Dear Catholic Church

With all due respect . . .

Please stay the hell out of my life and death.

In a piece of legislation that seems abundantly thought through, the North Carolina General Assembly is doing a good job bringing dignity to the inevitable business of dying. The story's in today's News and Observer.

The bill, developed over three years, revises the ways that patients in North Carolina can give a trusted person legal power over medical decisions. In addition, the bill contains a more far-reaching medical document than the current "do not resuscitate" form. It's designed to alert doctors and others to the measures a patient wants taken -- or not taken -- if death is near.

A spokesman for Bishop Michael Burbidge, however, told a legislative hearing Tuesday that the bill needs more work because it "deals with issues that we believe have eternal consequences."

"Our concern is that we'll move more toward a state where euthanasia becomes a common practice," spokesman Msgr. Michael G. Clay said after Tuesday's hearing.

Ah yes, the old slippery slope argument. You let a few of us decide that we want to die with dignity and the next thing you know, society will be knocking off old people like pesky flies. To which I say, let's take that slippery slope argument to it's natural extreme. If you don't want people to have to deal with the uncertainty of death, how about keeping them from being born in the first place?

Can you say "contraception?"

Listen. I've got enough leftover crap to deal with from being a Southern Baptist for 20-some years. The last thing I need is the Catholic Church trying to impose its "prolong life" doctrine in North Carolina state politics.

Comments

There is no slippery slope

The Supreme court has made it exceedingly clear where the lines are drawn. Without a substantial change in case law, which has about a .001% chance of happening, anything that would even open up the gate to a slippery slope would be struck down within minutes. It sounds like this Bishop needs to start doing some quick law study before he starts complaining about how a law is written.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Liddy 44 Brad 33

"Keep the Faith"

Aw come on.

There is TOO a slippery slope. It starts with procreation. You have birth, you have death. The best way to stop death is to stop birth. Makes perfect sense to me.

Yeah...you and Snape thinking you can put a stopper in death

Harry Potter fans will get it.

Sorcerer's stone.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Life is a complicated value

I find these incursions of the bishops into politics pretty disturbing. They inevitably get Christianity wrong when they do so. Life is an important value to Christians, but it's not the highest value -- and it's not all about protecting *biological* life. If it's someone's time to go -- if they're brain-dead as Terri Schiavo was and extraordinary measures are being taken to keep the flesh alive, it's pretty questionable whether forcing the flesh to stay alive makes any theological sense.

There's also the matter of 1 Corinthians 5 -- "For what have I to do with judging those outside [the church]?" If something's not hurting anyone inside the church (except their delicate sensibilities), it's not clear to me why Burbidge thinks he needs to get involved.

Thanks.

Your comment gives me hope that the Church has not entirely lost its way.

I'm glad you see it that way FrChris

Saw your name in the "Who's here" and wondered if you would weigh in. I have to admit, my opinion of the Catholic church is not that high. However, you may be able to change my mind.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Well, I'm part of an

Well, I'm part of an independent jurisdiction, not the Roman church. :-)

There are wonderful, redeeming features of the Roman Catholic church, stuff that doesn't typically make it into the media. I'm usually happy to defend their good stuff. But they're frequently misguided on these "life" issues -- their politics are over-reaching on both religious grounds and public-policy ones.

(As for contraception, Humanæ Vitæ was actually promulgated against the advice of a commission of both conservatives and liberals, who in 1966 voted 30-5 that contraception was not intrinsically evil. Maybe one of these days the hierarchy will come around on that one...)

poverty

The Catholic Church does as much to address poverty and the causes of poverty as any other organization, and much more than most. They put their money and their hearts where their mouth is. This is my personal opinion.

We should not lump the Catholic Church in with those religious corporations who are pro-life when it comes to denying people the ability to make their own health care choices, and yet pro-market when it comes to denying babies Medicaid, or denying their parents workers' rights.

I wasn't aware expressing an opinion...

was "imposing its view". The Catholic Church has also been against the death-penalty and the war for all the good that did, so where do you get that they're running the State? Concern with 'the uncertainty of death' and belief in the sanctity of life are not the same thing. So you're not actually taking the slippery slope to its edge, you're substituitng an easier argument to attack ("put down the strawman" as someone said).

Running the state?

That's your language, not mine.

Maybe "imposing its view" is too strong. I should have said "putting the weight of the Church on the line to influence legislation."

And yeah. I don't like that.

Care to comment on the substance of the issue rather than dissecting the rhetorical commentary?

Fair enough

I guess we're purpetrators on the same crime. I didn't see much beyond rhetorical commentary and I doubt we disagree on our positions on the issue. I think the cause would be better served if it was a well reasoned position rather than reactionary though so had hoped to help do so.

But...but...

I'm a little confused. It seems to me as though the basis of the bill would be putting into the patient's hands the power to decide when enough is enough and the plug, so to speak, should be pulled. So if I'm in the hospital, and I have an incurable ailment which will certainly bring about my end, and the only thing the machines and drugs will do is prolong my functions even after my personality has left the building...well, I'm okay with my husband, children or whoever has my blessing at the time saying goodbye and letting me go.

But, with all due respect and apologies if I'm misunderstanding, it sounds as though the Church has a problem with this because...what, the doctors will assume everyone will think like me and start shutting down life support everywhere? I just don't get it. How will giving people the right and power to choose whether to continue as a vegetable or die with dignity set a precedent that leads to mass euthanasia? Seems to me that's why a choice is being established, so that people can...well, choose.

Just saying.

You nailed it.!

I try to stay away from religious issues because I have a large wooden stake and a heavy hammer I'm itching to use. The church...all churches...need to stay the hell out of trying to legislate, or influence legislation on...how people deal with their own lives. Offering comfort and assistance is superb...the rest is meddlesome and outside the scope of reason.

I'm also of the opinion that the Catholic Church has a lot of its own problems to solve before it starts messing with other's. Can they spell pedophilia?

SE NC Dems

Stan Bozarth

I think they can. It's spelled

C-O-V-E-R U-P

No pun intended.

Stay out of legislating? Definately.

I don't think legislation is helped by any group being silenced on anything though. People are entitled to their views, I'm entitled to ignore them if need be. Can you spell freedom of expression?

and today from Sao Paulo, Brazil...

Pope Benedict XVI began his first trip to Latin America Wednesday by laying down church law on abortion, suggesting he agrees with bishops who said Catholic politicians in Mexico excommunicated themselves by legalizing abortion in that nation's capital.

You were saying...?
SE NC Dems

Stan Bozarth

What's Your Point?

The Catholic Church is pro-life. Someone call the papers.

Oh, and for the record (from the AP):

"...the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, later issued a statement approved by the pope clarifying the remarks. The statement said the pope did not intend to excommunicate anyone. Politicians who vote in favor of abortion should not receive the sacrament of Holy Communion, Lombardi said.

"Since excommunication hasn't been declared by the Mexican bishops, the pope has no intention himself of declaring it," said Lombardi, who was on board the plane. "Legislative action in favor of abortion is incompatible with participation in the Eucharist. ... Politicians exclude themselves from Communion."

Pressed further by journalists if the lawmakers were excommunicated, Lombardi reiterated: "No, they exclude themselves from Communion."

Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it. - Robert F. Kennedy

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There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

To a Catholic

who believes, being excluded from communion is essentially a ticket to hell (or purgatory...)

There is a difference between the Church stating a doctrine for believers, which they've been doing for millennia without a problem, and the Church causing their doctrine to be law -- for all, even non-believers. In the US, that pesky First Amendment prevents the government from codifying religious doctrine as law.

And if you don't understand...

..the difference between the two, it's not worth the effort either.

Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it. - Robert F. Kennedy

----
There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

I think Stan understands the difference between the church

excommunicating the politicians and the politicians excommunicating themselves. Do you understand just how important Holy Communion is to a catholic? The public announcement by priests/church officials that the politicians may not take Holy Communion is in effect telling all priests they may not offer the body and blood of Christ to these people. They might as well excommunicate them.

The difference is a little like the difference between being brain dead and being dead. The result is pretty much the same.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Thanks for the Insight

Do you understand just how important Holy Communion is to a catholic?

Probably not.

Oh wait...yeah, I do...I'm Catholic.

Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it. - Robert F. Kennedy

----
There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

Good...you don't exactly state it anywhere in your comments

I had no way of knowing and quite frankly that fact leaves me baffled at your response to Stan. To me it came across as if you were trivializing that these politicians were being denied the sacrament of Holy Communion.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

It didn't seem like trivializing it to me...

more like bewilderment that someone would suggest the head of the Church giving his interpretation of the docrtine of the Church for the members of that church who chose freely to join it and follow said doctrine is somehow the same as them legislating for the population at large. What's baffling is someone starting out bashing the Church then turning around and pretending said bashing was somehow out of concern for the members of the church. The Pope has done nothing but express an opinion, if that opinion bears a great deal of weight with some people that's their choice. What scares me is someone effectively saying "I don't agree with you so think you shouldn't be allowed to express your opinion".

The distinction is this:

The Pope can say anything he damn well pleases regarding doctrine. The bishops can do the same. But when they go to the legislature, it is no longer a doctrinal matter. It's a First Amendment issue.

What part of that is so hard for so many people to understand?

Checking my pocket constitution

It reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech...

Nothing about the Pope or the official of any church visiting a legislature and expressing their opinion is establishing a church or prohibiting anyones free exercise thereof, refusing to allow them to express their opinion in the legislature or anywhere else is abridging their freedom of speech.

It's not really hard to understand at all.

It's not really hard to understand at all.

This sort of comment really is annoying, to me anyway.

No one here has any confusion about the Bill of Rights - and your lectures on the issue are unwelcome. We understand full well that we are not in a position to stop the Pope from expressing his opinions. That said, we certainly have the right to complain all we want about it when he does so.

Just as you have the right to complain about our complaining.

But don't expect it to go unchallenged.

Me Too

Sadly I'm not mature enough to rise above answering such comments in kind.

See?

We have something in common after all!

:)

They can complain all they want.

But they can't attempt to sway the legislature to codify that. Catholics can refuse to fill out the forms, if they find them that offensive to their morals. Me? I'd like a more detailed form than just DNR/DNI/DPOA.

But I'm a goddless heathen who's going straight to a hell I don't believe in.

Well.

Good...you don't exactly state it anywhere in your comments

I shouldn't have to, quite frankly...

I had no way of knowing and quite frankly that fact leaves me baffled at your response to Stan. To me it came across as if you were trivializing that these politicians were being denied the sacrament of Holy Communion.

...if you had a question about my response to Stan, then you should have just asked for a clarification, rather than saying that I didn't understand Holy Communion. It's demeaning to the political discourse and to those involved in it, to assume that a point of disagreement means that one person fails to understand the issue as well as you.

But, I digress...

My point with regard to Stan's comments is that what the Pope said in Brazil (and the subsequent clarification from the Vatican spokesman I posted) is not relevant to the discussion of the Bishop Michael Burbidge speaking out against this bill in the legislature. They're two completely different issues--one an internal debate among the Church's parishioners, the other an issue that extends far beyond the Church's purview--and I'm not sure it has place in this discussion, other than to illicit additional anti-Catholic sentiment.

That's what I was saying...I appreciate you asking.

Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it. - Robert F. Kennedy

----
There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

Missed opportunity

I'm not sure it has place in this discussion, other than to illicit additional anti-Catholic sentiment.

It appears that you've decided, without asking Anglico and the commenters here, that the intent of this post and/or its comments is to bash Catholics. Anyone who has read here knows that Anglico, in particular, encourages (in a rather strong manner) church leaders of all stripes to stay out of politics. If you did not understand the intent of the post or its commenters you should have asked.

You responded to me in an angry sarcastic manner without asking me if my intent was to insult you or to establish and support the importance of Holy Communion in the conversation. If you had a question about my intent, then you should have asked for a clarification. (See your comment to me in reference to your response to Stan.) I did not say you didn't understand (sorry for the double negative) the importance of the sacrament, as you claim. I asked you if you knew the importance. (There is just a little bit of difference between asking and telling.) If I had said anything anti-Catholic, it wouldn't have mattered if I already knew you were Catholic for your anger to be justified. Because I did not make an anti-Catholic statement, your anger stems from the fact that I explained how important Holy Communion is to you, a Catholic. It does matter, in this instance, whether I know you are Catholic for your anger and sarcasm to be justified.

Obviously, your posting a quote as a comment was not as self explanatory as you thought it was. Thank you for explaining your point. I appreciate it and apologize for not fully understanding your response to Stan before I commented.

It seems to me that if you were truly interested in stemming any anti-Catholic sentiment that might exist, you would have wanted to fully explain your posting of the quote and the different issues it presents so that others can understand. Instead, you assumed - per your comment quoted above - we were all just going to bash Catholics instead of trying to understand your point. Was your intent to insult us? Do you think we aren't capable of understanding? Can you honestly read over the comments again and conclude that a thoughtful explanation from you would have resulted in Catholic bashing?

I'm asking, because I don't want to assume that's a veiled insult, even though it sure looks like one to me.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

The problem with all of this...

...is you keep saying "You should know we're/I'm/Such and such am/is not...", the fact is most of us don't know each other as people, we only know what each other write, no matter how long we've been reading it. And to be perfectly honest having read here for a little while I don't see overwhelming evidence of how I should "just know" that people aren't just interested in bashing groups they disagree with and being patronizing.

[To clarify, when reading this, hear the voice in your head as calm, open, and honest, not angry or sarcastic]

If you don't know someone and saw them write "Black People should stay the hell out of..." what do you think your reaction to the person who wrote that statement would be, would you think they are supportive of that segment of the population?

If you are speaking to someone about the Department of Homeland Security and they bring up Pedophilia (to clarify the parrallel for those who may not know, there were allegations of this Department employing then covering up for several pedophiles) at the first oppurtunity, does that sound like a statement of support?

If someone misrepresents the comments made by the leader of a political party, do you get the impression that they're going to be working for that party?

Obviously, your posting a quote as a comment was not as self explanatory as you thought it was.

Do you think perhaps that could have been intentional considering the comment it was responding to? That was my interpretation anyways.

Generally I find it frustrating to be told at one point I'm not making a substantive arguement then when I respond to one of the few substantive arguements to be told that I'm giving an unwelcome lecture.

As an honest request for clarification, which parts of the arguement against the Church would you consider substantive and not just Catholic Bashing?

Really?

The problem with all of this...is you keep saying "You should know we're/I'm/Such and such am/is not...",

Specifics, please.

Your willingness to place all of the blame on my shoulders is so nice. Gotta repeat your accusation since it is so pleasant.

The problem with all of this is you keep saying "You should know we're/I'm/Such and such am/is not...",

As I said above. I'd love specific examples, so I can address them individually.

And to be perfectly honest having read here for a little while I don't see overwhelming evidence of how I should "just know" that people aren't just interested in bashing groups they disagree with and being patronizing.

It's called "benefit of the doubt". Of course, you're more than welcome to assume the worst about those of us at BlueNC. That's up to you.

[To clarify, when reading this, hear the voice in your head as calm, open, and honest, not angry or sarcastic]

I don't have voices in my head, but I usually read comments and think them through in a calm, open manner. You really need to read this comment again and tell me how this is not condescending, patronizing and assinine. It sure reads that way to me.

If you don't know someone and saw them write "Black People should stay the hell out of..." what do you think your reaction to the person who wrote that statement would be, would you think they are supportive of that segment of the population?

If you are speaking to someone about the Department of Homeland Security and they bring up Pedophilia (to clarify the parrallel for those who may not know, there were allegations of this Department employing then covering up for several pedophiles) at the first oppurtunity, does that sound like a statement of support?

First, I would hope that I would read far more than one statement that a person has made before denouncing him/her as a racist or anti-__________ (fill in the blank). If I found that the same person in other posts had written, "White people should stay the hell out of," or "Purple people should stay the hell out of", or "Orange people should stay the hell out of" - I would come to the conclusion the person probably just doesn't like people messing with whatever he/she wanted them to stay the hell out of. But that's just me. You're welcome to form an opinion on just one statement.

Since you are referring to Anglico, I will speak specifically to his comment. It was the Catholic church in the news, not Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc. If it had been he would have directed his comments there. He has been very, very consistent on this. He firmly and undeniably believes that ALL CHURCHES should stay out of our government. If you want to conclude from this that he hates churches, fine. However it would be more accurate to conclude that he wants all churches to stay out of our government.

Stan made one statement that could easily have come across as anti-Catholic, but not one other comment in the thread crosses that line and I'm not sure they even come close. Most of the thread is actually very thoughtful. I don't like to discount or discredit an entire thread or conversation simply because of one comment. You are more than welcome to allow one comment to discredit what everyone else has said if you like.

If someone misrepresents the comments made by the leader of a political party, do you get the impression that they're going to be working for that party?

You must be listening to too many voices in your head, Hadrian. I dont' know where the heck this comment came from or where it is going, so I'll just move along.

Obviously, your posting a quote as a comment was not as self explanatory as you thought it was.

Do you think perhaps that could have been intentional considering the comment it was responding to? That was my interpretation anyways.

If she was intentionally obtuse, then do you think she had the right to get her knickers all in a twist when someone misunderstood her meaning?

Generally I find it frustrating to be told at one point I'm not making a substantive arguement then when I respond to one of the few substantive arguements to be told that I'm giving an unwelcome lecture.

Maybe it is because so many of your comments are used to simply tell people how they are wrong and how their reaction isn't justified. See here, here, and several places throughout this thread for just a few examples of what come across as very condescending, concern trollish comments. Notice, I didn't accuse you of being condescending or of being a concern troll, I just said your comments come across that way. There is a difference.

As an honest request for clarification, which parts of the arguement against the Church would you consider substantive and not just Catholic Bashing?

Why should I bother? Per the quote directly above, it appears that you have already determined that there were only a few substantive arguments in this thread. Why in God's name would I bang my head against that wall?

If you really need me to point out the thoughtfulness of FrChris' comments and those made by Jerimee, C. Dianne and blueSteph, then I can only assume you really haven't read the thread as closely as you would have us believe. Sometimes, the value of a post isn't in the post itself, but in the conversation that develops in the comments. Also, I don't think criticizing the church for its actions constitutes bashing it - regardless of the church.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Well said

When we have new voices around these parts, I do my best to be accommodating . . . and I think I've done that with Hadrian. But I confess to having reached the end of my rope. Thanks for putting into words what I'm thinking.

End of the Rope indeed

I was genuinely attempting to clear the air but yall seem to want to take it as hostile again and perhaps I keep misunderstanding some peoples comments as well, guess we'll just have to agree to misunderstand each other.

Yeah some of my comments were unfair to those who have contributed substantively to the conversation that you mentioned, I thought it was clear they were discluded but perhaps chose the wrong words but if not I appologize to them.

Hadrian

You attacked me with your accusation. I responded to your comments point by point and now you want to play the victim?

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Actually, was just trying to move on...

i acknowledge that I had misinterpreted parts of what some had said. I also apologized to people I felt may have been wronged by me. I'm not sure of your definition of a victim but acknowledging mistakes and making apologies is not something they tend to do. I don't see what going back and forth flaming each other anymore will really accomplish...

In Response.

If you read over my comments in this thread, you'll note that I didn't respond to anything that Anglico posted--mainly because Jerimee captured my sentiments pretty well and I didn't feel it needed repeating. Additionally, I've only responded to comments from you (The Southern Dem) and Stan, so the suggestion that my comments are addressing all "the commenters here" is an exaggeration.

I did not say you didn't understand (sorry for the double negative) the importance of the sacrament, as you claim. I asked you if you knew the importance.

Really? How come then, what you actually said and what you said you didn't say look very, very similar?

What You Said: Do you understand just how important Holy Communion is to a catholic?
What You Said, You Didn't Say: you didn't understand (sorry for the double negative) the importance of the sacrament

It may not have been what you meant, but it is what you said.

I wasn't being angry, but I was being saracastic...as I said earlier, I don't think it's fair to jump to the conclusion that someone doesn't understand the issue as well as you, because there is a point of disagreement. I think it's condescending, so, admittedly, I used sarcasm to accomplish the same end.

It seems to me that if you were truly interested in stemming any anti-Catholic sentiment that might exist, you would have wanted to fully explain your posting of the quote and the different issues it presents so that others can understand. Instead, you assumed - per your comment quoted above - we were all just going to bash Catholics instead of trying to understand your point. Was your intent to insult us?

No, actually, as I said, I think that quote--and the quote that Stan posted--is not relevant to Anglico's original post. I'm not going to fully explain it because it's purely incidental to the discussion about the Bishop appearing before the legislature and I'm not trying to distract from the issue at hand. I simply posted the clarification from the Vatican, just as I've posted clarifications from campaigns in the past (the responses from Obama and Clinton on General Pace's comments on homosexuality come to mind most readily).

It's not relevant. If you or Stan would like to start a discussion about the Catholic Church denying communion to pro-choice politicians, feel free and if the mood moves me, I may respond, but until then, I'll just try and stay on topic.

Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it. - Robert F. Kennedy

----
There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

See below...

Stan Bozarth

Winston Churchill once said:

The nose of the bulldog has been slanted backwards so that he can breathe without letting go.

Sorta like the pig has a long snout

so it can root around for something to feed on ?

Stan Bozarth

:-)

defin i tely

Stan Bozarth

that

too

Ah, religion

This whole thread reminds me why I give up god for Lent.