In Case Anyone is Wondering . . .

Neither Romney nor Obama are in any way defenders of the Church or even the common good.

Romney pretends to care about unborn babies but then immediately turns around and brags about supporting contraception and abortion in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life may be threatened. Because women must have “options” when it comes to whether or not they can kill their unborn children. Romney has also made it very clear that there exists absolutely zero abortion legislation that he would consider making a part of his agenda. Also, during the last presidential debate, instead of calling Obama out on violations to religious liberties Romney instead vouched for employing the exact same kind of class warfare, war against women rhetoric that Obama himself has used in support of infringements against religious liberties, stating: “I don’t believe employers should tell someone whether they could have contraceptive care or not. Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives.” Employers shouldn’t force people to buy or not buy contraceptives. But that’s not what the HHS Mandate is about and that is not what was being discussed before Romney threw this red herring out to distract from the real issue of religious liberties and freedom of conscience.

Obama on the other hand, is hell bent on forcing anyone who disagrees with him to do things that they find morally repugnant or pay astronomical, prohibitionary fines if they don’t. Obama has even explicitly stated that the HHS Mandate which provides “free” contraceptives as well as sterilization and abortifacients at the expense of people morally opposed to such practices is “why we passed this law.” The Evangelical family that owns Hobby Lobby is suing over the HHS Mandate and, as a result of their defiance, the Oklahoma outfit faces fines of $1.3 million a day simply because they do not want to pay and provide for a practice that is irreconcilable with their religious beliefs and code of ethics.

At the end of the day, the sad truth is that no matter how much either candidate talks about how they care about children, or women, or the poor their actions instead suggest that all either candidate really cares about is himself and how to expand his own power. Anyone who gets in the way of that can expect to be trampled.


Turns Out Romney Isn’t the Only One Who Lies

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops responds to an “inaccurate statement of fact on HHS Mandate made during Vice Presidential Debate”:

Last night, the following statement was made during the Vice Presidential debate regarding the decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to force virtually all employers to include sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion, in the health insurance coverage they provide their employees:

“With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.”

This is not a fact. The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain “religious employers.” That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to “Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital,” or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.

HHS has proposed an additional “accommodation” for religious organizations like these, which HHS itself describes as “non-exempt.” That proposal does not even potentially relieve these organizations from the obligation “to pay for contraception” and “to be a vehicle to get contraception.” They will have to serve as a vehicle, because they will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage, and that coverage will still have to include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. They will have to pay for these things, because the premiums that the organizations (and their employees) are required to pay will still be applied, along with other funds, to cover the cost of these drugs and surgeries.

Andrew Sullivan Exemplifies the Two-Party Trap

Andrew Sullivan comments on Romney’s unprecedented swing after the first presidential election. Sullivan spends the first several paragraphs enviously describing just how much of a Big Deal this is for Romney: Before the debate, Obama had a 51 – 43 lead; now, Romney has a 49 – 45 lead but even more shocking to Sullivan is that Obama lost 18 points among women voters overnight.

Yet, what Sullivan studiously avoids saying is that Romney won the debate. The debate led to a massive turnaround for Romney that Sullivan himself labels “unprecedented” but Romney did not win the debate. That would imply legitimacy to Romney’s lead and suggest that he may actually be the better candidate – at least in the eyes of everyone who watched the debate.

Instead of deriving a conclusion based on the facts, Sullivan resorts to an emotional reaction, stating: “Lies work when they are unrebutted live on stage.” Romney cheated and Obama is the victim. Nevermind that Sullivan can never tell us what, exactly, it is that Romney lied about. Even after Sullivan mourns at length over Obama’s arrogance and incompetence he still manages to overcome the cognitive dissonance to end with a rally cry to overcome the “lies and propaganda”, to fight the “extremism” of Romney, and to support Obama’s “reality-based government.” In one paragraph Obama is an arrogant, incompetent president who will never give his supporters the kind of leadership that they deserve but in the next he is our only savior, our only hope, our shining light.

And that just about perfectly sums up the two-party trap. Your candidate simply is not fit to lead anyone, much less a nation, but it does not matter because the other candidate is worse (hint: the other candidate is always worse). So you’d better knuckle under in the one case of national crisis because if you don’t vote for “your” candidate, if you vote third-party or not at all, you’re actually voting for the other guy – you monster. The trap, of course, is that the temporary crisis is never temporary and as we are suckered into voting the lesser evil into office every election cycle our “lesser evils” just keep getting worse and worse.

The polarizing divide and conquer tactics used today, however, are not new. In the 1800 election Jefferson was accused of being the anti-christ and his opponents claimed that if he were elected our children would be coerced into singing heretical hymns out of fear, everyone’s Bible’s would be burned and America’s wives and daughters would be made the victims of legal prostitution. Citizens buried their Bibles or hid them in wells out of fear that Jefferson would send in troops to confiscate them. That never happened. Today, we must vote Romney because “the Catholic Faith hangs in the balance” as one friend of mine put it.

Andrew Sullivan is probably right though: Romney probably did lie. He has a long history of lying and duplicity. Of course, so does Obama who broke almost every campaign promise that he made four years ago. One of his greatest draws four years ago was his proposed foreign policy: to close Guantanamo Bay, end our wars abroad and bring our troops home. In fact, he did the opposite, doubling down on Bush’s failed policies. We’ve even gone from unconstitutional wiretappings under Bush to unconstitutional assassinations under Obama. So, as far as I’m concerned, whether or not Romney lied in the debates is of little consequence. First, because both Romney and Obama are established liars anyway and, second, Obama did nothing to refute the supposed lies as Sullivan himself admits.

I think that the reason that Sullivan has such a hard time coming to grips with Romney’s comeback is that he has swallowed the media narrative that paints the left and right parties as diametrically opposed forces with one as savior and the other as brainless idiots who will doom us all. In fact,once you depart from the rhetoric, Obama and Romney are nearly identical.

Sullivan laments that if Romney is elected then “We’re back to Bush-Cheney, but more extreme.” But isn’t that exactly what Obama has done as I mentioned above? It is this blind party loyalty that allows Sullivan to call Obama arrogant, incompetent and self-destructive in one sentence and then praise him as America’s only hope against (apparently supremely evil) Romney the next.

Here’s a news flash: both candidates are liars and opportunists who agree more than they disagree and, because they’re supposed to serve us, we should always be very critical of them, demand more from both candidates and refrain from supporting either until they shape up, if ever. To support terrible candidates simply because you are afraid of how much worse the other one might be serves only to further the corruption of our political system. We’re simply digging a bigger hole for ourselves.

Oh, also, lets call a spade a spade. I may not like Romney but he hands-down won the debate. Any disinterested observer can see that clear as day.

That Awkward Moment . . . When You Realize That the Cardinal Dolan Meme Does not Apply Only to the Other Guy

In response to Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s closing prayers at the Democrat and Republican National Conventions the following viral  image is making the rounds on facebook:

Now, since Cardinal Dolan said the closing prayer for both conventions and the above image does not specify which one that it is talking about interpretation is left to the viewer and, because most of my friends are conservative Catholics, everyone I know has interpreted it as directed towards the Democrats. And they are right; After all, Cardinal Dolan’s closing prayer at the DNC included the following

“Thus do we praise you for the gift of life. Grant us the courage to defend it, life, without which no other rights are secure. We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected.”

However, what many conservative Catholics don’t seem to consider is that this meme applies to the Republican party as well. When Cardinal Dolan prayed, “We ask for the grace to stand in solidarity with all those who suffer. May we strive to include your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, in the production and prosperity of a people so richly blessed.” He denounced Romney’s long history of acting on political expedience and leaving the disenfranchised out in the cold while helping the rich and powerful first just as much as he denounced Obama’s pro-abortion platform.

Catholic Republicans would do well to remember that the Democratic Party is not the root of all evil and that the Republican Party is not without blemish. Cardinal Dolan is not secretly on Romney and Ryan’s side or the side of the GOP. He is very publicly on the side of the Catholic Church and as Catholics we are called to follow our Cardinal’s example and do the same.

Cardinal Dolan is not a partisan Catholic who is “taking one for the team” in order to stick it to the Democrats. He is not trying to “beat Obama at all costs” like many Republican Catholics have demanded that I do without even stopping to consider what those costs might be. He is a non-partisan Catholic who stands up for life, liberty and virtue despite both parties’ rejection of all three in their own particular way. Cardinal Dolan sets an excellent example of being in the world of politics but not of it and it is an example that we as lay Catholics are called to follow.

NBC Wouldn’t Show Cardinal Dolan’s Closing Prayer at the DNC so I Will

Also, here is Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s closing prayer at the RNC:

We don’t need partisan Catholics who “take one for the team” or who concern themselves with furthering the “good of the party.” What we do need are non-partisan Catholics who can stand up for life, liberty and virtue without getting sucked into party special interests. Cardinal Dolan sets an excellent example of being in the world of politics but not of it.

The Scripted “Democracy” of the RNC

Video evidence that the RNC completely scripted their proceedings in order to ignore the hundreds of delegates who opposed Mitt Romney:

Ron Paul activist Mat Larson presents a non-comprehensive list of allegations being levied against the RNC:

And then of course there’s this piece from the New York Times:

“Delegates from Nevada tried to nominate Mr. Paul from the floor, submitting petitions from their own state as well as Minnesota, Maine, Iowa, Oregon, Alaska and the Virgin Islands. That should have done the trick: Rules require signatures from just five states. But the party changed the rules on the spot. Henceforth, delegates must gather petitions from eight states.”

Ron Paul probably did not have the popular support necessary to make him the official Republican candidate for President. He did, however, undoubtedly have the support necessary to be nominated. Our democratic principles demand a democratic process. They demand that every voice that speaks up be acknowledged and counted. Ron Paul deserved his shot at candidacy even if it was a futile one. More importantly, the American people deserve it: it is their due that all choices be given their due chance to be heard. Instead, the RNC, by deciding on the outcome beforehand and then changing the rules on the spot in order to ignore the opposition, has decided that it has the right to decide which choices we are allowed to pick from: if you don’t like Obama then you have to choose Romney; if you don’t like either, too bad. In effect, the GOP party leaders has made our choices for us.

In short, the GOP has abandoned all principle and instead has opted to operate solely on the tactics of political expedience and winning at all costs – including at the cost of their moral character and our liberty. I cannot in good conscience support any party that throws out principle so as to have a better chance of winning. That does not even represent the lesser of two evils: its just evil.

This is the state of our democracy; this is our inheritance. Our political establishment has lost its way. Its now up to those outside of the establishment to fight for the cause of liberty and virtue: the weak, the disenfranchised and, most especially, the young.

And America’s youth support Ron Paul: