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January 04, 2008

Comments

deusdonat

LOL! I love it! Hillary's "triumph over adversity". Actually, I personally don't despise any of the candidates, even Hillary. I think people get far too worked up over politics here in the US. Unfortunately, in many cases we have gotten to the point where there is simply no room for dialogue or conversation on the issues, as one side (or both) will invariably dismiss the other as "too conservative/liberal to reason with".

But since we are on the subject, I think I will be voting for Huckabee, since Sam Brownback, the only "real" Catholic candidate withdrew. Huckabee is a Southern Baptist, who are notorious for bashing the Catholic church (he even spoke at the virulently anti-Catholic Cornerstone church). I still have many doubts about him on this. But as I stated earlier, Mormonism is anti-Catholic in dogma and in their core. Plus, I simply cannot in good conscience vote for a non-Christian for the office of president of the US.

So, due to his stance on abortion, marriage and other social issues, it looks like it will be Huckabee by default. The lesser of the evils as it were.

paul zummo

Euphoric? Massively depressed is more like it. I'll take solace in the fact that Huckabee will still not be the nominee. I hope.

deusdonat

Hello Paul,

As I alluded to above, Huckabee isn't really my pie-in-the-sky dream candidate either. And to be honest I'm still open to other options I may have not yet explored. Do you have any suggestions here?

paul zummo

Do you have any suggestions here?

Yes - Fred Thompson. He takes the same stand on social issues as Huckabee, and he has the added bonus of being conservative on all of the other issues as well. Unlike the other candidates, he has actually elaborated clearly on his policies, and he doesn't engage in the sort of arse-kissing, soundbiting of so many in the political class. People have chided him for not having the fire in the belly, but I don't see how his disdain for contemporary modes of campigning is supposed to be a negative quality.

paul zummo

And if you are looking to take a closer look at where Fred stands on the issues, here's a good resource.

William

Of course the "most Catholic" candidate is Ron Paul. Check out Catholics for Ron Paul at
http://catholicsforronpaul.blogspot.com/ Watch, he'll do well in NH, especially with the field divided the way it is. I could never vote for a die hard dispensationalist like Huckabee. It influences his policy decisions. When asked recently in NH if he favored a Palestinian state he said, "yes, in Egypt or Saudi Arabia"! That answer is right out of the Hal Lindsay, John Hagee dispensationalist playbook.

Sifu Jones

Ron Paul simply doesn't have the chops for the job. Also, a lot of his policies sound great, but are too much, too soon in terms of the changes they would bring. Drastic measures MAY be called for at times, but that doesn't mean they SHOULD be.

Thompson, I don't know. I'm not comfortable with his pro-life problems in the past. I know his supporters say they AREN'T problems, and that it's all been basically made up or blown out of proportion by his rivals. Still, I haven't seen or heard him refute those positions to my satisfaction.

I'm starting to think about McCain. Sure, he's got his problems, but who doesn't? He's solidly pro-life, has good foreign policy experience, is a real guy (unlike Mitt), and doesn't seem to be too hot to play political games like Huckabee, who I like but who seems just a bit too much like a used car salesman. Chalk it up to having to rely on charm to get by; I suppose that'll make anyone a bit smarmy. Still, at this point I'll take anyone but Rudy or a dem. Including Paul or Romney.

Jordan Potter

There really aren't any "Catholic" candidates running, though some hold views somewhat in line with Catholic social doctrine. Ron Paul is a libertarian running as if he were a conservative, but libertarians are far out on the Left, and libertarianism and Catholicism are irreconcilable. So, even if Paul had any chance of winning, I couldn't vote for him. I don't know who it will come down to in November, but I'm pretty sure of this: I'll be wearing a clothespin on my nose when I enter the voting booth.

I will say, though, that last night's caucuses in Iowa seem on balance to be good news: Clinton and her Republican male twin Giuliani both finished behind several other better candidates -- even the extremist fringe Ron Paul finished ahead of Giuliani. For all our sins, we certainly deserve a president like Clinton, Giuliani, Edwards, or Paul, but even so I pray God spares us His wrath and lets us have a halfway decent president.

Mary

There are candidates where I would be happier and those where I would be less happy. Nobody I'm happy with the idea of.

Bill Q

libertarianism and Catholicism are irreconcilable.

That claim is a little too broad, in my opinion. Libertarians hold diverse views on legalized abortion, and Ron Paul believes abortion should be illegal. I have a problem with his position on homosexual "marriages" (which seems to be, let the states decide, and do nothing at the federal level to prevent it), but I'm not certain his position couldn't legitimately be held by a faithful Catholic. (I'm also not certain that it COULD.)

I happen to agree with the libertarian approach to economic policy, although I'm not planning to vote for Ron Paul.

Bill Q

libertarians are far out on the Left

This claim is also a bit off -- on economic matters, libertarians are more conservative than Republicans.

paul zummo

I'm not comfortable with his pro-life problems in the past.

What problems? The main arguments against him are that his firm lobbied for Planned Parenthood, and the was not fully pro-life until the mid-90's. But he's got a perfect record in the Senate on culture of life issues - and he was even endorsed by the National Right to Life Committee. There is absolutely nothing that separates Huckabee and Thompson on this issue, and as I said, he is superior to Huck on just about everything else.

Kevin

Huckabee Huckabee Huckabee Huckabee Huckabee Huckabee Huckabee Huckabee Huckabee Huckabee Huckabee Huckabee Huckabee Huckabee Huckabee !!! His is very prolife, pro-marriage, pro-Christ and Christian, Pro many family and Catholic values!

He seems to be a very reasonable and articulate person to boot!

Huckabee Huckabee Huckabee!!!

BenYachov(Jim Scott IV)

I have no doubt next week the media will all be talking about "Hillary's comback". But it's all baloney. Before the Caucus, when it looked like she was in trouble in Iowa, the media came out with this poll which put her like 10 or 15 points ahead of Obama. She still came in third. They can try & talk her up all they want, with the rise of the new media I don't think the American people are fooled.

Then there's Huckabee. Here's what Rush Limbaugh doesn't seem to understand. Yeah, Huckabee is a tax & spend liberal, no question. But the base of this party(Religious Right & socons) would rather vote for a bona-fide prolife tax & spender than a radical abortion-on-demand fiscal conservative. No matter how hard they try they can't sell Guiliani to the base. I like Guiliani & would vote for him again as mayor of NYC but no way should he be President!

And Romney, he'll sell himself to the highest bidder. How Clintonian.

Leo

The consequences of a US president's actions are felt throughout the world. US voters have an extraordinary responsibility to vote according to the principle of the Common Good, rather than mere self-interest, habit or prejudice.

Catholic social teaching is far richer than the important issues of abortion and sexuality which the mass media exclusively focuses upon.

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

A long (but worthwhile) read, but for a taster try

Select quotes from the Compendium from LA diocese newspaper

deusdonat

Paul thank you for the insight here. I do share your misgivings about Huckabee, but I don't see Thompson as a viable alternative either. As a lawyer, he represented pro-abortion cases and saw nothing wrong with it. He is an actor, and shows up in a limo just 3 blocks short of a rally to change into a pick-up truck to look like he is "one of the people". I don't like or trust him.

William, those kinds of statements are indeed what worry me about Huckabee. Evangelicals forget there actually ARE Christians living in the middle east (although maybe in their minds Catholics and Orthodox are not really Christians, so they can sleep well). I have come across so many Fundies who think Israel and Israelis are untouchably righteous and 100% correct in everything they do to the point where disagreeing with them means you are a Muslim or Communist. Huckabee might very well fall into this category.

Jordan, while I'm not a Ron Paul supporter, I have to agree with the others here and point out that you are VERY wrong in your understanding about Libertarianism. In many ways REAL Conservative Republicans are more libertarian than anyone, in that they both want little to no government, less government regulation and less money spent on foreign policy. As was mentioned, it is on social issues where SOME libertarians tend to diverge, specifically on abortion. One camp says there should be NO abortion allowed since it is an infringement on the sovereign rights of the unborn child, others say the sovereign rights of the mother trump that of the unborn. So, there is no "dogma" on the subject as it were. But just be careful not to confuse liberal with libertarian as they are two drastically separate concepts.

Jordan Potter

Bill Q said: That claim is a little too broad, in my opinion.

How so? Libertarianism elevates individual liberty as the highest virtue. That can in no way be reconciled with Catholic social doctrine, in which individual liberty is by no means the highest sovereign in human politics. In Catholicism, human government is instituted of God, a part of the divine plan, a good thing and impossible to do without. In Libertarianism, human government is a necessary evil, and the smaller and weaker the government, the better.

Libertarians hold diverse views on legalized abortion

You're talking about Libertarians. I said "Libertarianism." Whatever the individual opinions of this or that libertarian, the political philosophy is opposed to Catholic social doctrine.

I have a problem with his position on homosexual "marriages" (which seems to be, let the states decide, and do nothing at the federal level to prevent it), but I'm not certain his position couldn't legitimately be held by a faithful Catholic.

It can't be, except as a short term tactical position on the way to the goal of reestablishing marriage throughout the entire country. But a Catholic cannot advocate, as a matter of public policy, that a crime be legal in some parts of the community and illegal in other parts.

I happen to agree with the libertarian approach to economic policy

Sorry to hear that, as the libertarian approach to economics isn't Catholic either.

This claim (that Libertarianism is on the Left) is also a bit off -- on economic matters, libertarians are more conservative than Republicans.

No, you've got that exactly backwards. On economic or fiscal matters, Libertarianism is more liberal than Republicans, who are themselves far too liberal in matters of economics.

The problem is that in the U.S. there aren't any real "conservatives," because the U.S. was founded upon classical liberalism. What we call "conservatives" are just old-style liberals. The U.S. Right is actually on the Left. All we have are conservative liberals and liberal liberals, or ultra-liberal liberals. True conservatism has never had much of a following in the U.S. Libertarianism is just a peculiar breed of Liberalism.

http://www.catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals/Homiletic/JAN00/assault.html

StubbleSpark

Deusdonat,

I would like to address your claim that Huckabee's Baptist roots and anti-Catholicism. In short, Huckabee has gone on record to say that just because he speaks at a given venue, does not mean that he agrees with all the views of those who provide him with an opportunity to speak.

Sounds reasonable enough. It is politics after all.

Source:

http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=26312

Furthermore, Huckabee has been very outspoken of his appreciation for and solidarity with Catholics. How many politicians do you know march with local bishops in pro-life rallies? Huckabee always does. There is no single candidate on the right who is as outspoken an advocate of the right to life than Huckabee. He does not back down from this issue and defends it articulately and vigorously in moral, constitutional, biological, legal, and even financial terms.

For more on his pro-life views, I ask that you read his Catholic.org interview here:
http://www.mikehuckabee.com/?FuseAction=Blogs.View&Blog_id=906

Wouldn't you agree that the one of the most annoying things about being Catholic is how people attack the Church through straw man arguments? Both Huckabee and McCain have pointed out how Romney's ads distort the truth (that is a polite way of saying they are outright lies). Huckabee even has a section of his blog dedicated to political apologetics (called the Truth Squad) which, in my opinion, makes him the most Catholic of any candidate out there.

Just as I ask those who question my faith to consult catholic.com, I would like to ask you to go to the source and find out for yourself who Mike Huckabee is.

http://www.mikehuckabee.com/?FuseAction=Issues.Home

StubbleSpark

William,

You said: When asked recently in NH if he [Huckabee] favored a Palestinian state he said, "yes, in Egypt or Saudi Arabia"! That answer is right out of the Hal Lindsay, John Hagee dispensationalist playbook.


I looked up the source of this story. It is a blog and does not quote Huckabee directly. However, this is what it says in more detail:

When asked about a Palestinian state, Gov. Huckabee stated that he supports creating a Palestinian state, but believes that it should be formed outside of Israel. He named Egypt and Saudi Arabia as possible alternatives, noting that the Arabs have far more land than the Israelis and that it would only be fair for other Arab nations to give the Palestinians land for a state, rather than carving it out of the tiny Israeli state.

My point is Huckabee is not relying on a "dispensationalist playbook" for foreign policy. That Israel is already too small to make the acceding of land a condition for peace is, I believe, a reasonable ground for opposing the establishment of a Palestinian state inside Israel.

That is, if the source is accurate as quoted. A third hand account on a blog is hardly fodder for penetrating political argument.

source:

http://www.jrtelegraph.com/2007/10/gov-mike-huckab.html

Stubble, thanks for the comments. I DO check my sources, as a matter of fact. I'm not simply rambling or pulling these statements out of my hat : ) I am undecided SPECIFICALLY because I have done my homework. I see pro's and con's in Huckabee; while on the one hand, he says he doesn't NECESSARILY espouse the same views of the church's he visits, he has NEVER distanced himself from their vitriol. It's all good and well to say, "why, some of my best friends are Catholic..." while collecting money and support from us, and another to say, "I condemn those who disparage Catholicism and their belief system such as the views expressed by [insert church and/or pastor here]. If you can show me where he has ever done this, then I'd be doubly moved.

I am not doubting his stance on abortion. That much is proven. And with him in the office, I think that will be one issue which can gain some definite traction. But that is absolutely NOT the only issue, and I have never been a myopic single-issue voter (although I have to date never voted for any candidate who openly supported abortion). My specific worries are that that his fundie croneys will influence him to do something which is not in the common interest of Catholics at home or abroad. Witness what happened when the late Pope JP II told Bush Jr specifically NOT to invade Iraq, and now we have the diaspora (euphemism for slaughter) of Iraqi Christians. Pope Benedict (may God bless him and grant him a LONG life) has since spoken to Bush and let him know his concern for Christians in the middle-East. I'm just not convinced Huckabee would even care for anything if it didn't fall into his fundie world view and satisfy his cronies, who he seems intent on pleasing.

Once again, as it stands, I may end up voting for him. But those are my concerns, which have not been suitably addressed.

deusdonat

Sorry...just wanted to mention the above post was mine and I wasn't trying to post incognito. My info just got canceled on this PC for some reason.

StubbleSpark

BenYachov,

Huckabee is emphatically not a "tax and spend" liberal, democrat, or republican.

Huckabee's philosophy is to help the poor by lifting the burdens imposed by government. He advocates the elimination of the IRS (which is a very liberatarian stance in that it shrinks the government (honestly, I do not know where you guys are getting the idea that libertarianism is a form liberalism. It is an extreme form of conservatism.))

He catches flak from the (soon-to-be) old guard republicans because, though he loves capitalism, he has a healthy distrust of capitalists. After 8 years of the MBA president, I am quite frankly ready for that kind of change.

We are not employees of Ameri Co. but citizens of America.

deusdonat

Stubble (honestly, I do not know where you guys are getting the idea that libertarianism is a form liberalism. It is an extreme form of conservatism.))

I think there is only one person here who seems to be having trouble with these concepts.

StubbleSpark

deusdonat,

Given that you seeking to prove a negative, you should be prepared to look for a good long time.

In my book, people are innocent until proven guilty. Casting Huckabee as a typical "fundie" has been the favorite game of the liberal media especially when they want to overlook the fact that no one has more executive experience democrat or republican.

The fact is if they (the media, Romney, and Limbaugh) had not gotten you all worked up over his preacher background, you would not be making the rather dark assumptions you infer with the word "fundie".

But how many times has Bush spoken at similarly anti-Catholic venues?

Obama spoke at a Catholic school in Iowa. How many liberals are accusing him of harboring Catholic views?

deusdonat

Stubble I'm not trying to prove a negative. I'm seeking to DISPROVE a THEORY (i.e. that Huckabee harbors anti-Catholic leanings) which is absolutely sound scientific method. And I don't listen to Limbaugh-the-windbag or Romney the pagan. I practice an art that this generation seems to have lost; that of thinking for myself. I have looked at the facts and sources and have yet to come up with a logical conclusion based on what I have analyzed. So, please don't get yourself worked up in a tizzy and insinuating I have been swayed by the liberal media simply becuase I have not arrived at the same conclusions as you have.

I am aware that candidates on the campaign trail often speak at venues that do not match their particular beliefs. Catholic Pat Buchanon spoke at virulently anti-Catholic Bob Jones University, but that did not make me doubt his being Catholic. In the case of Huckabee, it is the NUMBER of speaking engagements he has made at anti-Catholic venues, the NUMBER of anti-Catholic associates and campaign sponsors he has and the fact that he was a Preacher in an anti-Catholic sect in a generation where anti-Catholicism was as American as apple pie.

In my culture there is a saying, "he who runs with wolves learns to howl". And I think that is a pretty good measuring stick for life.

Scott W.

The most significant thing to come out of this primary in my mind is not Huck or Obama or even that we got to see the Hillary-the-Unsinkable has to man the bilge pumps, but that pro-abort, same-sex marriage Rudy had a dismal showing.

Jeb Protestant

Does anyone know for a fact that Huckabee is a fundamentalist (dispensationalist premil)?

William

Stubble, You said: "When asked recently in NH if he [Huckabee] favored a Palestinian state he said, "yes, in Egypt or Saudi Arabia"! That answer is right out of the Hal Lindsay, John Hagee dispensationalist playbook.


I looked up the source of this story. It is a blog and does not quote Huckabee directly. However, this is what it says in more detail:"

Actually, the source is the Jerusalem Post. See it here: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1196847418041&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Even if one has no problem with his strong dispensationalist theology, they should certainly be concerned about their foreign policy expertise with extreme statements like this.

William

"He advocates the elimination of the IRS." Which he adopted only after Ron Paul's success.

William

"Does anyone know for a fact that Huckabee is a fundamentalist (dispensationalist premil)?" Why else would a Baptist preacher make nine trips to Israel!? :)

Juli

FWIW, I've read that Iowa and NH tend to trend liberal in their GOP party. And, that only one candidate in the last 20-30 years who has won Iowa has won the Presidency. While I haven't done the research on it, it wouldn't surprise me.

"Comebacks" are not always truly comebacks, and the game is not over yet.

I'm with Fred myself.

paul zummo

Paul thank you for the insight here. I do share your misgivings about Huckabee, but I don't see Thompson as a viable alternative either. As a lawyer, he represented pro-abortion cases and saw nothing wrong with it. He is an actor, and shows up in a limo just 3 blocks short of a rally to change into a pick-up truck to look like he is "one of the people". I don't like or trust him.

I don't want to come as a Ronulan showing up in any comment thread on the internet whenever his candidate is mentioned, but this strikes me as extremely superficial reasoning. Yes, his firm did work for pro-abortionists - more than 15 years ago. He has since had a change of heart on abortion, and is as firmly pro-life as Huckabee. And the latter charge is just odd. He is very comfortable in his own skin, and he is actually one of the few politicians who is earnest in what he is thinking.

Meanwhile, Huckabee holds a press conference to say he is not going to air a dirty ad (which he, in fact, did air in a couple of markets), and then proceeds to show the ad to the press. Then there was the whole "don't Mormons believe Jesus and Satan are brothers?" thing. He is a complete phony, but he gets to hide behind the fact that he's a preacher, and suddenly people think he's genuine. He isn't. He is completely full of (you know what).

William

Neither Huckabee or Thompson has delivered over 4,000 babies as Dr. Ron Paul has. Can't get more pro-life than that.

Fr Bill P

A couple things.
First, Huckabee's answer about a Palestinian state aren't out of some Hagee byline. Anyone who knows anything about the Palestinian question knows that they are the bottom caste (for lack of a better word) in arabic culture: part of the reason that Arabs want the Palestinians in Israel is because no other Arab country wants them and will champion any cause to keep them out. Huckabee is right, the arabs have much more land in which to put a Palestinian state, but they will not allow it. It helps that they hate Israel, but they don't want what they consider arab refuse dirtying up their territory. They only like the Palestinians slighty more than they like the Israelis.

Second, I do believe that National Right to Life gave its endorsement to THompson, which says something, I suppose.

Finally I will vote for Obama the day after hell both freezes over and thaws back out. Obama never met a fetus he didn't want to surrender to the abortion industry. People are entralled with him because he is new and young. I guess if we were voting for a beauty queen those would be highly important criteria, but we are electing the head of our country...perhaps we stronger criteria than that.

William

Fr. Bill, so you favor displacing 2 1/2 million Palestinians from the homeland where they've lived for hundreds and hundreds of years? The Christian Palestinians would be shocked to hear a priest say that. BTW, I do have knowledge of Palestinians having lived amongst them for 2 years as a Protestant missionary before converting, largely becuase of the witness of the Palestinian Christians. You are right that Arab countries often do not have the best motives for their "concern" about the plight of the Palestinians. Nonetheless, the thought that they should be displaced is unconscionable. As a former dispensationalist myself, I can say that Huckabee's statements about the Middle East are indeed right out of Hagee's playbook.

Fr Bill P

I didn't say I was in favor one way or the other. I was stating what I knew. Why the two groups are unwilling to live side by side is the problem. But I would say that anyone here that champions giving back Israel to its 'rightful owners'...so to speak...should be just as ready to hand over the land of this country back to those from who were driven off of it.

deusdonat

Paul, if you think Thompson's "change of heart" is somehow more genuine than Romney's then that's your decision. I see it for what it is. And no, it is not superficial to call a spade a spade. Thompson has lived in Hollywood and knows all about acting for the public. If he has you convinced, then you can thank his acting coach, his publicist, his agent, his entourage, the "velvet mafia" and his studio execs who are all pulling for him and bankrolling him. Do you honestly think he will have no allegiance to liberal Hollywood if elected? Come on.

Fr Bill, what you say is absolutely correct. I have spent time in Israel/ Palestine as well and can say that among Arabs, Palestinians are like pets; nice to keep around when they serve a purpose, but you don't want them eating at your table. As long as they are "homeless", they are a ralying point for International Islam. If the cause is settled, countries like Saudi Arabia will have to think up a new distraction for the wrath and hostility of their citizenry so it won't be focused against them.

At the same time, let us NEVER forget the plight of the Christians in the middle-East. They have the worst of it and are always in the middle of every conflict. And it was the CATHOLIC countries of Europe and South America who came to their aid at the behest of the Vatican and took them in during the 60's and 70's when the Arab world would not.

deusdonat

William, first, welcome home! I share your sentiments about the Palestinian Christians. Some of the best "shirt of their backs for you" people I have ever come across. And ironically, when I went over there, I was extremely die-hard pro-Israel. Not when I left though. I had never been treated so poorly by a foreign government in my life, and this is from someone who has been to Sudan. It took me 2 1/2 hours to get into the country and 4 hours to get out. And I was stopped in the street no less than 8 times in Jerusalem; twice by "ordinary citizens" who thought they had a right to question us simply because they were the ones holding the sub-machine guns. The Israeli people were a mix; some very nice, others wished you just didn't exist. The Orthodox Hassidic Jews were the worst. When we tried to communicate with them or simply ask them a question, at best they would pretend you weren't there and at worst scowl, shake their heads and wave you away dismissively.

And Fr Bill is right, it's on BOTH sides. The problem is that both sides don't want to live together. Until (if?) this is resolved there will never be peace. And those two sides are the ONLY ones who can resolve it. I personally have my own version of a "peace plan", but who am I?

StubbleSpark

A couple of things about the "fundie" epithet being thrown around here.

1) It is disingenuously applied out of prejudice.
I am with Michael Medved on this one. The ideas that Huckabee is a dispensationalist zionist because his foreign policy is not about throwing our valuable allies in the Middle East to the wolves or that he is anti-Catholic because he speaks at venues where people hold a dim view of Catholicism are pure hyperbole.

They are not responses to outright statements that he takes a dim view of Catholicism or believes Israel needs to be established on Earth in order to bring about the end times. Yet this is the hysteria that has been offered up in the face of his own denials.

What is more, the very statements that Hagee and others make about the Church are similar to the views that Catholics have in regards to preachers like Hagee.

That is, he is a false prophet who is leading entire congregations into eternal Hellfire through his cult-of-personality song-and-lecture liturgies.

Let us suppose Brownback and Huckabee's fortunes were reversed. Instead of Catholics callously tossing around the derogatory terms, we have evangelicals calling Brownback a "romish conspirator" who wants to undermine American democracy by turning this nation into a modern papal state.

What would be the best way to respond?

This leads to my next point:

2) Words like "Fundie" are ultimately meaningless.

What really is the point other than to cast an ugly stereotype? Does anyone really believe that Huckabee will upon taking office become a despotic Evangelical theocratic dictator? If someone said the same thing about Brownback, they would reveal himself to be utterly ignorant about what really matters in politics.

Maintaining good relations with Israel, especially in the age of the Jihadist threat, is exactly in keeping with Huckabee's criticism of the Bush administration's "arrogant bunker mentality" where he emphasized the importance of alliance-building in this struggle for the survival of our civilization.

That alone is plenty of justification for keeping Israel whole and safe. It is, in my humble opinion, the best strategy for our relation to Israel and deftly puts the lie to well-vocalized Arab sympathy for Palestinians.

How many times have blogoshpere Catholics pined for the day when "separation of church and state" was not abused to exclude expressions of faith from the public forum? And when finally a man comes along who can do just that with grace, articulation, and charm and without alienating anyone, what do we do?

We mark him a babbling, dishonest, backwoods fool.

At the very least my brothers and sisters in Christ, can we evaluate this godly man consistently and fairly for the views that he holds rather than the lies that the media has made out of him.

Lies exposed:
http://michaelmedved.townhall.com/blog/g/75f7897d-1fb4-4a2f-9177-32b8ee72fe17

Larry

when finally a man comes along who can do just that with grace, articulation, and charm and without alienating anyone

What man is that?

deusdonat

Stubble We mark him a babbling, dishonest, backwoods fool.

No one has done this. You did. I for one stated his pros and cons. I stated my concerns and at the same time qualifying them saying they can and may be disproven. You are the one jumping to hyperbole here, saying that anyone who shows any healthy doubt or skepticism to your beloved candidate must be labeling him a "babbling, dishonest fool". I guess there is no room for middle-ground or discussion with you, is there?

At the very least my brothers and sisters in Christ, can we evaluate this godly man Whoah! My last point is underscored here. GODLY MAN??? He is a HERETIC and a POLITICIAN. A heretic is a heretic is a heretic. Regardless of whether or not they do. I suggest you look up the dictionary definition of the word "godly":
1. conforming to the laws and wishes of God; devout; pious.
2. coming from God; divine.
No Protestant, heretic pagan etc conforms to the laws and wishes of God. This is precisely why they are in heresy. If you are meaning to call him devout and/or pious, then that is a much better qualifyer than "godly".

I'm really thinking you need to tone it down mow. You are really bordering on idolatry here.

William

“But I would say that anyone here that champions giving back Israel to its 'rightful owners'...so to speak...should be just as ready to hand over the land of this country back to those from who were driven off of it.” Fr. Bill, that’s ridiculous! I have Christian Palestinian friends whose land has been confiscated by the Israelis in this generation, not hundreds of years ago. Was the an injustice done to my ancestry (native Amercian)? Yes. Can or will the land be returned today? Doubtful. With the Palestinians we are talking about an injustice for the present generation for whom it is not to late to achieve justice. I wish you could meet some of my Palestinians Catholic friends. I think what they would tell you about the injustices they face daily at the hands of the Israelis would shock you.

William

Deusdonat, interesting. I too went to Israel very pro-Israel. In fact, it was because of my Christian Zionist Southern Baptist (same as Huckabee) background that I went to Israel and worked as a missionary for a Southern Baptist from Hope, Arkansas. In any case, by the time my wife and I left after two years, we had seen the light. There are two sides to the story. Israel is not a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy like I’d been taught. Israel is simply another secular state that should be treated like any other secular state in the world. Our one sides U.S. policies in favor of Israel have not been for the good of the United States. Our fellow Christians living under Israeli occupation are perplexed, discouraged and saddened by U.S. policy support of Israel as she suppresses them. They like Americans very much, they just don’t understand why Christians here don’t see their plight under the brutal Israeli occupation.

deusdonat

William TOO TRUE. I can give you a real-life example happening right now: A close Palestinian Catholic friend of mine, born in Jerusalem who has Israeli citizenship has been has been living here in the US for the past 7 years. During that time, he has each year sent his taxes due back to the Israeli government, even though he has been working here. Just last year, he got a summons from the embassy stating that since he has not been technically living (note: he goes back for 2 months a year to visit his home and family) in Israel for the past 5 years, the Israeli government is moving to revoke his citizenship. As ridiculous as this sounds, it happens ALL THE TIME...to non Jewish Israelis.

He had to hire a lawyer (actually 2: one here and one there) to hault the proceedings under a technicality. So, right now the issue is "unresolved" and he has an 8-month reprieve. He still doesn't know what he will do, as he doesn't want to give up his job in the US, but also doesn't want to give up his house (yes, you got it...HOUSE) in Jerusalem, which will be confiscated should he lose his citizenship.

Most Americans, specifically fundies, have no clue of what is really going on in Israel.

William

Deusdonat, try to catch Fr. Peter Vasko from the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land on EWTN. He has 30 years experience in the Holy Land and has seen many of the types of experiences that you and I describe in terms of what the Christians in the Holy Land deal with living under Israeli occupation.

deusdonat

William TOO FUNNY! I have met father Peter! Last time I was in Jerusalem we stayed at Casa Nova (I REALLY recommend it if you ever get the chance). He and the other Franciscans were going to take us to one of the safe-houses they were building for Christians in Jericho, but because of the road-blocks we were not allowed as some of those travelling with us only had "guest passes" and would not have been allowed back into Jerusalem.

Small world!

Incidentally, for ANY CATHOLIC who is interested in visiting the Holy Land, or just wants a Catholic perspective, please visit the http://www.ffhl.org/2006/default.asp>Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land website. Remember, the Christians of the Middle East are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Can any of us imagine the Holy Land with no Christians? No churches? No access allowed for us? Well...imagine it.

William

Deusdonat, would you believe that my wife and I had many meals at the Casa Nova, near New Gate!? Fantastic food, wine and always fun to meet pilgrims passing through. Thanks for the great reminder of such fun times!

deusdonat

William LOL! We may have crossed paths then. Not a lot of Americans at Casa Nova though. I've only seen about 5 out of all the times I've stayed there. Usually Italians and Spanish. I don't think I've ever heard or spoken English while I was there. And yeah, thank YOU for the strole down memory lane as well : )

paul zummo

Thompson has lived in Hollywood and knows all about acting for the public. If he has you convinced, then you can thank his acting coach, his publicist, his agent, his entourage, the "velvet mafia" and his studio execs who are all pulling for him and bankrolling him. Do you honestly think he will have no allegiance to liberal Hollywood if elected? Come on.

Evidently, he's fooled the National Right to Life Committee as well. But clearly, the guy is an actor, so he must be beholden to Hollywood. There's no way a guy who was an actor could ever be committed to the pro-life cause, or be an excellent conservative. Just ask Ronald Reagan.

If this is considered serious reasoning, then I weep for our democracy.

deusdonat

Actually, in my case it's called "trusted sources".

deusdonat

Paul, I will admit, you did force me to do a bit more research on Fred Thompson. And unfortunately, I have found the same double-talk and trickery that I expected. Please go to this site: ON THE ISSUES. There you will find quotes and sources from every candidate running. Concerning abortion, Fred Thompson says CLEARLY in "Meet the Press" 2007 that he would NOT ban partial birth abortions or abortion in general. Meanwhile, Huckabee states he would seek a ban on all abortion (ibid). So, my opinion on Thompson stands, regardless of who he may have convinced to endorse him.

What I also found out here is that Huckabee is pro-death penalty, which is also against Catholic moral teaching. And so is Thompson. Meanwhile Ron Paul voted yes on banning partial birth abortion, would ban all abortion, and is anti-death penalty.

As it stands, William appears to be correct. Ron Paul is looking like the "most Catholic" candidate, with the exception of Alan Keyes, should he actually continue running. If Keyes makes it to the primaries in California, I will have to vote for him, as my conscience would be clean there. If not, at the moment, it does seem to look like Ron Paul now over Huckabee.

Fr Bill P

With all due respect, William, I have many relatives who are native Amercians who would disagree with your calling their claim to the land 'silly'. Using your logic, is all that Israel have to do is hold onto the land for a few more generations and the Palestinians lose all right to their lands?

In either case, I think accords should be reach that help them share the land. Washington had wanted Americans to be able to share the land with the indians but was thwarted by both a duplicitious indian leader (who was half Scotch) and Georgians who wanted the Creek lands for themselves. He wanted assimiliation without driving indians off their property. It didn't work. Perhaps we can learn from our mistakes and do something different in Israel.

As far as the primary...I still have a month to decide (Missouri is part of Super Tuesday). Heaven knows I am doing a lot of research.

Brent Robbins

First off, RON PAUL is the best Catholic candidate. Ron Paul is not a strict libertarian, he is a strict CONSTITUTIONALIST. There is a bit of difference.

If you don't like Ron Paul's views, then you don't like the views of the Founding Fathers and the intent of the constitution upon giving powers to the Federal government.

The problem is, our current Federal government is corrupt...very corrupt. Not just economically, but socially. They have mandated legalized abortion, funding for abortion, etc. Dr. Ron Paul is for bypassing these atrocities by going to the state where they can overturn these. Granted, eventually I think there should be a constitutional amendment federally banning these things, but right now it will be generations before that happens if things keep going at the current rate.

As far as gay marriage, Ron Paul thinks the Federal government should get out of the marriage business, as they should, in my opinion.

Ron Paul 2008!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DKsEQkLGq0

political catholic

I've been learning some new things from these comments, so thank you all for that. Just a few questions.

Is it impossible for a Catholic to divide religious views from political? Can I, as a Catholic, hold the simultaneous views that marriage is a sacrament as defined by the church and yet the STATE should not regulate marriage at all, thereby allowing civil unions for any two people, as "marriage" licensed by the state and sacramental marriage are very different institutions? Certainly it is not the goal to outlaw all sin. Any theocracy, even a Catholic one, is distasteful. It is important that people have freedom to commit some sin, in order to make the avoidance of such a meaningful accomplishment and a vehicle for personal spiritual growth (if these are not truly individual choices, then so much benefit is lost.)

Certainly some sins need to be outlawed--those infringing on immediate life and those that would lead to a society falling into violence if there were no enforcement (eg, theft.) But is it necessary for a Catholic to believe, politically, that all Catholic teaching should be encoded in law? I would certainly think not.

The government is there to manage some parts of life, not all of them. Government ought to be designed for a maximum of personal liberty so that the individuals can discern their own paths through life. Catholic thought does not elevate personal liberty above that of society, and this is a profound realization for those who come to this understanding. But should the government mandate these choices on the populace? It doesn't seem to me that this follows. But, I am largely ignorant of these topics, so hopefully my misunderstandings can be cleared up.

Thanks to all.

Jordan Potter

Deusdonat said: "Stubble (honestly, I do not know where you guys are getting the idea that libertarianism is a form liberalism. It is an extreme form of conservatism.))"

I think there is only one person here who seems to be having trouble with these concepts.

Or perhaps there is only one person here who knows that American conservatism is historically and philosophically a form of liberalism. Anyway there is nothing conservative about libertarian political philosophy -- libertarianism is a corrosive, destructive, radical force, not a conserving one, and as I've pointed out before, the Catholic Church's social doctrine and libertarian and liberal philosophy are in opposition. Libertarians and conservatives in this country often espouse the same views on various matters of public policy, but that doesn't mean libertarianism is a form of conservatism.

Of course I'm always reminded in these kinds of discussons of Chesterton's famous adage about the whole world dividing itself into progressives and conservatives -- the business of the progressives being to go on making mistakes, and the business of the conservatives being to work to prevent any of those mistakes from being corrected.

As for Ron Paul allegedly being a constitutionalist, well, every American politician makes that claim -- they don't agree on how the Constitution should be interpreted and applied. Paul has various erroneous ideas about what the Constitution allows and does not allow -- I doubt the federal government has ever been operated according to his idea of what is and isn't constitutional.

Not that it matters a hill of beans what Paul thinks, as he hasn't got the slightest chance of winning the Republican nomination, let alone the Presidency. But Catholics should not kid themselves that his philosophy of government is in agreement with Catholic social doctrine, or that he's the most Catholic candidate. Yes, there are a few points where his policy positions coincide with positions that Catholics may hold or must hold, but overall there's nothing Catholic about his notions of government.

Political Catholic said: Is it impossible for a Catholic to divide religious views from political?

Yes, in one sense -- in Catholicism, the faith informs all of life, including politics. But no, in another sense -- not every political view is based on or derived from articles of the Catholic faith. The natural law, which all may know and apply apart from divine revelation, is not a specifically Catholic thing.

Can I, as a Catholic, hold the simultaneous views that marriage is a sacrament as defined by the church and yet the STATE should not regulate marriage at all, thereby allowing civil unions for any two people, as "marriage" licensed by the state and sacramental marriage are very different institutions?

No, that is not permissible, for it would mean the State would be held exempt from having to answer to Jesus, who created the State and is the rightful ruler of all Creation. Also, marriage is not just a religious matter, nor is it ever a private matter. It is always a public matter, and therefore marriage falls under the proper jurisdiction of the State, which is obliged to consider the dictates of God's law (the natural law, as well as the divine law) in exercising its authority. What you're talking about involves a total and strict separation of Church and State. Church and State have each their proper spheres of authority and operation, but there is some overlap, and they can never be completely separated such that religion becomes a private matter. Just as the State is obliged to prohibit abortion, the State is obliged to prohibit homosexual mockeries of marriage, since God created the State to maintain and promote public order and peace and general happiness. Redefining marriage in a manner diametrically opposed to the natural law is destructive of public peace and happiness. So, no, Catholics may never advocate the kind of approach to marriage that you mention.

political catholic

Jordan Potter writes: "Redefining marriage in a manner diametrically opposed to the natural law is destructive of public peace and happiness. "

This is interesting. Isn't it the case that state licensed "marriage" is really just a version of cohabitation that grants the cohabitors certain legal rights? Is it the Catholic position that cohabitation by unmarried couples be outlawed? Or is it that the very act of the state calling such unions "marriage," or the granting of some random legal benefits, imposes some negative social cost?

I'm inclined to think that homosexuals or unmarried heterosexuals living together should not be against the state's law and that any state-licensed union of any two people is purely a contractural arrangement between the state and its citizens, not at all bearing realtionship to sacramental marriage. In a free society such living arrangements should be permitted, and it is up to each individual to choose not to sin. It's clear that my inclination is in error, however.

Is there not a difference, then, between the state calling something "marriage" and the church calling a union "marriage"? Certainly the Catholic church isn't mandated to recognize any union that a given government may recognize.

The State must answer to Jesus, but doesn't it do so by providing personal liberty so that its citizens have the free will to choose sin or to not choose sin, so that by choosing to live without sin in a proper sacramental marriage they are making a real choice, not simply making the only legally allowable choice? Is it the Catholic position that civil divorce should be done away with and that the State adopt all the canon law governing marriage? I would think that would be a bit much, but perhaps, of course, I am misunderstanding the teachings.

Thank you. I appreciate your comments and insight as I try to learn about the proper relationship between Catholic belief and political action.

William

Check out this discussion for an answer.
http://catholicsforronpaul.blogspot.com/2007/07/gay-marriage-catholic-look-at-ron-pauls.html

deusdonat

Jordan, your views on libertarianism are just plain wrong. The church has never issued any statement against this philosophy on goverment. It HAS issued statements against totalitarianism, communism and even capitalism. On what grounds you think you can make such claims as "Catholic Church's social doctrine and libertarian and liberal philosophy are in opposition". I'm sure you are having fun playing arm-chair theologian, but now it's time to back up what you say with facts or your "opinions" will soon be seen as hollow by others who read your posts. And the "American conservatism is historically and philosophically a form of liberalism" statement is a non-sequitor. You obviously don't know the difference between 18th century liberalism vs the meaning of the word today or you wouldn't have opened up that can of worms. Choose your words carefully.

Political Catholic, regarding your query, there is no straight answer here, as much as some would like to convince you otherwise. Regardless of the tight or loose relationship between church and state over the centuries, there has always been the underriding concept within Catholicism of "give to Caesar what is Caesar's". Meaning Christians are beholden to a higher set of laws, rules and morals regardless of the secular powers that be. Jordan's statement "[Jesus] created the State and is the rightful ruler of all Creation" is pure bunk and utter hogwash. Jesus did NOT create this or any other "state", country or government. That concept is beyond ridiculous. Not even the Vatican holds Jesus created it (note: the Vatican as a state, and NOT the Catholic church, which of course Our Lord did indeed found).

The point here is that the church of course wants laws which help preserve the sanctitiy of the sacraments (i.e. marriage) and life (i.e. anti-abortion, anti-death penalty). But these are two separate concepts in that the church does NOT recognize "civil marriage" to begin with, meaning the state has no authority to dispense the sacrament of marriage. So, same sex marriage licenses issued by the state (such as throughout Europe) are farcicle to the church; they simply do not exist. However, it does present the larger moral issue which is directly at odds with the church; that of the homosexual agenda/lifestyle. This is the core of the argument.

Currently, homosexual sex is legal in the US, which is of course contrary to church teaching. Every candidate and political party on the ballot supports this (at least openly) and none of them are seeking to criminalize homosexual activity. Therefore, voting for a candidate or party which condones or advocates same-sex marriage is no better or worse than advocating consensual homosexual sex; which all do.

Bottom line; use your own reasoning and common sense here, and pray.

political catholic

Ron Paul's position is an artifact of US government organization. His argument is that the federal government has no authority over issues of marriage, but that the state government does, and this is an argument that is only true because of the structure of the US constitution. This is a different question from the one of a Catholic not caring if the state government allows two gay people to sign a document giving them the same legal rights as a man-and-wife married couple. Marriage is not equal to these random legal rights. Marriage is sacramental and more than a mere contract. So the state CANNOT "redefine" marriage in the dictionary sense. All the state (either federal or local government) can do is allow citizens to sign certain contractural agreements. Why does two gay men signing a civil union contract to split their assets 50/50 and allow hospital visits, etc, threaten marriage? Is it because the government CALLS such unions "marriage?" I would think the existance of these unions would in fact STRENGTHEN marriage, making those engaging in true sacramental marriage stand out more against all the sin. This is the power of choices made freely. If sacramental union were all that was legal, then all such choices would be the same. Don't we have to have the CHOICE to choose a life without sin in order for that life to have its fullest effect?

I understand two things to be true: (1) gay marriage is against the natural law and threat to public peace and (2) a free society ought to allow people to associate freely, even if it's against the natural law. I don't see these two things as irreconcileable.

But, of course, I may be wildly out of line in this thinking as a Catholic. Doesn't it come down to having the Church teachings dealing with social issues and having the government dealing with only the minimal issues necessary to maintain order and provide its citizens with the personal liberty to CHOOSE how to live, even if these laws allow sinful behavior?

Again, thank you for taking the time to read. I am truly trying to understand here, not challenge beliefs or rile people up. I am sure to those more knowledgeable than I my arguments sound rather sophomoric, but this is my current level of understanding and I am not sure where to go to further develop my education in these political manners.

political catholic

Thank you, deusdonat, for your thoughtful reply. I can't believe that every sin ought to be against the law of the State. No candidate wants to outlaw extramarital sex between a man and a woman either. Nor should they. Society would fall apart if that were the case or we could get into the terrible situation of some theocratic totalitarian regimes where young girls are imprisoned for being raped. Personal liberty in a political sense is crucial, even if in a Catholic teachings sense it is far from the end-all-be-all. The Church doesn't send stormtroopers to round up those who miss Sunday Mass. The State could, and that's not a society I'd like to live in.

Huckabee = a charismatic bore

Obama = a disgrace to Muslims.

Huckabee is an anti-catholic bigot and moron.

Larry

Personal liberty in a political sense is crucial, even if in a Catholic teachings sense it is far from the end-all-be-all. The Church doesn't send stormtroopers to round up those who miss Sunday Mass.

"On her part, the Church addresses people with full respect for their freedom. Her mission does not restrict freedom but rather promotes it. The Church proposes; she imposes nothing. She respects individuals and cultures, and she honors the sanctuary of conscience."
-- JOHN PAUL II

StubbleSpark

If there is any reason to resist libertarianism in this age of war is that, as a foreign policy (especially as "blame America first" Ron Paul envisions it) it would have us crawling before Al Qaeda like dogs.

In the end, Republicans and Democrats are not that dissimilar. Where Democrats look to big government to solve the world's problems, Republicans look to corporations.

Which is exactly why we must reject the old guard republicans in order to stay relevant.

deusdonat

Good Morning, Stubble. I'm not sure if your statement "blame America first" Ron Paul was tongue-in-cheek or just slander, but either way it does beg clarification here. Apparently when someone YOU respect criticises American government policy, they are being patriotic, but when those you disagree with do it, they are "blaming America"? I have listened to all the candidates mentioned here speak regarding foreign policy, and Ron Paul does sound closest to Pat Buchanon, who I voted for and admire greatly.

In recent years, the US has made some GRAVE mistakes in foreign policy, namely shifting focus from the hunt for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan to invading a sovreign country under false pretense (is there ANYONE here who will dare say there were WMD's in Iraq at this point at the time of invasion with a straight face?) which of course opened up a NEW front and created an entirely NEW wing of the terrorist organization.

Ron Paul (and Pat Buchanon before him) is saying get out of Muslim lands, tighten immigration from Muslim countries, strengthen our borders and security and reduce dependence on foreign special interests (see: the Saudis). This is cause-and-effect. How is it "blaming America first"?

disinformation

Contrary to ongoing reports by mainstream media outlets, WMDs have been found in Iraq, so reports New York Times best-selling author Richard Miniter in his new book, Disinformation.


Consider these shocking facts:

• Found: 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium

• Found: 1,500 gallons of chemical weapons
• Found: Roadside bomb loaded with sarin gas

• Found: 1,000 radioactive materials--ideal for radioactive dirty bombs

• Found: 17 chemical warheads--some containing cyclosarin, a nerve agent five times more powerful than sarin

This is only a partial list of the deadly weapons Miniter reveals in his new book, Disinformation. Miniter systematically dissects the "No-WMD Myth" (how it started, and why it continues), as well as 21 other War-on-Terror myths perpetuated by the media.

deusdonat

*yawn*

Olaf

The person who intimated that Obama is a Muslim is out of line. I don't generally vote for Democrats, being that they're "pro-choice", but seeing such comments on this website makes me want to vote for Obama.

Olaf, I didn't write the comment, but I have strong feelings on the subject. I honestly feel he is nominally Christian for the reason that it is the only way he has a shot at a decent political career in the US. Those are my feelings based on a) his Muslim education b) his Mother's Muslim leanings c) the fact he is now a member of a Unitarian-like church with no real creed (i.e. a Muslim can get along there just fine as he/she does not need to profess any particular faith contrary to Islam). Of course God alone knows his heart. But as I said, I have my suspicions. However, I would not outright call him a Muslim or doubt the power of the holy spirit to guide him towards Christianity.

deusdonat

I just wanted to give the author, Tim the props he deserves. Kudos on your most accurate forecast re Hillary. The media are already touting her as the "comeback kid". Hmmm. You wonder if she actually "threw" Iowa?

Jordan Potter

Deusdonat said: Jordan, your views on libertarianism are just plain wrong.

Well, when you put it that way, who could argue with you?

The church has never issued any statement against this philosophy on goverment.

So what? The Church HAS made statements about human government that are in conflict with the libertarian philosophy, so a Syllabus Against the Libertarians is not necessary for a knowledgeable Catholic to understand how libertarianism is in conflict with Catholic social doctrine. Just read the great social encyclicals of the past 150 years.

On what grounds you think you can make such claims as "Catholic Church's social doctrine and libertarian and liberal philosophy are in opposition".

How about this passage from Pope Leo XIII's social encyclical Immortale Dei (1885):
"Man’s natural instinct moves him to live in civil society, for he cannot, if dwelling apart, provide himself with the necessary requirements of life, nor procure the means of developing his mental and moral faculties. Hence it is divinely ordained that he should lead his life—be it family, social or civil—with his fellow-men, amongst whom alone his several wants can be adequately supplied. But as no society can hold together unless some one be over all, directing all to strive earnestly for the common good; every civilized community must have a ruling authority, and this authority, no less than society itself, has its source in nature, and has, consequently, God for its author. Hence it follows that all public power must proceed from God. For God alone is the true and supreme Lord of the world. Everything, without exception, must be subject to Him, and must serve Him, so that whosoever holds the right to govern, holds it from one sole and single source, namely, God, the Sovereign Ruler of all. There is no power but from God. (Romans 13:1)."

You're welcome to try and reconcile that with either liberal or libertarian principles.

I'm sure you are having fun playing arm-chair theologian, but now it's time to back up what you say with facts or your "opinions" will soon be seen as hollow by others who read your posts.

Right back at you, Deusdonat.

And the "American conservatism is historically and philosophically a form of liberalism" statement is a non-sequitur.

And yet it is an undeniable historical fact.

You obviously don't know the difference between 18th century liberalism vs the meaning of the word today or you wouldn't have opened up that can of worms. Choose your words carefully.

On the contrary, I know exactly what the difference is between classical liberalism and its modern descendant in the U.S. Modern liberalism represents the logical reductio ad absurdum of the fundamental principles of classical liberalism.
Political Catholic, I'm sorry, but Deusdonat has misled you. I hope it is not that he was not so eager to contradict me that he veered into extreme error, denying the Lordship of Jesus over all creation, and by implication accusing Jesus, St. Paul, Pope Leo XIII and numerous other Popes of teaching "pure bunk and utter hogwash." Jesus and St. Paul taught that human rulers have no power but what God grants them, and that all human authority derives from the Lord.

there has always been the underriding concept within Catholicism of "give to Caesar what is Caesar's". Meaning Christians are beholden to a higher set of laws, rules and morals regardless of the secular powers that be.

That's not all it means, for Jesus also said, "Give to God what is God's." Well, all things are God's. Therefore Christians are obligated to seek the establishment of just laws, laws in accord with the natural law. Laws that establish pseudo-marriage for homosexuals are necessarily opposed to the natural law, and therefore a Catholic may not advocate for such laws. Indeed, he is bound by God to resist attempts to establish them, save in cases where such resistance produces even greater evils than the laws themselves would produce (i.e., non-violent means of resistance are obligatory, forceful means would be excluded save in the most extreme cases of the collapse of civil society).

The point here is that the church of course wants laws which help preserve the sanctitiy of the sacraments (i.e. marriage) and life (i.e. anti-abortion, anti-death penalty). But these are two separate concepts in that the church does NOT recognize "civil marriage" to begin with, meaning the state has no authority to dispense the sacrament of marriage.

You are gravely mistaken, Deusdonat. The Church DOES recognise civil marriages -- it's civil divorce that the Church does not recognise. The Church has long held, and continues to hold, that marriage and the family was established by God as the fundamental "cell" of civil society, and therefore civil society is obliged by God to protect it and thereby secure peace and the public good.

Political Catholic said: I can't believe that every sin ought to be against the law of the State.

You're right about that, and the Church agrees with you. But the institution of marriage is so important to the health of society and the good of souls that the State is obligated to establish laws that protect and foster it.

No candidate wants to outlaw extramarital sex between a man and a woman either. Nor should they.

Actually for most of Western history, adultery has been illegal either in criminal codes or civil codes or both. I'm not sure why it would be wrong for the State to outlaw adultery. Criminal or civil penalties against adultery need not -- and in Christian teaching, must not -- include capital or even corporal punishment (though a temptation to throw rotten fruit is perhaps understandable), but fines or civil penalties can be a fitting way to dispense a just redress for the serious harm that adultery does. Really, we don't have to choose between immorality and license on the one hand, and a Talibanesque regime on the other. That's a false dichotomy, for we have more options to choose from than that.

The Church doesn't send stormtroopers to round up those who miss Sunday Mass. The State could, and that's not a society I'd like to live in.

In the history of Catholic societies, the State has never done that -- no, not even in the days of inquisitions and autos da fe. The Church has maintained that matters of the Faith belong properly to her own jurisdiction, and it is always disastrous when the State encroaches into the Church's realm. A secular meddling such as legalistically regulating a person's Mass attendance would be absolutely contrary to Catholic teaching.

Leo

anonymous blank,

Is Barack Obama a Muslim?

Not according to his own senate website
"...live on Chicago’s South Side where they attend Trinity United Church of Christ."

nor according to Snopes urban legends
which refers to some of the phrases you use.

Obama attends TRINITY">http://www.tucc.org/about.htm">TRINITY United Church of Christ. Whether its doctrines are orthodox or heretical, "Trinity" is just about the most unlikely name for a "Unitarian-like church" I can imagine.

Although my cursory glance of their website suggests a worshipping community more interested in social action than formal creeds, I see no grounds for suggesting anything other than Sen Obama considers himself a Christian and nothing to suggest that he is even "slightly Muslim".

One might not think that liberal/permissive social policies fit easily with orthodox Christianity, but they fit even less with orthodox Islam.

Whatever one thinks about a candidate's policies, let's not make ignorant comments based on unfortunate-sounding surnames whether it be "Obama" or "Huckabee".

I found this piece arguing that Huckabee and Obama represent the fundamentalist and modernist poles of American Protestantism.

Please note that this comment is not intended as an attack or defence of any candidate.

deusdonat

I thought that in light of Thompson's recently abandoning his bid for the White House (*whew* !!) this thread might want to resurrect itself.

David B.

"whew"? Why, sir, do you say 'whew'? Thompson and Romney, IMHO, were the only *mostly* conservative candidates out there. Not Rudy. Not McCain. Not Huck.

Tim J.

If Thompson had made it to the Arkansas primary, I might have voted for him, regardless of his position.

Oh, well.

deusdonat

David, you are assuming that "conservative = good" on all issues. I am Catholic first, and anything else is secondary. The church is against the death-penalty and so am I. I am also staunchly pro-gun control and beleive in socialized medicine. So, rather than trying to convince me on why Thompson was worth voting for because he was a conservative, you should convince me on his stance on moral and Catholic issues.

David B.

David, you are assuming that "conservative = good" on all issues

No, I'm not.

So, rather than trying to convince me on why Thompson was worth voting for because he was a conservative, you should convince me on his stance on moral and Catholic issues.

You haven't answered my friendly question as to why Thompson's withdrawal from the race merited a "whew!" from your (internet) lips.

I NEVER said conservative ideals are better then the Catholic Faith. I believe conservative ideals are in harmony with the our Catholic Faith.

Since Thompson isn't running, and because I'm not his spokesman, I'll refrain from explain his beliefs, and instead point you to this video, in which Thompson explained his own beliefs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VblJq4j0_SE


I believe that, had Fred run, a Catholic concerned about being faithful to the Church teaching could've voted for him in good conscience. Keep it real, bros.

David B.

...I'd also be interested in discovering who you believe is a good person for president.

deusdonat

DAVID I agree with you that a Catholic could have voted for him in good conscience. I'm not disputing that. But I beleive a Catholic can pretty much vote for any of the remaining Republican candidates with just as much good conscience (albeit reservation) under the same critera. My internet inerjection was carried from my virtual lips to underscore my reservations already commented to above in this very thread (no need to rehash them). I am in fact quite aware of Thompson's views and get the lion's share of my info from the http://www.ontheissues.org/default.htm>On the Issues website (I highly recommend it).

I agree that many if not most conservative issues are in keeping with Catholic teachings. However, I do find several at odds with Catholic social doctrine; namely on healthcare, immigration, gun rights and of course the death penalty.

David B.

Understood.

Though I believe conservative ideas concerning healthcare, and immigration are, while different from other ideals, aiming for the right answer to these problems, and are not contrary to the Catholic Faith.

deusdonat

David fair enough. Obviously conservatives are like any faction; put 3 in the same room and you will get 3 different definitions. And you always get someone trying to prove he/she is "more" conservative than the rest, while the others label that one a reactionary Kook (a badge of honor I myself have worn with pride : )

Elijah

What part of 'gun rights' is opposed to Catholic social doctrine?

deusdonat

Elijah, here is an https://americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=668>EXCELLENT article on the subject by his excellency The Most Rev. Michael W. Warfel, bishop of Juneau, Alaska. He does a great job of summarizing the church's position. I recommend reading the entire article, however I will quote a key statement "The right to private property (in this case guns) is not absolute. An individual’s right to own and bear arms, as well as actually to use them, must be balanced by the greater social needs of a society and its citizens’ right to safety."

amen x 10

bill912

Then one should be in favor of gun rights. Studies have shown that those counties that have the most restrictive gun control laws have the highest rates of homicide and other violent crime, while those with the least restrictive gun control laws have the lowest rates of homicide and other violent crime. For example, see John Lott's book "More Guns, Less Crime".

Tim J.

deusdonat,

On gun rights; I don't know anyone who has tried to argue for gun rights based on some open-ended concept of private property, but I suppose it could happen. Of course gun rights must be balanced against the good of society, but the founding fathers would have wet themselves at the idea that private citizens should not be allowed to own guns. It was the threat of the removal of their stocks of guns and ammunition - by the legitimate government at the time - that led directly to the Colonists' first armed resistance at Lexington and Concord. The government wanted to disarm the people so that they could not mount any kind of armed resistance.

It is also inaccurate - okay, wrong - to say that the Church opposes the death penalty. Read the Catechism on this point. The state has legitimate recourse to the death penalty if it becomes necessary in order to protect society. You may argue that it is never necessary in the modern West, and I may even agree with you, but that is a long way from saying that Church teaching is against the death penalty.

Both immigration and socialized medicine are well into the realm of prudential judgment. Again, the question is what policies are most just and will do the most good in the long run, not necessarily which ones make us feel warm and fuzzy at the moment.

Don't be too quick to conflate Church teaching and the opinion of certain Church leaders.

Elijah

I read the entire article, but I didn't see the author summarizing 'the Church's position' at all. I saw him appeal to What Americans Think according to polls.

Anyway, I really just wanted to know 'what part of "gun rights" is opposed to Catholic social doctrine'. By that I mean which part? Just owning a gun isn't sinful, nor is the use of violence to protect those entrusted to one's care, so that part of 'gun rights' can't be opposed to Catholic social doctrine. So which part is?

bill912

The Nazis, communists, and Jacobins wanted to disarm their people for the same reason the British did. Unfortunately, they were successful.

deusdonat

Billy, no, I do not accept your fuzzy logic. Take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence>these figures:

United States -
Non-firearm homicide rate
per 100,000 = 5.5000
Firearm homicide rate
per 100,000 = 3.6000
% homicides with firearms = 39.5604
Overall homicide rate
per 100,000 = 9.1000

Compared to Singapore where gun ownership by civilians is ilegal -

Non-firearm homicide rate
per 100,000 = 0.9209
Firearm homicide rate
per 100,000 = 0.0249
% homicides with firearms = 2.6316
Overall homicide rate
per 100,000 = 0.9457

So, statistically, you are wrong since Singapore outlaws private ownership of guns and has the lowest homicide rate in the world. So, under your logic, the opposite is true.

But the fact of the matter is, guns are not only issue for violence, as the figures show; even without guns there will still be violence if certain societal/social problems are not addressed (witness what is going on in Kenya right now). In other words, there is really nothing fundamentally wrong with Swiss owning guns. Their society simply does not share the problems and scale that the US does. To pretend the two cases are somehow similar (or comparing the US to Singapore) is simply irresponsible.

bill912

Singapore? I live in America. Singapore apples do not equal American oranges.

bill912

My name is Bill, not Billy.

Calling evidence "your fuzzy logic" does not alter facts. I've been a cop for 19 years. Evidence is my stock-in-trade. I can be convinced of anything with sufficient evidence, and of nothing without it. There simply is no evidence on the pro-gun-control side. Every gun-control argument I've heard has been based on made-up numbers or emotional appeals.

deusdonat

TIM, I'm sorry, but you are wrong. The church is absolutely opposed/against the death penalty. It has not banned it, and says it may be necessary in some cases as per the catechism (which I am aware of, actually : ), but this does not change the social teaching that it http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac0195.asp>opposes it under theological grounds. If you can show me one case where any bishop has come out in support of executing any criminal in say, the last 20 years, you will have made your case. And I am very careful to distinguish between church leaders and the official teaching of the church, and back up my ascertions with links and references. But thanks for the advice.

Regarding the founding fathers, well...they also allowed slavery and denied slaves and women the vote. We as a civilization have since evolved. So, it's not the best idea to base your entire argument around an 18th century construct.

bill912

Is D.C.'s low murder rate of 69 per 100,000 due to strict gun control, while Indianapolis' high murder rate of 9 per 100,000 due to lack of gun control?

If banning guns works, why do NYC, DC, and Chicago cops need guns?

Is a woman raped and strangled morally superior to a woman with a smoking gun in her hand and a dead rapist at her feet?

bill912

"It has not banned it, and says it may be necessary in some cases as per the catechism."

I wonder if he realizes he refuted himself?

deusdonat

Bill (apologies for misreading your name), I have given you evidence, which you quickly dismiss as "made-up numbers or emotional appeals". I actually brought up the statistics by country since I misread your post that said "counties" and thought you wrote "countries", which is why I mentioned Singapore etc. Mea Culpa.

But regardless, the figures are there. And I live around and have several friends who are on the force. And ALL of them are some of the most radical gun control fanatics you will ever meet. Why? Because they know how they feel having to walk into any domestic situation knowing they have to prepare for the fact that the family in question is most likely armed.

Anyway, I think we have both made our points here.

deusdonat

Bill, one more clarification; banning guns does NOT = gun control. Of course our police force (and military) should have them. I don't know of anyone who could logically argue otherwise.

bill912

I don't know one cop who favors gun control laws, and I belong to a department of 2,500. If any police officer told me he was in favor of gun control, I would chastise him for not acting like a police officer and examining the evidence.

bill912

I didn't argue that banning guns includes police and military. We were discussing gun control laws: banning civilians from owning guns.

Elijah

Why would an example of a bishop supporting the execution of a criminal have to be within the last 20 years?

Matt

Elijah,

Why would an example of a bishop supporting the execution of a criminal have to be within the last 20 years?

because deusdonat believes the Church doctrine has evolved and he's not interested in what was said prior to that evolution.

God Bless,

Matt

J.R. Stoodley

I'm not going to read the entirety of this debate as it has transpired so far. I'll just give my own opinion on gun control in case anyone strange finds it of any interest.

The basic unit of society is the family. Each family, and in particular each father/husband, has the right and responsibility to defend his family. While I grant the situation is a bit complicated, in general it seems quite reasonable that to defend his family from external threats a man should have the right to possess firearms, which after all are pretty much the only practical weapons nowadays (you can hardly defend your household with a knife if the threat has a gun).

Government's function should be to assist families in doing things they could not do on their own. They should not take basic rights away from families unless in cases where it is absolutely necessary for the good of society (for example, taxing people within reason to maintain government services such as national defense).

Now, in the case of criminals or the mentally unwell I would support gun control. Violent criminals can be said to have revoked certain rights, and those not in reasonable control of themselves of course should be deprived of means to harm themselves or others. Because of this I completely support background checks and think if anything they should be extended. Similarly, if an aspect of a weapon, for example fingerprint-proof material, has no conceivable valid purpose and if some good can come of banning it then I support such a ban. However, I don't see why government should have any right to limit the possession of arms beyond that.

I'll mention that this does not come from any personal bias. I have never touched a gun (besides some non-functional Revolutionary War muskets that had been ruined by Hurricane Katrina), and I do not forsee me owning or even desireing to own a gun. I just think that government should not have the right to limit households' legitimate means of self-defense.

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