Friday, October 22, 2004

Who the hell is that guy???

Juxtaposed against Bob Herbert and Paul Krugman today in the NY Times Op-Ed section was an article entitled "Faith and Patriotism."

I started reading the "liberal" paper, only to be amazed at the ravings of a rabid, extremist conservative:

...I hear more lectures about how Roman Catholics must not "impose their beliefs on society" or warnings about the need for "the separation of church and state." These are two of the emptiest slogans in current American politics, intended to discourage serious debate. No one in mainstream American politics wants a theocracy. Nor does anyone doubt the importance of morality in public life. Therefore, we should recognize these slogans for what they are: frequently dishonest and ultimately dangerous sound bites.

Now it is a fact that separation of church and state exists in America for good reason: it has to do with the experience of the bloody wars over religion culminating in the Thirty Years' War, which, until WWII, had the record for European wars in which the number of civilians killed to soldiers killed was highest.

And yes, there are people in America (D. James Kennedy, John Ashcroft, James Dobson, Pat Robertson) who do what they can to encourage the establishment of a theocracy.

So right of the bat this guy is suspect...the Catholic reference is kind of a hint, though...

Lawmaking inevitably involves some group imposing its beliefs on the rest of us. That's the nature of the democratic process. If we say that we "ought" to do something, we are making a moral judgment. When our legislators turn that judgment into law, somebody's ought becomes a "must" for the whole of society. This is not inherently dangerous; it's how pluralism works

No. Lawmaking is amoral- laws get passed because lawmakers vote for them. Beliefs may or may not have anything to do with them. That's the nature of the democratic process. If we say we "ought" to do something, we are only saying that a course of action is recommended. The reasons why that course of action are recommended could be anything, as Machievelli showed. And, sometimes, lawmakers' laws becomes "cans" not "musts."

So within this one paragraph we have misinformation, mystification, and deception.

em>People who support permissive abortion laws have no qualms about imposing their views on society. Often working against popular opinion, they have tried to block any effort to change permissive abortion laws since the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. That's fair. That's their right. But why should the rules of engagement be different for citizens who oppose those laws?

Again, the confusion between "cans" and "musts." We now see that this writer is being intellectually dishonest.

Catholics have an obligation to work for the common good and the dignity of every person. We see abortion as a matter of civil rights and human dignity, not simply as a matter of religious teaching.

When you equate people with zygotes, you are, in fact debasing human beings "by debasing Being itself," as R. D. Laing wrote (in the context of patie de foie gras, but the logic applies here). If a human being is defined solely as the "sperm + egg and all cellular subdivisions thereafter, with an abstract 'soul' stamped in for good measure" one is denying the value of human experience in defining humanity- one is objectifying humanity, and therefore debasing the nature of humanity by debasing the confluence of human experience and Being.

This, in my opinion, is the strongest argument against an authoritarian position on abortion.

Oh, yeah, and the guy is claiming to speak for "Catholics."

For Catholics to take a "pro-choice" view toward abortion contradicts our identity and makes us complicit in how the choice plays out. The "choice" in abortion always involves the choice to end the life of an unborn human being. For anyone who sees this fact clearly, neutrality, silence or private disapproval are not options. They are evils almost as grave as abortion itself. If religious believers do not advance their convictions about public morality in public debate, they are demonstrating not tolerance but cowardice.

This guy thinks he can define Catholics' identity. I'm not a Catholic, but I know of alot of Catholics who whould tell this guy to go to hell, he's being a pretentious fool.

As noted earlier, permissive abortion laws, widespread contraception, and strong welfare states that allow women to keep babies and advance up the social ladder are the best antidotes to widespread abortion.

Who wrote this stuff?

Charles J. Chaput is the archbishop of Denver...

He really should focus on things like rooting out pedophilia.

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