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Americans United for Life Just released this analysis in an email, and has given permission for its dissemination. Here is AUL on the Hobby Lobby decision today:

Today’s decision: The “contraceptive” mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) by requiring three closely held corporations to provide health insurance coverage for life-ending contraception in violation of the sincerely held religious beliefs of the companies’ owners. Assuming that the government has a “compelling interest” in the mandate (which the Court does not hold, but just assumes for purposes of this case), there are less restrictive means to accomplish their goal.

Breakdown:

Today’s decision applies to closely held corporations (e.g. the Green and Hahn family businesses). The Court strongly explains that these corporations are people:
· “Corporations, ‘separate and apart from’ the human beings who own, run, and are employed by them cannot do anything at all” (36)
· “[P]rotecting the free-exercise rights of corporations like Hobby Lobby, Conestoga, and Mardel protects the religious liberty of the humans who own and control those companies.” (18)

It is based on the Court accepting as their sincere religious belief that these drugs and devices can destroy an embryo:
· “The owners of the businesses have religious objections to abortion, and according to their religious beliefs the four contraceptive methods at issue are abortifacients. If the owners comply with the HHS mandate, they believe they will be facilitating abortions, and if they do not comply, they will pay a very heavy price . . . If these consequences do not amount to a substantial burden, it is hard to see what would.” (2)
· “Like the Hahns, the Greens believe that life begins at conception and that it would violate their religion to facilitate access to contraceptive drugs and devices that operate after that point” (14)
· “[T]he Hahns and Greens have a sincere religious belief that life begins at conception. They therefore object on religious grounds to providing health insurance that covers methods of birth control that, as HHS acknowledges [] may result in the destruction of an embryo. By requiring the Hahns and Greens and their companies to arrange for such coverage, the HHS mandate demands that they engage in conduct that seriously violates their religious beliefs.” (32)
· “the end that they find to be morally wrong (destruction of an embryo)…” (35)
· “HHS and the dissent note that providing the coverage itself would not result in the destruction of an embryo; that would occur only if an employee chose to take advantage of the coverage and to use one of the four methods at issue” (35)
· “The Hahns and Greens believe that providing the coverage demanded by the HHS regulations is connected to the destruction of an embryo in a way that is sufficient to make it immoral for them to provide the coverage.” (36)

The Court ruled the mandate failed the narrow-tailoring requirement of RFRA, pointing to the accommodation as a clearly less-restrictive means of accomplishing the Obama Administration’s stated goal. “HHS itself has demonstrated that it has at its disposal an approach that is less restrictive than requiring employers to fund contraceptive methods that violate their religious beliefs. . . . HHS has already established an accommodation for nonprofit organizations with religious objections.” (43)

The for-profit employers who object to all contraceptives (for example, many of the Catholic employers) should be protected by this ruling since the Mandate violates a sincere religious belief, even though it is not solely regarding the life-ending properties of some of these drugs and devices.
· The Court makes clear: “it is not for us to say that their religious beliefs are mistaken or insubstantial” (37) .
· And, most importantly, the Mandate (as applied to them) also clearly fails to be narrowly tailored means –e.g. non-profit Catholic employers are already “accommodated” with respect to all contraceptives.

The Court acknowledged the dangerous and radical view advanced by the Obama Administration: “Under HHS’s view, RFRA would permit the Government to require all employers to provide coverage for any medical procedure allowed by law in the jurisdiction in question—for instance, third-trimester abortions or assisted suicide. The owners of many closely held corporations could not in good conscience provide such coverage, and thus HHS would effectively exclude these people form full participation in the economic life of the Nation.” (45-46)

The decision does NOT decide the constitutionality/legality of the “accommodation.”
· “We do not decide today whether an approach of this type complies with RFRA for purposes of all religious claims.” (44)
· Footnote 40: “The principal dissent faults us for being ‘noncommital’ in refusing to decide a case that is not before us here. The less restrictive approach we describe accommodates the religious beliefs asserted in these cases, and that is the only question we are permitted to address.” (44)
· There is some troubling language. For example, there is this line on page 9 – “In addition, HHS has effectively exempted certain religious nonprofit organizations, described under HHS regulations as ‘eligible organizations,’ from the contraceptive mandate (emphasis added).”
o We do NOT think the “accommodation” is effectively an exemption – quite the opposite.
o Going forward the accommodation cases must emphasize that the “accommodation” still requires these companies to “arrange” for the coverage, given that they are providing the insurance plan.
· The Court does note that there could be another method (besides the “accommodation”) for achieving the government’s goal — namely, the government could provide the contraception coverage. That indicates that they could also find the accommodation fails to be narrowly tailored.
o “HHS has not shown that it lacks other means of achieving its desired goal without imposing a substantial burden on the exercise of religion . . . . The most straight forward way of doing this would be for the Government to assume the cost of providing the four contraceptives at issue to any women who are unable to obtain them under their health-insurance policies due to their employers’ religious objections.” (40-41)

Importantly, the Court did NOT rule on whether or not the Obama Administration’s stated goal was a compelling interest.
· In order to impose a substantial burden, the government must have a “compelling interest”
· “We find it unnecessary to adjudicate this issue” (pg 40) since it was not narrowly-tailored.
· Acknowledging there are arguments against this being a compelling interest: “The objecting parties contend that HHS has not shown that the mandate serves a compelling government interest, and it is arguable that there are features of ACA that support that view.” (39)
· And the Court acknowledges that “tens of millions” (page 11) have been exempted from the Mandate for non-religious reasons (including grandfathering) – a fact that undermines the government’s claim that forcing this Mandate is compelling (i.e. if it was compelling, they wouldn’t make those millions of exemptions).

The accommodation – whether or not it satisfies RFRA and the Constitution— may be decided by the Court next term.

Since the effect of today’s ruling is that the Obama Administration cannot impose its Mandate on family businesses with sincere religious objections, which it has not exempted, we should be prepared for the Obama Administration to, very soon, extend its “accommodation” at least to closely-held corporations. Because the “accommodation” applies to objections to all contraceptives (not limited to those with life-ending properties), we would expect the Obama Administration to “accommodate” for-profit employers for all the drugs/devices as well. At that point, it will be for the Green and Hahn families, and other family businesses, to decide whether the accommodation violates their conscience and/or whether they pursue litigation over it.

Some other good language from the majority opinion:

· “If the Hahns and the Greens and their companies do not yield to this demand, the economic consequences will be severe.” But the Court also recognizes that the Green and Hahn families would not want to drop insurance coverage for their employees altogether, also because of their religious beliefs: “[T]he Hans and the Greens and their companies have religious reasons for providing health insurance to their employees.”

· Life-affirming healthcare severely punished by Mandate: “If they insist on providing insurance coverage in accordance with their religious beliefs, the mandate clearly imposes a substantial burden on those beliefs” (38)

· “The plain terms of RFRA make it perfectly clear that Congress did not discriminate [] against men and women who wish to run their businesses as for-profit corporations in the manner required by their religious beliefs.” (2)

· “As we have seen, RFRA was designed to provide very broad protection for religious liberty.” (17)

· The dissent, points out the majority, disagrees with RFRA. It doesn’t like the law that broadly protects religious liberty. “In its final pages, the principal dissent reveals that its fundamental objection to the claims of the plaintiffs is an objection to RFRA itself.” (48)

· “Our responsibility is to enforce RFRA as written, and under the standard that RFRA prescribes, the HHS contraceptive mandate is unlawful.” (49)

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Whether pro-life, pro-choice, pro-family, or pro-homosexual, activists never speak on behalf of only themselves when speaking to issues. They speak for larger constituencies. For years there has been within the homosexual activist community a vocal group with a contempt for heterosexuals in general, and women in particular. “Breeders, ” is their word for us, sneered with a venomous contempt. I’ve heard it uttered since the 1980’s. Thus, the following story from LifeSite News comes as no surprise:

SYDNEY, November 6, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Women should be forced to abort their children for the next 30 years as a part of global population control, homosexual activist Dan Savage told Australian television on Monday.

Savage, whose anti-bullying program “It Gets Better” was heavily promoted by President Barack Obama, made the statement during a four-member panel during the “Festival of Dangerous Ideas.”

Audience member Lisa Malouf closed the program by asking, “Which so-called ‘dangerous idea’ do you each think would have the greatest potential to change the world for the better if it were implemented?”

After a moment’s thought, Savage replied, “Population control. There’s too many G-d d—-ed people on the planet.”

“You know, I’m pro-choice, I believe that women should have a right to control their bodies,” he added. “Sometimes in my darker moments, I’m anti-choice. I think abortion should be mandatory for about 30 years.”

The audience responded with overwhelming applause at the suggestion that the world’s women lose control of their fertility.

There is much, much more in the article. Get the rest here.

So very many thoughts come immediately to mind when I read such sentiments from activists such as Mr. Savage. First, if there are so many people in the world, why do the activists not elect to remove themselves voluntarily? Why must it be that someone else must die, that women be forced to abort their children for the next 30 years, or be forcibly sterilized? Of course, death is never the answer, in any constituency. However, note who Mr. Savage did not mention.

Why has Savage not gone on a rant against the number of people in the U.S. who live with HIV/AIDS and the total cost of their care, especially as he is on record as stating that the majority of HIV cases fall disproportionately among gay/bi men? If one considers the CDC data indicating that lifetime cost of the new HIV cases diagnosed in 2009 will come in at $16.6 BILLION {for a mostly sexually transmitted disease}, or if one accepts the CDC projected lifetime cost per HIV patient of $367,134 (2009 dollars) and multiplies by the 1,148,200 HIV/AIDS patients over the age of 13 that CDC estimates to be living in the US, the total cost is a staggering $421.54 BILLION

No word from Mr. Savage on his constituency. However, by the reckoning of his fellow travelers, if it’s carbon or fiduciary footprinting that is hurting the developing nations, 421 billion dollars could do a great deal of good.

Instead, it must be someone else who dies, someone else who pays the heavy price for the self-loathing of the planetary messiahs. These are frightfully dangerous people, and the wild applause of the audience Mr. Savage was addressing indicates that the societal depravity that makes him a sought-after guest has metastasized significantly.

The grave danger of this new century is that the very vocal, one-world order folks who are on an inexorable march are also the same folks who are busy promoting and legislating one-child policies, forced sterilizations and abortions, and setting up the collapse of the world economy by the middle of this century as populations completely implode. Graver still, there is no longer a world superpower that stands for human dignity. That used to be the United States, who now ties “reproductive health” packaging to US foreign aid in developing nations. Those packages mandate abortion and contraception for cultures that want no part of them.

All of this is driven by the political left, which includes the activists such as Mr. Savage. It isn’t paranoid or conspiratorial to see the political alliances before our very eyes, to see common cause amongst the disparate groups on the left and the social engineering that has toppled the greatest civilization the world has ever known.

A new Dark Age is settling upon us, and it is truly cause for alarm. Look to China’s 336 million forced abortions for proof. While we must use the political machine to assert our values, the values that built the civilization which gave birth to that political machine, we must also become ardent evangelists. The ultimate cause behind this darkness is a people who have lost sight of their great dignity.

The savages of this world are busy spewing hatred and self-loathing and the Church is losing ground, rapidly. The only antidote to their venom is the Gospel, the good news of our true identity. In the Catholic Church today, that light burns dimly under a bushel. That needs to change in dramatic fashion.

Mr. Savage and his fellow travelers have seen to that imperative.

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When tsunamis make landfall they can be rebuffed by mighty cliffs of granite, or accommodated by soft sandy beaches which allow the mighty waves to strip them, leaving them disfigured and littered with the tsunami’s wasteful debris and shattered bodies when the floodwaters retreat back into the abyss from whence they came. So it seems that the Church in America, once a towering giant, has become increasingly accommodating to the Culture of Death as it washes over her with impunity.

The examples over the past year alone abound. Revelations in last week’s New York Times that the Archdiocese of New York has been paying for union employees’ contraception and abortion benefits, “under protest,” are just the latest in a string of surrenders.

In this latest disaster, the Archdiocese claims that there is a difference between fighting the HHS Mandate and the union contracts inherited when they got into the latest arrangement. Read the Archdiocese’s refutation here.

Indeed, there is a difference between an illegally imposed government mandate to provide contraception, sterilization and abortion, and willingly staying in the healthcare field where the powerful union drives such services being mandated in the insurance plans.

To what degree is the Archdiocese compelled in all of this? From their statement it is clear that they feel the greater need to remain in the healthcare field because there is a proportionally greater good to be done. The larger moral question is how much good done by the archdiocese washes the blood of a single aborted baby from the diocesen hands that paid for the abortion? How is this argument different from the woman who feels the pressure from family to abort? Or the woman who pervceives the great good that will not be accomplished in her life if the baby prevents her from getting a college education? Is the emotional plight of the abortion-minded woman under duress not more compelling? Yet she incurs automatic excommunication if she knows the penalty. What of those in diocesan offices who maintain the involvement with the unions and write the checks?

Undoubtedly great arguments can be made for all of the good that would not be done if we abandoned the field, but it’s still a proportionalist argument being deployed against moral absolutes. Unfortunately, our opponents have been handed a PR win on this one.

In other matters, the silence of the bishops in the run-up to the scheduled vote in February regarding admitting gay scouts in BSA was deafening. When BSA rescheduled the vote, we had a second chance to speak out against this disastrous move, but neither the bishops, nor the Catholic Commmittee on Scouting condemned it.

A year ago when New York State voted to adopt gay marriage Cardinal Dolan rued that he was caught flat-footed. What can be the excuse of the USCCB on the Boy Scouts? My observations on what is so wrong with that move here.

Through it all, we have witnessed Cardinal Dolan welcoming Vice President Biden to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, going out of his way to assure that he does not declare Governor Cuomo, who is seeking the liberalization of New York’s abortion laws, a Catholic in bad standing. Which means that he is regarded publicly as a Catholic in good standing; abortion and gay marriage notwithstanding.

Are we surrendering on all of these issues? We welcome the “Catholic” politicians with open arms who are at the same time accelerating the implementation of a diabolical agenda.

In this Year of Faith, as our churches continue to empty, an unsolicited thought for our leaders. If fundamental moral truths and goods are not worth fighting for, then don’t be surprised when many find that there isn’t much worth staying for.

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It is difficult to imagine that any public official could possibly march to the left of Barack Obama or HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, but today Federal District Court Judge Edward Korman did just that when he approved the sale of Plan B to children of any age. Previously, Sebelius ordered that based on the science, children were not capable of complying with the directions of safe use of the drug. Here is Sebelius in her own words not too long ago:

A Statement by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

Plan B One-Step is an emergency contraceptive, sometimes referred to as the “morning after pill.” Plan B One-Step is currently labeled over the counter to women ages 17 years and older, but is sold behind the pharmacy counter. It is available by prescription only to women 16 years and younger. My decision does not change any current availability of the drug for all women.
In February 2011, Teva Women’s Health Inc. submitted to the FDA a supplemental new drug application for Plan B One-Step. This application sought to make Plan B One-Step available over the counter for all girls of reproductive age. The science has confirmed the drug to be safe and effective with appropriate use. However, the switch from prescription to over the counter for this product requires that we have enough evidence to show that those who use this medicine can understand the label and use the product appropriately. I do not believe that Teva’s application met that standard. The label comprehension and actual use studies did not contain data for all ages for which this product would be available for use.
FDA has recommended approval of this application in its Summary Review for Regulatory Action on Plan B One-Step. After careful consideration of the FDA Summary Review, I have concluded that the data, submitted by Teva, do not conclusively establish that Plan B One-Step should be made available over the counter for all girls of reproductive age.
The average age of the onset of menstruation for girls in the United States is 12.4 years. However, about ten percent of girls are physically capable of bearing children by 11.1 years of age. It is common knowledge that there are significant cognitive and behavioral differences between older adolescent girls and the youngest girls of reproductive age. If the application were approved, the product would be available, without prescription, for all girls of reproductive age.
The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services is responsible, acting through the FDA Commissioner, for executing the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Today’s action reflects my conclusion that the data provided as part of the actual use study and the label comprehension study are not sufficient to support making Plan B One-Step available to all girls 16 and younger, without talking to a health care professional. Plan B One-Step will still be available over the counter to women ages 17 and older.
Because I do not believe enough data were presented to support the application to make Plan B One-Step available over the counter for all girls of reproductive age, I have directed FDA to issue a complete response letter denying the supplemental new drug application (SNDA) by Teva Women’s Health, Inc..

Sebelius received Obama’s support for her decision. From news reports at the time of the ruling:

Obama said that as a father of two daughters, he thinks the government should “apply some common sense” to rules governing over-the-counter medicine. He said he understood Sebelius’ concern about letting medication with potentially adverse side effects be available to 10-year-old girls “alongside bubble gum or batteries” at drugs stores.
“I think most parents would probably feel the same way,” he said. Asked point blank if he supports Sebelius’ decision, Obama said, “I do.”

While the Judge today said that his decision was supported by science, it remains for the Judge to enlighten both the regulatory and scientific/medical communities as to what secret studies he was privy to in his decision-making. The truth is that every study, including those by Teva, the manufacturer of Plan B, indicate that half of all women taking the drug were incapable of following the directions on the product insert for correct use of the drug and/or failed to understand that Plan B is not meant to replace regular contraceptives or be used more than once in a menstrual cycle.

Further, studies have indicated that when used by teens the rate of Chlamydia infection rose (presumably from increased sexual activity). Additionaly, studies have indicated that the incidence of teen pregnancy was not lowered by the use of Plan B.

Perhaps even more disturbing is the lack of understanding by the judge that children’s medications are dispensed on a milligram of drug per kilogram of body weight basis. This is because standard adult doses would be double, triple, or even quadruple the necessary amount in children whose bodies are often 1/4 the mass of an adult’s. There are NO KNOWN STUDIES of the effects of the single, adult dose of Plan B on girls under age 18, which makes the specter of girls twelve and thirteen years old purchasing this drug over the counter just as frightening as can be. There are also no long term studies of Plan B’s. effects on adults, either. So the whole enetrprise is one, large human experiment.

It isn’t impossible to imagine a young girl whose body mass is half that of an eighteen year-old’s taking this dangerous hormonal drug after every act of sex, up to several in one month. This drug is several times the dose taken daily by women using oral contraceptives. Recall that half of all grown women studied couldn’t grasp this reality.

Our daughters have become lab rats in Judge Korman’s great experiment. Better he should leave such matters to those of us trained in the field, and that he stick to the law. It is now open season on girls, whose gynecologic standard of care would be improved if they were accorded the same standards that govern veterinary medicine. If vets did to animals what we do to our women, they would lose their licenses and be prosecuted for cruelty. That’s how far gynecologic medicine and its governmental regulation have sunk.

Below, an interview I gave earlier this year at a medical conference in Washington, DC, dealing with this issue of targeting children.

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A review of the Popes in the twentieth century find them fighting a fierce battle against the forces of secularism, atheism, and malevolance that have consumed Western Civilization. Collectively these forces, referred to as “Modernity,” are merely contemporary expressions of the evils that have collapsed empires and civilizations for thousands of years. The election of our new Holy Father, Francis, must be evaluated in light of the twentieth century popes, beginning with Pius XI.

Just a few months after the Lambeth Conference of 1930, where the Anglicans opened the door to contraception, Pope Pius XI issued Casti Connubii, the great defense of marriage that resonates especially today in the United States:

Venerable Brethren and Beloved Children, Health and Apostolic Benediction.

How great is the dignity of chaste wedlock, Venerable Brethren, may be judged best from this that Christ Our Lord, Son of the Eternal Father, having assumed the nature of fallen man, not only, with His loving desire of compassing the redemption of our race, ordained it in an especial manner as the principle and foundation of domestic society and therefore of all human intercourse, but also raised it to the rank of a truly and great sacrament of the New Law, restored it to the original purity of its divine institution, and accordingly entrusted all its discipline and care to His spouse the Church.

5. And to begin with that same Encyclical, which is wholly concerned in vindicating the divine institution of matrimony, its sacramental dignity, and its perpetual stability, let it be repeated as an immutable and inviolable fundamental doctrine that matrimony was not instituted or restored by man but by God; not by man were the laws made to strengthen and confirm and elevate it but by God, the Author of nature, and by Christ Our Lord by Whom nature was redeemed, and hence these laws cannot be subject to any human decrees or to any contrary pact even of the spouses themselves. This is the doctrine of Holy Scripture;[2] this is the constant tradition of the Universal Church; this the solemn definition of the sacred Council of Trent, which declares and establishes from the words of Holy Writ itself that God is the Author of the perpetual stability of the marriage bond, its unity and its firmness.[3]

Pius XI’s successor, Pius XII would famously condemn Nazism and help orchestrate the rescue of Jews, going on to win the universal praise of Europe’s Jews both during and immediately after World War II. The greatness of the man and his actions would only be rivaled by the magnitude of the calumny against him a generation later by a socialist playwright.

Pius XII responded more in action than by Encyclical, and 80% of the priests and religious of eastern Europe paid with their lives for the response of the Church through the sheltering of Jews.

Pope John XXIII set the Church on the course toward engaging the world in a new and fresh manner by calling for the Second Vatican Council. Himself a veteran of the First World War, as stretcher bearer and chaplain, John served Pius XII as Cardinal during the Second World War, orchestrating the rescue of Jews. During his papacy, as reported by Wiki:

In 1965, the Catholic Herald quoted Pope John as saying:

We are conscious today that many, many centuries of blindness have cloaked our eyes so that we can no longer see the beauty of Thy chosen people nor recognise in their faces the features of our privileged brethren. We realize that the mark of Cain stands upon our foreheads. Across the centuries our brother Abel has lain in blood which we drew, or shed tears we caused by forgetting Thy love. Forgive us for the curse we falsely attached to their name as Jews. Forgive us for crucifying Thee a second time in their flesh. For we know what we did.”[6]

In the time between the Lambeth Conference of 1930, and 1968, the year it seemed the world was teetering on the brink of anarchy, the world had seen WWII, the Holocaust, Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam War, Wars to end colonialism around the world, a rash of assasinations, the advent of the sexual revolution, Margaret Sanger’s Negro Project, the eugenic sterilizations of scores of thousands of humans, the development of the birth control pill, and the complete abandonment of the unified condemnation of contraception by all of Christendom except for the Catholic Church.

In that year of 1968, Pope Paul VI issued Humanae Vitae, which reaffirmed 2,000 years of Catholic Christian teaching on the right use of sex in marriage, and which underscored Casti Connubii. Five years later the United States would adopt legalized abortion, going on to slaughter 56 million babies, adding to the 1.8 Billion abortions worldwide since 1960.

In that time, a little-known bishop from behind the Iron Curtain would write an even less well-known book, Love and Responsibility. He would follow Paul VI as John Paul II, who would take on radical feminism, communism, capitalism, and the sexual revolution in the most intellectually and theologically proliferative pontificates of all time.

Along the way, the formality of the Papacy began to change. John XXIII dropped the regal “we” when visting youth in institutions, using the more personal, “I”. The Second Vatican Council changed a great deal, and Paul VI ended the practice of papal coronations. John Paul II eschewed a great deal of formality and reveled in the presence of youth.

Pope Benedict XVI eliminated the papal tiarra from the papal coat of arms, a practice maintained by Pope Francis, who has also eschewed the use of the papal apartment, wearing of the Apostolic Stole during his first appearance, and has adopted a host of other less formal and common touches.

While the papacy has undergone something of an informal transformation in recent decades, the responses of the popes have only grown firmer and more frequent in the face of Europe’s and America’s civilizational collapse. Benedict made an outreach to Europe the thrust of his papacy, an attempt to convert the cradle of Christianity from the embrace of ‘modernity’ and return her to her former dignity and glory.

He was roundly rebuffed, and so the torch has been passed to the brown peoples of the Southern Hemisphere where the Church is alive and growing, where nations battle against United States and European demands for legalization of abortion, gay marriage and contraception as prerequisites for financial aid.

From this hemisphere comes a pope who rode the bus to work, eschewed a palace in favor of a small apartment, and who cooked his own meals. He was the bishop of an impoverished people and sees the world somewhat differently than those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. He will not bend to us, but bend us to his vision of the world as seen through the eyes of a shepherd whose people’s plight has been largely unseen by America and Europe.

Pope Francis has dealt with the evil of poverty and the evil of a United States and Europe who have tried to leverage his people’s poverty by coupling the abandonment of the faith as a prerequisite for foreign aid. There will be many who find his approach difficult to bear. Wounded pride will be the leaven of that difficulty.

Those in the media and on the left who are praising his simplicity will be disappointed, bitterly so, when that does not translate into an embrace of a “liberal” agenda. This Pope, like his predecessors, begins from where his predecessors have left off. It is too early to say where he will place his emphasis, but I suspect that the artificial dichotomy between the life issues championed by the orthodox wing of the Church, and the social justice issues championed by the anarchist wing, may well be reunited by a Pope uniquely positioned to do so.

We in the north have largely abandoned the faith. It will be interesting to see how the south leads now that the light of faith and universal leadership has been handed to them.

Time will tell.

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Yesterday, Pam Belluck of the New York Times wrote an article entitled Abortion Qualms on Morning-After Pill May Be Unfounded. Reading the article from the perspective of the scientific layman, one could interpret the article as indicating that the original objections to morning after pills are being attenuated by advances in scientific understanding of their mechanisms and effects, and that remaining opposition is merely religious or philosophical objection being stubbornly clung to by the less enlightened in the biomedical community. Ultimately Belluck’s piece can only be charitably characterized as confused.

Reading the article, I noted that Dr. Donna Harrison, Director of Research for the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), was made to look like a weak, shallow hack. I know Dr. Harrison, quite well. Five minutes with Dr. Harrison is all one needs to realize that she possesses a brilliant mind with an encyclopedic grasp of ALL of the research in the field, pro and con. Belluck’s quotes from Dr. Harrison indicate that she chose not to report the scientific truth that I know Dr. Harrison communicated to her in a lengthy telephone conversation.

It’s a shame, because once again women are being denied the whole truth in the New York Times, a truth which is indispensable to making decisions founded on the facts.

Dr. Harrison wrote a reply in today’s National Review Online. Some of it is reprinted here. Follow the link at the end to read the rest at NRO. If people have questions regarding the mechanisms by which these drugs act, post your questions and we’ll get them answered.

Here’s Dr. Harrison:

The Times’s Convolution of Facts on Abortifacients
By Donna Harrison
June 6, 2012 12:30 P.M.

The recent New York Times article by Pam Belluck, asserting that so-called abortifacient drugs may not be abortive at all, is a wonderful example of convolution of facts to obscure reality. First of all, lumping together two very different drugs and calling them “morning-after pills” allows for clever confusion of what is known about the mechanism of action of each drug, and the role of progesterone in helping the embryo to implant and sustain the pregnancy.

First of all, Plan B and Ella are very different drugs with very different mechanisms of action. Plan B is a progestin, a type of progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone that must be in a woman’s body for her to be able to allow the embryo to implant and develop the placental connections between the embryo and the mother. But Plan B is a very large dose of progesterone, higher than the woman’s body would normally make. It is the effect of that high dose which is under debate.

Ella is a second-generation derivative of the abortion drug RU-486, and is equipotent with RU-486 in blocking the action of progesterone at the level of the ovary and endometrium, one of the facts I explain in my paper on this topic. Indeed, if taken before a woman ovulates, Ella will interfere with progesterone action and prevent the egg from being released. But the critically important question is what happens when you take Ella after ovulation. And the answer is clear. Ella blocks the action of progesterone at the level of the ovary, and blocks the action of progesterone at the endometrium, both of which interfere with implantation. Ms. Belluck is in factual error in her article. The European Medical Association technical review articles state that Ella is embryocidal. That means that Ella kills embryos. I attended the FDA Advisory Committee Hearing on approval of Ella, at which data were presented which demonstrated that Ella is around 95 percent effective in preventing a clinically recognized pregnancy. One of the Advisory Committee members repeatedly pointed out to the manufacturers that there was no way the effectiveness of Ella could be explained by delaying ovulation alone. This fact does not take an FDA Advisory Committee member to figure out. If Ella works even when a woman takes it after ovulation, then of course it doesn’t work in that woman by preventing ovulation.

The same Advisory Committee member stated that the manufacturer had an even bigger problem. If you consider the pregnancies which are mentioned in the NYT article, what Ms. Belluck failed to mention is that 90 percent of those pregnancies “miscarried” and the other 10 percent were “lost to follow-up”. So what the studies supporting the FDA approval of Ella actually show is that even the dose of Ella used as “emergency contraception” is high enough to interfere with the early development of the embryo in such a fashion as to increase the miscarriage rate if a pregnancy is recognized.

And here, abortion proponents speak out of both sides of their mouth. The quote from Trussell in the NYT article was particularly amusing. If you read his previous research papers, sometimes he claims over 90 percent efficacy from Plan B, and sometimes he claims around 50 percent efficacy. Why these differences? Well, as he so readily admits, you can’t get numbers of 90 percent efficacy without some sort of post-fertilization effect. So when the issue of mechanism of action is raised, suddenly the efficacy for Plan B gets “adjusted” to what would be expected from a drug with no post-fertilization effect. But, when issues of funding arise . . . well Plan B becomes much more effective.

In point of fact, any drug which can act to prevent pregnancy after a woman has ovulated must have some post-fertilization effect. Whether it kills the embryo directly, or prevents the embryo from travelling down the tube, or prevents the embryo from implanting, or interferes with ovarian function, or increases immune rejection of the embryo, or directly destroys the placenta, some mechanism must be in place to interfere with the normal embryo functioning and then kill the living embryo.

Get the rest here.

Tomorrow, a deeper analysis of the subject.

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When Rush Limbaugh made his unfortunate comments about Georgetown Law’s new “it” girl, Sandra Fluke, he may or may not have accurately described the young woman’s behavior according to the standards of a bygone era. The accuracy of his description is not at issue, so much as that Limbaugh broke a cardinal rule and went after someone in an unequal station in life.

Limbaugh, the self-styled “Doctor of Democracy,” indeed travels in the highest political circles, along with academics who seek his counsel. His commentary on Fluke was tantamount to the President or faculty of a college going on national radio and speaking in that way about a student.

It’s. Just. Not. Done.

Students are still in formation and are to be accorded a certain degree of forbearance. When Fluke holds the degree of Juris Doctor, then the gloves come off. However, students do not enjoy blanket immunity from impaling themselves on their own ill-informed or deceitful tongues, and it is the duty of faculty to correct the record when they get it wrong. This serves the interests of truth, the student, the school, and a public misled by false information made credible by the advanced academic status of the student and the stature of the school.

Having held herself out as the spokeswoman for sexually active Georgetown Law women whose extracurricular activities seem to occasion economic disenfranchisement on them, a candid analysis of Fluke’s numbers, submitted in the Congressional Record, seems to be in order.

According to Fluke, it costs a female Georgetown Law student $3,000 for contraception over the course of her three years in school. That’s $1,000 per academic year. So just how much contraception can $1,000 buy in a year?

The nearby Walmart sells generic birth control pills for $9 per month without insurance. Total cost: $108. Balance: $892

Presumably, the rest is spent on condoms to help protect against disease and add an added measure of ‘protection’ from pregnancy.

Walmart sells boxes of LifeStyles Ultra Sensitive condoms (40 per box) for $11.46. Dividing that price into $892, the cost-conscious student can purchase 77 Boxes of condoms for a grand total of 3,080 condoms!

And to think Democrat leaders hate Walmart!

Dividing 3080 condoms by 365 days in a year yields 8.43 condoms used EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. When do these women find time to study? What sort of feminism do they ascribe to where the men are not required to bear some of the cost?

Assuming that these students actually take two days off per week to study and rest, that raises the daily condom usage to 11.8 per day! Not even sailors brag like that.

Obviously math is not Ms. Fluke’s strong suit. I’m not suggesting that she’s any of the things Limbaugh called her, and I won’t repeat them here. However, when a graduate student gives testimony before the Congress of the United States of America, said student had better be deadly accurate with the facts.

The truth is either that Fluke is a bit confused with her numbers, does not know how to comparison shop, or perhaps has an agenda, or perhaps all three. There is no doubt that Georgetown University has an agenda that aligns along the same axis as HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Sandra Fluke.

Given the stark reality of the Obama administration’s war on religion in general and the Catholic Church in particular, the invitation of Sebelius as a commencement speaker this year can only signal that the Jesuits at Georgetown have broken ranks with the bishops in the most public, egregious, and consequential manner possible. There’s no cajoling such ideologues. They have chosen up sides in this war on religion.

It is difficult to see how any Catholic of good conscience can call Georgetown Catholic.

If Real Catholic T.V.’s Michael Voris can be instructed to no longer call his operation “Catholic,” pursuant to the discernment accorded to bishops under Canon Law, then what are the bishops to say of Georgetown?

Jesus gave us the model of fraternal correction. It is time to treat Georgetown as outsiders until such time as they return and bend to the Magisterium in matters of faith and morals. It’s not only medicinal for Georgetown and the Jesuits, but the laity and the world who see such example of disobedience and take it for acceptable difference of opinion within the faith.

The President and his allies have ushered in a new era where there are no more ambiguities, nothing left to debate. Either they will be defeated at the polls and the registrar’s office, or we will be co-opted by the state and her minions dutifully trained by the Georgetown’s of the nation.

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This is a must-see video on conscience rights. H/T Dr. Martha Shuping, a brilliant and passionate pro-life physician.

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Yesterday I posted a blog in response to Cardinal Goerge’s letter regarding the HHS Mandate and the future of Catholic institutions. Today, Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois responded. I offer his response as its own post and respectfully reply below. Here is Bishop Paprocki.

Dr. Nadal is accurate in saying that the President and his supporters would love for the government to take over Catholic health care, social services and education, however, he misunderstands Cardinal George and the Bishops if he thinks we are threatening to abandon these Catholic hospitals if the government does not back down from the HHS mandate. Last year I fought to keep our Catholic Charities foster care and adoption services in Illinois, but we lost that battle in all three branches of state government: executive, legislative and judicial. I warned that this would happen. It was not a threat, but a statement of fact. In fact, the state pushed us out of foster care and adoption services. We did not go willingly or quietly. All that the Cardinal is saying is that the same thing will happen to other Catholic apostolates at the federal level unless the administration’s mandate is withdrawn by the executive branch or overridden by legislative or judicial branches of the federal government. That is where we are currently fighting this cultural war (which they started, by the way.) If Dr. Nadal has some other strategies that he thinks will work, I am open to suggestions.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki
Bishop of Springfield in Illinois

Your Excellency,

I thank you for your letter of clarification regarding Cardinal George’s intended message, and also for your prompt email reply to my attempt at verifying the authenticity of the message left in your name. Yes, it is alarming to see how many Catholic agencies have been shut down by the government.

As regards a suggested alternative course of action, in my post yesterday I mentioned the only viable option I see at this point. We all know the individual politicians and the party from whence this withering assault on the Church has come. It is the Democrat Party that has declared war on Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular. It is time for this party, as constituted, to be voted out of office. Perhaps in resounding defeat this party may reorganize itself, choosing leadership that does not see its traditional concern for the disenfranchised as being inextricably linked to a war on Christianity.

To be certain, the Republican Party has treated us (especially pro-lifers) as their useful idiots in years gone by. However, we now face threats unimagined a few short decades ago; threats from an increasingly radicalized Democrat Party. They cannot be reasoned with at this point, only defeated. The same goes for Obamacare as a package.

It would help, Your Excellency, if the bishops articulated this threat and poured resources into organizing for the November elections. As I said yesterday, there are hundreds of video clips of Democrats campaigning from Protestant pulpits, so the precedent is there. This, I believe, is the only viable option left to us. We cannot allow the Democrats the socially redeeming patina of social justice concerns with their programs for the poor while they simultaneously:

Fund Planned Parenthood, which operates 78% of their “clinics” in inner-city neighborhoods.

Fund Planned Parenthood abortions with over one third of a billion dollars annually with fungible money.

Promote an aggressive eugenics in fetal medicine.

Promote a national “healthcare” program that has rationing (death panels) built in.

Promote gay marriage while assailing the Church for its righteous objection.

The list goes on…

There can be no doubt as to where Barak Obama stands in relation to the Church. The same for the Democrat leadership. If Catholics do not organize against this wicked administration with a view toward defeating it at the polls, and do so with the full support of the clergy at the highest level, then we are deserving of what will come our way.

In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson wrote that it is the duty of government to protect our inalienable rights–those rights which come from God alone. He also wrote that it is the right of the people to alter or abolish any form of government which becomes destructive of government’s ends (to support those rights).

Barak Obama has launched a war against the Catholic Church and all people of faith with his HHS Mandate. We need our bishops to not only stand with the faithful, but to lead the faithful as citizens who are intent on changing the current government in November by voting out this wicked administration. It is intolerable that we should be forced out of the social services, healthcare, and educational fields because of our faith.

It is similarly intolerable that in states like New York, we have been forced to do at the state level what Obama proposes at the Federal level. If necessary, we need to engage in civil disobedience and refuse to comply any longer.

I believe that the faithful will rally around a muscular response from the bishops. Having failed at receiving justice at any level of government, as has been your experience, our only option is to change our government at the polls.

If any bishop would lead on this issue, my blog is at his disposal. Thank you, Bishop Paprocki, for your faithful service to our Church. Please rest assured of my continued prayers and support.

God Bless.

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It is a well-known phenomenon that generals have a tendency to “Fight the Last War,” meaning that they tend to use the tactics that brought them victory in the last war they fought. The problem is that the enemy usually shows up with new weapons and new tactics. Either the generals adapt, or go down to defeat.

In the war over the HHS Mandate, it seems that the bishops have shown up with Cardinal O’Connor’s playbook from the 1980’s. It won’t work, and they had better grasp that reality today, and with all due urgency.

This past week, Francis Cardinal George of Chicago issued a letter to his faithful warning that the archdiocese will need to get out of the hospital and healthcare business, as well as education, social services, etc., if the Obama administration does not back down. Some excerpts:

Catholic hospitals, universities and social services have an institutional conscience, a conscience shaped by Catholic moral and social teaching. The HHS regulations now before our society will make it impossible for Catholic institutions to follow their conscience.

What will happen if the HHS regulations are not rescinded? A Catholic institution, so far as I can see right now, will have one of four choices: 1) secularize itself, breaking its connection to the church, her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop. This is a form of theft. It means the church will not be permitted to have an institutional voice in public life. 2) Pay exorbitant annual fines to avoid paying for insurance policies that cover abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization. This is not economically sustainable. 3) Sell the institution to a non-Catholic group or to a local government. 4) Close down.

The state is making itself into a church. The bishops didn’t begin this dismaying conflict nor choose its timing. We would love to have it ended as quickly as possible. It’s up to the government to stop the attack.

If you haven’t already purchased the Archdiocesan Directory for 2012, I would suggest you get one as a souvenir. On page L-3, there is a complete list of Catholic hospitals and health care institutions in Cook and Lake counties. Each entry represents much sacrifice on the part of medical personnel, administrators and religious sponsors. Each name signifies the love of Christ to people of all classes and races and religions. Two Lents from now, unless something changes, that page will be blank.

There’s much more in the letter. Read it here.

Cardinal George’s tactic here was that of Cardinal O’Connor in the 1980’s, when Mayor Ed Koch passed Executive Order 50 that would have forced the Catholic Church to hire homosexuals in all of our institutions. From Wiki:

O’Connor actively opposed Executive Order 50, a mayoral order issued in 1980 by Mayor Ed Koch, which required all City contractors, including religious entities, to provide services on a non-discriminatory basis with respect to race, creed, age, sex, handicap, as well as “sexual orientation or affectational preference”.[25] After the Salvation Army received a warning from the City that its contracts for child care services would be canceled for refusing to comply with the executive order’s provisions regarding sexual orientation,[26] the Archdiocese of New York and Agudath Israel, an Orthodox Jewish organization, threatened to cancel their contracts with the City if forced to comply.[26] O’Connor maintained that the executive order would cause the Church to appear to condone homosexual practices and lifestyle.[27][27] Writing in Catholic New York in January 1985, O’Connor characterized the order as “an exceedingly dangerous precedent [that would] invite unacceptable governmental intrusion into and excessive entanglement with the Church’s conducting of its own internal affairs.” Drawing the traditional Catholic distinction between homosexual “inclinations” and “behavior”, he stated that “we do not believe that homosexual behavior … should be elevated to a protected category.”[28]

The Church won its case in court, but O’Connor was willing to close our schools and child care agencies if we lost, forcing a city just inching back from bankruptcy to pick up the cost.

Different times.

Back then, I was in my early 20’s. The bulk of voters were the Greatest Generation, then in their 50’s, and the generations who preceded them. In other words, most voters actually had education in civics, and most men came from a generation when military service was regarded as a rite of passage into manhood. They valued the Constitution, and a thug such as Barak Obama never would have made it past being a city councilman from a radical district. Back then, voters understood the need for fiscal responsibility and Ed Koch would have had his goose cooked if he threatened the fragile economic recovery of the city, or if he incurred a threat made good by Cardinal O’Connor.

Different times.

Today the bishops are in contention with a Democrat Party headed by a president who wants them to abandon the field in every sector: education, social services, healthcare…

Today the bishops are in contention with a Democrat Party headed by a president who have added ten trillion dollars of debt to the nation in two years. That they don’t care at all about fiscal responsibility is an understatement.

Today the bishops are in contention with a Democrat Party headed by a president who understand that the bulk of the voters who stood behind Cardinal O’Connor almost thirty years ago are dead. In their place are the Baby Boomers, the children and grandchildren of the Boomers who are largely ignorant of American History, civics, or the Constitution.

Today the bishops are in contention with a Democrat Party headed by a president who are catering to the pervasive narcissism and hedoniosm of a society that stands in shameful contrast with the Greatest Generation that backed O’Connor. That’s why the HHS mandate has a good chance of prevailing.

Cardinal George is no fool, and he understands what he’s up against with the Democrats and Obama:

The provision of health care should not demand “giving up” religious liberty. Liberty of religion is more than freedom of worship. Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union. You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship-no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and the works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. All of these were co-opted by the government. We fought a long cold war to defeat that vision of society.

He’s right. However, the tactics need to change. We do not have a half-century to fight this one as we did the Cold War. We have until November. If Obama is reelected, we’ll lose our tax-exempt status and be stripped of all our agencies by a president who hates who we are and what we stand for. This is no longer a fight over a facet of Obamacare.

It never was, and the bishops need to awaken to that reality. This is a new Marxism, as Cardinal George alluded to. If Obama backs down and the bishops claim victory they will live to regret being duped in so monumental a manner. A Marxist has declared war on the only Church with enough institutional infrastructure to pose a threat to his party’s agenda.

The Catholic vision of human anthropology, who we are, is lived out in our healthcare and social services, and is inculcated through our educational institutions.

Obama gets that.

Cardinal George left out the fifth, and only viable option. The Church has had war declared on her by the government. She must now rally her faithful to vote out this wicked administration in November. She must coordinate strategy with all people of faith from other religions and Christian denominations. If she doesn’t, we lose everything. If she does, a new administration will not permit her to lose the tax-exempt status for having been forced into political organizing to fight an existential threat from the government. (And there are hundreds of videos of Democrat politicians campaigning in Protestant church pulpits).

The plan as laid out by Cardinal George is yesterday’s strategy. It worked for Cardinal O’Connor in a different age, with a different electorate. It’s time for our normally quiet and pastoral bishops to gird their loins.

This one’s for all the marbles.

UPDATE: Bishop Paprocki of Springfield, Ill. responded to this post. His response and my rejoinder here.

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Yesterday at a Congressional hearing, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius made two outrageous claims:

From CNSNews.com

During the subcommittee hearing, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) said that contraception provided by insurance companies to people employed by religious organizations under the future form of the rule Sebelius described would not be was not free.

“Who pays for it? There’s no such thing as a free service,” Murphy asked.

Sebelius responded that that is not the case with insurance.

“The reduction in the number of pregnancies compensates for cost of contraception,” Sebelius answered.

Murphy expressed surprise by the answer.

“So you are saying, by not having babies born, we are going to save money on health care?” Murphy asked.

Sebelius replied, “Providing contraception is a critical preventive health benefit for women and for their children.”

Murphy again sought clarification.

“Not having babies born is a critical benefit. This is absolutely amazing to me. I yield back,” he said.

Sebelius responded, “Family planning is a critical health benefit in this country, according to the Institute of Medicine.”

Quite aside from the fact that nobody is incensed that the government is now directing private industry to provide goods and services for free, the twin claims that decreasing the population offsets the cost of such mandates to industry, and that contraception is a, “critical preventive health benefit for women and for their children,” tell us all we need to know about the depravity of the political left in this nation.

Lowering cholesterol and salt intake are “critical preventive health benefits” as they prevent disease states such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, etc.

Eliminating tobacco is a “critical preventive health benefit” as it reduces chances of developing lung and throat cancer.

Now we are told by the HHS Secretary that pregnancy is a potential health risk not only to women, but their existing children as well. This is the trajectory the twin evils of abortion and contraception have had us on all along. No less a prophet than Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta saw this coming decades ago:

America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts — a child — as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters

And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners. Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign.

~Mother Theresa — “Notable and Quotable,” Wall Street Journal, 2/25/94, p. A14

While it is axiomatic that families and nations do not grow and prosper by shrinking, the question needs to be asked. What is behind the political left’s emphasis on reducing the size of our population, especially in light of the dwindling numbers of employees who will be available to support retirees on Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare?

It seems to me that the Obama crew has it entirely wrong. The only way to fix the funding shortfalls for senior citizen programs is to increase the size of the nation, her tax-paying workforce, and the size of her economy. Having aborted 54 million citizens over the past 39 years, as well as the offspring they’ll never have, has devastated our senior entitlement programs.

Again, it is axiomatic that growth and prosperity are tied to…

Growth!

There is no logical, economic, political, or philosophical explanation for the model of stewardship espoused by the left. Sebelius has revealed, again, the pitting of the mother against the child of the womb and has now added the pitting of the child of the womb against its siblings. She has reduced pregnancy to the level of a disease state in the Federal system of health management.

It is classic radical feminist agitprop. It also echoes Margaret Sanger who famously decreed,

The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it. The same factors which create the terrible infant mortality rate, and which swell the death rate of children between the ages of one and five, operate even more extensively to lower the health rate of the surviving members. Moreover, the overcrowded homes of large families reared in poverty contribute to this condition. Lack of medical attention is still another factor, so that the child who must struggle for health in competition with other members of a closely packed family has still great difficulties to meet after its poor constitution and malnutrition have been accounted for.

From “Woman and the New Race,” page 63. Book can be read online here.

Such sentiments from two prominent Catholic women arise from the crosscurrents of poorly formed morality and ethics, and encountering human suffering. It would seem that in the Sanger-Sebelius circles not much has changed in 90 years. Their response to suffering and death is not charity and expanding economic opportunity. The response is more death.

It is a cramped worldview that sees human struggle and only envisions death, or nonexistence as the solution. We can do better than these people.

We must.

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In my youth, the differences between the Soviet Union and the United States were made abundantly clear to us. We had the freedoms enumerated in the Bill of Rights, and they didn’t. Teens at drive-thru fast food restaurants were iconic of American freedom.

The freedom to recreate our culture through music, food, mobility.

Our fathers fought despotism in World War II and Korea and told us of the communist menace, always juxtaposed with the freedoms for which they fought. We could only imagine the deprivations endured by our peers who were trapped behind the iron curtain. We’d heard of the Soviet commissars with the red stars on their sleeves, whose job it was to enforce all of the myriad dictates of the state in what was a dreary existence. The human spirit withers in the absence of authentic freedom. I thanked God for being an American.

Now after the collapse of the Soviet Empire, the destruction of the Berlin Wall, the flowering of freedom in the former Soviet-bloc nations; we have decided that since we beat them, we should emulate their former system of government.

The America of my middle years increasingly resembles the former Soviet Union, especially as regards the all-out war on religion. More on religion in a moment.

Under our Dear Leader in the White House, we now have Soviet-style commissars who are paid agents of the state, enforcing Department of Health and Human Services food guidelines in preschool by inspecting lunchboxes from home, and seizing the offending food items, supplanting them with state-approved food and billing the family. The following story from Sara Burrows at Carolina Journal Online is chilling:

“A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because the school told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.

The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the person who was inspecting all lunch boxes in the More at Four classroom that day.

“The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs – including in-home day care centers – to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.

“When home-packed lunches do not include all of the required items, child care providers must supplement them with the missing ones.

“The girl’s mother – who said she wishes to remain anonymous to protect her daughter from retaliation – said she received a note from the school stating that students who did not bring a ‘healthy lunch’ would be offered the missing portions, which could result in a fee from the cafeteria, in her case $1.25.”

Read the rest here.

That’s not an isolated incident. In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg has decided that trans fats should be outlawed, and so they were. Sales of trans fats in any food in New York is prohibited, even in Twinkies and Devil Dogs! Grannie Bloomberg has also decided that cigarettes are bad for one’s health and raised the price of a pack to $14.50 with new taxes. He has also decreed that all eating establishments, from the finest restaurants to Dunkin’ Donuts, must list the caloric content of each menu item right next to the item on the menu. Soda (pop) machines have been taken from schools, and increased punitive taxation (similar to cigarettes) was proposed for all soda (pop) in New York City. Bloomberg might have gotten away with it, but for the hordes of New Yorkers ready to tar and feather him.

At least soda is safe, for now.

Another New York Moment occurred a few years back when some City employee decided that New Yorkers seeking to escape our 8 1/4% sales tax by shopping in New Jersey (no sales tax on clothes) should have our license plates photographed at New Jersey malls by government commissars, and then some sort of fine be mailed to the offending party. No word on the career of said bureaucrat after that lead balloon crashed.

Then, in California, there was this recent gem:

“One sun-drenched August morning, armed officers wearing sunglasses and bullet-proof vests descended on a market in Venice, Calif., searching for illegally sold goods. It marked the end of a year-long investigation where undercover agents posed as customers.

Their target: raw, unpasteurized milk.

Federal regulators say it’s a dangerous and unnecessary public threat, pointing to 143 cases of contamination linked to still births, miscarriages and kidney failure since 1987, the latest involving five California children. Grassroots, back-to-nature consumers say the product strengthens the immune system by keeping intact good bacteria that’s killed in pasteurized milk. The choice should be theirs, the activists say.“These guns are being drawn on basically aging hippies, all because of illegal milk,” said Ajna Sharma-Wilson, a Los Angeles lawyer for the Venice market owner, in an interview. “This is a waste of taxpayer money.”

Get the rest here, from Bloomberg News!

Enter the HHS mandate and the Catholic Church.

There is actually no better metaphor for Obama’s brand of government in relationship to the Church than what happened to that little girl. The government seized a healthy turkey and cheese sandwich, potato chips, banana, and apple juice and handed the child a plate of chicken nuggets.

When government is permitted to legislate what we may or may not eat, tries to make it a crime to shop where we wish, demands that we be confronted with the caloric content of our food every time we eat out, the Catholic Bishops have an uphill battle on their hands. It isn’t only Obama whom they are fighting.

It is a nation that has quit on itself, a people who have grown weary of freedom and personal responsibility and who are increasingly trading freedom for the meager rations that come with enslavement. We’ve quit the game. The America of my middle years barely resembles the America of my youth. The Greatest Generation, tempered by war and the Great Depression spawned the Me Generation, softened by excess. With the Greatest Generation all but gone, the Me Generation is in charge. My grandmother used to say of the Boomers in our youth, “I’m glad I’ll be dead when they’re in charge.”

I’m beginning to understand why.

We’ve settled for the chicken nuggets.

Narcissism and hedonism breed their own enslavement, and there will never be a shortage of political opportunists who will seize on the desire for freedom without responsibility, ready to stand guard over the prison of our own making. Our clergy, silent for far too long, now fight a two-front war. On the one hand, they must resist the efforts of the government to dictate every facet of life, lest the people not have the requisite freedom to make moral decisions. On the other hand, they must somehow shake people from their narcissistic torpor and instill in them a renewed appreciation for evil and its effects.

Before the bishops can convince the enslaved of the evil of losing their freedom, they need to convince them of their beauty.

We deserve better than chicken nuggets.

When I was a seminarian, Msgr. William Smith would tell us in moral theology class that the freedom of choice would one day become a mandate. We’re seeing that now with the aggressive eugenics in maternal-fetal medicine with extreme pressure to abort being made on mothers of handicapped babies.

The freedom to use contraception will become a mandate once the government is picking up the tab. There is a hidden mandate within the HHS mandate. Our bodies, our families are increasingly becoming the property of the state.

This November we will either begin walking this abuse back, or a new iron curtain will descend.

How ironic that we, the victors of the Cold War, will have done this to ourselves.

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Click the image to enlarge.

The graph tells the story, and comes from Chris Kahlenborn, MD. Dr. Kahlenborn is the founder of the Polycarp Research Institute, which has some excellent materials on the link between oral contraceptives and breast cancer, as well as abortion and breast cancer. Dr. Kahlenborn’s excellent book, Breast Cancer : Its Link to Abortion and the Birth Control Pill was written ten years ago and is a perfect source book for non-scientists. It was Dr. Kahlenborn’s stellar book that drew my interest in this subject and took me from DEEP skeptic to a properly educated and enlightened scientist through his presentation of all the scientific literature. Order it here.

This contraceptive fight is going to be a definitive issue in this presidential election. Dr. Kahlenborn, Dr. Lanfranchi, Dr. Brind, Ms. Karen Malec and others have written extensively on these issues, and a thorough and sustained reading of their work is going to be necessary if we are not going to be written off as religious zealots by those in the middle. The place to begin is with Kahlenborn’s book and his website. It’s an easy read for the layperson.

The individuals just mentioned, and myself, are out here doing the education, but now we need voices. Many more voices.

Perhaps many here have used oral contraceptives in the past, or are using them now. It’s never too late to learn what science and medicine are telling us, and to change our lifestyles; if not by the light of faith, then by the light of empiric evidence.

Our women are being ravaged by breast cancer, and while OC use and abortion don’t account for it all, they account for plenty.

I’m here to educate and answer questions. Let’s get going.

See also, World Health Organization Data on Birth Control Pill and Estrogen Replacement Carcinogenicity

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There has been confusion of late concerning the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) listing for their Group 1 Carcinogens, including several forms of oral contraceptives and estrogen replacement therapy. The confusion has arisen because the original link by WHO has been changed. After some sleuthing, here is a treasure trove of information from WHO. Let’s take the links one at a time.

First are the IARC Group Classifications for agents and their degrees of carcinogenicity:

Group 1 Carcinogenic to humans (107 agents)

Group 2A Probably carcinogenic to humans (59 agents)

Group 2B Possibly carcinogenic to humans (267 agents)

Group 3 Not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans (508 agents)

Group 4 Probably not carcinogenic to humans (1 agent)

The definitions of these groups may be found in the IARC Monograph Preamble on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Click here.

The page with links to the agents by various classification schemes may be found here.

The actual list of all agents, (IN Group number order) beginning with the following known (Group 1) carcinogens containing:

Estrogen therapy, postmenopausal
Estrogen-progestogen menopausal therapy (combined)
Estrogen-progestogen oral contraceptives

may be found by clicking here.

The same estrogens may be found on the list that lists them in alphabetical order with Group number next to their name. Click here.

Going much, much deeper…

There is another link that shows the monographs on:

1. Exposure Data
2. Studies of Cancer in Humans
3. Studies of Cancer in Experimental Animals
4. Other Data Relevant to an Evaluation of Carcinogenicity and its Mechanisms
5. Summary of Data Reported and Evaluation
6. References

for each of the following:

Oral Contraceptives, combined
Hormonal Contraceptives, Progestogens Only
Post-Menopausal Estrogen Therapy
Post-Menopausal Estrogen-Progestogen Therapy

The link to this page (which contains all the links to the monographs) may be found here.

Hopefully, this helps. Contrary to rumor, WHO did not hide the data, but actually expanded it in new links. Remember that even small increases in risk when multiplied by hundreds of millions of women taking these drugs will produce large absolute new cases of breast cancer.

P.S. Here is a monograph on all of the known carcinogens: Click here.

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It started with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fast-tracking Obamacare and urging lawmakers to read it after voting in the affirmative. In Brooklyn, that’s called a clue.

Then Donald Berwick was recess appointed to head Medicaid and Medicare, and to function as Obamacare’s Rationing Czar. He was recess appointed because the Senate found rather distressing his lack of straight answers on his fondness for eugenics.

It continues with the trend in medicine to continuously expand the definition of “death” for the purpose of organ harvesting to the point that two American bioethicists recently claimed that there is nothing morally wrong with killing, if the individual has lost function and autonomy. Read it here.

All of this, and so much more, points to the real bloodbath that is Obamacare:

Aggressive eugenics feeding the population control agenda.

Enter the HHS mandate forcing the Catholic Church to purchase contraceptives. It’s a brilliant political strategy on Obama’s part, and his Catholic supporters (54%) have aided in this development. It’s the old two-step, one-step; and nobody does it better than the Democrats all up and down the Potomac.

The HHS mandate was Obama pushing two steps forward. If he met with no opposition, he would be significantly ahead of the game. If he met with fierce opposition, then he at least would have galvanized his radical base and caused his opposition to focus on the front end of the life spectrum, while distracting from the real payout for the Culture of Death on the other end of the life spectrum.

Will Obama capitulate? If he does he’ll be lionized in the press as being reasonable and open to dialogue, as well as change. He’ll be juxtaposed with the ‘rigid religious right’ who will not yield an inch. In the end, we will have been too narrowly focussed on the religious liberty issue and will have failed to see the set-up for what it was.

He’ll still be one step ahead, as he will have thrown the right’s attention off of the rest of Obamacare, which will have been tweaked instead of routed.

Our efforts at dealing with the HHS mandate must be tied to a deeper examination of Obamacare and the reality that there is simply no money for all Americans to receive the level and quality of care that those with insurance currently enjoy. There will be a massive decrease in the quantity, type, and quality of service that we will receive in the future, because the very system promising universal coverage is the very system bankrupting the nation.

The eugenists have been setting the table for decades, as have the organ donor folks, and now we are seeing the dangerous and deadly confluence of those two rivers under nationalized health care.

The fight over religious liberty is an important one, and one where we must prevail. However, we need to understand that we are engaged in the two-step, one-step with something far, far, more ominous and consequential. A victory over the HHS mandate that does not translate into momentum for destroying Obamacare is simply putting lipstick on a pig.

It is a rare day that this blog ventures into presidential politics so deeply, but this is not merely an issue of religious liberty. This is about an existential threat. If Obama is not defeated in November, battles over the First Amendment will seem a quaint parlor game compared to what will befall our nation.

If we are to salvage our national identity, this president and his pig need to be retired at the polls in November.

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