President Obama has resorted to an incredibly infantile phrase—”wee-weed up”—to degrade his "health care reform" detractors. While the White House has now explained this remark as the president describing opponents of his health care debacle as agitated bed wetters, the truth is sobering—not silly. In fact, Obama’s opponents are perhaps a bit more honest than he would like; thus, the insults.
Having said that, the worrying fact is that there is still an enormous number of well-meaning people, including Catholics, who simply do not want to see the truth about what is and is not contained in the various proposals currently floating around Congress. One example recently came my way via a Facebook comment.
A very sincere Catholic wrote to me about American Life League’s opposition to the "health care reform" plan, even though our concerns stem from the fact that the proposals are based on imposed death as a cost-saving measure. The more I read and reread her earnest viewpoint on the matter, the more I am convinced that far too many Catholic Americans have never heard of the Church’s teachings. Either that, or they do not understand and accept them. Such confusion results from a type of Catholic ignorance which Americans like Obama count on, day in and day out.
I am so concerned about it that I want to share her comments, and then provide the reasons why she is fundamentally misguided.
Dear Ms. Brown,
I am also a Catholic. I do not believe in abortion and have marched many times in the annual March for Life. I have been ridiculed by onlookers but have always stood firm in my beliefs. Nevertheless, I believe President Obama is a good man. I believe if he says he is not in fact planning to fund abortions that his health care package will not fund them. I believe in everything he stands for except this one thing. I know it is a very BIG thing. But I believe in nothing the Republican Party stands for except this one thing. I stand with the Pro-Life Democrats (most of whom are Catholics) because I believe in uplifting the poor, the worker, the homeless and downtrodden. I believe in cleaning up and taking responsibility for our environment and endangered animals. I believe that life is sacred, Ms. Brown, even the lives of the millions already here who, maybe through no fault of their own, maybe through their own fault, need a hand up. I believe if we have a government that can help, that needs to happen if we are to follow the footsteps of Christ as a nation...
This should not be a political issue at all, and you, Ms. Brown, should do your work in that way, not involving yourself in politics.
If, in fact, abortions are funded, you can expose that once the legislation takes effect. I do not believe the president is a liar so I do not believe they will be funded. In any case, it will not cause more abortions to take place than would have taken place otherwise. And it will definitely not be tax dollars that pay for abortions since the dollars the program will run on will not be tax dollars. Anyone who wants to opt out can certainly do that and pay nothing. —B.E.
My correspondent does not understand that pro-life organizations and spokespeople who maintain their credibility are those who have not and will not align themselves with any political party. The reason for this is simple: Our “party,” if you will, consists of those who have no voice, either because they are not yet born or are in danger of becoming victims of euthanasia. They are people incapable of defending their right to life. These human beings do not wear a partisan label; they wear only a hope that we will defend them and be their voice.
B.E.’s belief in uplifting the poor, the worker, the homeless and downtrodden is not only a reflection of the Beatitudes, in which we all should believe, but a fundamental mandate for pro-life people, because our commitment to human dignity does not end at birth, nor does it end with imposed death. We are pro-life in every sense and stand with B.E.
When B.E. goes on to express her belief in being responsible for the earth and all that is a part of it, she reflects the stewardship that God has assigned to us. It is indeed our responsibility to respect and care for that which He has created and entrusted to us, His children. In fact, it is what Pope John Paul II described in Centesimus annus as the foundational characteristic of a just culture:
All human activity takes place within a culture and interacts with culture. For an adequate formation of a culture, the involvement of the whole man is required, whereby he exercises his creativity, intelligence, and knowledge of the world and of people. Furthermore, he displays his capacity for self-control, personal sacrifice, solidarity and readiness to promote the common good. (Section 51)
And it is here, at this critical juncture between the individual and his fellow man, that a serious rupture occurs between what is perceived by some as the U.S. president’s honorable goals and the reality of what he intends.
There can be no solidarity unless man accepts his moral obligation to defend the weakest in our midst. As anyone who follows American Life League’s mission knows, there are countless numbers of preborn children killed daily by human embryonic stem cell research, early abortion chemicals marketed as contraceptives, as well as surgical and medical abortion. Each of these individual persons is a member of our human family, and their fate is part of our responsibility if, indeed, we wish to live in a just society.
So, when President Obama claims, for example, that we who have found abortion in the "health care reform" proposals are “bearing false witness” against him, we decry his arrogance. Perhaps B.E. has not seen the fallacy of his public pronouncements, but all one needs to do, really, is examine the legislation, as we at American Life League did in our latest ALL Report, “Obamacare: Abortion’s Trojan Horse.” The viewer can read about abortion in at least one of the bills by viewing actual statements from the bill that are exhibited in this video.
Or review the statements of ABC News’ chief medical editor, Dr. Timothy Johnson, who, among others, says, “If you look at the language, it gets complicated. It’s not crystal clear whether or not that could happen with a so-called ‘public option,’ and even with private plans that might be subsidized by the government, maybe abortion would be allowed.”
So who is the one deceiving the public? Even though B.E. does not believe that the president is “a liar,” she needs to examine the factual evidence, not for the purpose of making a pejorative judgment about anyone, but to inform herself so that she understands what is being said versus what is being promoted.
If, as B.E. suggests, we remain silent now and ignore the evils contained in the various "health care reform" bills, it would not be spiritually healthy for any of us, nor would it be politically feasible to go back and fix the problem later! Pro-lifers have heard that argument regarding other pieces of legislation. We have learned from painful experience that, in politics, usually nothing is improved in order to agree with God’s word. Usually, revisions result in more evil. The sad history of the Hyde Amendment, which allegedly bars the use of tax dollars to pay for abortion, is a testimony to such failure.
No, the time to fix the deadly aspects of "health care reform" proposals is now. The time to see that justice is done for one and all is now, not later.
Finally, on a personal note and as one Catholic to another, B.E., let me say that, as Catholics, we know how to reach out to those in danger of dying because they do not have adequate health insurance or because their health care is nonexistent. We know because we learned it from—and some of us have witnessed it in—the work of Mother Teresa and countless others whose names are not readily known, all of whose work has left a legacy of love. It is called charity! It is the willingness of one community of faithful people to reach out and give of itself for the good of others.
The federal government has never understood charity, and it is not a source of Christ-like care. It is a bloated bureaucracy badly in need of cost-cutting measures, and that is the most fearful of truths when honestly assessing what “health care reform” is actually all about. The American Health Care Association says seniors would face billions of dollars in Medicare cuts.
That does not sound like good news to me! It is a warning and should be uppermost in B.E.’s thoughts and prayers as she continues, as each of us should, to be concerned for the most vulnerable in our midst.
God save us from silly phrases and deadly agendas.