The Gospel Truth

Free Will: The Battle of the Blogs | February 8, 2010

The Only Choice!

To anyone who has been following my series of exchanges with Duane Graham, of the Erstwhile Conservative, the key issue that we have been sparing on is abortion, especially with regard to free will.

During our early exchanges, I told him my belief on free will: free will is a faculty of our human nature but that doesn’t mean it is sacred or holy.  Like all gifts from God, the ability to reproduce, think, run etc, they can be used for His greater glory or to enhance our own ego.  The choice is ours.  Just because it comes from God does not mean by any stretch of the imagination that all exercise of it are sacred as well.

Our blog debate really took off when he said that God was Pro-choice.  I have heard that canard before but never encountered anyone who wanted to try to logically prove it. As this fallen-away conservative–was he mugged by a banker–wrote:

It appears to me that God values our capacity to make free choices above all else. He made us free moral agents, which has to say something about what he thinks about free moral agency, correct?

I mean, surely you wouldn’t argue with the logic that we can know something about what God values by the choice He made in creating us and giving us free will, would you? No, of course not, because that is exactly the point you made about the morality of choices as opposed to the “indifferent” and “existential act” of choice itself.

So, now that we have agreed that God’s decision to let us decide for ourselves what is right and wrong is a reflection of his preference for “choice,” we can then move on to just how we, as civilized folks, decide how to proscribe the choices of members of our civilization to preserve our society. That, of course, is a complicated issue, but at bottom it involves a collective decision as to just what is “right” and just what is “wrong.”

Originally I almost missed this little example of advanced legerdemain. As I retorted:  God is evil because He gave us free will?  He is pro-choice since he gave free will–the choice to do evil…on the surface he might sound like that to you but the definition of pro-choice tries to take morality and goodness out of it.  I think it is obvious which side of the choice God and his followers favor.

The metaphor of Eden was you have free will but there will be serious consequences if you eat the apple.  That doesn’t sound like I am personally opposed but you can choose to do what you want.

Graham’s ideas seem to parallel those of the mentally lapsed Catholic, Nancy Pelosi, the current Speaker of the House.  I shutter every time she exercises her vocal cords.

Pelosi and Graham believe that their God-given right of a free will, which is probably the highest power that distinguishes us from the lower class of animals, buttresses every choice they make, elevating in to sacred heights.  It sounds like a power rivaling the divine right of kings that eventually drove Europe to centuries of strife and bloody revolution.

As Graham answered me on his own blog God freely chose to create us with choice-making abilities at least similar to his own. Therefore, I am entitled to believe (if I accept Christian theology at face value), that such a “gift” is sacred.

You rightly say that the exercise of such free choice is not in itself sacred. Hammers are sacred and using them to build houses is also sacred. But using them to beat sense into Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity is not, no matter how much I may wish it were.

I really don’t know why liberals or libertarians  have to use violent examples to get their point across…and they accuse conservatives of extolling “hate,” but that’s a matter for the couch or the confessional.

As I replied I seriously doubt that God is indifferent or neutral on “choice.”  Sure he gave us choice but He means it in a different context of what pro-choicers mean it…unless you want to be cynical and accept the belief that most pro-choice people actually favor the abortion choice over that of life…making their position of the opposite of God’s…for too many different reasons than I can enumerate here.

A Show of Freedom

My blog battle neatly segues into my attendance with my #1 son, Mark at the Glenn Beck Show Friday night at the Chaifetz Center on the St. Louis University campus. A group called the Constitutional Coalition, which had a number of educational events going on around the city last weekend, sponsored beck’s appearance.

There was a lot of flag-waving, loud applause for everything from the convocation, pledge of allegiance to the singing of the national anthem…traditions that seem to be as lacking in the White House as Christmas was this past year.  They did everything you would expect, except pass pitchers of tea around the aisles.

Michelle Bachmann, the lovely Congresswoman from Minnesota warmed up a crowd that was already on fire with anticipation.  Glenn Beck is the hottest thing to hit conservatism since Rush Limbaugh first opened his mouth in the late 1980s.

Beck was magnificent and in his strongest element. He used the stage like a Shakespeare actor entranced in a dramatic soliloquy about the meaning of our country and the direction it has taken, replete with the elements of a profound tragedy as he tearfully got down on his needs and extolled the right to fail.

Beck is first of all an excellent teacher who uses his rostrum as a bully pulpit to preach his gospel of Trinitarian American values–life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which Bachmann had reminded everyone was originally supposed to be “property.”  These are the basic rights of every human being who is conceived in the world.  Only America’s vaunted experiment in liberty has been able to make them the centerpiece of its national mystique.

And for that reason Marxists have targeted them, or what Glenn calls “progressives” who have used evolutionary powers, instead of pure Marxists’ revolutionary powers.  (Think the frog in the boiling water!) They hate the freedom of our system because it infringes on their power quest.

At the Coalition luncheon on Friday they played Michael Moore’s screed on capitalism, where he was quoted as saying that you couldn’t regulate capitalism because you can’t regulate evil. So to the left free choice or free will is evil and has to be eliminated from human nature.  This is the essence of liberalism or its own alias–progressivism.

Right now we are laboring under the most anti-business administration since FDR’s 2nd term. It is wonder businesses are fleeing this country because the people in power literally hate capitalism and will do anything and everything to undermine it.

The left seems highly conflicted on choice.  When it includes anything other than slaughtering millions of innocents in the womb, they are opposed to it–think school choice, freedom of assembly etc. This is a far cry from Graham’s belief that free will is sacred.  I have always contended that liberalism is a mental illness.  Maybe this is proof of it.

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43 Comments »

  1. To Mr. Borst’s readers:
    The following is my response to Mr. Borst’s last comment on my blog, The Erstwhile Conservative, which is related to the post he authored above.

    Mr. Borst,
    Thanks for providing a link to your blog, which allows me to make two brief and final points.
    In your latest posting, which can be found here, you gratuitously insulted me, even after I took great pains to write respectful rebuttals to your abortion position, which, rest assured, I will not do again. After reading the comments you made on your blog, debating you isn’t worth the effort, and your behavior is a fine example of Christian hypocrisy.
    And finally, Mr. Borst, you wrote that people like you are so shackled by political correctness that they “are not free to speak their mind.” Huh? You have commented freely here, and you are free to write on your own blog. Are you in fear that Obama is going to send jack-booted Marxist thugs to your house and pull the plug on your endeavors? Oh, but then you mentioned on your blog that you are a great admirer of Glenn Beck, so I suppose you really are in fear of such a thing. God, and I mean that literally, help you.
    Duane

    Comment by Duane Graham — February 8, 2010 @ 7:10 pm

    • Duane,

      I enjoyed your message to William Borst. In a brief phone conversation, I found him to be likable, intelligent and polite, in tune with his creditable scholastic achievement. Which just makes his affection for Glenn Beck plus various Catholic bishops (I cheered the nuns!), that much more astounding. How such blatantly restrictive conservatism and obvious intelligence can exist in the same head, boggles the mind. How can one be open to new ideas and so close-minded at the same time! How could a curious mind date only ONE non-Catholic, and her only ONE time! She must have been sent from the Devil! Our conversation was too brief; I’m thinking he may have had to go say the rosary ala the tormented FBI agent/spy in “Breach.” (I jest, but the image just popped into my head.)

      Anyone who really believes they have “God” their side (or vice versa) is finally unreachable…. Simply because we all pray to a different “god.” If we pray at all.

      I, for instance, prefer Mark Twain: “If man created man, he’d be embarrassed.” Someday, everyone will recognize the Bible is a story book, written by many men from their point of view (telling you right there it is off balance, with not one female voice) which has ironically caused more hatred and intolerence than imaginable. On a par, at least, with the Koran.

      But Mr. Borst is, presumably, a happy man, with a wife who must adore him despite his annoying narrowness of thought … so let’s leave him alone. His kids got out of the house safely, so at this point he’s probably harmless. Let’s hope!

      Parenthetically, I’m expecting health care to pass as a much-needed first step in what will be a long list of progressive changes.
      “Socialism?” Yeh, right. Give me a break!
      Does anyone remember the concept of “social justice?” The Church USED to. I still cannot see dollars as important as people!
      Nor, I believe, did Jesus.

      Comment by dan richards — March 21, 2010 @ 9:25 pm

      • Dan,

        I’m sure Bill is a nice guy, despite his affection for people like Beck. Since Bill is a baseball nut, in my book that fact covers a multitude of sins.

        I remember how shocked I was when I first read Twain’s, Letters from the Earth. I hadn’t been taught that part of Twain’s literary efforts, when I was in school.

        And as far as the health care reform law, it is amazing how the right-wing believes it is a government takeover of the health care system and the left-wing believes it is a sell-out to the insurance industry. One thing we know for sure is that it is light-years away from anything we could call socialism, as you said.

        Finally, no one can read the New Testament, in my view, and derive a laissez-faire economic system from its many parts, particularly a system in which the poor are left to fend for themselves. It’s just unimaginable, which makes it too bad that nice guys and dedicated Christians like Bill have bought into a quasi-Darwinist economic system.

        But, as I said, he does love baseball, so all is forgiven.

        Duane

        Comment by Duane Graham — March 26, 2010 @ 7:03 pm

  2. Dear Duane:
    I must have struck a nerve with something I wrote on The Gospel Truth. Now the truth may sometimes bite but it or my use of it was never meant to insult. I reread my latest posting and find it hard to believe that something in there “upset you.”
    Was it the Pelosi comment—I might have insulted her but she can take it I suppose. I did not compare your to what I hope will soon be the erstwhile speaker…only her faulty reasoning on free will, which she uses as an excuse to defy hers and my church on its teachings on abortion.
    Now if you are a erstwhile Catholic, or one in dubious standing and that hurt you…it was the truth not me.
    Or was it my definition of a former conservative…(mugged by a banker) which in all modesty I thought was creatively witty—was it William Kristol’s father—Irving who coined the definition of a neo-conservative…a liberal who was mugged by reality. I don’t see how that could insult..unless your a banker.
    Now if it was anything else…then I am clueless…or maybe just totally insensitive. Not much I can say or do about that. Most insults are intentional…I would think. I have not desire to hurt you or anyone else for that matter.
    As for Beck he is a bit apocalyptic but that’s just part of his charm.
    He is right that this country has some serious problems and with this president it is getting worse…and as for the jack-booted thugs…maybe that was your spleen working but we both know that most people are afraid of the social censure of opening their moths in public.
    I did talk radio for 22 years and I do know of the attempts of people to silence dissent when it is out of favor…or for the “wrong cause.” The recent flap with Tebow is a great illustration. And that also taught me to understand what real insults try to do…BB

    Comment by bbprof — February 8, 2010 @ 7:34 pm

  3. BB, You really know how to hurt a guy BB, just tell him the truth.
    In Duane’s response I sense he trying to convince himself God is wrong and he is right. Your response has really effected him like pouring salt on a snail. The truth hurts BB, I pray he can handle it.

    Comment by James — February 8, 2010 @ 9:22 pm

  4. Dear BB and Duane, I just logged on and read the comments. It makes me wonder where it all started–baseball perhaps. It is hard to see why Duane is accusing BB of insulting statements. Duane, you need to spell out the so-called insult so BB can apologize . I feel that he is humble and willing. Let’s discuss something more pertinent –there is so much going on in the world making it hard to choose a subject. One of my favorites is the conspiracy theory starting back 100 year ago. The efforts to change our country and the rest of the world to one-world gov’t, one world religion and one world monies. I am not a kid.

    Comment by Mary B. Lachney — February 15, 2010 @ 12:11 am

  5. Dan: I see that you have found a new kindred spirit in Duane. I suggest you check on HIS blogsite, “The Erstwhile Conservative.” I am glad I brought the two of you together. From my long debates with Duane—you are free to check them out on his site—my responses can be identified my gravitar with the Holy Cross on it.

    Your comment made me feel like a mosquito at the nudist camp—just where do I begin? First I suggest you back and read my letter a little bit more carefully. The Protestant girl that I dated three times, including a weekend at her parents’ home in Braintree, MA—I remember shooting baskets with her brother, Roger I think his name was in 1965. Her dad was a Congregationalist deacon and maybe THEY worried about her soul…not mind. To say or imply that she was the DEVIL is a bit over the top and makes you appear as if you had escaped from a Hawthorne novel.

    And by the way, perhaps you now know that Duane is a big fan of G.K. Chesterton. Look at his gravitar and you will see proof. Old Gilbert Keith once said that—and I paraphrase that one cannot open his mind all the time. He must close it on the truth…or else I would add, he is nothing more than n empty-headed moron. And if I am not mistaken, she stopped going out with me…not the reverse.
    So the Bible has caused more hatred. How about The Communist Manifesto, Mao’s Little Red Book…Mein Kampf?

    I only stated that I have enjoyed friendships with one Cardinal, two Archbishops, and a new bishop. I have many grips with some of the other bishops, and Cardinals especially those on the USCCB. And what nuns are you supporting—the pro-abortion, man-hating radicals who disgrace whatever religion they pretend to belong? You told me you were an atheist—an Erstwhile Catholic to boot—so why should your support of anything inimical to the Catholic Church surprise or alarm me?
    Just what is “restrictive conservativism?” That’s a new one on me. When an arsonist sets your house on fire, the firemen are restrictive in trying to control and extinguish the fire, so as to conserve the house…or in this case the country. They are heroes…not the ones who are trying to change and by that I mean destroy the nation that has served not only its people well for over two centuries but the world as well.

    The part about “we pray to different gods,” is perhaps more informative than you think. I doubt if you are a polytheist, since you said and I repeat that you are an atheist. I don’t believe that atheists believe in NO god—just the traditional God of Western civilization. They have put something else in His place—most likely their own ego, sex, money, power, idealism, mankind, humanity, history, and of course science—the thinking man’s god.

    Funny you seem to know a lot about children. I have three grown kids whose collective age is fast approaching 117 years and funny they come to visit quite often. Of course I don’t talk politics with two of them to any extent but I never forced them to believe anything. That’s what free will is and Duane would agree with that. I am not certain because many people suffer from cognitive dissonance but I think Duane would have serious complaint about this travesty of a health bill, which reforms nothing but changes everything. It will virtually eliminate your free choice in many of the most important decisions of your life…and death. While they don’t have the temerity to call them “death panels,’ they are there and they…not you or you doctors will determine if you can have an operation or if your life is not cost efficient. Sounds like something from an Orwellian novel.

    As for my wife, I can only say that she adores only Christ and I don’t match up very well with Him.

    Comment by bbprof — March 22, 2010 @ 7:10 pm

  6. so much yak yak. Where are we going with this conversastion?

    Comment by Mary B. Lachney — March 22, 2010 @ 7:40 pm

  7. BB: I have finally found someone who actually enjoys hearing himself talk as much as I! Thank you for all the attention and time.

    I apologize for my reference to the “one date” letter in the Post-Dispatch. Did not read your entire epistle to Duane, as I must pause for meals and sometimes forget what I was doing. But I am relieved to realize that the girl stopped going out with YOU and not the reverse. One more victory for freed womanhood! Perhaps her deacon father might visit the Amazon like christian missionary Daniel Everett, and likewise convert to the freed beauty of atheism. Along with a btter understanding of how the Will and personal, reasoned Responsibility are not mutually esclusive.

    My comment about the girl and the Devil was facetious. Sorry to not make that more obvious.
    There is no “Devil.”

    Have to admit to not fully reading Mao, Hitler, Engels or Marz (my favorite socialist of all is Emma Goldman!), but I doubt any of them pretended to be the First and Last Word in All Things. But, as we are proving in this country, no political philosophy is immune from the terror of radical thinking, on both the Right and the Left.

    I’m surprised at your “man-hating” comment about the nuns. The former novitiates I have spoken with are generally in favor of priests marrying, and are proud of the progressive movement within the Church. Even though Rome cannot keep up. Free choice is more than a gift, it is a necessity, and nothing proves it more graphically than the sad choice a victim of rape or incest must make.

    Yes, from what I remember, G.K. Chesterton was a pretty smart dude. I think I moved on, though.
    As previously stated, by new hero on these matters is Mr. Clemens.

    Is Orwellian a negative refrence? Never understood that, since so much of what he wrote has proven prophetic.

    Finally (it’s getting dark out!), I am sorry to hear your wife adores Christ more than you! In fact, it puzzles me, since you too seem to be on such good terms with The Ultimate, Inexplicable Perfection. But really, more to the final point, what kind of sadistic Father would ask his only begotten son to suffer so much, for the sins of others? Mind-boggling.

    When you get to Heaven, Bob, send me an email.

    Your pal in Supreme Speculation,

    dan

    Comment by dan richards — March 22, 2010 @ 10:32 pm

  8. To Mary L.

    I think I like your style! “Yak, yak,” indeed.
    One-World Conspiracy, indeed! And here I thought all along that it is one world, after all! With the only “conspiracy” one of Ignorance and Distrust.

    James: Atta boy! “Salt on a snail!” Good one. But if any human institution moves like a snail, it would seem to be the The Catholic Church! Are you still refraining from meat on Fridays, I wonder. As was said the other night on Bill Maher, the Church is starting to make Scientolgy look good!

    Comment by dan richards — March 22, 2010 @ 10:42 pm

  9. The whole argument about free will and blaming God for our choices is a red herring. We may as a human being have freedom to choose to the extant we have a choice but when we choose evil we are no longer free

    God did not say we are free to choose evil if we wished. God just did not make us robots. Our free will allows us to make the free choice to love and obey God.

    Any other choice we make is a disasterous drift into slavery of human guilt, estrangement, and long suffering. Our redemption is when we choose to turn back to God, repent, and choose God again over our own wishes.

    Comment by Tom Block — March 23, 2010 @ 10:41 pm

  10. Tom,

    Free will is a complicated thing, a subject on which philosophers like Daniel Dennett have written entire books. (See “Freedom Evolves.”)

    But I have to confess, your explanation about free will being a red herring is a little more puzzling (not to say, totally confusing) than many theistic assertions about free will. You wrote,

    “We may as a human being have freedom to choose to the extant [sic] we have a choice but when we choose evil we are no longer free.”

    Now, if I untwist that statement, I see that you are hedging your bet that we have free will, but “if” we do, it is only “free” until we choose “evil,” then “we are no longer free.” Okay. I get that: Free to choose, but choosing evil forecloses further choices.

    Then, remarkably, you wrote this at the end:

    “Our redemption is when we choose to turn back to God, repent, and choose God again over our own wishes.”

    Okay. The phrases, “turn back to God” and “repent” and “choose God again” contradict your assertion that “when we choose evil we are no longer free.” If I choose evil such that I need to “turn back,” “repent,” and “choose God again,” then by your original assertion it would be impossible to make a free choice to turn back. Once I’ve chosen evil, according to your claim, I am bound to stay with it.

    Additionally, orthodoxy would have us believe that we are all born into “sin,” in need of redemption. Now, how do I extricate myself from this situation, if evil has me bound? Calvinists figured this out a long time ago: We can’t extricate ourselves, God chooses us. But Calvinism has its own set of problems, which in many ways makes it more indefensible than Arminianism.

    All of which serves to illustrate that theology has no more insights into the dilemma of free will than any other human mode of inquiry. In fact, it merely complicates matters further by introducing an invisible being, with an asserted omnipotence and “love” such that makes free will untenable. In other words, even if there were such a thing as free will, who could resist such a God? Who would want to?

    Duane

    Comment by Duane Graham — March 24, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

  11. Dear Duane:

    Nice to hear from you again…and on my turf. I think you confuse “free will” with our current lexicon of non-judgmentalism. As in our poast exchanges, I think the bane of your intellect is semantics. All choices are not equal. We are free, according to the moral law, only to choose the moral choice. By doing that we avoid the enslavement of sinful behavior and bad habits. We become slaves to our passions–sex,pornography, greed drug addiction and even murder in the case of serial killers…who usually started with one or more of the “threshold ” or “entry drugs” listed above.

    Have you ever read St. Augustine’s “The City of God?” His formative life is an example of all the wrong choices that enslaved his will to what we used to call “sin.” Now its nothing more than alternative life styles or personal choices. Read it if you haven’t.

    Everything that I am saying and basically what Tom writes above does not come from Tom or Bill but is in perfect accord with the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas…the greatest mind the Church has known…until maybe Fulton J. Sheen…the latter is just my own opinion. Put these three together and you have arguably the three wisest men who ever lived.

    Comment by bbprof — March 24, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

  12. Like most Liberal illnesses, its difficult to determine, if its the effects of what they are smoking or the complete lack of human rationalism that set them off as soon as you express a truth.
    Sorry BB, but I have no patience with Obamanite censor protectors whom is the first to cancel our lst Amendment Rights.

    Comment by James — March 24, 2010 @ 8:10 pm

    • James,

      As for liberal illnesses, I confess that Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh make me sick. And like Dan, so does conspicuously poor grammar, especially when it is used to attack someone’s intelligence.

      As for “human rationalism,” please enlighten me as to another kind of rationalism, say, “chimpanzee rationalism,” our close evolutionary relative. That would be worth lighting up for [sic].

      Duane

      Comment by Duane Graham — March 24, 2010 @ 9:28 pm

  13. James: “…censorship protectors WHO ARE,” not “censor protectors whom is…”

    Please review and edit your more obvious mistakes.
    They offend our sensibilities.

    Other than that, can I interest you in passing out some literature on the common sense of legalizing pot?

    I’m laughing…. of course not.

    Comment by dan richards — March 24, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

  14. Mary L,

    I sincerly hope I didn’t offen you by complimenting you!

    Missing you,

    djr

    Comment by dan richards — March 24, 2010 @ 8:56 pm

  15. Bill,

    Nice to hear from you, also. I don’t think I am confusing anything. Having thought a lot about free will, in its libertarian form, I was merely explaining the problems I found with Tom’s statements, which were self-refuting—as yours appear to be.

    While I agree that all choices aren’t equal, your statement that, “We are free…only to choose the moral choice,” is, well, nonsensical. The word “only” gives the game away. If I have only one choice then I do not have a choice, do I? If you say I am free to buy a Ford, but there are no Fords, only Chevys, then I am not free to buy a Ford.

    And, further, you claim that, “We become slaves to our passions…” As I said before, from St. Paul to Augustine to Aquinas (I’ve read them all), they all say we are born into sin, and therefore you have to explain how we can choose to follow God in such a condition, given what you and Tom have said.

    As for Augustine, if his will were truly “enslaved,” he could not have chosen to follow Jesus, given your and Tom’s statements thus far.

    Duane

    Comment by Duane Graham — March 24, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

  16. Duane,

    I apologize, Duane about the red herring remark in so far as I didn’t clarify. I was remarking on those that claim we are free to choose abortion because God values our freedom to choose. As I said earlier we are not free to choose evil. God abhors sin and a simple act of disobedience lost our first parents paradise and Moses the Promise land. Sin’s evil may be pondered in the Passion and Death of Christ.

    God created us free to choose. We image God in will and intellect. We are self-aware and free to make choices. God freely loved us into existence and has given us the freedom to choose to love and obey him. To do otherwise is to assume a role that is beyond our stature as creature in relationship to Creator.

    You wonder how when we sin, we can then as slave to sin turn around and return to relationship and intimacy with God. We can’t on our own. That is what all the Books of the Old Testament demonstrated. God gave man every chance to be faithful but ultimately He had to come down Himself in the Word Incarnate, Jesus Christ.

    Because of our first parents we are born with Original Sin and its effects. Original Sin is not a sin we commit but we inherit. In the Sacrament of Baptism Original Sin is removed but not its effects, suffering, work, darkened intellect, weakened will, and death.

    No human being can save himself, only the grace of God because of the merits of Jesus Christ’s Passion and death can allow sins be forgiven and guilt forgotten. Oh happy fault that brought us such a Savior!

    Tom

    Comment by Tom Block — March 24, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

    • Tom,

      No need to apologize, but thanks. I simply don’t understand how you can say we are “free to choose” and then say that “we are not free to choose evil.” If we are not free to choose evil, then we are not free, and at the heart of Christian theology is a grand illusion.

      Were Adam and Eve free to choose evil? You said their simple act of disobedience lost them paradise. How so, if they weren’t free to choose evil? And if they were free to choose evil and did not have Original Sin, what compelled them to choose it? The Devil? But then what compelled the Devil to sin? He certainly wasn’t created with Original Sin was he? Who, therefore, was his tempter?

      As I implied before, you can tie yourself in knots trying to defend either a free-will theology or its opposite. The truth is that you cannot create any kind of systematic or orderly theology (with all due respect to Augustine and Aquinas) from the disparate strands of the various biblical narratives without running into trouble. You can take it on faith, of course, but it is otherwise untenable in my opinion.

      Duane

      Comment by Duane Graham — March 24, 2010 @ 10:52 pm

      • Duane,

        I would like to comment on how you close a post in answer to me. ” You can take it on faith, of course, but it is otherwise untenable in my opinion.” When I hear and read comments like this that seem to be dismissive of “faith” I wonder if others are as hard on themselves when they have built up their lives and deeds around faith in man-made models such as faith in Viagra, faith in stocks and bonds, faith in BMW, faith in their prejudices and biases.

        All I know my faith in God and in his word and deeds has never disappointed and I would rather trust in a God that has revealed Himself in Scripture and in the Word Incarnate than a molten golden calf. I guess the bottom line I am saying Faith in God should not be dismissed easily or wantonly by the likes of Christopher Hitchens and Bill Maher when they all believe in temporal “house of cards.”
        Tom

        Comment by Tom Block — March 25, 2010 @ 6:22 pm

      • Hey Tom: Thanks for joining in this debate. Duane ia worthy adversary who calls himself the Erstwhile Conservative. Thanks for the help. Bb

        Comment by bbprof — March 25, 2010 @ 7:51 pm

  17. Dear Fellow Truth Seekers:

    Wow what an interchange! I just love the wonderful world of blogging. I just read the last 10 or so exchanges between James, Mary, Danny, Tom and Duane. i thank you all for participating.

    Most of it was serious food for thought, except maybe the comments about grammar. Weakness of expression or articulation may weaken an argument in scholarly journals but let’s be honest, people..some of whom may not write a great deal tend to hurry to get their ideas down so fast that they mistype, misspell or make some other error that should not in the heat of intellectual passion lessen the force of an idea or an argument.

    I was going to give a detailed answer to Duane but I believe that Tom beat me to the punch. There is little if anything I could add to his answer.

    But I do have to get my 2 cents in since…it is my blog! Lucifer and Adam and Eve, who were probably more allegorical than real were the only ones that had an absolute free will and to answer Duane the reason they chose evil was right out of Genesis.. “Lest they be like gods.” That is the most common and most severe temptation we all get… we make gods of ourselves…shutting out the real God. After man’s fall and I truly believe it happened in some form or other, there was maybe something like a “sin gene” that was transmitted to everyone. This does not eliminate free will but does make a perfect choice harder. It was something put us in a state of temporary exile until our Savior came along.

    I think that most choices men make are not fully a 100% free…like the auto example of the Ford Duane used. I want all these cars but I can only afford a Chevy…I have free choice but reality or my circumstances forces me to a lesser choice…I could always steal a Mercedes. We all have an attraction for evil… It is in our nature…like the scorpion’s nature is to sting. Ours is to sin. It is only through our cooperation with Grace..like a divine elixir that we receive the strenth to do good and avoid evil. When people fail to choose to accept this interior or even exterior help, they become enslaved or enhabited..if there is such a word in their own weaknesses and failures. Happiness is impossible when you are in that state. I hope this makes sense to someone because it is strictly off my cuff and I am wearing short-sleeves…that’s a joke folks.

    Comment by bbprof — March 25, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

    • Bill,

      My last point is this. Whether or not there is any such thing as free will (there are good arguments on both sides), we can certainly agree that nobody’s choices are “fully 100% free.” In fact, some “choices” are almost pre-determined, like our religion (or lack thereof). There is no way you can deny the fact that it matters where you are born, in terms of what religious group you join. I am almost certain, Bill, that had you been raised in, say, Tibet, you would not now be defending Christianity. You would be using your talents to defend Tibetan Buddhism, if you could avoid the Chinese authorities.

      In any case, the other side of your argument is that besides “an attraction for evil” (I don’t agree with that, but no matter.), we also have an attraction for redemption, otherwise we could not do what you claim: “cooperate with grace.” Either way, according to your theology, we do not have free choices. Either we are evil and incapable of seeking redemption (therefore we have no free will), or we are evil but can seek redemption only through the power of another agent, like the Holy Spirit (therefore we have no free will).

      My only point has been to show the incoherence of your theological view of free will. As far as free will goes, I don’t have a clue whether there is any such thing. I only know that I feel like I am free to do as I wish, but that may only be an illusion. I hope I have free will, but for all I know, all of my actions may be the end of a long chain of causation, from the time I was born until the time I signed off here today.

      Duane

      Comment by Duane Graham — March 25, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

  18. Bob,

    Not to pour water on your enthsiasm for debate, but I really don’t understand what all this talk of “free will” and original sin and all the rest of it when “God” and the Devil are such intagral parts of your reasoning. What of the ignorant
    native in south Africa, the poor farmer in southern Mexico or the Muslim in Iran. I want you all to understand the glorious message contained in “Don’t Sleep, there are Snakes!” by Dan Everett (I think that’s his name, a once christian missionary converted by the much, much, much simpler natives along the Amazon.)
    We can masterbate about Thomas Acquinas, Christopher Marlow and the rest, but if there is no God other than in our heads…. it’s all pretty meaningless.
    I do not need a God to be a good person! And I do not need Heaven to make life worth living! Yes, I am screaming! But now I feel better….

    Comment by dan richards — March 25, 2010 @ 6:26 pm

  19. Tom Block,

    As for myself, I don’t “easily or wantonly” dismiss faith, whether it is in the God of Judaism/Christianity/Islam or in any other form. As a former (and outspoken) evangelical Christian, I know how powerful faith can be, and what a hold it can have on the human mind.

    What I do “easily or wantonly” dismiss, though, is the false certainty that accompanies faith. People speak with of confidence about things they can’t possibly know, like what God’s attributes are, if there is a God. You say that God “has revealed Himself in Scripture.” That is fine example of faith, but it is also an example of speaking with certainty about something you can’t possibly know whether it is true. The overwhelming amount of evidence is that it is not true. But, of course, the Bible tells us that “faith is the evidence” for such things, which is a nice way of dismissing counter-evidentiary claims and a nice way of ending all argument on the subject.

    I assume that you don’t think God revealed himself in the Quran or in the Bhagavad Gita or the Tao Te Ching and with respect to those religious traditions you are an atheist. My guess is that you have no trouble doubting that Mohammed is a prophet of God, even though there are Muslims who have much faith that he is. Some Muslims are even willing to die (and kill) for their strong faith in a proposition that you doubt is true.

    And that is why I, for one, don’t “easily or wantonly” dismiss faith. It can be a very dangerous thing to base one’s life on, and we are fortunate to live in the modern world, one in which Christian fanatics seemingly have given up on demonstrating their devotion to Yahweh by killing unbelievers. Now, if we can just get Muslim fanatics to modernize their faith, civilization just might be able to make it.

    Duane

    Comment by Duane Graham — March 26, 2010 @ 1:47 pm

    • Dear Duane,

      Duane writes to Tom:

      “You say that God “has revealed Himself in Scripture.” That is fine example of faith, but it is also an example of speaking with certainty about something you can’t possibly know whether it is true. The overwhelming amount of evidence is that it is not true.”

      Tom writes Duane:

      Duane, Where oh where is your overwhelming evidence God’s covenants with Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Moses, David are not true? God promised in the Old Testament; Jesus and delivered in the New Testament.

      To believe does not mean to think, to suppose, or to be of the opinion of; but rather it is an expression of a person with the deepest conviction and of unhesitating assent to all God has revealed and taught through his Son, Jesus Christ.

      The knowledge derived from faith is NOT to be considered less certain than knowledge derived from physical objects and sense experience. Our Faith is given to us by a God who can neither deceive nor be deceived and testified to by Jesus Christ and his disciples.

      Duane writes to Tom:

      I assume that you don’t think God revealed himself in the Quran or in the Bhagavad Gita or the Tao Te Ching and with respect to those religious traditions you are an atheist. My guess is that you have no trouble doubting that Mohammed is a prophet of God, even though there are Muslims who have much faith that he is.

      Tom writes to Duane:

      I am really surprised you make assumptions and put words and thoughts in my mind and mouth. I certainly am not an atheist under any circumstances. I do not know what God did or did not reveal to those you cite but I know that there is only one God and there are no contradictions. So Anything in those religions that is contradictory to God’s revelation through Jesus Christ must be suspect. Christ said whoever sees me sees the Father.

      I also know there is only One Son of God, Jesus Christ, Divine Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity. I do not believe any of these other figures you cite, claimed Divinity or ever worked a miracle. I do not doubt that God can reveal Himself to whomever He wishes but it is very clear that there is only one Savior, Jesus Christ who merited salvation for all. How that “pool of grace” works is God’s business.

      Tom

      Comment by Tom Block — March 26, 2010 @ 10:13 pm

  20. Dear D&D:

    First there was the M&M boys—Mantle and Maris. Now we have the D&D guys—Duane and Dan, better known as the “Duh Twins.” Sorry couldn’t resist a little levity.

    Thanks for the absolution, but not really certain what my sins are. Can’t be sins then, correct?

    Oh yes, it was my affection for Rush and Glenn…should have mentioned Annie with the long blonde tresses, who was nearly mauled in Canada by 2000 angry Canucks the other night…just because she wanted to speak I guess the truth still hurts.

    But as for Glenn and Rush—you guys are supposed to “love your enemies.” I will admit that BO has been verrrrry tough on this commandment. I have been tempted to ask my priest for an exemption, given the severity of his aggrandizement of power and his desire to control our bodies.

    Duane you made a point about free will that I probably can agree with—of not being totally free—I think that would only apply to Lucifer and our first parents. But the free will that is most important to us is moral issues. You cited a baby who can’t make decisions. Well the church has always taught that no child reaches the use of reason until age seven. Therefore no child can technically sin or break a commandment.

    Before that their parents make the decisions for them.
    So right there free will is limited… people sometimes use the excuse man, I was drunk, high on dope to alleviate punishments etc. Well it had to start with the first drink or needle…didn’t it? That was presumably a free choice.

    Make enough bad moral choices and you will without fail be enslaved by your behavior. Just ask all the people, some women included who are “hooked” on pornography, Its an epidemic that no one talks about. These people are the modern slaves and it will take more than a presidential proclamation to break their chains. You can say that about many other moral afflictions—virtually I would guess are self-inflicted.

    One last word for now…as an aside…I have written my epitaph, which now reads…”here lies BB, he has finally stopped talking!” As I was saying, ponder the immortal words of that great philosopher, Flip Wilson, who as Geraldine said, “the devil made me do it! in defense of his/her profane behavior.

    BB

    PS Has either of you picked up the meaning of the “BB” in my e-mail address?

    Comment by bbprof — March 26, 2010 @ 7:32 pm

    • Bill,

      I assumed the bb stood for baseball professor, but maybe you have a secret affection for South Park and meant to honor Bebe, Wendy Testaburger’s best friend. I kind of doubt it, though, since you said you had some incomprehensible affection for Coultergeist.

      Anyway, just one thing. You claim that Obama has a “desire to control our bodies.” Coming from someone who wants to completely outlaw abortion, thus controlling the bodies of half of our population, I just find such a statement incredible.

      Duh

      Comment by Duane Graham — March 26, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

  21. Bill, I suspect BB abbreviastes your name.

    Or “Bad Boy,” your handle years ago when you belonged to the Hell’s Angel’s, for which you are
    forever asking God’s forgiveness.

    Why not tell it like it is. Duane is a smart and worthy adversary. Tom merely quotes his Catechism…. and the nuns he used to dream about.

    Did I spell that “c” word right? It’s been so very, very long….

    Comment by dan richards — March 26, 2010 @ 11:11 pm

    • Dan,

      What kind of totally Freudian transferance are you making?

      You don’t have to believe in the Catechism but it happens to explain the faith I profess to those who may have lost their way. BAAh Baah Come home for Easter.

      Tom

      Comment by Tom Block — March 27, 2010 @ 1:06 am

      • Easter is meaningful…. for Hallmark.

        That’s about it. I can experience my own resurrection simply by viewing some good porno!

        And I don’t have to put anything in the collection basket.

        Speaking of alter boys, will the Pope be fired, sent home on “extended vacation to “examine his conscience,” or excommunicated?

        Or… perhaps… will the whole thing be ignored. The Church is good at ignoring the truth.

        Comment by dan richards — March 27, 2010 @ 1:50 am

  22. Let’s see, you could have dinner with the Pope, Fulton Sheen, or Bill Maher. Oick one.

    For me, it’s an easy choice. Satire beats pontificating every time.

    I’ll bring the wine.

    Comment by dan richards — March 27, 2010 @ 1:57 am

    • Dear Dan,

      I just returned a week ago from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Your latest post reminded me of some of my reflections there. As I made the Palm Sunday walk from the Church of Dominus Flevit down a steep hill I wondered how on the first Palm Sunday the people could sing Hosanna and less than a week later yell Crucify Him!

      Your last post helped me realize that people haven’t really changed all that much, those exposed to the faith with little roots dry up, become fickle and bitter and strike out even at what is good.

      Then I am reminded along the Via Dolorosa how they mocked Christ and crowned him with thorns and spat upon him.

      Finally, you took me back to the Mount of Beatitudes and the last Beatitude, Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice’s sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

      Persecution in our time may not be bloody but may come verbally in the form of ridicule and mocking being made fun of by the world. Our faith is challenged in books, plays, movies and nightly on TV. The Word of God is a stumbling block to ungodly people. They can’t get at our God so they attack those who follow God.

      In John’s Gospel, chapter 15:20, “Jesus tells his disciples, if they persecuted me they will also persecute you. Sadly, if we are very comfortable in the world, it might be time to do a reality gut check. Do we truly proclaim courageously and vigorously the Word of God in words and deeds or do we cower and compromise? Has the world absorbed us into its culture of death too?

      As foretold by Simeon in the temple, Jesus is a stumbling block for many, may it not be so in your case.

      Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” Luke 2:34-35

      Thank you for the good memories, Dan.

      Tom

      Comment by Tom Block — March 27, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

  23. Duane:

    I had almost forgotten about your picking up on my facetious remark about HC and the control of my own body. I think that was in my latest blog posting.

    I think it a tad hypocritical for the left to tout the absolute right of every woman to control her body…I guess with the exceptions of drug use, alcoholism, and suicide or are all those implicit…yet with that near absolute right, they/you seem to have no problem with the government telling all of us when and if we can get any heath care. Any treatment we need will have to be cost efficient…I gather that all abortions under ObamaCare will be cost efficient—fewer mouths on the dole, fewer people needing HC etc…a sure-fire way to rid the country of poverty.

    That slogan “a woman’s body” by the way has no bearing in reality. It is just a clever example of legerdemain few people have the guts or the knowledge to challenge. O particularly like the left’s slogan: “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries.” That’s very catchy. “Against abortion? Don’t have one!” I feel the same way about murder, rape and stealing.

    Abortion is not about the mother’s body. Hers is not the one being butchered, eviscerated, sucked out of her natural lifeline or having her brains vacuumed from her head.

    Again abortion has become a battle over the control of the language. I will always call it what it is..an abomination that no civilized society can tolerate and remain free and prosperous.

    We have probably passed the crossroads to what Spengler called “The Decline of the West.” President BO is just accelerating the process. BB

    Comment by bbprof — March 27, 2010 @ 6:27 pm

    • Bill,
      When you say things about politics like the following, how do you expect non-believers to take your pleadings about Christianity seriously? You wrote,

      I gather that all abortions under ObamaCare will be cost efficient—fewer mouths on the dole, fewer people needing HC etc…a sure-fire way to rid the country of poverty.

      That kind of cynicism (not to mention the false premise that the HC reform law allows for publicly-funded abortions) really undermines your credibility when you advocate on behalf of the “good news” of the New Testament, doesn’t it?
      You see, when I was an evangelical Christian, my Christianity was, like yours, so intertwined with my conservative politics, that an objective observer would have had a hard time telling the difference between them. To tell you the truth, Jim Wallis, and other liberal Christians, at least sound more like the Jesus of the New Testament than some of your heroes like Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, and Sean Hannity, don’t you think?
      I just want to say one final thing, because you seem like an honest, sincere Christian guy.
      If your faith in Jesus means more to you than anything in the world; if your desire to convert as many of your fellow citizens to Christianity means nearly as much as your faith in Jesus; if it is more important to defend the tenets of the gospel than to bash President Obama—a fellow Christian, by the way; then I recommend that you and your likeminded brethren drop the right-wing politics, the cynical predictions about America’s future, the fear of President Obama, and the need to portray Jesus as a laissez-faire-loving, capitalist conservative.
      Perhaps, instead, you folks could demonstrate that the Christian “hope” transcends radio and television fear mongering by get-rich conservative talkers and actually transcends politics generally.
      I know you don’t need any advice from me, but, honestly, don’t you think such a stance would better represent Christ?
      Duane

      Comment by Duane Graham — March 29, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

  24. Hey Danny:

    What’s with the latest postings? Sartre for dinner? The man was a downer. He says “Hell is other people.” He probably liked to dine alone. And you’d have to pick up the check. (probably means the Republican Party or Catholics)

    Editor’s Note: I must have been dreaming–you said “satire” and I thought you said “Sartre.” Well I think he would be immensely more fun than Bill Maher. How can anyone stand him? He makes my flesh crawl and I don’t find him funny at all. I read his section in one of Bobby Kennedy’s daughter’s book about Catholic–as if she is an expert on Catholicism. He’s half-Jewish, part Catholic—but now he is an atheist. What would you talk about the 20 reasons God doesn’t exist? If he doesn’t exist why are there atheists? What more can you say?
    Questions:
    How come the vast majority of the billions of people who have walked the earth believe in a deity with well over a billion believing in the God of Western Civilization and the Hebrew Bible? What do you the elite know that they don’t?

    I just its lazy thinking not to believe in God. Too many things you have to give up…like porn…sounds so adolescent…SEE BELOW.

    Loved the comment about your member being resurrected. Very clever, despite the proximity it is to blasphemy and the fact that it probably offends most of the people who read my blog, it kind of reminded me of a guy who used to call my radio program on WGNU.

    It was exactly 20 years ago and this fellow, who called himself the “Red Man,” considered himself a real ladies’ man. I had lost my census, which came in the mail while we were on vacation. I tried to get a replacement. They said no and sent a census taker to our home.

    He said the same thing had happened to him. They sent this pretty young thing to his apartment. She proceeded, he said to ask him some very “personal” things. I asked him: “Like what?” He said, she asked him how many sexual experiences he had had.

    He told her that of course he had had many. This prompted me to ask him “were you alone at the time?” He broke out in laughter—end of story.

    Comment by bbprof — March 27, 2010 @ 6:41 pm

  25. BB:

    Alright, tell me. I haven’t been keeping up.
    What does the Church say now about the fetus of a woman who was maliciously raped by a madman? Or
    a retarded man? Or an habitual serial killer who is missing the “conscience gene” in his DNA? (or wherever our genes hang out). Or her father, or brother? what does the Church say about the “rights” of that fetus?

    Also, what about the 13-week or older fetus, well-developed, that undergoes a traumatic accident, such as a severe fall, gunshot wound, or punch in the gut, causing detectable brain and/or physical damage?

    Does the Church still say those “lives” deserve to be born? Fill me in.

    It isn’t just about the mother’s right to privacy. It is the mother’s right to decide what HER life should bring into the world.

    I believe in our right to suicide (controlled, not violent), euthanasia, abortion with counseling, as long as I am not infringing on the established rights of others.

    I’m suprised you encourage me to write in your blog. “For I am the Devil, in all his various forms, bent on your eternal distruction.”

    I made that up. Because there is no Devil. I scoff at the mere idea of a Devil, other than it’s obvious meaning: the absence of good. But I do not need a God nor a Devil to know goodness.
    Goodness is rational. Pure, simple. Tell me a sin that is not irrantional. I need to know!

    But there sure are a lot of people out there trying to control MY life. Why is that? It would seem to involve a certain element of… Pride, to tell someone else how to live. Wouldn’t it?

    Comment by danrichards — March 27, 2010 @ 9:09 pm

  26. Duane:

    I think all of my cynicism, sarcasm and invective with this president is warranted and well deserved.

    I think it is the epitome of naiveté to think that after all that has been said and done on this issue that there will not be the eventual funding of abortions, implicitly nuanced into its 2688 pages.

    As they say in Washington, the devil is in the details and the footnotes Surely you are not so self-delusional as Representative Stupak, who cravenly folded in the 11th hour of an admirable defense of life.

    For him to cite President Lincoln’s EO on the Emancipation Proclamation just shows how ignorant he and most of the people who voted for him are. First of all Lincoln’s Proclamation did not free one slave…not one slave because it applied to only the states that were still; in bloody opposition to the Union.

    Secondly, Lincoln was anti-slavery. Obama’s “Proclamation” has as much weight as an Emancipation Proclamation, issued by Jeff Davis. Obama is the personification of nuance directed to fool all of the people all of the time.

    I only mix politics with my religious faith—and abortion is no more a matter of faith than the Nazi Holocaust was. It is a matter of human justice. It is the abortionist lobby that altered the game in 1973 by getting the Court to usurp the powers of the state government by contriving a false absolute right to privacy in the act of what was historically considered a crime.

    They are the ones who have politicized the issue, just the global warming fanatics have politicized legitimate science, turning the God of the Left into a mere superstition groveling for federal dollars. These people have jumped from observable events to things like evolution, which is no more than an unprovable theory. They mix metaphysics with real science and earn the scorn of people who know how to use their gray matter in a critical way.
    You have to be kidding me about Jim Wallis? I don’t think the mean understands anything. Next you will be telling me Jesus would be a pro-choice Democrat today!

    It is only fear-mongering if there is nothing to fear. The wolf is upon and he is taking off his sheep’s clothing. Rome is burning and you want to reach for the marshmallows. That’s much of an intellectual stance is it?
    BB

    Comment by bbprof — March 29, 2010 @ 7:03 pm

    • Bill,
      While I didn’t expect a sudden conversion on your part, neither I did expect a response that wandered into Beckistan, that mystical plot of mental ground where reason goes to die and fertile fields of conspiracies wave in the blustery winds of ignorance and bigotry, before they are harvested and sold to gullible conservatives.
      The abortion funding issue is so “implicitly nuanced” into the HC reform law that even abortion foe-fanatics like Bart Stupak were fooled, huh? He cravenly folded, huh? A fellow Christian like Stupak, who almost singlehandedly brought the abortion issue to the national attention, is someone so “lacking in courage as to be worthy of contempt,” huh? (That’s the definition of cravenly.)
      You also said,

      “Obama is the personification of nuance directed to fool all of the people all of the time.”

      Directed by whom, Bill? God? Please read your Bible, particularly Romans 13 (which I have highlighted for your easy reference):

      Let every person be subordinate to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been established by God.
      Therefore, whoever resists authority opposes what God has appointed, and those who oppose it will bring judgment upon themselves.
      For rulers are not a cause of fear to good conduct, but to evil. Do you wish to have no fear of authority? Then do what is good and you will receive approval from it, for it is a servant of God for your good. But if you do evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword without purpose; it is the servant of God to inflict wrath on the evildoer.
      Therefore, it is necessary to be subject not only because of the wrath but also because of conscience.
      This is why you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.
      Pay to all their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, toll to whom toll is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.

      Good luck, Bill, in keeping Paul‘s (not Duane’s) admonitions to YOU, a Brother in Christ, just like Bart Stupak and Barack Obama.
      Duane

      Comment by Duane Graham — March 29, 2010 @ 8:59 pm

  27. What does the Church say now about the fetus of a woman who was maliciously raped by a madman?
    Did the baby do anything wrong? Why do you want to take the innocent life and presumably show mercy to the madman? Sounds like a “twisted sister” to me?
    Or
    a retarded man? Or a habitual serial killer who is missing the “conscience gene” in his DNA? (or wherever our genes hang out). Or her father, or brother? what does the Church say about the “rights” of that fetus?

    As Rush would say “dittoes!” How come it is innocence that is always punished for the crimes of others. Is liberal society so deformed and so mentally and morally deranged that it cannot see that innocence is what makes everyone beautiful and that sin and evil perverts us.

    Also, what about the 13-week or older fetus, well developed, that undergoes a traumatic accident, such as a severe fall, gunshot wound, or punch in the gut, causing detectable brain and/or physical damage?

    Medical science will save the baby in these cases now. Have you seen the pictures where doctors are performing fetal surgeries after just three months or maybe even less?

    Does the Church still say those “lives” deserve to be born? Fill me in.

    Anyone conceived “deserves” to be born. What kind of human being would want that job as “a judge” on who lives and who doesn’t? Probably the same people who will be on the country’s medical “life panels.” (Well maybe not Rosemary’s Baby!)

    It isn’t just about the mother’s right to privacy. It is the mother’s right to decide what HER life should bring into the world.

    She made that choice when she had sex. With the exception of rape! I think the very small percentage of female victims that do get pregnant are called to a much greater sacrifice than those who merely took a caviler approach to their own bodies. Why compound the physical and emotional trauma of forced sex with the guilt of killing the auxiliary innocent victim of her assault? That compounds her pain in my book. If someone has to be killed, why not kill the rapist…after due process of course…which no fetus ever receives. Some choice. Maybe she didn’t like the result, but who’s fault is that? Privacy is a canard. No one has absolute privacy. Just ask prostitutes, drug dealers and anyone committing a crime in their homes. Besides abortion at Planned parenthood is a very public act. I am going to the local clinic on Good Friday to “witness” it. You should try it Danny, it will change your life and way of thinking.

    I believe in our right to suicide (controlled, not violent), euthanasia, abortion with counseling, as long as I am not infringing on the established rights of others.

    Very existential and way too arrogant for my money. The wave of the future I suspect but after a while people wont have that choice. Government doctors will euthanize them, whether the patients o=want it or not…just like in Holland and other places in Europe.

    I’m surprised you encourage me to write in your blog. “For I am the Devil, in all his various forms, bent on your eternal destruction.”

    I don’t encourage you. I just give you the opportunity to expose yourself for all to see. C. S. Lewis, whom Duane really digs as well—enough to name a son after if my memory serves me—said that the devil tries to make people believe that he DOESN’T exist…so your presence is really working against him.

    I made that up. Because there is no Devil. I scoff at the mere idea of a Devil, other than it’s obvious meaning: the absence of good. But I do not need a God or a Devil to know goodness.

    I didn’t!

    Goodness is rational. Pure, simple. Tell me a sin that is not irrational. I need to know!

    Absolute goodness or subjective “goodness” what’s good for me…like abortion and alcohol, free sex? That what you mean? No I think many sins—the perfect crimes tried—are very rational. If a witness sees me commit a crime and I will have to go to jail for life…to kill that person can be rationalized by seeing him/her as a threat to one’s happiness and freedom. I think many abortions are rational.. usually for the boyfriend…heck I don’t want to look at her get fat or pay for HER kid.

    But there sure are a lot of people out there trying to control MY life. Why is that? It would seem to involve a certain element of… Pride, to tell someone else how to live.

    I agree with you there and they are all left-wingers, the heir-apparent to old Gnosticism, who know so much more than we ignorant mass of superstition lunatics.
    Wouldn’t it?

    Comment by bbprof — March 29, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

  28. Duane:

    Nice to see that your Evangelical fervor has reappeared and what a fitting time for such an outburst of filial devotion.

    However I frankly don’t see the relevance.

    And besides the whole passage loses some of its affect because it was written in an entirely different context…unless you are saying Obama is an emperor and we must pay him our fealty.

    He is the servant of the people, not a petty dictator trying to get us to take his poisonous medicine.

    I am in no way saying that I am free from the law…the reason behind Paul’s lengthy commentary on authority. It seems that most recent Democratic presidents see themselves above the law.

    I think Romans 13 is not more than saying, “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s…”

    It is the left that prides itself on the radical thinkers Machiavelli and Alinsky, both of whom being atheists would not have agreed with St. Paul.

    I also think Paul admonished authorities that they has the duty to commend uprightness and just ordinances. I see no moral core in the Obama administration. They have only forced the aggrandizement of power with little regard for tradition, culture or good taste.

    When Caesar Obama contradicts what is right and interferes with the religious and moral beliefs of the people, his authority is not binding. He is therefore not entitled to obedience.

    The line about taxes is risible. I doubt if Paul knew anything about the Marxist Progressive Income Tax, which has nothing to do with “progress.”

    When all things are said, I seriously doubt our current president has ever read Romans—probably wouldn’t know it from a Grecian urn.

    Therefore I doubt if he would adhere to any of its strictures limiting his power.

    OTHER STUFF:

    Are you saying there never were any conspiracies? History is riven with them. Why should now be any different? And I really don’t think conspiracy theories are the private domain of the right. Just check out the Truthers.

    Stupak was brave until the 11th hour and then quit. Certainly not a Profile in Courage! We have seen very few of those in our lifetime. He lost all the respect of most people who had defended him. Every man has his price but even Wales was better than an EO.

    Who’s pulling BO’s strings? Could be George Soros, who the NYT said today, made 3.5 billion on our economic crisis. How much money did he give to BO during the election? (I know he also gave to McCain but not nearly as much. He manages a Hedge Fund among other things and hates GW Bush with a regal passion. Did you know his name means “soars” in Esperanto?)

    Comment by bbprof — April 1, 2010 @ 9:27 pm

  29. […] Free Will: The Battle of the Blogs February 2010 42 comments 3 […]

    Pingback by 2010 in review « The Gospel Truth — January 2, 2011 @ 7:22 pm


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About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at bbprof@sbcglobal.net

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