Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Following the Moral Precepts of Liberals

The following is taken from a piece written by the every edgy, controversial, and witty Ann Coulter:

Tiller was protected not only by a praetorian guard of elected Democrats, but also by the protective coloration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America -- coincidentally, the same church belonged to by Tiller's fellow Wichita executioner, the BTK killer.

The official Web page of the ELCA instructs: "A developing life in the womb does not have an absolute right to be born." As long as we're deciding who does and doesn't have an "absolute right to be born," who's to say late-term abortionists have an "absolute right" to live?

I wouldn't kill an abortionist myself, but I wouldn't want to impose my moral values on others. No one is for shooting abortionists. But how will criminalizing men making difficult, often tragic, decisions be an effective means of achieving the goal of reducing the shootings of abortionists?

Following the moral precepts of liberals, I believe the correct position is: If you don't believe in shooting abortionists, then don't shoot one.

And from the website of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America):
The topic of abortion evokes strong and varied convictions about the social order, the roles of women and men, human life and human responsibility, freedom and limits, sexual morality, and the significance of children in our lives. It involves powerful feelings that are based on different life experiences and interpretations of Christian faith and life in the world. If we are to take our differences seriously, we must learn how to talk about them in ways that do justice to our diversity.

The language used in discussing abortion should ignore neither the value of unborn life nor the value of the woman and her other relationships. It should either obscure the moral seriousness of the decision faced by the woman nor hide the moral value of the newly conceived life. Nor is it helpful to use the language of "rights" in absolute ways that imply that no other significant moral claims intrude. A developing life in the womb does not have an absolute right to be born, nor does a pregnant woman have an absolute right to terminate a pregnancy. The concern for both the life of the woman and the developing life in her womb expresses a common commitment to life. This requires that we move beyond the usual "pro-life" versus "pro-choice" language in discussing abortion.
Politics influencing Christian doctrine has become much more common than Christian doctrine influencing politics. And any creed who favors an adherence to the popular politics of the day is doomed to be caught in an eddy of irrelevance and incredibility; possibly allowed to speak with heartfelt conviction, but never again with any moral authority. Politics (whether right or left) influencing doctrine is a dangerous, and Christianity will always ultimately be the one who suffers.


Germanicus said...

Killing a person just because they still live in a womb is like killing a person just because they live in Detroit.
I wonder when we stop developing.

TheGhost said...

Lutherans are from the devil. The Christ establish his Church on earth. Satan pulled Martin away from it, corrupted him and millions more. Not as bad as atheists but still not what God wants. What other force in the universe could pull Christs church apart?

J. Thorp said...

I understand the point of the post and Coulter's piece. I agree with Germanicus's comment. However ...

Coulter, to me, is not witty, and is frequently offensive (as in this case). "Wit" generally connotes subtlety and humor, and I see neither here. Her point in this piece is legitimate -- but her lack of compassion so close on the heels of the murder of a man in cold blood in his church means no one who needs to hear her point will ever listen to it. But she would rather make headlines, anyway.

I love you folks, but the same issue arises around here sometimes, and it irks me. *Absolutes* often need to be communicated with *nuance* and *sensitivity* to be heard, heeded, and understood. You can be completely right on an issue, with your morals intact, your character unimpeachable, and God on your side, but if you open with things like, "Lutherans are from the devil" -- you will be pigeonholed and ignored (and perhaps the Church along with you).

Maybe you can get away with it here, in a safe space with mostly like-minded people -- especially if your name is TheGhost! (And maybe you can get away with it in public, too, although I bet it limits your evangelization opportunities ...)

But my name's Jim Thorp. People know me, and it's tough enough to have a serious conversation about morality, politics, and religion with folks who disagree with you even *without* kicking them in the crotch first. We are called to draw sinners closer to God -- and I'm not sure this sort of thing helps.

I'm a little worked up. I'm the new guy around this blog, and I often love it, so I won't argue about its purpose. I think I'll just read and keep quiet for a spell ...

Serviam! said...

Just for clarification, the main point of the post can be summed up in the last line:

"Politics (whether right or left) influencing doctrine is a dangerous, and Christianity will always ultimately be the one who suffers."

The two source quotes above were not included to endorse either position, but an attempt to give examples of this from the right and left. I apologize if that wasn't clear.

Coulter is often offensive, but I do think she can also be witty - just never at the same time. Unfortunately extreme levels of the two qualities can coexist in the same individual.

J. Thorp said...

I take no issue with the point of your post, Serviam. My concern is that the tone of some of the rhetoric I hear seems to further splinter the Church and serves to keep it that way ...

Those of you I know well on here I may follow up with off line. You probably deserve further explanation. Sorry for going off on you.

Germanicus said...

Hmm a question worthy of a post all it's own.
How to be crafty as serpents and gentle as doves.

I would enjoy a good conversation on this topic.
Opening with "Lutherans are of the devil" may be offensive but it is also a very direct and definable thesis from which arguments can be drawn up to support and refute.
On the other hand opening with "Lutherans are nice people" is a salutation that can be answered with the equally kind "Catholics are nice too". Then we both proceed on our way having done nothing more than to agree to keep our prejudices intact.

So, are Lutherans of the devil and what does that mean anyway?
If they are what does that imply about the joint declaration on the doctrine of justification?

All of this ought to be discussed with Scotch and cigars at Joshua's house.

The ghost is not invited. He intentionally uses poor grammar. I think that is what really gets Jim worked up.

I do agree that we should drop the silly Latin names. No one even knows who St Germanicus is anyway. Though one could always check my profile...

James 'the blogger formerly known as germanicus' Moore

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

Ann Coulter is one of my favorite people. She's hilarious and brilliant and I think she communicates her point well most times. She says the things I'm thinking in a much better way. I do understand why some people don't think she helps their "cause" (whatever that may be for each person) but she helps me to understand that I'm not alone in my thoughts about serious subjects.

Saying something like "Lutherans are from the devil" is so dumb, I'm not even going to respond. Besides, when I saw those words, I didn't even read the rest "blahblahblah" is all I saw. Be gone DORK, or be named. You are not a "ghost", we Catholics don't believe in them things anyway so NEAYA and BOO!

I think that people will accept the Church's teachings or won't. I can try to explain things in a gentle way but that's not my way, and it comes off as fake. God made me this way for a reason. I lead people to Him, so I guess it works :)

I am Laura Maria Nielsen, and I approve this message.
P.S. Don't bother trying to steal my identity. No one wants to be me, TRUST me on this one.

Junius said...

I think Ann Coulter and TheGhost are both rhetorical extremists; personas designed to serve a purpose.

In stating, "I wouldn't kill an abortionist myself, but I wouldn't want to impose my moral values on others," Coulter is using the abortionists words against them. This is obvious, which makes it also fairly clever. But I assume that she doesn't really want ANYONE to shoot abortionists; at least I'd like to think this is her persona only, the one she uses on Fox and in her books, to drive home points and prompt conversations that otherwise wouldn't ever take place.

As for TheGhost: Might Satan have used the weakness and pride of Martin Luther, to divide the Church that Christ instituted? Or the self-indulgent, post VCII liberals to divide the modern Catholic Church, for that matter? Or maybe ours, to divide the posters of this blog? I guess I wouldn't put it past the Old Man.

As for "outing" yourselves, that is your choice. Implying that using a pseudonym is somehow wrong, or worse yet cowardly, is a false proposition. The Founding Fathers did so, on many occasions: perhaps out of fear for their families, and certainly so that the ideas generated by their rhetoric could be separated from their everyday identity. They were definitely not cowards. The stakes on this blog are, in all liklihood, minimal compared to theirs. But the reason for adopting a persona to communicate a point is still a valid practice.

J. Thorp said...

Re: pseudonyms: How did my comment turn into that old discussion? See my comment on the Clown post.

Regarding Coulter: I believe she is how she portrays herself (and how all of the people who like her trust her to be). If that's just a persona, and not her real attitudes, convictions, etc., she should call herself an actress and be done with the pretense.

She is outrageous by choice. You cannot assume a division between what someone says, how they say it, and what they mean unless they acknowledge it themselves.

And I would argue to the grave the point that her so-called persona is used to "drive home points and prompt conversations that otherwise wouldn't ever take place." In fact, the real point I was trying to make above is that these types of conversations *would* take place, and far more productively, if they were initiated by people who seek to win heart and minds, not to divide and conquer. War doesn't require conversation with the other side; peace does.

And just like that, you've sucked me back in ... grrr.

James Moore said...

"How did my comment turn into that old discussion?"

We were bored

Nancy from said...

Tiller helped some mothers with DEAD children in their wombs who would have been forced to carry them to term otherwise. You can imagine what shape this woman would have been in, carrying a putrifying fetus in her womb for 3 more months!

Who is going to help those mothers now?

Tiller also helped mothers with grossly deformed children who would not live for more than a few moments outside the womb -- children with no hearts, or no lungs. Was it so bad that he helped those families?

And, since American insurance companies (see don't cover such disabilities as Autism anymore, what's a family to do? One such family has one normal, healthy son, followed by two sons with Autism. How are they going to give their first son any time or attention?

Protect the BORN, and then we can talk about the unborn!

When Coulter shows some Christian respect for other people, and some Christian charity, I might start to listen to her. Until then, try to imagine how quickly I turn her off!

Joshua 24:15 said...

Nancy, are you still a practicing Catholic?

James Moore said...

You are very bad person. Your proposal to Kill disabled children is evil.

Joshua 24:15 said...

Yes, that logic would apply to an autistic child carried to term, toddler or even adult. The defenseless unborn AND born, would be open to slaughter.
Nancy's viewpoints are a chilling prelude to what we will have in America in the next decade, maybe two.
The silver lining behind Tiller's demise, is that he can no longer "help" anyone.

Joshua 24:15 said...

Everyone is quick to denounce Tiller's killing in the church. Good enough, I can ride on that bandwagon.

But, let's say that your daughter, eight and a half months pregnant, had an appt with Tiller (or one of the other handful of doctors willing to kill children this age). Does Catholic moral theology allow you to step in and intervene with deadly force, as a matter of self defense, extended to your family? "Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow." CCC 2264.

Joshua 24:15 said...

Just a couple more parting thoughts on Nancy's logic.

Not sure of the the details regarding dead children in the womb. I'm not an expert in embryology, but I would think there is not a problem with children who have died (naturally) before birth, in terms of a medical procedure to remove them from the womb? With my limited knowledge, I guess I would consider a baby who has died cannot then be aborted...