Agree to Disagree


There have been reports that in a phone call with the Pope, Obama told the Pope that they would have to “agee to disagree” on the issue of abortion.

The “disagreement” began last week with the Vatican reaction to the reversal of the Mexico City policy by the Obama administration.  Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Academy of Life, made very clear the Pope’s displeasure

Assuming that the reports about the “agree to disagree” remark are correct, I assume Obama has the Pope confused with many of the “pro-life” Catholics who voted for him last year, and who obviously have abortion low on their priority list.  My guess is that Pope Benedict will soon find ways to disabuse our pro-abort President of this misconception.

24 Responses to Agree to Disagree

  1. Donna V. says:

    I can agree to disagree with people about tastes in novels and movies. Ending a human life however,is a bit different than “you say tomato, I say tomatoe.”

  2. Donald R. McClarey says:


  3. Rick Lugari says:

    My guess is that Pope Benedict will soon find ways to disabuse our pro-abort President of this misconception.

    I don’t know. What if Pope Benedict got a thrill going up his leg and come to see that the way to reduce abortion was to promote and facilitate it? That being pro-life has nothing to do with defending and upholding life. That the only doctrine we need is “Yes we can!”, that the theological virtues are now faith, hope, and change. I know it sounds silly, but as you point out it happened once or twice or twenty million times.

    In fairness to Obama though, what could he have said? I mean, sure it would be nice if he converted, but frankly there’s no direct and honest way for him to respond – he’s literally having to answer to truth. So let’s just be grateful he didn’t respond by querying the Pope as to how many divisions he had…

  4. Donald R. McClarey says:

    “In fairness to Obama though, what could he have said?”

    The smart response would have been to say that he was open to “dialogue” on the issue, which he would have done if he thought it was important to do so. That he did not, idicates that he believes that the Pope, and those who believe as he does in this country, are no threat to him politically. I hope that experience will teach him otherwise.

  5. Rick Lugari says:

    True, “open to dialogue” tends to disarm things and is actually a quite hollow gesture when dealing with fundamentals such as this. However, there’s a risk to saying it in this situation. No sooner would it have came out of his mouth, the Holy Father might have said, “Great, let’s have a call tomorrow morning where we can discuss the matter. – Tomorrow is no good for you, you say? How about Thursday between 9:00 AM and Noon or is between Noon and midnight better for you?”….

  6. John Henry says:

    I tend to agree with Rick here. Benedict insists that ecumenical dialogue must involve a frank recognition of differences. It seems that Obama was simply paying Benedict XVI the courtesy of speaking clearly about their differences.

  7. John Henry says:

    To be clear, I recognize that there are important differences between ecumenical and diplomatic contexts, but my opinion is that Benedict would probably favor directness in both.

  8. Gerard E. says:

    Would appear our President is a master of the fast quip. Telling the Holy Father that they will agree to disagree on abortion. Noting possible GOP opposition to stimulus packages, he responded, “I won.” Not to mention singling out Prof. Dr. Limbaugh as Someone That Republicans Should Not Listen To- forgetting a. they haven’t anyway and b. a superb means to rocket his ratings when Laura Ingraham and Michael Savage are now competing against him in that time period. We are happy to note that the Holy Father took the Americano bishops to the woodshed last April. Leading to the wonderful flow of bold pro-life statements through the balance of the campaign. Methinks he will have similar conversations with Mr. Obama.

  9. John Henry says:

    Gerard E.,

    I think you have correctly identified one of Obama’s potential weaknesses. Personally, I favor directness, but it can be perceived as ungracious (and, in some cases, is). It’s somewhat irritating that Obama is permitted to say stuff like “I won,” and get a pass. If Bush had made a similar remark, his ‘arrogance and intolerance for other’s viewpoints’ would have been fodder for articles for several years. Ah, well.

  10. Matt McDonald says:

    I think there’s a subtle but less than venial difference between “we’ll have to agree to disagree” and an appropriate response of let’s continue to dialogue and try to work on those areas where we agree, or perhaps that we can at least work out a compromise. This is Obama’s big problem, he really isn’t willing to have open-minded dialogue, or compromise. THe Mexico City policy is the perfect example. A compromise with “life” would be to oppose restrictions on abortion but not to FORCE people to fund them…. He is not interested in compromise.

  11. What’s interesting to me is that many pro-life Obama supporters used the argument that Obama was open to dialogue on the issue. That though there was disagreement there was a chance to change his mind. “Agree to disagree” is a significant rejection of that argument; it’s a declaration that he’s not going to shift. I’m glad for Obama’s honesty in this case; I wish his supporters shared the same virtue.

  12. Rick Lugari says:

    Indeed Matt. Leaving the MCP in place really would do nothing to compromise Obama’s first principle on abortion (a woman’s right to choose to end the life of her child). Had he left it in tact and not do anything more to fund or promote abortion he could possibly claim some high ground as someone willing to compromise and/or demonstrate some good will concerning the oft-used, meaningless rhetoric of “nobody really likes abortion”. He has just shown his true colors, though they’re not a surprise to anyone, including his supporters.

  13. Rick Lugari says:

    Oh, and Don. Love the picture you selected! It has such the “let the children come to me” thing going on. Really beautiful.

  14. That picture is used by the USCCB for a series of terrific pro-life posters and brochures.

  15. Eric Brown says:

    I just read the same thing. It appears that he realizes that it will delay the passage of the bill, particularly in the Senate. So let’s thank God for the graces we get.

  16. Donna V. says:

    Wow. Over a “Big Hollywood,” a contributor has written a powerful piece arguing for life. And he knows what abortion is:

    And I stand condemned. I’ve paid for three of them and was responsible for probably several more, I’m not really sure. But it breaks my heart. Because I’ve been convicted in my soul. It took years after the fact, but I was shown the Truth. And not to get mumbo-jumbo, oogly-boogly on you, but it was a spiritual awakening that did it. It happened unexpectedly, and it threw me to my knees in sudden tearful epiphany of what it meant for a man to be with a woman, what sex was really designed for by our Creator and… what abortion is.

    His pro-life arguments are not new to us, but on a secular blog – he is going to get a massive amount of vitriol thrown at him in the comments section.

    I rejoice. It looks like a Prodigal Son has returned home. One more set of eyes have been opened. May his piece will help to open someone elses eyes.

  17. Donna V. says:

    Here’s the link to that piece:

    Scroll down to “Flashpoint! A Woman’s Right to Choose” by Gary Graham.

  18. Tito Edwards says:


    I am of the same mind. Unfortunately the Daily Kos/Huffpo crowd could care less about “dialogue”.

    … I wish his supporters shared the same virtue. …

  19. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Donna that was an extremely powerful piece you linked to. I especially liked this line: “So this abortion thing was pretty damn convenient for a guy.” How very true. People who argue with a straight face that abortion is necessary for the emancipation of women always crack me up. Abortion is the escape clause for every caddish man who ever wanted responsibility free sex. Let the woman deal with killing the child, and then claim what a wonderful thing that it was, and how the cad is a supporter of a woman’s right to choose. In the meantime she deals with the physical, emotional and spiritual pain of having killed her child. Abortion is right up there with sati as a benefit for women.

  20. Donna V. says:

    Donald, what heartens me is that I clicked on the author’s name and Gary Graham is a Hollywood producer and actor. I never heard of him but I don’t take that much interest in Hollywood (although I enjoy that blog, which is a place for conservative voices in Hollywood – all 10 of them.)

    A Tinseltown hotshot, a former Don Juan, saw the light, repented, and is now a witness for the truth. Man, I love stories like that.

  21. Donald R. McClarey says:

    He is a pretty well known actor Donna. He was one of the stars of the Alien Nation sci-fi series, was a semi-regular on Jag and Enterprise, and is a well respected character actor. Here is his web-site.

    I have always liked his work as an actor, and now I repect him as a man.

  22. Matt McDonald says:

    “Pro-life” Democrat?

    Sadly, Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.), who claims to value life as much as his father did, voted once again to force taxpayers to promote abortion overseas. The Pennsylvania Senator used a lot of his capital as a so-called pro-life Democrat to help President Obama get elected. The question to all the pro-life groups that have lent him credibility on the issue is–how many strikes before Casey is out?

  23. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Robert Casey senior was a pro-life hero; Junior is a pro-abort pretending to be pro-life. He brings shame to the memory of his great father.

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