Pat Buchanan Gets Schooled on Religion

Tonight on Hardball, Lawrence O’Donnell pwns Pat Buchanan over the debate about Obama speaking at Notre Dame.  First, O’Donnell corrects Buchanan on the Pope’s view on the death penalty, then he shows Buchanan’s hypocrisy on hs approval of Bush speaking at Notre Dame because of Bush’s views and use of the death penalty.

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32 thoughts on “Pat Buchanan Gets Schooled on Religion

  1. I think we watched two different videos. Buchanan was talking about the moral ground of the decision. O’Donnel was just trying to convince us two wrongs make a right.

    • What is the moral ground? Bush killed more people using the death penalty including a woman who had so turned around her life she was helping others in prison.

      There is no moral ground. If you support life, you support life. You cannot support death and then say life is precious. It doesn’t morally work that way.

    • I beg to differ, jtcrawford. O’Donnell was pointing out the massive disconnect Buchanan was having with his moral compass.

  2. Excellent point MsJoanne. That’s it in a nutshell. Nothing else need be said. If you support life, you support life. Period.

  3. but, but, but, its ok to kill people who are bad. You know, the ones we judge unfit to live. Well, the ones the holy and righteous judge because…well, they are holy and righteous.

    Thou shalt not kill. Succinct, direct but obviously beyond comprehension. And you don’t even need a deity to figure that one out.

  4. Plus it was nice seeing a righty get handed their own brand of ‘debate’. O’Donnell handled it very nicely.

  5. So, would it be safe to say those of you that are against the death penalty (as I am except in the most extreme cases) are also against abortion (except in the most extreme cases)?

    • That’s the wrong argument, HB.

      I am against the death penalty because it is not fool-proof (innocent people have been put to death), it’s not a deterrent, it’s hugely expensive to implement, and it’s damn barbaric and wrong.

      I am pro-choice because whether or not a woman carries a pregnancy to term is none of my business — it’s between her and her doctor.

      I am not making any religious claims — like Pat Buchanan — that abortion is mass murder and the most heinous thing that ever happened in my lifetime — and then contradicting myself by saying it’s ok for the state to put people to death because they are not “innocent.”

  6. Zooey,

    Thank you for responding. I respect your opinion, but I disagree with you. If all life is precious, then all life is precious, cut and dry. Unless and until science can tell us exactally when life begins, I will continue to think of that as a life growing inside of a womans body.

    Here is the Buchanan arguement (simplified): Save them pre-birth, but it is fine to kill them later.

    Here is the “other” arguement (simplified): It is ok to kill them pre-birth, but not later.

    Both seem to pretty convoluted to me.

  7. Zooey,

    I was not saying you in particular, I was refering to the arguements in general.

    If you would like me to point directly to your statements I will ask this: Have you seen what happens inside of a womans body during an abortion? How is that any less barbaric than the death penalty?

    • Please do not assume I am ignorant on the subject of abortion, HB. Seriously, do you actually think that I think abortion is a walk in the park? Do you think women actually make the abortion decision lightly?

      I find it barbaric that a woman should be forced to go through a pregnancy she does not want.

  8. HB, barbarism aside, the choice a woman makes about her own body is (and should be) hers. The male contributor should be allowed a say but the final choice is between the woman and her conscience.

    The death penalty and war are societal issues with very clear cut standards.

  9. My personal soapbox.

    If we haven’t learned anything in the 4-5,000 years of history we should have learned you can NEVER legislate morality. Every individual makes their own moral choices, regardless of law or social custom.

    This includes the woman wrestling with the idea of abortion, the doctor who must choose whether to assist, the soldier faced with illegal orders and so on. No one makes those choices but the individual based on their circumstances. And no one has to live with the consequences more than the person making them.

    End of soap box.

  10. To quote Helen Reddy in Pete’s Dragon…”There’s room for everyone in this world, if everyone just makes some room.”

  11. That is so unfair. We have a place in town that is pretty good but aaaargh.

    And I only have myself to blame for bringing it up.

  12. This studying to be a Taoist monk is not all the on-line catalog said it would be.

    But there is still room on the soap box.

  13. Zooey,
    When I asked if you have seen what happens during an abortion, it was rhetorical. I am sure you are familiar with it. But some (not all) do take the fact they can have abortion on demand lightly. It is always there and convenient. With the exception of rape or incest, if a woman didn’t want to get pregnant her and the one that impregnated her should have done more to prevent it.
    You never did answer how abortion was any less barbaric than the death penalty. Please, I am really curious.

    Yes, we must all face the consequences of our choices. If a soldier follows an illegal order, he faces prosecution. If a doctor refuses to assist in an abortion, some would have him/her risk losing their board certification. If a woman has an abortion, what are her consequences? It sounds as if you are confusing legal and moral issues.

    • I see how it is, HB. If I answer one of your questions, then that means it “rhetorical” and didn’t actually need an answer. If you don’t like an answer, then that means I didn’t answer it.

      I answered that question as fully as I ever will answer it, HB. You just didn’t like the answer.

      I am not holding up any “pro-life” views — you are. If you are pro-death penalty, then that is a contradiction.

      I have two separate views on two separate issues.

  14. Z,

    That was a non-answer. You never addressed the issue: How is what happens during an abortion any less barbaric than the death penalty?

    And I think I said pretty clearly that I am against the death penalty except in extreme cases, just as I am against abortion except in extreme cases.

    • I have answered you, HB.

      Again: I am against the death penalty in all cases. I do not think abortion is barbaric.

      You are attempting to compare apples and oranges.

      The point of this thread was that Buchanan was taken to the woodshed regarding HIS hypocrisy in his “pro-life” beliefs — which you share. Not whether or not abortion is more or less barbaric than the death penalty.


      • I just cannot understand how some can say they “value life” but only when it comes to a fetus in a womb.. They don’t value life when it comes to executing prisoners, torturing prisoners to the point of death, dropping bombs from the sky over a nation that posed no threat to us resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians, and cut funding to services that provide health care to children after they are out of the womb.. It just reeks of hypocrisy.

        I heard some ‘rightwing’ talking head the other day refer to President Obama as being ‘against life’ because he supports a woman’s right to deal with this privately with her physician. Yet, these people don’t have any problem whatsoever with torture, the death penalty, dropping bombs that kill tens of thousands, cutting programs that help people (and children) in need AFTER they are out of the womb.. Are the ONLY lives that have value the ones that are still in the womb? Don’t get me started..

        If you support life and are going to throw the accusation that someone else does NOT, your life and decisions had better reflect that all across the board. You can’t pick and choose. Otherwise words (and judgment) of others is meaningless and hypocritical.

        And by the way, I don’t know of ANYONE who ‘supports’ abortions, or ‘likes the idea’ of abortions. It has got to be the most difficult decision there is for a woman or couple, with lasting consequences for the person who has to make that kind of decision. I am grateful that I have never been in that position. I know people who have had them under the most difficult of situations. I will never judge them, and though I feel sad it was necessary, I understand that it was.

  15. O’Donnell doesn’t have a clue:

    2004, Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with guidance to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, stated succinctly, emphatically and unambiguously as follows: June, 2004 “Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”
    Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick: More Concerned with ‘Comfort’ than Christ?, Catholic Online, 7/11/2004

    What Ardent Practicing Catholics Do (1)
    By Fr. John De Celles, 9/1/2008

    “Abortion and euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize. There is … a grave and clear obligation to oppose them … [I]t is therefore never licit to … “take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it.”

    In other words: it is always a grave or mortal sin for a politician to support abortion.

    Now, some will want to say that these bishops-and I- are crossing the line from Religion into to politics. But it was the Speaker of the House (Nancy Pelosi) who started this. The bishops, and I, are not crossing into politics; she, and other pro-abortion Catholic politicians, regularly cross over into teaching theology and doctrine, And it’s our job to try clean up their mess.

    But there’s something more than that here. On Sunday, before the whole nation, she claimed to be an “ardent, practicing Catholic.” Imagine if someone came in here and said “I’m a mafia hit man and I’m proud of it.” Or “I deal drugs to little children.” Or “I think black people are animals and it’s okay to make them slaves, or at least keep them out of my children’s school.”

    Are these “ardent practicing Catholics”? No, they are not.”

    And neither is a person who ardently supports and votes to fund killing 1 to 1.5 million unborn babies every single year. Especially if that person is in a position of great power trying to get others to follow her. Someone, for example, like a Catholic Speaker of the House, or a Catholic candidate for Vice President of the United States, or a Catholic senior Senator who is stands as the leading icon his political party. Like the proud and unrepentant murderer or drug dealer, they are not ardent Catholics. They are, in very plain terms, very bad Catholics.”

    But the reason I say all this is not because I want to embarrass them or even correct them — they’re not even here. It’s because of you. Because back in the 1850’s when Catholic bishops, priests, and politicians were either silent or on the wrong side of the slavery debate, they risked not only their souls, but the souls of every other Catholic they influenced. I cannot do that, and I won’t do that.

    Some would say, well Father, what about those people who support the war in Iraq, or the death penalty, or oppose undocumented aliens? Aren’t those just as important, and aren’t Catholic politicians who support those “bad Catholics” too?

    Simple answer: no. Not one of those issues, or any other similar issues, except for the attack on traditional marriage is a matter of absolute intrinsic evil in itself. Not all wars are unjust — and good Catholics can disagree on facts and judgments. Same thing with the other issues: facts are debatable, as are solutions to problems.”

    “What Ardent Practicing Catholics Do: Correcting Pelosi”, National Review Online, 9/1/2008 6:00AM

  16. I still don’t see that O’Donnel is that brilliant. He makes some circular reasoning without ever taking on the sustative issue. Abortion and the death penalty are two very different issues.

    I am not in support of the death penalty in most cases. As a father, there are times I would carry it out myself. Abortion is vile and evil. War is sometimes necessary.

    There are people in the world who would bring harm to others. Those people need to be culled out and their power stripped.

    I find it ironic Zooey that you would support abortion but not the death penalty? When we abort a fetus didn’t we just impose the death penalty? the main difference is that the fetus is punished for the actions of others. They are the only flawless and innocent.

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