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View Diary: When a Lone Wolf Assassin is Not Nuts or Alone (117 comments)

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  •  Good question. (23+ / 0-)

    I can't say that I know the history.

    What I will say is this - Evangelical Christians + GOP (largely in the Reagan era, as a distraction from his history of being divorced) used abortion as a wedge issue and you had a lot of really wealthy people spending a lot of money to make this a big political issue.

    That it's mainstream Catholic teaching today goes without saying.  That's just true.  I think it's evident that Pope John Paul II weighed in heavily during his time as Pope, and that got picked up by Pope Benedict.

    I'm reading right now about Keith Fournier, a convert to Catholicism who has been a huge advocate for the anti-abortion movement.  He's a lawyer and has done a lot of work to bring together the Pat Robertson/Jerry Falwell/James Dobson crowd with Catholics.  It seems to me that most of this was politically motivated - because by bringing Catholics away from being a Democratic stronghold (largely a result of the Kennedy presidency) and into being a sharply divided constituency.

    By turning Catholics against feminists after Roe v. Wade, the GOP was able to use a divide-and-conquer strategy that hasn't been counteracted until around the time Kos and Jerome Armstrong wrote "Crashing the Gate".

    Has anyone else noticed that we now have something like 6 Catholic SCOTUS judges?  No protestants?  When the general population is 23% Catholic and 60% non-Catholic Christian?

    This isn't by accident - it's an effort of the GOP to validate their election by "delivering the goods" on a vendetta by Catholics against the Roe v. Wade decision.

    And there is a ton of money behind that.

    Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

    by Benintn on Sat May 29, 2010 at 10:03:10 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  It's a little more complicated than that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardcat, Munchkn, CuriousBoston

      Self-identifying Catholics poll in way that is identical with the populace at large on practically everything political.  Despite the Pope's declaration against abortion in 'Humanae Vitae' in iirc 1968.

      American popular support for the individual woman's right to choose, the central finding of Roe, is currently about 67% in national pollings.  It's going up about 1% per year.  That's different from the various questions that amount to "do you accept/like the fact that abortions happen?" which poll roughly even.

      There is a trend of some people leaving the mainline Protestant churches because these churches' teachings and congregations strike them as increasingly and objectionably liberal; these people go and convert to Catholic and Orthodox.  It's even a bit of fad in right wing political circles, e.g. Newt Gingrich and Tony Blair have publicly done it.  It's a demonstrative act that underlines their becoming more committedly conservative or reactionary.

      The preference for conservative Catholics on the Supreme Court by Republicans comes from their sense that these are the most ideologically reliable people, the people most locked into a rigid and intellectually tightly constructed system of thought from which departure is the most difficult.  Democrats feel roughly the same way about Jewish liberals.

      I think it's sort of inevitable rather than conspiracy.  Traditionalist Christian groups emphasize and often lock onto an adolescent period of spiritual development where fighting back perceived evil is considered vital and harsh, magical, and often selfhating, i.e. relatively conservative, attitudes prevail.  Much of Judaism and liberal Christian groups emphasize middle aged spiritual development- where patient parenting, participation in community, and personal insights lead into the more liberal and progressive attitude that follows from a succession of positive insights.

      Of course the fun is Sonia Sotomajor, who is Catholic but takes the latter tack.  She's living proof that the old ethnoreligious political categories no longer hold so well and in the future will not hold much at all.

      So the Court is a Rohrschach of our times in a certain way.

      Oh, and Roe.  It's about 8-10 more years until the reactionaries crack and the anti-choice organizations start to break down, that's true.  Until then they'll be dangerous in that wild and violently flailing fashion that dying movements on the wrong side of justice are.  When they're out of the picture actual solutions to the social problems that result in abortion will become realizable.  The Supreme Court itself isn't keen on the issue after the debacle of Gonzalez v. Carhart and while they pretend not to read polls, they do know that for practical political purposes the matter is decided in favor of the liberals.

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