If Catholics truly feel that their religious leaders are leading them astray, they should stop following them.
By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
By New Times
Edilia Gonzales attends Mass every Sunday.
She gives communion to fellow Catholics, sick and elderly, who are unable to leave their homes. She believes that life is sacred, including the life of a child still developing in the womb. And she believes that undocumented immigrants who've made their way to the United States should be treated humanely and with dignity.
The 72-year-old was raised by devout parents who opened up their family's home for church services nearly six decades ago, before the modest Santa Teresita Catholic Church was built in El Mirage, a small community in the West Valley.
Gonzales knows that Bishop Thomas Olmsted, the head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, tells Catholics to take their faith into the proverbial voting booth, and that abortion under any circumstances is "intrinsically evil."
Does that mean, then, that a Catholic vote for pro-choice President Barack Obama is a sin?
It's troubling, she says, particularly this year, as the immigration debate competes with abortion for the spotlight.
Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, has an unfriendly record on illegal immigration. He calls Arizona's harsh anti-immigrant law (Senate Bill 1070) a "model for the nation," and he decisively says that if he were elected to office he would veto the DREAM Act, a measure that would allow certain young people brought into the United States as children to earn their American citizenship.
Gonzales has seen many young undocumented children in her community — friends and neighbors — go to school, graduate, get jobs, and start families of their own.
"They've been here all their lives," she tells New Times. "They don't know Mexico. But the church says I shouldn't vote for Obama because he's for abortion. Who am I going to vote for? Romney? He wants to get rid of all the Mexicans."
More than 68 million Americans — including about 950,000 in the Phoenix area — share Gonzales' Catholic faith.
Religion and politics are always a difficult mix, but this year, the dichotomy is punctuated by a presidential race in which God has taken center stage.
Mitt Romney is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon Church). Romney, whose family has deep roots in eastern Arizona, rose to the rank of bishop but stepped away from his religious duties when he entered politics. Yet, he says, he remains committed to the tenets of his church.
The Massachusetts governor's running mate, Paul Ryan, a devout Catholic, has close ties to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the nation's highest-ranking Catholic.
Obama is Christian, and Vice President Joseph Biden also is Catholic but, unlike Ryan, believes in a woman's right to make her own reproductive decisions and same-sex couples' right to marry.
Biden, by his own church's standards, is a sinner.
The 2012 Republican Party platform mentions "God" a dozen times, compared to only twice in 2008. The Democrats, who omitted the reference from the original version of their platform, scrambled during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte to get the word back in.
It was a big deal, with Republicans pouncing on Democrats for the omission and Obama reportedly personally intervening to reinsert the phrase "God-given" in the guiding document. The incident illustrates just how prominent a role religion is playing this political season.
Debates, campaign speeches, and pundit chatter are dominated by social issues steeped in religion — abortion, gay rights, and gender equality. Illegal immigration, the fate of Medicare, and programs for the vulnerable, such as food stamps and Medicaid, also are emotionally charged topics that could tip the balance in a tight presidential campaign.
At the same time, Catholics, Mormons, and other religious Americans are feeling the pressure from church leaders who are urging them to vote with a mind fixed on traditional church teachings.
All this fervor over religion likely will push more voters of faith to the polls, just as Obama energized African-Americans and other minority voters in 2008.
Conservative religious voters are going to make a difference in the presidential election — not only in Arizona, but in battleground states across the country where Romney and Obama are in statistical ties.
In Nevada, the state's sizable Mormon population could give Romney a boost. In Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, Obama's share of the Catholic vote will be pivotal. (For more on Mormons' political involvement, see "The Mormon Dilemma" on this page.)
Of course, the faithful aren't monolithic and do not vote by religious affiliation alone. Important overlapping factors include an individuals' ethnicity and the depth of their reverential convictions — that is, how closely they listen to their religious leaders.
Sixty-two percent of Latinos in America are Catholic.
"Obama may not win Arizona, even with huge turnout among Latinos," Josh Ulibarri, a pollster with Washington-based Lake Research Partners, tells New Times. "The key for Latinos in Arizona are all the down-ballot races. Do those Latinos turn out and vote for [Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Richard] Carmona? Do those Latinos turn out and vote for the Democrat in the state races?"
Those voters might turn red Arizona violet and could also help in the state's Ninth Congressional District, where former state senator Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat, faces Republican Vernon Parker, a former Paradise Valley town council member, on November 6.
Like Edilia Gonzales, religious-minded Americans also have to reconcile conflicting stances on political views within the church itself.
For example, both Mormon and Catholic doctrines preach anti-abortion and traditional family values that align with the Republican way. At the same time, church leaders also publicly adopted a Democrat-esque, humane approach to immigration enforcement, inccluding a path to citizenship.
"It is very confusing," Ulibarri says. "I grew up Catholic in Utah. And today's Catholic Church is not, in many ways, the same Catholic Church I grew up in. Before, it was about helping the poor, helping the aging, helping the 'least among us.' Now, the conversation among Catholics is just about abortions, just about contraception."
The conversation also is about immigration and church officials' views that politicians should adopt a more tolerant view of the presence of immigrants.
The softer stance stems from a growing number of undocumented immigrants converting to Mormonism — an estimated 70 percent of Latino Mormons are undocumented. In the Catholic Church, where membership is steadily declining, immigrants are offsetting those losses.
A 2012 poll by the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research organization, revealed that 69 percent of foreign-born Latinos identify themselves as Catholic. To maintain membership, religious leaders must tread lightly near these issues.
But not on abortion. Or gay marriage.
Pope Benedict XVI, the world leader of the Roman Catholic Church, left little room for doubt about Jesus Christ's expectations of his followers earlier this summer as he delivered a sermon in Castel Gandolfo, a small town 15 miles southeast of Rome.
In the August 26 address, Benedict compared disobedient and unbelieving Catholics to Judas. Remaining in the church while not fully believing its teachings is a betrayal, a falsehood.
The Christian Post reported on August 29 that Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro, the Human Life International Rome Director, confirmed that the pope's comments are very much related to the Catholic Church's formal teachings in support of traditional marriage and anti-abortion views.
Bob Grossfeld, a Phoenix-based Democratic political consultant, says that it would be a fantasy for any religious leader to believe they could influence their members to walk in lockstep with the church.
"It depends on the individual as much on the church leader," Grossfeld tells New Times. "There are Catholics who try to live close to the ecumenical teachings of the Vatican, and then there are those who take the rules and pronouncements as suggestions — and [there's] a wide range in between."
Still, the Catholic Church continues to sway parishioners to vote against abortion and same-sex marriage — and anyone who supports either.
Robert DeFrancesco, a spokesman for the Catholic diocese in Phoenix, tells New Times that though the church "does not endorse political candidates or engage in partisan politics . . . [it] has a long tradition of teaching on the sanctity of life, marriage and family, religious liberty, immigration, and many other important issues."
The church's political involvement has prompted questions — and complaints with the IRS — over whether it should lose its nonprofit tax status.
On September 7, Americans United for Separation of Church and State asked the IRS to investigate a New York City church that endorsed Mitt Romney in its September 2 bulletin.
The nonpartisan educational organization, dedicated to maintaining a separation between church and state, also filed an IRS complaint in April against a Catholic bishop in Chicago who compared Obama to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.
An IRS-developed tax guide for churches acknowledges that "churches and religious organizations take positions on public policy issues, including issues that divide candidates in an election for public office."
It cautions them, however, from getting involved to the point where, even though they are not "expressly" telling an audience to vote for specific candidate, they deliver "any message favoring or opposing a candidate."
The bottom line is that the IRS rarely takes action against churches, and churches persist in shaping the collective conscience.
In 2008, Olmsted, head of the Catholic diocese in Phoenix, told local Catholics to support a state constitutional amendment that would protect the institution.
Olmsted reminded Catholics in a YouTube video that church doctrines should guide them "at home, at work, at school, and even at the voting booth" and that some teachings "are non-negotiable, ones in which Catholics can not legitimately disagree."
Marriage, as defined by various religious institutions (a union between one man and one woman), is one of those teachings.
"We Catholics have an obligation to exercise our faith in all we do," he said into the camera, his voice deliberate and convincing, much like a politician in a campaign ad. "I urge you to vote yes for marriage. Yes on Prop 102. God bless you."
Olmsted emphasizes that abortions are just as unholy as daring to defile the sanctity of marriage.
"It should be emphasized . . . other issues, such as abortion or euthanasia, are always wrong and do not allow for the correct use of prudential judgment to justify them. It would never be proper for Catholics to be on the opposite side of these issues," he writes in Catholic in the Public Square, a 45-page guide for parishioners.
And he also writes that politicians are "cooperating in a grave sin" if they are "actively supporting and furthering the culture of death . . . [voting to] allow for abortions and even promote abortions."
The unwavering views — and political pressure — may explain why a Catholic such as GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan drafted a law that allowed for abortions only in cases of "forcible rape." He co-wrote the bill with Todd Akin, the Republican congressman from Missouri who earlier this summer infamously suggested a woman's body can keep her from getting pregnant during a "legitimate rape."
Such a blending of religion, social issues, and politics culminating in laws that reflect and preserve church doctrine — from any church — is what gave the nation pause in 1960, when Kennedy, a Roman Catholic, won the presidency. Questions arose about whether he would simply do the pope's bidding as president.
"I am not the Catholic candidate for president. I am the Democratic Party's candidate for president who also happens to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my church on public matters — and the church does not speak for me," Kennedy reassured a group of ministers while stumping in Texas.
When Pope Paul VI established the Phoenix diocese in 1969 (geographically, the diocese includes Maricopa, Mohave, Yavapai, and Coconino counties, and the Gila River Indian Reservation in Pinal County), membership numbered about 180,000 Catholics.
Today, about 25 percent of Arizona residents, about 950,000, call themselves Catholic. And the diocese has no problem throwing its weight around.
Olmsted wrote a letter in January to Phoenix-area Catholics blasting portions of "Obamacare," the Affordable Care Act requiring all employers' insurance policies to cover contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs.
Priests read the letter at Catholic masses across the Valley.
Olmsted urged Catholics to learn more about the "severe assault on religious liberty" and to support legislation that would reverse the mandate.
The church also easily navigated the Arizona Legislature, where Representative Debbie Lesko, a Republican, sponsored a measure that essentially protected churches and religiously affiliated employers from having to include birth control and related services in their insurance plans.
And yet, members are not always in lockstep with the church.
Despite the bishops' consternation over birth control mandates, 82 percent of Catholics believe that birth control is morally acceptable, compared to 90 percent of non-Catholics, according to a Gallup poll conducted in May.
Linell E. Cady, director of Arizona State University's Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, says, "Many Catholics are deeply distressed about bishops calling for religious liberty on this issue. As polls show, Catholics use contraception. And they themselves are puzzled over the hierarchy using religious liberty to take away their [personal] religious liberty."
Mitt Romney already may have sealed the Mormon vote in Arizona — which is about 14 percent of the state's electorate — but that easily could be offset here by the massive grass-roots push by community activists like Promise Arizona in Action, Team Awesome, labor unions, and the Democratic Party to register thousands of new Latino voters. The idea is that those voters would favor Obama.
The wild card: Many are Catholic. And that's nothing to sneeze at.
According to the May Gallup poll, Catholics make up nearly one out of every four voters across the United States. As a voting bloc, Catholics also have carried both Republican and Democratic presidents into the White House, including Democrat Jimmy Carter, Republican Ronald Reagan, Republican George H.W. Bush, and Democrat Bill Clinton.
Catholic News Service reported in the 2008 Obama-McCain race that although church members as a whole voted for Obama, McCain received a higher percentage of the Catholic vote in states where bishops instructed members to "vote only for candidates of the party that supports overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion virtually on demand."
But the truth this year is that the whole thing could backfire on the Catholic Church.
The notion of religious leaders stepping that far into an individual's politics is offensive to Cecilia Moreno, a 62-year-old retired teacher who lives in West Phoenix.
"You have to be able to separate church and state, which is what our country is based on," she says. "We should be able to go to church, worship because we believe in God, and then go out and vote for whomever we want to."
She says that abortion and same-sex marriage are issues that should remain with the church, not permeate the laws of the state.
But Robert DeFrancesco, a spokesman for the Phoenix Catholic diocese, says that the church is "obligated" to help shape the moral character of society and help Catholics form their consciences.
"Am I torn? Yes," Moreno says, adding that she felt like she had no choice but to step away from her strict Catholic upbringing to express her political independence.
"If you believe what they tell you, then you can't be a Democrat. But I can't be a Republican, either, because a Republican is not going to help those in need," she says.
These days, it's usually only funerals that bring her to Mass.
"When I'm there, I feel good at first because it's familiar. It's how I was raised," she says.
The feeling doesn't last.
She participates in Mass — but doesn't receive communion because, her politics, according to the church, make her a sinner. And until she "repents," she isn't suppose to partake in that Catholic ritual.
"That makes me feel empty. I don't get a whole feeling of being holy there anymore. I participate, I still remember all the parts of the mass, and I do everything except receive communion because I'm with sin," she says, adding with a nervous chuckle: "I'm probably going to go to Hell."
When Edilia Gonzales sits down to fill out her ballot, the decision — whatever it is — will weigh heavily on her conscience.
"I don't know if I'm going to vote for Obama or if I'm going to vote for Romney," she confesses. "I'm against abortion, yes. But if Romney wants to take all these kids and send them back to Mexico, I don't think I can vote for him."
She says that Obama has done good things for the country, bringing the nation's military men and women home from war. But, she adds, that some of her Medicare co-pays are higher, and she isn't sure if that has to do with Obama's healthcare plan.
"I was born a Catholic, and I'll probably die a Catholic," she says. "It's hard, though, because I know that one day, I'm going to be judged, too, by God."
It's an almost impossible choice.
"When I stand before God, is he going to say, go to the other side because I voted for a president who is for abortion?" she wonders, but reminds herself that God is merciful. Still, the question mark is unmistakable in her tone.
"I don't think he's going to damn me."
If Catholics truly feel that their religious leaders are leading them astray, they should stop following them.
First of all, the bible explicitly calls those who break the laws of the land sinners (see Romans 13:1-7), so support for those who have knowingly broken the law (i.e. illegal immigrants) is a sin in and of itself. Secondly, since abortion is basically murder in the eyes of the church there is really no choice in the matter. The democrats have explicitly positioned themselves as the "pro-abortion" party, they are not simply "tolerating" it any more, they are actively working to make abortions easier to obtain, even forcing religious organizations to pay for the operation even though it is a deadly sin. Therefore, a Catholic who is sympathetic to the plight of illegal immigrants really has only one possible choice that will leave him or her with a clear conscious: vote Republican and then put political pressure upon the Republican party to implement immigration reform. To vote democrat at this point is a vote in favor of abortion and sin.
The ultimate oxymoron:
A Catholic who prays in front of Planned Parenthood against abortion and then
turns around and votes FOR a democrat...ANY democrat. Killing unborn children trumps all
If God Almighty in his infinite wisdom has given us freedom to choose, why would any faith wish to take that away.? If God wants people to be punished for their sins, why does he need my help to be judge, jury and executioner? In mans limited wisdom, he limits the ability of God, seizes upon religion the tools to hate his neighbor, and to become God and controller over others.
I am disgusted with the attacks of my faith both from outside and inside the Catholic church. i did not become part of the faith to have friends, but to worship God, our Lord Jesus Christ, and our Holy Mother and saints who advocate on our behalf.. All of our righteousness is as filthy rags, we all sin, to claim one sin to be worse than the one you are committing is evil and shows that you favor sin over God. It is man's nature to sin, we try to limit that through our thoughts and deeds over our own lives. We cannot help our brother or sister with their sins when we have a ton of personal sins we are neglecting, nurturing, participating, and promoting. By our grading of sins, we only seek justification to attack others to make us more righteous. This must stop as God is not pleased.
We should all embrace that the founder of the Church is Jesus Christ. It is by grace that we are saved and not of ourselves. It is by his mercy and love that we are forgiven as we forgive others. Jesus Christ is my savior, the only Living son of God, who suffer, died, and rose again on the third day that will rise me from the dead, not Bishop Olmstead, or whatever religious leader who has fallen into the trap of politics like the clergy of the middle ages.
Our duty as Americans to be involved in the political process is outside of the Church. While we may share common beliefs, we do not impose them on the unwilling. I am opposed to Abortion, but as a man I cannot have one, however, I recognize that a mother must always chose what she will do with her body and her family. I cannot speak on the matter of abortion, as I am not female.
Voting for one person will not effect any change of Roe v. Wade, but a combination of changes of all three branches of our government. If we overturn Abortion to make it illegal, it will not stop people from having them, nor will those we place in office assist with the raising, care, and comfort of those children.
It is not I who have stepped away from the teachings of our Lord but the clergy who have wandered into a trap in fighting sin over helping those in need. The issue sickens me and I do not make an effort to attend many parishes because of their partisan involvement. I too am a Liberal as our Lord would be labeled as well and not interested in casting the first stone.
The issue of abortion is that it is considered such a deep and serious issue, by all involved. The fact that the entire society has had to embrace the law without consent is the issue. I am not pro-choice as defined by that movement, I am not pro-life as defined by the other movement. Many people have other opinions, and are not wishy washy about their feelings about the issue, but, they were not heard or even considered in the passing of Roe v Wade…. with the mere stroke of a pen. Overturn Roe v Wade, it is bad law. Allow the citizens the respect of the constitutional process. It is our right. Regarding immigration... the US policy has been screwed up for years. The result is inconsistent enforcement, or no enforcement. The security and economy of our country is at risk. The risk is not just from the bordering countries. The federal government not fulfilling their purpose has brought us to this point. Immigration should benefit our society, whether it is needed intellect, skills or migrant labor. The conditions should be clear, understandable and implementable. An uncontrolled flux of people across any border is not good. That has only proven to vex our society, whether by the resultant importation of corruption, or the most vulnerable being taken advantage of.The status quo must be stopped. I think that is something we can all agree upon. Don't blame the local governments for trying to protect its own citizens from inequity.
You don't have to vote for either baby killing scumbag - Obama or Romney. Duh.
Romney's pro-abortion record:
Sad that any voter would rely on what their church leaders tell them when choosing a candidate to select. Those attitudes should have disappeared long ago. A healthy democratic-republic requires--no, DEMANDS--that a voter think for himself or herself. That the woman in this article would agonize over who to vote for based on religious beliefs is a crying shame. God won't be in the voting booth with you, ma'am. Make your decisions based on facts backed up facts supported by facts and temper those decisions with logic and reason. Otherwise, in all seriousness, don't vote at all. If you're voting based on what your bishop or pastor thinks, you're wasting your vote and America's time.
Darlin, my view are only mine alone. Disagree -- I do not care. I have a mind, great education, and my views are mine to hold. I don't give any credence to religion of any kind. Have had a truly FABulous life and regret none of it. Begone with you!!!!
Immigration is not some sort of board game wheras when you successfully evade the border patrol and cross into the U.S., and are able to advance ___ miles into the U.S. interior and evade ICE for _____ months or ____ years, you are rewarded the grand prize of legalization with all the benefits that go with it. Illegal is illegal and that is the bottom line. The bible says to welcome the stranger, not to encourage law breaking. Just because illegal aliens are strangers does not exempt them from punshment for ivnvading another country. If you want more of a particular behavior, reward that behavior!!! If we granted amnesty to all illegal aliens tomorrow, would that be enough to satisfy all the open border acvocates. I am afraid the answer is a resounding "no". I am afraid this insanity has advanced to the point of requiring the total elimination of all borders in order to satisfy pro illegal alien crowd.
Dear Sir: I am one of those people who have no religion, so your message falls on "deaf ears." I am no Judas. I am no "anything." How has the Vatican made a statement on the pedophile priests?. I know a few men who have been victims of this sordid topic. How can anyone attend a church and give their money to it when they know of these child victims preyed upon by the
Holy Church's priests? Just asking.
There is no conundrum for the faithful Catholic. The Vatican has made it very clear that topics like immigration, and how to best take care of the poor are IN NO WAY COMPARABLE WITH INTRINSIC EVIL OF ABORTION. So, if you want to be a Judas, vote for Obama. If you want to be faithful to Christ, one has no choice but to vote for one who best opposes this intrinsic evil... which in this case is Romney. Regarding the Catholics on each ticket, we have a terribly unfaithful "Catholic"in regard to non-negotiables in Biden, and a very faithful Catholic on non-negotiables in Ryan.
A woman's right to choose will not affect U, DADT may affect U, the DREAM act will affect U, Pres Obama deserves your vote @justamexican
As a Catholic, I think about what I was taught growing up, attending Catholic grammer school, living and watching time pass since the 1950s. I really do believe in what Jesus taught - to care for the poor, the sick, those scorned and abused. I do not vote on one issue - and I do believe that abortion in the case of rape, incest, or to protect the health of the mother (as determined by medical professionals) are private decisions that should not include the government - and sometimes can be the right decision. Never an easy decision - but I do believe that what a woman wants for herself matters and it matters what parents want for a young girl who has been raped. I realize I do not agree with my Church, but life is far messier than the rules allow for - and life lived sometimes requires unbelievable choices be made. When it gets that messy, then individual conscience matters.
As a citizen I believe in freedom and equality under the law. Gay people should be able to marry and receive all the civil benefits that straight people receive. No one forces any faith group to conduct a marriage ceremony or bless a union. I believe that society can respect equal rights for gay people without that being an imposition on any single faith group. Straight marriage is not affected by gay marriage.
I believe that contraceptives help couples order their lives, make plans about when to have children and how many children to have so that the parents can feed, clothe, shelter, educate, raise their children in faith and citizenship. I think it is an adult decision to behave responsibly about child-bearing. And most Catholic women - which means their husbands know and support it - use contraceptives; and Catholic women are more likely than non-Catholic women to be sterilized after they have had all the children they want. Shouldn't those basic health care issues be included in health insurance? No one is forced to take a pill or be sterilized - but each person is given the opportunity to exercise his/her own conscience. It is not religious freedom when the government lets a religious group deny you your own freedom.
RE: IMMIGRANTS. My husband is British; he came to America years ago and had a job. He studied, too the citizenship test, and went to court with an attorney I know to become a citizen.
NO FREE PASS. Abortion is legal. Get over it. If YOU DO NOT WANT ONE -- DO NOT HAVE ONE.
@maxonepercent First of all, please drop the "i" word, the correct word is undocumented. The word "illegal" dehumanizes them. And the U.S.'s international economic policies have taken the jobs and the money from the people in other countries. They are desperate people and would do anything to survive. Seeking survival is not a sin. And breaking an unjust law, such as the present immigration law, which was created by xenophobes and racists to keep people of lesser economic status and people of color out, is not wrong. What we need is a pro-life democrat and a pro-immigration republican running for president. So I say vote third party.
@thomas.prescott.jr guess what, you band of pedophiles can take none of the abuse it gives out? I'm tired of whiny catholics.
@mopickelly First of all, please drop the "i" word, the correct word is undocumented. The word "illegal" dehumanizes them. And the U.S.'s international economic policies have taken the jobs and the money from the people in other countries. They are desperate people and would do anything to survive. Seeking survival is not a sin, it is a human right. And breaking an unjust law, such as the present immigration law, which was created by xenophobes and racists to keep people of lesser economic status and people of color out, is not wrong. And immigration actually helps the economy, it does not hurt it. And when the border was open, people actually went back to their countries. They were more of seasonal workers and did not stay to live in the U.S. When the border was closed, it was not closed to keep the people out, but instead it sealed them in.
@olsonandko The problem with this argument is that abortion is not simply a religious issue. There are many "secular humanists" who reject the notion of a supreme deity but who still find abortion abhorrent. In plain scientific terms abortion is the destruction of life. Why is it that a mother would be charged with murder if she kills her baby moments after it is born, but if she did the same thing just a few months earlier it is a perfectly acceptable act?
@naoma I've already answered your question sufficiently, so either you refuse to read, refuse to accept the truth (which is quite obvious), and/or can't understand what was said. For the new question, The Catholic Church is Holy. Unfaithful priests can't affect that. The behavior of any man can't affect that. The holiness of God's Church is in her infallible teachings of God's word, and the indefectable Sacraments. These are guaranteed by God, while men's behavior is not. You are a creation of God who loves you, whether you admit that or not. His dissatisfaction with your prejudice doesn't stop Him from loving you, and would welcome you to the truth if you would accept the truth.
@mdkpubs Yet Ryan lies, without shame, consistently. It is a terrible habit Ryan has, one that he has been called on, yet he doubles down on the lies. Ryan promotes a public policy that fundamentally denies benefits to the poor, the disabled, the sick, the very young and the very old. Ryan has no problem with the poor paying more across the board so that the rich can have greater profits. It appears Ryan also has no issues with pedophiles or rapists, not even when it is a priest, for he has been more than silent. Rather, he sees rape as a viable method of conception. Ryan idolizes and is a devout follower of Ayn Rand, whose philosophy developed the Church of Satan, a cult that Ryan ignores, yet whose tenets he promotes. Ryan may be a "faithful" Catholic on reproduction issues, but he is a Judas when it comes to walking with Jesus.
@JacquelineHine1 As a son, a father of a woman, and husband, the right control your reproductive future effects me, it's why I defend it.
@Atchison I guess you can call yourself a catholic if you want, but if these are your true beliefs then you are most definitely NOT a catholic. You can't have your cake and eat it too, you either follow the dogma of the church or you exist outside of it.
@Atchison for a mother to murder her child is furthering the violence of a rape. Many women who have been raped have felt this way. Rape is a terrible crime, but the murder of the child continues the evil of the rape and yhe act does more damage than the rape itself.
@Atchison if you were a faithful Catholic, you would know that abortion is a non-negotiable, as is homosexual unions. These cannot be justified, and are against the moral natural law. It's not a single issue to look at abortion as a disqualifier. It's a world view of supporting life! How can you say you take care of the weakest in society, when you say tey really had no right to live in the first pace. From all eternity, God wanted you and me to live. God believed we had a right to life, as did all the babies whose parent thought they did not, and killed them - taking away all other rights they might enjoy as a human person... What do you say to these children... tough luck, you think their parent(s) had a right to eliminate their life while they could not fight back to defend their selves? What do you say to God, Who from all eternity ordained that this child come into existence... do you say to him that you know better than Him?
@Atchison Thank you for comments that make sense. As I have said since time began: "If you do not want an abortion, do not have one." Have these "anti" people ever met a child who was raped and pregnant. Perhaps even by her Father? As my
doctor said: "If one man would have a baby and go through labor, etc." you would have a lot of men change their minds on many topics.
@Atchison if you want to call yourself Catholic, please adhere to the teachings God gave us Catholics. You're currently terribly unfaithful... Why don't you call yourself a Protestant, and at least be honest... God is not fooled.
Slavery was legal also.
@naoma abortion IS MURDER. Get a clue! Just because the legal system is in error, doesn't mean it's right. If abortion is a human right, why do the supporters say it should be rare??? If abortion is such a good thing, why is at least one person killed each time??? Abortion is safe for who???? Certainly not safe for the completely inocent human child!!!
@theband12 They are not "undocumented", that term implies that they are some how eligible for "documentation" which is false. Regardless of their motivations, they have committed an illegal act by immigrating to this country without the authorization to do so, that makes them "illegal immigrants". Following your skewed logic we should start calling burglars "undocumented tenants" and car thieves "undocumented car owners".
Secondly, the idea that these people are somehow "economic victims" is asinine. If they are so poor how is it that they manage to come up with thousands of dollars to pay coyotes to sneak them into our country? It is not like they are starving either. Moreover, what about the "economic victims" in our own country? Ten percent of American-born citizens are out of work right now, another 10% are underemployed. Why should the economic interests of these illegal immigrants be put ahead of the economic interests of our own citizens? What "economic policies" are you referring to exactly? NAFTA cost the US more jobs than it did Mexico, and their government was every bit as complicit in that travesty as was ours, so I don't see why the typical working-class American citizen should have to shoulder the blame.
Sorry I will not drop the "i" word. I will continue using it when the "shoe fits". The people, yes people. which are the subject of this discussion are here illegtally. They are not simply "undocumented" . I know you would like to imply thaey entered this country correctly and some agent at the border neglected to frill out the properwork. Sorry, that thinking will not hack it. The proper term is "illegal alien".
@mdkpubs @naoma Sorry, but "your truth" is not "my truth." I have no argument with what your beliefs are. I am not prejudiced in any way just because my belief system does not include religion. Your "truth" is yours but not MINE. So, let us live in peace. I've had a long and quite fabulous life and continue to do so. But good luck and best wishes to you and when you meet your maker -- may peace be with you.
@m2old4bs @mdkpubs When has Ryan lied? Also, where in the bible does it say that the government is responsible for caring for the poor? Both Ryan and Romney give copious amounts of money to religious charities, money that is used to provide aide to poor people all around the world. The church has always taken it upon themselves to provide for the poor and they do so throughout the world, even in places that have no social services to speak of.
And now I get to the part about Ayn Rand and the Church of Satan. The "Church of Satan" was created at least 50 years before Rand was even born, so there goes that crackpot allegation.
@naoma @Atchison, why do you both say it's acceptable for an adult to murder an innocent child? Are women confused about what makes one pregnant? If they don't want to be pregnant, don't have sex!!! Atchison, does it give you a clue how far off the mark you are when a nonbeliever compliments you on your unfaithfulness to Catholic moral non-negotiables?
Baptised, confirmed, life-long, mass attending. But my brain did not get turned off in the meantime and neither did my heart. There are millions of Catholics like me, who believe that contraceptives are a conscience choice made by adults. Most people, including Catholics, don't like abortion one bit, but there are times when an abortion protects a woman.
The Church grows and changes because people who see what is wrong speak up. The Church changed its mind on slavery, usury, democracy, the inquisition and torture, science which contradicts the Bible, much else and is slowly changing its mind on contraceptives. They made saints out of some of those old sinners who opposed them. (But that, as I am sure you will agree, will not happen in my case.) We have deplorable actions by our bishops in covering up the sexual abuse of children and it would still be a deep dark and continuing horror if it hadn't come to light - no bishop ever took a step to tell even part of the truth until forced to by public disclosure.
"Over the pope as the expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority there still stands one's own conscience, which must be obeyed before all else, if necessary even against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority." Joseph Ratzinger on article 16 of Gaudem et Spes, in Volume 5 of the "Commentary on Documents of Vatican II", edited by Vorgrimler (New York/London 1969). Or read St. Thomas Aquinas, who said: ""Anyone upon whom the ecclesiastical authority, in ignorance of true facts, imposes a demand that offends (his) clear conscience, should perish in excommunication rather than violate (his) conscience. " Read about the doctrine of Reception of Canonical Law and sensus fidelium.
@mopickelly @theband12 They knowingly committed a criminal act by moving to this country without authorization, that means they have committed the act of illegal immigration. Calling them "undocumented immigrants" implies that they can somehow obtain "documentation" even though they cannot. Immigration helps the economy does it? Tell that to the 10 percent of unemployed Americans who cannot get jobs while millions of illegal immigrants are illegally occupying jobs in our country at this moment. The only people helped by Illegal immigration are corrupt business owners, criminal smugglers, drug-dealers, and dirty politicians. I also reject the absurd notion that these people are "desperate economic victims". How do these supposedly "poor" people manage to come up with the thousands of dollars they need to pay the coyotes to bring them into the US exactly?
@naoma you might not enjoy the afterlife too well, unless you seek to love God... He certainly loves you and will help you.
@naoma your "truth" is not Truth at all. There is objective reality, and your opinions are nowhere close to reality.
@Atchison the Church has NEVER declared one a saint who supported murder of innocent children, as you do. The Church has NEVER declared a saint one who twists canon law in an attempt to support their own personal views. The Church has NEVER once had to declare a doctrine of her's wrong... no matter how many arrogant and prideful people disagree with her moral teachings. Why? Because Jesus guarantees the teachings on faith and morals are without error. If you can disprove any Catholic doctrine, I'll give you $10,000. Your personal disagreements with Jesus don't count as "proof" other than showing how wrong you are.
@Atchison the personal behaviors of men, including Bishops are NOT Catholic moral teaching. In fact, these behaviors have been unfaithful to Catholic moral teaching.
@Atchison the Church teaches that abortion is an intrinsic evil, which can never be justified. Please open your heart to the truth, rather than seeking to twist history and canon law to pretend it supports what you want. Abortion has NEVER been a moral good... and never will. Why do you say it's okay for an person or persons to kill a completely innocent child? That is a definition of murder. Where did God ever say murder is acceptable?
@Atchison the Church grows because of the Holy Spirit. It has never "grown" because an arrogant unfaithful person (like you are being), disagrees with doctrine or misinterprets a statement by a Cardinal, as you do and have. It's. Abundantly clear that you have no idea what Ratzinger meant.
@Atchison the Church has NEVER once repealed a doctrine. I know canon law well, and unlike you, I don't try to twist it to justify unfaithfulness. By your own admission, you should be excommunicated... you may already be excommunicated in your heart and twisted faith. You are not a faithful Catholic.
@Atchison unfortunately, there are millions of unfaithful people like you who like to call yourself Catholic, but don't follow the teachings. Catholicism is a kingdom, with Christ as the King. It's not a democracy. Artificial contraception is a moral evil. You are NOT free to disagree and call yourself faithful. By your own admission, you are very unfaithful to Christ the King. You are "Catholic in name only", not in belief.
La di dah. Biology is so far beyond my education that it is "grade school stuff." Because I am a non-believer in religion does not make me a "nut job." See you. A Catholic I am not. A believer in any religion I AM NOT. You do not want to know me. I DO NOT CARE one whit about your beliefs, so let it go. Follow your own path, as I do mine. END OF DISCUSSION. Peace to you.
@naoma you were raised from a few cells to become where you are, although your views are not matured to truthfulness.
@naoma everyone's choices are theirs. We will allhave to answer for them someday. God's Catholic Church informs one's cons cience so hopefully one will know how to proceed with good, moral decisions.
@naoma you closed your mind to truth long ago... it's how you've ended up with such poor, untruthful ideas.
@mdkpubs @naoma End of discussion for me. A few cels are not a person -- you cannot RAISE them to be an adult. If a woman does not want to get pregnant there are pills, condoms, etc. If she gets pregnant she is legally entitled to have an abortion if she so chooses. It is the law -- now anyhow. How many women have you met who were raped and pregnant by their father? I have met a few and their choice to not bear the child was theirs alone.
@naoma your "knowledge" of science is poor. The baby is in the early stages of development. After conception, noyhing else is added to the human person, just development occurs with nutrition and oxygen. Even at a few cells, this is human life. The new human has a different set of DNA from the mother, so the two cannot be confused!!!