Palin: The Temptation of Abortion

Friday, May 14, AD 2010

Hat tip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air who is on a pro-life role today.  Sarah Palin in her address to the Susan B. Anthony Celebration of Life Breakfast.  Go here to see a video of Palin’s speech.  In her speech Palin made it clear that she understands the temptation of abortion.

Speaking at the Susan B. Anthony List Celebration of Life breakfast, Palin said that when she learned during her pregnancy that Trig would be born with Down syndrome, she “had no idea how I was going to handle the situation of raising a special needs child.”

She said she was struck by “not knowing if my heart was ready, not knowing if I was patient and nurturing enough.”
While she had previously believed that “God will never give me something I cannot handle,” she said, she was left thinking, “I don’t think I can handle this. This wasn’t part of my life’s plan.”

As a busy mother who already had four kids and who was serving as Alaska governor, she wondered how she would handle raising the child, she said. She wondered if her sister, who has a child with autism, would have been better equipped to raise him.

Palin said the experience helped her understand how a woman would consider “even for a split second” having an abortion, “because I’ve been there.”

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2 Responses to Palin: The Temptation of Abortion

Gallup: Americans Becoming More Pro-life

Friday, May 14, AD 2010

Hat tip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  For a second year in a row Gallup finds that more Americans call themselves pro-life than pro-choice.

The conservative shift in Americans’ views on abortion that Gallup first recorded a year ago has carried over into 2010. Slightly more Americans call themselves “pro-life” than “pro-choice,” 47% vs. 45%, according to a May 3-6 Gallup poll. This is nearly identical to the 47% to 46% division found last July following a more strongly pro-life advantage of 51% to 42% last May.

While the two-percentage-point gap in current abortion views is not significant, it represents the third consecutive time Gallup has found more Americans taking the pro-life than pro-choice position on this measure since May 2009, suggesting a real change in public opinion. By contrast, in nearly all readings on this question since 1995, and each survey from 2003 to 2008, more Americans called themselves pro-choice than pro-life.

According to two-year averages of these results since 2001, Republicans have become more likely to call themselves pro-life since polling conducted in 2003/2004, as have Republican-leaning independents since 2005/2006. Independents who lean to neither party also became more likely to call themselves “pro-life” between 2003/2004 and 2005/2006, but have since held steady.

Democrats’ self-identification with the pro-life position has moved in the other direction, declining from 37% in 2003/2004 to 31% in 2009/2010. Among independents who lean Democratic, there has been no movement in either direction.

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An Example to Us All

Friday, April 16, AD 2010


Hattip to Rich Leonardi at Ten Reasons.  I have long thought that the way we will win the battle against abortion is by simple persistence.  Pro-lifers will never give up until we prevail and abortion is banned.  Tommy Behan is an example to us all:

T. ANDREW DEANERY — The White House staffers who open President Barrack Obama’s mail are likely well aware of Tommy Behan’s pro-life stance.

Behan, a member of St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish and a sophomore at Lakota East High School, has written the president every day since Obama’s inauguration asking him to change his position on abortion. The 16-year-old has handwritten and mailed more than 430 letters.

“His stance is the most radical pro-choice one for a president who has ever held office,” said Behan. “In the first letter I made a vow to never stop writing until he changed it or he’s out of office.”

The teen usually writes in the evenings. He avoids email, preferring to show his passion with the extra effort a handwritten letter requires. His parents supply the pens, paper and stamps. If Behan gets pressed for time and misses a day, he’ll write additional letters until he is caught up. The letters are sometimes mailed in batches.

Behan begins each letter by telling Obama how many times he has written before. Then the teen argues the constitutionality of abortion, talks about justice for the unborn and tells of the lives that have been lost. His stance is straightforward: Life begins at conception and comes before liberty, he said.

“I keep building on my argument,” Behan said. “It really upsets me how some people choose to have an abortion when others really want to have children.”

One of six children, Behan has seen his sister and her husband suffer miscarriages. That experience has made him more passionate and given him more resolve to try to get Obama to publicly change his position.

After about three months of writing Behan received a form letter from the White House. There have been about 17 more since. The generic replies thank him for writing and sometimes acknowledge the topic.

The teen also debated the issue in an editorial in Spark, a well-known student magazine at Lakota East.

“He’s always had a deep respect for life,” said Behan’s mother, Jude Behan. “We’re very proud of him. This was not initiated by us.”

She said her son is dedicated to the letter-writing campaign and is self-motivated.

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32 Responses to An Example to Us All

  • What an inspiring young man!

    I know he’s rather young and might be lacking a few professional credentials – but can’t we get him on the Supreme Court? 😉 He’s got more common sense, at least on this issue, than many judges do!

  • Good for young Mr Behan. Truly inspiring. He’s missed on Mr Obama being the most radical pro-choicer–two presidents surpass him.

    I’ve got the young man on the hook for $1285.68, but it’s money well spent.

  • “He missed on Mr Obama being the most radical pro-choicer – two presidents surpass him”

    Which ones? If you think Nixon was one, you’re sadly mistaken — no matter what Nixon may have privately thought about abortion, he did not take ANY executive action to promote or facilitate it. He was “personally in favor, but.” Same for Ford and Carter. And don’t trot out Reagan’s approval of legalized abortion while he was governor of California; by the time he became president he’d changed his tune. Clinton was the only president who even came close.

  • First let me send out an admiring “Well Done!” to the young man.
    The retired soldier in me shouts “Hooah!” and the former submarine sailor sends out a resounding “Bravo Zulu!”

    That said, can we stop playing the nice game with people who detest the unborn, particularly of minority and low income birth, with a passion and ugliness to which the name “pro-choice” cannot do justice?
    If the only acceptable choice to these people is the death of the unwanted unborn, can we just call them baby killers? The left has pre-approved this moniker (dating back to its use against US military returning from the Vietnam War) so there should be no official moratorium declared on its use while the PC committee determines acceptability.

    So then we could re-state young Behan’s comment as “His (Obama’s) stance (on abortion) is the most radical baby killer one for a president who has ever held office”
    Yep, that seems to me much more accurate.

  • “Yep, that seems to me much more accurate.”

    Perhaps not. Killing involves a deliberate act of will and responsibility. There is a difference between having a false belief that one should not prevent the killing of another human being, even a baby, even if allowed by law.

    Among recent presidents, both Bushes, Mr Nixon, and Mr Johnson would fall into the category of more radical “baby-killer” because of their execution of war. Though legal, and in some cases justified by followers, still resulted in the killing of babies and others.

    By the expanded definition, I’d say that Mr Obama comes in at least in fifth place, going back to the Vietnam Era.

    But by the stricter definition of abortion, yes, I’d say that Mr Obama comes in third behind Mr Clinton (for his slightly quicker enactment of executive policy) and Mr Nixon (for his SCOTUS). Number three may try harder in the view of some, but it doesn’t raise the money quite as ably.

  • There is a sort of charming devotion to how Todd shows up to make these specious arguments every single time Obama’s pro-abortion fanaticism is mentioned.

    I look on it as having the same earnest charm of the people who routinely show up to make the case for moderation, “Well, Hitler was really on the third worst dictator of the 20th century. Stalin and Mao both killed more people and ruled longer. Let’s be fair and not exaggerate!”

  • I’m willing to concede neither earnest nor charm. At least in the case of Hitler the mentioned assertion has the virtue of defensibility.

  • Hmmm. True. I suppose the accurate analogy would be to someone routinely showing up to trying to insist that Hitler was only the sixth worst…

    As for earnesty and charm — I don’t think I can get my tongue any further into cheek without choking.

  • I don’t know that it’s charming as much as it pokes at Republicans and political pro-lifers, as it was intended to do. Make a real case, guys, without alluding to foreign dictators. I know you can do it.

    Really, what’s the point? All the usual monikers–the worst, the best, the great–these are all the hackneyed expressions of cheerleaders trying to drum up support. In the case of the GOP and the political pro-life movement, monetary support. Especially during a recession. And especially after their political butts have been whooped.

    I’m amused y’all brought up Hitler. Usually you accuse libruls of that. You also mentioned the numbers game, but didn’t mention the presidential administration during which the most US abortions took place. Are we talking millions or are we just talking pieces of paper?

    Getting back to the point, most activists, liberal or conservative, want us to believe we live in some exceptional age. I dissent from that view. It is a mark of hubris (or more likely opportunism) to suggest we live in a key moment for something or other. The odds are that key moment passed or is in the future.

    As for abortion, the floodgate were opened by a largely GOP-appointed SCOTUS. After which, it was going to be difficult to generate the means to curb or ban abortions, except by persuasion.

    Fast forward to 2009-2010, and we have FOCA very DOA, a presidential policy delayed to avoid a certain Clintonian clumsiness, and lots of other behavior that strikes many Americans as moderate on abortions.

    What I would be willing to grant is that Mr Obama might elicit the most bitter feelings among pro-lifers, and they interpret their inner churning as bad. It’s more logical to swallow a Tums. Maybe avoid hard drinking and spicy food, too.

    I admire Mr Behan for his persistence and expression of good citizenship. Likely that Mr Hitler and Mr Nixon would view it less favorably. That the lad considers a certain relativism among US presidents, well, he is only 13. How many have we had since he was conceived?

  • I suppose the interesting question is, why exactly do you think that it’s so important to “poke” at Republicans and at pro-lifers, Todd?

    I think the reason why you generally get a reaction is that the “Obama isn’t really the most pro-abortion politician in history — just very, very pro-abortion” is generally rolled out, not by people who see the need for sober fairness, but rather by people attempting to make the case that political party should be a matter of near indifference for those who oppose abortion — or perhaps even that leaning Democrat is better.

    In reality, there’s a reason why those who care seriously about the abortion issue tend almost universally to vote for Republicans or third party candidates in presidential elections. The undeniable fact is that, while the GOP is certainly not ideal, the Democratic party has, in the years since Roe, given itself overly nearly entirely to cheerleading for abortion.

    Back at the time of Roe, this certainly did not need to be the case. Then, both parties had elite that were in favor of abortion and a broadly eugenic agenda, while both parties’ rank-and-file were broadly pro-life. In some ways, the Democratic party might have been a more natural choice to become the pro-life party, given it’s history political machines run by ethnic Catholics. However, it was not to be. Moral, cultural and sexual revolution all found their homes within the Democratic party, while traditionalism built a home for itself in the GOP.

    That a certain brand of Catholic progressive spends so much time denying that this dynamic exists far more revelatory than elaborate quibbles as to whether Clinton might somehow have been marginally more bad than Obama in regards to abortion or the other way round.

  • I have a feeling that Nixon gets in trouble b/c he said what the modern Democrats are thinking: eugenics and an utter distaste for the poor motivated the Democrats to jeopardize healthcare reform in favor of abortion funding. Between Obama’s actions in the healthcare debate and his unrepentant votes in the Illinois legislature to protect infanticide I really don’t think this is a serious debate.

    And even if it is, it’s an academic one at best. Obama is certainly one of the most pro-abortion politicians of his time, even among his party, and his extent of support is something that to be considered when deciding whether to vote/support him. It’s quite irrelevant if he’s better than Nixon if he’s also substantially worse than everyone else on the ballot.

  • “(W)hy exactly do you think that it’s so important to “poke” at Republicans and at pro-lifers, Todd?”

    To make sure errors don’t get repeated without an alternate view.

    And I would pretty much reject your position that I stand with those who would want to soften the nature of abortion in the modern world.

    The fact is that Mr Obama has not participated in performing an abortion, or (as far as we know) asisting a woman in getting one.

    People who actually perform abortions, or who take advantage of women in crisis to maximize their profiteering or their ideology are far worse than the president.

    Mr Obama doesn’t get off as blameless in being a political bystander. But pro-lifers insistent on using him as a rallying point strike me as more concerned about making points and raking in donations than making distinctions that might lead to a further reduction in abortions.

  • To make sure errors don’t get repeated without an alternate view.

    It takes such contortions of reason and history to claim that Obama is not the most pro-abortion president in history (though it’s true that Clinton is a fairly close second), it’s rather hard to imagine that one would do it for any other reason than to actively carry water for him.

    The fact is that Mr Obama has not participated in performing an abortion, or (as far as we know) asisting a woman in getting one.

    So true. Just like Bush never personally shot or bombed an Iraqi and never personally outsourced a job or sold a mortgage backed security. I’m sure you would consider these devastating arguments to your opposition to him if I had used them against you two years ago.

    People who actually perform abortions, or who take advantage of women in crisis to maximize their profiteering or their ideology are far worse than the president.

    Mr Obama doesn’t get off as blameless in being a political bystander. But pro-lifers insistent on using him as a rallying point strike me as more concerned about making points and raking in donations than making distinctions that might lead to a further reduction in abortions.

    This is basically an argument for political indifference. After all, come to that Obama has done virtually nothing positive himself that millions of other Americans haven’t done. Why should one support him as president at all, if it’s only his personal actions that matter and not his positions on important political and moral issues.

  • “It takes such contortions of reason and history to claim that Obama is not the most pro-abortion president in history”

    Not at all. Y’all have conceded it’s close with Mr Clinton, but there were fewer abortions during his presidency than Mr Reagan’s. I say the floodgates opened under Mr Nixon. Abortion rates have slowly dropped since Mr Reagan, but certainly not significantly, and definitely not because of the White House occupant.

    “It’s rather hard to imagine that one would do it for any other reason than to actively carry water for him.”

    That’s because you hang out with too many political partisans. I’m doing it to needle you and Donald, and I’m effective at it.

    “Just like Bush never personally shot or bombed an Iraqi …”

    Mr Bush was the commander-in-chief, the top of a chain of command that killed people in an unjust war. Mr Obama is a guilty bystander, but most of the people getting abortions in the US are doing so by personal initiative, not because parents, husbands, doctors, clinic personnel, or politicians are telling them to.

    “This is basically an argument for political indifference.”

    No. An indifferent person would not praise young Mr Behan. What I would argue is to be indifferent to the Republican Party. That’s a sin in your book, but not mine.

  • I’m doing it to needle you and Donald, and I’m effective at it.

    So you basically admit you’re just a troll who is just hanging out in a comment box of a blog whose viewpoint you disagree with to stir up controversy and pester people. Wow, some life you must have there.

  • That’s because you hang out with too many political partisans. I’m doing it to needle you and Donald, and I’m effective at it.

    There was a point, 3-5 years ago, when although we didn’t see eye to eye on a lot of liturgical and political issues, you could be an interesting and gracious person to discuss topics with.

    I’m sorry to see how completely this has changed.

  • Just ban him. He’s carrying water for the abortionists. “Get thee behind me, Satan!” A person who nuances the slaughter of innocent babies is someone that I’m pretty sure Jesus would want out of his way.

  • “So you basically admit you’re just a troll …”

    It looks to me like we’re having a discussion.

    “There was a point, 3-5 years ago …”

    Things were a bit simpler in those days, though no less contentious. We have this blog, which is fairly political. And there’s a certain vehemence coming from the Right these days. I think we had it to some degree, but its certainly become more intense in the past two years.

    Like then, I still note that some folks tend to focus on the person rather than the discussion when the latter isn’t going their way.

    I may have had my disagreements with presidential policy 3-5 years ago, but I certainly didn’t bring Hitler and Mao into the chat. You can believe what you like about other people, Darwin, but from my perspective you’ve changed, especially since you’ve begun contributing to this blog.

    Getting back to the point, I’d still like to know the significance of a “most pro-abortion president” when abortion numbers and rates continue to decline. Fewer people are choosing to abort and y’all act as if the US is turning into China.

    I’ve always thought political pro-lifers took themselves a little too seriously, but seriously: some people need a vacation.

  • So, the efforts of pro-lifers to “raise the consiousness” (that phrase is for you, Todd) of Americans on the evil of abortion finally pays off in terms of fewer abortions, and this is proof that Obama isn’t all that pro-abortion. Now that is funny.

    The proof that Obama is our nation’s most pro-abort president is his infamous behavior as an Illinois state senator.

    Aside from the fact that our president lied through his teeth when and as he accused pro-lifers of lying, the notion that one would be so pro-abort as to be willing to deny infants born alive during an abortion procedure ordinary care is just plain evil and such evil is not mitigated just because the infant will die anyway.

  • Todd,

    Abortion rates and numbers are declining? Wonderful. Tell me, what, exactly, has Obama done to specifically combat abortion rates and numbers?? What has he done to cause fewer people to abort?

    He’s done nothing and you know it. The numbers, if true, are outside of his influence. Why is the rate and number of people going to NASCAR races declining? Obama? Who the heck knows? Why is the rate and number of people eating at McDonalds declining? Obama? Why’s the rate and number of people flying instead of driving decreasing? Obama?

    The fact that the man is the President has nothing to do with larger, socio-economic decisions that even the authors of Freakanomics can’t understand. Joe Schmoe and Jane Schmoe deciding one day to not eat at McDonalds, or not get that abortion, have nothing to do with Obama.

    I can’t believe this is your argument. It is pathetic. You’re not doing the best to carry water for the abortionists – and yes, that’s what you’re doing. Because Obama is ideologically committed to abortion, and he’s done nothing definitive to stop it or slow it and is only being swept up in broader social trends. Maybe the Catholic Church and other organization’s message against abortion is slowing the rate and number, notwithstanding Obama’s extreme support of it. Maybe if Obama were actually to DO something instead of just sit there on abortion, the message of those organizations would be hampered and abortion rates and numbers would rise. Maybe every time he takes money from Planned Parenthood, another person says, “Gee, I support Obama and he’s taking money from them – guess I’ll get an abortion.” You don’t know what his effect is anymore than I do. If he were speaking in favor of it or against it, there’s no way of knowing. And this is notwithstanding his major support of it.

    Stop carrying water for an ideological supporter of abortion. Instead of claiming that mere rates are going down and pretending that those numbers means you don’t have to win the hearts and minds of decisionmakers like Obama, why don’t you do your best to convince those decisionmakers to change their mind on abortion? Oh, because that would upset your broader support of their lefty visions and agenda. Can’t have that. So what if those decisionmakers don’t change their minds, and abortion continues in this country? There’s a lefty agenda to enact! Can’t let abortion get in the way, then.

    Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.

  • “So you basically admit you’re just a troll who is just hanging out in a comment box of a blog whose viewpoint you disagree with to stir up controversy and pester people. Wow, some life you must have there.”

    That’s what I’ve been saying. I don’t think his blog gets enough readers. So he comes over here for fun.

  • President Obama doesn’t work as an ob/gyn; he works as an executive. He doesn’t get extra points for not performing abortions. As with the poor woman in the Temple, we can only understand the value of his action by considering his station in life. He has never done anything as president to prevent abortions, and has done everything possible as president to promote abortions. If some human being has done more, even if a previous president has done more, it doesn’t change the consistency with which he has promoted abortion through the judiciary, health care system, and foreign aid.

  • “He’s done nothing and you know it. The numbers, if true, are outside of his influence.”

    Thanks for making my point. The president is pretty much irrelevant to abortion. Even if he is the “most,” and I think you have yet to make your case for it, it matters as much as him being the best basketball-playing president.

    “… this is proof that Obama isn’t all that pro-abortion …?”

    Your words, Mike. Not mine. I said Mr Obama is a guilty bystander on the issue. I said he’s not the worst. I make him to be about 3rd worst.

    I like your definition of “troll,” by the way. The only difference between me dogging you, and Tito & Donald dogging me is that this is their blog. A question of relativism. Are you bothered that someone contradicts your occasionally weakling arguments?

    The money must really have slowed to a trickle for the GOP. We have FOCA and socialism and all sorts of boogeyman stories. If the pro-life base is a bunch of seven-year-olds, I can imagine it must be scary. As it is, this stance is laughable. Why would a sensible person listen to any of it?

  • I like your definition of “troll,” by the way. The only difference between me dogging you, and Tito & Donald dogging me is that this is their blog.

    Really? You’re really going to make the argument that a person commenting on their own blog is a troll?

    Do you even have a life?

  • Paul, among other people, you have managed to turn a thread about a tenacious and faith-filled young man into a discussion about me, my life, and my spare time. My contribution here was simple enough: praise Mr Behan and nudge his one error.

  • Todd, you have wasted a huge amount of energy in this thread attempting to obfuscate the very simple fact that the fight against abortion ranks not at all on your list of priorities, as demonstrated by your support for Obama, the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history. I assume that your forays onto blogs run by pro-lifers are a futile attempt to salve your conscience. Abortion is the great moral struggle of our time, and in that fight you have enlisted under the banner of those who believe it is perfectly acceptable to destroy human life in the womb for any reason that the mother of the child pleases. Chatter away endlessly in the comboxes of this blog, drag as many red herrings as you please, be as condescending and ill-mannered as you like, your failure as a Catholic and as a decent human being to fight against this manifest evil will not change one iota by your useless attempts to justify your stance in the eyes of others.

  • Donald, stop trolling your blog.

  • Todd,

    Do you see where your “nudges” get you?

    No one ever agrees with you. No one ever thinks differently or changes their view because of your “nudging.”

    Why do you do it? Is it an irrepressible urge, or is there some rationality to it?

  • Todd, how convenient to not respond to my link proving that Obama is by far the most pro-aboartion president we have ever had. Too tough for you?

  • “Too tough for you?”

    Hardly. One instance of a revised bill slipping past the state senator’s scrutiny in 2003 is hardly evidence Mr Obama is the “most.” The link provides objections the man offered in 2001 and 2002, but there is no public record of his objection in 2003.

    I give it as much credibility as Mr Nixon’s tendency toward eugenics. Which is to say, very little.

    I think a case might be made Mr Obama was concerned about a back door restriction on abortion. We know he’s pro-choice. There’s no debate about that. The case might be made that he’s as pro-choice of a state senator as others who took a similar stance on the bills in question. The bill may also have had legislative flaws. I think you pin too much on three votes, a year without a comment, and a presidential candidate’s aggressive but unfounded counterattack.

    But it might also be argued the distinction is one of his actions as a state legislator and his actions as president. It has already been conceded here that the president is of minimal importance. That works both ways for Mr Obama, admittedly. He can delay Mexico City like Mr Clinton did not, and it doesn’t make a difference at all.

    No, I think Mr Obama is not most, but third-worst. He’s behind Mr Clinton on timing and that he was able to put executive weight behind insurance reform that will both save lives and reduce abortions in the long term. I have to put Mr Nixon at the top. Like many Catholic school students, I wrote letters in 1973, and my recollection (confirmed by present-day reading) is that the GOP was largely behind the early push for legal abortion in the US. Mr Nixon had four picks on the SCOTUS and they went 3-1 for the Roe v Wade decision. Blackmun, a GOP pick, has even been criticized by pro-choicers for the press to overreach past legislation and is cited as the strongest (and most erring) voice for giving us today’s situation: abortion decided by judiciary rather than legislation.

    As for the rest of you, your tenacious uniformity is admirable. I never come here with a realistic hope of convincing the Republican base. There are people here who just read these threads and come to their own opinion of all of us.

    You AC bloggers have hijacked your own thread, getting personal about me in response to my criticisms of your arguments. If anyone is still out there, they can review this whole thread and see what is here to be seen: a caution not to vary from the particulars of the abortion sideshow. It’s very much like the pro-choice sites I lurk: lots of emotion–as I would expect from the fringes. Not much hope of changing minds.

  • Fascinating that Todd first claims that a president’s stance on abortion is no more important than his basketball abilities — then turns around and announces that Nixon was the most pro-choice president in history because of Supreme Court nominations that Nixon made prior to abortion becoming an supreme court issue. (And, of course, leaving aside that Nixon expressed frustration with the Roe ruling — not I would imagine out of any deep principle, but because it was politically inconvenient for him.)

    One can’t both assert that the president’s office is irrelevent to the abortion issue, and at the same time sieze on Nixon’s alleged prescience and some minor timing differences between Clinton and Obama (wow, Obama waiting one day longer before issuing executive orders supportive of abortion) to claim that Obama is not the committed pro-abortion partisan to Obama himself claims to be.

    Nor is concern with Obama and FOCA merely a GOP fundraising tactic, unless one imagines the USCCB (which has done a fair share of worrying about both, and opposed the health care bill because of its abortion-supporting language) to be an organ of the GOP.

    That said — Todd’s behavior here has clearly sunk to troll levels, and so I would advise people to follow the standard internet advice: don’t feed the troll.

  • Who cares whether Obama is the most or third or even seventh?! What are YOU doing to try and change our president’s mind?! What are YOU doing to try and help save babies from death by abortion?


Pro-life Victory: Dawn Johnsen Withdraws

Saturday, April 10, AD 2010

The White House on Friday announced that Dawn Johnsen has withdrawn her nomination by Obama to head of the Office of Legal Counsel.  This was after a year during which it became increasingly clear that Republicans in the Senate, joined by some Democrats, would never vote to confirm her, and that the administration lacked the votes to break a filibuster.

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One Response to Pro-life Victory: Dawn Johnsen Withdraws

The Knife and the Baby

Friday, February 26, AD 2010

In the pro-life cause there are many ways to serve:  volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center, speaker’s bureau, education, political action, the list could go on at considerable length.   One of the toughest tasks for pro-lifers is bearing witness to the sacredness of innocent human life outside of an abortion clinic.  The pro-life protestors are usually subject to verbal attack and sometimes physical assault.  It takes brave people to volunteer for such duty.

On November 24, Sarah Winandy and Leah Winandy, mother and daughter, were standing outside of the abortion clinic in Duluth, Minnesota, calling itself the Duluth Building for women.  Part of the Pro-Life Ministry of Duluth, they were passing out pamphlets and protesting abortion. 

Mechelle Hall, a pregnant woman, walked towards Leah Winandy.  Hall pulled out a knife and waved it at Leah, and said, “Don’t come near me.”  Leah told her, “Please don’t kill your baby.  Fear God.”  She approached Hall, “Look and listen to your ultrasound.”  Hall came towards Leah and held the knife to her throat.  Leah was unhurt and Mechelle Hall was arrested.  Here is a video report on the incident.

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3 Responses to The Knife and the Baby

President Laura Chinchilla-She is my type of Socialist!

Friday, February 19, AD 2010

 Laura Chinchilla was elected President of Costa Rica on February 7, 2010.  She is the first woman to be elected to that office.  She is a member of the Partido Nacional Liberacion  (National Liberation Party) which belongs to the Socialist International.  Now normally I am as fond of socialists as I was fond of the castor oil that my sainted mother regularly made me swallow a spoon full of daily when I was a little boy.  However, Chinchilla is my type of socialist.

She ran on a get tough on crime platform.  She is a devotee of free market economic policies.  She was the only mainstream politician in Costa Rica to take part in a March for Life and Family on November 28, 2009 in Costa Rica which was organized by a coalition of church leaders.  She is an ardent foe of abortion and opposes legalizing the human pesticide known as the morning after pill.  She opposes altering the Constitution of Costa Rica which, while enshrining religious freedom, proclaims that Costa Rica is a Roman Catholic nation.  Many of her supporters carried rosaries at her rallies and she always has her rosary with her.  After her election she asked that all Costa Ricans ask strength of the patroness of Costa Rica, Our Lady of the Angels, and went to the shrine of Our Lady of the Angels to pray.

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9 Responses to President Laura Chinchilla-She is my type of Socialist!

  • And she don’t look half bad, either.


  • Why Jay, I never noticed. 🙂

  • I’m curious how the socialism aspect fits in — if at all. Is she pro-free trade internationally but via state owned enterprise? Or is this one of these things where since the PNL has been the largest party in Costa Rica for sixty years, it’s simply the easiest platform to run on regardless of your agenda?

    Still, no question I’d rather have her as president than our current not-a-socialist!

  • DC,

    Maybe she’s a socialist just like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are devout Catholics!

  • DC,
    You pretty much hit the nail on the head! In the past, there was one other main political party, the Social Christian Unity Party. They have been rocked by scandals, however, so the only major party that stands is that of Laura Chinchilla and former president Oscar Arias. Laura was also the handpicked successor to Oscar Arias, who is *not* a benign socialist, so I question the how closely-held some of her positions really are. I worry she’s just a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  • It’s not uncommon for explicitly socialist parties to grow away from their radical roots (think Tony Blair). This seems to be what has happened in Costa Rica

  • Public policy positions are often not elegant and not given to ideological purity. The term “socialism,” for example, is no longer accorded a commonly acceptive definition, especially in the descriptive sense as used commonly in politics. For this reason it is possible for a person who respects the utility of free markets to consider himself or be considered a socialist.

    Advocacy for free markets can be grounded in morality (the idea that private economic decision making and private property are necessary characteristics of any economic system that values respect for individual human dignity) or pragmatics (it just works best). A person who favors larger government and more generous safety nets may reject the first proposition but come to accept the second, at least in large measure. In today’s popular lexicon, such a person will often be considered a socialist, may well consider himself a socialist, and may even describe himself as a socialist if politically useful (or at least not politically damaging).

    While the technical historic definitions of socialism are important and continue to have prescriptive value, I think many people, including many politicians, use the term socialist to describe any one who (i) favors large government with generous safety nets and (ii) favors regulated use of free markets for the very practical reason that their pricing mechanisms allow for a more efficient allocation of resources in the production process.

    At bottom, many of today’s “socialists” value the market system for the production process, but simply do not like market results in terms of returns for various types of labor and capital; and they seek to adjust those returns through taxation.

  • Obviously, I meant “commonly accepted.” Please charitably ignore any other similar mistakes.

Lila Rose and the Abortion Escort

Tuesday, February 2, AD 2010

Hattip to Cassy Fiano at Hot Air.  This will come as old news to pro-lifers who attempt to spread the pro-life message at abortion clinics, but abortion clinic employees, volunteers and escorts are usually intensely abusive of pro-lifers, sometimes resorting to physical violence.  These incidents are usually ignored by the media, most of which is completely in the tank for the pro-abort cause.

On December 18, 2009, Lila Rose, the intrepid pro-life activist I have written about here and here, was with 20 students and 3 adults to pray at an abortion clinic in San Jose, California.

According to a police report filed at the scene, supported by several witnesses, the following interaction took place between Miss Rose and the uniformed Planned Parenthood escort:

Rose, from the public sidewalk: “Sir, are you familiar with the abortion procedure?”

Escort approaches Rose rapidly from Planned Parenthood parking lot, says, “You idiot. You’ve caused so much trouble. You piece of crap.”

Rose offers to show Escort a picture: “Can I show you a picture of what it really does to a baby?”

The Escort strikes Miss Rose’s hand, knocking literature and Bible to the ground. Rose steps further back on sidewalk, Escort steps towards Rose.

Escort, visibly shaking, says, “It’s a woman’s choice!”

Rose says, “What about the baby’s choice?”

Escort says, “It’s not a baby!” Escort turns around and walks away.Police were called and interviewed the victim and several witnesses. Rose sustained no injuries from the attack. Charges of assault and battery are pending. There have been no apologies.

Live Action maintains a strong commitment to non-violent public discourse. We expect Planned Parenthood will respond to their escort’s attack by publicly disavowing the use of violence.

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5 Responses to Lila Rose and the Abortion Escort

11 Responses to A Good Republican

  • Indeed, he is foremost a good Catholic.

  • Wow. That is an absolutely outstanding speech.

  • Oh, I should add btw, I’m not implying that voting for the health care reform bill is what makes Cao a ‘good’ Republican. I just thought the speech was remarkable for a Congressperson.

    At the same time, his vote on health care reform was an interesting, principled, and risky stand to take. It seems to me that as a strategic matter, it’s smart for a committed pro-lifer (as Cao appears to be) to offer his vote for health care reform in exchange for the Stupak language that appeared in the House bill. After all, it appeared the bill was going to pass either way; a substantial pro-life change like the Stupak amendment was a real achievement. I’d say Cao deserves a lot of support from the pro-life movement, particularly if he ends up facing a challenge in the primaries. It’s great to see people like him and Stupak working together across the aisle to protect human rights.

  • I would vote for Representative Cao because I think he is a remarkable Catholic attentive to the common good. He, in fact, went to Mass before the vote and prayed for God’s guidance.

  • So how do we get him in the Oval Office?

  • With friends like this who needs enemies.

    Why do we have such faithful, pro-life advocates who don’t have the foresight to realize that socialized medicine in the United States would, with near certainty, lead to an increase in the # of abortions as well as to a blatant disregard for the conscience of Catholic healthcare professionals?

    He may be a Mother Theresa at heart but his head is stuck in the clouds.

  • That is not the case by necessity, particularly with language barring that from happening by the letter of the law…

  • Certainly it is not by necessity, on that we can all agree.

    On the other hand, it is not by necessity that the Democratic Party is the “party of death” either but history has taught us that it is so.

    I only wish that the good Congressman’s exemplary moral courage wouldn’t outpace his prudence.

  • “I only wish that the good Congressman’s exemplary moral courage wouldn’t outpace his prudence.”

    Congressman Cao’s district is 67 percent balck and very DEM

    He has that tough road of representing his District and then deciding what core belief of his will he fall on his sword before.

    Plus it was not helping that Obama adminsitration seemed to be holding crucial projects hostage in New Orleans

  • Eric Brown-
    given the record of any law restricting abortions in most any form, it’s a good bet that any baby-protecting language would be shot, gutted and hung up to cure before benefits even became available. (depressingly….)

  • While I applaud his convictions, the problem with any piece of legislation (and law in general) is that it is never static. A future amendment, when Cao has moved on or is even further outnumbered, can undo everything that has been done. Once the beast gets in place, it can always be tweeked to meet the goals of those who hold the reigns.

"a sad infidelity to America's highest ideals"

Friday, January 22, AD 2010

[N]o one in the world who prizes liberty and human rights can feel anything but a strong kinship with America. Yours is the one great nation in all of history that was founded on the precept of equal rights and respect for all humankind, for the poorest and weakest of us as well as the richest and strongest.

As your Declaration of Independence put it, in words that have never lost their power to stir the heart: “We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…” A nation founded on these principles holds a sacred trust: to stand as an example to the rest of the world, to climb ever higher in its practical realization of the ideals of human dignity, brotherhood, and mutual respect. Your constant efforts in fulfillment of that mission, far more that your size or your wealth or your military might, have made America an inspiration to all mankind.

It must be recognized that your model was never one of realized perfection, but of ceaseless aspiration. From the outset, for example, America denied the African slave his freedom and human dignity. But in time you righted that wrong, albeit at an incalculable cost in human suffering and loss of life.

Your impetus has almost always been toward a fuller, more all embracing conception and assurance of the rights that your founding fathers recognized as inherent and God-given.
Yours has ever been an inclusive, not an exclusive, society. And your steps, though they may have paused or faltered now and then, have been pointed in the right direction and have trod the right path. The task has not always been an easy one, and each new generation has faced its own challenges and temptations. But in a uniquely courageous and inspiring way, America has
kept faith.

Yet there has been one infinitely tragic and destructive departure from those American ideals in recent memory.

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Watch This Video Only If You Have A Strong Stomach

Friday, December 4, AD 2009

Hattip to Creative Minority Report.  Economic times are tough and they are especially tough in Michigan, so the Northland Family Planning Centers of Michigan are touting their contract killing of the unborn in the above video  as “sacred work” , and they assure us that they “believe in the goodness” of their work.  Well, I guess it beats saying that they kill unborn kids for a living for cash on the barrel head.  A nice video to recall when a pro-abort argues that no one is pro-abortion.

Of course, what would an ad for an abortuary be without a quote from the late Tiller the Killer?

Abortion is not a cerebral or reproductive issue. Abortion is a matter of the heart. For until one understands the heart of a woman, nothing else about abortion makes any sense at all. Dr. George Tiller 1941-2009

Who knew?  I always thought that Tiller the Killer, late term abortionist, did it for the money that made him a very rich man.  Instead, he did it because he understood the hearts of women!  (Except, I guess, for the little females he slew.) 

For a rather more accurate view of what the abortion business is all about, here is a video regarding the change of heart of Abby Johnson, a former director of a Planned Parenthood, a/k/a Worse Than Murder, Inc, clinic.

As to the temporary restraining order mentioned in the video, a judge voided it after a hearing, so Abby Johnson is free to speak.  Her testimony is important, and it also reminds us that even the most hardened advocates of abortion may be touched by grace and find themselves as our allies for the unborn.  Pray that the makers of the video at the beginning of this post may experience such a conversion.

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3 Responses to Watch This Video Only If You Have A Strong Stomach

  • I kept expecting her head to unzip like that animated cleric in the Monty Python sketch. That is just what she reminded me of, sounds sweet on the outside, demonic on the inside.

  • I guess this is the equivalent of Goldman Sachs “doing God’s work”

    Goldman Sachs’ Blankfein on Banking: ‘Doing God’s Work’

  • I watched the second video about the lady that left Planned Parenthood. How unsurprising that PP immediately ran to the courts to try and silence this woman! That’s Feminists for you: always running to the courst, milking the courts like a cow in order to force their cancer on the rest of the world. “Oh! If the *truth* gets out we’ll end up with ‘irevocable damage’…” Don’t people notice this insanity? Doesn’t it make them go hmmmmmm… why all the secrecy and silence? From telling girls at school, “Don’t tell your parents. Sneak behind their backs…” to using the courts to silence ex-workers… every action taken by Planned Parenthood and Feminists is sleazy and screams out, “WE’RE DOING REALLY BAD THINGS!” Yet no one seems to care or notice!

    However, on the flip side, the Catholic Church is still being hammered and trashed for “hiding pedofile priests”. The Church is watched by hawk-eyed Fems, Libs, and Homosexuals ~ but they themselves run to the courts at the first sign of being observed and exposed for their crimes!

"Your position is unacceptable to the Church"

Tuesday, November 10, AD 2009

Bishop Tobin

Faithful readers of this blog will recall this post here  discussing the Bishop of Providence Thomas J. Tobin taking Patrick Kennedy, Teddy’s son, to task for attacking the Church over ObamaCare.  Now the Bishop has written the following letter to Congressman Kennedy:

Dear Congressman Kennedy:

“The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” (Congressman Patrick Kennedy)

Since our recent correspondence has been rather public, I hope you don’t mind if I share a few reflections about your practice of the faith in this public forum. I usually wouldn’t do that – that is speak about someone’s faith in a public setting – but in our well-documented exchange of letters about health care and abortion, it has emerged as an issue. I also share these words publicly with the thought that they might be instructive to other Catholics, including those in prominent positions of leadership.

For the moment I’d like to set aside the discussion of health care reform, as important and relevant as it is, and focus on one statement contained in your letter of October 29, 2009, in which you write, “The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” That sentence certainly caught my attention and deserves a public response, lest it go unchallenged and lead others to believe it’s true. And it raises an important question: What does it mean to be a Catholic?

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28 Responses to "Your position is unacceptable to the Church"

  • Wow- what an excellent thing to have a bishop respond so completely, so intellectually, armed with both truth and compassion. Any public Catholic worth his or her salt would welcome a critique of their politics by the Church’s Hierarchy- the obedience of faith.

  • Ditto, Tim! This is a great letter, in many ways.

  • If only those Bishops with whom Pelosi, Kerry, Biden, etal are attached to would send each this type of letter and ask them the same questions or ask them to quit stating they are faithful and practicing Catholics.

  • While this certainly pleases me and is encouraging, I wish that all bishops would do such things, in private, when there are situations where those who publically claim to be Catholic are flaunting their situations that are, based upon the very definition of it, scandalous.

    These bishops seen to think that they will not be held to account when they are fully aware of what is going on and choose to do nothing.

    Bravo, to Bishop Tobin. A hopeful sign, indeed. May your public act encourage your fellow bishops to see the value in public admonishment, and private too….

  • I wish this sort of response were more common. In fact, I wish it were the policy of all the bishops in the USCCB. I think we’d see a very different response from self-described Catholic politicians than was evident during the Stupak vote.

  • Your rejection of the Church’s teaching on abortion falls into a different category – it’s a deliberate and obstinate act of the will; a conscious decision that you’ve re-affirmed on many occasions. Sorry, you can’t chalk it up to an “imperfect humanity.” Your position is unacceptable to the Church and scandalous to many of our members. It absolutely diminishes your communion with the Church.

    Incredibly eloquent and to the point.

    I pray many more bishops will follow his example.

    Imagine if Cardinal Mahoney or Cardinal George were to follow this exemplary example!

    Deo gratias!

  • That was rather refreshing!

  • Wow…just wow!!!

    A 100 more like him, please.

  • Donald:

    It is right that you should applaud this bishop; however, how about the USCCB, too, for what they apparently did just recently as regarding abortion in the Health Bill?

    Kindly note from The Wall Street Journal:

    “We did not want this legislation to be a vehicle for expanding abortion or for changing federal policy on abortion in the wrong direction,” said Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the secretariat of pro-life activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    The abortion issue was at the center of last-minute wrangling in the House. A bloc of Democrats, *backed by the Catholic bishops*, threatened to scuttle the House health bill if leaders didn’t take up the antiabortion measure. In an unusual show of influence, Mr. Doerflinger and other representatives of the bishops on Friday met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to broker an agreement. Ms. Pelosi, who favors abortion rights, reluctantly agreed to bring the measure to the floor, and it became part of the broader bill that passed in the House late Saturday.”

  • A wonderful letter; as a Catholic seeking public office myself, this letter is like water in the desert.

    Is there a link to the original somewhere?

  • That letter was incredible. Thank you Bishop Thomas Tobin for speaking out against the scandal that these so called Catholic politicians inflict upon the Catholic name.

  • Thank God for Bishop Tobin. I am so weary of politicians trying to convince me that 2 plus 2 equals 5, that one can be a good Catholic and pro-abortion, that Hasan’s religion had absolutely nothing to do with the Ft. Hood shooting, that we can spend our way to prosperity and so on, that when an honest man with common sense speaks up I want to cheer. And then I want to cry, because there are so few of them.

  • Wonderful. We must keep praying for our bishops and the Holy Father. It is the pope’s leadership that strengthens the bishops and it is the sacrifice and prayers of all communicants that strenghten our leadership.

    The Holy Spirit is no cowardly spirit.

    This is one servant that is not lukewarm. We need more. Pray, pray, pray.

  • A direct, honest and hopeful letter. I would suggest that we all read this letter as though it were written to us personally. No, I’m not saying any of us are as confused on core issues as some of our politicians, but we can all use some personal reaffirming of what our faith entails. I could not help but examine my own failings as the Bishop reminded the congressman (and the rest of us) of some of what makes us Catholics. The exchange could seem like a rebuke of the congressman (and it was), but it also was an invitation to return. The congressman (and millions of others) have to RSVP.

    Bishop Tolan also showed a touch of humor by suggesting Patrick could be an authentic “profile in courage,” obviously a play on the title of Ted Sorenson’s book that Patrick’s uncle Jack got a Pulitzer for writing.

  • The current absolutist teaching of the Church on abortion is an innovation. The Roman Catholic hierarchy can try to paper over the Church’s history but they cannot succeed because the historical record is irrefutable.

    Under today’s rigid rules, they would have to refuse communion to some of the most imminent popes and doctors of the Chruch.

    The Church has always considered abortion to be inherently evil but has been divided on the degree of sin attached to it. It is always to be discouraged but punishment (if any) has, until the 20th century, depended on WHEN it is practiced.

    It is obvious that life (of some kind) begins at conception. The question for theologians has until very recently not been when life begins but when the embryo or fetus is endowed with HUMAN life, that is, with a human soul. And that question is difficult to answer.

    From the 5th to 16th Century AD, Christian philosophers took varying positions on abortion.

    St. Augustine wrote that an early abortion is not murder because the soul of a fetus at an early stage is not present.

    St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope Innocent III, and Pope Gregory XIV believed that a fetus does not have a soul until “quickening” or when the fetus begins to kick and move. Abortion before quickening was, therefore, discouraged but tolerated.

    Since quickening occurs at some indeterminate time after conception and according to some doctors of the Church, after the first trimester, it was assumed that ensoulment occurs at some unknown moment during that period. After the first trimester, abortion was homicide because it was (according to the theological consensus) a certainty that the fetus was by then endowed with a human soul.

    Prior to that time, there was no consensus. It was therefore common over the centuries for abortions in the first trimester to be tolerated in varying degrees.

    Indeed, this position was reflected in British and U.S. criminal law until the beginning of the 20th century. Until then, it was uncommon for a woman or her doctor to be charged with a crime if the abortion was induced during the first trimester.

    While the Church has ALWAYS OPPOSED abortion, the modern absolutist position that equates it with culpable homicide with no exceptions and as of the moment of conception is at odds with the Church’s earlier practice.

    The Church is certainly within its rights to adapt and refine its teachings. However it is false to claim that the position taken today has always been held.

    Today’s teaching does not rise to the standard of the Vincentian canon of catholicity; it has not been held everywhere, at all times, by all (quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est).

    If CIVIL and CANON laws allowed first trimester abortion (as did early Churchmen, the ancient Jews, the early Muslims and even Aristotle) and banned later abortions, there would be little or no conflict over this issue. That would be a lesser of evils solution that would spare many righteous-minded people from suffering.

    Tell me, do YOU know when a soul enters a human fetus or embryo? I don’t either, but I respect the opinions of the doctors of the Church and believe that greater good is achieved by following their teachings rather than the innovations of a very few modern theologians.

  • Benedictus:

    Your Pelosi-styled argument (not to mention, stupidity) is as risible and demonstrably deficient as hers. A refutation to such a deficient (as well as to say, twistedly perverted) presentation of history was already submitted by those more superior in both thought and epistemology than you seem to be:

    St. Thomas Aquinas, for example, held that the process of conception required forty days for boys and eighty for girls before the conceptus was ready for the infusion of the rational soul (Commentary on the Fourth Book of Sentences, d. 31 exp. text.). And that was the common view through the eighteenth century. Abortion prior to said infusion was not held by the Church to be the killing of a human person; it was condemned only as a particularly nasty form of contraception. What changed that, of course, was the development of the modern disciplines of obstetrics, gynecology, and above all genetics.

    As soon as it became clear to the Church that even the blastocyst, under normal conditions, was a genetically unique individual member of homo sapiens—twinning being a separate, still controversial case—Pope Pius IX included abortion at any stage of gestation as a form of homicide in his renewed list of offenses incurring excommunication (Apostolicae Sedis [1869]). And so the teaching and discipline remain today.

  • You mistate Church teaching on abortion BQ. From the earliest days the Church condemned abortion as a terrible sin. There was never any tolerance for abortion at any stage of pregnancy. There was a debate as to the penance to be performed for an abortion and whether it should be equivalent to that for homicide, due to the lack of knowledge of fetal development. However, this debate had nothing to do with toleration for abortion.

    “The Catholic Church has always condemned abortion as a grave evil. Christian writers from the first-century author of the Didache to Pope John Paul II in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae (“The Gospel of Life”) have maintained that the Bible forbids abortion, just as it forbids murder. This tract will provide some examples of this consistent witness from the writings of the Fathers of the Church.

    As the early Christian writer Tertullian pointed out, the law of Moses ordered strict penalties for causing an abortion. We read, “If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely [Hebrew: “so that her child comes out”], but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” (Ex. 21:22–24).

    This applies the lex talionis or “law of retribution” to abortion. The lex talionis establishes the just punishment for an injury (eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life, compared to the much greater retributions that had been common before, such as life for eye, life for tooth, lives of the offender’s family for one life).

    The lex talionis would already have been applied to a woman who was injured in a fight. The distinguishing point in this passage is that a pregnant woman is hurt “so that her child comes out”; the child is the focus of the lex talionis in this passage. Aborted babies must have justice, too.

    This is because they, like older children, have souls, even though marred by original sin. David tells us, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Ps. 51:5, NIV). Since sinfulness is a spiritual rather than a physical condition, David must have had a spiritual nature from the time of conception.

    The same is shown in James 2:26, which tells us that “the body without the spirit is dead”: The soul is the life-principle of the human body. Since from the time of conception the child’s body is alive (as shown by the fact it is growing), the child’s body must already have its spirit.

    Thus, in 1995 Pope John Paul II declared that the Church’s teaching on abortion “is unchanged and unchangeable. Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his successors . . . I declare that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being. This doctrine is based upon the natural law and upon the written word of God, is transmitted by the Church’s tradition and taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium. No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church” (Evangelium Vitae 62).

    The early Church Fathers agreed. Fortunately, abortion, like all sins, is forgivable; and forgiveness is as close as the nearest confessional.

    The Didache

    “The second commandment of the teaching: You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not seduce boys. You shall not commit fornication. You shall not steal. You shall not practice magic. You shall not use potions. You shall not procure [an] abortion, nor destroy a newborn child” (Didache 2:1–2 [A.D. 70]).

    The Letter of Barnabas

    “The way of light, then, is as follows. If anyone desires to travel to the appointed place, he must be zealous in his works. The knowledge, therefore, which is given to us for the purpose of walking in this way, is the following. . . . Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born” (Letter of Barnabas 19 [A.D. 74]).

    The Apocalypse of Peter

    “And near that place I saw another strait place . . . and there sat women. . . . And over against them many children who were born to them out of due time sat crying. And there came forth from them rays of fire and smote the women in the eyes. And these were the accursed who conceived and caused abortion” (The Apocalypse of Peter 25 [A.D. 137]).


    “What man of sound mind, therefore, will affirm, while such is our character, that we are murderers?
    . . . [W]hen we say that those women who use drugs to bring on abortion commit murder, and will have to give an account to God for the abortion, on what principle should we commit murder? For it does not belong to the same person to regard the very fetus in the womb as a created being, and therefore an object of God’s care, and when it has passed into life, to kill it; and not to expose an infant, because those who expose them are chargeable with child-murder, and on the other hand, when it has been reared to destroy it” (A Plea for the Christians 35 [A.D. 177]).


    “In our case, a murder being once for all forbidden, we may not destroy even the fetus in the womb, while as yet the human being derives blood from the other parts of the body for its sustenance. To hinder a birth is merely a speedier man-killing; nor does it matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to birth. That is a man which is going to be one; you have the fruit already in its seed” (Apology 9:8 [A.D. 197]).

    “Among surgeons’ tools there is a certain instrument, which is formed with a nicely-adjusted flexible frame for opening the uterus first of all and keeping it open; it is further furnished with an annular blade, by means of which the limbs [of the child] within the womb are dissected with anxious but unfaltering care; its last appendage being a blunted or covered hook, wherewith the entire fetus is extracted by a violent delivery.

    “There is also [another instrument in the shape of] a copper needle or spike, by which the actual death is managed in this furtive robbery of life: They give it, from its infanticide function, the name of embruosphaktes, [meaning] “the slayer of the infant,” which of course was alive. . . .

    “[The doctors who performed abortions] all knew well enough that a living being had been conceived, and [they] pitied this most luckless infant state, which had first to be put to death, to escape being tortured alive” (The Soul 25 [A.D. 210]).

    “Now we allow that life begins with conception because we contend that the soul also begins from conception; life taking its commencement at the same moment and place that the soul does” (ibid., 27).

    “The law of Moses, indeed, punishes with due penalties the man who shall cause abortion [Ex. 21:22–24]” (ibid., 37).

    Minucius Felix

    “There are some [pagan] women who, by drinking medical preparations, extinguish the source of the future man in their very bowels and thus commit a parricide before they bring forth. And these things assuredly come down from the teaching of your [false] gods. . . . To us [Christians] it is not lawful either to see or hear of homicide” (Octavius 30 [A.D. 226]).


    “Women who were reputed to be believers began to take drugs to render themselves sterile, and to bind themselves tightly so as to expel what was being conceived, since they would not, on account of relatives and excess wealth, want to have a child by a slave or by any insignificant person. See, then, into what great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by teaching adultery and murder at the same time!” (Refutation of All Heresies [A.D. 228]).

    Council of Ancyra

    “Concerning women who commit fornication, and destroy that which they have conceived, or who are employed in making drugs for abortion, a former decree excluded them until the hour of death, and to this some have assented. Nevertheless, being desirous to use somewhat greater lenity, we have ordained that they fulfill ten years [of penance], according to the prescribed degrees” (canon 21 [A.D. 314]).

    Basil the Great

    “Let her that procures abortion undergo ten years’ penance, whether the embryo were perfectly formed, or not” (First Canonical Letter, canon 2 [A.D. 374]).

    “He that kills another with a sword, or hurls an axe at his own wife and kills her, is guilty of willful murder; not he who throws a stone at a dog, and unintentionally kills a man, or who corrects one with a rod, or scourge, in order to reform him, or who kills a man in his own defense, when he only designed to hurt him. But the man, or woman, is a murderer that gives a philtrum, if the man that takes it dies upon it; so are they who take medicines to procure abortion; and so are they who kill on the highway, and rapparees” (ibid., canon 8).

    John Chrysostom

    “Wherefore I beseech you, flee fornication. . . . Why sow where the ground makes it its care to destroy the fruit?—where there are many efforts at abortion?—where there is murder before the birth? For even the harlot you do not let continue a mere harlot, but make her a murderess also. You see how drunkenness leads to prostitution, prostitution to adultery, adultery to murder; or rather to a something even worse than murder. For I have no name to give it, since it does not take off the thing born, but prevents its being born. Why then do thou abuse the gift of God, and fight with his laws, and follow after what is a curse as if a blessing, and make the chamber of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing unto slaughter? For with a view to drawing more money by being agreeable and an object of longing to her lovers, even this she is not backward to do, so heaping upon thy head a great pile of fire. For even if the daring deed be hers, yet the causing of it is thine” (Homilies on Romans 24 [A.D. 391]).


    “I cannot bring myself to speak of the many virgins who daily fall and are lost to the bosom of the Church, their mother. . . . Some go so far as to take potions, that they may insure barrenness, and thus murder human beings almost before their conception. Some, when they find themselves with child through their sin, use drugs to procure abortion, and when, as often happens, they die with their offspring, they enter the lower world laden with the guilt not only of adultery against Christ but also of suicide and child murder” (Letters 22:13 [A.D. 396]).

    The Apostolic Constitutions

    “Thou shalt not use magic. Thou shalt not use witchcraft; for he says, ‘You shall not suffer a witch to live’ [Ex. 22:18]. Thou shall not slay thy child by causing abortion, nor kill that which is begotten. . . . [I]f it be slain, [it] shall be avenged, as being unjustly destroyed” (Apostolic Constitutions 7:3 [A.D. 400]).”

  • Donald,

    That was great! Thank you so much.

    Did you really need to pull out the Howitzer to handle the little misguided relativist though? 😉

  • I appreciate the theological rebuttals to my original message (even if the gratuitous calumnies added by some are hardly Christ-like remarks).

    However, even the material adduced show that the question of when the product of conception, no doubt a living being, is a human being endowed with a soul. Some seem to confuse spiritus humana (ruach, psykhe) with anima humana (nephesh, pneuma).

    It is an incontrovertible fact that, despite the universally held view (among Catholics) that abortion was inherently evil and always to be condemned and opposed, the punishment to be applied varied. Furthermore the punishment depended on whether or not the product of conception was infantus inanimatus (soul-less enfant) or infantus animatus (ensouled enfant).

    Those today who pretend to call on science and argue that even a human blastocyte is endowed with a soul are perverting science (which does not deal with preternatural phenomena) and displaying arrogance by claiming in the absence of sure knowledge, to know something that only God knows for sure.

    The Universal Church did not begin rigorous Canon Law codification of what it considered to be “sexual sins” unitl the earth 7th century. At that time, abortion made the list, but in terms of punishment, abortion was well behind the sins of contraception, fellatio, and sodomy. In fact, the punishment for fellatio was at least 7 years of penance, while the punishment for abortion was a mere 120 days. At that time, the Church certainly did NOT consider all abortion to be culpable homicide.
    St. Augustine of Hippo argued that abortion before ensoulment was not infanticide. However, the time of ensoulment that he assumed was not the same as the time assumed by others.

    Pope Innocent III in the early 1200s, ruled that the fetus had no soul until it was “animated”, usually around the 24th week.

    At that time, in a salacious case of sexual disobedience, a monk was found NOT guilty of homicide for aborting his lover’s unborn child. In that case, it was ruled that at the time of the abortion, the fetus was an “infantus inanimatus” and thus it’s destruction was not culpable homicide.

    St. Jerome held a view not unlike the later view of Pope Innocent III. Jerome said, “The seed gradually takes shape in the uterus, and it [abortion] does not count as killing until the individual elements have acquired their external appearance and their limbs. (“Epistle” 121,4)

    Jerome certainly did not think the human blastocyte was an infantus animatus.

    In 1588, Pope Sixtus V in 1588 made all abortions illegal.

    In due course, Sixtus V was reversed by Pope Gregory XIV, who tolerated abortions up to 16 ½ weeks as not equivalent to the killing of a human being, as no soul was present.

    The toleration shown by Pope Gregory XIV remained the official teaching of the Church for the next three centuries, until 1869, when Pope Pius IX declared all abortion to be homicide.

    Furthermore, the declaration of Pope Pius IX (which is not explicitly claimed by theologians to be an ex cathedra pronouncement and thus is a papally imposed discipline not unlike the divergent opinions of some of his predecessors) was not the last word on the matter.

    It took more than a CENTURY after his pronouncement before all references to “foetus inanimatus” and “foetus animatus” were removed from Canon Law.

    A question that seldom is discussed is what the punishment for abortion should be today under secular criminal law. After all, many Catholics take a strong position on the secular illictness of abortion. They work tirelessly to suppport or oppose candidates of political office and office holders based on how those people view abortion as a matter of secular law. They favor state and federal laws against abortion.

    However, they seldom say what the civil punishment for abortion should be. Historically, the ecclesiastical punishment has generally been a period of penance, that has varied, in different eras, between 120 days and 10 years.

    However, if abortion is culpable murder then it must be punished just like any other culpable murder or least be considered a form of criminally negligent manslaughter. If a women is charged with procuring an abortion, what should her sentence be? To be consequent in their positions, Catholics who insist that abortion should be a crime under secular law must take a position on the sentence or range of sentences that would be appropriate for that crime.

    Since the Church discourages recourse to the death penalty, capital punishment would seem to be excluded. What then would the punishement be? Life in prison as for any other premeditated murder? A period of years (5, 10, 15), as is the case for most forms of non-premeditated murder or negligent homicide? Probation and a fine?

    I respect those who sincerely believe that all abortion is culpable homicide. They have serious grounds, historically speaking. However, those who decry abortion as evil, but would tolerate it in some circumstances during the first trimester are also in good company, historically speaking.

    What disturbs me is the distortion historical record by those who believe all abortion is culpable homicide. Stand up for the position that you sincerely believe is morally right but do not make the false claim that you are promoting a stance that has been taken always, everywhere and by all.

  • A good overview of the teaching of the Church on abortion:

    “However, those who decry abortion as evil, but would tolerate it in some circumstances during the first trimester are also in good company, historically speaking.”

    No, they are in atrocious company. The condemnation of abortion by the Church has been universal and unending, and there has never been any tolerance of abortion by the Catholic Church.

  • In the escalating fight between Thomas Tobin and Patrick Kennedy, it strikes me that a conflict of interest is involved in one of the parties being the umpire or mediator. It also strikes me that both parties are in a position to abuse their position to further the fight…under the rubric of a higher purpose. I recommend the following post:

  • Pingback: Patrick Kennedy Barred From Communion « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: Is The Church Militant by Patrick J. Buchanan | National Policy Institute
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Pro-Life Republicans

Sunday, November 8, AD 2009

pro-life gopLast night all but one, who voted present, of the House Republicans voted in favor of the Stupak Amendment in spite of knowing that its passage made likely the final passage of ObamaCare.  Here is a statement of the House Republican Leadership issued last night before either the Stupak amendment or ObamaCare was passed:

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH), House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) and House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN) issued the following statement in support of an amendment offered by Representatives Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Joseph Pitts (R-PA) that would prohibit federal funding of abortions under the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) health care plan: “We believe in the sanctity of life, and the Stupak-Pitts Amendment addresses a moral issue of the utmost concern. It will limit abortion in the United States. Because of this, while we strongly and deeply oppose the underlying bill, we decided to stand with Life and support Stupak-Pitts.

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43 Responses to Pro-Life Republicans

  • It is an easy decision when you are genuinely pro-life; however, political pragmatism would be very tempting in this situation. It must have been difficult to know that you are voting to create the climate that will pass the Obamanation assault on health care.

    Nevertheless, we may credit them with taking the correct moral stance and pray for the Senate to kill the bill.

    What the heck is with Cao? Is he another Dede?

  • Cao is very liberal for a Republican but also absolutely pro-life. I am sure no political calculation entered into his head and that he voted for ObamaCare simply because he thought it was the right thing to do, especially since he probably assumes he isn’t coming back to Congress no matter what he does. He was elected from an intensely Democrat district in New Orleans simply because his opponent is a crook and it would take a major political miracle for him to win re-election.

  • They receive it from me, Don. I really was expecting a “present” vote from them, to assure the defeat of the health care bill… but they really surprised me. My hat is off to them.

  • I have been struggling with this all night. Keep in mind I am no a Republican and I think over the years they have done much damage to the cause of liberty. I also find many to pander to religion and actually employ political pragmatism.

    Part of me wants to be mad at them for giving the Demoncrats cover to pass this monstrosity. Stupak will likely be removed or the rules developed in darkness, behind closed doors by unelected officials will create a work around to kill babies. Nevertheless, we are to always pray, “Fiat voluntus tua” – Thy Will be done. We have to trust God and even if some Republicans voted for this ammendment knowing that it would allow the assualt on health care to pass and perhaps just to fool us into voting for them in 2010 – it is still a principled victory.

    Life is the most precious gift and all other rights, both human and civil are derived from the right to life. The defense of life has been marginalized so much, even by Christians, perhaps especially by Catholics. I am so sick of being called a one-issue voter – I am not, neither are most pro-lifers I know. It is the primary issue and that cannot be avoided no matter how severe the mental gymnastics employed may be. So long as killing the innocent is legal and even encouraged this country is heading toward extinction.

    This is a principled victory and we must give thanks even if we are tempted, as I am, to see it as hollow becuase God’s ways are not our ways.

    Mary, Mother of Life, ora pro nobis.

  • “Cao is very liberal for a Republican but also absolutely pro-life. I am sure no political calculation entered into his head…”

    If he were “absolutely” pro-life, wouldn’t the rationing, contraception, and other nasty provisions come into play for him? Evidently not.

    Also, I’d be more likely to believe no political calculations entered his head if he didn’t wait until the Dems secured the necessary number of votes to win before he voted.

  • Here is what Cao says about this on his webite.

    “Tonight, Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao (LA-2) voted in favor of the comprehensive health reform bill, H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act.

    Of his vote, Cao said: “Tonight, I voted to keep taxpayer dollars from funding abortion and to deliver access to affordable health care to the people of Louisiana.

    Cao said: “I read the versions of the House [health reform] bill. I listened to the countless stories of Orleans and Jefferson Parish citizens whose health care costs are exploding – if they are able to obtain health care at all. Louisianans needs real options for primary care, for mental health care, and for expanded health care for seniors and children.

    The bill passed the House at a 220-215 vote.

    Cao said: “Today, I obtained a commitment from President Obama that he and I will work together to address the critical health care issues of Louisiana including the FMAP crisis and community disaster loan forgiveness, as well as issues related to Charity and Methodist Hospitals. And, I call on my constituents to support me as I work with him on these issues.

    Cao said: “I have always said that I would put aside partisan wrangling to do the business of the people. My vote tonight was based on my priority of doing what is best for my constituents.”

    Needless to say I disagree with Cao profoundly on this, but I do not doubt his sincerity.

  • Seems to me this is just a brief side trip along the road of the decline of western civilization.

    Reelection is usually what matters most to folks, if it means maintaining power, influence and a “comfortable” standard of living. I am grateful not to be a politician.

    Nothing surprises me. I have come to “lean on” no institutions and very, very few people. We are each capable of the worst choices and these days those choices are made with ever increasing frequency, I regret to observe.

    We pay “lip service” to moral absolutes, finding all manner of “justifications and rationalizations” to find cover for our decisions which are made in support of the “Culture of Death”, although we try to wash our hands of these as did Pilate when he handed Jesus over to pay for OUR SINS, FOLKS.


    Some things never change.

  • It was also the political expedient thing to do. Can you imagine the outrage had they voted against the Stupak Amendment?

  • This seems to be good news for the pro-life cause—so why does it taste like poison to me?

  • “It was also the political expedient thing to do. Can you imagine the outrage had they voted against the Stupak Amendment?”

    The politics aren’t that simple restrainedradical. A strong majority of Republicans oppose abortion. Almost all Republicans oppose ObamaCare. I am seeing plenty of opposition on Republican sites to this move:

    “As I responded to Daybrook, I appreciate the answer but this is horrible strategy. The NRLC should have been adults about this. They are going to save this amendment and ensure final passage. Then it’s going to get struck in conference and a chance to kill this will have been lost.

    Right now it’s passing with 63 Dem votes and 170+ Republican votes.

    The GOP leadership got rolled on this by Pelosi.”

    Long term I think this will work out well for the Republicans, but short term there is a political price to pay for this move by the Republicans in the House.

  • Donald,
    You are not thinking clearly. Of course it was the politically expedient thing to do. The logic is impeccable: Republicans are not really pro-life and will do whatever is politically expedient; Republicans voted in favor of this pro-life measure; ergo, the vote must have been politically expedient. Hope that’s clear now.

  • 🙂

  • “short term there is a political price to pay for this move by the Republicans in the House.”

    I don’t think so. Voting against the bill gave them the cover they need. There may be some opposition, but I think the vast majority of their constituents will support this move. It’s a win-win for both sides. The Democrats get to vote pro-choice and for universal health care and the Republicans get to vote pro-life and against socialized medicine.

  • I see that some people in this thread are more partisan Republicans than Catholics. I’ve met Joseph Cao. My wife has been to numerous fundraisers for Joseph Cao. Joseph Cao is a highly honorable man, a true Catholic public figure. He promised that he would support healthcare reform if the Stupak amendment was included, simply because he knew it was the right thing to do. Joseph Cao is a hero. If only a few Republicans would follow him.

    And to Donald – yes, I very much appreciate GOP support for the Stupak amendment. The cynic in me would say they were caught between a rock and a hard place, and could not be seen publicly opposing a pro-life measure on tardy political grounds. But let’s give them some credit. And now that we have a decent bill with ironclad abortion protection, I would like to see some Republicans start supporting this bill – just a few Catholic Republicans would make a difference here. So where were they last night? Are they willing to support a pro-life universal health insurance plan that actually reduces the deficit, or are they instead enslaved to a rigid free market ideology and to insurance company money?

    I don’t know what is going to happen in conference. But with enough GOP support, we can get this bill passed withe the Stupak amendment.

  • Somebody mentioned “socialized medicine”. Sigh. This reform twins an individial mandate with community rating-style restrictions on what insurance companies can do (you know, refusing coverage, dropping people, charging exhorbitant premia based on “pre-existing condition”). For everybody in empoloyer-insurance, hardly anything changes. For those in medicare and medicaid, hardly anything changes. For those in the individual markets, they will purchase insurance on a regulated exchange, which will include a public option that will be wholly funded by premia and which cannot use medicare reimbursement rates. And those below a certain threshold will receive subsidies to help they purchase the insurance.

    How is any of this “socialized medicine”? You know, people on the right would perhaps had a better ability to shape this debate if they actually delved into the issues, instead of relying on slogans.

  • We agree that Cao is an honorable man Tony. As for the bill I think it is atrocious and I pray it is buried in the Senate, although from my partisan perspective it would be better if it passed since I believe that it would ensure the GOP taking the House back in 2010. At any rate if a bill does get out of the Senate it will bear as much relationship to the House bill as a bat does to a spider.

  • Please Tony. Your whole goal has been a single payer, socialized medicine, system. The intent of this bill is to drive private insurers out of business and to force people to become health wards of the state ultimately. Fortunately this bill has as much chance of ever becoming law as Madonna, the strumpet and not the Mother of God, does of becoming a spokeswoman for the Eagle Forum.

  • A good AP story explaining why the House bill is DOA in the Senate.

  • We have to be careful not to confuse Catholic intentions (ends) with practical methods (means). Yes, it is true that we, as Catholics, are to provide for all those in need and that includes health care; however, the Church does not demand that we use the government for that purpose. Does government have a role? Yes. Not always at the federal level. In fact as seldom as possible should the federal government be employed.

    Furthermore, Charity is what we as individuals are called to do, when government forces one of us to provide for another then it is theft and not charity.

    This bill is a disaster. Anyone who supports it has either not read it, doesn’t understand it, has no concpet of basic enconomics, is extremely naive, or has sinister intentions to make us all slaves of the state.

    I haven’t read this entire thing, it is over 2,000 pages!!!! The parts I have read are frigtening. We will be left with one, two or three enormous insurance companies with their market secured by government force. I doubt we will get to government provided health care. What we will probably get is government protection for a few insurance companies at the expense of all the other insurance companies and the people.

    Even if the Stupak ammendment makes it into the spider or the bat version that Donald is referring to, that does not guarantee that abortions will not be increased under this mess. Bills become laws and laws become regulations. Regs are not written by elected reps, they are determined by government agencies behind closed doors and always further the expansion of government and aid the corporate interests that fabricated the legislation in the first place.

    The murder of the per-born, the elderly, the disabled, you know the same old targets Eugenecists have always had is firmly set in the minds of many of those in power and any and all means to achieve this will be utilized. Those on the Left and the Right, the Libertarians (of all stripes), the Republicans and the Democrats all need to realize this NOW. If we play ‘wait and see’ it will be too late to stop it. We’ve been killing babies for almost four decades and this is going to be just another step toward more death and the destruction of what this nation can be.

    Combine this mess with Cap and Trade and you have a recipe for how you make the USA into China. No Catholic in their right mind can want that.

    I am confident that this will die in the Senate; however, these are dark times and anything is possible. Pray.

  • Suz,

    I’m with you.

    This’ll disappear in committee *IF* the Senate passes the health care bill.

    But in the end this violates the rule of subsidiarity.

    Technically speaking, why bother giving money to Catholic hospitals, or any other Catholic Charity, if the government is going to provide it to you at the expense of your children having to pay off this monstrosity of a debt in the very near future.

  • How is any of this “socialized medicine”? You know, people on the right would perhaps had a better ability to shape this debate if they actually delved into the issues, instead of relying on slogans.

    1). As someone that follows politics, one should be able to safely assume you are aware that Republicans have offered, in recent years, several reform proposals. Agree or disagree, there is substantive opposition. And slogans are necessarily a part of all debates.

    2). The label “socialize,” and the ensuing slogans, are correct. This House proposal is a large-scale federal government intrusion and cash influx (which is sickening for those of those of us that can’t stand the quite brazen A. Stern and SEIU). In this context, “nationalize” is an incomplete but usable description. And to “nationalize” is to “socialize.” These two words, in the political context of advanced liberal democracies, are synonyms. (In fact, feel free to go right ahead and make a case for any one time in 20th Century American history where this was not the case – I’ve had people try and it’s pretty difficult.) This is why I have for some time now found the supposedly “Catholic anarchist” arguments for this particular brand of reform to be quite strange.

    3). As an advocate for health care reform, I applaud the efforts of Rep. Stupak and also hope the Democratic efforts, for far too long the pawn of public sector unions, trial lawyers, and the abortion lobby, go down in flames. Any reform efforts need, at minimum, three things: a). strong protections for the unborn b). a serious appraisal of the demographic impact of baby boomer entitlements, senior care – including discussion of some manner of what could be termed ‘rationing,’ and illegal immigration (I favor a halt on all immigration, especially with double digit unemployment and until such time as the number comes much close to 3 or 4 percent – the wage destruction of the past few decades has been terrible) c). measures that make trial lawyers furious.

    All Catholics must agree on the first point. The Senate Democrats and the president are horrible on that score, especially compared to the always running for re-election House, but let us hope for a surprise.

  • In regard to Representative Cao, this article is in accord with my view of him:

  • Cao is a good guy. Part of the problem here is the LSU Charity hospital that was destroyed by Katrina and still has not been rebuilt.

    It was pretty clear to a lot of us on Obama’s visit to New Orelans and his elusive answers on Federal finds for this that he sending a message to CAO. I think CAO doid what he had to do

  • This is NO victory. This is a political public stunt, & abortion was used as a red herring.

    This is the Stupak Amendment:

    Page 154, after line 18, insert the following new section (and conform the table of contents of
    Division A accordingly):


    (a) IN GENERAL.–No funds authorized or appropriated by this Act

    (or any amendment made by this Act) may be used to pay for any abortion

    or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage

    of abortion, except in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder,

    physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician,

    place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including

    a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy

    itself, or unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of pregnancy or incest.

    The last clause: “unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of pregnancy or incest,” places in law a class of human beings that has no protection of life and is jeopardy of loss of life through no fault or responsible action of their own: those who have been conceived by the sins of rape or incest and have not yet been born. This is NOT a pro-life amendment.

    I got this from a friend in regards to the Rep who voted present:

    “Well, Shadegg had a plan to throw sand in the gears and likely ruin the political machinery grinding out a victory for the government takeover of health care. He was rounding up the votes to kill the pro- life amendment (by voting “present”) and thereby killing the whole bill and quite possibly the entire effort. This would have caused such a train wreck, it is doubtful the liberals could have
    recovered, i.e., Waterloo.”

    I wonder if Rep Shadegg’s-(AZ) strategy actually would have killed the bill?

    Because of the USCCB encouraging lay faithful to call their Rep to add the Stupak (anti-life) amendment to the bogus health “care” bill, we could possibly have a socialistic country. Thanks USCCB! Next time you want to do something dramatic, have the pastors read & stuff the bulletins with
    Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum:

    Faithful Catholics NEVER have & NEVER will support socialism!!!

  • Faithful Catholics will never support socialism? Indeed, if you define socialism correctly and not as a mere slogan. But remember, Catholic social teaching tells us that faithful Catholics should also eschew the ideology of free market liberalism. Pius XI referred to both as the “twin rocks of shipwreck” – extreme individualism and extreme collectivism.

  • “Combine this mess with Cap and Trade and you have a recipe for how you make the USA into China. No Catholic in their right mind can want that.”

    China has neither universal health care nor cap-and-trade. Did you mean the UK?

  • Or did you mean that no Catholic in their right mind can want to make the USA into Malta which does have universal health care and cap-and-trade.

  • Pope Pius XI:
    “No one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist”

    Every Pope, beginning w/ Leo XIII to our current Pope Benedict, condemns socialism. The main underlining reason is that socialism ultimately denies the central truth of Christianity, that man needs GOD.

    The bill does not deal only w/ “health care.” There are other issues in the bill such as, the bill will create a government home visitation program, with federally funded bureaucrats giving out parenting advice, and nothing in the bill makes it clear that these programs must be voluntary.

    I take it you support the bill, because my previous post started w/ the wording on the Stupak amendment, showing how it is NOT pro-life & as well, to Shadegg’s plan. “But remember” the Catholic Church is pro-life. However, you don’t discuss these items, instead you zero in on socialism, because in your mind you think the USCCB was right. Well, they weren’t & now they are regretting their decision. They DON’T approve of the bill.

    Get it in your head – Americans want health care REFORM – not govt. take over.

  • The Stupak Amendment–if it stays in after the Conference sausage making (and I think it will, all things considered)–certainly removes the deal killer aspect of the House plan for me. And the Amendment also greatly diminishes the problems with the conscience clauses, which were pretty iffy beforehand.

    As much as it may grate folks here, MM is unimpeachably correct–health care is a right. In the absence of any other moral objections, it isn’t a bad day for Catholics. Far from it.

    Now the kicker is to see what the Senate does, and to make sure the Amendment stays in.

  • NY Times: Dems Banking on Later Squeezing Pro-Life Language Out of Bill in Committee

    Abortion in or out of the bill was a ruse. If Stupak’s Amendment stays in, which I highly doubt, don’t think for one moment that Planned Parenthood & other abortion activists will not be plotting how to bring this bill to court in three years to say it is unconstitutional.

  • If it stays in, they instantly lose the Court challenge on stare decisis. Hyde survived the Supreme Court.

    A “ruse”? Maybe that’s what the pro-aborts were hoping, but I don’t think that’s fair to the overwhelming majority who voted for Stupak.

  • Actually I think one can argue from Catholic Social Teaching that this is a failure for Catholics. Starting here:

  • rradical: “China has neither universal health care nor cap-and-trade. Did you mean the UK?”

    Sure, UK, China, whatever. It is just the difference between socialism and communism. A little bit less of a bad thing doesn’t make it good.

    Control health care (HR 3962), life (Roe v. Wade), food (FDA), money (the Fed) and energy (Cap and Tax) and you have slaves not citizens.

  • Just becuase health care is a right doesn’t mean the government has to directly provide it. Our rights come from God and are secured by government. Government can secure the right to health care by allowing a market of businesses to provide medical services and insurance services as well as allowing overall wealth to increase by not confiscating it so that we can take care of the indigent with Charity instead of theft.

    Why would anyone who is remotely Catholic want the government to start providing our tangible rights directly. Health care includes food, water, exercise, medical treatment, shelter, clothing and love – should the government provide all that as well?

  • “Why would anyone who is remotely Catholic want the government to start providing our tangible rights directly.”

    Because an uninsured friend of mine died at age 33 because of cancer that wasn’t diagnosed in time. Because there are plenty of folks “enjoying” long stints of unemployment here in Michigan who can’t afford COBRA. Which runs out in 18 months anyway.

    Actually, I don’t want the government to *directly provide* free coverage for everyone. I just want it to make sure that coverage is *available* for everyone. I’m all ears as to viable alternatives, which haven’t been proffered.

    I am also cognizant of the problems with the Pelosi bill apart from abortion, specifically the costs and regulatory problems which will likely result.

    However, at least it does provide coverage for those who need it. Which, alas, the Republican plan didn’t, despite the fact it contained some long-overdue reforms.

  • Dale,

    I’m sorry to hear about your friend. You should know, though, that cancer survival rates in the United States are higher than in Europe and Canada (where the government plays more of a role), and one of the reasons is that we actually do *more* screening than do other countries, and treatment comes faster once there is a diagnosis.

  • Exactly BA, which is why one may find varied reasons as a Catholic to be bothered by this.

  • BA:

    Yes, and I recall reading somewhere that overall cancer treatment in the US is the best in the world, by a wide margin. God knows I don’t want to see that lost with any reform.

  • Some cancers yes, some no. I seem to recall the evidence is mixed. But in general, there is nothing wrong with the quality of US healthcare. It’s just that a lot of people can’t get it, and it’s incredibly expensive.

  • MM,

    I think you’re missing BA’s point, which is that the facts suggest that even given the fact that number of people in the US do not have health insurance, people _still_ overall get cancer screenings more and survive cancer longer.

    Frankly, I think in this case it’s probably a wash since the pending legislation will probably only increase the number of insured nominally — you aren’t simply “given” health care, you need to pay for insurance, and paying a fine for not having insurance is cheaper than paying for insurance (even after subsidies), so those who can’t afford insurance now mostly still won’t have insurance. The main people helped by this will be people with lots of money who nonetheless don’t have employer insurance and can’t get individual insurance because of some pre-existing condition.

  • MM — since you’re here, you might want to correct your constant misinformation and lies about how often private insurance covers abortion. A quote from yesterday’s NY Times: “A 2003 study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute found that 13 percent of abortions were billed directly to insurance companies.” Note, that’s billed, not paid.

    This refutes your dishonest attempts to claim that “most” people are contributing to private insurance policies that pay for abortion.

  • Pingback: A Tale of Two Votes « The American Catholic


Monday, October 26, AD 2009

The song is called Magnificent by the musical group U2.  It was a minor hit in both the United Kingdom and the United States in A.D. 2009 (and a major hit in Greece).

Some entrepreneurial YouTuber recreated the music video and turned it into a pretty decent contemporary ‘Christian’ music video.  The music video now celebrates the Triune God, the Eucharist, of course the love of God all coupled within a strong Pro-Life message.  There’s even a guest appearance of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI!

(Biretta Tip: Meg)

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8 Responses to Magnificent

  • Thanks Tito, that was awesome.

    I suspect a couple of scenes from Godzone.

    The budding tree fern – known as pikopiko – from which the ensignia, the koru, is designed – the ensignia on Air New Zealand aircraft, amonst other things.
    And secondly, the huge tree. I think it is a photo of our two thousand year old kauri tree – known to the maori as Tanemahuta – the “god” – or old man , of the forest, situated in the Waiapu forest in Northland, NZ. This tree was just a seedling when Christ was born.

  • Don the Kiwi,

    Thanks for explaining some of those scenes from the music video.

    You live in a beautiful country.

    By the way the name of the Waiapu forest is very similar to Hawaiian. Are Maori of Polynesian descent? I grew up in Hawaii and I recognize the word structure of many of the Maori words and they are strikingly similar to Hawaiian!

  • Isn’t Bono, U2’s lead singer, Catholic?

    I have caught him several times wearing a rosary around his neck during a concert or other public performance.

  • Hi Tito.

    Yes, Maori are Polynesian. They call themselves “Te Maori” which simply means “the people”.
    Go to Wikipedia or google, insert “Polynesian Triangle”. This is a vast area of the Pacific, drawing lines from NZ in the Sth. west, to Hawaii in the North, and Easter Island in the Sth.East. Maori populated all these islands, and those in between – Tonga, Saomoa,Cook Is., Tahiti etc. They were amazing navigators. NZ was settled by maori from around the 8th century AD, in large ocean going canoes – two lashed together forming catamarans – the bulk of them arrived in 12th and 13th centuries.
    e.g. the Takatimu canoe – or “waka” the maori word – which landed here at Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty, left Takatimu beach on the island of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, probably in the 12th.century. A young maori guy who worked for me, his tribe have in their verbal history the canoe leaving Takatimu beach. About ten years ago he went over to Rarotonga – the people there (who also call themselves “Te Maori”) recounted virtually the same story in their verbal history. He met all his relatives. Maori have a strong family association – they know their family history – or “whakapapa” – very well ; the old ones teach it to the young ones still. Maori culture is very strong and has undergone a revival over the past 50 years, to the extent that now, we use the maori language in some of our prayers at Mass – especially the Sign of the Cross.
    I was in Hawaii in 2002 – spent a week on Oahu, mainly in Honolulu. I also noticed the similarity in the languages. Its interesting, that before Europeans “discovered” the Pacific, a maori from NZ could have gone to Tahiti (whence Hawaii was populated) or Hawaii, and would have been understood. (provided they didn’t eat him first 😉

  • Not sure about the accuracy, but I read somewhere this summer that “Magnificent” is based on the Magnificat…sure can make the heart swell the same way!

  • I was wondering if it was a play on words done by the songwriter regarding Magnificat and Magnificent.

  • It was a minor hit in both the United Kingdom and the United States in A.D. 2009 (and a major hit in Greece).

    Your tone here suggests that you are now approaching blogging as a sort of time capsule, speaking to aliens from the future. Why?

  • Michael,

    Illegal or legal aliens?

Outsourcing Maternity

Monday, October 12, AD 2009

If you thought the modern world couldn’t get any more messed-up in its understanding of reproduction and the family, you need turn no further than the WSJ weekend section, and a feature article on people hiring surrogate mothers from India to bring their children to term.

According to Hrishikesh Pai, a Mumbai-based in-vitro fertilization specialist and vice-president of the Indian Society for Assisted Reproduction, India now has about 350 facilities that offer surrogacy as a part of a broader array of infertility-treatment services, triple the number in 2005. Last year, Dr. Pai says, about 1,000 pregnancy attempts using surrogates were made at these clinics. This year, he estimates the figure will jump to 1,500, with about a third of those made on behalf of parents from outside India who hired surrogates.

Rudy Rupak, president of PlanetHospital, a California-based medical-tourism company, says that in the first eight months of this year he sent 600 couples or single parents overseas for surrogacy, nearly three times the number in 2008 and up from just 33 in 2007. All of the clients this year went to India except seven who chose Panama. Most were from the U.S.; the rest came from Europe, the Middle East and Asia, mostly Japan, Vietnam, Singapore and Taiwan.

Mr. Rupak says that because of growing demand from his clients for eggs from Caucasian women, he’s started to fly donors to India from the former Soviet republic of Georgia, where he has connections with clinics. The first woman arrived last month. A PlanetHospital package that includes an Indian egg donor costs $32,500, excluding transportation and hotel expenses for the intended parent or parents to travel to India. A package with eggs from a Georgian donor costs an extra $5,000.

For the Indian surrogates themselves, it’s an experience often fraught with emotional conflict. In most cases, the egg comes either from the woman who wants to become a mother but can’t carry a child, or from an egg donor. The egg is then fertilized with sperm from the intended father, or a sperm donor, and implanted in the womb of a surrogate who bears the child. Sometimes, no money changes hands, particularly when a friend or relative acts as the surrogate. Alternatively, it’s a commercial transaction, which is almost always the case in India for would-be parents from overseas.

Still, it’s a way to raise money in sometimes desperate circumstances. Take Sudha, a 25-year-old mother of two who now works as a maid in Chennai earning $20 a month. She owes moneylenders about $2,700, borrowed to pay bribes to secure a government job as a streetsweeper, which never materialized. A neighbor told her she could earn about $2,000 at a local clinic by bearing a child for an infertile couple. She gave birth in July 2008 — and is haunted by the memory. “Whenever I have free time and I lie down, I think about the child. I pray that the child is safe and happy and is taken care of well.”

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3 Responses to Outsourcing Maternity

  • Indeed. And pity the “egg donor” mothers, who in addition to losing all contact with their children may pay with subsequent infertility and broken health.

  • Why do people seek these services?

    Judging from the radio show I was listening to yesterday– about IVF and multiple births– it’s because they don’t see the children as real, or people.

    This guy– the normal announcer, not the woman being interviewed– calmly announced that he and his wife had been going to have triplets, and were going to “selectively reduce” them. For the good of the surviving children, of course. Later added that they were only going to have twins, now, apparently without “selective reduction.”

    Made me sick to my heart.

Outrageously Anti-Abortion

Tuesday, October 6, AD 2009

Sometimes it’s all in the phrasing. The other day I read a mention of the annual Red Mass celebrated in Washington DC which quoted Justice Ginsburg’s explanation of why she no longer attends (though Justice Breyer, also Jewish, attends). The quote in full:

“Before every session, there’s a Red Mass,” Ginsburg said. “And the justices get invitations from the cardinal to attend that. And a good number of the justices show up every year. I went one year, and I will never go again, because this sermon was outrageously anti-abortion.”

Outrageously anti-abortion. Well.

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13 Responses to Outrageously Anti-Abortion

  • And I thought Cardinal DiNardo was being a bit too subtle. If only more Bps were outrageously anti-abortion.

  • I’d just consider that to be a compliment. 🙂

  • Justice Ginsburg is a joke. Her politics are 19th century racism combined with 20th century eugenics a la Margaret Sanger.

    For her to be upset about the Mass means about zero to me.

  • Aside from my feelings towards that particular confused justice, I’m left wondering what causes some people to become outrageously pro-abortion. Something ugly must happen early in life to turn their heart so black.

  • I am wondering the same thing myself about Justice Ginsburg.

  • I should be clear: I like that we’re called “outrageously anti-abortion”. What shocking thing will she discover Catholics to be next? “appaulingly religious”? “ridiculously devout”?

  • “Exremely loving”, “fundementally aware of our own failings”, “severely respectful of legitimate authority”, “outrageously seeking Justice”, “radically forgiving”, etc. etc.

    Wow, those Catholics are just too extreme. We should become more lukewarm and mediocre so that we’ll appeal to more people.

    A little murder is OK. Rape-rape is bad, but plain old rape, hey that’s just a choice. A mild amount of sodomy isn’t really homosexual. Racism is bad especially against ‘health-care reform’, but eugenics is just.

    Poor soul. She is obviously not Catholic, but can she even be considered Jewish? If I am not mistaken the Ten Commandments are the same in both Testaments, well, except they are more ‘extremely’ applied by that ‘radical’ Jesus of Nazareth.

  • I’d suspect that Ginsburg has herself had one or more abortions sometime in the past . . . this kind of highly defensive overreaction is usually the sign of someone who is trying to rationalize their own behavior.

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  • Particularly distressing about Justice Ginsberg’s various comments is this one:

    “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them”.

    What amazes me is to hear from the mouth of Jewish women. She seems not to know which group was the special target of the German government in the 1930s. [I love the “we”. Who is the “we”?

  • Gabriel,

    That’s the statement that most sticks out in my mind.

    It’s interesting how the mainstream media never even mentioned this incident.

  • Gabriel: that was the first thing I thought of when I heard her use the word “outrageous.”

  • Tito Edwards writes Tuesday, October 6, 2009 A.D. at 3:33
    “That’s the statement that most sticks out in my mind.
    “It’s interesting how the mainstream media never even mentioned this incident”.

    Now, now, mustn’t blame the mainstream muddle. The comment appeared in the NYTimes.

    Floating in the back of my mind is the Jewish question. Reading the Bible, reading the history of the Jews through the ages, it seems to me that the Jews are falling into the same error. From a highly religious small core, they relax into cooperation with the secular powers,

Father John Jenkins Pro-Life Baby Steps

Saturday, September 19, AD 2009

Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., released a message to the University of Notre Dame family outlining two pro-life initiatives to recompense for the scandal of awarding President Obama an honorary degree.

1.  Father Jenkins plans to attend the March for Life Anniversary of Roe v. Wade event in Washington D.C.

2.  Establish a Task Force on Supporting the Choice for Life.

These two initiatives are a good first start in adhering to the teachings of the Catholic Church established by Jesus Himself.

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6 Responses to Father John Jenkins Pro-Life Baby Steps

Res et Explicatio for AD 8-25-2009

Tuesday, August 25, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!Ketef Hinnom Silver Amulet

Buckle Up! Because here are today’s Top Picks in Catholicism:

1. An interesting find of Biblical proportions has been announced.  Silver amulets predating the Dead Sea Scrolls by 400 years was found with Biblical inscriptions, the Book of Numbers 6:24-26:

24 The LORD bless you and keep you:
The LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you:
The LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Written in Hebrew script, the pure silver amulets were discovered in the ancient tomb complex of Jerusalem’s Ketef Hinnom.  Archaeologist Gabriel Barkay wrote the discovery in the Biblical Archeology Review.

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6 Responses to Res et Explicatio for AD 8-25-2009

  • Just by way of interest, your no. 1, the two tiny silver amulets were discovered by Dr Barkay way back in 1979 (in Chamber 25 of Cave 24 at Ketef Hinnomin). They are inscribed with portions of the apotropaic Priestly Blessing which is found in the Book of Numbers (6:24-26). They are the earliest known citations of texts that are also found within the Hebrew Bible.

  • Stephen,

    I haven’t done any research on this, but I’ll take your word for it.

    It could be that they verified the age and the inscription on the silver amulets only now, but that is just a stab in the dark on my part.

    Nonetheless, I do find this fascinating and intriguing since this is another piece of the puzzle that continues to provide evidence and verification of the validity of the Holy Bible.

  • Yes, ‘fascinating and intriguing’ indeed. That is why I have such a passion for Biblical Archaeology. The amulets were fully re-examined in 2004. The latest news is that BAR in its 200th copy (this month) reviewed it as one of the most significant finds in Biblical archaeology thus far… and it truly is! I am constantly examining archaeological finds, and that, in light of the Scriptures… If you like, you can visit my blog and have a look…

    Many blessings to you and your readers,


  • Oops, I almost forgot, I blog at

  • Looking forward to parousing your blog when I have time, good stuff!

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