Not to put too fine a point on it

by SDG

in Uncategorized

Source.

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{ 32 comments }

bill912 February 9, 2009 at 10:07 am

If somebody turns this into a t-shirt, I’ll buy a dozen.

Eric Sammons February 9, 2009 at 10:45 am

Ask and you shall receive:
http://www.cafepress.com/ericsammons

Uncle Joe February 9, 2009 at 11:05 am

When President Obama was a fetus what if abortion was as available as it is now?
I’m sure many nice people would have pointed his mother in the direction of the ‘sensible’ choice. “Bright woman at University, why ruin your life and promising academic career, you might not complete your BA, let alone the PhD you are capable of. Rushed weddings due to pregnancy are more likely to fail. Do you want to be a single mother bringing up a mixed-race child in a racist society?” Surely one of the ‘harder cases’.
Would the future President Obama have been ‘assassinated’ in the womb, unprotected by the Constitution?
Perhaps his mother was tempted, I don’t know. If she was tempted and resisted, then all praise to her.
Perhaps some women in crisis pregnancy today might think: this child in my womb has massive potential, despite the odds – who knows, they might even grow up to be President…

memoriadei February 9, 2009 at 4:03 pm

http://prolifecoalition.blogspot.com/
Hope this is ok ! Jimmy, see above blogspot.

JoAnna February 9, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Irony, thy name is Obama.

Serena February 9, 2009 at 8:15 pm

I love it. I commented at the source too. The disconnect choicers live with, to imagine themselves respecters of life while advocating the opening of more lives to being killed, stuns the mind. This is a small nudge that might wake a few up and will definitely help galvanize those who really care about humanity — all humanity at all ages.

Hans February 9, 2009 at 9:33 pm

Okay, I’m not much into t-shirts, but could it be morphed into a bumper sticker or a poster?

Eric Sammons February 10, 2009 at 8:40 am

Hans,
At the CafePress Store I set up for T-Shirts, you can also purchase bumpers stickers with the image/quote.
Note: any money made on these shirts and stickers I’ll donate to a pro-life organization.

KristyB February 10, 2009 at 9:32 am

It’s a neat thought, but I am concerned that his ardent supporters (who may be pro life and don’t understand his plans) would miss the irony of his statement and the corresponding imagery. I wonder if it will force any of them to pause and question the meaning of the quote and the associated actions he plans to take (FOCA). Maybe if they just added a “Really?” to the end of it, it could sway the whole tone. To my eyes, it looks like an advertisement for something that isn’t true — that he plans to protect the innocents, ALL of them. My 2 cents.

Suzanne February 10, 2009 at 3:52 pm

God may not condone the taking of innocent life, but President Obama certainly seems to.
I like the image, but I think it will confuse people who don’t know Obama’s voting record on abortion into thinking he is pro-life.

Jake February 11, 2009 at 4:35 am

Ergo: There is NO GOD! I think this is what he really believes.

Jake February 11, 2009 at 4:36 am

Ergo: There is NO GOD! I think this is what he really believes.

Matt Bowman February 11, 2009 at 11:20 am

Jake is exactly right.

Uncle Joe February 11, 2009 at 6:56 pm

The full text of the President’s prayer breakfast statement is here

But no matter what we choose to believe, let us remember that there is no religion whose central tenet is hate. There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know.
We know too that whatever our differences, there is one law that binds all great religions together. Jesus told us to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” The Torah commands, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.” In Islam, there is a hadith that reads “None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.” And the same is true for Buddhists and Hindus; for followers of Confucius and for humanists. It is, of course, the Golden Rule—the call to love one another; to understand one another; to treat with dignity and respect those with whom we share a brief moment on this Earth.

He later explained his religious background.

I was not raised in a particularly religious household. I had a father who was born a Muslim but became an atheist, grandparents who were non-practicing Methodists and Baptists, and a mother who was skeptical of organized religion, even as she was the kindest, most spiritual person I’ve ever known. She was the one who taught me as a child to love, and to understand, and to do unto others as I would want done.
I didn’t become a Christian until many years later, when I moved to the South Side of Chicago after college. It happened not because of indoctrination or a sudden revelation, but because I spent month after month working with church folks who simply wanted to help neighbors who were down on their luck—no matter what they looked like, or where they came from, or who they prayed to. It was on those streets, in those neighborhoods, that I first heard God’s spirit beckon me. It was there that I felt called to a higher purpose—His purpose.

One can accuse the President of naivety in his understanding of Jihadist Islam and of having an inconsistent ethic of life, but not of atheism.

Matt Bowman February 12, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Uncle Joe–I think what we have is a practical athiesm, someone who has assumed so much authority to define God for himself that in practice the concept is not God anymore. He himself serves the function of God. As Polycarp said, away with the athiests.

Uncle Joe February 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm

Matt
I’m puzzled.
I can see how those who have a non-realist view of God eg Sea of Faith have defined God out of existence, and are not theists.
As far as I can tell, the President is not of that school.
There are many terms one can use to describe President Obama but “practical atheist”?

Matt Bowman February 12, 2009 at 6:00 pm

I really think his relativist and subjectivist views of God and religion approach a denial of God.

Uncle Joe February 12, 2009 at 8:09 pm

example quotes?

Matt Bowman February 13, 2009 at 7:40 am

I think the first three sentences you quote are themselves an example–think about them in context of “God” as a construct of “religion”. This excerpt is full of others:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1546298,00.html
Not always coherent, which is part of the point. And of course it is not quotes only but actions which are illustrative. He plays God with human life, he defines God by reference to his own judgment on taking the lives of innocent human beings. Since taking the lives of some human beings is condoned, in his view, there is no God who does not condone it.

Uncle Joe February 13, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Matt
he defines God by reference to his own judgment on taking the lives of innocent human beings.
I don’t think your examples show anything of the sort, nor any evidence of ‘practical atheism’. No doubt others who care to read your evidence will form their own judgement.
Believing that it is sometimes permissible to kill another human being is not atheistic in theory or practice, unless perhaps one is an absolute pacifist on religious grounds.
I agree with President Obama’s statement that

What our deliberative, pluralistic democracy demands is that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals must be subject to argument and amenable to reason. If I am opposed to abortion for religious reasons and seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or invoke God’s will and expect that argument to carry the day. If I want others to listen to me, then I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.

I believe that abortion does violates a principle accessible to everyone. The main authors of this blog and the US Catholic Bishops in their arguments about what the law should be, argue pro-life from principles accessible to everyone.
In your link, President Obama justifies permitting abortion as follows:

I explained my belief that few women made the decision to terminate a pregnancy casually; that any pregnant woman felt the full force of the moral issues involved and wrestled with her conscience when making that decision; that I feared a ban on abortion would force women to seek unsafe abortions

In short, he permits abortion (1) from a principle of the primacy of the pregnant woman’s conscience – that people like you and I should not ‘impose our beliefs on her’. And (2) pragmatically, to avoid back street abortion. I suspect that he believes that a human fetus has a lesser moral status than a human adult.
His reasoning is wrong but not atheistic.

The Masked Chicken February 13, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Dear Uncle Joe,
You quoted Obama saying:
What our deliberative, pluralistic democracy demands is that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values.
He is stating a metavalue here. Who told him that this is what a democracy demands? If the principle were universal, there would be no need for a democracy, a culture of varying views. This statement is nonsense.
It requires that their proposals must be subject to argument and amenable to reason.
So, he is saying that religious arguments are not amenable to reason? Way to dismiss religion. This is an atheistic appeal.
If I am opposed to abortion for religious reasons and seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or invoke God’s will and expect that argument to carry the day.
In this statement, he relativizes all religions to be equal and futile. This is nonsense. If a particular religion is true, then its pronouncements are true and form a valid argument. Since many atheists hold that one religion is pretty much the same as another, this is, again a veiled atheistic argument.
If I want others to listen to me, then I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.
Again, this is simply forcing his opinion on others. If the statement of a particular religion is true, then it must be accessible to all people as the truth is accessible to all people. What he is really saying is that no religion contains truth that is universal. This, again is disguised atheism.
So, although it seems that he is appealing to reason, in fact, he is elevating pure reason over any religion, whether or not that religion is based on reason (as the catholic religion is) and true.
In the area of pure reason, one must work from axioms and he has given no extra-personal way to choose valid axioms. Hence each man makes his own axioms and each man owns his own truth. Welcome to PostModernism.
I cannot tolerate this sort of disingenuous style of communication, where it seems that he is making a reasonable argument, but is really speaking subtext nonsense or a subtext that is in contradiction to the text.
The Chicken

Nancy February 13, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Maybe we can send these T-shirts to our Senators and Reps? Seeing as how party lines seem to be the order of the day, it might get the message across….

Matt Bowman February 13, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Uncle Joe–it is not just Obama’s views on abortion, but also his modernistic views on religion in general and his radical actions and the connection between these and abortion, that make practical athiesm a plausible interpretation of his position. God and his rules are a construct of the believer/activist.

(P)(((x)(P(x))) iff TRANSCENDENTAL(P)) February 15, 2009 at 6:59 pm

There is no “God” of Catholicism who condones lying (pace what some here or some Jesuits may think). But that does not force the conclusion that lying or all lying under any circumstance should be illegal, punished by law, or coercion used to suppress it.
As I have noted previously on this blog, Thomas Aquinas held that prostitution need not be outlawed by the state and supported its being legal in the situation he wrote of.
As has been confirmed in a new document whose style is more ruminatory and tentative, (not that this was ever in dispute except here and elsewhere on the Internet … no theologian disputed this) the original Donum Vitae CDF document noted that the church had made not expressly committed itself to the notion that the human zygote was a human person — this is a philosophical, ontological claim that Donum Vitae had not made and which the new CDF document in citing Donum Vitae noted had not been made. The new CDF document went on to (as Donum Vitae had done in somewhat similar fashion) note that it was difficult to see how a human zygote (more or less) could not be a human person, how something could be human as understood by the biological sciences but not possess a spiritual or rational soul. But as Jimmy Akin has noted with respect to polygenism and a papal teaching addressing it, this kind of expression of difficulty (which was much much stronger in the case of polygenism) does not mean that polygenism or the negation of the notion that the zygote possesses a spiritual soul is excluded from permissible belief or from further church reflection and development of doctrine. Indeed, authentic catechisms (ex. German) have expressed polygenism.
There is one curious statement in the new CDF document that according to some theologians goes slightly further than Donum Vitae. It is the statement that the human “embryo” has a dignity “proper to” “human person.” It does not say curiously that the human “embryo” is a human person or even that it has the dignity of a human person, but merely that it has a dignity proper to that of a human person. Of course in the theology of Thomas Aquinas even after the spiritual soul is present, the human embryo is not fully man (as SDG was shocked to learn of Aquinas) until the moment of birth — but before birth and arguably even before the spiritual soul obtains, the embryo may have a dignity proper to a human person in the first case since it would be a human person ontologically and in the second case since even if not a human person itself, it would be imbued with the dignity of human personhood proper to the mother. BTW, SDG, to answer one of your previous inquiries more than I already had, one example of a case where something can be said to be “human” but not a human person would be the case of Jesus who per traditional Catholic doctrine is not a human person, the conciliatory moves of late on the part of the Vatican to those once labelled Nestorian notwithstanding.
@The Masked Chicken
It seems you are not well acquainted with some of the terminology President Obama is using. Since President Obama is reported to have had measured on the S-B test an IQ as high as 172 (when taken later he scored 166 and that is consistent with regression toward the mean etc.) I would be more humble before characterizing a statement of his as nonsense.
I have not read everything here, but when some speak of “deliberative” democracy, they mean something more than what the English word “deliberative” entails … there is a whole literature on this.
Now you said:
“He is stating a metavalue here. Who told him that this is what a democracy demands? If the principle were universal, there would be no need for a democracy, a culture of varying views. This statement is nonsense.”
I think it is your own statement that is nonsense. If as you put it the metavalue that Obama proposed were universal, there would still be a need for deliberative democracy and there would still be varying views. There just wouldn’t be varying views on that metavalue. There could be all sorts of varying views on values, just not on that metavalue. I am not sure whether this is just an uncharacteristic mistake on your part or if there is something in what you wrote that is not being communicated to me. I did not read the rest of your post.

Mary February 16, 2009 at 8:52 am

There is no “God” of Catholicism who condones lying (pace what some here or some Jesuits may think). But that does not force the conclusion that lying or all lying under any circumstance should be illegal, punished by law, or coercion used to suppress it.
Nevertheless it is certainly illegal under some circumstances. Perjury, for instance.
By the same token, not all actions that could result in the death of a human being are illegal, punishable by law, or coercively suppressed. Like, say, giving children candy, which can be hazardous to their health. But some should be.

Serena February 17, 2009 at 5:39 pm

I say beware of the man who urges further mind games when lives are in the balance.

[Inappropriate handle deleted] February 17, 2009 at 8:01 pm

As I explained in the other thread, since Tim J has used “Satan” in the Name field, I am assuming it is OK to use such things in the Name field and am now going by “Sanctus Lucifer” which one may take to allude to a holy person of history
Mary, sure but there are many things that God (according to Catholicism) does not condone that are not illegal under any circumstance. For example, masturbation. Whether you agree with Aquinas on prostitution, surely you would agree that masturbation should not be “illegal, punishable by law or coercively suppressed.”
The substantive question is whether abortion is something that like theft or murder that should be outlawed or whether it is something like prostitution or masturation that should not be outlawed. And the answer to that question as you and I both acknowledge does not turn on whether God condones the thing.
So all I was trying to point out was that President Obama’s statement does not contradict his views on abortion, even if one were to assume he thinks that the unborn are human beings. When asked about that, he declined to answer, saying that God’s ways are above his ways and God’s thoughts above his thoughts. President Clinton when he was in office was given some scriptures from some pro-life people, asking the President to contemplate them and see if not the bible is clear on when a human spiritual soul exists. President Clinton in great humility took out time from his presidential duties to look at those scriptures and ponder them. He eventually said that it didn’t seem clear to him from those scriptures. Can you imagine the Pope doing something like that? If some ordinary folk or even Protestant leader were to offer him scriptures asking him to consider if something he believes might not be mistaken, somehow I don’t think the Pope would entertain that or give time and effort to it. But it’s not a Pope thing. Most Presidents wouldn’t either. That’s why President Clinton is such a man of extraordinary virtue, his sexual dalliances notwithstanding and President Obama shows every sign of being even more virtuous.

Brother Cadfael February 18, 2009 at 7:59 am

President Clinton, when compared to the Pope, is a “man of extraordinary virtue.”
Yeah, right. I now understand the choice of handle.

Michael February 18, 2009 at 12:57 pm

“Can you imagine the Pope doing something like that? If some ordinary folk or even Protestant leader were to offer him scriptures asking him to consider if something he believes might not be mistaken, somehow I don’t think the Pope would entertain that or give time and effort to it. But it’s not a Pope thing.”
Hmmm. The current Pope has spent his entire career doing exactly that.
He just published a lengthy book, “Jesus of Nazareth” explaining in detail exactly where all the big Protestant scholars have departed from the Biblical view of Christ.
But, hey, that is a serious scholarly book, not a mis-spelled ten-minute blog comment diatribe! Which would a seeker of truth and reality prefer?c

Me February 18, 2009 at 12:59 pm

President Clinton in great humility took out time from his presidential duties to look at those scriptures and ponder them. He eventually said that it didn’t seem clear to him from those scriptures [on when a human spiritual soul exists]. Can you imagine the Pope doing something like that?”
Unfortunately, without a quote, we have to imagine what President Clinton actually said. The quote I have is from the New York Times dated October 4, 1994 in which Pres. Clinton says that it was not self-evident, in his view, that selected verses of Scripture condemned abortion: “I have read all the verses cited by people who say that it is self-evident that the Scripture condemns abortion, and we should criminalize the conduct of mothers and doctors, and I simply don’t believe they’re so free of ambiguity that you can say, ‘Well, the only answer to this is to overturn the decision by constitutional amendment.’”
The Pope has also said that Scripture does not directly and specifically condemn (deliberate) abortion: “The texts of Sacred Scripture never address the question of deliberate abortion and so do not directly and specifically condemn it.” The Pope adds: “But they show such great respect for the human being in the mother’s womb that they require as a logical consequence that God’s commandment ‘You shall not kill be extended to the unborn child as well.” (Evangelium vitae, 61)
Perhaps you have another quote by President Clinton. Here is one, in part: “we know in part, we see through a glass darkly. Humility is the order of the day. The reason we have to love each other is because all of us might be wrong.”

creation17024 March 23, 2009 at 3:00 pm

… cool…now say something on the bottom like
“Then why all the FOCA???” or
“Then why so pro-FOCA”
and you’ll have to explain a little
Freedom of Choice Act -
Abortion for any reason at anytime…
What’cha thinK?
adamsmarye86@yahoo.com
would buy… looking to fight,
as Mel Gibson said in Braveheart
…I’ve come to peck a fight…(scottish accent needed…”

creation17024 March 23, 2009 at 3:06 pm

… about the soul and the baby and everything…
I think it makes sense to say that the soul… which is really an eternal spirit, actually starts first, giving a ‘blueprint’ to the growing cells/tissue that God knits together in our mother’s womb. When our bodys are unable to support our spirit any longer, we leave it and where we go next is determined by our choice to either reject Jesus or accept him as Lord.
Jesus is Lord

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