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“The Watchword Is Worry”

Tuesday, August 26, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The Washington Post reports on the great unease at the Democratic Convention:

As the Democrats kicked off a convention designed to unite support behind Obama, interviews with several dozen delegates pointed to an undercurrent of anxiety among many from key swing states who will be charged with leading the push in their communities. They expressed doubts bordering on bewilderment: Why, in a year that had been shaping up as a watershed for Democrats, amid an economic downturn and an unpopular Republican presidency, is the race so tight?

Why, indeed. The answers: Jeremiah Wright. Tony Rezko. Michael Pfleger. Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.

“Above my pay grade.” “Bitter and clinging to God and their guns.” “Citizen of the world.” Tire gauges. “First time I have been proud of my country.” “Vastly superior infrastructure.” The Born Alive Infant Protection Act.

And now Slow Joe Biden.

That’s just part of the list. The Dems are nominating the most radical major party candidate in history, whose thin record is relentlessly hard left, and whose rhetoric of change and hope cannot cover the fact that he has never worked across the aisle, has never sought to reform the deeply corrupt Chicago or Illinois political machines, and that he is hopelessly out of his depth on foreign policy and national security issues.

Dems are uneasy because Obama has gone out of his way to run over the Clintons and insult them, telegraphing how he would run the party and the country if he got to 1600.

Andy they are also alarmed by a shaken and struggling campaign that releases text messages of important decisions in the middle of the night, and ads on the first day of the convention that focus on Bill Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist who has long and significant ties to Obama. It made matters much worse that Nancy Pelosi used Meet the Press to start a major confrontation with the Roman Catholic Church on abortion which has sparked stinging rebukes from senior Catholic leadership in Denver and nationally.

Yes, Michelle Obama gave a good speech, and yes, saying goodbye to Teddy was emotional. But feelings about the last representative of a generation of huge political figures and one carefully crafted and stage-managed speech by the nominee’s wife have almost no impact on the race as it stands right now. When the delegates are telling the post that things are tough in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, you know there is real trouble in traditional Democratic strongholds, and you can expect the GOP ticket to camp in those states as well as in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin and the key mountain west states of Colorada and Nevada.

The attempt to rush the country to the far left of the political spectrum worked for as long as no one focused too much on what Obama believed and who his close friends and allies are and the emptiness of his rhetoric. Now the focus has arrived, and the effect is withering. It is magnified by the rhetoric of some of Obama’s supporters like billionaire Tim Gill, who is using his money to attack politicians who believe in traditional marriage. The Denver convention has a huge number of radicals working to nominate a radical. Is it any wonder that traditional Democrats are worried that their party has driven itself into a very tight corner?

As for the Obama campaign’s new Ayers ad, here’s the video of Obama’s friend and associate from two foundations, Bill Ayers, part 1, from November 30, 2007:

Part 2:

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George Weigel On The Pelosi Deception

Monday, August 25, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

From George Weigel, biographer of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, one of the most prominent Catholic public intellectuals:

In her “Meet the Press” appearance Aug. 24, Pelosi was asked by Tom Brokaw whether she agreed with Senator Obama’s statements on abortion at Saddleback. Pelosi, declaring herself an “ardent, practicing Catholic,” told Brokaw that “this is an issue that I have studied for a long time”-and then got herself into a deep muddle, in which she seemed to confuse St. Augustine with St. Thomas Aquinas (neither of whom, in any case, knew anything about modern embryology); misrepresented the settled (and scientifically informed) judgment of the Catholic Church on when life begins by declaring it an open question, and concluded by suggesting that none of this really makes a difference, because what the scientists, theologians, and philosophers say “… shouldn’t have an impact on a the woman’s right to choose.” The Speaker then misrepresented the legal impact of Roe v. Wade, arguing that the Supreme Court hadn’t created a right to “abortion on demand”-which will come as news to those on both sides of the ongoing debates over partial-birth abortion and other late-term abortion procedures, parental- and spousal-notifications laws and regulatory oversight of abortion clinics.

Be sure to read the entire piece.

Pelosi’s Meet the Press deception has triggered unprecedented, forceful responses from the American Roman Catholic hierarchy.

Has even one member of the MSM asked the Speaker for a response, a clarification, or an apology?

The attention Pelosi triggered on the abortion rights radicalism of her party is a gift to the pro-life cause, just as Obama’s stunningly stupid decision to bring up Ayers (HT: RobinsonandLong.com) is a gift to people concerned that the extent of Obama’s ties to the unrepentant terrorist receive full review by the voters.

The Pelosi abortion deception and the attempt by Obama to downplay his long and significant association with Ayers are both attempts to head-fake the electorate in an era when such blatant evasions will not fly. Inside the Pepsi Center they may be unaware of the fact that both the nominee and the Speaker have stepped in it, and the MSM may be helping to keep the Dems misinformed.

But big lies don’t work in the age of new media. The Dems big week is off to an awful start.

Cardinal Rigali and Bishop Lori Blast Pelosi’s deception

Monday, August 25, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Now the full weight of the Catholic Church is coming down on Nancy Pelosi. Bravo to Cardinal Rigali and Bishop Lori who join Archbishop Chaput in setting an example for their fellow Church leaders. Now, how about the Bishop of San Francisco? The story:

Cardinal Justin F. Rigali, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop William E. Lori, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine, have issued the following statement: [# More #]

In the course of a “Meet the Press” interview on abortion and other public issues on August 24, 2008, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi misrepresented the history and nature of the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church against abortion.

The Church has always taught that human life deserves respect from its very beginning and that procured abortion is a grave moral evil. In the Middle Ages, uninformed and inadequate theories about embryology led some theologians to speculate that specifically human life capable of receiving an immortal soul may not exist until a few weeks into pregnancy. While in canon law these theories led to a distinction in penalties between very early and later abortions, the Church’s moral teaching never justified or permitted abortion at any stage of development.

These mistaken biological theories became obsolete over 150 years ago when scientists discovered that a new human individual comes into being from the union of sperm and egg at fertilization. In keeping with this modern understanding, the Church has long taught that from the time of conception (fertilization), each member of the human species must be given the full respect due to a human person, beginning with respect for the fundamental right to life.

Statement of Bishops Chaput and Conley On Speaker Pelosi’s Abortion Whopper

Monday, August 25, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Bravo to the two senior Catholics in Denver. Now if Speaker Pelosi’s bishop in San Francisco was just as blunt, the damage done by the Speaker’s deception on Meet The Press yesterday would be minimized. For a complete account of what Archbishop Chaput –and the Roman Catholic Church– believes, read his brand new book, Render Unto Caesar. The full text of today’s statement:

ON THE SEPARATION OF SENSE AND STATE
A CLARIFICATION FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE CHURCH
IN NORTHERN COLORADO

To Catholics of the Archdiocese of Denver:

Catholic public leaders inconvenienced by the abortion debate tend to take a hard line in talking about the “separation of Church and state.” But their idea of separation often seems to work one way. In fact, some officials also seem comfortable in the role of theologian. And that warrants some interest, not as a “political” issue, but as a matter of accuracy and justice.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills. Regrettably, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them.

Interviewed on Meet the Press August 24, Speaker Pelosi was asked when human life begins. She said the following:

“I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time.And what I know is over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition. . . St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know. The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose.”

Since Speaker Pelosi has, in her words, studied the issue “for a long time,” she must know very well one of the premier works on the subject, Jesuit John Connery’s Abortion: The Development of the Roman Catholic Perspective (Loyola, 1977). Here’s how Connery concludes his study:

“The Christian tradition from the earliest days reveals a firm antiabortion attitude . . . The condemnation of abortion did not depend on and was not limited in any way by theories regarding the time of fetal animation. Even during the many centuries when Church penal and penitential practice was based on the theory of delayed animation, the condemnation of abortion was never affected by it. Whatever one would want to hold about the time of animation, or when the fetus became a human being in the strict sense of the term, abortion from the time of conception was considered wrong, and the time of animation was never looked on as a moral dividing line between permissible and impermissible abortion.”

Or to put it in the blunter words of the great Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

“Destruction of the embryo in the mother’s womb is a violation of the right to live which God has

bestowed on this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.”

Ardent, practicing Catholics will quickly learn from the historical record that from apostolic times, the Christian tradition overwhelmingly held that abortion was grievously evil. In the absence of modern medical knowledge, some of the Early Fathers held that abortion was homicide; others that it was tantamount to homicide; and various scholars theorized about when and how the unborn child might be animated or “ensouled.” But none diminished the unique evil of abortion as an attack on life itself, and the early Church closely associated abortion with infanticide. In short, from the beginning, the believing Christian community held that abortion was always, gravely wrong.

Of course, we now know with biological certainty exactly when human life begins. Thus, today’s religious alibis for abortion and a so-called “right to choose” are nothing more than that – alibis that break radically with historic Christian and Catholic belief.

Abortion kills an unborn, developing human life. It is always gravely evil, and so are the evasions employed to justify it. Catholics who make excuses for it – whether they’re famous or not – fool only themselves and abuse the fidelity of those Catholics who do sincerely seek to follow the Gospel and live their Catholic faith.

The duty of the Church and other religious communities is moral witness. The duty of the state and its officials is to serve the common good, which is always rooted in moral truth. A proper understanding of the “separation of Church and state” does not imply a separation of faith from political life. But of course, it’s always important to know what our faith actually teaches.

Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

Archbishop of Denver

James D. Conley

Auxiliary Bishop of Denver

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