PP on Komen Debacle: “A learning opportunity”

Charlotte Hays writes at the Register that the Komen decision was about a Planned Parenthood shakedown:

“What happened this week was nothing short of a mafia shakedown by Planned Parenthood of the Komen Foundation,” said Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, a New York and Washington, D.C.-based research association that works exclusively on international social policy. “Planned Parenthood’s message was: ‘Give us money or we will shut down your organization.’”

While the Komen announcement won the praise of Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, who called the episode a “learning opportunity,” some observers have suggested that Komen’s latest statement is something less than a complete reversal.

I just need to stop right there. There’s more in the article, and by all means read it all, but let’s linger on that for a little bit. I want to think more about Cecile Richards’ comment, because it sort of sounds like she’s saying, “good girls, Komen, you’ve backed down; a little learning opportunity for you; try that again, and we’ll crush you…”

But obviously, she couldn’t have been saying that. Right?

I need context. Here’s ABC’s The Note:

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation apologized today for cutting off funding from Planned Parenthood and vowed to revise the policy that led to an intense backlash against the nation’s largest breast cancer organization.

“We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives,” president and founder Nancy Brinker said in a statement today. “We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not.
[...]
Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, praised the move and the “outpouring of support” her organization has received since the news caught fire. She also dubbed it as a watershed moment and a “learning opportunity.”

“Bullying and trying to make political women’s access to health care is a losing political strategy,” Richards said in a conference call with reporters today, adding that she looks forward to resuming a partnership with the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Ohhhh…I see, I see. A huge, politically-connected non-profit bringing the full power of the press and the fury of Democrats in the Senate (and by extension the powers of the government) against another non-profit — one that simply doesn’t want to donate, anymore, to the first — delivers a “learning opportunity” to the smaller foundation.

And the lesson they deliver is this:

You’re bad bullies! You and all of your pro-life pals who are largely ignored by the powerful media and hated by the government (who loves us), you’re bullies. Hope you’ve learned your lesson, bullies.

Because the next time you try to step out of line, we’ll put you out like a cigarette stub beneath the soles of our designer shoes.”

By which they mean, “welcome to the jackboot.”

I see, I see…

Such interesting times in which we live. Why, over at the National Review, we read that Army Chaplains were Silenced Last Sunday; a member of the administration also “edited” a Bishop’s text.

The government shouldn’t be inserting themselves in Bishop’s texts, should they? That’s sort of…jackbooty…isn’t it?

As we head into the weekend, I offer a variety of reading material for your enjoyment, in no particular order:

Kathleen Parker: The Cost of Conscience; like grace, it’s not cheap.

African Genocide: Planned Parenthood to Ramp Up African Abortion Services by 82%. Margaret Sanger would be so pleased.

Get Religion: Pod People: Birth Control or Religious Liberty? and, on a completely different note: LA Times fails to draw religious blood. It’s a good thing.

USCCB: White House misrepresents it’s own mandate

The Pope: drinking beer; but it’s okay because he exorcises, too!

In Light of the Law: Evil’s Sense of Entitlement

Catholic Guilt: It’s a heavy grace

Nancy Pelosi: More cunning than she sounds. Giving the impression that the administration is doing something Catholics love.

Unemployment numbers: they confuse me

Crisis: Keepers of the Lost Ark

Summit Dominicans: A solemn profession

David Brooks: How to fight the man!

OSV: A Protestant woman makes peace with the Crucifix
Joanna Brooks: Mormon Numbers not adding up

Te-Deum: Bishop Slattery’s Wholesome Response
Voter Fraud: because it’s evil to ask for ID.

Inflammation Pain: Slow Carbs might help!

Mitt Romney: Obama v Religious Liberty.

A Vespers Homily: From Papa

Daniel Foster: You should find anti-Komen backlash disgusting even if you’re pro-choice

Daily Caller: Some “Fast and Furious” coverage. PP v Komen got more, of course.

WSJ: Being a Catholic priest, and married

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • MIke

    A chaplain is a soldier first. In the military, you don’t have the free speech right to make political statements and criticize the commander in chief, even if you have a clerical collar on. Chaplains realize when they sign on that they have to follow the Military Code of Justice. If they want to criticize the president, they can leave the military and become a parish priest.

    [so...if the CIC says "to hell with the constitution, round up these citizens...the soldiers have to do that? I don't think so. The CIC is intruding on first amendment, shouldn't troops know about it? Also, sorry. A priest is a priest before he is anything else. and even soldiers are allowed a conscience. admin]

  • John

    You’re correct about a Higher Calling. Either serve God or serve the US Military and Defend the Constitution? Pick one, and only one for no man can serve two masters. That’s in that holy book of yours. Give it a read when you have a chance…

  • Iris Celeste

    I have said it before and I shall say it again. Man cannot fix this, signing petitions are not going to do anything this time around, because the people involved do not care what the people think. This was a knowing shredding of the Constitution and our usual means of fighting back are not going to work. We must entreat God and do everything we can to facilitate God’s and Heaven’s work. The American Bishops need to place the statue of Our Lady of America in the National Basilica and invite all politicians to the installation and pray with fervor that the promises of spiritual miracles come true on those politicians.

    Iris Celeste

  • Sal

    So, Susan G. is back on the plantation. That was a short break for freedom.
    There’s a great comment from an R. Howell over on Mark Shea’s post on Komen.
    Cue the theme from ‘The Godfather”.

  • http://www.patheos.com Amy

    Elizabeth, I admire the way you write, your thought process, your passion…have you ever thought of running for office, Congress? I am not joking! You are amazing!

  • Leslie

    Wow!! Thanks for all the great articles!!
    I’m not a Catholic but will find most of these very educational.
    Many thanks!!

  • MIke

    The CIC is intruding on first amendment, shouldn’t troops know about it? Also, sorry. A priest is a priest before he is anything else. and even soldiers are allowed a conscience.

    If serving in the military compromises your conscience, you quit the military. You don’t get sermons/speeches opposing the CIC. It’s really pretty simple. Whether there is a First Amendment violation is a judicial opinion–and one that is pretty sketchy, given precedent–and not the place of soldier to give sermons/speeches about.

    A priest stops being a priest first when giving sermons appear to undermine the CIC and encourage disobedience that violates the UCMJ.

  • Judy Bettinger

    Let’s not forget that Komen is hardly innocent themselves. They’ve been steadfastly silent on the link between abortion and breast cancer, which is well-documented by numerous epidemiological studies. (See bcpinstitute.org for documentation). If they were truly only interested in preventing breast cancer, they’d be honest about the link. Seems to me the moral of this story is “lie down with dogs, get up with fleas”.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    So, once again, we’re being told we must serve either God, or Caesar (because Caesar is a jealous god, who will brook no rivals.) Soldiers must serve the state, unquestioningly, and must check their consciences at the door—at least, that’s what people like Mike, and John, believe.

    Myself, I have deep qualms about living in a country where it is impossible to serve both God, and your country. In the supposedly bad old days of America’s past (which we have all been liberated from, by the progressive movement /Sarc.) this was not the case. Now it apparently is.

    I mean really, up until recently, it was allowed for soldiers to serve God while serving in the military; you were also permitted to honor the Constitution, while practicing your religion.

    Now that’s all supposed to change. Hmmm, what comes next? Laws restricting anyone practicing religion to certain ghettos? Will they have to wear special clothing? Be forbidden to join the military (or own guns?) Be forbidden to engage in certain ocuupations?

    Isn’t the government meddling in relgious beliefs, and telling believers what they can, and cannot, hear, do, support, etc. kind’ve—well—unconstitutional?

  • Mark

    Mike, Wasn’t it just a short time ago the left was yelling that those serving government be it the military or the CIA should have been listening to their consciences and not the CIC in matters such as what some called torture? If the CIC is not adhering to the constitution of the USA and if also those actions are also in direct violations of the laws of their faith, I would hope the priests who are dedicated to serving the soldiers would be screaming out to the men. Since Obama has chosen to go to war with religious liberty, the first freedom the founders chose to protect in the bill of rights even over freedom of speech and the press, it seems that anyone who takes an solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic and bear true faith and alliegiance to the same would pay attention to the end of the oath when they say “So help me God.”

    They also pledge to I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So it would seem that those orders have to fall into the Uniform Code of Military Justice. I doubt following orders not to be critical of a law that violates the constititution would fall into this are of committment. The priests should read the letters and advise their soldiers on this direct attack on relgious liberty so important to the founders it was the first one listed.

  • Macbrun

    Sorry, Mike, but in the military a priest is a priest first, then a soldier, Airman, sailor, or Marine. After 20 years in the USAF I am very aware of the special standing that chaplains (lawyers and doctors) hold. Their are considered non-line officers, essentially outside the chain of command. And, as I stated above are chaplains ( or lawyers or doctors) FIRST. Therefore it is clearly out-of-bounds for the chain of command to first not allow the reading of the letter, then edit the letter for their own reasons. The rights of the chaplains have been trampled on here and it sets a very bad precedent that the Archbishop allowed it to happen.

  • MIke

    But chaplains cannot encourage disobedience to the Chain of Command, which is why they asked that the letter not be read but instead handed out in back. Chaplains aren’t free to encourage disobedience in a sermon. They are covered by the UCMJ to that extent.

    And if you really think conscience regarding torture is the same as conscience in terms of protecting the multibillion dollar Catholic health care and education industry from having to provide insurance to employees, then there’s no real reasoning here. You’ve lost all real sense of proportion.

  • Mark

    Mike, if you think removal of religious liberty from the constitution is not every bit as important as the issue of how we interrogate prisoners, you are missing something fundamental. When a country loses religious freedom at the jackboot methods of the federal government, it will soon have far worse things going on that what we saw happen to a few terrorist. Take what happened for years in the godless soviet union as a good example. You have lost all sense of what this country was founded on and depended on as its greatest and most important freedom.

    As to the chaplains, I note you did not address the issue of if the chaplains could send out a letter to the troops to not be involved in torture, even if they had the order to do so by the CIC. If the chaplains do not look at what is right and good and holy, how can the troops be led in moral order. I do not see them telling the troops not to follow orders that meet the criteria of the UCMJ. I see them pointing out something not involved in the code in any way, the moral issue of an order given that attacks the constitution. I quoted the oath and the pledge to God. Seems like if the CIC is in conflict with what the chaplians are preaching, we have a huge problem. I do not know of any time in history when priest and bishops and military chaplains have had to face anything like this with a CIC.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Uh-huh, we get it, MIke.

    Soldiers should only serve the state, not God.

    After all, they can always plead “Vee Vas only obeyink orders!”

  • MIke

    Actually, Mark, I’d say the chaplains shouldn’t sermonize about torture or even provide a letter from the USCCB in the unlikely event that they would actually be concerned about torture enough to encourage a letter.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Nup, nup, nup—chaplains shouldn’t sermonize about anything!

    They should just shut up, and tell the soldiers they should just follow orders. And obey the Leader. /Sarc.

    (Oh, yes, and nice dig at both the USCCB, and military chaplains, hinting that they wouldn’t be concerned about torture, MIke.)

    (“Vee vas only obeyink our orders!”)


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