Planned Parenthood is the Right Hand of Satan

“Dear mommy, please vote yourself the right to kill me.”

Perhaps the sickest ad of a sick election season, in which the “products of conception” (to use the “choice” movement’s terminology) beg mommy for the right to get rid of any potential little brothers or sisters. Nothing like having cute little moppets who managed to dodge the uterine currette cheering on their homicidal moms to make sure they never get called “grandma.”

I cannot wait for this election to be over.

And, just in case you haven’t had enough of the left’s sick manipulation of children, here’s another taste.

This is Obama’s base. These are his allies.

via Hot Air

Archbishop Chaput on Hard Choices, Money, Sexual Abuse, Politics, and More

John Allen does a long and interesting interview with Archbishop Chaput. Absolutely first-rate stuff from both subject and writer. The section on politics is going to get the most play in the media, but you should read all of it to get a sense of one of the great bishops of our time.

We’re speaking on the night Barack Obama is delivering his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. Let me ask flat-out: Do you believe a Catholic in good faith can vote for Obama?
I can only speak in terms of my own personal views. I certainly can’t vote for somebody who’s either pro-choice or pro-abortion.

I’m not a Republican and I’m not a Democrat. I’m registered as an independent, because I don’t think the church should be identified with one party or another. As an individual and voter I have deep personal concerns about any party that supports changing the definition of marriage, supports abortion in all circumstances, wants to restrict the traditional understanding of religious freedom. Those kinds of issues cause me a great deal of uneasiness.

What about the wing of the church that says a party that supports the Ryan budget also ought to cause concern?
Jesus tells us very clearly that if we don’t help the poor, we’re going to go to hell. Period. There’s just no doubt about it. That has to be a foundational concern of Catholics and of all Christians. But Jesus didn’t say the government has to take care of them, or that we have to pay taxes to take care of them. Those are prudential judgments. Anybody who would condemn someone because of their position on taxes is making a leap that I can’t make as a Catholic. … You can’t say that somebody’s not Christian because they want to limit taxation. Again, I’m speaking only for myself, but I think that’s a legitimate position. It may not be the correct one, but it’s certainly a legitimate Catholic position; and to say that it’s somehow intrinsically evil like abortion doesn’t make any sense at all.

That said, do you find the Ryan budget troubling?
The Ryan budget isn’t the budget I would write. I think he’s trying to deal with the same issue in the government I’m dealing with here locally, which is spending more than we bring in. I admire the courage of anyone who’s actually trying to solve the problems rather than paper over them. I think a vigorous debate about the issues, rather than the personalities, is the way through this problem. It’s immoral for us to continue to spend money we don’t have. I think that those persons who don’t want to deal with the issue are, in some ways, doing wrong by putting it off for their own political protection or the protection of their party.

Religious freedom has become the signature issue for the bishops’conference. Was the ‘Fortnight for Freedom’ a success?
It was a success in the sense that it brought this issue to greater awareness in the lives of many Catholics. In terms of really changing either the church or the national situation concretely, we have to yet to see its effects. The history of the world demonstrates that if we aren’t always on guard about religious freedom, we’ll lose it. It happens everywhere, and it could happen in the United States.

Church officials in Europe, bishops and cardinals, have told me that they’re astonished there is an actual threat to religious freedom in the United States. They’ve always seen us as embodying religious freedom more clearly than any other government or country in the history of the world. It’s also surprising to me. I would never have thought, even ten years ago, that we would be dealing with it so quickly. What opened my eyes was my service to the United States as a member of the Commission on International Religious Freedom. I saw things in Western Europe that disturbed me in terms of limitations on religious freedom, mostly for non-Christian groups such as the Muslims. I thought that if Western Europe could do this, it could happen in the United States too.

I’ve written before about my admiration for his leadership in Philadelphia, which I’ve had the opportunity to cover as a reporter. I only wish every bishop had this clarity and courage.

This Guy for President: 2016

I think I’ve been pretty clear about my disdain for our two party system, particularly for the way in which the Republican Party has abandoned core principles of conservatism in favor of corporatism and imperialism. I like Ron Paul, but more in a nutty-uncle way than in a leader-of-the-free-world way. Honestly, America doesn’t need a libertarian Yosemite Sam for president, even if he’s right most of the time.

His son, however, is a different case. He’s like a finished version of initial software release: Paulbot 2.0. He smooths his father’s rough edges and that slightly kooky vibe into a statesmanlike mien, while preserving the message of small government, respect for life, and general minding-our-own-businessness.

I liked this speech to the Value Voters Summit, where he quoted Dostoevsky in speaking of arriving at his faith through “a fiery furnace of doubt.” He talks about his struggles with his Christian faith, particularly as a doctor treating suffering patients. It’s a humane, intelligent reflection on God, pain, war, abortion, euthanasia, liberty, and government. Watch it all.


Amber the Quisling Chikin Says…

Every day is chicken day around here, but today people are making an effort to eat at Chick-fil-A in order to offset the boycott directed at the chain because its owner opposes gay marriage. As I pointed out here, I don’t really object to people exercising their right not to spend money somewhere for some ideological reason. I think it can be carried too far, and honestly, as Fr. Dwight points out, people on our side don’t do this quite as much:

Where was the outcry when Ben and Jerry’s named an ice cream in support of gay marriage or Starbucks declared their corporate policy (not just one executive’s opinion) to be in favor of specific legislation supporting gay marriage. Why is Starbucks and Ben and Jerry’s allowed to support specific legislation in support of gay marriage with corporate policies, public marketing decisions and explicit information and public relations exercises, but Mr Cathy and Chick-Fil-A must remain silent? Who was really getting involved in politics? Starbucks, Ben and Jerry’s, Nike, Microsoft and other companies. They did so with public policy statements, ‘values’ statements and well funded propaganda.

The equivalent of Starbuck’s move would be for Chick-Fil-A to issue a public corporate policy statement in formal opposition to gay marriage and to fund measures to repeal it. An equivalent action by Chick-Fil-A to Ben and Jerry’s marketing and publicity blitz would be for Chick-Fil-A to name a new sandwich ‘The Mom and Dad Traditional Chicken Sandwich’ with a marketing campaign saying, “If you support Mom and Dad not Dad and Dad–then buy this sandwich, along with a media blitz to convince people to be against gay marriage.

I don’t like this idea of having to perform an ideological check on every purchase I make. When Jeff Bezos (head of Amazon) announced that he was donating money to support a gay marriage initiative, there were some passing suggestions for people to shift to other online sellers, but nothing serious. Certainly nothing even approaching the firestorm surrounding Chick-fil-A. I certainly won’t be changing my buying patterns. I already don’t buy Ben & Jerry’s because they’re overpriced, or Starbucks because it’s crap in a cup, and also overpriced. (Ever notice that the retail options with the best progressive credentials are the most boutiquey, expensive, pretentious ones, while the ones with the least–Walmart, Chick-fil-A–serve a lower income bracket? Funny, that.)

On the other hand, I’m all for offsetting the aggressive boycott tendencies of the left with a buycott. I won’t be able to get there today–still deep in a big project and family matters to tend to–but I plan to get over there this week and do something I rarely do when I can avoid it: eat fast food. They do make a pretty nice sandwich, and I’ll be doing my small part to show the forces of intolerance that opposition to gay marriage is not the same as opposition to gay people.

Transcript: Remarks by Hillary Clinton on the 2011 International Religious Freedom Report

Here’s another giant wad of transcription about the 2011 report on religious freedom, this time featuring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comments on the report. She acknowledges the ongoing persecution against Christians, and notes the dangers in the current political upheavals rocking the Middle East, but it doesn’t seem like a particularly strong message of support. Christian persecution is just not high on this administration’s list of concerns. If they need to cut a deal with the Muslim Brotherhood for peace, and that deal requires throwing the Copts under the bus, you can bank on them doing so.

Transcript from the White House press office after the jump: Continue reading

Transcript: Press Conference for the 2011 International Religious Freedom Report

This just arrived on the White House press list, and I’m in the middle of a large piece of writing, so I’m going to put it out there in toto as an “FYI.” It’s the press briefing from Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Suzan Johnson Cook on the release of the 2011 International Religious Freedom Report. None of it strikes me as particularly forceful or brilliant. Most of it we already know. There’s a lot of language about hope and dialog and conversations and likewise, and we can assume this is accompanied by much brow-furrowing and expressions of “deep concern” or “sincere regret” or maybe even “sharp disappointment” at the monsters who routinely crush consciences around the globe, but there’s not a lot that’s concrete. (Note that this is the 2011 report, which couldn’t cover the assaults on religious liberty by the Obama administration. I’m sure if they could have, they would have given it full and fair attention. /s)

The full thing is after the break. Continue reading

Fr. D on the National Health

I’ve been circulating this post by Fr. D because I think it’s an important contribution to the conversation and deserves to be read far and wide. His final points are in tune with Distributism, so they caught my attention even though I see some practical problems in implementing them. He fleshes out a bit of the Distributism link in his follow-up, without ever using the “D” word.

In any case, it’s certainly an appealing alternative to the looming bureaucratic nightmare that is Obamacare. I offer it as a counterpoint to my own comments on last week’s SCOTUS decision. I can argue with individual points, but the contours of his argument are strong.

I Need a Solution to My Healthcare Problems: Just Not This Solution

The reactions to the Supreme Court decision will be coming all day, and I have no illusion that I can add much to any legal debate. I have a particular perspective on this issue, however, because health care has been a major concern for my family and me for many years.

Except for my early film and television work, and a few horrible months as a technical editor for ADP, I have never held a “job” as an adult. I have always been a freelancer. This means insurance has been a concern. For the first half of my marriage, it was no problem because my wife was gainfully employed. Since our son was born 14 years ago, my wife has been freelance as well, which means we’re self-insuring.

Over that time I’ve watched my monthly premiums increase to $1500 for a family of four: more than our mortgage. There was no option of going without. I have a condition that requires an expensive drug, and my wife and son are both on monthly medications. The drug costs alone would have been close to $2500 a month, so the insurance was, oddly enough, a good deal for us … as long as we could pay it.

And then, we couldn’t pay it any more. Three years ago we lost a major publishing client, and we were making enough per month for the mortgage or the insurance: not both. We burned through what money we had, borrowed more, and got behind. Only now are we beginning to recover.

“Mortgage or meds” is not a choice people should have to make, but it’s a fact of life, and it needs to be addressed. As Christians, we are called to care for the last and the least. Basic medical care—restoring or preserving good health—is indeed a basic human right, as the Church teaches.

The question, however, is not whether or not people are entitled to access to medical care. They are so entitled, and please don’t give me your bullshit Objectivist arguments about the responsibility of the individual and expect me to take you seriously. Been there, done that, grew up. If  I’m not responsible for the well-being of my fellow-man, then I have no business being part of society.

The question is: How is this best accomplished?

And my answer is: Not this way.

Obamacare is a mess: a tangle of bureaucratic systems that interfere with healthcare choices at every stage, creating a vast new form of government control that will, inevitably, spiral out of control. Do you really believe that a government which has a financial interest in your health is going to resist using coercive force to make you maintain it? If you think Nanny Bloomberg is bad, just wait until his policies are federalized in the interest of cutting healthcare costs.

The government isn’t nationalizing healthcare: it’s nationalizing health. It makes your very state of being of intense personal interest to the people who brought us such wonderful engines of compassion and efficiency as the IRS, the ATF, the TSA, and the Fed, as well as the housing crisis, the bank bailouts, the HHS mandate, and, of course, endless wars, drone killings, and indefinite detention without charges. And now we’ve just carved off a huge chunk of our lives—the well-being of our very bodies—and turned that over to them as well. Thank you so much for that, Obama voters.

There were ways to go about this short of a full power-grab, but massive statist intervention seems to be the only thing the left understand any more. The idea of going slowly, trying a few things at a time (such as expanding Medicaid access or allowing people to shop outside their state for insurance, which could have saved me as much as $1000 a month) is anathema for them. They desire control, because they know best: you see, they care more than those wicked conservatives, and they just want to help, and if that means stomping on freedom of conscience or the right of the individual to say, “no, I won’t buy your damn insurance because I’m perfectly healthy,” then so be it. Eggs, omlets: it’s always the same story for them. Do they even realize they’re supporting the right of the government to put you in jail if you refuse to buy a product from a private company?

The Republicans are just as much to blame for this fiasco, because they had 8 years to deal with an obvious problem in a sensible way and did nothing. That created an opening for the left—driven as they are by a childish utopianism that believes it can solve the problems of the world through their holy trinity: Legislation, Taxation, and Bureaucracy—to go all-in on a huge, unfundable, unsustainable, freedom-violating “solution.”

It was never “Obamacare or granny dies.” That’s just an idiotic leftist talking point. There were always other options and approaches short of the government seizure of 1/5th of the economy. But when your endgame is power and control, you won’t settle for half-measures.

I am the person Obamacare was created to help. Me. Right now, and probably for another six months to a year, I’m the working poor, trying hard to stay afloat in an economy ruined by the people who now get to take a shot at “fixing” healthcare.

And I completely reject it. I reject it even though I believe some national approach to helping the poor access healthcare is not just allowed by the state and the constitution, but required by us as Christians. I reject it because I know they will make a hash of it. And I know they will make a hash of it because they always do.

Congressman/Priest Accused of Sexual Assault

In a piece published at Slate, writer Emily Yoffe recounts a sexual assault by Fr. Robert Drinan, who passed away in 2007.

Yoffe, who writes Slate’s “Dear Prudence” agony aunt column, relates three tales of sexual abuse from the course of her life, ending with this account involving Fr. Drinan:

The last incident was not child abuse, because I was no longer a minor, though I was still a teenager of 18 or 19. Several years earlier, my family had worked for the election of our congressman, Father Robert Drinan, an anti-Vietnam War, pro-choice priest. He was in town for a fundraiser or town meeting, and I went. Afterward he offered me a ride to the subway. (You’d think I would have learned.) He was in his 50s, and as he drove we chatted about college. We got to where he was letting me off, he turned off the engine, and he began jabbering incoherently about men and women. Then he lunged, shoving his tongue in my mouth while running his hands over my breasts and up and down my torso. It seems like the set-up for a joke, a Jewish woman being molested by a Jesuit. As we tussled, I had probably the most naïve thought of my life: “How could this be happening, he’s a priest!”

As I shoved him off and opened the car door to get out, I saw I had left a smear of my pink lipstick on his clerical collar. Again, I told no one. It was embarrassing, revolting, and I had no desire to make accusations against a congressman, especially one I admired.

Father Robert Drinan’s niece, Ann Drinan, released the following statement on behalf of the family: “We find it odd that anyone would come forward with this allegation decades later when our uncle is dead and in no position to defend himself.”

Fr. Drinan served as a congressman for Massachusetts from 1970 until 1980, when Bl. John Paul II issued a worldwide order barring priests from holding elected office. Drinan, a Democrat, was a reliable progressive vote during those years, but his most lasting achievement was the intellectual and religious cover he gave to pro-“choice” progressive Catholics. Drinan’s support for legal abortion–he liked to say that it was a sin, not a crime–was one of the key elements in making legal abortion a permanent part of the Democratic Party platform.

But Wawa’s Ordering System IS Pretty Amazing

So this story has been making the rounds today. Smirking leftist tool Andrea Mitchell and some chattering jackass guffaw at a highly edited tape of Mitt Romney claiming to be amazed by Wawa’s touchscreen ordering system. Before rolling the tape, DNC operative Mitchell prepares the viewers for a George Bush Sr. “supermarket scanner” moment.

(Brief sidebar for you young’uns: Back when GHW Bush  was running for his second term, he supposedly was at some smile-and-shake in a supermarket and remarked about how amazing the bar-code scanning technology was, as though he had never seen it. I remember clearly the media tilt on this story, and I absorbed the message they wanted me to absorb: Bush was out of touch, and needed to go. Except it was all a lie. Bush was just making small talk. The media deliberately distorted the story.)

In the Mitchell clip, Romney talks about ordering subs at Wawa. There is a bunch of missing footage. It appears as if he is amazed that you can walk into a Wawa, construct a sub on a touch screen, place and pay for the order, and then pick up your sandwich. This amazement is supposed to tell us that Romney is your typical clueless millionaire dweeb out of touch with the way everybody lives. That’s certainly how Mitchell framed it, and her snickering response merely drove home the anti-Romney message.

Except … Continue reading