Obama wins the Catholic vote, again

From The Catholic News Report
By Catherine Harmon

According to exit polls, Barack Obama was re-elected last night with the majority of the Catholic vote. From Politico:

Although he again lost Protestant voters to his GOP opponent, Obama held onto his advantages among Catholic and Jewish voters. He won 70 percent of the Jewish vote, down from 78 percent in 2008, and he won Catholic voters 50 percent to 47 percent. Romney carried Protestant voters by a 13-point margin, 56 percent to 43 percent.

That’s down very slightly from the 54 percent of Catholics who voted for Obama in 2008. I haven’t seen any polls parsing the numbers on how Mass-attending Catholics specifically voted (in 2008, the majority of Catholics who attend Mass weekly went for McCain). More as the numbers become available!

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173 Responses to Obama wins the Catholic vote, again

  1. srdc says:

    Catholics are not single-issue voters. The Republicans shot themselves in the foot with conspiracy theories about Obama, stupid rape comments. Too much focus on Roe V Wade, when it’s a grassroots movement that has changed hearts and minds on this issue, not politicians,
    And they lost the Latino vote due to their immigration policies.

  2. toadspittle says:

    Nowhere does Miss Harmon suggest that Catholics are “single issue” voters, Sdrc.
    Why on earth should they be?
    Hardly anybody with a brain is.
    Just that a significant number of Catholics voted for Obama.
    And that, in this case at least, they demonstrated more sense than Protestants.

  3. Giovanni A. Cattaneo says:

    Nothing to see hear folks. Catholics are faithful to their Bishops, the council has been a success the Mass of Pope Paul has brought great richness of understanding of the Faith to the lay masses and are expressing them with amazing results all over the world.

    Ah! the fruits.

  4. toadspittle says:

    That is a very offensive word to call homosexuals, Giovanni! Go, shrive yourself!

  5. Catholics voted for Obama because Obama’s policies are more align with the plights of the poor than Mitt Romney’s. I am not a Catholic, but when it comes to helping the poor, the Catholic church is second to none. Much of Mitt’s policies were aiming at taking away the little that the poor has. For example, he had proposed to repeal Obamacare.

  6. Jerry says:

    A great deal of debate in (Mass attending?) Catholic circles seems to have hinged on the abortion issue. Both Romney and Obama (like Bush and Clinton before them) would have left things just as they have stood for a few decades now. Romney pandered to conservatives by declaring that he would only support legal abortions in cases of rape and inscest, but he did this knowing that it would not be a bridge he would have to cross, it was pure rhetoric. Paul Ryan (devout) somehow forgot to mention that he intended to be part of a government that ignored Catholic teaching on abortion, and that even his running mates best compromise was a)incompatible with Catholic teaching, and b) purely specious.
    Meanwhile Obama is certainly pro-choice (and honest about it, unlike Romney), but that is by no means the same as being specifically pro-abortion, which would presumably mean taking active satisfaction in completed abortions. The Democratic platform, if pursued, could plausibly lead to a decline in abject unsupported poverty, and, based on previous decades, a decline in abortion rates (most people don’t do it to preserve a middleclass lifestyle).

    So can someone explain to me why Obama has been getting it in the neck in the Catholic blogosphere these last few months* as the “antil-ife” candidate, while Romney has got a free pass??.

    *Not here, but I think of this as a place frequented by informed conservatives who might have an answer

  7. firenze05 says:

    Obama is the anti life president on the abortion issue – give us some examples of him speaking up and voting for the unborn. Take your time now…..

  8. Jerry says:

    firenze05, you said;
    Obama is the anti life president on the abortion issue – give us some examples of him speaking up and voting for the unborn. Take your time now…..

    I am pretty sure that he has been a “pro-choice” candidate all the way. There’s no denying that, but is there any evidence that the abortion rate would have declined under a Romney administration? Maybe, I haven’t seen any though. — And it would be fair to say, “the elections over anyway forget about it”, but it strikes me that Obama has come under heavy fire as the pro-abortion candidate, but I’m not entirely sure that there was any solid evidence Romney would have been better… and yet prolife conservatives piled their anger on Obama.

    Here is Romeny in 2002: (eloquent as always). Seriously.. watch

    Some insight as to why Obama has been the villian of the piece would be appreciated

  9. I am an American Catholic, and I voted for Obama. I felt I could in good conscience do so because of the following statements in “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:

    “A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.

    “There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.”

    For me, the “truly grave moral reasons” that justified my vote for Obama, despite his position on abortion, were the horrifically unjust and cruel positions of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan regarding Social Security, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), Medicare and Medicaid, and welfare policy, together with the injustices of their tax policies and the very real danger that they would lead the United States into another unjust war in the Middle East, one that would result in the needless death and injury of thousands of Americans and innocent bystanders.

  10. kathleen says:

    From what I gather srdc at 19:33 yesterday is spot on! Those, I think, were the main reasons the Republicans lost the elections.
    There just might have been one more reason some Catholics could not vote for Romney….. he is a Mormon, not a Christian!!

  11. Jerry says:

    ….. he is a Mormon, not a Christian!!

    This is true, the CDF was emphatic on that. (Paul Ryan forgot). BUT, surely Kathleen in all fairness it is possible to support a candidate for office without sharing their faith. And since we all enjoy history, whatever our view of the present: I found some nostalgia: 🙂

  12. Pastorious says:

    Kennedy of course was the man who attacked Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, attempted to assassinate a foreign head of state, escalated the appalling war in Vietnam and pushed us all to the brink of nuclear Armaggedon. This is history, I’m afraid, and is always ‘forgotten’ in appraisals of this man.

  13. Jerry says:

    Is the foreign head of state you have in mind Ngô Đình Diệm? In which case I side with J.K Galbraith and find the theory that JFK was behind that horrible murder utterly unconvincing.

    With respect to Vietnam the Kennedy administration increased the American military presence from a few hundred to a few thousand in two years. None of whom were active combat troops. LBJ escalated the war, with some 400,000 combat troops by 66.

    With respect to bringing us all to the “brink of nuclear armaggedon”, the scholarship on the Cuban missile crisis speaks fo itself. The aggression (starting in the summer of 62) was on the soviet part. The excomm convened by Kennedy prevented war, not brought us to the brink.

    The Bay of Pigs was an ill advised fiasco of course, but Castro was no saint.

  14. Pastorious says:

    Thank J; no not the corrupt Diem, but Castro, saint or not. You can immediately think of some recent killings in this category. US law forbids the murder of foreign heads of state, though this has been ‘forgotten’. The UN forbides ‘regime change’ and at this we can chuckle.

    On the missile crisis; under Kennedy the US surrounded the USSR with nuclear missiles in Turkey and other bordering countries – much as they wish to do or have done today, in a repeat of the Cold War. After Kruschev saved our lives by withdrawing, part of the secret deal was that these surrounding missiles would be quietly removed. I find all the players here to be reprehensible.

    On the attack on Cuba, it seems that JFK wished to return the island as a casino and brothel vacation resort for gangsters. Mind you, given JFKs promiscuity that doesn’t surprise.

  15. Jerry says:

    Pastorious, just a couple of follow up points,
    Yep, the K. administration defused the crisis by promising to withdraw Jupiters from Turkey et al. And they kept that secret. It wasn’t as simple as “the other guy blinked”. BUT when you say After Kruschev saved our lives by withdrawing, I really have to protest. He didn’t “save our lives”, he pulled back from a very foolish gamble, and there is no evidence that JFK was intending to initiate a nuclear war even if they’d ignored his blockade.

    When it comes to Kennedy; this is the real point: you said re Cuba Mind you, given JFKs promiscuity that doesn’t surprise.

    I suggest to you that JFK was a better president than is sometimes acknowledged by those who are (rightly) put off by his womanising.

  16. Pastorious says:

    K; re: your 11.00 and Mormonism. All I know, or think I know is that some bloke, an ex travelling horse linament salesman, went to a cabin, nicked chunks of the Bible and promoted bigamy with a shiny smile. Oh! and they have everyone’s name hidden in a mountain cave, even yours, perhaps for marriage purposes. Yet I cannot imagine your good and fiery self as part of a team of wives 🙂 so it’s good it never really caught on. But what is the Mormon creed in your view? And what’s wrong with it? Or right with it?

  17. Jerry says:

    A quick note again; Robet John Bennett, I say good on you depite those reservations.


    Kathleen was pretty clear, she knows the position as well as you or I do. Ask Paul Ryan…..

  18. Pastorious says:

    Yes, Kr saved our lives, and it was he ‘who defused the crisis’ in pulling back, unpalatable as that seems – but it’ll do for me. ‘Foolish gamble or not’ is irrelevant to his withdrawing or we would not be chatting today. Kr lost his position after that incidentally.

    I give you a Ke family anecdote on whether Ke would really have killed us all. I recently watched a docu of the Kennedy family who were children then speaking about this time and their fears that they would die in a bunker, such was the acceptance at home that Daddy would push the button. Then there is standard history that he would have launched a strike. You are actually the first person I know of who thinks that Ke would not have done us in.

    And if Kr’s stationing of missiles there was ‘ a foolish gamble’ you will accept that Ke’s Jupiters were the same.

    It was not Ke’s promiscuity which made him a bad president, it was the policies I have stated above.


  19. Jerry says:

    I recently watched a docu of the Kennedy family who were children then speaking about this time and their fears that they would die in a bunker, such was the acceptance at home that Daddy would push the button.

    And Caroline was what 5? And J. junior was a freaking toddler. Nonsense.

    JFK is still subjected to such utter rubbish 50 years later. It’s a pleasure to rebut

  20. Pastorious says:

    I forgot to say that the Cubans were furious that Kr withdrew. What is not widely know till recently is that dozens of undetected strategic (not intercontinental) nuclear missiles remained in Cuba for a long time, till the Soviets managed to retrieve them. Castro wanted them in case of a US attack.

    The Jupiter withdrawal was done long after the immediate crisis: it was Krs turning back of his ships which saved us. Thanks to the shoe banger.

    Wouldn’t you have been relatively OK in Wellington though?

  21. Pastorious says:

    I fully understand the loyalty which Catholics hold for JFK and the Camelot myth. It’s rather like the loyalty of the African American community for Obama, despite his continuing of the Bush foreign policy and the fact that blacks are poorer under Obama. We must stick to history and put emotion aside here.

    It’s not really Obama’s fault of course – he just does what the money tells him.

  22. Jerry says:

    The Jupiter withdrawal was done long after the immediate crisis: it was Krs turning back of his ships which saved us.

    Surely the whole point of the Jupiter withdrawal was the diplomatic delay? Kr (if you will) turned his ships back because the blockade made it unfeasible not to, wich is a point for Kennedy 🙂

    And ps, nobody has ever been ok in Wellington NZ, the wind drives everyone mental

  23. Pastorious says:

    OK J, tho’ I’d say it wasn’t the blockade that did the trick, it was the Soviet acceptance that Kennedy was ready that we should all pay the price of FREEDOM! ta!ra!!!


  24. Giovanni A. Cattaneo says:

    Mr. Bennett and Jerry are perfect examples of the fruits of the council. This is why traditionalists, like my self, go blue in the face screaming about the “new church” and how the ambiguous parts of the Second Vatican Council have been interpreted in the most convenient way by liberal theologians and modernist in order to mean whatever they want for the last 50 years. Here is the perfect examples who twist the theology just as the Bishops after the council did in order square whatever circle they see fit according to their “conscience” of course.

    You see the springtime of the “new evangelization” is indeed here and we can see the ripe fruit of the council now falling to the ground its corrosive juices have began to the kill whatever was on the ground underneath it.

  25. srdc says:

    I stand by the reasons why Romney lost, but, I will also add, that Obama is still the greater evil, because of his mandate that attacks Catholic institutions. The govt, needs to stop legislating morality as “rights” and forcing others to comply with fines and jail.

    This is the same crowd that, yells,”so not impose you values on me.”

    Watch the new documentary. Cultural Imperialism: The Sexual Rights Agenda. It shows how the sexual left in the West blackmails, and bullies other countries into accepting their values.


  26. toadspittle says:


    “You see the springtime of the “new evangelization” is indeed here and we can see the ripe fruit of the council now falling to the ground….”

    Giovanni, if you are Hell-bent on employing these fanciful and poetic metaphors, you must get them right! Ripe fruit does not fall to the ground in the Springtime.
    It hasn’t even developed then.
    It falls in the Fall!
    (That’s why we call it that!)

  27. kathleen says:

    I said: “There just might have been one more reason some Catholics could not vote for Romney….. he is a Mormon, not a Christian!!”

    Jerry replied: “BUT, surely Kathleen in all fairness it is possible to support a candidate for office without sharing their faith.”

    Jerry, yes of course it is, if their policies are the same as yours; I don’t deny that at all. I was just giving my opinion (after listening into discussions in the US via the radio) that this fact could have influenced some of the voters. That’s all.

  28. TerryC says:

    Unbelievable. A party supports not one, but three intrinsically evil acts and 50% of Catholics support them. We are indeed doomed as a nation.
    From a purely economic view I’ve got one word for you Obama supports. Greece. Take a look at what happens when you both run out of other people’s money and the banks and other lenders realize that you will never be able to pay them back. They stop lending to you and you have to stop spending money you don’t have. At least Greece can’t just keep printing more money because they’re on the Euro. Soon the US will look like Germany in the 1920’s. Get you wheelbarrows ready folk cause you’ll need one to hall around the inflated you’ll need to buy a loaf of bread.

  29. kathleen says:

    @ Pastorius 13:12 yesterday

    No you’re quite right – I most certainly would not like to be one of a “team of wives”!! 😯
    And I don’t know much more about the Mormon religion than you do, though it seems that nowadays Mormons don’t usually go in for having harems. I am always polite and friendly to the nice young Mormon boys who sometimes come knocking on my door to try to convert me to their religion, but I make sure they don’t waste their time with me! 😉

    Yet in spite of that 10 year old video Jerry posted above, Romney is not pro-abortion. He, like all of us, has every right to change his views, as he obviously has…… whatever the reasons might be.

    So I’m going to stick my neck out and say: I am against abortion and against changing the definition of “marriage” to include homosexual unions, and if I were an American, this Catholic voter would have voted for Romney.

  30. Jerry says:

    Yet in spite of that 10 year old video Jerry posted above, Romney is not pro-abortion. He, like all of us, has every right to change his views, as he obviously has…… whatever the reasons might be.

    Mitt Romney has asserted his pro-life and pro-choice credentials in a never ending cycle over the last 20 years. In 1994 he was mocked as the “multiple choice candidate” — by people on both sides. It is a matter of record that Romney adopts whichever position on abortion he believes will play best to his current audience. He has NOT had a principled “change of views”

  31. srdc says:


    You are right, that no President only the courts have the authority to do these things. The issue is that the current dictator in chief thinks he is above the law, the courts and the constitution.

    The new sexual dictatorship is trying to classify their views as “rights” and criminalize opposition.

  32. toadspittle says:


    “The new sexual dictatorship is trying to classify their views as “rights” and criminalize opposition.”

    Moans Srdc.
    If, indeed, there was such a “dictatorship” its members would not have to “try” to do such things. Simply order them to be done. That’s what being a dictator is all about. Dictating.

    However, of course, she(?) is correct to imply that those with different views to ourselves should be denied “rights.”
    Or where will it all end? Anarchy, that’s where. And homosexuality, and general naughtiness, will not only be legal, but compulsory.

  33. srdc says:


    Very funny. I am talking about the fact that those with different views to ourselves, do not accept our views and want to make sure we do not proclaim them.

  34. afmm says:

    A big thanks to Giovanni and Terry C for their sensible comments. A somewhat lesser Yay to sdrc. And no thanks at all to the person who claims that Khruchev saved us.

  35. toadspittle says:

    And how about you, Srdc – do you docilely accept those views of other people that differ from your personal views?
    And, indeed, why should you?
    And would you like to make sure that that others don’t, or can’t, proclaim their anti-Srdc views?
    Yes, if you could.
    We’d all like to stop other people expressing views that we don’t like – and that we think are wrong and immoral – if we could.

    You are, I think you’d agree, strident and positive in your views.
    Which is fine, I believe. But then, other people with opposing views may be equally so.
    And we must tolerate that.

    (By the way, I can’t see anything “funny” in what I said.)

  36. Jerry says:

    You are right, that no President only the courts have the authority to do these things. The issue is that the current dictator in chief thinks he is above the law, the courts and the constitution.
    The new sexual dictatorship is trying to classify their views as “rights” and criminalize opposition.

    srdc, in response to what you said: the first sentence is correct, the second is incorrect, and the third is plain wacky.

  37. Pastorious says:

    Sorry af, I only tell you facts, history. For you, truth is a difficult medicine to swallow, but you must try. You must not rewrite history. Stalin, for one, did that and you see the result. And he’s not the only one…

  38. srdc says:


    This is going to be another, i told you so.


    I do not want to silence others, if they are civil they have every right to express their views. But, if all they do is yell, scream and insult, and then cross the line by telling Catholic schools, and others you cannot teach your views on xyz, because it offends the sexual left. Then I have issues.

  39. toadspittle says:


    What is “The Sexual Left” Srdc? I have never heard the expression before.
    It seems to imply that Lesbians, for example, are of necessity Marxists.
    Which I rather doubt.

    I also doubt that Sir Noel Coward, for another example, was a Socialist, or that Sir Elton John is.

    Interesting, too, that Afmm bemoans the pollution of CP&S by “lefties.”
    “A shame,” she says. What can it all mean? Maybe it’s sinful to vote Labour?

  40. srdc says:

    Watch the documentary I posted.

  41. srdc says:


    I am no Obama fan, as you can tell, but look on the positive side. A lot of the people who voted for Obama are very pro-life. The mandate will be struck down in the courts. It’s already losing. The Republicans spent all the time with anti-Obama conspiracy theories etc, instead of reaching out to blacks and hispanics who are mostly pro-life.

    Politicians are not going to win culture wars. This has to start at home. Obama went grassroots with community organizers.

    Social conservatives should learn from things like 40 days for life that has changed more hearts and minds than any politician. Stick to the grassroots, where the people are. Do not depend on elected officials to do your job for you.

  42. toadspittle says:

    I duly watched the documentary, Srdc (the first 15 min anyway) It does seem that some of attitudes on the “sexual left” (which appears to be largely the U.S., strangely) are as imbecile and paranoid as the opposing attitudes on the “sexual right.”
    We can agree on that.
    I raised about a dozen issues while watching, but I’ll restrict mysef to two, for brevity.

    1: What the U.S. is saying to some third world countries is, “If you don’t decriminalise your stance on homosexuality, we will cut off aid to you.” In my opinion, they have every right to do that. It’s their money.
    In other words, they are not forcing people to be gay, just demanding legal tolerance for those who are. People can go on privately hating them if they want. Can’t stop that.

    2: A small boy relates how he went to the U.N., and afterwards tells us that all the bloviating there was well, just bloviating.
    Hot air.
    All we have to do is tell people not to have sex outside marriage, is his advice. He’s right, of course.
    However, he might as well advise us that if we all stopped driving our cars, there would be a massive drop in the rate of motoring fatalities, or if countries stopped fighting one another, there’d be a lot more peace in the world.

    There sure would.

  43. Jerry says:

    I remember when this issue flared up briefly a while ago. Thanks for the link to the documentary srdc. The U.S and U.K took the stance that governments which turned a blind eye to violent hate-crimes, and enacted legislation to criminalise a persons sexuality (making homosexuality a capital offense in some cases) were endorsing primitive and often violent bigotry. — This could affect their entitlement to financial aid. What exactly is your problem with that???

  44. Jerry says:

    The UK was relatively sane in its political reaction as I recall. But in the US the painfully stupid smear was put about that this financial aid policy in some way involved foisting liberal views about same se marriage etc etc on other countries. — A smear so clearly dishonest that the issue didn’t amount to much even in the US

  45. Jerry says:

    The whole issue comes back aound to the more general point. Conservatism has plenty to offer, but its loudest advocates seem to be hopelessly addicted to lying, hysterically over-reacting, and flagrantly distorting the positions of those they disagree with. But it’s counter productive, talking trash gives them the quick high of media attention, but the long comedown of losing credibility. John Stewart summed up the the right wing pundits shock as tuesdays election unfolded rather neatly. — There appears to have been “an avalanche on bulls**t mountain”.

  46. srdc says:


    The issue is these laws come with strings attached. I am all opposed to violence against others, but not blackmail. i.e. if you do not approve of their sexual practices, you are guilty of killing them etc.

    There are plenty of liberals that are equally as hysterical.

  47. srdc says:


    1. The demands made go beyond this.
    2. This is not impossible or unrealistic. I know plenty of people who are doing fine and have been happily married, without engaging in pre-marital sex.

  48. srdc says:

    I am not overeating about the sexual dictatorship. The Catholic church, traditional Protestants, Orthodox Jews are all targets because these are groups that will not accept pansexuality.

    Rabbi under attack for voicing Biblical views.


  49. Pastorious says:

    Sr, I’ll leave this topic to you and your respondents.

    But tell me please, what on earth is “pansexuality”? There are only two sexes, so I’m rather puzzled.
    PS On posting various video links; anyone can find any link proving anything, really. And wouldn’t it be better if you made your own argument? Or we would all say nothing but simply post the words of others.


  50. toadspittle says:

    “There are plenty of liberals that are equally as hysterical.” says Srdc, somewhat excitedly.

    This is becoming a stock reply on here. “Yes Catholics are frightful, but everyone else is just as bad.” True enough, though – supposes Toad.

    “I know plenty of people who are doing fine and have been happily married, without engaging in pre-marital sex.”</i< says Srdc. Bully for them. Toad knows probably thousands of people who are happily married after engaging in pre-marital sex.
    But, the point is, whatever Srdc says to the contrary , NOBODY is insisting pre-marital sex, oral sex, group sex, or same-sex sex is obligatory.

    We are free to complain about it if we don't like it ourselves. And, if anyone ever does make homosexual sex compulsory, Toad will be complaining loudest of all.

  51. toadspittle says:

    Ballsed up the setting again.

    Oh, well, no matter.
    What is really important – if only a teeny-weeny bit, is Srdc’s rather unusual notion of, as Pasto shrewdly points out, “Pansexuality.” This is a condition Toad has never heard of before – even in his own long, ugly, protosexual and hideously sinful life.

    Much like the “Sexual Left, ” of which he had never heard before, either.

    Despite, or because of, his dotage, Toad clearly still has much to learn from the better-informed, sexually knowledgeable and more experienced young people, like Srdc.

    Presumably, “pansexuality ” includes having sex with trees, and maybe vegetables and flowers, cockroaches even.
    And why not, indeed? “Willow, Weep for Me,” “Hearts of Oak,” “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries,” “Only a Rose,” and all that.
    These titles take on new, more subtle, meanings don’t they? Rather sordid ones, to be sure, but still!

    But, all in all, perfectly reasonable, if you happen to be a nut.

    However, if you do intend to have sex with trees, nuts may be the logical consequence.

    (So be sure to wear a condom, before you branch out, if you have a problem with that, you naughty old tree-huggers!)

    Still and all, gratifying for all of us that this “post” is getting funnier and funnier.
    Laughter being, as all of us know, “The Best Medicine.” (Or so thinks Toad.)


  52. Pastorious says:

    Toad has it as mating with vegetables while whistling ‘Hearts of Oak’. Errrr…nope! as Jabba would say.
    I’m going with sex in a (frying) pan, or on the pan, or with a pan loaf. For the gay community, sex with a pansy. For a celibate, in a panic.


    If you were a joyless Calvinist, you wouldn’t get any fun.

  53. srdc says:


    There are only two sexes. Gender identity or pansexuality is the view that there are other gender identities based on what a person perceives to be their gender, different from their biological sex. Commonly known as LGBT- Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender etc.

    The Anglican church is currently struggling with this. The Episcopal church ordained a transgender priest.

  54. kathleen says:

    Having had a good laugh at the wild imaginings of our two ‘nut cases’, back to business. 🙂

    That first video you posted srdc (that I watched a few days ago) was a real eye opener on what is happening in Africa. I’ve posted it on to family and friends of mine, as I don’t think many people are aware of what the West is trying to impose on Africa. We are so patronising and arrogant, thinking we can teach the Africans how they should live – but perhaps it would be a good idea if some of their missionaries came over here to get us back to grassroot morality.

  55. toadspittle says:

    Well, there are hermaphrodites. Possibly an obscure little joke on God’s part.

    But we are getting off the point here. Srdc believes that expecting the vast majority of people to be chaste until marriage is neither unlikely nor impossible.
    I firmly believe that it is certainly the former and as near as dammit the latter..

    In fact, I believe it is over-optimistic to expect even married people to be faithful to their spouses very often.
    If 4-Star “war hero” Petraeus, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton, and Newt Gingrich each fall down on the job, (in a manner of speaking) what chance has some illiterate, uneducated, semi- starving, African got? But Srdc will have to learn this for him/herself.

    But we are off the point again.
    We are talking pre-marriage here. Of course, abstinence is the best way to prevent AIDS and the like. But it is a pipe dream, and we should face that, and do the best we can with contraception,.
    Sex is the biggest driving force on the planet. If not for the human sexual urge, the cockroaches would be running the place.
    A few, very few, people have the strength of will, common sense, or whatever, to be celibate.
    But practically everyone else does not. Young men particularly.

    I certainly didn’t, as a youth. And I was not alone.

  56. Pastorious says:

    Yes, sr, there are only two sexes – that’s what I said. You said there were many sexes -“pan sexuality”. Gender is a different thing; you need to research a little here. CP&S is difficult in that if you make a howler, you can’t go back and edit it. It’s a b****er as you have found out. You can only hope no-one picks you up on it, but today you are out of luck.

    Toad says that when he was young, he “was not alone” when he had sex – I certainly hope this is true.

  57. Pastorious says:

    I was rather taken aback to see the normally mildmannered Kathleen describe Toad and sr as “nutters”. Perhaps she has Barry McGuigan as a friend? 🙂 🙂 In which case she can say what she likes.

  58. toadspittle says:

    “….but perhaps it would be a good idea if some of their (Africa’s) missionaries came over here to get us back to grassroot morality.”

    High time indeed for incoming missionaries, Kathleen. Toad can’t wait. Possibly they can start by trying to convert the Rev Abu Quatada.

  59. Pastorious says:

    Quatada may well be what he is alleged to be. But on evidence gained by torture? I don’t think people would accept that kind of evidence if they were the accused.

    There is much howling about this man, so much so that many would abandon law and justice in a mob fury, a modern lynch party. Much as Christ was condemned and executed. Surely we would not have been among those baying for Christ’s blood?

    If he is guilty of crime, he should take the consequences. But you all know that tortured witnesses will say anything demanded of them. I’m surprised I have to say this.

  60. toadspittle says:

    What are you suggesting that Toad is saying then, Pasto? For Toad has said nothing more than African Catholic missionaries might like to try and convert him. That’s all.

  61. srdc says:


    Thanks for your support. Sexual continence was not considered impossible before the 60s in the West.

  62. toadspittle says:

    Solomon the Wise wasn’t much good at it, though, was he? There’s a deal of difference between actually conforming to something, and considering it “not impossible.”

    Toad was a teenager in the 50’s, and sexual continence was by no means the order of the day.
    At least, not for him and his friends. Mind you, he was at Art School.

  63. srdc says:


    Solomon the wise himself admitted it was his weakness not his strength.

    It’s like people agree with the Christian definition of original sin, but not agree with the Christian definition of redemption, when it comes to this issue.

    Self-mastery is being the master of one’s passions, not it’s slave.

    Wisdom gives us the ability to discern between virtue and vice.

  64. toadspittle says:

    Srdc, What we are dealing with in the world around us, is as you yourself say, weakness. The vast majority of us are too weak to follow the stern path of virtue you are pointing accusingly towards.
    My point is that it’s no good standing there, wringing your hands, gnashing your teeth, tearing your hair, and filing your nails and telling people they need “self-mastery.”
    We can’t all be Srdcs.
    Tell ’em about contraception, is my suggestion. Tell gays to wear condoms, for added safety.
    It’s not 100% safe, nothing is. But it’s miles better than nothing.
    Because they ain’t going to stop doing naughty stuff. Any time soon.
    And countries that still treat homosexualñity as a crime should be denied financial aid until they quit doing so. I think.
    But then, I’m a nut.

  65. Pastorious says:

    Toad re: your question. Nothing to do with you; it was about mobs. You, I guess are the last person to be in a mob precisely because you are contrary and go against the grain- and I say that like it’s a good thing. 🙂

  66. srdc says:


    People can do what they want. Others do not have to approve. And Africans are basically telling the West not to impose their sexual values on them, because they do not share them.

  67. srdc says:

    “Tell ‘em about contraception, is my suggestion. Tell gays to wear condoms, for added safety.
    It’s not 100% safe, nothing is. But it’s miles better than nothing.”

    Tell them to respect sex and human beings, by not treating both like consumer products.

  68. Pastorious says:

    sr – “Africans are …telling the West not to impose their sexual values on them etc”. Maybe you’re right. But have you any evidence for that?

    Any at all?

  69. srdc says:

    Take a look at that this and the Yogakarta Principles. It’s says sexual rights trump religious liberty and free speech.


  70. toadspittle says:

    Toad tries again.

    There are still a remarkable number of countries where homosexuality is a crime punishable in a variety of very disagreeable ways.
    Several of these countries are in Africa and Asia. (Many are Muslim.)
    Do you, Srdc, believe America should provide these countries with aid under these circumstances?
    I do not.

  71. toadspittle says:

    Toad duly read your latest link, Sdrc, and it is clear to him from this that you do have a point, in so far as the extreme “left,” as you would put it – on the subtle matter of sexuality is, at times, just as idiotic as the extreme “right,” which you so ardently espouse.

    And the sane and sensible truth lies somewhere in between. Or so he thinks..

  72. srdc says:


    I do not espouse the right or left, just consistency and reason.

  73. srdc says:

    “Do you, Srdc, believe America should provide these countries with aid under these circumstances?”

    I do not. But their providing much more than this, such as unasked for imposition of their sexual values.

    It also shows a certain amount of hypocrisy, but progressives, who’s worldview claims that “what’s right for me is right, what’s right for your is right.” And impose what is right for me on you.

    At least I do not hold to relativism. Right is right for everyone, and wrong is wrong for everyone.

  74. Jerry says:

    It also shows a certain amount of hypocrisy, but progressives, who’s worldview claims that “what’s right for me is right, what’s right for your is right.” And impose what is right for me on you.

    At least I do not hold to relativism. Right is right for everyone, and wrong is wrong for everyone.

    The justification for withholding aid to countires that execute people for their sexuality is that we not relativists. It’s obectively wrong. In any nation. On any continent. Whether the people passing the death sentences think so or not. The wit-holding of aid is uite the opposite of relativism

  75. Jerry says:

    I’m NEVER going to try and post fom my phone again….. here is that paragraph with missing letters etc added, and no crazy “all in bold ending” 🙂 :

    The justification for withholding aid to countries that execute people for their sexuality is that we are not relativists. It’s obectively wrong. In any nation. On any continent. Whether the people passing the death sentences think so or not. The with-holding of aid is quite the opposite of relativism

  76. srdc says:


    I am not disagreeing that it’s not objectively wrong, simply that the people who do not share the concept of an objective right or wrong existing, are the same people who use a different standard when it comes to them.

    I am just pointing out the hypocrisy of so many progressives.

    For example, why is it also not wrong to impose a Western style sexual ed program in these countries, with a different culture?

  77. toadspittle says:

    “I do not espouse the right or left, just consistency and reason.”

    For goodness’ sake, Srdc! You were the one who brought up the “sexual left” – (something I, (or anyone else, most likely) had never heard before!

    And now you talk of consistency! And you say, “At least I do not hold to relativism. Right is right for everyone, and wrong is wrong for everyone.”

    Disregarding what the “At least” implies, you would agree, then, that what is right for a 21st Century Canadian would be right for a 16th Century English Protestant, like burning Catholics?

    Or might your ideas of what constitute right and wrong differ a little? There are many who “objectively consider” black people inferior to whites.
    Then again:
    “For example, why is it also not wrong to impose a Western style sexual ed program in these countries, with a different culture?”
    Would you, then, deplore the imposition of Catholicism on the Incas?

  78. kathleen says:

    My final contribution to this discussion would be to urge people to see the video srdc posted above. (Toad, for example, admitted to watching no more than the first few minutes.)
    And does anyone else remember our post about the letter from an African Catholic woman to Melinda Gates? She literally begged her not to force her secular libertine values on African people who don’t want nor need them. This letter was widely distributed by the Catholic press.
    These and other statements from African countries are proof that our western pomposity in thinking “we know best” in these matters, is utter rubbish.

    The persecution of homosexuals in some non-western countries is obviously wrong, but I don’t think it has anything to do with trying to oblige Africans to accept homosexuality as ‘an alternative lifestyle’, which it is not.

  79. srdc says:


    You have it reversed.

    Rejecting absolute moral law is an act of promulgating absolute moral law. Nuff said?

    Post-modernists like to talk about cultural progress as an absolute. This is hilarious, because culture has take a giant step backward in the past 100 years. Or haven’t you read Animal Farm, 1984 and Brave New World? If anything, science has resulted in “islands in the sky” – pockets of exteme, obscene wealth surrounded by vast oceans of material deprivation. But surprise! If our demographic could chart virtue, it would flip the graphic completely on its head. Thanks for your sadly trite analysis. I bring your attention to the parable of Lazarus and the rich man.

  80. srdc says:

    “what is right for a 21st Century Canadian would be right for a 16th Century English Protestant, like burning Catholics?”

    “There are many who “objectively consider” black people inferior to whites.”

    “Would you, then, deplore the imposition of Catholicism on the Incas?”

    Your examples are classic examples of relativism, not the reverse. The difference is just your ability to understand basic comprehension.

    I love it how people like to talk about the past as being “dark”, when the same people would watch Saw 3 without qualm.

  81. Pastorious says:

    A bit of 1984 Speak from sr in his second sentence! Underlining a point I suppose.

    And those evil postmodernists saying things that are literally unheard of! Who are they? We need names, sr.
    “Culture has taken a giant step backwards in the past 100 years”. What on earth can this mean? Whose culture? What aspect of culture? Music, art, literature, a day at the races?

    May I suggest that it is politics and economics which resulted in the extremes of wealth? You can hardly blame that on Picasso, Lester Piggot or John Cage. Poor old scientists, busy making medicines and increasing the food supply and SO much more, only to be slapped down by sr. Oh the injustice. I always thought that it was poverty not riches which was obscene, but que sais-je? Perhaps I have it reversed.

    sr can help me with the sentence “if our demographic….on its head”. I need help here.

    And yes, T may be “sadly trite” and have things “reversed” – this could easily be true, but again I need sr’s help in identifying where he goes wrong, even as a warning..
    A look at the Lazarus story didn’t do it.

  82. srdc says:


    I am not refuting art, culture, or scientists, just Toad’s line of reasoning, that sees the past as “barbaric” and sees us as advanced creatures, who have to export our progress on stupid brown and black people.

    I should have not used literary language, to get my point across, since “enlightened” people would not be able to comprehend it.

    If anything, most anti-religious persons suffer from anachronistic thinking, and a restricted scope of intellectual appreciation. For instance, medieval times are referred to by atheists as “the dark ages.” Meanwhile, this era was replete with intellectual, cultural, and artistic development – just not the kind that redounds to relativism, rebellion, and decay.

  83. toadspittle says:

    “I am not refuting art, culture, or scientists, just Toad’s line of reasoning, that sees the past as “barbaric” and sees us as advanced creatures, who have to export our progress on stupid brown and black people.”

    Is it true, Srdc, that Toad does see the past as “barbaric” although, as a point of fact, he has never actually said so on CP&S.

    Indeed, he regards the past as being equally barbaric as the present.

    As to the future, no one can remotely confidently predict.(Viz: Popper, Poverty of Historicism) But he (Toad, that is not Popper) will be pleasantly amazed if it is not just as “barbaric” as any other era in this planet’s lamentable history. (Christ or no Christ.)

    Some things today are unarguably better than in the past.
    Anesthetics, for example.
    Other things are worse.
    Religious hysteria, for example.

    It averages out. Or so Toad thinks.

  84. toadspittle says:


    “Or haven’t you read Animal Farm, 1984 and Brave New World?” asks Srdc.

    We might well ask if he/she has read any of them, because – if she/he had – she/he might realise that “Animal Farm,” (Stalinist Communism) has already come and gone. “1984, ” (Totaliarian Dictatorship in Britain) never actually materialised – did not even come close; and “Brave New World,” for all its potential problems and horrors, has still not yet arrived, and may well never do so.

    Of course, it might. But I wouldn’t take too short odds on it

    Let’s not be hasty, eh?

    “..when the same people would watch Saw 3 without qualm.”
    By the way, what is Saw3?
    Never heard of it.

  85. toadspittle says:

    Isn’t Srdc a darling? regardless of what sex he/she is!
    So wise for her/his years!
    (No matter how many, or few, they may be!)

  86. Pastorious says:

    sr, I see you are engaged in a titanic struggle with Toad. Be careful though, for he has a logic which can be hard to overturn, if not impossible. He’s so tricky that he often marshalls facts to aid him in his debate.

    Yet, and yet, it seems you have ‘outed’ Toad into an admission that he sees the past as barbaric. You did this not by reading CP&S but by some mantic force. We’ll have to keep an eye on you! 🙂

    You tell me that you “should not have used literary language” – may I assure you that you needn’t worry on this account, not at all.

    I was taken aback when you said that antireligious types have a restricted intellectual appreciation (of what I don’t yet know). I’m unsure of your evidence here, (genetic?) but hold on sr, there are many of these sorts around who are quite smart, including the refined Mr B. Russell, invoked by the dastardly Toad. And the swarthy Dawkins (tho’ actually he is agnostic, but let’s bung him in!), and the swashbuckling, late Hitchens. I couldn’t cross swords with that lot intellectually – I would be afraid. Wouldn’t you?

    Hmmm – dastardly, refined, swarthy, swashbuckling. I’m running out of adjs!

    May I offer a gentle correction? You say that atheists refer to the Middle Ages as the Dark Ages. E-e-e-e-errrr….NOPE! …(I like to imitate my betters! ): The Dark Ages were centuries before the Middle Ages, and it was historians who said they were dark, not those pesky atheists. And historians said they were dark,(the ages, not the atheists) meaning they didnt know much about them. It wasn’t pejorative. Rather like Dark Africa, which you seem to be keen on. So, just a few facts which won’t go amiss. But we’ll keep a stern eye on the atheists, nevertheless.

    You are right, I think, that the Middle Ages were a time of great intellectual flowering etc. Very true, even if they thought that Barnacle geese came from barnacles, that bleeding the sick was good, that a poultice of cow dung was good for wounds, that the sun went round the earth (touchy one that!) and so on. But these were minor blips. They built Chartres then. 🙂 And that’s worth any amount of barnacle geese, dung poultices etc!

    Thank you for your post – truly it was a pleasure to read.

  87. srdc says:


    Thanks for your response. I personally do not consider the New Atheist to be intellectual. I agree B. Russel is better than the other two though.

    Science has BTW disproven both Heliocentrism and Geocentrism.

  88. Pastorious says:

    sr, tell us more about science and the disproving of heliocentrism and geocentricism.

    I don’t know what the ‘New Atheist’ is either, but if it’s those “two” , they are as smart as a whip.

  89. Jerry says:

    Srdc, you said:
    For instance, medieval times are referred to by atheists as “the dark ages.”

    Actually Srdc the very unfair label “dark ages” is used very little in serious scholarship these days. The entire concept of a “middle-ages” between classical antiquity and the “modern period” was invented by Italian Catholics such as Petrarch anyway. The idea of a dark period where civiliation was extinguished is (in origin) largely a product of scholars from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. All of whom were Christian.

    The abandonment of the term “Dark Ages” has accelerated in the last four decades. Atheist Francis Pryor (big beard, youve seen him on Time Team), has written a lot of popular material (in the British context), debunking the notion.

    The assertion I quoted by you is a distortion of the truth.

  90. srdc says:


    I know that smart atheists, no longer hold this view. I was addressing the ones who do.

  91. Jerry says:

    Srdc, ok, putting that comment of yours in its context:

    If anything, most anti-religious persons suffer from anachronistic thinking, and a restricted scope of intellectual appreciation. For instance, medieval times are referred to by atheists as “the dark ages.” Meanwhile, this era was replete with intellectual, cultural, and artistic development – just not the kind that redounds to relativism, rebellion, and decay.

    I think there is a lot I can agree with there.

    Our cultural life is impoverished by the loss of a shared religious frame of reference. Dante was able to capture the whole sweep of the human experience and our yearning for God in his poem because (aside from his genius) he shared with his contemporaries a coherent and all embracing view of God, the cosmos, human nature, and human history. Nobody in the West (however brilliant) could accomplish that synthesis today. — So points for the Middle Ages there…

    Our cultural life is enriched by our uncertainty and confusion in the face of the world we find ourselves in. Einstein was able to re-shape our understanding of the Cosmos because he worked in an intellectual environment* in which there were no sacred truths that had to stand unquestioned. Even the common sense ideas of absolute time and space could be overthrown. — Nobody in the West (however brilliant) had the freedom in the culture of the middle-ages (including in their own minds), to subject the Cosmos to such questioning.. — so points for the modern world there.

    *luckily he was not ensnared by the third Reich, which cannot be blamed on either the Christian or enlightenment traditions.

    So, I answer you with a resounding, “see what you mean, but not entirely” 🙂

  92. srdc says:


    Yes, Einstein’s theory of relativity, is what disproved heliocentrism too.

  93. srdc says:

    African women fight back against forced sterilizations. It’s our civilized culture that’s behind it.


  94. toadspittle says:

    Really? Einstein’s theory “disproved” heliocentrism, did it Srdc? The Sun is not situated at the centre of our solar system then is it? That will take a bit of getting used to.

    As to the “enforced” sterilisation of Africans ladies, well good for them. If they don’t choose to be sterilised, (and why should they?) they have every right not to be. And if anyone tries to force them, they should be swiftly disabused. They should be in control of their own bodies, as we all should.

  95. toadspittle says:


    “The Minister for Medical Services, Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, responded to the reports, saying, “We can’t say as a government we have been good at providing family planning needs of women or even men but we are putting measures in place. But it is important to stress that even HIV-positive women have the right to have children if and when they desire. HIV doesn’t take that right way, not at all.” “…concluding paragraph from the indefatigable Srdc‘s latest post re The Dark Continent.
    Plenty of food for thought there.
    Toad will make no comment.

  96. Jerry says:

    Really? Einstein’s theory “disproved” heliocentrism, did it Srdc? The Sun is not situated at the centre of our solar system then is it?

    Toad, we are in rather pedantic territory I’m araid. The centre of the solar system is its centre of gravity. This is not quite identical with the centre of the sun itself. (The sun wobbles around the solar systems cente of gravity). — Lest Srdc has made you feel ignorant, .. everyone knew this long before Einstein.

  97. Jerry says:

    Srdc, I thought we had found a bit of common ground, from your response, maybe not! Ah well

  98. toadspittle says:

    Well, Jerry, that’s not much comsolation. A wobbly old Sun, eh?
    Since, as Srdc shatteringly tells us, “science” has now disproved Heliocentrism, (let alone Geocentrism) what has “science” replaced it with?

    Wobbly Old Toad is stunned! Stunned!

    This is surely critically important!

    Will he still need his sunglasses?

  99. Jerry says:

    Toad, it gets worse, in the strictest possible sense, quantum mechanics tell us that the solar system has no single defined centre, the centre of gravity is always indeterminate below a single planck length. Back to geo-centrism I say, science has shown the world to be disconcertingly weird

  100. toadspittle says:

    Jerry, are you suggesting Srdc has, in some fashion, managed to get the wrong end of the stick round her neck?

    If so, she/he should do The Decent Thing and repeal The Law of Gravity.

  101. Pastorious says:

    Jerry writes of a “planck length”. Is that Max Planck, a bit of wood or a typo?

  102. Jerry says:

    typo, as you well know, word-press won’t let me change it. Count me sheepish…

  103. Jerry says:

    or apparently it’s an acceptable spelling, oh dear, who really is fussed?

  104. Pastorious says:

    I thought it was maybe a very neat play on words – Max ‘Planck’ would have been wonderful.
    No-one is fussed (or ironic) – it seemed so beautiful a pun.

  105. Jerry says:

    I wish 🙂

  106. srdc says:


    The African women might be not practical, but it’s called pro-choice. I am just pointing out the flawed logic once more of the pro-choice movement. Something is either wrong or it’s not.

  107. Pastorious says:

    sr, you say something is wrong or it’s not.

    Stealing is said to be wrong. But if you or your kids are starving you will steal to feed them.
    So we cannot say stealing is wrong. It is your assertion which is wrong. 🙂

  108. srdc says:

    Stealing would still be wrong. The situation would just lessen your culpability for the act.

  109. toadspittle says:

    “Something is either wrong or it’s not.”

    This is indeed flawed logic, Srdc.
    I would suggest a great many things are neither right nor wrong – of if you prefer, both.
    Take earthquakes, computers, cars, vodka and nuclear power for five, just off the top of my little geen head.
    Wrong – or not?

  110. Pastorious says:

    “lessen my culpability”? Sorry, you’re very inconsistent and are shifting the goalposts.

    You said it was wrong – now you’re saying it’s only a bit wrong. It doesn’t make any sense.

  111. srdc says:

    Let’s try this. Subject and object.

    Stealing is “objectively” wrong.

    the subject was acting out of a dire circumstance, to bring good to someone else. i.e. feed the family. Hence the good outcome outweighs the bad, for the subject, making the subject less culpable, but makes stealing still objectively wrong.

  112. toadspittle says:

    Srdc is correct, I believe. (!!!) Some “bad” things are simply wrong. Stealing is always wrong. Adultery is always wrong, for example. As is murder. And torture. The trouble is agreeing what constitutes such things. Because when I “torture” someone, it’s not actually torture – it’s “forceful interrogation.”

    Even more awkward are the positives. “Love” is always right, no one would deny that.
    But what is “Love”? Some people “love” bullfighting, boxing, fox-hunting..
    “Good” is always right, But what is “good?” Some people think it’s “good” to imprison homosexuals. Very many people think it’s “good” to execute criminals.

    Then again, we all find ourselves (except possibly Srdc) in situations where one is presaented with no option but to chose the lesser of two “bad” things.
    Do we lie about the baby’s uglines, or upset his Mum?

    That’s why Toad is a relativist. In most all things.
    God, what a pompous, preachy, boring comment.

  113. Pastorious says:

    sr, you say ‘the good outweighs the bad”. Yes, it’s all relative. You’ve got it!

    Oh please.

  114. srdc says:

    No. it’s not. We cannot chose the lesser evil as Toad, says, if it does not exist.

  115. srdc says:


    Relativism is the idea that everything is relative to one’s culture, upbringing etc, and there are no absolutes.

  116. john konnor says:

    …good is just a measure of how well one reflects the divine light through their actions…since all goodness dwells in the mechanics of the divine wisdom…evil would just connote the privation of a thing’s or a soul’s brightness in relation to its cause…..as thomas aquinas says the action of the intellect is accomplished by the intelligibility of a thing apprehended in the intellect , so the intellect is not defiled by knowledge but perfected by it..however the will works to move itself towards the thing it wills…love attaches itself to the thing loved…so we ruin ourselves when we cling improperly to things privated of the good…let us always strive to attach ourselves to the good..no matter what the cost might be

  117. toadspittle says:


    “No. it’s not. We cannot chose the lesser evil as Toad, says, if it does not exist.”
    Of course, we can’t choose something that doesn’t exist, Srdc. (Any atheist will tell you that.) But lesser evils do exist.
    Lots of them.
    You may not want your leg cut off – but it’s better than dying of gangrene. poisoning.
    To be more provocative – a woman may not want an abortion – but, to her, it’s a lesser evil than having an unwanted baby. You will not agree.
    But life is often like that.
    You may not want to get your new hairdo wet, but it’s a lesser evil than missing Mass because it’s raining.

    “Relativism is the idea that everything is relative to one’s culture, upbringing etc, and there are no absolutes.” Very nearly correct, Srdc.
    Relativism is the idea that what few, if any, absolutes there actually are (and we all subscribe to a few) – are indeed relative to one’s culture, upbringing, etc.”

    This is why Srdc does not view race relations in the same way as would, say, a South African Boer from The Dutch reform Church, in the 1950’s.

  118. The Raven says:

    To be more provocative – a woman may not want an abortion – but, to her, it’s a lesser evil than having an unwanted baby.

    This is exactly where the Falange went wrong: if only they’d been women it would have been perfectly acceptable for them to choose the “lesser evil” and end the lives of all of those unwanted people.

    I’m struggling to see how killing another person is ever a “lesser evil”, Toad.

  119. toadspittle says:

    It seems reasonable enough to comprehend anyway, to me, Raven.
    Still not always easy though, to be sure.
    But I have very often been confronted by situations where we “…have to make the best of a bad job.” Who hasn’t?

    In that particular and extremely contentious circumstance you cite, you will have noted that it’s not necessarily Toad’s opinion, but that of some women who find themselves in that situation.

    A situation thankfully denied the likes of you and me.

    You might also struggle to see how killing Bin Laden was a lesser evil than capturing him alive. Others might not. In fact they would not see it as an evil at all, let alone a lesser one. I would say it’s all relative. In fact I say that all the time.

    Or, in the classic ethics case, do you deliberately swerve to avoid the crocodile of children crossing the road and kill the old man at the bus stop?

    Or agree that killing a soldier who is trying to kill you and your family is a lesser evil than allowing him to do so?

    Christ, I gather, favours you and yours being killed rather than indulge in violence. I do not.

    And, as you mention the Falange, I can only suppose Franco, that great and pious Catholic, thought the killing all opposition to him was a “lesser evil” than letting them live.

  120. The Raven says:

    Well, Toad, you’ve certainly cited some good examples where killing another person might be the “lesser of two evils”.

    The common theme, of course, is that the most compelling examples that you give involve killing one to save another. That is a world away from bumping off the unwanted or inconvenient.

    The Church must not repeat the grievous faults of the twentieth century that it made in failing to stand up against the culture of death espoused by Franco (although, given that the reds topped 2,000 priests and religious in August 1936 alone, you could see why the Church wasn’t taking their side) and his ilk.

  121. toadspittle says:

    Raven, the point you make about killing the unwanted is a good one.

    The issue of whether or not we have the right to refuse a “decent” death to those who ask for it is another.
    For another day. Maybe.

    …And, although we don’t want to go back there so soon, (or possibly ever) I suggest the bulk of Spanish priests killed and churches burned was the work of home-grown Spanish Anarchists who felt they had been betrayed by the Church, (Viz: Gerald Brenan, The Spanish Labyrinth) rather than Moscow-inspired Communists.

    But the end result was the same, anyway.

  122. john konnor says:

    …..”Thomas Aquinas is credited with introducing the principle of double effect in his discussion of the permissibility of self-defense in the Summa Theologica (II-II, Qu. 64, Art.7). Killing one’s assailant is justified, he argues, provided one does not intend to kill him. Aquinas observes that “Nothing hinders one act from having two effects, only one of which is intended, while the other is beside the intention. … Accordingly, the act of self-defense may have two effects: one, the saving of one’s life; the other, the slaying of the aggressor.” ….i am sure you are all familiar with this doctrine …just thought i would add my two penny thoughts ….in some cases we have mental reservation where concealment of the truth is justified if it serves a good purpose as well… as in the case where soldiers are searching out innocent adversaries that they wish to persecute… in this respect not disclosing their location even though you new of their whereabouts would be ethically justified since your concealment of the truth would be not a lie per se only a reservation of knowledge that the soldiers would not have the right to be made privy to …in this way a greater good would be served….

  123. Pastorious says:

    Surely the question of relativism and all these killings has been resolved, at least according to the good Amaric, Bishop of Poblet and Citeaux and key figure in rooting out heretics in the Albigensian crusade. It has been adapted for use in Vietnam but you know it well;

    “Kill them all, for the Lord knows them that are His”.


  124. srdc says:


    This was during a civil war in France, that was started after a papal diplomat was killed by the Albigensians.

  125. kathleen says:

    Toad says:
    To be more provocative – a woman may not want an abortion – but, to her, it’s a lesser evil than having an unwanted baby. You will not agree.

    No, of course not, no Catholic should agree with that! It would be gravely wrong to do so…… as would coaxing or abetting a woman to have an abortion.
    Nor is any baby ever “unwanted”; there are so many people who cannot have their own babies and who are desperate to adopt one.
    Whenever anyone ever said that to Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, she would reply: “You don’t want the child? Give it to me; I want it!” There are now hundreds, probably thousands, of happy children (mostly girls) being brought up in families everywhere, or already living normal lives as adults, thanks to this holy nun, and many like her, champions of the Gospel of Life in the world.

    St. Paul says that it is never justifiable to do evil that good may come of it, and that such thinking is condemnable. (Romans 3:8)
    The examples Toad gives are certainly tricky ones, but apart from what Raven and John have already said, I would just add that where one can draw the line is probably between (a) setting out to actually do evil to avoid a worse one, and (b) when unavoidable evil occurs, which then somehow lessens the result of a worse outcome, (eg. like in the case of the car accident.)

  126. Pastorious says:

    K, are you very sure that you want to use that quote of St Paul above?

    On the rest of your post, so you’re a relativist too? Good on yer lass!

  127. toadspittle says:

    “Killing one’s assailant is justified, he (Aquinas) argues, provided one does not intend to kill him.”
    Killing people unintentionally is a tricky business, prone to error.
    I’d suggest there are plenty of assailants in this world that set out with the express intention of killing other people, for one reason or another, often religious nowadays.
    And, if you don’t decide to intend to kill them before they can kill you, you almost certainly will end up toast.

    Let’s hope we stay lucky.

    I suspect it was the same in Thomas’s day. Worse, probably. All those swords.

  128. Pastorious says:

    sr you say this was after a civil war etc. Highly debatable but –

    – you agree with the Bishop that it’s right to kill ’em all, let God sort it out?

    Well, God had a lot of people to sort out after the siege of Beziers alone – 20,000 men, women and children – but hey! our Bish was in charge. A bit rotten that, passing those numbers on to be sorted out..We don’t know how many were ‘innocent’ and who should not have been butchered. But maybe they didnt mean to kill them, like St Paul’s collateral damage, so that’s OK.

  129. Pastorious says:

    T. Aquinas’s collateral damage.

  130. srdc says:

    No I do not agree with the Bishop. It was a civil war though.

  131. srdc says:

    “Well, God had a lot of people to sort out after the siege of Beziers alone – 20,000 men, women and children – but hey! our Bish was in charge.”

    It was actually 6,000 and it was the King who thought religious unity would bring political unity. Where are you getting your stats from?

  132. Pastorious says:

    6000, 20,000; you’re slipping off the point. What difference does it make if the war was a civil war?

  133. srdc says:

    Facts count. It makes a difference because the objective was not religious, but political.

  134. Pastorious says:

    Tell that to the Bishop.

    He’d probably kill you and let God sort it out.

  135. Pastorious says:

    I will anticipate even more denial and tell you the source for numbers murdered and what kind of war it was.

    Bishop Amelric’s letter to Pope Innocent III in 1209 – “Our men spared no-one, irrespective of rank, sex or age and put to the sword 20,000”.

    The surprisingly named Pope said that all Albigensians should be imprisoned and lose all property.

    This, dear sr, was a religious war, a crusade. Let’s hear no more of a civil war.

  136. The Raven says:

    Toad, possibly true, but every account of twentieth century Spain that I’ve read blithely ignores the homicidal anticlericalism of Spanish liberalism in the nineteenth century, which normalised the murder of priests and religious as a “progressive” action (we probably ought to blame the French revolutionaries and Bony).

    The cycle of hatred and violence had already been established long before the upheavals of the twentieth century.

  137. The Raven says:


    I have no desire to disagree with you on the morality of the killing: 6k or 20k doesn’t change that.

    I would point out that the laws of war pertaining at that time were that if your town held out against besiegers then your life was forfeit if they broke in (rather understandable as an escalade usually entailed horrific loss of life for the beseigers).

    I’d also point out that the numbers were probably closer to SRDC’s estimate: 20k was a huge number for the population of a town in that period and medieval historians consistently overstated the participants in an engagement (vide the notes in the Penguin edition of the Neibelungenleid).

  138. Pastorious says:

    Thanks Raven, I quoted the numbers given by the man who told the Pope he had caused the death of 20,000. I can do nothing other. Perhaps he was bragging. But those are his figures, and the infamous statement he made about ‘kill them all’ tends to support his letter to the Pope.

  139. srdc says:

    Raven is right.

  140. toadspittle says:


    20,000 killed – 6,000 killed – another shining example of the paradigm response – “Yes, Catholics are bad, but other people are even worse.” Ah, the poverty of our aspirations!
    Mind you, we all do it, don’t we?
    (That’s enough dead Albigensians, Ed.)

    How about this?
    Should get a few breakfast cornflakes shooting out of our noses, eh?

  141. Pastorious says:

    This matter raises a question about a recurring issue on CP&S.

    Sometimes ‘difficult” questions are put on faith, morals, doctrine and so on; Toad often poses the questions. Unfortunately, they are usually ignored or very poorly answered. There’s a shuffling of feet and a need to find anything else to do – except answer. It has been amazing to see how often this happens. Toad is left bewildered again and again.

    This Albigensian caper exemplifies the problem. Facts about numbers killed are initially denied, and then dismissed as ‘that’s the way it was then’. Of course we can’t universally apply today’s values to the 13th century. But we learn that a Bishop was a mass (no pun etc 🙂 ) murderer who boasted to the Pope of his actions and the body count. The response?- the Pope announced that all survivors in the area (they were heretics you see) should be imprisoned and impoverished. Yet no-one here responded to this in any useful way. Why?

    One conclusion is that relativism, another badly answered topic, is alive and well among Catholic moralists, and that the Church simply follows the culture of the day, however appalling that is. There are, it seems, no values which survive the passing of time. It might well be that priests and nuns and Popes will soon marry, that abortion and contraception will be part of Church values and so on. Why not? given that values change with time.

    “Eternal verities?” 🙂 don’t make me larf!

  142. kathleen says:

    I think this is a very unfair complaint Pastorious. You are an incredibly prolific commenter, as is Toad, with a seemingly unlimited amount of time to post on here. It is honestly very difficult to keep up with all the “issues” you bring up, but I do my best (which is probably not good enough I see, I’m sorry) in spite of a busy personal life…… as I’m sure other Team members do too.
    (Just want to add here our thanks to srdc and John Konnor for their recent contributions.)

    The “mass murderer Bishop” you mention is just an example of a man (a sinner) who obviously did not practice what he preached (re, following the precepts of the Church). History of the Catholic Church is full of such examples – that’s not news to anyone – but it is even fuller of examples of an army of outstanding saints and martyrs; we all know that. We could argue till the cows come home comparing examples of saints and sinners and get nowhere, if you are determined to see it only from one angle. What is the point you are trying to make? Constructive criticism would be much more beneficial.

    I disagree entirely with your last paragraphs; there are teachings, Dogmas and Doctrines of the Catholic Church (eternal verities) that will never, ever change – they cannot. Don’t confuse practices or customs with those.

    P.S. And I’m not a relativist BTW! 😉

  143. Pastorious says:

    K, don’t take it personally. My question is addressed generally. And you are the exception in giving answers. 🙂 I am NOT, as I said recently, looking for Team Members to reply, but the general hoi-polloi.

    I am not “determined to see it only from one angle” – I am asking for many angles to be offered. Thats the problem – I dont see them. Toad asks questions and very often there’s no response.

    What’s my point? It’s about inconsistency and raising the question – do the Church’s values shift with the wind?

    You refer to teachings, dogmas etc. Were these in place at the time of this particular massacre? Why did a Pope collaborate in this? Its no good someone saying these were bad people who broke the rules. The whole institution went along with this.

    Don’t use time in answering, K, let others do that.
    Thanks for responding. 🙂

  144. toadspittle says:

    Now don’t start going and taking it all seriously, Pasto.
    You will only get yourself all bent out of shape.

    Just remember one value that will never change, thinks Toad, is our Catholic notion of innate superiority, which is one of our faith’s most endearing and enduring traits.
    I remember it vividly from when a mere Toadpole in the 50’s.
    Our martyrs are braver and holier than any others, our Popes are wiser, better looking, more spiffily dressed – and even better at Putting the Shot and Synchronised Swimming than any other religion’s Popes.
    Our bishops’ palaces are more palatial, and our pederastic priests are far, far, fewer than any others in the world.
    And far nicer too!
    Even our sins are bigger and more spectacular than anyone else’s!
    (Except for “Pride,” of course. We are content tocome last in that.)

    So weesht (c.s.) yer whinin,’ man. Or, it’ll be off to the Quivering Brethren website wid youze! (Apologies to Brendan Behan.)

  145. Pastorious says:

    🙂 🙂 Well, T, in relation to my fevered post on slippery values, as Brendan Behan said, “Ah! Bless you Sister, may all your sons be Bishops”. Times change as he noted.

    Not so fevered actually :).

    I am relieved that one of the hoi-polloi such as yourself should step forward and give poor K a rest. “Who will rid me of this meddlesome blogger?” as she might say.

    Maybe sr will be along to post some links. Or john konnor (of Terminator fame) may opine a little.

  146. The Raven says:

    Sorry, what part of

    “I have no desire to disagree with you on the morality of the killing: 6k or 20k doesn’t change that. “

    didn’t you pair get?

    And explaining that they were living in a society that didn’t care about distinctions between civilians and combatants after a siege is only intended to explain why they were quite so blasé about the mass murder, not to forgive it.

    The point that I was naively hoping to get across was not that the numbers game excuses anyone, but that medieval historians (including eye-witnesses), not to mention modern participants in mass events, are not very good at evaluating the numbers of participants: http://thethirstygargoyle.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/choose-life-choose-military-history.html?m=1

  147. john konnor says:

    …tradition is ever changing…yet it builds on the truths passed down and becomes cumulative …the Holy Spirit is ever renewing making evident the past as an eternal now… since God in his eternal nature is an ever occurring now…we can only meet him in the present moment..as a river of living water flowing from the wound in Christ’s side this river of tradition will take us into eternity if we stand on the barque of peter …meaning the doctrines the solid truths that will protect us on the stormy sea of doubt and unbelief…so it is we have a new mass which is a new tradition appended to the old…. it is sad however that such holy men in the past have taken out of context 2 timothy 2:19-But the sure foundation of God standeth firm, having this seal: the Lord knoweth who are his; and let every one depart from iniquity who nameth the name of the Lord……and let their will to power corrupt their power to will ……

  148. toadspittle says:

    “…tradition is ever changing…yet it builds on the truths passed down and becomes cumulative ..”
    John is on to something significant here, Thinks Toad. Over the centuries, layer by layer of “truths,” many the the philosophical equivalent and density of tissue paper, have been “pasted,” one on the other – until now the Church presents a front to the world with the apparent strength and density of two foot-thick Cor-Ten Steel.

    Would Christ recognise his Church today? Unlikely, thinks Toad. Would he approve? God knows.

  149. kathleen says:

    What an absolutely fascinating link you posted Raven! Really clever, and overwhelmingly convincing, proving how ‘the number game’ can be played (or should I say twisted) to an advantage….. or disadvantage, to make a point.

    Why on Earth would Christ not recognise His Church today? It is His Church after all, His Bride, and we have His word that His Holy Spirit will be guiding it till the end of time.
    “Would He approve?” (Presumably meaning of how we stand at this present moment in time.) An impossible question to answer, because it would need multiple responses, but in as far as it is the holder of God’s own Eternal Truths, it is Holy and infallible and stands outside of time. However, each baptised member – and that includes Toad – is also a representative of this One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, and we all know how fallible and sinful we are, don’t we? 😉

    Yes John, I agree with your lovely description of the Church when using ‘tradition‘ with a little ‘T’. Tradition with a capital ‘T’ is unchangeable. There’s a difference, as I’m sure you will agree.

  150. toadspittle says:

    Toad, as usual, agrees with Kathleen about your link, Raven.
    We all use The Numbers Game as The Thre Card trick when it suits us, don’t we? Million more Catholics here, million fewer Protestants there, etc.?

    And, did The Irish Times really say.. “Less than 1,000 people…”? What is the Land of Saints and Scholars coming to, Begob, Begorrah and Bejaysus?

    And, then again, Kathleen is no doubt right to suggest Christ would be delighted to see thousands of magnificently gilded cathedrals, (Entry 4 euros) full of very odd statues of people with their breasts on plates, and being lightly toasted on griddles, disembowelled, beheaded and so on, surrounded by gold and silver reliquaries containing the Elbow of Saint Pancras, and the Nose of Saint Vitus, etc., staffed by many dozens of extremely well-fed and well-dressed clerics, some in splendid pointy hats, several wearing priceless vestments lavishly embroidered with gold thread, and sporting rings on their fingers bearing rubies the size of pigeons’ eggs, and flaunting massive gold crucifixes round their necks which, if pawned, the proceeds would probably feed the whole of Dr. Barnado’s for a fortnight.
    Nothing out of the ordinary, really. .

    P.S. “Tradition with a capital ‘T’ is unchangeable.”
    Nothing in the universe is unchangeable.
    It’s all running down.

  151. Pastorious says:

    Thanks Raven

    I did get your point about numbers and your comment on the morality of slaughter – but with respect, your response is minimal and ducks the issue of changing/unchanging values.

    I am not suprised that so few gave their views on this. Par for the course, I’m sorry to say. johnboy runs a mile from the issue, but at least he posted some words.

  152. Pastorious says:

    Toad’s description of what can be seen in cathedrals is, well, magnificent. Well worth 4 euros. Entropy rules.

    K writes a positive post which rather topically leans a little on the Baltimore Catechism when she speaks of “an impossible question to answer”.

    There are so many of them.

  153. Pastorious says:

    On exotic events – I must share that a day or so ago in Paris, there was a ProChoice demo, which was opposed by a ProLife demo, which in turn was opposed by a large group of Ukranian lesbians dressed as semi-naked nuns, dressed mainly in wimples.

    The clash resulted in mutual tear gas throwing, scuffles, and the pavements were filled with battling fake nuns and placard waving opponents.

    Life’s rich tapestry. I needed cheering up. 🙂

  154. Pastorious says:

    johnboy, the point of tradition is that it doesn’t change. Or it would be modern. And then it wouldn’t be tradition.

  155. toadspittle says:

    About 50-odd years ago, in Toad’s youff, the current unchanging Traditions (Capital “T”!) were: That Limbo was a real place, that the Mass was, and always would be, said in Latin, and would always be conducted by the priest with his back to the rest of us, and that Communists would take over the world, unless we killed them all off tout suite.
    And that Rock ‘n Roll was a passing and insane fad, and that Bing would soon be back on top of “The Hit Parade.” And that the Hula Hoop was here to stay, along with electric typewriters and two-tone cars.

  156. Pastorious says:

    How spookily true.

    Makes me feel the age I am when ‘all that was solid melts into air’.

  157. toadspittle says:

    At least you are not yet – as Toad is – “….older than the rocks amongst which he sits, and has died many more times than the Vampire.”

  158. Pastorious says:

    Thank Gawd.

    Tho’ I feel that swishing scythe come too close too often.

    You may be “a diver in deep blue seas, and have trafficked for strange webs with Eastern merchants”. “Webs” of course explains your name.

    And yes, ‘Timor mortis conturbat me’. More importantly, where is Jabba when you need a good ding-dong about Latin? Classical or vernacular. I think ole’ J prefers the classical, but que sais -je?; – increasingly less (can one say that?) as “time goes by”.

  159. The Raven says:


    What makes you think that the issue of changing/unchanging morality is ducked?

    It was grossly wrong to murder innocent people, even if it was considered “normal” according to the laws of war then in force. People are blinded as to wrong and right by what is prevalent in their own times. No doubt the leaders of the Albigensian Crusade would look at our society, a society in the UK that tolerates the murder of c.200,000 unborn children each year and ask us who we are to judge them.

    Killing the innocent is wrong: that never changes. Humanity seems to have a shifting attitude to which murders it is willing to condone from generation to generation; that doesn’t ever excuse what was and is done.

  160. Pastorious says:

    Thank you R, and you are right that humanity condones or disapproves murders/murderers according to the times. Terrorist or freedom fighter, in one well discussed scenario.

    I fully agree that context is all, but that leaves me wondering if the Church is subject to that context when it shouldn’t be. History has much to say on this.

  161. toadspittle says:

    “Humanity seems to have a shifting attitude to which murders it is willing to condone from generation to generation..” It certainly does. Smacks distinctly of relativism to Toad. (Which he gathers the current Pope is not keen on.)

  162. The Raven says:

    Yes, it does smack of relativism, Toad, which is why the Church (both the people of Christ and the institution) should and must resist the various immoralities and wickedness that wider society is willing to tolerate from age to age; the Church as a whole was wrong to overlook the deaths of innocents in the Albigensian crusade, the episcopate were wrong to support the rebels in Spain in the last century and the people of Christ will be wrong in the present century if we do not resist our own age’s culture of death.

  163. toadspittle says:

    Well, can’t say fairer than that, Raven. I suppose cultures of death are as relative as anything else. Unless I’m not following your reasoning clearly.

  164. Pastorious says:

    Raven says that “it was wrong of the Church to overlook the deaths of innocents etc”. Partly true, for actually the Church encouraged the death of innocents, which is relatively worse.. Sorry.

    Clearly, this is a topic which CP&Sers are falling over themselves to discuss.

  165. kathleen says:

    I don’t know what you mean here Pastorious: you seem to have got it the wrong way round! The Church is the defender of the life of innocents. In fact it is the defender of life, full stop!

  166. toadspittle says:

    I think that today, at least Pasto, Kathleen is right. The Church appears to have qualified its thinking over the years, with regard to the death penalty for one:

    “In his encyclical Evangelium Vitae published in 1995, Pope John Paul II removed this public safety qualification and declared that, in today’s modern society, capital punishment can scarcely ever be condoned.”

    I think that is very well put, and is also more or less my personal view on abortion and euthanasia.
    Not shared by all on here, I know.

  167. Pastorious says:

    Ah Kathy! Tell that to the 20,000. 🙂 Not my figures, but the good Bishop’s!
    Please don’t shoot the messenger 🙂 If only 6 were 9!

  168. Pastorious says:

    Thank you Mr Toad, for that comment from JP II. I have scarcely ever seen such a well researched post.

    Is there anything else, I muse, that may scarcely ever be condoned?

    johnboy may tell us.

  169. toadspittle says:

    “Is there anything else, I muse, that may scarcely ever be condoned?”

    Well, there’s The Republican Party, British Members of Parliament, Coca-Cola, CD “Jewel Boxes”, Grafitti on 13th century churches, boiled eggs without salt, Californian “Chablis,” and the movies of Mel Gibson – to get the ball rolling.

  170. Pastorious says:

    On Californian wines – in a recent US/French blind tasting by relevant experts, the Cali wines won the vote. A shock to Gallic sensibilities. I believe that when the French tasters got back home, the word leper was bandied about. But it *was* a blind tasting.

    This is not to say that French wines are suddenly no good, and I have put that to the test this evening with a lovely St. Emilion. And I can tell you that this is a wine in which I am well pleased. hic. 🙂

  171. Pastorious says:

    Blind tasting is of course a kind of synesthesia.

    Not to be confused with the effect of necking a bottle of wine. Which is anesthesia.

  172. Social conservatives are socialist conservatives. They want us to feed their unaborted defects and medicate the HIV of the molestors who propogate their faith. They want their labor unions and oppose anti-feudal Georgist reforms.

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