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The Real War on Women
October 24, 2014

For the past several years the opponents of life have been hard at work convincing a gullible public that those who oppose child killing by abortion are actually waging a war on women!

These vipers working hard for the perpetuation of the culture of death say this convincingly. Over 40 years have passed since the United States Supreme Court decriminalized the killing of preborn children at any stage of their development as long as their mothers want to terminate their lives instead of nurturing these babies. And few consider the actual body count. Few contemplate the suffering and death of more than 60 million children, at least half of whom are baby girls.

But now this horrendous picture of America is going to change forever.

As president of American Life League, I am proud to tell you that a new 38-second video is the beginning of the overturning of death on demand for babies—and an end to the ongoing suffering of mothers who wrongly choose death for their child instead of life. When I first saw this video, I was moved to tears.

I cried at the sight of innumerable crosses covering rolling hills and plains. It made the cemeteries of Normandy and Arlington look miniscule. I wept at the thought that this representation of the truth about abortion did not require showing dead bodies, but merely acknowledged the truth about what abortion does to children. And I thought to myself, the fact is that IF it were not true that every single abortion results in the death of an innocent baby, I would not be watching fields of crosses roll by my eyes on the screen.

These beautiful, innocent babies were all condemned to death by their mothers. And more than half of these graves are occupied by female children. Now, I said aloud, that is the real war on women.

And that is the war that you and I fight in order to restore respect for human beings—each of them valuable and unrepeatable miracles of God.

I still shed tears of sorrow as I watch this video and I ask you to be honest. Can you watch it and remain unmoved? Or will you join us in ending the madness, the wickedness at the core of the real war on women?

The Real War on Women
October 24, 2014

The Big Scare in Obamacare
October 21, 2014

The more that is published these days, the more I think that the end game with Obamacare is to totally deny human dignity in favor of saving the maximum amount of money possible. It may sound like a crazy deduction until we start thinking about what is really happening right now in America.

Currently in Congress there is an effort among progressives to pass legislation that would change the way healthcare is delivered. The goal, according to one analysis, is to replace “standard care with palliative care (symptom treatment and hospice) for sick people, in lieu of costly life-saving treatments.”

Sounds like rationing to me.

The name of the group pushing these measures is the Patient Quality of Life Coalition. Sad to say, Catholic healthcare’s Supportive Care Coalition is part of the push, part of the coalition, and therefore part of the problem.

In case you are not up to snuff on these questions, let’s just say that when the Supportive Care Coalition’s homepage tells everybody that it is the “voice of advocacy for palliative care,” we can translate that into meaning that it is part of the effort to redefine pain management that moderates the pain for the ill and dying into terminal medication for cost-saving purposes. It’s euthanasia with a pretty face.

This is the lesson we learned when we began studying the organizations pushing palliative care and redefining what the term means. This new way of looking at healthcare for the aged, disabled, and dying has been defined as the “third path,” but I prefer to simplify it. Using medication designed to relieve suffering in such a way that it relieves a person of his life is murder! 

You can’t get any simpler than that.

So what has happened to respect for the dignity of the human person? 

Let’s look at what that dignity means. My dear friend, Bernard Nathanson, M.D., (1926-2011) described it this way when talking with Father Frank Pavone during an interview:

Well, dignity is something which I spent a great deal of time on since I wrote my dissertation in bioethics on it. But, basically it’s very simple and it’s not a complex issue at all. Dignity resides in what is called “Imago Dei.” I mean, I’ve explored all the other sources of dignity and in general people confuse the appearance of dignity with dignity itself. Dignity is intrinsic within the human being. It is given to us by God. It is untouchable. You cannot have your dignity taken away or enhanced or reduced. The appearance of dignity . . . yes, or respect for dignity . . . yes, those things are changeable, but the dignity itself is not.

The Bible confirms this teaching (imago dei) that man is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Therefore, an attack on an innocent human being with the intention of ending that person’s life—no matter how young, no matter how old—is a direct attack on God Himself. God gives that dignity and we are called to respect that gift in ourselves and in every single person we encounter.

The result of not doing so is barbarism.

It is clear to me that the worst-case scenario, first defined by Sarah Palin, on the coming age of healthcare rationing under Obamacare has come to pass. The pieces are in place, the anti-human dignity philosophy underpins the very mechanism of the program/law, and as Kris Held, M.D. says in a very well-researched article, “The age of Obamacare-Legislated-Death (O.L.D.) is upon us. O.L.D. – yes, bad things come in threes.”

The Great Sadness of the Brittany Maynard Story
October 17, 2014

Oregon’s Brittany Maynard has a very touching, yet tragic, tale to tell about her terminal brain cancer and her plans to take her own life—something she will do next month in her own bed as she is surrounded by her immediate family. 

She wants to “pass in peace,” as she says in a video in which she discusses her cancer. She will do this on November 1 with her husband, mother, and stepfather by her side.

Yet there is something heartbreakingly askew in this story. Quite possibly it is the audacious manner in which her story came to prominence. The confluence of media efforts with the work of the nation’s number one advocacy group for “death with dignity” and assisted suicide, Compassion & Choices, truly smacks of something wicked. 

Those groups and media that have chosen to use Brittany’s story to promote the agenda of euthanasia advocates are creating a flawed façade as they set about deceiving the public regarding the ethics—or lack thereof—inherent in exploiting the story of anyone who has decided to commit suicide, no matter what the reason. As we know, the act of suicide is a grievous offense against God. In addition, according to Church doctrine, “If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.” This is exactly what these groups do.

Wesley Smith addresses the media frenzy, telling us powerfully, “Media know they are being played. But, if it bleeds, it leads! By breathlessly pushing the Maynard story, the media are pushing suicide.”

Americans who become aware of Brittany’s case because of these efforts are going to be led down a false path that depicts suicide as a good thing and suffering as useless. You would be hard-pressed to find a single mention about why one needs to give true Christlike compassion to the dying and why nobody is ever really in charge of one’s own life.

Bioethicist Arthur Caplan pointed out that, because Brittany is a young, vivacious, 29-year-old woman who is being portrayed as a heroine, 

a whole new generation is now looking at Brittany and wondering why their state does not permit physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to the dying. Brittany is having and will have a big impact on the movement to get measures before voters or legislators.

She may not be bringing any new arguments into the controversy, but she is bringing a whole new crowd of concerned younger people into the discussion. Those who have followed the elimination of laws against homosexuality and homosexual marriage know what that means. Brittany is going to leave behind a very big legacy.

Further proof of the power of the Maynard message is this statement from an NBC News article: “She knows her story has fueled a global dialogue about her choice and about the issue. She knows some people do not support her selected path. She is using her precious, remaining days to keep that conversation alive.”

And that’s the point, isn’t it? This beautiful woman has chosen to die on November 1. She will take her own life with pills she legally acquired in her home state of Oregon. Others will have facilitated her death and even pressed for it by various methods and self-interests. She argues that she is in complete control of the situation and walks her chosen path with assistance—but many of those who are helping are also capitalizing on her tragic story. Apparently nobody is interested in guiding Brittany away from her tragic path.

After all the fanfare is over and the manipulation of Maynard’s situation in order to advance the culture of death has waned, what will be left? 

How tragic this story is; how needlessly sad it is. 

Please pray that, in these final days, Maynard finds Christ, reaches out for His caring hand, and learns that true compassion leads to sharing another’s pain rather than providing the means to take the life of one who is suffering.

 

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What Is the Synod Saying?
October 14, 2014

 

There is a synod going on in Rome right now. It is defined by the Vatican as an extraordinary synod and was convened by Pope Francis himself to discuss matters pertinent to the family. 

The synod will last two weeks and has already completed its first week. The document released yesterday is an interim report on the first week of the meetings. It is not a teaching document, but rather an outline to be used by the synod discussion groups moving forward. 

The official report will be issued after the synod, and we must understand that even this will just be a set of recommendations. Nothing in doctrine or otherwise will change as a result, even though some of the recommendations may sound like that is the case. It is advisory. Period.

Some in the media and in the Church have created a few misconceptions about what the bishops have actually said. This is why we must examine their own words. The first question deals with divorced and remarried Catholics. The interim report states: 

Jesus Himself, referring to the primordial plan for the human couple, reaffirms the indissoluble union between man and woman, while understanding that “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning” (Mt 19:8). In this way, He shows how divine condescension always accompanies the path of humanity, directing it towards its new beginning, not without passing through the cross.

Further, the report says: 

Realizing the need, therefore, for spiritual discernment with regard to cohabitation, civil marriages, and divorced and remarried persons, it is the task of the Church to recognize those seeds of the Word that have spread beyond its visible and sacramental boundaries. Following the expansive gaze of Christ, whose light illuminates every man (cf. Jn 1,9; cf. Gaudium et Spes, 22), the Church turns respectfully to those who participate in her life in an incomplete and imperfect way, appreciating the positive values they contain rather than their limitations and shortcomings.

In the same way the situation of the divorced who have remarried demands a careful discernment and an accompaniment full of respect, avoiding any language or behavior that might make them feel discriminated against. For the Christian community looking after them is not a weakening of its faith and its testimony to the indissolubility of marriage, but rather it expresses precisely its charity in its caring.

In other words, it is clear that the synod does not approve of the remarriage of Catholics, which is of course a doctrine of the Church, but rather it expresses the need for us as individuals to always and in every case treat human persons with charity, even if their lives are broken and shattered by a previous divorce.

The document, however, does NOT say that such individuals are welcome to receive the body of Christ in the Eucharist.

On the subject of homosexuality, the document is again quite clear in what the synod does and does not support. Under the headline “Welcoming homosexual persons” the document states:

Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: Are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?

The question of homosexuality leads to a serious reflection on how to elaborate realistic paths of affective growth and human and evangelical maturity integrating the sexual dimension: It appears therefore as an important educative challenge. The Church furthermore affirms that unions between people of the same sex cannot be considered on the same footing as matrimony between man and woman. Nor is it acceptable that pressure be brought to bear on pastors or that international bodies make financial aid dependent on the introduction of regulations inspired by gender ideology.

Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners. Furthermore, the Church pays special attention to the children who live with couples of the same sex, emphasizing that the needs and rights of the little ones must always be given priority.

The document reiterates two fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church which are biblical in nature. The first is that we always and in every case love the sinner but hate the sin. This doctrinal teaching of the Church is not changing. And those who have treated homosexual persons in vile and uncharitable ways are called to rethink the negativity in favor of imitating Christ.

The second teaching of the Church that this interim report repeats is that the “union” of homosexual couples is not in accord with Catholic teaching. However, the document makes clear, once again, that even in such cases, charitable and thoughtful treatment of the human persons involved must be rendered to them. After all, we must treat others as Christ would have treated them. This is our duty as faithful Catholics.

As the synod moves forward into the second week, let us pray for the bishops and the Holy Father. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to open their eyes so that they may teach with love and doctrinal authenticity.

 

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