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Peace & Life Connections #31 - October 15, 2010


Delving Deeper – Catholic Books 

        book SG 2book CEL 2Orbis is a Catholic publisher and has put out two books edited by Thomas Nairn that belong on the bookshelf of all who wish to be thorough about the consistent life ethic. The first, The Seamless Garment, is a collection of essays and speeches by Joseph Bernardin, well-known as one of the major thinkers in promoting and naming the ancient concept for modern times. The second is an anthology, The Consistent Ethic of Life: Assessing its Reception and Relevance.

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In the News: Tea Party vs. War Party

        Buchanan Anti-abortion conservative Pat Buchanan has an interesting approach in the long-simmering connection of war spending to poverty by virtue of its crowding out spending on good anti-poverty programs. He proposes a distinction between defense spending and empire spending. No matter what he thinks of the social programs, he argues it politically unrealistic that those will be seriously curtailed. So if the Tea Party is serious about cutting federal spending, then empire spending is where the major cuts can and should be made. Wouldn’t a coalition between anti-war people and Buchanan-style conservatives on this one point be quite interesting?   

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The Creativity of the Foreclosed Option

        It’s a common idea that if you forbid something – in our case, any form of killing human beings – you then have fewer options, because after all you just foreclosed one. Yet what we find is that when violence is not on the table, creative solutions become available that weren’t thought of before. Prolifers come up with crisis pregnancy centers and public policy options that help new mothers. Pacifists come up with conflict resolution techniques and nonviolent revolutions. Euthanasia opponents deal with hospice care and better avenues for medical advancements. Kye Parsons recently sent us an article from the Washington Post with the same principle: scientists under pressure not to use stem cells in a way that kills embryos are becoming quite adept at alternatives – a foreseeable consequence, because the quick-fix of violence is an illusion that can’t compete with nonviolent creativity when such creativity is allowed the upper hand.

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Quotation of the Week

Mark Crutcher, LifeTalk News, October 1, 2010 

In a roundtable conversation, Mark is discussing Republicans who think the abortion issue should be toned down.

       "These guys say we ought to separate the “moral” issues from the “economic” issues . . . [Prochoicers] don’t have the moral foundation to make these economic decisions . . . What these guys ought to be saying is, even if we don’t care about abortion . . . we ought to be willing to at least use that as a barometer for what kind of economic decisions they’ll make.  . .  The military. If you think that going to war doesn’t have moral components to it, you’re nuts. And if we say we don’t want to deal with these moral issues, we want to deal with the money and the military and the terrorism – if you don’t apply morals to those issues, you’ve lost your mind."

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