Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Obama slaps Catholics again


The man is shameless. He is the most anti-Catholic president we have ever had. From The Washington Times:



The Obama administration, in what’s been called an egregious slap in the face to the Vatican, has moved to shut down the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See — a free-standing facility — and relocate offices onto the grounds of the larger American Embassy in Italy.

The new offices will be in a separate building on the property, Breitbart reported.

And while U.S. officials are touting the relocation as a security measure that’s a cautionary reaction to last year’s attacks on America's facility in Benghazi, several former American envoys are raising the red flag.

It’s a “massive downgrade of U.S.-Vatican ties,” said former U.S. Ambassador James Nicholson in the National Catholic Reporter. “It’s turning this embassy into a stepchild of the embassy to Italy. The Holy See is a pivot point for international affairs and a major listening post for the United States, and … [it’s] an insult to American Catholics and to the Vatican.”

Mr. Nicholson — whose views were echoed by former envoys Francis Rooney, Mary Ann Glendon, Raymond Flynn and Thomas Melady — also called the justification for closing the existing facility a “smokescreen,” Breitbart reported.

“That’s like saying people get killed on highways because they drive cars on them,” he said in the report. “We’re not a pauper nation … if we want to secure an embassy, we certainly can.”

Moreover, the existing facility has “state of the art” security, he said.

Mr. Flynn, meanwhile, said the administration’s announcement reflects a hostility toward the Catholic Church.

“It’s not just those who bomb churches and kill Catholics in the Middle East who are our antagonists, but it’s also those who restrict our religious freedoms and want to close down our embassy to the Holy See,” he said in the National Catholic Reporter. “[There’s no] diplomatic or political benefit to the United States” from the relocation at all, he added.

Catholic Vote, a publication for the Church community, called the move “an unmistakable slap in the face” that clearly communicates that the United States cares little for the diplomatic facility.

And Mr. Nicholson went on, as Breitbart reported: “It’s another manifestation of the antipathy of this administration both to Catholics and to the Vatican — and to Christians in the Middle East. This is a key post for intermediation in so many sovereignties but particularly in the Middle East. This is anything but a good time to diminish the stature of this post. To diminish the stature of this post is to diminish its influence.”



I have nothing nice to say about this man. My confessor has heard my thoughts on him more than once.

Lord, have mercy.











134 comments:

  1. He knows that attacking the Catholic Church wins him supporters. It's that simple.

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  2. Francis: The killing of Christians in the Middle-East must stop!
    Obama: Let's put this guy in a corner - he's too irritating.

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  3. People really need to wake up and see what this man is doing before it's too late.

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  4. All I could think when I was reading this was that if we can't secure an embassy in the Vatican where on earth can we secure one. What a ridiculous claim.

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  5. "He knows that attacking the Catholic Church wins him supporters. It's that simple."

    Supporters that he doesn't already have, though? I doubt he wins anyone new.

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    1. That's why I think it's just his straight-up contempt for the Catholic Church.

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    2. I was thinking the same Leila. You beat me to it .

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  6. And your comment relative to words to your confessor reminds me of mine. I noted during his initial campaign the uncanny resemblance of some of the future president's words to the words spoken by the main character in the C. S. Lewis' The Final Battle. Lewis never claimed to be a mystic, but the imagery and descriptions were uncanny.

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  7. Isn't it odd that the Vatican itself is sitting this controversy out?

    One could say it's degrading to the Vatican . . . or that it simply has to do with increased security concerns (tell me you have nothing to say about Bengazi).

    One thing that's sure, though, is that one of your first priorities is Hating Obama.

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    1. Yes probably the Vatican embassy is one of the most dangerous ones to be in. I know I'd be alarmed if I were there.

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  8. Oh, captcrisis, please do tell: How is this about security? I'm actually quite interested in how that could possibly be.

    As for hating Obama, my Faith tells me that I must not hate my enemies, but pray for them. I pray for the man. I need to do it more, as praying for enemies keeps one from hating.

    As for Benghazi: Why don't you ask the relatives of the dead how they feel about Obama? That would be more pertinent than any opinion I have on that.

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  9. Obama is going to regret this move. At the rate Washington is spending money we are going to be one of the poor soon. It would be nice to have a direct line to the world's most generous organization when it comes to charity.

    But hey, insulting them is another way to go.......

    To think I used to criticize George W. for lacking diplomatic skills.

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  10. @lelia

    You're more a hater than a lover. Your watchword is Obedience -- not Love. To you, Obama is the Antichrist. I'm outta here and so is Jesus.

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    1. "I'm outta here"
      I'm incencing my phone in hope that this prayer rises to heaven and becomes fulfilled

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  11. Thanks for the analysis, captcrisis. Should I believe you, or the non-Christian, political liberal who emailed me yesterday and said just the opposite? ;)

    "I'm outta here and so is Jesus."

    Wait, Jesus goes when you do? Huh.

    My best to you, captcrisis.

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    1. Huh, for some reason I thought Captcrisis was a catholic. I am going to need a flow chart herein a bit to keep everyone straight. Ha ha!

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    2. Jesus is, apparently, not captcrisis' copilot, but his lackey.

      Shudder.

      Pray for captcrisis.

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  12. Catechesis for those who are still here:

    Q. How does one show love for God?
    A. Obedience.

    Bam.

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    Replies
    1. Amen! "If you love me, you will keep my word." Jesus Himself said.

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  13. Captcrisis- Okay, try to ignore Lelia's commentary and focus on the point of the post.

    Don't you think it is odd we are pulling out of the Vatican for security reasons? Usually, closing your embassy is paramount to ceasing diplomatic relations with the country. It typically "is" considered a slap in the face.

    On top of all of that- Obama hasn't had the best of relationships with American Catholics. He promotes policies that are against our beliefs and he refuses to make exceptions for conscience which are typical in those cases. Obama has time and again shown an absolute lack of respect for religious beliefs and practices.

    Most American Catholics are going to view the withdrawal the same way Leila did. As an insult.

    Why is the Vatican silent? What are they going to say? They can't force us to stay and I am pretty sure all their mamas' taught them if they have nothing nice to say to say nothing at all.

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  14. The U.S. Embassy to the Vatican is not closing. It is being moved from one building in ROME to another building in ROME. Nothing about the embassy is changing except the address. It will remain a fully functioning embassy. It isn't unprecedented to consolidate facilities and this plan to consolidate dates back to the Bush administration. From a fiscal perspective, saving 1.4 million dollars a year by moving the embassy to a new location makes sense.
    There are plenty of reasons to believe Obama is hostile to the Church, but this isn't one of them.

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  15. Priscilla, isn't the Embassy within the boundaries of Vatican City now? I am asking because I don't know, but assumed. Vatican City is not Rome nor Italy.

    And if what you are saying is true, then why do those five former ambassadors/envoys believe differently?

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  16. No country has an embassy located within Vatican City, including the United States. They are all located in Rome. In fact, the new location is slightly closer to V.C..

    I'm not sure why they think that the effect of a new location will impact relations. From what I've read, V.C. has requested that countries keep separate facilities for their embassies to Italy and V.C.. Recently, a few countries like the U.K. have consolidated facilities, but not closed the embassy. Notably, Ireland actually eliminated their Vatican embassy in 2011

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  17. Thanks for the clarification, Priscilla. That is good to know, about the location.

    But the question remains. If the five ambassadors did not see it as a particular slap in the face, that would be one thing. But they do see it that way. They know things that we don't, and the fact that they are moved to speak out so strongly is no small thing.

    Obama has a history of thumbing his nose at Catholics in his diplomatic dealings. I remember the appointment of an openly gay ambassador to the highly Catholic Dominican Republic. It was so disrespectful. Never would he have appointed an openly gay ambassador to a Muslim nation. But with Catholics? What the heck. He has slapped us time and again, both abroad and at home.

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  18. "Supporters that he doesn't already have, though? I doubt he wins anyone new."

    Taking on the Catholic Church energizes the base, especially those under 40. There is a lot of antipathy toward religious conservatives among this age group. Many believe that the Catholic Church is a corrupt and evil organization and they support Obama for taking them on.

    I'm hoping that Priscilla is right and this is much ado about nothing, but there are plenty of reason to believe Obama is hostile to the Church and plenty of reasons for him to be.

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  19. Embassies are all about status. Simple politics here. The left wants the church out of public life. So you turn your back with disrespect. It's a bully tactic to make the church look small and unimportant. It's the Chicago way.

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  20. If his base is anti-Catholic and he has to rally them, doesn't that make them and him bigots?

    What are the "plenty of reasons" for Obama to be anti-Catholic? Seriously curious. Because the Church speaks truth to power? Because the Church's very existence interferes with his pro-abortion, pro-homosexual "rights" agenda?

    I'm seriously asking.

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  21. Hell hath no fury like a petty, bitchy, effeminate man scorned:

    "How dare Pope Francis organize a worldwide day of prayer for peace in Syria and urge the G20 via a letter to the Russian President not to support me in bombing the Syrian government's facilities - so as to strengthen the hand of my terrorist brethren there? How dare the Pope succeed in stalling my carefully crafted plans for Islamic domination of the world, commencing with the entire Middle East? After all the progress that's been made towards that goal! This setback now leaves me with serious egg on my face. I can barely conceal my rage! The minimum response to this must be an unmistakable slap in the Catholic Church's face! Take that you Jesus loving, jihad hating pacifists!"

    What a Pathetic, Nobel Peace Prize Toting, Loser! The listening devices at the US' bigger and better wired embassy in Rome must now be locked in on every phone in the Vatican 24 x 7!

    But fear not, folks. Even as the sun sets in the West, the Son rises in the East, exactly as prophesied. Powerful opposition to the machinations of the devil is coalescing in unexpected arenas of the world and in unexpected ways, even as we speak. The final countdown has already begun.

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  22. “It’s another manifestation of the antipathy of this administration both to Catholics and to the Vatican – and to Christians in the Middle East. This is a key post for intermediation in so many sovereignties but particularly in the Middle East. This is anything but a good time to diminish the stature of this post. To diminish the stature of this post is to diminish its influence.

    The State Department has for a long time wanted to do this. It came up when I was an ambassador. I explained the folly of this and it went away. But now they seem determined to do this. The perception is [with this action] that the United States is showing a lack of appreciation for the relevance of its diplomatic partner in the Vatican.”

    - James Nicholson, former US Ambassador to the Vatican

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    1. The ex Ambassador doesn't allude to the Middle East twice in his succint statement about the embassy downgrade for nothing. He knows exactly what's going on - spiteful political payback and further distancing from the plight of Christians being attacked by Islamic fundamentalists. We too need to connect the dots correctly.

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  23. Francis, Obama's response to Christian massacres and persecution in the Middle East is another shame upon him. As an Arab Christian, it disgusts me and breaks my heart. Hard to think about. Lord, have mercy.

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  24. So now they're reacting to Benghazi?
    It's becomes more clear each day how much he hates the Church.

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  25. If his base is anti-Catholic and he has to rally them, doesn't that make them and him bigots?

    Perhaps anti-clerical is more a correct description than anti-Catholic. Nobody has any problem with individual Catholics. What they want is the Church pushed to the margins of society.

    Many younger voters support them. I believe this is because they lump Catholics in with the discredited "Moral Majority" and "Christian Coalition" politics of the Evangelical right in the 1990s and 2000s. MANY people, including many Catholics, do not understand the difference between Evangelical teaching and Catholic teaching.

    What are the "plenty of reasons" for Obama to be anti-Catholic? Seriously curious.

    Voter turnout and, more importantly, campaign contributions.

    Planned Parenthood has become the NRA of the left. They raise money and bring out the vote. When Planned Parenthood talks about "taking your birth control away", young women listen. You wouldn't believe how many young women on my Facebook feed honestly believed that we HAD to re-elect Obama because otherwise the Republicans would ban birth control in order to keep them barefoot and pregnant.

    It's about as realistic as fears of "taking your guns away" in a country with a constitutional right to bear arms, but that doesn't matter.

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  26. James B, that's a totally off topic and uncalled for slap at the NRA. Do you also think that since we have a free exercise clause in the constitution we never have to worry about our religious freedoms being taken away or attacked?

    And not to be too nit-picky, but there are plenty of people who have problems with individual Catholics simply because they are Catholic. I agree it is more common to hear people express anti-clerical views, but there are plenty who express extremely personal animosity when they feel they are in a like-minded group. (Personal experience talking...)

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    1. The NRA isn't just an association of ordinary gun owners anymore. It's a big time, big money, lobbying organization.

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2012/07/23/the-nra-industrial-complex/

      Planned Parenthood is also playing with big money and using very similar tactics.

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  27. But James, you strongly implied that the NRA is lying and equated the arguments that (1) there are significant efforts to curtail private ownership of firearms and (2) lack of "free" contraceptives = no legal contraceptives. Not only did are you wrong in equating those, you did it on a post/thread about the US embassy to the Varican! Off topic and false.

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  28. James B, last thought before I get back to my thanksgiving baking. I don't have a problem with lobbying, fundraising, etc. the methods aren't the problem for me (assuming they aren't illegal or unethical). I have problems with Planned Parenthood because their goals are evil and they lie. I don't see anything intrinsically evil in lobbying per se

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  29. Obama’s war on the Catholic Church began at his first job

    Extract:

    "Once I found an issue enough people cared about, I could take them into action. With enough actions, I could start to build power. Issues, action, power, self-interest. I liked these concepts. They bespoke a certain hardheadedness, a worldly lack of sentiment; politics, not religion. (Dreams from My Father, p. 155, 2007 edition)

    Politics, not religion. That was what Obama learned from Kellman. But he learned something more: how to exploit religion to advance his own politics, always toward getting more and more power, which, after all, is what “community organizing” is all about.

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    1. In an all too real and pragmatic way, Obama and the enemies of God, i.e.,. the communist Judases in the Catholic Church, are in a mutual back scratching club, joined at the hip in a marriage truly made in hell. Together they're seeking to cripple or strong arm the real Catholic Church out of America, regardless of whatever loss that might cause even to the poorest of the poor. Understand this: these people's shared hatred of just about every facet of morality and Truth (as propagated by the Church) truly knows no bounds.

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    2. Wow such vitriol! I'm curious, who are the communist Judases in the Catholic Church? Nancy Pelosi?

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  30. Just picked up my son from college this morning so this will be short, but I will revisit this later (Johanne, thanks for patience… I have some thoughts on what you said).

    sarahcecelia, I totally agree with this:

    "I don't have a problem with lobbying, fundraising, etc. the methods aren't the problem for me (assuming they aren't illegal or unethical). I have problems with Planned Parenthood because their goals are evil and they lie. I don't see anything intrinsically evil in lobbying per se"

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  31. James B, I totally agree with you on this:

    MANY people, including many Catholics, do not understand the difference between Evangelical teaching and Catholic teaching.

    And this is pathetic, but true as well:

    You wouldn't believe how many young women on my Facebook feed honestly believed that we HAD to re-elect Obama because otherwise the Republicans would ban birth control in order to keep them barefoot and pregnant.

    The outright (shameless) lying by the Democrats since the last election cycle is what I cannot get past. I remember the first time "banning contraception" was brought up, and it was brought up by George Stephanopolous (sp) to a very confused Mitt Romney, early in the primaries. It was as if George (a die hard liberal Dem) had deliberately started the bogus "war on women" talking point. No one had brought up such a thing before that moment. Then, the press and the rest of the Democratic machine took it from there. It was surreal. I couldn't believe it. Then the ignorant masses (the low-information voter -- i.e., the norm) bought it all.


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  32. Wow. This is just unbelievable. When you start quoting Mary Ann Glendon, I know I'm probably done with this blog. Leila, I thought the post about Pope Francis that was so well-received was wonderful, but now I see this is more political. I am a practicing Catholic, a proud Notre Dame graduate, and I and all my Notre Dame friends have had about enough of the Obama-hate. When Notre Dame awarded President Obama an honorary degree, many of us alumni received hate mail from angry alumni. With my small children standing next to me, I opened a letter (with no return address) with photos of aborted fetuses sent by some supposedly well-meaning alumnus asking me to protest the presidential visit and honorary degree. I did not. I applauded it. I voted for him twice. I don't apologize for it - I tell other Catholics that I know and love and I explain my reasons. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has now been co-opted by the Republican Party. Fine. I have to live with that. The Bishops have been BEGGING - BEGGING, people, for YEARS for universal health care. Mark my words. If contraception were removed entirely as mandatory coverage for universal health care, by God, they would find a way to take issue with universal health care because they hate Obama so much. I have never understood this incredible vitriol and hatred for the person. Where was it with George W. Bush and his father? I don't get it. Laura Welch Bush was openly pro-choice. She never talked about it, but she was not pro-life. Not one bit. Barbara Bush - same thing. Refused to applaud at the State of the Union address when George H.W. Bush did his famous "I support adoption, not abortion." But then later said he would be proud of his granddaughter, even if she chose abortion. George H.W. Bush was not pro-life and essentially admitted as much. Neither man's wife was pro-life, but there were Christian political pro-life groups that would embrace these two women and adore them. Those same people have hatred beyond measure for both Obama and Michelle Obama. I didn't vote for either Bush (younger or elder), nor Reagan, but I certainly don't hate them or vilify them or speak of them like dirt. I didn't agree with everything they did, but I respected the office and the person. Aren't we supposed to do that, as Christians? I don't agree with what Obama has done on so many fronts, including abortion, but I simply cannot keep reading what many of you people are writing about him. Mary Rice Hasson actually claims voting for Obama is a sin, so there are other blogs I am taking a break from. This blog is trashing Obama over persecution of Arab Christians, but silent over two immoral wars started by George W. Bush? Do you remember our beloved Pontiff JP II at the Vatican shaking his finger at President George W. Bush over the Iraq and Afghanistan wars? Where were you all then? Lord help us is right, Leila. But my "Lord help us" is VERY different than yours. God Bless. I think I will take a break from orthodox Catholic blogs. Too bad, because as you say, Leila, progressive Catholics matter in this world, and we love the Church as much as you all do.

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  33. "When you start quoting Mary Ann Glendon, I know I'm probably done with this blog."

    The same Mary Ann Glendon who received Notre Dame's Laetare Medal? Yes, she refused it, respectfully (read why, here: http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2009/04/27/declining-notre-dame-a-letter-from-mary-ann-glendon/), but she was to be honored by of all places, Notre Dame. But you cannot abide her? Why, exactly?

    And what is it that you find worth defending about Obama, when even Mahoney said he would never vote for the guy again (Mahoney is someone we would normally associate with the "liberal" side of politics), and when even Dolan (a conciliatory guy) said that Obama was not operating in good faith?

    What is it that we should respect about how Obama has dealt with Christ's Church? I'm seriously asking. I don't see it.

    As for Bush… I have only been writing this blog for a 3.5 years. I was not around, that's where I was. Still and all, the policies of Bush were not anti-Catholic. Bush did not limit religious freedom of Catholics, and did not legislate for the full-on killing of the unborn, and he did not support the non-concept of gay "marriage". He didn't try to step on parents' rights to educate their own children, he did not support embryonic stem cell research, his Party did not support euthanasia or physician assisted suicide, all of the "non-negotioables" for Catholics in the public square. I will take that any day over what we have now.

    I am against the war in Iraq, just as I am against the wars that Obama has started and gotten us involved in.

    What about you?

    Anyway, please, tell me all the reasons a faithful Catholic should love Obama. I can't think of a one.

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  34. By the way, when the wives of politicians' policies overtake the politicians' policies, I will speak out against the wives. But if a man in office votes/legislates/governs as a pro-lifer, why on earth would I care what his wife does or says, or if he loves his pro-"choice" wife?

    And, when did I ever say I was a fan of George H.W. Bush? Heck, I switched parties and voted for Clinton in '92 rather than vote for Bush, Sr.

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    1. I VERY soon regretted my vote for Clinton, but still….

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  35. Francis Catholic. I am practically without words reading your comment and hearing you describe yourself as a practicing catholic. I do pray for the president but disagree with all of his ideology and decisions. I am a practicing Catholic who tries to follow the teaching of the Church. I can not understand how a person who is trying to follow Church teaching could ever vote for or support President Obama. It seems to me that Catholics that support Obama are usually against Church teaching, especially on abortion, contraception, and marriage. Why do people call themselves Catholic if they do not support the teachings of the Catholic Church?

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  36. Francis Catholic, I would like to respond to your post, but first can you tell me if you are a white male or not?

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  37. Leila, I totally agree with you on the wife issue. If you don't say hateful things about Michelle Obama either, then I am fine with the position you are taking about the Bush wives. Both were similar to Michelle Obama and had a public policy role and were quite visible, but not "overtaking" the politicians' policies. So if you have no issues with the Bush wives on abortion, I assume you have no issue with Michelle Obama on abortion. Her husband's position is his own. I don't fault you Leila, for preferring a Republican over a Democrat, and I never said you were a George Bush the senior fan. My point is the overall tone of the blog comments on this, not necessarily just your original post. If a progressive Catholic was on here and wrote about a pro-life orthodox Catholic policitician with the hateful language that Francis Choudhary wrote about Obama (above), you would have chastised him or her by now. To save you scrolling up, he said "Hell hath no fury like a petty, bitchy, effeminate man scorned." I waited a while, thinking you would tell him it was inappropriate or delete it, and was so extremely saddened and disapointed that you did not. That is sinful stuff. I sin too - plenty. And I expect to be called out for it. So surprised that you let that slide. Makes me so disappointed that you are fine with that behavior as long as it is an Orthodox Catholic displaying it. Too bad. As to Mary Ann Glendon, I thought you clearly understood where I was going with that comment. I hardly need your link to know what she did! That was my whole point about commenting that I was a proud Notre Dame graduate and proud that it gave Obama the honorary degree. Your reference to her in your original post was EXACTLY WHY I mentioned my affiliation with Notre Dame and my position on the issue. I respect her right to do what she did but I clearly disagree with her. I do not need you to instruct me on who she is or what she did. She is a Catholic that I do not agree with. We all do not agree on everything, and I thought that was something you treasured about this blog. And what is there to love about Obama? How about ending wars? How about a commitment to the poor? How about affordable health care? Yes, yes, religious liberty - get that - TOTALLY get that. But will none of you acknowledge that Catholic social teaching is in line with universal health coverage? And as to religious liberty, do you all pay taxes on the portion of your employer paid health coverage? Because the vast majority of private employer sponsored health plans provide abortion coverage and our federal government does not require us to pay taxes on the employer-paid portion of the health care premium - hence federally sponsored abortion coverage. So until you and your families are lobbying to rid the federal tax exemption for all Americans' employer paid health coverage, you are arguably not following Catholic social teaching on the issue. Of course the Republican party would never advocate for this because it wants to lower taxes. There are a lot of problems with health coverage and our system of government and how it intersects with our faith. The Republicans, Catholic or not, are doing nothing to fix it either. So, here's the thing. I need to get cooking, as I have 26 people arriving tomorrow and I will easily be up until 2:00 a.m. as it is. I have enjoyed this blog from time to time and I thought there was a place for me here. The fact that hateful comments written by orthodox Catholics who are in line with your views are tolerated has made me re-think it all. I really try to admit my mistakes in situations like this, Leila, and you could certainly do the same. But I think you share a weakness of mine in that you often react defensively, as do I. I am certain you will defend Francis Choudrary's comments somehow, which would be unfortunate. Happy Thanksgiving. I hope your daughter feels well enough to eat the holiday meal and that you enjoy time with family. I intend to do the same.

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  38. FC, I don't expect an answer till after Thanksgiving or at all (since you are leaving the blog), but I am just flabbergasted at this:

    "I was a proud Notre Dame graduate and proud that it gave Obama the honorary degree."

    I have no adequate words for this. Proud? That the most anti-Catholic, radically pro-abort president in the history of America was given an honorary degree from a Catholic university?

    I am flummoxed.

    I don't think I've ever used the word "flummoxed" before.

    As for the rest… I wish it weren't pre-Thanksgiving or I would give a point by point rebuttal tonight. His ending of wars? His commitment to the poor? Affordable health care? Am I being punk'd? Honestly, what?

    As for wives, I am disgusted with Laura Bush's and Barbara Bush's and Michelle Obama's stance on the social issues. Truly disgusted. I would elaborate but surely you would already understand that? They don't hold office, though. I don't get to vote them in or out.

    As for Francis. I didn't like that string of words. However, I think Obama is petty. I think he is a whiner (some, even someone of Indian origin and living in Australia like Francis) may call that "bitchy". Effeminate…. well, I don't find that Obama acts manly at all. He is a whiner, honestly, and a wimp. But he's a wimp with a lot of power, which makes it very dicey. Sorry that I am supposed to be deferential to the person of Barrack Obama in your eyes. I don't think I am required to be. I find very little to admire in the man, and so I try very hard to pray for his conversion, and that I might not *dislike* this powerful, anti-Catholic so much. Yes, it's a flaw. It's hard.

    I do not stop anyone from using words like "bitchy" no matter on what side. If someone attacks my Church or my Lord or my Lady, I will stop them. I imagine I would stop them if they insult my family. But frankly, the political leaders of our time (or of old) are fair game in calling them whiners, wimpy, whatever. I might not use those words that Francis did, but I mostly try to let readers' words stand.

    Some nasty stuff has been said here, and much of it I let go. On both sides. If Francis has said those words directly to a reader of this blog, in the midst of an argument between them, I would likely have stepped in. Labeling Obama petty? My goodness, even the liberal press has caught on to that charming characteristic of our Leader.

    By the way, paying taxes is not the same thing as directly giving money to an employee to buy something that is earmarked, something immoral. We've been over that distinction on the blog many times. I can't control how others spend the money I give them (if they want to buy porn or contraceptives). That is their sin. But I am not allowed to give someone money earmarked to go buy porn. Or give money directly to the porn shop, for the purpose of making sure that porn is free to my employee.

    Anyway, God bless you. I can't imagine cooking for 26! I am sure it will be delicious and I wish you well, honestly.

    Many blessings for a happy Thanksgiving, and you will always be welcome here.

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  39. Francis Catholic,
    When you say "orthodox Catholics" do you mean "faithful to Church teaching" Catholics? And when you say that the USCCB has been hijacked by the republican party do you also mean that 2000 years of Church teaching and non-negotiable voting issues lining up with republican party platform positions is some sort of a conspiracy? I do not consider myself a republican as I am so tired of the republicans not being truly conservative in practice but I do have to tell you that it is my absolute belief that this "universal healthcare" being shoved down our throats will impact our healthcare system, our economy, and our freedoms to our own detriment. Universal healthcare looks great on paper. So does communism. But in reality (and in this case) it is a power grab by the federal govt that will result in rationing of care, euthanasia, death panels (yeah, I said it), then end of privacy as we know it with things like HIPAA and the like, and an implosion of our overall healthcare system and economy due to rising costs we cannot absorb. This is common sense when the numbers are crunched and here is something to watch to give you some food for thought:
    http://youngcons.com/the-best-video-deconstruction-obamacare-you-will-ever-see/

    As far as a Catholic voting for Obama goes, I would simply say that if you do not submit to the bishops you do not submit to the authority of the Church, but I would also add that the Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly teaches that abortion is intrinsically evil and that our participation in the public square calls for us to live our faith and be faithful to Church teaching. http://www.ewtn.com/library/ISSUES/SINTOVOT.HTM

    May God bless you and keep you. Happy Thanksgiving and I hope your get together goes well.

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  40. "effeminate"

    I will let Francis Choudhary speak for himself, of course, but perhaps in our American lexicon, Francis' use of the word "effeminate" could translate to, "He whines (or acts) like a little girl." (Or even, if you'll excuse me, it's equivalent to "grow a pair and be a man".)

    Honestly, we Catholics sometimes talk earthily like that, at least here in Arizona. I think most people get it.

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  41. Looks like this is much ado about nothing, at least according to the Vatican.

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/11/27/vatican-knocks-down-controversy-over-u-s-embassy-move/

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    1. Priscilla, what else would the Vatican say? I can't imagine they would say otherwise.

      Here's from the (liberal) NCReporter:

      http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/vatican-embassy-move-draws-fire-former-us-envoys

      Both sides presented.

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  42. Manda: There is no Catholic party in the United States. There is a Protestant party and a secular party.

    Both are deeply flawed. The Democrats have been called the "party of death", yet Pope Francis essentially said that the Republicans' economic platform kills. The abortion issue does not mean that the Republicans get a pass.

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    1. Catholic involvement in the partisan politics of a largely Protestant party is yet another reason why people get Catholic and Evangelical beliefs confused.

      Delete
  43. There has been vitriol in spades from both sides, but I must say I was deeply offended by Francis' words. I know you are giving him the benefit of the doubt, Leila, but I don't believe for one minute that Francis used the word, "effeminate" as a synonym for "whiny".

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  44. James, I would not have expected any other response from the Vatican. And as far as the Republican Party, I think I and some others have made it pretty clear that we are not fans. But one Party (Dems) literally promotes the "wrong side" of every non-negotiable there is. There is nothing in the Republican Platform that is intrinsically evil that I have seen. Like I said, if I can vote for the Party that will take us to h-e-double-toothpicks more slowly (and leave us and our children with a legacy of slightly better judges), then I will do so.

    M. Albinoni, point noted. Francis is probably asleep in Australia, so I will let him speak for himself. Meanwhile, I believe I know just what he meant. I could be wrong.

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  45. James B,
    I agree that both parties are deeply flawed. However, the non-negotiable issues when it comes to voting are as follows: Abortion, Euthanasia, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Gay Marriage, and Human Cloning. The democrats are largely on the wrong side of every single non-negotiable issue.

    We can argue over trickle down economics and whether or not it works, and this falls under our prudential judgment to do so---this freedom is given by the Church Herself and until She declares Ex Cathedra that Capitalism is intrinsically evil (as She has on those other issues I just mentioned) I cannot in good conscience or in good standing as a Catholic Christian vote for any democrat who stands behind his/her party's platform.

    It seems you are suggesting that Catholics should not be involved in politics...is this correct? We are called to participate and we are called to use our faith and our voices to bring positive changes to law and govt so that they reflect and respect Natural Law. Abortion has been called the first and foremost issue that Catholics are called to fight against in the public square, as all other rights are secondary to life.

    I am not confused or under the illusion that the republican party is some Godsent answer to our problems. I will wait for Jesus to return for that. But we are called to aid humanity in not falling and that means fighting against these evils where we can. We've been given a list to follow on voting from the Bishops to make it easier on us. The least we can do is adhere to the Church's authority on these primary issues, so that the democrats have no other choice but to change their position on these issues. If all Catholics voted with their faith primarily, we would not be in this boat of choosing between these sorts of evils.

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  46. (Part 1 of 2)

    Francis Catholic,

    Despite the angst it causes you (and offends M Albinoni now), I totally stand by every word I have used to describe your President. I could've used more - much more – like, for instance, "a persistent doer of diabolical evils", but refrained. You see, unlike some tragically brainwashed "progressives" in the world today (often courtesy of duplicitous “Catholic” educations), I still retain the intellectual integrity to objectively see and name things for what they are – things like pettiness, bitchiness and sickening effeminacy in a man.

    If you think my words to describe the evil doer currently resident in the White House were harsh or uncalled for, imagine the description of him from the mouth of a baby (if it was possible) left to die on a table in an abortion clinic after a botched attempt at its murder - something that the “man” in question is on record as having thrice staunchly defended in a Parliament, as a necessity and a good. Since when does a real man argue for the unthinkably cruel murder of a defenseless baby to further some diabolical ideology involving so called “women’s healthcare” or their alleged “right to choose”?

    Imagine – if, as an enamored fan of this wolf in sheep’s clothing, you can - the sentiments of the child who is right now - yes, right this minute - having a pair of scissors stuck in the back of its neck before being vacuumed out of its mother's womb, in part because your fine and noble dear leader, paying due obeisance to his mistresses at Planned Parenthood, shamelessly declares that a mother shouldn't be "punished with a baby", then not only pushes for laws to freely and easily get rid of inconvenient babies, but indeed wants to force even the sane and sensible members of your society to pay for their murder! No, real men jump to the defense of the weak and the helpless, effeminate men look the other way, or worse, as in this instance, aid and abet the slaughter of the innocent!

    Imagine - if you are at all capable of so doing - the lifelong psychological trauma and suffering of children adopted into the homes of "couples" of “flexible gender orientation”, coldly and deliberately denied the love and knowledge of either a mother or a father. Denied, in fact, of a relationship with any sibling, grandparent, uncle, aunt or cousin as in a natural, extended, biological family. Why? Simply so that two (or perhaps more, in time to come) happy and “gay” “parents” can play act at being its two “daddies” or its two “mommies” in a desperate, surreal bid to justify their abominable sodomy - thanks to the devil’s version of “freedom” and “equality” now being delivered to your nation by this great big hero President of yours.

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  47. Part 2 of 2

    You reckon I’m being harsh or uncharitable in my description of this rank evil doer and mischief maker whose antics you have leaped up to defend?

    Make your case before the innocent and helpless Christians in the Middle East who’re being hounded out of their homes, persecuted, raped and killed by Islamic terrorists – the terrorists whose bloodied hands your dear leader just the other day sought to strengthen by bombing the very forces that are opposing their evil in Syria! (Thank God his plans in that instance were thwarted, not least of all by the prayers of faithful Christians (and others) to a merciful God!)

    Try running your glowing tributes of this man’s great and noble character past the ordinary, everyday bakers, photographers and restaurateurs whose livelihoods are being viciously destroyed simply on account of their refusal to co-operate with the sins of others, aided and abetted and cheered on by this effeminate – yes, most effeminate – man who not only lacks the will and courage to defend the crucial societal institutions of true, heterosexual marriage and natural family, but is, in fact, totally owned by those who are determinedly out to destroy these things.

    Try expounding this man’s virtues to the Catholic Bishops of your country who (understandably) heartily support(ed) the concept of universal healthcare as a good (which it is) but awoke with horrified dismay to the belated realization that under the stewardship of this wicked man and his wicked colleagues in power, even the noble cause of healthcare is to be exploited as a cover for the furtherance of the greatest genocide mankind has ever known.

    I challenge you: get on to Google and do a quick search for images using keywords such as these: abortion, persecution of Christians, homosexuality (turn off the safe search feature for this one if you dare). I challenge you. Be a real man, unafraid of truth, however confronting, and look. Sometimes a picture says a thousand words, far better than anything I can write to bemoan the gross evils that are now befalling your once-blessed land. Yes, these are the very things that your wonderful POTUS, with the reliable support of the godless and the degenerate in your nation, is busy pushing as the key planks of his princely agenda, while adamantly refusing to defend any of the things that have historically made America strong and morally good. The world needs to see the face of these things. You need to see the face of these things, before you wander onto blogs that speak truth to power and call out evil, with your sad, distressed, cries of foul.

    Enough of reinvented Catholicism. Enough of misguided charity. Enough of aggrieved outcries in defense of obstinate, badass enemies of God in this world. Enough of calling evil good and good evil.

    By the way: is “Catholic” really your surname, or did you adopt that as a moniker in the hope of stating that mightn’t be too obvious to the world at large?

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    1. typo: something that mightn't be too obvious

      Delete
  48. Whoa. You just took this thread to a whole new level of ugliness, Francis. I don't even know where to begin. Let me just say this: when you use a feminine descriptor as a pejorative, you are contributing to a world where women (and I'm not even gonna touch the idea you are delivering to gay men and boys) are barraged by the message that their femininity is something shameful. It creates an atmosphere where sexism and bigotry are acceptable, and if this blog will condone it, then I am done with it as well. I came here to this blog because I love my Church and I wanted to deepen my faith. If I have to wade through the muck that you sling to do so, then I know it won't be worth it.

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  49. Whoa, M Albinoni. That's a patently disingenuous and deceitful attempt on your part to suggest that I'm going anywhere near suggesting that femininity in a woman is shameful or lacking of something in some way. What kind of fool would I be to even dream of doing that on a blog run by a (delightful and highly intelligent) woman and frequented by a host of other (delightful and highly intelligent) women? All that the word "effeminate" means, when applied to a man in the sense and context that I've used it, is that he is "unmanly". Nothing more and nothing less. (You might want to check your dictionary to verify that!) So quit trying to use such outlandish interpretations and insinuations to misrepresent my words or actions! Sexism? Bigotry? From me? How about misogyny? You're hilarious! Thanks for providing my laugh for the day.

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  50. Wait a minute, M. Albinoni. I take issue with something here. I'll preface it by saying that I love being a woman. I am a strong woman, and I wouldn't want to be a man for anything in the world. And, I also love men (I do not ever pit women against men or male-bash).

    You can dislike his tone and stridency, but I don't think for a minute that Francis thinks femininity is shameful. Not at all. He loves women! Men and women are different, and for a man's manhood to be questioned and be likened to a "woman" (i.e., not being manly, as in the qualities of a hero, a protector, a provider, etc.) is in no way degrading women. This is the sort of stuff that I will never understand. I totally got what Francis meant. It is not "anti-woman" to say what he did about Obama. It's anti-Obama, yes, but not anti-woman!

    I'd hate to see you leave, truly. I hope you decide to stay. But in general, I cannot abide political correctness and feminist speak. It just does not sit right with me. I think women are smarter and stronger than that.

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    1. I see Francis sort of beat me to it. Just now saw his post.

      Delete
    2. As stated in response to Franny (see, INSULTING without being chauvinistic!!:)) there's a specific usage of a word like "effeminate" in that context. It's akin to when kids on the playground used to insult each other by calling kids the "F-word" (dictionary meaning "a group of small twigs".) You know what, I think I'M splitting this blog as well. lol I very much doubt you'll be BEGGING me to return. Just be careful Leila, your bias is showing too.

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  51. Francis, I'm curious. You are a devout member of Christ's church, correct? Do you, therefore, emulate Christ? Are your words and actions an expression of Christ's mercy and love? Is it your goal to attract people to the Catholic church? Do you believe you are doing that?

    Does your religion give you a sense of inner peace? Good will towards others? Does it help you to love your enemy?

    M. Albinono, a Catholic, the person who wrote Leila's favorite post ever, has said she will no longer participate in this blog because of your "muck." How do you interpret that?

    Just asking.

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  52. Leila -- It wasn't just that a man was being likened to a woman, as in being "unmanly". He was using it as an insult. I guess it is "feminist speak" (which I obviously have no problem with), but it has nothing to do with being politically correct. We will just have to agree to disagree.
    In all honestly, I probably will stop by every now and then. But I refuse to engage Francis any longer. His comments are deplorable and internet flame wars are not my thing.

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  53. Leila, I'm going to lay off commenting further on this thread. The way this conversation is heading, we're soon going to be debating, I suspect, what is means to be a real man and/or what it means to be a real woman. I have some clear cut and definite ideas in my head about such things, and I'm sure others do too, but any conversation about such things would be rapidly hijacked in this brave new unisex, gender neutral, politically correct world and herded into a surreal world of androgynous concepts, a world which likes to deny that there is any natural characteristic difference at all between male and female. Difference has now become discrimination - in the negative connotation of that term. M Albinoni's rapid fire response to my comments proves it. I'm not even remotely interested to go there. The long time readers of this blog surely know of my love and unqualified admiration for most women (and men) and I feel no compulsion at all to prove it in some way to any cynical, feminist commenter.

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    1. I really hope you keep speaking the truth in love, Francis. People seem to forget the definition of love is to will the ultimate good of the other and if your blunt comments wake someone out of their stupor of lukewarm apathy and make them think about some of these issues then you are doing what Christ did. It may get you crucified in the end, but your words resonate with those of us who haven't been overcome by the political correctness of the current culture, which is pulling us all toward an environment where freedom of speech and religion are a thing of the past.

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    2. Francis, with respect, if you had the gumption and courage to just OWN your "effeminate" comment, I'd have more respect for you. To attempt, after the fact, to attribute that word to some sort of "generalized insult" is, gently, LAUGHABLE! Heck, you obviously don't like Obama (for the record, I'm not crazy about him either). In fact, you could've gone with a MUCH more derogatory term like "coward" and gotten your point of view across without also insulting a segment of the population.
      But please, don't dress that frog up and take her to the parade and tell everybody it's really a princess. It's a FROG!! By the way, I"m a dude, so any desire to label ME a "cynical feminist" you can save it! What I DO have a bias against is people who exercise there freedom of speech then don't have the STONES to just own it! The End.

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  54. Johanne, when all this heat dies down, please read again all that I've written. I'm calling out grave contemporary evils for what they are (because so many still don't seem to get it) - and not resiling from naming the malevolent powers behind them. I do see my actions as an expression of Christ's mercy and love - towards the ones who need them desperately, "the least of these", like the helpless children who are being murdered - by the millions and counting. The children who are so precious to God that He said that if anyone should hurt them it'd be better that a millstone be hung around his neck and he be thrown into the sea.

    If I may, I'll share an experience with you. When I was a young teen, I asked a Belgian priest who'd been in Germany during the holocaust, how such an atrocity could've occurred while the entire German people (a Christian people!) stood by so passively. For the first time ever (I knew him well, he was the prefect of my school, in fact) he shifted on his feet uncomfortably and seemed to struggle to find words with which to respond to me. Finally he managed to say something to the effect that the German people did suspect/know what was happening in the concentration camps, but chose to look the other way because of a combination of factors: Hitler was a hypnotic leader - an accomplished orator who powerfully moved people, he had promised to restore a battered and broken Germany to its former prosperity and power, the foul deeds he had ordered were being done behind barbed wire and well out of sight (although reports of the events were leaking out regularly), the Gestapo's power was absolute, etc...

    I guess I must've, subconsciously even, made up my mind then as a child, that I'd never be cowed or silent in the face of grave evils ever, even if other people looked away or minimized the horror or clutched at spurious mitigating factors, or whatever.

    I have numerous close and precious friends in America. Believe me, nothing would make me happier than to see America reign powerfully on the world stage for another century to come. Unfortunately, I see evry good thing about America falling apart. So I speak out - even if that is not to everyone's liking at times. If my comments appear to make me uncharitable or lacking in goodwill or whatever - so be it. I don't know what (or how) else I can do or say to voice my opposition or mobilize opposition against, the dangers and evils I see unfolding before my eyes, not just in your country but in so much of the world as well. (As I know many other people do, too.)

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  55. Hey, everyone, I see a lot happened while I was cooking! Leila, I thank you for your statement that I am always welcome here. I know you meant it and I appreciate it. I also know you meant your good wishes on Thanksgiving. I think my need to "take a break" here is in part because the hyperbole and acrimony I read. Leila rarely engages in that way (if ever), even though I thoroughly disagree with many of her posts. Life is just too short to be angry a lot. A wise priest friend of mine (the one who performed our marriage, presided over our son's funeral and baptised our other three kids) told me that it is easy to focus on what is wrong in politics and in the world. He challenged me to look around at small miracles and examples of selflessness and goodness that happen every day. Christ at work in my everyday world. I finished my cooking at 2:10 a.m. (right on schedule) after spending hours in my kitchen while my husband and kids helped, with a fire going (it's incredibly cold out) and my ten year old daughter was singing Catholic Youth Camp songs at the top of her lungs. She (and the other kids) had a feeling of contentment about the holiday tomorrow, the arrival of Grandma and aunts/uncles and cousins. My little ten year old said "Mom, I LOVE that we have Thanksgiving here and everyone comes to us. We have a great family." I smiled at that and told her that thanks be to God, we do. Wonderful, warm and genuine moments with the people we love remind us of God's many gifts. I am finally sitting down with a glass of wine after a 10 hour day at work and another 7 hours getting ready for tomorrow. 10 lbs. of mashed potatoes, 2 pans of stuffing, cranberry sauce and 24 hour refrigerated fruit salad are all finished and ready for re-heating tomorrow. We will tackle the turkey in the morning, and join with our beloved family members to thank God for all our blessings. A very Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. God Bless!

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  56. When the Church takes a political stand we agree with, it is "non-negotiable". When the Church takes a stand we disagree with it is a "matter of prudential judgment". Got it.

    After reading Evangelii Gaudium 53-60, I don't see how any Catholic could vote Republican.

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    1. As for the abortion issue, I agree strongly with this column.

      http://www.troubonline.com/index.php/news/657-author-professor-advocates-for-change-in-pro-life-dialouge.html

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  57. Leila,

    Being impressed with your approach to Facebook, I have taken the same approach to blogging, but I see I am missing a lot. This move (not shutdown) of the Embassy makes perfect sense from a security standpoint and I am sure that security experts have recommended it. Why is it a slap in the face to anyone? Shutting it down would be. But moving it? I don't see it.

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  58. Thanks, Manda. I wasn’t going to comment further on this thread, but wanted to say a word of thanks for your comment.

    A few months ago I awoke, shaken and startled, in the middle of one night, from a dreamlike experience I’d just had, in which the words of an entire distressing poem had suddenly come to me. If I had to give the poem a name, it’d have to be “Hue and Cry”. The poem basically had to do with this current in-human apathy of ours that you talk about. It was about our unbelievable preoccupation with partying and political correctness and self preservation, and about our professed faith in God become meaningless, in the face of all the injustice that is now so ferociously raging about us – the demonic injustices by which the weakest and most innocent among us, our little babies, die. I couldn’t remember all the lines of the poem I “heard” (although I could probably write one similar to it even now if I tried – I know the words are buried somewhere in the back of my mind, and will always be) but its theme was clear and unmistakable – and insistent. It was as though God Himself was speaking, both to me personally and to mankind at large. And what He was saying included this admonition: “You partied while the children died; You didn’t raise a hue and cry.” And at the conclusion of another verse: “You didn’t raise a hue and cry; Just sat and watched the children die.” It was as though I was (mercifully) receiving a warning of what I/we might expect to hear as each of us are called one day before the judgment seat of our Maker and Lord – called to give exact account of what we did or didn’t do amidst the most serious social circumstances in which we had found ourselves. At one point, as the words of the poem relentlessly assailed me, I wanted to cry out, “I hear you, Lord, I hear you! I’ll tell my brothers and sisters, Lord, I’ll warn them too!” And that is precisely what I was attempting to do on this thread, with the requisite urgency and directness, before I was quickly cut down to size – by, of all people, fellow Catholics.

    There are veritable rivers of blood flowing across the face of the earth today – the blood of countless innocents – and all we do is indulge in discreet and oblique and warm and fuzzy and politically careful talk fests about these extreme terrors of the night, these diabolic horrors threatening our very own existence! Yes, that’s what I said – our very existence. Is this what our collective character and wisdom have been reduced to? Have we been so pathetically emasculated already? Whatever happened to the exemplary righteousness that once characterized us from sea to shining sea - and shone as a light to the entire world? Where did it all go? Oh, to assuage our consciences, once in a while we'll still wring our limp hands impotently and express momentary outrage about a few children we happen to see on the 6 o’clock news being hurt or killed, say, in a gas attack. Then, soon enough, it’ll be back to business as usual, back to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness for ourselves, with nary a wince as the next white plastic bucket of precious blood is emptied into the crimson river. No importunate hue, no outraged cry. Just a mass of dulled consciences and an incapacitating paralysis of potent protest. Indeed the “folks” will traipse merrily along to the ghoulish tune of the Piper, to vote for more of the same a second and third time around! Lord, help us.

    Thanks again for the word of support and encouragement, Manda. It’s truly appreciated. You are brave and beautiful. You take care. God bless you.

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  59. Francis, I deeply admire you and am glad you comment frequently on Leila's blog. I am also with you in this recent exchange. But while reading your submissions, I thought of today's commentary on the daily gospel by St. Gregory the Great:

    “When these things begin to take place, look up and lift up your heads because your redemption is drawing near.” Truth is exhorting his elect by saying: “When the disasters of the world become more frequent... let your hearts exult! While the world which is not your friend is coming to an end, the redemption you have sought is coming near.”

    Those who love God are ordered to rejoice and be merry at the world's end. They will soon find him whom they love, while what they have not loved is passing away. It should be far from the hearts of all the faithful who long to see God to grieve over the disasters of a world they know these very disasters are to end. It is written that: “Whoever wishes to be a friend of this world makes himself an enemy of God (Jas 4,4). Someone who does not rejoice as the end of the world approaches testifies that he is its friend, and this convicts him of being God's enemy.


    http://dailygospel.org/main.php?language=AM&module=commentary&localdate=20131128

    It's a disturbing commentary. I don't mean to say that we shouldn't fight for the lives of our little brothers and sisters, I share your anger, and your words have been an encouragement. But we must not forget that the ultimate battle has been won (for us), and while battling the forces of evil we must also aim to help save as many souls as possible. Including those most adamantly standing behind the abortion industry.

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  60. Jet Fletcher, please follow the rules and post your comment at the end of the thread (I know we have broken this rule a lot, but let's only do that if we are correcting our own typos, or in a completely isolated side conversation; that goes for all, please).

    And as for this, JF:

    "Just be careful Leila, your bias is showing too."

    I have no idea who you are (I think you used to comment, long ago?), but don't warn me. I don't tolerate that kind of bully talk, so watch it, bub. You may say "Your bias is showing" and I'll let that stand, but don't wade into the "be careful" crap. Thanks.

    Do I have bias against pro-aborts and those who would (happily, militantly) see millions of unborn human children murdered (both before and after birth, by the way)? Oh, yes. Do I have bias against the man who persecutes my Church (and has for years)? Yes, I will use my freedom of speech to speak against him. I am waiting any day to get audited, frankly. It's not for the faint of heart to be against this man publicly. Although, as Francis, I do not think he is a real man, I do think he is a coward and a fraud (sorry, sue me!). If you can't understand Francis' point (even if you disagree), then I don't know what to say. I guess "Oh, well" will have to do.

    Francis Catholic…. I wish I could sit and eat your delicious meal with you!! YUUUUM! I agree with you that we must rejoice in the Lord always, and be a people of optimism and joy. That will be my day today, laughing, eating (a lot) and being so grateful for what the Lord has done for me and for every human. I love Thanksgiving! Thanks for hanging in with us all. I don't think we will ever agree on politics, but praise God we can still will the good of one another anyway!


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  61. "When the Church takes a political stand we agree with, it is "non-negotiable". When the Church takes a stand we disagree with it is a "matter of prudential judgment". Got it."

    Riiiiiight. Except that it's the Popes (you know, those folks that Jesus put in charge of the Deposit of Faith) who talked about the non-negotiables. Not me. Check their words:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2012/10/to-catholic-democrats.html

    In your opinion, Catholics may not vote for Republicans because Pope Francis wrote (as all popes have, by the way) that unbridled capitalism (i.e., unregulated corporations, using workers as means to an end with no concern for their dignity and rights) is wrong. Do you also agree, based on what the popes have said, agree that Catholics may not vote for Democrats?

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    1. Um..wha? Bully talk?!? Puhleeze. I hesitate to dignify it with comment. I think it's patently obvious that that statement at the beginning of your post is a BLATANT attempt to impugn my integrity. Frankly, I find the characterization offensive, mean-spirited, and above all, juvenile. I've heard about how articulate and insightful you can be...I'm still waiting for it! If THAT'S the Catholicism you're espousing here, maybe I'll go back to being a Baptist!!

      Delete
    2. Here you replied to something I wrote to James B (not to you), and that is why I have asked that you follow the rules (as I've asked countless others before you) and place your comments at the bottom of the thread.

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  62. Thanks, Sebastian. I too, receive an email from that excellent site daily, including links to the lives of the saints of the day, which I carefully read and try to learn from. Indeed, I’ve learned repeatedly from their example how counter cultural we are called to be, even if find ourselves against a powerful and intimidating majority at times. And I know the victory of good over evil has already been won – indeed that’s precisely what gives me the impetus to fight the good fight, tiring and challenging though it might be.

    Mother Teresa, who I knew and worked with personally, was quite ill during the past few years of her life, with cardiac problems (which I too now have, and have had major surgery for). Her concerned doctors would urge her to take it easy, get in more rest, throttle back a bit from the intensity with which she lived her life... All their exhortations were futile; for every time she’d abruptly respond, “Rest? What? Here? In this life? With all that needs doing? Why? Soon enough I’ll have a whole eternity to rest!” I’m not hanging out for any particular outcomes of my efforts nor will any lack of results discourage me. If some good comes of anything I say or do (no matter how crudely or imperfectly), it comes, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. What I’m really after is when I’m standing on the threshold of eternity one day (as all of us must) to be able to humbly submit to my God, “Lord, you know that as best I could, I did my best for your Kingdom and your cause.” After that let Perfect Justice and Mercy take His course.

    God bless, mate.

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  63. Hello Jet,

    Do you believe that the Catholic Church contains the fullness of Christ's Truth, especially in the Eucharist - the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ? Why would you leave that just because some commenters here are coming off harshly to you? Yes, we are called to be charitable and loving towards others, but ultimately, the Truth is not dependent on whether we're harsh or gentle. So, please take that into consideration when deciding whether you want to leave the only Church with the Real Presence of Christ.

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone here in the Bubble! Leila, thank you for all the effort and love you put into each post. I am so blessed to learn from such wise and humble people. I too am praying that Cecily is healthy enough to enjoy the meal with your ever growing family. God bless :)

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  64. @Francis: Amen, brother. God bless you too, and everyone on Leila's blog. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  65. Sebastian,

    A Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and also to everyone on this blog.

    I was at a lunch once with a dozen or so people, with a Bishop at the head of the table. He was invited to say grace, and prayed: "We thank you Lord for all the gifts that we have received out of your bounty. As we sit at this table laden with plenty, we remember too those who will go to bed without a meal tonight. Amen."

    Talk about a dampener! Talk about a reality check! But, see, he had a point, no matter how confronting. So perhaps this Thanksgiving as we gather to thank the Lord for all that His Providence has provided for us, we too can take a moment to remember (and say a prayer of reparation for) all those whom our sins have prevented from ever being born, let alone have a chance to praise and thank God for any fruits of this earth.

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  66. Jet Fletcher, forgive me as the mother in me comes out. Let me talk a little about basic manners. Mannered people do not normally come into a person's "home" and tell the hostess to "be careful…" what they say. You were rude. I don't know you yet. You are not one of the regulars in this Bubble family (many of whom can get away with such familiar and even rude speech, because I know them and I know their hearts and let certain things slide (though I doubt that I'd let a "warning" to me from them slide, frankly).

    As for "juvenile", I really must agree with Margo. You would let a comment by a blog owner keep you from the Church? I have to question what your reason for being Catholic is, then. If I ran from the Church when I heard a Catholic say something I don't like, I'd have run around the globe about fifteen times so far. Are you that sensitive that a paragraph written by a Catholic nobody in Arizona has you fleeing back to the Baptists (where all the folks are perfect, I'm guessing)?

    Please read my "Please Read First" link at the top of the blog. This is not the blog for everyone, certainly not for the ultra-sensitive, so you may feel more comfortable elsewhere. But if you can "take the heat" from mean ole Leila, then please feel free to stay. You are welcome here if you can remember your manners.

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  67. Francis, amen, and to everyone, thank you so much for your well wishes! Soon I will be off to my parents' house. I just spent some time making the stuffed mushrooms that my daughter normally makes but just couldn't do this year. Hopefully, she will be able to partake in the meal, at least a little bit! I am happily imagining all of you (well, the Americans among you) eating a lovely meal with your families and friends, with joy and mirth! God bless you all and thanks be to Him from Whom all blessings flow!

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  68. So how do you reconcile voting Republican with Pope Francis's recent statement on the immorality of trickle down economics?

    My own view (and this seems to be the view of Pope Francis) is that while faith informs our political views, the actual political decisions are matters of prudential judgment. Given the remarkably different emphases of Francis's and Benedict's statements, they likely have differing political opinions.

    As for the "non-negotiables", given the record of the Republican Party, it is unlikely they will do anything about them beyond maintaining the status quo or conceding more slowly.

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  69. @ Francis
    Thank you for sharing that moving story about the priest and the Holocaust. It helps me understand your intention and what is motivating you.

    “I’d never be cowed or silent in the face of grave evils ever, even if other people looked away or minimized the horror”

    I assume from what you say that your purpose in speaking the way you do is to prevent or rectify what you see as grave evil, correct?

    I suggest that although there is noble intention underlying your speech, that it does nothing to advance your goal.

    I don't know what (or how) else I can do or say to voice my opposition or mobilize opposition against, the dangers and evils I see unfolding before my eyes

    It’s the “(or how)” that I want to comment on.

    Generally you can’t change someone’s mind without first touching their heart. When you speak with such vitriol it doesn’t invite anyone to consider your viewpoint. I think Leila is a good example of what I’m talking about. The graciousness and kindness she conveys in her blog (without backing down on anything she believes) invites people in, creates a space where a few people are actually willing to listen to ideas opposed to their own.

    If I had come upon a blog of yours instead of Leilas’s I would have rolled my eyes, written you off as a vitriolic lunatic and gone on my way—with my left-of-left, pro-choice, radical feminist, anti-Catholic convictions stronger than ever. But after a long time of hanging out in the Bubble, I have different understanding of Catholicism and a deeper respect for Catholics.

    I have long admired your wit, but lately, your posts have become more vicious and hateful than ever, despite what motivates you. Even other Catholics can’t abide your comments.

    M. Albononi, an obviously intelligent woman, and devoted Catholic says this:

    “I came here to this blog because I love my Church and I wanted to deepen my faith. If I have to wade through the muck that you sling to do so, then I know it won't be worth it.”

    What have you accomplished when Catholics themselves don’t want to interact with you?

    If your response to this is nothing but a fusillade of insults then please don’t bother.

    I wish you well, and hope you might consider that the people you disagree with might have worthy intentions themselves.

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  70. I'm curious about people's response to this:
    http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/bestoftv/2013/11/27/exp-newday-sister-campbell-father-dwyer-pope-paper-.cnn.html

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    1. Be careful learning anything about the Church from a secular media source. CNN has their own agenda with their viewers and they say things about the Church that are misleading whenever the Church comes up. I remember when Benedict resigned, and they kept going on about whether the next pope would change the Church's stance on abortion, contraception, women priests, etc. These issues have been decided as Doctrinal...meaning they will never change. But the media makes it seem like they either don't know this or it's just not so. Also, that nun, Sister Simone Campbell, is infamous for being a dissident Catholic. As far as the rest of what they said goes, (besides that CNN anchor saying that the Catholic Church has added capitalism to the list of deadly sins---??? uh, no, She hasn't) I agree we need to be more joyful in our evangelization and try to attract people with our joy and love so that they will want to come closer and perhaps encounter the Living God in the process, which is the only way hearts can truly be changed.

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  71. vitriolic lunatic (adj/noun):
    harsh, nasty, bitter, malicious person who is mentally ill, insane or wildly foolish

    Hmmm…

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  72. James B, In response to your comments suggesting we just make up non-negotiables and matters of prudential judgment according to our own beliefs:

    Actually, it's a formality in the hierarchy of the Church that it's done that way. It's not up to me or any other layperson what is negotiable and what is prudential judgment. That's decided by the magisterium. Take it up with them. Furthermore, after reading Evangelii Gaudium 55, 213, 214, and 256, I don't know how anyone can vote democrat...and especially because the issue of abortion is a non-negotiable...according to Church doctrine.

    And btw, socialism has been rejected by the Church consistently throughout the ages, as has communism...so I'm not sure what your alternative to a capitalistic society would be. When the free markets get meddled with by govt and that govt grows in power and authority in matters of the economy, the progression always ends with communism or something that looks dreadfully like communism. The Church has been around longer than any of these modern progressives who think they know better. Some quotes from popes over the last 2 millenia on the evils of socialism and communism: http://www.tfp.org/tfp-home/catholic-perspective/what-the-popes-have-to-say-about-socialism.html

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    1. As far as the article you posted on abortion goes, I think that is the goal for many in the pro-life movement--to change hearts. That is the way we will end abortion, by making the need for it obsolete. Abby Johnson has her organization, "And Then There Were None" in which pro-lifers pray for and support people who want to leave the abortion industry...by helping them find other work and any means of support they need. As a former Planned Parenthood director, her goal is to change hearts of people working inside those clinics and opening their eyes the same way hers were opened. But, it doesn't stop there. 40 Days for Life is another pro-life cause which seeks to change the hearts of those women who feel they have no choice but to abort. So, I do agree with you that our goal should be to open eyes and change hearts...when enough eyes are opened and hearts are changed then maybe the laws will reflect what the people want.

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  73. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I hope it was filled with family, friends and yummy food. I’m thankful mine was.
    I read the article you posted, James B (the one advocating for change in the pro-life dialogue). I thought it was very thought-provoking, as it echoes much of how I feel about the pro-life movement. Don’t get me wrong: I think abortion is abhorrent. I fight it every day when I counsel young women who end up in the ER with an unplanned pregnancy, or whenever I see young men and women who are having unprotected sex without any thought about the consequences. The root of the problem is in the culture, like he says. It’s not the law. I guarantee you, even if you repeal Roe vs. Wade, women will continue to have abortions. Except if you do, they will unsafe ones, and you will have young women dying, in addition to their unborn babies.
    The article also indirectly touches on something else that I feel strongly about: our seeming inability to have a respectful dialogue when it comes to the differences in our sociopolitical ideology. Today was a perfect example of that – on both sides, mind you. What I am reacting to is the demonization of “the other”: people who are different for us, or who have different beliefs. The allegations being bandied about today were pretty jaw-dropping: we had President Obama (who I am NOT a fan of, by the way) becoming, alternatingly, the Anti-Christ or the second coming of Hitler, the ACA becoming a secret vehicle for death-panels (that lie WAS debunked years ago), and pro-choice supporters becoming “fans” of sticking scissors into babies’ necks. Then, when Francis doubles(and triples)-down on his whole war against “effeminate”, “limp-wristed” men and (everyone make a disgusted face now) feminists, he is told that he speaks “the truth in love”. Huh? What am I missing here? I get the whole concept of wanting the good for others, but I will never see Christ in words or attitudes like that.
    Not all progressives are baby-murdering, Godless monsters ushering in The Second Coming, and not all conservatives are Bible-thumping, gun-toting red-necks. I thought this blog was a respite from that sort of hyperbolic vitriol, but I have my doubts now.
    Anyway, I have said my peace. I do wish that everyone had a peaceful day. I am going back to my Dr. Who marathon now.

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    1. You should really look more into whether or not end of life options will include bureaucrats determining at what point our lives are no longer worth keeping around. This is what is meant by death panels.

      Also, as a woman I do not understand why all the fuss over the use of the word, "effeminate". Was it used as an insult? Perhaps. But it has really been blown out of proportion and I believe it's because we have been brainwashed in a culture that wishes to do away with gender differences and wants everything to be gender neutral and politically correct.
      Do you have a problem with Jesus in the gospels calling people evil doers or hypocrites? Was he being hateful there? Or was he speaking the truth in love?

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  74. James, tired out from a long day here, but I would ask Pope Francis (if I had a convo with him) to clarify. Because of course we all agree that unbridled capitalism and consumerism is bad. But what is the alternative to a free market economy that does not make things worse? That's what I'd need to know. For example, in which nations are the poor better off (as opposed to other nations)? There is a huge difference, for example, between what the poor in North Korea or Africa suffer, for example, than the poor here in America. So, what is the system of economics that would work best? Since we know we cannot have Utopia here, what brings us closest to what we want? The single biggest indicator of poverty in America is single parent families, not any other factor. So, for our particular nation, strengthening marriage and family might be the way to get people out of poverty. But we have this cultural problem exemplified by the sex educators that I dialogued with a while back, that they won't even use the word "marriage" with disadvantaged children, as it is "judgmental". Oy, vey! We have a lot of work to do.

    Socialism cannot be the answer, as that has been roundly condemned by the Church for ages. So, what would be the best system? What policies would be good for the government to impose to ensure a more fair system? I'd love to hear what the pope things, and why. He has his opinion that "trickle down" is bad, but I don't know exactly what that means, frankly. It's not the same as saying "abortion" is bad, because we all know what abortion is. And euthanasia, and gay "marriage", etc. I am no expert on economics, but we'd have to really have a working understanding of economics in any given nation to really have that discussion.

    As an aside, I have a friend who is a liberal, who is dear to me. She really *despises* corporate America and thought Romney was pretty much a scoundrel because he was "filthy rich". She and her hubs live on a good salary, and when the economic downturn happened in 2008, the fear of potential loss of income (which I don't believe actually came) made her let her housekeeper go (she came weekly, I think?). I remember thinking: But that housekeeper needs work! What if six of her clients decided to be "prudent" and let her go? She would be out of work and on welfare. Her small business would be decimated. How is that good for anyone? And I thought the firing of her was hypocritical coming from a liberal, frankly.

    I actually love to support my community by going out to eat, leaving good tips, hiring a guy to put chemicals in our pool, etc. I feel that is a good thing, and it helps everyone who does those jobs. I sure am glad that when my husband was working for tips as a room service attendant, there were people who could afford to go to a resort and order room service! That is "trickle down" stuff, and when people stop being able to spend that money, it's the poor people who suffer, or the working class, not the rich. So, I really don't get what the issue is in general about that concept.

    What is the alternative that is better?

    And Johanne, as far as changing hearts and minds on abortion… absolutely! Yes! But it's not an either/or. It's a both/and. The children who are not protected by the law need to be protected by the law even now, and not only when people's hearts are changed to see the truth of their value as members of the human family with a right to live.

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  75. M. Albinoni, I am interested in your take on this analysis from a Planned Parenthood doctor way back in 1960, when abortion was illegal:

    Dr. Mary S. Calderone, a former director of Planned Parenthood wrote in the American Journal of Public Health, "Abortion is no longer a dangerous procedure. This applies not just to therapeutic abortions as performed in hospitals but also to so-called illegal abortions as done by physician. In 1957 there were only 260 deaths in the whole country attributed to abortions of any kind…Second, and even more important, the conference [on abortion sponsored by Planned Parenthood] estimated that 90 percent of all illegal abortions are presently being done by physicians…Whatever trouble arises usually arises from self-induced abortions, which comprise approximately 8 percent, or with the very small percentage that go to some kind of non-medical abortionist…So remember…abortion, whether therapeutic or illegal, is in the main no longer dangerous, because it is being done well by physicians."

    More info here:

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/abortion/defending-life/if-abortion-is-made-illegal-women-will-die-in-back-alleys/

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  76. @Leila
    I'm not sure where those stats would have come from because most "back alley" abortions were just that--and no one would have known why the women died.

    Also, in regards to socialism. I've never thought of myself as a socialist but it's interesting that Denmark, a socialist country, has been recognized as the happiest country on the planet for the last 40 years.

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  77. Johanne, the women who died would have been brought to hospitals. It would have been obvious that they died from abortions, just as today. No one would have buried their relative in the back yard, thinking no one would notice. Unless I am misunderstanding your point (and I may be).

    Yes, I have read that about Denmark, and even at the time I questioned the markers for happiness. I will look that up, but it seemed to me even at the time that "happiness" could not be quantified the way they were measuring it. Also, what "works" for one nation does not always work for another. Denmark is a small, homogeneous population, no? Again, it's early, my brain is slow, I need to look that up.

    One think I forgot to mention in my comments to James is that perhaps Pope Francis was taught or believes that it's a zero sum game, with wealth? I was taught and believe the opposite, but again, that is why I would need the Pope to clarify his understanding of economics and why he believes what he does (and the alternatives he proposes).

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  78. http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-1-213921-What-makes-Denmark-the-happiest-nation-on-earth

    According to this report, Demark has the highest taxes and largest personal debt in the world. I am not sure that Pope Francis would use this as an economic model. At least I hope not, ha!

    Also, third highest rate of anti-depressants per capita? It's perplexing, but the last line of the article says a lot.

    I don't think Americans would ever value "security" (such as it is in Denmark) above freedom, but maybe we are getting there as we change our values. Still and all, I don't think the Danish model would work here in this massive nation.

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  79. Whenever I hear of the Scandinavian countries being the wealthiest, happiest etc. I can't help but think of a Faustian bargain.
    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Faustian_bargain
    Not in a literal sense of course, but the article Leila found seems to provide at least some indication of that. I admit though that this is pure speculation.

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  80. I think the main problem with capitalism is not the economic system itself, but the attitudes it inspires. Many people have this idea of the market as some ultimate arbiter that never gives anyone anything they don't deserve. People's attitudes towards the free market are often similar to Job's friends' attitude towards God. They believe he deserves his situation, much like many capitalists are convinced that the poor just don't work hard enough, or that the single moms on welfare struggling to make ends meet are somehow lazy because they weren't able to obtain a high-paying corporate job in a corner office. They act as though giving everyone equal rights will put everyone on a level playing field. But most people do not come from a situation that would allow them to advance too far. I'm quite privileged; whatever happens to me will most likely be my own fault. But as I sit at a nice, fairly expensive university next year it will be because I was lucky enough to have good parents (one of whom is a teacher), a fair amount of money, and a decent education system. I didn't earn those things, but unbridled capitalism acts as though I did. I once heard someone described as "born on third base and thinks he hit a triple." This sums up our current economic system precisely. People do not always get what they deserve in capitalism, but capitalists tend to ignore or downplay that element of the system.

    One ideal economic system would be a capitalist system where everyone is also so kind and compassionate that no one ever starves or freezes to death or gets shot at a Black Friday sale at WalMart. The problem is that we have half of that and not the other half, but many people feel like they've already done their part. Even those of us who are very charitable may still be convinced that the system is okay overall. But it's not okay. Telling people that our economic system metes out justice, as many hardcore capitalists do, only leads to complacency and injustice.

    I'm guessing the Pope, like most people, supports a mixed economy, but if we want to get more specific than that someone will have to ask him. Obviously, it's always easier to critique what we have than it is to create something better.

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  81. Chris, well said! And, I totally agree with you. But the question remains: HOW to bring about the system you envision? How do we make people "kind and compassionate" in a capitalist system? Of course, my answer would be having a virtuous populous. How to promote and encourage virtue as the ideal? Well… religion. Obligation, love, obedience to Someone and something higher than ourselves and any earthly economic system. But as atheists and humanists today work so hard to get rid of virtue and religion in this culture, we risk going further into a heartless capitalism, or godless statism. Neither is good.

    That's my take, but how do you envision getting to where we have an ideal system (as ideal as it can be in a fallen world in which Utopia is impossible)?

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  82. Chris- I'm pretty sure most American's would view your situation as one given to you by your parents and not something you deserve.

    Frankly, that's the start in life most of us get......the one given to us by our parents. Or the one we create ourselves.

    Please don't get me wrong. Bad luck happens. It happens to EVERYONE. But that's why it is important to make smart choices. Because the more smart choices you make the better able you are to overcome the bad luck which will come your way. The decisions you make in life limit your options.

    If you have a child before you have completed your education or have means to raise that child. Yes.....it is going to be a lot harder to get that corner office. What do you expect?

    It isn't people think the single mother is lazy, it is she now has other responsibilities which limit her freedom in make some choices that would make it more likely for her to get that corner office.

    High paying jobs require work. They required knowledge, expertise, and often require a lot of time. Getting the education is the easy part. Companies don't pay people $70,000 or more a year for nothing. And they don't pay it for the same type of commitment to your work that you will give as a fast-food worker or a 9-to-5 worker.

    Some single moms have the work ethic, the brains, and the support system (to help with the child) to get those corner offices....most aren't that lucky.

    So most single mom's tend to find themselves in mid- to low- paying jobs because they need a job which will have enough flexibility for them to still attend to their families. It would be extraordinarily unfair to give the single mom a $70,000 a year job when she puts in half the work the other people on the same level do. And when that mom checks out of her job early, it is the other workers who have to cover her slack.

    Look, I grew up in a poor neighborhood. It is hard to work hard and keep your nose clean when you are in an environment that gives you easier access to poor decisions. That's why parents are so so so important. But I've seen rich kids fall as often as the poor kids. It isn't about money. It is about how hard you work. You can take the bad luck that came your way and turn it into the reason why your life is in shambles or you can brush yourself off and move on.

    The poor in this country still have more opportunities than most people in history have had.

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  83. Well, in the world we have we are never going to be perfect, as you said. I agree that God and religion encourage many of the greatest virtues, but we've also had those things for a very long time without achieving anything close to ideal.

    My best guess is that we have to slay the false (metaphorical) gods that have been allowed to coexist alongside God. Overt greed for material wealth cannot coexist with Christian values, but some of the same people who wish everyone would read Atlas Shrugged also go the church every Sunday. And on the other end of the spectrum, liberals often say that whatever makes an individual person happy is okay, even though this can really be another sort of greed, to focus entirely on one's own desires. Is it bad to look for happiness? Of course not, but one can easily be a slave to the things that they think will make them happy. Can a person serve two masters? Not easily.

    In terms of more concrete ideas, perhaps we would all be better off living in small communities spread out, rather than bunching ourselves together in cities. It's easier to dehumanize or ignore people in large numbers, whereas in a smaller group you would know everyone and be unable to completely ignore anyone. You'd have to get along somehow. The small group would hopefully be able to work things out together without resorting to the state as an intercessor. Perhaps they'd step in for each other when someone had fallen on hard times. Of course, there are some advantages that cities offer, and modern society seems to be built around consolidating everyone together. It would be tough to change this.

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  84. Kat, I totally agree with you, too! Exactly. I think that a lot of times people who are on the left completely ignore the truths of human nature and the practical world. They have utopian ideals, but trying to enforce those leads to tyranny and immorality (note the Soviet experiment… horrifying).

    Chris, Ayn Rand is one of the "architects of the Culture of Death" and her stuff is not compatible with Christianity.

    Hey, here's the ideal: Live the virtues (whether in the big city or small towns). Respect the Catholic concept of subsidiarity.

    I really believe that America could have done things right, if we hadn't become an entitlement state (48 million Americans on food stamps? Fatherless inner cities, with no "push" from the top to encourage marriage and children after marriage, etc.), and if we had continued to heed John Adams' statement:

    "Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

    We are seeing that played out.

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  85. The poor in this country still have more opportunities than most people in history have had.

    Everything you say is quite true, but I can't be happy with a system where people still starve or are malnourished, people are still homeless, children don't have access to good education, and so on.

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  86. Chris, Ayn Rand is one of the "architects of the Culture of Death" and her stuff is not compatible with Christianity.

    I know it's not; that was my point. Some people, even Paul Ryan, think it is compatible, and that's part of our problem.

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  87. "Some people, even Paul Ryan, think it is compatible, and that's part of our problem."

    I think Ryan put in a bunch of caveats to that. He liked her in his youth. I think most Americans don't have a clue who Ayn Rand is, honestly.

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  88. "Everything you say is quite true, but I can't be happy with a system where people still starve or are malnourished, people are still homeless, children don't have access to good education, and so on."

    Of course, we shouldn't be happy. We should strive to help where we can and when we can. But we are the best decision makers for how our money should be spent and we are ultimately responsible for our care of our brothers and sisters. Not some organization- government or otherwise.

    But the reason we have the homeless, the hungry, and the ignorant is the same reason they will never leave us. They are the fruits of evil men and women. It isn't a resource distribution problem, it is a lack of brotherly love.

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  89. I think most Americans don't have a clue who Ayn Rand is, honestly.
    Probably true, but she was still quite influential. And you often bring up Peter Singer, even though most people don't know who he is either.

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  90. Leila, Johanne was right. Common sense would dictate that illegal abortions would be under-reported in surveys and unreported or under-reported in hospital records. There would be NO records of women who sought abortions in illegal/back-alley clinics, as these places wouldn’t report them, and when these women present to hospitals with abortion-related complications, they will not be recorded a such. In addition, there will be no records for women who do not seek post-abortion care in hospitals or other facilities but experience morbidity associated from the abortion such as prolonged bleeding or local infections. If a woman dies of sepsis from a botched abortion, the cause of death on her medical certificate will be “sepsis”, not “sepsis from a botched abortion”. Some causes of death may be more clearly attributed to abortion, such as bleeding from cervical or vaginal trauma, but ultimately, the incidence of post-abortion mortality and morbidity will be considerably underestimated.

    I had first hand experience in the difficulty in obtaining accurate statistics today, as I was searching for epidemiologic studies about abortion prior to its legalization. Even with my institutional access to several medical journals, I really couldn’t find anything, as most of these studies cannot be found online anymore. I would literally have to go to a library where these issues are archived or on microfilm for me to get you any real statistics. I do have an excerpt from a book that cites some sobering numbers, though: The maternal mortality study conducted by the Children’s Bureau, first reported in 1931, spotlighted the magnitude of maternal mortality due to illegal abortion. This study, of over seven thousand maternal deaths in fifteen states in 1927 and 28, found that illegal abortion was responsible for at least 14 percent of the nation’s maternal morality. Another major study of maternal mortality in New York City by the New York Academy of Medicine found that 12.8 percent of maternal deaths were the result of septic abortion…Taussig estimated that approximately fifteen thousand women died every year in the United States because of abortion.(Reagan, Leslie J. When abortion was a crime: Women, medicine, and law in the United States, 1867-1973. University of California Pr, 1996.)

    Worldwide, the numbers are even more troubling, especially considering that these are recent studies: Nearly all unsafe abortions (97%) are in developing countries. An estimated 68 000 women die as a result, and millions more have complications, many permanent. (Grimes, David A., et al. "Unsafe abortion: the preventable pandemic." The Lancet 368.9550 (2006): 1908-1919.)

    Each day 192 women die because of complications arising from unsafe abortion; that is one woman every eight minutes, nearly all of them in developing countries. (Shah, Iqbal, and Elisabeth Ahman. "Unsafe abortion: global and regional incidence, trends, consequences, and challenges." J Obstet Gynaecol Can 31.12 (2009): 1149-1158.)


    Manda, I would submit that I know a lot about end of life options, specifically because I deal with advance directives and do not resuscitate orders all the time as an emergency physician. Please tell me where the ACA empowers "bureaucrats (to determine) what point our lives are no longer worth keeping around". The whole death panel lie has been dealt with and there are several good articles that can show you this. This on is a pretty good one, I think: http://www.factcheck.org/2009/08/palin-vs-obama-death-panels/

    Kat -- The "homeless, the hungry, and the ignorant" are caused by " a lack of brotherly love"? I'm sorry but that is incredibly naive, and incredibly wrong. Have you actually been in an inner city project? have you seen their schools? Have you heard of the concept of "food deserts" in the projects? I did my residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. I have been in inner city school clinics. Trust me, there is a BIG resource distribution problem.

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  91. As recently as 2005, Paul Ryan was singing Rand's praises in a speech he gave to the Atlas Society. He even cited her as, “[T]he reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand. And the fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism.” Of course he quickly distanced himself from these statements when he was running for Vice President, but doesn't that set off your BS radar just a little bit? :-)

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  92. I've been sick the past few days, so I haven't been up to joining in the discussions here. I'm a little better today and am going to try to catch up on things I've let slide but before I do, some comments:

    1) Effiminate: I've used the word before and I'll use it again. I am a woman and I find it not to be derogatory towards women at all.

    2) The misnomer of "safe." Is abortion, or any other invasive (as I understand it, involving entrance into the body cavity) truly "safe"? Doesn't abortion at any stage carry the risk of infection? Of hemhorraging? Of uterine perforation? Of scarring? My goodness, I had minor surgery on a limb and I had to sign my life away regarding acknowledging the danger of the procedure.

    What about the Kermit Gosnells? He was licensed, I believe, he and his staff provided abortions in filthy, unsanitary conditions. Here's the grand jury report, if you can stomach it:

    http://www.phila.gov/districtattorney/pdfs/grandjurywomensmedical.pdf

    What about states such as Calfornia, that have expanded abortion access to allow first trimester abortions to be provided by non-physicians and non-surgeons (midwives, nurses, physician's assistants)?

    http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB154

    Really, people? Are any deaths or complications from abortions provided through this expanded access going to be made public, or will they come to light in as they did in the Gosnell case and be brushed off by the abortion industry as exceptions, as it did with Gosnell?

    This is not about providing "safe" abortion access, but providing profit. Abortion isn't about healthcare. It's a multi-million dollar industry, subsidized by the government. It's about profit.

    I've said it before: Women are profit mules for the "women's/reproductive 'healthcare'" industry, starting with birth control from the time they become sexually active (which is why sexual activity is encouraged at younger ages by PP) to abortions and then to infertility procedures (IVF and similar) when women have put off childbearing so long they've tossed aside their fertility.

    Also, remember that Texas law that the pro-aborts were against? Following is an excerpt about its provisions. (For the full text, go here: http://www.scotusblog.com/2013/11/texas-abortion-law-left-in-effect/)

    "The law requires any doctor in the state who is going to perform an abortion to have professional privileges to admit patients to a hospital within thirty miles of the site where the abortion will take place. The challengers had argued that this provision, enforced by a criminal fine of up to $4,000 for a violation, will have a particularly harsh impact on pregnant women in Texas’s rural areas.

    Basically, they want women in rural areas to have abortions without the benefit of qualified local emergency care. (IMO, 30 miles for something that's a medical emergency is stretching the concept of "local.") Why wouldn't you want women to have access to emergency care?

    Here's a great discussion by Gerard Nadal about abortion practitioner standards vs. practitioner standards of other procedures. You need to read this fully:

    http://gerardnadal.com/2013/11/15/opposing-admitting-privileges-and-board-certification-for-abortionists-some-questions/

    There's plenty of other great information, including scientific research about the harm that abortion does. There were some posts about links between abortion and breast cancer that I didn't have time to find, but if you really want to educate yourself about how "safe" legal abortion is not, in many aspects, you should take some time to read through Dr. Nadal's blog and the links he provides in his posts.

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    1. 1.) I feel like I'm beating a dead horse about this "bitchy/effeminate" issue. Fine, you weren't offended, but I was. I will stand by my original statement: feminine descriptors should not be used as an insult. The next time you see a woman get called a "bitch", a "whore", or even the c-word (I hate that word so much I don't even want to type a bleeped out version of it), ask yourself why male descriptors are not generally used as insults. Better yet, try to call someone a "gigolo" and see if they take offense.
      2.)I'm not on here extolling the "safeness"of abortions. I'm simply arguing that illegal abortions will be unsafe, certainly less safe than abortions done in hospitals or accredited clinics.
      Thanks for the links to the blog. It looks really interesting (and well written). I will read through his posts. I actually have no problem with the proposed Texas law. To me, it's makes good medical sense: it's good patient care. If you perform a procedure on a patient that carries risks of complications that may require hospitalization, then you should have admitting privileges or some sort of transfer agreement with a hospital.

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  93. One more thing, according to Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, there was an error in the widespread translation of the Pope's economic comments that changed the meaning of what he said. Surely, that wasn't intentional.

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2013/11/evangelii-gaudium-54-trickle-down-economics-significant-translation-error-changed-meaning/

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    1. Very interesting, especially the comment by one J_Cathelineau who is an Argentine. I learned something from him!

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  94. M. Albinoni, wow, that is a lot to look into and test or refute. I can't get to it now (just home for a few more minutes, then gone again).

    First, have you ever read any of the works of Bernard Nathanson, M.D., who was a prominent abortionist and a founder of what became NARAL? And, in your first paragraph about hospitals' non-reporting, are you talking present tense, past tense (pre-Roe) or both?

    Second, when you say "resource distribution problem", what do you mean? That a lack of nice facilities and money for education (computers, labs, etc.) is the reason that inner city schools do not educate the children in their charge? Because I really do want to respond to that, if so.

    Did the kids in those schools have intact families, by and large (fathers)? That part I am just curious about. I know that Catholic inner city schools, for example, can do a great job educating and lifting up even those kids, and they can do it for less than what the state spends per pupil, but again, that is another issue.

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  95. Girl From New York, thank you for the links and info!

    One more thought, M. Albinoni, what do you think Dr. Mary S. Calderone's motive was for saying what she did in 1960? She was not a Catholic, not on "our side". Was she simply mistaken when she said that most abortions pre-Roe were performed by physicians and were done safely (laughable term for abortions, but you know what I mean)?

    Numbers of deaths were lied about (fabricated) in the past (Dr. Nathanson admits they lied like a rug about the numbers), and today we still have women dying from (legal) abortions. The line that stuck out for me in the page below was that we don't see any pro-"choice" people crying tears for the women who die today from legal abortions:

    http://www.priestsforlife.org/lte/lte27.html

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    1. I have no idea what her motives are. I don't know her, her writings, or anything else she has said.

      I'm sure the numbers are fudged. Who knows how many women died? It's probably less than the thousands some pro-choice people claim, and more than what Dr. Calderone says. I certainly don't know. Like I said, I would need to do some serious detective work to find out, and even then, I'm not sure that the number i come up with will be accurate. But is that really the point here? Ultimately, women died and will die from unsafe abortions. I don't think anyone can dispute that.

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  96. "...doesn't that set off your BS radar just a little bit?"

    Not really, because until I was in my 30s, I didn't know enough about Ayn Rand to know that her worldview was un-Christian. I was ignorant, sad to say. I got "enlightened" about that as I grew and matured. And after it was pointed out, I considered the info and adjusted my conscience accordingly (that is the great thing about the Church and obedience and bending one's will; I had to do that on a lot of issues). I guess someone could say I was full of it back then, but in fact I was just uneducated. I would assume that is what happened to Ryan, someone tipped him off, but I really cannot speak for him.

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    1. Point taken. I guess I just found it suspicious because he waited up until the campaign to distance himself from Rand. If she was really the one person to be "credit(ed)" for his public service career, and then he had a sudden epiphany about how unChristian-like her policies are, then I would've thought he would've at least said something about it before he ran for VP.
      I know I read Ayn Rand in high school and I had an immediate, visceral reaction of disgust to her work.

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  97. M. Albinoni- You missed my point. If it was a resource distribution problem, then all we would have to do is flood poor neighborhoods with money to solve the issue. Funny thing, is that has been tried and typically fails. The problem really isn't the resources. The lack of resources is a symptom of a larger problem.

    Think about it. I've lived in Chicago myself. Obviously, the town does not lack for food or money. So why the problem? Are y'all just too stupid to figure out the logistics? Of course not!

    So I stand by my comment: It is not a resource distribution problem.

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    1. Well, I'm not sure if you got my point, if you think I'm arguing to flood inner cities with money and infrastructure. The solution is way to complicated to distill into one statement, and in my opinion, resource distribution does play a role. I guess lack of love for your fellow man does play a role, too, so how about we just say we are both right? :-)

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  98. "As recently as 2005, Paul Ryan was singing Rand's praises in a speech he gave to the Atlas Society."

    That was 8 years ago. One of the great things about being Catholic is we acknowledge we are always a work-in-progress. When people change and grow, especially in the direction that brings them closer to God, we have to be careful not to use their past a a bludgeon against them.

    I'm sure we all said things in 2005 which we would not say today.

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    1. LOL. You are totally right. I'm 100% sure I made some statements in 2005 that I regret today! I'm sure I made some statements last month that I regret today!

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  99. James (and everyone), I highly recommend a thorough read of the following George Weigel article re: the Pope's latest exhortation:

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304017204579224030204080004

    Good stuff!

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  100. M. Albinoni, I'm late in the game here, and trying to catch up, but from what I can see, you're arguing that abortion is safer now (ie: better for women) since it's legal? And that we shouldn't make it illegal again because it makes women unsafe? Yet you're against abortion and you think the goal is to change hearts instead of laws. Am I right? Please do correct me if I'm wrong. Like I said...I'm quickly skimming comments here!

    You're right in that pre-Roe, numbers were HIGHLY exaggerated with regards to women dying in illegal, "back-alley" abortions. This was the pro-aborts' tactic in making abortion legal. So yes, they were exaggerated. However, these "back alley" abortions were performed in the same clinics they're done in today. By the same doctors. Using the same instruments. The only difference is that these "doctors" could now put "abortion services" on their signs. So the legality of the procedure didn't make it any safer...their methods didn't change one iota. Most abortion clinics aren't even regulated by law (thus aren't inspected by health departments even) in the same manner as most health facilities.

    Here in Delaware is a great example. I don't know how much pro-life news you read, but within a span of 5 weeks in January through March of this year, FIVE women were taken by ambulance from our local PP to the ER. That doesn't seem very safe to me. And as PP isn't regulated in the same way as ambulatory surgical facilities in this state, those women could have died from their complications on the way to the hospital.

    So, if I'm reading you correctly (again, please correct me if I'm wrong!) and you're stating that we shouldn't make abortion illegal because it could make more women die, you're very, VERY mistaken.

    This is a good commentary on the subject: http://chastity.com/chastity-qa/birth-control/abortion/before-abortion-was-legal

    I've got more on the subject, but only so much time to write right now! :)

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