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.
This past week, I began reading the novel 1984. For those who have not read it, it is a futuristic novel describing a society that lives under the rule of a totalitarian government described as “the Party.” The government controls and monitors every aspect of human life and even practices historical revisionism quite literally—burning books and re-writing history—to have everything reflect whatever it (the government) happens to be saying. The agencies within the government are all a blatant contradiction. The Ministers of Truth re-write history and instigate direct government propaganda through always-on “telescreens” found literally everywhere in society that don’t turn off; the Ministers of Peace advocate war; the Ministers of Plenty plan economic shortages, and the Ministers of Love carries out the government’s “corrective” punishment and torture of its rebellious citizens.
In one scene, there is a Hate rally (which occurs regularly to inspire hatred within the people for the enemies of the Party) and at the rally the Party shifts its diplomatic allegiance, so the nation it has been warring with is suddenly its ally, and the former ally is now the enemy. Despite the obvious contradiction when the speaker changes the nation he refers to as the enemy during his speech, the crowd simply accepts the change without question and even is embarrassed that they brought wrong signs to the event. Just in the same way people accept the ministries conducted by the Party aforementioned even though they blatantly contradict their titles in their action. What is with the collective intellectual schizophrenia? How can people look right passed the most obvious facts? This theme that runs throughout 1984 is about a troublesome little tendency to believe or argue for some truth that obviously and patently contradicts other truths.
In the ongoing health care debate, this same sort of schizophrenia has come about. I almost shouted “yes!” in a public library when finally I saw the political contradiction pointed out in the Washington Post:
After years of trying to cut Medicare spending, Republican lawmakers have emerged as champions of the program, accusing Democrats of trying to steal from the elderly to cover the cost of health reform. Continue reading
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.
The ongoing and increasingly uncharitable public exchange between Fr. Thomas Rosica and LifeSiteNews.com may be on the verge of taking a disturbing new turn for the worse. Citing an article in “The Catholic Register”, LifeSiteNews informs us that
“The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has scheduled a closed-door session on independent blogs and web sites claiming to be Catholic at its October plenary.”
This follows, of course, the same Fr. Rosica’s public denunciation of LifeSiteNews, EWTN, and the Catholic blogosphere in general. Fr. Rosica also said that he “hopes the Pontifical Council on Social Communication takes up the issue”.
Jim Pouillon was a pro-lifer advocate that would stand outside of abortion mills hoping in turning away women from killing their unborn children. He wore leg braces, was dependent on an oxygen tank, and was a “wonderful, Christian, peaceful man.” as described by close friend Cal Zastrow.
Jim Pouillon was also a Catholic and was remembered by his parish priest, Father John Fain of Saint Paul Church in Owosso, Michigan as “a good Christian and a faithful Catholic.
For self-disclosure I am very active in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in the pro-life movement. One of the many activities that I participate in is peaceful prayer in front of Planned Parenthood. So when I heard of the shooting I was deeply shocked at the news.
“…with the way the fake news pundits will run with this one, we might as well get a good laugh out of it now.”
Though what was most disturbing at all was what emanated from various dissident Catholics and blogs when they began smearing the pro-life movement immediately after the attack by claiming that many pro-lifers are violent.
What can we do?
Pray for them.
Follow Jim Pouillon’s example of peaceful protest and prayer. As our Lord and Savior told us, close the door behind us and pray in private.
Ora pro nobis.
When Dr. George Tiller was murdered in cold-blood earlier this year, pro-abortion political partisans and the left in general wasted no time in condemning the act as one of “domestic terrorism.” Leftist blogs and news magazines declared that “words matter” – the words of the pro-life movement are what ultimately cause people who would not have otherwise done so to pick up a weapon and take a life. The entire pro-life movement, therefore, was to blame for the actions of individuals.
There is little doubt in my mind that no one in the media is going to hold the “pro-choice” movement to account for the murder of Jim Pouillon, a 63 year-old man on an oxygen tank and crutches who renounced violence, and, so far as we know, never harmed a living soul. His great and terrible crime was to simply display, in images more than words, the truth of abortion – that it almost always ends with a butchered, bloody human being. For the record, only cowards and liars fear the truth.
But let us return to the topic of words. They still matter, don’t they? Let us take the words, for instance, of the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Collier County, Florida, not long ago:
“I think the people that demonstrate outside of our building are terrorists because they’re trying to deny women access to what a woman is choosing for herself”
So, to be clear: American citizens exercising their first amendment rights, who certainly cannot and do not attempt to physically prevent anyone from entering a facility, are “terrorists”. Before addressing the hypocrisy of this charge, let us look at what people such as Jim Pouillon actually do.
Owosso police chief Michael Compeau said Jim Pouillon, 63, was outside the school Friday morning with a sign when a man drove by and shot him. No one else was injured.
Michigan State Police have taken a suspect into custody, the Flint Journal reported.
The school was placed on immediate lockdown, though no students were hurt or involved in the shooting, Ossowo Hish School officials told the paper.
When authorities were responding to the first shooting, officials received a report that another man had been shot and killed at a gravel pit business in Owosso. Shiawassee County Sheriff George Braidwood said Mike Fuoss was found dead in his office.
Perhaps I’m cynical, but I doubt that there will be nationwide hand-wringing over whether pro-choice rhetoric has been too violent, and is thus at fault for the killing. Satisfying as that might be for those of us who are frustrated at being accused of being violent simply for opposing the idea that killing the unborn is a constitutional and moral right, it is probably as it should be since, as I’ve said when the shoe is on the other foot, broad political movements cannot be held responsible for the actions of lone crazies who happen to do something vaguely related to their aims.
Further details on the murdered pro-life activist from LifeNews. May God welcome the dead into the eternal kingdom.
I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion [notice how Obama 'assumed' that the issue was related to abortion without any of the facts present, implicitly connecting the suspect to the pro-life movement and instantaneously demonizing us], they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.
Such partisan rhetoric is unbecoming of the office of the President. Especially when preliminary reports show that the suspect has no connections with any pro-life groups. In fact, Scott Roeder, the alleged suspect, is connected to various anti-government groups. This only shows President Obama’s speech at the University of Notre Dame of ‘not demonizing the opponent‘ as nothing more than empty rhetoric.
This type of rhetoric has only emboldened anti-life groups to capitalize on the tragic death of abortionist George Tiller. The pro-abortion National Organization for Women (NOW) has already deemed it a “terrorist” act and wants stalinist tactics used on Pro-Life groups by the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security to: