Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman


Obama’s Amazing Improvement Among Traditional White Catholics

posted by swaldman

For years, pundits believed that the only Catholics a liberal Democrat could win en masse were theologically liberal, “Cafeteria Catholics” who don’t attend mass or listen to the Pope very often.
While Obama did clean up with those lefty Catholics, a new survey by Professor John Green of University of Akron in First Things, shows that he also made stunning improvements among more traditional white Catholics.


(A “traditional Catholic,” according to Green’s methodology, is one who is more likely than average to attend mass, pray, and read scripture; more likely to believe in God, the afterlife, scripture and the devil; and more likely to say religion is very important in their lives.)
In 2004, white traditional Catholics went 78%-22% for the Republican, George Bush, over the Democrat, John Kerry. In 2008, they went 61%-39% for John McCain over Barack Obama. That represents an amazing 17 point improvement for the Democrat.
How did a pro-choice, pro-gay rights, Protestant make such inroads? Green suggests that the first reason is the economy. These traditional Catholics voted for Obama despite his liberal views on social issues.
Mark Silk of Trinity College offers a different theory – that these results reflect less Obama’s strength than John Kerry’s weakness. Kerry was battered by Bishops for being pro choice but also for, in effect, being a bad Catholic.

“On the one hand, it suggests that the message that Catholic politicians should be pro-life …has definitely gotten through to the old-time faithful. On the other, it indicates that such Catholics understand this to be less a natural law injunction incumbent on all members of society than a religious obligation for their own kind.”

Or, as I usually get myself in trouble by saying, Obama did better among Catholics because he wasn’t Catholic.
Green and Silk hit the two most important factors but I’d like to throw out a few more (less fully-baked) theories.
The Pope As Secondary Influence. In the run-up to the Iraq war, Catholics heard Pope John Paul II’s opposition and Bush’s support – and sided with Bush. But that doesn’t mean the Pope’s views didn’t register at all. When the war turned south, Catholic opinion turned rapidly against it. I can’t help but think the Church planted seeds of doubt. One of the reasons traditional Catholics supported Obama was because they oppose the Iraq war.
The Recessive FDR Gene. Catholics became Democrats in the early 20th century because the party welcomed immigrants and created jobs. As those Catholics grew older, they became more distant from the immigrant experience and more secure economically. They then had the luxury of worrying about other issues like crime and abortion. In 2008, for the first time in almost 90 years, we saw an economic calamity AND a growing anti immigrant sentiment — both attributed to Republicans. And you had the Catholic Church preaching economic equity and support for immigrants. On some level, the children and grandchildren of the FDR Catholic Democrats may have carried Democratness as a recessive gene, minor, rarely seen, but ready to reawaken under just the right circumstances.
“Abortion Reduction.” The survey data also showed that about a quarter of Obama’s vote came from people describing themselves as pro-life. Many of these pro-life voters picked Obama in spite of his views on abortion, not because of them, but Obama’s talk about “abortion reduction” in effect gave them “permission” to vote for a pro-choice candidate on other issues.
My hunch is that the white traditionalist Catholics are the most fragile part of the Obama coalition. They’re subject to tremendous peer-pressure: most of their demographic compatriots voted Republican, so they need to withstand the mockery of their friends. The economy may recede a Democratic issue in the future, either because conditions worsen and Democrats are blamed, or improve, liberating people to think about other issues. All this is why, to keep traditionalist Democrats in the long run, Obama will not only have to improve the economy but deliver on some set of socially conservative issues such as abortion.
Portions of this post first appeared on The Wall Street Journal Online (WSJ.com)



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Charles Cosimano

posted February 26, 2009 at 10:38 pm


I think you have it exactly right when you say one of the major reasons that Obama does not get attacked the way Kerry was is the simple fact that he is not only not Roman Catholic, he is United Church of Christ, a denomination whose members and clergy tend to view traditional Roman Catholicism with the same respect they do a large bug. In other words, having no religious or cultural leverage, they do not feel any betrayal when he does not give lip service to their beliefs. On the contrary, they are probably amazed when he does.



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Gerard Nadal

posted February 27, 2009 at 1:57 am


Steven,
“”Abortion Reduction.” The survey data also showed that about a quarter of Obama’s vote came from people describing themselves as pro-life. Many of these pro-life voters picked Obama in spite of his views on abortion, not because of them, but Obama’s talk about “abortion reduction” in effect gave them “permission” to vote for a pro-choice candidate on other issues.”
You’re still peddling this falsehood? The definition of pro-life in this study was people
“wanting serious restrictions on abortion, but not necessarily a full ban on abortions.”
As I said to you before, I’m involved in pro-life activities. We do not identify this as pro-life and you know it. This is pro-butchering babies. This is how Beliefnet reports on religion? I really had expected better of you.
Green is push-polling and you are shilling for him. Is this your definition of honesty and integrity? Does a more homogeneous Catholic anti-Obama vote threaten you that much?



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 27, 2009 at 8:14 am


==I’m involved in pro-life activities. ==
Then please push the idea of defining, in law, “personhood” as beginning at conception. This is key cuz ONLY persons get Rights, and the Roe SCOTUS, essentially, says so, about 2/3 of the way down, in Roe:
“If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [Fourteenth] Amendment.”
In other words, SCOTUS would have had to rule the other way had it not been for the fact that no unborn “person,” under law, was before the Court. The only person was Roe.
So, in that statement, the Court is giving us a gift. It is saying that we should come up with a law that at least suggests that a person is established at conception, and South Dakota is on its way doing just that. I’ve been suggesting that for years and years.
There’s another way to do this, in addition to those efforts.
Inheritance law says that the unborn child, beginning at conception, gets “future interests.” This means that the law treats the unborn child as a person. Under the law, he is called a “jural person.” Corporations are jural persons — that is, for purposes of law, they are persons. If we can define corporations as “jural persons,” we can define the unborn as “jural persons.” We need to be using this principle in court.
The law also says that the father has the Right to an heir. So, he can invoke his Rights there.
We need to git t’gittin’!



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hootie1fan

posted February 27, 2009 at 9:35 am


Perhaps traditional white Catholics believe it is better to reduce the number of abortions than it is to claim to be pro-life while doing nothing about abortion itself.
Perhaps traditinal Catholics realize that life does not begin at conception and end at birth.
Perhaps traditional Catholics follow church teachings that tell us pro-life is more than lip-service against abortion. One can’t rightfully claim to be pro-life and support the death penalty, oppose helping the poor, etc. Social justice is important to the Catholic Church.



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 27, 2009 at 9:49 am


==Perhaps traditional Catholics follow church teachings that tell us pro-life is more than lip-service against abortion.==
Tell us how pro-life can be more than lip service. After all, in most cases, regarding abortion, a person has only his voice, either in vote, or letter.
== One can’t rightfully claim to be pro-life and support the death penalty…==
Yes, he can.
The unborn are utterly innocent. They have no capacity to understand the difference between right and wrong. They are in no position to do wrong. They are in a position that God intended.
In abortion, there is no Due Process. There is just the convenience of the woman. The social life of the woman in the vast majority of cases.
The person who gets the death penalty has, through the best justice possible, been found to be guilty. He had the chance to know what is right and what is wrong. He chose to do wrong anyway. Extreme wrong. We must do what we promised ourselves we would do, otherwise the law means nothing.
==… oppose helping the poor…==
In what sense?
==…Social justice is important to the Catholic Church.==
Not at the expense of God’s Justice.



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hootie1fan

posted February 27, 2009 at 10:28 am


Mr Incredible you need to talk to the Pope about this.



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 27, 2009 at 2:16 pm


==Mr Incredible you need to talk to the Pope about this.==
I have no such need.
Anyway, what about my “lip service” question?



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hootie1fan

posted February 27, 2009 at 2:48 pm


If a career politician who claims to be pro-life, well anti-abortion, and doesn’t do anything about it, they, like countless others, are using this issue to get sympathy and votes.



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hootie1fan

posted February 27, 2009 at 2:57 pm


If there was a list of the top 10 pro-life issues who would you vote for:
1. Politican A who supports issue #1 and ignores all the others
-OR-
2. Politican B with whom you disagree on issue #1 but with whom you find favor on #2 through #10



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Mr. Incredible

posted February 27, 2009 at 3:26 pm


==If a career politician who claims to be pro-life, well anti-abortion, and doesn’t do anything about it, they, like countless others, are using this issue to get sympathy and votes.==
What you mean by, “anything,” as in, “doesn’t do anything about it”?
==If there was a list of the top 10 pro-life issues who would you vote for:
1. Politican A who supports issue #1 and ignores all the others
-OR-
2. Politican B with whom you disagree on issue #1 but with whom you find favor on #2 through #10 ==
“Top 10″ according to whom?
Anyway, it depends on what the issues are.



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hootie1fan

posted February 27, 2009 at 5:02 pm


To each his own, but as Catholics, pro-life covers a whole host of issues. It doesn’t begin and end with aboirtion although that is a very important part of it.
Like I said before, just ask the Pope.



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Steven Waldman

posted February 27, 2009 at 6:13 pm


Gerard, John Green is the most respected political scientist in America on matters of faith and politics. People on all sides of the aisle have cited his work for years. His wording on the abortion question is very solid:
“Now I would like you to think about the issue of abortion. Which of these statements comes closest to your views on abortion… (1) It should be legal and solely up to a woman to decide, OR (2) It should be legal in a wide variety of circumstances, OR (3) It should be legal in only a few circumstances such as to save the life of the mother, OR (4) It should not be legal at all”
Those who answered #3 or #4 were counted as “pro-life.” Seems like a very solid methodology.



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Your Name

posted February 27, 2009 at 8:52 pm


Anybody who claims to be Catholic and voted for Obama is either ingnorant of their religion or a fraud. I certainly pray that we get more bishops who had some backbone to speak up. Some are but not enough.
Obama supports infanticide, homosexual marriage, fetal stem cell research, etc. etc. etc. In essence, those people who voted for this man need to confess their serious sin to a priest or leave the Catholic church. Otherwise, they are hypocrites. Charity or love means telling someone the truth not the political BS that is put out by the media, and unfortunately, many confused Bishops and Priests to put it charitably.
Some Chesterton quotes:
“There are an infinite number of ways to fall, but there is only one way to stand.”
“Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God.”
“I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean.”
“Be careful not to be so open-minded that your brains fall out.”
“I want a church that moves the world not one that moves with it”
“Take away the supernatural and what remains is the unnatural”
Some Chesterton quotes:



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Iris Alantiel

posted February 28, 2009 at 10:34 am


I think the definition used for ‘traditional Catholic’ here is very interesting. It’s not based on most of the things that Catholics themselves use to define traditional vs. “cafeteria” Catholics. By this definition, you can be traditional without caring at all what the Pope has to say about anything.
I attend Mass, pray, read Scripture; I believe in God, the afterlife, and the Devil (and I’m still working through exactly what I believe about Scripture, but my mind is open); I think religion is hugely important in my life. But no one within the actual Church would call birth-control-using, pre-marital-sex-accepting, gay-marriage-supporting, l’il old me *traditional*. I believe in many things the Pope says, and I think he’s wise, but I also think the entire Catholic Church is badly skewed on issues of human sexuality, which is to be expected when definitions and decisions on human sexuality are left exclusively in the hands of lifelong celibate men. I am traditional in all things *except* the Church’s sexual morality, but to many people, that’s what makes the difference between cafeteria and traditional.
Anyway, this methodology kind of makes me feel good because it suggests that there are other people like me who are very religious and very devout, but who think that in certain areas the Pope is more fallible than he’d like to believe. But I think the results of the survey would be quite different with a different definition of what makes a person ‘traditional’, with more emphasis on believing what the Pope believes about controversial issues.



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Gerard Nadal

posted February 28, 2009 at 10:37 pm


Steven,
“Those who answered #3 or #4 were counted as “pro-life.” Seems like a very solid methodology.”
I appreciate your response, but the method is fatally flawed. Nobody in the pro-life movement finds abortion acceptable under ANY circumstances. Period! Let alone “in a few circumstances.”
Jews and Catholics find broad agreement on the Patriarchs of the Old Testament. That doesn’t make Jews Catholics or Catholics Jews. The same goes for Green’s reasoning here. Supporting abortion in limited circumstances means one still supports the right of a mother to butcher the baby within her womb. That simply isn’t pro-life, and is not recognized as such by the pro-life movement or the Bishops in the Catholic Church.
That Green is a highly respected social scientist does not entitle him to infallibility. Rome’s critics need to be consistent on this one.



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marcm

posted March 1, 2009 at 9:36 am


“Nobody in the pro-life movement finds abortion acceptable under ANY circumstances. Period! Let alone “in a few circumstances.”"
Thus, people are quite content to posture for their absolutist position while ignoring other alternatives that could decrease the number of abortions. Why? Most often extremist pro-lifers balk at programs that have been proven to reduce abortions for two reasons.
1) Such programs usually cost money, thus resulting in an increase in public spending (taxes) for social causes. As we know, most of the extremist pro-lifers are aligned with he GOP, which has a long record of valuing lower taxes over saving lives.
2) Anything that reduces the number of abortions taking place in this nation reduces the urgency of the extremist pro-life movement, an thus reduces their power to raise money and influence politics. Thus, by supporting anything short of a total ban would be eventually cutting own throat and that of organization.
The absolutist position of “nothing less than zero abortions” insures that the extremist pro-life movement, and the party they invariablly partner with (the GOP) have a handy tool with which to activate their base, raise money, and maintain the power they desire.
In short, if children stop dying, they lose power. Thus anything that helps prevent children from dying is opposed short of a total ban. And since a total ban will never pass in this nation, they have a perfect racket from which to maintain their power position.



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marcm

posted March 1, 2009 at 9:49 am


So tell me, Gerard…should this girl die or get an abortion? Would you support a law banning abortion but permitting someone in her position to get one to save her life?
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25122026-23109,00.html
A NINE-year-old girl pregnant after years of alleged sexual abuse by her stepfather is likely to abort twins she is carrying in a case that has shocked Brazil, reports in Sao Paulo said.
The Brazilian girl, who was not identified because she is a minor, was found to be four months pregnant after being taken to hospital suffering stomach pains, the news websites G1, pe360graus and the Diario de Pernambuco reported.
She was being cared for by a medical and psychological team in the Maternal-Child Institude in the northern city of Recife, close to her hometown of Alagoinha in Pernambuco state, they said.
“We don’t know if she will develop the pregnancy up to the end because of the structure of her body. It is a big risk for her,” the doctor who confirmed her pregnancy before she was taken to the institute, Jose Severiano Cavalcanti, told the Diario de Pernambuco.
“She doesn’t have a pelvis able to support a gestation of twins,” he said.
=====
Well? Would you support an exemption in any abortion ban to permit a 9 year old girl in this situation to get an abortion that would save her life? Or should even girls in this situation not be permitted access to abortion in this country?



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marcm

posted March 1, 2009 at 10:32 am


“Anybody who claims to be Catholic and voted for Obama is either ingnorant of their religion or a fraud. I certainly pray that we get more bishops who had some backbone to speak up. Some are but not enough.”
Yeah…let’s have them get backbone to speak out against Obama, but not enough to actually police their own ranks of pedophiles and holocaust deniers. Heaven knows we wouldn’t want that.



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Gerard Nadal

posted March 1, 2009 at 12:22 pm


MarcM,
I engage people of good will in constructive dialogue. You raise several excellent issues for conversation. However, you lace them with bigoted slurs and ad hominem attacks.
If you read these threads, you know that I don’t shy from engagement. If you decide to retract your ad hominem attacks and bigoted slurs, I’ll talk with you as I do others.
If you remain recalcitrant, I’ll not join you.
It’s your call.



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RJohnson

posted March 1, 2009 at 4:43 pm


Gerard, you indeed have been good at engaging those who have differing views than yours, as our exchanges have indicated in the past. While I may not agree entirely with Marcm’s attitude, I am interested in how you view the matter of a pregnancy that genuinely threatens the life of the mother. The case cited in Brazil is an example of such a case. Thankfully this is rare, but it does happen from time to time.
If I take your earlier statements correctly, you would support a law that outlawed abortions with no exceptions. Were this girl subject to that law there would be no legal avenue to take the twins from her in order to save her life.
Is that an outcome you anticipate, and even accept as a result of such a law? I’ll come clean and say that while I am generally against abortions, I would never put a woman, no matter what age, in the position where she could not save her own life by ending her pregnancy. This young girl seems to be in that position…a nine-year old subjected to terrible, unspeakable abuse is now faced with something that, in her doctor’s opinion, presents a real threat to her life.
If that threat materialized I would hope that any pro-life amendment would allow an exception to allow this girl to obtain a life-saving procedure…at least life saving for her.
There…my cards are on the table, Gerard. Care to join me?



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Gerard Nadal

posted March 1, 2009 at 6:12 pm


RJohnson,
Thank you for your kind words. I’ll join you in putting my cards on the table. Decorum prohibits me from stating here what I think ought to be done to the man who did this to this poor child.
To begin, there are NO GOOD OPTIONS here. The worst of the damage has been done to this poor child. Abortion or trying to save the babies are all procedures that will add another dimension of trauma to an already very bad situation.
The girl is already four months along in her pregnancy. The twins are alive and growing. The girl is in no immediate danger of death. These are the facts as they exist today, assuming no change in status since the report emerged.
To abort is to kill the twins. That too is a fact. This girl is within ~3 weeks of these babies being at the precipice of viability in the neonatal intensive care unit. The same three weeks do not put the mother in danger of death. That comes further down the road in the third trimester.
I’m inclined to try and take these babies as soon as possible and give them a fighting chance in the NICU, inasmuch as public opinion is for their death anyway. If they make it, that is the best of all outcomes. If they don’t, there was no intention to kill them and all did the best they could to guarantee life for mother and babies.
From what I have sen in these arguments, there is a false dichotomy that is being presented. the mother can readily bring those babies to the point of being taken in a C-section without imminent danger to herself. If I am not in possession of facts to the contrary, I would appreciate those data.
Technology has advanced us to the position where the life of the mother is no longer a viable argument. Where technology falls short, those cases fall under the aegis of the moral principle of double-effect.
Ultimately, the problem is that cases like this are used to wedge open the door to abortion. In this nation alone, since 1973, we have slaughtered 50 million human beings.



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Gerard Nadal

posted March 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm


RJohnson,
The last part of that post got lost. Here it is:
Rape and incest only account for 1% of all abortions, according to a NY Times article
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=950DE1DC1039F930A25753C1A96F948260
That leaves 49,500,000 dead babies outside of the rape/incest justification for wedging the door to abortion open. That’s 49,500,000 good reasons to explore another avenue in this case that would save the life of the mother ad keep us from adding two more dead babies to the ever growing list.
The horror of what was done to this girl leads to the rallying cry to kill the babies. I say it may well be needlessly. Why inflict on THEM capital punishment for their father’s crimes. In what system of jurisprudence do we kill the child for the parent’s crimes? Only in abortion it seems.
Well, there are my cards. What do you say about trying to save the lives of the twins?
God Bless.



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RJohnson

posted March 1, 2009 at 10:00 pm


“Decorum prohibits me from stating here what I think ought to be done to the man who did this to this poor child.”
LOL…yeah. All I can say is that it would be long and painful, and definitely end his reproductive capability.
As for the idea of taking the twins…my prayer is that they can make it that far. If I am correct, the figure you quote for viability is for a single child. I believe that the fact these are twins might place the viability a bit further down the road due to gestational size.
And that is the real crux of the issue. In a normally developed woman, even a girl in her late teens, the pelvis is large enough to accommodate the presence of a baby. I think back to my own daughter at that age. There is no way she would have been able to carry twins to a point of viability. If this girl is anywhere near my daughter’s size at that age, getting the twins to viability would be difficult at best.
“Why inflict on THEM capital punishment for their father’s crimes. In what system of jurisprudence do we kill the child for the parent’s crimes?”
Under normal circumstances I would agree with you. However, as we both clearly agree, this is far from a normal circumstance. To call it a tragedy is to be guilty of understatement. There are no good answers here, only a mad dash to find the lesser of several bad ones.
Your statistics are compelling, and they are very much part of the reason that I am supportive of almost any efforts we can make to reduce the number of abortions. But, as rare as cases like this one are, it is a reason that I generally oppose a complete ban on abortion that does not recognize an exception in those rare, few cases where a woman has been raped, is a victim of incest, or faces a condition that endangers her life or her physical health.
I don’t know about you, Gerard, but I think we have a young, scared girl and a medical/psychological team to add to our prayer lists. As different as our views are on the issue of abortion, it is good that we can come together on lifting this young victim up before God.



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Gerard Nadal

posted March 1, 2009 at 11:44 pm


Good Evening RJohnson,
“I don’t know about you, Gerard, but I think we have a young, scared girl and a medical/psychological team to add to our prayer lists. As different as our views are on the issue of abortion, it is good that we can come together on lifting this young victim up before God.”
Yes I agree. And I pray that God grants the team the wisdom of Solomon. I pray too that this young girl has in her life the people who will bring her as much healing and wholeness as can possibly be had, and that this experience does not interfere with her ability to live a full, rich, and loving life.
If we can come together on anything, then lifting this young girl up together before God is more noble than any other issue we’ve discussed, or are likely to. It is a privilege to share that experience of faith in action with you.
God Bless.



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Gerard Nadal

posted March 1, 2009 at 11:59 pm


Steven,
You pulled my rebuke of MarcM’s ad hominem attacks and gratuitous, non sequitur slurs against the Bishops as a whole, yet allow his posts to stand. Is this the tone and tenor you desire for these threads?
Nice.



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Steven Waldman

posted March 2, 2009 at 11:43 am


Gerard, I dont personally police the boards so i have no idea what you’re talking about but I’m asking our monitors to find out.
As for this:
“I appreciate your response, but the method is fatally flawed. Nobody in the pro-life movement finds abortion acceptable under ANY circumstances. Period! Let alone “in a few circumstances.”
YOU may feel this way. And the Catholic Church may feel this way. But over the years, MANY politicians (and voters) have described themselves as pro-life while allowing for exceptions for rape and incest.
For instance, Elizabeth Dole says “I am pro-life, with exceptions in cases of rape or incest.” The Pro life groups supported her and never challenged her claim that she was pro life.
Or there’s this exchange between John McCain and George W. Bush:
‘McCAIN [to Bush]: Do you believe in the exemption, in the case of abortion, for rape, incest, and life of the mother?
BUSH: Yeah, I do.”
I dont recall the pro life movement claiming that Bush wasn’t pro life because he supported exceptions for rape and incest



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Jeebus Freak

posted March 2, 2009 at 4:13 pm


All or nothing:
“If the pro-life people in the late 1960′s and the early 1970′s had been willing to compromise with the pro-choice people, we could have had an abortion law that provided for abortion only for the life of the mother, incest, rape, and defective child; that would have cut the abortions down to three percent of what they are today. But they had an all-or-nothing mentality. They wanted it all and they got nothing.”
-C. Everett Koop
“By the time I left the office of the Surgeon General, I had become convinced that both sides of the abortion debate had reached a dead end….Neither side seems to be winning any converts to it’s position. Sometimes I think both sides have forgotten why they are fighting. They care simply about winning. Winning each court case, each legislative battle, each electoral contest, each rally….I wonder if each side has not forgotten the human element that originally prompted the debate: the innocent unborn child, the agonized pregnant woman…
I began to search for a compromise…. I did see the possibility for a practical compromise that would at least lower the number of abortions….Abortion was not the problem. The problem was unwanted pregnancy. If the number of unwanted pregnancies could be reduced, abortion could be reduced. If the number of unwanted pregnancies could be eliminated, abortions could be eliminated. It was as simple as that.
[But] the extremists on both sides, I realized, did not seek compromise; perhaps they did not even seek resolution. They were in it for battle. But there were so many others who were weary of confrontation and who might listen to a better way, who would welcome concentration at the root of the problem….
In the years since the Supreme Court acted, the anti-abortion movement has made a very large tactical error by concentrating on legal and constitutional issues, when the issue is really moral or ethical….as we have seen with alcohol and tobacco, moral suasion can work better than prohibition….
I am enough of a realist to know that the abortion controversy in the United States will never offer an easy or popular solution. I wish no abortions were performed. I think most Americans agree with me on that….Abortions are failures. And for the most part, they are preventable failures. I would like to see both sides of the abortion controversy agree on this: it is one of the few points on which they can agree. And then they could take steps to avoid the failure that raises the issue of abortion.”
– From Dr. C. Everett Koop, Former Surgeon General for the Reagan Administration, written in 1991
Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop has noted, “We are at a very strange place in history, where the people most opposed to abortions are also opposed to the one thing that would stop them, which is contraceptive information.”
When Koop resigned as surgeon general, he did not put the abortion debate behind him. Instead, as he did in a 1991 Good Housekeeping magazine article, he lamented the politicization of an issue that came to life as concern for the unborn and the health of women. “I wonder if they have forgotten what originally prompted the debate: the innocent unborn child, the agonized pregnant woman. Many opposed to abortion have been notoriously unhelpful to unwed pregnant women; they must be more forthcoming with their time and money to help pregnant women in hardship. And those who call themselves ‘pro-choice’ ought to make more of adoption as a clear choice.”
Fine, protecting the life of the mother is medically mostly moot. Incest & rape abortions are terribly rare, and they punish the innocent. Handicapped babies have a right to be born too.
Still, all that, all of the pro-choice fodder for argument is only 3-5% of abortions. Can you imagine how many children would already have been saved if anyone would compromise? I’m not asking you to change your belief that abortion even in these circumstances is wrong. I think it is too. But if what we’re really about is saving lives- isn’t 97%-95% a pretty good number of lives to save? A 100% ban would be ideal, but the reality is that that will never happen. So if that’s not a possibility, then if we really want to save lives, rather than have our way, then we should go for what’s possible. The pro-choice argument would lose most of it’s wind if the lifers would make that concession. They would find themselves arguing for abortion purely for convenience. Not an easy position to muster support for.



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Jeebus Freak

posted March 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm


P.S. kudos to Catholics for their consistency- boo death penalty, yay charity. Though, specifically:
Latinas have the highest teen pregnancy rate in the U.S. Between the ages of 15-19, Latinas had 81.7 pregnancies per 1,000 girls, while white (non-Hispanic) teens had 25.9 pregnancies per 1,000.
http://latinousa.kut.org/829/
The counselor in the story thought that it was the high level of shame that kids from this culture feel having flunked the virgin test. Hard to separate that from their Catholic roots, if not their outright assiciation. So…
“Many opposed to abortion have been notoriously unhelpful to unwed pregnant women; they must be more forthcoming with their time and money to help pregnant women in hardship.”
I’d extend that to “be more forthcoming with their GRACE.”



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Your Name

posted March 16, 2009 at 7:06 pm


I suggest that the white Catholics that voted for Obama, and any Democrat, are union/government workers that don’t want to lose their jobs and outrageous retirement benefits and has nothing to do with their views on abortion. Money talks. The Catholics know and hope they can confess this voting sin before they die. Meanwhile they can’t vote an end to the gravy train.



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