Archive for the ‘Congress’ Category

The Enemies of Religious Freedom Declare Themselves

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

There have been many results from the Supreme Court’s religious freedom ruling in the Hobby Lobby/Conestoga Wood case.  One is that we can more readily identify many people who either lack fundamental reading comprehension skills or are subject to such ideological blindness that they egregiously mis-characterize what the case actually held.

Perhaps most important, though, is that we can now see very clearly who the enemies of religious freedom are — and we can see that they are heavily represented in the Democratic Party delegations in Congress.

This can be seen very plainly from new bills introduced in both the House and the Senate (S.2578 and H.R.5051), reportedly in consultation with the Administration.  These bills purport to be a way of overturning the Hobby Lobby/Conestoga Wood decision, and forcing for-profit businesses to comply with the HHS mandate to provide insurance coverage for abortion-causing drugs, contraception, and sterilization.

But they go much, much further than that.  In fact, they directly and seriously endanger the religious freedom of every church and religious non-profit, and any other organization that is operated by faith-based persons who don’t want to cooperate with evil.  This is a proposal of “startling breadth” (to quote Justice Ginsburg’s dissent in Hobby Lobby/Conestoga Wood), and astonishing audacity.

As with every bit of legislation the devil (literally) is in the details.  So let’s break down the actual language of the bill, and explain what it means.  Here is what the House version of the bill says (in italics), with my analysis to follow:

(a) In General — An employer that establishes or maintains a group health plan for its employees (and any covered dependents of such employees) shall not deny coverage of a specific health care item or service with respect to such employees (or dependents) where the coverage of such item or service is required under any provision of Federal law or the regulations promulgated thereunder.

The key word here is “employer”.  Nowhere in the bill does it define that word, so it is an outright lie to claim that the bill is limited to overturning the Supreme Court’s decision, which was limited to family-owned corporations.  This bill would instead reach every single employer in the United States that has an employee health plan — individual business owners, churches, schools.  Nobody would be exempted.

It would also cover any health care “item or service” required to be covered by federal law or regulation — which is so broad as to potentially include any number of evils our federal government might choose, such as abortion, contraception, IVF, sex-change operations, and euthanasia drugs.

The significance of this becomes even more clear when we look at another section of the bill:

(b) Application – Subsection (a) shall apply notwithstanding any other provision of Federal law, including [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act].

This would give employers essentially no defense to any law passed by Congress or imposed by executive fiat that would substantially burden their faith by requiring them to cooperate with evil.  In other words, people of faith would be reduced to second-class citizen status.  This echoes infamous prior court decisions, as if the bill’s sponsors thought that religious employers “had no rights which the [government] was bound to respect” (to quote the Dred Scott decision], or as if they were not “recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense” (to quote Roe v. Wade).

It gets even worse — here’s where the real evil lies:

(c) Regulations — The regulations [relating to the current HHS mandate] shall apply with respect to this section.  The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury may modify such regulations consistent with the purpose and findings of this Act.

In other words, the government shall have carte blanche to change the HHS mandate at a whim, or to impose any other mandate they wish.  So there is no limit to what can be done by a future administration with even more commitment to the Cult of Moloch (i.e., the Planned Parenthood, pro-death agenda) than the current regime.  Nothing would stop them from removing the current HHS mandate exemption for churches and “accommodation” for religious non-profits, and enact regulations that would require coverage for abortion, euthanasia, you name it — and there would be no defense under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

If there were any further question about the fragility of religious freedom in America today, this bill removes any doubt.  The sponsors of this wicked bill have openly declared themselves to be enemies of religious freedom.

Here is a list of the House sponsors — 142 as of the date this is posted, all of them Democrats.  Here are the Senate sponsors — 42 of them, all Democrats, including the original sponsor of RFRA, our own Senator Charles Schumer. If your representative is on the list, contact them right away.

Nelson Mandela once said ”I cherish my own freedom dearly, but I care even more for your freedom.”  Ask your representative why they don’t agree, and remember well the answer, when they come asking for your vote.

War Breeds War, Violence Breeds Violence

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

The situation in Syria is unimaginably horrific.  The current civil conflict has caused over 100,000 deaths, as many as four million refugees, and incalculable human suffering.  The present regime is notorious for its brutality and indifference to human rights, and its disregard for norms of decency and humanity.  The recent reported use  of chemical weapons by the regime against civilians shocks the conscience.  Yet many of the rebels are associated with terrorist groups that have targeted America and our allies, and have also used violence against civilians.

The use of chemical weapons has prompted the President to consider striking Syrian targets with military force, and he has announced that he will be seeking Congressional approval for that action.

This tragedy could easily be dismissed as yet another instance of the long history of inhumanity in that region, which has been plagued by war and violence for as long as history can recall.  War-weary Americans could easily be excused for turning their eyes away from these terrible events, or for throwing their hands up in despair at what seems a hopeless and intractable situation.  It is also understandable for people to reflexively support military action, out of an impulse of revulsion over the use of such terrible weapons, or from a desire just to do something in response.

But for Christians, we have a sacred obligation, which comes to us from our Lord Himself, to approach this situation differently.  We must work for peace, prevent war, and heal those who are ravaged by conflict. We must make sure that voices for peace are heard, amidst the calls for action and war.  War should always be the absolute last resort of national policy, even in the face of crimes against humanity.

Christian leaders in Syria have been calling for the United States not to take military action.  They have already been suffering from oppression and war, and will bear the brunt of further violence.  We need to listen to them, and heed their advice.

Pope Francis has strongly called for people to seek the path of peace in Syria, reminding us that “war breeds war, violence breeds violence”.  One need only view the video of his Sunday Angelus address, to get a sense of how our Holy Father is moved by the situation in Syria, and how desperately he wishes for peace.

The Holy Father has specifically called for us to pray and fast this Saturday, September 7, for peace in Syria.  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have asked Americans to contact Congress to urge them to choose the path of diplomacy instead of conflict.

This last Sunday, the Communion antiphon included the words of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount:

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.

This is a challenging time for all Christians, and all people of good will.  War breeds war, and violence breeds violence, but peace can also breed peace.

 

Where Do We Go From Here?

Monday, March 5th, 2012

There has been a great deal of action on the new federal mandate that all health insurance policies cover contraceptives (including drugs that cause early abortions) and sterilizations.  There is also a great deal of misinformation, political spin, and outright deception going around about what is actually at stake, and what has happened.  Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

The Web of Mandates in the Health Care Law

Remember the background for this situation — it comes from the health care reform law, which is a comprehensive regulation that impacts everyone in the United States.  That law imposes three levels of mandates:  (1) all individuals will be required to have a health insurance policy, or pay a fine to the government; (2) all employers (with a few exceptions for small businesses) will have to provide their employees with an insurance plan or pay a fine to the government; and (3) all insurance companies will have to cover a variety of things, including “preventive services”.  We must understand these legal requirements, if we’re going to understand the significance of this new mandate.

The Contraceptive/Abortion Mandate

Last summer, the Department of Health and Human Services, acting under the authority given to them by the health care reform law, announced regulations to define what had to be covered by health insurance policies under the rubric “preventive services”.  These regulations would require all employers and health insurance policies to cover contraceptives (including drugs that cause early abortions) and sterilizations.  There was an extremely narrow exemption for religious employers, but no exemption for religious individuals or insurance companies with objections.

There was considerable public furor in response, and thousands of people — including the U.S. Bishops and many other religious groups — filed comments with HHS, asking for the rejection of the regulation or the granting of a broader religious exemption.  Nevertheless, on January 20, 2012, HHS announced that they were going to implement those regulations without any modification whatsoever.

There is No “Compromise”

In response to the renewed public furor that followed the issuance of the final regulations, the President announced on February 10 that there would be a “compromise” to address the religious liberty objections of churches and other faith-based institutions.

But here’s the key thing to remember:  no details about this “compromise” have been announced.   The Administration has made clear that they are not open to any further concessions on religious liberty. The original regulations have become law — there is absolutely no substance whatsoever to the “compromise”, beyond promises of something at some undefined time in the future after the next election.  It’s all smoke and mirrors and political spin.

The net result is that there is virtually no way out of this mandate — it is very, very broad, and the “religious liberty” exemption is very, very narrow.  Very few employers — and no individuals or insurance companies — will be able to claim conscientious objector status.  There is no “compromise” in this regulation — nothing.

It’s Not About Banning Contraceptives — It’s About Religious Liberty

Sadly, access to contraceptives, at low or no cost, is virtually universal in the United States.  Nobody is calling for them to be outlawed, and nobody is giving employers the power to ban their employees from buying them.  That’s all media and political spin — it’s an outright lie.  This is not about contraceptives.  If people want to use them, that’s between them and God.

This is about government coercion against churches.  It’s about the fundamental human right to tell the government to “leave us alone” — don’t make us cooperate with practices that we find immoral.  As the U.S. Bishops’ Conference has said:

“Under the mandate, the government forces religious insurers to write policies that violate their beliefs; forces religious employers and schools to sponsor and subsidize coverage that violates their beliefs; and forces religious employees and students to purchase coverage that violates their beliefs.”

That’s contrary to the basic principles of American democracy, and that’s why we’re opposed to it.

What is Being Done to Fight This?

The U.S. Bishops have been very outspoken in opposition to the mandate, and in defense of our religious liberty.  Every bishop in the United States has condemned this mandate.  Leaders of many religious communities have condemned it.  Leaders of other faiths — Orthodox, Protestant, and Jewish — have joined in opposing it.

Just last week, an attempt was made in the U.S. Senate to add an amendment to a spending bill, to provide protection for religious individuals and institutions.  This particular tactic was chosen because the rules of the Senate require a super-majority of 60 votes before a bill can be brought to the floor for a vote — this is a legacy of the old days of filibustering.  But the rules permit an amendment to be approved by a simple majority — 51 votes. It was hoped that this amendment would pass both the House and the Senate, and that the President would not veto a large and important spending bill, just for the sake of this provision. Unfortunately, the Senate did not approve the amendment — it only got 48 votes, just shy of the number needed for passage.

This leaves the Church with several options at this point:

  • Continue pressing Congress for action — There are several bills before Congress that would correct the problems created by this mandate.  Bills like the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012 deserve our support.  We must keep pressing  Congress with emails and letters in support of them (an easy way is to go here).  Unfortunately, our New York Senators and most of the Congressional representatives from the Archdiocese are unlikely to support our position.  But we must keep the pressure on.
  • Going to court to defend our rights — Several lawsuits have been filed already, attacking the mandate, and more will be filed.  The grounds for the cases include the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  The entire health care law is currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court, and a decision will be handed down later this year.
  • Educating ourselves and others — This is a very complicated issue, and many people are suffering from political fatigue at this point in the seemingly-perpetual Presidential campaign.  But there is so much dis-information out there that we must redouble our efforts to make sure that people understand what’s really going on here, and what’s at stake.  The U.S. Bishops’ website has many valuable and easy-to-understand resources that we can use in our parishes and communities.
  • Supporting our bishops and standing united with them — The supporters of the mandate are trying to drive a wedge between Catholics and our bishops, and are forming alliances with Catholics who either dissent from Church teaching on contraception and abortion, or who would rather stand with politicians than their shepherds.  Our bishops are being battered in the public square, and the level of anti-Catholic bigotry is simply astounding.  This is a time for all Catholics to rally behind the standard of Christ — and to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our bishops.
  • This is just one stage of a long, ongoing battle to defend religious freedom in our nation.  This liberty is under continual attack from our own government.  Our Lord promised that the gates of hell would never prevail against the Church.  We must be fervent in our prayers, and steadfast and vigilant in our defense of the Church, and the rights of individuals to live according to their faith.

    Varia

    Sunday, February 13th, 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):

  • Live Action visited the Bronx Planned Parenthood clinic, and again the undercover video shows the clinic workers to be indifferent to sex trafficking and sexual abuse of minors.  (Please note that I have significant qualms about the morality of the practice of shooting these undercover videos.)
  • The claim is being made by Planned Parenthood and their media sock puppets that Live Action doctored the videos. Remember, this will be the theme you will hear forever in the objective media: “Live Action, which has been accused of doctoring videos…” Here’s Live Action’s crushing response.
  • If they did nothing wrong, then why is Planned Parenthood is re-training staff on how to report child sexual abuse?
  • Senate Democrats are rallying around the one cause in which they never, ever waver from their principles: retaining federal funding for abortion. And the Catholic former Speaker of the House is leading the fight to keep money flowing to the abortion industry.
  • The religious sister in charge of the Catholic Health Association, despite recently writing to the USCCB and acknowledging that the local bishop is the ultimate and definitive authority on moral medical ethics, but still says that she continues to disagree with Bishop Olmstead’s decision in the case of the Phoenix hospital. I always thought the phrase was, “Roma locuta, causa finita”.
  • A Catholic hospital in Chicago is offering help to women who in the midst of a multi-day second-trimester abortion — they’ll work to reverse the abortion. This is precisely why authentic Catholic health care is so important.
  • None of our “leaders” in Albany seem willing to defend marriage.  Our Governor says he will push to legalize same-sex “marriage”, and the leader of the allegedly pro-family party says that they’ll allow a vote in the State Senate.
  • The President announces a glitzy new educational initiative, a “Race to the Top” initiative. But Catholic schools aren’t allowed to enter the competition. Maybe it’s because they’d win, hands down.
  • Very sad to read how many parents discourage their daughters from a religious vocation.
  • Msgr. Charles Pope on diversity and unity in the Church. They call us “catholic” for a reason.
  • (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, January 30th, 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):

  • Try to imagine a world without abortion, and what it would be like.  Can we go there please?
  • Our 100% pro-abortion President lauds the anniversary of the iniquitous legal usurpation that permitted the destruction of an entire class of human beings.
  • Meanwhile, the Catholic pro-life Speaker of the House has a different perspective on the anniversary, and has plans to do something about it.
  • The Newsletter of the Cult of Moloch, er, I mean the Times, publishes a snide opinion piece about the abortion rate in NYC that winds up with a sympathetic look at a late-term abortionist.  All the callous indifference of the Culture of Death that’s fit to print.
  • Anti-euthanasia hero Wesley Smith warns us of the looming threat of health care rationing.
  • Kathryn Jean Lopez suggests a nice target for the Tea Party — cutting abortion funding in the federal budget.  Proving her point, an obscure change in the Medicaid rules will produce greater “access” (i.e., government spending) for contraceptives, which will inevitably lead to more abortions.
  • Sobering summary of the true costs of egg donation on women and on the human beings in embryonic stage who are lost in the process.
  • This is how it is in modern Ireland — Franciscans of the Renewal friars pray outside of a “family planning” center, are vilified on the radio as a result.  How does that go, “Blessed are those who are persecuted…”?
  • It’s pretty well established that divorce is bad for kids. Yet another study shows that it’s worse for boys than girls.  So what does our state do? That’s right — it passes a “no-fault” divorce law last year, which makes divorce easier, with no regard to the best interests of children.
  • This is really neat — a time-lapsed video of the March for Life.
  • (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, January 23rd, 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):

  • Archbishop Dolan, in his role as President of the US Bishops, has written to Congress to lay out the Bishops’ legislative concerns.
  • Must-read of the week — Kathryn Jean Lopez reflects on the reaction to the Tuscon shootings, and why we still countenance violence against the most innocent among us.  Here’s how she closes: “Abortion is a violence we should open our eyes to see and stop rather than keeping quiet and accepting it. It’s one that a civil society can work to stop. Peacefully, with love and support.”
  • Excellent rebuttal of the “lazy slander” against pro-lifers, that we only care about babies before they’re born, and do nothing to help mothers afterwards.
  • Two fine opinion pieces today about NYC’s tragically high abortion rate:  one by former Assemblyman Michael Benjamin in the NY Post and another by Bill McGurn in the Wall St. Journal.
  • Well, the House GOP leaders have made their statement by voting to repeal the health care law.  Now it’s time to make a difference by defunding abortion.
  • In a further step along the way to the compete commodification of human life, rich clueless celebrities who buy the services of surrogate mothers are now denying their humanity, calling them “gestational carriers”.
  • Our Black-Robed Platonic Guardian Rulers on the Supreme Court have declined to hear the Washington DC same-sex “marriage” case — you know, the one where “We the People” were trying to get the issue on the ballot so that democracy could have a say on the law, but a panel of bureaucrats decided that the “We the People” should go into the corner and be quiet?
  • Sargent Shriver, perhaps the last of the old-line Catholic, pro-life Democrats, has passed into eternal life.  One of the good guys.  Rest in peace.
  • Eduardo Verastegui — the unfairly-handsome actor from the pro-life movie “Bella” — is going to finance the building of the largest pro-life women’s clinic in the United States, in Los Angeles.
  • (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, January 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):

  • Abby Johnson, the former worker at the Temple of Moloch, er, I mean Planned Parenthood, who converted to pro-life after participating in an abortion, has had her book “Unplanned” published.  Read this interview with her.  Here’s the first chapter of her book.
  • Please read Msgr. Charles Pope’s reflection on the events of the last weekend from a pastor’s perspective, and the need for a conversion of heart — beginning with me — to a greater respect for each individual human life.
  • The Times did a nice profile of the federal judge who was murdered in Arizona on Saturday.  They missed the key facts — he was a devout Catholic, a Knight of Columbus, and had just come from Mass:  see here and here.
  • A couple in Australia aborts twin boys, because they wanted a girl by IVF.  Nobody asked the boys what they wanted.
  • Meanwhile, scientists tell us that twins first interact with each other in the womb.
  • The well-known “Bodies” exhibits are perhaps the most prominent examples, but this — the use of a deceased child’s skull as the medium for “art” — is another example of the disregard for human life being exemplified by a disregard for the dignity of human remains.  Catechism 2300 is clear on this: “The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity, in faith and hope of the Resurrection.”
  • According to our State Department, when it comes to a passport application we no longer have mothers and fathers, just “Parent One” and “Parent Two”.  But what if there was a surrogate involved — shouldn’t there be a line on the application for “Parent Three” or more?  And what if there’s polygamy involved?
  • The Guttmacher Institute puts out statistics, showing that the national abortion rate has gone up slightly, largely due to an increase in chemical abortions. Here’s the analysis from Americans United for Life, which attributes it to the Temple of Moloch, er, I mean Planned Parenthood’s changing business model.
  • All the more reason to support legislation to cut off abortionists from public money.
  • A mass grave is found in Austria, a grim reminder of the Nazi anti-disability euthanasia campaign.  We all pledge, “Never again”, but the same campaign is taking place now, as disabled babies are killed in the womb in the name of “compassion”.  Will we never learn?
  • Varia

    Monday, January 10th, 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):

  • An overview of the national campaign to shut down pregnancy support centers.  For more information on what’s happening here in New York City with the New York City Council bill that targets pregnancy centers, see here.
  • Ross Douthat, in the Times, reflects on the paradox in American culture when it comes to the unborn child.  His closing line says it all: “This is the paradox of America’s unborn. No life is so desperately sought after, so hungrily desired, so carefully nurtured. And yet no life is so legally unprotected, and so frequently destroyed.”
  • Here’s the Times’ formula for marriage — it’s all about me, how you make me feel, how much “self-expansion” I find in our relationship (and they’re not talking about my waistline!).  You can even take a quiz to see how selfish, er, I mean “self-expansive” your attitude towards your marriage is.  Me + me + me + me + me = Unhappiness + Divorce.
  • The impending GOP effort to repeal the health care law piecemeal will likely include a new attempt at banning abortion funding.
  • A profile of the new pro-life members of Congress.  80 of the 87 new GOP House members are pro-life.  And here’s an interview with Chris Smith, pro-life hero in Congress.
  • Strong anti-porn article in the New York Daily News.
  • More proof, this time from Spain, that the availability and use of contraception does not reduce abortion, since abortion is being used as the contraceptive of last resort.
  • Justice Scalia repeats his position that the Constitution does not guarantee the right to an abortion.  The Justice is certainly not a Black-Robed Platonic Guardian Ruler, but he is a dedicated legal positivist, and believes that if legislatures pass laws authorizing the killing of human beings, that’s perfectly fine with the Constitution — despite its guarantee of equal protection of law to all persons.
  • In announcing his “transformational plan for a new New York”, our Governor made sure to find space for a call to pass the radical Reproductive Health Act and to legalize same-sex “marriage”.  Start contacting your legislators.
  • Those enlightened, tolerant souls over at Apple Corp continue to rebuff the Manhattan Declaration (the interfaith statement of religious commitment to life, marriage, and religious liberty) by rejecting their app for the iPhone.  Apple, which is happy to receive the money of Christians for their gadgets, calls the Manhattan Declaration “objectionable and potentially harmful to others” because of its opposition to same-sex “marriage”.  If you haven’t signed the Declaration yet, please consider doing so, and please sign their petition to Apple.
  • (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, December 19th, 2010

    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):

  • More responses to Time Magazine’s slander against the Holy Father from Tom Peters, Fr. Zuhlsdorf and Kathryn Jean Lopez.   For my response, see below.
  • An appalling story on the international surrogate parent business — a gross example of the objectification of the human person as an economic commodity, and the commercial and emotional exploitation of the poor and the desperate.
  • I typically refer to the pro-abortion movement as the “Cult of Moloch” because of its religious adherence to the sacrifice of children.  Here is a scary account by a former clinic worker, who relates that the clinic in which she worked was pervaded with the occult and looked upon abortion as a form of sacrifice.  On the positive side, this same woman credits prayer witness outside of the clinic as being instrumental in her conversion.
  • Speaking of the death-cult, Planned Parenthood has released its annual report, and once again the numbers are jarring.  $363 million in federal funding.  324,000 abortions (a 6% increase over the previous year) and only 9,400 adoption referrals. Another $700 million spent on spreading contraception and abortion internationally.  Time to defund the billion-dollar Murder Incorporated.  Joint the fight.
  • And, if you want to see the real-world effect of the work by the Temple of Moloch, read about the creeping genocide that is resulting from the high rates of abortion among blacks and Hispanics in New York City.
  • The new political climate, and the results of the November’s elections, means that key new GOP House leaders are likely to push for restrictions on federal funding for abortion.
  • Same-sex “marriage” advocates are gearing up for the battle in New York next year. See here and here.
  • If you want a glimpse into the Strange New World, check out this review of a book about “polyamory” (romantic/sexual relationships with multiple partners).  Coming soon to a “right to privacy” near you.
  • Kathryn Jean Lopez examines two competing views of the role of religion in public life: Sarah Palin’s v. John Kennedy’s.  See also Rick Santorum on the same issue.
  • The European Court of Human Rights decided a major abortion case this week, in a challenge to Ireland’s pro-life laws.  The court did not invent a fundamental right to abortion, but  did rule against some parts of Ireland’s pro-life legislation,  which undermines the abilities of nations to restrict abortion.
  • A heartrending story about a funeral held for babies who were stillborn, and whose bodies were abandoned in hospitals, the “unwanted dead”.
  • (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

    Friday, December 10th, 2010

    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):

  • On the same day as the oral arguments in the Prop 8 lawsuit, leaders from Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical, Jewish, Lutheran, Mormon, Orthodox, Pentecostal and Sikh communities in the United States release an open letter in support of marriage.  Apropos of that, here’s a good short overview of the Prop 8 case and the oral arguments.
  • A new scholarly presentation of the nature of marriage, and a persuasive rebuttal of the case for re-defining it.  Download it here.
  • A new report shows a troubling “retreat from marriage in Middle America, particularly among Americans with “moderate education” (high school grads, some college).   This requires careful study and response by our Church.
  • How does she do this so consistently?  Kathryn Jean Lopez knocks another one out of the park, writing about how the Church’s position on contraception is being supported by Pope Benedict, glamorous actresses and modern feminists alike.
  • Here’s a New York Magazine piece on “the pill”.  It’s a surprisingly honest reflection, including some of the negative effects of contraception, particularly the regrets about denying one’s fertility, and living with the unintended consequences.
  • Thank God for Rep. Chris Smith, who managed to keep abortion out of a bill dealing with health care for female veterans.  Are you curious about how pro-life are the other Catholics in Congress?  Check out their voting records.  Lots of low pro-life ratings.  Not good.
  • The climate control movement continues its campaign against human life, with prominent advocates calling for mandatory one-child policies.  As a second child, I object.
  • Europe continues to hurtle down the moral mine shaft.  Exhibit One:  Belgium approves a “wrongful life” lawsuit against a doctor failed to diagnose an illness which, if the parents had known about it, would have led them to abort the disabled child.  Exhibit Two:  Switzerland implicitly legalizes active euthanasia.
  • Continuing the flight from reason, an advocate in Australia is saying that legalized euthanasia could actually lead to prolonging lives.  Remember, one of the effects of sin is to cloud the intellect.
  • By failing to pass the Defense Department budget bill, the Senate stopped an attempt to overturn the ban on abortions at military hospitals.
  • The lawless Temple of Moloch, er, I mean Planned Parenthood, is being sued by a 14-year-old who had an abortion — and the clinic flagrantly violated Ohio’s parental involvement and informed consent law.  An extra horror is that they failed to report that she had been made pregnant by an adult.  Meanwhile, the international wing of the Temple of Moloch is making tons of money, profiting from killing over 1.4 million children.