From the Wall Street Journal (January, 2009):
How Support for Abortion Became Kennedy Dogma
By ANNE HENDERSHOTT
For faithful Roman Catholics, the thought of yet another pro-choice Kennedy positioned to campaign for the unlimited right to abortion is discouraging. Yet if Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of Catholics John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, is appointed to fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Clinton, abortion-rights advocates will have just such a champion.
Ms. Kennedy was so concerned to assure pro-abortion leaders in New York, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported on Dec. 18, that on the same day Ms. Kennedy telephoned New York Gov. David Patterson to declare interest in the Senate seat, “one of her first calls was to an abortion rights group, indicating she will be strongly pro-choice.”
HT: Deacon Greg Kandra
Why is Sotomayer important to President Obama? She is Catholic. Of the nine Supreme Court Justices, currently five are Catholic. These five tip the court toward a pro-life consensus (the Catholic exception might be Anthony Kennedy).
By choosing Sotomayer, Obama accomplishes two things. First, he secures another pro-choice advocate in the Supreme Court. Second, he makes it impossible for another Catholic to be appointed to the Supreme Court in the future since this appointment would yield six Catholics among the nine Justices.
A future conservative president would be fried if he attempted to appoint an eighth Catholic (pro-life) justice.
Here’s the religious breakdown of the current Supreme Court:
John Roberts Catholic
Stephen G. Breyer Jewish
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Jewish
Anthony M. Kennedy Catholic
Antonin Scalia Catholic
David H. Souter Episcopalian
John Paul Stevens Protestant
Clarence Thomas Catholic
Samuel Alito Catholic
Warning: gzinflate() [function.gzinflate]: data error in /home/taylor12/public_html/christianandamerican.com/wp-includes/http.php on line 1787
This story proves that even with all their prepping, high level politicians can still be out of touch with religion.
.- During her recent visit to Mexico, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an unexpected stop at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and left a bouquet of white flowers “on behalf of the American people,” after asking who painted the famous image.
The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was miraculously imprinted by Mary on the tilma, or cloak, of St. Juan Diego in 1531. The image has numerous unexplainable phenomena, such as the appearance on Mary’s eyes of those present in the room when the tilma was opened and the image’s lack of decay.
Hat tip to Matthew Mehan.
Warning: gzinflate() [function.gzinflate]: data error in /home/taylor12/public_html/christianandamerican.com/wp-includes/http.php on line 1787
Great news! Michael Steele is the new Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Steele is a solid Catholic who spent a number of years in the seminary. I once heard him speak at a mens’ leadership breakfast in Washington, DC. Standing ovation. He’s funny, smart, and deep.
This is a healthy change for the down-and-out GOP.
Legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday that would effectively re-instate the Mexico City Policy, which President Obama rescinded on Friday. The Mexico City Policy prevented U.S. taxpayer dollars from being given to international organizations that provide or actively promote abortions. The measure, H.R. 708, was introduced by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Bart Stupak (D-MI), and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and would “restrict assistance to foreign organizations that perform or actively promote abortions.”
H.R. 708, like the Mexico City Policy, makes exemptions for pregnancy terminations when the life of the mother is in danger and in the cases of rape and incest. The authors of the legislation are currently seeking additional co-sponsors.
The remnants of a presidential inauguration still litter the streets of Washington, but that doesn’t mean Mr. Obama is taking any time in cleaning out the unwanted precedents leftover by Mr. Bush in the White House. Obama is taking care of the low hanging fruit before he gets to the more difficult parts of his agenda.
As promised, within days of his swearing in, he has revoked the Mexico City Policy, which prevented U.S. taxpayer money from being used to provide abortions abroad. Obama has signed an executive order closing the controversial prison at Guantanamo Bay where those suspected of being terrorists are held.
For someone who has pledged to reject the influence of special interests, Mr. Obama has been very swift in responding to the wish lists of various liberal interest groups. The pro-choice crowd couldn’t be happier that the international arm of Planned Parenthood will now be able to receive more money to terminate pregnancies in developing countries. Similarly, the anti-war movement is pleased to see Guantanamo, the trophy room of the War on Terror, close its barbed-wire gates.
Unfortunately, these are only the preludes of a much broader agenda for American progressives. The pro-choice lobby will continue to push its Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) until abortion is recognized as a “fundamental right” in the United States. The anti-war groups won’t stop until every American boot is off the sand in Iraq.
One group that Mr. Obama still has to answer for are the gays and lesbians. He ran afoul of this important liberal constituency when he invited Evangelical super star and Proposition 8 supporter Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his swearing in on the steps of the Capitol. To ensure that the public knows he is eager either to offend everyone or include everyone, Obama then invited Bishop V. Gene Robinson, the openly homosexual bishop in the Episcopal church, to say a prayer on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
What will Obama do for the gays and lesbians? The first order of business will be the elimination of the oft-mocked “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy which prevents open, practicing homosexuals from serving in the armed forces. It will most assuredly be replaced with a policy that will make sexual preference an issue in military recruiting.
Obama is able to achieve all of these liberal “wants” through executive order by taking advantage of his post-inauguration honeymoon. These controversial decisions are made through the fiat of his executive power. A new challenge will be dealing with the legislative branch and many conservatives hope their like-minded Senators will provide a mechanism for tempering the Obama agenda.
Since Justice Roberts flubbed the oath of office, President Obama later retook the oath so as to keep everything above board.
How did you feel about Rick Warren’s prayer at President Obama’s Inauguration?
Please let Christian and American know what you thought about Pastor Warren’s inaugural prayer by either leaving a comment below or by participating in our poll. If you didn’t hear the prayer, you can read the officially transcribed text of the prayer at the bottom of this post.
After you make your selection, PLEASE CLICK THE “Confirmation” BUTTON THE OPTIONS TO ENSURE THAT YOUR VOTE HAS BEEN COUNTED AND TALLIED.
Let us pray.
Almighty God, our father, everything we see and everything we can’t see exists because of you alone. It all comes from you, it all belongs to you. It all exists for your glory. History is your story.
The Scripture tells us Hear, oh Israel, the Lord is our God; the Lord is one. And you are the compassionate and merciful one. And you are loving to everyone you have made.
Now today we rejoice not only in America’s peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time. We celebrate a hinge-point of history with the inauguration of our first African-American president of the United States.
We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled possibility, where the son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership.
And we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in Heaven.
Give to our new president, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion to lead us with generosity. Bless and protect him, his family, Vice President Biden, the Cabinet, and every one of our freely elected leaders.
Help us, oh God, to remember that we are Americans, united not by race or religion or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all.
When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you, forgive us. When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone, forgive us. When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the Earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us.
And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes, even when we differ.
Help us to share, to serve and to seek the common good of all.
May all people of good will today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet. And may we never forget that one day all nations and all people will stand accountable before you.
We now commit our new president and his wife, Michelle, and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, into your loving care.
I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus, Jesus (hay-SOOS), who taught us to pray, Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
“Out with the old, in with the new!”
Rarely have those words been uttered with more enthusiasm than at the beginning of 2009.
2008 was an historic and unsettling year. Our economy imploded, the President abandoned free market principles “in order to save the free market system,” and government assumed an unprecedented role in financing our economy. Business magnates, from bankers to automakers, pleaded for a bailout—and got one from Uncle Sugar. Gas prices took a roller coaster ride, soaring, then plunging in the second half of the year. Political and celebrity scandals abounded, from John Edwards’ and Eliot Spitzer’s infidelities to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s pay to play scandal to Britney Spear’s meltdown and resurgence. Things were so chaotic on the domestic front that some almost forgot that there was a war going on. Not surprisingly, Americans voted for “change” and elected their first African-American as President. The Democrats took control of both houses of Congress and Republicans were kicked to the curb.
But rather than dwell on the best and worst of 2008, it may be a better use of our time to look ahead to what’s in store for our country in the new year.
The dawning of a new year is always an exciting time. We celebrate it by popping corks on champagne bottles, lighting sparklers, and watching the big ball drop in Times Square. We get together with friends and loved ones and count down the hours, minutes, and seconds until the new year. The celebration is important, for the advent of a new year is a symbol of what is to come, of new beginnings, resolutions, renewal, and the hopes of all to be better and to live better in the year to come.
This new year provides us with a new opportunity to improve on the sorry state of politics and the economy in our country. Our culture’s character was on display during 2008. We paid a high price for the lack of it and we have a chance for reform in 2009.
The new year provides us with the opportunity to reinstitute the notions of virtue and moderation as important guideposts in the conduct of our business and financial affairs. For far too long, the marketplace has been viewed as a virtue-free zone—a place were “self-interest” operated free of moral restraints. This attitude has turned something good (a free market economy) into a system where the interests of others were irrelevant to our economic decision making. As a result, radical self interest and unrestrained greed characterized many of our transactions. The housing debacle provides a good example. Home buyers bought more house than they could afford, unhesitatingly misrepresenting their financial capacity to repay their loans. Lenders encouraged irresponsible loans in exchange for handsome up front fees because they expected to pass the risk to downstream institutions like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who, in turn, packaged the bad loans as securities and sold them to investors who were looking for unprecedented returns. All the way along the line, the participants were looking out only for themselves. They were unconcerned for the welfare of any other party to the transaction. This lack of virtue and restraint was commonplace in the broader markets and resulted in a financial meltdown, the likes of which haven’t been seen since The Great Depression.
Aristotle showed great insight into the nature of man when he said, “The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by wisdom.” This moderation (or restraint) which is necessary for a flourishing free market economy has been virtually absent in the business practices which led to our current economic calamity. All of us would do well to adopt it in the new year.
How often have we been tempted to buy something we couldn’t afford? To keep up with the Joneses? To regard entertainment as more important than responsible behavior? The new year provides us with an opportunity to reclaim financial responsibility not only for our own interests, but also for the interests of others. Perhaps we will once again realize that our financial decisions impact others, that personal responsibility is good for all people, ourselves included, and that thrift and savings do not merit scorn and derision.
What has been true in the economic arena has been no less true in the political arena. Virtue and moderation have been anything but the hallmarks of American political behavior in the last year. A spirit of hyper partisanship has fostered a continuation of the politics of personal destruction. The smallest amount of blood in the water resulted in a veritable feeding frenzy as each party sought to capitalize on the political peccadilloes of their opponents. The conduct of Ted Stevens, William Jefferson, and Rod Blagojevich were emblematic of public servants who had lost their way and put their own interests ahead of the interests of their constituents. Hopefully, the excesses of the last year will point out the need for a recovery of virtue and moderation in the political arena in the coming new year.
Indeed, this new year presents all of us with the opportunity for the renewal of virtue and restraint in our political and economic affairs. Two thousand years ago, the apostle Paul exhorted his co-worker Titus: “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.” (Titus 3:1-2 NIV) Paul’s advice is as good now as it was then. We will all do well to take his instruction to heart and to pursue these virtues in every dimension of our lives in this coming new year.
Ken Connor is an attorney and co-author of “Sinful Silence: When Christians Neglect Their Civic Duty” He is also Chairman of the Center for a Just Society. For more articles and resources from Mr. Connor and the Center for a Just Society, go to www.centerforajustsociety.org.
This is very interesting. The Grand Duke of Luxembourg is about to lose his veto power because he has threatened a bill legalizing euthanasia.
“Grand Duke of Luxembourg Will Lose His Veto”
Luxembourg’s parliament looks ready to strip the Grand Duke of his last lawmaking power as a controversy over euthanasia comes to a head. One of Europe’s last royals with political sway may lose his formal veto by taking a stand against a law legalizing euthanasia.
The Grand Duke of Luxembourg, who has said he would interfere with a decision by parliament, will likely be stripped of his veto in a historic decision after a heated showdown over a bill to legalize euthanasia.
Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg protested the bill and threatened to kill it next week by refusing to sign it into law.
Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg will refuse to sign a euthanasia law for “reasons of conscience.”
Since parliament is expected to pass the bill, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said the Grande Duke has overstepped his role. Juncker personally opposes the euthanasia bill but says he will propose a change to the constitution to deny the Grand Duke his veto. His role by the end of 2008 could be reduced to rubber-stamping parliamentary decisions, instead of deciding whether to approve them.
“That means he will only technically enact laws,” Juncker said, according to Reuters.
The euthanasia bill passed a first vote by parliament in February. It looks set to pass a second and final vote next week, but the Catholic Grand Duke announced on Tuesday — in a closed-door meeting with leaders of Juncker’s ruling Christian Socialists — that he would refuse to enact the law.
His position tipped the tiny nation into the worst constitutional crisis in its history. The Luxembourg royal house has tried to block a decision by parliament only once before, when the Grand Duchess Marie-Adelaide refused to sign an education bill in 1912.
“I understand the Grand Duke’s problems of conscience,” said Juncker, “but I believe that if the parliament votes in a law, it must be brought into force.”
The euthanasia bill has been controversial since 2001. It would let patients with “grave and incurable” conditions die at the hands of a doctor if they ask repeatedly to be euthanized and earn the consent of two doctors and a panel of experts. Medical and physician groups have opposed the bill, though, and so have many citizens of this traditionally Catholic nation.
It follows similar laws in the Netherlands and Belgium, where King Baudouin — Henri’s uncle — abdicated for a day in 1990 to avoid signing a Belgian abortion law. The current Belgian king, Albert II, has signed Belgium’s recent euthanasia and homosexual-marriage laws over his private Catholic beliefs.
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a constitutional monarchy, and the Grand Duke is its head of state. He has indicated that he won’t stand in the way of any change to the constitution.”
The full article can be found at: Spiegel Online.