This blog started out as a companion piece to my book, Musings from the Christian Left (excerpts of which can be found in the July 2004 link) and to support a planned radio show. Now, its simply a long term writing project from a Christian Left Libertarian perspective (meaning I often argue for liberty within the (Catholic) Church, rather than liberty because the church takes care of a conservative view of morality.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Links for 05/22/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 05/22/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: Archbishop Sanchez (Sorondo is the maternal family name) hit the nail on the head on the Tea Party and its relationship with Voice of the Family, using abortion as a test of purity.  I think they backfired by going after the Archbishop and by extension, his Holiness. I am sure the Archbishop now has there number and that the Pope is eager to hear his impressions. It will be interesting to see whether the Pope seeks more information on how the movement operates, particularly in the U.S.  Cardinals Burke and Dolan, Archbishops Chaput, Lori and Cordiole and bishop Loverde may have some questions to answer as to whether the movement is about abortion or Republican electoral politics.  I think its fixation on Roe for relief it will never get is a scam and any Catholic pro-lifer needs to ask herself whether they are in on it (which means confession, but to who?) and if not, they think about leaving movement and the GOP.

The Irish situation on gay marriage is regretable, not because traditional marriage is threatened, it should already be dead - the days where the marriage was to reflect the relationship between Jesus and the Church, and the Church and the people should be long gone as authoritarian artifacts long past their prime, unless the Church wishes to adopt a more modern and egalitarian model for its relations with the faithful, in which case I am listening - and urging that they annoint women and witness gay marriages.  What is regretable in the interim is that what is a civl right was put up to a vote.  You don't do that with rights.  Rights are individual, not a grant from the populace.  Its what separates us from most of Europe, where you have rights only where granted rather than giving the government power only if consented.

Pope Francis' Homily is mostly about the readings in a household Mass - not a Mass or message for the world.  I would hope that most priests gave about the same message this morning (rather than downloading a copy and reading it. The main point, of course, is making our relationship with Jesus as personal as that he had with Simon Peter. While the risen Lord part gave Peter no issues, the whole ascended Lord part makes it harder.  It means we seek the Lord in Meditation, where Francis prays he seeks us or we do it in the Eucharist, which does have larger implications, especially regarding the Synod.

Vatican official rebuts pro-life concerns with recent climate conference | National Catholic Reporter

Vatican official rebuts pro-life concerns with recent climate conference | National Catholic Reporter by Brian Roewe.  MGB: Archbishop Sanchez (Sorondo is the maternal family name) hit the nail on the head on the Tea Party and its relationship with Voice of the Family, using abortion as a test of purity.  I think they backfired by going after the Archbishop and by extension, his Holiness. I am sure the Archbishop now has there number and that the Pope is eager to hear his impressions. It will be interesting to see whether the Pope seeks more information on how the movement operates, particularly in the U.S.  Cardinals Burke and Dolan, Archbishops Chaput, Lori and Cordiole and bishop Loverde may have some questions to answer as to whether the movement is about abortion or Republican electoral politics.  I think its fixation on Roe for relief it will never get is a scam and any Catholic pro-lifer needs to ask herself whether they are in on it (which means confession, but to who?) and if not, they think about leaving movement and the GOP.

Meanness and Irony in Kansas | National Catholic Reporter

Meanness and Irony in Kansas | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: The next reform for TANF should be to remove the marriage, or even the common law marriage penalty, especially if it includes letting free all those men whose main crime is wanting to vote for a more progressive political party than the one in power - there is no other need to put marijuana offenders in jail. By the way, buying weed or worse is already illegal with TANF funds and studies show that it is an unlikely purchase by recipients.

To correct MSW, TANF is never used for food because anyone getting it also gets SNAP and Medicaid. For the childless, disability assistance can provide cash income - and the federal variety can provide a lot of cash income. - and it is outside the realm of Brownback and his mean spirited party.

Its a wonder they ever get votes. If it were not for the demonizing of pregnant women who see these cuts a signal to get abortion, the Kansas GOP would have long gone the way of the dinosaur (who some of them think were on the Ark - of course, there is scientific evidence for dinosaurs, not so much for the Ark). That comment on the pro-life movement as being key to keeping these clowns in power should be double underlined in red.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Links for 05/21/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 05/21/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: The Nebraska Catholic Conference statement on the death penalty seems like a pretty standard pro-life press release, which is why we make dogma in person with an audience. I suspect this was done by staff who usually does anti-abortion work.  The part about wrongful convictions is a nice touch, but they could have gone further by equating life without parole to death and parole while elderly an infirm to cost shifiting,and not in a good way.  I was amazed to find that Nebraska had three diocese and Virginia only two. Of coruse, Nebraska is a very Catholic state. Its why any let up on abortion as a criticical issues (it,isn't by the way), would make the state blue overnight.

I am sure George Weigel's anti-Germanism extends to the Pope Emeritus as well as to Cardinal Kaspar and his colleagues. I can see why right wing Catholics fear a social democratic, which is Germany in a nutshell.  If the state takes better care of people than the Church, they often abandon the Church.  Of course, they could be punishing the Church for not creating more martyrs against their last right wing government our of control. Or they could be hoping there is no God, for a vengeful God would annihilate them all (instead of the Palestinians, who had no part in the Holocaust or the Porajmos).  The culture as buried its feelings about these events - and of the atrocities of the American and British Air Forces on German Civilians and that part of industry that did not make weapons. The die off we allowed to happen from famine did not help either, regarding either the USA or God.  Stopping the insanity from the right wing on marriage and gays will not solve the problems of the empty pew.  Dealing with smoldering issues that took one generation out of Church, which be default takes the next ones out, just might. (In the 19th century, French churches were empty - probably still are).  God cares what people do the rest of the week, something which George Weigel and his supporters find even more terrible than history is to the Germans.

Robert Christian at Millenial hits a lot of those points addressed this week on how some Churches put the moral social issues over the moral action issues - at least in rhetoric.  When he takes the focus off of Churches and puts it on the parties, he hits the nail right on the head. It is not the Church who stands for protecting life until birth, but certainly some protect the fetus Republicans start singing from the hymnal of personal financial responsibility one the child is strapped into the car seat for the first time. Then they talk about limiting sex, not just managing it - usually putting the woman in charge of that. That should be a non-starter for the Church, oddly because sex is part of unitive love in Humanae Vitae.  The Church, however, does little to jump up at that point and tell the anti-sex crowd NO! Sadly, some are in that crowd.

On social issues, the odd thing is that the Catholic Church was huge in getting Social Security passed.  Would that it had done more on health care. There is actually further to do than the current social democratic solution for the elderly.  For one, we could do parish level intake - with parish funds filling gaps in public social services as they happen (like making sure people have some cash for Metrorail or shampoo when SNAP does not cover these things.  Family can help, but not always).

It can also be open to supporting more advanced solutions in the public square, like a greatly expanded refundabe child tax credit payable with wages - say $1000 per month per child (who would ever have an abortion?) or being less unfriendly to teen pregnancy or teen sex. Here is a kicker, using diverted and equalized Social Security revenue to buy employer voting stock - not for new projects but exisiting shares - until there are no capitalists to go to the Catholic Charities Annual Ball, not because they are ticked, but because they are gone. That is radical.

Cardinal Wuerl's Talk on Environment | National Catholic Reporter

Cardinal Wuerl's Talk on Environment | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: Any sane environmental paradigm must be homo-centric. The entire earth below the first mile or so of crust does not notice. Pella connot be appeased.  Of course, even ZPG advocates are about resources available in the future, particularly to the poor, but seem to have no imagination redistrubution to them.  The Church does not suffer from that short sightedness.  The first principle is vital because environmental racism is real thing.

The second principle of protecting the natural order is not so important.  In a scientific paradigm featuring evolution rather than creation and a fossil and ice core record that shows the Saharah and Greenland fertile plains at several points in human history and beyond, any recent warming seems just a blip.  Helping our family in need is essential.  Preserving the current status quo is not. Change is not as gradual as the scientists predict and oddly the rich have much more to lose - although they are better able to lose it. This is not Pompei, but it is a situation where a lot of neat stuff owned by rich people will wash away quickly - and guess who is going to come forward asking for a bailiout? I'll trade that bailout for the keys to their nice cars - all of them. Amazingly, the Church is still stuck in a creationist paradigm, believing the first parents myth still is valid (it isn't). while the fundamentalists believe God will do a miracle to stop the flood, which is even siliar and totally unmerited.

The third principle is human ecology for future generations. As I said, stopping tragic change is not desirable because the progress our children deserve, coming in the form of desalination technologhy and advances in individual home hydroponics and perfecting that stem cell burger (currently they are horid because they took bloodless and fat free a bit too far), as well as a decent ability to travel in space, might not happen without some drought or flood.  The thing we develop in climate change may save us in a nuclear or biological war. We might also use these events to buy out the capitalists or fund He3 fusion, which makes the Koch family fortune a much smaller thing consisting of a controlling interest in Georgia Pacific (and a later reference to an ever young cartoon named Beevis).  If carbon taxes fund alternatives, the rich suffer - make them. If other taxes eventually fund buying out the rich (not over global warming but on general principle), all the better, since once they realize their green paper cannot be recyled, they can put it in bags to trade for food.

The global warming issue will not bring the Millenials back to Church.  Democratizing the leadership might - as in we select, not Rome - and I mean we very broadly. What most will is having kids - and if the Church fights for an adequate child tax credit for each kid paid with wages, that might be attractive.  Especially if we do that habitat stuff I mention above so that population pressure is no longer a thing.

The conclusion of MSW's piece is interesting, as the worry seems to be some of the bishops singing out of the Ayn Rand hymnal instead (or at least the Burke hymnal). Lets hope that this issue is like immigration, no explicit right wind dissent (although sticking to a creation line is still archaic in an evolutionary world).

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Links for 05/20/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 05/20/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: The Koch Brothers have been funding the American Legislative Exchange Council, including the ham handed attempts to get Roe v. Wade back before the SCOTUS - the ultimate Caholic wedge issue to try to pry Catholics out of the Democratic Party. Such efforts have been successful - not in actually doing anything about abortion (which would kill the movement as a political tool - just as the gay lobby is wondering what it will do when the SCOTUS nationalizes gay marriage).  Using the Pope to keep Latino Catholics in the party is one of theose instances where turnabout is fair play.

I was thinking HRC was Human Rights Campaignn - MSW is using it as Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Then he highlights a New York Post editorial that starts quoting FoxNews and goes down from there.  If this is the best the right wing has got, Bill needs to start looking for a new pattern for the White House china. There is such a thing as being too desparately against someone that you listen to lies, especially Big Lies.  I fear MSW has crossed that line.

Patrick Deneen's quote is what we call faux populism.  The truth is that the federal RFRA is about ameliorating religous discrimination resulting from necessary government action.  It was never meant to overturn the public accomodations in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  It is good that by hook or by crook, Indiana was shamed into not doing so. There is no direct First Amendment protection either - moral scorn by individuals, whether in the barracks or the bakery, is the constitutional equivalent of yelling fire at the AMC. Contraception insurance is RFRA relevant. Gay weddings are not, save that the 14th Amendment requires that they be allowed, moral scorn by the Catholic bishops in NOM notwithstanding.

The Rollout of the Encyclical on the Environment | National Catholic Reporter

The Rollout of the Encyclical on the Environment | National Catholic Reporter by MSW, MGB: The fascinating fact is that for hundreds and hundreds of years, a mass extinction has been going on for a variety of reasons - from climate oscillation to industrialization.  No other species had committees and debates and propoganda regarding what was occurring.  Species adapted, migrated or died. Mostly the latter. While every species has some kind of gradation between elite members and normal members, being elite did not prevent one from dying first.  How different we truly are. We have elites that deny climate change and the mass extinction are even happening - not because they have facts, but because they have economic interests  that would harmed if they cooperated with the heard.  Indeed, they seem to thik that if much of the herd died out, they would be fine.

The encyclical will be about how our morality says that this is not the case - that making a local branch of the human herd extinct does damage the entire herd. Rich people quietly trading lower lying beach front property for something more inland while others in poorer countries could die is beyond obscene and counter-evolutionary. You see, rich people tend to marry in their class, which is a very small subset.  The masses are our genetic diversity - it is risky to let any of them die.  If you are rich, the genetic future you save may be your own. We don't need an entire species that resembes Steve Forbes - who seems to be the West Virginia of the 1%.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Links for 05/19/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 05/19/15 | National Catholic Reporter by  MSW. MGB: Demography is destiny for the GOP, even as soon as 2016.  You would think more ambitious Republican would be office seekers would switch.

On San Fransico and Chinese missions, it is amazing, even with a large population of Chinese immigants and first generations citizens, that they would send an Irish priest.  I hope he at least went to Chinatown to learn the language and culture. Speaking of Irish priests, it is good to see Cardinal O'Malley with a weed wacker.  He not only has the smell of the sheep, but the smell of the weeds.  Of course, the Archbishop of Chicago went to the turf of the Archbishop of Boston for a commencemet address.  Wonder if he took a turn at the weeds?  I wonder if Dolan thinks they are plotting?

The Clintons, the Bushes & Queen Anne | National Catholic Reporter

The Clintons, the Bushes & Queen Anne | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: On foundation finace, both the Clinton and Bush foundations are required to file a Form 990 and those forms are all published on The Foundation Center web page.  This is not dark money. As for Secretary Clinton's multi-thousand dollar speech, that is standard for presidential candidates. It is not for her to just support herself but to support the organizing of her campaign.  While Bill could write the checks to feed her on the campaign trail, doing so from what he earns from a 990 organization or his own speeches would be considered even more questionable.  This time, some distance from Bill is likely a good perception to create -as the appearance that this is a dodge on the 22nd amendment is already in the air. For the Bushes, we could have only wished that W. had followed in his father's footsteps on Iraq.

Any insinuation that raising big money somehow makes one crass in working to alleviate poverty is just plain silly. Even though Francis lives simply, the still presides over an organization with huge money, more bad 14th and 15th Century art than it can hang properly and bigger legal bills than the Clintons will ever have - as well as a huge funding stream from the organization that Secretary Clinton is competing to lead.  Because the money is probably to organize the campaign, the attack on it is sophomoric.  As far as the press corps, I am glad that public operation has not yet started - its too early and the issues of today will probably not be the issues of January 20th, 2017.

Anyone who has read the parts of Game Change having to do with the Clintons knows they can turn a bad day around quickly (but to do so they should hire George Stephenopolis back) and can turn certain victory into crushing defeat. There is no other reason, aside from his poltiics, that I have any hope for Senator Sanders.  She could lose, but not for the silly reasons MSW cites, especially about any nonsense about a sense of entitlement.  Recall that during the Lewinsky Affair, she claimed a lareg right wing conspiracy.  Turns out she was right, as the Paula Jones legal team was sharing information with the Speical Counsel - and they disbarred Bill in the end.  They should have also disbarred Starr, the Jones lawer and the House Managers, especially Hyde.

As for my royal cousin, Anne, she was actually the first test of whether the Glorious Revolution would work.  Its why everyone watched her. It did, as we saw for certain when a pariaimentary election essentially ended the British resolve to keep prosecuting the America insurrection (even though a few companies of regulars could have routed what was left of the Continental Army).  No one looks to Hillary's every move and the mainstream media knows about candidates earning a little pre-campaign money to live on and to set up the actual staff.  I am sure FoxNews will pick up the story (a lovely companion for MSW), but they may not because they know that MSNBC would go after every Republican candidates speaking fees and incomes in retaliation. Of course, with the NBA Finals and the NHL Finals coming up, as well as the time when most peole actually start paying attention to the MLB, no one will be looking at Hillary.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Links for 05/18/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 05/18/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: We have not heard much from Archbishop Chaput lately. Now we know why - he is up to his eyeballs plannning the International Summit on Families.  So keep him busy and he behaves?  Too bad the conference was not for 2016!  Still, he has a point about direct charity to the poor, rather than relying on a check to Catholilc Charities (and presumably taxes).  Still, as one who gets some relief, more money is good, as what we are giving is not enough for the need. Volunteering time does help the heart soar and the money go further - especially in the form of adult literacy.  My opinion is that it is the most imporatant thing.

MondayVatican misses the point of what Truth is in Caritas in Veritate.  Truth has to with justice, whether that is for the poor who want to expand their families in the face of interational eugenics efforts, or for the poor who don't want their benefits cut any more than they have in the name of austerity to the victims of capitalism.  Its not about doctrine as much as putting it to action - including politically.

I see why MSW has mercy as dogma on the brain in his review of Meghan Clark's new book demonstrates.  Its definitely long on references to philosophers and Church documents and dogma.  Not to much on what we need to do next, aside from integrating dogma and charity.  Of course, my readers know I have my own ideas on that and they are not heavilty footnoted with the elements of the Magisterium.  My theology is a bit more humanistic, but no less Chrisitian and it has implications for both social dogma and the organization of the Church - as well as cooperative socialism - that no one seeking that big C Catholic label will likely go to.

Douthat, Poverty & Partisanship | National Catholic Reporter

Douthat, Poverty & Partisanship | National Catholic Reporter by MSW.MGB: MSW stole my thunder about the USCCB as the source of Obama's reaction.  And not just Obama.  Of course, it is hard for the Church to stay cutting edge on poverty and education when it embraces a management structure and style unchanged since the middle ages.  It is true that the bishops are in the middle of fundraising for poverty. What is also true is that the checking account the funds go into are legally the property of the bishop. Would it kill the church to go from feudalism to modern profits with independent boards?  Its not like they are going to be dominated by the local chapter of Planned Parenthood.

The bishops distrust the people as much - not about abortion but things they care about more - ordaining women (even though the laity can't ordain anyone, but can cut off the bishop's budget if he won't - of course, it the people wanted to make that point, it can do so now with its checkbook).  Sadly, the Gospel of Life is never more clear than when preached with a female voice.  Nuns are powerful by a female bishop would be even more so.

The Church lose the perception of being obsessed with overturning Roe and trying to stop marriage equality by dropping its support for the National Right to Life Committee and the Organization for Marriage.  Both approaches are lost causes.  We can increase family incomes for each child to stop abortion - and we would though the conservatives and libertarians would argue for individual responsibility (irony anyone?) and civil marriage equality cannot be stopped.  Indeed, since civil marriage is discouraged for heterosexuals but honored for employees of the Church, the same rule needs to be applied for gay civil marriages or bigotry is the only conclusion we can draw. As for religious marriages, a largely gay priesthood will be privately giving blessings soon. The bishops should let them as their penance for Proposition 8 and how it mandated gay long time companions be treated in Catholic hospitals (which has been revered but not atoned for).

We do a lot as a Church for the poor. but our voices could do a lot more.  We could also open private prisons for drug offenders and treat them like secure hospitals - with such energy that CCA goes bankrupt.  We could fight for  a huge child tax credit for working and poor families and could open votech high schools and our own remedial high schools, paying the students in both cases (the government does) and giving them the same health plan as their employees get.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Links for 05/15/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 05/15/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: Interestinng set of links with point and counter-point on liberty and Marxism.

The Bleeding Heart Libertarian is trying to humanize the movement, but he is puttimg lipstick on a pig, I am sure the Barefoot Lawyer from China could go on for pages on the value of liberty over authoritarianism, but claiming that capitalism perfected the family is wrong. Industrial capitalism cave us massive child labor and progressive governance was required to stop it. Capitalism gave us the nuclear family, but that is not necessarily a good thing.

Bravo to Chen for standing up against authoritarianism, which for those who are interested in economicsm, is not really part of socialism. The party is enriching itself, not for the workers, but for the state capitalists at the top.

As for Jayabalab, I was not about to read such insanity so I thank MSW for the quotes. Wnat I think his side fears is not that the Pope is a Marxist (that was more Benedict and the men who wrote Caritas in Veritate), Its that he is not an authoritarian. I think his type of libertarian likes authoritarians. They make the trains run on time and will respond to incentives. Francis won't respond to incetives. The pseudo libertarians who promote wage slavery and environmental denial cannot buy him, which scares them to death, because to really fix the enviroment you do need to come for the capitalists.

Church as an 'On-Ramp' | National Catholic Reporter

Church as an 'On-Ramp' | National Catholic Reporter  by MSW. MGB: The first progressive movement was anchored by, of all things, prohibition. There were all the tax and civil service reforms, female suffrage and farmer empowerment and a federal reserve.

Its odd that ending the drug war and releasing prisoners, including dads, is probably the backbone of the next movement, so MSW will have to learn to live with libertarians. It should also include non-governmental funding of education, including parochial schools, early child development and adult literacy, as well as health care and advaced education. The whole on-ramp.

This might come from tax reform, where taxes are collected from employers and they file, not the workers and they distribute the funds to parishes and public schools and agencies, according to the wishes of the workers (with some rebalaching at the top). Of course, some large employers might have their own schools, doctors and even parishes.

While we are at it, parishes might change to. Even with priests, maybe lay deacaons might oversee both the physical property and the schools and programs. If the people have new ideas for services, they could bring them up,so they are more then MSW's five or my list. Of course, I assume parishes will copy each other.

What could a lay deacon be? Not being clerical, no promise of celibacy or remaining celibate (or continent) and being of any gender (including some of the new ones). Even the harshest opponent of female ordination links it to offering Mass (which is using too much symbolism to be taken seriously as a defense against sexism) and which does not apply to lay deacons, who do not offer Mass - ever. Of course the bishop could make them confessors, as this is a delegatable episcopal power - and all may baptize in a pinch or witness marriage. We could also have clerical deacons for this, also including females.

My mention this at all? Because our phyiscal povery might be related to our poverty of the spirit. Not of the poor (although I am currently poor), but of those who would help them. Fix the sexism and clericalism and let the Spirit soar.

Catholic-Evangelical Poverty Summit: A Report | National Catholic Reporter

Catholic-Evangelical Poverty Summit: A Report | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: I was wondering what I was going to write about until MSW mentioned the President, the war on women and I gather a bigotry exemption for the churches on LGBT issues having to do with marriage. Thing is, the war on women was simply offering some of the bishops a chance to look foolish. Its not his fault they took the bait in a gulp. As for gay marriage and churches, most dislike civil marriage in general, but recognize those of their workers. Not using the same rule for gay married is bigotry, I find that if I simmer on an issue, I am the one who is wrong.

My disagreement with Obama is not how he talks about capitalism, it is that he cannot do so more radically and get Congress to act. He is running our to time to do many things, including some regarding the Church -- especially in the area of drug felon rehabilitation and adult ed.
Except the libertarians, left and right do agree alot on poverty - especially as it has to do with the Church. The problem is getting their legislators to act. As for prayer, it must be done in locked rooms, not in the streets or even the public square. St. Francis was right, only when neccissary,

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Links for 05/13/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 05/13/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: I am glad articles are now being done on polarization. Readers may remember my comments at The Obama remarks at Georgetown are available. Anyone go after their President?  Did he answer MSW's questions?  On the topic  of world leaders considering God's judgment. I wish the Saudi's would stop doing so, as they are the major funders of the Wahabi backed terror movement. I do hope they start considering the working poor more  and the financial markets less.

Review: Beyond the Abortion Wars | National Catholic Reporter

Review: Beyond the Abortion Wars | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: It's good Prof.Camosy wrote this book. There is a danger in saying what is missing in a book without having a copy before me, however I suspect that if he mentioned these points, MSW would have screamed bloody murder. Still, Camosy nails it on the mushy middle and I suspect he is correct on the possibility of compromise, if only because it would shut the rest up.

I will submit first that Abortion in America is much more about politics than morality. The debate over the Affordable Care Act proved that. There was no chance of the Catholic bishops ever endorsing the Act and the most tenuous arguments were used against it. The unaptly named Susan B. Anthony fund took the inch by the bishops and spun a mile of yarn to rid Congress of Pro-Life Democrats who voted for the bill. One look at who sits on the National Right to Life Committee would likely prove how much the bishops have become involved with the GOP, except that they don't post that information on their web page - but go to the March for Life if you have any doubt. And if you want to see someone run from a proposal, suggest that they make a $1000 per month, even $500 per month, per child (the last of which is easily paid for by getting rid of the child exemption, the mortgage interest deduction and the property tax deduction - now that would be tax reform! Camosy, do you read your reviews? By the way, this solves the problem of the economics of having another child,

Then we have the other side. Public school teachers unions.  Most of the women you see at Democratic National Conventions are teachers.  Some are retired and are old enough to remember the bad old days pre-Roe, where there were more abortions, many more deaths and harrassment - not so much of doctors but of advocates for legal abortion.  They are not budging, but they might like that tax credit - although they fear it might lead to the old restrictions.  Indeed, even the prospect of state by state action, which we essentially have with trap laws is a matter for concern.  No one quite believes such laws are for the health of the mother.

The personhood argument is interesting.  My readers can probably recite it. No one questions the personhood of a second or third trimester fetus.  Either something is majorly wrong - Downs, or fatally wrong.  On the fatally wrong side, the bishops are against taking action in the face of the inevitable.  Doctors want it done yesterday and the doctors are right. At this stage, the argument is not one of innocence. Its danger - as in giving birth to a child with no chace to even survive birth can be fatal with the wrong kind of chromosomal defect (these migrate past the fetal blood barrier in the placenta with potentially fatal cardio-vascular effects. You didn't know?  Shame on you. We can certainly have ethics boards, but only if the Catholic bishops change their health care directives to take out their fear of doctors playing God.  Non-negotiable. No evangelization should even occur to a Church whose bishops are sure that God is an Ogre. So, the moral analysis must admit that the issue is danger, not innocence - although the innocence argument is great for the GOP agenda.

On the Downs topic. No making it illegal until the Church, with or without public funds, houses or offers respite care to the families of all Downs children.  The state's history in housing these folks is aweful and it has used the opportunity to enforce Eugenics. The whole group home thing?  I have a mental health diagnosis and if you believe what the deinstitutionalization forces said, there should be a free group home bed waiting for me - and for every Downs patient not living at home. Still waiting.

Continuing with personhood. This time in the first trimester.  The problem with assuming personhood for all embryoes is that it turns the embryoes who die in miscarriage as subjects of law. (There is no such thing as a first trimester fetus. You didn't know? Double shame on you and the person who did not teach you the right terms.)  Being a subject of law means that if you die, there can be an inquest.  Its funny when a pro-life public servant hears about my argument and says we need to investigate every micarriage.  He obviously did not get the joke. Avoiding that nonsense for families grieving the loss of a child is why we don't do that.  We also don't want tort suits against doctors in this area. Nothing is more morally repugnant, even then abortion, then the thought of an army of Ave Maria and Liberty law grads aggressively seeking to make their names seeking these suits - and making miscarriage a public event would give them names on the public record. That flaw makes any first trimester ban untenable.

Then there is before pregnancy.  Fertilization to gastrulation.  This one is easy.  Not a person. While it has DNA from both parents, only the maternal DNA is active in growth.  When both sides work, you are a person.  In some species (not ours) fatal hybrids continue to develop until gastrulation. Assuming for a second that happened to humans, do dog-human hybrids that are destined to die have souls? Lets do another animal that does allow hybrids. Do human-horse combinations before gasturlation have souls?  Do they go to Heaven? I am not even going to do twinning, which also stops at gastrulation.If you had a Catholic ethics class before Evangelicum Vitae, you know that twinning was the standard argument against life at fertilization.  Now the lame retort is that God gives the twin a soul at twinning.  Pure fiction.

What about the pro choice side? That is easy.  Go to the NARAL-Pro Choice America web page or the one for the National Center for Reproductive Rights if you doubt the need for their work.  NCRR is the law firm that works on abortion cases - big success rate  - their major loss was partial birth abortion - if you call that a loss. The goal of the law was a shot at overturning Roe. The pro-lifers were certain their boy W had given them the right justices in Roberts and Alito.  Nope. Roberts and Alito went with Kennedy on a decision that invoked the Commerce Clause to give Congress the power to do the law (odd that they could go there on abortion and not mandates in the ACA). Does the Democratic Party love this an issue? Sure, but if the pro-life movement suddenly was raptured, the Pro-Choice movement would go away.  Also, I suspect most of the movement would love to see the Child Tax Credit increase I suggested above pass, even though it might put a big chunk of the abortion practice out of business (no more abortions for economic danger). Pity the bishops won't get behind it. When they do, when they provide such a wage for their employees, I will believe they are serious.

What about pro-choice Catholic politicians? They are cowards. They know most of the facts I have laid out above - even the ones about personhood. They certainly know the implications of the bishop's cooperation with the political scam that is the pro-choice movement. Yet they say nothing but repeat the lame defense offered by Cuomo - pluralism. Letting the current political regime goes on does have electoral advantage, but mostly it is done out of fear that the truth will alienate Catholic voters who don't like seeing the Church attacked, even if they agree it is wrong. Maybe soon, courage will be rewarded, starting with that tax cut.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Links for 05/12/15 | National Catholic Reporter

Links for 05/12/15 | National Catholic Reporter by MSW. MGB: If you want to give to a Church run feeding program in Cuba, we have a link for that.  The other link is from Cardinal Nichols homily in a London LGBT Parish.  He says good things about Communion  changing us - but that is true of all Sacraments, although I am not sure some of his brother bishops got the memo.  As important is that they provide comfort when the painful part of change is apparent.  That includes Matrimony - where sometimes the Grace of the Sacrament kicks in before you destroy each other - and sometimes it does not - you have to call for it.That is true for modern hetero and LGBT marriages - and even the traditional male dominated ones that probably need it the most.