Friday, November 7, 2008

On the Seemliness of Catholics Celebrating the Election of a Death-Eater

Sorry for the provocative title, but I have it on excellent authority that I am a pot-stirrer and a chaos junkie, which is actually one of the more interesting and colorful descriptions of my character I've encountered (save only the occasional bursts of creative euphemism employed by my opponents in my anti-gay marriage posts or comments, which beggar description). The fact that I was given this description by one of the members of a Catholic homeschooling forum for pointing out (somewhat mildly, for me, considering) that people who decided after seeing photos of her celebratory Obama cookie party that they'd rather not read her blog anymore were not being partisan hacks or overly political, but were merely uncomfortable at the notion that a fellow pro-life Catholic would find the election of the most pro-abortion candidate ever to run for the presidency to be something worth celebrating, is especially interesting.

To me, as I wrote over there, it would be just barely possible for a Catholic to conclude with much prayer, great sorrow, and deep regret that they ought to vote for Obama--I still think they would be wrong, but I can see how such a decision might possibly be reached. I honestly can't see how any sincere, pro-life Catholic would see Barack Obama's election as something to celebrate with a party, though; I find the whole idea completely unfathomable.

But we must be realistic; after all, as I wrote earlier, forty-five percent of the Catholics who described themselves as weekly Mass attendees did indeed vote for Obama, and many of them did more--they campaigned for him, they canvassed for him, they contributed and/or raised money for him, and they invested their time and talent into his campaign.

And quite frankly, this is scandalous.

It is one thing, as I said, for a Catholic voter to conclude sorrowfully that the pro-abortion, pro-partial birth abortion, pro-infanticide candidate will get his vote. It is another thing entirely for a Catholic voter to give open, public support, praise, and even celebration of the results in such a way that observers will conclude that Catholics really don't mean what they say about abortion, or are quite willing to pay lip-service to the idea of ending abortion while simultaneously working in complete opposition to that goal.

Moreover, for those engaged in such celebration to accuse the people who are uncomfortable with it of pure partisanship is as insulting as it is wrong. People, especially Catholic people, who are uncomfortable with celebrations and parties being held by ostensibly pro-life Catholics in honor of Barack Obama are quite right to be uncomfortable. There is little to celebrate in the fact that America has turned her back on the innocent unborn, and elected one of their declared enemies to be her leader. There is little to rejoice over in the elevation to the presidency of a man who thinks that those who become pregnant out of wedlock ought not be, in his words, "punished with a baby." There is little to smile about, and much to fear, from a man who has promised to overturn every state regulation of abortion, to override doctors' conscience exemptions and force them to participate in abortions, to force taxpayers to pay for abortions both here and abroad, and to take similar actions designed to ensure that more and more babies will be killed under his watch.

Yet the reality is that just slightly less than half of the people who will kneel near you at Mass this Sunday voted for this man, and may have celebrated--may yet be celebrating, convinced despite the inconvenient fact of the fall of Man that Obama is going to end poverty, stop war, provide everybody with free health care and other goodies, and otherwise usher in the kingdom of Heaven on Earth--well, except for his abortion ambitions, but we can overlook that, because it's not important at all, or at least not important enough to withhold our votes and celebrations.

It was widely repeated during the campaign season that we didn't need to bother voting for the Republican, because Republicans have had years to end abortion and have completely failed to do so, proving that they don't have the will to do it. That's a discussion for another time--but the sobering thought that I can't help but ponder is that perhaps the reason we still have abortion in America is because Catholics, even pro-life weekly Mass-attending ones, don't, when all is said and done, have the will to end it; or at least, they don't have the will to make ending it the slightest political priority.

It's hard to avoid coming to that conclusion when fellow Catholics write about and post pictures of their Obama victory parties. The sorrow in our hearts for our unborn brothers and sisters makes the sight of such things as jarring and unpleasant as balloons and streamers at a funeral.


eulogos said...

You don't have a link to this site so we could go and write a comment supporting yours. I can see why you wouldn't choose to link to it. but it would be good for the person to know that other people see this the way you do.

Elena said...

I know of the blog you speak. It was with deep regret that I removed her from my blog roll. I was absolutely stunned by the post and then mortified at the way she responded to dissenters on her blog.

I just can't revel in the fact that this guy just might turn the pro-life movement back 30 years. I just can't.

I will pray for the conversion of his heart.

Red Cardigan said...

Susan, I decided not to link to it, partly because I'm really not trying to attack a *person* but to challenge a *mindset.* This is just one example of the "Catholics celebrating Obama," available on the internet, and though I tangled with her personally I wouldn't want to make this about her, specifically, because sadly the real problem is so much bigger than any one of us.

I appreciate the offer of supporting comments! :) But this blogger also closed comments on the post in question, which is another reason to keep this more about the phenomenon in general than about one regrettable set of photos on an individual blog.

CrimsonCatholic said...

What will be next? Let's have a Herod party to celebrate the slaughter of the innocents! Blood-red punch and cookies shaped like baby corpses! Yay!

Keeping hope for all of these people and myself as chief among sinners, I hope that one day I get to see them trying to explain to Mary and Joseph how once they thought Herod wasn't that bad a guy for trying to kill their son. And I hope to see Mary and Joseph embrace them and say "I know, and I forgive you."

Red Cardigan said...

crimsoncatholic, a lovely sentiment. I think the Catholic Obama supporters are mostly misinformed--they either don't believe he's really said and promised the things he as about abortion, or they've convinced themselves that once he ends poverty no woman will ever want an abortion again. It's not true, alas, but I don't think that they've signed on to these things.

I just can't understand what Obama has promised that they really want. Hope? Change? Anyone can say that--but the details are sketchy.

Siobhan said...

He's promised handouts. Interestingly enough, he didn't mention handouts in his acceptance speech at all, and I thought the crowd looked a little uneasy at his talk of sacrifice.

People have selective hearing; they only hear what they want to.

M. T. said...

Red, I have never posted here, but I have linked to you before because I very much appreciate and admire your "pot-stirring". :)
I read the post on the blog you reference. It was horrifying, to put it bluntly. I agree whole-heartedly with your comment there and post here.
"balloons and streamers at a funeral" is a perfect image.
God bless you.

ScienceMom said...

Hi Red,
I've never commented here before, either, but have been reading your blog for a while. I am entirely with you on this ... as on most everything else. :)
Your pot stirring is completely appropriate. What you describe is just horrible.
God bless!
I'm planning to link to several of your recent posts.

Red Cardigan said...

Welcome, new commenters! Thank you both for commenting, and please feel free to do so anytime! :)

Anonymous said...

Several matters. Please, feel free to dispute, debate, or concede.

Recent research revealed that young women exposed to TV shows featuring promiscuity without repercussion results in higher levels of pregnant teens than those that do not watch the high sexual-content TV shows.

Medical research shows that educational intervention sessions up to a total of 3-4 hours in young people previously contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in a variety of different situations are effective in reducing further infections.

Nearly 1 in 5 conceptions result in natural non-induced abortion.

Infanticide refers to the practice of killing newly born infants. For most of the 'anti-abortion' arguments proposed it is believed the correct terminology used should be feticide which refers to killing a fetus, (which by some religious definitions begins at conception, and in that line of reasoning referred to the time when life begins.)

Others would prefer to consider a viable life to begin when the heart beats and a circulatory system would be able to function potentially separate from the maternal system, as usually seen in about the 6th week of fetal development, when a discernible 'being' is evident.

Another term often used in conjunction with the popular 'anti-' movement is genocide which is defined by Webster's Unabridged as, 'the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.'

Anti-abortion supporters, it is believed, attempt to introduce confusing issues into the fray by declaring that birth control tablets are the same as abortifacients, because in their definition an induced abortion involves anything interfering with progressive development of a fetus after conception, which fits with Webster's definition of contraception as 'the deliberate prevention of conception or impregnation by any various drugs, techniques, or devices; birth control.

'Morning After' pills often refer to large doses of female hormones that prevent implantation of a fertilized egg such as with Plan B® which are effective for a short period of time, hours, after intercourse. Use of Plan B® does not protect against viruses such as HIV, HPV, CMV, and other STDs. Plan B® isn't effective if already pregnant, nor will it terminate pregnancy. In some states, Plan B® is available from the pharmacist without a prescription. The abortifacient drug combination consisting of mifepristone (previously developed as RU486 in Europe) and misoprostol, a prostaglandin hormone, requires a physician's prescription. It may be used up to 8 weeks post-conception to cause the nourishing uterine lining to slough off, as the other drug stimulates contractions.

Knowing the facts will help young women make decisions to avoid getting into situations where they might have no choice in avoiding intercourse, as well as no voice in the outcome. No matter what form of agent used during intercourse to avoid conception, the only absolutely positive method to avoid conception and acquiring STDs is abstinence. And, it makes sense to teach that every time a fertile person has sex there is a chance that conception might occur. Abstinence taught in the light of this information is what is required to avoid conception. Unfortunately, far too many cultural climates promote irresponsible sexual encounters, as well as avoiding the explanation of the real reasons why abstinence is the only safe choice. And, then, there is the issue of rape and incest.

Although I understand abortion rates have decreased relative to other time periods, the demographics in this country, as well as other developed nations of women that undergo induced abortion would be necessary to ascertain whether educational levels and access to unbiased information as well as age play the major role in occurrence. I believe that a commonly stated fear that use of abortifacients for population control has been overstated.

As for the role that Barack Obama will have in social control of this issue, that too, may be overstated and a side issue.


Mick said...

There is some serious stink in the Catholic Church regarding this Obama business.

My mom teaches at a Catholic school and the mood around there has been absolutely giddy about the election.

The conservative teachers (all four of them) and staff members are ostricized and discuss politics in secret, for fear of risicule from the other teachers. The kids whose parents supported McCain were taunted all week after the election.

And this is at a parish where the priests bravely advocated for life and for pro-life candidates in their homilies leading up to the election. Two weeks ago the pastor preached on the election at ALL masses. The parish held adoration and benediction the night before the election.

And the congregation was unmoved. It's really depressing.

Mick said...

I meant to say "ridicule"

Jennifer F. said...

Forty-five percent of the Catholics who described themselves as weekly Mass attendees did indeed vote for Obama, and many of them did more--they campaigned for him, they canvassed for him, they contributed and/or raised money for him, and they invested their time and talent into his campaign.

I know this is true, but I just find it so hard to believe. I keep thinking it must be an urban legend or something. It seems so impossible.

If I had a more inflammatory, pot-stirring type blog it would have been tempting to do an open thread for Catholic Obama supporters where the post would simply have a photograph of the victim of a partial-birth "abortion" (a.k.a. infanticide), and ask Obama supporters to write in and say, "I am aware that the candidate for whom I will vote supports this, and I am going to cast my vote for him anyway." I wonder how many of them would be willing to write that. And if not...why not?

Paula in MN said...

Well put, as usual. I noticed the politics of that blog on Wednesday, and removed it from my reader. I do have a concern with a particular forum I belong to of which this person is a moderator. The forum states "our management is loyal to the Roman Pontiff and the bishops in union with him" right in the Matters of Faith Statement to members. I don't believe that voting for Obama is being loyal to the Pope.

Anonymous said...

I found her jubilation over Obama's victory extremely offensive but what I found equally off-putting was the way she responded to the commenters. The "I don't care what you think" and the "don't let that screen door hit you on the way out" responses from her concern me. She claims to welcome people of different beliefs, values, and religions. Apparently that is only the case as long as they stay silent. It also bothers me a lot that she is a moderator on the Real Learning forum, a forum that I love. I'm not used to seeing that kind of ugliness and vitriol from the moderators over there. What a shame.

Elena said...

Paula I share that concern!! This is why I am rather glad that the blog roll for the group is now defunct. If we can't be of one mind on Catholic issues then I don't want it on my side bar!

Red Cardigan, from one pot stirrer to another - you rock!

Anonymous said... of yesterday, this person is no longer listed as a moderator on that forum. I wonder if it was at her request or theirs.


This_Cross_I_Embrace said...

Oh my goodness. This is truly upsetting, and I don't even know this person. But she respresents, to me anyway, the problem with our Church (and I mean "Church" as in the way others see us- through the actions of our members, which is how it SHOULD be). One need look no further than Joe Biden himself (or Nancy Pelosi) to see what I mean. My biggest pet peeve is that these types of people still insist on calling themselves Catholic. Why not just drop the title? Is it because deep down they know the truth and fear eternal damnation? I don't see any other religion doing this- I don't see orthodox Jews fallen away from their religion, walking around telling people that they are orthodox Jews, while eating a pork dinner and partying all through Sabbath.
45%. That is just so sad. But the rosary on the side of your blog is a reminder that all we can do is pray for these people.

Sarah said...

This is a great post. It reminds me of a recent article on World Net Daily by Jill Stanek (the nurse in Chicago who has done her best to expose the infant born-alive tragedy, particularly Obama's role in it). Here's the link:

I think she makes a valid point in that too many leaders of Christian churches in America have not been proactive enough in educating the average lay person on life issues. An astounding number of priests and bishops came forward prior to the election to warn Catholics against voting for Obama but it seems that it turned out to be "too little too late". The sad truth is that it was surprising to see their boldness. Why haven't they been doing this for decades? Well, many of them are young and haven't been bishops for all that long. But why wasn't more done/said during the Democratic primary?

This sounds like a harsh criticism of our hierarchy, but when it comes down to it, our priests and bishops need our prayers to sustain and encourage their souls. We bear a great amount of responsibility, too, in not being serious enough in our interior life. It is our appeals to God that bring immense grace to our priests and bishops to guide us well, so we have ourselves to blame if we haven't done our little part.

I suppose the sad reality is that it's simply human nature to allow a situation to get so bad that we cannot stand it anymore before we become incensed and fight back ferociously. If this isn't that time, I can't imagine what could be worse.

momtomany12 said...

Red Cardigan, how sad that you are being called a "pot-stirrer" while you are only stating the truths of our faith. I don't post much at 4Real, but I love to read there. The Obama cookie celebration of one of the frequent posters there is very, very upsetting. No wonder so much of the "Catholic vote" went to Obama.
I love your perspective on things!

Anonymous said...

From Zircon's comment: Infanticide refers to the practice of killing newly born infants. For most of the 'anti-abortion' arguments proposed it is believed the correct terminology used should be feticide which refers to killing a fetus, (which by some religious definitions begins at conception, and in that line of reasoning referred to the time when life begins.)

To Zircon: Conception is the SCIENTIFIC definition not RELIGIOUS definition of when life begins.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, precisely the point I intended to make. Thank you for pointing it out so succinctly. Conception and meiosis may be a SCIENTIFIC definition, but when a FAITH-based RELIGION gets to pick and choose which definitions it will use for defining things, then we are back where we started with the 'argument'.

Killing children is abhorrent (to any human), but to go to extreme of the example, a fetus without even an independent or semi-developed cardiovascular circulatory system might not for intents and purpose of 'defining' a life be considered much separate from its maternal nourishment, and as for defining whether it is from God, we have left the burden to His vicars who are NOT infallible.

I will not bore you with details of watching the lifeblood of a human leave his/her body as my experience may be uniquely different from yours and, yet not any less valid for you to come to your own conclusions in the matter. But, I will say that this business of humans tinkering with in vitro fertilization, implantation, etc,, artificially prolonging life is NOT much more different in my mind than evacuation of the womb of an impregnated woman who cannnot sufficienty care for the the face of GOD made human, IF there is no adequate system in place to properly care for its mind, body, and soul. So, then the rejoinder will be, just WHO do I think I am thinking that I will judge who might and may not be able to properly provide...there's where we get into the argument of Aryan nations and sterilization of the insane.

The point is, there should be NO reason a. that babies are born half-alive and left to fend for themselves until natural or unnatural death in a civilized nation, as well as b. no 'facility' to care for the offspring of rape, incestual or other situations if the mother cannot or chooses not to care for the eventuality of birth.

Picketing and marching en masse brings attention to the issue, as well as consolidates social stances, but does it provide education of society as well as a greater sense of the moral nature of the matter?

Why has our Catholic society gotten so twisted in its words so that the common perception of Planned Parenthood is not its euphemistic organizational title of 'Planned Parenthood' but 'abortion clinic'? Why, in our Catholic society are we promoting disinformation, misinformation and no information to young people? Why, in our Catholic society are we condoning the sexy and promiscuous lifestyles portrayed in popular culture, by our silence against drug and alcohol addiction, poverty, etc.--need I mention that in our capitalist society...caveat emptor...and the seller does not provide a warranty with the smut that goes out over the airwaves.

My spouse came to this country at 26 many years ago and was shocked by what was portrayed everywhere, and the violence enacted daily. I don't think it's improved any.

The bottom line--abstinence is the ONLY act that prevents pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Loud-mouthed bishops with distracting arguments do not for the most part provide incentive to abstain for sexually active young and old people. What else can be done?

To put it this a time for having one's cake and eating it also?