Jimmy’s For Barack–and Abortion and Homosexual Marriage?

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Editor’s note: A longer version of this article first appeared at Catholic Vote.

In my previous commentary, I noted the blind political devotion of Bill and Hillary Clinton, hopelessly devoted to Barack Obama above all else. These onetime stalwarts of religious freedom—not to mention supporters of the Defense of Marriage Act—are stumping for Barack Obama’s reelection. They do so without a discernible peep of protest to Obama’s policies, particularly his HHS mandate forcing all believers to comply with his abortion fiat.

The Clintons, sadly, are not alone. Millions of old Catholic Democrats—many of them conservative, ironically, but blindly devoted to party—will be blissfully pulling the lever for Obama in November, and for gay marriage and for mandatory abortion funding. Obama is a Democrat, after all.

Well, add another marquee Democrat to the list of blind faithful—a notably religious one: former President Jimmy Carter.

Carter has said many times that he can’t see where God or Scripture ever justifies abortion. And the Georgian Baptist certainly never stumped for gay marriage.

And yet, there was Jimmy Carter, at the Democratic convention, stumping for Barack Obama. Carter was the rare pro-life Democrat even permitted to address the convention—a convention that not only endorsed taxpayer funding of abortion, but even excluded God from the platform.

Has Jimmy Carter said anything to Barack Obama about any of this? Has he protested these positions at all?

Or, in the end, is Jimmy Carter just like the Clintons and the others; that is, blindly loyal to whatever his party’s leader dictates? In the end, does Jimmy Carter likewise put party first, above principle, country, and perhaps even God and Scripture? And if President Carter doesn’t want us to have that conclusion, well, maybe he should do something about it.

Unfortunately, Jimmy Carter is yet another among the Democratic Party’s blind faithful—like countless millions of old Catholic Democrats. For them, it’s party and Barack Obama first, above all else.

Gay marriage? Forced funding of abortion? God stricken from the party platform? Sure, no problem—as long as the president is a Democrat.

For Catholic Exchange dot com and Ave Maria Radio, I’m Paul Kengor.

Dr. Paul Kengor


Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values. His books include “The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism” and “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.”

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  • Brian

    A liberal is always a liberal first and foremost.That’s their religion. I know of some Catholics voting for Obama and they use the seamless garrment arguement to justify their actions. Thankyou Cardinal Bernadin

  • Dr. Kengor, I’m not too surprised that Jimmy Carter has gotten on board with same-sex marriage (SSM). It is truly amazing how fast opinion is changing. According to a Pew poll done in 2010, only 48% of Americans are opposed to SSM, and that figure is certainly lower now, two years later. 87% of the Fortune 500 companies now prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and 58% provide domestic partner health insurance benefits to their employees.

    In fact, these companies’ ranks on the Fortune list are positively correlated with non-discrimination policies. Political pressure? No. They are committed to attracting talented workers and to treating them fairly.

    In Washington State, where I live, all the big companies have contributed mightily to get the state’s marriage equality act approved on the November Ballot. These include Microsoft, T-Mobile, Amazon, REI, Nike, Boeing, Vulcan, Starbucks, and Alaska Air–the backbones of the state’s economy. Financial contributions to the two campaigns are running about 14-to-1, with the marriage equality campaign way out ahead.

    These things are bellwethers, and the trends are clear. People are organizations aren’t just “jumping on the bandwagon.” They are figuring it out.

    The Catholic Church will be bringing up the rear, as it so often does. But the laity will eventually come around, and it will be because of Catholics like Melinda Gates, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and a host of others.

  • Poppiexno

    Poor Dr. Kengor, poor us traditional Catholics, we just don’t get it. But that estimable “Catholic” Nancy Pelosi, and others like her, will lead us out of our ignorance and superstition to the brave new world of same sex “marriage,” abortion at any stage, free speach-protected pornography, and, thanks to Obamacare, finally euthanasia (but with the Liberals admitted capacity to distort the English language to their end they won’t call it that). Why, if we are lucky, we might even be able to get rid of the Papacy and those fossils in the Vatican. They have some nerve telling us what is right and wrong! It should be plain as the nose on your face that with modern polling technology we can decide for ourselves what is right and wrong by vote.

  • Poppiexno: In the developed countries of the world, Catholicism is losing the arguments over SSM and reproductive rights, and people are leaving the Church. 43% of the Irish now say they are unchurched, and a full 15% are atheists. The RC there has to import priests from Africa and Poland to make up for their own shortfall. This has happened throughout Europe and is fast happening in the Americas. The Church always had the threat of damnation or the power of the state to bring the faithful into line, but those days are receding farther and farther into the distance. People now vote with their feet, and they are leaving the church in droves. This is why the church will change. It is faced with irrelevance if it does not.

    Your comment is typical of the desperate, reactionary language that I’ve been seeing on conservative Catholic websites lately. It is full of exaggerations and distortions about abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, and Obamacare. Your inability to offer accurate information and sound arguments is symptomatic of the malaise in your Church.

    You did get one thing right: the Vatican fossils do have some nerve telling you what is right and wrong. Figure it out for yourself. People are tired of top-down power structures, and those of us who live in constitutional democracies find feudalism less and less palatable in religious settings.

  • Mary

    I think you are sadly mistaken. Former President Jimmy Carter wrote a beautiful
    letter on March 29, 2012, to the Democratic Party asking the Democrats to abandon
    Pro-Abortion Position. Did we ever hear anything
    about this letter: A Big Emphatic “NO”. President Carter, like many lifelong democrats,
    feels estranged from the party due to
    the abortion and homosexual issues supported by President Obama. But do we leave the Party??? Who’s to say how we vote on election
    day??? This is also why a group of
    democrats within the party have united and are the foundation for Pro-life
    America. The Democratic Party should
    still be home for those of us who are pro-life citizens. This is the way it was in the past and should
    still be today. I believe, and I’m sure
    many other Democrats including President Jimmy Carter don’t feel we should have
    to leave our party because of the pro-choice movement that some, not even the
    majority, have chosen to take. Sadly,
    the Republican Party probably will never support the programs for social and
    economic justice that is the foundation for pro-life America. I
    personally am outraged at the platform the Democratic Party has chosen to take
    but at this point I will fight to change the party’s outlook rather than leave
    the party. I dare you to tell me that I back Barack-and
    abortion, and homosexual marriage because I am a registered Democrat!

  • Many politicians sell their souls for power opularity and votes this is nothing new.It happens all the time.What was really a disgrace was that lavish funeral for Ted Kennedy who for 40 years unrepentently supported abortion on demand and gay marriage in the end.And no there was absolutely no evidence for any repentence before death.Public sins demand public repentence.But Kennedy had a year rto prepare himself for death and publically apologize and speak out for the lives of the unborn.But he never did that because he had no guilt obviously and no repentence.So that whole funeral was a sham.No one knows for sure 100 percent where anyone goes at death.Whether hell or heaven.Only God knows their hearts and where they were spiritually before death.All I can say is not look good for the late senator.

  • Any “catholic” who votes for Obama is not a true catholic.There are multitudes of catholics who were born a catholic never attend mass except maybe christmas and easter and pick and choose from the Bible and cath magisterium.They are not catholics nor christian Jesus said the way to life is narrow.Thank God though that there are still millions of real devout catholic christians out there too.the tares will be judged in God,s time.

  • Harry, I think Ted Kennedy may be in a very good place, and I imagine he died with a clear conscience. Peace be upon him.

  • Harry, you will be one of the select few. The rest, who are unlike you and have different views, will be suffering eternal torments for their deviation from Catholic doctrine! It serves them right. They deserve to suffer the torments of HELL! When you get to heaven, you can gaze down upon them and take delight in their sufferings. This will undoubtedly make you blissful for ALL ETERNITY! God Himself will exalt you and might even give you a mansion with 30 virgins to enjoy. Keep up the good work!

  • Poppiexno

    “full of exaggerations and distortions about abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, and Obamacare” I await your citation of specific examples. And no, I’m not desperate. I am at peace

  • A Mitchell

    Okay, I am telling you that if you voted for Barack Obama for president, you already have supported abortion . I further suggest that if you help re-elect him, you will be supporting unlimited abortion in this country and also help the demise of the definition of marriage.
    I guess you can still be a registered Democrat but your vote means something.

  • But Barack Obama doesn’t support unlimited abortion; he supports family planning, which is one of the best ways of preventing abortions.

    There will be no “demise of the definition of marriage.” Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary now has two definitions, as it does for many entries. Sometimes words have more than one definition. Your marriage is safe from harm if Obama is elected.

  • bill miles

    What a load of political harping.
    So I vote Dem and I’m a baby killer.
    I vote Rep. and I send death to untold thousands both home and abroad.
    as for the marriage issue…………please. Hetero marriage is no shining star to hold up as an example. Look at the divorce rate. good god.
    FYI…married 30yrs and counting and father of 6. yes to the same woman.

  • Right on.

  • Abortion is murder.Both the Bible see psalm 123 for example and medical science says that unique life begins at conception.Obama does support unlimited abortion even until the ninth month no restrictions whatsoever.This butcher is even for sex selection abortions.He even voted for babies born after abortions to be left alone and die.When he stands before Jesus he will give an account to what “He did to the least of these” there is nothing more innocent weak and helpless than a unborn baby.God defined marriage thousands of years ago.Its a sacrted covenent between a man and a woman.Not Obama or anyone else has a right to redefine it.

  • Harry, the Torah is actually a little conflicted about abortion and murder. On the one hand, the Decalogue proscribes murder, but on the other, several passages in the O.T. show that God approves of abortion and infanticide. See Hosea 9:11-16, Numbrer 5: 11-21, Numbers 31:17, Hosea 13:16, and 2 Kings 15:16. In all these passage, God is seen either commanding or approving the slaying of fetuses and infants. In one of them, (Hosea 13:16), God promises to dash to pieces the infants of Samaria and “their women with child shall be ripped up.” In 2 Kings 15:16, God allows the pregnant women of Tappuah to be “ripped open.”

    I don’t think that anything Obama has said or done could compare to what God Himself has decreed. If you can vote for God, you can surely vote for Obama.

  • AnnaMarie53

    Somehow you don’t sound all that happy to have been married to the same woman for 30 yrs. and to have 6 children. You gripe about either party without understanding of either parties’ point of view, which, by the way, and FYI, is radically different as to what is important to them. Could it be that you are never happy with anything? It certainly sounds like it! Yes, the divorce rate is a disgrace, but that is not the fault of hetero marriage! It was created by God to make both women and men happy. But, they must do what it takes to MAKE it happy, and that includes taking the good with the bad. Is that something you aren’t comfortable with? Do you expect happiness to drop into your lap? My father was like that. After 40 years of utter selfishness, he finally drove my mother away. Perhaps you had best re-think your positions.

  • AnnaMarie53

    Frank, someone with no conscience at all is very much at peace because he has no knowledge of right or wrong. I rather think that, rather than Ted being in a “good place,” he is most likely being re-educated by the devil. Peace be upon the millions of aborted CHILDREN he was complicit in murdering!

  • AnnaMarie53

    Frank, what is your problem? Harry said nothing about taking delight in ANYONE’S

  • AnnaMarie53

    Frank, if you are so “at peace,” why don’t you leave the rest of us “poor, benighted” Catholics alone in our “happy ignorance?” I am one of those who, after many years of study have decided that people like you just go to show that “top down” hierarcharies such as Holy Mother Church, make sense in matters of Faith. This is not a democracy! However, if you wish to continue to babble along in your false faith, go ahead. Just have the common decency, please, to leave the rest of us alone.

  • AnnaMarie53

    Besides, I thought this discussion was about Jimmy Carter, and not you! I’ll bet you make everything about you. You must be a real hoot to be around.

  • AnnaMarie53

    Mary, if it had been solely up to the Democrats in 1965, the Voting Rights Act would never have been passed! It was the Republicans (!) who voted in that much needed act! Like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. we Republicans believe in the individual, not more programs that just throw good money after bad! We do believe individuals, with a little protection, not dependence, can still make in this wonderful country!

  • AnnaMarie53

    Frank, you really are something! I’m not sure WHAT. I’ll bet you are a college professor. All that knowledge and no understanding. What a shame.

  • Mary

    I do not support Obama. I did not vote for him and will not vote for him in the upcoming election. I am a devout Catholic and I know what it means to be Catholic! I’m just not sure the answer is switching parties rather than trying to uphold and fight for what the party was found on.

  • AnnaMarie53, do help me understand. You write that abortion is condemned by the Bible, and I show you that the God of the Bible instructs the faithful to commit infanticide. Instead of even attempting to resolve that little problem, you declare that I am “really something.”

    If you say that the sky is green and I point to it and say, no, it is actually blue, can you claim that I have “no understanding”?

  • AnnaMarie53, I’ve read and re-read Bill’s comment, and I don’t see any sign of unhappiness or griping in what he wrote. He dislikes “political harping,” and so do I.

    I would just add to what he wrote that a Romney-Ryan budget will impose untold hardships on millions of Americans, including women and infants. Obama’s Affordable Care Act with the HHS mandate will ensure that millions of women have access to reproductive health coverage, which will lower the rate of abortion, infant mortality, maternal mortality, and pediatric health issues.

  • AnnaMarie53, does it thrill you to think of Ted Kennedy roasting in Hell?

  • Harry, what do you think will happen to those multitudes of faux Catholics after they die?

  • AnnaMarie53, I am here to educate myself about the ongoing crisis in the Catholic Church. Why? Because it interests me. It is part of history. The comments that I find on sites like this one are, I assume, fairly representative of conservative Catholic opinion. Many of those comments are, I believe, very symptomatic of the underlying problems.

    For example, where you write, “This is not a democracy!” you reveal a very fundamental set of values that are at odds with modern constitutional democracies like the U.S., Canada, and the countries of Europe.

    The question is, how long can a Church that opposes democracy coexist with a democratic state? Believe it or not, the Church is the people who make it up; without them, there would be no Church.

    These same people are going to Mass on Sundays and stepping into what is essentially a medieval system of authoritarian governance. When they walk out into the calm sunshine of the secular world, they are back in a highly evolved secular society that values their individuality and respects their choices. The question is, where would they rather be? And how long can they tolerate being treated like “sheep” by their church?

  • Peter Nyikos

    I’d say that Bill’s comment has an even higher percentage of political harping than Kengor’s article. His use of the term “Hetero marriage” strongly suggests a secular slant on the issues of which he speaks.

    As for the rest of what you write, all of it is debatable, starting with the assumption that “millions of women” would not use any kind of birth control without getting hormonal contraceptives/abortifacients free of charge.

    That abortion rates are lowered by increased use of contraception is a factoid not borne out by statistics; “maternal mortality” might be increased by the indiscriminate use of estrogen, a known enhancer of breast cancer; “infant mortality” and “pediatric health issues” assumes that making hormonal contraceptives/abortifacients free of charge (no copay, even) will reduce the number of babies born each year.

    Worst of all, you ignore the coercion of employers to violate their moral beliefs that is an integral part of the Health Mandate. It isn’t just a Catholic issue: millions of non-Catholics believe it is murder to prevent the implantation of a developing human being, which is one of the effects of hormonal contraception.

  • Peter Nyikos

    Roasting? I hope not. I like the view of Hell in C. S. Lewis’s _The Great Divorce_, where all the dead have a good look at both heaven and hell, and some of them prefer the latter (which is NOT a place of torture or hellfire) because otherwise they would have to give up the sinful habits to which they clung dearly.

    How would Ted Kennedy choose in such a situation? No one still alive should think they have a good handle on that question.

  • Peter Nyikos

    Frank, did you check your biblical references before posting them, or are you a blind atheistic sheep? Besides the trivial detail of there being no verse 16 in Hosea 13, there is this: They give not a single case of God either commanding or approving the slaying of fetuses and infants by human beings. In all but two cases, the killing is due to God and not man; in one of them, Numbers 31:17 it is Moses who issues the command, which goes well beyond what God commanded in the beginning of the chapter.

    In the other case, 2 Kings 15:16 you are, in effect, saying that not preventing something one has the physical ability to prevent is to approve of it, which is completely false. This is clearly shown in Amos 1:13-15, whose first verse goes:

    Thus says the LORD:
    For three crimes of the Ammonites, and for four, I will not revoke my word; because they ripped open expectant mothers in Gilead, while extending their territory.

  • Peter Nyikos

    You’ve got the roles reversed in this green sky-blue sky analogy, Frank. Take a look at how you’ve misrepresented the verses to which you are referring.

    Did you know that? If so, your “do help me understand” has got to rank among the most insincere words I have ever seen in Catholic Exchange.

  • Peter, “hetero marriage” is now one variety of marriage. As same-sex marriage becomes more and more mainstream, dictionaries like Merriam-Websters are reflecting the change.

    A Guttmacher Institute study earlier this year found inverse correlations between liberal abortion laws and abortion rates. They cite other studies showing that abortion incidence is inversely associated with the level of contraceptive use.

    The National Cancer Institute reports that the use of a oral contraceptives slightly increases the risk of breast cancer but reduces the risks of ovarian and endometrial cancer. The breast cancer risk returns to normal within ten years after cessation of use.

    Many common medications, food additives, and household products also raise cancer risks.

    I realize many employers feel their religious liberties are threatened because they cannot force others to not use birth control. But the employees often see things differently. It is a rare employee who isn’t paying for at least half of his or her health coverage, and employees have rights, too.

  • May the dead rest in peace. Let’s not pursue them beyond the grave.

  • Peter, I did check, and then I re-checked. My verses were accurate, and there is indeed a verse 16 in Hosea 13. I am using the RSV.

    Hosea 13:16: “Samaria shall bear her guilt, because she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword, their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.” (I think there can be little doubt that this is divine punishment.)

    Hosea 9: 11-16 goes on about God’s punishment of Israel. It’s all in first person. God is speaking and saying, “I will bereave them … I will kill the cherished offspring of their womb.”

    Numbers 5:11-21 is particularly gory. It begins, “The Lord spoke to Moses,” and the rest is the voice of God instructing Moses how to deal with wives who “go astray.” Verse 21 says, “Let the priest …say to the woman, ‘the Lord make you an execration and an oath among your people, when the Lord makes your uterus drop, your womb discharge; now may this water that brings the curse enter your bowels and make your womb discharge, your uterus drop!”

    II Kings 15:16: One of the kings of Israel (Menahem) sacks a city and rips open all the pregnant women in it.

    Numbers 31:17: God has spoken to Moses (verse 1), ordering him to avenge the Israelites on the Midianites. The Israelites kill the kings and take the women and their children captive. But Moses is angry that they have been spared, so he instructs his officers to kill all the women who have known a man, and their male children. Do you think Moses was just being a “loose cannon” there? Surely, if God hated abortion as much as you think he does, he would have demoted Moses on the spot.

    The verse you quoted is accurate. Obviously, God doesn’t like it when the wombs of Israelite women are ripped out.

  • Peter, see my comment, above. I didn’t misinterpret any verses. The evidence that God ordered abortions is very clear.

  • Poppiuexno

    AnnaMarie53. It was I, Poppiexno, not Frank who wrote that “I am at peace” in response to Frank’s accusation that I used desparate reactionary language. I am still wating for Frank to provide specific examples of my comment being “full of exaggerations and distortions.”
    I am at peace because I have Jesus’ promise that He will be with us until the end of time. It must be very frustrating for Frank to encounter people of faith. I do feel sorry for him.

  • Peter Nyikos

    Frank, you missed my point about “Hetero marriage”: Bill’s use of that term was political harping and so is yours: you ignore the fact that very few countries have legalized same-sex marriage, along with the phenomenon that a quite a few people who contract “Hetero marriage” are, in fact, homosexual, while same-sex marriage could well be a marriage of convenience for some couples.

    I am unaware of any Guttmacher study this year doing what you say. I am, however, aware of the rebuttal of USCCB to an earlier study. It includes, for example, the following:

    “The authors also claim that widespread access to contraception clearly leads to
    lower abortion rates,” Ms. McQuade noted. “Yet Guttmacher’s own data show there
    is no correlation between the two. States ranking highest for access to
    contraceptive services, including California and New York, also rank highest in
    abortion rates. Others that Guttmacher considers weak in contraceptive services,
    such as Kansas and the Dakotas, have among the lowest abortion rates in the

    “Those states have reduced their abortion rates, in part, by
    choosing not to subsidize abortion, and ensuring informed consent for women and
    parental involvement for minors seeking abortions – policies which the
    Guttmacher report demands be rescinded,” she explained.http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/contraception/response-to-guttmacher-institute-s-claims-on-contraception-and-abortion-policy.cfm

    A bit later, the same article rebuts a later statement by Guttmacher Institute (GI) item by item, beginning with:

    GI: GI’s two goals, reducing abortions while also promoting abortion access,
    are clearly “entirely compatible,” because European countries which take this
    twofold approach have relatively low abortion rates.
    Fact: Those countries have more restrictive policies on abortion than the
    U.S. – allowing elective abortions only in the first three months, and only
    after an “informed consent” procedure, counseling on alternatives and a waiting
    period, for example. GI opposes such modest policies, which have been found to
    reduce abortions in a number of studies. GI cannot cite Europe in defense of its
    own radical agenda.====================

    The rest of the rebuttal keeps right on undermining your claims about “correlations.”

    You also conveniently ignore the fact that breast cancer is many times more common than ovarian or endometrial cancer.
    Employees have rights, you say, but the privilege of getting top-of-the-line oral contraceptives without even copaying, is a “right” only in the eyes of those with a radical agenda. Does yours include trampling on the religious liberties of people who regard the use of abortifacients as murder?

  • Peter Nyikos

    Oh, but this country is not a democracy — it is a constitutional republic, as the subsequent treatment of the truly democratically voted Proposition 8 in California shows. Since you obviously believe the courts should strike that law down, your shabby treatment of AnnaMarie53’s comments is a long exercise in hypocrisy.

    If anything represents “authoritarian governance” it is the Supreme Court, whose decision on Obamacare hinged on the most preposterous extension of the word “tax” (by Roberts), that I have seen, so preposterous that he is alone in supporting it–but it was his excuse for the way he voted. It was a naked act of will, not reason.

  • Frankie I go by the words oF Jesus the son of God about hell.Not some fiction author like C S Lewis.Hell is a fiery place of torment thats also the teachings of all the early church fathers and church tradition for 2000 years.Thats why the son of God went through such great lengths to save humanity.But everyone has a choice to repent and believe on Jesus or choose to reject him and live in sin

  • Peter Nyikos

    AnnaMarie, you overestimate Frank. I am a university professor of thirty years’ teaching experience, and I have never seen any of my fellow faculty members making statements whose falsity can so easily be checked as the ones Frank made about the biblical verses.

    If he was unaware of their falsity, then “all that knowledge” is just a bunch of blind belief based on propaganda by his fellow atheists and abortion rights zealots that he picked up in the blogosphere and never bothered to check out for himself.

  • AnnaMarie53

    No, I don’t get a thrill from the idea of anybody “roasting” in hell. But since you don’t believe in it ( or at least the one Jesus talks about) why worry? I just feel way sorrier for the millions of babies murdered under the phoney title of “reproductive health.” Let’s be honest here: those babies just were not convenient.

  • Peter, apparently when you wrote this you had not read my comment about verifying those biblical passages. They are all there, just as I told you they were. The fact that your 13th chapter of Hosea has no 16th verse leads me to think someone may have been fiddling with your Bible. I am using the RSV.

  • Peter, our country can be described as a constitutional democracy, a representative democracy, or a constitutional republic, depending on which part of the animal you’re looking at.

    In a constitutional democracy, majorities may not “vote” to oppress minorities. In this country, we have a Bill of Rights that protects every citizen regardless of popular vote. So, although our elected representatives may pass a law and a popular referendum can uphold or overturn it, that law may still be challenged on constitutional grounds. And that is what happened in Judge Walker’s courtroom.

    I don’t always like the Supreme Court’s decisions, but I respect the process. Without a Supreme Court, how would you overturn laws that you believe to be unjust? The SC is just a final arbiter, and there has to be one at the end of the line, after all the state and district courts have considered cases.

    What would you propose? Scrapping the judiciary altogether?

  • Careful, Peter. I think AnnaMarie53 was using “college professor” as an epithet.

  • Peter, ten countries have legalized same-sex marriage. SSM is recognized in 15 countries including Israel and Mexico, and it is being debated in 12 others, including the UK and France. Seven U.S. states have legalized it, and two or three more may come on board by the end of the year.

    The countries that have legalized SSM are Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden.

    There is considerable momentum in these changes. As recently as 2000, no state or country in the world recognized or allowed same-sex marriages. And here we are 12 years later.

    What you’ve said about homosexuals entering into “straight” marriages is true, and it points to a problem that SSM will certainly help to alleviate. An estimated 50 million homosexuals in Asia are in heterosexual marriages. That is the combined population of California and Illinois. What a lot of unnecessary unhappiness!

    You quoted the USCCB in your rebuttal of my claims about contraception. The USCCB has an extremely strong ideological bias in these matters. Guttmacher would certainly score higher on reliability because their approach is empirical, not ideological. But I realize you do not trust Guttmacher, so there are many other sources of reliable information such as the various medical associations.

    I stick by my claims until you can refute them using more unbiased sources.

  • Peter Nyikos

    I was using the NAB, which puts the 13:16 verse of RSV into the next chapter, as Hosea 14:1. I edited my last comment here to reflect that as soon as I noticed this.

    We seem to agree that the first three actions you list are supposed to be divine, which throws a monkey wrench into your claim that God commanded and approved murder and infanticide (by humans–otherwise, it would be irrelevant to Obama, Carter, the election, etc.)

    In Ezekiel, God is depicted as saying “All life belongs to me”. So the rules of killing he is depicted as laying down in that book and elsewhere apply to humans, not to God.

    You scoff at the idea of a God in charge of life after death, but you have to take this doctrine into account when trying to lecture Christians on what a terrible entity the God of the Bible is. Christians, unlike God, merely BELIEVE that there is a life after death, but do not KNOW it, and for that reason already, it is wrong to kill anyone except under special circumstances (self defense, etc.).

    But for the kinds of Christians you dislike, it is wrong simply because of the commandments of God.

  • Peter Nyikos

    Frank, your clever little retort about Amos 1:13 actually proves my point about it, that it is wrong to imply that because God allows something, that means he approves of it.

    As for what you wrote about Moses and Menahem, you need to argue with people who scoff at the idea of a life after death. Whoever wrote “the mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceeding fine” was far wiser than you are with your childish “on the spot.”

  • Peter Nyikos

    That’s her problem. And I stand by what I wrote to her. See what I wrote in my two messages above for why. Also, note that the Bible never spells out why Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land. He was in effect demoted, with Joshua getting the honor of leading the Israelites there.

  • Peter, I think you’re at the end of your rope on this. Logic and evidence having failed, you’re resorting to arguments that have become incoherent. I doubt that anyone reading what you have reading would understand it.

  • Peter Nyikos

    There is no ordering of abortions involved. In particular, neither Moses nor God ordered any abortions of the Midianites. As for the actual abortions, God either does them himself or they are done without him ordering it, in all the examples you give.

  • Peter Nyikos

    Frank, it is utterly ridiculous to label as “oppression” the refusal to give cohabiting people of the same sex the same privileges as are given to people married according to a definition that lasted from prehistory to the latter half of the 20th century. Next thing you know you will be saying it is “oppression” to deny Mormons and Muslims the privilege of marrying as many people as they want, or to deny siblings with no means of begetting children by each other the privilege of marrying each other.

  • Peter Nyikos

    The Guttmacher Institute was for a long time the research affiliate of Planned Parenthood, which is at least as biased towards abortion as the USCCB–it has plenty to gain from it financially, while the USCCB gains nothing from opposing it and even saddles itself with promises to help women who want to keep their children. So unless you can show that the Guttmacher Institute has completely reinvented itself, you have no case for your claim that it would “certainly score higher on reliability”.

    Besides, you commit the *ad hominem* fallacy of completely ignoring the actual arguments used by the USCCB in the site I linked, and failing to give any source that carries rebuttals of them.

    You are making a totally unfounded and insulting implication that all homosexuals in traditional marriages are unhappy.

    The propaganda I see about such people “living a lie” needs to be balanced by the love that many have for their spouses and children. To abandon these people who rely on them for support in favor of fleeting moments of sexual gratification would be the real living of a lie.

    Do you even have any statistics showing that a greater percentage of people in such situations are any more unhappy about it than heterosexuals in them?

  • “God…does them himself?”

  • Michelle Marie Allen

    @facebook-100004285624267:disqus …I can certainly can see by your arguement that God in the Bible in some verses of the Old Testament “appears” to “approve” of abortion/infanticide/murder. You have referenced these citations as a defense of your position that it is “OK” for any “loyal” Democrat Christian(Jimmey Carter and Catholics like Kennedy,Sebelius, Pelosi, Biden et al) to vote a Democratic platform which includes legalized abortion.
    The God of the Old Testament would “appear” to any human to be a hateful,vengeful God. Notice I said “appear”. Read Job Chapters 38-42. It is a long read and those verses and chapters asks the question, do we(as humans) KNOW what is best for ALL of mankind in the overall scheme of life ?
    Obedience to God versus human pride is the issue in both the Old/New Testament(s). We now live by the New Testament which was the second chance God gave ALL of mankind by the New Covenant through sending His Only Begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ to live as a human, die by human hands, for the FORGIVENESS of ALL of mankind’s transgressions in the Old Testament as well as all future sins mankind in his sinful nature will/has commited consistently since the New Testament began.
    To “fear” the Almighty Creator, God of both the Old and New Testament(s) is to acknowledge that we as humans will NEVER be God. Even a dog heeds its Master’s voice. Lucifer was cast out of Heaven because of his pride. Pride is also considered one of the “deadly” sins. If obedience to God through the Loving Mercy of Jesus Christ rankles your human pride, then do as you will for for the sake of your human pride as all of mankind was given “free” will to choose. And if you are not a Christian, do as you will again. Jesus/God will always care about your eternal soul even if you don’t.
    Come Election Day, we as Christian US citizens will have to choose. To sanctify as God has commanded us,”Thou Shall Not Kill.”; Life on Earth or else suffer the consequences of Eternal Death. The choice is yours.
    And Joshua said unto all the people [of Israel], … choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:2, 15).

  • Actually, Peter, I did not say that “all homosexuals in traditional marriages are unhappy.” You can re-read my comment if you like.

    A mixed-orientation marriage is in almost every case based on a lie. One of the partners has not leveled with the other during the courtship phase, and that betrayal of trust can have far-reaching consequences for the spouses, their children, and their extended family.

    The sexual component of marriage is certainly not all that marriage is, but it is an important part. Even more important are the levels of trust and authenticity in the relationship.

  • Peter Nyikos

    You did not say “all” but your “so much unhappiness” certainly seemed to imply it.

    And now you say “almost all” with no studies to back you up, in connection with something that comes close to saying the same thing: “mixed-orientation marriage is in almost every case based on a lie. One of the partners has not leveled with the other during the courtship phase”.

    Perhaps the truth is almost the opposite, that “almost all” cases fall under one of two headings:
    (1) the partner who feels strong same-sex attraction thinks [s]he can overcome it and build a good life with the other, and tells this to the other, who agrees or

    (2) or the latter is the one who, knowing the other feels strong same sex attraction, thinks it will not be a real problem and can be brought under control, just like so many spouses are able to keep thoughts of adultery from being acted on.

    Even Jimmy Carter once admitted he had looked at women with lust in his heart while married; but being a responsible husband and parent, he may never have acted on it.

  • One is not worried about hell; one is curious that you could believe in one. You Earth people are most curious.

  • Remember what Mark Twain said: heaven for climate, but hell for society.

  • Peter Nyikos

    Frank, you have nothing of substance to counter what I wrote, and are resorting to some standard tactics of trolls, of whom I’ve encountered all too many in over a decade of intensive Usenet posting.

    Yesterday I realized something that further undermines your case: the historical context of Hosea 13:16 is that Assyria was conquering one people after another, and the Book of Hosea has God deciding not to save Israel from the fate that had befallen so many already, on account of its numerous sins. The horrible details in that verse, including the ripping open of pregnant women, were descriptions of some of the atrocities practiced by the armies of Assyria, one of whose kings boasted at great length of the gruesome details of his conquests.

  • Harry, Harry, Harry. There can’t be true or false versions of a myth. If you say you’re a Catholic, you’re a Catholic. Doesn’t mean, of course, that you’re catholic (which is why capitals help). And put spaces after your periods. Does your English teacher know you’re out here?

  • Peter Nyikos

    Numbers 5 clearly implies that, yes. And you would understand why I am unafraid to say such things, if you had not chosen to bury your head in the sand about what I said about life after death and “All life belongs to me” [Ezekiel 18:4]. Your empty taunts claiming victory (“end of your rope”) in response to that particular message of mine were a classic case of projection.

  • There’s enough debate about the morality of abortion that it should not be put to a popular vote. We should not vote on religious issues.

    And frankly, we have to get out of the morality business. We have to get out of the punishing business, that’s for people who like their pride more than their species.

    And frankly, no one has yet made the case for free will. They ever so wish, but they never succeed. Punishment makes too many unwarranted assumptions. Humanism and pragmatism can handily replace dogmas and strictures. Gods don’t make us good; they make us think we’re special. They are symptomatic of our arrogance. They are not pretty. They lead us into troubled waters. They maketh us to lie down with the enemy.

  • The agenda is not “radical.” Please use another term. You may not like it, but that doesn’t make it radical. “Radical” means outside the normal parameters of the debate and this certainly is within them. The people who wish to have access to abortion don’t force this choice on those who regard it as murder. It’s not commonly agreed that abortion is murder, so the charge of murder can’t be leveled at them at this time, hence the users of abortion aren’t open to the charge. The use of pejoratives doesn’t make a charge real. Expecting full-range health care is a worker’s right in this day and age, and that includes contraception. It’s not a religious issue to have it available through workplace health plans. It doesn’t violate anyone’s religious liberties to have it available. The Church doesn’t have to recommend contraception usage, it simply has to make it available as part of its health plan because it’s good for people’s health. That’s not a radical agenda. Period.

    And heck, you know and I know that the problem is with the Church, not the people. There’s nothing more subjective than religion. If you use religion as a guide, you’ll never find agreement. Religions are designed to divide, not unite. They are not forces for universal good.

  • Nonetheless, I bet Frank is right: most of those marriages are unhappy. Knowing human nature, forcing yourself to have sex with the “wrong” sex is disturbing, no matter which way you flip the rock. I do agree that both partners in an unhappy marriage of this sort probably know of the problem’s existence.

  • I’m sorry but those damned Bible verses are only for believers. They have nothing to do with the general population. Never bring the Bible to a morality argument. It is not a good source.

    May I remind you that all religions—yours included—are myth-based systems through which people evaluate the world. They are not objective descriptions of any external sources; they are entirely human constructs, yours included (if you have one). We have no way of knowing whose religion is correct, and the a priori odds of any one religion being correct are zero, yours included. That’s not a matter of debate; that’s just odds.

  • Frank

    Peter, your “argument from tradition,” is considered a logical fallacy. We don’t continue doing things just because they have always been done, and we don’t refuse to do things just because they were never before done. If we really operated that way, we would be stuck in the stone age forever. Certain traditions may be very precious to you but not to others. No one is preventing your adhering to your traditions. Same-sex marriage is simply a variety of marriage; it doesn’t replace the kind of marriage that you know. You don’t have to get divorced just because two gay men get married.

    In legal parlance, the state has no “compelling interest” in denying same-sex couples the same marriage rights as heterosexuals. There is, however, a bright line between these two forms of marriage and polygamous or incestuous ones. The state has a compelling interest in stopping polygyny because it allows monopolization of the pool of females and leaves a disproportionate number of males wifeless. Similarly, the state prohibits incestuous marriages because such marriages carry high risk of passing along genetic defects.

  • Frank

    Peter, read this carefully. It’s God speaking to Moses (from Numbers 5:11-21):

    “Let the priest …say to the woman, ‘the Lord make you an execration and an oath among your people, when the Lord makes your uterus drop, your womb discharge; now may this water that brings the curse enter your bowels and make your womb discharge, your uterus drop!’”

    I do not see any possibilities for alternative interpretations of that passage.

  • Frank

    Peter, there’s no “monkey wrench” in my claim that God commanded and approved murder and infanticide. He commanded humans to perform these acts, and he did so again and again in the OT. The Ezekial verse you quote just reinforces my claim. “All life belongs to me” obviously means, “Don’t kill unless I command you to,” and then God does command his people to commit murder and infanticide.

  • Frank

    OK, Peter, I’ll give you a provisional pass on that one. How about this one: “I will bereave them … I will kill the cherished offspring of their womb.” (Hosea 9:11-16) Notice the subject pronoun.

  • Frank

    Peter, the wording of the verses is very, very clear. God didn’t just allow infanticide. He ordered it. Again, notice the pronoun “I” here: “I will bereave them … I will kill the cherished offspring of their womb.”

  • Frank

    Peter, although your two scenarios are certainly possible, I can’t imagine that they are very common. At the present time, I’m not aware of any studies that would support either your position or mine.

  • AnnaMarie53

    No, I just think you are a self-important boob.

  • catholicexchange

    Hi Frank,

    In addition to the whole ‘boob’ thing, everyone can see that you’ve hit upon a particular, subjective view of the Bible that simply runs counter to the way people of faith have normally read the Bible for 2,000 years or so. You seem to think the Bible is a big Morality Instruction Manual, and that the reason for its existence is that it should be something we consult in order to know how to behave. It isn’t. It is a sacred, inspired collection of books that tells us, above all, how God saves us, in spite of ourselves. It’s full of men and women who did all sorts of things that shock and scandalize us, and how God brings about a reconciliation between himself and us in the midst of it all.

    One big principle that the Church teaches consistently about reading the Bible is this:

    “What is the literal sense of a passage is not always as obvious in the speeches and writings of the ancient authors of the East as it is in our own times…The interpreter must go back wholly in spirit to those remote centuries of the East and with the aid of history, archaeology, ethnology and other sciences, accurately determine what modes of writing the authors of that period would be likely to use, and in fact did use.” (Divino Afflante Spiritu, 1943).

    The “mode” included making God the official for all their laws and rules, including the bloody ones. We aren’t meant to believe that God actually leaned down and said: “rip their children out of their wombs!” That kind of violence was common in the ancient Israelites’ day (as it has become in our own), and the original writers of the OT knew only that God was Someone who loved his people, and protected them from others, if they were faithful. Naturally, they saw foreigners as enemies, and they wrote that into their scriptures. Does that describe how God feels about it, as well? No–we know that now. We know, because it has been shown that God loves us and is willing to incarnate and die for all of us–even us gentiles!

    It’s high time you took a step back from the cherry-picked passages taken out of context and tried to see what God really wants you to see in the Bible: that, despite human weakness and frailty, He abides in mercy, and wants both you and President Obama and all of us to be with Him forever in heaven forever.

  • Frank

    AnnaMarie, you write that I seem to think the Bible is a big Morality Instruction Manual. Actually, some of it was clearly meant to be one. Anywhere you find certain behaviors either required or prohibited–often with transgressors stoned to death–the “instruction manual” function could not be clearer.

    If I understand you correctly, you are saying that the God who behaved so badly in the OT was a projection of the Israelites. They didn’t really know God; they misunderstood and misrepresented Him. He wasn’t really cruel and despotic at all. Or the God that they describe and think they know is only the real God when He is loving and kind.

    I agree that the God of the OT is a projection, but where does that projection stop? Do people only project angry and vengeful gods, or don’t they also project loving and merciful ones?

    And will the angry and vengeful God return on Judgment Day?

  • Frank

    Harry, that’s a pretty grim view of the human condition. I guess you are probably expressing a minority view among Catholics. Why would you worship a God that would allow all that suffering? Gruesome!

  • Frank

    But you’re not overly concerned about all that human flesh roasting for eternity in Hell? I’m told to expect to find the Dalai Lama there when I arrive.

  • AnnaMarie53

    Give it up, Frank. Quit trying to bait me. It won’t work. I’m just not that interested in your facile ideas.

  • Thanks alot Anne marie I appreciate that

  • Peter Nyikos

    Your “reminder” is rejected as a classic case of the logical fallacy of “begging the question.” [Do you know the REAL meaning of that expression?]

    What’s more, you are playing “bad cop” to Frank’s “good cop.” He is a fellow atheist of yours, but he made some allegations about what the Bible CLAIMS, and I was addressing those.

    Needless to say, you aren’t correcting HIM.

  • Peter Nyikos

    And both you and Frank think that both of those “places” are pure myths, and you even think that you KNOW it, and maybe Frank does too. Your red herring about those Biblical verses makes that clear.

  • Peter Nyikos

    As usual, Frank, you are pretending to be the objective person after having made an outrageous claim–in this case, that it is “oppression” to deny gay people (who already have the right to do everything to each other that same-sex marriage allegedly gives them) privileges like the tax break of “married, filing jointly” that the US Circuit Court of Appeal in Boston wanted to give them in a May decision.

    Now that this article is no longer on the front page of Catholic Exchange, I will only add that your garbage about “bright line” and the “state’s compelling interest” is something you made up off the top of your head, without having any court decisions to back you up.

  • ct

    Frank, you are so full of…rhetoric. But, in answer to your question “how long can a Church that opposes democracy coexist with a democratic state?”, annnnnddd the survey says,
    OVER TWO THOUSAND YEARS. End story. PS – bah bah baaahhhhhh

  • ct

    You are actually one of a very small percentage of Democrats who profess to be pro-life, according to statistics. I happened to see Dr. Stephen Schneck, board member of Democrats for Life and director of
    the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at Catholic
    University of America, being interviewed by Raymond Orroyo on EWTN (that is a cable channel with Catholic programming if you are not familiar). Well, let me put it this way, poor Mr. Schneck had some talking points that didn’t quite hold up when the light of truth shone upon them. Especially the gem about how budget cuts will cause there to be even more abortions. He could present no evidence to uphold this claim, but, he kept right on pushing it even in the face of a persistent request for facts from Orroyo. You seem really serious about your outrage and your desire to “change the party’s outlook”, but where you may experience a bit of a problem is that your party has no desire to change their march toward a secular society with an absence of any Judeo-Christian values. Good luck.

  • yvonne

    and of course, Guttmacher is part of Planned parenthood.
    amazing !

  • yvonne

    why do you folks come to a catholic website to discuss anything? isn’t clear you are just here to cause problems ,not have a legitimate discussion? you are obvioously not Catholics.

  • Mary P.

    Off topic-I think that’s the book that mentions whining so much, that is actually what you become, one big whine. I can’t remember it exactly, but it made an impression on my husband and me to remember to count our blessings….love CS Lewis

  • Richard III

    “Jimmy Carter = Blind Faithful Democrat” totally true, and the only other thing I can say here is, Hurray for John Lennon supporting Reagan over Carter in 1980! (In his later years, Lennon grew more conservative, to the point that he thought Carter was a schiester even as president and was frustrated that he couldn’t vote for Reagan because he still wasn’t a full US citizen. Lennon and Reagan did get to meet at a baseball game and had a heck of a time swapping jokes)