Mitt Romney’s Pro-Choice Ad
As someone who tries to follow closely the intersections of religion and politics, I am intrigued by Romney’s recent television ad (embedded below) in which he essentially takes a limited pro-choice philosophical position. The spot features a disappointed former Obama supporter who does a little of the ol’ Google thing and learns that Mitt Romney “doesn’t oppose contraception at all” and “thinks abortion should be an option in cases of rape, incest, or to save a mother’s life.” The availability of contraceptives and abortion are important to her, she tells us, but she’s more concerned with the crushing debt, and so she’ll be supporting Mitt Romney.
There’s enough difference between Romney and Obama on abortion policy that pro-life voters, particularly those for whom outlawing abortion is their single, decisive issue, will be lining up for the Republican candidate in a few weeks. This ad may irk these voters, but it probably won’t lose Romney many votes from among them. Nonetheless, it is kind of a raised middle finger flaunted in their general direction.
Prominent religious leaders, including some Roman Catholic bishops, had given Romney moral support by declaring loudly and publicly that a Catholic could not in good conscious vote for a candidate who supports abortion, considered the “gravest of intrinsic evils.” Romney is now on record approving of the messages that 1) innocent human life is not in fact inviolable because abortion should in some cases be an option and 2) the national debt is of graver importance than abortion. With this ad, Romney has upended the pillars some big name religious pro-life leaders had erected for him. This won’t matter electorally, but it nicely captures the contempt the Romney campaign has for his ardent pro-life supporters.
A Mitt Romney’s political political position is like the weather in the Midwest – if you don’t like it, wait five minutes. It’ll change.
That’s funny, Alex. Because it’s kinda true.
All due respect, but this is ridiculous. Romney is plainly lying here. He doesn’t “support contraception,” nor is he going to “support abortion” even by the limited definition here. This advertisement is another attempt to mislead Americans about what the man really believes and, more importantly, what he’ll really DO.
No disrespect taken, Sam. I almost always assume Romney is lying, but his honestly really doesn’t matter for the point I’m making here.
I’m curious why, if you assume the guy just says whatever he needs to say, you assume you know what his position deep down inside really is?
why do you assume, I mean
If you’ve read the arguments I’ve made around here, you’ll know that I believe we can know about a person based upon their actions, not their words. I think there are plenty of actions that point to a man who will do nothing to protect a freedom that he can’t personally benefit from.
In what world do you think Romney will be supportive of gay rights as a president?
Would “past actions” be an acceptable answer or can we distinguish between authentic actions that are made by someone out of something that they believe deep down and inauthentic actions that are made by someone who is only cynically leveraging the local attitudes for one’s own benefit?
You need look no farther than whose support Romney has both courted and is counting on. Again and again and again he has accepted the support and encouragement of the bigots opposed to gays. Not just to their marriages or adoptions, but to gays as human beings. What more evidence do we need?
We certainly don’t need to look at anything contradictory.
Why look at past history when you’ve got more modern events to guide you? If somebody who’d been stealing things for five years straight came up to you and said, “Yeah, but six years ago, I wasn’t stealing anything!” would you let that guide your thinking re: lending them your car?
In the case of Mitt Romney, I’d ask whether it seems to me that he’d think that he’d get more mileage out of pushing the gay thing, not touching the gay thing, or opposing the gay thing and coming to the tentative conclusion that he’d see the most mileage coming from not touching it one way or the other (and, given the direction of the country, eventually jumping on the bandwagon and pointing to stuff he did as Governor of Massachusetts).
And, from there, concluding that he’d not do much of anything until the time came to jump on the bandwagon because if we can trust him to do anything at all, it’s go with the conclusion that would give him the most mileage.
Were he to win election, I don’t his supporters are going to let him “not do anything,” especially if Americans really screw-up and starting approving gay marriage via ballot measure.
Meanwhile, he’ll still be a Mormon, a church who for some reason feels it appropriate to lecture the rest of the world about appropriate marriage (which is odd, given its history).
“In what world do you think Romney will be supportive of gay rights as a president?”
None. But he was somewhat supportive as governor. All I’m saying is that he once upon a time, would give support (which ten years ago, was a something, not nothing), to a freedom he couldn’t personally bennefit from.
He would for sure, govern as President the same way any Republican over the last 30 years has. (but he’s not going to win, so it doesn’t really matter).
Were he to win election, I don’t his supporters are going to let him “not do anything,” especially if Americans really screw-up and starting approving gay marriage via ballot measure.
Just like Dubya rolled back abortion laws and turned the clock back to the 1800’s for women?
I don’t think Romney will do a blessed thing about gay marriage. There’s no upside to tackling it, and there are limited things he could do, anyhow. The people who would be most motivated to demand some kind of gesture are the ones who would never support a Democrat, anyhow. Same with abortion.
The problem, of course, is that I have no idea what Romney would actually do in office. His entire political persona is so malleable and bent toward accruing power, I have no clue what he wants to do once he arrives. Well, other than cut taxes for the rich. You can bet your mama’s house on that.
Bush did sign a partial birth abortion ban, which did in fact roll some rights for women back.
But, like most things, Romney’s actions in areas of policy he doesn’t care about (so everything other than tax policy for the rich), will depend on his legislature. A Romney Presidency with a GOP House and Senate will lead to defunding of Planned Parenthood and an attempt at lots of supply-side style abortion bans (ie. waiting periods, doctors must tell abortions might cause women to be depressed, etc.) and some roll back of gay rights. Regardless of the makeup of the Congress, he;s going to heavily defend DOMA unlike Obama.
I’ve never understood how “he trims his sails to the winds of public opinion!” is supposed to be such an awful thing in an elected representative. I mean, the whole point is that these people are like us, or at least they’re as much like us as we could find in the choices we had. Would you rather they not do what we said we wanted?
True, Duck. Had Obama “triangulated” after his 2010 thumping, he wouldn’t be in this mess.
BTW, new Obama attack on Romney: “He’s Not One of Us.”
Barack Obama Approves Message That Mitt Romney Is ‘not one of us’
Matt Welch|Oct. 19, 2012 6:07 pm
Remember kids: It’s really terrible to “other” your political opponents. Except when it’s not!
Five years of, “He’s a Muslim! He’s Black! Just Look at Him! He’s Not American! He’s Not A Patriot! He’s a Secret Terrorist!” But one small punch back and the same people who engaged in precisely that sort of behavior for years suddenly contract the worst case of vapors the world has ever known and demand immediately delivered fainting couches.
As I’ve read other people say, to a lot of Republcan’s, Obama’s worst crime isn’t being a socialist, black, or even a Muslim. It’s being a Democrat who doesn’t curl into a ball at the first sign of a Republican attack.
It’s being a Democrat who doesn’t curl into a ball at the first sign of a Republican attack.
That means he doesn’t respect the rules. And that means he’s uppity.
” Obama’s worst crime isn’t being a socialist, black, or even a Muslim. It’s being a Democrat who doesn’t curl into a ball at the first sign of a Republican attack.”
True; I mean, that Ted Kennedy was such a pushover. And it’s well-known that Tip O’Neill secret Congress nickname was “Bunny McJelloPants”.
you are so right, sir!!!!! well done for speaking the truth!!!!
I think it nicely captures the contempt the top echelon of the RNC has for its pro-life supporters. It’s a demographic they know they can manipulate for votes and since they also don’t particularly care about women’s health or freedom of conscious (except when the gender gap in an election year might cost them), they really can’t be trusted on the issue any farther than they can be thrown.
Yeah, well, what are they going to do? Vote for Obama? Stay home? Not gonna happen.
There’s a large overlap of those voters and those to whom Obama is an active threat to the United States and thus it is their patriotic duty to vote Obama out of office and the ONLY way to do that is to vote for Romney.
Consequently, their votes may be taken for granted.
How this ties in with the “pump up the base” strategy that is in broad strokes the phase of the race we should be moving into right now I’m not entirely certain. But there’s no doubt that indeed, the shot-callers are pretty confident they’ve got this bloc of voters painted into their corner.
Is “thinks abortion should be an option in cases of rape, incest, or to save a mother’s life” now considered a pro-choice position? Likewise is “doesn’t oppose contraception at all” (presumably meaning “doesn’t want to make it illegal”) even an issue?
Once you in principle recognize exceptions to making abortion illegal, you’ve basically conceded the pro-choice position: there are circumstances in which a woman should have a legal right to choose abortion. You also rule out the inviolability of life argument for the pro-life stance.
I understand we shouldn’t necessarily re-argue this, but calling people who want women suffering from ectopic pregnancies to die should never be confused with being “pro-life.”
In the best sense of the term, “being pro-life” denotes a disposition of the heart and the will towards the care of life. So, for example, a person who recklessly drives 80 mph over to some “pro-life” event doesn’t, deep down, have this disposition. Francis of Assisi probably had this virtue more than anybody. The dude wouldn’t even swat the bugs that bit him.
Again, due respect, the bugs that bit Assisi aren’t comparable to the ectopic pregnancy that threatens a woman’s life.
No, not drawing an equivalence between the two.
Point of possible interest: some pro-lifers, including the Catholic hierarchy, accept full or partial salpingectomy (removal of the fallopian tube), as a morally acceptable medical intervention in the case of a tubal pregnancy. The fertilized egg will die, but as an unintended secondary effect. Whether this distinction has a morally significant difference I’ll leave aside, but I mention it as it shows that pro-lifers offer in the case of ectopic pregnancies a moral path forward that does not result in leaving the woman to die.
This isn’t going to go anywhere, I realize. You’re faithful, I am (laughably) not. You’re a believer, I am (laughably) ambivalent. Etc. But: no.
1. Abortion is unacceptable but the removal of a fallopian tube (I am unfamiliar with the procedure: is this functionally a sterilization?) is fine? How does that work if both achieve the same end?
2. People who demanding death for the woman facing an ectopic pregnancy are absolutely not “pro-life.” That’s a gross abuse of the English language.
I’m going to try to summarize a highly nuanced discussion. In a nutshell, the end result alone does not determine the morality of the act. That’s the thinking, anyway. Also morally relevant are the object chosen and the intention behind the act. With an ectopic pregnancy, there’s no situation in which the fertilized egg lives, so putting it in a situation in which death is certain doesn’t change anything for it. Removing the tube section in which it’s placed indirectly kills it, or let’s it die, if you will, but as long as the “killing” is a foreseen secondary effect and not the intended effect, then it’s morally permissible. Personally, I’m not sure this line of reasoning really works–I have some issues with the principle of double effect on which it’s based, but there it is.
The people who hold that position are stuck trying to find a balance between what they believe – “All pregnancies are magical blessings!” – and the stark reality – “Some pregnancies kill the mother!” Which is a nicer way of saying that they’re drawing a distinction where there isn’t one to soothe their own moral dispositions while, if I’m understanding this surgery correctly, damning the mother with a surgery that at a minimum makes a pregnancy less likely (although not impossible). *
*I’m happy to be corrected if I’ve misunderstood this surgery.
You’re both mocking them for trying to draw a distinction that may not logically exist and claiming they want women with ectopic pregnancies to die. But the very reason they’re trying to draw the (possibly non-existent) distinction is because they don’t in fact want those women to die.
Don’t let your hatred forthem lead you into logical incoherence.
Looking back, I did a horrible job drawing a distinction there.
-My first reference (about drawing a distinction that doesn’t exist) was reserved for the (allegedly) pro-life activists who allow for the fallopian tube removal but not the abortion.
-My second reference (about wanting to women to die) was reserved for the (allegedly) pro-life activists who refuse to allow any intervention that might possibly be considered abortive.
Agreed on the philosophical point, but did the bishops (or anyone else) really expect that a viable national politician  would champion the view that a woman should be legally forced to bear a rapists child or risk death because of a dangerous pregnancy?
Maybe than answer is yes, but I had thought the broad consensus was that allowing only those three exceptions was the default pro-life position.
1. I.e. not one who can see Russia from her house.
This is why I said “in principle.” It’s one thing to grant exceptions as a matter of compromise, but quite another to grant them in principle. I doubt most pro-lifers expect to ever get a blanket ban on abortion, but that’s a different position than Romney’s peddled “abortion should be an option” in some cases.
Outside ectopic pregnancies, there are other circumstances when a pregnancy threatens the woman’s life. Cancer springs to mind since a friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer while she was pregnant (fortunately she was at 34 weeks and able to have an early induced labor). I realize the Catholic position is that the mother is supposed to choose to die, but not every religion views things that way, esp. when there are other children who need her.
It strikes me that saying that a choice should be allowed in that situation is both pro-choice and pro-life (presuming the mother’s life counts).
Aye, Bookdragon. “The mother’s life” is not at stake in American abortion politics. Romney’s ad addressed that explicitly just so there’s no mistake about it.
I would like to believe that is the case. However statements by folks like Joe Walsh and the crusade against ‘partial birth abortion’ – a procedure used almost exclusively for cases when the mother’s life was in peril – make me doubt.
I don’t think Romney himself would lead any effort to ban abortion in all cases. Unfortunately, the plain evidence suggests that he has no backbone and/or convictions whatsoever when it comes to this issue, so there’s little reassurance that he wouldn’t cave out of political expediency – not in signing legislation, which would certainly backfire on him, but in appointing a Supreme Court justice whose views would make the most extreme ‘pro-lifers’ happy.
Is “thinks abortion should be an option in cases of rape, incest, or to save a mother’s life” now considered a pro-choice position?
Isn’t that argued to be the bare minimum pro-choice position?
Where else is it argued that the cutoff would be between pro-life being over here and pro-choice being over there?
I thought it was the maximum politically possible pro-life postion. But maybe there are lots of people saying “Of course you need to give birth to that rapist’s child” and I can’t hear them all the way over here on the Left Coast. It wouldn’t be the first time.
But if it is what I thought it was, why is Romney espousing it either a slap in anyone’s face or reassuring to the fictional woman in the ad? And likewise, why is the fact that Romney doesn’t oppose contraception reassuring? Were there rumors he was going to ban it?
I think you’re forgetting the part where women who are pregnant weren’t raped (Missouri’s Todd Akin) and that pregnancy can’t kill women anymore (Illinois’s Joe Walsh, yesterday: http://www.wbez.org/news/duckworth-walsh-agree-foreign-policy-differ-abortion-final-debate-103258).
But maybe there are lots of people saying “Of course you need to give birth to that rapist’s child” and I can’t hear them all the way over here on the Left Coast. It wouldn’t be the first time.
It’s phrased differently.
“It’s not the baby that needs killing.” (Feel free to note the irony about how pro-lifers all support the death penalty for violent criminals but pro-choice people want fetuses but not violent criminals ripped limb from limb.)
And likewise, why is the fact that Romney doesn’t oppose contraception reassuring? Were there rumors he was going to ban it?
There were rumors that he wasn’t going to force religiously-affiliated insurance companies to pay for it, which is effectively the same thing as a ban.
A better way to phrase that might be, “Romney supports letting religious fundamentalists tell women what they are and aren’t allowed to use their medical insurance for and then, after that, we’ll legalize those same fundamentalists deciding what those women are and aren’t allowed to do with their salary.”
Oh, yeah. That’s much better.
Please change my answer to what Sam said.
want fetuses […] ripped limb from limb
Or want zygotes not to implant, assuming the woman can find some godless liberal pharmacist to sell her the emergency contraception.
From what I understand, there are some pro-lifers who make distinctions between “the pill” and “intact dialation and extraction”. Mostly protestants.
Anything short of abortion on demand is more pro-life than Obama. Romney’s clarification helps him with independents, and pro-life absolutists [“moment of conception”] have nowhere else to go—including Paul Ryan!
And I suppose there may be some attempts out there to fool low-information voters that Romney wants to ban contraception, although the Supreme Court ruled that’s a constitutional right way back in 1965 [Griswold v. Connecticut]. So Romney nips that here.
There’s your “nuance,” Kyle. I have no idea what this discussion was about; it’s really not that complicated. The ad is self-defense against cynical if not lying attacks, whether actual or merely possible.
That’s funny – the Supreme Court also ruled that something else is a Constitutional Right. Strange that you ignore that but defend the Court’s stance here. As for Romney, he opposes (as you do) allowing women to use their medical insurance as they and their doctors see fit.
the Supreme Court also ruled that something else is a Constitutional Right
The Court does seem to feel that corporations are people but fetuses aren’t.
The president misleads today:
“If you say women should have access to contraceptive care, but you support legislation that would let your employer deny you contraceptive care, you might have a case of “Romnesia.”
The low information voter could easily read this as Romney opposing contraception. Good ad by Romney, contracepting this lie. ;-P
I thought his point was that Romney says he supports access to contraceptive care but also supports legislation that limits access. I thought the “Romnesia” joke was about Romney flip-flopping positions.
Personally, Romnesia seems like a joke that someone should have said, “We can do better, can’t we?”
Clearly Romney agrees w/me, that Obama is misleading on the contraception issue, Kazzy, otherwise it wouldn’t be worth the time, trouble and money to address the issue of contraception that’s been settled—and not disputed–for 47 fucking years.
You know, Stephanopoulos pulled the same sneaky shit on Santorum and Romney in the primaries.
All this stuff down the memory hole, and back again. I so can’t wait for Obama to be gone.
I thought his point was that Romney says he supports access to contraceptive care but also supports legislation that limits access.
That’s the impression he leaves for the low-information voter. Romney opposes legislation [Obamacare] that compels employers to provide contraception against their religious conscience, a completely different question–but not when you’re demagogically blurring distinctions as Obama is here.
There’s no way legislation can constitutionally interfere with access to contraceptives, per Griswold. It’s a non-issue.
I should have been more clear. Obama was attempting to send the message that Romney supported contraception when it was politically expedient and supported anti-contraception legislation when it was politically expedient and is a flip-flopper or, in the term du jour, suffering from Romnesia. I’m making zero claim as to the veracity of this message.
Kazzy, the president is intentionally misleading: there is no “anti-contraception” legislation for Romney to support. There can be no “anti-contraception” legislation since Griswold v Connecticut, 47 years ago. He is conflating the question of Obamacare attempting to force employers to buy contraceptives [and abortifacients!] for their employees, which is a separate issue.
Stephanapoulos pulled the same sophistic stunt. They know exactly what they’re doing, spreading confusion, not clarity–you can fool some of the people some of the time.
This is why Romney was flabbergasted when Stephanapoulos asked him the baited question back in January. He might as well have asked if Romney was in favor of banning interracial marriage [Loving v. Virginia (1967)], and if not, why not?!!
MITT ROMNEY: George, this is an unusual topic that you’re raising. States have a right to ban contraception? I can’t imagine a state banning contraception.
As I said… I’m not saying Obama is right. Just that his message is less, “ROMNEY HATES CONTRACEPTION!” and more “ROMNEY HAS ROMNESIA!”, with “Romnesia” becoming the new “flip-flop”*. Of course, if people walk away thinking the former, I doubt Obama minds.
* I’m also not saying that charges of Romney being a flip-flopper of equal weight as those same charges when they were leveled against Kerry. But we all saw how damaging they were to Kerry so Obama is attempting to flip the script on Romney.
My two cents: Romney does have a well-documented and troubling history of taking seemingly-contradictory positions based on what was most politically expedient. It is a shame, for his own and sake and other reasons, that Obama used one of the worse examples of this.
Regarding anti-contraception legislation, my guess is that Obama is referring either to Romney’s pledge to repeal Obamacare and/or proposed legislation to carve out exemptions from the contraception mandate for religious owners of non-religiously affiliated businesses, under the idea that fewer women will have access to contraception (which is a fact if either action comes to pass). So, I guess, technically I’m saying Obama is right, in that Romney supports legislation that would allow an employer to deny contraceptive care.
Obama has plausible deniability, that’s the point. But it’s bullshit, man.
Nobody agrees with the Roman Catholic Church’s position on contraception, not even Roman Catholics. But forcing the Church on this issue is tyranny, no different than pork on Jews or alcohol on Mormons or Muslims on both.
Back off on the church, state. In my opinion, Kazzy, religious liberty is what “American exceptionalism” really is, in all the history of the world. That’s why you see me defending the creationists although I think the whole thing is moronic.
We all have a God-given right to believe stupid shit. That’s what makes us great.
That is why I think Romney, rather than object to what Obama is saying, should wear the mantle proudly. If he believes that it is objectionable to require employers of faith (or any employer) to provide contraception coverage, he should stand up and say that and say that proudly. Obama is speaking to his base, a group of folks who largely believe that the mandate is acceptable, if not great. Romney, tactically, shouldn’t play his game. Say, “You’re damn right I think employers have rights when it comes to the types of coverage they offer employees. This isn’t an access issue; it’s a rights issue.”
It boggles my mind when politicians attempt to avoid criticism from the other side for issues they believe strongly in. Seems to be an instinctual sense of deflection. They all do it. But if you were to criticize me for thinking X, and X was something I did indeed think and believe in strongly, I’d say, “You’re damn right I think X. And, unlike you, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that!”
“Of course the President has found a way to take the sting out of the Obamacare mandates for the Church: From now on they’re going to be in Latin.”—Mitt Romney at the Al Smith Dinner the other night
you can imagine how Catholic pro-lifer Paul Ryan’s all over this. The GOP is unabashedly out there that this isn’t a health care issue or a moral issue, it’s a religious freedom issue.
Tom, I’m thinking Sam is thinking that you’re thinking that abortion ought to be outlawed except with enumerated exceptions. Hence his comment that abortion is a Right.
I’ve had experienced that same confusion with you, and until the thread over at Rose’s place, I thought you were in favor of a general ban. It seems you’re not.
Is that a fair assessment of things?
After some of the things you’ve written about me lately elsewhere, I just don’t feel comfortable conversing with you anymore. Sorry. Perhaps sometime in the future.
You mean the Benghazi thing? If you can come up with a coherent argument for your view there, I’ll be happy to retract all the comments I made. As it is, I stand by what I said: your conclusion is foregone, so evidence and argument supporting it are viewed as annoying details.
Employers do not get to dictate how employees spend their earnings. Why you’re pretending as though health insurance isn’t an earning (save some fundamental hostility to women) is beyond me.
Obama is clearly right that Romney stands opposed to contraception, as his preferred policy is one that makes the acquisition of contraception far more onerous and expensive.
Obama is intentionally blurring necessary distinctions.
No, Obama is making it quite clear that Romney is perfectly comfortable with allowing religious zealots to make healthcare decisions for women. We don’t allow business owners to dictate how employees use their earnings; there is absolutely no reason to allow business owners to dictate how employees use their health insurance.
Yes, Sam, I understand your argument, such as it is. However, Romney has no opposition to contraception.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Romney, do you believe that states have the right to ban contraception? Or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?
MITT ROMNEY: George, this is an unusual topic that you’re raising. States have a right to ban contraception? I can’t imagine a state banning contraception. I can’t imagine the circumstances where a state would want to do so, and if I were a governor of a state or…
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, the Supreme Court has ruled —
ROMNEY: … or a — or a legislature of a state — I would totally and completely oppose any effort to ban contraception.
He is against the attempt Tom, not the idea.
I don’t think that this ad is “a raised middle finger” to staunch pro-lifers. I don’t think that Romney is for contraception but Obama or his campaign were claiming that in a Romney administration contraception would be banned. That’s a false assertion. Romney has claimed to be “pro-life” but has never embraced it fully. Like Paul Ryan said Romney’s belief on abortion is a step in the right direction.
Romney is against the HHS mandate which forces people of conscience who oppose moral evils such as abortion-inducing drugs and contraception to fund others use of these things. That violates a person’s or religious organization’s right to religious freedom. Plus, it isn’t like people are saying that women can’t purchase contraception with their own money at any drug store or other places that sells contraception. People searching for employment need to consider their employer’s beliefs before accepting or refusing a job offer. It is ultimately the employees responsibility to know this. If they don’t like the employer’s beliefs then no one is forcing them to accept the job.
Except economic necessity in this economy.
And seriously, this moaning about forcing people to fund what they find objectionable is rather hard to swallow. I’ve yet to see any politician say that Amish and Quakers should be exempted from paying taxes because forcing them to fund what they as pacifists see as moral evil violates their religious freedom.
“Taxes” is the general fund, Bookdragon. Amish and Quakers pay every cent of their due taxes.
Once our legislators vote funds to Planned Parenthood, America’s most prolific abortionist, well, that’s how our taxilationist republic works. You can’t withhold a portion for this or that. Your objection is acknowledged, but as we see, it doesn’t work that way.
For instance, I cannot consciously object to paying Big Bird, that 1%er fucking parasite. I can only vote his subsidy out.
Forcing employers to pay on the one-to-one level for their employees’ contraception—and on a not-improbable slippery slope, abortions—well, it’s not the Law of the Land just yet.
Force should be used by our government on its own people sparingly, certainly only when there’s no alternative.
For instance, I know where we could find a billion or 2 for contraceptives that wouldn’t involve strongarming the Roman Catholic Church
:Once our legislators vote funds to Planned Parenthood, America’s most prolific abortionist, well, that’s how our taxilationist republic works..”
Aaaaand there you have the ban-but-not-a-ban on contraceptives. The GOP knows they don’t need (and can’t have) an outright ban on contraceptives. So the plan is to impose Sharia Law — letting any employer tell an insurance company what they can cover and what they can’t and eliminating contraceptives from Planned Parenthood. (And if a few women die from breast cancer or cervical cancer, at least these “moralists” have a clear conscience.
You don’t need a ban if women can’t buy it.
Women can go to target or Wal-Mart and pay about $10 a month for contraceptives – http://radioviceonline.com/cost-for-birth-control-pills-near-georgetown-9-at-target/
Birth control is able to be purchased at any drug store if the person has a prescription.
It is important to note that not all birth control formulas are the same. When my wife was on birth control, there were only certain ones she could take, and she had to eventually forego all forms because of complicating factors. There are many women for whom the $9 formula would not be safe or appropriate to take.
“It is important to note that not all birth control formulas are the same. ”
So we’re back to “not providing everything someone might want for free should be thought of the same as a total ban!”
Which of your medications are you comfortable with letting your boss choose for you? Which of your family’s medications are you comfortable with letting him or her choose? Please provide a list.
That was not at all my point. Teresa seems to be saying that folks can get whatever they need at WalMart for under $10. I’m saying that some folks can and some folks cannot. And it is not a matter of folks wanting name brand over generic or wanting the cough syrup that tastes like candy instead of the one that tastes like medicine. It is a matter of folks (like my wife) wanting the one that doesn’t have life-threatening side effects instead of the one that does have life-threatening side effects.
Now, if you want to make the argument that people like my wife lost the “blood clotting” lottery and that the government can’t be expected to provide everything for everyone and if she needs more than the most basic level of coverage for circumstances completely out of her control she’ll just have to pay for it herself, I can understand the logic. Unfortunately, I find such an arrangement unacceptable on medical, ethical, and moral grounds.
“Which of your medications are you comfortable with letting your boss choose for you?”
My boss already decides what kinds of insulin I can get, and if I don’t get the right kind of insulin then I die, so there you go.
(note that “my boss” is actually shorthand for “the pharmacy department of the medical-services company contracted with by our HR department whose manager is hired by a board of directors”. It’s not like I’m going into the office next to mine and begging to get a particular brand of medication covered by health insurance.)
Oh, so in other words you’re not doing what you expect women to do? That’s weird.
I…huh? What exactly am I expecting women to do, that I’m not doing?
Unless I’ve misunderstood your position, you’re on the “the HHS mandate is bad” side of this conversation, no?
But the law doesn’t strong arm the RCC. What we’re talking about are employers in secular businesses who claim that their personal faith should dictate what kind of coverage their employees are allowed to receive.
The discussion here is on contraception and abortion, but would it be okay for a boss to deny blood transfusion or organ transplant as part of coverage because it conflicts with his faith? Can Christian Scientists refuse insurance for anything other than prayer?
Now I realize this is all a problem because we wound up with a healthcare system that resembles Romneycare (which interestingly included both contraception and abortion, but was never, afaik, challenged by the Church). I’d have been happier with a single-payer system like the ones I’ve seen in Canada and Germany (which have lower costs and better outcomes than ours).
Furthermore a lot of women use birth control for medical conditions (as Ms. Rice notes the church considers that acceptable). So do you require women to get notes from their doctors and add costs to insurance by making them process those for ‘acceptability’ to whatever religious institution’s standards? And how does the church deal with women for whom pregnancy poses a grave risk to health (heart conditions, severe diabetes, etc.)? Are married people in those situations supposed to live together in celibacy?
“Now I realize this is all a problem because we wound up with a healthcare system that resembles Romneycare…”
I think the bigger problem is the entanglement of insurance and employment.
Yes, but there aren’t a lot of ways to disentangle it without either leaving a lot of folks uninsured or going to a single-payer. Having multiple options, similar to some corporate and govt benefits would be fine, but it has to come down to a single payer in order to get around the pre-existing condition problem and the ‘your boss gets to decide what kind of healthcare you can have’ problem.
Well, I’d be in favor of single-payer. Or at least a public option.
Not to mention that providing women, particularly women who cannot afford it, with contraception dramatically reduces the abortion rate. It’s a lot more pro-life then abstinence-only sex education or no sex education.
“Romney is against the HHS mandate which forces people of conscience who oppose moral evils such as abortion-inducing drugs and contraception to fund others use of these things.”
Fund? Health insurance premiums are earnings of the employees, Teresa.
If Romney were making a pragmatic argument for the exceptions, I wouldn’t characterize his ad as a raised middle finger. The problem is that he’s made a moral argument–“abortion should be an option.” Once you in principle recognize exceptions to making abortion illegal, which the Romney camp seems to have done, you’ve basically conceded the pro-choice position: there are circumstances in which a woman should have a legal right to choose abortion. Consequently, you rule out the inviolability of life argument for the pro-life stance. You’re admitting that there are cases in which it’s morally permissible to directly kill an unborn life. So Romney’s not simply taking an incremental, pragmatic approach to outlawing abortion; he’s given ground away to the pro-choice philosophy. Hence my middle finger metaphor.
As a Libertarian, let me just say that my seeing limits to my own jurisdiction strikes me as a significantly different dynamic between you and me than me saying that you should be able to do whatever you want.
I can see your point to a degree although I’m not sure why a moral argument versus a pragmatic argument makes a difference. Do you believe that there are different degrees to which a person can be called “pro-life”? I believe that Romney is pro-life but to a lesser degree than Paul Ryan. Romney has not embraced the pro-life philosophy fully. I don’t see Romney as having conceded the pro-choice position. When I refer to people as pro-choice I am talking about those people who believe that a woman has a right to choose to have an abortion at any time and since Romney doesn’t believe in the right to choose such as I have described I still believe he has credibility (at least some) on the issue. The pro-choice philosophy already has the upper hand legalistically speaking since the law allows for abortions to take place from conception to at least the second trimester so I’m not seeing him as having conceded the pro-choice position.
Depends on what you mean by “pro-life.” If your position is that the unborn human life is sacred and inviolable, which is, for example, the Catholic position, then no situations or circumstances can justify terminating that life. There’s no room for degree. Now you might take the view that the unborn life has moral weight, but that it is not inviolable. You could call this a “pro-life,” but it’s more of a “tends-to-be pro-life” position, and it concedes ground to the pro-choice position. It’s a mix of the positions: yes, unborn human life is valuable, but there are circumstances in which women *should* have the legal choice to abort. This is (maybe) Romney’s position. Logically, he cannot say that innocent unborn life is inviolable, which means he’s in the murky territory of saying that unborn life deserves respect without having a firm basis for that respect. Inviolability doesn’t work: he’s thrown that out. Innocence doesn’t work either as he’s willing to allow the destruction of innocent life. Stages of development fail him as well: his exceptions have nothing to do with these. He’s taken the position that at times life trumps choice and at other times choice trumps life, but he doesn’t seem to have a solid principle for determining the dividing line. What’s the common denominator among rape, incest, and life of the woman?
I don’t agree with Romney’s position. I was trying to understand your interpretation or analysis of his position. I get it now.
Apologies in advance that this is off topic, but…
Theresa – after having spent the past few days reading your comments and checking out Catholibertarian, wondering if we could talk you into doing a (several?) guest posts for the front page.
“Once you in principle recognize exceptions to making abortion illegal, which the Romney camp seems to have done, you’ve basically conceded the pro-choice position: there are circumstances in which a woman should have a legal right to choose abortion. ”
I can envision a reversal of this position – that once you have recognized exceptions to a woman’s unrestricted right to abortion you have basically conceded to an anti-choice position. I would be surprised if there aren’t many pro-choicers who feel that way, and do not recognize Romney as pro-choice at all. The problem I see is the vagueness of an idea that is expressed by the phrase “the pro-choice position”, which suggests that there is only one. Now I am sure you don’t believe that there is only one pro-choice position (except, perhaps, when the thought of a Romney presidency crosses your mind and produces a fight-flight-freeze anxiety response 😉 ).
Concessions go both ways, yes. Clinton’s stated desire to make abortion “rare” suggests there’s something bad about the procedure, which gave ground to the pro-life side.
There’s nothing bad about the procedure. there’s a LOT bad with the need for it — slut-shaming among them.
This ‘giving ground’ thing is starting to grate.
We’re talking about people in difficult, painful circumstances. Strangers using that as a football in political/theocratic debate is a bit sickening.
” People searching for employment need to consider their employer’s beliefs before accepting or refusing a job offer.”
Really? REALLY??? We’re not being Poe’d here?
This has got to be one of the dumbest things I’ve read on this blog. “Well, I’d rally like to work here, but I need to know if I can be covered for blood transfusions  or my wife be covered for contraceptives  or my child can get vaccines … Because, ya know, that’s totally your decision and not up to us or the insurance agency. ”
 Boss is a Jehovah’ Witness? Nope
 Boss is a Catholic? Nope
 Boss is an anti-vaccine idiot? Nope
It’s no dumber than “Before you buy shares in this mutual fund, you need to consider the political beliefs of the management of all the firms it may invest in”. i.e. Citizen’s United.
That’s dumb (as is all of Citizen’s United), but it’s somewhat diluted. Even if I had $100,000 in a mutual fund, the amount invested for my sake in any one company is going to be miniscule.
Teresa, on the other hand, is suggesting that all employees ask, and receive, a full list of what may and may not be covered by an insurance agency through the employer. Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, et al, would have to have different policies for every single employer. This MIGHT get us to single-payer that much quicker, but until it does, it’s still a fairly dumb idea, espoused by a small minority within one Church, and they would oppose any company denying THEM coverage for what they believe is moral.
Citizens United gains dumbness if you look at the other end of the funnel: given that roughly none of the investment in a profit-seeking corporation is made in order to let its management make political contributions, virtually every cent used that way is illegitimate.
But you’re right, having an employer determine which medical conditions are allowed to be treated is dumber still.
“” People searching for employment need to consider their employer’s beliefs before accepting or refusing a job offer.” Really? REALLY??? We’re not being Poe’d here? This has got to be one of the dumbest things I’ve read on this blog.”
That’s funny because I was just thinking how dumb someone had to be in order to be unaware, when seeking employment by the Catholic Church, that their employer was opposed to contraception and abortion. Would that be dumber than assuming that a statement that contextually referred to the above scenario — someone seeking employment within the largest and most long-standing publicly anti-birth control and anti-abortion institution in the world — could only be correctly understood as implying so gross and absurd an overgeneralization? I doubt it. I think it is about the same level of DUMB.
Employees who are offered health insurance usually pay less than people who pay for health insurance on their own. There is a group discount rate but the employer also contributes a bit – kind of like how employers match your 401K or contributing to that in some way. If women want contraception, sterilizations, and abortion inducing drugs then they can purchase health insurance as an individual, not as a group.
Let’s say that the employer doesn’t fund the employees’ insurance. Even if that is the case it is morally illicit for a person who believes these things to be intrinsically evil to sell something which they believe to be intrinsically evil – things that harm the soul. That is in effect advocating for something that you are diametrically opposed to. Would a pro-choice person be alright with being forced to fund crisis pregnancy centers and other pro-life organizations?
The health insurance premiums paid by employers are a part of employees’ earnings. Nothing you wrote contradicts that, unless you’re saying that employers have the right to dictate what employees do with earnings. Is that what you’re saying?
As for things Catholics allegedly believe to be intrinsically evil,
1) Why does the Church have so many millions of dollars to spend on shielding pedophile priests from prosecution? Hasn’t that harmed many, many souls?
2) Why are you focused on women only? Why aren’t any of these poor, oppressed religious organizations refusing to pay employees’ earnings toward policies that would cover Viagra for unmarried men?
“unless you’re saying that employers have the right to dictate what employees do with earnings. Is that what you’re saying?”
You know what? Fuck it. Yes, that is what we are saying.
Employers (who pay the salary) have the right to pay certain parts of it in certain ways. For example, they can give you money that only goes to certain types of health care. They can give you money that goes directly into a retirement account. They can give you money that can only be used to buy train tickets or bus fares. They can send money to the corporate credit card you used while traveling for business reasons rather than giving it to you and having you pay the bill. Health care is far from the only area where employers dictate how the money they give employees gets used (and, for that matter, it’s not like birth control is the only form of health care that employers won’t cover.)
So is there any limit whatsoever to how an employee’s earnings may be spent?
Or can an employer dictate how every last dollar in compensation must be used?
Employer: I’ll pay you $500 a week, plus health insurance.
Employee: Sounds fair. OK, sign me up!
Government: Hold on there. You can’t make “health insurance” part of the deal without throwing in contraceptives!
Employer: WTF? It’s against my religion!
Disinterested Libertarian: WTF? Why is the gov’t interfering in a contract between two willing parties?
Disinterested Clergy from another church: WTF? I’m not opposed to contraception, but clearly churches aren’t safe from state coercion anymore!
Catholic Who Uses Birth Control but doesn’t hate the Church: WTF? Catholics can say the Pope is full of it, but according to the First Amendment, the government can’t!
Employee: Cool! Free stuff! Hell, this is just like getting a raise! Thanks, President Obama! Thanks, Sandra Fluke!
“can an employer dictate how every last dollar in compensation must be used?”
<a HREF="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrip"It's been done before. And it’s not like employers are the only ones who do it.
It’s been done before (company scrip). And it’s not like employers are the only ones who dictate what provided money may be spent on (EBT).
(moderators: Please disregard the link-containing post.)
“The GOP is unabashedly out there that this isn’t a health care issue or a moral issue, it’s a religious freedom issue.”
Religious freedom, health care, and morality are sort of all rolled into one in the right to religious liberty as outlined in the constitution. Catholics don’t believe that contraception, abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilizations are considered to be “health care”. The pill makeup when not used for contraceptive purposes does have medicinal value – such as for women with endometriosis or fibroid tumors – but the Church says it is evil to use contraception to purposely prevent the conception of life. It is a moral issue because with the HHS mandate Catholics and others are being forced to go against their consciences, to go against what they believe to be immoral. The right to religious freedom includes all of these issues.
“…the Church says it is evil to use contraception to purposely prevent the conception of life.”
Survey after survey says that a huge proportion of the members of the Church, who provide the funding for it, don’t agree. A Gallup survey found a mere 82% in that proportion.
So what about Catholics who believe that omitting contraceptives from health-care coverage is morally wrong, Teresa? Why are you pretending that all Catholics agree with you, when clearly most don’t?
I never said that all Catholics agreed with me. I stated what the beliefs of the Catholic Church are. Many Catholics haven’t been properly catechized on this issue, a lack of understanding of what and why the Church teaches what it does, and some just obstinately refuse to follow Church teaching.
If practically every person believed slavery to be morally licit would that make slavery morally acceptable? The same philosophy goes for the Church and it’s teachings.
“I never said that all Catholics agreed with me.”
You wrote, ” Catholics don’t believe that contraception, abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilizations are considered to be “health care”.”
“I stated what the beliefs of the Catholic Church are.”
No, you clearly and falsely stated the beliefs of Catholics in the passage I quoted above. How can you forget so quickly?
“…some just obstinately refuse to follow Church teaching.”
Morally speaking, wouldn’t that alleged obstinacy of MOST Catholics be far more important to change than preventing the Protestant cleaning lady who cleans up after the parish priest’s drinking binges from having contraception included in her health plan?
“If practically every person believed slavery to be morally licit would that make slavery morally acceptable?”
To me, no. To society, obviously yes. Society’s past acceptance of slavery is made very clear in an important book called the Bible. You don’t have a knack for this analogy thing.
Actually I said Catholics, not all Catholics. I was talking about Catholics insofar as they are faithful to the teachings of the Church.
Just because some Catholics have a lack of understanding of Church teaching doesn’t mean the Church is obligated to support others evil acts or that it is morally licit for them to do so. Your efforts to exonerate the insurance company who pays for poison or the employer who contracts with the insurance company of material cooperation in moral evil are fruitless.
When I employ the term “moral”, I am referring to something you do not seem to believe in: an objective moral law. I am speaking of right and wrong as God defines them. I am not talking about personal opinions about objective morality, nor am I speaking of societal mores, except and insofar as they conform to objective morality.
Funny you should bring up slavery, given that the RCC didn’t declare it morally unacceptable until 1890 – after the last majority-Catholic country (Brazil) finally abolished it. Indeed, it explicitly defended slavery for most of its history.
So, on that score, I’d say the same reasoning very much applies to church teachings: just because the church takes a particular stand, doesn’t mean that that is the moral position.
Teresa, for the purposes of this discussion, the morality of contraception or abortion [and, by extension their legitimacy as “health care”] cannot be litigated. Church A says bad, Church B says it’s OK. The only question is whether and how to accommodate Church A in its belief. [I argue it’s necessary under the First Amendment, and even if it weren’t, I think the government should get out of their face on this and provide the contraceptives via other means. This showdown is NOT necessary and is contrary to the spirit of religious pluralism.]
In this case, Churches B through Z are backing up Church A, because someday Leviathan’s going to be on their ass too, you take that to the bank. You can see it in the comments here, where some folks just want to take it to the Church on general principle if not clear animus.
“I argue it’s necessary under the First Amendment, and even if it weren’t, I think the government should get out of their face on this and provide the contraceptives via other means. This showdown is NOT necessary and is contrary to the spirit of religious pluralism.” Emphasis added… presuming I did the HTML correctly.
This is something that most liberals would likely agree with you on. Part of the problem is that many Republicans somehow think that both propositions (mandating all employers offer it, including the religiously affiliated; offering it via the government) are both worse than the other (yes… you read that correctly… in a “Which idea do Republicans find the most objectionable” contest… both are winning).
But ideally we wouldn’t even be in this mess if we decoubled health insurance from employment and/or empowered the federal government to fill in gaps in coverage.
(And when I say “many Republicans”, I do not include you… Not only am I not sure if you even identify as a GOPer, but I am also aware that conservatives and the GOP are not one in the same…)
Kazzy, I thought someone might drive a truck through the phrasing there: I meant provide them by other means if they can get the votes in Congress. I’m taking no stand here on whether it’s a necessary or desirable function of government. FTR, I don’t think there’s a right to free contraceptives, but neither do I think the Constitution forbids giving them out for free if Congress considers it good public policy.
In either case, dragging the Roman Catholic Church into this is an unnecessary provocation.
Well, the trouble is that some folks seem to make a jump from contraception not being a right to anything that government does to make acquiring contraception easier is a moral evil that must be fought against without hesitation.
I’d also be curious to know more about the proponents of the mandate’s understanding of its impact on the RCC and other institutions. I don’t know that it was as deliberately provocative as you seem to be implying, but we can’t know for sure without a better sense of what they anticipated the fallout to be.
Again, Kazzy, I think the “anti-contraception” battle was settled by the Supreme Court 47 years ago in Griswold. It appears to me that the president’s misleading language on this has had some success, since here we are still talking about this non-issue.
And I think this very thread illustrates the attitude that the Church must be brought under the heel of the state, O yes I do.
I’m not sure I follow.
My point is that there are steps the government could take to make access to contraception easier. I think Republicans, as a whole, have a kneejerk objection to this. And I will say that I think there are very valid reasons to object to many of the potential steps the government could take. But much of what I see coming from Republicans seems to be, “We will object to any steps to make contraception easier to access, full stop.” They may not be actively seeking to make it harder, but they certainly don’t seem interested in making it easier.
The way to accommodate Church A is not impinge its ability to preach against the taking of the contraception. But of course, nobody has impinged upon that ability. Church A has just failed to make a convincing case.
As a result, Church A wants as much control as it can get because it knows its marketing schemes are going nowhere. Hence, the demand that Church A gets to control what medications its employers are allowed to use their own medical insurance for.
Meanwhile, all of the “clear animus” being directed toward the Catholic Church is that institution’s doing. Nobody forced it to encourage the molestation of children. That was an internal decision.
I don’t think the mandate was aimed at the Church in any way. I’m sure that there are plenty of totally secular employers who just had skimpy plans for their employees that did not cover contraceptive services, and the mandate was aimed at them. It was obvious that the Obama administration had not anticipated the negative reaction from the Church. Since they didn’t anticipate it, they obviously hadn’t directed it there. They are to be blamed for their lack of foresight and poor planning, not for anti-Catholic bias.
That said, I also think there exists quite a large number of Catholics who really aren’t happy until they can feel that they are being persecuted for the Faith: a martyr complex; more brownie points from the celestial Power.
Usually it is cheaper for employees to purchase health insurance through their employers. Making it cheaper or easier for women to have abortions, sterilizations and to contracept constitutes the employer being at best materially complicit in evil. It would be like a person taking part in a conspiracy to kill a person but not actually pulling the trigger of the gun. Since Catholics believe abortion, and science backs this up, to be the murder of innocent human beings we would be morally culpable if we aided in that in any way. Providing insurance that allows for abortion-inducing drugs does this.
The Church as a whole did not cover up for pedophile priests. It was a small number of bishops who allowed the horrendous cycle to continue. But those same bishops relied on the advice of non-Catholic (secular) therapists who claimed that the priests could be healed. The sexual revolution of the 60’s influenced virtually all of the priests who turned out to be pedophiles. Many were dissenting from Church teaching, as in not living out the faith properly. Pope John Paul II was investigating the matter before it became public.
Viagra isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. It aids in sexual activity, treats erectile dysfunction, and there is nothing wrong with treating a problem or a disease much like contraceptives do for endometriosis or fibroids when the pill isn’t being used for contraceptive purposes. The Church does not object to either of these drugs being used to treat illnesses.
Denial is powerful.
Truth is even more powerful.
The Church and its affiliates do object to contraceptions being used for non-procreative medical purposes because they do not carve out exceptions for coverage of such.
But your stance on the child sexual abuse scandal is, honestly, appalling. A variety of church leaders do not constitute “the Church” when it comes to assigning responsibility for the ongoing sexual abuse of children and cover up but church leaders do constitute “the Church” when it comes to determining the acceptability of contraception. Plus, it is all really secular therapists’ fault anyway.
I’m sorry Kazzy but you’ve heard wrong, been given the wrong information on that. Every priest I’ve ever consulted (all were traditionalists to the core) have said that the Church is okay with the pill being used for valid medicinal purposes. Where did you hear that?
This would fall under the principle of double effect.
“The principle that says it is morally allowable to perform an act that has at least two effects, one good and one bad. It may be used under the following conditions: 1. the act to be done must be good in itself or at least morally indifferent; by the act to be done is meant the deed itself taken independently of its consequences; 2. the good effect must not be obtained by means of the evil effect; the evil must be only an incidental by-product and not an actual factor in the accomplishment of the good; 3. the evil effect must not be intended for itself but only permitted; all bad will must be excluded from the act; 4. there must be a proportionately grave reason for permitting the evil effect. At least the good and evil effects should be nearly equivalent. All four conditions must be fulfilled. If any one of them is not satisfied, the act is morally wrong.”
Look here http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=8754259
I didn’t say that it was the secular therapists fault. I pointed out how the bishops relied on their advice. Very bad advice.
Don’t put words in my mouth.
Please show evidence of the influence of secular therapists.
Kazzy, when you’re dealing with someone who wields “material co-operation with evil” and the “principle of double effect,” you’re dealing with a serious Thomist, the most fearsome of religious beasts–faith and reason. This isn’t some creationist fundie you can plunk like a squirrel.
[And BTW, Ms. Rice represents some REAL diversity @ LoOG. Note she is not enjoying the deference other “diverse” persons have come to expect of the PC FP, iffin you know what I mean. This is a very interesting experiment.]
You expect me to have “deference” to somebody who cheerleads an institution that promotes and encourages and rewards the molestation of children? I think not. I’ll take somebody wielding “material co-operation with evil” seriously when they use that term in regard to the church itself, not in an attempt to pretend as though the institution itself isn’t rotten to its utter core.
The Church cannot fail Sam. It can only … eh, you know the rest.
I’m speaking to Kazzy, Sam. But if y’all think you’re winning this argument just because you outnumber Ms. Rice, you’re not.
I am currently struggling with Teresa because I find her approach intellectually stymying. I do not think that she is here to engage in discourse, only to lecture from up on high. If I am proven wrong, and I hope that I am, I will offer the necessary mea culpa.
She may prove remarkably knowledgable on the Catholic faith. That doesn’t necessarily mean she’s right. And doesn’t mean she is deserving of any more or any less respect than anyone else here.
I think those who win conversations tend to have the relevant facts on their side. Ms. Rice plainly does not. Whether that’s willful or otherwise is unknowable. That you seem to be going to bat for a person who continues to support an institution that actively encourages the molestation of children makes me wonder if you understand the game you’re proposing to keep score of.
Sorry, just saw your earlier post on the medicinal use of contraceptive drugs. If that is indeed the Church’s stance, I would hope to see this reflected in their health insurance plan offerings. As I’ve seen it argued, they make zero distinction when it comes to what they are actually willing to cover.
Also, Tom, as a former practicing Catholic and someone who has many practicing Catholics in his family, I find it a bit troublesome and sort of insulting that Teresa would say the following about Catholics who do not adhere to her interpretations of the faith:
“What they consider to be in “good conscience” may not be in good conscience but in fact justifications, rationalizations, and their caving into the pressures of secular society’s norms which aren’t necessarily morally licit.”
I don’t think she’s the least bit out of order, Kaz. She’s doing a terrific [and patient and kind] job of apologetics for orthodox Roman Catholicism—and frankly the attacks on her church over the pederasty scandal are not only uncivil, they’re completely irrelevant to the topic, the contraception controversy.
I addressed you because I think this stuff drives “diversity” away. Were Teresa not so able at Catholic apologetics—and she’s winning this debate on both substance and civility, make no mistake–she’d have been chased off awhile ago, and that’s here on Kyle’s sub-blog, which is dedicated to religion and politics [not to mention she’s Kyle’s friend from his other blog!].
Were this on the mainpage, well, this is why there are no people like her on the mainpage. We have a interchangeable passel of Emily’s List types in the commentariat, but nobody like Teresa. ‘Diversity’ is a relative term.
In the meantime, there are two types of Roman Catholicism, the “folk” Catholicism that many “recovering” Catholics were raised in, and the rigorous philosophical type which holds its own in any adult discussion as it’s not fideistic. [That is, dependent on faith over reason.]
Thomas Aquinas isn’t Jerry Falwell, and that’s who you’re dealing with here. This is an opportunity for people who consider themselves to be intellectual to learn something about the intellectual tradition of Roman Catholicism: Teresa is an able apologist. Sniping about the pederasty scandal is a barrier to fruitful discussion, and a lost opportunity for knowledge–especially here on a blog devoted to religion and politics!
Tom, if there’s anyone who believes in the strength in numbers theory of winning an argument, it’s you. All you do is cite other people to make your arguments for you.
Diversity is only a virtue insofar as it adds voices that already agree with me.
Diversity is only a virtue insofar as it adds voices that already agree with me.
Et tu Jaybird? Tom constructs a strawman – that Kazzy is opposed to diversity in voices here at the LoOG – based entirely on the fact that Kazzy disagrees with Teresa’s views. And you pick up the ball – fumbled by Tom – and run it in for a touchdown.
I want clarification here Tom. Are you saying it is dirty pool to bring up an institution’s systemic moral rot when that institution is is claiming that its moral beliefs matter? Should we simply pretend as though the Catholic Church didn’t promote and encourage the molestation of children when it cries “But you’re violating our precious morality!” in regard to contraception?
There’s another way to read my comment, Stillwater. Perhaps in light of Sam’s comments rather than Kazzy’s.
If you did that, would that change anything? If it does… does it make my comment make a little more sense?
I can’t keep all the all the strands straight at this point. So I’ll accept your view that I misinterpreted what you were getting at. But if you’re referring to Sam’s comment about “deference”, then, no. Sam is perfectly entitled to “not give deference” to moralistic views on any topic when those views are expressed by an apologist for the sexual abuses perpetrated and covered up by the Church’s institutional hierarchy.
Oh, Teresa has been acting as an apologist for for the sexual abuses perpetrated and covered up by the Church’s institutional hierarchy? Oh, I must have missed that but let me just say, for the record, that I totally am opposed to that.
I’ll give you points for a Attempt at a Deflection. But your comment was that … someone! … was suddenly opposed to diverse voices being expressed here. And you’re basing that view, I take it, on the fact that they disagree with her. That’s very – VERY! – straw-ey.
I don’t think anyone is opposed to Teresa saying what she wants to say. Sam and/or Kazzy are just expressing their disagreement.
I’ve made zero attempt to chase Teresa off. I have disagreed with her, sometimes vehemently. I made an admittedly snide remark about what I sensed was a certain amount of denial in her perspective but otherwise have taken on her arguments head on. By the time I was in on the conversation, Teresa herself was already discussing the sex abuse scandal, so it seemed wholly appropriate to discuss it.
I’m not interested in “winning”. I’m interested in furthering understanding. Upon seeing Teresa’s explanation of her understanding of the Church’s stance on medicinal use of contraception, I amended my positions as a function of new understanding on my part.
As of now, I don’t get the sense that Teresa is seeking to further her own understanding, only the understanding of others, who she seems to think are deficient until they accept her understanding of Catholicism, the church, and the broader world. I find that troublesome.
Which is not to say that she doesn’t have a place here. Only that she is going to engender a certain type of response if she continues to preach to people and treat her interactions with them as a one-way conveyance of true knowledge.
FTR, I am not at all opposed to Teresa’s presence here. I disagree with her, yes. I consider some of what she says appalling when viewed through my worldview (which I realize is quite different than her own worldview). But I welcome her presence here.
You don’t get a “shouting down” vibe from some of the twists and turns of the commentary?
So let me get this straight, Stillwater. I step up for Teresa and you jump in and attack me personally on something completely unrelated. Is that how a league of gentlemen works? C’mon, man, let’s dial this crap back.
Kazzy, I apologize. I should have been more clear that I wasn’t taking you to task personally, only pointing out that Teresa was not getting a courteous or intelligent hearing. [Yes, it is dirty pool to “shout down” her church’s views on the contraception controversy with “pederasty! pederasty! Damn dirty pool.].
Further, that I cannot think of another conservative woman in all of LoOGdom, and if they’re to be treated like this, there will continue to be none.
Sorry, man. I was discussing the phenomenon here, not scolding you. as you can see, I’m not the only one who read what was being written toward Ms. Rice personally and at her church and found it less than praiseworthy—and informative really only on her end.
I can see a “shouting down” vibe if you look at the sheer number of people opposing Teresa. If that is an issue, I don’t know how we rectify it… ask people to bite their tongue? If you look at the substance of many of the comments, I think Teresa is just as guilty of being dismissive of the views of others as anyone is of her.
In any of the individual lines of dialogue, I don’t see anything objectionable. I see how one can get the impression of piling on but I think that is simply representative of the view points of the folks involved in these particular exchanges. Again, how do we avoid that if so many people want to respond to something someone says?
Oh sure! Absolutely. Lots of shouting. But when TVD says that bringing up Rape-gate is uncivil and irrelevant in an argument about the Church’s moral authority, then shouting seems like the inevitable result. Teresa claimed on the one hand that contraception was a moral issue to the church blah blah blah even as she was explaining away the systemic pedophilia perpetrated directly and indirectly by the Church.
If she wants to talk about the Church’s moral authority on this issue, she should at least address legitimate counterarguments that the Church has lost any moral authority it otherwise might have once had. But she didn’t.
And Tom was the water carrier.
Understood, Tom. I’ll fully concede that there is a bit of extra “umph” to some of my comments here because of my own relationship with the Church. It is a bit more personal than many other issues we discuss here. Likewise it seems for Teresa, albeit in a different way. As such, it is somewhat natural that it might get a bit more testy here. Which is probably all the more reason for folks, myself included, to be a bit more mindful in what they say and how they say it. Of course, one cannot legislate mindfulness, else it ceases to be mindfulness.
I step up for Teresa and you jump in and attack me personally on something completely unrelated.
Not unrelated, brother. You accused others of thinking that more voices = winning the argument. Who the **** thinks that, other than you? And attributing that view to others, Tom, is unGentlemanly.
Well, here’s the think, Kazzy. If someone has “standing,” and wants to have a theological dispute with Teresa on “cafeteria Catholicism”
“What they consider to be in “good conscience” may not be in good conscience but in fact justifications, rationalizations, and their caving into the pressures of secular society’s norms which aren’t necessarily morally licit.”
that’s fine. But you can’t have a philsophical/theological discussion while bringing personal and emotional terms into it like “offensive” and “insulting.” Everything must be on the table, but at a courteous arm’s length. [Hence “rape-gate’ is a conversation blocker, not facilitator.]
However, there is a strain out there that says that if you’re in the right, you’re not bound by the rules of civility. This is what I’m really about here. Teresa isn’t arguing the RCC’s stand on contraception as cosmic truth, only explaining its reasonableness by the Church’s own reasoning. Since the Church is accused of logical contradictions, that’s the tack she tacking here, to show the internal consistency of the Church’s position. That’s all.
But what we end up with from the other side reduces to the pederasty scandal means the church should just STFU and bow to Obamacare’s requirement they finance contraception.
Nuh-uh. Two wrongs [wrong in the Church’s eyes] don’t make a right. And you don’t have to believe in Jesus or the Pope to see the logic of that.
Kazzy, it’s not the number of people opposing Teresa that results in the “shouting down” vibe. For the record, I don’t have a problem with your comments. They seem to be aware that it’s possible to have a point of view that is not your own.
Stillwater, I agree that in discussions of the church’s moral authority, it’s perfectly valid to say “the pederasty scandal has done a great deal of harm to the Church’s moral authority” in service to an argument about why one does not see the Church’s moral authority as a given… but one should also be able to understand that, oh, it’s possible for someone to have her exact narrative for what happened too.
She should do a better job of acknowledging that it’s very easy to come to conclusions that are not her own when it comes to exactly how much damage the church did to itself, but, to be frank, she’s more sinned against than sinning in this particular conversation.
JB and Tom,
Duly noted on all accounts. Not sure I have much more to offer here so I’ll probably do more listening than talking from here on out.
Teresa, if you are still reading, I hope that I did not do anything to insult you or otherwise make you feel unwelcome. I’ve got my own complicated history with the Church which makes these issues a bit more cumbersome for me.
And one day you guys might come to see that if any one of you had been in Teresa’s position–including Sam–I’d have stood up for you just the same. I may not agree with what you say but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it, blahblahblah.
I wouldn’t call it “dirty pool” to bring up the sex abuse scandal in regards to the hierarchy’s current moral statements, as the scandal speaks to the credibility of the speakers. It does not, however, decide the truth or falsehood of the church’s moral tradition, a tradition that dates back thousands of years. Imagine for a moment that the Catholic bishops were clearly the most morally impeccable moral leaders and teachers ever to talk the face of the earth (fantastic, I know): would this fact mean that their moral understanding of human sexuality, etc. and arguments against certain actions and behaviors was true? No, it wouldn’t. Unless morality is essentially authoritarian, then you can assess the Catholic moral tradition on its own terms. To understand that tradition, you have to study the tradition’s history and at least the thought of its major figures–yes, I actually agree with Tom here! You can assess its conclusions from other perspectives, without getting into the weeds and dense philosophical and theological tomes, but here, again, you’re dealing with arguments, not the character or those making the arguments.
Nearly there, Kyle. The moral authority/truth claims of the Church are irrelevant here, so impeaching them by bringing up the pedophilia scandal serves only to impugn the plaintiff’s character. But even bad guys can be wronged. ;-/
We assume for the sake of argument that the Church is cosmically wrong on contraception, therefore its “moral authority” here is moot. Even its defenders among Protestants and Jews don’t share the Church’s position–and most relevantly to the OP, not Mormonism and therefore Mitt Romney!*
And if every mention of “Roman Catholic Church” is to be a dog whistle for the Secular Inquisition [“Nobody expects the Secular Inquisition!”] to descend, overriding all discussion with ‘SCANDAL! SCANDAL!’, well, nice blog you used to have here.
“Church policy supports all methods of contraception except surgical sterilization. Birth control is widely used and accepted among LDS Church members (as it is among Catholics and evangelicals). Church-owned Brigham Young University’s student health center offers premarital health classes that present a range of birth control options, and affordable contraception is dispensed at the on-site pharmacy.”
I don’t mean to get overly q Imagine for a moment that the Catholic bishops were clearly the most morally impeccable moral leaders and teachers ever to talk the face of the earth (fantastic, I know): would this fact mean that their moral understanding of human sexuality, etc. and arguments against certain actions and behaviors was true? No, it wouldn’t. Unless morality is essentially authoritarian, then you can assess the Catholic moral tradition on its own terms. To understand that tradition, you have to study the tradition’s history and at least the thought of its major figures–yes, I actually agree with Tom here!
Whoops! I don’t know how the above happened, but here’s the complete comment:
I don’t mean to get overly quibbly here Kyle, but you wrote
Imagine for a moment that the Catholic bishops were clearly the most morally impeccable moral leaders and teachers ever to talk the face of the earth (fantastic, I know): would this fact mean that their moral understanding of human sexuality, etc. and arguments against certain actions and behaviors was true? No, it wouldn’t.
Unless morality is essentially authoritarian, then you can assess the Catholic moral tradition on its own terms. To understand that tradition, you have to study the tradition’s history and at least the thought of its major figures–yes, I actually agree with Tom here!
I don’t see how the first claim and the second claim are consistent. One says that argument from authority isn’t valid. The other says that argument from tradition is. Seems to me like the tradition being appealed to is authority.
Thank you, Stillwater. Now you see how I can defend the creationists although I find them as ridiculous as you no doubt find Papists. They have no cosmic authority to run the country, but to refrain from coercing them to violate their own beliefs is consistent with my studies of the Founding principles and a good chunk of our history.
“Accommodation” of various beliefs, no matter how stupid they be, is desirable whenever possible in preference to steamrolling them. At least that was the principle of American pluralism for most of our history.
I’ll add here that the government deciding what are legitimate beliefs inside a church was often the meaning of “separation of church and state” at the Founding, since it was the English king who controlled the church, not vice versa. By the Church’s own reasoning, co-operating with contraception and especially abortion isn’t just sinful [faith], logically it’s unethical [reason] to be party that which you believe is a moral wrong.
So for the government to declare that moral belief and ethical reason to be illegal violates the spirit if not the letter of the First Amendment and the Founding principle of pluralism—simply by declaring the Church’s theology and ethics invalid [even if the theology is stupid].
If you follow me here. My argument is purely secular in that it does not invoke and deity or moral authority atall except the principle of pluralism and the First A. No woo, only the right to live your life according to woo, whatever it may be.
Tom, I believe that the principle of double effect, and the concepts of material and formal cooperation are standard Catholic teachings, so she may not be a Thomist except in the sense that most are to a degree.
That said, 1.) The Church providing to its employees health care plans that provide contraception is pretty clearly a case of material cooperation with evil (she seems to imply that it might be otherwise, and I assume she means formal cooperation, which would be a strange interpretation of what ‘formal cooperation’ means). Since it is clearly material cooperation, one could argue from within the Church’s position that it is allowable. That doesn’t mean it is allowable from that position, just that it’s a discussion that can and should be had within the Church (perhaps it already is being had, but the reflexive nature of the American Catholic clergy’s dismissal of the possibility of allowing it suggests otherwise).
2.) Her defense of the Church’s behavior in the sex abuse scandal is pretty derisable. For one, sex abuse within the Church was widespread well before the 60s, and even before “secular therapists” were around, and it’s always been covered up, so blaming it on the culture of the 60s or “secular therapists” is a convenient but empirically false deflection. The Church had developed a culture of handling these things internally, and had done so long before doing otherwise would have even been conceivable within the Church or perhaps without it. The Church is solely to blame for its resistance to changing that culture, and the fact that so many within the Church (including many in its clergy) continue to try to put the blame outside of the Church suggests to me that it could easily do something like that again. The first sign that someone has learned from his or her mistakes is the willingness to accept responsibility for them. Teresa shows that some Catholics (many, I’m afraid) simply aren’t willing to do so, so I doubt they’ve learned anything… except maybe how to circle the wagons.
I completely skipped over the attack on the pedophilia scandal as it’s completely irrelevant to the topic of the post, which is the HHS vs. the Church.
You can talk to Teresa directly—all I can say is: Teresa, it was a mistake to respond to the Secular Inquisition [Pedophilia! Scandal!] atall. You cannot win, and it takes all the air out of any points you have about the actual topic.
Whenever you attempt Catholic apologetics in a forum like this [or worse], that sword of Damocles will always be dangling. When it drops—and it inevitably will—best just step out of the way.
Since Aquinas originated the principle of double effect, I used “Thomist” as shorthand for a Catholic who can argue from reason and not woo. However, as noted below, true Thomism is not authoritarian or dogmatic. Catholic apologists need to keep that in mind, esp in open fora such as this. At best, natural law arguments and moral reasoning can get a place at the table, but cannot expect the gavel.
Stillwater – You write:
I don’t see how the first claim and the second claim are consistent. One says that argument from authority isn’t valid. The other says that argument from tradition is. Seems to me like the tradition being appealed to is authority.
No. The “tradition” is not mere argument from authority, but also and mostly the history of moral philosophy and theology, a history that can be engaged with apart from appealing to the say-so of some authority. It’s largely a history of rational argumentation. Augustine, Aquinas and the bunch don’t simply say “The pope says X; therefore X;” they appeal to moral and ontological principles in addition to religious ones. Now you may disagree with their arguments (they disagreed with one another!), and that’s fine, but we are talking about a history of moral argumentation here, not a mere collection of authoritative say so. I’m not appealing to tradition as an argument, but referencing the tradition as a history of argumentation that may be worth considering.
That, Tom, was perfect evasion.
Kyle, my argument is this: just because people in olden times believed certain things doesn’t mean they’re any more correct – or incorrect – than what people now say. Those views don’t get to ride on the laurels of past “agree-ers” to gain any credence. They need to be justified by current standards. And insofar as the argument is that “well, they’ve been around for a long time!”, the argument is just a variation on the argument from authority.
I mean, young earth creationism was apparently the first view, and it’s been around for forever…
Stillwater: “Being around a long time” is no proof, of course, and it would be a mistake to rely on it as an argument. On the other hand, there’s something to be said for thought that has survived the test of time.
BTW, young-earth creationism has been around a while in various forms, but so have its critics. It survives today largely because of the biblical literalism that sprouted like a weed in the modern era. Early Christan commentators on the bible like Augustine approach the two creation stories in Genesis as allegorical myths, theologically but not literally true. And they weren’t even informed by modern science! Eventually I think we’ll see creationism die out as Logos and Literalism-heavy religion fades in the wake of growing scientific literacy in the general populations.
The pedophilia scandal is a contingent event. It doesn’t in itself reflect on the Church’s moral authority. The hierarchy’s reaction to it, a cover-up based on the belief that the reputation of the Church is more important than the safety of the most vulnerable of its parishioners certainly reflects on the moral authority of the hierarchy, and suggests that in any case where the hierarchy and laity are in conflict, no presumption of correctness should be given to the former.
Why I agree largely with the broader arguments you’re making, a term like “Rape-gate” seems needlessly inflammatory. I realize passions are running high here and understand the frustration you’re feeling. Still, I’d advise avoiding unnecessary ramping up. Just a few cents from hopefully a friendly source.
Yes, you’re probably right. Maybe I should have called it Pedophilia-Gate.
I think it is okay to call what happened to those children rape. I think it is okay to call it pedophilia. I think it is okay to call the men guilty of those acts rapists and pedophiles. Of course, these are loaded terms that are almost necessarily going to escalate the tone and tenor of a conversation, so understand how they might shift the focus and flow.
However, my personal take is that pithy statements (including any and all that attach “-Gate” to the end of something) are more bumper sticker than they are cogent argument and are likely to be interpreted by opponents as more of an attack than a constructive contribution to a conversation.
And the above comment wasn’t meant to be snarky. I appreciate the advice!
“It would be like a person taking part in a conspiracy to kill a person but not actually pulling the trigger of the gun.”
No, because the health insurance premiums are earnings. If I employ you and you use your earnings to commit a crime, I have zero moral culpability.
“Since Catholics believe…”
You just denied that you were speaking for all Catholics, remember?
“The Church as a whole did not cover up for pedophile priests. It was a small number of bishops who allowed the horrendous cycle to continue.”
Name a bishop who worked to stop it.
“The sexual revolution of the 60′s influenced virtually all of the priests who turned out to be pedophiles.”
You’ve interviewed these monsters?
“Many were dissenting from Church teaching, as in not living out the faith properly.”
So some of them were molesting children WERE following Church teaching?
“Viagra isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. It aids in sexual activity, treats erectile dysfunction, and there is nothing wrong with treating a problem or a disease…”
The question was about unmarried men. If they are following Church teaching, why would lack of sexual activity or ED be a problem? Why wouldn’t covering their Viagra be assisting them in immoral behavior if covering contraception does so?
“Why wouldn’t covering their Viagra be assisting them in immoral behavior if covering contraception does so?”
Oops. I’m sorry – I somehow skimmed over the word “unmarried”.
How do you suggest that the Church could be more consistent by way of being restrictive in these matters? By not providing health insurance at all, or by promoting a marriage license check at the pharmacy?
Offering a different plan for married and single folks. I mean, if it is THAT important that they avoid all moral culpability in the sins of their employees, why not push for the necessary legal exemptions to create that system?
If the Church wants to operate businesses, it needs to act like a business.
No one is forcing the Church to provide contraceptives to its clerics; the law only forces the Church to operate its businesses according to the same laws that restaurants and dry cleaners do.
Its outrageous for a church to want to partake in the business world and hire employees, then turn around an dcherey pick which aspects of the laws regulating commerical establishments that it wants to comply with.
“How do you suggest that the Church could be more consistent by way of being restrictive in these matters? By not providing health insurance at all, or by promoting a marriage license check at the pharmacy?”
Neither, of course. You are desperately trying to erect roadblocks that just aren’t there.
In fact, it’s much less difficult to discriminate between married and unmarried employees than it is to distinguish between uses of contraceptives for contraceptive and non-contraceptive issues.
It’s clear that ED would be a blessing for any unmarried man who actually follows Church teachings.
So please address the utter absence of any concern from you or the Church for what you would call “immoral behavior” if you were even slightly consistent in your moral reasoning.
Women are the root of immoral behavior; Eve and all that. They must pay for their original sin by always being controlled, by risking their lives to bring fourth children in pain.
It’s seems obvious that if women would just stop being alluring, stop having urges, stop all their womanish behavior outside of their roles as wives, mothers, cooks, housekeepers, and such, none of this would be a problem.
It’s all you mother’s mother’s mother’s fault back to creation.
I propose that Catholic organizations everywhere in the U.S. don’t employ anyone but Catholics. That would solve the issue with the HHS mandate violating Catholics consciences and religious freedom.
Except for all those Catholics who use contraception in good conscience.
If you employ someone, you are a business.
You have to have a business licence.
You have to pay taxes as a business.
You have to conduct the business in a commercial zoned lot.
If you want to conduct business on a scale where your assets are protected behind the corporate veil, you must incorporate and abide by the laws of incorporations.
You have to pay your employees minimum wage, and abide by all the laws governing employee discrimination and harassment.
I am not a lawyer, but I suspect that posting a “Help Wanted” ad that says “Pagans, Protestant Heretics, Christ-Killers and Mohammedans not apply” would result in unwelcome attention from the EEOC.
A few bishops in the Church allowed heinous acts to occur. That is different than saying the Church authorized these acts or allowed these acts to happen. Men who are sinners and gave into evil did sickening, horrible acts to adolescents. They should be held accountable for their actions. They will be either in this life or the next.
You are trying to have things both ways and are quickly losing credibility here, at least with me.
You can’t simultaneously argue that the actions of leaders of the church is not representative of the church AND that the believes of leaders of the church are representative of the church. Either the leaders of the church are leaders or they aren’t. The coverup extended well beyond a few bishops.
If by “a few bishops” you mean pretty much all of the bishops, everywhere in the world, then yes, I entirely agree with you. If you actually believe that we’re only talking about a few rogue agents, you’re either intentionally deluding yourself or you’ve never bothered to understand the scope of the abuse.
A few bishops in the Church allowed heinous acts to occur. That is different than saying the Church authorized these acts or allowed these acts to happen.
This argument is unpersuasive because “the Church” in this case is identical to the internal power structure comprised of individuals who tacitly permitted these acts to occur, tried like the Devil to cover them up, and took no proactive measures to prevent them from occurring in the future (for example, by aiding the police in seeing that the old buggers ended up in jail.)
Wait, are we still talking about the Catholic Church, or about Presidential Administrations?
Well played, K.
What they consider to be in “good conscience” may not be in good conscience but in fact justifications, rationalizations, and their caving into the pressures of secular society’s norms which aren’t necessarily morally licit.
Or maybe they are acting in good conscience and simply have a conscience different than the one held by Catholic leaders. You know, that same conscience that conspired to cover up the prolonged sexual abuse of children.
Furthermore, in your world, would Catholic organizations not hire Catholics who used contraception?
That would solve the issue of the Church being fined by the federal government.
The scenario is: The Catholic Church calls the laity to follow certain moral beliefs. Some Catholics fail to follow at least some of these beliefs. That doesn’t make the Church wrong on the issues. That doesn’t mean that the Church should cede their years of beliefs – Tradition – to those in the Church who refuse to assent to the faith properly. It means that the Catholics who refuse to follow Church teachings out of either ignorance or obstinance need to be re-taught and prayed for so that they accept the teachings of the Church.
Even though I feel
Thought I deleted “Even though I feel”. Basically I’m trying to respond even though I feel under the weather.
It means that the Catholics who refuse to follow Church teachings out of either ignorance or obstinance need to be re-taught and prayed for
Sure. But the elephant-in-the-room-question is, why? Why should they be re-taught? Why should they be prayed for?
Stillwater, you’re right! Once someone is a whore or a tax collector, there’s no going back; no possibility that they could ever be redeemed. Why would anyone ever want to hang out with human toilet paper like whores and tax collectors?
Once someone is a whore or a tax collector, there’s no going back; no possibility that they could ever be redeemed.
I think you’ve got the arrows pointing the wrong way here DD. At least as far as what I was saying.
The problem with claims of false consciousness is that you can use them against anybody, anybody at all, who doesn’t agree with you.
I have these premises that lead me to these conclusions.
You have those premises that lead you to those conclusions.
For the most part, our premises can lead us somewhere in the neighborhood of our conclusions… so we can’t really argue against that piece of it… so if I just say that the only reason you have the premises you do are because of reasons relating to bad faith, I’ve just performed an end-run around your argument.
I am still reading. You didn’t insult me. I am feeling a bit under the weather. Whether it be a consequence of my surgery or fighting a cold I hope to feel better by tomorrow and respond to some of your comments.
Take care, Teresa. Respond at your own convenience. Sounds like you’ve got some bigger things on your plate. Best of luck.
I hope you are feeling better soon.
As a non-Catholic, I don’t care a rip what the official Church line is on any subject — only when they seek to impose their moral beliefs on others. So — no one is telling the Church what it can and cannot do in its own arena: Fred Phelps is still free to spew his poison and filth. It’s only when the Church ventures into the secular world that it must abide by secular rules.
The Church is NOT asking insurance companies to deny divorcees. Therefore, employers are left with no choice but to aid and abet the moral failings of their employees. How is this different from contraceptives?
And, note too, that the Church had no problem WHATSOEVER with employees getting insurance coverage for contraceptives until the Kenyan Solshulizt forced the issue.
This thread is really sickening.
When it comes to women’s rights, I firmly believe the Catholic Church does much evil and harm. When they allow women into the priesthood, into the decision-making process, when the comprehend the burden the place on women, I’ll consider changing that opinion.
Until then, I disrespectfully disagree with much of the dogma here. If that’s your belief, you’re welcome to it. But we purchase healthcare with our insurance, and for most people, that’s part of our wages for working. The church has the right to council its flock to not avail itself of contraception; but not a right to withhold wages for one of the biggest health concerns half the population faces; and most particularly, no right to withhold those wages without the voices of those people — women — in that decision-making process.
This is a remnant of the dark ages in an institution that otherwise does much good in the world. How sad and pathetic. How evil.
And the Mormon Church is no different, all men are priests, women need not apply. Romney’s view of women’s rights is shaped by his church, and I’ve no expectation he’ll respect women, and their right to control their own reproductive systems any more then the Catholic Church does.
And in my view, this is a great evil. There’s nothing godly, pure, heavenly, good, uplifting, or saintly about it. It’s evil.
“When it comes to women’s rights, I firmly believe the Catholic Church does much evil and harm.”
Teresa can’t justify the focus on controlling women given the great latitude allowed for men in the cases of both the pedophilia scandals and the failure to oppose covering Viagra for unmarried men.
There’s no moral principle being followed here. It’s all about men controlling women.
The idea that the Catholic Church’s complaints would be respected in even the slightest is laughable. The Church is a broken, rotten institution, one that encouraged and rewarded sexual predators at the expense of children. The lie – the plain lie – that these were a few rogue agents gone awry only perpetuates the cycle of abuse, as it lets the worst of the offenders (the institution’s hierarchy, which not only knew, but aided and abetted) completely off the hook. If making a comment like this is somehow offensive, send a letter to the Vatican letting them know.
Haha, I get it! It’s a humorous commentare on the knee-jerk nature of antireligious speech! You’re satirizing the people you find reprehensible by perfectly imitating and exaggerating to the point of ludicrousness all the qualities you find odious!
(I mean, I can’t see how you can possibly expect me to take your post seriously.)
There’s nothing knee jerk in anything that I’ve written. How can an institution aid and abet in the molestation of children without being compromised to its core?
hard pressed to read all the response but YOU who woould finally read this must realize the importance of your vote and remember it’s you’re consciencd that’s voting, oh well any diehard romenites will not be swayed for thir god given voter right. sorry as you guessed, any rights, would be forfeit. as the power of money compells you. forever with the added cents pleease believe
there’s no forgiverence to the greedy, wasted and wasteful beligereamce, of a liar like romney, or a complier,, romney.
There are a lot of comments on this thread, and I have to admit to not having read all of them carefully. But I have a question, and I haven’t seen that it’s been answered. Is the real question here, with regard to constitutional rights, whether or not the “rights” of an institution (in this case the Catholic Church), have priority over the “rights” of an individual?
If the law mandates that access to birth control must be a part of employee health insurance packages, and if any individual employee wants to utilize that coverage, does the constitution protect the rights of the employer over and above the rights of the individual employee? I say not. I say that the constitution’s role is first and foremost to protect the rights of the weak against the power of the strong: the employee wins.
If the institution can’t deal with that, the institution should get out of whatever business it’s in.
An excellant point.
For example, if the moral right of the institution takes precedence over the rights of the individual, then Sharia law would take precedent. Given the concern we’ve seen from some conservatives, laws put forward to prevent this, the double standard becomes obvious.
By the same token, should the so-called “personhood amendment” become part of the constitution, then the rights of the fetus would be protected over and above the rights of the “mother.” Until that time, however, the rights of the “mother” are protected over and above the rights of her employer, etc.
I also shudder to think of a world where a woman is expected to negotiate child support and visitation with her rapist. In my mother’s generation, I’d guess there some women forced to marry their rapists.
And when it comes to institutional morality overriding individual rights: just imagine a world where the most fundamentalist of the Islamic sects were allowed to murder a woman victim of rape in the name of honor. Honor killings still happen; it’s the obligation of the woman to prove that she didn’t, in any way, encourage the rape by, for instance, talking to a man or being out in public. It that moral code to be allowed in the name of tradition and religious morals? In some cultures, it’s not honor killings, but honorable suicide. Where does the line stop?
And in the world where the horror of abortion is outlawed, and it rests with humans to mete out justice for the crime of murdering the unborn, what happens to the woman who has an abortion? What’s the punishment when men usurp the judgments of God, and decide justice? Will these women spend their lives in jail? Face capital punishment? Pay a fine? Be forcibly sterilized? Face a jail term similar to that of a rapist or pedophile? Have any children they’re already raising removed from their care? What’s the remedy? The more pro-life someone is, the less they seem willing to discuss the results of their quest to eliminate abortion.
“The more pro-life someone is, the less they seem willing to discuss the results of their quest to eliminate abortion.”
That is very true. It’s my opinion that this is because they don’t really expect it to happen. They just think that they are racking up the brownie points with God by advocating it. If it were actually going to cost THEM something out of pocket, though, I think that most of them would back off.
But the problem is that the Church is made up of people – individuals. It isn’t just an entity or a bunch of buildings that would be giving material cooperation to evil acts by offering health insurance which includes things that they believe to be intrinsically evil. It is people who believe that contraception and abortion-inducing drugs are morally illicit who would be forced to say to hell with their conscience forcing them to abandon their beliefs, this infringing upon their First Amendment Constitutional rights, so others could live out theirs by using the Church organizations as a means to do so. The people who are for the HHS mandate are for tyranny, for coercion to force their beliefs on Catholics who work in Catholic institutions. We who believe in traditional Christianity have already been marginalized by secular society but now via the HHS mandate our right to religious freedom would be rendered meaningless, would be infringed upon. The right to believe does not simply mean the right to worship. It means the right to live out one’s beliefs in all aspects of our lives.
Plus people seem to be skipping over the fact that responsibility is attached to freedom and rights. The “right to contraception” or “the right to buy contraceptives via your employers health insurance” is not one of those rights outlined in the constitution. The right to religious freedom is a fundamental right specifically stated in our constitution.
Actually, Roe V. Wade determined that the right to medical privacy is protected by the constitution.
“But the problem is that the Church is made up of people – individuals.”
But they aren’t paying for employee insurance as individuals–it is the business that pays. Now, if you’re Mitt Romney, I guess a corporation is a person. But, as far as I know no corporation has been baptized and confirmed a Catholic, so no Catholic individual is being made to pay for the insurance that is used for contraceptive services.
As I said, and you have not addressed, the constitution is designed to protect the weak individual against collective, or corporate, power. A non-Catholic employee who has a right under existing law to pay for contraception with insurance from her employer, should not have that right taken away by that employer.
I have agreed that if a fetus is given legal personhood status, the protection of the fetus trumps the rights of the mother. My position is philosophically consistent. Is yours?
” It means the right to live out one’s beliefs in all aspects of our lives.”
It doesn’t mean anything of the sort. There are two centures of Court rulings on why, when, and how religious liberty can be restricted when it conflicts with other people’s liberty.
I still have to pay taxes even though those taxes are used for immoral purposes such as war.
I may not live out my belief in sacramental peyote; Sacramental wine, sure, but not peyote.
Although the Bible clearly allows for plural wives, the state may prohibit- or allow- the practce.
and so on.
You are mistaken. If you look back history supports me.
Taxes don’t specifically go to wars. Money from taxes does go to pay for war but we don’t know which of our monies supports which programs. Catholic, secular, and Christian organizations/businesses would know that they were funding or aiding in others intrinsically evil acts. There is a big difference there. What happened to separation of Church and State? The State needs to stay the hell out of the Church and Catholic organizations business. The State has crossed a line into leviathan in imposing tyranny of the immoral on those who disagree with what it deems as “acceptable”. This is a step toward Communism folks.
Ha. And insurance premiums don’t specifically go toward contraception for the prevention of pregnancy. Some goes for other health reasons. My father, for instance, took estrogen pills as he battled prostate cancer — essentially birth control pills.
The only tyranny here is yours; presuming the state’s dictating something against your morality. You can scapegoat taxes for war because other stuff is paid for via taxes? Other stuff’s paid for via insurance.
You just lost all potential credibility you might have had for being a rational thinker, there.
When the state starts dictating that you must use contraception or else, you’ve got something to worry about. But for now, what you — your very own self — is trying to impose your beliefs on others. Just like ‘communism’ is a big word to describe a type of government, there’s word to describe your type of government. Can you guess what it is?
If you, personally, believe it immoral, don’t use it. But don’t subject others to your religious beliefs. That’s all that’s required here. You follow your morals; don’t impose them for what government, which supports your freedom to worship as you see fit.
This whole discussion is so blinded by Americanism that it’s stunning. Yes, women here can go out and buy birth control pills, presuming they can afford the doctors visit and the monthly prescription. (And if you don’t have insurance, it’s often a whole lot more then $10, btw.)
But I will remind you that this nation also serves as something of a role model for other nations. Have you ever been to Central America? A place where women often have a toddler at their sides, a babe at the breast, and are also pregnant. For these women, health and economic security means some method of simply staggering the frequency of their pregnancies. They’re told not to use contraception, to obey their husbands, and essentially turned in to baby machines, churning out child after child. In the remoter parts of Guatemala, the people are tiny, not just from genetics, but from food insecurity.
Theocracy imposes one set of religious views on others. I want my religious freedom to, and I want it from people like you who think they’re so good, who think they know what’s best for others, and who cannot bear to have their privilege challenged.
You might have to pay for someone’s birth control? Honey, women are already paying, they’ve been paying for centuries, based on a totally male-controlled theocracy. The leviathan in the room is the men who oppose women even having a voice in the leadership and decision making about contraception in a changing and crowded world.
(I’m not actually convinced your a woman, btw, I can’t help wonder if you’re a man pretending. Tone’s off.)
I’m not grasping the line of logic here:
Government funding of “evil” acts like war is ok if we can’t identify which fungible dollar goes to support it (sort of like the firing squad where no one knows which gun is firing blanks);
But government funding of “evil” acts like abortion are not ok, because…?
Whether “free exercise of religion” is merely “freedom of worship” or extends to all one’s life and not just the box marked “Sundays” is very much up for grabs.
My own opinion is that most everything church-related has First Amendment protection, but not individuals–a Catholic charity or hospital yes, a business merely owned by Catholics [or others] no.
But as this is a live wire and not a settled issue, I think it should be discussed that way. Again, my opinion is that the government should not press this and coerce people into conflict with their consciences. This is not a legal argument, only a good governance one.
“Whether “free exercise of religion” is merely “freedom of worship” or extends to all one’s life and not just the box marked “Sundays” is very much up for grabs.”
That’s why Fred Phelps is in jail. Oooops! FAIL!!!!
Do the same people who think the Catholic Church is “evil” and “rotten to the core” think the same thing about the Boy Scouts?
Presuming this is aimed at me, since I’m the one who used the word, “evil,” yes, when it comes to protecting pedophiles and sexism — the no-girls thing is just not a good way to go. Anytime.
Does the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts do good work? Absolutely. So didn’t Joe Paterno. Just because some person or institution is good in some aspects of their behavior does not preclude them for being harmful in others. People are complicated.
I don’t think the Catholic Church is “evil” or “rotten to the core”. I do have many problems with it but I generally don’t subscribed to value-laden, nuance-free assessments like that (though I understand why some folks do feel that way). All that being said, I would reserve similarly harsh criticism for the Boy Scouts and find our continued governmental support of them highly objectionable.
I think part of the Church’s biggest issue is that it does itself no favors with its critics. They tend to circle the wagons, protect their own, deny anything happened, and patronize their morally-inferior critics. It is an approach that doesn’t engender them many friends.
My alma mater, Boston College, tried a different approach, realizing that the Church needed to adapt or die. They were also directly tied (though not implicated) to the Boston abuse scandal. They began something called C21 or the Church in the 21st Century Initiative where they attempted to figure out how the church could survive in a very different world than the one in which it gained and maintained the power it enjoyed for so long. I’m not really sure what came of it (graduated right before it really took off) but outside of the occasional mention in alumni newsletters, I don’t know that the work spread beyond that particular project. Had the broader Church taken such steps, I think you would see much of the harshest criticism mitigated.
I can understand how people may look at the Church and be appalled at how they responded to the priest abuse. The 60’s didn’t cause or start the scandal but it did exacerbate the problem that already existed. Most if not all of the priests who were/are pedophiles were dissenting from Church teaching. The smoke of Satan entered the Church. But the media has given off the wrong impression as far as how many priests were involved. About 4% of priests abused kids and that is the average for the various professions/organizations/other churches. I’m not saying that number is good but just that the perception that the Church has more sex abuse happening than X profession or organization is wrong. Before the abuse scandal the bishops/archbishops had full autonomy over what happened to these priests who abused minors. After the abuse became public Rome became involved and now they oversee what happens to those priests who are accused of sex abuse. Its just because the Church is so large and worldwide that it seems like more sex abuse is committed by priests. But that isn’t true. In the U.S. it was a small number of bishops that let this happen, like in Boston, Baltimore and other big cities. Priests had multiple accusations but there was only one or two bishops overseeing priests in each large city.
Father Benedict has an idea on how to handle the priest abuse but the hierarchy wouldn’t listen to him. I haven’t heard of C21.
My issue with the abuse scandal is less that it happened and more how the Church responded to it. Not just the initial coverup, but once the lid was blown off, there was still the sense of a real lack of accountability and remorse. I don’t think that all priests are pedophiles or that there is something in the teachings of the Church that made these men what they are or encouraged them to do what they did (my own personal sense is that these men might have known about their perversions and thought/hoped that the Church would offer salvation, which was simply beyond its power). I recognize that those who abused those children did so in violation of the Church’s teaching. But, much like we saw at Penn State, when forced to make a decision between doing what is right and protecting the institution, far too many people chose the latter. Which tells me that there is likely a broader issue with how the institution views itself.
Likewise for the Boy Scouts.
I don’t know if you’ve been following any of the recent revelations from the UK but there seems to be a pattern of cover up in large organisations that trade heavily on their good reputation. This is not a specific problem of any one organisation or even particular types of organisation, it is a kind of institutional failure that raises questions about institutions generally.
That is interesting, Matty. But I think organizations like the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts, which enjoy privileged positions in our society in part because of their supposed moral high ground, should be held to a higher standard and, when they fail to meet it, it is reasonable to question the legitimacy of their moral high ground.
Corruption isn’t unique to these institutions. But there is something unique about claiming moral superiority in spite of your corruption.
“In the U.S. it was a small number of bishops that let this happen, like in Boston, Baltimore, and other big cities.”
I think you mean EVERY big city.
Here’s a partial list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_sex_abuse_cases_by_country#United_States
But of course, these things weren’t limited to America.
Here’s one of those archbishops (some guy named Ratzinger?) you keep criticizing, re-exposing an accused priest to vulnerable populations in Germany: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/world/europe/13pope.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Here’s that same Ratzinger fellow predictably refusing to do anything about the situation: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/21/world/europe/21pope.html?pagewanted=all
Lest we think this refusal to substantively engage is a new strategy, here’s Pope John Paul looking the other way because it was one of his friends being (very credibly) accused: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_scandal_of_Father_Marcial_Maciel
The question is this: exactly how many children have to be raped before we start to wonder if maybe the church has an institutional problem when it comes to sexual abuse? How many levels of the Catholic Church have to be plainly involved in the either the abuse of children or its coverup before we start to think that this isn’t just an isolated incident here or there. Let me know what that number is and we can start counting down toward it.
You asked, Teresa. They answered.
Please clarify for me: do you share Theresa’s view on the sex abuse scandal?
That’s not the topic here, Sam. I object to it being dragged into this discussion. Strongly object. Pls read the entire thread and my remarks in it. I think it’s dirty pool.
If it were the topic, like you, I’d rather prosecute. [Barney Greenwald, The Caine Mutiny. Ever see it or read it, Sam? My mother gave me the book and asked me to reread it when I didn’t get the point the first time.]
Well, let me simply say that I don’t think a church’s profound moral failing should be ignored when it demands to be afforded respect for its allegedly “moral” positions.
It’s easy to respect the respectable, be nice to the nice. That is no test of our principles.
I’m sorry – your wording is too obtuse for me. Are you referencing Teresa or the Catholic Church?
Either way. I was trying to stipulate around the nastiness.
So you think the Catholic Church is deserving of respect? Not Catholics generally, but the institution itself? As for Theresa, she hasn’t been disrespected here, so I’m not entirely sure what you’re talking about.
The First Amendment doesn’t permit the government to discriminate between respectable and unrespectable religions. Neither am I particularly interested in any one person’s opinion of any one church, as it’s irrelevant to this discussion. There are some churches I like better than others, there are some churches that are more or less virtuous than others.
It makes no difference. The law must treat Mother Teresa and Jimmy Swaggart the same.
I notice that both have a history of protecting pedophiles while shunning gays. The hypocrisy stinks to high heaven.
Yes, of course I think the same thing about the Boy Scouts. How else do you explain an organization that maintained, for decades, so-called perversion files? http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/boy-scout-perversion-files-released/2012/10/18/62c7a6ec-1940-11e2-b97b-3ae53cdeaf69_story.html Or is there a good reason for protecting the identity of those though to pose a threat a children that I’m not aware of?
My candidate for Worst Person in the World would be a Catholic priest who is chaplain of the Penn State football team, moonlights as a scoutmaster, and lives at the YMCA.
I can speak as a former Catholic and Scoutmaster.
I have generally warm and friendly thoughts towards both, but I think the Scouts summed it up best, in their leadership training when they say “treat feedback as a gift”; in other words, be strong enough to be open to criticism and self-analysis.
Neither organization has done a very good job of this in recent years. The Church especially has done a tremendous amount of excuse-making, victim blaming, self-pitying and in general, adolescent behavior.
What is obvious to everyone is that the Church- at the very highest levels- ignored and pretended not to see what was happening, and to this day grudgingly offers only the most token sacrifices and only when forced- literally- at gunpoint.
The Scouts, the troop and council I personally knew and experienced was much better- the Youth Protection program was very strict, and rigorously enforced and it was openly acknowledged by the highest officers that no adult was above suspicion, and any whiff of improper behavior would be taken seriously.
I don’t think most Catholic laity really grasp how much damage has been done to the Church’s reputation. Pedophile priests used to be a lewd joke, the sort of thing people snickered at furtively, because it was assumed to be a caricature, a distortion.
No one laughs anymore. The Church used to have an automatic moral respect, by religious and secular alike. Today the scandal is the first thing that leaps to mind when someone brings up the name. This thread is a perfect example.
I don’t know how long this is all going to take to shake out; I think we will need to see what the next Pope does or doesn’t do, but I would bet we are at least a generation away from the Church regaining the level of respect and admiration they once held.
Actually secular society has been shoving their immoral principles down our throats for decades, at the very least, infringing on our religious rights. The fact that you can’t or won’t admit the truth, reality, gives us a great example that yes, liberalism truly is a mental disorder. I am not imposing my beliefs on you. Your forcing your beliefs on me by forcing saying to people who disagree with you: to hell with your conscience and your beliefs. You want people of conscience to abandon their moral beliefs to pay for and provide insurance that includes things they believe to be intrinsically evil. Another truth you deny. There’s a lot of truth denying going on here by the tyranny HHS mandate lovers. Its also nice to know that you’re clueless as far as history goes. That explains how you ended up wedded to progressivism. You bought the lies.
‘Actually secular society has been shoving their immoral principles down our throats for decades, at the very least, infringing on our religious rights.’
I think I would rephrase this as, ‘A pluralistic society balances different religious mores from different religions, necessarily at the expense of each faith’s dogmatic ideal.’
I sit halfway between these contentions. We need consensus on the great moral issues, for no one religion can rule the others, that’s primary in the Founding ideal of pluralism. But it also true that non-religion [and especially irreligion, the type of hostility and anti-theism we see here on this thread] has no right to rule the nation either without the people’s consent.
The Constitution allows a nation with a religious character or an unreligious one. This is the point missed in these things. It’s not against the Founding principles to ban abortion or to allow it completely, to call it a baby from the moment of conception or call it “the mother’s body” until the moment of birth.
This is what’s so essentially wrong about Roe v. Wade and why it’s considered a tyranny. Roe is bad law, and many honest pro-choicers agree.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg — Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
“Roe, I believe, would have been more acceptable as a judicial decision if it had not gone beyond a ruling on the extreme statute before the court. … Heavy-handed judicial intervention was difficult to justify and appears to have provoked, not resolved, conflict.”
North Carolina Law Review, 1985
When the law outstrips the people, there’s a problem. That’s what Teresa’s talking about here, or at least it’s the valid part of her argument.
Further, there are halfway measures like the Hyde Amendment, which forbids government funding of abortions, that are legitimate compromises that fall short of a ban. There are halfway measures possible on this issue like finding alternate means to supply contraceptives to the populace that don’t require coercing the Church into participating in it.
Because as you can see above, even Justice Ginsburg sees that Roe was a steamroller, and steamrolling is not the best way to run our republic.
I see it as the tensions between Christianity and The American Religion.
For the most part, where Christianity has fought with The American Religion in the past, it has lost.
I don’t expect that record to change much.
How, I wonder, is secular society “shoving” its “immoral principles” down your throat? What gives it the power? Presumably all of the non-secular society folks can vote? Can run for office? Can work for change at all levels? Are you simply outnumbered? Is it a media conspiracy (with Hollywood and the popular press being part of the “secular society”)? How does this work? What are the mechanisms that allow “secular society” to put its “immoral principles” to the fore while the religious majority(?) suffers, powerless to stop it?
“How, I wonder, is secular society “shoving” its “immoral principles” down your throat? ”
You mean like requiring the Catholic Church to pay for employees’ birth-control pills when the Catholic Church’s doctrine specifically states that contraception is a sin?
Just to be clear: This is like a mandate that all employers serve sandwiches to their employees, in a spread which is required to include ham and shrimp salad, regardless of whether the employer is a devout Muslim or an Orthodox Jew.
Density, did you read what I wrote?
The fact that you can’t or won’t admit the truth, reality, gives us a great example that yes, liberalism truly is a mental disorder.
I remember a few years ago, there were some social psychology studies that a few liberals latched onto that, so those liberals (not the social psychologists, I should note) argued suggested that conservatism was a mental disorder. I found this ludicrous. It’s an excellent way of dismissing what people think without having to engage it. I think that’s the case here, too. In particular since it is accompanied by sense of victimhood that seems more self-justifying that empirically valid.
“Actually secular society has been shoving their immoral principles down our throats for decades, at the very least, infringing on our religious rights. ”
In other words, Sharia Law is A-OK as long as it’s MY Sharia.
“liberalism truly is a mental disorder”
It’s funny (in a sad way) how many here wou;d agree with you while noting that they agreed with Jill Stein far more than any other candidate, Oh, and you just lost the argument.
I would have asked about the UN, if I asked this question.
How come people who are pro-choice ignore scientific fact? There is a plethora of scientific evidence that establishes that a fetus is a living human being but those who are pro-choice are deniers of reality. Sure, women can have control over their bodies. They just don’t have a right to control another living body, which happens to be inside of them.
I make you a bet if I proposed that the government mandate that each animal have at least one of their babies be aborted the pro-choicers would go wild.
I’d make a bet that if the govt mandated that anyone be forced to have an abortion that pro-choicers would wild.
Because they are pro-choice. That means being for a woman’s right to make the choice without the govt (::cough:: or some religious zealot ::cough::) imposing its decision on her.
you guys are hilarious calling Romney a liar when Obama has told so many fibs its hard to tell when hes telling the truth. I mean he said his parents met at a civil rights demonstration near a bridge then he was born 9 months later when in fact he was born 5 years before this demonstration even took place. I don’t know how you guys can trust a president who can lie to you about how he was born and under what circumstances his parents met with proof that he did lie (in his own words). then turn around and call Romney a liar with no definitive proof other then you “believe” he is lying. it seems the democratic party thinks women are nothing but sex machines who only care about abortion and contraceptives. its an insult to their intelligence that their vaginas are the only things they are worried about. BTW there has never been a republican platform that aimed to ban contraceptives (that’s Catholicism) and there is a-lot of republicans that are pro-choice its called the pro-choice majority republican party look it up. just like there are a-lot of gay republicans too they call themselves the log-cabin party. also how do you guys consider getting illegal voters off the rolls a bad thing? oh it means people who want to vote but have no ID cant vote? well states running these programs have free state ID’s going for them as well and also if you can Drive you have a state ID in the form of a driver’s license. look here democrats for the democratic party wasn’t full of rhetoric and socialist agendas back in the day
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEdXrfIMdiU the economic and political pressures in 1962 are a very accurate mirror to our own. Like 1962 we are in a recession coming off a boom economic time and we have need for military expenditures at the same time so JFK democrat president addressed the American people on what you need to-do to spur an economy in times of military expenditure…..wait for it……you cut household and corporate taxes *GASP*. so if you guys cant trust the word of one of histories greatest democrats what makes you think you can trust your current DNC leaders? use your eyes people find things out for yourselves instead of parroting the rhetoric.
also keep in mind politics and elections shouldn’t be a social exercise it should be a thinking one. if your voting against your beliefs because you think its more popular or to find something in common with people you want to be friends with then your lying to yourself and are a fraud.
What if the government let the businesses etc. offer the insurance that their consciences can live with but at the same time the government offers insurance which covers contraceptives et al? Compromise? Respecting peoples right to religious freedom while at the same time giving other the opportunity to purchase the insurance benefits they want.
Not only would I accept that plan, but I’d prefer it over what we have currently.
Trust me when I say that my goal is not to force the Catholic Church to offer contraception. My goal is to increase the access to contraception for women. If the latter is possible without the former, I think that is an objectively preferable option. The issue becomes folks who oppose any and all efforts to increase access.
The businesses etc. can offer insurance that their consciences can live with. It’s just that if the insured person asks the Insurer to offer additional coverage for contraceptives etc., the insurer is now obliged to provide it, free of additional charge.
I’m not seeing how this is in any way a disrespecting of religious freedom or whatever other things a bunch of celibate 60 year old men are telling you folks these days.
I was kind of wondering why, if HHS thought that contraception was so extraordinarily important, it didn’t just give a big grant to Planned Parenthood so that they could expand.
Because PP is an abortion factory, donchaknow — just ask Tom. It’s only reason for existence is to murderlize innocent little baybeeeeez. If you think the Catholics-First are up in arms now — just for being told that, as a business, they have to follow the same rules as any other business — can you imagine the firestorm this would have brought?
The NYT is a sub-par, ethically-challenged, hypocritical, primo- biased paper so looking to them for truth about anything but especially about Church matters is like asking the fox to watch the hen house. A number of liberal celebrities. seem to be hypocritical in looking the other way and in making excuses for not merely accused pedophiles but at least one who was found guilty and fled.
“Mr. Polanski was initially indicted in 1977 on six felony charges that included rape, sodomy and providing a controlled substance to Ms. Geimer. He eventually pleaded guilty to one count of having sex with a minor but left the country after becoming convinced he would be sent back to jail after having a 42-day psychiatric evaluation in state prison. He has not openly visited the country since; when he won an Oscar for directing “The Pianist,” he did not attend the ceremony.” Where’s the outrage? Silent as a mouse.
http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/p/roman_polanski/index.html Outrage? Nope. Nada.
Whoopie saud : “Whatever Polanski was guilty of, it wasn’t rape-rape.”
Let’s review what Polanski actually did:
First, Polanski, who was 44 yrs old, gave a 13-yr old child a Quaalude and champagne. Then he got going.
What I’m going to post is not suitable for work, so it’s below the fold:
Does forcible vaginal intercourse and sodomy qualify as “rape-rape”?
Here’s what Polanski did:
‘Via Carol’s Closet, Kate Harding explains it in plain language even Whoopie can understand:
let’s take a moment to recall that according to the victim’s grand jury testimony, Roman Polanski instructed her to get into a jacuzzi naked, refused to take her home when she begged to go, began kissing her even though she said no and asked him to stop; performed cunnilingus on her as she said no and asked him to stop; put his penis in her vagina as she said no and asked him to stop; asked if he could penetrate her anally, to which she replied, “No,” then went ahead and did it anyway, until he had an orgasm.
If that’s not rape, what is?’
Their seems to be a problem in Hollywood with directors and others in the industry preying on children – molesting child stars. But Hollywood has covered up for them. Outrage? Nah.
“According to the archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, Ratzinger in 1995 pressed Pope John Paul II to mount a special investigation against Hans Hermann Groër, Cardinal Schönborn’s predecessor as Archbishop, after Groër was accused of molesting young monks. But other Curia officials persuaded John Paul that the media had exaggerated the case and an inquiry would only create more bad publicity. Schönborn made these remarks to Austrian television in March 2010.”
:As Cardinal Ratzinger was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the sexual abuse of minors by priests was his responsibility to investigate from 2001, when that charge was given to the CDF by Pope John Paul II. Before given this charge, Cardinal Ratzinger was theoretically privy to all sexual abuse cases within the Church. As Prefect of the CDF, Canon Law directed Bishops to report sexual abuse cases involving priests in their diocese to Cardinal Ratzinger. However, due to the obscurity of Canon Law, even within the Church, it is unknown whether this directive was actually followed.”
If bishops lied or refused to tell the truth to then Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, how was he possibly supposed to know? How was he supposed to investigate something he didn’t know about? (Time I’m referring to is before he was given the job in 2001 to investigate sexual abuse of minors)
“As part of the implementation of the norms enacted and promulgated on April 30, 2001 by Pope John Paul II, on May 18, 2001 Ratzinger sent a letter to every bishop in the Catholic Church. This letter reminded them of the strict penalties facing those who revealed confidential details concerning enquiries into allegations against priests of certain grave ecclesiastical crimes, including sexual abuse, which were reserved to the jurisdiction of the Congregation. The letter extended the prescription or statute of limitations for these crimes to ten years. However, when the crime is sexual abuse of a minor, the “prescription begins to run from the day on that which the minor completes the eighteenth year of age.”
How Cardinal Ratzinger – Pope Benedict – and the Church reformed the way accusations of priest abuse were addressed:
Seven myths regarding sex abuse crisis : http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/preview.aspx?id=242
More assertions debunked: http://subcreators.com/blog/category/sexual-abuse-by-priests/page/2/
1. I have no idea what bringing up Polanski is supposed to prove. That said: send the Seal Team Six over to France and drag his ass home. The man is a rapist. It doesn’t matter if he’s an artist or a movie director or an archbishop. He sexually abused a child. He should spend the rest of his years rotting in a prison, ideally with somebody like Bernard Law as his cellmate.
2. Please don’t expect me to take seriously the claims of bishops within the Catholic power structure. They have no incentive to go off the reservation to be critical; they have every incentive to say that things are better now while simultaneously pretending that the past no longer matters. Hence, the defense of Ratzinger, a man who clearly didn’t believe the credible report made against a priest, a man whose plan for dealing with that priest lead to the abuse of more children. The utter absurdity of the defense offered for him in that third link – “He did what other bishops did, which was allowed the priest to molest more children instead of turning him over to the authorities…” – only shows the depth of the institutional rot.
3. Furthermore, I’m baffled that you’re taking seriously any of these Catholic websites. They’re the same websites that either excused or ignored the abuse for decades and then, as soon as it became impossible for them to do with, started with the celebrations of the church’s response to the abuse, even though the most prevalent response was its coverup.
“At the second presidential debate, President Barack Obama said that women “rely on” Planned Parenthood for mammograms. Actually, mammograms are not performed at the clinics; Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses conduct breast exams and refer patients to other facilities for mammograms. Individual clinics sometimes provide more than referrals, arranging for mobile mammography vans.”
“Planned Parenthood does not provide women with mammograms. PP’s “women’s health” mantle is a sham. An undercover investigation of 30 Planned Parenthood clinics in 27 different states, conducted by pro-life group Live Action, confirmed that the abortion provider does not perform breast cancer screenings. “We don’t provide those services whatsoever,” a staffer at Planned Parenthood of Arizona admitted. Planned Parenthood’s Comprehensive Health Center clinic in Overland Park, Kan., acknowledged: “We actually don’t have a, um, mammogram machine, at our clinics.”
But don’t just take Live Action’s word for it. In June 2012, the Obama Health and Human Services Department responded to a request for information about how many Planned Parenthood clinics were certified to operate mammogram facilities. “Our search did not find any documents pertinent to your request,” HHS told the Alliance Defense Fund.
Got that? Fraudulent Hollywood harridans and their hero in the White House have been deliberately deceiving women into thinking that eliminating Planned Parenthood subsidies would mean a catastrophic end to affordable cancer screening services. But the abortion provider’s purported “referral services” to outside mammogram facilities are negligible — especially given the widespread availability of free and low-cost breast and cervical cancer screening services across the country supported by both private and public grants.”
And is the same true for pap smears?
Yes, PP does pap smears. I could support the funding of PP if they solely focused on real women’s issues such as pap smears, breast exams, mammograms but I fervently disagree with my tax dollars going to fund the killing of innocent human life. A doctor is supposed to heal not kill. Abortionists actually violate their hippocratic oath by harming human life.
@Teresa Rice —
Why don’t you and other pro-lifers set up a counter organization that will promise to financially and emotionally support EVERY unwanted child born in this world as a result of the sectarian policies that you wish to see made into statute law? Then you would have some credibility. As of now, however, you don’t. You have no intention of taking responsibility for the inevitable results of the political actions you promote. It’s that simple.
(And, btw, the Hyde Amendment ensures that your tax money is not paying for abortions.)
And if you are going to tell me that money is fungible, so the Hyde Amendment doesn’t ensure that you tax money is not paying for abortions, then you should refuse to pay your taxes until not one cent of yours is paying for ANYTHING of which you disapprove and accept the responsibility for, and inevitable result of that principled stand. Walk the talk.
but I fervently disagree with my tax dollars going to fund the killing of innocent human life
I assume your are opposed to your tax dollars funding the purchase of bombs and missiles and drones and the like?
Innocence ends as soon as one exits the womb.
It’s all about when that original sin issue kicks in. Personally I think it kicks in with conception, so the idea that any fetus is innocent and deserving of life is a heresy, and all who hold such heretical ideas should be burned at the stake.
Obamacare does not include or honor the Hyde Amendment and regardless of that federal monies go to PP via (not sure the exact name) the non-profit funding act. The executive order was a sham. Stupak has even admitted that he got snookered by Obama, Pelosi, & Co.
We do have organizations that help out both financially, with clothing, and baby items. One example are crisis pregnancy centers. The government should help to fund such centers via the same act that funds PP or at least drop all the strangling regulations that make it near to impossible to start agencies you are referring to. That would be fair. In NY Mother Teresa’s order has a house for unwed mothers.
I said ALL. You would stop ALL abortions. Accept responsibility for ALL the results. Your response is the typical “feel good” response of persons whose far-less-than-half measures free their consciences from any responsibility for their acts.
I/we in the pro-life community would try. Why is “all” the standard bearer here? That’s sort of utopian thinking. Why would others bear the (or any) responsibility for their acts? There is such a thing called personal responsibility. Just because a person drives into a ditch because they drove too fast doesn’t mean we bear responsibility for helping them get their car out of the ditch. We as a society are already bearing some responsibility for abortions being legal in this country. We are seeing the consequences that birthing less people has on a nation with medicare, social security, and other social safety net programs being headed for broke.
Why doesn’t the government make it easier for people to adopt? Less expensive? You’d be surprised at the number of people who want to adopt the unwanted babies. It would probably be comparable (at the least) to those who have had/would have abortions.
You have an incredibly narrow definition of personal responsibility, wherein on the person doing what you find to be morally acceptable is taking personal responsibility. I’d argue that the woman taking contraception to avoid pregnancy is being personally responsibility (and frankly boggle that you’d disagree, given that her successful use of that contraception would prevent at least some of the abortions that so horrify you).
Meanwhile, your idea that American women owe their wombs to the nation as a mechanism for underwriting Medicare, Social Security, and other social safety net programs is bizarre, both because it supposes that women are here for nothing else than creating the next generation, and because the anti-choice candidates you support don’t have any love for those social safety net programs you’re apparently championing.
Because god forbid we actually pay 16 year olds to get pregnant!
Most people want to adopt unwanted Babies. Tabula Rasa.
Most kids in the adoption network are more than six months old, and nobody wants ’em.
That’s because people try to take personal responsibility when they’re not up for it. I met a woman who was first pregnant at the age of 13. She was in no shape to be responsible for the baby — or the pregnancy, really.
I’m wonderful glad if you won’t try to outlaw abortions. Think we, who believe in choice, could sit down at a table and hash something out. I have a ton of ideas as to how to reduce abortions — Without outlawing them (which I find both impractical and ethically dubious)
@Teresa — The prisons are full of the results of society asking incapable people to take personal responsibility. You can wash your hands of them, shrug, and say, “Oh, well…” But it is not the irresponsible men and women (or boys and girls) who suffer most from that attitude, but their unfortunate children. I said “All” for those reasons, as well as for the reason initially stated: you want to ban ALL abortions; you should be able then to support ALL unwanted births (not just enough to assuage your conscience, or prime your self-righteousness.)
I am honored to be asked. Thank you. Sure I will do a guest post. Do you have a specific topic you want me to cover?
I look forward to reading these.
I have always found it best to let people wrote about what they want to write about. Do you mind if I shoot you an email?
… or to let them *write* about what they want. I’m easy.
I definitely wanted to write about The Hobbit. Sure, shoot me an email.
I wrote my latest post keeping in mind that you had asked me to do a guest post. You are more than welcome to repost it. I thought a less contentious post would be good to start off with.
“Less contentious” is not in our vocabulary. I wrote a post on meatloaf that generated over 200 comments.
aww… sure it is! because when I actually write that abortion post, we will see what contentious really means… 😉
(and I guess I know owe a “frugal gourmet” post, too…)
This post is quite the white buffalo, no?
I’m looking forward to your “frugal gourmet” post Kim. That sure would be less contentious than the abortion subject. Looking forward to reading that post too.
Yes it is, Kazzy.
maybe, maybe not. My frugal gourmet post is pizza. because — yum!
Heh, I was referring to Kim’s “abortion post” and, really, ANY post from her whatsoever. I think she has promised about nine million to date.
Yeah. I’m currently corresponding with Tod about one. Once that one goes up, then pizza.
Then the aforementioned abortion one (which I fully expect to get flamed for, possibly from you)
I promised one about Jews/Japanese and medieval imagery, wrote it up and I think Erik declined to post it.