Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Extremely Weird Twit Network

Posted by Charles II on March 29, 2009

Added: ChartDoes the political party in power affect the incidence of abortion? (from 1973-1977, a moderate Republican was in the White House, liberal Democrats controlled the House, and the Senate was split between Dixiecrats, liberals Democrats, and Republicans. I have left it uncolored. Otherwise blue and red are in rough proportion to the control of government by the parties.).

Most of the time, EWTN is elderly nuns in support hose or sour priests who look like they’re still drying out. But at least they’re engaged in something recognizably Christian. There’s some nice liturgical music, and occasionally a treat like an Irish family of musicians.

And then there’s Raymond Arroyo’s Worldover, which is when EWTN becomes the Extremely Weird Twit Network.

Today the topic was Obama’s speech at Notre Dame, which Arroyo discussed with alum William Dempsey. “Project Sycamore ” (sorry, no direct link: their server exceeded bandwidth) says “We wish to express our astonished dismay at, and deep disappointment in, the decision to invite President Barack Obama to deliver this year’s Commencement Address and to confer upon him an honorary degree.” You can see their statement here.

EWTN host Raymond Arroyo actually called Barack Obama “the [Catholic] Church’s greatest enemy.”

This is the comment I posted on Catholic.org, not that I expect their censors will allow it to be posted:

I heard this discussed on EWTN, and thought that this was hypocritical and destructive to the image of the Catholic Church. In direct contradiction to Paul’s clear statement that we contend with powers and principalities, host Raymond Arroyo labeled President Obama “The Church’s greatest enemy.”

Excuse me? Arroyo is saying that Obama is Lucifer? Exactly how nutty does the conversation get before people say, “Well, maybe this is going a little far”?

Furthermore, one has to ask how this campaign to embarass Notre Dame fits the Culture of Life. Is a president who kills hundreds of thousands of innocents in Iraq someone who loves life? Or, if abortion is the only issue in the Culture of Life that matters, did the abortion rate drop significantly under conservative rule?

Let us return to humility and confess that no political ideology fulfills the directives of Christ, that all political leaders are equal with us, sinners in the eyes of the Lord. And let us admit that the culture wars have led to no progress in reducing the numbers of abortions, that to accomplish that requires changing hearts rather than laws.

Update: Credit where credit is due. Catholic.org did not censor my comment. It remains the only contrary voice on that board.

21 Responses to “Extremely Weird Twit Network”

  1. And now Cardinal DiNardo — almost certainly on the orders of Opus Dei’s favorite pope puppet, Joseph Ratzinger — has joined the fray. This is designed to make it impossible for any other American churchman to defend Notre Dame.

    Peterr over at FDL thinks this is aimed more at purifying the American Catholic Church and its institutions of icky modernism (even, or perhaps especially, if it means ruining them as actual institutions of higher learning) more than it is at Obama — he just happens to be the handy pretext.

  2. Charles II said

    I think the result will be purifying the Catholic Church of its “icky” parishioners who, like Americans in the population at large, mostly ignore the Church on reproductive matters, unless the Church gets in their face, in which case they leave.

    BTW, I like the take of FDL’s commenter “ratfood:” The Vatican just needs a really good PR man to get out front on these things. Somebody like Michael Steele to usher in the era of hip-hop Catholicism.

  3. Why does the Roman church have any credibility in the absence of scriptural support in the New Testament for a prohibition of abortion? Then they go and misinterpret the Old Testament in spite of the fact that in the absence of Ruach, there is no calling a foetus a person.

  4. Charles said

    Yeah, the Church has waffled on exactly when the spirit enters the body. Traditionally, it was defined at “quickening,” though there’s no particular reason to choose that time. Roe v. Wade respects Catholic tradition more than the hierarchy does.

    But in the culture wars, abortion has never, ever been the issue. It has always been a proxy for contraception, which is what the fight is really about.

  5. And what scriptural support do they claim against contraception?

  6. Ruach, by the way, occurs only with breath.

    No breath, no independent life.

  7. MEC said

    “And what scriptural support do they claim against contraception?”

    The Catholic Church, at least during my lifetime, has not relied on “scriptural support”. It relies on its own authority.

    Charles is partly right; this isn’t about abortion, it’s about contraception. I say partly right because it isn’t really about contraception, it’s about the status of women, which the Church has consistently undermined.

  8. Charles II said

    Interesting point about ruach, Mahakal, but the Catholic Church has never based its directives about abortion on anything recognizably scriptural. Rather, there has been a debate based on two primary issues: is abortion being used to conceal sexual sin? And does abortion occur before or after the ensoulment of the fetus? [Added: Here’s a seemingly well-researched conservative exposition claiming that the Church has always been consistent in holding that abortion is a grave sin. Their argument sounds to me sort of like the claim that possession of marijuana has always been held to be a grave crime, because we either punish it with 30 years in prison or a $25 ticket. YMMV, but it’s worth reading to understand the intellectual and historical grounds from which this debate has emerged.]

    I do think that there are good reasons to seek to reduce or, if possible, to eliminate abortion. It does diminish a society’s sense of the sacredness of life, it consumes medical resources, and it is psychologically difficult for both the staff and the patient. So, certainly Christians would want to oppose abortion… but not in the cruel and indifferent manner that the Church has chosen to do.

    Instead, they would oppose it by making it unnecessary. The true Culture of Life means making every person feel welcome in this world. If that were the case, there wouldn’t be so many Catholic girls looking for love in all the wrong places, so many young Catholic wives becoming pregnant not because they want a child but because the Church forbade them contraception, so many older Catholic women who cannot afford another child.

  9. Charles: Yupper. What gives the game away here is their objections to effective prevention of conception. If they really wanted to stop abortions, they’d be all for handing out condoms and RU-486.

  10. Charles, I find no support for your position that Christians should oppose abortion. That isn’t to say that you cannot do so, as an individual, as anyone is entitled to an opinion but it isn’t based on any Christian principle.

    The Roman church is a fraud, clearly.

  11. MEC,

    What do you think? Should we end the Roman church?

  12. Charles II said

    Well, Mahakal, to me, it’s pretty obviously a corollary of “Do unto others…,” but since you can’t see why Christian principles would seek to help people avoid unwanted pregnancies, it’s probably not worth discussing further.

  13. Charles, I certainly think that Christian principles would seek to help people avoid unwanted pregnancies.

    I don’t think that they would seek to prohibit a woman from having an abortion.

  14. The whole problem here is presumed inequality of women.

    God exists within each of us as ourselves, we are all male and female. God is all of us, and we are all God.

    The Roman church is the foundation of the rape culture.

  15. Charles II said

    Nowhere in what I have written will you find any hint of wanting to prohibit abortion, Mahakal. Oppose, yes. I also oppose ignorance, arrogance, hominy grits, and many other things that it would make no sense to prohibit.

  16. Charles, who are you to oppose abortion, though? Oppose in what sense? As in, you don’t think you should have one?

    Well, it’s kind of academic, but don’t have one then.

  17. Charles II said

    So, the way to stop ignorance is for me to educate myself?

    What about… teaching others?

  18. You can be ignorant, and educate yourself, and educate others.

    You cannot be pregnant, however. There’s nothing you need to decide about abortion for yourself, and it’s not your decision for anyone else.

  19. Charles II said

    I’m giving you the last word on this, Mahakal.

  20. Namasté, Charles.

  21. Charles II said

    Igualmente, Mahakal.

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