March 2004 Archives

Choosing is not a valid choice


South Carolina Choose Life Plate Declared Unconstitutional

A three judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says the plates violate the First Amendment because they give a forum for pro-life advocates to present their views, but not abortion supporters.

"One injury the plaintiffs allege is the discriminatory treatment they suffer from the State's use of the license plate forum to promote one political viewpoint (pro-life) in the debate about abortion. The plaintiffs are correct," the court said.

This is quite simply a big fat hunk of crap. The only injury the plaintiffs are suffering from is severe moral dysfunction. If they elect liberal legislators, then they could get "Choose Death" or "Get an Abortion" license plates or whatever euphemism they want to use. But since this is South Carolina, they can't, so they complain instead.

I don't think "Choose Life" license plates are the biggest pro-life fight right now. It's a relatively minor issue in itself, but I think it serves a great purpose in showing the lengths abortion advocates will go to put the hammer on the pro-life movement. The only motive fueling the opposition to "Choose Life" plates is spite.

Abortion is mega-funded in this country. How often do you hear about an abortion center closing for lack of money? It happens, but it's pretty rare. It's a multi-billion dollar industry with plenty to go around for anybody who wants to join.

Crisis pregnancy centers, on the other hand, without exception operate on shoestring budgets. They beg and plead for the smallest donations. $5 here, $20 there - an occasional windfall, but nothing like the millions of dollars heaped upon Planned Parenthood, NOW, and Catholics for a Free Choice by Ted Turner, Hugh Hefner and the like...

[You'd think more women would think about the fact that the man most widely recognized as promoting women solely as objects of pleasure absolutely loves abortion.]

...these donors include some state governments that fund some abortions. Now here comes an initiative to provide a little funding to these Crisis Pregnancy Centers, and the abortion industry goes nuts.

Where on earth is it in the Constitution that all sides of a political issue have to be given equal forums? How can an honest person believe this is the real issue? If that were so, shouldn't Congress pass an 12-figure bill to fund groups that want the U.S. to pull out of Iraq? And shouldn't we be spending 8 or 9 figures on a Department of Homeland Insecurity, to make sure that an equal forum is provided to all those who believe that innocent Americans should die by the thousands?

What abortion promoters are upset about is the fact that the people of South Carolina and many other states have all decided to promote the idea of giving birth over the idea of abortion. This is unpalatable to those who must have abortion at all costs. They are enraged by the fact that money is going to help mothers have babies instead of destroy them. They would rather have money go to fund their frivolous lawsuits than to give a struggling CPC money to buy a little technology so an uncertain mother can know just what exactly this fetus is that she's considering aborting.

Like I said, this is not the biggest issue on the pro-life slate, but in many ways it is the most telling. "Choose Life" license plates provide money to people who do a lot of real good, "Choose Life" programs have no negative consequences.

Abortion advocates hate them anyway. Doesn't that tell you something?

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How to Complicate Your Life


The Authoritative Guide
Chapter 1
Business Trips

When spending your first night in a new town with a 6:30 AM wake-up call, it is best to loaf around your room for several hours before deciding at 10 PM that maybe you should eat dinner. Proceed directly to your car, without a map (this works best if you have yet to explore your surroundings), and take off in the opposite direction from which you came to the hotel, thus ensuring that your route back will be as unfamiliar as possible.

The fun really starts if you're lucky enough to be staying about a half-mile from an unavoidable on-ramp to a highway with which you are not acquainted. Don't panic, just merge.

Whatever you do, don't take the first exit. Stay with it and just let things flow.

Above all, pay no attention to which direction you're headed on the highway. North vs. South, East vs. West, ignore it! There's nothing like that all-or nothing decision on the way home.

When you do finally find an open restaurant (nothing like using that Corporate American Express at Denny's), have lots of coffee. Sure, you'll be in bed before it kicks in, but don't dwell on matters which will only simplify things.

On the way home, when you finally break down and decide to buy a map, wait until every hood in the neighborhood is there to buy their Newports - thugs have an extraordinary reputation for being especially kind to obvious out-of-towners.

At midnight, when you get back to your hotel and discover that your eyelids won't close, and at 2 AM, when you're still tossing and turning and watching re-runs of Cheers, you'll know you've made the most of your interstate excursion.

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Catholic Charities and the California Courts


Most of you probably have heard about this already, if not, check it out:

California Court Rules Catholic Group's Insurance Must Cover Birth Control

The California Supreme Court has ruled that a Catholic group must provide coverage for birth control in its health insurance plan, regardless of the fact that contraception is contrary to teachings of the Catholic Church. The decision sets the stage for possibly forcing Catholic and other Christian groups to pay for other immoral activities such as abortion or assisted suicides, if legalized.

The basis of this ruling is that Catholic Charities:

  1. is not itself a "church" - just a related organization
  2. offers secular services
  3. serves a predominantly non-Catholic population

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Catholic Charities is affiliated with every diocese in which it operates. It is not - or at least ought not be - just another "social service organization." It is fundamentally different from the Boys and Girls Club, the United Way and other secular organizations in that it's mission is - or at least ought to be - identical to that of the Church: to proclaim Christ. The Church proper does this through distribution of the Sacraments and the handing down of the Faith; Catholic Charities does this by heeding Christ's command to care for the poor by carrying out the corporal works of mercy.

Constitutional lesson-time:
This is exactly the kind of thing that separation of Church and state is supposed to prevent. By a 6-1 decision, the Supreme Court of California has decided to stick it's nose into the business of the Church and tell Her how to carry out Her mission.

Christ commanded us to lead no person astray, and informed us that anybody who does so is in deep eternal doo-doo. These six judges have just told Catholic Charities that they cannot obey this command. This is plainly, without doubt, a direct contradiction of the First Amendment.

The implications of this violation of the Church's Constitutional rights are staggering. What about Catholic schools? They are not "Churches" per se, they offer the secular service of education (secular in the eyes of the court, that is) and a great many Catholic schools serve a predominantly non-Catholic population. All it would take is some bird-brained judge to apply this as precedent and here come condoms, liberal sex ed and abortion referrals into our Catholic schools (I know, I know, they're there already, but that's a totally different issue).

What about Catholic hospitals? They've already lost a lot of their rights to actually be Catholic, and now this ruling subordinates the Christian mission - which is (or ought to be) at the core of a hospital's healing ministry - to the secular service of medicine. Again, all it takes is a simple application of this ruling and Catholic hospitals lose all right to refrain from any service that the courts deem to be a "right."

The last result is that from here it's about a half step to forcing the Catholic Church to pay for abortions.

Well, I'm a Catholic, and as such, I have to believe that there is a ray of hope in all dark situations. Fortunately, it's not that hard in this case to find that hope. It goes without saying that Catholic Charities ought to be Catholic - but the court doesn't see it that way. The opportunity for grace here is that the Church's various institutions need to look at themselves and assess the degree to which their mission identifies with that of the Church. I'm not just talking here about Catholic Colleges teaching liberalism, relativism and femi-Nazi-ism, it goes without saying that that is a contradiction. I'm referring here to organizations that have a good heart but no sense of mission.

My favorite definition of a "fanatic" comes from Fr. William McNamara. I think he lifted it from someone else, but I don't know whom. Anyway, he defines a "fanatic" as somebody who, having lost sight of the end, multiplies the means. How many of our Catholic charities, schools and hospitals are fanatic? The fundamental mission of each of those entities is to proclaim Christ in some way or other - that is their end. Yet many of those institutions, having lost sight of this end, multiply their means. Think of the Catholic high school where 1/4 of the kids do drugs, health class consists of teaching "safe-sex" and not one kid knows the name of their bishop. The proper end here is to evangelize these youth and hopefully bring them closer to Christ. Instead, the school focuses on college prep, bake sales for Greenpeace, and recruiting the hottest eighth grade point guard to take the Catholic League hoops title next year.

Think of the Catholic hospital that employs abortion doctors, so long as they don't perform abortions at the hospital.

Let's face it: we're talking about California. Can we seriously doubt that many of the programs run by Catholic Charities out there don't exactly spring from the mission of the Church, and that many others are directly against it? Let's not lose sight of the fact that Catholic Charities has employees demanding contraception. Something had gone wrong before this decision.

The opportunity for grace in this situation is that Catholic Charities will have to assess its mission and prioritize accordingly. It is an opportunity for Catholic Charities to be emboldened with a true sense of apostolate. This ruling by six black-robed left-wing-wraiths is a challenge to all Catholic institutions to make sure that their work is essentially religious, essentially Christian, essentially Catholic.

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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