Southern Religion

Obama’s dethroning of Osama bin Laden

In Commonweal, an independent magazine edited and managed by lay Catholics, Jack Miles writes:

President George W. Bush first used the fateful phrase “war on terror” in an address to Congress on September 20, 2001, identifying what he later called “the defining struggle of our time.” And though initially the 9/11 attacks united the West while embarrassing and dividing the Muslim world, in time the rhetoric of a “war on terror” reversed those terms. With just three words, the president managed to transform Osama bin Laden from a criminal fugitive into a historic military commander, the head of a new, potentially world-changing army of fanatics. The subsequent invasion of Iraq, centerpiece of the Bush war on terror, only confirmed bin Laden in many Muslim eyes as a Saladin rather than a mass murderer.

Erasing the phrase “war on terror” from the U.S. diplomatic lexicon, the Obama administration has both dethroned Bin Laden and “replaced a grandiose, counterproductive fantasy with realistic attention to a set of grievous but real problems,” Smith argues.

Read the entire piece: After the War on Terror.

August 27, 2009 Posted by | Catholic, History, Israel, Obama, Religion | , , , | 1 Comment

Imprecatory preaching and gun-toting

Pastor Steve Anderson of Faithful World Independent Baptist Church has attracted attention with sermons like Why I Hate Barack Obama.

There turns out to be a link between his preaching and a gun-toting parishioner, acknowledged to TPM.

Justin Elliott writes:

Chris Broughton, the man who brought an assault rifle and a handgun to the Obama event in Arizona last week, attended a fiery anti-Obama sermon the day before the event, in which Pastor Steven Anderson said he was going to “pray for Barack Obama to die and go to hell”, Anderson confirmed to TPMmuckraker today.

Disturbing certainly, but no gun play thus far.

August 27, 2009 Posted by | Law, Obama, Religion | , , | 1 Comment

Catholic Bishops continue debate over church in public affairs

Debate over the University of Notre Dame’s awarding of an honorary degree to President Obama in May continues in conservative Catholic reaction to the announcement that Obama will deliver a eulogy at Senator Edward Kenndy’s funeral mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica in Boston.

Not that the debate ever quite stopped.

Archbishop John R. Quinn argues in the Aug. 31 issue of America magazine that had Notre Dame refused to award Obama an honorary degree, it would have done harm to the church’s and its mission by fostering “false messages” about itself. He argues instead for “a policy cordiality:”

It proceeds from the conviction that the integrity of Catholic teaching can never be sacrificed. It reflects a deep desire to enshrine comity at the center of public discourse and relations with public officials. It is willing to speak the truth directly to earthly power.
Yet the Holy See shows great reluctance to publicly personalize disagreements with public officials on elements of church teaching. And the approach of the Holy See consistently favors engagement over confrontation. As Pope John Paul II put it, “The goal of the Church is to make of the adversary a brother.”

Bishop John D’Arcy of Fort Wayne/South Bend, writing for the same issue, “restates his case against inviting the president to speak at commencement and awarding him an honorary doctor of laws.”

Grant Gallicho of dotCommonWeal writes:

While one might disagree with Bishop D’Arcy’s version of events, it’s tough to take much issue with the way in which he has voiced his displeasure. In other words, he’s never approached the unhinged shenanigans of some of the protesters at Notre Dame. (Speaking of, I never thought Randall Terry could jump the shark. Wow, was I wrong.)

Bishop Sheehan of Sante Fe in an interview with the National Catholic Recorder this week said:

I don’t feel so badly about Obama going [to Notre Dame] because he’s our president. I said we’ve gotten more done on the pro-life issue in New Mexico by talking to people that don’t agree with us on everything. We got Governor Richardson to sign off on the abolition of the death penalty for New Mexico, which he was in favor of. … We need to be building bridges, not burning them.

Expect more of this debate.

August 27, 2009 Posted by | Catholic, Obama, Religion | , , | Comments Off on Catholic Bishops continue debate over church in public affairs

Ezekiel Emanuel in his own words

Ezekiel Emanuel wrote in The Atlantic Monthly in 1997:

The proper policy, in my view, should be to affirm the status of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia as illegal. In so doing we would affirm that as a society we condemn ending a patient’s life and do not consider that to have one’s life ended by a doctor is a right. This does not mean we deny that in exceptional cases interventions are appropriate, as acts of desperation when all other elements of treatment — all medications, surgical procedures, psychotherapy, spiritual care, and so on — have been tried. Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia should not be performed simply because a patient is depressed, tired of life, worried about being a burden, or worried about being dependent. All these may be signs that not every effort has yet been made.

An altogether different view from the one ascribed to him by Betsy McCaughey and Bill Hennessy and others who have resorted to vilification rather than taking the time to read and understand.

Medical ethics is a complex discipline, but Emanuel was at every step on the record in opposition to even voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.

His entire article is here.

August 27, 2009 Posted by | Law, Medical Care, Religion | , | Comments Off on Ezekiel Emanuel in his own words