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Monday, February 27, 2012

Bioethics and a Tale of Two Sermons

I have to admit, sometimes I rue going to church on Ash Wednesday. More often than not because of my work schedule, I have to go to a parish not my own and end up with a defective homily. My own parish is devoted to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and the homilies are usually excellent. If anything, the (minor) defects I encounter -- in my opinion, which is to say I could be wrong -- tend toward excessive rigor, but even then I would rather have the homilist set the bar too high than too low. Because when it's set too low, I (and I would think most people) tend to take advantage of the low mark.

I began this post on Thursday after Ash Wednesday, to whine a bit about the homily I heard then at a "mainstream" parish, but didn't get a chance to put it up until now, after Sunday Mass and the homily at my own parish.

By Divine Providence, these two homilies exemplify the point I originally wanted to make. Let me start with Ash Wednesday. The general thinness of the Ordinary Form aside, the homily basically gave everyone permission to forego penance this Lent. The key sentence was this: "Rather than 'giving up' this Lent, give of yourself to others."

(What follows, I promise, was written before I heard the homily on Sunday.) Now, the discipline of Lent consists in three things: Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. All three. Not one, not two, but three. 

The Lenten discipline of prayer means we should pray more, and more fervently, to renew our personal prayer life, to let prayer cover more and more of our lives, our thoughts, and our actions throughout the whole day. And to draw closer to God.

Fasting pertains first of all to food, but also to other earthly goods in which we tend to indulge too much. This is where the tradition of "giving up" for Lent fits in. We fast simply speaking, but also from candy, from in-between meal snacks, from TV and electronic diversions of all sorts, from good things that are not really necessary and that tend to distract us from the pursuit of holiness and to impede virtue. We "give up" (in the sense of stop doing and not in the sense of surrender) to give more room to the effects and goals of our renewed discipline of prayer.

Almsgiving likewise pertains first to material giving, to money, to making sacrifices of the goods we possess to help those who have less. But it also pertains to what the Ash Wednesday homilist meant by giving of yourself to others. Time. Attention. Help. Comfort. What in the old days were called corporal works of mercy. I have no contention with the value of giving of yourself.

The problem with the homily is this. The homilist basically gave everyone permission to forego fasting for almsgiving. In so doing, he gave everyone a dispensation from one third of Lenten discipline and diluted the meaning of another third. As a mere priest, he overstepped his authority. As a homilist, he stumbled in his duty. (As a liturgist, he also left a lot to be desired, but the relationship of the Mass to bioethics is a topic for another entry.) He gave us permission to be wimps.

The time has long come and gone to abandon wimpy spirituality in the Catholic Church. (Along with wimpy music and wimpy liturgies… but that's another story.)

Even the bishops, as wonderful and miraculous as it is to see them stand together against the Obama Edict, seem to miss the point in terms of bioethics. This really is not only about religious freedom. It's also about how the US Government has made it illegal to avoid complicity in products and procedures that are themselves inherently unethical. Contraception and abortion are not really religious issues. We need the bishops also to take the next step, and be much stronger in proclaiming the evils of the things the Obama Edict mandates for everyone, not just for Catholics. This is not about religion. This is about right and wrong. Doing the right thing is not for wimps.

I want to emphasize that I put these thoughts in writing for this post before Sunday. On Sunday, the homilist said almost the exact same thing as I said above. He didn't talk about the Obama Edict (he did that two weeks earlier in no uncertain terms), but he did say that the value of the disciplines of Lent consist in all three things, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, and not in just one or two of them.

As I said in my Ash Wednesday post, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are also the heart of authentic bioethics. Without them, we cannot hope to reason well on bioethical issues. We form ourselves and our ability to know right from wrong and to choose what is right through what we do. If what we do is prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, then we are much better equipped to make right decisions on every aspect of our lives, including issues in bioethics.

Bioethics is not the realm of so-called (and self-proclaimed) "experts": health professionals, academicians, lawyers, and politicians, and their surrogates in think tanks and lobbying groups. It's for real people, and it's not really all that complex. Who is the final decision maker with respect to contraception? The government? A committee of health professionals and lawyers? No. It's the person who uses it, and next is the person who prescribes it. That is where the decision is made. Same with abortion. IVF. Euthanasia. Private people, people who go to church on Ash Wednesday and hear lame homilies, who go from there to their doctor's appointment -- they are the ones making the decisions in bioethics. Say that decision pertains to contraception. Contraception is easy and reliable. NFP on the other hand, is equally reliable but requires periodic abstinence, a little effort and self-control. So if the patient is in the habit of foregoing "giving up" because of homilies like the one I heard on Ash Wednesday, what will be her decision do you think?

While we need to resist the Obama Edict, by the same token we can cut it off at the knees by reaching out to these final decision makers and equipping them to know right from wrong in the moment they make their decisions. By strengthening them. What if your personal trainer said, "Rather than working out, take a walk now and then during the day and be more active"? What kind of shape will you be in? The defect is setting the two in opposition instead of in sync. "In addition to working out, be more active." That is, be in the habit of being fit, as a way of life. Fitness isn't only for the gym. What good is it if you work out a few times a week and then are an indulgent, lazy couch potato the rest of the time? It makes it easy to slack off, and those who work out know that every now and then you need to renew your resolve because you do slack off.

Spiritual fitness is a lot like physical fitness. It is a way of life, not an occasional thing. Lent is one of those times to renew one's resolve spiritually. Ash Wednesday comes once a year. It's a great day for a great homily.

My wife and kids went to our parish for Mass on Ash Wednesday, after spending some time outside of an abortion clinic. She said there was no homily at all. Sometimes the EF Mass can be like that. They were lucky. 

With all due respect to the homilist I had, I am not taking his advice. I appreciate his consecrated hands and his priestly ordination for the Sacraments, and I thank God for him. But he has given me permission to not listen to him. What a shame.

I'll listen to the priest in my parish though.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday and Authentic Bioethics

Prayer. Fasting. Almsgiving. What on earth do such thing have to do with the principles of bioethics and bioethical issues? Catholics especially might see that these activities could be ways of combatting the evils of abortion, euthanasia, and other controversial issues, as a general way of combatting evil. But are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving in themselves a concern of bioethics?

I say they are, if bioethics is to be authentic.

There are many who want to cut bioethics out of its larger context, to limit its scope, and thereby have an easier time justifying the things they want to do. So, they limit the concern of bioethics to technologies and procedures that pertain to human bodily life and well being. Spiritual concerns are beyond the scope of bioethics in their mind.

They also tend to stack the deck in their favor, using our pluralistic society as an excuse. They maintain that bioethical issues have to be deliberated on non-religious terms to be valid. But this begins the deliberations on a false foundation. Anthropology drives ethics, and if reality and therefore man are godless, the ethics one employs will be rather different from those who understand man to be spiritual.

Man is created by God in His image. I cannot prove this to an atheist, but then again neither can atheists prove their position to me since it is equally unprovable. So I will not try. I hold that man is the image of God because man has a higher degree of life, a more complete goodness of being, because of his Godlike powers of intellect and will, which are absent from all other earthly creatures. If God exists, He can only be perfectly and purely intellectual and powerful in His designs, perfectly good, attributes setting Him infinitely apart from all other beings. These traits set man apart from other creatures. These traits are how man resembles God.

These traits are manifested bodily. Man is the image of God with his body, not because his body looks like God, but because his Godlike traits are manifested bodily. What man does to and in the body reflect on how well he images God. Either he will do things in a way that resembles what God would do, or he will do things in a way that resemble something (or perhaps someone) else.

Two things need to be said here. First is that if God exists, man’s ultimate and highest good is God Himself. This does not mean that we do nothing to combat suffering and disease and so forth. Indeed, we must use our intellect and will to combat these things as best we can out of charity for our neighbors who are suffering. But we must also keep things in proper order. Suffering needs to be combatted—but it is not the greatest evil because it does not threaten man’s greatest good. In fact, suffering can be a path toward God, Who is man’s greatest good. I will get more into that in a minute, because it is sort of the point of this post. Secular bioethics, however, considers man’s greatest good to be his bodily life.  If that is true, then suffering is a threat to man’s greatest good, and looms as man’s greatest enemy, to be combatted with any means. Pleasure and bodily happiness of various kinds become things to be obtained at any cost and it becomes impolite reprimand anyone for doing what makes him putatively happy. Indeed, you become an inflictor of suffering if you stand in the way of pleasure or relief of suffering. You ask, “What good comes from abortion?” And you get the response, “Who are you to stand in the way of women’s autonomy and happiness and impose your morality on others? You want women barefoot, pregnant, and going in the back alley for coat-hanger abortions that will leave many dead. And it’s all your fault!”

You can see already that secular bioethics depends greatly on relativism. Relativism of course is inherently self-contradictory.  “It's wrong to tell other people what’s right and wrong. You have to let others do what they want. I can tell you what’s right and wrong, but you can’t tell others.” The principle is violated in speaking it. And, usually, it boils down to “I” don’t want “you” telling me what to do. It’s a way of getting you to shut up.

Secondly, if God is man’s greatest good, then bioethics must have concern for this fact in deliberating bioethical issues. Indeed, the very first principle of authentic bioethics is not to harm the image of God, neither in the patient nor the agent. Does IVF aid or impede attainment of man’s greatest good? Does man—the IVF technicians, the prospective parents, the donors of ova or sperm—align his actions and desires with godly principles or with other kinds of principles in using IVF?

Prayer, fasting, almsgiving. These things form man more and more as an image of God. They reveal and refine him. They bring wayward bodily desires into better control of the intellect and will. They order man to his neighbors. They equip us with the capacity to reason well in bioethical issues. To want what is better to want. They are absolutely necessary for bioethics to be authentic, and thus are (or ought to be) a direct concern of bioethics.

Take IVF and contraception. These two stand as extremes against the middle. The main problem with both is a distortion of the proper love people should have for their offspring, not to mention each other, and the proper regard of the physician for the patients. IVF and contraception are both egotistical determinations as to what is a good outcome of sexual intimacy. And they are both means toward ends that have other, more ethical options. 

With contraception, let me say that sometimes it is reasonable to postpone pregnancy. It is a question of mean. This particular means, however, is a deficiency of love for future children, who are seen as an evil to be avoided rather than a gift to be cherished, a wondrous outcome of physical love. People who use contraception believe they know better than God what is a good outcome of sexual intimacy. Instead, people could use natural family planning, which as a method of postponing pregnancy is highly effective. But it does nothing to sexual intimacy to rob it of its intrinsic power of procreation. It requires periodic abstinence and some self-control, but these are virtues and worth having. The world does not revolve around the ability to gratify one’s sexual urges, as vehement as they may be, believe or not. At any rate, contraception puts the ability to gratify that urge ahead of all else, and sees the natural outcome of sexual intimacy—one’s own child—not as a gift, but as a burden, as a suffering, as an evil to be combatted. If God is not part of the equation, then perhaps that is so. Children are just objects, part of the paraphernalia of our lives, and not images of God themselves, a suffering one day, a status symbol the next, a thing to be resented or loved for the value one gets from it.

With IVF, it is just the opposite. (I am speaking here of IVF generally and used by married couples. IVF used by unmarried and especially same-sex couples raises additional ethical issues.) The child is desired to excess, and the prospective parents have a stop-at-nothing attitude to obtain one. In the process, the child becomes less and less a gift and a thing more and more made, acquired, achieved by one’s own efforts. If God does not exist and is not part of the equation, then why should a child not be manufactured? The child is not an image of God, not a gift, but an object, part of our trappings. It’s all about us and our desires. With IVF, lack of a child is an evil to be combatted, but the child is loved inordinately, not for who he is, but for the value we get from him, and that value—status, self-fulfillment, whatever, but not the child himself—is raised above all else. Moreover, IVF leaves the underlying infertility untreated, and the infertility is the real medical issue. By the way, NaPro Technology has a much higher success rate than IVF, because it treats the underlying infertility and helps the couple achieve a pregnancy naturally.

In between contraception and IVF lies virtue. Loving children the right way. Having recourse to sexual intimacy, not without rational concerns for one’s lot, but with trust in God. Working with the way the human body works and healing its diseases rather than working against the body or superseding its needs. Relying on God. Having self-control. Being giving of oneself to one’s spouse and future children.

Prayer. Fasting. Almsgiving.

The heart of authentic bioethics.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Liberalism and the lack of ethical reasoning ability

This is breaking news: A group of religious leaders is providing a united front on how President/Emperor Obama has violated religious rights with his mandate that health insurance must provide coverage for free products and procedures related to birth control, including those that abort pregnancies.

Democrats are saying "they had been denied the ability to present witnesses who might support the government stance or speak for the rights of women to reproductive health coverage. They asked why not one of the 10 witnesses at the hearing was a woman."

OK, so if one of the 10 witnesses was a woman, would the Obama Dictate suddenly become constitutional? Would it suddenly become ethical?

Now, I know what the concern is. It seems like it's all one-sided. And perhaps that's not fair. On the other hand, having this rule crammed down everyone's throat by presidential edict is not really fair either. AND, the Obama administration did not seek fair and balanced input when they crafted the the rule. NOW the Democrats are worried about fairness? Where was fairness when the rule was written? Where was fairness when Obama formulated his Dictate last week?

Furthermore, ethics isn't about sides, nor is it about rationales to support an action, nor is it about majorities or numbers.

It's about right and wrong. 

Even if 150 million American women DEMANDED free birth control....
Even if every guru or pundit the Democrats could find to the tune of a majority of voting age citizens of this country supported Obama...
Even if there were a billion reason that society would benefit from trampling on the conscience rights of others...

NONE of that would:
a) make it ethical or constitutional to illegalize health insurance that did not cover these products and services
b) make it ethical or constitutional to force religious organizations to violate their conscience 
c) make it ethical or constitutional to intrude upon what should be a free commercial exchange
d) make the products and services in question ethical in themselves.

The majority does not rule absolutely. That is WHY we have a Constitution. Democracy is majority rule, on the things open to the majority deciding. The majority cannot decide to trample the rights of the minority, or else there would be no argument against slavery, for instance, or discrimination based on age, race, gender, or any other parameter. All aspects of civil rights are a defense of the minority against a possibly dominating majority. 

Declaring a thing to be ethical does not make it so. Not even a majority can make an evil thing to be good simply by declaring it so. We do live in a society of positive ethics. And by "positive" I do not mean the opposite of negative, but something related to the act of positing. In other words, things become good because I declare that they are good. In the area of marriage, we are positing that cats are the same as dogs because of the similarities between them. Define the word "dog" to include meowing mouse-chasers if you wish, but that does not make a cat to become a dog.

The end does not justify the means. First of all, if women have a right to regulate their fertility, that's fine. That does not mean the have a right to any means whatsoever to do it. That right means that the government cannot interfere with the exercise of that right, but it does not mean that women should have free access to any product or service they desire, nor to force others to provide them. The right to free speech does not give me the right to any space in the New York Times. It does not give me the right to prime-time TV slots on major networks. It does not give me the right to an audience. It does not give the right to any venue. It gives me the right to speak my mind wherever I happen to be. The right to regulate her own fertility does not mean free products and services that in themselves are unethical, paid for by someone who does not want to pay for them.

Plausible rationales are not the same as sound reasoning. Plausible rationales are a sign of cleverness, not ethical thinking. If you plan a murder and make it look like self-defense and the claim holds up in court, you still committed murder and you have deceived the court at the same time. It doesn't BECOME self-defense because you can make others believe it is. It remains in truth murder, made even worse by lies. So, Democrats can line up as many as they please who support Field Marshal for Life Obama, it simply does not add up to changing the nature of the thing he's doing. 

It's not a matter of perspective or opinion. Opinion about what the sun is does not change what it is. You can believe it to be this or that, but it is a star powered by atomic fusion. There is no opinion about that. The Obama Dictate is not ethical and constitutional for those who believe it is, but not for the rest of us. And even if it were so, those who like the Obama Dictate have no right to force their opinion on the rest of us.

All laws are forcing someone's morality on the rest of society. One of the things about this Obama Dictate is that it is posited as a defense of the morality of women against having the morality of their employers forced upon them. But you can see that it amounts to Obama forcing his morality on religious organizations, in the name of "It's wrong to force your morality on others." The adage is violated in saying it: You force your morality on others by demanding they not force their morality on others. What people who say this really mean is "YOU cannot force your morality on ME." It is NOT "It's wrong to for people to force their morality on others." The latter is a lie. The former is what it's really about: ME forcing my morality on YOU, so that YOU let ME do what I want, while I make YOU feel like you're being mean and totalitarian against ME -- BUT it's really just the other way around.

At any rate, these SIX ethical fallacies -- ALL of them -- are at work in the brief quotes above. And they are at work in Democrat ethical reasoning in general.

By illegalizing health insurance that does not cover objectionable and elective products and procedures, by fiat and not by any democratic process, without gaining input from concerned parties, Obama has demonstrated his ethical abilities.

Or lack thereof.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Liberals think people are S-T-U-P-I-D

I cannot believe what I'm reading on FoxNews.

We are debating another attack on women's health care fueled purely by politics," Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said. "Taking the lead from their party's surging presidential candidate Rick Santorum, this amendment seeks to change debate in D.C. from growing the economy and growing jobs to fighting culture wars."

Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey put it more bluntly: "The GOP option gives women one option -- barefoot and pregnant."

So. Whether or not Obama has subverted the Constitution is now mere culture wars. The real issue is forcing women to be barefoot and pregnant.

What idiots are in Washington. They really think we're stupid. That if they ridicule us enough, we'll shut our mouths. This is what it is really about: Getting us to SHUT UP. They cannot STAND that anyone could possibly oppose THEM. 

It is elitist. It shows callous disregard for the Constitution. And of course, it's just plain bankrupt from a bioethical standpoint. 

I am really upset that such sniping, such immaturity can find its way into the highest levels of our government. But it is there.

Please. Do not cower in the face of ridicule. Stand up to it. Respond thus: Well, Obama wants us all to be broke and starving and unable to drive or use the TV. Don't we have a constitutional right to eat? To have money? To drive to work? To power our stuff? Well then, the government should be giving us FOOD and CASH and GAS and ELECTRICITY for free! To everyone, not just the poor! If women have a right to free abortifacient products and procedures, then all the more does everyone have a right to these necessities. People can live without birth control. They can't live without food and gas and power. If there's a right to birth control, ALL THE MORE is there a right to these things. So, cough if up you liberals!!! Let's get away from these culture wars!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Obama is Tyrannical, Delusional, and Unethical

People just don't seem to be getting it. A lot of Catholics and anyone who loves the Constitution are really ticked at the Obama Dictate and for good reasons that many (myself included) have mentioned.

But what they don't get is that what just happened is HORRIBLE. We are now far worse off than we were before the Dictate came out on Friday.  I'm am absolutely NOT saying we should have backed down on Thursday to avoid this worse situation. NO. On the contrary, I believe that now is the time to RALLY!! NOW is the time to redouble our efforts!! We have momentum--let's not lose it!!

Here's why things are worse now, though:

a) By pure dictatorial mandate has illegalized all health insurance that does not cover birth control and related products and services.

b) He believes the debate is now over, and that the HHS policies will move forward without impediment.

c) a and b mean that Obama is first of all a tyrant. A tyrant. T.Y.R.A.N.T. You say, it's impossible, he's a democratically elected president, we have a constitution, it's impossible that any tyrant hold the office of president. I say, you're as delusional as Obama is. OPEN YOUR EYES. What has just happened is a tyrannical mandate that makes it impossible for people to act on their consciences by taking away their freedom to choose otherwise, in a commercial exchange that ought to be free and full of supply-side options that satisfy demand-side diversity. This tyrannical mandate not only infringes upon the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution, it unfairly and unnecessarily intrudes upon simple free enterprise.

d) The fact that he thinks it's all over now means he's delusional. It is not over. Well, maybe the bishops will become complacent, maybe the House of Representatives will be placated enough to back down. Maybe it will all become quiet. But, unfortunately it is not over.

America, we live under a dictatorship. A delusional man who thinks he's king and the rest of us are stupid, but we can think of ourselves as smart if we agree with his policies.

Please. Those of you with any kind of influence, and any kind of fire in your belly over this: DO NOT GIVE UP NOW. REDOUBLE YOUR EFFORTS!!

Sr. Carol Keehan Should Resign. The Bishops Should Demand CHA Drop the C.

Sr. Carol Keehan should resign.

She has proven herself incapable of leading any organization with the word Catholic in it. She has also demonstrated a complete lack of ethical reasoning in supporting the Obama Dictate that came out on Friday, February 10.

This supposed Bride of Christ has repeatedly scandalized the Catholic Church and the Catholic Health Association with her public support of President Obama's intrusive and unconstitutional health plan. In particular, she has reduced the CHA to a mere publicity tool for Obama through her public support of the Dictate and letting the CHA be used by the Obama propaganda machine.

She has demonstrated an inability to reason clearly and in accord with the eternal principles of charity of the Catholic Church. She fails to see that the Obama Dictate merely provides a plausible-sounding excuse that lets--no--REQUIRES that Catholic organizations violate their consciences while claiming that they have not done so. This smoke-and-mirrors edict MANDATES complicity in unethical medical products and procedures while making it sound like one is not complicit at all. It is a rationalization that she either sees and agrees with, or that she has not seen. Either way, she has inadequate ethical reasoning skills for the job she holds, and therefore does not belong in that job, or any job in any organization claiming to represent Catholic health care principles.

The Catholic Health Association is fast becoming one of the most tarnished and least Catholic organizations on earth. They really must drop the Catholic part of the name.

If they do not do it voluntarily, the bishops should require them to stop using the word Catholic. CHA has US offices in Washington, DC, and St. Louis, MO. Those places have archbishops. Those archbishops should DO SOMETHING. PLEASE. For the sake of the rest of the Catholics in the US and throughout the world. DO SOMETHING. PLEASE.

Email Keehan to let her know: ckeehan@chausa.org

I did.

Friday, February 10, 2012

More on the ethics of the Obama Dictate

In my last post I pointed out that the “accommodation” issued by President Obama was really a relativistic, rationalistic out. I would like to say a little more about that.

First of all, from a practical standpoint, the “accommodation” really is an attack by Obama and not a retreat at all. It is in fact far worse of a situation than we had before. He has, by dictate, illegalized health insurance plans that do not cover birth control for free. Anything you might say to disagree with me is pure semantics. At CatholicVote, someone called it a bookkeeping change. Secondhand Smoke used the image of a wool cap being pulled over someone’s eyes. Someone else called it smoke and mirrors. The fact is, religious organizations have to offer their employees health plans that cover birth control. Now, however, it is no longer by choice, but by Government Mandate. The Grand Champion of Choice has removed the dynamic of choice from the process. 

It seems that “free to choose” only applies to choosing the Obama Way. Otherwise, he will illegalize our options, leaving only the one he wants us to have.

So let’s look at how he served it up to us S-T-U-P-I-D Catholics.

He said that religious organizations do not have to choose and pay for a health plan that covers objectionable products and services. Instead, the health insurance companies will simply cover those products and services anyway. So, no religious organization has to make a choice that compromises its conscience. It’s all between the health insurer and the employee. 

This is a swindle. We’re supposed to buy this malarkey, and be happy about it, saying, “We’re not paying for birth control coverage!” Are we paying for health insurance? Will that plan cover birth control for those who want it? Is the cost the same as a plan that does not cover it? Then it is only a smoke and mirrors that lets us deny we’re not paying for it. A rationalization.

God sees through rationalizations. He sees the heart. And the heart of this “accommodation” is tyranny.

Now, let’s look closer at these “free” products and services. Obama says it’s a wash in terms of cost: The insurance companies will be glad to provide free birth control because it saves them money over what it would cost them if people didn’t use it. It’s cheaper for them to cover it for free than not cover it. 

Love that reasoning. It’s also way cheaper for insurance companies to cover drugs for high blood pressure than it is to pay for a stroke or heart failure. To pay for drugs for high cholesterol than for a triple bypass. In fact, it is pretty much cheaper for every disease treated by medication to pay for the medication and the doctor’s visits than to pay for the bad consequence of an untreated disease. Therefore, ALL medications and doctor visits for EVERY illness should be 100% FREE. That way, insurance companies will SAVE MONEY!

Uh-huh. Well, it just seems to me that if insurance companies will be covering a particular set of products and services at no cost to the employee, then they will consider that in the premium they charge the employer. And since plans that cover birth control are no different than those that don’t (since anyone who wants birth control will be able to get it for free either way), the cost for both kinds of plans will be the same.

Only an idiot will think otherwise. Sorry to use strong language, but anyone who believes Obama on this is a complete fool.  

This accommodation is also DISCRIMINATORY. It gives preferential treatment to basically young, healthy people who make a particular lifestyle choice. It makes sick people who need their medications and doctor visits to stay alive pay co-pays and coinsurance and deductibles. 

It’s unconstitutional, I tell you. It subverts the First Amendment and the Fourteenth. It is tyrannical.  It is dictatorial. And it is wholly unethical of the president to take such action. It is indefensible.

I have lived to see crooks in the Whitehouse. Liars. Incompetents. Men who have dragged our nation into the muck.

But Mr. Obama is the most unethical man to have held that office. EVER. He might not be committing adultery with interns like JFK and Clinton, big deal. He is, however, just plain DEVIOUS. And that is way worse.

Obama thinks Catholics are S-T-U-P-I-D

UPDATE below.

Several years back, when my older son was only about 4 or 5, he was homeschooling and did something silly as kids will. One of his older sisters began to correct him and my wife told her to stop, saying, "He's c-u-t-e." And my son said, "I know what that spells. Stupid."

So our president has decided to change the contraception and abortion mandate from forcing religious organizations to offer health insurance that covers it, to...

forcing religious organizations to offer health insurance that covers it.

Technically, he switches the burden from the religious organizations to the health insurance companies. So, now health insurance companies are not allowed to offer any plans to anyone that do not include coverage of objectionable lifestyle drugs and services. So, he's not forcing religious organizations to choose to offer such coverage, he's merely making it impossible for them to offer anything else.

In other words, he's forcing religious organizations that offer their employees health insurance to offer plans that include objectionable drugs and services. You think that insurance companies will offer religious organizations a lower premium because of the limitations in coverage they want to offer their employees? You think insurance companies will offer coverage of these products and services for free? NO. The coverage the religious organizations offer their employees, they coverage they will be forced to pay for through premiums if they offer health insurance at all, will be the same kind of coverage that Planned Parenthood offers their employees. And the same price.

He calls this an accommodation. He says it's not a compromise.

He thinks were STUPID.

I call it an elitist, totalitarian, bald-faced disregard for the US Constitution. And so should you, no matter who you are.

And I do agree that it is not a compromise. It is a heavy-handed imposition of his beloved rule without any back-tracking at all.

It is a relativistic, rationalistic way for religious organizations to comply while claiming not to be acting against their conscience. "We can't help what the insurance company does. We asked them not to. It's their choice, not ours. We don't want to offer a plan that covers contraception and abortifacients. But the insurance company has to." Blah, blah, blah.

But I am glad he did it. Hopefully, the controversy will only continue and cause him to lose the Catholic vote in November. And the vote of everyone who believes that the President of the United State is supposed to UPHOLD the Constitution and SERVE the people, and not DICTATE commercial exchanges and IMPOSE a politically motivated morality on people of religion.

Any Catholics who hide behind this "accommodation" are exactly what Obama thinks you are. He doesn't think you're cute, by the way.

UPDATE: The folks at CatholicVote say that the Catholic Health Association has revealed itself to be exactly what Obama thinks it is. I am trying to verify it but as of about 1:20 my time, the CHA home page is unavailable. Hopefully because thousands of Catholics are swamping its servers with a piece of their mind. At least, that's what I was trying to do.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Now Komen Has Caved to Political Pressure

The worst kind of martyrdom one can suffer, some say, is ridicule. You have to live with ridicule and a tarnished reputation. At least if they throw you to the lions, the lions kill you. It's painful, but it's over.

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation recently decided to cut funding of Planned Parenthood. Because Planned Parenthood is under investigation by federal authorities. I wish it were for other reasons, like Planned Parenthood being a facilitator of child prostitution and pedophilia and the like. Or because there is still a possible connection between Planned Parenthood's bread and butter--abortion and contraception--and the incidence of breast cancer, a connection that is admittedly not clearly worked out either way. 

Planned Parenthood responded with heavy ridicule and called upon its activists to stop funding Komen.

Komen caved.

Komen has caved to ridicule and the possibility of losing money.

Komen caved to Mammon, and the bloody child sacrifice of the last 39 years.

Komen is not worthy of pro-life money. Given their historic support of Planned Parenthood, even if it's for breast cancer screening, they possibly never were worthy.

Now, see how crafty the Planned Parenthood people (and whatever forces lurk behind them) are. They can rail on Komen and criticize them and call on people to stop donating and get away with it. But what if pro-lifers now get vocal and threaten to cut Komen off from donations and funding? Well, pro-lifers would then be painted as being hypocrites, for imposing a horrible death by breast cancer on millions of women.

Pro-lifers take note: There are other organizations that help women with breast cancer. Komen is the largest. But it didn't used to be. There is no need for them to remain so big if someone else could do just as well. If we put our money elsewhere, some other organization will be the largest. Komen and Planned Parenthood are not the only ways women get help for breast cancer and not the only way you can help women with breast cancer.

So if you give money to help find a cure for breast cancer, that is great, do not give a cent less.

But give it to someone else who won't give it to Planned Parenthood. Give it to someone with courage to stand for their convictions in the face of ridicule. Give it to someone more concerned about doing what is right than what is lucrative.