Thursday, April 8, 2010 \PM\.\Thu\.
When Catholics justified their decision to vote for Obama, they did so on two grounds: healthcare and foreign policy. The premise was Obama would actually save lives through healthcare and through his more peaceful foreign policy, thus outweighing the damage he would do through his promotion of abortion.
I never found that premise convincing. Not only did I think they underestimated the damage abortion does, but I also believed that they were ignoring what Barack Obama was actually promoting in his foreign policy. To make a long story short, I think most people assumed that since Obama was a Democrat who had opposed the war in Iraq that he would be the opposite of Bush when in truth their positions are very similar.
Since taking office, Obama has largely followed the lead of his predecessor. However today news is coming out that he has surpassed his predecessor in circumventing due process: Obama has authorized the CIA to kill a US citizen believed to be involved in terrorism (H/t Vox Nova).
The idea that an American citizen can be killed without a trial outside of battle is a troubling one, regardless of whether you voted for Obama or not. The death penalty is something that should be used only rarely (if at all-I’m w/ the bishops that it’s not good in modern America), and if used then used in the context of a trial. The rights of trial are not merely procedural technicalities but safeguards designed to protect the dignity of life: that is, regardless of what someone has done, freedom & human life itself are so precious that we take it away only after a deliberate and careful process.
To take away human life outside of self-defense is a power no one, including the President, possesses. One will hope that the media will publish this and emphasize it so that public pressure will dissuade Obama from taking this course of action. Unfortunately, one has to doubt that that hope will be realized.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010 \AM\.\Tue\.
With the vilification that the political left has done to the right, we Catholics also suffer from the same abuse. Take point in fact that U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops spokesperson Sister Mary Ann Walsh demonized Pro-Life Catholics by regurgitating uncorroborated reports of racism against ObamaCare proponents and attributed them to Pro-Life Catholics with her blog entry.
Such blatant disregard for facts in order to advance your personal agenda has become the norm in the mainstream media as well. The Media Research Center has provided the following synopsis to clarify this point:
Update I (4:12pm CST): Prominent Republican Gets Actual Death Threat, NYT Suddenly Drops Concern Over Threatening. To read the entire story by Clay Waters of NewsBusters click here.
Update II (4:21pm CST): A video was tracked down showing Representative John Lewis of Georgia, whom Sister Mary Ann Walsh referenced in her blog post showing absolutely no evidence whatsoever of any racial epithets being thrown around. Again, the uncorroborated evidence that Sister Mary Ann Walsh referenced is a fabricated lie and she willfully used this to smear Pro-Lifers in her less than charitable blog posting.
The video is here:
Update III (6:26pm CST): Representative John Lewis of Georgia, the very man who lied that there were racist remarks yelled at him at the Tea Party protests is known to be very hyperbolic himself. Jeff Poor of NewsBusters recounts the time back in 1995 how Representaive Lewis defamed Republicans by painting them as ‘Nazis‘.
Representative Lewis has shown himself to be nothing more than a political hack that lashes out when he doesn’t get his way.
Friday, February 19, 2010 \PM\.\Fri\.
It seems often the case that a heated political debate causes people to suddenly focus on issues which had previously been essentially ignored. One recent example of this in Catholic circles has been the way in which the debate over the Stupak Amendment to the House health care reform bill suddenly focused scrutiny on the question of abortion coverage in health care insurance.
To recap briefly: From the beginning, one of the concerns that many pro-lifers had expressed about “government health care” was that it would result in government funding for abortion. As the various reform bills coalesced, it became clear that no “government health care” per se would be offered, but rather an exchange on which private health insurance plans which fit specific government-set criteria would be offered. Given this situation, pro-lifers (and in particular, pro-life Democrats, who clearly had the prime say here since Republicans were unlikely to support the bill either way since they saw its overall structure as detrimental to the common good) insisted that one of the stipulations for the private health insurance policies offered via the exchange (and qualified for government subsidy for lower and middle-income Americans) be that the plan not cover abortions.
Pro-choice Democrats of course hated this provision. Some progressive Catholics also seemed eager to explain why the bill would be just fine even without Stupak, doubtless in order to avoid a situation in which pro-life advocates (backed by the bishops) successfully made the case to conservative Democrats that supporting a bill without language similar to the Stupak amendment was unacceptable for Catholics and other pro-lifers. The primary argument that surfaced was, “Most private insurance policies already cover abortion, so even without Stupak’s language, the status quo does not change. More people just get health care, and that’s good, right?”
Read the rest of this entry »
Tuesday, February 2, 2010 \AM\.\Tue\.
As long time readers of this blog know, my mother came from Newfoundland, and, after my birth in the US, my mother and father returned to St. John’s where we lived until 1961. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to wish a swift recovery to the Premier of Newfoundland, Danny Williams, as he comes to the US for heart surgery.