March 6, 2018

Positivity: Bishops ask faithful to flood Congress with calls for Conscience Protection Act

From Washington:

Mar 6, 2018 / 03:23 pm

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement asking people to pray, call, and write to their Congressional representatives to urge the inclusion of the Conscience Protection Act in the government’s upcoming funding bill.

The statement, issued by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, chair of the conference’s pro-life committee, and Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the religious liberty committee, urges Catholics to “flood” their members of Congress in support of the act.

“Increasing and fierce attacks on conscience rights regarding abortion cry out for an immediate remedy,” said the archbishops. “Nurses and other health care providers and institutions are being forced to choose between participating in abortions or leaving health care altogether.”

While the bishops’ conference is encouraging action each day until the bill is enacted, they are especially focusing on Monday, March 12 as a day of action. The funding deadline is March 23.

The Conscience Protection Act would protect physicians and nurses from being forced to engage in procedures that violate their conscience, such as abortion or sterilization.

It would also prevent employers from being forced to cover abortions in their health care plans if the procedure violates their conscience beliefs. Currently, three states–California, Oregon, and New York–require most or all insurance plans to cover abortion.

“Opponents and supporters of abortion should be able to agree that no one should be forced to participate in abortion,” reads the bishops’ statement. “Congress must remedy this problem by enacting the Conscience Protection Act now as part of the FY 2018 funding bill.”

Failure to pass this legislation could result in prejudice against pro-life or religious employees, said Dr. Michael Parker of the Catholic Medical Association. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

AP Calls Trump’s Texas Supporters ‘Diehards,’ Uses Cooked Poll to Understate His Popularity

On Monday, the day before primary elections in Texas, Paul J. Weber at the Associated Press characterized Donald Trump’s Texas supporters as “diehards,” cited a cooked Trump approval poll published by Quinnipiac to understate the President’s popularity.

(more…)

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (030618)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

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MUST-READ: Kurt Schlichter at Townhall — “Against Fake Civility”

Positivity: How the rosary helped Jim Caviezel play St. Luke

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington (trailer at link):

Feb 28, 2018 / 04:00 pm

“Passion of the Christ” star Jim Caviezel told CNA that he relied on scripture, daily Mass and the rosary to portray holiness on the big screen in “Paul, the Apostle of Christ.”

The film, which premieres March 23, depicts the persecution of the early Christians in Rome under Emperor Nero, along with an imprisoned Saint Paul conveying a message of hope at the end of his life.

“I thought that that was one of the greatest parts of the script,” Caviezel told CNA. “Here is a beat up old man in prison, facing execution. How can this man be a light to the world?”

“But it’s often through our struggles, our trials, our tragedies that triumph comes,” the Catholic actor said.

Caviezel plays the role of Saint Luke, who regularly visits Paul in prison to document his story while composing the Acts of the Apostles. The audience sees Luke serving the early Christian community in Rome as a physician, spiritual leader and writer.

“He [Luke] mentioned the Virgin Mary more than any other writer,” reflected Caviezel on portraying the Gospel evangelist, “I use the rosary to focus, to pray.”

“I go to Mass every day and the Eucharist is Christ in me,” Caviezel continued, “Everything that I do is always with heaven’s help. It directs my path. It guides me. It is where I got my talent from. What I give back to God from what he has given me … he just multiplies it and blesses it in ways that I never thought possible.”

Caviezel says that he also has “a great devotion to the patron saint of actors, Saint Genesius.”

The role of Paul is played by British actor James Faulkner, who previously had supporting roles in “Game of Thrones” and “Downton Abbey.”

“Well I’m happy to admit that Jim is a much more devout Christian than am I, and I drew from his faith whenever possible,” said Faulkner, who was raised in the Church of England.

Faulkner told CNA that playing Paul changed him as he “read and reread Paul’s letters” in preparation for the role.

“Do I have more humility? Yes. Do I have more love for my fellow man? Yes. Is there a possibility of redemption even for myself? Yes, there is,” reflected Faulkner. …

Go here for the rest of the story.