The Problem With Paradigms

The Problem With Paradigms May 18, 2009

I hadn’t planned to comment upon Obama’s speech at Notre Dame.  I had figured he wouldn’t touch abortion with a 10′ pole and was proved wrong, but other than that, there wasn’t a whole lot that was interesting.  For whatever reason people seem surprised that he didn’t say he was conforming his views on life to Evangelium Vitae and then managed to be outraged because he didn’t.  His concession that conscience rights of health care worker were important didn’t seem to make a difference and was deemed wholly insufficient by those that had no intention of being contented.

The more interesting thing is the scorn and derision that continues to be heaped upon the student body of Notre Dame.  There were a number of people that were convinced that Obama’s presence was an affront to pro-life principles.  A number of people including large swathes of the student body did not share this view.  For this, they were considered the enemy, even if they actually were pro-life.  After several weeks of protesters on campus seeking photo-ops for their fund raising efforts and claiming that allowing Obama speak was to support abortion, it is little wonder that the pro-life interrupter was greeted like the Code Pink protesters at the Republican convention.  A funny thing happens when people keep insisting that you are the enemy: before long you start to think that people think you are the enemy.


Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Catholic
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • I don’t think the efforts of the protesters altered the ND student body’s views significantly. I’m sure they weren’t pleased, but they would have chanted down any pro-lifer with “yes, we can!” even before the controversy erupted, a display which should have given Jenkins pause before sending out the invite.

    I’m curious on your take about the conscience clause. It seemed a little jumbled, so that he could offer it but in the future restrict it to make it meaningless (considering his views on what “sound science” is). How did you read that part?

  • I don’t think the efforts of the protesters altered the ND student body’s views significantly. I’m sure they weren’t pleased, but they would have chanted down any pro-lifer with “yes, we can!” even before the controversy erupted, a display which should have given Jenkins pause before sending out the invite.

    I’m curious on your take about the conscience clause. It seemed a little jumbled, so that he could offer it but in the future restrict it to make it meaningless (considering his views on what “sound science” is). How did you read that part?

  • Al

    After watching it yesterday it is clear to me that the problem at Notre Dame is….relativism. The school embraces “Relativism” and labels it “Critical Thinking”. The “Yes We Can” Cheers only highlights the bias of the institution itself and the whoops and screaming for the man who wants to make a “Nuanced” argument out of baby killing…only highlights the cliche that the student body of Notre Dame has been educated into ignorance. Welcome to a down-turn economy job market graduates…..you have MORE than earned it.

  • Al

    After watching it yesterday it is clear to me that the problem at Notre Dame is….relativism. The school embraces “Relativism” and labels it “Critical Thinking”. The “Yes We Can” Cheers only highlights the bias of the institution itself and the whoops and screaming for the man who wants to make a “Nuanced” argument out of baby killing…only highlights the cliche that the student body of Notre Dame has been educated into ignorance. Welcome to a down-turn economy job market graduates…..you have MORE than earned it.

  • jh

    I actually thought it went well. I mean what we had only two protestors that interrupted(I am not a big fan of this).

    I think the programs on the Campus are just a part of it

  • jh

    I actually thought it went well. I mean what we had only two protestors that interrupted(I am not a big fan of this).

    I think the programs on the Campus are just a part of it

  • jh

    Michael

    I am wondering about that clause too since all indications are the Administration is about to get rid of it

    Is he hinting for an exmpetion for religious hospitals (which is not enough) or a broader exemption for everyone

  • jh

    Michael

    I am wondering about that clause too since all indications are the Administration is about to get rid of it

    Is he hinting for an exmpetion for religious hospitals (which is not enough) or a broader exemption for everyone

  • Chris Sullivan

    I think ND illustrates well that if people act like very partisan, narrow minded, and politically biased Obama opponents then the public will start to treat them as very partisan, narrow minded, and politically biased Obama opponents.

    And that’s exactly what happened when the protesters tried to disrupt Obama’s speech yesterday.

    Notre Dame did the right thing to invite Obama and much good will come out of it.

    What Obama said on abortion, wanting to reduce abortions and grant conscience protections, is a very good basis on which to engage with Obama and actually work to reduce abortions instead of just standing on the sidelines screaming at him.

    God Bless

  • Chris Sullivan

    I think ND illustrates well that if people act like very partisan, narrow minded, and politically biased Obama opponents then the public will start to treat them as very partisan, narrow minded, and politically biased Obama opponents.

    And that’s exactly what happened when the protesters tried to disrupt Obama’s speech yesterday.

    Notre Dame did the right thing to invite Obama and much good will come out of it.

    What Obama said on abortion, wanting to reduce abortions and grant conscience protections, is a very good basis on which to engage with Obama and actually work to reduce abortions instead of just standing on the sidelines screaming at him.

    God Bless

  • ron chandonia

    Isnt “dialogue” wonderful? Why, [Obama] no more than uttered the magic word than Catholics who disagree with his stance on abortion are berated by his devotees as “very partisan, narrow minded, and politically biased Obama opponents.” Which, of course, was exactly the desired outcome the President’s visit to Notre Dame yesterday.

    Vox Nova continues to draw readers attracted to the spirituality of the Catholic Worker Movement. Here are some thoughtful speculations on how Dorothy Day might have responded to the scene at Notre Dame yesterday.

  • ron chandonia

    Isnt “dialogue” wonderful? Why, [Obama] no more than uttered the magic word than Catholics who disagree with his stance on abortion are berated by his devotees as “very partisan, narrow minded, and politically biased Obama opponents.” Which, of course, was exactly the desired outcome the President’s visit to Notre Dame yesterday.

    Vox Nova continues to draw readers attracted to the spirituality of the Catholic Worker Movement. Here are some thoughtful speculations on how Dorothy Day might have responded to the scene at Notre Dame yesterday.

  • M.Z.

    I would appreciate it if the use of Messiah was reserved for Jesus Christ.

  • M.Z.

    I would appreciate it if the use of Messiah was reserved for Jesus Christ.

  • Gabriel Austin

    I remain confused.

    Chris Sullivan Says:
    May 18, 2009
    “What Obama said on abortion, wanting to reduce abortions and grant conscience protections, is a very good basis on which to engage with Obama …”

    I have read about wanting to reduce abortions, but it is never made clear how much the reductions of abortions should be. Of the 40 million [and rising] abortions, how many should be reduced? 1 million, 2 million, 10 thousand…?

    There is the Jewish law “if you save one, it is as if you have saved thousands. The corollary is “if you kill one, it is as if you have killed thousands”.

    Do you know the story of the pregnant tubercular mother and the drunken father? The doctor recommended aborting the child, but Mrs. Beethoven refused.

  • Gabriel Austin

    I remain confused.

    Chris Sullivan Says:
    May 18, 2009
    “What Obama said on abortion, wanting to reduce abortions and grant conscience protections, is a very good basis on which to engage with Obama …”

    I have read about wanting to reduce abortions, but it is never made clear how much the reductions of abortions should be. Of the 40 million [and rising] abortions, how many should be reduced? 1 million, 2 million, 10 thousand…?

    There is the Jewish law “if you save one, it is as if you have saved thousands. The corollary is “if you kill one, it is as if you have killed thousands”.

    Do you know the story of the pregnant tubercular mother and the drunken father? The doctor recommended aborting the child, but Mrs. Beethoven refused.

  • ron chandonia

    On the CrunchyCon blog yesterday, Erin Manning got into a little “dialogue” (as the Obama folks put it) with a fellow who boasted that pro-Obama Catholics graduated from the “better” Catholic schools (he mentioned Georgetown and ND) rather than “withdraw into home-schooling cults or Catholic niche colleges that no one has ever heard of.” I loved her response, and I think it applies here very well:

    [Y]ou demonstrate more eloquently than I ever could what Obama’s end game in going to ND in the first place was–to show America that there are the Right Sort of Catholics, and the Wrong Sort; the Right Sort go to “the better Catholic elementary schools” and to the big-name “We’re so Catholic we don’t even need to pray anymore, let alone teach anything that even remotely coincides with Catholic teaching!” colleges, while the Wrong Sort homeschool, go to “niche colleges” (with, presumably, actual niches, with actual saint statues in them, right there in the classroom buildings–how gauche), and refuse to take the properly humble and conciliating approach to the world by apologizing in every word and gesture for even pretending to believe in all that God stuff or being ready to lay it aside the moment someone hints that they’re being multiculturally insensitive or, even worse–gasp!–sectarian.

    I’m pretty happy to be the Wrong Sort of Catholic. You Right Sorts go right ahead, congratulating yourselves on your relevance and your ability to get Jobs that Matter as toadies and bootlickers to the Powers that Be. I’m more concerned about what I’ll be held accountable for in the next world than in how many A-list names are in my phone book in this one–but then, we Wrong Sorts have a tendency to take a simplistic view of things like good and evil, and fail to see all that lovely nuance in snuffing out the lives of innocent children to our culture’s Moloch, the god of Convenience.

  • ron chandonia

    On the CrunchyCon blog yesterday, Erin Manning got into a little “dialogue” (as the Obama folks put it) with a fellow who boasted that pro-Obama Catholics graduated from the “better” Catholic schools (he mentioned Georgetown and ND) rather than “withdraw into home-schooling cults or Catholic niche colleges that no one has ever heard of.” I loved her response, and I think it applies here very well:

    [Y]ou demonstrate more eloquently than I ever could what Obama’s end game in going to ND in the first place was–to show America that there are the Right Sort of Catholics, and the Wrong Sort; the Right Sort go to “the better Catholic elementary schools” and to the big-name “We’re so Catholic we don’t even need to pray anymore, let alone teach anything that even remotely coincides with Catholic teaching!” colleges, while the Wrong Sort homeschool, go to “niche colleges” (with, presumably, actual niches, with actual saint statues in them, right there in the classroom buildings–how gauche), and refuse to take the properly humble and conciliating approach to the world by apologizing in every word and gesture for even pretending to believe in all that God stuff or being ready to lay it aside the moment someone hints that they’re being multiculturally insensitive or, even worse–gasp!–sectarian.

    I’m pretty happy to be the Wrong Sort of Catholic. You Right Sorts go right ahead, congratulating yourselves on your relevance and your ability to get Jobs that Matter as toadies and bootlickers to the Powers that Be. I’m more concerned about what I’ll be held accountable for in the next world than in how many A-list names are in my phone book in this one–but then, we Wrong Sorts have a tendency to take a simplistic view of things like good and evil, and fail to see all that lovely nuance in snuffing out the lives of innocent children to our culture’s Moloch, the god of Convenience.

  • M.Z.

    Weigel said something similar and I thought it was counter productive then. I don’t think Catholicism’s interests are served by creating a dichotomy between intellectual inquiry and orthodoxy. It is like the sensus fidei formerly espoused by the left and condemned by the right is rearing its head on the right.

  • M.Z.

    Weigel said something similar and I thought it was counter productive then. I don’t think Catholicism’s interests are served by creating a dichotomy between intellectual inquiry and orthodoxy. It is like the sensus fidei formerly espoused by the left and condemned by the right is rearing its head on the right.

  • Joe Hargrave

    When this controversy was first heating up, I wrote an article about it here:

    http://www.geocities.com/joeahargrave/notredame.html

    Some of you may find it interesting. I argue that the outrage over Obama at ND is more of a symbolic struggle against cultural and political insignificance than it is about abortion.

  • Joe Hargrave

    When this controversy was first heating up, I wrote an article about it here:

    http://www.geocities.com/joeahargrave/notredame.html

    Some of you may find it interesting. I argue that the outrage over Obama at ND is more of a symbolic struggle against cultural and political insignificance than it is about abortion.

  • I read that article, Joe, and don’t disagree with a single thing in it.

  • I read that article, Joe, and don’t disagree with a single thing in it.

  • digbydolben

    I’m pretty happy to be the Wrong Sort of Catholic. You Right Sorts go right ahead, congratulating yourselves on your relevance and your ability to get Jobs that Matter as toadies and bootlickers to the Powers that Be. I’m more concerned about what I’ll be held accountable for in the next world than in how many A-list names are in my phone book in this one–but then, we Wrong Sorts have a tendency to take a simplistic view of things like good and evil, and fail to see all that lovely nuance in snuffing out the lives of innocent children to our culture’s Moloch, the god of Convenience.

    My experience with the “wrong sort of Catholics” during the time I attempted to live once more in America was that they did not understand orthodox Catholic theology, that they confused it with a cultural and political agenda, that they could not make connections between their consumerist habits and abortion and capital punishment, and that they LIKED “Moloch, the god of convenience” so long as he facilitated American nationalism and exceptionalism.

  • digbydolben

    I’m pretty happy to be the Wrong Sort of Catholic. You Right Sorts go right ahead, congratulating yourselves on your relevance and your ability to get Jobs that Matter as toadies and bootlickers to the Powers that Be. I’m more concerned about what I’ll be held accountable for in the next world than in how many A-list names are in my phone book in this one–but then, we Wrong Sorts have a tendency to take a simplistic view of things like good and evil, and fail to see all that lovely nuance in snuffing out the lives of innocent children to our culture’s Moloch, the god of Convenience.

    My experience with the “wrong sort of Catholics” during the time I attempted to live once more in America was that they did not understand orthodox Catholic theology, that they confused it with a cultural and political agenda, that they could not make connections between their consumerist habits and abortion and capital punishment, and that they LIKED “Moloch, the god of convenience” so long as he facilitated American nationalism and exceptionalism.

  • For what it is worth I, and others who write here, went to “Catholic niche colleges that no one has ever heard of” too. I am not sure what that makes me, but I’d be very interested to find out.

  • For what it is worth I, and others who write here, went to “Catholic niche colleges that no one has ever heard of” too. I am not sure what that makes me, but I’d be very interested to find out.

  • Vox Nova continues to draw readers attracted to the spirituality of the Catholic Worker Movement. Here are some thoughtful speculations on how Dorothy Day might have responded to the scene at Notre Dame yesterday.

    That blogger is absolutely right about Day’s very vocal opposition to abortion. But she overlooks the fact that Day probably would have opposed ND granting ANY u.s. president an honorary degree and certainly would have opposed any of the 20th and 21st century warmakers (Reagan and the Bushes particularly but also Clinton) and their assistants (C. Rice at Boston College). Nice try, though (by the blogger), to rope Dorothy Day into imaginary support for the current crop of narrowly “pro-life” “activists” and ideologues.

  • Vox Nova continues to draw readers attracted to the spirituality of the Catholic Worker Movement. Here are some thoughtful speculations on how Dorothy Day might have responded to the scene at Notre Dame yesterday.

    That blogger is absolutely right about Day’s very vocal opposition to abortion. But she overlooks the fact that Day probably would have opposed ND granting ANY u.s. president an honorary degree and certainly would have opposed any of the 20th and 21st century warmakers (Reagan and the Bushes particularly but also Clinton) and their assistants (C. Rice at Boston College). Nice try, though (by the blogger), to rope Dorothy Day into imaginary support for the current crop of narrowly “pro-life” “activists” and ideologues.

  • Kurt

    On conscience protections, I think a little review is in order. There are a series of long standing conscience protections for medical personnel objecting to abortion — the Church Amendment, named for Democratic Senator Frank Church, and the Weldon-Hyde Amendment are two. These remain in law.

    7 1/2 years into his Presidency, Bush issued new regulations he asserted better enforced and clairified the protections already in law. Despite the rhetoric that great evil is being done without the Bush regulations, I am finding difficulty in discovering any call for these regulations prior to when they were issued. I’ve not found any statement by the President’s critics here citing the need for such regulations prior to Bush’s action.

    The Obama Administration has decided to review the regulations as many have claimed it goes beyond what is intended, mostly concerning matters other than abortion — can a doctor refuse medical treatment to a gay person? Can a clerk at CVS refuse to sell condoms? etc.

    For me, I am in favor of the strongest and best enforced conscience protections, but once again, inflammatory and inaccurate rhetoric has made a rtational discussion of the matter impossible.

  • Kurt

    On conscience protections, I think a little review is in order. There are a series of long standing conscience protections for medical personnel objecting to abortion — the Church Amendment, named for Democratic Senator Frank Church, and the Weldon-Hyde Amendment are two. These remain in law.

    7 1/2 years into his Presidency, Bush issued new regulations he asserted better enforced and clairified the protections already in law. Despite the rhetoric that great evil is being done without the Bush regulations, I am finding difficulty in discovering any call for these regulations prior to when they were issued. I’ve not found any statement by the President’s critics here citing the need for such regulations prior to Bush’s action.

    The Obama Administration has decided to review the regulations as many have claimed it goes beyond what is intended, mostly concerning matters other than abortion — can a doctor refuse medical treatment to a gay person? Can a clerk at CVS refuse to sell condoms? etc.

    For me, I am in favor of the strongest and best enforced conscience protections, but once again, inflammatory and inaccurate rhetoric has made a rtational discussion of the matter impossible.

  • David Raber

    Al,

    If you really believe that abortion for any reason at any stage is “baby killing,” then I wonder how you would describe actually killing a baby?

    And another question: In your vision of the correct legal systems in the United States, would you prescribe the same punishment for a woman who takes a pill that prevents a fertilized egg from attaching to her womb, and a woman who decapitates her neighbor’s three-month-old infant?

  • David Raber

    Al,

    If you really believe that abortion for any reason at any stage is “baby killing,” then I wonder how you would describe actually killing a baby?

    And another question: In your vision of the correct legal systems in the United States, would you prescribe the same punishment for a woman who takes a pill that prevents a fertilized egg from attaching to her womb, and a woman who decapitates her neighbor’s three-month-old infant?

  • David Nickol

    Do you know the story of the pregnant tubercular mother and the drunken father? The doctor recommended aborting the child, but Mrs. Beethoven refused.

    Gabriel,

    Beethoven’s mother was diagnosed with tuberculosis when Beethoven was 16 years old.

  • David Nickol

    Do you know the story of the pregnant tubercular mother and the drunken father? The doctor recommended aborting the child, but Mrs. Beethoven refused.

    Gabriel,

    Beethoven’s mother was diagnosed with tuberculosis when Beethoven was 16 years old.

  • Maybe it was just a super, duper long pregnancy.

  • Maybe it was just a super, duper long pregnancy.

  • Dorothy Day would also work for dialogue with those willing for it. Remember her work with the communists!

  • Dorothy Day would also work for dialogue with those willing for it. Remember her work with the communists!

  • Sir Geoff

    Some commenters have referred to pro-life activists as “narrow” or “narrow-minded.”

    Having many pro-life friends, I can tell you first hand they are not “narrow” or “narrow-minded.” In fact, in my experience, they’re pretty well read and sophisticated in their philosophical views.

    Maybe by “narrow” or “narrow-minded” on this blog means “someone who disagrees with me.”

    A little charity would help around here.

  • Sir Geoff

    Some commenters have referred to pro-life activists as “narrow” or “narrow-minded.”

    Having many pro-life friends, I can tell you first hand they are not “narrow” or “narrow-minded.” In fact, in my experience, they’re pretty well read and sophisticated in their philosophical views.

    Maybe by “narrow” or “narrow-minded” on this blog means “someone who disagrees with me.”

    A little charity would help around here.

  • grega

    EJ dion had a nice related piece in the New Republic.
    http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=5312fe65-4044-4e9d-95a9-3cfa6e4b2bf8
    He concludes:
    “By facing their arguments head-on and by demonstrating his attentiveness to Catholic concerns, Obama strengthened moderate and liberal forces inside the church itself. He also struck a forceful blow against those who would keep the nation mired in culture-war politics without end. Obama’s opponents on the Catholic Right placed a large bet on his Notre Dame visit. And they lost.”
    And this will go a long way explaining the faux firestrom we will see for years to come from folks who can otherwise not be bothered all that much worrying about other aspects of catholic moral and social teachings.

  • grega

    EJ dion had a nice related piece in the New Republic.
    http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=5312fe65-4044-4e9d-95a9-3cfa6e4b2bf8
    He concludes:
    “By facing their arguments head-on and by demonstrating his attentiveness to Catholic concerns, Obama strengthened moderate and liberal forces inside the church itself. He also struck a forceful blow against those who would keep the nation mired in culture-war politics without end. Obama’s opponents on the Catholic Right placed a large bet on his Notre Dame visit. And they lost.”
    And this will go a long way explaining the faux firestrom we will see for years to come from folks who can otherwise not be bothered all that much worrying about other aspects of catholic moral and social teachings.

  • grega

    Not so fast E.J.Dionne of course

  • grega

    Not so fast E.J.Dionne of course

  • Sir Geoff – – By “narrowly ‘pro-life'” I meant pro-life types who have a narrow definition of what pro-life means.

  • Sir Geoff – – By “narrowly ‘pro-life'” I meant pro-life types who have a narrow definition of what pro-life means.

  • grega

    Interesting take by the vigorous, charismatic and in the end always realistic Fr. Z.
    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2009/05/my-take-on-sunday-at-notre-dame/#respond
    American “Pope” is of course a bit much – yet why is it that American Church leadership is so uninspiring these days that it takes the non catholic Obama to get people engaged and hopping?

  • grega

    Interesting take by the vigorous, charismatic and in the end always realistic Fr. Z.
    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2009/05/my-take-on-sunday-at-notre-dame/#respond
    American “Pope” is of course a bit much – yet why is it that American Church leadership is so uninspiring these days that it takes the non catholic Obama to get people engaged and hopping?

  • Mike McG…

    Anybody out there agree with President Obama that *both* camps on the abortion beat regularly demonize and caricature the other?

    Anybody out there inspired by President Obama’s recounting, in The Audacity of Hope and again at Notre Dame, of his interchange with the prolife physician?

  • Mike McG…

    Anybody out there agree with President Obama that *both* camps on the abortion beat regularly demonize and caricature the other?

    Anybody out there inspired by President Obama’s recounting, in The Audacity of Hope and again at Notre Dame, of his interchange with the prolife physician?

  • Gabriel Austin

    David Nickol Says:
    May 18, 2009
    “Gabriel,
    Beethoven’s mother was diagnosed with tuberculosis when Beethoven was 16 years old”.

    How long had she been tubercular?

    But apart that, I fail to see your point. Should she have aborted the baby? Would there have been consequences for music?

  • Gabriel Austin

    David Nickol Says:
    May 18, 2009
    “Gabriel,
    Beethoven’s mother was diagnosed with tuberculosis when Beethoven was 16 years old”.

    How long had she been tubercular?

    But apart that, I fail to see your point. Should she have aborted the baby? Would there have been consequences for music?

  • Gabriel Austin

    Michael J. Iafrate Says:
    May 19, 2009
    “Sir Geoff – – By “narrowly ‘pro-life’” I meant pro-life types who have a narrow definition of what pro-life means”.

    Any way you can help here by demonstrating the “narrow definition of pro-life”.

    I tend to agree with Prof. Dennehy that “anti-abortion” would be simpler and clearer, like abolition.

    [Is not pro-life “types” an shallow effort at demeaning?]

  • Gabriel Austin

    Michael J. Iafrate Says:
    May 19, 2009
    “Sir Geoff – – By “narrowly ‘pro-life’” I meant pro-life types who have a narrow definition of what pro-life means”.

    Any way you can help here by demonstrating the “narrow definition of pro-life”.

    I tend to agree with Prof. Dennehy that “anti-abortion” would be simpler and clearer, like abolition.

    [Is not pro-life “types” an shallow effort at demeaning?]

  • Gabriel Austin

    Joe Hargrave Says:
    May 18, 2009
    “I argue that the outrage over Obama at ND is more of a symbolic struggle against cultural and political insignificance than it is about abortion”.

    Perhaps similar to St. Polycarp’s refusal to throw a pinch of incense to honor the deity of the emperor.

  • Gabriel Austin

    Joe Hargrave Says:
    May 18, 2009
    “I argue that the outrage over Obama at ND is more of a symbolic struggle against cultural and political insignificance than it is about abortion”.

    Perhaps similar to St. Polycarp’s refusal to throw a pinch of incense to honor the deity of the emperor.

  • M.Z.

    Mike McG,
    I’ve generally not sought compromise with the pro-choice side, believing that those who self-identify strongly as such to be beyond reasoned debate. At some point I’ll drag myself into a post on the abortion spectrum in America. My reading of poll numbers is that 70% of people do not support the criminalization of abortion in situations that people in America commonly choose to have abortions. The number may even be on the low side.

    I found Audacity of Hope exchange to be … cliche. I wasn’t the intended audience for the speech. The first time I heard it, I was more impressed with it.

  • M.Z.

    Mike McG,
    I’ve generally not sought compromise with the pro-choice side, believing that those who self-identify strongly as such to be beyond reasoned debate. At some point I’ll drag myself into a post on the abortion spectrum in America. My reading of poll numbers is that 70% of people do not support the criminalization of abortion in situations that people in America commonly choose to have abortions. The number may even be on the low side.

    I found Audacity of Hope exchange to be … cliche. I wasn’t the intended audience for the speech. The first time I heard it, I was more impressed with it.

  • blackadderiv

    I fail to see your point. Should she have aborted the baby? Would there have been consequences for music?

    I think the point is that the story is made up.

  • blackadderiv

    I fail to see your point. Should she have aborted the baby? Would there have been consequences for music?

    I think the point is that the story is made up.

  • Mike McG…

    MZ:

    May I probe a little further?

    Do both sides demonize? Does it happen at Vox Nova?

    I await your elaboration of the poll numbers. On both abortion and capital punishment, a plurality of Americans favor maintaining the legality, under certain circumstances, of killing fetuses and felons respectively.

  • Mike McG…

    MZ:

    May I probe a little further?

    Do both sides demonize? Does it happen at Vox Nova?

    I await your elaboration of the poll numbers. On both abortion and capital punishment, a plurality of Americans favor maintaining the legality, under certain circumstances, of killing fetuses and felons respectively.

  • Kurt

    Anybody out there agree with President Obama that *both* camps on the abortion beat regularly demonize and caricature the other?

    Yes.

    Anybody out there inspired by President Obama’s recounting, in The Audacity of Hope and again at Notre Dame, of his interchange with the prolife physician?

    Like MZ, I had read the book, so I heard that before. However, the speech as a whole was inspiring. The pro-life opposition to Notre Dame simply proved that they no longer need be (politically) feared nor taken seriously. They failed to remove the President from campus, they just removed themselves from a responsible place in the public square.

  • Kurt

    Anybody out there agree with President Obama that *both* camps on the abortion beat regularly demonize and caricature the other?

    Yes.

    Anybody out there inspired by President Obama’s recounting, in The Audacity of Hope and again at Notre Dame, of his interchange with the prolife physician?

    Like MZ, I had read the book, so I heard that before. However, the speech as a whole was inspiring. The pro-life opposition to Notre Dame simply proved that they no longer need be (politically) feared nor taken seriously. They failed to remove the President from campus, they just removed themselves from a responsible place in the public square.

  • M.Z.

    Probe away.

    Certainly both sides demonize. The fundraising letters themselves are some of the greatest works of creative writing I’ve ever seen. It is really to the point where only a small percentage of people on either side know what they are actually supporting or opposing, i.e. the stuff in play at any given moment.

    Does it happen at VN? That’s a good question, and I’m not sure I’m going to give you a satisfactory answer. I thing a couple contributors have rosy eyed views of the pro-choice side. Their egalitarian sympathies between the sexes inhibit them from speaking about how things like how society views the role of women has a profound effect on the essential nature of abortion to the emancipated woman. If I were to criticize my fellow contributors and general society it is the tendency to focus on the atomistic individual or nuclear family. Like Professor Deneen, I think if the debate over abortion is going to be held on the grounds of the rights of individuals, the pro-life side loses before they sit down. I don’t believe the primary obstacle to protecting the unborn is the failure of people to recognize (as in observe) the humanity of the unborn.

    As far as elaboration on poll numbers, it will probably be in the more distant future.

  • M.Z.

    Probe away.

    Certainly both sides demonize. The fundraising letters themselves are some of the greatest works of creative writing I’ve ever seen. It is really to the point where only a small percentage of people on either side know what they are actually supporting or opposing, i.e. the stuff in play at any given moment.

    Does it happen at VN? That’s a good question, and I’m not sure I’m going to give you a satisfactory answer. I thing a couple contributors have rosy eyed views of the pro-choice side. Their egalitarian sympathies between the sexes inhibit them from speaking about how things like how society views the role of women has a profound effect on the essential nature of abortion to the emancipated woman. If I were to criticize my fellow contributors and general society it is the tendency to focus on the atomistic individual or nuclear family. Like Professor Deneen, I think if the debate over abortion is going to be held on the grounds of the rights of individuals, the pro-life side loses before they sit down. I don’t believe the primary obstacle to protecting the unborn is the failure of people to recognize (as in observe) the humanity of the unborn.

    As far as elaboration on poll numbers, it will probably be in the more distant future.

  • Any way you can help here by demonstrating the “narrow definition of pro-life”.

    Take a look at the website of the National Right to Life Committee, for starters.

  • Any way you can help here by demonstrating the “narrow definition of pro-life”.

    Take a look at the website of the National Right to Life Committee, for starters.

  • Kurt

    Michael, I think you are unfair to the NRTL in saying they have a narrow definition of pro-life. It is broad enough to include opposition to the Campaign Finance Reform bill as a “pro-life” issue, used in their voting record and a factor in their political endorsements.

  • Kurt

    Michael, I think you are unfair to the NRTL in saying they have a narrow definition of pro-life. It is broad enough to include opposition to the Campaign Finance Reform bill as a “pro-life” issue, used in their voting record and a factor in their political endorsements.

  • Michael, I think you are unfair to the NRTL in saying they have a narrow definition of pro-life. It is broad enough to include opposition to the Campaign Finance Reform bill as a “pro-life” issue, used in their voting record and a factor in their political endorsements.

    I stand corrected. Their garment is clearly without seam.

  • Michael, I think you are unfair to the NRTL in saying they have a narrow definition of pro-life. It is broad enough to include opposition to the Campaign Finance Reform bill as a “pro-life” issue, used in their voting record and a factor in their political endorsements.

    I stand corrected. Their garment is clearly without seam.