Voting with the Mind of Christ #6: What Are We Trying to Achieve?

Last week we looked at the core lie of the whole MAGA “prolife” argument: the claim that Trump is not only prolife, but The Most Prolife President in History.

Both claims, as we saw, are rank falsehoods. The claim that the GOP–which is 100% responsible for the establishment (with Roe) and entrenchment (with Casey) of our abortion regime–is “prolife” is one of the greatest frauds ever perpetrated on the American people and the outrageous lie that Trump is some kind of prolife hero is just that fraud on steroids.

To repeat: there is no prolife party. Stop living in the delusion that there is and start facing reality. To have a clear-eyed understanding of what is so, rather than constantly lying to oneself that your wishes are magically real is what the Tradition calls the virtue of Prudence. It is the foundation of all other virtues. If you live in the real world and not in cloud cuckoo land, you can address the real world and help change it for the better. if you live in cloud cuckoo land, you only go from bad to worse.

It is prudent to therefore ask what we hope to achieve with our vote. And to do that, we have to ask what our vote does.

A vote is like a bus ticket. Buses don’t take us door to door, they just get us reasonably close to our goal. When you vote, you are not choosing a representative who is going to line up with everything you want. As with the bus, you are going with somebody who will take you reasonably close to your destination. That’s life in the sausage factory of representative government. So the question is, between Trump and Biden, who gets us reasonably closer to the goal any Catholic should have: a society that reflects, more or less, the goals of Catholic Social Teaching?

The reflexive lie, for four decades, has been, “THE GOP! BECAUSE ABORTION!!!!” As we now know, that is a lie. The reason it is a lie is twofold.

One, the GOP does nothing about abortion but dangle a carrot.

Two, in virtually every other way, and emphatically with the rise of Trump, the GOP actively works–and mark this, has taught Catholics to work–to assault and undermine virtually the entirety of the rest of the Church’s social teaching while using the unborn as human shields to do it.

  1. In contrast, Biden’s goals and, as a general rule, the goals of the Dems comport with serving the common good. Not always (recall the bus analogy) but usually.
  2. To name just a few examples, it was Dem fiscal responsibility that created the boom in the 90s. Economic prosperity tends to drive abortion rates down, which is precisely what happened under Clinton, where America witnessed the steepest drop in abortion rates since Roe.
  3. Under Bush, in addition to launching an insane and stupid war that every bishop on planet Earth refused to bless and teaching conservative Catholics in America to root for unjust war, the GOP destroyed the economy while the party of torture’s Veep said, “Deficits don’t matter.”
  4. It was Dem fiscal responsibility under Obama that saved the American economy again after Bush 43 flew it into the ground in 2008.
  5. Dems sought the common good by attempting (over strenuous GOP obstructionism) to give us universal health care (something the bishops have literally demanded for a century).
  6. Gun violence? The GOP fights to maintain it, while the Dems call for gun reform. When kids are slaughtered at school, the GOP Gun Cult either says their parents had them killed at Sandy Hook in order to make the Gun Cult look bad, or it accuses the survivors of being crisis actors and put their faces on targets.
Trump Supporter Uses David Hogg's Head as Target Practice
  1. Climate change? Dems are trying to address it. The GOP still calls it a Chinese hoax. The Church, in Laudato Si, makes clear that she takes it very seriously. The Cult sneers at Francis for doing so.

Dems call for helping to feed hungry kids. The GOP cuts food to them. Feeding the hungry is a fundamental Christian duty.

Dems, for all their sins against refugees, at least never devised the cruelty of family separations. Meanwhile, the GOP in the very act of condemning Obama’s cages and deportations again makes clear that they know these things are evil–but do nothing about them. So why should I vote for them when their sole contribution is to compound the evils Obama did?

Dems created a pandemic response plan. Trump burned it to ashes and killed 185,000 Americans with his lies, incompetence, denial, and selfish stupidity.

Dems tend to prioritize education. The Cult of Trump valorizes stupidity, ignorance, and idiot conspiracy theories.

Dems promote responsible public health. The Cult promotes Alien DNA, reptilian conspiracy theories, and anti-vax idiocy.

Dems respect a free press. The Cult hates the free press.

Dems elected the first black president and clearly have the votes of POC who know they can work with them. The Cult of Trump is a transparently racist pack of weirdos whose leader says there are “very fine people” marching under the banner of the swastika.

At the end of the day, what the MAGA Cult loves about Trump is not that he does anything real about abortion. He doesn’t. What he does is exploit “prolife” butthurt, show up at their January rally and talk about himself, stab them in the back by raising PP funding, and raise abortion rates in sub-Saharan Africa by 40% while killing 185,000 Americans and demanding our children go back to their petri dish schools as human sacrifices to his glory. He can release a 50 point plan for the future that includes zero mention of abortion and they still cheer. Why? Because Trump hurts the right people. That is what they really love. They love the spite against the press. They love the misogynist insults. They love shooting BLM protesters. They love the fascist calls for violence. They love the kidnapping and cruelty to brown children. They love the self-pity and the fantasy that as their Cult inflicts all this pain on others, they are the Real Victims.

Here’s reality: all Trump had was an economic recovery and a Pandemic Response Plan that was handed to him by Obama/Biden. He took credit for the former and burned the latter to ashes, killing 185,000 of us. Then, as he has done with multiple of his businesses, he took the recovery he was handed by Dems and drove it straight into the ground. That is all this moron has to show for his three years. That and treason, normalizing cruelty, normalizing QANON, and normalizing the annihilation of truth.

Biden has long experience of work in government and record of competent work. Biden is respected by our allies and the world community, as well as his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. Trump is an illiterate who has no idea how government works beyond using it to enrich himself. Trump is a Putin puppet who has betrayed our troops to Russia-paid bounty hunters and made the US a pariah state in the global community which, with near total unanimity, has banned Americans from their soil.

Biden is, in a word, a smart, competent person with a lot of experience in government who will be able to start the titanic work of repairing the enormous damage the fool in the White House has done. And given that under Obama/Biden, abortion dropped to its lowest point, the notion that somehow he will supercharge abortion and make it extra superduper abortiony is simply rubbish. What he will do, what Dems always tend to do when in power, is reduce the economic pressures that increase demand for abortion. That is why abortion has always seen its most precipitous drops under Dems.

That conservative American Catholics have been so incredibly slow to look at the actual real world results of Dem rule and instead insist on deadly fantasies suggests that there is something deeply wrong with their catechesis and their understanding of the Faith and how it should engage the world.

Of which more next time.


43 Responses

  1. Mr. Shea,
    Thank you for your “Voting with the mind of Christ” posts, they are giving me a lot to think about. I am definitely of the mindset that abortion is the issue that decides who I vote for. I have always voted Republican because of this. I subscribe to the thinking that the right to life is the basis for all other rights: healthcare, education, environment, etc. If the very base can’t be respected, then the building collapses.

    Your posts make a lot of sense, but one thing I can’t get past is conscience rights. I see the Democrats as having no respect for consciences. We’ve seen this with O’Bama’s HHS mandate. I have emailed my senator and reps and I get responses explaining that abortion is healthcare, and we simply cannot deny healthcare to women, so clever how they package this. You have to argue that abortion is not healthcare, which for them is a settled matter. So if I want to have my own business I have to pay for this regardless of my convictions. So much for “pro-choice”.

    I see the Dems trampling all over consciences, and my vote for Trump simply is bolting and barricading the door, which I know is only buying time, delaying the inevitable. I see people being denied jobs, or fired as a friend of ours was from a major US auto manufacturer for showing non-compliance towards trans-gender propaganda being shoved down everyone’s throats there.

    I only see this kind of stuff gaining momentum under the Dems. So, no, I don’t think Trump is “all that”, but to me he’s all I can do to stop this zeitgeist.

    I’m totally confused, I don’t know what the heck to do. Honestly, though, because of what I’ve just explained, at this time I’m probably still going with Trump, but I am listening.

    God bless!

    1. Jesus says that we are not to fear him who can harm the body, but him who can destroy both body and soul in hell. That is you and me. His point is that the Church should fear seduction, not persecution. The claim that the state demanding a few nickels so it can provide contraceptives as being some kind of deal-breaker is absurd. The state takes our money and does all sorts of things that violate Catholic conscience. So did the state during Paul’s time, offering bread and circuses and the Games, as well as setting Christian on fire to light Nero’s Gardens and chopping off Paul’s head. Paul still said to pay your taxes because having a state was better than anarchy. Trump is already taking your money and funding PP with it. He’s also going to destroy Social Security, take money from the poor and give it to himself and his cronies, and use it for the evils we have discussed.

      The difference is that, because MAGA Christians have been thoroughly seduced, they applaud and enthusiastically support all these grave evil while using the unborn as human shields. In short, what the MAGA Cult has been taught to do is sear their consciences about nearly everything the Church teaches while having hyper-sensitive consciences about one minor bit of remote material cooperation with evil that is not even sinful. Letting the state take a few nickels taken from a paycheck so that somebody else can get contraception if they want it is no more a sin than buying Microsoft Word is a sin. (Bill Gates supports population control initiatives.) Everything you do in a global economy involves a certain amount of remote material cooperation with evil.

      The notion that Dems have “no respect for conscience” is just not true. Precisely the point of the Dem emphasis on choice is that they think people should be able to make their own decisions about things without the state overruling them. You can call that a lot of things, but “contempt for conscience” is not one of them.

      Meanwhile, the Trump Administration is laboring to suppress and destroy the most fundamental act of conscience any American can exercise in the civic sphere: the vote. Trump and the GOP are trying to destroy the electoral process, make voting by mail impossible, closing polling places in Democrat and minority areas, and working to interfere with our elections. They are the gravest domestic threat to our democracy since the Civil War. I beg you to see that.

      1. Thank you for your thoughtful reply. While you make good points, and as I said before, I am genuinely listening, I still have some hangups, some things I can’t get past with what you said. Is not the left trying to get Catholic hospitals to perform abortions? Or no, am I misinformed? Perhaps I am. This seems like quite a bit more than a few nickels out of someone’s paycheck for contraception. Weren’t there lawsuits needed to get this stopped? Why were lawsuits needed if consciences were being respected? I often think of the mantra, “If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one”, while at the same time these people aren’t content to let you go your way, and I’ll go mine. You MUST participate.

        I don’t see how voting Dem doesn’t strengthen this kind of thing.

    2. @tom

      “I see the Dems trampling all over consciences.“

      I can’t tell whether you’re actually getting the point, or not getting the point with that statement. I’ll go onto my favorite topic: the treatment of gay people and religious straight people.

      Exactly when did your right to conscience become the right to supersede the civil law that governs all of us? There are at least three places in the New Testament, and two places in the Old Testament, where in the word of God says obey the civil authorities. I’m not sure where the word of God says listen to your conscience before you listen to anything else. The right to conscience according to the modern Christian cult of hypocrisy, says that they don’t have to obey the civil laws that govern all of us. Not if they don’t wanna. Jesus says right there in the New Testament: “I didn’t die so that you would have to bake cakes for Homo’s.”

      During the marriage wars, liberal ChristianS said they had absolutely no problem marrying gay people in their churches. In fact they wanted to, because their consciences said that it was the right thing to do. They didn’t do it despite what their Bible said, they did it because of what their Bible said – to them! Let me repeat that: They didn’t do it despite what their Bible said, they did it because of what their Bible said – to them! What did conservative Christians do? They certainly did not respect the right of conscience of liberal Christians, the right of conscience of gay people who wanted to get married, or the right of conscience of anybody – except their own, of course.

      And that is exactly what you were doing when you insist that your “right of conscience” about abortion supersedes the right of conscience of anyone else. As Mark says, always, accusation is projection, accusation is confession. The only right of conscience you care about is the exercise of your own.

      Not to put too fine a point on it, but you and your thinking is exactly what Mark is talking about in the series of articles. You were so blinded by this dangling carrot that somehow, a guy who pays off porn stars he was raw dogging while his third wife was pregnant with his fifth child represents the voice of morality. This is a man who will never tell the truth of a lie will do. This is a man who has all but destroyed our country; there is a great deal of evidence that he has sold out our country to the Russians, our declared enemies for the past hundred years or so, but especially, since the end of World War II. The Republican party Refused to hear witnesses and refused to hear evidence that his impeachment trial; the fact that the evidence wasn’t presented is your out for ignoring the evidence that was. There are 190,000 dead people because he called the worst pandemic in 100 years a Chinese hoax, or a democratic hoax.

      And this is the man in the party in whom you were placing your hope that abortion will somehow be outlawed? Not to put too fine a point on it, but you are so blinded by your own self assigned superiority and self assigned holiness and self assigned morality that you simply cannot see what is apparent to anybody who has any basis at all in reality.

      Roe versus Wade happened nearly 50 years ago. For nearly that entire time, the Republican party has accrued mountains of power, mountains of money, and mountains of religious dominion while promising to do something about abortion. And yet, as Mark has pointed out, abortion falls in democratic regimes and rises in republican regimes. Funding for abortion it’s been raised repeatedly during Republican regimes. And yet, you were desperate to pretend that they are your only hope in stopping abortion.

      Someone no longer important to modern Christianity had a great deal to say about this, starting with “there are none so blind as those who will not see.” It’s not in the New Testament, it’s in Jeremiah, but since God wrote the Bible, it doesn’t really matter.

      The most deluded people – and when it comes to this particular argument, the most immoral people – are those who refuse to see what they already know. Is that you?

      1. bensenwlogin,

        Come on, man, can we just be civil? Can you talk to me like we were having a beer together?

        “Christian Cult of hypocrisy”

        “…but you are so blinded by your own self assigned superiority”

        “The most deluded people – and when it comes to this particular argument, the most immoral people”

        Dude, my questions to Mark are genuine, I am truly wrestling with my position. Your condescending response didn’t help at all.

        I’ll stick with Mark, bro, but thanks! 👍

      2. @ Tom

        I was being civil . I was also being blunt.

        “The Christian cult of hypocrisy”: I don’t think that all Christians are that way, or perhaps even a majority of them. But the Christian cult of hypocrisy is exactly what Mark has been writing about. And in far less complementary terms than me.

        “Blinded by your own self assigned superiority“: What Conclusion would you draw from what you wrote? Most of your postings, at least to my mind, drip moral superiority. How else could you look at a man like trump, and decide that his position on abortion is the one you want to follow, despite everything else about him.

        That is where my comment about the “most deluded people” comes from: if you Google the phrase “there are none so blind as those who will not see” and read a bit of the commentary on that subject, deluded is exactly the word that I would apply. Trump is perhaps the most Immoral person ever to occupy the oval office. I don’t say this because I’m a Democrat and hate all Republicans, or because I am some kind of a leftist, whatever that is, and hate everybody to my right. I said because I can see it every day. You even mention some of the things, as does Mark, but in far greater detail.

        Marks point is what stands here. You are willing to overlook a man who lies on a daily basis, who accepts no responsibility, who claims that he needs no forgiveness, who wouldn’t know a Bible verse if it bit him on his ample posterior, who raw dogS porn star while his third wife was pregnant with his fifth child, who claims he didn’t know Jeffrey Epstein when theRe were pictures of them together, who lusted after a 15-year-old girl Who is the daughter of his chief thug/enforcers/Lawyer, who Committed adultery by doing so, Who is committing adultery all of the time anyway Virtue of his marriages and divorces, at least according to the Catholic theology I know, who publicly bragged about his sexual assaults, whose lack of leadership has led to the death of 190,000 Americans…

        And on and on and on and on and on…

        But you want to continue to vote for him because he’s against abortion, or so he says, or so evangelical and Catholic politicians/Lawyers/priests say. And then you want to whine about me not being civil enough for you. Civil I may not always be, but civilized I definitely am.

        You are, to my mind, exactly what Mark has been writing about. As for this imaginary moral superiority that I am calling you out for, this is what I see over and over and over again from the religious right. Everybody else’s lives need to be managed, it but nothing needs to be managed in the way of people who are seeking power, money, and dominion over the lives of their fellow citizens.

      3. Long before the Special Counsel it was obvious Russia had infiltrated the Trump campaign, when Paul Manafort became campaign chair and the GOP changed its platform to to be softer toward Russia.

        For those who had never heard of Paul Manafort it was obvious Trump is Putin’s useful idiot when in Helsinki Trump defended the Russian dictator against the US intelligence community’s charge that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election. It was so shocking I naively thought at that point Trump’s supporters would abandon him, but there is no bottom, and they won’t abandon him no matter what he says or does. They are a fascist cult that must be defeated.

    3. Somebody raised the point of getting Catholic hospitals to perform abortions on a previous comment thread. The reply to that said more ore less the the following:

      The US is peculiar in the way it provides abortion services. Unlike most developed countries, instead of using hospitals, we have dedicated abortion clinics.

      This means that people in the US don’t go to a hospital, let alone a Catholic one, to get an elective abortion procedure done. This also means that when we’re talking about abortions being done in hospitals, we’re talking about emergency situations, where the woman’s life is in peril.

      So what the Catholic hospitals are really advocating for in practical terms, is for letting women die. But I guess saying its about “religious freedom” makes for a better euphemism.

      I believe what they do now is basically kick the can down the road, meaning that whenever there is a complication which might require an abortion to save the woman’s life, they just transfer her to another facility. And it doesn’t take an expert to know that this is going to get women killed, if it hasn’t already.

      1. “So what the Catholic hospitals are really advocating for in practical terms, is for letting women die. But I guess saying its about “religious freedom” makes for a better euphemism.”

        This is simply not true. Catholic hospitals do on advocate for letting women die, practically or otherwise. Don’t forget, there are two women there, the pregnant mom, and the child. Catholic hospitals respect the dignity of all people regardless of size, location, or age. How about let’s try to save them both? And don’t shoot back at me ectopic pregnancies or cancerous wombs, there are procedures for these that save the life of the mother while not directly killing the child. Look it up, but try to branch out from your favorite echo chamber sources.

        Also, regarding the quote of yours above, here we go again with the snark that is rampant in these comboxes. This is just all too typical on the internet, no one can have a conversation in a tone that respects the other person, as if they were sitting across the table sipping a beer with you. It’s let’s pull that sling shot as far back as we can so that stone hits as hard as it can. Sure, my response to you above is in that same tone, but think of it as a mirror.

        Pure poison here guys, congratulations.

      2. @Tom

        >This is simply not true. Catholic hospitals do on advocate for letting women die, practically or otherwise. Don’t forget, there are two women there, the pregnant mom, and the child

        One of the difficulties here is the fundamental mindset that sees everything in black and white. They see medicine and medical science the same way. Nothing is black and white in real life. Especially in medicine, and more so in complicated situations like where the life of mother and child is at stake. There is a reason hospitals will make you sign a 10 page disclosure and consent before undergoing *any* procedure. Its all a calculated risk. Nothing is ever certain.

        >there are procedures for these that save the life of the mother while not directly killing the child.
        Yes. And all of them have risk of varying outcomes.

        Chose to save the mother? Risky for mother and child.
        Chose to save the child? Risky for mother and child.
        Chose to save both? Risky for mother and child.

        The question is, who decides which risk is worth taking?

        On that the Republicans are clear. The mother does not get to say.

      3. @ Tom Martin

        You wrote:

        This is simply not true. Catholic hospitals do on advocate for letting women die, practically or otherwise.

        Catholic hospitals may not “advocate for letting women die,” but they will not perform an abortion to save a woman’s life. Consequently both woman and baby may die when the woman could have been saved. It’s perhaps the most hideous expression of women’s second-class humanity in the Church, that and the position that a woman should bear her rapist’s child.


      1. Hi Ben,
        Regarding your “submit to the civil authorities” point and whether this goes beyond “the state can justly prevent individuals from physically killing each other” to “the state can conscript individuals to kill others even when those individuals find it repugnant”, could you please answer my point from the previous thread about “Schindler’s List” and “The Hiding Place”? Did you boo loudly throughout the film, and if not, why not?
        Have your Scriptural studies gotten as far as the Egyptian midwives and have your US history lessons gotten as far as the Fugitive Slave Clause?
        Please, no red herrings about “You know what else was caused by letting individuals choose which customers they served? Jim Crow segregation, that’s what.” I’m talking about the law compelling individuals to actively participate in a homicide, even one that there might be good reasons for society to permit (eg, a doctor supervising Eichmann’s execution).
        I’m genuinely interested in how someone who clearly knows a bit more about the Bible than the usual “President Bartlett’s AWESOME speech totally PWNS the fundos!!!!!!” would fit these datums into a moral framework like yours.

      2. Oh, well. One day I’ll find a Pro Choicer who’s willing to have their comforting beliefs interrogated.
        I remain genuinely curious as to how people whom I agree with on 90% of public policy questions end up rationalising “I have the right to exercise the rights I favour [“reproductive choice”, without scare quotes] even if a baby dies, but the rights you favour [“religious freedom”, always with the scare quotes] do not extend to harming other people, and for present purposes ‘harming’ includes ‘subjecting them to inconvenience, delays or hurt feelings’,” on any basis other than “that’s the political coalition we’ve ended up with”.
        (“#10. I wish people would make up their minds about when it’s noble to violate the laws which one thinks are immoral and unjust” – Rabbi Josh Yuter,
        But then, 110 years ago a distressing number of progressive folks decided that eugenics was the way of the future. 80 years ago an alarming proportion of liberal thinkers decided that criticising the Soviet Union was a plot to hinder the liberation of humankind. So the lesson is, herdthink plus simple slogans plus moral preening plus “You can’t possibly mean troglodytes like THAT are right for once!” can easily send even well-meaning, smart people down moral blind alleys.

      3. @ tom r

        The reason no one wants to “talk” to you Is because you make statements Like “ an alarming proportion of liberal thinkers decided that criticising the Soviet Union was a plot to hinder the liberation of humankind. ”

      4. Oh, right. I see why a fake news statement like that would leave you so literally shaking so that you just can’t even.
        Well, absent any attempt at refutation I’ll continue with my priors confirmed believing that “pro-choice” [sic] people like you are utter hypocrites with all your pious sermons about “Obey ye the civil magistrate”; that if we were talking about an illegal abortionist operating in 1965 you’d be all misty-eyed about his brave defiance of Caesar’s unjust decrees; and that your real motive is not “let’s try to minimise both the number dead babies, and the number of people who get hauled before courts” but instead “The government must fund people doing the things that I, Ben, personally find congenial, and lock away the people who oppose the things that I, Ben, personally find uncongenial.”
        Just guessing, you were born in 1991 or 1992, right? You have no memory of what actual left-wingers were like before 1989?

      5. You’re not a nice person. You seem to be reasonably intelligent, but like a certain other person whom I’m starting to think you may actually be, unless you just went to the same school as him, you’re still not a nice person. And no, the answer is I am 70. I grew up in the 50s and 60s, and was well acquainted with the number of far left radicals in the 60s and 70s. I just know the difference between a far left radical, and someone who is slightly to the left of atilla the hun..

        Apparently you don’t.

      6. “You want to make a woman bear her rapist’s baby? That’s the worst I’ve ever heard!”
        “Okay, then. How about an exemption for pregnancies caused by rape or statutory rape. That leaves ‘compulsory pregnancy’, as you call it, only for women who’ve consented to have sex. You know, the same way that men who consent to have sex [which would be 95%+ of men who have sex with women] have to accept the risk of pregnancy.”
        “What? You want to punish women for having sex!”
        “Well, that’s true only if you’re in turn ‘punishing’ men for hav-”
        “You want to punish women, with babies, for deciding to have sex?! That’s the worst I’ve ever heard!”
        “Fine, then. No rape exemption.”
        “What? No exemption, even for rape? You want to make a woman bear her rapist’s baby? That’s the worst I’ve ever heard!”
        Rinse and repeat.
        Lesson: With “pro-choicers”, the pea is never, ever under the thimble you pick.

    1. I was going to comment on that, Andy. But I didn’t want to look up whether this was the guy that Mark was writing about a few days ago. Basically, he’s violating the law.

      So where is his bishop? Where are the people responsible for keeping the church out of Partisan politics?

      Altman standing squarely on the side of scism, in my opinion. But I’m an atheist, so what do I know? However, A friend of mine, a former seminarian, thinks that the church is already in schism, but one side doesn’t want to announce it, and the other side doesn’t want to admit to it. I’ll leave you to guess which one is which.

      1. I agree he is violating church “law” and civil law, as I understand them. I gave no idea where his bishop is but than where us Father Pavone’s bishop? Unfortunately, I am beginning to doubt that at least in the US, far too many bishops have forgotten that they are supposed to minister to all; to see the value of all people.
        I think your friend is right parts of the church are running towards schism and confusing the word of God with the word of the GOP.

      2. @andy

        God’s Own Party. Personally, i liked religion a lot more before it became a political party. And i liked the Republican party a lot more before it became a religion.

      3. @ JJ

        Ya want dissonance? I got dissonance!

        I was commenting over at Steel Magnificat. Mary had written a column on the conning of conservatives and Christians by the anti-abortion movement. I echoed what Mark had written, bringing in his citation of that damning Heritage foundation report.

        She wrote: “that was lind of my point.”

        I responded: “ It was exactly your point.😘😘😘😘 And though i am an atheist, god bless you for it.”

        I meant exactly what i said. I can respect religious people, even if i don’t share theIr beliefs, if they are about faith, not despite, power and money. I can respect the pro-life position, even if i am pro-choice, when it is actually principled. But as mark has pointed out…

        Well, you know what he has pointed out.

    2. Fr. Altman appears quite troubled. Shining a spotlight on him, which Strickland has done through his support, will cause him to unravel no doubt.

      1. His public unraveling will cause I am afraid untold harm to many people. The bishop should know better, both as a person and a shepherd.

      2. From what I watched, I can only conclude that Bishop Strickland likes to appear in videos where the American Flag is more common than the cross.

      3. You’re charitable to call Fr. Altman “troubled.” Maybe he’s just a racist, a xenophobe, and a neo-fascist, like so many of the president’s admirers.

        Of course this is the sort of thing that raises the chorus of “Tax the churches!”

        Also, this:

        Here’s the thing. I don’t love anybody in Borneo, cause I don’t know anyone in Borneo, so I don’t get up in the morning with any particular inclination or inspiration to serve anyone in Borneo.”

        Maybe I’ve misunderstood the Gospel of Jesus Christ all these years, but I thought Christians were commanded to love their neighbor in Borneo as themselves.

      4. @ neko

        Well, borneo is a long way from here. But it was a good catch. I couldnt listen to the tape, though i was aware of it, as i said to andy.

        But it emphasizes something I have long maintained: a good deal of conservative religion is in fact tribalism. My tribe is good, and your tribe is not. I will take care of my tribe, but I would damn your tribe

      5. @ bensnewlogin

        Haha yes Borneo is way over there. But that’s the radicality of Christianity, is it not? The Christian believes, or should believe, that guy in Borneo is a child of God whose life has no less value that their own and who is due the same consideration they would want for themselves. It’s counterintuitive, since, as you say, humans are tribal animals.

        Speaking of tribalism, you should read the comments under that video. Yikes.

      6. “Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.” – St. Mother Theresa. I think MT would agree with you! 🙂

    3. So what happens to the soul of a former not-so-faithful Catholic Obama voter once he or she leaves the diocese of Tyler? Just a few miles out of Texarkana and his or her faithfulness is retroactively restored? Magic!

    4. I agree Andy. Bishop Strickland is irresponsible on many levels in posting this video, and cruel to this troubled priest.

  2. @ Neko. Troubled, as in probably another a self loathing closeted gay man hiding in the priesthood, while the soul twists into a hate machine. My guess is that the bishop is as well. Snarling piety.

    1. And Neko, I agree, the Catholic Church, in its present state, should be taxed – in five year increments, until the USCCB is able to reform itself and reform or remove overtly political bishops and priests.

    2. @ linda

      Please dont call him a gay man. Possibly homosexual, possibly same sex attracted, but not a gay man. WE DON’T WANT HIM. There are far too many of this type Making therest of us look bad, if this is true.

      I do like the Phrase “snarling piety.” Very Torquemada.

      1. I know Ben. I’m focusing more on the self loathing part and the dissonance. The best priests I know are gay -self accepting, celibate, and loving.

Leave a Reply

Follow Mark on Twitter and Facebook

Get updates by email