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Kmiec rebuts Chaput: Good Catholics can vote for Obama

posted by David Gibson

Douglas Kmiec has become perhaps the most prominent of the pro-life Catholic “Obamacons.” Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver has become perhaps the most prominent (and civil, given recent statements from some of his confreres) advocate of the view that a Catholic cannot “in good cosncience” vote for Obama.

Chaput recently took a hard shot to all progressive Catholics, telling an audience in a talk titled “Little Murders” that “to suggest — as some Catholics do — that Senator Obama is this year’s “real” pro-life candidate requires a peculiar kind of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse. To portray the 2008 Democratic Party presidential ticket as the preferred “pro-life” option is to subvert what the word “pro-life” means.” He also object to Kmiec citing Chaput’s own book as backing for KMiec’s pro-Obama vote:

Of course, these are simply my personal views as an author and private citizen. But I’m grateful to Prof. Kmiec for quoting me in his book and giving me the reason to speak so clearly about our differences. I think his activism for Senator Obama, and the work of Democratic-friendly groups like Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, have done a disservice to the Church, confused the natural priorities of Catholic social teaching, undermined the progress pro-lifers have made, and provided an excuse for some Catholics to abandon the abortion issue instead of fighting within their parties and at the ballot box to protect the unborn.

In NCR today, Kmiec volleys back with a thoughtful reply, lighter on the rhetoric and heavier on the ethical thinking. The outro:

The circumstances for Catholics in 2008 are a happier one than Archbishop Chaput lets on. The social justice policies of Senator Obama and his ability to work toward the common good upon common ground makes him a source of hope for all Americans, including sincere and faithful Catholics — except those who are wittingly or unwittingly ensnared by the artificial cultural divisions of the past or trapped within the narrative framework of one political party.



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Asinus Gravis

posted October 31, 2008 at 4:08 pm


Thank God for Kmiec who has a deeper understanding of the ethical dimensions of the life issues than does Chaput, et. al.–who are trying to coerce Catholics to support a candidate with a dead end, insignificant, policy position on abortion.



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Tom

posted October 31, 2008 at 4:34 pm


“…except those who are wittingly or unwittingly ensnared by the artificial cultural divisions of the past or trapped within the narrative framework of one political party.”
Well, at least Bishop Kmiec (err, I mean Prof. Kmiec) got half of it right! There are those currently trying to turn this into a cultural battle (rich and poor, have and have-nots, us vs. them) while peripheralizing fundamental issues which our society is based upon. The pro-life movement is multi-cultural, including all races, genders, social classes, and will not remain silent. Well spoken, Kmiec!! Give us another!



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James III a Professed Christian

posted October 31, 2008 at 4:36 pm


Anyone trying to equate being a good Christian with pro-abortion is in fact trying to equate being a good Christian with murder. For murder is exactly what is happening when a doctor applies one of his hideous tools of death to an unborn child. At the Saddleback debate, Barack Obama stated that determining when life began was “above my pay grade”. I take that as simply a means of side stepping the issue, because the only other meaning would be that he is too stupid to answer the question and, therefore, has no business running for President of the United States. Come to think of it Obama’s executive portfolio is pretty much an empty folder anyway.
Archbishop Charles Chaput is neither out of touch with society or outdated in his pro-life position on abortion. What he is doing is standing on God’s holy word, written in the Bible, and since that is eternal it is never outdated. Any true, responsible Protestant Christian or Roman Catholic Christian knows that and the argument starts and stops right there. Life begins at conception. God says it does and without God there would be no life for God is the creator of all things. If you can’t understand that and adhere to it then please, at least be honest enough about it to say you are not a true Christian and you are acting contrary to God’s holy work. Whether or not it is abortion, homosexuality, the damning influence of the secular world, taxes, war or anything else, the true Christian, be they Protestant or Roman Catholic, votes the Bible and casts their vote based on God’s holy word. The secular world can say and do as it will, and, unfortunately, it will, but anyone professing to be a Christian has to know that, while they are in the world, they are not of the world and how they vote, in good conscience, and how they express and conduct themselves is to stand with God and God alone and not attempt to justify actions contrary to God’s word with a bunch of “modernist gobbledygook”.



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Steven Ertelt

posted October 31, 2008 at 5:24 pm


“The social justice policies of Senator Obama and his ability to work toward the common good upon common ground makes him a source of hope for all Americans.”
What social policies?
Obama had his chance to outline policies — actually policies not just talk and rhetoric — to help pregnant women and reduce abortions.
What ended up in the Democratic Platform he put together? Not one concrete policy or program to reduce abortions.
We got alot of rhetoic and a concrete promise to overturn any measures that reduce abortions, to force taxpayers to fund abortions and to only pick judges who will keep abortions legal.
Obama’s positions do nothing to reduce abortions. Leaving parents in the dark, not informing women of risks and alternatives, de-funding abstinence and pregnancy centers, funding overseas abortions, etc. None of these actually reduces abortions.
Obama is all talk, Kmiec is all talk, and it’s time to put up or shut up on abortion. No more promises, we want action! That’s why McCain is the right guy. He doesn’t talk about abortion ad nauseum, instead he just votes the right way and does the right thing.
Under Bush, abortion is at historic lows. You will see that change under an Obama presidency — in the wrong direction.



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jimmy

posted October 31, 2008 at 6:33 pm


Obama is all talk, Kmiec is all talk, and it’s time to put up or shut up on abortion. No more promises, we want action!
Ironic, given that the Republican Party had twelve years with majorities in both houses of Congress, and six of them with a Republican in the White House. Yet they spent their political capital on deregulating banks, trying to institutionalize homophobia, propping up the military-industrial complex, and a quixotic bid to privatize Social Security instead of pushing for a Human Life Amendment.
If you’re wanting action, you should ask yourself whether you want to keep voting for people who hoodwink you into thinking they’ll make your issue a priority when it’s clear they’re using you to prop up their plutocratic regime.
If George W. Bush, John McCain, or the Republican Party gave half a rip about the unborn, which appears to me to be the highest priority for pro-criminalization voters, they would have spent at least some of their precious political capital on a Human Life Amendment. Instead they come back to you with excuses – “oh, it’s the courts” – when the reality is that their concern about the unborn only goes as far as they can string the pro-criminalization movement along into voting for them. If they actually cared about something other than gaining and keeping power, they’d have done the obvious years ago.
Time to wake up. If you don’t think the Democrats care about abortion, you can’t possibly think the Republicans do.



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Angela

posted October 31, 2008 at 10:10 pm


James, you said, “If you can’t understand that and adhere to it then please, at least be honest enough about it to say you are not a true Christian and you are acting contrary to God’s holy work. Whether or not it is abortion, homosexuality, the damning influence of the secular world, taxes, war or anything else, the true Christian, be they Protestant or Roman Catholic, votes the Bible and casts their vote based on God’s holy word. The secular world can say and do as it will, and, unfortunately, it will, but anyone professing to be a Christian has to know that, while they are in the world, they are not of the world and how they vote, in good conscience, and how they express and conduct themselves is to stand with God and God alone and not attempt to justify actions contrary to God’s word with a bunch of “modernist gobbledygook”.”
According to your definition, I am not a true Christian, which is why I have come to stop using that as a definition of who and what I am. Instead, I am a Christ follower. As such, I listen to the words ascribed to Him in the Bible. I do not find Christ speaking on issues such as abortion or homosexuality, but I do find Him speaking about making idols of religion and government, and about cultural divisions which ignore our common plight and hope as humans (in particular, John’s recitation about Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well in Chapter 4).
I do not believe that a single issue ought to define or determine my political involvement. After all, the Bible that I’ve read and studied and preached and hoped in says that God is “no respecter of persons,” and that failure to uphold one law or commandment is just as wrong as failure to uphold another. I’ve interpreted this to mean that no sin is worse than any other sin. For this reason, I find it difficult to support one candidate, who has recently come to an anti-abortion stance but who is guilty of marital infidelity and divorce (outside of what the Bible indicates to be acceptable reasons), over another candidate, who, although not in favor of abortion, does not want to see it criminalized and whose family life remains intact and an inspiration for many.
How do we choose which is more important when God says all sins are as weighty as others? How do we give in to pride and self-importance when Jesus, who came here to show us how to live and how to be in relationship not only with God, but with each other as well, did not speak about the issues we proclaim to be the most important issues we face today?
Is it possible my interpretations are in error? Of course. But I am, like so many other, striving to vote in a manner that is consistent with my understanding of and interpretation of the Bible. It may not be what you, James III, might believe, but I do not doubt the sincerity with which you hold your own beliefs…and I do not doubt that you are a Christian. I only ask that you respect others and their understandings similarly.
Grace and peace to you.



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Sam

posted October 31, 2008 at 11:56 pm


Angela, are you equating divorce with murder? Because that’s the impression I got from reading your comment.



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Jeff

posted November 1, 2008 at 8:50 am


Below is a synopsis of the campaigns. I encourage everyone to get out and vote on Tuesday if you haven’t already. Most everyone states that they are Christian. Therefore I ask that you look at the what the candidates are saying they support and weigh that against your Christian values. Seek the counsel of the Holy Spirit then trust Him for the future. Are we willing trust Him or will we be self seeking? I believe that this might be the most important decision we will make as a country in the last 20 years. I believe God is looking for where the heart of His people are!
MSNBC.com
fact file McCain and Obama on the issues
Choose a category on the left to see where the two candidates stand on a selection of issues as the campaigns near their end.
Abortion
McCain: Opposes abortion rights. Has voted for abortion restrictions permissible under Roe v. Wade, and now says he would seek to overturn that guarantee of abortion rights. Would not seek constitutional amendment to ban abortion.
Obama: Favors abortion rights.
Afghanistan
McCain: Favors unspecified boost in U.S. forces.
Obama: Would add about 7,000 troops to the U.S. force of 36,000, bringing the reinforcements from Iraq. Has threatened unilateral attack on high-value terrorist targets in Pakistan as they become exposed, “if Pakistan cannot or will not act” against them.
Campaign finance
McCain: The co-author of McCain-Feingold campaign finance law is running his general campaign with public money and within its spending limits. He urged Obama to do the same. He applied for federal matching funds for primaries but later turned them down so he could spend more than the limits. The Federal Election Commission belatedly approved his decision to bypass the primary funds, but rejected McCain’s claim that he needed no such approval. He raised more than $160 million before having to stop to accept the $84 million in public money for the fall. McCain accepted primary campaign contributions from lobbyists.
Obama: The presidential campaign’s fundraising champion has brought in more than $605 million. He is raising private money for his general election, despite his proposal last year to accept public financing and its spending limits if the Republican nominee did, too. He raised a record-shattering $150 million in September. Obama refuses to accept money from federal lobbyists and has instructed the Democratic National Committee to do the same for its joint victory fund, an account that would benefit the nominee. Obama does accept money from state lobbyists and from family members of federal lobbyists.
Cuba
McCain: Ease restrictions on Cuba once U.S. is “confident that the transition to a free and open democracy is being made.”
Obama: Ease restrictions on family-related travel and on money Cuban-Americans want to send to their families in Cuba. Open to meeting new Cuban leader Raul Castro without preconditions. Ease trade embargo if Havana “begins opening Cuba to meaningful democratic change.”
Death penalty
McCain: Has supported expansion of the federal death penalty and limits on appeals.
Obama: Supports death penalty for crimes for which the “community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage.” As Illinois lawmaker, wrote bill mandating videotaping of interrogations and confessions in capital cases and sought other changes in system that had produced wrongful convictions.
Education
McCain: He is not proposing a federal voucher program that would provide public money for private school tuition, in contrast to his proposed $5 billion voucher plan in 2000. Only proposes expansion of District of Columbia’s voucher program. Sees No Child Left Behind law as vehicle for increasing opportunities for parents to choose schools. Proposes more money for community college education.
Obama: An $18 billion plan that would encourage, but not mandate, universal pre-kindergarten. Teacher pay raises tied to, although not based solely on, test scores. An overhaul of No Child Left Behind law to better measure student progress, make more room for subjects such as music and art and be less punitive toward failing schools. A tax credit to pay up to $4,000 of college costs for students who perform 100 hours of community service a year. Obama would pay for part of his plan by ending corporate tax deductions for CEO pay. Has backed away from his proposal to save money by delaying NASA’s moon and Mars missions.
Energy-Global warming
McCain: Favors increased offshore drilling and building 45 nuclear power reactors by 2030. Opposes drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Mandatory reductions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by 60 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, using a market-based cap-and-trade system that would increase energy costs. Supports $2 billion program to develop carbon capture and other clean coal research and development. $5,000 tax credit for the purchase of zero carbon emission cars; $300 million prize for improved batteries for hybrid vehicles. Broke with President Bush on global warming and led Senate effort to cap greenhouse gas emissions.
Obama: Ten-year, $150 billion fund for biofuels, wind, solar, plug-in hybrids, clean-coal technology and other “climate-friendly” measures. Mandatory reductions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, using a market-based, cap-and-trade system that would increase energy costs. Increase federal fuel economy requirements from 35 mpg to 40 mpg. Now would consider limited expansion of offshore oil and gas drilling. Opposes drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Proposes windfall-profits tax on largest oil companies to pay for energy rebate of up to $1,000. Expand federal requirements for ethanol from 36 million gallons to 60 million gallons a year with increase coming from non-corn sources, and require utilities to produce 25 percent of power from renewable energy such as wind, solar and biomass by 2025. $7,000 tax credit for the purchase of advance-technology vehicles; put 1 million plug-in hybrid cars on road by 2015.
Financial crisis
McCain: $300 billion plan for the government to buy bad mortgages and renegotiate them at a reduced price. Proposes a one-year suspension of requirements that people aged 70 1/2 begin cashing in retirement accounts. Lobbied fellow lawmakers to support $700 billion rescue plan. Eliminate taxes on unemployment benefits, guarantee 100 percent of savings for six months, lower the tax rate on retirement funds to 10 percent, on the first $50,000 withdrawn. Cut the tax rate on capital gains by half, to 7.5 percent, for two years.
Obama: Two-year plan offering $3,000 tax credit to businesses for each new job created and enabling people to withdraw up to 15 percent of their retirement money, to a maximum of $10,000, without penalty, except for the usual taxes. Would temporarily extend an expiring tax break that lets small businesses immediately write off investments of up to $250,000, and sweeten small-business loans at a cost of about $5 billion. Estimated cost of proposals: $60 billion. Now favors mandatory 90-day freeze on some foreclosures. Lobbied fellow lawmakers to support $700 billion rescue plan. Extend unemployment benefits, offer tax credit covering 10 percent of annual mortgage-interest payments for “struggling homeowners.”
Gay marriage
McCain: Opposes constitutional amendment to ban it. Says same-sex couples should be allowed to enter into legal agreements for insurance and similar benefits, and states should decide about marriage. Supports the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages and gives states the right to refuse to recognize such marriages.
Obama: Opposes constitutional amendment to ban it. Supports civil unions, says states should decide about marriage. Switched positions in 2004 and now supports repeal of Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages and gives states the right to refuse to recognize such marriages.
Gun control
McCain: Voted against ban on assault-type weapons but in favor of requiring background checks at gun shows. Voted to shield gun-makers and dealers from civil suits. “I believe the Second Amendment ought to be preserved — which means no gun control.”
Obama: Voted to leave gun-makers and dealers open to suit. Also, as Illinois state lawmaker, supported ban on all forms of semiautomatic weapons and tighter state restrictions generally on firearms.
Health care
McCain: $2,500 refundable tax credit for individuals, $5,000 for families, to make health insurance more affordable. No mandate for universal coverage. Would no longer shield from income taxes those payments that businesses and their workers make toward employer-sponsored health insurance. Tax Policy Center estimates overall plan’s cost at $1.3 trillion over 10 years.
Obama: Mandatory coverage for children, no mandate for adults. Aim for universal coverage by requiring larger employers to share costs of insuring workers and by offering coverage similar to that in plan for federal employees. Proposes spending $50 billion on information technology over five years to reduce health care costs over time. Tax Policy Center estimates overall plan’s cost at $1.6 trillion over 10 years.
Immigration
McCain: Sponsored 2006 bill that would have allowed illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S., work and apply to become legal residents after learning English, paying fines and back taxes and clearing a background check. Now says he would secure the border first. Supports border fence.
Obama: Voted for 2006 bill offering legal status to illegal immigrants subject to conditions, including English proficiency and payment of back taxes and fines. Voted for border fence.
Iran
McCain: Favors tougher sanctions, opposes direct high-level talks with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Obama: Initially said he would meet Ahmadinejad without preconditions, now says he’s not sure “Ahmadinejad is the right person to meet with right now.” But says direct diplomacy with Iranian leaders would give U.S. more credibility to press for tougher international sanctions. Says he would intensify diplomatic pressure on Tehran before Israel feels the need to take unilateral military action against Iranian nuclear facilities.
Iraq
McCain: Opposes scheduling a troop withdrawal, saying latest strategy is succeeding. Supported decision to go to war, but was early critic of the manner in which administration prosecuted it. Was key backer of the troop increase. Willing to have permanent U.S. peacekeeping forces in Iraq.
Obama: Spoke against war at start, opposed troop increase. Voted against one major military spending bill in May 2007; otherwise voted in favor of money to support the war. Says his plan would complete withdrawal of combat troops in 16 months. Initially had said a timetable for completing withdrawal would be irresponsible without knowing what facts he’d face in office.
Social Security
McCain: “Nothing’s off the table” when it comes to saving Social Security.
Obama: Would raise payroll tax on wealthiest by applying it to portion of income over $250,000. Now, payroll tax is applied to income up to $102,000. Rules out raising the retirement age for benefits.
Stem cell research
McCain: Supports relaxing federal restrictions on financing of embryonic stem cell research.
Obama: Supports relaxing federal restrictions on financing of embryonic stem cell research.
Taxes
McCain: Proposes extending all of President Bush’s tax cuts and cutting corporate tax rate to 25 percent. Pledged not to raise taxes, then equivocated, saying nothing can be ruled out in negotiating compromises to keep Social Security solvent. Twice opposed Bush’s tax cuts, at first because he said they were tilted to the wealthiest and again because of the unknown costs of Iraq war. Now says those tax cuts, expiring in 2010, should be permanent. Nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates tax break of $325 for the middle 20 percent of taxpayers — those making $37,600 to $66,400.
Obama: Raise income taxes on families making over $250,000 and individuals making over $200,000. Raise corporate taxes. $80 billion in tax breaks mainly for poor workers and elderly, including tripling Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum-wage workers and higher credit for larger families. Eliminate tax-filing requirement for older workers making under $50,000. A mortgage-interest credit could be used by lower-income homeowners who do not take the mortgage-interest deduction because they do not itemize their taxes. Nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates tax break of $1,118 for the middle 20 percent of taxpayers — those making $37,600 to $66,400.
Trade
McCain: Free trade advocate.
Obama: Seek to reopen North American Free Trade Agreement to strengthen enforcement of labor and environmental standards. In 2004 Senate campaign, called for “enforcing existing trade agreements,” not amending them.
Source: Associated Press, 10/27/2008
Updated: 2:10 p.m. ET Oct. 27, 2008
© 2008 MSNBC.com



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Business Loans

posted February 1, 2010 at 6:54 pm


I attain
Business Loans
for people, so I have been in a position to make major decisions that would ultimately affect the lives of those who requested my service. Since when do we make decisions for other people who are not invalid vegetables or who don’t require the power of attorney to be given in order to survive and not get taken advantage of. I am pro life, but how can I judge over someones choices and rights. I mean bottom line: do we want to live in a democracy or a communist, socialist regime?? Make up your minds, and stop only supporting rules and laws that are in your best interest and then forgetting about them when they’re not.



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Business cash advance

posted March 16, 2010 at 12:16 pm


I recently came across your post and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that it caught my interest and you’ve provided informative points. I will visit this blog often.
Thank you,
Elden



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