On Outspoken Bishops

On Outspoken Bishops November 25, 2008

I don’t for a second believe the emotive rhetoric that claims the bishops are doing the bidding of the Republican party. And it certainly doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that about half of the bishops may have voted for Obama (I have a reputable source overhearing a prominent bishop to 2004 claiming that most bishops then supported Kerry). But even so, some of the rhetoric directed at Obama before he has even been elected by a small but vocal group of bishops is noteworthy, and little frustrating.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all in favor of bishops standing up for Catholic teaching, especially on the consistent ethic of life. The more the better. And Catholics are absolutely right to denounce the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), which is why I supported Henry’s open letter to Obama. But I must make two points about the vehemence on display.

First, there is not a scintilla of evidence that FOCA is even on the horizon. As noted by David Gibson and Joe Feuerherd, Obama’s FOCA pledge was pure pandering and has no chance of being passed– just as he will almost certainly not renegotiate NAFTA either. Think of the obstables: it must pass through sequential hurdles in the House and the Senate, and the pro-FOCA people simply do not have the votes (note that many of the new wave of Democrats are not exactly in the Planned Parenthood lobby).

Second, I find it somewhat puzzling that so much energy is exerted on this non-existent Act, while there was relative calm when the last administration instituted torture and conducted a war that the Church knew was manifestly unjust. As I said, I would have an easier time cheering those those who stand up against FOCA today if they had used the bully pulpit to the same extent yesterday. As Eduardo Penalver puts it:

“I frequently think to myself that the rhetoric some bishops (and Cardinals) are preemptively unleashing against Obama on abortion would be easier for me to stomach if they had raised an outcry that was even remotely as emphatic about the officially sanctioned use of torture by the outgoing administration.  You know, intrinsic evils and all that.”

The issue is not some context-free assessment of the gravity of the issues. While it is certainly far more morally grave to kill an unborn child than to torture a prisoner, it is also the case that Bush was an acting moral agent in a way that Obama most certainly is not (put it another way, Obama supports the private right to take an unborn life, Bush is directly the torture himself). Given this, there should have been far more Catholic voices against torture, and against the Iraq war, and against a host of other injustices over the past eight years. For the more that Catholics are seen to be aligned with one political movement, the less they will be able to persuade, and to establish and seed the kinds of subsidiary mediating institutions that are essential to changing the culture and nudging toward a consistent ethic of life. In fact, they will fall into the pit with the modern Republican party, forever tied to its know-nothing Palinesque rump. This will set back the pro-life cause far more seriously than any veiled threat of FOCA.

And by the way, before anybody jumps on this, I’m not advocating either that the pro-life movement ally itself with the Democrats. That is precisely the point. Abortion will not end with overturning Roe, and abortion will not end with more poverty-reduction programs, welcome as both might be. We need to think on a larger scale here, beyond the rigid duality of the political system.

I’ll give the last word to Nicholas Cafardi, who says it well:

“But beyond this, this enthrallment with the Republican Party on the “legal solution” to the abortion issue has deprived these bishops of their prophetic voice on so many other issues. How often did we hear reports of Catholic bishops, during this last election, speaking out against the unjust war in Iraq, the secret prisons where America tortures her captives, the homeless in New Orleans and in Iraq, the lack of adequate health care for so many Americans; the possibility of innocent individuals executed by capital punishment; and above all, the evil of racism, an evil that has as many victims as abortion does? To be sure, some bishops did speak out on these issues, but they were drowned out by their colleagues for whom there was one and only one issue.

It does not have to be this way. Last spring, when Italy (where abortion is legal and state-subsidized) was having yet another national election, some politicians put together a list of “pro-life” candidates and asked for the church’s endorsement. The Italian bishops conference, in their magazine, Avvenire, was having no part of it. Their spokesperson said: “The initiative of a list on abortion, beyond its noble intent, mistakenly brings a moral theme to an electoral competition. It’s as if it were a list of ‘pure people,’ of ‘champions,’ of ‘specialists.’ It carries a grave risk of extremism, of ghettoization of one part of the Catholic world on such a sensitive issue.”

Would that all our American bishops were as wise.

Every time in the past that the People of God have been held captive by civil power, it has benefittedcivil power and hurt God’s people. This time is no different. It is time to end the Republican captivity of our church so that, no longer enthralled to one political party, our bishops can recapture their entire prophetic voice.”

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  • jonathanjones02

    the evil of racism, an evil that has as many victims as abortion does

    Not only false, but obnoxious. There have been at least 48 million abortions since 1973, when the Court overturned, in their outrageous judicial power grab, a slew of restrictions. To compare this genocide to an ideological construct of no agreed upon definition boggles the mind – and that person should not be taken seriously.

    Catholics – especially elected ones – are obligated to seek legal protections for the unborn. This is not the only thing to do, but it is a huge and necessary thing.

    Of our very un-ideal two political parties, I am glad the Republicans are willing to listen to and advance these arguments and policies, however imperfectly this occurs.

    I hope that the Democrats will one day move in this direction, but there are many reasons for pessimism.

  • Policraticus

    To compare this genocide to an ideological construct of no agreed upon definition boggles the mind

    The Catholic Church does operate with a definition in mind and even makes strong moral statements on it. If there is no agreed upon definition from the Catholic point of view, then the Church has issued a lot of vacuous moral statements despite being infallible in that domain.

  • To think that 48 million people have not suffered from the objective evil of racism in the U.S. since 1973 seems worse than naive.

  • S.B.

    Poli — are you defending the statement that racism has “as many victims as abortion does”? What does that even mean? There certainly aren’t 1+ million people killed by racism every year?

  • As I understand it, death is not a necessary condition for becoming a victim of racism.

  • YO=ou continue to disappoint.

  • So many things wrong here:

    * Pandering to Planned Parenthood is not “change I can believe in.”

    *Nothing “veiled” about this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0__ctD48nfQ&eurl=http://manbitesblog.quiblit.com/&feature=player_embedded

    * I must have missed when American bishops we not “so wise” as their Italian cohorts and endorsed a candidate.

    * Abortion may be “legal” in Italy, but is not enshrined as a constitutional right, and there are some restrictions on it, which are impossible in the current American regime.

    * Given the election results, the idea that the Catholic Church is held captive by the Republican Party is beyond absurd.

    * You give short sfrigt to the many voices, including many Catholics including myelf, and inclding Republicans like John McCain, that were raised against torture, and I think deserve some credit for it no longer being policy and rejected by both candidates.

    Would that there was a Democrat who is as strongly opposed to FOCA as McCain was against torture.

    * The appeal of the argument that we shouldn’t hold Obama’s advocacy for FOCA against him because it’s so terrible it will never pass escapes me. I don’t think Congress would approve an invasion of Iran either. But if McCain had promised to do so, and had won the election, I’d still be working to make sure it didn’t happen. And if the Catholic bishops were doing so, I doubt we’d see complaints about them chasing a phony issue.

  • And opposing legislation that would, among other things, require Catholic hospitals to perform abortions, is not blindingly pursuing a “legal solution” to abortion; it is working against government tyranny.

  • Rick Renzi

    I find it somewhat puzzling that so much energy is exerted on this non-existent Act

    FOCA is the bogeyman of the moment, a way to vent their frustration and anger. I’m sure it was quite a jolt that they couldn’t control the election results like they (erroneously) credited themselves with doing 4 & 8 yrs ago. I still remember a certain radio priest saying he believed GWB was installed in the White House through the direct intercession of the Blessed Mother. (I guess she was on vacation this year) Anyhoo…it’s now finger pointing time. JUST YOU WAIT AND SEE…ALL THE BABIES YOU KILLED BY VOTING FOR OBAMA!!! FOCA will never come to pass but it’s a juicy red herring just in time for holiday fund raisers. BTW I agree about bishops and priests voting for Obama. I’m sure if the truth were known about that, many people would be verrrry surprised.

  • jh

    “First, there is not a scintilla of evidence that FOCA is even on the horizon. As noted by David Gibson and Joe Feuerherd, Obama’s FOCA pledge was pure pandering and has no chance of being passed– just as he will almost certainly not renegotiate NAFTA either. Think of the obstables: it must pass through sequential hurdles in the House and the Senate, and the pro-FOCA people simply do not have the votes (note that many of the new wave of Democrats are not exactly in the Planned Parenthood lobby).”

    LOL I addressed this over at my blog today. Needess to say Jee Feuerhand political analysis of the chance of FOCA passing was sort of lacking. It all sort of came down to I talked to a Seante Aide so trust me aint going to happen.

    As ot the Iraq war people of different minds can disagree. I found the debate over the Iraq war in Catholic circles in 08 depressing. Partially because it was so simplistic and pretented the second Bishops statement on the Iraq war did not exist. It was very dishonest and very much demoralized me on the honesty of the leading adovcates of Catholic Social Justice

    It appears that Obama end game on Iraq will look a like McCains. Hillary CLinton who voted for the war will be Sec of State. Needless to say Joe Biden who came up with a plan to divide a soverign nation into three countries and also voted for the war is VP. It is all so laughable but it is what happen.

    Well despite talking to a unnamed Senate Aide( which as a person involved in the political sphere is about as imprssive to me as talking to the Senator Janitor on the Cleaning Crew at the Lindy Boggs Buikding) there is nothing worng about doing a strong offense against one of President Elect Obama most prominent promises.

    Can I ask a question. Commonweal and America have had the same theme on this the past few days. That is all this FOCA stuff is just the monkeyshines of far right Catholics.

    I thought Catholics were suppose to think outside political party. Why is it that Catholics coming from boththe polticial left meeting with up with the unclean Catholics of the “far Right” on a cause seems to offend them so? I mean if this is going no where what is the harm.

    As to torture I think the Bishops spoke out against it. In fact McCain spoke out against it. Perhaps the Bishops were a tad too educated to do some fruit of the posion tree as to Bush against McCain.

    Both wanted to close Gitmo right? It is all too predicatable. Obama will likely close down close down Gitmo but all those other “camp” in Poland and Eastern Europe and elsewhere will contine

    I predict most people at VOX Nova will “move On” just as they did with immigration when McCain was crass enough to support the Catholic veiwpoint and went off script of the ugly and un Catholic SOcial Justice Catholic view of a GOPER

    I join the other voice on here about Racism. That is a low blow charge. Obama for goodness sake got more popular vote than any Dem since FDR. I mean is that not good enough or can people vote agaisnt Obama on other concerns and not be called racist

  • jh

    Rick

    You said “FOCA is the bogeyman of the moment, a way to vent their frustration and anger. ”

    Well there are major Catholic Clergy ( Are they all right wing) that have major concerns. Including a Few Cardianals.

    I don’t know if you noticed but Obama out as his WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATION DIrector the former PR and PRess person for Emily List. That is the group that stop funding to my Senator in Louisiana because she was too moderate on abortion. HEr sin was voting for a ban on partial birth abortion.

    It is ok for Catholic of all sides to make a premeptive war against FOCA. In fact that is how legislation is stiopped. WHy does this offend people that it is now called a bogeyman.

    I am truly perplexed at this new line of attack. I mean the Vatican sees it as a issue. Again many of us opposed Obama. But if you feel sort of bad about having a common cause on this issue with some of us from the other side of the American poltical spectrum just come out and say it.

    Again as a Republican that went accross the aisle and worked with Dems on immigration reform I know it can be tough and I got a lot of arrows thrown at me from my GOP friends. I just hope others realize we have common ground on opposing some of Obama stated goals and working for others

  • Minion, how do you tell the difference between Obama’s pandering/lies and when he’s saying what means?

    He promised to sign FOCA. He promised a quick withdrawal from Iraq.

    But Hillary Clinton has been offered State, and Robert Gates will stay on at Defense.

    Meanwhile, Bob Daschle is to be Sec. of Health and Human Services, and the Executive Director Emily’s List is to be White House Press Secretary. There will be pro-war and pro-Gitmo voices on the Obama cabinet, but no pro-life voices.

    They tell me personnel is policy.

    Too, in the midst of the financial mess, Speaker Pelosi has called for increased federal funding of embryo-destructive stem cell research, and Obama has — very credibly, as Clinton did the same thing — promised to abolish the Mexico City policy on day one of his presidency.

    Add to this the fact that Obama will certainly not appoint a pro-life justice to the Supreme Court, while McCain might have kept his promise to appoint pro-life justices, and it begins to look like your “pro-life,” “Catholic natural” candidate is going to be a disaster for Catholic Social Teaching on any issue. Perhaps it was you he was pandering to, and not Planned Parenthood after all.

    And unless your tiny brain can employ your tiny fingers to spend even a fraction of the energy you spent giving cover to pro-aborts who wanted to vote Democrat but still pretend to be Catholics in an effort to persuade your pro-abort fellow Democrats to join you in your claimed opposition to abortion, you will be revealed as nothing more than an anti-American partisan hack, a deserter from the culture, and an enabler of the culture of death.

  • S.B.

    As I understand it, death is not a necessary condition for becoming a victim of racism.

    Of course, but if you’re counting slights that are immeasurably less onerous than death, then it seems morally obtuse (for a Catholic, at least) to slip in the offhanded suggestion that racism is a societal problem of the same magnitude as abortion.


  • s noted by David Gibson and Joe Feuerherd, Obama’s FOCA pledge was pure pandering and has no chance of being passed– just as he will almost certainly not renegotiate NAFTA either.

    Don’t we, as Catholics, have a primary responsibility to stand up for the truth?

  • Yes we do. Consistently.

  • Pingback: Man Bites Blog » Blog Archive » *Sigh*()

  • digbydolben

    Nobody here but MM and his friends seems to notice that TWO POPES spoke out quite forcefully against the war in Iraq, saying that it was in direct contradiction of the teachings of the catechism regarding “just war.”

    I’m sorry, but, given the history of warfare in the twentieth century, and the use by warriors of the technology of what the Dalai Lama has called “Hitler’s chief historical innovation”–mechanized genocide–the wider implications of the war in Iraq ARE as serious a blow by the “culture of death” against Catholic social justice teachings as abortion.

    THIS is why so many Catholic prelates quietly voted for Obama–and why they should have. As terrible as abortion may be, the spectacle of American Catholics supporting “wars of choice” that are “pre-emptive” and which cost the lives of HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF CIVILIANS must conjure up–especially among European prelates like Ratzinger and Wojtylwa–recollections of the behaviour of the dictatorships of the mid-twentieth century. And the chief reason for that, probably, is that those prelates are mindful of the fact that the genocide of fully developed, conscious humans has an even more fatally de-sensitizing effect on the wider modern public (many of who do NOT accept foetuses as “children”) than does abortion–in the same way that capital punishment inures us to legalized murder more than abortion does.

    This, I’m persuaded, is what the Catholic hierarchy–particularly the better theologically trained and more sophisticated European Catholic hierarchy–fear in a Republican Party whose religious culture has its foundations in the heretical premises of “salvation is by faith alone” and that attempts to create a “just society” constitute a rejection of the “fallen-ness” of human nature.

  • dd,

    Great — the Republicans are out of power. They are literally yesterday’s news.

    Now the Democrats have to govern, and we have to hold them accountable for how they do so, including working against some of their more objectionable promises.

  • digbydolben

    John, you are right: I agree with you.

  • Kurt

    I still remember a certain radio priest saying he believed GWB was installed in the White House through the direct intercession of the Blessed Mother. (I guess she was on vacation this year)

    Well, she does like to travel. France, Portugal, Dalmatia, Mexico.

  • So you’re admitting that Obama is indeed a liar?

    Let’s hope so re: his promise to sign FOCA.

  • Paladin

    digbydolben wrote:

    Nobody here but MM and his friends seems to notice that TWO POPES spoke out quite forcefully against the war in Iraq, saying that it was in direct contradiction of the teachings of the catechism regarding “just war.”

    I (and many others faithful to the Magisterium) have certainly noticed that–but the many qualifiers supplied by those same Popes are often disregarded by those who condemn the War on Terror as unjust (which, again, is a perfectly reasonable position–don’t get me wrong). Certainly, those who (like MM) seek to draw a moral equivalence between the deaths within the WOT and the deaths from abortion are seriously misguided, and they contradict the very clear pronouncements of those selfsame Popes.

    See HERE and HERE for more info, on that point. Here’s a relevant quote from the first link, from then-Cardinal Ratzinger:

    “Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia … There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia,”

  • David Nickol

    Kurt,

    There was some discussion on Vox Nova of the Election Novena, which the USCCB urged Catholics to participate in. The intention: “For an outcome of the November election which is pleasing to Almighty God, and which best serves the eternal and temporal interests of all of His children.” The nuns in grade school taught us that God always answers prayers, although sometimes his answer is no. I have not heard any opinions regarding whether the novena “worked” or not, but my question is, Would God really answer no to such an important request?

  • David Nickol

    So you’re admitting that Obama is indeed a liar?

    Let’s hope so re: his promise to sign FOCA.

    feddie,

    As has been pointed out numerous times, he can’t sign it unless it is passed. There appear to be, at the moment, no signs that it is going to get passed. If you are contending that he should have said to Planned Parenthood, “If FOCA is passed, which looks very unlikely, I would sign it,” it would be interesting to apply that standard to everything McCain and Obama said during the campaign and determine how many lies they told, or maybe if anything they said wasn’t a lie.

  • David Nickol

    “Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia … There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia,”

    Paladin,

    Here’s a question I never heard answered. Even if you agree that abortion and euthanasia (and stem-cell research) are weightier issues than the economy, poverty, health care, war, climate change, and so on, how do you perform the moral calculus that proves those two or three “life issues” outweigh everything else combined?

    For example, poverty breeds crime. Crime is often a mortal sin. Alleviating poverty might not just save lives; it might save souls. Adequate medical care for depression can prevent suicides. There are roughly 30,000 suicides a year. Assuming (as I don’t, actually) that someone who commits suicide goes to hell, and an aborted baby goes to heaven, how do you decide what weight to give to suicide prevention versus abortion prevention? The wars we are fighting now probably damage more lives than they take. How do you weigh a damaged life against a lost life?

    It seems to me one assumption of the pro-life movement is that there is nothing more precious than life. If that is the case, why do we make saints of martyrs? We honor soldiers who fight and die for our freedom, but if life is the ultimate good, we should be willing to give up our freedom so that those soldiers don’t have to die.

    I am not arguing for any particular conclusion. I am just asking how in the world you weigh all the goods and evils against each other and come up with an inescapable conclusion about whom to vote for? I don’t think you can.

  • M.Z.

    My wife’s happiness is more important than my children’s happiness. That doesn’t mean my children’s happiness should be disregarded. That doesn’t mean that I don’t on occasion risk irking my wife to offer substancial benefit to my children. That doesn’t mean I put off my children’s legitimate interests. Walk and chew gum.

  • Kurt

    “moral issues” is not a phrase interchangable with “a particular piece of legislation regarding a moral issue” and certainly not with “a particular strategy on a moral issue.” And, while Catholics may have a legitimate difference of opinion on certain issues, if a particular Catholic is convinced that a certain action will lead to certain results (say, on warfare), he is obligated to follow his judgment, even while respecting the judgment and conscience of other Catholics who have reached a different conclusion.

  • They do seem to have a predilection towards wearing a cappa magna (Burke, Raymond, for example).

    Re: FOCA – what a wonderful euphemism. Nothing’s honest in politics. “Protection of Marriage Act” is another such gem, and then of course the “Patriot Act”. Politicians must take the people for complete idiots, and they’re apparently right.

    Who came up with FOCA ?
    The Freedom of Choice Act was sponsored in the House of Representatives by Congressman Jerrold Nadler, and originally co-sponsored by Congressman James Greenwood, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, and Congresswoman Diana Degette. In the Senate, it was sponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer, and originally co-sponsored by Senators Jon Corzine, Patty Murray, Frank Lautenberg, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Maria Cantwell, Jim Jeffords, Joseph Lieberman, Diane Feinstein, Paul Sarbanes, and Barbara Mikulski. The bill was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on January 21, 2004, and in the United States Senate on January 22, 2004. Barack Obama promises to sign it if it is passed by Congress.

    It’s another product of the culture wars. All or nothing. In Austria, abortion is “free from punishment” in the first trimester. Passed by parliament some 35 years ago. After that, medical reasons can warrant an abortion. There is no constitutional ‘right’. The state pays for abortions in very few cases. Abortion prices range from $250 Euro in Vienna to $800 in more conservative, rural states.

  • Paladin

    David,

    Very reasonable questions; some of them have involved answers, but I’ll try to answer as clearly as I can.

    When doing the “moral calculus”, one ironclad principle–which *cannot* be violated without violating the moral law–is this: the ends can never justify evil means. Put another way: one can *never* intend an evil, no matter what good you might achieve as a “payoff”. (This is why utilitarianism is condemned by Catholicism as a heresy, and a particularly evil one, at that.)

    Example: can I put an embryonic human to death, if that death will yield biological material that would be *guaranteed* (note: this is not the case, with our current situation) to save the lives of tens of thousands of disease sufferers? NO. Evil may not be chosen, no matter what the “payoff”. This is why embryonic stem cell research is always forbidden by the Church, and always will be.

    Example: can a woman put her unborn child to death, if the pregnancy (or the prospect of continuing that pregnancy) is the result of rape, or incest? NO. One may never intend the death of another, no matter what the potential benefit (which is spurious in the case of “killing the children of rape and/or incest” example, anyway).

    Example: can a nation wage war against another nation, in some limited circumstances? YES, though the conditions are very strict. War is always “evil” in the general sense, but the waging of war is sometimes justified; the choice to wage war is not *intrinsically* evil (i.e. evil by definition)–unlike abortion, euthanasia, etc.

    That’s a beginning of an answer to your question, anyway: intention is a necessary component for any sin (i.e. free choice to commit an evil act).

  • Kurt

    FOCA introduced in January of 2004 and has never had a single hearing, subcommittee vote or committee vote in either the House or the Senate. This is very troubling because under the Constitution, if a bill has been introduced and if there is no action on it after four years, it immediately goes to the President’s desk for his signature. Please write the president elect on this important matter and send in your emergency offering today to ‘Catholics Against FOCA’ c/o my credit union account. If you do not act by January 2009, FOCA will be law.

  • HA

    Whew, what a relief! So if FOCA is a crock, I guess we can likewise sit back and take it easy with regard to Obama’s opposition to the Hyde Amendment, the Mexico City Policy, conscience protections, parental consent and notification laws, and also his appointment of Tom Daschle as Health and Human Services Secretary.

  • Mike McG…

    Kurt:

    What’s with the scarcasm?

    Is it possible that there is reason for concern midway between some people’s hysterical reactions to FOCA and other people ridicule of these hysterical reactions?

    Melinda Henneberger seems to think so: http://slate.com/id/2205326.

  • Keep scrubbing those hands, Pilate.

  • Kurt

    Mike–

    No, I don’t think there is a reason for concern. And I think the Hysterical Caucus is now in control of the Pro-Life Movement, lock, stock and barrel. Writings like Ms. Henneberger do not contribute to the discussion as they only serve as a foil for the Hysterical Caucus.

    Early next year, there will be a bill sponsored by Rep. David Obey (D-WI). It will include a number of anti-abortion provisions. It will be signed by Presdient Obama. It will not be noted (certainly not approvingly) by the Pro-Life Movement nor by any of the conservatives who post here. It simply doesn’t fit into their strategy of demonization.

    There is no longer any useful interaction between the Pro-Life movement and the those who are anti-abortion but dissent from its rhetorical extremism and insistance at raising strategies to doctrines. A handful like Ms. Henneberger may still hang around taking up space, but those of us who wish to be useful are off looking for common ground elsewhere.

  • Kurt,

    Is there “common ground” when something like FOCA is still on the table?

    I don’t agree with every tactic and strategy of the pro-life movement, but I think most of them are making a good faith effort to end what they see as a terrible injustice, and deserve better than a sneer.

  • Kurt

    John,

    1. In my analysis, FOCA is not on the table.

    2. I have a different analysis than you of the Pro-Life Movement.

  • Kurt,

    1. Based on what — a party is coming to power that is on the record for supporting this piece of legislation. It’s great that your analysis concludes that it is off the table, but your analysis and $3 will get me a latte.

    Even if it has the votes, the current position of both the president-elect and several co-sponsors is to support it. That is worth working to change, even if it might not become law.

    2. So do you think that the pro-life movement is working for some alterior motive?

    If “your analysis” leads you to the conclusion that you should not invest energy into opposing FOCA, that’s your perogative. That doesn’t mean those who have reached a different conclusion are disingenuous.

  • Kurt

    John,

    Thank you for respecting my perogative.

    My analysis about FOCA will get you a lot more than $3 latte. I made an open offer here to wager $100 with a poster who said FOCA would be quickly passed. I expanded the offer to any taker. I have yet to find one. I offered to up the wage to $250 to make it more worthwhile and liberally expand the definition of ‘quickly’ to the end of the next year. Might you want to get in on this action?

  • John Haydukovich

    One problem I have with the “TORTURE” we have done to terrorist – does anyone have any broken limbs? Any bruises? Any disfigurments? Did we break the skin at all?

    Waterboarding, while extremely uncomfortable, has not killed anyone yet to my knowledge.

    Intelligence is vital to us – even at the expense of FRIGHTENING an evil Muslim combatant.

    I need to investigate the following as it relates to the Catechism and my Faith.

    Can a Catholic support War? Can Catholics support killing terrorists who are hell bent to kill millions of people? Can it be good to kill someone who intends to hurt so many if we know about it.

    If we had not waged some wars MILLIONS MORE WOULD HAVE SUFFERED AND DIED.

    America is a GOOD country. We are GOOD. The Idea that we are BAD because we made some evil men uncomfortable while, in captivity, they are trying to kill us is absurd.

    I read a very interesting article from Ann Coulter about one of the terrorists who got his leg blown off – The United States paid $75,000 for a new advanced prosthetic leg and released him from GITMO – he was killed FIGHTING OUR TROOPS months later. His war did not end. He was going to kill Americans till he was killed.

    That my friends is the problem with terrorists.

    By the way the last time I check – most of the deaths in IRAQ are caused by IRAQI’S KILLING OTHER IRAQI’S

  • HA

    My analysis about FOCA will get you a lot more than $3 latte. I made an open offer here to wager $100 with a poster who said FOCA would be quickly passed.
     
    Games with probability – oh what fun! So let’s say that your odds of dying or losing or limb or two the next time you walk across that mine field out yonder are rationally assessed at 5-10% (to the extent that making a $250 bet on your survival becomes a sensible way to fatten one’s wallet). Would it follow that those urging at you to take the long way around are hysteria-mongers?

  • Kurt

    HA,

    Oh, now the rhetoric is revised from “certain” and “quick” to a 5-10% chance. Still, more integrity than the Bishop of Arlington’s latest sleezy proclamation.

  • HA

    I’m sorry, I missed the “certain” and “quick” references. Do you have an explicit citation, or is this simply another ill-focused and overblown rant against pro-lifers (all the more ironic here, given what it is you’re ranting about).
     
    Moreover, the 5-10% figure was purely hypothetical and was designed merely to dispel the absurdity implicit in your FOCA bet – i.e. that we should only be alarmed and outraged at events with a likelihood of occurrence somewhere around or greater than 50%, which is about the point when such a bet starts to make sense – at least mathematically. As my what-if ought to have indicated to you, that would be a ridiculous implication. I think you will therefore be in a better position to label others declarations as “sleezy” once you’ve managed to work through that.

  • Kurt

    I’m giving a 5-10% chance that conservative Catholics will employ the same option they tired in addressing their grievences in Spain, 1936.

  • HA

    And with that, Comrado Kurt informs us that the answer to my previous question – as to whether the accusations he levels here are nothing more than ill-focused, overblown and hypocritical rants – is a resounding “Si”.

  • Kurt

    its “comarado” my dear “defender of religion and civilization”

  • HA

    That’s “supreme mojo-licious defender” to you, bolshie, and don’t you forget it.

  • HA

    Oh yeah, and I’m bootylicious, too. Deal with it.