Pope: Catholic politicians must conform legislation to Church doctrine

posted at 9:55 pm on March 13, 2007 by Allahpundit

Is there even one Catholic member of Congress who’s in sync with the Church up and down the line? Even Scalia, who’s rumored to be a member of Opus Dei, takes a heretical view on capital punishment.

Pope Benedict XVI strongly reasserted Tuesday the church’s opposition to abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage, saying that Roman Catholic politicians were “especially” obligated to defend the church’s stance in their public duties.

“These values are nonnegotiable,” the pope wrote in a 130-page “apostolic exhortation” issued in Rome that represents a distillation of opinion from a worldwide meeting of bishops at the Vatican in 2005.

“Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce laws inspired by values grounded in human nature,” the pope wrote…

Those issues, Benedict wrote, include “respect for human life, its defense from conception to natural death, the family built on marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms.”

Plenty of people we could call out here — Pelosi, first and foremost, and of course Fat Teddy, whose support for abortion at this point is the least of his sins.

But there’s a more newsworthy target right now, isn’t there? Heh.

Update: Sydney Carton thinks there’s a distinction here between Church doctrine and “values grounded in human nature.” I don’t think so, at least not in the context of the moral issues the Pope has in mind.


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I was a born a catholic, but luckily it cleared up by the time I was 16.

:)

JayHaw Phrenzie on March 13, 2007 at 9:56 PM

The Pope is asking Catholics to be Catholics? I’m shocked.

Connie on March 13, 2007 at 10:03 PM

Does this mean we need more lenient pedophilia legislation?

Alex K on March 13, 2007 at 10:10 PM

Allah,

Technically, your title is inaccurate. The Pope isn’t asking politicians to conform legislation to “Catholic Doctrine.” That would be like making it illegal to disagree with the Virgin Birth. Instead, if you look very carefully at what Benedict said, he said that politicians must “introduce laws inspired by values grounded in human nature.” This has nothing to do with Catholic Doctrine, and everything to do with Natural Law, which the Founders were very familiar with (see the Declaration of Independence as a reference).

The only reason Catholic politicians are more bound to write these kinds of laws, than an atheist politician, is because Catholic politicians are supposed to know better.

Sydney Carton on March 13, 2007 at 10:11 PM

Alex,

Ha fricking ha, you bigot.

Sydney Carton on March 13, 2007 at 10:11 PM

Does this mean we need more lenient pedophilia legislation?

Very clever. Give yourself a pat on the back.

aengus on March 13, 2007 at 10:13 PM

I dunno, Sydney. Sounds like to-may-to/to-mah-to to me.

Allahpundit on March 13, 2007 at 10:14 PM

Maybe, but Thomas Jefferson believed in Natural Law and he certainly wasn’t very religious, at least when compared to the Pope.

Sydney Carton on March 13, 2007 at 10:16 PM

Does this mean we need more lenient pedophilia legislation?

Alex K on March 13, 2007 at 10:10 PM

Ask the FreeThinkers and the ACLU.

Connie on March 13, 2007 at 10:17 PM

Teddy’s screwed!

Pam on March 13, 2007 at 10:18 PM

Maybe, but Thomas Jefferson believed in Natural Law and he certainly wasn’t very religious, at least when compared to the Pope.

Right, but by “Church doctrine” I don’t mean the virgin birth. I mean the Church’s positions on abortion, etc. I added an update to try to clarify that.

Allahpundit on March 13, 2007 at 10:19 PM

“Fat” with the diminutive “Teddy”, related to this person - you earned your pay for today right here :)

On a more serious note – the threads in the last few days have been excellent. They are most of the time but the last few days have provided incredibly good opportunities for thought.

Entelechy on March 13, 2007 at 10:23 PM

Well, when it doubt – LINK!

Here’s the original document:

Paragraph 83 is the only place, in the entire 100+ pages of this thing, where he mentions laws. The rest of it is all about the Eucharist. Here’s Paragraph 83 in full:

Eucharistic consistency

83. Here it is important to consider what the Synod Fathers described as eucharistic consistency, a quality which our lives are objectively called to embody. Worship pleasing to God can never be a purely private matter, without consequences for our relationships with others: it demands a public witness to our faith. Evidently, this is true for all the baptized, yet it is especially incumbent upon those who, by virtue of their social or political position, must make decisions regarding fundamental values, such as respect for human life, its defence from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms (230). These values are not negotiable. Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce and support laws inspired by values grounded in human nature (231). There is an objective connection here with the Eucharist (cf. 1 Cor 11:27-29). Bishops are bound to reaffirm constantly these values as part of their responsibility to the flock entrusted to them (232).

Footnotes:

230) Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae (25 March 1995): AAS 87 (1995), 401-522; Benedict XVI, Address to the Pontifical Academy for Life (27 February 2006): AAS 98 (2006), 264-265.

(231) Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life (24 November 2002): AAS 96 (2004), 359-370.

(232) Cf. Propositio 46.

Sydney Carton on March 13, 2007 at 10:24 PM

I’ll admit, that “values grounded in human nature” can mean totally different things to a Catholic and someone else. The Church teaches that there are definite WAYS about human nature, which is why it teaches that the act of homosexuality is objectively disordered and sinful.

Sydney Carton on March 13, 2007 at 10:27 PM

Allah, you may appreciate reading the following. About halfway down the page, Scalia’s dissent is discussed. It is a difficult issue.

http://www.ratzingerfanclub.com/blog/2006/12/capital-punishment-cardinal-martino.html

Connie on March 13, 2007 at 10:28 PM

I gotta go with Sydney here. And I’ll even go so far as to say that the title used here is a little Kos-esque.

IrishEi on March 13, 2007 at 10:32 PM

So in fact, Dems can’t be Catholics. Now let’s see how many Catholic Dem voters will listen to the Holy Father. My guess is none.

Hening on March 13, 2007 at 10:36 PM

So the Pope believes Catholic politicians must conform legislation to Church doctrine? Is this news? Should we expect breaking news releases that Al Gore believes that carbon emissions are damaging to the environment? The Pope is a Catholic. Deal with it.

aengus on March 13, 2007 at 10:36 PM

Even Scalia, who’s rumored to be a member of Opus Dei, takes a heretical view on capital punishment.

That’s not correct, AllahPundit. The Church has never been opposed to the death penalty. It is not a doctrine and cannot be compared to abortion, which is the taking of innocent unborn life. A few recent popes and cardinals have stated their personal opinions on the death penalty, but it doesn’t influence the fact that the Church has never been anti-capital punishment. Scalia is absolutely correct as always.

januarius on March 13, 2007 at 10:45 PM

Sydney, I don’t think AP is wrong on this. The Pope is clearly telling the Catholic politicians, because of their influence on society, to lead by example, and to follow our Church doctrine…no abortion, life begins at conception, marriage is between a man and a woman…

Pam on March 13, 2007 at 10:51 PM

Now let’s see how many Catholic Dem voters will listen to the Holy Father. My guess is none.

The whole subject is actually pretty fascinating and not nearly as obvious as it may seem.

Most Catholic Dems here in MA are pretty conservative (believe it or not). The problem is they vote Dem out of pure economic necessity. What do I mean?

We’re getting a lot of economic stratification. “blue collar” people have been totally pushed out of the lower skilled jobs by illegals. You can no longer get a job at Gillette as a janitor than pays you a decent wage and lifelong security. Those jobs have been outsourced to contractors who staff mainly with illegals.

Many of the manufacturing jobs are long gone. So, these people are forced into the fewer and fewer positions that are still controlled by the unions and the government. So, out of economic necessity, they are Dems. They don’t agree with the social agenda (for proof, research the history of MA starting around 1971) but they have no choice if they want to eat.

TheBigOldDog on March 13, 2007 at 11:29 PM

You know what, the Vatican should be more concerned with its Bishops and Clergy, than politicians in distant countries.

My diocese has 2 priests under indictment for fraud, embezzlement and money laundering. At least 1 former Bishop is serving time. It was in my diocese that Mark Foley was abused as a child. My diocese had a priest who was found to have been a pedophile.

And that’s just my diocese. Let’s worry about the people preaching the doctrine living by it, before the people listening to the doctrine.

Sean Hannity was right the other night, debating that priest.

amerpundit on March 13, 2007 at 11:38 PM

Teddy’s screwed!

Pam on March 13, 2007 at 10:18 PM

That happened a long, long time ago.

Rick on March 14, 2007 at 12:00 AM

You know what, the Vatican should be more concerned with its Bishops and Clergy, than politicians in distant countries.

“These values are nonnegotiable,” the pope wrote in a 130-page “apostolic exhortation” issued in Rome that represents a distillation of opinion from a worldwide meeting of bishops at the Vatican in 2005.

I’m sure they are. I don’t think they spent 130 pages talking about politicans, even though that is what was highlighted here. I’m fairly certain the Vatican discusses a vast array of topics, don’t act like they have to stop everything to deal solely with what you think is important.

reaganaut on March 14, 2007 at 12:01 AM

TheBigOldDog-the Pope is not talking to just Democrats, he is speaking to all politicians who advocate abortion and same sex marriage. Pelosi,Guilianni, Kerry, Kennedy, etc., all have a choice and going against church doctrine isn’t one of them..and what is it that the down trodden are actually getting from the dems? Higher taxes? They have a better chance of getting their meals and rent paid for by the Church…

Pam on March 14, 2007 at 12:07 AM

Which was the whole worry about electing a Catholic JFK, lo these many years ago…

Claire on March 14, 2007 at 12:08 AM

Rick- just you wait to see the pomp and circumstance surrounding that big old Catholic service that Teddy will have at his funeral…talk about hypocricy of the church!

Pam on March 14, 2007 at 12:09 AM

The constant “poking christians in the eye” thing around here is getting old.

Buck Turgidson on March 14, 2007 at 12:09 AM

Good, I hope they start kicking out Democrats….

Tim Burton on March 14, 2007 at 12:17 AM

“Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce laws inspired by values grounded in human nature,” the pope wrote…

Okay folks, help me out on this one…

If Roman Catholic doctrine teaches that the values manifest of human nature are evil, and we are to reject our human natures in favor of the values Christ manifests, how does it work for the Pope to teach that we should embrace our human nature in the laws we enact?

Think this one through a couple times before answering.

Lawrence on March 14, 2007 at 12:28 AM

Lawrence,

Roman Catholic doctrine does not teach that “human nature” is evil, because human nature was created by God. What is taught is that humanity is fallen, as a result of sin, and that as a result of original sin there is an inclination to turn to evil called concupiscence. Baptism, incidentally, is the way to correct this and turn towards grace. For reference, see paragraph 405 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

reaganaut,

You’re right. The entire document is 130 pages and only one paragraph talks about this.

Sydney Carton on March 14, 2007 at 12:44 AM

But he is for Border Control, Right?

(Yes, I am a Roman Catholic) If I housed 30 million Illegal Aliens, I might violate some kind of local section… too bad it’s a Federal Issue, heh?

But what about Allah?

Are the Muslims for Border Control?

PinkyBigglesworth on March 14, 2007 at 1:40 AM

Lawrence, I think you’re quite right: it was either badly put or badly translated. Maybe it should have been “natural law.” But, don’t nitpick — you know what he meant!

AP, take your admonitions humbly. januarius is correct and it’s silly to say that Scalia is heretical on capital punishment.

Everyone should agree with Sydney, too, on the distinction between natural law and Catholic doctrine. You’ve got to call on anyone at any time to see that, for example, slavery is wrong. But, you can only persuade them, for example, to agree that purgatory exists.

kace on March 14, 2007 at 1:44 AM

I often wish that the tough, admirable rationality most thinking conservatives apply to economic, legal, and national security issues were also applied to religious ones, instead of asking Reason to “don’t go there”. It’s one of the very few things prevalent on the Right that makes me a little uncomfortable.

Halley on March 14, 2007 at 2:33 AM

Does this mean we need more lenient pedophilia legislation?

Alex K on March 13, 2007 at 10:10 PM

Alex K,

Is that supposed to be funny?

William

William2006 on March 14, 2007 at 3:01 AM

It’s one of the very few things prevalent on the Right that makes me a little uncomfortable.

Halley on March 14, 2007 at 2:33 AM

Maybe it’s the 30 million of them in my house……..

“Hey, I need to use the bathroom!….”

“Who ate my food?….”

“If your going to use my toilet, will you at least flush it?”

“What are doing with my daughter?”

“Sorry, “

Halley on March 14, 2007 at 2:33 AM

“, I’m overwhelmed…. I am going to send some to your house, what’s your address again???”

PinkyBigglesworth on March 14, 2007 at 3:03 AM

Politicians, or anyone else for that matter, who claims to be Catholic but refuses to follow the tenets of the religion they follow are not Catholic and should not claim to be Catholic.

If you are Catholic then you are also against abortion, gay marriage, euthanasia, and other aberrations.

If you claim yourself to be a Christian then you also should be against these things, otherwise you are not truly a Christian, by definition.

William

William2006 on March 14, 2007 at 3:04 AM

It is remarkable to me that anyone, including Julian, thinks that it is good to take taxpayer money, against their will, and fund the butchering of innocent, new boys and girls via abortion.

It is outrageous that our country even allows abortion, and that there are so many people who are so cruel that they would ever sanction or support or condone abortion, the dismemberment of new, innocent boy and girl babies.

William

William2006 on March 14, 2007 at 3:08 AM

Think he’s out to expose the CINOs?

- The Cat

MirCat on March 14, 2007 at 3:08 AM

PinkyBigglesworth on March 14, 2007 at 3:03 AM

Who are these people in your house Pinky?

Does anyone really take these edicts seriously? They always seem very perfunctory to me, but i’m not catholic so what the hell do i know?

forged rite on March 14, 2007 at 3:09 AM

If you are Catholic then you are also against abortion, gay marriage, euthanasia, and other aberrations.

Abortion, yes. That’s clearly an issue of natural law. It’s not a religious thing. It’s a “don’t take the life of an innocent human being” thing.

Gay marriage, no. As long as you’re talking about civil unions. Not really any of the church’s business. Naturally you’re not going to see Catholic acknowledgment of such a concept, but that’s never what it was about. Homosexuality is not contrary to any sort of objective morality. It’s purely a religious objection.

Euthanasia, yes. Again, taking an innocent life.

Politicians, or anyone else for that matter, who claims to be Catholic but refuses to follow the tenets of the religion they follow are not Catholic and should not claim to be Catholic.

Neglecting to make certain sinful actions illegal does not make you guilty of those sins. Christianity places high value on free will. Christian theocracy is not only unnecessary, it lessens the value of free will.

The Christian god doesn’t care whether or not abortion is illegal. He wants people to choose not to partake in it.

Mark Jaquith on March 14, 2007 at 3:21 AM

Mark Jaquith,

Christians must, by definition, oppose homosexuality, abortion, and euthanasia. If they do not, they are not truly Christians.

The Christian God doesn’t care if they are illegal or not, he does not want people to choose to do them.

Nevertheless, in the arena of public acceptance and laws, when it comes down to it, Christians can vote against these practices, which translates into, when the opportunity presents itself to vote against homosexual marriage, abortion, and euthanasia, in order to keep their values the Christian, and anyone else who shares similar values, has the right to vote in opposition to these practices, and, for the Christian, in order to truly practice Christianity, they must vote against them.

William

William2006 on March 14, 2007 at 3:56 AM

Of course Democrats can be Catholic (and vice-versa). Indeed, the originally most vehement pro-life people were Democrats (not all Catholic), before pro-choice became de rigeur for the party in the 1980s. Nothing more quintessentially being for the “little guy” than being pro-life. Can’t get much littler than an embryo. I suppose it is possible for the pro-lifers to take back the party, but it would mean ejecting some of the loudest identity groups making up the Democratic party right now.

That said, there is a difference between abortion and active euthanasia (always wrong by Catholic teaching – there is no situation in which they’re considered good) and capital punishment and “passive” euthanasia (i.e., “pulling the plug”) — the latter two are matters of prudence, involving the judgment of the individual(s) or government involved.

With regards to capital punishment, just think about “government killing” in general, such as when a cop kills a guy running around with a gun in a school. It is legit for cops (or anybody else, for that matter) to kill someone who is an active threat to other people – protecting life. Likewise, if capital punishment is efficacious in protecting innocent life, there’s nothing immoral about it. The Catechism does say that in most developed countries, capital punishment is likely not good, in that they have the resources to lock away people for life (which is just a different sort of death sentence), but it still makes no categorical statement.

I don’t know all the parameters of Scalia’s view on capital punishment, but the fact that he thinks capital punishment is a legitimate use of government force is not against Church teaching.

meep on March 14, 2007 at 7:11 AM

As a veterinarian that was raised Catholic (I have no use for organized religion at this point in my life thank you), what are you all referring to as “euthanasia”. Are you using the term synonimously with assisted suicide? If so, then I think it’s ridiculous to lump abortion in the same statement of no no’s with euthanasia. The two are so unrelated it’s not even comparable. The taking of an innocent life in utero vs. the ending of suffering of one’s life by their own choice shouldn’t be compared to each other. I know the church’s stance on suicide (which in and of itself is ridiculous), but if one is referring more to the ending of a terribly horrible quality of life (euthanasia), then it seems to me to be the “Christian” thing to do to help one out of this life and into the next, supposedly more joyful place. But then again, if you commit suicide/euthanasia, you ain’t going there. AAAHHH, the hypocrisy of religion.

rayvet on March 14, 2007 at 8:20 AM

I’ll admit that I’m not extremely well read on this (and Catholicism, as a whole, can be confusing to me as a Protestant) but doesn’t the Catholic church say that capital punishment is only to be used when there is no other alternative to keeping the public safe?
Personally I oppose ending life in almost any manner (excluding the obvious), believing all mankind is redeemable.

SouthernDem on March 14, 2007 at 9:32 AM

Scalia is, of course, right. Paragraph 2267 of the Catechism:

2267 Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.
If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”

Awilson on March 14, 2007 at 9:35 AM

All this means is that Catholic politicians can’t be disingenuous, a la Nancy Pelosi–like being “publicly” for abortion, but “privately” against it. The Church has spoken out against this for years. If politicians want to Call themselves Catholic, in other words, then they have to follow the provisions of the religion to which they ascribe.

Seriously. Its not like the Pope is trying to run stuff…

Or maybe, we’re trying to take over the world! BWAHAHAHAHA.

E. M. on March 14, 2007 at 9:38 AM

All this means is that Catholic politicians can’t be disingenuous, a la Nancy Pelosi–like being “publicly” for abortion, but “privately” against it.

So Pelosi can be publicly for abortion so long as she’s also privately for it? That can’t be what he means.

Allahpundit on March 14, 2007 at 9:40 AM

Cmon AP, you can’t POSSIBLY think that’s what he means.

It means they have to endorse through policy what they practice at home.

The basis the the Pope is spiritually infallible, so what he says is word is treated as such. For Catholics, this means going against the will of God.

Ringmaster on March 14, 2007 at 9:55 AM

the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.
If non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means

So doesn’t this essentially mean that incarceration for life is a viable option as opposed to state execution?

SouthernDem on March 14, 2007 at 10:07 AM

I guess the Church had better talk to the Democrats who claim to be Catholic. Oh wait, they already have, for DECADES…and nothing has happened.

NRA4Freedom on March 14, 2007 at 10:18 AM

So doesn’t this essentially mean that incarceration for life is a viable option as opposed to state execution?

Unfortunately.

I just have to follow it. I don’t have to like it.

Ringmaster on March 14, 2007 at 10:18 AM

Political conservatism should not be hostile to atheism or christianity. Here at Hot Air for the most part christians make their case without the intolerance we’re routinely accused of. With notable exceptions, the atheists strike me as more hostile toward christianity than the other way around. I’d like to recommend the new book by Dinesh D’souza. He makes an interesting case that AQ attacks us not for our christianity or democracy, but for our atheism and homosexuality.

Buck Turgidson on March 14, 2007 at 10:21 AM

More tripe from the Pope, what else is new?

Wouldn’t there be less poverty if there were more abortions? Didn’t that “Freakonomics” book that came out a little while ago make that point? Frankly, I think we need to get over this stigma we have on abortions in our culture – there are plenty of times when terminating a pregnancy should be encouraged, especially in the case of underage, unmarried girls. If a teenage girl has a baby out of wedlock, her chances of being poor for the rest of her life are dramatically increased, right? Right now I’m thinking of my coworker’s pregnant 18-year-old sister who has been abused by her boyfriend, who has been involved in gang activity, and who has used drugs and alcohol while pregnant. She should have an abortion. Phooey on the Pope.

Enrique on March 14, 2007 at 10:21 AM

Buck Turgidson on March 14, 2007 at 10:21 AM

OT, but as far as I’m concerned, D’Souza sounds a lot like the lefties that say AQ attacked us because of our imperial zionist meddling in Middle East affairs. Either way, it’s a blame America opinion.

SouthernDem on March 14, 2007 at 10:26 AM

amerpundit on March 13, 2007 at 11:38 PM

The girl made a choice, and she should live with the results. Phooey on your reasoning !

bones47 on March 14, 2007 at 10:28 AM

Phooey on the Pope.

Or you could not badmouth the Pope because he has nothing to do with you. That’s where you’re coming from. Great. Terrific. But slandering the Pope had nothing to do with your rant.

I’ll never understand why people poop on Catholics or the Pope so much. We don’t have a gestapo army. We don’t force anyone to go to mass. WTF???

Ringmaster on March 14, 2007 at 10:28 AM

sorry amerpundit I meant Enrique

bones47 on March 14, 2007 at 10:29 AM

GOD will judge each and everyone of us I feel the pope is teaching us about the teachings of the church and he has more knowledge than so many on this post including me and especially for whom he was making it know to. We have all made mistakes in our lives and blaming it on bad priests or something you may or maynot agree with isn’t the format on which the pope was referring to. It amazes me how many can seem to bash the pope as soon as he mentions his firm beliefs. Pray about it, than maybe you will recive an answer in your heart and possibly your mind.

bones47 on March 14, 2007 at 10:34 AM

Buck Turgidson on March 14, 2007 at 10:21 AM

OT, but as far as I’m concerned, D’Souza sounds a lot like the lefties that say AQ attacked us because of our imperial zionist meddling in Middle East affairs. Either way, it’s a blame America opinion.

SouthernDem on March 14, 2007 at 10:26 AM

Actually SD he makes the exact opposite case. Identifying the enemys motivation is not the same thing as blaming America.

Buck Turgidson on March 14, 2007 at 10:45 AM

Here’s my honest question:

God Created the Heaven and Earth
God Created Man Kind
God Flooded the Earth
God Created Animals
God Makes Miracles Happen
God Created Jesus
God Made Jesus Come Back
Jesus was born through Mary, a virgin

All of this, yet, God can’t stop abortion?

amerpundit on March 14, 2007 at 10:57 AM

Christians must, by definition, oppose homosexuality, abortion, and euthanasia. If they do not, they are not truly Christians.

Yes they are still Christians, the actions you describe are called sins…and there is no Christian living amongst us without sin.

Pam on March 14, 2007 at 11:09 AM

As a veterinarian that was raised Catholic (I have no use for organized religion at this point in my life thank you), …

rayvet on March 14, 2007 at 8:20 AM

If you want people to take you seriously then it’s unusually not a good idea to insult your audience in your intro sentence, because this is the point where people just stop reading.

Yes, this applies to me also, and yes I do violate this rule on occasion.

Take another crack at this, ray, in an intellectually respectful manner and maybe we can have a conversation.

Lawrence on March 14, 2007 at 11:18 AM

So Lawrence, which part of my intro was insulting. The being a vet, raised catholic or no use for organized religion? Notice I didn’t say I was an atheist, I said I have no use for organized religion. If that insults those that do, then should I be insulted when people tell me I’m going to hell because I don’t go to a building every Sunday like they do. Well that doesn’t insult me, I have a thicker skin than that, and I think others better get one too, because if that was offensive to many then they’ve got a hell of a lot more to worry about than me expressing my opinion. BTW can you define “intellectually respectful” please. Sounds like a liberal comment similiar to “politically correct”.

rayvet on March 14, 2007 at 11:43 AM

Pam,

Exactly. You are always still Christian, no matter what. Its a matter of whether you have sinned, and all (including the Pope) have sinned in their lives.

amerpundit on March 14, 2007 at 11:47 AM

I have a post up on my blog about Religion, particular Sacramental Christian religions, and gay marriage.

It’s also a good time to bring up that homosexuals are not doomed to Hell. Homosexual sex is a sin, and needs to be treated as one based on religion (so homosexual Catholics would need to confess their sins).

As for the death penalty, here’s the bit from the Catechism where it actually talks directly about it:

2267 The traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude, presupposing full ascertainment of the identity and responsibility of the offender, recourse to the death penalty, when this is the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor.
“If, instead, bloodless means are sufficient to defend against the aggressor and to protect the safety of persons, public authority should limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.
“Today, in fact, given the means at the State’s disposal to effectively repress crime by rendering inoffensive the one who has committed it, without depriving him definitively of the possibility of redeeming himself, cases of absolute necessity for suppression of the offender ‘today … are very rare, if not practically non-existent.’

I think Benedict is just getting Catholic politicians to tow the line. He may be building up to excommunication of Catholic politicos, as they are leaders and if they claim to be Catholic they’d better put ‘em on the glass, so to speak.

Nethicus on March 14, 2007 at 12:00 PM

Notice I didn’t say I was an atheist, I said I have no use for organized religion. If that insults those that do, then should I be insulted when people tell me I’m going to hell because I don’t go to a building every Sunday like they do.rayvet on March 14, 2007 at 11:43 AM

Who here said you were going to hell Ray? Because I missed that part.

Buck Turgidson on March 14, 2007 at 12:00 PM

Here’s the direct link to the blog post about gay marriage.

Nethicus on March 14, 2007 at 12:01 PM

All of this, yet, God can’t stop abortion?

amerpundit on March 14, 2007 at 10:57 AM

Can’t? I’d say won’t. It’s the whole “free will” thing. Either we have it, and can abort babies as much as we like, or we don’t and cannot do anything against God, including murdering Christ.

Esthier on March 14, 2007 at 12:04 PM

Right now I’m thinking of my coworker’s pregnant 18-year-old sister who has been abused by her boyfriend, who has been involved in gang activity, and who has used drugs and alcohol while pregnant. She should have an abortion. Phooey on the Pope.

Enrique on March 14, 2007 at 10:21 AM

yes Enrique, you’re correct. Because you’re coworker’s pregnant sister has been running with gangs, using drugs and alcohol while pregnant, and can’t keep her legs closed, she should definitely get a free pass to kill the child growing inside of her. The hell with the child, her ability to continue to run wild and contribute absolutely nothing to society (except her own special little brand of chaos and misery) is what’s really important here.

dalewalt on March 14, 2007 at 12:16 PM

You know what, the Vatican should be more concerned with its Bishops and Clergy, than politicians in distant countries.

My diocese has 2 priests under indictment for fraud, embezzlement and money laundering. At least 1 former Bishop is serving time. It was in my diocese that Mark Foley was abused as a child. My diocese had a priest who was found to have been a pedophile.

And that’s just my diocese. Let’s worry about the people preaching the doctrine living by it, before the people listening to the doctrine.

Sean Hannity was right the other night, debating that priest.

amerpundit on March 13, 2007 at 11:38 PM

The Vatican? The Vatican itself is rife with leftists. Why do you think so many were against the choice of Cardinal Ratzinger for Pope? If he had his way, much of the American liberal Catholic clergy would be recalled to Rome for re-education purposes.

And no, Sean Hannity was not right. I like Sean. He is a good and patriotic American, but he is a Cafeteria Catholic. I believe Pope Benedict closed the cafeteria awhile back.

Connie on March 14, 2007 at 12:36 PM

I’m sure the anti-Catholics here will adore Jacoby’s latest hit piece.

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/susan_jacoby/2007/03/anticatholicism_a_phony_issue.html

Connie on March 14, 2007 at 12:37 PM

So, if I don’t follow everything the church says and believes, I’m not 100% Catholic? By that logic, my family (who’s been Catholic as far as documented history can go) should’ve hidden Nazis during WW2. That wasn’t the liberal American Church, that was the Vatican.

amerpundit on March 14, 2007 at 12:45 PM

Ooh, or how about when the Vatican many years ago, sold bulls, forgiving the person for his/her sins?

Oh, and by the same logic, we should also be welcoming to illegals, as they are just people looking for a better life. Let us welcome them with open arms, as Jesus did to all walks of life, sinners, liers, prostitues. After all, they are all God’s children. So, who’s ready to open the border?

amerpundit on March 14, 2007 at 12:49 PM

Most of the illegals are very Christian as well, so we should be even more welcoming.

amerpundit on March 14, 2007 at 12:49 PM

I know the church’s stance on suicide (which in and of itself is ridiculous), but if one is referring more to the ending of a terribly horrible quality of life (euthanasia), then it seems to me to be the “Christian” thing to do to help one out of this life and into the next, supposedly more joyful place. But then again, if you commit suicide/euthanasia, you ain’t going there. AAAHHH, the hypocrisy of religion.

This is only “ridiculous” or “hypocrisy” if you don’t believe in the sovereignity of God. It is a little hard to give much creedance to an argument which is basically “You are hypocrites because you don’t believe like I do”

It simply is not hypocritical at all for someone who believes in God to believe that man should not substitute his will, his wisdom, his judgments in place of the will of God, the wisdom of God or the judgment of God.

Fatal on March 14, 2007 at 12:52 PM

If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means,

So doesn’t this essentially mean that incarceration for life is a viable option as opposed to state execution?

To really comply, it would have to be incarceration for life in solitary confinement, otherwise you are exposing other possibly redeemable prisoners to the dangers posed by the agressor. Now, since solitary confinement for life has been deemed to violate the 8th Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, that leaves the death penalty as a viable recourse. Scalia is still right.

Fatal on March 14, 2007 at 12:58 PM

There is a difference between helping those who are refugees and asylum seekers and those who break the sovereign laws of another country to simply “seek a better life.”

I will grant you that Pope John Paul II supported what we would call the comprehensive plan. He didn’t want families to be separated and he did believe that just wages should be paid to migrant workers.

Specifically:

“The Church recognizes the right of a sovereign state to control its borders in furtherance of the common good. It also recognizes the right of human persons to migrate so that they can realize their God-given rights. These teachings complement each other. While the sovereign state may impose reasonable limits on immigration, the common good is not served when the basic human rights of the individual are violated. In the current condition of the world, in which global poverty and persecution are rampant, the presumption is that persons must migrate in order to support and protect themselves and that nations who are able to receive them should do so whenever possible. It is through this lens that we assess the current migration reality between the United States and Mexico.”

http://www.usccb.org/mrs/stranger.shtml

Connie on March 14, 2007 at 1:11 PM

So, would you support a guest worker program?

amerpundit on March 14, 2007 at 1:13 PM

Most of the illegals are very Christian as well, so we should be even more welcoming.

amerpundit on March 14, 2007 at 12:49 PM

The Church has been accused of being pro-illegal immigrant for this very reason – to increase their numbers.

Connie on March 14, 2007 at 1:13 PM

Whatever the Pope’s reason, he supported the Comprehensive Immigration Plan, which is viewed as basically amnesty.

amerpundit on March 14, 2007 at 1:13 PM

Wow…. amazing how someone basicaly saying to stop being hypocritical, can raise some people hackles.

A. Catholics belive “this”

B. Part of being Catholic, is believing “this”

C. You say you are Catholic…

D. So your ACTIONS should reflect you believing “this”

E. If your not going to act Catholic, then quit saying you ARE Catholic…

Whats so terrible about the Pope saying that???

Romeo13 on March 14, 2007 at 1:15 PM

Does this mean the Papal hypocrite is going to excommunicate fat Ted Kennedy? I won’t hold my breath.

mcgilvra on March 14, 2007 at 1:20 PM

Does this mean the Papal hypocrite is going to excommunicate fat Ted Kennedy? I won’t hold my breath.

lol.

amerpundit on March 14, 2007 at 1:21 PM

There are already excommunications being undertaken for John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Susan Collins, Mario Cuomo and a few others.

E. M. on March 14, 2007 at 1:27 PM

OT, but wasn’t Kerry’s wife Republican before the ’04 race?

amerpundit on March 14, 2007 at 1:32 PM

To really comply, it would have to be incarceration for life in solitary confinement, otherwise you are exposing other possibly redeemable prisoners to the dangers posed by the agressor. Now, since solitary confinement for life has been deemed to violate the 8th Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, that leaves the death penalty as a viable recourse. Scalia is still right.

Not to mention the guards, Fatal. The guards as well as the other prisoners are “the public” too. Plus, the general public is eventually going to be re-endangered by any “lifers” who later get paroled, when their crime is a distant memory.

NellE on March 14, 2007 at 1:47 PM

The hell with the child, her ability to continue to run wild and contribute absolutely nothing to society (except her own special little brand of chaos and misery) is what’s really important here.

What’s important is the damage to society wrought by the birth of unwanted children. This child is very likely to grow up to be a criminal and welfare recipient. Why should society bear the costs of the bad choices of teenage girls? We should be honest with ourselves that unwed pregnancies lead to poverty, especially in minority communities. Abortion is one solution to this problems. We should be grown ups and stop acting like the option shouldn’t be on the table.

As for the political angle – if you think that God will punish people for having an abortion, leave that to God. The state, however, should encourage socially responsible behavior. Abortions are socially responsible.

Enrique on March 14, 2007 at 1:56 PM

Why should society bear the costs of the bad choices of teenage girls?

Wow, then I would assume you are in favor of the death penalty for all felonies? Or maybe all crimes? Or heck, why even require a crime, just a “bad choice” should be enough! I mean, after all, why should society have to bear the costs of people who make bad choices?

Fatal on March 14, 2007 at 2:13 PM

The state, however, should encourage socially responsible behavior.

Self-control is the ultimate socially responsible behavior. Pushing abortion and birth control removes the need for self-control, responsibility, accountability and PROMOTES promiscuity.

Connie on March 14, 2007 at 2:19 PM

Good evening.

Earlier today, I ordered America’s armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq’s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.

Their purpose is to protect the national interest of the United States, and indeed the interests of people throughout the Middle East and around the world.

Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons.

I want to explain why I have decided, with the unanimous recommendation of my national security team, to use force in Iraq; why we have acted now; and what we aim to accomplish.

Six weeks ago, Saddam Hussein announced that he would no longer cooperate with the United Nations weapons inspectors called UNSCOM. They are highly professional experts from dozens of countries. Their job is to oversee the elimination of Iraq’s capability to retain, create and use weapons of mass destruction, and to verify that Iraq does not attempt to rebuild that capability.

The inspectors undertook this mission first 7.5 years ago at the end of the Gulf War when Iraq agreed to declare and destroy its arsenal as a condition of the ceasefire.

The international community had good reason to set this requirement. Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: He has used them. Not once, but repeatedly. Unleashing chemical weapons against Iranian troops during a decade-long war. Not only against soldiers, but against civilians, firing Scud missiles at the citizens of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran. And not only against a foreign enemy, but even against his own people, gassing Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq.

The international community had little doubt then, and I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.

The United States has patiently worked to preserve UNSCOM as Iraq has sought to avoid its obligation to cooperate with the inspectors. On occasion, we’ve had to threaten military force, and Saddam has backed down.

Faced with Saddam’s latest act of defiance in late October, we built intensive diplomatic pressure on Iraq backed by overwhelming military force in the region. The UN Security Council voted 15 to zero to condemn Saddam’s actions and to demand that he immediately come into compliance.

Eight Arab nations — Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman — warned that Iraq alone would bear responsibility for the consequences of defying the UN.

When Saddam still failed to comply, we prepared to act militarily. It was only then at the last possible moment that Iraq backed down. It pledged to the UN that it had made, and I quote, a clear and unconditional decision to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors.

I decided then to call off the attack with our airplanes already in the air because Saddam had given in to our demands. I concluded then that the right thing to do was to use restraint and give Saddam one last chance to prove his willingness to cooperate.

I made it very clear at that time what unconditional cooperation meant, based on existing UN resolutions and Iraq’s own commitments. And along with Prime Minister Blair of Great Britain, I made it equally clear that if Saddam failed to cooperate fully, we would be prepared to act without delay, diplomacy or warning.

Now over the past three weeks, the UN weapons inspectors have carried out their plan for testing Iraq’s cooperation. The testing period ended this weekend, and last night, UNSCOM’s chairman, Richard Butler, reported the results to UN Secretary-General Annan.

The conclusions are stark, sobering and profoundly disturbing.

In four out of the five categories set forth, Iraq has failed to cooperate. Indeed, it actually has placed new restrictions on the inspectors. Here are some of the particulars.

Iraq repeatedly blocked UNSCOM from inspecting suspect sites. For example, it shut off access to the headquarters of its ruling party and said it will deny access to the party’s other offices, even though UN resolutions make no exception for them and UNSCOM has inspected them in the past.

Iraq repeatedly restricted UNSCOM’s ability to obtain necessary evidence. For example, Iraq obstructed UNSCOM’s effort to photograph bombs related to its chemical weapons program.

It tried to stop an UNSCOM biological weapons team from videotaping a site and photocopying documents and prevented Iraqi personnel from answering UNSCOM’s questions.

Prior to the inspection of another site, Iraq actually emptied out the building, removing not just documents but even the furniture and the equipment.

Iraq has failed to turn over virtually all the documents requested by the inspectors. Indeed, we know that Iraq ordered the destruction of weapons-related documents in anticipation of an UNSCOM inspection.

So Iraq has abused its final chance.

As the UNSCOM reports concludes, and again I quote, “Iraq’s conduct ensured that no progress was able to be made in the fields of disarmament.

“In light of this experience, and in the absence of full cooperation by Iraq, it must regrettably be recorded again that the commission is not able to conduct the work mandated to it by the Security Council with respect to Iraq’s prohibited weapons program.”

In short, the inspectors are saying that even if they could stay in Iraq, their work would be a sham.

Saddam’s deception has defeated their effectiveness. Instead of the inspectors disarming Saddam, Saddam has disarmed the inspectors.

This situation presents a clear and present danger to the stability of the Persian Gulf and the safety of people everywhere. The international community gave Saddam one last chance to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors. Saddam has failed to seize the chance.

And so we had to act and act now.

Let me explain why.

First, without a strong inspection system, Iraq would be free to retain and begin to rebuild its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs in months, not years.

Second, if Saddam can crippled the weapons inspection system and get away with it, he would conclude that the international community — led by the United States — has simply lost its will. He will surmise that he has free rein to rebuild his arsenal of destruction, and someday — make no mistake — he will use it again as he has in the past.

Third, in halting our air strikes in November, I gave Saddam a chance, not a license. If we turn our backs on his defiance, the credibility of U.S. power as a check against Saddam will be destroyed. We will not only have allowed Saddam to shatter the inspection system that controls his weapons of mass destruction program; we also will have fatally undercut the fear of force that stops Saddam from acting to gain domination in the region.

That is why, on the unanimous recommendation of my national security team — including the vice president, the secretary of defense, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, the secretary of state and the national security adviser — I have ordered a strong, sustained series of air strikes against Iraq.

They are designed to degrade Saddam’s capacity to develop and deliver weapons of mass destruction, and to degrade his ability to threaten his neighbors.

At the same time, we are delivering a powerful message to Saddam. If you act recklessly, you will pay a heavy price. We acted today because, in the judgment of my military advisers, a swift response would provide the most surprise and the least opportunity for Saddam to prepare.

If we had delayed for even a matter of days from Chairman Butler’s report, we would have given Saddam more time to disperse his forces and protect his weapons.

Also, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins this weekend. For us to initiate military action during Ramadan would be profoundly offensive to the Muslim world and, therefore, would damage our relations with Arab countries and the progress we have made in the Middle East.

That is something we wanted very much to avoid without giving Iraq’s a month’s head start to prepare for potential action against it.

Finally, our allies, including Prime Minister Tony Blair of Great Britain, concurred that now is the time to strike. I hope Saddam will come into cooperation with the inspection system now and comply with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. But we have to be prepared that he will not, and we must deal with the very real danger he poses.

So we will pursue a long-term strategy to contain Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction and work toward the day when Iraq has a government worthy of its people.

First, we must be prepared to use force again if Saddam takes threatening actions, such as trying to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction or their delivery systems, threatening his neighbors, challenging allied aircraft over Iraq or moving against his own Kurdish citizens.

The credible threat to use force, and when necessary, the actual use of force, is the surest way to contain Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction program, curtail his aggression and prevent another Gulf War.

Second, so long as Iraq remains out of compliance, we will work with the international community to maintain and enforce economic sanctions. Sanctions have cost Saddam more than $120 billion — resources that would have been used to rebuild his military. The sanctions system allows Iraq to sell oil for food, for medicine, for other humanitarian supplies for the Iraqi people.

We have no quarrel with them. But without the sanctions, we would see the oil-for-food program become oil-for-tanks, resulting in a greater threat to Iraq’s neighbors and less food for its people.

The hard fact is that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of his region, the security of the world.

The best way to end that threat once and for all is with a new Iraqi government — a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people. Bringing change in Baghdad will take time and effort. We will strengthen our engagement with the full range of Iraqi opposition forces and work with them effectively and prudently.

The decision to use force is never cost-free. Whenever American forces are placed in harm’s way, we risk the loss of life. And while our strikes are focused on Iraq’s military capabilities, there will be unintended Iraqi casualties.

Indeed, in the past, Saddam has intentionally placed Iraqi civilians in harm’s way in a cynical bid to sway international opinion.

We must be prepared for these realities. At the same time, Saddam should have absolutely no doubt if he lashes out at his neighbors, we will respond forcefully.

Heavy as they are, the costs of action must be weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors. He will make war on his own people.

And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them.

Because we’re acting today, it is less likely that we will face these dangers in the future.

Let me close by addressing one other issue. Saddam Hussein and the other enemies of peace may have thought that the serious debate currently before the House of Representatives would distract Americans or weaken our resolve to face him down.

But once more, the United States has proven that although we are never eager to use force, when we must act in America’s vital interests, we will do so.

In the century we’re leaving, America has often made the difference between chaos and community, fear and hope. Now, in the new century, we’ll have a remarkable opportunity to shape a future more peaceful than the past, but only if we stand strong against the enemies of peace.

Tonight, the United States is doing just that. May God bless and protect the brave men and women who are carrying out this vital mission and their families. And may God bless America.

These words were spoken by Bill Clinton, 12-16-98.

Finally, a voice of reason….

Thank you

Lonevoice on March 14, 2007 at 2:40 PM

Where the hell did That come from? I saved that yesterday for another board!! Sorry for the interruption!!!!

I meant to quote Romeo13 above and agree with him. This must have been still on my clipboard. Sheesh!! I hate computers!!

Lonevoice on March 14, 2007 at 2:44 PM

Wow… thinking on it…

It finaly answers that age old question….

Is the Pope Catholic?

/sarcams off

Romeo13 on March 14, 2007 at 2:58 PM

Fatal on March 14, 2007 at 12:58 PM

That’s what SuperMax prisons were made for.
Your logic is flawed, IMHO. Obviously there are varying degrees of crime. But isn’t someone who’s in prison for assault with a deadly weapon or attempted murder bound under these definitions?
The long and short of it is we have the capacity as a society to keep the worst of the worst divided from the rest of the population. So according to the Catholic quote I read, execution is unnecessary.

SouthernDem on March 14, 2007 at 3:23 PM

Enough is enough.

The Pope is not American, so he care’s nothing of our nations survival. I’m not German, so I could care less if Germany stays around.

That proves nothing.

But seriously. When I get into my catholic T Tank and overrun your house, and enslave your kids into my mass, I’ll stomach your train of thought. All you’ve done Ameripundit (Which is a misnomer in my opinion), is slander my faith and my pope, the Vicar of Christ. Am I going to suicide bomb you?? No. Am I going to beat you and lynch you? No. I’m not even going to call you a nasty name, though I really want to. I just want you to explain why the Pope commanding his followers to be followers or not follows justifys your slander.

The Pope hasn’t killed anyone. Please be responsible with your words, if nothing more than a favor to me.

If not, well, I disagree.

Ringmaster on March 14, 2007 at 3:38 PM

Wow, then I would assume you are in favor of the death penalty for all felonies?

On the contrary, I’m opposed to the death penalty. In my view, an incarcerated adult has certain inalienable rights in the U.S., and we can debate about just how those rights should be curtailed or expanded or what have you. For example, I also don’t think we should take away the right to vote from felons.

I don’t believe unborn children have rights – they are the property of the mother. At birth, all the rights of U.S. citizenship commence. You have to draw the line somewhere, and I think “birth” is a good place to draw it.

Enrique on March 14, 2007 at 4:00 PM

“the Pope commanding HIS followers”? I don’t know about you but in my church the only person we follow is Christ.

calirighty on March 14, 2007 at 4:56 PM

This child is very likely to grow up to be a criminal and welfare recipient.

Only if the parent or parents do NOT instill some self-respect and good values into the child.

dalewalt on March 14, 2007 at 4:56 PM

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