Pelosi’s abortion comments provoke Catholic criticism

August 27, 2008

Catholic leaders in Colorado and elsewhere have been swift to react to comments by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that the Church itself had long debated when human life begins.

Nancy Pelosi kisses Pope Benedict’s ring in Washington as President George Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice look on, 16 April 2008//Larry Downing“… I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition … St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know. The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose,” said Pelosi, seen at left kissing Pope Benedict’s ring during his visit to Washington in April.

In Denver, the venue for this week’s Democratic party national convention due to annoint Barack Obama as its presidential nominee on Thursday, Archbishop Charles Chaput and his Auxiliary Bishop James Conley said in a statement on Monday that Catholic teaching on the subject was unequivocal — abortion is gravely evil — and that “Catholics who make excuses for it … fool only themselves.” Similar comments came from Washington D.C. Archbishop Donald Wuerl.

In a statement late on Tuesday, Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs said: “Those Catholics who take a public stance in opposition to the most fundamental moral teaching of the Church place themselves outside full communion with the Church, and they should not present themselves for the reception of Holy Communion.”

Pelosi’s spokesman Brendan Daly responded on Tuesday with a statement saying not all Catholics agreed with the Church’s position on when life began.

Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden, 23 August 2008/John GressWhile not always mentioned by name, the clerical criticism can also apply to Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, picked as the vice presidential running mate for Obama. Biden is a practicing Catholic who also supports abortion rights and analysts have said he could help woo wavering Catholics into Obama’s fold. But a revival of the 2004 debate over whether such Catholic politicians should be refused communion at Mass could possibly hurt him.

John Kerry, a Catholic who was the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004 , provoked stormy debate in Catholic circles about whether or not a pro-abortion rights politician should be able to receive Holy Communion, a key sacrament of the faith. Several bishops said they would not give him communion and the media staked out churches where he attended Mass to see if he received. In June 2004, the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — now Pope Benedict XVI – wrote to American bishops restating the Church position that a priest must refuse to distribute communion to a Catholic politician who supported abortion rights.

Catholic protesters against John Kerry in New York, 16 June 2004/Jeff ChristensenAbortion is one of the most divisive issues in U.S. politics and while polls show Americans in this election cycle much more concerned about the economy and Iraq it could prove important in Colorado, a closely-contested “swing state”.

When Colorado voters elect a new president on Nov. 4 they will also be asked to amend their state constitution to define legal “personhood” as starting from the moment of fertilization, a position that would not ban abortion but would create the legal foundation for a possible ban in the future.

This measure could energize the state’s conservative Catholics and large evangelical community — a key base for the Republican Party which its presidential candidate John McCain needs — to go to the polls.

86 comments

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It is encouraging to hear that more and more of our U.S. Bishops are speaking up and out about the scandal that these self defined Catholic politicians bring not only to our Church but to our national social policy agenda. I have been reading criticism from some parts accusing the Catholic Bishops of playing politics and deliberatly favoring the Republican Party with their criticisms. What is not clearly understood is that the Bishops, along with all sincere and well formed Catholics, are morally obliged to protect the near 2000 teachings of the Church which in turn protect and promote the dignity of human life.Political parties come and go with the tides and politicians change with the wind. The Church preaches eternal Truth and that Truth cannot be rewritten or revised to suit an election. Indeed we would all be better off if our elections reflected at least a hint of that underlying Truth that is Eternal.

Posted by Mary McCurry | Report as abusive

I guess the argument of Pro or Con abortion is part of a problem of defining the question.The question really is “a woman’s right to choose” what to do with her body.While life may begin at conception it cannot exist outside the womb for quite some time. Until it can, the ONLY person who can decide what should happen to is it the mother, HER concience and her physican.The government should stay out of it.

Posted by John Billings | Report as abusive

What is being demonstrated here is the difference between political ideology and practical effectiveness. Ideologues may be able to proclaim that they stuck to their ideals but, if they are ultimately producing the opposite effect of what they intended, are they acting morally or immorally?Frankly, Colorado Catholics have been wondering where our bishops have been. The silence during this election cycle has been deafening since they apparently realized the mistake they made backing the “pro-life-in-name-only” George W. Bush. Bishop Sheridan wrote his counter-productive letter in May last time around and here it is August already and, until today, nothing. I know why. He is embarrassed.I can only imagine the embarrassment felt by conservative bishops and their sheep after watching the daily death toll under the President they escorted into office on the heals of their anti-abortion ideology. While Iraqi civilians die by the thousands, while soldiers remain in harm’s way in the name of a 7-year lie, only to return home to the “thanks” of sub-standard health care, the Bush abortion rate remains higher than during the pro-choice Clinton years.Those of us who told Bishop Sheridan he was wrong in 2004 hoped four years of solid evidence might cause him to grow more politically savvy and to understand empty campaign rhetoric. Apparently not. Evidence cannot hold a candle to ideology, except when presented to the truly wise and humble.I am a fully pro-life (not merely anti-abortion) Catholic who feels morally bound to be effective in protecting life, not simply effective in speaking the correct theological words. The political reality is that neither John McCain nor Barack Obama will outlaw abortion. After 8 ineffective Bush years, voters have figured that out.Catholic voters, therefore, are not faced with the moral choice the Colorado bishops are telling them they are faced with. They are faced with using their vote to reduce the abortion rate, reduce deaths from wars, reduce capital punishment and eliminate reverse Robin Hoodism, stealing from the poor to give to the rich.Our ideological bishops lead us astray when they imply our vote is about overturning Roe v. Wade and nothing else. That naivete, when exercised by persons in positions of authority, is immoral. Our bishops may be theologically correct, but their uninformed political activism causes more deaths than it prevents.I urge genuine pro-life Catholics to join me in voting Democratic in November.

Posted by Timothy Rowan | Report as abusive

The disingenuousness squabblers on both sides of the abortion debate are unbelievable. The do not even address the basic issues (non-issues?). On the one hand, OF COURSE the fetus is a living human being: Does the DNA analysis show that it is Homo sapiens? Yes. Is the fetus alive? Yes. Ergo, it’s a living human being. Quod erat demonstrandum. But on the other hand, why should I care that a fetus is aborted? It is not sentient. Society has invested no time or money in its upbringing. It is just another mammal, the only difference between Homo sapiens and other mammals being that people stand up straight and we’re a lot smarter. And we have used our intelligence in conjunction with our greed to make ourselves the most destructive weed species ever to curse the face of our Planet. The cockroaches, zebra mussels, water hyacinth, kudzu, feral dogs and cats, rats — they ain’t got NOTHING on Homo sapiens and what our species is capable of doing. We are indestructible as a species, but we destroy each other individually, and we destroy our animal cousins: we inflict torture, terror, misery, hate, poverty, hunger — we destroy. We destroy everything we touch, like a race of leprous Midases. Is a human fetus worth more than another lost stand of 2000-year-old Douglas firs or a rain forest or a coral reef or an entire ocean and the entire ecosystem that they create and support? The only answer to that question other than “No!” can derive only from the blind superstitions of bronze-age monotheistic desert blood-religions followed by persons who are, for all practical purposes, lobotomites. If this civilization were laid across a psychoanalyst’s couch, it would be declared clinically insane. In answer to the “abortion issue”, the only ethical thing to say is that the mother has a right to control her own body. She is sentient, and the fetus is not. She is worth more than the fetus.

Posted by quetzalcoatl | Report as abusive

This is why the Catholic Church is losing its followers world-wide and in the United States. I was raised Catholic and went to 12 years of Catholic school, but do not feel that my views nor the views of any one Church should be imposed on those of another. The Catholic Church’s involvement in U.S. politics is unacceptable and unconsititurional – hence, they lost this Catholic and should lose their tax emempt status – as should all other Churches that get involved in U.S. political affairs.

Posted by Lori | Report as abusive

Congresswoman Pelosi failed to comment on Humane Vitae which explicitly stated and ground into Church dogma the sacredness of life from conception and onward.

Posted by Joe Reich | Report as abusive

Anyone who thinks that abortion is a simple issue is mistaken. It is a very complex moral issue. There are millions of compassionate, thoughtful, faithful people who sincerely and honestly oppose any and all abortion.And there are millions of compassionate, thoughtful, faithful people who sincerely and honestly find that there is a necessity for legal and safe abortion in the world.Who’s right? It’s next to impossible to say definitively. It’s a difficult moral issue. Anyone who thinks otherwise is oversimplifying.In the absence of a clear, unifying, convincing consensus, people should have the right to examine their own consciences, make up their own mind on this issue. America is the land of individual liberty and individual responsibility. Let’s not have the government make any blanket statement that is morally repugnant to approximately 50% of Americans out there.

Posted by Sue D. Nymme | Report as abusive

She is a nut!!! It’s a shame that news outlet’s give her a Bully Pulpit.Two yrs as Speaker in a Democratly controlled Congress and NOTHING>

John Billings–it should also be noted that life outside the womb cannot exist on its own for quite some time. As that is your reasoning for allowing abortion are you suggesting we let mothers adopt the Spartan practice of staking their children to the hillside if they decide they don’t want their children after they are borm?A child in the womb is no different than a child outside the womb. Both need shelter and food to survive and grow and progress through the various stages of human life. Does the fact that the shelter is the womb and not a house really matter?

Lori– 1. Get your facts straight–the Catholic church world-wide is not losing its followers–it is growing. 2. When you say neither your views nor anyones view should be imposed on another–isn’t that just your view and aren’t you trying to impose it on me? What if someone thinks murder is ok–you know survival of the fittest and all that–hey you’ve got something I want and I’m going to take it–after all who are you to tell me that its wrong. Are you good with that? Thats the logical end to saying no one has a right to impose their view on someone. Why should I have to live in a relativist society where anything goes–just because some people think thats how it should be–they are imposing a relativist ethic on me–why is that ok–but to argue for a different ethic–is somehow imposing my views on everyone? Talk about a double standard.Hey arent are laws against murder based on one of the ten commandments–I guess thats imposing religous beliefs on people–better get rid of those laws.Was Hitler wrong? Was slavery wrong? I think so but can I really say that? Isn’t that just imposing my views on people? Do you see the absurdity in that position? Our rights have to come from somewhere. I don’t think they come from the state nor do I think that would be a good idea–what the state grants the state can take away. I have to go with the author of the Declaration of Independence: we are all endowed by our creator with certain enalienable rights–those rights states should not take away and should protect. But alas today we move toward a society (and the acceptance by our citizens) in which states grant and take away rights regardless of our enalienable rights endowed in us by our creator.

Sue Nymme–When you say lets not have the government make any blanket statement that is morally repugnant to approximately 50% of Americans–would you have made the same statement 150 years ago with regard to slavery? Or should our government have stood up sooner and recognized the worth, value and dignity of those Americans living in slavery? Is it the opinion of the majority of Americans that makes something right or wrong? Or are there somethings or people are government should protect regardless of majority opinion? I believe that is why we live in a Democratic Republic rather than a Democracy–to protect our citizens from the tyranny of the majority. Should woman have been denied the vote simply because 50% of citizens found it morally repugnant? Was America justified in killing Native Americans and taking there land because a majority of Americans found it acceptable?As to “Who’s Right? It’s next to impossible to say definately” While I’m not sure the science supports that statement–after all if its not a human life what is it? But assuming your statement is correct–it implies the possibility that it is a human life–and if that is a possibility–shouldn’t we err on the side of caution and protect that life until we have a definitive answer to the contrary? Isn’t it the governments job to protect its most vulnerable–regardless of the worth the majority of Americans may place on any particular life? Or have we devolved into a society that assigns a value to each given life–based on what the majority thinks–and then determines which lives have a low enough value that we can sanction the taking of that life? Isn’t it the governments job to protect the rights of the minorities and of those who cannot speak for themselves?

Mark — Everyone thinks this is about absolute right vs. absolute wrong. It is not. It is about better vs. worse, a little more gray vs. a little less gray. Theological idealism is nice but it is not going to save the life of one unborn human being. If a candidate calls himself “pro-life,” let him work to reduce killing of both the born AND the unborn or admit he is only “anti-abortion.”If a candidate is truly anti-abortion, let him pursue Roe v. Wade after he is elected. That would be newsworthy as no winning candidate has ever done that. Those promises are the first forgotten. But if he does, and in the miraculous event he is successful, what happens? Abortion rights do not end but become a state issue. Now, your job is multiplied by 50, and will probably take another 50 years. In the meantime, how many people will have died, been tortured, suffered from hunger and unemployment and paid taxes that wind up in the hands of oil companies and arms manufacturers? How many years of an elevated abortion rate will we endure, all because we Catholics were willing to put up with all the other Republican policies in order to get the slight chance of maybe someday overturning Roe?Don’t talk to me about theology; we all agree that life begins at conception and is sacred. Talk to me about who really DOES SOMETHING about reducing the killing. Talk to me about what actually works. Then you’ll see why moral, thoughtful Catholics must vote Democratic.

Posted by Timothy Rowan | Report as abusive

Congratulations John Billings and Timothy Rowan, you have managed to rationalize your own extermination. Similar thought processes lead to the elimination of Jews by Hitler and Christians by Stalin, not to mention the islamic crazies who kill based upon some similar rationalizations. What if someone decide democrats should be eliminated?A baby is not a “punishment” as defined by the democrats and their candidate. A baby is a BABY moron. Look at the science. DNA of a human beings, 4 dimensional ultrasounds, All prove viability and human status.It is amazing and ridiculus that you think you are Catholic or anyone else who believes like you is Catholic. If you don’t believe as the Church teaches, then you are not a member of the church. That is the way it is for any organization. If you don’t accept the tennants of the Church, why do you want to be part of it. Unless your objective is infiltration for the purpose of undermining the Church like Father Flegher.For those who are whinning about what the Church has not done for them and left, you got what you put into it. If you don’t know the faith, practice the faith, and live the faith, then you are not Catholic and never were. The whole lead a horse to water, but can’t make him drink program. If one knows the catholic faith and practices it, one would never go any where else.The Church has an obligation and the right to offer its teaching and opinions to the faithful. Free speach and all. Because the government of this great country, our republic, is by and for the people, the people are responsible for it. As such the poeple of this country and of faith cannot divide themselves for conveninece. One cannot use the cafeteria method to decide which laws, rules, and regulations that they want to follow. Similarly, the faithful cannot be sometimes faithful and sometimes secular.For those that still think Bush lied. How much Serran(SP) Gas does it take to wipe out a city.(Airborne Ounces) They found 500 tons in Iraq. How much yellow cake does it take to make a dirty nuke.(a few pounds) They just removed over two truck loads to Canada from Iraq. They had to keep it a secret and under guard to keep it out of the hands of Ayers like terrorists. It is our duty to protect those that cannot protect them selves. the Iraqi women in rape rooms, the mass graves of Iraqi citizens, and the innocent children being taught hate ideology of islam.Abortion is a simple matter. When one participates in an abortion, one is participating in the murder of the least of our brethern.Just like any other moral evils and social injustices, the Church like our government consists of people. These people have the same rights to speak up and out about the murder of the innocent. Pro Choice begins when one decides to have sex outside of marriage.Pelosi, Biden, Kerry, and Kennedy are not Catholics. they are Democrats. They should be refused participation in every Catholic Church sacrament and ceremony. After watching their performance as civil servants, it is clear that they are only interested in serving themselves, taking care of their own. If you are Catholic, you cannot be a Democrat. If you are a democrat, I question whether you are American.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

I noticed that some of you claim to be Catholic, but are voting pro-choice. You can NOT be Catholic and pro-choice. If you are pro-choice, then you have taken yourself out of the Catholic Church. If you don’t believe in the tenets of the Church, then why do you want to stay in it? I have never understood why someone would stay in an organization, group, religion, etc when they don’t share the beliefs of the group or religion.

Posted by Sue Baker | Report as abusive

[...] House Speaker Pelosi recently got in hot water for making an uninformed statement about Catholic doctrine. See Pelosi’s abortion comments provoke Catholic criticism [...]

“I guess the argument of Pro or Con abortion is part of a problem of defining the question.The question really is “a woman’s right to choose” what to do with her body.”Exactly. If we as a society are in the business of valuing one human life over another, then we should apply the same rules to men. Accordingly, if any member of a family (sister, brother, cousin, grandparent, etc.) requires the donation of an organ to survive (i.e., a kidney, etc.), male family members should be required to donate that organ (whether or not it poses a threat to the health of the donating male) as long as both the donator and the donatee have the possibility of survival (i.e., one would not be required to donate a heart as it would necessarily kill the donatee). Why isn’t this a law to save the lives of living people and why do the vast majority of people consider this law repugnant? A society should not impose rules on women which they would not impose on men.

Posted by Emilia | Report as abusive

Well, this article is worthless because it doesn’t even address whether or not there has been debate within the Catholic church over the beginning of life.

Posted by Leroy | Report as abusive

I am sickened by that picture of Nancy Pelosi kissing the pope’s ring. That man does not deserve respect. He merely perpetuates an outdated concept that we as human beings have used as a means of survival in the past, but now only serves to destroy us. If there was such a thing as hell, which there is not, there would be a special place reserved for the religious leaders of the world.As for the abortion debate, well, there’s no reasoning with some people, but I’ll try anyway. Consider this scenario: a doctor tells you that, in order to save the life of another person, he has to be surgically attached to you for 9 months, after which he will be able to survive on his own. Granted, it may not be moral to deny this request, but should it be illegal to deny it? The answer is no. Period. End of discussion.

Posted by polyrhythms | Report as abusive

Decry and condemn as they will, the fact remains that the Catholic church has indeed argued, debated and changed its definitions on when life begins – for hundreds of years. there is no more reason to accept the Vaticans opinion today than to accept the very first one it ever propsed…there remains no supportive evidence for any stance.Want to really stir the Brothers up? Ask them when the new ‘life’ acquires a soul! Their wine consumption and blood pressure rise in accord.

Posted by Didereaux | Report as abusive

Pelosi was responding to a question of when life begins. The responses from Church officials in article are concerning abortion, which the Church is against. That was not the question. They should address the same question as Pelosi, when does life begin. I assume they believe it is at conception, but in the article they avoid saying that.

Posted by Johh S | Report as abusive

Mary McCurry — Not exactly. The teachings of the Church come and go almost as quickly as politicians and their parties. The bishops are actually morally obliged to protect the truth, not the Church’s current understanding of it. Did you know the Church once taught that the entire fetus was present in the sperm and that the woman was merely a temporary receptacle? As science advances, the Church is wise enough to change. Well, at least until recently.The reality is that making abortion illegal is extremely unlikely, regardless of how a Catholic casts his or her vote. The better path is to select a candidate and a party that chooses the welfare of people over that of greedy corporations. That vote will save far more lives than the vote for the candidate with the prettier campaign rhetoric.

Posted by Timothy Rowan | Report as abusive

Michael — You managed to criticize me by name without reading what I wrote. I have waded through your essay and have only two quick questions:1) After behaving in a moral manner and voting for George W. Bush twice, how many unborn lives did you save? You see, had you read my contribution, you would know that my point was not whether Republican candidates affix the proper labels to themselves, it was whether they actually protect the unborn (and the born, for that matter) once they get into office. Bush’s pro-life record is an utter failure. There would be more babies and more adults alive today had Kerry been elected or had Gore’s election been recognized.2) To paraphrase your own question: if a person disagrees with commonly accepted tenets of English spelling and grammar, can he claim to be an English speaker?

Posted by Timothy Rowan | Report as abusive

Speaker Pelosi had only to crack open her copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church – a must-have for any “ardent, practicing Catholic” – to find how sorely wrong she is. St. Augustine was born in about 350 A.D. (or C.E., for you politically correct types), so his medical information was obsolete a millennium ago, whereas paragraphs 2270-2274 of the constantly updated CCC all explicitly denounce abortion and its practitioners and supporters.I’m afraid that I don’t understand Lori’s comments regarding the Church’s involvement in politics. When did it become unconstitutional for a religious organization to excommunicate its members or deny them its sacraments? Shouldn’t its leaders retain their rights to freedom of speech? Or can the Church just have its First Amendment cake in the form of one of these rights (freedom of religion and freedom of speech), but not eat it too, simply on the basis of having an opinion about politics? After all, the Church doesn’t determine United States policy, and its members are free to ignore its teachings (or delude themselves into a false understanding of its teachings, as Speaker Pelosi did) – there just might literally be Hell to pay.

Posted by M. Dixon | Report as abusive

Abortions down under Bush. Just one source follows. Why are Democrats always trying to deceive us? Can’t they win with truth. I guess not. http://www.factcheck.org/society/the_bio graphy_of_a_bad_statistic.html

Posted by carlleigh | Report as abusive

Sue Baker — Blanket statements like yours are seldom 100% accurate. If you are correct that you cannot vote pro-choice and call yourself Catholic, then there are no more Catholic Americans. You see, there are not now, nor have there ever been, pro-life office holders. There are only pro-life candidates. Once in office, these politicians hold life in far less esteem than they appeared to while campaigning. I am pro-life and I recognize the fact that there is no one for me to vote for. I agree with you the the Catholic Church is correct that life is sacred and that it begins at conception.So, what do you recommend? A vote for the “pro-life” candidate who has promised to move even more money from the poor to the rich (and thereby increase the abortion rate) and to bomb Iran? Or a vote for the pro-choice candidate who has promised to make abortion less necessary. In the end, who respects life more? In the end, can it be truly moral to maintain a firm black/white position regardless of all the evidence?

Posted by Timothy Rowan | Report as abusive

we are talking about a womans right to choose vs. a humans right to live…how do people miss this?women everywhere who get abortions are essencially undertakers in their own right.just because they CHOSE to take the easy way out.and I DONT CARE if you were raped.I DONT CARE if it was an accident.I DONT CARE if your having a rough time financially.I DONT CARE bla bla bla.NO ABORTIONS!its as easy as that!pro choice is nothing more than giving woman the option of taking the easy way out.

Posted by sara | Report as abusive

I’m with you Pelosi. These guys used to condemn people to hell for not believing that that the sun revolved around the earth. It took them over 300 years to finally acknowledge that they got it wrong. They really aren’t as well connected (neither is the Religious Right) as they like to have us believe. They are into power and control of the masses. Do your own thinking.

Posted by Marc from San Diego | Report as abusive

This whole flap is just the press trying to manufacture controversy. Everyone knows where Pelosi stands on abortion and where the Catholic Church stands on abortion… this is not a surprise. The truth is that the Church’s teaching has stayed the same, basically, but how this teaching has been applied has changed with modern technology.

Posted by Bosley | Report as abusive

Well the Catholics are getting more kids (Mexicans) to molest in their personal pews. Holy incest! Getting that organized religious nut off instead of at least practicing what your given to preach.

Posted by Campbell | Report as abusive

“After watching their performance as civil servants, it is clear that they are only interested in serving themselves, taking care of their own. If you are Catholic, you cannot be a Democrat. If you are a democrat, I question whether you are American.”michael, i loved your post. i could not have said it better myself.if you can see the fetus growing in you through modern technology…isnt that enough proof that it is a living human being? what more do we need to know.so pro choice is really…hey theres a baby in there lets kill it.ORhey theres a baby in there…what am i going to tell my parents? haha.we should all take a lesson from JUNO and start a major ADOPTION revolution!

Posted by Billy | Report as abusive

Our Church always taught against abortion. According to the “Declaration on Procured Abortion”, Pope Paul VI said, that this teaching “has not changed and is unchangeable.” The document further maintains, “In the course of history, the Fathers of the Church, her Pastors and her Doctors have taught the same doctrine…about the illicitness of abortion.”

Posted by Mark da Silva | Report as abusive

In this country, policy should be debated as a secular matter, not as a religious matter. A secular debate includes the entire time from conception to the moment of birth, whereas the religious debate in particular from the Catholic perspective is a non-debate. The answer to this has already been figured out, as are many of the claims made by all religions but are not proven and are not compelling to thinking people.The constitution assures us there is to be no religious test for holding office, and the entire basis for life begins at conception and induced abortion from that very moment onward, is equally as reprehensible, immoral, and unethical as dismembering an 8.5 months old in the woman through a partial birth abortion. Both are mortal sins. The Catholic vernacular is simply not equipped for rational discussion on the matter, for a partial birth abortion is in my view (atheist, anti-theist) reprehensible and equivalent to the pre-medidated murder of 1 day old, 5 day old, 5 year old, child.The legitimate debate is at what point does this occur? And are there gradated sanctions that can be imployed in the course of fetal development. I have few problems with abortion in the 1st trimester. I have serious problems with it in the 3rd trimester. And in the 2nd trimester there is a real debate and there may not be a fair answer. Perhaps one day technology will give us the ability to detect a moment of sentience and it’s likely that point I would dry the line in the sand.

Posted by nomoreclintonorbush | Report as abusive

The bishops made clear the teaching of the Church. Unlike other faith communities the Catholic Church reduce their beliefs to writing. For those who claim to be Catholic and do not respect abortion as the foundational life issue check out your catechism. We are free to disagree on things like the death penalty and war, but “never” abortion–40,000,000 murdered babies is hard for any reasonable person to justify. This disagreement means those who do not agree with the Church are not “in communion” with the Church. This is the reason politicians who profess such views are warned not to present themselves for Holy Communion. It is called scandal–that means they are leading others into sin and possibly jeopardizing their salvation. Personally, I do not understand why these people stay in the Church. Is someone forcing them to stay in Christ’s Church?Regarding the separation of Church and State argument–I recommend a course in government 101.

Posted by rita | Report as abusive

Dusty — So, apparently, you are not familiar with the concept of the Presidential veto.

Posted by Timothy Rowan | Report as abusive

We know for sure that at birth there is life. We know for sure at some point there is life in the womb (heart beating, movement, ultrasound evidence, prenatal operations, etc.).It is evident to me that life must begin at conception. For those in favor of abortion who say they cannot know for sure when life begins, all the more reason for why they cannot support abortion as they are not sure whether that which is aborted is alive or not.

Posted by Francis | Report as abusive

I am so sick of hearing what the Catholic Church and the Evangelicals say about abortion-I mean lets face it,the fetus better stay unborn because once it is born they dont care about it.Our politicians are being forced to defend their position if they dare to admit that they are for a womans right to choose and so many of them will not tell these religious nutcases to shut up!When are we going to start caring about the really important issues-poverty,healthcare and this never ending war instead of dissecting the issue of when human life begins?Abortion should be private and legal-it is absolutely NOBODIES business what I do with my body.I am overjoyed that Joe Biden a ‘catholic’ who has always stood up for a womans right to choose has joined this ticket and it is because of that, that Obama will be getting my vote.By the way,I am Catholic and I dont care about whether a bishop will allow me to take communion-its laugable that anyone even listens to what they say after the behavior of the last few years.Nancy Pelosi has said the first sensible thing Ive ever heard her say!

Posted by Catherine | Report as abusive

I am tired of the PRO DEATH so called catholics as do not practice the faith. There is a choice when it comes to having a child. Do not have sex out of marriage if you can not accept the fact you may have a child! I would like to see more responsible people in this world.Just be glad you mother did not have an abortion.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

It’s not a big suprise that the head pimp for the fictional invisible supernatural space wizard myth is anti-choice. Since all of those mentally defective believers in the myth want to get involved in politics, then they should start paying taxes. A fetus is just that, a fetus. A baby doesn’t become a baby until it has left the womb. If you get pregnant, you have the choice to keep the baby. Beyond that it’s none of my or anyone else’s business. Your narrow minded dogmatic views mean nothing. If you want to live in a theocracy, I suggest you move to Iran or Israel, oh, but wait, abortion is legal in Israel isn’t it…..

Posted by BillG | Report as abusive

Abortion is not an easy decision for a woman. It’s very lonely and very frightening. Sadly, some of the children born into this world are dead on arrival because of the circumstances of their birth and their parents. Unfortunately, the church is not there to protect them. I guess hope for them is not an option.The failure of church leaders to recognize that not every woman is mentally capable of rearing children is a tragedy. In the ideal world, every parent wants their child, but reality certainly says otherwise. I wish the Catholic Church was as aggressive in dealing with their pedophile issue as it seems to be in addressing the most personal issue of the majority of its members — women.Yes, Yes! Abortion is something that some women live to regret and that is where God’s, not the church’s, grace and forgiveness is sought.

Posted by Anne Arkey | Report as abusive

God created man and woman and he devised the way that the human species will continue in existence. The woman conceives and carries the baby in her womb until it is developed enough to exist outside her body and she feeds her milk naturally produced in her breasts.This is God’s design. The ‘choice’ they say they have a right to is a big lie from the father of lies (satan).You don’t have to be a scientist or theologian or a learned philosopher to know that life begins at conception and that life is the same species. Nancy Pelosi was a human being when she was conceived and not a piglet, wouldn’t you agree?Most of the animal kingdom (99.9999999999999999999%) would protect their young. Only man/woman has the ‘choice’ to kill them in the most sacred of places, the womb!!!!! what a travesty!!

quetzalcoatl – It would be alright with you then if your mother decided to abort you?

Posted by Romeo K. Escuyos Jr. | Report as abusive

Bottom Line if you are for abortion at any stage of a fetus that is absolutely healthy and the woman’s life is in absolutely no danger (as in normal preganancy) you advocate abortion rights you are not Roman Catholic and should not receive communion. Become a muslim or whatever your REAL faith is. And a woman always has control over her body that would be avoiding sex. And for all the rape and incest appologists, the percentage of abortions that are because of either of those two reasons are infintisimal and the infant is innocent of the father’s sins anyway. Bishops should excommunicate priests that willfully or knowingly give communion to politicians that advocate abortion rights period.

Posted by GIJOE | Report as abusive

In response to John Billings that “life may begin at conception it cannot exist outside the womb for quite some time.” John, the same can be said for small children. Could a 2-year-old survive without it’s parents? No, it could not John. That’s a pretty weak explanation that you make in your definition of what life is. Also, you speak to a woman’s right to choose…what about the child’s right to choose life. This is not about religion, this has everything to do with something that is morally wrong. According to you, John, we are only life if we can survive on our own. How Darwinist of you!

Posted by JASON GIGLIOTTI | Report as abusive

If I was a nazi, promoted nazi politians and judges, yet claimed as for myself, that I was personally against exterminating jews, I’d be laughed at,and rightfully so by these same democratic politians, pelosi, kerry, biden, casey, etc. that want to be catholic for the votes in this world, but not be catholic enough to drive away the voters that are indifferent to evil or just don’t mind dancing with the devil.

Posted by ambrose korn | Report as abusive

[...] made her remarks, and early Wednesday evening. This contrasts with major media outlets such as AP, Reuters, The Washington Post, and Fox News picking up on the controversy, not to mention the conservative [...]

To BillG the point is the Catholic faith does not agree with abortion period, the matter is about claiming to be catholic and recieving communion so you can garner some votes FROM CATHOLICS OR CHRISTIANS of which you are neither and those politicians are not either. Nothing more………..I did not read where they said Nancy P cannot run for office she has every right to do that. She just does not have every right to recieve catholic communion period…..called freedom of religion not available in Iran where frankly your point of views on religion are the majority…….

Posted by GIJOE | Report as abusive

It would appear that as a Catholic one does not have freedom of conscience – either one accepts the church’s (current) position on a particular issue or you are, by definition, no longer a Catholic.

Well, ABORTION, people here are talking about whether to abort or not a to be coming life, life that GOD created and we are discussing to demolish it.Hmmmmm, pretty interesting, but why not first go through the circumstances that take us to the inevitable option of ABORTION.As everybody knows that family values are vanishing in USA culture gradually (Americans plz don’t mind, but what is true is true). Why not give your kids the education of having SEX after marriage because before it is a SIN. Why not asking your kids if they really want to have SEX get married and have as much as you can. If they (specially girls) really want to bring a LIFE in this world just think hundred times before enjoying the fantasy of SEX, that could result in ABORTION.Yes we have no right to bring a LIFE to an end that GOD created. Please, instead of fighting on to get ABORTION legalise first improve your family values, trends, customs, where having a boyfried for a girl is a must to do thing. Obviously if you put together fuel and fire this will be the result.

Posted by Bobby | Report as abusive

If you don’t agree with abortion, then you shouldn’t have one. The goverment should not be able to say that women cannot get one. It should be a free choice to make.Yes there are other options. Yes some women have emotional issues afterwards. Women who give their children up for adoption have emotional issues afterwards also. Its harder when you carried the child for almost a year to get rid of it.A friend of mine killed herself after giving her child up for adoption. So yes, the baby’s life was saved but her’s wasn’t. Is that fair? No.A woman should get to choose what to do with her body. And if it is a couple, then they should get to choose together. Religion should not be involved unless the people are religious. Agnostic and atheist people should not be forced into a law created by Catholic ideas.

Posted by pro-choice!! | Report as abusive

The question everyone should ask within his/her innermost is: If I am in the womb of a woman, having been conceived two days ago or two weeks ago or two months, and this woman want to abort, would I offer myself to be eliminated forever happily?Going one step forward you may ask yourself: If I am in the womb of a raped woman, having been conceived two days ago or two weeks ago or two months, and this woman want to abort? Would I offer myself to be getting rid of forever happily?

Posted by Aureo | Report as abusive

Is there any catholic democratic politians out their who will speak out against the grave evil of abortion? And explain how they can justify being both catholic and a member of a party that endorses abortion on demand? The only conclusion I can draw from Biden is that he will toss his core beliefs abourt abortion for a few moments in the spotlight.

Posted by ambrose korn | Report as abusive

I am sickened by that picture of Nancy Pelosi kissing the pope’s ring. That man does not deserve respect. He merely perpetuates an outdated concept that we as human beings have used as a means of survival in the past, but now only serves to destroy us. If there was such a thing as hell, which there is not, there would be a special place reserved for the religious leaders of the world.As for the abortion debate, well, there’s no reasoning with some people, but I’ll try anyway. Consider this scenario: a doctor tells you that, in order to save the life of another person, he has to be surgically attached to you for 9 months, after which he will be able to survive on his own. Granted, it may not be moral to deny this request, but should it be illegal to deny it? The answer is no. Period. End of discussion.- Posted by polyrhythmsFunny how the condescension in your tone reveals just how brilliant you think you are. Unfortunately, you and everyone else using this argument are too brainless to observe that if you were the reason the person’s life was in danger in the first place, then yes, it makes a lot of sense to force you to rehabilitate them back to health. It is a rare case that it is not a decision made by a pregnant woman that makes her so.Because most people attempting murder become financial charges of society, however, we wouldn’t legalize forcing the public to pay for a stabbing victim to be attached to a criminal, we just put them in jail.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

Michael — You managed to criticize me by name without reading what I wrote. I have waded through your essay and have only two quick questions:1) After behaving in a moral manner and voting for George W. Bush twice, how many unborn lives did you save? You see, had you read my contribution, you would know that my point was not whether Republican candidates affix the proper labels to themselves, it was whether they actually protect the unborn (and the born, for that matter) once they get into office. Bush’s pro-life record is an utter failure. There would be more babies and more adults alive today had Kerry been elected or had Gore’s election been recognized.2) To paraphrase your own question: if a person disagrees with commonly accepted tenets of English spelling and grammar, can he claim to be an English speaker?- Posted by Timothy RowanSpare me. There is an equal amount of destruction of the English language coming from both the right and the left on these blogs.Al Gore’s election? HAHAHAHA. Congratulations on having been brainwashed by the extreme left. Tell me, did Al Gore respect the human lives serving in the military, 30,000 of whose votes his attorney David Boies successfully sued to block (all Florida residents, coincidentally)?

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

Yes, a fertilized egg is life. It is a collection of cells. It is not a person, if everything goes well it will become a person, but there are no guarantees it will become a person. There is no compelling logic to give it that status.A wart removed with a scalpel is a collection of cells, alive but as non-viable as an embryo. Yet only religious people place the grandiose and absolutely baseless statement that this particular clump of cells is a person. Well it is not a person.I do not believe in Thor, or Zeus, or Kali, or Yahweh, or Allah, or Pink Unicorns, or Leprechauns. You self-identified Catholics would not be Catholics if you were born in this country 300 years ago. You would not be Catholics if you were born today on the other side of the planet. You are Catholic because of when and where you were born, and almost certainly because your parents were Catholic and endowed you with the exact same delusion you have now.You are welcome to believe what you want, you’re welcome to compel your hapless fellow Catholics into capitulating with your backwards rules and view of the world. The rest of us are, hilariously, going to use our god given intelligence to continue to slowly but surely figure out how the universe actually does work, and it concerns us not one bit that we will not figure it out completely in our lifetime.But I for one am sick of Leprechauns being involved in the public discourse. Those who do not want to think, can believe in these fairy tales claiming to have figured out the facts of the world, and leave decision making up to those who are willing to think about it carefully.And I certainly will not accept lectures by members of a church that has allowed hideous abuses of children to persist, cover it up, and then even once exposed not a single act of responsibility was taken to punish those who perpetrated these acts. Where was the body of Catholics on the Iraq war, which the Vatican so clearly stated was not a just war (as if there can even be such a thing, unless you already think war must happen, can happen, should happen). Not a just war and yet Catholics were missing in action while they continue to bitch and moan about so many “babies” that nobody wants. The moral standing of the Catholic church is so piss poor I find it laughable there’s even an attempt to demand morality from others. Get your own house in order Catholics. You don’t live by your own ethical code let alone a universally accepted one.

Posted by nomoreclintonorbush | Report as abusive

One wonders how well Democrats listen in church! Obama was in his church how many years without comprehending Rev. Wright’s extremest views on race and religion and America? Pelosi has been a Catholic how long, yet does not seem familiar with Catholic encyclicals and teachings that explicitly talk about abortion with the same language as the Holocaust? Anyone with a high school biology class behind them–far below Obama’s and Peolosi’s pay scale–can explain when life begins.

Posted by D. Mortimer | Report as abusive

Anne Arkey — How refreshing to hear a calm voice of compassion in the midst of this shouting match. At the core of this issue is always a troubled woman who must make an extremely difficult decision, often alone. Too bad there is not some kind of faith community she can turn to in her time of need that might offer her comfort, forgiveness and support.Carlleigh — I read the article you linked. You are correct. I should not have said abortions have increased since 2001, I should have said the rate was on a steep decline through the prosperous Clinton 90′s and is now on a statistically insignificant, .8% per year decline instead. Bush has had an effect on the abortion rate, he slowed down its decline.Which brings me to my basic question, which no one here will address. In 2004, my bishop told me that voting for Bush would eliminate, or at least reduce, abortions because he was a “pro-life” President. My bishop was wrong. Bush is not “pro-life.” He may personally be opposed to this one method of killing human beings but at the same time he is in favor of war for profit, torture for no good reason, enriching the rich and ignoring the hungry.So what does a pro-life Catholic do when there is no one to vote for?The only answer is to admit that this one issue cannot be the one on which to base a voting decision. Catholics are morally free to consider other issues because, based on the Bush record, voting Republican does not stop the killing anyway; regarding those who do survive the womb, voting for Bush made the killing worse. Instead of telling me when life begins, tell me what difference my Presidential vote actually makes.Lastly, people of faith have always known that choosing to live in the United States means choosing to live within some restrictions. I can choose not to have an abortion but I cannot force that decision on you. There are places I can live where I do get the right to impose my moral choices on other people, but our forefathers carefully made sure this country would never be like that. If I personally committed the sin of abortion, I would not present myself for communion. If I merely choose to fight abortion differently than outlawing it, I will consider myself a Catholic in good standing.So, let the bishops do their best to take the Church back to the 50′s; let them bring back Latin and incense and blind obedience. I won’t have an abortion. I will present myself for communion. And I will base my vote on ALL the pro-life issues, not just one.

Posted by Timothy Rowan | Report as abusive

T Rowan, You’ve put forward a novel and I think a silly position. You’re basically saying, because a politician can’t get legislation through that the voter wants, that ALL politicians are equal.You continue your argument by saying the views of the church has changed so ANY position is equal.Do YOU believe in anything but nihilism?Why bother voting?People should vote for people who share their values. I suspect that you are a democrat/socialist and that you certainly are not a Catholic. Your nihilism sounds like the tired moral relativism preached by the house of Nancy and Obama.

Posted by durkadurka | Report as abusive

Timothy–I’m not talking to you about theology or theological idealism. This isn’t even a theological issue. This is a civil rights issue. I’m talking about civil rights and denying the basic civil right of a right to life to the unborn will not help to aleviate the hunger and unemployment you are concerned about. Any party or person that will not fight to protect its most vulnerable members–be they unborn or those elderly or sick who are assisted in taking their own lives–cannot be trusted to watch out for the unemployed, the homeless or the hungry–any more than any other party. This economy didn’t go into the tank until the democratic party gained control of both houses of congress and their lack of willingness to drill for oil will only help keep oil prices higher–and thats not good for anyone. We need to drill and we need to conserve (why haven’t the democrats passed legislation to make the national speed limit 55?) and we need to invest in solar and other alternative forms of energy. Indeed this should have been done starting in the late 1970′s–yet both parties have shown a woefull lack of leadership on this issue. Democrats voted to attack Iraq and have been unwilling to vote to end it.I would agree that all elected officials–pro-abortion or pro-life should work to reduce the killing of all, but electing democrats or republicans is not going to change how many people die, are tortured, suffer hunger, unemployment and homelessness etc.. Both parties are guilty. Do you remember umemployment, hunger and inflation under Jimmy Carter? Do you remember Vietnam? Theres a nice little war for you–started by a Democratic administration and ended by a republican administration. Both parties are beholden to big business–that should be obvious. The democratic party is also beholden to teachers unions–which make it well nigh impossible to get rid of teachers who are just marking time and failing to educate are children. So there is enough blame for what ails America to go around. Both parties are beholden to special intersts.We can disagree on what is the best way to end poverty and hunger and homelessness. We can disagree on what is the best way to provide healthcare to each and every American. We can have honest debate (or at least we should be able to) on these issues–but in abortion the victim is always 100% innocent–having done nothing to justify the taking of its life. Its life is taken for the convenience of another–simply because the mother doesn’t want the consequences of her choices (rape and incest aside). Allowing abortion has been one step down the path to devaluing human life. One step down the path to saying this human life isn’t as valuable as this other human life so we can take that life. In Oregon we now allow doctors to assist people in ending their life if they feel it isnt worth living. The next step will be to allow doctors to make that decision and ….none of us should have the right to devalue and take any human life–nothing is more fundamental than that–any party or person that does not value life cannot be…well the democratic party is on the record as valuing a womans right to chose to kill her unborn baby over the rights of the unborm baby–they are on record as ranking the value of a human life (the mother) as superior to the unborn babies life–they are on the record for giving a woman the power of life or death over an unborm human. That is not something that should be accepted–by any of us–it is a dangerous precident–but many think it serves their interest–without a view to the long-term consequences of that first step. One would think that womean–who were for so long second class citizens–not allowed to vote and often not allowed to own property etc.–would be staunch fighters to protect the rights of others.

durkadurka — You are free to make assumptions about me and my personal beliefs, just as you are free to distort my words with inaccurate paraphrasing. Neither has the ability to change what I actually said. In an argument, it is more polite to quote someone word for word than to distort their meaning in a paraphrase to better fit your refutation.I have simply asked a question. How does a pro-life Catholic figure out how to vote, if the Church says the vote has to be based on abortion and nothing else? In 2004, I was instructed to vote for Bush or to stop coming to communion (yes, I live in THAT diocese). Bush, however, failed his pro-life constituency because he was too busy diverting taxpayer dollars to Halliburton and other corporate campaign contributors. He engaged in far more killing than his predecessors and ignored the abortion issue for 8 years. I warned my bishop in 2004 he was being theologically correct but politically naive and today he has to realize I was right.This is not nihilism, this is a moral dilemma. Candidates lie. How does a voter apply his conscience in the face of such a reality? My choice, my only choice, is to guess what a bishop might say if he knew as much about politics as he does about theology. My guess is that he would say, “Abortion is wrong but your vote isn’t going to affect the abortion rate either way so base your vote on other moral issues as well.” I don’t see how you can call that silly. Silly is voting for the same kind of candidate over and over, being consistently disappointed, and continuing to believe the next one might be different.

Posted by Timothy Rowan | Report as abusive

durkadurka — I missed an important part of your point. “People should vote for people who share their values.” I agree. My values are traditional Catholic values: people are more important than corporations; the Just War theory forbids initiating a war; greed is sinful; weapons of mass destruction and poverty are threats to human life; all humans are brothers and sisters under one Father; I am responsible for poor, hungry and imprisoned strangers as though they were Jesus himself; and, of course, the value we hold in common with our Jewish religious ancestors, that God is displeased by worship services and prefers that we go out and do justice instead.Now, name for me a Republican candidate for any office in the land who shares those Catholic values.

Posted by Timothy Rowan | Report as abusive

Matt — we probably should not stray too far off the topic here but I happen to be with the majority of Americans when I acknowledge that the 2000 election was awarded by the Supreme Court to the candidate who actually lost. Jeb Bush violated the Florida Supreme Court’s order when he refused to obtain a more accurate list of felons and to allow felons from other states to vote. He should have been impeached for that crime. That is not brainwashing, that is a matter of Florida court record; look it up. They gave him until September, 2000 and he did not comply with the law until February, 2001. The result was that he and Katherine Harris stopped over 90,000 Floridians from voting, for no reason other than that they had names similar to names on his inaccurate felon list. Most of them were voters living in traditionally Democratic, minority precincts. Then, of course, don’t ignore Justice O’Connor’s public statement that a Gore victory would screw up her retirement plans. I do not need to be brainwashed by the left to know when my Constitution is being ripped out from under me.

Posted by Timothy Rowan | Report as abusive

When the Catholic church stops taking the contributions of it’s pro-choice adherents, then perhaps they will have the moral ground to stand on to refuse communion to them.

Posted by Christopher | Report as abusive

This is a very simple subject…People make this issue very complicated. It is wrong to kill any human no matter what stage of life their in…. simple. There is no freedom of choice to kill. Free will can only be an option when it doesn’t impede on someone else’s free will. Free will to do bad-evil does not make sense…for their will be consequences and you will not be free (jail/inner turmoil/hell for us Christians, and other religions who believe in hell. The words free will can be interpreted a million different ways. But natural law and human instinct would dictate that we are a kind and loving people. Abortions are made for all the wrong reasons..because there is no good reason. It is not natural for a woman to kill her child…there has to be something wrong WRONG! One night stand/college education comes first/can’t afford it/don’t’ want my parents to know/the dad and me broke up and etc…..Even in rape..it is not the child who did the attack. Rape cases happen in small 3rd world countries all the time and the mothers have the baby, some raise the child some give up for adoption. The last scenario is very sad hopefully the mother will show the ultimate in sacrifice. It is all about the dignity of life as we know it, and human nature will always be the same, but are culture is what will kill us.

Posted by alec | Report as abusive

Mark — Just when I thought someone was about to address my questions, you came close but then changed course. I still have no answer to my only question, how a pro-life Catholic should vote.You said, “Any party or person that will not fight to protect its most vulnerable members–be they unborn or those elderly or sick who are assisted in taking their own lives–cannot be trusted to watch out for the unemployed, the homeless or the hungry–any more than any other party.”Of course, your logic does not follow. Lots of pro-choice people work hard in soup kitchens and employment services and lots of pro-choice politicians write laws that create jobs and reduce corporate welfare. But that’s not the point. The point is that your description — “any party that will not fight…” — could apply to either party. I don’t know whom you mean. Democrats and Republicans alike have proven they will not fight for the unborn, at least not after the election. Republican candidates say they are against abortion but Republican office holders pay little or no attention to the issue. It is only important to them during the campaign, and they’ll keep it up as long as it works, as long as naive bishops keep telling us to vote for them. So, to whom are you referring when you say, “Any party or person that will not fight to protect its most vulnerable members…?” The Democrats or the Republicans? Because the description applies to both.The rest of your response is just Fox News’ alternate version of history and you should know better. Eisenhower sent the first U.S. troops to Vietnam. Kennedy intended to pull them out during his second term, and that may be why he was eliminated. Carter’s problems were caused by OPEC and the Iranian religious revolution. Dick Cheney began to plan the invasion of Iraq prior to 1999, while he was still CEO of Halliburton. The economy began to fail during the final days of the Clinton Administration, when Newt Gingrich controlled Congress. Bush/Cheney economic policies have exacerbated the economy’s problems but you cannot say they started just with the last 19 months. Don’t rely on Murdoch and Limbaugh for your facts, it just makes you look bad.The rest of what you have to say is the theological treatise you promised at the beginning not to engage in. Remember what I have said over and over? I agree with you about abortion. You don’t need to tell me for the 50th time that the fetus has a right to live. That is not the point. This is the point: no one in this discussion has pointed to any evidence that my voting Republican has ever kept one unborn baby alive. But while Republicans are talking (and only talking) the same way we talk about the sanctity of unborn life, they screw up everything else.

“Guard against those men who make a great noise about religion, when choosing your representatives”John Leland (1754-1841) was a Baptist preacher whose life involved writing about and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and about the proper relationship between religion and government. In the latter passion, Leland agreed with the position of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, both of whom he knew personally. Leland spent approximately 14 years in Virginia from 1776 to 1790-91. He was a major leader of the Baptists in Virginia. He helped Madison by rounding up support for the defeat of the assessment bill in Virginia in 1784-86, and by supporting the ratification of the new constitution (only after being assured that Madison did favor the addition of a bill of rights), He worked to get Madison elected (over Patrick Henry’s hand-picked James Monroe) to the House of Representatives of the First Federal Congress. He returned to his home state of Massachusetts in the winter of 1790-91, where he remained an active minister and champion of separation of church and state and disestablishment till his death in 1841. He wrote articles against establishment while in Massachusetts and testified before the Massachusetts legislature on at least one occasion.Research by Jim Allisonhttp://members.tripod.com/~candst  /leland5.htmExcerpt from July 4th Oration by John Leland, July 5, 1802.[emphasis added]. . . Disdain mean suspicion, but cherish manly jealousy; be always jealous of your liberty, your rights. Nip the first bud of intrusion on your constitution. Be not devoted to men; let measures be your object, and estimate men according to the measures they pursue. Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny–the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. It converts religion into a principle of state policy, and the gospel into merchandise. Heaven forbids the bans of marriage between church and state; their embraces therefore, must be unlawful. Guard against those men who make a great noise about religion, in choosing representatives. It is electioneering. If they knew the nature and worth of religion, they would not debauch it to such shameful purposes. If pure religion is the criterion to denominate candidates, those who make a noise about it must be rejected; for their wrangle about it, proves that they are void of it. Let honesty, talents and quick despatch, characterise the men of your choice. Such men will have a sympathy with their constituents, and will be willing to come to the light, that their deeds may be examined. . . .Source of Information:Excerpt from “July 4th Oration by John Leland, July 5, 1802″. The Writings of John Leland, Edited by L.F. Greene, Arno Press & The New York Times New York (1969) pp.260-270) Originally published as: The Writings Of The Late Elder John Leland Including Some Events In His Life, Written By Himself, With Additional Sketches &c. By Miss L.F. Greene, Lanesboro, Mass. Printed By G.W. Wood, 29 Gold Street, New York 1845.

Posted by Jim Allison | Report as abusive

Pelosi is merely heading off the fire storm which is Obama’s support for LIVE birth Abortion. She is just being a good far fringe freak Leftist. I didn’t think San Franciscan’s still allowed Worship of any one but themselves.

Posted by Josh Sanders | Report as abusive

There are some serious problems with the anti-choice crowd’s idea that personhood begins at conception.Why do they overlook science facts? Facts like two-thirds of fertilized eggs do not result in pregnancy. They fail to implant in the uterus and are flushed out naturally. And science tells us that that number may be as high as 80%.What kind god would bestow personhood and then take it away from from four-fifths of “people?”

Posted by Texano78704 | Report as abusive

If this is a civil rights issue, then it is a question of law. Find the legal source, in common law, constitution, declaration of universal human rights to demonstrate this “basic civil right.”If this is not a religious debate, then you must be able to prove the claim. Saying something does not make it true. Civil rights language is directed at persons and citizens. Those are babies, children and adults. Zygote, embryo and fetus are not persons or citizens. You are welcome to disagree in opinion but again if it is such a basic civil right, then you can demonstrate it easily.I propose you cannot do this because the right you assert is neither easy to describe, nor is it even recognized at this point.

Posted by nomoreclintonorbush | Report as abusive

I have a solution for Pelosi and all of you so-called Roman Catholics. Get the heck out of the Church and go find yourselves another so-called religion that will allow you “pick and choose”!Abortion is MURDER, and I, among many, question where in h… our government has the right to take our tax dollars to support abortion clinics! I wonder if that’s constitutional?If you people want to support abortion so badly then you(alone)should be made to pay for it as a deduction on your tax returns, I’ll bet you would soon back off very quickly about how much support we should give these so-called ” Legal Stock Yards”.We no doubt have a very sick society.I repeat, if you don’t want to obey God’s laws, get the heck out of the Church and leave the Real Catholics alone!!!Your day will come when you meey your God!

Posted by Mr.Nicola Iacovetti | Report as abusive

Pelosi was certainly correct to tell Tom Brokaw that the Church’s thinking on when life begins has changed over time. I’ve written about it here:http://weblog.xanga.com/tonysidaway  /672422873/nancy-pelosi-is-right-on-the -history-of-catholic-thinking-on-when-hu man-life-begins.html

Texano78704 correctly points out that fertilized eggs, or blastocysts, are often expelled from the uterus quite normally without implantation. The Church’s extreme position on when human life begins causes severe problems for the faithful and flies in the face of medical knowledge.

A miscarriage is not the same thing as an induced abortion any more than someone getting killed by accident is the same as someone being murdered; the fact that many fertilized eggs naturally fail to become implanted in the uterus or that miscarriages happen often does not make abortion moral any more than the fact that many people die from falling down stairs makes it right for people kill other people by throwing them down stairs.The natural end of the sexual act is procreation (not its only end, of course), though unfortunately human beings that are conceived do not always survive to term. If we argue that abortion is an act to which human beings have a right to resort to, we are in effect saying that just as the conception of a human being is the natural consequence of sex so therefore humans killing other human beings is somehow part of the natural order.I have heard it argued that as long as a being (for the sake of argument, let’s not call it “human”) is at a stage of development wherein it is not viable outside of its mother’s womb it still counts as part of her body (though I would rather not think of, for instance, a fully grown tapeworm as part of “my” body). Infants outside of the womb cannot survive long without care. Indeed many categories of born people are not viable without receiving care. Extra-uterine viability per se cannot confer the right to live.In arguing that the fetus is a human being with the same right to life as other human beings, the Church is not imposing a religious belief; it is actually following, among other things, the logic of modern genetics which makes no distinction between the chromosomal package of a being in its uterine and extra-uterine life stages; an infant has the same genes as the fetus from which it developed and its genes do not correspond exactly to those of its mother.It is those who insist on some essential difference between the born and the unborn that confers rights to former that it denies to the latter who are asserting a mere belief and not being objective. If we deny human rights to the fetus, are we not in effect saying that our definitions of the human being are merely the products of social consensus and that no rights and no one’s rights are in fact “inalienable”? Does that not sound like an “extreme position”?

Posted by Andrew Abalahin | Report as abusive

Just for the record, as Fr. Mitch Pacwa explained on his EWTN program “Threshold of Hope” (video clip and transcript available at ewtn.com), St. Augustine was only speculating that the “reasoning” soul enters the body at some point after conception, he was not arguing that it was not murder to kill a child before that speculated point (in any case, as is often pointed out, our secular laws against murder are not based on the assumption that human beings have souls and therefore, having such things, should not be murdered).In any case, isn’t the answer simple? Someone’s life begins as soon as they are alive. If a blatocyst weren’t alive, it’d never get to be an embryo, much less a cranky middle-aged guy or gal.But then again we are accustomed these days to assert ideas such as “Life begins at 65″ (presumably because working and living cannot possibly take place at the same time).

Posted by Andrew Abalahin | Report as abusive

[...] Pelosi’s comments on abortion upset the Catholic Church. [...]

God is one, no one can snatch him by changing the customs and beliefs. believe in your own culture and rest leave it to God. Sorry I cannot criticise catholics———————–RoseBlazeinfotech

T Rowan, I don’t think I misconstrued your position one bit. The more you post the more you prove yourself to be a typical liberal democrat.One you posit that it’s hipocritical for the Republicans to be in Iraq and be pro life. This is absurd. Being prolife is completely irrelevant to whether or not Iraq is a just war. And just for your edification, there isn’t a single major religion that does not approve of defending oneself. If you want to be a punching bag for the worlds bullies then by all means vote democratic.Two, you’ve mentioned several times ‘corporations’ as though somehow this is to mean something ‘bad’. If you want to live in a egalitarian world where ‘evil’ money doesn’t have a rationalizing affect on decision making then by all means vote for the socialists in the democratic party where we can all be equally poor. If you like having material well being then vote for those evil corporate Republicans.Three, you’re telling people who are ‘good catholics’ to vote for Democrats and that the political parties positions on abortion is irrelevant. It makes sense to you for pro life Catholics to vote for a candidate who explicitly has said he is pro-choice.If your choice is a party that has as its platform to be pro life and has a record of trying to get justices on the Supreme Court to get this accomplished or a party that explicitly says it wants abortion on demand then which is the better pro life option? One who tries to get your prolife policies in place or one who says they will try to go against your values? I really don’t see how you square this with your arguments.

Posted by durkadurka | Report as abusive

Andrew — I surely hope you are not getting your theological education from EWTN and trying to apply it to 21st-Century issues. Those good-hearted people are thoroughly entrenched in 1940 and admit little of what has happened since Nag Hammadi, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Second Vatican Council and the exposure of the Church’s financial and sexual scandals. Nevertheless, having said that, I ask you again why the only important question goes ignored here. Is it not immoral to vote Republican? It certainly turned out to be last time.Let’s be frank, as well as practical. Roe is NOT going to be overturned by either a Republican or Democratic administration. Even if it were to be overturned, abortions would not be stopped, the decision would simply go to the states. Therefore, it is a legitimate moral choice for a Catholic to base his or her vote on other issues. Voting for Bush did not save any lives, so should all who voted for him voluntarily refrain from Communion? Everyone here is wasting time talking about the unknowable, when life begins, but no one wants to admit what we know for sure, that the political counsel of our bishops four years ago was wrong. Let’s vote this time for something that works, not just something that sounds good in a stump speech.

Matt — we probably should not stray too far off the topic here but I happen to be with the majority of Americans when I acknowledge that the 2000 election was awarded by the Supreme Court to the candidate who actually lost. Jeb Bush violated the Florida Supreme Court’s order when he refused to obtain a more accurate list of felons and to allow felons from other states to vote. He should have been impeached for that crime. That is not brainwashing, that is a matter of Florida court record; look it up. They gave him until September, 2000 and he did not comply with the law until February, 2001. The result was that he and Katherine Harris stopped over 90,000 Floridians from voting, for no reason other than that they had names similar to names on his inaccurate felon list. Most of them were voters living in traditionally Democratic, minority precincts. Then, of course, don’t ignore Justice O’Connor’s public statement that a Gore victory would screw up her retirement plans. I do not need to be brainwashed by the left to know when my Constitution is being ripped out from under me.- Posted by Timothy RowanWhere the h3ll are you getting your information from, Daily Kos or Michael Moore’s website? You do, in fact, need to be brainwashed by the left and have just proven you are to claim the Supreme Court awarded the election to the person who lost. What the Supreme Court did was to reject Al Gore’s endless lawsuits to have a fifth recount done. Gore, not Bush, is the one who brought the election to the courts. When he failed there, members of the looney left, like yourself, ran with the story that Bush was handed the election by the Supreme Court.The facts are that democrat “witnesses” outnumbered Republicans 2 to 1 in the recounts and it is no secret that “pregnant chads” were conveniently littering the floors at the end of each one, inching Gore closer each time.You cannot hide the fact that Gore sued to block the votes of the people who provide us the freedom that allows us to vote for nutcases like him in the first place.Judging by the length of your responses on here, I’m guessing you had the summer off. Back to work for me so I can pay ridiculously high taxes to fund your unemployment checks or your leftist public high school.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

durkadurka — I am proud to be a liberal, standing strongly on the shoulders of the likes of brilliant minds like Franklin Roosevelt, John and Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Popes Leo XIII and John XXIII. I am also proud to be a pro-life Catholic. I am also educated enough to know the difference between “Pro-Life” and “Anti-Abortion.” Let me explain it to you. A Pro-Life Catholic rejects killing of humans in all its forms, abortion, war and capital punishment, as well as forced slavery, poverty and malnutrition. An anti-abortion Catholic rejects only one form of killing, the killing of the unborn. Killing bad people and people with different religions or skin tones, stealing from the poor to give to the rich, slavery, these are not moral issues to a mere anti-abortion Catholic. Study the writings of the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago sometime if you are still not clear on the difference.(Off the topic, but you brought it up: the war in Iraq is condemned by the Pope, an act of aggression in violation of the Catholic Just War Theory, it is completely unrelated to defending the U.S., and is an incredibly huge profit machine for Halliburton and dozens of other corporations with close ties to the Bush administration. Besides that, Cheney and company began to plan it in 1999 or perhaps even earlier. It is about killing for profit and completely immoral.)A pro-life Catholic has the moral choice to vote for pro-choice candidates because “pro-choice” does not equate with “pro-abortion.” Conflating the terms is a way of cheating in an argument. I happen to be anti-abortion AND pro-choice because I believe a woman in an impossible situation will always have a choice to make, regardless of the law. Our choice is whether she has safe choices to make. Should abortions be easy to get? Should I have to pay for someone else’s bad choice? Of course not.But it is the Democrats who acknowledge that reality. They work for fewer abortions and their efforts — boosting the economy, social programs, jobs training, expanded unemployment, etc. — actually work. The Republicans’ tactics to not work but instead increase the number of abortions. These people only claim to be anti-abortion, not pro-life, and they lie about that to get our votes. The problem is that so many Catholics and Evangelicals believe the lies and continue to vote for them as the abortion problem worsens. Roe will never be overturned by any future Supreme Court. Americans have never relinquished a right once it has been given to them. Well, except for prohibition, and we saw how successful that was. So the moral answer is to make abortion unnecessary, not to waste time and energy trying to outlaw it.So you go ahead and vote against Democrats because they have the courage to tell the truth about choice and abortion. Your vote won’t save any unborn children, but it will make you feel as though you are doing the moral thing, and that’s all that matters, right?

Matt — A person always knows he has won an argument when his opponent departs from the issues at hand and stoops to personal attacks and insults. I am fully employed, a nationally-known and respected healthcare consultant, and educated in Catholic schools from 1st grade through a post-graduate degree in religious education. Writing quickly, at length and with accurate spelling and grammar is not something about which I intend to apologize. I don’t spend as much time away from work writing here as you might think. Neither will you find me using words like “nutcases,” “looney” and “leftist.”I get most of my 2000 election information from Greg Palast, a Southern California native who has to write for the British press because the truth he uncovers is not of interest to America’s conservative-oriented media. His research is impeccable but I notice you failed to address my invitation to check his story of the Florida Supreme Court’s order to Governor Jeb Bush to stop blocking 90,000 legitimate voters with a sloppy, illegitimate felon list. The governor did, in fact, fail to comply with his own state’s court order until after the election was awarded to his brother. Odd and significant that you would respond to my note without mentioning that. Perhaps “pregnant chad” is more fun to write about than “court order.”Lastly, it is sad but almost funny that you are able to characterize Cheney and the neocons and their spokesperson in the White House as “those who provide us freedom.” From their fake interest in abortion to their ridiculous link between Iraq and 9/11, to their secret transfer of your tax dollars to Halliburton and other corrupt arms dealers, to their banning of photographs of returning coffins, to their secret surveillance of U.S. citizen phone conversations without judicial permission, every word out of neocon spokesperson Bush’s mouth since the beginning of his first campaign has been at least false, at worst illegal. By the time he leaves office in January, there will be little left of the U.S. Constitution. And the abortions will go on unimpeded.

Tim -You need not have understood what I meant by “those who provide us freedom” in that particular post to know Gore’s lawsuits to block military votes (30,000) in Florida, were what I was talking about in each previous post. As you appear to be someone who thinks highly of himself, I’m guessing you did get it and instead of addressing the facts saw a good opportunity to smash Bush and Cheney.Everything you’ve written is unoriginal, predictable liberal tripe: Bush and Cheney conspired to give your tax money to Halliburton, Halliburton is evil, all their bigwigs pocket the money, they don’t actually employ anyone or build infrastructure anywhere in the world, John Doe’s phone call about his kid’s baseball game is being monitored by guys in black suits in a van outside his house, everything Bush does from the time he gets dressed in the morning is criminal, he’s an idiot yet he tricked us all into believing Iraq was a threat. Blah, blah blah.Which president was it that first insisted on giving no bid contracts to Halliburton? Bill Clinton.Which president and vice president were the ones first quoted as saying things like, “We know Iraq has nuclear weapons and is conspiring with terrorists to use them on US soil?” Bill Clinton and Al Gore. These same sentiments were repeated by many, many liberals until it became popular to claim Bush lied about these things.Using insulting names to describe the conspiracy theorists, like yourself, who make wild claims about the malicious intent behind every republican action and even more ridiculously allege that the American media is anything but in the tank for every leftist issue and politician, is not something for which I intend to apologize.Frankly, you can talk all day long about how many degrees you’ve earned or how well your peers respect you. Your views are still dangerously naive.Healthcare consultant? You must be very concerned about the fact that socialized medicine will put us in a situation much like Canada, with 825,000 people on a waiting list for surgery and an average 6 month wait. Maybe you fear we’ll become like England with 1.2 million people on the waiting list for surgery. Ask your expatriate friend about NICE – the agency in England whose sole purpose is to discourage use of prescriptions and surgeries. Maybe he can help you research the fact that life expectancy of American cancer patients with the 13 most common types of cancer averages five years longer than any country with socialized medicine.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

Matt — actually, I did think you were speaking of politicians, rather than soldiers, as “those who provide us freedom.” Thanks for the correction. I do not see the relationship between Iraq and our freedom so it didn’t occur to me. I think our military is doing a great job at a job they did not have to do.The information about Clinton wanting the company with Dick Cheney as its CEO to receive no-bid contracts has to be something only available on Fox News, and I only watch real news programs.My tripe is predictable because the truth of it has finally come to light and become common knowledge. It is not surprising that Americans would frequently repeat the reasons their Constitution is being trampled.It is not accurate or fair to infer that I think too highly of myself. I was merely trying to use some detail to demonstrate how wrong one can be when they assume a person’s training based on their left or right political leanings. To imply educated people are smart enough to move to the right and all leftists are uninformed is kind of simplistic, isn’t it? You said public schools — the institutions that made this country’s middle class possible — are terrible and assumed that I had attended them. I thought it pertinent to mention that you were speaking with a person who was educated, probably about the same way you were. Having learned I am educated, you chose to switch your criticism of me to “naive” instead. That’s ok. You can believe that a thorough pro-life stance is naive. There are a lot of us though. When I was educated in Catholic schools, they told me killing was a mortal sin. I continue to believe that. Apparently, the current President does not, so I cannot support him or his successor.Let’s assume you are correct with all of this, though, and bring it back to my point about practicality over ideology. How many abortions did your 2000 and 2004 votes actually prevent? How many innocent Iraqis did you help kill with those votes? Moral choices in the American ballot box are not black and white. However, some ultra-conservative U.S. bishops make it sound as though they are, and those are the ones who are naive.

Clinton insisting on no-bid contracts for Halliburton is a matter of public record. Even he has never denied it.There are recorded statements of him and most other top dems in the late 1990s talking about the need to confront Iraq militarily. Unfortunately, when you have tyrants like Hussein executing people just for speaking out against him, sometimes military action is the only way to get across to these people. You and your allies on the left rant about Bush’s “failed diplomacy.” Failed diplomacy is what the U.N. did for 13 years when they didn’t enforce any of the 17 resolutions calling for Hussein to disarm that they had issued. Sadly, war causes death, often for many innocents. Not to say that there is a trade-off of innocent human life that is worth war, but if the human cost of providing that nation with long-term freedom is no greater than those he was killing for pleasure, then it is worth it.As for the “sovereign nation” argument so many of you make, stop it. People of a nation are sovereign. A murdering dictator whose subjects live in fear does not constitute a sovereign nation.You’re right, the constitution is being trampled by people like the ACLU, who want to convey its rights to non-uniformed foreign terrorists, and almost the entire democrat party, who believe that only amendments one and three through ten actually exist, and Barack Obama, who believes not all men are created equal and that life is not a God-given right, proven by his claim that a survivor of a botched abortion should be killed because the mother shouldn’t be inconvenienced with having to decide again.Yet, somewhere in the constitution, your party has found in invisible ink a guarantee to public education, a guarantee to universal healthcare, a guarantee that all people will be entitled to all things, regardless of ability or effort, at the cost of those who strive to make themselves better. Obama has promised to increase my taxes. My family would be considered wealthy by him, yet because of suffocating taxes in lib-controlled NJ, are barely able to continue to afford living in our two bedroom house in a mostly blue-collar town.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

[...] Faithworl (Catholic Bishops Correct Pelosi on Abortion): In a statement late on Tuesday, Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs said: [...]

Matt — So, now I understand. Having revealed yourself as a right-wing extremist, painting all Democrats as socialists and assuming you know all my positions because you have found the correct label for me, having revealed that you cannot get by on more than $250k per year, you have helped me understand who I am speaking with.People describe an argument as “tired” when they know it is not legitimate to call it “false.” My “tired” list of sins of the Bush Administration is familiar to all because it is true. We made a mistake electing him. We just didn’t know it until it was too late. George Bush is generally regarded as a simpleton with a famous name whom the real leaders — Cheney, Wolfowitz, and the other neocons — selected as their front man in 1999 because he was electable. He says what they tell him to say and he does what they tell him to do and he does not have an opinion of his own. Hence, his historically low approval rating.If you believe what you have been saying here, as a Christian, that the death of an Iraqi newborn is “sad” and that the death of an American unborn is “sin,” that our society must allow every child to be born but that it is not a benefit to society at large to educate that child and keep it healthy, that we do not have a responsibility to do what we can to see to the healthcare of our brothers and sisters, especially the elderly, even if it means some personal sacrifice and inconvenience, then you and I are reading a different Gospel.If you, as a Christian American see gun ownership as a universal right that should not be regulated in any way, if you see the ACLU’s distortions of the Constitution but not the neocons’ disregard of it, if you actually believe these neocons are true American Republicans, then you and I are reading different newspapers.Lastly, if you refuse to answer my questions about wasting your pro-life vote on George Bush and how the naive bishops led us into that mistake, and if you refuse to address my question about whether you still continue to assume educated people move to the right and only the ignorant remain on the left, then this is such a limited conversation we are both probably wasting each others’ time.

Matt–One more quick thing, having read your last note more carefully. The U.N. sent weapons inspectors to Iraq through the 90′s. The U.S. went into Iraq in 2003 and certified that Saddam had no weapons. Sounds to me as though the U.N.’s system worked. And they didn’t have to kill 100,000 people to get there.Maybe it is wishful thinking but I think it reasonable to conjecture that, had the 2000 election been awarded to Gore instead of Bush by the Supreme Court, we would have invaded Afghanistan in response to 9/11 and continued the non-military means to keep Iraq under control. We would not, therefore, have borrowed trillions of dollars and passed the debt to our grandchildren, and we would have a stronger economy and fewer abortions today.

I don’t make anywhere near that and if you think only those people will be affected by tax increases, you are truly naive. If Obama gets elected and has a congress to support his massive tax increases, I and many other people will move my dividend paying investments out of the market first thing in the morning the day after the election. How is his nearly 25% jump in dividend and capital gains taxes going to generate any revenue if nobody is investing? Libs like yourself seem to think that tax increases don’t generate a market reaction, and that the projected revenues will continue to be based on existing market structure. Your historical perspective is extremely narrow.Point two, same old clownish gibberish about neocon conspiracies. Not even worth addressing.The weakness of your arguments becomes obvious when you take a position of mine and automatically assign it the most extreme attributes remotely related to that position. No, people with mental illness histories and convicted felons shouldn’t own weapons, but they also shouldn’t be allowed to vote. You ought to focus some of that gun-hating ire at ACORN, for their voter fraud. Once again, your historical perspective fails you when you disregard that practically every tyrannical dictator has initiated their reign with some sort of restrictions on the citizenry’s right to own weapons.Translation of your last paragraph, “If you don’t agree with everything I’m saying, you’re wrong.” Again, not worth addressing your silly position on how GWB and the Catholic Church are the reason people have abortions.Oh, keep Iraq under control without using the military, like we did with the Taliban during the Clinton years? That worked great. You can ask two of my friends whose young lives were cut short on 9/11.Finally, please enlighten me about what Hussein was doing with the 500+ TONS of yellowcake that was just quietly moved to Canada, FROM IRAQ.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

This is how the Limbaugh school of debate works. Obama’s tax plan is not what Obama says it is, it is what WE say it is. Let’s build an argument against what we THINK he’s going to do, not what he says he’s going to do. Not a ditto-head myself, I took Obama at his word when he said all he plans to do is to reverse the Bush/Cheney giveaway to the extremely rich. That’s why I thought you were saying you were wealthy and therefore subject to the Obama $250k tax threshold. Dividends? Market forces? How could it be worse than it is now after 8 years of transferring cash from the middle class to their bosses?Did you know that, under Reagan, CEOs made about 43 times their employees’ average salary and that today they make about 411 times? If you’re not making it, my friend, Democrats are not your problem.If you are actually a blue-collar worker just barely getting by and yet choosing to vote Republican, then you understand how the ruling class has used the abortion issue, deceptively, to get Democrats to vote against their paychecks. If you think Obama is lying, then you agree with what I’ve been saying all along about Bush and his abortion promises … candidates lie.The Taliban didn’t attack us, even though we armed them when Russia was in Afghanistan. Iraq didn’t attack us; Saddam was Reagan’s and Rumsfeld’s buddy (back when we thought it was OK for him to be killing his own people in order to keep control and keep the oil flowing).Saudi Arabians attacked us. But we can’t retaliate against Saudis because they are friends of the Bush oil family. So, Cheney lies on Meet the Press about the Iraq/al Queda link and we declare Saddam the #1 bad guy instead of bin Laden and the other Saudis. Don’t you wonder why we could find Saddam, who threatened the life of Bush Sr. and who has oil, but we can’t find the Saudi Arabian bin Laden in oil-less Afghanistan? It sure seems like something someone should be at least asking.Yellowcake to Canada? That was debunked long ago. Your friends Rush and Rupert are the only ones still clinging to that story. It turns out there was such a shipment, but of yellowcake that had been in sealed containers since 1991. The truth can be found all over the fact-checking blogs. Here is just one: http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/wa s_it_recently_revealed_that_the_us.htmlM y clownish gibberish is well-documented everywhere but on Fox “News”. That’s probably why you won’t attempt to refute it. Read Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill’s book about the first Bush cabinet meeting, January 30, 2001, where Iraq invasion planning began. See him describe in detail the President’s complete inability to comprehend anything he, O’Neill, tried to explain about how the economy works. I think he described his reaction as a “blank stare, followed by no questions.” Then you go from there to the Federal crimes committed around the U.S. Attorney firings, Cheney’s illegal secret energy meetings with Ken Lay and other energy CEOs, warrantless wiretapping, Valerie Plame, nominating his unqualified friend Harriet Miers to the court and Ashcroft violating the Republican principal of states’ rights over marijuana in Oregon. It just goes on and on, too many crimes and demonstrations of incompetence to list here.Well, maybe one more… why did he sit in a school room in Florida for 7 minutes after the second plane hit the World Trade Towers? Why did he say (and this was caught on video) “I saw the first plane hit the first tower on TV before I went into the school” when there was no TV coverage of the live event? Why did he find it necessary to lie about that? He knew, and then tried to cover up, that his own participation and input into a national disaster was not needed or wanted by his handlers. His role is to read scripts others give him, not to think. Those others make the important decisions and handle the important crises. It was a condition of employment Cheney offered him 10 years ago. “OK, I’ll run, as long as I can take two months of vacation, work 8 hour days and not have to read newspapers or learn anything I don’t already know.” Did you know that by the time he leaves office, he will have had more days of vacation than JFK had in office? about 1000 days. Only a figurehead not really in charge of anything could be gone more than three years of an 8 year term of office. Cheney is the first VP in 100 years not to run because he has already been President and doesn’t want to do it again.Genuine Republicans such as Mary Matalin reject these neocons, saying, “Republicans do not initiate offensive wars.” Pro-life Christians should reject these criminals too.

The sentience argument is interesting. It’s an argument that has made a sort of sense to me in the past. But it made me think of this thought experiment:If a person is brain dead, with no hope of recovery, then the “lack of sentience as the standard for it being okay to end life” people would have no problem pulling the plug.However, what if there was not just the possibility but the guarantee that in four or five months that person would have sentience, with increased function as the years passed?Would it be morally acceptable to pull the plug then?Or, the life is dependent on the mother argument could be treated to a similar thought experiment.Just an approach to the question that is new to me, thought I’d share.

Posted by Matthew | Report as abusive

[...] this column is the small comparison toward the end between Sarah Palin and Nancy Pelosi of “the Catholic Church isn’t sure when life begins” fame. (She can, of course, believe whatever she wants, however ill informed. To claim the [...]

[...] must remember this. Last summer, Nancy Pelosi (aka Pelousy) made this insane statement regarding the Catholic Church and abortion. I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, [...]

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, ITS MINISTERS AND ITS LAY MEMBERS:Hundreds of thousands of babies are being murdered yearly in this country. Some estimations are as high as 40 million since Roe vs Wade came into play. And what does the Catholic Church and the Ministers at all levels do? Very little.Almighty God deeded to the Church the responsibility of caring for the souls He has created and the Church should hang its head in shame for the complete withrdrawal of its commitment to these souls.Where did the Church and its Ministers fail in its mission? – to hold responsible the people with the power to make laws that allow the extermination of these souls. Why has not the Church met head on with ALL Catholic politicians with this statement, “as a Catholic you believe in its teachings; you cannot pick and choose what you want to accept, meaning you cannot compromise by saying, “I personally oppose abortion but I have to respect my constituent’s feelings, therefore I vote for and respect the right of a woman to choose” – you have a free will and can vote in any manner you wish or support the right to choose, But no longer as a Catholic, because this disregard of the teachings of the Church will lead to excommunication.”Half of the Catholic voters this past election voted for the most pro-choice candidate; many saying, “but he stands for so many other good things”; also saying that you cannot vote for a single issue. Well, without life, nothing else matters, nothing, absolutely nothing. I am quite certain the Church will say that excommunication is a long and drawn out process. I say, baloney; there are babies being murdered daily; suppose we pay attention to them NOW and support their right to life.Everyday that passes and the Church fails to live up to its responsibility to both God and man, it is condemning to death thousands of the Innocents, and I say this to the politicians, “for the few years of power on this earth you seek and enjoy, think of the eternal damnation you may look forward to. May God help you all.” Having said that, one has to wonder how much longer is He going to put up with this insanity? For every infant who is aborted and the Church fails through inaction to prevent it, another nail is driven into the hands of Christ; every time a doctor thrusts a scissors into the skull of a baby to kill it, another spear enters the side of Christ. How many times are we going to crucify Christ? How many times? For in this madness, mankind is destroying the very likeness of God Himself, for He made us all in His image. ACT NOW, as the followers of Christ; follow His will; “what you do to the least of my brethren, you do unto Me.” ACT NOW, please ACT NOW.For the lay Catholics, if you cannot accept the fact that life begins at conception, as the Church teaches, and oppose those who profess that the right to choose is acceptable, than perhaps you should find another church, since the Catholic Church and its teachings are beyond your grasp of tolerance.As to the Minister of the Church; since your inability, or perhaps I should say, your lack of concern, to protect the most vulnerable among us exists in such a flagrant manner, then also accept the fact that not only are you hypocritical, but also devoid of your responsibility, reckless guiding of your flock, and a complete dishonoring of the position you hold and the garments you wear; perhaps a different line of work is in order before even more damage is done.May God enlighten us all to do what is right, rather than what is convenient. The 60’s were the beginning of the age of permissiveness. The Church, wishing to bolster the flock, particularly the young, managed to draw a curtain over the real meaning of the Catholic Faith, the Mass, the true intent of the Faith itself. Instead of staying true to itself, it lowered its principles, therefore negating its true and only mission, to serve God by providing guidance and protection for the very Souls He created, regardless of the status in life they hold.This was a very difficult letter to write since my Church is everything to me; it’s just that I feel so betrayed by its Ministers at all levels and wonder why human life seems to mean so little to those it should mean so much to. Just imagine if 40+ years ago, the Church had put its foot down on Catholics, and politicians in particular, regarding the taking of life; imagine how many lives could have been saved. When we are standing before God and He asks the question, “How did you protect the very souls that I created?” How are you going to answer?

Posted by kenneth sauter | Report as abusive

[...] with the values" of Jesus Christ.  Pelosi, a pro-choice Catholic herself, ran into hot water back in 2008 for claiming that the Catholic Church does not condemn [...]

[...] Nancy Pelosi—“I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition … St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know. The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose.” [...]

[...] What happened to the Nancy Pelosi who was lecturing Catholics on when the Church defines life as beginning?   The CNSNews reporter is right – by her definition, nothing happened at the Incarnation, [...]

[...] that Ryan’s grasp of Catholic teaching on subsidiarity is about as firm as that of Nancy Pelosi’s on abortion.  In both cases, these two politicians either are either so committed to their dearest held [...]