Incoming Florida State Senate Leader Mike Haridopolos needs to step it up when it comes to explaining and educating the public on why Abortion is such a huge issue, and should be made a top priority in Florida and the rest of America.
On my personal blog, I discuss a disturbing video I saw on YouTube of a pro-choice “reporter” confronting pro-life protesters with some rather simple questions.
The King’s Men is an organization for Men to (re)discover what it means to be a man, a real man, a Catholic man as well as a manly Catholic.
As men we lead and protect the family.
We need to be active in the life of the Church.
We need to learn more about our Catholic faith and much, much more.
In today’s society and culture the role of men have been degraded, feminized, or ridiculed. Our roles as men have been degraded to eliminate ‘gender bias’ by militant secularist humanists. We have been feminized to the point of denying our natural gifts of being a leader, provider, and protector. And we have been ridiculed by being attacked as misogynists.
This has taken such a toll on our role as men, we have forgotten what it means to be a husband, father, and a leader in the Church.
Part 1 of 4:
One of the many things that makes Louisiana the greatest state in the Union is that due to its high population of Catholics it is the most pro-life state on the issue of abortion. This allows Louisiana to develop and pass pro-life laws that legislators in other states can adopt.
The latest laws are no exception, though perhaps they are too late. You may remember how in the healthcare debate, Catholics promoting the bill often pointed out that insurance often covers abortion and that the federal bill was doing little to expand coverage for abortion over the current private insurance system. Some in that camp obviously believed that the Republicans were too wedded to big business/insurance to actually change that.
I was glad they pointed this out, as it exposed a situation which I believed pro-lifers would soon rectify. Indeed, Louisiana is very close to doing just that:
House Bill 1247 by Rep. Frank Hoffman, R-West Monroe, would bar private insurers from covering “elective” abortions, including by women who are victims of rape or incest. The only exception would be for abortion procedures performed to save the life of the pregnant woman
Sen. Gerald Long, R-Natchitoches, who handled Hoffman’s bill, said it was filed in response to the health-care overhaul bill approved earlier this year by Congress, which gives states the right to “opt out” of covering elective abortions. He said the legislation is meant to affirm Louisiana’s long-standing opposition to abortion.Hoffman’s bill, which passed 28-3, must go back to the House for agreement with changes made by the Senate before it can go to Gov. Bobby Jindal‘s desk.
Hopefully more pro-life states will follow Louisiana’s lead.
But it does clearly show the problems with the positions adopted by Catholics who promoted Obamacare. They gave up on the pro-life movement’s ability to actually change things. While sometimes the GOP does justly cause pro-lifers to be close to despair, Louisiana shows that sometimes real pro-life change can come if only we work for it.
In recent months, primarily due to the health care debate, much attention has been given to the contentious issue of public funding of abortion. Though it is true that the status quo, for the most part, has been not to directly subsidize abortion, Americans have been both directly and indirectly subsidizing abortion in a number of ways virtually since its legalization in 1973. Read the rest of this entry »
Hattip to my friend Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia. Archbishop Charles Chaput minces no words in condemning the role certain “Catholic” groups played in the passage of ObamaCare. My emphasis added to portions of his column:
As current federal health-care legislation moves forward toward law, we need to draw several lessons from events of the last weeks and months:
First, the bill passed by the House on March 21 is a failure of decent lawmaking. It has not been “fixed.” It remains unethical and defective on all of the issues pressed by the U.S. bishops and prolife groups for the past seven months.
Second, the Executive Order promised by the White House to ban the use of federal funds for abortion does not solve the many problems with the bill, which is why the bishops did not — and still do not – see it as a real solution. Executive Orders can be rescinded or reinterpreted at any time. Some current congressional leaders have already shown a pattern of evasion, ill will and obstinacy on the moral issues involved in this legislation, and the track record of the White House in keeping its promises regarding abortion-related issues does not inspire confidence. The fact that congressional leaders granted this one modest and inadequate concession only at the last moment, and only to force the passage of this deeply flawed bill, should give no one comfort.
Third, the combination of pressure and disinformation used to break the prolife witness on this bill among Democratic members of Congress – despite the strong resistance to this legislation that continues among American voters – should put an end to any talk by Washington leaders about serving the common good or seeking common ground. Words need actions to give them flesh. At many points over the past seven months, congressional leaders could have resolved the serious moral issues inherent in this legislation. They did not. No shower of reassuring words now can wash away that fact.
Fourth, self-described “Catholic” groups have done a serious disservice to justice, to the Church, and to the ethical needs of the American people by undercutting the leadership and witness of their own bishops. For groups like Catholics United, this is unsurprising. In their effect, if not in formal intent, such groups exist to advance the interests of a particular political spectrum. Nor is it newsworthy from an organization like Network, which – whatever the nature of its good work — has rarely shown much enthusiasm for a definition of “social justice” that includes the rights of the unborn child.
But the actions of the Catholic Health Association (CHA) in providing a deliberate public counter-message to the bishops were both surprising and profoundly disappointing; and also genuinely damaging. In the crucial final days of debate on health-care legislation, CHA lobbyists worked directly against the efforts of the American bishops in their approach to members of Congress. The bad law we now likely face, we owe in part to the efforts of the Catholic Health Association and similar “Catholic” organizations.
Here in Colorado, many thousands of ordinary, faithful Catholics, from both political parties, have worked hard over the past seven months to advance sensible, legitimate health-care reform; the kind that serves the poor and protects the rights of the unborn child, and immigrants, and the freedom of conscience rights of health-care professionals and institutions. If that effort seems to have failed, faithful Catholics don’t bear the blame. That responsibility lies elsewhere. I’m grateful to everyone in the archdiocese who has worked so hard on this issue out of love for God’s people and fidelity to their Catholic faith. Come good or bad, that kind of effort is never wasted.
A final letter from the USCCB to each member of the House against the Senate version of ObamaCare. The letter is signed by Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, chairman of the USCCB’s committee on pro-life activities, Bishop William Murray, chairman of the USCCB’s committee on domestic justice and human development and Bishop John Wester, chairman of the USCCB’s committe on migration.
For decades, the United States Catholic bishops have supported universal health care. The Catholic Church teaches that health care is a basic human right, essential for human life and dignity. Our community of faith provides health care to millions, purchases health care for tens of thousands and addresses the failings of our health care system in our parishes, emergency rooms and shelters. This is why we as bishops continue to insist that health care reform which truly protects the life, dignity, consciences and health of all is a moral imperative and urgent national priority.
We are convinced that the Senate legislation now presented to the House of Representatives on a “take it or leave it” basis sadly fails this test and ought to be opposed. Why do we take this position, when we have a long record of support for health care reform? Our fundamental objections can be summarized in two points:
Health care reform must protect life and conscience, not threaten them. The Senate bill extends abortion coverage, allows federal funds to pay for elective abortions (for example, through a new appropriation for services at Community Health Centers that bypasses the Hyde amendment), and denies adequate conscience protection to individuals and institutions. Needed health care reform must keep in place the longstanding and widely supported federal policy that neither elective abortion nor plans which include elective abortion can be paid for with federal funds. Simply put, health care reform ought to continue to apply both parts of the Hyde amendment, no more and no less. The House adopted this policy by a large bipartisan majority, establishing the same protections that govern Medicaid, SCHIP, the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program and other federal health programs.
Despite claims to the contrary, the status quo prohibits the federal government from funding or facilitating plans that include elective abortion. The Senate bill clearly violates this prohibition by providing subsidies to purchase such plans. The House bill provided that no one has to pay for other people’s abortions, while this Senate bill does not. While the Senate provides for one plan without abortion coverage in each exchange, those who select another plan in an exchange to better meet the special needs of their families will be required to pay a separate mandatory abortion fee into a fund exclusively for abortions. This new federal requirement is a far more direct imposition on the consciences of those who do not wish to pay for the destruction of unborn human life than anything currently in federal law.
It is not those who require that the Hyde Amendment be fully applied who are obstructing reform, since this is the law of the land and the will of the American people. Rather, those who insist on expanding federal participation in abortion, require people to pay for other people’s abortions, and refuse to incorporate essential conscience protections (both within and beyond the abortion context) are threatening genuine reform. With conscience protection as with abortion funding, our goal is simply to preserve the status quo.
The Bishops have drawn a strong line against abortion funding in the Senate version of ObamaCare. Here is the text of their message:
As long-time advocates of health care reform, the U.S. Catholic bishops continue to make the moral case that genuine health care reform must protect the life, dignity, consciences and health of all, especially the poor and vulnerable. Health care reform should provide access to affordable and quality health care for all, and not advance a pro-abortion agenda in our country. Genuine health care reform is being blocked by those who insist on reversing widely supported policies against federal funding of abortion and plans which include abortion, not by those working simply to preserve these longstanding protections.
•On November 7, the U.S. House of Representatives passed major health care reform that reaffirms the essential, longstanding and widely supported policy against using federal funds for elective abortions and includes positive measures on affordability and immigrants.
In my previous post, I argued at length against both traditionalist Catholic and left-Catholic critiques of American history, and Catholicism’s place within it. Now I believe it is time to shift from the historical to the contemporary. A recent article in Politico by Ben Smith, “Tea parties stir evangelicals’ fears” (which might have been better titled, “Ben Smith seeks to stir evangelicals’ fears”), makes what I consider to be a rather weak attempt to stir the pot and inflame tensions between libertarians and evangelical Christians. You know he’s reaching when he’s hunting down “Christian conservatives” whose primary concern with the tea party is that it is unduly harsh on the noble personal character of President Obama, who, according to one of these evangelical leaders, “provides a tremendously positive role model for tens of millions of African-American men.”
My eyes were rolling so hard I could practically hear them squishing around in their sockets.
The more substantive claim worth addressing is that there is a secular libertarian streak in the tea party movement that is partially or wholly incompatible with the conservative Christian social agenda, which one of the evangelical critics claims has “a politics that’s irreligious”. When Smith was schooled by an article covering a poll that broke down, and dispelled some of the more ridiculous myths about the tea party movement, he continued to maintain that the tensions he pointed out could become problems in the future. So they may.
It has been said that all politics is local.
And so it is.
I have had some issues with whom to vote for in the upcoming Texas gubernatorial elections. Especially with the Republican primary coming up and Debra Medina gaining fast on current Governor Rick Perry.
Insurgent Republican candidate Debra Medina was a asked a question by Glenn Beck on his radio show if she would deny that there was any government role in 9/11 and she hedged.
Mr. Beck followed up with a direct question and she still hedged.
Hattip to commenter restrainedradical. One of the two Tebow pro-life Superbowl ads has leaked. I can see why the pro-aborts fought tooth and nail to keep it off the air. In tandem with the other Tebow pro-life SuperBowl ad, it is devastating to them. For background to the ads go here. For the rest of the pro-life Tebow story, go to Focus on the Family here.
And here is the second ad:
Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. The pro-aborts by their hysterical reaction made sure the Tebow story of how his Mom refused to abort him got broadcast over America for free. Now these two anodyne ads featuring a loving Mom and son make the pro-aborts look like the intolerant bigots they truly are!
Recently the City of San Francisco got to experience a peaceful and powerful Pro-Life march on January 23. In what is being billed as the largest gathering of Pro-Lifers in San Francisco ever, an estimated 40,000 volunteers from all ages, cultures, and nations descended on what is known to be the most egregious community of new Carthaginians in the country.
The March for Life in Washington, D.C. embodied the pro-life movement’s annual commitment to renew the fight against public policy and cultural attitudes that undermine and violate the sanctity of human life. This, for some, is not always the most pleasant experience.
A friend of mine who traveled to Washington, D.C. attended a pro-life student conference where the primary focus of the discussion was the future of the conservative movement in the wake of the current Democratic administration and Congress. My friend, Joseph, who is very lost in the world of politics did not care, nor could he fathom why at a pro-life conference the discussion could not drift away from advocating for lower taxes, tighter national security, and “less government in our lives.” He emphatically claimed that he “did not care about those things.” He would rather discuss, staying on topic, what can be done to promote a culture of life and to end the horror of abortion.
This altogether reminded me of the Texas Right to Life Gala back in October 2009. It was literally a Republican banquet, with the politicians present scoring points and boasting their rhetoric. The keynote speaker talked about supporting small businesses, lower taxes, opposing big government, the problems of “the welfare state,” national security, and a host of other traditionally-conservative concerns. Abortion was most certainly mentioned and only discussed within the greater picture of why less government is good, but it (abortion) and other life issues were not the focus at all. In fact, the keynote speech was about the evils of liberalism and why we should fight it by supporting the Republican Party. Suffice to say, I did not enjoy the event at all. It was designed for conservatives and this, in my view, is not good for the pro-life movement. Read the rest of this entry »
My ignorance of sports is vast. However, I believe I now have a favorite quarterback. Focus on the Family has paid for a 30 second ad during the Super Bowl featuring former University of Florida Quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother Pam. When Pam was pregnant with Tim she contracted amoebic dysentery. Harsh antibiotics were administered to her to rouse her from a coma. She was counseled to have an abortion, being warned that her baby would be stillborn or live only a few hours. She refused to have an abortion and Tim Tebow came into the world.
“When the time comes as it surely will, when we face that awesome moment, the final judgment, I’ve often thought, as Fulton Sheen wrote, that it is a terrible moment of loneliness. You have no advocates, you are there alone standing before God and a terror will rip through your soul like nothing you can imagine. But I really think that those in the pro-life movement will not be alone. I think there will be a chorus of voices that have never been heard in this world but are heard beautifully and clearly in the next world and they will plead for everyone who has been in this movement. They will say to God, ‘Spare him because he loved us,’ and God will look at you and say not, ‘Did you succeed?’ but ‘Did you try?'” – U.S. Congressman Henry Hyde
Deal Hudson at Inside Catholic wrote recently about the divisions in the pro-life movement over the Personhood Initiative, a nation-wide effort to legally define “personhood” as beginning at the moment of conception. The testing ground for the initiative was Colorado, where the movement’s founder, an admirable 19 year-old by the name of Kristi Burton, hails from. The lowdown, according to Deal, is that,
Colorado voters turned down the amendment by a stunning 73 percent to 27 percent, in spite of support from Focus on the Family, American Life League, and legal advice from the Thomas More Law Center. But the effort had failed to gain the support of either National Right to Life (NRTL) or the Colorado Catholic Conference.
Whether or not that extra support would have resulted in a less unbalanced result, I cannot say. For those wondering why the Catholic Conference, and many American bishops are hesitant to embrace the PI, the concern was apparently that if it were taken to, and shot down by, the Supreme Court, it would have the effect of “actively reaffirm[ing] the mistaken jurisprudence of Roe.” According to Deal, however, some Catholic bishops are reconsidering their position on the PI.
Not long ago, in the context of the debate over the efforts of Bart Stupak and the pro-life Dems, I wrote about pro-life pragmatism. I argued that the much-derided “incrementalism” is actually the most viable way of winning the long-term war against the abortion industry in light of the facts about where the American electorate stands on abortion. With respect to the PI, and with all due respect to the founders and supporters of this movement, I must reaffirm that position.
One of the latest noteworthy political rumors is that Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI) is considering a run for Governor of Michigan. A Stupak victory would be a decisive pro-life victory for Michigan and drastically change the abortion policies promoted from the state’s Governor’s mansion.
Democratic Representative Bart Stupak, a leader of a drive to toughen anti-abortion restrictions in President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul bill, said he is “seriously” considering running this year for governor of Michigan.
Stupak told reporters last night he is “really concerned where we’re going as a Democratic party of Michigan,” and “I may very well be the strongest candidate because, as you know, I don’t do everything my party tells me.”
He said his independence, shown in the health-care debate by his insistence that an overhaul bill clearly ban federal dollars from being used to pay for abortions, “works well” in a general election contest.
Still, he said he won’t join the gubernatorial race if a “heavy duty” primary battle develops for the Democratic nomination. In such a case, his opposition to abortion rights would alienate too many voters.
Michigan Lieutenant Governor John Cherry earlier this month announced he wouldn’t run for the top job, leaving Democrats without an obvious frontrunner. Governor Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, is barred by term-limit laws from running again.
If Stupak joins the race, it would force Democrats to defend a House district that includes Michigan’s entire Upper Peninsula, an area generally friendly to Republicans. Stupak, a former state trooper first elected to Congress in 1992, was the driving force behind abortion restrictions included in the House’s draft of a health-care bill that now threatens to delay a final agreement.
Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska said ‘no-go’ on the most recent health care bill that Harry Reid and the Democrats have compiled. This most likely will derail President Obama’s efforts to have a Senate health care bill done by Christmas.
“As it is, without modifications, the language concerning abortion is not sufficient,”
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Pro-Life Secretariat just released a statement denouncing the defeat of the Pro-Life Nelson Amendment. In addition the USCCB will not support any health care bills that diminishes the Stupak Amendment that was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Here is their released statement in its entirety:
December 9, 2009
Bishops Call Vote a Grave Mistake and Serious Blow to Genuine Reform
Say the Senate Should Not Support Bill in its Current Form
Hope That House Provisions on Abortion Funding Prevail
BISHOPS DEEPLY DISAPPOINTED BY SENATE VOTE
TO TABLE NELSON-HATCH-CASEY AMENDMENT
WASHINGTON—“The Senate vote to table the Nelson-Hatch-Casey amendment is a grave mistake and a serious blow to genuine health care reform,” said Cardinal Francis George, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “The Senate is ignoring the promise made by President Obama and the will of the American people in failing to incorporate longstanding prohibitions on federal funding for abortion and plans that include abortion.”
Bishop William Murphy, Chair of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, said: “Congress needs to retain existing abortion funding restrictions and safeguard conscience protections because the nation urgently needs health care reform that protects the life, dignity, conscience and health of all. We will continue to work with Senators, Representatives and the Administration to achieve reform which meets these criteria. We hope the Senate will address the legislation’s fundamental flaw on abortion and remedy its serious problems related to conscience rights, affordability and treatment of immigrants.”
The Senate defeated the pro-life Nelson amendment that would have disallowed public money to be spent on killing babies.
Steven Ertelt of LifeNews.com explains what the current bill contains without the pro-life Nelson amendment:
The legislation currently allows abortion funding under both the public option and the affordability credits to purchase health care insurance.
Pro-abortion Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine voted along with most Democrats when pro-abortion Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer of California moved to kill the bill. Democratic Senators Bob Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania, David Pryor of Arkansas, Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Edward Kaufman of Delaware, and Evan Bayh of Indiana voted along with the rest of the Republicans to not kill this amendment.
Daniel Cardinal DiNardo defended the Church’s involvement in removing abortion from the House version of the health care bill after a storm of criticism was leveled against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) of “lobbying” concerning the last minute addition of the Stupak Amendment.
“We would say: If you call it lobbying, we’re lobbying on moral issues that relate to the public square and we feel we have, as religious leaders, a place in that debate with others,”
Cardinal DiNardo became chair of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities at the USCCB. He is also the ordinary of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. His Eminence represents a growing cadre of bishops that are leading their flocks out of the wilderness bravely in a fallen world.
All throughout 2009 many bishops have entered the national debate in regards to defending fundamental moral values and rectifying misinformation from wayward Catholics in political life. This year seems to be the year the bishops found their voice. Not since Francis Cardinal Spellman graced the New York Archdiocese have we seen the faithful being led with strong ecclesial leadership from all parts of the country.
In recent days I have had a few arguments with fellow pro-lifers about the Stupak amendment in particular, and political strategy in general. While I see the victory of the Stupak amendment as a victory for the pro-life movement, they see it as an unacceptable compromise with the Culture of Death. Stupak makes exceptions, after all, for rape, incest and ‘life of the mother’, and does not address issues such as the use of embryos, euthanasia, etc.
Naturally I am not in favor of processes which require destroying embryos or euthanasia, nor do I accept that an unborn child loses its right to life because it is a product of rape or incest. When the life of the mother is at stake, as pro-life physicians point out, abortion is not necessary, even if the child will die as a result of the treatment needed to save the mother’s life. In a perfect would we would be able to enact the whole pro-life agenda across the board, and no one would be happier with that than me.
Unfortunately we live in a fallen world and a fallen society. Anyone who wants to wade through the mire of abortion politics as a pro-lifer must understand two political facts: 1) that the majority of Americans support more restrictions but not an outright ban on abortion, and 2) the majority of Americans, whether they are pro-life or pro-choice, do not place abortion anywhere near the top of the list of their political priorities.
The question that we all face, therefore, is whether it is better to compromise on the issue of abortion in order to win partial victories, or to reject compromise on the basis of pro-life principles. Some of the folks with whom I argued have crafted elaborate theological arguments (from Catholic and Protestant perspectives) against political compromise. Since I studied politics and not theology, I approach the issue from a political angle.
I know that some of my fellow contributors and some of our regular readers are dismayed with the passage of “Obamacare”, or if you like, health care reform, by the House of Representatives. Personally, I think the bill could have been better in a number of ways, but I don’t want to get into all of that now.
The good news is, whether one supports or opposes the House bill, the Stupak amendment preventing federal funding of abortion passed. Already some are predicting its demise as as the bill moves to the Senate, but again, this is besides the point I want to make.
The main reason this is good news in my view is that it demonstrates the seriousness with which the pro-life movement must be taken by the political leaders of our nation. Pro-abortion activists are outraged with the passage of the Stupak amendment, citing it as a “step backwards.” I wholeheartedly agree: it is a major step backwards for the Culture of Death, and a significant advance for the Culture of Life.