18 Jan: Will Pres. Obama react to this year’s proclamation of “National Sanctity of Human Life Day”?

From The Catholic League


BUSH PROCLAIMS PRO-LIFE DAY:
WILL OBAMA HONOR IT?
 
Yesterday, President George W. Bush proclaimed January 18 to be “National Sanctity of Human Life Day.” He said that “All life is a gift from our Creator that is sacred, unique, and worthy of protection.” The president emphasized that “we aspire to build a society in which every child is welcome in life and protected in law.”
 
The president received the praise of Catholic League president Bill Donohue:
 
“George W. Bush will be remembered as doing more to build a culture of life than any president. Not that his father and Ronald Reagan weren’t champions of life, too. The difference is that this president was faced with more challenges, and he made good on every one of them. From embryonic stem cell research and cloning to the Born Alive Infants Protection Act and partial-birth abortion, George W. Bush has been the pro-life community’s best friend.
 
“Barack Obama will soon be president. He is an avowed champion of abortion rights. When asked during the campaign when life begins, he balked, giving a lame answer. Bright as he is, Obama is not well informed about the most fundamental question of them all: What is the origin of human life? But even those who posit that no one can be sure must be inclined to offer protection to that which might be life. To assume otherwise is a game of chance no morally responsible society should tolerate.
 
“On January 22, the Right to Life March will take place in Washington, D.C. We know of President Bush’s honorable record. We now await to see what President Obama will say on the 36th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision.”

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116 Responses to 18 Jan: Will Pres. Obama react to this year’s proclamation of “National Sanctity of Human Life Day”?

  1. Bryan says:

    What will he say?

    It scares me to think.

    The answers is probably still ‘above his pay grade’.

  2. Credo says:

    “we aspire to build a society in which every child is welcome in life and protected in law.”

    Great news! I guess this quote from President Bush means that he’s changed his mind and now believes in protecting all babies’ lives, even those who were conceived in rape and incest, and when the mother’s life is in danger. I hope this is true.

  3. Karen says:

    If Obama responds I expect it will be spun with a ‘social justice’ slant and with at least a half dozen “uhs” thrown in for good measure.

  4. Prof. Basto says:

    TEXT OF THE PROCLAMATION:

    National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2009

    A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

    All human life is a gift from our Creator that is sacred, unique, and worthy of protection. On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, our country recognizes that each person, including every person waiting to be born, has a special place and purpose in this world. We also underscore our dedication to heeding this message of conscience by speaking up for the weak and voiceless among us.

    The most basic duty of government is to protect the life of the innocent. My Administration has been committed to building a culture of life by vigorously promoting adoption and parental notification laws, opposing Federal funding for abortions overseas, encouraging teen abstinence, and funding crisis pregnancy programs. In 2002, I was honored to sign into law the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which extends legal protection to children who survive an abortion attempt. I signed legislation in 2003 to ban the cruel practice of partial-birth abortion, and that law represents our commitment to building a culture of life in America. Also, I was proud to sign the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004, which allows authorities to charge a person who causes death or injury to a child in the womb with a separate offense in addition to any charges relating to the mother.

    America is a caring Nation, and our values should guide us as we harness the gifts of science. In our zeal for new treatments and cures, we must never abandon our fundamental morals. We can achieve the great breakthroughs we all seek with reverence for the gift of life.

    The sanctity of life is written in the hearts of all men and women. On this day and throughout the year, we aspire to build a society in which every child is welcome in life and protected in law. We also encourage more of our fellow Americans to join our just and noble cause. History tells us that with a cause rooted in our deepest principles and appealing to the best instincts of our citizens, we will prevail.

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 18, 2009, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call upon all Americans to recognize this day with appropriate ceremonies and to underscore our commitment to respecting and protecting the life and dignity of every human being.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

    GEORGE W. BUSH

    Source: whitehouse.gov

  5. The Other David says:

    I am expecting the March For Life day to be portrayed as some sort of “anti-Obama rally by sore losers,” and I expect this to be viewed as partisan as well

  6. therese b says:

    Does that mean it will remain an “official” day after GWB has left office – or is it a one-off?
    Wasn’t it announced a bit late in the day if it is one-off? Excuse my ignorance. I’m a Limey.

  7. TJM says:

    Maybe Dougy Kmiec helped draft it? Tom

  8. Jon says:

    Two things:

    1.) I would’ve preferred President Bush had proclaimed January 22nd Sanctity of Human Life Day. It certainly would be interesting watching O attempt to rescind it, as he’s promised to do with so many other executive orders.

    2.) Has anyone, Bill Donohue or George Weigel perhaps, thought of inviting President Bush to return from Crawford to appear at the March? Say, in honor of his late friend, Father Neuhaus?

  9. Forrest says:

    Should’ve made it 20 January, or shoul’ve declared 2009 National Sanctity of Human Life Year

  10. Jake says:

    “George W. Bush will be remembered as doing more to build a culture of life than any president. Not that his father and Ronald Reagan weren’t champions of life, too.” -Bill Donohue

    Mr. Donohue is wrong if he honestly thinks “history” will remember President Bush in this light. George W. Bush will be remembered (aside from 9/11) for the war in Iraq, in which numerous courageous American soldier (not to mention Iraqi civilian) lives were lost in a military campaign that most now believe was unnecessary and ill-advised at best. Those are the facts folks. Many here will disagree vehemently, I’m sure.

    How can one be a champion of the culture of life, and yet at the same time defend the casualties and destruction in Iraq (Which incidentally, the Holy Father has spoken out against)? Hopefully, the focus of Obama’s first years will be to end this bloody campaign as he has said he is committing to doing.

  11. CReid says:

    I can’t believe how many devout Christians have been taken in by George W. Bush’s rhetoric. He is a false prophet. He mouths words about the sanctity of life yet has caused so much death, hatred and destruction. Yet, so many Christians refuse to acknowledge this. For God’s sake be Catholics first, Republicans second.

  12. CReid says:

    I wrote my comment in haste – it should read: be Catholics first, full stop.

  13. Christa says:

    I came on this forum to avoid the constant Bush-bashing from those on the left and the far right. It’s a shame that they have showed up here as well.

    I pray for God’s blessing on President and Mrs. Bush as they return to Texas for a life out of the limelight. I also pray that President-elect Obama can do well and will change his mind about abortion.

  14. Dinsdale says:

    Jake,

    I’m not going to disagree vehemently, but I will discuss your contentions.

    When you say “…that most now believe was unnecessary…” – who, pray tell, is “most”? You can bring up a list of people who agree with you. I can respond with a list that do not. You can quote polls; so can I. Let’s not engage in vague generalizations.

    You hope that Obama ends this “bloody campaign”. However, it appears that the multinational military forces that removed Saddam, and the reconstructed Iraqi army and police, have done exactly that. Even in the most left-leaning periodicals and websites, we now see quiet admissions that it has already ended. So, Obama really doesn’t have to finish what is already done.

    Do the Iraqi people believe it was unnecessary? Consider that they lived under a ruthless, arbitrary, violent dictator, saw family and friends disappear, and now have freedoms that you and I take for granted. Listen to what the Iraqi people say (and take care to not listen to those who supported the “insurgency” and therefore had other motives), read current opinion polls of Iraqis, and judge for yourself whether these people are grateful for liberation.

    Is there work to be done there? Yes. There is here as well. We may soon expect to see our rights as Catholics trampled upon as Obama compels every hospital to perform abortions. So, not only will our nation continue to slaughter thousands of innocents every day, we will also have to either be forced against our consciences to participate in this crime, or we will have to stand against it, with unforeseen personal consequences.

    Please – pray for an end to the crime of abortion.

  15. How can one be a champion of the culture of life, and yet at the same time defend the casualties and destruction in Iraq (Which incidentally, the Holy Father has spoken out against)? Hopefully, the focus of Obama’s first years will be to end this bloody campaign as he has said he is committing to doing.

    Do you really equate the unintended deaths of civilians, a sad, deplorable part of any military conflict, with the intentional killing of a child in its mother’s womb? or with euthanizing the handicapped or elderly? As to your hope for Mr. Obama, he has said he now seeks an orderly withdrawal, virtually the same position as the outgoing Bush administration.

  16. Helen Donnelly says:

    Dinsdale,
    Well said.

  17. Most Excellent Sledgehammer says:

    I suspect Obama won’t say anything or do anything. He won’t be president yet. Do people expect him to do or say anything one way or another? Don’t get me wrong, I am NO Obama fan, but I just don’t think he, quite frankly, cares.

  18. TJM says:

    Dinsdale, fortunately you deal in facts, others here appear to deal in pure emotion. Many of these emotion types are simply witless victims of mainstream media “propaganda” running 24/7, the same media which detests practicing Catholics and treats the unborn as expendable on the mother’s whim. Tom

  19. Brian Mershon says:

    Bill Donohue exaggerates George W. Bush’s accomplishments.

    The Iraq war was a monumental political and moral error. The deaths of both Americans and Iraqis attest to that. The Neocons need to stop ignoring Catholic just war principles.

    Overall, the media helped to destroy Pres. Bush and his presidency.

    But remember, we nationalized private financial institutions (socialism) under President Bush.

    The President does not determine the number of abortions. The mothers and fathers who have never heard, nor converted to, the Gospel of Life, kill their own children–with government condoning it.

    Go out to your local abortion clinic tomorrow morning and pray the rosary and serve a s a witness to those coming to the clinic to reconsider and not kill their children.

    The political course has been used as a crutch and easy solution to Neocons and lukewarm Catholics and Christians long enough. It is time to convert hearts.

    Go to the abortuary tomorrow, pray the rosary and serve as a witness to those who enter the abortuary.

  20. Credo says:

    Bush is definitely better than Obama on the abortion front. What is frustrating is when fellow pro-lifers hear someone say “I’m pro-life” they don’t pay attention to the rest of the sentence and what that person means by “pro-life”.

    Bush is less pro-abortion than Obama, but in the end he is still pro-abortion. So, let’s applaud what he does to protect life while at the same time realizing he is not being honest about “the protection and dignity of all of the unborn”, when he also states in the same breath the exact opposite. Bush has stated that he thinks some unborn babies do not deserve protection and dignity because of how they were conceived or it their mothern’s life is in danger. Bush is pro-abortion except in cases where the child is not coceived in rape, incest, or the mother’s life is not at risk. It makes pro-lifers look like complete idiots for calling him the “pro-lifer’s best friend”. He certainly wouldn’t be the best friend of someone conceived in rape or incest because he would have them killed.

    Again, I’m all for applauding someone who does something good, but when it’s exaggerated to the point of deception then that’s a problem.

  21. RANCHER says:

    I think most everyone can find reasons to disagree with some of Geroge W. Bush’s decisions as President. I, for one, think he missed the boat entirely on border security and controlling illegal immigration. But, for a non-Catholic, he has been much closer on respect for life issues to Catholic teaching than many so-called Catholics are. In addition he strikes me as honest and sincere and a good, moral person unlike far too many politicians today.

    As to the attempt to equate the Iraq war with the abortion issue I think Dinsdale adequately addressed that falacious reasoning. God Bless George W. and Laura Bush. (PS–I still believe he will at some point convert to Catholicism)

  22. Miguel says:

    “George W. Bush will be remembered as doing more to build a culture of life than any president.”

    “…George W. Bush has been the pro-life community’s best friend. ”

    Are you ALL KIDDING ME? HE’S A WAR MAN… A pathetic PAPER PROCLAMATION will not GIVE LIFE BACK to thousands in IRAK and AFGHANISTAN… And just talking about dead people… Not to mention the political-VIOLENT effect on the region, which provoked, and still provokes not only death, but also misery and sufferings that can not be called LIFE…

    He’s not a champion of life… He’s just being a politic… And catholics saying what I quoted above are just STUPID. And you are all worried about what Obama will do?… You better watch closer what the PRESIDENT of THE CATHOLIC LEAGUE says… He seems missinformed…

    I’m from Panama, and it was Dec 20th 1989 when George Bush, father, invaded Panamá… to capture Manuel Noriega he did exactly what his son did with Irak and Afghanistan… He hurt my people… Just because Noriega was not friends with the US anymore… It only took him one day to have the entire country under his control… Dead people everywhere… Entirely destroyed AREAS of the Capital City and other places (consider this is a small city and it was even smaller those days…), they used EXAGERATED MILITARY ACTIONS… They are MONSTERS… no less than an abortionist doctor…

    I think the “Culture of Life” is not only about abortions, embryos and clonning … or that’s about it?

    Sure, we can praise the ACT, for it is noble and praise worthy, but praising George W. Bush and his father in such way? Let’s review the last 8 years, and his father’s period in the White House, before saying stuff like that and actually think it is something SMART to say…

  23. CReid says:

    Dinsdale, a question – what leads you to believe that Jake doesn’t pray for the end of abortion already? Why is it that if you question the Bush Administration’s demonstrated carelessness re: the sanctity of life you’re de facto pro-choice? There’s a disturbing lack of logic here.

    The bottom line is that political partisanship is the devil’s work.

  24. Miguel says:

    Iraq WAR?… Wars are played between EQUALS… That’s why they are called WARS and not ATTACKS

  25. sacerdosinaeternum says:

    God bless President Bush. Even as he has proclaimed this day each year- following Regan and his father- he has done so again before leaving office, making it a point. I hope that it gives a loud and clear message that we will not give up the fight for life during Obama’s years just as we didn’t during Clinton’s years. Ad Multos Annos, President Bush!

  26. I am going to start tossing people off the blog pretty soon….

  27. CReid says:

    Father, with all respect, do you mean only people in agreement can comment?

  28. jarhead462 says:

    wow. I think we should take a breather on this one.

    Semper Fi!

  29. Boctaoe says:

    Fr. John, You put yourself out in the public by partiipating in a Weblog Award contest. Don’t complain if new readers show up. And readers who are not as deferential to your ideas as your usual readers. You must live (like Bush) in a little cocoon, and only want to hear your ideas parrotted back to you. I guess that is the Catholic way.

    [The "Catholic" way? Nice.]

    For being an anti-Catholic bigot.

  30. Praised God that we had a president who is interested in protecting all human life, and who is much more in line with Catholic teachings than dissenting Catholics. The president has a great deal of influence on the laws of this country, and we have already seen the plan for pushing unrelented killing, that is FOCA, by Obama. We have a much more difficult uphill fight now. Abortion is far worse than the Iraq war, not only in genus but also in its evil effects. One month of abortions has more dead than years of war.

  31. Boctaoe: What I object to is the venom spewed all over my blog.

    People can have a civil discussion and differ in position. You can even say stupid things. But when you are both stupid and nasty, I show you the door.

  32. Credo says:

    If Pres. Bush is interested in protecting ALL human life then why does he advocate for aborting children who are conceived in rape and incest?

    I’m not trying to be cruel here rather simply want Catholics to think about what they’re saying and what it means to protect ALL unborn children, that’s all. I only want people to be honest rather than claiming Pres. Bush is against all abortion, because he does think that some babies should be aborted/killed.

  33. A.Carlton says:

    But Fr. Marie-Paul, abortions were still continuing under President Bush and were going to continue under McCain, who was not only for embryonic stem-cell research, he had voted against the ban on partial-birth abortion.

    There is nothing wrong with using one’s God-given intellect to detect deception and spot a Pharisee in Bush. Being able to see a government’s support of military aggression, torture and unjust imprisonment (just to name a few evils) for what they are does not mean they are dissenting Catholics.

  34. I would have thought it was a full moon, for all the comments here.

    Is there something in the text of the proclamation that is objectionable? In the text of the proclamation?

    No American President has done as much to protect the unborn, at home and abroad, than President George W. Bush. Perfect record? No. The best there has been? Yes.

  35. John Enright says:

    I don’t think President Elect Obama will protect the unborn. He’s on record in the Ill. State Senate as supporting infanticide where botched abortions result in live babies.

  36. JoyfulMom7 says:

    Father Z, you have been patient and gracious. What a good example for the rest of us.

  37. James II says:

    Bush’s legacy is a mixed bag. True he is against abortion in most cases, but his position on its application in ‘hard cases’ is reprehensible and inexcusable. It’s quite a shame that American politics has become so partisan and that some Catholics voters feel compelled to identify themselves as ‘conservatives’ or ‘liberals’. I feel my own views are in much greater harmony with the traditional Christian-Democratic model than the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant one (which the US Republicans represent). I support government intervention in the marketplace when it is the common good and support workers’ rights. I would like to see more commitment from the US on ecological and energy conservation. I have no problem with economic migration (within limits) but I would like to see greater priorty given to refugees escaping famine, war or persecution, especially for those escaping situations for which the US is directly responsible for. I find the use of torture deplorable and the Iraq war reminiscent of the Cromwellian Conquest and injurious to the interests of Iraqi Christians (one of whom was in Hussein’s cabinet). A more critical approach towards Israel is desirable.

    I think Americans should look into the possibility of restricting the powers of the president to his original role as Commander-in-chief. An alternative would be a (constitutional) monarchy which would be much simpler and would save both money and effort :=).

  38. Matt says:

    A. Carlton (and Credo)

    Bush is pro-abortion except in cases where the child is not coceived in rape, incest, or the mother’s life is not at risk

    why does he advocate for aborting children who are conceived in rape and incest?

    First, he does not advocate for aborting any children, but he does not, sadly, support a ban on abortion that would include those cases. Now, this is not 100% pro-life, it does cover about 99% of abortions, so I don\’t think it\’s reasonable to invert the statement to make him sound pro-abortion.

    he[McCain] had voted against the ban on partial-birth abortion

    Not True. McCain voted in favor of the partial-birth abortion ban each time it came up and to override Clinton\’s veto.

  39. Matt says:

    James II,

    I would like to see more commitment from the US on ecological and energy conservation. I have no problem with economic migration (within limits) but I would like to see greater priorty given to refugees escaping famine, war or persecution, especially for those escaping situations for which the US is directly responsible for.

    Everybody generally agrees on these, what we disagree on is the proper balance, and the ultimate good or evil which would result from policies you support. This is generally the argument by liberals against the conservatives… \”you hate the poor and downtrodden\”, whereas conservatives argue \”destroying the economy disproportionately harms the poor and downtrodden\”.

    God Bless,

    Matt

  40. Matt says:

    Fr. Z,

    perhaps you should edit \”Bush\” of the title, I suspect that some sort of \”bush derangement syndrome\” search engine has directed the trolls here.
    [Point well taken.]

  41. Allena says:

    Well, Being Catholic first means the first issue is abortion, and in that issue President Bush has been very helpful to the pro-life movement. Not perfect, but definitely good…

    That being said, don’t you know he didn’t go to war with Iraq on his own? Don’t you recall that many of these anti-Iraq war politicians voted to go too? Somehow, those politicians are innocent however? Why isn’t anyone griping about them?

    Another point, the war may be unjust, however consider that the sanctions that Iraq was under, killed more people than this war has…

    Lastly, more people have fell to abortion, than every war we have ever fought – combined.

    So, lets compare apples to apples instead of comparing them to oranges. Nobody says the man is perfect, but he was better than what we’re getting that’s for sure. There never is a perfect candidate, so you choose the lesser of two evils. The Church tells us that abortion is the top issue in that arena.

    At least, social concerns usually deal with people who get to be considered people. The unborn, well they are just things, blobs, tissue or whatever.

    The war is regrettable, and certainly something to work to end. But it isn’t even in the same playing field. Abortion has that whole crying out to heaven for vengence thing.. The war does not. So, I think we are being Catholic first. To applaud the good that he’s done, isn’t to condone the bad things he’s done. Lets stop blaming GWB for every thing that has gone wrong, he had plenty of help from the very people who are now selling him down the river.

  42. Credo says:

    Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

    Yes, there is something in the text that is problematic, not because of what it states explicitly, but rather the fact that the person saying it, Pres. Bush, does not in reality believe in the protection of all unborn babies as he has stated many times over the years. His statement below is hypocritical, and deceptive.

    All life is a gift from our Creator that is sacred, unique, and worthy of protection…we aspire to build a society in which every child is welcome in life and protected in law.”

    In this proclamation he states that “every child is welcome in life and protected in law” yet he is quite public about his advocacy for aborting children who are conceived in rape or incest. How can he say every child is sacred and worthy of protection, and then also state it’s acceptable to kill certain kinds of unborn babies? That doesn’t make sense and it’s no different than Hitler saying every child’s life matters unless they’re Jewish. It’s all discrimination. That’s the problem with the proclamation, he’s publicly being dishonest.

  43. Liam says:

    To answer the question at the top of the thread: It’s irrelevant to Obama because it will have occurred before he becomes president. It’s a single-day proclamation. I doubt Obama will issue one next year (though I pray he would).

    I don’t think we can safely judge GWB’s pro-life record at this remove. His appellate judicial appointments appear to be more concerned with preserving his aggressive theory of executive power and privilege than with a pro-life viewpoint as such. Based on the testimony of his 2 SCOTUS appointments, I don’t expect to see any significant erosion of Roe/Casey anytime soon (they basically stuck with public opinion on PBA – not that I complain about that result, mind you, but it’s no indication of a similar result that would be far ahead of public opinion). And I think we would be grossly negligent to overlook the effect his record may yet have on public willingness to re-open the stasis of the current stalemate. He may as a result be viewed as winning a couple of battles but losing the war.

    More to that last point: ESCR, which keeps getting buried as an issue under abortion when it is if anything an even worse evil. In 2001, public opinion was malleable on this issue in a way it had not been on abortion, and Bush made a courageous if not complete step (which I yet applaud) one month before 9/11 to mould that opinion. However, his party is not much less tied to industry than the Dems (ESCR is one of those issues where the far right and the far left tend to unite against the pragmatic, utilitarian middle), and his record is perhaps going to be a millstone around the anti-ESCR position.

    From the basic American’s perspective, Bush has been the worst president since at least Hoover (Carter, Nixon, and Truman never endured such prolonged and steady public antipathy and alienation as the current president – with disapproval generally clustering near or over 60% for almost 3 years – and Hoover did not leave FDR with a war like Iraq to resolve). People who assume he will trend significantly upward in retrospect based on the Truman model forget (1) it took many many years for that to happen to Truman’s reputation and even then that rehabilitation is getting reconsidered again, and (2) Truman is one of the exception to the usual rule that Presidents perceived as failures by the general public (as opposed merely to pundits) upon leaving office will retain that perception during the lifetime of the electorate then in dominance. The GOP should not be planning on being the exception, lest it engage it wishful thinking.

  44. Allena says:

    Credo,
    So saving some babies is not better than saving no babies? At least he stands up for some of them. I would guess this is the same type politicking that most of them do. We don’t know what he thinks as a person, we aren’t mind readers, so I think it is presumptuous to say what he thinks.

    Perhaps he supported those additions, for rape and such, not because he believes it is ok, but believes it can save more lives because these laws wouldn’t have passed without them?

    We don’t KNOW why he did, have some charity please.

    I would also like to point out, that under this administration, abortion numbers are at an all time LOW since it became legal. THAT is definitely because of some of the things he did and supported. No it isn’t perfect, otherwise that number would be 0. But it’s still BETTER. As Father says, “Brick by Brick”. That applies here too.

    At any rate his stance is much better than The new Presidents is…but if the new President saved even ONE unborn baby, I would applaud him too. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging a good thing, even if it wasn’t ideal. It is still better, and someday if we keep talking, and keep praying, perhaps their hearts will be converted to be fully pro-life.

  45. Credo says:

    Allena,

    President Bush has stated many, many times over the years that he is “pro-life except in cases of rape, incest, and the health of the mother”. That is a known fact. Please look it up. I’m surprised you didn’t know that. Shouldn’t you know the position of your president on abortion?

    (I assume you’re from the US, if you’re not you can look it up at least before making accusations of people reading his mind.)

    Nothing uncharitable with pointing out big discrepancies in what a president of a country says publicly.

    Just because someone calls themselves pro-life doesn’t mean they are.

  46. brendon says:

    I do not recall ever hearing President Bush say that he favored the abortion of children conceived through rape or incest. Nor do I recall hearing him say he was in favor of abortion when the life of the mother is at stake. (N.B.: Catholic moral theology regarding the life of the child and the life of the mother is not something of which all people grasp the finer points. There are plenty of people who do not see the difference between a salpingectomy that will result in the death of the child and a direct abortion. Perhaps we need more preaching on Veritatis Splendor?)

    I do recall that President Bush favors legally banning abortion, excepting the previous mentioned cases. But, funny thing, most Americans favor a similar position. (See my previous comment on the necessity of preaching Veritatis Splendor.) It is certainly not perfect, but it is worlds better than we have.

    Indeed, one needs to remember that politics, being a practical endeavor, is as much an art as a science. While there are certainly eternal, universal principles that must be observed, the application of these principles to particular circumstances requires the virtue of prudence. If you can garner support for a law that ends 99% of all abortions, but not enough for a law that ends all abortions, the prudent thing is to do what you can to protect life. Such an action certainly appears to me to fall under the principle of double effect:

    The object of the act: banning abortion is all these circumstances – good.

    The end intended by the actor: eliminating the legal protection for abortion – good.

    The reason that the act is proportional: the intended good effect, i.e. the number of abortions that will no longer be legal, outweighs the bad circumstantial effect, i.e. the fact that some abortions will still be legal to perform, as well as the effect of not acting, i.e. all abortions that are currently legal will remain legal.

    I am no apologist for President Bush. I think that he further destroyed the principles of federalism (a form of subsidiarity) and mixed government (the best regime according to St. Thomas Aquinas) that are found in our Constitution with his executive overreach in numerous areas, something not excused by the fact that Presidents have been doing such things for over 100 years. But the idea that the man is some kind of opponent to the pro-life movement is absurd. The fact is that abortion is the primary issue. Numerous Popes have stated explicitly that legal abortion undermines the very foundations of law and civil society. An unjust war may damage or destroy the legitimacy of a particular government, but legalized abortion destroys the very foundations on which government is based.

  47. Paul Haley says:

    President Bush is not perfect but who is? I believe the man did his best in turbulent times and I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt with respect to Saddam Hussein and Iraq. Certainly he has been more of a pro-life president than many others in this or the previous century. As he is on the way out, I hope and pray that he and his wife find a happy set of golden years before them. I wouldn’t wish the presidency on my worst enemy. His welcome of Pope Benedict XVI to the US will go down as one of the brightest moments in the last several years.

  48. Credo says:

    Well, it’s more than a little shocking that some don’t know their President’s views on abortion which is a problem.

    Anyway, I wish President Bush well, and I will pray for his conversion in that he will truly see all unborn babies as valuable human beings, even if they are conceived in rape, incest, or if their mother’s lives are at risk.

    That, afterall, is the teaching of the Catholic Faith – all abortion, the intentional killing of an unborn child, is evil; no exceptions.

  49. Francesco says:

    As far as Pres. Bush was, Obama will be far, far worse assuming he will stick to his pro-death agenda. He will advance this agenda farther than it has ever gone, giving unprecedented support to abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, and gay activist causes; and he will export this pro-death agenda throughout the world. Whatever damage Bush’s wars have done pales in comparison to the damage these evils will cause and have caused thanks to the secularist/progressive/liberal/whatever-you-want-to-call-it pro-death agenda. How any serious Catholic can think this is an improvement over Bush is beyond me.

  50. Andreas says:

    Here is my take on the above thread:

    It takes two rivals to engage in a war.

    In abortion, there is no rival: only the unjust destruction of the helpless innocent.

    It may be necessary to engage in a war.

    It is never necessary to abort human beings.

    The number of innocent victims of war is dwarfed by the number of innocent victims of abortion.

    Ergo: Bushes defense of human life is highly welcome, timely, laudable (no matter what one might opine about wars, economics, social welfare, education, health or any other matter).

    Have I missed something?

  51. So long as comments remain civil, reveal some desire to self-edit, and avoid the mere parroting of cliches, I will leave this combox open.  

    But if you are nasty, I will take steps to block your access to the blog.

  52. Rellis says:

    The only disagreement I would have with Donohue is that Bush dissented from Church teaching (barely) on embryonic stem cell research. So he didn’t “make good on every one of them.”

    However, he is clearly the most Catholic president we’ve ever had, which is pretty good for a heretic. :)

  53. 50 000 000 compared to 3 500 (or whatever the number is now), I can not in good conscience say that the war is even close to the statistics in abortion.

    God Bless the president, who while I personally don’t agree with much that he did, stood behind his principles and didn’t care about what others thought. (I do pray that the President converts to Catholicism)

    May the Light of Christ shine upon Obama, that he may see the error in his ways and promote Life.

    I’m not counting on Obama to say or do anything, what will be interesting is the Walk for Life next week.

  54. Credo says:

    I think Obama will continue with the Sanctity of Human Life Day, and he may even give a similar speech as Pres. Bush. Obama and his follows think that what he stands for is pro-life, and surely he will say the same sweet sounding, and dishonest, words as Pres. Bush and really mean them. Afterall, pro-life seems, these days, to mean just about anything.

    Pro-life with “exceptions” seems to be the mantra of the day. There may be some disagreement on which babies should be legally killed, but like Pres. Bush and Obama many consider themselves pro-life with exceptions, nonetheless, and agree that abortion should remain legal.

    If we want to make a difference in the pro-life movement we need to stop making deals with the devil, and take back the proper meaning of what it means to be pro-life. Pro-life should mean anti-abortion with no exceptions.

  55. Brian says:

    The original post stated, “Bright as he is, Obama is not well informed about the most fundamental question of them all: What is the origin of human life?”

    I disagree. Obama is very well-informed, but intentionally chooses to keep abortion legal despite that fact that he knows that human beings are being killed.

    In Illinois Obama opposed a law that would require doctors to save the lives of babies born during an unsuccessful abortion. The primary reason that he gave was that if we called these children “children” it would challenge the legality of abortion. That is not ignorance, that is grave evil with full knowledge and full consent of the will. There is not anything that Bush has ever said or done that approaches the sheer depravity of that evil.

  56. A.Carlton says:

    There is something very disturbing here. Anyone who questions GWB is considered “a troll” (see above comments), even if they’re pro-life and a devoted Catholic. How did things get this distorted?
    [If it is actually relevant to this topic, question. Just don't be stupid and, above all, nasty about it.]

    Maybe I’m too emotional about this issue because my daughter’s basically lost her faith over this. Before you say, cruelly, that it must have been built on sand, please, please consider how confusing all this is. No matter how evil
    [This is verging on ridiculous.] and anti-life GWB has been (no one’s even mentioned his execution record), pro-lifers are told to look the other way and support him. I’ve been shocked at the venom from other Christians and pro-lifers if anyone questions the Bush administration. What’s going on? I think we were led to believe that a political party was going to end abortion – it’s been 30 years of the same promise, even when there was a Congressional majority.

    I will continue to pray that the world sees the light on this issue but I’m also going to speak the truth about evil,
    [Okay... but don't do it here in this manner.] no matter where it resides. Honestly, the devil is laughing all the way to the bank on this one.

  57. Joseph says:

    For over two years I have distrusted George W. Bush. I have disliked him. I have suspected him of attempting to take away my freedom incrementally.

    Not anymore.

    Thank you Mr. President for defending the defenseless!

  58. A.Carlton says:

    Father, what manner? How was I being nasty? I\’m truly trying to understand.
    [I didn't say you were nasty. We should be very careful indeed when calling a person "evil". Very careful indeed.]

  59. A.Carlton says:

    Point well taken, only God knows what’s in a person’s heart. What’s confusing is the expectation that pro-lifers are expected to ignore anti-life realities in the ostensibly “pro-life” party. These realities can’t even be acknowledged in a balanced or charitable manner.

    Anyway, I came upon this blog for the first time today because I googled “Catholic Bloggers”. I’ll keep searching….

  60. wsxyz says:

    A.Carlton:

    I would like to point out that neither war, nor execution are against the faith. Abortion is. Furthermore, the number of people killed by abortion is several orders of magnitude more than the number killed by war. Abortion is a far more important issue than war or execution.

    As for the war, I hope you are not one of those people who think that Pres. Bush, with the approval of the U.S. Congress, launched the invasion of Iraq because he just loves killing foreigners. Pres. Bush had his reasons, which he considered legitimate, such as preventing Iraqi acquisition of nuclear and chemical weapons, preventing Iraqi collaboration with islamic terrorists, preventing future Iraqi military action against other states in the region, solving the humanitarian problems caused by the sanctions politics of the Iraqi regime, etc. In hindsight we can see that some of these threats were phantom threats – but they were the basis on which Pres. Bush acted. I do not see any reason to believe that he is an evil man – at least, not any more evil than your average protestant teetotaler.

  61. wsxyz says:

    Credo:

    While, if I reduce your very many postings to the bare facts, I agree with you; I think that you are being somewhat disingenuous by continually claiming that Pres. Bush is “for” abortion in certain cases, and that he is not pro-life, is a hypocrite, is a pharisee, etc.

    You seem to think that 99.99% banned is no better than 0% banned. Since that is obviously false, it seems likely that you dislike Pres. Bush for other reasons to such a degree that you feel it necessary to discredit and dismiss one thing that he has, in fact, done pretty well.

  62. Allena says:

    Credo,

    “President Bush has stated many, many times over the years that he is “pro-life except in cases of rape, incest, and the health of the mother”. That is a known fact. Please look it up. I’m surprised you didn’t know that. Shouldn’t you know the position of your president on abortion?”

    Where did I say that? I never argued with what he said, or his stance. I merely said we can’t read his heart and know WHY he takes that stance or his motives. Personally I think it is quite possible that he did it merely to get the law passed. I don’t contest your remark, I don’t think he’s pro life either, but he’s getting there. You have totally missed my point, and missed what I was getting at completely.

    Here’s a little history to back up my point though.

    The partial birth law was introduced under Clinton. So why wasn’t it passed? Because these exceptions weren’t included, I remember everyone was furious that the bill was ever even dreamed of without those exceptions. So, going out on a limb here, MAYBE they were added so it WOULD pass, and save some lives. Some lives saved is better than no lives saved. Brick by Brick. I keep saying that, but you keep hearing “I love the president and he’s perfectly pro-life in every way..”

    I’m really saying, “I love some of the things he’s done, and I hope that he will become fully pro-life someday.” Mostly I hope others will follow, and more good laws will pass, and little by little we get what we want, 0 abortions, legal or illegal.

  63. Thom says:

    Fr. Z, way up the thread you said:

    “Is there something in the text of the proclamation that is objectionable? In the text of the proclamation?”

    Well, yes, actually.

    The Proclamation is for “National Sanctity of Human Life Day.” And yet, the only offense against the sanctity of life that is mentioned is the life of the unborn. (Please don’t get me wrong- yes, abortion is a grave evil.)

    It seems however, that he should have specified when he proclaimed the day. EG, “National Sanctity of Unborn Human Life Day.”

    Because when I hear a man talk about the “sanctity of all human life” when he condones torture, phosphorus bomb raids, and the unbridled slaughter of civilian men, women, and children, it doesn’t sit well with me.

    Laud him as a champion of rights for the unborn, but please don’t say that he champions the sanctity of all human life.

  64. wsxyz says:

    Thom:

    It is false to say that Pres. Bush condones “the unbridled slaughter of civilian men, women, and children”. If that were true, Pres. Bush would have asked the U.S. Military to please kill as many civilian men, women, and children as possible.

    But he did not do this. In fact, the U.S. Military tries to avoid killing civilians, which accepting that some civilians will be killed and injured in the course of military action.

    Also, I doubt that Pres. Bush has interceded with the U.S. Military in any particular pro-phosphorus bomb way. I suspect he has asked the U.S. Military to use the weapons it thinks are most appropriate for the job at hand. The fact that you disagree with the judgment of the U.S. military is really of no interest to any president.

    Lastly, Pres. Bush has already said that he is against torture. Obviously you and Pres. Bush disagree on what constitutes torture. Maybe he is against thumbscrews and the rack while you are against waterboarding. Is waterboarding torture? Personally, I don’t know. How about sleep deprivation? loud music? isolation? the comfy chair?

  65. cosmas & damian says:

    I feel sorry that A. Carlton was basically chased away – Anyway, I came upon this blog for the first time today because I googled “Catholic Bloggers”. I’ll keep searching….

    But there does seem to be a lack of balance here. Fr. doesn’t seem to have any problem with nastiness when it comes from those who agree with him. A casual perusal of this blog would clearly reveal much more vitriol coming from those who share Father’s viewpoint than from those whose opinion differ.
    [On your blog, I am sure you will do a much better job of moderation.]

    For the record I am completely opposed to abortion. I’m just saying …

  66. cosmas & damian says:

    50 000 000 compared to 3 500 (or whatever the number is now)

    If I’m reading Joe of St. Thérèse correctly the lives of American Military personnel matter, the lives of the unborn matter, but the lives of Iraqis mean nothing.

    Yes, many, many more have been killed in the genocide that is abortion but please don’t devalue the lives of the hundreds of thousands (at least) who have lost there lives in Iraq. I’m pretty sure that God sheds tears over the loss of their lives too.

  67. schoolman says:

    I liked the Proclamation. What is there to complain about? He could have done nothing — and soon we will be faced with something much worse than nothing.

  68. Credo says:

    wsxyz,

    Obviously, you’re not reading what I have written very closely at all. You won’t find the word “pharisee” anywhere in my writings. You won’t find anywhere that I’ve written off the good he’s done. And then you try to guess my motives and get them entirely wrong.

    The fact is, I’ll repeat again, President Bush supports abortion to be legal for rape, incest, and when the mother’s health is in danger. In other words, he is perfectly fine with killing certain unborn babies. Whether he supports killing one baby or millions of babies does not change the fact that he supports killing babies. That is unacceptable and not pro-life.

    Do you think it’s pro-life to support killing certain unborn babies? Please, I’m really curious to know.

    It doesn’t matter whether someone is the President or Joe Nobody, if someone supports killing unborn babies I am going to say that it’s immoral and as the Church teaches is supporting an “evil” act.

    I do take it personally because I was conceived in rape, and President Bush thinks unborn babies like myself do not deserve dignity and the protection of the law because of how they are conceived. So, excuse me if I don’t jump up and down and pat someone on the back, like President Bush, who says they are against abortion except they think unborn babies conceived in rape could legally be killed and disposed of like garbage. Is that pro-life? Those of us who are the 1% sure don’t think so.

    Would someone who’s Jewish be grateful if a President said every child is worthy of protection except Jewish babies? That’s how it feels to me and to others were conceived in rape or incest.

    That’s great Pres. Bush wouldn’t support killing most unborn babies, but people need to stop crowning him as our pro-life king, be honest about his position on abortion, and further call him into account for his support of abortion in certain cases. That’s all.

  69. no one’s even mentioned his execution record

    Perhaps because that record is now nine years old — I’m presuming you are talking about his time as governor of Texas — and Texas gubernatorial powers over this area are limited.

  70. but please don’t devalue the lives of the hundreds of thousands (at least) who have lost there lives in Iraq.

    Do you have any data to support those numbers?

  71. Credo says:

    “Personally I think it is quite possible that he did it merely to get the law passed.”

    No, President Bush has always personally before he was elected as president and politically said he’s against abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and threat to the life of the mother. The problem has been mostly with some leaders in the pro-life movement conveniently sweeping this information under the rug so other pro-lifers will support Bush. Yeah, there’s politics in the pro-life movement just like everywhere else. Now, most pro-life Americans have been deceived as to what President Bush’s real abortion support is. Very sad. He has always wanted abortion to stay legal. Is it any wonder why most Americans are confused about abortion when their leaders, both political and pro-life, are giving mixed messages?

  72. The Other David says:

    In light of people who have decided to employ the tu quoque argument, pointing at the war to argue that GWB is not really pro-life do need to keep aware of what was said and what was not said.

    When we factor in the civilian casualties since the beginning of the Iraq War, it seems to come to an mean average of 18,000 a year (the majority being in the beginning years). Now, these deaths are tragic of course and cannot be belittled. However there are some things to consider here. These deaths are not solely the work of American forces. Some have been targeted by the insurgents who make indiscriminate use of terror to undermine the new government. One could argue that the US is indirectly involved with those deaths (and credit the full 18,000 a year to the US) because if the war had not happened, these deaths would not have happened.

    However, even if we factor in the unintended deaths (which require analysis under the principle of Double Effect), in comparison to the 18,000 annual (mean average) deaths in Iraq among civilians, the annual amount of abortions in America is 1.25 million to 1.5 million.

    So, the War would have to sustain this 18,000/year death rate for 83 years to equal the amount of abortions which happen annually in the US.

    I am curious why there is not proportionally 83 times the offense over abortion than over the war… unless some Catholics do not really believe abortion is taking an innocent life.

  73. wsxyz says:

    Credo:

    I entirely agree with your reasoning. Pres. Bush is not the most pro-life President conceivable. He is wrong in being willing to allow for the abortion of babies conceived in rape or incest.

    However, he is also the most pro-life President we have yet had. And what he has done is for more than the incoming President is likely to do. Therefore I think it is reasonable to say that Pres. Bush has a good record on life issues.

  74. dcs says:

    wsxyz writes:
    However, he is also the most pro-life President we have yet had.

    I am not certain that President Bush is more pro-life than President Reagan was. However, wouldn’t it be more correct to that that he is the most pro-life President we’ve had since 1973?

  75. I am not Spartacus says:

    “All life is a gift from our Creator that is sacred, unique, and worthy of protection.”

    That statement is true.

    However, many actions by Bush are directly in opposition to that true statement.

    From the Illegal and Unjust War against Iraq (Nuremberg Standards) to his policy of torture, this President’s actions, to me, illustrate how this pro-life principle is frequently subordinated to his Unconstitutional will to dominate, control, torture, and even kill, others who do not threaten our existence as a people or country.

  76. ckdexterhaven says:

    What in the world is going on? Am I on the right blog?

    President Bush is a good and decent man. He has stood up for the unborn. President Bush showed gracious hospitality to our Pope, Pope Benedict XVI.

    St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

  77. Paul Haley says:

    For those who think that GWB directed the military to use certain weapons/strategies or that he manufactured intelligence on the war to suit his own purposes, allow me to disagree. When faced with a decision requiring his approval (and not all do), the President consults with and receives advice from his staff, including the military joint chiefs and the Director of Intelligence, the director of the CIA, and other senior staff aides and when necessary other members of the Cabinet. He then acts based upon the information and advice he has received from experts in their respective fields. Can these experts be wrong? Of course, they are human, after all, and not above making mistakes. But, the president has to accept the blame when anything goes wrong and GWB has done that. He didn’t lop off the heads of those who gave him bad advice or intelligence; he simply asked them to do better. Which one of us placed in such situations of extreme pressure would do better? I wonder, I truly do.

  78. I am not Spartacus says:

    Every President, prior to Roe V Wade, was more pro life than Bush in that not one of them was publicly on records in support of some abortions – rape, incest, life of mother (which Bush supports)

  79. RBrown says:

    Liam,

    Based on the testimony of his 2 SCOTUS appointments, I don’t expect to see any significant erosion of Roe/Casey anytime soon.

    Both Alito and Roberts voted to uphold the Constitutionality of an Anti-Abortion law in Gonzales v Planned Parenthood. It was the first time since Roe that the Court upheld an anti-abortion law.

    People who assume he will trend significantly upward in retrospect based on the Truman model forget (1) it took many many years for that to happen to Truman’s reputation and even then that rehabilitation is getting reconsidered again, and (2) Truman is one of the exception to the usual rule that Presidents perceived as failures by the general public (as opposed merely to pundits) upon leaving office will retain that perception during the lifetime of the electorate then in dominance. The GOP should not be planning on being the exception, lest it engage it wishful thinking.

    I think Truman’s rep improved because:

    First, none of the post war problems could be blamed on the liberals’ hero FDR, so that left Truman to collect the garbage.

    Second, most historians are Dems and are more than willing to applaud any President who passes major social legislation, no matter what happened in the rest of the Presidency. LBJ was driven from office because of the Viet Nam War, but he is sometimes ranked in the top 10 Reagan because of his social programs.

    Third, Truman was basically an honest man.

    On the other hand, it seems to have been forgotten that under Truman the US had 400,000 troops in Korea.

    Bush 43′s biggest mistake was saying No when his staff suggested to him to can Ron Dumsfeld.

  80. Liam says:

    RBrown

    I noted the PBA decision – but that decision was well within the range of public consensus, whereas a significant erosion of Roe/Casey would not be. Nothing in the 2 justices testimony demonstrated an appetite to go there, as it were.

    LBJs approval ratings were never as dismal as GWB’s, it might shock you to learn. His popularity toggled back and forth throughout his term, and LBJ actually ended his term with a net positive approval rating. It’s been about 4 years GWB was in the general level at which LBJ ended his term in terms of public opinion.

    I don’t think GWB has been particularly honest. Not venal, but not particularly honest, either.

    Don’t forget that part of the public animus against Truman was not only Korea but that he alienated the Southern base of the party by embracing a critical stance towards Jim Crow – those negatives clung to Truman until it was very clear that the death of Jim Crow was irreversible.

    For more on public opinion of presidents, here is a one-stop shop (it doesn’t reflect the CBS poll released late yesterday showing that GWB’s disapproval is still over 70% as it long has been, pace this week’s Gallup outlier):

    http://www.ropercenter.uconn.edu/data_access/data/presidential_approval.html

    I don’t think this issue of public opinion is a huge tangent from GWB’s life position. The pro-life movement runs a danger any time it over-identifies with an administration – its fortunes in terms of public openness can get mired with that administration. I very much fear that is going to happen with regard to this outgoing administration. To call GWB the best pro-life (and, more shocklingly, the most Catholic) president we have is a great way to close a lot of ears unnecessarily.

  81. Ivan says:

    GW Bush, pro-life?

    HA!

    Indeed, he is less lenient regarding abortion than, say, Barack Obama, but “pro-life”?

    HA!HA!

  82. TJM says:

    An admirer of Harry Truman (the last decent, honest Democratic President who would have spit up Bill Clintoon “A man who cheats on his wife is not fit to be president,” said ole give em hell Harry) people here seem to forget he ordered the dropping of the atomic bomb on the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaski killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. By comparison, George Bush has waged war with patience and has put our own troops in harms way in order to spare civilians, something Roosevelt or Truman would have not considered in their calculus. What amazes me is that otherwise, rational Catholics go bezerk when discussing President Bush. However, given the extreme left-wing Democratic bias of the American media, it’s no wonder. If you hear bad things about a man, 24/7 (from moral midgits in the media, who by the way, despise faithful Catholics), it’s no wonder many who post here would feel the way they do about President Bush. In my view, if you agree with media positions on almost any issue: abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, war, etc., you are generally always on the wrong side of an issue. Tom

  83. Ted K. says:

    Let us not try to make of American Presidents what the Egyptians did to their pharaohs: treat them as gods. All human beings make mistakes, and that includes politicians. We seem to expect too much godly perfection of our politicians. I am sure that Mr Bush tried to do his best under the circumstances and poor advice. It is easy in hindsight to see mistakes and evils, but for some reason more difficult to see the good a person does. Even Shakespeare’s Marc Anthony recognised the good in Julius Caesar. Mr Bush has done something very good here in declaring a Sanctity of Human Life Day. Let us thank him at least for that.

  84. Barb says:

    I am glad that the gift of reading hearts is a rare one given to saintly souls who know better than to throw
    the first stone.
    We, the less than saintly, are left with naught but words and deeds to judge. I am pleased that President Bush
    has shown a growing interest in the Catholic faith. Even his previous support for certain instances for abortion
    may be going by the wayside. If indeed he is inching closer to the Church, I for one would applaud that. I
    support him for I see him actually humbling himself before God by accepting the derision of his enemies with
    such patience. He is like the rest of us, struggling with past and present failings.

    Fiat Voluntas Tua

  85. little gal says:

    ‘Bush 43’s biggest mistake was saying No when his staff suggested to him to can Ron Dumsfeld.’

    IMO, it was buying into the plan of the Project for a New American Century…Romsfeld was only one member of this group of Vulcans who had a position in the Bush administration.

  86. Matt says:

    Credo,
    supports abortion to be legal for rape, incest, and when the mother’s health is in danger. In other words, he is perfectly fine with killing certain unborn babies. Whether he supports killing one baby or millions of babies does not change the fact that he supports killing babies.

    This is a \”Non sequitur\”. Just because you don\’t support something to be illegal does not mean you think it\’s perfectly fine. There are many immoral actions I don\’t believe should be illegal, but that doesn\’t mean I\’m \”fine\” with them. Secondly, it\’s quite possible that he is taking a politically supportable position which would reduce abortion by 99% if enacted, rather than a politically unsupportable position which would reduce abortion by 0% because IT COULD NEVER PASS WITHOUT A MASSIVE CHANGE OF HEART IN THE ENTIRE NATION which is impossible in the current circumstances.

    I understand this is a very personal issue for you, and nobody here is suggesting that Bush is morally right for this position, we\’re just trying to keep the discussion based on what is objectively true.

    God Bless,

    Matt

  87. Williams says:

    “However, wouldn’t it be more correct to that that he is the most pro-life President we’ve had since 1973?”

    That’s what I was thinking too. How I miss JFK…….:(

  88. TJM says:

    Unfortunately, Williams, the Kennedy’s are now fake Catholics and big-time abortion supporters. Ted is an absolute disgrace. A man who should have gone to jail for killing that young aid of his. But the Kennedy idolators were fine with that. Somehow I believe JFK and RFK wouldn’t have been fine with his kid-gloves treatment. By the way, RFK’s wife was crucified in the press in 1968 when RFK was running for president because she said birth control was evil. Boy the Kennedy’s really have come a long way from that time. Tom

  89. Credo says:

    Matt,

    I know this may be personal for you since perhaps it will shake your world a bit to admit the truth, but you need to face the truth and the facts some time.

    Just a couple of factual examples of his pro-abortion position (please look up these facts rather than making accusations of “reading hearts”, “reading minds”, “non sequitur”):

    1. Took Away Abortion Funding to Mexico and Gave it Back For Aborting Babies Conceived in Rape, Incest, Life of the Mother: President Bush took away funding for abortion from Mexico City and then decided to give them some funding back; guess what for? For aborting babies who are conceived in rape, incest, and for the health of the mother. He could have kept the funding back entirely for abortion, he had the power to do it, but he didn’t; why? Because he is pro-choice, he is pro-abortion. Even as a governor before the election Bush has consistently over the years stated that his position has always been that abortion should be legal for rape, incest and the life of the mother.

    2. Gave Funding For Embryonic Stem Cell Research: President Bush also had the power to cut off funding entirely from embryonic stem cell research, but he chose to continue the funding, although limited, nevertheless, he gave permission and funding for the killing of unborn children in the embryonic phase of development. Furthermore, he made damaging statements about not knowing when really life begins, etc, which was very destructive for the pro-life movement.

    Let this be clear: this is not just about me personally (that’s ridiculous to suggest), this is not just about the media influencing people, this is about following the Church’s teachings by defending all life as sacred and recognizing words and actions from others which either promote life and also those that degrade the sanctity of life.

    It seems as soon as some hear the words “I’m pro-life” and “the culture of life”, they throw on their rose-coloured glasses and don’t bother paying attention to the other words and actions by that person. Please, wake-up.

  90. Credo says:

    I hope some will be so eager to support Obama and all of the positive things he will do to decrease abortion and decrease the casualties of war. Afterall, shouldn’t we accentuate the good things for life and just ignore the other stuff. According to some, mentioning the good things is all that matters. I hope that Obama will be applauded when he says “I believe all life is sacred”, just like President Bush.

    (btw, I am not a supporter of Obama)

  91. Paladin says:

    Credo wrote, in reply to Matt:

    [Matt]
    I understand this is a very personal issue for you, and nobody here is suggesting that Bush is morally right for this position, we’re just trying to keep the discussion based on what is objectively true.

    [Credo]
    I know this may be personal for you since perhaps it will shake your world a bit to admit the truth, but you need to face the truth and the facts some time.

    :) Yep… the adage, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” comes to mind, again.

    Credo, in all seriousness: not only was it reasonable for Matt to point out that this seems to be a very personal issue for you (or would you seriously *deny* that?), but you completely ignore his qualifier, “nobody is suggesting that Bush is morally right for this position”.

    Look: we all know that the terms “pro-life” and “pro-choice” are extremely elastic and subjective, especially at their edges (i.e. the so-called “hard cases”); when the typical person uses the phrase, “pro-life”, they may not incorporate what they *should* incorporate–i.e. the ironclad defense of all human life, from conception to natural death (as per the clear teaching of Christ’s Catholic Church). Fine. But for you to complain about others’ use of the term “pro-life” when applied to President Bush, on the basis that it’s “too sweeping and prone to quiet, glossed-over exceptions”, does it make a great deal of sense for you to turn right around, in the very next breath, and call him “pro-abortion” and “pro-choice”, as if those terms are somehow more exact? If shifting and vague standards bug you, fine… but perhaps you might refrain from indulging in them, yourself?

    I also haven’t heard any clear response to Matt, wsxyz, and Allena, when they rightly point out the near-impossibility of a Quixotic “all-or-nothing” approach to legislation, on President Bush’s part.

    And before you say it: yes, I know that “rape/incest and ESCR” don’t seem to be on President Bush’s moral radar as high priorities; but for you to push it further, calling him “pro-abortion”, and implying (at least in my ears) that he wouldn’t have rejoiced to have all abortions banned in the USA (or worse, that he would have fought such an endeavour), is quite a stretch without solid basis, IMHO.

  92. Ivan says:

    The problem with allowing abortion in case of rape and/or incest is that it pretty much allows any and all abortions. Prove you weren’t raped, or that a girl’s uncle isn’t the father. Or are we going to allow abortion if and when that is proven in a court of law, e.g. 40 weeks after conception.

    Folks, allowing abortion in the case of rape and/or incest is simply allowing abortion in any and all cases.

    Let’s either be pro-life or not. There is no “gray area” when it comes to abortion.

  93. Credo says:

    Paladin,

    calling him “pro-abortion”, and implying (at least in my ears) that he wouldn’t have rejoiced to have all abortions banned in the USA (or worse, that he would have fought such an endeavour), is quite a stretch

    This is really what you’re after, right? The rest of your post is a red-harring.

    President Bush is not anti-abortion, he is for legally aborting certain babies, pro-abortion. People can deny it, but it’s a fact that he admits himself. Yes, he said this himself a number of times. Look it up.

    Obama said he would like for there to be no abortion, as well.

  94. Paladin says:

    President Bush is not anti-abortion, he is for legally aborting certain babies, pro-abortion. People can deny it, but it’s a fact that he admits himself. Yes, he said this himself a number of times. Look it up.

    He is, is he?</a?

    Again: I (and others) have told you, many times, of our awareness of the flaws in President Bush’s positions. (Is your computer simply editing those out before they reach you, or are you simply ignoring them?) But when you throw out an unqualified, “President Bush is fine with killing babies born of rape and incest”, you’re being sloppy at best, and disingenuous at worst.

    Let me make this quite clear–in bold print, so that your computer has a more difficult time filtering it out:

    Yes, we’re quite aware of President Bush’s wrong stance regarding the abortion murder of children conceived through rape and incest, and regarding ESCR. You’ve captured that masterfully. Bravo.

    Now, after that’s settled: could you see yourself clear to admit that the statements of yours to which Matt, wsxyz, Allena and I responded (specifically regarding the idea that the characterization of “perfectly fine with killing babies”) were so out of line and inflammatory as to be silly (and more in keeping with political/emotional rhetoric than with logic)?

    Your back-handed comparison to President-Elect Obama (who, in your words, “said he would like for there to be no abortion, as well”) was a like example: it’s so out-of-proportion as to be staggering; you seriously think that President Bush would threaten a veto against a ban on all abortions, for example (the way Obama would veto pro-life legislation of any stripe)?

  95. Rancher says:

    This, like a lot of other threads on most blogs, is getting both personal and academic rather than rooted in reality and practicality. Fact is that Bush could have chosen to do NOTHING in the last few days in office to in any way note the sanctity of human life. He chose to act, not ignore. And regardless of what you think of Bush that is a good thing. Fact: In addition to the proclamation he mentioned the importance of reverencing human life in his farewell address to the American people. And, regardless of what you think of Bush that is a good thing. Fact: we have 3 branches of government with the ability of one to check the others. Bush represents only one branch of government and does not have the authority to do half of what some posters adamently state he should have done. He tried, more than most Presidents and if you look at the record that includes more than Ronald Reagan. Fact: We haven’t yet seen the full impact of his (hard fought for I might add) appointments to the Supreme Court. But the early indicators in a couple of cases at least indirectly related to abortion are that in the long run they may make a significant difference. No President and no Congress can overturn Roe v Wade. Only the Supreme Court can.

    For those who believe Obama will issue a similar proclamation next year I hope you are right. But I seriously doubt he will and if he does unless he publicly changes his past position on abortion any such statement would be a lie published only for political purposes.

  96. Miguel says:

    Father… I thought you were mature and reasonable… but you are not… what a deception… You blocked me out of the site just for telling the truth… and I was not disrespectful, as you are when you comment on what you think are negative news or declarations… Always bringing those people STUPIDITY and IGNORANCE up… Now I feel like I have to BRING OUT YOURS…
    [And so begins another entry from one of those people who are incapable of self-editing and who hurt the cause they seek to uphold. What a shame.]

    He might protect UNBORN life but he destroys already BORN LIFE… what’s the difference? A murderer is a MURDERER… “THOU SHALL NOT KILL” a PURE and SIMPLE commandment… You can not praise him based on that declaration… It is obvious it does not come from a LIFE LOVING HEART… so he’s not a LIFE CHAMPION after all…Or would u call a MURDERER a PRO-LIFE person just because he’s against abortion, but still thinks HE WAS RIGHT KILLING BORN PEOPLE? Doesn’t that sound STUPID to you, father? It should, for IT IS… Better praise God for giving that DUFFUS a good idea…

    You talk about perfect record as if the stains in his are minor things… is not SEX, it is not STEALING, it is not public funds missuse… NO, IT IS MURDER and precisely MURDER…

    Bottom line… You are either politically partialised or just stupid… and I’d like to think ur stupid… HONEST!
    [What a sad case. Perhaps well-intentioned, but extremely damaging to the pro-life cause.]

    “Omne verum a quocumque dicatur a Spiritu Sancto est.”
    Thomae Aquinatis…

  97. Ivan says:

    [Do] you seriously think that President Bush would threaten a veto against a ban on all abortions?

    I believe he would. He would do so because such a ban would be extremely unpopular with the vast majority of Americans. A very large majority of Americans believe it should be legal to murder a child that is the result of incest or rape. The pro-life position isn’t particularly popular in the United States.

  98. Rancher says:

    Several postings here over the past 2 hours makes it abundantly clear why Obama won the majority of the Catholic vote. A total lack of understanding of real Church teaching. The moral equivalancy argument several have used to justify their positions is simply a specious argument. Goes to show what decades of the Church in this country failing to instruct on true Catholic teaching results in. The much lauded efforts of some Bishops to “educate” within the 6 months just prior to the election proved too little, too late. And, unless a concerted and consistent effort is made to correct that deficiency the 2010 and 2012 elections (and beyond) will be little different.

    Social justice issues (important) are not equal to life issues and yet it is the feel good “peace and justice” stuff that gets the Sunday sermon emphasis. Pity.

  99. wsxyz says:

    Paladin: [Do] you seriously think that President Bush would threaten a veto against a ban on all abortions?

    Ivan: I believe he would. He would do so because such a ban would be extremely unpopular with the vast majority of Americans.

    President Bush doesn’t impress me, given his record over the last four years, of someone who acts based on his popularity rating.

  100. Allena says:

    Father Z,
    I hope that this doesn’t get you down…it’s a tough read.

    We have made progress under President Bush, and that is noteworthy and also praise worthy. Not perfect, but praise worthy. I think that was the aim of this post no?

    Much of the arguments and nastiness defies logic, and just keeps beating a dead horse. We all agree with the fact that the exceptions are wrong, but that isn’t enough. Don’t let it get you down, you were right to post this post, even though it may have been upsetting to you, and some of us.

    We should all pray for each other to have greater understanding and charity instead of fighting about it. Divided we fall…and evil reigns.

    This is exactly the thing that many Catholics I know who voted for Obama say is why it doesn’t matter…sad…it’s all or nothing at all, and the nation chose nothing, because Bush didn’t give us everything.

  101. R says:

    I noted the PBA decision – but that decision was well within the range of public consensus, whereas a significant erosion of Roe/Casey would not be. Nothing in the 2 justices testimony demonstrated an appetite to go there, as it were.

    Their testimony was properly ambiguous. There is no way any judicial nominee should indicate which way he would vote in any future decision. Roberts referred to Roe as settled law, subject to the principles of stare decisis.

    And of course, the Dred Scott decision was also once settled law. The irony is that Due Process, which was the basis for the decision, has now become a foundation for Civil Rights.

    LBJs approval ratings were never as dismal as GWB’s, it might shock you to learn. His popularity toggled back and forth throughout his term, and LBJ actually ended his term with a net positive approval rating. It’s been about 4 years GWB was in the general level at which LBJ ended his term in terms of public opinion.

    It’s doubtful that LBJ could have been re-elected. Lying about the War worked in 1964, but he couldn’t have used that strategy a second time.

    BTW, I was in the barracks when I was told LBJ would not run again. No one was upset.

    I don’t think GWB has been particularly honest. Not venal, but not particularly honest, either. As a matter of fact, there was cheering.

    Has Bush been honest? Perhaps not, but there is a long, glorious history of US Presidents lying about war.

    In 1916, Wilson ran for reelection on the motto: He kept us out of war. As soon as he was reelected, the man who kept us out of war took us into it.

    In 1940, FDR, trailing in the polls, said more than once that he would not send American boys to fight in foreign wars. At the same time he was maneuvering to get us into the war in Europe.

    In 1964, LBJ, all but invented the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which caused the Congress to give him carte blanche.

    I’m not a fan of Bush 43, nor was I of Bush41. But I think 43 has been very good on the abortion issue.

    Obama will be a pro-abortion President, not only in SCOTUS nominees but also in permitting abortion in military hospitals and promoting it internationally. The only difference between him and other pro abort politicians is that Obama will try to emote with those who oppose him on the issue.

  102. RBrown says:

    Miguel,

    You give yourself too much credit. Your comments indicate that you know as little about Catholic doctrine as you do about manners.

  103. RBrown says:

    Iraq WAR?… Wars are played between EQUALS… That’s why they are called WARS and not ATTACKS
    Comment by Miguel

    Incorrect.

    Ask any officer, and he’ll tell you that they don’t want a fair fight. They want to defeat the enemy without their own units taking casualities.

    Why do you think the Stealth program exists? It is intended to destroy the enemies’ military capabilities.

  104. Mark Polo says:

    I really think that President Bush believed at the time of his order to attack that the Iraq war was a just war. He even invited Catholic and Protestant theologians to the White House to discuss the principles of a just war before he made his decision. Should he have given more weight to John Paul II’s adamant refrain that war was not justified in this case? Absolutely. But he is not a Catholic, and apparently believed that he had better information than the Pope did. That we now know, several years afterwards, that the threat had been exaggerated before the war doesn’t change the situation that Mr. Bush found himself in when he made the decision. The situation today is entirely different, and the course of action cannot be decided on the basis of whether there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq five years ago.

    It is certainly true that all human life is sacred, and that the exceptions for rape, incest and the health of the mother are not acceptable. However, we are Christians and seeking the good in others. Is it not so that had Mr. Bush succeeded in banning the abortions that he saw (again as a Protestant) as evil, that the way would have been much clearer to show the evil of the remaining abortions and possibly move in the direction of a ban? We can hardly afford to be “all or nothing” in our support of politicians if we want to defeat this blight on the nation.

    In the same way, of course, we should be seeking the good in President-elect Obama. He has many good qualities, and if he can be convinced to act only in the areas where he has strengths (leaving the topic of abortion alone until he has a conversion of heart), he can still be a good President.

    It’s human nature to demonize our enemies and attack with harsh words. But that doesn’t make it Christian or Catholic. We must love them, pray for them, even praise their good points. When we must discuss their bad points, we must do so with charity.

  105. I am not Spartacus says:

    Mr. Polo. It is well established that prior to his even being elected President, W. willed war against Iraq. The terror attack (none of the terrorists Iraqi, nearly all of them were Saudi nationals) provided W. with the excuse to wage war.

    Iraq was no threat to America. It had no Air Force that could reach us. It had no Navy. Militarily, it was a joke. The UN inspectors were documenting the weapons were being destroyed and it was Bush, not Saddam, who chased the inspectors of Iraq.

    As for a reasonable chance of the US winning this illegal, unjust war, Cheney had already was on public record as being opposed to the lunacy of war against Iraq.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w75ctsv2oPU

  106. ckdexterhaven says:

    I think some people’s hatred of President Bush is stronger than their love of the unborn.

  107. Allena says:

    Does anyone ever consider that we are not privy to all the intelligence that is available. We elect our presidents and trust them to make the right decision. The reality of it is, we never know if it was right or not. Even intelligence from wars long past is not public information now.

    I also notice that suddenly, as Obama gets briefed, he’s starting to back water on that immediate withdrawal order he promised. So, I suppose if he doesn’t or isn’t able to follow through, then he’ll be an evil war monger as well?

    The fact is, that President Bush has taken all the brunt of the blame for everything, and that isn’t necessarily fair or accurate. There were plenty of other fingers in the pie, on all these issues.

    Wasn’t this post about his proclamation of the National Sanctity of Life day? What does that have to do with all this other stuff anyway? The whole post was about that he went to the effort to promote a more respectful position on life. I don’t care how you slice it, it was worthy of praise that he took the last few days of his office to do something of this nature. The rest doesn’t nullify the positive effect this could have on the public’s view of abortion.

  108. TJM says:

    I am not Spartacus,

    I guess you’re not aware that President Clintoon signed legislation while in office that made it the official policy of the US to work for regime change in Iraq by any all and means. The difference between Clintoon and President Bush is that Bush means what he says and for Clintoon it’s all about politics. If politics were Bush’s primary concern he would have NOT gone into Iraq and instead sat on his 70% plus approval rating at the time. But unlike followers and timeservers, Bush, based on intelligence gathering not only in the US, France, Britain, etc., etc., decided it was too great a risk to leave Saddam in power and acted. You conveniently forget that Saddam paid bounties to families of suicide bombers, so by that act alone he was actively aiding and abetting terrorism. I’m glad you were not a citizen of Saddam’s Iraq because you might have faced the rape rooms or human shredders. Tom

  109. lwestin says:

    I have been very grateful for the ‘culture of life’ advocacy of President George W. Bush. I am inclined to take his proclamation as sincere. Why not?

    We are unlikely to hear anything this real for years to come.

    The whole world is struggling with this (except Canada, which continues to ignore it), under the coercion of the UN. The US has been one of a very few nations to stand up at all against the ‘culture of death’ manipulations of the UN and the EU.

    God Bless him.

  110. I am not Spartacus says:

    I guess you’re not aware that President Clintoon signed legislation while in office that made it the official policy of the US to work for regime change in Iraq by any all and means.

    I was both aware of the ILA and know you described it inaccurately

    +++++++++++++ begin quotes +++++++++++++++++++++

    Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 – Declares that it should be the policy of the United States to seek to remove the Saddam Hussein regime from power in Iraq and to replace it with a democratic government.

    Authorizes the President, after notifying specified congressional committees, to provide to the Iraqi democratic opposition organizations: (1) grant assistance for radio and television broadcasting to Iraq; (2) Department of Defense (DOD) defense articles and services and military education and training (IMET); and (3) humanitarian assistance, with emphasis on addressing the needs of individuals who have fled from areas under the control of the Hussein regime. Prohibits assistance to any group or organization that is engaged in military cooperation with the Hussein regime. Authorizes appropriations.

    Directs the President to designate: (1) one or more Iraqi democratic opposition organizations that meet specified criteria as eligible to receive assistance under this Act; and (2) additional such organizations which satisfy the President’s criteria.

    Urges the President to call upon the United Nations to establish an international criminal tribunal for the purpose of indicting, prosecuting, and imprisoning Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi officials who are responsible for crimes against humanity, genocide, and other criminal violations of international law.

    Expresses the sense of the Congress that once the Saddam Hussein regime is removed from power in Iraq, the United States should support Iraq’s transition to democracy by providing humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people and democracy transition assistance to Iraqi parties and movements with democratic goals, including convening Iraq’s foreign creditors to develop a multilateral response to the foreign debt incurred by the Hussein regime.

    ++++++++++++ end quotes ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Our Sweet Jesus on Earth – in the persons of John Paul and Benedict – opposed the Unjust War.

    Does that mean they were suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome or hated Bush more than they loved the unborn?

  111. Paladin says:

    I am not Spartacus wrote, in reply to TJM:

    Our Sweet Jesus on Earth – in the persons of John Paul and Benedict – opposed the Unjust War.

    That’s a very pretty turn of phrase (though the first part is hyperbolic enough to be nonsense, literally speaking), and they certainly did (and do) oppose the war. But I think you’ve pushed your available data a bit further than it can stretch. Remember what Cardinal Ratzinger, in 2004, wrote in a memo to the US Bishops (which was subsequently buried by a certain American Cardinal–(ahem.)–but I digress…)?

    For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion.

    This was written in 2004, prior to the Bush/Kerry election, while the War in Iraq had been raging for years, and while Pope John Paul II (may he soon be canonized) was reigning. Are you seriously suggesting that Cardinal Ratzinger–our current Holy Father–was so obtuse that the Iraq War was completely “off his radar” as he wrote this (especially in the light of waves of heterodox Catholics who were seeking to justify “Kerry Votes” (TM) on the basis of “Bush’s anti-life war stance”), and that Pope John Paul II was utterly incapable of offering clarifications to the effect of “except for the unjust Iraq War, of course!”? If so, then congratulations: you’ve just flabbergasted me.

    Does that mean they were suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome or hated Bush more than they loved the unborn?

  112. Paladin says:

    (Hm… appropriate that the anti-spam word was “continuity”, given that I forgot to continue my last message!)

    Does that mean they were suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome or hated Bush more than they loved the unborn?

    Not at all… but they weren’t the ones saying that President Bush was “pro-abortion”, “anti-life”, or any other such screed.

  113. ALL: Please keep your tone here constrained, civil and moderate.

  114. wsxyz says:

    I am not Spartacus, I don’t think anyone here is actually arguing that the Iraq War was a just war, so it’s somewhat of a red herring to mention that the Holy Father said it was unjust.

    But I do think that President Bush believed, on the basis of his own (non-Catholic) judgment, that he had sufficient cause to proceed to war.

    Throughout the early 2000′s there were, in fact, many voices saying that war was necessary to end the sanctions farce that had continued in Iraq throughout the 1990′s. I recall The Economist magazine, for example, calling for military action on the basis of Iraq’s continuing breach of the conditions of the armistice that ended the Gulf War of 1991. That armistice provided for the resumption of hostilities in the case of noncompliance.

    Does that make the Iraq War just? No, of course not, but it does show that there was a consensus in certain circles, including the Congress of the United States, that the war was justified. In other words, President Bush, while a primary actor, was not the sole source and motivator of the war.

    Regardless of the justice of the initiation of the war, it would certainly have been wrong and foolish to abruptly abandon Iraq after the fall of the previous regime and leave the country in ruins, civil war, and as a stronghold for islamic terrorists.

  115. Thomas says:

    Credo:

    “2. Gave Funding For Embryonic Stem Cell Research: President Bush also had the power to cut off funding entirely from embryonic stem cell research, but he chose to continue the funding, although limited, nevertheless, he gave permission and funding for the killing of unborn children in the embryonic phase of development. Furthermore, he made damaging statements about not knowing when really life begins, etc, which was very destructive for the pro-life movement.”

    Bush did indeed give public funding for embryonic stem cell research (the first administration ever to do so, despite the media’s lies to the contrary), but he limited it to stem cell lines that were already extant, so technically his administration didn’t pay to kill any babies for ESC research, they just spent public funds to reap the benefits of those murders. I will leave it to the moral theologians, philosophers and ethicists here to sort the morality of that one out.

  116. Thomas says:

    I was a away for a few days and I uess I missed the party. Wow.