . Having me there was like having a dog present who had been trained to say a few words but overcome with inadequacy had forgotten them.

Well, toward morning the conversation turned on the Eucharist, which I, being the Catholic, was obviously supposed to defend. Mrs. Broadwater said when she was a child and received the host, she thought of it as the Holy Ghost, He being the most portable person of the Trinity; now she thought of it as a symbol and implied that it was a pretty good one.

I then said, in a very shaky voice, “Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it.”

That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable.

The jerk store never did call for ol’ Flannery. Perhaps Mrs. Pelosi should drill O’ Connor’s brains and see what she can learn.

Kathy Shiedle also wonders if Pelosi’s “drill your brains” remark is a subconscious tie-in to her abortion controversy. Seems Kathy and I are on parallel wavelengths, which means I’m in good company!

And American Papist has a great timeline of the Pelosi kerfluffle.

Related: The Catholic Vote and the Counterbalance to Abortion Widgets

About Elizabeth Scalia
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  • vanderleun

    Is it still possible for the priesthood to do a simultaneous Exorcism-Excommunication?

  • Klaire

    If Nancy insists on sticking with the ensoulment argument, Father Tad of the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. ( recently posted a great article on ensoulment.

    To read it, google “Do Embryos Have Souls?

    There is even a short video of an embryo in formation.
    To Nancy’s horror, she will find that an even GREATER augment is made for killing an embryo BEFORE ensoulment. Doing so, Father Tad teaches, destroys ANY and all chances of that living embryo ever having a relationship with God.

    I read yesterday that Bill Donohue is sending Nancy a copy of “Catechism for dummies.” Perhaps he can get a bulk order and fed ex send a crate of them to the DNC.

  • mskloemp

    With respect to the real presence, it is a mystery. In other words, we can understand that something is true without understanding it completely. I can understand that Christ is really present without understanding completely how He is present. I think it is same with respect to His incarnation. I can understand that He did not count equality with God as something to be grasped but emptied Himself and assumed the form of man without understanding exactly how He did it.

    With respect to the question of abortion, we do not kill the child because it is not human. We deny its humanity so that we may kill it with a clear conscience. We wish to preserve a view of ourselves as moral and so the child’s humanity must be denied. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For the sake of sins the light, darkness must be embraced and the truth must be denied.

  • DWiss

    A couple of thoughts on Nancy’s Pelosi’s latest blathering:

    Why is Archbishop George Niederauer (Archdiocese of San Francisco) letting other Bishops carry his water. Nancy’s in his diocese. You’d think he’d want to go get his own lost sheep.

    When I think back on the things I did/thought/said as a younger fellow in light of what I now understand about Catholicism, I’m more than a little ashamed. But we cradle Catholics often lack appreciation for what was given us by our parents and grandparents. Later in life we wake up and see it all more clearly and gain a love and thankfulness for the Church. Not so Ms. Pelosi. She’s still serving manna through her political power. Makes me think of the Pharasees that Jesus likes to humiliate.

    I never saw those comments on the Eucharist by Flannery O’Connor. Yet another reason to read and re-read her work. Any Catholic authors of her caliber writing fiction these days? (Don’t say Anne Rice. I like her new books about Jesus’ life, but it’s not what I have in mind.)

  • Hantchu

    Flannery O’Connor’s “The Habit of Being” is like an endless series of amazing and wonderful letters from a wise and funny friend.

    “Having me there was like having a dog present who had been trained to say a few words but overcome with inadequacy had forgotten them”

    It don’t get no better ‘n that.

  • Gayle Miller

    To put it bluntly, while I have long believed and loudly proclaimed that Nancy Pelosi is a stone idiot, the state of her soul is, I guess, her own business. What is MY business is that she is prattling on about Catholic doctrine and claiming that she is correct in her babbling because she IS a Catholic. I hate to say this but I think the various Popes who have made the Church’s position on abortion crystal clear for many, many, many years are probably better educated in theology than is Nancy Pelosi and certainly more competent to teach it to the Catholic faithful. That being said, I learned in grammar school that abortion was considered by the Catholic Church to be MURDER and I’m 2 years younger than La Pelosi so they had to be teaching that 2,000 year old tenet of our faith even when she was learning her catechism, no?

    Both Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi (along with many other “Catholic” politicians) are responsible for their own souls, but I think all the rest of Catholics have an absolute right to be offended and outraged when they completely misstate Catholic Church theology.

  • benning

    Pelosi is a Menu Christian. She wants to pick and choose which Scripture she will believe and which she will ignore. When she leaves the grand restaurant of Scripture her Menu Christianity goes with her. She enters the Christian Writers Bistro and decides which items will fill her up and which will make her ill.

    And, like all Menu Christians, she decides that the Bistro offerings are more to her liking than the Scriptures. Even then she wants to tell the Writer/Chef how to serve her meal.

    Poor Nancy.

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  • Dennis J.

    DWiss, word is that Archbishop Niederauer is publishing his response in the diocesan newspaper 5 Sep.

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