Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A Reading From The Book of Blah

Mark Shea of Catholic and Enjoying has this to say:
I sometimes wonder how many of us Catholics receive the readings on Sunday like this:

Sadly, I think many do. We should work on that.


MontanaCatholic said...

I like the cartoon and the message. But Father, do you honestly read "Catholic and Enjoying It"? I have rarely seen such a hate-filled and partison blog in my life. I consider myself a pro-life Catholic in all ares (abortion, death penalty, just-war theory, environment, health care, etc.), but sadly NEITHER political party embraces true pro-life values in all of these areas. "Catholic and Enjoying It" would be more aptly named Anti-Democrat and enjoying it. What a shame the author uses his Catholic faith for political purposes... What would Jesus read?

Anonymous said...

Its just that one "pro-life" value supercedes them all and that's where the Democrats just don't get it.

MontanaCatholic said...

I don't think either party truly "gets it". Life is life and no one's life is any more or any less important than any other's. A baby who's parents cannot afford health care has just as much of a right to life as an unborn baby. An Iraqi civilian mother in war-torn Baghdad has just as much of a right to life. An elderly gentlemen who can't afford to support himself has just as much of a right. An illegal immigrant who came here just to feed his family has just as much of a right. A woman on death row has just as much of a right. A newborn in Africa who has AIDS has just as much of a right. An 18 year old homosexual who is about to get beaten to death just because he is gay has just as much of a right. A middle-eastern farmer who has lost his crops because of global-warming caused drought has just as much of a right. A 19 year old single mother who cannot make a decent living on minimum wage has just as much of a right. LIFE BEGINS AT CONCEPTION BUT IT DOES NOT END AT BIRTH! How can you say one pro-life value supercedes them all? Even if you are correct, that is about the only are where the Repubs are pro-life. Democrats are pro-life in almost every other area - and there are quite a few truly pro-life Dems out there who are also anti-abortion (i.e. Harry Ried, Bob Casey, etc.)

Anonymous said...

At least if you get to the point of birth, you are then recognized as a person and its illegal to kill you. Republicans recognize that killing should be illegal from the point of conception.

montanacatholic said...

Sorry, you are wrong on that last point. They (some Republicans, not all - both Barbara and Laura Bush are pro-choice) may recognize that killing should be illegal from the point of conception to birth, but they have no problem keeping killing legal in the form the death penalty and of pre-emptive illegal war. You can argue all you want, but the fact of the matter is that NEITHER party is truly pro-life. So please keep your partisanship out of my Church. WWJD?

montanacatholic said...

Four million children under the age of five die every year due to environmental hazards including polluted air or water, or exposure to chemicals (World Health Organisation, 2007)

18,000 adults in the USA die each year because they are uninsured and can't get proper health care.

Over 10,000 die each year in the US due to gun related homocide (discluding gun-related suicides).

3,653 US troops, and over 650,000 Iraqi civilians and security forces have so far died in the Iraq occupation.

How is being soft on polluters, soft on gun control, against universal health insurance, and for the Iraq invasion pro-life?

Scott H. said...

"Its just that one "pro-life" value supercedes them all and that's where the Democrats just don't get it."

That's not quite true. It isn't that life is any more valuable at one point or another. The issue with abortion is that it is one of several intrinsic evils and that it occurs on a mass scale. It it supercessory only insofar as it is the most prevalent and most grave.

At the same time, the question of proportionate evil must be asked. Are the deaths due to lack of health care, gun control, pollution, war, etc., a proportionate risk? The answer is, of course, no. Health Care is important, but universal health care is not an essential human right. A person's dignity is not insulted if they cannot get any surgery they want or any treatment they want. Gun control is a quagmire, since guns have both a positive and negative effect. Self defnese is morally licit, and the possession of a firearm is likewise licit and legal in the United States. Pollution is certainly bad, but it is not the same as sucking a fetus' brain out through a tube. War is likewise a real issue, except that the deaths that occur in war are not intrinsically evil, meaning that they are not always evil. Soldiers are not baby killers nor murderers, and the work they do is not morally illicit, so long as it follows the ethics of war. As for the war in Iraq, it is not as black and white as the numbers above may lead us to believe.

In short, the pro-life issue is larger than just abortion, to be certain. Yet, abortion is the major issue in the pro-life movement because of its gravity and scope. Other issues are important, but all issues are not equal. If all pro-life issues were equal, then we would have to consider things like seat belts to be as important as the rules of war, which they are not.

Life is not a one issue item, but it is not also an every issue item.

(I liked the FarSide cartoon...)

Anonymous said...

FarSide had another similar cartoon with cats, except all the cats heard was "blah, blah..." and so on.
Since Sunday mass is obligatory- sometimes attending when exhausted, irritated, distracted, mind-racing, I think I may be like the cats sometimes.
Back to the pro-life issues, the reason abortion is so critical, is if you don't even get the chance to be born, then the rest of the above issues are beside the point.
At least we agree that the other issues are also reprehensible.
However, making abortion legal implies that it is moral and a good.
I want to vote for a president regardless of party, who will appoint supreme cout justices who will uphold the constitution.

Look at Mother Teresa's quote:
"Today abortion is the worst evil and the greatest enemy of peace"
and from the Catholic League:"It is a staple of secularist thought that contraception and abortion are the best means to ending poverty and population growth."

It is just too horrific to have our world believing it is okay for a mother to kill her child.

montanacatholic said...

Look, you are missing my original point. My only concern was that one of the blogs that Father Dana references routinely calls the Democratic party "the evil party". This just seems very un-Christian and untrue to me. I do agree with you that abortion is the number one pro-life issue, and I have said the very same thing to others in the past. But what I do not agree with is that it trumps EVERY OTHER PRO-LIFE ISSUE COMBINED to the point that we just ignore them (including the death penalty and unjust war).

"Life is not a one issue item, but it is not also an every issue item." If you really believe that, Scott, then why would you only vote one-issue, and condone the calling of the Democratic party, "the evil party"?

"As for the war in Iraq, it is not as black and white as the numbers above may lead us to believe." Oh yeah? Then why have two popes and the conference of bishops all adamently opposed it? Sounds like the Repub party might even trump the Church your mind? And don't you DARE insinuate that I would ever consider soldiers murderers or baby-killers. You know that was a low blow and just another old Rove-ian tactic.

It is looking as if many in the Catholic hierarchy are just another wing of the Republican party, much like the southern Baptists. And what has the Republican party done about abortion since Roe V. Wade? Nothing - even though they have had more years in the presidency, more judges in the supreme court, and more years with a combined majority in all three branches as well as governorships. Why can't you realize that many in this party don't want to get rid of this issue because it brings them votes.

And also, look at the facts. Many countries which have outlawed abortion have just as high abortion rates as we do. Abortion rates have risen under Bush when they were declining under Clinton. One of the main reasons women cite for getting an abortion is lack of the financial resources to raise a child, yet Republicans are not willing to better fund children's health and daycare.

Despite all this do I think abortion should be made illegal? YES, ABSOLUTLY! Do I think the Repubs will ever accomplish this, even if they once again control all three branches? NOPE!

"I want to vote for a president regardless of party, who will appoint supreme cout justices who will uphold the constitution." Well, Bush got two in that he wanted, and what have they done abortion? Nothing, though it is being debated that they gone against the constitution.

Why don't we seek to change the hearts of people and provide assistantship programs so that we can actually stop abortions? Why don't we also promote all other pro-life issues so as to truly create a culture of life?

If you disagree with me and think voting Republican will make everything in this world better, than that is fine, I encourage you to vote Republican. Just do not resort to petty name-calling by referring to the Democrats as "the evil party", and do not discredit the many good and truly Christian things that they are trying to do.

All I'm saying is please open your hearts a little, as well as your minds. What is so evil about that?

Anonymous said...

Bush at the Jan 22,2007 March for Life:
"We...ended federal funding for abortions overseas and are funding crisis pregnancy programs...
signed into law a ban on the cruel practice of partial-birth abortions."
He also vetoed a bill allowing for additional embryonic stem cell research.
We need the appt. of one more judge to uphold the constitution so that Roe v Wade will be overturned.
If it were Casey vs. Guliani, I'd vote for Casey.

Anonymous said...

Montana Catholic said: "One of the main reasons women cite for getting an abortion is lack of the financial resources to raise a child." I find it interesting, though, that the number of abortions among those who are poor is significantly lower than among those who are rich.

Fr. G said...

How on earth did a simple cartoon turn into an abortion argument?

BTW, nice cartoon, I think its how many people perceive the homily as well! LOL...

montanacatholic said...

Not sure where you get that fact, anonymous. The Guttmacher Institute [disclaimer, they are pro-choice] found that 57% of U.S. women who have abortions are economically disadvantaged.

Other facts:

Since 1994, unplanned pregnancy rates among poor women have increased by 29%, while rates among higher-income women have decreased by 20%.

43% of abortions worldwide each year occur in places where abortion is illegal (

21% of women cite "they can't afford a baby" as an escuse to get an abortion. This was the top reason, tied with "they are unready for the responsibility" (

Not a single abortion, late-term or otherwise, has been or will be, canceled due to this [Bush's Partial Birth Abortion] ban. (

Again, I agree that abortion should be illegal, I just want to stress that this won't stop abortions. We also need to promote other ideas, like ensuring uderprivileged women have the resources to support a baby.

Anonymous said...

I am sure dogs DO understand more than the flock of Catholics crowding churches to watch the queer show of priests.

And even more dogs understand than those listening to a MASS IN LATIN.

But being clear is not the purpose of the Roman Catholic Church: its purpose is to provide a stage for priests to put on their phony grimaces of piety, and to let them enjoy being surrounded by their little angels-altar boys.

Woodrow said...

Dear anonymous (September 1, 8:09am). Thanks for your insightful critique of the Catholic Church. The depth of your convictions, the eloquent words in which you expressed them, the courage to do so while using your real name; I find these all quite moving and convincing. Oh woe is the Church! Woe! Woe!

Kat said...

Maybe not the readings... but I am guilty of tuning out the homily a few times.