Thursday, February 5, 2009

THE PRESIDENT MOVES TO REDUCE ABORTIONS

OBAMA MOVES AHEAD WITH PLAN TO REDUCE ABORTIONS
Conservative Catholics, AWOL. President decides he can't wait for them.


Today, President Barack Obama will be expanding the mission of his faith based initiative to include abortion reduction. The Wall street Journal described the President's approach to the federal faith office as reflecting "his search for common ground on contentious social issues, and his willingness to dial back some of his campaign positions."

The President's plan is likely to anger some hard line secularists who want the initiative abolished entirely. But the President received a favorable reaction from David Kuo, the former deputy director of the Bush faith-based office, and who says that too much energy was spent on questions that have little impact in the real world.

The office will be given four new specific missions, including an administration effort to reduce abortions and teen pregnancies. The goals, said Mr. DuBois, the head of the initiative, will include ensuring access to health care and support for adoption.

Three months after Obama's historic victory and Establishment Pro-Life leaders are yet to make any offer to work with the Administration to reduce abortions. Even the Catholic Bishops have for the most part done nothing despite this tremendous opportunity to reduce abortions. Nothing was said in the USCCB statement after the election and only after pressure from the lay faithful was some vague mention made in the USCCB statement before the Inaugural. The bishops did not bother to meet with the Transition team, have appointed no staff person to direct or coordinate on this matter and generally been AWOL to the leading opportunity to reduce abortions. Instead they have invested money and time in a phony FOCA campaign -- a bill that died last December without any congressional action and does not currently exist.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Fierce Urgency of Pork
A Horse and Pony Show

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, February 6, 2009; Page A17

"A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into a catastrophe."

Catastrophe, mind you. So much for the president who in his inaugural address two weeks earlier declared "we have chosen hope over fear." Until, that is, you need fear to pass a bill.

And so much for the promise to banish the money changers and influence peddlers from the temple. An ostentatious executive order banning lobbyists was immediately followed by the nomination of at least a dozen current or former lobbyists to high position. Followed by a Treasury secretary who allegedly couldn't understand the payroll tax provisions in his 1040. Followed by Tom Daschle, who had to fall on his sword according to the new Washington rule that no Cabinet can have more than one tax delinquent.

The Daschle affair was more serious because his offense involved more than taxes. As Michael Kinsley once observed, in Washington the real scandal isn't what's illegal, but what's legal. Not paying taxes is one thing. But what made this case intolerable was the perfectly legal dealings that amassed Daschle $5.2 million in just two years.


He'd been getting $1 million per year from a law firm. But he's not a lawyer, nor a registered lobbyist. You don't get paid this kind of money to instruct partners on the Senate markup process. You get it for picking up the phone and peddling influence.

At least Tim Geithner, the tax-challenged Treasury secretary, had been working for years as a humble international civil servant earning non-stratospheric wages. Daschle, who had made another cool million a year (plus chauffeur and Caddy) for unspecified services to a pal's private equity firm, represented everything Obama said he'd come to Washington to upend.

And yet more damaging to Obama's image than all the hypocrisies in the appointment process is his signature bill: the stimulus package. He inexplicably delegated the writing to Nancy Pelosi and the barons of the House. The product, which inevitably carries Obama's name, was not just bad, not just flawed, but a legislative abomination.

It's not just pages and pages of special-interest tax breaks, giveaways and protections, one of which would set off a ruinous Smoot-Hawley trade war. It's not just the waste, such as the $88.6 million for new construction for Milwaukee Public Schools, which, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, have shrinking enrollment, 15 vacant schools and, quite logically, no plans for new construction.

It's the essential fraud of rushing through a bill in which the normal rules (committee hearings, finding revenue to pay for the programs) are suspended on the grounds that a national emergency requires an immediate job-creating stimulus -- and then throwing into it hundreds of billions that have nothing to do with stimulus, that Congress's own budget office says won't be spent until 2011 and beyond, and that are little more than the back-scratching, special-interest, lobby-driven parochialism that Obama came to Washington to abolish. He said.
Not just to abolish but to create something new -- a new politics where the moneyed pork-barreling and corrupt logrolling of the past would give way to a bottom-up, grass-roots participatory democracy. That is what made Obama so dazzling and new. Turns out the "fierce urgency of now" includes $150 million for livestock (and honeybee and farm-raised fish) insurance.
The Age of Obama begins with perhaps the greatest frenzy of old-politics influence peddling ever seen in Washington. By the time the stimulus bill reached the Senate, reports the Wall Street Journal, pharmaceutical and high-tech companies were lobbying furiously for a new plan to repatriate overseas profits that would yield major tax savings. California wine growers and Florida citrus producers were fighting to change a single phrase in one provision. Substituting "planted" for "ready to market" would mean a windfall garnered from a new "bonus depreciation" incentive.

After Obama's miraculous 2008 presidential campaign, it was clear that at some point the magical mystery tour would have to end. The nation would rub its eyes and begin to emerge from its reverie. The hallucinatory Obama would give way to the mere mortal. The great ethical transformations promised would be seen as a fairy tale that all presidents tell -- and that this president told better than anyone.

I thought the awakening would take six months. It took two and a half weeks.

jeff said...

The Bishops have tried to reduce the number of abortions, but it is kind of hard to when confused Catholics like people on "Catholics for Obama - Biden" constantly undermine their efforts.

Anonymous said...

How dare any of you consider yourselves catholics. Obama just signed a $400 Million dollar bill to give money to foreign governments for abortions. You are led by "False Catholics" like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, who put their own personal views in more importance than the views of the Church. It is a sad day in America when we who are part of a 2,000 year old history of rich faith, decide we are above the institution of the Magisterium and its sacred teachings. There is no such thing as a "Catholic for Obama" you are simply "Catholics looking out for yourselves" instead of the lives of the millions of those unborn who cannot look out for themselves. By the way, the way Obama wishes to reduce abortions, is to give out more birth control. Thats effective. God Bless you, and by the grace of the Good Lord I hope you all realize the true meaning of the Catholic faith, not yourself, but the community as a whole.

Anonymous said...

The wack-jobs are still out there -- but politically not relevant since the election.

tom trebunie said...

So you want to ignore or excommunicate or what the 54% who voted for Obama as if we are not part of "the community as a whole"?

Anon: "by the grace of the Good Lord I hope you all realize the true meaning of the Catholic faith, not yourself, but the community as a whole."

Anonymous said...

Here is an excellent article addressing this topic:

Dublin, Feb 9, 2009 / 05:34 am (CNA).- During a trip to Ireland this past weekend, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver delivered a talk to the Irish chapter of Human Life International that outlined the “dos and don’ts” for the pro-life movement. Those who claim pro-lifers should avoid the “divisive” issue of ending legalized abortion and focus on providing better support for pregnant mothers are creating a false division, the archbishop insisted.

Following the theme “An American view on how to build a culture of life,” Archbishop Chaput explained that his goal was “to offer some lessons from the American experience that Irish Christians might find useful.”

More than three decades after the legalization of abortion in the U.S., Archbishop Chaput diagnosed Americans’ beliefs on abortion as schizophrenic as he gave an overview of the current situation. “Most believe abortion is wrong. But most also want it legal under some limited circumstances,” he said.

The consequences of holding two such divergent views are that the U.S. has “a large and well-funded abortion industry” and that a “very vigorous prolife movement” has grown up “right alongside the abortion industry,” Chaput observed.

“American pro-lifers have had many setbacks. They never have enough money. They don't get treated fairly by the media. Too many of their leaders argue with each other too much of the time. But they just won't give up or die. And so they've won quite a few modest but important legal victories. Meanwhile they continue to work toward the strategic goal of overturning the 1973 Supreme Court decision.”

With all of this in mind, Archbishop Chaput offered what he sees as six “don’ts” and five “dos” that pro-lifers around the world should learn from their American counterparts.

“First,” he recommended, “don't let yourselves be tricked into an inferiority complex.” Drawing on a point made in his book “Render Unto Caesar,” he told his Irish audience:

“Critics like to say that religion is divisive, or intellectually backward, or that it has no proper place in the public square. … But this is nonsense. Democracy depends on people of conviction carrying their beliefs into public debate -- respectfully, legally and non-violently, but vigorously and without apology. If we are uncomfortable being Christians in a public debate, then we've already lost the war. In America the word "pluralism" is often conjured up like a kind of voodoo shield to get religious people to stop talking about right and wrong. In reality, our moral beliefs always shape social policy. Real pluralism actually demands that people with different beliefs should pursue their beliefs energetically in the public square. This is the only way a public debate can be honest and fruitful. We should never apologize for being Catholics.”

The next two “don’ts” cited by the Archbishop of Denver were, “Don't let divisions take root” and “Don’t get trapped by politics -- especially partisan politics.”

He related how as a bishop he has been “baffled” by how much energy is wasted on internal pro-life bickering and that pro-lifers should “never allow our differences to become personal” since infighting within the movement is “a gift to the other side.”

Sticking to one political party is also dangerous, Archbishop Chaput argued. “The more pro-lifers tie themselves to a single political party, the less they can speak to society at large. In the United States, Catholics -- both on the right and the left -- have too often made the mistake of becoming cheerleaders for a specific candidate,” he said.

“Don't create or accept false oppositions,” the archbishop cautioned as he waded into a topic that has caused great debate in the American pro-life community.

“During the last U.S. election,” Chaput recalled, “we saw the emergence of so-called pro-life organizations that argued we should stop fighting the legal struggle over abortion. Instead we should join with ‘pro-choice’ supporters to seek ‘common ground’.”

“Their argument was simple: Why fight a losing battle on the legal, cultural and moral front since - according to them -- we haven't yet made serious progress in ending legalized abortion? Let's drop the ‘divisive’ political battle, they said, and instead let's all work together to tackle the economic and health issues that might eventually reduce abortions,” he explained.

But this argument doesn’t sync with history, Archbishop Chaput stressed.

“Did Americans take a gradual, social-improvement road to ‘reducing’ racism? No. We passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” he pointed out.

Taking the logic a step further, the Denver prelate said, “Nor have I ever heard anyone suggest that the best way to deal with murder, rape or domestic abuse is to improve the availability of health care and job training. We make rape illegal -- even though we know it will still sometimes tragically occur -- because rape is gravely evil. It's an act of violence, and the law should proscribe it.

“Of course, we also have a duty to improve the social conditions that can breed domestic and sexual violence. But that doesn't change the need for the law.”

“Likewise,” Chaput reasoned, “if we really believe that abortion is an intimate act of violence, then we can't aim at anything less than ending abortion.

“It doesn't matter that some abortions have always occurred, and some will always occur. If we really believe that abortion kills a developing unborn life, then we can never be satisfied with mere ‘reductions’ in the body count.”

The new groups that materialized during the last election seem to operate from an “either/or” mentality, that argued that pro-lifers needed to choose between abortion “reduction” programs and outlawing abortion, the archbishop said. But protecting the unborn child “is not an ‘either/or’ choice. It's ‘both/and’,” he countered.

“We need to help women facing problem pregnancies with good health care and economic support; and we need to pass laws that will end legal abortion. We need to do both.”

Despite this disagreement, the archbishop’s fifth “don’t” cautioned pro-lifers against hating their adversaries. “Our adversary is an opponent, but never our "enemy." Our enemy is the Evil One,” he said.

Playing off his previous “don’t,” the Denver archbishop focused on adversaries again, saying, “Don't let your adversaries set the agenda.”

President Barack Obama’s recent reversal of the Mexico City policy in office served to illustrate this point for the archbishop. “His reason for signing the executive order was that it was time to put this ‘divisive issue behind us,’ once and for all,” Chaput reminded.

“There's something a little odd about rhetoric that tells that we're the ‘divisive’ ones, and lectures adult citizens about what we should challenge, and when we should stop. In a democracy, we get to decide that for ourselves.

“An issue that involves the life and death of unborn children and the subversion of entire traditional societies can't be ‘put behind us’ with an executive signature.”

Switching gears, the archbishop moved on to give his Irish audience his list of “dos.”

“Do become martyrs,” he challenged as he quipped, “I said it was simple. I didn't say it was easy. Be ready to pay the ultimate price.”

In modern society, you may not have to give your life for the unborn, but you may sacrifice your reputation or have lies told about you, the prelate counseled.

With the annual March for Life fresh in his mind, Archbishop Chaput called on pro-lifers to his second do—“keep hope alive.” “Many of the marchers are young, joyful people who radiate a strong hope in the future - and not the shallow hope of political sloganeering, but the real Christian hope that emerges from self-sacrifice and the struggle to do God's will.”

“I've never in my life seen a joy-filled pro-abortion event. And I've always found that instructive,” he added.

The third “do” offered by Chaput was to “be strategic.” Likening pro-life advocates to “sheep in the midst of wolves,” he told his audience that this “doesn’t mean we can also be dumb as rocks.”

“Being strategic means planning ahead, setting the agenda, working together and outsmarting our adversaries. To achieve these goals, we need a big dose of realism. We should never dream or whine about all the things we could do with the million Euros we don't have. We need to focus on the ten Euros we do have,” the archbishop said.

Next on the “do” list was a message that echoed Pope Benedict’s recent message for the World Day of Communications—use new technologies to spread your message.

Archbishop Chaput closed out his “dos” by stepping back for a look at the big picture. “Remember that renewing the culture, not gaining power, is our ultimate goal,” he counseled.

Culture is everything, the archbishop stated as he encouraged pro-lifers to make evangelizing it their ultimate goal. “Our real task, and our much longer-term and more important goal, is to carry out what John Paul II called the ‘evangelization of culture’," he explained.



Exhorting pro-lifers to continue fighting for this goal, Archbishop Chaput said “cultural trends can be changed. And I'll prove it.”

“Mainline media have been telling us for a decade that the American public is evenly divided between those who consider themselves prolife and those who describe themselves as ‘pro-choice’.”

“This is broadly true. But the devil - or in this case, God -- is in the details.”

Archbishop Chaput went on to cite a national poll by Harris Interactive that came out in December 2008, which found among other things that “fewer than ten per cent of Americans support legalized abortion on demand as it stands today.”

The findings of the poll show that “prolife efforts have made real progress in improving people's awareness of the sanctity of unborn life,” he asserted.

“We need to work to change the culture. And that demands a lifelong commitment to education, Christian formation and, ultimately, conversion. Only saints really change the world. And there lies our ultimate victory: If we change one heart at a time, while we save one unborn life at a time, the day will come when we won't need to worry about saving babies, because they'll be surrounded by a loving, welcoming culture.”

Katherine said...

While I can quibble with some points, this is the most sane and helpful think to come from Chaput in years. I am glad he is finally offering something useful. More power to him.

Anonymous said...

Katharine, I thought his book was quite "sane" and "helpful" too!

Martin M said...

Glad to hear you are keeping up on your reading. Conservatives need to have some hobby since they no longer have any meaningful role in running this country. You might also want to try gardening and crossword puzzles!

Susan said...

Chaput has always offered sanity. You disagree with him most of the time because you are insane.

shiloh said...

Gardening and crossword puzzles, too funny. Pretty sure republicans have cornered the market on growing SOUR GRAPES !!!

take care, blessings

sean said...

Susan,

Your grace and charm has helped put the Republican Party in its present condition.

Anonymous said...

One of the points of the article is of course it is important to change hearts on the abortion issue, however an unjust law must not be allowed to stand especially at the cost of more than 1 million innocent lives per year. So everyone must speak up and let your voices be heard for the unborn.

Katherine said...

Excellent.

We must change hearts and minds about abortion and abortion policy. Name calling and harshness are counterproductive. We must listen to others, see the Christ in them and work to bring them to our cause. Working together on abortion reduction initiatives does TWO goods. 1) it save unborn lives. 2) it gives us a chance to give a positive and loving Christian witness to others we are working side-by-side.

Anonymous said...

President Barack Obama signed an executive order on abortion to allow taxpayer funds to go to groups in other countries that perform or promote abortions, late afternoon on Jan. 23. To minimize press coverage, he signed the order in the absence of reporters and photographers. The White House waited until 7 p.m. to issue a press release, in which the president of the United States, (who campaigned on a transparent and a cooperative administration with both parties), stated, "I have no desire to continue this stale and fruitless debate," on abortion. Obama was not held hostage to sign the order, unless it was by his own party.

After only a few days in office the president has in a single hidden moment trashed American morality, the personal beliefs of the majority and has taken money from the American people to pay for abortions not only in this country but in others as well. Question: Who gave the president the right to become the sole judge, jury, and executioner of children both in and outside the womb - and both within and outside this country - without bipartisan debate?
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The executive order signed is nation-building in reverse. It reeks of a godless communistic governing style by this new administration and an evil faith-based "American Renewal Change" that puts no limit on the number of infant killings - just like a free fire zone.

David said...

Is this site created by the White House?? This is absurd to some Catholics that really believe Obama is really trying to reduce abortions! How can Obama state he is helping reduce abortions, when he signed an executive order (behind closed doors) to allow taxpayer funds to go to groups in other countries that perform or promote abortions, late afternoon on Jan. 23. I find it hard to believe this site is nothing more than a Political scheme. Never allow our differences to become personal. With all do respect to others who disagree, if we really believe that abortion is an intimate act of violence, then we can't aim at anything less than ending abortion! I truly believe we must stand behind our President, but there's nothing wrong to make known he has deceived Catholics who voted for him to believe he would turn his head on his party for us. Take care all

tom trebunie said...

“Did Americans take a gradual, social-improvement road to ‘reducing’ racism? No. We passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” (Chaput)he pointed out.

“Nor have I ever heard anyone suggest that the best way to deal with murder, rape or domestic abuse is to improve the availability of health care and job training.

--

Wow. Slavery ended in 1865. It only took 100 years for the Civil Rights Act to be enacted. Lightning quick. As far as the other comment is concerned, there is a high correlation between poverty <--> murder, rape and domestic abuse. So, for sure, it won't hurt to have better job training and health care.

Katherine said...

Anonymous,

Your post is so full of misstatements and silliness, I don't know where to start.

Anonymous said...

"So you want to ignore or excommunicate or what the 54% who voted for Obama as if we are not part of "the community as a whole"?"

Ignore or excommunicate? Yeah, both of those are appropriate. You deserve far worse, but we'll leave that to God.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Anonymous as you admit, you and your fellow freaks are the minority. Why don't YOU leave?

Kathy said...

hmm, remember the word *charitable*??? maybe some of you could behave that way instead of seeing how tacky you can be to *your brothers*...

Betty said...

Amen, Kathy. Obama has his good points and bad points, as does Pelosi. But it is shocking what some "Christians" throw out. You can disagree without being disagreeable.

Martin M. said...

yes, Obama and Pelosi both are far from perfect, but I get sick to my stomach when I read some of the bitter comments about them. Catholics should speak with charity. We should never judge people's inner motivations. People can be in error about abortion, the war, marriage or help for the poor, but we should respect them as human, thinking beings.

Is is so sad some people say they are standing up for the humanity of the unborn when in their speech they disrespect the humanity of the person right before them.

Anonymous said...

Yes, in addition to changing hearts, we must have a law that is truly just, a law that protects the individual from the moment of their conception. The law must change to make abortions illegal. This is the humane and just thing to do.

fukukurt n katherine said...

catholics for Obama feel all giddy and satisfied every time child murder occurs.....the are all satanic assholes.

Brian said...

No Catholics For Obama are not any of the things some of the more rude comments claim. Most of them are actually pro life and are sincere Christians.

They were just wrong in supporting Obama for president and I suspect before 2012 most of them will realize it.

How they got mesmerized by a slick talking Chicago political hack with only 4 years experience in the Senate will always be a mystery. But it won't be long before most will realize they put amateur hour in the White House and will regret their 2008 vote.