Pastor's Page
By Fr. George Welzbacher
May 1, 2011

In recent years more than one commentator on American society has voiced concern at the rapidly dwindling conviction among American citizens today to the effect that there really are unchanging moral absolutes, eternally valid "Do's" and "Don'ts". Things that most Americans used to take for granted as part of the bedrock on which our nation stood-a dependence on God as the ultimate guarantor of our nation's prosperity and security, the inviolable sacredness of innocent human life, the importance of a life-long commitment in marriage for the proper formation of the next generation of America's citizens, the duty of working productively in order to make a contribution to the common good and to provide a means of support for oneself and one's family-absolutes such as these are no longer regarded by many as binding. Relativistic non-judgmentalism is replacing non-negotiable conviction.  But in the resultant expanding moral vacuum a new political absolute is emerging as the reigning dogma of an important political group. That new political absolute? The absolute necessity of preserving Roe v. Wade at ALL costs and of using taxpayers' dollars to maximize access to abortion.    The recent edge-of-the-cliff negotiations to stave off a government shutdown brought this new political absolute into sharp and clear focus. May I share with you a perceptive essay written by a distinguished journalist (and veteran campaigner for the pro-Life cause), the Wall Street Journal's William McGurn.

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Who's the Extremist Now?
By: William McGurn
The Wall Street Journal, 4/12/11

The president would have shut down government over Planned Parenthood funding. The senior senator from New York was on to something when he complained about IDEOLOGY getting in the way of spending cuts.  Just not in the way he would have us believe.

Appearing on MSNBC on Friday before the budget deal was finally cut, Senator Charles Schumer launched a pre-emptive blame strike. "We are on the one-yard line," he complained, "but Republicans in the House are making a goal-line stand on women's HEALTH [i.e., the "right" of a woman to secure the services of a surgeon in burning to death with a saline solution or cutting into pieces her unborn child]. Which has nothing-nothing-to do with the budget." The reference was to a GOP bid to STRIP Planned Parenthood, America's largest abortion provider, of HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars [which actually WOULD have something to do with the budget].

Mr. Schumer was not alone. Sen. Patty Murray (D. Wash.) advanced a similar argument. "[W]hat THEY are saying to US today," she declared, "is that if you want to keep the federal government open, you have to THROW WOMEN UNDER THE BUS." Ditto for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who kept insisting that the only thing standing between a shutdown and a deal was GOP social IDEOLOGY.

Whoa there! Might there be another way to read this?

In the end, President Barack Obama was the one who refused to blink on Planned Parenthood. Another way of saying it is this: THE PRESIDENT WAS WILLING TO SHUT DOWN THE ENTIRE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RATHER THAN TO SEE PLANNED PARENTHOOD FUNDING CUT.

According to press accounts leaked by DEMOCRATIC aides, House Speaker John Boehner argued FOR the funding cut late into the evening. The President answered, "NOPE, ZERO." He then said, "John, this is it." Mr. Bochner accepted the budget deal without that cut.

A Republican aide confirmed more or less the same account to me. He said it was "chilling" to see how inflexible Mr. Obama was.  You might call it IDEOLOGICAL.

Certainly there's a political logic here. To begin with, many of the women's groups that supported him are still smarting over the executive order (banning federal dollars for abortions) he issued to secure passage of his health-care bill. That's still a sore spot, even though-as his former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, recently told the Chicago Tribune editorial board-that language is NOT in the LAW. The presumption being, of course, that eventually the order will be overridden.

The hard line on Planned Parenthood funding also makes sense if the president was calculating that Mr. Boehner would get the BLAME for a shutdown no matter what. That's a reasonable assumption, judging from the way the press has swallowed the ... line on who the extremists here are. Never mind that this is the same president who, as an Illinois state senator, famously OPPOSED LIMITING EVEN PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION [the procedure in which most of the baby's body is extracted from the birth canal to facilitate evacuation of the baby's brain with a suction pump].

For his part, Mr. Boehner now finds himself criticized for accepting too little in spending cuts and giving up the ship on defunding Planned Parenthood to get a budget deal. Leaving aside his VICTORY in RESTORING  the previous status quo PROHIBITING taxpayer funding for  THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Mr. Boehner came away with two strong accomplishments.

First, in just three months as Speaker, he has managed to change the national debate from "stimulus" and "investment" to "how much spending do we need to cut" - which is why Mr. Obama will be pressing the reset button in a planned speech on spending tomorrow. Second, on Planned Parenthood Funding, he has SECURED something that those concerned about restoring these contentious issues to the people should appreciate: an agreement that THE SENATE WILL VOTE ON A SEPARATE MEASURE TO DEFUND PLANNED PARENTHOOD.

Surely it tells you something about who the real extremists are that an up or down vote is deemed a concession. In an appearance at a rally before the deal, Mr. Schumer vowed that any bill taking taxpayer dollars FROM Planned Parenthood would "NEVER, NEVER, NEVER" pass the Senate. In the NORMAL way of doing things, it wouldn't even come up for a vote.

Most Americans, it is probably safe to say, have no idea that we are talking about an organization that performed 332,278 abortions in 2009 - ONE ABORTION EVERY 95 SECONDS. Planned Parenthood counters that no federal dollars go to abortion, but Americans are not stupid. They know money is fungible.

As for serving pregnant women, that would be worth some congressional attention, too. Planned Parenthood's own numbers show that MORE than 97% of the pregnant women it treated were given ABORTIONS-against FEWER than 3% who received nonabortion or prenatal care....

Thanks to Mr. Bochner, we'll at least have a democratic debate on this subject instead of a backroom fait accompli. And thanks to the way this deal was struck, we have a reminder that it was the ... PRESIDENT.....who decided that it was worth SHUTTING DOWN the entire federal government TO PROTECT Planned Parenthood's TAXPAYER dollars. [Emphasis added)
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For the past two years the U.S. Justice Department has been following a policy of NON- ENFORCEMENT of laws calling for prosecution of certain forms of the purveying of pornography. Morality in Media issued the following report on an appeal to Attorney General Eric Holder to begin enforcing these laws. The appeal was made by prominent federal legislators.
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Washington, DC (April 4, 2011) - The War on Illegal Pornography announced today that more than 100 U.S. Senate and House Members, including nine Senate Judiciary Committee Members, have signed letters addressed to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder urging that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI vigorously prosecute major producers and distributors of illegal adult pornography.

Sponsored by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and U.S. House Representatives Mike McIntyre (D-NC) and Randy Forbes (R. VA), the letters to General Holder state, in part, that: "In June 1998, when you served as Deputy Attorney General, you directed U.S. Attorneys to enforce these laws. The need for consistent and vigorous enforcement is even greater today because both obscene pornography and evidence of its harms have multiplied since then. Laws exist to respond to this crisis, but they need to be enforced." Included in the 9 Senate Judiciary Committee Members signing the letter are John Cornyn (R-TX), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jon Kyl, (R-AZ).

"In the past several months Congress has experienced a public outcry, with more than a quarter million people asking their elected officials to sign this letter. The nation is flooded with illegal adult pornography in almost every medium, providing fuel to the fire of child pornography and yet, the Department of Justice has not indicted any distributors of such material in the past two years." said Trueman, Morality in Media CEO and former prosecutor at the Department of Justice.

Pornography addiction is rampant, leading to grave social costs documented by a plethora of researchers at and at a groundbreaking conference held by the Witherspoon Institute at Princeton University entitled, "The Social Costs of Pornography" ( Violence against women, increased sex trafficking, divorce, addiction to pornography by children and adults and many more societal ills can be traced to pornography consumption, according to research.

"We are simply asking for the enforcement of existing obscenity laws which would shut down most of the hardcore pornography available today on the Internet. We applaud Sen. Hatch and Representatives Forbes and McIntyre for leading an extraordinary bipartisan effort to get the U.S. Department of Justice to begin enforcing obscenity laws," said Trueman.

Author: Morality in Media
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