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Gaffes, Grunts And Genius

Right after the president's inaugural address, Kathleen Gilbert, of, interviewed me and here is how it was reported:

Judie Brown of the American Life League stressed that the outcome of the pro-life movement in America still depends solely on its own members.

"It's up to us in the pro-life movement to … do everything we possibly can to strengthen our resolve to defend the babies regardless of what Obama does or doesn't do," she told LSN.

Referring to Obama's statement that "stale political arguments no longer apply," Brown responded: "I hope that's true. For the last 35 years, pro-lifers have bent over backwards to make abortion a political issue, and in the process they have denied the reality of what abortion does to a child.

"So I would hope the 'stale political arguments' that some pro-lifers have been using would change, that they'd fall away like scales from the eyes of a blind man, that they see they have to focus on the reality of a baby, they have to focus on what abortion is, and they have to stop pandering to politicians," she said.

Yes indeed, she quoted me absolutely accurately, a rare thing in the media world these days. No sooner did her report come out than I happened upon one of the updated sections of the White House web site, and I would invite you to take a look, for what I found there flies in the face of the incessant whining various pro-life groups have been doing about the Freedom of Choice Act. It's not there, folks!

But what is there is precisely what we predicted, and I quote:

Preventing Unintended Pregnancy: President Obama was an original co-sponsor of legislation to expand access to contraception, health information, and preventive services to help reduce unintended pregnancies. Introduced in January 2007, the Prevention First Act will increase funding for family planning and comprehensive sex education that teaches both abstinence and safe sex methods. The Act will also end insurance discrimination against contraception, improve awareness about emergency contraception, and provide compassionate assistance to rape victims.

We have been warning the entire pro-life movement that this would be a priority, and now we see it in black and white on the official White House web site’s women’s issues page. If we might repeat ourselves, this bill is FOCA's evil twin. It has now been introduced and is getting up steam. Yet few speak of it; in fact, nobody in the pro-life movement’s leadership – other than American Life League and our Stop Planned Parenthood division – has found it worthy of notice. As STOPP told its readers today in the Wednesday STOPP Report,

We know, from living through the Clinton administration, that Planned Parenthood is going to have trouble motivating its base. As the pro-abortion community looks at Obama and the Congress, they are going to figure the battle is won, and they will go off fighting other issues. Already we have seen, since the election, two fundraising letters from Planned Parenthood imploring its supporters to continue to support the organization. The fact that PP had to lay off 20 percent of its headquarters staff recently, due to the economic situation, will be seen by many of its supporters as just "trimming the fat."

So, we invite our fellow pro-life leaders and their supporters to get with it and start doing all we can to stop this atrocious piece of legislation. If and when FOCA is ever introduced and starts to build steam, we are ready to take that on as well, but first things first!

Oh yes, and then there's the Obama adoration club's Catholic spokesperson, Douglas Kmiec, who wrote a column that smacks of disingenuousness  in a way I simply find intolerable. He is writing about the esteemed, recently deceased Father Richard John Neuhaus, and in his "tribute" he writes of the Declaration of Independence,

Even with Father Neuhaus now dispatching his essays from a heavenly editorial perch, the Declaration's more fulsome affirmation of life seems unlikely. For that reason, as I see it, we have no alternative but to be about the business of helping one woman at a time make a choice in favor of life. Many will recognize this as the Obama approach, but what may be overlooked (but should not be), is that it was also that of Father John. Father Neuhaus wrote that we must "take seriously the needs of women whose social or economic circumstances might tempt them to seek the abortion 'solution.'"

How can anyone who was truly enriched by knowing the wise and ever joyful Father Neuhaus honestly put in print the suggestion that the "Obama approach" would be that of Father Neuhaus? Kmiec should realize that words are cheap (and Obama has had a lot of those in last few days). Further, if anyone has read Father Neuhaus' amazing analysis of Kmiec,  they would ask the same question. Father Neuhaus wrote of Kmiec's support for Obama,

I do not know what has prompted Mr. Kmiec's current advocacy, and I take him at his word that he has convinced himself that his position is consonant with being a faithful Catholic.

The fact is, however, that, after all the tortured reasoning and misrepresentation of the positions of others, Doug Kmiec has put himself into the position of supporting for president a candidate whose track record and publicly stated views represent the extreme position of pro-abortion advocacy against the Church's repeatedly stated teaching, at the highest level of magisterial authority, respecting the moral and political imperative to protect innocent human lives.

Oh yes, and then there's the most inspiring commentary of the day, which comes courtesy of one of my favorite Catholic priests, Father Tom Euteneuer, president of Human Life International, who wrote,

[W]e can be civil in discourse and strive to show respect for the office which President Obama holds, but we cannot give ONE SINGLE INCH on any life issue or allow the civility of our discourse to be interpreted as compromise. HLI will continue to be a strong advocate of a comprehensive and coherent position on the life issues which encompass not only abortion but contraception and sex education as well. The culture of death is a package deal; so should our response be to it.

People often ascribe genius to those who are well educated, refined and aspiring to importance in one venue or another. But for my money, real genius resides in the hearts, and therefore the speaking and writing, of holy men like Fathers Neuhaus and Euteneuer.