Q&A February 7, 2011

Normally, I don’t comment on ridiculous allegations, but I’ll make an exception here.  Sensitive soul of blogdom Matt Bowman asserts that the reason Vox Nova among others aren’t talking about LiveAction’s theatre troupe is because we were “born in [] public dissent from Humanae Vitae’s teaching on birth control over 40 years ago, and that dissent is [our] one core value.”  Bobble heads appear in the combox validating Bowman in his brilliance.  Naturally the reason for not discussing LiveAction’s theatre troupe is because of a document that came out before most of us were born.  Of course you will search in vain to find examples of this blog supporting contraception, and you will find many examples of the blog supporting NFP, warts and all.

While calling us NAZI sympathizers,  Mark Shea also wonders about little old us.  This is the same Mark Shea who curls up into a ball when he is treated like an adult who makes serious arguments.  A particularly embarrassing example of him curling up is here.  Of course, the very simple reason many people haven’t covered this theatre troupe is because they don’t generally cover theatre and don’t care to cover this theatre in particular.  One has to wonder how serious of a debate one could have over theatre with someone insistent on declaring the other side NAZI sympathizers.

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  • Got to love how arguments from silence.

  • And if one wants to see how silly this argument from silence is, just ponder: has the Holy Father said anything? If not, will their argument apply to him as well? Why not?

  • Kurt

    Silly little man.

  • brettsalkeld

    So, I found the LiveAction thing interesting. I watched the 10 minute clip over at Fallible Blogma. The woman’s total nonchalance at child prostitution is harrowing.

    I thought about doing a post on it, but wasn’t sure what I’d say, and I have been a touch overwhelmed with family issues of late.

    If it leads to a major shakedown at PP and even a partial defunding, thanks be to God. I wonder, though, if anyone knows anything about the legal status of this sort of subterfuge by civilians. Is there a legal difference between civilians and police doing such work? I am asking this in all earnesty.

    Maybe we need to pressure law enforcement into such raids? You guys elect your law enforcement officials, right?

  • brettsalkeld

    As to Bowman’s connection between our “silence” and our dissent from HV, I don’t know of a single VN contributor who dissents on this question. Really. Not one.

    That strikes me as totally bizarre.

    Is it the case that Matt just assumes that those who don’t share his politics must dissent from HV despite all evidence to the contrary? Does he believe that, since dissent from HV is the root of all contemporary evil, and, since VN is an obvious manifestation of evil, dissent from HV simply must be at the root of our problem? Does it not matter at all that no one here ever writes against HV and several of us actively promote it?

    The dishonesty and self-deception here are worrying.

    On the other hand, if HV is the watershed that Matt and others (including myself) think it is, does not VN’s unsullied record on the question say something about our intention of fidelity?

    Why, if we dissent from HV, do we keep adding more and more contributors who support it? Who exactly are the Vox Novans for artificial contraception? Do they have names? Do they need names, or is Matt’s point easier to make when we are attacked as a group that dissents, though none of our actual members do?

  • Debate Club at Auschwitz? Wow. I am speechless. Totally undeserved. It is the vitriol of such blogs that harm the Body.

    • Fran

      Sadly, it is a meme which has been used for years. And it is just used as a way to poison the well.

  • Kurt

    Who exactly are the Vox Novans for artificial contraception?

    There are many. Rep. Eric Cantor, George W. Bush and his father, Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Sens. Mitch McConnell, and John McCain all tolerate artificial contraception.

    Oh, wait, you said Vox Novans. Sorry, I misread who Matt was suggesting that their tolerance for contraception indicated insincerity on their opposition to abortion.

  • What really hurts the Mystical Body is the setting up of straw men in order to torch them with the flames of hatred and division.

    I was riveted by the Live Action videos. I believe that the exposé was skillfully done and that they are doing important work, and I hope and pray that their work bears fruit.

    Nevertheless, these are not the kinds of issues I write about. Plenty of other people do, and have written on these events in the past few days. Why do Shea et al. believe it necessary to put in a boilerplate post as some sort of proof of loyalty to Church teaching?

    • Sometimes I write about these (or other things) and sometimes I do not. The thing is, we don’t write on everything here. Sometimes there is no need to just be an echo chamber of what people already heard elsewhere. But what is even more important, when such topics are written and discussed on here, they are ignored, and people then act like we don’t talk about them. We do. And often.

  • Kyle Cupp

    Okay! Okay! I’ll come clean. The truth is, I defended the GOP against charges of being pro-rape a week ago, and while I really, really wanted to defend Planned Parenthood against the theater of LiveAction this week, my conscience wouldn’t allow me to defend two evil organizations within a one week period. Every time I’d sit before the computer and brainstorm ideas for a post, I’d break into a cold sweat, start biting my nails, and begin conversing with two little dudes who stood on my shoulders.

  • What’s going on! Ahhh!


  • M.Z.

    A number of things.
    1) I’m not going to provide a forum here for people to propose it is reasonable for this blog to be called Nazi sympathizers. Yes, censorship is occurring.
    2) I think the merits of legal accusations against PP here are dubious, particularly conspiracy accusations. That isn’t a legal argument I’ll be entering although others are free to do so.
    3) The burden of establishing organizational conspiracy to circumvent mandatory reporter laws are quite significant and really shouldn’t be made cavalierly, especially by lawyers.
    4) Obviously people are free to disagree with me. I feel sorry that a woman was fired because a group perpetuated a hoax.
    5) Like most people with an expanded view of entrapment, I don’t believe this is an effective crime prevention measure.

    • brettsalkeld

      I suspect I am more sympathetic than you, MZ, to the actions of of Lila Rose and co. Nevertheless, I am genuinely curious about the issues you raise. Do these things actually have the potential to “de-fund” PP? I’d be all for it, but I have my doubts. Can someone who is very supportive of these acts explain to me how they actually see this getting PP’s funding canceled? Again, I am not asking rhetorically. I am very earnest in wanting to know the particulars of how this is expected to be effective.

      Of course, even if it just tips the scales of public opinion against PP a little bit, that is worth something. But those who are very excited seem to think it will do more than that. Can someone explain why? Or at least point me to a pretty substantial argument someone somewhere has made on this issue?

      [NB: Concern for the efficacy of the pro-life movement does not equal a pro-abortion or pro-artificial birth control stance. It is an incredible shame that I need such a caveat.]

      • From what I understand, when Rose exposed PP in Indiana, what she was doing was legal and can be used as evidence. Moreover, though people might not like the idea of a conspiracy, the fact that many of the same actions will be done from clinic to clinic suggests that at least a group within PP are advocating illegal activities. I think anything illegal, especially in regards to children, deserves as much an expose and condemnation as anything the media reports about fallen clergy, with similar kinds of penalties demanded against PP.

        However, I have not been following the recent work against PP because my interest, studies, work has been elsewhere. The last I really discussed it was when my father was still alive, and he was trying to find legal means to deal with the problems he found with PP in Indiana (child abuse and neglect was a specialty of his, and when he found it being protected, it angered him).

      • brettsalkeld

        Who would’ve dreamt that the first response to my query would come from a Vox Novan?

        Thanks Henry.


      • M.Z.

        It is a question with a lot of complexity.

        Planned Parenthood is the go to place for gynecological services of all kinds for poor women in particular. For this reason, PP is used by Susan B Coleman Foundation to offer breast cancer screenings for women. Much of the funding – and that is co-mingling of federal, state, and local government dollars – is for services and programs having nothing to do with abortion. No federal program directly funds abortion.

  • It’s better not to respond to the viciousness of Shea and Zippy. They represent the kind of internet poison that does irreparable harm to souls.

  • I would point Shea and Bowman and their acolytes to the recent words of Cardinal Donald Wuerl:


    Increasingly, there is a tendency to disparage the name and reputation, the character and life, of a person because he or she holds a different position. The identifying of some people as “bigots” and “hate mongers” simply because they hold a position contrary to another’s has unfortunately become all too commonplace today. Locally, we have witnessed rhetorical hyperbole that, I believe, long since crossed the line between reasoned discourse and irresponsible demagoguery….

    Irresponsible blogs, electronic and print media stories, and pulpit and podium people-bashing rhetoric can be likened to many forms of anonymous violence. Spin and extremist language should not be embraced as the best this country is capable of achieving.



  • Bruce in Kansas

    One of the rules in my classroom is that whenever someone invokes the Nazis, the discussion is ended.

  • Ronald King

    It is hate speech and therefore is listed under the symptoms that form the foundation for the culture of death which ultimately results in creating the violent world that children are born into, or, aborted. All one has to do is connect the dots.

  • http://www.catholicvote.org/discuss/index.php?p=13739

    I also find this interesting. Of course, when the claims of what won’t happen is proven false, the response is not to apologize for being in error and crudely condemning people for not following the meme; no, instead, a cover-up was prevented and they won a victory! Conspiracy theory 101, everything is seen as evidence that one is correct.

  • Matt Bowman

    Testing to see whether my comments will be censored in this thread as in other threads by M.Z. and Henry…

    M.Z.: Your comments are censored like anyone else’s here. We receive plenty of people who disagree with us who don’t have issues with their comments being censored. You will continue to be treated like everyone else.

  • Pingback: Catholyc Vote Attacks! « Vox Nova()

  • There happens to be advertisements on Mark Shea’s blog. Maybe I might have overlooked them, but I cannot find any ads on Vox Nova. Just thought I’d mention that. Ahem.

  • Thales

    In the blogosphere, I think it’s foolish to make assumptions of a blogger based on what he or she HAS NOT posted on. There are a myriad of reasons for why someone has not posted about something: bloggers have lives outside of the blog, they are busy with other things, they might not know much about the topic, they don’t have anything useful to say or add, etc. Now it’s fine to write a blogpost asking or encouraging or challenging a blog-rival to deal with a particular issue, but it’s unwise to speculate on why a blog-rival has not written on a particular issue. So I think it was unwise of Matt Bowman to speculate. I’m reminded of Michael Sean Winters unwisely speculating about Robbie George’s silence about religious freedom on Mirror of Justice a few months ago.

    Now to the topic at hand: I wanted to respond to a few things M.Z. said. First, I don’t understand when he said “I feel sorry that a woman was fired because a group perpetuated a hoax.” Are you talking about the PP woman from the first video who was later fired? If so, why sorry? Regardless of the fact that Rose was playacting, the woman was violating the law and exercising terrible judgment, and was deservedly fired. I would have thought even pro-abortion people could agree that this woman has no business working at PP.

    Second, I don’t see any entrapment here. Entrapment means being unfairly persuaded or induced to commit a crime, when you didn’t have a previous intent to commit it. Merely providing an opportunity to commit a crime is not entrapment (eg, undercover cops doing drug deals isn’t entrapment).

    • M.Z.

      What can I say? Low level functionaries losing their ability to house and feed their family in order that other people can play political games seems pretty awful to me.

      I would have thought even pro-abortion people could agree that this woman has no business working at PP.
      Cut the bullshit.

      Second, I don’t see any entrapment here.
      Why should I care what you do or don’t see? I’m glad your comfortable white, middle-class existence means you don’t care about law enforcement targeting poor and minority populations.

      • Thales


        Whoa. I don’t why I’m at the receiving end of this level of animosity. Setting the politics aside, this woman was clearly violating the law and exercising terrible judgment in her counseling. Do you deny this?

        I would have thought even pro-abortion people could agree that this woman has no business working at PP.
        Cut the bullshit.

        M.Z., consider this from the PP executive director: “We were profoundly shocked when we viewed the videotape released [Tuesday] morning, which depicted an employee of one of our health centers behaving in a repugnant manner that is inconsistent with our standards of care and is completely unacceptable,” Phyllis Kinsler, executive director of Planned Parenthood of Central Jersey said in a statement released at 10:20 p.m. We have a zero tolerance policy for this kind of behavior, and the employee in the video was immediately suspended from her duties [Tuesday] morning and was terminated [Tuesday] evening,” Kinsler said. “We are fully committed to delivering high-quality reproductive health care to the women of our communities, complying with all laws, and upholding the highest ethical standards.”

        Like I said, even pro-abortion people recognize that the disregard of reporting laws, the cover-up/ of sex trafficking, etc., was inappropriate.

        I’m really surprised that you seem to care more about the out-of-line PP worker, rather than the poor and minority underage girls stuck in sex trafficking whose pimps this PP worker would have no qualms with assisting.

  • ben

    It is worth noting that these low level functionaries are involved in objectively evil work. Working for planned parenthood is not an honest day’s work; these functionaries were deprived of a share of the spoils of their crimes. There is no injustice done to them, even though their criminal co-conspiritors continue to profit from their mayhem.