Don’t Treat Me Like a Fool

It’s necessary to get political sometimes.

Usually that’s something I leave to TheDad, because he’s all into that sort of thing, and I figure that one politically-obsessed person in the household is enough.  I back off–to balance things out.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t notice.  And it doesn’t mean I don’t take action when action is necessary.

This is one of those times.

I listened to President Obama’s self-congratulatory tone as he announced an “accommodation” to the HHS policy that would leave Catholic hospitals, universities and other institutions no choice but to offer health plans providing contraception, abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization procedures, all of which directly violate Catholic moral teaching.

I listened, and I realized that this “accommodation” makes things worse than it did before.  In the guise of making it LOOK like the Catholic employer would get to opt out, this plan requires that all insurance plans provide these, um, “services.”

We all know that there’s no free lunch.  We know that somebody’s going to have to pay for it.  Ultimately, everybody’s going to have to pay for it, because health-care costs will go up in order to pay for it, and that cost will be absorbed by employees.

Who knew that the President of the United States would borrow an argument more age-appropriate for his own children:  “Everybody does it.”  99% of American women, he says, have used birth control during their reproductive years.

If that number is even true (and I haven’t seen any proof that it is), that doesn’t make it any less wrong.

With all due respect, Mr. Obama, would you buy that “everybody does it” line if your daughter used it on you?  Or would you answer, as parents have done for decades, “if everyone was jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you do the same?”

If “everybody” decided to stop paying income taxes, you wouldn’t think that “everybody does it” is a very good argument, now would you?

Don’t treat me like a fool, Mr. President.  I can see what you’re up to, and frankly, it terrifies me.

Jimmy Akin has an excellent analysis at the National Catholic Register.  Read the whole thing, and follow the “take action” link at the bottom.

Rocco Palmo has more on the American bishops’ take on this “accommodation.”

EVEN MORE:  Here’s what the economists think.

Plan to Read This One!

My inner rebel often leads me to put off, or refuse altogether, reading those books that “everybody’s” reading. I’ve been burned before. Like the time I read The Bridges of Madison County. There’s four hours I’ll never get back.

But I decided to break my unwritten rule when I saw all the advance press about unPLANNED by Abby Johnson.

This is the story of someone who has been there. Abby Johnson began volunteering for Planned Parenthood during her college years, eventually landing a full-time job as a clinic director. She believed the party line. But it wasn’t until she assisted at an abortion that she fully understood what she had been advocating.

I purchased unPLANNED from a Catholic bookstore so that I could get the Ignatius Press edition, which includes introductions by David Bereit, director of 40 Days for Life, and Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life. You’ll want to read those too.

This book will give you new understanding of what happens in an abortion clinic. It will give you new motivation to do more to help the prolife cause–and there’s much to be done. And it will help you realize that those who are pro-abortion are not so much the enemy as they are victims of a seriously flawed line of thinking that has been fed to them for the past forty years.

To Obama, it seems pregnancy = prison

So our President has taken the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade to affirm his commitment to “choice,” which was supposed to prevent the type of horror that happened for years in Philadelphia. “Safe and legal,” that’s what it was all about, right? Yeah, that worked well in Philly.

Here’s part of his statement (read the whole thing here):

On this anniversary, I hope that we will recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights, the same freedoms, and the same opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.

Nice. Basically, our President believes that men and women should have equal opportunity to walk away from the responsibility of the life that results from the choices they make. He seems to view unplanned pregnancies as nothing but inconveniences that rob women of their dreams. Note that he’s not bothering to challenge “baby daddies” to step up and take care of their progeny. Why do that, when it’s easier to walk away from your responsibility and make abortion easy to come by, presenting it as the only solution to a crisis pregnancy–or even just an “inconvenient” one.

Is This What "Choice" is All About?

This week in Philadelphia–only a few miles away from here–an abortion-clinic doctor was charged with a crime.


It’s about time that it was described in these terms.

Surely the grisly practices at Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s clinic weren’t limited to that one location. Falsified ultrasounds, very late-term abortions resulting in live births, and the outright killing of viable premature babies born alive.

Is this what “a woman’s right to choose” is all about? Why yes–yes, it is. This “choice” is always murder, pure and simple. Because someone is always being killed. Most of the time, that killing is covered up with excuses like “it’s only a clump of tissue” but advances in medicine, including 3D ultrasound, show just how human, just how alive, a preborn child is.

There are only two good things about this case. First of all, this doctor and some of his staff are being held without bail. We can reasonably be sure that the unspeakable deeds that took place under his “care” will not be happening in that clinic again.

Second, this takes place on the eve of the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. And this case has people talking. This case has opened up people’s eyes to some of what is going on in these clinics, under the guise of “choice.”

It’s time to tell it like it is. Stop with the euphemisms already. Abortion is murder, and it’s about time we stopped pretending that it isn’t by dressing it up with more-palatable words.

No One Is Expendable

A very disturbing article ran in many newspapers this Ash Wednesday: Testing curbs some genetic diseases.  That’s right:  on Ash Wednesday, we got to read a self-congratulatory article full of gems like:

“One study in California found that prenatal screening reduced by half the number of babies born with the severest form of cystic fibrosis because many parents chose abortion.” 

Here’s more: 

“We’re definitely seeing decreased rates of certain genetic disorders as a result of carrier screening,” said Dr. Wendy Chung, clinical genetics chief at Columbia University.

Of course every parent hopes for a healthy baby–that goes without saying.  But when “more women are being tested as part of routine prenatal care, and many end pregnancies when diseases are found” then we’ve got a problem here.  As Barron Lerner of Columbia University asked,

If a society is so willing to screen aggressively to find these genes and then to potentially to have to abort the fetuses, what does that say about the value of the lives of those people living with the diseases?

Exactly.  It’s easy to see that some people are valued more highly than others, and people with a genetic disease that can only be prevented by making sure those people are never born are now considered expendable.

For the record, it is absolutely appalling that any person should be considered expendable for any reason.

And I am distressed to note that the Franciscan Action Network seems much more concerned with taking action in the form of “eco-penance” than to protect life. While there is a section on their website dedicated to the Franciscan Campaign for Life, the fact that all the FAN is doing here is “embracing a position” rather than encouraging or suggesting any concrete action is a signal that life issues are far less important than ecology. There are plenty of suggestions for steps Franciscans and others can take to reduce our “petroleum footprint” and how our abstinence from certain earthly goods “provides space to consider whether our individual and social relationships with these goods are just and loving or in need of conversion.” Spare me. I’m tired of seeing people being sacrificed on the altar of ecology–because all too often, extreme measures designed to protect our environment from “climate change” and other ills, real or imagined, lead us to believe that if there were fewer people in the world, it would be a better place.

As Mother Teresa once commented, “It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

Coming to My City

OK, my ZIP code, but let’s not get picky.

The convent at one of the churches in my newly-merged parish has been vacant for a year and a half. On Monday night, the town council where the convent is located approved a variance so that the former convent can now become a Good Counsel Home.

There had been a good deal of opposition in town when this idea was first introduced. Fortunately, the town council was convinced that a home that would aid about ten young women in crisis pregnancies would not pose a danger to the town.

What a wonderful opportunity for the people in our parish to really stand up for life.


Today I chaperoned an eighth-grade trip.

My daughter’s class went on a pre-Confirmation retreat. We drove 1 1/2 hours to the retreat house (at the beach), where the students listened to a short talk by the priest who was coordinating the day. After that, they saw a prolife video that showed how babies develop in the womb–and just how soon after conception the heartbeat, brain waves and other functions have already gotten started. Mass was next, followed by lunch, a short activity on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and then cleanup for departure.

The students were lucky to have as their retreat director Monsignor Michael Mannion, who has not only worked with Mother Theresa and been a campus minister at several universities but also has worked with Project Rachel, a group that ministers to post-abortive mothers and fathers. Msgr. Mannion and my daughter’s teacher strongly believe that it is never too early to teach children about the sanctity of life and the value of each person.

In his opening remarks to the students and later during his homily, Msgr. Mannion explained the difference between “idols” and “heroes.” Idols, he said, are people who may work very hard at what they do–but it is for their own gain. Heroes, on the other hand, work very hard so that others, rather than themselves, will benefit. He challenged this group of 30+ teenagers to strive to be heroes, rather than idols; to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit in ways that will help other people. The day closed with the famous reading about love from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.

The day was definitely worth the long ride on an unheated school bus. I hope that the eighth-graders were inspired by Msgr. Mannion’s presentation and Mass today.

Bishops Urge Catholics to Write to Congress Re: Health-Care Plan

There’s no time to lose!

The Bishops have urged Catholics in the USA to email their Congress members this weekend.

Pat Gohn has the scoop:

When you attend Sunday Mass this weekend, you may see a bulletin insert from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops…. you can read the insert in this pdf file.

The Bishops are calling on all Americans to contact Congress to oppose health care reform that does not respect the dignity of human life, and which support abortion with tax dollars.

The bishops have made an easy-to-use one-stop fill-in-the-blank form to send your comments to Congress. Pass this link on to others!

The main page from the Bishops about healthcare is here. There is lots of good information there.

Image credit

Make Monday Count

We’ve done enough ranting and raving about the President speaking at Notre Dame this weekend. Despite all that has been written, all that has been said, that invitation was not rescinded and the speech and honors will go on as planned. Now it’s time to capture the energy that has been generated by the pro-life Americans who oppose this honor. The message below is from the Monday Project website.

President Obama will speak at Notre Dame on Sunday.

What will happen on Monday?

Don’t let Obama win this battle. Let’s turn the Notre Dame scandal into the largest pro-life fundraiser this country has ever seen.

Donate now. Donate $1. Donate $5. Donate $10.

1) Donate to the Women’s Help Center, a frontline, Catholic crisis pregnacy center. Or, donate to your local crisis pregnancy center (on the receipt page, click on “Contact Women’s Help Center” to designate organization and location).

2) For every donation, we will send a pink or blue postcard to Fr. Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, in honor of LIFE.

3) Send an email to 1, 5 or 10 friends with a link to this page.

We can win this battle. Let’s do it for LIFE.

Hat tip to Denise for posting about this project. I’m in! Are you?

Worthwhile Culture-of-Life Links

All found via Twitter (follow me @sfomom)

A Wolf in Pink Clothing: excellent explanation of the whole “why I don’t support ACS and Susan G Komen” thing. Long, and worth every minute!

Interesting take on the anti-Obama backlash provided by the ND invitation

–And our favorite author of adolescent-in-the-’80s books, Judy Blume, wants us to donate to Planned Parenthood to honor our mothers. Amy Welborn explains why this is not a great way to honor Mom!