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Sep 02, 2004

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Gaming

Aha. Here is the :On Abortion2270 Human life must be respected and prcetoted absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognised as having the rights of a person among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.[What of the above is religious at all, let alone Catholic? Many secularists talk about human rights, etc.]2271 Since the first century the church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law: You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the new-born to perish . . .[The first sentence includes a specifically Catholic reason: The Catholic church has always taught that abortion is wrong. But this can't be the ONLY reason that Kerry is claiming to rely on in his personal life. It makes very little sense to say, "I'm against abortion for NO OTHER REASON than that the Catholic church opposes it, but I don't agree with even a single one of the reasons that the Catholic church opposes it." There must be something else going on here.]2272 Formal co-operation in an abortion constitutes a grave offence. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life the Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy.[That merely describes the church's punishment. It is not a reason for opposing abortion oneself.] Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.[Note the many secular reasons listed here: Harm to the fetus, harm to the parents, harm to the whole of society. IT IS NOT RELEVANT that you don't agree with those reasons. Who cares? That's not the point. The point is that THESE ARE SECULAR REASONS THAT ANY NON-CATHOLIC MIGHT HAPPEN TO AGREE WITH.]2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation: [Note all this talk about human rights in a civil society. Again, a secular reason that any non-Catholic might happen to agree with.] The inalienable rights of the person must be recognised and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being's right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child's rights.OK. What reasons listed above are secular? Just about every single one. Human rights, importance of preserving civil society, not doing harm to others. These are all essentially secular reasons. The only purely religious reason listed above is The church has always opposed abortion, but that occurs only in the context of explaining WHY the church opposes abortion, which is for secular reasons.Not that these reasons are PURELY secular. Religious people can believe in human rights for religious reasons, for example.But it makes no sense no sense at all for Kerry to say, in effect, Religiously, I agree with the church's teaching that abortion harms human rights and undermines civil society; but as a secular matter, I don't believe that abortion harms human rights and undermines civil society. Who honestly thinks like that?

crasspastor

After tonight, I wonder, no fuck it, I'm sure, all of this was one ornate good cop/bad cop routine. They're twisting people's minds into putty by introducing contradictory ideas to be held simultanously as having achieved a cult-of-personality-grade level of "veracity".

Blood thirsty yet Compassionate

Bitterly mocking yet humble

For women's uteruses yet against women's brains

For gay rights yet against gay rights

Democrat (Blood thirsty Zell) yet showcased by the RNC (what? no Pat Buchanan this time?!?)

Puritanistic yet titillating

Secular yet shamelessly mentalfundalistic

Come to think of it, every last bit of this administration that I can recall, has borne the hallmark of authoritarian caprice. It's crazy really, that this is all happening in our lifetimes. I certainly didn't expect such a befuddling beast of a mass hysterical movement to go down like this. But I guess it must.

Your friend said "they got nothing" and suspects the GOP are "like a hologram". That's the shittiest part of all. Guys, they brazenly appealed to the lowest of the low LCD with this circus. With a trick of "slight of Zell" they have stirred the hornets' nest. A new precedent has been set: One can never be a statesman and survive politics ever again.

I wonder if this is the moment where a country becomes irretrievably divided?

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Articles in Print

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Readings

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    For those who missed it, there will be more. World, Explained is going strong! Money was raised, laughs were had, and for those paying attention, small amounts of useful information about things like the aurora borealis were transmitted. Plus: Michael Cera = lovably funny. And Nick Diamonds' renditions of Dumb Dog and Hanging Tough are still in my head. As is that horribly catchy Fresh Step jam.
  • Jest Fest at Skylight Books
    Somehow I wound up hosting the 10th anniversary jubilee for Infinite Jest at Skylight Books. Because who doesn't love a jubilee, right? Despite being delirious with Hepatitis A (that's the mild, non-lethal kind; I'm not at risk for Hep B since I always go the needle share and choose clean-looking prostitutes), I managed to not mis-pronounce anyone's name and make an erudite joke and poke gentle fun at Michael Silverblatt.
  • McSweeny's Presents: The World, Explained | June 10, 2006
    Number Three! Last one was sold out so we moved to a slightly larger theater. Andy Richter hosted, and his opening exegesis of CSI: Miami warmed the people up right. Evany Thomas presented her very scientific findings on the Secret Language of Sleep; Starlee Kine bared her neuroses to the world (or at least the 300 people in the audience); Josh Davis showed video of his 135-lb self sumo wrestling a 550-lb opera singer from San Bernardino; and Davy Rothbart closed it out with some Found Magazine magic. Grant Lee Phillips, Sam Shelton and Zooey Deschanel provided the music punctuation! I can still hear their rendition of We Are the Champions.
  • McSweeny's Presents: The World, Explained | Feb 11, 2006
    The second in our series of precision comedy and fact-based entertainment extravaganzas benefiting 826LA. Patton Oswalt was kind enough to host, and Jon Brion joined in on the piano and guitar as thematic accompaniment. Presenters included: David Rees, Michael Colton, John Hodgman (along with his hirsuit troubadour, Jonathan Coulton), and me. Plus: a fashion show of exciting multi-user garmentry.
  • Little Gray Book Lecture at Galapagos
    How to Observe President's Day. Jonathan Coulton's technical wizardry has made this entire show available online. The summary from PRX: Sarah Vowell, John Hodgman and Joshuah Bearman on Presidents' Day, along with a fifteen-piece marching band and a new song about all forty-three presidents. My contribution? Yes, from Yeti Researcher. Again. Actually that was the first one. So I have only five stories!
  • Little Gray Book Lecture 25 at Galapagos
    The Animals: Are They Our Enemies? In the case of my presentation about the giant gerbils of Xinjiang, the answer is yes.
  • July 25: TJ to LA -- A Night McSweeney's Readings
    I was honored to be part of a strange triptych along with Salvador Plascencia and Josh Kun. Sponsored, somehow, by La Ciudad magazine, we all packed into Beyond Baroque with no air conditions. 150 people showed at 7 o'clock on a Friday evening, which we took as a good sign of something. Sal held up and anxiously discussed drawings from his novel, Josh delivered an essay on the Dr. Moreau of Tijuana, and my shtick (again) was Pac Man and metaphysics, this time with fun slides.
  • October 8th: Skylight Books w/Stephen Elliott
    Fun times were had by all. Someone in the audience actually mistook me for an expert on the psychology human character. We ate shrimp cocktail and drank cheap wine and laughed at Bush and celebrated the certainty of right besting wrong in American democracy. A lot of good that did.
  • October 9th: MoveOn Fundraiser in Los Angeles
    See above.

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