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« In which Mark Shea and SDG try to clarify | Main | What reduces abortions? »

October 21, 2008

Comments

Rotten Orange

I, for one, humbly ask the powers that be to reverse back to the old way, and I ask everyone else to check if, like me, they are also unable to go straight to a Recent Comment from one of those now-multiple pages post, without the patience test of having to click on a dozen of Next links. Things get worse when, for an example, someone makes a comment without any name, as it is the case with the two comments on the Cy thread currently on the Recent Comments bar.
I also noticed that the two black lines on the right green column are still there.

Dan Hunter

Mrs Judy Brown on EWTN'S Qustion and answer forum, when asked if a Catholic can vote for McCain or Obama:

Answer by Judie Brown on 10-21-2008:
Dear Ashley
In my opinion, neither man deserves the vote of a committed pro-life Catholic, but that is merely my opinion.

Judie Brown

Dave Mueller

Thanks for the additional data point that Judie Brown is a political imbecile.

Dan Hunter

Dave,

More important than your "enlightened" point is the fact that by her statement she shows herself to be a faithful Catholic.

J.R. Stoodley

Certainly neither candidate "deserves" the vote of anyone. Though her position certainly seems to be in favor of voting for neither major candidate her statement on its face value could still be accepted by someone planning to vote for McCain for the primary purpose of helping defeat Obama.

Regarding the Combox, I agree the old way seems better. I imagine the bugs are being worked out though.

And on the general subject of blog housekeeping, anyone else think that the time has long since come for SDG to be added to the "JA.O BLOGGERS" list on the lefthand column?

Rotten Orange
...anyone else think that the time has long since come for SDG to be added to the "JA.O BLOGGERS" list on the lefthand column?

But he had been added for a while, when he was officially introduced by Jimmy as a guest blogger, along with Michelle Arnold. I don't remember for how much time, though.

J.R. Stoodley

Huh. Must have been for a short time or else before my time. When I first started coming here it was Jimmy Akin, Tim Jones, and Michelle Arnold as the JA.O Bloggers, with a very occasional post by SDG. I wonder why SDG was taken off the list, and why he isn't put back on now.

DMG

Jimmy should change this to the SDG blog.

SDG

I wonder why SDG was taken off the list, and why he isn't put back on now.

FWIW, it was at my request, for personal reasons. These days, though, it is kind of silly for me not to be up there. I'll look to do something about that…

The Masked Chicken

I just spent fifteen minutes writing a refutation of Zippy's contention that each voter's vote is insignificant and its is not appearing!!! I like the older typepad code - simpler, more reliable.

Hmmph...

The Grouchy Chicken

P. S., if my comments on voting as information transfer points shows up after I leave, then, never mind.

SDG

I just spent fifteen minutes writing a refutation of Zippy's contention that each voter's vote is insignificant and its is not appearing!!! I like the older typepad code - simpler, more reliable.

Chicken, do you mean this comment? It's still there. You didn't read the post for this carefully enough.

David B.

If visitors see "SDG" in the corner, they might think Jimmy has a connection to Dreamworks (SKG). :-)

Dan Hunter

Voting Pro-Abortion Called Cooperating in Evil

Texas Bishops Resolve Doubts for Faithful Citizens


DALLAS, Texas, OCT. 22, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Voting for a pro-abortion candidate when there is an alternative option is to cooperate in evil, and therefore morally impermissible, clarified two Texas bishops.

SDG

Thanks, Dan Hunter. Is there a link?

DBP

LINK

"To vote for a candidate who supports the intrinsic evil of abortion or 'abortion rights' when there is a morally acceptable alternative would be to cooperate in the evil -- and, therefore, morally impermissible."

The bishops concluded affirming that the decisions made on such political and moral issues "may affect each individual's salvation."

"As Catholics, we must treat our political choices with appropriate moral gravity," they wrote, "and in doing so, realize our continuing and unavoidable obligation to be a voice for the voiceless unborn, whose destruction by legal abortion is the preeminent intrinsic evil of our day."

It appears that the bishops' view goes beyond this and applies to any intrinsic evil

Preeminent among these intrinsic evils are legalized abortion, the promotion of same-sex unions and 'marriages,' repression of religious liberty, as well as public policies permitting euthanasia, racial discrimination or destructive human embryonic stem cell research."

So even if McCain were pro-life on abortion -- which he isn't -- his support for intrinsic evil in the case of embryonic stem cell research, would make it sinful to vote for him in the bishops' view. The bishops speak of exceptional hypothetical cases when voting for a candidate who supports an intrinsic evil may not be sinful using the adjective "both"; but I assume they are simply using a simplified model rather than making some unstated hidden exception with respect to candidate viability.

SDG

So even if McCain were pro-life on abortion -- which he isn't -- his support for intrinsic evil in the case of embryonic stem cell research, would make it sinful to vote for him in the bishops' view. The bishops speak of exceptional hypothetical cases when voting for a candidate who supports an intrinsic evil may not be sinful using the adjective "both"; but I assume they are simply using a simplified model rather than making some unstated hidden exception with respect to candidate viability.

I find your assumption quite implausible. Rather, I take it for granted that "both" implies precisely an unstated assumption that we are talking about bringing a pro-life Catholic perspective to which candidate will actually win.

Borrowing from something I posted elsewhere: If we must include even quixotic candidates in our pool of candidates, whom must we include? How about candidates who are on ballots in other states but who happen to have been excluded from ours? How about candidates who are not on any ballots bbut who are actively campaigning for write-in votes? How about candidates for whom a grass-roots campagin exists to a write in the candidate, even if the candidate himself isn't necessarily actively campaigning? How big would such a grass-roots movement have to be? Would it cover you and me and Tim J thinking that Jimmy would make a great president?

If "all candidates" means "everyone for whom you could possibly cast a vote," then as Dave Mueller among others has pointed out there will always be an acceptable "candidate" who does not advocate any intrinsic evil, and there would be no need to cover the moral case of voting in an election in which no such candidate exists.

But the bishops do cover such cases. Therefore "all candidates" does not mean "everyone for whom you could possibly cast a vote." So what does it mean?

I think "all candidates who could possibly win" is a reasonable interpretation, and the Texas bishops' "both candidates" reinforces this interpretation.

The Masked Chicken

I'm having a hard time connecting to JA.org. Is this a typepad thing, a DoS attack, or do I just need to get a new computer?

The Chicken

Rotten Orange
Is this a typepad thing, a DoS attack, or do I just need to get a new computer?

Dear TMC

None of that. I had some difficulties, also, and that most plausible explanation that I can think of is that Cthulhu is so angry for Jimmy's absence from the blog that he joined the Easter Bunny to hack it.

DBP

It is not logical to read that into the bishops' use of "both." Some races involve three viable candidates and some American jurisdictions use instant run off voting regimes in certain elections, making the issue of viability moot for the most part, though "strategic voting" is still a possibility. A dramatic exception as viability would warrant mention. Fanciful arguments involving writing in candidates would only be pertinent in the case of a grass roots campaign, a scenario that is uncommon. Not all elections allow write in candidates. Writing in one's self presupposes that one is qualified for the office and is accepting of the attendant sacrifice; otherwise one's vote becomes a lie.

If one votes McCain and is involved in a discussion with a secular person about abortion or embryos and one's vote is mentioned, it may scandalize that person. It may lead him to think that Catholics do not believe that all life is equally sacred, that life, brought about in incest or rape or in a situation of medical jeopardy, is not as deserving of defense and witness. It may also lead him to think that Catholics do not believe that life destroyed through well intentioned research is as big of a deal as lives destroyed by abortion.

If perchance McCain is elected and uncharacteristically nominates with senate confirmation justices eager to overturn Roe, that would likely only be a temporary reversal. In the next election, many unhappy with the reversal would be galvanized and some day Roe would be reestablished and the public would likely never elect another pro-life president. Political machination is not our hope; our hope is in changing the culture. Voting for McCain would not change that culture effectively for the reason above.

SDG

It is not logical to read that into the bishops' use of "both."

On the contrary, it is the most sensible reading, as your own arguments suggest. All of the factors you list ("Some races involve three viable candidates and some American jurisdictions use instant run off voting regimes in certain elections," etc.), supposedly as reasons against the bishops using the word "both" the way I said, are equally reasons against using the word "both" at all. Had the bishops been concerned about such factors, they would simply have said "all." That they said "both" makes perfect sense in light of the reasonable supposition that they are thinking here and now, above all of

1. presidential politics, which is virtually never a viable three-way race;
2. the current presidential race, which is certainly not a viable three-way race; and
3. the major problem with Catholic political leaning in the current presidential race, which is fundamentally a problem of Catholics leaning toward the most evil major ticket, not the comparatively minor problem of scrupulous Catholics having difficulty justifying voting for the less problematic viable ticket rather than a quixotic ticket.

If one votes McCain and is involved in a discussion with a secular person about abortion or embryos and one's vote is mentioned, it may scandalize that person. It may lead him to think that Catholics do not believe that all life is equally sacred, that life, brought about in incest or rape or in a situation of medical jeopardy, is not as deserving of defense and witness. It may also lead him to think that Catholics do not believe that life destroyed through well intentioned research is as big of a deal as lives destroyed by abortion.

Scandal means giving bad example. Obama as president strikes me as the worst possible occasion of scandal likely to come from this election. That pro-life Christians, that Americans generally did not defeat the most pro-abortion candidate in history will have a substantial effect on the public perception of abortion.

All possible acts can lead to someone being scandalized. Voting quixotic will scandalize those who see it as expressing indifference who actually leads the country, just so long as we keep our own hands clean.

Some more thoughts here.

If perchance McCain is elected and uncharacteristically nominates with senate confirmation justices eager to overturn Roe, that would likely only be a temporary reversal. In the next election, many unhappy with the reversal would be galvanized and some day Roe would be reestablished and the public would likely never elect another pro-life president. Political machination is not our hope; our hope is in changing the culture. Voting for McCain would not change that culture effectively for the reason above.

False dichotomy. Law, including juridical precedents posing as law, is part of the culture, along with advocacy in the public square both by citizens and by officials. Law affects the way issues are framed in the public square; it shapes the way people think about and see issues; it conditions the kinds of ideas people are receptive to, the kinds of conversations they are or aren't willing to have. Roe v Wade hamstrings our ability to change the culture. We can't pit one goal against the other.

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