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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Really? Really?!?

You know, I couldn't make this stuff up.
I really couldn't.

It's like the start of a joke:

So, two ethicists walk into a bar publish an article claiming that newborns can be ethically killed because newborns are non-persons. "No different than an abortion," say our cute little experts.

And now the two pansies ethicists are upset because... wait for it... they perceive themselves as having received "death threats" from the commenters at TheBlaze.com

Can't have death threats against intellectuals.
It chills free speech, don'cha'know.

Of course, that begs the question: are all ethicists human?
Do they have any rights?

Someone should look into that.
We wouldn't want to make any mistakes on such an important topic, now would we?

Monday, February 20, 2012

One of These Things...

One of these things is just like the other:

If you like female genital mutilation, raise your hands.

Anyone?
Bueller?
Anyone?

For some odd reason, some women are very much against the idea of having their clitoris and labia snipped off with a butcher's scissors without benefit of anasthesia at the age of five or ten, by their own mothers, no less.

But, these same women defend the use of a known carcinogen, the hormonal contraceptive. Keep in mind that hormonal contraceptives are Class I carcinogens, right up there with cigarette smoke and plutonium.

Now, here's a question for the class:
What's the difference between using a scissors to snip off external genitalia
and
using artificial carcinogenic hormones to wither up the womb?
Yeah, I don't know either.

But, when feminists protest the first one, they are showing their compassion.
When Catholic bishops protest the second one, they are showing their misogynistic patriarchism.

Islam is fine with pedophilia, but kills homosexuals.
America is fine with homosexuals, but seems to get outraged (at least for the moment) about pedophilia.

Muslims snip clitorises and labia.
Americans snip fallopian tubes and vasa deferentia.

Muslims treat women like animals by making them literal clothes-horses with the abaya.
Americans treat women like animals by having them strip naked for our movies.

Muslims blow themselves up in crowded bazaars.
Americans go on shooting sprees in crowded schools.

Muslims kill their children for reasons of honor.
Americans kill their children for reasons of convenience.

What can we conclude from this?
Muslims are really, really screwed up.
Feminists are really, really screwed up.
Americans are really, really screwed up.



Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bring Out Your Dead



Santorum is dead on accurate about this.


There are literally thousands of prenatal and congenital diseases that are tested for.
Only a handful actually have any treatments.


So, if we can't treat these diseases, why are we doing prenatal testing?


Well, as the Wikipedia article on prenatal testing points out: "The option to continue or abort a pregnancy is the primary choice after most prenatal testing. Rarely, fetal intervention corrective procedures are possible."


Which is exactly what Santorum said.


So, the question is this: is most prenatal testing really just a cover for doing eugenics?


The answer, of course, is "yes".


Now, that raises a separate set of questions:
For one, if we are doing eugenics on the young, then what happens when, as Mark Steyn points out
"Timmy Geithner referred only to "demographic challenges" – an oblique allusion to the fact that the U.S. economy is about to be terminally clobbered by $100 trillion of entitlement obligations it can never meet. And, as Chart 5-1 on page 58 of the official Obama budget "Analytical Perspectives" makes plain, your feckless, decadent rulers have no plans to do anything about it."
That is, how far off can eugenics on the Baby Boomers be?


Which itself raises another question:
If we are upset about insurance companies doing chromosomal analysis on us and charging premiums based on those analyses, why do we let people do chromosomal analysis on our children and choose to allow them to live or die based on those analyses?


Are we not hypocrites, when we do to our own children what we would never allow government to do to us? 


And, how long can we expect government - which is composed by us - to refrain from doing to us what we already do to ourselves?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

More Fool I


Alright, this is just absurd.

On the one hand, the USCCB is attacking Obama for forcing them (the bishops) to pay for contraception.

On the other hand, the USCCB is pushing forward the idea that taxpayers should pay to extend unemployment insurance (again).

And that's just the beginning of the rich irony.

You see, almost NONE of the parishes in the United States pay unemployment insurance. They get dispensed from the mandate to do so because they are religious organizations.

So, if you are employed by a Catholic parish and you get laid off, so long, sucker.

You can't collect unemployment because your bishop hasn't paid into unemployment for you.
And, you'll be lucky to wring a month or two (8 weeks) of severance pay out of them, never mind 99 weeks.

When the bishops started complaining about the HHS mandate, I thought they were, perhaps, finally waking up to economic and moral realities.

More fool I.

At the risk of being absolutely gauche, might I point out that if the bishops REALLY wanted unemployment benefits applied, they might try paying into the system themselves?

I mean, isn't it remarkable that a system they are recommending so strenuously to others is something they themselves deliberately refrain from participating in? It's almost as if they really don't care about social justice, isn't it? And if they did pay into the unemployment system themselves, and thereby paid for something which is most assuredly in line with Catholic teaching (preferential option for the poor, don'cha' know), then wouldn't it give them a lot more social capital (pardon the pun) on other issues... like.... oh, I don't know... can anyone think of an issue that's in the news in which the bishops might require some social capital? It might even involve paying for something that is NOT in line with Catholic teaching? Can anyone think of such an issue? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Bueller?

Better yet, how about the bishops stop volunteering other people's money and double down on being Catholic? That is, how about they use the coffers of the parishes and the dioceses to care for the poor? Again, it may be tactless to point this out, but that's what the Church did for over a thousand years before Bismarck created the welfare state, in what has turned out to be his successful effort to compete with the Catholic Church.

The Church used to boast of saintly bishops who gave up every vestige of personal wealth and offered all of the money to the poor as an example to others. When was the last time that happened?

I want to have rich, opulent churches to worship in - God is Beauty, after all.
But I kind of wonder about million-dollar mansions for the bishops.

There are roughly 300,000 individual Protestant congregations in the United States.
There are 195 Catholic dioceses and roughly 19000 parishes.
There were roughly 45,000,000 poor people in the United States in 2010.

If each Christian congregation adopted 140 people (at four people per family, that's roughly 35 families) and cared for just those 35 families, that would end poverty in America.

The Amish help each other.
The USCCB goes rent-seeking.
Any questions?


Update:
Oh, and for those who are wondering, Sister Keehan, the pro-ObamaCare head of the Catholic Health Association, makes  $962,467 a year.

Isn't it comforting to see that our Catholic religious follow the examples set by the bishops?


UPDATE:
Welcome Gloria TV readers!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Let Them Eat Carcinogens

Barack Obama has apparently opened a full scale war against the Catholic Church. He fomented quite a bit of division in May 2009 with the controversy over accepting Notre Dame's honorary law degree.
But, as anyone following the news knows by now, he has definitely upped the stakes.

Barack Obama now wants all women in the nation to receive contraception and abortion free of charge through their employee insurance. To that end, he is attempting to compel the Catholic Church and any organization that thinks like her to pay for these things.

I have no new thoughts on how heinous this is, but I will attempt to summarize some of the problems involved.

Ancient History
The Catholic Church has always been opposed to both contraception and abortion. Indeed, this is one of the teachings which differentiated the Church from the surrounding pagan culture. Even Reformation Christians agreed with the Catholic stance. Indeed, until 1930, it is impossible to find any Christian leader - Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant - who supported either contraception or abortion.

However, due to the rise of eugenics theory in the late 19th century, contraception and abortion was seen by secular authorities as a necessary tool in keeping the "unfit" from breeding. Between 1930 and 1960, most Christian churches eventually came to accept the use of contraception. The Catholic Church never did.

The Pill
The invention of the hormonal contraceptive was thought to be a ground-breaking technology that might allow a change in the teaching. However, in the closely-reasoned encyclical Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI demonstrated why hormonal contraceptives would do more harm than good. As even Business Insider today admits, the Pope was correct.

The four results Pope Paul VI prophesied have come to pass:
  1. General lowering of moral standards
  2. A rise in infidelity, and illegitimacy
  3. The reduction of women to objects used to satisfy men. 
  4. Government coercion in reproductive matters. 
Changing Definitions
Now, ever since the human egg was discovered in 1826, pregnancy has been defined as beginning at conception. However, with the advent of in vitro fertilization in 1978,that definition was no longer convenient. If conception happens in a Petri dish, in what sense is the woman pregnant?

So, many IVF and OB/GYN specialists (though not embryologists, interestingly enough) have been trying to change the definition of pregnancy to begin at "implantation." Unfortunately, at least six days generally passes between fertilization and implantation - by the time implantation occurs, a human embryo exists.

Every hormonal contraceptive acts in a number of ways. One way is to prevent ovulation. This doesn't always work. Another is to thin the lining of the uterus so that a developing embryo cannot implant.

Thus, when the hormonal contraceptive makes the lining of the uterus inhospitable to that human embryo, the embryo aborts, the woman miscarries. Like IUDs, hormonal contraceptives cause abortion.

Worse, the hormonal contraceptive has been judged a Class I Carcinogen by the World Health Organization.

Life Issues
The Catholic Church sees the immense loss of human life via contraception and abortion as a modern-day Holocaust. You can no more demand the Church pay for these death-dealing services than you can demand that Jews pay for the suite of services provided at Auschwitz. It is not just a matter of religious liberty, it's a matter of life and death. 

Catholics will not pay for a woman to be shot full of Class I carcinogens that will harm her and kill her child. Again, it's like compelling non-smokers to pay for their employee's cigarettes.


Just as bad, it treats correctly functioning human fertility as a disease. 

Obama's latest attempt to foist this off on the insurance company rather than directly onto the employer is wrong.

While reports indicate that Catholic institutions will not have to directly pay for this coverage, most Catholic institutions get their insurance through a Catholic insurance provider. If the "adjusted"  mandate were enforced, the Catholic insurance provider would still be just as thoroughly violated as the original Catholic employer.

Now, Catholic hospitals make up 25% of the hospitals in the nation and treat roughly one-sixth of the population. None of these hospitals will fully implement ObamaCare because many tenets of ObamaCare are antithetical to Catholic principles. 


Interestingly, Catholic organizations are unusual in not offering contraceptives in their health insurance plans, so this mandate is meant to strike directly at Catholics. Likewise, it is meant to humiliate them, since the zero co-pay is also unique among "medications" - no other medication is guaranteed a zero co-pay.


Catholic hospitals also provide more free health care to the poor than any other set of institutions in the nation. Obama's insistence on submitting to his commands or paying millions of dollars in fines is an excellent way to destroy Catholic health care and strip the poor of the last health care providers in their neighborhoods. 

Legal Issues
But even if the Catholic Church were gung-ho to provide give women these carcinogens, they couldn't.
It's against the law.

You see, as National Review points out, the Hyde Amendment - which Obama just re-authorized December 11 - says that government funds cannot be used to provide abortion.  So, the HHS requirement violates the very Hyde Amendment which Obama just authorized.

And even if it didn't violate the Hyde Amendment, we have to ask a Constitutional question. 
Where did Barack Hussein Obama get the power to mandate what products a private company will or will not offer?

Obama has unilaterally taken over banks and auto companies, he's unilaterally favored at least a dozen failed "green energy" companies, to the tune of billions, and now he seems intent on taking over the medical and insurance industries.

In the last century, only Mussolini has attempted so much. 

...just because the government gives you money doesn't mean it can force you to give up a constitutional right. If it did, the government could forbid students getting Pell grants from criticizing the president. It could outlaw gun ownership by anyone working for a company that gets federal contracts...
 The government already spends tax revenue to provide contraceptives to Medicaid recipients -- and the Catholic Church does not ask for an exemption.
A more accurate analogy is how we treat religious pacifists in wartime. Defending the nation is important, but when we had a draft, Quakers and Mennonites were allowed to avoid military service as conscientious objectors. The rights of conscience prevailed. 
I suspect many people support the mandate because they strongly disagree with the Church's opposition to birth control -  or just despise the Church, period.  But the First Amendment isn't there just to protect beliefs and practices we all like. It's there to protect even things we hate 
There is nothing in Barack Obama's HHS mandate except a naked grab for extra-constitutional power and a naked attempt to destroy whatever may remain of the Catholic influence in this nation. If he succeeds, he will have unilaterally overturned the Bill of Rights. Think on that. 




Errata:
Doug Kmiec, Obama's own Catholic Ambassador to Malta, jumped out of Obama's ship.

The Orthodox bishops of the United States agree with the USCCB take on this.


Protestants and Jews have already declared their support for the USCCB against Barack.

Even Cardinal Mahoney and Father Jenkins, president of Notre Dame and the man responsible for Barack's ONLY honorary degree, agree with the USCCB that this HHS mandate is unconscionable:

“It would compel Notre Dame to either pay for contraception and sterilization in violation of the Church’s moral teaching, or to discontinue our employee and student health care plans in violation of the church’s social teaching,” Fr. John I. Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame said in a letter to HHS according to the Catholic News Agency.

Democrat Lawmaker agrees with the USCCB. 

Here's the USCCB's original responseOver 80% of US bishops have already spoken out publicly.

And the USCCB response to Obama's revision.

Sister Carol Keehan and Planned Parenthood support the revision.


Barack is interested in saving insurance companies' money.