"Liberty" Victorian Style: The Age Poll on Catholic Hospitals

Thanks to Jeff (in the combox to the previous post) for alerting me to the poll at The Age.

The question is: “Should Catholic Hospitals be forced to comply with the new abortion laws?” (Please note: The Bill is not yet a “new law” and pray God it never will be!)

Currently it looks like this.

As Louise says in the same combox:

For a bunch of people who claim to be tolerant and embracing of diversity, postmodern Aussies sure are nasty totalitarians.

“Pluralism. Do it my way.”

Or: I believe you should be free but I reserve the right tell you what you are free to do or not do. And I guess the people voting “Yes” to this question are the same ones who complain loudest when the Church “interferes” with their idea of freedom.

Go here to lodge your vote.

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “"Liberty" Victorian Style: The Age Poll on Catholic Hospitals

  1. Tony

    I think we contribute to a pretty dodgy process by taking it seriously.

    These polls are a bit of fun when the subject is not serious, but their flaws are more important when the subject is more important.

    For example, what does ‘forced’ mean? Military intervention?

    Or does it mean something more like: should funding for Catholic hospitals be withdrawn if they don’t comply?

    And a question for Louise: What is a postmodern Aussie? Are we to assume that the ‘Yes’ voters are post modern Aussies and the ‘No’ voters are something else?

    A question for David: have you any evidence of your guess?

    To anyone: would it be OK for a state to withdraw all funding for hospitals or hospital departments that provided abortion services.

  2. Schütz

    I think we contribute to a pretty dodgy process by taking it seriously.

    Who’s taking it seriously? Mind you, what is “serious” is the way in which the question is worded. Compare this to the much more moderate poll in the Herald Sun on the same issue: “Do you support a Catholic Church review of its hospital maternity services because of abortion law?”

    For example, what does ‘forced’ mean? Military intervention? Or does it mean something more like: should funding for Catholic hospitals be withdrawn if they don’t comply?

    Like the Catholic school system, the hospitals exist to provide a service to the society. Whatever funding these institutions receive is more than matched by private contributions. The Church does not HAVE to run hospitals. If the goverment were to refuse funding, the hospitals would close. But the Government would then find itself in hot water with not enough hospitals (ditto goes for Schools, by the way).

    A question for David: have you any evidence of your guess?

    Funny thing about guesses – they are not based on evidence. But in this case, it is based on a certain logic. Why would anyone want to “force” hospitals to comply if they were not pro-abortion? The usual line of the pro-abortionists is that the Church should “stay out of politics” or “not foist their religious ideas on us.” I stick with my guess.

    To anyone: would it be OK for a state to withdraw all funding for hospitals or hospital departments that provided abortion services.

    Now you ask a different question. If abortions were against the law (which they should be – since they violate the must fundamental human right – the right of every human being to life itself), then indeed hospitals that provided such “services” should be closed down.

    Thought experiment. A bill for euthanasia has just been defeated in the Victorian Parliament.

    Euthanasia is and remains against the law. Any hospital where doctors were euthanasing their patients should be shut down.

    On the other hand, if the bill were to have been passed, can you imagine what would have happened if part of the law was the REQUIREMENT that doctors and hospitals euthanise patients who requested it or at least refered patients to doctors and hospitals who were willing to carry out “the procedure”?

  3. Tony

    I think you’re taking it seriously, I think Louise is taking it seriously. But what do these polls actually tell us?

    Louise seems to think this one supports a thesis about ‘postmodern’ Australians and you seem to think it supports your ‘guess’.

    [begin vent] What I’m really alluding to is that the abortion issue is such a minefield of hostility. I’m concerned about how those of us who question the pro-choice side conduct ourselves.

    If we, for example, feel uneasy about the wording of a survey, why legitimise it? If we feel uneasy about the tendency to reduce complex issues to ‘sound bites’, why legitimise it? If we feel it is a life and death issue, why pander to a very public attempt to pour oil on the fire? [end vent]

    The rest of your post, including the thought experiment, goes to the point I was trying to extract, ie, the argument is not about one side or other’s attitude to ‘freedom’.

  4. Louise

    And a question for Louise: What is a postmodern Aussie? Are we to assume that the ‘Yes’ voters are post modern Aussies and the ‘No’ voters are something else?

    Strictly speaking, I’m referring to the Zeitgeist and strictly speaking I mean that spirit which is in direct opposition to what most of the Catholic Church teaches.

    Perhaps “postmodern Aussies” wasn’t the best expression, but when the vast majority of Australians geenerally oppose Church teaching on marriage, family and the common good (ie the liberals, “progressives” whatever you want to call them) I think it’s not inaccurate to describe this majority view as that of the “postmodern Aussies.”

    Australia is becoming more barbaric with every passing year.

  5. Louise

    What I’m really alluding to is that the abortion issue is such a minefield of hostility. I’m concerned about how those of us who question the pro-choice side conduct ourselves.

    I confess, I don’t particularly give a shit how we conduct ourselves, provided we don’t sin (according to Church teaching not feel-goodism of the media etc).

    I don’t think we have to be nice – we are in a very bloody war with 50,000 to 100,000 baby Aussies being aborted every year.

  6. Tony

    Lord knows Louise, I’m not asking you to be ‘nice’!

    Your reaction is just what I’m getting at. Do we contribute to what seems to be an intractable polarisation or do we look for solutions?

    I don’t have any easy solutions BTW but my sense of the issue is that people, on both sides, are so caught up in the ‘battle’ and either scoring points (the pro-choice side is winning that one hands down) or declaiming the other side with increasing ferocity.

    In the midst of this though, I believe that most people — even the most strident pro-choicers — would want a society where there were less abortions. Even if you regard abortion as just a medical procedure, it’s not something people want.

    If we want to actually reduce abortions, somebody’s got to do some bridge building and I’d say that’s more an obligation for Christians because it’s part of our ‘mission’.

  7. Louise

    Lord knows Louise, I’m not asking you to be ‘nice’!

    Well, sorry about that, but it sounded as though you were.

    In the midst of this though, I believe that most people — even the most strident pro-choicers — would want a society where there were less abortions.

    That may be true, but there seems to be a growing number of people who are just out and out psychopaths on this issue; they know it’s murder and they don’t care.

    If we want to actually reduce abortions, somebody’s got to do some bridge building and I’d say that’s more an obligation for Christians because it’s part of our ‘mission’.

    And what makes you think I’m not doing that? Or David or anyone else here?

  8. Louise

    the pro-choice side is winning that one hands down

    That’s a matter of perception. Naomi Wolfe apparently said pro-choicers have to keep the argument centred on the woman, because if pro-lifers hold up a baby and they hold up scissors, they lose. Which they do, if you think about it. I mean why would those pro-choicers who nevertheless want *less* abortion find the scissors fanatics appealing?

    So if there’s one thing we must not do as we minister to pregnant women in crisis and try to think of ways to care for women etc it’s that we must not lose sight of the right of the baby to live.

    We must keep holding up the baby, because they only have scissors in reply.

    And we must answer the lies of the pro-choicers and casuistry of the pro-choicers with the truth.

  9. Tony

    That may be true, but there seems to be a growing number of people who are just out and out psychopaths on this issue; they know it’s murder and they don’t care.

    ‘Psychopaths’? ‘know its murder’? ‘don’t care’? For goodness sake!

    And what makes you think I’m not doing that? Or David or anyone else here?

    Huh? Re-reading my post I really can’t see how I’ve implied anything specific about you and David.

    I am concerned about how the pro-life side contributes to the intractability of this issue, and some of the rhetoric here reflects that IMO, but that doesn’t preclude you or David or anyone else on the pro-life side doing some bridge building.

    I’d love to hear about it. This issue is so dominated by aggro.

  10. Louise

    It’s dominated by aggro because it’s murder we’re talking about!

    ‘Psychopaths’? ‘know its murder’? ‘don’t care’? For goodness sake!

    Is this an argument? If you have a problem with what I’ve said either ask for a clarification or respond with an argument, not a pathetic rolling of the eyes.

    I think this woman is (if real and not a hoax) a clinical psychopath (google it if you don’t know the meaning of the word).

    Please go an read the whole page before you start hurrumphing at me again.

    And then there’s what Hillary tells us:

    http://anglocath.blogspot.com/2008/02/picking-side.html

    I have observed that there are three things we do to psychologically to try to shield ourselves from the reality of abortion:

    The American position: partial denial.

    …The Canadian position: Complete denial. This is the position of almost all feminist abortion activists whose position is to deny the existence of an unborn child and to refuse to address the issue.

    …The British position: No denial but a forthright assertion that a child exists and is of no inherent value before or even after birth and can be killed at will by parents with the help of the publicly funded medical system. This is the position advocated by leading utilitarian philosophers of medical ethics of our time, Peter Singer foremost among them. Because it resolves certain emotional problems of the abortion debate, this third position is slowly growing in popularity among abortion advocates, particularly in Europe and in the academic world and among the more highly educated feminists (cf. Naomi Wolfe who asserted that it is dishonest to deny the existence of a child, but that in order to maintain the gains of the feminist movement, women must be given the right to kill their children under limited conditions).

    But Britain brings the issue to a new and unprecedented level of barbarism. They admit that there is a child and that the intention of abortion is to kill a child. Therefore, when a child who is slated for abortion lives instead, the child is summarily killed. The British health authorities had no need for any equivocation or hesitation. No compunctions whatever.

    I stand by everything I said Tony:

    “there seems to be a growing number of people who are just out and out psychopaths on this issue; they know it’s murder and they don’t care.”

    I do not normally make assertions about serious matter without some clear evidence.

    Don’t just throw my expressions back at me with a dismissive “for goodness sake!”

  11. Louise

    I am concerned about how the pro-life side contributes to the intractability of this issue

    I don’t really understand what you mean; either abortion is right or it is wrong. Not quite sure what sort of middle ground we can have there.

    Certainly we can create a more mother and baby friendly society and do little things to perhaps save a life here and there, but it’s not as though there is really any middle ground or anything.

    but that doesn’t preclude you or David or anyone else on the pro-life side doing some bridge building.

    Obviously, so what exactly was your point? I’ve already demonstrated why it’s important for pro-lifers to *be* intractable on the baby’s right to live.

    I’d love to hear about it.

    Well, let’s see, I try to make my marriage work, I try to love my five kids and remain open to the gift of life. I try to love God and neighbour. I pray.

    I have practiclaly “vowed” never to say horrible things like “I’m not having any more kids!” even when we get to that stage.

    When people look at me in the shops towards the end of school holidays and say with a sigh of relief, “Gee, it’s great that the holidays are almost over, isn’t it?” I just look at them like they’re off the planet.

    I think I’ve mentioned it before but we financially support organisations which help women in crisis to have and care for their babies.

    I personally offered to raise money for Ms Abortion (linked in my previous comment) and even offered to adopt the baby. (And I was nice to her even if she is a psychopath).

    None of which is soliciting anyone’s approval here – I only care about Christ’s approval, but if any of this is edifying for you or others then that’s good.

  12. Tony

    It’s dominated by aggro because it’s murder we’re talking about!

    It doesn’t have to be dominated by aggro.

    If you don’t see a problem with some of those characterisations, then building a bridge with the ‘other side’ is going to be next to impossible.

    Many Jews saw the Romans as murderers; many Irish Catholics saw Irish Protestants as murderers; many black South Africans saw white South Africans as murderers. This attitude fueled a cycle of violence that, in some cases, lasted generations.

    Someone had to come along and say that a the time for aggro has passed.

    This is a different kind of dispute — although many liken it to a war — but until we break this cycle of hostility (and, as I said, I think it’s up to us) it’ll just keep going on. In the meantime abortions will increase or remain at high levels.

    There’s not much I praise Tony Abbott for, but at least he did try to approach this issue in a way that both sides could contribute to. It wasn’t that successful but I think it shows that another path is possible.

  13. Louise

    I notice you don’t actually address any of the points I made but just make insinuations instead.

    This attitude fueled a cycle of violence that, in some cases, lasted generations.

    What do you take me for, a terrorist?

    In the meantime abortions will increase or remain at high levels.

    Seems to me that nothing any of us is doing is actually making any difference, so I don’t think you need to point the finger at me specifically.