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Guest Post: The Celebration of Evil in New York

February 2nd, 2019

New York, abortion and a short route to chaos

By Bishop Robert Barron

It was the celebration that was particularly galling.

On the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, signed into law a protocol that gives practically unrestricted access to abortion, permitting the killing of an unborn child up until the moment of delivery. In the wake of the ratification, the legislators and their supporters whooped, hollered, and cheered, a display depressingly similar to the jubilation that broke out in Ireland when a referendum legalizing abortion passed last year.

Of course, all of the rhetoric about women’s rights and reproductive health and empowerment was trotted out, but who can fail to see what was at stake? If an infant, lying peacefully in a bassinet in his parents’ home, were brutally killed and dismembered, the entire country would rightfully be outraged and call for an investigation of the murder. But now the law of New York confirms that that same child, moments before his birth, resting peacefully in his mother’s womb, can be, with utter impunity, pulled apart with forceps. And the police won’t be summoned; rather, it appears, the killing should be a matter of celebration.

An ideology, taken in the negative sense, is a conceptual framework that blinds one to reality. The purpose of any ideational system, obviously, is to shed light, to bring us closer to the truth of things. But an ideology does the reverse, effectively obfuscating reality, distancing us from truth. All of the buzz terms I mentioned above – women’s rights, reproductive health, empowerment – are ideological markers, smokescreens. Or if I can borrow the terminology of Jordan Peterson, they are the chattering of demons, the distracting hubbub of the father of lies.

I recall that during the presidential campaign of 2016, Hillary Clinton was asked several times whether the child in the womb, within minutes of birth, has constitutional rights, and this extremely intelligent, experienced, and canny politician said, over and over again, “That’s what our law dictates.” Therefore, by a sheer accident of location, the unborn baby can be butchered, and the same baby, moments later and in the arms of his mother, must be protected by full force of law. That many of our political leaders can’t or won’t see how utterly ludicrous this is can only be the result of ideological indoctrination.

As I watched film of Andrew Cuomo signing this repulsive bill into law, my mind drifted back to 1984 and an auditorium at the University of Notre Dame where Cuomo’s father, Mario – also governor of New York at the time – delivered a famous address. In his lengthy and intellectually substantive speech, Gov. Cuomo presented himself, convincingly, as a faithful Catholic, thoroughly convinced in conscience that abortion is morally outrageous. But he also made a fateful distinction that has been exploited by liberal Catholic politicians for the past 35 years. He explained that though he was personally opposed to abortion, he was not willing to pursue legal action to abolish it or even to limit it, since he was the representative of all the people, and not just of those who shared his Catholic convictions.

Now this distinction is an illegitimate one, which is evident the moment we draw an analogy to other public matters of great moral import: “I’m personally opposed to slavery, but I’ll take no action to outlaw it or limit its spread”; “I personally find Jim Crow laws repugnant, but I will pursue no legal strategy to undo them”; etc. But at the very least, Mario Cuomo could declare himself deeply conflicted, anguished, willing to support abortion law only as a regrettable political necessity in a pluralistic democracy.

But in a single generation, we have moved from reluctant toleration to unbridled celebration, from struggling Mario to exultant Andrew.

There is a simple reason for this. A privatized religion, one that never incarnates itself in gesture, behavior, and moral commitment, rapidly vanishes. Once-powerful convictions, never concretely expressed, devolve, practically overnight, into pious wishes – and finally disappear altogether.

In Robert Bolt’s magnificent play regarding St. Thomas More, [ITAL]A Man for All Seasons, we find a telling exchange between Cardinal Wolsey, a hard-bitten, largely amoral politico, and the saintly More. Wolsey laments, “You’re a constant regret to me, Thomas. If you could just see facts flat on, without that horrible moral squint, with just a little common sense, you could have been a statesman.” To which More responds, “Well…I believe when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties … they lead their country by a short route to chaos.” Abandoning the convictions of one’s conscience in the exercise of one’s public duties is precisely equivalent to: “I’m personally opposed but unwilling to take concrete action to instantiate my opposition.”

And this abandonment – evident in Mario Cuomo’s 1984 address – had indeed led by a short road to chaos, evident in Andrew Cuomo’s joyful celebration of a law permitting the murder of children.

 

Bishop Robert Barron currently serves as the Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Diocese in Los Angeles.

Fulcher Signs Pro-Life Letter

January 17th, 2019

Idaho’s new congressman, Russ Fulcher, was among 169 Members of Congress signing a letter to President Trump, urging him to stand strong in defense of the pro-Life policies he has initiated since becoming president. A similar letter came from 49 Republican members of the U.S. Senate, including Idaho’s Jim Risch and Mike Crapo.

The letter comes in response to the early pro-abortion salvos launched by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In one of her very first actions in the new Congress, she inserted language into an emergency government spending bill that would restore tax funding of Planned Parenthood International.  That cynical attempt to re-open all of the federal government has been blocked by the Republican Senate.  Some national leaders of the pro-Life movement have expressed concern that Speaker Pelosi may try to blackmail the president into backing away from one or more of his pro-Life policies in order to end the government shutdown.

The letter from Congressman Fulcher and others urges the president to use his veto pen to uphold pro-Life protections like the Mexico City Policy and the Hyde Amendment; the latter restricts the use of federal funds to pay for abortions. Pro-Life advocates believe that some two million babies have been saved from abortion through the Hyde Amendment alone.

Congressman Mike Simpson was not one of the signatories.

Welcome Back to Nancy’s World

January 4th, 2019

On the first day of her restored reign as House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi made a down-payment on her debt to the Abortion Industry.

As hundreds of thousands of federal employees sit at home, Pelosi made an historic pitch to restore funding of Planned Parenthood International as the first priority of her plan to reopen parts of the government. As new caravans of central American immigrants threaten to launch yet another caravan, Pelosi decides that national security can be ignored – but the demand for more money to Planned Parenthood cannot be.

Border agents overwhelmed at the southern border with illegal immigrants, drug cartels and threats of international terror can just get by with the resources they have … but Planned Parenthood’s desire to destroy more innocent lives across the globe is a crisis which must be addressed. The Mexico City Policy must be overturned!  Today!

As profoundly disturbing as it is to see Pelosi’s radical agenda on display, we can’t claim surprise or shock. The folks who just took over the House of Representatives owe a profound debt to the Abortion Industry.  And they clearly intend to make good by helping Planned Parenthood destroy more innocent lives. Thank the Lord that we have a pro-Life president who won’t tolerate such despicable priorities.

The Blessings of 2018

January 1st, 2019

As we launch into a new year, it is always important to spend some time looking back on the victories and blessings of the one just expired. The exercise builds gratitude and strength for the battles ahead.

There were substantial pro-Life victories in 2018. At the top of the list is passage of the Abortion Complications Reporting Law, adopted by the 2018 Legislature and signed into law by Governor Butch Otter.  This law promises to shine the light into the practices of the Abortion Industry in Idaho – and to provide comprehensive information for women and policy makers on the real risks of abortion.  Planned Parenthood has fought hard to protect their stranglehold on this data, preferring to keep women and the public in the dark.  In fact, they are now suing the state in hopes of getting the federal courts to safeguard their monopoly.  They lost in district court, and are now appealing to the 9th Circuit.

We are grateful for the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. While his first vote on an abortion-related case raises some concern, we remain hopeful that he will be a critical vote in advancing the rights of states to defend their preborn citizens.

We are grateful for the election of a pro-Life governor in Idaho. The general election made it abundantly clear that Democrat Paulette Jordan would have pursued an aggressive abortion agenda, driven by her allies at Planned Parenthood.  We take this opportunity to offer our prayers for Governor Brad Little, and ask the Lord to bless his time in office and to provide him with genuine wisdom in helping to build a better Idaho.

We are grateful for the release of the movie detailing the heinous practices of Kermit Gosnell. This film has helped expose the dark reality of the Abortion Industry.

We are grateful that the Trump Administration has moved on a number of pro-Life policies this year: The Administration has just published a call for the FDA to find morally-acceptable alternatives to using aborted baby parts and tissue in medical research it is currently funding. The Administration also further strengthened conscience protections for employers who object to paying for the Obama Mandate on abortion-causing drugs.

We are grateful for the volunteers, prayer warriors and donors who help make this work possible. They must be the most kind-hearted, generous people on earth.

There are serious battles looming, to be sure. But let us take a moment to give thanks to the Lord for the progress we’ve made, looking forward with hope and anticipation to the blessings He will bestow in 2019.

The Magic of Christmas

December 21st, 2018

Christmas carols and lights. Santas at the Mall.  Shopping lists and wrapping parties; Christmas cookies brought into the break room.  The wonderment of the Season is building, as is the rush to get everything done.  Many people of faith worry that such busyness means a loss of the reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place.  Perhaps that anxiety is overblown.

Somehow, the Spirit of Christ transcends in the sounds and smells of Christmas, even for people who have little conscious regard for the coming of our Savior. We live in a secular world, a largely secular America.  We live in a time of heightened social and political conflict.  Yet the shopping, the lights, the Christmas cards brings a healing.  This is a time when one can’t but help be drawn toward helping others, thanking those who have been with us, doing a little act of kindness for the gal at the Post Office.

Even for those who don’t know why… exactly … there is the Spirit of Christ dominating our society in these precious days before Christmas.

Isn’t it rather amazing that a secular music group produces their version of “Holy Night”? They might not truly appreciate the power of the words they sing so beautifully … but they are nevertheless helping to make a joyful noise unto the Lord.  Those given such talents by the Maker of the Universe are somehow brought to a place where those talents are used to proclaim the Gift of the Savior –  not unlike the Magi or the shepherds, men who were compelled to see the miracle of Jesus laying in a manger.

Let us enjoy the precious days of Christmas and draw comfort from the display of Christian values by personages like Santa Claus – even if many of the secular symbols of the Season don’t explicitly proclaim the Name of Christ. The virtues of hope, kindness and giving nevertheless point to Him.

For us, this is the most special holiday of the year. There is something so powerful about Christmas and the fight to protect the vulnerable new lives threatened by the darkness of abortion. The birth of Jesus, the miracle of Jesus, is heralded by each new life in the womb.

Join with us in giving thanks for all the miracles of this Christmas Season – including the opportunity to defend all of God’s innocents.

Blessings to you and your family.

The Legacy of Bush 41

December 4th, 2018

Former President Bush lies in state today at the nation’s capital, following a long life built almost entirely around public service. There can be no doubt that he was a hero, having bravely served his nation in World War II.

While some of his public record remains controversial, there can also be no doubt that he carried forward the pro-Life policies of President Reagan. We appreciate our friends at Life News for recapping some of the moral leadership President Bush provided while president (1989-1993):

  • He defended Reagan’s “Mexico City” Policy – which prohibited federal aid dollars from going to organizations that perform or promote abortion in foreign nations;
  • Bush prohibited the importation of RU-486;
  • The Bush Administration filed amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court, urging the high court to reverse its position in Roe v. Wade;
  • President George H.W. Bush vetoed ten different bills passed by a pro-abortion Congress which would have expanded abortion “rights” – including four pieces of legislation which would have provided taxpayer funding of abortion;
  • Bush also issued an Executive Order to the military, prohibiting the performance of an abortion on U.S. military bases except in cases where an abortion was deemed necessary to save a mother’s life.

We pray that the Lord of Mercies comforts the Bush Family during this time of grief. And we commend President Bush for his service to America and our most important values.

Battleground: District 15

November 1st, 2018

Boise’s District 15 is one of the central battlefields of the 2018 election.

Idaho is blessed to have three strong pro-Life incumbents running again: Sen. Fred Martin, Rep. Pat McDonald and Rep. Lynn Luker. All three have made substantial contributions to the defense of preborn babies during their years at the Idaho Legislature.  And all three are under intense attack from the Abortion Lobby.

Sen. Fred Martin, for example, was the lead sponsor this past session of one of the most important pieces of legislation ever considered in Idaho: For the first time, there will be an independent and comprehensive reporting system, managed by the State of Idaho, on the complications women and girls suffer after an abortion. No longer will we be totally dependent on the manipulated data produced by Planned Parenthood. The Abortion Industry is terrified by what the public might learn about abortion in coming years.

Martin is being challenged by a leftist Democrat, Jim Bratnober, who is proudly campaigning as a candidate endorsed by NOW. The National Organization for Women is, perhaps, even more radical on abortion rights than Planned Parenthood.  They are part of the Abortion Lobby we encounter every time we bring pro-Life legislation to the fore.  He has raised over $57,000 and has been doorknocking the district for months.

In fact, every Democrat challenger is loaded with money and hungry to claim the last Republican district in Boise.

Rep. Pat McDonald has a 100% pro-Life record, built during his three terms of public service in the Idaho House. We are proud to support his re-election.

He is being challenged by Democrat Jake Ellis. While we are impressed with his years as a Boise firefighter, it is important to understand that Mr. Ellis is a full-throated leftist.  He, too, is backed by NOW.  In fact, he goes even further in expressing his public support for Planned Parenthood and abortion-on-demand:

The last big race in District 15 involves Rep. Lynn Luker. He faces, for the fourth time, Democrat Steve Berch.  This guy is as obsessed with being elected to the Legislature as Hillary Clinton is with being president: Berch just won’t take ‘NO’ for an answer.

But this time around, he has raised over $100,000 – apparently figuring that overwhelming Luker with money is the only strategy left to him.

And Berch is getting plenty of assistance from Planned Parenthood: A consortium of leftist groups have banded together under the name “Stronger Idaho PAC” – mostly to disguise the financing by Planned Parenthood, the Idaho Conservation League and the state’s teacher union. They just spent thousands of dollars in independent expenditures attacking Lynn Luker.

We need pro-Life voters in District 15 to turn-out next week. This district has proven there is a close divide and these critical races could be determined by just a handful of voters.  If you care about women; if you care about the slaughter of the innocent; if you care about protecting the sanctity of the family – then you must get out and vote for Martin, McDonald and Luker.  Make sure that your vote is the one that settles the matter.  Your vote is the only defense left for babies in the womb.

Thank You Mr. President

October 9th, 2018

We now have Justice Kavanaugh. The nation has survived yet another bruising, nasty confirmation vote for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

It is difficult, at this point, to make a reasonable guess as to whether the nation will be stronger for having gone through this sordid process – or whether the glue that holds the body politic together in a republic has been made so brittle as to threaten civilized self-government in the decades ahead. But we know that the nation has been through worse, and survived.

We also know that the street brawl forced upon the nation over the past month or so had nothing to do with the immature social behavior of minors in high school. It was all about the possible threat to legalized abortion-on-demand. The Left concocted a plan to execute the character of Justice Kavanaugh because they determined that they could not possibly win by attacking his qualifications or judicial philosophy.

Despite the ugly tactics of the Soros-Planned Parenthood Lobby, we have much to be grateful for.

We can give thanks for the strength and character of President Trump. He is an extraordinary person.  Most Republicans in his position would have found a way to dump Kavanaugh at the first sign of serious trouble.  (Remember W’s pick of Harriet Miers?).  His strength in exposing the Left and staring them down is truly remarkable.  And let’s not forget the most fundamental fact: Thank the Lord we have a President Trump making these nominations to the high court, rather than Empress Hillary!

We must also gratefully acknowledge the courage and character of Brett Kavanaugh. Many people would have understandably folded under the pressure – especially the battering of his family.  His finest moment may have come when he publicly declared that he would not be chased from the battlefield.

It remains to be seen how Kavanaugh will affect the Court. Honestly, it seems unlikely that we are on the verge of a new birth of protection for preborn Americans.  But it may well be that the Supreme Court will cede more power back to the states to reign-in a lawless abortion industry.  The foundations for over-turning Roe may be laid in the next few years.

Prayer for the president, the court and the nation are very much in order. The next great test of our Republic will come in November.  Will America choose to reward Schumer and Pelosi with greater power?  God forbid.

Please Join Us for the Life Chain

October 2nd, 2018

Idaho Chooses Life is sponsoring the annual Treasure Valley Life Chain this coming Sunday afternoon. October 7th.  2-4 pm.

We’ll be meeting on Milwaukee, at the intersection of Westpark. (Across from the Boise Mall).

This annual event is a tremendous opportunity to bring the horror of abortion out from the shadows. Each year brings miracles as we gather to pray with friends and appeal to our neighbors for the lives of preborn children threatened by abortion.

Such events will be held all across America, in over 1700 communities.

We would be blessed to have you and your friends join hands with us. Call 208-344-8709 if you have any questions.

Planned Parenthood’s Big PR Stunt

September 15th, 2018

Planned Parenthood announced this week that it had picked a new national president. In an attempt to rebrand itself as a legitimate health care provider, the nation’s largest provider named Dr. Leana Wen as its new president.  She replaces Cecile Richards, a pure political hack.

The abortion chain is already playing on Wen’s Chinese background, as she and her family were granted asylum in the late 1990’s. Wen and her family became citizens in 2003.

During her years in medical school, Wen was a volunteer for Planned Parenthood.

The spin from Planned Parenthood ignores the fact that communist China is a gross example of what can happen to a society that embraces the wholesale destruction of innocent children through abortion. Dr. Wen herself has no record of opposing China’s horrific treatment of women and preborn children – especially baby girls.  And you can be sure that she and Planned Parenthood will continue to overlook the barbarous practices of that nation.

Instead, Dr. Wen will be paraded about on talk shows in a white jacket to perpetrate the con job that Planned Parenthood is all about protecting women’s health.

Already, she has appeared on the “View”, proclaiming that abortion is a relatively small part of what Planned Parenthood does. She was challenged on the show by at least one host.  And Planned Parenthood has been chided by liberal outlets like the Washington Post for attempting to deceive people into thinking that just 3% of their “services” involve abortion.  But facts should not be allowed to get in the way of good political spin.

Regardless of Dr. Wen’s credentials, the organization is the largest death merchant on the planet. Plain and simple.  It is outrageous that taxpayers continue to be held hostage by a dawdling Congress.  Even worse: Federal and state governments go on lending legitimacy to this nefariously political organization, thereby encouraging women and girls to seek medical care from an outfit that kills babies for profit.

American women deserve better.