The R-word and the D-word

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University of Miami Hurricanes

I can’t help putting my two cents in response to Longhorns and Aggies can get along.  I also went to a very liberal school, the University of Miami.  I also disagree about the comments that Catholics are somehow conflicted on politics.

Ever since the shooting in Sweden I have tried to avoid violence and hate in my heart by keeping in mind what we generally have in common.  Most of the time we both want the same thing, we just have very different ways of going about it.  In order to avoid anger I remember that, for example, pro-abortion and anti-abortion both want the same thing.  They both want to protect women and children from abuse, suffering, and being controlled.  They just have different opinions about the best way to go about that.

I’m assuming the other primary issue which divides Catholics politically would be “social justice.”  Again I believe that both Republicans and Democrats (at least according to their platforms) want to help the needy and protect individual rights.  We just have very different ways of doing that.  Democrats want to redistribute wealth and promote alternative lifestyles.  Republicans want to create economic stability by cutting taxes and allowing a free market where people have freedom of opportunity.

I realize that since I am a Republican, this will be biased but I hope I have accomplished my goal of showing that I respect what Democrats are trying to accomplish.  I try to love them by seeing them as individuals with different ideas from mine rather than evil-doers (even if I really do believe they are doing evil).  However as far as I can see none of the platforms of the Republican Party conflict with Catholic values.  There is a major problem with the Democrat platform which is at the core of our belief as Catholics in the dignity of the human person.

I was really shocked to read some of the responses to Pope Benedict at World Youth Day offering forgiveness to those who have committed abortions.  Offering forgiveness is offensive now?  This article in the Slate and the comments to Jen Fulwilers article in response where so full of hate and disrespect.  I certainly can understand being furious when someone is keeping you from accomplishing what you think is right.  It is such a struggle to show kindness and generosity to those who are doing something you find repulsive.  I don’t think that offering confession at WYD is inhibiting anyone’s choice.  Do you?

When I was a student at UM, for the first time I encountered the creature I have come to know as the “liberal Catholic.”  I’ll be honest, I had never met one and never knew they existed.  I had two friends in particular who were a lawyer and a political science professor.  When the 2004 elections took place I put a Bush/Cheney poster in my window because the people I was living with had a big Kerry/Edwards sign in their yard.  My friends who were Catholics in their mid-thirties turned out to be Democrats!  I asked them “How can you be Catholic and Democrat?”  They were also confused “How can you be Catholic and Republican?”  I will admit I was, and for the most part am still, a non confrontational type so I avoid head on argument and never really engaged my friends in a debate.  However I feel I am now ready to engage in a challenging conversation that will hopefully challenge my way of thinking or at least help me to understand my fellow Catholics on the other side of the isle better.

I look forward to being educated if my understanding of these issues needs some supplementation.  I hope I have been charitable and I would invite others to do the same for me.

Go ‘Canes!!!

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75 responses »

  1. Great topic! “They both want to protect women and children from abuse, suffering, and being controlled. They just have different opinions about the best way to go about that.” … exactly. And as you said the same goes for Rep/Dem approaches. Both sides are fueled by desires to do good, and the more we recognize that goodness in our opponents the more productive our dialogs can be. And, I would extend this idea to religious debates as well. The better able we are to recognize another person’s love for God (or at the least desire to do good, in the case of non-believers), the more effective our dialogs will be for both parties.

  2. It’s so hard, isn’t it? Obviously both of our political parties have flaws. The Democratic party used to be the “Catholic party,” many decades ago, but it has veered so far away from the teachings of the Church on certain issues that there is no party that represents Catholic values anymore. I think it matters less and less which political party we identify with, and more about which candidate represents moral values. Obviously as Catholics, our first and foremost priority is to protect and promote respect for human life, especially of those who cannot defend themselves. We can’t vote simply along party lines; we have to look at each candidate as an individual, and whether that candidate has promised to respect human life. Unfortunately, it’s extremely rare that any one candidate will represent our moral values on EVERYTHING, so we often find ourselves holding our noses and voting for the “lesser of two evils.” It’s discouraging.

    We have to discover for ourselves what Catholic social teaching really is, and apply that to our faulty political system, deciding which candidates represent it most closely. Great resources are the encyclicals Rerum Novarum, Quadragesimo Anno, Laborem Exercens. The more I read about Catholic social teaching, the more it makes sense to me as a perfect model for governments and a moral society, respect for all life, emphasizing the importance of the nuclear family, compassion for the poor, and a good balance between government involvement and subsidiarity. Now, if only we could convince our Congressmen to read the encyclicals… 😛

  3. Colleen- “lesser of two evils”
    I do feel the need to point out that part of what I was trying to say is that the Republican party isn’t promoting anything intrinsically evil. The democrat party is. I don’t think Democrats are evil- just to clarify. But abortion is.

  4. And I don’t think so, either, as a whole – I was really just referring to individual candidates who are Republican who don’t necessarily represent the party’s position on life issues. Candidates who may be opposed to abortion rights, but who favor contraception, gay marriage, and stem cell research – or at least, candidates who don’t speak out against these things, which makes it hard to vote for them, because who knows what they’ll actually do when they’re in office? Candidates who are more moderate, but who run as a Republican, i.e., Rudy Giuliani. While the party itself may not endorse these positions, it seems that recently there have been a slew of moderate candidates who subscribe to at least some of the more liberal viewpoints on moral issues. For me, it’s a “hold my nose” issue because I don’t think a particular candidate represents the conservative viewpoint very well, and I would rather see someone more in line with the party’s values.

    I hope that clarifies! I agree with your POV!

  5. I’ve always been a conservative Catholic who votes Republican. But, I don’t think either party is fully in line with the churches teachings. The Democrats support a woman’s right to choose. It’s in their platform and for me, that precludes me from being able to vote for a Democrat. However, the Republicans have stretched the definition of a just war and many of them support the death penalty. And Pope Benedict has been very critical of the current wars going so far as to say, “today we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a ‘just war’.” I want a pro-life, anti-war, anti-death penalty party.

  6. You would almost do well to do a column of each party’s issues to see where they each directly oppose Church teaching. Democrats thumb the nose at maybe the same number of issues as Republicans, but the depth of the opposition is something you can’t ignore. When you devalue life as the Democrats do with abortion, and knowing that in terms of importance when we don’t uphold the dignity of life starting in the womb, how can we take the other social justice issues seriously? It makes me sad. 😦

  7. “I’m bored with all of it. The more I read on the Catholic internet – the deeper I get – the less I am caring about Catholicism. In fact, it’s starting to occur to me that much of what I encounter in the Catholic blogosphere is so imbued with basic, conservative political values and perspectives, that much of it really isn’t Catholic at all. Rather, it’s just conservatism parading around in vestments and a biretta hat. For example, yes, the Catholic faith is against gay marriage. But when you read discussions and arguments about gay marriage on Catholic blogs, you could just as easily read the same on some non-religious, but politically conservative blog (since there are many legitimate social, psychological, historical, and legal reasons why one might hold an anti-gay marriage stance.) Which means that I may have been more attracted to conservatism that I have been to Catholicism.

    The smart people are the ones who say to “turn it all off” and go spend time with Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration. Or find some quiet spot to pray the rosary. Probably, the even smarter people are the ones who aren’t even on the Catholic internet to give you this advice.

    But alas, I’m a writer from the word go, and alas again, I have a deep, gnawing hunger and interest in true Catholic spirituality. So I’m left to reconcile these facts with what is fast becoming a decided boredom and mental fatigue with the Catholic blogosphere. It’s an odd thing to want to cast blame for steps backward in the development of my Catholic faith on the hundreds upon hundreds of Catholic blogs out there. But overall, they’ve done way more harm than good. Based upon my own experience (which may not matter or be valuable at all), I’m not so sure I’d recommend a convert or revert to the Church getting fed from the Catholic internet, as tempting as it may be. Like in high school, there’s too much temptation to want to identify with the “popular” crowd that appears to be espousing all the right views.”

    ^^ These are not my words, but I am in total agreement.
    http://cheekypinkgirl.blogspot.com/2011/08/catholic-mush-brain.html

  8. So….you post a comment that you think speaks for itself yet you give no reason why you are in agreement…..never were part of the debate team, huh?

    By “your” logic, there should never be theologians or Catholic authors, etc. Maybe some Eucharistic Adoration should be your focus for a bit, n’est pas? That is, if you profess to be Catholic (assuming by that little blurb you felt the need to C & P you are not.)

  9. “I’m bored with all of it. The more I read on the Catholic internet – the deeper I get – the less I am caring about Catholicism.”

    Swap out the word “Catholicism” with the word “politics”, and I tend to agree. But Catholicism is much more deeply rooted than politics, for me. I can understand why someone would hold a liberal viewpoint, even if I don’t necessarily agree, but I cannot understand that the Catholic Church has the fullness of the truth in Catholicism and yet choose to reject it. The gift of my Faith is much, much more important to me than any political party. I think you’re misunderstanding the purpose of the bloggers – it isn’t to see whose in the “in crowd” or who has the most popular views, but it’s simply to reconcile the things of this world (politics) with the Faith that feeds them spiritually. We can’t bury our heads in the sand, as appealing as it is sometimes.

  10. Anony, I read the blog entry you posted, and I am uncertain how charity inspired you to share it here.

    The author of that post describes her site quite clearly, “This blog does not exist for me to glorify God or show the world what a joyful Catholic mommy I am. Quite the opposite. I’m blogging to try and empty my overactive brain of everything that annoys the crap out of me or that makes me wonder and think too much. Despite this stance, I’m still your fellow Catholic, so deal with it.”

    What good do you hope to see by bringing that point of view here in our combox?

  11. I would be surprised if there is a Catholic among this group of blogging contributors who also happens to be a true Independent voter, not a Conservative that calls herself an Independent. And I would be shocked if there is someone who represents the other side of the aisle as I have hear it referred to here. I am sorry that my post didn’t come off as contributing anything positive just because it challenges the staus quo here. What I am seeing here with posts that have a poltical slant, is that there is one mold for a Catholic to fit into. If you do not believe me, then answer honestly: do you think that someone could be a Catholic and a Democrat or an Independent who votes for a Democrat from time to time? The other posts here that do not dip into the political arena are quite beautiful and moving. Perhaps, if you are not open to hearing other views on politics with charity as you say, it would be best to avoid this topic on this otherwise inspiring blog. Have a good day ladies.

    • I’m confused about why you’re upset?
      This is a Catholic blog, not a political blog. We are individuals sharing our individual Catholic thoughts. In fact, the original post here mentions that Jaclyn noticed she had Catholic friends who were Democrats… and they were BOTH surprised that they could justify their positions considering their faith.
      We Catholics fall into a weird position in American politics – neither purely Republican nor purely Democrat… and it’s *okay* to discuss these points openly and honestly.
      What we TRULY believe in our faith will always be compromised – to a certain extent – when we start to argue party lines. Balancing out those compromises can be challenging, but it’s okay to talk about it without getting upset.

  12. **What I am seeing here with posts that have a poltical slant, is that there is one mold for a Catholic to fit into.**

    What you fail to realize is that with the Catholic Church, there is but ONE mold *to* be fit into. No one in either entry blasted the Democrats, as you are suggesting your second post. It’s quite disingenuous to come to our blog, point fingers based on scant evidence and make it to fit your own personal opinion of us. Show me where anyone blasted Democrats…or praised Republicans.

    Go ahead.

    You’ve missed the spirit of both posts, which is sad. But I would challenge you to see how the mold applies to yourself when we all {contributors and readers alike} take the life issues into account. Do both parties equally value life? Do both uphold the sanctity of life in the womb? What does the Church actually teach on the issue of abortion? Some see it as simple one-issue voting, but the reality is our Faith teaches us to uphold the dignity of all life, starting with life in the womb. We could argue life on death row, but to compare a person who has been born and had the opportunity to sin vs. an innocent child in the womb is like comparing apples to oranges. The culpability of the two doesn’t even compare.

    Again, I challenge you to post something positive, rather than seek to find an obscure reference to something that wasn’t said and blow it out of proportion. Until then, have a great day! 🙂

  13. Emily – Let me assure you that I am not upset. Does having a different opinion automatically put me in the “upset” column? That seems unfair.

    Martina – “Democrats want to redistribute wealth and promote alternative lifestyles. Republicans want to create economic stability by cutting taxes and allowing a free market where people have freedom of opportunity.” That line right there seems pretty biased to me, in favor of Republicans. Democrats do not want to redistrubute wealth, but properly taxing the wealthiest 1% seems only fair vs. taxing the poor in unequal proportions. Also, democrats do not “promote” alternative lifestyles, but want EQUALITY for ALL people of the United States. It’s all about equal treatment, opportunity and social justice. And before you try & call out the abortion hot button, there are those of us, anti-abortionists, that truly believe overturning Roe v. Wade is not going to cure the problem. Instead, how about a massive education campaign that starts with our teens,educating them on what life is and when it begins and that abortion IS killing. It is the individual that decides to have an abortion and she will find a way whether it is legal or not. It is the individual that needs support in order to avoid unwanted pregnancy in the first place, so that she is not in a position to take another’s life. I am so truly tired of people telling me that if I am truly Catholic I have to vote for a Republican candidate eventhough these same Reublicans have done absolutely nothing to stop abortion and have instead sent us into unjust wars where innocent women, men, children, and babies have been murdered. I honestly think abortion has just become a tool that the conservative candidates use to get votes from people that really do care about life. I agree with a comment I saw on this thread: I want a pro-life, anti-war, anti-death penalty party.

    • Are you here to change our opinions? To change what we post? Are you looking for a new blogging home and hoping that we’ll change enough so that you and those like you can find a home here? Are there not enough Catholic blogs out there of your particular political persuasion?

      Anyhow, I think there is definitely room here for a healthy discussion on the topic, however, Anony, it would be easier to get to the real issues if we could do without statements like “I am so truly tired of people telling me that if I am truly Catholic I have to vote for a Republican candidate “… this blog just started up. We’ve hardly built up a reputation, it seems as though you pounced on this combox in order to let as many people in the bloggosphere know that you’re disgruntled, and secondary to that mission is that of promoting different ideas on how to achieve pro-life results with a different political strategy.

    • Anony, I think what puts you into the “upset” category is the negative nature of your initial comment. You didn’t even share any of your own personal thoughts as to what you particularly disagree with (and if you had done so in a charitable manner we all would have had the opportunity to hear a different opinion and consider it thoughtfully). Nobody here is saying that if you are Catholic you have to be a Republican, plain and simple. As Catholics, we all know that the truth is, we act upon our morals as Catholics. You sound a bit burnt out on politics- I hope you come back to enjoy some more of the inspiring posts 😉 Blessings!

    • I agree that this article biased- as stated quite clearly. My whole article was basically stating why I think Catholics should vote Republican and saying please explain to me why everyone is “conflicted”. You sound just as biased as I do. I think I would need to see some stats to agree that the poor are taxed in unequal proportions as it is. Also “equality for all people” seems to mean that everyone must like the effect alternative lifestyles have on the community. For example, gay marriage causing Catholic adoption agencies to shut down. Pro-life doctors and pharmacists being forced to prescribe contraceptives.
      I am glad you have taken the time to respond because this is exactly the conversation I was hoping to have- an opportunity to look at the issues. That is why your first response about being bored was so unexpected. It didnt respond at all to what I was saying. I will admit I am new to the “blogosphere” so I don’t know what other people are bored with.
      I agree with your final comment in part. Anti-war is not an issue. Like I stated in my article I think we can all agree that no one is “pro-war”. Each war must be evaluated on it’s own. The Church would never hold against us the right to defend ourselves or protect our right to life with force.
      The death penalty is another good example. After thinking about it, I think that issue does tend to get the backburner only because it is difficult for me to get all riled up about killing murderers and rapists. However I know that I should value those lives just as much as the babies. I will pray about this!
      Because of this conversation I plan to do some reading about what makes a “just-war” (got any good links?) and try to hold all life equal even if it is difficult to be as merciful to others as God is to me!
      Also, I agree that your tone comes across as upset even if you are not. You are right that individuals are the key to preventing abortions, which is why pregnancy centers and the Gabriel Project are so important. There are many facets to that war though- changing the law would save many many lives. I certainly get upset when we start talking about abortion. Thank you for responding0- I wish I could have gotten online earlier… I am glad to get to learn from you! Perhaps I can understand why some Catholics vote Democrat after all.

  14. **Instead, how about a massive education campaign that starts with our teens,educating them on what life is and when it begins and that abortion IS killing.**

    I completely agree with this. I don’t owe you {or any other finger pointer} an explanation, but I am part of an initiative to teach our teens about their bodies by teaching them about NFP {Creighton method} and our parish will be hosting Abby Johnson to come speak to teens. I also know her personally and give time and money to initiatives to help the pro-life cause. The finger pointing needs to stop. If you don’t have anything fruitful to add to the discussion, then mosey on…

  15. Wow. Points taken, Adrienne. The original author said she wanted to hear from Catholics on the other side of the aisle. I like to think ultimately we’re all in this together and are each other’s sisters no matter what, but I will leave you all alone now. Truly. Blessings of peace.

    • I have to agree with you- we are all in this together! We are One Body, but we definitely aren’t all perfect individuals. Jaclyn did want to hear other opinions, but the first thing you came and threw up was a blog post that, in my personal opinion, just bashed Catholic bloggers. It sounds like that author of that blog post has some personal issues to sort out herself. But I digress- once you actually shared a few of your own thoughts, the conversation became much more interesting! I agree with you as well about pouring our money and energy into education and support programs for the youth and for all women who may be finding themselves in a crisis pregnancy. But is that really politics or party? We can do those things as Catholics regardless if we have a strong party affiliation. Personally, I always find myself leaning towards republican candidates, especially because of my pro-life stance (which is honestly my first and most important priority when voting). The point of this post was that regardless of politics, we all stand together as Catholics. As you said- we are all in this together! Blessings and peace to you as well. 🙂

      • I want to share one last thought with any other posters who come along and quote a blog that bashes Traddies. First, this is not NOT a traddie website, but I have many friends who are. We represent a DIVERSE population of our Catholic roots, but the one thing we agree on is adherence to Mother Church. There is no room for dissension when it comes to the tenets of the Faith. And yes, we have contributors who are “traddies” but we also have NO members, skirt only wearers, jeans only wearers, those who veil and those who don’t, working moms, sah moms, women who suffer from infertility and some who have suffered tragic loss. We are, imo, a very accurate representation of what it means to be spicy in all things outside of our adherence to the Faith. If anyone wants to read blogs with one flavor, more power to them, but this blog will be a wonderful hodge podge of varying walks of life within the Faith while ADHERING to what our Faith teaches us. We welcome all comments, provided it isn’t aimed at tearing down the mission of this blog. 🙂

  16. No matter where you stand with individual candidates, the fact remains that you can NOT vote for a pro-abortion candidate if you are Catholic.

  17. Anony, my post was definitely too much. I do humbly apologize for its harshness, though I will admit to it being my thought process here. But do you not see how your ideas on politics (something that we would enjoy hearing about) became quickly overshadowed by your disdain for us (the blog quote, the scolding of how you bet every one of us votes…)? No one should be surprised when they receive the approach they give. However, you are right, it would have been better for me to remain composed.

    Anyhow, if you’re still around and would like to tell us more about your ideas on how to help promote a pro-life America, we would indeed love to hear it.

  18. I read a great editorial during the last presidential election cycle from a devout Catholic woman who struggled greatly with her duty to vote and to protect and honor the life and dignity of every person from conception to death. She felt each party’s candidate excelled at protecting a different stage of a person’s life. It tried to find a copy to link here but small town newspaper- they don’t keep their opinion pieces archived online for that long.

    At the time I was not yet a fully communed Catholic, but the article had a profound impact on me and really helped me to evaluate how voting, politics, and faith collided in my own life. I have voted all over the political spectrum at various times in my life and I continue to refuse to be a one-issue voter. I have HIGH priority voting issues (life) that are not negotiable in a candidate, but I couldn’t care less what political background a person comes from.

    The is always a danger to society when voters stop evaluating the candidates and start relying solely on their designation as Democrat and Republican. Neither should we rely solely on a person’s designation as Catholic, Evangelical, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, Agnostic, or otherwise. Throughout history people refusing to commune with others based on socio-economic status, racial background, or religious preference has had catastrophic results for millions of people.

    While my faith is not negotiable, it does not mean that I am not willing to sit at a table with those who don’t share my beliefs. Their life is valued equally with mine by our Heavenly Father. When we start behaving (or voting) to the exclusion of those who do not agree with us to the extent of resorting to open criticism and instant judgement, we lose out on amazing opportunities for fellowship and learning. Dialogue with the “other side” can be scary when we have to stand up and defend our beliefs, as the OP discovered in college, but ultimately it is through discussion that our own thoughts are refined and our beliefs strengthened. Communication requires three components- speaking/conveying ideas, listening, and responding (based on what was heard in part 2, not what was said in part 1)

    Only when we are confident communicating about our beliefs, unapologetically but respectfully, can we hope to have any impact on the spreading of the Faith beyond ourselves.

  19. Is it OK for a Catholic to point out how many Catholics also ignore Catholic teaching when it comes to torture, war, and capital punishment? Why does abortion trump all those other Catholic teachings? I ask this as a Republican Catholic that is pro-life. And I ask as one who is not going to vote Republican in the next election (probably won’t vote at all) because of it. Too many Catholics are making a sacred cow of abortion while ignoring what else the Church has to say.

    • Five things:
      1) http://www.ewtn.com/vote/brief_catechism.htm <–good brief explanation of why abortion trumps the other issues in terms of importance {don't buy the secular pill that tries to undervalue abortion, btw}
      2) The Republican party does *not* "support" torture and war. In fact, I challenge you to find me a document from a credible Republican website that says they do and not just an opinion blog or editorial piece.
      3) War is not intrinsically evil, nor is capital punishment.
      4) Abortion is an intrinsic evil – see #1 for details.
      5) I am not a Republic and gain nothing by sharing #2

      In short, there is no crime that is more horrendous than abortion. Killing innocent children in the womb does NOT compare to the other crimes. Do not confuse this with saying that protecting the unborn means that we do not care about the other issues. We are simply talking about prioritization. Secular society has its priorities wrong and Catholics well-versed in the Faith would do well to understand their cooperation with the evils associated with abortion whether formally or materially.

      • Well put Martina. While I completely agree that our country is filled with a number of other horrible crimes, abortion is definitely the worst. This is about prioritization, not about “ignoring” other church teachings. Prayer is the most powerful tool we have against the evils of today, but an educated vote can also be powerful in the battle.

        I especially like this quote on the topic-
        The right to life is a paramount issue because as Pope John Paul II says it is “the first right, on which all the others are based, and which cannot be recuperated once it is lost.” If a candidate for office refuses solidarity with the unborn, he has laid the ground for refusing solidarity with anyone.

  20. Interesting question, Anon #2. Do too many Catholics focus on abortion at the expense of other tragedies?

    Off the cuff, I’d say abortion gets the most attention because of the sheer volume of loss of life every day.

    Anon #2, If you could change the focus of the average Catholic in the areas of these teachings, how would you suggest we better divide our attention and efforts? Also, how do you see these other issues floundering as a direct impact of the focus many Catholics put on fighting abortion first?

  21. A Republican WEBSITE that supports war, etc.? Well, I can find just as many Democrat websites and printed materials that say they don’t “directly” or “inherently” support abortion, but who are we kidding? That’s my answer back. Watch the actions, not the words.

    Republicans (of which I have counted myself) have recently been the purveyors of numerous unjust wars, torture for the sake of protecting us from terrorism, and pretty much any capital punishment going on in the U.S. is going on under the watch of a Republican. But no one seems to have a problem with any of this because abortion is #1 and those same politicians are supposedly pro-life. Not buying it. It’s cafeteria Catholicism.

    Too many Republican politicians “use” pro-life as a tool to get voters and then ignore it, neutralize it, or even go against their word. I will not be fooled into thinking any of them care again. It’s bogus. (And this is why I will not be voting Republican or at all in the next election.)

    Yes, too many Catholics focus on abortion at the expense of other Catholic TEACHINGS – not tragedies, as Adrienne put it. Trying to interchange tragedy with teaching is a way to lessen the other teachings I speaking of. Well, they are all tragedies because they all involve the taking of innocent lives or disrespect of the integrity of a human life. But first and foremost they are teachings of the Church. I direct you to the Coalition for Clarity blog, which is written by orthodox, conservative Catholics if you want more information as to why it’s not OK to be anti-abortion but conveniently ignore the other teachings.

    Listen, I used to believe Bush and and all the others and stood there waving my flag when we went into Afghanistan, etc. I’m a Republican in general, like I said. THEN I READ WHAT THE CHURCH TAUGHT AND WHAT THE POPES WERE SAYING AND I SAW THE LIGHT. And then I realized that I was being a cafeteria Catholic.

    Yes, these issues are being ignored because of the political aspects of being “conservative.” Yes, these other Church teachings are floundering! Why don’t we hear about abortion all the time on primetime TV? The answer to that is the same answer as to why none of you are convinced that other teachings of the Church that concern the loss of innocent lives aren’t as important as abortion – because it’s not plastered all over the media.

    Fox news (which I watch and prefer) isn’t doing news stories about how the U.S. perpetuates unethical and immoral torture on its political prisoners. (Oh, only liberal media does that, so we can ignore it.) No one we “trust” as a conservative commentator does a story about how the war in Iraq is unjust. (Oh, the liberals do, so let’s ignore it). I’m sorry that liberals are the only ones talking about this stuff, I really am, because I ignore them too. Unfortunately the liberals have legitimate points without the great backup of Church teaching. Believe me, if Mother Angelica or Father Corapi (sorry, bad example currently, but I’m sure you know what I mean) had brought up these aspects of Church teaching, there would be concern and action and discussion. But no one wants to point out the hypocrisies that exist within conservative politics because if they did, abortion issues would get sacrificed.

    Because you all (and most good Catholics) have proclaimed abortion as the most important doesn’t mean that it is. Unjust war (well, war, period), for example, is a terror and scourge on humanity. It’s gravely evil.

    I used to be like you. Abortion was the most important issue. I’m not saying that on some level it still isn’t. But for people to act like it’s OK to vote for a pro-life politician that ALSO supports unjust wars and capital punishment, etc., sort of X’s out the anti-abortion stance. We’re either for life or we’re not. A life outside of the womb is just as precious as one inside. Do we believe that or not?

    We say we do, but we turn a blind eye to politicians because our Catholicism is too wrapped up in our politics. I say, fight abortion with your prayers, your money, your time, and your physical efforts, but stop putting faith into politics. It’s a dead-end and it’s compromising to a Catholic who knows and understands ALL the Church’s teachings. Abortion has become the “I’m a good Catholic” banner and I think it’s a crock.

    Someone here said, “If a candidate for office refuses solidarity with the unborn, he has laid the ground for refusing solidarity with anyone.” Exactly. And I’d like to point out that it works the other way around: If a candidate for office refuses solidarity with life as it is attacked through unjust war, capital punishment, and torture, then he has laid the ground for refusing solidarity with anyone, including anyone in the womb. Think I’m kidding? Again, watch what the “pro-life” politicians do, not what they say.

    • **“If a candidate for office refuses solidarity with the unborn, he has laid the ground for refusing solidarity with anyone.” **

      That someone was quoting the Pope. You can’t turn his words around b/c your end doesn’t make sense if we kill them in the womb. You need to examine your position to the extent that you don’t put unjust war AHEAD of abortion…b/c that is *exactly* what you are doing. And if you cooperate with abortion, formally or materially, you excommunicate yourself. And that is not my opinion. I pray for you to really examine your words before posting.

  22. **Because you all (and most good Catholics) have proclaimed abortion as the most important doesn’t mean that it is. Unjust war (well, war, period), for example, is a terror and scourge on humanity. It’s gravely evil.**

    Again, you did NOT read the five points I listed. If only you would have read it…closely. You seem to have an all or nothing attitude. No one has even remotely suggested that if you want to see an end to abortion {through your vote} that you somehow don’t care about the other issues you have listed. It is incredibly rude for you to put words in our mouths. No one has said they are a one-issue voter, but RATHER that the CHURCH teaches that priorities that are the opposite of what you suggest. You keep telling us that the Church teaches that unjust war and terrorism are MORE important than abortion.

    Um, no. Just. No. Go back and read the link I gave you.

    I appreciate your insights provided they are written charitably. I no longer find charity in your responses.

  23. Martina – I read the link you provided. Instead I think it wise to turn to a document such as the United States Bishops’ reflection, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. No where in that document does it say that abortion trumps all other life concerns…it lists them all and even warns of “single issue voting”. In fact, the Bishops state: “It is always morally wrong
    to destroy innocent human beings. A legal system that allows the right to life to
    be violated on the grounds of choice is fundamentally flawed.
    Similarly, direct threats to the dignity of human life such as euthanasia,
    human cloning, and destructive research on human embryos are also intrinsically
    evil and must be opposed. Other assaults on human life and dignity, such as
    genocide, torture, racism, and the targeting of noncombatants in acts of terror or
    war, can never be justified. Disrespect for any human life diminishes respect for
    all human life.”

    Also…”While the common good embraces all, those who are in greatest need deserve
    preferential concern. A moral test for society is how we treat the weakest among
    us—the unborn, those dealing with disabilities or terminal illness, the poor
    and marginalized.” Notice they didn’t say the only the unborn should receive preferential concern. In the same sentence are “those dealing with disabilities or terminal illness, the poor and marginalized”, in other words, the weakaest among us.

    Reading through this document I can see how a Catholic voter could vote for a republican candidate OR a democrat. Neither party covers all our Catholic teachings. It’s a sad state of affairs that we have to choose between the lesser of evils. I pray that one day there is a party that is truly anti-abortion, anti-war, pro-environment, has safety nets for the poor and marginalized, and is anti-death penalty.

    For more see: http://www.faithfulcitizenship.org/docs/insert_2p_color_english.pdf

    • Mary, thanks for your input. I think the suggestions and quotes in your first paragraph are something that we can all agree on. All of those evils certainly must be opposed. As you continue, you point out an important quote- one that answers the question at hand here- that “those who are in greatest need deserve preferential concern.” They include the unborn, those with disability or terminal illness and the poor and marginalized as examples, but they do not say that these are all equal examples. They say “those who are in greatest need”. So it is up to us to decide, who is in greatest need- the homeless man collecting quarters or the unborn child who may legally be ripped limb from limb tomorrow? In my opinion, the unborn are the ones in greatest need of our protection right now. This is the problem I find with this particular document (and have been advised of the same issue by priests and Catholic friends alike)- it is ambiguous. That is why I find that the voters guide Martina linked above (http://www.ewtn.com/vote/brief_catechism.htm ) so helpful. It clarifies for us a certain truth- that the unborn are most in need of our protection. Again, this doesn’t mean that we turn our back on the poor and disabled or that we quit praying for an end to war and the death penalty. But when it comes to voting, it is wrong to vote for a candidate that supports abortion.

      Mary, would you personally be able to vote for a candidate that supports abortion but says they will put an end to the war or an end to poverty? Since there are no candidates out there that uphold ALL of our Catholic teachings today, what would you say is your number one priority as a Catholic voter?

  24. PS – I really appreciated reading Anonymous #2’s post. It was insightful, fair and eloquent. Thank you for sharing your view here.

  25. Anon #2, you definitely have points, but your perspective is not in line with the Church teaching that you truly seem to so respect. Just because I *prioritize* abortion above the other issues, such as that unjust war (that my husband himself fights in), does not mean that I am a cafeteria Catholic who picks and chooses what I care about and what I can just toss out the window. I care about war. I care about the death penalty. I hate that there are corrupt politicians out there. But above all, respect for life HAS to start in the womb. I cannot bring myself to vote for a candidate that supports abortion, no matter what.

    I understand that your sentiments come from a well-meaning place. You care about our Church’s teachings and your heart bleeds for the evil that is in our world today. But I pray that you will examine your heart again, really read and learn what the Church teaches about the respect for and culture of life and try to understand why it HAS to start with life in the womb. Why the issue of abortion HAS to be prioritized above others. It is not an issue of who’s life is more important, it is an issue of standing up for those who are INNOCENT and DEFENSELESS.

    Peace and blessings to you. I wish you the best, and again, I truly hope that you come to terms with what the Church *really* teaches.

  26. Martina,
    I have a blog and I discuss real Church issues all the time. If you think my comments are uncharitable, then you need to get out a little more. Challenging people is not being uncharitable. In fact, seeing your response back to me, I’d say it’s a good thing for you to have to deal with people like me who simply speak/write in more blunt and terse terminology and character. Let’s not act as if we all have to play the fakey-women’s-conversation game, OK? “Ooh, you said something I don’t like, so you’re being uncharitable. You didn’t say it all smiley so you’re not playing nice.”

    The idea that I am anti-life or don’t understand Church teaching on abortion, etc. is unfounded and I never gave one indication that I don’t know/understand/adhere to those teahcings. I attend the Extraordinary Form, jeepers! You accuse me of putting words in your mouth – you all are doing the same. I never said the other issues were more important than abortion. I am simply asking WHY you all think abortion MUST be more important? And I ask not to try and make it so – I ask so as to get people to examine why they think they can ignore the other issues, especially by voting for politicians who really, other than on paper, don’t support life and keep selling American conservatives out on the issue AND additionally go on their merry way voting for all kinds of stuff that violates Church teaching. It was all rhetorical, in a sense, and I would hope people here could figure that out.

    Also, I could care less who made that statement, Pope or otherwise. I was trying to point out that if you reverse the statement, it’s still true. (Your admonishing me for turning the statement around is really intellectually low. Either you want to discuss and hash out these things or you don’t.) You think someone who supports UNJUST killing of any life supports life in the womb? The one follows from the other whether it’s from womb to war or war to womb. Disrespect for life is disrespect for life. We all say that anyone who takes contraception is on their way to accepting abortion, yes? How can we say that but then give a pass to a politician or any Catholic who supports capital punishment and torture? Are they not also on their way to disrespect for life, the slippery slope that leads to abortion?

    None of you see the actual and real connections between abortion and all these other grave evils? None of you can see or admit to how one flows from another, even if coming from the other direction, in reverse? It’s ALL THE SAME THING, people. If you support torture and unjust war, etc., you are supporting, indirectly, abortion, because you are supporting death and devaluing the dignity of human life. Yet you will vote for some conservative hack who plays the pro-life card and not hold him (or youselves) accountable for all the other ways in which he is anti-life. Not buying it.

    I know my apologetics on abortion, trust me. I am 100% anti-abortion. However, I have opened my eyes to see where the anti-life agenda exists and it’s infused throughout conservative politics if you have the guts to do the research and accept that in doing so you are likely to have your pro-life political hopes and dreams dashed. In saying this, I am not asking for that to happen. I’m just recommending being realistic and honest about what’s really going on so that the fight against abortion can have a chance.

    You cannot serve two masters. This is not about the other issues being important than abortion. Rather, it’s about finally letting the other issues have their day in the sun, acknowledge them for the real and actual Church teachings that they are, and admitting that they ARE directly connected to the abortion issue, which perhaps might demand that we hold our politicians (and ourselevs) to a higher standard. Most of us would freak out if we ate meat on a Friday during Lent. But let a Republican politician continue funding an unjust war (you know, the wars that the Pope has said are unjust) or vote to keep up torture? No prob! He’s pro-life!

    • Your verbiage tells a different story, anon#2. You use anti-abortion rather than pro-life. You have to admit that there is a GREAT deal of semantics gymnastics out there in the world of the “pro-choice” movement, right down the use of the word “anti.” They WANT us to be anti something rather than PRO anything.

      Look, no one here was arguing with the points you raised. In fact, if you go back to my initial comments you will see that all I was doing was talking about where the Church prioritizes vs. where secular society prioritizes. We are more on the same side than not, but you keep choosing to make blanket statements about this blog, the ladies who are commenting and THAT is uncharitable.

      I wish you well and hope to see your comments on some of our other threads so that we can get to know you a bit better than anon#2. Thanks!

    • Anon 2, this is a circle that will continue to go around and around. You are accused of putting words in the mouth and you are accusing the same. What is missing here is THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. How do you know that none of us can see the connections between abortion and other grave evils? I think we all as fellow Catholics see clearly the culture of death that we are living in these days! When you turned Pope John Paul II’s statement around, I think that Martina was merely trying to point out that if a person is murdered in the womb, it doesn’t matter if they might be sent to fight in an unjust war someday or if they are put on death row someday. We have to start with defending life in the womb.

      The truth of the matter is, there is not a politician out there who doesn’t have some “cons”. Are you Anon 2, as a Catholic voter really saying that you would be willing to vote for a candidate that supports abortion if they promise to end an unjust war? How does that truly uphold what you believe as a well-catechized Catholic? You are right, you can’t serve two masters. And you can’t fix all of societies ills at the same time. We can donate our time, talent and treasures to build up the Body of Christ, we can volunteer at food pantries, educate our children and pray in front of abortion clinics. But in order to start promoting a culture of life, we HAVE to start (and dedicate our vote) with protecting the most weak and innocent lives. If we cannot protect those, how to we have any hope of ending wars or poverty?

      • Anon #2, you’ve made many very good points, however I see a lot of strife being raised unnecessarily. There is much condescension in your approach, as you are pushing onto us things we happen to already know and agree with. I’m not sure how helpful it is to be in a fight for the “most right” amongst people who already agree with you. It seems you’re making an issue here that doesn’t exist by painting us as immature “cafeteria Catholics,” accusing us of not understanding or even knowing Church teaching. I would like to assure you that everyone here is a Catholic committed to Christ through the teachings of His Church, but I fear that’s not who you want us to be, by the way you’ve been approaching this conversation. So, with that intention, it seems this conversation is doomed to fail. In the spirit of unity, I know that for myself I will be putting aside my pride and exiting this branch of the conversation.

        Peace be with you, my sisters in Christ.

  27. Anon #2 – I totally “get” everything you are saying and think you have so any valid points. I keep hearing from all the other women here that the church teaches that abortion should be our number one pro-life concern. It is true that the church teaches that it is a preferential concern, but it always mentions ALL the other pro-life concerns along with it. If you look to any conservative Catholic source, THAT’s (EWTN/Catholic Radio for example) where you will hear that it is to be our #1 concern, not from the actual church teachings. This is just simply false. Again, read what the US Bishops have to say. If they wanted US Catholic Voters to be sure to vote using abortion as their single issue, they would have said so. Instead, they said DO NOT use a single issue, but look at the scope of pro-life issues which they consistantly listed over &over again in the document. I think the problem here is that some think you can’t support all these causes at once. But you can! And if someone is truly pro-life he or she should care about ALL LIFE and not put one life before another. Who are WE to decide that one vulnerable life is more important tham another? Can you imagine if God did that to us?

    And now I will really hit your crazy button & push things a bit further…are you ready? If we are truly pro-life, why do we eat animals? Don’t laugh. Seriously. If we believe killing is wrong, why do we kill creatures that we are supposed to be stewards of, and creatures who feel pain & fear just like we do? They cannot fight back…much like the unborn. Now I can imagine this is the part where you will all go crazy on me, telling me how dare I compare vegetarianism to abortion. Well, let me be clear and say that they are not the same thing, but I will also say someone who is truly pro-life would have my ultimate respect if they applied their pro-life stance to EVERY aspect of their life, not only abortion.

    • Anon 2 – Oops – that first sentence was meant to read, “I totally ‘get’ everything you are saying and think you have so MANY valid points.” Cuz you really do…such great food for thought…I hope people will take it in and simply consider it.

      I have done the same with their argument, but I simply can’t set aside my EQUAL concern for unjust wars, genocide, those dealing with disabilities or terminal illness, the poor and marginalized, torture, and racism, as the church and Pope teach me.

  28. The USCCB is not the actual Church itself – b/c it is not directly from the Vatican. I think there is a misunderstanding of thinking this is an EWTN vs. USCCB interpretation. The reality is that the wording in the USCCB is vague and ambiguous. I have heard from many faithful, including priests who say that very thing about the USCCB voter guide.

    The fact that you feel that the gravity of abortion is on the same playing field as the other injustices is proof that the wording is vague. *THIS* is what I am asking readers to consider. It’s not an EWTN vs. USCCB thing, nor should it be.

    ALL issues brought to light in this discussion are valid injustices. BUT the reality remains that the gravest of injustices occur in the womb and the CCC speaks to that effect. When you kill the MOST innocent of human life, those who have not had the CHANCE to be born…there is NO comparison. Again, and I have stated this before, that is NOT to say the other injustices are not worthy of attention or that we shouldn’t be activists in bringing about change for the other situations. I am simply saying that ABORTION is the SINGLE MOST GRAVE injustice because of the level of innocence of the victim. An unborn child is THE most innocent. *THIS* is why as Catholics we must uphold life in the womb FIRST {but not ONLY} and from there, respect for all other life issues will be defined.

    To answer your button pushing question, I would direct you to this link – Catholic Answers has a great wealth of knowledge. The short answer is we are the summit and God made all things for man to have dominion over. Do we have a responsibility to kill animals compassionately? {quick kill vs. draining blood which is common practice for animals butchered to sell in the grocery store} Absolutely. Having dominion never means we have the freedom to abuse animals.

    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=487428

    • Martina – There is no compassionate way to kill anything. I’m sorry, there’s just not. And if you think that the majority of animal flesh sold in grocery stores across America got there through compassionate means, I emplore you to visit Christian Veg at http://www.all-creatures.org

      • I’m not going to get into a tertiary discussion off this thread about compassion killing of animals, but if it is your personal belief that you can’t kill animals, you are certainly entitled to it and neither of our positions contradict Church Teaching, which is good news! Thanks for your question and I hope you find the answers you need at Catholic Answers. 🙂

    • I agree Martina. Mary, you seem to be missing the fact that making abortion a #1 issue when voting does not mean that all issues do not matter. Of course we are to weigh the other issues. If there are two candidates that are both proven pro-life advocates and one of them also also advocates for other concerns that the Church highlights, then great! Nobody here is saying that you can’t support all of our “causes” at once and I’m sure that everyone here does what they can to do this (again- let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt please!), but in reality, these days barely leave us ONE pro-life candidate to choose anymore. It’s not an issue of supporting all good causes, it is one of prioritizing and recognizing that voting for someone who will fight to protect the lives of the unborn should be at the top.

      And I’m sorry, but the comparison of killing animals really makes no sense. I agree that we should appreciate our God-given food sources and treat them with due gratefulness and respect (and my family practices this in our food-buying as faithfully as possible) but a cow does not have the eternal soul that a baby in the womb does. Animal abuse and the treatment of our food sources are seriously no comparison to the topic of abortion. Your “ultimate respect”, in my opinion, is very mislead. I have the utmost respect for the food source God has blessed me and my family with. We practice organic gardening and support our local farms whom we know to use good and wholesome practices when raising the produce and animals that we use to nourish our bodies. I hope that someday we will be able to raise most of our own nourishment with our own hands. To me, this is respect and this is a nutritional and personal choice that we have made for our family. Vegetarianism is not a moral issue.

  29. I think, the sad truth that we must all face is that none of the candidates are truly pro-life. They can say that they do not support abortion, but meanwhile they are responsible for killing millions & millions of innocents. Blood is on their hands. And by your logic, it is also on our for voting them in (Bush as example).

    Many Pro- Life Republicans, talk about abortion but do absolutely nothing; while Democrats have pushed programs that reduce the number of abortions. The choice is between rhetoric and results. Meanwhile, democrats also address many of the other pro-life concerns. So again, I can understand why someone could follow church teachings and vote for a pro-choice candidate. I am not saying that is what I suggest any of you do, or have to do. I am only saying that it is NOT written in stone that a Catholic cannot vote for a pro-choice candidate.

    In “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” the U.S. bishops explicitly say:

    1.”As Catholics we are not single-issue voters.” (#42)
    2.A voter “should take into account a candidate’s commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue. In the end, this is a decision to be made by each Catholic guided by a conscience formed by Catholic moral teaching.” (#37)
    3.”A Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position [on abortion] may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons.” (#35)

    • But here’s the problem with Democrats {and I say this being neither Dem or Rep}. They COOPERATE both formally and materially with abortion. THIS is why Catholics can not vote for pro-abortion candidates. Of the two parties, their hands are MUCH dirtier…and the fact that they play into the other social justice issues just confuses the issue for Catholics who may not have a solid understanding of the gravity of abortion.

      I agree that neither party is ideal…but when we use abortion as our litmus test for how they treat ALL humans, the Democrats are the absolute LEAST effective road to take or vote to cast b/c they {with the rare exception of a pro-life Democrat politician} all support the right to DIRECTLY assault the life in the womb.

      There is no wiggle room, imo. I use the life issues as my springboard for who I would cast my vote for. And within the life issues, abortion takes precedence b/c our Church teaches us {not the vague writings of the USCCB voters guide} that abortion is the slaughter of the innocent. If we aren’t willing to protect them in the womb, why would we trust them to protect us anywhere else?

      The whole “one issue voting” is a totally abused phrase. That’s fine for secular society. But, as Catholics, we are held to a higher standard. One that we will have to answer for when we stand in judgment. It’s one thing to place a vote out of sheer ignorance {which I would have done at one point in my past}. It’s another to knowingly place a vote in the hands of someone who is fine with slaughtering the innocent.

  30. I am completely ashamed that human beings with a SOUL are being compared/downgraded to the status of animals. There’s ZERO comparison for babies aborted and animals slaughtered. Anyone who says otherwise needs a Theology 101 course.

    • Anna – did you not see what I wrote? ” Now I can imagine this is the part where you will all go crazy on me, telling me how dare I compare vegetarianism to abortion. Well, let me be clear and say that they are not the same thing, but I will also say someone who is truly pro-life would have my ultimate respect if they applied their pro-life stance to EVERY aspect of their life, not only abortion.”

      Please do not put words into my mouth.

      • Then why ever would you vote for a pro-choice candidate?

        I’ve read your replies. They are inconsistent and show a complete lack of theological understanding.

    • I agree, Anna. It begs an understanding of God’s desire that man have dominion over the animals. And as Brittany pointed out, this is not a moral issue of whether we eat animals, clearly or the Church would have defined it as such.

      We can start with a close look at the difference between a material and immortal soul. Bust out your Baltimore Catechisms, ladies! HA! 🙂

      • So you’re going to visit that website I provided and look into things with an open heart, Martina? Whether or not you think there is a difference of a soul, have you ever considered what the act of killing does to the person who has to do that act of killing? There is a desensitivity that happens over time, with the first kill usually being quite upsetting. If you can say that you could kill a helpless animal with your own two hands for every meal, then so be it. Might I also add that humans are the only animals that kill just for sport of it…none of our animal brethrean do that. What does that say about us? And how can you know for sure that animals don’t have souls…just becuase it is in the Baltimore Cathechism? Well, I have news for you, priests used to be able to marry in our church history, but you won’t find that in there either.

      • I’m convinced that Mary is not Catholic. Therefore, there is no theological basis with which to support our argument. She is a moral relativist and sounds very New Age (i.e. animals with souls). If she is discounting the Church and infallible teaching on souls and humans, then there’s really no purpose in engaging her.

        P.S. I suggest some Church History reading is in order: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cclergy/documents/rc_con_cclergy_doc_01011993_chisto_en.html

        And look up the various Rites of the Catholic Church.

      • None of our animal bretheren were given other animals by GOD to use for their needs. Genesis 9:3 tells us explicitly that God has given us animals not only to use for work but for food as well. There is a tremendous difference when you know that animals were given for these reasons. Why would God give us animals for food if He didn’t intend for us to use His gift to us?

      • thank you for the correct link. I went to it but am baffled by the fact that the site leaves out Genesis 9:3 where God gives us the ok to eat the animals he has made. I read their bible quotes listed and all but one are not directed at animals (I understand respecting God’s creation and am all for that!) but to deliberately leave out an essential bible verse that gives us permission to eat animals is deceptive.

        I do respect your desires to be vegan and that you are advocating that we should not treat animals inhumanely (and I agree!) but I would argue that the life issues of humans (not just abortion issues but any life issues) should never be put on the same level as animal issues. They were not made in God’s likeness as we were. God says, “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant”. To me that is God giving us permission to eat his animals. If he did not want us to he would not have given them as food.

        Thank you again for your insights, I just think that animals don’t belong in this conversation.

      • Good point, Michelle. And to challenge Mary one last time, the Church actually *does* teach that animals do NOT have immortal souls, they have material souls, meaning they are not eternal like our souls. We have immortal souls b/c we are made in God’s likeness. It’s in the Baltimore Catechism, which I can not recommend enough as it will not lead us astray in giving us watered down interpretations of what the Church teaches, it is very solid and a wonderful resource.
        http://www.u.arizona.edu/~aversa/baltimore_catechism.pdf

        And you can also find a good explanation in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states: …hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing.
        http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/2417.htm

        http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=53700

        I’m coming back to post this b/c I really want to place a sense of urgency in you that your understanding of what the Church teaches, while well-intended, is very misguided. I hope that you will place the Teachings of the Church before a secular website that disregards Scripture that explains the role of animals in our lives…even if you choose to be vegan, as it was pointed out before, it is not a moral issue for Catholics to eat meat and I have given you three very solid references to check out in your discernment on the issue.

        Good luck in your journey, Mary. 🙂

  31. Martina – let me ask you…is a three year old innocent? If you answer yes, I am sorry to tell you that many innocent three year olds have been slaughtered under pro-life presidents. You do not see that their hands are just as bloody with war, which, I’m sorry to say, many Pro-Life Reublicans have gotton us into. I predicted that when George W. Bush was elected we would be in a war within a year and that’s just what happened. You can blame it on 9/11 if you want, but going to war was NOT the answer to that terrible terorist act. If a pro-life candidate would come across as a peace maker, they would have my vote in a heart beat! Instead, they talk about putting people in their “crosshairs” and buiding up our military/nuclear arms, etc.

    • You asked me a question and then went on to presume my answer. Seriously, let’s have an honest discussion, not one where we assume to know the other’s response and then insert an attack.

      You are putting words in my mouth by all the assumptions packed into this response. I am NOT a republican, so please don’t post as though I am. I am NOT in disagreement with you as much as you have made up in your mind…

      • My question of whether Martina voted for Bush was valid & sincere because she just said I should not make assumptions. Your question to me is just full of spite, Dear Anna.

    • I’m sorry Mary, but do you have a special clearance that allows you access to all government intelligence? My husband, as a Captain in the US Army has a limited amount of clearance and let me assure you, you DON’T know it all when it comes to the many reasons behind our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. I’m not saying that I wanted this war in the first place or that I want it to continue, but at least I can admit that I am in no position to decide what was/is best for our national defense. I am merely a faithful servant of the Lord who continues to pray for our nation, leaders and for peace. You are right, innocent lives are lost in war overseas, but how do you know for sure that MORE innocent lives would not be lost here on our own soil if we do not act to defend ourselves? And let me assure you, the Taliban kills far more innocent Afghan children than the US military does. Thank God that our soldiers presence allows some villages to find peace and security in the wake of awful terrorism.

      This conversation has been enlightening so far, but I’m afraid I may need to take a step back now. I respectfully disagree with you Mary, but I wish you peace and blessings.

  32. “while Democrats have pushed programs that reduce the number of abortions”

    Like birth control, which also can act as an abortifacient and is an extremely ineffective means of unwanted pregnancies?

    “Choice is a fundamental, constitutional right

    Democrats stand behind the right of every woman to choose. We believe it is a constitutional liberty. This year’s Supreme Court ruling show us that eliminating a woman’s right to choose is only one justice away. Our goal is to make abortion more rare, not more dangerous. We support contraceptive research, family planning, comprehensive family life education, and policies that support healthy childbearing.
    Source: Democratic National Platform Aug 15, 2000”

    ^The Church is very clear on this stance.

    I’m neither R nor D for the reasons of the death penalty, war mongering, etc. but there is a HUGE difference between the consistent murder of defenseless human beings in their most vulnerable state and a grown human being undergoing executing for a social crime or a victim of war. There are grades of severity. Why do you think the Justice System prosecutes child victim crimes more harshly?

    I’m not a single issue voter, but I know the most important issue. I wasn’t going to vote for Palin just because she was pro-life when I found other well-rounded candidates in 2008 to vote for. But when I look at issues, first and foremost I look at the abortion stance and go from there. Because defending life where it begins is the most important thing.

    P.S. “Morally grave” would constitute a candidate that was the lesser of the evils between candidates that were all pro-choice. But we still have a choice. Heck, vote for yourself if you feel like you’ll be more pro-life than them.

  33. Dear Anna – No, I am a practicing Catholic. I am not new age, although I must say people I have talked to in the past in that camp have been much more charitable and loving than this group has been. Whether you like it or not, the Catholic Church is a big tent. It is clear that this group does not like that and is easily threatened by freedom of thought, which was given to us by God. None of us know what is truly in the heart of another. I put my faith in God above all. May you all know peace. I must leave this group now. I have learned much from these exchanges and thank you for that.

    • Charity is often confused with being “nice.” To the extent that we are able, we are sharing the Faith in a way that does not abandon what the Church teaches. The Truth hurts, especially when it falls on our ears and eyes in a way that does not challenge us to do more with our Faith. Mary, I suspect we have mutual friends as you are very close to a good friend of mine. I KNOW how liberal that part of the country is, and further, I have walked those same shoes.

      Many of the women on this blog have been in your shoes, too, so if anyone is prepared to understand you, it’s going to be this group of women.

      We wish you well and hope you will be inspired to continue to learn your Faith…

      • Let me assure you, you don’t know me Martina. Not in the literal or figurative sense. I wish I could say that this group of voices here draws me to my faith, but actually I sense a real disconnect from the way many of you communicate. It’s a shame, really.

  34. I want to thank everyone who commented on this post. I think that we all should step back and end our conversation. I think that many times when we are so passionate about an area of our faith (or even about something in our secular life) we tend to fight our point until there’s just nothing left to say. As Catholics we are taught that we need to lift each other up in our faith and that we should be charitable and kind to one another. My suggestion is that we all pray for better understanding and guidance from the Holy Spirit as we enter into a time of elections and during all conversations regarding our faith.

    Come Holy Spirit

    Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
    V. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created.
    R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

    Let us pray.

    O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

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