Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Supreme Court’

The Holy Hours and prayers have all been said, the letters written to legislators, the blogs have been written, the teach-ins have played themselves out, and the church bells have all been rung.

Now What?

Where do we go from here, and will our bishops continue to lead us along the way? These are the questions on many lips today, and in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling last week, the space between now and election day is potentially some of the deadliest political battle-ground ever in American history. Hanging in the balance is nothing less than how this nation will be constituted moving forward.

These are consequential times and the laity of the Catholic and other faithful Christian churches have to contemplate what government control of healthcare will mean for biomedical ethics and the very character of our healthcare system if Obamacare is not consigned to oblivion in November. We need to consider exactly what is at stake.

The healthcare system as we know it, the process of scientific and therapeutic discovery, the development of new pharmaceutical agents will all slow tremendously as the government takes control. That’s because the government will suck the profit incentive out of the system in an effort to control costs. That’s what socialist systems do.

Profit is not a bad thing, not a bad thing at all. “Big Pharma” has been villified to the point of absurdity by people who don’t understand the workings of discovery, or pension plans. One of the most profitable sectors in the economy has been the biotech industry, and anyone with a private or government pension plan has seen it grow in no small measure because of the pension plan’s investments in these corporations.

On average, companies have less than ten years from the time a drug comes to market to recoup the research and development costs over the first ten years of the patent, before the patent expires and the drug goes into generics. By way of example, for new antibiotics the cost of R&D approaches $1 billion from the time the compound is discovered in the lab until the drug clears all three levels of FDA clinical trials. Investors (anyone with a pension plan) want their money back ASAP, not twenty years from now. And people who have spent four years in college, ten years in a Ph.D. program, at least three years in post-doctoral training rightly demand six-figure salaries as compensation for almost twenty years of their adult lives spent in training.

It takes a small army of such highly skilled researchers to advance the discoveries. Their just compensation is also an issue of social justice. Their discoveries and resultant profits do not feed the insatiable maws of a handful of fat cat executives in silk top hats, as is often caricaturized. Those discoveries ultimately extend and improve all of our lives (either when the drug is new and expensive, or in a few short years when it goes into generic production), and the profits sustain our retirees in their old age.

Europe had a thriving pharmaceutical industry before they adopted socialized medicine. Once the government became the single-largest purchaser of pharmaceutics they set the prices they were willing to pay so absurdly low that they collapsed the industry in Europe.

Hillary Clinton did the same thing to the vaccine wing of our pharmaceutical industry when Bill Clinton was president. The only portion of her nationalized healthcare that became policy was the children’s vaccine initiative. It was a noble attempt to vaccinate every child in America.

At the outset there were over thirty manufacturers of vaccines in the U.S. After the government became the single-largest purchaser of vaccines, they set the price and collapsed the industry. By the time of the anthrax scares post-9/11, there were less than seven manufacturers left, and the U.S. is now forced to purchase most of our vaccines abroad.

Then comes news last week that the Supreme Court struck down the provision in Obamacare that would have widened the medicaid involvement—–which was the precise population used to justify this entire mess in the first place. Now we are left with the worst of two worlds, the uninsured still being uninsured, and the government co-opting and destroying the very system they claimed they wanted for the uninsured.

Brilliant.

It only goes to substantiate for Americans the experiences of other nations under socialized medicine. To be sure there are the apologists in Europe and Canada who will tout the superiority of their systems. What they do not tout is the radical eugenics and euthanasia that have seized these nations and which have become a permanent part of the landscape. It’s easy to boast of the superiority of one’s system when the very sickest among us don’t factor into the equation at all.

This is our choice come November. To my fellow Catholics at the conclusion of this fortnight, we have our work cut out for us. Either we rise up as the muscular Church we once were, or we consign ourselves to the status of paper tiger for at least a generation to come.

We stake all on the November elections.

Read Full Post »

Freedom

“I thought that by hanging on to my guilt and shame I was proving how much I really loved you.”

So said the mother in a letter written to her aborted baby.

It was a rare and privileged moment of grace, to be permitted into the sanctuary of a mother’s heart at the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court; the very site thirty-seven years ago where the wheels for the greatest holocaust ever known in human history were set in motion.

We were gathered there yesterday with seventy mothers and fathers who were cheered on by over three hundred thousand marchers passing by shouting their love and affirmation. Hundreds stopped and pressed in at any given moment to hear from those victims of the great lie telling us their stories and vowing to be Silent no More. Click here to see video clips of these heroes before the Supreme Court.

Of all the moving testimony, that one quote from the mother’s letter to her baby stood out. It seemed to pierce the heart of the matter, the very essence of true forgiveness, genuine liberation. It was a lesson for us all.

How often in our relationships, when we hurt the ones we love, do we hold on to guilt and shame? As though such eternal guilt and shame is evidence of the depths of our love. Is this what our loved ones want for us? Eternal shackles? Do we demand as much from those who’ve hurt us?

No. As Saint Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13, love does not keep a record of wrongs, but rejoices in the truth.

The truth here is that these women and men were forgiven long before they knew it. They march not out of shame and guilt, but out of love. They march not for themselves, but for us. One by one they ascend the podium before the Supreme Court and with tearful remembrance flowing from hearts filled with love, they offer us their agony as a warning, and as the objective evidence that abortion’s victims are not only those left behind at the clinic.

Most of all, they offer us their stories as evidence that with God, all things are possible, that no sin is too great to be forgiven. That forgiveness is not merely the commutation of our sentence, but being restored to our full dignity as the royal sons and daughters of the great High King.

This mother taught us yesterday the lightness of being that comes with our Father’s merciful love.

She taught us how to be free.

Read Full Post »

Associated Press
New York

In what has become the defining event in American Constitutional Law, arrests of Catholic Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, Religious, and laity have continued into a second day, and will surely cast a pall over President Obama’s second term in office, as well as his legacy.

After the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the petition of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on Monday, the Justice Department moved forward with the seizure of all Roman Catholic Properties for failure to pay taxes for a second year in a row. On Thursday, Cardinal Dolan took to the pulpit in a packed St. Patrick’s Cathedral to denounce the tactics of the Federal Government, while calling on his congregation to treat the police with the utmost courtesy and respect.

When the Cardinal refused to order his congregation to disperse in compliance with the 12 P.M. deadline to vacate the premises, Federal officers mounted the altar and handcuffed the Cardinal, leading him out of the Cathedral through the entrance to his residence behind the altar.

Auxiliary Bishop Mark Valente and Cathedral Rector, Msgr. Justin O’Reilly were each led away in handcuffs after also refusing to give the order to disperse. The officers then set about placing plastic restraints on the wrists of the more than 2,000 congregants, many elderly nuns, who refused to leave. Among those arrested were several leaders of other faith communities here in New York who fear a similar fate for their churches.

The choir led the congregation in singing hymns of praise, such as Lift High the Cross, and Holy God We Praise Thy Name.

Similar scenes have been playing themselves out at Catholic churches all over the nation. Not since the civil disobedience of Gandhi has the world seen anything approaching this scale.

President Obama will address the nation tonight at 9 P.M. from the Oval Office. Confidential sources say the President plans to explain why the USCCB cannot use their political muscle to violate the law with impunity.

In Rome an increasingly frail Pope Benedict XVI thundered condemnation for the assault on his Church, and expressed his solidarity with his brothers and sisters, “persecuted for righteousness’ sake”.

Meanwhile, the USCCB has been gaining traction with its 60-second ad campaign showing no fewer than thirty Democrats campaigning from pulpits in Protestant Churches, as well as over fifty Protestant Ministers openly advocating DNC policy from their pulpits. Cries of “double-standard” continue to inflict damage on Obama’s standing in the polls, with the latest Gallup Poll showing the President’s approval rating sliding twenty-two points to 27% since his reelection just four months ago.

Since the Bishops lost their bid in early 2010 to keep Federal Funding of abortions out of the health care legislation, they have stirred themselves into an activism never before seen. The current crisis began when the Bishops, in conjunction with the RNC, disseminated voter guides in church to the faithful.

Most analysts agree that this contributed in no small measure to the Republican landslide that won them the House and Senate in 2010, and even larger majorities this past November. But for the untimely death from a heart attack of Mr. Obama’s opponent three weeks before the election, a Republican rout was all but certain.

Many see the actions of the IRS in early 2011, and the subsequent court battles as retribution from Obama for effectively making him a lame duck in his first term.

Meanwhile, arrests have slowed as police set up makeshift detention centers in armories and school gymns in the large cities. The detained are refusing to post bail and refusing to leave the detention centers. If forced to do so, they claim to be resolved in their determination to return to their churches, schools and diocesan centers to attempt entry and force a re-arrest.

It is becoming clear that the IRS threat of losing 501(c)(3) status was never a viable strategy in the face of a determined opposition.

UFT President Adrian Moore has blasted the Obama administration for emptying Catholic schools in the seizure and forcing these students on classrooms already overcrowded and on school systems that are bankrupt after the sex abuse lawsuits against public school teachers, most going back decades, that were the result of the courts mandating that public schools had to also open a one year window for claims no longer covered by the statute of limitations.

This was another in a series of unintended consequences, as Democrats tried to destroy nonprofits by passing legislation aimed only at them, opening the one year “look-back”, as it is called. Upon challenge, the courts decided to apply the standard to public schools as well, rather than striking down the lopsided legislation.

For now, neither the President, nor the Bishops will back down. The issue may be decided on Capitol Hill, as talk of impeachment begins to gain momentum.

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 767 other followers

%d bloggers like this: