The opus is done; you’ll see it Sunday

Well, I just finished writing what I consider to be my most provocative column of this long presidential election. At least, it’s the most provocative to me. You have to consider that I didn’t expect the John Edwards column to cause such a fuss. So maybe this one will be a dud; I don’t know.

But I do know it’s longer than any other column that I can ever remember publishing in the paper — twice as long as usual. It will jump from the Sunday editorial page to the op-ed page. But then, I’ve thought about it a lot longer than I do most columns — months, in fact. That’s something it does have in common with the Edwards piece, although this one is much more complicated. Even at this length, it requires the reader to understand more than I have space to say. And maybe, because of that, it will be unintelligible. But a lot of my columns attempt to say more than I can denote in a limited space. This one just has more than usual to say.

Anyway, I look forward to your reactions to it. I think.

67 thoughts on “The opus is done; you’ll see it Sunday

  1. Mike Cakora

    Brad –
    We assure you that we eagerly await your magnum opus. We will consider your thoughts carefully and most critically, savaging every phrase — every metaphor, every simile, every allusion — within and out of context, castigating you mercilessly in a tone that renders “insulting” weak in comparison.
    How bad will it be? By the time your blog’s server crashes you will wish rather that you faced tar and feathers or even an angry crowd with pitchforks, hoes, electric hedge-trimmers, generators (for the hedge-trimmers), and torches, streaming down Shop Road, storming The State’s offices, screaming “Get the monster before he editorializes again!”
    On the other hand, if the Gamecocks win and we like your column, we might just have an espresso, an Armagnac, and a smoke and stay away from the computer for a day.

  2. p.m.

    Your meanderings on Barack like you
    May even inspire a Barack haiku
    From he who shows up only seldom
    The seventh son, dear Uncle Weldon.

  3. Phillip

    Don’t know what you’ll write, but many of us are still hopeful that you will begin to see things much as Michigan’s senior GOP statesman, former Gov. William Milliken, has come to see them.

  4. Reader

    There is still hope for Brad. Many, many others have had the wool pulled back from where it was: over their eyes.
    Here’s another: William F. Buckley Jr. Jr.
    Not that I’m yet voting for the Golden Boy, Barack Obama. But I will be voting against McCain!

  5. Reader

    Good grief. Where’re all the regulars? Bud…must be playing chess. Lee…must be being indoctrinated, yet again. Karen…must be gardening. Ralph…must be…don’ know.

  6. Randy E

    Brad, by bringing up Ayers and the “bitter” remark again in your threads, I suspect your McCain man-crush bias will continue to pervade this upcoming column. I’m surprised you haven’t posted another half dozen threads with videos about Wright…
    Phillip, don’t hold your breath. McCain sought the endorsement of a pastor who considers Brad (and me) a cult member and Brad ignored it.
    Reader, I don’t think it was WFB Jr. Christopher Buckley took McCain to the woodshed in his endorsement of Obama.

  7. Reader

    Randy, don’t forget how he slapped Pastor Hagee in the face and rejected his much-sought-after endorsement when he [lightbulb!!!] figured this stunt would woo the masses. These masses will be tossed aside like yesterday’s pancake batter, but that is beside the point.
    P.S. Leave the legitimate men of the cloth out of it. Rev. Wrong is fair game, though!

  8. Reader

    I set Pastor Hagee straight on who the Great Whore really is: Not the Catholic Church, but John McCain. He didn’t print my e-mail on his website like all the others people sent him, though. Imagine that.

  9. Brad Warthen

    Actually, if any of y’all are hoping this is some sort of PRO or ANTI piece with regard to either Obama or McCain, it is neither.
    It’s just my long-promised answer to the question I’ve been asked a number of times about what I mean when I say I don’t consider Obama to be black. It’s an observation rooted in our common experiences growing up in Hawaii and in the Third World (him in Indonesia, me in Ecuador). Actually, it’s a little hard to explain what the column is about; it sort of takes the whole column to explain that, and it is, as I said, a long one.
    I’m thinking about doing a similar column based on personal commonalities with McCain, but I doubt it will be as long and involved as this one.
    The whole thing might be a big bore to everyone but me…

  10. Brad Warthen

    … and in fact, I probably shouldn’t have made a big deal about this one.
    I was just so relieved to have it done, because all week I was trying to finish reading that book — and actually finished it Friday morning, with the column due immediately — and I had already warned Cindi and Warren I probably wouldn’t be able to get it done this week, but I did. I was happy that I did, and just thought I’d put up a post to brag about it.
    Those of you who have read his book will find the column very much influenced by it. It’s self-referential to a mind-numbing degree. You will think of me the same many have no doubt thought of Obama after reading that book: Man, this guy sure does think about himself a lot.

  11. Harry

    I found your editorial worth reading, and enjoyabe. Job well done…BUT…
    What was that about Pastor Wright? You seem on shaky ground with that…and I believe incorrect. The analogy is very weak.
    I am a fish without water.I see John mcCain as part of the problem in DC, and America. But having been around socialists all my life, I just can’t go the Obama route.
    So whats a guy to do?

  12. Randy E

    Brad, I bet Obama’s reflection on himself probably helped him develop an aptitude for critical thought. Chris Matthews speaks of intellectual curiosity and how Obama has it while Palin and W do not and how that should be considered an asset for a president.
    I’m an army brat and moved to SC from El Paso, Texas. I remember analyzing the differences between my former and new home as an 8th grader. It helped me learn about the differences (and similarities) between people, even in the same country (the phrase “just pikin'” bewildered me at first).
    I believe his world view, formed by exposure to different cultures, is valueable.
    I have one point of contention with your piece. Race is so visual and external that it is part of how we are defined. Consider how many people identify an African-American by including “black” in the description of that individual. Having slavery in the family tree is hardly a factor in determining an identity because race is so external.
    This was Obama’s point when he explained that race is determined for you by others. A series of studies have shown that many people have unintentional racial tendencies. In one study, people who were identified not to be prejudice were asked to determine who they would hire between two candidates who had identical resumes with the only difference being race. A higher proportion of people chose the white candidate.

  13. Paul Waymond

    Obama is NOT a socialist. Socialists are Paulson, Bush and the rest of the crowd that came up with this $700 Billion Corporate Welfare Program that we called a “Bailout/Rescue” Plan.
    It boggles the mind how fiscal and social conservatives rail against entitlement programs to help the poor like Medicaid, Social Security and Medicare but don’t see the hypocracy of supporting this bailout. It is the biggest Welfare Program in American History.
    But back to my point, Obama is not a socialist. As John McCain said in his townhall full of old biggots, “Obama is a decent, American family man that he happens to disagree with on fundramental issues.”
    He’s not a socialist.

  14. Harry

    Those who rail away at the lack of introspection on the part of others are themselves narcissistic at their core, pouring their petty personal opinions onto the public stage. They are the first to ridicule others, and the last to see the “plank in their own eye”. It has become rote lefty criticism …and it is so tiresome.
    As for Obama being a socialist, I believe he is. I have read his 2 memoirs, two books of critical of him, and hundreds of articles on his policy, life and the friends and groups with whom he has associated. I am confident in my assertion…and am equally certain that nothing said by any human could change your mind concerning even the smallest point concerning Obama.
    He is, after all, THE ONE.
    And by the way, we know all we need to know about your character when you uttered the phrase…a room full of bigots.

  15. HP

    Boy, what Barack Obama must have gone through growing up — being tossed around like a ship at sea!
    Bless his heart…now I want to adopt him…invite him over for potroast…give him a nuggie….bring him to Sunday School…[make sure he gets it.]
    I think he would make a fine president. If he would stay far enough away from Nancy Pelosi, that is.

  16. Tim

    Paul, you’ve got it wrong. I don’t think you’ll find many conservatives who actually support the President or Paulson with the rescue bill. Take Jim DeMint for instance. Plenty of Republicans supported it, but not many conservatives, just as how many conservatives didn’t support Bush’s drug program either.

  17. weldon VII

    Barack like Brad?
    Maybe just a tad.
    But so are shad.
    I expected far-reaching insight,
    But try as I might,
    All I saw was a dim light.
    Nowhere near enough to spell the night,
    Too little to give color to the black and white.
    Still, all things considered, it wasn’t bad,
    But I was disappointed it was all Brad had
    After he promised more bite
    Than the Edwards column that got it so right.

  18. p.m.

    Mr. Warthen, Uncle Weldon tells me your “Barack like me” column had about as much punch as Clemson’s offense had against Wake Forest.
    He said you used two columns worth of space to say that you and Obama both moved around a lot and searched for your identity in the process, as though every human being on Earth doesn’t go through that growing up.
    Uncle Weldon was happy you used “polyglot” in a sentence, though.
    Otherwise, he said, you said Obama tried to embrace blackness, while you tried to embrace otherness, so that means Barack ain’t much like you at all.
    After all, he did go to a private school.

  19. Randy E

    PM, perhaps Brad is more like McCain who went to Episcopal High School that has a tuition of $40,875 plus other expenses.

  20. JimT

    I agree the column was your most provocative. It seems that many people consider any kind of self-reflection to be some kind of a weakness, so don’t be surprised to hear some dismiss it right away.
    I especially appreciate your remarks about Obama and Rev. Wright, comparing it to your experience remaining a Catholic despite some teachings you might not agree with. Considering religious speech in black churches sometimes tends to swelling, some might say over the top rhetoric, I suspect the tone and some of the content was something he long ago learned to live with. Baby and the bathwater kind of thing.
    I believe if people could get over their need to condemn Rev Wright, and actually listen to what he was trying to say, they might not find it so awful. In fact, I think many people especially in S.C. would actually agree with him. He did not just up and say “Goddamn America.” He said what many evangelists say every day, that because of America’s sins we cannot expect that God always blesses America, but that he damns America for its sins.
    Yes, his theatrical rhetoric was over the top, but that is often the style in those churches.
    I know my point of view will be seen as provocative too, but to me it seems reasonable and not provocative at all.

  21. Harry

    I have studied the central tenets of Black Liberation Theology, and Rev Wright and his words cannot be removed from that church and that movement.
    What you are really saying is that the words, and the message, and in fact the man are meaningless. Why on earth would one go to a church where that is the case?
    And Randy…what has the cost of McCain’s schooling have to do with anything…other than to incite class warfare?

  22. Karen McLeod

    I enjoyed the column. One of the things I particularly like about Sen. Obama is that he had been immersed in other cultures than ours (middle class white America, in my case). It allows him to have a gut understanding that “other” is not always evil. This understanding will make it much easier to see how to negotiate with other countries, I think, because he won’t be blinded by immediate prejudice.

  23. Mike Cakora

    Sorry, I put this on the wrong entry…
    That was a fine memoir of sorts. I shall ponder it anew with espresso and Armagnac after dinner in the library.
    So you and I are like this guy, without the musical ability, of course, and I have the T-shirt and sweatshirt, having bought them at the July 12 concert in DC. I understand that.
    What I don’t understand is: how did Obama end up like this? Why did he not hang with Jesse and Al, and instead move on to Jeremiah, the wrong stuff?
    There’s a link missing, no?

  24. Dave

    Brad, clearly you think you are quiet the wordsmith, however, you DO NOT REPRESENT the opinions of the majority of South Carolinians and your long winded inner journey was, just that, a long winded inner journey. Perhaps this is why the paper is slowly dying,,,,,, your very presence reflects the medias attempt to re-wire peoples beliefs, and it is failing,,,,i.e. I’m sure there will be more layoffs soon as the State paper continues to promote mcclatchey talking points….

  25. Harry

    So, Karen, you believe that the middle class is prejudiced, and that we believe those “not ourselves” are evil. WOW! I think that statement says more about you than it does about your neighbors.
    Where do you live? Who are your friends? In my middle class life none of that is true. Sure, there are a few that your definition might fit, but Karen…look around! We live in a whirl of different cultures, desires and beliefs.
    I know that to Obama supporters, there is nothing that can be said that could sway them in their devotion to him…but I wonder…can you point to an act, or an accomplishment, that would make you believe he is capable of negotiating anything of substance with those not predispose to concur with American needs or beliefs?

  26. Lee Muller

    How preposterous to use the word “inclusive” to describe Obama, an intolerant, authoriatarian racial bigot.
    Obama recounts how all his experiences with different races and cultures just made him hate whites and Jews that much more.

  27. Reader

    Dave, he may not represent the opinions of the majority of South Carolinians because he has cultivated an acceptance of different-ness. White, indigenous men have always had the podium around here — in my neck of the woods, anyway.
    Change will not come easily for this majority; it may require an inner journey of their own.

  28. just saying

    “just made him hate whites and Jews that much more.”
    If that were a problem, he seems to have gotten over it a long time ago. On the other hand _you_ can’t seem to avoid blaming all of today’s problems on minority groups, and its people at McCain’s appearances calling for the deaths of U.S. senators and apparently thinking all Arabs are evil.

  29. Lee Muller

    Obama and Michelle haven’t gotten over their racism. They are out there spouting it every day, and so are their surrogates.
    “..all Arabs are evil..” – just saying
    There you go with that racist generalization stuff.
    Only the radical Islamofascists who hate Christians and Jews are evil – you know, the ones supporting Obama his entire life and in his campaign.

  30. Lee Muller

    The election will be over before Brad Warthen figures out that Obama is sympathetic to radical Islam because he was raised Muslim, that he is a socialist because he was raised by communists, and that he knows nothing about the world, but only his Afro-centric, anti-white, anti-Jew ideology.

  31. Dave

    To Reader, anonymity is great isn’t it????
    I was speaking to the points of socialism and the media’s constant stream of disinformation. However, you interpreted it as a racist comment, who’s the real racist?

  32. p.m.

    Randy, dearest, “after all, he went to a private school” was just irony.
    The black guy went to a private school, you see, but the white guy didn’t.
    In the South, that’s irony.
    And yet Brad goes Catholic, which is way yonder private school, but Obama doesn’t.
    More irony.
    And yet Brad and Barack are peas in a pod, his piece saith.
    Does that mean Brad has a ghostwriter?
    I think not. But Obama most certainly does.

  33. Phillip

    Hey, Brad, I liked it a lot. To me Obama’s story is a true American story, with so much in it that rings true about why I love this country so much. That’s not per se my reason for voting for him. America in general seems to be heading more and more to the Hawaii model of racial diversity. (No, Ms. Palin, Alaska is not a “microcosm of America,” hate to break it to you.)
    BTW, re our periodic Vietnam disagreements…your column reminded me of your father’s service there and I just want to reiterate that my strong feelings about culpability for what I believe to have been an immoral as well as just-plain-mistaken war have to do only with the real decision-makers at the top governmental levels. The same in Iraq today: the military’s job is to carry out to the best of their ability the mission they are given by their civilian commanders.
    If that mission is ill-advised, or worse, the responsibility lies not with the military who are doing what they are told (even if they believe in the mission), but in those who sit back in the safe corridors of power and issue the orders.

  34. Dave

    TO Reader/aka HP/aka The Thorn In Your Lily White Side
    I have a dream,,,, I have a dream that one day men will be judged by the content of their character,,,,, not the color of their skin,,,,,
    What difference does my color make unless you are a racist.
    You choose, I have German/Cherokee/Souix/Irish ancestors?
    Pick a color.

  35. Randy E

    In the South, that’s irony. – PM
    Given that Obama was about as far from the South as one can be while going to school, the irony certainly lost its effect.
    Harry, you read the post out of context. Many of these posts are responses as was mine.

  36. harry

    No, Randy, I think not. It is clear from your postings over the last 2 years that you are a person that has envy as a core part of your makeup.
    That sucks for you.

  37. Randy E

    What I don’t understand is: how did Obama end up like this? Why did he not hang with Jesse and Al, and instead move on to Jeremiah, the wrong stuff? – Cak
    Why did he attend Wright’s church to begin with Cak? He explained it was based on the social justice work of the church. Your simplistic conclusion appears more biased than analytical. “How did he get like this” refers to what? What is he like, Cak?
    I have studied the central tenets of Black Liberation Theology, and Rev Wright and his words cannot be removed from that church and that movement. – Harry
    I am sure you include Wright’s remarks about 911 and “coming home to roost.” It’s quite the double standard that multiple conservative white pastors explicitly blamed 911 and natural disasters on Americans such as homosexuals and they are given a pass.
    BLT is not a single, uniform form of study. It also appears that you have a negative view of BLT as you understand it. One tenet is that African-Americans should take responsibility for their lives, hence the term liberation. I guess that belief is not what you are citing.
    An example of Wright’s work that Obama would find appealing is how in a service he counsels the congregation on getting tested for HIV (swab test). It’s this type of community intervention which those of us with an interest in social justice would applaud. Because it is performed in an Afro-centric setting, people become reactive and resort to prejudice as if anything with a focus on being black is bad.

  38. Randy E

    No, Randy, I think not. It is clear from your postings over the last 2 years that you are a person that has envy as a core part of your makeup.
    That sucks for you.
    – Harry
    How colorful. What exactly is my envy as revealed in this thread?

  39. p.m.

    No, Randy, this blog originates in the South, so we’re in the South here, and it makes not one tinker’s damn where Obama is.
    Man, you take everything so seriously.
    If you’ve bought into this stuff about him being “The One” or some kind of great black hope, you better be prepared to find out he’s more smoke and mirrors than messiah.
    He’s a made-for-TV messiah, maybe, but he’s the savior of nothing but a set of governmental ideas that don’t work and a generation that believes itself entitled to life on a silver platter at government expense while they celebrate a meaningless ideal — diversity.
    By the way, if my pastor preached something called White Liberation Theology, would that make me a racist?

  40. Susan

    I enjoyed it very much. It made me appreciate Obama’s point of view even more. And yours as well.
    I can accept the part about the Rev. Wright. I listen to right-wing conservatives all of the time and just think my own thoughts. I don’t disown or refuse to associate. I just tolerate.
    What a concept.

  41. Ish Beverly

    A PhD, qualified in in this area, says he beleives Obama’s book “Dreams” is a phoney, written by a ghost writer. He gives some real good facts on a link to one of these blogs. He also listed some times and facts that were wrong to coincide with other events. This makes Obama a fiction writer and a phoney.

  42. Randy E

    “blog originates in the south” How provincial of you PM. So each post should be read in this context?
    Given your proclivity for context, I question why the context for BLT is lost on you. For example, Pastor Parsley, McCain’s self-proclaimed spiritual advisor, did not serve his country as a marine while he was not allowed to vote in his own country. This was Reverend Wright’s experience. How surprising that such a context may influence how each perceives society!!
    I do not see Obama as a messaih. I neither refer to him as “the one” nor as “that one”. I have bought into his vision for our country. For example, he offers a long term vision for energy independence that also provides for job creation in an area, environment and energy, that is quickly becoming the essential challenge of our time.
    Contrast that with the short-sightedness of “drill baby drill” that Palin proudly proclaimed in her infomercial called the VP debate. Or, with the hateful rhetoric that McCain and his “pitbull with lipstick” aka “Sarah Barracuda”. Each day I wonder what life will be like for my two young kids. The idea that Hockey Mom is one more cancer cell away from being responsible for their future is scary. The fact that you and other McCain supporters offer minimal if any evidence that she is qualified to be VP reinforces this.

  43. Greg

    Rather than audacity the trait which this piece most displays is self absorbtion. Taking two collums of space for a detailing of the mental meanderings which led to a very personal opinion strikes me as both arrogant and absurd. Why should anyone care whether you consider Obama to be black or not. These are the types of internal musings which have no place on the editorial page but perhaps in barroom conversations or sessions with your analyst. Yes, your job is to print opinion, but on matters such as which candidates and policies you and the editorial board consider to be best. This personal catharsis, in this place, is embarrassing. As the James Mason character said in “The Shooting Party”, one should keep a diary of their thoughts to avoid boring other people.

  44. p.m.

    Randy, the truth is, the only thing I like very much about McCain is his war story. Palin seemed like a brilliant move at first, but she has too much baggage.
    Obama seems too dangerous because he seems the Pied Piper. He has no record to speak of, but he has lemmings by the millions behind him.
    I expect Obama to win, the economy to miraculously heal itself within six months, and, then, after I use this blog to write a column about how this entire election seems like “The X Files,” Democrats will have the two-term-limit law repealed and Obama will be elected president for life. Shortly thereafter, I will disappear from view completely, but you will get to see who pulls Obama’s strings.
    Too many things, you see, just don’t add up. Picking Palin is the last one of those mysterious events. Her choice could mean only one thing: McCain is trying to lose, just like Bush the elder when he ran for a second term, and Bob Dole.
    The waters seem to be parting for Obama. Here’s hoping the presidential seal he designs doesn’t incorporate the number 6 three times.

  45. harry

    I sometimes wonder if there is ANYTHING that can be uttered that could change the mind of an Obamaite. Most of us on the right, McCain supporters by default, would love to change our candidate or his positions. And we admit it.
    But the Obama people, without any facts other that the Obama “plans” (what the hell is a plan in a campaign other than an official pandering?) believe he is the answer to all problems not just in the US, but around the world.
    Often I say to Obamoites: “whats he done, whats he run”. I have yet to get back an answer that could pass the giggle test.
    That Obama is devine is the inescapble conclusion. Thanks, but no thanks, I will stick with the God I already have.

  46. just saying

    It isn’t possible that a lot of people on the left don’t have Obama as their first choice or agree with all of his positions… but prefer him a lot over McCain (or about anyone the right would put up)?
    As far as “giggle test” on experience, I love the way each party ignores that when it suits there purposes. The right, for example, seemed to not care about the issue when W ran his first term.

  47. Randy E

    Just saying, great point about W. I remember distinctly that many supported him because he could win and not that he was qualified. It was a charged reaction by the GOP to dealing with the Clintons, from what I could tell.
    Here’s anteresting fact I just heard on “Morning Joe”; the only GOP tickets elected after 1928 had either Nixon or a Bush running.

  48. Phillip

    Just thinking about the comment above, about the blog “originating in the South.” Maybe we should be more specific, originates in South Carolina…I was playing around with the Real Clear Politics electoral map today…McCain’s lead in Georgia is in the single digits, but it is still a lead so this may be a bit of a stretch…but…
    is it possible that South Carolina will be the ONLY state on the entire Atlantic coast to go for John McCain?

  49. Mark

    I’m not sure what Sunday’s column was all about. Yes, it’s cute that you share some similarities with Obama, but there was little or no intellectual value.
    What I do know is this:
    Comparing the Sacred Heart of Jesus to racist rants in Reverend Wright’s “church” is sacriligious.
    Also, I hope you are not like Barack when it comes to his positions on abortion. You know, any time, any place, anywhere. No one should have to be “punished with a child” as he has publicly said. If you agreed with any part of this then, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, you would be out of grace and hence not eligible to share in the Eucharist.
    Also, I would hope that Barack is not like you when it comes to gay marriage. If you were to endorse this practice, then again, you would be out of grace with the Catholic Church. Not my opinion, but the church’s long-standing statement of doctrine.
    You previously wrote of your preference that Sen. McCain should have chosen Sen. Lieberman as his running mate. This endorsement of an ardently pro-abortion candidate should concern your pastor.

  50. Brad Warthen

    I don’t think I’ve ever considered a candidate’s position on “gay marriage.” In fact, are there any candidates out there who actually support “gay marriage?”
    Abortion is more problematic. That has entered into my calculations quite often, but it’s one of many important issues. And there are an awful lot of duties that occupy more of the president’s time than appointing Supreme Court justices does, and those weigh heavily in my considerations. In fact, when it comes to the court, I’d be suspicious of any nominee who donned the robes intending either to support OR overturn Roe, since I believe it’s a justice’s job to consider the cases placed before him with regard to the law, not to accomplish certain policy goals.
    In that, I may disagree with Obama, by the way. There was a passage in his book — and I don’t have it in front of me now — in which he seemed to express his opposition to court rulings that don’t accomplish policy goals he agrees with, and that bothered me.
    The problem with Roe from a legal point of view (as opposed to its catastrophic moral and political effects) is that it is based on Griswold, which INVENTED a “right to privacy.” That one still boggles my mind.
    Finally, tell my pastor whatever you like. Based on political discussions I have with him, he may struggle more than I do with the abortion positions of candidates he otherwise likes.
    And sorry, Mark, but those Sacred Heart statues have nothing to do with why I am a Catholic. They are odd cultural artifacts that I think Jesus himself would find pretty strange.

  51. just saying

    “The problem with Roe”
    I don’t have any problem at all with the court finding that the constitution implies a right to privacy or a separation of church and state. (I don’t count taking a logical conclusion as “inventing”). But I completely don’t understand what that has to do with whether or not certain medical procedures should be legal or not. (Just like I don’t understand why illegally obtained evidence gets thrown out, instead of getting the illegal obtainers punished).

  52. just saying

    I resent you saying that that I think infanticide is a “medical procedure”. A fertilized egg, while clearly morally special, is also clearly not the same as a baby. Where the line is I’m not sure [a long time before partial birth abortions come in by my estimation], but I am sure that treating “potential future people” the same as infants starting at conception leads to morally, scientifically, and legally unsupportable conclusions – e.g. would removing an ectopic pregnancy be murder then? is a chimera two people or did one die?, should women with lining disorders that cause implantation failure be allowed to have sex, etc…?

  53. HP

    Don’t know.
    But people who buck and snort about the death penalty being so inhumane — then also rear up and SCREAM “it’s” a choice, not a child will never cease to perplex me.

  54. just saying

    That’s one thing I can appreciate about the Catholic teaching anyway, they are consistent in opposing both abortion and the death penalty.

  55. Brad Warthen

    Yes, we are. Consistent that is. And so I have trouble understanding anyone who can embrace one and reject the other.
    Actually, the fact that I am Catholic is related to why I can identify with neither “liberal” nor “conservative” as they are defined today, and I certainly reject “Democratic” and “Republican.” They are not coherent world views, and I just don’t see how thinking people can subscribe to them.

  56. just saying

    I think the easiest line for being pro-death penalty and anti-abortion is the one is killing the guilty (in theory) and the other the innocent (and the old testament God seemed to like the former).
    As for the other way around, I think the easiest argument is that the death penalty kills a person, while an early enough abortion kills something that isn’t yet (in their thinking).
    They might not be your world view, but I don’t think they are incoherent.

  57. just saying

    Sorry… didn’t mean to defend the possible coherence of “Democratic” or “Republican”… just the death penalty and abortion.

  58. HP

    I also respect the Catholic faith’s consistency on all Respect Life issues. And the willingness to be a constant anchor in a sea of moral relativism. The message is the same as it has always been, hopefully always will be. No picking and choosing.
    The death penalty is the one place the Catholic Church abandons our Judeo Christian heritage, and the Old Testament justice of a life for a life. Extreme cases seem to warrant a punishment that fits the crime. That’s all.

  59. Ish Beverly

    If Obama’s book “Dreams” was written by Bill Ayers it is a phoney. That makes Obama dishonest and phoney. What does it make you people who are saying it is an Obama masterpiece? And when he said in another book “Audacity of Hope” “if the political winds turn ugly I will stand with the Muslims” I guess you “Obama like me” ones agree with that also.

  60. just saying

    It would help if you put the actual quote there, instead of your misleading paraphrase. I think standing with one’s fellow Americans against irrational prejudice is something that every good American would do.
    Actual quote from “The Audacity of Hope” [pg. 261]: Of course, not all my conversations in immigrant communities follow this easy pattern. In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific assurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”


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