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← Tweety Gets To The Heart of the Abortion Matter With Bishop Tobin

Tweety Gets To The Heart of the Abortion Matter With Bishop Tobin - Comments

glid's Avatar Comment 1 by glid

I hope the future generations in a better, dogma-free world will look back at us and with laughter and pity understand how hard life was back in the old days, when all attempts for progress had to be squeezed through layers and layers of religious doctrine instead of just, i don't know, make the world better?

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 12:14:00 UTC | #416411

chalkers's Avatar Comment 3 by chalkers

They call it hardball for a reason!

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 12:28:00 UTC | #416414

the4thNeutralNuclide's Avatar Comment 2 by the4thNeutralNuclide

Outstanding piece of interviewing by Chris Matthews. There is hope that the rising tide of religious hypocrisy can be stemmed in the USA if this kind of courageous and carefully thought out debate can be had. Writing the law is is different to teaching religious beliefs. The two must be kept separate (as JF Kennedy said in the opening clip) . As Chris Matthews clearly states he agrees with the Bishop's RC moral position but is opposed to the RC church being involved in making the law. This is an excellent example of critical thinking and keeping an open mind. It was also done with respect to the bishop's position. A tough debate but not a slanging match. Tom

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 12:28:00 UTC | #416413

Mango's Avatar Comment 4 by Mango

MSNBC is the only 24-hour news station I can bear to watch anymore.

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 12:35:00 UTC | #416417

fossil-fish's Avatar Comment 5 by fossil-fish

Wow! Great stuff. That guy was really passionate about keeping his country a secular state, in spite of his own religious views. A terrific piece of television.

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:03:00 UTC | #416425

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 6 by rod-the-farmer

My understanding of the separation of church and state in the U.S. is that the government will not establish a state religion, and the church(es) will not interfere in the operation of the government. In this case the bishop threatens to impose a penalty on an elected official, regarding his vote on the subject of abortion. Anyone with any brains understands there are a range of opinions on this subject, and people hold passionate views on both sides. Those who are pro-choice understand the passion of the opposing side, and do not want to force anyone into actions they personally do not support. Yet many on the anti-abortion side wish to force their opponents into actions they do not personally support, even unto direct control of their own body, regardless of their personal passion on the subject.

I was waiting for the interviewer to ask if the bishop felt his actions, interfering as they do with the actions taken by a politician, do not cause his church to be placed in the category of a political action group, and therefore now subject to taxation. And if not, when would that line be crossed ?

The interviewer certainly gave the bishop a hard time. Too bad he got into his standard TV news mode of interrupting the guest before he has had a chance to articulate a response to the question. When you live in a world of sound bites, you can only think of the world as composed of sound bites.

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:04:00 UTC | #416426

keddaw's Avatar Comment 7 by keddaw

No commitment is more important than your faith.

Well, that's not the pledge you take as president or as a member of the armed forces.

Does this guy know anything about the Constitution?

And what's a "you-man life" anyway?

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:04:00 UTC | #416427

fossil-fish's Avatar Comment 8 by fossil-fish

I know as atheists we probably shouldn't admit it, but did anyone think that the interviewers own claim of religious belifs added weight to his argument, perhaps in this case. Passion certainly wasn't lacking, you really knew that he believed in what he was saying.

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:06:00 UTC | #416428

moniz's Avatar Comment 9 by moniz

Chris Matthews was stunning! Bravo! Very excellent questioning, never letting him off the hook. But more importantly, very pragmatic of Chris in his not letting him off the hook, unlike a Bill O'Reilly who just won't let go based on crazy conjecture, as he is oft to do.

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:08:00 UTC | #416430

clatz's Avatar Comment 10 by clatz


You might disagree with the interviewer talking over the Bishop, but to me he outlined the problem and directed the Bishop to answer a very specific charge. If the conversation was more back and forth the Bishop would have more room to disseminate and avoid.

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:15:00 UTC | #416432

Sigmund's Avatar Comment 11 by Sigmund

Great piece of interviewing. If only all political interviewing and religious discussions were done in such a manner. As for whether Chris Mattews own religious belief added to the argument I doubt it. Do you think Christopher Hitchens or Sam Harris would have been less effective in the same role?

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:17:00 UTC | #416434

SyDaemon's Avatar Comment 12 by SyDaemon

I feel almost bad for "the excellency". Tweety is really aggressive.

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:17:00 UTC | #416436

Peej's Avatar Comment 13 by Peej

Favourite video ever!

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:22:00 UTC | #416439

Peacebeuponme's Avatar Comment 14 by Peacebeuponme

"Your Excellency"

Exactly what is this chap excellent at?

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:29:00 UTC | #416444

Stewart Cowan's Avatar Comment 15 by Stewart Cowan

He looks like one of the modern generation of interviewers who thinks he is more important than his guests. He's a bully. He should speak to his guests as equal human beings. I was actually embarrassed for him. (I'm not a Catholic.)

Interestingly, he doesn't think people have the 'authority' to influence lawmakers.

That's 12:28 minutes I'll never get back!

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:35:00 UTC | #416446

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 16 by Tyler Durden

"Any Catholic in public office, his first commitment has to be to his faith. Not just Catholic but to any religious community. No commitment is more important than your commitment to your faith... and if your faith somehow interferes with your job... you need to quit your job, and save your soul. Nothing can become more important than your relationship with God" - Bishop of Providence, RI, Thomas Tobin
Yeah, good luck with that in the real world.

And kudos to Chris Matthews for not letting him off the hook!

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:40:00 UTC | #416447

jeggers's Avatar Comment 18 by jeggers

I was genuinely impressed with that interview.

Didn't articulate what the punishment should be. Which clearly was unsatisfactory. However, half the burks I work with could easily be convinced that his views are spot on without reflecting on how that would manifest itself 'in law'. So broadly without really understanding the questions being posed they would say 'but his excellency is right you baby killer.'

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:43:00 UTC | #416450

Inside centre's Avatar Comment 17 by Inside centre

A catholic bishop being evasive when asked a question relating to legality of conduct. I'm sure I've seen this before in another context...

Also, in my school RE lessons I used to say to people, admittedly in a shameless attempt to wind them up, that, according to their world view god was responsible for more abortions (ie: miscarriages) than humans.

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:43:00 UTC | #416449

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 20 by irate_atheist

Perhaps Tweety should have concentrated on the association of the good Bishop with a group of child-rapists and their aiders and abbetters.

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:44:00 UTC | #416453

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 19 by Tyler Durden

Comment #434851 by Stewart Cowan

Have you never watched Hardball before? I watch it everyday, Matthews is very fair with all his guests (and is also a Catholic).

Stewart, you obviously missed the point of the entire interview.

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:44:00 UTC | #416452

moniz's Avatar Comment 21 by moniz

Stewart Cowan

Wow! You completely missed the argument, didn't you? People do have authority to influence. The Church wants to IMPOSE, it's own authority over everyone, not just Catholics. In a secular society that includes many faiths(or lack thereof) the laws should be written in the secular model, that still allows many faiths to still follow there belief structure, without penalizing the rest of us, who do not subscribe to their belief/moral structure. Perfect example aside from the abortion issue; gay marriage. Where gay marriage(where as legal marriage) should be legally recognized, no where would/should any law, dictate that any religion/faith/church have to endorse or perform it.

As far as bullying is concerned, what you call bullying, the rest of us call keeping the guest on point, which "His Excellency" was avoiding at all costs!

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:47:00 UTC | #416455

Nunbeliever's Avatar Comment 22 by Nunbeliever

A slip of toungue??

"The first commitment to any catholic in public office should be his faith. No commitment is more important than the commitment to your faith"

At LAST an honest catholic who actually admits secularism should be abolished. Thank you for that. Now we know what we are dealing with here. People who are trying to establish a theocracy. Quite scary when you think about it.

OM (non-existing)G, this man really is scary.

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:48:00 UTC | #416456

Stewart Cowan's Avatar Comment 23 by Stewart Cowan

Hi Tyler,

Actually, this is my first encounter with the show, what with not being American.

"Stewart, you obviously missed the point of the entire interview."

Tell me what it was and I'll tell you if I did!


There is more to it than you say. Take Roe vs Wade which changed the lives - and deaths - of millions of Americans. Was it a 'democratic' decision? Like "His Excellency" said, we make laws out of morals. If it is not moral to kill unborn human beings, then why should there be laws making it legal?

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 13:55:00 UTC | #416460

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 26 by Tyler Durden

Hi Stewart,

I'm Irish, I watch Hardball online :)

The Bishop wants his morality to rule the law of the land. But keeps repeating that he is not in a position to do that. But we should listen to him anyway. Really?

And if you read his quote which I posted above - "if your faith somehow interferes with your job... you need to quit your job, and save your soul" - you will see that kind of action is simply unworkable.

Just out of interest, considering the Bishop never answered the question: what penalty would you impose on a woman (or girl) who had an abortion?

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 14:03:00 UTC | #416463

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 27 by irate_atheist

23. Comment #434865 by Stewart Cowan -

Was it a 'democratic' decision? Like "His Excellency" said, we make laws out of morals. If it is not moral to kill unborn human beings, then why should there be laws making it legal?
Classic circular argument from a theist.

Still trying to work out if evolution is true, Stewart?

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 14:03:00 UTC | #416464

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 25 by bendigeidfran

His infantile black and white morality whispered on the ether is exposed as vaccuous nonsense inapplicable to the real world. He just hadn't even thought about it. Even his 'prevent human suffering' pitch was too complicated for him to mumble through to it's conclusions. I believe there's a word for this type of person, but it escapes me. I wonder if Irate can help me?

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 14:03:00 UTC | #416462

Logicel's Avatar Comment 24 by Logicel

Bish's reference to the importance of moral law (when pinned to the board regarding the separation of state and church) was the point where one had to interject to say, that all the so-called moral laws on the books (murder, theft, etc.) are not based on any divine concept of the dictating of morality, including the existence of souls.

More Catholics like Matthews (he was not a bully, he was making an very important point, and he showed significant respect to the Bish), please. Less Catholics like the Bish.

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 14:03:00 UTC | #416461

Logicel's Avatar Comment 28 by Logicel

Cowan: If it is not moral to kill unborn human beings, then why should there be laws making it legal?


It was once considered moral to kill slaves, women, and children. It was once considered moral to deny voting to women and other groups. Laws are passed to ensure that human rights are broad-based, and not just available for the dominant group. It is called progress to have such laws on the books.

A woman has the right to choose to terminate or continue the pregnancy (within legal parameters). No one has the right to force her to continue a pregnancy. And, an gestating form is not the final product, and unless the Bish can prove the existence of a god or souls, he is a pontificating, cruel, unthinking piece of merde with his false concept of absolute morality for which he is willing to destroy the barrier between church and state to fulfill his theocratic and unethical vision.

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 14:10:00 UTC | #416466

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 30 by Tyler Durden

"Keep in mind what we believe about abortion. Everytime an abortion takes place a baby dies." - Bishop Tobin
More ignorance from the Bishop. Babies do not die, a blastocyst, a foetus or an embryo is aborted, not a "baby" - get the terminology right. A baby is what is born thru childbirth so the Bishop is being overly emotional is his rhetoric!

Yes, you may believe that but the facts say otherwise.

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 14:15:00 UTC | #416471

Stewart Cowan's Avatar Comment 29 by Stewart Cowan


I guess you have your fair? share of unbelievers in the Emerald Isle as well, these days.

Tobin's morality re. abortion is/was the morality shared by the vast majority not so long ago. You have to ask yourself what changed.

Unfortunately, the world is going down the plug hole so quickly that "if your faith somehow interferes with your job... you need to quit your job, and save your soul" is a fair comment.

You might think I'm nuts for saying that, but what's more important than peace for your soul?

What penalty would I impose on a woman (or girl) who had an abortion?

Who is performing the abortion?

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 14:15:00 UTC | #416470