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March 8, 2009
Murder Is Murder
Comrade Obama has been in a big hurry to push through all aspects of the leftist agenda before resistance can be organized, but among his very top priorities is passing the appalling Freedom of Choice Act, which will increase abortions in this country by an estimated 125,000 per year.
What more do you need to know about him?
On a tip from Naqamel.
Posted by Van Helsing at March 8, 2009 1:29 PM
I know I've said I'm totally without faith, but these people make me sick. It's not about faith, it's not about what you believe, it's about humanity, and being greater than the worship of death.
Posted by: Mr Evilwrench at March 8, 2009 2:08 PM
While I am a man of faith, I concur strongly that the abortion issue is not about faith. It does not take religious faith to recognize the scientific fact that when a human sperm fertilizes a human egg, a human life has begun. It does not take religious faith to recognize that to purposefully terminate this most innocent of human life is not only inconsistent with the cause of humanity, but also serves to undercut the rights of all whose life is deemed by someone or other as "not worthy of life".
I commend you for recognizing these facts. Many of those "totally without faith" have such strong disregard for religious faith and religious people that they - in the case of abortion and other life issues - are willing to enthusiastically engage in the type of behavior they believe to be the engine of religious belief: the disregard of facts and evidence. You, sir, are not one of them.
For myself, I was the biological son of an unwed teen-aged girl. I don't know if she wanted to have an abortion or not; as my conception occurred in 1966 and not subsequent to Jan. 20, 1973, I fortunately did not get to find out the hard way. I was put in an orphanage where I resided until being adopted just after my first birthday, by a couple in their 40's. I am thankful that the legal 'right' to kill me - to exploit my teenage mom's fear, uncertainty, and societal shame - had not yet come to pass. I would imagine my adoptive parents, my sister (who was also adopted), my wife, and my soon-to-be-born daughter are all rather glad about it also.
Yes, I was "unwanted". Even if I, like my adoptive father, had bounced from institution to foster home to institution, that life would be much preferable to no life at all. All my dad did after that upbringing was win a trunk full of medals in WWII, and then serve in the military and Defense Dept. for 30 years; I have not nearly rivaled my father's accomplishments, but I did put myself through Notre Dame, build lots of govt. and commercial software, and write some theology articles. I pay my taxes, obey the law, and try to serve my family and country. Unwanted != Without Worth.
Those who support "the right to choose" would have no doubt encouraged my biological mom to abort me, as if her sacrificing 9 months of her life is more of a burden than me foregoing my entire one. Those who believe, in their heart of hearts, that "I couldn't have an abortion, but I couldn't prevent someone else from having one", would have stood by silently as I was killed. I find both positions unacceptable.
And for any subsequent commenter that attempts the "Yeah, well what if if happened to you?", well, too late folks, it already did. I was 24, and the young lady told me she was pregnant 2 weeks after we had broken up (after a year and a half of dating). We never once considered abortion. I hoped she would give the baby up for adoption, but she decided to raise the baby (a girl) herself, and I gave her financial support for 4 years until she met and married another man, who lovingly adopted my daughter (I thought it best for my daughter to be raised in an intact nuclear family, so I supported the adoption). My now ex-daughter (as I jokingly refer to her now to my friends who were around when I was "Daddy") just turned 17 yesterday, and the mother is happy and healthy, with no haunting memories of, or regrets about, an abortion.
The bottom line is that nothing good comes out of an abortion: all you're left with is one dead and one wounded. This should also be unacceptable to any society that claims to value human life or the cause of humanity.
Posted by: GeronimoRumplestiltskin at March 8, 2009 9:54 PM
I am pro life, and I am extremely concerned about the actions of the Catholic Church in the case of a raped 9 year old Brazilian girl.
Though I am pro life, I firmly believe abortion should be allowed if the mother's life is in danger.
When 9/11 happened, I remember reading about people who stayed behind in the buildings to help others get out. These people are heroes, they are the best of us. But I in no way thought less of those who just got the Hell out of there.
Martyrs are the best and the bravest of us. They often become saints. But no one should be FORCED to be a martyr, including pregnant woman. Unborn life SHOULD be protected, I FIRMLY believe this...but not to the point where we forgo the lives of the already born, who already have established relationships with their families, friends, etc. Who already have people who depend on them.
In my life, I have known people who have miscarried, obviously, as a huge number of pregnancies end in miscarriage. I've also (obviously) known people who had their born children or spouses died. While I in no way seek to trivialize the very real grief I saw in the parents who suffered a miscarriage, the devastation to their family was simply not comparable to those who lost already born family members. When we are FORCED to choose between one life and another, it simply makes sense to protect the life whose loss will have the greatest impact. Also, an unborn infant, while alive, has no concept of nor appreciation for life, whereas a living person does. As traumatic as death is for a fetus, it SURELY is more traumatic for a being which is losing a life they already possess, as opposed to losing a life they POTENTIALLY have.
In this case, this 9 year old was raped by her stepfather and was impregnated with twins. This girl weighs 80 pounds, and her womb is just flat out not large enough. The chances of her womb bursting, killing her and the babies, are EXTREMELY high, particularly because she is carrying twins. As a result, doctors performed an abortion in order to save the life of this 9 year old.
Though the church has not excommunicated the girl herself, they have condemned this abortion and have excommunicated both the girl's mother (for allowing the procedure) and the doctors who performed it. It also should be noted that the Church has not expelled the rapist, as they quantify his sin of child rape as paling in comparison to the doctors performing the abortion.
I believe that the life of a fetus is equally as sacred as the life of the mother. But the Church, in this decision, is saying that the fetuses are MORE worthy of life than the mother, and I just don't agree with that, and I think that this is just a horrendous bit of PR for the pro life movement.
Posted by: Sara Mia at March 8, 2009 11:38 PM
Just to specify- I'm not saying the Church should have condoned this abortion, but they should have flat out not touched this one with a ten foot pole.
And excommunication is simply inexcusable. These were NOT abortion doctors. Even if you do not agree with what these doctors did, I think this is a situation in which you could at least understand their decision, ESPECIALLY considering that the chances of these twins surviving to term was miniscule. I think it's flat out psychotic that the Church is painting them as evil baby killers who did this solely because they don't value human life.
Posted by: Sara Mia at March 8, 2009 11:51 PM
Sorry one last post
I know there is an argument that we should not allow abortion even if the woman's life is in danger, because doing this allows for the possibility of women and their doctors colluding to fabricate life threatening situations in order to obtain abortions.
While this is a real risk, it cannot supercede a person's right to self preservation. We aren't stripped of our gun and self protection rights JUST because people falsely claim self defense to get away with murder. And yes, we are allowed to kill the innocent in self defense. If a severely mentally handicapped person, who had no concept of what they were doing, got hold of a gun and was about to shoot a police officer with it, the officer would not be condemned if they were compelled to shoot said person to save their own lives.
Posted by: Sara Mia at March 9, 2009 12:08 AM
Since they have done such a poor job of it, I will do my best to try to explain the position of the archbishop in Brazil and the Vatican official who supports the excommunication of the mother and doctors. I'll begin by clarifying the moral teaching of the Catholic Church regarding the personhood of an unborn child and abortion. I will also provide some additional information about this case, as there are some pieces you left out.
First, the Church's moral teaching on the value of the unborn person:
At conception, a human life has begun - a person is created.
Logic demands that whatever the circumstances under which the child was conceived does not diminish the reality of the unborn child's personhood. You are no less a person because you were conceived in rape.
Ergo, you are entitled to all the rights of a person which includes being protected from murder.
Therefore, while the rape of a nine year-old is abominable, this does nothing to diminish the personhood of her unborn children. Thus advocating the aborting of the unborn children is only possible when one refuses to see the baby as a person.
If one does not grant the unborn children their personhood, there is no need to continue the discussion. However, if one does, then the following question arises:
As cold as this sounds to a lot of people, how is killing the girl's unborn children going to be less traumatic than carrying them to viability (6-7 months, according to our obstetrician) and giving them the gift of life?
Now, on to some particulars of the excommunications involved:
*** At the hospital where the girl was initially admitted, Imip, the doctors said that her life was not in danger. Various specialists from this major hospital say that she didn’t have a risk of dying, and that they could have waited longer (she was 15 weeks pregnant) to see if the unborn children could become viable (after which they would be extracted via Caesarean). Her mother then had transferred her to another hospital, Cisam, that was willing to do the abortion. So the mother shopped around until she found a hospital that would do the abortion. Under canon law, she incurs automatic excommunication.
*** As for the doctors, I agree with your statement:
"Though I am pro life, I firmly believe abortion should be allowed if the mother's life is in danger."
As does the Roman Catholic Church, though I believe that they would add the word "eminent" just prior to danger. As the girl's life was not in eminent danger, the decision to abort was premature. The doctors who performed the abortion did no outside consultation with other obstetricians to determine whether the twins could survive until viability, and displayed no patience in delaying the abortion until either further tests could be done or the girl could receive the proper obstetric and psychiatric care that would be necessary in order to prevent further damage to the girl or her unborn children. They just aborted the children. In doing so, they chose to engage in an objective evil so that a perceived good may come about. This 'proportionalism' has left two dead and the nine year-old likely to be further traumatized. Hence their excommunication.
*** As for the stepfather, there is no canon law for the automatic excommunication of a child molester. However, he no more free to receive the sacraments of the Church than the mother or the doctors are. He must do his repentence in order to be restored to 'good standing', and in this case I would wager that it will be a rather long process. Likewise, it is possible for the mother and doctors to be reinstated to 'good standing' through repentence. Why the harsher penalty for the mother and doctors? The same reason the murder of a child is legally considered a more serious crime than rape, even child rape.
In closing, I would opine that both the archbishop and Vatican official involved in this situation did a poor job of explaining their position. By this I mean that their first public statements should have been concerned with upholding the dignity and personhood of the young girl and her unborn children, and the personhood of all, regardless of how they are conceived. Their next statements should have been to highlight the errors of the actions of the mother and doctors (outlined by me above). After making all these points, the next point to be made would be that according to canon law, the excommunications were automatically incurred (i.e. this wasn't a vindictive or judgmental decision by the archbishop). Such a progression of statements and actions of the bishops would have provided a better understanding of the Church's position.
While I am sure that I will be castigated for defending the above position, I assure the readers that as a Catholic who grew up in the Deep South, there is no name you could call me that I have not already heard.
Posted by: GeronimoRumplestiltskin at March 9, 2009 2:15 AM
Nice explanation GeronimoRumplestiltskin. You explained, with charity, the Church's position on this, which in the eyes of the world could easily be seen as uncaring. Sad that the evils in the world cause of all to deal with these issues and respond in kind. Thank you for your witness and for stepping in to defend not only life but Christ's Church.
Posted by: catholicdude at March 9, 2009 6:59 AM
I understand and appreciate your position, which you laid out very eloquently. But I disagree with you saying the mother's life should have to be in imminent danger.
Let me give you an example from my own experience:
I am a nurse in an oncology ward. I have been for decades. Over the years, we have had more than a few cases in which pregnant women found out they had cancer. There are many cancers- pancreatic, brain spinal, etc, which MUST be treated as soon as possible. If you wait 6 months before starting chemo, radiation, etc and you have pancreatic cancer, you chances of survival become extremely low. Now, if you are pregnant and start receiving chemo, radiation, etc, your baby will die, and it will die slowly and horribly being poisoned by the very methods being used to save your life.
I have never had a woman patient who was in her third trimester who didn't just wait the extra couple months to receive treatment.
However, I have had several women who were very early in their pregnancies, who any oncologist would agree would have almost no chance of recovery if she delayed treatment until after her baby was born. These women will then typically abort, because if they would rather their babies not have to die slowly from being poisoned by chemo or radiation- also the stress of the pregnancy that will ultimately end in miscarriage anyways adds to their risk of death. So these women aren't in IMMEDIATE danger, i.e. they will not die right then if an abortion is not performed. But they WILL die a year from then without proper treatment.
Defending life is one thing. Defending the fetuses life above the mother's life is entirely different.
Also Geronimo, I agree with your position that I personally do not think abortion should be allowed in cases of rape, because the child is innocent.
Also, the Church in taking this position to attempt to protect this one life is now opening the door for many others to be killed.
Let me explain.
Latin America is obviously extremely Catholic, and abortion is typically be illegal (in most cases illegal except in cases of rape, incest, or the mother's life being in danger. In some countries it is illegal under any circumstances). However, the inescapable fact is that the vast majority of people, even people who are pro life otherwise, DO believe that abortion should be allowed in cases of rape, incest, or the mother being in danger.
There have been other high profile cases in Latin America in which the Church took a strong position against rape victims who were very young girls being allowed abortions. These are cases like the one above in which the Church not only excommunicated members, but they actually tok legal action to try and prevent the abortion from occurring. In EVERY case, this resulted in an extreme backlash from the community, even extremely religious communities. And in many cases, these incidents so inflamed the public that they resulted in the expansion of abortion rights. In some cities/states (abortion tends to be legislated by region and not by country in south america), the result was the all out legalization of abortion in the first tri mester. So the Church, by deciding to very publically try and prevent the abortions of young rape victims, actually brought upon the deaths of untold other babies when abortion was expanded after such campaigns. Also, in these regions, the influence of the Church has dwindled because people were so horrified at the Church's actions.
The pro life movement does need to pick it's battles. The vast majority of humanity is okay with abortion in cases of rape or life endangerment- and this girl was representative of both these things.
Also, what was pointed out in the Brazilian press that REALLY incited people is that the Church does not typically excommunicate men who kill children or who kill pregnant women. Their was a news story I read in which it discussed men in jail who were convicted child killers who were still being catered to by priests and still received communion.
Feminists in Brazil have already jumped all over this fact and are using it to claim that the Church obviously does not actually care about the lives of children, it only cares about controlling women. I don't believe that's true, but when the Church excommunicates doctors for aborting the child of a 9 year old rape victim and DOESN'T excommunicate a man who raped and murdered a 5 year old girl (this was one of the cases highlighted in the Brazilian article), that is surely the message people will take away from it.
Posted by: Sara Mia at March 9, 2009 7:55 AM
You know your a liberal when you have a bumper sticker reading KEEP ABORTION LEGAL right next to your SAVE THE REDWOODS,SAVE THE RAINFORESTS bumper stickers,You know your a liberal that after youve taken part in a proabortion demostration you run off to take part in a nude protests against fur coat sales with aother PETA dipwads
Posted by: SPURWING PLOVER at March 9, 2009 7:56 AM
Just to further clarify my point- I do not think abortion should be legal in the case of rape. I would always vote against such a thing- were it possible to vote for. However, I would NEVER judge a woman who chose to have an abortion if she was raped. I cannot even fathom being in such a position, and I have no business judging someone already so traumatized. Again, I don't think the Church should openly accept such cases, but by them attacking women in such positions, especially such young women, they are going to alienate a HUGE number of people who otherwise would have been pro life. Especially when male child killers are still allowed church sacraments in jail.
Posted by: Sara Mia at March 9, 2009 8:44 AM
Sorry I know I keep multiple posting but as one final point Geronimo, as a nurse, I take EXTREME exception to the fact that it was debatable that this girl's life is in danger.
A nine year old, weighing 80 pounds, carrying twins is in extreme danger of death even if the pregnancy goes as well as it could possibly go. I've discussed this at length with the other doctors and nurses at Brigham and Women's in Boston, a top rated hospital. Considering that the medical malpractice rate in Brazil is through the roof, you taking the word of some undoubtedly Church influence Brazilian doctors is unwise. Obviously there is not a 100% chance she would die, but as a medical professional I can tell you that it is EXTREMELY unilikely that these twins would have survived to term anyways and it is extremely likely that this girl would suffer life threatening medical complications. OF COURSE the Church is putting out propaganda saying her life wasn't REALLY in danger and they could have waited to see how her pregnancy developed. But I can't conceive of an American trained, qualified doctor making the same assertion.
Posted by: Anonymous at March 9, 2009 9:21 AM
I am also pro life and I agree with Sarah. It is unreasonable and unethical to ask that a child risk her life in exchange for only the POSSIBILITY of two other lives being saved. I have had children myself, and knowing the trials of pregnancy I simply do not believe that this little girl would be able to carry twins to term. That Geronimo classifies what these doctors did as evil I find extremely disturbing.
Geronimo, say you had two daughters. One of them has a kidney disorder that requires immediate transplant. Without it she will die, but there are no donors available. Your other daughter is 9 years old, and the only match. However, your first daughter's prognosis is very grim. Even with a transplant, there is still a 80% chance she will die. In addition, your other daughter has a pre-existing medical condition which would make the surgery extremely risky. If you were to perform the kidney extraction, there would be a 60% chance that daughter would die.
Do you HONESTLY think that it would be evil for you to not want to risk the life of one daughter for only a small chance at saving the other?
Posted by: Betts at March 9, 2009 10:04 AM
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. There is much we agree on.
As for your example of a woman with cancer, according to a canon lawyer friend of mine, the case could be made that the woman's life would be in immediate danger if treatment did not begin immediately. Since such treatment would certainly kill the unborn child, it is likely that the case would be successfully made that an abortion in this particular case is warranted. However, this example is an exception, and there are those who are ever-eager to take a rare exception and turn it into the rule. Though I am quite certain you are not one of these people, it must be said that great care must be taken in explaining the difference.
The second part of your reply underscores what I attempted to say in previous comment: that great care was not taken by either the Brazilian archbishop or the Vatican official (whom I had never heard of before) in explaining the Church's position. I believe had they followed the template of public statements that I laid out in my next-to-last paragraph, it would have a) prevented the massive backlash that has distorted the Church's position, b) prevented the Church from being accused of not caring about women and children, and most importantly, c) prevented further trauma for the young girl, allowing her to receive the care she needs in peace and privacy. I agree that the carelessness of the archbishop and Vatican official will likely only serve the proponents of increased abortion 'rights'.
However, there are points in your comment in which we are in disagreement. I will reproduce them here, followed by a response.
..that REALLY incited people is that the Church does not typically excommunicate men who kill children or who kill pregnant women.
Nor does the Church excommunicate women who kill children or kill pregnant women. Neither would the Church excommunicate a man or woman who rapes or molests a child, whether the child be male or female.
In addition to explaining the Church's position in this case, the archbishop and/or the Vatican official would have been well advised to explain a) what excommunication is and b) why it is (by canon law) automatically incurred by those who willingly engage in the abortion of an unborn child, but not automatically incurred for the crime of murder, even the murder of a child.
a) Excommunication is a formal exclusion of a person from communion with the Catholic Church - they may not receive the sacraments of the Church until repentance is undergone. However, those currently in the state of mortal sin - like, say, myself if I were to take a long lunch to have sex with our somewhat fetching young secretary - may not receive the sacraments, either, until repentance is undergone. In my case, it would involve making a confession to an ordained priest, and assenting to undertake any penance he proscribed. In the case of an excommunicated person, it similarly requires making a confession to an ordained priest and the assent to penance - with the additional step of having to petition the bishop for the lifting of excommunication - for the person to be restored to full communion with the Church. Thus, the extent to which I (should I commit adultery) and an excommunicated person are excluded from full membership and standing in the Catholic Church are not as much a matter of 'kind' but of 'degree'. Excommunication - what it means and what lifting it entails - is one of the least understood and easily distorted aspects of canon law.
Still, one would ask, why excommunication for abortion and not murder or molestation of a child? That is a good question, one that deserves a thoughtful answer, which I will do my best to offer in b).
b) Which would you say is a more heinous act, an adult murdering an adult or an adult murdering a child? One's immediate, gut- and heart-level response would be "The murder of a child is more heinous". Now, why is that?
-> A certain degree of "innocence" of a child is presumed (rightly, I would assert) to be of a greater degree than that of an adult.
-> A child is much more helpless, and therefore in the need of defense and protection of adults. Therefore, the adult, in murdering a child, in addition to terminating a human life, has violated the natural societal contract between adult and child.
Taking this position to its logical conclusion, what human life is more innocent or more helpless and in need of defense and protection than an unborn child? Therefore, the murder of an unborn child is the supreme violation of the human contract between the adult and the child.
There is another aspect. According to a clergyman I know with some familiarity with canon law, "In public law, among serious crimes, the harder a crime is to detect, the higher the sanction attached to it; since the chances of getting away with it are higher, the consequences of getting caught need to be higher. Likewise in canon law, since abortion has always been easier to commit without detection than have other forms of homicide, hence the higher penalty in canon law for it than other similar offenses."
Thus, abortion - due to its hidden-ness and heinousness (as outlined above) - is a much more serious moral offense than murder: it is more than a murder, it is the supreme violation of the human contract between the adult and the child. Due to its 'hiddeness', it presents a serious threat to the well-being of human society in a way that murder does not: unlike a murder, it becomes something that can be "swept under the rug", so to speak. Its hidden-nes makes it more likely that any temporal penalty would be avoided, unlike murder. This lack of temporal penalty, as would be the case with any action, leads to the avoidance that one would ever have to take responsibility for one's role in it, which in turn leads to the avoidance of admittance that such an action is really "that bad". Thus the abortion - the deprivation of human life plus the supreme violation of the human contract between the adult and the child - becomes increasingly 'tolerated', then accepted. The murder of an adult or child, on the other hand, is in no danger of gaining 'tolerance', let alone acceptance. Therefore, not only is abortion a more serious offense, but its tolerance and eventual acceptance also presents a grave danger to human society.
The pro-life movement does need to pick it's battles. The vast majority of humanity is okay with abortion in cases of rape or life endangerment
I agree. However, the "pro-life" movement and the Catholic Church are not synonymous with each other. The "pro-life" movement is a political movement, and therefore must take into account the attitudes and positions of its constituents and also the political landscape in which they are trying to advance their cause. In a society that already viewed abortion as a grave wrong, it would be possible to advocate a measure that would forbid abortion in all cases where the mother's life was not in eminent danger, provided that such advocacy is done with the utmost care and thoughtfulness in presenting the case. That, however, does not describe the current state of Western society. Therefore, while I believe that abortion is a grave wrong, permissible only when the mother's life is in eminent danger (as I outlined previously), it would be politically foolish to try to enact a law in the United States that forbid abortion in cases of rape or incest.
The Church, however, is not a political movement. By its own claim, it is "the Bride of Christ", existing to witness to His existence and His message. Thus, what the "vast majority of humanity" holds as a moral value does not alter the Church's teaching in regards to an objective, intrinsic moral evil. Therefore, the Church's cannot, will not, and should not alter its position on abortion.
However, I maintain that they sure as hell could be a lot savvier in explaining their position, as I have repeatedly mentioned in this comment thread.
I hope that my lengthy explanations have been of some benefit to you, as your thoughtfully written reply has been of benefit to me.
Posted by: GeronimoRumplestiltskin at March 9, 2009 10:20 AM
Geronimo: Your life story is truly inspiring. My son, who is now 18, was adopted at six weeks. I wish that I could say everything is peachy, but he has always been a difficult child, and now he is a difficult young adult. But there is always the chance that he can turn things around. If his birthmother had chosen to abort, he would never have that chance.
Posted by: MST at March 9, 2009 10:55 AM
Ugh. I wrote and posted my above comment unaware of the two previous ones [and now, I see, one after]. I shall reply here.
You claim the doctors at the first hospital were "Church-influenced". You do so without any evidence of this, aside from the fact that since you disagree with their diagnosis, they must had some other reason (besides perhaps merely being wrong) to conclude that the child's life was not in "immediate" danger. Note that this fallacy of the "ascribing of nefarious motives" only goes one way in your comment: You make no similar claim that the doctors at the second hospital were "secularly influenced" or "feminist influenced" or "pragmatically influenced", despite the well-documented fact that doctors all over the world will vastly exaggerate the degree to which a pregnancy puts a mother's life "in danger" in order to justify a desired abortion. Not content with accusing the first set of doctors of unconscious dishonesty, you go on to accuse the archbishop and Vatican official of deliberate dishonesty: "OF COURSE the Church is putting out propaganda saying her life wasn't REALLY in danger". If your method of presenting your position is to resort to ascribing hidden motives and conscious dishonesty to those who you disagree with, it serves neither you nor your position well, and is not deserving of further response.
I will not argue with the medical knowledge displayed in your statement "it is EXTREMELY unlikely that these twins would have survived to term anyways and it is extremely likely that this girl would suffer life threatening medical complications", but I will point out that your use of the word 'would', in describing the young girl's medical condition, implies a future state, and not the state she was currently in when the mother and doctors proceeded with the abortion.
As a parallel (and hopefully I'll produce a more apt one than Betts was able to), during the Battle of Kassarine Pass, my father was ordered (he didn't volunteer) to cover the retreating Americans' real flank as 3 divisions of Germany's finest pursued the overmatched Yanks (it was the Americans' first battle vs. the Nazis, who had been fighting for 4 years). They were to take up positions and hold off the enemy as long as they could, then fall back to more secure positions. Given the numbers involved, it was "EXTREMELY unlikely" that he and the handful of his 1st Infantry mates chosen for this would succeed (green American troops under British command meant that the retreat, like the battle, was a fiasco) in preventing further casualties, and extremely likely that, should the Nazis target the positions they would take up, that he "would suffer life-threatening medical complications", such as having his head blown off. However, my dad and his fellow GIs were not ordered to sacrifice themselves - as Patton would say, "no SOB ever won a war by dying for his country; they won by making some other SOB die for his" - but were under military and moral obligation to stay in their position until the position was "immediately" untenable. Though certainly a risk, it was a worthwhile endeavor - it was both morally and militarily right to attempt it, and would have been both morally and militarily unacceptable not to.
Likewise, the adults involved in the Brazilian girl's case were morally obligated to do whatever possible to preserve the lives of all three lives under their care until such preservation was immediately untenable. Even such conditions deemed "extremely likely that they 'would'" occur at some later time does not alleviate the fact that such conditions were not present at the time the abortion was pushed for by the mother nor when the doctors aborted the twins.
As for your objection that "male child killers are still allowed church sacraments in jail", I would alert you to the fact that female child killers are still allowed church sacraments in jail as well. However, neither receives Church sacraments until they have satisfied the conditions of repentance I have previously mentioned.
I honestly do not know how I can further illuminate the Church's position. If you have further objections, I would encourage you to consult a priest or (better yet) a canon lawyer.
That Geronimo classifies what these doctors did as evil I find extremely disturbing.
If you do not understand why the murder of unborn twins who did not pose an eminent threat to the life of the mother, it would rather likely be as a result of the failure to grant the unborn children their personhood regardless of how they were conceived. In such a case, there is no need to continue the discussion, as I would not imagine the murder of these two unborn children disturbs you at all.
As for your "two daughters" dilemma, as a parallel scenario, it is unclear as which daughter is supposed to parallel the Brazilian girl and which is to be her unborn children. If you intend the first daughter to be Brazilian girl, then the parallel contains an aspect that undermines it applicability: The first daughter is in immediate need of a decision as to whether or not one would engage in an act that would put another child's life at risk. As was stated clearly by the doctors in the first hospital, the Brazilian child's life was not at "immediate" risk. Therefore, until the child's life was in "immediate" danger, it would be a rather foolhardy to undertake any action to put any child's life at risk. However, once in immediate danger, a decision must be made. Again, this parallel fails, as there is quite a bit of difference between me
A. Choosing to withhold consent for a transplant on the grounds that it puts the other daughter at risk, and allowing my first daughter to expire of natural causes.
B. Grabbing a surgical instrument (or having the doctor do it), puncturing my 1st daughter's skull, and then sucking out her brains - or, alternatively, forcing a cyanide capsule down her throat.
In the case of A, it is extremely doubtful that the Church would consider this course of action a mortal sin. In contrast, in the case of B, neither the Church, nor any American court, nor (I would hope) any rational person would acquit me of any wrongdoing on the grounds of "she was going to die soon anyway".
If you intend the second daughter to be the Brazilian girl, your scenario still has difficulties as a parallel, and still does not back me into the corner that you desire. In this case, having the 2nd daughter donate the kidney would endanger 2nd daughter's life. Without the kidney, the first daughter would expire of natural causes. So we're at the same decision point as above; please review the difference between A and B for clarity.
I'm sure many scenarios could be concocted to try to find a parallel case in which someone could believe that they have provided justification for...well, just about anything. I would hope you would find better use for your time than to twist yourself in knots trying to justify the murder of an unborn child that did not pose an eminent threat to the life of the mother. However, if your granting of personhood to the unborn children is contingent and not absolute, then that would be the core issue to be addressed, and not whether you can imagine a scenario in which to corner someone into agreeing with you.
Have faith. Though I wasn't difficult child, I was a difficult young adult. I got thrown out of one college, and worked a few menial jobs until light of reality shone into my thick skull. I went back to school at a local small college, got terrific grades, helped support my "oops" daughter, then transferred to Notre Dame. I graduated when I was almost 30, the oldest undergrad they had had since "Rudy", if not since after WWII.
Even during those bad years, when I was lost and had given up hope, my mom and my sister kept praying for me. My dad wasn't much of a "prayer" kind of guy, but he didn't give up on me, either; I wish he had lived a couple of more years so he could have seen me graduate from ND.
Hang in there....
While I've found this discussion/debate lively and informative, I must return to tasks related to my employment, as well as to tasks related to my volunteer project for a group of Canadian Catholic scholars and pro-life advocates (since I live in Texas, how I got involved with these folks is....well, a long story).
Take care all,
Posted by: GeronimoRumplestiltskin at March 9, 2009 12:50 PM
In the Kassarine Pass battle, my dad - never one to retreat from anything - instead charged (solo) a Nazi machine gun placement and rendered it and its inhabitants out of action (not to mention out of existence). He was awarded the Silver Star.
In the written commendation, the description of the mission included the fact that it was done to "provide support for the redeployment" of his regiment; upon my reading this aloud for the first time, my dad informed me that "redeployment" is military-speak for "run like hell".
Posted by: GeronimoRumplestiltskin at March 9, 2009 1:19 PM
Liberals are such a bunch i mean they support prochioce while they are the same ones who are big time tree huggers
Posted by: SPURWING PLOVER at March 9, 2009 7:29 PM
How unspeakably tragic is this ad! Father Pavone is a stalwart pro-life warrior and God bless him for it. How many Einsteins, Edisons, Da Vincis, Mozarts have we sacrificed on the altar of abortion? It all boils down to a tiny baby's hand...
Posted by: Hana Bobanna at March 9, 2009 9:53 PM
At the end of the day, the Church can excommunicate someone from the Church but not from God and Christ. The Church is comprised of men, NOT God.
if I die, and I find that God actually condoned this...if I die and go to Heaven and the Bishop who attempted to murder this girl (because that is what he did, plain and simple. He tired to use the courts to FORCE a 9 year old rape victim to risk her life for the virtually non existant possibility that these fetuses would survive to term) and the doctors who saved her life are truly in Hell, then I will kindly ask God to send me there as well, because that would mean that the loving and just Creator I have been worshiping all my life bears no actual resemblence to the actual Creator. If the God the Catholic Church is trying to sell me in this case is what God is actually like...then God is evil, plain and simple. He is unjust and evil and we humans have been lied to and have been worshipping the equivilant of Satan for eons.
I don't BELIEVE this to be true. I simply am not capable of it. But hypothetically, the God that the Catholic Church claims to represent is no God I would ever worship, no matter what the consequences.
Posted by: Betts at March 10, 2009 6:59 AM
Thank you for showing us your true colors. You responded to nothing in my rebuttal of your arguments, and made further factual misstatements in your last comment: You repeated the misconceptions (1) that the girl would have been placed in eminent danger to (2) carry the twins to term. (1) is false, as it states a condition which she was not currently in, and should such a condition have been realized, either an abortion would have been then performed or a Caesarean performed if the unborn children were viable. (2) is false, as in order for a child to be viable outside the womb, it is not necessary to carry him/her to term (9 months).
I found your subsequent rant against the Catholic Church interesting. Even more interesting was your rant against God, should he not render eternal judgment according your criteria. As you probably know, the Church most definitely teaches that there is a hell. As you probably don't know, the Church has never declared that any particular individual human soul resides there. What would you do if you (somehow) learned that Hitler was not in Hell? What about if you (somehow) learned that someone you thought a righteous and loving person was in Hell? Would you abandon God, or do you recognize His authority and wisdom in matters of eternal judgment? In such cases, some people would go to Him with questions, some would go to Him with demands. You have shown yourself to be of the latter.
Posted by: GeronimoRumplestiltskin at March 10, 2009 9:16 AM
Thanks again for another thoughtful and eloquent reply. Our communications indeed have been very useful to me and I aprecaite how much time and thought you've put into your responses. You did a very good job of illustrating the church's position on excommunication to make it more clear to me. Also I see your point and I think you are correct, the Church is not a political movement, so they must concern themselves with being true to the tenants of their faith and not what is popular. I can certainly respect and apreciate this position.
And you are right it was wrong of me to immediately presume these doctors are shills for the Catholic Church or that the Church was simply distributing propaganda. But come on surely you admit that every political and religious institution on the planet releases proaganda to support their positions?
I realize that may have come across as Catholic bashing, but I certainly didn't mean it to be so, I just think that's how any major organization operates. When I said "Of course the Catholic Church releases propaganda supporting their position" I CERTAINLY didn't mean it as if the Church is the only institution that does this, or that the Church is somehow bad or corrupt for doing this. It's just that that is what I would expect ANY organization steeped in ideology to do. However you are right that there's no way for me to know if this is in fact the case here so I shouldn't claim that to be so.
It is just that in this one case, I do not think this is simply a matter of opinion. Some medical diagnoses are not matter of opinions, they are facts. Plain and simple.
I certainly don't disagree with you that there are doctors who exaggerate the mothers condition in order to get an abortion where one is not actually necessary. And I REALLY agree with you that opinions can be and often are clouded by ideology.
I just don't believe this is one of those cases. Sometimes 2+2=4 and that's just the truth, and whether a Catholic or a Jew or a Muslim, 2+2 will ALWAYS equal 4 and your personal beliefs are not going to make the answer any less true. As a medical professional I do not think that there is any way an 80 pounds 9 year old can carry twins without it being life threatening. I would just as soon believe that someone getting their head cut off will not necessarily kill them.
Of course there is no way to make you believe this. You haven't gone to nursing school and you haen't spent decades in the medical field, so at the end of the day, you just don't understand the science behind this so there is no way for me to convince you that this opinion is based on facts and not ideological proclivities, as all you have is my word, so really there is simply no way to convince you so I'm not going to try.
But I know the truth and the truth is that that girl's life was in danger and that the Church either was lying or was being advised by unqualified doctors. There is no evidence either way which of these two things was at hand so you are right, I should not immediately jump to the conclusion that the Church was lying so I shall withhold judgement on what their motivations were. All I will say is that they were wrong.
OBVIOUSLY anyone can be influenced by their ideology, even doctors, you are correct. But if its a matter of the medical community vs the Catholic Church, SURELY the Catholic Church is more influenced by dogma and ideology than medical professionals. And yes there were a few Brazlian doctors who agreed with the Church but overall in the medical community both in Latin America and in the US the consensus is that this was a life threatening situation. Is it POSSIBLE the Church is right and the medical community is wrong? Of course, in that anything is possible. But when it comes to making medical decisions, doctors simply must be given more weight than the Church.
Again, thanks for the open dialogue. I've learned a lot today regarding the Church and how it functions.
Posted by: Sara Mia at March 10, 2009 12:13 PM
Hi again Geronimo,
Yeesh for whatever reason I keep having to do 3 posts for this topic.
I do hope I don't come across as anti Catholic. That TRULY is not my intent.
The problem I guess is that what you said is completely true, the pro life movement is completely separate from the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church isn't beholden to the political pro life movement and honestly I do know that it isn't fair for me to expect them to be.
It just is frustrating to me as a pro lifer non Catholic when I see the Church taking up cases like this which is SURE to drive people away and hurt the movement. When the Church does stuff like this, they aren't going to win any more converts. No one who was pro choice is going to now BECOME pro life when they read about the Church doing things like this...but I fear that a lot of pro life people will now become pro choice, as this has already happened in other regions where the Church has taken such positions.
Posted by: Sara Mia at March 10, 2009 1:27 PM
I have appreciated your comments as well. As someone who practically passes out at the sight of a needle, I make no claims to medical knowledge.
Since you used 2+2=4 in your comment, I will similarly pare the Church's position down to the barest of equations:
Was the girl's life in eminent danger when the mother insisted and the doctors performed the abortion? If yes, then there is no objection by the Church to an abortion; if no, there certainly is.
Allow me to trace your claims about the degree of danger the girl was in:
March 8, 2009 11:38 PM:
This girl weighs 80 pounds, and her womb is just flat out not large enough. The chances of her womb bursting, killing her and the babies, are EXTREMELY high, particularly because she is carrying twins.
The girl was 15 weeks pregnant. Her womb was not in danger of bursting. Therefore she was not in eminent danger.
March 9, 2009 7:55 AM:
You parallel the Brazilian girl's state to that of pregnant women with cancer:
So these women aren't in IMMEDIATE danger, i.e. they will not die right then if an abortion is not performed. But they WILL die a year from then without proper treatment.
Here, by way of parallel, you concede that the girl's life was not in "IMMEDIATE" danger (for the purposes of this discussion, I will assume that "IMMEDIATE" = "eminent").
March 9, 2009 9:21 AM:
it is EXTREMELY unlikely that these twins would have survived to term anyways and it is extremely likely that this girl would suffer life threatening medical complications.
As I pointed out previously, your use of "would" indicates that you did not consider the girl's life to be in "eminent" danger.
March 10, 2009 12:13 PM:
As a medical professional I do not think that there is any way an 80 pounds 9 year old can carry twins without it being life threatening. I would just as soon believe that someone getting their head cut off will not necessarily kill them.
In contrast to your earlier comments (and without citing any further evidence from the case), you now claim that the girl's life was in "eminent" danger.
I did not deny a single medical fact you presented, yet you went on infer that I had. However, by your own words (prior to your last comment's sudden upgrade in the immediacy of life endangerment) the girl's life was not in "eminent" danger.
While I appreciate the correspondence, I can only repeat the same point so many times.
Posted by: GeronimoRumplestiltskin at March 10, 2009 6:01 PM