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Women Star in the President's Political Theater: Who's Really Getting Played? Comments

With a pen stroke and a press conference, President Obama used women to initiate a war on Religious freedom and with the media lapdogs panting at his heels, he made sure the Republicans, and especially the Catholic Church, were painted as misogynist zealots.  Now he's leading this contrived and fraudulent battle over "women's health", and the so-called feminists have pinned women's entire well-being to a package of pills and reduced women ... Continue Reading

11 - 20 of 76 Comments

  1. Rob
    2 years ago

    Honestly vance, what we have seen from so-called conservatives is what has led me to believe that the differences are merely cosmetic. The love of self, self indulgence, vanity, pride the pursuit of power and all sorts of sexual pervision is not new. Maybe they manifest themselves in different ways, but it's all the same. Satan is an equal opportunity destroyer and hates conservatives as much as he hates liberals. He just works them differently. And I think when we have an ideology that is anything other than the gospels, we lose sight of the sin. I do know this, we learn to tolerate a lot when it's our guy at the helm. But let's be honest, we've been fighting the same set of sins since the fall of man. And while we try hard to put people in boxes, put labels or exclude, sometimes I wonder if we have forgotten that all our God's children and He does not wish the destruction of any. We are so busy with our labeling that sometimes I think we've turned into the Pharisee praying to God saying "thank you Lord for not making me like that tax collector in the back of the church." I do think that for those of us who claim to be a disciple of Christ, that we are trying really hard to be in all aspects of Christ's teaching. Because one thing is pretty clear to me as I read the gospels. Christ's anger seemed to mostly be leveled at the religious and self-righteous of his time. Praise God that he was always merciful to the sinner. Christ lived in a time when the government oppression made what we call government opression in this country look like a cake walk. All I know is that only God knows the heart of any of us. And we may be suprised to find out who is welcomed and who is not. I don't think we are going to get a pass for not loving our brother as our self.

  2. vance
    2 years ago

    Rev David, you wrote an interesting post with many good points. Your point that people are captive to Liberal, Conservative and Libertarian ideologies rings a bell. There is a reason behind this captivity. Liberals are captive to their ideology because they have an aversion to all things religious ie,. Holy Bible, Sacraments, Rosaries, The Name of Jesus Christ and God, and all things that represent 'Purity'. I have Liberal friends and I have worked for many years around Liberals and I know them well. Liberalism ( Ideology ) is their religion. It is their god. They obey it first and foremost. Conservatives base their existence on Bible, religious belief, and religious traditions. God and Jesus Christ is their God first and foremost. I know many who party hardy and on the surface may not appear to be very conservative BUT they know well that God and religion is the ultimate importance. They know well that their lack of Christian behavior does not diminish the importance of God, religion, and religious values. This is where the anti-Christian Left calls some Conservatives hypocrites. But according to Liberals ALL church goers are hypocrites because after Christians leave church, they go straight out and commit sin. Libertarians are "Liberals". The only difference is that they want a Tax Cut. That's it. Liberalism is their god that they obey first and foremost.

  3. JoAnn
    2 years ago

    David: One more thing. I do object to Limbaugh's language regarding Ms. Fluke. We all make mistakes, right? God bless.

  4. JoAnn
    2 years ago

    David: I'll denounce Limbaugh's expletives if you denounce Bill Maher calling Sarah Palin the "c" word. Or Ed Shultz calling Laura Ingraham a slut. What do you say? God bless.

  5. Rob
    2 years ago

    Well said Rev. David. I think what makes the issue so much more complicated is that we have a lack of fair and balanced media. We don't receive raw facts anymore to process on our own, but instead we receive facts filtered through pundits whose main goal seems to shock...whatever will drive ratings. And when you through in our own egos on top of that, some good old fashion American competitiveness, sometimes you can have a recipe for the ugly. I think some commenatators in the media have convinced themselves that if they repeat the same thing over and over again then it will magically become true. But your overall points are well taken. Only God knows the heart of a person and what drives them to do things they do our don't do. Only God can truely judge. Sure, we can judge the action, but I think sometimes we are so focused on the action that we forget that oftentimes it's wounded people doing the things they do. Sometimes our judgement lacks mercy.

  6. eithena
    2 years ago


  7. Rev. David
    2 years ago

    Jeffrey Caperton, I appreciate your acknowledgment that most Catholic clergy & religious try to take a broader view of things and tend not to be single-issue minded. Inasmuch as Rafael was commenting on lay Christian response on the whole, I would agree that he has a point. However, even that must be nuanced since Catholic and Protestant laity are not monolithic entities and actually less easy to generalize about than clergy & religious. Unfortunately, it appears to be true that most citizens (not just religious ones) are uncritically captive to liberal, conservative, or libertarian ideologies. This is why the Church in every age needs prophetic witnesses, both clerical & lay. Solid pastoring also helps (a kindly, loving shepherd is easier for the average person to give his/her ear to). On the other hand, news media that favor sound bites over substance does not. It's true that the Gospel challenges every human ideology but we need to keep in mind that most people lack the education, training, or breadth of experience to recognize when their strongly held political convictions are contrary to their faith commitments. Let us then take care not not be overly judgmental of those who are burdened by factors contributing to ignorance through no fault of their own (and for ourselves, lest we be self-righteous, remember "To whom much is given, much more shall be required."). Many in a state of relative ignorance would indeed change if they could be helped to recognize unacceptable inconsistencies. However, some people (clergy not excepted), would not change to conform to Gospel demands even if they recognized incongruencies because they are not intrinsically motivated in their religion to begin with; in other words, their embrace of a formal religious identity is conditional on the chosen/targetted religion being serviceable for other ends, other visions (e.g., some prominent feminist theologians are infamous for this; Obama himself admitted that his initial interest in Christianity was motivated by the desire to gain "street creds" as an ambitious young politician--although one hopes he is not still in that stage!). While some stereotypical conservative positions cannot be reconciled with the Gospel (e.g., any proposed immigration policy long on law & order but short on compassion & mercy) not all self-described conservatives fit stereotypes. Furthermore, other conservative positions provide or otherwise ask for valid alternative means to valued, accepted ends (e.g., one can be serious about health care reform, an obvious need, without having supported Obama's legislation on the basis of responsibility & accountability because the funding is not there--Social Security and Medicare both declared the disappearance of their banked buffers one week before Obama and his party rushed through a new landmark entitlement program without allowing a full airing out of the issues knowing that his party might lose one house in the 2010 elections--itself a violation of the spirit of the constitution). No thoughtful Christian with a strong sense of history can be entirely socialist nor entirely anti-socialist when it comes to the care of the vulnerable in society. The appropriate degree of socialism (what can work without encouraging crippling dependencies) varies from society to society, depending on what the overall functional work ethic and communal spirit is in a given society. In any case, the principle of subsidiarity (more often respected by conservatives and libertarians than today's liberals although this was not always so) demands that central governments not attempt what can better be accomplished at local levels of government and that government not attempt to supplant private & personal efforts that government cannot demonstrably improve upon or is alone qualified to do. Finally, I am on board with you about civility in public discourse. Ugly rhetoric that demeans other human beings is unbecoming, and indeed can be sinful, for a Christian. Even though there are important, valid concerns over long term negative social consequences for legitimating sexually irresponsible behavior (including inevitable impoverishment effects), acting contemptuously & hurtfully toward misguided persons (e.g., Sandra Fluke) causes one to lose the high ground before an audience that should be persuaded rather than bullied and invites making yourself the issue instead of the original points of concern (Rush Limbaugh is learning this the hard way ... or is he?).

  8. Stephany
    2 years ago

    Rob, I agree with you completely. It has for way too long that I have questioned why many of our Bishops have provided for and supported the secular "organizing" that has been done in our parishes and chanceries. The organizers then proceed to promote the agenda of the democratic party. In our pro life efforts, we have been stonewalled by none other than the clergy! But the organizers have free rein and access to the parish rosters to "organize", and receive monies from the collections, without parishioners being aware of the scope of their invasion. They are like vermin. They claim to "help the poor", and... who wants to go against "helping the poor"?
    When certain Bishops are aligned with the party of ultra liberals one gasps at the threat to the souls of the flock. I personally have questioned priests about this, and won't go into the reaction, but suffice to say, I have experienced confrontation with this. Our Lady warned us at Fatima, and in subsequent visions to various visionaries, such as Fr. Stefano Gobbi, who founded the Marian Movement of Priests. Our Lady reportedly said to a visionary that souls are falling into hell like raindrops, because of sins of the flesh. How can we stand by and not defend the innocent, or actually participate in the Spiritual Works of Mercy, caling attention to the deception when souls are at stake? Won't we be asked what we did to defend the souls of our neighbor?
    It's true, we don't hear about sin from the pulpit very often, except when it's to point out that we are pharisees for "judging", without defining the term "judging", as compared to actual discernment of right and wrong.. That argument is used to silence the opposing point. I could go on, but allow me to say that your post is spot on.
    Rob, it sounds like we are close in Spirit. Thank you.

  9. Jeffrey Caperton
    2 years ago

    Rev. Dave, Rafael's "All this over a pill" may reflect only a minuscule part of the picture, and I agree with your comments regarding the USCCB and other issues you raised. But we cannot dismiss Rafael totally because the reality is that, with regard to the average Catholic and Protestant lay person, it would appear that the only thing that raises their righteous indignation are sexually charged moral issues such as abortion (There are also very important life issues involved with this), same-sex marriage and contraception. (Before I receive a lot of harsh comments, let me say that I agree that abortion is a very important issue, but I also believe not the ONLY important issue.) There are so many other issues, some Rafael raised, that should be raising our righteous indignation that are generally ignored by the average Catholic or Protestant lay person, often merely because it conflicts with their partisan politics. But an issue related to sexual morality puts them are up in arms with some rather ugly rhetoric (Some of it quite hateful) that, to me, should not even be used by a person claiming to be a Christian. From my experience, the Catholic clergy and the religious, for the most part, appear to have a wider and more balanced view of issues, and I am a huge fan of the USCCB and the Vatican, but the laity focus appears to be very narrow and selective. I recognize that the rhetoric in this forum is over religious freedom, but I will repeat that the laity focus is very narrow and selective, so Rafael's point, while brief and not very comprehensive, is valid.

  10. Rob
    2 years ago

    Stephany, I don't think you understand what I am trying to convey. We can all jump up and down, hire the best lawyers money can buy and fight Caesar just like good little Pharisees who care nothing about the heart of the law. My question to all of you in regards to this entire debate is say we are successful in over turning this madate. Ok, we've maintained our "freedom." But freedom for what? Our freedom not to teach on this issue? Our freedom to be silent? Our freedom to watch Catholics become more and more secular and do nothing? Our freedom not to teach on a whole host of issues that only now, as the government tries to codify what Catholics have spoken loudly with their actions, we now are outraged? It's great that our Bishops are standing up against the government on this issue. You are right, this is about freedom and our response is the right one. But isn't the real issue for the pastors of our flocks the state of our souls? Shouldn't there be some discussion as to why so many women are contracepting? J. Bob, I don't know the acutal statistic and I only repeated the statisic that I heard over the weekend (read the post), but I suspect it's high because we either have parishes full of experts in NFP, the worst fertility problems known to man or women are contracepting just like everyone else. And is this really an unreasonable assumption given that we tend to spend money just like everyone else, we divorce like everyone else and the list goes on and on how we've embraced the secular just like everyone else. So Stephany, maybe this whole thing is about Caesar. But forgive me about being more concerned about the souls of those contracepting and demanding that our church do a little more than hobknobbing with politicians or making impassioned speeches about fighting the government. I will look forward to a renewed zeal amongst our leaders as they address the things that are claiming souls. Going to be 40 this year. I haven't heard a homily on contraception yet, maybe I finally will? Is it so wrong to want our Bishops to approch their teaching responsibility with the same zeal they are engaging in this political fight? Because maybe if they had, we wouldn't be here.

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