Catholics and Torture

Yesterday, I happened across a news article about Sarah Palin and her comments about baptism and waterboarding. Folks, if you are still a fan of hers, it is time to move on, especially if you are Catholic. We, as Catholics, cannot support those who support torture. The denouncement of torture is spelled out very clearly in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2297.

2297 Kidnapping and hostage taking bring on a reign of terror; by means of threats they subject their victims to intolerable pressures. They are morally wrong. Terrorism threatens, wounds, and kills indiscriminately; it is gravely against justice and charity.
Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity. Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law.90

Paragraph 2298 goes on to state that Holy Mother Church has never supported these cruel practices.

2298 In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate governments to maintain law and order, often without protest from the Pastors of the Church, who themselves adopted in their own tribunals the prescriptions of Roman law concerning torture. Regrettable as these facts are, the Church always taught the duty of clemency and mercy. She forbade clerics to shed blood. In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.


To support those who support torture is to support torture. Oh, I’m sure there are some saying “No it’s not!” but I ask, would you support a candidate who supports abortion? No, then why would you support a candidate who supports an evil that is also spelled out a being morally wrong in our Catechism?

I am going to take this one step further and ask how we can support political parties who have no problem with torture. To quote this article:

I regret having believed that Republicans actually offered a substantially different choice to voters (as compared to Democrats) instead of being the other side of the same filthy coin, minted by oligarchs, circulated by sycophants, and duly rendered to Caesar.  It’s becoming increasingly clear that we serious Catholics are politically homeless in this culture of death and destruction, and that both major parties only tolerate us as long as we’re willing to stifle our Catholic consciences and give them our votes. (emphasis mine.) 

Just some food for thought this Tuesday morning.

Filed under: Catholic, Social Commentary

Television and Commercials

If I had a nickel for each tweet or facebook status I read last night that complained of the commercials and then the halftime show for the Super Bowl, I think I could probably buy a nice cup of coffee at the local coffee place today.

The commercials were too sexual, too misogynistic, too vulgar. Then the  half time show, too sexual, too misogynistic, too vulgar. Well, I wouldn’t know, I didn’t watch at all, I just checked my facebook and twitter and saw what people were saying. It is pretty sad that is what advertising has been reduced to.

What is even sadder is that people continued to watch the game, even though there were commercials that were so awful they required a tweet or a status update about the awfulness of it.

People, you aren’t controlled by your television and it does have an off button. If you find something offensive, turn off your television and send a message to the advertisers, the networks, and the world. The message that you are better than the garbage they are showing and that you will not tolerate that in your home.

Women, remember, we are the standard bearers of society. We are the ones to set the example of morality in the world, if we don’t who will?

To quote something I said last fall:

…we are called to strive more deeply to live our faith as faithful women of the Gospel! We are the standard bearers of morality in society. We must stand up to that call and live our lives our in accordance to the Will of God. We must also set a joyful example for those around us and in living that joyful example, help bring them to the wonderful teachings of Christ.


A thought I shared with Joshua last night: How many people even cared about the game last night? How many people tuned in just because it was Super Bowl and not because “your team” was playing? Why are you willing to put your soul, or the souls of your husband and children, in peril just to partake in the “biggest sporting event of the year” tradition?

St. Maria Goretti, pray for us.


Filed under: Catholic, General Stuff, Social Commentary

The USCCB’s Response to VP Biden’s HHS Mandate Claims

USCCB Responds To Inaccurate Statement Of Fact On HHS Mandate Made During Vice Presidential Debate


October 12, 2012

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued the following statement, October 12. Full text follows:

Last night, the following statement was made during the Vice Presidential debate regarding the decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to force virtually all employers to include sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion, in the health insurance coverage they provide their employees:

“With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.”

This is not a fact. The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain “religious employers.” That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to “Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital,” or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.

HHS has proposed an additional “accommodation” for religious organizations like these, which HHS itself describes as “non-exempt.” That proposal does not even potentially relieve these organizations from the obligation “to pay for contraception” and “to be a vehicle to get contraception.” They will have to serve as a vehicle, because they will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage, and that coverage will still have to include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. They will have to pay for these things, because the premiums that the organizations (and their employees) are required to pay will still be applied, along with other funds, to cover the cost of these drugs and surgeries.

USCCB continues to urge HHS, in the strongest possible terms, actually to eliminate the various infringements on religious freedom imposed by the mandate.

For more details, please see USCCB’s regulatory comments filed on May 15 regarding the proposed “accommodation”:

Keywords: vice presidential debate, HHS mandate, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, insurance plans, Catholic hospitals, charities, social services, sterilization, contraception, religious liberty, USCCB

# # # # #

Don Clemmer
O: 202-541-3206
Filed under: American Liberties, Catholic, Church Laws, Social Commentary

Selective Catholicism

Earlier today I witnessed what I would describe as a horrible display of understanding of Church teaching I have ever seen and from “solid” Catholics. My heart is so heavy over this and while not despairing, I am close and clinging to Christ Crucified right now.

We often hear of the tern “cafeteria Catholic” and it is used to describe those Catholics who dissent from the teachings of Holy Mother Church on issues of birth control, abortion, and other various sex.ual issues.  Can’t we say that about Catholics who reject the Catechism and teachings of our Magisterium about just war and torture, along with the teaching on Subsidiarity?

Where is the line? The Just War Doctrine and teachings on torture are pretty cut and dry, as are the teachings on abortion and ho.mosexua.lity. So, how is it that people can decide that Just War and torture are open to “interpretation” and “debate”?

I said to my husband, if Just War and torture are up for debate, then why can’t using a non-abortifacient birth control be on the table too? It seems to me that if I leave one clear teaching open for debate then the rest become debatable too.

I have read more this election cycle on Catholic Church teaching than I have read in years. I have read the Catechism, I have combed through encyclicals, I have read the recent writings of the current Holy Father. Nothing I have read shows that there is a gray area, so I am wondering where does this idea come from?

I’d really like to have a serious debate about this but I get shut down and told I am judging the hearts of men when I don’t know what he is confessing. I am being defriended by people I have known for years, I have been told I am going to hell, I am being called the devil and worse, but I am not getting answers to these questions.


Filed under: Catholic, Church Laws, Social Commentary

Torture and the Catholic Church

CCC 2297 Kidnapping and hostage taking bring on a reign of terror; by means of threats they subject their victims to intolerable pressures. They are morally wrong. Terrorism threatens, wounds, and kills indiscriminately; it is gravely against justice and charity. Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity. Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law.

I have been giving this subject a lot of thought lately. I have actually been thinking about it for a few years, but was a coming and going thought and with the rigors of daily life, I never sat down to read up on the teachings of the Church on the subject. I my heart I knew it was wrong, but so many people were in some ways “pro” torture, so I thought I was missing something. Turns out, the Church comes down on torture much harder than I realized.

I was reading up on the subject during my “quiet time” the other day and came across a blog and this post.

Positions of The Republican candidates on torture and related issues

It has been quite some time since I’ve posted anything on this blog; life has simply been busy, but I hope to remedy things as the 2012 election season heats up.

For today, I’d simply like to post the position of the various Republican candidates on the issue of torture/enhanced interrogation and related issues. I’m drawing my summaries from various sources, so I’ll include a selection of links at the bottom of the post.

The candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

Gingrich: Has been quoted as saying that waterboarding is something America shouldn’t do. Believes that Guantanamo should remain open until the terrorists disappear.

Huntsman: Opposes waterboarding; calls Guantanamo an “imperfect solution” but criticizes Obama for breaking his promise to close it.

Paul: Opposes torture and waterboarding as illegal and immoral; opposes Patriot Act; thinks Guantanamo should be closed.

Perry: Says he opposes torture but approves of enhanced interrogation which includes “any technique” used to save American lives. Supports keeping Guantanamo open.

Romney: Favors enhanced interrogation techniques and will not say whether waterboarding qualifies as such a technique. Has said Guantanamo could be doubled in size if needed.

Santorum: Voted to renew Patriot Act. Would continue using Guantanamo for terror suspects. Says that waterboarding is effective. Said John McCain didn’t understand how enhanced interrogation works, that the object is to break a man so he will become cooperative.


The current Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI and our former Holy Father, Blessed John Paul II both addressed torture. In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI said,

“In this regard, I reiterate that the prohibition against torture “cannot be contravened under any circumstances”

He was repeating what Blessed John Paul II wrote, in 2004,

In carrying out investigations, the regulation against the use of torture, even in the case of serious crimes, must be strictly observed: “Christ’s disciple refuses every recourse to such methods, which nothing could justify and in which the dignity of man is as much debased in his torturer as in the torturer’s victim”.[830] International juridical instruments concerning human rights correctly indicate a prohibition against torture as a principle which cannot be contravened under any circumstances.




Filed under: Catholic, General Stuff, Social Commentary

My Beloved St. Josemaria Escriva

“Have you ever bothered to think how absurd it is to leave one’s Catholicism aside on entering a university, or a professional association, or a scholarly meeting, or a congress, as if you were checking your hat at the door?” – the Beloved St. Josemaria Escriva

Filed under: Catholic, Social Commentary


I just want all my readers to know that I write this blog and I approve all content before things are posted. Joshua, my husband, has posted only one time on this blog and I asked him to do so.

I received this comment on my blog, in response to a post I wrote :


Joshua, I feel so sorry for you small-minded haters. You certainly aren’t following the teachings of Christ by going around judging and bashing good men like Rick Santorum. You give Ron Paul all sorts of room to double-back on his word. You insist that the readers see what Ron Paul “really meant” by twisting his words to fit your agenda, yet you don’t give any room for explanation with Rick Santorum. He is a good, Catholic man. He is, as the rest of us (yourselves excluded of course), on a journey to the truth. Aside from the Facemyers, the rest of us are not perfect and don’t have ALL the answers to EVERYTHINNG. We are learning and growing in our faith – not perfectfly formed. You people need to stop the self-righteous hate campaign you have going against anyone who remotely disagrees with you. It’s ugly, anti-Christian and sad. This used to be a nice blog to read before Joshua turned it into his personal soapbox of hateful assaults. Man up, respect your wife and let her get back to sharing the beauty of motherhood with us. We are sick of your political views.


This is my response to it (in addition to the one my husband has posted as a reply to the comment, as it attacked the both of us):

How are we haters? When, in any of my posts, have I said anything other than that facts to be considered?

Am I going around bashing and judging good men (and by this we all know it means Santorum)? No, I am simply putting out his own words and trying to figure out: How is he considered the best pro-life candidate? and How is he in line with the teachings of the Church regarding just war?

I have never once in any of my posts “twisted” Dr. Paul’s words to make him sound better or to fit my desires of what I want him to be.

I too am on a journey for truth. I am also tired of being lied to. I am tired of candidates standing up and saying they are pro-life, then voting to fund organizations like planne.d paren.thoo.d. For example, just last night, I was reading up on bills that Dr. Paul and Rick Santorum have voted on. (Yes, I do things like that, cause I am a political geek.) While my research on the subject is not completed yet, I did discover that George W. Bush increased funding for Title X and signed budgets over his years in office that continued that funding. I was horrified. I campaigned for that man, I voted not once, but 3 times for him (Michigan Primaries 2000, General Election 2000 and in the General Election of 2004.) While I wasn’t a fan of him by the time 2004 rolled around (mainly because of the war in Iraq) I voted for him because I thought he was a pro-life (in terms of abortion) man who would defend life in our country. Now I just want to shower and get the 12 hours I spent making phone calls and working a meet and greet and my three votes back.

As far as getting an explanation for Santorum, how does one justify saying: “On occasion, if scientists working on the nuclear program in Iran turn up dead I think that is a wonderful thing. I think we should send a very clear message, if you are a scientist… working on nuclear weapons, you are not safe”. And how does one justify, really justify, voting for a budget that has funding for PP in it? Doesn’t that just insult all of us who have prayed in front of clinics, prayed rosaries, held rallies, working for the protection of the most innocent lives?

I am far from perfect, by the way; ask my husband, ask my children, ask my confessor, ask God. (Go ahead, I give you permission.) Again, I am on the search for truth. I am not perfectly formed in my faith either, that is why I work hard and pray for direction from God. I seek counsel of good, holy priests and ask hard questions. When on retreat last month, I asked our retreat master if he could talk to me about just war, I posed questions and he answered them. I learned a bit but over all I was confirmed in the knowledge that we cannot go around hurting/attacking other people, we are not allowed to preemptively attack a country because they might be doing something bad. And yes, this priest was solid, not wishy washy, not liberal, just a good solid priest.

I am hurt that anyone would think that I have a “self-righteous hate campaign” toward anyone who disagrees with me. You know me, you know I am not that kind of person, nor is Joshua.

“This used to be a nice blog to read before Joshua turned it into his personal soapbox of hateful assaults. Man up, respect your wife and let her get back to sharing the beauty of motherhood with us.” This is probably the most laughable, and sad, line. If you look at my posts you will see that I seldom post about politics and often post about the children and our activities. If you do the math, in the past six months 13.6% of my posts have been about Dr. Paul or Rick Santorum, hardly anything to get that upset about.

Also, as I said in the first line, I write my own posts. Furthermore, the person who wrote this hid behind a fake name and email address, so if we do want to talk about manning up, use your real name and information, or, since you know us, send an email or a letter or call us. Finally, are you saying that I am not allowed to have a mind or thoughts of my own? That if I am doing something other than diapers, folding laundry or making dinner, that must come from Joshua and not me? That is just insulting.

“We are sick of your political views”. Interestingly, I have had people thank me, both here  and  here and via email/facebook for standing up and speaking my mind about Dr. Paul and against candidates who are not what they say they are.

Lastly, let me say that I am not the only person who has noticed this and who is standing up against the idea that Santorum is the most pro-life candidate out there. Many people in the pro-life movement here in Georgia find it insulting that Santurum was endorsed, along with Gingrich, by the Georgia Right to Life group. This isn’t a campaign by us Facemyers to bash or judge Rick Santorum, it is a campaign for me (Beth Facemyer) to get people to wake up to the fact that Rick Santorum is not all he claims to be.


Filed under: American Liberties, General Stuff, Social Commentary

Ron Paul IS Pro-Life

Ron Paul IS Pro-Life

Being Pro-Life Is Necessary to Defend Liberty

by Congressman Ron Paul
Libertarians for Life
Copyright 1981

Pro-life libertarians have a vital task to perform: to persuade the many abortion-supporting libertarians of the contradiction between abortion and individual liberty; and, to sever the mistaken connection in many minds between individual freedom and the “right” to extinguish individual life.

Libertarians have a moral vision of a society that is just, because individuals are free. This vision is the only reason for libertarianism to exist. It offers an alternative to the forms of political thought that uphold the power of the State, or of persons within a society, to violate the freedom of others. If it loses that vision, then libertarianism becomes merely another ideology whose policies are oppressive, rather than liberating.

We expect most people to be inconsistent, because their beliefs are founded on false principles or on principles that are not clearly stated and understood. They cannot apply their beliefs consistently without contradictions becoming glaringly apparent. Thus, there are both liberals and conservatives who support conscription of young people, the redistribution of wealth, and the power of the majority to impose its will on the individual.

A libertarian’s support for abortion is not merely a minor misapplication of principle, as if one held an incorrect belief about the Austrian theory of the business cycle. The issue of abortion is fundamental, and therefore an incorrect view of the issue strikes at the very foundations of all beliefs.

Libertarians believe, along with the Founding Fathers, that every individual has inalienable rights, among which are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Neither the State, nor any other person, can violate those rights without committing an injustice. But, just as important as the power claimed by the State to decide what rights we have, is the power to decide which of us has rights.

Today, we are seeing a piecemeal destruction of individual freedom. And in abortion, the statists have found a most effective method of obliterating freedom: obliterating the individual. Abortion on demand is the ultimate State tyranny; the State simply declares that certain classes of human beings are not persons, and therefore not entitled to the protection of the law. The State protects the “right” of some people to kill others, just as the courts protected the “property rights” of slave masters in their slaves. Moreover, by this method the State achieves a goal common to all totalitarian regimes: it sets us against each other, so that our energies are spent in the struggle between State-created classes, rather than in freeing all individuals from the State. Unlike Nazi Germany, which forcibly sent millions to the gas chambers (as well as forcing abortion and sterilization upon many more), the new regime has enlisted the assistance of millions of people to act as its agents in carrying out a program of mass murder.

The more one strives for the consistent application of an incorrect principle, the more horrendous the results. Thus, a wrong-headed libertarian is potentially very dangerous. Libertarians who act on a wrong premise seem to be too often willing to accept the inhuman conclusions of an argument, rather than question their premises.

A case in point is a young libertarian leader I have heard about. He supports the “right” of a woman to remove an unwanted child from her body (i.e., her property) by killing and then expelling him or her. Therefore, he has consistently concluded, any property owner has the right to kill anyone on his property, for any reason.

Such conclusions should make libertarians question the premises from which they are drawn.

We must promote a consistent vision of liberty because freedom is whole and cannot be alienated, although it can be abridged by the unjust action of the State or those who are powerful enough to obtain their own demands. Our lives, also, are a whole from the beginning at fertilization until death. To deny any part of liberty, or to deny liberty to any particular class of individuals, diminishes the freedom of all. For libertarians to support such an abridgement of the right to live free is unconscionable.

I encourage all pro-life libertarians to become involved in debating the issues and educating the public; whether or not freedom is defended across the board, or is allowed to be further eroded without consistent defenders, may depend on them.

Filed under: American Liberties, Catholic, Social Commentary

Ron Paul

What have you heard about Dr. Paul and his beliefs? What have you heard about his plans for our country, if elected President? Have you relied on second or  third hand accounts of his words? Have you heard that he is for legalizing drugs and prostitution? Have you heard that he is an isolationist who does not the United States of America involved with others countries whatsoever?

Here are some sound bites from various debates or interviews Dr. Paul has done, as well as information found (very easily) on his Presidential Campaign Website (

On Drugs and Prostitution (Video)

On National Defense (link to his campaign website)

On Abortion (link to his campaign website)

On Homeschooling (link to his campaign website)

On Homebirthing here and here (the second link is a few quotations from the video, the first link)


It all comes down to freedom!




Filed under: Social Commentary

On Openness to Life

For a while now, I have been trying to write a post on being open to life. I started thinking about this when I heard or read comments about “planning” children or postponing children because of upcoming plans or deciding to be done because the next baby would require the purchasing of the dreaded minivan.

As a Catholic, I trust Holy Mother Church and Her teachings on family planning. I embrace the teachings of Pope Paul VI in Humane Vitae. I trust in God. I know God will not give us more than we can bear, emotionally, physically and financially.

God has never let us down. He has never given us more than we can handle. When I look back at our budget sheets from our first two years of marriage, I wonder, how did we do it? How were we able to put food on the table and a roof over our head? Yet, in that time, we paid our bills on time, did not have a lot  of extras, and we trusted our fertility to God.  In just over two years of marriage we had two babies to care for on Earth and one to intercede for us in Heaven. God has since blessed us with two more wonderful babies and we hope to be blessed with more.

As I stated in my first paragraph, I often hear reasons for why couples are avoiding or postponing pregnancy, reasons that seem to overlook Church teaching on being open to life. It seems that people are not open to life in the way the Church intends and I pray that couples will ask for guidance and seek out fidelity in the matter of openness to life.

Children, too, are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward. (Ps 127:4)

Filed under: Social Commentary