Would Jesus redistribute wealth or support abortion?

October 12, 2008 by David Stotts  
Filed under Culture, Faith, Headlines, Politics


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Many Christians have bought into Barack Obama’s rhetoric because it sounds Christian. Heck – sometimes it even sounds like Jesus! How can that be a bad thing?

The problem is simple. It’s that Barack Obama is a representative of an institution that is fundamentally different from (and many times at odds with) the institution that Jesus founded: the Church.

Is the Church supposed to reach out to the poor? Of course. Are Christians supposed to be concerned with the “least of these”? Undoubtedly. Are we therefore supposed to look to the Government to mandate these things from the general public? Absolutely not.

There is such a thing as “personal property”. The Ten Commandments presuppose it (or else “Thou shalt not steal,” would be meaningless). When the government uses its power to force a hard-working family to relinquish more and more of its resources (on penalty of imprisonment) so that the Government can redistribute the money as they see fit – there’s a name for that. Theft. (There are other names for that too – socialism, communism, Marxism, etc….) The point is: is that something Jesus would want? For the government to set itself up as a parody of the Body of Christ? (a much less-effective one, at that).

A perfect example is how government interventionist policies have created millions of dependent families – the majority of which, ironically, are low-income, inner-city black families. The Government has replaced the role of the father to the extent that now around 80% of black families have no father in the home. If Democrats cared one bit about the people they claim to serve, they would care about the long-term negative effects of the welfare state – and how to fix it. They don’t want to fix it. They want to expand it. Make no mistake – it is about keeping people dependent and keeping politicians in power. (Sadly, Republicans lately have not been much better in this area. The bad news is you can vote for McCain and get much of this too – to a lesser degree. He, at least, does want to lower taxes, lower Government wasteful spending, etc.)

Here’s the point: Government mandated financial redistribution is not Christ-like. But unfortunately, many are skilled at making it sound “just like Jesus”. But Christ, Sacred Scripture, the Church Fathers, et al. equally emphasized personal responsibility. The priority placed on helping the poor was not a prescription for the government to do it on behalf of Christians. Instead, the Body of Christ is called upon to give freely and assist the poor. It’s easy to vote for the guy who says that the government will do all things for all people. It’s harder (and much more compassionate) to actually obey the words of Christ – and do so freely ourselves.

Then there’s the demonstrable fact that Obama cannot be supported by anyone claiming to be Pro-Life. In 1999, an Illinois hospital was discovered to have been “shelving” babies to die in a soiled utility room who had survived their abortions. The Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act was introduced in 2001 to give legal protection to all born babies, wanted or not, including the right to medical care. Then-state Senator Barack Obama voted against the bill and was the sole senator to speak against it on the Senate floor (in a room full of liberal state senators!) Obama voted against this law not once, not twice…but four times! This is not a smear from Obama’s opponents. This is simply a matter of public record.

Anyone who would argue, regardless of the circumstances, that a doctor should be allowed to kill a baby who’d survived an abortion is so morally confused, they are not fit to lead the United States.  Period. 

Then consider this: Obama co-sponsored a bill called The Freedom of Choice Act – aimed at overturning a ban on partial-birth abortion and other pro-life laws nationwide (partial-birth abortion is the act of partially delivering the baby feet-first and using scissors to puncture the skull and suck out the brains, killing the child instantly). The law would also guarantee abortion as a federal right and would keep abortion legal even if Roe v. Wade is overturned. In a 2007 speech, Obama said the “first thing” he’d do as President is sign the bill.

Obama clearly doesn’t believe partial-birth abortion (let alone abortion in general) is evil. Ask yourself, what do you think Jesus would say about partial-birth abortion? Unborn babies. Aren’t they “the least of these” too?

These are issues of which the mainstream media steers clear. The only public forum in which Obama will be asked about abortion, for example, is at the Saddleback Church event (the moment his poll numbers began to go DOWN). Reporters, pundits and journalists are nakedly campaigning for this man. Totally in the tank. They polish him off – present him as mainstream, and are actively packaging him as a compassionate, mainstream, presidential, patriotic man.

One could go on and on about Obama – his lack of experience, his dangerous appeasement-approach to foreign policy, his dubious alliances with less-than-savory characters (racist pastor Wright, domestic terrorist Ayers…) But his radical abortion stance and redistributionist economic policies should be deal-killers for thinking Christians who are tempted to vote for this man. A man who, when you read the fine print, is the most liberal candidate for President in the history of the United States.
David

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Comments

39 Responses to “Would Jesus redistribute wealth or support abortion?”

  1. Sean on October 13th, 2008 8:19 pm

    Right on.

  2. Mari on October 14th, 2008 3:22 pm

    The following information, especially the last line is more realistic as to why he voted against the bill. If he is against banning abortion, he pretty much had to vote against it. To specifically say he’sFOR partial birth abortions is stretching the truth.
    “In 1997, Obama voted against SB 230, which would have turned doctors into felons by banning so-called partial-birth abortion, & against a 2000 bill banning state funding. Although these bills included an exception to save the life of the mother, they didn’t include anything about abortions necessary to protect the health of the mother. The legislation defined a fetus as a person, & could have criminalized virtually all abortion.”

  3. Rajive on October 14th, 2008 10:09 pm

    “Thou shall not steal” in itself is not an endorsement for capitalism. The commandment (attributing to Jesus?) doesn’t mention stealing from whom – the state? community? Different forms of socialism allow for different levels of ownership. I suppose a nuanced view of socialism does not make for expedient slogans. And unfortunately, these are not times for serious reflections.

    Jesus Christ would not support redistribution of wealth? Perhaps one should look up all the excerpts from scriptures that mention the words rich or wealthy and then ponder on their laissez faire implications.

    The author ignores the right to life dimension of those who support of death penalty, militaristic foreign policy. Criminalizing abortion may appease ones moral smugness but it won’t minimize abortions. The way to minimize abortion is to promote awareness about sex before it is learned on the street, making contraception easily accessible, and demanding affordable and quality childcare.

    To oppose Obama’s candidacy one would have to abandon intellectual laziness and come up with more honest arguments.

  4. Taylor Marshall on October 14th, 2008 10:15 pm

    >>Criminalizing abortion may appease ones moral smugness but it won’t minimize abortions. The way to minimize abortion is to promote awareness about sex before it is learned on the street, making contraception easily accessible, and demanding affordable and quality childcare.

    Mr. Rajive,

    The law should protect human life, regardless of whether it will be obeyed. Do you think that rape should be made legal, “because people are going to do it anyway”?

    Our laws are not built upon what people are prone to do, but upon justice and equality.

    Currently, the Democratic party openly denies justice and equality to the weakest demographic of our society: pre-born human Americans.

  5. Rajive on October 15th, 2008 2:18 pm

    Dear Mr. Taylor,

    Thanks for your note. At what point during its development could an entity be considered human is a question that has several answers depending on one’s religious beliefs. In order to codify a particulr religious view as law one would have to buy into the notion of theocracy.

    And if we do wish to emulate, say, Saudi Arabia or Iran in this respect then that is what we should have the courage to explicitly argue for and not rely on back doors and other subterfuges. Once a theocracy is indeed in place then we can do away with other inconveniences such as big bang, evolution and even Obama.

  6. Sean on October 15th, 2008 7:42 pm

    “At what point during its development could an entity be considered human is a question that has several answers depending on one’s religious beliefs. ”

    When life begins is not a matter of theology but a matter of scientific fact.

  7. Rajive on October 15th, 2008 10:14 pm

    “When life begins is not a matter of theology but a matter of scientific fact.”

    The life as a scientific category is along the lines of – plants and cockroaches have life but shoes and planets don’t. And surely many of us don’t think twice before destroying those lives.

    Life as a mark of personhood, on the other hand, is indeed beyond the realm of scientific realm.

  8. Lori on October 15th, 2008 11:43 pm

    “At what point during its development could an entity be considered human is a question that has several answers depending on one’s religious beliefs.”

    “When life begins is not a matter of theology but a matter of scientific fact.”

    What I think Sean meant to say is that human life is ALWAYS human, from the moment of conception, and that THAT is a scientific fact. It has nothing to do with religious beliefs, and is entirely the point. A human embryo will not turn into anything BUT a human, given proper care and development…it will NEVER be a cockroach or a shoe, certainly.

  9. Rajive on October 16th, 2008 9:07 am

    I have not come across any scientific literature that defines what a human is much less, at what point in its development does a fetus become human. This is an indicator of the point I was trying to make in my last post. Or, this could be a result of my own limited knowledge and I would love to find out about such a reference in scientific literature.

    Here is the closest thing I could find:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human#Life_cycle

    “The fertilized egg divides inside the female’s uterus to become an embryo, which over a period of thirty-eight weeks (9 months) of gestation becomes a human fetus. After this span of time, the fully-grown fetus is birthed from the woman’s body and breathes independently as an infant for the first time. At this point, most modern cultures recognize the baby as a person entitled to the full protection of the law, though some jurisdictions extend personhood earlier to human fetuses while they remain in the uterus.”

    Notice the word “cultures” in the text which suggests that we are talking about a social construct here and not an objective fact widely accepted in the scientific community.

    >>”A human embryo will not turn into anything BUT a human, given proper care and development…”

    The word “will” here is key – the embryo is not human but has potential to become one. Should a boy caught masturbating be sent to the juvie? Or how about a woman on her periods? They are both instrumental in destroying something that has potential to become a person given the right external inputs or “proper care and development” as Lori phrases it.

  10. Taylor Marshall on October 16th, 2008 12:06 pm

    Rajive,

    Just to clarify.

    Would you agree that a baby is a “human person” while she is passing through the birth canal?

    Moreover, if you are unsure about when a human life becomes a “human person” wouldn’t the charitable thing to do involve withholding judgment and not killing unborn fetuses until we know for sure.

    If I see something in the street at night and I think that it might be a child in the road, I don’t speed up because “I’m not really sure whether it’s a child or not”.

  11. Rajive on October 16th, 2008 4:57 pm

    >>”Would you agree that a baby is a “human person” while she is passing through the birth canal?”

    Taylor, it’s not a matter of what I personally think. In fact, that is the crux of my argument – that it is a subjective answer informed by one’s faith, personal philosophy, worldview or whatever else you may choose to call it. And therefore trying to legislate it is not very wise.

    Let me hasten to add, that I, or anyone else that I am aware of, do not “support abortion”. It is a tragic moment when a pregnant woman has to make this decision. The pain of this woman cannot be understood by anyone who hasn’t experienced the same moment. At this moment, I don’t think she can emotionally afford to ponder the philosophical niceties about what a human is.

    Needless to say, for whatever reason (including if she believes that the fetus is human) if the woman wants to allow the pregnancy to follow its course then she shouldn’t be coerced against it either.

    >>”If I see something in the street at night and I think that it might be a child in the road, I don’t speed up because “I’m not really sure whether it’s a child or not”.

    That is wise! I wouldn’t speed up either.

  12. Taylor Marshall on October 16th, 2008 8:52 pm

    Rajive,

    All political positions are based on worldviews, beliefs, and religion. THERE IS NO NEUTRAL GROUND when it comes to public policy.

    We all work from first principles or certain presuppositions.

    The distinction between homo sapiens other animals is based on THEOLOGICAL GROUNDS. Humans are made in the image of God and thus to kill one is gravely evil. Evil Cicero taught that man was made in God’s image and he wasn’t Jewish, Muslim, or Christian. He was a pagan Roman!

    It was not too long ago that people were saying that science couldn’t prove whether Africans had souls and that they could therefore enslave them!

    I will remind you that it was the Catholic Church and other Christians who proclaimed the dignity of the African. Christianity brought down slavery against so-called science and Christianity spear-headed the civil rights movement (remember REVEREND Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?).

    I time will come when the dignity of unborn will also be secured in our nation.

  13. Rajive on October 17th, 2008 3:08 pm

    >>All political positions are based on worldviews, beliefs, and religion. THERE IS NO NEUTRAL GROUND when it comes to public policy.

    I agree with that. But the situation becomes problematic when an attempt is made to impose a particular religious belief as a universal blueprint. Because then it forces others who don’t share the belief to abide by alien and alienating strictures. This is bound to result in destabilizing discontent. History has shown that religion as public policy can be practiced only when it is accompanied by some variation of authoritarianism.

    >>Humans are made in the image of God and thus to kill one is gravely evil.

    Whether or not humans are made in God’s image it is indeed, in general, evil to kill. There are of course exceptions to this such as in self-defense. But this brings us back to the contention about the religious notion of when does the “human” life begin and this cannot be settled through a rationality-based argument.

    >>science couldn’t prove whether Africans had souls

    science is not in the business of proving or disproving existence of souls

    >>Christianity brought down slavery against so-called science

    To say that just because MLK had earned the title of Reverend, it was Christianity that brought down slavery is really quite a stretch. It negates the contribution that countless secular civil-rights activists made in face of opposition from a large number of other Christians.

    The term for what you label “so-called science” is pseudoscience. Craniology that you are perhaps thinking of, is a prime example of pseudoscience – a body of knowledge that pretends to be using the scientific method to arrive at predetermined ideological objectives.

  14. Taylor Marshall on October 17th, 2008 8:06 pm

    >>But the situation becomes problematic when an attempt is made to impose a particular religious belief as a universal blueprint.

    We’re not “pushing Christendom” on people. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are opposed to abortion…

    As to “pseudo-science” how do you know that in one hundred years the so-called science denying embryonic personhood will also be labeled “pseudo-science”.

    It’s considered very “scientific” to deny a human zygote’s right to life because it looks like a tadpole. That’s not far from the whacky cranaiology that you referred to.

    Even if you are unsure that a nine month old “fetus” is a human person, why should we support late term abortions and partial-birth abortion.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think any abortion after conception is evil, but shouldn’t the “scientific” minded people show a little caution on the matter? We’re talking about human life here!!!

  15. jb on October 18th, 2008 3:30 am

    As a friend of the author, Taylor, and Sean, I must say that I really like Rajive.

    No matter what we say, the US is not now, nor has it ever been a “Christian nation.” I don’t know what all that means (I’m thinking it through), but I agree that we do not know as a matter of scientific fact when a human is a human. We have some good ideas, but at the end of the day, it seems to be a matter of faith (understanding apart from the scientific method). If it is indeed a matter of faith, then how can we force, or even expect, unbelieving people to believe it? That seems like a contradiction in terms. Christianity explicitly teaches that it is God who grants faith (as a gift) to unbelievers in order to make them believers. This must give us pause as we consider policy prescriptions for the public (largely unbelieving) arena.

    The legal analogy about rape laws is categorically different because we are reasonably certain that both of the involved parties are persons. That being said, I think the caution about killing when we are not certain is wise. You can get in more trouble for accidentally shooting the wrong bird in the bush (eagle instead of a quail, assuming its quail season and eagles are still endangered) than you can for performing an abortion. That is backwards.

    One last thing (as if I am not already in too deep)… I am growing increasingly uncomfortable with the typical Christian defense that uses Psalm 139:13-15 to say irrefutably that life begins at conception.

    13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
    14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. [1]
    Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
    15 My frame was not hidden from you,
    when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

    The image is one of putting parts of a whole together over time. The womb is mentioned, yes, but then there is some kind weaving process in the depths of the earth? I do not doubt for one moment that God is the creator of humans or that humans are created through the use of a mother’s womb. However, can we all admit that this is not scientific language, and as such, this does not tell us irrefutably when life begins? Yes, life begins with God, and yes, mothers are involved. (For all I know, my life began at my father’s ascent into puberty, and God’s providence of crossing his path with my mother’s was part of the aforementioned knitting process… so the “knitting” began in approximately 1959, so that makes me almost 50 years old?!?) This passage makes no mention of sperm cells, cell division processes, fetal development stages, or anything remotely scientific. Put another way, if this passage were the whole of the obstetrics and gynecology curriculum at an accredited medical school, we would see an entirely new meaning to the phrase “worrying mother.” For crying out loud, the text actually says “I was being made in secret,” so how can we possibly expect a Congressman or a Judge or the President or the almighty Voter to know anything about what went down? I tend to think that the amount of God’s activities that are secret is much greater than those that are not, and of those that are not, we do not understand what He is doing most of the time. So… why are we so dogmatic about the intricate details of an admittedly “secret” process that is only comprehended by faith?!?

    I would be able to go along with something of a “Pascal’s Wager” type of abortion policy (don’t do it because we’re just not sure), but I think we need to tone down the certainty of our rhetoric. The truth is that we do not have it all figured out. As much as the culture warriors want to bring out the big guns in the name of life, our specific instructions are more aligned with loving one another and forgiving a multitude of sins. The most persuasive plea for not having an abortion comes from those women who have had one. From what I hear, it is a terrible experience that, by its very own nature, convinces many of those who participate to never ever do it again. I wish that all of us could permanently repent of our particular sins after even the first occurrence. As for me, I have many, many “socially acceptable” pet sins that I nurture. Maybe my friends who have had an abortion are on a much faster path to sanctification than I am. Maybe I should be more quick to listen and leave the judging to God, the only Judge.

    Lord, please have mercy on us all!

  16. jb on October 18th, 2008 3:58 am

    As for the economic question, Jesus’ tax policy is “give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s…” In the US, we elect our Caesars by popular vote. If the taxes get too high, and/or we do not like how they are allocated, we will (eventually) vote different leaders into power. If we do not do this, then we have to pay what the law says. It’s pretty simple.

    Sure, we have private rights of ownership (Thou shalt not steal), but Jesus spends more time telling us to give as much of it away as we can. It’s almost as if he doesn’t really care if we get to spend “our own money” on ourselves. Jesus doesn’t sound like a patriotic American. That’s probably more a blessing than a curse.

    I am guilty as the next guy of moaning and groaning about how bad I have it from my easy chair in my large air-conditioned home that has electricity, water, indoor plumbing, a full pantry and refrigerator, and two cars parked out front. Too often I hear “I’m bored” (in reference to the multiplicity of televisions that broadcast dozens of channels) or “I’m tired” (from people who do not work 18 hours a day with their legs, arms, and backs). If anything, we’re too fat, too lazy, too spoiled, and too self-centered to realize that the most of the rest of the world lives so far beneath our means. Maybe it’s just me and my household.

    I’m in a mood lately (to tell you the truth, I think many folks are, and I don’t think it’s ultimately a bad thing), and more often than not, I am coming up empty with all the answers that I have always thought fit life’s questions. I don’t mean to sound like a discouraging downer, but we must admit that we have it pretty good. The US has major problems (many that are so much more important than the so-called “credit crisis”), but I still believe it’s the best game in town. If I didn’t, I would’ve moved to Europe or Canada (or somewhere else altogether) a long time ago.

    Personally, I cannot wait for heaven. No secret ballots, no political parties, no biased media, no campaigning, no tears, no sin, no boredom, no problems, no racism, no needs, no wants, etc. It will be so much better than even the most amazing master-planned eco-friendly tax-deductible high-speed low-drag island community (even the ones with golf and the crazy water parks!)

  17. John Médaille on October 18th, 2008 10:45 am

    It always amazes me to see how easily “traditional” Catholics are willing to support intrinsically evil acts in order to advance a mere political agenda. McCain, no less than Obama, supports intrinsically evil acts, namely embryonic stem-cell research, which actually creates a market for aborted children. He also supports abortion in the cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother. One can make a marginal case for McCain. But certainly not the absolutist case that is frequently made. And in this marginal case, two things must be kept in mind:
    1. It is merely marginal, and cannot be used as a weapon against Catholics who make the marginal case for someone else, and;
    2. It is an anti-abortion case, and not a pro-life case. The difference is crucial, and it at the heart of the failure of the so-called pro-life movement for the past 35 years. (For the differences, see http://distributism.blogspot.com/2008/09/pro-life-or-just-anti-abortion.html)

    One gives the game away when one attempts to tie Jesus Christ to Laissez-faire. The Church then becomes the lap-dog of the capitalists, a system that by now should raise some serious existential questions. The whole thing strikes me as an exercise in Cafeteria Catholicism.

  18. Taylor Marshall on October 18th, 2008 9:06 pm

    Mr. Médaille,

    Until a sinless human being runs for office, the best we can do is vote for the lesser of two evils.

    Just to clarify, nobody around here is saying that the Republican party is God’s party or that McCain is the Davidic heir for America.

    Please read the About C & A before you criticize.

  19. Rajive on October 19th, 2008 12:45 am

    Taylor,

    >>We’re not “pushing Christendom” on people. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are opposed to abortion…

    It is surprising then that abortion is still such a polarizing issue in a country as religious as the US.

    >>It’s considered very “scientific” to deny a human zygote’s right to life because it looks like a tadpole.

    Science does not claim anything of this sort. Science can tell us things such as correlation between age of the fetus and its chances of survival outside the womb. But it is upto us individuals to decide at what point do we want to call it human. And I deliberately use the word individual here because there is no consensus about this even among co-religionists. In many cases, as jb has so eloquently pointed out, it is a matter of interpreting the religious texts; in other cases it is the individual’s non-religious moral and philosophical framework.

    So it is not the case that we are not sure whether a fetus is human or not, it’s just that it is something we have to decide for ourselves in a subjective fashion. Science cannot pass a judgement on this one way or the other simply because the question does not fall under its purview.

    Just as there are Christians who support a woman’s right to choose, there are scientists who oppose it. Although I would imagine that scientists in the health field will be more likely to oppose a blanket illegalization of abortion because they deal with women’s health more directly than an armchair thinker.

  20. Victoria on October 19th, 2008 8:44 am

    I am probably one of the “traditional” Catholics Mr. Medaille refers to. However, I do not see the prolife movement as a political issue at its core. Surely it has to take on that form in order to effect change in the culture, but the reason I am passionate about it is not because of politics. In fact I don’t have an affiliation and am still confused by the whole American system of government (being an immigrant and subsequently naturalized citizen). I am still in the process of discovering what kind of an American I am. Here is an example of what puzzles me: Why did the Supreme Court make a new law (Roe v. Wade), when, in my understanding it is the legislative body that makes laws? Why are there only two parties, each with opposing views on many issues, when most people probably support some principles on either side? My support of the right to life goes much deeper than politics, parties, science or philosophy (Mr. Rajive, I’m intrigued by your assertion that we can decide another person’s personhood. At what point did you become human, sir, and who decided for you? Is it different for everyone?) As a mother, for me being prolife is a fundamental belief in each individual person’s right to be protected in what should be the safest place on earth – his mother’s womb. As a daughter and granddaughter, it means giving my dying father or grandmother their God-given right to die a natural death. It means not using humans for scientific experiments. And in the last few years, I have found that those who sincerely are prolife see it so clearly, but those who intellectualize it seem to have their judgment clouded.

  21. John Médaille on October 19th, 2008 10:22 pm

    Taylor, it is one thing to make a “lesser of two evils” argument, and another to make an absolute “intrinsic evil” argument. It seems to me that you and the bishop of Dallas (but not the USCCB) is trying to do both simultaneously. This is merely self-contradictory. Make the marginal case for McCain if you will, and best of luck to you; certainly, one can always find reasons to vote against a liberal. However, I must point out that we have made this marginal case in absolute terms for 35 years now and it has been an absolute failure. At a mere prudential level (prudence being the mother of all virtues) how often do we have to fail at one tactic before before we acknowledge that it simply doesn’t work and search for another? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    The so-call “pro-life” movement is marginal because it chooses to marginalize itself; it cannot blame its failures on the mythical “liberals”; it has errors enough of its own.

    The first error is that the movement (especially as represented by the NRLC) is not remotely “pro-life,” but merely anti-abortion. And mere anti-abortion arguments are unconvincing isolated from the pro-life context.

    The Bishops of Dallas and Ft. Worth forbid me from voting for an intrinsic evil in Obama and then practically command me to vote for intrinsic evil in McCain. I am sorry, but that is both politically, theologically, and logically incoherent. And it contradicts what their brother bishops say in their official statement. In the case where both candidates support intrinsically evil acts, then you must either refuse both, or look to the broader context of both intrinsic evil and the wider social teaching context. I have watched with sadness for 40 years as the so-called pro-life movement has not only failed to tie the argument to the social teaching, but seen many of its members practically reject that teaching.

    The anti-abortion movement is a dead letter in this election. Only 5% at best put it at the top of their list. At one point, this five percent was sufficient to give the Republicans their margin of victory, but not sufficient to actually compel them to do anything with that victory. After all, 70+% of the judges in this country have been appointed by Republican administrations; if the party was intent on shutting down Roe v. Wade it could have done so years ago. But why do that, and allow Catholics to move on to other issues, issues which might not work so well for the Republicans?

    The anti-abortion movement has served the Church badly, and the social teaching even worse. But without the Church and the social teaching, you really can’t make sense of the anti-abortion movement. The failed strategy needs revision. Or maybe it doesn’t. Maybe it serves the interests it was intended to serve, and those are not the interests of the infants.

  22. Rajive on October 20th, 2008 10:11 pm

    Taylor,

    An addendum to my previous post – Judaism and Islam are both more ambivalent towards the abortion than you make out to be. Abortion is legal, with some conditions, in Israel, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

    No scriptures in these religions explicitly prohibit abortion and it hasn’t been interpreted by most Jewish or Muslim theological scholars in any black and white manner. Many authoritative Jewish scholars believe that the fetus acquires a soul only after it is born. The life of mother takes precedent over the fetus’ survival across the board. Abortion is allowed in these officially religious countries not just in cases of incest and rape but also in some cases for reasons such as economic hardship.

    Victoria,
    I personally define a human, including myself, after it is born. And as I have said before the answer would depend on who you ask.

  23. Victoria on October 21st, 2008 7:06 am

    Rajive,

    Please go to http://www.durarealidad.com, and after viewing the pictures, kindly tell me what those things are that are decapitated and dismembered.

  24. Rajive on October 21st, 2008 11:15 am

    Victoria,

    Of course they are human-like because once fully developed they could be humans.

    The value of visual images as propaganda tools has long been recogniozed and used very effectively. The reason it is so effective is of course that the impact of the images overwhelms the viewer’s mind and an emotional response replaces any potential rational response. And so, if the image maker can link the images to a message, the viewer ends up transfering the emotional response to an intellectual response and ends up being swayed by the message.

  25. Taylor Marshall on October 21st, 2008 12:10 pm

    Rajive,

    The same visible power was used by photography to bring the Civil War to a close.

  26. Rajive on October 21st, 2008 7:00 pm

    Taylor, Visual images were not as pervasive back then as they are today, but your general point is certainly valid – propaganda can work for any ideology.

  27. Howard on October 23rd, 2008 10:34 am

    Obama’s first, second, and third priority is to get elected. If that means pandering to large numbers of unemployed, under employed, those on welfare, illegal aliens, and malcontents, he’ll be happy to throw them a few crumbs as a way to get their votes. He will also turn democracy and capitalism on it’s head, and villainize the affluent and successful in our society, in order to rally the masses behind him. With evangelical zeal Obama will convince his followers to replace reason with hope and belief … to blindly follow him … never challenge him … and embrace his words as gospel. In the real, and unforgiving world of economics however, when you immediately gratify everyone by feasting on the goose that lays the golden eggs, the economy looses it’s ability to continue generating growth and wealth. Obama is promising everyone a piece of the pie, whether they helped bake it, or not … but, only in a socialistic, or communist state do the non-contributors demand to share equally in the property that belongs to others. Immediate gratification is like a drug to the malcontents, but in the big picture, every farmer knows that you never eat your seed crop. If Obama gets elected, America will turn into a third world country, with massive government welfare programs, unable to generate jobs for it’s citizens, and unable to compete in the global markets. Keep America safe, free and strong … elect McCain/Palin on November 4th.

  28. Rajive on October 23rd, 2008 11:04 am

    Howard,

    Are you sure you are talking about Obama and what he might do in the future?Because the description fits very well with what has already happened in the financial markets under Republican watch- “feasting on the goose that lays the golden eggs” is what stock derivatives have turned out to be.

    And “… to blindly follow him … never challenge him …” sounds like the dictum we have been living under past eight years. Recall “if you are not with us you are against us” , “executive privilege” etc.

  29. Rajive on October 23rd, 2008 11:09 am

    And yes, the corporate world is already clamoring for socialism (nationalising banks) and a welfare state (corporate welfare, that is,) because free markets had led it to utter disaster.

  30. Victoria on October 24th, 2008 4:33 pm
  31. Eric on October 26th, 2008 2:44 am

    I think the first problem I have with the idea of “Redistribution of Wealth” is that the government is set up to protect the people. In a pure capitalistic society there is no minimum wage, workers have no rights whatsoever, and they would be completely controlled by the ruling class. What we are seeing in our economy right now is a result of that.

    Mind you, the comments above above regarding “redistribution of wealth” would then state that we were living under a Communist/Socialist/Marxist society before George Bush was president.

    Making a comment that “Redistribution of Income” is of course theft would then equate that all government is bad because tax rates as they currently stand do redistribute the wealth.

    Secondly, if we talk about the other commandment that we have referred to “Thou Shall Not Kill”, I would state that I consider myself “Pro-Life”. Pro-Life to me means that we do not kill in any instance. That would mean.

    *Death Penalty
    *War
    *Abortion

    However, the top two of those are government sponsored activities. Abortion, on the other hand is a choice that should be between the mother and the father (and if you are a believer) then God as well.

    Abortion is not a “Black and White” issue which is how many Liberals and Conservatives treat it. For one the health and welfare of the mother should be paramount and the ethical issue that one runs into is what is more important, the health and welfare of the mother or the health and welfare of the child. By answering the child, then that in itself is promoting the death of one being over the life of another. If a woman’s life is endangered, no matter what stage of the pregnancy, they should not be instructed by the law not to terminate their pregnancy. As a citizen of this great country, I cannot make that a hard line rule.

    That being said, there can still be quite a bit to be done to continually reduce the amount of abortions, including but not limited to contraception, education, economic reasons, encouraging adoption, and better healthcare for women. Unfortunately, the conservative answer has always failed in many cases in dealing with three of the four points above.

    Also note that many Western European societies have lower rates of abortion and in many cases their governments are much more “Socialist” in nature but more importantly they have universal healthcare, they are better educated in terms of sexual education and uses contraception.

    If abortion is such a serious issue in the eyes of christians then compromise is necessary.

  32. John Médaille on October 26th, 2008 12:28 pm

    One can cite studies on both sides. The intra-state comparisons are flawed because there tends to be an increase in abortion in neighboring states; in other words, people just take their business elsewhere. But what all the studies agree on is that the declines, if any, are marginal.

    The point is this: an anti-abortion movement cannot be successful, and has not been successful, not even among Catholics. Only a pro-life movement can be successful, and this is what the anti-abortion have failed to do for 40 years. There is a reason for their refusal. Namely, there so-called “conservatism” is nothing more than 19th-century liberalism, which is anti-life, anti-family in the extreme. Therefore, their anti-abortion agenda is at odds with their pro-capitalist agenda.

    Many movements fail because they can’t gain power. The conservatives failed because they did gain power and couldn’t do anything remotely “conservative.” When it came down to it, they had nothing to conserve. They were just paleo-liberals with an antiquarian agenda.

    Time for a new direction.

  33. nativties on November 3rd, 2008 12:26 pm

    nativties…

    Yes…

  34. Bob on January 3rd, 2009 8:35 am

    It is truly amazing that the writer can in one breath say that it is not Ok for the government to help the poor by sharing wealth but it is Ok for the government to prevent abortion, both based on religion. Get real.
    I have had this conversation with many conservatives. They say it should be up to the churches to help the poor. Then I ask them how much they gave to any church in the past year and they all stand around looking at their feet. It’s not about who should help the poor, it is about conservatives having to pull money out of their pockets to help someone else.

  35. Jeff Sparks on March 25th, 2009 4:44 pm

    No way. Get in touch. You make an erroneous statement in the first paragraph.

    “The problem is simple. It’s that Barack Obama is a representative of an institution that is fundamentally different from (and many times at odds with) the institution that Jesus founded: the Church.”

    Jesus did not “start the Church”. That would have been early Catholics, Italians or whatever you want to call Constantine. Before that it was a mish mash of several varying belief systems, mostly based in Judaism. Don’t you go to hell for not getting facts right about Jesus? Isn’t it the same as lying?

  36. Brad Nelson on October 31st, 2009 10:00 pm

    Everytime I here a conservate mention communism in a negative light, I just casual point them to acts 4:32-27

    As they prayed, the place where they were gathered shook, and they were all filled with the holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
    32
    6 The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common.
    33
    With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all.
    34
    There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale,
    35
    and put them at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need.
    36
    Thus Joseph, also named by the apostles Barnabas (which is translated “son of encouragement”), a Levite, a Cypriot by birth,
    37
    sold a piece of property that he owned, then brought the money and put it at the feet of the apostles.

    Sure as hell sounds like communism to me.

  37. Mary Ellen on November 1st, 2009 5:42 pm

    Oh Brad! Not all communisms are the same. It is one thing for a community to live in communion with God and his chosen leaders. It is another for a man to appoint himself as the “god” of a nation and assume all power–which as we all know corrupts absolutely. No man-made communist society has ever prospered–in fact–once prosperous nations who become communistic fall into poverty. Check out Russia. It was an incredible kingdom before the communist persecutions and bloodbaths began.

    Study your history Brad, and you’ll understand why people are so fearful of totalitarian societies–not societies where all is shared because members of the society love one another so much that they choose to, but societies where you give up what is yours–including your rights, thoughts and opinions–or die.

    Think about it Brad. Totalitarianism is not taught in the Bible. God has power but that power is based in love.

  38. martine on January 17th, 2010 11:24 am

    It really doesn’t mater if “Thou Shall Not Steal” is an endorsement of Capitalism. Its a clear mandate against theft. A government that steals from hard working people for the purpose of better controlling them, something they don’t want, is theft. I still believe theft is wrong. The abortion issue is less important then the fact that the man wants to take away our ability to work at a job and to decide what to do with our earning. I for one do not want to pay to have government provided health care. I also don’t want every business killed by Obama so that the only way to survive is for us to work at government programs. Thats what he wants to see happen. Look at the public school system. Do you want a doctor like those teachers? They are lazy, uncaring, and beat down by beurocracy.

  39. Gerry Marshall on April 21st, 2011 4:08 pm

    So…based on your rationale, any form of taxation is theft! Because ALL tax monies are taken from working people, then put into government programs that are redistributed to pay for programs we all use such as the intrastructure. And if you don’t agree with my take on this…fine, but then just exactly where is the cut-off line between taxes being “Godly” and becoming “theft”? Granted…taxes are something no one wants to pay, BUT just exactly how are we supposed to pay to keep our country running? Maybe we all just need to go back and re-watch “Americathon”.

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