Why Am I So Harsh on the Incestuous Relationship between Catholics and “Conservatism”?

Why Am I So Harsh on the Incestuous Relationship between Catholics and “Conservatism”? December 12, 2014

Simple.  If Nancy Pelosi were to declare that abortion should be a sacrament, not one prolife Catholic on the planet would do anything but reject it with revulsion.  But when demagogues like Sarah Palin crap all over the holy sacrament of baptism like this a huge percentage of “prolife” Catholycs cheer and repeat the meme (as I watched a Catholic torture defender do last night with this filthy meme).

Those to whom much is given, much will be required. Conservative Catholics have, for years, boasted their superior fidelity to the cafeteria Catholicism of pro-abortion Catholics. Now a huge percentage of them have thrown that all away and yet still cling to the chutzpah of blithely regarding themselves as the only real Catholics while lecturing liberals on being “prolife”. Catholics for a Free Choice at least has the honesty to frankly confess that they hold the Church’s teaching in contempt. But there is something especially gross about “Real” Catholics boasting their fidelity to our tortured Lord while blasphemously taking a dump all over the sacrament of baptism in their worship of Mars.  The identification of waterboarding with Baptism is every bit as sacriligious as “Piss Christ”. And the use of the unborn as human shields for this filth, as though opposition to abortion takes away the eager embrace of the mortal sin of torture, is cynicism as vile as this.

Torture Defenders:  God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you. (Romans 2:24)  Torture apologetics is not something that remains in stasis.  Everytime you engage in it, you move your soul deeper and deeper into a complex of lies and make it hard to extricate yourself.  You find it easier and easier to blaspheme the sacraments, to cheer for the threat of murdering children and cutting woman’s throats.  You become the monsters you hate.  Repent and receive the mercy of God before it is too late.

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  • A J MacDonald Jr

    This is one of the (very) few times I can agree with Mark Shea.

  • pbecke

    So much has been given to us, no wonder the very worst types in history have so often been Catholics – and that self-righteousness of the self-styled pious, conservative, ‘pro-life only inside the womb’, Catholics disgusts beyond measure.

  • Denise Beaudoin

    Sarah Palin is not a catholic, but a nondenomitional christian protestant, so why confuse her actions with those of conservative catholics?

  • Na

    Gosh…I thought it was because you loved them and wanted to call them to a deeper friendship with the Lord. Oh well. Live and learn.

  • gullycat

    The worst torturer in modern history was Saddam Hussein. If you hate torture, you should be grateful to George W. Bush for deposing him. I’ve never heard Mark mention this….gee, I wonder why?

    • chezami

      For the obvious reason that I *love* Saddam Hussein and his tortures, of course.

      • Eugene Edward Yeo

        If you are going to lump all conservative Catholics in this group, you can’t reasonably be upset when people do the same to you.

        • Andy

          I haven’t seen him lump all conservative Catholics into the support/defend torture group. Just saying, if you feel like he put you in that group look in the mirror and ask why.

        • chezami

          I don’t lump all conservative Catholics in this group. Stop lying.

    • Andy

      First – where did you get the information that Saddam Hussein was worst torturer in modern history? Please cite your source. Second he doesn’t even reach the top ten for dictators with high kill rates.

      • Joseph

        I agree. Moreover, it greatly bothers me that people take it as a fact that KSM is a terrorist who masterminded 9/11, the Bali bombing, and other stuff. For all I know, the man could be an innocent patsy, a victim who was forced to take responsibility, UNDER TORTURE, for various crimes he had nothing to do with. Confessions obtained through torture are not worth the paper they are written on.
        Whatever happened to our laws, and due process? Why won’t we put KSM on trial, and convict him lawfully, based on evidence and guilt admitted freely – not under torture – if there’s truly anything wrong he did?
        Innocent until proven guilty. And no, a confession obtained under torture doesn’t prove that he is guilty.

  • David W

    While I often disagree with Mr. Shea’s posts that are brought to my attention, I do agree that it is disgraceful to see Catholics defending torture. I think the Catechism says it well:

    2148 Blasphemy is directly opposed to the second commandment. It consists in uttering against God—inwardly or outwardly—words of hatred, reproach, or defiance; in speaking ill of God; in failing in respect toward him in one’s speech; in misusing God’s name. St. James condemns those “who blaspheme that honorable name [of Jesus] by which you are called.”78 The prohibition of blasphemy extends to Language against Christ’s Church, the saints, and sacred things. It is also blasphemous to make use of God’s name to cover up criminal practices, to reduce peoples to servitude, to torture persons or put them to death. The misuse of God’s name to commit a crime can provoke others to repudiate religion.

  • AquinasMan

    It’s shockingly simple. Stop with the tribal reactions — whatever your political persuasion. THE ENDS NEVER JUSTIFY THE MEANS. If I made a deal with the devil to end the dark sacrament of abortion for all time by participating in the sacrifice of one unrepentant, juvenile delinquent/rapist of his choosing, I would be worthy of eternal hellfire. If I torture one man to saves thousands (Hi, Caiaphas!), I have still committed a grave offense against God.

    • AquinasMan

      I think I just up-voted my own post. Nice.

      • David W

        I think that was me who up-voted it. Well said

        • AquinasMan

          Why thank you.

    • Mike Blackadder

      Excellent comment. Still we aren’t talking about the circumstance of sacrificing a human being to obtain a worthy objective. We’re talking about a right and justified use of state authority and responding to the duty of a state authority to protect it’s citizens and effectively conduct a war effort. It’s not a tribal reaction to say that you stand by a particular policy of interrogation. Though still in general you make a great point!

      • chezami

        Yes. We are talking about human sacrifice. We killed prisoners with torture. It is absolutely a tribal reaction in defense of mortal sin.

  • Mike Blackadder

    The meme is stupid. Doesn’t even make sense.

    Supporting the practice of water-boarding isn’t black and white though. There is a line between interrogating a person and torturing them. Objective people have disagreed about where water-boarding falls on that spectrum, and the objective of interrogation in this case isn’t insignificant.

    The fact is that a policy was adopted with the objective of effectively interrogating people to save lives and to respond to the real threat perceived of terrorism while holding to a standard that does not devolve into torturing people. This was the entire basis for developing these standards for interrogation and obtaining expert opinions and approval from congress. It’s true that some people will think that it should be ok to blow a couple fingers off a guys hands rather than let a bunch of 5 years burn to death in a school when it could have been avoided. Others seem offended at the mere suggestion of using compulsion of any kind to obtain information, including water-boarding and lesser interrogation methods, while others are content to simply return captured terrorists back into the fray.

    It’s easy enough to say that you’re against the practices at Guantanamo, that there should be no Guantanamo, but not so easy when it is your responsibility, a responsibility recognized by the church as the right duty of the state, to look after the security and well being of its citizens and men and women in uniform.

    Surely the Church is not against the use of interrogation to obtain information, particularly when dealing with the extreme circumstances of global terrorism. Certainly the church would be in favor of countries that adhere to a policy of interrogation which has been measured so as to effectively protect innocent life while not resorting to the barbarism of torturing people no matter bad the person is, and no matter how dire the circumstances. Certainly I understand that there is a difference of opinion in the degree of interrogation that was used, but isn’t it a bit much to accuse conservatives and others of being unCatholic for disagreeing with you about the policy of Water-boarding?

  • sheilakay57

    Sarah Palin in not a Catholic

    • linda daily

      She was baptised Catholic and wears her Christianity like a badge of honor.

      • sheilakay57

        But this article is about the relationship of Catholic and Conservatism. So quoting a non Catholic makes no sense. Had she grown up Catholic her views maybe different. And trying to connect conservatism and Catholicism is like painting all people the same color. I am conservative but do not agree with torture except sleep deprivation. So am I in the same category. I really do not like it when people are pigeonholed. And the CIA is not a religious body and I think they do a very difficult and live threatening job. It is easy for us to sit on the sidelines a be critics.

        • linda daily

          Sara Palin was raised Catholic, professes to be a Christian and certainly played the religion card throughout her career. Mark Shea seems to have a bugaboo about Catholics as if we are exemplars, but no disciple of Christ, a victim of torture, can justify Palin’s statement. Sacramental grace appears dormant in her. The CIA is an organization not a person; each individual within the organization has to answer to his or her own conscience

  • Tom

    This assumes that water boarding counts as torture. The church has no doctrine on this so stop making it seem like one is a heretic or cafeteria catholic for supporting water boarding. What Sarah Palin said was dumb. But making a terrorist uncomfortable in order to obtain information is much different than dismembering a baby. You may think otherwise, but you’re not the pope.

    • chezami

      The Church has no doctrine that suction aspiration is abortion either. it still is. Ramming food up a man’s anus and forcing him to stand in stress positions on broken feet is not “discomfort”. it is torture. Have a care. You will be judged by Almighty God for these lies.

      • Two2trees

        You really see into a man’s heart? Wow!

      • Two2trees

        And yes, it does.

        The 5th commandment is, in its fullness, violated by actions taken with the intent of murder, knowing that they achieve that end.

    • Two2trees

      Tom. The most sane comment here is yours. Still, just because she talks funny doesn’t make Palin dumb. Listen to her, fully, in context and not just to what is said about her.

    • petey

      “This assumes that water boarding counts as torture.”

      why yes, yes it does.

  • FruitfulBlessings

    My wife and I just had our ninth child. We have often discussed the type of world our children will grow up in. There is no disguising the fact that things are bad, very bad, and likely to get worse in the short term. Over a decade ago, we sparred over the legitimacy of the Iraq war. Ultimately, her point was if JPII spoke against it, we should put our faith in him and not GWB. Clearly, history is on her side. We have lost so much that made America great for so many decades. We were supposed to be a country of morals, a country founded upon principals. I recognize this fall did not begin after 9/11, but it has accelerated at an amazing clip. I remember the horror stories of what the Vietcong did to American troops. The abhorrent treatment many faced at the hands of the Nazis and communist Russia. We, as Americans and more importantly Roman Catholics, must acknowledge our behavior during this period of American history will be placed in the same context as those. We cannot justify torture. We cannot justify murdering innocents in the name of security. We cannot justify destroying the dignity of a person for a morsel of intelligence. One evening my wife was speaking with her father. He advocated “glassing” the middle east so that they couldn’t harm us. My wife was quick to note we could never do such a thing. As usual, he replied they would do it to us if they could. She replied, “Better to die morally upright than to strike first.”. He responded quite seriously, “So your saying the answer is just to be Christian?”. She calmly replied, “Yes.” Ultimately, that is our calling. That is why we all cling to the stories of our martyrs. We recognize the truth: better to die for our faith and in obedience to our King’s example than live at the expense of our morality, our righteousness, our chance for eternal salvation. So do I fear for our children’s lives, yes at times, but I am much more concerned with their eternity. I will teach them to die for Christ instead of living for this world.

    • Rob B.

      God bless your wife for her witness to her father. That must have been hard for her.

    • We are not in a position where glassing a region is the only path to victory for the US. It would take tremendous and sustained levels of incompetence in US foreign policy to get there within the next decade.

    • Two2trees

      Congrats on the kids, but your ignorance of history is breathtaking. SJPII had zero competence to speak about a regional conflict. What you argue is “never try chemotherapy, sometimes it doesn’t work.”

      The intent of W’s Iraq venture was self defense. Isis just seized the chem plants by the way. Nation building is idiocy, granted, and Islam negates civil society so it’s doubly hopeless.

      But war (YES: “war) and self-defense AND defense of the innocent — is NOT THE SAME as intentionally harming the innocent.

      One example of countless: When the Brits wanted to survive during ww2, at a point early on during Normandy, some SS captives cooperation was needed. This involved things like tongs, lighters and pliers.

      Is that a sin? Probably. Is it “for the greater good?” Maybe. Would I do the same to save western civilization from nazism? Probably.

      We live in a fallen world. If you risk your life for Christ, I revere you. Not so much if you risk my kids lives. Should we follow conscience or listen to catechized, well formed conscience? I’d say the latter.

      Far too few know the difference between the Prince of Peace and “Peace, Man!”

      And until we get there, maybe let’s heed the Man who said to tend the plank in one eye before complaining about the speck in the other.

      • FruitfulBlessings

        I don’t know why you chose to begin your post by casting aspersions. I assure you, I have no false pretenses when it comes to my own lack of knowledge; however, you have no basis to make such a general statement as “your ignorance of history is breathtaking.” Furthermore, I make no such argument that you should “never try chemotherapy.” What I argued is that when we choose to compromise our principals, we will not reach the “greater good.” Christ’s teachings are always applicable. While he was clear to warn us not to judge others and to mind our own plank, he was also clear that when someone is sinning, we must speak or else the condemnation lies with us as well. Unfortunately, I, like many US Catholics, did not speak out as I should have when our government began down this path. The head of our Church did. I have the feeling his experiences in Poland gave him quite a good understanding of a just war and also an understanding of the atrocities that unfold during any war. I did not say all war is evil. I did not say we have no right to defend the innocent. What I said is whenever you try to justify immoral acts, you have already compromised the greater good and we are all called to the greatest good, obedience to our Father. Quite simply, would Christ approve of the enhanced interrogation tactics we employed? If the answer is “no”, then it was wrong and we should say as much.

        • Edward Vix

          Casting aspersions.

      • gigi4747

        I tend to agree that putting ones “faith” in the opinion of a pope is not a great idea, especially in an area in which he has no particular expertise. JP II, like all of us, was a flawed, fallible human being.

        • chezami

          Evangelium Vitae and Veritatis Splender and Lumen Gentium are not personal opinions. They are the teaching of Holy Church and solemnly warn that torture is mortal sin. Stop lying.

      • chezami

        Pewsitter always sends over a special sort of fascist.

    • gigi4747

      I hate the idea of torture, and one cannot but be moved to read John McCain’s condemnation of “enhanced” interrogation techniques, but I’m also conflicted. I’ve heard the question posed, “If your child had been kidnapped and you didn’t know where she was, would you really be opposed to trying *everything* possible to find out where she was?” An extreme scenario which most will never find themselves, of course, but would that “morsel of intelligence” be one that you would in practice reject in favor of preserving the kidnapper’s dignity? The intelligence that a nation gathers to keep its citizens safe is no less important, imo.

      • Heather

        Saying that one would do *everything* possible to save your child is pretty terrifying if you actually thought about it.

        If you received a note saying that you will be told where to find your child but only if you assassinate a specific public figure, would you do it? It’s no less plausible a scenario than having the kidnapper captured and at your mercy and only you can persuade him to tell you where the ticking time bomb is and how to defuse it.

      • chezami

        Those extreme scenarios are constructed to fan your fears and keep your mind off the *reality* of the horrors being done which accomplished nothing to save lives and, in fact, made that effort more difficult. They are lies. Don’t listen to them.

  • 12345

    Mark, you appear to be a confused, angry man. Keep praying.

    • chezami

      God bless you.

  • Charles

    Thank you, Mark! You make this moderate convert to the faith happy. Always!!!

  • HigherCalling

    To fall away from Catholic orthodoxy is to fall into Liberalism, which is the prideful and deliberate rejection of legitimate moral and doctrinal authority granted to the Church by Jesus Christ. When a Catholic’s politics trumps his faith, he is falling into Liberalism. When his politics begins to instruct his faith, he has abandoned Catholic orthodoxy and accepted Liberalism. Thus, to reject the Church’s reasonable definition of torture is to fall into Liberalism. To accept any policy that opposes the Church’s teaching on faith and morals is to subscribe to Liberalism. To do so willingly, as done in all forms of Protestantism, is a sin. There is no such thing as a Protestant ‘conservative’ in matters of doctrine and morality — all Protestants are proudly practicing the philosophy of Liberalism. Most American Catholics have no idea how very Protestant their faith actually is. The creation of nation states in opposition to the principles of Christendom and in open denial of the Kingship of Christ, is an act of Liberalism. Justifying the inevitable anti-Catholic policies of the modern nation-state is an act of Liberalism on the part of any Catholic. Pinning the acceptance of torture to the tribe of so-called Catholic conservatism could itself be seen as an underhanded act of political tribalism. Catholics who accept torture are openly defying the teaching of the Church, and are therefore engaged in Liberalism and should neither take nor be given the politically-charged label of “conservative.”

    • To fall away from Catholic orthodoxy is not necessarily liberalism. There are other heresies.

      I’m assuming that you are referring to the definition of torture in CCC 2297, “Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity. ”

      Does that definition get the CIA off the hook? They were looking for actionable intelligence and not confessions. It wasn’t done to punish, frighten, or satisfy hatred, at least as policy. I can’t speak to individual cases as I’m personally an outsider on this matter.

      I’ve wasted a lot of typing to try to get a reasonable definition of torture that doesn’t morph at the convenience of the definer.

      • Heather

        I don’t know, while there is a difference between confessing that one is guilty of a crime, and confessing the details of a particular plot, they are both confessions of a sort.

        But even so, claiming that just because a particular motive for torture isn’t specifically mentioned in the Catechism means it is therefore an exception to the prohibition doesn’t really fly. It also doesn’t specifically say that torturing someone just for fun isn’t contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity, but I’m pretty sure no one is going to argue for that as an exception.

        • This is where domain knowledge is invaluable. Where is Osama is an example of an intelligence question. Where does that fit in the purpose list? It is definitely not a crime.

          I don’t claim inside knowledge. I just try to put myself in both sides shoes.

        • Sorry for the double response but neither of us thought it through right off the bat. The BDSM community does, in fact, do this sort of thing for fun. In fact, there’s a whole subset of radiology humor about what comes in late at night in urban ERs as a consequence of what people do for fun that would puzzle or horrify most people.

          • Heather

            BDSM has about the same resemblance to real torture as paintball does to real war. There is some superficial resemblance, and sure someone might get hurt by accident, but no one is actually intending harm and it is all make believe and role play among consenting people who trust each other to stop if the game gets out of hand.

            If you are looking for a precise definition of torture there are plenty out there. The UN convention against torture has one:
            “Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.”*

            So I guess what you are actually looking for is a precise definition of “severe pain or suffering.” The tricky thing about that is that it is often a matter of degree or duration rather than specific actions, especially in the case of psychological torment. That’s not a weaselly answer, it’s the way these things actually work. Make someone wash their hands in cold water, who cares. Sit someone in an ice water bath until they pass out from hypothermia, that’s torture. Somebody is kept awake all day, that’s normal. Somebody is kept awake for days on end until they start hallucinating, that’s torture. Where is the precise line between normal, uncomfortable, and torture? Probably somewhere around the point where a sane person looks at the situation and goes “dude, back off already.”

            If it’s being done to someone who is at your mercy, specifically to destroy their will to resist, and it’s not something you could get away with if a lawyer was in the room, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

            For instance, unless one is the torture apologist troll I was talking with the other day, no one actually thinks there is a legitimate medical application of hummus anywhere other than by mouth.

            *Now that definition is being directed at officially sanctioned torture, so it doesn’t include individual genuine sadists doing horrible things on their own time for fun as it would be understood that would be covered under a given country’s criminal law.

            • You are landing pretty close to where I have always landed, in it depends land. I think you underestimate how harsh the BDSM people can get. Some of the milder enhanced techniques are clearly not torture but you very likely have a distribution where the mild stuff dominates but it’s the harshest stuff that dominates the conversation.

              • Heather

                I stand by my assertion that BDSM is to actual torture as paintball is to actual war. Some people get really into it, but everyone understands that it is all in good fun, the only people who don’t take safety precautions are idiots, and the person being “tortured” is there of his or her own free will. There’s a huge difference there in that last point. Real torture victims don’t have the security of knowing that they can trust the people inflicting things upon them, they have consented to it, and that if things get too much for them they can just say the safe word. If someone is actually having stuff inflicted on them without their consent, that’s not BDSM, that’s a crime.

                • There is no way to further discuss this without diving deep into that cesspool and I think I’ll pass on that. Agree to disagree?

                  • Heather

                    Fair enough.

      • chris

        1) “Actionable intelligence ” is weasel wording to avoid responsibility.
        2) Yes, it was done to frighten prisoners so they would confess to wrongdoings.
        3) Water boarding isn’t baptism, it’s mock execution, and the reason it may be done doesn’t make it any less acceptable.

        • Actionable intelligence is a term of art as is war and even prisoner. If you’re going to be ignorant, silence is often a better option.

          You seem to be mistaking me for someone who endorsed Sarah Palin’s statement. In my first comment on this thread, I called her a walking refutation of sola scriptura. That was not a compliment on her theological sophistication.

    • linda daily

      So we are to take away from your comment that the conservative politicians who approved and ordered torture tactics fell into the sin of “liberalism”? What a strange, distorted understanding of discipleship. Get out of your head for a moment and try to live your faith in reality. Real human beings are more than your simplistic caricatures and political concepts.

    • chezami

      Nonetheless, the people who are foursquare in favor of torture nearly always describe themselves as “conservative”. That’s why I protest the incestuous relationship between Catholics and “conservatism”

      • HigherCalling

        Just trying to accurately define terms in order to avoid the modern tactic enlisted when an argument cannot withstand intellectual or philosophical scrutiny — that is, the tactic of redefining words in order to push a political agenda and/or justify a moral error. Self-professed “conservative” Catholics who accept a political policy of torture are actually acting on what is more accurately termed Liberalism or Modernism (as defined and condemned by the Church), not a smidgen less so than Catholics who profess to be pro-choice or pro-same-sex “marriage” or who select those Church teachings they find most appealing (or politically expedient) and discard the rest. No matter how they label themselves, they are all acting on moral and doctrinal autonomy, often in prideful defiance of the authority of the Church — that is the definition of Liberalism, which is unavoidably embodied within all aspects of American social policy and ideological politics, though most Catholic Americans fail to recognize it.

  • Yankeegator

    Read a book called, “Liberalism is a Sin”…. You’ll understand more clearly the hot mess we’re in today within the Church and in secular society….

    • chezami

      The Party of Personal Responsibility doing what it does best: blameshifting.

  • mollysdad

    For Nancy Pelosi to declare that abortion is a sacrament is akin to Khaled Sheikh Mohammed declaring that Muhammad is a messenger of God.

  • Two2trees

    Moronic. There is no moral equivalence between crucifying Christian boys, selling Yadzi girls and freaking water boarding. I WORK 100 hours (in a row, regularly.)

    It is naked hypocrisy to compare a bad joke about baptism to actively, materially supporting vivisecting babies (and mostly black ones, you racist, eugenicist hypocrite!)

    Go to Iraq and apologize for yourself in person. Lousy spoiled hypocrite!

    Scripture says this too: “‘We called you Lord! Lord! We cast out demons in your name’ … ‘Be gone. I never knew you.'”

    Learn what this means: “I Am the Truth.” Your eyes are closed.

    • Iacomus

      Oh, the irony… a few questions : What’s the difference between naked and clothed hypocrisy? Why all the venomous pejoratives? And lastly, how’s your vision?

    • antigon

      Dear Mr. Trees:
      *
      Commendations for the opening word in a post that so perfectly illustrated its meaning.

  • Seamrog

    I regret many things I said thinking I had all the answers.

    Maybe Shea will one day mature and learn to present a point without vitriol.

    Until that time, he will continue to be regarded as a petulant child.

    • antigon

      Take that (while we’re at it) John Chrysostom!
      *
      Inasmuch as, tho a saint & Doctor of the Church, sans maturity he held petulantly & vitriolicly that:
      *
      ‘He who is not angry, whereas he has cause to be, sins. For unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices, it fosters negligence, and incites not only the wicked but the good to do wrong.’

    • cmfe

      Are “You generation of vipers”, Immature, petulant words? “Christian” does not equal “nice”, sometimes it requires speaking hard truths. As for your first sentence: me too.

  • gigi4747

    I don’t read a lot of Mark Shea. Is he always so vulgar, eg, crapping all over, taking a dump on, etc? Gross. I’m not saying he’s wrong necessarily, and actually, I unliked catholic memes on facebook recently because I was done with the snarkiness of the page owners and what I found to be the nastiness of their followers, but it’s hard to take Mark Shea’s opinion seriously when he expresses himself as he did above.

    • antigon

      Dear M.7:
      *
      Doubtless he should aspire to the elegance of thine own prose, especially in that condemning his is much more important than such secondary matters as awesome rape.

  • Lauri Friesen

    Although I avoid reading anything Mr. Shea writes because he is not a particularly sharp tool in the garden of commentators, he got my attention with his more-ridiculous-than-usual conclusion that all the Catholics who supported torture are “Conservatives” (being Canadian, I am assuming this means that their conservatism is measured by their support for the Republican party in the USA). Of course, he has no proof that every “Catholic” who told a pollster he supported torture is, in fact, a practicing Catholic, let alone Catholic at all. Second, he has no proof that none of them are “Liberal” Catholics (whatever that might mean in his own mind). The use of labels to define and group people should be offensive to any Catholic. The lazy thinking and muddled arguments of Mr. Shea should offend any thinking person, of any religious faith or political stripe.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      He didn’t reach any of those conclusions you claim, as careful reading demonstrates. But your post was a chance to chuckle at the arrogance and stupidity of America Lite!

      • Hezekiah Garrett

        America Lite!
        90%less people!
        23 the colors on the flag.
        Now with real Maple favoring!

    • chezami

      Remarkable denialism. What impressive chutzpah.

      • antigon

        You’re quite wrong, Shea. T’was not remotely impressive.

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    How can any of you say that if it would save the whole world, you wouldn’t torture a 30something year old middle eastern man to death?

    Wait, if you’re Christian, what I mean to say is how could you say you would. When you support such policies, you shout “Barrabas” to the heavens.

    And that doesn’t shame you? You must be Americans.

  • Andres Rodriguez

    The problem is separating Catholicism from our “Americanism”. This was a problem I had when I was younger. Too often I had a belief that whatever the U.S did or does was moral and upright and always the best for man. It was as if the U.S had the keys to the kingdom of heaven. I think christian conservatives often think this way, or just don’t fully integrate christian belief with government policy and actions. Sometimes I woul also fall into a trap of having to defend to myself the words and actions of some conservatives. I knew something was off and not right about their position but I it was as if I didn’t know it was okay to disagree with them. Long story short, I came to the realization that I am first a citizen of the Catholic Church and a pilgrim on this world, and not to place my hope in princes. Now I test the United States in the waters of Catholicism and not Catholicism in the waters of the United States.

  • The Egyptian

    I wonder what was done to any captured “RELIGION OF PEACE” soldiers at the battle of Leprino or at the gates of Vienna, a historical question but curious, I’m sure apologies were sent all around by the troops defending Christendom

    • antigon

      The Ogre does what Ogres can
      Deeds quite impossible for Man,
      But one prize is beyond his reach
      The Ogre cannot master speech.
      *
      About a subjugated plain
      Among its desperate & its slaves
      The Ogre stalks with hands on hips
      While drivel gushes from its lips. – Auden
      *
      As it does from those who would egregiously defame Egypt it would seem.

      • the Egyptian

        sorry, Antigon, I’m from a tiny little burg in Ohio with a catholic church and not much else called Egypt, Im formally known as the German Egyptian reflecting my heritage

        • antigon

          A heritage you should cease defaming with drivel about serious moral questions.

  • Herb Suhl

    Mark Shea is creating moral equivalency between 20 million abortions and 3 very hard men getting water splashed in their faces. The reason for this is that he hates Traditional America and can not bring himself to vote for pro life Republican Party. Incest is a loaded word he uses because his emotions are out of control.

    • freddy

      U.S. soldiers captured by the Japanese in WWII got “water splashed in their faces” and we called it torture then. Don’t dishonor those soldiers with stupid partisanship. Evil is evil and we should be better than that.

    • antigon

      ‘The reason for this is that he hates Traditional America.’
      *
      Unless it’s that, unlike you, he accepts the teaching of the Faith. Enjoy your used hummus Mr. Suhl.

      • Herb Suhl

        He wants an excuse to vote for Obama. And so do you.

        • chezami

          The brain death of conservatism. Oppose torture and you secretly want to vote for Obama, who is not running for office.

          • antigon

            Likely the effect of the foul stuff they eat.

        • Steve

          When did he ever say vote for Obama?

    • Gord

      That is an ad hominum attack. Stay on point. Torture is evil because the Church of Christ has said it is so. No more debate needed.

    • Joseph

      Oh boy, is torture a Traditional American thing?
      Should we put it in tourist guides, together with the cowboy boots, ten-gallon Texas hats and apple pie?

    • Steve

      Where does he say they are morally equivalent? The Republican Party is pro-life on the abortion issue. That does not mean they are pro-life on EVERY issue.

  • Charles Baudelaire

    Is this a serious article? Or is it a joke? The Catholic Onion. Now I know why few Catholics take Mark Shea seriously. If you can’t tell the difference between waterboarding Muslim terrorists — action that indeed stopped a KSM plot to fly planes into buildings in Los Angeles, as one example — with ripping babies apart through D&X or poisoning and burning them with saline solution, or puncturing their skulls with a steel rood and scrambling their brain, then, well, your moral compass doesn’t work. And Sarah Palin talking half-jokingly about waterboarding (and how it has helped national security) is just that: a facetious, pro-American, pro-Western comment. I can’t believe Shea’s nonsense passes for serious Catholic moral-theological “analysis.” Marquis de Sade, call your office.

    • freddy

      “action that indeed stopped a KSM plot…”
      Except not. Torture doesn’t work. It is evil. And hiding behind the brutalized bodies of unborn babies to defend it is abhorrent. God help us all.

    • antigon

      ‘Now I know why few Catholics take Mark Shea seriously.’
      *
      Or the Catechism. A tub of used hummus to you Mr. Baud, & those like you who won’t take the Faith seriously.

    • Joseph

      I sense racism in the excuse that we are “waterboarding Muslim terrorists”.
      How about waterboarding American schoolgirls? How about waterboarding a 10-year old American girl, in America, 183 times until she becomes unresponsive and bubbles rise through her open mouth filled with water, like it was done to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?

      If that’s not real torture, we shouldn’t object to police and school teachers doing it to American children at home. And if it IS torture, than no Muslim terrorists should ever be subjected to it, either, because torture is an intrinsic evil.

      On a side note, KSM admitted, UNDER TORTURE, to a long list of offenses including 9/11, the Bali bombing, and so on. He might as well have admitted shooting Kennedy, killing Lincoln, and crucifying Jesus Christ. I don’t believe a single word of what he was FORCED to admit under torture, and the courts won’t believe it either.

      We have seen this before, in Communist Hungary. The bolsheviks tortured Cardinal Mindszenty until they obtained from him confessions on all sorts of stuff, all false, all lies.

      • Ed Britt

        This is the stupidest argument ever! Comparing American school girls to Muslim terrorists?….Radical Muslim’s want to convert you, your family, your friends and everyone you know to their “faith” by force or kill you in the attempt. They want to bring down our society and our Church. They want to turn your parish into a mosque. Islam is a cancer and evil upon the entire world. Poor KSM, you should invite him to marry one of your daughters. I mean, what universe do some of you people live in? These people hate us and have declared war against us! They will try to kill as many of us as they can.

        • Joseph

          Relax!
          And KSM is still innocent as far as I am concerned, and as far as international law is concerned.
          Put him on trial, and prove that he is a terrorist, but prove it with real evidence, because admissions obtained through torture are null and void in a court of law.
          Only a few people who want to turn America into a fascist state believe that you can convict people without trial, without due process, and based on admission of guilt under torture.

        • antigon

          Oh, well, in that case mortal sin is okay.

        • chezami

          “It’s torture or cookies and milk” is one of the many stupid things torture defenders keep saying in their desperation.

        • Joseph

          What’s your problem with KSM? Innocent until proven guilty, have you heard about that?
          If there ever was a fair trial against KSM, I must have missed it. There was no trial, no court, no due process. Only an admission of guilt, obtained under torture.
          OK, they forced him to admit stuff by drowning him, so what? Wouldn’t YOU admit that YOU masterminded 9/11, shot JFK, and killed Abraham Lincoln, if somebody waterboarded YOU 183 times? I bet you would.
          Holding KSM for more than 10 years without charging him and trying him in a court of law, is just aggravating the crimes we already committed by torturing him.

  • KM

    To paraphrase a very famous quote, when good men say nothing evil flourishes. I applaud what Mark and others are doing: exposing the evil in whatever form it takes such as torture or abortion.

    It is necessary to expose and root out the lies and the corruption that have warped hearts and souls, and that have allowed evil to flourish. So thank you, Mark, for speaking out.

  • KM

    Waterboarding (along with other acts listed in the report) is torture. Torture is evil. Therefore waterboarding is evil. To equate an evil act — waterboarding — with the sacrament of baptism is indeed sacrilegious, as Mark states in the post.

    In Isaiah’s “Song of the Vineyard” (Chapter 5) is this warning:

    “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” – Isaiah 5:20

    Mark is one of several messengers who are reminding us of this. God bless you, Mark.

  • steve w

    Liberalism is a sin. The Church is a conservative institution. Both sentences are true by definition. The relationship between a Catholic and a Conservative is one of self identity, and the relationship between a Catholic and a Liberal is the same one between a cure and a disease.

    • Chris

      i dont think you know what you are saying.

      • steven w

        Here is a free book you can read to understand how it is that liberalism is a sin:

        http://www.ewtn.com/library/THEOLOGY/LIBSIN.HTM#030303

        Conservatism derives from the root word “conserve”. The Catholic church was given the whole deposit of faith by Christ, it does not innovate it merely protects, expands and explains what it has. The Church is by definition a conservative institution.

        Political conservatism has always been concerned with rule of law, preservation of established order, and upholding the family, even against the claims of the single individual. Read some Edmund Burke to understand the principles of conservative politics.

        Some fools call Jesus a radical and understand the word radical to in the same sense as the understand the word when lefties are called radicals. This is regrettable since this misunderstanding gives false legitimacy to a sin, namely liberalism.

        • linda daily

          Steven, Jesus was not invested in political structures nor should we be. They are human constructs and lead to division. Human beings are more complex and vulnerable than simplistic political caricatures. Try receiving and relating to the actual person in front of you, as Jesus did, rather than scrutinize his or her voting record. I bet you will experience renewed peace.

          • steve w

            As if I don’t! And as if I caricature! You are rather the one who do so, suggesting I do not. Take it back.

        • PW

          You’re not making an argument, you’re playing a label game. You can name a lettuce variant “mortal sin” and then claim “the Church doesn’t allow you to eat that lettuce! It’s a mortal sin!”

          By your logic, a “Conservative American”, would support the following:
          * Abortion through all terms of pregnancy
          * Federal funding for abortion
          * Torture
          * The death penalty
          * Widespread use of artificial birth control

          That’s the CONSERVATIVE position, by your own argument. If you are being “conservative” and seeking to “conserve” what is currently part of America, that is what you advocate.

          By your own argument, conservationism is condemned by the Church (all those positions are).

          So, in order to be Catholic, you would need to advocate for change. Which is LIBERALISM, by your childish definition game.

  • GABRIEL

    Your constitution, that you hold in so high esteem, sucks.
    Plain and simply.

    If your constitution read:

    “It is the duty of this country and all that remain within to, to the best of their abilities, follow the Will of God”

    then that would be something.

    But your constitution does not say that.

    So, your constitution sucks.

    Plain and simply.

  • John Chan

    Don’t know what the purpose was for the waterboarding. The waterboarding incidents may be unjustified. However, that doesn’t mean that torture is intrinsically wrong in all cases. In fact, even capital punishment isn’t intrinsically evil! Abortion, which is the killing of an innocent, is an intrinsic evil. Mark Shea ought to know better than to equate all of these.

    Let’s consider the parallel of bearing false witness. An underground railroader can lie to a slave hunter. A righteous gentile can lie to a jew hunting SS. The rationale isn’t that the end justifies the means, but rather that the hunters had no right to know the truth. Can the same not be said for a Boko Haram terrorist, that his action resulted in the forfeiture of certain rights?

    of course, this is just the musing of a simple layman. I may be wrong, but need a better refutation than the simplistic and false equation offered in this blog.

    • chezami

      The Church teaches that torture is gravel and intrinsically evil and may never be justified. You are wrong.

      • John Chan

        Where do you get this idea? I can find these:

        Gaudium Et Spes

        “whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity…;all these things and others of their like are infamies indeed. They poison human society, but they do more harm to those who practice them than those who suffer from the injury.”

        CCC 2297

        Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity. Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law.

        CCC 2298

        In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.

        2005 Vatican Compendium of the Church’s Social Teaching

        “In this regard, I reiterate that the prohibition against torture ‘cannot be contravened under any circumstances'”

        Veritatis Splendor

        the Church teaches that “there exist acts which per se and in themselves, independently of circumstances, are always seriously wrong by reason of their object”. The Second Vatican Council itself, in discussing the respect due to the human person, gives a number of examples of such acts: “Whatever is hostile to life itself, such as any kind of homicide, genocide, abortion, euthanasia and voluntary suicide; whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, physical and mental torture and attempts to coerce the spirit; whatever is offensive to human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery…

        Now, my response:

        Gaudium Et Spes

        Agree with all of it, but it still doesn’t say that torture is intrinsically evil. The Church’s definition of ‘Infamy’ is more synonymous with ‘disgrace’ rather than ‘intrinsic evil’. Look it up.

        CCC 2297

        It doesn’t address violence used for the purpose of extracting life-saving information. Hence, violence could be justified in the example of forcing a Boko Haram member in disclosing where they hid kidnapped schoolgirls who will be sold as sex slaves.

        CCC 2298

        True that cruel practices are generally unecessary, thus generally uncalled for in modern times. Still not a statement that the cruel practices, which include both capital punishment and torture, are intrinsically evil.

        2005 Vatican Compendium of the Church’s Social Teaching

        This Compendium is a publication of the Pontifical Commission for Justice and Peace, which unlike the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, is not an arm of the Church’s magisterium, thus does not possess magisterial authority. Hence, authoritative but not infallible.

        Veritatis Splendor

        Note that the list also includes mutilation, deportation and slavery. Yet, we know that the Church has a narrow definition for these. Amputation for therapeutic medical reason doesn’t count as mutilation. Legitimate deportation of those who don’t meet the just immigration requirements for a state doesn’t count as deportation. Just title slave doesn’t count as slavery. Hence, violence NOT meant “to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred” (from CCC 2297) doesn’t count as torture. Jimmy Akins explains very well how this list from Veritatis Splendor “needs unstated qualifiers fleshed out” http://jimmyakin.com/2006/11/intrinsic_evil.html

        • chezami

          You are attempting the positivist trick of pretending that unless the Church lists every conceivable form of torture, we are helpless to know whether any specific technique is torture. It’s like an abortion apologist pretending not to know if suction aspiration is torture since the magisterium has never defined it as such.The definition game http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2009/05/the-definition-game.html is a favorite lie of torture defenders, designed to keep the question shrouded on fog forever, to to gain clarity. In reality, however, the issue is not “How much abuse can we heap on a prisoner before it’s technically torture?” but “Begin with a prisoner’s human dignity as a creature in the image of God and treat him humanely. Then you will not accidently torture him.

          You are also, by the way, basing your argument on an argument that has been repudiated by its author: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2010/03/clarification-by-fr-brian-harrison-o-s.html

          When the CIA itself calls what it did “torture”, it’s torture. Stop defending grave intrinsic evil.

          • falstaff77

            “You are attempting the positivist trick of pretending that unless the Church lists every conceivable form of torture, we are helpless to know whether any specific technique is torture. …”

            That’s not remotely the point. If it can be summed up in a word, throughout most all of the Churches writings, *intent* matters. You would waive all that away to have your condemnation of a particular group unobstructed. We could all do that here, and some do, about, e.g., war regardless of cause, about imprisonment regardless of crime.

            Clarity is lost about the subject itself when its abused to condemn. For example, in contrast to the three detainees that were water tortured, thousands are daily subjected to solitary confinement in the prisons, causing derangement, and it seems to me contrary to the tenets of the church’s teachings as listed above. I can make that assertion without resort to writing an essay condemning all those of some particular political persuasion.

            • chezami

              There is no intent that can justify grave intrinsic evil.

            • chezami

              And by the way, the *lie* that only three detainees were tortured and the only form of torture used was waterboarding is a *lie*. Stop lying.

        • linda daily

          Any healthy, sane person, Catholic or not, understands that torture is wrong. Ends do not justify the means. No need to consult the rulebook. Those who give the orders and those who carry them out have to wrestle with their consciences. Mr. Shea’ s is apparently shocked that many conservative Catholics condone torture, but the Church is a corrupt institution with its own history of torture, despite its clear teachings. I wish this weren’t true, but many converts gaze childlike into Catholism for a perfection they couldn’t find in their former faith and are often disappointed.

          • chezami

            Linda: Please. Stop with the condescension. I’m perfectly aware of the Church’s history. I’m also aware that the Church has rejected torture and now staunchly opposes it. What astounds me is that those who constantly boast their superior fidelity to the Church’s teaching can so blindly and grossly spit on the Church’s teaching about something so obviously evil.

            • linda daily

              I didn’t mean to be condescending and truly appreciate your championing this issue. So few Catholic bloggers understand or promote a consistent ethic of life. Church teaching is clear, but there are still Catholic apologists who underplay the inquisition and even now turn a blind eye to abuses. My experience with most conservative Catholics is that their orthodoxy rarely makes it out of their heads. They think righteous thoughts and follow the rules but are more concerned with self preservation than the costly self donation of a disciple. Keep appealing to our better angels.

              • chezami

                Thanks, dear!

        • Terry Lynn Madeleine Dillon

          Nominated best answer on the board.

        • Andy
    • Gord

      Actually lying is always sin even if you are protecting somebody. Justvdon’t answer the question seriously.

  • Joseph

    Torture defenders give a bad name to conservatism, for sure. It’s like the pro-abortion folks giving a bad name to liberalism.

  • Guest

    I’m not defending torture here. Much of what I’ve read in that report is horrifying and shameful. Here’s my problem: I’m not convinced that waterboarding–as was used by our interrogators–is torture. I’ve read this article, and several others. Some on both sides make good points. Why can’t a church leader come out and say, unequivocally, that waterboarding is torture? I’ve googled “Catholic Bishops waterboarding” and have come up empty. It seems like a statement from the bishops would easily clear up any misconceptions, no?

    • KM

      Even secular sources acknowledge that waterboarding is torture. From The Encyclopaedia Britannica:

      “Waterboarding, also called water torture, simulated drowning, interrupted drowning, and controlled drowning, [a] method of torture…

      “Waterboarding in various forms has been practiced for centuries. It was used by the Spanish Inquisition from the 16th century, by Dutch traders against the British in the 17th century, during the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48), by the U.S. Army in the Philippines following the Spanish-American War (1898), by the Japanese Army during World War II, and by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia (1975–78).

      “As a form of torture, waterboarding became illegal under the law of war with the adoption of the third Geneva Convention of 1929, which required that prisoners of war be treated humanely, and the third and fourth Geneva Conventions of 1949, which explicitly prohibited the torture and cruel treatment of prisoners of war and civilians, respectively. On the basis of the 1929 convention the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE; 1946-48) convicted 25 Japanese leaders of responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity, specifically including torture by waterboarding (referred to by the IMTFE as the “water treatment”).”

      http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1470200/waterboarding

    • chezami

      The Church has discussed the fact that waterboarding is torture. http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/torture/torture-is-a-moral-issue.cfm And there is ample evidence in the tradition, history and common sense: https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/category/moral-theology/torture-moral-theology-2/waterboarding-torture-moral-theology/ The only reason it has become confusing is that the Right Wing Lie Machine has worked for so long to make it confusing.

      But the real mistake in moral reasoning is not that the Church has not defined every conceivable species of torture. The Church has also never “defined” suction aspiration as abortion. That’s because the Church expects people of common sense to use their head and not have to have a bishop micromanage their lives. The goal is not “figure out how much abuse you can heap on a prisoner without it quite being mortal sin” but “Treat prisoners humanely”. Do that, and you won’t accidently torture anybody.

    • Andy

      If waterboarding is not torture why do we use SERE training to prepare troops to resist tortue – waterboarding?

  • SamuelC

    I’m not sure why MS is bringing his political view into this. But most liberals do that and then use emotion to escouriate conservatives for so they appear to take a high moral ground when they are really playing politics. I appreciate his ethnic play on the catholic faith, but please leave the politics out of it.

    • Terry Lynn Madeleine Dillon

      Mark Shea is an orthodox Catholic, Samuel dear. Christ’s Church is not called into polemics but into this marvelous light.

    • chezami

      I’m not a liberal. This is not a political issue, it is a spiritual, theological, and moral one. Stop lying.

      • Joseph

        Evidently, the problem is, Mark, that you’re much too emotional about torture. If you were less emotional, then *conservatives* would instantly accept what you have to say and wouldn’t think you’re liberal… that is to say, of course, that I’m interpreting SamuelC’s comment correctly.

        • chezami

          I have met few people more hyper-sensitive about “mean words” than those who have no problem drowning, beating, freezing, and suffocating a man to death. They are exquisitely fragile emotional flowers.

      • If this is Mark, I’ve generally felt that you’re kind-of a Leftist but certainly not a liberal. You’re not about maximizing liberty or social change. But on at least some issues of economics and equality your views, while not really Right or Left, are closer to Center-Left than anything in US politics. Laura Chinchilla, former Leader of Costa Rica, was an example of a socially conservative Leftist. Although she was socialist where as I think you’re not. Many Latin Americans have people similar, but the US doesn’t really have much to say on Christian Democracy, Christian Socialism, or the like.

        And really I think conservative Leftism is somewhat appealing, so my problem is maybe less that the Host is something similar that as in that he’s too snide to people far from that.

        • chezami

          I’m a Catholic. Full stop.

          • Artevelde

            I vaguely remember a great video that ran during the height of the ”non negotiables” frenzy. It made mince meat of all the tribal blahblah .. and ended with the simple words ”just … Catholic”.

        • Artevelde

          I would say socially ”conservative” and economically ”leftist” is in general not a bad description of Catholic teaching. However, the Church being concerned with salvation more than anything else, it is more clear and restrictive on the social and family issues than it is on economy, a field where there’s plenty of room to debate and disagree on. Not an endless amount of room though: the church does not advocate class struggle (not as a path to salvation that is, hence no liberation theology) and it defends the right to own property (though not gaining it at the cost of workers’ dignity).
          So .. no collective farming under a communist overlord, no diapers for your employees, don’t rip unborn children from the womb and don’t shove hummus up the rear end of enemies who have been captured. The fact that we’re still debating this stuff here is a sad testimony to the fact that the consistent ethical viewpoints of Catholicism are apparently a very hard thing to sell. To me it all makes perfect sense.

  • Terry Lynn Madeleine Dillon

    Okie dokie but it is not incest. Christ’s Church is not related to them.

  • KM

    Orwellian sophists continue to push doublespeak about waterboarding, denying that it is torture but more like a refreshing splash in the sanctifying pools of The Ministry of Love’s Room 101.

    But historians, past waterboarding victims, and your average person know that it’s torture. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.

    “…waterboarding by Americans before 9/11 was torture, but waterboarding by Americans after 9/11 is not. This is known as moral relativism, which conservatives used to abhor.”

    The Bush administration used “Orwellian Doublespeak because it want[ed] to pretend an activity that is clearly torturous is not torture. But saying so doesn’t make it so. The administration might just as well try to defend the eating of cooked human flesh by saying, “We don’t consider that to be cannibalism. It’s only cannibalism if you eat it raw.” Nope.”

    http://www.richmond.com/news/article_59525952-6cfc-573f-a344-5889043ab207.html

  • Bob Bugiada

    Using the issue of torture to drive a wedge between conservatives and non-Catholics is disingenuous. Water boarding does not kill or cause permanent injury to the victim, but enables the extraction of information. Look at what the Muslims do when they capture Americans! War is hell, and any attempt to sugar-coat it is naïve.

    • Heather

      You could make the exact same argument with respect to rape.

    • chezami

      An excellent defense of rape.

    • Joseph

      The *those guys do it so we can do it too* defense is a flimsy one… while also being completely wrong.

  • Bob Bugiada

    Heather – I don’t think any JudeoChristian can justify rape of ANY kind, for any reason. Water boarding, however, elicits different responses from well-meaning people. Some say it isn’t torture because it doesn’t cause permanent damage. I think it is. Others say that whether it’s torture or not, if the information gained from it saves lives, it’s justified.
    Jarrod – I just recently read that Gen. Sherman was given Extreme Unction on his deathbed, thus sending him to the afterlife as a Catholic.

    • Heather

      That’s the point of comparing it to rape. Torture is inherently evil and cannot be justified.

    • Joseph

      “it isn’t torture because it doesn’t cause permanent damage” – I agree that’s a false defense, and untrue. These are probably uneducated people who don’t see macroscopically visible broken bones, therefore they conclude there’s no permanent damage. But with PTSD, whether it’s caused by waterboarding, rape, or confining a child (KSM’s children) in a box with insects, the permanent damage is at a cellular and molecular level, easy to measure and quantify with modern biochemical and molecular biological lab techniques.
      There IS permanent damage, and it usually lasts for a lifetime, with PTSD. People who suffer panic attacks and insomnia, due to PTSD, cannot just “snap out of it”, any more than a diabetic person could “snap out” of diabetes, which also causes damage that’s not macroscopically visible but easily measured and proven through biochemical lab measurements.

  • littleeif

    Total number of prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay: 750
    Total reported deaths of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay: 6; number possibly related to interrogation: 2; number of charges brought against members of the CIA: 0

    Total number of abortions every year in America: 1.2 million.

    Drawing a false equivalency between disputed accounts of torture in a time of war and the certain deaths of millions of innocents every year to advance, under the guise of religiosity, a political agenda which, incidentally happens to be that of the chief architects of the abortion state is a gross misuse of our faith. “Repent and receive the mercy of God before it’s too late.”

    • chezami

      The single most disgusting habit of “prolife” Torture Defenders is the inveterate habit of using the unborn as human shields to say, “It’s just a few hundred mortal sins I want to defend.” Repent and stop lying. One mortal sin will send you to hell for all eternity if you defend it to the grave.

  • Ed Britt

    Tell me, if waterboarding a muslim terrorist would extract information that would save your child’s life, would you agree with it then? We don’t live in a Utopia where everything is clean and done according to Catholic teaching. I have no doubt our ancestors, who fought numerous bloody wars defending Europe from Muslim invaders, would have used waterboarding to extract information, as they did much worse than that. We are in a war for survival against Islam. They will not quit, they will not slow down, they will not surrender. They don’t play by our rules and hate our faith. They want to convert us to Islam or kill us if we don’t. They want to turn St. Peter’s and our churches into mosques. You are very naive and making a sad miscalculation if you doubt this…it is the entire history of Islam. You want the government to defend you from these monsters but cry foul when their methods upset your sensitivities. We can’t have it both ways. I will also say the report is suspicious from the get go, considering who produced it. I have no doubt it is completely politically motivated.

    • antigon

      Or more succinctly: like the shoah, it never happened, & besides they deserved it.

    • Joseph

      So… what you’re saying is… it is impossible to stop Islamic ambition (which, you’re right, is evident throughout history) without the use of torture? Interesting.

    • Andy

      I would suggest that the report seems really credible looking at who is attacking it = Brennan did not deny that the CIA did what the report said, John Yoo – the CIA overstepped its bounds – in fact no body has tried to say the CIA didn’t torture folks – the issues are – should the rest of the world know was it really torture and or is it morally acceptable. From the perspective of this Catholic the answers are straightforward – Yes to the world knowing – sunlight is a great cleansing agent yes it is torture and no it is not morally acceptable. This is true since so many defenders hold up American values as bing the top of the food chain.

    • freddy

      Islam can never be defeated by the sword, but only by the cross.

    • Joseph

      No, because it’s a mortal sin. I wouldn’t agree to torture if my child’s life depended on it.
      Speaking of the history of Islam, there was a time in European history when any sane country was better off making peace with the Ottoman Empire than allying itself with nominally Catholic, but really godless European kingdoms.
      That’s why Poland and Veneto both made treaties of peace with the Ottoman Empire, and they did the right thing. Hungary, on the other hand, committed the big mistake of relying on nominally Catholic alliances with Germany and Austria. Thus, Hungary rejected Suleiman the Magnificent’s offer for peace and alliance with the Ottoman Empire, because the Germans and Austrians promised to help defend Hungary against Ottoman invasion. However, when the Ottomans invaded, the Germans and Austrians never showed up to defend Hungary, they went instead to fight France and after defeating France, they invaded Rome to punish the Pope who was France’s ally, and stayed for 6 months in Rome, looting and raping the nuns.
      Meanwhile, Hungary suffered a crushing defeat in 1526 against the much larger Ottoman army, which was allied with the French. Yep. Catholic France, the Pope’s ally, fought on the side of the Ottomans, against Catholic Hungary. French artillery, French cannons, were paid by Suleiman to crush the Hungarian army.
      Poland and Veneto did a lot better, they signed peace treaties with the Ottoman Empire.
      Back to Hungary, that country came under Ottoman occupation after its defeat in 1526, and the Austrians “liberated” it in 1686, putting it under Habsburg yoke. That’s how it came to pass that Hungarian patriots fighting the “Catholic” Habsburg yoke found themselves allied with Islamic Ottomans after 1686, and they found refuge in present-day Turkey after the “Catholic” Habsburgs crushed the Hungarian people’s movement of liberation.
      So, don’t feed me this cr*p about how Islam wants to destroy Christianity. Reality was always a lot more complex than that. Poland and Venice were not destroyed by making peace with the Ottomans, whereas Hungary was nearly destroyed by an Ottoman-French-Papal State coalition and the Catholic Habsburgs.
      Also, today, it’s the Muslim Alawites who are protecting Christians in Syria, while the nominally “Christian” West is allied with ISIS to destroy them. Even now, ISIS’s looted oil is being sold by a Turkish-Israeli alliance to the European Union, while the USA keeps arming and training the ISIS terrorists in Jordan. We, the West are effectively allied with ISIS, trying to destroy Christianity in Syria! We finished the job of destroying Iraq with our unjust war based on lies and fraudulent charges of WMD and Al Qaeda in Iraq; now we are destabilizing and turning Syria into a hellhole just like we did with Iraq

      • Elmwood

        if the ottomans were so nice, why did they invade hungry at all? was it make peace with us or else? look at the church in modern day Turkey, it’s basically non-existent. hard to say the ottomans were not enemies of christendom, despite the bad politics of the west. this has very little to do with what’s going on now.

        i agree with you though that islam isn’t the enemy, but i think you could say fundamentalism of all stripes is much more of an enemy.

        • Joseph

          My point is that the Muslim Ottomans were better than “Catholic” France, Austria, and Germany, just as Muslim Syria and Iran today are better than “Christian” USA and NATO countries.
          Yes it was “make peace with us or else”, but that’s exactly what the USA does today, and the USA is worse than the Ottomans were.
          The Ottomans were better than the USA today, they offered peace in exchange for taxes, and they were less harsh than the USA which won’t stop until it totally subjugates its NATO allies.
          The US overthrew the Czeh government in a coup last year, because the Czehs wanted to expand their nuclear power infrastructure with Russian, rather than American Westinghouse technology. The American firm made a poor offer at an inflated price, and as soon as the Czeh government rejected it, the CIA engineered a coup and the Czeh government was overthrown.
          Also, the USA is forcing European countries into a deep economic recession by blackmailing them to stop doing business with Russia. As soon as the Hungarian PM said that the anti-Russia economic sanctions were a bad idea, the USA went full throttle demonizing Hungary. John McCain called Hungarian PM Orban a neo-Nazi, and now the CIA is busy trying to engineer unrest in Hungary, in a bid to overthrow the Hungarian government.
          That’s why I say, the USA is a worse colonialist power today than the Ottoman Empire was back then.
          Also, the Ottoman Empire never destroyed the Iraqi Christian community, and the bells of Mosul never fell silent for 1600 years. But we destroyed them, with our unjust war against Iraq in 2003 and more recently by arming terrorists. We killed a million Iraqis with our unjust war, and we also destroyed their Christian community. Had the USA stayed away from messing with Iraq, the bells of Catholic churches would still be ringing in Mosul.

          • Elmwood

            i don’t disagree, but the ottomans were funding piracy in the Mediterranean which enslaved 10’s of thousands of innocent christians.

            yep, the whole thing is depressing.

    • chezami

      “We must be as evil as our enemies” and “Here is another 24 episode I remember” are two beloved lies of torture defending cowards.

  • Joseph

    I see torture goes hand-in-hand with slander, convicting people without trial or due process, and calling them “terrorists” when in fact we are the ones who terrorized them, and forced them to admit all sorts of stuff while drowning them and bringing them to death’s door.
    Congratulations, torturers, the Commie bolsheviks would be proud of you. This is exactly how Cardinal Mindszenty was forced to admit that he was an “imperialist spy” and “Vatican agent”. The bolshevik henchmen simply tortured him until he admitted whatever they wanted him to admit.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    We Catholics are continually told (most often by well meaning Catholics) that we have to vote GOP because abortion is the #1 non-negotiable issue.
    .
    I live in a state where the GOP recently won re-election to the governor’s seat and took control of the State Congress. They had an interview with the leadership discussing their agenda for the upcoming term. You know what issue was nowhere mentioned? Abortion. But they are keen to cut welfare, to cut taxes on the wealthy, and to get rid of all those nasty regulations for things like clean air and clean water.
    .
    American Catholics are largely Charlie Brown, and the GOP is Lucy holding the football. Wise up.

    • Joseph

      I won’t vote GOP – no way in hell. I won’t vote Dem, either. Neither one of those parties represent Catholic values.

      • rod masom

        This is painting with way too broad a brush. Have you seen the planks that exist for the G.O.P. and the Democrats? They couldn’t be more morally different in terms of support for legalized murder (legalized abortion) and so-called, oxymoronically, “gay marriage.” One is totally for these evils (DEMOCRATS) and the other is totally against it. (G.O.P.) JUDEO-CHRISTICALLY, there’s only ONE party that I and many others could support. Joseph, can you figure out which one that could be? Now, you may posit that the G.O.P. is only paying lip service to their plank, and I could agree with you on that re states like New York and California. But BOTH these states are controlled

        • Joseph

          GOP are indeed better than Dems regarding abortion and gay marriage. Nevertheless, they are warmongers and I don’t support warmongers.
          Prominent Republican, former presidential candidate John McCain just called the Hungarian PM a neo-Nazi and I took great offense in his words. This is the same McCain who was photographed with real neo-Nazis in Ukraine, and also visited and was photographed with known human cannibals and kidnappers, and with none other than ISIS’s Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, when he snuck into Syria in April 2013.
          The GOP is a mess and I won’t support the GOP.
          Mitt Romney is meanwhile courting the wallet of another warmonger billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who believes the US should detonate a nuke in the Iranian desert, in order to frighten Iran.
          These people belong into an asylum, not at the helm of the world’s No. 1. nuclear superpower country the USA.

        • chezami

          The use of the unborn as human shield for GOP love of torture continues apace.

    • Black JEM

      I would prefer that we recognize that voting for the welfare state in its current manifestation is an anti-religious vote in all cases. This State no longer does much social good at all, but promotes dependency and ruin in order to provide more opportunity to buy votes in future elections – and the purveyors of the welfare state are not democrats alone. However, as the party of government – and as the party of hostility to all organized religion (save a certain infatuation with one) – there is little reason to vote democrat. It would seem currently the best opportunity is to try and find someone in a GOP primary who holds to more reduced view of government’s reach. Perhaps that person also exists in a democrat primary, but I haven’t seen one in over a decade and I suppose they are an extinct breed – but perhaps one could hope. And on abortion, clearly there are more pro-life GOP, and states where a GOP legislature exists have done more to temper the availability of abortion than any democrat one.
      And before everyone gets all bent out of shape – PPACA (aka Obamacare) was sold as a big social justice program with significant support from the Bishops – until they realized the danger lurking. Social justice by the welfare state is not justice, nor is it kind. It is enslavement. One would think the understanding our founding Christian brothers and sisters recognized upon the beginnings of the Church would have reminded us of that.

      • chezami

        Torture=good. The *real* sin is helping the week. “Conservatism” in a nutshell.

        • HigherCalling

          It’s interesting that the Church has gone out of her way to identify, define and condemn Liberalism (which, again, is what torture-defending, “conservative” Catholics are engaged in), but nowhere, from what I can see, does the Church identify, define or condemn Conservatism. Perhaps that’s because *authentic* Catholic conservatism is, in actuality, Catholic orthodoxy. “Straight doctrine” or purity of faith survives only by being vigilantly, even militantly, conserved. That both politically conservative and liberal American Catholics allow their politics to trump and instruct their faith is no reason for those of us who glorify Catholic orthodoxy to abandon conservatism, rightly understood.

          • PW

            Uh, the church has never “condemned” “liberalism”. That doesn’t even make SENSE, since “liberalism” isn’t even a philosophy, it’s just a label used differently across English-speaking countries to identify various shades of the political spectrum.

            Typical conservative – just make stuff up to support your thinking. Conservatism: the ideology that frees you from having to worry about data, information or critical thinking.

            • HigherCalling

              Two bits of friendly advice: Look before you leap. And, the most liberating thing in the universe is intellectual honesty — it keeps one from making things up and leads straight to Catholic orthodoxy. Here is some data, information, and critical thinking for your intellectually honest perusal:

              Every worthy Catholic dictionary has a definition of Liberalism, always negative, and all quite similar. Here is a partial definition from Attwater’s Catholic Dictionary: “Liberalism: A group of errors regarding the relation between Church and State, divine law, ecclesiastical law and various articles of belief… it denies that the Church is in any way supreme or superior to the State, and… lays down that the Church has no external or social authority… It has been frequently condemned by a succession of popes from Pius IX to Benedict XV…”

              Here is Liberalism defined and condemned:

              http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09212a.htm

              Popes have written and legislated explicitly against Liberalism and the host of religious, social and political errors that stem from it for over 180 years, starting with the Gregory XVI denunciation “On Liberalism” in 1832. The list goes on and on:
              On Current Errors, 1864
              The Syllabus of Errors, 1864
              On Government Authority, 1881
              On Freemasonry and Naturalism, 1884
              On the Nature of True Liberty, 1888
              On the Condition of the Working Classes, 1891
              On Christian Democracy, 1901
              Syllabus Condemning Errors of the Modernists, 1907
              On Modernism, 1907
              … and at least six others through the mid 1900s.

              Correctly understood, Liberalism is the prideful and intentional rejection of the legitimate moral and doctrinal authority granted to the Church by Jesus Christ. It is heresy. Thus, modern Liberalism is traceable to the Reformation, from which comes the first major philosophical error in modern thought — Individualism, in which moral and doctrinal authority is taken by the individual (note the Protestant doctrine of private judgment or private interpretation). Modernism is a union of various elements of Liberalism into an organized system. St. Pius X called Modernism: “The Synthesis of all the Heresies. The Way to Atheism.”

              Ultimately Liberalism is involved with every rejection of legitimate moral authority, proclaiming the individual’s moral and intellectual autonomy. Thus, the heresy of Liberalism was proclaimed when the first angel fell from Heaven, again in Eden, at the Crucifixion, and again when honest efforts to the reform the Church quickly morphed into an effort to destroy the Church. The first practitioner of Liberalism was satan.

              From a terrific little book written in 1886 that received the Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat of the Church:
              “Liberalism, whether in the doctrinal or practical order, is a sin. In the doctrinal order, it is heresy, and consequently a mortal sin against faith. In the practical order, it is a sin against the commandments of God and of the Church, for it virtually transgresses all commandments. To be more precise: in the doctrinal order, Liberalism strikes at the very foundations of faith; it is heresy radical and universal, because within it are comprehended all heresies. In the practical order, it is a radical and universal infraction of the divine law, since it sanctions and authorizes all infractions of that law.” It makes perfect SENSE, therefore, that the Church condemn Liberalism.

              http://media.benedictpress.com/images/1224/1224x.jpg

              Cordially,
              H.C.

              • PW

                Allow me to be clear: you are taking a particular, academic definition and using it in a political context (this thread). “conservative” and “liberal”, as used by Americans, are not the same words as the 19th century definition of “liberal” or “conservative”, the European meaning of those words, or even the meaning of those words in the context of 19th century philosophy. So if you’re interested in intellectual honesty, you need to be clearer about your terms.

                “Conservatism” in the American meaning IS condemned – it’s a species of Liberal as you are using it. The philosophical backing for it is the same as your definition of Liberalism – modern “conservatives” are a species of classical Liberals. (Look up “Neoliberal” – that’s what a modern, Ronald Reagan conservative IS.)

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism

                “Liberalism” in an American political context contains many positions are actually Catholic – opposition to unjust wars, opposition to the death penalty, opposition to torture, and on and on. By American standards, the current Pope is a “liberal”.

                So either the current Pope is a heretic, you’re being deceptive with language, or you’re making a point other than what yours seems to be.

  • Black JEM

    The definition of torture in all of this is ridiculously narrow. I respect the argument on the types of inducement for information but find nothing of benefit of the recent report, which was nothing but a political hack job to drive a narrative for a reason that makes no sense but to embolden our enemies.
    But the definitive statements made by all pro and con are quite shortsighted in the end, and attempt to place a yea or nay on a murky situation where many people’s lives continue to be at stake.
    I respect the notion that “inducements to talk” are fraught with danger. I also reject wholeheartedly that any of this reached the real level of torture properly understood.

    • Joseph

      Americans living in an American bubble may pretend that waterboarding is not torture, but the world is not buying it.
      Just don’t say that you are American when you travel abroad. People already despised Americans before, because of our unjust wars and CIA-engineered coups abroad. This new American policy of snatching people in faraway lands, waterboarding them, and holding them for more than 10 years without charges, trial, or due process, won’t sit well either with the world’s public opinion.

      • Black JEM

        I travel extensively – and in countries that use real torture as a matter of routine. You need to get out more.

        • antigon

          Mr. Jem:
          *
          Despite your open hostility to Catholic teaching, one hopes you’ll forgive those who prefer what the Catechism says about torture in opposition to folks who defend it on the grounds that they’ve done some travelling.

        • chezami

          “I arbitrarily have decided that our tortures and threats to murder children aren’t as bad as other countries’, so that makes it okay”. Torture defenders are liars.

    • Andy

      Where in the name of anything good does one find a proper understanding of torture?

    • T

      Whenever a report on the evil of abortion is made, it is clearly a partisan hack job that has no truth in it.

    • antigon

      ‘an attempt to place a yea or nay on a murky situation’
      *
      Absolutely, I mean why should evidence interfere with the pleasures of pretending sin is indefinably murky!
      *
      ‘I reject wholeheartedly that any of this reached the real level of torture properly understood.’
      *
      Good for you! And if you’ll eat that, then we know you’ll wholeheartedly reject thinking any odd color in the hummus you’ve ordered (when properly understood) is any less delicious.

      • Joseph

        Hey, we need to open a restaurant chain for rectally feeding hummus to people who love such methods and don’t believe they are torture! Hummus in the An-US, the new American brand that’s going to outshine MacDonalds and KFC!

    • chezami

      Avid supporter of mortal sin finds nothing of benefit in recent report exposing what he supports. Quelle surprise.

  • Although I agree with you on torture I think I grew weary of your diatribes on conservatives more because they seemed more uncharitable and bordering on dehumanizing than I think one should probably even be to Pro-Choicers. Also because you made certain things a litmus that I’m not sure really are.

    Like I’m not saying nuking Nagasaki was good, but as I recall you rarely or don’t even acknowledge that mass-bombings that weren’t nuclear did nearly as much damage and that people at least believe it was a difficult situation of an enemy (in what’s generally seen as a just war as the Japanese I think even killed or abused Catholics in parts of the South Pacific that were no threat to them) not backing down. You quote “you can’t do an evil so that good can result” but I think there are complications to life you don’t acknowledge. I think even the Catholic Encyclopedia states that stabbing people is a physical evil, but that Catholics are allowed to undergo surgeries to save their lives. I’m pretty sure Catholics can even have their uterus removed in cases where the organ is so diseased it endangers their life. (A female relative, who is quite orthodox, had this done)

    Or the death penalty. Many Catholics might feel uncertain as the wording seems to indicate that if it’s a way to protect innocent life it’s licit and Popes as recent as the twentieth century did not universally oppose it. But as I recall that’s another where you saw people who disagreed as faux Catholics just slathering for blood. When some of us are definitely not out to treat an execution like Mardi Gras and may not even approve of most executions.

    I think it’s good to educate people on the teaching and why certain things are seen as wrong, but just saying “You’re evil, shut up”, which you veer toward too often for me to follow you much (even though I started the Wikipedia article on you), is just going to close people off. You can say how Jesus could be very harsh, but Jesus knew people’s hearts and he explained things a bit better than you. (And even then Nicodemus I think was a Pharisee, but in the Gospels he’s talked to civilly)

    • Joseph

      Good points, the firebombing of Dresden was another war crime committed against German civilians. Half a million German civilians were killed through firebombing, and two million were starved to death by the Allies after the end of WW-II.
      We need to stop believing that we can do anything, including torturing, firebombing, and starving people to death, because we are the Good Guys and they are the Bad Guys.

    • antigon

      Dear Mr. R:
      *
      As I recall, the theme has steadily been not ‘shut up,’ but ‘repent,’ tho one supposes folks preferring not to repent will confuse the terms.
      *
      As to the examples in your other arguments, they might want a little polish before you return to Wiki labors.

    • Black JEM

      We killed more people in Tokyo through conventional bombings than both nuclear bombs combined. The two A Bombs saved millions.

      • Joseph

        Bombing the civilian population, whether through conventional bombs in Tokyo, or A-bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were war crimes incompatible with Catholic morality.

        • PW

          What’s funny about this is the ignorance of history on the part of so many. People take it for GRANTED that bombing civilians with “conventional” bombs has been somehow blessed by God as moral.

          That is not the case; when bombing was first invented, many moral and military thinkers at the time felt that the ways it was being proposed were unethical and wrong.

          What happened was that the hawks on all sides simply went ahead and did it, and then everyone was propagandized to go along.

          It bothers me that people defend the atomic bombs as “well, they weren’t worse than the conventional bombings!”, presupposing that the conventional bombings were magically ethical.

          • Joseph

            Yeah, I knew a woman who was on the receiving end of British bombing and machine gunning while she was a worker in a textile factory. This was in a European country allied with Hitler at the time. Ordinary folks had zero ability to influence their government, which probably chose the alliance with nazi Hitler because the alternative, alliance with communist Stalin, was possibly even worse.
            And there were these ordinary people, who just needed a workplace to earn a living. That workplace was the textile factory, which produced clothing for all people, including for the armies allied with Hitler.
            The British airplanes would come, bomb the textile factory, and they would strafe with machine guns the workers running away. People would run to the cemetery, right next to the factory, and try to hide behind the gravestones. And British airplanes would come and strafe them.
            The woman who told me this was a teenage girl working at the textile factory at that time.
            However, they were still better off than Dresden, where the Allies deliberately fire-bombed the residential areas, incinerating half a million civilian refugees.

        • Vicq Ruiz

          And how strongly did the Church act? I don’t recall that any bomber crews or their commanders were denied communion.

          • Joseph

            I don’t recall any such things either. I think we could use some guidance from the Church, especially with today’s new evils of cluster bombs, carcinogenic depleted uranium shells, and the drone strikes on civilian populations.

      • chezami

        And still more defenses of war crimes from the “prolife” Catholic.

      • AquinasMan

        Okay, I’ll bite, since we’re talking about “what if” scenarios:

        What if you could go back in time and enter the nursery of the sleeping infant Adolf Hitler, or Josef Stalin, or whoever.

        A sharp knife sits on the dresser nearby.

        What do you do?

      • David W

        In logic, that’s a fallacy called “hypothesis contrary to fact.”

    • chezami

      Don’t you think there something ironic about the complaining of dehumanization on behalf of the party that is overwhelmingly in favor or torture? Particularly, when the ones leading the charge are Catholic who, incredibly, talk about the “dignity of the human person” as they lecture liberals about abortion and “being a Real Catholic”?

  • Joseph

    Torture loving Catholics are also big Islam bashers. Apparently they are not content that we killed a million Muslims with our unjust wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria. They want more. The more Muslims we torture, kill, bomb, and drone, the merrier. If this is American Catholic conservatism, count me out.

    • IRVCath

      For an expose of that kind of mentality, google the Tenth Crusade.