Suppose that a semi-prominent person who had long been an advocate for the pro-abortion side decided to delve a little deeper into the subject quite sure that their pro-choice position would be validated. Surprisingly, when this person did begin to explore the reality of abortion they began to openly question their previous position. Perhaps they have not yet come full circle on the subject or fully appreciate the Catholic position on the sanctity of life from conception to natural death, but they are beginning to see more clearly.

So here we have this person, questioning. Maybe not so sure as they once were. What should we as Catholics do? What would Jesus do? I think it is without question that we would applaud them for their courage so far and encourage that person to continue that journey to a more fully Catholic position.

So how about if the subject that the semi-prominent person had begun to question was not the intrinsic evil of abortion but rather the intrinsic evil of torture? How would we treat that person? And what if the question was not “What would Jesus do?” but “What would Mark Shea do?” If that was the question, the answer would be — kick him in the teeth.

Reality Trumps Ideology …especially on Talk Radio. One yakker [radio host Erich “Mancow” Muller] for the Rubber Hose Right decided to go get himself waterboarded to prove it’s not really torture. Note that highly politically invested locution. He did not want to find out whether it was torture or not. He “wanted to prove it wasn’t torture”. That’s because, contra so many people on the amazing shrinking Rubber Hose Right, there are indeed people who are heavily invested, not in facts, but in marshalling evidence for a fore-ordained conclusion driven by their political allegiances.

Problem is: the facts are against the torture apologists in many, many ways, beginning with the ridiculous claim that waterboarding is not torture. Our yakker quickly bailed when confronted with the claims of reality over the demands of ideology and announced that it’s “absolutely torture.”


We, as Catholics, should always be mindful that while there are those who are steadfast in their defense of intrinsic evil knowing full well what it is, there are others who have yet to really think things through. I suspect that Mr. Mancow falls into this latter category. When these people show an openness to the truth, even if cajoled through self torture, we should help them to see that truth more fully.

Just yesterday we featured a link on the Reader of a Atheist Denver post columnist who is reconsidering his position on abortion. While I am sure that there is much big stuff that we would still disagree on, he has displayed an openness to the truth and for this we applaud him. For the sheep to return to the fold they must first realize that they are headed in the wrong direction.

Jeff Miller politely pointed out to Mark in the combox:

I say give some credit to Mancow instead of just calling him a yakker. At least he is admitting the truth about this now, so let us rejoice and not diminish him. Now if only other torture apologists would come to their senses via reason and respect for human dignity without having to actually undergo this.

And to his credit Mark admits that his frustrations may have gotten the better of him.

Jeff: You are, of course, right. In my frustration at years of denial of the bleedin’ obvious, I failed to acknowledge that this was a real step forward. I applaud Mr. Mancow for breaking ranks with the torture defenders and am glad he is speaking the truth on this matter.

Bleedin’ obvious, maybe. But we all should be mindful that we all have topics that while bleedin’ obvious to us now, were not always so. One might say it is bleedin’ obvious that we should be encouraging to those who show openness to the truth and not respond with “no kidding Sherlock! Duh!” But then again, we all miss the bleedin’ obvious sometimes.