November 20, 2014

Positvity: Retiring Cardinal George opens up on faith, freedom and death

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Chicago:

Nov 18, 2014 / 11:58 am

As he enters retirement, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago noted the importance of living faith in the truth, reflecting on his time as archbishop, the approach of death, and advice for his successor, Archbishop-designate Blase Cupich.

“The faith, what it means, and then the habits of life that protect a life of faith, are part of personal formation in the truth, and the Church should attend to those dimensions as much as she possibly can,” the 77-year-old Cardinal George said in an interview with the Catholic New World, published Nov. 16.

He discussed the need to save people from the dangers of living in falsehood, “especially religious falsehood.”

“You also want to see to it that they have the habits of life that keep them free, particularly the young people. If young people get caught early on in habits that enslave — drugs or sexual promiscuity or gangs — they’re never free. Christ died to make us free.”

Cardinal George also noted the importance of engaging people who disagree with him or the Church.

“If you don’t do that you risk reducing people to their ideas. People are always more than their ideas. I think Pope Francis reminds us of that. Also, when you reach out, you often discover things you wouldn’t have found out had you not made the effort to speak with them.”

“I try purposely to keep all of the doors open that I can,” he added. “God wants us to talk to him and he wants us to talk to one another. Conversation is part of loving.”

Cardinal George has headed the Archdiocese of Chicago since 1997. He will be the first Chicago archbishop to retire. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 18, 2014

Positivity: Pope Francis blasts abortion, euthanasia as ‘sins against God’

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Nov 15, 2014 / 07:53 am

Pope Francis has told a group of Catholic doctors that “playing with life” in ways like abortion and euthanasia is sinful, and he stressed that each human life, no matter the condition, is sacred.

“We’re are living in a time of experimentation with life. But a bad experiment… (we’re) playing with life,” the Pope told an audience of 4,000 Catholic doctors gathered in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall on Nov. 15.

“Be careful, because this is a sin against the Creator: against God the Creator.”

Pope Francis offered his words in an address given to members of the Italian Catholic Doctors Association in celebration of their 70th anniversary.

He recalled that many times in his years as a priest he heard people object to the Church’s position on life issues, specifically asking why the Church is against abortion.

After explaining to the inquirer that the Church is not against abortion because it is simply a religious or philosophical issue, he said it’s also because abortion “is a scientific problem, because there is a human life and it’s not lawful to take a human life to solve a problem.”

Regardless of the many objections he has heard saying that modern thought has evolved on the issue, the Pope stressed that “in ancient thought and in modern thought, the word ‘kill’ means the same!”

“(And) the same goes for euthanasia,” he explained, observing that as a result of “this culture of waste, a hidden euthanasia is practiced on the elderly.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 13, 2014

Positivity: Religious freedom battle ‘daunting,’ but bishops urged to persist

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Baltimore:

Nov 12, 2014 / 05:05 pm

The leader of the U.S. bishops’ religious freedom committee encouraged his fellow bishops not to lose heart, but to place their trust in God, in the ongoing battle for religious liberty.

“Sometimes it might seem that fighting or struggling against threats to religious liberty is a daunting task,” Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore acknowledged, but we know that “with God all things are possible.”

“And we realize that with prayer is the ultimate source of our wisdom and our strength and our pastoral love in these struggles,” he stressed.

Archbishop Lori addressed the U.S. bishops at their annual fall assembly in Baltimore on Nov 11, giving an update on the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, which he chairs.

He listed current affairs that the committee is keeping a close eye on, which include new state proposals requiring all health plans to cover abortions with no religious exemptions.

In a similar case in August, California’s state Department of Managed Health Care declared that employee health plans at two Catholic universities limiting abortion coverage were in violation of state law.

The state’s Catholic conference had deplored the action, saying it “directly targeted” Catholic institutions and calling it “government coercion of the worst kind” and a “flagrant violation of their civil rights.” Archbishop Lori singled out that case as one of particular concern to the committee.

Also among the laws and regulations being monitored by the committee is the HHS mandate, which requires employers to offer health insurance plans covering contraception, sterilization and some early abortion drugs.

The federal mandate has prompted lawsuits from more than 300 plaintiffs. The Supreme Court issued a ruling affecting some of these cases over the summer, upholding the right of closely-held corporations owned by individuals with religious objections to the mandate, such as Hobby Lobby.

However, more than 100 legal cases against the HHS mandate are currently open, the archbishop said. “That’s keeping us all pretty busy,” he admitted. An update to the mandate was recently released and is being studied by the bishops’ religious freedom committee.

In addition, Archbishop Lori noted the growing threat to religious liberty being posed by “laws redefining marriage.” Such laws have led to businesses and religious entities being threatened with fines or closure for seeking to maintain their longstanding beliefs on marriage.

Despite the ongoing challenges in the realm of religious freedom, the archbishop called for hope.

Go here for the rest of the story.

November 11, 2014

Man Who Has Surfaced Damning Gruber Vids Faults Media’s Failure to Discover Them

David Weigel's writeup this afternoon at Bloomberg Politics ("Meet the Mild-Mannered Investment Advisor Who's Humiliating the Administration Over Obamacare") is about the guy who has found at least two incriminating videos of Jonathan Gruber revealing the true intentions behind the Affordable Care Act. In some respects, it's well done and interesting.

What’s not well done is Bloomberg’s choice of the pull quote to highlight:

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November 3, 2014

Why ‘It Matters’: Our De Facto Open Borders Policy Is Killing People, Including Children

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:43 am

No sensible person would allow the situation on our southern border to continue, let alone expand it. But that’s what’s imminent unless there is pushback. The most immediate form of pushback is informed voting. That’s why “It Matters“:

* * * * * *

It’s no longer an exaggeration to say that you need to vote as if your life and the lives of your loved ones depend on it.

We’re not talking long-term here, though we could certainly go there with an argument about statist health care-related rationing leading to end-of-life decisions based on the state’s convenience and not the patient’s and family’s preferences.

We’re talking right here and right now. Innocent children are dead, thanks to our for all practical purposes open borders:

The deadly EV-D68 enterovirus epidemic, which struck thousands of kids this fall, was likely propelled through America by President Barack Obama’s decision to allow tens of thousands of Central Americans across the Texas border, according to a growing body of genetic and statistical evidence.

The evidence includes admissions from top health officials that the epidemic included multiple strains of the virus, and that it appeared simultaneously in multiple independent locations.

The question can be settled if federal researchers study the genetic fingerprint of the EV-D68 viruses that first hit kids in Colorado, Missouri and Illinois to see if they are close relatives to the EV-D68 viruses found in Central America.

So far, that virus has been found in nine people — including at least three American kids — who died from illness. It has apparently inflicted unprecedented polio-like paralysis in roughly 50 kids, and it has put hundreds of young American kids into hospital emergency wards and intensive care units throughout more than 40 states. Most of the dead have not been publicly identified.

The issue is dangerous for scientists because it could spike existing public opposition to the unpopular effort by Obama, Democrats and business-backed Republicans to increase the migration of foreign nationals — including many foreign scientists — into the United States. That inflow is a top priority for the Democratic leaders, who have the power to make life difficult for grant-dependent American scientists who discover politically damaging information.

It’s easy to point all of the blame at the President, and certainly he comes in for his share. But as noted, the pressure for immigration uber alles also comes from “business-backed Republicans” like those who run the Wall Street Journal’s editorial pages.

Where is the public health establishment, which is supposed to be looking out for the nation’s health, politics be damned? The answer, as indicated in the excerpt: They’ve apparently been captured by the politically correct establishment and blackmailed with the implicit threat of funding cutoffs.

_________________________________________

UPDATE: Another public health fiasco

Seeking a more robust defense in the event of a bioterrorist attack on the United States, the Bush administration created a $6 billion fund to prepare the nation for such threats, including the deadly Ebola virus.

The Obama administration, however, has not used the range of tools and budget provided by the post-9/11 project, focusing instead on only three targets and diverting at least $1 billion to other priorities, a review by The Daily Signal found.

Those cries in previous weeks about Congress cutting Ebola funding are awfully hollow — and obviously hypocritical.

October 27, 2014

Positivity: Pregnancy centers, not politics – the future of the pro-life movement

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Front Royal, Virginia:

Oct 24, 2014 / 02:04 am

Amid the chilling dark chaos of a woman’s unwanted and unexpected pregnancy, a group of pro-life Catholics try to be a light to both the mother and the unborn child.
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October 19, 2014

Arizona’s Dem Candidate For Governor: 14 Year-Old Shouldn’t Need Parental Consent to Abort

To the relief of sex offenders throughout the state, Arizona Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred DuVal, during a Tuesday forum at Redemption Church in Gilbert, said that, in the words of an unbylined Washington Free Beacon story, “he is opposed to mandating parental consent for a girl as young as 14 years old to get an abortion.”

This is a non-story in the establishment press, which made it a mission to take out two GOP U.S. Senate candidates two years ago over abortion-related remarks with far less real-world impact. Based on a search on “DuVal parental consent” (not in quotes) at the Arizona Republic, the paper hasn’t done a story specifically noting DuVal’s outrageous position — even though it did manage to notice that DuVal, like Ed FitzGerald, the Democrat who is running for Governor in Ohio, has been known to drive without a valid driver’s license, though far less often or brazenly.

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October 13, 2014

Positivity: Still doesn’t cut it, bishops say on latest mandate tweak

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington (bolds are mine):

Oct 11, 2014 / 06:44 am

Despite another wave of changes to the Obama Administration’s HHS mandate, the U.S. bishops’ conference says that the regulation still fails to respect religious freedom.

“(T)he mandate continues to substantially burden the religious liberty of stakeholders with religious objections to the mandated coverage,” said Anthony Picarello and Michael Moses, general counsel and associate general counsel for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“Because it does not further a compelling government interest by the means least restrictive of religious exercise, the mandate continues to violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” they stated in Oct. 8 comments to the Department of Health and Human Services.

… In the wake of the Hobby Lobby case, the administration has proposed an “interim final rule” that would alter this accommodation and also extend it to closely-held for-profit companies. Under the original mandate, for-profit businesses were excluded from both the exemption and the accommodation.

Under the proposed changes, non-profit and closely-held for-profit employers would be able to directly notify the Department of Health and Human Services of their religious objection to the provision of contraception or related products and procedures. The government would then facilitate contact with insurers and third party administrators to initiate the coverage.

In their comments, Picarello and Moses explained that the proposed rules do not fundamentally alter the mandate, nor do they adequately address the concerns of “the vast majority of individual and institutional stakeholders with religious or moral objections to contraceptive coverage.”

They also noted that the new rules for the accommodation of non-exempt religious groups still require employers to participate in the facilitation of contraception coverage by providing the government with “all it needs” to provide the objectionable products and procedures.

Go here for the full story.

October 11, 2014

Positivity: Backing ‘Humanae vitae’ a prime goal for bishops’ synod

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 11:00 am

From Vatican City:

Oct 9, 2014 / 12:03 pm

With Paul VI due to be beatified at the end of the Synod on the Family, his teaching on the regulation of birth in Humanae vitae has been re-launched by the synod fathers, presenting the teachings in a positive way.
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October 1, 2014

Positivity: Bishop Conley to Catholics in medicine — Strive to be saints

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Orlando:

Sep 30, 2014 / 04:52 pm

Catholic medical professionals can lead other people to God by dedicating themselves to holiness and following the examples of saintly doctors, Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Neb., said.

“Medical professionals are uniquely equipped to bring that love of God – by their compassion, their generosity, and in their very presence – to the souls who most need it,” Bishop Conley told the Catholic Medical Association’s educational conference in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday.

The bishop noted Pope Francis’ call to the “peripheries”: the poor, lonely, rejected, elderly, unborn, and “those who do not know the love of God.”

The bishop, who is the association’s episcopal moderator, told conference attendees that they can follow this call.

“Ultimately, your task is to become medical professionals who know that your work and your lives are not your own – medical professionals who have entrusted yourselves entirely to the Providence of God,” he said Sept. 27.

The Catholic Medical Association’s 83rd annual educational conference was dedicated to the theme, “Courage in Medicine: Defending and Proclaiming the Faith in the New Evangelization.” About 600 people attended the conference.

Bishop Conley recounted the lives of holy medical doctors like St. Giuseppe Moscati, a heroic Italian doctor who cared for the material and spiritual welfare of his patients and colleagues; St. Gianna Molla, who sacrificed her life so that her unborn baby could be born; and Servant of God Jerome Lejeune, discoverer of the chromosomal abnormality that causes Down syndrome.

The bishop said these holy men and women are examples for the Catholic Medical Association’s mission to form medical professionals who are “disciples of Jesus Christ” and who know they are “called to be saints.”

“Becoming good and holy medical professionals requires becoming good and holy men and women; it demands that our lives are fundamentally defined in relationship to Jesus Christ, and to his Church,” he said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

September 26, 2014

Holder Gets Mostly Gushing Sendoff at USA Today

USA Today gave the equivalent of almost a full page to Eric Holder’s resignation in Friday’s print edition.

The paper’s primary story by Gregory Korte, at the top right of the front page, described him as having “championed gay, civil, voting rights.” The item’s continuation on Page 8A included a quote from Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, which calls itself “America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.” Griffin called Hold “our Robert Kennedy.” How odd, given that Michael Lind’s 2000 book on RFK described him as “prudish and homophobic.” That’s what happens when you grow up learning airbrushed history, Chad. The paper’s second story went into puffery by describing how “Holder Took Work as AG Personally.” Excerpts from each follow the jump.

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September 16, 2014

MSNBC’s Trymaine Lee Laments Missouri’s ‘Rapid Rightward Shift’

On Saturday, Trymaine Lee at MSNBC.com, who fancies himself as an “expert” on “race, poverty, and guns,” was aghast at the current “current social and political mess” in Missouri.

He wasn’t talking about glass-strewn streets of Ferguson or Show-Me State Governor Jay Nixon’s feckless, irresponsible handling of that situation. No, the real problem is the state’s “rapid rightward shift.” A cursory review of Lee’s “logic” reveals that what has really happened is that Democrats have long since left the center.

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September 9, 2014

Some ‘Compromise’: HHS Still Trying to Force Contraception Mandate on Little Sisters

On August 22 — a Friday, of course — the Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a brand-new version of the Obamacare contraception mandate supposedly “accommodating” organizations with religious belief-based objections to providing such coverage.

The new version is a facile variant of the subterfuge the Obama administration failed to slide by the Court in the recent Hobby Lobby case. It now says that organizations which oppose providing their employees abortifacient contraceptive coverage can notify the government of their objections; previously, objectors informed their insurers. The government will then tell the insurance companies to pay any claims involved. Anyone can see that nothing has substantively changed, and that affected employers are still associating themselves with practices they believe are abhorrent. Nevertheless, CNBC’s Dan (“Obama-who-cares“) Mangan described the administration’s move as a “compromise.”

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September 5, 2014

Positivity: Obama admin. drops appeals in three for-profit mandate cases

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington:

Sep 4, 2014 / 04:47 pm

Religious freedom advocates are voicing hope as the Obama administration drops its appeal in three lawsuits involving for-profit companies that object to the federal contraception mandate.

The Department of Justice has dropped its appeals in The Seneca Hardwood Lumber Company v. Burwell, Armstrong v. Burwell, and Briscoe v. Burwell, according to Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing numerous individuals and organizations that have sued over the mandate.

“The administration was right to abandon its fight against the family businesses involved in these particular cases in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in June,” said Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, in a Sept. 4 statement.

“In a free and diverse society, we respect the freedom to live out our convictions. For these families, that means not being forced to participate in distributing abortion drugs and devices.”

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the mandate as it was applied to two “closely held” for-profit businesses, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Services, saying that the owners of the companies were protected against the mandate by the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The court said that the government had not shown that the mandate was the least restrictive means of achieving its goal of providing free contraceptives to employees. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

August 31, 2014

Restricting ‘Choice’: California Dictates That Its Employers Cannot Refuse to Cover Elective Abortions

This “choice” thing with abortion is really the narrowest of one-way streets.

Seven robed men decided in 1973 that a woman has a “privacy” right to “choose” to take the life of a pre-born baby she is carrying, the God-given right to life of the baby be damned. But the radicals in Jerry Brown’s government in the State of California have now mandated that all employers in that state, even those with religious affiliations, do not have a choice as to whether they will cover abortions in their health plans. It’s funny, but certainly not in a humorous sense, how certain states’ attempts to limit the practice routinely make national news, while this blatantly coercive dictate by California has barely been noticed.

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