I stand with the bishops and the Catholic Church on the HHS Mandate.
If you stand with the bishops as well, look at the alert below and take action!
I stand with the bishops and the Catholic Church on the HHS Mandate.
If you stand with the bishops as well, look at the alert below and take action!
It’s time for every brainless knee-jerk Planned Parenthood supporter to line up and recite “right wing lies.”
A Planned Parenthood lobbyist (I’m leaving her name out because she’s just one of many) spoke against a bill requiring that infants who are born alive after abortions be given medical care instead of just dumped in the trash and allowed to die.
Planned Parenthood has opposed bills to protect the lives of infants who survive abortions every time I’m aware of. What’s different is that the Florida lobbyist seems to be a political amateur. Planned Parenthood’s lobbyist here in Oklahoma would never do anything this stupid. Their Oklahoma lobbyist knows how to play for-real political hardball.
Unfortunately for Planned Parenthood, their too-honest and far-too-inept Florida lobbyist got drawn out in question and answers, and the testimony ended up on the internet.
That’s how Planned Parenthood jumped the shark.
Here’s the video:
It turns out not everyone supports the Planned Parenthood position about killing babies after they are born. In fact, there was widespread public outrage, including allusions to this video by members of Congress in calls to defund Planned Parenthood. Anyone who has ever dealt with Planned Parenthood knows that they are all about funding.
That’s when Planned Parenthood started to blame the shark.
First they issued one of their usual we-didn’t-say-what-we-said statements on April 1 (which is an appropriate day for it.) When that didn’t work, they moved to Plan B (pun intended.)
They issued another statement, claiming that their only concerns with the bill were “health and safety issues” in some of the bill’s language and that “biased media reports reported our position inaccurately.” They then go on with the standard Planned Parenthood women’s-health-our-great-services boilerplate. You can follow the links to read both their statements if you want, but I warn you: It’s political schlock.
This business of jumping the shark and then blaming the shark for having been jumped is becoming a standard Planned Parenthood two-step. I don’t know about you, but I could write their shark-blaming statements for them.
Their trouble isn’t biased media. It also isn’t inept lobbyists who don’t know how to kill a bill behind closed doors the way their Oklahoma lobbyist does. Their problem is that they are lying. They keep getting caught out in their lies because they are telling lies.
Their real position seems to be simple and straightforward: A baby’s life is forfeit from conception through post abortion. The woman’s right to kill her child at any time during pregnancy, including after pregnancy if the baby survives an abortion, is absolute. If a baby survives an abortion, it must be killed because the baby’s mother has already decided to kill it.
I believe that what’s at stake here is not the life of the child, or even the mother’s “right to chose” so much as Planned Parenthood’s determination to fulfill its contractual obligations. If a woman contracts with them for an abortion that results in a dead baby, then she’s entitled to a dead baby, even if that means killing the baby after the abortion itself.
Do you get that?
The life of the child appears to be a non sequitur to Planned Parenthood. What seems to matter to them is that they told the woman they’d kill her baby, took her money with the promise they’d kill her baby, and they are going to Kill That Baby. They may be liars to the general public, but in this grisly instance, they keep their word.
When they get baited out into an excess of truth-telling and almost admit this as their lobbyist did in this video, they resort to obfuscation, lies and the use of their well-oiled media/political/social support machine to blame the shark they just jumped for their predicament.
I haven’t written about this story before because I’m so tired of it. It’s tough for me because I have to argue with these numbskull lies all day at work. I’ve been doing it for years and I am bone-weary with the lies.
However, I want you to understand this because I think it’s important for everyone, including Planned Parenthood’s supporters, to understand one simple thing: They are lying. Their lies are so obvious that it makes my teeth ache to read them.
The next time Planned Parenthood jumps the shark and then blames the shark for having been jumped, just turn down the volume on your television, click over onto another page on the internet. No need to hear it/read it again. It’s always the same.
Thou shalt not kill. Exodus 20:13
April 8, 2013 is National Leave the Abortion Industry Day.
Abby Johnson and her coworkers at And Then There Were None picked the date at random.
And Then There Were None is a pro-life ministry created by Johnson to give abortion workers who want to leave the industry the tools to do so. Johnson and her co-workers created National Leave the Abortion Industry Day, also known as Exodus 2013, to encourage abortion workers seeking to get out of the industry by giving them a day they could band together in solidarity.
They didn’t realize that April 8 is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord as well as Holocaust Remembrance Day. On top of that, Exodus 2013 is the Bible verse that says Thou shalt not kill.
Johnson said that when she and her coworkers discovered all these connections, they “didn’t think there was any coincidence,”
All I can say is that And Then There Were None is a much-needed ministry. People who leave the abortion industry are wounded. Those who tried to leave in the past had to walk out alone. This often meant losing every friend and every bit of emotional support they had, in addition to losing their livelihoods.
I believe many more abortion workers would leave, but they are afraid. Abby Johnson, by showing them that there is support waiting for them, is doing a wonderful pro life work.
The equation is simple: No abortion workers = No abortions
Washington D.C., Apr 2, 2013 / 04:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Former abortion clinic manager Abby Johnson is organizing a day – called “Exodus 2013” – for abortion workers seeking to leave the industry to band together in solidarity and encouragement.
“We kind of thought picking one particular day might bring about a sense of camaraderie,” Johnson told CNA, “that they might all feel a little more courageous if they know they’re doing it with other people.”
“Exodus 2013 – National Leave the Abortion Industry Day” will take place across the country on April 8, helping workers wishing to leave the abortion industry to gather both the courage and resources to do so.
Johnson said that contact with pro-life organizations, including 40 Days for Life, helped her to leave her job as the director of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in 2009.
She later became a pro-life advocate and founded an organization called “And Then There Were None” to help abortion workers find the information, support and funds to leave the abortion business.
The group offers emotional support and arranges for counseling, because “these workers have seen and participated in things the general public wouldn’t be able to stomach,” Johnson explained. In addition, spiritual care from one’s religious tradition can be arranged for those who want it.
The organization is also able to provide pro-bono legal assistance through its partnership with legal firm Alliance Defending Freedom for individuals who are prosecuted by the abortion clinics. Since the ministry’s start last June, 47 abortion clinic workers have left the abortion industry with Johnson’s help.
“We’ve had amazing success through our ministry,” she said, “and we just kind of thought – maybe if we could get a day where we asked people to just pick up and leave the abortion industry…it would at least be good exposure to let clinic workers know that there is a resource for them.”
The name “Exodus 2013” was initially chosen simply to suggest a large number of people leaving the abortion industry in 2013, Johnson explained, and the date of the event was picked purely at random.
Later, however, Johnson realized that April 8 would be the celebration of the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, which was moved in the Catholic liturgical calendar from its normal date of March 25 due to Holy Week and the Octave of Easter. The Catholic feast day celebrates the announcement of the archangel Gabriel to Mary that she was to conceive Jesus by the Holy Spirit. (Read the rest here.)
I focused on Holy Week issues last week.
I would love to continue doing the same thing this first week of Easter. In fact, it might be nice to never do anything else. But the world and our duty to engage the world for Christ goes on.
Challenges to the HHS Mandate continue to wend their way through the judicial process.
Hobby Lobby was granted a hearing of its appeal against the HHS Mandate before a full federal panel of nine judges. Most appeals are heard by three judges. The fact that the whole panel will hear this one reflects the seriousness of the issue involved. I can think of few issues more serious than whether or not the First Amendment applies to applies to everyone.
We need to continue to support both EWTN and Hobby Lobby, as well as all others who have stepped up to fight for our freedoms. I got paid today. I’ll be too busy to do any shopping for a few days, but the first chance I get, I’m heading to Hobby Lobby. I may top it off with lunch at Chick Fil-A. I hope you do the same.
Washington D.C., Apr 1, 2013 / 05:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Christian-owned craft giant Hobby Lobby will be able to make its appeal against the federal contraception mandate before a full federal panel of nine judges, rather than the usual three.
“Full court review is reserved only for the most serious legal questions,” explained Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in a press release on March 29. The Becket Fund is representing the owners of Hobby Lobby in court.
Duncan said that the decision to grant a full nine-judge hearing speaks to the gravity of the issue.
“This case asks whether the First Amendment protects everyone’s right to religious freedom, or whether it leaves out religious business owners like the Greens,” he explained.
As its religious freedom case comes before a federal court, Hobby Lobby had petitioned for an “en banc” hearing, or an appeals hearing before the full bench of nine judges.
“We are grateful that the court granted Hobby Lobby’s petition,” said Duncan. (Read more here.)
Meanwhile, EWTN’s lawsuit against the HHS Mandate was dismissed by an Alabama court because the court said the case “wasn’t ripe.” I would make a comment about the choice of the word “ripe,” but it’s too easy. EWTN has vowed to fight on.
If you’re getting the idea that going to court is a roll of the dice, you’re right. It all depends on which judge you draw and if their lunch agreed with them.
Birmingham, Ala., Mar 26, 2013 / 12:23 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The EWTN Global Catholic Network is “extremely disappointed” by a Monday court ruling that dismissed as “unripe” its lawsuit against a federal mandate that could require the organization to violate Catholic teaching.
“Contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs are not healthcare. EWTN cannot and will not compromise our strongly held beliefs on these moral issues,” EWTN President and CEO Michael P. Warsaw said March 25.
On Monday Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn of the U.S. District Court in Birmingham dismissed the Irondale, Ala.-based organization’s lawsuit until new regulations are “created and finalized.” The March 25 court decision agreed that EWTN has standing to sue, but it sided with Obama administration lawyers who contended that the case is not ripe for review. (Read more here.)
Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, who is chair of the USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, has voiced support for the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, authored by Representative Diane Black (R-TN).
Archbishop Lori issued the following statement:
“I am grateful to Congresswoman Black and other sponsors for their leadership today. I welcome the Health Care Conscience Rights Act and call for its swift passage into law. While federal laws are on the books protecting conscience rights in health care, this Act would make such protection truly effective. This overdue measure is especially needed in light of new challenges to conscience rights arising from the federal health care reform act.”
Representative Black’s legislation comes after she and 13 other members of Congress sent a letter to the House leadership requesting that the issue of freedom of conscience be included in the upcoming budget bill. This letter opened the doorway for the Republican leadership to make their stand-off with the President over budget concerns about something noble instead of using it to stop tax increases on the wealthiest Americans.
Hopefully, they will see it that way and take the action that the signers of the letter asked of them.
Meanwhile, Representative Black announced at a press conference today that she is authoring a separate statute to guarantee the right of conscience to health care workers.
If you wish to contact your Congressional delegation to ask them to support both Representative Black’s bill and putting the issue of religious freedom into the budget bill, you can find their emails and phone numbers here.
Representative Diane Black (R-TN), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and John Fleming, MD (R-LA) announced that they will introduce the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (HCCRA.)
It is bill number HR 940.
According to Rep Black’s website, HR 940, “offers reprieve from ongoing violations of our First Amendment, including full exemption from the Obama Administration’s Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate and conscience protection for individuals and health care entities that refuse to provide, pay for, or refer patients to abortion providers because of their deeply-held, reasoned beliefs. HCCRA has 50 original co-sponsors.”
Representative Black allowed individuals who have been harmed by the government’s attacks on freedom of religion to speak at the press conference announcing this bill. They were:
Cathy Cenzon-DeCarlo, RN – New York State nurse who filed suit after her freedom to serve patients according to her conscience was violated. For more information, click here.
· Susan Elliott, PhD, Director and Professor at Biola University Nursing Department. For more information, click here.
· Christine Ketterhagen, Co-Owner/Board Member of Hercules Industries, Inc.; Andy Newland, President of Hercules Industries; Bill Newland, Chairman of the Board of Hercules Industries. For more information, click here
· Sister Jane Marie Klein, OSF, Chairperson of the Board of Franciscan Alliance, Inc. (in Mishawaka, IN). Franciscan Alliance is a co-plaintiff with the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
Representative Black’s website included the following provisions in the Health Care Conscience Act:
Under the health care coverage mandate issued on August 3, 2011, widely known as the HHS mandate, organizations and their managers are now facing potentially ruinous financial penalties for exercising their First Amendment rights, as protected by law. Hobby Lobby, a family business that was denied injunctive relief from the mandate and faces fines of up to $1.3 million dollars a day, unless its owners agree to fund potentially abortion-inducing drugs. If Hobby Lobby is forced to close its doors, some 25,000 jobs nationwide may disappear. The Obama Administration’s HHS mandate exemption only includes houses of worship and does not account for the thousands of religious and non-religious affiliated employers that find it a moral hazard to cover sterilization, contraception and potentially abortion-inducing drugs on their employer-based health insurance. Ultimately, the so-called “accommodation” does not protect anyone’s religious rights, because all companies and organizations will still be forced to provide insurance coverage that includes services which conflict with their religious convictions. The HCCRA would address this violation of our First Amendment rights by providing a full exemption for all those whose religious beliefs run counter to the Administration’s HHS mandate.
The HCCRA also protects institutions and individuals from forced or coerced participation in abortion. In recent years there have been several examples of nurses being told they must participate in abortions. There have also been efforts to require Catholic Hospitals to do abortions, and a Catholic social service provider was denied a grant to assist victims of human trafficking on the basis of their pro-life convictions. The HCCRA codifies and clarifies the appropriations provision known as the Hyde‐Weldon conscience clause. This is accomplished by adding the protections for health care entities that refuse to provide, pay for, or refer for abortion to the section of the Public Health Service Act known as the Coats Amendment. It also adds the option of judicial recourse for victims whose rights have been violated under the HCCRA, Coats, or the conscience clauses known as the Church amendments.
You can call your Congresspeople at 202-224-3121. Or you can find their email addresses here.
The more I blog, the more I realize that the reactions of unbelievers are predictable, and if you think about them for a moment, understandable.
It appears that those who oppose traditional Christianity, or who want things, such as abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage, which traditional Christianity does not support, do not like to hear that anyone, anywhere, disagrees with them. One of their most common shibboleths is that Christians, particularly Catholics, do not believe what their Church teaches and do not adhere to those teachings.
This is repeatedly brought into discussions, usually with vague references to “polls” that indicate this “fact.” The implication of these comments is that if Catholics don’t even support their Church, then traditional Christian teachings are valueless and should be discarded.
But the polls that they reference do not stand up to close inspection. It turns out that the poll numbers in question refer to polls that equate “Catholics” who don’t attend church and have had no contact with the religion they claim, many times for most of their lives.
When Catholics who actually attend mass on at least a fairly regular basis are polled, it turns out that they do support their Church and believe in its teachings. One of the simplest ways to use polls for propaganda is to select a sample of people you poll who will give you the results you want. When pollsters talk about what Catholics believe, their results will be much more accurate if they poll people who are practicing Catholics.
Rasmussen has done a number of polls whose results will come as a surprise to anyone who believes what they read in the anti-Christian, Catholic bashing media.
It turns out that people feel connected to their churches, that their loyalty to their church comes first after their families, and that a large majority of Americans believe in Jesus and the God of the Bible.
If this is true, why do our government entities, from school boards to state legislatures and on up to the White House behave as if it wasn’t true? Why do we live in a world where government treats Christians as an ignorant and bigoted minority who must be ignored, and if that doesn’t work, oppressed and forced into silence?
Our country has taken an ugly turn from recent days when “You can go to church as much as you want, but leave it there.” was a hectoring comment that religious elected officials had shoved in their faces. Now, the law itself is beginning to enforce this.
It turns out that these moves toward legal discrimination against people of faith such as the HHS Mandate are being enacted in the face of a confused and propaganda-bound majority. It really is time that Christians stop allowing themselves to be flim and flammed this way.
Here is a summary of a few of the Rasmussen polls I am talking about:
When given a choice between several levels of community beyond their own family, most Americans choose either their church or their country. More than a third of adults (35%) say their strongest personal allegiance other than family is to their church. Nearly as many (31%) say their strongest allegiance is to their country, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults. Just six percent (6%) name the global community as their strongest personal connection, while five percent (5%) name some other community organization. Four percent (4%) each say their town or state represents their biggest personal allegiance. (To see survey question wording,click here.)
Two-out-of-three Americans (64%) believe in the God of the Bible. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey also finds that 12% do not believe in God at all. Eleven percent (11%) believe in some form or essence of God, five percent (5%) in some other form of God, and eight percent (8%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Eight-out-of-10 Americans (80%) say that their religious faith is at least somewhat important in their daily lives, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. (Click here.)
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 86% of American Adults believe the person known to history as Jesus Christ walked the Earth 2,000 years ago. Just seven percent (7%) don’t share this belief. (To see survey question wording, click here).
Holiday shoppers, as they have for several years, would prefer to be greeted with signs reading “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays” this season. (Click here.)
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 70% prefer that stores use signs that say “Merry Christmas.” (Click here.)
Fourteen members of Congress sent a letter to the House leadership asking that conscience rights be included in the upcoming budget bill. They mentioned specific violations of the right to conscience, including the HHS Mandate. Thirteen of the 14 signers were women. This puts the lie to the claim that women support attacks on religious freedom and individual freedom of conscience such as the HHS Mandate.
This is an unprecedented move by these House members which could have far-reaching consequences for the future of religious freedom in this country. I don’t know if these Congresspeople wrote this letter in response to the call for Congress to make the HHS Mandate a bargaining chip in the sequester/fiscal cliff/budget negotiations. But I do know that this letter came shortly after grassroots lobbying efforts for this kind of move began.
Fourteen signers out of 453 voting members of the US House may not sound like much, but I think it’s a great start. By putting their names on this letter, these Congresspeople have stepped out in front of the issue of religious freedom and used their clout as members of the majority party to urge their leadership to do the same.
I am going to contact members of my Congressional delegation and ask them to sign on to this letter, as well. Hopefully, we will get many more Republicans and a few Democrats to sign. I am also going to contact those who signed this letter and thank them.
You can contact your Congressman or woman by going here.
This is a copy of the letter in question:
Signers of this letter are planning a press conference tomorrow. Frank Weathers has the story here.
I headed to Hobby Lobby as soon as I deposited my paycheck last week.
I don’t buy big, but I try to buy something every month. It’s the least I can do to support them in their fight for my freedom and yours.
Hobby Lobby is still embroiled in a bitter court battle with the Obama administration over the HHS Mandate. Owner David Green has said that the company will pay the huge fines the government plans to assess rather than pay for health insurance coverage for abortifacients. Hobby Lobby already pays for birth control coverage for employees who receive health insurance, so that is not the issue.
The real question is whether or not the government can confine First Amendment freedoms to religious institutions, or if those freedoms belong to every American.
In my opinion, the government position in this is a legalized version of what I was once told about my job as a legislator: You can go to church all you want, but leave it there. The HHS Mandate is an attempt to enforce that outrageous demand by law and to punish those who refuse to adhere to it with crippling fines and penalties.
If this position is allowed to stand, I do not think it will be all that long before similar penalties are imposed on individual people like you and me, and not just Christian businesses.
The thrust of militant secularism is to push people of faith and religious ideas out of the public sphere and into an intellectual and social ghetto. This ghettoizing of people of faith, particularly Christians, is moving along at a fast pace in our Western society. The idea that the government would do something as egregious as the HHS Mandate was something everyone thought was a ridiculous impossibility just a few years ago.
Now, we have most of the press and large swaths of the population, including “progressive” Christian Churches, supporting what amounts to an outright government attack on religious freedom. What was unthinkable a few years ago has come to pass.
It is being pushed on us with lies, distortions and obfuscations from genuine true-believer militant secularists, and those kool-aid drinking Christians who have deluded themselves into thinking that the time when this same sword will be used on them will never come. These sad folks are joining with those who attack their own house and are trying to draw the rest of us into that delusion along with them.
I thank God for people like the owner of Hobby Lobby who are willing to stand for Christ, no matter what the cost.
The Baptist Press recently published an interview with members of the Green family. It says in part:
OKLAHOMA CITY (BP) — Hobby Lobby has been pushed to the front lines of a monumental battle over religious liberty just when the arts and crafts chain is aiming to open a Bible museum near the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
“God’s up to something,” Steve Green, Hobby Lobby’s president, often says.
“We’re just along for the ride.”
Hobby Lobby’s founder — Green’s father, David — has publicly stated the company will not obey a federal mandate to provide employee health insurance that covers abortion-causing drugs. The 530-store chain could face government fines amounting to $1.3 million a day if the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services forces its will on Hobby Lobby and numerous other privately owned businesses lead by Christians who regard abortion as the taking of innocent life.
Steve Green, meanwhile, is leading Hobby Lobby’s plan to open a museum showcasing many of the 40,000 Bible artifacts in The Green Collection secured by the family’s company over the past three years. The museum and accompanying research center will be housed in 400,000-500,000 square feet renovated from two office buildings two blocks from the Air and Space Museum and a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol. The yet-unnamed museum could open as early as the fall of 2016.
Green spoke about the court battle and the museum to editors who visited Hobby Lobby’s headquarters, its sprawling manufacturing plant and four distribution centers on the outskirts of Oklahoma City during the Association of State Baptist Publications’ Feb. 11-14 annual meeting.
Asked if the HHS mandate, if ultimately enforced by the courts, could cost Hobby Lobby its solvency and its vision for a Bible museum, Green said, “I don’t have the answer to that. All I know is that we’re in good hands. I anticipate that it’s going to be a long battle.
“And what and where God directs this, I don’t know.”
Hobby Lobby, in its suit against the HHS mandate, remains in federal appeals court among dozens of companies objecting to the abortion insurance requirement.
“We haven’t gotten to the merits of the case,” Green said of the Hobby Lobby suit. “This is just asking for the injunction. …
“Even if we get a no” on the merits of the case — if two appeals courts issue “two different rulings — and there have been on the injunction — then it’s more likely that the Supreme Court would make a ruling on it. That’s probably, at earliest, a couple of years down the road,” Green said.
Asked how Hobby Lobby’s supporters can pray for the company, Green requested prayer “for the wisdom to say the right things and not say what we shouldn’t be saying. I think that we’re pretty clear. We know what our answer is.
“Pray for our government leaders,” Green added, “and the judges who are going to make the decisions, that exactly what God wants, happens.” (Read the rest here.)
Cardinal Timothy Dolan recently gave an interview to Catholic News Service in which he discussed what he feels are the three critical challenges our next pope will have to address.
I think Cardinal Dolan’s assessment is well worth watching.
Click here throughout the Year of Faith, as the Catholic Channel at Patheos.com invites Catholics of every age and stripe to share what they are gleaning and carrying away from this gift of timely focus.