Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Pro-lifers love the fetus, but they don't care about people after they're born!"


If you're pro-life, you've heard it a thousand times. Recently on this blog, it came up again:


"it always seems that pro-life means helping babies in the womb, but not out"


It's a painful thing for pro-lifers to hear. There is no truth to it, and yet it's become a pro-abortion mantra, accepted without question. I'm about to expose this sentiment as fallacy, and later ask you to do the same. I want this to be a "reference post" that pro-lifers can bookmark and use as needed. 


When I first thought of writing this post many months ago, I sent off an email to one of my closest pro-life friends, LeeAnne, asking her to list some of the things she does to help women, children and families. Not knowing that I planned to publish it (heh heh heh), she shot me back a quick list. Here is my fleshed-out summary of what this mother of four does for the pro-life cause in her spare time:


  • Works with girls and women in crisis/unplanned pregnancies (loving, women-centered sidewalk counseling outside of abortion clinics), and trains others to do the same.
  • Works with referrals when people know someone in a crisis pregnancy, offering hope and guidance and/or material and emotional support when the girls are being pressured to have an abortion.
  • Works closely with the pregnant moms and alumni at Maggie's Place (see below), teaching parenting classes among other things. (Moms and babies who "graduate" from Maggie's Place are forever part of the Maggie's Place family).
  • Gives high school pro-life and chastity talks, and leads curriculum development for life and love topics. Recently co-created a pilot program for teen formation in our diocese.
  • As an adoptee herself, gives adoption talks at 1st Way Pregnancy Resource Center (see below), along with an adoptive mother (Danya!) and two "veteran" birth moms, providing women in crisis with life-giving, loving options.
  • Organized Theology of the Body classes for teens, which includes formation in human dignity and healthy sexuality. She hosted dozens of lively teens for eight months in her own home.
  • Asked to teach in a high school with high pregnancy rates, helping both girls and guys to realize their innate value and how right relationships work, all with an eye toward the creation of healthy families in the future.
  • Gets personally involved, because love is an act of the will: LeeAnne befriended one young woman, "Anna", 18 years old, a refugee, all alone, who had been brutally raped and impregnated. When the young woman decided to parent, LeeAnne and another Catholic friend took Anna under their wings. Anna and her beautiful baby girl have been a part of their lives ever since. No one is abandoned and everyone is loved in the pro-life Catholic "bubble".


As a follow-up, LeeAnne reminded me that meeting a woman's immediate needs in the moment of crisis is only one part of the pro-life witness. Pro-lifers work forward from the point of crisis, in the form of future support and the building of relationships. It can take years and many setbacks for women to break old habits and make good choices; pro-lifers stand by these women for the long haul. They also work backward from the point of crisis, teaching/mentoring junior high and high school kids, offering practical and sound formation before they make the poor life choices that often lead to a crisis pregnancy.

So, it's a continuum of care, support and service, not just a moment in time.

Now, I have shown you the pro-life activities of one of my friends, but there are so many others just in my area who do amazing work for no worldly gain.


For example, there is Maggie's Place, an organization started by five young pro-life Catholic women (recent college grads) who wanted to provide a home for pregnant women with nowhere to go. There are now multiple homes established, staffed by women who have cared for hundreds of new mothers and their babies, and supported by the greater community. Here is their mission statement:
Maggie's Place is a community of homes that provide hospitality for pregnant women who are alone or on the streets. We have a two-fold strategy in assisting mothers to grow. First, Maggie's Place provides for the immediate physical and emotional needs of our guests including shelter, food, clothing, and a supportive community. As such, we are a family and a community! In addition, Maggie's Place connects the mothers to the appropriate agencies and resources including prenatal care, health insurance, low-cost housing, and education programs. In doing so, we are supporting the mother in both her short-term and long-term goals!
Our local pro-life community also supports several pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, such as 1st Way Pregnancy Resource Center:
We the people of 1st Way believe that each woman and child is a unique and valuable human being.
The mission of 1st Way is to provide education and assistance to any woman or teen who is pregnant or thinks she may be. This is accomplished through the free, loving, and non-judgmental provision of information, counseling and practical services.
During pregnancy and afterward, we continue to educate and assist these women in whatever way is needed to support their decision to choose a better way of life.  We educate pregnant women about pre-natal care and assist them in finding jobs and planning for their futures by gently helping them objectively and realistically explore their options. 
Life Choices Women's Clinics (the doctor on staff is a friend and fellow mom) and Aid to Women Center


Our pro-life Catholic community runs and supports the local St. Vincent de Paul Society, which cares for so many families, women and children in so many different ways that it would take ten posts to describe it all. I am honored that SVdP's executive director is a close family friend and a member of my parish. Please read about the first-rate Medical and Dental Clinic there, where over 160 doctors and dentists volunteer to treat over 15,000 patients per year. Or the awe-inspiring Charity Dining Rooms, which serve over six million meals annually to needy families and individuals. Or the Family Eviction Prevention program, the Help for the Working Poor program, the Ministry to the Homeless, the Ministry to the Incarcerated, the Transitional Shelter for those over 50 and the physically or mentally disabled, the Youth Mentoring program, and on and on and on....


The pro-life philosophy is at the heart of everything they do. 


I could continue at length describing programs and outreach just around my own pro-life community and Catholic diocese, but instead I will now ask my pro-life readers to please tell us about your own outreach and that of your local community. Send this post to your pro-life friends as well, so that they can add their own witness to the comment box.


I'm praying that together we can begin to debunk the myth of "the uncaring pro-lifer who does nothing to help people after they are born".


Oh, and if just one pro-"choice" person who has used that line before would promise never to do so again, it would really make my day! :)



**Update: Whoops! I forgot to mention that off the top of my head, I can think of at least seventeen children adopted by my pro-life friends and acquaintances, many of them foster children and older children.


**Update #2: I also forgot to mention our local Catholic program called DIGNITY, which helps girls get out and stay out of a life of prostitution (most girls start at the tender age of 13). These exploited and abused young women receive hope and dignity and lifelong friendship from those who have been there. I hope you will read about this program!


Also, we have Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity here in town. Those sweet sisters care for countless children for no earthly reward. 


I'm sure I will think of countless more ways that pro-lifers help people, but I'm going to force myself to leave it at that, and look forward to your additions in the comments section.





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174 comments:

  1. Great post! It's a good reminder that we should be working to protect life in concrete, loving ways.

    One thing, though...I subscribe to The City, a publication of Houston Baptist Univeristy. In last fall's issue, there was a brief article by a pro-life writer who stated that, for years, he has heard people argue things like, "If you want to make abortion illegal, you better provide health care, food, housing, etc., for women in crisis pregnancies and their babies."

    While those are laudable efforts--and ALL Christians should be engaged in them--the writer points out that abortion would be a horrific evil worthy of being banned even if no one lifted a finger towards helping women & babies.

    For example, if we make a law stating that no one can steal iPods, no one says, "Well, you'd better provide a free iPod to everyone, then, so no one suffers deprivation as a result of this law." Ridiculous!

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  2. I love your reference posts!

    You know I engage with people on that FB discussion board and almost every time someone said that, and the pro-life person listed the good things they do, the pro-choice person turned on them and ridiculed them for trying to brag about their virtue.

    But...besides helping our local crisis shelter and Partners in Charity and with teen moms in a welfare program(we teach math and science) my husband and I have also raised a child for 2.5 years when the parents couldn't and it was very hard because it meant we had 5 children under the age of 5 in the home and when that child left it upset everyone, but we did it because we cared about the baby AFTER he was born.

    That "child" is my grandson and the biological father has him now (long story) and we never get to see him, but he would have gone to social services if we hadn't taken him at 6 months.

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  3. "So, it's a continuum of care, support and service, not just a moment in time." YES! There's nothing I hate MORE than this diatribe. As you referenced, CPC's provide full care...seeing women through their whole 9 months of pregnancy, and after. Even offering home and job help. What abortion clinic helps a woman get a house and a job when she's in crisis? Not a one, I bet. They offer her contraception so she can continue her destructive lifestyle.

    I take personal issue with this statement since I have recently offered to adopt a baby to save it from abortion - that means raise the baby, feed him/her, clothe him/her, educate him/her, grow him/her in faith. We're still waiting to hear the outcome. Please continue to pray that the young mother chooses life for her child.

    And I'm not an anomaly. Literally every pro-lifer I know would do the same thing if the opportunity presented itself. EVERY. ONE.

    As far as my community? A Door of Hope & Birthright are our local CPC's. Just walk into one. You'd be amazed at the services and length of time they spend with clients. Truly amazing. Bayard House is much like Maggie's Place. Catholic Charities. I could literally go on forever just talking about the pro-life, pro-love efforts in my community, and then compare them to Planned Parenthood. It's astonishing.

    Oh yeah...I've heard something about that SVdP place! ;)

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  4. These things you mentnioned are everywhere, so no one can say its limited to your area. Our local crisis pregnancy center includes parenting classes where clients can earn points to "spend" at a store for baby gear. There are grocery vouchers, homes for them to live in, social workers involved that can help moms get more than just temporary housing through government programs...there is a lot going on after the baby is born. Thank you for posting about the amazing things going on in your area!

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  5. Great post! Locally, our parish supports the Crisis Pregnancy center by raising funds every single Lent (we put the money in baby bottles). My family personally knows a family who adopted their daughter after approaching a woman planning to have an abortion and offering to help her. There's also a great program based out of South Carolina called "Family Honor" (http://www.familyhonor.org/). They do a lot of work with youth, teaching them about chastity, their self-worth and dignity and making good choices. I've taken their college course (drove all the way down to SC to train with them!), and have worked with local youth (a lot of young adults I know take time to work with the local youth). There are a lot of passionate, concerned pro-life groups out there with members of all ages and backgrounds. That's why it's so heartbreaking to hear people claim PP is their only hope or resource.

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  6. Oh! And the religious orders!!! There are *so* many helping the poor. Look at the Franciscan Friars in NYC. Or we have a local community of sisters who care for the aging. That's their ministry. They are wonderful, and we know many families who have benefited from their care and resources. Then there is the yearly Caritas... where parishes band together to give the homeless a place to sleep and eat. So much going on, it really would take 10 posts!

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  7. This is great, Leila! We have a regional organization that raises money to manage forward. They have billboards up all over that say "Eliminate the Crisis, not the Child" and it's part of their message that Crisis and Pregnancy are not a pair of words where the adjective identifies the object...but that the Crisis and the Pregnancy are two things happening at the same time and one can work on the crisis without identifying the pregnancy as part of it. It's a beautiful organization.

    Thanks for putting this out there...

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  8. It is difficult for overly educated leftist liberal pro-choice ladies like myself to see everything you've listed here as the best option/care possible for all communities. Not all communities in the country seem to have all the services you've listed here and certainly not all function the way you've described them working in your community.

    The pro-life approach is one approach. If it helps people and they find it helps and improves their lives, then great. But one approach to the complexities and nuances of everyone's situations is not helpful. We need places like PP that can provide services you may not agree with, but people like me do.

    thanks,
    gwen

    PP is unique in providing care for women without religious undertones or propaganda. Where would you send me to get services as a non-Christian? I certainly wouldn't go to the local crisis pregnancy center to be told an abortion will ruin my life forever, and I'll raise my chances of getting breast cancer (a complete lie, Am. Cancer Society has reported there is no connection).
    What if I want condoms because I have no qualms about using them as a non-Catholic? Is the crisis pregnancy center going to give me some free?

    While I understand your desire to teach religious themed messages like "Theology of the Body" to teenagers, not everyone agrees on that approach. If abstinence is going to be preached to teens, I want another viewpoint being given to them as well so they can decide what to choose.

    Places like Maggie's Place are much needed safety-net organizations that help people when seemingly no one else can and I applaud that....but I've seen firsthand how places like this can't answer everyone's problems. At what stage are the women asked to leave w/ children to make room for another pregnant woman? Does Maggie's Place have a good history of seeing it's clients find jobs that can support them and their children? Do they help with the cost of childcare? tuition for school? access to quality behavioral healthcare (and I stress quality?). We need places like Maggie's Place but we also need organizations that can help women after Maggie's Place. It does no good to help someone with poor life skills in their most urgent time of need and then send them off to figure the rest of the way out themselves.

    The mention of ministry to incarcerated people also makes me uncertain. Yes, having something to hold onto and to give you hope is important, but prisoners are diverse in their beliefs and there are very practical needs as well. I actually worked on a project that assessed the needs of incarcerated people when they are released in my state. From our interviews and research (inside and outside prison), we were able to come up with a plan for providing incarcerated people with not just a plan for what to do after being released, but a wrap around approach to services in their community where they would be going after prison. Finding a job in a small community where everyone knows you've been to prison is near impossible and I don't see ministry to incarcerated people being helpful in that area. Many ex-prisoners do go to their local parishes for help because they don't know where else to go and I'm sorry but a priest can't provide complete mental healthcare on his own. So another part of the project was giving parishes a list of services to refer their parishioners to if they needed.

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  9. Each year I help lead the group of 100+ teens from our diocese that goes to DC for the March for Life. Prior to the March, however, students must attend 2-3 formation meetings in which we talk and pray about a consistent ethic of life- womb to tomb - and how being prolife is about more than babies; it's about life for everyone, including criminals, elderly or infirm, etc. As a service project each group of students makes a "gift basket" of donated items for new moms (diapers, blankets, onesies, grocery store gift cards) that we give to local CPCs.
    The point in doing this is that being prolife is not just about demonstrating or praying outside Planned Parenthood (though those are important). It's about supporting all life, everywhere.

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  10. Miss G, putting aside the fact that I want to debate and clarify so much of what you just said, I will simply ask you this: If you've ever said that pro-lifers don't care about people once they're born, will you now take that back? Or, if you have never said it personally, will you refer folks to this post whenever you do hear it from your friends and colleagues, or at least tell them that they are mistaken?

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  11. This is a good thing not just for pro-choicers but for me as well, as now I'm being "forced" to see what pro-life resources we have.

    We have some that I know are across the country and not just in MN...but here are a few that I found: Pro-life Across America, which was started originally in MN. This woman has an organization that funds the pro-life billboards that you see along the highway. http://prolifeacrossamerica.org/. We also have Total LifeCare centers, which are also pregnancy crisis centers.

    I belong to a few different Catholic churches (one that I grew up in and another that is more nearby to where I live now) and both churches have an organization where they have a baby bassinet or crib set up and you can donate baby items to crisis centers. This may not be original but it shows how people very much do care and want to support those who choose life...

    One more thing, Leila, my sister-in-law found this wonderful man who takes babies in who either have been aborted and gives them a proper burial or else takes in babies that the mothers planned to abort and takes care of them until the mothers want them or they are adopted. He does this out of his own home, with the help of only his wife (who is pregnant herself) with no help from the government. Check out the YouTube video on him:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MkxtkmXmvU

    People need to get out of the box and realize that there are millions of people out there wanting to help if only they are allowed to help...
    http://www.citylifecenter-mn.org/

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  12. Miss G - I see your concerns but not every pro-life group is "religious." For example, the method of NFP my husband and I learned. Did we opt for that method because we are Catholic? Yes. Did our teacher bring up religion once? No. And she was trained by a Catholic organization. Here's another example: I have a counselor/licensed social worker in my family. She is a devout Catholic. She sees her career as a vocation, a calling. Guess how often she pushes Catholicism on her clients? Never. She fully discloses her background to them so they are aware of where she is coming from and stipulates a few limitations (for example she makes it clear she can never recommend on abortion), but she is a perfectly competent counselor, capable of meeting the mental health needs of diverse clients. Christians are perfectly capable of understanding when it's professional to bring up religion and when it's not.

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  13. Hi Gwen! I’ve got several things to respond to here, so it might take a couple of comments!

    “Not all communities in the country seem to have all the services you've listed here and certainly not all function the way you've described them working in your community.” I think just about everywhere there’s a PP or other abortion clinic, there’s a pro-life alternative. No, they don’t all work the same (as Sarah mentioned, not all pro-lifers are religious nor are all pro-life service providers). But they’re life-affirming alternatives. If you can find a place that doesn’t have an alternative within 30 miles, please let me know. I’ll start one!

    “The pro-life approach is one approach… We need places like PP that can provide services you may not agree with, but people like me do.” Have you read any of Leila’s previous posts about PP? Yes, they offer secular advice, but it’s uncaring and not whole, like CPC’s are. Not to mention, they aid sex traffickers, advise people on how to break the law, undermine parental rights… Sure, they provide free condoms, but is it worth it? They might provide a quick solution, but it just sends women back out to continue their destructive lifestyles.

    You said, “I certainly wouldn't go to the local crisis pregnancy center to be told an abortion will ruin my life forever…” I suggest you visit a CPC. NONE would say that to a women…at least not in those harsh words!! Yes, they will tell you the consequences of abortion. But they will tell you in a kind and loving way…and for your own good! (I’m using “you” generally)

    “…and I'll raise my chances of getting breast cancer (a complete lie, Am. Cancer Society has reported there is no connection).” Funny you mention this. I just wrote a piece for my local Catholic newspaper on this very topic. The ABC (abortion/breast cancer) link is NOT a lie. Though yes, cancer organizations dispute it. Why? Because cancer research organizations provide grants to PP. Why? Because PP says they provide breast exams. Which is another lie. NOT ONE PP in the country provides mammograms. They can do manual exams, but only refer for mammograms. Let me provide some other resources on that topic: http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/index/, http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/2/Cancer/how_does_induced_abortion_raise_breast_cancer_risk_102020100651.html, and some alternatives: http://www.all.org/article/index/id/NDc1Ng/. I could go on…and on…and on…but it’s a comment box. I’ll be happy to provide more info to anyone who would like it. Or even write a whole post on it!

    Continued...

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  14. ...

    “If abstinence is going to be preached to teens, I want another viewpoint being given to them as well so they can decide what to choose.” But the truth is, abstinence education WORKS! I know lefty liberals (your words!) like to deny that, but it’s been proven time after time. It’s true!

    Now here’s where I’m thinking you didn’t read Leila’s post very carefully.

    You said, “At what stage are the women asked to leave w/ children to make room for another pregnant woman?” NEVER! As mentioned in the post, many of these places have life-long relationships with these women!

    “Does Maggie's Place have a good history of seeing it's clients find jobs that can support them and their children? Do they help with the cost of childcare? tuition for school? access to quality behavioral healthcare (and I stress quality?).” I can’t speak for Maggie’s Place, as I don’t live in Phoenix, but for the CPC’s I know of (in Delaware and Indiana both), the answers are yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. They help in ANY way they can! And if they can’t financially help with all of the above, they will certainly assist in finding grants, scholarships, Section 8 vouchers, etc. Need I go on?

    Furthermore, how many PP’s provide the services you just asked about CPC’s? You need to make sure that CPC’s provide long-term care, but why don’t you demand the same from PP?

    “It does no good to help someone with poor life skills in their most urgent time of need and then send them off to figure the rest of the way out themselves.” NONE OF THEM DO THIS!!!

    I admit, I know next to nothing about prison ministry. But to address this comment, “Many ex-prisoners do go to their local parishes for help because they don't know where else to go and I'm sorry but a priest can't provide complete mental healthcare on his own,” I would guess that no priest or parish would tell an ex-con “sorry, pal, go somewhere else. I can’t help.” They would find them the help they need.

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  15. I am so tired of hearing this lie that I ask the person what THEY are doing to help people and if THEY give a portion of their time, talent and treasure to help the poor, and when was the last time THEY helped at St. Vincent's or wrote a check. The silence I hear generally ends the issue.
    Those in the pro-life movement are the most generous people in the world.

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  16. Miss Gwen, I can't shake your words. It seems, first, as if you took this post to be a comparison between pro-life organizations and Planned Parenthood. That's not what this was (although it's a thought for another post). It was a debunking of the lie that is spoken every day in this country in pro-"choice" circles. I still hope you will agree that the title of this post is untrue. Please tell me that you see that?

    Also, again, I am left feeling that liberalism is so cold. You read the whole post, and yet I feel like your reaction was basically, "[shrug] Well, you don't hand out free condoms."

    Maybe I am reading you wrong? Help me out.

    A note for everyone: I just added another update to the body of the post. The program for prostitutes is so beautiful (I have linked to the short article), and reminds me of the contrast between what pro-lifers can offer these young girls and what Planned Parenthood does for them. ("Waist up", remember? Makes me want to cry.)

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  17. It sounds like Gwen was once again bringing up the whole point of this post. Prolifers do not care once the babies are born I.e. Prison ministry and priest analogy! Good one Gwen.....you don't know what a priest would do so that is mute point.

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  18. I used to do prison ministry. There are many organizations that help prisoners reintegrate into society, find jobs, find and life a healthy life. I would venture that there are many Catholic, Christian and secular organizations that do this, some consider it "ministry" others wouldn't describe it as such. For the prison ministry I participated in, we were not in a position to provide that kind of assistance, but thankfully, others were. What we did provide, was a priest for Mass and Confessions, music, studies and education on the faith. It was positive for the inmates, and while we knew we couldn't meet all their needs, there was nothing wrong with doing what we could do and loving them in the ways we were able. Just because a certain group can't provide for ALL of a prisoner's needs, doesn't mean they can't or shouldn't offer what they can.

    But on to a comment on the original post:

    I've lived in several different communities and every single one had a PRC and the one I currently live in has a PCR/Health Care Clinic, which means that the clinic can actually provide continued care to women in unplanned pregnancies (free prenatal care up to 30 weeks), to the children after birth, and to all the poor. The clinics are always supported by donations (never accepting federal funding; the only government money they accept is through medicaid/medicare payments) and volunteers, provide excellence in crisis situations and continued care, including emotional, physical and material support. And this isn't just for pregnant women, it's for anyone who needs it. If pro-choicers want to talk about caring for women and children beyond birth/pregnancy, then let's look at how the Catholic Church provides for the poor, even if they never experienced an unplanned pregnancy!

    Yes, pro-lifers are on the sidewalks, but we're not just offering pamphlets. We're offering ourselves and the resources we have available to us to those women and men experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. We are motivated by love, but we're not just offering a hug. We're offering real solutions.

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  19. LifeNews recently had a great article detailing some pretty impressive numbers of women and children who have been helped - you'll find the article here: http://www.lifenews.com/2011/01/17/pro-life-people-care-for-women-and-children-after-birth-too/

    I don't know why I'm not able to log in with my profile ... sorry! Lori

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  20. Miss Gwen, I encourage you to read and consider the following: How National Cancer Institute Scientists Betrayed Women as well as this related post.

    The owner of the blog whose articles I linked, Dr. Gerard Nadal, has a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Microbiology. Would you consider him to be "anti-science"?

    I don't believe the American Cancer Society agrees with the World Health Organization that birth control is a carcinogen (see page 10); at least, I've never seen literature from the ACS that says as much. Do you believe the WHO is inaccurate?

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  21. It might be good to just reiterate quickly that no pro-life organization is asking for 100's of millions of taxpayer dollars in order to cram their beliefs on society.

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  22. It might be good to just reiterate quickly that no pro-life organization is asking for 100's of millions of taxpayer dollars in order to cram their beliefs on society.

    Good point, and I'll add that pro-"choice" politicians and lobbies are trying to get crisis pregnancy centers shut down!! I mean, sheesh!!!

    It's like David and Goliath.

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  23. Interestingly enough, my words concerning prison ministry are based in part on interviews with priests (Catholic and otherwise) in small rural communities in my state. My point was that often priests feel like they aren't able to help ex-prisoner parishioners b/c of the lack of services in the community. Mass and Church services are good but more is needed often. And many of the priests I talked with realized the need for more services to help ex-prisoners. And often, the parish was not able to provide all or most of those types of services. Instead, priests could be good referrals and support systems for ex-prisoners.

    The point of my previous post was that while I do agree that the pro-life community provides very important services for women and marginalized peoples in general, I think it is important to have secular services. Most of you (or all of you) don't agree with me here because we have opposing viewpoints and philosophies, so I'm merely stating my opinion as well.

    Sarah-I never said people with religious faith make incompetent providers. That said, I've done extensive interviews with providers in rural communities in my state and I can tell you that while most of the time they are able to provide help/counseling/medicine in a non-judgmental way, whether you want to admit it or not, one's own religion/opinion on sexual orientation are factors that often do (subconsciously or blatantly) come up in counseling/behavioral healthcare. Case example: lecturing a group of mostly poor American Indian people including some homosexuals about the "proper" way to live heterosexual married life in specific gendered roles is not effective counseling for everyone involved. period.

    Leila, since your post is about getting all the other pro-lifers to agree with your statement and tell everyone else about how much they contribute, I'll leave the discussion now. I merely wanted to voice my opinion: that while I agree pro-life organizations and communities do provide much needed help, it is important to have pro-choice/non-religious affiliated options as well.

    We will never agree about PP so I'm not going to discuss it further. Instead, I'll be taking a sign of support for PP and standing outside our local clinic next week amongst all the pro-lifers.

    -gwen

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  24. P.S. The larger issue is that if someone doesn't agree with you about religious beliefs, abortion, contraception, culturally appropriate healthcare, etc. where do they go to get help that supports their values and/or without getting lectured/preached to about Christianity?

    P.P.S. Joanna, I refuse to debate the issue of whether or not abortion causes breast cancer. period.

    P.P.P.S. Let's not forget that former President Bush allotted millions of Federal Funds for faith based organizations to provide social services.

    Good day and good bye,
    Gwen

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  25. Leila, I am just about to run out and take my little one out for the afternoon, but I'll be back later and write my novel in your com-box! :) Thanks for this post!

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  26. Just to clarify, when asked when Maggies's Place asks women to leave Nicole responded that they are never asked to leave.That is not true, women can stay at Maggie's place throughout their pregnancy and until their child is 6 months old. Some women then transfer to an apartment program also sponsored by the organization until the child is 9 months old.The hope and goral is that when a woman leaves Maggie's Place she has a plan, has gained or is working on gaining an education and is able to support herself. They also have an alumni program that continues to offer non-residendential support for as long as the family needs or desires. http://www.maggiesplace.org/faq.cfm

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  27. So some of your friends do great work with helping women have their babies and get their life on track? WONDERFUL!

    Some of my liberal friends do the same thing, working with disadvantaged teens in the inner-city. They counsel young women on how to take care of a newborn, how to breastfeed or mix formula, how to find services to help them do this on their own... oh and they also help the young MEN become FATHERS by teaching them how to take care of themselves, present themselves and get a job. My girlfriend was telling me how she was helping one of her "boys" set up a pack n' play and showing him how to swaddle his daughter.

    And PS to JoAnna: Dr. Oz is a bona fide "doctor" too - and he recommends Reiki for healing. SO....

    So I'll gladly halt my ad hominem attacks against Catholics, when you stop your ad hominem attacks against liberals.

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  28. Gwen

    In response to your question, many organizations that assist pregnant womenare motived to d oso because of their faith but they do not impose tht faith on those they are assiting. For example, Maggie's place (the agency with who I have the most familiarity) has no faith requirement for women they help nor does they help they offer come with a caveat that one must accept Christianity. They focus on basic parenting and life skills.

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  29. Just to clarify, I didn't write the above anonymous post (thank you fellow liberal for jumping in!).

    It sounds like Maggie's Place is a great organization. I wish we had several like it in my state, especially in the poorer, rural areas.

    -gwen

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  30. Anonymous, you're missing the point of this post. No one said "liberals don't care about babies after they're born!" Someone (many people, actually) said "pro-lifers don't care about babies after they're born!"... I've heard it SO many times. So Leila was trying to point out that YES WE DO care about the children after they're born! Very much so!
    She wasn't saying liberals don't care. Did she say that anywhere? What was the point of your post?
    I think all of us pro-lifers would agree that it's great when we can all join forces and help the children and parents together. We know liberals can do a lot of good, too, and we didn't say otherwise. We wish they'd protect the unborn, too, of course :) but we can appreciate it when they protect those who are born.

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  31. Gwen would you agree that sometimes the abortion clinics have anti-religious undertones?
    To me, that's the same "level" as having religious undertones.
    We all have some kind of belief system (or anti-belief), whether religious or otherwise, and sometimes it'll come through in our counseling, teaching, etc. Should all of them be shut down until people are like robots?

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  32. Elisabeth, "Nicole responded that they are never asked to leave. That is not true..."

    My point was just that they continue to get help. Sure, there are different ways that different places go about that, but they are never abandoned...just as you said in your comment.

    Anonymous Non-Gwen: You're right. Liberals do a lot of good for teens and born children. I don't think Leila was implying in the least that that's not the case. Read her post title. She's disproving the argument that pro-lifers don't also care about post-born children!

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  33. Or perhaps we should just have robots running the clinics, so we don't run any risk of someone having an opinion or a suggestion that might have religious or anti-religious undertones.

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  34. Miss Gwen, why are you anti-science? I find it telling that you refuse to look at any evidence other than what you are spoon-fed by pro-abortion organizations.

    I've looked at both sides, as I have an increased risk of breast cancer (it afflicted my maternal grandmother and great-grandmother) and want as much information as possible about potential risk factors. Personally, I find the pro-life side more convincing.

    Anonymous2, you missed my point. Miss Gwen seems to imply that pro-lifers base our scientific opinions on theology and not science. People like Dr. Nadal prove otherwise.

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  35. Wow JoAnna,
    I never implied anything of the sort and thanks for the presumptive idea that I'm "anti-science"!! Ha ha ha! that's a good one!

    I simply stated and I'll state again: I am NOT going to debate here in this forum, right now the merits of whether or not abortion causes breast cancer.

    -gwen

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  36. What's challenging here is that HUMILITY is a large part of the Catholic mindset. In other words, we don't tout our good deeds. (Although others may do it for us..ehem..Leila, if LeeAnne knew you were doing this she wouldn't have told you a thing!) So if we really want to get into a counting match OR a debate on what is "real" help...it's just not going to go very far because, quite frankly, Catholics don't give a darn what the world thinks of their charity. Only the Lord's opinion counts here...

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  37. Well, Miss Gwen, it seems rather disingenuous of you to state unequivocally that abortion is not a risk factor for abortion and then refuse to discuss it further. Wouldn't it have been better to not mention it in the first place?

    Still, if you ever do want to debate the subject, I'm game.

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  38. Good grief, this is what I wrote: "I certainly wouldn't go to the local crisis pregnancy center to be told an abortion will ruin my life forever, and I'll raise my chances of getting breast cancer (a complete lie, Am. Cancer Society has reported there is no connection)"

    Are you saying people at Crisis Pregnancy Centers won't tell me of a link between abortion and breast cancer?

    So now, just because I refuse to get into a further debate/battle over the internet about this alleged claim, Joanna is calling me dishonest, insincere and lacking in any candor.

    Well, believe me when I say I am being very sincere when I tell you I don't have the time to deal with another long, spread out written debate over the internet about the merits of scientific research on an alleged connection between breast cancer and abortion.

    thanks,
    gwen

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  39. Gwen - I am sure you know that in regards to counseling, licensed counselors of all backgrounds are taught to recognize and acknowledge that they have a worldview that is going to effect who they are and how they counsel. As Mary pointed out, we all have those "biases." Everyone has a worldview or set of beliefs that may or may not mesh with the person or group they are talking with on that particular day. I think in situations like these, it's important to know your audience so that whatever you DO decide to say is at least respectful regardless of whether people agree. I certainly have received well-meaning advice before that I didn't agree with, and I didn't follow it.

    In regards to "needing" a certain kind of help...

    Well, all the activities listed above are, I believe, helpful even if they don't offer thing you would like to see them offer. They still contribute to some societal good. Teaching teens they have dignity and worth? Hard to argue that this not helpful (and given that their parents voluntarily put them in these programs, no one is being forced to convert to any religion). Offering to adopt a baby that a mother can't take care of? Seems helpful to me. Offering financial assistance to women in crisis? Seems helpful. Offering care to the elderly and dying in a way that is consistent with their wishes? Seems helpful. Offering counseling services for post-abortion grief (that the post-abortive woman seeks out herself?) Seems helpful.

    Do some execute these services better than others? Probably. We all have days where we say the wrong thing.

    And none of the organizations I've seen listed here are out to help people who don't want their help, though (not that I am aware of). And yet they are swamped with people *wanting* their help. Seems good to me, regardless of the PP debate.

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  40. I think that the reason many people connect pro-life attitudes and anti-children attitudes is because of the actions of the Republican party. I understand that many of the posters here may associate themselves more strongly with the Catholic church than the GOP, but most pro-lifers are also conservative. It is a fact that most Republicans in government want to ban abortion and also just passed a budget through the House that, among other things, proposes:

    -$50 million in cuts to the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant that "supports state-based prenatal care programs and services for children with special needs"

    -Almost $1 billion in cuts to the CDC for its preventative health programs, including its preterm birth studies

    -$1 billion in cuts to programs at the NIH that support "lifesaving biomedical research aimed at finding the causes and developing strategies for preventing preterm birth"

    It's actions like these that make people think that pro-lifers don't care about babies. No matter how charitable the Catholic church is, Repulicans are still actively working to strip billions upon billions of dollars from programs that could improve infant mortality rates in this country. There is a reason why the US has the highest infant mortality rate in the developed world. I'm sorry, but nothing screams not caring about infants after they haven't been aborted like taking away money from programs that are trying to save very wanted babies.


    --Cate

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  41. Anonymous... a lot of these folks help men too. That's great your friends reach out to the men, as I agree that help is much-needed!

    I am not sure where the "attacking liberals" part comes in as I don't see that in the post (unless you are referring to some other conversation).

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  42. o I think that when people say pro-lifers don't help babies they are referring to the official platforms of the Republican Party. Many people find it confusing that pro-life people vote for the same party that doesn’t believe in universal health care and welfare. Thus people who say that pro-life people are anti born babies are only talking about people who are pro-life but not pro universal health care, welfare, and other social safety nets. Republicans want low taxes. Women who have abortions either cant or don't want to pay for said babies. Society will have to pick up the tab, yet conservatives don't want to see their taxes increase, this confuses us.
    o
    o Again, it’s wonderful and necessary to help poor pregnant women. But the actions you described only apply to impoverished women and how you are helping them maintain a life slightly above poverty. This is not the aspiration of most women. My best friend is affluent and applying to medical school. If she were to become pregnant I imagine she would seek an abortion. If her parents decided not to pay for med school because she got pregnant. It would be no comfort to her that she could get free diapers or move into a half way house.
    o
    o Pregnancy is not a disease. Why is it treated as such? Not because of liberals and PP but because it objectively gets in the way of professional aspirations. There is a lot we can do to help but it wont is cheap and it will be radical. Maybe employers should have to pay pregnant women more money. Maybe women can be excused from medical school exams for pre-natal doctor apts. Is this discriminatory and consequently problematic? Absolutely. But pregnant women are discriminated against they do not have the opportunities the rest of us do. Address this. Right it. End abortion

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  43. Miss G -

    "Joanna is calling me dishonest, insincere and lacking in any candor."

    What? A direct quote supporting this claim, please. I called your actions (not you, but your actions) disengenuous. I did not say any of the above.

    If you don't have time for the debate, I certainly understand, but I fail to understand why you brought it up at all. Surely you realized that your claim would be disputed.

    Cate -

    I am registered Republican in this state, but only because I want the ability to vote in the Republican primary. I don't agree with many of the policies of the Republican party so I'm hesitant to identify myself as such. I usually do vote Republican just because they seem to be the lesser of all evils in terms of my non-negotiable issues (abortion, ESCR/human cloning, same-sex "marriage", and euthanasia). If I could find an Independent candidate or a pro-life Libertarian that I could vote for in good conscience, I would.

    That being said, the budget cuts above are unfortunate, but the Democratic alternative is to spend money that we don't have.

    I say we defund Planned Parenthood and use the savings to fund some of the above. In the mean time, many pro-lifers will step up to independuntly fund private programs that offer some of the above services.

    Do you have a solution as to how we can reduce our alarming national deficit without cutting spending? If so, I'd love to hear it.

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  44. *independently (I can spell, I promise!)

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  45. Cate, you highlighted some of the reasons I refuse to associate myself with the GOP (others include, but are not limited to, support of the death penalty (which I find wildly contradictory to the consistent ethic of life), prioritizing reckless defense spending over domestic programs (again, up for debate, probably not in this thread), and awful immigration policy (again, up for debate, not on this thread, but something I align closely with the bishops statements on immigrant rights), etc.

    But Leila has a post somewhere on this blog about why she can't/won't vote for Democrats, and it's worth checking out.

    I am really and truly and independent, because I'm Catholic. My views are formed by my faith, and Catholic Social Teaching can't be contained in the platform of either party. But, at the end of the day, I vote prolife. Make of that what you will.

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  46. I didn’t see what Anonymous Cate said when I posted, but yes that’s what I was getting at!

    Gwen, as for the abortion/breast cancer rates. Some scientists are saying that when a woman is pregnant her levels of estrogen increase causing growths in her breast. When the pregnancy ends prematurely cancer cells can grow there. Thus according to this research abortion and miscarriage equally increase a woman's chance of getting cancer. If this is true, (I’m not skeptical because I'm a liberal but because there is SOO much confounding research on the subject) I agree wholeheartedly that women who seek an abortion should be told this! But they should also be told that their chances of getting breast cancer isn’t any higher for an abortion than for a miscarriage, their body doesn’t know the difference.

    Leila, as for liberals shutting down CPC's, I assume you’re talking about the ban in New York. That ban isn’t trying to shut them down rather making them advertise that they don't perform abortions. I don't understand how this is problematic because they don't perform abortions unless CPC's want to willingly deceive people?

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  47. College student, you make so many good points I hope that someday you work in public policy. I'm totally serious. You can't even imagine how many times I've wanted to vote for various Democrats or progressive third party candidates because I loved 99% of their platforms (on things you addressed, like health care, welfare, paid family leave, etc) but just couldn't justify supporting someone whose voting record was so anti-life (and/or I'm very wary of supporting a candidate who accepts money from groups like Emily's List or NOW that are incredibly vehement in their agenda of abortion on demand... a whole separate issue)
    Alas, I was disillusioned by politics in college by an internship I had at the RNC. (I was too idealistic, I suppose. Ah youth. Sigh.)

    Especially your demand for real, adequate, job-sustaining support for professional women who have children; yes, this is a huge stumbling block. Other countries (Sweden, Norway, for two examples) far exceed us in this.

    It gives me a headache.

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  48. Hi JoAnna--

    I'm a medical student without much expertise in politics, but I will say that defunding Planned Parenthood will only save the government $75 million dollars, and will doubtless eventually cost it much more when the low-income women it primarily serves are left without that viable option for cheap OB/GYN care.

    I would start by ending the tax cuts to big businesses and the richest 1% that the GOP defends so lovingly. That would net the government billions of dollars in the foreseeable future. But again, I'm really not an expert in politics.

    Beyond that, I was really interested to read what you and Maggie said. I've only recently stumbled upon this blog and, as a recent graduate of probably the most liberal of the ivy league schools, have only just left a "bubble" that is probably the complete opposite of your Catholic one. It's fascinating how easy it is to paint those with differing ideologies with broad strokes until you have the chance to glimpse everyone's individual opinions and backgrounds. Thanks for that!


    --Cate

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  49. Ugh. Now that we've brought up Republicans vs. Democrats, we're just talking about policy. Some ways are better than others. And just because the media and Dems tell you "Republicans don't like children" doesn't mean it's true. It's a talking point. Please remember policy is subjective.

    Cate, I just want to quickly address your comment about defunding PP. It's not about the money. It's about the morals. Even if they received $10 in tax dollars, most people don't want their tax dollars paying for abortions and sex trafficking cover-ups. It's about what they do...not how much money they get.

    Please please please don't fall for the "if PP gets defunded, poor women won't have an option" argument. It holds no water. First - no one is saying PP should be out of existence (although I would argue they should, but that's a totally different subject). They're arguing they shouldn't receive tax dollars. Did you read this original post??? Look at ALL the work CPC's do - w/out a single penny from taxpayers. If PP is SO important, they should be able to sustain themselves on private donations...they have the support of Hollywood, MoveOn.org, etc. They surely could make up that $300+ million (your $75 million figure was way off).

    Also keep in mind that Catholic hospitals provide much of the same prenatal and ob/gyn care FOR FREE that PP provides. No one would go uncared for.

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  50. I wasn't trying to defend Planned Parenthood. I wouldn't dare in this crowd :). I was just addressing JoAnna's point that defunding it might make a significant impact on the proposed cuts I outlined above. And I definitely am not trying to enter into a big Republicans vs. Democrats debate, just trying to lend my point of view on why people think of pro-lifers as people who "love the fetus, but...don't care about poeple after they're born!" That's all.


    --Cate

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  51. But Cate, you did say those other things Nicole responded to - about it "only saving $75 million" and people having nowhere to go (Which isn't true)...

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  52. Cate, thanks... I haven't read up on all the comments yet (in and out all day). But I do understand why people think of pro-lifers as uncaring and unfeeling: It's been portrayed that way by the left-wing ("mainstream") media for decades. The line is: If you don't like our government policies and big government programs, then you want grandma to eat dog food and kids to starve."

    Now, anyone should be able to see right past that, but somehow, it sticks? I think it's because we really are a "feelings-based" society. We "feel" that people who do not believe in big, bloated, ineffective bureaucracies must somehow be unfeeling meanies.

    I never understood that, even when I was a Democrat, so it always baffles me that people fall for it. I would hope that all people could see that everyone (except four weirdos somewhere) believe in a safety net for the truly needy, truly helpless. But if we differ on policy or effective strategies beyond that (for example, I think 50 years and trillions of dollars on "poverty" programs have done nothing to slow poverty), then we are labeled as hateful people who like to see people starve.

    ???

    It's like they have never met a conservative pro-life Christian in their entire life.

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  53. Danya, you are so right about the humility thing. I hope any Christian who feels uncomfortable telling of his good works would comment anonymously. Then, it's a win-win! :)

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  54. Cate, I see what you're saying. (Some people WERE getting into policy though. :) I think you're right. That probably is a big reason liberals think pro-lifers don't "like kids" after they're born. It's so obviously absurd though. And it's a political argument, perpetuated to further an agenda. Just because Democrats say it to make Republicans look bad, doesn't make it true (I'm not saying you're perpetuating it...I'm just debunking it!). Again...not debating policy...just saying be careful of that argument.

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  55. Anonymous said: So I'll gladly halt my ad hominem attacks against Catholics, when you stop your ad hominem attacks against liberals.

    Confusing to me. First, why should you only stop your ad hominem attacks if someone else stops theirs? Shouldn't you not make personal attacks to begin with?

    Second, when did I level an ad hominem attack against liberals? Could you give me a quote somewhere?

    I always talk policies and philosophy when "attacking" liberal thought. That is fair game (can't we discuss and critique ideas, even vigorously?).
    I have also done more than one post addressing this very charge (that somehow, attacking the idea is attacking the person).

    Here they are:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2010/11/youre-not-monster-and-nobody-called-you.html

    and

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/01/answering-miss-gwen-distinction-between.html

    I don't know if I can be much clearer, but maybe you were not reading when I posted those.

    Thanks!

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  56. Leila and Nicole,

    I think that it's easy for each side to demonize each other and generalize the opposite group too broadly. Then Democrats become people who love "big, bloated, ineffective bureaucracies" (or something more inflammatory) and Republicans become "unfeeling meanies." Many scientific studies have established that when we all associate solely with people who have similar beliefs to our own, we each become more extreme in our beliefs. Extremism and hurtful rhetoric flourish while diversity is squelched. That is why, even though I generally identify as liberal, I make it a point to read blogs like this and why I would suggest, if you don't already, that you should read some liberal NY Times editorials or MoveOn.org. I think it's the best way to end the kinds of language and damaging attitudes you speak of. I have learned a lot on this blog this afternoon.

    Leila, I cannot say that you changed my mind about whether all pro-lifers care about people after they're born, but I definitely am starting to believe that Catholics generally do. Thanks for showing me the difference.


    --Cate

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  57. Cate, thank you for this.

    I definitely read and watch liberal sources all the time New York Times, MSNBC, HuffPo, etc. The "bubble" I live in is a nice respite from a world which could turn anyone cynical, but I don't by any means stay in the bubble! If you read my reversion story, you can see that I definitely know and have lived the other side. As has my formerly pro-choice, agnostic Jewish Democrat husband who once worked for Jimmy Carter and Sen Wyche Fowler (democrats).

    One more point of clarity: If I say that liberals like to "tax and spend" that is not a personal attack. It is actually factual, if you look at voting records and philosophies. But if I said, "Liberals are evil people" then that is an ad hominem.

    Here's how I see it generally:

    Conservatives think that liberals are wrong.
    Liberals think conservatives are evil.

    I think that's a big distinction, and I have lived enough life and known enough people of all different stripes to think that it's generally accurate.

    Of course, I could be wrong, and I hope that more and more liberals prove me wrong, by disagreeing with my positions, not attacking motives.

    Unfortunately, organizations like MoveOn.org don't give me much hope for that. :)

    I'm glad you are here!! And I hope you will dive into some past posts, if you have the time.

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  58. Extremism and hurtful rhetoric flourish while diversity is squelched.

    Cate, please stay tuned for my next post, because it's going to be about this. Extremism and moderation, and a different paradigm that I will propose instead! :)

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  59. Cate -

    I can't speak for everyone, but I used to be fairly liberal. I identified as Democrat. I did not like GWB and voted for John Kerry (I regret that now, actually, but if I could do it over I'd vote third-party). I was even a Michael Moore fan (groan, I know, although I will say I abhorred his pro-abortion stance) - I met him once at a book signing!

    Many of us here were once liberal and are now conservative, so it's not a matter only reading Catholic material and etc. I listen to NPR and Fox News radio equally, and agree/disagree with both in many respects. I watch CNN when I watch TV news. I get e-mail news alerts from the New York Times. I even occasionally will look at MoveOn.org or HuffPo, although the amount of nasty rhetoric and vitriol I see there on a regualar basis makes me hesitant to do so daily.

    Also, as my husband and I are converts, our families are mostly Protestant, so we couldn't be in a Catholic "bubble" even if we wanted to, unless we chose to cut our families out of our lives.

    Thank you for reading with an open mind. It's very much appreciated.

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  60. Cate, I second JoAnna. I am glad you are hear and reading with an open mind!

    I wrote something months ago about living in bubbles.... it's bad when anyone does, if the purpose is to insulate oneself from the "others". I think there is a liberal bubble, and I am glad you are not sitting in it, but coming to speak with us!

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2010/11/theres-liberal-bubble-too.html

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  61. Cate,

    Unlike many here, I've never been of liberal persuasion. I have typically in my life been a conservative Catholic. I have, however, lived in Chicago and now Delaware...neither of which has ever been accused of being conservative areas of the country! :)

    What I'm getting at is that even though I identify myself as conservative, I really can't help but have liberal friends. I've never once been friends with someone solely based on political beliefs. I've never stopped being friends w/ someone when I found out they were liberal. In fact, I thrive on the open exchange of ideas...that's why I'm so active at this blog! :)

    ON THE OTHER HAND...on more than one occasion the opposite has happened. I have literally lost friends when they found out I was conservative, or when any kind of political debate has arisen. You might think it's because I was harsh or judgmental, but I assure you that wasn't the case. I was strictly arguing facts and thought.

    I'm not saying all liberals are like this. I'm just trying to get the point across that even though I've always been a conservative, I have never shied away from a debate or hearing the opposing point of view! Rest assured!

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  62. Hi,
    My apologies. I think that the quote is very much a reflex. I do believe kids are helped by pro-life. I usually compare it with war. How can you be pro-life, and pro-war?

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  63. Hi Chelsea,

    Obviously I can't speak for non-Catholic conservatives, but while I am not "pro-war" (is anybody??) I do recognize the necessity of a just war, and I believe what the Church teaches about just war doctrine.

    For the record, I don't believe the Iraq conflict met the criteria for a just war and I have never supported it (although I do wholeheartedly support our troops -- my uncle, a captain in the National Guard, did two tours of duty in Iraq!).

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  64. If you say that nobody is pro-war, then I say that nobody is pro-abortion. To me, it is the same thing as calling those whom are pro-choice, pro-abortion. If you think war should happen, then to me, you are pro-war. You can't have a middle ground.

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  65. Chelsea,

    So do you believe that World War II was inherently immoral? Do you believe the Allies should have let the Axis powers conquer Europe?

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  66. Chelsea, war is licit if the war is just (defense of a nation against an aggressor), and even then it is only licit to fight soldiers, never civilians. Never, ever is it licit to willfully kill an innocent person, including civilians in war time.

    The Church has a lot to say on war. I don't know anyone who would call the Catholic Church "pro-war" -- even the most liberal person. Yet there are times when armies are licitly allowed to fight off an aggressors armies.

    War is not inherently evil.
    Abortion is always inherently evil.

    PS: Thank you for rejecting the title statement! I truly feel so good about that! :)

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  67. Chelsea,

    If you say that nobody is pro-war, then I say that nobody is pro-abortion.

    Just war is defensive war to protect your life when an enemy wants to kill you. There is no "just abortion" because there is no enemy who wants to kill you.

    Pro-choice, in terms of war, would mean you think it is OK to kill and wage war on other countries just because you didn't want them to exist.

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  68. *First sentence is a quote from Chelsea... still learning html code.

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  69. The few times that I prayed outside an abortion mill was an eye opener let me tell ya!! A lot of mom's bringing their very very young teenaged daughters in. A few boyfriends, but mostly the girls came with what would appear the their mothers. The mother never touched their daughters, no arms around their shoulders just the silent lets get it done and go on with our lives treatment. There are many many alternatives, financial help, from secular and catholic social agencies. these girls are not alone. They are just so young and looking for some support and COMPASSION from their mom (or that other important female role model) in their lives.......The list for couples waiting, longing, praying to have a baby either thru open or closed adoption is staggering. So if any moms of a pregnant daughter read this, PLEASE LOVE THEM BOTH!!!!!!

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  70. Just war is defensive war to protect your life when an enemy wants to kill you. There is no "just abortion" because there is no enemy who wants to kill you.

    Pro-choice, in terms of war, would mean you think it is OK to kill and wage war on other countries just because you didn't want them to exist.


    Stacy, I've been looking for a clear, concise way to say this for years! Can I plagiarize you forever?

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  71. So does that mean that you are OK with a women aborting a fetus, if it harms the mothers life? If it will really ruin the mothers like (gets shunned from family etc).

    And those who are innocent civilians can "get in the way" for lack of a better phrase. If you are shooting in a town, do you really think that no child would also get killed. War is not putting a bunch of soldiers in a room, and letting them at each other. It is about going into towns, and killing the people among them.

    I do not think most people would call those who are pro-choice, pro-abortion either.

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  72. Since my earlier comment, I haven't read (just skimmed) all the comments. So please forgive me if I re-invent the wheel.

    I did notice that Cate said something about pro-life support for the republican party. This is what I was going to mention, but from a different perspective. When I was a hardcore pro-choice feminist, I used to say ALL the TIME, "Pro-lifers only care before birth, not after". In my mind, I said this because most pro-lifers support the Republican party (at least reluctantly, as I now do), and as a card-carrying liberal, this meant to me that they didn't care about poor people. I think this is what most liberals/pro-choice folks mean when they say that about pro-lifers. I would have willingly admitted that of course individual pro-life people help individual people in crisis. But what I meant with that criticism was that pro-lifers, as a group, did not care about people "after they're born" because they did not support liberal/democratic policies on how to help the poor.

    Suffice it to say, I am no longer pro-choice, and no longer think that Democrats have a monopoly on desiring to help poor people.

    I think pro-choice people (I confess I can only speak to how I thought as a pro-choice person) are frustrated because, they see pro-lifers only voting for pro-life candidates, which almost always excludes a Democrat, and conclude that all pro-lifers must agree with the Republican party about everything, because why else would they vote for Republicans?

    I think for most pro-choice people making this accusation/criticism, it's more about pro-lifers as a group, and the perceived values of pro-lifers, based on how we usually vote.

    At least, that's how I always meant it when I criticized pro-lifers. Obviously I am not saying I think this criticism of pro-lifers is valid, as I now have to wrestle with these very issues every time there is an election, and I care very deeply about the poor.

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  73. "So does that mean that you are OK with a women aborting a fetus, if it harms the mothers life?"

    No, we are not OK with that, because it a fetus never directly and deliberately harms the mother. The mother has a medical condition that is exacerbated by pregnancy or caused by pregnancy, but it is not the FETUS that is the cause of the condition. It is the PREGNANCY. We believe in treating the condition, not killing the innocent human being who is not trying to harm the mother.

    "If it will really ruin the mothers like (gets shunned from family etc)."

    Do you think it would be acceptable for a mother to kill her newborn, or her infant, if she thought the child was "ruining" her life at that point?

    "And those who are innocent civilians can "get in the way" for lack of a better phrase. If you are shooting in a town, do you really think that no child would also get killed."

    The key is that soldiers can never INTEND to kill an innocent civilian, child or otherwise. If the killing is inadvertant, then it's a tragic casualty of war, but it was an unintentional death. It is absolutely inherently immoral and evil to intentionally target civillians, and care should be taken when targeting enemy combatants to try and minimize the loss of life, if possible.

    "War is not putting a bunch of soldiers in a room, and letting them at each other. It is about going into towns, and killing the people among them."

    I repeat what I said above. It is inherently immoral for soldiers in wartime to deliberately target innocent civillians. Such as you describe above is an atrocity and should never happen.

    "I do not think most people would call those who are pro-choice, pro-abortion either."

    To me, if you support any type or form of legal abortion, that equates to being pro-abortion. One can be pro-abortion with qualifications (e.g., not approve of late-term abortion) but that is still being pro-abortion.

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  74. As someone who has never been in a particularly pro-life environment, I have really appreciated hearing from all the pro-lifers. I just read Maggie's series of comments on Leila's last discussion post about abortion, sex, contraceptives, and family and while I didn’t agree with everything she said it was a clear and wonderfully articulated life view.

    For anyone who doesn’t mind answering I have a few questions for pro-lifers. These aren’t meant to be confrontational, but I would like to understand the mentality better.

    I don't quite get Joannes last comment about abortions and the risk of the mothers life. There are women on this board who have said they practice devout NFP because a doctor told them a pregnancy would seriously endanger their lives. I understand that these women would not abort their children even if it did pose a risk to their own life, but do most pro-lifers really believe they don’t have a right to?

    This one is controversial, admittedly, and hypothetical but I'm trying to understand your thought process. Lets say a woman who is pregnant; 2 days 7 months whatever, and she doesn’t want to be pregnant anymore. There is technology where she can undergo a procedure and take the embryo/fetus out of her body safely and it can grow and live in a machine of some sort. Obviously it isn’t natural, but the baby's life is protected. Is this option permissible, and if not, why?

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  75. Here is the thing though. The second you have entered war, you have started something that could cause innocent civilians to get hurt. It is pretty much unavoidable, so starting war mean starting killing. Two wrongs cannot make a right.

    What I said can happen alright. The people being targeted are people too. They have families, neighbors, and they live right next to them.

    In so many places, peaceful operations have happened, and seceded. DO you really want people to die ever,from another human. You say that you are pro-life. Killing is just not the solution.

    And you said my point exactly. You allow war to happen, you are pro-war.

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  76. Chelsea, let me just try to gauge where you're at, before I continue: Do you see any moral distinction at all between willful killing of an innocent and killing in self defense?

    Or are those exactly the same thing, morally?

    Thanks!

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  77. College Student-

    I am one of the women that you had talked about that are at risk if they were to get pregnant due to health problems...It's true; if I were to get pregnant again, I most likely would die a very early death (or else have another heart attack from the pregnancy.)

    You raise an interesting question and one that I have thought of myself lately. I was told that under no circumstances could I ever get pregnant. I couldn't help thinking, "yeah, but what if it happens 'by accident'?" What if I were to get raped and get pregnant, what would I do? Would I go to the ER and take one of those pills the doctor gives you to prevent pregnancy? After all, the baby wouldn't even be "starting" yet and it would save my own life.

    I know I would be scared to death. I know I would be thinking of the children I have and how they need me. But I just couldn't take that pill. I know that I would choose life for the baby.

    It's not so much that I don't think that I don't have a right to choose, it's more that I use my right to choose life for a baby. For me, it's based off of morality and not a vote.
    The baby has as much as a right to life as I do and I cannot take that away from him. I can't play God and say who should live and who shouldn't.

    Life begins at conception. I see my right first and foremost not just for myself but for the tiny human being who is seeking life through me. I can't imagine kicking him out of there, for the sake of choosing myself. For me, it's not about my rights, it's about morality. What is the right thing to do--and trust God with the rest.

    I have already been through this morality talk with my doctors and nurses and why I won't take birth control, but I explain myself so badly, unlike the other commenters here. So it's always a losing battle for me.

    This probably doesn't really answer your question very well, but I thought I would chime in seeing that I already am in this predicament (not that I'm pregnant, but that my health is always at risk.)

    One last thing, something I read today that I found interesting. I feel I can say this freely to you, College Student, because although you are not Catholic, you have said that you come from a Christian family...

    Mother Theresa had commented on how when Mary found out she was with child and had Jesus in her womb, she "went in haste" to her cousin Elizabeth to help her in her pregnancy. And when Elizabeth saw Mary, she felt the baby jump for joy in her womb.
    And Mother Theresa said, "Isn't it wonderful that it was the privilege of an unborn child to be the first to recognize the Lord?"

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  78. Chelsea - on another thread about abortion, the ectopic pregnancy issue came up and they decided that it would be okay to remove the fallopian tube, thereby causing death to the fetus, because you're not "intending to kill the fetus" you are intending to remove the "dysfunctional organ." To them, this wouldn't be a willful killing of the fetus. It would all be unitnentional. Just like when you go to war and know darn well what you are doing, whether you want to or not (bunch of young boys killing other young boys, neither of which are directly responsible for the war and bombing civilian areas) but everything is unintentional.

    This is how these loopholes get twisted so they always feel justified.

    War is always "some baddie attacking you" and there is NEVER a medical reason to abort a baby (except for Becky, who was honest - THANK YOU!!! - and said she'd step up & go through with it anyway. -- hope you never have to have another heart attack, pregnancy or no, How truly scary and awful!)

    But all other women who wouldn't be willing to die for a zygote and leave their families behind are making the wrong choice and these ladies feel that should be illegal.

    (This is why you scare the pink haired lefties into saying crazy things "they say I have to die?? What???")

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  79. Why is it wrong for someone to want to live? And I do not see a difference between war, and killing someone innocent. But I tend to defend those of whom are alive first, and most.

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  80. Just wrote a long reply and Blogger errored. Grrrr...

    Anonymous@7:43am - Regarding the ectopic pregnancy scenario, you're referring to the principle of double effect. We absolutely see a difference between the deliberate killing of an unborn child, and the treatment of a pathology that results in the unintended death of an unborn child. I'm sorry you don't.

    By the way, I think you misread Becky's comments. She said, "I know I would be scared to death. I know I would be thinking of the children I have and how they need me. But I just couldn't take that pill. I know that I would choose life for the baby." She said she would NOT get an abortion to save herself.

    Chelsea - you seem to be saying that death is death, and intention absolutely doesn't matter. Is it your opinion that a woman who kills someone attempting to rape her should be convicted of murder and sent to jail for the rest of her life? That is the logical conclusion of your opinion, if self-defense is immoral in your view.

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  81. Also, Chelsea, it is NOT wrong for someone to want to live. It is wrong to deliberately kill an innocent human being to achieve that end. It's a good end, but evil means, and in Christian theology you may never do evil so that good may result. Deliberately killing an innocent human being, whether born or unborn, is always evil.

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  82. Becky, thank you for commenting.

    'm sure you are tired of having politicians throw your situation around as a reason to justify abortions. You are clearly very devoted to your faith and morals; however, not everyone is.

    I hope that whether or not you (the generic you) think abortion is always wrong you see a distinction between elective abortions and those genuinely used to save a mothers life.

    Pro-choicers would commend Becky's decision, as it is beautiful and selfless, but they would never require that she or anyone make it.

    The statement by Anonymous really concerns me:
    "But all other women who wouldn't be willing to die for a zygote and leave their families behind are making the wrong choice and these ladies feel that should be illegal." How is wanting to save your own life "the wrong choice," isn’t that a very personal opinion. I understand your views that women should not put their own convenience over her baby's life, but on what principle does she have to put her baby’s life over her life? Isn’t that a horrible and unreasonable thing to ask of someone who already has a life of his or her own?

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  83. Joanne, i actually with some of what you say here.

    It is wrong to aim to kill someone. I dont support abortion procedures that defacto aim to kill the baby ( which is virtually all of them). I do support procedures that aim to take the baby out of the womb. It is wrong to kill a life but it is not wrong to fail to use your resources to sustain one.

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  84. college student and anonymous,

    I am under no illusions that we will agree on this, but I will simply tell you clearly what our position is:

    1) One may never directly, willfully kill an innocent human being. This principle is inviolable, and non-negotiable. It applies to every human being, regardless of race, creed, color, location, size, development, mental capacity, disability status -- everything. We may never, ever kill an innocent human being.

    2) One may never commit an evil act, even to bring about a greater good. In other words, the ends don't justify the means. Not ever. This is an inviolable principle, and it's something that all Christians used to understand. The Catholic Church still upholds basic principle of moral reasoning, and always will.

    3) We are all made in the image and likeness of God. Every single one of us. From conception, there is a person and a soul. Every single person is made to live in Heaven eternally with God. Nothing on this earth -- nothing -- will outlast the human soul. We do not willfully kill other innocent, defenseless human beings, even to prolong our own earthly lives. Jesus said, "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul?" St. Joan of Arc and other saints often said that they would rather die than to commit one mortal sin against God.

    This is our faith... you may not like it or agree with it, but I hope you will at least respect it. When every other Christian denomination caves on every moral issue and every moral principle, the Catholic Church, which Christ founded, will stay true to the Christian Faith in every age, in season and out of season.

    It doesn't make the Church popular, but it is a source of amazing peace and grace to those of us who love our Faith. It's a rock which cannot be moved.

    You may think that is horrid, but I refer you back to this quote:

    "The Church is intolerant in principle because she believes; she is tolerant in practice because she loves. The enemies of the Church are tolerant in principle because they do not believe; they are intolerant in practice because they do not love." -- Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, OP

    We may never agree, but if you could at least respect that the Church stands on the rock of her truth, her principles, in an age when no one finds principles and virtues necessary or convenient anymore, it would be a sign of goodwill.

    Meantime, we put our sides out there, and let the reader see the differences. Clarity, not agreement, is what I am shooting for here.

    Blessings!

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  85. It is wrong to kill a life but it is not wrong to fail to use your resources to sustain one.

    Then there is nothing immoral about leaving a baby to die of exposure. The Romans did that routinely and the Chinese do that today. Even Obama voted to let born babies (who survived late term abortions) die with no medical attention.

    By your principle, that inaction would be moral. By the Church's principle, leaving a child to die by withdrawing normal means of support is called murder.

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  86. Quick technical note: If you are getting these comments via email, please note that sometimes the comments here on the blog don't show up in the emails! It's frustrating, ack! So, you may want to check on the actual comment thread on the blog occasionally to get all the comments.

    Thanks!

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  87. Regarding moral reasoning and the death/killing of innocents:

    Making distinctions is so incredibly important. For those who don't understand the distinctions in some of these "loopholes" (not a word that fits at all, but it's the word some critics of the Church have used), please note these two scenarios.

    Both involve innocent people who die.

    One scenario shows an immoral killing:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2010/09/answer-to-dqs-moral-reasoning-101-ends.html

    Another scenario shows the principle of "double effect", i.e., a wholly unintended, if foreseen, death of an innocent:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2010/11/answer-to-doctrinal-quiz-show-and.html

    These are two VERY DIFFERENT situations, morally speaking.

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  88. Chelsea, you said, "But I tend to defend those of whom are alive first, and most."

    But...unborn babies ARE alive.

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  89. JoAnna - I got Becky's post & commended her for admitting there are circumstances which cause death to the mother, but she was going to stick to her guns anyhow. I like that.

    But don't make me have to do the same thing.

    Leila - who is an enemy of the church? Because if you are using that little quote to say those who don't agree with the church, but let it's believers do what they will, then you are saying I do not love.

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  90. Hi there Leila, I wasn't going to comment, but I do have to ask, what are YOU doing to support crisis pregnancies? Just writing a few checks and flaming a "culture war" to make everyone more polarized?

    That's nice that you want to support your community, but there would be a lot of people left out if we only supported "our own"

    -L

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  91. "You are clearly very devoted to your faith and morals; however, not everyone is."

    Would you accept this argument if it were used to justify slavery? Or pedophilia?

    If you were told, "You may not like that I have sex with children, but my faith and moral code says it's okay" would then that justify the other person's actions of sexually abusing minor children?


    Moreover, as I've previously stated, abortion is not a religious issue. It is a human rights issue. There are non-religious pro-lifers; for example, see http://www.secularprolife.org.

    L.,

    The direct killing of innocent human beings would still be wrong even if no one lifted a finger to help people in crisis pregnancies. Our rights aren't removed just because no one desires to help us.

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  92. ACK! I just wrote a whole post in response to L, but lost it! Be back soon.... Sorry!!

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  93. L, it's actually a great question. I have often thought that I am a slacker, not doing nearly the amount of heroic, selfless things that my friends are doing. Thanks for giving me the chance to talk it out here...

    I think a lot depends on one's state of life. I support my community with any donations and support that I can (whatever money is left for charity after taxes, ha ha). I was asked to be on the board of one of the crisis pregnancy centers, but I was pregnant with number seven, I believe, and I just couldn't do it. I did agree to take on a lesser role, helping with some teen outreach and essay contest for high schoolers. I often think I am lazy, but then I remember that I still have seven children at home that I am raising. This is part of what I do to contribute to a Culture of Life, not only being open to children, but also forming them in our Faith. It's definitely time-consuming, as you can imagine. My "season" for working and helping outside the home is not now. We all have seasons for when we can do certain things. Right now, I am in the "in home" season, ha!

    Also, not everyone has the same gifts (we call them "charisms"). Some are gifted in service, some in teaching, some in prayer (contemplative, cloistered nuns), some in missionary work, some in writing, etc. I am using my (very limited) gifts in the way that I can at the moment. I used to teach and speak a lot outside of the home, but now I use my writing and my blog to try to help Catholics understand their faith. I don't claim to be the heros that many others are. I am in awe of them.

    But thankfully, I have a husband and children who do a lot of outreach and volunteering, while I am still here raising the children. My college daughter has always volunteered through our parish and at St. Vincent de Paul, and at college, she goes to serve at a local soup kitchen.

    My teen son and husband have done work for Maggie's Place (jackhammering, cleaning, renovating) when the new homes (or older ones) are in need of repair or clean ups.

    My high school daughter is part of a program which helps the staff at 1st Way, doing filing, sorting baby clothes, or whatever is needed so that the nurses and staff can be freed up to help the women in crisis, who come in at a very steady pace. She also helps set up and run the (wonderful and huge) annual Maggie's Place Christmas party for the moms and children (current and alum). She does crafts and games with the little ones, and provides gifts for Christmas.

    I am sure there is more that I'm forgetting, but it's a start. I definitely hope to do more for others as soon as I am a little further into raising my own children. Thanks for the reminder. You are right.

    Also, I don't know who can do a better job helping people in any given community besides, well, the community? I think we are supposed to help those who need help in our own neighborhoods and towns. That is a very personal, heart to heart way to connect with our fellow human beings.

    As far as only supporting "our own", I don't know what you mean by that? I thought we mentioned that people are helped by the Church no matter their race, creed, color, status, size, location, abilities, etc. If you could clarify or show me where you got the idea that we only help "our own"?

    Thanks!

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  94. But is it is bad to kill, for the end result, then why are we willing to kill in a war?

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  95. Chelsea would you please answer the question someone asked "so you think that world war II shouldn't have happened and the Allies should have let Hitler take over Europe?"----I would really like to hear your reply. =)

    ~Suomynona

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  96. Anonymous, I don't know you and I don't know if you despise the Church or not. I was not using that quote for you personally, but only for the general sentiment.

    The point of the quote is this: Those who despise the Church (and I include certain philosophies and movements here, as well as people), point the finger at the Church and call her "intolerant!" But they do not recognize that while the Church stands on principle and truth, she loves everyone. Everyone.

    On the other hand, those who claim to be "tolerant" do not often have a "dogma" so to speak, so they believe whatever they feel. This leads to subjective morality, which protects no one and is in fact essentially selfish. It's consequences are not loving, in practice.

    More when I can, but now all heck is breaking loose here.... boys going nuts....

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  97. Chelsea, short answer: Because killing a combatant in war is not murder. All murder is wrong, but not all killing. Some killing is licit. But willful killing of the innocent is always immoral, because it is alway murder.

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  98. Chelsea, maybe this official position of the Church will help:


    Just War in the Catechism of the Catholic Church

    III. SAFEGUARDING PEACE

    Peace

    2302 By recalling the commandment, "You shall not kill," [Mt. 5:21] our Lord asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and hatred as immoral.

    Anger is a desire for revenge. "To desire vengeance in order to do evil to someone who should be punished is illicit," but it is praiseworthy to impose restitution "to correct vices and maintain justice." [St. Thomas Aquinas, ST II-II q158, a1 ad3] If anger reaches the point of a deliberate desire to kill or seriously wound a neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal sin. The Lord says, "Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment." [Mt. 5:22]

    2303 Deliberate hatred is contrary to charity. Hatred of the neighbor is a sin when one deliberately wishes him evil. Hatred of the neighbor is a grave sin when one deliberately desires him grave harm. "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven." [Mt. 5:44-45]

    2304 Respect for and development of human life require peace. Peace is not merely the absence of war, and it is not limited to maintaining a balance of powers between adversaries. Peace cannot be attained on earth without safeguarding the goods of persons, free communication among men, respect for the dignity of persons and peoples, and the assiduous practice of fraternity. Peace is "the tranquility of order." [St. Augustine, City of God 19, 13,1] Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity. [Cf. Is. 32:17; cf. Vatican II, Gaudium et spes #78, 1-2]

    2305 Earthly peace is the image and fruit of the peace of Christ, the messianic "Prince of Peace." [Is. 9:5] By the blood of his Cross, "in his own person he killed the hostility," [Eph. 2:16; cf. Col. 1:20-22] he reconciled men with God and made his Church the sacrament of the unity of the human race and of its union with God. "He is our peace." [Eph. 2:14] He has declared: "Blessed are the peacemakers." [Mt. 5:9]

    2306 Those who renounce violence and bloodshed and, in order to safeguard human rights, make use of those means of defense available to the weakest, bear witness to evangelical charity, provided they do so without harming the rights and obligations of other men and societies. They bear legitimate witness to the gravity of the physical and moral risks of recourse to violence, with all its destruction and death. [Cf. Vatican II, Gaudium et spes 78, 5]

    to be continued....

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  99. Continued...

    Avoiding war

    2307 The fifth commandment forbids the intentional destruction of human life. Because of the evils and injustices that accompany all war, the Church insistently urges everyone to prayer and to action so that the divine Goodness may free us from the ancient bondage of war. [Cf. Vatican II, Gaudium et spes 81, 4] All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war.

    However, "as long as the danger of war persists and there is no international authority with the necessary competence and power, governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all peace efforts have failed." [Cf. Vatican II, Gaudium et spes 79, 4]

    2309 The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:
    - the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
    - all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
    - there must be serious prospects of success;
    - the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.
    These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the "just war" doctrine. The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.

    2310 Public authorities, in this case, have the right and duty to impose on citizens the obligations necessary for national defense.

    Those who are sworn to serve their country in the armed forces are servants of the security and freedom of nations. If they carry out their duty honorably, they truly contribute to the common good of the nation and the maintenance of peace.[Cf. Vatican II, Gaudium et spes 79, 5]

    to be continued...

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  100. continued...


    2311 Public authorities should make equitable provision for those who for reasons of conscience refuse to bear arms; these are nonetheless obliged to serve the human community in some other way. [Cf. Vatican II, Gaudium et spes 79, 3] 2312 The Church and human reason both assert the permanent validity of the moral law during armed conflict. "The mere fact that war has regrettably broken out does not mean that everything becomes licit between the warring parties." [Cf. Vatican II, Gaudium et spes 79, 4]

    2313 Non-combatants, wounded soldiers, and prisoners must be respected and treated humanely.

    Actions deliberately contrary to the law of nations and to its universal principles are crimes, as are the orders that command such actions. Blind obedience does not suffice to excuse those who carry them out. Thus the extermination of a people, nation, or ethnic minority must be condemned as a mortal sin. One is morally bound to resist orders that command genocide.

    2314 "Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation." [Cf. Vatican II, Gaudium et spes 80, 3]A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons - especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons - to commit such crimes.

    2315 The accumulation of arms strikes many as a paradoxically suitable way of deterring potential adversaries from war. They see it as the most effective means of ensuring peace among nations. This method of deterrence gives rise to strong moral reservations. The arms race does not ensure peace. Far from eliminating the causes of war, it risks aggravating them. Spending enormous sums to produce ever new types of weapons impedes efforts to aid needy populations; [Pope Paul VI, Populorum Progressio 53] it thwarts the development of peoples. Over- armament multiplies reasons for conflict and increases the danger of escalation.

    2316 The production and the sale of arms affect the common good of nations and of the international community. Hence public authorities have the right and duty to regulate them. The short-term pursuit of private or collective interests cannot legitimate undertakings that promote violence and conflict among nations and compromise the international juridical order.

    2317 Injustice, excessive economic or social inequalities, envy, distrust, and pride raging among men and nations constantly threaten peace and cause wars. Everything done to overcome these disorders contributes to building up peace and avoiding war:

    Insofar as men are sinners, the threat of war hangs over them and will so continue until Christ comes again; but insofar as they can vanquish sin by coming together in charity, violence itself will be vanquished and these words will be fulfilled: "they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." [Cf. Vatican II, Gaudium et spes 78, 6; cf. Is. 2:4]

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  101. Leila - I am sorry.

    No, really.

    To be honest I am still disappointed about the last post. And in harboring my little bit of ire, I have challenged you personally. Of course I know how raising kids goes - I can barely take a shower most days, let alone go running around town, helping to change the world.

    I feel that this "culture war" is a farce designed to keep everyone politically polarized and towing their party lines. The DEMs & GOPs need this war to be happening because many people are realizing that there is common ground, but we can't lose our voting bases, so we demonize the "other side."

    Think about this: You have me, you all, and college student - all different religious/political persuasions and nuances, yet we can ALL agree: Abortion isn't good. We don't want abortion.

    So instead of putting our heads together and thinking of solutions we can agree on, like building up women's self-respect, embracing our fertility and demanding more out of men OR how to stop pregnancies form being a "burden" and forcing women to choose between career and kids.... We're having a "culture war."

    The problem is that you will not be satisfied unless everyone immediately converts to Catholicism.Everyone must see sex as god's gift for hetero, married procreation only. Anyone who is disenfranchised, simply cannot have sex. Everyone must want children.

    You seem to think there was once this Utopia where these rules were the norm and everyone lived happily and perfectly... until the Devil infected the people we now call "the liberals." (ha ha - my tone is fairly light) And we all have to hearken back to this mythical time. Newsflash- there never was such a time.

    And as far as community help is concerned, I don't have a problem with that! Please help out your community! To be frank, my husband and I always defend the Christians when it comes to charity -- they are awesome. We have many Christian friends an relatives who are always doing amazing work. I am inspired by them.

    But on the other hand, if we only supported our own communities and the charities we thought worthy, most people would be left out. Sure, Maggie's Place in Phoenix would be booming, flat-screen TV's, top-line Medela breast pumps and leather rocker/glider & ottoman sets.

    Inner-city and rural substance abuse shelters? Not so much. Babies are way cuter than most of these guys and besides - inner city & rural people don't have the resources that the folks in your neighborhood do. Hence we all need to chip in for them.

    And DCFS, Public Aid, things like this that save people every day are vilified by the right as being "entitlement." Healthcare coverage for all children is an entitlement to them.

    Libs can't understand why pro-lifers could throw sick kids under the bus and this is why you have the title of your post.

    I just think you do have a gift of riling people up which can be used for good instead of another voice pushing us all apart.

    -L

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  102. Suomynona - I think that other ways could have been used. Instead of entire England towns being bombed.

    And also, Leila, this might just be my age or something. But I do not understand one thing you had said earlier,

    "On the other hand, those who claim to be "tolerant" do not often have a "dogma" so to speak, so they believe whatever they feel. This leads to subjective morality, which protects no one and is in fact essentially selfish. It's consequences are not loving, in practice."

    Can you explain it further?

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  103. Chelsea -

    "I think that other ways could have been used. Instead of entire England towns being bombed."

    Um... you do realize that the ENEMY was bombing English cities, right?

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  104. I meant it did not have to get to that point.

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  105. Chelsea -

    If that's what you meant, I'm not sure why you used past tense. Regardless, it would absolutely be immoral, under the just war doctrine, to knowingly bomb English cities in which innocent civilians were living.

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  106. I think that there is strength in peace. War is saying, well, we have given up.

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  107. L, don't worry... Christians should always take criticism by looking at what is true in it. If I get slammed for something, my first instinct (and it's hard!) must be to look at if there is truth to what is being said. That's how we learn humility (usually a tough lesson!) and also it's how we grow in holiness. So, thanks for the opportunity for sanctification! :)

    As for the rest of what you said, I hope you can wait just a couple more posts and I will answer it. I think you misunderstand what I am doing here, and what my goals are, and my understanding of life in general. I think I will do another "Clarifying for L" post! So, thanks for patience. I have another post I want to get out there first.

    Chelsea, sometimes war is not saying we have "given up", sometimes it says, "We will not let evil triumph over good". We live in a world full of evil, and not everyone can be "talked to" and be reasonable. Many evil regimes laugh at such attempts, and continue to kill and oppress. Not everyone just "wants to get along".

    As far as the quote....

    The Church lives by a moral law. If everyone lived by the moral law, no one would get hurt, be used, or lose their human dignity. We uphold the moral law because we believe in a truth. People who dislike the Church and these "rules" call us intolerant, simply for saying: "This is right and is good for you. This is wrong and is bad for you." But just as heartily the Church speaks the truth clearly and does not compromise with error, she also pours out love, care and service to ALL people. Forgiveness is there, mercy is there, love is there, always.

    For those who despise the Church, it's usually because they don't want to follow the moral "rules" and want to do their own thing, make up their own moral "truth". They fancy themselves "tolerant" for not saying that anything is objectively right or wrong. But in the long run, it is a cold, unfeeling philosophy, as it is based in selfishness. You have seen it in your classmates and the pro-choice advocates in the video: "I will not have a child ruin MY plans, MY career, etc. I will do as I wish. I will have sex when I want for pleasure (this is using others), and no one will get hurt (untrue)". These anti-Church philosophies do not end up with people loving (because love is always about the other, not about one's own self), but with people being selfish and using others for their own gain. So, it's "tolerant" in belief, but not loving in the end. In fact, where you see hatred of the Church, you see some pretty ugly stuff.

    I haven't done a great job explaining it, as I wrote this quickly. I hope you get the gist, though.

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  108. Leila (in reference to your 9:48 post, Thank you for clarifying about the church’s stance about abortion and the health of the mother. I am very unfamiliar with Catholic doctrines. I actually didn’t know that Catholics did not believe abortions were permissible in cases of mother’s health. More importantly I didn’t know that Catholics wanted to impose this on non-catholic people. I have zero problems with what you say as doctrines for catholic but you haven’t pointed out a LEGAL basis for any of it, which is why I believe it is problematic.

    Is it immoral to take a five-month-old baby out of your stomach and put it on life support, knowing it is better for the baby to keep it in your stomach, yes. But on what basis should it be illegal. Morals are often the basis for laws, but something being immoral is no reason within itself to make it illegal. I get that legally you can’t kill people (pro-life justification for abortion) but on what legal principle is a person required to use their own body to keep another alive? Absolutely never.

    On the surface, L, others and myself would agree your cause: ending abortions because you think they are murder is noble. But that isn’t the only reason you abhor abortion. You don’t like it because it allows people to have sex without consequences. You also don’t like birth control, or masturbation because it allows you to have sex without consequences. You also need to get rid of these things abortion birth control masturbation so that people will only have sex in marriage. So now we just have kids getting married earlier because they want to have sex. Married women having kids at 20. Not going to college. Not being able to support themselves, raising their children, and ultimately realizing they are unhappy with their husbands that they married at 18 for sex. They leave their husbands, their husbands leave them, or they just stay together unhappy great. We have exchanged one form of problems for another.

    You call the woman in the video selfish but we’re all selfish. If you’re not selfish in this world you’re pretty stupid. She has to worry about her body her future so she can pay HER bills, so she can get HER education so she can support HERSELF and make HER life good. Good for her. People need money to live, and babies get in the way of this maybe we should work harder so make a world where babies don’t get in the way of this. Where having a baby instead of going to college doesn’t screw you, maybe then more people would be willing to have them

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  109. The thing that genuinely perplexes me about many of your attitudes about sex is that you had sex before you were married, not even that but you had sex as teenagers. How horribly hypocritical is it so tell young women to wait until they are married when you didn’t wait until senior prom.

    I think the women on this board are loving, good-hearted Christians who want to save their children and other peoples children from the heartache they faced. That’s great. But C’mon. You had sex and it didn’t ruin your life. You went to PP for help and they did just that HELP you. It may not seem like they did because facilitated you in sin, but they let you make your mistakes with relatively little consequences so that your whole life didn’t suffer because of them and you could grow to be the wonderful women you are today.

    As adults You want to shut PP down, discourage people them from using contraceptives and wait till marriage. Women are doing exactly what you did as they grow into themselves, but when they slip up they will get pregnant or syphilis because they have been taught from people like you that contraceptives are evil.

    As a 20 year old, I struggled with being one of the last virgins I knew. I had a relatively conservative view about sex, and I was actually concerned about how it would affect the rest of my life and future relationships. I talked to a lot of religious women ( not girls women) about their views on sexuality and my virginity. They told me I should wait. But not one of them had. Not one. This is one of the (many) reasons I decided to have sex. Sex would not necessarily ruin my life, or reputation, it would not keep me from having a loving family, no man would care that I wasn’t a virgin. Sex had the capacity ro ruin my life, but it didn’t have to and everyone telling me it would was basically lying because it didnt ruin theres.

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  110. college student: regarding post at 7:20pm....

    If there is no God and if He didn't create you out of love, and if He didn't want you for His own heart, then you are right. Then it doesn't matter what we do with our bodies, or how much sex we have, or who we have sex with, or for what reasons, and it also doesn't matter who uses us for sex, or if we get pregnant and "need" an abortion, or if we get diseases, or if we do whatever our passions or urges tell us to do in the moment. You are right, if there is no loving God.

    But if there is a God, and if He did create you for Himself, and if He did create the order of the universe for humans to live in freedom and love according to His perfect design, then it does matter if we misuse our gifts, and it does matter if we harm our bodies and souls, and it does matter if we act against our human dignity.

    It really does matter, but only if there is a God.

    I believe there is a God.

    As to your comment at 6:57, you have raised a lot of issues. Some of what you say about Catholicism is misrepresentative of Catholicism, and needs correcting. Some of the other things you say point out clearly the big difference in our worldviews, which also deserves some time to address. So, if you don't mind, I am going to post a couple of posts first (including the one I promised L, answering her), and then I will do a whole post answering you.

    Thanks for patience! :)

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  111. Anyone else having an issue with comments that show up here but do not show up in emails (if you signed up for emails)?

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  112. College Student:

    "...but on what legal principle is a person required to use their own body to keep another alive? Absolutely never." Actually before January 22, 1973 that was in fact, the case. Legally.

    You said, "But that isn’t the only reason you abhor abortion. You don’t like it because it allows people to have sex without consequences..." and on and on. In fact, you have this backwards. If all of the stuff you mentioned didn't LEAD to abortion, we would still think that stuff was morally wrong, but we wouldn't be fighting so hard to change the cultural perception of it. Of how it's all destructive and leads to the murder of innocents.

    "You call the woman in the video selfish but we’re all selfish." Yikes. Thank God that's completely untrue!

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  113. @ College Student:
    I don't have a whole lot of time right now to fully answer your questions(I hopefully will tomorrow!), but I will say this: unlike many of the ladies on this blog, I didn't try the whole "postmodern" lifestyle. I am 25, almost 26, am single, out of school, working professionally, and a virgin, and if I get married I'll be able to say I waited entirely for my husband. However, that doesn't mean that I didn't struggle with chastity in past relationships, because chastity is so much more than just not going "all the way."

    Today I went to the wedding of two dear friends, 23 and 25, and they were also both virgins until their wedding day, and they didn't live a "Catholic bubble" either. So I know that right now it seems like you are the only person in the world not having sex, but I promise that you are not alone :-)

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  114. I'm really late to this discussion but I'm glad to read it. I just got into a very disheartening discussion with a pro-choicer over at Inside Catholic which left me feeling completely dejected and depressed about the whole pro-life issue because this person insisted on twisting everything I said to make it look like I wanted women to die. No amount of either reasoning or emotional appeal seemed to at least get her to see that opposition to abortion was a rational position based on human rights, not a position based on hatred of women. It didn't work.

    Why is it so hard for some pro-choice people to see the unborn child as a person? To have some compassion for him or her? When I was pro-choice all it took was someone to humanize the unborn child by using reason to demonstrate its personhood. That was enough for me to re-think the issue and take a more nuanced position which evolved into a pro-life one over time. But some people absolutely flat-out refuse to even consider the child in the equation. Abortion to them is just another elective medical procedure like rhinoplasty or a breast augmentation, and if you say otherwise you're an "anti-choice fanatic".

    And meanwhile these poor little babies are dispatched and disposed of like bio-matter or garbage. Their voice is not heard and their lives are not grieved, except by pro-lifers who pray rosaries outside of clinics.

    You know, L's comment about Leila et. al. wanting everyone to be Catholic got me thinking...and maybe its just the state of mind I'm in.

    Would it really be so bad if everyone in the world were Catholic...not lapsed Catholic but practicing Orthodox Catholic?

    How many abortions would there be if everyone in the world were Catholic? How many unplanned pregnancies? STD's?

    How many suicide bombings would there be if everyone were Catholic? how many female circumcisions? honor killings? women forced to cover every inch of skin except their eyes and have to ask permission of their husbands to leave the house?

    On the other hand, how many beautiful churches and pieces of artwork would there be if everyone in the world were Catholic? How many hymns that elevate the soul?

    Is a diversity of religions and ideologies really the great thing everyone makes it out to be? I've been agnostic, new-age, Wiccan, lefty feminist, socialist and I've been Catholic. Being Catholic is better. It has all of the good of those other things, such as respect for nature and human rights, respect for women, respect for the intellect, a space for doubt and uncertainty, for reason. Except it has none of the bad stuff. It doesn't tell you to worship nature in one breath but say baby-killing is ok in the next. It tells you to make yourself a channel of the spirit, but not that you are a divine being. It tells you to learn about the functions of the world, that the universe is knowable based on reason, butt it doesn't uphold science as the only form of knowing to the exclusion of everything else.

    Catholicism is wide and broad and deep. It's like a palatial mansion with wide windows gazing out in every direction. It has room for literally every personality type from ascetic to sensualist, from passionate go-getter to calm homebody, it has room for every type of faith practice from contemplative to missionary to charismatic, to mystic. It has room for reason and passion, for off the cuff creativity and long held tradition.

    Would it really be so bad if everyone were Catholic? Really? What would that world look like?

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  115. Barbara... let's put that into the 'ol "What If" machine... beep boop bop beep beep:

    And we have... the middle ages! What fun that was!

    No, but seriously, I know what you're trying to say - what if everyone lived like you? Perhaps you think everyone would get along and be happy. I think that too, sometimes, except replacing 'you' for 'me.'

    A lot of people think that way. But in order for that to work, everyone on this earth would have to be you (in your fantasy) or me (in mine.)

    Nicole C - masturbation doesn't lead to abortion. And as for "sex without consequences"? Often it just leads to sex without consequences.Is it a good thing? Not really. But does it have to lead to a broken heart, an STD and an abortion? No.

    Also - you're NEVER selfish? Really? Because if you're not sitting by deathbeds in Calcutta or devoting all your life and worldly possessions to helping those in need... you are, to a point.

    And it's not always a bad thing.

    -L

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  116. Wow Barbara! Are you sure you're a graduate student???
    I think I'd probably commit suicide if I woke up and found myself in a Catholic homogeneous world. I'd be condemned, shunned and perhaps forced to confession and then marriage for living and having sex with my boyfriend. My gay/lesbian/transgender friends would be "lovingly" told they are no longer to have sex with those they love and are attracted to and any wish they may have had to become parents would be destroyed until they were properly married to people of the opposite sex.
    Not to mention it sure would be boring with only one viewpoint, belief, culture out there and so little diversity.

    What a nightmare.

    And excellent points above L.

    -gwen

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  117. Leila - when you can (I know you have a gazillion posts lined up) please clarify for me:

    "...He did create you for Himself, and if He did create the order of the universe for humans to live in freedom and love according to His perfect design..."

    1. So, are we like gerbils in His great terrarium?

    2. Why do you think God created this vast universe, which dwarfs even our galaxy to a grain of sand in the Sahara, just for human beings spinning on a mote of dust in a very arbitrary place, in the cosmic blink of an eye, to love and breed?

    3. If his design was so perfect, why are we so "imperfect"? Why is there homosexuality if He doesn't want it? Why did He give us a sex drive so strong that it just about guarantees failure to adhere to all the rules of chastity? (to say nothing of all our other not-so-nice qualities)

    4. Why did He let my baby die (I have miscarried as well) if he hates abortions so much? Why did he abort my baby? Even if it was physically imperfect, am I not to still bear the child and care for it? I mean this with utmost sincerity when I say this: if we are to keep our severely brain-damaged alive and cared for, what was it about my baby that wasn't worthy?

    -L.

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  118. L, tell me what you know about the Middle Ages and the Catholic Church. I'm interested in what you've been taught.

    Barbara, excellent points, and it reminds me of listening to a Jewish talk show host (female) ask her caller (a woman who didn't like the "rules" of the Church and was thinking of leaving the Church) the following question:

    "What if the world lived according to the Ten Commandments? What would that world look like?"

    The caller paused awkwardly and then admitted,

    "It would actually be pretty good."

    The host said:

    "Then go and live your Catholic Faith."

    Sounds about right.

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  119. Miss G, it seems no matter how many times we say the same things, you don't understand.

    "The Church proposes, not imposes"
    "Catholics LOVE free will"

    No one can force another's actions or thoughts.

    Now, when we say that abortion should be illegal, it's because the unborn are HUMANS. The should be protected under the law just like all HUMANS. We believe in the innate, inherent dignity of ALL human beings, not just the "wanted" and the "convenient" or the ones who won't get in the way of our careers.

    And with abortion, it is a human rights issue, not a "religious" imposition. You have atheists and agnostics who are pro-life, but you don't have atheists or agnostics who believe that Mary was immaculately conceived. See the difference? Human rights issue, religious issue.

    L, the difference between us and the issue of selfishness:
    Catholics don't see selfishness as good. We try to stop being selfish and strive for holiness. Selfishness is the opposite of love. We are called to love others, not "look out for Number One". It goes like this: God, others, self. You may think that striving to be unselfish is bizarre, but that's why Jesus said that His followers would not be like "the world". We are to be "in the world, but not of it". It's easy to be selfish (believe me, I know! I am still very selfish on a million levels), but it's hard to love perfectly. And yet, we are called to it, with the help of God's grace (we can't do it without God's grace).

    Our role models are the saints, who lived lives of heroic virtue. If you read the lives of the saints, you will be blown away. They model for us what it is to truly love and lose the last vestiges of selfishness. Their interior peace and joy was beyond human understanding.

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  120. L, just saw your questions. I am trying to get everyone out the door to mass (then I have a full schedule of events today), so I will try to answer soon. If you are sincere, then what a great discussion we will have!

    Thanks!

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  121. L,

    Wow, you certainly took some interpretive liberties with my last comment! First of all, what I meant by College Student having it backwards, was that she seemed to think that we hate abortion because of the "sex w/out consequences mentality." No...we hate abortion because it's murder. We speak out against the "sex w/out consequences" mentality because it leads to abortion (yes, also b/c we think it's morally wrong).

    Secondly - and this is where you really took liberties - I never mentioned MYSELF when I responded to her "selfish" comment. I said that it's a good thing that not *everyone* is selfish (note, I did NOT say I'm not selfish once in awhile!). Yes, we're all human and we all fail. But there are many people who are inherently selfless. You proved my point: those who sit at deathbeds in Calcutta. Also, saints. Holy men and women. People who consecrate their lives to prayer. Take vows of poverty. Heck, I am privileged to be friends with some very selfless people...who DO devote their lives and treasure to causes higher than themselves. I find it very sad that you seem to not know people like that.

    Additionally, you do not know me, but besides raising my son, my life's work IS, in fact, dedicated to saving lives of the unborn. This kind of work doesn't make me popular, but it's my calling and it's what I believe is right. My goal in telling you this is not to brag about how virtuous I am - I assure you I'm not...I don't always carry out my duties in the most graceful manner. But you did point the finger at me so I'd like to defend myself!

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  122. Actually if everyone was a *good* Catholic, or trying to be, then no-one would be "shunned", "condemned" or (even more ridiculous), "forced to Confession"---also there are incredible amounts of "diversity", "viewpoint" and "culture" within the Church, but only one Morality.

    ...*happy sigh* That would be an awesome world Barbara... ;)

    Chelsea---but what if "other ways" didn't/don't work, and innocent people are still being downtrodden by an evil nation? What, in your opinion, should happen then?

    Suomynona

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  123. thanks!! that made my day. =) I probably shouldn't say this since people tend to look down on me (in online discussions mostly) when/if I do, but here goes. =P

    I'm only sixteen and I don't think I articulate things very well....but I Love reading your blog and the discussions that happen here---it's really fascinating to me because I DO want to know what/how other people think...

    Long story short, I'm a fan of yours. ;)

    Suomynona

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  124. Suomynona, you are only sixteen???? Girl, I'm impressed!!! Wow! I hope you become a regular commenter! Blessings!

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  125. I don't have much time right now (we're in our way to the AZ Renaissance Festival) but I have to respond to L.'s question about miscarried babies. I'm on my iPhone so please excuse any typos.

    I'm the mother of two miscarried babies. After my first miscarriage my brother said to me, "It was God's will." I said to him, "No, it wasn't. God doesn't will for babies to die, or for cancer or poverty or any of the other miseries in this world. This things exist because we live in a fallen world, and God allows them to happen out of respect for our free will, but He does not cause them or will them. God did not wish for my baby to die and I'm sure He's just as sad as I am about it."

    This doesn't mean much to non-Christians, as thry maintain that Gid could hae stopped or prevented the Fall. However, I just finished reading "The Problem of Pain" by C.S. Lewis, and he said this about the Fall of man: "God might have arrested this process by miracle: but this — to speak in somewhat irreverent metaphor — would have been to decline the problem which God had set Himself when He created the world, the problem of expressing His goodness through the total drama of a world containing free agents, in spite of, and by means of, their rebellion against him."

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  126. NicoleC - I wasn't attacking you. The good thing about the internet is that it allows us to get a full, coherent thought out there. The bad thing is we cannot emote or inflect tone, unless it's an emoticon or CAPS LOCK. I assure you that my tone isn't to attack. Sometimes, I wish you would take it down a notch, but I understand why you don't. You're right, I don't know you, but I've read your blog and prayed for that baby for you.

    I am not trying to knock anyone down here.I am trying to challenge my own views and remind you all that the "other side" isn't so one-dimensional.

    All I was saying is "masturbation doesn't lead to abortion" because you said, If all of the stuff you mentioned didn't LEAD to abortion, we would still think that stuff was morally wrong, but we wouldn't be fighting so hard to change the cultural perception of it. Of how it's all destructive and leads to the murder of innocents."

    All of the stuff. Masturbation never leads to abortion. Sorry. That is the only sex you can have that is truly without consequences - no disease, no unwanted pregnancies, you can't break your own heart... Argue "mentality" until you are blue in the face, but the act of masturbating has never once led to an abortion.

    Leila - What I've been taught about the middle ages? As opposed to what you 'know', because you lived through them? ;) lol

    Trust me - I believe actions are always 3D and there are many factors at work during history. But you have to admit that the church has done some terrible things alongside their beautiful ones.

    And I am 100% sincere.

    Also - it is a lot easier to live by the ten commandments than all of Catholic dogma. And only easy if you believe in the Christian God, of course.

    JoAnna - I LOVE the Ren Faire (though it makes my husbands eyes roll)! Have fun! I get what you are saying about suffering - our vices lead to much of the unhappiness in this world. But are you saying that because I am "fallen" God allowed my baby to die? What behavior of mine (or man's) did God allow to run it's natural course?

    For the record, I don't blame god for anything.

    -L

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  127. Just popping in to say hello for a second and to tell L that the Ten Commandments are the Catholic moral law. They are our moral dogma. And the Ten Commandments are for everyone, not just Catholics.

    I really was serious about what you know about the Middle Ages. Even the BBC (hardly Catholic-loving) has done work correcting much of of the distortions and misinformation. So, I'm really curious what your understanding of the Church in the Middle Ages is.

    Definitely we know that Popes and churchmen and Catholics in general have done horrid, evil things. I've never denied it, nor has the Church.

    And, as far as the miscarried babies (I had one, too), JoAnna is talking about the physical evil that came after the Fall. Not only did sin enter the world, but also things like death, disease, sickness, natural disasters, and every type of disorder. Miscarriages are a result of the Fall, in that they are physical evil. Disorder. (Stay tuned for my next post!)

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  128. All of the stuff. Masturbation never leads to abortion. Sorry. That is the only sex you can have that is truly without consequences - no disease, no unwanted pregnancies, you can't break your own heart... Argue "mentality" until you are blue in the face, but the act of masturbating has never once led to an abortion.

    Mindsets and mentalities do lead to consequences. There is nothing that has no consequences. The mentality that says sex is for pleasure, disconnected from its procreative meaning, is the mindset that leads to, believe it or not, sex for pleasure, disconnected from its procreative meaning. And that leads to.... "unwanted" babies, who are then aborted because the mindset says, "I wanted pleasure, I didn't ask for the baby!"

    Mindsets have all sorts of consequences.

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  129. PS: Masturbation can have consequences in the physical world, too, as it can be come addiction and obsessive for some folks. It can and does interfere with real life, esp. if there is a porn addiction.

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  130. haha I'm usually just content to sit and watch...I've been a lurker here for quite some time. =D But when something I feel strongly about isn't getting addressed properly in my eyes I have to say something. ;)

    thanks for the welcome!!! I will definitely be reading! =)

    ~Myn (easier to say/write then Suomynona I think. ;) )

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  131. • I’m sort of sad to read your post on masturbation Leila. I understand what your beliefs are and why you cannot compromise them, but ultimately its positions like that why more pro-choice people are not pro-life. No “murder”, a lot of people can cosign that but the world you ultimately want in concern to sexual morality is not the world we want…and its sad because there is so much common ground

    • I know you may not think so but so many of the problematic sexual behaviors exhibited today are a result of a catholic type mentality. Let me explain. If masturbation is sin, and pre-marital sex is sin, and contraception is a sin, then someone thinks they are equally bad. Thus if a boy has masturbated he may say I might as well have sex, because they are equally sinful. I understand a true catholic doesn’t think like this. But everyone you are advising isn’t a true catholic…. and kids think like that,

    The hook up culture I explained to you earlier is the result of many things. But I PROMISE you it is ultimately the result of people thinking ‘we aren’t going to wait until we are married anyway, so it doesn’t matter the sort of premarital sex we have.’ This is such a dangerous thought process: that all pre-marital sex is made equal. This thought has been internalized by non-catholic students. Girls think if having sex with two men and ten men is equally wrong, why not have sex with ten men. If we aren’t married anyway it doesn’t matter if I sleep with my bf or a stranger at a bar. While the bible may not recognize a difference. Health wise there is IS a difference the fewer partners the less disease Emotionally it is less damaging to sleep with someone you know and trust than a stranger at a bar Catholicism says ‘sexual sin is sexual sin. And outside of marriage, one is not better than the other. PP says the same thing, this is a huge problem and this has lead to oh SO many problems

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  132. college student, I appreciate what you are saying, but you misunderstand what the Church is. The Church is not here to say, "Well, if you are going to sin, at least choose this sin instead of that sin." The Church's role is to protect and uphold the truth, in season or out of season. If the whole entire world doesn't like that truth, that's not going to change the truth. There has to be one entity in the world which will keep speaking the truth for what is best for humans, including the human soul.

    I understand that people may not like that, but instead of being sad that the church still recognizes right and wrong, be happy that at least someone does. Someone is standing up for the integrity of sex and the dignity of the human person, in all stages.

    And I will clarify that while all sexual sin is serious sin (I have a post on that in my drafts folder), that doesn't mean that masturbation is equal in gravity to adultery or rape, for example. So, you are right to see that not all sins are the same; however, all sin is wrong, and for you to expect the Church to say otherwise, especially in a culture which so needs to hear the truth on this subject, well, it's not only realistic, it's impossible. The Church is the Church. She has never changed her teaching on sex for over 20 centuries, and she never will. Never. That is a comfort and a joy. It's something no other earthly institution can do. Of course, the Church is not merely an earthy institution, which is why she can do what no other entity can do: Speak the same truth for millennia.

    I hope you can understand.

    God doesn't conform to our will, we are to conform to His will.

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  133. Girls think if having sex with two men and ten men is equally wrong, why not have sex with ten men. If we aren’t married anyway it doesn’t matter if I sleep with my bf or a stranger at a bar.

    All this proves to me is that young people today are so lost. They have no sense of their own human dignity. They don't understand that they are made in the image and likeness of God. They are chasing after shadows.

    I am saddened by it. But it's all the more reason that the Church's message must get out to them, loudly and clearly. There is so much joy in the truth, and no emptiness.

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  134. Sorry if this has already been mentioned but there was a comment about abortion and breast cancer and how if there is an actual link, then the body wouldn't know the difference between an abortion or a miscarriage - I read somewhere (sorry can't remember where! perhaps someone else knows?) that the body would know the difference as certain chemicals are released during miscarriage so that there isn't an increased risk of breast cancer, in the way there is following an abortion.
    Lily

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  135. Hi L.

    Actually, I think you misinterpret me. I don't wish the world were more "like me". I am referring to a world with a centralized moral code which everyone agreed on and practiced. In my own experience the Catholic moral code is probably the most expansive, flexible and fair. Its a code with relatively few no's and a whole lot of yeses. The problem is liberalism is so obsessed with those no's, it gnaws on them like angry dogs chewing their wounded legs.

    The problem is people focus so much on the no's that they forget about the yeses. Gays can't have gay sex? well is gay sex all that special really? If someone told me I could never have sex again, but instead I could in its place a deep and abiding personal relationship with God in which as little as once a week and as much as every day, I'd have no problem with that. Sex is not food or water or oxygen, people can live without it, and its not a human right.

    There's nothing in Catholic teaching per se that offends human dignity or excludes people, the screwed-upedenss of Catholics as human beings is another story. Catholicism as a system of thought actually elevates people. If you read the Catechism itself, you will see that every law in the Church aims toward the summum bonum for all people. The maximum good possible.

    So yes, I would like everyone in the world to be good, practicing Catholics, not because they are forced into it. Indeed, Catholicism has deep respect for free will, but because we all just decide that that is the best possible central moral code for all people to follow.

    I just thought of something ironic. This is, the ambition of liberalism. Liberals want everyone to be liberal and to accept moral relativism as the truth. Gwen and L, in your heart of hearts isn't this what you want? For one group never to question the practices of another? nor uphold one moral code as better or truer than another all in the name of "diversity" and "tolerance". You want the same thing I want, for your worldview to be the center, the one that everyone follows because you think it would make the world better. So does that make me unintelligent? as Gwen seems to suggest?

    BTW: as per the middle ages. Yes the Catholic Church had a lot of power in the middle ages, but there are several points to keep in mind. The middle ages was a time of artistic and intellectual flourishing which is not given its due credit. It was the first time since the Roman Empire that Europe was unified by a common civil code, one far less brutal and more humanitarian than the Roman Empire that preceded it. The Church was responsible for that. Science did not cease to exist, as some liberals claim, nor did philosophy.

    Since we already seem to be living in the Roman Empire revisited...at times the Carthaginian empire considering how many babies we sacrifice on the altar of "sexual freedom", maybe a revisit to the Middle Ages would not be such a bad idea.

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  136. This reminds me of Liberals don't mind tax hikes but don't personally pay taxes (they work for the UN or non-profits) UGH. I am so tired of this stupid debate.

    We personally support 3 CFCA children and 12 women through Several Sources Shelters. We have the money automicatically deducted out of our bank account every month and have for over 20 years. In fact, my husband has been a supporter long before I married him while a bachelor one sign he would be a good father! Score. Okay liberals now what do you do? Come one, show us the money! I know you hate this line. But, did you know that liberals donate the fewest dollars of their income than any other group?

    This is my area of expertise and when you start to uncover the money trail you find the hypocisy THERE.

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  137. Barbara - It's not that you want everyone to be just like you, but in order for your Catholic fantasy to work, they would have to be.

    case in point: "you can live without sex"... um, no I can't. Will I drop and die? no. But the pressure would build up until I was physically compelled to do something about it. So, YOU can live without sex (and I am sure there are reasons for this) but most people can't go without it. Besides being a physical urge, it is a social/psychological need as well. We need it to display and assure close bonds between partners.

    And NO that is not what I want. I want you all to do your own thing. I just don't want your views to be imposed on me. And I don't want you to so easily dismiss all the people who live liberally because you have this wild stereotype in your head "Liberals do this, liberals hate that." Just as I am sure you hate it when some "liberal" assumes you are a certain way when you're not. As far as tolerance is concerned - YES I want that. From everybody. Note: I don't want everybody to be "Liberal" like you want everyone to be Catholic. I just want everyone to be respectful of other's differences.

    By all means, Barbara - revert to the Middle Ages. Sorry, I can't go with you.

    -L

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  138. I haven't read the comments all the way through, so please forgive me if I repeat someone else's 2 cents--

    It's sad to see people surprised and confused to hear a pro-life woman say that a baby has just as much right to life as she does. Much of society has been working hard to teach that babies lives are somehow less valuable. We've seen this sort of thing happen before--with Nazi Germany and the Jews, and with slavery.

    Also, this comment from an earlier post should be addressed because this is exactly what Planned Parenthood does to their clients:
    “It does no good to help someone with poor life skills in their most urgent time of need and then send them off to figure the rest of the way out themselves.” -From a pro-choice commenter arguing against the pro-life standpoint
    Amanda

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  139. "While the bible may not recognize a difference. Health wise there is IS a difference the fewer partners the less disease Emotionally it is less damaging to sleep with someone you know and trust than a stranger at a bar Catholicism says ‘sexual sin is sexual sin."
    College Student,
    Catholicism says that human beings are born with reason, the ability to discern between "right" and "wrong". Although you are correct that the Church says any sex outside of marriage is wrong, it does see a distinction between having sex with one person and several. The Church recognizes that sin invites sin, and more serious sin develops over time with lifestyles involving fornication.
    What I have learned by studying the faith and living life, is that there is much wisdom behind the Church's teachings.

    I lost my virginity to my high school boyfriend, who I thought I loved and I thought loved me. I was raised Catholic and knew I was supposed to wait until marriage, but I figured since we would be getting married anyway, I should have sex with him. Looking back I think I was fearful that if I did not have sex with him he would eventually break if off and date someone who would. (Insecurity and lack of self esteem were at the core of my decision to "put out", as the saying goes.) When our relationship turned into a sexual one, issues sprung up, heated arguments, violence. We spent 3 1/2 years fighting over nothing and having sex in between because we were not mature or secure enough to have this real life relationship. I have seen this time and time again, even as I approach my 30s. Friends going from one guy to the next, having sex, then fighting over control, fighting for "love" as they see it---relationship fails, move on to the next attempt. When my own first relationship did not work out I began dating a much older man who pursued me aggressively. I wanted to prove to myself that I was worth something. I was hot, damnit, so I went out and we had great times and casual sex. I chose to do it my way and ended up pregnant at 19 to someone I had no intention of marrying.

    In both instances, I was subduing my conscience. I was choosing what was "fun" and self-serving over what I had been taught. And I knew it was wrong. But I wanted to live my own life on my own, and I wanted to prove I could do it myself.

    I have since learned that the Chruch's teachings are not in order to enslave or confine, but to set free so that we may live life more abundantly. Had I listened to the Church and waited until I was married, I would not have dishonored my parents. Had I listened to the Church and waited until I was married, I could truly give all of myself to my husband instead of what is left after having squandered much on instant gratification and self-serving motives before I was wise enough to understand the true meaning and deep intimacy sex offers. Had I listened to the Church and waited, my little girl would have both her mother and father raising her under one roof and she would not have to be shuffled back and forth each weekend between this family and that, wondering where her proper place in life must be. I could go on and on...but sometimes we should, instead of questioning the Church, mocking it, or thinking we know better, we should perhaps trust Her. After all, if everyone trusted and followed the Church's teachings, we wouldn't be debating over any of these issues. There would be no need for Planned Parenthood, abortion would not exist, government would be building roads and bridges and people would be loving one another and caring for one another in a way which would wipe out the need for additional public programs.

    What would the world look like if everyone was a faithful Catholic?
    Amanda

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  140. Amanda, wow. Just wow. You really nailed it. Anyone who denies that this is the most common pattern of most young women and sex, has never been out in the real world. You have spoken truth here! Thank you!!!! Could you please email me if you have a moment? littlecatholicbubble@gmail.com

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  141. "you can live without sex"... um, no I can't. Will I drop and die? no. But the pressure would build up until I was physically compelled to do something about it. So, YOU can live without sex (and I am sure there are reasons for this) but most people can't go without it.

    I don't even know what to say to this. I am rarely speechless, but for now, I am.

    As for the Middle Ages, you were the one who brought it up as a slam against the Church, so please don't leave the subject until you explain what you mean. Thanks!

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  142. Also, this comment from an earlier post should be addressed because this is exactly what Planned Parenthood does to their clients:
    “It does no good to help someone with poor life skills in their most urgent time of need and then send them off to figure the rest of the way out themselves.” -From a pro-choice commenter arguing against the pro-life standpoint


    Amanda, I hope the author of that comment has since seen the irony of it. Thank you for pointing that out!

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  143. And NO that is not what I want. I want you all to do your own thing. I just don't want your views to be imposed on me. And I don't want you to so easily dismiss all the people who live liberally because you have this wild stereotype in your head "Liberals do this, liberals hate that." Just as I am sure you hate it when some "liberal" assumes you are a certain way when you're not. As far as tolerance is concerned - YES I want that. From everybody. Note: I don't want everybody to be "Liberal" like you want everyone to be Catholic. I just want everyone to be respectful of other's differences.

    What you are proposing is pretty much what I said. Liberalism the way I understand it, and I speak from experience, is a leveling of all worldviews so that none is considered "superior" to another. It's allowing people to define their own moral code and preventing them from "imposing" their moral code on others.

    But that itself is a moral imposition. It prevents people of certain faiths from expressing that faith in the public sphere. It hamstrings the public life religious people and forces them to make concessions and go against themselves.

    Also, if you peel down liberalism to its skeleton you will find it can be quite intolerant, it just has a very select group against which it allows this intolerance. Any people of a traditionalist bent, especially if they're Christian, are told by the left over and over again that their ideas aren't wanted, that their worldview is wrong and that leftists will make sure that their children will rebel against them.

    I just got back from an academic conference and this was an undertone of not a few presentations. Those discussing "the importance of the humanities" were quite open about the field as being "responsible for consciousness building, and educating global citizens," a fancy way of saying "teaching people to think like us".

    What amazes me, is that liberals' only reason to reject Catholicism is because of its view of sex. It seems like a lame reason to me. Sex is great, but its not everything. It's not heaven.

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  144. The difference between everyone being Catholic and everyone being liberal is that if everyone was a practicing, faithful Catholic who adhered to the teachings of the Church, all the problems of the world would be solved and evil would be overcome. If everyone became Liberal, chaos would ensue and problems would become greater. Hear me out--Liberals want everyone to do what they want how they want. This means we need more Planned Parenthoods. More abortions. More prisons. More welfare programs. More government. And on and on and on. A question to Liberals: What would we need more of if everyone became a practicing Catholic? Churches and Priests.

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  145. The reason I posted this question is because, besides my disheartening conversation with a pro-abortion fanatic who accused pro-lifers of hastening and celebrating the death of women due to unsafe abortions, I remembered the Kantian thought experiment which determines the moral goodness of something looking what the world would be like if everyone did it or if no one did it.

    For example, if everyone were homosexual then the human race would be gone in a few generations, therefore reason suggests that homosexuality goes against the best possible good.

    If everyone were liberal and their view of "inclusiveness" and "tolerance" were practiced by everyone, then there would be chaos. Liberalism imagines a world where there are no limits or codes to define behavior as acceptable or unacceptable, therefore indiscriminate inclusiveness would also imply an inability to screen out things like pedophilia, which could be considered a "Sexual orientation" (certainly that argument has been made) and female genital mutilation which is considered a "traditional cultural practice".

    If everyone were practicing Catholic, I can't see a whole lot of negative in that, everyone practicing a religion based on loving God and loving neighbour, respect for the body and for the innate dignity of all people regardless of race, gender or socio-political circumstances. Catholicism is a great filter for separating the good from the bad in all human traditions and cultures, and its pretty broad-reaching.

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  146. "Catholicism is a great filter for separating the good from the bad in all human traditions and cultures, and its pretty broad-reaching."

    So you are actually arguing FOR the domination and colonization of the world by Catholicism? Or at least for Catholic doctrine to be used to determine right and wrong in ALL cultures?

    Truly unbelievable.

    -gwen

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  147. Yes, Gwen, it's "truly unbelievable" that the virtues would be seen as good for all cultures and peoples. Shocking, really.

    And "domination and colonization of the world by Catholicism"? Seriously?That's what you heard? You really do study the world from the divisive lens of "race, class and gender", don't you? Victims and oppressors, only. How much more beautiful is the paradigm of truth, goodness and beauty?

    Sigh.

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  148. "So you are actually arguing FOR the domination and colonization of the world by Catholicism?"

    Miss Gwen, who has proposed such a thing? Please repeat after me: The Church proposes, not imposes. This has been stated and restated frequently.

    "Or at least for Catholic doctrine to be used to determine right and wrong in ALL cultures?"

    Why is this so unbelievable, given that Catholics believe that Catholic doctrine is the source of moral truth?

    Wouldn't you want your own personal moral code to be used to determine right and wrong? If not, why do you ascribe to it? It seems rather strange to ascribe to a moral code that you don't believe is correct.

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  149. No Leila, you study the world from a divisive lens of "good" versus "evil", "right" versus "wrong" and "ordered" versus "disordered." I've been studying the world long enough to know one ideology does not fit all which is why the idea of the world turning into a Catholic run universe makes me cringe. However, I think Barbara is talking in idealistic terms with the idea that we'd all just magically want to be Catholic or something.

    JoAnna, the Church most definitely imposes as well as proposes. Read up on your history of the world.

    -gwen

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  150. Please, Miss Gwen, enlighten me.

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  151. Miss Gwen, we all human. We all are moral beings. What is the alternative to identifying good things vs. evil things (morally speaking), or right vs wrong, or ordered vs. disordered. What is your moral paradigm? Is there no good or evil acts, no right and wrong, no order or disorder? Help me understand your worldview and how it works. What is morality?

    I cannot think of a single culture of the world which would not thrive by practicing virtue instead of vice. Can you?

    Please help me see the beauty of your vision, because all I see is moral chaos when I envision moral "diversity". Please, I want to see what it looks like. Thanks.

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  152. "Freedom is exercised in relationships between human beings. Every human person, created in the image of God, has the natural right to be recognized as a free and responsible being. All owe to each other this duty of respect. The right to the exercise of freedom, especially in moral and religious matters, is an inalienable requirement of the dignity of the human person. This right must be recognized and protected by civil authority within the limits of the common good and public order." Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 1738

    Oh yes, that eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil Catholic Church wants to dominate and colonize the world...

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  153. Another ironic truth, considering the Catholic Church's colonial imposition of her views on the world:

    http://www.acnuk.org/news.php/205/ukinternational-new-report-reveals-75-percent-of-religious-persecution-is-against-christians

    75% of the world's persecution is against Christians. Yes, you really need to be afraid of Christians, folks! Or wait, maybe Christians need to be afraid of the world. Which is it?

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  154. I've been studying the world long enough to know one ideology does not fit all which is why the idea of the world turning into a Catholic run universe makes me cringe.

    Miss Gwen, I really am interested in your study of the world's cultures. Which morality is more fair and loving than the Christian morality? Which is better for the dignity of women and children, and the oppessed? Could you explain by giving some examples of those moralities?

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  155. Please understand Gwen, when I say that I wish everyone were Catholic I am talking specifically about the system of beliefs and concepts that make up the Catholic worldview. I'm not talking about conquest or forced conversions of any kind.

    When I say it is a good "filter, for separating the good from the bad in most cultures" what I am referring to is the religion's tendency to be flexible enough for people to practice their own cultural traditions under the umbrella of the Catholic faith, and at the same time intolerant enough to reject those traditions which are offensive to human dignity (such as circumcision, or honor killing, child-brides or polygamy).

    I guess I'm just saying that I see Catholicism as a complete and very humane moral system, one that has developed over 2000 years spent pondering human nature, what works and what doesn't, what hurts and what helps. If everyone were Catholic, practicing Catholic principles...even if they were under a different name, I can't see the world as anything but better, having the right balance of commonness and diversity.

    Diversity is a great servant but a lousy master. It needs to be balanced by commonness, a common code which sets some boundaries which are agreed upon by everyone, otherwise we end up being hamstrung and forced to accept practices which oppress or harm others in the name of "tolerance". "Pedophilia" is now being defended in some courts as a "sexual orientation" because we've decided that "Diversity" is the highest good.

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pedophilia-a-sexual-orientation-experts-tell-parliament/

    In addition, since we've already decided that any sexual ethic privileging heterosexual, marital unions is an offense to "diversity" we are now being pushed to open society to accepting polygamy as well as per...

    http://www.straight.com/article-361435/vancouver/polyamory-threatened-polygamy-case

    So what's next? are "zoosexuals" going to begin claiming their right to legitimize their "consensual, loving, interspecies relationships" through human/animal marriage? Are we going to be hearing the sad tale of about Farmer John and his sheep "Betty" who have been living a secret life for years because of a terrible oppressive society steeped in "anthronormativity"?

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  156. This is an aside:

    Barbara-Did you just lump circumcision in with child-brides and polygamy? When did the Church officially condemn circumcision? I'm not trying to be snarky, just wanting some clarification on this.

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  157. I meant to say "female circumcision", sorry was writing fast.

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  158. The idea that there is only one proper and sufficient morality and that is the Christian worldview and code of morality is, I think a very naive presumption and a very dangerous one. It presupposes a superiority above other people and causes turmoil and even war. Certainly there are practices we may disagree with, such as Sati, which is why there are organizations like Amnesty International, advocating for human rights.

    Why is Catholicism so much better than the traditional Tewa beliefs of Ohkay Owingeh (which comes to mind b/c I was reading about traditional pottery making there), previously known as San Juan Pueblo?

    In my state in 1680, the Indigenous community managed to kick out/uproot Catholic priests living in their communities. Why? Because Catholic priests prohibited the expression of their traditional belief system, implemented severe physical repercussions for practicing traditional beliefs and ruined, burned or destroyed sacred objects central to Puebloan lifestyle/beliefs.
    Of course Catholicism managed to make a comeback and a type of syncretic melding of beliefs occurred so that today some Pueblos ad individuals identify more as Catholic than traditional Tewa/Towa/Tiwa. On the other hand, many Pueblo people identify with their traditional beliefs and reject Catholicism.

    So that's why the idea of one Catholic world seems domineering to me. Of course, since my philosophy generally opposes that of everyone else here, I don't expect you to agree with me.

    -gwen

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  159. Miss Gwen, we believe that all varied moralities and worldviews have elements of truth. We just believe that Catholicism has the fullness of truth.

    Did some Catholic missionaries domineer native belief systems? Of course. Protestants too. Atheists have done this as well. It's human nature. But such behavior has never been sanctioned or condoned by the official teachings of the Church, as evidenced by the quote from the Catechism that I referenced above.

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  160. Miss Gwen, I am wholly unfamiliar the Tewa beliefs of Ohkay Owingeh. What were/are their values or virtues? I am honestly asking.

    You may or may not see this as relevant, but do you also consider it domineering to have a government tell Catholics that they must violate their religious beliefs and consciences or be fined, run out of business or jailed?

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  161. Actually, Barbara, I feel you failed to address the root of the statement that "[pro-lifers] do not care about babies after they're born." In reality, this claim has little or nothing to do with maternity, and everything to do with external social and political implications. Let’s establish some background on this. If we're accepting the premise that a lot of pro-lifers are politically conservative Republicans, it's important to remember that “life” encompasses much more than fetuses, much more than babies, and much more than Americans. To get a sense of pro-lifers’ REAL sense of valuing life, I might ask the question, what is one of the primary political agendas of the Republican Party today (and in the past)?
    For one, deregulation. Deregulation means less government provision, less Corporate liability, better business, lower wages for corporate pawns, and poorer working conditions, all for the desired result of more distribution, more capital gain, and more CONSUMPTION! Given the sorry state of many exploited, minimum-wage workers in deregulated companies, are the pro-lifers doing anything to promote and establish collective bargaining in the workplace? Are conservatives and Republicans gung-ho about right-to-work statutes that would vastly improve the lives of millions of poverty-stricken workers (and their BABIES) around the country? An economic advisor of President Eisenhower, a Republican, once famously stated that the primary goal of the United States was to promote consumption and further consumerism. But as we consume on this part of the globe, our consumption causes hundreds of thousands of deaths daily in other parts. Ever heard of blood diamonds? Tiffany and Co. is a prime example of a wholesome American business gone sour, now infamous for its exploitation of African diamond miners (many of whom are children). Yet, in 2009, the Republican National Committee dropped $1045 at Tiffany for office supplies, flaunting its consumerism in an almost vulgar manner. (Was Office Max closed?) Until every conservative in the country is engaging in workers' rights activism, fair trade, and local sustainability, I do not see how the words "pro" and "life" could possibly escape their lips.
    Also on the Republican Capitalist agenda is securing foreign oil. And how many deaths do you think this has caused over the years? Let an example be our former Republican President, George W. Bush, who took no pause before going to war with the Middle East, simply to secure more precious devil water (WMDs did not exist in this region, so this is not a viable counter to that statement). Beyond the human lives that were lost, thousands of marine animals' lives continue to be compromised every day due to careless offshore drilling. Why is the drilling so careless? Republican deregulation permits it.

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  162. (Continued from above)

    Politics aside, the world is too overpopulated today to sustain even half of the human life living on it. This is why there are starving families and children living in slums in Bangladesh and other under-developed countries. This is why under-developed countries exist at all. And not only is these people's quality of life at rock-bottom, thousands of them will not even live to see another day due to starvation, malnutrition, lack of shelter and disease. For each new American child that is born, another across the world dies, simply because the population of the globe has extended far beyond carrying capacity. The environment is not EQUIPPED to sustain this many Homo Sapiens. And yet, according to the pro-life group, what matters most is birthing every child that is conceived, making sure these children live long lives sucking resources from distant, impoverished children with their ribs showing. What are you doing about THOSE children, Barbara? How are you improving THEIR lives?
    This is why the claim "I am pro-life" is dreadfully myopic and paradoxical. You must stop to think--how might bringing these children into the world negatively affect (or terminate) the lives of children, adults and animals elsewhere?

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  163. *headdesk* Anonymous, is it too much to ask that you READ THE THREAD before making comments like the above?

    I only vote Republican because I try to limit evil (and when faced with a choice of Dem vs Repub, one wants to directly kill babies and one doesn't -- so at lease with Republicans, the evil is somewhat limited), and to be honest I don't think I'll continue voting Republican because I'm sick of all the corruption and corporate kow-towing that I see going on in the GOP. I'm more and more inclined to vote Independent or write in a candidate.

    I did not vote for GWB. I disagreed with his decision to instigate the Iraq war and still do. I fully support lessening our dependence on foreign oil.

    Pro-life does not necessarily equal GOP, and you are wrong to assume such.

    You're also wrong about overpopulation. Check out the Ordered vs. Disordered comments, or www.pop.org to see how wrong you are.

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  164. Anonymous, could you give yourself a name?

    Also, I would love to debate policy issues (because that's what you are talking about). I see that you have the liberal talking points down, but do you know the conservative talking points, too? Show me that you know the other side's view as well, so that I don't categorize you as someone who believes that conservatives "Want kids to die and grandma to eat dog food."

    Because if you read everything in the post, and the comments, and you still come up with that, then I don't see how you will ever think otherwise.

    Thanks!

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  165. "For each new American child that is born, another across the world dies"

    Umm, what? So when my baby is born in August (or any baby that is born in the US today), there will be a child in an impoverished country that dies as a direct result? Are you actually saying that?

    "And yet, according to the pro-life group, what matters most is birthing every child that is conceived, making sure these children live long lives sucking resources from distant, impoverished children with their ribs showing."

    According to the pro-life group, what matters most is not directly killing an innocent person.

    A baby born here does not cause a child to die elsewhere, that is ludicrous. No innocent person (such as a child, born or unborn) should be purposefully and directly killed. It can not be justified, even with overpopulation propaganda. And mind you that there are many pro-life organizations (too many to count) that work overseas bringing food, shelter, clothing, education and healthcare to those impoverished countries, and millions of pro-lifers back them with their money.

    I really hope you respond to Leila's question re: conservative talking points, because you really came out hard slamming what you think conservatives believe.

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  166. My name is Chelsea. I understand that our political stances will never align, which is why there isn't any need for me to regurgitate conservative rhetoric. However, the one point I would like to continue to reinforce, is the death that American consumerism leads to, for which I gave a couple relevant and accurate examples.

    @JoAnna, I appreciate your concession that Republicanism is not always the answer, however, you sound incredibly ignorant when you say that world population is not a problem. Explain to me, if world population is not a problem, why there are finite resources and starving children in developing and under-developed countries?

    "According to the pro-life group, what matters most is not directly killing an innocent person."

    Are the villagers who have been slaughtered in the War On Terror not innocent? Do they deserve this fate? Was that our benevolent God's will?

    The more I consider the issue, the more I would like to say (as I did try to point out initially) that it has very little to do with politics, and very much to do with the sociopolitical pyramid. As AMERICANS (not Republicans, not Liberals, not Democrats), people across the world die every day to put silver spoons in our mouths, food on our plates, oil in our cars and diamonds on our fingers. NO ONE who lives in this fine country is above this impact, unless he or she is 100% self-sustaining, which I am doubtful if any of you are. A better term than "pro-life" would probably be "anti-abortion." Let's leave "life" out of it.

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  167. I understand that our political stances will never align, which is why there isn't any need for me to regurgitate conservative rhetoric.

    Actually, I wish you would, just so that I know what you think we actually believe, and that it's something other than wanting grandma to eat dog food. I'm really serious about that, I hope you will answer.

    I truly am interested in your thoughts on this: If the wealth-producers in America stopped all their corporate evil, would poor in the Third World be lifted up and better off? If so, how? Practically speaking, how will that work? If you present me with something that works better than the system we have, I'll join you. Just show me how or where it's ever worked that by killing capitalism, people's lives and standard of living get better.

    Is there a model in the world that lifts up even those in poverty in a better way than the American system? Please, again, tell me the logistics of how that works.

    I'm not being sarcastic, I'm asking.

    If you have read any Catholic teaching, you would know that not only do the unborn not deserve their fate of being slaughtered, but neither does any innocent person or child in any war. So, why would you think that God looks benevolently on any death of an innocent at the hand of another human? He has forbidden it, from the womb to the end of life.

    As far as finite resources for the world: There is an OVER-ABUNDANCE of resources in this world, most of which have not been tapped, and much of which is being withheld from famine-stricken people by warlords and corrupt governments. The problem of famine is not a lack of abundance, but a plethora of evil and sin.

    Did you not look at that post where experts describe that we have more food than ever on this planet? Please, please, I beg you to check the facts.

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  168. Chelsea,

    First, none of us here that call ourselves pro-life Catholics will tell you that Republicans have everything right. We are first and foremost Catholic, and in being Catholic, we are indeed pro-life, not just anti-abortion. I believe you have us in a conservative box, which can't contain a pro-life Catholic.

    Additionally, I'm not sure you really do understand what conservatives actually believe, so please do respond to Leila's request to articulate it.

    Leila, you are so right about there being an overabundance, but corruption and evil keeping resources away from those who need it. I've had friends do mission work in countries like Haiti, for example, and there is great corruption that keeps the poor oppressed, even though the resources and additional aid from other countries and organizations are trying to get to those in need.

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  169. Huh? ummm....what? Chelsea, you're responding to Leila, not me. I made no such comments regarding maternity and in fact I agree with most of your points. I'm not a Republican, firstly because I'm Canadian, secondly because I tend more towards a politically moderate position...indeed I find ideologies as generally heretical. I take things issue by issue, examine it in the light of Catholic revelation, human rights, natural law and ethics, and then usually take a position.

    Abortion however, for me is 100% no. You don't solve social problems by killing babies, you don't solve personal problems by killing babies and you don't solve health problems by killing babies. If you knew me five years ago you would be amazed to hear me say that. I was a pro-choice feminist, practicing neo-pagan and a socialist. My conversion of heart on this subject is in more detail here.

    http://intimategeography.wordpress.com/my-conversion-story/#Love

    There are a lot of issues conflated in your points, so I will only mention one. Your take on over-consumption of resources. I'm not sure you've taken this into consideration, but its well known and well documented, that large families consume statistically less resources per person than smaller families. Simcha Fischer wrote a great piece on that a few years ago:

    http://www.faithandfamilylive.com/features/big_families_are_the_new_green1

    Think about it this way: Which subset of the North American population is consuming more resources? The family with two kids who travels to Disneyland every summer, buys new clothes every season and eats dinner in restaurants all the time, or the family of eight kids who can't travel very far, very often...because its prohibitively expensive to take eight kids anywhere, who hands-me down all of their clothes from kid to kid until they are torn up and used for dustrags, and who makes all recipes from scratch because its cheaper to do so.

    Large families, for the most part, are amazing stewards of resources partly because they have to be, there are more people for whom to divvy them up, and partly because the family is not treated as the "backdrop" of their lives but rather is their "central project" getting the bulk of their time, energy and efforts.

    Indeed, what amazes me about my husband's family is how they always support each other and share their resources with each other so that everyone always has more than enough. He spends hours before a visit looking for gifts for them and them for him. My husband hasn't had to go clothes shopping in eight years because between his mom, six sisters, oodles of nephews and three older children from his previous marriage each sending him a tie or a shirt for Christmas and birthdays he has more clothes then most movie stars.

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  170. Hello Leila! I found a thread on Catholic Answers, and it reminded me of this post! They too started to compile a list of charities in their area and found some impressive numbers on Forbes!
    Here's the thread:
    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=398111&page=2

    ReplyDelete

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