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
Is this intentional or am I just seeing things?
I find it interesting that the President Obama once claimed that decisions about abortion and the beginning of human life were “above his pay grade” and yet now he’s making executive orders in regard to them. 58% of Americans disagree with the President’s decision to reverse the “Mexico City Policy”. Obama’s decision is both “above [his] paygrade” and contrary to the convictions of people he represents.
Full story from The Weekly Standard:
Barack Obama signed an executive order late in the afternoon on Friday, January 23 to allow taxpayer funds to go to groups overseas that perform or promote abortions. To minimize press coverage, he signed the order in the absence of reporters and photographers, and the White House waited until 7:00 p.m. to issue a press release, in which the president said: “I have no desire to continue this stale and fruitless debate” on abortion.
The incredible ad created by CatholicVote will not be featured as an advertisement even after a fund raising blitz to pay for a coveted slot on Sunday morning when the Cardinals face the Steelers. NBC decided that they don’t want to run advocacy ads.
What the ad below. It’s amazing:
Obama tried to reverse the Mexico City “gag rule” against funding overseas agencies that perform or promote abortion. Now the Vatican is blowing the whistle.
Hat tip to Dwight Lindley.
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.
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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.
2008 is over.
The most important event on the religious landscape of America was the presidential election. The Democratic party reinvented itself as “religious” and the Republicans lassoed former Baptist minister and Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Mormon governor Mitt Romney stepped up the plate, as well. John McCain suffered a slight setback for snuggling too close to John Hagee, a card-carrying anti-Catholic. McCain then chose Sarah Palin, an Pentecostalesque evangelical who was denounced as a “creationist” and “fundamentalist”. Who can forget the Saturday Night Live skits mocking Palin.
Then there were the Pastor Rick Warren interviews, which were very civilized and enlightening–perhaps the highlight of the entire campaign. Barack Obama shocked everyone by saying that decisions over abortion and the moment with life begins were “above his pay grade.”
We elected Barack Obama, a professed Christian whom a majority of practicing Christians voted against. Barack Obama’s greatest moment of unpopularity centered around his pastor Jeremiah Wright’s racist comments about Whites, Jews, and the infamous “God damn America” sermon. Obama promised America that he had not heard the Reverend Wright say anything prejudicial in his twenty years of attending Wright’s Trinity United Church in Chicago. Obama withdrew his membership at Trinity United and the rest is history. Obama won the election but Proposition 8 passed in California with the support of Catholics, Evangelicals and Mormons.
Pope Benedict XVI made his first visit to the United States and celebrated Holy Mass in Washington, D.C. and New York City where he visited Ground Zero. Most notably, the Holy Father met with victims of priestly sexual abuse and offered apologies.
As a former Anglican clergyman, I followed with great interest the crisis in the Anglican Communion and the related fallout in America’s branch-the Episcopal Church USA. After a meeting in Jerusalem, conservatives around the globe rallied together in their affirmation that homosexuality is a grave sin and contrary to the Sacred Scriptures. In the meantime the American Episcopal denomination continues to fracture and splinter. Perhaps 2009 will see the formation of a new denomination.
Did I miss anything? If so leave a comment.
Rick Warren is losing respect from Evangelicals and Barack Obama is losing respect from the Left.
Recent headlines from Real Clear Politics:
President-elect Barack Obama has yet to attend church services since winning the White House earlier this month, a departure from the example of his two immediate predecessors.
On the three Sundays since his election, Obama has instead used his free time to get in workouts at a Chicago gym.
Asked about the president-elect’s decision to not attend church, a transition aide noted that the Obamas valued their faith experience in Chicago but were concerned about the impact their large retinue may have on other parishioners.
“Because they have a great deal of respect for places of worship, they do not want to draw unwelcome or inappropriate attention to a church not used to the attention their attendance would draw,” said the aide.
Both President-elect George W. Bush and President-elect Bill Clinton managed to attend church in the weeks after they were elected.