CSotD: Rum, Romanism and Rebellion, 2022 Version

Burchard’s quote hasn’t aged very well, has it? The Republicans of today — no longer the “Party of Lincoln” — have become eager to see Catholic doctrine made law, and are not simply tolerant of attempted insurrection but actively defend it.

As for “rum,” Prohibition was largely a feminist cause, and the politically powerful Women’s Christian Temperance Union became active in the suffrage movement because alcoholism was a chief source of domestic violence and of family abandonment. “Rum” was the word Burchard seized upon for alliteration, but, then, all sorts of details lurk beneath the faith-based misogyny of the current decision.

As Ann Telnaes’ aptly simple cartoon puts it, the McConnell-packed Supreme Court has shown its lack of concern for the dignity and humanity of women.


And it is, as Gary Huck points out, a faith-based decision.

It is not entirely fair to point to the disproportionate number of Roman Catholics on the bench, though it is remarkable that, in a country in which Catholics are 22 percent of the population, they make up two-thirds of the Supreme Court, plus Neil Gorsuch, a “cradle Catholic” turned Episcopalian.

Still, four Catholics plus Gorsuch voted to overturn, one (Roberts) agreed with stipulations, and only one Catholic, Sotomayor, defended Roe, alongside her Jewish associates.

And nobody felt that their religious beliefs should cause them to recuse themselves from the case, not even — perhaps “not especially” — the one justice who served as a “handmaid” in a conservative Catholic group that has been labeled a cult.

BTW, I’m not featuring any “Handmaiden” cartoons today. I appreciate that the TV series based on Atwood’s novel has popularized the relevant issues, but we’ve had Handmaiden cartoons since the decision was leaked and I haven’t seen anything new in the current batch.



I will, however, feature Andy Marlette’s coathanger piece, because too many coathanger cartoons fail to show the thing untwisted, ready to be inserted and twisted up into the uterus, where the resultant hemorrhaging can cause death from loss of blood or infections, as well as permanent sterility.

And, going back to the “Rum,” we know from our own history that prohibiting something does not stop it from existing. Anybody who thinks that overturning abortion rights will stop them from happening is practicing what Catholic doctrine calls “vincible ignorance.”

As defined in the “Catholic Dictionary,” it is

As cited here previously, there is a significant difference between an older school of Catholicism exemplified by Mario Cuomo’s landmark 1984 speech at my (regretted) alma mater, Notre Dame, and the more militant, conservative doctrine more commonly found there, and throughout the Church, today:

That was then. This is now.


Patrick Chappatte is not the only one to compare the intrusion of Romanism into secular governance with the Sharia Law so hated and stigmatized by conservatives.

But while the specific parallel with Iran’s rightwing mullahs and Afghanistan’s Taliban is reasonable, we should be cautious in comparing Sharia with Roman Catholic doctrine, as Qasim Rashid notes.

In fact, it appears to be quite the opposite: While some Muslims go beyond the letter of Sharia to be more conservative and restrictive, Catholics who want, for instance, a vasectomy or tubal ligation, must defy the actual doctrine of their church.

Which brings us to this frightening

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Michael de Adder)


(Paul Berge)

It is important to point out that de Adder and Berge are not simply warning of some distant, possible future extension of this conservative movement. Although Alito promised in the majority opinion that the decision was only about abortion and nothing else, we should remember, first, how many of the concurring justices promised in their confirmation hearings that stare decisis matters and that Roe v Wade was settled law.

But, more to the point, in his concurrence, Associate Justice Long Dong Silver laid out his agenda for the future:

He’s hoping to redefine the 14th Amendment, and, if you think he’s alone, you probably thought Roe v Wade was settled law and that stare decisis would ensure its survival.

And perhaps that, while it is not right to confirm a Supreme Court Justice nine months before a presidential election, it’s perfectly fine to confirm one eight days before the election.

And that the check is in the mail.


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Pat Byrnes)


(Marshall Ramsey)

And don’t look for any overriding philosophy in what the GOP is visiting upon us. Byrnes and Ramsey point out that Republican respect for life ends at birth, with Byrnes listing all the ways in which self-centered, heartless misers refuse to support pregnant women and their resulting children.

Ramsey is less specific, but his allusion to the recent gun rights decision signifies this odd disconnect between a professed regard for “right to life” and any care for the life thus honored.


It’s reminiscent of the scene in Tale of Two Cities in which the rich marquis’s carriage runs over and kills a small child.


And if that’s not enough of a parallel, Warren Brown cuts to the chase. He’s not simply talking trash about gun-rights people. He’s reporting statistics:

While every sperm is sacred and no blastosphere should ever be halted in its progress, even if it’s lodged in a place where it is likely to kill the mother without becoming viable itself, we find that 40% of Republicans think occasionally having classrooms full of children slaughtered is simply the price of freedom.


And, clearly, the GOP is willing to cater to this barbaric crowd. I disagree with Adam Zyglis’s implication that the Court should reflect public opinion, but he corrects that potential fallacy by pointing out how the Court has been stacked with a majority that follows partisan principles in purposefully interpreting the law in a way not seen since Dred Scott and Plessy v Ferguson.


“Indeed I tremble for my country when reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever,” Jefferson wrote, but Mike Luckovich notes the possibility for a sooner redemption.


To which I will add this reminder of the courage that once drove feminists.

And the advice of just a few of those drivers:


Stay angry, my friends, and do whatever it takes for as long as it takes.

6 thoughts on “CSotD: Rum, Romanism and Rebellion, 2022 Version

  1. Isn’t it amazing how the Supreme Court has decided the difference between certain rights.
    The states MUST legislate pregnancy rights.
    The states CANNOT legislate gun rights.
    Guns have more rights that women.

  2. Pat Byrnes cartoon MUST BE the platform of any Pro-Life politician, or Pro-Lifer, for that matter. I cynically do not expect that to happen as simplistic representations of complex matters are easier to campaign on than nuanced and thoughtful policy and ideas.

  3. No reason a vote to overturn Loving vs. Virginia couldn’t pass 5-4, is there Clarence ?

  4. I have lived in the United States all my 75 years and have seen many many actions and events that should never have happened in the nation we profess to be. I have been disturbed, dismayed, distressed, disheartened, saddened, angered, frightened and frustrated, but never before have I been ashamed to be a citizen of this country. After this week, I am ashamed.

  5. Jesus himself, wouldn’t describe this country as a Christian nation.I can just see Him overturning the attacking lawyer’s table. “Oh, thou hypocrite! Oh, thou whited wall!”

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