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Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

On the eve of the Fortnight for Freedom, there are those within the Catholic Church who are denying that the two-week observance has anything to do with the Church’s teaching on contraception and everything to do with upholding the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religious expression. That’s a false dichotomy and misattribution of the causal nature of our current dilemma.

It’s akin to those who say the American Civil War wasn’t about slavery, that it was all about states’ rights; which of course begs the question: The right to do what?

There is no doubt that the states who seceded feared the loss of self-government to the Federal Government, but the loss of liberty was rooted in the issue of slavery which was woven into the very social and economic fabric of the South. In the case of slavery (which took on a more prominent role for Northerners as the struggle wore on) it was an example of the Federal Government getting it right. The unalienable (That is, God-given) right to liberty had been denied to African-Americans for far too long. Federal troops were sent to both preserve the Union and end slavery for good.

In the current struggle, the Federal Government has sought to attack the Catholic Church over an issue that is central to her identity and mission, the teaching that all human life is made in the image and likeness of God from the moment of fertilization and is to be respected as such until natural death. Our loss of freedom is centered on the mandate by the Federal Government that we pay not only for birth control pills, some of which are known abortifacients, but that we pay for sterilizations and known abortifacient morning-after pills such as RU-486 and Ella.

Further, the Government is dictating what institutions constitute “religious” institutions and which do not. The only “religious” institutions that qualify for an exemption by the Obama criteria would be those who violate equal opportunity law by hiring most of their employees who are members of that church, and whose services go mainly to members of that same church.

Otherwise, Catholic hospitals, schools, and social service agencies are required to pay for contraceptives, abortifacients and abortions, and sterilizations. If the bishops do so, they shred Humanae Vitae and every decent moral precept undergirding Catholic Anthropology. If they voluntarily close down these institutions, they cooperate with evil by giving our enemies precisely the evisceration of our Church that they seek.

Perhaps jails overflowing with civilly disobedient Catholic bishops, clergy, religious, and laity will be the sole salvation of religious liberty in America. We’ll see soon enough how this situation breaks. The Supreme Court ruling on the HHS mandate is due out any day, and then there are the November elections.

That’s plenty of reason to pray during this fortnight.

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Recently, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius dropped her guard and gave the American people a good insight into how it is that Obamacare will ultimately stay solvent: The nonexistence of patients who, not being alive, cannot make claims upon the system.

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.”

See and hear Sebelius in her own words:

Now this week comes word that the Congessional Budget Office estimates Obamacare will cost twice its originally promised cost. News also comes of the return of what Sarah Palin dubbed, “Death Panels” for healthcare rationing. Far from right wing flights of fancy, these realities already exist in chilling bureaucratic routine across the nation in hospital committees who decide when patients have used too many resources, and in Oregon’s health care system where the government decides when a patient’s remaining quality of life justifies the expense of keeping them alive.

Here is the ABC News article about one such patient, Barbara Wagner. It is a portal into the national future.

Adding fuel to the fire is the issue of states increasingly strained by the growing number of civil service pensioners who do their 20 years and retire on full pensions.

Add to that the Social Security insolvency.

It becomes clear that Sebelius has not so much committed a gaffe as she has revealed the solution her fellow travelers see to our insolvency issues: decreasing the number of claimants on the system decreases the system’s expenditures. Nonexistence of humans on the front end of the life spectrum will fund the cost of the HHS contraception mandate through the offsetting of the non-conceived human’s non-claims on the system. Applying the same thinking on the other end of the life spectrum will realize a bumper crop of savings for local, state, and the federal government when civil service pensioners are denied life-saving services, or have them delayed long enough in rationing lines in the hopes that the patient will be overtaken by the disease while waiting.

Being a Pacific Northwestern Governor, Sarah Palin looked to one of her closest neighbors, Oregon, and saw clearly the future of the pro-abortion, anti-life, rabidly eugenic left wing. It is far easier to cull the herd than grow the economy, especially in a political party that is opposed to all known and practical sources of energy; to a political party that has made a central plank of their platform the reduction of the world’s population.

We are a nation in serious, serious trouble.

To only blame the Obama administration or the Democrat Party is to miss the fact that sufficient numbers of Americans agree with these people. Far too many uphold the right for someone else to slaughter their child, even though they are personally opposed to doing so.

So many uphold he right of others to force doctors to perform manslaughter through physician-assisted suicide, even if it violates the doctor’s conscience.

So many uphold the forcing of all medical students to perform abortions against their consciences.

So many uphold the forcing of religious institutions and private businesses to purchase contraceptives against their consciences.

90% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted, with costs to the parents and the ‘system’ cited by physicians and genetic counselors in a coercive campaign to rid the world of these “defectives”.

Far too many in this nation support the coercion of physicians and private citizens to do the government’s bidding when doing so violates consciences formed by thousands of years of civilized precepts. Now we have established that private and institutional conscience is the property of the state, the state is taking full advantage of the opportunity to advance its agenda.

Hitler never could have accomplished his malignant agenda without the support of the German people in sufficient numbers. It takes more than a village, it takes a nation to be good or evil. Today, our nation balances on a razor’s edge.

It will take more than the November elections to turn things around. It’s going to take the realization of what is at stake. It’s no longer someone else’s ox getting gored.

We’re all in peril.

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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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The Saint Gianna Physician’s Guild has begun a petition drive calling for the Obama Administration to reverse course on the HHS mandate. This is a great organization, with more about them in a minute.

Cardinal Raymond Burke has issued the following statement:

I wholeheartedly express my solidarity with the Stop The Birth Control Mandate petition promoted by St. Gianna Physician’s Guild protesting the recent decree by the Department of Health and Human Services of our federal government. I encourage Catholics to sign the petition and thus unite their support of Holy Mother Church by protesting the most grievous violation of the right to religious liberty for Catholics in the United States.

~Raymond Cardinal Burke
Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION

At this writing there are 19,311 signatures. Please send this link to all of your friends and family and encourage them to sign the petition.

Now, a little about this wonderful physician’s guild from their website:

Saint Gianna Physicians Guild was founded by a Catholic layman who saw a need for physicians and other health care workers to bring their Faith into their lives and medical practices in a more pronounced way.

Thomas McKenna founded the organization and then teamed up with a close friend and internationally renowned physician in the specialty of gynecologic oncology from the University of Southern California, Dr. Paul Morrow, to form a movement to do this.

The Mission

The mission of St. Gianna Physician’s Guild is to unite and encourage Catholic physicians, and those in the health care profession, to promote and defend Catholic principles in a public way by word and example, and to inspire sanctification in their lives.

It seeks to use the influence and expertise of the medical profession to clarify and support sound ethics and morality in the practice of medicine and proclaim them in the public forum. As a way of promoting these values in the personal lives of the faithful, the Guild has a special devotional outreach to promotes and teach about the life and virtues of their patron, St. Gianna Beretta Molla, a dedicated wife, mother and physician who lived and practiced her faith in an exemplar way in the 20th century.

St. Gianna died in 1962 at the age of 39. She sacrificed her life for that of her unborn daughter when confronted with complications caused by a tumor that developed during her pregnancy. St. Gianna was canonized by Pope John Paul II on May 16, 2004.

AGAIN, PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION

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Word comes this week that Cardinal-elect Timothy Dolan received a telephone call from President Obama stating that the Catholic Church would not receive an exemption from the requirement to purchase contraception for its employees. Cardinal Dolan is less than enthused:

“It’s not about contraception. It’s about the right of conscience.”

“The government doesn’t have the right to butt into the internal governance and teachings of the church. This is not a Catholic issue, it’s an American issue. We’re strong on this issue of conscience, and that’s what’s at stake here.”

“While I appreciate his courtesy Friday morning to give me a call with the somber news, I had to tell him I was terribly let down, disappointed and disturbed.”

Yes, Eminence, it is about conscience where Obama and the Federal Government are concerned, but it’s about much, much more within the Catholic Church.

It’s about the contending issues of fidelity and narcissism that have torn the Church to pieces over the past fifty years, reducing a once-powerful and respected constituency to a laughingstock in many political circles. Obama’s actions and posture toward the Church, even the election of such a man, would have been unthinkable twenty-five years ago. His declaration to Cardinal Dolan was less a declaration of war than the final, sickening realization that we have had the terms of our self-incarceration dictated to us by the man who embodies all that we have become as a people.

In my 51 years, I have witnessed Mass attendance drop to 1/3 of what it was when I was a child. Since my twelfth year of life, we have butchered more than 54 million unborn babies, millions of them in their Catholic mothers’ wombs. My generation advanced the sexual revolution and spread AIDS like wildfire. Yes many of us have repented of our earlier sins and have pursued virtue, but many of us have not properly formed our children out of misplaced guilt and mistaken notions of what constitutes hypocrisy.

I can’t remember EVER hearing a homily on contraception or John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. I can count on two hands the number of homilies I have heard on abortion, and none, NONE on what makes for a sacramental marriage.

For as bad as it has been, the sex abuse scandal has been the LEAST damaging issue for the Church. That was a very small fraction of our priests, less than 4%. Our marriages are in free-fall, our children torn apart by divorce.

At every step of the way, rejection of what the Church teaches has been behind the disintegration. At every step of the way, we have elected increasingly radical politicians. There is a causal relationship in that pattern.

There is no “Catholic Vote.”

Enter Obama and Dolan.

Their contention, and our current condition, could be viewed as presaged by Abraham Lincoln nearly two-hundred years ago:

The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions:
Address Before the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois
January 27, 1838

This task of gratitude to our fathers, justice to ourselves, duty to posterity, and love for our species in general, all imperatively require us faithfully to perform.

How then shall we perform it?–At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?– Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never!–All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

We are dying by suicide. We are killing our babies by abortion, and now our elderly in increasing numbers through passive and active euthanasia. The preservation of resources and lifestyle are the leading reasons offered up.

Malignant Narcissism and Hedonism.

That there is reason to believe Obama could actually be re-elected indicates we passed the conscience issue long ago. Conscience was determined in our last presidential election. We elected Obama knowing full-well his declared intent.

This election will determine whether or not we’re content with our chains.

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Deacon Greg Kandra carries a quote of the day on his blog. It comes from an article detailing the Navy SEAL operation on the night that bin Laden was discovered and killed:

At one point, Biden, who had been fingering a rosary, turned to Mullen, the Joint Chiefs chairman. “We should all go to Mass tonight,” he said.

A commenter on the blog questions the legality and morality of the order to kill bin Laden. The following is my response to both:

No, it was not a sin to order the death of bin Laden. The President, acting as Commander-in-Chief of a nation at war gave a lawful and moral order to take out the enemy Commander-in-Chief.

bin Laden was a legitimate military target in a just war. Given that the enemy has not surrendered, taking bin Laden alive would have resulted in an escalation in the amount of terrorism that would have occurred during his incarceration and trial.

In time of war, a president never has on his desk the option between nobody dying and somebody dying. His options are between a greater or lesser number of people dying, and he has a moral obligation to choose the lesser number of people dying, especially protecting the innocent and his own troops’ lives. bin Laden was the chief perpetrator and mastermind of the evil that dragged us into this war.

Killing him brought about the justice that was inevitable, especially in light of his confessional video detailing his plot to bring down the Trade Center. Delivering that justice on the battlefield in a manner that maximized safety for the SEALs, and minimized the probability of terrorist attacks meant to secure his release was the right thing to do.

As for Joe Biden fingering his rosary beads and suggesting that all go to Mass, his bishops are to blame for this man’s spiritual delusion, and the subsequent current state of his soul’s peril.

Joe Biden has been one of the key champions of protecting Roe v. Wade during his tenure as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee (1987-1995), especially in his presiding over the demonization of Judge Robert Bork during his nomination hearings. It was Biden who made Roe the litmus test for every Supreme Court nominee.

Biden has the blood of 53 million babies (and counting) on his hands. At some point a confessor needs to question Biden’s lack of firm purpose of amendment, which is indispensible for obtaining absolution. 3 1/2 decades of his obscene devotion to this slaughter is called a clue.

The real obscenity and irony is that Biden has helped to assure the deaths of millions, where Bin Laden never made it out of the thousands. Biden is fortunate enough to have had the law on his side.

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Suppose we woke to the following headline with our morning coffee: Obama Administration to Fund 13 New Experimental HIV Drugs., followed by this secondary header- Activist Groups Outraged at Funding ‘Useless’ Class of Drugs over Proven Entity.

Indeed, suppose the story went on to describe how the President and the Democrats remained wedded to funding a class of drugs whose side-effects were so horrendous in animal research models that use in humans would be unthinkable.

Further suppose that the classes of drugs that have shown dramatic efficacy went underfunded, and were even ridiculed by the President and his fellow travelers. Imagine that states such as California floated $3 Billion bonds to float such useless research into drugs that couldn’t make it out of animal trials over drugs working in human HIV/AIDS patients. Imagine the outrage coming from the scientific and medical communities, from AIDS activists, AIDS patients and their loved ones.

There would be calls for Congressional hearings. There would be protests that would make the HIV protests of the 1980’s look tame by comparison.

Certainly people would wonder why. Why would the federal and state governments obstinately sink tens of billions of dollars into such fruitless research and allow other nations to capitalize on the existing research bearing good fruit?

Absent a mass delusion as an explanation, people would be looking for a smoking gun.

Thus it is with Embryonic Stem Cells (ESC”s) vs. Adult Stem Cells (ASC’s). Thus it has been this week with President Obama. Read it here.

When ESC proponents want to advance funding of these cell lines, they NEVER specify ESC v. ASC. Rather, they throw around the generic term ‘Stem Cells’ when speaking of their promise and current use in therapeutics. Recall that ESC’s are derived from tearing apart a human in its embryonic stage of development. ASC’s are derived from adults.

ESC’s have consistently shown themselves to be uncontrollable, growing wild and forming tumors in animals. They have yet to clear that hurdle before moving into human clinical trials. In India, one physician using ESC’s is purported to have her patients recovering slight function after spinal cord injuries. She will not divulge her methodology, and so remains highly suspect.

ASC’s, in contrast, have over a hundred therapeutic applications, none involving tumor formation. Some of these lack FDA approval and must be obtained overseas. They have been published in peer-reviewed journals.

So why the obstinate refusal to put the bulk of the money into ASC’s?

Abortion.

Obama and Co. cannot afford for people to begin developing sensitivity to the plight of embryonic humans, lest that awakening to the dignity of humans in the embryonic stage spill over into increased consciousness over abortion. That would mean the Democrats losing their central organizing principle, their raison d’etre. Pressing ahead with ESC’s is a buttress to support abortion.

It’s high-tech cannibalism.

It’s also already obsolete. Recently, we’ve been able to take skin cells from a patient and induce them into an ESC-like state. These are called Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC’s). These have the advantage of being from the patients themselves, with no risk of tissue rejection. They are abundant, easy to obtain, easy to induce to pluripotency. Why not fund these instead?

Abortion.

Abortion has poisoned the body politic. It has claimed 52 million lives in the US since 1973. It has ruined countless millions of women’s lives, and now it is corrupting science.

Where are the denunciations of this wastefulness from the scientific and medical communities? Would this be allowed to stand if it were our HIV analogy instead? Not likely.

Abortion destroys everything it touches. That’s a good thing, as it will force us to eventually seek less recourse to it because of the wastefulness it unleashes on any society evil enough to seek its embrace.

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Image via servitokss.com

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