56

Aiming at China, Blind Lawyer Forces U.S. to Deal with Forced Abortions

One man is forcing Hillary Clinton to pay attention to abuses against women.

The woman who famously said in Beijing in 1995 that “women’s rights are human rights” has been excruciatingly silent since she’s come into power about one of the worst abuses against women. Mrs. Clinton’s first trip to China as U.S. Secretary of State in 2009 was marked by her deliberate decision not to address human rights.  Chief among the abuses is forced abortions of women who want their child.

“Chinese delighted after Hillary Clinton avoids human rights criticism,” blared the London Telegraph summarizing Hillary’s visit. As she said before her trip, “Our pressing on those issues can’t interfere on the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis.”

Now, blind attorney Chen Guangcheng has thrown the issue right into her lap. Days before Hillary and U.S. Secretary of Treasury Tim Geitner will be in China for high-level finance meetings, Chen escaped house arrest. He is reportedly in U.S. protection in Beijing.

A self-taught lawyer, Chen became internationally famous for exposing forced abortions and sterilizations of rural Chinese women. Family planning officials brutally beat him, jailed him for four years and then imprisoned him in his home without charges.

Chen’s daring night escape couldn’t come at a more opportune time. The Obama administration and Chinese government are now in crisis mode to deal with the situation prior to this week’s meetings.

Chen is not seeking asylum. He would like stay in China as a free man and to guarantee the safety of his wife and two children. This weekend a video appeared on YouTube of Chen calling on China’s premier Wen Jiabao to address abuses committed by local officials. Are the local officials acting on Party orders, he asks, or on their own? Either way, China’s premier must end it.

The Chinese officials’ mistreatment of Chen grabs most of the attention. But this international crisis finds its roots in China’s brutal one-child policy. Abuses by local officials were first against women and their families who wanted a child, then against him for exposing the gruesome deeds.

The population policies that local officials were enforcing came from above. However, an honest look at who is responsible will be very uncomfortable for Hillary and President Obama.

Investigations of population control policies that lead to forced abortions and sterilizations reveal the heavy hand of Western internationalists. Groups like UNFPA coordinate, justify and fund the people who commit wide-spread abuses.

One of Obama’s first acts as president was renewing funding for UNFPA. The UN population agency had been cut off from federal funding by the Bush administration because UNFPA is involved in China’s brutal one-child policy, even commending it as a “model” for other countries.

Both the U.S. and China claim Chen’s case will not overshadow the official meeting this week. Yet some observers believe this may be the most significant challenge to US-China relations since China’s crackdown on student protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Challenging the Chinese government over human rights abuses, Chen’s brave actions have put the Obama administration in the hot seat. UNFPA and other population advocates should also feel the heat.


Wendy Wright is the Interim Executive Director at C-FAM.


  • Folkpunch

    “…China’s brutal one-child policy…” China has over a billion people. The world’s population estimated at 7 billion. This is a huge problem and we need to deal with it. What looks like “abuse” from a distance – China Bashing has been a favorite American sport since the Chinese threw off colonial aggression and declared independence in 1949 – may be the only recourse open to a species wishing to save itself from extinction.

    “Groups like UNFPA coordinate, justify and fund the people who commit wide-spread abuses.” Yes, China gets aid form the United Nations Population Fund, as well it should. This is serious business. In order for humanity to survive we must first eradicate poverty, and secondly curb population growth.

    • Mary Kochan

      I vote that we let a little Chinese baby be born and dismember you instead. Same benefit to the population equation.

      • Folkpunch

        Mary… That’s a very nasty thing to say and it does not look good for you or your faith. Are you serious? Would you repeat that?

        • The commandment is “Love one another” not “Be nice to one another.” Mary is pointing out that murdering you and murdering a preborn child are morally equivalent acts.

          • Folkpunch

            PrarieHawk…. If that’s love I’d hate to see the other part. To say that dismembering (You said “murdering,” not her. That’s interesting isn’t it?) a sixty two year old man with an extended family is morally equivalent to aborting an unborn fetus is nonsense. Look, if you love humanity then you are obliged to join in the international struggle to resolve these issues. We will not survive once we go too far past the tipping point. This is not a secret; the planet cannot accommodate that many more people, our systems cannot feed and house them. The Chinese have emerged from a dark history of children sold on the streets for lack of money, women with broken feet “to look pretty,” and numberless surplus people who had no value to their own country. They have made great progress.

  • Tarheel

    Let’s do eradicate poverty. But not at the cost of a child’s life. Born or unborn.

    • Folkpunch

      I agree that in a perfect world we could save everybody and all pregnancies could be brought to fruition. But this is not such a world. Poverty is violence, and overpopulation in such poverty is a sure recipe for disaster.

  • Tarheel

    Poverty is violence? Please explain.

  • Folkpunch

    The concept goes back to Gandhi. The poverty he was referring to, as am I, is that which is created and maintained by an unjust social/economic system. Capitol needs a certain amount of poverty in order to operate, call it a surplus labor pool, whatever. There are barriers in place to keep most people from actually getting out of poverty. I am saying, as was Gandhi, that the mechanisms that keep people poor are violent, poverty breeds violence, and therefore poverty itself is violence. Over population is one of the mechanisms of poverty. Too many mouths to feed, never the time to get out of the cycle.

    • Flip that around and ask yourself, what if the solution to poverty (or cancer, or our dysfunctional government, or anything we humans face) lies with someone who was aborted? The Green Revolution in India was begun by one man, Norman Borlaug, who is “credited with saving over a billion people from starvation” (Wikipedia). What if Borlaug had been aborted? Isn’t it more prudent, more safe, more sane to cultivate life instead of death? If poverty is the issue, then why the war on children?

      • Folkpunch

        Hitler could have been aborted as well. Or Ted Bundy, or Jack The Ripper. There is no war on children, that is a gross misrepresentation. The quality of life for all people, children, elderly, women and me, is greatly improved by sensible, reasonable social programs. In countries where women have the least power they tend to have the most children. And the society over all is less free. A free people, a democratic people with equality and justice, have fewer wars and less poverty. Again, this is an open secret.

  • Tarheel

    Is it poverty breeding violence or man’s frustration? So would you say the Catholic Church is wrong in its stand on abortion and contraception? And if so, why?

    • Folkpunch

      It’s normal to be frustrated by poverty when there is no way out. Yes, I think the Catholic Church is wrong on this. Like I said, it has been shown that a more liberated society is less paranoid, less belligerent, involved in fewer wars, has a higher standard of living, more educated, and has less poverty. Women need to be in control of their reproductive lives. This is essential. The human population is increasing at an unsupportable rate. The key is women’s liberation.

  • I’m taking my marbles and going home because I don’t have the stamina for what would be an extremely long and difficult discourse to try and persuade you of enough truth so that you will believe water is wet. Bless you, friend. May you find happiness.

    • Folkpunch

      Okay. I’m happy as a clam, but thanks for the good wishes. The thing I’ve noticed about Faith is that when questioned it retreats.

      • Mary Kochan

        Why can’t you take PrairieHawk at his word that he simply lacks the stamina for the conversation? You have a lot of nerve. I happen to know him and his health situation and happen to know that if he says he lacks the energy for something he really does and is not making a lame excuse to avoid being challenged. I expect you to apologize. No one here has retreated from anything you said. But some of us have other things to do besides rehash tired saws we have answered a thousand times.

        And after you apologize, you can tell me how you differ from an unborn Chinese baby such that you have the right to not be killed in order to reduce the population, but the baby does not.

        • Folkpunch

          Mary…. You are really quite chilling. “…tell me how you differ from an unborn Chinese baby such that you have the right to not be killed in order to reduce the population…” I can see you at the head of an Inquisition team, or maybe saving the souls of Indians at the request of Queen Isabella, or forcing the Jews to wear distinctive clothing at the orders of the Pope. (Gasp! He can’t say that!) I will apologize for my comment, of course. I meant to say, “The thing I’ve noticed about Faith is that when questioned it either retreats or has you ceremonially killed.” Said PrairieHawk: “extremely long and difficult discourse to try and persuade you of enough truth so that you will believe water is wet.” Which means that I am like a child in the presence of his wisdom. Such arrogance is truly stunning.

          • Mary Kochan

            PrairieHawk was gentle and gracious in his comment to you. Your response was mocking. I don’t like to see that. (By the way, I run this site.)

            You find it chilling that someone would ask you to prove that you should not be killed to reduce the population, do you? But at least you are being asked to prove that you should not be killed. The little Chinese baby is not even given a chance to make a case for himself or herself. And rid yourself of your feigned outrage, unless you are really so stupid that you don’t recognize that I’m using a rhetorical device to allow you to bring out the full implications of your argument. Back to the point:

            In what way do you differ from the unborn Chinese baby such that you have a right not to be arbitrarily killed to reduce the population and the baby does not have that right? I will remind you that you are the one who claimed to have a different moral status from the unborn baby. What I am doing in this question, is asking you to supply some basis for your claim of having a different moral status.

  • Folkpunch

    Mary………. Let’s start at the beginning. I posted my first comment saying that over-population is a real problem, and that China, which has a HUGE population, is taking it very seriously. I said, “In order for humanity to survive we must first eradicate poverty, and secondly curb population growth.”

    The very first response to my post came from you when you said, “I vote that we let a little Chinese baby be born and dismember you instead.” So who started what? I said that population is a serious problem and you threatened to kill me. I said that was a nasty thing to say and PrairieHawk said, “Mary is pointing out that murdering you and murdering a preborn child are morally equivalent acts.” I have been consistently reasonable in my comments and I have been threatened with murder and dismemberment.

    “PrairieHawk was gentle and gracious in his comment to you.” Actually he was condescending; my response was to comment on the way that faith doesn’t like to be challenged, not him personally, unless you want it that way.

    “In what way do you differ from the unborn Chinese baby such that you have a right not to be arbitrarily killed to reduce the population and the baby does not have that right?” We are talking about e fetus here, not a baby, please use the correct terminology. To throw my arbitrary killing into the mix is a complete red herring. The topic is abortion as a part of population control. I cannot be aborted since I am already an adult human being. End of story.

    Let me ask you this: Are you as militantly in support of the lives of already born as you are the of preborn?

    • Mary Kochan

      Let’s leave aside any question about PrairieHawk since that is not really pertinent and we are simply of two opinions about it.

      I think it is ridiculous to say that I “threatened” to kill you. It was obviously a rhetorical statement based on the fact that you are arguing that it is perfectly okay to tear the arms and legs off of unborn babies. Then again, it may not have been obvious to you if you are unaware that dismemberment is a common form of abortion prior to the third trimester. The baby is literally pulled limb from limb and taken in pieces out of the mother. The pieces are then reassembled on the tray to make sure that all parts of the baby’s body are there (http://www.100abortionpictures.com/Aborted_Baby_Pictures_Abortion_Photos/Enlargement.cfm?ID=38). Doctors who perform this gruesome procedure like to use the more artistic term “disarticulation”. I could just as well have suggested we drown you in a vat of acid, so you could die like the babies who are burned with saline solution before they are delivered (http://www.100abortionpictures.com/Aborted_Baby_Pictures_Abortion_Photos/Enlargement.cfm?ID=45). Do you have a preference about which way you would like to do your part to reduce Earth Earth’s population?

      Now you object that this is a “fetus” and not a baby. I will give you several answers to that.
      1. The terminology “fetus” is language based upon the stage of development of the unborn child. it is the next stage of development after the embryonic stage: the unborn baby is a “fetus” from the end of the eighth week of pregnancy through the 40th week of pregnancy. So the only dividing line between a “fetus” scientifically speaking and an “infant” scientifically speaking, is birth itself. Now both the fetus and the infant are correctly termed baby in common speech. Using the terminology “fetus” instead of the common term “baby”, no more changes the moral status of that being then does using the term “infant” instead of “baby” once the child is born.
      2. Any sane, rational human being observing a fetus, either in the womb through the marvel of modern imaging technology (like one of the images right now at the top of our site), or seeing the fetus lost through miscarriage, or seeing the fetus in pieces reassembled on a tray in an abortionist’s office (http://www.100abortionpictures.com/Aborted_Baby_Pictures_Abortion_Photos/Enlargement.cfm?ID=29), or seeing an older fetus delivered whole, whether having been killed by an abortionist before, during, or after delivery(http://www.100abortionpictures.com/Aborted_Baby_Pictures_Abortion_Photos/Enlargement.cfm?ID=101), or being lovingly cared for as a preemie (http://www.babycenter.com/101_preemies-gallery_10323467.bc) or newborn would recognize it as what it truly is: a human baby.
      3. The use of language to evade the reality of the humanity of someone that we desire to kill is well understood. Calling the unborn child a fetus when one wishes to kill it and a baby when one wishes to keep it does not in any way change the moral status of that being. All that changes is our recognition of the great moral wrong that is being done to that human being through the use of dehumanizing language. A woman who intends to keep her baby will referred to her unborn child as her baby. She will never refer to her unborn child as a fetus, and neither do her friends and family refer to her unborn child that way. A woman who suffers a miscarriage will say “I lost my baby”; she will never say “I lost my fetus”.

      Since I am not a person who has publicly stated that I think it is ok to kill an innocent human being, but you are, I am not going to be distracted by some red herring question. YOU are the one who has something to defend here.

      And let’s be clear, in the name of women’s liberation, you are defending a woman who wants to keep her baby being forced to abort it.

      But let’s get back to the question you never answered: in what way do you differ from that unborn Chinese baby such that you have a right not to be killed to reduce the population of the earth but that baby does not have the same right? I note that this is the third time I have asked this question and you have yet to answer it.

  • Folkpunch

    “Since I am not a person who has publicly stated that I think it is ok to kill an
    innocent human being, but you are, I am not going to be distracted by some red
    herring question. YOU are the one who has something to defend here.” Please go back to the beginning of this thread and you will see that what I stated was that it is necessary to seriously address over-population. Period. You said that I should be dismembered. That was your first comment to me, and the first of all comments to me on the thread. Here are your exact words: “I vote that we let a little Chinese baby be born and dismember you instead.” Okay?

    “But let’s get back to the question you never answered: in what way do you differ
    from that unborn Chinese baby such that you have a right not to be killed to
    reduce the population of the earth but that baby does not have the same right? I
    note that this is the third time I have asked this question and you have yet to
    answer it.” Again, this is a red herring. This has nothing to do with the topic but is designed to side track the conversation into a direction where there is no possible resolution. The topic is the use of abortion in population control. Again: I am a 62 year old man. I am not a fetus and I cannot be aborted. I can have ideas, as can you, and we can talk about those ideas, but neither one of us can take the place of the central argument itself.

  • Mary Kochan

    Induced abortion is the intentional killing of a fetus. A fetus is an innocent human being. A fetus is an innocent human being who may be anywhere from 8 to 40 weeks after conception. While it is true that you cannot be aborted, you can still be killed. But, of course, you come under the protection of the law, because you are an innocent human being whose life may not be terminated without due process of law.

    I ask you once again, how is it that you differ from the innocent unborn human being such that your life ought to have the protection of the law and the innocent human being who is unborn ought not to have the protection of the law? By stating that you are 62 years old are you claiming that the law ought to distinguish between the lives of innocent human beings on the basis of their age? If that is not the moral claim you are making, please specify on what basis your legal status ought (the ought implies we are discussing a MORAL claim) to differ from that of the innocent unborn baby.

    You see behind the law that protects your life there is a moral judgment, to wit: that an innocent human being possesses a right to life and it may not be taken away without due process of law (in fact, the FUNCTION of the due process of law, is to ascertain whether or not a person is guilty and only if guilt is established may the law provide for the abridgment of the right to life.) What I’m asking you to do — this makes the fourth time — is explain in what way you differ from the innocent human being who is an unborn baby such that the law should recognize your right to life and not the right to life of the unborn baby. You still have not answered that question.

  • Sam

    I don’t think he’s going to answer, Mary. His argument is emotional, not logical. If he were using logic, then he would know that a human fetus is a human. People who support the killing of humans in the womb are already beginning to support murder of the disabled. The next step is murder of the elderly and unwanted. Supporting a cause that advocates killing based on stage of development or proper development supports one’s own end when one reaches the stage in development when one is deemed no longer worth supporting. Those who support that cause are in denial of the natural progression of such thinking. Hitler’s eugenics program, which included elimination of “undesirable” material from the genetic pool, shows us that after killing the disabled, (which is being discussed now) the progression is toward killing those who are merely unwanted or inconvenient, like those who are differenly colored, or sized, ugly, et cetera. Hitler’s minions even had slick, sanitary trucks in which to exterminate their unwanted citizens. Of course, they soon graduated to larger facilities to “accomodate” larger portions of the population, didn’t they?

    Interesting that those who support abortion never stop to think about the word itself, which means “to end something prematurely.” It does not mean to stop something before it happens. To abort a fetus, then, is to prematurely bring an end to an unborn human child. Just looking up the definitions of “abort,” “fetus,” and “offspring” tells you all you need to know about exactly what an abortion is. Bottom line: the fetus in the womb is a child, period.

    People can justify and twist or ignore words all they want, but that doesn’t mean reality changes. And the reality is that abortion murders defenseless children.

    Global overpopulation is a myth. And China is a horrible example of how to handle it if it ever does happen. Someone needs to pay less attention to silver-screen fantasies and more attention to reality.

  • Folkpunch

    You are really serious about justice for the unborn, aren’t you? You are righteous in your rage. Well, I have a question for you.

    Do you have the same sense of righteousness toward the young and vulnerable once they are born? Would you defend adolescent children with the same enthusiasm? I ask because there is nothing on your site – NOTHING – demanding justice for the thousands and thousands of vulnerable children who have been and are being sexually molested by Catholic priests, right now as we speak. This is serial pedophilia, on-going, international and epidemic. If I were a Catholic and I cared at all about my faith it would be my number one priority – NUMBER ONE before anything else – to bring the criminal clergy to justice, to arrest and sentence them to the limit of the law for the crimes they have committed. To expose and deal with the enablers – the bishops and popes who hide the truth and help these creeps get away. AND I would raise whatever money is necessary – even if I had to liquidate the assets of the Vatican – to see that all the victims of this on-going atrocity get the counseling and treatment that they need to recover. This is not something to sweep under the rug.

    The misery and filth that your priests have placed on those very vulnerable young children are beyond my comprehension. Does this not bother you? Why are there no banner headlines on Catholic Lane directing people to attorneys and counselors? Do you defend the unborn so that you can hand them over to your priests? Is that what this is about?

    You don’t have to answer me, you can just get mad. You can say the devil made them do it, and he’s making me attack you now. You can say that your church is holy and filled with immaculate love and that the flesh is dirty and that nobody really understands you. But I am challenging you to be a decent human being and do the right thing. Smash that ridiculous medieval institution and save those children before it’s too late.

    • Mary Kochan

      Once again, I refuse to be distracted from the fact that now — for the fifth time — you have failed to answer my question. I have said and done absolutely nothing ever, at any time in my life, to cause anyone to believe that I countenance the sexual abuse of children or adolescents or for that matter, anyone of any age, therefore I am not on the defense regarding that issue. It is you rather who have defended forcing women to experience the ripping of their desired children from their wombs by tearing them limb from limb or if their baby is too old for that to experience being forced to give premature birth and have their baby, if still living, drowned in a bucket.

      I will make the comment that your last paragraph is insulting and stupid. You do not know any serious, thoughtful Catholics who have ever said any such thing. You are a complete ignoramus to attribute those sentiments to me or any other Catholic who has not expressed them.

      But back to the question that you are having such difficulty answering: in what way do you differ from an unborn baby SUCH THAT the law ought (moral claim) to recognize your right to life and not that baby’s right to life?

    • Sam

      Okay, Folkpunch, I get it. You’re a troll. Har har.

      • Folkpunch

        Sam…. Trolls don’t pay attention to detail or personally engage other people. You know better than that. By calling me a troll you can get yourself off the hook and avoid any real talk.

        • Sam

          Mary’s central argument is that ALL human beings have the right to life, from the moment of conception to the moment of death, and that no human being has more of a right to life than another. When asked consistently to justify your argument by explaining how you have a right to live but the child in the womb does not, you consistently dodge answering the question. When pressed, you declare in grandiose fashion in what is supposed to be your final response that not being a fetus yourself the central argument is irrelevant. You miss the entire point, since the entire point is that both you and the fetus in the womb are both human, and you both have the same equal right to live, and that neither you nor the child in the womb has the right to declare that the other does not have a right to live for any reason. No one has the right to declare another human being to be less than human, or other than human, etc. This moral and natural law applies to the entire human race regardless of age or any accident of birth or mutilation or anything else.

          It is Satan himself who endeavors to convince each and every one of us that we are worth more than someone else, that we are better than someone else, and that we have a right to live and someone else does not. Devaluation of the human person and the dignity inherent in each member of the human race because we are all made in the image and likeness of God is a priority with the Enemy. Those he has ruined spread their corruption to others, if not through corrupt action then through corrupt teaching and/or example. It is only a corrupted form of morality which would support the murder of the defenseless and innocent for the sake of convenience. Women conceive life in their wombs despite condoms or other prophylactics. They conceive despite the abortifacient pills pushed upon them, despite chemical preventative measures. It is a miracle that the human body can still exercise the procreative power and mandate given it by God humself despite all that people do to stifle it.

          Abortion doesn’t just kill children. It destroys families, deadens inside both the men and women involved in it, and leads to dire consequences for the mothers themselves including death. The murder of children in the womb is an absolutely satanic scourge to the entire world. Make no mistake about it, the abortuary is Satan’s modern sacrificial altar. The murderers dismembering children might as well be his “priests.” And that makes anyone who supports abortion the devil’s evangelist.

          How you lead your life and what you choose to believe is your choice. Make the right one. God Bless.†

  • Folkpunch

    “for the fifth time — you have failed to answer my question.” I answered it every time. I am not a fetus and have nothing to do with the central argument. That’s your answer. Period.

    About the pedophilia: you can’t hide from it. By doing nothing you are an accessory to child rape. Your silence betrays you. Just like the good Germans, except that you can’t say that you don’t know because everybody does. It’s easy to defend the unborn. It’s what happens when they’re alive that counts.

  • Folkpunch

    By the way, my “last paragraph,” the one that you call stupid and insulting, is a reference to the only full-length article about Catholic pedophilia that I could find on your web site. The point of the article was that it was the work of Satan and that the way to combat the abuse was to learn more about how Satan operates and to pray more. In which case you insulted yourself.

  • Mary Kochan

    Unless the article actually said “the flesh is dirty” and denies that pedophiles are to be brought to justice, it does not in any way advance your argument. And if it does say “the flesh is dirty” give me the link and I will remove it because that is a heresy in the Catholic faith.

    Saying that sins are the work of the devil does not in any way deny the responsibility of the human actors. You seem to be upset because this website is not “about” pedophilia or sexual abuse. I am sure that somewhere online you can find a website that is about this subject since you have such a strong interest in it.

    Every website cannot be about everything. Just like every article cannot tackle every aspect of every topic. It is quite amazing that at your age someone should have to point this out to you.

    But I digress. Because you still have not answered the question. Simply pointing out that you are “not a fetus” as you have done repeatedly does not answer the question. The question was not “how do you differ from an unborn baby regarding your stage of development?” It was: how do you differ from an unborn baby such that the law ought to recognize your right to life but not the right to life of the unborn baby?

    Every time that I have asked how your moral status differs from that of the unborn baby, you reply that you are not a fetus which is just another word for an unborn baby. You have said nothing regarding your moral status versus that of the unborn baby.

    I see that I’m going to have to explain this to you. So let me use as an illustration the fact that the law treats you and a five-year-old differently with regard to contracts. You are allowed to legally enter into a contract. A five-year-old is not legally allowed to enter into a contract. Let’s consider the moral basis for that distinction: it has to do with competency.

    The moral basis for the distinction between you and a five-year-old, or anyone under the age of majority, with regard to contracts has to do with competency. It is considered immoral to allow someone to enter into a contract when they do not have the competency to understand or fulfill the contract. Therefore, when it comes to contracts children have a different moral status from adults. This different moral status (competency versus incompetency) is the basis for their different status under the law. Please note, that although the law generally recognizes a different moral status for minors with regard to contracts that it is competency not age per se that is the moral basis for this distinction, because regardless of age a person who is legally recognized as incompetent is legally prevented from entering into contracts.

    If I were to ask you the question, in what manner do you differ from a child such that the law ought(moral basis) to recognize that you have the right to make a contract and a child does not? the answer to that question is not to keep saying over and over again that you are not a child. Because the moral basis of the law is NOT age. Instead the answer to that question would be that you are competent and the child is not competent because the moral basis of that particular distinction under the law IS competency.

    This is why you have not answered the question. You have not explained in what manner you differ from the unborn baby SUCH THAT the law ought to recognize your right to life and not recognize the right to life of the unborn baby. What is the moral basis for that claim?

  • Folkpunch

    This is going nowhere and I think I’ve learned all I can, so I’ll get out of your hair and you can get back to whatever you were doing before “The Outsider” showed up. Just a parting rap-up.

    First of all, I came to this site by following a story. I wanted to comment on it but I had to join first. Once I was in I started browsing around. I noticed the general conservative slant and followed the right wing connections of some of the authors. The Catholic Church has a lot of power and I think it’s official opinions need to be challenged. It moves governments and influences millions of people.

    So I found the article about China and the one child policy. Predictably the article focused on abortion rather than population. And luckily for the author there was a woman who wanted to have her baby but the government was saying no. It was perfect; if she didn’t exist you would have to invent her. So I made my comment and things started off.

    To recap for the last time, my first comment was ONLY about how important population control is. The first response was from you, Mary, and you said I should be “dismembered.” PrairieHawk agreed, underlining the point by using the word “murder.” (I thought to myself, “Isn’t it interesting that the Catholic Church, an institution that has routinely used violence over the centuries to expand it’s empire and influence, has immediately turned to violence in this little online exchange?”) I wrote: “To say that dismembering a sixty two year old man with an extended family is morally equivalent to aborting an unborn fetus is nonsense.” And we were off to a raging battle!

    You have asked me over and over what is my moral justification for saying I shouldn’t be killed instead of aborting a fetus, and I have explained over and over: I am not a fetus. The only legitimate alternatives to abortion in the context of the story are 1) adoption, 2) making allowances for larger families in certain circumstances, 3) seeking political asylum for the mother, that sort of thing. Killing me is total BS and only serves to steer the conversation into an emotional power trip of violence and retribution, which you seem to enjoy. But you have your agenda and will not allow for anything else. So I figured I would try to define the focus of your love for children. The pedophile priest scandal is a good place to start. The obvious question is: Do you love them after they’ve been born? To be honest you don’t seem to.

    The point is not that you had anything to do with it, hands on. You probably didn’t. The point is that you are silent. The point is that children are being sexually molested by Catholic priests and you, being a Catholic, are not doing anything about it. Like I said, this should be the number one priority, but it’s not even on your radar. You love them before they are born and then you abandon them. Your love is hypocritical, your heaven is full of rage, and your vision of childhood is haunted by sex predators. So I’ve seen all I need to and I will go onto other things.

    Goodbye.

  • GuitarGramma

    Dear Folkpunch,

    I know that you are new to this site, so it is a certainty that you have not read all the numerous comments by “the regulars” here. I’ve been traveling, and thus not posting, for the last few weeks, so I missed this conversation until today.

    Interestingly enough, my very last comment on this site did just what you accuse “us” of never doing: I called for the punishment of any priests who have abused minors.

    But let’s please be clear: Sadly, it is not just Catholic priests who abuse children. Here where I live, the news a couple of years ago was filled with firefighters involved with child pornography. Yet no one, I repeat, no one, is accusing all fire fighters of “enjoying” (I gag at the word) child pornography. Public school teachers have abused public school students in much greater numbers — and percentages — than have Catholic priests, yet no one is accusing all public school teachers of abuse.

    Further, if you look at the very, very highest estimates of priests involved in the abuse of minors, roughly 19 out of every 20 priests are completely innocent of these crimes. Thus 19 out of 20 priests are being tainted by these horrific crimes despite their complete innocence. I believe that since Catholics know and love these 19, we do not dwell inordinately on the crimes of the 20th.

    Now, I must tell you, that you are completely wrong that pro-lifers, such as those who post on this site, care only about children before they are born. I know this because I know these people. Pro-lifers are people who seek justice, whether for the born or unborn. Please do not characterize them as uncaring do-nothings once a baby has been born. That is simply a convienient myth invented by the pro-choice movement, and it is utterly false.

    If you will, I’d like to speak about over-population. Mary has, in her usual blunt way, asked you to justify your life over that of an unborn Chinese baby. It’s an important question, because we have grown to 7 billion people here on this earth not because the birth rate has skyrocketed, but because you and I and our parents and grandparents are living longer. You are coming to the end of your productive years, a Chinese baby in the womb today will be coming into his productive years not all that long after you retire. Does that not argue for him having a greater right to life than you or I do?

    I gather from the answer you gave Mary, however, that you — at 62 years of age with a family – feel you have a greater right to life because your family loves you. Well, in China, even mothers who love their unborn babies are being forced to abort/kill them! I hope that breaks your heart as much as it does mine.

    Here’s the truth: Mary thinks that you have every bit as much of a right to live as any unborn Chinese baby. She wasn’t calling for your death, she was calling for you to look with fresh eyes at what is going on in China.

    It is little known that Gene Roddenberry of Star Trek fame was an ardent pro-lifer. He wrote an episode, “Half a Life,” for The Next Generation that is quite pertinent to our discussion. In this episode, the Enterprise visited a planet that kept their population under control by requiring that all 60 year olds commit suicide. As is always the case, that planet’s language gave it such a comforting name: The Resolution. But one man, on the eve of his 60th birthday, fell in love with Lwaxana Troi. She begged him and eventually convinced him to refuse the suicide. His family rejected him, the government denied him the right to work, and all manner of pressure was exerted over him. Eventually he gave in and committed suicide.

    Since it is our ever-increasing life span that has brought us to 7 billion inhabitants of this planet, what do you think of Gene Roddenberry’s fantasy?

  • Folkpunch

    Just sticking my nose back in for minute here. I find the level of denial and fantasy belief astounding. GuitarGramma – This is from the “City Of Angels Blog” (http://mojoey.blogspot.com/2012/04/city-of-angels-blog.html), a site monitoring abuse:

    “The number of pedophile priests found so far in the U.S. Catholic Church is “extrapolated” to be as high as 10,969 according to Bishop Accountabillity.org, and they are still counting.

    “The international numbers get higher as courts order release of documents in American and European dioceses. “The percentage of paedophile priests is 20 to 200 times higher than the incidence found in the secular population,” according to a report by Vania Lucia Gaito that City of Angels has published in today’s post.”

    And, “The percentage of pedophiles amongst clergymen in Ireland is thirty times higher than the percentage of pedophiles amongst the common people.”

    You may downplay it but the numbers are out there and they scream louder than your denials. You say you “called for the punishment of any priests who have abused
    minors.” You may have but that is not the same thing as making it your number one priority, is it? Lots of people make little calls for justice and then go back to business as usual. What I am saying is that the pedophilia should be NUMBER ONE, screaming from the mast head of every Catholic web site and newspaper world wide. Think of is as a hospital being caught poisoning it’s patients – nothing would go back to normal until it was dealt with. You guys have a lot of house cleaning to do.

    AND – one last time: This argument began about abortion in China. Abortion is defined as “the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus.” Therefore, I CANNOT BE ABORTED. The ONLY rational alternatives are, as I said: change the law, get political asylum for the mother, and so on. Killing an older man in another country is completely off topic and idiotic. It is a call for brutality reminiscent of the Inquisition! (Oh, wait a minute, that was official Catholic policy for 500 years. Maybe it’s still going on?)

    And please, Star Trek was a science fiction TV show. Leave it there.

    Somebody named Sam posted a comment that I got in an email update, but it doesn’t seem to be here on the site. Maybe it was removed. The update emails are sent when a new comment arrives so it must have been here at least for a while. Anyway, Sam again distorts the argument and calls for an equation between abortion in China and death to older men in America. Ridiculous.

    But it gets worse. Sam says, “It is Satan himself” who is behind abortion. “Make no mistake about it, the abortuary is Satan’s modern sacrificial altar. The murderers dismembering children might as well be his ‘priests.’ And that makes anyone who supports abortion the devil’s evangelist.” We cannot have a discussion if either one of us employs particulars that can only be known by belief. I mean, is it okay for me to introduce Voodoo? Scientology? Can I use references that I invent as long as I believe in them? Please, let’s act like adults and refrain from fairy tales. And quite frankly, the reference to “abortuary” sounds too much like the rhetoric accompanying clinic bombings.

    So barring circular and self-referencing arguments I think we are right back where we started: Global population is a serious problem that needs to be seriously addressed. With reason and humanity. We are long out of the Dark Ages. Let’s act like it.

    • Mary Kochan

      Extrapolated numbers aren’t numbers that are “out there” — they are numbers in somebody’s head. Believe me, we all really, really would love to see you demonstrate ability to reason…

  • Folkpunch

    Mary, you are very funny. You don’t want me to reason, you want me to agree with you. Be honest. If you used the “ability to reason” your whole faith would fall apart. Religion and reason don’t mix, you know that. Here’s a few things to chew on.

    “Nearly 60 percent of Chicago’s Roman Catholic parishes have had a priest publicly accused of sexually abusing a child, according to a report released by three advocacy groups.”

    Source: http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/chicago-archdiocese-priest-abuse-report-104819759.html#ixzz1wSnnaxXV

    “The Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee confirmed Wednesday that it paid suspected pedophile priests to leave the church.”

    Source: http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/155634795.html

    “The head of the Irish Catholic Church apologized on Monday to victims of sexual abuse but rejected calls to resign after a TV documentary reported the cleric failed to warn parents their children were being sexually abused by a priest in 1975. The documentary, broadcast by Britain’s BBC on Tuesday, said child victim Brendan Boland gave Cardinal Sean Brady the names and addresses of children being abused by pedophile Brendan Smyth during a Church investigation but Brady failed to act to ensure their safety.”

    “Ireland announced last year it would close its embassy to the Vatican, one of the Catholic country’s oldest missions, after relations hit an all-time low over the Church’s handling of sex abuse cases.”

    Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/07/us-ireland-church-idUSBRE8460V620120507

    • Mary Kochan

      “Religion and reason don’t mix.” That is an amazingly ignorant sentence. No, that is not what I know. In fact, I know quite the opposite and so do/did all the scientists who believe/d in God, like:

      Copernicus, who was urged by Vatican officials to publish his work.

      Sir Francis Bacon who established the scientific method and who rejected atheism as being the result of insufficient depth of philosophy (you could be a poster child for this), stating, “It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity.” (Of Atheism)

      Johannes Kepler who established the laws of planetary motion about the sun.

      Rene Descartes, a devout Catholic all his life.

      Blaise Pascal mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and… well, well, well… theologian! He published a treatise on the subject of projective geometry and established the foundation for probability theory. His last words were, “May God never abandon me.”

      Isaac Newton, no educated person can be ignorant of the importance of faith to him.

      Robert Boyle, one of the founders and key early members of the Royal Society, Boyle gave his name to “Boyle’s Law” for gases, and endowed a series of Boyle lectures, or sermons, which still continue, ‘for proving the Christian religion against notorious infidels…’

      Michael Faraday one of the greatest scientists of the 19th century for his work on electricity and magnetism which revolutionized physics.

      Gregor Mendel who the first to lay the mathematical foundations of genetics.

      William Thomson Kelvin whose work covered many areas of physics, and like his fellow physicists George Gabriel Stokes and James Clerk Maxwell was a man of deep Christian commitment.

      Max Planck best known for quantum theory. In his 1937 lecture “Religion and Naturwissenschaft,” Planck expressed the view that God is everywhere present, and held that “the holiness of the unintelligible Godhead is conveyed by the holiness of symbols.”

      Albert Einstein who created major revolutions in our thinking about time, gravity, and the conversion of matter to energy and who said “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

      Not to mention philosophers, like, oh, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas?

      Have you ever heard of these people?

  • Sam

    Folkpunch,
    First of all, my post was a response to one of yours. It can be found above by scrolling through.

    Second, you’re posting on a Catholic website, and some of the conversation has been about objective moral law. That means you’ve been debating religion the whole time. So grow up.

    Third, the Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition still exists. It is now called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Pope Benedict XVI was the prefect of the CDF until he was elected to the Papacy. It is the CDF which handles cases of priests accused of pedophilia. Did you catch that? The Inquisition handles cases of priests accused of pedophilia.

    Fourth, it seems to me that the problem with war is that it is violent and so much misery and death result from it. It seems to me that many people’s problem with the Inquisition is that they believe that so much violence, misery and death resulted from it. Yet abortion is violent and causes even more misery and death, and by your logic that must keep the cycle going. To say that you can solve a worldwide problem of violence, misery and death with more violence, misery and death is to say that you can solve the problem with a program of “sensible, reasonable” war. Yet war, being violent, only adds to the problem. Your argument is completely illogical, being complete nonsense.

    Having written what you have written, you are clearly not versed in Catholicism or history, but still:

    Your reference to the “dark ages” is laughable. Am I meant to conclude that I am an unenlightened barbarian for affirming the reality of God, the Gospel of Life, and objective moral law? Are you now the enlightened one because you support brutally dismembering babies alive in utero and deny the reality of God and objective moral law? How is it not the depth of brutality to dismember children? You admit that abortion lessens population growth, and even provide a definition of abortion which states that the children in the womb die as a result of abortion. If children die as a result of abortion, then they were alive to begin with and it is murder, period. You support the murder of children. Face it.

    You came to a Catholic website to post your pro-abortion rhetoric, and yet you balk at direct religious references? You don’t like the terminology? Would you like some cheese to go with that whine? In John 8:44, Jesus tells us that Satan is a murderer. Murder is therefore satanic. And so is supporting it, whether you call it murder, or abortion, or whatever. If you don’t like being called a devil’s evangelist for preaching abortion, then don’t preach abortion.

  • GuitarGramma

    Dear Folkpunch,

    I find myself amazed at the anger with which you responded to me. Tempers are definitely flaring in this conversation, but I want you to know that I am seeking to engage you in a non-confrontational manner. I ask that if you direct a comment to me, that you and I agree not to exhibit anger towards each other.

    Regarding priestly abuse of minors: I followed the links you gave, but I am afraid that I cannot find the statistics you quote. I’m sure that they’re there somewhere, I just couldn’t find them. As I am a mathematician by training, I always like to look at statistics to see if they are being used correctly. You’ve heard, I’m sure, that delightful quote popularized by Mark Twain, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” As you were good and honest enough to include the word “extrapolated” in your quote, I have to thank you. As a mathematician, I do have to tell you that there are all sorts of ways to extrapolate numbers, some of which are more useful than others. So until I see the method of extrapolation that was used, I’m going to stand by my “19 out of 20 are innocent” statement.

    There are three more things which I would like to discuss with you in this post. 1-Abortion as seen by Catholics. 2-Priests abusing minors. 3-Star Trek’s ideas. Sorry about that last one, but it’s important.

    #1-Abortion. I am going to respectfully ask you to put on “Catholic hearing aids and eyeglasses.” When we Catholics hear “abortion” we hear “murder.” To us, it doesn’t look any different than a man pulling out a gun and shooting his adulterous wife. Do people have good reasons for seeking abortions? They’d say yes. Does that man have a good reason for shooting his wife? He’d say yes, too. But we Catholics think that both are equally wrong, and we don’t want either one to happen. Hence Mary’s tongue-in-cheek “vote” to reduce overpopulation by letting the Chinese baby live at your expense. Mary thinks that baby has every bit as much right to live as you do. Please, I beg you, tell me if you can see that’s what she meant? It’s so important. But to answer that, as I said, you need to understand that we love 62-year old men as much as we love 62-day old fetuses.

    #2-Priests abusing minors. I wish that you could know what disgust I feel that this occurred even once. What trust was betrayed! What crimes were committed! I am physically sick thinking about it. I call again for every single priest who ever abused anyone to be punished to the full extent of the law, in this world and the next. I also call for every fire fighter and every school teacher who has abused a minor to be punished.

    But what I will not do is blame all fire fighting departments nor all schools nor all Catholic parishes for the sins of a small minority of priests. I cannot, for that would be prejudice, something against which I have fought my entire life.

    I can tell from your posts that you are every bit as disgusted by the priest scandal as I am. You call for “a lot of house cleaning.” Amen! And that is precisely what the Catholic Church has been doing. I refer you to the John Jay report and to the investigations and to the arrests and to the de-frocking of priests. Further, I ask you to recognize that most of the cases of priests abusing minors are decades old. Decades! The house cleaning is working.

    But I must say one more thing, and for this — again — I need you to don those “Catholic hearing aids and eyeglasses.” We Catholics think that legalized murder of minors, i.e. abortion, is worse than sexual abuse. I would much rather survive a rape than to have my throat slit. Tough words, I know, but I am again begging you to see it as we do.
    Both are horrid, but one is worse than the other.

    #3-Star Trek. Just as a point of interest, Star Trek was so much more than a science fiction TV show. Cast member after cast member have described each episode as a small morality play, and they have quoted Gene Roddenberry as having said so, too. He tried to bring forward provocative ideas through science fiction in an attempt to change the world.

    But enough about Star Trek. In your original post you call for curbing population growth. To restate my original premise: We are not overpopulated* because of the number of births on this planet; we are overpopulated* because of increasing life spans. What do you think of the idea that we change the law to require suicides at a certain age? Or, perhaps less drastic, that we pass a law that no one may receive health care past a certain age? Each would solve our overpopulation* problem, and to some extent reduce poverty since no one would be spending any money on health care past that particular age.

    I apologize if my suggestions seem outlandish or ridiculous. I am attempting to help you understand how we Catholics think. You see, we Catholics feel that abortion is so monsterously wrong that using it to curb overpopulation* is both outlandish and ridiculous. I hasten to say that I am not calling you either outlandish or ridiculous, please don’t think that I am. I understand that you do not see abortion the way I do. I am just hoping that you will hear what we hear so that you might understand us.

    I wish you all the best.

    *Overpopulation: As a mathematician, I have run some calculations regarding the number of people on this planet to visualize just how “overpopulated” we are. Are you aware that if we chose to corral every person in this entire world into the state of New Jersey, they could all lie down and still have room left over for another 5 billion people? Personally, that makes me feel like we have a lot of room left on the earth.

  • noelfitz

    I have not contributed to this discussion before. However may I say that Folkpunch really seems to lack understanding of the Catholic Church in Ireland, and thus does not contribute to a constructive debate?

    • Mary Kochan

      … in Ireland… and in the United States, and in the world, and in history…

  • Folkpunch

    Sam… I know this is a Catholic site, but the church is a global political organization. If it was just concerned with matters of faith and worship that would be fine but it has played hand in glove with political empires for centuries. So it is open to challenge from the world at large. So who needs to grow up? You seem to be pleased that the Inquisition still exists, and you seem to expect me to be impressed with the idea that it is handling abuse cases. I’m not. Pedophilia is a matter for the police. This is not a time for the church to be investigating itself.

    You say, “the problem with war is that it is violent.” There are defensive and offensive wars. Wars of liberation and wars of oppression. Is it wrong for a people to liberate themselves, to defend themselves? I think you oversimplify.

    “…..you are clearly not versed in Catholicism or history…” I think what you mean to say is that I do not accept the Catholic version of history, and you are right. I don’t, not without question. There is no such thing as “objective moral law.” All morality is culturally specific. You ask me if I feel enlightened because I support “brutally dismembering babies.” What was an “embryo or fetus” is now a baby. Then you say, “How is it not the depth of brutality to dismember children?” What was a baby is now a child. So we go from embryo to baby to child all in the same breath. AND THEN you say I “support the murder of children.” “If you don’t like being called a devil’s evangelist for preaching abortion, then don’t preach abortion,” you say.

    Let me ask you honestly, Sam: How do feel about bombing family planning clinics? Would that be a good idea in light of saving the lives of the unborn?

    GuitarGramma… I’m not sure how to answer you. Like I said above, I am well aware that this is a Catholic site and that pretty much everybody here is a believer. But I also know, and I think you would have to agree, that the Catholic Church is a global political entity and has been involving itself in the affairs of state of many different countries for centuries. So it will be challenged. And I will no longer address the “abortion in China vs. killing the man in America” idea, it’s been done. It is absurd.

    You mention the John Jay Report. With all due respect, this is what we refer to as the “Blame Woodstock Explanation.” The hippies made me do it. It won’t wash. You want me to understand that Catholics “think that legalized murder of minors, i.e. abortion, is worse than sexual abuse.” This goes back to my original, if somewhat crude point that the church loves them before they are born but abandons them afterward. Again, not a good idea.

    “What do you think of the idea that we change the law to require suicides at a certain age? Or, perhaps less drastic, that we pass a law that no one may receive health care past a certain age?” We already don’t have health care so I guess you’ve gotten your wish. “Are you aware that if we chose to corral every person in this entire world into
    the state of New Jersey, they could all lie down and still have room left over
    for another 5 billion people?” Are you aware that all those people would need to be fed, housed, clothed, schooled, and everything else? Could you survive lying on your back in New Jersey for 60 years? Damn.

    Mary…. You are making me laugh again. Of course I’ve heard of all those people, and of course most of our human history has passed through religions in one way or another and so of course many of our famous names have been allied with the faith of their time and place. Did you only mention Christians on purpose or was it an oversight? And everybody loves Einstein, he was so quotable. Here’s another good one: “The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.” (Letter to philosopher Eric Gutkind, January 3, 1954)

    When I said that religion and reason don’t mix I mean just that. They don’t mix, that is exist in the same space. It’s totally possible for a religious person to also be reasonable. But religion itself is not reasonable and collapses under examination.

  • Folkpunch

    Mary…. Here’s another Einstein quote I thought you might find interesting. It can be found in a book called “American Freedom and Catholic Power” by Paul Blanchard. It’s from a letter he wrote in 1954. It’s totally on target for what we’re talking about.

    “I am convinced that some political and social activities and practices of the Catholic organizations are detrimental and even dangerous for the community as a whole, here and everywhere. I mention here only the fight against birth control at a time when overpopulation in various countries has become a serious threat to the health of people and a grave obstacle to any attempt to organize peace on this planet.”

  • GuitarGramma

    Folkpunch, I’d like to thank you for responding to me in a respectful way. I appreciate that. I could have done without the four-letter word, but I presume you were striving to be funny.

    In my last post, I was basically asking you to get inside our heads and try to understand the positions we hold. I was not asking you to agree with us, just to try to understand. From your response, I don’t feel like you made the effort. Please let me know if I am wrong.

    The main objection I have to your response is that you seem to be turning my arguments into characatures. Let’s ennumerate: We pro-lifers abandon children after they are born, that there is no health care in America, that I suggested we all lie down in New Jersey for 60 years.

    Folkpunch, none of that was fair. I repeatedly stated how horrendous child abuse is; you ignored that. I referenced steps the Catholic Church is taking to protect children; you mocked those. Let’s look at some of the other issues we each have raised.

    Pro-lifers not only fight to keep fetuses from being aborted, but they babysit and provide food and help in numerous, numerous ways. Just last night I heard about a man who begged a girl going into an abortion center to let her baby live. She responded, “Well, what am I supposed to do then? Will you adopt my baby?” And he and his wife did!

    Here’s a challenge for you: Call your local Crisis Pregnancy Center and ask them specifically what they’ve done in the last 60 days for babies that they saved from abortion. I hope that doing so will change your mind about us “abandoning” those who have been born.

    As for health care, I’m sure you didn’t mean that we literally “don’t have health care.” We have the finest health care system in the world (I’ve lived overseas, so I’ve seen the difference). I speak as a mother who nurtured a young-adult daughter through cancer and have the medical bills to prove it. My daughter’s tumor was one millimeter shy of the government-imposed cut-off in England for receiving chemotherapy. Here in the US, chemo saved my daughter’s life; in England, one millimeter later, she would have died.

    So, facing this real-life example of government restriction on health care, I challenge you again: If it’s OK to curb overpopulation by coerced government abortion, is it also OK for the government to forbid people from receiving chemo — or for that matter, antibiotics — past a certain age?

    To be fair about New Jersey, I talked about visualizing the overpopulation problem, not actually lying down for 60 years. To recognize that the entire world’s population wouldn’t even fill New Jersey puts the overpopulation of this planet into perspective. Yes, all these people need food and clothing and shelter. The lack of these basic necessities seems to follow the politics of one’s home country. It follows that politics, not scarcity, is often the cause of poverty.

    In your response to Sam, I believe that you brilliantly summarized the very reason why we are going round and round in circles with each other: You stated, “There is no such thing as ‘objective moral law.’ All morality is culturally specific.”

    Therein lies the underlying philosophy that separates us. We believe there is objective moral law. Because of this foundational philosophical difference, we may never see eye to eye.

    But I want you to know that I will fight for your right to live until the day I myself die. I believe that objective moral law requires me to do so. I believe that Hitler violated objective moral law with each and every Jew and homosexual he gassed. I will stand and fight for you, Folkpunch, because I believe that you have dignity and worth from Almighty God in heaven. I will not bow to the shifting winds of culture. I have your back.

    Again, I wish you nothing but the best.

  • Folkpunch

    GuitarGramma…. You ask me to “get inside your head.” That’s not the point. Like I said, the Catholic Church is a political entity and I am challenging it as such. You and Mary both have the habit of asking me to be open minded or reasonable, and really what you want is that I agree with you. I don’t. You can believe whatever you want but when it comes down to manipulating the politics of the world that I live in I am going to respond.

    I’m sorry but the “fitting the world’s population into New Jersey” illustration is crazy and it puts nothing, absolutely nothing, into perspective. We are human beings, we can’t just lie there in rows. We need services, land to grow our food, factories to make our goods, etc and etc. It is lunatic to employ any kind of example that doesn’t figure that stuff in. So it IS funny and I’m sorry if it’s not what you want but you have basically created your own caricature. I’m not going to repeat the pro-life/abandonment argument, it’s already there. And no, we do not have the “finest health care system in the world.” A lot of people know that they could never afford to get sick so they just don’t get checkups. Our system is a laughing stock and a cruel joke. And I guess that’s also part of the “abandon them when they are alive” idea. If the pro lifers cared that much about the living they agitate tirelessly for universal health care. But they don’t.

    The first definition of “morality,” according to Merriam/Webster is “of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior.” Please give me an example of an objective moral law that is not socially defined.

  • GuitarGramma

    Hello again, Folkpunch,

    I have never asked you to be open minded or reasonable. I simply asked you to try to understand us Catholics without agreeing with us. You’ve now told me that you are not interested in understanding us, so I will drop that.

    Regarding health care, you are certainly right that it is expensive, and there does need to be reform of the payment system. I’m with you there. As I said, I’m still paying off the loan we took out to pay for our daughter’s excellent medical care.

    I’m befuddled about why you skipped over my real-life comparison of UK vs US health care. It’s a perfect illustration of the trouble with government-funded health care. I’m sure that you are looking forward to 2015 when you will be 65 years old and eligible for Medicare. But I’ve lived under socialized medical care, and I can assure you that it isn’t “universal.” Governments that pay for medical care also ration it, so that’s why I don’t advocate for it.

    But let me not skip over your request of me, as I do appreciate you asking. You requested an example of an objective moral law that is not socially defined. I’ll give you two:
    1-Hitler should not have murdered Jews, gypsies, and homosexuals.
    2-Priests should not sexually abuse children.

    Again, I wish you well.

  • Folkpunch

    GuitarGramma ….. “I’m befuddled about why you skipped over my real-life comparison of UK vs US health care.” Well, everybody has stories. When I was in Sweden I had stomach trouble, friends took me to the hospital where I saw a doctor and got a prescription and I was back in business. No charge. Same in Ireland when my back went out. Here in America a 24 year old man died of a tooth ache because he couldn’t afford the meds. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/insurance-24-year-dies-toothache/story?id=14438171#.T8r76FIoC-o

    “1-Hitler should not have murdered Jews, gypsies, and homosexuals.
    2-Priests should not sexually abuse children.”

    Under Nazi morality Jews, Gypsies and homosexuals were subhuman, often described in terms of diseases. Disposing of them was a way of cleansing the German race, which was the morally correct thing to do. You can look this stuff up if you want.

    Maybe priests should not sexually abuse children but in many cases it seems to be the morality that they should be protected by the church once they have been found out, as was the case in Philadelphia. “Monsignor William Lynn, secretary of the clergy for the Philadelphia Archdiocese for 12 years, is charged with conspiracy and endangering children. Prosecutors say he protected suspect priests, and reassigned them to jobs where they could abuse children.” http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/law/jan-june12/monsignor_06-01.html

    In any case, both of your examples are culture specific. Please find me a law or morality that is not culturally specific.

  • noelfitz

    GG,
    congratulations on your clear reply to FP. It s balanced and respectful and if FP wishes to be involved in a serious debate it will be fruitful.

    • GuitarGramma

      Thank you, Noel. A serious debate is precisely my goal. I appreciated your input earlier in this discussion, especially as you reside in Ireland. You bring a perspective we US residents cannot.

  • wild rose

    Folkpunch and friends have presented this cradle Catholic the opportunity to learn some in-depth teachings of the Catholic Church. Truth is not determined by majority vote. Proud to be Catholic.

  • Sam

    Mary,
    Let’s not forget Monsignor Georges LeMaitre, the originator of the Big Bang Theory, among other things.

    Folkpunch,
    If we can’t investigate ourselves, then the necessary housecleaning cannot take place. You can’t have it both ways. The Church is the Body of Christ, not the body of Caesar. In America, priests accused of such atrocities are removed from ministry and rarely returned. The cases are turned over to the police for investigation. Whether or not they are found guilty, their lives are ruined and they will be hounded by people the rest of their lives, and railed against after they’re gone. Organizations like SNAP dig up every one they can and make their lives miserable. And in each case it begins with people turning their backs on them and shutting them out into the cold. If guilty, they deserve it all and worse. But the fact is that the Pope and the bishops are setting things in motion to insure the abuse comes to a screeching halt. They are removing the guilty priests, in some cases those who have only been accused, and also the bishops who covered it up. When you read in the news that the Pope “accepted the resignation” of a bishop who covered the mess up, it means the Pope ordered him to resign.

    The largest, loudest voice in the world for human rights and religious freedom is the Catholic Church. The moment we allow the State to trample the Church to do a little housecleaning, that voice is lost. The largest charitable organization in the world is the Catholic Church. The moment we allow the State to dictate who may and may not receive the Church’s charity and why (and the Obama administration is trying to do just that), then the poor, oppressed, and helpless worldwide will suffer even more because the system through which they would have received help will be crippled. The largest, loudest voice for the right to life for all humans, from conception until the moment of death, is the Catholic Church. The moment the Church gives in to the State and begins paying for contraception and abortion that voice is silenced and the State will begin to decide who lives and who dies. A State which decides what you will and will not believe, which decides which people are worth more than others, which decides who will and will not receive charity when down on their luck and purposefully overlooks those they consider not worth the trouble, which controls both the size and lifespan of its population through murder both before birth and after “usefulness” has expired…is that a place you really want to live? These are just some of the reasons we Catholics stand up for what we do. One of the functions of the CDF is to draw a line where the Faith ends and everything anti-Christ begins. So I am very thankful they are here.

    A fetus is a baby is a child because he or she has been begotten by a father and conceived by a mother through an act of procreation which causes him or her to be. At the moment of conception the man becomes a father and the woman becomes a mother. A pregnant woman is called an “expectant mother” because she already is a mother to the child in the womb and anticipates the birth of her child. The word expectant itself means pregnant. The brutal truth is that abortion doesn’t make you not a father or mother; it makes you the father or mother of a dead baby.

    You asked how I feel about abortion clinics being bombed. Destruction of another’s private property violates the 7th Commandment. We are to treat the goods and belongings of others with respect and we are not to deprive them of them against the reasonable will of the owner. If people are caught in the blast and are mutilated or killed, then it violates the 5th Commandment as well. I don’t think I need to explain, “thou shalt not kill.” Either way it violates the 1st Commandment, since all of the other 9 fall under the 1st. In either case, exacting revenge, which we are told is the Lord’s, is made more important than God, whom we are told to love above all things, and the 1st Commandment is broken as well. God tells us repeatedly in the Bible that he desires loyalty and mercy from us, and obedience to his commandments, more than he does sacrifices for penance. We must love God above all things, and love our neighbor as ourself. Bombing abortion clinics is not an act of love. It is an act of fear and hate, which would not be present if love were present. There are better ways to stop the grave evil of abortion, all of which are legal, and none of which involve death and destruction. Peaceful methods are the ones we must employ.

    Abortion itself is done so many times out of fear. The woman and/or her man are terrified at the prospect of having their lives irrevocably altered. And the salesperson at the abortuary plays on their fear and makes them believe that they can go back to lives of convenience with no more responsibility than they came in with, that hope against the tide of anxiety about to overwhelm them lies in the abortician, and their fears can be put to rest, if they only have the money. Selling anything is all about playing on people’s fear and offering them a relief from that fear for a price.

    For women to obtain true freedom over their reproductive lives they need to learn to practice abstinence, the only 100% effective method of preventing pregnancy.

  • Tarheel

    Well said Sam. Thank you!

  • Folkpunch

    Sam………. “If we can’t investigate ourselves, then the necessary housecleaning cannot take place.” Sorry, child molesting is a criminal act punishable by the state. Priests, bishops, even the pope, are subject to arrest. The pope, of course, hides behind some sort of political immunity so that may take time. The Catholic Church is a political entity and you know it. By agitating against abortion you do politics, by influencing votes you do politics, by maintaining a city state you do politics. The Vatican, where the pope lives, was created in 1929 by Pope Pius XI and Benito Mussolini. Serious political stuff.

    “The largest, loudest voice in the world for human rights and religious freedom… largest charitable organization… largest, loudest voice for the right to life… is the Catholic Church.” You are so full of yourself. Number one is false, number two in unsupportable except by Catholic sources (ahem), and number three is also false.

    “A fetus is a baby is a child…” Wrong. Fetus: an unborn or unhatched offspring of a mammal, in particular an unborn human baby more than eight weeks after conception; Baby: a very young child, esp. one newly or recently born; Child: a young human being below the age of full physical development or below the legal age of majority. These are all dictionary definitions.

    “For women to obtain true freedom over their reproductive lives they need to
    learn to practice abstinence, the only 100% effective method of preventing
    pregnancy.” Learn it? Who would teach them? You? The priests? You know very well that this will never happen – it is criminal and cruel to demand that people not show physical love for each other. The only humane solutions at this time are the ones that you and your church are opposed to.

    So how do you REALLY feel about clinic bombings? I mean, in your secret thoughts. I know about the commandments, they’ve never stopped anybody and they wouldn’t stop you. The words you use are scary: “abortuary” and “abortician.” “Abortuary” is a propaganda term invented by the so-called “pro life movement” – it is designed to created a composite image in the mind of Hitler ovens and family planning doctors. “Abortician” is a word that you just made up, making it even more nakedly propagandistic. Words like these wind up in “Talking Terrorism: A Dictionary of the Loaded Language of Political Violence.” So be honest, when somebody shoots a doctor or bombs a clinic, do you feel just a little tinge of vindication, just a little delight?

  • GuitarGramma

    Dearest Folkpunch,

    It looks like you’ve got your mind made up about us. It doesn’t seem to matter what we say; you, because you know us so very well, know what we’re REALLY thinking. Prarie Hawk lacks energy, so you know that he can’t defend his faith. Sam states the reasons why he’s against abortion clinic bombings, but you know that he feels a tinge of vindication and delight. These statements by you betray that you hold stereotypes of Catholics, and nothing we say can change your mind about us. I’m very sorry to see that.

    I’m sorry that you don’t want to take us at our words. I know that I’ve meant every word that I’ve said. And I’ll add a few more: I think that shooting an abortion doctor is as bad as aborting a fetus — I am adamantly, completely, totally against both actions. I feel the same way about the bombing of an abortion clinic. I have condemned these actions steadfastly.

    Please believe the next thing I am going to say, also. I am leaving town tomorrow, something I don’t like to post on the Internet. Please do not think that I am running away, as I have enjoyed our debate. But the rest of my life is calling and I must go.

    As always, I wish you well.

  • Folkpunch, friend, you’ve come unhinged. I’m back after saying I have dropped out of the conversation (hey, you did it too!). I make no apologies for our sinful Church or the fallen world we live in. I will ask only one thing, the central question we Catholics have had to answer for ourselves:

    Could God become a man? Could the gospel be true? Could Jesus, God-made-man, been born of the Virgin and crucified for our sins? Could he have risen again to open to us the passage to Heaven, a way to unspeakable happiness and glory? Is there anywhere within you the inkling that this may be possible?

    I ask only that you consider the question prayerfully. You don’t have to answer in this forum. Instead take it to bed with you tonight, and hold it in your heart.

    You can say that I am peddling fairy tales, but this proposition is at the core of our faith. (It is also, by the way, the reason faithful Catholics put up with things like the priest abuse scandal.) All of us who have responded to you in this forum believe that Jesus is God, and that he died and rose again. All of us have hope for Heaven. This is why we’re so confident and determined to persuade. You can have this hope too.

    You are in my prayers. May God bless you and your family and friends.

  • Folkpunch

    GuitarGramma….. Well, I certainly hope you have a good trip wherever you’re going to. Regarding your post, you say “I’m sorry that you don’t want to take us at our words.” But if you look at back at what I’ve written it IS your words that I am responding to. When Sam uses words like “abortuary” and “abortician” all the red flags go up. Early on he said, “the abortuary is Satan’s modern sacrificial altar. And that makes anyone who supports abortion the devil’s evangelist.” Red flags and warning bells. That’s right out of the playbook for clinic bombings. I am not making things up and I am not amused. How can you defend this?

    PrairieHawk…. I appreciate that you want the best for me, that’s very nice, thank you. Do I believe in the Christian mythologies? No, not any more than I believe in the Hindu myths, or Zoroastrian, or Hebrew, or Islamic, or any one of thousands of others. There are some good stories, a lot of contradictory collages and some real repressive old laws. I think it’s sad that this is all you can ultimately bring to the table.