Friday, May 10, 2013

Abortion comes to Ireland


This is guest post by Sister Tiberia:

Very few people will not be aware of the story that began this - the Irish dentist Savita Halappanavar who died in an Irish hospital of septicaemia, during a miscarriage at 17 weeks of pregnancy. For those of you who don't know the medical details they are well summarised HERE by a Canadian gynaecologist.

Her view was that "Infection must always be suspected whenever, preterm labor, premature rupture of the membranes, or advanced premature cervical dilation occurs (one of the scenarios that would have brought Ms. Halappanavar to the hospital)", and that the only correct treatment at this point would have been induction of labour coupled to aggressive antibiotic therapy.

The Irish courts agreed with this gynaecologist and handed down a verdict of "medical misadventure" (medical malpractice for the American readers).

But that isn't what this post is about. Because if the death of this lady and her unborn child sowed the wind, then Ireland is now reaping the whirlwind. The Irish Parliament is now debating the wretchedly misnamed "Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013" - which potentially is going to give Ireland more liberal abortion laws that many other EU countries.

Firstly, there was no need for this Bill. Irish law already allows the termination of a pregnancy if the mother's life is in danger. The fact that the hospital misinterpreted the law has been seized upon by people who have wanted the country's abortion law liberalised and saw this as a perfect opportunity. A double tragedy became a political opportunity - and the opportunity was taken.

Phyllis Zagano at the National Catholic Reporter in America has an excellent article on this.

In it she explains that, under the new law, abortion will be permitted under a number of circumstances previously not legal under Irish law, including if the mother is considered to be suicidal. You don't have to be an unrepentant cynic to see just how that can and will be abused. The requirement that three doctors (one gynaecologist and two psychiatrists) will have to be in agreement for the law to be invoked brings less than fond memories of the two-doctor "safeguard" in English law. Yes, it's working really well this side of the Irish Sea. No, of course we don't have abortion on demand in the UK. Really. Yes, I know sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.

The new Irish law also - frighteningly - has no term limit on when an abortion can be performed. As Phyllis says: "With no term limit on when an abortion may be performed, in theory, a medical condition at eight and a half months could allow for a partial-birth abortion - killing a partly delivered baby."

I strongly recommend reading the whole of Phyllis's article. Because, at present, the relatively limited opposition to this Bill in Ireland is being led by the Catholic Church, and in the aftermath of the scandals its moral authority is seen by many as limited. Phyllis comments: "Yes, the Irish bishops have complained about the bill. Yes, the Irish cardinal has suggested excommunication for those who vote for it. But few in the age group truly affected by the law could care less what any churchman says or does." The main group that might have actively fought this is simply not going to be listened to.

Pray for Ireland. Because whatever the wrongs of the Savita Halappanavar case - and they were many - the floodgates have been opened. God have mercy.

Addendum from His Grace (from LifeSiteNews):
"While Ireland’s Catholic bishops and the pro-life movement are fighting desperately to keep the government from enacting legislation to permit abortion, Boston College, a Catholic institution in Massachusetts, is honoring the head of the same government."
It is curious, while the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland is threatening to excommunicate its members should they support this Bill, that the Jesuits of Boston are being seen to reward the architect of the policy with an honourary doctorate - and a doctorate of civil law, at that! Enda Kenny reportedly responded to the threat of excommunication: "As I explained to the cardinal and members of the church, my book is the Constitution and the Constitution is determined by the people."

At what point is a Roman Catholic politician obliged to put canon law over the civil law, and where is the latitude? In the UK, Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has made it clear: “I take my whip from the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church rather than the Whip's Office.”

Now, there's a loyal Roman Catholic most worthy of an honourary DCL from Boston College.

164 Comments:

Blogger FlexBrowne said...

A celibate woman lecturing irish women on their reproductive rights? Your church's power is diminishing all the time old maid. Deal with it...

10 May 2013 at 09:33  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

As has been stated before, Sister Tiberia is the pseudonym of a British woman who is married and has a child. And is a Roman Catholic.

Nor is this intended to be a lecture of any form. Only a drawing of attention towards the problems of "knee jerk" legislation and the unintended consequences.

Trust me, the British "Dangerous Dogs Act" is as bad an example. But with canine, not human lives as the price.

10 May 2013 at 10:02  
Blogger The Explorer said...

FlexBrowne

There's an issue in your opening question that troubles me. (Nothing at all to with the abortion issue.)

Are we in a position to talk about anything if we haven't experienced it for ourselves?

By your criterion, can a novelist legitimately create characters of another sex, race or class?

Can we talk about an historical event if we weren't alive at the time?

Or can the truth of a particular issue exist apart from who we happen to be?

10 May 2013 at 10:05  
Blogger bwims said...

Never mind... if the birth rate drops to indigneous UK levels, you can always open the door to Pakistani immigration.

10 May 2013 at 11:00  
Blogger bwims said...

The only reproductive rights that a consenting adult female should need is the ability to say "no"; pre-emptive contraception, including the morning-after pill; tests for mental or physical disability with an abortion if necessary; or termination to save the life or physical health of the mother. There is no "stigma" anymore. Abortion as a matter of convenience in order to keep one's career is not good enough. Plenty of people would be willing to adopt, and save the State a fortune in IVF treatments.

10 May 2013 at 11:04  
Blogger bwims said...

Further to my last I believe that any attempt to use dehumanising terms, such as "foetus" now, like "jew" in the 1930s and earlier, leads to the dehumanising of the people using it.

There are always reasons for and against taking life, usually when it is weighed against the lesser of two evils.

To say "it's ok, it's only a foetus" is a form of psychosis, indeed, possibly psychopathy.

I believe, logically, that if rights exist, they should start at the moment of independent life.

After all, natural abortions from time to time. The only logical thing to do is to restrict abortion (restricted as in my last) to a number of weeks lower than the lowest currently survivable premature birth.

To do otherwise is infanticide and should be recognised as such.

Otherwise, logically, the mother should be allowed to kill, without punishment, any premature baby that she has that is younger than the latest legal abortion period.

I expect many feminists would want that latter choice, though I am sure they would prefer the ability to reabsorb embryos like rabbits can.

10 May 2013 at 11:17  
Blogger Peter David said...

How any one can sanction the murder of an unborn child is
beyond my understanding. What kind of animals have been
brought into this world were they consider this as normal and
even desirable? Who is responsible for this outrageous behaviour?
Two world wars and an “expedient” dropping of a nuclear bomb
seem to have been pure statistics to our so called “progressive”
political thinkers of today. The Christian values gained over centuries of
hardship and toil seem to have disappeared in a puff of smoke in less
than fifty years of so called peace. The old threats from the intolerant
world of Islam are back with a vengeance and so is the decadence of
the defunct Roman Empire were homosexuality and infanticide reigned
into its destruction. “Has Europe lost its sole”? A question asked and
one that seems to have an answer although it is very disagreeable.

10 May 2013 at 11:20  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

The truism the *Devil* is in the detail, has ever been more appropriate. With a clergy totally dominated by men and with only something like %15 of politicians women, Eire must have an honest public open debate, then put the matter to a women only referendum.

In the matter of the recently recovered missing girls in Cleveland Ohio:

Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy Mc­Ginty said Castro may be charged with aggravated murder because he allegedly impregnated the women and then forced them to suffer miscarriages, meaning he terminated the pregnancies by force.

I wonder whether a large can of worms will be opened if this charge is actually made against Castro.

10 May 2013 at 11:33  
Blogger Gareth said...

If Europe has indeed lost it's sole I can recommend a cobbler...

10 May 2013 at 11:59  
Blogger David Hussell said...

There is a complete denial amongst the self styled "enlightened" metropolitan liberal elite, which includes most of the media/entertainment industry, that the countries of europe were built, brick by brick, around and upon just one religion, Trinitarian Christianity. The constitution of the totalitarian EU project, for one undemocratic super state, refuses even to recognize the Christian foundation to their member countries. It is an article of faith amongst these people that faith generally, is now archaic and essentially, redundant, but that the "nice" bits will somehow continue under a humanist world viewpoint. This I very much doubt.
It falls to the relatively few and dwindling numbers of Christians to keep alight the flame of truth as we enter a new dark age. Ecumenical good relationships take on a fresh urgency. The remaining faithful can take heart from the burgeoning numbers of largely doctrinally orthodox new Christians in the global south. Who knows they may need to become reverse missionaries ?

10 May 2013 at 12:28  
Blogger Albert said...

A very timely post Sr Tiberias, thank you.

It seems to me that to vote for this will be to vote for abortion on demand. Politicians who do so should be excommunicated.

"As I explained to the cardinal and members of the church, my book is the Constitution and the Constitution is determined by the people."

So not the word of God then? He should be excommunicated just for that.

It's a pity of course, that the people who will pay for this wicked law are the unborn

10 May 2013 at 12:53  
Blogger non mouse said...

As a British woman who refuses to consider herself part of the euSSR --- why would I presume any right to judge Irish females?

I don't even know whether Savita whatever is an Irish name!!!

Then there's the matter of Jesuits YG mentions .... which leads a person to remember the Irish Mafia in the US of A ....

Goodness. Why anyone would want to bring children into such global hell beats me. Of course, this communicant agrees with YG: abortion is murder. It's not a form of contraception, and one reason for ignoring RCism has been its irresponsibility about that issue.

10 May 2013 at 13:16  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Peter David (11:20)

Your citing of the Roman Empire seems to me to be pertinent.

Read Tacitus, or Martial, or Juvenal, and you see that the Roman Empire had same-sex marriage (Nero is a case in point), abortion, infanticide (along the lines recommended by our contemporary,Peter Singer), and euthanasia (the 'mors voluntaria').

There are new ethical issues, of course, raised by medical advances and changed social conditions, but I find me asking myself this question. How far are we in the West heading forward into a brave new world, and how far are we reverting to paganism?

10 May 2013 at 13:41  
Blogger Albert said...

Non mouse,

Of course, this communicant agrees with YG: abortion is murder. It's not a form of contraception, and one reason for ignoring RCism has been its irresponsibility about that issue.

What on earth are you talking about?

10 May 2013 at 13:50  
Blogger non mouse said...

Albert: I haven't bothered to check whether the RCC has changed its policies on contraception (I'm not interested in the RCC for many reasons).

Last time anyone mentioned it to me(actually an Irish girl - long ago), however, the RCC was excommunicating people who practiced contraception by artificial means. Abstention was recommended, of course -- admittedly I see nothing wrong with that.

10 May 2013 at 14:05  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

"As I explained to the cardinal and members of the church, my book is the Constitution and the Constitution is determined by the people."

That's a lie, of course. In the first place, the Constitution isn't a discourse on ethics. It is a structure of government. One brings his own presuppositions to that document and reads the document in the light of those presuppositions. The constitution is silent on issues like abortion.

In the second place, there are legions of the "chattering class illuminati" who would dearly love to excise the second amendment from the constitution whether "the people" like it or not. Their constitutional reverence is conditioned by the beliefs they bring too the document.

In the third place, we don't actually have a constitution. We have judges - judges who treat the written word as so much soft clay onto which they may inscribe whatever they might desire. That's how the constitution was held to provide a constitutional right to homosexual sex when homosexuality was illegal in every state at the time of its ratification. There is no original intent anymore. Consequently, we only have such rights as the judges determine we are allowed to possess.

I am not impressed by people who hide their own concepts of morality behind constitutional imperative. It is a shameless lie. They aren't submitting themselves to the law. They are conforming the law to their own desires.

carl

10 May 2013 at 14:13  
Blogger Albert said...

Non mouse,

The culture of abortion and contraception go hand in hand - they are not logically entailed, it's just that once people separate procreation from sex through contraception, they tend - culturally - to move towards abortion.

Carl has made this point in the past: contraception enables the misuse of sex, abortion guarantees it, and homosexuality exemplifies it.

I can see that someone might disagree with us on this, but to regard our teaching as irresponsible while opposing abortion seems bizarre.

No the Church's teaching will not change on either issue.

10 May 2013 at 14:39  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Bear in mind that the Church's teaching on the "safe period" as the only licit means of contraception, Albert, is actually a contradiction of its earlier teachings.

There was a crude attempt in the time of Saint Augustine to work out the "safe period" - because the heretical Manichees told their followers to restrict intercourse to that time to avoid the worst aspects of carnal desire. Augustine had been a Manichee for eleven years (and given that he and his mistress only had one child in those eleven years it presumably worked for them). After his conversion he stated that using the safe period in this manner was a grave sin because it was to take pleasure in sex while intending not to procreate. This view remained prevalent in the Church until 1959 when Pius XII stated the safe period to be the only method approved by God.

Nor do I believe that contraception leads to abortion - in a world where a huge number of women in developing countries are still the property of men, either abstinence or the safe period are not available to them. Go and look for the statistics on abortion in those countries, most of it illegal and frequently resulting in the death of the woman. The statistics simply do not add up.

Yes, I know that in this I am firmly in dissent from Humanae Vitae. But that isn't what this post was about.

10 May 2013 at 15:02  
Blogger Albert said...

Sister Tiberia,

In haste, I think you are conflating two different things. The Manichees didn't want to reproduce at all - because they considered matter itself to be evil. Therefore, although they viewed sex as wrong during the safe period (because it was a taking of physical pleasure), it was less wrong because there was less chance of procreation.

This is rather different from Catholic teaching, as is evident from the fact that a couple who marry with no intention of procreating (even if they only use natural family planning) invalidate their marriage.

Refusing children full-stop, because one holds anti-Christian views about creation is entirely different from naturally spacing the children one begets.

In effect therefore, the Manichees would be represented today by the contraceptionalists. They would have regarding sterilisation as a particularly good thing, but more effective forms of contraception as a bonus.

BTW Pius XII was dead in 1959.

In relation to women in such tragic situations, if they are not consenting to the act - or are not free, then the Church's teaching is moot.

The point I was making there was to do with culture - how Western culture has turned - when both persons are consenting, which is again, rather different.

10 May 2013 at 15:12  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Also, in the United States, 23 percent of the population identifies as Catholic

http://www.christianpost.com/news/new-insights-on-the-us-catholic-population-91800/

But in 2009 28 percent of all women seeking abortions identified themselves as Catholic

http://www.abort73.com/abortion_facts/us_abortion_statistics/

Therefore Catholics actually have a statistically higher number of abortions as a group in the States.

Given that as a group they are also statistically less likely to be using contraception, it's hard not to draw an obvious conclusion from this...

10 May 2013 at 15:15  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

I stand corrected on the date though. Need to look up that encyclical again :)

10 May 2013 at 15:16  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

1958. I was out by one year. Mea culpa. :)

10 May 2013 at 15:19  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

But I will grant you, Albert, that the way that sex is treated in Western culture as separated from love and commitment is indeed a major factor in the huge number of abostions that follow. There, you and I speak with one voice :)

10 May 2013 at 15:21  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Abortions. Not abostions. Typing too fast. Time for a cup of tea and to calm down a bit :)

10 May 2013 at 15:22  
Blogger non mouse said...

Albert --- I don't know what you mean by "logically entailed." However, you obviously haven't spoken to many girls who have been left 'holding the baby' ... for whichever of various reasons. Logic isn't usually involved in the causes of their condition.

Whether or not such hapless lasses already have ten children apiece -- they may begin to treat abortion casually ((and it may even prevent somebody else from smothering or poisoning the newborn after birth ... this has happened clandestinely in the past)). The desperate use of abortion, or multiple abortions, thus led to the ironic perception that some people use the surgery as contraception -- a "several months after" option, as it were.

The RCC is not known for its understanding of such matters.

Oh --- and I'm off here for now. I don't usually get embroiled in these discussions anyway. But do note that I have no interest in what the Romans decide to do about their Laws.

10 May 2013 at 15:27  
Blogger Albert said...

Sr Tiberias,

I agree, we probably are agreed on many issues here. I think though, that the Church had no view on the matter of the "safe period", until such time as Pius XI ruled on it in Casti Connubii in 1930:

Nor are those considered as acting against nature who in the married state use their right in the proper manner although on account of natural reasons either of time or of certain defects, new life cannot be brought forth. For in matrimony as well as in the use of the matrimonial rights there are also secondary ends, such as mutual aid, the cultivating of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence which husband and wife are not forbidden to consider so long as they are subordinated to the primary end and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved.

I think it is this teaching that is repeated by Pius XII in 1951 and then makes its way into Vatican II.

I doubt, by the way, that those who are having abortions are faithfully following Church teaching on contraception. The difference in the statistics is likely to be social.

10 May 2013 at 16:13  
Blogger Albert said...

Non mouse,

I don't know what you mean by "logically entailed."

What I meant was that someone could logically believe contraception is okay, but still think abortion is wrong. There would be no contradiction there, it's just that culturally, matters are murkier.

The RCC is not known for its understanding of such matters.

Apart from the fact that is Catholics who are keen to alleviate the sufferings of such women by helping them with their children. Organisations like Life for example seem to me to be disproportionately supported by Catholics.

But do note that I have no interest in what the Romans decide to do about their Laws.

Or is it that you have no interest in natural law?

10 May 2013 at 16:17  
Blogger ukFred said...

Albert, I am not a member of the RC denomination, but my understanding of the teaching was that sex had to be open to procreation, hence the ban on all artificial forms of contraception. Why the worry? The whole basis for all of the Church was the immaculate conception of one Yeshua bar Yosef, whose mother had used the only oral contraceptive allowed by the RCs, and even then she became with child, of the Holy Spirit.
God is still performing miracles even today because His Kingdom is increasing each day.

10 May 2013 at 16:38  
Blogger Albert said...

The whole basis for all of the Church was the immaculate conception of one Yeshua bar Yosef, whose mother had used the only oral contraceptive allowed by the RCs, and even then she became with child, of the Holy Spirit.

I think there are several confusions there, Fred!

10 May 2013 at 16:46  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

An interesting side commentary on Catholicism and abortion, found at

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Did_the_Catholic_Church_always_unequivocally_oppose_abortion

Circa 100 to 150 AD: The Didache (also known as "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles"), was a document written for the guidance of Christians. It forbade all abortions.

Prior to 380: Many Christian leaders issued unqualified condemnations of abortion. So did two church synods in the early 4th century.

Circa 380: The Apostolic Constitutions allowed abortion if it was done early enough in pregnancy. But it condemned abortion if the fetus was of human shape and contained a soul.

St. Augustine (354-430) accepted the Aristotelian Greek Pagan concept of "delayed ensoulment". He wrote that a human soul cannot live in an unformed body. 3 Thus, early in pregnancy, an abortion is not murder because no soul is destroyed (or, more accurately, only a vegetable or animal soul is terminated).

Pope Innocent III (1161-1216): He determined that a monk who had arranged for his lover to have an abortion was not guilty of murder if the fetus was not "animated" at the time. Early in the 13th century, he stated that the soul enters the body of the fetus at the time of "quickening" - when the woman first feels movement of the fetus. Before that time, abortion was a less serious sin, because it terminated only potential human person, not an actual human person.

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274): St. Thomas thought that the soul did not come to the fetus ('ensoulment') until sometime after conception. In fact, he considered abortion gravely sinful, teaching that it was a grave sin against the natural law to kill the fetus at any stage and a graver sin of homicide to do so after ensoulment.

Pope Sixtus V (1588) issued a Papal bull "Effraenatam" which threatened those who carried out abortions at any stage of gestation with excommunication and the death penalty.

Pope Gregory XIV (1591) revoked the previous Papal bull and reinstated the "quickening" test, which he determined happened 116 days into pregnancy (16½ weeks).

Pope Pius IX (1869) dropped the distinction between the "fetus animatus" and "fetus inanimatus." The soul was believed to have entered the pre-embryo at conception.

Leo XIII (1878-1903): He Issued a decree in 1884 that prohibited craniotomies. This is an unusual form of abortion used under crisis situations late in pregnancy. It is occasionally needed to save the life of the pregnant woman. He issued a second degree in 1886 that prohibited all procedures that directly killed the fetus, even if done to save the woman's life.

Canon law was revised in 1917 and 1983 to refer simply to "the fetus." The church penalty for abortions at '''any stage of pregnancy was, and remains, excommunication.'''

References:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

Pope Pius XI, "Christian Marriage," 1930-DEC-31 at: http://www.vatican.va/
John Cardinal O'Connor, "Abortion: Questions and Answers," Priests for Life, at: http://www.priestsforlife.org/
St. Augustine, "On Exodus", (21, 80)


10 May 2013 at 17:10  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...


The comments on the timing of "ensoulment" are interesting, because one thing that this Irish bill does is to exclude the unimplanted fertilized embryo from all consideration - in Phyllis's words "It explicitly eliminates ending an ectopic pregnancy (where the fertilized egg implants in a Fallopian tube) from the catchment of "abortion." It defines life as beginning with implantation of the fertilized egg in the womb." - and this has far reaching implications in itself, as potentially this could open doors to the use of fertilized embryos for stem cell research - a whole new can of worms.

The more I look at this bill, the more I think that the implications simply were not thought through by the lawmakers. I prefer not to think that they were thought through...and ignored.

10 May 2013 at 17:10  
Blogger Albert said...

The ensoulment issue is a red herring, I think - it comes from dodgy science. The moral teaching is consistent.

10 May 2013 at 17:57  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Well, this is one positive of being a homosexual: no likelihood of needing or wanting an abortion after sex.

10 May 2013 at 17:58  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Albert

Carl has made this point in the past: contraception enables the misuse of sex, abortion guarantees it, and homosexuality exemplifies it.

Yes, I have. Marriage, sex, and children were created as a unity. The existence of one implies the other two. The sexual revolution was intended to sever those connections in order to avoid both the commitment of marriage, and the obligation of parenthood. Thus could personal gratifictaion become the penultimate purpose of human sexuality. Effective contraception that didn't depend upon male cooperation was the critical enabling technology for that revolution. Contraception still fails however. So abortion became the backstop of the revolution - and eventually the Holy Sacrament of Feminism in its war against maternity. I have said all this.

However ...

However, I didn't say that contraception was an intrinsic evil in and of itself. Like many things its use is judged according to the intent of the heart. Contraception can be used with moral responsibility. And of course the RCC agrees with me since it actively promotes NFP. Here is where you leap into the conversation with all those fine philosophical distinctions about why NFP isn't contraception.

carl

10 May 2013 at 18:04  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This excommunication thing is a little disquieting to me. I suppose one might infer it in Ireland but in the UK, I think I'd like politicians to have to declare whether or not they're agents of the Roman Catholic Church on certain subjects. Perhaps in a register of members' interests or something.

10 May 2013 at 18:05  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

One does not become an agent of the RCC simply by agreeing with RC teaching. Nor does he become an agent of the RCC by advocating in the public square for positions that derive from his RC faith. Any man is free to bring his presuppositions into the public square.

He is not free however to act contrary to the RCC and still remain a member of the RCC. A public office does not give a man license to practice great evil in the public realm while he presumes to kneel piously in the private realm. Ex-communication would therefore be a couragous act by the Bishop.

Modern people seem to think they can have everything on their own terms. A common refrain often heard is "I am a Catholic and no one can say that I am not." Except that isn't quite true. At all.

carl

10 May 2013 at 18:20  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

The point of it is to try to coerce Roman Catholic politicans who might vote another way without the threat. It's to create politicans without their own agency on certain subjects. A whip along the lines their political parties, only with a religious organisation operating in the background. If I'm tempted to vote for a politician then I think I need to know whether they are Roman Catholic upfront now. Perhaps if Muslim politicians in the UK start to get coercion from Islamic scholars from Saudi Arabia issuing public fatwas I might need the same there too.

10 May 2013 at 18:32  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Sister Tiberia

28 percent of all women seeking abortions identified themselves as Catholic

To be fair, we should admit that there is a far broader definiton of Catholic in the US than 'faithful Catholic.' I know an avowed atheist who self-identifies as Catholic. Also a functional buddhist who self-identifies as Catholic. The label means far less than it should mean. You can't make credible inferences from those kinds of statistics because so much of Catholic self-identifictaion is either cultural or nominal.

carl

10 May 2013 at 18:33  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Frankly I would be suspicious that the identification error if anything goes the other way and that Catholics are declaring themselves as anything but under those circumstances.

But I agree that all statistics have to be considered in their context.

10 May 2013 at 18:37  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

No one is removing the agency of the public servant. He is free to act as he sees fit. He is not free to act without consequence. Neither is the RCC bound to act contrary to its own teachings simply because public servants would prefer to not be held to account. This is nothing more nor less than a de facto religious test for office. "I'll vote for a Catholic but only so long as he isn't a very good Catholic. We wouldn't want any foreign entanglements or loyalties."

carl

10 May 2013 at 18:46  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

The issue is rather simpler. If I don't agree with certain political stances of the Roman Catholic Church then I shouldn't vote for a Roman Catholic politican if those stances are likely to be exercised. I just need to know whether someone is a Roman Catholic or not before I vote.

10 May 2013 at 18:49  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Similarly with Muslim politicans likely to be coerced to certain voting positions by Saudi Arabian fatwas.

10 May 2013 at 18:50  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

And I should like to know whether a candidate is an atheist or not. But that has little to do with advocating that a candidate register as an "agent" of a church - with all the attendent implications of disloyalty. Your position amounts to "You must register as an agent of a church if you agree with the teachings of the church." But the candidate isn't an agent if he is simply acting on his own worldview.

carl

10 May 2013 at 18:58  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

It's not so much whether someone agrees with the position of the Roman Catholic Church on some issues, it's whether they're susceptible to coercion from the Roman Catholic Church on some issues whilst being a representative for their constituents in Parliament.

10 May 2013 at 19:01  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Afterall, we have something similar for other types of special interests. If an MP is getting benefits from a multinational company which might affect their voting then there's a register for that.

10 May 2013 at 19:03  
Blogger Albert said...

Without reading through all this, I can't see that Dan is being unreasonable, except insofar as he is (of course) placing the spotlight on Catholicism. All people have commitments to a variety of organisations and societies. These will form the decisions they take. Someone belonging to an environmental organisation will be likely to vote accordingly, someone belonging to a think tank of a certain stripe will vote accordingly, someone who is at the forefront of gay campaigns will vote accordingly. If these people vote against their organisations and societies, they can expect to be expelled. It is reasonable that we should know all this, for all MPs. To single out Catholics is discriminatory and illiberal.

10 May 2013 at 19:23  
Blogger Albert said...

Carl,

Here is where you leap into the conversation with all those fine philosophical distinctions about why NFP isn't contraception.

No one pretends it isn't contraception. We just deny that it is artificial contraception.

A common refrain often heard is "I am a Catholic and no one can say that I am not." Except that isn't quite true. At all.

Quite, a Catholic who disobeys Catholic teaching is to that extent, a bad Catholic. But someone who isn't ignorant and confused about Catholic teaching, but still denies it, is hardly a Catholic at all.

10 May 2013 at 19:26  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

It could also be pointed out that since the act of having an abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication, the number of Catholics having an abortion in the US in a year is zero since they're all excommunicated anyway.

One can prove anything with statistics :)

10 May 2013 at 19:32  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hmmm, let's have a look at the subject of the article. Oh look! It explicitly talks about the Roman Catholic Church and threats of excommunication by the Roman Catholic Church. Blimey, how could I be so illiberal by, well, commenting about something explicit in the article? Also, it's terrible that I didn't mention (say) Muslims potentially being influenced by fatwas or related it to the register of members' interests and the potential influences there, but singled out Roman Catholics instead. If only I had done that then someone saying I had singled out Roman Catholics would look quite daft. Damn.

10 May 2013 at 19:33  
Blogger Albert said...

Come off it Dan, it's not the subject of the article. The article doesn't mention Muslims, but you have. It just so happens that you particularly hate Catholicism and Islam. Though of course, if you are going to take your comments and turn them into the general principle, then, amazingly, you will be agreeing with me. If not, you will be being illiberal and discriminatory.

10 May 2013 at 19:38  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"The article doesn't mention Muslims, but you have."

Well, quite. Hence I didn't single out Roman Catholics, you berk.

10 May 2013 at 19:42  
Blogger Albert said...

What a surprise! You've moved into a childish picking at my words so as to cover up the fact that you are not responding to the dilemma. You must either agree with me or concede you are illiberal and discriminatory.

10 May 2013 at 19:47  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I'd say it's a surprise that you misrepresented what I said and started throwing around the "illiberal" line at the end to raise the volume but, well, it isn't at all. You are inclined to lie just to get an engagement with me these days.

10 May 2013 at 19:50  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Let's have it. Did I or did I not talk about Muslims and the register of members' interests throughout despite what you said, Albert?

10 May 2013 at 19:53  
Blogger Albert said...

And again - and more changing of the subject. What you have done is spend several posts attacking Catholicism - without admitting that the point is wider than that. The fact that you also mentioned Islam, does not alter the fact that you singled out Catholicism - it just shows that the response you gave at 1933 isn't true.

Now, how will you avoid the dilemma this time?

10 May 2013 at 19:53  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

The article explicitly mentions the Roman Catholic Church and its threat of excommunication and I addressed that, whilst bringing up similar examples like Muslims under fatwa and the register of members' interests. Yet you essentually lied about that to try to latch onto me. Why do you do that, Albert?

10 May 2013 at 19:55  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

It's because you have a particular and rather unhealthy interest in me personally, and because you'll do anything to try to defend the Roman Catholic Church isn't it?

10 May 2013 at 19:57  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Ok, to try to move this into a more general idea, can we all agree on the following?

If a random religion happens to consider blue underpants sinful to the point that they hold a threat of expulsion over the head of all practicing members.

If my personal opinion is that there's nothing whatsoever wrong with blue underpants.

Do I have the right to know that my MP, who I voted for because I agree in general with his party's policies is likely to be coerced by his religion into trying to abolish all blue underwear, even if his party's policy is to approve of blue underwear?

Sorry for the really lousy example. It's amazing how hard it is to come up with something that as far as I know isn't a standpoint of any religion.

But the principle stands - if an adherent of a religion is elected to represent his constituents, do his constituents have the right to know that his religion will dictate his actions under certain circumstances?

My answer to this would be yes. Without reference to any known religion. Does that help?

10 May 2013 at 20:04  
Blogger Albert said...

The dilemma you face is straight forward. If you allow your principles to be applied in a non-discriminatory way, you will have to apply them more widely than you currently are. If you don't you are illiberal and discriminatory. Strangely, you don't want to answer that, and instead keep insulting me.

Here's an example of your dark heart: you have accused me of telling lies. Lies implies a deliberate attempt to deceive. It never occurs to you that I might have been mistaken - perhaps you should read my initial post in this - I said "Without reading through all this."

The point remains - you are simply applying your principles against groups you have made clear you don't like. Will you apply them consistently?

The truth is you just want to avoid that point, and keep the discussion going as long as possible.

10 May 2013 at 20:07  
Blogger Peter D said...

"I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born."
(Ronald Reagan)

"The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father's role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts - a child - as a competitor, an intrusion and an inconvenience.

It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the dependent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters. And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners."
(Mother Teresa)

10 May 2013 at 20:07  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Sister Tiberia, t's the public threat of excommunication that has got my goat a bit here, and it has happened before in the UK too. Is it not possible that someone can be a Roman Catholic as an individual and yet vote for something which i against Roman Catholic doctrine as an elected representative of their constituents?

10 May 2013 at 20:10  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Albert: "Here's an example of your dark heart: you have accused me of telling lies. Lies implies a deliberate attempt to deceive. It never occurs to you that I might have been mistaken - perhaps you should read my initial post in this - I said "Without reading through all this.""

It occurs to me that you are backpeddling now, having been called on your deceitful spin and realising that you're not going to be able to pull it off. Listen up, I'm not playing your game here just like I wasn't going to play your game when you last lied to try to force an engagement. As then, your dilemma is one of your own construction to suit your own ends and has little to do with me. I'll stand by my own words, thanks. So, off you trot.

10 May 2013 at 20:16  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

This may be of some help to you, Dan, in this particular circumstance.

http://www.natcath.org/NCR_Online/archives/011703/011703d.htm

One exception is identified in Pope John Paul’s 1995 encyclical on bioethics, Evangelium Vitae. When outlawing abortion is politically impossible, the pope held, a politician could vote for a law that permits some abortions, if it’s the most restrictive result feasible and the alternative would be a more liberal standard.

“When it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality,” the pope wrote. “This does not in fact represent an illicit cooperation with an unjust law, but rather a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects.”

In this case, the question is - what (if anything) has been done to limit the potential evils of this bill?

10 May 2013 at 20:17  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Sister Tiberia, I only skim-read it but I saw this bit before that:

"It’s an open question in magisterial circles whether politicians who vote for legal abortion, support public funding for abortion, and/or otherwise help make abortion available, should be considered “accomplices” and hence excommunicated."

I suppose it depends on the person and their congregation just how problematic an excommunication is to them and therefore how powerful the threat is. It could be hugely disruptive to them if they're subjected to 'cultural shame' in their private lives, I expect. That is, it's not really comparable to being thrown out of the Friday night bridge club for not supporting the gambling bill so we probably don't need to know who's on the Tonbrige Bridge Club membership list.

10 May 2013 at 20:30  
Blogger Peter D said...

Why is it being described as "coercion" to follow the teachings of one's Church in matters of faith?

“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

A modern politician is indeed the servant of the electorate but first and foremost, if s/he is a Christian, s/he is God's servant. And, as a Catholic, this means following the teachings of the Catholic Church - or leaving.

10 May 2013 at 20:33  
Blogger Peter D said...

Excommunication - used as an opportunity to reflect and repent - is a better option than eternal damnation.

The Church has a duty to make clear the implications of cooperating and/or promoting evil acts. Anything less and its failing in its responsibilities.

10 May 2013 at 20:40  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

If the politician is open about his faith and his electorate are well aware that his church teaches something which will dictate his actions under certain circumstances, then no, I see no issue.

But the original question was whether those people who elected him have the right to know what issues he may not dissent from his church's teaching on, so that they may decide for themselves whether they wish to vote for him if their opinion on that issue is so different from his, and if his church's teaching is not that of the party which he represents.

My opinion is that yes, they have a right to know this.

10 May 2013 at 20:41  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

It occurs to me that you are backpeddling now, having been called on your deceitful spin and realising that you're not going to be able to pull it off.

If you mean, I am going back to what I originally said, to point out that your accusation of lies is uncharitably and without foundation, then yes, I'm back-peddling - taking you back to the original evidence.

Listen up, I'm not playing your game here just like I wasn't going to play your game when you last lied to try to force an engagement.

Another accusation of lies! If ask for evidence of where I have lied, you will not reply. If I point out that I did not lie, you accuse me of back-peddling.

As then, your dilemma is one of your own construction to suit your own ends and has little to do with me. I'll stand by my own words, thanks.

The dilemma is entailed by your own position - by your own words. But I don't expect you to reply to that - I expect you to carry on being rude. and making baseless accusations.

The truth is, Dan, it's you that's the attention seeker here.

10 May 2013 at 20:43  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I agree, Sister. Matthew Parris wrote an article related to this a few months ago and it started me thinking about it:

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/columnists/matthewparris/article3567221.ece

His example is about Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, an Anglican bishop by the way, and touches on abortion. His article doesn't have his usual clarity but it's worth reading if one has access.

10 May 2013 at 20:48  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Albert, do shut up for goodness'sake. And that's not a freedom of speech thing that you can honk "look, illiberal" at, it's just that you're simply being tiresome now because you've shot your bolt and missed but won't give it up.

10 May 2013 at 20:51  
Blogger Albert said...

Well, Dan, I think anyone who looks at the discussion will disagree with you. The dilemma is there and you won't engage it.

But yes, I am going out now. It's Friday night after all - I wouldn't want to be in all night on the computer, would I?

10 May 2013 at 20:56  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Albert, the article explicitly mentions the Roman Catholic Church and the threat of excommunication. I took that point on in context, I linked it to Muslims and fatwas, and I raised the register of members' interests. It's clear up there, in black and white. You have clearly misrespresented me, and you haven't apologised for it either. Your so-called dilemma is based on a false premise but you're such a control freak that you can't concede it, and to me in particular, so you're gone broken record to try to rescue your position. I'm not obliged to either be "illiberal" or publically agree with your words. You've constructed something out of nothing, whether I agree with you or not, and I'm simply not playing along on principle, so on yer bike you numpty.

10 May 2013 at 21:07  
Blogger Peter D said...

Albert said ...
"The truth is, Dan, it's you that's the attention seeker here."

It has recently been said about a certain tendency of some homosexuals to be bitchy:

"It's in the nature of the fag, who has all the unpleasant traits of the female character without having any of its sweetness and femininity."
(Mundabor)

Oooops ... is that a homophobic comment?!

10 May 2013 at 21:18  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Evening, Dodo. It's no surprise you're on the case now. At least Albert is only at the stage of telling lies by bending the truth to suit his personal agenda, whereas you blatantly and openly tell complete falsehoods and get caught. He's got a way to go before he sinks to your moral depths.

10 May 2013 at 21:23  
Blogger Peter D said...

Lol .... oooh, you are in a fiesty mood this evening, DanJ0.

You so want to open a discussion about 'Dodo'. What a pity he's no longer posts here. Who knows, he may make a guest appearance one evening you can have throw little tantrum.

Keep jumping at those grapes though! Perhaps you haven't yet concluded they're sour.

The Catholic Church "coerces" no-one and no Catholic politician worth their salt would hide their faith. A 'register of interests' for people of faith is a ridiculous and illiberal suggestion. Would you propose it for homosexualists?

Albert and Carl have both fully answered your points, as has Sister Tiberia.

10 May 2013 at 21:41  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

It could be said though, Peter, that the comments of Cardinal Brady over potentially excommunicating politicians who voted for this bill were a political own goal, even if he was within his rights to say it. He hasn't come off well in the Irish abuse scandals, and this has allowed a lot of people to slap the label "coercion" onto anything the Church says on this issue. It just seems to me to be a very stupid way to handle things, but I haven't read exactly what he said, so will reserve judgement till I do.

10 May 2013 at 21:45  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo, you're Dodo whether you call yourself Peter D now. You behave like Dodo here too, as demonstrated by your comment at 22:18. It's your own character so it's to be expected afterall.

10 May 2013 at 21:48  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

So let's recap a little bit. DanJ0 begins this little excursion by stating the following:

I think I'd like politicians to have to declare whether or not they're agents of the Roman Catholic Church on certain subjects. Perhaps in a register of members' interests or something.

An agent is not free. He acts at the behest of another. Obviously the 'other' in this case would be the Magisterium. There is a not-so-subtle inference of inherent disloyalty. The dark specter of ex-communication looms over those who won't submit. But of course in the liberal universe a man is free to act on and advocate for his own worldview. Agreement with the Magisterium does not of necessity imply agency for the Magisterium. So DanJ0 helpfully clarifies.

The point of it is to try to coerce Roman Catholic politicans who might vote another way without the threat. It's to create politicans without their own agency on certain subjects.

And again...

The issue is rather simpler. If I don't agree with certain political stances of the Roman Catholic Church then I shouldn't vote for a Roman Catholic politican if those stances are likely to be exercised. I just need to know whether someone is a Roman Catholic or not before I vote.

So now we know who and what he has in view. He wants to identify those RCs who will tow the Vatican line, or (failing that) to identify those who might be coerced into towing the Vatican line. Who is likely to be 'coerced?' The RC who takes the teaching of the RCC seriously. But wait a minute. If he takes the teaching of the RCC seriously, then he will act in accordance with the teaching of the RCC. So why would he be at risk of coersion? He is not acting as an agent. He is acting on his own agency. Logically, he should fall of DanJ0's list. There would be no need to declare agency because there would be no presence of threat. How do we reconcile these separate threads?

(continued)

carl

10 May 2013 at 21:53  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0 has moved far afield of his original 'simple' issue. He has now narrowed his scope to:

Is it not possible that someone can be a Roman Catholic as an individual and yet vote for something which i against Roman Catholic doctrine as an elected representative of their constituents?

Yes, it is. But we have left behind the idea of identifying those RCs who "agree with certain political stances of the Roman Catholic Church." We are looking for a completely different kind of RC. Is he the liberal RC ala JFK who got elected by saying "I don't believe all that Catholic religion bullshit. You can trust me." Well, no. Such a RC would never be an agent of the RCC. And he wouldn't much care about excommunication either. Most liberal politicians wouldn't. They would just go find a helpful RC bishop or priest to give them Communion anyways. This is the "I am RC and you can't say otherwise" solution. this is also the kind of RC DanJ0 would be happy to support.

So we would have to postulate a RC who in the realm of public policy decided to reject church teaching on an issue significant enough to warrant ex-communication and yet took the church's teaching on ex-comumnication seriously enough that he would change his vote. Who is this politician? How many actually exist? For the sake of this hypothesis, he asserts that all politicians must declare whether or not they will act as 'agent' for the RCC, where agency is defined as 'voting the way the RCC desires.' If a man denies that he is an agent of the RCC, but votes to outlaw abortion, has he lied?

In fact, DanJ0 wants to identify the conservative Catholic - ostensibly because he could be coerced by church authority to act in accordance with the RCC, in fact because he considers conservative religion uniquely dangerous to his vision of a liberal society. But was there ever justice in the original claim of agency? Is coercion the only possible motivation for a change of heart? Could perhaps he be coerced by conscience? Is there a difference? Is conscience a valid authority? Does conscience become an invalid authority if it is formed by the RCC?

carl

10 May 2013 at 21:53  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Hello, Hello ! This is the Inspector General calling from Southern Ireland. Can you hear him, over.

Listen chaps, do NOT underestimate the Irish character which does NOT go along with the destruction of life. All very family orientated here. Repugnent secularism has no place here in this country, don't you know...
Signal breaking up. Will try to make contact again. But not tonight. Storm clouds gathering here....

God save the Queen !

10 May 2013 at 21:54  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I don't see how it can be described as anything other than coercion. As far as I can tell, he has openly threatened Roman Catholic politicians that if they vote in a way that is incompatible with Church doctrine then they may be excommunicated. That is, vote in a particular way in the legislature on this issue or be forced out of some aspects of the Church. I'm not saying that it's unreasonable for the Church to excommunicate people, it has the authority of course, but I think people ought to know which politicians will always vote in line with Church doctrine, and perhaps which politicians will vote that way if they are threatened with excommunication. Afterall, in the UK we have a register of members' (now financial) interests so that it is clear and open to the voting public that some MPs may have divided loyalties between their personal interests and their constituents' interests if they choose to check.

10 May 2013 at 21:59  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

The act of publically threatening excommunication when the issue arises in the legislature is the bit that bothers me in the context of this article. It's saying that if you are wavering as a politican who identifies with the Roman Catholic Church then here is the likely consequences in your own personal life and we have the power and authority to make it happen. It's a threat by a special interest group on individuals and it's intended to influence the voting before it takes place. Essentially, it's blackmail.

10 May 2013 at 22:05  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Or perhaps a form of extortion.

10 May 2013 at 22:20  
Blogger Peter D said...

Sister Tiberia

He actually said very little and refused to be drawn on the issue. I have read his comments - via links on your favourite Catholic weblog.

Carl
An excellent summary - as usual.

DanJ0
Have you read Carl's comments?

"I'm not saying that it's unreasonable for the Church to excommunicate people, it has the authority of course, but I think people ought to know which politicians will always vote in line with Church doctrine, and perhaps which politicians will vote that way if they are threatened with excommunication."

The Church is seeking to protect the individual, not punish them. To cooperate with the evil of abortion is a grievious sin compounded by the sacrilege of taking Holy Communion. Not pointing this out would be a gross failure of Christian leadership. Its not a "political threat".

Really you want to know which Catholics are not really Catholics when it comes down to the wire. As Carl has pointed out, each politician has to excercise their own conscience - as informed by the teachings of their Church - and take the consequences, political or religious.

"It's saying that if you are wavering as a politican who identifies with the Roman Catholic Church then here is the likely consequences in your own personal life and we have the power and authority to make it happen. It's a threat by a special interest group on individuals and it's intended to influence the voting before it takes place. Essentially, it's blackmail."

Pointing out your eternal salvation is at risk is "blackmail"?! By a "special interest group"?! Only an atheist could present it as such; someone who has no belief in the Last Judgement and our eternal destiny. Its not about one's personal life here on earth at all.

10 May 2013 at 22:27  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Have you read Carl's comments?"

TL;DR

10 May 2013 at 22:29  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

Heh.

TL;DR

So you managed to confirm what I said without realizing it?

Priceless.

carl

10 May 2013 at 22:37  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I speak my mind. Whether it confirms what you say or not is not important to me to be honest. But feel free to cherish the concordance if it makes you happy.

10 May 2013 at 22:40  
Blogger Peter D said...

Really?

Well, he demolishes your position and exposed how you wriggled and twisted, like a wriggly, twisty thingey - you know, the way you accuse others of doing.

So you're just talking to yourself and/or trolling Catholics.

10 May 2013 at 22:41  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo, you follow me around like a lovesick teenager trying to talk to me about anything and everything. I couldn't talk to myself here even if I wanted to. Sheesh.

10 May 2013 at 22:48  
Blogger Peter D said...

Lol .... drop the delusional imagery. You've tried that tactic with Albert, as I recall.

You attack my faith and I'll defend it. That's what Roman Catholics do.

10 May 2013 at 22:52  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I attract freaks, especially Roman Catholic ones, like moths to a candle. I have a history of it over the years. There's something about that religion when mixed with an illiberal and/or controlling personality type which creates monsters.

10 May 2013 at 22:52  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo, we both know you follow me around constantly. You've been doing it for over two years, for heavens'sake. Albert really creeps me out with that control thing he has going on but you are equally as bad in your own way as a near constant irritant.

10 May 2013 at 22:56  
Blogger Peter D said...

Sure DanJ0, I believe you. Just keep jumping for those grapes.

Lol ....

"I have a history of it over the years.".

Yes, I dare say you have and I'm sure you do and derive some peculiar pleasure from it too.

10 May 2013 at 23:27  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

If you think I derive any pleasure from having you follow me around being a pest, or from Albert trying for some sort of weird mastery over me then you're very much mistaken. Hell, you were even suggesting the other day that I had emailed the blog owner privately to influence his decision about un-banning you so you actually know what you're saying is not true. Jeez.

10 May 2013 at 23:30  
Blogger Peter D said...

Here we go ... still jumping ... you're wasting your time, DanJ0.

Go down to the relevant thread and read the weblog owner's comments. It was a reasonable, if mistaken, suggestion on my part.

Now, if you really feel the need to continue this nonsense make your comments there and if I think it appropriate I'll respnd there.

Now move on.

This is a thread about abortion and the responsibility of Christian politicians when there's a clash between faith and public office. Much more importsant than you and these fanciful notions you have.

11 May 2013 at 00:03  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

While I was out last night, you accused me of telling lies - again. I wonder if I can sue for that. After all, most of the time, you don't even say where I am supposed to have lied. Here you have, and that gave me the chance to show it was not a lie - it was at best a mistake, but one which did not materially affect the point I was making.

My last comment was this:

I think anyone who looks at the discussion will disagree with you.

Then, despite your accusations of lies, lo and behold, Carl defended a similar point to mine so effectively that it surprised even me.

It clearly took your breath away and you were reduced to a feeble comment about blackmail - and that's the point. Anyone can be blackmailed - even if they haven't done anything wrong. So your principle applies more widely than just to the groups you don't like.

To take an example, the Telegraph recently revealed that a Conservative MP thought gay 'marriage' was wrong, but voted for it, because he was being blackmailed by the gay lobby, presumably for some homosexual act. Now I am sure that his Conservative constituents would have liked to have known about this risk. After all, some doubtless voted for him because they thought the Tories were not going to bring in gay 'marriage', but would instead defend marriage. But the opposite happened with their representative because he was being blackmailed by homosexuals.

What you seem completely to have missed Dan, is that my original post agreed with you. I just think the principle manifestly applies to other groups than just those you don't like. It's called equality, fairness, words that you claim to hold close to your heart.

Cue abuse...

11 May 2013 at 09:30  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11 May 2013 at 09:49  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Albert, what you ought to do in future to avoid embarrassment like this is simply not make stuff up so you can try to force me to engage with you. The article explicitly talks about the Roman Catholic Church and its threats over excommunication. I took that on and commented on it, extended it to include Muslims and fatwas, and linked it to the register of members' interests which brings in the issue of benefits and interests in other areas. You ignored those things, spread out as they are in the thread in a very localised area, and tried to spin it as singling out Roman Catholicism. You then threw in the bit about being discriminatory and illiberal to try to turn up the volume and trigger a response from me because one of my main theme here is one of liberalism. You've subsequently tried to engineer a false dilemma and put it on a broken record to focus attention away from your attempted deceit when called on it. I have no obligation to dance to your tune here, just like on the other thread when you tried it. You really ought to apologise, I think. Also, I've told you many times over the last two years that you really creep me out with this unhealthy focus on me and I would prefer not to have to engage with you but, a little alarmingly, no doesn't seem to mean no with you. You could work on that, too, I think. Now, sod off.

11 May 2013 at 09:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

So, I think what we have at the end of the article is an attempt by the Roman Catholic Church to nobble politicians by trying to coerce them to act as its agents in the legislature on certain issues. We've seen it here in the UK too several times over. Politicians who identify with the Roman Catholic Church are variously prone to being nobbled in this way, depending on how much they value being able to take part in certain activities in the Church and how much it affects their personal lives. As we're not necessarily aware of that potential conflict of interest between their personal life and being representatives for their constituents, I'd like some light to be shone of it I think. Of course, that may be hard as we don't know how much pressure is being put on individuals in private too given the public pressure put on them in the media. As such, I think the Roman Catholic Church through its cardinals in Ireland and the UK has effectively created a situation where a voter probably ought to assume that an MP who is also a Roman Catholic, publically or privately, will act as an agent of the Church in these matters unless stated otherwise.

11 May 2013 at 10:08  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11 May 2013 at 10:15  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Or, put more simply, following attempted nobblings like this, MPs who are also Roman Catholics should be expected to put the interests of their Church over the interests of their constituents in certain matters and probably ought to declare that to their voters as a matter of openness and honesty before they are elected so that voters can decide whether they want to have a representative with split loyalties operating in that way.

11 May 2013 at 10:16  
Blogger Peter D said...

Asked by a reporter if a deputy who voted for the abortion legislation would be be excommunicated by the Catholic Church and should not present himself/herself for Holy Communion, Archbishop Brady replied:

"That is down the line at the moment, as far as we are concerned.
It (our job) is to convince the electorate first of all and the legislators."


Cardinal Brady pointed out that the exact legislation to be introduced is not yet known and added:

"We know what the law is about excommunication, about abortion, that’s a fact. But, as I say, the most important issue at this moment is to win the hearts and minds of the people of Ireland to decide with the pro-life."

The Cardinal described the proposed legislation as "morally unacceptable".

"We’re trying to persuade them not to introduce it. In addition to doing good, we also have to oppose evil and to oppose a law that would take away fundamental rights from people. It should be opposed."

Wow .... blackmail, extortion and coercion! Pointing out the teaching of the Church on abortion.

And this from our resident Cathophobe:

"Or, put more simply ... "

Yes, it is a rather simplistic argument ...

... following attempted nobblings like this, MPs who are also Roman Catholics should be expected to put the interests of their Church over the interests of their constituents in certain matters"

According to Catholicism, the interests of Christians and society are best served by following the Gospel. This includes forbidding the murdering of innocent children in the womb.

" ... and probably ought to declare that to their voters as a matter of openness and honesty before they are elected so that voters can decide whether they want to have a representative with split loyalties operating in that way."

Agreed, people ought to know how politicians will vote on matters considered gravely sinful by the Church they claim to be members of. Why suggest there's some kind of dishonesty or secrecy in not doing so?

However, this is not a division of loyalty between the 'people' and the Church. It is a matter of following the law of God as revealed in Scripture and as taught by the Church they claim to be members of.

Should one ask every MP if they are homosexuals (or being blackmailed by homosexuals) before voting for them? Now, that would be an interesting development and I'm sure the likes of Thatchell would have a field day 'outing' people'! Should we have a register of homosexualists available for public scrutiny? A register of those who may have dabbled with this in their youth? A register of atheists?

Any vote by elected members in a representative democracy that concerning questions of conscience should be a free vote - abortion, homosexual 'marriage', death penalty etc. And it is perfectly legitimate for the all Christian Churches to seek to influence and persuade the electorate and to remind their elected representatives of the implications for their souls and those of the people they serve of how they vote.

“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

11 May 2013 at 11:18  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Why suggest there's some kind of dishonesty or secrecy in not doing so?"

I'm saying that the Roman Catholic Church is trying to coerce politicans as far as I can see. That is what's a bit dubious here. Given that, I think we're in a situation where MPs might need to be explicitly open about this. It's not the MPs' fault, as such. It seems to me they've been pushed a weird situation here by the Church.

"Should one ask every MP if they are homosexuals (or being blackmailed by homosexuals) before voting for them?"

This is one of the reasons why I think it's very important to create an environment where people don't think anything of sexual orientation and therefore people won't feel the need to hide it in future. Luckily, that's the way we're headed so the issue should die out.

"A register of atheists?"

What's the point? Who's going to nobble them and with what? "My Right Honourable Friend, I put it to you that you're an atheist and if you don't vote against this bill then, well, Richard Dawkins will unfriend you from his Facebook page." I'm not seeing the power of the threat there to be honest.

"it is perfectly legitimate for the all Christian Churches to seek to influence and persuade [...]"

Well, as I have said for a long time, I consider the Roman Catholic Church as a political organisation and I think it ought to be treated as such. I'm not suggesting that its attempts at nobbling ought to be made illegal, just that it should probably be made public who is likely to be coerced by its threats of excommunication so that private interests are recognised.

11 May 2013 at 11:40  
Blogger Albert said...

Dan,

Your points have been more than adequately answered by Carl. I think most readers will be surprised by the fact that someone like you who claims to be all about equality and non discrimination, spends so much time evading the the chances to show that you apply them equally and in a non-discriminatory way - i.e. not just in a way which undermines people you do not like.

The impression I have - and I am sure I am not alone, is that you use liberalism as rhetorical tool, unjustly to undermine other people, rather than as a consistent idea.

I'm obviously not going to apologise - you have several times accused me - without evidence - of deceit. At no point have you actually shown where I was deliberately misleading and I have given evidence to the contrary. In fact, it is you that has twisted my words. My post - which was not addressed to you - agreed with your points and simply observed that be consistent, you would need to apply them more widely.

I do not like discussing with you. In real life, I genuinely do not know anyone as unpleasant as you. But I think people like you need to challenged - to see why, look at Charles Moore's article in the Telegraph today:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10049451/David-Cameron-would-like-to-forget-gay-marriage-but-it-will-haunt-him.html

11 May 2013 at 11:43  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Albert: " I think most readers will be surprised by the fact that someone like you who claims to be all about equality and non discrimination, spends so much time evading the the chances to show that you apply them equally and in a non-discriminatory way - i.e. not just in a way which undermines people you do not like."

So, rather than my holding a passive position I must engage with you, dance to your tune, and take an active position on your demand. You tried this on the other thread too by creating something out of nothing, implying that I am illiberal etc, and requiring me to defend myself against you. Why should I when it was quite clear in black and white from the start that I was referencing a point in the article and that I had broadened it out within a message or two? You simply made up the charge to pursue your agenda. I threw it straight back at you and you still chose to pursue it rather than back off. And you're still trying it on.

"I do not like discussing with you."

Yet you insist on doing so and you make stuff up and turn up the volume to try to force me to engage with you because you know I tend to ignore your attempts at engagement as you make me profoundly uncomfortable with this attachment thing you seem to have for me. It's a control thing, isn't it? You decide what happens and no-one is allowed to deny you your desires. Yet I do so regularly and you cannot settle now until you get your own way. It gives me the bloody heeby-jeebies.

11 May 2013 at 12:12  
Blogger Peter D said...

Well said, Albert. These ideas and opinions, do need to be challenged.

And I see someone is frantically jumping at another bunch of grapes .... and look, they're turning out to be sour too.

11 May 2013 at 13:08  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

He hasn't got a leg to stand on here and he knows it. There's no need for frantic jumping around. Afterall, how can he credibly claim it was an honest mistake given my close sequence of posts up there. It was a blatant misrepresentation and its purpose was obvious at this end.

11 May 2013 at 13:17  
Blogger Peter D said...

Are you looking in a mirror, listening to an echo of yourself speak and falling in love?

You are, aren't you?

You admitted earlier you don't read the posts of others when they point out your errors.

11 May 2013 at 14:00  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo, we've been through this so many times yet you never tire of it. You try to hide behind the skirts of someone like Albert, trying to nudge stuff because you can't do these things on your own, and I metaphorically kick you in the nuts. What do you actually get out of it? Seriously?

11 May 2013 at 14:29  
Blogger Peter D said...

Lol .... keep jumping.

11 May 2013 at 15:36  
Blogger Peter D said...

How shocking!

More illiberal 'blackmail'on the poor elected Catholic representatives of Ireland, This time from an American Cardinal. How dare he address remarks to another country?!

Cardinal Sean O'Malley said today that he plans to boycott Boston College's ceremony on 20th May because Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny will attend and be awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree.

"Since the university has not withdrawn the invitation and because the Taoiseach has not seen fit to decline, I shall not attend the graduation."

In an interview with the Catholic Herald, Cardinal O'Malley urged Ireland to stand against pressures to legalise abortion.

Cardinal O'Malley:

"Abortion is the taking of an innocent human life: everyone should resist abortion. Ireland has the good fortune, in part thanks to Catholic sensibilities, that her people have been opposed to abortion despite the great pressure that they have come under from secularising forces.

Ireland should be very proud of its pro-life heritage and how traditionally there has been great importance given to human life. Every life counts, and I am very proud that in Ireland protection is given to life that is as vulnerable as the unborn.

I hope that Ireland will continue to stand up against the pressures - I know the pressures are there. Pressure to legislate for abortion is a dehumanising force in our world. The laws have a function of teaching what is right and wrong. And simply because someone is going to do something, does not mean that we have to facilitate it, condone it, or encourage it."

11 May 2013 at 19:15  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Danjo,

I am not sure why Roman Catholics would need to declare themselves as such by law (I would take that most devout religious people put a bit of what they are up to on their campaign material anyway). I see this as a modern day version of the 'test acts'... Not a very liberal set of laws, I am sure you will agree. What do you want next? A register of Jews and Muslims?

I actual fact I'll vote for the candidate who most impresses me and who fits with my world view. I don't care if that is an atheist, liberal, Tory or whatever. I don't care if they are Jewish or Muslim or Christian.

I care about their policies and what they want to do with the country. I am not going the way of the BNP- i.e. to vote for some-one of the basis of race. I trust that you won't vote for some-one purely because you are antagonistic towards their religion?

Tony Blair is a Roman Catholic. Yet he was the Prime Minister who brought in so many 'equality' legislation and civil partnerships for gays. Yet I can't see the Vatican expelling him any time soon.

One final thought is from the 'secular' American constitution (caps mine) :

Article VI, paragraph 3:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no RELIGIOUS TEST shall EVER be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

11 May 2013 at 22:14  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Anyways, I think Irish democracy is quite robust. As this exchange shows :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugailEn8U5o

(strong language from the start, lol).

11 May 2013 at 23:45  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hannah, if you think the Test Acts are relevant to what I'm saying then you've not understood it.

12 May 2013 at 05:55  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Danjo,

Even so, I think a register for Catholics or anyone of any faith is not the way we want to go in a pluralistic liberal democracy.

Besides which,I don't know of any politician who, if they did have a strong link to a religion, hasn't actually advertised the fact before they got elected. So it can hardly be viewed as something which a politician who want to hide from people or represents a conflict of interest.

Matters such as abortion (the topic on hand) is in the UK (unlike the polarization of US politics) left to free 'individual' non whipped voting.

12 May 2013 at 11:21  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12 May 2013 at 13:39  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hannah: "Matters such as abortion (the topic on hand) is in the UK (unlike the polarization of US politics) left to free 'individual' non whipped voting."

Except that if they self-identify as a Roman Catholic then the Church has publically put a shot over their bows that they risk being excommunicated if they don't tow the Church's line on abortion even though they nominally represent their constituents.

12 May 2013 at 13:40  
Blogger Masrek Rollin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12 May 2013 at 13:45  
Blogger Masrek Rollin said...

A lot of this thread is dominated by a person who says that his orientation means he will never "need" an abortion. Even if he were correctly orientated he would never need one would he?
And since he is the way he is, why does he take such a heated interest in it? Darned odd if you ask me.

12 May 2013 at 13:48  
Blogger Masrek Rollin said...

The RC MPS (and I'm RC before you guess) represent ALL their constituents, even the unborn. That is their job. Children have rights before they are old enough to vote. End of.

12 May 2013 at 13:50  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Danjo,

But if the MP is a self-proclaimed Roman Catholic, why would the Church 'threaten' the MP? Surely the MP would vote according to their beliefs on that subject?

I know that MP's are there to represent their constituencies, but they are not delegates, allowed only to vote as told to them and they also represent their political parties and are committed to their party manifesto as this was the platform they got elected on. This is hence why they don't need to have constant local referendum every time somethings goes to a vote in the House of Commons.

'Moral' matters are always done on a free vote- abortion, death penalty, gay marriage. There was no political whip as such on these.

The MP is deemed to be able to vote as they wish on these according to their own beliefs. I am sure that the gay marriage debate entailed both sides lobbying for an MP's vote, but I think that the MP's voted as they wanted to as much as whatever their constituents said (or did not say).

12 May 2013 at 14:05  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12 May 2013 at 14:07  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Masrek,

The RC MPS (and I'm RC before you guess) represent ALL their constituents, even the unborn".

I assume that you'd be wanting to exclude 'the queers' from this representation,given your views on the thread above?

12 May 2013 at 14:15  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hannah: "But if the MP is a self-proclaimed Roman Catholic, why would the Church 'threaten' the MP? Surely the MP would vote according to their beliefs on that subject?"

What do I say that isn't patronising to a statement like that?

12 May 2013 at 14:49  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Masrek: "And since he is the way he is, why does he take such a heated interest in it? Darned odd if you ask me."

And what does one say in reply to something as blatantly stupid as that? It's like the basics of political and moral philosophy has passed completely by this poor guy.

12 May 2013 at 14:55  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Danjo,

Say what you like, but the logic to me is that if, say Albert, was an MP, wouldn't it be bloomin' obvious that he'd vote in line with Catholic teaching on moral issues?

Now you may have a point with Tony Blair (if he were still in politics). And yet he was let into said Church (whether you agree or not) AFTER he'd signed off on Civil Partnerships and didn't actually advocate measures to restrict or stop abortion.

So I see no reason to worry over registers of religion. The only reason why you advocate one is not for any objective good, but for the simply matter of you disliking religion full stop, to use your phrase 'dubious' and therefore makes religious people automatically suspect to you. You did call religion 'bollocks' on another thread as I recall.

12 May 2013 at 15:03  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

What about the Inspector? He self-identifies as a Roman Catholic. Are all his views 'orthodox'? As it happens, I don't think their threat would change his vote anyway.

"So I see no reason to worry over registers of religion."

Oh well, you've certainly carried the day by saying that. We can all pack up now. Thanks.

"You did call religion 'bollocks' on another thread as I recall."

I'm an atheist therefore it's bollocks pretty much by definition really.

12 May 2013 at 15:11  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Danjo,

Look at it this way, anyone who really cares about being the threat of excommunication is clearly 'devout' enough to already follow their religion, all told

Those who may be more 'cultural' Catholic, by background, would they really care as much if they did vote against a Catholic 'party' line?

And would that happen anyway? I doubt it.

Now the only reason why you want a register - the latest 'liberal' proposal of yours is because of your hostility toward religion. To you it has no place in the public square and therefore has to be 'contained' with members registers.

You deny a comparison between that and a test act. Yet that is the route you are going by, wanting to demand to know what religion a candidate is (although as I've said above, I've not know a devout religious person not to advertise the fact on the doorstep).

12 May 2013 at 15:18  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

"Oh well, you've certainly carried the day by saying that. We can all pack up now. Thanks."

Wow! That's a first. Could this be a sign of a more humble and engaging Danjo ?

12 May 2013 at 15:22  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hannah: "Look at it this way, anyone who really cares about being the threat of excommunication is clearly 'devout' enough to already follow their religion, all told"

So, why do you think the Roman Catholic Church has threatened MPs with excommunication at various times in Ireland and the UK? Surely there's no point because, if one takes your argument to be true, it would have no effect on anyone?

"You deny a comparison between that and a test act. Yet that is the route you are going by, wanting to demand to know what religion a candidate is (although as I've said above, I've not know a devout religious person not to advertise the fact on the doorstep)."

Non sequitur, of course.

12 May 2013 at 15:24  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Well, someone will get the sarcasm, I'm sure, so it won't be completely wasted.

12 May 2013 at 15:25  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

A representative is not bound to vote according to the desires of his electorate. He is elected to make decisions on behalf of that electorate. He is free to make his decisions in any way he sees fit - subject only to the reaction of the electorate come the next election.

Many factions will seek to influence the representative's decisions according to the interests of those factions. Yet each faction may justifiably claim to be a constituency to whom the representative owes some responsibility. To suggest therefore that a representative might "put the interests of their Church over the interests of their constituents in certain matters" is to separate out the RCC (and by extension all religion) into a category called 'illegitimate faction.' It declares the RCC to be an alien presence whose intrusion inherently distorts the political process against the interests of 'constituency.' It seems some factions are allowed to put "a shot across the bow." Others are not. The proposed declaration of 'agency' helpfully instructs the voter regarding who belongs in which category; who may be trusted to act with legitimacy inside the Public Square and who must be watched with careful eyes.

Now DanJ0 doesn't want to establish an open Religious Test for office because it is inherently illiberal. Instead he wants to paint a big orange marker on certain kinds of religious people in order to set them apart as inherently dangerous to his understanding of liberalism. This goes beyond the simple education of the voter regarding a candidate's worldview. He wants to officially stigmatize the religious candidate by having him declare his religious viewpoint the equivalent of a 'special interest.' You know. As opposed to secularists.

The 'coercion' angle is a blind because the threat of excommunication would generally be made against those who don't respect the teachings of the RCC. The individuals who should logically register are exactly those individuals DanJ0 would not want on the registry. But it's a convenient way to introduce the idea of registration. DanJ0 has already given away the game by saying that he wants to identify those who would 'tow the Vatican line.' It's not the possibility of coercion he fears. What he desires to preempt is the possibility of a representative voting according to his RC conscience. But voting according to RC conscience is a perfectly legitimate way for a representative to decide his vote. It doesn't make him an 'agent' of an illegitimate influence.

carl

12 May 2013 at 16:49  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Register of members' interests.

*cough*

12 May 2013 at 17:02  
Blogger Peter D said...

Hannah
At the risk of being accused of hiding behind your skirt, well argued.

The reason the Church points out the risk of excommunication to anyone supporting abortion is to remind Catholics of clear Church teaching on this grave moral evil.

Some devout Catholics, in these days of atheistic secularism, can have their ideas corrupted by the modern world and its emphasis on 'compassion'.

12 May 2013 at 17:04  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Trades unions.

*cough*

12 May 2013 at 17:05  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Private donors.

*cough*

12 May 2013 at 17:05  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Every single candidate has interests according to faction. Every single one. Every single candidate is subject to pressure according to faction. Every single one. If you want every candidate to register every interest according to faction, and to declare himself an 'agent' of faction accordingly, then well and good. But that isn't what you said.

carl

12 May 2013 at 17:07  
Blogger Peter D said...

Carl

One trusts you never wear skirts, so I'm free from the risk of that accusation in your case.

Very well said - again.

12 May 2013 at 17:08  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

At least there's one positive here, I manage to get Jews, extreme protestants, Roman Catholics, and, well, Dodo, whatever he truly is to work together even if it's to make stuff up as a response to an atheist challenge. I should get a reward. :)

12 May 2013 at 17:09  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Poor Dodo, reduced to being a Greek Chorus yet again.

12 May 2013 at 17:13  
Blogger Peter D said...

Non sequitur, of course.

The Catholic Church doesn't pay elected representatives to promote its interests as an organisation within an electoral chamber.

It teaches and explains the Truth and invites Catholics, and other people of good will, Christian or not, to vote according to the revealed Will of God.

12 May 2013 at 17:14  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo, it publically threatens them with excommunication before voting in order to try to chivvy them to act in its interests rather than according to their own consciences and/or constituent interests.

12 May 2013 at 17:17  
Blogger Peter D said...

.... keep jumping, DanJ0.

Poor you, beaten at your own game by air-head Hannah (I think that's what you called her) .... Lol!

12 May 2013 at 17:18  
Blogger Peter D said...

DanJ0

Just how is it in the interests of the Catholic Church to protect unborn children from being murdered in their mother's wombs?

12 May 2013 at 17:19  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo, you'll note that Hannah has fecked off leaving that question I asked her dangling. In fact, I'd say you jumped in to try to help her out after recognising her potential difficulty there. How gallant.

12 May 2013 at 17:21  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Poor Dodo, only really feels comfortable in a crowd when these things happen. Bless.

12 May 2013 at 17:22  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Just how is it in the interests of the Catholic Church to protect unborn children from being murdered in their mother's wombs?"

Foetuses, you mean? Murdered, you don't really mean? Dodo, the Roman Catholic Church is terrified of losing its influence and hegemony. Especially in Ireland. This sort of stuff is an implicit challenge because of its policies, irrespective of the actual consequences on the ground.

12 May 2013 at 17:25  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Did I make up that part about you wanting to identify those who would tow the Vatican line? And what has that to do with coercion by excommunication? People who agree with Vatican teaching don't need to be whipped. Neither do they violate any responsibility to a constituency by voting in accordance with it. But you stated you wanted them identified as well. Here let me quote you.

I think people ought to know which politicians will always vote in line with Church doctrine, and perhaps which politicians will vote that way if they are threatened with excommunication. Afterall, in the UK we have a register of members' (now financial) interests so that it is clear and open to the voting public that some MPs may have divided loyalties between their personal interests and their constituents' interests if they choose to check.

Your motivation has nothing to do with coercion. It has to do with agency and the free exercise thereof. It is predicated upon the assumption that a believing Catholic has a inherent conflict of interest with 'constituency.' That is simply not true. There is nothing unique about the Catholic worldview that makes it inherently conflicted with a Democratic process.

carl

12 May 2013 at 17:29  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Ha, I've been switched from the Third Person to the First Person again. Phew.

12 May 2013 at 17:40  
Blogger Peter D said...

DanJ0

And so you descend to personal abuse ... again ... how terribly predictable and how terribly, terribly, boring.

To think you've spent 2 years on here trolling and attempting to pick holes in the religious world view and yet you really don't understand it all!

Let me give you the answer:

Individual Priests, Bishops, Cardinals and Popes of the Church will have to give an account to God of their Ministry. And so too will each member of the Body of Christ.

That's the single greatest influence the Church should always be attempting to exercise - their only legitimate "interest".

"All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world."

12 May 2013 at 17:42  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi danjo, um i have a LIFE outside of this blog. U indicated the discussion was over...,. But hey if u want to continue fine with me. But laters as im doing other stuff right now.:)

12 May 2013 at 17:48  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

I have to wonder. I am no part RC. There would be no risk of the RCC influencing my vote. And yet my voting pattern would be largely indistinguishable from that of a conservative RC - especially on 'certain topics.' Would I therefore have to register as an 'agent' of the Vatican? Would DanJ0 be any less desirous to know these things about me even though I am Protestant? Objectively speaking, I would have the very same divided loyalties between personal interests and the interests of my constituency. I should be required to register my 'conflict of interest' as well.

So when does conviction merge into conflict of interest? When does a worldview create divided loyalties?

carl

12 May 2013 at 17:48  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

I typically address you in third person because you said you weren't going to interact with me over fear of being sued or some such nonsense. That's fine. I don't care one way or the other, to be frank. But if you accuse me of "making stuff up" I will respond directly.

carl

12 May 2013 at 17:52  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Individual Priests, Bishops, Cardinals and Popes of the Church will have to give an account to God of their Ministry. And so too will each member of the Body of Christ."

Clearly the threat of that hasn't stopped the Church's clergy having sex with each other, or abusing youngsters, or systematically covering it up. The Church manifestly has interests of its own which it ruthlessly tries to protect, and the same obviously goes for its staff. I'm a worldly and well-travelled person, Dodo, so your parroting the company line doesn't really do much for me.

12 May 2013 at 17:53  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "I typically address you in third person because you said you weren't going to interact with me over fear of being sued or some such nonsense."

I don't have any particular fear of being sued by you, that was Hannah's rather flighty interpretation, I just haven't got the tolerance to bother with someone who might be prissy and self-important enough to do so given his use of the word "slander". Lordy, the shit I've took on here from Christians over the years, explicitly as insults and abuse or more subtly as the sort of stuff Albert does, and I just give it back. That's one of the benefits and the costs of using a nom de plume, people can pretty much say what they want since it has no effect in the real world. And they do.

12 May 2013 at 18:00  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hannah: "Hi danjo, um i have a LIFE outside of this blog."

It didn't take you long to pick that one up though, did it? ;)

12 May 2013 at 18:03  
Blogger Peter D said...

DanJ0

No it hasn't and they will have to give an account to Christ for this and the harm they have done. However, His door is always for the repentant sinner and I pray for their eternal souls.

As for the rest ... non sequitur, of course.

"I'm a worldly and well-travelled person," says you. I completely agree you are worldly. And one can travel a million miles and learn much, little or nothing at all.

12 May 2013 at 18:06  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Besides, Carl, I'm pretty sure you stated well before that you no longer saw any point in exchanging opinions with me. From my point of view, that's probably because I spotted the false dilemmas that were at the core of each of your boilerplate. A hazard of the cold, no compassion, no compromise version of religion you hold. It lends itself to reductionist argiments, I think. No doubt you'd cast it differently. But hey.

12 May 2013 at 18:09  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Well, then, DanJ0 we have reached another understanding. I will keep right on referring to you in the third person when I feel your arguments haven't been adequately addressed.

As for the rest, I shall let the reader consider the source.

carl

12 May 2013 at 18:10  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Or, as evident in this thread immediately after I joined in, you just want to engage anyway. That's fine. As it happens, you don't creep me out and you are not a constant irritant. Your religiously-inspired views scare the hell out of me of course but you're American so you're a safe distance away.

12 May 2013 at 18:22  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

I'm pretty sure you stated well before that you no longer saw any point in exchanging opinions with me.

It was actually caused by the first time you knowingly and falsely attributed opinions to me. The whole "OMG, he might sue me" episode was the second such event. (btw, whether or not you intended to communicate that message, that was exactly the message you communicated. Hannah wasn't the only one who read it that way.) But frankly you can be hard to avoid on this weblog. If I think a response is needed, I will respond. I you respond, so be it. If you don't, so be it. It's not about you.

I don't need your approval for my posts or my arguments. I really don't care about your opinions on such matters. You are free to think what you like.

carl

12 May 2013 at 18:23  
Blogger Peter D said...

DanJ0 said ...
Your religiously-inspired views scare the hell out of me.

Clearly they don't!

12 May 2013 at 18:57  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Well I did write an answer, but the moment seems to have passed (so to speak), especially as Carl and Peter have provided additional flesh to the arguments (and I wouldn't want Danjo to feel we are all ganging up on him). It is quite quiet here, so I think the circus has moved on.

13 May 2013 at 09:21  
Blogger Naomi King said...


CONCEPTION TO BIRTH, so incredible...

Watch this clip (and get anyone else who is willing to to watch it too) and you and they will realise the wickedness of abortion.

New X-ray technique
This is an amazing color video on human life from conception to birth using the newest 360 degree x-ray scanning technology that won its two inventors the Nobel Peace Prize.

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=fKyljukBE70

13 May 2013 at 14:54  

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