By Fr. George Welzbacher
February 27, 2011
Opposition to the horrors of abortion-on-demand is edging its way towards the majority view. According to a recent reputable national poll, voiced opposition stands at 51 per cent. And thanks to the recent elections several state legislatures are now controlled by pro-Life majorities, Minnesota's House and Senate among them, a victory tempered to be sure by the fact that here in the North Star state our newly elected Governor has long been the champion of a woman's "right" to have her unborn child destroyed. The same is true of his newly appointed chief of staff, Tina Smith, a former Planned Parenthood executive. All of which suggests that vetoes of impending pro-Life legislation are hovering in the wings. Nevertheless the pro-Life ascendancy in the legislative branch provides grounds for considerable hope.
On the national level Newsweek Commentator George Will (in the issue of February 21st) presented for his readers' meditation two events that have imparted a timely impetus to the pro-Life cause. May I share his essay with you here.
* * * * *A Tale of Two Bad Laws
By George F. Will
From: Newsweek February 21, 2011
The subject of abortion roiled Washington last week, as it has frequently done during the 38 years since the Supreme Court, by nationalizing the issue [instead of leaving the matter to the individual states], made it the cause of a deep fissure in American politics. Last week's interest in abortion could have been [more intensively divisive] but was not, because of the simultaneously heartening and (one hopes) unsettling report about stunning success in treating SEVERE forms of spina bifida IN UTERO [within the womb]. If babies can be surgery patients 19 weeks after conception, are they not babies rather than mere "fetal material" whose "termination" is a matter of moral indifference?
And last week's interest in abortion could have been [more divisive], but was not, because of recent stomach-turning (one hopes) reports about the routine butchery of babies at a Philadelphia abortion mill. There, according to the district attorney's office, late term abortions OFTEN produced living, viable babies who were killed by "snipping"--using scissors to cut their spinal cords.
Instead, last week's congressional interest in abortion was part of the aftershocks from last year's enactment of the health-care law.... "Every major pro-Life group in the country agrees" that THE HEALTH-CARE LAW [OBAMA CARE] ALLOWS TAXPAYER-FUNDING OF ABORTION. [Thus the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops], which strongly favors reforms to BROADEN access to health care, nevertheless OPPOSED the final bill because it thinks the law PERMITS taxpayer-funding of elective abortions, in CONTRAVENTION of federal policy since 1976. That organization's analysis (which can be read at USCCB.org/healthcare) stresses, among other things, the role of federal funds in subsidizing the purchase of health-care plans that contain "multiple provisions that DO IN FACT AUTHORIZE (i.e., create legal authority for) federal funding of elective abortion" can be read at nrlc.org/AHC/DvSBA.
The arguments of the pro-Life groups are convincing .... The law was cobbled together in haste. Many provisions are unclear because they were written to mollify one faction without angering another. Opacity was indubitably NECESSARY for the dubious project of producing a congressional majority FOR legislation OPPOSED by a large majority of Americans ... legislation that MUST be ambiguous and misleading, even to supporters, in order to be passed should not BE passed....
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The Church's battle against Satan's legions is waged on many fronts. The pro-Life front is one. Another is the conflict with an atheistic government's aggressive attempts to stifle man's spiritual aspirations. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union secular political power at war with man's higher nature is most comprehensively embodied in Communist China. Yet in today's Red China, no doubt to the surprise of many, Catholicism and the Evangelical form of the Protestant faith are doing remarkably well, despite the government's implacable hostility. An editorial from the Washington Times offers some encouraging detail.* * * * *
Crucifying China's Christians* * * * *
The Washington Times
February 14, 2011
Christianity is GROWING FAST in mainland China; the faithful number as many as HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS. Christians, however, are a PERSECUTED minority in a country where worship is limited to the state-sanctioned deity Mao Zedong.
Last week, The Washington Times hosted a delegation of Chinese Christian human-rights lawyers who were in Washington to attend the National Prayer Breakfast. They explained that Christianity is spreading in the Middle Kingdom [a traditional name for China], particularly among the intellectual class. Many educated Chinese who have spent their lives under communist rule are beginning to wonder whether there might be more meaning to life than that found in the materialistic social program of the Communist Party.
This increasing spiritual awareness has brought down an official response. In December, Beijing's Committee on the Management of Social Safety issued a secret order initiating "Operation Deterrence," a three-month campaign against the "dangerous cult" of Christianity. Despite Christian efforts to practice their faith quietly and in peace, the communists will allow no competition for souls. The communist version of separation of church and state is to eliminate the church.
Prominent Christians are followed by secret police 24 hours a day. Some senior members of the delegation heading to the National Prayer Breakfast never arrived; they were intercepted at the airport in China and detained for reasons of "national security." In December, a government crackdown on Christian and other reform leaders coincided with the Nobel Peace Prize award for dissident Liu Xiaobo. Over 100 people in China were put under house arrest, and some "disappeared"--kidnapped and taken to a remote location, then later released.
Beijing wants to limit the exposure of a religion based on charity, self-sacrifice and love of neighbor. Christians were barred from participating in relief efforts after the April 2010 earthquake in northwest China because the government feared they would set too good an example and attract converts. Some lawyers who defend those oppressed by the state lose their licenses and livelihoods. They are relatively lucky; many others are subject to more harsh reprisal such as long-term imprisonment and torture. Christians are active in the opposition movement in the People's Republic. HALF the signatories of the "Charter 08" reform manifesto are believers. "There is a good dynamic," Zhang Dajun explained. "Christians care about justice and it has an impact on the drive for civil society."
Bob Fu, president of China Aid, wishes President Obama would take a stronger stand on human rights in China and "send a signal to the Chinese government that his actions match his words." Mr. Fu thinks it's bad politics and bad business to ignore the Communist Party's dismal human-rights record. "A country that brutally persecutes and degrades its own citizens cannot be counted as an equal partner for doing business," he explained. "How [can China] be counted on to honor international norms and agreements when it denies these basic rights?" The George W. Bush administration at least gave perfunctory attention to these issues, but "for the past two years there has been a deadly silence."
Late last year, religious and democratic leader Fan Yafeng was kidnapped and tortured by the communists. Appeals for help to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing were IGNORED. "We received NO help from them, nothing," Mr. Fu said. Washington's lack of assistance for this dissident "sent a strong signal to the Chinese government to go ahead, almost like a "we don't care' message." "We don't see consistency, we don't see a forceful message," Zhang Dajun added. "That's the reality. The United States should stand up for its values."
Mr. Obama tries to "play the Chinese game" but "he cannot win. He shows too much deference, too much weakness. He just can't cope." Evangelist and physician Zheng Legou said America should reach out directly to civil-society groups. This would "inspire the civil and freedom fighters," he advised. "WHEN YOU HAVE A BACKBONE, YOU GET RESPECT.
Meanwhile the Obama administration seems to be relentlessly pushing forward its pro-abortion agenda. The following brief report appeared in the Wall Street Journal, February 19th, 2011.* * * * *
HEALTHCARE* * * * *
Wall Street Journal
White House Reverses Bush-Era Measure
The Obama administration on Friday peeled back a rule defining when health-care workers can refuse to administer treatments they find morally objectionable, reversing a final act of George W. Bush's administration.
The Bush measure said health-care workers could object to participating in abortions if they had moral objections to the procedure. Hospitals faced a loss of federal funds if they failed to uphold workers' "right of conscience." The White House said Friday that decades of law already protect workers from participating in abortions if they don't wish to. The administration said it wanted to make clear that existing conscience protections DON'T mean health-care providers can REFUSE to treat entire GROUPS of people based on religious or moral beliefs.
You can't refuse to treat entire groups? Would abortion-seeking Americans constitute such a group?
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