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Sunday, September 07, 2008



Can you recommend a good general article on law and morality. Contraception is intrinsically evil, as is gay sex. But does that mean the former should be outlawed, and the latter should mean a ban on partnership laws? I think there is a lot that is indeed confusing, not in terms of what is right or wrong, but in terms of making law for a pluralist society where free sex is the norm.


"...for me....personal and private....differing impose....pluralistic society...."

Geesh! He's completely abandoned himself to the dictatorship of relativism.

The Athenian Stranger

Being a Catholic Bishop looking for teaching moments this season is like being a Trap Shooter with the Democrats playing the role of clay pigeons.



joe: apart from biden's mess-up on 'meet the press' today, the latest obama/biden strategy seems to be to redirect the attention away from the evil of abortion, and instead calling to question the effectiveness of 'criminalizing' abortion. they claim that the mccain/palin camp only want to 'criminalize' abortion.

but come on, who in the pro-life movement would want to prosecute a pregnant woman who's had an abortion? to demand that the government stop recognizing and supporting a false 'right' to abortion is not the same as 'criminalizing' abortion.

the latest obama tactic is just another attempt to distract from the real issue.

the real issue that the obama camp is trying to duck is this: do the unborn have the inherent human right to life?

they're ducking that question because they know the answer is not in their favor.

there are sections about morality and law in the catechism of the catholic church. see articles 1897 thru 1948. pay particular attention to the section on "the common good" and on the respect for persons.

those catechism sections begin here:

also, there's a later section on the "natural law":


"I voted against telling everyone else in the country that they have to accept my religiously based view that it's a moment of conception."

So what about his religiously based view that adult murder is wrong? Or that we must help the poor?


This is a perfect illustration of why it took Republicans to end slavery and to pass Civil Rights in the '60's.

Two words describe this bowing and scraping to pluralism in the face of clear and present evil; political expediency.

And the more these people explain themselves (Biden, Pelosi, Kerry, et. al.) the more they just sound plain gutless.

Paul H

Kudos to Tom Brokaw for putting these so-called "pro-choice" politicians on the spot! These are tougher questions than I would normally expect from the mainstream media.


Reposting a comment posted I posted at AmP:

Does it seem to anyone else like Biden's comments, coming after two weeks of bishops responding to Nancy Pelosi's comments in the same forum, essentially amount to the Catholic pro-choice Dems declaring war on the bishops?

It's like Biden is backing up Pelosi, drawing a line in the sand, and saying to the bishops: "Here we stand. We ignore you. We're Catholic, we publicly stand for abortion, we publicly maintain the validity of this as a Catholic approach. What are you going to do about it?"

It would certainly be odd if Biden's (marginally more nuanced) comments didn't elicit an episcopal response similar to Pelosi's. However, the escalation on the pro-choice-Catholic-Dem side raises a question: What are the bishops going to do? Will they escalate? If so, how?


WHAT? He said THAT?!

Didn't that peabrain learn anything from the Pelosi chastisement?
Here we go again, starting off affirming Catholic teaching, then keeping it private, and THEN (mis)quoting a doctor of the Church in "support" of his position.


Joe, the Gosepl of Life directly addresses, at sections 68 through 74, the issue of how the moral law bears on the civil law insofar as abortion is concerned. In that discussion Biden's argument -- that a pluralistic society must tolerate a difference of opinion about abortion -- is addressed and unequivocally rejected. Here is a summary of the conclusions (I also posted this in the comments on Amy Welborn's post about the Biden issue):

1. The argument is premised on unacceptable moral relativism.
(Biden’s statement contains a classic statement of this moral relativism: He says that the question of when life begins is a “personal and private” issue that varies according to one’s religion.)

2. “While public authority can sometimes choose not to put a stop to something which—were it prohibited—would cause more serious harm, it can never presume to legitimize as a right of individuals—even if they are the majority of the members of society—an offence against other persons caused by the disregard of so fundamental a right as the right to life. The legal toleration of abortion or of euthanasia can in no way claim to be based on respect for the conscience of others, precisely because society has the right and the duty to protect itself against the abuses which can occur in the name of conscience and under the pretext of freedom.”

3. “[A] civil law authorizing abortion or euthanasia ceases by that very fact to be a true, morally binding civil law.”

4. “Abortion and euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize. There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead there is a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection.”

5. “In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law, or vote for it’.”

The Gospel of Life also contains the reminder that there is an obligation to not formally cooperate in evil and, I believe, Joseph Ratzinger later specified that a politician who advocates legalized abortion is formally cooperating in evil.

Finally, the Gospel of Life contains this:

“I repeat once more that a law which violates an innocent person’s natural right to life is unjust and, as such, is not valid as a law. For this reason I urgently appeal once more to all political leaders not to pass laws which, by disregarding the dignity of the person, undermine the very fabric of society.”


With sonograms and other technological evidence showing the miraculous multiplication of cells the moment sperm meets egg, Sen. Biden's response to when conception takes place is disingenuous. He "disputes" this fact because he'd rather render unto Caesar (his liberal constituents) than unto God. Senator Biden needs to retake Biology 101 since a lot has changed since he first took the course back in the middle ages.


Nobody is asking Sen. Biden to embrace anyone else's views of when conception begins but to state faithfully what the Catholic Church teaches. Why is this so hard for him to do? There may be many opinions on when conception begins, but there is only one truth. And, Truth is immutable, opinion is not.

Ed Peters

SDG, there's a dangerous amount of evidence in support of your theory.


"...I'm prepared to accept the teachings of my church... There are an awful lot of people of great confessional faiths--Protestants, Jews, Muslims and others--who have a different view."

Um, actually Joe, there ain't. Most Protestants (non-Anglicans anyways), Jews, and Muslims would probably disagree with you that the definition of a human life is subjective. I would hope the Jews especially, given what they had to go through recently.

What a coward. How far does a politician have to go before he / she (I'm looking at YOU, Pelosi) is excommunicated? I'm tired of having to listen to these people call themselves Catholics.

McCain / Palin 2008, if not simply because they might help overturn Roe v. Wade, and because leftie feminists hate Palin. Lord knows they won't end the stupid war in Iraq, and might even take us into Iran, but at least the legal slaughter of our children might end. That, and McCain seemed to hint at school vouchers in his speech, which would be a boon to Catholic education.


The purgatorial ghost of Robert Drinan, SJ from abortions past rears its head in this election.

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