At the corner this morning this question is asked about John Brown on the 150th’s anniversary of his raid on Harper’s Ferry.

Was Brown a hero of black freedom or a bloodthirsty terrorist?

One could argue that he can be both. The cause of abolition was certainly just, no rational person would make an argument against that today.

Fredrick Douglas
certainly considered him heroic:

“The true question is, Did John Brown draw his sword against slavery and thereby lose his life in vain? And to this I answer ten thousand times, No! No man fails, or can fail, who so grandly gives himself and all he has to a righteous cause. No man, who in his hour of extremest need, when on his way to meet an ignominious death, could so forget himself as to stop and kiss a little child, one of the hated race for whom he was about to die, could by any possibility fail.

“Did John Brown fail? Ask Henry A. Wise in whose house less than two years after, a school for the emancipated slaves was taught.

“Did John Brown fail? Ask James M. Mason, the author of the inhuman fugitive slave bill, who was cooped up in Fort Warren, as a traitor less than two years from the time that he stood over the prostrate body of John Brown.

I have a hard time thinking that way because of slightly mitigating fact that Brown was a murderous bloodthirsty bastard.

At the Doyle farm, James and two of his sons, William and Drury, were dragged outside and hacked up with short, heavy sabres donated to Brown in Akron, Ohio. Mrs. Doyle, a daughter, and fourteen year old John were spared. The gang then moved on to Allen Wilkinson’s place. He was ‘taken prisoner’ amid the cries of a sick wife and two children. Two saddles and a rifle were apparently confiscated. The third house visited that night was owned by James Harris. In addition to his wife and young child, Harris had three other men sleeping there. Only one of them, William Sherman, was executed. Weapons, a saddle, and a horse were confiscated from the house. While members of the rifle company, including four of Brown’s sons, asserted that their Captain did not commit any of the actual murders himself, he was the undisputed leader and made the decisions as to who should be spared.

Nathaniel Hawthorne said no man was more justly hanged. That’s a generalization but there no question that Brown no matter how right his cause of abolition was a bloodthirsty killer and deserved the punishment he got. His cause in no way mitigates the crime or the sin of murder and can’t be used to justify either. I can’t join in the celebration of Brown that Douglas has. I don’t have the stomach for it.

And for those who would dispute my position because of the lives saved and the evil that ended because of his actions lets play a game and substitute the words “Scott Roeder” for “John Brown”.

Lets say that Roe v Wade is overturned and someday in the future a prominent opponent of Abortion gave a speech quoting the names of people alive because of the repeal of Roe v Wade and the good they had done. What would you think if that person asked used that example and asked if Scott Roeder died (or more likely was imprisioned) in vain?

Personally it would make me sick.

Scott Roeder and John Brown are two heads on the same coin. Bloodthirsty murderers who killed using the cloak of a just cause to try to justify evil deeds. The study of Brown is justified and necessary as his actions were a turning point in American history.

I think the idolization of either of those men is obscene. Any Catholic in particular who would consider it should re-read this post.

Update: Honesty in Motion flatters me. You are too kind.

…apparently not so well:

In his address at the University of Notre Dame, Obama talked a good game about respecting conscience on abortion rights. He did the same thing when he met the Pope.
But that was all it was — talk.

The Obama Administration’s attack on Belmont Abbey College proves that.

Apparently the Catholic College decided that the “Catholic” part actually matters as they were unwilling to cover contraception, abortion, and voluntary sterilization all directly opposed to the college’s faith so of course we had a lawsuit and the results were interesting…

Belmont Abbey College was not discriminating against women. Unlike many “believers in name only” the college was adhering to the principles of its faith.

At first, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found no evidence of gender discrimination by Belmont Abbey College… After a few weeks, the EEOC mysteriously reversed course and announced, in effect, that the college had better toe the Administration’s line, or else.

They are now demanding the school go against the very principles it exists to serve.

I presume they are going to fight it as far as they can, if they lose then there is only one choice that is acceptable in terms of faith and that is to simply drop all coverage divert the cost into the pay of the employees so they can purchase private insurance to cover what they wish.

But I’m over-reacting after all the state wouldn’t go after Catholics for obeying their faith would they?

So how did that work out Fr. Jenkins?

Of course, this does not mean we support all of his positions. The invitation to President Obama to be our Commencement speaker should not be taken as condoning or endorsing his positions on specific issues regarding the protection of human life, including abortion and embryonic stem cell research. Yet, we see his visit as a basis for further positive engagement.”

Maybe you should thank him.

Over at the Reclusive Leftist Violet notes the banality of the media’s Joe Wilson obsession:

Almost 24 hours later, that’s still the picture. Look at this snapshot of Memeorandum from 6:40 pm today. The top nineteen stories are about the shouting Congressman. Nineteen. Then there are a few stories about the speech itself — waaaay down the page — and then it’s on to John Stossel.

Personally I figure it’s because they don’t want to cover the Acorn stories, but that isn’t what really gets Violet upset this is:

By the way: my favorite part of the speech? The part where Obama lumped in abortions with death panels and illegal aliens and other crazy-ass shit his healthcare plan would never pay for.

No Violet is vehemently pro-abortion and uses a term “Godbags” that I frankly don’t care for, but she is a honest and honorable person of the left for all that. She saw though this president months ago and as a person of the left saw betrayal coming.

I think however when it comes to abortion her fear is misplaced and any optimism is not warranted on our part so I left the following comment on her blog:

Violet I wouldn’t get all worked up about the abortion statement.

As a person vehemently opposed to abortion I can assure you that when he said that he was lying through his teeth and no serious person opposed to abortion believes a word of it.

So trust me, although we both know that this president doesn’t do honesty too well abortion would be a bridge too far for most of his acolytes.

And if it turns out I’m wrong then that wouldn’t signal a change on the left concerning abortion (although I’d like it to be) it would signal that support for President Obama has officially morphed into a religion, and that would be the worst development yet.

You know I really wonder if the Obamacult is strong enough to overcome almost any actual position. You never know.

BTW I can’t take credit for the tag “obamacult” on wordpress, that honor goes to the lefty blog semidi who used it twice last year. The Hillary people saw this first and recognized it for what it was.

Found this on HotMES it may have a rule 5 photo but it has a golden rule story:

“My doctor told me there is nothing you will ever regret about having the baby, but he was like, ‘You may regret not having the baby.’ And I was like: That is so true. And it just hit me.

Now it’s true that she doesn’t declare that abortion shouldn’t take place but that is was wrong for her, considering what she was being told that right choice is a big thing:

“I definitely thought about it long and hard, about if I wanted to keep the baby or not, and I wasn’t thinking about adoption,” … “I do think every woman should have the right to do what they want, but I don’t think it’s talked through enough. I can’t even tell you how many people just say, ‘Oh, get an abortion.’ Like it’s not a big deal.” …

The American Papist is pleased as well.

The People article is here.

It will be interesting if this makes her fade away, of course if she wants positive media attention she can always pull an Annie Lennox and attack the Pope.

You know that in a district where there hasn’t been a republican congressman since 1890 and is 64% black it might be politically necessary for a newly elected republican to support the president on some key issues. Even if Abortion is paid for in it..

But Don Surber reports that when congressman Anh Cao says he is a Catholic, unlike say a John Kerry or a Nancy Pelosi he means it:

“Being a Jesuit, I very much adhere to the notion of social justice, ” Cao said. “I do fully understand the need of providing everyone with access to health care, but to me personally, I cannot be privy to a law that will allow the potential of destroying thousands of innocent lives.

“I know that voting against the health care bill will probably be the death of my political career, ” Cao said, “but I have to live with myself, and I always reflect on the phrase of the New Testament, ‘How does it profit a man’s life to gain the world but to lose his soul.’ “

This is what a true Catholic Looks like.

…I’ve read so far is from George Jonas called Thoughts from an ex-fetus

We consider the ancient Spartan model barbaric, for instance, although in some ways it was much like ours. Spartans, too, regarded letting children live or die a private choice, although they did involve father in the decision, not only mother, and extended it to born children, not just fetuses. Another difference was that Spartans, instead of relying on vacuum suction, threw unwanted children off a mountain called Taigetos.

For Spartans, “unwanted” meant “substandard.” For us, it means “inconvenient.” We don’t want standard or even super-standard children if they cramp our style.

Living in an epoch that is selfish as well as matriarchal, our lifeboats are no longer marked “women and children first,” only “women first.” We invent euphemisms, such as “choice” for killing, and sophomoric dilemmas, such as pretending not to know when life begins, to ensure that nothing hinders Virginia’s quest for Santa Claus. No obstacle must interfere with her goal of self-fulfillment — least of all an issue (as it were) of her healthy sexual appetite.

The whole thing is spectacular.

…are likely very upset that GM is going bankrupt today and that combined with what appears to be a horrible air disaster (hopefully not but it’s very early in the reporting) could push their counteroffensive against the pro-life movement off of the lead story on the cable networks etc.

In terms of news Mr. Tiller’s murder is significant but next to GM’s Bankruptcy (which ironically took place as I typed this sentence) it is almost a non-story.

The Sotomayor nomination would have been a chance to re-introduce the news but the lefts own attempts to minimize her abortion position and her “poor choice of words” assure that this will not become the big abortion fight.

Again this is very cynical, but true. I don’t think the Tiller assassination (and it WAS a vile act of assassination) is going to break through but it will be taken out of the lefts pocket as needed in the future.

For those who are salivating at the chance to use the Murder of George Tiller to attack Christians or defend the killer, let me quote the relevant passage from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

II. Good Acts and Evil Acts

1755 A morally good act requires the goodness of the object, of the end, and of the circumstances together. An evil end corrupts the action, even if the object is good in itself (such as praying and fasting “in order to be seen by men”).
The object of the choice can by itself vitiate an act in its entirety. There are some concrete acts – such as fornication – that it is always wrong to choose, because choosing them entails a disorder of the will, that is, a moral evil.

1756 It is therefore an error to judge the morality of human acts by considering only the intention that inspires them or the circumstances (environment, social pressure, duress or emergency, etc.) which supply their context. There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object; such as blasphemy and perjury, murder and adultery. One may not do evil so that good may result from it. (emphasis mine)

As the passage above shows, the church never defends such an act (sorry lefties), nor can a believing Catholic attempt to defend it. The other McCain is exactly right on this. It is true that abortion is akin to murder but it is even more true that murder is akin to murder. Justifying it is no different than Groucho’s telling Mrs. Claypool that he was with another woman because she reminded him of her.

It reminds one of the fetus isn’t human nonsense, lets avoid such stuff altogether. It’s simply doubletalk without the greasepaint mustache.

For all of those who try to make the Abortion compromise business as the president suggested or argue about “hey how can you vote for War and be Catholic” lets play the “Safe legal Rare game”:

You can use that phrase with the word “War”

War should be “Safe”…for civilians.

“Legal” because a country has to right to defend itself or defend its future.

and “Rare” because War should never be the first resort.

Ok now try that with:

Slavery, or Torture, or genocide.

You can’t use that phrase with it because they are intrinsic evils. The same is true of abortion. It just doesn’t work.

This is the argument that should come out every time. This and Nordlinger’s question on why should Abortion be rare if it isn’t wrong?

Update: Added links