Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category

Re-Orienting the Marriage Conversation

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Last week, an important step was taken to moving the national conversation about marriage forward.  It was entitled, “The Ring Makes the Difference”.  The participants in the event were Archbishop Dolan, Pastor Johann Christoph Arnold of the Bruderhof Community, and the scholars Brad Wilcox and Elizabeth Marquard.  A video of the event is available here, and is well worth watching.  There’s also an excellent article in Catholic New York.

For the most part, the public debate has centered on the battle over the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples.  That makes perfect sense, since there is very well-funded, active, organized movement to accomplish that goal.  The Church has been a major opponent of this movement — and a target of their vitriol — and we will continue to do so.

In fact, the same-sex “marriage” movement seems to believe that the only important discussion about marriage is about them.   It’s become difficult to even bring up the subject of marriage without the redefinition advocates interrupting and clamoring for their cause.  And the “Ring Makes the Difference” event was a perfect illustration of this.  They protested outside the theater, and dominated the question/answer session with their personal appeals for the recognition of their unions (apparently they didn’t get the memo that their bill was passed already in New York).

But in a larger sense, the debate has never really been about same-sex couples.  Most reliable surveys show that only about 4% of the overall population self-describes themselves as “gay” or “lesbian”.  In those states where marriage has been re-defined, only a small percentage (an estimated 5%) of that small percentage have entered into “marriages”.  In fact, recent Census reports show that there are only about 130,000 same-sex “marriage” households in the United States.  To put this in context, there are about 60,000,000 households that are founded on real marriages, and another 7,500,000 unmarried opposite-sex couples who are cohabiting.

Let’s do the math.  Based on those Census numbers, same-sex “marriage” couples make up about 0.2% of all households — just two tenths of one percent, or two out of a thousand.

So why is the discussion being dominated by such a tiny population, most of whom don’t even seem to want to be married anyway?  How about if we start talking about the 99.8% of the households who are not in same-sex “marriages”.  Shouldn’t the discussion be about how the redefinition of marriage affects them, and what social policies we can develop that will help them?

That was the point of the Ring Makes a Difference event, and that’s why it’s so important — to focus our attention away from the small special interest group, and towards the vast bulk of the population, and the common good.  In fact, the conversation needs to concentrate on the nature of conjugal love, which is oriented to the union of man and woman, with the procreation and raising of children as an inherent part.  The debate can then appeal to the unchallenged scholarly consensus about the social benefits of marriage — how it is the best place for the emotional, financial and overall good of men, women and children.

To that end, the remarks of Archbishop Dolan were particularly apt.  He made four major points, which in my opinion can serve as a good outline for the discussion as we go forwards:

  1. The defense of marriage is not a religious issue, but is a question that stems from the natural law, and is an expression of responsible American citizenship.
  2. This is not an anti-“gay” issue.
  3. Our concerns about the re-definition of marriage can be seen in the very real threats to religious liberty that are emerging.
  4. The challenge to marriage does not just come from outside, but from inside as well — our own Catholic population has largely lost the proper understanding of true marriage.

The debate about marriage affects the vast majority of the population, and the common good of all.  It is a dis-service to have the conversation focus only on same-sex couples.  We need to re-orient the discussion.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Now that the reality of same-sex “marriage” is upon us, it is worth reflecting on what we should now do to protect and promote the crucial, sacred state of matrimony.

Since we experienced this most recent defeat in the public arena, the natural impulse is to redouble our efforts in the Legislature, to try to overturn the so-called “Marriage Equality Act” and to uphold the federal Defense of Marriage Act.  Together with our allies in the pro-family movement, we will be pursuing those aims, along with other efforts to mitigate the damage caused by this terrible legislation (e.g., striving for better conscience protections for individuals and institutions).

But we also have to recognize that the seeds of this public policy defeat were sown over many years, as our culture — and individuals — gradually turned away from the values that underlie authentic marriage.  We see this in the separation of marital sexuality and child-bearing thanks to contraception, the de-linking of sex and marriage thanks to the “sexual revolution”, the acceptance of non-marital cohabitation, the deterioration of the notion of permanence and fidelity.   All these cultural and moral developments over the past fifty years have undermined the foundation of a marriage culture.  And all of these are rooted in the decisions of individuals to turn away from God’s plan for love and life.

This is the battleground as we move forward.  It is a struggle that will be fought on the level of society, but it is first and foremost an effort to “win the hearts and minds” of individual men and women, to convince them to embrace authentic love and real marriage, and to reject the counterfeits.

This struggle is actually very similar to the campaign to promote a culture of life.  That pro-life effort has never been merely “anti-abortion”, as the media likes to portray it.  Rather, it has always been a sustained initiative to build a culture of life in all arenas of society — in law, education, pastoral support, and prayer.   In fact, marriage and true love has always been a crucial part of the effort to build the culture of life and civilization of love.

In his great encyclical letter, The Gospel of Life, Pope John Paul set out the blueprint to build a “new culture of life”.  Based on this model, we can see that there are three major areas in this effort:

Proclaiming Marriage — The foundation of this proclamation is the person of Jesus Christ Himself, who is authentic love Himself.  His free, total, faithful and fruitful gift of self is both the model and the personification of real love and real marriage.  We must be unafraid to proclaim this truth, and we must do it in a sustained, systematic way — to our children at home and in religious education, to our parishes in liturgy and preaching, to adults in marriage preparation and enrichment programs, and to the world through the personal witness of the lives of married couples.

All too often we have spoken of marriage in muted terms, out of a well-intentioned sensitivity to those in irregular situations.  But we must never be shy about speaking about marriage and its essential role in God’s plan for humanity.  Pope John Paul said, “The meaning of life is found in giving and receiving love, and in this light human sexuality and procreation reach their true and full significance.” (The Gospel of Life, 81)

This proclamation is the task of every part of the Church.  It is an unpopular message, but, as Pope John Paul also said, “we must not fear hostility or unpopularity, and we must refuse any compromise or ambiguity which might conform us to the world’s way of thinking” (The Gospel of Life, 82)

Celebrating Marriage — As with all of our initiatives, the celebration of marriage is rooted in prayer and in liturgy.  It is only by prayerfully contemplating the beauty and splendor of God’s love that we can appreciate the true nature of human love and the vocation to marriage.  In this regard, the daily simple prayers of married couples, widows, and those who aspire to the married state are crucial.

In addition, the liturgical celebration of marriage must be emphasized, particularly its importance to the entire community.  Our parishes can encourage this in simple ways, such as including blessings of engaged couples, the newly married, and jubilarians in the regular Sunday Mass. Congregations can be encouraged to attend weddings, so that they are not just private affairs but true celebrations of the entire People of God. Every opportunity should be taken to incorporate nuptial themes in preaching the Gospel at Mass.  And special days of celebrations, such as “World Marriage Day” can be emphasized in the regular liturgical calendar of parishes.

The ultimate celebration of marriage can be found in the daily lives, the strong witness, of married couples.  We all know that marriage is not easy.  But as we struggle through the vicissitudes of life, we testify to the power of self-sacrificing love of “the many different acts of selfless generosity, often humble and hidden, carried out by men and women, children and adults, the young and the old, the healthy and the sick.” (The Gospel of Life 86)  This is especially true of the heroic married couples who remain faithful and committed to their bond despite bearing particularly difficult crosses — sickness and disability, discord in the household, substance abuse, mental illness, infertility, and chronic discouragement.

Again, the celebration of marriage is the task of every part of the Church.  It is “everybody’s business” that there be strong successful marriages, and the heart of that is the spiritual and sacramental life of the entire Church.

Serving Marriage — At a time when so many marriages are struggling, and so many people are doubting whether a successful marriage is even possible, we must focus tremendous energy on providing practical loving assistance to couples and individuals.  This is a mission rooted in the command of Jesus Himself: “In our service of charity, we must be inspired and distinguished by a specific attitude: we must care for the other as a person for whom God has made us responsible. As disciples of Jesus, we are called to become neighbours to everyone (cf. Lk 10:29-37), and to show special favor to those who are poorest, most alone and most in need.” (The Gospel of Life, 87)

This will involve a sustained effort at educating people, to promoting the vocation to the married life, and to teaching the practical skills that are needed for a successful marriage.  We spend a great deal of effort already in marriage preparation classes, but they must be preceded by years of education in chastity and in the nature of true love.  The promotion of Pope John Paul’s beautiful Theology of the Body has been of enormous help in this regard.  But we as a Church currently spend very little time and energy on the vast majority of married couples — on marriage enrichment and marriage rescue programs, which offer help and support when it is most needed.

As with all of our efforts, this comes down to the commitment of our entire Church.  We need to call and train more married couples who can share their vocation, their troubles and their triumphs.  We need to help and train our clergy, who are so often the “first responders” to those married couples who need help, and who turn to Mother Church for aid.  We are in desperate need for more authentically Catholic counselors and therapists, who can offer the professional assistance that can mean the difference between a broken marriage and a saved one.

A particularly important area in which we can serve marriage is in public policy.  The passage of the “Marriage Equality Act” here in New York is not the final word, by any means.  That law is invalid as an offense against natural law and has no binding force of conscience.  We will continue to resist it as best we can — especially any attempt to expand recognition to other immoral unions like polygamy and polyandry.  We will continue to support pro-marriage legislative and litigation efforts on the federal level and in other states.

So, that’s where we go from here.  We pick ourselves up from this defeat and we soldier on.  This is a broad-based struggle for the soul of our culture, and for the souls of individuals.  No marriage is a private matter.  Our entire Church has an interest in proclaiming, celebrating, and serving marriage.

This battle is far from over.

Varia

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which I send out to some of my friends and contacts (if you’re interested in subscribing to the daily mailing, leave your email address in the comments box):

  • Must read of the week:  Americans United for Life’s exhaustive report on Planned Parenthood.   The Executive Summary provides the basic narrative, the full report has all the details.
  • Stats on late-term abortions in the UK show that it is being used in a eugenic way, to eliminate disabled persons.
  • More proof that human life as a disposable commodity — women in the UK, pregnant due to IVF, are having abortions because they’ve changed their minds.
  • The madness of sex selection continues in India, with baby girls being subjected to sex change operations.
  • Scholar Brad Wilcox punctures the bubble of those who think that “open marriages” are a great idea.  Why would we ever want to go back to the ’70’s?
  • Yet our narcissistic culture, having learned nothing, now brings us the inevitable lawsuit seeking to legalize polygamy.  If same-sex “marriage” is inevitable, then why not anything else?
  • An Illinois court stops the state from terminating Catholic Charities adoption and foster care services due to the civil unions law.
  • Here’s some background on the series of lies that led to the passage of the Illinois civil unions bill, particularly the lies about how it would affect religious institutions.  And every major public official in that state is a Catholic.
  • Lessons learned about the secularization of Catholic universities, thanks to the NLRB ruling that Manhattan College is no longer a church-operated institution.  A lesson worth bearing in mind as more and more Catholic institutions and schools come under the leadership of lay boards with little or no connection to the Church.  It’s all about Catholic identity and mission.
  • Beautiful story of the current record-holder for the world’s most premature baby (21 weeks, 5 days, 1.01 pounds).
  • (Please note that these links will take you to websites that are not affiliated with the Archdiocese.  We neither take responsibility for nor endorse the contents of the websites.)

    Being Faithful

    Thursday, June 9th, 2011

    I ordinarily wouldn’t comment on the current lurid story about the Congressman who has been sending indecent text messages and photographs to women.  But I was struck by a “man in the street” interview in one of our daily papers, which asked whether the Congressman had remained faithful to his wife, or if his conduct was “cheating”.

    You would think this is a no-brainer.  But in our mixed up culture, people are apparently having a hard time figuring out the right answer.

    Let’s start with the basics.  Marital fidelity means much more than just refraining from sexual contact with someone other than my spouse.   That’s certainly a minimum requirement, but it is by no means adequate or complete.

    Real fidelity is not just about physical conduct.  It involves all of my person — my body and my soul, my conduct and my attitudes, my emotions and my will. I have to fully commit all of myself exclusively to my spouse forever.

    To do that, I have to resist the temptations that are constantly presented to me.  Our world is certainly saturated with sexual temptations.  Every one of us who goes online, or who carries a smart phone in his pocket, or who walks down the streets of Manhattan, knows the reality of these temptations. It is very easy to fall into the trap, and to go down the path to destruction step by step.  There are so many excuses — it was just harmless fun, it didn’t hurt anyone, I never touched her, etc.  Of course, those are all lies, and in our moments of honesty we recognize them as such.

    To really be faithful, I need to develop the virtue of chastity.  Kim Burdette, the Coordinator of our Chastity Education program uses a simple, but clear definition of this virtue:

    Chastity is reserving all sexual actions and thoughts for your spouse to affirm your love for them.

    I love this definition because it doesn’t focus on the feelings of temptation — those feelings come to us whether we welcome them or not.  But it reminds me that, like any virtue, chastity is built by repeated acts of my will — I have to make decisions in times of temptation to turn away from the allure of sin, to reject using others for my selfish pleasure, and to focus on giving myself only to my wife.

    This is not easy.  It takes discipline, and it requires a renewal of commitment every time I fail.  Not that I can do this on my own, of course — if I rely on my strength alone, I am doomed to fail.  As the Holy Father said just yesterday, when discussing the virtue of marital fidelity, “this loyalty is not possible without the grace of God, without the support of faith and the Holy Spirit.”

    But don’t just listen to me, or even to the Holy Father, about what we have to do.  Let’s put it in purely secular terms for a second.   The prophet Johnny Cash laid out the marital fidelity agenda very, very well:

    I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
    I keep my eyes wide open all the time
    I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
    Because you’re mine, I walk the line


    Signs of Hope for Marriage

    Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

    All too often, as we strive to defend marriage in the midst of this Culture of Death, it is easy to miss the signs.  They are there, right in front of us, but our concentration on law and public policy often leads us to miss them. Plus, the secular sources of information are hardly likely to give them much attention, since the media tends to stress the bizarre, the sensational, the dysfunctional.

    Yet the signs of hope are always there.

    Just within the last week, they have been called to my own attention very vividly.

    Last Saturday, I attended the Spanish Couples Congress in the Bronx.  This event was co-sponsored by the Family Life Office of the Archdiocese and the Catholic Marriage Movement — a very vibrant and dynamic group of Latino couples who are dedicated to strengthening their own marriages and proclaiming the truth and beauty of the Sacrament of Marriage.    The day was beautiful and powerful — even to someone like me who understands very little Spanish!

    The most encouraging thing was the luminous faith and love of the scores of volunteers and hundreds of attendees.  Many of these couples were native New Yorkers, but so many came here from distant countries — the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, and others.  But what they all have in common is a love for their spouse, and a love for God as an integral part of their marriage.

    This truly was an act of hopeful witness to the power of married love, and the privileged place it holds in God’s plan for us.

    A second event also provides us with a beacon of hope for marriage.  Every year, the Family Life Office sponsors the 5oth Wedding Jubilee Mass at St. Patrick’s.  It is a wonderful event — hundreds of jubilee couples come to the Cathedral with their families and proclaim their ever-new love for each other.  The church is packed and joyous, and there isn’t a dry eye in the house when the couples stand and renew their marriage vows.

    These jubilee couples are a sign of God’s love — especially to the endurance of that love, no matter what hostile winds blow.  They testify to the potential of every marriage, and to the power of married love — a power that can change lives and transform the world.

    The Jubilee Mass is one of my favorite events of the year.  Ironically, I couldn’t attend this year because I was presenting at a Pre-Cana class that day.  But it, too, gave me such encouragement and hope for the future of marriage.

    Here before me I found sixty couples who were taking the courageous step of getting married in the Catholic Church — at a time when the culture, and perhaps many of their friends and loved ones, were telling them that they were crazy to do so.  They sat on hard chairs all day, listened to me offer them insights and advice about the nature of real married love — the gift of self to another.  Their smiles, laughter, genuine affection for each other, openness to me, and most of all their shining hopefulness all buoyed me, and reminded me that love and hope are always intimate partners.

    There is no doubt that we are in a serious struggle to defend authentic marriage.  We also have the challenge to call couples to rise above the ways of the world and embrace God’s plan for their marriage.  But we must always remember to pay attention to those signs of hope that God in His goodness continues to offer us.  This is a struggle worth fighting, one couple at a time, and our ultimate weapon is the power of married love.

    As St. Augustine once famously wrote, “Nothing conquers except truth and the victory of truth is love.”“Nothing conquers except truth and the victory of truth is love.”

    Why Not “Civil Unions”?

    Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

    As the debate over same-sex “marriage” heats up in New York, you occasionally hear legislators say that they oppose same-sex “marriage” but are in favor of “civil unions”.  This is an effort to appear reasonable, and open to compromise, which is certainly laudable.  The problem us, the term “civil unions” doesn’t mean what they think it means.

    When most people use the term “civil unions”, they mean some kind of legal arrangement that grants rights to same-sex couples, like hospital visitation, inheritance rights, insurance eligibility, etc., without putting that relationship on the same legal plane as marriage.

    The problem is, that’s not what the term “civil unions” actually means.  It means the same thing as same-sex “marriage”.

    Bills that recognize “civil unions” grant them all the same rights and privileges of marriage.  The “civil unions” bill that was passed in New Jersey, for example, specifically states that any provision of law that deals with marriage, spouses, etc., must be read to include “civil unions” and those who enter into them.  The “civil unions” bill introduced in Rhode Island today does exactly the same thing. The legal difference between “marriage” and “civil unions” is absolutely nothing — it’s just the name.

    So, all the statutes that prohibit discrimination based on “marital status” would have to be read to prohibit discrimination against those in “civil unions”.  In fact, the case that led to the New Jersey Methodist organization being stripped of its tax exempt status wasn’t based on their refusal to recognize a “marriage”, but their refusal to recognize a “civil union” — which the courts treated as the same thing as a marriage.

    It’s also well known that same-sex “marriage” advocates have used “civil unions” laws as a step towards the judicial imposition of same-sex “marriage” .  The argument they make is that granting the rights of marriage, but denying the term “marriage”, is invidious discrimination in violation of the Equal Protection Clause (or its state equivalent).  That was precisely the approach that was successfully used in Connecticut to impose same-sex “marriage” by judicial fiat.  That same argument is being made in court in New Jersey.

    The reality also is that “civil unions” are not on the table in the New York State Legislature.  To my knowledge, a “civil unions” bill has never been introduced in the Legislature, and nobody has said that they are interested in doing so.  Indeed, same-sex “marriage” advocates frequently say that they don’t want “civil unions”.

    The choice in the Legislature is not “civil unions” versus same-sex “marriage”.  It’s all about re-defining marriage.

    Once More Unto the Breach

    Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

    The Governor of New York State has let it be known that he will soon begin to demolish the foundation of society.

    Of course, he didn’t put it quite that way.  Instead, he promised to push for the passage of the so-called “Marriage Equality Act”, which would re-define marriage, which is the fundamental support of a healthy society.  The Governor is apparently not satisfied with the authentic meaning of marriage — a union of one man and one woman dedicated to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children.  Instead, he wants to change it to mean something that it cannot — a union between persons of the same sex.

    Several times in recent years, the State Assembly has passed the bill to re-define marriage, but it has only come up for a vote once in the Senate, where it was defeated in 2009.  But it has risen again, and it appears that the Governor will put some of his considerable political muscle behind it.

    This, in a state where there is a marriage and family crisis — where 41% of births are out-of-wedlock, only 66% of households with children are headed by a married couple, and there are over 50,000 divorces in families with children under 18.  Now is hardly the time to re-define marriage, leaving people with the impression that it is all about adult satisfaction and not about children, and that children don’t need both a mother and a father who are in a stable, life-long relationship.

    For more information about this critical issue, and how you can take action, visit the webpage of the Family Life/Respect Life Office.  There you can find resources to get the pro-marriage message into our parishes and communities, and to answer some of the common misconceptions about this issue.

    Ultimately, we need to make clear that this is not about “equal rights” or “discrimination”. Same sex couples have the right to live as they wish, but nobody has the right to re-define marriage for all of society.  Please take action today to defend marriage.

    Varia

    Sunday, March 27th, 2011

    The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which I send out to some of my friends and contacts (if you’re interested in subscribing to the daily mailing, leave your email address in the comments box):

  • Two lawsuits have now been filed challenging NYC’s crisis pregnancy center law:  here and here.
  • Pro-lifers continue to make progress in state legislaturesSouth Dakota enacts a 72-hour waiting period that also requires a woman to receive counseling about alternatives, and Arizona moves forward on a ban on sex- and race-selection abortions.  New York, clueless as always, continues to mire in the Culture of Death.
  • A UN report shows that changing sexual attitudes and behavior — particularly reducing promiscuity and adultery — actually does reduce HIV transmission, as evidenced by the experience of Zimbabwe.  Apologies to the Holy Father (who was pilloried in the press for pointing this out) will no doubt be forthcoming.
  • The real (i.e., eugenic) effects of pre-natal testing can be found in the abortion rate for handicapped children.
  • When Illinois’ civil unions bill was being considered, Cardinal George warned that it would threaten Catholic programs, and was derided for it. Well, what do you know — he was right, and Catholic Charities will probably be forced out of the foster care field: .
  • Bishop Tobin of Providence calls for an end to “Catholic apathy” on the defense of marriage, and strongly denounces efforts to legalize same-sex “marriage”.
  • The Vatican is investing in a company that specializes in adult stem cell research.
  • There are substantial concerns about the new Irish coalition government, and its policies on life and marriage.
  • Scholars crunch the numbers and find that Christians who attend church actually divorce less often than those who don’t.
  • A very nice profile of Maria McFadden Maffucci, editor of the indispensable Human Life Review. She denies it, but she really is a pro-life “hero”.
  • (Please note that these links will take you to websites that are not affiliated with the Archdiocese.  We neither take responsibility for nor endorse the contents of the websites.)

    Varia

    Sunday, February 20th, 2011

    The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which I send out to some of my friends and contacts (if you’re interested in subscribing to the daily mailing, leave your email address in the comments box):

  • Robert George weighs in on the Live Action debate.
  • Philosopher Christopher Tollefsen responds to those who disagreed with his moral critique of Live Action’s tactics.  Other response here and herePeter Kreeft defends Live Action,  as does Hadley Arkes.
  • As a charter member of the Kathryn Jean Lopez Fan Club, I give you three of her pieces: on the power of pro-life witness, the suffering of women, and the culture of death; an interview with Maggie Gallagher on the current status of the defense of marriage; and an interview of Brad Wilcox on the overall health  of marriage.
  • The forces of “tolerance” refuse to brook any dissent.  Now the “gay rights” crowd is going after the iPhone app that helps people prepare for Confession, because it has the audacity to state that homosexual acts are sinful.  Note the chilling term they use — “anti-gay spiritual abuse”.  In 1984, Orwell used the term “thoughtcrime”.
  • An amendment to the federal budget will cut funding from abortionists.  Also, the Protect Life Act, which will remove abortion funding from the health care law, has been approved by committee and sent to the full House for consideration.  The Democrats in Congress, however, continue to rally behind Planned Parenthood and resist measures to defund them.
  • A positive initiative in Kansas to support pregnant women.  Here in New York, of course, our Governor cut all funding for the pro-life Maternity and Early Childhood Foundation, while continuing unlimited Medicaid funding for abortion and tons of money for Planned Parenthood.  Red states, blue states.
  • Wesley Smith explains how to fight against the evil thoughts of Peter Singer, the Princeton philosopher who justifies infanticide.  Smith warns that we must oppose this now, lest infanticide become as accepted as abortion is now.
  • Why is our government funding an international program that is making it easier to carry on the exploitation of “sex workers”, including minors?
  • The Brave New World, Northern Chapter — a Canadian court will permit doctors to remove life support from a gravely ill baby, against her parent’s wishes; the court rejected the parents’ request to bring her home so she can die among her family.
  • The fight to keep Ireland pro-life continues.
  • (Please note that these links will take you to websites that are not affiliated with the Archdiocese.  We neither take responsibility for nor endorse the contents of the websites.)

    Varia

    Sunday, February 6th, 2011

    The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which I send out to some of my friends and contacts (if you’re interested in subscribing to the daily mailing, leave your email address in the comments box):

  • Probably the most shocking expose yet by Live Action of the appalling practices of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics, this time covering up sex trafficking and child abuse.   This evil organization should be defunded.  Which is the purpose of a new website from a coalition of pro-life groups.
  • The pro-abortion forces are also getting desperate, resorting to lying about the content of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, claiming that it doesn’t protect underage women who are raped: .  In response to the lie, the bill’s sponsors are clarifying the language.  Um, given the track record of abortion clinics that overlook parental notice laws and statutory rape laws, isn’t there a wee bit of hypocrisy here?
  • At least one public official understands the correct response — the Governor of New Jersey vetoed a bill that funded Planned Parenthood.
  • On the other hand, the Administration is now considering whether the health care law gives them the authority to require all private health insurers to cover contraceptives.  Gasoline on the fire.
  • The clueless New York Times “analyzes” the reasons for the high abortion rate in New York City and finds that’s it all because of inadequate sex education and lack of access to contraceptives.  All the usual suspects were interviewed, no abstinence educator was contacted, no acknowledgment that abortion is being used as the birth control of last resort.  Nothing but the party line, as always.
  • A handy reminder that the Philadelphia abortionist — remember him? — is the exemplar for the state of abortion law in the United States.
  • Yet another study showing the benefits of marriage to health and longevity.
  • How porn normalizes the brutalization of women (warning — the article I include here is safely readable, but the one from the Atlantic Magazine that it links to is very, very graphic)
  • The highest constitutional court of France has declined to create a right to same-sex “marriage”.  I wonder if our judges who love to cite foreign law will take note of this.
  • Some foolish legislators like to target pregnancy support centers (like NYC’s City Council).  Others are smart enough to praise them, like South Dakota’s State Legislature.
  • (Please note that these links will take you to websites that are not affiliated with the Archdiocese.  We neither take responsibility for nor endorse the contents of the websites.)