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The Enemy of my Enemy is NOT my Friend

Sarah's picture

Obama won. He's going to be inaugurated in 3 weeks. I"m not thrilled, but I do think it's a far better outcome than we could have had, had we been about to swear in Sarah Palin and John McCain (troll prophylactic: I regard Palin as unfit to serve. While of all the GOP candidates who attempted to run, I found McCain the least nauseating, it must be faced that he remains pro-war, anti-choice, pro-big oil, anti-labor, and pro-big-business. Bless his heart.)

But there are people out there who think it's a horrible, awful, no good, very bad thing -- and while many here at Corrente might find solace in such allies, I cannot -- no, I shall not.
Why? Well, maybe it's because the enemies of Barack Obama -- those who are NOT my friends, those whose beliefs I cannot espouse -- because of 'pro-lifers' like Fr. Frank Pavone. Excerpts from a screed Pavone recently put forth follow. My question is, how much like these lunatics do we want to become, in our opposition to Obama?

Grave Mistake and an Abiding Hope
by Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life
Americans have made a grave mistake in electing Barack Obama to the presidency.

Yeah, friar? How so?

The man elected to the Presidency said during the campaign that he does not know when a human being starts to have human rights.

Hmm. That's not the meaning I got from the statement Barack Obama, president elect, actually made.

"I think that whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity is above my pay grade," Obama quipped.

Pavone goes on:

Governing is about protecting human rights; to do it successfully, you have to know where they come from, and when they begin. The President-elect has already failed that test miserably.

At which point I'm sure I'm now a hellbound heathen, but let me just throw this right back at you, friar.

Human. Rights.

Including those of women, girls, and homosexuals; transgender and bisexual persons.
Whose rights your church does not recognize.

You're the one who fails, Friar Pavone. Miserably. That you champion the fetus first and foremost, that you give the Church dominion over other peoples' hearts, minds and bodies when those hearts, minds, and bodies aren't yours to hand over, is merely frosting on the cake. The demand that all considerations fail before the primacy of sperm -- because, seriously, without sperm the egg is going to be shed in the menstrual cycle, and there can be no child; and because sperm is the male contribution to procreation -- doesn't elevate your argument, friar.

What do I base my contention upon?
Your own column extolling birth, Friar, on 15 December 2008:

Every Birth Reflects The Joy of the Birth of Christ.
December 15th, 2008

As we enter the second half of Advent, the liturgy focuses more specifically on the Incarnation and birth of Jesus at the first Christmas. We think about Mary’s initial fear and uncertainty in the face of her unexpected pregnancy. Then, in every Church in the world, believers spiritually rush to her side to eagerly await with her the birth of the Savior.

The best way for a parish to celebrate Christmas is to rush physically to the side of those in the community who, like Mary, are uncertain and afraid about their pregnancy. We are to accompany them through their pregnancy with support and encouragement, and help them experience the fact that every birth reflects the joy of the birth of Christ.

–Fr. Frank

No, Fr. Pavone, every birth does not reflect the joy of the birth of Christ.
My guess is, when it happened to Mary, she had reasons of her own to feel other emotions -- fear, dismay, unease.
Her child was born while she was far from home.
Her child was born under the shadow of bastardy.
Her child was born with no roof; her husband had no job; her new little family's future exemplified uncertainty, poverty, all the things a parent wishes to protect a child from.
A manger -- a stable -- is a dangerous place for a child up through about kindergarten-age, never mind an infant, especially one whose mother has no midwife by her for labor. One misstep, and the child is reduced to crushed remains; and stables, no matter how their keepers labor, are not pristine places to undergo labor and delivery, never mind nursery accommodations.
Mary had with her an extraordinary man, a trustworthy man; but Joseph was only a man.
They did not travel with servants; they did not abide in hostels; they had with them no helping hands of grandparent or parental sibling or even friend. Angels? Right. Why don't I get a picture of angels changing diapers, making beds, cooking meals? Oh, that's ... women's work.

Life is not like a Nativity scene, Fr. Pavone.

Unlike you, I've had the experience of carrying a baby, bearing a baby, raising a son. Two, in point of fact. Unlike you, I'm not at all sure that "conception" is the beginning of life. Unlike you, I've had the privilege of riding in the ambulance with my sister when she had a miscarriage, past two months. Unlike you, I know that a man can love a child as much as a woman can, whether either is tied to that child by blood or not; and unlike you, Fr. Pavone, I believe with all my heart that children deserve loving homes -- even if those homes come with two dads, or two moms, or with only one of each.

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vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

"many here at Corrente might find solace in such allies" -- yeah, we're such a hotbed of apologists for the religious right!

And why was McCain a better choice among the Repubs than anti-war, pro-Constitution Ron Paul?

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

I'm from Texas. Ron Paul is one of our reps. Familiarity breeds contempt (rightfully so in many cases and IMNVHO Paul is one.)

Corrente is a hotbed of anti-Obama, anti-Democratic Party (as it is presently constituted) sentiment. No denial there -- and to our shame we're not differentiating ourselves from the conservatives, the anti-feminists, the anti-choice crowds.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

What else do you call advocating for single payer health, railing against Obama's popularization of Rick Warren's views, eviscerating the Wall St bailout, etc. Nothing says conservative like that. Our opposition has nothing at all to do with Obama's or the Dem's shifting to the right and enabling conservative, anti-choice, anti-gay, pro-insurance parasites. Nothing at all.

Have you been reading the same stuff I have?

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Obama is my ally.

I just wish he would act like it

I consider that stance being more Pro-Obama than his enablers, who refuse to find fault with his actions, even though they hurt his allies, and will eventually lead to his downfall.

I want Obama to succeed.

And totally seconding gq's response above. Wuzzuh? This isn't standing up against the anti-choicers. ALL the work done by Corrente to stand against the misogyny we've seen, and that isn't doing enough to stand up against the anti-choicers? For real, what blog are you reading?

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

they're the same as those of those who harm us -- the "enemy" -- on everything from FISA to war to corporations being favored to GOP tax cuts to elevating Warren and praising Reagan, etc.

Allies aren't automatic, and that label isn't preemptively granted -- allies are those who have shown -- have proven -- that they share the same goals.

Also, the very word "Ally" presumes sides, partisanship, and opposition -- he's all about the opposite.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

Allies aren't automatic, and that label isn't preemptively granted -- allies are those who have shown -- have proven -- that they share the same goals.

Really, you've been on a role in the past few days.

An ally is no such thing until her/she/they have shown themselves to be such. I don't get by people feel the need to do the either/or thing. He may not be an enemy, but that doesn't automatically make him an ally, not more than not being an ally automatically makes someone an enemy.

I will support our president where our president shows that he supports us (progressives and liberals). I don't have to swear allegiance to him or everything he may or may not do. Damnit, folks, Obama is not your friend, he's your president. Please leave the silly shit at the door, already.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

& have a happy!

You're so right -- i think people are still seeing him thru whatever colored glasses -- and need to see him that way for whatever reasons -- even tho he hurt some liberal issues all along, and just totally lied about the rest.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

Now, I've get to get out of here before I make another typo-riddled post like I did above. Sweet baby Jesus that one was bad. It's barely readable. lol

Now, here's to hoping we can at least salvage what's going to be an even tougher 2009. :)

LostClown's picture
Submitted by LostClown on

If not, they're both my gorram enemies until someone decides to start acting like my rights are worth anything. (And more, but that's the crucial first step.)

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

is an acceptable Democratic president. Other than a few (but not all) of his advisors, I don't really see any difference between Obama and Strom Thurmond. They both fuel their campaigns with hate and do not offer anything of substance. I think of Obama as a Republican - I think it's the only sane way to get through this. I'd like to see him lose in 2012.

It's not the Dem party as a whole that I am angry at. In fact, I've made a resolution to get involved with my local party again, once my foot allows me to be ambulatory again. I am angry with Pelosi and some of the others who fostered the fraud. But I like and admire most Dems.

zuzu's picture
Submitted by zuzu on

"Fr." stands for "Father," not "Friar." Both are priests, but a friar is a monk rather than a parish priest.

Second, where are you getting the idea that just because someone doesn't like/trust Obama that they automatically then support everything that everyone else who doesn't like or trust Obama espouses?

Is that really any different than declaring that if you voted for Obama, you sign on to everything that Rick Warren stands for?

Or, for that matter, that you sign on to all the views of pro-Obama Catholic supporter (and religious liaison) Douglas Kmiec, who's antichoice and has very strange views of women's equality (i.e., that women who have less control over their bodies are more free)?