Catholics for Kerry

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Living in a purple area in a generally Blue State, I found our priest's election message interesting. Generally, he hasn't said much about the election. Today, all he said was "please vote," and expressed being sick of the whole process. I think at this stage, that may sum up how many of us feel.

Nonetheless, the next four years and more than likely the direction of this century, lies in what happens on Tuesday. So a little perseverance is necessary.

The archright/Rambo Catholics, etc, have sought to hijack the consciences of Catholics by badgering them into voting single issue on a candidates stand on the legality of abortion. The point is that single issue votes just do not make common sense in advancing the culture of life.

-why would you fight for a life for its first 9 months and then abandon it for the remaining four-score and ten?
-do these archright-ers not want clean air, pollutant-free water for their babies and children? Environmental issues are life issues too.
-do these people not want affordable healthcare for their children and grandchildren?
-do these people not want a solid fiscal environment so that their children grow up in a world that is stable and not on the verge of financial collapse?
-do these people not want a far-sighted sensible foreign policy that restores our leadership in the world and reclaims our allies? This means everthing in terms of the world that our babies are born into, i.e., will it be peaceful, will it be stable, it will be safe, it will respect human rights
-do these people not want a policy of peace and not war, especially illegal and unjust wars such as the Iraq war, responsible for the the death of 100,000 and the injuring and maiming of 100,000?
-do these people not want an energy policy that respects th environment, advances science, and reduces our dependency on Mideast oil?
-do these people not want a just society in which the criminal justice system does not put innocent men to death?
-do these people not want a world in which we all can dream again and humanity can hope together?

Gaudium et Spes, the crowing document of Vatican II, said a lot of revolutionary things. One very important contribution was that it defined human essence as not simple just having a will and intellect, but as being essentially in community. What that means is that human life CANNOT be understood, much less treated, as an isolated solipsistic entity, unrelated to the context of a community around it. The fight for life is a fight for an interrelated set of values. The archright argues that abortion is the sole and foundational issue that must be voted on. We argue that that is misguided. But even it that were the case. A foundation is inconceivable without the building it is grounding. You don't build a foundation for the heck of it. You build a foundation after you decided what type of house you want to build. You have to hold the whole of the culture of life in view, if you are going to fight for it.

The point is that even the idea of a foundation is locked in a complex of interrelated concerns. Jesus in Luke's gospel gives the example of someone who wants to build a house and builds the foundation, but then is stuck because he didn't have enough to complete the job. You have to understand the whole and then seek the whole through the part or else, the part becomes useless. The conservatives who vote on the abortion issue solely would be commendeded if in so voting, they were doing so in view of the whole culture of life. But that simply is not the case, because their votes and their concerns end with the birth of the child. They do not follow through for the lifetime of life issue of that human being. In fact, their votes militate against a culture of life post-birth. The archright has gotten so mired in their anger that they have lost sight of the whole, which is the dignity of the human life.

A vote for George Bush, does nothing definitely postive for the pro-life cause. We do know, though, that besides his tepid support for anti-choice ideas, his policies are a disaster for the culture of life. On the other hand, John Kerry offers a definite and positive choice for those concerned with creating a culture of life. With John Kerry, we can truly and authentically pursue the whole through the parts. We can look forward to the promise of healthcare, solving the poverty and social concerns, we can look forward to strengthening ourselves both at home and abroad, we can look for environmental progress, and yes, we can look for a reduction in the rates of abortion without endangering the lives and dignity of women.

John Kerry is a man that Catholics can trust to bring common sense Catholic values to the White House everyday he is offie. George Bush does not resonate with Catholic values, John Kerry does. John Kerry is the unequivocal choice for Catholics in this election.

Kerry Catholic Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

Wisdom 11:22-12:2 (Today's Mass reading actually)

Before the LORD the whole universe is as a grain from a balance
or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth.
But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things;
and you overlook people's sins that they may repent.
For you love all things that are
and loathe nothing that you have made;
for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.
And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it;
or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?
But you spare all things, because they are yours,
O LORD and lover of souls,
for your imperishable spirit is in all things!
Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little,
warn them and remind them of the sins they are committing,
that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O LORD!

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

James 1:5-11

5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it.
6 But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind.
7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord,
8 since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways.
9 The brother in lowly circumstances should take pride in his high standing,
10 and the rich one in his lowliness, for he will pass away "like the flower of the field."
11 For the sun comes up with its scorching heat and dries up the grass, its flower droops, and the beauty of its appearance vanishes. So will the rich person fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

This is more of what the culture of life looks like, helping people, bringing people together--not bombs, not war. This captures that sanity and love of life that we want. Bush wants war, Kerry wants peace. As Isaiah says: "And His name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Hey Osama, you wanna piece of me? Unlike GWB, I will hunt you down and kick your . . ."

Kerry supporters from the Elizabeth Community in Charlotte, N.C. erected a wall twelve feet high and forty feet long of carved lit pumpkins Friday Oct. 30, 2004. Over three hundred pumpkins were used in the construction. (AP Photo/Byron Baldwin)

Friday, October 29, 2004

Via Welborn

Belienet article

John Kerry's Abortion Ban
The campaign confirms that Kerry supports a measure that could ban thousands of abortions

Sen. John Kerry supports banning most abortions of fetuses post-"viability," the campaign confirmed Thursday.

Roughly 10,000 abortions occur each year in the third trimester, after fetuses are commonly thought to be viable, so this approach could curtail a greater number of late term abortions than the "partial birth abortion" ban often discussed by President Bush.

In 1997, when Congress was first considering whether to prohibit partial birth abortion, Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota offered a compromise amendment that banned abortion for any fetuses that could be considered viable. [Text here]. Kerry voted for the amendment, which was defeated by an alliance of Republicans and liberal Democrats. [Click here for roll call.]

Kerry has never mentioned his support of such a ban in any major speeches, debates or campaign documents and usually emphasizes a woman's "right to choose." However, in response to questions from Beliefnet concerning the 1997 vote, campaign spokesman Jim Chon, emailed Thursday, "John Kerry stands by his vote."
The Daschle amendment stated: "It shall be unlawful for a physician to abort a viable fetus unless the physician certifies that the continuation of the pregnancy would threaten the mother's life or risk grievous injury to her physical health."

At the time Daschle proposed his amendment, also called the "comprehensive abortion ban act of 1997," the American Civil Liberties Union attacked it as "unconstitutionally narrow" because it didn’t allow enough health-of-the-mother exceptions. The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League president Kate Michelman said Daschle's amendment "goes too far" in restricting abortion.

Republicans opposed the Daschle amendment too, arguing that it gave too much authority to doctors to determine "viability."

Though President Bush has spoken in general about the need to "protect life" -- and the Republican platform calls for a constitutional amendment banning most abortion -- it is the partial birth ban he mentions most often. There has been much debate about the actual number of late term partial birth abortions, with most estimates ranging from a few hundred to 1,500. The ban signed by President Bush did not affect other kinds of late term abortions.

Medical conventional wisdom holds that fetuses generally become viable – able to live outside the womb - by the beginning of the seventh month of pregnancy. The Alan Guttmacher Institute has estimated that .08% of abortions, or about 10,000, occur after the 24th week. The Daschle bill also would have prohibited any "partial birth" abortions of fetuses that were viable.

The Bush campaign has criticized Kerry's votes against the partial birth ban and the Bush-Cheney campaign's official website notes several other examples of Senator Kerry opposing restrictions on abortion. As a result of his pro-choice record, several Catholic bishops have said that voting for Kerry is a sin.

The Church's position -- and the Kerry campaign's statement -- may be significant because several battlegrounds states have large Catholic populations: Pennsylvania (30%), New Jersey (45.9%), Ohio (28%), Michigan (28%), Wisconsin (34.4), Minnesota (28.7%) and New Hampshire (38.2%), according to the Gallup Organization.

A TV ad being run by National Right to Life states: "John Kerry supports abortion for any reason, all nine months of pregnancy." A voters guide being distributed to churches around the country by the American Conservative Union says Kerry "never met an abortion he didn't like."

The 1997 fight created some unusual alliances. Two pro-life academics Stephen C. Meyer and David K. DeWolf wrote in the Wall Street Journal at the time that the Daschle amendment would have stopped more than 10,000 abortions each year. The writers declared, "For Americans who want to limit abortion on demand, a historic opportunity stands open in Congress. Whether pro-life legislators seize this opportunity will depend on whether they prefer symbolic victory or substantive reform."

Several pro-choice groups opposed the approach. In a letter opposing the amendment, the ACLU stated at the time that the ban would "would prevent women with serious and legitimate health problems from obtaining the abortions they need."

On the other hand, Republicans argued that because the determination of "grievous injury" and fetal viability would be left to the physician, the ban would have been toothless. "If we pass the Daschle amendment and require this concept of physician certification, that the pregnancy would risk grievous injury, I believe that clearly would render this bill meaningless," said Senator Mike Dewine, a Ohio Republican. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania declared, "Put yourself in the position of the abortionist. Are you going to say the baby was viable and I killed it?”

In an article about the 1997 battle, former Daschle aide Amy Sullivan recalled that "the Alternative was never so popular as in defeat. Leading conservatives immediately scolded Republicans for missing their last best chance to cooperate with Democrats on abortion legislation, recognizing that the Alternative would have been a big step toward reducing abortion rates. 'You can't be so used to drubbing your enemy that you don't recognize it when they make some sense,' William Bennett told The Washington Times. 'If I didn't know who sponsored this, I would have thought it was a pro-life Republican.'"

The timing of the Kerry campaign’s acknowledgement may relate to the phase of the campaign. In a panel on religion and politics during the Democratic convention, Sean Casey, a professor at Wesley Theological Seminary, speculated that early in the campaign season, Democratic candidates highlight only their most-pro-choice positions because "there's so much early pro-choice money in the Democratic Party."

Now that the campaigns have progressed past the fundraising period and into the vote-gathering period, the calculus may have shifted for the Kerry campaign.

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

2 Timothy 1:7

7 For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.

U.S Newswire reports:

Catholic Group Condemns President Bush for Moral Failures; Launches Radio Spots on 45 Stations in 5 States

10/28/2004 1:21:00 PM


To: National Desk, Political Reporter

Contact: Thomas Carroll of Catholics for Political Responsibility, 202-276-5155,

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Catholics for Political Responsibility (CPR) has launched a stinging criticism of President Bush's "failure of moral leadership," citing mounting casualties in Iraq, the torture and rendition of detainees, the growing number of families in poverty and rising abortion rates. The rise in poverty and abortion rates reverse significant progress made on these "life issues" during the 1990's. CPR is airing these critiques in two radio spots in rotation on 45 stations in Ohio, Wisconsin, Colorado, West Virginia and New Hampshire (available at with text attached below).

"I voted for Bush in 2000 because of my pro-life values but I am heartily sorry now. On war, health care, poverty and abortion, he has failed to promote the culture of life when it counts," said Sidney Callahan, award-winning Catholic writer and CPR Co- chair.

Professor of Roman Catholic Studies at College of the Holy Cross and CPR co-chair David O'Brien adds, "For all of Bush's talk about the Catholic vote, we find out from our Bishops this week that the President refused to complete the Catholic's Election Survey, the first major candidate to refuse their survey since it began in 1988. That is not surprising since Bush is on the wrong side of most Catholic teaching."

Catholics for Political Responsibility provides voice to serious Catholics inspired by the Church's call to serve the common good. This group of prominent theologians, clergy, and laypeople bares witness to the moral failures of the Bush administration, the Catholic values of service and stewardship lived by John Kerry, and the obligation of Faithful Citizenship to have an informed conscience on all Catholic teaching. Web:


Text for Four CPR Radio Spots


I am Sidney Callahan, a wife, mother of six and a Catholic writer on moral theology. I voted for Bush in 2000 because of my pro-life values but I am heartily sorry now.

President Bush has failed to live up to his moral promises. He led us into a reckless and unjust war condemned by the Pope and other religious leaders. The violence has cost us 20,000 lives and brought the deep shame of torturing prisoners.

At home tax breaks for the wealthy increase the gap between poor and rich. Families struggle without health insurance. No wonder abortion rates are tragically rising again, after falling 18 percent in the 90's.

George Bush talks a lot about his religious values but he is not choosing life when it counts.


President Bush, as pro-life Catholics, we made a deal with you. You were on the wrong side of most Catholic teaching, but you were with us on abortion, and that mattered.

You marched us into an unjust war, against the appeals of the Pope and your own Methodist Bishops.

The number of children in poverty rose and 5 million people lost health insurance.

You've controlled the White House and Congress for four years, but what have you delivered for the culture of life?

Now abortion rates are rising steadily, after falling 18 percent in the 90's. That makes sense, more women lack the health insurance or economic security that help them choose life.

Mr. President, we waited for your moral leadership - it never came. You've disappointed us on all life issues - war, poverty, health care...and abortion. That wasn't the deal we made.


You can still make a difference. Help them run their very effective ads. Visit and donate at Catholics for Political Responsibility

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

Psalm 45:7-8

7 Your throne, O god, stands forever; your royal scepter is a scepter for justice.
8 You love justice and hate wrongdoing; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellow kings.

Via MyDD

Kerry leads among Catholic voters 49%-44% (Zogby)

Zogby commentary:

Six days before the general election, the candidates are battling for support from several key constituencies. Zogby International considers the following demographics worth particular attention: Catholics, investors, non-investors, women and men, and 18-29 year olds.

The President leads among: investors (Bush 55%-Kerry 41%); and men (Bush 47%-Kerry 46%); women (Bush 48%-Kerry 47%).

Senator Kerry leads among: Catholics (Kerry 49%-Bush 46%); non-investors (Kerry 49%-Bush 44%); 18-29 year olds (Kerry 50%-Bush 47%).

I normally don't waste my time with these polls of Catholic voters, but I post this to give encouragement to Kerry Catholics: that even after all the negativity and the concerted effort by many bishops to derail Senator Kerry, Senator Kerry is doing well with Catholics.

Senator Kerry will be the one president that will most resonate with Catholic values. Can I get an amen? (Ooops, excuse me . . . wrong denomination.)

Two Catholic groups fighting the good fight.

Catholics for Kerry 04

Catholics for Political Responsibility

It is crunch time and they are involved in medial efforts to let Catholics know that it is totally alright, totally cool and totally Catholic, to vote for Kerry.

If you can donate to these guys, I'm sure they'd appreciate it very much.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Via First Draft

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

Phillipians 4:4-8

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!
5 Your kindness 5 should be known to all. The Lord is near.
6 Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.
7 Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 6

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

Jeremiah 7:1-11

1 The following message came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
2 Stand at the gate of the house of the LORD, and there proclaim this message: Hear the word of the LORD, all you of Judah who enter these gates to worship the LORD!
3 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Reform your ways and your deeds, so that I may remain with you in this place.
4 Put not your trust in the deceitful words: "This is the temple of the LORD! The temple of the LORD! The temple of the LORD!"
5 Only if you thoroughly reform your ways and your deeds; if each of you deals justly with his neighbor;
6 if you no longer oppress the resident alien, the orphan, and the widow; if you no longer shed innocent blood in this place, or follow strange gods to your own harm,
7 will I remain with you in this place, in the land which I gave your fathers long ago and forever.
8 But here you are, putting your trust in deceitful words to your own loss!
9 Are you to steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal, go after strange gods that you know not,
10 and yet come to stand before me in this house which bears my name, and say: "We are safe; we can commit all these abominations again"?
11 Has this house which bears my name become in your eyes a den of thieves? I too see what is being done, says the LORD.

New progressive Catholic 527: Catholics for Policital Responsibility

Check it out!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

Psalm 1:1-6

1 Happy those who do not follow the counsel of the wicked, Nor go the way of sinners, nor sit in company with scoffers.
2 Rather, the law of the LORD is their joy; God's law they study day and night.
3 They are like a tree planted near streams of water, that yields its fruit in season; Its leaves never wither; whatever they do prospers.
4 But not the wicked! They are like chaff driven by the wind.
5 Therefore the wicked will not survive judgment, nor will sinners in the assembly of the just.
6 The LORD watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.

FYI-The Catholic Church Does Approve Terminating Pregnancies in Certain Cases

Even thought the conservative voices and the hierarchy prclaim loudly their absolute anti-abortion stances (even in cases of rape and incest), one thing they are hush about is the church's backdoor "approval" of abortion/abortive proceedures/terminating pregnancies.

In a comment box discussion with Catholics for Bush I make the point that the Church actually does allow abortions in certain cases. However, that approval is hidden its doctrine of double effect, a principle credited to Thomas Aquinas, who developed it to justify killing in self defense.

This Stanford website gives a good explanation of the principle of double effect. Basically the principle says:

The doctrine (or principle) of double effect is often invoked to explain the permissibility of an action that causes a serious harm, such as the death of a human being, as a side effect of promoting some good end. It is claimed that sometimes it is permissible to cause such a harm as a side effect (or “double effect”) of bringing about a good result even though it would not be permissible to cause such a harm as a means to bringing about the same good end. This reasoning is summarized with the claim that sometimes it is permissible to bring about as a merely foreseen side effect a harmful event that it would be impermissible to bring about intentionally.

Here are the classic conditions for double effect:

1. The act itself must be morally good or at least indifferent.
2. The agent may not positively will the bad effect but may permit it. If he could attain the good effect without the bad effect he should do so. The bad effect is sometimes said to be indirectly voluntary.
3. The good effect must flow from the action at least as immediately (in the order of causality, though not necessarily in the order of time) as the bad effect. In other words the good effect must be produced directly by the action, not by the bad effect. Otherwise the agent would be using a bad means to a good end, which is never allowed.
4. The good effect must be sufficiently desirable to compensate for the allowing of the bad effect” (p. 1021).

If we take the classic case used, that of an ectopic pregnancy. What is an ectopic pregnancy? (From Ectopic Pregnancy Trust)

What is an Ectopic Pregnancy?
Put very simply, an ectopic pregnancy means "an out-of-place pregnancy".

It happens when a woman's ovum when it has been fertilised by a man's sperm, instead of moving down her fallopian tube into the womb to develop there, remains "stuck" in the tube.

In the case of the ectopic pregnancy the fetus is stuck in the fallopian tube. If the fertilized egg is left there it'll rupture the fallopian tube and result in death for the woman (and the baby). Thus, the heartbreaking situation is that for the mother to live, the baby must die.

Now Catholic theology cannot allow for a direct abortion because such an action is seen as intrinsically evil and thus never justified. However, the principle of double effect kicks in and the baby can be aborted as a side effect or "double effect" or another proceedure. In this example classic Catholic moral theology says that the doctors may remove the fallopian tube with the direct of intention of saying the mother's life from a tube rapture. However, as a side effect of that action, the baby is inevitable killed. However, according to the principles of double effect, the death of the baby is tolerated because the good effect of saving the mother's life is sufficiently desireable to the bad effect of the baby's death. So as long as the intent was to save the mother's life and not the destruction of the baby, that situation is okay.

Now, the problem here is that this is not a case in which a pregnant mother has, say cancer of the kidneys and life-saving surgery is required which puts the baby at extreme risk. In the case of the cancerous kidney, it is possible to save both the mother's life and that of the baby's. (double effect can apply here to address the moral question of what level of risk is acceptable in order to save the mother's life.) However, in the case of ectopic pregnancies, the baby will be the ultimate cause of the mother's death and it is the baby that ultimately has to be terminated for the mother to live. Now, even if everyone directs their intention to the saving of the mother's life, it is still clear what the ultimate result needs to be that the baby must be terminated. This is done indirectly by removing the fallopian tube and thus, not called an abortion. But it is clear that it really is an abortion, or an abortive action.

I remember that one of the criticisms of Ru-486 or one of those pill contraceptives/abortifacients was that it worked, not by acting directly on the baby, but drying out the uterine wall or doing something indirectly to cause the baby to starve. The anti-abortion crowd argued that it was an abortive effect even if the pill wasn't acting directly on the baby and equally as rephrensible. It follows then, that in the case of an ectopic pregnancy, in which the baby must die for the mother to live, even if the direct action is directed at something else, it is ultimately designed to result in the baby's death. It is an abortive proceedure.

So the point here is that the Church allows for the termination of pregnancies in cases of ectopic pregnancies. I've heard people argue that it is not technically an abortion and does not fall into the AMA category of abortion, etc. It doesn't matter what it is classified as, the point is that we know ultimately that the baby has to be terminated by the actions of those involved; basically, we are giving the woman the choice in this very difficult situation to terminate her pregnancy.

The cries of the conservative anti-abortion movement for an absolute ban on abortions is not consistent with the Church's theology. The Church realizes that in certain situations the woman should have the choice (Does the woman have a moral obligation in an ectopic pregnancy to save her life? That's a discussion for another day and blog). For now, it is enought to acknowledge that the Church is more pro-choice than it lets on.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Kerry Catholics SCripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

Hebrews 10:19-25

19 Therefore, brothers, since through the blood of Jesus we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary
20 by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil, that is, his flesh,
21 and since we have "a great priest over the house of God,"
22 let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.
23 Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy.
24 We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works.
25 We should not stay away from our assembly, as is the custom of some, but encourage one another, and this all the more as you see the day drawing near.

And George Bush said, "Ecce terroristem!"

BTW, Wolf Awareness Week in Michigan just ended.

"We were tricked, we thought it was a Greenpeace commercial!" Alpha Wolf
Wolf Packs for Truth

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

1 John 1:5-10

5 Now this is the message that we have heard from him and proclaim to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.
6 If we say, "We have fellowship with him," while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth.
7 But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say, "We are without sin," we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.
10 If we say, "We have not sinned," we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Via First Draft

Friday, October 22, 2004

Over at Catholics for Bush there's a post about Archbishop Chaput's NYT op-ed piece, which I, as it goes, I have no interest in at the moment. Of course, the sentiment at that blog was too praise it and further bash pro-choicers as evil, etc.

What struck me though, was this comment from an anonymous poster. I suggest you read it. I think it is another example of why pro-choice is not pro-abortion and why these issues are difficult enough without the Right screaming how evil you are in your ear.

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

1 All wisdom comes from the LORD and with him it remains forever.
2 The sand of the seashore, the drops of rain, the days of eternity: who can number these?
3 Heaven's height, earth's breadth, the depths of the abyss: who can explore these?
4 Before all things else wisdom was created; and prudent understanding, from eternity.
5 To whom has wisdom's root been revealed? Who knows her subtleties?
6 There is but one, wise and truly awe-inspiring, seated upon his throne:
7 It is the LORD; he created her, has seen her and taken note of her.
8 He has poured her forth upon all his works, upon every living thing according to his bounty; he has lavished her upon his friends.
9 Fear of the LORD is glory and splendor, gladness and a festive crown.
10 Fear of the LORD warms the heart, giving gladness and joy and length of days.
11 He who fears the LORD will have a happy end; even on the day of his death he will be blessed.
12 The beginning of wisdom is fear of the LORD, which is formed with the faithful in the womb.
13 With devoted men was she created from of old, and with their children her beneficence abides.
14 Fullness of wisdom is fear of the LORD; she inebriates men with her fruits.
15 Her entire house she fills with choice foods, her granaries with her harvest.
16 Wisdom's garland is fear of the LORD, with blossoms of peace and perfect health.
17 Knowledge and full understanding she showers down; she heightens the glory of those who possess her.
18 The root of wisdom is fear of the LORD; her branches are length of days.
19 One cannot justify unjust anger; anger plunges a man to his downfall.
20 A patient man need stand firm but for a time, and then contentment comes back to him.
21 For a while he holds back his words, then the lips of many herald his wisdom.
22 Among wisdom's treasures is the paragon of prudence; but fear of the LORD is an abomination to the sinner.
23 If you desire wisdom, keep the commandments, and the LORD will bestow her upon you;
24 For fear of the LORD is wisdom and culture; loyal humility is his delight.
25 Be not faithless to the fear of the LORD, nor approach it with duplicity of heart.
26 Play not the hypocrite before men; over your lips keep watch.
27 Exalt not yourself lest you fall and bring upon you dishonor;
28 For then the LORD will reveal your secrets and publicly cast you down,
29 Because you approached the fear of the LORD with your heart full of guile.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Did Bill Donohue of Catholic League misrepresent the Pope's Position on the Iraq War on Hardball?

Here's a dkos diarist who thinks so:

President of Catholic League Lies about Pope on Hardball

Fri Oct 22nd, 2004 at 01:55:24 GMT

*** UPDATE - Audio link added see below ***

On Hardball tonight (Oct. 21, 2004), the President of the Catholic League, William Donohue flat out lied about the Pope's position on Iraq.

William Donohue said on this show: "The pope has never declared this war to be an unjust war." MP3 Audio This statement is a lie. On March 5, 2003 the Pope actually sent the White House a message saying that the war was "unjust and illegal."

The context of his lie was a flawed rationalization as to why Bush is a better "pro-life candidate" than Kerry for Catholics. This was a desperate attempt by the right-wing freaks to trick Catholic voters into voting for Bush by lying.

Here in Wisconsin, a good number of the swing voters are Catholic, and Bush and his ilk are desperate to sway them his way. But stooping so low that Catholic "leaders" lie about the Pope's stance on unjust wars and the death penalty could very well backfire.

People do not like being lied to, so please do what you can to spread the truth.Diaries :: kimg's diary ::

The news quotes and source follow:
"March 5, 2003, 11:18PMBush receives message from popeLetter says war against Iraq will be 'unjust and illegal'By BENNETT ROTHCopyright 2003 Houston Chronicle Washington BureauWASHINGTON -- A Vatican envoy Wednesday carried the pope's message to the White House that a U.S.-led war against Iraq without United Nations' approval would be "unjust and illegal." "

And by the way, why on earth do Catholic officials and Anti-abortion activists weasel out of the issue of punitive action for women who commit abortions? Both Msgr McSweeney and Bill Donohue weaseled out of the question when asked by Chris Matthews: What should the punishment be for the women who procure an abortion?

If abortion is murder then the women who commit abortions should get 5-10 years, at the least, right?

If you say, no, we make an exception for murder punishments in the case of abortions, then you emasculate the law. There is no longer equal protection, because in some cases, "murder/manslaughter/etc" is punishable by jail time, death, or whatever, but in cases of abortion, "murder" requires counseling and love. Go figure.

We make the case over and over again, the Church needs to go back to the drawing board and rethink its relationship between moral code and human law, there may be overlap, but the law is not and should not be based on the Church's moral code.

When it is all said and done, the Right and hierarchy will begin to acknowledge what moderates and liberals have known all along.

-That Pro-choice is not pro-abortion (this simply disqualifies all that talk of proportionate reasons)
-That human beings, most especially mothers, are good and naturally want to preserve their baby's lives; thus, in the case of an abortion, something must have weighed heavily on her to terminate her baby's life. (We believe in the goodness of human beings and humans naturally want to preserve life, thus in the case where life is harmed, we ask "why?"; anti-abortion activists believe humans lack a threshold of goodness, and that mothers may have, neutral, at best, feelings towards their unborn babies; otherwise, why would you think women want to have abortions for frivolous reasons or because a pregnancy was "inconvenient"?)
-That there is a consistent ethic of life from cradle to grave that must be respected
-That making abortion illegal does not solve the problem nor does it create a culture of life
-That creating a culture of life, which includes solving the problem of abortion, is hard work, and requires addressing the factors that weigh on women to make such an unnatural decision
-That the anti-abortion movement is more concerned with a principle than with life itself (the principle being that something that is "intrinsically evil" is never justified. Abortion [or substitute for contraception, same sex marriage, euthanasia, etc] is intrinsically evil, therefore, abortion [or X] is never justified. That's the principle which is the main concern, rather than actual existing human life. This explains the remarkable indifference to the 100,000 innocent Iraqis injured or maimed in this war, 20,000 innocent Iraqis killed in this war, 5,000 US troops injured or maimed, and 1,100 US troops killed (who cares if the war is just or unjust, war is hell!); or even the relative indifference to a baby, whose life was fought for prior to birth, two weeks after it is born, the anti-abortion movement is absent, even though it is the SAME life that they fought tooth and nail for two weeks earlier. )
-That the Republican Party is playing and has played Catholics like a drum and at some point, reasonable people begin to say enough is enough
-That John Kerry is and will be a more truly pro-life President than George Bush

Senator Kerry will be talking about his faith in Florida next week. Let me rephrase that, . . . his faith in God somewhere in Florida (we do believe in FL too). Recently there has been quite a bit of commentary on George Bush's faith, or lack thereof. Most notably, someone noted that Bush's faith lacks content and his strategists have used that to their advantage. He simply states his faith in God, and Bush's worshippers fill in the rest, or should we say, project in the rest.

Senator Kerry's faith on the other hand is a wise and well thought out faith, much like most other things in his life. Kerry's religion has been very important to him for decades. He was an altar boy. He once considered the priesthood. After Vietnam, he had a crises of faith (something I wish he would talk about more, he has no idea how much that would resonate with Catholics), but then returned to the Catholic faith.

Christianity has always advanced by and because of men like Senator Kerry, who understand that the voice of God speaks as authentically to humans in history, nature and culture, as it does through the traditional religious symbols.

One of the great ideas of Gaudium et Spes, Vatican II document, was that the Church had finally learned its lesson that it was not the sole or complete voice of God in the world. The Bishops finally acknowledged that the secular world had much to teach the Catholic Church as the Church had to share with the world. But, alas, along with Dei Verbum, another Vatican II document, the Bishops have retreated from that stance and that document (way too progressive).

Now, in our day, the Church sees itself as the sole bulwark of truth and deigns to lecture everyone and anyone who does not subscribe the narrow ortthodoxy of the Catholic Right.

Senator Kerry, if he wins, will enbolden the liberal and centrist wing of the U.S. Catholic Church and restore sanity to Catholic discourse. If the Bishops refuse to listen to the voice of God in nature, science, history and the like, Catholics are just as equipped to hear God speaking unmediated through the Bishops. It appears that U.S. Catholics are expressing frustration with an Episcopacy that has lost its way and if Catholics vote for Kerry in larger numbers, it would send a definite message to the Bishops and to the Vatican.

But as they say, if lay Catholics send out a call in the forest, do any Bishops actually hear them?

The trend for Kerry among Catholics is positive. If nothing else, someone on a throne somewhere, needs to take note of that.

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

1 First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone,
2 for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity.
3 This is good and pleasing to God our savior,
4 who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.
5 For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human,
6 who gave himself as ransom for all. This was the testimony at the proper time.
7 For this I was appointed preacher and apostle (I am speaking the truth, I am not lying), teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
8 It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

Romans 8:11-14

11 If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit that dwells in you.
12 Consequently, brothers, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

And the Lord spake thus to his prophet, George W. Bush, "Take thou the armies of compassion and conquer the foreign land filled with people who do not worship my name. I will give unto thee a great victory and thou shalt not lose even a single one of the souls in thy charge. Thou shalt have a great victory and the heathen shall marvel and say, "Truly, the Lord God is the God of Geroge Bush, and he is his prophet. In that day shall my name be glorified in all the earth. The heathen shall whisper the name of the Lord and his prophet in fear and truly all the earth shall know, I am the Lord God Almighty." Pat Robertson to George Bush, "Prepare the nation for casualties."
George Bush to Pat Robertson, "There will be no casualties."

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The founder of the U.S. Christian Coalition said Tuesday he told President George W. Bush before the invasion of Iraq that he should prepare Americans for the likelihood of casualties, but the president told him, "We're not going to have any casualties."

Pat Robertson, an ardent Bush supporter, said he had that conversation with the president in Nashville, Tennessee, before the March 2003 invasion U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. He described Bush in the meeting as "the most self-assured man I've ever met in my life."

"You remember Mark Twain said, 'He looks like a contented Christian with four aces.' I mean he was just sitting there like, 'I'm on top of the world,' " Robertson said on the CNN show, "Paula Zahn Now."

Romans 2:23-24

23 You who boast of the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?
24 For, as it is written, "Because of you the name of God is reviled among the Gentiles."

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

Proverbs 1:2-7

2 That men may appreciate wisdom and discipline, may understand words of intelligence;
3 May receive training in wise conduct, in what is right, just and honest;
4 That resourcefulness may be imparted to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
5 A wise man by hearing them will advance in learning, an intelligent man will gain sound guidance,
6 That he may comprehend proverb and parable, the words of the wise and their riddles.
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; wisdom and instruction fools despise.

Monday, October 18, 2004

President Bush gets a hand slap from fellow Methodists: Beleive or Leave. About time they called him out on phoniness.

Via dkos

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

Rev 12:1-5

1 A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman 2 clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
2 She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.
3 Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems.
4 Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth.
5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

From Kevin Drum's Comment box at the Washington Monthly:

Aborted fetal tissue is used by Merck in MMR vaccines. I did not know that.

[A] close reading of the literature published by Merck, the
primary producer of the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine, indicates that they use aborted human fetal tissue in the production of this vaccine. Not only that, but several other vaccines use it as well.

The USCCB has a statement on this:
To defend his recent decision on stem cell research, President Bush has compared it to the moral judgment that it may be acceptable to use a vaccine cultured in fetal tissue that ultimately came from induced abortions. The President's
analogy is invalid because it blurs together two very different questions arising from the use of fetal tissue in medical research:
Interesting. The Bush pro-life creds is slowly getting eroded each day it seems. Stats have been floating around showing that abortions have increased under Bush reversing the downwards trends of the Clinton/Gore years. Close examinations of Bush's prolife standing reveal more pandering and a true desire for fighting or protecting life. He did learn one thing from Deal Hudson, that Catholics are suckers for the phrase "Culture of Life."

Now this use of fetal tissue in MMR and other vacines and President Bush's chest-swelling-pride that he is the first president to support ESCR, further undermines and exposes Bush's commitment to the conservative anti-abortion principles.

Kerry Catholic supporters feel that one must show a commitment to life in one's fights, even if the approach differs. While the we may argue that the anti-abortion conservative push is misguided, I think we all respect the intent and commitment to the principle of life. We Kerry supporters fight for life by focusing on the social and demand side of solving the abortion issue. We fight for life also in the visible tangible lives we see, knowing that it rings false to claim love for life not seen, yet ignore the visible tangible manifestations of life we experience daily. Life is life, unborn and post-born.

As for the President, it is not clear where he stands. (Also see the following beliefnet article on the candidates and abortion.)

--He refuses to guarantee a litmus test for appointing SCOTUS judges.
--He has been silent about a constitutional ban on abortions
--He claims life begins at conception but then is proud to be the first president to sponsor ESCR.
--He supports the use of aborted fetal tissue in vaccines, which should be contrary to the conservative anti-abortion principles.
--Abortions have increased under his watch and should he have a second term, there is no reason to believe that the trend will be reversed. (Jcecil3 has a great post on what it would actually take to reverse Roe v Wade.)

The point is, what is Bush's pro-life principle? For Kerry and Kerry Catholics, it is a consistent demand-side approach, on the whole; while the conservative anti-abortion crowd has a consistent legislative prohibitive "supply-side" approach. Bush and the RNC, on the other hand, have shown no desire actually reduce abortions, rather they see this more as a political issue to build their base with.

The beliefnet article mentioned above says:
Is Bush really a right-wing pro-life hardliner who’s kept his real views quiet so he can be re-elected and then ban abortion and appoint a gaggle of Scalias to the court? Or is he a political pragmatist who has no intention of banning abortion but just wants religious conservatives think he will?

Also, via Welborn, this Denver Post article captures the sentiments of many in the conservative anti-abortion movement, that the Republicans have been playing them like a drum. Besides recounting the obvious fact that it has been Republican courts that established and upheld Roe v Wade, he adds to the list of what Bush has not done (or even proposed), if he really is interested in protecting life according to the conservative anti-abortion principles.

Bush's government has not stopped the use of the morning-after abortion pill, or privately funded stem-cell research using human embryos, or the slow, frozen, extinction of fertilized eggs in U.S. fertility clinics.

Many Catholics are begining the appreciate what "Culture of Life" really means. And one thing they are sure of is that "Culture of Life" is not synonymous with "Republican Party."

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

Rom 13:1-10

1 Let every person be subordinate to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been established by God.
2 Therefore, whoever resists authority opposes what God has appointed, and those who oppose it will bring judgment upon themselves.
3 For rulers are not a cause of fear to good conduct, but to evil. Do you wish to have no fear of authority? Then do what is good and you will receive approval from it,
4 for it is a servant of God for your good. But if you do evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword without purpose; it is the servant of God to inflict wrath on the evildoer.
5 Therefore, it is necessary to be subject not only because of the wrath but also because of conscience.
6 This is why you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.
7 Pay to all their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, toll to whom toll is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.
8 Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
9 The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, (namely) "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
10 Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.

"I'm going to be real positive, while I keep my foot on John Kerry's throat." George W. Bush.

Via Mark A. R. Kleiman

Around the Web: Endorsements and Good Stuff!

The New York Times endorese John Kerry

Senator John Kerry goes toward the election with a base that is built more on opposition to George W. Bush than loyalty to his own candidacy. But over the last year we have come to know Mr. Kerry as more than just an alternative to the status quo. We like what we've seen. He has qualities that could be the basis for a great chief executive, not just a modest improvement on the incumbent.

We have been impressed with Mr. Kerry's wide knowledge and clear thinking - something that became more apparent once he was reined in by that two-minute debate light. He is blessedly willing to re-evaluate decisions when conditions change. And while Mr. Kerry's service in Vietnam was first over-promoted and then over-pilloried, his entire life has been devoted to public service, from the war to a series of elected offices. He strikes us, above all, as a man with a strong moral core.

The Dayton Daily News also endorses Kerry.

Bush failed; Kerry offers new start
By the Dayton Daily News

The nation confronts a failed presidency.

George W. Bush has done serious harm with his most important foreign and domestic thrusts, and he has managed this democracy all wrong.

John Kerry offers the fresh beginning the nation needs. He is greatly different in his view of the presidency. He has an incomparably more impressive biography, full of commitment, sacrifice and seriousness of purpose. By virtue of experience and ability, he is ready for this job.

And then this from belief net about the candidates and abortion:

Kerry left out something important, too. Though he has been a pro-choice purist during the campaign, in 1997 he voted for Sen. Tom Daschle’s "comprehensive abortion ban act of 1997" which would have outlawed abortions on “viable” fetuses. Most medical experts believe that fetuses usually become viable by the beginning of the third trimester.

The ACLU attacked the bill as "unconstitutionally narrow" because it didn’t allow enough health-of-the-mother exceptions. (Republicans opposed the Daschle amendment too, ostensibly because it gave too much authority to doctors to determine “viability,” but more likely because the Daschle amendment could have derailed the partial-birth ban, which seemed such a political winner.)

Two pro-life academics Stephen C. Meyer and David K. DeWolf wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the Daschle amendment would have stopped more than 10,000 abortions each year. (By comparison, estimates for partial birth abortions range from a few hundred to 1,500). The writers declared, "For Americans who want to limit abortion on demand, a historic opportunity stands open in Congress. Whether pro-life legislators seize this opportunity will depend on whether they prefer symbolic victory or substantive reform."

Had the Daschle-Kerry approach been in effect during the last four years, there would have been roughly 40,000 fewer abortions than occurred under Bush!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

John Kerry sends Catholics for Kerry 04 a letter!!

Nationwide, there are Catholics for Kerry events going on as Catholics everywhere are showing support for John Kerry. Exciting stuff!

Check back here, or at Catholicsforkerry04 or for updates.

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

Titus 3:1-8

1 Remind them to be under the control of magistrates and authorities, to be obedient, to be open to every good enterprise.
2 They are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate, exercising all graciousness toward everyone.
3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, deluded, slaves to various desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful ourselves and hating one another.
4 But when the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared,
5 not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy Spirit,
6 whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior,
7 so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.
8 This saying is trustworthy. 3 I want you to insist on these points, that those who have believed in God be careful to devote themselves to good works; these are excellent and beneficial to others.

Interesting article in the Washington Post today entitled "For the Candidates, Vietnam Choices Linger."

A few paragraphs struck me:

Of the four men, only Kerry saw combat in Vietnam. George Q. Flynn, a retired professor who has studied Vietnam War-era conscription trends, said the majority of students avoided going to Vietnam, either by joining the National Guard or by getting draft deferments. Less than 10 percent of college students volunteered for active duty.

"There was nothing atypical about Bush joining the National Guard, which was considered a nice, safe haven from Vietnam," said Flynn, author of "The Draft, 1940-1973."

"It was Kerry who was the exception."

Kerry was a stand up guy in his youth and remains a stand up man as an adult.

Kerry, by contrast, decided to volunteer for the Navy, inspired in part by the example of his political hero, John F. Kennedy, even though he had growing misgivings about the U.S. role in Vietnam. In a commencement day address to the Class of 1966, Kerry complained that the Johnson administration had moved from "an excess of isolationism" to "an excess of interventionism."

"We have not really lost the desire to serve," Kerry told classmates. "We question the very roots of what we are serving."

"Remember, we were the generation that heard John F. Kennedy say, 'Ask not what your country can do for you,' '' said Kerry's roommate, Dan Barbiero, who enlisted in the Marine Corps at the same time. "The doubts were not strong enough to fail to obey a call to arms."

Barbiero and others noted that there was a "huge difference" between Kerry's Class of '66 and Bush's Class of '68. While volunteering for active-duty military service was unusual in 1966, it was practically unheard of by 1968. A Bush roommate, Clay Johnson III, could think of only one close Yale acquaintance who served in Vietnam.

"By 1968, no one I knew would have considered going to Vietnam," said Lanny Davis, a Washington lawyer and former chairman of the Yale Daily News, who knew Bush and Kerry. "The place was awash with antiwar protests."

Bush, however, did not share those sentiments.

In an interview with The Post in 1999, he said he had no recollection of any antiwar activity on campus -- a remarkable statement, considering what was going on. The school's legendary chaplain, William Sloane Coffin, was a national leader of the antiwar movement and had been arrested for aiding draft resistance during Bush's senior year. Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey and Lady Bird Johnson were greeted by protesters when they visited Yale that year.

"George Bush had no political visibility whatsoever," said Gaddis Smith, professor emeritus of diplomatic history, who taught Bush and Kerry. "He was more like a student from the decade before, the mid-'50s, people who enjoyed their fraternity life."

According to Coffin, Bush "missed the great action and passion of his time." While Bush told The Post in 1999 that he generally supported the Johnson administration's position on the war, he did not feel strongly enough to speak out publicly.

"We were very apolitical," Clay Johnson said. "We didn't talk politics."

Some friends believe that Bush associated the antiwar movement at Yale with intellectual snobbery. "He had little sympathy for the antiwar people and their behavior and antics. They were pompous and pretentious," said roommate Robert J. Dieter. "They were 22-year-olds who thought they were going to run the world."

For Bush, deciding how to respond to the draft was a "practical" rather than a "moral" question, according to Clay Johnson, now deputy director for management of the president's Office of Management and Budget. Bush would later tell a reporter that he decided to join the National Guard because he was "not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun" to get another deferment and was unwilling to move to Canada.

Bush's lack of curiousity, intellectual and otherwise and his oblivion regarding national and international events is not new.

Cheney had dropped out of Yale four years earlier because he could not keep up with the academic pace. Returning to Wyoming to attend community college, he received four student deferments, plus a fifth for "family hardship." Critical biographers have noted that Richard and Lynne Cheney had their first child in July 1966, nine months and two days after the Johnson administration expanded the draft to include married men without children.

The deferments kept Cheney out of the military until 1967, when he turned 26 and became ineligible for the draft. He would later insist that he complied with the conscription laws and would have been "happy to serve" had he been drafted. But as he told The Washington Post in 1989, "I had other priorities in the '60s than military service."

Pray tell, Mr. Cheney, what were those priorities? Were they to position yourself to be VP and send our kids and siblings in the military on suicide missions? Or embark on a unjust war with 1100 dead US Troops, 5,000-7,000 injured or maimed, 100,000 injured or maimed Iraqi civilians and 20,000 dead innocent Iraqis?

For people who were very eager to evade combat in the draft, Bush and Cheney sure have created draft-like conditions and if we have four more years of Bush/Cheney, it is hard to see how we don't have a draft.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

Micah 6:8

8 You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you: Only to do right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Here John Kerry like you've never heard him before: check out these short films by Cindy Windmiller

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

Jonah 4:1-11

1 But this was greatly displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry.
2 "I beseech you, LORD," he prayed, "is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? This is why I fled at first to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger, rich in clemency, loathe to punish.
3 And now, LORD, please take my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live."
4 But the LORD asked, "Have you reason to be angry?"
5 Jonah then left the city for a place to the east of it, where he built himself a hut and waited under it in the shade, to see what would happen to the city.
6 And when the LORD God provided a gourd plant, that grew up over Jonah's head, giving shade that relieved him of any discomfort, Jonah was very happy over the plant.
7 But the next morning at dawn God sent a worm which attacked the plant, so that it withered.
8 And when the sun arose, God sent a burning east wind; and the sun beat upon Jonah's head till he became faint. Then he asked for death, saying, "I would be better off dead than alive."
9 But God said to Jonah, "Have you reason to be angry over the plant?" "I have reason to be angry," Jonah answered, "angry enough to die."
10 Then the LORD said, "You are concerned over the plant which cost you no labor and which you did not raise; it came up in one night and in one night it perished.
11 And should I not be concerned over Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot distinguish their right hand from their left, not to mention the many cattle?"

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Debate #3 Kerry Sum-Up

We're all God's children

And as President Kennedy said when he ran for president, he said, "I'm not running to be a Catholic president. I'm running to be a president who happens to be Catholic."

My faith affects everything that I do, in truth. There's a great passage of the Bible that says, "What does it mean, my brother, to say you have faith if there are no deeds? Faith without works is dead."

And I think that everything you do in public life has to be guided by your faith, affected by your faith, but without transferring it in any official way to other people.

That's why I fight against poverty. That's why I fight to clean up the environment and protect this earth.

That's why I fight for equality and justice. All of those things come out of that fundamental teaching and belief of faith.

But I know this, that President Kennedy in his inaugural address told all of us that here on Earth, God's work must truly be our own. And that's what we have to -- I think that's the test of public service.

Everything is a gift from the Almighty. And as I measure the words of the Bible -- and we all do; different people measure different things -- the Koran, the Torah, or, you know, Native Americans who gave me a blessing the other day had their own special sense of connectedness to a higher being. And people all find their ways to express it.

I was taught -- I went to a church school and I was taught that the two greatest commandments are: Love the Lord, your God, with all your mind, your body and your soul, and love your neighbor as yourself. And frankly, I think we have a lot more loving of our neighbor to do in this country and on this planet.

We have a separate and unequal school system in the United States of America. There's one for the people who have, and there's one for the people who don't have. And we're struggling with that today.

And the president and I have a difference of opinion about how we live out our sense of our faith.

I talked about it earlier when I talked about the works and faith without works being dead.

I think we've got a lot more work to do. And as president, I will always respect everybody's right to practice religion as they choose -- or not to practice -- because that's part of America.

with faith in God and with conviction in the mission of America, I believe that we can reach higher. I believe we can do better.

I think the greatest possibilities of our country, our dreams and our hopes, are out there just waiting for us to grab onto them. And I ask you to embark on that journey with me.

I ask you for your trust. I ask you for your help. I ask you to allow me the privilege of leading this great nation of ours, of helping us to be stronger here at home and to be respected again in the world and, most of all, to be safer forever.

Thank you. Goodnight. And God bless the United States of America.

All in a day's work

Via First Draft

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

Proverbs 28:27-28

27 He who gives to the poor suffers no want, but he who ignores them gets many a curse.
28 When the wicked gain pre-eminence, other men hide; but at their fall the just flourish.

Amy Sullivan weighs in on Kerry's abortion answer at

Newly minted Kerry adviser Mike McCurry acknowledged this reality recently when he told a group of campaign reporters that his candidate should talk about abortion in a way that acknowledges the genuine moral concerns and qualms of anti-abortion voters. John Kerry did just that in St. Louis last Friday night in his response to a rigged question about government funding for abortions—an issue that hasn't been the focus of abortion politics for 15 years now. Despite the setup, Kerry went out of his way to express his respect for those who oppose abortion. And then he correctly moved into a discussion of various ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

It's a conversation that those of us who are pro-choice should have an interest in supporting. Because the real solution to reducing unnecessary abortions in this country doesn't lie in banning specific abortion procedures or sending doctors to jail. It also won't be helped by marshalling all of our political resources to fight parental notification laws that strike most American voters as sensible (Bush highlighted them for a reason in his answer to the same question). Instead, abortion rates drop when unwanted pregnancies decrease, whether through better sex education (that includes, but goes beyond, abstinence promotion) or insurance coverage for contraceptives.

Bush immediately mocked Kerry's nuanced answer—"I'm trying to decipher that"—and it has been roundly criticized in the press for sounding tortured. But the reality is that the feelings of most Americans regarding abortion are tortured. It's easy to stake out a post as a pro-choice or anti-abortion extremist; it's much harder to articulate a desire to respect unborn life and protect women. I suspect, however, that Kerry's answer—particularly the reference to the influence of his Catholic faith—plays better with swing voters than with political reporters precisely because it reflects a genuine attempt to grapple with a difficult issue.

It may take a Catholic Democrat to lead the party out of an era in which politicians have lived in fear of sounding insufficiently supportive of abortion rights and of suffering the consequences of withdrawn endorsements or campaign funds from choice groups as a result. If that happens, we might actually see the day in which—upon hearing the legend of Bob Casey—listeners say, "Nah, that doesn't sound like the Democratic Party to me."

Jeanne at Body and Soul had this to say about Kerry's answer:
At the same time, I think Bush had some help in losing women, because I'm pretty sure Kerry won over a lot of women last night, especially in answering the question about abortion:. . .

After Kerry's straightforward defense of women's lives, Bush sounded like he just didn't give a damn about us.

Women are going to turn that contempt right back on him.

All around excellent post, highly recommended reading.

And there's the liberated feminist view from Amanda at Mouse Words, which indicated the converse of something Amy Sullivan notes, that
What was more important in terms of picking up those moderate Catholics who are still not in the Democratic camp yet is that for the first time in recent memory, the Democratic candidate expressed respect for pro-life views and acknowledged them as legitimate in a political forum.

The converse of this is that Kerry, who has credibility with the pro-choice movement, has made it clear that pro-lifers will have air to breathe in the Party and the pro-choicers are quite happy with that.

For the record, I do not believe the questioner, Sarah Degenhart at the St Louis debate was an RNC plant.

In the 90s I was not politically active and I never thought of what party I belonged to. I do note that my impression of the Democratic Party was that it was hostile to pro-lifers which I was at the time. It is ironic because Clinton was the one who coined the magic phrase that abortions should be "safe, legal and rare."

What struck me in the primaries, early on in the Kerry campaign was that even though Kerry was firmly pro-choice, conservatives, libertarians, moderates, pro-lifers, etc were more than welcome. I remember stuffing envelopes in the Kerry HQ and talking with other very pro-choice volunteers and it struck me that we ordinarily shouldn't be doing anything together, rather, our political leanings should force us at each other's throats. But early on, it was clear that Kerry and his campaign and eventually, his Party, has the capacity to bring people together.

Amy Sullivan has expressed quite well what many of us thought during that St Louis debate, that is was home run to actually acknowledge where the anti-abortion crowd was coming from and not dismiss it outright. Kerry has shown that his Party is for everyone, not like Bush's which is for the extreme Right.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Come November 3, the U.S. Catholic Church is going to be needing some serious soul searching. If Bush wins, I fail to see how the same Bishops who have said Kerry and Democrats have made a deal with the deal or that a vote for Kerry is a sin, can hope to ever reintegrate the part of the flock that steadfastly supported Kerry. On the other hand, with a Kerry win, . . . I can't imagine what that would mean. I don't think the Catholic Right would quiet down (liberals tend to leave the Church quietly, which is what may happen in a Bush win)I think the Right would be more vociferous.

I don't suppose anyone knows what all this means for the US Catholic Church, but the trend is negative. The Bishops have succeeded in alienating liberals and many are leaving the Church because of what's presently happening. On the other hand, many are remaining firm in either supportive parishes or dioceses. We may be headed for spiritual civil war.

A Bush win would be a clear victory for the anti-abortion crowd and we would definitely hear about on this website.

Given the ferocity of the present division, I just don't see how reconciliation is possible. If the Bishops were wise, they would start now in preparing either group for the possibility of loss (no one believes they will lose) because it would be much harder to pick up pieces if everything is left unchecked.

All things work together for good, so in a sense we have to believe that God can bring good out of this, but this may be our faith generation's Red Sea moment. Given the level of vitriol, where does the Church go from here?

That said, I'd rather consider that question on the couch on Nov 3 watching President Kerry receive his congratulations, knowing that we've said yes to healthcare, peace, life, education, civil rights, human dignity, truth, and progress.

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

Hosea 6:6

For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than holocausts.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

Song of Songs 8:6-7

"Set me as a seal on your heart,as a seal on your arm;For stern as death is love,relentless as the nether world is devotion;its flames are a blazing fire.
Deep waters cannot quench love,nor floods sweep it away.Were one to offer all he owns to purchase love,he would be roundly mocked."

Via First Draft

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

1 Corinthians 3:9-13

For we are God's co-workers; you are God's field, God's building.
10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But each one must be careful how he builds upon it,
11 for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ.
12 If anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw,
13 the work of each will come to light, for the Day will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire (itself) will test the quality of each one's work.

For all your "You Forgot Poland" needs.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

John 12: 42-43

42 Nevertheless, many, even among the authorities, believed in him, but because of the Pharisees they did not acknowledge it openly in order not to be expelled from the synagogue.
43 For they preferred human praise to the glory of God.

In this election cycle many conservative Catholics find George Bush reprehensible. Many have decided to vote for him while holding their noses, as it were. Others have decided that they can't vote for him, even if they won't vote for Kerry.

This scripture refers to Jesus's ministry and how many believed in him but were afraid to say so for fear of retribution. In fact, in an earlier chapter, a blind man who had been healed was excommunicated for believing in Christ. I liken this situation to the present. Arch-right, including the amplified voice of the Bishops, is pressuring and brow-beating conservative Catholics into voting for Bush because he is the"pro-life" candidate. On the other hand, many of these conservatives are not at all sold on Bush but do not want to risk speaking up for fear of a fierce backlash.

This scripture can serve as a point of support. Vote your conscience and if it is not Bush, then you don't have to vote for him. This is not to say that Kerry is the "correct" candidate, but that we need to return to the primacy of conscience even if means paying a price for it. For those conservatives, you may lose friends, "lose" respect in the eyes of the arch-right or even people who you respect, you may be called names, etc, but all that matters is what God calls you now and what He will say to you on that day.

When we all stand before God on that fateful day, no one is going to stand with you. You and you alone will be responsible for all your decisions. The Pope will not be there with you, no Bishop, no canon lawyer, no catechist, no priest, no parents, children, friends, no one; all you'll have is you and your conscience and the extent to which you honored that unique voice of God echoing in your depths. If we obey our consciences now, then we nothing to fear on that day, rather we can look for praise from God, on the other hand, if we act out of fear of other human beings and ignore our consciences, then would have much to be ashamed of.

For Catholics, this election is primarily about the future of our country and world and the visions of the respective candidates, but secondarily, it is about our consciences. Will we further refine and develope them by listening to them, or will we mute the voice of God because of pressure from self-serving intra-church conclaves?

As for you and your conscience, you will . . .?

Friday, October 08, 2004

Another Strong Debate Performance by Senator Kerry

KERRY: Well, again, the president just said, categorically, my opponent is against this, my opponent is against that. You know, it's just not that simple. No, I'm not.

I'm against the partial-birth abortion, but you've got to have an exception for the life of the mother and the health of the mother under the strictest test of bodily injury to the mother.

KERRY: Secondly, with respect to parental notification, I'm not going to require a 16-or 17-year-old kid who's been raped by her father and who's pregnant to have to notify her father. So you got to have a judicial intervention. And because they didn't have a judicial intervention where she could go somewhere and get help, I voted against it. It's never quite as simple as the president wants you to believe.

Good old fashioned common sense just like Catholics like it.

As for Bush, did anyone think this made any sense?

BUSH: Embryonic stem-cell research requires the destruction of life to create a stem cell. I'm the first president ever to allow funding -- federal funding -- for embryonic stem-cell research. I did to because I too hope that we'll discover cures from the stem cells and from the research derived.

ESCR is "destruction of life" yet I am proud to say "I am first to fund it." Then later Bush says:

BUSH: Let me make sure you understand my decision. Those stem- cells lines already existed. The embryo had already been destroyed prior to my decision.

I had to make the decision to destroy more life, so we continue to destroy life -- I made the decision to balance science and ethics.

Translation: it is okay to destroy life to an extent, or , the wrong deed was already done, so I figured I'd continue with it anyway.

Talk about waffling. He wants to be simultaneously acceptable to both the "pro-life" folk and pro-ESCR folks.

Back to Kerry
I think we can save lives.

Now, I think we can do ethically guided embryonic stem-cell research.

We have 100,000 to 200,000 embryos that are frozen in nitrogen today from fertility clinics. These weren't taken from abortion or something like that. They're from a fertility clinic. And they're either going to be destroyed or left frozen.

And I believe if we have the option, which scientists tell us we do, of curing Parkinson's, curing diabetes, curing, you know, some kind of a, you know, paraplegic or quadriplegic or, you know, a spinal cord injury, anything, that's the nature of the human spirit.

KERRY: I think it is respecting life to reach for that cure. I think it is respecting life to do it in an ethical way.

And the president has chosen a policy that makes it impossible for our scientists to do that. I want the future, and I think we have to grab it.

There's a Q&A on Catholics and Stem Cell Research questions here

Overall, Kerry again showed people that he is a more than capable advocate for the middle class and an excellent candidate for Commander in Chief. Pres. Bush was defensive and missed an opportunity to say what his vision is for both the world and the country. But we all know that with Bush it is more ofthe same, bad economy and war.

Kerry showed that he is a fresh face with fresh ideas that resonate with common sense values that we all hold. I think Kerry did a great job with the abortion question. He was able to reveal his heart and yet show why he voted the way that he did. Again, it shows the difference between liberals and conservatives. Kerry is concerned about people, Bush is not. If Bush and Tom Delay and the like really wanted to ban PBAs all they had to do was fashion a law that included an exception for the mother's health and it would have passed the Supreme Court muster. But as any clear thinking person knows, Republicans in Washington could care less about life, all they were interested in was scoring political points.

John Kerry is where most Catholics are: personally opposed to abortion, but do not think it should be illegal. I think Catholics are beginning to see that Kerry, not Bush, resonates with Catholic values.

"Who is on the Lord's side!"

Via dkos

Everyone's gushing over Kerry in this image over at dkos, so I thought I'd share the picture of a dashing, confident Catholic with our Catholic and Christian friends.

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope."

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Media Matters criticizes the New York Times for a flawed report on Kerry and Catholic Support.

A couple of weeks ago, I called the Heart, Mind, and Soul Blog (HMS blog) an "arch-conservative" site. Greg Popcak, site administrator objected and I justly defended that characterization. However, new and more recent events have caused a review of the current rating.

I am downgrading the HMS blog from "Archconservative" to "Very Conservative." The reason, an astounding turn of events as there appears to be a chink in the armor: a poster on that site, Woodene Koenig-Bricker, has declared that she cannot vote for Bush. That has to count for something, hence the downgrade.

BTW, the way the rating works is thus:

Wildly radical
Very conservative
Moderate Conservative
Moderate Liberal
Reasonable and Orthodox
Very Liberal
Extremely Liberal
Fringe Liberal

Kerry Catholics Scripture of the Day: Countdown to E-Day

1 Pet 2:1-3

1 Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, insincerity, envy, and all slander;
2 like newborn infants, long for pure spiritual milk so that through it you may grow into salvation,
3 for you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Kerry Catholics Scripture-Countdown to E-Day

20 If anyone says, "I love God," but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God 5 whom he has not seen.
21 This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

1 John 4:20-21

Often pro-lifers "claim" to be angry that pro-choicers or pro-life supporters of pro-choice candidates live with the fact that millions of babies die from abortions and thus we get called those wonderful compassionate conservative names like "baby killers," etc.

What the "anti-abortion" crowd misses, and now pro-choicers are comfortable admitting, is that the abortion decision is a gut wrenching decision and you would be hard pressed to find people who are pro-abortion. Liberals agonize over death of both the unborn and the born, the difference between us and the anti-abortion crowd is that we agonize over the death of all because we care about life.

Now, the pro-lifers argue that is not the case. They view proof of love of life in a strict pro-chronological manner, i.e., from the the fetus up, i.e., how you treat the unborn is determinate of how much you respect life. On the other hand, liberals operate in a counter-chronological manner, i.e, how you respect and love life as mannifest in our concrete examples of life, that is, our fellow visible and tangible human beings, is the true indication of one's love and respect for life.

I think this scripture shows the merits of the liberal view. John is saying that claims to love based on principle have no basis in fact, unless they are validated by actual love to that which is visible. John's example is that someone may say how much they love God and may actually appear to be very pious and devoted and obedient to the Church's every maxim and whim. However, John's test of true love is how one loves his fellow man. He plainly says that if you do not love the one whom you see, i.e., is visible and tangible to you, then your claim to love God, who is not present visibly to you, is false.

In the same way, for us liberals, it is hard to see how conservative claims to loving life are based in reality. The test is our position not vis-a-vis the fetus, but our fellow visible man. How can you claim to respect the life of the unborn whom you cannot see and yet not respect and love the lives of the born that you can see? I often make the point that it is some sort of principle, not love of life, that drives the conservative anti-abortion movement. Otherwise, what would explain the inexplicable drop off in concern and action for baby that is 10 minutes out of the womb?

Conservative anti-abortion advocates are like people who do very hard work to mine gold only to abandone the ore when it is brought to the surface. Such an action simply shows that the gold was not the motivating factor in the first place, something else was. For anyone to claim to fight for the first 9 months of life, only to abandon it for the remaining 4 score and 10, cannot really be about life. It simply does not make sense.

This is not to question the sincerity or motives of the conservatives, because I think many (not all) really care for what they are doing.

I think true respect for life is shown in the respect given to visible tangible life that we experience everyday. If we are not moved to act on behalf of the poor and the oppressed and the needy that we see, then claims to act, out of love, on behalf of the unborn ring hollow. On the other hand, if we cultivate love of visible post-born life, that will translate, with hard work, to love of life in the case of the unborn.

Happy Kerry Photo of the Day (Kerry in his 1996 Senate win)

Via First Draft

Jesus was a Liberal

In a comment in a post below, Gerald says:

Jesus was a liberal? Is God a liberal too? Which party do they belong to? I know there's an election going on but I think you need to take a step back Ono.

Jesus was a liberal. Note the key word, "was," as in, "in his time." Jesus upset the leaders of his time because he so blatantly violated the existing religous rules and laws. For Jesus, people and relationship, trumped laws and regulations anytime and this is what being liberal is about. For instance:

--IN Jn 8:1-11 the conservatives thought they had Jesus cornered. They knew his "liberal" impulse would be forgiveness rather than condemnation, the woman's wellbeing over the Mosaic law which required that she be stoned to death. True to form, Jesus' liberal impulses kicked in, but the he who is the wisdom of God, turned the situation on its head . . . you all know the rest of the story. Jesus was more concerned about the woman, her dignity and her soul, than the precepts of the law.

--Also in Mt 12:1-14 (Lk 6:1-11), we note that the conservatives criticized Jesus and his disciples for plucking corn, rubbing it in their hands and eating on the Sabbath day. Again, the conservatives were more concerned with principle and regulations. However, Jesus justified it by saying that "man is not made for the Sabbath, rather, the Sabbath is made for man." Again, it is people and relationships over rules, laws (even religious laws conerning something as sacred as the sabbath), and regulations.

--The we have the case were Jesus heals the man born blind in Jn 9. The conservatives were upset because Jesus healed on the Sabbath day and because this man who was healed was carrying his bed on the Sabbath. The interesting thing here is the man's response in Jn 9:25-35. He is befuddled and asks, when, since the beginning of time have we seen the blind healed like this, yet the conservatives are quibbling over what day of the week it is.

--Then there is the healing in Lk 18:11-14, where the Lord heals the crippled woman and again, the conservatives are upset because this has been done on the Sabbath. Yet, Jesus points out that she is a "daughter of Abraham" who deserve healing, regardless of day of the week.

--Of course, we have the numerous cases of Jesus eating with the "sinners" "tax collectors" and such. The conservatives criticized him for the company he kept. These were sinners after all, rather he should eat with people who were more "sacramentally" acceptable. Jesus defied the conservatives of his time and their self-righteousness. He ate and supped with whoever opened his heart to him.

Jesus was disliked by conservatives in his time whose desire was to "conserve" and "preserve" the law of Moses, a worthy goal by all accounts. But here again, this is the danger of conservatism, their religious adherence to principles, rules, laws, regulations, can blind them to the fact that the point of all these rules and laws is people, not the rules themselves. Of course, liberals have the opposite problem in which one can committ to people and relationships at the expense of principles. However, it is clear that Jesus was firmly rooted in the left of the ideological spectrum, the golden question is "how far left?"

As to question if God is liberal? If Jesus was liberal, then I it would follow that God, of whom Christ is his purest expression, if cast in human terms, would be liberal. Besides, when we bring God into the equation, the liberalness expands, because we are all God's children, his creation that he loved and sent his only son to die for. So God is far more interested in saving people and not at all interested in the exclusivity proclaimed by conservatives.

Jesus is liberal, God is liberal, shouldn't you be liberal too?