Digest of Today's Posts (31 July 2009)
(Digest of Yesterday's Posts (30 July 2009))
Labels: Digest of Posts
Labels: Digest of Posts
I've got a modest proposal for achieving some much-vaunted "common ground" on abortion. How about we all agree to the consensus of the last 3 decades that abortion should not be federally funded, and therefore make the Hyde Amendment (as well as a prohibition on federal mandates of private abortion coverage) an explicit part of any health care proposal working its way through Congress?
U.S. Bishops warn against using 'abortion rights' agenda in health care reform:
Washington D.C., Jul 31, 2009 / 10:34 am (CNA).- The U.S. Bishops' Pro-life Committee chairman, Cardinal Justin Rigali, is calling on the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to amend the health care reform legislation so that it will not cover abortion and will protect the consciences of medical personnel.(emphasis added)
Cardinal Rigali made the bishops' concerns known to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in a letter sent on July 29.
With two House committees already finished with their recommendations for the House version of health care reform legislation, the cardinal's letter represents a final attempt to have Catholics' concerns heard in the House. Following the submission of the three House committees, the Senate will also have to approve legislation, which will then have to be reconciled with the House's bills.
While the U.S. bishops support health care reform, Cardinal Rigali stressed that it must be “genuine,” which he said means it must uphold “longstanding and widely supported policies against abortion funding and mandates, and in favor of conscience protection.”
“Much-needed reform must not become a vehicle for promoting an ‘abortion rights’ agenda or reversing longstanding current policies against federal abortion mandates and funding,” he insisted.
On the issue of abortion, the Philadelphia cardinal listed several problems.
Chief among the cardinal's concerns is that the legislation “delegates to the Secretary of Health and Human Services the power to make abortion a basic or essential benefit in all health plans, or in the 'public plan' created by the legislation.”
“This would be a radical change,” Rigali stated, pointing out that “Federal law has long excluded most abortions from federal employees’ health benefits plans and places no requirement on private plans, most of which also decline to cover elective abortions.”
In addition, the bill would also authorize federal funds that do not pass through the Labor/HHS appropriations bill, which enables the funds to circumvent the Hyde amendment and other provisions that have “prevented direct federal funding of abortion for over three decades.”
The solution, the cardinal wrote, is to create a new provision against abortion funding for the current legislation. This would “ensure consistency with the policy in all other federal health programs.”
Finally, Cardinal Rigali said that the provisions that require timely access to all benefits covered by qualified health plans “could be used by courts to override and invalidate state laws regulating abortion, such as laws to ensure women’s safety and informed consent and those on promoting parental involvement.”
On the issue of protecting Americans' consciences, the cardinal reminded representatives that several federal laws “have long protected the conscience rights of health care providers.” Noting that President Obama recently stated that he accepts these current laws and will do nothing to weaken them, he called on Congress to “make the same pledge, by ensuring that this legislation will maintain protection for conscience rights.”
Cardinal Rigali closed his letter by urging the House Energy and Commerce Committee to uphold existing federal policies on abortion and protect consciences by supporting amendments by Reps. Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Joseph Pitts (R-PA)
The full letter from Cardinal Rigali can be read at: www.usccb.org/prolife/CardRigali-AbortionNeutralReform-7-29-09.pdf.
... WHAT ABOUT ABORTION? Liberal Catholics don't want to be "distracted" by it but the fact is that we're about to pass a plan that will finance the murder of the unborn, that will extend the blessing of the federal government's purse on the great sacrament of the Democratic party.Michael then goes on to quote extensively from Pope Benedict before concluding:
Do they care? No, they don't. Not a whit. Minion couldn't care less if one or a thousand or a million people died through the murders of euthanasia or abortion. These are real concerns but Minion is a single-issue voter and care not for human life or anything else that stands in the way of his single-payer health care vision. He's not alone, either.
It's disgusting. For the record, I believe health care is a right and government needs to do something to provide coverage. I do have concerns that what's being proposed isn't going to cut costs or be terribly efficient due to the constant wheeling and dealing that's marked this process that seems catered more towards politics than truth. I am very concerned about health care rationing and would like to see Congress address those concerns for the sake of the dignity of life. But these are not the concerns of a capitalistic ideologue; these are Catholic concerns.
Indeed, health care without care for the human person threatens to be a monstrously evil and perverted system...
Yet despite this, I'm to believe that the true upholder of the dignity of the human person pushes and promotes health care which actively denies the dignity of the human person?(emphasis added)
It's time for liberal Catholics to stop fighting straw men and start dealing with abortion and euthanasia as real issues, not distractions, and a mere "sadly" describe the situation only emphasizes how indifferent you are. The current health care reform has no basis in any Catholic conception of the dignity of the human person and therefore will not do good, regardless of its pretended affirmation of the right to health care, and any Catholic with a conscience needs to strongly insist on the protection of human life or vote this thing to hell.
"Cash for Clunkers" has run out of money after only one week, and the program, which was supposed to last through November 1, is being suspended.
When government artificially inflate the value of a commodity in attempting social engineering, it usually either spends more money than they initially realize, leave the private sector holding the bag, and make themselves look foolish … at best ...
Why was it “explosively popular”? It made worthless cars valuable again. The vehicles got $4500 for a brief window rather than their previous real value, in many cases a fraction of the government payout. That inflated value prompted people to rush to their local dealers to use their government subsidy to buy new vehicles.
The government imposed all these costs and heightened expectations on car dealers without having a plan. And this was just to kill a few hundred thousand gas-guzzlers. Imagine what it will be like when the government takes charge of keeping hundreds of millions of people healthy.
Of course, no one has really explained why taxpayers should subsidize the destruction of gas-guzzlers (we do remember that we’re paying those ridiculous subsidies, don’t we?) that many of us couldn’t afford when they were sold as new, or that we had better sense than to buy. No one explained why taxpayers should subsidize sub-prime loans for people who didn’t qualify to buy the houses they wanted ten years ago, either. It’s yet another example of how government rarely learns from its own mistakes. This one, fortunately, will be much less costly, but therefore also much less likely to teach people anything.
National Catholic Reporter is "outraged" that someone would say something mean about the President. However, such "outrage" is blatantly selective, given the publication's own past with making "outrageous" comments about the previous occupant of the Oval Office.
Jim Blazsik reports:
In a stunning move late Thursday night, conservative Democrats reversed a Pro-Life victory in an amendment removing abortion as a required coverage in Obamacare.
At Mirror of Justice, Richard Stith makes the same point that Ken Blackwell made in the piece I highlighted yesterday:
Inclusion of abortion in an official national healthcare plan is a communal imprimatur, similar to the imprimatur received for gay sex when gay marriage is approved. It does more than increase liberty; it says that nothing is significantly wrong with the act in question.(Hat tip: Joseph Bottum at First Thoughts)
The great political problem for pluralism is that toleration alone may not satisfy the human heart. John Noonan (in A Private Choice) has reflected upon how slavery and abortion became polity-shattering to the degree that advocates for each cause escalated their demands from simple toleration to universal legal approval. Yet he also recognizes their difficulty in moderating those demands: “[I]n a moral question of this kind, turning on basic concepts of humanity,…you cannot be content with the practical toleration of your activities. You want, in a sense you need, actual acceptance, open approval,…the moral surrender of [your] critics.”
A couple of weeks ago, Stewart Mandel wrote a piece about Congress' boondoggle regarding college football's BCS "championship": Why Congress' BCS hearing will be a waste of time.
Believe me, I'm no fan of the BCS, though perhaps for different reasons than the playoff proponents. The 11-year-old system, which is contractually scheduled to run until at least 2014, has irreparably destroyed the century-old tradition of college bowl games by moving them away from New Year's Day, watering down the matchups and stripping the individual bowls of their uniqueness.EXACTLY! Right on, Stewart. But later in the piece, Mandel gets to the heart of what REALLY drew my interest:
But suppose I'm wrong. Suppose my admittedly amateur interpretation of federal antitrust and commerce laws is off, and suppose that, in some parallel universe in which such things proceed in a timely manner, an anti-BCS lawsuit or congressional bill actually succeeds.YES!!! Oh, please, please, please let that happen! The old system wasn't broken and didn't need fixing. Bring it back!
Even then, the BCS still would not be obligated to adopt a playoff. The more likely result is that the BCS would simply dissolve. The bowls would go back to making their own individual deals with conferences. The Rose Bowl would go back to hosting the Big Ten and Pac-10 champs, the Sugar Bowl the SEC champ, etc. Maybe the Fiesta would still take an occasional stab at an undefeated Utah or Boise State, or maybe it would take 9-3 Notre Dame instead. Whatever would sell more tickets.
The sport existed in this manner for nearly the entire 20th century, and there's absolutely nothing stopping its leaders from returning to it, as Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman — recently appointed chairman of the BCS' Presidential Oversight Committee — told the Nebraska State Paper last week.
"The alternative is not a playoff," said Perlman. "The alternative is to go back to the system we had. That's fine. Many of us would think that's not a bad outcome."
In other words, your elected officials are dedicating valuable time and tax dollars toward a cause that, even if successful, would actually move the sport further than it is now from determining a true champion.I can live with that. The focus on crowning a "definitive" national champion has already devalued the game's traditional rivalries and traditional bowl matchups. And it is TRADITION that makes Division 1-A college football the best game on the planet.
(Hat tip: PewSitter.com)
Evangelical writer Jim Wallis has until now remained strong on the idea that nationalized health care should not force Americans to pay for killing unborn children. But, as May push comes to July shove, Wallis's liberal friends are giving him a "wedgie." Now, he seems to be wavering. He says he hopes that abortion will not become a "wedge issue," one that will prevent us from enacting a sweeping takeover of the health care industry.
Harold Ickes, Jr. is well-known in liberal circles. He's been a fund-raiser for his party and a key backer of Bill and Hillary Clinton for decades. As long ago as 1988, he weighed in in his home state of New York against then-Sen. Al Gore. This was Gore's first run for President and arguably his best shot. Gore came into New York State with 25 percent in the polls -- leading a crowded Democratic pack. But Ickes was outraged by Gore's position against federal funding of abortion. Ickes led a chorus of boos against Gore at a big meeting of liberal donors. Gore's standing in the New York Democratic primary plummeted. He won just 10 percent of the vote and limped out of the Empire State. Gore's campaign collapsed and he turned around on federal funding of abortion.
Why would Ickes' wealthy fellow liberals care so much about federal funding for abortion? After all, New York State, led by then-Gov. Mario Cuomo, would continue to pay for abortions. And Ickes' friends would themselves never need a public subsidy in order to avail themselves of abortion.
With Ickes and his fellow travelers on abortion it is absolutely essential that we cease calling it wrong. Federal funding for abortion is the indispensable piece of the puzzle. They have had abortion-on-demand -- what they always wanted -- ever since Roe. The Supreme Court has only rarely failed to deliver on their radical pro-abortion agenda. But it fell short in Harris v. McRae (1980) -- and then only by the slenderest of margins, 5-4. In that important case, the Court's majority said that the Hyde Amendment forbidding the use of federal Medicaid funds for abortions was constitutional.
For men like Ickes denying federal funding impermissibly taints abortion. There's something wrong with it if the federal government cannot fully and generously pay for it. For them, 48 million abortions are not enough.
Abraham Lincoln went to New York City 128 years before Al Gore went there. He recognized that his opponents would not be satisfied with holding their slaves in bondage, selling their slaves across state lines, and even pursuing their runaway slaves into the free states. So what else could Lincoln's adversaries want? "This, and this only," he famously said at Cooper Union "[We must]: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly -- done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated -- we must place ourselves avowedly with them."
This is why Harold Ickes, Jr. and Barack Obama cannot yield on abortion-as-health care.
Obama sincerely wants to end all the controversy over abortion. He wants to end it by including abortion in his government takeover of health care. Then, he hopes, we will have to cease calling it wrong. Then, it will be officially designated as an indispensable and indisputable part of a mandated federal benefits package.
At GetReligion, Terry Mattingly notes a conspicuously missing (or at least quiet) voice in media coverage of the current health-care debate:
... there has been a strange silence in the mainstream coverage of the health-care wars here on Capital Hill.My Comments:
Let me ask this question: What religious body, in recent years or even decades, has been the most outspoken when it comes to demanding — as a basic issue of social justice — some kind of universal health-care coverage for all Americans? While it’s possible to debate whether or not there is a definitive answer to that question, I think the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops would have to be right at the top of any list.
No one should doubt the commitment of the bishops to universal health-care coverage, of some kind. The problem, of course, is the clash between a secular approach to issues of birth, life and death and 2000 years worth of basic, core Christian doctrines. Abortion is the obvious point of conflict, but recent debates about health-care rationing, euthanasia (active or passive) and “conscience clauses” for medical professionals have shown that other crucial issues are in play.
Where is the voice of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in these stories?
I know that there are resources on various websites. I plan on quoting some of them myself. I know about the articulate letter (.pdf) to Congress by Bishop William F. Murphy of the Domestic Justice and Human Development committee.
But I do have a basic question here: Are the journalists ignoring the bishops or are the bishops (and their gatekeepers) ignoring the journalists? This is one of the biggest religion-news stories of the year, especially in terms of its potential impact on Catholic health-care facilities and the people who work there. The church’s views on health-care reform are consistent and articulate and, I might add, rather centrist. If the White House wants health-care reform, the U.S. Catholic bishops are a strategic force.
Did you hear that silence? What was that?
Larry D has a laugh-out-loud-funny idea for a book at Acts of the Apostasy. Head on over to read the first installment of The Illustrated Progressive Catholic Alphabet.
Labels: Digest of Posts
At Creative Minority Report, Matthew Archbold reports that additional information has emerged on the deeply troubling views of the President's choice for "Science Czar":
John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Obama’s top science adviser, co-authored a 1973 book that said a newborn child “will ultimately develop into a human being” if he or she is properly fed and socialized:
“The fetus, given the opportunity to develop properly before birth, and given the essential early socializing experiences and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial early years after birth, will ultimately develop into a human being,” John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, wrote in Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions.
The specific passage expressing the authors’ view that a baby “will ultimately develop into a human being” is on page 235 in chapter 8 of the book, which is titled “Population Limitation.”
Deal Hudson writes at Inside Catholic:
Lisa Correnti at http://www.onenationundergod.com/ has done us the service of tabulating the vote of Catholic members of Congress on the Pence Amendent to defund Planned Parenthood.
84 Catholics voted against the amendment while 46 voted for it...
(Hat tip: PewSitter.com)
An Interfaith group called 'We Believe Together - Health Care For All' held a press conference today at the Capitol demanding Congress pass a health care bill NOW. Sister of Social Service Simone Campbell was among them. This from Catholic News Service's report on the conference:Fear of change, Sister Simone said, is what is holding back members of Congress now. Instead of making a decision many representatives are getting confused by insignificant details, she said.Anybody with a pulse knows what those "insignificant details" are. The U.S. Bishops have addressed them. Prolife groups have addressed them. Catholic hospitals and health professionals have addressed them. Even 19 Democratic Congressmen have addressed them pointedly to Speaker Pelosi. And Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) has reported that the actual number of Democratic Congressmen who are "holding back" until "insignificant details" are resolved may be 39 or more - enough to kill the bill in the House.
"Too often in D.C. we can get caught in the details and in the argument," she said.
But Sister Simone is the President of 'NETWORK - A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby'. Since its founding 1971 by 47 Catholic sisters, NETWORK has been faithfully avoiding "insignificant details".
According to NETWORK's website those 47 original sisters met to "explore how women religious might speak out as one voice to our federal government on behalf of 'justice for all,'" - except apparently justice for "insignificant details". Since their founding by those 47 women religious, NETWORK, now a much larger, powerful lobby, has managed to completely ignore justice for 47,000,000 "insignificant details".
It's not that NETWORK doesn't care about details. In fact, Network has 17 questions (some multi-part) that voters should be concerned about in health care reform. But not a single word about "insignificant details"...
Here's the cover of NETWORK's latest newsletter.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Reporting from Washington -- With House leaders struggling to reach agreement on healthcare legislation, aiming toward a possible vote this week, a new hurdle has emerged: abortion.My Comments:
Some conservative Democrats are threatening to pull their support from the massive healthcare bill unless their concerns over potential federal funding of abortion procedures are met. They fear that the Obama administration will take advantage of an expanded government role in healthcare to increase the availability of abortions nationwide.
If the House leadership's dispute with the Blue Dogs is resolved, abortion looms as the next sticking point. Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan and other Democrats opposed to abortion rights want to ensure that the bill includes language restricting taxpayer funds for the procedure.
The Hyde Amendment, passed in 1976, explicitly prevents the federal government from using tax dollars to fund abortion through Medicaid. But the reach of that law grows murkier if the government establishes its own competitive health insurance plan, or if it assists in creating a new market in which the public could sort through various private insurance plans. Both ideas could be included in the healthcare bill under consideration in Congress.
The Obama administration has tried to stay neutral on the matter.
"I think that it's appropriate for us to figure out how to just deliver on the cost savings and not get distracted by the abortion debate," President Obama said in an interview with CBS News;photovideo last week.
When asked about abortion prohibitions in the bill, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said last week that "a benefit package is better left to experts in the medical field to determine how best and what procedures to cover."
That is precisely what worries antiabortion advocates.
"By being silent on this issue, [Obama is] actually making an affirmative statement in favor of taxpayer abortions," Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) said.
As it stands, the House bill would create a Health Benefits Advisory Committee to prescribe which "essential benefits" should be offered in any government-supported insurance plan.
Opponents of abortion rights believe that unless there is specific wording to the contrary, abortion services will be included. "Unless you can specifically exclude abortion, it will be part of any federalized healthcare system," said Charmaine Yoest, executive director of Americans United for Life.
Efforts in other House committees to insert such prohibitions have failed. Stupak has vowed to push Waxman to include them in the version being written by the Energy and Commerce Committee.
Stupak was one of 19 Democrats to write to Pelosi last month to say that they "cannot support any healthcare proposal unless it excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan."
Bill Bennett interviews Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (another one of those dreaded Southerners who are ruining the GOP for squishy RINOs like George Voinovich).
The Columbus Dispatch interviews Sen. George Voinovich:
... The GOP’s biggest problem? “We got too many Jim DeMints (R-S.C.) and Tom Coburns (R-Ok.). It’s the southerners. They get on TV and go 'errrr, errrrr.' People hear them and say, ‘These people, they’re southerners. The party’s being taken over by southerners. What they hell they got to do with Ohio?’ ” ...Did it ever occur to you that you might have some transplanted Southerners among your constituents (like me, for example)? I mean, Ohio borders West Virginia and Kentucky, both states that, in some respects, identify with the South.
(Hat tip: Creative Minority Report)
Twenty Democrats in the House of Representatives joined all but 9 Republicans last week in voting to defund Planned Parenthood in an amendment offered by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) to the Labor / HHS Appropriations Bill. The Amendment failed, but I'd like to share some information about these prolife Democrats, as well as some info on two betrayers who should have been among their number.(emphasis added)
Two Representatives not among the 20 are Reps. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Tom Perriello (D-VA).
Ryan used to be pro-life and now has a 0 per cent score from NRLC. We've written about him before and about the disastrous patronage bill he is sponsoring for Planned Parenthood and NARAL ludicrously named the "Preventing Unintended Pregnancies, Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act".
A second Democrat of interest not among the 20 voting to defund Planned Parenthood is Freshman Congressman Tom Perriello (D-VA). Perriello won his seat in one of the most surprising upsets in the November election, unseating longtime Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode. Goode had served in Congress as both a Democrat and Republican for five terms easily defeating adversaries in each contest. Perriello beat him out of a sixth term by only .24 percent of votes cast.
Perriello is an excellent campaigner and organizer and was an early adopter of the attractive "common ground" rhetoric. In fact, he was a co-founder of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and in 2006, Catholic News Service wrote of him, my emphases:Tom Perriello, a co-founder of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, told CNS that efforts by the Democratic Party to reach out to Catholics, especially in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia, states with close, key Senate races, seem to have succeeded.Perriello the candidate was coy about his position on abortion, but his record in Congress is unambiguous. He has earned a 0 per cent rating from National Right to Life Committee and is a co-sponsor of the Ryan-DeLauro Planned Parenthood bailout bill. In his actions, the "common ground" Catholic Democrat is indistinguishable from forthright supporters of the abortion industry.
The "life does not end at birth" campaign of 2004, organized by a coalition of Catholic groups led by Pax Christi USA, was the start of efforts aimed at persuading voters to choose candidates on a broader basis than abortion alone, Perriello said. Catholics in Alliance this year had a series of ads headlined "As simple as right and wrong," which picked up that theme and which have resonated with evangelicals and Catholics alike, he said.
Perriello is optimistic about that success meaning the end of the sense that Democratic candidates must support abortion "rights" to get anywhere within the party.
[Read the whole thing]
I was delighted to receive from a friend in the mail today the July 27 issue of The Catholic Virginian, which includes a cover story about our former parish in the town of Columbia - St. Joseph's Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel:
St. Joseph’s/Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel in Columbia is probably the only church in the Diocese of Richmond located in a town with fewer than 50 people.
According to the 2000 Census, there were 49 people in 18 families in the rural town located at the fork of the James and Rivanna Rivers where three counties — Fluvanna, Cumberland and Goochland — join together. It is 52 miles west of Richmond and 22 miles southeast of Charlottesville.
The white frame church, which sits on a hill, is 125 years old. It sits across from St. John Episcopal Church in the front and across from the town Post Office on the side.
Probably few people in Virginia know that Columbia was once envisioned as the capital of the new state of Virginia.
Father N. Alan Lipscomb is pastor of the parish community, which has 67 registered families. Mass is celebrated Sundays at 9 a.m. and on Tuesday and Thursday at 9 a.m.
In addition to Father Lipscomb, Mass is celebrated on alternate Sundays by Father Gerald Musuubiri, a priest from Uganda who has been released from his diocese for six years service in the Richmond diocese.
The Catholic roots of Columbia date back to 1884 when William and Catherine O’Donnell Wakeham were the first Catholic family to settle in the rural Virginia community. They founded the Wakeham Chapel in 1884 which later became St. Joseph’s Church.
Mother Katharine Drexel, foundress of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament who had started an apostolate for Native American and African American children, was responsible for bringing a young black woman, Lydia O’Hare, to Columbia in 1904. Miss O’Hare’s role was to be catechist, organist, sacristan and schoolteacher in the one-room mission school which had been built a year earlier by Fred Nicholas, who later was to become her husband in 1906.
[Read the whole thing]
(Hat tip: Rich Leonardi)
... Mr. McCourt felt it was impossible to fully divorce himself from the church. So when he stood before Pope John Paul II in 2002, accompanying a delegation of 40 mayors from around the world, the little Irish-Catholic boy in him took over. He knelt, took the pontiff’s hand and kissed his ring.Hostility toward the Church notwithstanding, Frank McCourt was a very pleasant and amiable fellow. I had the opportunity to meet him several years ago in Charlottesville at a conference on the future of Ireland. I was perusing a table containing some recent books about Ireland that were being offered for sale to conference participants when Mr. McCourt walked up to view the items on the table. I picked up a copy of his book 'Tis and said (tongue in cheek) "I've heard this book is pretty good. Do you know anything about it." He laughed and responded "Yes, well that's what I've been told."
“I got up and he’s looking at me with his dazzling blue Polish eyes and extraordinary complexion,” Mr. McCourt told the Commonwealth Club of California. “I had a feeling he knew. He knew what a fraud and a phony I was. Then I walked away. And I have to admit, as turbulent as my relationship with the church has been (although they don’t know it and they don’t care), I was walking on water practically. I was walking on air.”
... meet "The Elders".
The Elders call for an end to the use of religious and traditional practices to justify and entrench discrimination against women and girls.And just what might those "religious and traditional practices" entail? "The Elders" link to this opinion piece to provide an answer:
I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same scriptures in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn't until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted holy scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.(Jimmy Carter, crummy president and an even crummier theologian - not to mention anti-Catholic bigot)
... Religion has little role in this enterprise. In fact, the elders see it as a primary oppressor of women and a source of many of mankind's problems.I must say that, when it comes to secret societies of the wealthy and powerful elites bent on one-world government, I prefer The Pentavirate:
This is particularly evident in the discussion of one of the main issues listed on the website, "equality of women and girls." The page addressing the issue specifically targets religion as a source of discrimination. Jimmy Carter, writing in his role as an elder, elaborated on this recently when he quit the Southern Baptist Convention because of their position against ordaining women as deacons and pastors. In a commentary article in The Age, an Australian Newspaper, he made it clear that religions that will not ordain women are antiquated and discriminatory. "The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men," Carter wrote, "owe more to time and place - and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence - than eternal truths." This was clearly a swipe at all faiths, including the Catholic Church, that do not ordain women. It is the same language adopted by feminist groups advocating women priests.
Carter also used not so coded language to attack the Church for its opposition to abortion. "The belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives." While the Elders' website carries nothing about abortion, the language that fills U.N. documents about women "controlling their bodies" and women's reproductive rights should concern anyone about the ultimate goals of this group, especially since many are well known for their abortion advocacy. Jimmy Carter, Mary Robinson, Kofi Annon, Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela all have extreme pro-abortion backgrounds.
In fact, the Elders looks like one more group of elitist ideologues who believe that human effort can bring about Utopia. Their cumulutive record of pro-abortion and pro-population control politics makes it questionable whether they really have the interests of individual people at heart. As Screwtape, C.S. Lewis' senior devil, always advised his nephew Wormwood, keep man's attention on humanity as a whole and he'll overlook the hungry man next door.
Mark Steyn writes at The Corner:
On page 5 of my notoriously "alarmist" book, I asked, "Will China be the hyperpower of the 21st century?", and answered no: It will get old before it's got rich.
Like Japan and Russia and the "experts" at The Economist, China has now begun to figure it out. From the London Times:
China Steps Back From One-Child Policy
By the way, demographic decline is one more reason why they're never gonna sign on to the ecochondriacs' emissions regime. A cheap labor market with aging and dwindling labor doesn't need any more self-inflicted wounds.
At National Review Online, Kathryn Jean Lopez writes that "For Barack Obama, apparently, some questions on abortion are . . . undesirable":
... it’s disturbing but not surprising that the president would dismiss questions about abortion and his health-care plan. In an interview with Katie Couric that aired the night before his dud of a prime-time health-care press conference, Obama called such questions a “distraction”: The fate of human lives and dignity are but details to be hashed out and cast aside by politicians in a rush to socialize medicine...
Matthew Archbold highlights yet another one of Fr. Richard McBrien's inane commentaries, this one addressing the apostolic visitation and doctrinal assessment directed toward women Religious in the U.S.:
... One of the most disturbing aspects of the "visitation" is the requirement that each of the visitors will be required to make a public profession of faith and an oath of fidelity to the Apostolic See.Matthew astutely points out the implications of Fr. McBrien's assertion, when taken to its logical conclusion:
This requirement will discourage a number of potential visitors from volunteering their services in this study, and thereby skew the visitation teams in a particular ideological direction.
Did you get that? An oath of fidelity to the Apostolic See skews you in a particular ideological direction, ie conservative.
Fr. McBrien, it's called being faithful. It's not ideological.
But using logic would lead one to an inescapable conclusion. If being a conservative Catholic is defined as being faithful to the Apostolic See, then how must a liberal Catholic be defined?
Read in the comments to this Ed Morrissey post.