It’s The Culture, Stupid

There’s been a lot written in the last few days trying to answer some of the questions that a lot of us have been asking.  How bad is this?  What does it mean really?  For America?  For Catholics?  How did we get here

This article, by Matthew Warner at The National Catholic Register, has been making the rounds, I think with good reason.  As to how we got here and what we need to do now, I think Warner nails it.   An excerpt:

And if you find yourself talking about whether Romney (or any politician) lost because he was too conservative, or not conservative enough, or he should have talked about social issues more, or the party needs a “bigger tent” – just stop. Those are political games focused on trying to mirror the culture rather than change it. It may lead to political victory, but it changes little. Culture warriors have chased such illusions for too long.

What we need is to impact the culture by changing hearts and minds. We have to shift the entire conversation and cultural values, not just gerrymander the platform. We don’t need a bigger “tent.” We need to make a more convincing case. That’s what brings about real change. That’s leadership. That’s evangelization. And it rarely comes from a politician.

Read the entire article here.



  • Thomas Rooney OFS

    “There go my people…I must find out where they are going so I can lead them.”

    • choiceone

      A genuine leader does not tell people what to do and think and believe unless he or she has the genuine qualifications for that. Christ had those qualifications because he demonstrated the actual spiritual healing of physical illness, physical disability, etc. If one is not capable of doing that, even though Jesus Christ said anyone could do it if they actually believed on him and the works he did, then one does not have the spiritual credentials for top-down leadership. Among those who do not pretend to those credentials when they lack them, leadership means asking, “How can I help you?” and then weighing the answers and trying one’s best to help others. That’s called loving your neighbor as yourself.

  • Greg B.

    Go ahead – keep trying to pull the party to the right. Keep trying to turn the GOP into the party of theocracy. I’ll be happy to watch Democrats win election after election as a result.

    • Notso Faithful Democrat

      I’m rooting for the CV Evangelists, too. They’re doing God’s work, albeit not in the way they think. I may even register for the Republican Party so I can work for and vote for Santorum come the primary in 2016.

      • Greg B.

        I like that idea. Santorum / Akin 2016!

        • Jamie Candace Ward

          Awesome! Santorum will get even fewer votes than Romney!

    • jackpres

      If it was excessive social conservatism that lost the presidential bid and you think conservatism will continue to lose elections, then how do you explain the repeat “Republican” and more conservative House again, as well as 30 Republican Governors etc, etc. ?

  • choiceone

    Becoming pro-life inspires hope? The single, educated women who vote for the Democratic pro-choice candidates do not vote out of anything else. They know that Roe v Wade came as God’s answer to the prayers of millions of girls and women – women who were raped by maniacs, women who attended church every Sunday and then were victims of bigamy or adultery or seduction, women who discovered the fetuses growing inside them had their internal organs on the outside of their growing bodies, women who had ectopic pregnancies and would die and be unable to raise the little children they already had . . . The pro-choice movement of the 1960s and early 1970s was filled with Protestant Christians and led by them. The case Roe v Wade was taken to the Supreme Court by a Methodist minister’s daughter. Every time a presidential election threatened the possibility of tipping the Supreme Court so that it might overturn Roe, those women and millions of young women have gone to the polls and protected that SC decision as if it were their own child conceived by God. They have just as much hope as anyone else, but it is hope that, someday, all Americans will finally understand that this issue is about respect for equal rights regardless of gender and about freedom of conscience. To try to use human law and the police violence that underpins its enforcement to control an individual’s sex organs and immune system against that individual’s will, conscience, and freedom of religion sounds more like forcible rape than anything else I can think of. It is like trying to use physical torture to force individuals to make statements with their bodies that they know are lies. There are millions of women in this country who would lay down their lives for this right, not because they want to have abortions, but because they know that there are things more important than life.

    • Will Tesch

      Why women have abortions
      1% of all abortions occur because of rape or incest; 6% of abortions occur because of potential health problems regarding either the mother or child, and 93% of all abortions occur for social reasons (i.e. the child is unwanted or inconvenient).

      Equal rights? So the fetus at 6 mos., has no rights? Well… 93% of abortions are because nobody wants the eventual child.. Your arguments are skewed and inaccurate. Sadly, I think women that are affected by this are also lost and left unhealed over time. You have not helped educate, rather you feel it is acceptable to poisonthe world with false information and rationalizing millions out of their own pain by saying that more unborn aren’t worthy of their equal-ness in rights. So sad.

      • Paul

        You claim that all children deserve a mother and a father. Who’s going to adopt all those children after you force the mother who doesn’t want them to incubate them through indentured servitude? Are you going to force those mothers and fathers to raise the child as well? That’s the logical conclusion of your beliefs, isn’t it?

        • Briana

          Paul… according to these numbers there are currently 2.5 million people in the United States who have taken steps towards adopting a child. And there are about a million babies aborted each year in this country. So I really wish that pro-choice people would quit making the “unwanted child” argument because it is empirically not true.

          • Jamie Candace Ward

            So after less than two years, we will have given all the babies away and we’ll have exhausted potential adoptive parents. What will we do with the millions of unwanted babies that are born every year after that?

          • Fr. Joseph


            Since 1973, Jamie, we have had about 60,000,000 surgical abortions in the U.S. That doesn’t count the additional and vast number of chemical abortions by way of various ingestants and devices.

            We are fast closing in on the fortieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade (1/22/13). Can’t we find a way to end this? Let us please try something–and now.

            O God, have mercy on us through Your Most Holy Mother!

          • Your lies unfold

            Yes father. By giving out condoms and allowing women to add contraceptives to their health insurance. Oops. You do want to do either of those things. I think the question relay is, do you want to end this?

          • You are no Einstein

            No can do, Your lies unfold! Condoms and contraceptives lead to more abortions, not less….that has been proved time and time again.

          • Briana

            Oh right, because after two years no one will want to adopt anymore. Baloney.

      • Greg B.

        Assuming for the moment that your stats are true, the Catholic Church can’t continue to oppose contraception then complain that there are too many unwanted pregnancies.

      • choiceone

        There is no zygote, morula/blastocyst/embryo/fetus that has rights for a very good reason. A human zygote/morula/blastocyst has a natural life span of eight to ten days. We cannot by law grow them for longer than 14 days in a petri dish, but when non-human equivalents are so grown, even if fed supernutrients, their natural lifespans can only be doubled and they can go on slightly longer only if we take some endometrial tissue from the female for them to implant in. That means a human zygote/morula/blastocyst could live as a separate individual entity for only about 16-20 days, with perhaps an two days’ extension if we take some of the woman’s tissue for it to use. That is what is produced by fertilization of an oocyte or ovum,

        A woman’s body can construct a human bodily form, however, if one of these blastocysts is implanted in her uterus and grown as a part of her body. The blastocyst/embryo penetrates into her bodily tissue, uses some of it in forming a placental organ, directs that organ to kill some crucial cells of her immune defense system and to catabolize an amino acid crucial for her own life on which some of her crucial immune cells feed, starving them into self-protective latency so that they can no longer protect her from even lethal viruses and infections. It directs that organ to re-channel her blood so that nutrients, antibodies, and oxygen can be transferred from her blood to the embryo. It thus can live as a subordinate part of her body, as her legs and arms do. It also fills her body with an addictive hormone and causes her addiction to it (hence causing depression when it is withdrawn after miscarriage, abortion, or childbirth). It puts its own toxic waste into her bloodstream. It also leaks its own cells and loose chromosomes into her blood, where some of the chromosomes from the male genetic contribution can make her liable to serious diseases as much as decades later.

        We know that, from implantation to fetal viability, the embryo/previable fetus has no life of its own because, if the woman dies, the embryo/fetus always dies – it is receiving bodily life from that woman as her own bodily limbs do. And even after viability, it is still living as a subordinate part of her body, receiving part of her life, even though there is now some level of probability that it will be able to survive as an individual being if detached and removed from her. But it is a subordinate part of her and not an individual being until it is detached and removed from her, a process that radically alters it and makes it an actual human being that has the rights of an actual person.

        Now, a woman either agrees to construction such a body (which is not a soul) or is forced to do so against her will, conscience, and freedom, including freedom of religion. No born person has any right to do any of the things the blastocyst/embryo/fetus does to her – penetrate her bodily tissue, use her tissue, kill or disable her immune cells and disable her immune system, re-channel her blood, use her blood nutrients and oxygen, etc. In fact, if born persons did them, they would be arrested and tried for serious crimes. In my state, rape and sexual abuse are such serious crimes that the victim and third parties have the right to use lethal force to stop them. And this does not change just because the rapist or abuser is legally insane and therefore cannot be considered guilty of the crime – to stop the ongoing crime, one can use lethal force regardless.

        One has to ask why anyone would think that the blastocyst/embryo/ fetus has the right to do things that a born person does not have the right to do. You do not have the right to a transfusion of a particular person’s blood or the use of that person’s bodily tissue even if that person’s blood or tissue alone can save your life. You certainly have no right to penetrate the bodily tissue of a person and kill and disable their immune cells and mess with their immune system, etc. But if you force a woman to continue her pregnancy against her will, conscience, and freedom, including freedom of religion, you are an accomplice in doing all those things to her against her will. And unless you were legally insane, you could be tried and found guilty of being an accomplice in heinous felony crimes.

        You may argue that, when a woman consented to sexual intercourse, she consented to pregnancy. Your problem is two-fold. First, women do not, in fact, always consent to sexual intercourse. Rape is not just a crime against a woman: it is a crime against a law of God in the Bible. Rape pregnancy can only come from a violation of the laws of God, and a God that would make that happen would be a self-contradictory God, one many people would refuse to worship. Second, the existence of contraception has clarified objectively in an unequivocal way that consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy.

        The Bible provides no statement that induced abortion is killing of a human being, let alone murder of one, because it provides no clear statement that any of the unborn are human beings while they are unborn, probably because they are under construction and not finished products. It provides no statement that abortion is a crime. Yet methods of induced abortion were well known all over the Mid-East before and during Jesus Christ’s mission there. In the entire Bible, there is not a single case of God making a zygote/morula/blastocyst/embryo/fetus without a woman going through pregnancy, and there is no statement in which God takes credit as the maker of any child apart from women and without their permission. God takes credit for answering the prayers of women who have prayed to get pregnant or for being the father of a child when the woman agrees to pregnancy in advance. There are numerous religious organizations, including a number of Protestant Christian churches, that do not believe induced abortion is a crime against God or Christ. And members of those churches have as much a right to freedom of religion as you do.

        The information I have provided is not “skewed” and is not “inaccurate.” It is not “false.” The unborn are not worthy of equal rights because they are objectively unequal, objectively subordinate parts of women’s bodies, because women have not finished constructing the bodies. Born children come, not from men or zygotes, but from a woman’s heroic sacrifice of self or someone else’s villainous victimization of her. And you can’t make the many millions of pro-choice people in this country villainously victimize women because they won’t let you do it.

        And FYI, I love how anti-choice people seek to justify themselves by reducing the crime of rape and rape pregnancy to a per cent, as if it were not genuinely victimizing a rape victim impregnated by rape to demand that she tell you she was raped in order to have the right to control her own sex organs and immune system and body and to deny anyone else the right to control them. It may well be that women who have had voluntary abortions may experience loss and pain, but those women should never have chosen to have them. Their personal mistakes are not a viable justification for reducing all women in the country to the status of breeding pigs. Women are persons. And the unborn just aren’t.

        • Jamie


          • Paula Davis

            I beg of you, Jamie: don’t be fooled by such faux science. Abortion kills–everytime.

        • You are no Einstein

          Your post is riddled with errors…you know in your heart that the vast majority of women who abort choose it for convenience. As Romney Wordsworth quipped: “Step into the light.”

        • Mara

          WOW! Thank-you.

          • choiceone

            You’re welcome.

        • Christopher Lake

          Choiceone, you are using science here to argue for your position, but the scientific facts are not on your side. It is a biological fact that at the moment of conception, a new DNA is formed, a DNA that is *distinct* from that of the mother or the father. A new DNA connotes a new, separate life that is *temporarily residing within and being supported by* the mother’s body. One’s temporary location does not determine one’s humanity. One does not become “more human” and, therefore, more worthy of being legally protected, simply as a result of being born.

          In the realm of everyday expressions, when women are pregnant, they often speak of “eating for two.” Why is that, if there is only one person in question, in regard to pregnancy– and abortion?

          • choiceone

            I do not at all disagree that a new DNA combination is formed. Such a DNA may “connote” a new, separate life” but it is not, in fact, a live human being. All it is is a biological blueprint for a new, live human being. The zygote/morula/blastocyst/early embryo cannot of itself grow into such a human being. Its natural life span is 8-10 days, and that life span can be doubled by feeding the blastocyst/embryo a supernutrient. But in order to keep on living and developing being that life span to the point that it can live as human beings live, by breathing (even with artificial medical help), it has to live as a subordinate part of a woman’s body for several months and to receive life from her in that situation.

            And I can’t tell you how insulting, demeaning, and misogynistic I think it is to pretend that a woman’s body is nothing but a location. This attitude is why I chose celibacy and left sex and reproduction to others.

            In the realm of everyday expressions in my dialect of English is the word “mother-to-be.” I do not think a pregnant woman is a mother. I think a woman who has given birth is a mother. When a fetus attains to viability, as far as I am concerned, it has a potential life as a person in the future. I do not think there is a new human being or person until the pregnant woman and God have finished making it, just as I do not think there is a new book until the writer and God have finished writing and editing it and it is published.

    • The REAL choice one

      Oh my God, you should be ashamed of yourself. Why don’t you ask “Jane Doe” Norma McCorvey how she was used by bitch women lawyers with an agenda to first falsely claim she was raped and then was used as a pawn in their evil game to make abortion legal. How dare you equate a loving God with this thing that you have pretended God is. You are a revolting individual.

      • choiceone

        Those lawyers did not abuse McCorvey. They asked her if she would be willing to have her personal situation used for the Roe v Wade case. They did not make her claim she was raped: they were, in fact, quite disappointed when they learned she had lied to them, as they never lied to her. But fortunately, the lawyers did not use the claim of rape as part of their case because they were not trying to overturn only that part of the Texas law that did not allow abortion in rape cases. Rape was never part of the Roe v Wade legal argument.

        A loving God answers prayers of those who want to be pregnant and those who do not want to be pregnant and gets a woman’s agreement to become pregnant in advance. Only a rapist God would force a woman to get or stay pregnant against her will, and sane people ceased to worship Gods like that, e.g., Zeus, a long time ago.

        • Paula Davis

          Choiceone, God “gets a woman’s agreement to become pregnant in advance.” I have read this blog off-and-on for several months. This is the most unbelievable thing that I have read. You can’t mean this.

          • choiceone

            I do mean it. In the Gospels, the one case we have of a pregnancy without the woman praying for it is that of Mary. Have you ever read the account in Luke? An archangel is sent, who tells Mary what will happen. But Mary does not just say “okay.” She has learned already: 1) who the father will be (God); 2) the gender of the child (male); 3) the destiny of the child in this world (savior). But she still asks, How will this happen? And she is given an answer to that question. Still she does not just say “okay.” She wisely says, “Be it unto me according to thy word,” which means she agrees only to exactly what has been said and nothing else. And the Holy Spirit does not come upon her until she says these words of agreement. That is waiting for agreement. It is blasphemous to even to suggest the possibility that the Holy Spirit would rape anyone.

          • Paula Davis

            “Fiat” means consent. But this has nothing to do with your gratuitous claim that “a loving God gets a woman’s agreement to become pregnant in advance.” Your assertion, in your mind, opens the door for the “legitimacy” of abortion in the case of violation. Shameful.

    • prolifemomri

      Obviously, God Who commands us to love Him first and love our neighbors as ourselves does not answer the problem of unintended pregnancy by telling women to have their children dismembered. As to those women who “know that there are there are things more important than life” may, at times, think their own lives worthless (and should be given much love and support during those times), but to decide that a child’s life is so insignificant that s/he should be killed? The people of the future will look back at our cruelty with horror and shame…

      • choiceone

        You are assuming that the women of whom you speak consider a zygote, a morula, a blastocyst, or an embryo to be an actual child who has a life of its own. The great weakness of the pro-life movement is to assume that all people agree on that. They just don’t.

        • Paula Davis

          It isn’t about agreement. It is about the Truth. And you know that for centuries, we have known that human life exists in a mother’s womb.

          • choiceone

            Human life exists in a live woman at all times and not just in part of her body – she’s human and she has life. But if an embryo is growing in her uterus and she dies, the embryo also dies. There are no exceptions to this, it is one of those cause-effect things in science that is unqualified by other variables. Only at the point of fetal viability does a fetus have any chance of living in separation from the woman’s body, so that, even if she dies, it has a chance of being “a” “live” “human being.”

            That’s why cases such as the needless death of Savita Halappanavar as she miscarried a 17 week old fetus are so tragic ( Had the doctors done their job, she would still be alive.

        • Lourdes Merici

          How do you respond when someone tells you they are pregnant?
          I highly doubt you respond by asking, “Are you pregnant with a zygote, a morula, or an embryo? Because not all people agree with what it is?
          If you believe that an unborn baby isn’t a person, than what makes a person a person?
          The saddest part about your view is how you are not able to see the beauty in how that embryo growing inside the women will be able to hear his/her mother’s voice and suck his/her thumb all before he or she is born.

  • James Reyes

    Well congratulations on finally figuring this out. This is what those of us in the LGBT equality movement have known for years and has obviously been the strategy. You shape the culture and the politics and policy will follow.

  • leogirl87

    We need a bigger tent to allow minorities and the poor to relate to us. Make the GOP more of a Christian party rather than the rich white guy party. (Yes, the Democratic Party was traditionally Catholic and they do have good programs to help the poor, but unfortunately they’ve been bought out by lobbyists over the past few decades.)

    We also need a cultural revolution. So many black women I’ve spoken with voted for Obama only because they feared losing their benefits if a Republican was elected into office. Well, if the culture would change and men would STEP UP and PAY FOR THEIR OWN CHILDREN, and stop sleeping around making new babies with new women (one guy had so many kids that each kid only got like $1/month), none of these women would need aide because their families would be self-sufficient. Kids would have a mother and father who were married and provided for their needs. And if their parents would stay together they would also have more money because separated parents have to pay two rent checks and two sets of bills instead of just one. We’d also see less crime because as we can tell from prisons, fatherlessness is a huge problem: many Mother’s Day cards are sent from prisons, but on Father’s Day it’s crickets.

    • Occupy CV

      So you’re going to evangelize by trumpeting racist diatribes, saying Black culture makes Black folks lazy, promiscuous, careless, and part of Romney’s 47%? Y’think maybe that explains why you don’t have any Black columnists on CV? And re Chris R’s comment … you negotiated away your non-negotiable principles by voting for a pro-abortion candidate (Romney).

    • Jamie Candace Ward

      This comment is disgusting.

  • Chris R

    We’re going to need a bigger tent without compromising on nonnegotiable principles.

    • Paul

      In other words, come join us, but only if you agree with the principles that we demand. And you wonder why your tent is shrinking. Keep at it. I see Hillary 2016.

      • Chris R

        Of course you don’t compromise on nonnegotiable principles – that should go without saying. For example, you don’t compromise with the folks butchering a million innocent kids every year in the US. But you do compromise on negotiable issues.

        • Jamie Candace Ward

          Then don’t make a statement like “we need a bigger tent” if you are just going to reject all the people that might make that tent larger.

          • Chris R

            We can have a bigger tent without including baby killers!

          • I see idiots and liars

            People that are pro-choice are not “baby killers”. For one, they aren’t the new having or providing abortions. Second, a fetus is not a baby.

            And you wonder why you lost? Ridiculous.

          • Chris R

            Check it out:

          • Chris R

            Just curious, are you a holocaust denier too?

            The people of Dachau voted against the Nazi regime, but when the allies liberated it they made the people of Dachau tour the camp anyway because they didn’t do anything to protect the innocent from slaughter.


          • B. Greg

            I see idiots and liars, You are on the wrong side of history and science.



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