Friday, November 21, 2008

"Seamless Garment Has Lost a Thread"

Austin Ruse writes about "Catholic Bullies and the Unraveling of the Seamless Garment" at The Catholic Thing:

... Mr. Kozens is part of a good cop/bad cop routine with a lovely woman named Alexia Kelley who runs another liberal-leaning group called Catholics in Alliance. Kelley used to work at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and toward the end of the 2004 election ran the religious outreach of the Democratic National Committee. Kelley, who I know personally and like, plays the conciliator to Mr. Kozen’s bomb-thrower. They wrote a book together in which they insist they care deeply about the abortion issue, but then went on to explain that it is only one issue among many and that, anyway, the Democrats are better at reducing abortions than the Republicans.

Mr. Kozens and Ms. Kelley were part of what became a very effective effort by the pro-abortion Obama campaign to wean some Catholics away from the Republican Party, though it should be noted that active Catholics still voted for McCain, if in lower numbers than for Bush in 2004. Their arguments are well known: that Obama will reduce abortions through expansion of social services. It should be noted that Obama does not call for reductions in abortions but for the reduction of the need to resort to abortion. There is a difference.

How serious is this pro-life commitment of Mr. Kozens and Ms. Kelley? A few days after the election – and a few days after Mr. Kozens’ call for confrontations in church parking lots – Ms. Kelley’s group sent out its own email asking her supporters to vote on the issues they think are the most pressing for the new administration. They were asked to pick three out of a list of six. The list included climate change, immigration reform, health care, living wages, poverty reduction, and ending the war in Iraq. Wait a second, you might ask. Where is the reduction of abortion in all this? Many liberal Catholic s insist that abortion is a part of a seamless garment-approach to social issues. But it looks like their seamless garment has lost a thread.
(emphasis added)

My Comments:
No surprise, really, that the Catholic left's "seamless garment" is missing quite a number of threads pertaining to abortion and other life issues. The fact that something was missing was first pointed out over 2 years ago, and then again this past year during the so-called Convention for the Common Good.

As my friend Dale once put it so eloquently, the folks at Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good "don't give a s--t about the unborn or marriage".

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Catholics in Alliance Voter Survey of "Little Value," Archdiocese of Denver Says

Archbishop Chaput: Kmiec Doing a "Disservice to the Church"

Mainstream Media Compliant in Obama's "Faith Outreach" Pitch

Bishop Blair Responds to Gaillardetz Opinion Regarding Roe v. Wade [UPDATED]

Debate Over at Amy's: Should Catholics Work for Legal Restrictions on Abortion?

"Separate But Equal" Redux - Pro-Life Edition

Mark Stricherz: "Why the Democratic Abortion Strategy is Worse"

What is the "Pro-Life Position" Regarding Abortion?

"Nonpartisan" Catholics United Attacks the Knights of Columbus

"Nonpartisan" Catholics United Hits McCain with Ad Questioning His Pro-Life Credentials

"Non-Partisan" Group of Catholic Obama Supporters Calling Itself "Catholics United" Gets Divisive

The Catholic Left Meets in Philadelphia

Convention for the "Common Good"

Bill Donohue: "How the Catholic Left Is Boxed in by Abortion"

I Missed the Seminar [UPDATED]

Deal Hudson: "Catholics Organize to Elect Barack Obama"

The Curt Jester: "Shameless Garment" [UPDATED]

Democrat Front Group Posing as Catholic Org Calls for End to "Christmas Culture War"

Fidelis Dismisses Religious Left Media "Report"

Democrats Set Their Sights on Winning Back Catholics

Mark Shea in National Catholic Register: "Richard Rich Lives"

Edwards Blogger Flap Discomforts Religious Left

Mark Shea: "Whores for Edwards Swings into Action"

Catholics in Alliance Respond With Letter to Editor

Continue to Raise Our Voices on Issue of Voting

In January's Catholic Chronicle - "Vote Your Values" Revisited

Vote Your Values

"NOT An Approved Catholic Voter Guide"

What's Missing?

Toledo Blade: "Catholic Voting Guide Gives Church Perspective"

Catholics Find Voting Guides a Test of Allegiance

Weigel: "An Electoral Battle of the Booklets?

More From Amy Welborn on the "Dueling Catholic Voter Guides"

Columnist: "Christian Right Driving Wedge Into U.S."

More on Catholic Voter Guides

Dueling Catholic Voter Guides

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At 11/21/2008 11:10 AM, Blogger Matthew Siekierski said...

Dale has a way with words, doesn't he?

At 11/21/2008 11:44 AM, Blogger GrannyGrump said...

It should be noted that Obama does not call for reductions in abortions but for the reduction of the need to resort to abortion. There is a difference.

The "need" for abortion is in women's heads, not their wombs. To speak or write of a "need" for abortion is to flat out call abortion a positive good.

You can address "reasons" for abortions, "causes" of abortion, etc. But say "need" and you've conceded the entire issue.

At 11/21/2008 12:28 PM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

These people give it all away so easily when they first call abortion "one issue among many," and then proceed to ignore it while they attend to all the others.

I've previously said that such people are lying, certainly to us, and possibly to themselves.

They're still lying to us, but it gets increasingly harder to charitably suppose that they don't actively support abortion "rights."

At 11/21/2008 7:17 PM, Blogger Tito Edwards said...

I'm calling out Michael Iafrate, Mornings Minion, Policraticus, and Henry Karlson as part of this problem.

They are the main culprits in creating confusion amongst Catholics and misleading them into making poor judgements by twisting the teachings of the Church. No doubt they used and abused the wording of the Faithful Citizenship document for their own scrupelous shenanigans.

Shame on them all.

At 11/21/2008 8:06 PM, Anonymous Donald R. McClarey said...

When you care deeply about an issue, saving the unborn from the death-dealing abortionists, you do not work to elect candidates who are all in favor of the abortionists. These people are not only transparent, they are crystal clear. Dale, as usual, is correct.

At 11/21/2008 8:12 PM, Blogger Tito Edwards said...

..."main" as in 'some of the main' culprits...

At 11/22/2008 11:04 AM, Blogger ay said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 11/22/2008 11:08 AM, Anonymous adam said...

Maybe your friend Dale should read his Bible

"Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,
but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame." (1 Peter 3:15-16)

Spewing angry rhetoric is not only not going to change anyone's mind, but is wrong in and of itself. Until, as a pro-life movement, we recognize that we are not part of the solution but part of the problem.

At 11/23/2008 9:47 AM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

My friend Dale is well versed in his Bible, thank you very much. My friend Dale is also one of the most respected and admired men in the Catholic blogosphere.

You, on the other hand, I don't know from ... well ... Adam.

The truth is the truth, even when it isn't always pretty.

At 11/23/2008 4:03 PM, Anonymous Adam said...

He might be very well respected, but until he tones it down he will not be doing anything but preaching to the choir. The truth may not be pretty, but it is not a weapon. It is to be presented with "gentleness and reverence."

Why get angry and say harmful things that will make people less likely to accept the truth? How can you run to your friend's defense when he is blatantly violating the teachings of scriptures? You should humbly point out to him that Christians ought to be above that sort of rhetoric.

At 11/23/2008 6:14 PM, Anonymous Donald R. McClarey said...

Adam, Christ was quite good about calling a spade a spade, as was Saint Paul. The love that the Gospels command for our neighbors does not require us to equivocate when our neighbors are helping to advance evil.

At 11/23/2008 6:44 PM, Blogger Tito Edwards said...


Thanks for reminding me of that (on a different point).

Makes me feel better.

At 11/24/2008 9:13 AM, Anonymous crankycon said...

Brood of Vipers. Ever heard the expression, Adam?

At 11/24/2008 12:09 PM, Anonymous Adam said...

Yeah, I have heard that expression. However, if Jesus was God and was able to discern peoples' actual intentions, he would have been in a position to justly say such a thing. As imperfect humans who have not the ability to read other peoples' minds and intentions, we are not in a position to make such claims.

It is one thing to fight to end abortion, and this is a noble cause. It is another thing to start throwing around character attacks because you are frustrated that other people are not taking you seriously. Does it make you feel better to swear at those who disagree with you? You do realize that you are not going to convince anyone by those sorts of actions, don't you?

What is more important to you, proclaiming the truth with an iron fist and alienating people or proclaiming the truth with "gentleness and reverence" and meeting people where they are at in their life journey with a hope that they might change in time? I will take the latter, because it is more reasonable and seems much more likely to work than screaming at the top of my lungs.

At 11/24/2008 12:21 PM, Anonymous crankycon said...


You're not by any chance related to someone named Clare, are you?

At 11/24/2008 12:27 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...


We're talking about Catholics who KNOW what the Church teaches re: abortion. Active (at least politically) self-identifiec Catholics who KNOW what the Church teaches on the priority of life issues, and have chosen to make those issues secondary to other aspect of their agenda.

They don't care what the Church teaches re: abortion, except to the extent that they can hoodwink people into believing Obama's agenda is more pro-life than McCain's. And they show by their actions (where is the mention of abortion in the materials they just sent out?) that they don't give a s--t about abortion.

At 11/24/2008 6:59 PM, Blogger Matthew Siekierski said...

Adam, nice ad hominem. Instead of discussing what Dale said, you're discussing how he said it and why he's wrong to say it that way. There's no reason to try and defend it.

It's a lovely diversion, but useless, really, to the point of the what was said.

I mean, would it have been different had Dale said the people in question "don't really care about the unborn and marriage"? Was it the curse word that caused the problems?

Well, they don't really care about the unborn and marriage. And they use the "seamless garment" argument to cover for that lack of giving a s--t.

At 11/24/2008 7:31 PM, Anonymous Adam said...

I have made no ad hominem attack, and it was not a diversion because I was not trying to refute his point. Dale may, in fact, be right that those people do not care about marriage. I don't know if that is the case or not, nor do I really care.

My issue is with the language used. There is no need for that sort of rhetoric. It is one thing to not equivocate. It is another thing to lack discretion. His point might be dead on accurate, but if he lacks prudence and discretion in disseminating that message it really does not matter.

As far as that goes, I am on the side of those who want to see abortion gone from our society. I am just tired of the angry rhetoric. We need reasonableness, not anger.

At 11/24/2008 11:42 PM, Blogger Matthew Siekierski said...

It is a diversion because it ignores the point that was talked about.

It is ad hominem, because it's at the man, not at what he said. "Maybe your friend Dale should read his Bible". That's just as rude and uncharitable, by the way, as what Dale said.

If you're against abortion, you have an odd way of going about it, by complaining about the harsh language that someone may use when talking about those who claim to oppose abortion but really don't give a s--t.

My goodness, we're talking about the uncaring attitude some people have regarding wholesale murder of millions of babies a year, and you're concerned about tone. What, they might be offended by the term? Oh, shucks.

At 11/25/2008 1:03 AM, Anonymous Adam said...

I just find it baffling that you can justify, according to Gospel principles, the use of one of the most offensive words in the English language. You can say "I cannot believe you would be concerned about language when we are talking about the murders of millions of babies." Point taken. So how about your priest this Sunday gets up this Sunday and just cuts loose? He should probably just get up there using the "f" word left and right to get his point across. After all, since the subject is abortion, we are allowed to throw discretion out the window. We should be able to say anything we want and how we want it, because after all the people having abortions are doing something much more terrible?

I think I have said all I can say. You have your point of view, I have mine. Beyond that, there is nothing more I can say. It is not a concession to your point-of-view. It is simply a recognition that we are not likely to agree.

At 11/25/2008 9:20 AM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

"... the use of one of the most offensive words in the English language ..."

What? That's nonsense. Your sensibilities may be offended by the word, but, in my estimation, SHIT (Dale didn't even spell it out ... I will) is not "one of the most offensive words in the English language".

I can't believe this thread has even gone on as long as it has. It's nonsensical at this point that we're arguing over whether someone typing an "s" and a "t" with two dashes in between is going to bring about the wholesale failure of the pro-life movement.

In short, this isn't even about the pro-life movement at all, but rather is about someone who is overly sensitive to mild swear words being offended by reading an "s" and a "t" with two dashes in between.


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