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#265428 11/29/07 11:05 PM
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Slava Isusu Khrystu!

I am wondering if any of the good members of the Byzantine Forum would know what Senator Obama's position is regarding Pro-Life? Any information will be helpful!

John Doucette

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John Doucette,

His voting record speaks for itself, he is not pro-life.

Terry

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Originally Posted by Terry Bohannon
His voting record speaks for itself, he is not pro-life.

I would partially disagree with that statement. He is pro-abortion. But, he is also in favor of many helpful programs for people once they are born.

The issue comes down to how one defines "pro-life."

If "pro-life" is defined only or mostly as being anti-abortion, Mr. Obama would not be "pro-life."

However, if being pro-life includes caring for human beings after the third trimester, I think Mr. Obama is partially pro-life.

In other words, he is pro-abortion on demand, and that is obviously disrespectful of human life; and that is morally wrong.

On the other hand, he supports a lot of social measures and programs to help people once they are born. The most obvious ones that come my mind are universal health care and better educational opportunities.

It's a mixed bag. Sadly, that is the case with most of American politics. Conservatives tend to support government involvement in the protection of human life before a person is born, but they don't seem to want much government involvement after that time . . . even for people who are truly, sometimes desperately, in need. Liberals love to create government programs to help their neighbor in need, but they have the bizarre idea that it includes allowing people to kill their own children (preborn) when said children are inconvenient. Etc.

They (we?) all need to remember the teaching of Cardinal Bernadin of Chicago, namely, that human life is a seamless garment from conception till natural death; and that it is worthy of help and protection at all of its stages.

Sadly, in my opinion, neither major political party completely reflects a pro-life view.

-- John


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I personally support caring for those in need through voluntary charity and not by force, or in other words society should care for those in need, and not government.

Thomas Paine puts it nicely:

Quote
SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

In my opinion, first of all we need to take care those in need that are members of our church. Secondly, we need to take care of those in need who are not members of the church and spread the Gospel. Lastly, we need to spread the Gospel to everyone along with its message of taking care of the poor.

Just my two cents anyways.

Last edited by Nathan; 11/30/07 02:16 PM.
Nathan #265564 11/30/07 02:25 PM
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Thomas Paine's view of the proper role of the government does not accord with Catholic teaching. The Catholic tradition envisions a far more positive role for the government in terms of its responsibility to promote the common good. I'm personally far more interested in what the Church has to say about that than what Thomas Paine had to say, since Paine was basically anti-Christian. He viewed Christianity as a mere invention of mankind, writing, "All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit". Basically, he viewed himself as the arbiter of truth: "I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church."

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A commentator here in Chicago did an analysis of Senator Obama's platform, and came to the conclusion that pretty much point by point, the things that Barak Obama stands for are the same as the platform that George McGovern ran on in 1972.

Thus, besides not being pro-life, he really has nothing new to offer.

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Being a recent convert, pretty much everyone on this board is more educated on the different writings and traditions of the church than I am, so I'm not going to debate anyone on what the traditions of the church are in the area of the role of government, because I will be defeated in the blink of an eye.

I will still argue that this country was founded upon the principles of liberty and freedom. Sure, many weren't Christian, many just wanted to be free.

Many have brought up different documents, writings, and things claming church support for the government forcefully taking away property, money, and freedom of individuals for the greater good. Once I get more free time, I'll have to do greater research into he topic of the church's view of individual liberty and freedom.

When studying Orthodoxy and Catholicism, I never came across any writings, or was ever told that to be a good Catholic I must support governmental redistribution of wealth. I always believed that charity should come from the heart and out of a sense of Christian duty and not at the end of a barrel.

Anyways, go ahead and show me church writings and teachings, I won't have any rebuttal except for a free society seems more preferable for Christians then one that supports charity by force.

Someday, I hope to research for myself the many teachings are writings of the church, and I hope to find out that a belief in freedom and liberty is not anti-Catholic.

Last edited by Nathan; 11/30/07 02:39 PM.
Nathan #265580 11/30/07 03:24 PM
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Nathan:

I suggest you might take a look at the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. This will give you a nice summary of the social teaching of the Catholic Church. I believe that you have argued in the past that charity should be voluntary and done by individuals and non-governmental charitable agencies. That is the ideal for which we should strive, I believe. However, we do not live under ideal conditions. The Catholic Church teaches that each and every individual has a responsibility to contribute to the common good. However, the Catholic Church also teaches that the state has a responsibility to ensure the common good. I believe that we should work towards shifting the responsibility for the common good and providing for social welfare from the federal government to individuals, charitable organizations, and local and state governments. Individuals, non-governmental agencies, and local and state governments are very likely to be far better equipped to address the given needs in a given circumstance than is the federal government. Also, I believe that the people in a particular community, or the people of a particular state, are more likely to find success in holding local and state officials accountable and getting them to change a ill conceived program than they would with holding the federal government accountable. Given some of your past posts, I suspect that you find problematic government involvement on any level. I respond simply by saying that I believe that after so many decades of government involvement in social welfare, and the public expectation of such involvement, that if the government were suddenly to cease offering social welfare programs, that much suffering would result.

Sincerely,

Ryan

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ACTULALY, wiht only Paine as an exception, all of the United STates Founding Fathers considered themselves Christians. This includes the Infamou THomas Jefferson, Oft-toted as a Deist, but who himself expressed beleif in Jesus Christ.


He even wrote nine papers on religion, each expressing Orthodox Chrisian beelifs. ( Although he also held to Heretcal notions, and not merely Protestant ones. )


The idea that most of the US foundign Fathers where Deists is simply a Popular Myth, aisly dispelled upon research, and a Myth I don't blame you for beleiving, as I did at ne time.

(And before nayone says I am simply beleivign ehat makes me comforable, as I am acused of, I am British. I am further a Lpyal Monarchist, and a Stark, Old--Fashioned Impirialist, who thinsk Brittain shoudl focus on her COmmonwealth an dntot he EU. I am not one to think fo the US FOunding Father sin terms of Heroism. To me, they betrayed the Crown. Over taxes, not freedom.)


ZAROVE #265589 11/30/07 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ZAROVE
I am not one to think fo the US FOunding Father sin terms of Heroism. To me, they betrayed the Crown. Over taxes, not freedom.)

No taxation without representation!
smile (As Nathan throws his tea into the harbor)

Last edited by Nathan; 11/30/07 04:12 PM.
Nathan #265596 11/30/07 04:25 PM
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Traitorous Yankee...

ZAROVE #265600 11/30/07 04:50 PM
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It si also true that Libaerty and Cahtolsisim are compatable. But HTmas Paines Philosophy abotu Freedom, and Govennet, ar enot compatable with Cahtlsism.

Paine sees Society as emergent form mens wants, and Govenrment form mens wickedness. THis is a rather belak view, not only of Govenment buyt society. If society emerge donly because peopel wan thtings, this says only that society is intrinsiclaly selfish and incapable of anythign btu self interest.


At the same time, Goivernemnt emergign firm mens wickedness presumes that only because mn are wicked todo we need governance.

Both ar eincompatable with Catolsisim since Cahtolsisim woudl arue that SOciety is a natural part of Humanity, designed by God. We are social animals, who operate best hen in a company, and cna fulfill a certian role in that society.

Govenrment merley directs the society.

All act as a single body in oen accord.


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Thomas Jefferson was in now way any kind of orthodox Christian-

he did not believe in the divinity of Jesus,
did not believe Christ performed miracles.
His famous Jefferson Bible was a rationalistic version of Christ's message, stripped of all supernatural allusions and reducing Christ to being a mere human teacher.

Most of the founding fathers were deist not orthodox Christians.

I have heard people argue this back and forth, and those who claim that they were more deist seem to have the perponderance of evidence on their side. The idea that our founding fathers were evangelical type Christians is merely the wishful thinking of some on the religious right. They invoked Christianity, and perhaps some were Christians, but deism was not only the prevailing ideology of the time, but of most of the founding fathers.

As far as libertarianism goes, I believe it conflicts with Catholic social teaching, and certainly is odds with the teaching of the ancient fathers. It is the original form of secular humanism. Libertarianism seems to me to represent a narrow, selfish form of freedom, a freedom "from" rather than a freedom "to." It has no practical concern for the common good.

There is nothing in the gospel, fathers or Church teaching against a government role in the common good. to insist that the government has no role is a fair position to have, but understand, that position is not Christian, it is a secular ideology, alien to the Gospel- and one I might add, that is not very practical or helpful in maintaining a civil society, infrastructure, or a decent standard of living for it citizens.

Last edited by lanceg; 11/30/07 08:39 PM.
lanceg #265650 11/30/07 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by lanceg
As far as libertarianism goes, I believe it conflicts with Catholic social teaching, and certainly is odds with the teaching of the ancient fathers.

Didn't the early Christian communities take care of each other voluntarily in spite of the oppressive government trying to use their belief that persecuting Christians would help the common good of the Roman Empire?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've read that the early Christian communities shared many goods among the community by choice and helped each other survive this hard time.

Can you give me any quotes from the Early Christian Fathers that it is the role of the government to take another�s property by force in order to give to the more needy?

Originally Posted by lanceg
It is the original form of secular humanism. Libertarianism seems to me to represent a narrow, selfish form of freedom, a freedom "from" rather than a freedom "to." It has no practical concern for the common good.

I may sound like a broken record, but it comes down to the initiation of force. Robbing the rich (or throwing them in prison or worse) to feed the poor isn't a very Christian act.

As far as selfishness. Remember, the United States gives more money to charity individually then any other country, and we are also the most free. Freedom, in my opinion doesn't mean that one shouldn't give to charity, freedom means not being forced to give at the end of a barrel. If we have a free society it will bring people together, face to face, to solve our community�s problems instead of relying on a faceless inefficient government to do so. Churches will come together to take care of each other and even educate the children. The role of the church will increase in people's lives as the role of government decreases.

This will not be a utopia, there will always be problems and people in need, but we will tackle them as a society as part of our Christian duty. Right now even, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is one of the best, if not the best Children�s hospital in the world that takes children WITHOUT insurance, and also provides housing for the family and feeding them while the child is there! They are funded 100% by donations from individuals and corporations. As a fundraising auctioneer, I'm blessed in seeing the good in people as they want to help out others, and I believe people would continue to help the less fortunate, even if they weren't forced to.


Originally Posted by lanceg
There is nothing in the gospel, fathers or Church teaching against a government role in the common good. to insist that the government has no role is a fair position to have, but understand, that position is not Christian, it is a secular ideology, alien to the Gospel- and one I might add, that is not very practical or helpful in maintaining a civil society, infrastructure, or a decent standard of living for it citizens.

When the United States still considered a beacon of freedom and liberty, we had an influx of immigrants choosing to come here, even without a welfare safety net. They were taken care of by their ethnic communities until they got on their feet. We were the envy of the world. The Roman Catholic church took care of it's own through hospitals, schools, and orphanages just to name a few.

When we were the most free in this country is when my ancestors were able to come over with no money in their pocket, but yet be able to work their way up to a comfortable living. That was a lot better then today, when the government is growing larger and my take home pay is getting less and less. The dollar deflates more and more as the Federal Reserve prints more money and lowers interest rates to please the bankers and Wall Street.

I just want the government to get out of my way, and let me succeed in life. I want them to stop deflating the US Dollar. I want them to stop spending trillions to democratize foreign countries. I want them to end the most feared institution in the United States, the IRS, and I want the government to let me make the choices I feel are best for myself and my family.

Is this selfish? I suppose to want to be left alone by the government so I can give my money to the causes I deem the best, and to want to make my own decisions regarding my health, and how to raise my family is a little selfish, but I don't trust that the government always knows what is best for myself and my family.

Sorry everyone. I got a little preachy there. It's Friday, I'm tired.

And on a lighter note, here is some support for claim that libertarianism has its roots in secular humanism as ABBA sings for Ron Paul (funny video, check it out)


Last edited by Nathan; 11/30/07 09:56 PM.
Nathan #265656 11/30/07 10:34 PM
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One of the problems with Catholic social teaching, besides the fact that the lionshare of it was written in the 1960's and later, lies in it's interpretation. Any number of social programs can be justified under it, yet you hear pressure little regarding the injustice of the crippling taxes placed on those who must pay for the programs. This morning I was reading an article about the injustice of property taxes and the author really hit the nail on the head regarding things like property taxes keeping home owners from making needed improvements, or in some cases if those improvements are made, the reward is even higher taxes.

I do believe in social responsibility though, and for a big reduction in my burdensome taxes, I'd be more than willing to teach my neighbors children (for the smallest of fees) history, geography, literature and to play a stringed instrument. No Math or Science though.

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