Obama misleads the Pope?

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I haven’t gotten to follow up as much as I’ve wanted to on the meeting between Obama and Pope Benedict.  Another related important story is how Obama’s health care plan includes a lot of federal (your) money to pay for abortions.  The following article by Deal Hudson hits on both:  Did President Obama mislead the Holy Father?

Of course, we’ve known all along what Obama means when he says he wants to reduce abortion. He actually means he wants to reduce the need for abortion…while increasing access to it, increasing funding for it, and decreasing any restrictions on it.

Which is why his claims have been intentionally misleading all along. And why any Catholics (or other pro-lifers) who have used that as an excuse to support the man should be ashamed for doing so.

58 comments Add comment

Shelly@ Of Sound Mind & Spirit July 16, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Another great posting. Thanks for calling attention to this article and little reported fact about Obama and the bill.

Sheila July 16, 2009 at 1:24 pm

I think admonishing other Catholics to be “ashamed” is a bit harsh of a statement. I’m a recent reader, and a Catholic one at that, but this post leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t like this side of Catholicism: The one that judges harshly and admonishes their fellow peers in that manner.

I think it’s best that I take you off my tweet list. I just don’t want to be part of that movement. Best of luck to you though.


Matthew Warner July 16, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Sheila, sorry for the bad taste. But isn’t it shameful to pretend that a candidate is going to try and reduce abortions when it is entirely obvious by that candidate’s actions that he/she intends to do the opposite?

I’m not judging anybody harshly. I’m calling a spade a spade.

pinko July 16, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Ha, this is what I don’t get. The POPE himself meets with Obama, has a reasonable discussion with him, exchanges ideas. And for some reason the pope didn’t call for a protest of Obama, and his health care bill, and Notre Dame, too, while we’re at it. So the best explanation is not that the Pope understands Obama’s intent even if he doesn’t agree with his execution, but instead that the tricky president lied to a poor, trusting old man who didn’t know as much as us bloggers do. Gotcha. So if the Pope meets with Obama again and nothing comes of it, should the ‘good’ Catholics organize a protest of the Pope?

You can ignore that question (it was a joke) but here’s the real one: if Obama actually does succeed in reducing the number of abortions during his term, even with his devil-sent health care bill and yadda yadda, will you concede that there is more than one way to approach this problem? Or will you, as I suspect, have moved on to the Big Gay Crisis of 2012? (last part also a joke)

To Phil: Sorry I left you out to dry on that last one, I had some big life changes going on and by the time I read the thread there were 90 responses. It’s pink’o’, though. :)

Sheila July 16, 2009 at 2:38 pm

“…when it is entirely obvious by that candidate’s actions that he/she intends to do the opposite?”

That’s your interpretation (ie. opinion), and one I completely disagree with. But I don’t think this is an appropriate place for me to discuss my disagreement, and I really don’t want to get into a discussion about it. That wasn’t really my issue.

Shame. Ashamed. It just doesn’t sound appropriate coming from a fellow Catholic. I interpret it as if you are coming from a place of superiority, and looking down on others. That’s what I referring to. I don’t like to participate in that side of Catholicism, so I am choosing to walk away from it.

It’s also probably best for me not to respond anymore, because I really didn’t intend to start a debate. But I felt it important to point out. I know you have many avid readers who are probably not pleased with my comments, and I’d rather not be the squeaky wheel in this instance, so to speak.

Again, best of luck.

Matthew Warner July 16, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Welcome back, Pinko! I can’t believe Phil called you Pinkie. Makes me sooooo mad!

First, I guarantee you that the Pope expressed his concerns very clearly to Obama.

Second, I never once said that the Pope isn’t fully aware of what is going on. The point is that of Obama’s misleading rhetoric. We can be sure, however, the pope is not misled by it.

Third, the Pope generally doesn’t comment on specific domestic policy issues such as the ones you mentioned. He leaves that to his local Bishops who are closer and better understand the specifics. And as we all know, they have made and continue to make themselves quite clear on each of these issues.

You and Obama can say all you want about how much he wants to reduce abortions. But it’s a proven fact that increasing funding, lessening restrictions, and increasing availability does the exact opposite! This is what Obama continues to work to do. So he can say his intentions all he wants. They are inconsistent with his actions.

I already agree that there are many ways to approach this problem. But I also know that one of those ways is NOT by increasing funding (with my money), increasing availability, and decreasing restrictions. All of which Obama is working hard to do.

Artie July 16, 2009 at 2:54 pm

“So the best explanation is not that the Pope understands Obama’s intent even if he doesn’t agree with his execution, but instead that the tricky president lied to a poor, trusting old man who didn’t know as much as us bloggers do. Gotcha.”

I see your argument is that the pope should know exactly what is in the bill prior to speaking with OBAMA.

To put it bluntly, regardless if the pope actually knows the plans or not Obama lied to the pope or he doesn’t read the bills like the rest of congress.

“if Obama actually does succeed in reducing the number of abortions during his term, even with his devil-sent health care bill and yadda yadda, will you concede that there is more than one way to approach this problem?”

Funding planned parenthood and funding abortions across seas with our tax money is not exactly a moral way of reducing the number of abortions, but who cares about morals in this country, right? It is all relative! His plan is a pipe dream and will further support the far left agenda (socialism).

Those who side with Obama and his health care plan may feel like they are doing a country a service, but in reality you aren’t fixing the problem you are making it much much worse.

As you can tell I am not a huge fan of our socialist president and I don’t expect you to agree with everything I say.

Sheila knowing and voting for a pro abortion president and being Catholic, you should be ashamed.

republican party = stupid party
democratic party = party of death

Carl July 16, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Great post, Matt! I think that we all also need to accept the simple fact that we must undergo a daily conversion, admit our mistakes, and rededicate ourselves to God and His CHurch every day. That just means that the spineless, Obama-supporting Catholics need to just admit their error and move foreward.

Matthew Warner July 16, 2009 at 2:55 pm


There is nothing “superior” or “talking down” about calling a spade a spade. I’m sorry if you felt it made me seem that way. I didn’t intend that.

There is no question that Obama’s health care plan supports abortion. That’s not just my opinion. Supporters of the plan say the exact same thing (unless of course they know you don’t want to hear that).

It’s ironic that you are admonishing me for admonishing others. Seems we’re on that same side of catholicism.

Best of luck to you, too!

Phil July 16, 2009 at 3:15 pm

A lot of us who did not vote for Obama and his rogue gallery on our ballots voted for him and his gang with our sins. Still, if it were possible to do so, I’d like to see him go the way of Honduras’s Zelaya, with his cabinet in tow and/or imprisoned for supporting one who’d end up not being eligible, not caring one way or the either. Actually ACORN should be enough to do the top dogs in, if we had the military Honduras has (without shooting rounds into the White House).

Bad acting people must be stopped and punished fittingly. It’s what will happen to us on our own last day and the state’s God-given right for protecting a nation’s sovereignty. That’s not judging the soul, but judging the person based on behavior; not the state of their soul. Everyone has a sob story, but it can’t lead to the ruin of a nation, church, etc.

Phil July 16, 2009 at 3:16 pm

First of all, I would like to extend my sincere apologies to Pinko for calling him ‘Pinkie’. My bad lol!


“You and Obama can say all you want about how much he wants to reduce abortions. But it’s a proven fact that increasing funding, lessening restrictions, and increasing availability does the exact opposite!”

Do you have any factual evidence of this? During the Clinton years (arguably the most pro-choice President in history), abortions declined by over 200,000 annually (from 1992 – 2000, CDC http://www.nrlc.org/ABORTION/facts/abortionstats.html)

The AGI stats say they decreased by 500,000 annually.

According to the same stats, during the first 4 years of the pro-life Bush term, abortions only decreased by approximately 90,000 and 20,00, respectively.

Seems to be that evidence exists that movements that are pro-choice with an emphasis on reducing teen pregnancies, etc. may be more affective than screaming “Baby Killers”!

Just an observation!

Jeanne July 16, 2009 at 3:22 pm

And why any Catholics (or other pro-lifers) who have used that as an excuse to support the man should be ashamed for doing so.<<
Shame. How refreshing to use the out of vogue word. I agree with you Matthew Warner. Ignorance for X amount of reasons is a lame excuse for anything especially for that which costs precious lives created in the image and likeness of their Creator, God.

Phil July 16, 2009 at 3:43 pm


“Funding planned parenthood and funding abortions across seas with our tax money is not exactly a moral way of reducing the number of abortions, but who cares about morals in this country, right?”

What is more moral:

A) A plan that statistical evidence shows is superior in reducing total annual abortions, while funding some programs that are pro-abortion.

B) A plan that statistical evidence shows is less effective but “moral”, even though the end result is
far slower reduction in abortions?


Jeanne July 16, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Oh my goodness, Phil! You said, “Moral!” Another out of vogue word, hence, practice. Thank you,

Phil July 16, 2009 at 3:50 pm

And Furthermore,

“it’s a proven fact that increasing funding, lessening restrictions, and increasing availability”

These programs are not aimed at increasing abortions…last time I checked Obama’s Facebook status isn’t “Step right up! Step right up! Get your abortions today!”

All of those items, i.e. funding, availability are aimed at the safety of the Mother. He is smart enough to know that without it, some women would be on a bus to Tijuana, MX!

Matthew Warner July 16, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Phil L,

We’ve argued those misleading stats plenty of times before. And I’d be happy to do it again if I thought it would do any good for you. But they are actually irrelevant to this point. We are talking about Obama’s health care plan.

And yes, this is actually statistically proven that when you increase funding for abortions they go up. And if you decrease restrictions on abortions they go up. And when you make it more available to people, they go up. Are you honestly suggesting that such actions will make the number of abortions go down? Honestly?

Phil July 16, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Huh? Please point to where you posted these stats are not revelent. What are they, coincidence?

In addition, please provide statistical evidence of your claims. I can’t find any.

To answer your questions, Matt, yes, I think they do reduce abortions. And evidence supports my claim (Clinton years).

Perhaps these women, rather than keeping their pregnancy a secret, knowing they have to go to Mexico for an abortion, actually talk openly with friends and family about it and decide to keep the child.

Or maybe they have a 15 minute discussion with their Doctors about what their legal options are and decide to keep the baby.

Your claims are opinion, supported by no factual evidence of being a more effective measure. Mine are not.

Phil July 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm

One of your claims, i.e. access debunked:

“However, there is little evidence that state policies restricting access to abortion (such as enforced informed and parental consent laws and partial-birth abortion legislation) affect the abortion rate,though these laws are supported by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and the pro-lifecommunity at large”

I’ll work on the other two.

Matthew Warner July 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm



Your stats are correlative – not causal. And they happen to correlate with many other factors (including probably most significantly the economy…something Clinton inherited). We can argue which types of policies improve the economy more. But that’s not the argument here and why your presidential stats are irrelevant.

I can’t believe you are honestly suggesting that increasing funding and availability while decreasing restrictions will decrease the number of abortions. I guess that’s to be expected since you also think that raising taxes on businesses increases their ability to hire people.

There are some very simple principles in play here. If you want less of something, you restrict it or tax it. If you want more of something, you make it more available or subsidize it. It’s very simple.

My stats ARE indeed factual – not opinion. IN fact, it was one of Guttmacher Institute’s (planned parenthood’s) own studies that did it. I don’t have it on hand nor do I have time to look it up right now, sorry. YOu can take that to mean they are opinion if you like.

Artie July 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Phil 1 abortion is too many, period. Reducing abortions as a way to meet in the middle while taking my tax money to fund it, is wrong!

The culture of death’s propaganda, “Reproductive freedoms/Rights” is a code phrase for abortion on demand, sex instruction in schools, birth control for kids, and all manner of bizarre propositions that help the purveyors of smut to define the human person as an animal incapable of self-control.

Why should I have to fund this death propaganda in the rhetoric of, we want to reduce abortion, oh and btw put it in our brilliant health care reform bill!?

If the pro aborts want to go that route, they should fund it with their own money, not tax payers dollars!

You can argue stats with Matthew, fact of the matter it is all about $$$$ in planned parenthood’s pockets.

Matthew Warner July 16, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Phil – not debunked, sir. That’s a negative of what I’m claiming anyway. That says that restrictions like parental consent don’t seem to lessen abortions. #1) that’s probably because, as it’s been shown, many abortion clinics break these laws and find ways around them anyway and #2) a law like that has to do with the common sense that my child should not be subjected to an abortion without me knowing about it. Not necessarily at lessening the overall number of abortions.

I’m a bit perplexed you are even trying to make such wild claims. If you make something harder to do (restrict it) there will be less of it…not more. if you make something easier to do, there will be more of it. This is a simple concept. It doesn’t take quoting complex, out of context, discombobulated stats to demonstrate. It’s common sense.

Phil July 16, 2009 at 4:42 pm

**double sigh**

Matt, I WILL indeed take your ideas as opinion. It’s ironic to me that when someone posts facts supporting their own stance, and facts debunking your stance, they are greeted with a *sigh* and little else! it’s also laughable that anytime statistical facts debunk your *opinions* these facts are not facts, according to you. You may want to take a step back and let the facts determine your opinions, rather than allowing your opinions to determine the facts!

They are good opinions, though!

Phil July 16, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Matt, if this is so common sense then why do PhD’s feel the need to do studies about the subject? Do these PhD’s have nothing better to do with their time? LOL!

Might I suggest the alternative? That perhaps this is a complex issue where what seems to common sense may not be applicable, as shown by facts and statistics?

Artie July 16, 2009 at 4:57 pm

I took a stats class and an economy class back in college Phil and there is some common sense that play a factor.

The theory can be plugged in the principle of Supply and Demand in regards to sales?

If you want to sale less vehicles what would you do what? Throw more or less money at it?

If you want to sale less abortions you do what? Throw more or less money at it?

on the flip side

If you want to sale more vehicles you do what? Throw more or less money at it?

If you want to sale more abortions you do what? Throw more or less money at it?

Phil July 16, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Artie, the economics of buying a car and the social aspects that go into the decision making process of whether or not to have an abortion are not comparable, I’m sorry. That is apples to oranges my friend.

Look, all I am saying is that some evidence does indeed exist that supports the fact that a different approach towards abortion *may* actually be more effective. I am only suggesting that it be considered, and/or proof of the alternative be provided otherwise. No where have I said that it is 100% true that this approach will indeed lower abortions. But I want you to at least consider that the alternative that Bush explored may not work and what Obama is doing may not actually hurt the cause (as some stats suggest).

Matthew Warner July 16, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Thanks for the suggestions, Phil.

If we were talking about slavery and I was making an argument that yes, I supported reducing the need for slaves (assuming that would also reduce the number of slaves) while at the same time supporting federal funding of slaves, less regulations on slave owning, and the promotion of the availability to own a slave – you would think me a lunatic. And if I throw all kinds of discombobulated stats at you about how maybe you should just be open to the fact that such actions of mine might actually reduce slavery while I also adamantly supported the right of every American to own a slave – you would laugh at me. Unless of course this was real life, then you would probably hate me and fight to stop everything I was trying to do.

So forgive me if when Obama does the same thing with an even more serious issue (abortion) I then call him MISLEADING and those that support him shameful. There are a lot harsher things that could justly be said.

Artie July 16, 2009 at 7:40 pm

Much better analogy Matthew than what I came up with! Phil you are absolutely correct that my analogy was like comparing apples and oranges. I did a very very poor job at coming up with an analogy.

Artie July 16, 2009 at 8:54 pm

“Ha, this is what I don’t get. The POPE himself meets with Obama, has a reasonable discussion with him, exchanges ideas. And for some reason the pope didn’t call for a protest of Obama, and his health care bill, and Notre Dame, too, while we’re at it.”

Pinko you must understand that Vatican diplomats typically accept the need to deal with worldly powers as they are, warts and all.

Obama and B16 spoke for about 40 minutes which was cordial, but we have no details, but it is speculated they discussed freedom of conscious in relation with Obama’s “Health Care” plan.

Obama was treated with charity and respect while visiting the pope, but this does not mean the pope sees eye to eye with Obama especially on the issue of abortion. I think the part that republicans and democrats in this country don’t get is that the Church has a genuine desire to promote international peace and human rights, along with its equally genuine desire to promote the interests of the Church.

Obama is hardly the first American president to get a warm greeting at the Vatican.

Remember Ole President George Bush? Despite Vatican opposition to the war in Iraq, Pope Benedict was notably friendly to George W. Bush when he visited.

Remember JPII and Reagan?

Democrats and Republicans alike are respected, but it doesn’t mean that Church agrees with their stances.

Is Obama to be demonized? NO.
His policies to be put in question? YES!

pinko July 17, 2009 at 8:33 am

Thanks Matt, and congrats on your recognition (I found time to vote even if I didn’t have time to read everything!)
But alas, even though I think you’re doing a great job on the blog I think you’re off in Loonytown on this one. (I mean that affectionately) Here’s why:

First of all, Phil lays out a pretty great paper written by a Catholic for a Catholic about the exact reasons why Phil thinks Obama is on the right track. And instead of taking that into consideration or even deconstructing the argument you just say “nope. casual. I have no evidence to back up anything I’m saying but you’re wrong.”

And then this slavery analogy is beneath you. That has absolutely nothing corresponding with the issue at hand except that in each case you believe a group of people is wronged. I won’t explain the differences unless someone really needs me to, but this analogy is about as silly as any Hitler analogy and we all could do well to think of a better way to get our points across.

Moving onto Artie: Yes, you’re starting to make my point here. Bush did indeed talk to the Pope, just as every president does. And Bush told the pope he wished he didn’t have to be at war. And the Pope said “I know. Let’s do all we can to end it.” And then I wager NONE of you sat around calling Bush an oily tongued liar. None of you shamed others (yourselves) for voting for him. Twice. Obama has likely the exact same conversation, replacing war with abortion, and you start wagging the finger.

pinko July 17, 2009 at 8:34 am

And that’s why I laugh when I read this stuff: you guys can’t separate your politics from the issue that is paramount in your mind. Artie, you’ve thrown around ‘socialism’ like 3 times, as if the Catholic Church would somehow be against providing health care for the poor and sick. I know you didn’t get that word from your priest, you got it from Glenn Beck or some other yahoo. And Matt you can’t mention Clinton without going “he inherited that economy!” (which…I don’t know what indicator you’re using to make that claim, but it certainly wasn’t the poverty rate or the unemployment rate. Or… people living with the economy…
http://www.nytimes.com/1992/11/04/us/the-1992-elections-news-analysis-the-economy-s-casualty.html “More than 7 voters in 10 said in interviews as they left their polling places yesterday that they considered the economy not so good or poor”)

So I believe both of your commitment to this issue, I really do. I really genuinely do, I want to make that clear. But when you can’t for the life of you have an open mind about how to fix the problem, like it seems to probably everyone else in the world the pope does, I really start to wonder if your political goals are just as important to you.

Look at it this way: if ending Obama’s reign of terror really is as imperative as you guys pretend it is, if doing that would honestly really save 200,000+ lives, isn’t it the pope’s responsibility to make a statement after meeting with him?

Matthew Warner July 17, 2009 at 9:16 am

Pinko – thanks for voting dude, I appreciate it!

It’s not that I didn’t consider the paper Phil quoted, it’s that #1) it is done by a far-left dissident catholic group, funded by move-on.org, that misleads catholics on Catholic moral teaching and #2) it is largely irrelevant because it doesn’t address the factors of this conversation. Those factors being federally funding abortion, loosening restrictions on abortion, and increasing availability of abortion and whether or not those actions will increase or reduce the number of abortions in our country.

Which is why pointing to past presidents and drawing some correlation is not helpful and proves nothing. And asking voters at the time Clinton was elected if the current economy is good or bad has nothing to do with whether or not what caused the eventual good economy had already been enacted prior to that. And you know this very well so please stop pretending that just because 7 out of 10 voters said one thing at one point means that things Clinton did after that point were responsible for a great economy. But again, this is not the place to debate that anyway (trying not to digress).

The slavery analogy is not loony – it’s spot on. Although, the slaveholders of their day made almost identical arguments as those you all make to support abortion. So I don’t expect you to see this analogy clearly, just as slaveholders didn’t see the moral issues of owning slaves as clearly through their cultural lens at the time.

Matthew Warner July 17, 2009 at 9:32 am

You are accusing me of not having an open mind, perhaps you should have an open mind that the abortion issue is a lot more like slavery than you would like to believe. I won’t hold my breath though.

And please stop twisting the pope’s politeness and tactics for direct dialogue as some sign that he is “open to the idea that federally funding abortion will perhaps lessen abortion.” There is no question he is absolutely against this. Just because when in direct dialogue with the POTUS he doesn’t call him out the same way a blogger like I can.

Everyone has roles and different abilities to call attention to these different things. It’s an error to mistake BXVI’s politeness in direct dialogue (no doubt an effective, proper way to build a relationship with somebody) with him “being open” to Obama’s support of abortion. That’s what groups like the one Phil quoted from do and that’s exactly why they are culpable for misleading a lot of Catholics on Church teaching.

To suggest that somebody like me, a blogger, who is not the Pope building a direct relationship with Obama (one of the most crucial relationships in the world) should approach my rhetoric in the same way doesn’t make any sense.

All that aside, there is another important distinction that needs making. As Americans, we can argue over what economic tactics, etc will reduce abortion. As Catholics, we can not morally support a method within that which further legitimizes the killing of innocent human life.

So there is no room, as a Catholic, to be “open” to the president’s method. Just wanted to make that clear.

I could be “open” to his economic or health care ideas that they may reduce abortions – but they quite clearly do so using immoral methods. Therefore, they are inconsistent with any Catholic moral solution and we can not be open to them as Catholics in good conscience. That and I don’t by any chance believe his policies are going to help us economically and they certainly will not secure the integrity of our government and our freedoms in the long term. Those aren’t just political beliefs. They have everything to do with the freedom to practice my faith and to demonstrate genuine charity as well. But that is a discussion for another blog post’s comment thread.

pinko July 17, 2009 at 11:53 am

Well, okay. Firstly, I think the paper is very relevant. Because Phil is saying ‘here is why I think Obama, even if he increases funding for legal abortion, will be doing more to decrease abortions than his predecessor did.’ And you, previously, had called Obama a liar for saying he wanted to decrease abortions. And I don’t think the paper at any point has anything misleading or far-left in it. You want to discount it entirely, as you’ve previously done with a positive article from the NY Times, because of your bias against a perceived bias from some other organization. If you had some disagreement on the content, that’d be something to discuss. But instead you just say “biased. moving on.”

And pointing to past presidents and correlating trends isn’t helpful? What in the world are you basing any of your claims on then? Your entire argument was a (still silly) analogy about something that happened over 100 years ago! I’d say if 70% of a population says the economy is bad, and the unemployment rate shows that the economy is bad, and the poverty rate shows that the economy is bad, it’s a safe assumption that the economy is bad. We have to look to historical data to make our decisions about things, otherwise we’re just flying blind. I’ll state this one more time: this is not beside the point if you’re interested in real, physical things that have affected the number of abortions per year!

pinko July 17, 2009 at 11:56 am

And quickly: The slave owner a) wants to keep the slaves b) isn’t keeping them inside his body c) is not responsible for their well being for 18 more years if he doesn’t feel like it. The mother a) does NOT want to keep the baby b) IS keeping the baby inside her body c) WILL be responsible for their well being for the next 18 years whether she chooses or not. (before you get sidetracked on adoption, i agree its great. now who is going to pay for those 1 million babies that you assume will get born once abortion is illegal without you paying more taxes, gulp, s-s-s-s-socialists?)

And all that was a little bit of a digression, I agree. My point is just this: I know that the Pope disagrees with Obama on some abortion issues. Obama knows that. The Pope knows that. But the Pope is a wise enough man to not run around calling people who disagree with him liars. Shouldn’t we try to hold ourselves to that same standard?

Jeanne July 17, 2009 at 12:24 pm

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law” (No. 2271).

Matthew Warner July 17, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Pinko, where in that study does it show that funding abortion will decrease abortion? Where does it show that loosening restrictions will decrease abortion? Where does it show that making abortion more available is going to decrease abortion? It doesn’t. Which is why it doesn’t help on these core points of the discussion. You keep trying to take this back to a larger discussion of whether a president’s overall policies (economic and otherwise) make for more or less abortions in this largely incoherent and indirect way. It’s a hard case to make. Very hard. And even if you can point to trends you can’t point to the individual policies that somehow caused more or less abortions – not with these broad economic stats you are referring to.

With these particular policies, it is easy to analyze. It’s obvious. If you fund something, make it easier to do, make it more available, then with all else equal it increases that thing – in this case abortion. It’s plain and simple.

So for the president to claim he wants to reduce abortions via some indirect, unclear way (which he has not articulated) while at the same time strongly supporting these other policies which, at least by themselves, strongly support, encourage, aid, and increase abortion – it’s misleading. Which was my point.

Matthew Warner July 17, 2009 at 1:15 pm

In regards to slavery, i never said slavery was exactly the same as abortion. Of course there are big differences. But none of those differences you mention impact my use of the analogy – at all.

In terms of the magnitude of the issue, built in cultural biases, the immorality of rejecting the rights of a particular class of people, and the arguments made to support these horrific practices…the similarities are staggering. They are well documented too.

Also, in terms of what kind of policies should be taken seriously in consistently opposing (or wanting to reduce) the analogy makes the ridiculousness of Obama’s policies very evident – at least when he claims he wants to reduce abortions by funding them more and making it easier to obtain one.

(Also, i never said the economy wasn’t bad at that time…or at least perceived that way. I said that many of the actions that contributed to the good economy were taken prior to Clinton taking office. Again – another debate.)

Artie July 17, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Pinko stated, “Artie, you’ve thrown around ’socialism’ like 3 times, as if the Catholic Church would somehow be against providing health care for the poor and sick.”

Actually the Church is against government forms of socialism, and this isn’t something new. Especially when the government is using the money to slaughter innocent unborn children.

“For, indeed, although the socialists, stealing the very Gospel itself with a view to deceive more easily the unwary, have been accustomed to distort it so as to suit their own purposes, nevertheless so great is the difference between their depraved teachings and the most pure doctrine of Christ that none greater could exist:

“*************************for what participation hath justice with injustice or what fellowship hath light with darkness?********************************”


So Glenn Beck told me this or was it some Pope back in 1878?

So your accusation about me not being able to separate myself from the politics is telling. I am not an apologist for either party as I believe the republicans are the stupid party and the democrats are the party of death. Only reason I am a registered republican is because the party at least makes an attempt to adhere to the 5 non negotiables.

In short I vote Catholic, not republican or democrat. Once the democrats can step up to the plate on the 5 non negotiables then perhaps I will consider voting for one. Need more pro life democrats.

Artie July 17, 2009 at 1:29 pm

“The Pope knows that. But the Pope is a wise enough man to not run around calling people who disagree with him liars. Shouldn’t we try to hold ourselves to that same standard?”

Let’s ask ourselves an honest question. Is Obama pro abortion or pro life?

If somebody is pro life than why would you throw more money for abortions and say you are going to make an attempt to reduce abortions.

Do people not have any common sense anymore?

Sorry, pro choice is a lovely terminology to have, but what the choice at hand is abortion.

Fine if you don’t want to call Obama a liar don’t, he just did not tell the truth.

pinko July 19, 2009 at 10:35 am

Matt, I just don’t know why you don’t see this: if a woman decides to have an abortion, then can’t gather together the $300 that it takes to procure it, she doesn’t all the sudden go, okay I guess instead I’ll raise the child for the next 18 years. I have no idea why you can’t understand why these women aren’t just going “I didn’t really want an abortion until I heard they were free! Now I want them every other week, if possible.” You want to somehow reduce this argument to a politician vs politician one, but it’s not remotely even close to being that simple. For the life of me I don’t get it.

As for your still pointless analogy, which again ignores the paramount issue above – that the women in question have already. decided. they. don’t. want. the. baby. – I can take your talking points and apply that same anaolgy to nearly any argument we have for either side. I can use your exact same points to argue that’s how you view under-privileged women in this case. And you think that’s crazy. I know it is. So is your version of the analogy.

Here is a slave owner. You say, “let’s give federal money for slavery.” He goes “Good, I can have more slaves.” Now here’s a mother who wants an abortion. You say “let’s give federal money for abortions.” She goes: “Now I’ll have two?” Or in your mind some other girl pops up and goes “Hey I want one of those!”

And you still contend you respect these women?

pinko July 19, 2009 at 10:36 am

Artie, yes I still think you got this from Glen Beck. A pope in 1878 did not call Obama a socialist, nor did any current pope, nor did any reasonably thinking priest. Beck is a loon for all ages, screaming on air, pouring fake gasoline over his guests, and selling tickets to his stand-up comedy tour. And he starts calling the president a socialist, and then you google search “pope socialist” to see if you can run with that. And no, I don’t know you, so this is bald-faced speculation on my part. But tell me it’s wrong.

Heretic, witch, communist, terrorist, socialist. It’s easy to throw those terms around without any context. But again, you hurt your cause. When people see you reduce something to the simplest possible stereotype without questioning why you’re saying it, why would they ever believe you on a complex issue? Saying pro-abortion is just portraying yourself as completely uneducated on the issue, and I know you’re not. If I went around saying “is the president pro-choice or anti-women,” would you listen to me? Common sense, come on.

pinko July 19, 2009 at 10:38 am

So overall I’d like to ask you both, because I’ve never seen an answer to this. Let’s assume 1.5 m abortions per year in the US. Let’s say they become illegal, and I’ll be generous for your side, let’s say that stops a whopping half of these abortions from taking place. So now we have 750k unwanted children per year. I know you guys are anti the socialist amounts of taxing it would take for the state to raise these children, and the Catholic Church is in no position to adopt them or provide for their adoption. So what is your solution? Where do these kids – numbering the entire population of Austin – where do they go? I’m not asking any morality question here, I’m just asking flat-out physically, where do we put this new city (only the 15 most populus cities in America have more people than that) each year, and who’s going to raise those kids?

Artie July 19, 2009 at 3:17 pm

“A pope in 1878 did not call Obama a socialist, nor did any current pope, nor did any reasonably thinking priest.”

I don’t mean to switch gears here but I never said a pope in 1878 called Obama a socialist. I am telling you that the church back in 1878 addressed socialist ideologies, which Obama supports. And if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and act like a duck…. Well it must be a duck.

I will also say that Fr. Corapi and Fr. Pacwa 2 priests (well respected priests within the Catholic Church) talked about how this administration endorses numerous socialist ideologies. He went on to say, “Socialism is the kiss of death to an economy and to society.”

Yes I am saying Obama is more of a socialist than a capitalist, because that is simply where he stands. He believes everybody should be equal (not in dignity), Obama endorses a system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole. He clearing believes a person should have a right to health care, people should have houses they cannot afford. Many Americans are in denial on this, which is sad.

So yes your speculation is wrong. And your accusations are not very well merited considering I was the biggest critique of Bush and republicans in regards to some of their views on numerous issues.

The word choice is hi-jacked. I am all for choice, but the choice they refer to is abortion.

Artie July 19, 2009 at 3:46 pm

On a lot of these issues there are results that people would like to fix on the surface and not talk about the root of the problem. I would like to focus on the root of the problem and that is sin. People throughout all ages are sinful and abortion is not some new thing that western world came up with. What Catholics are saying and have been saying for centuries is that abortion should never be legal

The Didache (90 A.D.) mentions abortion.

“You shall not kill by abortion the fruit of the womb and you shall not murder the infant already born.”
It is interesting that people say, “Well if abortions were to become illegal, people will still get them anyways!”

These comments are missing the underlying point and that is the human dignity of the human person inside the womb.

“Governments and legislatures must remember that it is the duty of public authority to protect the lives of the innocent by appropriate laws and penalties, especially when those whose lives are attacked and endangered are unable to protect themselves, as is particularly the case with infants in their mother’s womb. If the State authorities not only fail to protect these little ones but by their laws and decrees, suffer them to be killed, and even deliver them into the hands of doctors and others for that purpose, let them remember that God is the Judge and Avenger of the innocent blood that cries from earth to heaven.” Pius XI, Encyclical ‘Casti Connubii,’ Dec. 31, 1930 (32)

Matthew Warner July 19, 2009 at 11:29 pm

Pinko – I never said or suggested that money was the only reason a woman would or would not have an abortion. But of course it’s a factor. The more barriers you put in the way of doing something as horrible as an abortion, the more chances a mother says, “ya know? I can do the right thing.”

My point is that with all else equal in terms of policies, federally funding abortions encourages MORE – not less abortions. No question.

For many of these confused women, it’s not a long term thoughtful decision to either spend $300 now to end this thing or choose to give the next 18 years of their lives raising a child. It’s not THAT simple either, sir.

Most of them, if they didn’t have the seemingly “legitimate” option to legally kill their baby, they’d likely accept the consequences of their actions and have the kid and raise it – however hard that may be. But when our government legitimizes immoral options, makes them easy to procure, and then funds them…that’s enough to make any confused, panicking, pressured woman (and boyfriend/husband) say…”hey, I guess abortion IS a legitimate option. It must not be a bad thing if our government not only allows it, but funds it.”

At least PART of the solution is having a government with some kind of moral integrity to help these women through a tough time. We don’t have that.

Once we have a government with moral integrity, we also have to continue to reach out to those VERY FEW other women who would, in their confusion and panic, result to illegally trying to kill their babies and further harm themselves. And that’s a matter of doing what many of these pro-life organizations are already doing – being there for them, informing them of the moral TRUTH, helping them and their babies through tough times ahead and letting them know everything will be OK.

And yes, you can absolutely apply the slavery analogy to women’s suffrage as well – in as much as they have had (and still do in parts of the world) basic human rights denied to them.

I’ll make another post sometime soon on this subject cuz I’d love your thoughts. But I want to better at sticking to the topic of the post in the comment sections.

Oh and as to your last question on what to do with all the kids:

First, you phrase that question like 750,000 babies is a lot of babies for this country to handle. There are over 4 million babies born in the US each year. Now, by your numbers there would be 4.75 million. The US has handled much higher birth rates in the past.

Second, MOST all of them would be raised by their parents who birthed them – just as humans have done for thousands of years. Because, upon finding out they were pregnant, they would actually be encouraged (and helped) to buck up and take responsibility for their actions because they’re no longer living in a culture that lies to them and says it is OK to kill their baby if they don’t want it.

Third, I guarantee Americans would step up and take care of any other kids/families that need help.

Fourth, Austin is a nice town. There is room for hundreds of more Austins in the United States alone. I’d kinda like a few more anyway. Actually, if we could grow one a little closer to DFW that’d be even nicer.

Cathleen Stacey July 19, 2009 at 11:40 pm

Obama uses clever words to say he is trying to prevent abortions but the facts are that he is ProAbortion. And I agree that all those that are ProLife and voted for him for other pleasant options they thought they were going to get, Well you are just as accountable as He is.

Just like he professed that he is a Christian when we know that is just a Political Christian. I have heard him myself mock the Bible and he calls Christians Naysayers and etc.

Just because women want an easy fix to an unwanted pregnancy is never going to not make it murder. Also I know some women who have had repeated abortions 5-7.
Do women really think Politicians who are ProAbortion care one bit about each persons Judgement Day?
Its only a voting tool. The one you should vote for it the one who says No to abortion. And we should always pick our candidates according to where they stand on the moral issues and not anything else.

Artie July 20, 2009 at 8:57 pm

Cathleen I couldn’t agree more with your statements.

“Obama uses clever words to say he is trying to prevent abortions but the facts are that he is ProAbortion.”

Obama mentions “common ground” as if he is serious about it. “Common Ground” means “On the one hand, legalize abortion; on the other hand, federally fund it.”

Don’t know if people know this or not but the House or Reps passed a bill last Thursday where a pregnant woman in D.C. will be told that if they decide to abort their baby, the government will pay for it. But if they persist in bringing their baby to term, the government will not help them. Following Obama’s wishes, the same bill affirmed the earlier congressional decision to end school vouchers there.

Wow I am speechless! Not a dime for school choice or a dime for a woman keeping her baby, but hey we will pay to kill your child!

Pro Abortion or Pro Choice… you make the call.

pinko July 21, 2009 at 8:53 am

Matt, I don’t know what you base your assertion that most women would just end up just raising the baby on. This is why their were illegal abortions in the first place. This is why there still are in countries all across the world where it is illegal. I also know for a fact that women don’t think “It must not be a bad thing if our government not only allows it, but funds it.” I try not to associate the pro-life movement with a common disrespect for women, but statements like that make it really hard for me. Did you ever think “I guess war must not be that bad a thing if our government not only allows it, but funds it?” Or are you just smart enough to know better?

1) This has little to do with birth rate. 1/3 of those 4 million are already born to unwed mothers (something else you railed against iirc) 500,000 are in foster care every year. Not near that many get adopted every year.

2) Again I don’t know why you assume this. All the evidence says the opposite. Latinas, who are Catholic by a vast majority, have a much higher abortion rate than whites. It’s not because they’re raised in a more abortion-happy society!

3) Again, it must be nice to live in that world. My sister works in foster care, my other sister has been trying to adopt 5 boys from a heroin abusing (and child abusing) mother but is having incredible trouble doing so. Americans don’t even step up and take care of the kids we have now.

pinko July 21, 2009 at 8:55 am

4) Yeah I agree, but the new Austin is gonna look all weird because it’s gonna be built by abandoned babies. Abandoned babies are not very good with like infrastructure. They never think of infrastructure!

Artie, are you gonna sit there and argue that the Catholic Church doesn’t think that we should provide health care and shelter for the poor? I’m just like baffled by your whole line of reasoning. And to argue that Obama is a socialist… what do you think “vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole” means? And how does that apply to Obama?

And this is why I always say you guys opposition to abortion, though perfectly legitimate and even in most cases commendable, is completely tainted by throwing in “Obama is a liar” or “Obama is a socialist” or “Pelosi is going to hell” or “Let’s boycott Notre Dame.” Or even “Obama is pro-abortion.” I happen to agree with Obama on most issues, and I would also tell the pope I want to reduce abortion. Are you guys calling me a liar? Pro-abortion? A socialist?

It’s fine if you are, but I’m just saying if that’s the case, your argument is sounding more and more ridiculous by the second.

Matthew Warner July 21, 2009 at 10:07 am

Nope, just saying that I think Obama’s abortion policies are inconsistent with wanting to reduce abortion. So it seems misleading. Which is what I said from the beginning.

Matthew Warner July 21, 2009 at 10:07 am

Pinko –

1) In terms of infrastructure to handle all these people, birth rate is entirely relevant. Besides, are you suggesting that the alternative is to just kill the unwanted people?

2) A culture that continually lies and says that babies in the womb are just pieces of tissue, are not humans, have no human rights, and terminating them is entirely accepted by our lawful government is a large part of why so many struggling people (latina or not, catholic or not) end up rationalizing that abortion is an OK option in times of trial. That’s the culture I’m talking about.

3) Never said it wouldn’t be difficult or that there wasn’t room for improvement. It’s not a fantasy world. It’s a world where I’ll take the hardship over the current method of just executing the humans we find problematic.

4) Austin is already weird.

pinko July 23, 2009 at 11:17 am

RE: “Nope, just saying that I think Obama’s abortion policies are inconsistent with wanting to reduce abortion. So it seems misleading. Which is what I said from the beginning.”

Your (and the catholic church’s) policy of being anti-contraception also seems inconsistent with wanting to reduce abortion. Argue it however you want, the same ‘common sense’ that you cite all the time applies here, too. But no, I don’t think you’re lying to me when you say you want to bring the abortion number down, even when you say you also want to stop the most effective way of bringing that number down.

1) Not really, since you’re comparing numbers from a vastly different time/country in nearly every way.

2) Abortion is illegal across the board in Mexico, yet still the (illegal) abortion rate is far higher there. Your argument doesn’t hold much water. This is nearly entirely a poverty issue.

3) I’m with you there, I just 100% honestly think your way doesn’t solve any problem and actually causes more.

4) Man, they have good salsa, though.

Matthew Warner July 23, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Wrong again, Pinko. A contraceptive culture is at the core of the PROBLEM of an abortion culture. I understand how it may seem otherwise to people, but it’s just not true.

The more contraceptive our culture has gotten, the more abortive it has also gotten because the destruction of the bond between life and sex and the reverence for the sexual act (and therefore the reverence for the creation of human life) is destroyed. They are absolutely related problems.

The only cultures I know of where surgical abortions have lessened in correlation with increased contraception is where chemical abortions and abortive morning after pills abound and (perhaps more telling) there are high percentages of sterilizations.

It’s false to think more contraception is going to fix the problems. And it definitely doesn’t do it morally.

Artie July 23, 2009 at 2:27 pm

“Artie, are you gonna sit there and argue that the Catholic Church doesn’t think that we should provide health care and shelter for the poor?”

Pinko I must admit I am a little frustrated with your approach, you aren’t listening to what I am saying. Obama’s foundation of what he considers change should be rejected. Community of goods, must be utterly rejected and the Church does reject this, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit. The ideas that he is proposing is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind.

1. Abortion immediately drives me away from voting for Obama.
2. Wealth redistribution also drives me from Obama, and by the way the Church rejects that.

Wealth redistribution and creating equality is not the role of the state.

It hurts both the hard working individual as the government is essentially stealing from him/her, and it hurts the recipient.

This causes an atmosphere of people having no incentive to work.

Does this equate not giving to the poor? NOT AT ALL!

The church teaches that the wealthy have an obligation to the poor, but that this is a *PERSONAL DUTY*, not something the state should mandate or control.

Also the church discourages class welfare and contends that envy of the rich is a violation of the 9th commandment.

If you don’t believe me, read “Rerum Novarum”, which I quoted before, which you believed my initial stance came from Glenn Beck.

pinko July 24, 2009 at 7:22 am

Matt, you are actually wrong again, too! What are the chances? It definitely does seem misleading for you to be anti-contraception and also say you want to decrease abortion. You take condoms away from teenagers and there are going to be more abortions, that’s a pretty simple common sense statement. It doesn’t matter what you’ve convinced yourself of, still a huge percentage of people would find your statements misleading. We can take a poll if you’d like. But we wouldn’t call you a liar, that’s my point.

pinko July 24, 2009 at 7:25 am

Artie: My frustration (and it’s not against you personally for the record) comes from all this black or white logic. Like a Pope said socialism was bad 100 years ago and now some people think Obama is a socialist for some reason and so Obama is obviously bad. But when you objectively look at WHAT is going on, (discounting the fact that this is not socialism (except according to a screaming Beck)) a) telling the super wealthy to help out the super poor is by all means a good thing b) the home and bank crises were both caused by the evils of a capitalist system, if you want we can extend that for something you guys are more passionate about, like the sexualization of youth culture. It’s the disconnect of what you’re writing to the actual meaning that bothers me. You say “I’m anti-abortion in all cases and Obama is not so I oppose him!” and I think, fine, I disagree and here’s why but you’re entitled to his own opinion. And then you say “Also Obama is a socialist!” and I’m like man, that wasn’t even part of this discussion… Maybe this is just one of THOSE guys.

Matthew Warner July 24, 2009 at 7:54 am

Pinko – the truth is not determined by a poll or majority vote.

And there’s a difference between seeming misleading and actually being misleading (at least in terms of the person doing the misleading). I believe that Obama is intentionally, and actually misleading (as many politicians do on lots of issues). And I think his actions very obviously reveal this.

You can disagree his intentions are so. YOu can also disagree with what I and the abortion industry themselves believe to be true, and that’s that funding abortion increases it.

You say now that your point is that you “wouldn’t call me a liar.” If you believed that I was being intentionally (or otherwise) misleading then what else would you call it other than misleading (which is what I’ve done)?

(for the record, i didn’t call him a liar, i called him misleading. They might be the same thing…sometimes they’re not).

Artie July 30, 2009 at 3:16 pm

“Artie: My frustration (and it’s not against you personally for the record) comes from all this black or white logic.”

When we apply variables towards the issues they can become black or white.

“Like a Pope said socialism was bad 100 years ago and now some people think Obama is a socialist for some reason and so Obama is obviously bad.”

Never said he was an inherently evil/bad person, but numerous of his policies are bad. Labeling somebody a spade based on their actions perhaps is not politically correct.

“a) telling the super wealthy to help out the super poor is by all means a good thing.

Forcing vs. Freedom of giving that is the difference.

“b) the home and bank crises were both caused by the evils of a capitalist system.”

Capitalism can be abused, but some of what you mentioned was also poor government intervention by enabling people to get home loans they could never afford. Not everybody is equal nor should everybody be equal, equal in dignity always.

“You say “I’m anti-abortion in all cases and Obama is not so I oppose him!””

I am pro life, thus anti-abortion, I morally could not vote for him because of the 5 non-negotiable issues that he supports.


I am probably just one of those Catholic guys that vote Catholic and also believe Obama is a socialist at heart by his actions. Demonize me if you want for being “one of those guys”.

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