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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Comments

eamon

Ann Coulter is an odd source far any real catholic to use. SHe is anti science and is mildly anti- catholic, she was a husge supporter of G.W. bush's decision to go to the anti catholc mecca Bob Jones University, where anti catholic bigot and terrorist IAN PAISLEY holds a chair. She really is not a good source of anything catholic or orthodox. SHe also supports this failed war, a war that two popes have said no to in no uncertain terms.

Thomistic

I don't have an all or nothing view of Ann Coulter the way many progressive people do. I don't think she's perfect, but I don't reject her out of hand the way progressives seem to wish people would.

I imagine that a number of Catholics abhor Nancy Pelosi's utterly inexcusable abortion stance – a stance that makes her unfit for public office and requires that Catholics recognize serious moral problems with voting for her to hold any elected office – but those same Catholics may agree with Ms. Pelosi about the Iraq war, even though she proudly facilitates the murder of unborn children.

I can agree with Ann Coulter on many issues without there being any threat to the authenticity of my Catholic faith.

Pax,

Thomistic

Hmmm.... Ann Coulter is anti-science. I guess you can point to anything she has said that would support your stance (as opposed to claims by left wing media)?

As to evolution and Catholic teachings, it all depends on what you mean by evolution.

If you mean that species have gradually appeared on earth over time and have changed to become what they are today.... then, yes, you can support it and Catholic teaching.

If you mean that random changes in genetics that have led to the arrival of new species which then live or die according to the survival of the fittest (ie. Darwinism), then I don't believe that it aligns with Catholic tradition. If you read Darwin (and many of his proponents), you will see that an a priori assumption of these people is that there is no God and darwinistic evolution proves that (never mind that they have their own god(s) - that's another post). This type of thinking is scientific materialism aka a variation of marxism (which has been specifically refuted by Church teaching and tradition).

Unfortunately, there are still a lot of Catholics, even some in the Vatican, who hold to errant views such as the materialism and marxism in defining their faith.

Finally, it is the darwinistic evolutionists who are anti-science, just as are pro-choice supporters. They hold a priori beliefs that they won't acknowledge or just claim as reason which are not allowed to be examined... whereas the Church is always about the Truth, even if it takes time to reach it.

Karen

On Evangelicals insistance on the literal translation of scripture: I am always amazed that they translate absolutely everything literally, until they get to "This is my body." Then, suddenly, it's all about symbolism.

Average

Okay, here is where you differ, and obviously so, from millions of Catholics in this country--not to mention most Americans:

"Pelosi is unfit for office"

Why, because she doesn't fit in your mold of what a perfect administrator should be?

Your okay with someone who is anti-abortion but in all other categories has demonstrated pure evil itself?

Where is the sense of balance in this thinking?

You would prefer an administration that has all the worst qualities that can be exhibited, to say nothing of being fundamentalist and anti-Catholic, but because they are otherwise in your corner on a single topic--you're fine with that administrator?

Thomistic--you are off your rocker.

And, I say that with love.

Thomistic

If a politician running for public office on any level announced that they supported solving the problem of world hunger and world poverty by euthanizing the poor and then using their bodies to manufacture food (as in the movie Soylent Green), most people would not consider such a candidate fit for public office. Such a candidate would likely be seen as morally bankrupt, if not literally insane, no matter how wonderful their ideas were on issues unrelated to world hunger and world poverty.

Yet people, even Catholics, continue to support (and even celebrate) political candidates like Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, John Edwards, Nancy Pelosi, Loretta Sanchez, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Rudy Giuliani, all of whom support legal, elective abortion.

It's really quite baffling, and yet it is a testament to how desensitized people have become to the abortion holocaust. According to the national Right To Life, legal, elective abortion has claimed the lives of 47,282,923 babies since 1973, in the United States alone. See here for details: Abortion in the United States: Statistics and Trends

Candidates who support legal, elective abortion are not fit for office, no matter how wonderful their ideas about other issues may seem to prospective voters.

It's fine that you oppose the war in Iraq. It seems a bit odd that your reaction to President Bush is so extreme, but you are much more forgiving of politicians who facilitate the murder of unborn children, though.

Your statement in another thread that some human lives are of greater value than others is also highly problematic. All human life has equal value as human life. It is the fact that the life is human that gives it the value it has, not the duration of that life or the emotions associated with a given person's life, which are incidental. Based on the logic that the life of an unborn baby is less valuable than the life of a soldier killed in Iraq (as you have suggested) one could say that the life of a fifty year old man is worth more than the life of a twenty-something soldier, and that the life of a mother is more valuable than the life of a cloistered nun. Such statements are absurd, because they mistake the value of life with the accidentals surrounding various individual lives. All human life is valuable as human life because it is human life, and all such lives are equal in value. To believe otherwise amounts to saying that one and one is two, but sometimes one and one is three or one and one is one.

You are welcome to think I am off my rocker, but you'd be very wrong to think my views are heretical.

Unfortunately, your views are heretical. You are in error with respect to the morality of being pro-abortion and receiving Holy Communion or being Catholic while supporting abortion rights and your views cannot be reconciled with the Catholic faith.

When you attempt to cite the authority of Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II as rendering the war in Iraq unjust (a position with which I concur, as I was opposed to the Iraq war prior to the U.S. invasion) your credibility is diminished drastically when you then attempt to say people can feel free to disregard Church teaching and the authoritative statements of Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II on the morality of abortion, support and promote legal abortion, and still be in communion with the Church and worthy to receive Holy Communion.

Your position is so extreme and ridiculously untenable in terms of being considered a Catholic perspective, that it is tempting to believe you can't possibly be saying these things seriously.

If you are serious, I am sorry that you believe as you do. I can't force you to believe otherwise, and you will never convince me that one can be Catholic and "pro-choice" (which is to say, pro-abortion).

And I say that with love.

Pax,

Thomistic

David1

If God had intended the Bible to be a literal manual for life, then I'm afraid he did not do a good job. If that was his intention, he would have written a book similar to an assembly instructions for a bicycle we get on Christmas. The Bible is intended for us to work together with grace to find certain basic truths for our pilgrimage. It's a glorious document that speaks to us (and our free will) at various stages of our life addressing the various issues we face.

There remains many serious technical problems when claiming evolution describes the entire process of moving from molecules to single cell creatures to human beings. It seems to do well at describing small changes within a species. However, that's not the point. As we discover more and more about science, it doesn't disprove God. On the contrary, it reveals the magnificance and beauty of His creation. "Beauty is the splendor of truth."

Thomistic

I was opposed to the war before we went in.

The reasons I gave for being against the war were the following:

1) Bush did not present enough evidence to demonstrate that Iraq presented an immediate or significant threat to the United States. Although Iraq was talking tough, I didn't feel we had the justification to invade them, despite our concerns about the WMD's. My reasoning was kind of simplistic, but I basically explained that if you heard rumors that a bully in your neighborhood who has threatened you in the past was looking to acquire a gun or had a gun, you can't just go over and shoot him first to keep yourself safe.

2) There was not significant evidence of the existence of the WMD's presented to the American people before the war to justify an imminent danger from Iraq. prior to the Iraq invasion, I was very concerned that it could turn out that the intelligence was faulty and I was very aware that the Democrats would use it to their political advantage in upcoming elections if WMD's were not located, this would hurt the Republican party and the pro-life movement. I argued that we need another eight years of Republican presidents to make good judicial appointments to undo all of the damage done by the Earl Warren court and the judicial appointments of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. We also have a lot of elderly Supreme Court justices and it is vital that justices who will not legislate from the bench or force interpretations of the Constitution not written into the text (as progressive/liberal justices do) be appointed. I tried to explain that if the Republicans lost a significant number of seats in Congress or lose the White House, we will get more activist judges legislating from the bench because the Democrats will run the show. It cost the Democrats who voted for the war almost nothing to do so. It was a win/win situation for them. If the war was successful they voted for it. If it failed (or appeared to be a failure), they would blame Bush and all Republicans. The Iraq war hasn't been anything like the failure liberals have made it out to be, but they are doing so for the exact reasons I feared they might before the war.

3) I wanted Bush to talk more about liberating the Iraqi people and show the American people the horrors Saddam commit against his own people. The possibility that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was not a sufficiently weighty reason to place our nation at greater risk by going to war. I believed the war could have been justified if the motive had been to Saddam should be removed because of the monster he was, and to liberate the Iraqi people. If people would have seen that the mission wasn't only about WMD's it was also about saving lives, it would have been more difficult to accuse President Bush and the Republicans of fudging the evidence in order to go to war. I honestly believe that going in to save thousands of lives would be a justifiable reason for going to war, as many liberals would like us to do in Darfur. The Iraq war wouldn't have been pre-emptive if saving the Iraqi people from a cruel tyrant who had murdered them by the thousands had been the intention. It would have been a rescue mission, with the added benefit of taking out a perceived threat.

However, once the war began, I stopped arguing against it because I didn't want to undermine our efforts and undermine the sacrifices our troops are making. I didn't want to say they aren't heroes or that their mission is in vain, because I don't believe it was, or is, I just believe they sold the war the wrong way and they are paying for it now. I knew the Democrats were not above politicizing a war, even in war time, and undermining a war effort to their own political advantage.

The primary reason I support Republican policies over the policies of the Democrats involve moral issues. The Democrats support abortion on demand as part of their platform. Most of them support homosexual marriage (or at least civil unions).

I am also a big believer in small government, lower taxes, strong defense, and providing people with the necessary tools to take care of themselves (as opposed to thinking the government should take care of everybody).

I am disappointed in President Bush's spending policies and I felt a bit betrayed when he initially nominated Harriet Myers to the Supreme Court. It was even more disappointing to see that she resigned as his council when he realized that the Democratic majority in congress might cause him some problems. Apparently, he thought her good enough for the Supreme Court, but when it came to defending him in tough times, he wanted better counsel. I disagree with President Bush on immigration, and opposed the invasion of Iraq.

So those who believe me to be a goose-stepping Bush supporter are mistaken.

Pax,

Thomistic

David1

Thomistic, I think that was an excellent description of the point of view of somebody who is Catholic and conservative. Good job.

I also agree that once in Iraq, we should provide support to our troops. The question is now after all these years, at what point does our support actually hurt them? For the point of this discussion, let's say the surge does not work. At what point can we morally ask our soldiers and their families to continue to take this risk? If we say it is no longer moral, then we move all our energies to find a way to leave that minimizes other damages. At what criteria, do we turn that corner. As a Catholic conservative, I'd be interested in your thoughts on this.

My thought is that the surge had better being showing significant results by the end of the summer or we will have reached that decision point.


And yet, you'd vote for Bush/Cheney tomorrow over a Pro-Choice candidate.

I understand you now. It's clear.

But, Thomistic, that is where you differ from the vast majority of Americans and Catholics. The majority of Americans have come to the realization that the catastrophic deeds that Bush/Cheney are responsible for vastly outweight the unequal ill that you apply to a candidate who is Pro-Choice. It isn't a contest anymore.
The importance of world events supercedes anybodys view on the topic of abortion.

It may be of pre-eminent importance to you, which is fine, but it isn't to most people.

For you to declare somebody "unfit" for office because they are Pro-Choice shows a singular desire to remain blind to the damage otherwise done to a world.

And, I'm certainly okay with your wanting to hang your hat on the doctrinal statements to use as a tool to call me heretical. I've been called worse, but since we're living in 2007 rather than 1535, thankfully, most people don't have to fear reprecussion from deeply religious brethren.

It is a mistake to think that people are drawn to a faith by doctrine--or held there.

Peace yourself,

average

Thomistic

I will be answering two posts with one post.

This part is meant to address "average Catholic":

Legal, elective abortion has claimed the lives of 47,282,923 babies since 1973, in the United States alone.

In contrast, the Iraq war has produced the smallest number of casualties in any war in which America has ever been involved.

Even if I were to entertain the ridiculous fantasy that the lives of the unborn as less valuable than the lives of born individuals, even if I were to arbitrarily decide that such lives are only worth 1/4 of the value of the lives of the soldiers who have died in Iraq, which is something very like what your position suggests, the abortion holocaust has the Iraq war trumped, and the Democratic party leadership is committed to make sure the killing continues long after we are out of Iraq.

So I am still trying to understand how you think the Iraq war is the worst evil in human history.

100,000,000 people died in the 20th century because of atheistic communist regimes, yet you want people to believe the Bush presidency and the Iraq war are the greatest evils in American history?

Hitler slaughtered millions of people he deemed unfit, yet you honestly think President Bush, who has managed to keep us safe from attack in the years since 9-11, is the most evil leader in history?

Are you even saying this nonsense with a straight face? You can't be serious.

This part continues to address "average Catholic", but also speaks to David1's question:

I am saddened by the deaths of the over 3,000 Americans who gave their lives in Iraq, and I am saddened by the many thousands of Iraqi casualties (as well as the casualties from other nations), but I don't believe for one minute that President Bush went to war with evil intentions or deliberately deceived anyone in order to go to war.

Nor do I believe that it is good for America to act like a war with this relatively small number of casualties (all things considered) is the worst thing to ever happen and is stretching us beyond our limits.

To quote Ann Coulter:

Osama bin Laden told "ABC News" in 1998 that America's humiliating retreat from Somalia emboldened his jihadists: "The youth were surprised at the low morale of the American soldiers and realized more than before that the American soldier was a paper tiger and after a few blows ran in defeat." (Taken from: I Did Not Have Sex WIth That Nomad, Osama Bin Laden)

I believe that the message the anti-war movement is sending to the terrorists of the world is very bad for America. I believe that we need to do as much as possible to finish the job in Iraq and remain as a presence there for quite some time in order to ensure stability in the region.

Yes, it would have been better to not have gone to war in the first place (because of the huge financial expense and the loss of life – although Saddam was killing more people than we have or will have when this is all over), but that point is past now, and Iran is clearly going to be a real problem.

I don't see how a speedy withdrawal will do anything other than bring about another situation like the fall of Saigon.

To quote Ann Coulter again:

After a half-dozen years of Democrat presidents creating a looming disaster in Vietnam — with Kennedy ordering the assassination of our own ally in the middle of the war and Johnson ham-handedly choosing bombing targets from the Oval Office — in 1969, Nixon became president and the world was safe again.

Nixon began a phased withdrawal of American ground troops, while protecting the South Vietnamese by increasing the bombings of the North, mining North Vietnamese harbors and attacking North Vietnamese military supplies in Cambodia — all actions hysterically denounced by American liberals, eager for the communists to defeat America.

Despite the massive anti-war protests staged by the Worst Generation, their takeovers of university buildings and their bombings of federal property to protest the bombing of North Vietnamese property, Nixon's Vietnam policy was apparently popular with normal Americans. In 1972, he won re-election against "peace" candidate George McGovern in a 49-state landslide.

In January 1973, the United States signed the Paris Peace accords, which would have ended the war with honor. In order to achieve a ceasefire, Nixon jammed lousy terms down South Vietnam's throat, such as allowing Vietcong troops to remain in the South. But in return, we promised South Vietnam that we would resume bombing missions and provide military aid if the North attacked.

It would have worked, but the Democrats were desperate for America to lose. They invented "Watergate," the corpus delicti of which wouldn't have merited three column-inches during the Clinton years, and hounded Nixon out of office. (How's Sandy Berger weathering that tough wrist-slap?)

Three months after Nixon was gone, we got the Watergate Congress and with it, the new Democratic Party. In lieu of the old Democratic Party, which lost wars out of incompetence and naivete, the new Democratic Party would lose wars on purpose.

Just one month after the Watergate Congress was elected, North Vietnam attacked the South.

Even milquetoast, pro-abortion, detente-loving Gerald R. Ford knew America had to defend South Vietnam or America's word would be worth nothing. As Ford said, "American unwillingness to provide adequate assistance to allies fighting for their lives could seriously affect our credibility throughout the world as an ally." He pleaded repeatedly with the Democratic Congress simply to authorize aid to South Vietnam — no troops, just money.

But the Democrats turned their backs on South Vietnam, betrayed an ally and trashed America's word. Within a month of Ford's last appeal to Congress to help South Vietnam, Saigon fell.

The entire world watched as American personnel desperately scrambled into helicopters from embassy rooftops in Saigon while beating back our own allies, to whom we could offer no means of escape. It was the most demeaning image of America ever witnessed, until Britney Spears came along.

Southeast Asia was promptly consumed in a maelstrom of violence that seems to occur whenever these "Jeffersonian Democrats" come to power. Communist totalitarians swept through Laos, Cambodia and all of Vietnam. They staged gruesome massacres so vast that none other than Sen. George McGovern called for military intervention to stop a "clear case of genocide" in Cambodia.

Five years after that, Islamic lunatics in Iran felt no compunction about storming the embassy of what was once the greatest superpower on Earth and taking American citizens hostage for 14 months. To this day, al-Qaida boosts the flagging morale of its jihadists by reminding them of America's humiliating retreat from Vietnam.

In addition to being wrong about Ford's pardon of Nixon, liberals were wrong about a few other things from that era. Democrats haven't admitted error in rejecting Ford's pleas on behalf of South Vietnam because there are still dangerous foreigners trying to kill Americans. Nixon is safely interred in the ground, but the enemies of America continue to need the Democrats' help. (Taken from: The Democratic Party: A Vast Sleeper Cell)

I wish I could give a more definite answer on when we need to withdraw our troops, but at the present time, I can't say anything with certainty about that.

Pax,

Thomistic

Qualis Rex

Eamon wrote: Ann Coulter is an odd source far any real catholic to use.

Absolutely. Not only is she "mildly anti-Catholic" as you put it, but she paints her views as the sole option for the American Christian (i.e. if you disagree with her, you are REALLY a liberal, un-Christian, a Saddam Hussein suppporter, a Communist etc). And as a Conservative Catholic myself, there are certain things she says which are simply CONTRARY to Catholic teaching (i.e. the use of nuclear weapons on a population).

As for what Thomistic wrote, I don't think she is a demon or purely evil, so I'm sure she has said things I can agree with as well (even a broken clock is right twice a day). But I am extremely particular about the people I quote, support or take seriously in such matters. If they are not Catholic, then the matter is settled.

Also, I DID watch the HBO special just last night in fact (had it TVo'd for a few days now). I've been in "middle America" several times and this series didn't surprise me at all.

One more point re evolution: there are MANY "types" of evolution. Societies evolve. Language evolves. Understanding evolves. Evolution is a fact. Darwinistic/Deistic/Creationistic evolution are THEORIES. Divino Afflante Spiritu by blessed Pius XII affirms the possibility of the world and man evolving under the designs of God, and in accord with scripture whose text should not be taken literally due to the style of writing at the time.

Anyone who calls themself Catholic would do well to listen to our church and Popes on the matter, rather than Coulter and Evangelicals.

jimbo

I have studied the theory of evolution, and there are huge problems with it. I'm sure you've all heard of the most common objection, there are not so-called intermediate fossils between species. Darwinism essentially says one species changes into another, hence, the fossil record should have many such examples...there are none. You see much diversity within species (e.g. What do you think of when I say the word "dog"? You might have a very different picture than me, but they're both still dogs.), but no evidence of one species changing into another.

There are also many absurb assumptions as to how evolutionists determine the age of the earth--they argued about 4 billion years when I was in college, I don't know what it is at the moment--using the half-life of elements.

But that said, evolution is difficult to make work with Catholic theology. You really have to bend the theory to make it fit. If I could strip it down to the basics--Catholic theology says there was a first man and woman, Adam and Eve, from whom the rest of us inherit original sin. Evolution says the first men were a group of evolving half-men, half-apes. It rejects the idea of a first man and woman. The Catholic evolutionist says that God jumping in, picked a pair and infused souls, and the rest, I suppose, died off. That pair became the parents of the whole human race. I can't imagine that there's an evolutionist that accepts that view.

Evolutionism is an ideology often based on pseudo-facts. You can be a perfectly modern, 21st century man and reject it.

It spells just how far right you are, Thomistic, in using Anne Coulter as your historian.

I am a liberal, I was in Asia 40 years ago serving our country. I was in three years. Coulter thinks I wanted America destroyed?

While Bush, Cheney, Rove, Delay, O'Reilly, Limbaugh and myriad of other chickenhawks did all they could to KEEP from going to Vietnam others, whom Coulter refers to wanting America destroyed, served their country faithfully overseas--Kerry, Gore, Hagel, Myrtha and myriad of other men who were not cowards.

It fills me with unresolved despair to think that there are people who would believe the garbage that someone like Anne Coulter pukes out.

This is a prime example of why more Americans every day are finding the right-wing disgusting--the blatant lies.

The situation in Vietnam began festering in the fifties. Americans were screaming at Nixon to get us out, just as they did Johnson before, and Nixon took until 1974.

Everybody that came back from Asia eventually saw it was stupid and wanted us to get out, so we are all bad Americans according to you and Coulter and want to see America destroyed?

You might want to put on another pot of coffee and read a different history book.

My own son-in-law who is liberal served two terms in Iraq and one in the Philipines, he was wounded twice and has received the Purple Heart. Does anyone want to point the finger at him for not being a Republican and think he is helping destroy America?

Amazing.


Thomistic

Anecdotal evidence

Proof by assertion

Ad hominem

Poisoning the well

Pax,

Thomistic

Qualis Rex

Average and Thomistic, peace to both of you. I read your posts and can honestly say I agree with both of you. I agree with Thomistic in that I too opposed the war (in my case because the Pope and Vatican did) but now support our troops and hope they can safeguard Iraq's dwindling Christian community). However, I also agree with Average in that the people responsible for this war have never served in the military and have made some enormous mistakes, which in my opinion can not and will not be resolved in my lifetime.

I know this is a "hot topic". And the likes of Anne Coulter and Al Frankin make their livings off of the bile and polarity they instill with their words. As Catholics, let's remember that "WE ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD". We are called to submit to a higher power. We can talk and debate about these hot topics, but in the end, let's remember who we are and who we represent.

Pax Domini Vobiscum nunc et semper!!!

Jennifer F.

Ann Coulter is an extremely hateful person, so she can't be a good Christian, and I don't think her stuff is worth reading. But at any rate, the real reason that Protestants are so confounded by evolution is because they have no concept of Church history. If they would merely read the Patristic tradition, they would realize that the Early Fathers NEVER read Genesis literally, they always read it allegorically. But since Protestants (especially evangelicals) have no concept of the authority of tradition, this fact might be meaningless to them even if they were aware of it.

Qualis Rex

Amen, Jennifer. Very well said.

The Jews and Muslims have a saying; "one day for God is as a thousand days for a human." Even THEY understand that space and time is not set in a 24/hour value as in the "days" mentioned in the bible.

How ironic that Muslims understand the cosmos better than Evanglical "Christians".

Hibernus

Qualis,
We Catholics (or Christians in general) have that saying as well:
"But of this one thing be not ignorant, my beloved, that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." (2Peter 3:8)

Qualis Rex

Hibernus, well ruffle my hair and call me Franky! I believe that saying comes originally from the Talmud and not the OT. But lo' and behold there it is in the NT! Thank you so much for that!

So, for all those ignorant fundies who believe the world is only 6,600 odd years old, this will make a PERFECT retort. Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

GOD BLESS!!!

Marc Bennetti

who in blazes likes wars anyway. Good grief you certainly do not have to be for or against abortions which has nothing to do with voting for idiots in Government be they liberal or conservative. It gets a little bit too much re-reading over and over what this gent 'Average' has to write. Perhaps he iis getting ready for 'Sainthood'. I personally do not believe God is for abortions, and I may add. What part of this is it that 'AVERAGE' does not understand?? Surley he meaning 'Average' is not going to tell God what his rule is in taking life!
Basta! Molto!

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