Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Widow of Ted Kennedy Campaigns Against Assisted Suicide Referendum in Massachusetts

Mrs. Kennedy with her late husband, the Massachusetts senator.

The wife of the late Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy has authored a column in which she encourages state residents to vote against Question 2. The ballot proposal would have Massachusetts become the third state to legalize assisted suicide.

From Victoria Reggie Kennedy’s column:

There is nothing more personal or private than the end of a family member’s life, and I totally respect the view that everyone else should just get out of the way. I wish we could leave it that way. Unfortunately, Question 2, the so-called “Death with Dignity”initiative, forces that issue into the public square and places the government squarely in the middle of a private family matter. I do not judge nor intend top reach to others about decisions they make at the end of life, but I believe we’re all entitled to know the facts about the law we’re being asked to enact.

Here’s the truth. The language of the proposed law is not about bringing family together to make end of life decisions; it’s intended to exclude family members from the actual decision-making process to guard against patients’ being pressured to end their lives prematurely. It’s not about doctors administering drugs such as morphine to ease patients’ suffering;it’s about the oral ingestion of up to 100 capsules without requirement or expectation that a doctor be present. It’s not about giving choice and self-determination to patients with degenerative diseases like ALS or Alzheimer’s; those patients are unlikely to qualify under the statute. It’s not, in my judgment, about death with dignity at all.

My late husband Sen. Edward Kennedy called quality,affordable health care for all the cause of his life. Question 2 turns his vision of health care for all on its head by asking us to endorse patient suicide — not patient care — as our public policy for dealing with pain and the financial burdens of care at the end of life. We’re better than that. We should expand palliative care, pain management, nursing care and hospice, not trade the dignity and life of a human being for the bottom line.

Most of us wish for a good and happy death, with as little pain as possible, surrounded by loved ones, perhaps with a doctor and/or clergyman at our bedside. But under Question 2, what you get instead is a prescription for up to 100 capsules, dispensed by a pharmacist, taken without medical supervision, followed by death, perhaps alone. That seems harsh and extreme to me.

Question 2 is supposed to apply to those with a life expectancy of six months or less. But even doctors admit that’s unknowable.When my husband was first diagnosed with cancer, he was told that he had only two to four months to live, that he’d never go back to the U.S. Senate, that he should get his affairs in order, kiss his wife, love his family and get ready to die.

But that prognosis was wrong. Teddy lived 15 more productive months. During that time, he cast a key vote in the Senate that protected payments to doctors under Medicare; made a speech at the Democratic Convention;saw the candidate he supported elected president of the United States and even attended his inauguration; received an honorary degree; chaired confirmation hearings in the Senate; worked on the reform of health care; threw out the first pitch on opening day for the Red Sox; introduced the president when he signed the bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act; sailed his boat; and finished his memoir “True Compass,” while also getting his affairs in order, kissing his wife, loving his family and preparing for the end of life.

Widow of Ted Kennedy Campaigns Against Assisted Suicide Referendum in Massachusetts

Mrs. Kennedy with her late husband, the Massachusetts senator.

The wife of the late Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy has authored a column in which she encourages state residents to vote against Question 2. The ballot proposal would have Massachusetts become the third state to legalize assisted suicide.

From Victoria Reggie Kennedy’s column:

There is nothing more personal or private than the end of a family member’s life, and I totally respect the view that everyone else should just get out of the way. I wish we could leave it that way. Unfortunately, Question 2, the so-called “Death with Dignity”initiative, forces that issue into the public square and places the government squarely in the middle of a private family matter. I do not judge nor intend top reach to others about decisions they make at the end of life, but I believe we’re all entitled to know the facts about the law we’re being asked to enact.

Here’s the truth. The language of the proposed law is not about bringing family together to make end of life decisions; it’s intended to exclude family members from the actual decision-making process to guard against patients’ being pressured to end their lives prematurely. It’s not about doctors administering drugs such as morphine to ease patients’ suffering;it’s about the oral ingestion of up to 100 capsules without requirement or expectation that a doctor be present. It’s not about giving choice and self-determination to patients with degenerative diseases like ALS or Alzheimer’s; those patients are unlikely to qualify under the statute. It’s not, in my judgment, about death with dignity at all.

My late husband Sen. Edward Kennedy called quality,affordable health care for all the cause of his life. Question 2 turns his vision of health care for all on its head by asking us to endorse patient suicide — not patient care — as our public policy for dealing with pain and the financial burdens of care at the end of life. We’re better than that. We should expand palliative care, pain management, nursing care and hospice, not trade the dignity and life of a human being for the bottom line.

Most of us wish for a good and happy death, with as little pain as possible, surrounded by loved ones, perhaps with a doctor and/or clergyman at our bedside. But under Question 2, what you get instead is a prescription for up to 100 capsules, dispensed by a pharmacist, taken without medical supervision, followed by death, perhaps alone. That seems harsh and extreme to me.

Question 2 is supposed to apply to those with a life expectancy of six months or less. But even doctors admit that’s unknowable.When my husband was first diagnosed with cancer, he was told that he had only two to four months to live, that he’d never go back to the U.S. Senate, that he should get his affairs in order, kiss his wife, love his family and get ready to die.

But that prognosis was wrong. Teddy lived 15 more productive months. During that time, he cast a key vote in the Senate that protected payments to doctors under Medicare; made a speech at the Democratic Convention;saw the candidate he supported elected president of the United States and even attended his inauguration; received an honorary degree; chaired confirmation hearings in the Senate; worked on the reform of health care; threw out the first pitch on opening day for the Red Sox; introduced the president when he signed the bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act; sailed his boat; and finished his memoir “True Compass,” while also getting his affairs in order, kissing his wife, loving his family and preparing for the end of life.

King of Saudi Arabia Wants United Nations to Take Action Against Insults to Islam

Barak Obama and Saudi King Abdullah: They seem to agree

Responsible investigative journalism in the United States has debunked White House and State Department claims that the terrorist murders at the Benghazi U.S. consulate Sept. 11 were a spontaneous reaction of Muslim faithful to a little known YouTube video criticizing the Prophet Mohammad. But Saudi Arabia's King
Abdullah bin Abdulaziz is keeping the issue alive with a demand for action by the U.N. against "insults to religions and prophets."

Speaking on Oct. 27, King Abdullah demanded a UN resolution condemning insults on monotheistic religions."I demand a UN resolution that condemns any country or group that insults religions and prophets," he said during a meeting at his palace with religious figures and heads of hajj delegations in the Mina valley where pilgrims were performing final rituals of hajj.

"It is our duty and that of every Muslim to protect Islam and defend the prophets."

The king also called on Saturday for the "unity of the Islamic nation (and) rejecting division to face the nation's enemies" as he urged for dialogue among Muslims.

"Dialogue strengthens moderation and ends reasons of conflict and extremism," he said.
"The interconfessional dialogue center which we had announced in Mecca does not necessarily mean reaching agreements on the matters of belief, but it aims at reaching solutions to divisions and implementing co-existance among sects," he added.

The interconfessional dialog center could be put to good use toward developing agreement within Islam that there exists a civil society, outside of the purview of religious activity, in which citizens of modern nations  of all faiths may carry out their business and freely offer their opinions and efforts to solve problems and advance social well being. This method has worked well in the United States and other western nations, which uphold the principle of free speech.

King of Saudi Arabia Wants United Nations to Take Action Against Insults to Islam

Barak Obama and Saudi King Abdullah: They seem to agree

Responsible investigative journalism in the United States has debunked White House and State Department claims that the terrorist murders at the Benghazi U.S. consulate Sept. 11 were a spontaneous reaction of Muslim faithful to a little known YouTube video criticizing the Prophet Mohammad. But Saudi Arabia's King
Abdullah bin Abdulaziz is keeping the issue alive with a demand for action by the U.N. against "insults to religions and prophets."

Speaking on Oct. 27, King Abdullah demanded a UN resolution condemning insults on monotheistic religions."I demand a UN resolution that condemns any country or group that insults religions and prophets," he said during a meeting at his palace with religious figures and heads of hajj delegations in the Mina valley where pilgrims were performing final rituals of hajj.

"It is our duty and that of every Muslim to protect Islam and defend the prophets."

The king also called on Saturday for the "unity of the Islamic nation (and) rejecting division to face the nation's enemies" as he urged for dialogue among Muslims.

"Dialogue strengthens moderation and ends reasons of conflict and extremism," he said.
"The interconfessional dialogue center which we had announced in Mecca does not necessarily mean reaching agreements on the matters of belief, but it aims at reaching solutions to divisions and implementing co-existance among sects," he added.

The interconfessional dialog center could be put to good use toward developing agreement within Islam that there exists a civil society, outside of the purview of religious activity, in which citizens of modern nations  of all faiths may carry out their business and freely offer their opinions and efforts to solve problems and advance social well being. This method has worked well in the United States and other western nations, which uphold the principle of free speech.

Islamic Terrorists Attack Again in Nigeria, 15 Killed, 150 Injured

St. Rita's Catholic Church in Nigeria following Tuesday's bombing
Our friends at Gateway Pundit report another terrorist attack on Christians in Nigeria Tuesday: A suicide bomber killed 15 Christians and injured 150 at Saint Rita’s Catholic Church in Malali.
90% of the victims were children.

All Africa reported, via Religion of Peace:
Kaduna State was yesterday thrown into another round of pandemonium following a suicide bomb blast that rocked the Saint Rita’s Catholic Church at Ungwa Yero in Malali, Kaduna North LGA. The church has a capacity to accommodate over 1,000 worshipers.
The blast, which affected mostly women and children, killed at least 15 people and severely injured about150 including the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Bonet Micah.
The victims were rushed to several hospitals within the Kaduna metropolis. Although details of the numbers could not be ascertained officially, our correspondents gathered that three dead bodies and 35 injured persons were taken to 44 Army Reference Hospital, four bodies and over 88 injured persons were taken to Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital, 14 injured persons were taken to Saint Gerard Catholic Hospital, one dead body and 14 injured persons were taken to Garkuwa Hospital, three injured persons were taken to Giwa Hospital, and two injured persons were taken to Yusuf Dantsoho Hospital…
…The Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna Diocese, His Grace Bishop Matthew Man-Ndagoso, visited the Saint Gerard Catholic Hospital where he expressed his displeasure. The bishop said: “I feel more pained in my heart over this unfortunate incident as 90 per cent of the victims are children. We pray for their quick recovery and fortitude to bear the loss of those who died in the process. My appeal is to the Christians, especially the Catholic youths, not to consider reprisal as an option as this will rather create more tension and add to the already bad situation”.
The view above shows St. Rita’s Catholic church in the Malali village, after a bomb attack, in Nigeria’s northern city of Kaduna October 28, 2012. A suicide bomber drove a vehicle packed with explosives into church during Sunday Mass. (Reuters)

Islamic Terrorists Attack Again in Nigeria, 15 Killed, 150 Injured

St. Rita's Catholic Church in Nigeria following Tuesday's bombing
Our friends at Gateway Pundit report another terrorist attack on Christians in Nigeria Tuesday: A suicide bomber killed 15 Christians and injured 150 at Saint Rita’s Catholic Church in Malali.
90% of the victims were children.

All Africa reported, via Religion of Peace:
Kaduna State was yesterday thrown into another round of pandemonium following a suicide bomb blast that rocked the Saint Rita’s Catholic Church at Ungwa Yero in Malali, Kaduna North LGA. The church has a capacity to accommodate over 1,000 worshipers.
The blast, which affected mostly women and children, killed at least 15 people and severely injured about150 including the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Bonet Micah.
The victims were rushed to several hospitals within the Kaduna metropolis. Although details of the numbers could not be ascertained officially, our correspondents gathered that three dead bodies and 35 injured persons were taken to 44 Army Reference Hospital, four bodies and over 88 injured persons were taken to Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital, 14 injured persons were taken to Saint Gerard Catholic Hospital, one dead body and 14 injured persons were taken to Garkuwa Hospital, three injured persons were taken to Giwa Hospital, and two injured persons were taken to Yusuf Dantsoho Hospital…
…The Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna Diocese, His Grace Bishop Matthew Man-Ndagoso, visited the Saint Gerard Catholic Hospital where he expressed his displeasure. The bishop said: “I feel more pained in my heart over this unfortunate incident as 90 per cent of the victims are children. We pray for their quick recovery and fortitude to bear the loss of those who died in the process. My appeal is to the Christians, especially the Catholic youths, not to consider reprisal as an option as this will rather create more tension and add to the already bad situation”.
The view above shows St. Rita’s Catholic church in the Malali village, after a bomb attack, in Nigeria’s northern city of Kaduna October 28, 2012. A suicide bomber drove a vehicle packed with explosives into church during Sunday Mass. (Reuters)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bishop of Green Bay, Wisconsin: Don't Vote for 'Instrinsic Evil' in November



Bishop David Ricken of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
Bishop David Ricken, the leader of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, noted in a recent letter to parishioners that voting for candidates who support what he calls “intrinsically evil” positions, such as abortion and gay marriage, could “put your own soul in jeopardy.” This report comes from the Green Bay Press-Gazette of Oct. 26.

Ricken’s letter, dated Oct. 24, notes that the church has a responsibility to “speak out regarding moral issues, especially on those issues that impact the ‘common good.’” It goes on to note principles to keep in mind in the voting booth on Nov. 6, including abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning and gay marriage.

“A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program that contradicts fundamental contents of faith and morals,” Ricken said in the letter. “Some candidates and one party have even chosen some of these as their party’s or their personal political platform. To vote for someone in favor of these positions means that you could be morally ‘complicit’ with these choices which are intrinsically evil. This could put your own soul in jeopardy.”

Ricken's letter specifically criticized the Obama administration's abortion mandate as a frontal attack on religious freedom, and an indicator "of a broader societal disposition to remove God from the public square and fom any relation to society whatever, It is precisely religion and the free exercise thereof  which has made this country great in the past."

While Ricken’s letter does not specify who should get parishioners’ votes, Republican candidates typically oppose abortion rights while Democrats, to a large degree, support them. On the abortion issue, for example, President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney have different views. The Democratic incumbent supports access to abortion without restriction, mandating free contraception for women and changing his mind this year to endorse gay marriage. Romney is socially conservative, opposing gay marriage and abortion rights and saying the government should not mandate free contraception.

Ricken’s guidance on these issues carry a lot of weight in this region — the diocese has 304,614 members in 16 counties. Across the state, Catholics make up more than 25 percent of the population, or 1.5 million people, according to the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies’ 2010 U.S. Religion Census: Religious Congregations & Membership Study.

 Read Bishop David Ricken's letter

Bishop of Green Bay, Wisconsin: Don't Vote for 'Instrinsic Evil' in November



Bishop David Ricken of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
Bishop David Ricken, the leader of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, noted in a recent letter to parishioners that voting for candidates who support what he calls “intrinsically evil” positions, such as abortion and gay marriage, could “put your own soul in jeopardy.” This report comes from the Green Bay Press-Gazette of Oct. 26.

Ricken’s letter, dated Oct. 24, notes that the church has a responsibility to “speak out regarding moral issues, especially on those issues that impact the ‘common good.’” It goes on to note principles to keep in mind in the voting booth on Nov. 6, including abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning and gay marriage.

“A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program that contradicts fundamental contents of faith and morals,” Ricken said in the letter. “Some candidates and one party have even chosen some of these as their party’s or their personal political platform. To vote for someone in favor of these positions means that you could be morally ‘complicit’ with these choices which are intrinsically evil. This could put your own soul in jeopardy.”

Ricken's letter specifically criticized the Obama administration's abortion mandate as a frontal attack on religious freedom, and an indicator "of a broader societal disposition to remove God from the public square and fom any relation to society whatever, It is precisely religion and the free exercise thereof  which has made this country great in the past."

While Ricken’s letter does not specify who should get parishioners’ votes, Republican candidates typically oppose abortion rights while Democrats, to a large degree, support them. On the abortion issue, for example, President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney have different views. The Democratic incumbent supports access to abortion without restriction, mandating free contraception for women and changing his mind this year to endorse gay marriage. Romney is socially conservative, opposing gay marriage and abortion rights and saying the government should not mandate free contraception.

Ricken’s guidance on these issues carry a lot of weight in this region — the diocese has 304,614 members in 16 counties. Across the state, Catholics make up more than 25 percent of the population, or 1.5 million people, according to the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies’ 2010 U.S. Religion Census: Religious Congregations & Membership Study.

 Read Bishop David Ricken's letter

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Live Action Video Documents Planned Parenthood Lies on Abortion Deaths







What happens when you call a Planned Parenthood clinic where a woman recently died after a horrific botched abortion, and ask if abortion is safe and if anyone has ever been hurt at the clinic?
That’s what the pro-life organization Live Action set out to find out in its latest undercover investigation. In addition to the Chicago facility where Tonya Reaves died earlier this summer, Live Action undercover investigators called abortion clinics in seven states that had recently botched abortions so badly that officials had to call 911 for emergency medical assistance.
In every case, officials at the clinics insisted abortion was safe, and that no one had ever been harmed at their clinics. 
“Our investigation exposes not only how unsafe Planned Parenthood clinics can be for women, but also how dishonest and untrustworthy Planned Parenthood is to the very women it claims to defend,” said Lila Rose, the group’s founder. “When it comes to the lethal dangers of its billion-dollar abortion business, no lie is too audacious for Planned Parenthood.”

Live Action Video Documents Planned Parenthood Lies on Abortion Deaths







What happens when you call a Planned Parenthood clinic where a woman recently died after a horrific botched abortion, and ask if abortion is safe and if anyone has ever been hurt at the clinic?
That’s what the pro-life organization Live Action set out to find out in its latest undercover investigation. In addition to the Chicago facility where Tonya Reaves died earlier this summer, Live Action undercover investigators called abortion clinics in seven states that had recently botched abortions so badly that officials had to call 911 for emergency medical assistance.
In every case, officials at the clinics insisted abortion was safe, and that no one had ever been harmed at their clinics. 
“Our investigation exposes not only how unsafe Planned Parenthood clinics can be for women, but also how dishonest and untrustworthy Planned Parenthood is to the very women it claims to defend,” said Lila Rose, the group’s founder. “When it comes to the lethal dangers of its billion-dollar abortion business, no lie is too audacious for Planned Parenthood.”

State of Texas Will Intervene to Defend Rights of Cheerleaders to Display Religious Banners


Cheerleaders in Kountze, east Texas, with their banners.

Governor Rick Perry of Texas  has announced that the state government will intervene to preserve the religious liberty of cheerleaders who display religious banners during school football games.

The cheerleaders and their parents filed a lawsuit against the school district in Kountze, east Texas, after it banned religious messages on the banners.

Texas is seeking to intervene in a lawsuit on behalf of a high school cheerleading team fighting to continue featuring religious messages on banners at football games, Greg Abbott, the state’s attorney general, said Oct. 24.Mr. Abbott and Rick Perry, the Texas governor, said at a press conference that they will work to ensure the cheerleaders’ freedom of expression.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot sought to intervene in the case in support of the cheerleaders’ rights, stating, “We will not allow atheist groups from outside of the state of Texas to come into the state, to use menacing and misleading intimidation tactics, to try to bully schools to bow down at the altar of secular beliefs.” Texas Governor Rick Perry stated, “Anyone who is expressing their faith should be celebrated, from my perspective, in this day and age of instant gratification, this me-first culture that we see all too often.

They sat in front of photos of football players taking the field by tearing through a banner held by cheerleaders that said “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

A petition filed with Texas District Court of Hardin County by Mr. Abbott said the state was seeking to intervene in order to defend the constitutionality of Texas statutes.
“The State also has an interest in defending laws that were specifically enacted to preserve religious liberty, because a challenge to those laws could potentially erode the religious liberties of all Texans,” it said.

The school district banned the religious messages after a Wisconsin group that seeks to enforce the separation of church and state wrote to the superintendent that the banners were an endorsement of religion by a public entity.
“We will not allow atheist groups from outside of the state of Texas to come into the state to use menacing and misleading intimidation tactics to try to bully schools to bow down at the altar of secular beliefs,” Mr. Abbott said.
The cheerleaders produce the banners on their own time with private supplies. Last month, the cheerleaders won a temporary order allowing the use of religious messages on banners. There will be a hearing Thursday.

State of Texas Will Intervene to Defend Rights of Cheerleaders to Display Religious Banners


Cheerleaders in Kountze, east Texas, with their banners.

Governor Rick Perry of Texas  has announced that the state government will intervene to preserve the religious liberty of cheerleaders who display religious banners during school football games.

The cheerleaders and their parents filed a lawsuit against the school district in Kountze, east Texas, after it banned religious messages on the banners.

Texas is seeking to intervene in a lawsuit on behalf of a high school cheerleading team fighting to continue featuring religious messages on banners at football games, Greg Abbott, the state’s attorney general, said Oct. 24.Mr. Abbott and Rick Perry, the Texas governor, said at a press conference that they will work to ensure the cheerleaders’ freedom of expression.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot sought to intervene in the case in support of the cheerleaders’ rights, stating, “We will not allow atheist groups from outside of the state of Texas to come into the state, to use menacing and misleading intimidation tactics, to try to bully schools to bow down at the altar of secular beliefs.” Texas Governor Rick Perry stated, “Anyone who is expressing their faith should be celebrated, from my perspective, in this day and age of instant gratification, this me-first culture that we see all too often.

They sat in front of photos of football players taking the field by tearing through a banner held by cheerleaders that said “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

A petition filed with Texas District Court of Hardin County by Mr. Abbott said the state was seeking to intervene in order to defend the constitutionality of Texas statutes.
“The State also has an interest in defending laws that were specifically enacted to preserve religious liberty, because a challenge to those laws could potentially erode the religious liberties of all Texans,” it said.

The school district banned the religious messages after a Wisconsin group that seeks to enforce the separation of church and state wrote to the superintendent that the banners were an endorsement of religion by a public entity.
“We will not allow atheist groups from outside of the state of Texas to come into the state to use menacing and misleading intimidation tactics to try to bully schools to bow down at the altar of secular beliefs,” Mr. Abbott said.
The cheerleaders produce the banners on their own time with private supplies. Last month, the cheerleaders won a temporary order allowing the use of religious messages on banners. There will be a hearing Thursday.

Catholic Bishops Send Message from Rome Synod to Chinese Bishop and His Flock

Chinese Catholics pray at the Wangfujing Cathedral during Christmas midnight mass in Beijing

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 24, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The Synod of Bishops has sent a message yesterday to Bishop Lucas Ly Jingeng of Fengxiang in mainland China, who was unable to attend the Synod in Rome. The Chinese prelate had written a letter to Pope Benedict XVI at the opening of the assembly assuring the Holy Father of his prayers for the success of the Synod.

"With great pleasure, the Synodal Fathers celebrating the XIII Ordinary Synod of Bishops on New Evangelization and the Transmission of Faith received your Letter, with which you wished to make your voice heard from within the Democratic Republic of China. Your intention was greatly appreciated, notwithstanding the fact that there are some Bishops coming from Hong Kong and Taiwan among the Synodal Fathers," the statement read.

The letter acknowledged the "suffering, the prayers and joy of being Christian in China", saying that it has encouraged Christians all over the world. While informing them of the events throughout the Synod, such as the 50thanniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the opening of the Year of Faith, the letter stated that while the Catholic Bishops of China could not intervene, they are considered "spiritually present" at the gathering of bishops.

"We ask all the Bishops, Priests and faithful of this great Nation to live the Year of the Faith with generosity and commitment. We thus recommend that the evangelization of the Chinese People and the re-evangelization of all those who have become lukewarm towards or lost their faith, be taken to heart in a special way," the letter stated.

The letter from the Synod of Bishops concluded by stating their desire the Church in China may be able to attend future synods in Rome.

"The Holy Father Benedict XVI sends a special blessing to you, to your priests and faithful, as well as to the entire, well-loved Church in China," the letter stated.

Catholic Bishops Send Message from Rome Synod to Chinese Bishop and His Flock

Chinese Catholics pray at the Wangfujing Cathedral during Christmas midnight mass in Beijing

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 24, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The Synod of Bishops has sent a message yesterday to Bishop Lucas Ly Jingeng of Fengxiang in mainland China, who was unable to attend the Synod in Rome. The Chinese prelate had written a letter to Pope Benedict XVI at the opening of the assembly assuring the Holy Father of his prayers for the success of the Synod.

"With great pleasure, the Synodal Fathers celebrating the XIII Ordinary Synod of Bishops on New Evangelization and the Transmission of Faith received your Letter, with which you wished to make your voice heard from within the Democratic Republic of China. Your intention was greatly appreciated, notwithstanding the fact that there are some Bishops coming from Hong Kong and Taiwan among the Synodal Fathers," the statement read.

The letter acknowledged the "suffering, the prayers and joy of being Christian in China", saying that it has encouraged Christians all over the world. While informing them of the events throughout the Synod, such as the 50thanniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the opening of the Year of Faith, the letter stated that while the Catholic Bishops of China could not intervene, they are considered "spiritually present" at the gathering of bishops.

"We ask all the Bishops, Priests and faithful of this great Nation to live the Year of the Faith with generosity and commitment. We thus recommend that the evangelization of the Chinese People and the re-evangelization of all those who have become lukewarm towards or lost their faith, be taken to heart in a special way," the letter stated.

The letter from the Synod of Bishops concluded by stating their desire the Church in China may be able to attend future synods in Rome.

"The Holy Father Benedict XVI sends a special blessing to you, to your priests and faithful, as well as to the entire, well-loved Church in China," the letter stated.

Jane Doe of Roe vs. Wade Speaks Out Against Abortion, Urges Vote Against Obama

Norma McCorvey, the ‘Jane Roe’ in the Roe v. Wade abortion decision, has released a new ad in Florida, saying that she lied in the landmark court case and regrets the abortion that killed her child. She asks Americans to vote against Barak Obama, the most pro-abortion President in the history of the nation.
 
McCorvey released the ad in Florida with graphic abortion images.

Lifesite News reported, via Free Republic:
Nearly 40 years ago, as a young, pregnant woman, Norma McCorvey played an instrumental part in the Supreme Court decision that brought legal abortion to America. Now McCorvey, the ‘Roe’ in the Roe v. Wade case, has released an ad urging voters not to vote for Obama.
McCorvey became a Christian in 1995 and has since repudiated her role in Roe v. Wade, campaigning for its reversal.
The ad is set to air in Florida, and is backed by Randall Terry, the pro-life activist who is running for office on the Democratic ticket in several states. Terry’s political campaigning is aimed primarily at exploiting a legal loophole that requires TV stations to run his political ads, which include graphic abortion imagery.
In her ad, McCorvey says the Roe v. Wade decision was based upon a “lie” and urges citizens to vote against Obama.
The transcript:
“I’m Norma McCorvey, the former Jane Roe of the Roe vs. Wade decision that brought ‘legal’ child killing to America.
I was persuaded by feminist attorneys to lie; to say that I was raped, and needed an abortion. It was all a lie.
Since then, over 50 million babies have been murdered. I will take this burden to my grave.
“Please, don’t follow in my mistakes. DO NOT vote for Barack Obama. He murders babies.”
The ad concludes with Randall Terry saying: “I approve this message.”

Jane Doe of Roe vs. Wade Speaks Out Against Abortion, Urges Vote Against Obama

Norma McCorvey, the ‘Jane Roe’ in the Roe v. Wade abortion decision, has released a new ad in Florida, saying that she lied in the landmark court case and regrets the abortion that killed her child. She asks Americans to vote against Barak Obama, the most pro-abortion President in the history of the nation.
 
McCorvey released the ad in Florida with graphic abortion images.

Lifesite News reported, via Free Republic:
Nearly 40 years ago, as a young, pregnant woman, Norma McCorvey played an instrumental part in the Supreme Court decision that brought legal abortion to America. Now McCorvey, the ‘Roe’ in the Roe v. Wade case, has released an ad urging voters not to vote for Obama.
McCorvey became a Christian in 1995 and has since repudiated her role in Roe v. Wade, campaigning for its reversal.
The ad is set to air in Florida, and is backed by Randall Terry, the pro-life activist who is running for office on the Democratic ticket in several states. Terry’s political campaigning is aimed primarily at exploiting a legal loophole that requires TV stations to run his political ads, which include graphic abortion imagery.
In her ad, McCorvey says the Roe v. Wade decision was based upon a “lie” and urges citizens to vote against Obama.
The transcript:
“I’m Norma McCorvey, the former Jane Roe of the Roe vs. Wade decision that brought ‘legal’ child killing to America.
I was persuaded by feminist attorneys to lie; to say that I was raped, and needed an abortion. It was all a lie.
Since then, over 50 million babies have been murdered. I will take this burden to my grave.
“Please, don’t follow in my mistakes. DO NOT vote for Barack Obama. He murders babies.”
The ad concludes with Randall Terry saying: “I approve this message.”

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

French Demonstrate for Traditional Marriage-- "One Mama, One Papa"-- in 75 Cities

Hundreds of thousands of French citizens organized  this week in defense of the traditional family around the slogan "One Papa, One Mama--You Shouldn't Tell Lies to Children"

Life Site News has sent this report from its correspondent in Paris, France:

The first nationwide public demonstration against the French socialist government’s plan to legalize homosexual “marriage” took place today simultaneously in 75 French towns.The events were organized by “Alliance Vita” and took the form of colorful flash mobs in well-frequented locations, attracting widespread public attention and media coverage.

In every case groups of men dressed in black and women in white separated into two groups symbolizing the fact that every child needs a mother and a father. Holding up bright pink signs saying : “Daddy, Mommy, you shouldn’t tell lies to children”, the “daddies” and “mommies” alternately helped a blundering bird – symbolizing a new-born child – to leave its nest without falling.

Meanwhile Joe Dassin’s sixties hit, “Tout bébé a besoin d’une maman” (“Every baby needs a Mommie to be loved”), and Abba’s Mamma mia were played over loudspeakers.

On the busy main square of Paris business and shopping center “La Défense,” where this author witnessed the event, most of the lookers-on seemed interested and even sympathetic to the message. Young people handing out leaflets in favor of natural marriage said at least 80% of people they spoke with reacted positively.


In many towns hundreds of “daddies and mommies” gathered to spread the message: 600 in Lyons, 400 in Rennes, as many in Bordeaux, 200 in Toulouse. At least 1,500 joined the event in Paris, where “Alliance Vita’s” leaders addressed the crowd.

“To tell a child it has two daddies or two mommies is telling a lie. You should never lie to a child,” said Tugdual Derville, the movement’s general delegate.“Children have a right to know their origins, they have a right to a daddy and a mommy and not respecting that when they are already hurt through being orphans is just adding further mistreatment,” he said.

François Hollande promised while campaigning for president that he would make homosexual “marriage” and adoption legal; the draft law, which will be presented on November 7th, includes these two new “rights” but stops short of giving homosexual couples access to artificial procreation and surrogate motherhood.
Strong opposition seems to have led the Socialist government to ease up on the urgency of their plans to legalize gay “marriage.” Last week Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced that no discussion on the proposed law would take place before the beginning of 2013.

A large number of French Catholic bishops have spoken up against the plan. These include the cardinal of Lyons, Philippe Barbarin, and the cardinal of Paris, André Vingt-Trois, as well as groups of regional bishops and Mgr Marc Aillet, the bishop of Bayonne who is organizing a pro-life meeting in Biarritz at the end of November.

A demonstration against gay “marriage” that will include even some left wing and homosexual organizations is scheduled on November 17th in Paris. The next day, the traditionalist Catholic lay movement “Civitas” is organizing another pro-traditional marriage march. On January 20th, the 9th March for Life in Paris will concentrate on the issue of same-sex “marriage” and should coincide with parliamentary discussion of the bill.

French Demonstrate for Traditional Marriage-- "One Mama, One Papa"-- in 75 Cities

Hundreds of thousands of French citizens organized  this week in defense of the traditional family around the slogan "One Papa, One Mama--You Shouldn't Tell Lies to Children"

Life Site News has sent this report from its correspondent in Paris, France:

The first nationwide public demonstration against the French socialist government’s plan to legalize homosexual “marriage” took place today simultaneously in 75 French towns.The events were organized by “Alliance Vita” and took the form of colorful flash mobs in well-frequented locations, attracting widespread public attention and media coverage.

In every case groups of men dressed in black and women in white separated into two groups symbolizing the fact that every child needs a mother and a father. Holding up bright pink signs saying : “Daddy, Mommy, you shouldn’t tell lies to children”, the “daddies” and “mommies” alternately helped a blundering bird – symbolizing a new-born child – to leave its nest without falling.

Meanwhile Joe Dassin’s sixties hit, “Tout bébé a besoin d’une maman” (“Every baby needs a Mommie to be loved”), and Abba’s Mamma mia were played over loudspeakers.

On the busy main square of Paris business and shopping center “La Défense,” where this author witnessed the event, most of the lookers-on seemed interested and even sympathetic to the message. Young people handing out leaflets in favor of natural marriage said at least 80% of people they spoke with reacted positively.


In many towns hundreds of “daddies and mommies” gathered to spread the message: 600 in Lyons, 400 in Rennes, as many in Bordeaux, 200 in Toulouse. At least 1,500 joined the event in Paris, where “Alliance Vita’s” leaders addressed the crowd.

“To tell a child it has two daddies or two mommies is telling a lie. You should never lie to a child,” said Tugdual Derville, the movement’s general delegate.“Children have a right to know their origins, they have a right to a daddy and a mommy and not respecting that when they are already hurt through being orphans is just adding further mistreatment,” he said.

François Hollande promised while campaigning for president that he would make homosexual “marriage” and adoption legal; the draft law, which will be presented on November 7th, includes these two new “rights” but stops short of giving homosexual couples access to artificial procreation and surrogate motherhood.
Strong opposition seems to have led the Socialist government to ease up on the urgency of their plans to legalize gay “marriage.” Last week Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced that no discussion on the proposed law would take place before the beginning of 2013.

A large number of French Catholic bishops have spoken up against the plan. These include the cardinal of Lyons, Philippe Barbarin, and the cardinal of Paris, André Vingt-Trois, as well as groups of regional bishops and Mgr Marc Aillet, the bishop of Bayonne who is organizing a pro-life meeting in Biarritz at the end of November.

A demonstration against gay “marriage” that will include even some left wing and homosexual organizations is scheduled on November 17th in Paris. The next day, the traditionalist Catholic lay movement “Civitas” is organizing another pro-traditional marriage march. On January 20th, the 9th March for Life in Paris will concentrate on the issue of same-sex “marriage” and should coincide with parliamentary discussion of the bill.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Muslim Brotherhood Party Leader Calls for Imposition of Sharia Law in Egypt

Sadd al-Katany: Impose sharia law in Egypt


Saad al-Katatny, recently elected leader of Egypt's Freedom and Justice Party--the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood organization--has called for the imposition of Islamic sharia law in that nation. 

Writes the Jerusalem Post Oct. 21: 

Katatny hailed his election as “a first step” towards achieving the goals of the FJP, according to Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper.In this respect, Katatny was quoted as saying that “The Muslim Brotherhood established the [FJP] to represent the Brotherhood’s political project, which, in the end, will be a wise government that will institute Islamic Shari’a law.”

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi earlier this year ran for office on the FJP ticket. However, he resigned from the party immediately after being elected.

Last week Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Muhammad Badie called on Muslims worldwide to liberate Jerusalem by means of jihad.

According to AFP, in his weekly message to supporters, Badie asserted that “The jihad for the recovery of Jerusalem is a duty for all Muslims,” stressing that the city’s conquest “will not be done through negotiations or at the United Nations.”

The Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide previously vowed that if the Muslim Brotherhood ever rose to power in Egypt, it would work to sever relations with Israel. “We are certainly not happy with the illegitimate marriage between Cairo and Tel Aviv,” he said.

“Once we rise to power we will change many things in Egypt’s policy, starting with the country’s relations with Israel which have caused us great harm.”

In response to Badie’s latest call for jihad against Israel, The Simon Wiesenthal Center urged US President Barack Obama to sever all contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood until the threat is withdrawn.
In a joint statement, Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, founder and dean, and associate dean of the center – respectively – denounced Badie, saying his “rant confirms our long held view that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is the most dangerous anti- Semitic organization in the world today.”
They called on “President Obama to condemn the rhetoric and cut off all official and unofficial US contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood until they desist from their hate and warmongering.”

Muslim Brotherhood Party Leader Calls for Imposition of Sharia Law in Egypt

Sadd al-Katany: Impose sharia law in Egypt


Saad al-Katatny, recently elected leader of Egypt's Freedom and Justice Party--the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood organization--has called for the imposition of Islamic sharia law in that nation. 

Writes the Jerusalem Post Oct. 21: 

Katatny hailed his election as “a first step” towards achieving the goals of the FJP, according to Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper.In this respect, Katatny was quoted as saying that “The Muslim Brotherhood established the [FJP] to represent the Brotherhood’s political project, which, in the end, will be a wise government that will institute Islamic Shari’a law.”

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi earlier this year ran for office on the FJP ticket. However, he resigned from the party immediately after being elected.

Last week Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Muhammad Badie called on Muslims worldwide to liberate Jerusalem by means of jihad.

According to AFP, in his weekly message to supporters, Badie asserted that “The jihad for the recovery of Jerusalem is a duty for all Muslims,” stressing that the city’s conquest “will not be done through negotiations or at the United Nations.”

The Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide previously vowed that if the Muslim Brotherhood ever rose to power in Egypt, it would work to sever relations with Israel. “We are certainly not happy with the illegitimate marriage between Cairo and Tel Aviv,” he said.

“Once we rise to power we will change many things in Egypt’s policy, starting with the country’s relations with Israel which have caused us great harm.”

In response to Badie’s latest call for jihad against Israel, The Simon Wiesenthal Center urged US President Barack Obama to sever all contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood until the threat is withdrawn.
In a joint statement, Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, founder and dean, and associate dean of the center – respectively – denounced Badie, saying his “rant confirms our long held view that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is the most dangerous anti- Semitic organization in the world today.”
They called on “President Obama to condemn the rhetoric and cut off all official and unofficial US contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood until they desist from their hate and warmongering.”

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Archbishop Chaput on Catholic Citizenship: We Are Better Citizens When We Are Better Catholics

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia

Here is the text of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia's weekly column, entitled "Public Witness and Catholic Citizenship."
* * *
Public witness on issues of public concern is natural for Catholics because we have a commitment to the common good and to the dignity of each human person. Those two pillars - the common good and the dignity of every human person - come right out of Scripture. They underpin all of Catholic social thought. That includes politics. Politics is where the competing moral visions of a society meet and struggle. And since a large majority of American citizens are religious believers, it makes sense for people and communities of faith to bring their faith into the public square.

As a result, if we believe that a particular issue is gravely evil and damaging to society, then we have a duty, not just a religious duty but also a democratic duty, to hold accountable the candidates who want to allow that evil. Failing to do so is an abuse of responsibility on our part, because that's where we exercise our power as citizens most directly - in the voting booth.

The "separation of Church and state" can never mean that religious believers should be silent about legislative issues, the appointment of judges or public policy. It's not the job of the Church to sponsor political candidates. But it's very much the job of the Church to guide Catholics to think and act in accord with their faith.

So since this is an election year, here are a few simple points to remember as we move toward November. 
"Catholic" is a word that has real meaning. We don't control or invent that meaning as individuals. We inherit it from the Gospel and the experience of the Church over the centuries. If we choose to call ourselves Catholic, then that word has consequences for what we believe and how we act.  We can't truthfully call ourselves "Catholic" and then behave as if we're not.

Being a Catholic is a bit like being married. We have a relationship with the Church and with Jesus Christ that's similar to being a spouse. If a man says he loves his wife, his wife will want to see the evidence in his fidelity. The same applies to our relationship with God. If we say we're Catholic, we need to show that by our love for the Church and our fidelity to what she teaches and believes. Otherwise we're just fooling ourselves. God certainly won't be fooled.

The Church is not a political organism. She has no interest in partisanship because getting power or running governments is not what she's about, and the more closely she identifies herself with any single party, the fewer people she can effectively reach.

Scripture and Catholic teaching, however, do have public consequences because they guide us in how we should act in relation to one another. Again, Catholic social action, including political action, is a natural byproduct of the Church's moral message. We can't call ourselves Catholic, and then simply stand by while immigrants get mistreated, or the poor get robbed, or - even more fundamentally -- unborn children get killed. If our faith is real, then it will bear fruit in our public decisions and behaviors, including our political choices.

Each of us needs to follow his or her own conscience. But conscience doesn't emerge miraculously from a vacuum. The way we get a healthy conscience is by submitting it to God's will; and the way we find God's will is by listening to the counsel of the Church and trying honestly to live in accord with her guidance. If we find ourselves frequently disagreeing, as Catholics, with the teaching of our own Church on serious matters, then it's probably not the Church that's wrong. The problem is much more likely with us.

In the end, the heart of truly faithful citizenship is this: We're better citizens when we're more faithful Catholics. The more authentically Catholic we are in our lives, choices, actions and convictions, the more truly we will contribute to the moral and political life of our nation.

Archbishop Chaput on Catholic Citizenship: We Are Better Citizens When We Are Better Catholics

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia

Here is the text of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia's weekly column, entitled "Public Witness and Catholic Citizenship."
* * *
Public witness on issues of public concern is natural for Catholics because we have a commitment to the common good and to the dignity of each human person. Those two pillars - the common good and the dignity of every human person - come right out of Scripture. They underpin all of Catholic social thought. That includes politics. Politics is where the competing moral visions of a society meet and struggle. And since a large majority of American citizens are religious believers, it makes sense for people and communities of faith to bring their faith into the public square.

As a result, if we believe that a particular issue is gravely evil and damaging to society, then we have a duty, not just a religious duty but also a democratic duty, to hold accountable the candidates who want to allow that evil. Failing to do so is an abuse of responsibility on our part, because that's where we exercise our power as citizens most directly - in the voting booth.

The "separation of Church and state" can never mean that religious believers should be silent about legislative issues, the appointment of judges or public policy. It's not the job of the Church to sponsor political candidates. But it's very much the job of the Church to guide Catholics to think and act in accord with their faith.

So since this is an election year, here are a few simple points to remember as we move toward November. 
"Catholic" is a word that has real meaning. We don't control or invent that meaning as individuals. We inherit it from the Gospel and the experience of the Church over the centuries. If we choose to call ourselves Catholic, then that word has consequences for what we believe and how we act.  We can't truthfully call ourselves "Catholic" and then behave as if we're not.

Being a Catholic is a bit like being married. We have a relationship with the Church and with Jesus Christ that's similar to being a spouse. If a man says he loves his wife, his wife will want to see the evidence in his fidelity. The same applies to our relationship with God. If we say we're Catholic, we need to show that by our love for the Church and our fidelity to what she teaches and believes. Otherwise we're just fooling ourselves. God certainly won't be fooled.

The Church is not a political organism. She has no interest in partisanship because getting power or running governments is not what she's about, and the more closely she identifies herself with any single party, the fewer people she can effectively reach.

Scripture and Catholic teaching, however, do have public consequences because they guide us in how we should act in relation to one another. Again, Catholic social action, including political action, is a natural byproduct of the Church's moral message. We can't call ourselves Catholic, and then simply stand by while immigrants get mistreated, or the poor get robbed, or - even more fundamentally -- unborn children get killed. If our faith is real, then it will bear fruit in our public decisions and behaviors, including our political choices.

Each of us needs to follow his or her own conscience. But conscience doesn't emerge miraculously from a vacuum. The way we get a healthy conscience is by submitting it to God's will; and the way we find God's will is by listening to the counsel of the Church and trying honestly to live in accord with her guidance. If we find ourselves frequently disagreeing, as Catholics, with the teaching of our own Church on serious matters, then it's probably not the Church that's wrong. The problem is much more likely with us.

In the end, the heart of truly faithful citizenship is this: We're better citizens when we're more faithful Catholics. The more authentically Catholic we are in our lives, choices, actions and convictions, the more truly we will contribute to the moral and political life of our nation.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

ObamaCare: Benefits Include Fewer Babies and Less Religious Freedom

Obama and the Democrats: HHS abortion mandate saves money--fewer babies will be born.


George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, and co-author (with Phyllis Schlafly) of No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom, offers this insightful analysis of the Obama administration's views of religious freedom: Not only should the government exerts full control over where, when, and how Americans exercise their first, most precious freedom. Obama also believes that God--in his power and goodness--has not created enough religious freedom for all to enjoy--it must be rationed.
 
Under Barack Obama's free-contraceptives fiat, only insular religious groups, such as the Amish, enjoy conscience protections. But religions that dare to venture out into the public square and help the poor lose them and must submit to Obama's secularist morality.

"Many faiths firmly believe in being open to and engaged with broader society and fellow citizens of other faiths," noted the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America after the HHS mandate was announced. "The Administration's ruling makes the price of such an outward approach the violation of an organization's religious principles."

In seeking to win reelection largely on the votes of women, Obama has highlighted his coercion of the religious. Of course, he casts this coercion in indirect, euphemistic, and often absurd terms. For example, on the campaign trail last week, Obama reassured college students that in his second term they will not have to choose between paying for contraceptives and paying for textbooks: "I don't think a college student in Fairfax or Charlottesville should have to choose between textbooks or the preventive care that she needs."
The hook-up culture of higher education grows ever more entitled and has found a friend in Obama. How times change. Not so long ago a president would have been mortified by such an association; even Bill Clinton disapproved of the co-ed dorms at Stanford after dropping Chelsea off there. But Obama isn't afraid of losing the parental vote by appearing too supportive of promiscuity.

In fact, his campaign has sent out a jokey "e-card" predicated on the assumption that parents now prefer free contraceptives for their children to the preservation of religious freedom. It says: "Dear Mom, Mitt Romney says he would repeal the Affordable Care Act. So here's a quick question: Can I borrow $18,000 to help pay for my birth control? Thanks!"

Even the Washington Post found this message ludicrous, noting that the Obama campaign was using Planned Parenthood's estimation of lifetime costs for contraceptives out of context: "We question whether many young women have asked their parents to cover a lifetime's worth of contraceptive co-payments before the coverage requirement took effect (it still hasn't taken effect for some women), and it's no more likely that they'll do so if Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act."

Obama provided another justification for curtailing religious freedom last week: the need to ration health care, out of which the contraceptive mandate comes.

Dropping into his remarks this cold calculus, he claimed that free contraceptives save money for all: "And it's good for our health care system in general -- because we know the overall cost of care is lower when women have access to contraceptive services."

The central planners of ObamaCare see the contraceptive mandate as a sweeping cost-cutting device, which should send a chill up the spines of all Americans, religious or not, for what begins as a right under this rationing mentality will surely end as a duty. "Access" to free contraceptives will become in time a requirement to us them. He who pays the piper calls the tune, and the paymaster wants widespread contraceptive use.

Called to testify before Congress earlier this year, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was asked by Pennsylvania Congressman Tim Murphy, "Who pays for [the free contraceptives]? There's no such thing as a free service." Like a crass Soviet commissar, Sebelius curtly replied: "The reduction in the number of pregnancies compensates for cost of contraception." An astonished Murphy countered: "So you are saying, by not having babies born, we are going to save money on health care?"

Yes, according to Obama's view. In his America, pregnancy is a curse (he doesn't want his daughters "punished with a baby," as he once put it), fertility is a disease "to be prevented," and contraceptives serve as a solution to deficits. (That is why contraceptive funding found its way into his "Stimulus package." Pressed by reporters on this bizarre addition to that legislation, Nancy Pelosi huffed: "It will reduce costs.")
Obama's vision of health care is from cradle to grave, from free contraceptives to quality-of-care panels for the elderly. And the key to accomplishing this vision of central planning is universal participation. If he allowed Catholic hospitals, which are the largest private provider of health care in the country, to be exempt from that participation, his fantasy of "expanded coverage" at less cost would falter.

On Obama's animal farm, everything must be rationed, including religious freedom.

ObamaCare: Benefits Include Fewer Babies and Less Religious Freedom

Obama and the Democrats: HHS abortion mandate saves money--fewer babies will be born.


George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, and co-author (with Phyllis Schlafly) of No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom, offers this insightful analysis of the Obama administration's views of religious freedom: Not only should the government exerts full control over where, when, and how Americans exercise their first, most precious freedom. Obama also believes that God--in his power and goodness--has not created enough religious freedom for all to enjoy--it must be rationed.
 
Under Barack Obama's free-contraceptives fiat, only insular religious groups, such as the Amish, enjoy conscience protections. But religions that dare to venture out into the public square and help the poor lose them and must submit to Obama's secularist morality.

"Many faiths firmly believe in being open to and engaged with broader society and fellow citizens of other faiths," noted the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America after the HHS mandate was announced. "The Administration's ruling makes the price of such an outward approach the violation of an organization's religious principles."

In seeking to win reelection largely on the votes of women, Obama has highlighted his coercion of the religious. Of course, he casts this coercion in indirect, euphemistic, and often absurd terms. For example, on the campaign trail last week, Obama reassured college students that in his second term they will not have to choose between paying for contraceptives and paying for textbooks: "I don't think a college student in Fairfax or Charlottesville should have to choose between textbooks or the preventive care that she needs."
The hook-up culture of higher education grows ever more entitled and has found a friend in Obama. How times change. Not so long ago a president would have been mortified by such an association; even Bill Clinton disapproved of the co-ed dorms at Stanford after dropping Chelsea off there. But Obama isn't afraid of losing the parental vote by appearing too supportive of promiscuity.

In fact, his campaign has sent out a jokey "e-card" predicated on the assumption that parents now prefer free contraceptives for their children to the preservation of religious freedom. It says: "Dear Mom, Mitt Romney says he would repeal the Affordable Care Act. So here's a quick question: Can I borrow $18,000 to help pay for my birth control? Thanks!"

Even the Washington Post found this message ludicrous, noting that the Obama campaign was using Planned Parenthood's estimation of lifetime costs for contraceptives out of context: "We question whether many young women have asked their parents to cover a lifetime's worth of contraceptive co-payments before the coverage requirement took effect (it still hasn't taken effect for some women), and it's no more likely that they'll do so if Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act."

Obama provided another justification for curtailing religious freedom last week: the need to ration health care, out of which the contraceptive mandate comes.

Dropping into his remarks this cold calculus, he claimed that free contraceptives save money for all: "And it's good for our health care system in general -- because we know the overall cost of care is lower when women have access to contraceptive services."

The central planners of ObamaCare see the contraceptive mandate as a sweeping cost-cutting device, which should send a chill up the spines of all Americans, religious or not, for what begins as a right under this rationing mentality will surely end as a duty. "Access" to free contraceptives will become in time a requirement to us them. He who pays the piper calls the tune, and the paymaster wants widespread contraceptive use.

Called to testify before Congress earlier this year, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was asked by Pennsylvania Congressman Tim Murphy, "Who pays for [the free contraceptives]? There's no such thing as a free service." Like a crass Soviet commissar, Sebelius curtly replied: "The reduction in the number of pregnancies compensates for cost of contraception." An astonished Murphy countered: "So you are saying, by not having babies born, we are going to save money on health care?"

Yes, according to Obama's view. In his America, pregnancy is a curse (he doesn't want his daughters "punished with a baby," as he once put it), fertility is a disease "to be prevented," and contraceptives serve as a solution to deficits. (That is why contraceptive funding found its way into his "Stimulus package." Pressed by reporters on this bizarre addition to that legislation, Nancy Pelosi huffed: "It will reduce costs.")
Obama's vision of health care is from cradle to grave, from free contraceptives to quality-of-care panels for the elderly. And the key to accomplishing this vision of central planning is universal participation. If he allowed Catholic hospitals, which are the largest private provider of health care in the country, to be exempt from that participation, his fantasy of "expanded coverage" at less cost would falter.

On Obama's animal farm, everything must be rationed, including religious freedom.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Catholic Bishops: Joe Biden Wrong on HHS Mandate



Today the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the authoritative body of the Catholic Church in America, disputed Joe Biden’s claim in the debate on the HHS mandate.
Catholic Bishops: Joe Biden wrong on HHS mandate.
 Vice President Joe Biden falsely depicted the consequences of the Obama administration's HHS abortion mandate during the Oct. 11 vice presidential debate with GOP contender Paul Ryan, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).USCCB  issued the following statement, October 12. Full text follows:
Last night, the following statement was made during the Vice Presidential debate regarding the decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to force virtually all employers to include sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion, in the health insurance coverage they provide their employees:
“With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.”
This is not a fact. The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain “religious employers.” That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to “Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital,” or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.
HHS has proposed an additional “accommodation” for religious organizations like these, which HHS itself describes as “non-exempt.” That proposal does not even potentially relieve these organizations from the obligation “to pay for contraception” and “to be a vehicle to get contraception.” They will have to serve as a vehicle, because they will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage, and that coverage will still have to include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. They will have to pay for these things, because the premiums that the organizations (and their employees) are required to pay will still be applied, along with other funds, to cover the cost of these drugs and surgeries.
USCCB continues to urge HHS, in the strongest possible terms, actually to eliminate the various infringements on religious freedom imposed by the mandate.

Catholic Bishops: Joe Biden Wrong on HHS Mandate



Today the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the authoritative body of the Catholic Church in America, disputed Joe Biden’s claim in the debate on the HHS mandate.
Catholic Bishops: Joe Biden wrong on HHS mandate.
 Vice President Joe Biden falsely depicted the consequences of the Obama administration's HHS abortion mandate during the Oct. 11 vice presidential debate with GOP contender Paul Ryan, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).USCCB  issued the following statement, October 12. Full text follows:
Last night, the following statement was made during the Vice Presidential debate regarding the decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to force virtually all employers to include sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion, in the health insurance coverage they provide their employees:
“With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.”
This is not a fact. The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain “religious employers.” That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to “Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital,” or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.
HHS has proposed an additional “accommodation” for religious organizations like these, which HHS itself describes as “non-exempt.” That proposal does not even potentially relieve these organizations from the obligation “to pay for contraception” and “to be a vehicle to get contraception.” They will have to serve as a vehicle, because they will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage, and that coverage will still have to include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. They will have to pay for these things, because the premiums that the organizations (and their employees) are required to pay will still be applied, along with other funds, to cover the cost of these drugs and surgeries.
USCCB continues to urge HHS, in the strongest possible terms, actually to eliminate the various infringements on religious freedom imposed by the mandate.

Monday, October 8, 2012

German Parents Lose Custody of Their Children for Homeschooling Them


Reporter John Jalsevac filed this report Oct. 5 from Darmstadt, Germany for the pro-life LifeSiteNews web site:

A district court in Darmstadt, Germany has revoked custody of four children from their parents and ordered it turned over to the Jugendamt, Germany’s child protective agency.

The reason for the drastic measure? The parents were homeschooling their children.

Dirk Wanderlich, the father of the family, says that while the Jugendamt has issued a letter saying they will allow the children to stay at home for the time being, he believes that in the long run the state intends to remove them.

“[T]hey told me that the children must go to school,” said Dirk, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association, which is providing legal support to the Wanderlichs.

“We are very saddened by the way our country treats us. Our nerves are black and short, and we are very tired by the pressure. I don’t understand my own country. What are we doing wrong? We are just doing what should be allowed to anyone.”

Dirk has good reason to fear that he may eventually lose his children. Homeschooling is illegal in Germany under a law dating back to the Hitler era, and in recent years the country has become increasingly Draconian in enforcing the law – removing children from their families, levying heavy fines, and even sentencing homeschooling parents to jail.
Dirk Wanderlich with his four children.

In one recent case, a family successfully petitioned the United States for political asylum. In his decision granting asylum, U.S. Judge Lawrence Burman said that Germany’s policy of persecuting homeschoolers is “repellent to everything we believe as Americans.”
 
According to HSLDA, the court who ruled against the Wanderlichs said that the public has, in HSLDA’s words, “an interest in counteracting the development of parallel societies and that religious or ethnic minorities must be ‘integrated’ through schools.”

The ruling aligns with reasons given by Germany’s leadership for maintaining the ban. “In our increasingly multicultural society, school is the place for a peaceful dialogue between different opinions, values, religions and ideologies,” Berlin’s education minister, Juergen Zoellner, told BBC in 2010.

“It is a training ground for social tolerance. Therefore, homeschooling is not an option for Germany.”
Reacting to the Wanderlichs’ case, HSLDA Director for International Relations Michael Donnelly, said, “Homeschooling is a legitimate form of education—Germany’s oppression of people who do it violates their obligation to protect their citizen’s most basic human rights. In the area of educational freedom, Germany is grossly derelict and oppressive.”

The Wanderlichs’ search for the freedom to homeschool has taken them all across Europe. The family already had one major scare in France, when social workers came and seized their children. However, upon appeal their children were returned to them, and their right to homeschool was solidly affirmed.
But while the Wanderlichs ultimately found tolerance in France, Dirk, a gardener, was unable to find steady work and so the family had to move on. Eventually, after stints in Norway and Hungary, the Wanderlichs returned to their native Germany, where they hoped that their homeschooling would simply go unnoticed.
“We hoped we could homeschool without being found out,” says Dirk. “But neighbors turned us in after just a few months. I requested to meet with the school to get them to permit us to homeschool, but they rejected our request for a meeting.”

In the meantime the Wanderlichs are unable even to leave Germany to seek freedom in another country. “We don’t have passports, and even if we did, we could not leave,” Dirk says. “Our children are now under the control of the state. We can’t leave without the state’s permission.”

Desperate and at their wit’s end, the Wanderlichs are reaching out for help. “I am just one person, and I cannot fight against the power of the state even though I must for my children’s sake,” says Dirk. “We need help from others. I have asked HSLDA to inform the UN special rapporteur on education. We have no choice but to fight, because we feel it is our duty to homeschool our children.”

German Parents Lose Custody of Their Children for Homeschooling Them


Reporter John Jalsevac filed this report Oct. 5 from Darmstadt, Germany for the pro-life LifeSiteNews web site:

A district court in Darmstadt, Germany has revoked custody of four children from their parents and ordered it turned over to the Jugendamt, Germany’s child protective agency.

The reason for the drastic measure? The parents were homeschooling their children.

Dirk Wanderlich, the father of the family, says that while the Jugendamt has issued a letter saying they will allow the children to stay at home for the time being, he believes that in the long run the state intends to remove them.

“[T]hey told me that the children must go to school,” said Dirk, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association, which is providing legal support to the Wanderlichs.

“We are very saddened by the way our country treats us. Our nerves are black and short, and we are very tired by the pressure. I don’t understand my own country. What are we doing wrong? We are just doing what should be allowed to anyone.”

Dirk has good reason to fear that he may eventually lose his children. Homeschooling is illegal in Germany under a law dating back to the Hitler era, and in recent years the country has become increasingly Draconian in enforcing the law – removing children from their families, levying heavy fines, and even sentencing homeschooling parents to jail.
Dirk Wanderlich with his four children.

In one recent case, a family successfully petitioned the United States for political asylum. In his decision granting asylum, U.S. Judge Lawrence Burman said that Germany’s policy of persecuting homeschoolers is “repellent to everything we believe as Americans.”
 
According to HSLDA, the court who ruled against the Wanderlichs said that the public has, in HSLDA’s words, “an interest in counteracting the development of parallel societies and that religious or ethnic minorities must be ‘integrated’ through schools.”

The ruling aligns with reasons given by Germany’s leadership for maintaining the ban. “In our increasingly multicultural society, school is the place for a peaceful dialogue between different opinions, values, religions and ideologies,” Berlin’s education minister, Juergen Zoellner, told BBC in 2010.

“It is a training ground for social tolerance. Therefore, homeschooling is not an option for Germany.”
Reacting to the Wanderlichs’ case, HSLDA Director for International Relations Michael Donnelly, said, “Homeschooling is a legitimate form of education—Germany’s oppression of people who do it violates their obligation to protect their citizen’s most basic human rights. In the area of educational freedom, Germany is grossly derelict and oppressive.”

The Wanderlichs’ search for the freedom to homeschool has taken them all across Europe. The family already had one major scare in France, when social workers came and seized their children. However, upon appeal their children were returned to them, and their right to homeschool was solidly affirmed.
But while the Wanderlichs ultimately found tolerance in France, Dirk, a gardener, was unable to find steady work and so the family had to move on. Eventually, after stints in Norway and Hungary, the Wanderlichs returned to their native Germany, where they hoped that their homeschooling would simply go unnoticed.
“We hoped we could homeschool without being found out,” says Dirk. “But neighbors turned us in after just a few months. I requested to meet with the school to get them to permit us to homeschool, but they rejected our request for a meeting.”

In the meantime the Wanderlichs are unable even to leave Germany to seek freedom in another country. “We don’t have passports, and even if we did, we could not leave,” Dirk says. “Our children are now under the control of the state. We can’t leave without the state’s permission.”

Desperate and at their wit’s end, the Wanderlichs are reaching out for help. “I am just one person, and I cannot fight against the power of the state even though I must for my children’s sake,” says Dirk. “We need help from others. I have asked HSLDA to inform the UN special rapporteur on education. We have no choice but to fight, because we feel it is our duty to homeschool our children.”